Starting 2012: April D through the (fat) ages (and beyond)

I’m back!  Told you I (was mostly certain I) would be! Anyway; I have been having an absolutely MARVELOUS end of 2011 and start to 2012.  Life is chugging along in a rather calm and peacefully blissful pattern that I hope to continue for as long as possible.  Here are just a few things that have been going on Chez D:

  • Adam D sporting the 13-foot-long Tom Baker Dr. Who Scarf

    Adam D sporting the 13-foot-long Tom Baker Dr. Who Scarf

    Adam D and I just celebrated 5 years of married-ness this past December.

  • I taught myself to Knit so I could make a Tom Baker Dr. Who scarf in time for our anniversary (I succeeded.  Barely in time though!  That thing is HUGE and it takes a LONG TIME to knit for someone who lives with you and is almost always home from work before you are!  It involved LOTS of being sneaky and knitting when I was sure I was going to get “caught” in the scarf-y act!)
  • We visited my folks down in Virginia for Christmas and discovered that taking the train is about as “All Day” as driving or (when you account for all the hassle) taking a plane.  I, for one, enjoyed getting to get up and walk about whenever I wanted.
  • Dance-wise I’ve been focusing lately on Tribal/Tribal-Fusion of late and have a few classes to look forward to in February to enhance my sword work!  Also have more performances lined up.  Woot!
  • Been rather lax with the trumpet playing lately and focusing on dancing.  I hope to get a bit more playing done though and, even if I’m the only one down there, want to play during the second half of my lunch break more often as I used to do.
  • After a really recharging break I’m back to posting and have lots of book reviews, tasty food ideas and general life-posty-ness to catch up on here!

To get to the point of this post though: I thought it might be nice, as I lounge on my last two remaining vacation days for this long and ever-needed holiday, to finally get up a time-line of April D in image form. It should be a fun re-start of the blog for 2012 after my incredibly restful break from blogging.

I’ve gone through many of my old photos recently to organize, purge duplicates and scan those which have no digital form.  There were, however, thoughts that KEPT giving me pause as I looked through images of my own past.  Thoughts I kept coming back to that boiled down to: what was I THINKING back then?  Why wasn’t I happy how I was?  Well, I think I USED to have a time when I was carefree and happy…but those days were quickly outnumbered by the Dieting Days…

I used to wear non-black pants!  Look at that awesome pattern!

I used to wear non-black pants! Look at that awesome pattern! You rock those odd colors young April D!

Look at that sass! What happened to that for so long?

Look at that sass! What happened to that for so long?

Oh my god I REMEMBER wearing this outfit and thinking I looked awful and unsightly!  But I'm so CUTE

Oh my god I REMEMBER wearing this outfit and thinking I looked awful and unsightly! I remember feeling constrained and sucking in my "gut" But I'm so CUTE here!

Camping in my Youth.  Look at those skinned knees!  I remember swimming, biking, running around...

Camping in my Youth. Look at those skinned shins! I remember swimming, biking, running around... and being told I didn't exercise enough because I was obviously fat.

Middle School Trumpet: Prepping to do the Memorial Day Parade marching

Middle School Trumpet: Prepping to do the Memorial Day Parade marching. Which, I obviously only sweated while doing because I was overweight, not because I was marching in a group of other sweaty pre-teens down a hot paved road on a blazing 90 degree day in dark pants while playing a trumpet.

Fruit and Boop: Also likely the first time I rocked a shorter hair style

Fruit and Boop: Also likely the first time I rocked a shorter hair style. I used to think I was FAT here?!

Ahhh High School Marching Band. The only indignity not yet evidenced here is the awful hat with the bedraggled canary bird "plume"

Ahhh High School Marching Band. The only indignity not yet evidenced here is the awful hat with the bedraggled canary bird "plume". Oh, and the horror of having to ask for the "plus size" pants to wear.

Dress shopping used to be a nightmare.  Always in the "plus" sizes.  But, look at that!  Why was I always so discontent?!

Dress shopping used to be a nightmare. Always in the "plus" sizes. But, look at that! Why was I always so discontent?! What should a freaking clothing tag's number matter!?!

I used to love those shorts.  Remember the size.  Remember dieting out of them and back into them and then beyond them forever.

I used to love those shorts. Remember the size. Remember dieting out of them and back into them and then beyond them forever. Why did I EVER give in to pressures saying I was always desperately in need of a diet????

"What would I look like now if I had NEVER dieted?? If I had just left well-enough alone?!"

Look at that incredibly Sassy Hair! What would I look like now if I had NEVER dieted?? If I had just left well-enough alone?!

Honestly, it was a pretty rough couple of nights as I sorted pictures.  I found I had to stop frequently to pick myself up both physically from the cross-legged position I held on the floor and from the rather mental-downer into which I was spiraling.

Happily, I have, with some time and thought, been able to find a calm bit of peace in looking back on these images.  Certainly there remains a tinge of bitter sorrow that I was so incredibly cruel to my own body (and let others be cruel at it “for my own good”) for so long. Likely there will also always be that occasional voice  I indulge for a moment, only now and then, to wonder just how things might have been if I’d been stronger and more self-certain and left myself (and my body) alone. For the larger part, though, I can look back and see the (fat) girl I was, struggling to reconcile the feelings of her own body with the nasty comments received from others and working to fit herself into a paradigm that, if we’re honest, has no place for women who aren’t already naturally thin, culturally beautiful, effortlessly correctly feminine, self-assured yet modest, submissively available yet not overly sexual; aka everything that no one can be all at once.  I can look back and know that these parts of my past have shaped the “me” of now.  I don’t have to have LIKED every moment but I can appreciate each link for the part it plays in who I proudly display now.

Who am I now? April D.  Fat, dancing, trumpet-blowing, husband-loving, nay-sayer-ignoring, life-living woman who has worked rather hard to show that I am a lot more than the sum of the numbers on my health chart.  Here is a rather lively number I just got to perform with a lovely local dance group this past December a Yule Hafla.  My resolution for 2012 (since I’m known to just not make them unless it is something I’m planning to do anyway?): continue being a loud and proud April D.  Fat, Visible and Refusing to Be Silenced.  Yip!

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11 thoughts on “Starting 2012: April D through the (fat) ages (and beyond)

  1. Happy New Year, April! You were always beautiful & you are beautiful now. Like many of us, you considered yourself fat when you were not, like many of us, you heard voices telling you lies about yourself & you wasted too much time fighting yourself & trying to be someone you are not. Been there, done that, the last time, I am sorry to say, in my 50’s, when I did not diet but spent 4 years exercising 4 hours per day every day, trying to be ‘good enough’ to be loved by someone who turned out not to be fit to shine my shoes. (I lost 18 pounds in 4 years, btw, & have since regained 50 with aging, finishing menopause, & a return to 40-60 minutes of exercise daily..or, as Tara Pope what’sername would say, because we KNOW that all fat people eat too much), but I am finally happy with myself & at home in my body. You always look beautiful, healthy, vital, radiantly happy, & I am very glad that you are who you are now. May this be a wonderful year for you & Adam.

    • Patsy thank you so much! I hope that you too continue to be happy and at home with yourself and can enjoy a fabulous 2012! It is so saddening to know how many young people hear such horrible things that shape their relationships with their bodies in their formative years so negatively. Reading entries at Microagressions the last couple of days there has been a 7 year old girl who relays many awful body shaming things said about her body and how she NEEDS to diet/lose weight. How discouraging! How much more could we all accomplish in this world if we skipped all those angst-filled years of self hatred and trying to be “good enough” for those who certainly don’t deserve our time and efforts?

  2. Happy new year! Lovely pictures– thank you for sharing them. And I have serious respect for anyone who managed to play an instrument and move in formation at the same time.

    • Thanks RachelB! Considering that I was only part of a group that did parades once a year I have so much awe for those who do incredible formations and such!!

  3. I have serious respect for anyone who can walk & chew gum at the same time. 🙂 Seriously, though, April, you are very talented & well-coordinated.

  4. “What would I look like now if I had NEVER dieted?? If I had just left well-enough alone?!”

    Oh my goodness. Can we just talk about how much I have thought these same thoughts recently? I wonder how different my body would be without the abuse I’ve doled out; would I be thinner/fatter/softer/fitter? Would I be less/more healthy? It really breaks my heart to think about but I like your forward focus. My goal is to have a vibrant 2012.

  5. What I love about that last video is that; although lovely themselves, the thinner girls fade into the background behind all of those big, beautiful bodies! Nobody is ashamed of themselves and you can see it in their faces how wonderful they all feel.

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