summer, summer, summer.

i thought my life would lessen in it’s hectic nature over the summer. i thought i’d have time to invest in myself. read more, workout more, sleep more, drink less coffee…

oh, dreams. oh, far off, seemingly non attainable dreams. 

the problem with schedule craziness is that inevitably the first thing you do is stop taking care of yourself. 

you stop putting yourself as a priority and then feel like you’re marty mcfly holding on to the truck at the beginning of back to the future, but you know, infinitely less cool.

tomorrow i move. 

my entire life is either in boxes, bags, or in the process of being put in boxes and bags. 

in totally unrelated blogging.
shout out to crossfit prowess in seekonk, massachusetts for letting me do drop ins while i was on vacation in rhode island. they were wonderful. also, they introduced me to crossfit baseball…which sort of feels like a game where everyone looses to burpees. 

summer

ah, summer at the gym.

first of all, who doesn’t love sweating like this just walking in.

any physical movement feels as if you’re trapped in a hellfire. 

sometimes it gets so bad that i can feel myself over heating and playing double dutch with the vomit line. like yesterday. eight rounds of tabatas of: pushups, kb swings, squats, and burpees. seriously, i had to ask what round we were on so that i could pace myself not to puke.  

but, i suck it up…because a-you know, the point is to sweat and more importantly, b-i want to eat my weight in ice cream. 

mmm…ice cream. 

(Reblogged from erikadprice)

who likes short, shorts?

sometimes you say, fuck it and go to forever 21 and buy yourself a $12 pair of shorts…and they’re the first pair of shorts shorter than the knee that you’ve owned in 20 years…because you know what, it’s hot and your objectively giant thighs don’t deserved to be bound in fabric.

my thighs are large and in charge.
they lift heavy things.
they get me around. 
so, out they come. 

change your beauty standards. love your body. 

return to the gym as told by happy endings gifs.

i went to bed last night resolved that my rest week would end today.

i woke up feeling like this:

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sleeping…

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i needed to work off the week of rest…which, essentially turned into a week of ice cream.

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so, i told myself to get up and go.

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i got to the gym, read the wod and felt pretty good about it. 

tall, hang, and power cleans. 

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then moved on to the wod;
sit ups and squat cleans. i actually found myself smiling. 

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rest week is over.

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make it work.

tim gunn,

i’ve always liked you. you have a winning affability. whatever the media platform i’ve seen you in, i’ve always felt as if you root for people to succeed and be happy.

fashion is often an industry that dismisses the majority of women. it’s an odd dichotomy for an industry to, ‘worship’ women and dismiss the vast majority of them.

so, this opera diva wants to thank you for: this

as a strong, confident, adult i don’t need a lot of external validation. i like my body, i like my life, i like who i am which is a far better reflection of my beauty than what i put on myself. 

but, to read this brought me great joy. not all women feel this way about themselves. not all women recognize that the fashion industry caters to an inverted triangle that is more akin to a man’s body than the average woman’s. 

i’ve struggled with the rise of andrej pejic for this very reason. the gender warrior in me loves and supports what andrej does.you do you, andrej. the curvy, plus sized woman part of me gets frustrated that the fashion industry finds him perfection because of the nature of his male form. 

you’re right mr. gunn. i am a neglected market. shopping isn’t always fun for the plus sized woman. in fact it’s exhausting. also, major chains like old navy which offers plus sizes only does so online. like, i have to try on their clothing in shame, shrouded in my own home. 

hopefully, if ever this were to happen it would normalize my body because, frankly, i am on two sizes larger than the average. 

so thank you for your support. thank you for acknowledging that i deserve more than shapeless sacks. thank you for suggesting that my body is one that deserves to be paraded in garments made by talented upcoming artists. 

sincerely,

jessica oliver, a plus sized, opera singing, fan

rest week.

last week i went to a workout and struggled. i mean, struggled. my body just didn’t feel right.

what i realized was that i was exhausted…and not like mildly exhausted. that type of exhaustion where you’ve done everything you could possibly cram into a period of ten weeks and that while you were a good little engine that could…your engine was sputtering and it was time for a rest. 

i took this week off of working out. 

it has coincided with my first days of not working since march. that’s right. i have worked in some capacity everyday since march with the sole exception of a 48 hour trip to san francisco to go to a wedding. 

i had knots in my back that were affecting my shoulder joints.
they are loosening. 

my hip was in constant pain.
it has mostly subsided.

i was eating a ton of crap.
i made every meal at home for the first time since march.

revelations.
sleep is a healer. 
erath wine is delicious.
cherries are the perfect summer food.
the new first aid kit album makes me more productive. 
crazy eyes is my favorite character on orange is the new black.
field of dreams never fails to make me cry. 
worrying about the future doesn’t help the present.
people’s failures are not a reflection of their hearts. 
i love working out. sometimes i need a break to remind me of that. 

to health.

dead last in the rx-ers…but, rx’d!

also, after what happened at evanston athletic club it was nice to go to crossfit and be loved and supported by the people at the gym. you go, glen coco.

evanston athletic club

'well, why should they cater to fat people? i just don't think they should'

this was the first thing i heard in the evanston athletic club locker room yesterday. 

it was my first time going to this club. i happened to be at northwestern for something and it made the most sense for me to go to EAC to workout before going to salonathon back down in the city. 

the woman continued in a low, hushed tone. outfitted head to toe in lululemon it was easy to quickly deduce what she was speaking about.

i walked to a locker in the same row as she and her discussion partner. i turned to them as i changed. i would force them to see my body and my face as they belittled me. i layered my body in my spandex battle gear as their conversation grew quieter and eventually halted after she saw me staring at her, mouth agape upon saying, ‘they should just go to their stores’…this was perhaps the most hurtful and infuriating thing she said. yes, we should just go to our stores…should we also only be allowed to go to plus sized workout facilities? 

after a series of shifty side glances, they moved their conversation over to the sinks so that middle aged fatty hater could put her hair into a tight, high ponytail. 

in shock and disgusted, i continued upstairs to attend the trx class i was their for. upon reaching the top of the stairs i was surprised to find my new friends there as well…i prepared myself for taking a class with them. but, i was shocked to realize that the woman who spoke so venomously was there to TEACH the step class in the room next to the trx class.

now, had this been an incident of one assholish patron saying things that were prejudicial i would have chalked it up to her being a bad person. but, i was incensed to realize that she was in a position of power at the club. how dare you, julie l. you should be ashamed of yourself. 

what you did was create an unsafe space for me and other women of my size. 

i spent the entirety of the trx class trying decide what to do. 

in the end, i walked downstairs and asked to speak to the manager. i told her what had happened. i also told her that the thing that would sadden me most is had that happened two or three years ago i would have never stepped foot into that facility again. it would have been enough to shut me down and think that i didn’t belong there. employing people who are prejudiced against the people you are there to serve seems ill advised. 

i will say, the manager was very understanding and even gave me two free extra guest passes on the account. which, is nice. however, i really hope that club tells her that her behavior was unacceptable. who knows what will happen. i at least feel some satisfaction in knowing that i did my part. i did my part for myself and for all women who might have been made to feel lesser than by this instructor. 

girl got vertical

also, in small but happy victories today i did my first twenty inch box jumps since my hip injury. three. huzzah. 

heal body, heal. 

so did the fat lady

last night i went to an event for my high school, taste for the arts. at this event, i sat with someone i’ve known since i was 16 and she was 14 and discussed what dating was like for me as a plus sized gal. aftering getting home from the event, i saw that jezebel had posted an article about a recent episode of louie that dealt with that exact issue this, this is so spot on:

watch the video, seriously do it!

so much of this resonated with me. i love that she was unapologetically calling him out on his bullshit. the only point of contention i really had with the whole rant was the thing about really attractive guys flirting back. that’s true, very true but to me it has always read as sympathy flirting. like guys think they’re doing their good deed of the day by flirting with the smart, sassy, fatty. as opposed to being intrigued by a woman who is smart and sassy and also happens to be plus sized. i have just stopped entertaining it all together. if you want to flirt with me, fine. but, just so you know, the attention in which you show me doesn’t change my opinion of myself. speaking of plus sized. i was at a department store last week buying a dress for the event i attended last night. the woman who was working in the dress department was very sweet. but, at one point when i asked her if sweaters were upstairs she leaned in and said in the faintest hushed whisper, ‘do you need a plus size or a regular size?’ i responded,’actually, i can wear either, and you needn’t whisper it. there’s nothing dirty or shameful about saying the words, ‘plus’ and, ‘size’ in combination’. seriously, is this what we’ve come to as a society. that we shame fat women so much that there section at a department store has to be referred to in a hushed tone? woof. oh, and here is the dress i wore.

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i’ve found myself at crossfit on a lot of gymnastic days recently. oh, how i wish my arms were normally sized. the index of arm length should correspond to your height. my wingspan is a foot smaller than that. i need arm extenders. hurling one’s body at the floor when one’s arms are a foot smaller than average is terrifying. what is the reverse of the ape index? the t-rex index? anyone have any tips on compensating for the t-rex index?

beach body.

my thoughts on, ‘beach bodies’…or in this case, hot tub bodies. 

our bodies, ourselves.

last night the idiot from this post struck again…but this time with a friend. now, i should state out-rightly that the real problem was with his friend. 

this friend of his verbally and physically assaulted two of my people. MY MOTHER FUCKING PEOPLE. 

here is what i said to him before leaving last night:
i think it’s a sad reflection of how little and insignificant you are that you feel the need to palpably make others feel small and insignificant. 

men: you do not get the right to lecture women on their choices, their bodies, or their decisions.

this all stemmed from this arrogant ass thinking he should point out that it was unprofessional for one of our cast members to come down to the bar still in her make-up. mind you, the woman is painted teal. there’s no way to easily remove the make-up without a full shower. it is also not your business or your problem. also, you drunkenly shouting about your involvement at steppenwolf doesn’t make me admire or respect you. it makes me think that you are small and insecure and compensating for your lack of confidence by loudly proclaiming what few accomplishments you’ve managed to procure. 

at one point during the evening the man in question used both the r word and the c word in describing the situation. 

what century are we living in? do you really think it’s appropriate for you to use hate speech in conversation? do you? also, reducing women to a pejorative word used to describe her anatomy is vile. what you attempt to do in that moment is lessen that woman’s power and strength by demeaning her genitalia.

oh, and just so we’re clear, i love my cunt. you can’t demean me by using that word. i won’t give you that power over me.

to the two strong, lovely, powerful women who were directly taking the brunt of this man’s assault.

  • you are loved. we all love you so much.
  • you are beautiful.
  • you are above them.
  • you are allowed to become emotional when being attacked. it isn’t a sign of weakness or that they’re, ‘winning’. it’s a sign that you process emotion the way we all do. 
  • you are protected. we will surround and protect you.

to the man who was so venomous last night: 
my body isn’t something you can use to make me feel badly. your mind is small. it is weak. being loved and loving my friends makes me a far better human than entertaining your hateful ways. i choose love because in love i find strength. 

crossfit cardio

this week i went to two crossfit cardio classes. 

a-i really enjoyed them…it’s the masochist in me. 
b-it was the closest i’ve come to puking in a long time (in a good way). 
c-i was shocked at how well i did at them.

i mean, endurance isn’t always my thing. i like short, fast, sprints. but, it was just a reminder of how my body is evolving and progressing. 

progress is the great reminder that work and dedication pays off. 

the theater, the theater, what’s happened to the theater?

last night i opened the show, handbook for the recently deceased. 

the show is playing at, the den theater in chicago. now, the den is a shared space. there are multiple black boxes over two levels and they have a bar on the second floor where people congregate…

while i was ordering a drink at the bar there were three men having a discussion who are involved in one of the other shows in the space. one of the men said to the other two, ‘i knew a fat girl who was an amazing actress (insert a tone which implies surprise at the mutuality of these things). she lost a whole bunch of weight and got really fucking hot, i mean, smokin’. she’s living out in san francisco.’ one of the other guys asked, ‘is she still acting?’ and the first guy said, ‘no.’

it took every bubbling fiber in my being not to turn and rip this douche a new one. 

first, he implied that you can only be hot when thin…also, he implied that somehow her talent was shocking because of her size. like, somehow it’s a rarity that someone can be talented AND big. 

but, i think the thing that was just most disappointing to me was that in many respects i consider theater to be an art form that has always been ahead of the curve in what society deems, ‘socially acceptable’. yes, it’s a visual medium. yes, how you look always plays a part in casting. but, there’s always this feeling like there’s a place for you. directors will take a chance and direct mazeppa in gypsy as a big girl, or cast a kit kat girl in cabaret as a plus sized woman…and then, just when you’re in your safe space you encounter a douche bag. a douche bag of epic proportions. 

i walked over to my friends and relayed the story and their response is classic, ‘glasses, beard, or creepy?’ i replied, ‘creepy’ and then they give you a look that makes you think you are loved and appreciated for every inch of who you are. 

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photo credit: evan handler