When The Fat Girl Gets Skinny by Blythe Baird

If you know me, you know about my deeply rooted love for poetry. Oh, you thought that was going to go away with this sudden change of blog content? Absolutely not. It was bound to manifest itself in one form or another.

I’ve seen hundreds of poetry videos, read thousands of poems, and most of them are beautiful in their own regard but occasionally I come across one that really hits home. One that pulls me either farther into reality or so far out of it that I can barely recognize myself for a while afterwards, depending on the subject-matter. I’ll rewatch or reread it until every word is etched into my brain and I can recite it at a moments notice, just in case someone asks what my favorite poem is. They never do, but I like to tell it anyway.

This is one of those poems for me. It’s not that it’s the most perfectly written. It’s simple in most regards, but as I said, it hits home. The simplicity highlights how profound it actually is. How real it is. The first time I watched it, I let it play on repeat while I lied on the couch crying. Hopefully you don’t do that, but hopefully it does give you something to think about.

Things to do instead of starving yourself/purging/anything that you could maybe possibly consider the opposite of eating:

  • Stop comparing. Get off the internet and get away from the photos that you titled “Thinspiration.” In fact, delete that word from your vocabulary entirely because it’s nothing more than a made-up term to make people feel guilty that they don’t have an unhealthily flat stomach or protruding collarbones. Stop looking at your “progress” photos. Stop comparing the way your stomach looks in the morning to the way your stomach looks at night. Stop staring at your friend’s bodies and thinking, “but they have the right kind of curves.” There are no “right” curves. There are the curves they have and there are the curves you have. That’s it.
  • Do something productive immediately after eating. No, I don’t mean punishing yourself with five hours of exercise. I mean doing something other than dwelling on how guilty you feel. Finish that book report you’ve been putting off, learn a new skill, volunteer and give back to your community. Something to make you feel better and not worry about the food in your stomach. You are meant to eat.
  • No, that one brownie will not make you fat. However if it will make you feel so disgusting that you can’t function, then eat something healthy instead. What matters is that you ate something. You don’t always have to take a big step, but take a step.
  • Spend time making food, and then eat it. Instead of digging into a bag of chips or a Ben & Jerry’s tub of ice cream, something that is immediately satisfactory, make food that requires effort. This is especially helpful if you cook/bake with other people because then they can not only keep you in check but make it fun too. You worked hard for it, so you will feel better about eating it when you’re done. Again, one bowl of ice cream won’t make you fat, but baby steps are still steps nonetheless.
  • Pray. Talk to people who understand. Talk to anybody who will listen and consequently tell you what you need to hear.

 

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mark 14:38) 

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Choosing “Magic”

When you’re a kid, life has this almost surreal quality to it that tends to get lost somewhere along the path to adulthood. It’s more than simply allowing reality to set in, like the realization that money is really difficult to come by and relationships aren’t constant rainbows and butterflies. It’s the heightened emotions that made life a little more interesting. It’s going to Disney World and totally believing you’ve been transported to another planet. It’s scraping your knee on the sidewalk and convincing yourself that nothing could feel worse than what you feel in that moment, until your mom comes along and scoops you into her arms and you’re instantly reminded that that’s your favorite place to be. It’s black and white emotions running at a mile a minute.

Adulthood is more like thousands of shades of grey (insert inappropriate, overdone joke here). I struggled with accepting this fact, this lack of constant rollercoaster emotions and noticing the everyday minute details that make life extra special, because I was convinced I would never feel it again.

I thought life was never going to be as interesting as it used to be. In some ways, maybe I was right. I won’t feel the same glittery magical array of emotions that comes along with an endlessly imaginative childhood brain, but that doesn’t mean I have to turn into an unfeeling robot. My decisions now carry so much more weight than they used to. I get to have a say in the path I take in life. My emotions are, roughly, within my control and just like my decisions, they carry more weight than they used to. Maybe they aren’t as magical, but they’re bigger.

I’m never going to have Prince Charming sweep in on his white horse to save me, but I will probably have a caring partner who loves and supports me. I’m not going to go to Disney World and believe that Winnie the Pooh is not a guy in a costume (sorry), but I can go on vacation and make my own kind of fun that is catered to my personality.

However, there is a familiar feeling of dread that tends to creep up on me this time of year when the holiday season has begun and I think, “here’s another reminder that I’m not a kid again” because I built up the holidays so much back in the day. “Will all the days I used to spend months looking forward to feel like just another day of the week now?” the pessimistic part of me asks myself every year.

Until the light outside begins to change.

Considering the fact that I live in South Florida, the changes of season here are beyond subtle. So subtle in fact that most non-natives, and a lot of natives too actually, don’t notice the change from summer to fall. But I can tell the exact moment when everything is different. Summer consists of hot wind, harsh bright light, and a constant buzz of life and excitement. Then one day, usually sometime in September, our little corner of the world seems quieter, the light outside turns into a soft golden tint, and the air is at least not deathly suffocating. It’s my favorite day of the year and I never know exactly when it will happen, which makes it that much more exciting. I usually end up skipping around telling people, “It’s fall, it’s fall, it’s fall!” which typically elicits a response that insinuates I’m clinically insane considering they are still miserably sweating.

But it’s the beginning of something different, something beautiful and dare I say a little magical. I like beginnings. They’re happy. Middle’s are nice because they’re comfortable and you’re invested at that point, and endings are an important part of life, but nothing beats a good beginning. All the excitement is just irreplaceable.

So, soon enough other people start catching on to the change of seasons and we collectively start drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes, attempt to recreate crafts we found on Pinterest, plan our Halloween costumes before we even know where we’ll wear them, all because it’s fun. Do we always need a good reason to do something beyond it simply being enjoyable? (Within reason…dear Lord, please don’t use this logic as an excuse to be lazy or do drugs or anything else really stupid.)

So maybe life as a whole doesn’t feel exactly the same way it did when we were kids, but it’s still special. When we were younger, we felt everything with little to no basis for feeling it, whereas now we have legitimate reasons to feel the way we do. You will still feel that “magic,” as long as you’re willing to feel it. You can watch a Hallmark movies and feel absolutely nothing and mock them for being unrealistic, or you can love them for what they are and love that they capture the holidays like your childhood-self felt them. You can get annoyed when kids knock on your door screaming “TRICK OR TREAT,” or you can be friendly and realize that they’ve been looking forward to this all month and there is nothing stopping you from getting in on the fun in your own way. You can be upset that you went to your mother’s house for Thanksgiving and she bought food instead of making her famous homemade casserole-of-some-variety, or you can revel in the fact that you get a day to spend with those you love. Even if they don’t make your favorite casserole.

My point is that life changes when you get older and you can roll with it, making the best of every stage, or you can get swept up in “…but,” and never be satisfied. Everything may not be exactly like it used to be, but isn’t that exciting in itself?

The older you get, the more you get the chance to appreciate the out-of-the-ordinary moments if you choose to make the most of them. To experience a little less grey every now and then. And the fact that these moments don’t happen everyday makes the magical moments ones you won’t soon forget.


 

On a sidenote, happy Halloween! I’m finding out that, as an adult, you get quite a few different opportunities to dress up, which I think is pretty unfair to the kids. They’re the ones that live for this kind of stuff. I’ve worn a pig costume in a preschooler’s play, a cowgirl costume to a party, and this Tardis inspired outfit at work today. I’m exhausted. I had a few other chances to dress up that I didn’t take as well. And yet, kid’s typically get just the one day. Young me would be pretty unhappy if she knew this information.

drwhocloseup

If you dressed up this year, what did you wear? How did your view on the holiday season change from childhood to now?

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment, contact me or check out my Instagram here.

Introduction

Hi! You may already know me as Gabrielle, but if you don’t it’s nice to meet you. Let’s be friends. Or, at least, we can mutually stalk one another’s blogs. That’s pretty much the same thing as friendship, right?

Before I dive in, let’s just chat for a second. If you knew me as Gabrielle Gillispie then you probably know that my blog was formerly almost 100% poetry. I loved it and I got to interact with a lot of like-minded bloggers as a result, but I kept feeling pulled in a different direction. I need to give back in some way, do something that can hopefully help people, something to really base a career off of and dedicate my time to. Don’t get me wrong, poetry can do all of those things and more, and I tried, but I wasn’t always being the best version of myself and that is where I had an issue. You know when you have this gut feeling that something isn’t working out, maybe you even keep getting signs that it’s time to move on and it stops being enjoyable, but you’re just not ready to listen for one reason or another? Yep.

Life goes on though and it didn’t work out for good reason. I’ve been developing this idea for a lifestyle company (for a lack of a better term) called live3one for a while, and it’s finally turning into something attainable. Something real with the potential to grow over time. I’m so excited about this project and I hope you all like it too!

 

What is live3one?

I’ll be honest: I avoided reading Proverbs 31 for the longest time because all I knew was that it’s essentially an outline for what a woman should be and I assumed it would be rather misogynistic due to the culture at the time it was written, but this is the only time I will proudly say the words, “I was wrong!”

The (hypothetical) Proverbs 31 woman is empowering. She made me simultaneously want to become a better person and feel like I was made the way I am for a purpose. That’s why she is the center of this blog. She is admired for her wisdom and faith; she is a creative businesswoman; she is optimistic but realistic; she is dependable; she works so hard that her arms are strong and she remains emotionally strong as well; she always looks ahead and plans for the future; she gives to those less fortunate without batting an eye; she is respected, so those she surrounds herself with are also respected. So on and so forth.

I also like the dual-meaning of live3one in reference to the trinity. You know – the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. Three in one. Yeah. I thought it was kind of clever.

In essence, I wanted to create a Christian-based community inspired by the ideals of the Proverbs 31 woman, but it is not exclusive to either Christians or women. It is exclusive to people who can read about her and think, “I want to be more like that.”

 

Community

The first time I sat down in a room of like-minded people and allowed myself to truly belong, I felt like I was letting out a breath of relief I didn’t realize I’d been holding all my life. Growing up, I wanted to belong but never felt like I knew how. Then suddenly I was (at least somewhat) grown-up and choosing to sit in a room with five strangers, all openly talking about our lives: the fun surface-level stuff like dying our hair, but also serious things I didn’t even know I believed until I heard myself saying everything aloud. As if spilling my deepest darkest secrets to a room of women I had just met was something I did all the time. It was so easy. After that night, I was finding myself weaving in and out of social situations with relative ease. l learned to have the mindset of “either I can give them something, or they can teach me something…maybe both.”

That’s what I want to recreate here: a sense of belonging. A sense of community. A place to talk about the lighthearted topics (like sharing recipes, outfit inspiration, and workout tips for example) and be able to dive a little deeper to talk about the bigger topics as well. Like sitting in a room of similar-minded people with whom you instantly know you can be completely honest with.

So the idea is for everyone to feel like they have a place, and can contribute in some way if you so choose. You can read blog posts and hopefully take something away from them, share your thoughts in the comments, join our (soon-to-be) Facebook group, submit designs to be sold on products in the online shop, tag live3one in relevant posts so I can share them, just be a part of the community. As someone who has struggled with shyness most of her life, I won’t say “Don’t be shy” like it’s easy. Instead, I’ll say “The door is open.”

 

Giving Back

An important part of being in a community is giving back to it. There is a greater community than this one which we all belong to, called humanity. (I know that was lame. I’ll see myself out.). Mimicking the ideal of giving to those less fortunate as the Proverbs 31 woman does, a percentage of the proceeds from my online shop will go to charities centered around helping people. And, while I plan on selling my own designs as well, I want the shop to be just as much a part of the community. I want to collaborate with people and give them a chance to showcase their work. If you have any designs, any ideas, don’t hesitate to contact me!

 

Of course getting everything up and running takes time, but I want to do it right. I want to share your thoughts alongside mine, share your designs, talk to you, build a place where you can meet like-minded people, and so on. Stick with me, and we’ll get there before you know it.

Have any suggestions? Thoughts? Ideas? Comment below and I’d love to know what you think!