How to Exercise without Leaving Your Living Room with Essentrics

How to Exercise without Leaving Your Living Room with Essentrics

As a plus size woman who is on a journey to body love, I’m always interested in finding new ways to push my amazing body. I’ve recently started to learn how to run and completed my third 5K this past September. When my friend Jenny Bertrand started teaching Essentrics, I wondered what it was all about. When she informed me that it is an exercise for every body type that you can do in your pajamas, I was sold! I couldn’t wait to have Jenny share what Essentrics is all about with the PSMM community.  Isn’t Plus Size Birth inspiring? It has been one of three important influences that have changed the way I think about my body. It’s been a journey, but I have come to realize just how important it is to love my body and treat it with love and kindness. The other two influences: having children and a movement called Essentrics, a relatively new way to move our bodies.  Jen was kind enough to let me blog about my own journey to body love and share about Essentrics so that you can decide if it may also benefit you. As background, I never liked my body as a young person. For as long as I can remember, my mother complained about her body shape and the inherited, cursed “big butt” all the women in the family had. As a child, I never saw what the problem was because she was beautiful as far as I could tell, but she eventually talked me into believing she was too large to be beautiful, and it convinced me I also...
How Much Respect Do Fat Women Deserve?

How Much Respect Do Fat Women Deserve?

Do fat women deserve as much respect as women who are not fat?  How much respect do fat women deserve? “It’s the story of my life as a fat person…. that my body is bad. That I’m not as worthy as those who aren’t overweight.” –Jen Stew in that for a minute and think about your answer, and how these questions make you feel.  If you’re offended that someone would even ask, that’s a healthy response. Now apply it to yourself.  As a plus size woman, do you believe you deserve respect? How much respect do you deserve? Think about whether you are as confident in this answer as you were about your last answer.  Are you as offended for yourself as you are for everyone else? I ask these questions because I believe that one of the fundamental problems in maternity care today is a lack of respect.  Many women are undermined at every turn—told we aren’t strong enough, smart enough, or worthy enough.  We are told what we are allowed and not allowed to do.  Better birth practices are skipped over for faster birth practices, and barrier after barrier is thrown up to safer, less complicated births.  Then, when the inevitable occurs, we’re often led to believe our own bodies are broken.  “You have an incompetent cervix.”  “Your contractions are inadequate.”  “Your body just doesn’t know how to go into labor.” For plus-size women, there may be even more barriers: what Jen McLellan calls “plus-size bias,” and it leads to more interventions and higher Cesarean section rates.  She relayed to me recently that an L&D nurse confessed...
Did You Date Your Doctor?

Did You Date Your Doctor?

In January I joined Sarah Blight’s podcast, Easier Healthier Birth, to talk about plus size pregnancy and birth (click here to listen and select show #18).  We ended up chatting for an hour after the recording ended.  We swapped birth stories and shared some postpartum woes.  Sarah and I became birth professional BFFs and I adore her.  I’ve invited her to the PSMM blog to share some hilarity and wisdom when it comes to finding the perfect care provider for you and your baby.  Enjoy!   Did You Date Your Doctor? (or midwife?) by Sarah Blight, Founder YourBabyBooty.com I was sitting there anxiously, fidgeting with my clothes, and glancing around the restaurant, checking the door every 5 seconds.  “Is that him?” The year was 1996 and I was on a blind date.  I really hated dating- the awkwardness, the hopefulness, the disappointment, the inevitable dashing of expectations. But this one time, I relented to my very happily coupled friends who wanted to hook me up with their “Awesome! Fantastic! Single! Friend.” Suffice it to say that the date wasn’t the worst date in the history of man and it wasn’t that awkward, I mean, how can it be awkward when your date only talks about himself? He didn’t ask me any questions and was happy to spill his guts to me over chicken vindaloo at the cozy Indian restaurant downtown.  Oh and then he asked for separate checks. Oy. At times in my life, I’ve wished that I lived in India, where the arranged marriage concept precluded any such nightmare dates. But then again, maybe nightmare marriages would be worse....
Continuing the Conversation: Thin Privilege

Continuing the Conversation: Thin Privilege

Last week I had my socks knocked off when I read Melissa Fabello’s article, Let’s Talk About Thin Privilege.  If you have yet to check it out read it now!   Addressing the issue of privilege is always tricky because you’re pretty much guaranteed to upset people.  I speak from experience because I touched upon white privilege recently. After I read Melissa’s article I immediately contacted her for an interview and she was a real delight to speak with.  We both share a true passion for helping women to embrace their bodies and I think you’ll really like what she has to say… Reading a skinny woman tackle the topic of thin privilege was a breath of fresh air. What inspired you to write it? l There were a few factors that led to my writing the piece, actually, mostly revolving around the ways that people tend to tackle issues of privilege. For one thing, I think that it’s important for people who are working toward allying themselves or working in solidarity with movements to do some of the hard work of discussing privilege and marginalization. As a thin woman who works in the body-positive arena, I felt like it was really important to use that privilege to try to shed light on an issue that needs attention. My own experiences recognizing my own thin privilege and talking to others about their thin privilege have caused me to believe that it’s an aspect of power that many don’t take into consideration. l One reason for that, I think, is this idea that our body types are somehow choices. People can wrap their minds around...
The Mother Behind the Postpartum Photo

The Mother Behind the Postpartum Photo

Like many women, I was truly moved by the beautiful postpartum marks photo above.  I shared it on my Plus Size Mommy Memoirs Facebook page without knowing where it came from.  It received more likes, shares, and comments than anything else I’ve ever posted – 9,333 likes, 2,714 shares, and 243 comments to be exact!  The comments ranged from, “I love this- I have that same pair of underwear and the stretch marks!” to “Wow. Total conviction – something I have never really thought about or heard worded that way” and “what I would give to have a child do that to me…”  Once I learned who the artist was behind the photo I felt compelled to contact her. I’m delighted Samantha Thrall was interested in being interviewed!  She’s a 26 year old a stay at home mom to her 16 month old son Adrian Bleu.   Samantha, your photo and quote has captivated the hearts of many women over the past few days.  Can you please share with us what inspired you to create it? I am subscribed to the Guggie Daily and there was a photo posted there, similar to mine, but people didn’t seem to be connecting to it very well. It was very wordy and it didn’t flow. The moderator of that page asked if anyone else could share an image along those same lines. She actually asked for someone with a more “average” body type. But to tell you the truth I had my little sister take that photo of me before she even asked for alternate images. I had an idea in my head and...