17 May 2017

The Day My Hair Started Acting Its Age

Beth Hallman "The Day My Hair Started Acting Its Age" On the Plus Side

I knew it was there. I’d seen streaks of it five years ago when I was still embracing my natural brown hair color and a perm. Judge me for the perm, but I truly wanted to look like Beyonce and curls was as close as I was going to get. Back then, the pops of silver seemed innocuous enough, a sweet celebration of the passage of time…

On the Plus Side is a blog, forum and community for Upper Plus Size women to come and join the conversation. On the Plus Side is hosted and sponsored by MiB. Our Forum is a safe space for you to come and discuss any and all topics you wish, and our blog is written by a collective of experts on topics including Plus Size Fashion to Body Positivity to Plus Size Travel and Lifestyle. We invite you to come and read our articles, share your thoughts, make a profile and dive into the conversation in our forums.

7 May 2017

A Sugar Coated Suicide, Part Four: Christie Crazy

   Trigger warning: suicide

   The next morning, the sun rose over All Saints’ Day. This was no longer a dimly lit room for convalescents. Although, I’d never been incarcerated, the place felt like a prison cell. I was locked up, abandoned by dead grandmothers and trapped with a grumpy husband. I’d suffered the indignity of relieving myself in a bedpan. Twice.

  I only knew the sun was shining right then, because it was the end of the night shift. Nurse Evelyn came in to tell me fare thee well. She didn’t say it exactly like that. What she said was, “I’m leaving now, Miss Beth. Don’t cuss anybody out today!” I almost told her to go fuck herself, but I didn’t know if she’d get the joke. I wasn’t willing to risk it. She had absolute authority over the bedpan.

  Johnny and I were starting to feel our close quarters around seven o’clock. I started coughing every few minutes, a deep cough I’d had off and on for weeks now. The pain in my chest was still intense and sharp. That’s when the happiest man who ever lived walked through the door.

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30 April 2017

A Sugar Coated Suicide, Part Three: Gloria and Birdie

Trigger warning: suicide

 

I touched the bracelets crowding around my grandmother’s wrists, turquoise popped out here and there on the gaudy baubles I coveted as a child, a child who had the sweet little name of Beffamus. We didn’t spend much time together as I grew older. This was the grandmother of my youth. My daddy looked like her and so did I.

  “Hey there, Grandmom Amison.”

  She reached for my hand and stopped when she saw the IV there. “You’re not doing too good, are you kiddo? I heard you cursed some people out downstairs.” She wasn’t frowning over cursing. Grandmom was all for expressing yourself.

  From the other side of the room, near the door, I heard Birdie say, “That kid’s doing just fine, Gloria.” Oh, no way. My mom’s mom and my dad’s mom were in the same room. Growing up, my family avoided situations where the two of them had to mingle at all costs. Shit was about to go down.

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25 April 2017

Defining Success

Beth Hallman "Defining Success" On the Plus Side

A few years ago, I was driving and talking to a friend on the phone. She’s the kind of friend who’s really good at acting as a sounding board, only asking leading questions which encourage you to explore for yourself what it is you want or need. My friend asked me how I defined success. I had to pull over and sit in a parking lot. Her question crowded my car, my mind. It required all of my attention, because it tripped me up, caught me off guard, and left me scrambling for words…

On the Plus Side is a blog, forum and community for Upper Plus Size women to come and join the conversation. On the Plus Side is hosted and sponsored by MiB. Our Forum is a safe space for you to come and discuss any and all topics you wish, and our blog is written by a collective of experts on topics including Plus Size Fashion to Body Positivity to Plus Size Travel and Lifestyle. We invite you to come and read our articles, share your thoughts, make a profile and dive into the conversation in our forums.

This is a positive and supportive community for YOU!

23 April 2017

A Sugar Coated Suicide, Part Two: Baseball Season

Trigger warning: suicide

  The next thing I knew, I rolled down an extremely quiet hallway, a different hallway.  My jam was the steady beat of soft footsteps behind me and the delightful whir of turning wheels. I bobbed my head a little to this delicious ditty. The test was over, only I couldn’t remember a thing about it right then. Caring seemed a little too hard to hold while I was carrying this tune. The song ended abruptly.

  A fuzzy, sideways room was in front of me.  I must have jacked someone’s wheelchair. I was sitting in one, all slumped over like a drunk on a two day bender. Well, that explained the sideways part of this situation. Somebody asked me, kinda uppity like, to stand. A nurse was talking to me and her tone meant business. “You have to wake up, Mrs. McAfee.”

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16 April 2017

A Sugar Coated Suicide, Part One: The Test

a sugar coated suicide part one

Trigger warning: Suicide

   “Am I dead?” I asked the man beside me. Smiling, he checked the ID bracelet wrapped a little too tightly around my wrist. His hand was smooth and dark brown. He turned my wrist this way and that to read my name, Mary Beth McAfee-Hallman. I cringed. Hundreds of miles separated me from my biological family, but surely he knew. The McAfees were lunatics. The name was a confirmation of my particular brand of Crazies.

  This man had a brilliant smile made up of perfectly white teeth. His smile made me feel safe. I smiled back.  What was happening here wasn’t a “Holy shit! Am I dead?!” kinda moment.  I simply wanted to know if I’d finally done it. I asked him if I was dead in the same way I’d ask a stranger the time.  The time was important information, but casually asked. Unless, of course, you were in a hurry. I didn’t feel the least bit hurried anymore. What I felt was this delicious, confusing mix of light and dark, a heaviness without the struggle. Maybe the only thing stopping me from floating away was this man’s hand on my arm. The thought of my fat body floating, hot air balloon style, into the night almost made me giggle. Almost.

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12 April 2017

The Photograph

When I was a young girl, my mother kept a photograph of herself on the refrigerator door. I didn’t understand she was using this as a motivator to lose weight. The photo was one taken by surprise as she leaned into that same refrigerator to fetch something. It’s fat Inception, am I right? She didn’t…

On the Plus Side is a blog, forum and community for Upper Plus Size women to come and join the conversation. On the Plus Side is hosted and sponsored by MiB. Our Forum is a safe space for you to come and discuss any and all topics you wish, and our blog is written by a collective of experts on topics including Plus Size Fashion to Body Positivity to Plus Size Travel and Lifestyle. We invite you to come and read our articles, share your thoughts, make a profile and dive into the conversation in our forums.

This is a positive and supportive community for YOU!

28 March 2017

Hope

I remember something a psychiatrist told me many years ago. He was one of my first shrinkamadinks. I kinda sorta simultaneously trusted everything he said while believing 100% he was full of crap. Look, it was early on in treatment. I hadn’t been diagnosed with all my acronyms yet. I was ball of blame, shame…

On the Plus Side is a blog, forum and community for Upper Plus Size women to come and join the conversation. On the Plus Side is hosted and sponsored by MiB. Our Forum is a safe space for you to come and discuss any and all topics you wish, and our blog is written by a collective of experts on topics including Plus Size Fashion to Body Positivity to Plus Size Travel and Lifestyle. We invite you to come and read our articles, share your thoughts, make a profile and dive into the conversation in our forums. 

This is a positive and supportive community for YOU!

27 March 2017

Plus Model Magazine Feature

If you’re 40 or older, you have had a front seat to the evolution of plus size fashion in the last few decades.

When I hear 20-something year-old’s complain about how limited plus size fashion is, I always tell them, “You have no idea. What’s available now is leaps and bounds from where we used to be.

Add being over a size 24 to that and you really know the struggle that we had to endure in the 70’s and 80’s.

With that said, we thought it would be interesting, as well as insightful, to spotlight plus size fashion bloggers over 40 in a weekly series, chatting with them about their style, favorite trends and how their fashion choices have evolved over the years.

This week, the 40+ Blogger Series features someone I have been personally following for years and she is one of the bloggers that has inspired me in so many ways… the always empowering and gorgeous Beth, who you may know as One Fabulous Mama, but has since rebranded to BethHallman.com.

Read the full feature here.

 

10 March 2017

My Plus Size Book List

Beth Hallman "My Plus-Size Book List" On the Plus Side

Writer: Beth Hallman | When I was a little girl, my favorite place was sitting on a step stool between the stacks in the local library. I poured over books, hoping the words would quench my thirst for knowing myself and my world and worlds I couldn’t even begin to know exist. I grew up…

On the Plus Side is a blog, forum and community for Upper Plus Size women to come and join the conversation. On the Plus Side is hosted and sponsored by MiB. Our Forum is a safe space for you to come and discuss any and all topics you wish, and our blog is written by a collective of experts on topics including Plus Size Fashion to Body Positivity to Plus Size Travel and Lifestyle. We invite you to come and read our articles, share your thoughts, make a profile and dive into the conversation in our forums. This is a positive and supportive community for YOU!