16 Before 2016

I'm really into setting goals
(and celebrating when I achieve them!), so I love the idea of 16 before 2016, a goal setting challenge created by Lisa Jacobs. So here's my list:

1. Launch our holiday project at The Selectively Silent Child. I'm so excited about it!
2. Wear more hats.
3. Eat more avocados. Part because they're delicious, but mainly because I just learned that avocados help relieve arthritis pain.
4. Rewatch Les Miserables (1935). Today I rewatched the 2012 musical version, so now I have such an urge to watch my other favourite film version.
5. Make plans to visit my step dad in January or February. 
6. Get referred to a hematologist, psychiatrist, gynecologist, and a new endocrinologist, and make appointments with my other specialists. The life of a spoonie is so much fun! Not.
7. Rearrange my home office.
8. Make falafel.
9. Write about PCOS.
10. Write about the relationship between medication, weight gain and body positivity.
11. Find more fat acceptance, fatshion and body positivity blogs to follow.
12. Take outfit photos at least once. It's been ages!
13. Pitch an article.
14. Moisturize daily! So important, especially during Canadian winters.
15. Look into CBT and/or DBT for 2016.
16. Write about 2015. Between Fibro fog and simply living a busy (and mostly productive) life, 2015 feels like a whirlwind. I want to take some time to focus on my accomplishments and cherished memories, and consider how to make next year even better than this one.

*Italics = in progress & struck out = completed

What do you have planned for the rest of 2015? Share in the comments below!

Selena Gomez, I'm Literally a HUGE Fan

Selena Gomez sought counselling after fat shaming comments.

There's a lot to dissect in that sentence. Let's!

1. Selena Gomez: I really like her. I respect her commitment to improving her singing voice, the fact that she recently came out as having Lupus, and her passion for helping charitable causes like Unicef.

2. sought counselling: Good for her! I think everyone could use therapy. We should all at least give it a try! Therapy teaches valuable coping skills and allows a healthy outlet for anger, sadness and fear. I wish more celebrities would discuss their medical and psychiatric treatments in order to normalize them.

3. fat shaming comments: This is the portion of the sentence during which the little devil on my shoulder has fire coming out of his nose and he jabs me with his pitch fork. "Fat shaming" is a loaded phrase.

Any person, of any size, can be fat shamed. Fat shaming is, quite literally, shaming someone for being fat (whether they are or aren't). It attacks them for being what society deems "too big" to be physically acceptable.

Says Selena to Elle Magazine: "I'd land at the airport and people would yell out, 'You're fat!'" It was awful". [Source].

I don't doubt the awfulness of that kind of public humiliation. Been there, done that. Many times. But Selena's reaction doesn't take into account that:

1. Selena is not fat, and

2. Plenty of Selena's fans are fat, and experience this (and much worse) every single day.

The article continues:

"This was the first year I ever dealt with anyone talking about my body," the singer—​who's been working since the age of seven—said. But the whole ordeal was inspiration for her new album cover. "Even if I did gain weight, I'm fine. That's what the picture represents." 

It must be bliss, reaching the age of 23 before one's body being the topic of discussion! I, and many of my fat colleagues, can recall being told as a child we were "too big" or "eating too much".

And the fact that Selena gained weight and doesn't care? Awesome. Weight shouldn't be her focus when she's just released her fifth studio album, Revival, and is doing what she loves.

But I wonder: Is Selena Gomez okay with gaining weight because she's still in the realm of "acceptable"? She still has a "normal" BMI, doesn't look big next to friends like Taylor Swift, can still fit into designer duds? Or is she okay with gaining weight because she loves herself and her body the way they are, and believes weight doesn't define a person's success or attractiveness?

As a huge fan of Selena (literally and figuratively), I truly hope the latter is accurate.

Maybe, with the success of Revival, will come a revival of pop stars' shunning beauty ideals.

Fall Fatshion Bucket List

With numerous new trends and a plethora of tried and true classics in stores this Autumn, what's a fatshionista to do? Start a Fall Fashion Bucket List, of course! Check out mine below, and let me know what's on yours.

1. Duster cardigans. Last week, while I was blissfully floating in a pool in the Florida sunshine, I looked up and noticed a woman in short shorts and a cozy cardigan that fell below her knee. All I could think was, "damn, that's chic!", followed by "I'll be wearing my duster cardigans 24/7 when I get back to Toronto!". I love that this piece is versatile and can be layered for any season.

2. Lariat necklaces. I've only recently begun to appreciate this style, and I'm glad I'm on the bandwagon now. Lariat necklaces are so elegant!

3. Striped sweaters. The rule stating that "fat girls aren't supposed to wear horizontal stripes" is total bullshit. Accentuate those curves, baby-- and stay cozy at the same time!

4. Loafers. When I was in high school, my mom gifted me a pair of chocolate brown leather loafers. I was amazed by how comfy they were! I dubbed them my "man shoes" (I'm a fan of menswear as fashion-for-any-and-all-genders so I thought that name was hilarious) and wore them 'til they fell apart. So I'm glad loafers will be in stores this Autumn... I'll be picking up a couple pairs!

5. Ankle booties. More from the footwear department... Ankle booties will keep your feet warmer than loafers will, but they can still be dressed up or down and found quite affordably. This pair from Eloquii is on my wishlist.

6. Houndstooth. This classic pattern works on coats, capes and even shoes! I love how College Fashion styled these houndstooth skirts.

What's on your Fall Fatshion Bucket List?

It's Over & I'm Okay

Break ups are hard. Every single one. Even after you've been through a few and you hope this one will be different, it still cuts you deep and makes your eyes well up with tears at embarrassing times in inopportune places.

I dumped Russ yesterday. I'd been feeling for quite a while that he was a different person when I was with him than when we were apart. And especially in a long distance relationship, that doesn't work. As a person who values authenticity and dedication above all else, I couldn't tolerate dating two versions of the same person.

The last straw was the way he acted during the depressive episode I had last weekend. I'll admit I was emotionally distant on and off for those couple days; I'd text one word answers and snap that I was just sad and that was how it was until the depression passed. But I always tell the people I'm close to if I can feel a dangerous shift in my emotions. I've had BPD since I was 17 and have learned to recognize bad episodes as they're coming and to say something about them. The fact that he was entirely insensitive to my cries for help and either pushed me away or texted me biting remarks didn't help. 

Today he said, "I can't deal with you when you're like that, especially now, when I'm under a lot of stress". Among his job woes and dealing with a sick son and a deadbeat brother, my mental illness was listed as a problem to be solved. My personality disorder, which is part of me, and which I'm dealing with as best as I can. I am not a broken car waiting for a mechanic to fix me. 

I suppose there are a few reasons why I'm so hurt by this: 

1) I really, truly thought we'd be together a long time. I really loved him.

2) My illness has been used as an excuse for people to want out of my life before. Remember Kamen? I've grown much thicker skin since that break up, but ableist digs related to my mental illness still rile me up.

3) Most of all, I'm heartbroken because last week, during my depression, he told me he loved me and he'd always be here and that my Father's Day post was beautiful. Now I'm left to question whether he meant any of that.

It's time to move on.

6 Lessons My Emotionally Abusive Father Taught Me

Self portrait: "Mourning". Taken at age 15 in my paternal grandma's yard.
I'm in 10th grade. Mr. F, my English teacher, is leading a debate about how sitcom parents affect our opinion on the "ideal parent". The kid next to me, in between loud snaps of his gum, says that parents like Peter Griffin on Family Guy give men something to aspire to. "What dude doesn't wanna drink beer all day and have a hot wife with huge jugs?". Mr. F. didn't look impressed with his answer.

Suddenly, a light bulb goes off in my head. Raising my hand, I exclaim, "TV dads show us what we shouldn't aspire to be. Instead of being lazy, womanizing, unambitious slobs, we should work hard and be compassionate and respectful".

When I later write a paper on the topic, I get an A.

That's when I learned that sometimes, the moral of the story isn't so clear; we have to read between the lines. It wasn't about what TV dads taught us to do; it was what they taught us not to do.


It's been 5 months since my father walked out of my life. Since today is Father's Day, I thought I'd share the lessons he taught me. Just like that fateful 10th grade English class, the lessons my father taught me weren't always so clear. But when I dig deep, I realize that sometimes surviving emotional abuse is one of life's greatest teachers.

Lessons my father taught me:

1. Be sensitive to other people's feelings. 

I've told this story a lot of times, but this event really shaped how I handle sensitive situations. 

I was sitting in a pizza place in rural New Brunswick on a family trip. My mom, brother and I were happily discussing the menu, when my dad, noticing an infected bug bite on my arm, barked, "Rebecca! What the hell is that?". I wanted to remind him that we'd been hiking last week and mosquitoes love me. I wanted to say, "I have dermatillomania (compulsive skin picking related to my anxiety disorder), remember? I can't help it". I wanted to reassure him that I was applying Polysporin every day and that it wasn't as painful as it looked. But all I could do was burst into tears.

If there's a crusty yellow pus-filled sore on a girl's arm, you can bet she's aware of it. Other than the fact that it probably hurts like a bitch, she's likely praying that no one will call attention to it because bug bite- covered limbs are embarrassing enough, but a mental illness compelling you to dig holes in your own epidermis takes the cake.

Don't draw attention to your daughter's (or other loved one's) bug bites or mole or C minus in Spanish unless absolutely necessary, and done in a compassionate and quiet tone of voice. How a 40 year-old high school principal didn't know that basic etiquette is beyond me.

2. The person who yells loudest doesn't always win the argument.

"My father used to always say, 'Don't raise your voice. Improve your argument'". -Desmond Tutu. 

If my father had taught me that by not yelling and instead making irrefutable points, that would have saved me a lot of (sometimes literal) headaches.

3. An education can get you far. 

My father was the youngest person to become principal of a high school in the Toronto District. Damn impressive. He studied hard and completed his degree, going to university every day, even when he would have preferred to avoid the hour long commute and stay at home with his daughter (me) and his beautiful wife. Between him, my mom and my step-dad, I've learned that acquiring as much knowledge as possible (even when it's difficult) is one of the best ways to attain your goals.

4. The experiences your child has during her formative years will impact her for life. 

Some of my best memories are of my father; days at the park, rolling over logs and checking out the cool bugs underneath them; dancing barefoot in the basement to his record collection; baking gingerbread cookies. Some of my worst memories are with my father, too; locking myself in the bathroom during an argument with him and cutting my wrists with a razor blade to drown out his voice; hearing him berate my mom day after day and knowing I couldn't do anything to make him stop; being lectured about my weight and how I'll never fit into my clothes or society if I don't stop "eating like a pig". It's no surprise that I developed an eating disorder as a teen, or that my eyes tear up whenever I hear Brown Eyed Girl or that I'm suddenly terrified of bugs as an adult, even though I loved them so much I wanted to study them as a kid. 

5. People will perceive you however they want to; what you wear has little to do with it. 

I stood before the mirror, smoothing down my skirt and smiling at my reflection. I looked good. My denim mini hit a couple inches above the knee, accentuating my favourite part of my body without revealing too much. The skirt had song lyrics scribbled around the hem (DIY chic!). The blouse I'd chosen, my grandma had bought the week before. It was white with red pinstripes and had ruffles in the middle. I buttoned it all the way and made sure the cuffs were just so. My makeup was very subtle (for teenage me, anyway): navy blue liner around my lids, lightly smudged. I considered wearing fishnets or adding some glitter, but figured I'd tone it down. Didn't want to scare my family at our get together. I'd save my best outfits for drama club or trips to the mall anyway. 

I raced down the stairs to put on my shoes, when my father noticed my outfit. "Really? You're wearing that?". I nodded. "I love this skirt. And Bubby bought me the top at Old Navy". "Put on an appropriate skirt, now. And no leg things. I won't have you embarrassing me again".

That's when I realized that people who are looking for a fight will always find something to be angry about. If I had been the jeans- wearing daughter he'd wanted, my father still would have found something to be mad about, whether it was my dermatillomania or my weight or the fact that I'd gotten a B- on my last math test instead of a B.

6. Most importantly, my father taught me to never, ever walk out of someone's life just because the going gets tough.  

Sometimes, I'm hard to love. I suffer from myriad complicated, incurable and little- known illnesses. I'm highly sensitive and often idealistic. Hell, I write about anything and everything that I please (like this piece... ahem!). But... being hard to love doesn't make someone unloveable. I'm witty. I'm affectionate. I'm loyal. And I'm his daughter. Ableism and a few disagreements aren't reason enough to throw out a relationship that's 23 years in the making, are they?

No matter who it is, if they love you and you love them, you'll find the courage to step up and be there for them in whatever capacity you can be.


This Father's Day, I'm grateful to the men who are in my life and not going anywhere. The ones who don't get scared when I say I need them. Who see me for my sense of humour and my wit and my affection instead of just my waistline and my cane. I have the best boyfriend and the best step-dad a girl could dream of. So today I won't dwell on my genes; I'll celebrate the men I love, and who love me right back.

Slightly Late Link Love 29.5.2015

Hello darling! Sorry I'm late-- I was catching up on Game of Thrones! Oops. This week, I spent my days reading and writing and my evenings curled up with my love, nerding out over documentaries about Marilyn Monroe, and maritime animals. This weekend I'm in Ohio with my parents. What are your weekend plans?

Recommended reading:

This list rating the best Mad Men characters makes me miss the show! It's also very snarky and well-written.

Why this plus size site doesn't use professional models. The whole interview is really great!
Why did you decide to use non-professional models for your products?
"Because it needs to be done. There is no other answer other than that the 'average gal' is our customer, and that average gal is us, and we all deserve to see a more diverse range of models."
14 things you should know before dating a bisexual woman. Nope, a bi girl isn't more likely to cheat on you.

Arizona's landscape looks unreal!

9 signs you're going to be extraordinarily successful.

There are no shortcuts to greatness.

This is really cool but makes me super uncomfortable.

♥ For more cat pictures (and other good stuff!), follow meow on Instagram.

Enjoy your weekend!

Eye Cream & Emotional Intelligence: Link Love 8.5.2015

Hello gorgeous! How was your week? I wrote about how being disabled make me feel like I'm living a double life, started taking a new business class online, and devoured  reread multiple chapters of Little Women (a childhood favourite of mine, and an item on my 101 in 1001 list).

What to read this weekend (other than Little Women!):

14 signs you're an emotionally intelligent person.

I'm convinced we all need this t-shirt. And it comes in a size small to 5x!

♥ If you're upgrading your beauty routine, check out Refinery 29's article about the best eye creams.

This tweet is gold! #ReadyForHillary

How to acquire art on a college budget, from College Fashion. Love these ideas! Buying beautiful things (that you can afford) supports your favourite artists and boosts your mood.

♥ This is Chipotle's guacamole recipe! OMG.

This interview with Taylor Swift makes me especially eager to visit Nashville this summer!

Image via unsplash

Enjoy your weekend!

Being disabled makes me feel like I'm living a double life.

There are days when I function almost like an ablebodied, neurotypical person; I can run a block to catch the bus. I wake up early to work and eat breakfast and take my vitamins. I have lattes with friends and call my boyfriend on his lunch break and spend time with my family.

But on bad days...

I literally can't get out of bed. I skip meals because toasting a slice of bread or grabbing an apple takes more effort than I can expend. I have panic attacks that leave me in tears. I can't keep any food down and swallow Gravol by the package.

This is a double life, but it's not glamorous. I'm no Hannah Montana!

Music Monday 13.4.2015: Bigger On the Inside

I'm feeling emotional. My life has been incredible lately; moving into a new place with my mom and my cats, meeting (and falling head over heels for) a new man, having cancer, Crohn's and other terrifying illnesses ruled out as the cause of my severe abdominal pain.

Life has been hard, too. The chronic pain, for one. Losing my father and my brother. Coming to terms with my worsening disability. 

So Bigger On the Inside, Amanda Palmer's new song and first Patreon project really resonates with me. My favourite lines:

And I am tired of explaining 
And of seeing so much hating 
In the very same safe haven 
Where I used to just see helping 

I've been drunk and skipping dinner 
Eating skin from off my fingers 
And I tried to call my brother 
But he no longer exists 

I keep forgetting to remember 
That he would have been much prouder 
If he saw me shake these insults off 
Instead of getting bitter.... 

I am bigger on the inside 
But you have to come inside to see me 
Otherwise you're only hating 
Other people's low-res copies

Hold Yourself To Your Dreams: Link Love 3.4.2015

TGIF! How was your week? The highlight of mine was spending a glorious, romantic 20 hours in downtown Toronto with my boyfriend. Swoon. I can't wait until we live in the same city. (Totally side-eying you lucky non-LDR couples!).

Links for you:

The 2 most important people in your life to hold you to your dreams. This post from Veronica Varlow really motivates me to keep working toward everything I desire.

Angry Cat Dad and his kittens will totally make your day.

♥ Viola Davis is an Academy Award- nominated actor and has raised more than $4.5 million for Hunger Is... But there's more to her story 
"I was always so hungry and ashamed, I couldn't tap into my potential. I couldn't get at the business of being me."
True Story: I Have Narcolepsy.

OMG I love this: If Stanley Tucci were your boyfriend.
If Stanley Tucci were your boyfriend, you would own a good cheese knife. Nothing pretentious. You wouldn’t need a whole set. Just one. But it would be perfect, and you would never have trouble sliding Camembert pieces off of it. You would be the kind of person who invests in small, good, useful things. You would treat yourself with compassion, and you would never eat Cheetos in the shower.
Keep this quote in mind. And this one

Women are bloody sick of your hangups with our bodies. Periods are a natural part of most women's lives. Deal with it.

14 problems only women with thick thighs understand. I've got great gams, but I could do without chub rub, thanks!

Enjoy your long weekend! 

Image Source

Spring Is Here: Link Love 20.3.2015

It's officially spring! I'm so happy! It feels like everything is pleasanter when the last of winter's snow melts; you can spend time outside without shivering, the clothes are cuter, and you won't curse yourself for freezing your hands off while drinking iced tea.

So what did you do this week? I bought a ton of these bookcases for my apartment. The lady at IKEA said, "you sure do like to read a lot!". It's true. And today I'm heading to Niagara Falls for a couple of days of sightseeing and shopping. I've been quite a few times, but it's magical. Every single time.

Links you'll love (it's a quick one this week!):

Have a wonderful weekend! 
Image via UnSplash

The Intersection of Fat and Disability

Would people react to my disability differently if I weren't fat?

If I weren't fat, would my sudden puking in the middle of a mall be met with offers of ginger ale and sympathy instead of fascination and disdain?

If I weren't fat, would my occasional use of a cane merit respectful volunteering of seats instead of hushed giggling and accusations of "you wouldn't need special accommodations if you didn't eat yourself into a body unable to hold its own weight!"?

If I weren't fat, would my admission that I have PCOS be surprising and upsetting, instead of drawing questions like "so that's why you're so huge?" or "isn't that an obese person's illness?"?

Fat people already aren't viewed as people. Even when they're white and cishet and able-bodied and generally "acceptable" in every way, other than their size. So when a fat person deviates from being "otherwise acceptable", they're even less than less-than human.

I guess I just answered my own question.

Image Source

Be Ridiculous! Link Love 6.3.2015

Hi gorgeous! How was your week? I had a gastroscopy (and Instagrammed my #hospitalglam look, of course!) and continued organizing my new apartment. Who knew I had so many neon socks and books of poetry?!

Links you'll love:

♥ With Mad Men's last few episodes airing soon, superfans will love this reading list. And these photos.

♥ These green bean fries with creamy dipping sauce would make a great snack!

♥ And breakfast tartines? Yes, please!

♥ I can't get enough of Marina and the Diamonds' new song.


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