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Sunday, July 27, 2014


The Caltrain delivered me to San Francisco and now I'm never leaving. The weather is glorious. The buildings are beautiful. The streets are terrifying. And the people are as diverse as they come.

I don't have any energy left to give you a detailed description of what I did today, but it definitely included shrimp alfredo, wharves, shiny silver people, lemonade, jellyfish, boats, seaweed, and cable cars.

I have toenail polish that says "I had all the fun swimming this weekend." (P.S. That dress can be found here and I wear it at least once a week.)

So museums are one of my mostest favorite things in the whole world; natural history museums are near the top of the list, but any building filled with fascinating things will do. I ALSO love jellyfish. Hard. Luckily I got to do and see both today... I was basically skipping with joy.

I also love Madame Tussaud's... as in, I've been to 4 out of the 6 in the USA several times.The San Francisco location? Just as great as the others. Actually maybe better, since it had Adele.

I was lucky enough to get a chance to share exactly how I felt about Facebook's bullying policies with Mark Zuckerberg, but he never responded. Just smiled and smiled. Ignored my logical and well expressed complaints like I never said them. Typical.

^ This is also true. Sorry babe.

So happy to slip off into dream land and then wake up for brunch with the stunning Denise Jolly, explore more of the city and THEN have a dinner with YOU GUYS! If you're in the San Francisco area and want to join in on the fun and get a hug, RSVP here.

What the fuck did YOU do today? Tell me all about it. I'm serious.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


(All photos by Virgie Tovar!)

Thanks for all your comments yesterday! I love being able to talk openly and honestly and then to get feedback from you! The good news is that I was able to have great day at the conference! I decided to stop trying to "get my money's worth" and do whatever the fuck I wanted. Which included going to breakfast, skipping out early for a nap, catching lunch and a few speakers, meeting Khloe Kardashian, meeting kick ass fans, and going swimming with Virgie. It was fucking wonderful. It's amazing what happens when you let go of "shoulds"!

Now, I wanna be clear: I love BlogHer... like the actual internet presence and community. I love that they create a giant platform for women's voices to be heard and celebrated. THIS is totally what I believe in. The conference? Just wasn't my jam.


I got to rock this dress (it will come back!) from eShakti with some bright ass lipstick and had a LOT of fun with it. While the dress is out or stock, I recommend that you try this blue one, this red one and THIS CONFETTI ONE!  If you're unfamiliar with them, they have adorable dresses in 0-36 that you then customize to fit your body and preferences! I didn't need to change the size (I went for an 18) but I did customize the skirt. Above the knee is MY FAVORITE. Uh, also, I just found out their having a 70% off sale... get it!

Here's what else happened today:

Virgie rocked her sexxxy fatkini today. We visited a booth with a "Magic Mirror" where you look into it, and someone one the other side talks to you. They give you genuine compliments and empowering messages as you look at your reflection. SO powerful. Khloe and I fitting together like puzzle pieces. Meeting readers and signing boobs! Kerry Washington was even more adorable in real life. And Virgie nabbed us some "fried dough" ice cream. It was delicious.

And now tonight, I'm eating a burger in bed and watching The Muppet Movie: Most Wanted. Which is exactly what I want to be doing. Tomorrow is San Francisco and I'm SO EXCITED.

How are you?

Friday, July 25, 2014


Guys, I think I might be doing the BlogHer Conference thing wrong.

So, this is my first year ever, and I wasn't sure exactly what to expect, but what I did conjure up... was nothing like this. I went to breakfast with an open heart and mind and left in the afternoon while throwing a temper tantrum. Where did it all go wrong? Well, there are a few problematic areas:

1.) I came for high caliber education. Like, the shit you can't find all over the internet. I'm going to be expanding my work soon (YAY!) and I thought that this would be the perfect way to gather some information that isn't readily available on the web. I was especially excited for the two classes today which were about monetizing your blog in extra special ways and then also a class about crowd funding. I may be exaggerating slightly, but essentially, today I learned "Video is important!" and "Crowd funding exists!" Two things I was already well aware of. There was no "outside the box" monetizing tip and no "3 Things Every Successful Kickstarter Has," and that would have been really nice to hear.

2.) I'm an awkward middle child. I'm not just starting a blog, but I'm also not the almighty Bloggess... yet. It seems like if I were the first I would be learning everything, and if I were the latter I would be teaching everything. So where exactly are the middle children supposed to go, again? I have a lot to learn about blogging, and I'd like to learn it at a blogging conference goddamnit.

3.) I'm not actually here to "network" in the way that others are. So, I tried this social experiment the other day where I only offered information about myself when I was asked. Guys, I barely said a word. The ladies here are out to share their name and blog and story and I totally understand/get that, but I'm just not invested in this area. You've probably heard of me or seen my images at some point, and if you haven't that's okay. Now where are those high caliber classes again?!?!?!

4.) I came alone. While this isn't actually a bad thing, and I've been fortunate to meet up with some awesome friends while here, it's a little tricky navigating groups of girls who know each other really well. I actually love doing things solo (traveling, brunch, movies, etc) but being on my own at this particular conference leaves me feeling less inclined to join in on things that already take guts or energy. My point: if I was to come again, bringing a friend wouldn't be a terrible idea.

I've also found myself waffling about joining in on the nighttime festivities. "No" because I'm not terribly interested but also "Yes" because I'm worried that I'll miss THE ONE AWESOME THING that happened.

Don't misunderstand: I'm definitely not being that person that's all "Everything everyone else does is wrong!" but I'm also not going to say that it's life changing... if it's not. Y'all know me better than that. C'mon.

BUT WAIT. ALL IS NOT LOST.  Here is what I AM  doing right:

First and foremost, I rocked my tiger t-shirt dress real hard today. That was all of the right. (P.S. I found this in a vintage shop in Brooklyn, so I don't know where to get another... BUT I found this cute one that goes up to 2x if that helps...)

Then I listened to The Bloggess speak which, to put it simply... was wonderful. I adore honesty and candor more than you know. Maybe the keynotes are where its at? In the afternoon I went to a bakery with the fucking incredible Virgie and Chrystal and talked about body love type events. I also had a chance to hang with the GORGEOUS CeCe of Plus Size Princess and Chastity of Garner Style. And THEN I made weird faces in the tiny pool. It was exactly what I needed. Not pictured: I drank lots of delicious coffee and made mental notes on what to do/not to do for the Body Love Conference.

Ladies and gents, I bring my BlogHer conundrum to you with trust and respect.
I'm honestly wondering: what am I doing wrong?

Have you been to a BlogHer conference? Did you have a similar experience, or something different? What am I missing? What should I be looking for? Where do I go? Who do I see? What did you do to make it a worthwhile experience? I have another day left and I'd love to hear your advice. Shout it at me babes!

Thursday, July 24, 2014


I'm smirking because I'm wearing red shorts and I'm really pleased with myself.
I'm also smirking because I can.


And I'm pretty thrilled about it! I'm here for the 2014 BlogHer Conference which should be a really great way for me to learn all the tips and tricks I need to build an EVIL MILITANT  BAKER EMPIRE MWAHAHAHAH. 
Shit guys, I'm tired and saying weird things.

I spent the day in downtown San Jose and it was simply wonderful. Breezy, and lined with bakeries, cathedrals, and art museums. Just the way I like my downtowns!
Of course, I thought very carefully about what I wanted to wear the first day here (big life decisions, people) and I went for broke with my favorite outfit in my suitcase. Which, strangely enough, wasn't a dress but rather a SHORTS ensemble.

I think the people in my life can count on one hand how many times they've seen me in shorts... I just love dresses and skirts! BUT, these are special shorts. Special because they're JEGGINGS.

I'm a tardy newcomer to the Jegging church, but now I'm one of the strongest believers they've got! Marcy from SWAK sent me these red Jeggings (ps, they have them in up to 5x) and I headed straight to the tailor and said "make me sexy shorts please." Best choice I've made in a LONG time. They feel like... well, heaven. Soft. Stretchy. Sexy.  They don't cut in or constrict. They fit my belly and don't ride up... I totally believe in Jegging shorts (Jorts, maybe?) And while I'm totally aware that Jegging actually does sells shorts, they don't have red and the length I love... I'd totally recommend giving a tailor $10 to make something fit you perfectly.
And, girls, that shirt was also on purpose. It's something I fell in love with off of ModCloth's site and then promptly fell in love with again when I put it on because it's smoooooooooooth. Soft. Stretchy. Sexy. You catching a theme here? I was killin' it in comfort today, babes. And I looked good. Like, really good. So good that I felt like yelling "Hey everyone! Come see how good I look!" and then pretending that I made up that quote.Inside the San Jose Art Museum there was a David Levinthal show that I adored. He photographed toys in incredible ways and caused a lot of controversy and conversation. In the corner of the exhibit was a table with colored pencils and pieces of paper with a note that encouraged you to draw YOUR favorite childhood toy. I got such a kick out of looking at other's drawings! I really wanted to participate, so I racked my brain for a toy that stood out in my memories.
Do you remember Cupcake Dolls?!?!? 

It was a toy that when folded, it looked like a cupcake, but when you "peeled" down the wrapper, it magically turned into a doll with a fabulous hat. I remember mine smelling like grape; a scent that still makes me so happy I get giddy.

These shoes are fucking Jeffrey Campbells and I love them. That's all I gotta say about that. Magic on my feet.

And I can't forget to tell you: last night something magical happened! I had a chance to speak at Curvy Girl, which is the only plus size lingerie around and has really created an amazing community of body lovin' ladies. The women there were SUCH a joy to meet and chat with, and I was especially happy to see two of my favorite fatvocates there: Marilyn Wann and Virgie Tovar. Both of which have written books that have changed the way I view the world. If you haven't read them, you should. Fat?So! and Hot and Heavy, respectively.

So honored to be able to speak about what I love most. So happy to be away from the Arizona heat. And so fucking tickled by my awesome red shorts.

It doesn't take a lot to make me happy.

P.S. Have you tried Jeggings? How behind the times am I?
P.P.S. Whats YOUR favorite childhood toy?!?!?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014



Well hello! I'm pleased to report that I've returned from a weekend that was hijacked by depression! IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE!

No, really.

I've been managing my depression very consciously for years now, and still... when it hits, it feels like it might never go away. I found myself sobbing for no discernible reason; my logical brain knew that things weren't as bad as they seem, but my emotional brain ran the motherfucking show. Getting out of bed seemed impossible and I was convinced that staying under the covers and not telling anyone was the best option. My basic activities in life (like showering and laundry) seemed insurmountable, my relationships all of a sudden seemed broken and my life's purpose (yes, all the wonderful things I do) seemed pointless. It's a grim place to be, I'lltellyawhat.

But I like to talk about it.

Why? Because I can. Because I'm not ashamed. And because, as someone that some people look up to, it's important to share that something like this affects me too. It affects me, it affects others, and none of us need to feel any shame about the situation because...

Your depression is not your fault.

Didja hear that? Again: Your depression is not your fault. Hear it that time? Okay good. In the midst of particularly rough night, I posted a FB status that said

"Chronic and crippling depression is the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with, and I've dealt with some SHIT.
Holler if ya hear me!"

After reading the 350 "hollers" that followed, I found myself thinking: Man. I hope all these beautiful people know that this depression stuff isn't their fault.
So I'm here to make sure that you do.

Depression is common. 350 MILLION of us experience it. It affects all ages. All genders. All sexes. All people. It doesn't discriminate. And it's not our fault.

We often hear those who don't understand say things like "Snap out of it." "Try harder" "Get some sleep and you'll feel better." And "If you would just _fillintheblank_ more, you'd feel better." All of this implying that our hurt and pain is bad, shameful, fabricated, or insignificant. Aint true, y'all.

Here is why it's not our fault: we are simply a product of our chemistry and younger experiences, and we cannot control either. We are born into the body that we are, for better and for worse. Our biological makeup dictates a lot of how we see the world.

We are also a sum of our experiences. From the moments in utero to our childhood memories to what we do now- it's all a continuing chain of internalized data that we did not choose. The beginning affects the end and everything in between. As adults now, we can choose how our lives progress, but of course our nature and nurture have set us up with the tools we have.

My point: to feel guilt and shame about a neurological condition that has been out of your control isn't necessary. That's all. So release yourself from that shit, and maybe you'll be able to focus your energy on what you want to see happen now.

I can't love this video more:

If you ever find yourself needing to talk to someone about your depression,  I'd suggest calling this 24 hours hotline: Mental Health Crisis Hotline // Call: 1-800-273-TALK. Those in other countries have suggestions for a crisis hotline?

How do you feel about depression? Do you identify with the video? What do you do to feel better? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Last year, around this time, I was a panelist on the BBC's World Service Newshour on their medical obesity "special."  And boy, I was both honored and terrified. I spend countless hours researching the larger issue of bodies, talking to medical professionals, and getting my statistics straight. And the beautiful thing that came out of it was a clear understanding that body love was a global necessity. It became apparent that body love was much bigger than warm fuzzies, learning to take a compliment or looking in the mirror. 

Body love is a lifestyle. A movement. A complete cultural paradigm shift. And body love is a critical revolution that both men and women need to improve their lives.

THIS YEAR, around this time... I was presenting my first TED talk at a Tucson salon. I was again... honored and terrified. I spent countless hours organizing and reorganizing my thoughts. Talking to speaking coaches, and getting my statistics straight. There is something stressful about having such a large message to share... and needing it to be clear, concise, engaging, and, yeah. Under 18 minutes or else it doesn't count. OH, and it's going to be recorded, so you better not fuck it up either!

But several beautiful things came out of this experience: an opportunity to share a short message with the world. The clarity that this is what I should be doing. And the outline for my upcoming book.

Is it a perfect talk? No, definitely not. 

It's flawed, because I am flawed, and that's called real life. BUT, I'm thrilled to have been able to offer this amount of information in a video format. I'm thrilled to have this be one more stepping stone along my journey of body advocacy.

I'm just thrilled. 
So there.

Wanna dig deeper?

For more about the Body Love Conference check out the website.
For information about the Attractive and Fat campaign, click here or here.
Ten years of self portraits, and why it's important to love yourself now can be found here.
To learn more about the history behind why we've learned to hate ourselves, read this.
For more about Health at Every Size read this book. No really, read it. And then click this link.
I talk about mental health here.
Wanna diversify your media feed? Try starting here.
Thoughts about body shaming all shapes can be found here.
More about that famous photographer? Meet Substantia.

AND, if you want to bring me to you so I can share the full 50-90 minute presentation (complete with Q&A and hugs!), click here!

Here is the truth: body love is for everyone. Men, women and everyone in between. It's for every size, shape and shade. It's for all ages. It's for every human on this planet and it's needed oh so much. 

Somehow the concept that every person is worthy of self-love is still controversial, but I'm here to tell you that self-love doesn't have to be exclusionary. You do not have to compete for self-adoration by changing yourself into what Society deems as "acceptable." Body love does not have to be earned. You have the right and opportunity to fall in love with yourself totally and completely. As you are. Right now.

Wanna know how I know? Because this is what I do for a living. Because this is what I've studied. Because this is what I've seen as a mental health professional. Because this is what I have personally experienced.
Body love is a lifestyle. A movement. A complete cultural paradigm shift. A critical revolution. And it's a journey that no one else can stop you from taking. So give the media and the haters the finger and move forward like the body warrior you are, y'hear?

I've always got your back.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Virgie Tovar is my inspiration. My gold choker wearing, public pizza eating, unapologetic sex talking, fierce face making, truth spouting, vintage dress donning, motherfucking inspiration. As I've been falling in love with my boy, I've been watching (via Facebook friendship) as she falls in love with hers. It's been both hilarious and touching. And today she wrote something that hit me so hard I nearly cried. I identify with this word for word, and am beyond  honored she is sharing this with all of us at The Militant Baker. And while I want to talk more about the concept of being whole without a significant other, there is something to accepting the fact that they can be part of your healing process too:

A few days ago my boyfriend said something that healed the little fat girl inside me:

"You're the whole package."

It's funny/sad/to-be-expected-I-guess that I keep finding little creepy ass fat shame skeletons in my closet and wounds I thought had long been healed.

When he said it I felt tingly and flattered, but I also felt a little bit surprised. And that surprised feeling kinda surprised me.

I was taught that my fat body was what prevented me from being whole and definitely prevented me from being anyone's idea of a whole package.

I was taught that no one would love me and if they were with me it was because they couldn't do any better.

These beliefs have made it difficult to feel safe in romantic relationships and get close to people I date and love. That's how fatphobia and other systems of discrimination and oppression work: they isolate us from love and an understanding of our intrinsic value, worth and beauty.

This week I dedicated a bunch of time to finishing edits for an article I wrote for the UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Journal.

At first I didn't want to talk about the role that men played in my story of healing. Even though I wrote really (REALLY) openly about it in Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion this time I was writing for an academic audience and I was afraid of how it would be received by other feminist scholars.  But my editors pushed me to talk about the ways I came to heal my relationship to my body. And leaving my boos out of that story would have been a dishonest omission.

I realized in writing about that journey, that it was my friends and community who helped me survive and who brought me back into my body. Yes, my partners and lovers have played a part in my recovery from the debilitating fatphobia I had internalized. And yes those people have historically been dudes. But the bigger story was that they weren't just boyfriends. They became a part of my community. Just like the friends I wasn't sleeping with, they helped me see the world in a different way and they helped me see my place within that world differently. They saw me, and our shared sexual connection did not diminish their contribution to my healing. And that is something I am, honestly, still processing.

For a long time I have placed my boyfriends outside of my community, both actually and psychologically. As a feminist with my past, men have long been a source of suspicion, even (and maybe especially) the men I let into my life intimately.

My community of fat and fat positive friends has been the most pivotal part of becoming the person/femme/activist-badass I am today.

My boos aren't outside of that community.

So when my boyfriend told me I was the whole package, he helped me to see something about myself that I apparently couldn't see for myself. And I love him for that.

So today I'd like to talk about how I'm the Whole Motherfucking Package (WMFP)! I'd like to define what that means and in such tell you why you're the WMFP too.

The WMFP is someone who has a complicated and at times difficult history and who has the capacity to heal from that past.

The WMFP is someone who sees that their CURRENT body as it exists RIGHT NOW is central to their WMFP-ness.

The WMFP is someone who knows who they are and fights to be that person.

The WMFP is someone who knows how to take lemons and turn them into fucken delicious alcoholic beverages or has the capacity to be that person.

The WMFP is someone who has room in their heart to hold other people.

The WMFP knows that traditional, oppressive standards of beauty based in sizeism, racism, ableism and ageism are fucken TI-RED. The WMFP is someone who is working to define their own beauty.

The WMFP is not strong all the time and doesn't feel like a badass all the time. The WMFP can be vulnerable and tender too.

What does being The Whole Motherfucken Package mean to you?


I get to see, hug, and (if I'm lucky) slap the ass on this fantabulous woman next week. I simply can't wait. If you haven't read the book she's edited: Hot and Heavy... well you should. It changed everything for me when I read it. You can find more of Virgie's blogs here AND she'll be the keynote at the online Fat Activism Conference that you're welcome to join

Before you go, I'll ask as well: What does the Whole Motherfuckin' Package mean to you?
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