inflaters

All posts in the inflaters category

Dear You, Volume 3

Published March 11, 2012 by Fat Heffalump

Dear You,

Yes, you.  I know you’re reading all of this fat positive stuff, all this self esteem stuff and the general concept seems really wise and kind.  It makes sense to you on the surface, after all, generally speaking, that’s how you approach the world right?  You see everyone has value and is important in the world, and you don’t care about the size or shape of people in the world around you.  What matters is their mind, their heart.  How they treat people and how they behave right?

The problem is, I think you’re struggling with feeling that way about yourself.  You feel the need to be perfect, to be beautiful, to be confident and awesome and amazing right?  But you just don’t feel that way.  You’re feeling things like scared, lonely, unworthy, stupid, ugly, not good enough.  You just can’t seem to get those old recordings in your head to stop playing, all the times that you’ve screwed up, or someone has told you you’re not good enough, or that they think you’re ugly, stupid, worthless.  No matter how much you “get” self esteem on paper, you just can’t seem to grow your own.

Am I right?

Let me tell you a little secret.  All those confident people you see around you that you admire but think you could never be like them?  You are already like them.  Not only because you are taking that step out into the great world of self acceptance and positive self esteem (which is awesome!) but because they feel just the same way as you do.    They feel scared, they feel like screw ups, they feel like imposters, they feel ugly, stupid, not good enough.  The difference is, they know that those feelings are normal to have, and that they’re not always accurate depictions of themselves.  They acknowledge those feelings first, and then they examine why they are feeling them.  They realise they’re usually because of stress, because of carrying around other people’s behaviour and attitudes, because of tiredness, because of worry.  Sometimes they’re chemical – lots of us suffer depression and anxiety.

There are lots of things that you can do to help work through these feelings of inadequacy.  Surround yourself with positive people who value you for who you are in your heart and mind.  Engage in self care – be it a good night’s sleep, a swim or some yoga, a night out with friends, or a long hot bath.  Whatever it is that makes you feel good.  Fill your life with the things that inflate you, not those that crush you down.  Throw away those magazines.  Stop watching TV shows and movies that engage in fat hate or criticism of women over their appearance.  Don’t give media that engages in bullying your time and attention.  There are plenty of other fantastic things out there you can read, watch and do that build you up, rather than tear you down.

But most of all, you need to know this: You don’t need to be perfect.  Or beautiful.  Or pretty.  Or even confident.  You are valuable right now, as you are, with all your flaws and imperfections.  Because we ALL have flaws and imperfections.  Every single one of us.  Perfection isn’t compulsory, nor is it possible.

Start to see yourself as other people see you.  When they tell you they love you, for whatever reason they love you, there is your evidence of your value. Turn off those old recordings from the past.  They are just that – the past.  They no longer matter.  What matters is who you are here and now.  Learn from and fix those mistakes as best you can, and value who you are now.  It’s never too late – whether you are 16 or 96.

Something starts to happen when you do this.  It takes a long time, but you start to see those qualities in yourself.  You may not recognise it when it starts to happen, but you will feel it.  You’ll feel brighter and lighter.  You start to see yourself as the amazing human being that you are.

And you are an amazing human being.  I can see it already.

Lots of Love

Kath

Advertisements

The Power of Community

Published October 3, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

Yesterday, I found myself having a moment where it was keenly identifiable to me why the Fatosphere is so awesome.  Now when I say the Fatosphere, I don’t just mean active bloggers and activists, but to me it generally encompasses Fat Acceptance/Activism/Liberation bloggers and campaigners, as well as the readers, cheer squads, sharers of articles and photographs, allies, followers on Twitter and Tumblr… basically, anyone who believes in and supports the rights of fat people to live their lives with respect, dignity and without discrimination or vilification.  So by that definition, you dear readers, are to me what encompass the Fatosphere.

So yeah, yesterday.  I went to the home of the lovely Jen, aka Ilaeria, for a Thermomix demo with my friend Kerri.  Kez and I were driving down and I just had this moment when the awesomeness of the Fatosphere hit home for me.

I met Jen through the Fatosphere.  I think she started following me on Twitter first, is where I first “found” her.  It’s hard to remember, it seems like ages ago but it isn’t really.  Jen says she was my fan-girl at first though!  We met in real life (so to speak, I don’t believe that the internet is any less real life than in person) one day when she came to Brisbane with some friends, and we had lunch then went to see the Valentino Retrospective exhibit at the Gallery of Modern Art.   I was delighted to meet another Fatosphere friend in person, and knew that I’d encountered someone really amazing when back in January and Brisbane was suffering the devastation of the floods,  Jen and her husband Dave came up to Brisbane bring me some home baked goodies after I’d been without electricity for almost a week.  Since then I have come to consider Jen as a friend, not just a fellow fab fatty.

Here we are together, I got Kez to take a photo of us yesterday just for this blog post:

Jen’s so lovely, I’ll even forgive the jersey she’s wearing.

Since I found the Fatosphere, and have become conscious of just how many ways fat people (in general, where I once believed it was just me) are bullied, disrespected, ridiculed and vilified in our culture, I’ve also come to realise that our power is in our community.  Unlike many of the very people who feel it is acceptable to hate on someone simply for their body size (and/or appearance), we Fab Fatties have an incredible community to belong to, with so much talent, kindness, humour, wisdom, style, compassion, support, intelligence… the list goes on… right around us.  Just by opting out of the mainstream attitude about fatness, health and human worth.  The more we explore this alternative paradigm, the more fabulous, interesting, wonderful people we are exposed to.

Of course, one doesn’t necessarily connect with every single person one encounters in the Fatosphere – we’re all as individual and varied as anyone else, so there will always be people who disagree with, don’t connect with or simply dislike.  Don’t feel like a failure if you find that happening.  However you will find lots of other fab folk that you do connect with and it’s AWESOME when that happens.

I’ve found that no matter what is going on, at any time of day, there’s always someone to celebrate with, vent to, discuss things with, lend support when you need it, listen, cheer you on and inspire you.  When we need to gather our forces to take on some fat hate somewhere, there’s always a FA community on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, you name it to send out the #fatsignal to. (Don’t you love that hashtag?  David of Axis of Fat coined it the other day on Twitter – make sure you use it Tweeps).  But best of all, being around people who are working on their self esteem, and who are finding their confidence rubs off on you.  Want to feel awesome?  Spend time with other people who are unapologetic about their bodies and their size.  It’s like an intense self esteem treatement.  And the amazing thing is that you’re giving the same back without even realising it.

And if you can, get along to any fat positive events you can.  Keep your eye on social media, follow locals, Google for events… you won’t regret it.  I find fat positive events give me such a boost and there’s always someone new to meet as well as those you already know to catch up with.

We are so lucky to have such a strong community.  You’re all fabulous, for whatever reason you’re here, part of the Fatosphere, and I thank you.

Documentary: fat body (in)visible

Published December 14, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

Ok my lovelies, I have something REALLY special for you.

Margitte of Riots Not Diets over on Tumblr has made this amazing documentary called fat body (in)visible, which is the most amazing piece of fat activism.

Featuring Jessica of Tangled Up In Lace (blog here, tumblr here) and Keena of Buttahlove (tumblr here), the film documents their fat activism, fatshion, and stories of both visibility and invisibility as fat women.

Do not miss this film.  I’m both deeply moved and absolutely delighted by the piece, and it’s a wonderful thing to see fat women putting their voice out there, as we’re always judged on our appearance and rarely given the opportunity to speak for ourselves.

So without further ado, here is fat body (in)visible:

It’s OK to be “Weird”

Published December 12, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

The universe is trying to tell me something.

Over the past few days, I’ve had a few little stings at my self esteem, some a bit bigger, particularly when it comes to my core beliefs.  I’ve had a few reminders that the fatosphere and feminism circles I choose to surround myself with are not how a lot of people think and behave.

From the “friend” who told me I “aim too high” when it comes to men (she’d seen my Crush) to the moment I pissed off a colleague by pulling him up for repeatedly and erroneously telling people that I could be “bribed by chocolate” by saying “Actually chocolate isn’t that important to me, but I know how you could assume that by my being a fat woman and all.”  From being told to “cheer up” when I was taking a quiet moment out after a stressful morning to gather my thoughts and recharge my batteries to a friend taking offense when I declined to play one of the traditional “girly” games about men.  I just seem to be getting constant reminders that the values that I hold dear, and that in a lot of ways, I’m outside of the norm.  That I’m considered “political” (despite the fact that I couldn’t give a shit about politics per se) or just “weird”.

Whenever that happens, I find myself rethinking why I do what I do, why I am who I am, and why the the way I think and behave seem so radical to so many other people.  Sometimes the old self esteem takes a bit of a battering (it has this week) and sometimes it makes me question a lot of my core values.  Which is not a bad thing, but sometimes I feel it sets me back in growing and learning, because I have to go back over old ground, you know?

But the thing is, as my therapist is fond of reminding me, not everyone unpacks how and what they think.  Not everyone asks questions about the world around them.  Not everyone believes that there is always growing and changing that can be done.  However, just because many people don’t do it, doesn’t mean those of us who can and do should ever feel like we’re weird for doing so.

What I want to do is to reach out to those of you who have felt this way, and let you know that you’re not alone.  And by doing so, I remind myself that my “weirdness” amongst general folk isn’t unique to me, but that there are plenty of people out there who want to evolve and question and challenge.

It’s ok to challenge people’s thinking (respectfully of course).  After all, if someone hadn’t challenged our thinking along the line somewhere, wouldn’t we still be plodding along with the masses?

It’s ok to be different.  You don’t have to apologise for not following the same thought patterns and processes as everyone else.

Just because “Everybody knows/thinks/believes/does” doesn’t mean you have to as well.  Everybody thought the earth was flat once.

It’s ok to be different.  Just because “society” says that you should look a certain way, or behave a certain way, because you’re a woman or you’re of a particular age, or because you’re fat, doesn’t mean you have to.  Social rules are not the law.

It’s ok to disengage if you need to.  If someone isn’t responding with respect, or you feel that they’re never going to get the message you’re trying to impart, you can disengage.  That isn’t admitting defeat, it’s letting go of a pointless argument.  Sometimes you just have better things to do with your time.

It’s ok to process.  If you need time to think about something, or sort out how you feel, or just recharge your batteries, then take it, and don’t let anyone tell you to “cheer up” or suggest you’re sulking.  Even if you do what I do – find a quiet corner somewhere, (I’ve even used the ladies room for this if I had nowhere else) and take some time out.  You can do that.

You don’t have to tolerate shitty behaviour from someone because they are your friend or family.  If someone doesn’t treat you with respect and dignity, you’re well within your rights to walk away from them.  Literally and figuratively.

And most of all, find the people who do support you, who hold the same values and behave in a way that you admire and surround yourself with them.  They are the ones who will get you through the tough times, who will celebrate the most when you are happy and encourage you in your endeavors.  If you need to step back inside the bubble for awhile to soak up the wisdom and fabulousness of the people who inspire and amaze you, do it.  It’s good for you.

Fat Gals Can Have Nice Things Too

Published November 21, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

I’ve just spent a couple of hours doing something I often do on a Sunday morning – reading fatshion blogs.  I have a folder in my Google Reader labelled “fatshion” and I save them for times when I can sit back with a cuppa and just flick through them, looking at the photographs and reading the stories about where these amazing fatshionistas wear their gorgeous outfits, where they sourced them from, what kind of shops they love, how they put together outfits and just general stuff about their lives.

It never fails to make me feel good about myself.  I gave up reading magazines (except for Popular Mechanics, Discovery and the occasional tattoo mag) about 18 months ago, maybe a little more.  I’ve not missed it at all, and my wallet has certainly been happier.   When I first started out with my first few tentative steps into Fat Acceptance, I really never bothered with fatshion.  I had never bothered with fashion before, because I’d always felt excluded from it as a fat woman, and found it depressing to look at clothes on bodies that bore no resemblance to my own.

But then I found Tumblr, which led me to the awesome Frances and her tumblog Hey Fat Chick.  She threw open the doors of fatshion to me and once I started, I couldn’t stop.  I found myself pouring over fatshion blogs, tumblr accounts and the Fatshionista flickr group.  I found myself looking at the clothes and seeing myself wearing them, rather than some model who had been airbrushed and photoshopped into oblivion that made it clear that I could never wear those things.

Before long, I started to notice a radical change in myself.  Instead of just dressing in whatever I could find to fit me in the shops and never thinking about it again, I started to look for ways I could interpret the trends and styles that the fatshionistas were sharing.  Where once I would only buy clothes that I needed to function, I started to want things simply because they were beautiful, and because they expressed something about me.  Then I did something REALLY radical… I joined the Fatshionista flickr group and started posting my own OOTD (outfit of the day) photographs!  Guess what?  The world didn’t end!  Nobody laughed at me and I got some lovely compliements about the clothes and styling I was wearing.  Then I went on to start posting my own OOTD posts here on Fat Heffalump!  JAW DROP!

I never would have believed that I would get into clothes and accessories and fatshion at any point in my life.  I thought it was something I wasn’t allowed to do, because I am a fat woman.  In my teens I swung from only wearing what fit me (shorts, t-shirts, leggings) to clothe my body, to finding the most anti-social styles I could wear to try to scare the world away (goth, punk etc).  In my 20’s, I mostly did the grunge thing, because jeans, a band t-shirt and a flannelette shirt with Doc Martens was a nice uniform that I could wear and fit into.

These days, I’m discovering a deep, strong love for all things femme, and for lots of colour.  I only wish I could still wear high heels, but they don’t seem to like me any more, and I don’t have time in my life for shoes that hurt!

Nowdays I find myself compiling folders and using tools like Pinterest to catalogue my inspiration and put ideas together, based on the fatshion I find online.  If you had told me I’d be doing this a mere 2 years ago, I’d have told you that there was NO way that would ever happen!

So which fatshion blogs do I love?  Well, I follow a pretty long list, but how about I give you a few that really stand out for the kind of style I love?

I’ll start with the lovely Georgina from Cupcake’s Clothing.  Oh how I adore her style.  It’s romantic, fun, feminine and whimsical.  Her photographs are beautiful and I love seeing cute clothes and accessories on a body that is far closer to mine than anything I see in magazines.  Look… adorable…

Photobucket

Adorable I say!

Another one I really love is A Well Rounded Venture.  Her style is classic and chic, and she does bold colour so well.

Photobucket

Then there is Lauren from Pocket Rocket Fashion.  Lauren has a cute, feminine style that always fills me with joy when I see her posts and pictures.  She also loves leopard print, which makes me very, very happy!

Photobucket

Representing for the Aussies, I really love Too Many Cupcakes.  She has a sunny, fun, upbeat style, and seems to ferret out the most amazing accessories.  Love her work!

Photobucket

The US has lots of great fatshionistas too of course, one of which I love is Bloomie from 30 Dresses in 30 Days.  Bloomie rocks a dress like no other, and has a smile that could blind you for a mile.

Photobucket

There are dozens more and I could make the world’s biggest blog post sharing them all with you, but these are just a few examples of the ones I love.

I really want to thank all of the fatshionistas out there for doing what they do.  I know a lot of them think they just post pretty clothes and stuff on the internet, but the truth of the matter is, what they do makes a difference.  Their visibility and love for fashion, clothing and styling is not only inspirational, it’s activism.  Fat women being visible is the very pinnacle of fat activism.

What about you?  Do you have any favourite fatshionistas?  Maybe they’re ones that I or other readers haven’t heard of before.  What is your style?  Do you indulge in fatshion and fatshion watching?  Share your fatshion loves in the comments!

OOTD: It’s Just TuTu Much!

Published October 25, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

Today is my birthday, and my lovely friend Nadia (you can find her over at Niddie’s Nest) made me the most fantastic tutu I have ever seen.  She brought it in to work this morning in a HUGE fabric bag that she made just to carry it, and I was so astonished at it’s awesomeness I think I was speechless for about half an hour.  I know, me, speechless!  That never happens!

This afternoon Nadia and I had fun doing some OOTD shots in the stairwell at work.  Mostly because this man climbed past me and my massive tutu four times!  In the end we asked him if he wanted to be in the photo, or wear the tutu!

So here are my goofy photos of me in my tutu:

Photobucket

Photobucket

My camera isn’t very good, I think it might be reaching the end of it’s life. Time to buy a new one methinks.

I posted this photo on Facebook and Twitter earlier today:

Photobucket

And I’ve been astonished at the number of fat women who have piped up that they would like a tutu too.  I say, make one!  Get a friend to make one!  Then put it on and pose like a goof in the stairwell at work, or somewhere else that tickles your fancy.

All my life I’ve dreamed of having a tutu.  When I was a little kid, I watched ballet on TV and while I didn’t dream of being a ballerina, I wanted the outfit.  They were so pretty and feminine, and everything I didn’t feel like.  As a young woman, I would see fashion shoots with tutus in them, and long to own one, but I thought I was far too fat to dress like that.  I told myself I could only have it if I lost weight.  My body won’t lose weight, so for a long time I believed that I could never have a tutu.

But do you know what?  I deserve to own and wear a tutu if I want to.  So do you.  To hell what anyone else thinks.  So what if I look like an idiot?  I love my tutu and how ridiculously huge and foofy it is.  It’s my body, my life and my wardrobe that it’s going to live in, not anyone else’s.

If there’s an item of clothing you’ve always longed for, be it a tutu, a bikini, a biker jacket, knee high Go-Go boots, tight jeans, whatever it is, go out and get it.  Find one that fits you that you just love to look at.  Get one made if you can’t find what you want in your size.  Put it on and rock the damn thing.  Surround yourself with “inflaters”, the people who boost you up, not shoot you down, like my friend Nadia, who will support you in having fun with clothes.  Strut.  Laugh.  Dance.  Wiggle your arse.  Have silly photographs taken of yourself and post them online.  But most of all, LIVE.

You deserve it.  Yes, even YOU.

Special Guest Post: Kerri aka Katagal

Published October 12, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

Well I have a very special guest post tonight, from a dear friend of mine, Kerri, who you will find over at Katagal Kapers.  I’ve been thinking a lot lately about intersectionality, and how body policing extends across size, shape, colour and physical ability.  I’ve been talking to various friends of mine who identify as being bodily “different” to the imposed cultural norm in some way or another and wondering how their experiences of self esteem, confidence and the attitudes of others compare to mine, as a fat woman.

I decided that I would love for Kerri to share her story around confidence and self esteem first as a guest blogger here on Fat Heffalump, because in the years I’ve known Kerri (about 10 I think), I’ve seen her bloom and blossom from someone who was barely heard from in most situations to a confident, outgoing, strong woman.  I think in some ways our respective growth in confidence is what has brought us together as friends – we are close in age and have been colleagues for over a decade, but have grown to become good friends over the past few years.  I’m not sure that it’s a coincidence that we’ve also both grown more confident and stronger of self esteem at the same time our friendship has grown.

Kerri is a dear friend, valued colleague, cycling buddy (she wishes she had a bike as beautiful as mine), conversation partner, confidant, constant support and a bloody good cook that I am honoured to have in my life.  She is a true inflater in life – she always leaves you with your spine just that little bit longer, your head held just that notch higher.

Kerri has given me permission to share that she is hearing impaired, and wears hearing aids (the most awesome little bitty items of technology my geeky self has seen that ISN’T made by Apple) in both ears.

When I originally asked her to post I had this in mind, and so I’ve also asked her a couple of “interview” questions to go with her post, since I think they not only give an insight into her feelings about her confidence and how others treat her, as well as leading into her story about confidence and self esteem, but also show Kerri’s phenomenally positive, optimistic personality, which is one of the things I love most about her.  She also challenges people’s perceptions and attitudes, which is to me, such a radical act of activism that she lives every day.  What a woman!

So let’s start with the mini-interview:

FH: Do you think your hearing impairment was ever behind your shyness or lack of confidence?

KB:  It probably contributed a little because I could never be sure that I was hearing conversations or general chat correctly so I didn’t participate for fear of looking silly – I still did on innumerable occasions within family gatherings or close friends but that never really mattered but looking daft in front of strangers did up until I started to do storytime and now I don’t care.

FH: Do you think you’ve ever faced any discrimination because of your hearing impairment?

KB: I don’t believe I have ever been discriminated against because of my hearing, well I can’t recall a situation there may have been but I don’t hold onto stuff and usually forget it ever happened if it has.  I rarely ever tick the box saying I am a “woman” or “hearing impaired” or anything of those exception boxes for conferences or anything like that.  I’ve never expected my work to pony up special equipment for me ie phones, although with the VOIP rollout I did ask Helen (a colleague) if they were going to have bluetooth capability and she then went to marvellous lengths for me to see if we could maximise the bluetooth component of my new aids but it wasn’t to be, but we sure gave it a good crack.

And now, without any further ado, Kerri shares her story on her own self esteem/confidence journey.

Curlicue

Well I think I’ve made it in the world of blogging for I have been asked to guest post in a dear friend’s blog around the issues of confidence, self esteem and body image.  Three things I was very late in life in obtaining but once I got them, my life changed radically for the better.

I never had any issues with my body per se.  I was raised in a standard nuclear family with a mum who was always dieting and eating low fat foods but I don’t remember absorbing that issue, its only recently that I have been reflecting on this that I realised that Mum was always on a diet of some kind when I was small.  I was an average kid and skinny pre-teen largely due to surgery I had that prevented me from eating for about ten days and I dropped kilo’s inadvertently, that only reappeared when puberty hit.

My Dad was always praising my body as strong and tough and it was, one classic moment was when Dad said “Jeez love you’re built like a brick shit house” and he meant it with love referring to how strong and sturdy my body was from wrestling obstreperous calves and horses and other large animals.  I have to admit when I was about 15 that statement gave me a few pangs of worry but commonsense eventually prevailed and I realised he meant it with love and pride that he had a strong daughter.

I don’t remember hating my body at any point or even parts of it.  I remember wishing that some parts would be bigger i.e.  My boobs and longer i.e. my legs occasionally but overall it was my body, this is what I was born with and therefore I live with it.  I have always been pragmatic about my body and will happily wander around naked in a safe environment (alone in my own home for now).  I have no issue being naked in front of a lover who commented about how relaxed I was standing and wandering around naked, but the body to me is a shell and not the true value of a person.  To me trusting someone enough to feel safe enough to have sex with them is the big one, so being naked is nothing by then.

However with issues of developing self confidence and self esteem, they came along with a lot of hard work on me.  I am reasonably reserved and more a wall flower than most people would realise when faced with unknown situations but I have pushed myself hard to get past that and had many internal debates between my shy self and my common sense self.

The huge turning point in my life came when I was 27 still living with my grandmother and I had NO social life, and I do mean NONE.  I was sitting home alone (my grandmother was 72 and had a male companion and was out) watching a program about dancing, it featured a company called Le Step and the director Mick French was being interviewed, he said 3 things – singles were welcome, two left feet were fine, and little to no co-ordination was required.

I was sold, I phoned up and found the next class and I went to the very next class.  I was shaking with nerves and sick with fear but something inside me just said this is it; this will make your life explode.  I made myself go to every class I could and it was about six weeks before I stopped feeling nauseous with fear and anxiety.  I would put my professional library mask on so that I could be civil and able to speak with people.  I went 3 times a week for about six years and it gave me great legs and excellent stamina.  I have made some awesome friends from it and have very fond memories of weekends away in “mixed” company and developed the confidence to talk to men and dance with them sometimes in a very close and personal way but I developed trust in them to do the right thing as Mick kept a tight rein on his dance school and men were expected to behave civilly or he would boot them out in a no nonsense way.

My instinct is something I trust in implicitly, when it tells me that yes this is right and to go for it I do because it has never failed me.  I have often done things way out of my comfort zone because the instinct has said ‘do it please, you won’t regret it”.

After dancing for about six years, I was starting to feel bored with it and was looking for a new challenge.  I live about a 3 minute walk from a Martial Arts Dojo.  I’ve always loved the philosophy of Martial Arts.  My Dad did Tae Kwon Do for years and enjoyed it immensely and other people I know did it at school and of course the original Karate Kid movie had me sold on the idea from the outset.  However, I’ve always been uncoordinated and clumsy, so I thought martial arts weren’t for me.  But after living so close to the dojo and checking it out as I walked my dog, I yearned to learn Karate, but thought it also to be too macho as well.  But talking with my friend Dawn who is a black belt from years past, she advised to check out the age range and if there were lots of kids, women and older folk then it was a good family dojo and to give them a go, so I did and I haven’t looked back.

I have been training for 3 years now and am at purple belt grade, the next grade will be brown and then the big one – Black Belt!

Karate has had a massive impact on my life, when I first started we had to complete these written modules as part of our early grading.  One of the modules dealt with fear, what do you fear and why?  So I had to really think about it, at the time, work was requiring all staff to undertake storytelling and I would have rather crawled naked over broken glass then read to a bunch of ankle biters.  So this was on my mind, the module required me to reflect on why I feared this thing and really gets to the guts of it.  Once I really thought about it and progressed my way through the module, I realised that I had no grounds in that fear and stunned the bejesus out of my colleagues and my boss by volunteering to do story time and I rocked it!

Since then the development of my self confidence has seen me progress steadily in my career, I was stagnating because I was scared about pushing myself out of my rut as a Band 3.  Karate made me look at that, I am now a Band 5 for the moment and have even acted as Band 7 successfully.  I have had the courage to allow a couple of men into my life personally and had short term relationships, they weren’t terribly successful but I have at least had the courage to give it a whirl and work out more clearly in my mind what I want out of a relationship and if indeed I actually want one.

I give Karate and dancing full credit in revealing me to the world.  Dancing gave me the confidence to wear sleeveless tops and tight fitting pants, when I realised that women of all shapes and sizes wore these things and no one howled them down for it.  Karate has given me the confidence to walk down the street and project myself as a strong “mess with me at your own peril” kind of woman.  However, I know the whole time that this confident strong chick has always been inside me, she just took a long time to reveal herself.

I look people dead in the eye now, it is empowering, and people find it confronting to be looked straight in the face.  I hold myself up high and square my shoulders and project my confidence out there, it works.  Someone gives me a hard time, it’s never for too long, as I turn and face them dead straight in the eye and stand tall.  I am a work in progress and I am always looking to improve myself and make the most of my given opportunities and live my life well!

Curlicue

Thank you to Kerri for her post and I hope you’ll leave her a comment below, as well as checking out her own blog at Katagal Kapers.