I’m Losing Weight, but I’m Still Depressed… What Gives?

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shout out to myfitnesspal, i wouldn’t be here without you! *princess wave*

Since December 1st, I’ve been focusing on tracking my daily water intake.

Since January 1st, I’ve been focusing on tracking my daily food intake, and preparing meals that improve the quality of my life instead of weighing me down.

Since February 1st, I’ve been focusing on weighing myself and tracking my weight (at least weekly).

Simply by paying attention to what’s going into my body, I’ve lost weight.

In the past two months, I’ve incorporated light exercise. (Shoutout to Leslie Sansone with her amazing Walk at Home workouts. They may be designed for the elderly but hell if I mentally feel good enough to do more than that. In the very least, I feel good enough to do these and feel accomplished in what I’m doing and I keep going back to them).

Technically, I’m actively losing weight.

So why am I still depressed?

I’m not doing this for anyone else. Not to dramatically grasp at more time with my kids or my spouse like they do on the weight loss shows. If I die tomorrow, so be it. I will go when I’m meant to go.

I started watching shows like that when I was probably seven years old. An overweight seven year old. It made it seem like if you lost weight, you could make it all disappear. Either subliminally or purposefully the weight truly represented all the stress, the anger, the pain of the world. Losing that excesss baggage would transform you into a different person, a person who loved Zumba or ate beetroot everyday.

Honestly, the only way I feel different is that I’m annoyed.

All of my comfy shirts are too big and I’m too cheap to buy new ones right now.

How annoying.

Something I realized though, even though I’m not doing this for anyone else, if someone saw me on the street they’d probably think “wow, they must be really unhealthy.” But this is the healthiest I’ve ever been. I’ve worked hard to feel as good as I do.

I’ve never been particularly insecure about my weight in the past. I’m obese. That’s a part of life for me.

I was discussing with my mother the other day how odd it is that the straight sizes in clothing stores are “SMALL-MEDIUM-LARGE-EXTRALARGE”. How demeaning is that? Obviously that’s how it is, I’m not saying the entire fashion industry should change tomorrow.

But for all of my life, I’ve just been a number. Plus size clothes are somehow more honest in that way. Maybe that’s why straight sized women are so scared to have to go up a size, the insecurity forced upon them by the SML sizing. Do they not realize there’s an entire ‘nother world on the other side? It’s honestly getting cooler every day. Plus size fashion is a socioeconomic statement, it means so much more than “I wish I was still a medium 🙎😞”. It says, “I’m living my life without repression. I deserve fun clothes that actually fit me.”

I watched my mother eat disorderly my entire childhood. She deprived herself physically and mentally, and worse she did it for other people. She did it to somehow make things better in her mind. To keep her husband from calling her fat or lazy when they fought. She is still eating disorderly 20 years into my life. She will never be at peace with the thing she uses to fuel her body.

I don’t ever want to become that person. Being fat is a part of me. It’s part of my heritage, my ancestry. It’s connected to my mental health, and my family’s mental health history. It’s part of my environment, my socioeconomic status. As long as I can get a meal at McDonald’s for less than groceries it will always be unfair and unhelpful to ask, “why are poor people getting fat?”

You know why.

I am fat.

I am depressed.

I am angry.

I am beautiful.

I am joyful.

I am peaceful.

They are all one in the same because they all make up me.

I don’t intend to ever change that about myself.

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How To: Make Melt & Pour Base into a Liquid Gel Soap

Okay, I did an experiment last night and I have the results to show you today. Long term we’ll have to do a check in BUT I would definitely consider this a success as of now.  LIQUID SOAP. It’s a controversial topic in the melt and pour community.

I love it, and I use it just as much as my soap bars (if not a little less now that i’m actually making my own). However, I have a friend that utterly refuses to use anything but liquid, and she’s been nagging me to buy a liquid soap base for months. Well, I ain’t about to do that if I can make it myself, I’ve got 50 lbs of goats milk melt and pour to use!

So I did a little digging, and all of the “make bar soap into liquid soap” articles are about premade commercial bars of soap grated up. Soooo… I winged it. Just did a small batch, but it ballooned into a great big amount very quickly. It’s truly just as easy as M&P, if not easier if you don’t include waiting time. So here we go, here’s how I made liquid soap from M&P.

You will need:
– 4 oz [115 grams] Melt & Pour Soap Base (I used Goat’s Milk, but I imagine a clear base would make gorgeous transparent / translucent soaps!)

– 2 cups /16 fl oz [475 mls] Water  (I used purified and distilled).

– 2-3 tablespoons [30-45 mls] Nourishing, Liquid at Room Temp, Oil (I always add sweet almond, jojoba and vitamin E to my M&P, but olive works as well).

Preservatives like Optiphen at a 1% usage rate is an optional addition for those who want to sell a liquid soap like this. Because of the high water concentration, many are more secure in using them in home formulations as well. I don’t personally because I don’t sell my soaps, and we go through soap very quickly here. The choice is up to you!

– 5 ml Fragrance or Essential Oil (I based this on the 1% rule, 20 oz liquid = ~590 mls. You could up the FO to as much as 8-10 mls for this amount, but I wanted to be safe for my first round).

– Soap Colorants. I find liquid dyes work best for this unless you’re going to color with mica right at the beginning when melting the M&P. If not, stick to liquid. About 20 drops of combined purple, red, and blue made for a nice deep yet still pastel purple. Liquid dyes will show up more densely in a clear soap base, while white bases will almost always end up pastel.

Nothing more frugal than reusing soap bottles ehh?

1. Set your measured water on to boil. I used my electric kettle (which I think every American household should have, but I digress). A pot on the stove should be just as well. Must be at a barely rolling boil, and you should synchronize this with your melt and pour.

2. Microwave your melt and pour in 30 second bursts in a microwave safe container (Pyrex measuring cups 4 lyfe) until well melted. Mine was full melted in 30 seconds for this amount, but just barely, so I heated it for another twenty to get a bit of heat unto it. DO NOT OVERHEAT YOUR MELT AND POUR. Especially goats milk M&P. It smells gross, it looks gross, it is gross. And I don’t care what anyone says, you cannot salvage burnt melt and pour. If you’re using mica colorants, now is the time to add them, just mix your mica with some rubbing alcohol before incorporating.

3. Add your nourishing oils to your M&P and stir to well incorporated. I’d imagine if you’re making a large batch of this, you may need to reheat after adding a large amount of room temp oils. I didn’t need to!

4. Get yourself ready, and temper a small amount (half a cup ish) of your just boiling water into your M&P. You want to be pretty much continuously stirring. I just using a large kitchen eating spoon, anything apart from a whisk will work. Once it is incorporated you can continue adding in your water. Fully incorporate your water. I cannot emphasize this enough, the gel will not form if there are pockets of unincorporated oil or M&P.

5. Leave to cool for about 20 minutes. Stir once more before leaving overnight (or 6-8 hours). Don’t touch it, don’t stir it, don’t move it. This can be so tempting so I suggest you do this project in the evening and let sit to gel overnight. You can cover with cling film with a few small holes poked in it if you’re concerned. There needs to be some spaces in the film for a bit of the water to evaporate.

6. In the morning, you should notice that your soap has gelled into a pudding / gelatin like consistency. Don’t be alarmed! I was laughing the first time I experienced this (“Did someone replace my soap with Vanilla pudding??”). But no, all is not lost! Bring in a traditional kitchen whisk (after playing with it a while, because it’s hella fun omg), and it will become a nice liquid soap texture. The more you whisk, the foamier it will be. If you prefer a foaming hand soap, continue whisking as you would an egg white to create foam for meringues. Stop when you want to. The texture is truly up to you! I created a foamed version and a minimally mixed one and it both turned out fine in terms of texture. The minimally mixed made bigger bubbles when in use, but the foamy one turned into a nice foam lather. Both nice, it depends on what you’re into!

7. As you’re whisking, now’s the time to add in your liquid soap dye and fragrance! Like mentioned above, I added some blue, red, and straight purple to make a nice well rounded purple. For fragrance, I used Luna from Maple Street Candle. Amazing scent that I’ve loved for years, I’m so happy that Maple Street carries it, as I love their company and their $8 shipping on FOs and dye (not sponsored but I’m hyped about my new oils so I had to).

8. Pour into your bottle of choice! I had to refill one of our soap dispensers anyways, so I used that, and I had a whole 16 oz leftover for whatever I want to do with it (aka I had to sacrifice an old water bottle to the soap gods because I had no where to put the rest bc i wasn’t prepared for how much this makes tbh!!). Will be getting some pump bottles asap, as well as a new oil percentage so I can transform this from a hand soap to a body soap. There’s nothing wrong with this, you can totally use it as body wash, I just prefer something a bit more specifically creamy and moisturizing… Hmmm, further formulations are already whirring in my head.

Helpful videos:

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# 2 Example, Whisking to form set soap into a liquid gel.

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Some notes:
– This soap is only as good as your own M&P, so invest in a nice Melt and Pour base and it will make for an awesome soap!
– The one thing I wish I had on hand was a fine mica shimmer. It would look gorgeous in a hand soap like this, but I don’t think my rugged farmer / automechanic type father would appreciate shimmer in his hand soap. Masculinity y’all. But it’d be gorgeous!
– If your soap doesn’t gel with 8-10 hours (I haven’t had this happen, but I figure if your amounts are off, or you’re using a particularly odd M&P base it might), you can try tossing it in the microwave to heat it up to a pure liquid. Melt a bit more M&P, and reincorporate. This whole process reminds me a bit of jam making, but much much more forgiving in the end. Keep working with it until you can get it to gel.
– I do recommend making a small 4 oz test batch with your particular M&P base before making a large amount. I find these amounts pretty reliable for a nice test batch for the house or for a gift.

$5.95 per 2 lbs Premium Goats Milk Soap Base. $2.98 per 16 oz pound, or 74 cents per batch of liquid soap.
(I paid $48.95 per 24 lbs Premium Goats Milk Soap Base. $2.04 per 16 oz pound divided by 4 oz = 51 cents per batch.)

Fragrance oils are from the 20 1 oz sampler for $26 at MSCC, or $1.30 per piece. I used 5 ml, or 1/6th of a bottle, as 1 oz = 30 ml. Cost: 22 cents.

Colorant is priceless in my case because I only used about 20 drops and I didn’t make any sort of dent in any of my colorant samples. I recommend the Stained Glass sampler from Wholesale Supplies Plus. $4.95 for what seems like a sea of colors, with enough to make plenty of soapy fun?? Worth it. Toss it in your cart at WSP, you won’t regret it!

I’m not gonna be pricing oils, because I always have olive oil on hand for cooking, and that makes just as good of a soap product. In collecting things for soap making, over time you end up with lots of difference oils. You can experiment with the formula, but you definitely don’t have to if you don’t want to.

I paid under $1 to make over 24 ounces of liquid soap. The same amount of JR Watkins hand soap is nearly $5 at my local grocer, and that amount of Bath and Body Works gentle foaming hand soap would be $18 and 5o cents. It’s worth it, especially when it’s a craft I love making!

If you are already into Melt and Pour Soap making, I implore you to try a recipe like this one. It’s so fun to try new things, I’m kinda surviving off of the “Try New Things!” mentality right now! It was super fun, and made an awesome result. That’s all I can ask for! ❤

Body Hair, Preconceived Notions & Femininity

This post came about because of a blog post written for Glamour magazine (there is explicit discussions about sexuality in this article and how it’s intertwined with body hair, so it’s definitely nsfw, but a GREAT read if you’re comfortable with that). This post was also written because of the subsequent discussion from it after it was posted in one of my cloth pad and RUMPs Facebook groups. I found it super interesting and almost enlightening how open and honest people with vulvae can be about something purely personal to them. So cool! But that’s probably just my thing, I love learning about things regarding the female reproductive system (stemming from a life of struggle with my own 😂)! But anyways, here we go, get ready for a (not so wild) ride on my opinions, my experiences, and an overview on the interactions between body hair and femininity!
originalblueI recently told my best friend of eight years that I have never shaved my legs. We grew up together, having met in sixth grade, and she had never noticed my leg hair until we moved in together and she was laying on them looking for it. She was surprised, to a degree I was not expecting, and even said she was jealous. I was blessed in this life with super thin barely there body hair so I got really lucky in terms of modern societal expectations, but I also believe that someone who has quadruple the density of body hair compared to me should have the same ability to not shave and still not be ridiculed for that choice.

I have such sensitive skin, I have never been able to find a deodorant that my underarm skin doesn’t react to to some degree. Not like, “just a light itch”, more like blistering burning incredibly painful rash that I would scratch at in my sleep. Even before I wore deodorant, I would get heat rashes under my arms and in the creases of my elbows and knees. That’s not something I ever ever want to mess with.

I have a super low pain tolerance (waxing any part of my body was and will never be an option), and my personal hatred for shaving is ever present so there aren’t really many options. Not to mention, I really don’t want to! I never even got a shaving or period talk from my parents, not even just the facts, so I’m kinda messed up in terms of societal expectations. I just… don’t care!

My mother and I have a close friend that insists that women HAVE to shave their armpits and pubic hair for “cleanliness”, that there is something that makes women different from men that forces them to NEED to do it. But that comes off to me like a disposable pad or tampon or douche commercial from the 80s. Like, “feeling not so fresh?”. Sure…

(p.s. about that ad, no modern doctor would ever “recommend” putting vinegar in your vagina, oh my god. how to majorly throw off the pH of your body 101. We have learned more about the human body since 1981, believe it or not.)

We know the scientific purpose and benefits of body hair, but we also have the ability to effectively and safely remove it. It is a personal choice that adults should be able to make. As long as said body hair isn’t causing harm to you or impacting your person, I’m fine. Judge me all you want, only I can control how “clean” I am. Like, that “shaving = cleanliness because women are different biologically” is a pretty staunch post-WWII era belief, when most women were forced back out of the workforce and into more traditionally feminine jobs and housewifery. During the war and before, shaving was not 75% of what it is now. Just like the rise in disposable feminine products, imagine how much the body hair removal industry makes off of feminine insecurity created by societal expectations and preconceived notions.

It’s okay to shave for a partner as long as they aren’t making you do it (which is unhealthy in general) or making you feel bad about your body because of your body hair. If you are in that situation, here are some things to remember:

Your body hair is there for a reason, your body wouldn’t grow it if it was inherently gross or unclean. Maintain good overall hygiene and there’s nothing to worry about. Body hair will always be a trendy topic, and there’s nothing wrong with experimenting or never even touching it. As an adult human, be conscious of your own self worth and your ability to make decisions for yourself regardless of others. Know that your body is the one thing you will always have, and will always be in. It’s your body, and yours alone. Own it, take care of it, and be your best version of yourself for you.

3 Ways I Make My Mornings Better!

I will admit it honestly and openly; I am not a morning person. I don’t like getting up and out of bed, and sometimes when I have to get up and going super fast, it usually makes me feel sick. Most of the time I take the night owl approach and get everything I need to get done after lunch time. Scandalous, I know, the beauty of working at home / being on gap year. However, there are some things that I do every single time on those mornings when I just have to get stuff done!

  • Get your skincare and prep done! And don’t skip it!
    1. This one seems obvious, but go through your skincare routine. I know it’s super tempting to just roll out of bed, splash some water on your face, and head out the door, but don’t!
    2. Cleanse your skin, and moisturize at least. It will give you a second to think, breathe, and clear out any negative energy you may have going on. I also like to apply a scented body cream in the morning to moisturize my skin, and then my fragrance.
    3. Obviously, I’m a night showerer, so this really simplifies my schedule, but if you need to shower in the morning don’t put it off until the last second. Do it right after you eat breakfast or get your coffee going and get it done! This will give you time simply do what you have to to get out of the door on time.
  • Speaking of food, eat something!
    1. I know it can be hard to eat in the morning. Western and European bellies normally eat large meals later in the day that can sustain us to midmorning. However, this leads to a drop in blood sugar, and can lead us to becoming overly hungry and then overeating.
    2. I would suggest finding something that doesn’t upset your stomach and sticking to it. Whether that’s eggs and spinach, a green smoothie, or even my Banana Chocolate Smoothie that tastes just like a Wendy’s frosty. (Which I most definitely have eaten for breakfast, sorry not sorry, who wouldn’t love a healthy dessert for breakfast?). Find something yummy that you like that can nourish your body and maintain your blood sugar to prevent hunger spikes!
      1. Note that I included two liquid options here. Often Western people do the best with liquid breakfast foods. It makes for easy consumption, preparation, and absorption of nutrients. I don’t personally support juicing, but a good high speed blender can make a world of difference in your diet. Get your fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, etc. in there and make yourself a nutritious drink that will get you to lunch the healthy way. Get those calories! They’re what keep you going.
  • Take a breath!
    1. You know, morning can be the most stressful time of the day. Take some time as you’re going through your routine to take a breath, or even integrate some meditation into your routine.
      1. Each morning when I sit down to do my makeup or skincare I turn on some meditative music and just pause every so often to breath, like when I’m waiting for my eyeliner or mascara to dry.
      2. On days when I don’t have to go out right away, when I wake up I’ll ease myself into the day with meditation. I made a vlog on meditation around a year ago, and it really has transformed me, and helped with my anxiety tremendously. In the description of that video, I gave some examples of music I love for meditation, but I will include them under the “Continue Reading” break as well.

As you probably can tell, I have my mornings about sussed. I don’t think I will ever magically love getting up at the break of dawn. But, I have found my own ways to deal with feeling stress, anxiety and negativity in the whirlwind that can be the mornings.

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