Running inspired

God help me, I went for a run this morning.

look, I'm wearing running pants! WHO AM I EVEN??

I HATE running. I hate exercise in general.  The outdoors and I do not get along, unless I'm floating in water somewhere with a frozen boozy beverage awaiting me on the lanai. Those who know me (and let's face it, you're probably not reading this if you don't know me), know that I am not a fan of exertion.

And yet.  AND YET. I RAN.  

And I actually ran-ran, all the way to the end of my street (maybe 1/2 mile?), walked back up the hill a bit because let's not go too crazy here people, and then RAN AGAIN to the park and around the loop.  

Why, you ask?   My friend Kari posted this article from Runners World this am. And damn if Mirna Valerio's story isn't going to a light a fire a hell of a lot more than some bullshit thinspo on Pinterest. I will be following her blog, Fat Girl Running from now on, for damn sure. 

It's not just because I'm going to turn 40 this year, though that's part of it.  My family history of diabetes and weight struggles doesn't help my natural inclination to laze about.  I've struggled with my weight for pretty much my entire life, and my natural inclination is to gain weight, not lose it. While diet can control a lot of it for me, at almost-40 I'm far far less likely to subsist on sugar free jello, cool whip free, and popcorn, they way I did when I was at my skinniest.  

And the almost-40 part is actually a boon, because I am far more comfortable in my own skin than I ever was when I was younger. Despite always being outwardly relatively self-confident (except, ugh, teenage years), 20 years ago I would have been MORTIFIED to go out and exercise where people could SEE me.  Because yet another fat girl sweating in public, taking up space, daring to do what the THIN girls do.  (Not really, but you see the thought process). 

I still don't believe the platitude that "no, no one's watching you, really!"  because that's bullshit. Bullshit spread by the non-fat and parents of self conscious teenagers.  People ARE looking.  And yeah, some are judging.  It's one thing a big girl learns early: people watch the big girls, people judge the big girls, and people feel free to share their comments on you.

But the biggest difference is that now?  I got zero fucks to give y'all.  Want a show, looky loos? I GOT ONE RIGHT HERE. MY FACE VS. A BEET: CAN YOU SPOT THE DIFFERENCE?

I will say, a decent outfit helps. A decent outfit being not cocooning myself in heavy, stretched out shitty cotton.  I mean, a solid sports bra is a literal requirement, but the rest of the gear helps too. So now I had:

  • a good sports bra that comes in my size (F, by the way.  Good luck finding that at Sports Authority, fuckers.) I've since bought two, in case they discontinue it. I am paranoid. 
  • athletic leggings that weren't a vain attempt of let's-hide-the-big-girl-in-a-sack (P.S. Decent plus size workout wear options are few and far between. Don't even get me started on attempting to find tennis whites not in size XS. I'm damn lucky I have no ass and can fit into Athleta's XL pants).
  •  a pair of running sneakers that were wide enough not to make my feet get pins and needles after 15 minutes of torturing them. 

And the capper? It wasn't eleventy billion degrees and sweltering outside. 

I mean, it still took me over an hour to prep for what wound up being 40 minutes outside (I count my stopping for food after as well), cause I had to find my ipod, charge my ipod, fiddle with the playlist and delete some weird shit I'd put on there, sync my ipod, decide maybe to listen to a podcast instead?, download a bunch of podcasts, revise that plan, and tweak the playlist some more (I confused that Budapest song with Barcelona, and realized it just in time but couldn't think of Budapest, so was like, hm Euro city with a B.... Belfast? Belgrade?  Then I figured it out.).  Then which water bottle to bring?  (note: carrying a water bottle while running hurts my shoulders but I need to drink the water so I don't pass out and die on the curb.  Solutions, runner friends?)

Red! and Green! and cleavage!

Now I'm drinking green juice (what, I like celery and cucumber!), sweaty and gross after a run, outside, in SUNLIGHT. I'm even debating another tennis lesson.

Jesus, I don't even know who I am anymore.

Everyone deserves better girl heroes. EVERYONE.

Fair warning, there's some cursing involved here.

I am the parent to two boys. One bigger, one still wee.  My oldest just fell in LOVE with Big Hero 6, and I don't blame him.  It features a multi-racial, diverse case of scientists and engineers of both genders.  The two female members of the six are crucial cast members and are not just one-dimensional fighty tough-girl "kick ass" heroines--they are well drawn, multi faceted characters and are key to the plot. 

Also, Beymax calls the cat a "furry baby".  Which, yes, they are. Bitchy furry babies, actually.  (Scott Asdit's voice acting as Beymax is killer by the by.)

Now, go read this at Pigtail Pals and Ballcap Buddys, about how a mom went to go make her daughter something out of licensed Big Hero 6 fabric, only to find that the fabric only featured the boy characters from the movie.  Then she wrote to the fabric company to register her issues.  The company's licensing manager (a woman) wrote back.

Disney’s target audience for Big Hero 6 is boys 5-12 and secondary are girls 5-12 and teens.  Since this is geared toward boys, we chose to focus either on the main characters (in this case Baymax and Hiro), or on just the boy characters.  We have found boys do not want girl characters on their things (eeeww girls! Yuck! Haha). Should Big Hero 6 continue to resonate in the market place I think you will begin to see more product and even fabric with all the characters including the female characters.


Oh, look, awesome girl characters in a giant hit! Whooo! And ZERO merch for them because, and I quote from the licensing director at the fabric company's letter in the article: "eeew, girls, yuck! Haha."

I mean SERIOUSLY. SHE WROTE THAT. As a joke or not, a grown up professional--a grown up WOMAN--wrote that.  In a business letter.  A BUSINESS LETTER.

Word, Joan Holloway. WORD. (PS. Don't burn anything down.)

Here I was, so impressed with Big Hero 6 for it's approach to science and gender for kids. Way to fuck it up, licensor! Way to fuck it up.

And it's not just Big Hero 6. Let's look at Paw Patrol, shall we? Oh hey, a token girl character who wears pink.  Just one, mind you. Just one. Out of five.  Sure, there's a prominent human girl character, and thankfully she's not the human character who is constantly getting into scrapes (that one kid, I can't with that kid. There are only so many times I can turn to mine and be like, "for real, DO NOT DO ANYTHING HE DOES, EVER"). They couldn't have picked any other dog and made it female? I'm not asking you to really mess with your viewership Nick Jr, and make Rubble, the building bulldog a girl (though how awesome would that be?)  I'd be cool with the recycling dog, whatever his name is, being a girl.  2 girls, 3 boys. No one can complain about that?

Oh and my oldest little is the one who noticed there was only one girl dog.   He's six. 

 And do not get me started on Disney missing the effing boat--a historically profitable one, no less!--by failing to market the shit out of Princess Leia. COME ON. You, Disney, CREATED the princess business, and yet you fail to exploit the known entity of Princess Leia.  And friends, Leia is a real princess.  She's not a princess in the fudged "main female character in a cartoon by Disney".  What gets me, is that Lucas has ALREADY PROVEN how much bank a corporation can rake in with Leia merch, and yet Disney has still failed to do it.  Why are you leaving buckets of money on the table, dummies?

I am so sick of this kind of approach to merch. It is  sexist and stupid, and worse, it's bad business. I have money to spend, as do parents of girls. And  oh wait, I am a woman. 

I have two boys--I WILL BUY THEM ALL THE LEIA MERCH IN THE WORLD.  I played with Star Wars figures, nostalgia is powerful. I AM YOUR MARKET, MORONS. Target me, and lo, you will have all the monies from me.  Ignore me at your peril. For reals. Because I hold grudges.

And when my oldest came to me on the playground, indignant that a friend of his called him a girl as an insult, I was like, "yeah, so? What's wrong with being a girl?"  He was so mad, you guys.  But I am not buying into that shit, and I am NOT propagating that shit with my kids.  DAMN THE MAN. 

A related digression: the dumbass ads on tv for household products that depict dads as morons? My husband is an awesome parent who does the laundry, and we will both RAIN HELLFIRE upon those commercials and brands that depict him and his kind as HURF DURF CLEAN CLOTHES IS FOR THE WIMMIN.  And those depicting competent, caring fathers parenting their children and playing cowgirl with them? TAKE MY MONEY, PLEASE. (Unless you're Tide, because I don't like your scent. Sorry, yo.  But nice work on the ads!)

(Though don't try to enlist me in your war against Lego Friends. I like them. They can do better on the advert and marketing strategy, but I like the actual product. I like the idea of Legos in colors that may be more appealing to the population of girls who aren't already into Legos.  I did not love Legos as a child because I did not like the primary colors or the shape of minifigs.)


C'mon people, you should know this already.

I posted this on facebook, but I think it deserves saying publicly as well:

 Twitter is PUBLIC.  Anyone can read it, and anyone can search it, and anyone can call you on the carpet for what you say.  That's what PUBLIC means.  If you don't want people or companies to search a PUBLIC forum and see what you say about whatever, then lock down your feed or, better yet, don't post anything. You have no reasonable expectation of "private conversations" when you post PUBLICLY to social media.  BY DEFINITION.

So, teenagers and middle aged folks up in arms about corporations looking at their twitter feeds  and anyone who doesn't really get social media, once and for all: If you don't want your privacy "invaded" by being held accountable for your tweets, DON'T TWEET.

Free speech does not mean that you have the right to post online or to social media without judgment or consequences. (just ask Dooce. Hey-oh, rimshot!) The first amendment protects your right to free speech: it says that you can say all the dumb shit you want (within reason, see the "fire in a crowded theater" supreme court case) and you won't be tossed in jail, NOT that you won't be suspended from school or fired from your job or roundly mocked. You have the right to say what you want, I have the right to think you're a dumbass, and vice versa. Judge away! That's what the internet is for!

Also, sweet peas, the internet is forever.  Even if it's deleted, it's still out there somewhere.  Ignorance or misunderstanding is not an excuse and not getting the internet and whinging about how you're a special snowflake who didn't know and therefore deserves a pass serves no one well. Privacy controls or self control.  Your pick.

(All that said? Thank god there was no internet when I was a teenager.  I can't only imagine the stupid shit I would have posted/said/did. )