success

All posts in the success category

Dear You, Volume 2.

Published May 29, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

Dear You,

Hello again.  It’s a little while since I wrote to you last, isn’t it?  I was just thinking about you.  Yes, you!  And you.  You too, over there in the corner.  I’ve been thinking about you a lot.

I want you to know something.  You’re ok, you are.  Oh I know, you’re not perfect and sometimes you feel fraudulent, like you’re only pretending to be ok, but the truth is, imperfection and “faking it” are ok too.

I want you to know, you don’t have to feel invincible all the time to be ok.  You don’t have to be permanently fabulous to make a difference to the world.  Nor do you have to be completely loving of yourself, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to be ok.  It’s ok to feel afraid, to have doubts, to be a little less than your shiny self from time to time.  It happens to all of us, and that’s ok.  The key thing is to acknowledge it, feel it and allow it to pass.  Or if you need it, it’s totally ok to ask for help.  You don’t have to change the world all on your own.

Also, don’t feel you have to perform all the time either.  There will be times where you just need to step back and BE without worrying about what you have to DO.  Anyone who expects you to be perfectly “on” all the time doesn’t really care about you – they’re caring more about themselves and their own expectations than your needs or feelings.

The thing is, self love is about so much more than just declaring “I am awesome!” and believing it.  You are awesome.  But you are also human, and part of caring for yourself is acknowledging that all humans are flawed, and cutting yourself some slack.  Forgiving yourself.  You will make mistakes, and you will be flawed, but that’s fine.  We are all flawed, we all make mistakes.  What matters is how you work through those mistakes and flaws.  The most perfect thing you can do is acknowledge them and learn from them.  But most importantly, be responsible for your mistakes.  That’s the thing that will make a difference.

Because really, it’s all about doing the best you can within whatever circumstances you’ve got in your life at any given time.  So what if someone else is able to do more, give more, be more.  That’s them, in their lives.  You have yourself, in your life, so that’s what you’ve got to work with.

But there is something I REALLY want you to know.  You are a perfectly acceptable human being right now, this minute.  You are just as valid as any other human being, without changing a single thing about yourself.  That doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to want to grow, evolve or improve yourself, or you can’t do better sometimes, it just means right now this instant, you are worthy of your own self love.  Even if it is hard to love yourself sometimes (and boy, is it!), or you’re struggling with some really difficult stuff in your life, you still deserve it.

So dearest you, be kind to yourself, be kind to others, and give the best version of you that you can give, but know that even in the tough times, you are still valid, worthy and deserving of your own self love.

I love you.

Kath

November Challenge – Positive Posts

Published November 1, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

Well, it’s been an intense time of late with Fat Acceptance, hasn’t it?  I don’t know about you, but it’s been getting to me, dealing with all of the negativity, all of the hatred, fear, shame, bigotry and abuse.  And while it’s really important to speak up against all of this bullshit, sometimes one needs to just take a break to preserve ones sanity.

So for the month of November, I’m challenging myself to only post on positive topics about life as a fat woman.  Just for awhile, I want to focus on all of the fabulous things out there that are happening, that people are doing.

I think it’s vitally important that we celebrate the positive, acknowledge our achievements and have some fun.  I think as a bit of a mental health exercise for both myself as a writer, and any of you readers who feel the need for a bit of positive space, it will do good to have a month where we only focus on the positive.

Now I’ll need your help please.  Can you please share with me any fabulous fatty news that you find?  Either in the comments here on the blog, or on the Facebook page (linky thing is there on the right) or email.  If you have a project that you’d like to share, or you know of something awesome happening out there in the fatosphere, please let me know.  I’ll do my best to dig up some great stuff for you, but we always hear so much negativity over the positive stuff.

Also if you’d like to be featured as a fabulous fatty this month, please drop me a line. (Email)

So to kick us off, I want to share with you the AWESOME gift I got from my friend Kylie for my birthday.  Check this out:

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It’s a fat cell!  Isn’t it the cutest thing you ever saw?  They have a whole range of them at www.giantmicrobes.com, but of course I just love this wee fuzzy fat cell.

Forget the Fail-mongers!

Published October 19, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

So I was telling a friend today about yesterday’s drama in the comments with “Anna” and her whole Eeyore attitude of “You are so going to fail, you’ll never make any difference, you may as well just give up now.” and we got talking about fear of failure and whether or not it is a useful emotion to hold.

For my whole life, I’ve been told not to be too ambitious.  Not to get my hopes up too high.  Not to have unrealistic expectations.  Nobody important will ever listen to you.  You can’t change things, you may as well just work out the best way to live with it.  You’ll only regret it when it doesn’t go the way you want it to.

On Monday, I turn 38.  Not particularly old, not particularly young.  Though I know it will sound positively ancient to some of you!  When I think back to the things I’ve regretted across my life, not once has it ever been something that I’ve had a go at, and not succeeded.  I’ve failed plenty of times in my life at lots of different things, but I have never regretted a single one of those.  The things I have regretted, are the times when I’ve been too scared to have a go.  All those moments that I just missed because of fear of failure; the guy I fell in love with at 19 that I never told how I felt (and found out years later that he felt the same way, but it was now too late!), the job I never went for because I was scared I wasn’t qualified for (which someone far less qualified than I was got), the dance competition I pulled out of because I was sure I would be laughed out of because of my fatness, the business idea I had but was sure I would have failed at so I didn’t try.  Those are the things I regret.

However, when I think of the leaps I’ve taken that haven’t quite happened as I had hoped, I don’t regret any of them.  I’ve told people I’ve loved them and been rejected, I’ve had a business that folded, jobs that it turned out I wasn’t suitable for, and so on.  I don’t regret those at all, in fact I am proud that I had a go, gave it my best shot and lived through the experience.

When I was 10, I saw an article in my mother’s Women’s Weekly about the comedienne Phyllis Diller, who had a massive postcard collection.  The photo was of Phyllis sitting on this huge pile of postcards from all around the world.  I told my mother that I wanted to collect postcards like that.  “Don’t be silly!” she said “Only famous people could do that, they get them sent by all their fans.”  But I decided to start and asked my relatives to send me postcards when they went on holidays.  Then when I was a teenager, I got into writing to penpals, and I asked them to send me postcards from their holidays.  By the time I was a young adult, everyone knew of my obsession with postcards and would send them to me when they went anywhere.  Friends, family, colleagues, penpals, you name it.  People would buy vintage ones off eBay for me and give them to me as birthday gifts.  Today I have a pile far bigger than the one Phyllis Diller sat on in that photograph in Women’s Weekly and I don’t know what to do with them all!!

When I was 20, a friend of mine asked me “If you had all the money you could need, what would you do?”  Straight away I blurted “I’d start a radio station.”  (Bear in mind, this was pre-internet so being able to share your favourite music was not as possible as it is today.)  His response was  “I totally knew you’d say that!  Why wait until the highly unlikely happens?  Can’t we just do it now?”  We got talking about it and thought that perhaps we could look into community radio.

I remember a lot of people told us we couldn’t do it.  We were too young.  Nobody would want to hear anything from us.  There’s no way we could find the money to do it.  Only rich or famous people could start radio stations.

But somehow we got in contact with some people from another community radio station, and took a road trip to meet them.  They told us how to get started, by holding a community meeting to propose the idea and see who would be interested in volunteering.  We did, thanks to a friend of mine who had a venue we could use and a whole bunch of contacts.

At that meeting, the local politician told us that we’d never make it happen, commercial radio was going to come into town and they’d squash us.  The local newspaper editor told us we’d never make it happen, nobody would trust their news from a bunch of volunteers on a hack radio station.  More than half the room had some reason why we’d never make it happen.

But one local businessman wrote a cheque for $1000, handed it to me and said “It’s all yours kiddo, just say my business name on air at your first broadcast.”

A couple of years later, after we lobbied, ran surveys, begged favours, did radio announcing lessons with another community radio station, drummed up donations and sponsorship, had dozens of fund raising events, and worked really hard that first broadcast happened.  It was only a trial broadcast, but I was so proud to announce that first donation from our very first sponsor from that first meeting.  A year after that, we got our first temporary license to broadcast for a season.  Then we got one for a year.  Now, 18 years after my friend Marty asked me that first question about what I’d do with limitless funds, Beau FM is still running.  It’s still an amateur community radio station, but it outlasted two commercial radio stations and survived a pretty full on campaign from a local newspaper to shut them down.  Marty and I may have both fallen out with the committee, but what we did, from that one kernel of an idea that almost everyone told us that we couldn’t do, is still there.

Ice hockey great Wayne Gretzky once said “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” He’s absolutely right.  Sure, you might fail, but failure is how we learn, how we work our way to success.  It might be embarrassing, sure.  But there is not a human being who has ever inhabited this earth, or ever will, who has lived their life free of embarrassment, or never tasted failure.

As Thomas Edison once said “I didn’t fail, I just found ten thousand ways that didn’t work.”

We have a choice in life.  We can have a go and live with the knowledge that we gave it our best shot, and at least asked the questions and spoke up about something we believe in or are passionate about, or we can just fear failure and expect that nothing we do will ever make a difference.  Maybe it won’t, but maybe we’ll pave the way for someone else to make the change we fought so hard for in the first place.

One of my favourite quotes of all time was given to me by my dear friend Ian about 20 years ago.  It’s very simple and one I try to live by:

 

Be realistic.  Plan for a miracle.