3.26.2012

This Chubby Vegan Mom's Chubby Vegan Battle

I seem to be starting a lot of my blogs lately apologizing.

I'm sorry if I dropped off the face of the Earth. I'm sorry that I basically peaced out on all my followers for the last few weeks and for the last two months have been acting like an immature teenage boy who you professed your love to and I got weird and distant (you know, the one that won't answer your texts, emails or phone calls).

I wish I could regale you with some wild adventure I've been on that has kept me from you all, but alas, there wasn't one.

The truth is, I've been in a funk - and when I get in a funk, I have a habit of taking it out on the whole wide world.

So in a way I've been sparing you from this Chubby Mom rant (aka whiny, woe-is-me, pathetic list) I'm about to unleash. (Side note, I meant to leave the "Vegan" out of the Chubby Mom).

Being a mom is exhausting (shocker, I know).

Being a woman, is even more exhausting.

And I'm not even talking about physically here (although, it is seriously, physically draining).

I'm just talking about the good, ole emotional, mental and psychological drama we women and mothers put ourselves through daily.

Or more precisely, the drama I put myself through.

I'm tired of being a stuck-in-the-middle woman. I'm not skinny enough to fit in with the skinny crowd, but I've been blasted recently by friends and followers for calling myself "chubby," so apparently I don't fit into the chubby crowd anymore. (Although if you could see my love handles you might beg to differ).

I'm tired of thinking of myself as chubby, while apparently everyone else sees me as average. I'm tired of the warped vision I have of myself and the unrealistic expectations I place on my body every day. It gets up at 5 in the morning to run and spin and cycle and then I force it to drink caffeine so that I can stay awake for the next eight hours of work and subsequent hours of softball lessons, all while chasing around my toddler, trying to get dinner on the table and attempting to keep the household in a state of tolerable.

And after all that, I make my body stay up until 11 p.m. to obsess over the mountains of tasks I didn't accomplish that day, all the ways I failed to execute my responsibilities *perfectly* and of course, bash the way it looks a little more.

I'm tired of working out five days a week and obsessing over every last bite of food that goes into my mouth (whether it was a salad or 19 cupcakes) to simply remain a stuck-in-the-middle woman. I thought people who worked out and watched what they ate turned into slender, deer-like creatures, not overworked, overtired, over bitchy moms, wives and friends with body complexes and an even bigger appetite.

And you know what I'm even more tired of listening to? All us "real women" saying that "real women have curves." You know what "real women" have?

They have confidence. And health. And energy. And vitality. And the ability to rock a tube top, miniskirt, too-tall heels or a big ole' puffy snow suit and still feel sexy. That's what a "real woman" is. She's not skinny and she's not curvy and she's not a size two or 12, she's a person who looks at her body in the mirror and loves every last damn part of it, whether it's decorated with wrinkles, cellulite, toned muscles or small boobs.

And do you know what I'm even more, more, more tired of? Myself. Myself for being disappointed with what I see every time I look in the mirror. My body has seen nearly 20 years of softball (more than half of those spent as a pitcher), it's been through four years of college (and probably a few more drinking binges and fried food nights than it should), it's been through 20 years of eating like garbage and six of finally seeing the light and going vegan, it's been through not only the conception of a child, but the carrying, birthing and subsidizing of one. And you know what else? It's been through at least 15 years of me hating it, degrading it, berating it, abusing it and telling it it's not good enough. The fact that it's able to wake up every day and continue to go on despite my constant criticism and patronizing is a freaking miracle. 

I'm tired of being told to love my body. Trust me, I want nothing more than to love my body, but after more than a decade of being told that it's not "pretty" by myself, ex boyfriends, girls, television, society in general, it's not something that you can just wake up and mean. I'm especially tired of my skinny, in-shape friends telling me to love my body. It must be easy to love something that catty, high fashion magazines deem gorgeous (and apparently most of America because we continue to allow it, follow it and practice it despite cries of 'we don't really like skinny girls, that's just the media.') If it was really just the media, wouldn't our rebuttal of too-skinny girls and silicone-filled women have been heard by now and the appropriate actions taken? No, most of us like our women skinny, we just don't want to admit it. We say we like them shapely and "normal" and "healthy" and then we continue to buy and contribute to the very monster churning out all those not normal, not healthy, not shapely women.

But I'm not blaming the media. It's not their fault that I have low body esteem. Ultimately, I'm the one who has allowed myself to fall into the trap of judging my womanhood, my confidence, my beauty based on the glaring 10 and 12 my pants read, the digits on a scale, the amount of flesh I can grab on my arm, the lack of hip bones jutting out of my skin like they might stab though at any moment. I'm the one who decided to feed into the skinny monster, and unfortunately, I'm the only one who can pull myself out now.

It doesn't matter that I have a husband who tells me I'm beautiful. Friends who tell me not to call myself fat and family members that tell me I'm average. It doesn't matter if a guy hits on me when I'm out with my friends, if a heavier-than-me-woman tells me I'm an asshole for thinking I'm fat or if a family member tells me I'm looking thinner. The only thing that matters is the person looking back at me in the mirror, the one that makes me feel guilty for not running those extra laps, for not doing hours of crunches and ab exercises a night and the one that even on a skinny day, finds another imperfection to pick at, whether it's a blemish on my face, a slightly grown-out blonde root, my gangly legs or my size nine feet.

I tell myself I'll feel beautiful if I can lose 30 pounds, if I can wear size six pants, if I can squeeze my feet into a size eight, over-the-top high heel, have the perfect amount of blonde highlights and be the right combination of sexy and cute for men and pretty, but not threatening for women. I tell myself I want to be beautiful for all these people, but at the end of the day, even if I truly was all these things to all these people, I still wouldn't be beautiful enough for me. 

And as if the body-loathing isn't enough, what I am the most tired of is how terrible I feel for feeling this way. For how ashamed I feel for being so vain and shallow. For how embarrassed I am to have allowed my own self-worth be based solely on measurements and pounds. For having a little girl who I think is the most amazing, smart, funny, beautiful creature in all the world and knowing that because I have all these body-hating issues, she's twice as likely to hate her own as well.

I want to be the confident, passionate, smart, witty, beautiful, talented woman and mother that my husband and daughter deserve to have; the one they often think that I am. I want to teach my daughter that it's not the size of your pants or the number on a scale that makes you a good person, because I truly believe that.

But after years of telling myself none of those things were good enough, I can't help but wonder if I can save myself in time to save her. 

I want to be the confident, passionate, smart, witty, beautiful, talented woman and mother that others think I am.

But first, I have to let myself accept and see that I'm all those things.

3.23.2012

And the Team Lorax Captain is ...

Mad thanks to every single one of you that entered, whether it was by fanning the blog or tweeting your hearts out on Twitter! I hope you'll stick around now that the giveaway is over ... especially because there are big things planned for Chubby Vegan Mom and her clan!

Enough with the blabbering.

The winner of a text-copy of The Lorax, the movie soundtrack AND the $25 VISA gift card is ...

Jess S and her cloth-diapering clan!

Jess S tweeted and left a comment on the blog stating "Team lorax is an AWESOME concept. We all need to be a little more conscientious about what were leaving for our future kids. Were a cloth diaper family and it amazes me how easy it is and how few people even give it a change. I think being a part of team lorax is being open to new ideas too"

Congratulations! Check your email shortly for details!

Stick around ... there's more fun to come at CVM!

3.08.2012

No ifs, ands or buts, this is a giveaway for EVERYONE!

At the far end of town, where the Grickle-grass grows and the wind smells slow-and-sour when it blows and no birds ever sing excepting old crows ... is the Street of the Lifted Lorax.
And deep in the Grickle-grass, some people say, if you look deep enough you can still see, today, where the Lorax once stood, just as long as it could, before somebody lifted the Lorax away.
What was the Lorax?
And why was it there?
And why was it lifted and taken somewhere from the far end of town where the Grickle-grass grows?
The old Once-ler still lives here. Ask him. He knows. You won't see the Once-ler. Don't knock at his door. He stays in his Lerkim on top of his store. He lurks in his Lerkim, cold under the roof, where he makes his own clothes out of miff-muffered moof.
And on special dank midnights in August, he peeks out of the shutters and sometimes he speaks and tells how the Lorax was lifted away.
He'll tell you, perhaps...
if you're willing to pay.

Are you willing to pay? Well, guess what friends, you don't have to! This giveaway is 100 percent free and 100 perfect fun for everyone! Not a vegan? No worries! Not a cook? No worries! Hate stupid giveaways? No worries! 

In honor of the release of movie "The Lorax" AND in honor of the fact that I like giving things to my awesome fans, I'm going to giveaway a Lorax care package to one lucky follower! Included in this care package will be a good, ole-fashioned book version of "The Lorax," the soundtrack from the movie (which in case you missed it has some seriously awesome songs on it, check out the lyrics from my favorite here) AND a $25 Visa gift card so you can take your favorite person out to see ... you guessed it "The Lorax." If you've already seen it then you can just use it on something delicious or fun, I won't tell! I'm seriously encouraging everyone to see this movie though, it's going to knock your socks off AND make you want to be kinder to our Earth (what could be bad about that)!

Entering is simple! Become a follower of Chubby Vegan Mom (all you have to do is click that easy-peasy 'Follow' button you see located at the top of the right column) and then sign up using your Gmail, Yahoo, Twitter or AIM account! Once you've become a fan, simply leave a comment on this blog explaining why YOU are Team Lorax!

Already a follower (thank you!) or want to enter more after becoming one? Simply become a fan of Chubby Vegan Mom on Twitter and the (then tweet this to your tweeps)! Are you on Team #Lorax? Enter to #win a copy of Seuss' The Lorax, a soundtrack to the movie AND a $25 #Visa card! Visit http://www.chubbyveganmom.com/2012/03/no-ifs-ands-or-buts-this-is-giveaway.html

A winner will be chosen using random.org and will be announced Friday, March 23! Please make sure there is an email attached to your account so I can notify you to get possible shipping information. Or, leave your email in your comment if you don't have one associated to your account.

 Rock on Chubby Vegan Mom peeps! (That's right, I said peeps!)

Above excerpt taken from Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax."

3.06.2012

Are you clueless or just in denial?

Chubby Vegan Dad is a huge Dr. Seuss fan.

Like when we found out we were expecting our first child, we ran out and bought a giant volume of Dr. Seuss stories, in addition to the separate books as well because you can't have enough Seuss in your life.

And after reading a different Seuss story to our growing Pearyn every night (even before she was a member of the outside world), one in particular started to grow on Chubby Vegan Dad - "The Lorax."
This is my inspiration.

We're not talking about a normal love here either. We're talking he's so impressed with the story and its meaning that we had a close friend of ours draw up a tattoo for him. (A tattoo he's wanted for more than two years now and will FINALLY be getting on Thursday).

So see folks, we were a Lorax-loving, chubby vegan clan long before the movie was even a thought. We didn't need Taylor Swift and Danny Devito to tell us what was right in front of our faces:

We're seriously destroying our world.

Not in a kind-of or sort-of way, but in a very real, very damaging, not-just-about-a-couple-Truffula-trees kind of way.

As in, we're not leaving it better off for the children to inhabit it after us; in fact, we seem to be doing everything in our power to obliterate it. Before we know it our children's children will be living in a world of fake, plastic blow-up plants and won't have any idea what a "season" is, they'll just know hot and hotter.

Maybe you think I'm being dramatic or maybe I think you're just not being dramatic enough. 

We're not just talking about a few places here and there, we're talking about entire species of wildlife being wiped out because we need bigger and better condos and resorts. We're talking about breeding millions upon millions of animals solely for the purpose of injecting them with a bunch of shit and then slaughtering them before they have a chance to actually live. Can something be alive when it's never been free or even spent a day truly living?
If not for her, then who?

We're an absolutely atrocious society if you really think about it. We recycle a few plastic bottles a week and we pat ourselves on the back. We're doing everything we can right? I mean, we're driving hybrids now and some of us even purchase cage-free eggs, woo hoo, we should get a medal for being so environmentally friendly!

What's worse is that despite being a "kids" movie, "The Lorax" did an excellent job of showing us exactly what happens when our desire for consumerism, greed and pretty things gets in the way of what's right. My husband and I have always been able to find some respect for hunters out there who do it not for the kill, but to feed their families for weeks to come; to use the fur for warmth and clothing. In my opinion, if you are able to actually kill something, skin it and cook it yourself, you've earned the right to eat it. I'm not saying I agree (personally, I don't think meat has a necessary place in our diets), but I am saying that I couldn't kill an animal and therefore, I'll never feel OK about eating it. 

I think most people who eat their cheeseburgers and hot dogs turn a blind eye to the suffering that was involved in the production of said food. And I'm sorry, but if you can't own up to the cruelty you're contributing to, then maybe you should put the damn hot dog down.

I didn't go vegan because I hated the way meat tasted. I don't cloth diaper because I enjoy sticking my hand in the toilet and I don't buy purses and shoes made out of recycled bicycle tires because it's trendy. I do these things because I owe it to my daughter and to her daughter and to her daughter's daughter. I owe it to my daughter's future best friend. I want there to be something organic and wonderful left for her to grow up with, for her children to grow up with, and so I sacrifice. I don't eat cheeseburgers. I throw my daughters rinsed-off, poopy diapers into our energy-saving washer. And I buy recycled goods. I do it because even though other ways might be easier, it doesn't make them right.

The problem with the movie "The Lorax" is that I'm not sure it resonated with most people. I think most got a few good laughs out of it, thought to themselves "how terrible it must be to live in a world with no trees" and then shoved some more milk-saturated buttered popcorn into their mouths and called it a day. I on the other hand, couldn't stop thinking about how eerily close the song "How Bad Can I Be" hit home.

How bad can I be?
I'm just doing what comes naturally
How bad can I be?
I'm just following my destiny
How bad can I be?
I'm just doing what comes naturally
How bad can I be?
How bad can I possibly be?

Well there's a principle of nature (principle of nature)
That almost every creature knows
Called survival of the fittest (survival of the fittest)
And check it this is how it goes
The animal that eats has got to scratch and fight
And claw and bite and punch
And the animal that doesn't well the animal that doesn't
Winds up someone else's l-l-lunch (lunch lunch lunch lunch lunch)
I'm just sayin'

There's a principle in business (principle in buisness)
That everybody knows is sound
It says the people with the money (people with the money)
Make this ever loving world go 'round
So I'm biggering my company
I'm biggering my factory
I'm biggering my corporate sign
Everybody out there can take care of yours
And me? I'll take care of mine mine mine mine mine (shake that bottom line)

So it's your turn friends, how bad CAN it be?