I wasn’t sure if I was going to post this… It’s not fitness or food related, but it is definitely a part of my journey… I won’t generally make posts regarding politics on here, but this is important to me…
This letter was written and sent out to the following in response to their public statements made during this election cycle:
- Indiana State Senate Candidate Richard Mourdock – “Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen.”
- Missouri State Representative Todd Akin – “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
- Wisconsin Senator Paul Ryan – “Well I’m very proud of my pro-life record, and I’ve always adopted the idea, the position, that the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life.”
- Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum – “I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you.”
- Pennsylvania State Senate Candidate Tom Smith – “Having a baby out of wedlock. Put yourself in a father’s position. Yes, it is similar (to being raped).”
- Wisconsin Lieutenant Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch – “Well, I think there is a way to have a more forcible rape, the same way there are different types of assault.”
- Wisconsin State Representative Roger Rivard – “’Remember, Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,’ he said, ‘they rape so easy.’”
- Indiana State Representative Eric Turner – “Someone who is desirous of an abortion could simply say that they’ve been raped or there’s incest.”
- Kansas State Representative Pete DeGraaf – (regarding the purchase of a rape or incest only abortion insurance policy) “We do need to plan ahead, don’t we, in life? I have a spare tire on my car. I also have life insurance; I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for.”
October 24, 2012
Dear Candidate/Elected Official:
I am writing because you have recently made a statement regarding the options available to women after sexual assault. Perhaps you don’t realize that your comments reach much further than the Roe v. Wade debate. When you construct categories, labels or levels of rape, you lend credibility to perpetrators and you trivialize victims.
Rape is a violent crime. It is defined by the U.S. Department of Justice as: “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”
Every two minutes someone in the United States is sexually assaulted; an average of 207,754 rapes per year. The Justice Department estimates that 54% of the rapes committed in the last 5 years were not reported. Only 12% of all rapes lead to arrest, 9% are prosecuted, 5% are convicted and 3% ever lead to incarceration.
How can you, our elected leaders, make statements that contribute to a culture that allows for this reality?
Are you aware that survivors of sexual assault are: 3 times more likely to suffer from depression, 6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol, 26 times more likely to abuse drugs, and 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide?
Maybe you see so many figures and statistics during the day that these numbers don’t jump out at you. Let me explain why I decided to write this letter to you. Two years ago today, I was sexually assaulted by someone I was dating. I am one of the 54% who was too ashamed to call the police. Just as your viewpoint shames and belittles the victims of rape, I blamed myself for what happened.
When you speak publicly about rape with qualifiers like legitimate, honest, inevitable, easy, forcible/non-forcible, or ordained I am assuming that you have never spoken to someone who has been sexually assaulted. These are the words I use to describe rape: dirty, ugly, terrifying, shameful, agonizing, illegal, gritty, raw, broken, cold, hollow, angry, empty, numb…
In May of this year, I decided to take back my power and let go of my guilt. I spoke at a Take Back the Night rally, along with scores of other survivors at events around the country. And now, I am speaking out to you today.
Maybe if more of us speak out, then less of us will feel the need to remain silent.
Maybe if more of us speak out, then more of you will feel the need to remain silent.
We are survivors and our days being marginalized are over.
Survivor and Voter,
I was involved in an online discussion last night about how great it would be to eat a can of sweetened condensed milk, with a spoon. I quickly chimed in with the recipe for DANGER PUDDING (which I was NOT recommending, but it is actually fantastic)… And then it hit me, the I WANT IT feeling. I was laying in bed and ACTUALLY contemplating getting up, getting dressed and walking to the corner store to see if they sell sweetened condensed milk. WHAT?!?!? Then I remembered my secret tool to fight the I WANT IT feeling… Nutritional Information Label… the kryptonite to my cravings… I got on the google machine (thanks to my trusty smart phone) and found this: Sweetened Condensed Milk.
I did NOT get out of bed… Thank you Nutritional Information Label… *I heart you*
There are very few experiences I find more grueling than swimming suit shopping. Honestly, it was easier when I was heavier, because the “big girl” suits are at least supportive. Now, it is next to impossible for me to find a swimming suit that fits my chest and my butt together, or either of them separately. This weekend I spent 8 hours at 3 different malls. I probably tried on 150 swimming suits. I purchased ZERO swimming suits.
I leave in a week, for an eight-day trip to the British Virgin Islands. I have one swimming suit, I found it last year and I love it. It’s a black one-piece and I could buy another one exactly like it, but I would like some variety. It does not even come in any other colors. I also have a “top” that I bought last year, but I cannot find a bottom that both fits and matches. We will be on a sailboat, so there is no laundry service and I will need more than one suit for the trip.
I was talking to a friend this morning who was upset about being “off track”. My response was that she could get back “on track” at any time, like right now. She had the saddest look on her face and said that she had already had a terrible breakfast…
We can’t do anything to change what has happened in the past, but at any moment we can make choices to change what happens in the future. Our best method to affect the future is to make a plan.
I smiled and said WHO CARES!!! It’s not important what you had this morning, tell me what you’re going to have for the rest of the day. She said that she had some fruit and veggies in the fridge and that she had some frozen meals that she could have for lunch and dinner. I said that it sounds like the right track to me and suggested that she make a plan for tomorrow too…
Feeling that you are “off track” can be such a heavy weight to carry and that stress can keep you stuck. Getting back on track doesn’t require a grand gesture, just switch trains. Your itinerary can be modified at anytime.
Progressively, this day has made me wish for a “skip” button… I’m already on tomorrow…
I have mentioned this before, but one of my favorite children’s books is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Alexander is fairly certain that his life would be better in Australia. Today, I am certain that my life would be better in Tahiti…
Sometimes the epic battle doesn’t look like the movie 300, sometimes it’s fought inside your own head… Choosing to workout after a long day at work… Choosing a salad over a cheeseburger… Choosing to check-out at the grocery store without buying a “treat”…
Deciding to live a healthier lifestyle isn’t always easy. It would be easy to go through the drive-thru on my way home from work and then sit on the couch and watch t.v. for the rest of the night. I know, I used to do that. It required NO effort. Even after 2 years of changing habits, working hard, setting goals, etc. it would still be easier to do nothing… and the epic battle rages on.
I was talking about this last night, and I saw an article today about how 50% of the weight loss battle is mental. AGREED!
The other headlines on the page were “Obesity Epidemic Shows No Signs of Retreating” and “Paula Deen Says Diabetes Diagnosis Won’t Change The Way She Cooks”.
We all have our battles to fight… CHARGE!
So, for the first time in more than a week, I am starting to feel some improvement. I am definitely not back to 100%, but I was starting to feel like I was going to be sick FOREVER. My first thought was… Oooooo, maybe I can do Jillian tonight. No. I’m not even back to working full days yet. My litmus test is, if I can work 2 full days in a row, without being completely exhausted, then I can start doing Jillian again. Maybe a walk around the block tonight, to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather.
Here’s an article from Health.com that gives some good suggestions about when it is okay or no okay to work out sick:
I’m a little sore today, but not bad. I think yoga helped. It also could have been the crazy/scary fever I spiked last night after yoga. I was shaking and couldn’t warm up; even after a bath, putting on layers of pajamas and completely covering myself with my comforter. It finally broke around 1 am and I feel fine now, other than a little residual stuffiness from the head cold.
I didn’t have the energy to work out this morning, but I am drinking lots of water and tea today, with the hope of working out with Jillian tonight… 103 days until I’m in the Islands… #RockinIslandBody