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Category Archives: body acceptance

Obese & Healthy

Last Friday was my yearly physical and today I got the blood test results.

According to every BMI chart out there, my 5’9″ 231 pound solid self falls on the obese side of the algorithm.

According to my primary doctor’s observational evaluation and “superb” blood test results with “good, if not better, numbers than my previous results,”  I am metabolically healthy.

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I am more than a number.  I am an ongoing work in progress. I’m not saying weight doesn’t have anything to do with your health, it clearly does.  But, it is not everything.

I stand by the belief that not every thin person is healthy, and not every obese person is unhealthy.  There are many factors that play into health, but numbers on a scale and coordinating charts do not define your lifestyle.  You define your lifestyle and the blood tests confirm it.  What you put into your body and how often you move your body is ultimately what makes you “healthy” or “unhealthy” as far as diet.  It’s a pretty simple formula.

There is a little debate about the term “metabolically healthy obese” but more and more people are starting to understand that it’s not all about weight.  “It’s much easier to get a fat person fit than it is to get a fat person thin,” states Glenn Gaesser, Ph.D., an exercise and wellness professor at Arizona State University.   My experience focusing on weight alone has led to a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and depression, fueling my hatred for TV Shows like The Biggest Loser.  Since changing my mindset to focus on strength and fitness, I’ve never felt better in this “obese” body and I’ve tried to make it easier for others to accept their own natural healthy size.

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I dreaded these annual physicals in previous years due to my elevated weight, poor eating habits, and fear of needles.  2 years ago and 48 pounds heavier, I knew it was time to change & take control of my health no matter how difficult.  I wanted to feel better in my skin while improving my overall quality of life.  My primary doctor’s tactful bedside manner and compassion for my weight struggles had a large part of helping me get started in making the right food and exercise choices.    Being lambasted by primarily older doctors in the past about my weight would send me spiraling deeper into a depression and avoiding check ups on the regular in fear of “failing”.  With my current physician it’s a team effort and I never feel judged.  That’s the way it should be.

This is why I cannot express enough how finding a support system that you trust, and who builds you up instead of tearing you down, is very important in reaching your health goals.   I tried to do it on my own in the past, but I knew that I needed guidance from someone who I could be completely honest with this time around.  Not only did I find a wonderful Primary doctor, but I found an excellent therapist who I saw regularly over these past years.  I now only call her if I need her and I have not seen her in over 2 months.  It’s nice to know professional resources are there when I need a little extra support, ongoing or temporary, and that they will help guide me back into a positive and encouraging mindset.

I understand not everyone has access to these resources but sometimes we all just need to find that one person in your life (a partner, sibling, parent, child, co-worker, friend, blogger, etc.) who will be there to urge and support you as you transition your existence into something meaningful and long-lasting.  I want to let you all know that it’s OK to ask for help and you are not alone in your struggles to find that healthy balance in your life.

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Maintaining in Both Worlds

I’ve gotten into the habit of using my personal Facebook account as my voice instead of my blog, and that needs to get rectified.  I want to share my thoughts and ideas with the world not with a limited group of friends!

One of the things that has crossed my mind lately is how awesome I feel in my skin. I’ve had a lot of personal road blocks this year, but right now I am in such a good place I need to share it with you all.  I found my goal has slightly changed as far as my clothing size.  Naturally, I’d like to feel lighter, stronger, and ultimately reach a healthier weight goal, but I also realized that losing more weight may hinder the natural curves of my body.  In the past when I’ve gone down one pant size lower than my current size 16, my ass got lost.  I have such a larger bone structure that I literally have to lose my ass to fit into a size 14.  I can feel my sit bones protruding and it’s actually uncomfortable sitting on hard surfaces.  If anything, I should maintain my booty for seat comfort alone!  I’m hoping glute exercises will help me keep the meat on the bone as I continue on my journey, but it seems when I get to a certain point of losing weight my body pulls from the areas I quite rather appreciate, like my derriere.  Does it pull fat from the rolls in my belly or my double chin, not so much!  But, I digress, that is a subject for another post entitled “Embracing the Rolls!”.

So for now, I’ll keep up the regular exercise and well as drink a milkshakes every so often to make sure I keep my curves nice and full.

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My Milkshake bring no boys to the yard because I’m still single.

Another reason I’m enjoying this time to maintain my shape while sharpening up the curves a bit with some yoga/cardio/pilates 3-4x per week, is because I’m wearing the perfect clothing size for a woman who loves to shop.  I’m 5’9″ and wear a size 14/16 in plus.  I also wear a L/XL in non plus sizes (depending on the store).  This is an awesome size to be because I get to shop IN BOTH WORLDS.  I get to wear clothing especially made for larger curvier ladies at Plus Size stores, as well as the higher end sizes at non-plus sized stores.  It’s quiet magical to say the least. I truly do find some items that fit me  well at shops like NY&Co., H&M, Kohl’s and TJ Maxx since they carry up to XL as well as some plus sizes,  but I tend to shop at more plus size specific stores like Lane Bryant because the clothing really caters to my curves.  (Please see my Curvy Fashion Page for a list of Plus Size friendly  stores.)

I recently invested in the Scalloped Boudoir Lace Dress in size 14/16 from Kiyonna, a high end plus size designer, to wear to a wedding last November in Manhattan.  Kiyonna’s designs are not cheap but they are simply stunning as well as durable and well worth the cost.  She is actually one of the only plus size designers who starts at size 10 instead of 12, which reaches a wider range of women but ultimately leaves out sizes lower than a size 10.   I wore this dress to two Halloween parties as well as the intended Manhattan wedding and I’ve gotten wonderful and genuine compliments on how classy and well made it is for my shape.

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Manhattan Wedding November, 2013

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Halloween Party #2 in Philly Oct. 2013

Halloween Party #1 at Artworks Trenton, Oct. 2013

Halloween Party #1 at Artworks Trenton, Oct. 2013

Needless to say, I got my damn moneys worth out of that dress.  I’ve been asked where I purchased the dress as well as the designer, both in person an on Facebook, by numerous women.  Being one who is not ashamed of being a plus size lady, I simply tell the gals who are clearly not more than a size 8 that it’s from  Kiyonna, a plus size designer for sizes 10 and up.  I do feel bad if it’s not available in their size, then I think about the clothing items I find online and in stores that only go up to a Large and I know by the cut I will never be able to squeeze my T&A in that item.  C’est la vie!

So, let’s wrap up.  Where am I on my journey to Health and Wellness?  Well, I’m taking some time to maintain my weight and health where it is now.  I’m not going to obsess over losing weight, even though I’m only half way to my “set” weight goal.   I feel if I can maintain at the half way point and find it’s not the end of the world difficult, then when I do reach my goal I won’t sabotage myself like I have in the past.  My tattoo artist (he lost 100 pounds!) gave me some advice regarding my journey to health & happiness.  His advice was NOT to set a weight goal and just do your thing, be healthy, be active, until you feel you have reached your goal.   For some of us, that sounds awesome and for others it sounds like a train wreck.  You know you.  You know if you need structure, goals, a plan or if you can change your mindset for the better and ride it out until you find your  healthy weight.  I’ve gone the regimented plan before and it works only temporarily for me.  Once I hit that goal, I seem to self-sabotage in order to find that other “goal” I need to reach.  Maintaining is not fun for me.  There is no prize at the end, except perhaps living a longer healthy life and not feeling like crap.  But that’s apparently not enough for me! So we’ll see if having no goal in the back in my mind (for now) is either worse or better.  Commence Happy & Healthy Kate Experiment #53983404.

I’m still leading an active life, I’m not counting calories or cutting back on any certain food, but I’m just trying to be more aware of portion control and what my body is telling me.  Do I still overeat? Yup.  Especially with the holidays surrounding me.  But as weird as this sounds, I don’t overeat as much or as often as I used to and to me that’s a small victory.  I’ve also realized a setback won’t be as huge in my crazy mind as if i was trying to lose weight.  Maintaining is just as challenging as losing weight for someone who has struggled with the scale their entire life, so once I master the art of maintenance I think I’ll finally have the knowledge I’ve been lacking in the past throughout my yo-yo dieting to finally live life at a healthier weight, whatever that may be.

Focusing on strength instead of weight has also really helped my overall mindset regarding my health.  On some level it feels great to fit into a lower dress size, it shows your hard work is paying off, but for me I’m at the point where I am OK with the number printed on my clothes.  Why?  Because I feel healthy, I feel great in my clothes, and I look damn cute.

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TJ Maxx – Owl Sweater in XL

5 Seconds of Fame

(This entry was written on November 25, 2013 but was not public until now because of promotional protocol.)

There is nothing small on me:  I am a tall curvy broad with a big heart and an even bigger mouth.  Luckily, the internet will have a chance to see it all, along with 9 other fabulous ladies of all ages and backgrounds, in an online commercial for SmartOnes® frozen meals released in January 2014.

It seems signing up  to receive coupons via e-mail for SmartOnes® led me to this pretty awesome opportunity.  As practical as I try to be in day to day life, I do believe things happen for a reason and this opportunity was meant to cross my path.  I got this e-mail from Weight Watchers SmartOnes® in November that stated:

We’re reaching out to a small group of loyal Smart Ones® fans to ask for your help with a fun project. We’re shooting a video in your local area to announce an exciting new Smart Ones® initiative and we’d like you to be a part of it! You’ll have the opportunity to share your thoughts about Smart Ones® and connect with other fans.

If you’re interested in joining us, just email xxxxxxxx@eatyourbest.com and we’ll send you more details.

Thanks in advance and hope you can make it!

Weight Watchers® Smart Ones® Brand Team

I have never been a member of Weight Watchers though I have adopted some of their philosophy and I think it’s a great program.  But I do sign up for multiple coupon deals online and this was a message I almost deleted until I actually read it and thought, why not find out more information?  (Props to their branding company for capturing my attention and not getting me to delete an e-mail that didn’t have coupons in it.)

After contacting the company I learned that they are looking for fans to share their thoughts about food, SmartOnes® in particular, as well as their food triggers/struggles on camera for possible use for a SmartOnes® online promotion.  Basically, everything I talk and fight with on a daily basis on and off this blog!  I had a phone interview with the lovely Shannon who helped cast this commercial and is a Senior Account Executive for Digital Marketing at Ferrara & Company.   Yes, this commercial will be featured on the SmartOnes® website only, although I feel more people are forced to watch online ads since they can fast forward through them on TV so it may actually be seen more often!

I texted this to Shannon the week before the shoot haha

Practicing my promo skillz.

On the phone, Shannon told me more about the new SmartOnes® promotion and I told her probably TOO much about myself, including sending her the link to a certain Happy & Healthy Kate blog post that seemed quite fitting for this subject.  We talked about my background, my constant battle with food, struggles with portion control, my weight loss, my weight gain, then weight loss again!  I felt very confident I would not have to lie in this commercial because my freezer is actually always stocked with SmartOnes® for two reasons:  1. They have a variety of vegetarian options that are damn delicious! 2. They almost always have coupons.  After a nice conversation she said I’d be perfect and she’d be in touch with more details on times and location.

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They were not kidding that this was being filmed in “my area”.  It was filmed at Studio Park  in Hamilton, located 4 miles from my house in Ewing, NJ.  In addition to being a part of this project, I discovered an industrial studio & open art space right in my own back yard.  I love that!  It was a pretty great experience from beginning to end.  The video shoot was on 11/23 from 9am-1pm, though I was done on camera around noon and hung out to eat and cause a ruckus.  The day including a legit makeup artist who kept coming to my rescue with paper towels when I was “glowing” a bit too much on camera, a delicious breakfast and lunch (yay craft services!), and an American Express gift card given to each participant for our time.  It also came with hours of smiles and laughter.  I honestly would have done it for free.  Don’t tell them that though.

My cohort & co-star Jenna loves pickles.

My cohort & co-star Jenna loves pickles.

The commercial is part of their new “wipe the slate clean” initiative.  SmartOnes® wants to focus on how we are all human (love that), that we may not always make the best food choices as we give in excess to our temptations, but not to let the guilt cause us to quit any future attempt to eat better.  We of course talked about how SmartOnes® can help get you back on this healthy track and how you always have the next meal to choose a healthier choice.  It’s very in tune with my own philosophy that tomorrow is a new day and a small or even large detour should not cause you to stop, but it may just take longer to get to your destination.  SmartOnes® actually does help me get back on track if I stray from my healthy eating habits, all the while saving money and reminding me what a healthy portion control looks like. Portion size is always an issue for me, my eyes are always bigger than my stomach.

I’m a huge supporter of those who cook fresh and organic cuisine and make the time and effort to lead such a healthy and natural life.  I would love to have that drive in me, but for me a delicious low calorie frozen meal is my go to when I don’t have time or the inspiration to make my own fresh food.  Maybe one day that will change when I have a family of my own or just decide I need to start eating more organically.  Fresh food always tastes better, but let me tell you, these meals are great to grab on the go for a penny pinching vegetarian like myself.

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They filmed us in groups and individually.  I’ve worked in production and post-production from 2000-2005 and doing this commercial made me miss the entertainment game. Although, it was strange to be on the other side of things instead of behind the scenes.  I never liked being in front of the camera and for the most part I like having control over what images get released of my face and body.  I decided that during this “35th Year of Katy” I’m following opportunities that may lead me out of my comfort zone.  Part of that journey includes accepting my physical self and inspiring others to do the same, as well as spread the word that they are not alone in their struggles with self esteem and discipline.  I think participating in this SmartOnes® initiative aided in all of those goals!

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Here are some fun facts I learned during my debut on camera:

1. Apparently there is a gel for eyebrows.  After complimenting me on my eyebrows the makeup artist brushed gel on them to keep them neat.  I am pretty sure I’m going to do this daily now since I have a crazy Scorsese cowlick on my right brow.

2. People truly do think I’m still in my 20s and it’s awesome.  A couple of team members seemed surprised when I told them I was 35.  I respond as I always do:  It’s because I don’t have kids to age me.

3. I am not the only one who sweats when they are nervous. It was ironically refreshing to talk to my “co-stars” about how much they were sweating in their pits.

4. I suck at being fed lines to repeat, but I can ramble on forever about my own thoughts.  I also find I can write my thoughts much more clearer than speak them.  This is officially evident on tape.  They pretty much had to tell me to shorten my answers every time and I had to yell cut and redo my lines multiple times.

5. Stepping out of your comfort zone can get you a new friend.  I met my future co-star of our spin off, The Jenna & Katy Show, when she walked in an hour late traveling from the Bronx to be a part of this opportunity.  I knew I’d love her when I said her name reminded me of a porn star, and she said that’s how she tells people to remember it.  We had instant chemistry that the producers picked up on and filmed us just being awesome together in our own little corner until we got yelled at for being too loud while they interviewed the rest of the participants.

With Jenna during our corner shoot.

With Jenna during our corner shoot.

6. It has been officially confirmed by professionals that I have a big personality.  Who knew my weirdness was something that they wanted to capture on tape?!  I just hope I wasn’t too awkward on camera and some genuine entertaining Katy moments can be salvaged.  It’s nerve wracking to be “yourself” with 4 cameras on you at once while being told to say the same thing 4-5 times, I have mad respect for my actor friends.  I’m assuming my future career as a talk show host may take some getting used to.  I did request cue cards and threaten to walk off the shoot when they didn’t have my favorite SmartOnes meal for me to endorse (omg, delicious Sesame Noodles with Vegetables).  I naturally needed to practice hissy fits for my future fame!

7. SmartOnes®  and the Ferrara & Company Marketing associates & their hired crew are wonderful to work with.  They are warm and welcoming and made me feel much more at ease on camera than I thought I would be.  Shannon recruited the ladies and she was extremely helpful, informative, and fun.  Suzanne interviewed us all and she was encouraging and reassuring.  The crew was friendly, approachable, and helpful as well.  Working with these great people made the experience that much more enjoyable!

Just a few cameras in yo' face.

Suzanne prompting us with her questions.

All in all this was a hilarious and unusual experience for me and regardless of how I think I look on camera, I’m going to share the final commercial with everyone I know.  I believe the message of moving past your guilt of overreating to start fresh is inspirational and I’m excited that I got to be a part of it.

Thus begins my 5 seconds of fame.

UPDATE 2/7/14.

*drumroll please* – The video from EatYourBest.com Clean Slate Project featuring my and Jenna’s adorable face and where you will come to learn about my peanut butter addiction!

Long Time, No Write.

I would like to express my extreme gratitude to my readers who have helped me achieve over 10k views in 5 months.  I was on vacation for a week and not really posting much over the past month, so when I logged in today I was all smiles!

It has been a very surreal past few months for me.  My personal life is in a place I would not have believed if told details 6 months ago.  I’m in a wonderful new(ish) relationship with an old flame, I’m in a new living situation I’ve never been in which is pretty awesome, and my sister is getting married in a little over a week with me as Maid of Dishonor. But this is what I’ve been feeling like doing instead of going to the gym…

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It’s that horrible spiral I find myself on when my health routine gets interrupted.   But these are life’s curve balls that get thrown at you whether you are sick, have little ones, have a full social calendar, or go on vacation and your gym/workout schedule gets pushed to the side.  I attempted Yoga while on vacation, but in an environment with lots of bugs and humidity in a cabin with NO AIR CONDITIONING I gave up after 2 days.  Then upon return from vacation my boyfriend moves in with me the very next day.  Not finding time to get to the gym because I’m hot and exhausted from our road trip and the move makes me realize I’m just coming up with excuses.  So I get down on myself.  This leads to a week of adjusting to the new living situation with a house in disarray and going back to work for the week.  I do have time for the gym if I made an effort, but I’d rather get the house together so it looks presentable than focus on myself making sure I look presentable.  Once again I need to change my way of thinking.

no time gym

I will stop thinking like the photo above.  I need to get my priorities back on track, I need to start making time for my own well being, and I need to remind myself it’s not too late.  I mentioned in a previous post if you fall off the healthy living wagon for a day, a week, a month, or even a year, it may be difficult to get back on but not impossible.  Of course it would be ideal not to fall off the wagon at all, but pshaw, I’m far from leading an ideal life!  What I do need is to take my own words of advice and not feel like I’ve permanently messed up my health regiment.  Time to get back to making better decisions!  It’s something I need to do, and I will.

I will take the feeling of tight jeans, joint pain, and lethargy as a reminder that I need to start moving just a little bit each day instead of feeling depressed and sabotaging myself when I go down the dark path of healthy destruction.  I will remind myself that my usual daunting 2-3 hour gym routine doesn’t have to exist.  Running for 20 minutes is better than nothing, don’t you remember that amazing feeling you get from the endorphins after a workout!?  Believe me, once I get moving, I’m good to go.  It’s the getting moving part that I have trouble with, I seem to psych myself out instead of up.

Stupid Newton and his physics laws of motion.

This blog helps keep me accountable for my actions and I cannot thank the blogging community and readers enough for it’s support and outlet for people struggling with body image and health issues their whole life.   Writing has always been easier for me than speaking face to face (though I’m definitely pretty open in person too) but it’s when I’m not open in either area when things are probably bad.  This blog helps me get out of that dark place and back on track.  I suggest anyone thinking about starting a blog should create one as a therapeutic resource on top of any other personal reasons.

So far, It’s worked for me.

Humpday Humor (for the thick thighed)

thick thighs

Aaaaaand this is one of many reasons I don’t even own an iron or an ironing board! I am proud of my thick strong legs! I bet you are wondering what the other 24 reasons are… 😉

This Trendy “Strong is the New Skinny” Thing (and what it could mean for the next generation of girls)

I want this woman to be my new BFF. Strong is the new Skinny! 🙂

Sophieologie

*UPDATE: Here’s a PG-Version of this blog post, for those of you who wish to Spread the Strength among those of innocent ears*

First of all, hi everyone. It feels like I haven’t blogged about anything sociologically substantial in a while, and I might be a bit rusty so please pardon the potentially poor prose.

Anyhoozle.

Now that I’ve graduated from McGill and no longer have to whittle away the hours of cushy student life by blogging nonsensically about sociological things, what have I been doing with myself?

WELL. That brings me to today’s topic.

My strange, wonderful, and illuminating journey working in the fitness industry.

View original post 2,342 more words

High School Mentality at Abercrombie & Fitch – NO Fatties allowed!

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I have something to say regarding the recent news surrounding Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries alleged reasons behind about why his company doesn’t carry any sizes for women above Large or size 10 pants.  (They kindly offers XLs for athletic men though, how nice of them.)

I’m sad and disgusted at his 2006 Salon Interview where he slyly targets people who “don’t belong” more than the fact that AF does not carry certain sizes.   Lane Bryant and Torrid and a few other Plus Size companies only carry a size 12/14 and up so you can say that they discriminate against smaller sizes.  The facts are just that, the facts.  The idea that these plus sized companies aren’t run by an asshat coupled with the disgusting marketing campaign of A&F, is a whole other issue.  I know that I’m sensitive to the issue of weight, but negative campaigning is quite a turn off in my mind.  Take the notion that A&F wants to target only “Cool kids” and the fact that they don’t carry larger sizes, and you have your circumstantial evidence of the fact that larger sizes = not cool.  You can make your own conclusion, but here is mine…

A&F is run by a douchenozzle with some sort of deep ridden inferiority complex still working his bigotted marketing angle to get press coverage. I hope he and the people working for him can sleep at night.  I almost didn’t even post about this subject and give him press.  Honestly, if he had not made such ridiculously dated statements about the kind of customers he wishes not to attract, this probably wouldn’t be such a huge issue right now on the interwebs.  He may not come right out and say “I hate fat and/or ugly people” in his interview from 2006, but by stating that he wants to attract only beautiful customers leads one to believe larger women cannot be beautiful since they don’t even carry over a size 10 jeans.  As a larger woman, I take offense to that!  I can honestly say I’ve never bought anything there in my life because it’s not my bag, but what if I was a gorgeous preppy fatty who really wanted that crested polo shirt??

Furthermore, by having nothing recent to say about their lack of larger sizes, they only make themselves look worse.  Is this on purpose as there is no such thing as bad publicity?  Anything is possible.  Luckily, I know I am a hottie and i’m more upset over the idea that drudging up his past words may make someone else feel less than beautiful or comfortable in their own skin.  This only makes my mission of spreading body acceptance even more important through my blog, and I will turn my anger into love.  I feel like I’m giving the terrorist what he wants by even writing about this, and I’m sure some A&F PR Marketing scheme is in the works due to down sales, but I also wanted to see what my readers have to say about it!

Thoughts??

*EDITED*

RESOURCES:

CBS News:  The Look of Abercrombie & Fitch

www.dailymail.co.uk: ‘Thin and beautiful’ customers ONLY: How Abercrombie & Fitch doesn’t want ‘larger people’ shopping in its store

Yahoo! Finance:  Abercrombie & Fitch Refuses To Make Clothes For Large Women

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