Don’t be a sheep

Just a note: at first, this is going to seem like a lot of whining about the mechanics of writing a blog and the politics of being married to a man who is occasionally right…but trust me, I have a point…and it’s a good one. You may proceed with reading about the amazing realization I had last night…

I started having one of my “famous meltdowns” last night. They usually start with me staring at the wall with a far off look in my eyes…and when hubby asks me what’s wrong, my usual reply is “I’m so overwhelmed….”  And then I launch into a near hysterical venting session in which he’s tasked with calming me down while successfully managing to not roll his eyes at any of the bat shit crazy crap that comes out of my yap. For the record, he (once again) talked me down off the mental ledge I had put myself on and all is well.

I’ve known married couples who were so alike they were scary, but that’s not the case with the hubs and I. We are polar opposites. I’m very talky, very animated, very silly and snarky…and always doing something. He’s very untalky (it’s a totally a word, trust me), very calm/almost dead, with a touch of sarcasm and is quite talented at the art of making an ass print in his chair. We compliment each other perfectly. He calms me down, I rev him up – unless there’s a crisis, then it’s reversed. For example, when our neighbor “Mr. Underpants” loaned his car to his elderly mother and she crashed it into hubby’s truck so hard that she pushed it through our garage door…I was the calm that kept hubby together. He even told me so when we went back inside after it was over. Then I got all excited because he was so sweet to say that…and was bouncing around and hugging him and being silly…and then he had to calm me down. What can I say…

Whenever I have an extended weekend looming close, my head fills with plans and I start to schedule every minute of every day so that I can feel like I truly accomplished something. My “to do” lists are a mile long. I have one for organizing the house and another for this blog. Last night, they were both freaking me out – but when the hubby asked me what was wrong I jumped into bloggy things first. See, I went to my first ever blogger’s conference last September and I came home with a list of things to do that was four pages long. Since then, I’ve been trying to get control over everything I’ve been told I should be doing and I just can’t seem to get a grip on it.

The blogger’s conference was hella fun, but there was quite a bit of it that was geared towards “Mommy bloggers” and crafting bloggers, coupon sites, and travel related blogs. All of those folks run their blogs for money. Only two of us were blogging our way through a huge weight loss goal – and I never even met the other weight loss blogger.

In fact, I sort of fell into this whole blogging thing ass-backwards. Sorry, asses-backwards. There are things that seasoned, professional bloggers know…like SEO and page ranking. They do HTML coding on their blogs, have editorial calendars for their content, and manage all their social media. They know how to read analytics reports that tell them how much traffic they’re getting. I can barely read my electric bill. Honestly, if it wasn’t for Matt the Webmaster Ninja, this blog would have a solid white background with black type on it and maybe a picture of my dogs…because that shit’s just cute. But now Matt has moved on and is no longer managing the HTML-analytical-hoogy-doogy crazy shit that keeps all this together…and I’m left feeling like a big fat muggle at Hogwart’s.

So there I was, venting frantically to the hubby about HTML and Facebook “likes” and editorial calendars when he has the balls to look right at me and say “Why do you need an editorial calendar? Stop treating your blog like it’s a business. You’re doing this for you.”

That moment when you’re passionately whining about something you know you’re absolutely 100% right about…and then someone pulls your entire argument out from under you and beats you on the head with it? Yeah…there it was.

I sat there for a minute, feeling my meltdown washing away and wondering what to do about it…kind of like the first time I took Ambien and I was torn between going to bed and eating all the dry soup mix in the pantry. It’s confusing and terrifying, but if you sit still long enough the right path becomes clear.

This all started from that blogger’s conference – which was a day well spent, to be sure – however, since then I’ve snapped back into the role of a brainless little sheep and that’s not who I want to be. Once I realized that, the light bulbs really started to go back on…and I think I terrified the hubs a little bit with the wide-eyed expression on my face.

“Are you okay or do you have to fart? I can’t tell…”

He’s charming, isn’t he?

I didn’t have to fart…I was having a major epiphany. I was thinking about the fact that I was 13 years old when my Mom put me on my first diet because The King said I was fat. It was the Scarsdale Diet, I remember…and back then, a healthy diet dinner consisted of a hamburger patty, a few slices of tomato, and a big plop of cottage cheese. Yep. Healthy, huh?

It launched me into a loop of dieting and binging that lasted over 20 years. Scarsdale, Atkins, South Beach, Yogurt, Milkshake diets. Phen Fen, Meridia, Prozac, 5-HTP…I tried everything. I ran with all the other sheep. Every time the diet industry announced another “solution” to my fat problem, I lined up with the rest of the sheep and handed over my money…and failed. Just like all the other sheep.


Let’s get jiggy with individuality!

When I finally decided I’d had enough of listening to people who were making money off of me and capitalizing on my failures, I realized that I had to stop being a sheep. I had to be diligent and spend some time on myself. I had to find out what really works for me long term…and then do it. That’s what this past year has been about: finding real, sustainable change that doesn’t come from a special diet, a magic pill, or surgery. The result? I’ve lost 45 pounds and kept it off for an entire year. I have never kept weight off for this long. Ever. This Princess is on the right track. Finally.

As much as it pains me to admit when he’s right during one of my meltdowns, the hubs was dead on this time. When he asked me why I needed an editorial calendar, I’m ashamed to say that my reply was “Because they said so…” At the blogger’s conference. They said I should have one and, because I have no real idea what I’m doing, I jumped into my sheep suit and ran with the other sheep…never thinking for a minute that editorial calendars make a lot of sense for the mommy and craft bloggers out there and not a lot of sense for me. I’m blogging about a very real, very personal experience. You can’t schedule that shit.

My point? The sheep mentality is dangerous. Don’t let other people make important decisions for you. Don’t follow any plan without examining every detail first and figuring out whether it actually works for YOU or not. And don’t let your husband know he’s right too much or there’ll be hell to pay. Trust me – every time I try to argue a point for the next few months, he’s going to resurrect that moment last night when I realized he was right. Bastard. In fact, as I was spewing out the “Oh my God, you’re right!” of it all last night and he sat there with a self-satisfied smile on his face he had another brilliant idea.

“You know what, babe? This is a blog post right here…what we’re talking about…what you’re realizing.”

Oh shut up already! (He says you’re welcome, by the way…for suggesting that I write about this.) I was tempted to post his cell phone number so that y’all could personally thank him…but I won’t. This time.

We are a perfect match. Total opposites, meant to be. He’s a keeper. Sure, he doesn’t understand that taking out the trash is a two step process…but that just means he’s not perfect.

Step one: take out the trash.
Step two: put a new bag in the fucking trash can…how hard is it!!!

I’m sorry, I was talking about the wonder of marriage and my amazing realization. Yes. Marriage is full of wonder. And also remember not to be a sheep. Finding your own way is the most rewarding thing you can do in the process of embarcing a healthier lifestyle. You only have to answer to yourself. And maybe your doctor. And possibly a spouse who gets a little too happy when you’re wrong and risks getting kicked in the man-snatch.

Perhaps I should put a protective cup in the hubby’s stocking this year. He might need it.

7 thoughts on “Don’t be a sheep

  1. You could have just black print on a white background. I don’t think any of your followers would care. It is just nice seeing someone going through the same things and being able to laugh about it – like most of us fattys out here. Being fat ain’t easy, you have to have a sense of humor – and good shoes. Don’t stress. When you take something that is fun for you and try to turn it into work it sucks the fun out. I learned that when I went to art school.

  2. Totally agree with him! In fact, I was mentally planning my comment as I was reading; something about they run theirs as a business, you run yours to inspire yourself and others, you don’t need all that stuff, blah blah. And then I get to the part where he nailed it! Good job Riceball!

    THEN I am mentally planning my NEW comment about how doing what others said you should be doing, being who others said you should be, is what set you on this path to begin with! Then I read on and see that YOU nailed it! Good job you!!

    Now I got nuttin to say…

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