Christmas Cookies, Clothing Sizes & Must-Read Books: Link Love 28.11.2014

Hello, gorgeous! What did you do this week? Did you celebrate (American) Thanksgiving? I had a pretty rough week, but I'm hanging in there, thanks to my mom's unyielding support, numerous strong cups of peppermint tea and a lot of deep breathing.

On to this week's reading list:

What is "plus size" anyway?". Bitch Magazine sheds some light on clothing sizes and the controversy surrounding Calvin Klein's new size 10 model.

11 Scandinavian Christmas cookie recipes, from Midwest Living.

What to do when things suck. Danielle LaPorte gives great advice!

25 books every girl should read before she's 25. I'd add Gone With the Wind and The Hunger Games. You?

♥ This post from The Militant Baker is so powerful: Fat Girls Find Love Too.

As always, for even more fun and informative links, you can follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Have a wonderful weekend!

It's Thanksgiving, and I'm Not Feeling Thankful

As someone who preaches gratitude daily, it's really disconcerting for me to not feel grateful. But today (on a day that has "thanks" in the name!!!), I'm not feeling thankful. I've been depressed all week, trying to come to terms with a worsening disability that's crippled me emotionally and physically, emptied my wallet and forced me to seek government aid, and I guess that's contributing to my overall feeling of frustration and panic and discontent.

I'm upset because:

1. People say seeking welfare is lazy, the "easy way out", but they've clearly never had strangers comb through their financial records and quiz them on their illnesses, cried on the phone and explained they couldn't afford food this week, sat in uncomfortable chairs for two hours while staving off a panic attack, suffering through PCOS cramps and anxiously watching their diabetic mother's blood sugar drop dangerously low while awaiting a humiliating appointment with a caseworker who asks, for the hundredth time, why they need help.

2. I'm being blamed for my disability, because I'm fat. I'm being told I'm lazy (there's that word again!) and that if I had a little work ethic, maybe I wouldn't be in this situation. Newsflash: I was fat before developing my illnesses. Body size has little, if anything to do with health. And I am the most ambitious and hard working person I know: I started a business at age 18, have done press for Disney World, Osceola County's tourism board, Emilie Autumn and numerous events in Toronto, completed a certificate program in business at a prestigious university and overcame Selective Mutism and Clinical Depression, while educating others about mental health and illness. That's all before the age of 23. The problem isn't that I won't work; it's that I can't.

3. I can't work. I'd gladly study full time and work full time, like many of my peers are (often simultaneously). I'd mop floors and flip burgers. Gladly. I'd love to make a living and never ask anyone for a cent, ever again. But jobs are scarce. And jobs for someone with multiple phobias, Panic Disorder, and debilitating chronic fatigue and pain are pretty much unheard of. I'm working on that, but it's hard (to say the very least).

I'm just so tired of spending all my time doubled over in pain, sleeping, picking up prescriptions I can't afford and waiting for doctors to see me and tell me there's nothing they can do. I'm tired of other people, whether it's society as a whole, Internet trolls or aquaintences, telling me I'm not good enough, because I'm fat and poor and disabled. I'm tired of letting their opinions affect my self worth. I'm tired of being tired!

But... I'm thankful for my self-knowledge and insight that allow me to verbalize my feelings. I'm thankful that welfare exists (even if it's a somewhat flawed program). I'm thankful for the friends and readers who have stuck by me since the very beginning (2010!). And my goodness, am I thankful for green bean casserole!

Happy Thanksgiving.

Secrets, Side Show & What Men Should Know: Link Love 21.11.2014


Happy Friday! How was your week? Here in Toronto, we got our first snow of the year. It's gorgeous on the trees, but slushy and icky on the ground (already!).

Links for you:

The Worst Cat is ridiculously adorable. (And, pssst... Not really a cat!).

What to have in your closet by 21, from Seventeen Magazine. I agree with most of this list. How about you? Anything you'd add?

The one basic thing men still don't seem to understand about women.

'[I]f “dieting worked, it wouldn’t be a $60 billion-dollar industry”'. This article from Everyday Feminism is just so, so great!

♥ I'm all about small gestures of kindness!

Side Show is coming back to Broadway!

♥ Meet the Pirelli calendar's first plus size model

♥ Also from Lucky: Which city matches your style? I got Miami.

How to get shit done even when you're totally unmotivated, from The Nectar Collective.

As always, for even more fun and informative links, you can follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Montreal, Music Videos & Body Positive Art: Link Love 14.11.2014

Happy Friday!
How's your week going? I wrote a mini rant about health publications' obsession with weight loss, drank gallons of peppermint tea and did some exciting client work.

Links! Links! Links!

♥ If you're already shopping for holiday gifts, this list of beauty gifts under $15 will be right up your alley.

Jen Dziura, rad business lady, writer of GetBullish and all around badass feminist babe is on Tumblr! Go follow her, stat

♥ Have you seen this ridiculous mannequin, yet? 

Real Talk: Pizza, Parents and Fat Acceptance
"I decided to... actually talk to my parents about fat acceptance instead of silently resenting them for not being on the same page as me. I called my mom and talked to her for about two hours about the fat acceptance movement and how much my mental health has improved since being introduced to it. She was confused by a lot of what I said and had a ton of questions, but I could tell that she was trying really to understand. I realized that this perspective was entirely new to her. Nobody had ever told her that there was an alternative to society’s standards of beauty. She always thought she was loving me by trying to help me fit in."
These dreamy photos will make you want to visit Montreal in winter.

This is my new favourite music video ever. Marina and the Diamonds' new video is out and it's fantastic, too!

This week's featured image (that's the one at the top of this Link Love post) is from Wearing It On My Sleeves. Check out the DIY Thanksgiving banner!

As always, for even more fun and informative links, you can follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Health, Not Weight Loss: A Mini Rant

I want to be able to visit a health website and find tips for being healthy. Not bullshit about losing weight and getting a flat stomach. Weight loss and lack of tummy rolls don't indicate health.

No, I want tips for stressing less, a list of products that are low in sodium and sugar, fitness routines for people who are lazy or time-crunched, recipes for energizing and delicious food (that don't have 'skinny' in the name). Health. Not weight loss.

Cats, Trips & Duets With Villians: Link Love 7.11.2014

How was your week, gorgeous girl? I spent a day in Columbus, OH, wrote about why there's nothing wrong with being fat, and dressed my cat up as a little devil (which he hated, of course!).

Lots of links this week! 

♥ "Your uniqueness is what makes you beautiful," says plus size model Denise Bidot, to Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Did you know Frozen's Anna was the first Disney princess to have a duet with a villain? More Disney facts here!

3 ways to define what your blog is about. This is great advice for anyone starting a new blog or rebranding an existing one.

27 things no one tells you about having a cat. Accurate! But they're so worth it.

20 trips to take in your 20s, from World of Wanderlust. I'd love to take most of these! You?

One more list post! 10 quirky things to know about North York, ON (my hometown!).

What are you reading?

There's Nothing Wrong With Being Fat

1. Fat is an adjective. Just like short, brown-eyed, brunette. I'm all of those. I wouldn't get offended if someone said, "hey, you've got brown hair!" (although I would wonder why they feel a need to point out the obvious). I've come to realize that "hey, you're fat!" is exactly the same thing. I am fat. Thanks for noticing.

2. Fat isn't an illness. All bodies have fat. Some more than others. Just like some bodies have more melanin or less hair. Fat isn't going to kill you. In fact, this study shows that metabolically healthy fat people are less likely to suffer from heart failure than thin people with Metabolic Syndrome. And that's just one of many proving that fat isn't the big (no pun intended) scary killer we thought it was.

3. Fat is fabulous. When's the last time you ran your hands along your tummy, admired the softness of your arms, massaged your own hands or feet? Fat bodies are amazing. They're exquisitely plush and fun to touch. Our bodies are comforting to hug, so squishy and inviting.

4. Being fat isn't a moral failing. You didn't "let yourself go". You're not "a lazy slob". You're not a "bad role model for the children!!!1!". You're not disappointing/disgusting/turning off your lover if you put on some pounds (and if you are, you can easily lose 100+ pounds by dumping that judgmental asshole right now).

Image via The Militant Baker
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