Friday, January 27, 2012


We all hate spam. I'm not talking about the meat product (some of you may like it, who knows), but that sneaky email demon we love to hate. It's bad enough when it comes from random vendors. It's far worse when it comes from people you know.

If you have my email address and the only thing I ever receive from you is commercial in nature, you're doing it wrong. If you want to tell me about some new website, or something you're selling, AND we're friends on Twitter and Facebook? DO IT THERE. I get enough crap in my email. If you share it on Twitter and Facebook, I can just keep going if I'm not interested. And if you know me, you know I'm on both sites constantly. Trust me, I'll see it.

Unless we are VERY good friends (not, like, we met once and got along and exchanged contact info), NEVER assume I want to be invited to, signed up for, or subscribed to ANY website, blog, sale, etc. Not your Avon, not your Scentsy, none of it. If you're not sure, send me a quick tweet first. Or even an email! I'd much rather reply to your email and say "No thanks" than have to unsubscribe from some mailing list that I can't guarantee hasn't already sold my email address.

I have a lot of people's email addresses. I have a few businesses I run. I even have every email address of everyone who's ever purchased something from me. I will NEVER email them a sale, site, or anything because it's intrusive. We're at a point in society where we get SO MANY emails every day. All it does is piss people off, unless they themselves signed up to receive updates and such. I will NEVER assume someone wants email from me. If I have your email address, I will use it to communicate a friendly message or send information you requested. THAT'S. IT.

This is basic Internet etiquette, people. Remember when those chain emails were all the rage and your inbox was flooded with "OMG FORWARD THIS TO 5 ZILLION PEOPLE OR YOU WILL GET A BLOODY NOSE IN FRONT OF YOUR CRUSH"? Yeah, those sucked. Most people have realized how very annoying they are and have stopped. This is the next wave. I know we're ALL selling something online these days, or you entered a contest and you get more entries if you email the contest to your 100 closest friends, or you REALLY think I need to know about the latest cancer risk (PLEASE check Snopes.com first!). I know you mean well.

But please. STOP.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Body Shame

This post is the result of YEARS of suffering, not any one recent event. Just in case someone gets it in their head that they sparked this...you didn't. Don't worry. :)

I was always small. I stopped growing at age 12, topping out at 4'11". At my senior prom, I weighed 95 lbs. and wore a size 3. I was TINY.

Believe it or not, I had body issues even then. My little pooch of a tummy shamed me. I focused on my big nose, overbite, braces, acne...you name it, I was ashamed of it. I was almost never single. I certainly was attractive to SOMEONE. But I hated myself.

Fast forward through six years of college. I put on 60 lbs. The cafeteria offerings were atrocious. I didn't party; I can count on one hand the number of times I actually got drunk in college. With age and food choices, the weight started adding on. I was horrified. I'd go to the gym for a few weeks, then get tired of it. It was easier just to get fat. Looking back, I think I looked better in college than high school.

A month after I graduated college, my mom died. I packed on another 20 lbs. seemingly overnight. My boyfriend of 4 years moved in with me. We were poor and lazy and ate horribly. My weight fluctuated constantly. I finally broke up with him after years of emotional abuse, and moved on.

I met Simon. :)

We moved in together after 8 months of dating. We went out to eat a lot. He was on Jenny Craig and I joined it too, until I decided I'd rather cook and save us the money. $800 a month for Jenny food for two! Crazy! But once again, the weight crept on as life got busy. Simon proposed to me when I was at my heaviest: 200 lbs. (Unrelated, just pointing out that he loves me no matter what size I am).

We were engaged for a year and a half, and for the first few months, I planned on losing weight for the wedding...later. Suddenly it was 2010 and we were getting married in 10 months! I freaked. I worked my butt off and lost 30 lbs. in 6 months. I slowly lost another 5, then gained it back, then 5 more as the stress of planning a wedding got to me. At one point, I was told by a relative that my gown would look perfect if I "just dropped 5-10 more lbs." She meant well, she meant to encourage me, but I got pissed. I got married at 175 lbs. I hated myself for it at the time, but I know now that I looked beautiful.

After the wedding and honeymoon, we eventually tried to get back into eating right and exercising. I mentally rebelled every step of the way. 2011 was a constant struggle. I finally started seeing a therapist about my self-esteem issues. I went back to counting calories and tracking exercise, then gave up. All it did was depress me. Toward the end of the year, I stopped tracking, stopped weighing in. I've gained a bit back. I'm probably not back up to 200 lbs., but I really don't want to know.

You may have seen this picture circulating the internet:

At first, I was righteously proud of it. Yeah! Real women have curves! Embrace your body! But then I think about my skinny best friend who never could gain weight. The one who got stretch marks just from passing 100 lbs. She's beautiful too! We all are! We're all "real" women. Who's to say the skinny ones are "fake"? No one! No one has the right to judge us!

Then I saw this:

THIS struck a chord. THIS is the message I was looking for. THIS makes me proud.

My Twitter friend Danya jumped on this. She understands my struggle. She understands body shame. And she's sick to DEATH of it. I helped her create this logo:

She put it on t-shirts. We're spreading a message, a truth, a BATTLE CRY.

We REFUSE to be ashamed.
We REFUSE to conform to some arbitrary body standard.
We REFUSE to accept judgement from others.
We REFUSE to be told we're not healthy.

Health at any size. HAPPINESS at any size.

From now on, I will eat when I'm hungry. I will try to eat healthful foods. I will eat "unhealthy" foods sometimes. Because I FEEL LIKE IT. I will exercise when I can and when it's enjoyable. I will be ACTIVE, not just for the sake of burning calories. I will buy clothes that fit NOW, not ones I want to fit into "later." I will wear what I want. I will be happy with ME. NOW. Not later. NOW.

Please also read about the body shaming of children in Georgia, and visit Marilyn Wann's Tumblr of images combating the body shaming campaign.

It starts young. It cuts deep. It's so very hard to let go of.


I'm pretty sick with a bad cold right now, so I may not have come across the way I wanted to. Let me add a few things.

If you want to lose weight, that's your right. If you want to be healthier, more active, stronger, faster, etc., then AWESOME. I wish I had the strength you do. I wish I could count calories or track my weight without falling into depression. I admire you.

This was about my personal journey to acceptance. I want to be happy where I am. If you're going to be happier losing weight, then do it! All I want to say is to do it for YOU, not society. That's all. We're all beautiful. You're beautiful now, you're beautiful pregnant, you're beautiful when you lose 50 lbs. I am NOT against weight loss or being healthy.

All I want is for you to love yourself.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My sister is getting married

My sister is getting married!

She's 24 years old and works as a brain injury unit nurse in a rehabilitation hospital. She met her fiance through a singles meet-up group and they've been dating for almost a year.

Her fiance is 35, divorced, and has a 6-year-old son that's mildly autistic. He's a super sweet kid who adores my sister.

My sister's fiance works for the USDA and just got a promotion to move to an office closer to my sister so they can move in together.

They are blissfully in love and it's a joy to see them together. I could not approve more of how happy my sister's fiance makes her.

Her fiance proposed on a beach and presented her with a custom engagement ring with their birthstones. They're getting married on a beach in June of 2013. I will be my sister's matron of honor.

My sister is gay and her fiance is a woman. Would you have known if I hadn't said it? Is their love really any different from a straight couple's?




End this madness. Support gay marriage. It's as simple as that.

Luckily, they can get married here in MA or in NY where my sister lives right now. They could get married in four other states than those two. In the other 44, they could not.

Please visit and "Like" Straight People for Gay Marriage and Straight People for Gay Marriage Massachusetts on Facebook. Thank you.