Thursday, April 20, 2017

Fat/Fit Diaries - Body & Mind Positivity

'i love myself'
most powerful.


by Nayyirah Waheed

I have been getting really pissed off by the "body positivity" messages I've been reading online lately. Women who represent the traditional perception of "beauty" - thin, white, long hair, symmetrical features, professional-looking makeup, cis, able-bodied, can afford nice clothes and personal trainers - telling me to "love my body" no matter what it looks like. Fuck off! What the hell do you know?

But what the hell do I know about what the hell they know?

I am mad that they dominate the conversation around body positivity, but I am still learning how to turn my anger into something productive. That's a big, hard lesson.

I want to read and learn via people with marginilized identities who are trying to change the world. I want to fill the hole that I see and feel in these "body positivity" mommy blogs that still only represent privileged white women.

I don't know how I am going to do that. But I am going to start by continuing to diversify my reading. It always comes back to reading for me. All. Ways.

I actually really love myself and my body, and I am not ashamed to say that here. But that is not the beginning or the end of this story.

Anyhoo, I took these photos because I thought I looked cuuuute, and sometimes it's just as simple as that.
- I decided that pink pearls were totes appropriate for "Easter" Dinner at my Dad's house. - Braiding my hair gives me an arm cramp, but it is worth it every time because: A) I look cuuute, and B) I can get away without washing my hair for one more day!
- These jeans didn't fit me last year, but they fit again, so that's something for me to feel good about.
- This is one of the few moments this weekend when it wasn't snowing.


Further Reading:
9 Signs Your Body Positivity Could Be More Open-Minded
Weighting to be Seen: Being Fat, Black & Invisible in Body Positivity
Your Fat Stigma is Racist

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Scrapbooking - Flashback

I recently received some paper for my Treasured Memories Design Team commitment. The title of the paper line from Echo Park is "Grandson", and all of the images and patterns are completely adorable! But I don't have a Grandson, and I was on a tight deadline with no easy current photo choices coming to mind.

Thank goodness I hold on to old shit.

I had also recently dismantled an old photo display with printed image from what I thought was only a couple of years ago. You know how time gets away from you?

Turns out this photo of Lucas drawing with sidewalk chalk outside my old house is almost 5 years old. He looks completely different, yet also exactly the same. Children blow my mind.

For those of you who might be wondering, I added the text to my photo directly in Photoshop Elements. Then I ordered a 4x4 print from London Drugs same as always. The photo is actually a screen grab from my Instagram page. Oh man it took me a LONG TIME to scroll through 4.5 years of photos to find this one. But it was the best long time ever. So many good times.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tell A Story: Carve a Stamp, Change Your Life

Editor's Note: I wrote this post last week, on Day 8 of #the100dayproject. I am now at Day 14 and still going strong. I have so many feels about this project, a simple daily practice that [still] is changing my damn life.

I made it! I made it 7 days! One week into this 14+ week project and I am already exceeding my expectations!

I have historically sucked at maintaining long-term projects. Why? Well, I used to say that "life got busy and I forgot". Which is still the truth for past-tense Lisa. But there is more to it than that. Why did I forget? Why did I make the choices that lead to a busy life getting in the way of things I wanted to do to make my busy life better?

I am currently in awe of and super proud of present-tense Lisa and all that I have been able to accomplish lately. I can't (and won't) put my finger on one thing that I am doing differently now that has enabled this change, but I can identify a few things that I have changed in my life that when combined all together in a warm ball of ACTION are making a huge difference!

Why am I telling you this in a terribly secretive and short-on-details way? Because I have seen first hand this past year that each of us is on a different path to achieve our best lives. The combo of things that work for me probably won't work for you. There may be similar elements - getting outside, cultivating daily practices, being 36, cutting carbs, etc. whatever - but they will be combined in different ways, and you will come to them at different times. So my advice to me, cannot be the same as my advice to you.

The only advice I can give you is to keep doing the things that make you feel like you are moving. And get rid of the things - people, activities, food, habits, etc. - that feel like a drag, that feel painful, or uncomfortable, or useless. It will be hard. I know. I've done it! I left a fucking marriage because of it. But it will be worth it. It is worth it.

And if you're not sure what step is "right" for you, just take a step. Any old step will do. Make sure you are safe. Nervous is good (nervous means do it). Take that step and see what happens. I've done that too! Lots of times. You find your way. And if you don't, at least you'll have some adventures on the way.


Note: I have been writing a lot about "life changing moments" lately. The last time I remember doing that  I was in a really dark, low place. This time it feels so different! So don't worry about me! I'm in such a great place right now. I am moving forward and things are grand.

p.s. Sorry to those of you who were looking for more info on actual stamp carving and stumbled into this rat's nest of feelings! I've got a post planned for that too...coming soon!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Big Messy Flowers - Snail Mail

Happy Birthday A!

I am a big fan of no-pressure Art. Something quick and small made just for a friend to brighten their day. This is my favourite thing.

I may never make a living as an artist, but I make my life as one.


Monday, April 10, 2017

Tell A Story - Life Changing Walks

Sometimes I "make" Lucas go on a little walk around the 'Hood with me after dinner. It used to be that he dreaded this inconvenience, and would use all bargaining tools at his disposal to get me to change my mind. That just meant that he complained and cried until I gave in because I hate conflict. Nowadays he just stops what he's doing, puts his shoes on, and starts telling me about the latest Pokemon news.

I LOVE these walks. I have always enjoyed exploring our neighbourhoods together, but now that he is getting older (junior high in 5 months!) I know that this time together is even more precious. Fleeting. These particular days are numbered.

If I was the type of person who gave advice to other parents I would say this: Take your kids on a "no destination-no plan" walk around your neighbourhood! Just put on your shoes, walk out the door, and ask them "left or right." And then go.

I will never be able to fully explain all the amazing, life changing things that happen on these walks. Like, we find a mailbox we didn't know existed. We learn where all the dogs live and if they bark at strangers in their alley. I learn which special Pokemon event is coming up, and Lucas learns how to safely navigate the streets and which house-shape his Mom likes best. Important shit.

It's just me and him and the world, and never is that more apparent than when we are out for a walk together. All the space out here means he isn't cornered, and he can tell me anything he wants. Sometimes that means he tells me that he doesn't want to talk about something. And we move on. We move.

With our energy focused on the moving, our minds can focus on BIG and small things that we need and want to share, to put out there. To hear in each other, and to recognize as real and important those thoughts that can only belong out in the open, in the fresh air.

So yeah. Take your kids for a walk and talk to them. And let them talk to you. I promise it will change your life. You might find a sweet fucking playground, a funny lawn ornament, or your happiest moments while you're out there.

Photos by Lucas & Mom. He knows just what I need and want to see when I take the camera back from him.