Tag Archives: guilt

Fit Body Boot Camp- Week 13- Meet the Boss Lady, Sara Goossen

Fitness CAN be fun, with Sara Goossen!
Fitness CAN be fun, with Sara Goossen!

Are you familiar with the action of a wrecking ball?

That is Sara Goossen in a nutshell. The lady is powerful, energetic, and ready to knock excuses out of the way. She is a bright and compassionate person who sees the potential in people and then helps individuals harness their inner bad ass. This talent is an imperative staple in her personal business model.

October 1, 2012, Sara opened Fit Body Boot Camp- Cheyenne, with 14 clients. Her goal is to change the lives of 5000 of Cheyenne’s citizens by 2017. As of April 2015, she has trained and cultivated a community of 1200 residents who are interested in adopting a healthy life style. That is an average of 400 people a year, getting active and aware in the fair city of Cheyenne and it’s surrounding areas. No small feat for this 5’3″ wrecking ball.

Sara and I got together to discuss her fitness past and her optimistic fitness future; how she came to start FBBC and some of her own trials and tribulations in the fitness process.

Before I jump into the interview, I would like to state that when you are looking for a gym, and a support system to help you change your habits; having a leader like Sara is imperative because she has run the gamut of unhealthy eating and body weight issues. She has children, she knows struggles and excuses. She has taken initiative on her own, in her own life in order to transcend her past hang ups. In turn Sara has turned hardships into valuable insight for those at any point in their fitness journey.

It may be easier for certain people to take her ethic very seriously because she didn’t start out on this lifestyle right after high school or college before having children; when most women’s bodies are still in that youthful metabolism. She wasn’t always healthy. It was a choice that she had to dedicate herself to; which meant a long road of challenges that led to the changes that are evident in her today.

Let’s find out more, shall we?

March/April 2015; back in  the game after a 2 month break.
March/April 2015; back in the game after a 2 month break.

STATS

AGE: 28

HEIGHT: 5’3″

WEIGHT: 145.3 lbs

FAVORITE EXERCISE: RUNNING STAIRS, WORKING THE BACK, AND SQUATS

LEAST FAVORITE EXERCISE: BUILDING CLIMBERS

Breaks are temporary... This lady is out to GET IT DONE!
Breaks are temporary… This lady is out to GET IT DONE!

Let’s talk about your fitness past, eating disorders, all that stuff.

It goes so far back, it’s disturbing… so, okay, 10 years old; my mom told me I needed to stop eating granola bars because they were making me fat and at that point in time I had just finished some book, I can’t remember the title of, and it was talking abou this girl who would throw up, because she was so fat. So…I…followed suit.

Thank God for Children’s Literature, right?

Yeah, I was like, “Well, now I am well informed and I can solve this problem.

(Sara reminences with awkward laughter.)

So, at ten years old that started fourteen years of just roller coaster disordered eating; ranging the spectrum of binging and purging to just starving myself. When I got pregnant with my son, when I was sixteen, I kind of just said “Fuck it. It doesn’t matter if I am skinny; it doesn’t matter if I am fat…I am pregnant. I can eat whatever I want and have no guilt.” I gained 50 pounds when I was pregnant with him, and I lost ten. I lost some weight nursing, but after I stopped nursing him, I continued the disordered eating cycle.

Just picked it up where you left off?

Yep, just picked it up right where I left off. And I knew… I was an athlete in high school, I knew about nutrition but it’s not something that I ever listened to because disordered eating was so much easier than learning how to feed myself. At nineteen I married my now ex-husband, (my daughters’ father) and gained all that “happy weight” I maxed out the scale before we got married, at 197 lbs…. so, I looked like a cow in my wedding dress.

None of this happens over night... it takes time to get to either end of the spectrum.   Which one would you prefer to be closer to?
None of this happens over night… it takes time to get to either end of the spectrum. Which one would you prefer to be closer to?

Thank god for girdles….

After that we were trying to get pregnant with Emma, and couldn’t get pregnant… couldn’t get pregnant. We tried for two years, and I finally went to the doctor and asked “what is going on?” I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and the doctor told me that I had to make a lifestyle change, or else…. “you’re going to end up with diabetes; you are more apt to have certain types of cancer, you are just going to get fatter, your thyriod is going to peter out…” All the things that go along with PCOS… “This is your future. You either make a change now or enjoy your future where it is headed.”

At that point I sought help because I knew my disorder was no longer a sustainable way to live life. It wasn’t mentally or emotionally healthy.

So I lost about 20 lbs. and we got pregnant with Emma through a series of fertility treatments. When I was pregnant with Emma I only gained about 20 lbs and then I lost it all right away. At that point they (the doctors) said “Well you are probably not going to be able to have any more children, so don’t worry about it.” And I thought, okay, cool; I am just going to go back to doing the whole weight loss thing, because I still had fifty pounds to go.

So I lost another twenty pounds, and then I got pregnant with my daughter Ileena… BOOM! I remember going to my dads house and saying, “Well… I am pregnant again just when I was gettting my ‘sexy’ back.” My grandma looks at me and says “Well honey, maybe that’s the problem.”

Double edged sword on that one…

Yeah! So I got pregnant and did that whole thing and I only gained fifteen pounds with Ailena , and I lost that all right away. November 2009 I found Body For Life, Bill Phillips, transformation.com ; whom I heard about from my step-mom. So I thought, I am going to try this thing. (Everybody thought I was crazy for starting during the holidays.) It was pretty easy; three days of lifting, three days of cardio, all high intensity intervals. By doing that the next three months I was able to loose the rest of the weight. About half way through that three month process I was like “Ya, know, I want to help other people because I can do this as some one who has struggled their whole life with eating well and taking care of themselves … I can help some one else do this.”

I got my personal training certification.

How long did that take you?

It was about four months and about that time I was working for my dad as his administrative assistant amoung other things. I decided that I would try this training thing before and after work, and see what happens. I did that and it just blew up, so in June 2010, I quit my job working for my dad and I started training full time.

I was doing a lot of one on one training and two boot camp sessions at a local gym. I was making money, doing something I love. I worked there for two years and I left because there were some issues that made it neccessary for me to get out of that environment. I decided, I am just going to start my own place; I left and they came after me with for violating my no-compete/ no-solicitation agreement.

Looking back, I was so mad at the time. I was furious, like how could they do this? How can this stand up? Well, it stood up because I had solicited the people who had signed up with me, but were also their clients. I had to take a year off of training and I went back to working for my dad for a year and within that year I knew I needed to do something. I was miserable.

When you are following a life of passion and suddenly it is taken away; it’s like the wind has been knocked out of your sails. You don’t even feel like a human being. I started looking down in Colorado for places I could move to and open up. I was doing all this during the same time I was being sued and working for my dad; I also had gotten a divorce from my kids father. It was everything that could go wrong, did.

I was at an impass; like shit, what do I do?

I looked down in Boulder and I spent about six months driving back and forth, just looking for a location I could open up. I encountered road block after road block.

By this point I had already talked to the CEO of Fit Body, who has been a long time friend. I told them, I want to do this but I have to wait until this year is up or I am screwed.

Was that part of your Non-compete agreement? Did you have a time limit to wait?

Yes, that was the year. One year to the day, October 1, 2012; we opened up with fourteen clients. I was just so excited to be open and be able to do what I love to do. That’s it… the rest is history. Here we are today; looking for another space, a bigger place… sitting down with the bank and talking about bigger loans.

The beginning bare bones of a fitness fortress in the making.
The beginning bare bones of a fitness fortress in the making.

That’s pretty quick, only three years.

Yeah, less than three years actually.

How do you know the CEO of Fit Body?

The fitness industry is so small, it really is. So if you don’t know every one you soon will if you stay in it long enough. I met him doing a master mind. I was in there with the two founders of Fit Body Boot Camp, Steve Hochman and Bedros Keuilian. I was in Steve’s Master Mind and through that I met Bedros. We had several conversations and talked on the phone several times, emailed back and forth; He called me up one day and said ” What’s it going to take to get you to open a Fit Body? And I told him, “You know what it will take, you know what I am up against right now. It’s going to have to take one hell of a deal and some patience and that is where it’s at.” So he said “Alright, let’s make it happen.”

At this point it was going from licensing to a franchise, so they were looking for people and I just happened to be one of those people.

Do you get together with other gym owners?

I do know a lot of the Fit Body owners simply because we get together quarterly; every three months, usually in San Diego or Chino Hills, California. There is a great community with in Fit Body, even from a corporate structure coming all the way down to the clients. It’s nice that we can just continue to pay it forward. It’s pretty cool, and a very unique situation.

Would you like to talk about your competition stuff?

OH YEAH! Sure! I don’t want to bore you to tears with business.

I first competed in August of 2011, I also ran the Denver half marathon in October 2010, and after that I gave myself permission to never run again. (laughter.) I find it really useless and painful. It turns out I am better suited for lifting heavy things than go fast.

2011 looks good on Sara Gosseen!
2011 looks good on Sara Gosseen!

Did you do this on your year of sabbatical?

No, it was right before everything blew up in my face. Then I competed in my second figure show August 2013.

2013 looked even better!
2013 looked even better!

Did you win anything?

I did. I placed 5th in the second show, I was pretty excited about that. Granted there were only six figure competitors, so I was 5th, but I was happy to have something to take home, regardless.

My first show I did there were 36 figure competitors, and I think I finished 34th. So I was like, “I think I have improved!”

'High Knees
‘High Knees” are different than heinies… make sure both are in good form!

Were these in Wyoming?

The one in 2011 was in Loveland, Colorado. The Warrior Classic, and the other one was in Wyoming, and that was the Jay Cutler Classic. And that Dude, is a Big Dude. I have a picture of him somewhere.

Not only is Jay Cutler bohemoth, but he makes Sara look like a tiny lil tea cup.  Jay Cutler Classic 2013.
Not only is Jay Cutler bohemoth, but he makes Sara look like a tiny lil tea cup. Jay Cutler Classic 2013.

 

He was there?

Yeah, he is huge! He is a moose of a man! My head is as big as his shoulder!

He could pick you up in the palm of his hand!

Honestly I am getting the bug again, to compete. I am trying to weigh out the time commitment that it takes, along with my other obligations to see what it will take… if it’s something I can feasibly do right now while keeping everything else balanced. I do love competing .

If you wait to have your own place, you could put on your own competition, in house competition. Then you won’t have to go too far.

That is one of the most fun things about competition; you get to meet so many interesting people from all over the country. People who are busting their asses just to get super lean for just a minute. It literally lasts a day. You deplete enough to have a six pack for a day, and then you gain 20 pounds the next day because you drink water. It’s crazy.

It would be interesting to time lapse a person going through the build up to competition, and then the 24 hours afterward. Once you get the tanner off, and start drinking water again, it’s like what the hell? You blossom like a flower.

You still eat, you carb load the day of to fill out your muscles because you have depleted to the point that you have taken all the glycogen and striped your body of literally everything. It’s not something you want to do often because it is kind of dangerous, BUT, it’s still fun to push your mental ability and physical barriers. That is big for me, because I love the challenge.

Are you a challenge junkie?

I totally am! I love the personal challenge. Competing against other people is fun, but figure prep is anywhere from 2-5 months.

It’s kind of interesting that you have struggled with disordered eating which is in and of itself sort of an addiction, and pushing your body to a limit and challenging it, but not in a very healthy way. And here you have turned your addiction around to a healthier way of expressing it. Yet, there are still these extremes that you go to.

It totally is. What I think helps me with competing and the lifestyle of body building is the structure that it provides. It’s like a security blanket. You take some one with an eating disorder who has struggled with that their entire life, and you say, “you don’t have to struggle, here is some structure. Have a nice day.” It’s like, “okay, this is safe.”

Then the biggest struggle, is will power to be able to keep on the regamine.

Yeah, it’s like any other fitness goals… as long as you have that dead line… the finish line at the end; it makes it that much easier. It’s not like you have to do this for a lifetime or else… It’s here is your dead line, and then you reset the goal. And that is something that is really, really exciting for me.

Through competing I learned to accept my body, where ever it is; whether I am 120 pounds or 145. I am still strong, I am still beautiful and I am still worthy of love and acceptance and success. That is one of those things that I have accidentally learned through the process. It is a by product.

I know a lot of people who compete who struggle with that mindset. Like if they don’t have a six pack they are done for. They are like “Oh My God, My Life Is OVER!”

It basically boils down to bulemia or dysmorphia. It’s all activated on the same brain wave length, same neurological pathway. It’s been nice to find freedom from that as I have gotten older. To not be stressed out about the numbers, to see yourself and be like “You look good!”

IT’s a good example to your kids, too.

I hope so. Sometimes I wonder, “am I ruining these little people?”

Mommy, Wife, Business Owner and Encourager of the Masses... what can't this lady do?         Photo courtesy of  Lacey Dippold Photography
Mommy, Wife, Business Owner and Encourager of the Masses… what can’t this lady do? Photo courtesy of Lacey Dippold Photography

Instead of “You’re the reason mommy has a drinking problem,” it’s more like “You are the reason mommy has an exercise problem.”

That’s funny beacause when I took two months off earlier this year, my kids were like “what is wrong with her?” I did not feel like myself. I felt like I was insane most days; like absolutely bat shit crazy.

You needed to be exerting yourself.

Yeah, I needed that rush of endorphins and I think it was something that I had always taken for granted because I have been doing it for so long, it’s just been part of my life for so long. When I completely took it out, I had no idea the impact it would have on me. Not just physically but spiritually, emotionally and mentally. I got to tell you, the week we started working out again, my husband and I; He was like “Gosh you are so much easier to be around.” And I knew he meant that in the sweetest way possible, instead of being a jerk, and I was like “I know, trust me, it’s easier to be in my head.” I went to the doctor and I asked am I schitzophrenic, what is going on here? And she said “I think you are depressed.” And I just needed exercise.

So tell me about your favorite success story to come out of here.

My favorite one, honestly, is from when I very, very first started. He followed me when I opened Fit Body. His name is Austin, he was 16 when he came to me he was 386 lbs. and he was tall and huge. He knew he had a problem. He was home schooled so he didn’t have a lot of interaction with other kids. The reason he was home schooled was because when he was in school, the other kids were just horrible to him because he was so big and kind of awkward and quiet.

He would come, every single day to Boot Camp. At that point in time, they were 1 1/2 hour sessions, he would show up at 6:00 AM, every day. And even if he couldn’t do it, he would struggle through it.

He asked me, “what do I eat? how do I do it?”

His mom was onboard, but I didn’t see her much. Sometimes she would come and walk while he did Boot Camp. Every now and then she would come talk to me, well when I took the year off, Austin started power lifting and he took his focus off the weight loss. Then he came over to Fit Body when I opened, and he brought his mother with him, and they did it together.

It was just so, so, so cool. He ended up losing 110 lbs by the time he was 19. Then they moved to Oregon. He was such a great, great kid. It was just so cool to see how he was able to influence his mom because it’s usually the parents who influence the kids. He was able to influence his mom after two years of going at it by himself.

Was she also over-weight?

Yes, she was, but such a nice, nice gal. I look back on those two, especially Austin and I think “That kid could have made every excuse in the world because teenagers do, adults do. Teenagers learn from what the adults model.” He just was like “I am tired of this. I am tired of being the ‘fat kid’. I don’t mind being a ‘big kid’, I am 6’3″. But I am tired of being the ‘fat kid'”

The last Halloween he was here, he dressed up as The Hulk; and that involved taking off his shirt, and painting himself green, and walking around with out a shirt on. Two years prior to that you would have never seen him do that. It was so cool to see him blossom from this awkward quiet, video gamer (indoor) kid to this little ball of life and energy, and sass.

It was fun to not only see his journey of weight loss but also to see how he grew as a person. To see him evolve into an adult from a kid that just didn’t want to be fat and made fun of.

Do you stay in contact with him?

I do. I stay more into contact with his mom because he is a young adult now and all over the place.

It would be interesting to see if he takes a career in Fitness from this influence. It seems like people who a great at teaching come from a past of being ostersized.

So, we have touched on this, but obviously Fitness has a positive effect on your homelife.

Oh God, yeah! The kids are like “Mom, go work out, you are driving us crazy.” It is also nice though, because my husband and I can share it together. Every morning Monday through Saturday we go work out together, and then go to work and do our thing. It’s been a good bonding experience for us too. Although it did take us three years for him to come and work out with me. The first time we exercised together, he was having a bad day and we were just friends at the time. I was like “he’s having a bad day, just go lift, and he will be fine.” Well a half hour in, he is dry heaving on himself, and I was like ” I thought you were in shape?” Well, after that he didn’t come back to work out with me for three years. And he comes to boot camp, and he makes it through the whole thing, and after that he said “I am going to have to wait until you are ‘deconditioned’ a little before we can work out together.”

He took the oppertunity while I took two months off to “even the playing field.”

Since then it has been nice, in the last couple of months to have that morning time with my husband because we have five kids… we need that time together. It’s nice to have that time and cheer each other on.

What are some of your future goals?

Really my mission is just to help people and it always has been. I am in the business of changing lives and if I am not changing lives, then I am doing something wrong.

Watch out folks....
Watch out folks….

YOU RUINED MY LIFE THROUGH EXERCISE!

Ha, ha! Oh man, if some one said that to me, I would have to reevalute everything. I really do just want to leave an impact on this world. And, Cheyenne… God Bless it, and all of it’s citizens; (but Cheyenne) is a FAT city. Overweight, unhealthy; spiritually, mentally and physically. People are over worked and under paid, or over worked and over paid. They have little or no time for their families , no time for themselves; no time to do anything. So we have people spinning their wheels, but for what? At the end of the day if you don’t have your health, you have nothing left. I don’t want to out live my children. I see obese kids around and I want to slap their parents. I don’t want to beat the kids, but I want to slap the parents. It makes me so mad. But then I look at it, and you have to change the lives of the parents before you can change the lives of the children. At the end of the day, it is our job as adults to make those responsible decisions. It isn’t easy, but it is our responsiblity.

It’s in my heart to change the health of this community, if not the entire community of Wyoming, but that’s a long way off down the road. I want to continue to make a difference in peoples health and in their lives.

Thirty minutes of exercise might not seem like much, but it can change how a wife treats her husband. She is in a better mood, she feels better about herself, she feels more attractive… she actually wants to be with her husband instead of saying ” I don’t see what you see, at all.”

It changes how a mother treats her children because she has more energy, she will want to take them to the park, or go hiking and do stuff. Or maybe she is just in a better mood and doesn’t want to paddle their butts just for being little people.

It is just fitness, it is just a work out… but it can change EVERYTHING. I have seen it with myself. I saw it when I started my journey years ago and I still see it today. If I don’t work out, I need to work out because I start feeling ‘cagey’ inside. Anxious.

What has your biggest triumph been in your personal fitness journey?

I think just staying the course. Every day is a new day. I can’t say one event has been a real defining moment in my health and fitness journey. I think it just staying course with the lifestyle. I mean sometimes I fall off, just like anyone. I go on a little cookie diet, when I feel stressed, and then I gain eight pounds and then I have to lose it again. At the end of the day just knowing that I am doing what I need to be doing is just great. But when I am not doing that I can tell a difference. So for me, it’s just committing to the lifestyle.

Is there anything you would want to change?

No. Not really because I believe even the hard stuff is lessons. And I think I am far more grateful now toward some of the hardships that I went through. When you look back at it, it just gives you an oppertunity to learn about yourself; to learn about others and the way the world works. Hardships are often self inflicted. So if anything it’s just learning about who I am and who I want to be and who I do not want to be. It’s just about growing up.

Would you like to give any tips or inspiration?

It’s just about consistency. You have to pick and plan and be consistent. It doesn’t matter what your plan is, as long as it has some good foundation of physical health, mental health and spiritual health. Even if it’s CrossFit or lifting or body building or boot camp; whatever it is, I think it’s just about picking something that works for you and stick with it. I know Boot Camp isn’t for everyone. I wish it was. At the end of the day finding something that works and sticking with it long enough to get results. So many people just go about their life by starting a new program every two weeks, saying “But I am just not getting results.” and I am like “Dude, it’s only been two weeks. Do you know how long it took me to lose 70 pounds?”

How long did it take you?

Beginning to end it took three years. Granted I got pregnant twice in between, but it took me three years to lose that 70 pounds. It’s not going to happen over night.

After spending all this time taking other peoples measurements; when do people, on average see a difference for themselves and accept that change is occurring?

Typically eight weeks, especially for women. I call it an 8 Week Miracle. Literally nothing on the scale can change and inches may not change, but may be your clothes fit differently. For whatever reason the inches may not change, your body fat may not change, and then one day you wake up and somewhere between the bedroom and the bathroom, you realize you lost your ass. It’s like it’s just fallen off somwhere and you hop on the scale and you are down ten pounds from the night before. And you will be like “what the hell? My scale must be broken.”

So you call in a spouse or a loved one and you have them hop on the scale and it says what it always says to them, and you hop back on there and it says the same thing, “you are down 10 lbs.”

You have to trust the process, long enough. Not just “half commit.”

“Oh I am just gonna work out for eight weeks and hope that everything is going to happen. You have to have a plan. Have a plan of attack and exicute it flawlessly. Even if you have one bad day, okay, perfect; get back on the band wagon, but don’t let that one bad day or one bad meal derail you for the next six months.

So I think that is the key. Consistency. You have to be consistent, no matter what. And that goes with anything; if it’s fitness related, or business related, or if you want better relationships. What ever it is, BE CONSISTENT! STICK WITH YOUR PLAN! Things WILL change.

In summery; Knowledge, is the awareness that all action has a reaction, and Wisdom, is using that awareness to your advantage whilst utilizing all available resources.

Fit Body Boot Camp works because of the significant insight that the program lends through collaborative Wisdom and Experience.

Fit Body Boot Camp is calling out more of Cheyenne to get involved in their fitness; and during the month of May we are taking extra efforts to expose residents to the opportunity.  If you have been following this blog and you are tempted to try it; COME ON DOWN!  Let them know you read this blog and that it has helped you to take the first step in health and wellness; or if you are new to town and looking for a fitness community and this seems up your alley, come take a test drive.

You can find out more by going to fitbodybootcamp.com/cheyennefitnessbootcamp, or on Facebook Fit Body Boot Camp Cheyenne.

If this article interests you and you would like to read more, check out these related blogs.  And as always I appreciate “likes”, comments, suggestions and subscribers; so  please feel free to interact.  And remember kids, Fitness is great, but Burpees SUCK!

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We Are All Fatists

It’s crazy to think we are all weightless beings dragging around meat suits. Right?

Like here we are just roaming about superficially judging ourselves and others for their bodies.

And sure, we all have our reasons.

The other day, I posted this status to my Facebook, “How many of you are willing to admit you are fatist, even though you are ashamedly aware of it?”

I got five “likes” and one very sincere response.

The sincere response was from a friend of mine who lives in the mountains.  She lives an active lifestyle just out of pure necessity.  Here was her very honest, and candid response through our dialog.

” I suppose the day I lose all my excess fat maybe I’ll have a leg to stand on… Ha.  ”

To which I responded, ” I think it is sort of like racism, we ignore it until it is in our face. There are certain movements that are “body acceptance and appreciation” oriented and yet media is saturated by the idyllic bodies of 18 year olds. Funny that other cultures find obesity to be beautiful and a sign of wealth and virility; where as our society is pretty much disgusted by people who are not height/weight proportionate, despite the reasons, like hypothyroid, diabetes, and metabolic issues. Being “heavy” in this society is seen as a symptom of sickness, which plays in the mental health of the person with the weight. It is a lot of psychological fuckery.

And here is where she really shares her observations not only of other humans, but of herself.

Well overweight and obese are different to me. Overweight is pretty normal. I’m overweight, probably always will be. Obese makes me wonder how that happened. I wonder if it’s a psychical or physiological disorder. Or a mental disorder? Or laziness? Or were they raised to believe that their eating habits were normal and just fine, when clearly they are not?
I judge very fat and obese people, but only in one circumstance, really. Even though it’s only one circumstance, it’s not ok for me to judge. But I do, and here it is:
Someone walks in the door of the restaurant I am waiting tables at. A very large person. So large, perhaps, that their bottom hangs off either side of the chair struggling to withstand the weight of this person. This person orders a Coke from me, their friendly waitress. Strike 1. What are you doing? You’re making a terrible choice. “Of course!” I say with as much enthusiasm as a fucking Coke commercial. Maybe they’ve ordered a Diet. Even worse. Ouch.
You’re killing yourself. Can’t you see? I come back a few minutes later with a syrupy, dark, fizzy, delicious sodapop and place it down in front of the menu they are perusing. “Do you know what you’d like for lunch today?” I ask, knowing along which lines the answer will be.
“Yes,” this person says, “I’ll have the Bleu cheese burger and onion rings.”
Now, this Bleu cheese burger is a monstrous burger topped with Bleu cheese, bacon, onions and mushrooms. It’s delicious- and probably a thousand shitty calories with those damn delicious onion rings. See, I find myself in judgement mode for just a second here. “You’re making bad choices!!!!!!” Is what I want to yell! But of course, maybe that’s not it. Maybe this person doesn’t know why this food is no good. Plenty of places in America think that a burger is a good wholesome meal. “EAT MORE BEEF” was an actual billboard I used to drive by in Missouri when I lived there. Like somehow it’s the sweet nectar of life. Or maybe, this person struggles with their weight and decided that for one day, they were going to eat exactly what they pleased without guilt. Who am I to ruin that experience for them?
Who the fuck knows why this person is fat or if they care if they’re fat. But to answer your question, yes. I suppose I am a fatist, if that one moment when a grossly oversized and overcaloried meal is ordered out of the mouth of a fat person and I have a moment of weakness in which I forget to only love and never judge, for I have never walked in their shoes There. I admit it.

This is a great example of the thought process we all go through in any sort of judgment that we have toward anyone; even ourselves.

We see what we see, how we see it. And we know what we know, because we learned it or heard it.  Ideas and ideals can stick like glue, especially if those impressions were made in our youth.

Impressed with her answer I sent her this ; “thank you for your honesty, it’s really refreshing to hear someone be introspective about it… because it is just that one second, ya know? But just as quick as it happens we try to distract ourselves from that moment. I think you are averaged sized, not overweight. You are height weight porportionate… you have curves but gentle ones. Unless you are trying to look like a weight lifter or a body builder, you look totally appropriate for you.”

The comment was removed, but she later noted how it took her longer to write the description of her feelings and think about it, than it her initial judgments.

Let’s break this down a little…

We all judge, even though we don’t want or mean to.

We are all hypercritical of ourselves. Slightly more lenient on those we don’t despise.

Despite our natural inclination toward or against competitive nature, we are immersed in a subconsciously competitive world.   A world which has no clear definition in its causation toward it’s competition; where we no longer forage for food or kill out of necessity.

We are inundated with images of some one else’s ideals for perfection, and we’ve bought what we’ve been sold.

All of this has been a long time coming.

If we choose to dig deeper into our individual reasons for fatism, we will see our own trauma.

Sure, it would be nice to have the ideal body of a perky and pert 18 year old posing on the cover of Rolling Stone or Fitness; but let us be real.  We All don’t have high fashion photographers and filters; trainers, and eating disorders.

Some of us just have stress and hormonal issues, some of us are dealing with loss; self control and dysmorphia .  Some of us never knew what it was to be thin, other are dealing with guilt.  Some of us have had children, or sympathy weight…  Our insides are tired and worn, our outsides give clues to the story.

Our meat suits define us in some way.  They physically relate our internal states of being.  How we feel inside is reflected back to our external perception in every conceivable way.

When a person looks like they have given up; there is a strong chance they probably have… but this place is no place for us to judge the whys and how.  It is our job to see the weightless spirit that exists within that skin, and to encourage it to keep going.

It is our job to have the curiosity enough to ask and assist, especially in a place where every one is trying to make an effort.  Be it the gym; the track, the trail, or just in general life.

Competition doesn’t mean pushing the other guy down.  True competition only exists with yourself anyway.

I am sure this is just the “tip of the iceberg” in future posts looking at the same issue.

I encourage you to look at your own “fatist” mentalities.  Really examine them and ask yourself their source.  Spend longer than a few seconds on this daunting task.  Ask yourself how it relates to your own body image and how you treat (or mistreat yourself.)

And next time you feel the judgment bug bite your ass, take a moment to ask where it’s roots really lie, and what you can do to confront it with compassion.

We are all hauling around meat suits as malleable as our mind and spirit.

Twisted Sisters: Transparency; Accountability, Consequence, Jealousy and Ambivilance

It is coming, can you feel it?  The world is taking on a certain sense of transparency; where once there were lies buried too deep to see, unearth a disturbing truth.  We all have things we have been hiding from ourselves and others for years.  I am going to guess there is a very small percentage of people out there who experience telling the truth and being fully authentic in every moment.

I mean, to be totally authentic is not an easy task when you have been brought up to buy into both the program of “being honest,” and “keeping a smile on your face.”  These things to me, seem in direct conflict of one another.

Websites like Facebook have opened the flood gates for potential pity parties catalyzed by vague statements made in a status update.  Facebook is one of the first places people go to vent out their angst.  They realize they can get some acknowledgment for their struggles.  Commiserate over children, whine about traffic, or confess a crush.  In  a wifi connected world, the lonely still have a soap box.

On the internet we can see it all.  And by All I mean, almost anything and everything the mind can concoct; in every spectrum of perception that we broadly summarize as “good” or “bad”;  “wonderful” or “evil.”  Most of it is labeled as “entertainment.”  Some of it is staged.  Some of it is real.

There is one thing I have never seen on the internet.

Tell me, have you ever see any one say, “I beat the shit out of my kids today.  I hate what I did.  I am having a hard time right now, I could use some help.  Can any one offer me therapy, or some assistance.  I am having a very tough time coping with this alone. And the kids don’t deserve it.  I need the help of my community.”

And if you did, would you ignore it, respond, or just call DHS?

Or how about,  “I  have fallen back into destructive behavior and substance abuse.  I could really use the support of close friends right now.”

Would you just type a message and hope for the best with a suicide hotline number or; go get them and bring them to your home, or ignore it.

Or, off a deeper end;  ” I sexually took advantage of a child today.  I realize that my moral compass is off.”

“I stole money from my family.”

“I was in a hit and run, but neglected to report it.”

I bet you thought the last three are really tricky because unless you are a total idiot, you don’t broadcast that stuff.  And if you did, don’t be surprised if some one calls the cops.  Effectively relieving any guilt by assuming the powers that be will address the issue with adequate justice, right?  The “Hands-off-don’t-involve-yourself-in-other peoples-affairs-but-DO-get-involved-just-enough-to-feel-self-justified” approach.  Very few take a “This-is-my-community-and-I-want-to-be-involved-in-it” attitude, and many that do end up killing people and give that whole wrap a bad name.

We assign cops as our go to guys because we know they are trained for conflict.  And we hate conflict.  Stranger still, we assign the section of the community which the populace is most in fear of to assert control, sending everything to the battle ground of a “just “court system to deal with the stigmatic issues involving people who have no idea what legal language is.  And at the end of the day, either someone has a jail sentence; is released, or if you live in a state that has the death penalty, well, you know the rest.

Now maybe, somewhere, in some anonymous forum confessional, these admissions are happening.  But where is it safe to admit failure and willing to accept both help and consequence?

The court parades as such a savior, and yet has very little success with their long-term goals of more than incarceration and whatever capitalistic goals that  achieves.  Self aware Rehabilitation, isn’t really a modern style of function, quite yet.  Self Awareness is still in it’s baby stages it seems.

We talk about the diseases, but we rarely discuss the cause root of how we got there.  Then (all of a sudden) when sociopolitical moral issues arise, it’s like they came out of the blue.  But the closer we look, the more we realize, even Discontent has a birthday; and quite frankly we are a society that has a hard time with confrontation.   We prefer methods of distraction because we don’t know how to handle the brutal honest truth of potential existence.  Unless of course it is filtered through the news or major broadcasting network.

Take the current Cosby case.  There are over 12 women who accuse this man of indecent activity, being drugged and rape.  These allegations go back years, and were ignored.  Why?  Because we have been fed illusions of one thing, and the news conflicts with what we want to believe.  It stresses the brain out to the point it chooses to ignore it all together.

To add insult to injury, it isn’t just the entertainment industry which finds itself unintentionally in the middle of a barrage of transparency.

Take the biggest, wealthiest, and most influential religious institution in the world; The Catholic Church, and it’s mounting allegations of molestation, abuse, and even death that go back… CENTURIES.

Pull your big kid pants on, because this shit is real.  How do we actually DEAL with any of it?  Thus far the solution has been to pass the buck to someone else.  A third party vendor.  We assert blame.

If you have any sign causing an intuitive reaction that someone  is mistreating another person, especially a child; IT IS YOUR MORAL OBLIGATION to get involved.  (Unless of course you have no moral standing, and that is called a sociopath.)  You speak on behalf of community (which few people have a concept of in this day and age,) For those who live in fear and oppression do not know what it means to have a voice, much less how to use it.    You act because empathy tells you, that if the tables were turned, you would want an advocate that believes that you have some worth or purpose.

We shield ourselves behind the most smiley pictures and phrases we have.  We keep up the illusion of 24/7 joy.  We want Joy so badly.  We want her to fill our hearts in every moment…  We don’t enjoy the bombardment of sadness in reality.  It causes a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness.  In our hearts we feel if we just focus on the good stuff this would be an ideal reality.

Instead though, Jealousy and Ambivalence rule.  It is hard to see everything we see, everyday though social media and not be on their side.  And maybe you tell yourself, you only “like” or “comment” on that which is  “good,” “right,” or “just.”  And you believe the “New Age” that if you “just focus on the good, the bad will go away.”  You may ignore knowing that  social media has algorithms and filters.  Nonetheless Jealousy wins sometimes, because she is the driving force that causes you to “like” that photo. Because you wish it was you in that picture. Jealousy is sometimes passive aggressive, and likes what she hates because she doesn’t want the retaliation of a snarky comment  Other times Ambivalence wins because, if you don’t agree, it is easier to “ignore” or “block” than it is to add some substance to the greater conversation, or maybe, just because you don’t want others to know sometimes you are not agreeable.  You may be afraid of being blocked, or ignored.  Worse yet, you are probably afraid that  you let a piece of yourself out there that is raw and real, you will be rejected and unloved due to it.   Ignoring the fact that no one is perfect and there is variety in the world for a reason. Further buying into, and selling the illusion.

So as the interconnected reality we attempt to live in meshes further into the cyber world, we construct a design that allows us to do just that.  Create and perpetuate an illusion.  A place where every picture is funny, beautiful, or adorable ( at whatever end of the spectrum of perception you may be).  And we continue to hide behind status updates that are smart, provocative and sometimes depressingly honest.  Honest but somehow, not real and almost empty.

People think they know everything about whomever because they watch every tid-bit that is posted… but have those same voyeurs read every note in the notebook of the mind they are observing?  Or do they just read whatever  they are tagged in online?  Narcissism is the blindness that keeps us from seeing the truth between the lines and pictures.

Despite your worries or cares, blessings or achievements, YOUR world revolves around YOU… and likewise; even if you have children, your self-absorbed question costumed in humbleness and care is “how will I feed MY children.”

We envelop the world in our concerns, and unless you have been following the thread, you may just look like a complainer.

For instance, I have left a hearty online trail of my angst, but I don’t think too many people read it.  It is “depressing” and it has nothing to do with you….No tags.  Does it make my struggle less real to me?  Does it just come across as complaining to you?  Did you offer to help?  Did I deny you or shoot you down?  Did you just think, “typical musing from her.”  ?  Did you pray for me , or send word of consolation?  Does it even matter?

SURPRISE!  All of this does have something to do with you.

Do you ever feel pain or discontent? Do you fail?  Do you make mistakes you hope to never repeat? If you can see it for  yourself and feel something, you have Self  Awareness, and you should be honored for it. If you get these things then you may know what I am talking about.   You may realized you never admitted certain things to yourself, your own struggle with it.  Which means you probably haven’t admitted it to anyone else, and you may really be struggling with some internal moral battles, and feeling despondent and completely alone.  Your self-awareness has been nagging that something is off, and you have chosen to not face the issue full on, and maybe even have fallen victim to yourself.

I don’t think one can truly harness that illusive Joy,  without first confronting and tackling the dark part that continues to pull their view from the light that is purposeful absolution.  And that means to face the struggle and tackle it head on; not to just complain or ignore.

Personally, I only remember moments where I was happier than others.  Few of them were consecutive.  I have never had a phenomenal month of Joy.  Nor do I think a life with out dark dips is a potential reality in this world.  We learn through our mistakes and misgivings.  We evolve through experiences of both success and defeat.  We pay the price of consequence in all our actions.

My whole life has been a struggle with the dark side.   Trace my writing back to its beginnings of child like journals and thoughts too big for the child writing in the journal.  It isn’t easy.  Especially to be transparent, confrontational and advocating righteousness; however, it is what we all deeply want and need.

I face my own mistakes daily, and yet something I think about often is a time when I was 16. Walking down the side passages of the mall to go to the restroom, and on  my way out a man, his wife and three-year old  daughter were walking toward me.  The small girl was dragging her coat on the floor; the mother had a black eye, the father towered above them.  He started yelling at the small girl to pick her coat up off the floor, and before she could respond the father picked the girl up by the front of her shirt and slammed her into the brick wall.  Screaming in her face, shaking her against the unforgiving hardness that stood behind her tiny body. Scared shitless…Mother backing away, looking away; doing nothing.

I continued to walk by and act appropriately like I was taught.

“Do not stare. And most importantly DO NOT involve yourself in other Peoples affairs.”

At the core of my soul, I feel more guilty and wrong for doing nothing  in that moment than I feel about any misguided intentional misdeed I myself accomplished in the 16 years previous and the 18 years after that one moment.  My only excuse was fear because God knows I was born confrontational, and I have no guilt about that.   Fear can no longer be used as an excuse to those  who know fear is an illusion.  I wish I knew then, what I know now, and I hope that Momma and girl are safe and alive.  I have never admitted to having a regret, and that would be it.

That said, the only solution I have is this; Transparency and Accountability. Be honest with yourself and all you deal with. Call each other out.  Use your intuition.  Get into other Peoples business.  Be raw.

Ask for help when you need it, accept it if it is offered.  Participate in your community and do not be offended when they involve themselves with you.  Be social in real life, not just in the cyber world.

Honor pain and struggle, give it a voice and find it a solution.  Band together as people who have all experienced the most basic of human emotions, and use them to strengthen the good in the world; use them to balance the scales of injustice and harm that goes on senselessly everyday.

Love each other the way you want to be loved; finally set an example of human behavior that can not be ignored.  No one is perfect, and if we can agree on that it should be easy helping one another through the struggle that it is to be human.

Simply put,educated and empower one another to be accountable and transparent.  Deal with each other  in state of love, in equity and consequence.