24 November 2013

Heart of friendsihp

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! There are so many blessings that have come my way because of my involvement in the different auxiliaries and organizations as a member of this Church. One of these was back in my college age years. I had to leave Snow College because I ran out of money for school. I had practically lived at the LDS Institute there and really missed it, so I went to the Salt Lake Community College campus LDS Institute and began taking classes even though I could not afford college anymore. Here is where I got involved in an organization then called Lambda Delta Sigma. This was the sorority for the girls at the Institute; the guys had the fraternity Sigma Gamma Chi. As a Lambda Delt, there were many friendships formed and many more great memories made. Those alone could fill several blog posts, which may or may not eventually happen. The purpose of bringing all this up today is to celebrate one of my best friends I met during my days with Lambda Delta Sigma and even more blessings of good friends that I have now because of this wonderful ‘sister’ of mine!
Heart of Friendship - best friends
One of the last pictures taken of Lorilee and I...
Today would have been Lorilee’s birthday! She had many health issues, which sometimes made it hard for her to be involved in all she wanted to do…but she made up for it in sweetness, love and generosity! We were friends from the day we met and only got closer over time and until the end. I am sad to have to include here that 3 ½ years Lorilee graduated from this life. She is greatly missed by her family and friends! I am sure that many of us can attest to the fact that she instantly became a guardian angel to those she left behind and more…

The main reason for today’s post, though, is one of the “even more blessings” mentioned above. During those years, I also became friends with Lorilee’s family, especially her baby brother, who later married and now has the most precious little baby girl of his own! This baby girl is only 7 months old and has had her own set of serious health issues. You can read more about her story at her mom’s blog, View From the Upper Valley. I will let you read more details as you wish…although, this one is specific to the defects in this case…also during this time, her mom posted this link for an article regarding research for such defects.

Needless to say this sweet baby girl had heart surgery last week and, for anyone, this is major surgery, but imagine for one with such a young heart! Her family received so many requests from others asking what they could do to help, her family came up with a wonderful idea. They created an event with the following description:
“So many people have asked about what they can do to help, and we are so appreciative!
We know that the day of surgery and the days afterward will be tough. Tough for and tough for us. Something that would be nice is to see how far we can spread some kind thoughts and good deeds all in her name.
So, between now and the date of surgery, add some positive vibes back into the universe. It doesn’t have to be anything big, from a kind word to giving blood to whatever you want to do.
Or, if you don’t have time, could you post something funny or inspirational to give us a boost?”
neighbor heart
Heart placed in a neighbor's window!
In watching the posts on the event board and such, so many things were done this last few weeks in honor of this baby girl and many more are planned still for the holidays! Of course, everyone, even some who don’t know this family, said prayers and kept them all in their positive thoughts! Several posted things that were humorous and a few inspirational. Some took part in other service projects in their local communities. One young person even made and posted a video speaking of his support and blessing of knowing this family! It has been wonderful to see so many things in honor of this special event! Not just here locally, but all over wherever anyone that knows this family lives! Just to close this section of this post, baby is home and doing better all the time! As I typed this up, this slogan came to mind and I thought how appropriate it is for this situation: “GE…brings good thing to life” and, in this case, so many good things have been brought with many, many more to come for a whole lot of people!

For the record, Lambda Delta Sigma and Sigma Gamma Chi no longer exist in the form of a sorority and fraternity. They are now just covered under what, even then, is known as LDSSA, Latter-Day Saint Student Association. I encourage everyone that is college age; even those that can’t afford regular college/university classes, to take classes at the local LDS Institute and become involved in the activities and service projects! There are friends to find and memories to make! It will be completely worth it and you will never forget things like people from Georgia or blue dots seen out of nowhere! Ok, maybe not those exact things, but I promise you will have your own things you will never forget!

I am thankful for the friendships, blessings and memories of those days! They are all still providing service opportunities like this blog post! It continues to provide testimony building experiences of service about prayer and faith. This is what it is to me…watsit2u?

08 November 2013

Shadow on a Tightrope 30th Anniversary

Welcome to FLABULOUS FRIDAY! No, that is not a spelling error; it is my new focus for my Friday blog posts. What it means to be fat in this thin focused society!  Today’s post is part of a blog carnival of which I’m proud to be a participant! So, here goes…

30 years ago several people got together and helped in the gathering of facts and real life stories to bring us Shadows on a Tightrope:Writings by Women on Fat Oppression Edited by Lisa Schoenfielder and BarbWieser Forward by Vivian Mayer.  A couple months ago the wonderful Marilyn Wann of Fat!So? fame presented the idea on Facebook to honor this anniversary. The challenge to those, like myself, who chose to be involved was to read the book, if not already done so and share the following:  How has weight-related attitudes and fat activist community changed in the last 30 years? What changes do you still want and need?
I am relatively new to the fat activist community and really just getting started in some minor efforts. In all honesty, I had not heard of this book before this opportunity arose and am now ever so grateful. I found it most interesting that a lot of the information has not changed, except maybe in numbers. For example, instead of millions going to the ‘diet’ or ‘reduction’ industry, it is now billions!

HOW HAVE WEIGHT-RELATED ATTITUDES CHANGED IN THE LAST 30 YEARS?  I don’t see much change in the “weight-related attitudes” of society in general. As I read this book, part of me couldn’t help but feel that I never stood a chance. I was only 12 years old when this book came out and had been fat for half my life at that point. I don’t know what happened between the first and second grades but my memories of being fat start in second grade and my fat experience continues today. I have lived with almost constant ridicule from family, so-called friends, teachers, religious leaders, coworkers and bosses over these many years. From remarks of what I should or shouldn’t be eating to pressures to try this or that diet or weight loss method to my clothes not being good and the list goes on…

HOW HAS THE FAT ACTIVIST COMMUNITY CHANGED IN THE LAST 30 YEARS? For me, personally, I don’t know if I can really answer this question. As mentioned before I had not heard of this book until a couple of months ago and until 11 years ago had not known there were other people out there that felt the same as me. How is that you ask? Well, in spite of the constant ridicule and such from all the above mentioned people in my life, I always felt like there wasn’t anything wrong with me and that made something extra wrong with me.  In 2002 my bestest friend loaned me a copy of Fat!So? by Marilyn Wann and I devoured it in a matter of days! The entire time I was reading it, I kept thinking that every person I have ever met in my entire life needs to read this book! Sadly, only a couple of them have done so…but that is beside the point here and now. Since the time of reading this book, there have been many things I learned that I would love to become more active in helping others, of all ages, in learning to love themselves and not be ashamed of who they are because of a number on the scale. THERE IS NO SHAME IN A NUMBER! Why so many people in the world are scared of a number is beyond me! My role in fat activism has really taken off this year, including the introduction of my new blog theme! There will be more details to come in the coming weeks of what I’ve been up to this year!
A new generation is introduced to Shadow on a Tightrope. Photo Credit: Substantia Jones
WHAT CHANGES DO YOU STILL WANT AND NEED? There is still so much to do! The above picture says a lot, we need to continue to share and educate those in our lives about fat acceptance. As I read this book, I could not help but feel that in many ways, some things have not changed at all in the last 30 years.  I would love to see everyone just get along! I’m not saying that everyone has to love everyone else, although what an amazing world we’d live in if this were the norm, right?! I’m just saying that people should worry more about themselves and lose the negativity. So many people are missing out on some great relationships by exercising so much fat hate! More specifically, I would love to see size discrimination be added to the unacceptable discrimination list, starting with employment. But in general, society has so much to learn about the realities of fat people and the ineffectiveness of fat shaming!

Follow the links below to read what many others have to say about this special 30th anniversary:

As an unashamed fat person, I hope those who know me would agree that I am a good friend, a good worker and a student! Although, I really have no idea how me being fat has anything really to do with any of that! So, that’s what it is to me…watsit2u?

03 November 2013

Just one word - LOVE

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! Today was the monthly Fast and Testimony Meeting in Sacrament Meeting. This is where anyone who feels so prompted by the Spirit are welcomed to bear their testimonies. Sometimes there is a theme and sometimes, like today, there are several principles talked about, but one was very short and sweet. She started by saying it was all about one word: LOVE!

cute blanket of some neighbor kids - thought it went well with this post

Other topics mentioned were baptism, tithing, obedience, missions, parenthood, Joseph Smith's first vision, Book of Mormon, the gospel is the same no matter where one attends their LDS Church meetings, blessings, Lord's plan for each of us, repentance. That's what it was all about in our Branch today....watsit2u?