Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sneaky B*tches

Today, I overheard a girl in a class today talking about running her first 5k. I congratulated her and got chatting about running, and mentioned that I hope to do a 5k one of these days. And then she was like....oh, yeah, I have asthma and I couldn't breathe but you know, it was easy, I just kept moving, blah blah blah, running just comes easily to me I guess, aren't I awesome, etc. etc. etc.

That's when I realized she was a Sneaky Bitch. You know the type...the ones who make all your hard work and agony seem so STUPID and pointless because they just decide one day to do something, and it works for THEM, and they don't understand that not everyone can do that thing easily. They don't give a crap their words are like a knife in your back.

And today, it's just the final straw for me, because I've spent the better part of the past two years trying to be a runner. I went to a running clinic to learn proper form (ball impact, heel glance...any coach that ever told you to “dig in those heels” while running was a dumbass and likely causing you injury). I'd get so close to completing a full mile and fall short, because my lungs were going to explode. I've fallen off treadmills, nay, FLEW off a treadmill, because I am a horrible spaz. I've sprained the same ankle twice, very badly, again on the spaz bit. I had plantar fasciitis in both feet when I started jogging and only started jogging consistently because I realized running with proper form moved the impact zone off my injured tendons AND that the area was strengthening every time I jogged and felt immensely better, both localized, and as I lost weight, overall. I finally (just recently) reached the place where I can jog a whole mile without stopping to walk or take breathers.

But EVERY time I start getting a good routine going, I get hurt again, like today. Something in my hip flexor has been bothering me for a few weeks and while I've been trying to do stuff to fix it, and strengthen the area, today it “snapped” about 2 minutes into a good brisk run and I had to stop because my leg basically gave out from under me. It hurts like crazy to even walk right now and I am PISSED, because once again, my body is betraying me when all I've done is try to make it better, faster, stronger, healthier, and meanwhile there are SNEAKY BITCHES out there running 5k's without even TRYING.

It's not like I'm a nutter fanatic trying to run marathons (you know who YOU are...nutters!) and doing crazy routines. I'm just trying to jog a couple times a week as part of an overall cardio and resistance training fitness plan AND I CAN'T EFFING DO IT without getting hurt, and suffering, and experiencing delays of every imaginable sort.

Why are there always people who seem to be able to just fall into the thing we are bleeding and sweating our butts off to be able to do? Like that writer who decided one day to pen a totally ridiculous, cheesy, lame-ass knock-off book and it became an overnight sensation, selling a hundred bazillion jillion copies and inciting fan fiction of the fan fiction (complete with merchandising) to pop up faster than maggots on a cow carcass (Yeah, EL James, talking about you here, and a few other individuals who shall not be named, we all know who you are even if you don't acknowlege it) while there are thousands of writers all over the world who have been slaving away over brilliant, original, FABULOUS ideas for decades, hundreds of decades even (little bit exaggatory) and can barely sell a thing, much less get a contract.

As if that weren't bad enough, inevitably these “blessed” people like to oh-so-innocently rub our faces in their success...“Oh, I didn't need painkillers for the dentist or childbirth!” (True story...I call Alien Species on that particular sneaky bitch, but whatever). “I ran a 5k while having an asthma attack, and won first place!” (Ok, exaggeration, but whatever, my hip effing hurts, I'm allowed.) “I'm now going to share the secrets of my success with you all and show how you, too, can be an overnight writing sensation like me via pompous windbaggy douchery webcasts and books I've written on the subject which you should buy so I can make more money, wheee!” (Not really an exaggeration on that last bit, sadly)

Here's the thing. There are always going to be people who seem to be really good at something or fall into a bit of luck. And if YOU are one of those people, don't be an effing jerk about it. Don't pretend you somehow magically have all the secrets of the universe at your disposal. Don't pretend you're an expert just because you were in the right place at the right time. Don't knock other people's efforts, or belittle their hard work and talent, and don't offer to “help” them or give advice with a supercilious smirk or self-righteous attitude. Be genuine, and humble, and grateful, and don't be a sneaky little bitch, ok? The world does NOT need more of those people.

For the rest of us, I guess all we can do is dust ourselves off, take an ibuprofen, and get the eff back to work. Here's a quote to help us with that~

Monday, October 21, 2013

Release the Zombies!Release the Zombies!

Today I finished the third and final book of Angela Scott's brilliant Zombie West series, Dead Plains. 

It was gloriously gruesome, ridiculously romantic, and totally threw me for a couple loops. Never tiresome or tedious, Scott does superb details and descriptions with the best of 'em. I loved the conclusion to the story I've been following for almost two years now (holy cow, I can't believe how fast it's gone!) and I so appreciate Angela letting me read and review all three books. It's been quite an adventure alongside Red, Trace, and the rest of the gang. I loved Willa, a new character introduced, and I felt so bad for those farm animals at the end (don't worry, I won't ruin the details, but it absolutely has a happy ending)...

It's likely that if you are reading this blog, you already know a little about Angela Scott and the Zombie West series, but if not, here are the links about why you should read the first two:

My Blog Entry about Book One

To Buy Book One or read other reviews- Wanted: Dead or Undead

To Buy Book Two or read other reviews

Haven't read either of them? Don't worry, we've got you covered!! All commenters will be entered to win an e-copy of Book 1, "Wanted: Dead or Undead" or Book 2, "Survivor Roundup," Winner's choice of which book. Details Below :)

A little about the lovely author herself:
I hear voices. Tiny fictional people sit on my shoulders and whisper their stories in my ear. Instead of medicating myself, I decided to pick up a pen, write down everything those voices tell me, and turn it into a book. I’m not crazy. I’m an author. For the most part, I write contemporary Young Adult novels. However, through a writing exercise that spiraled out of control, I found myself writing about zombies terrorizing the Wild Wild West—and loving it. My zombies don’t sparkle, and they definitely don’t cuddle. At least, I wouldn’t suggest it.

I live on the benches of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains with two lovely children, one teenager, and a very patient husband. I graduated from Utah State University with a B.A. degree in English, not because of my love for the written word, but because it was the only major that didn’t require math. I can’t spell, and grammar is my arch nemesis. But they gave me the degree, and there are no take backs.

As a child, I never sucked on a pacifier; I chewed on a pencil. I’ve been writing that long. It has only been the past few years that I’ve pursued it professionally, forged relationships with other like-minded individuals, and determined to make a career out of it.

You can subscribe and follow me on my website, where I blog obsessively about my writing process and post updates on my current works. I’m also on Twitter and Facebook, but be forewarned, I tweet and post more than a normal person.

You can pick up a copy of Dead Plains for yourself (or as a gift, but honestly, you'll want to read it) at the following places~

Barnes & Noble

Now for the commenting and your chance to win a free e-book...Tell us what fictional character you'd most want by your side in the event of a zombie apocalypse and WHY? (All commenter names will be put in a hat/jar/other opaque container at my disposal and ONE winner's name will be drawn on Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 at 8 pm EST. You must leave your email address with your comment because that's how we'll contact the winner and send you your book....I promise never to mail you anything else!)

If you so desire, you may "like" and follow my nonsensery on my Author/Artist/Photographer Facebook Page here Rebecca L. Fisk and my twitter account here wishywash27 

Good luck and happy reading!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Who Told You It Was Okay To Be A Lecher?

In this day and age, I find myself surprised that any man over the age of 18 still thinks it's perfectly acceptable to engage in lechery, but yet I witness it nearly every day. What's worse is I'm not sure many of the guys who do it think what they are doing actually is lechery, or that most women don't “secretly” like it.

Let me back up a minute and explain what I mean by “lechery,” just so we are all on the same page. The dictionary defines it as “inordinate indulgence in sexual activity.” Well, THAT was no help at all. I mean, who defines how much is normal versus inordinate? Furthermore, does anyone besides Priests or Nuns think indulging oneself in sexual activity is bad?

A new and improved definition might be this: Any behavior towards another person using phrases, suggestions, innuendoes, nuances, jokes, banter, gestures, motions, or other that is intended to sexualize the person in a way that makes them uncomfortable. Wait, doesn't that kind of sound like sexual harassment? Why, yes, it really, really does, and that's because “sexual harassment” is the ominous sounding legal term that includes lecherous behavior!!! Ding Ding Ding!

Maybe a few examples would help clarify even further. I had some specific issues in mind when I realized I wanted to do a blog post about it, but I wanted to get some other people's opinions on it too, so when I threw the topic out to the Twitterverse, some interesting stuff came up.

One of the issues at hand is that women have grown so used to this behavior from men, we simply pretend it's not happening. Guy at work makes a weird joke about your pantylines? Ignore. Facebook friend makes creepy comments about wanting your body, or wanting to see your body in leopard print jeans? Ignore. Why do we do this? A few reasons. One of which yes, I'll be frank, on SOME occasions SOME women might find it flattering. But for the 99.999999% of the time we do not want attention this way, women ignore lechery for a lot of reasons. 

We hope the person will never ever again say something so embarrassing and behave themselves. We hope their wife/girlfriend catches them at it and whomps them upside the head so we don't have to. We don't want to draw further attention to the comment by acknowledging it in any way. We don't want to banter back because we don't want to encourage the person. We DO banter back because we want to make light of it, or not seem prudish or uptight. We don't know WHAT to say, or do, so maybe we say or do nothing. AND DOING NOTHING ISN'T WORKING.

A women who got involved in the discussion said for years she always got groped in bars and she always ignored it. Finally she got sick of it, and when a guy grabbed her, she grabbed him back, right in the face, forced him to look at her, and told him in no uncertain terms, to STOP IT. He backed off, bleary eyed and drunk as a skunk. That guy, by the way, was not just trying to touch her back, or even her breasts...

Another women said when she used to waitress, she would experience things like her male co-workers blocking the doorway while she was trying to get inside to clock in, and they'd make crude comments to her. She had an owner of one place tell her to wear less clothing if she wanted to make some decent money. The outfit in question was already a tank top and shorts and the restaurant was supposedly a family dining establishment, not a dive bar or a Hooters. She said lots of times she'd be jogging and a car would slow down and drive right alongside her, and the guy(s) inside would whistle, catcall, say things like “work it” or the like.

That has also happened to me, and it's scary, because you don't know how to react, and what the guy(s) might do. I've responded to these behaviors by ignoring them. Other times I've tried a more aggressive approach like giving them the finger, or saying something like “Yeah, keep dreaming, buddy.” The thing is...their response has almost always been the same regardless of whether I've ignored them or responded verbally. I've gotten the nasty laugh and then they gun the engine or squeal the tires as they drive off. I've been called a “Bitch” or a “C-nt” and then they gun the engine or squeal the tires as they drive off. So if I ignore their advances, I'm obviously an ungrateful Bitch and deserve to inhale their exhaust as they drive off, but if I try to defend myself from their neanderthalic advances in any way, I'm an ungrateful C-nt and deserve to be mistreated for that too. Interesting.

Let's look at some less physical examples. I have this attractive friend, and at least once a week, I hear someone making a comment to her that soundly qualifies as lechery. One example I overheard was “You give guys wood.” Um...really? Wow. Who SAYS that?! And the leopard print jeans comment I mentioned earlier? Yeah, someone I went to high school with a million years ago and barely know posted that on my facebook wall. “I'd like to see you post a picture wearing those leopard print jeans.” Leer leer, wink wink. Huh?

And therein lies the crux...some guys seem to think it's okay to make sexual comments to women BECAUSE they've never met, and aren't likely to, or because they live thousands of miles away. For some people, the greater the physical distance in miles, the more acceptable they seem to think it is to make offhand or pervy comments. I've seen lots of married guys or ones who are in a relationship, make sexual comments to other women and they think that lets them off the hook in some way, because “I am spoken for and they know I'm just joking.” Guess what, it's NOT OKAY even if they DO “know you are joking.” Adding a grinning winky face or a “JK” after a lecherous comment doesn't make it any more okay than if you say it to someone's face. If you wouldn't say it to their face while your grandma and their grandma is sitting right there, as well as your wife or S.O., then it's not okay to say it at all via social media when you think no one is looking. Telling someone on twitter that you'd like to blankety blank their blank is not okay. Telling someone on Facebook you'd like to “ride their merry go round” is NOT OKAY (unless they actually have a Carousel, in which case, hook me up 'cause I love those things).

I won't even get into the number of times where a woman has to deal with some guy stalking her with his eyes and doing the lascivious look-down/undressing-while-licking-his-lips thing - like you are walking around the grocery store just for his personal viewing pleasure and sexual satisfaction - Meat selection, ground beef or female flesh, yum. You just haven't LIVED until you've thrown up in your mouth a little because you know exactly what he's thinking about doing to you, right?

For the record, to be completely clear, I'm not talking about males and females who have the kind of relationship where they BOTH find it acceptable to make crude jokes and comments to each other. That's their business, and more power to 'em. I'm also not talking about flirting. If you find someone attractive, then ask them out on a proper date, don't make crude comments about their body parts or other such nonsense before you are absolutely certain they are fine with you doing so.

What I'm talking about is behavior that one person thinks is funny and entertaining, and their right to dole out, while the person on the receiving end is disgusted, humiliated, scared, confused, and hurt by the one doing it.

For everyone who is the recipient of lechery, I think we need to do things a little differently from now on. Let's not ignore it if someone says something to us that makes us uncomfortable. Let's call the person out on it. Let's tell them straight up, “Hey, I don't find that comment appropriate.” “That comment made me uncomfortable.” “Please don't make any more jokes like that, thanks.” To the drive-by cat-callers? “Your conduct is disrespectful,” and keep walking away. Etc. Etc. Be direct. If you know the person, say it's a friend or acquaintance, let's say what we need to in a private message, or pull the person aside...most people respond better and more respectfully when not admonished in public. If they continue making comments after you've asked them in private, by all means, shine the spotlight down and call that sh*t OUT, such as on social media or the breakroom. Block them, unfriend them, file a complaint, whatever you have to do. You don't need to put up with it. There is a HUGE difference between flirting and being lecherous, and it's up to us to draw our comfort line between the two.

Rape Culture teaches women to be afraid to stick up for themselves. We don't like to offend, we don't like to create waves or cause tension, we don't want to be called a Bitch or a C-nt, nor do we want to be thought of that way. But you know what? Enough is enough. Either we tell someone it's not okay for them to be a Lecher or we are basically saying it is. If it makes you uncomfortable, it's not okay for the other person to be doing it and you have the right to say so. Will this stop everyone? No. Bottom line, there are still neanderthals among us, no question. But no one should have to stay silent and just take it, and there is still power in saying, “No. This is not okay. Stop it.” And you know what? The more people who say it, the more powerful it gets. Pass it on.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Perfection and Lies, a.k.a. Using Photoshop

So the first is a picture of myself unedited from the original except for cropping, and small amount of smoothing of skin. 

Second picture is me with a digital nose job and even more smoothing.

Which is funny, because I think my nose looks more like the second image in real life, but in pictures, weird angles and "flaws" are captured, and I seem to have my Italian grandmother's large beak (Thanks, Grandma! :D )

Anyways, I thought it was interesting how I've come to recognize basically every professional picture any of us see now days in any media image has been altered. Think your favorite celebrity is "perfect?" Not even close, baby!

As a graphic designer and artist, it's my job to do this stuff. But I hope I never lose sight that beauty comes in many shapes and forms, and to stay proud of my real and darling shnozzy nose. Not only does it suit me just fine, but it works very well...I can detect odors with practically superhuman ability! :D

Saturday, June 22, 2013

What Kind Of Writer Are You, Anyways?

There are many ways to describe a garden...or, we could call it finding your Voice...some people may disagree, but there are absolutely right ways to write and wrong ways to write. Perhaps "right" and "wrong" are misnomers. Words you'd be terribly bored by and would never want to read, or find extremely tedious- those are the “wrong” ways to write. Words that pull you in, and make you want to know what's going to happen next, that is the "right" way.

Styles also vary by genre. There seems to be a formula between genres, of how to write about something, because HOW you convey the mood is vital to your reader, not just the subject matter. Understanding these subtleties is important.

I read across all genres. Some people only prefer one or two genres (boring little trolls!) and that's fine.

But here is the truth...if you make something really interesting, and I mean REALLY interesting, you can break as many rules as you want to, and readers will still love you. (I'm not claiming to be able to do this, I'm just stating an opinion I like to call a fact)

Just for fun, I've written several different paragraphs about a garden and a tomato. Each is a different mood, or “genre.” Can you spot the terribly boring, bad, DO NOT DO THIS paragraphs? And it hardly matters what genre they might be lumped into, because they are BAD and WRONG and BORING!!! 

I'd like to think it'd be super easy for anyone to pick out the crap paragraphs, but to my dismay, I've seen stuff written quite similarly in recent works. Amazing writing transcends genre, as does horrible writing. I may not be in the category otherwise known as “Amazing” but I sure as heck know boring when I see it.

(Have fun reading these, for they are meant to be taken with a side helping of salt. Wait. I wasn't intentionally trying to make a pun about putting salt on a fresh sliced tomato....oh never mind!)

~The garden was in front of me. There was a tomato growing in it. The tomato was red. I walked over to it and picked it. It was heavy for a tomato. There was a small spot near the stem. The stem was dark green but the spot was brown. The garden was nice. The tomato will go in a salad later.

~I wasn't sure why the sprawling garden beckoned to me so, until I spotted the ripe, luscious glint of red peeping out from behind the vine. Before I could stop myself the plump fullness of the tomato was pressing itself into in my hand. I shuddered, overwhelmed with my longing to taste its succulent flesh and feel the juices dripping down my chin. I bit down, and moaned with pleasure as the explosion of tangy sweetness erupted on my tastebuds.

~The greenery of the garden was dark and forbidding. The metal spikes of the vine trellis leaned toward me in a vaguely threatening manner, as if to say, do not come closer, there is nothing good here for you. I jumped as the sudden screech of the rusty windmill indicated a fierce wind was rising. The sky loomed over me, full of grays and jagged clouds. A storm was coming in fast, and the dilapidated barn ahead was the only shelter for miles. I ran for it as the first raindrops pelted my face, hearing my mother's warning voice echo in my head as I tugged on the door handle. "Never mistake opportunity for destiny..."

~The tableau was strange to her new eyes, a haphazard tumble of greens, yellows, and reds. There. The brightest orangey-red caught her eye and she made her way towards it. A small spherical shape was growing from a vine as thick as her index finger. “Classification: Food. Edible fruit called a 'toe-may-toe, and sometimes a 'toe-mah-toe,'” chimed the electronic identifier in her ear. “Toe-may-toe. Toe-mah-toe.” She repeated out loud. She touched its skin, smooth and poreless, and utterly foreign.

~Once upon a time, there once grew an enchanted tomato. The legend of her beauty and plumpness had spread far and wide across the land, and many had tried to rescue the beautiful fruit, but alas, it was not to be. The surrounding garden protected the fruit with savage ferocity, thick vines that strangled any man that came too close, and vicious thorns that punctured him unto death. The tomato longed for freedom and had begun to despair of her rescue. “I shall wither on my vine and perish,” she thought. “I shall turn brown and my skin will crack.” As the tomato continued to muse, she began to understand. “If no one can rescue me, I MUST find a way to escape. I must rescue myself!”

~The small boy skipped across the lawn and into the garden where he wandered around for several moments before spotting a tomato that his mother had asked him to bring inside because she was preparing lunch for his father who was coming home early from work to to eat lunch and then he had to drive to the airport to pick up his sister who was flying home from college on her summer break. The airport was almost an hour away from their house and he wanted to go with his father to watch the planes because he thought maybe he wanted to be a pilot when he grew up but also maybe a fireman and he didn't really want to spend more time than necessary with his sister because she always picked on him and it was bad enough she was going to be home for almost 4 months straight so adding the extra hour it would take to get home was not such a great idea after all.

Please write your own version of a garden tomato descriptor in the Comments know you want to! And definitely poke fun at the paragraphs I wrote ;)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Body Lies

     This morning, I was reading a popular fashion magazine. Each month, they feature a brief highlight on fashion ideas for “big women in a skinny world.” One word jumped off the page and struck me right across my face. The article used the word “curvy” to describe the author and other women like her. The problem is this women is not “curvy,” she is obese. I don't use “obese” as a pejorative; she is a beautiful women, obviously intelligent, creative, and her use of accessories is inspiring.

     I joined the growing ranks of obese women when I was about 23 years old. I had never been an active child, or teenager, preferring to read instead of forcing my uncoordinated and clumsy body to play a sport of some kind. My parents were never into sports, and as they led active lives in their professions, the last thing they wanted to do during “down time” was more physical activity. I never struggled with my weight as a young person, and assumed I never would.

    As many people do, I found myself with a desk job. As my adult metabolism started to slow, the pounds started first creeping, then piling on. Never having the foundation of an active lifestyle left me unaware of where to begin. I had the vague notion one needed to “eat healthier” and “get moving” to lose weight, but knowing the formula and putting it into practice are two very different things. To complicate matters, I didn't eat all that unhealthily. I ate out maybe once a month, ate vegetables and fruit daily, and while I certainly enjoyed a good Doritos nosh, I wasn't pigging out on junk food regularly, so what exactly was I supposed to change?

    I knew that a “diet” was not going to work for me. I also knew enough about weight loss to know that most people gain back not only the weight they lost, but an additional 10% MORE weight within one year of going off a diet. I listened to friends complain about their weight more and more and list every excuse in the book about why they couldn't exercise.

    “I don't have time.” “I'm too busy.” “My kids/spouse/pets/job makes it impossible.” “I'm overweight, but I'm still pretty healthy, so it's fine.”

    That last one was my excuse, until I began realizing I wasn't very healthy at all. I couldn't climb my stairs without feeling out of breath. I certainly couldn't jog around my block. Having to carry my groceries and laundry baskets up to my second floor apartment was a chore I dreaded. I didn't even like taking my dog out to play because it felt like too much effort to run around for 5 minutes. I developed plantar fasciitis in both my feet. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the leading cause contributing to the development of plantar fasciitis is carrying extra weight on your frame, and the best way to get rid of it is to lose the excess weight. I had severe acid reflux disease and had to take nearly double the amount of medication than what is standard to treat the condition. Guess what the best treatment for GERD is? Yeah. Losing weight.

    Nobody actually told me I had to lose weight, not even my physicians. In fact, everywhere I went made it easy to stay heavy. Clothes for bigger women are available in all department stores and most chain boutique stores (unlike the old days where you had to go to “specialty stores” for plus sizes.) In fact, I technically wasn't wearing plus-sized clothes anyways, so that meant I was fine, right? Everyone (except airlines) makes public seating bigger nowadays, so one barely even notices their bum getting wider. “Curvy” has replaced “Heavy” or “Full-Figured” as the descriptive term for bigger women, and who doesn't want to be curvy? Curvy is sexy!

    Except...let's be clear about something vitally important. There is a world of difference between “curvy” and “obese.”

    Obesity is defined by the American Medical Association as having a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 or more. I am aware that BMI doesn't take into consideration a person's muscle mass, and so, there is SOME leeway in this number. (You can figure out your own BMI using the following formula:

(your weight in pounds)
(height in inches) x (height in inches) and multiply by 703 = BMI

Underweight- Less than 18.5
Normal Weight- 18.5 to 24.9
Overweight- 25 to 29.9
Obesity- 30 or greater

    It would be easy to take comfort in the fact that the average woman in American is now a size 14. As long as we are amongst the average, there is nothing really wrong with us, is there?

    Except, there is a LOT wrong with us.

    Curvy is an undefined term adopted by the masses to make women feel better about being overweight. In a culture that is striving to shame no one, we've instead managed to invent a term that keeps us sick and unhealthy and feeling okay about it.

    I'm not writing this because I'm perfect. I'm writing this because calling someone who is obese “Curvy” is a lie, and being lied to infuriates me. I'm writing this because over 60% of Americans are medically overweight or obese. Over 500,000 women succumb to heart disease every year. Type II Diabetes is the fastest growing ailment among Americans. Billions and billions of our dollars are spent each year by our Insurance Companies to treat our obesity-related ailments. Foot injuries, back injuries, high blood pressure, GERD, and chronic pain are some of the “less important” medical issues facing obese people.

    I didn't want to be one of those people anymore. I didn't want to stay unhealthy. I started doing the only thing I thought just MIGHT start me down the right path - walking for 20 minutes every day.

    A year later, I don't feel unhealthy anymore. It's not about vanity. Sure, I want to look good and feel sexy, but I refuse to give that more importance than the fact that I've been able to cut my acid reflux medication need in half. The plantar fasciitis is gone. I can run around, and carry laundry, and play with the dog. I feel capable. I ENJOY exercising (most days, ha). Sometimes I eat dessert and pizza and I still nosh on Doritos and I refuse to feel guilty about it.

    I'm not skinny. It's never been about that. I don't want the women of the world to be skinny, I want us to be healthy. If you can't climb a set of stairs without getting winded, you are not healthy. If you can't jog around your block without feeling like you are going to keel over and die, you are not healthy. If you can't actively play with your kids for 20 minutes, or your pets, you are not doing them or yourself any favors, and you aren't healthy.

    I don't want a world full of women hiding behind a false sense of security because they are “average,” and meanwhile, their lives are being cut short by ten or twenty years. That magazine, as well as any other that hides America's worst health epidemic behind a misleading term, ought to be ashamed. We shouldn't accept being lied to and told we're okay when we are actually dying. We're worth way more than that.