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Unfurling the freak flag.

(our freak flags pointing, errr, flying)

We like Shrek the movie(s).

We LOVE Shrek the Musical.

It’s cute. It’s filled with catchy tunes.  It’s a show all three of us adored which isnt always the case.

The Tornado & I share the same favorite song.

And, the first time we saw the musical, she leaped to her feet & sang & danced & shrieked with wild abandon.

And it freaked me out a bit (upcoming pun not really intended)


Apparently I truly am a misfit guttermind as the song initially made me think FREAKY as in kinky as in, well, you know where my mind went.  If you’ve never heard the song I do recommend watching.

It’s EARWORMtastic.

As we exited the theater, both of us singing about our FREAK FLAGS, I stopped to ponder what on earth a FREAK FLAG really is.

The longer I ruminated the more it dawned upon me the concept of FREAK FLAG may best be defined by what it is not:

  • It is not “in your face” merely for the sake of being IN!YOUR!FACE!  Ahh we have all done this.  Perhaps only in our youth-but those action or actionS intended to shock, horrify and annoy.  Many people, even though Im the ripe old age of 42, still assume my TATTOOS are this.  They’re not.  Which leads me to…
  • Your Freak Flag is NOT necessarily how you look. Once upon a time I met a woman who appeared, to my judgmental eye, exactly as I imagined Stepford Wives to look.  I assumed she’d be boring, mundane & we’d have nothing in common.  Holycrapballs was I wrong. She & I became closeclose friends & I quickly learned her Freak Flag made mine look like the tiny flags suck in club sandwiches.  Your Freak Flag is not connected to your exterior.
  • Rebelling.  Unfurling and flying that Freak Flag HIGH has absolutely, entirely nothing to do with angst or rebellion.  Period.

So what in the heck is this Freak Flag of which I yammer?

To me it symbolizes:

  • Feeling good about and completely at peace with who you are.  It’s being Unapologetically Yourself whether that be a tech geek or a member of the marching band.  It’s that sense of feeling wholly comfortable in your own skin which emanates from within. It is KNOWING  you are enough precisely as you are.
  • It’s being transparent.  It’s living authentically, without hesitation or fear and letting others see who you are and what you are about.  It is PRIDE in your authentic self. And waving that authenticity for all to see.
  • A reminder NOT to judge other people—but also NOT to judge yourself harshly either.

Why do I even bring this FREAKY-concept up on a healthy living blog?

Because flying your freak flag allows you to fulfill your life’s purpose and relax into who you are meant to be.

Because it’s amazing, when we do the work to discover who we are really are and are fully honest with ourselves, all things (including health fitness and weight loss) finally click into place.

**leaps off her soapbox taking her pointy packpack with her**

 As a thank you for indulging my FREAK FLAG musings (am I alone in finding this all fascinating? am I alone in LOVING Shrek the Musical?!) I have a treat for you.

From me.

Some might call it an attempt to drag you into our quirky misfit family but I would call them liars, errr, wrong!

No FTC disclaimer—just a sharing of our QUIRKY love and a way the Child and I have chosen to physically wave our INTERNAL freak flagnessment.

You may be entered to win a lime green pointy packpack (like the mine in the photo above) for the lowlow cost of a comment below.

Have you unfurled your Freak Flag yet?  How?

And if you have NOT—-what’s holding you back?

USA and Canada

winner announced 10.10.11


Tags: ,

78 Responses to “Unfurling the freak flag.”

  1. Linds says:

    I have :)
    I am myself in all situations.


  2. Nan says:

    I love this exactly because I am so shy and inhibited.

  3. Runner Girl says:

    I love the musical too!!

    For me my freak flag (love the back pack Miz!!) just being who I am and running freak LOL.

  4. Helen says:

    You have had me thinking about being authentically myself since I found your blog YEARS ago!!

    I wonder if I have a freak flag to even fly?

  5. For the love of all that is holy, please do not enter me to win a pointy-thingie pack. :)

    Loved reading this as it was a reminder I needed this morning. Not as much for accepting myself-I embraced my weirdness years ago-but as a reminder to let other people be themselves and to try to learn to embrace *their* weirdness. Some people make it tough. :)

  6. Melany says:

    Hi C! I love how freaky your flag is. ;) I’m not commenting to try to win… but because I just love this post and agree with Helen above. You are a friend who has really given me great things to think about and made it my habit to stop and check in on myself to make sure I’m living “authentically” and “flying my freak flag”. Thank you. <3

  7. Laurie says:

    Damn I love this. I fly my freak flag freely :) (most of the time)
    I wish it could happen earlier than our 4th decade. I wish my teens could find their freak flag and fly it too rather than indulge in self loathing.
    Such a hard time to get through.

  8. Faith says:

    I would love to fly your freak flag ;-)
    Some day I will refind my own.

  9. Kim says:

    If I go by your definitions, I’ve been flying my freak flag since high school. :) I do have a hard time with your third point - not judging. I try not to be Ms. Judgy McJudgyPants, but it’s definitely a work in progress.

  10. Teri says:

    I would have said my FF is my piercings, but you make a good point.

    My FF is me and I wave with my rings!!

  11. Teri says:

    I would say not to enter me, but I want to win LOL

  12. Healthy Mama says:

    I love this post (and that song) because I’m all for heathy mamas inside and out!

    Flying the Freak Flag and embracing who you are is 90% of it.

    Rock on!

  13. Tara says:

    Oh Miz, this post is one of those funny ones. You know the kind where you pump your fist in the air while simultaneously wiping away the tears you hope no one sees….

    My freak flag? It flys proudly. It says I love the person I choose to be with unconditionally despite the fact that we are of the same gender. It says I love the person I choose to be as unconditionally as I can right now despite the fact that it used to be morbidly obese and I have the loose skin to prove it. It says I love the people around me unconditionally despite the fact the world is sometimes a hard place to live but in the end we all just want to be loved. It says this is who I am: Queer, Tattooed, Athletic, Strong and a heart full of compassion.

    Let it fly!

  14. Etta says:

    I really want to win or I will be forced to buy my own.

    I will be 50 next year and spent 49 years of my life squelching my flag.

    I am printing and laminating your post Carla.

  15. Crabby McSlacker says:

    LOVE this post!

    There are times when I unfurl my Freak Flag, and I love how that feels! But those tend to be when there are lots of other freak-flags flapping in the same warm welcoming breeze. When the atmosphere is chilly, I’m a little too prone to keeping it folded up for fear of hanging out there on my own.

    Thanks for the inspiration… may be time for a little more flag-waving!

  16. Yvonne says:

    I needed this reminder and almost skipped the post when I saw the title.

    I’m so glad I clicked.

    I’m a mom and wife and employee who has lost her flag.

  17. Anon. says:

    I have a question and I am not being snarky.

    You make it sound so simple and easy.

    I think for many of us doing this would be terrifying.

  18. Miz says:

    that doesnt sound snarky at all and is a really valid point (Id make the dizclaimer here that I tangeted off and talking all about the evolution of my FF but that the post was way too long—-except the post is STILL way too long :) ).

    I know for me it was an evolution of sorts and also 100% mimics my healthy living path and my slow steps to fitness.

    For me it was baby steps.

    Small toes stuck outside my comfort zone and HELD until they didnt feel quite so frightening/challenging any more (like building any muscle!!).

    And then I pushed even further.

    FREAK FLAGS and MUSCLES are built and flown in such similar ways.
    hope this helped…

  19. Lesli says:

    I am late already for work, but love your comment here Miz!
    I need to come back and read later.

    Happy Monday!

  20. Jody - Fit at 53 says:

    Love the movies, love the post got the song in my mind, thinking about my freak flag although some would say me just being crazy fitness like all the time - I love gingerbread men! I know, it is just that I watched the clip! ;-)

    I wrote this on the FB page BUT adding here - when I was young, I tried to please EVERYBODY - friends & family & just whoever. When I got out of college, it sort of hit my hard & I did not want to compromise at all because I had spent so many years trying to be what everyone thought I should be & wanting everyone to like me.

    Great post Carla & really says something to just being who you are & living with that. Yes, we compromise in life BUT we don’t have to compromise ourself & our beliefs.

  21. Olive says:

    Wow Miz.
    I liked the post, but more learned from your comment in bold

    We need to exercise our freak flags like we do our biceps.


  22. Rachel says:

    Love this. Love the packpack!

  23. Merry says:

    “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”
    - Oscar Wilde

  24. Sinner Ella aka Heather says:

    This is one of my FLAVOR-FAVORITE blog posts, EVER! It’s quite refreshing to know that others have decided to shed their facade and make themselves happy and become comfortable in their own skin without worrying about what others think of them, but do it in a not-so-obnixious way.
    I think most women (Can’t speak for the penis population, as mine is only proverbial) have a tendency to worry too much of how others perceive them, both physically and in personality and behavior. I am proud to say that after turning 29, and making the decision to go to college (yes, I do everything backwards) I finally felt comfortable enough to discover myself. I came to the ah ha moment and discovered that being a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend were just small facets of who I am. Those labels no longer defined who I was. But the scariest part was trying to find out for myself who I WAS. Without those descriptors, who would I be?
    Well, 2 years later, I am still all of those, but I am also me. I am successful (in school, my marrriage, my filter, and life in general), I am ambitious, I procrastinate, but work best and hardest under pressure. I am beautiful, in the way I MEED to be which isn’t always the way others think beautiful should be. I am loud and outgoing, I am loyal, hardworking, brash, awkward, giving, loving, fun, and in your face without forcing myself to be. I am free in spirit and open-minded. I am loving, caring, and charitable. I am quick to anger, but also just as quick to give hugs and high fives. I am athletic, a mediocre runner, I am most definitely UNAPOLOGETICALLY MYSELF!
    Thank you, MizFit, for finding a phrase that describes me in all aspects of my life. Now, why do you have to live so far away???? LOL
    Win or lose, I try. I may be a sore loser at times, but that’s because I am way too competitive and have too much testosterone to lose gracefully, though I am working on that. ;)

  25. Erica says:

    There is a shrek musical??? I so want to see it. That first picture is so adorable. Its too easy to judge based on the exterior, isnt it?

  26. Leah J. Utas says:

    I love this. Freak flags should fly proudly.

  27. addy says:

    Yes I get assumptions about my ink as well - wrong! I am working on the judging thing. You would think I could look past that. Almost there. Thanks for the reminder. And I haven’t seen a shrek since #2. Those were wonderful though.

  28. Crazylady says:

    Wow I haven’t commented here in AGES.. I’m not really sure why.

    Anyway back to the topic in hand, I’m afraid my freak flag is lost to me for a long time now (if it ever existed properly) and that’s a big part of why I am overweight. It’s becoming clear to me in the last few weeks (doing hyptotherapy!)that I’m using my excess weight as a way to avoid the fact that I don’t know who I am inside. If I’m always battling to lose weight and mostly failing then there is no time to work on more meaningful things like who the freaking hell am I.. inside and out.

    Now while at least realising this is a start I still have bucket loads of work to do… sigh.

    sidenote: I’m gonna have to move my freakflag less self to the USA or Canada!!! :)

  29. Loving the Bike says:

    My Freak Flag is totally out there and exposed, but it’s not flapping very strongly in the wind. I want to keep it calm out there for the bike ride I’m about to go on….hahahahahaha. Great post, Carla.


  30. Mollie says:

    It is Seuss!!
    Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

  31. Okay… I so could not rock that backpack! But I love Shrek the Musical:) For me, putting my real face on my blog was a big freak flag. Really.

  32. Miz says:

    and that’s a badass freak flag!

  33. Texas Runner says:

    Best post ever.

    You Rock MIZ!

  34. Kase Noland (@GoSportID) says:

    Love it! It’s all about being comfortable with who you are and having fun being yourself! I’m all for it. Weird is cool!

  35. Deb says:

    Per the Urban Dictionary: Freak Flag- A characteristic, mannerism, or appearance of a person, either subtle or overt, which implies unique, eccentric, creative, adventurous or unconventional thinking.

    I think my freak flag is subtle but always unfurled. I don’t know how to be comfortably conventional.


  36. Texas Runner says:

    You put the WEIRD in keep Austin weird :)
    I love that.

  37. messymimi says:

    Me. Floor scrubber, kitten bottle feeder, cat shelter cleaner, Sunday School teacher, diaper changer, taker in of stray children.

    That’s just me.

  38. Shelley B says:

    While I do not want to win the backpack (my freak flag does not fly that direction, lol), I had to comment on loving the Tornado’s reaction to that song. Beautiful. :)

    • Miz says:

      and yet it SO did freak me out for a moment :)
      Ahhh I mightcould have a freespiritWILDCHILD on my hands in a few years…

  39. KyraTX says:

    OMG. I love Tara’s comment. She rocks, and would look absolutely outstanding in that backpack in Canada.

    It’s funny that geek is much more acceptable now than it was when I was in school. I’m a band geek, art geek, musical theatre geek, now I’m a music publishing geek, quilting geek, gardening geek and furbaby mom geek. Let it fly.

  40. Taz says:

    If I won I would mail it to my son in graduate school :)
    He would love it.

    If I don’t win I may have to just buy him one.

  41. Erin says:

    Oh, man I’ve been letting my freak flag fly since I was a kid. I don’t think I could contain my personality if I tried, I’m just not built that way.

  42. Colleenzo says:

    Most people wish I would put my freakflag AWAY! It flies unapologetically in all situations!

  43. cazz says:

    I cannot win the pointy bag thing as am in the UK but HAD to comment. I have been going through a period of not flying my freak flag, and I was not a happy bunny at all. Busy trying to find my flag at the back of the cupboard, and getting ready to wave it from the rooftops.

    Thanks. xx

  44. Penny says:

    I love you and this.

  45. Laura P says:

    I love the freak flag post!!! My freak flag is about halfway up the pole. I’m beginning to love me as me and then to challenge myself. I’m running my first half marathon. I’m not a fast runner and it will take a while but this is a bucket list item for me! I’m beginning to realize that athletic challenges are something that allow me to find out more about myself!! A great added benefit to this is that I’m losing weight and becoming fit. My diet is also changing and I’m passing the importance and deliciousness of good food on to my kids!!

  46. Tracy P says:

    I definitely let My Freak Flag fly! I bought a pair of Converse for the first time in my life and I’m 43! I wear them with dresses and skirts and whateva I feel comfortable in at that moment! I feel liberated!

  47. Jill says:

    I don’t even know if I have a freak flag. Is it still considered “letting my freak flag fly” if I’m the only one who sees it?

  48. Bonnie says:

    What a cool post! Great thoughts - LOVE the “freak flag” idea - is it okay if I later writer something similar to this (linking to this excellent post, of course!)? I’m not 100% sure what my freak flag is although I want to think more on it…it’s easy to look at exteriors (dread locks, being fit, being a runner) but those aren’t the things that define me. I’m a beloved child of God! That’s who I am…with so many more layers. Excited to let my thoughts dwell on this. And I LOVE the MadPax! Thanks for hosting a giveaway open to Canadians too. ;)

  49. Miz says:

    Id love that Bonnie!!

  50. Hallie says:

    I really like this post because I don’t y et have a freak flag.

    Or a daughter.


    I’m bookmarking it Miz.

  51. Hanlie says:

    I love, love, love this post! The last few years I’ve definitely hoisted my freak flag on occasion. To me it means doing what I feel like - for instance jumping my 350 pound body on a trampoline in front of a sports shop (in public) and loving every moment of it - without worrying what others might think.

  52. cheryl says:

    we need a blog to tell us to be ourselves? really? whoa-where have I been?

  53. cheryl says:

    and if everyone is weird…then no one is. just sayin!

  54. Jeannie says:

    Hmmm, I’m not sure I really have a freak flag but I do try to live as authentically as possible and will stand my ground for whatever I believe in!

  55. Erin says:

    Yuppers I’ve been letting my freak flag fly for years now. I think my freak flag flies when I show my GEEK side. I’ve been into WOW, show the Live long and prosper hand sign, named my daughter after Samantha Carter from Stargate SG-1, so ya I let my freak fly all the time!

  56. Wanda says:

    It has taken me forever to learn what you said above.

    If only I’d learned sooner.

  57. charlotte says:

    I totally agree with you about the transparency and authenticity of being a “freak.” TO me being a freak means that I no longer care (as much) about what other people think or if I live up to an arbitrary standard but rather that I’m staying true to myself. As always, you lead by example.

  58. Linda says:

    I am truly inspired by this post, but I don’t even know if I have a freak flag to fly. :-P

  59. Myra says:

    I must say I am totally I lust with the backpack and you mustmust tell me where to get one. BUT. I am totally in love with the fitness I am finding in my body. After so many years of trying I am hopelessly in love with the Zumba. I getting better at it and I am amazed at the things I can do at my ripe old age. But I really don’t care about the age because I can move like I can’t believe.

  60. Kimberley says:

    I came out of the womb wrapped in an itsy bitsy freak flag!


  61. Tammy says:

    I am finally exposing my Freak Flag. It is ready to fly and actually does fly some days. I am working on flying it everyday.
    I needed this today.

  62. Tara says:

    It seems I can fly my flag ;-) when the scale give me good news and I put it away when the scale isn’t my friend.

    Thank you for this post, Carla.

  63. Yoga Mama says:

    I love this post because it is just what I am trying to teach my GOTR group!

    May I share?

  64. Cate says:

    I would have to say my Freak Flag is my whole life LOL

  65. deanna says:

    Love your post, love Shrek and I would love to win.

    btw. I found you because you left a comment “print” on my blog. So I added a link for you so you can print now.

  66. I have always felt different than most people, it was meeting my now-husband that made me feel comfortable enough to show everyone the true me. Blogging has helped me find my voice and feel the confidence to let that voice shine!

    I love my brand of crazy!

    and I hope I am now showing Q that its ok to be who you are, not what you thing society things you should be!


  67. Geosomin says:

    He hee…my flag flies high for all to see :)
    Life’s to short to worry about being anything less than me!

  68. shannon says:

    love it :) and i hadn’t heard that song, but now it might be stuck in my head…

    if i get to canning some tomato jam this weekend i can send ya some!

  69. Cassy says:

    My freak flag is ever flying regardless of wind-situation.
    Example: going puddle jumping in the parking lot of my Big-Scary-Corporate job!

  70. Quix says:

    Love it! Backpack is adorable (however, count me out of the giveaway… I just donated a bunch of bags I don’t use and definitely would rather save this prize for someone who needs)…

    Besides a small period of my childhood where I thought it was important to try to be popular, I’ve definitely decided it was more fun to do what *I* want rather than what other people want me to. It’s made me definitely a “different” sorta chicka, but I’m happy with me so that’s what matters,right?

  71. Mary says:

    I started letting it fly. I’ve always been me. Now I let the world know, too.

  72. chris says:

    You know, for the longest time with my oldest daughter, I kept trying to ‘normalize’ her. I don’t know how else to put it…she didn’t want to be around people…but I would try and put her in clubs and groups. I wanted her to be happy and positive…and she is a bit of a cynic and a pessimist. Then one day as she was commenting on how she loved the idea of micro nations and she was renaming her room (I forget now) something or other…and she designed a flag and had a constitution and by laws and the whole 9. I realized that she was never going to be anyone’s idea of ‘normal’, and that normal was really just boring dressed up as convention…and that by God, I was going to support her. So for Christmas, I sewed her a flag for her micronation. The look on her face was priceless. I apologized for trying to get her to do things I thought were ‘good’ for her, and that I accepted her as she was…because there was absolutely nothing wrong with who she was. It was a great feeling. It lightened everyone’s load. And it made me start seeing all her great qualities that I had missed up till that point because I had tried to view her through my lens, instead of God’s.

  73. MCM Mama says:

    I LOVE this! My “freak” is pretty mundane these days, but I have some of the freakiest kids on the planet. And I’m so proud of them for being comfortable with who they are.

  74. josha says:

    I totally loved this post! My autistic son is the perfect example of waving that freak flag…I’m not calling him a freak..quite the opposite…what I mean is that he is so completely able to love who he is and be who he is that I kinda wanna be him. In his presence, I’m more able to accept myself. We recently went to Disney World and waved and waved by being happy and content with our quirky family…we get lots of stares, so the opportunity is there to be comfortable or not. We waved our flag with gusto.

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