I love the Memories feature on Facebook, especially when it reminds me of something completely and totally awesome…like the day I finally hit the 100 pounds lost mark on the scale. That was yesterday. Well done, me.
Fast forward nearly 5 years later, and I’ve managed to keep off that 100 pounds…and lose several more…thanks, in large part, to my addiction to needlework. Yep. Stabbing a piece of fabric thousands of times is actually more therapeutic than eating a bag of Cheetohs after a crappy day at work.
I first learned to stitch in Girl Scouts when I was 9, thinking myself quite the badass for completing a fabulous needlepoint of a Monarch butterfly, embroidering some nifty designs on my Dittos jeans, and completing some other projects…including showing off my new stitchy skills at a Girl Scouts expo at our local mall. It was enough to earn my needlework badge before I got bored of scouting all together. While scouting wasn’t for me, needlework definitely stuck with me even though I wouldn’t pick it up again for a long, long time.
I’ll tell all those stories and more soon enough, but in a sort of video blog on YouTube. As my stitching addiction has grown, I’ve learned about something called Floss Tube. It’s a channel, for lack of a better word, on YouTube that features stitchers from all different parts of the world. Search for Floss Tube on YouTube and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
If you’re just finding my blog for the first time, welcome. If you’ve been here a while you know all about my journey thus far…thank you for sticking with me. After toiling for far too long on the perfect stitchy name for my future adventures, I’ve decided that there really was no need for all that toil…because I’ve had the perfect name for ages:
Hot Mess Princess. Boom. Done. Mic Drop. Why change perfection?
I’m less of a hot mess than I was before, but the name still suits me…and so I’m embracing it, just like all the change I’ve bravely (and sometimes not-so-bravely) forged through over the last several years. It’s time for some fun!
The next few weeks are going to be exciting in my hot mess world:
The State Fair of Texas Creative Arts competition results will be announced within the next 10 days…and I’m hoping my entry will win a ribbon (see my Facebook fan page or Instagram for pictures of this year’s entry!)
I have 3 trips coming up, all for work, but I should be able to throw some fun into at least one of them…and I’ll be bringing you along
I’m going to put up my first Floss Tube video on YouTube…stay tuned
Follow me on these social media channels to make sure you don’t miss the fun (and, my darlings, there WILL be fun):
I have a very busy life. Busier now than before – and, although it’s just Hot Mess Hubby and me at home, I haven’t been able to keep up with a lot of things that seem natural to the other women in my family…and some of my friends. It makes me feel guilty. Less than. And like I’ve failed in some way. Today, more than ever, I feel that way about the mess in my own home.
A few weeks ago, I made the decision to hire a maid service to come and do a deep cleaning on my home. For at least the last few years, I’ve let myself spin in a vicious circle that begins every Friday afternoon:
Get motivated that it’s Friday and I have the weekend to myself
Decide to use my weekend to catch up on housecleaning
Get home from work, throw on some comfy clothes, and get crazy with the cleaning tasks
Go to bed tired, but hopeful
Wake up motivated and keep pushing
Greet hubby when he wakes up, let him enjoy his time off…keep cleaning
Take a break and go stitch or do something else
Do a bit more housecleaning, get distracted by hubby, feel guilty that I haven’t done more
Begrudgingly agree to leave the house with hubby because he wants to have lunch or go somewhere. Feel guilty that I left the house messy
Come home too hot or too tired (or both) to think about more cleaning
Wake up Sunday promising myself that I’ll clean, but really need a break…go stitch for a bit
Accidentally get sucked into the damn Law & Order marathon on tv
Do enough laundry to get us through the work week
Possibly make dinner…or bake for work…whichever requires that I make a mess in the kitchen
Spend the rest of the night feeling guilty and talking to Hot Mess Hubby
Wake up in a house that’s not really clean, feeling like I didn’t accomplish anything, and looking forward to the next weekend when I can “get it all done”
Phew. I suck.
So I’ve finally realized that housework is something I’m not great at…and the only time I’m really organized is when I’m at work. My house is never going to look like Pottery Barn. I have a Saint Bernard, a Saint Berdoodle, and a very fat cat…and, less than a year ago, a 21 year old tabby cat that peed pretty much wherever she damn well felt like it. My sweet girl (she really was a sweet girl) went off to Rainbow Bridge, late last year. I imagine she’s probably peeing on it.
As I write this, I feel guilty and disappointed. There are two maids in my house. They’ve been here for three hours…which is the amount of time a deep cleaning is supposed to take. One of them has spent all her time in the master bathroom and the other has spent all her time in the kitchen. When they came in, they went on and on about how my house wasn’t that bad…and yet it’s taken two professional maids three hours to even begin to clean the crud off of the crud that’s on my crud….in only two rooms of my house.
The guest bathroom isn’t done. The blinds aren’t done. Nothing is dusted. I keep feeling like I might hear sobbing coming from the master suite soon. Spray, spray, spray. Sob. Scrub, scrub, scrub. Sob.
I’ll bet right now you’re wondering whether I’m going to finish this blog before they’re done and then you’ll have to go to bed wondering what the hell ever happened. I’m not, don’t worry…but if I don’t sit here and do something while I’m obsessing over what these total strangers think of me as a person, I’ll go crazy. Crazier.
So I guess I’ll leave this here for now and pray these women aren’t ready to poke a Hot Mess Voodoo Doll to death with their cleaning tools…
*Pause while I await my doom…*
Okay, I’m back! Were you wondering what happened? Well…I’m here to tell you.
Although they predicted that 3 hours and 2 maids would be enough to make my house sparkle, it took 2 maids 5 hours to get it to be…presentable. It’s not their fault that my house doesn’t sparkle. It’s the cheap flat paint that needs to be painted over…and the knicked up baseboards from giant doggies running in their sleep…and the horrible carpet that we refused to replace while the 21 year old peeing princess was still alive. Those things must all be dealt with, but for now…
My house smells clean. The kitchen is cleaner than it’s been in 9 years. I know because that’s when my brother and sister in law visited and their house DOES look like Pottery Barn, so HMH and I cleaned for days before they came.
My living room is dusted, everything is wiped down, and the fake plants aren’t dirty anymore (don’t judge me for having plastic plants…I can’t keep anything without a face alive). The carpet under our bed is vacuumed, much to Hemi the cat’s extreme displeasure. She came waddling out from the bedroom with a distinct “What the fuck is going on here!” look on her face. She is now curled up on the bed with her Chewbacca toy…plotting my death.
I still feel guilty. It was $265 well spent, and yet I feel guilty for needing the help. I am not perfect. I can’t do everything myself. And I’m realizing now that life is too short to have such expectations of myself. Going out to lunch with my husband, or curling up in my stitchy chair and enjoying a good storm outside, is worth a lot to me. More than ever.
So I guess I have something else to do now: accept the gift that I’ve given myself and stop worrying about what these strangers must have thought of my disgusting floors…and my skeezy shower. And maybe put my damn laundry away for once.
Y’all, 2017 was an interesting year. In fact, everything after 2013 has been amazing. I lost 119 pounds, too many clothing sizes to count, so many inches I don’t even know. Through this blog, I shared all the changes I was going through in all of that. Y’all came with me every step of the way.
If you’re following me on Facebook (and you should be), you know that I have the travel bug. Travel is hard on the human body whether you weigh 150 or 350 or are somewhere in between like me. As much as I love going new places, it’s hard on me physically. Usually, at the end of a day of exploring, I find myself waddling or limping back to my hotel room and collapsing in a happy heap…wondering if I couldn’t have done even more if I was in better shape.
As I’ve gone through this process, I’ve also changed. Things that used to motivate me…don’t. Mostly, that number on the scale. I am not interested in focusing on a number. I don’t give a crap about dropping another marble in the “Pounds Lost” jar. It’s hard to explain, but it feels like I’m looking at it all from the wrong angle.
So what do I care about now? I care about how my butt fits in an airplane seat (and they’re all different). I care about how much walking I can do when my sneaks hit the pavement in London. I care about how well I sleep…and how dehydrated I still get. I care about not getting old before I get old, and about making sure my eyes and my hands work for years to come…because doing needlework gives me joy.
You’ll hear more from me here on the blog than you did in 2017. We’re going to talk about a lot of things, including weight loss, healthy living, travel, and yes…NEEDLEWORK. And a million other topics I can’t even think of. Anything that comes up.
For now, let’s talk about travel. I know I have many readers who don’t travel because of weight. You’ve read horror stories about people being removed from airplanes because they’re too fat, or people being charged for a second seat that they can’t afford. Travel is an amazing gift to give yourselves, peeps. Amazing. I want to help you get past the fear and get out there.
So…let’s talk about travel. In the comments below, give me your travel questions. You can ask me anything, including how big my butt is and whether it fits in the seat. 🙂 I want you to be able to get out there in the world.
If you have a question for me but you’re embarrassed to ask it, just give me a fake name in the comments below. I can’t tell who you are, so make it a fun name and ask the question.
Well, I’ve tried and tried…and I can’t seem to get back into the rhythm of writing blog posts. As if you’re sending not-so-subliminal messages, my readers tend to not comment on the blog posts anyway. LOL. If I share a link to a new blog post on my Facebook fan page, everyone just comments on Facebook anyway…so why do I need to bring everyone over here?
I’m not saying I’ll never write another blog post, but I didn’t want to leave my website hanging…so if you’re wondering what the hell is going on with me, head over to Facebook. And if you’re one of those folks who doesn’t want to put their personal info on Facebook, that’s okay. Make up a name. Like…Beulah Jones or Vagina Reynolds. No one will ever know. #Genius
I’ve been dealing with a lot of family drama lately. The drama is centered around two members of my otherwise peaceful family. If you follow my Facebook fan page, you know one as the Drama Llama. I never talk about the other one, but I’ll call him the Drama Moose. Because I can.
Over the past few weeks I’ve become more and more in touch with the fact that it’s normal again to have potato chip bags around the house. Trips to the vending machine at work have become more and more “necessary” in the afternoons. And I’ve had this nagging, guilty feeling I can’t shake.
I hate guilt. It’s a shitty feeling, whether it’s deserved or not. And when there’s family drama going on it can be hard to identify whether you’re down in the dumps because the Drama Llama or the Drama Moose is acting up or because you’re slipping back into your old, horrible habits and your new self defense mechanisms are kicking in.
The real wake up moment happened on Friday when I had my hair done (because it was time to cover those “wisdom highlights” that Mother Nature has bestowed upon me). It’s never fun to look in the mirror when you’re in the chair at the salon. Does anyone ever look pretty in that damn chair?
Anyway, I looked in the mirror and my first thought was “Holy shit, how did my face get that huge?” There was a lot more face on my face than there used to be. And then, to kick the guilt machine into overdrive, I was looking through my phone for a picture to show my hair stylist and this popped up:
This was taken in 2015 when I ran into my pal during a follow up with our surgeon. Yeah, I still have that shirt…and I can still wear it…but it doesn’t look like that on me anymore. And my face is definitely smaller here. A lot smaller, actually.
The guilt is coming from the best place possible. I’ve been turning towards unhealthy eating as a mechanism for coping with a shit ton of stress. Before my surgery and the amazing experience I’ve had since then, I would have turned that guilt against myself. You’re lazy. You’re fat. You’re a horrible person. These are the things I said to myself with horrifying regularity. And then I’d eat again. It was a destructive cycle that lasted 25 years.
The guilt is waking me up from my complacency. The guilt is nudging at me, reminding me of how hard I worked to lose 118 pounds and drop 8 sizes. I’m grateful for it, really. But all day today I’ve been trying to give it a hug and send it on its way. You can’t hold onto guilt for too long or you start to believe you’re just a shitty person.
This is why I announced on Facebook this morning that I’ve started the “pouch reset” that my surgeon’s office talked about in their latest newsletter. Yes, more than three years later I’m still getting support from these amazing people. Just another reason why it’s important to pick a great doctor if you decide the surgical route is the way you want to go.
A pouch reset is basically a mini bootcamp course that takes you back to the weeks after your surgery, forcing your body to burn the fuel it already has and helping you to gain control over any carb cravings you might have. It’s not even a bootcamp, really. It’s more like a trip down a dietary memory lane. You take yourself back to the basics. Back when you were only allowed to drink everything and were petrified to eat a cracker for fear of ripping your stomach open. I was, anyway.
So today through Wednesday I will be drinking protein shakes to get my nutrition in and (hold onto your asses) I’ll get unlimited amounts of sugar free jello and sugar free popsicles. You’re jealous, aren’t you? Actually, to sweeten the sugar free pot even more, I can even eat red and purple jello and popsicles…because I’m not having surgery next week! Yay me!! (Red and purple shows up on a video screen as blood and it freaks the hell out of the surgeons…that’s why pre-op patients aren’t allowed to eat those colors.)
On Thursday I’ll be allowed Greek yogurt as well. Actually, I’m allowed a bunch of other shit…but it’s all disgusting. Chicken salad. Tuna. I could go on, but I might barf up my last protein shake. I’m happy with the Greek yogurt. On Friday, I can go back to my regular high protein foods…and then I’m done!
There are a ton of other “pouch reset” plans out there. There’s no right way to do this. The intention is to bring the patient back to basics. I’m…12 hours in as I write this, and I can honestly say I’m well on my way back. I really needed this.
This morning I read through some of the posts I made right after surgery. I relived the morning of my surgery:
The long drive to the hospital in the icy cold weather
Crying repeatedly as I worried in the pre-op area, overthinking and obsessing like crazy
Waking up and making an ass out of myself in front of the recovery room nurse
The first lessons I learned about my new life…and my old one
Before I knew it, I was smiling ear to ear. Guilt leads to smiling. Who is this woman???
Today has been a challenge, but it hasn’t been hard. When you start heading back to your old habits of eating crunchy things when you’re stressed…and making yourself feel better with some chocolate after a stressful day…you can look at this kind of thing in one of two ways: a wake up call or something to feel guilty over. I’m so happy that I’ve grown to a place where I know when to kick the guilt to the curb.
I’d asked Hot Mess Hubby to throw all the chips out before I got home, which he did. But he didn’t see the bag on the coffee table, so it was waiting for me when I got home. I didn’t eat any. I picked it up, walked straight to the kitchen, and threw it out. Buh-bye. I don’t want you in my life right now, chips.
Something else: I’ve been looking forward to going to the gym all day. WHAT?? Who the hell is this person? Even though I’ve made some great progress towards working out, I still have the very strong urge to throw up any excuse not to go. Yet when I got home today I reminded myself not to get too comfortable, because my plan has been to head to the gym in time to swim for 30 minutes, shower and get ready for bed before I head home. But not in jammies. My gym is kinda classy, actually, and I’m pretty sure that schlepping through the lobby in my Star Wars jammies would be frowned upon.
If I do this right I’ll have about a half hour to stitch and relax before bed. What a lovely way to end the day, right? Swimming. Pampering. Stitching. Bed. Hell yeah!
Some of you may be wondering if I haven’t been hungry all day. My protein intake requirement is 90 – 100 grams a day, and just one of my protein shakes has 30 grams in it. It only takes me 3 protein shakes to hit that goal and I don’t get anything else but sugar free jello. The answer? No. Not a bit. I haven’t been hungry at all. I’ve felt a little empty here and there, but no hunger like I did before surgery.
Have I had the munchies? HELL YES! My brain wants me to eat. The professional worrier inside me wants me to eat. Ultimately, though, I wanted to continue with the pouch reset. It’s comforting to me to wander down memory lane. It feels good to take care of myself. And it definitely felt good (and surreal) to toss out those chips. Who is this woman????
She’s me. And she’s awesome. Guilt doesn’t suck if you learn from it. Just make sure you wrestle the bitch out the door after you’re done.
Want this awesome unicorn pillow? You know you do. It’s right here.