Today’s Resource: Sleep

Sleep is a great resource. We don’t appreciate it enough. Not getting enough sleep can literally kill you, but if it doesn’t get that bad, it can cause a host of other issues. Shall I be your evidence?

My dentist reminded me yesterday that I’m grinding my teeth (likely when I sleep), which messed up the placement of a crown on my tooth. After a few years of her trying to get me to do a sleep test, I actually had one scheduled that same day. I’ve never heard my dentist sound so pleased.

I did the sleep test last night. Hated it. Didn’t sleep well (oh, the data they’re going to get from me). I woke up around six something, took off the contraption, then went back to sleep. I didn’t wake up until 11 a.m., but I had a dermatology appointment at noon. However, I had to fill out a COVID screening, and I had to be honest that I was experiencing fatigue, and that required me to reschedule. (But I’m ALWAYS experiencing fatigue because I don’t sleep healthily.)

Not only did shitty sleep cause me to go to the dentist, but it also required me to reschedule a different appointment.

And that’s not even getting into my mad need for sugar and carbs because I never have enough energy to get through the day, and how that caused me to be pre-diabetic at my last doctor’s appointment.

Y’all. I’m pretty sure sleep is the meaning of life.

Preview: Dix in a Bag (NSFW)

I’d like to introduce Dix. Dix the Destroyer from Geeky Sex Toys.

Disclaimer: The Geeky Sex Toy link is an affiliate link. I receive 10 percent from each sale when that link is used. This, however, does not alter my opinion of their products. If I review a product, it will be 100 percent honest because that’s how I roll. But I’m not the only one who gets perks! You can use the code WHOLEVIBE5 when you check out for a 5 percent discount!

Dix the Destroyer

I fell in love with Geeky Sex Toys a year or so ago, but I’d never purchased anything from them for myself. I bought a gift for a friend, and she told me the quality was outstanding, so I knew I’d buy something eventually. I’d had my eye on Dix for months, but I couldn’t convince myself. See . . . it’s large. Like . . . comically. But I was curious, and I loved the look, so I finally bought it.

A review is on its way eventually, but for now, I can vouch for Geeky Sex Toys. The quality on this is excellent. It’s 100 percent silicone. This one is a softer choice, but others are more firm. There’s no suction cup, sadly, but it is hand-painted and well-crafted.

More soon!

Is Body Justice a Thing?

Are you thinking, “Is body justice even a thing?” To which I say, “kinda.” Body justice is about reclamation to me, and I want to explore that.

Usually, we see these terms, and each offers great help to those of us with body image struggles:

  • Body positivity: Feeling good about our bodies no matter what
  • Body neutrality: Feeling neither good nor bad about our bodies
  • Body acceptance: Understanding our bodies and letting them be what they are
  • Body tolerance: Accepting that our bodies are what they are, and while we may not feel enthusiastic, we’ve at least made peace

The body positivity movement started with Black women, but it has become co-opted by White women, specifically, influencers who are often silent about racism or do not credit the origins of the movement. The body positive posts of Black and Brown women are often overrun with hateful comments. There’s also something infuriating about watching thin women arch their backs to look fat or posting photos of their rolls when they’re sitting and so on. It’s not that these women lack their own, legitimate body issues, and my goal is not to shame them. Instead, it’s to point out how the movement is used to ignore the Black women and fat women who started it. It’s more a condemnation of the way social media works, pits women against one another, and encourages those who meet a certain aesthetic to misappropriate others’ bodies. After all, I don’t have to arch my back to get a belly or bend over for rolls. But if I post those truths, I always run the risk of getting fatphobic hatred.

My actual, unedited, poorly lit fatness without any editing or touch-up to my spotty, flawed skin.

I don’t know how we got to the point where we have to reclaim body positivity, an effort designed to reclaim our bodies, but we’re now reclaiming the reclaimed in the name of body justice.

What are your thoughts on this?

I’ll be exploring more of what body justice means to me tomorrow, and I’ll look at the sociology behind it all.

How to Rethink Body Movement

Exercise is body movement. Our bodies need not conform to the fitness industry or diet culture. We can keep it simple:

  • Dance: Nothing formal. Put on that song that makes you move, and move to it even if you’re sitting. My choice: Area by Magnus the Magnus from the iPhone ad.
  • Wiggle: Sometimes, I just wiggle like the Shaq gif.
  • Wave: My friend moves in waves, and it’s beautiful. I had an anxiety attack the other night, got out of bed, sat on my ottoman, and just moved my arms in a Michelle-inspired way.
  • Stretch: I don’t mean follow that list of stretches trainers show you. Hell, even those graphics are centered on fit White dudes. I mean stretch whatever part of your body feels tight.
  • Rest: Maybe your body needs rest over movement. We undervalue rest.

How will you move when you’re ready? Let me know in the comments!

Ten Myths and Rants about Exercise

If you’ve ever been frustrated with exercise, it might be because the fitness and diet industries are full of shit. Here’s my take. You might identify with some of this or think of additional myths. Share your thoughts in the comments!

Myth 1: Exercise is easy.

It fucking isn’t. Y’all don’t get to say, “No pain, no gain,” then tell me it’s easy.

Myth 2: If it’s not easy at first, it gets easier.

So, it’s easy, but it’s not, but it gets easier. But it doesn’t. Like . . . I see people in incredible shape making pained faces as they work out. They look like they’re in agony. That’s easier? If it’s still agony for the fittest of people, HOW DO YOU THINK IT FEELS FOR EVERYONE ELSE?

I love that this the source of this links to a body building website. You’re not helping your own cause. Source: https://gph.is/g/4DA8Gxn

Myth 3: You’ll find the right exercise for you.

Do tell. I’ve tried walking, water jogging, running, treadmills, weight lifting, yoga, ellipticals, team sports, bowling, body weight exercises, yard work, house cleaning, dance, and physical therapy. Everything else feels too much for my body. I’ve yet to find anything I enjoy enough to do regularly. But I’m sure you have solutions.

Myth 4: You just need discipline.

I taught as many as eight college courses at one time, but six was my usual. I have three college degrees and a graduate certificate. I raised my credit score hundreds of points over several years. I’ve self-taught marketing, most social media platforms, and investing. I tracked my calories almost every day for ten years. Yeah. Discipline is my problem.

Source: https://gph.is/g/EqPgAR4

Myth 5: Walking is the easiest exercise.

No. It’s not. First of all, if you have a disability, WALKING MIGHT NOT BE AN OPTION. Second of all, there’s a foot condition that runs in my dad’s family that makes longer walks excruciating. We don’t know what it is. But guess what? I won that lottery! Mine kicked in way younger than anyone else. Walking hurts. I know. I’ve tried. A lot. It takes me several months, the perfect shoes, and a lot of patience to get to a painless walk. And then there’s the anxiety of walking in public as a Brown, fat woman. And the anxiety of walking alone. Just stop.

Myth 6: No pain, no gain.

I’m getting mixed messages here. But beyond that, people started telling me in my 30s that exercise shouldn’t hurt, SO WHICH IS IT?!

Myth 7: If exercise hurts, see your doctor.

lolololol! Yeah, I’ve done that too. The fatphobic medical industry has three solutions: meds, more exercise, and shrugging.

Source: GIS for “doctor shrug”

Myth 8: No one at the gym is judging you.

Bullshit. No one at the gym is judging you to your face. I’ve seen the looks. When I was running at a local Y, there was a window between the walking track and the weight room (why). You better believe I caught people staring at me. I know that quick look away means.

Myth 9: You’re just not trying hard enough.

This is motivating. Thank you. My life is now changed forever.

Myth 10: You’re lazy.

This ↓

Exercise Is Easy and Other Lies

Exercise makes me cry. I don’t mean that in a funny way. I’m serious. It specifically makes me cry to think about my relationship with my body and the pain associated with moving. It’s the primary reason I sought out therapy.

Society: That’s just because you haven’t found the right thing for you yet!

People make working out sound so simple.

Society: Just move! Just go for a walk! Just 30 minutes a day! Just!

I used to do that. I used to run three days a week in my late 30s. People said it would get easier, that I’d experience a runner’s high. It never got easier. I never got the high. I always ended up with numb feet, and I wanted to sleep for the rest of the day.

Society: You should go see your doctor! That’s not normal!

Now, walking up and down my stairs brings me pain because my hip flexors–no matter how much I stretch–are always tight. Going up my stairs takes ten seconds. You want me to go through agony for 30 minutes a day like it’s no big deal?

Society: It’s because you don’t move enough! It’ll get better!

I’m not physically disabled as far as I know, yet the fitness industry seems to think we all have the same bodies that are capable of anything society deems normal. Mine isn’t geared for normal. Beyond that, I have deep, emotional and mental blocks about movement and my body, as evidenced by my intro.

Society: Oh, it’s not that bad! Maybe you’re too fat.

I remember hating physical education as far back as second grade. They wanted us to play basketball with all the other kids in the class. These are the same kids who wouldn’t hesitate to throw a ball at me because they thought it was funny. I wasn’t coordinated (I’m still not), and catching a ball caused a sudden rise of anxiety. I wasn’t athletic. I’ve never been athletic. Both of my parents were active in their younger years, and my dad still is, so I don’t know what happened to me. It always feels like a shortcoming. It always feels like a failure.

Society: Are you sure you aren’t just lazy?

So, this week, I’m going to explore body movement, exercise, working out, and some of the myths surrounding it. Because I’m tired of being treated as broken all because my body doesn’t operate the way our fatphobic society thinks it should.

Society: Geez, you’re full of excuses, aren’t you?

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