weight gain

Another Off Topic: PCOS, Body Image, and Health Advocacy

Another Off Topic: PCOS, Body Image, and Health Advocacy

[Trigger Warning: We’re chatting body image, public commentary on weight, and health problems with a sprinkle of NSFW pictures too.]

When I wrote the post outlining my crappy fall (before it got crappier with walking pneumonia), I mentioned how PCOS insidiously corrupted my body, leaving me with symptoms ranging from abdominal weight gain to low vitamin D to scary high triglycerides. Many of my readers sent messages of support or asked about the disorder as well as the book I recommended 8 Steps to Reverse Your PCOS by Fiona McCulloch. Since PCOS affects roughly 10% of all women and trans men of reproductive age, I thought it merited further discussion, particularly because many of us also suffer from depression, anxiety, and poor self image related to weight gain.

OT Post: All the difference a day makes

OT Post:  All the difference a day makes

(Trigger Warning: I’m finally ready to open up about what happened with my brother and how our family has been coping, but this will include potentially triggering topics like assault, PTSD, body image, depression, and anxiety. It’s also long. Without many pictures. You have been warned. *said in stern voice*)

September 19th was a glorious day. It was a busy Saturday at the shop, and I felt confident and happy with how much progress I had made in the last several weeks physically and emotionally. In fact, my optimism was at such a high that I snapped a selfie—a totally out of character move for me—and posted it on my private Facebook profile:

Musings on Blogging and “Professionalism”

Musings on Blogging and “Professionalism”

Despite writing enough blog posts to fill several books in the last four years, I struggled intensely the first year to find both my voice as a writer and the direction the blog should pursue. My prior experience in writing centered on academic papers, copy writing for businesses, or my own fictional stories, novels, and poems. A blog was foreign territory for my skills and made all the more challenging because I wrestled with two conflicting motivations. My years of working in technology coupled with the preaching from my business classes about the acceptability of interactions with customers left me purposefully stunting the passion and emotion within my posts. This hesitation was not made better by reflecting on what my mom, a consummate professional, recommended for inspiring confidence, leadership, and authority. However, my personality was begging to be included. I have always been a mix of contradictions in a sense. When I had my labret pierced (the one on my chin), my mom’s first words upon seeing me were “You’ve committed professional suicide.” She used that phrase “professional suicide” frequently to summarize unorthodox personal preferences, like visible tattoos, less conservative attire, and of course, facial piercings. I have always found it interesting how professionalism in certain industries requires a divestment from the self, how we must repress who we are to represent a company image or to project an air of trustworthiness and intelligence to clients.