What the Hell is Self Care Anyway?

I talk about self care a lot. It’s mostly because as fat people, we are often called upon (or forced into) positions where we do the emotional heavy lifting for those around us. Our supposedly jolly dispositions (think Santa), our perceived safety (she’ll never steal my man), our friendliness (feigned or otherwise), our frequent inability to say no (because I really, really, really need you to like me… pleeeeeease!) all make us the ideal person to confide in.

When your friends or family members, or colleagues and acquaintances have some issue they need to get off their chests, they come to you because you’re easy to talk to and you don’t judge, maybe you even give good advice. This can all be good stuff, but it often is nothing but negatively taxing for us. Especially if we begin to slide on over into the realm of caretaking. And that’s why it’s so important that we practice self care.

So what is self care anyway?

Basically, self care is participating in an activity that rejuvenates you. Rejuvenation can mean relaxing (taking a luxurious bath or giving yourself a pedicure) or doing something fun (dancing or masturbating, whatever works for you), but in the end the goal is to connect yourself to yourself and things that make you feel refreshed, ready to start again, recharged.

So take a moment to examine how you’re feeling right now. Do you feel fresh, ready for something new? Or do you feel tired, stressed, or worn out? If you’re feeling more of the latter than the former, you’re in desperate need of some self care. Make some time for yourself, because you deserve it.

What kind of things rejuvenate you? Let me know in the comments!


Did you know the 2016 Fat Activism Conference is coming up in September? It’s completely online and you can even call in by phone. Come and get your tools for the revolution! Register by clicking here. 

Come and Get Your Tools for the Revolution

I’m super excited to be speaking at the Third Annual Fat Activism Conference. The conference will be 100% online, so you can listen from wherever you are by phone or computer.

It will take place September 23-25, 2016 and features a diverse group of speakers and topics all related to Fat Activism (including ME!!!).

Today we launch our 48-Hour Rush Registration meaning that if you register before 12:01 Pacific Time on June 24th you’ll get the lowest registration rates, and special bonuses.

Check it out by clicking here!

 

Disclosure: I’m proud to be a part of the Fat Activism Conference organization team as well as a speaker and affiliate. By clicking on the link above and registering for the conference I will receive a commission on your purchase. Thanks in advance! 

Take a Look

Full length mirrors are often the bane of fat existence. But what if I could tell you it doesn’t have to be that way? As a person on the other side of a huge, physically transforming event (pregnancy and childbirth, in my case), I decided to take a full length mirror as an opportunity to see what my new body actually looked like now. Have you ever tried that?

You can read more here on the blog of a friend of mine named Lindley, the owner and artist behind Sweet Amaranth, body positive portraits.

When what’s in the mirror doesn’t match what’s in your mind

The Familiar Way to Love

A long time ago, I was in love. Like, the break-your-heart-can’t-stop-smiling type of in love.

But today I’m not with that person, because being in love is not the end-all, be-all for finding a good partner.

A blogger friend of mine once wrote that she thought she was in love with someone who ended up being wrong for her because his “teeth fit her wounds.”

And that’s it, right? Most of the time that we feel amazingly, swept off our feet in love it’s because of what some psychoanalysts are saying is, “…that we don’t fall in love first and foremost with those who care for us in ideal ways, we fall in love with those who care for us in familiar ways.”

We look for the bite that reminds us of previous pain.

The right sort of abuser, dressed up in a pretty face with a crooked smile. Mmmm. Sexy.

But this is simply a way we continue to hurt ourselves.

We need to break free from familiar patterns that are harmful to us. This includes our toxic relationships with others… as well as the relationship to ourselves.

Taking the time to really examine your truths, the whys behind them, and what it is you truly want, as well as need, is a necessary self care practice.

Like The Book of Life suggests, get out a large sheet of paper and a pen, and spend the time asking yourself the hard questions. Who knows what you will learn.

In Praise of Self Care

When I was younger, I had a weekly self-care routine that I practiced almost religiously, inspecting and touching things up mid-week. On these days, I’d spend some extra time in the shower or at the sink scrubbing, tweezing, and fussing with my face, hair, and skin in general. These were the days I usually employed some expensive product that I could barely afford that promised “youthful-looking” or “clearer” or some other desirable skin quality. Though I was in effect pampering myself, it never felt that way. It felt like work. It felt like obligation. It felt like necessity. And I’m pretty sure it’s because I was never doing it for myself, I was always doing it so I could look good for everyone else.

If I was going to be fat, at least I’d be the prettiest fat girl I could be, dammit.

Man, was that a messed up frame of mind.

I was spending all that time, making sure I truly put my “best” face forward, yet inside I was feeling so negatively about my body and my self. Outside of the “beauty” days that could have been enjoyable had I not been doing them for the wrong reasons, I spent quite a lot of time during the week abusing myself through negative self-talk, over-exercising, and beating myself up whenever I did something “bad” like eating what were then bad foods.

Being fat doesn’t mean that you need to compensate with some other, more positive trait. Being fat is not a bad thing. And you can choose this to be your truth as well.

Once I realized this and made the commitment to make it my truth, I was on the road to loving my body. I devoted several years unlearning the self-hatred and shame I had been taught and learning how to appreciate my body as-is. Funnily enough, today you find me here, embracing my body but often forgetting to do some basic self-care things like simple exfoliation.

I mean, I shower and wash my face daily. That’s just important for my mental health. And after a friend of mine that is into makeup, hair and pretty much all things beauty introduced me to the very insane idea of oil washing a few years ago, each time I wash my face I feel like I’ve had a mini spa day. But that’s pretty much the extent of my self-care routine: just the necessary stuff.

Though having a clean body is part of my mental health routine, it’s also quite important to do more than just the necessities to help reconnect you with your body and just plain feel the self-love. So this past weekend I took a much-needed mini-vacation and splurged on some lovely bath and beauty things from Lush. I bought myself a Dragon’s Egg bath bomb and watched a movie while soaking in a golden, lemon-scented bath. I even went further than simple relaxation and got myself an exfoliating face mask called, very cheekily, Don’t Look At Me. (If you’re not quite sure what exfoliation means, don’t worry. I’m simply talking about using a mild abrasive to gently scrub dry skin and impurities away.)

These simple pleasures had me starting the week feeling fantabulous! (And smooth, my face is smooth and soft like baby butt… and I know what that feels like since I’ve got one of those at home now.)

Taking the time to care for yourself can be rejuvenating. It’s not indulgent, it’s not selfish, it’s not wrong. When you feel well taken care of, you are better able to take care of the things (and people) that need your attention. So make the time this week to do a little self-pampering. Try to make it a regular occurrence. You deserve it.

When was the last time you exfoliated your face?


Not sure how to start a self-care practice? Then check out my 6-week e-course on how to use self care to reunite yourself and your body by clicking here.