2013: The Year of Fat Creativity

Published January 4, 2013 by sleepydumpling

You may have noticed of late that I’m not blogging as often as I used to.  That’s because life has been taking me places that aren’t really conducive to much real activism thinking or time to write.  I don’t like this at all, it’s not a place I really want to be.  Usually for me, my activism is like a second, unpaid, full-time job – one that has my passion and my commitment.  Sadly over the past months I have found every day life to be far too stressful to be able to devote the time and energy to my activism that I would like to.

That said, it is a new year – Happy New Year everyone – and it’s time for me to reassess what is important to me and where I want my life to be going.  When I look back on 2012, it is mostly with fondness.  Many good things happened – from my involvement with the Stocky Bodies project, some really positive media participation, an amazing trip to New Zealand complete with Fat Studies conference, and some great personal happenings too.  But the end of the year has left me physically and emotionally exhausted and with my stress levels far higher than I believe is healthy for me.  I find myself dwelling too much on my day job and not enough on my actual life.  So I thought it was time for me to sit down and put together a bit of a wish list for the new year, to help me focus on what is really important to me.  Since I haven’t blogged much of late, I thought I could share it with all of you and invite you to share your wish list for 2013 too, plus it’s then here for us to look back on later.

At the beginning of 2012, I declared it to be the “Year of Living Fatly“.  I think I pretty much met the goals I listed on that post.  Looking back at them now I am sure I did them all.  So there’s a tick in that box.  This year, I think I want to make it the Year of Fat Creativity”.  I don’t do resolutions but I like to aim for things from time to time, to redirect my life into the channels I want it to go, not those that I sort of drift into.  With so much work stress on my shoulders of late, I feel like I’ve let go of all of the creativity that I have always had burbling away in me.  I really feel the need to get back to doing the things that make me feel good, keep my stress levels at bay and matter to me.

What does that include?  Let’s see…

1.       I  will try to concentrate on fat positivity.  I will highlight people who are doing awesome things in fat activism, and talk about places, events, etc where fatness is celebrated and valued.  Fat hate, fat shaming and fat stigma are not worthy of my attention other than to speak up and state clearly that it’s not acceptable.  It’s time that the celebrations of our fat lives were placed front and centre.

2.       Work needs to stay at work.  When I walk out of the door of an afternoon, I do not want to be dwelling on the stresses of my work day.  I don’t get paid for the hours I am not at work, so work does not get to encroach into that time.

3.       It’s time I pursued my love of photography.  This year I would like to get myself a decent SLR camera and perhaps take some photography classes.  I’d like to start photographing fat women (and men sometimes) in a positive light, plus documenting the beautiful area that I live.

4.       I will spend at least one hour per day, on at least 5 days per week, outside.  I live in fucking paradise.  I need to be outside, even if it’s just going for a walk, or taking a book out under a tree, or a bike ride, as many days per week as I can.

IMG_1912

Paradise I tells ya!

5.       I will try to support as many independent businesses and artists as I can.  I find the current state of commercial retail especially horrible at the moment.  I need to stop giving those big companies my money as much as possible.  Besides, as a very fat woman, so few mainstream businesses give a shit about me, it is stressful shopping in brick and mortar stores.  I will shop online or at small businesses and markets as much as I can.

6.       I will try to devote more time to writing.  Not let work get in the way.  Not just blogging but writing in general.  And I need to write that book that I’ve been picking away at for the past couple of years.

7.       I will continue to live my life fatly.  No apologising for my body, my weight, my appearance, the space I take up.  And I will encourage others to do so as well.

OK loves, what about you?  What are your aims for 2013?

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20 comments on “2013: The Year of Fat Creativity

  • I’m trying to get ‘free’ this year. I’ve had a lot if bad things happen in the past 5 years, and I’ve noticed I’m always just waiting for the next bad thing to happen. That’s BS.

    The past 3 years I’ve been working on my yen body acceptance (I was on a diet since the age of 12, thanks mom). After the birth of my son, I was taking a walk and thinking about making homemade Mac and cheese. My first thought was too many calories! And then I was like NO MORE! This body while well over 200 pounds has finished a bike ride from Boston to NY in 4 days. Done the breast cancer 3 day walk. Done a 10 mile marathon swim. Completed many triathlons (one being an ironman in 2004). I’ve birthed three children, lost one at five days old…. This body may be FAT but its done some pretty awesome things.

    I think it was two summers ago where I read somewhere that its ridiculous that fat people cover up their arms in the heat of the summer. It isn’t like that fabric is hiding the fact that your arms are bigger, but its certainly making you hotter. So I started wearing tank tops and shorts (instead of capris). Sundresses. Normal bathing suits. And it felt great! And then this year, I found you! I started realizing that I needed to but clothes that fit me right and were FASHIONABLE. Huge life changer.

    So I guess what I’m trying to say is thanks. You are awesome. Keep it up. I know you’ve made my life better.

  • I plan to revise my NaNoWriMo novel draft (whose point of view character is fat, btw) and submit it for publication. I am also working on some short non-fiction pieces to submit to blogs or other online publications. One piece is about relearning to swim at a public pool in Korea, complete with spitting, communal showers, elderly ladies with no sense of personal boundaries, and a surprising increase in positive feelings about my fat, disabled body.

  • I’m VERY glad to see #6 on your list of resolutions! You’re a very talented writer, which naturally makes me a greedy little reader. While I don’t want to trivialize the noble cause to which you (seemingly) devote most of your wit and wisdom, I’d love to hear everything you have to say about anything!

    I’m sorry to hear that things have been stressful for you! I believe, you’ve mentioned this before, but a fat person is rarely allowed to be sick, miserable, stressed out, depressed, sad, or exhausted for any reason other than being fat. “I’m sure you’d feel so much better if you just lost a little bit of weight .You don’t have to change who you are, but OBVIOUSLY you’d be healthier and happier if you just tried eating healthier and exercising a little more.” It’s not enough that the trolls and vipers of the world WANT you to be miserable, they’re not happy unless you’re suffering the way they think you should.

    Doctors are the worst – even if you catch a virus, some of them will stubbornly insinuate that obesity has been “proven” to compromise the immune system, which can only mean that you’re sick because you’re fat, you’re fat because you eat too much and therefore it’s your fault. This sort of snide bullshit is so unfair and hateful that I’ll use one of my New Year’s wishes on you personally. I hope that ANYBODY who hears you’re not feeling well and immediately jumps on the chance to suggest, “you should try losing some weight” spends the rest of their day (or week, depending on the douchebaggery involved) with a searing rash all up in their ass crack!

    • Why thank you Jenna for your kind words.

      You are spot on about fat people not being “allowed” to be sick, stressed or unhappy etc. I know that particularly as someone who suffers both allergies and clinical depression, both of which are biological and would be here if I was thin, that it’s because of my fat. So no thin people suffer from allergies or clinical depression, is that right?

      Or worse, people say I bring illness or depression on myself! If I get a cold, people tell me it is because I am fat. If I am bullied in the streets for my body, then I’m told it’s my fault because I’m fat (or because I’m “too sensitive”). Not content with loathing us, fat hatred also expects us to cop the blame for all of societies issues.

  • Hi Kath,
    Firstly, adore your blog, always gives me something to look forward to! Now, i too, have made it my pact to get out and enjoy the great outdoors more in 13′, id be more than happy to go for a stroll sometime, and i can give you some great Photography tips as well! Clancy (Golden Retreiver) loves the beach at Sandgate,ok, slightly obsessed would be a better phrase, i just need to say the word “Beach” and he runs to the car, so am always out and about somewhere over that way. Fish n chips anyone?!

  • I love that you focus on fat positivity and not the negative part. Thank you for articulating that. I am finding that I need to focus on the good stuff more now that I’ve acknowledged and examined the negative. I love how you say it!

    • Thanks Lonie. I will call out some bullshit of course, but mostly from the perspective that I’m making sure my fellow fats know that they don’t have to put up with it, not to give it the energy of a response, you know?

  • I’ve decided to use my current unemployment (the Manolosphere shut down last month, leaving me grieving and without a regular soapbox) as a cosmic kick in the seat of the pants to expand my writing. In fact, I’m hard at work on a book and a proposal to go with it. In the meantime, I’m also actively seeking out freelance writing jobs. I’ve been a writer for five years and change and dammit, I am NOT going backwards. I’m going to move forward. Hence the book.

    And that’s why 2013 is the Year of Living More Boldly for me. I’m putting myself out a lot more fully and hoping it pays off. Even if it doesn’t, well, at least I’ll have gotten more into the habit. I’ve been feeling myself diminishing in a lot of ways over the past decade or so, and it’s time to reverse that trend.

    As for your goals, I’m eager to see more Kath creativity, in any form it takes. I love reading anything you want to say, and look forward to seeing your pic, too.

    • Twistie I didn’t know that the Manolosphere shut down! You were the only one I read on there though to be honest. I hope you will blog somewhere else so that we can keep up with your writing until the book becomes a thing we can access.

      Go boldly forth my lovely!

  • Good for you for working out what is important to you. :)

    I have decided to follow someone’s example and take a picture of myself a day for 365 days, starting on my birthday on Sunday. I need to get comfortable with my body.

    I also want to work physical activity into my days. I want to finish clearing extra crap out of my house, and I also want to get on with my own writing.

    These last three are carry-overs from last year that didn’t really happen because (unbeknowst to me) I became anemic and just getting through the damn day was about all I could do. Cheers to us!

  • Hi Kath, I have missed your wise words. I wrote in a post some months ago that I think you would make an awesome political adviser – you are so articulate and make so much sense with what you write, you could bring a dose of reality to the pollies (and the community as a whole) that’s for sure. I have been thinking about changing some things in my life this year too and can totally relate to the work thing – have been under a lot of stress in the past months and have even thought about moving on but that’s not realistic for me at this point. I used to go for walks regularly and that really helped with my stress levels so I’m going to start again – bit scared cos I have been yelled at from cars before :( but walking makes me feel good. I would also like to swim this year (havent done so for several years – too embarrassed) and ride my bike again! Look forward to more Kath in 2013!

    • Janine there is nothing I would be less suited to than political advisory. I don’t care an iota about politics, I care about justice!

      I need to get back to the pool too. It does me the world of good. I feel so relaxed and happy after swimming. And yeah, I understand the risk of abuse from rude douchebags when you are out walking etc.

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