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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Thoughts on a Show Called My 600lb Life

I am going to make this short and probably piss off everyone who reads this, but here goes.

Recently, I watched with my husband and kids a show called: My 600lb Life - Melissa's Story. In it, a woman named Melissa weighed 650+ pounds and needed to get a gastric bypass. The story is an AWESOME account of perseverance and changing one's life for the better. However, according to statistics collected by those that perform the surgery, a high percentage - like 80 to 90 percent - of people who get the surgery end up divorcing their spouse.

Melissa married her husband when she was extremely obese. Their entire relationship was based on the fact that he had to help her do everything, even wipe her butt, because she couldn't do it herself. They showed a scene in which she was naked on the table during surgery, and I have to tell you, I seriously doubt that she and her husband had sex. If they did, it was probably very hard to do, but she had a big ball of fat hanging between her legs that probably made having sex completely impossible.

Dear Melissa, if you ever read this blog post, I am sorry, I am not trying to be mean to you when I say these things, I am simply trying to express an opinion that I already said would probably piss everyone off. I am also an overweight woman, so I know how you likely felt. It's not fun.

That said, here's my unpopular opinion. Later on in the show, it was revealed that her husband had chatted up other women to meet up and have sex. I CANNOT BLAME HIM! A - he probably wasn't getting any, and B - sex is NOT the same thing as love. He so obviously proved over and over during the show that he loved his wife, caring for her through thick and thin. I was outraged thinking that she was going to divorce him just because he had met a basic bodily need with another woman.

Here's the ironic part. In the show, their marriage had initially suffered as she started losing weight and could do things for herself. Their dynamic was destroyed and they had to find a new one. And then they did. Once they found a new dynamic, they fell in love all over again and their marriage was great, AND THEN she found out that he had cheated on her.

She didn't divorce him, but she did start treating him like shit. I literally stopped the show so that I could shout at the TV. I shouted something like: "How dare you get mad at him for having meaningless sex with random women when YOU could not!" I was furious with her! Her husband took excellent care of her when she needed him to, and he never complained. The only thing he needed to do in order to cope was have sex with someone else when he could. I think it is entirely selfish of her to think that he couldn't have sex ever just because she couldn't.

Anyway, to my relief, they worked through some of their issues and stayed married. By the way, this show encompassed 7 years of their life. Just when they seemed to be doing okay again, they lost a baby and SHE started getting bitchy with him again. Ever since originally finding out that he had cheated on her, she'd say things like: "My next husband is going to love the fact that I'm skinny!" I wanted to seriously punch her!

They stayed together and eventually had a baby girl. This girl is so obviously loved by both of them, but their marriage seems to be rocky at best. He cheated on her again when she was unable to have sex after the baby was born. I have mixed feelings on that one because 1 - it's only 6-8 weeks, he could wait that long, BUT 2 - he still had sexual needs, and rather than pressure his wife into having sex before she was ready, he went elsewhere. I find that rather sweet.

I know women who resent their husbands for pressuring them into sex when they weren't ready. Especially after having a baby. Sometimes, it can take women 6 months to feel ready for sex again. Which husband is the bigger ass? The one that verbally or physically pressures his wife into having sex when she isn't ready, or the husband that understands his wife's inability and meets his need without pressuring her? I literally wanted to give that poor man a hug! He was just trying to be a loving and understanding husband, but he happened to do so in a way that turned her into a bitch.

I think she realized that she was being unfair to him, because she stopped being a bitch to him by the end of the show, but it was easy to see that their marriage was not doing well. I pray that they can find a way to set aside all their past mistakes and find a way to move forward as a loving couple with a beautiful daughter. I pray that  they learn to communicate their needs and accept them. I pray that they come to a place where they can be totally honest with each other and not judge or feel threatened by the honesty. Stated simply, I pray for them.

However, to be a bit of a bitch myself, he's a better catch than she is. For 11 years he has understood and supported her needs, setting aside his own except for the few occasions when he cheated on her.
For 11 years, she has struggled with her weight and her identity and worth as a person. Now that she finally has settled into the role of a good woman who weighs 200lbs, is a mother, has a job, and can be independent, I fear that she is going to let it go to her head and divorce her husband after all. It's like slapping him in the face and saying: "You were only good enough for me when I needed you to take care of me, but now that I don't need you, I can pretend to be the victim and toss you to the curb."

It just pisses me off! Marriage is a partnership! It is about meeting BOTH partners' needs. It's about communication and compromise. If  one partner expects the other to do everything and never make a mistake, then that partner is frankly not ready to be married.

ARGH! Sigh... okay, so this turned out to be longer than I thought it would be, but seriously, this whole: "He cheated on me so I must turn into a bitch and destroy his life!" Thing is getting SO old. Get over it already! The only way to "cure" or prevent cheating is to let each partner say when they have needs that aren't being met without fear of starting an argument. When each partner can say: "Hey, I need more sex and you haven't wanted any in months, can I please find a booty call?" and the other partner doesn't immediately start wailing and threatening to cut off body parts, then there is no need to cheat because each partner is secure in the relationship. They trust each other. They talk to each other.

Ah anyway, that's just my two cents.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

No Poo

Aside from the icky mental images that comes from that phrase, rest assured that I am NOT talking about my bathroom habits, lol! Well, at least not those. Nope, I'm talking about shampoo, or my lack thereof.

Recently in the news, mainstream sources have covered the trend of going no poo (not using shampoo on one's hair). The clip I watched made me want to smack the two women discussing it because they came from a very closed frame of mind. They made fun of the trend, despite CLEARLY not understanding what they were talking about. I'm not really surprised because - after all - most of their sponsors are companies that sell products, such as shampoo. It's in the mainstream news' best interest to keep their viewers addicted to products. Expensive ones at that!

So, I thought that I would open up about my no poo experience. Most of the people that talk about their no poo experience are newbies asking for tips, help, and advice. It's somewhat rare to find a veteran. I think that's because we veterans have gotten tired of being made fun of, so we mostly just keep our mouths shut.

So, with that in mind, here's my no poo story. I first heard about no poo when my younger son - now 7 - was just born. I totally fell in love with the idea right away :-) Before going no poo, I had seriously frizzy hair full of split ends. It was also greasy. My mom would constantly be telling me to go take a shower and wash my hair because - even though I had just taken a shower a few hours before - my hair looked greasy and unwashed. Smelled like shampoo but looked like crap.

And then I learned about no poo. Basically, rather than using shampoo that strips the oils from my hair (which is basically ALL shampoos, even organic ones), I use a solution of baking soda. Baking Soda simply removes the oil and dirt from the surface of each hair shaft. It doesn't penetrate into the shaft to strip the oil from inside it. Then - as an alternative to conditioner, which is just as bad for my hair - I use apple cider vinegar. I have in the past also used homemade kombucha vinegar and am currently using homemade apple cider vinegar.

The homemade ACV was an accident, I was going for hard cider, but I digress, lol!

For the clarity of my blog, I went into my old pictures to look for examples of my hair from BEFORE no poo. Just so you know, I have never liked how I looked on camera. Never. I am so not photogenic, therefore, posting these pics of me is taking me every bit of gumption I have, so be nice damnit! I don't need haters!

This is me in 10th grade. As you can see, my hair is positively puffy and fly away from split ends, and I had JUST had my hair cut and colored like a week or two before the picture in an attempt to look okay.
This is my 11th grade pic. I had given up on coloring my hair and just let it grow out. You can still see how my hair looks greasy and puffy from splits ends. Believe me, I tried my best to look good on picture day, so this is literally just HOURS after I'd washed my hair. Doesn't really look it, huh? Greasy roots, sigh. Other than that, I love this pic :-)
This is between my 10th and 11th grade pictures, right around when I first met my husband. I cut my face out of the picture for various reasons - Ahem, Elly :-D - but I wanted this pic most of all because it clearly shows how unhealthy my hair was, and no, it's NOT because I had colored my hair. You can see by my roots that I had stopped coloring it not too long after I started, I didn't really like me with blonde hair. Dead ends and greasy roots, and yes, I had washed it before going over to hubby's - then boyfriend's - house because I wanted him to like me.
And I threw this pic of me and my Hubby in just because I look so cute and happy in his arms :-D This was very shortly after we'd met.
 Okay, so now that you have seen my old pics and how my hair was unhealthy and just bad looking all around, you probably want to see current pics for comparison, right? No problem, I can do that :-)

This is a pic I had posted recently on my facebook. I did so on a day when I had washed my hair the night before and wanted to actually show my first thing in the morning bedhead, lol! You see, my current and only complaint about my hair these days is that I just don't have much. I never did. Even in the pics above where it LOOKED like I had a lot of hair, it was all just my hair putting on a puffed up act. I could ALWAYS take my hair and twist it up into a bun the size of a quarter squared. I never thought to get a pic of that though, so you'll just have to take my word for it. ANYWAY, after taking a pic of my bedhead, I combed it out and took this pic, which shows how - even the next morning, many hours later - my hair looks clean. It's thin, so I always get a static halo, but there are almost NO split ends. I can actually prove that :-D

See, this is a pretty close up view of the ends. They are straight and healthy. It's been almost a year since I last had a hair cut, and I'm thinking about getting another one soon, but it's not a priority. Still not convinced???

I tried really hard to get a picture as up close and zoomed in as possible on my hair while still getting to see detail. You can definitely see individual strands, but you can't see splits because there really aren't any. I dare you to find some. You might possibly be able to find one or two, but you'd really have to hunt for them, lol!

Tired of having the exact same blahbity blah blah hair for like 10 years (And here I am referring to color), I decided to get some organic henna and dye my hair red. Understand, I had not stuck any chemicals in my hair at all since I went no poo in 2006, and it had been since - Oh I don't know, '98? - since I had last died my hair. I was SOOOO ready for a change! Even better, henna is all natural and NOT a chemical :-D

Sigh, you all MIGHT see something pretty-ish when you look at this pic, but I just see plain old me, sigh. I told you, I'm not photogenic. Not even with pretty red hair, lol!

Even so, I like the way the color turned out... at first. In this pic, taken the next day, my hair looks great! However, henna has a 3 day darkening period, so this is not the final color. I REALLY wish it was, lol!

Here's day two. Note, I have not washed my hair since I died it. SPECIFICALLY because I wanted to show how this is TWO days after I last washed my hair and it just now is starting to look greasy at my roots. You can also see that the color has darkened a bit. Don't get me wrong, still love it, I just wish it was the original color, lol. Next time I buy henna, it will be the lighter shade :-)

Here is day three, and you can tell that it's morning because the lighting is WAY better than the day before, lol. You can also see that my hair looks like it might need washing OR it might not. There is clearly grease there, but not so much that I would be ashamed to be seen in public. You can also see the final color my henna turned, lol!

Sorry that the last two are selfies, but I didn't have anyone to take the pics, and really, I just wanted to get a good close up of my hair, so my face was not required :-) I actually like these pics. I did wash my hair later on that day, then waited a few days to wash it again because... Well... Because I can, lol! I LOVE having hair that is so healthy that I don't have to wash it every. single. day. if I don't want to. I am actually really proud of my hair right now. Proud enough that I don't mind posting pics of it online for everyone to see.

And so, if you are considering going no poo, here's what I have to say on it: TOTALLY TRY IT!!! I have been no poo since my son was born in 2006 - so 7 years - and I do not regret a single day of it. Besides, we buy 13 POUNDS of baking soda at Sam's Club for like 8 dollars (we use it to wash our clothes too, lol) and even when I buy organic raw apple cider vinegar, I only pay 4 dollars or so for enough to last almost 2 months. But, as I have said, I've accidentally made more than one type of vinegar over the years that I then used on my hair and actually have not had to pay for vinegar either in SO long.

That means that over the last 7 years, I would be surprised if I had spent more than 20 dollars on my hair. Wait, you mean to tell me that it's insanely cheap AND so much better for your hair??? Yep, I sure do :-D

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Flaming Bumblebee Crochet Skirt.

If you're one of my facebook friends, you probably know that I have been talking a LOT recently about trying to crochet a 25 yard skirt. Despite finding out for certain that a 25 yard skirt - by definition - has a bottom hem of 25 YARDS (AKA 75 feet AKA 900 inches)!!! - I still really want to try my hand at crocheting such a skirt. To my knowledge, no one has ever tried it before, probably because it is a huge project that will take a LOT of time and effort.

SO... I decided to make a test sample out of worsted weight yarn and an 8MM hook. Starting with a partial skein of red yarn that was originally 1LB, but was probably about half that or a little more at this point, I foundation single crocheted 75 feet. It took me between 4-5 hours!!!

And then I followed that with a row of double crochet. When I ran out of red, I pulled out 2 half
pound skeins of worsted weight yellow yarn. By my best guess, each skein of yarn was around 400 yards. This mean that by the end of the red and the yellow yarn - I had approximately 1200 yards of yarn worked into a 25 yard long strip about 4 inches (give or take) in width.

The next thing I did was grab a goldish colored yarn so I could continue the experiment. Note: the last row of yellow just before I ran out, was my "tier" row, in which I literally crocheted 2 stitches in one for the entire row until I had a seriously awesome ruffle effect. I continued on with the gold, but barely had enough to finish the rest of the row.

So - knowing that I wouldn't be able to finish this skirt in any sort of coordinating colors, AND that it would probably use up every scrap of yarn I have and totally look ugly and clash with itself - I decided to stop the experiment. Besides, the finished skirt would have been seriously heavy and bulky. So not fun to wear, and definitely not easy to dance in!

I took a progress pic at this point.

Well, not really the type to tear up all my work if I don't have to or want to use the yarn for something else - It's been just sitting in my stash for over 2 years - I decided that I wanted to make something out of it that resembled a circular shawl. So I undid the goldish color yarn. After that, I used it to sew the ruffle together in a spiral.

The very center had a big hole in it because to get it to sew together smoothly, I couldn't make the inside of the spiral too tightly wound. I figured that I would just make a center doily motif to complete the shawl when I was done.

When I was done, I held it up and discovered something that I hadn't expected. It totally took me by surprise! I was expecting a circular shawl and I got... a skirt!!!

As you can see, this is not suitable to use as a shawl. The way the spirals go together created a definite tube, and that would just stick out if trying to wear it like a shawl, so I have a strange little skirt, lol! You want to know the most ironic and surprising thing of all?


Please be nice and not point out my flabby tummy. I'm self-conscious about it enough as it is, and I tried my best to crop that part out without losing too much of the top of the skirt.

So there you have it, an unexpected flaming bumblebee skirt made from the test swatch made for my 25 yard skirt. I can totally tell you right now that this skirt will probably never be worn again because I am really not into wearing skirts that end before my ankles. However, I do think it's cute, and maybe someday, someone else will think it's cute enough to wear too, lol :-)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Friday, February 7, 2014

One of my best creations and biggest mistakes ever

So a while ago, I posted about how I found a picture and it captured my imagination so much that I just had to try to replicate it. See it here: Doodles in Crochet

Well, when I make something that I personally plan to wear, I immediately modify it to fit my body. That means that the front has to explode to accommodate my chest, but the top part of my back is actually pretty small. Especially as it gets to the small of my back. Then, if I want it to conform, I have to take it in some under my bust, let it back out to go over my tummy, then take it back in near my hips. As for my back, well, once I get to the small of my back near the hips, the thing has to explode to make room for my big ol' butt!

With this outfit, I decided to take out the entire V in the back because leaving it in was quickly making the whole thing look like a bell big enough to fit a whale. I figured that I would add the V back in when I got to the small of my back. That was apparently mistake number one.
 Mistake number two was that - even though I had started out keeping decent count of my stitches - I quickly grew bored with that and just let my hands do their own thing. Thus, the piece got bigger as it went when it should have stayed relatively the same size.

After all of that, I eventually managed to finish it, and the front even looks good :-D See:

I like the color scheme. I like the fact that I had enough yarn to make this dress length, even though I was hoping for a full length down to the ankles dress. I like that even though I made this in my size, it does look mostly like the nearly barbie sized dress I was inspired by.

Now, here's what I hate. The transition from large Vs to small Vs doesn't look anywhere near as good as it does on the original dress. It looks kind of nasty IMO. I hate that the back looks just terrible because of my mistakes. But most of all, I hate the fact that I ended up adding so much length as I went that when I transitioned to the smaller Vs, the back has a bunch of baggy little bulges that make my hips look like the wrinkly skin around an elephant's legs. Ew!

It looks like I was trying to go for a cute and flirty little bustle, but completely effed it up! Ugh! So, as a result, this dress is destined to be literally thrown out - OR, if it's lucky - unraveled and made into something new. Actually, I really did like this project back when it was still shirt length, so I MIGHT simply unravel it to there and try to make it into a shirt, but the big mistakes would still remain, so in order to truly be proud of this enough to wear it in public, I'd probably have to rip it all up and start over, which I'm sorry, but no. I am not the type of person who can put this much work into something and then just take it all apart and start over. It's fix it or make it into something completely different as far as I'm concerned, lol!

In the meantime, I learned a lot from this project, so - even though I will never wear this in public - I still love it and am SO very proud of it :-D

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