Posts Tagged ‘facebook’
Like many reading this, I’ve been struggling to understand the high level of divisiveness that’s permeating our national mood as of late. It was only recently that I discovered an even greater lightning rod for inciting strong opinions and, in some cases, public outrage. And no, I’m not referring to how you may or may not have voted for in the last presidential election, but to my… (dare I admit having it so publicly?) man bun.
At the risk of sounding defensive, I feel compelled to share that growing my hair long enough to entertain having a man bun was never my intent. At least not originally. But after sporting a new style that my barber suggested, I found my hair getting longer and longer. I enjoyed the length when out, socially—but needed a way to keep it out of my face while working. Thus, my first attempt at man-bun-ding took place. And I have to say; it proved to be an effective method for not having to deal with long hair during the work day.
But never in my life would I have predicted that public reaction to said man bun would be so resolute and even vindictive—often from people I’d never met before. I also received a lot of flack from friends, many asking, “Why?”—as if I’d done something to purposely insult them.
Between you and me, it was never my intent to keep my man bun as part of my “look” for very long. But with every outcry I received over it, I felt more and more compelled to keep it around for a while. Not so much to upset people, but because I was fascinated with peoples’ overt reactions. It was as if the hair on my head, when tied up with a small band and curled into a bun (yes, much like the style sported by one Pebbles Flintstone) was being done to intentionally ruin their day.
The parallels to other life disagreements have not been lost on me. With the advent of social media, we’ve all become a little more courageous in regard to sharing our opinions loudly and proudly. But is doing so really “brave” when hiding behind a 140 word-count on Twitter or similar platforms offered by facebook and other online pulpits? What’s happened to “Live and let live?” Much less “Acceptance?”
I know that, for myself, when I don’t accept the circumstances of life, I can come undone, mentally. This often plays out in the confines of my head, hidden from public view—until someone shares an opinion I disagree with (often on TV), which can sometimes make me spin out of control. I then (mistakenly) believe I have the power to not only prove that my viewpoint is more right than someone else’s, but also to instantly change the opinion of the person who doesn’t share my point of view.
Of course, I acknowledge that political, religious and other strongly held beliefs are important to us (and carry much greater impact than whether or not someone likes my hairstyle). But does it really matter to anyone if I have a man bun or not? And does it really matter if someone has different beliefs than I do? Can’t we coexist in a peaceful manner and even draw some comfort from the fact that having different opinions, beliefs and ways of doing things can offer more flavor to everyday life?
While on the topic of hairstyles, I’d be remiss if I didn’t nod to the “perm” I had back when I graduated from college—the same time period during which I weighed over 450 pounds. As shared in my book Weightless: My Life as a Fat Man and How I Escaped, I was a virtual recluse during that part of my life. I was terrified of being judged for not being able to successfully take off the excess weight (no matter how often I’d tried to). And yet somehow I got the courage to venture out of my apartment to get a “perm” hairstyle. I marvel at this now. Because no matter how afraid of people I’d become or how convinced I was that my life was over, I must have had a little hope—symbolized by wanting to affect my looks the only way I could at that time (by getting a new hairstyle).
There may be one day when I look back on having a man bun and shudder. But perhaps it will represent a little bit of courage or—if nothing else—a great sense of humor. (That’ll be my story anyway.)
Looking back aside, I don’t expect my man bun to inspire world peace. In fact, just last week someone assured me that I was encouraging deviant behavior in the form of today’s version of the mullet. That may or may not be true. If so, I’d be the first to laugh. If there’s a way to be a goofball in this life, I’m usually the one to go there (often unintentionally, I assure you). But if having a man bun can remind me to show the same kind of compassion to others that I’d like to receive myself, then everyone wins.
Couldn’t wait to share the news that my upcoming book, Weightless: My Life As A Fat Man And How I Escaped (due September 9th) has been chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of their Top 10 Memoirs for Fall 2014! (On the same list as Lena Dunham and Angelica Huston? I’m truly so honored!)
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY’S Top 10: Memoirs
Daring: My Passages. Gail Sheehy. Morrow, Sept. 9
The Fall. Diogo Mainardi, trans. by Margaret Jull Costa. Other Press, Oct. 7
Father and Son: A Lifetime. Marcos Giralt Torrente, trans. by Natasha Wimmer. FSG/Sarah Crichton, Sept. 9
Fire Shut Up in My Bones. Charles M. Blow. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Sept. 23
Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned.” Lena Dunham. Random, Sept. 30
Packing Up: Further Adventures of a Trailing Spouse. Brigid Keenan. Bloomsbury, Sept. 30
Resilience: Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness. Pete Earley and Jessie Close. Grand Central, Jan. 6
Watch Me. Anjelica Huston. Scribner, Nov. 11
Weightless: My Life As a Fat Man and How I Escaped. Gregg McBride. Central Recovery Press, Sept. 9
The Wild Truth. Carine McCandless. HarperOne, Nov. 4
If you want to find out a little more about Weightless, you can visit (and even “like”) its facebook page. (Thanks!)
Recently a lot of hullabaloo has been made over the Sacramento, California-based mom who, in an effort to promote her fitness business with a provocative ad featuring her barely clad, post-pregnancy body (along with her 3 children), challenged other moms with the headline “What’s your excuse?”
Given the nature of the ad and the tone of the headline, a lot of those moms that Maria Kang was trying to reach have interpreted her message as one of bullying rather than inspiration. As you might have seen on the news (both local and national), many people are accusing Ms. Kang of shaming people rather than inspiring.
“I’ve been getting an influx of new followers, emails and comments (on my profile pic) recently. Some saying I’m a bully, I’m fat-shaming and I need to apologize for the hurt I’ve caused women. I get it. SO here’s my First and Final Apology:
I’m sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won’t go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two business’, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. I won’t even mention how I didn’t give into cravings for ice cream, french fries or chocolate while pregnant or use my growing belly as an excuse to be inactive.
What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It’s Yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn’t create them. You created them. So if you want to continue ‘hating’ this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life. You can either blame, complain or obtain a new level of thought by challenging the negative words that come out of your own brain.
With that said, obesity and those who struggle with health-related diseases is literally a ‘bigger’ issue than this photo. Maybe it’s time we stop tip-toeing around people’s feelings and get to the point. So What’s Your Excuse? – Maria Kang”
Personally, I’m all for an “in your face” approach when it comes to getting people motivated to workout, eat right and get fit. As people with a dieter’s mentality, it can be easy to fall into the trap of “It’s just sooooo hard,” etc., etc. While many may not agree with Ms. Kang’s approach (and I’m not saying that I do), I don’t necessarily understand the firestorm that’s broken out regarding this story. Unless, of course, it was the intention from the start in order to generate some publicity. After all, we’re all talking (and blogging!) about it, aren’t we?
According to Hollywood Life, Ms. Kang claims she just wanted to inspire others with what some are calling a racy photo (given that her 3 children also appear in the shot), saying ““I have always been open, I’ve had a blog since 2007,” she told HollywoodLife.com. “I’m vulnerable and very transparent I don’t feel like I want to hide anything, to me it’s important to be real with yourself, and be real with others because maybe you are inspiring others.”
So what do you think? Is Ms. Kang a bully that’s attempting to shame other moms? Someone who really yearns to inspire others? Or someone who hoped this media storm would do just what’s happening — jumpstart her notoriety?
Photo Source: Mike Byerly Photography
Time for another Rockstar Dieting Tip — one of many helpful ideas I incorporated into my life in order to take off more than 250 pounds of excess weight (and keep it off for over 10 years). You might be surprised to learn that this latest tip has nothing to do with food or exercise. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less valuable to your journey toward total and lasting health.
Rockstar Dieting Tip #2 — Start a “You” Scrapbook
When dieting, we tend to focus on what we’re giving up (ice cream, potato chips, etc.). So instead, why not create your very own “You” scrapbook — one that’s filled with positive cutouts and imagery (healthy body types that inspire you, clothes you want to wear after reaching your goal weight, pictures of social situations that motivate you to take off the excess pounds, etc.)?
I created my own You Book (see above — that’s the actual one) that was eventually chock full of visual clues as to why I was committed to finally taking off the excess weight once and for all. With a “You” scrapbook, you can focus on what you’re getting by losing weight, not what you’re giving it up.
This tip was so popular with my friend Joy Bauer that she actually shared it on the Today Show. It really is something you create yourself that becomes all about you and your reasons for taking off the unwanted pounds. Think of it as a vision board you can add to, look at and take with you anywhere. I used to pick my scrapbook up all the time when tempted to cheat on my eating plan. And nowadays? It serves as an amazing testament to what I went through to not only take off the excess weight, but to keep it off.
When you start your own You Book, I hope you’ll share some images with me. I’d love to see it and even share it here on Just Stop Eating So Much! or on the Just Stop! facebook page. It also just might help motivate others to start their own scrapbooks. (And the best part of this treat? No calories to speak of whatsoever!)
Wanted to let you all know that I’m scheduled to appear on the “Just Jenny” radio show (Sirius XM Stars Channel 106, weekdays 9-10am Eastern) tomorrow (Wednesday, 8/14 at approximately 9:30am Eastern time). Apparently the host of the show (Jenny Hutt) focuses on weight-related topics during Wednesday’s shows. It should be a lot of fun. I hope you’ll tune in if you’re able to. (I think people will be able to call in with questions, too!)
To find out more about Jenny, click here.
For more information about Sirius XM Stars, click here.
For Jenny’s facebook page, click here.
For Jenny on Twitter, click here.