Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays!

The holidays are upon us. Today is he winter solstice, the longest night of he year and the shortest day and everyone's getting ready to celebrate some holiday or another (or already celebrating). As we go into the holidays I'd like to remind everyone to have that second helping of dessert if you damn well please! Stand your ground with friends and family and let them know that food snarking or body snarking is inappropriate. This is a time to enjoy yourself, good food, good friends and loving family. Don't let anyone take that away from you.

And now, onto the photos. I had an absolutely delightful photoshoot with EVE entertainment and photographers Katherine Culver, Neil Talley, and David Powers. As always, working in groups is stressful, but these three people made me feel welcome and were a joy to work with. So thank you to them!

Photo by Katherine Culver

Photo by Katherine Culver

Photo by Katherine Culver

Photo by Katherine Culver

Photo by David Powers

Photo by David Powers

Photo by Neil Talley
Photo by Neil Talley

Photo by Neil Talley
Photo by Neil Talley

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

November No Makeup Mondays

No makeup Mondays for the month of November- because you don't need makeup or cosmetic trappings to make you beautiful. Because the beauty industry is a multi billion dollar industry that sells us the idea that we're not beautiful unless we're buying their products. Because just you is a wonderful thing to be.




Monday, December 3, 2012

Calories and Individuality

**Trigger warning for talk of counting calories and ED**

One week ago today I started counting calories again. No, not because I decided to drop all the body acceptance stuff and hate myself again, but because I get tired of the same 'ole "fatties eat a lot" bullshit over and over. What put me over the edge was a comment which flat out called me a liar for saying that I averaged between 1200-1700 calories when I used to count them. They said "I've seen a photo of you and there's no way you eat that much" or something to that effect. Yep, well here's a photo of me, fat rolls and all:

You can totally tell how much and what I eat from that photo right?? This project sort of started as a defensive "I totally defy the stereotype!", but it sort of progressed into "wait a minute, I'm a freaking individual". Because we are, aren't we? No matter how much they want to stereotype and stuff us into these tiny (or not so tiny) boxes and label us as all the same, we're all different. About a year ago I read about another fat activist blogger who did the same as me- counted calories (she did it for a day) to see how many she ate which was around 3,000. My average is closer to 1,500. Some fatties eat less than me, some eat more than me. Because here's the thing that fatphobes can't seem to wrap their tiny minds around- we're all different. Sorry, but it's true.

My experience counting calories again was one full of ED triggers for me. If I ate 1000 calories I would think, just for a second, t hat's not low enough. Because at the worst of my eating disorder 1000 calories was way above what I would eat. The least I ate was nothing and the most I ate was 500 calories. Maybe I should disclose that at this point I always did start losing weight. The fatphobes are quick to point out that if you starve someone they'll eventually lose weight. They really really love the second law of thermodynamics. And they're right that eventually starvation produces results, but there, you see? You see what their goal is? To literally starve people- something we know for a fact is a human rights violation as well as ridiculously unhealthy, just to have thin people. You have your proof that it has nothing to do with health (if you needed any more proof anyway). The problem fatphobes have is failing to understand that the body can 'decide' how many calories in and calories out it wants to have. If it doesn't want to lose those calories, it's going to hold onto them as tightly as possible. It's not that calories in/calories out is altogether false or that we somehow defy the laws of physics, it's that they have a basic lack of understanding of how the body uses and stores calories to begin with.

Anyway, back to my experience with counting. I found myself eyeing some of my old ED foods such as a single veggie burger with no bun and no sides or tofu noodles which , with only 20 calories per serving, were invaluable to me for keeping my calories at starvation levels. I had to constantly remind myself to eat what I wanted, when I wanted, and how much I wanted. Sometimes I even ate extra just to defy my brain and it's ED instincts. Not to mention that counting calories is a huge pain in the ass. I can't believe I used to do it every day! So, here it is, calories every day for a week. Please don't read if you think you will find it at all triggering. And to see a diary of the actual foods I ate please visit my food blog: WTF Do You Eat? (Diary of a Fat Vegan). In the course of the week I ate normally and even enjoyed sweets and fast food.

Monday- 1903
Tuesday- 1137
Wednesday- 1099
Thursday- 1605
Friday- 1425
Saturday- 1656
Sunday- 1130

Which averages out to 1,422 calories a day. I think it's fair to say that, on average, I eat between 1000-1700 calories. Again, I can't stress enough that this is what I, as a fat individual eats. Not all fatties eat like me. I'm a gluten free vegan. We are from every walk of life including dietary lifestyles. Some of us binge, some of us don't, some of us eat healthfully, some of us don't, some of us eat a lot, some of us don't. What I want people to take away from this post isn't that I'm a "good fatty" for eating a healthy low calorie diet. I want them to take away that you can't tell what someone eats just by looking at them, regardless of size.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Fat Naked Art Project


I'm very proud of this set. It's the first set I 've done with other fat women who were as much into body acceptance as I was and whom I got to work one on one with. This is a  photo project in which I teamed up with photographer Travis McKeithan as well as several plus size women, including myself, to create beautiful nude art that showcases the fat body. We had four other women, myself, and Travis involved. First I'd like to introduce you to all of the models involved.

First up we have Casey

Photo by Travis McKeithan

Photo by Kolaya Photography

Casey participated in this project despite a broken back. I asked her why she waned to participate in this project and how it made her feel:

I wanted to do it partially because I love the Adipositivity project and have wanted to have Substantia Jones take similar pictures...so I thought it was awesome that someone semi-local was doing something similar. I also wanted to reclaim my body. With everything that's been going on with my spine fractures, it's been hard to feel like this ever-changing body as mine. It made me feel awesome. I was initially nervous, but having people take photos of my body for it's beauty and it's uniqueness made me feel glorious.
 Next I'd like to introduce you to Christine:

photo by Travis McKeithan


Photo by Travis McKeithan

As we were chatting in between photos Christine told me about how she wanted to do this for her daughter who's an up and coming fat woman. As a mother myself I think it's just fantastic that Christine's daughter has a great role model for body acceptance. I asked Christine as well why she chose to do this project and how it made her feel;
I chose to do it because I want to "walk the walk" of Fat Acceptance for my daughter, and do more than pay lip service to my principles. I was nervous as hell (as evidenced by my constant chattering), but also empowered. My body is 45 years old, postpartum, 300+ pounds, beautiful, strong, sexy and awesome. Not one of those qualities precludes any of the others.


Next, Bethany

photo by Travis McKeithan

Photo by Kolaya Photography
 Bethany's response to why she wanted to be a part of this project and how it made her feel was:
I chose to participate because I like to spend time with my body in very intentional ways. I like to be take time to be direct with my body, to appreciate it and have it be seen. I've found being naked with people who look like me, and at the same time not like me, to be the kind of experience that really puts me in touch with myself and my community.
I used to spend time at a clothing-optional beach when we lived in NY. I don't think I'd ever been in a more body-positive space. All different ages, shapes, sizes, ethnicities, classes, ways of grooming and presenting themselves. I loved every minute of it!
The Fat Photo Shoot was really wonderful. It took us some time to warm up, although no more than expected. But being naked and open with the group came naturally and easily and felt very right. I wish I had planned better to spend more time. I'm self-conscious about my lack of ease in front of the camera itself, but that was a small negative in a large and beautiful sea of positive. A+ experience, would totally do it again!

Jessica's up next

by Kolaya Photography

Photo by Kolaya Photography
Jessica was shy and didn't want us to use her face which means she also didn't participate in our group shoots. Jessica was, in fact, there to observe and hadn't intended to get naked and do any photos at all so I commend her on her bravery.

Next we have myself, Heather

Photo by Travis McKeithan


During my last shoot with Travis I thought to myself, "we need to see more naked fat people art" and I posted such on my facebook timeline to which Travis replied, "let's do it!". I've been excited for weeks about this project and I'm so happy to finally see it come to fruition even as we make plans to expand and continue it. I did this project because I'm enamored with fat art. I love seeing bodies just like mine  in a way that's not meant to shame or belittle or mock- where it's displayed for the sheer beauty of it. This shoot gave me a real sense of community and bonding with these wonderful women and I'm so proud to have been part of this.

Last up our esteemed photographer, Travis

Photo by Kolaya Photography

Photo by Kolaya Photography
Travis is, of course, the photographer I've been working with these past few weeks. He's been amazing and he's so easy to work with. When I posted that I wanted to see more fat naked people art he jumped right on the opportunity.

  I participated, with the thought in mind for support of women and men who have to deal with the stigmas that fat is ugly or unattractive, I feel that people in general are beautiful, and I wanted to be apart of what you lovely ladies where doing, kinda saying "fuck you" to standard thinking about who and should and should not participate in certain activities.
... and being a photographer, it was interesting, considering I am very comfortable with my body the nude aspect did not really bother me. It was a bit off, giving the control over to someone else, but I quite enjoyed it.


We're hoping to do this concept again soon so stay tuned everyone!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Makeup Free Mondays- October

The month of October's No Makeup Monday photos. I decided to start doing No Makeup Mondays in order to show women everywhere that they're beautiful no matter what, even without the trappings of the beauty industry. Beauty is a concept that is literally sold to us and we can all do without it!














Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bloggers, I need to talk to you

A while back I wrote a post called Vegans, I need to talk to you, to discuss the healthism and sizism that goes on in the vegan community. As a vegan myself I find it abhorrent that veganism has become just another fad diet to some and that people feel the need to justify it by tearing other people down. Today the shoe's on the other foot and bloggers- it's your turn. I'm tired of seeing veganism shoved into your blogs in paragraphs about eating disorders and diets. On tumblr I saw a blip just yesterday which said " making me want to hurl my uber-processed fast food milkshake all up in their homemade vegan-frosted faces. With a goddamn maraschino cherry infused with red dye #40 on top. ". Really? Is this what we're resorting to? Tearing down people who make lifestyle choices that are different from yours? Isn't that what you're upset about to begin with? Enjoy your processed milkshake, but don't threaten me just because my vegan lifestyle offends you. And, ironically, this post is about food shamers- while food shaming!And guess who gets food shame and body policed worse than fat people or vegans? That's right- fat vegans.

Part of HAES means being educated about the food that you put into your body and making choices based on your individual needs, wants, and reactions to those foods. So if I choose to eat veggies and hummus while you choose and sonic burger, why is that such a big deal? So healthism is when you discriminate and/or are intolerant of someone based on their health status. When you feel superior to someone because of the health choices they may or may not make- I talked about healthism in Vegans, I need to talk to you because it's a serious issue in the community. However, I don't see much of a difference in looking down on someone's food choices while feeling superior as a fat acceptance activist in the way described by that tumblr post.

And if you've mentioned veganism in fat acceptance, you know who you are. Veganism or vegetarianism shouldn't come up at all in your post unless you're specifically addressing sizism issues within the vegan community. It shouldn't be compared to an eating disorder, it shouldn't be called a diet. Because it's not. By it's very definition veganism is a lifestyle choice that seeks to end bullying and abuse- hey.. just like fat acceptance! It's not about losing weight, it's about trying to lessen/end animal cruelty, exploitation, and objectification. Vegans are people too and we come in all shapes and sizes. It's your turn to step back and check your presumptions at the door. Because all of this vegan shaming? It's, well, shameful. Now please, cut it the hell out.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Nudes

Photos by Travis McKeithan. The more I work with nudity, semi and full, the more comfortable I become with myself. It's a great side effect. I think it has something to do with the vulnerability and absolute trust in my followers as I post them online. That's why I adore you all and have to thank you sincerely for all of your support.