My glass is always half full, peeps!

So…this happened.

 photo stress fracture june 2016_zpszo49usxq.jpg

Yes, folks, this is the sixth stress fracture I’ve had in 12 years. You read that right: SIXTH. This is what happens when I finally get up enough resolve to start working out again. Although this specific type of injury is directly related to me stomping around with 100+ extra pounds on my body, in my defense I’ve had foot problems since I weighed less than 100 pounds soaking wet. My feet have always been assholes. They just have it in for me.

I thought my feet might be super happy about the 116 pounds I’ve already lost, but no. They’re pouty jerks who just don’t want me to walk. At least not for fitness. And, because of that, I found myself recently realizing that I’m sort of being an idiot about this. I keep doing the same damn thing:

  • Avoid exercise because I hate it
  • Feel guilty about not exercising, but do nothing about it
  • Admit I need to exercise, but still do nothing about it
  • Start wondering what kind of an idiot I am for not exercising and try to make myself want to do something about it
  • Finally work up the will to exercise, hate every damn minute of it
  • Actually get into a groove and start making it a habit, get a stress fracture and can’t exercise anymore

You know what they say about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? Yeah, I’m a bloody genius, right? Well, I’ve already fixed the issue…but you’ll have to wait for the next blog post to find out how. Suffice to say it has a lot to do with self-acceptance in the face of un-hidable cottage cheese thighs.

Obviously I went to the podiatrist, who took x-rays and determined what I already limped in there knowing: stress fracture. I’d brought the extremely expensive boot that I got about 3 stress fractures ago so that he could approve it, which he did. But then he did something I didn’t expect. He started checking out my cankles.

I don’t have ankles. My calves just disappear into my shoes. Calves + ankles = cankles. I hate it. It’s uber embarrassing, but I’ve always believed I’ll see my real ankles again once I lose enough weight. In my experience, the smallest parts of the body are the ones that lose weight the slowest…so my giant tree stump cankles weren’t setting off any alarm bells.

According to my podiatrist, it’s a hereditary condition that should not be “this bad” in someone as young as me. While, I wanted to hug him for the young comment, I totally freaked about the hereditary thing. Like…what? I may not get rid of this? These cankles might haunt me forever? Screw that, dude! I have dresses to wear someday. Don’t I? Please??

My mother is a petite little thing, as was my maternal grandmother…but my maternal grandfather’s mother (keep THAT straight in your head if you can) was a BIG woman. BIG. And quite mean from what I hear. Like Jerry Springer talk show guest mean. Like throwing knives at her grandkids mean. She wore men’s house slippers because her giant feet couldn’t fit into regular shoes – and she had to slit them with scissors in order to get them around her cankles.

Great. I’ve inherited my great grandmother’s cankles of evil.

What’s worse, my doctor prescribed… *sigh* …compression socks. Yep. Old lady compression stockings/socks. That’s exactly the image that I get when I hear the term “compression socks”: some little fat old lady in a house coat, shuffling through the kitchen looking for cheese and miscellaneous snacks.

I’ll do whatever I need to for my health, but honestly…this was kind of a dick punch to my pride. Not that my pride would have a dick because I’m pretty sure my pride is a girl since I’m a girl. But maybe my pride identifies as a…oh, fuck, never mind. It hurt a little. That’s all I’m saying.

I had to go to a special pharmacy to get measured for them. *sigh* I did it, though, and I have to admit…my cankles are smaller at the end of the day when I remove the…things.

*sigh*

When I remove the compression socks.

I really hate the old lady image that pops in my head whenever I say it, though, you guys! I hate it!! It festers and tortures me more than Taylor Swift grates on that dillhole Kanye. I’m torn between the horror of my cankles and the amazing cozy socks that hug my cankles and calves into submission. The cankles must be stopped…and so…

I hereby declare that compression socks will forever be know as SPANKLES!!!!

When you think about it, compression socks are really just SPANX for your cankles, right? You know I’m right! We don’t say “compression underpants”, do we? No. Because that sounds like something you need an air hose or special permit for. We say SPANX. Well…I’m not calling my special cozy socks anything that doesn’t say how awesome they are.

From now on, when people stop me and say “Hey, HMP, where’d you get those super awesome cozy socks?” (Because you know they will…). I’ll reply “Oh THESE? These are my SPANKLES!”

This shit’s totally catching on faster than jeggings, peeps. Mark. My. Words.

SPANKLES: this year’s hottest Christmas gift. You’re welcome.

My eff’in glass is always half full…preferably with Rumchata.

Don’t look now, but…this may be fun

Okay, so I last left us all in a giant pile of exercise excrement. Okay, maybe that’s not the best way to put it. I got back in touch with all the ridiculous, effed up messages I learned about exercise from my youth…again…and managed to stay conscious of the fact that nothing has changed in my present situation. IF I want to lose the rest of my excess weight, I have to find a way to exercise consistently.

I know how my Hot Mess brain works. If I can’t find something I enjoy, this isn’t going to stick. I think that’s how most brains work, honestly, but something changes in many of us when we see one of those ridiculous commercials for the latest nut job fitness craze, right? You know I’m right. You see a commercial for some ridiculous fitness thing and you’re suddenly telling yourself “Yes, I want to push my sedentary ass through this idiot’s insane crossfit nazi bootcamp! It’ll be fun! FUN, I TELL YOU!!!” Somehow these dickheads manage to motivate us into paying “just $19.95” for their flavor-of-the-month exercise video/book/torture class and we subject ourselves to pain and humiliation…for one day. Or two. And then we give up. Because that shit’s not fun!!! That shit’s just crazy, yo.

I can’t stand most personal trainers. I don’t like weight loss gurus and fitness nazis who just want to make money off of me. Or worse: they see me as their personal project. I am not a project to anyone but myself. Nope, trainers are not for me. Cardio is simple…and free. And, thanks to YouTube, we’re not at a loss when it comes to learning how to do simple resistance training. Free information is out there, so to tell me that I need your special kind of muscle killing bootcamp and you’re going to see me walk away. With a slight limp because I have hip pain right now. Don’t judge.

So here’s the short list of what this Hot Mess Princess needs in order to pensively start down the road to consistent exercise:

  • No Zumba or other aerobics class with yippy yappy woohoo participants
  • No personal trainers or extreme fitness
  • Some kind of resistance training, which I will increase as I go
  • Some kind of cardio, which I will increase as I go
  • 10,000 steps a day…minimum

Let’s talk about that 10,000 steps a day goal for a minute. I mentioned in my last blog post that I once thought my Fitbit was a bit of a nagging bitch. Yeah, she was…but I was also not ready for exercise. I was still too resistant to the idea.

Now? Well, hell, peeps…I’ve lost 116 pounds and I’d like to lose the other 120 pounds while I’m still young enough to enjoy the hotness. :-) Let’s get this shit figured out!

When I first dug my Fitbit out of the drawer 2 months ago, I wore it to figure out how many steps I was getting a day. Thanks to my sedentary job, the range was about 1,400 to 2,000. As a general rule, “they” say we should get 10,000 steps a day. I think “they” is the American Heart Association and a bunch of other people who are admittedly smarter than me in this area.

I think I set my first step goal at 4,000 for the first week or so. Then I increased it to 6,000. Before long it was 8,000. Now? Except for last week, which was hell week at work, I’ve had no problem getting 10,000 steps a day.

Can we just stop for a moment so I can step into the spotlight on center stage and do a couple really uncool fist pumps? SERIOUSLY!!!

1,400 steps to 10,000 steps in two months. EFFING AWESOME!!! And that’s with foot pain and, apparently, a hip that doesn’t understand it’s totally uncool to be a bitch to me when I’m trying to figure all this out.

I. Rock.

Okay, let’s get back to business…

I forgot to mention one thing: I need to make all these changes with exercise WHILE continuing to be a bad ass and maintain my weight loss of 116 pounds. In addition to the nutritional changes I’ve made over the past two years, this also means that I need to find time to stitch. Probably the single most instrumental decision I’ve made in changing my eating habits has been to substitute my hobby of needlework for my former unhealthy hobby of eating everything in the house when I wasn’t hungry. And I can’t let that go…because if I decide I don’t have time for the incredibly therapeutic and calming activity of counting stitches and pulling a needle and thread through fabric, then I’m afraid that I’ll allow emotional eating to sneak back into my life. Isn’t that a given? I think so.

I can’t keep growing if I thumb my nose up at the healthy changes that have gotten me this far.

Let’s add one more problem to the fray: the current stitchy piece I’m working on has to be done in time to enter in the State Fair of Texas Creative Arts competition. It’s much bigger than I thought it would be, and with a full time job it’s been a challenge. At this point, I can probably get it done if I stitch for 5 hours a night Monday – Friday and get even more done on the weekends…but that’s all butt-sitting time!

I do have exactly 5 hours between the time I get home and the time I go to bed, but I won’t be able to take any steps or do any physical activity…so that means I have to fit it in before I get home. For that reason, I put a caveat on my 10,000 steps a day goal: I have to get all 10,000 steps in before I leave work.

Sweet Jesus!

You know what, though? I’m doing it. I’m actually doing it…and between my Fitbit and my better attitude towards exercise, it’s been a little bit fun. Friends at work are sending me challenges. So are you guys! I’m friends with tons of blog fans on Fitbit and I love hearing from you guys. It’s not unusual for me to get more than 2 or 3 different challenges from you.

And the resistance training? I’ve started that ball rolling by carrying small weights on my walks with me. I have the kind that wrap around my hands so I don’t have to hold them. These aren’t exactly what I have, but they’re very similar (click the image and you’ll go straight to them on Amazon).

Okay, so let’s recap a bit MORE of what I’ve done:

  • Gave up fast food
  • Gave up soda
  • Stopped emotional eating by picking up needlework instead of Cheetos
  • Increased my daily steps from 1,400 to 10,000
  • Set a goal to get my 10,000 steps by the end of my work day
  • Started the resistance training by adding weights to my walks

I’m starting to feel like one of those guys at the circus or on old shows like The Carol Burnett Show that used to spin 10 different plates on really tall, skinny poles all at the same time. Remember that? If you’re too young to know what I’m talking about, well…you missed out on a hell of a useless talent. But it was kind of cool wondering if the dude was going to be able to keep all those plates spinning…

That’s what I am. I’m a plate spinner. It’s a lot of shit to do for a girl who used to only worry about what she was going to pile ON her plate. Let’s all stop for a moment so you can give me a high five. C’mon…let’s go…gimme some more love!

HIGH FIVE!!!!

So I feel like I’ve succeeded in wanting to get my 10,000 steps a day and wanting to move more. It no longer feels like a chore to me. I want and need to continue my stitching, so I’ve made room for that and kept the step goal secure. I’ve started adding resistance. I need to start thinking about cardio…and that’s where the FUN part comes in.

I effing hate cardio. (Seriously, I’m going to show you the fun part but I think it’s important to first explain my shitty attitude.) I don’t know why I hate cardio, exactly. I don’t really care if I find out, either, because I just need to find fun cardio that I can do. And I guess I have Facebook to thank for this one, because I first learned about virtual races in my Facebook feed. I found Make Yes Happen.

Basically, you can sync various fitness trackers like Fitbit or Map My Fitness to your Make Yes Happen account. When you join a race, your steps are automatically logged and you earned Google street view clips for milestones along the route you’re virtually walking. It’s $25 to join most races and you get a sweet little medal when you’re done. Well, not little actually…they’re quite impressive. Some of the money for some races goes to charity. Other times I think it just pays for your medal and helps them keep the site and challenges going.

My first race was The Road to Hana. I’ve been to Maui, but I’ve never taken the Road to Hana…so I was interested in this one for sure. It was fun to see email updates rolling in. They told me where I was on the road, showed me what the view was, and sometimes pointed out interesting things to do at those places. It was particularly motivating to me towards the end as I neared my goal. I was pretty excited about getting that final notification that I’d completed The Road to Hana. As it so happened, I completed it on the first day I hit 10,000 steps on my Fitbit. It rocked. Getting the medal in the mail was even sweeter. You can see the video that I posted about it here on my Facebook fan page.

So the next race I selected was in honor of my home state of California. I chose the Pacific Coast Highway race, which is 113 miles. Something unexpected happened: because of my higher step count, I finished the race pretty quickly…and wasn’t even really motivated by much of it at all. And then I realized that I basically earned my race medal by walking in the tunnels under our building and back and forth to the ladies room…and that’s really not what I intended to use this for. I want these medals to mean something to me, and I want them to be more challenging to earn.

The Yes Fit community on Facebook is super helpful and supportive, so I asked around to other Fitbit users on how they manage this issue…and I’ve decided to disconnect my Fitbit from the virtual race page and log my steps and exercise manually. I don’t want to get credit for the first 10,000 steps each day. I want credit for anything over that and also for any cardio I do. THAT is more motivating to me.

So which race am I on now? I selected the Sleepy Hollow Redux race. I’ve loved that story since I was a little girl…and I love the movie (Tim Burton’s version and the Disney cartoon)…and I loved the tv show, at least until the writers started injecting their own political opinions into the script. I hate that shit. So the idea of virtually walking through the town of Sleepy Hollow is AWESOME!!!!! You can see the race here.

And that is what I’ve been doing to conquer the “I hate exercise demons”, peeps. I’m already having more fun than before…I’m cautiously optimistic that these changes will be fun enough to stick with, and then they’ll become habit. I have a very busy job that sometimes requires me to travel, and it can be a challenge to keep going during busy weeks…but I already get grumpy and miss walking when I can’t do it. So there’s a little ray of hope there. A little spark of promise. For now, that’s enough.

 

Interested in needlework? Try these sassy designs. *Not for the faint of heart

Walking through a motivation wasteland

Even before I walked out on the unbearably dysfunctional atmosphere of the dance studio I basically grew up in, I’ve thumbed my nose up at exercise. I hate it. I’ve always hated it. Most everyone would disagree with me, but to me…dance isn’t exercise. Not in my effed up little head. To me, dance is fun. Exercise is something you do because you have to.

I am not an athlete. In spite of the emotional abuse I suffered from age 9 to age 19 at the hands of my dance teacher, I’m a dancer. I have always been a dancer. I’m not a runner or a bicyclist or even an aerobics queen. Some of you would argue that Zumba and its older cousins Jazzercise and whatever-the-fuck Jane Fonda used to do are dance, but they’re not. Not to me. They are all exercise.

Side note: I won’t debate the Zumba-is-dance argument here, as my thought process is admittedly based on artsy fartsy feelings and nothing to do with fact…so if you’re a Zumba fan, calm your asses down. I’m not trying to knock your beloved Zumba at all. If Zumba or aerobic dance makes you happy and you call it dance, then that’s all that matters. Get down and funky with my blessings!

Now back to that stupid exercise thing…

I don’t know if they still pull this shit on kids in elementary school, but back in my day we had the President’s Council on Physical Fitness. It probably sounds like a good idea, but it was basically a fancy way of legally harassing lazy kids into doing pull ups. And by lazy I don’t mean fat and lethargic…I mean lazy as in I’d rather ride my bike or rollerskate around the neighborhood with my girlfriends before I go take 3 hours of dance class. I wasn’t a fat kid, and I wasn’t out of shape. Put pull ups? I’d rather have listened to Englebert Humperdinck records with my Mom back in the day…and believe me, I hate Mr Humpy.

I was an active kid, I just wasn’t one for hanging by my own body weight from those big stupid metal hoops on the playground that always ended up smashing your fingers. Nor was I out on the playground saying shit to my friends like “Hey, let’s blow off hopskotch and do some crunches!” That kind of thing made no sense to me, but every damn year our teachers pulled us out onto the playground with clipboards in hand and made us do a series of ridiculous shit in front of each other…including pull ups and sit ups and other crap I just couldn’t do.

I hated those clipboards. I hated being judged up against girls who loved to climb trees and had muscles in their arms. If a teacher had lined everyone up and said “Okay, I want each of you to come through here doing a traveling time step, 4 sets of wings and end in the jump splits,” I would have kicked everyone’s asses. Everyone’s. I would have been the queen of the playground!!! But no, apparently the President wasn’t impressed with my Gene Kelly-esque technique.

To this day, I’ll never understand why they felt the need to rank us on how far we could long jump. When in the hell was that ever going to come in handy? All it ever taught me was how right I was to detest exercise. To me, it was stupid. So I sat there in the school assembly after the whole mortifying process was over and every kid I already felt was better than me at everything stood up and got a certificate and a patch that they were amazeballs at pull ups and long jumps…and I felt like a failure.

Let’s fast forward to after high school when I quit dance because I was so emotionally beaten down by the tyrannical dance teacher there was no more joy in it for me. And I loved the idea of curling up with books instead of sweating my ass off every day and sewing up snags in my tights. So I didn’t just quit dancing, I pretty much quit moving. And that’s where the big problem started.

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know this was the beginning of the path that led to me gaining over 200 pounds. Now I’ve lost 116 of that and I’m stuck because…surprise…I hate exercise. Well…shit.

Looking back on all of this, though, I definitely see the fucked up-ness of it all. I was raised to see exercise as a laborious task that made me feel less-than. Dance was the only physical activity that was fun to me, but even that was robbed of its joy because of the biggest asshole in the universe. Everything remotely connected to moving more made me just want to get away from it as fast as possible.

I’ve tried to get myself going here and there, but I haven’t been successful at the one thing I need: consistency. One of the things losing 116 pounds has given me, though, is the self-confidence to look myself in the face and know that I am good enough just as I am. Gone are the days of anyone, including myself, making me feel less-than because I can’t jog or do 100 crunches. I don’t feel guilty about the fact that the very idea of taking a Zumba class makes me stabby…I just stay away from Zumba class. For everyone’s sake.

I know this sounds horrible and I’m most likely outting myself as a very bad person, but it’s the happy shrieking and whooping in particular that I hate about any exercise class. The class instructor yelling her loud motivating “Let’s go, ladies! Let’s mooooooove!” and everyone responding with “Yeah! WOOHOOOOO!”

I know women who get all revved up at that, but it makes me want to punch them all in the vagina. Sorry. Don’t worry, I’ve never acted out. :-)

So I’ve searched for exercisey things that are fun to do while I’ve become an expert at maintaining a 116 pound weight loss. As it turns out, for me, that’s kind of easy. I rock at maintaining my current level of weight loss. It’s just not enough for me. I want to keep going.

I still have my beloved bike that HMH gave me last year, which I love…but bike riding in cold weather isn’t going to happen. It’s spring now, so I have a few weeks of lovely bike riding in my future – but summer is coming. And yes, I say that with as much dread as they say “Winter is coming” in Game of Thrones. If you’ve ever been to Texas, you know what I mean. Our summers are assholes. Seriously.

I’m lucky in that we have tunnels built underneath our huge campus at work…and I can walk in air conditioned comfort. There’s something down there, though, that I’m allergic to. There’s a lot of dust and crap from the A/C ducts. Some mornings it’s not bad, other mornings I’m in tears after walking my two laps.

I’ve also been prone to painful foot injuries since I was 13 years old and I have to be really careful when it comes to the impact on my tootsies. I can’t walk fast enough to get cardio. If I walk fast enough for cardio, I get stress fractures. If I walk slow enough to get my 10,000 steps a day, I achieve that goal…but I miss cardio. Up your ass, exercise. You’re such a pain in the ass.

So where does this leave me? The story isn’t over, but for now we’ll leave it here – and we’ll pick up tomorrow with a Fitbit, another Fitbit and an amazing website that has started to put some fun into that nasty word “exercise”.

 

Is that a cervix in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

I’ve flown twice this month: once to my hometown in California and once to New York City, and the experiences I’ve had with the TSA have been as different as the cities I visited.

I used to joke with the TSA at DFW Airport that I must have a tumor or something, because my lower left leg always sets the damn body scanner off. But lately, my voluptuous bod seems to be pissing off more and more scanners. On my flight home from California earlier this month, a very polite and well-mannered female TSA agent asked me to step aside so that she could pat me down.

She was very polite and asked if I’d prefer a private screening. No, I answered. I never do. Maybe if they’re going to ask me to take off my bra and give me a mammogram or something, but just to pat me down? I’m made of sterner stuff than that.

“I’m going to start with your chest and arms, going in this direction,” she told me as she gestured with blue rubber gloved hands. “But I’m going to use the backs of my hands.”

I shrugged the equivalent of “Yeah, okay.” What am I going to do? Start running for my gate? Besides, if we all get to our destinations safely I honestly don’t care if she cops a feel with the backs of her hands. I’m sure it’s even less a thrill for her than for me.

She went on to pat me down everywhere, but kept stopping to explain what she was going to do…and always “but I’m going to use the backs of my hands”. Got it. After a few minutes and a good swabbing of my hands for bomby things, I was on my way to my gate. No big.
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Yesterday, as I was leaving La Guardia Airport in New York City, I had the exact opposite of this experience.

As usual, my lumpy body set off the body scanners. If our lack of decent presidential candidates didn’t concern me enough, now I’m a bit worried that the TSA can’t tell the difference between a terrorist and a chubby girl like me. Why the hell do I always set off those scanners! I wasn’t even wearing Spanx, for fucks sake.

There were two female TSA agents working the security side of the body scanners. One was a regular looking lady in her mid-fifties, I’d guess. The other was an incredibly surly chick with an attitude I can only describe as something between a Jerry Springer talk show guest and an LA gang member with a rap sheet as long as my arm. She had to be at least 6 feet tall…and she could’ve easily palmed a basketball. Shit, she could have palmed a Mini Cooper.

I don’t know her name, but let’s call her Tiffany because it sounds dainty and feminine, which she was not and that shit’s just funny. I was too afraid she’d see me look at her badge, lest I end up floating in the Hudson River like in an episode of Law & Order. Visiting, delightful, warm-hearted tourist from Texas is found floating boobs-up in the river…Benson & Stabler arrive on the scene…donk donk!

Here’s now my pat down went:

Tiffany, pointing one 9 inch finger to the floor mat in front of her: “Step here.”

I step here.

Without another word, Tiffany proceeds to use her gigantic fucking meat hook hands to push and slap my shoulders and arms, then runs her frying pan sized palms down the front of my legs and then back up between my legs until BAM! Karate chop right in the vagina. The fuck?

Tiffany didn’t use the backs of her Andre the Giant hands. She just manhandled the shit out of me and punched in me in the lady bits.

I was still reeling from the violation when she turned around and yelled (I’m totally not shitting you here) at this tiny little woman in the body scanner, who was apparently not understanding the other agent who was telling her to step out.

“COME OUT! COME OUUUUUUT!!!! HEY!!!! COME OUT!”

Not. Even. Shitting you.

Almost as an after thought, Tiffany told me I could go. She turned and stomped back to her post, her blue rubber covered knuckles nearly dragging on the ground behind her. Bitch.
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As I was seated on the plane, being safely jetted away from Tiffany and her beefy fingers, I realized that the TSA is rather like a visit to the gyno – except with a gyno you can change doctors if you’re not happy.

The TSA agent in California was like my beloved gyno here in Texas: soft spoken, gentle and pleasant…in spite of the task that’s been handed her. In contrast, Tiffany from NYC was like the doctor who uses a teaspoon of lube on a freezing cold speculum and just aims in the general direction of your birth canal. Pfffffffp! Good enough! NEXT!!!

Jesus.

I wanted to cross my legs all the way to Texas, but I was in coach.

I’m sorry, I know I’ve been talking about my vagina a lot. It’s really not that special or fantastic, but it’s the only one I have…and I really don’t want to share it with Tiffany and her man hands.

In all seriousness, though, it makes me wonder how a person like that keeps their job. Is no one watching her? Why is she allowed to be that horrible to people? Why is she so fucking angry? Maybe I’d be angry too if I had to frisk people all day long, but maybe I’d go look for another job where I didn’t have to touch vaginas all day…ya know, if that wasn’t my kind of thing.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are many of us who might choose to do something else for a living if we could. I grew up wanting to be a tap dancing astronaut writer. I am not an astronaut. I can tap dance. I’m a writer. But I didn’t achieve the trifecta career of my childhood dreams. That doesn’t mean I can run around punching people in the vagina and yelling all day.

We need to find a way to be happy with ourselves in some way. We need to find at least one spot of joy in this world…or we end up like Tiffany.

Don’t be Tiffany. That’s all I’m saying.


Calm the Fuck Down adult coloring book

 

Never thought I’d see the day…

The primary source of my self-worth has been a number on the scale…or a size in clothes…for as long as I can remember. It started when I was a 9 year old little girl being made to stand in front of a mirror in a dance studio while my intimidating, 40+ year old male dance teacher pointed out all the parts on my little body that were too fat. By the time I was a pre-teen, he was publicly humiliating me at the dance studio in an effort to bully me into losing 5 pounds. By high school, it was 10 pounds. I eventually quit dance, at which time all hell broke loose on the scale. But the founding message in all of this was…I am nothing because I am fat. I am a 9 year old fat person. That part of my brain still exists.

I used to think I needed to banish that, but honestly I can’t. And the reason, I think, is because there was never anything wrong with that 9 year old little girl. She was awesome. I can’t banish her. She’s part of me. And I love her.

I’ve paid so much money to therapists, talked and talked and talked to friends, read countless books on emotional eating, loving myself, children of alcoholics…you name it. And still I’ve spent my entire life evaluating myself on what the scale says and what the tags on my clothes say.

A little over two years ago, I had gastric sleeve surgery. I was so ready. I’d spent a long time speaking out against surgeries because I’d seen so many friends do it and gain all their weight back. Sometimes more. But what I didn’t realize is that, even though they thought they were, they just weren’t ready.

I wasn’t sure how much weight I would lose after surgery. I was amazed and grateful and elated that I lost 116 pounds. But I had 220 total to lose…and after I had my gallbladder removed, things really screeched to a halt. Why? Well, there’s only so much weight that you can lose by nutritional changes alone. I hit that threshold.

I can lose the rest of the weight if I exercise, but I keep hitting a wall. I keep pushing against the wall. Sometimes it seems to budge, but it never really does. In my head, it’s all about the weight. The tags on my clothes. The number on the scale. So I push. Nothing happens. Then I start to think “My God, Dianne, let’s go. Let’s do this! Let’s finish it.”

And nothing. Again.

There’s some stress going on at home right now. Nothing to do with HMH and me, but another family member going through something and we’re caught in the wake. There’s an end to it on the horizon, so I’m thankful for that – but it’s been a little tumultuous. And you’ll remember…I had gastric sleeve surgery, not brain surgery. When stress hits, I want to eat the universe. I just can’t anymore.

If you follow my Facebook fan page, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been posting a lot of needlework project updates lately. Quite simply, needlework is my replacement for binge eating.

One of the things I noticed about all my friends who had surgery before me and gained it all back is that they never found a substitute behavior for eating. Well, let’s say they never found a healthy substitute for eating. I saw that I needed to do it. I was determined that it would be something that was purely selfish and just for me. The natural choice was needlework. It makes me count. It requires focus and skill. And I can’t do it with Cheetoh dust on my fingers.

I’ve been doing a lot of needlework lately because I’m under stress. I’m worrying a lot. And I want to eat. All. The. Time. And I’m not going back down that road. That road sucks ass. So I stitch. Carefully. Skillfully. I stitch.

All of this stitching has brought my thoughts back into my head and away from my mouth. And I’ve slowly realized…I’m done. I’m fucking done.

The road ahead is full of possibilities
The road ahead is full of possibilities

No, I’m not done losing weight. And I’m not done with my story. But I am absolutely done being evaluated by my size. I’m done letting others do it. I’m done letting myself do it. I’m done.

It’s taken me what feels like a million years to realize that I don’t deserve this shit. At all. And I’ll tell you what: it’s pretty freeing. LOL. It’s fan-fucking-tastic is what it is.

I totally want to get to goal weight. I want to drop more weight for my health. Hell, I even still want to make exercise a habit! But I’m done letting all of this define whether I’m a successful human being or not. I’m done.

Feeling like I must lose weight to succeed has even subconsciously kept me from writing more in this blog. I realized that I’ve been avoiding writing here because I had no fabulous weight loss news to report. And so I’ve avoided it…like you avoid an old flame when you’re not wearing any make-up and you see him in a grocery store. No, no…I have to wait until everything’s fabulous before I can speak up.

No I don’t!

There are so many other things I want to write about (like tea bags for the vagina, hello!) and I’m going to write them. I’m done waiting for a number on the scale or a tag on clothes for me to be able to talk about anything else. And you know what? I’m amazed at how awesome I feel about all of this.

My dance teacher was an asshole. And he was wrong. I don’t want to carry that around in my head anymore. I know I’ll never forget it. I know it’ll always be part of who I am, but he was wrong. And for the first time since I looked in that mirror through my 9 year old eyes…I know he was wrong.

I am not a number on the scale. I am not the size of my clothes. I am a beautiful, hot mess. And I’m proud of myself…whether I ever lose another pound.

More later.

Much more. ♥


The Sweary Coloring Book for Adults (Swear Word Coloring Book)