It’s OK

I said I wouldn’t blog for the entire month of May following April’s blog-a-rama, however I came across this amazing TEDx talk today and I simply couldn’t let it go by without drawing your basketball belly attention to it.

Golda Poretsky is AWESOME. Like properly, brilliantly AWESOME.

Her website Body Love Wellness rocks my world. Her podcasts ring with resonance in my ears.

I’m gushing again…but she really is great.

Here’s her brilliant TED talk.

Watch. Enjoy. Love your body. Right now. As it is.

Y is for You shouldn’t be eating that….

As we near the end of the April A-Z blog challenge I realise that I have wandered off the usual blog topics quite a bit. Sorry about that. Alphabetical restrictions have meant I needed to think differently about what I write about (and I have loved it) but I have made a conscious decision to make my last two A-Z postings as ‘basketball’ as I can.

Today – an unpleasant story

Tomorrow – a joyful one (I always like to end on a high)

So, here we go…

I was 19 and dashing across London to meet a friend to see a show (see M is for Musicals) As someone who rushes from place to place at breakneck speed trying to squeeze every bit of loveliness out of every single moment, I hadn’t taken the time to eat that day (a habit I have since broken) and was hungry.

Rushing + late + hungry = grabbing some street food whilst running across town. I’m sure you’ve all done it.

The incriminating meal was a slice of pizza. I paid and continued to dash, dodging tourists and London suits. I took a bite. Delicious. I chewed hard. Man that was good pizza. From just in front of me came,

“You shouldn’t be eating that” I looked up mid-chew to see an angry-faced man was addressing me “Look at you! You shouldn’t be eating that”

Lost – my appetite. No reward if found.

His work was done. He had bawled out a stranger in the street and continued with his day.

I bet he felt great. I didn’t.

The pizza was binned and I’m ashamed to say it was ages before I would allow myself to eat in public again (everyone I’ve ever had dinner with is now wondering if I was freaking out when I was eating with them….yes, probably) That one tiny moment really affected me and I thought that if I ate in front of people they would all be thinking the same thing. (Don’t get me wrong, there are still Food Police alive and well in my world, I just handle them differently now – not better, just differently – I’m still working on this one)

I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a person who says nasty things to strangers, but I bet it must be really horrible to be so filled with hate and rage that it just leaks out of you. Awful.

I also can’t imagine policing anyone else’s body but my own.

Your body, your business.

My body, my business.

D is for dinner party

I had never been invited to a dinner party before. It all seemed very grown up and exciting.

Of course I faffed about for ages over my outfit and decided on a simple BBD (big black dress) I did something unfathomable and therefore unrepeatable with my hair and I felt good.

I obviously knew the host couple but I hadn’t yet met anyone else who would be attending. As a permanent singleton, this is always an exciting and terrifying prospect. You never know if well-intentioned friends are going to spring an unsuspecting blind date from nowhere (not always unwelcome, but in my experience highly cringeville)

That would have been preferable to the actual outcome of the evening.

Oh yeah, brace yourself. It’s about to get fifty shades of awful….

So I arrived promptly like a good dinner party guest with a big smile and a bottle in my hand (I’d seen Come Dine With Me, I knew what to do)

Immediately I was introduced to a young chap called Asshat (names have been changed) who was posh and a tiny bit (hella load) pompous. But as a polite young professional I could smile and play nicely as our hosts tended to things in the kitchen.

(It is worth mentioning here that there was no romantic intention from our hosts, this wasn’t a blind date in disguise – it might have been the very worst if it was! There were other solo guests too)

Small talk is my forte. I can literally talk to anyone about anything for any length of time. We all have gifts. Incessant nattering is mine.

We covered such exciting topics as the weather, work and the aromas emanating from the oven.

I must have revealed something about myself that sparked a flicker of recognition as he suddenly clicked his fingers and exclaimed with a massive grin

“Ahh! I know who you are now! You’re Fat Kate!”

Our hosts re-entered the room at the exact moment I wanted to die.

Since this time my internal scriptwriter has come up with some incredibly witty, pithy put-downs in response to Asshat. Each one of them would have floored him and questioned his manhood as well as intelligence. But at the time? Nothing.

My gift for always finding something to say failed me and I crumbled. I can’t remember what I actually said. Something along the lines of “Yeah, that’s me”

Suddenly I felt stupid. And ashamed. Is this how my friends referred to me?

Did I have a cruel nickname I knew nothing about? Had I been invited as a twisted joke?

If I could have cried and ran out of the building I would have done.

Instead I smiled and cried within.

I didn’t eat a single thing at that dinner party.

Epilogue : I have seen Asshat a handful of times since that evening (small world) He is still an Asshat. I have since developed excellent mechanisms for dealing with such types and was able to tell him exactly where to put his married penis when he very kindly offered to share it with me. You wouldn’t believe it….

Things I know…

I know that he was a nasty man. I know that I did nothing wrong (other than failing to stick up for myself) I know that if this same thing happened today I would handle it differently. I know I probably shouldn’t give this evening any more thought.

D is for Done.

B is for Bubbly

I get described as “bubbly” quite a lot.

I’ll be honest, I hate it.

I have lots of energy, talk animatedly, and generally have limitless enthusiasm for what I’m doing (or why else would I be doing it?)

Bubbly
1. containing bubbles
2. (of a person) full of cheerful high spirits

The Urban Dictionary has the following definition

a really happy,perky,kind of annoying person at times.Its one of those people who wake you up in the morning really perky and you just wanna smack them in the face

Yeah. That’s me. I make no apologies.

Bubbles are empty and temporary. They are fun but fragile. They are also round.

Are you starting to see why I might not like to be described in this way?

My own negative association turns a fairly accurate description (I can’t deny, it fits me like a plus size glove) into something unpleasant and unintended.

The next time this happens I am going to imagine a tall, chilled bottle of champagne. Exclusive, expensive and decadent.

No-one wants to be empty and round.

Call me fizzy, effervescent, energetic, enthusiastic, passionate.

Call me baby! Just not bubbly.

Here’s Colbie Collait. Enjoy this lovely bubbly tune on this lovely sunny evening.

www.freedigitalphotos.net

A is for Audition

“You are the pride of your country. You are Great Britain. When you open your eyes…4 billion people all around the world will be looking at your face. Open your eyes…”

The rush of excitement I felt at that moment is still with me as I write that.

It was October 2011 and I was at my first audition to perform in the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony.

Suddenly, after initially applying on a bit of a lighthearted whim, I wanted it bad. Really bad.

I sang my heart out, danced my feet off, acted my socks off and sashayed my butt so hard it ached.

There were thousands of us. I had to stand out. Make my mark. Be big and amazing and impressive.

Was I terrified? Of course. But did I want to make it mine? Yes!

For once I let go, forgot all about every fear and insecurity I had ever carried with me and gave it everything I had.

It felt great.

For that reason, I then decided to make every single day an audition day.

To not be afraid, to not be ashamed, to not be anyone else but me, filled with joy.

Audition-Me is fearless. I like her.

Feel My Love

Bit late to the Joan Rivers vs. Adele nastiness but I thought I’d throw my little contribution at the growing pile of commentary.

Those disparaging Joan Rivers’ appearance in response to her personal attack on our beloved Adele have completely missed the point.

Acceptance. Love. Kindness.

My Mum always used to say to us as kids “If you do it back, you’re just as bad” and my Mum is NEVER* wrong. (*ask my Dad)

Clearly Ms Rivers has her own acceptance issues. The irony in her making fun of someone else’s appearance isn’t lost.

She is also a comedian trying to do her job and make people laugh. We know that fat jokes are not a new thing.

But are they funny? Nope. Will they stop? Only if we stop laughing.

100 days

Hanne Blank is an amazing woman.

We’ve never met but she feels a tiny bit like a best friend.

Hanne’s book “Big Big Love” which looks at fat sex and relationships, had such a massive impact on me, so much so that I feel reading it should be compulsory. (It is on the Essential Reading List for my boyfriends anyway…”Come back when you’ve read this, you’ll understand me better”)

Her latest book “The Unapologetic Fat Girl’s Guide to Exercise and other Incendiary Acts” is now on my wish-list prior to its release on Monday and I just know it will speak to me in the same way that BBL did. (Am I sounding like a complete fan-girl? Sorry)

Anyway, gushing aside…a few days ago I read about her 100 day challenge

In a nutshell, you decide on one or more new actions you will commit to doing with your body for 100 days.

I like challenges! I also like that Hanne herself has chosen belly dancing and singing (See? I told you we could be BFFs)

100 days is a fairly long time and I wanted to choose something both achievable and FUN (I know if I choose sit-ups I will be miserable) so after careful consideration I made my decision.

Starting TODAY for the next 100 days……when I get up in the morning, I will pick one song and DANCE.

I might be pogo-ing to a punk number or doing the Okey-Cokey, it doesn’t matter! What matters is that I am making an easy, fun and enjoyable commitment to my body that isn’t painful, punishing or problematical. And that’s what it’s all about! (*clap clap clap*)

I am a busy working Mum. Time is precious. But dancing to ONE song everyday…who can’t fit that in?

Music plays a massive part in my little family. It fills our home with joy and our ‘kitchen discos’ are LEGENDARY (there are just two of us…sometimes we pretend we’re in a nightclub…) Those of you following me will know that I have previously shared my love of dancing in Basketballs. What a great way to make friends with my body again!

I really like the idea of setting an energetic, positive tone for my day and because I also really like lists, I’m going to publish my music selections (in case you want to dance along with me – My Spotify ‘dance’ playlist will be coming soon)

Combining things which make me happy, being kind to my body, reaching a 100 day goal……it all seems pretty brilliant from where I’m dancing.