Category Archives: Get Real!

5K training has started!


5K training has begun.

Yesterday, I promised that I would share the training program I’m following today…and that I would also share how those of you who aren’t in the DFW area can also participate.  I can deliver on 75% of that.  Lemme ‘splain…

First, I’m following Hal Higdon’s 5K for Walkers program.  You may ask why I’m not following Couch to 5K and it’s simply psychology on my part. See, Couch to 5K is ultimately designed to get you running. I look forward to that someday, but I’m over 300 pounds and my feet hate me. I won’t be running for a while.

Understand, I’m not being a slacker…even when I weighed 125 pounds I was a regular in the podiatrist’s office. My feet really do hate me. I was always bandaged up or going for physical therapy. Two foot surgeries and multiple stress fractures later, I’ve learned to be realistic about what I can put my feet through at this weight – because if there’s one thing that sucks, it’s getting yourself all motivated and ending up in a stress fracture boot for 8 weeks.  That shit ain’t fun.

So the psychology of it all? If I was a grown-up, I could read Couch to 5K and just substitute the word “run” for “walk”…but that’s not what happens in my head.  What happens in my head is something like this:

Everyone else is running and you’re walking. You can’t run because you’re too fat. What if you never beat this? You never should have let yourself get this big. Who does this? You’re ridiculous. You’ll never run. You’re a failure.

Welcome to my evil twin, ladies and gentlemen…that’s what will be going on in my head if I do the grown-up thing and try to just overlook the word run. I don’t give myself any credit for trying. I’m horrible to myself. So to keep that from happening, I do what I have to in order to avoid those destructive voices in my head…and I keep pushing forward.

I’ll do whatever it takes to keep that crap silent. Determination is what’s most important to me.


I’ll be posting my daily walking goal on my Facebook fan page every day, so if you want to follow along please do! I’ll also be blogging quite a bit about it here…you know I won’t shut up about it.

So for those of you who don’t live in the DFW area and can’t walk the Buffalo Boogie with us, don’t fret…you can train with us! And that’s not all…there is actually one more announcement I have to make this week, but I’m not ready to do it tonight – so stay tuned.

I’ll hurry it up as fast as I can. I should have it out by Wednesday night.

For now, you’ve got the link to the training program I’m using…and I’ll be back soon with the re-birth of a pretty damn cool project I launched a while back. You’re gonna love it!

Did you start training today?

The Path

Sometimes I forget to be grateful for what I have. There are days when it feels like I’m in constant battle against “the grass is always greener syndrome”. Someone’s always luckier than me, prettier than me, has more money than me. Thinner than me.  Hell, that’s most of the world.

I’m ashamed of how often I forget to be grateful. I’m luckier than so many others.

Remember back in the day when Oprah had her “Ah-hah!” moment and finally lost all her weight?  I remember sitting in a restaurant with one of my girlfriends talk’in shit about poor Oprah. While we chomped on what was easily a day’s worth of calories, we lamented about how easy it would be lose our weight if we had Oprah’s enormous wealth.

“Yeah, if I could afford to hire someone to follow me around all day I’d hit my goal weight too,” my friend said. “She has a personal chef, a personal trainer, a personal assistant…she doesn’t have to do shit for herself.”

Our solution to the problem?  Order dessert…because we poor girls, who had to work for a living and struggled so unfairly to lose weight, deserved it.  We weren’t really struggling though.  Well, I can only speak for me.  I started all my diets on Monday back then, after a “last night on earth” eating binge on Sunday night.  By Thursday night I was usually so starved and bored that I was calling for pizza delivery.  For years, I did the same thing over and over again, failing every time and then whined to myself about it over a pint of mint chip while I watched The Biggest Loser.

It wasn’t until just over a year ago, when I was on the verge of lap band surgery, that I realized the bulk of my struggle was a bunch of bullshit that I was feeding myself.  Well, the diet industry was feeding it to me as well – but I was the one swallowing it.  Just weeks before my planned lap band surgery, I decided to experiment with a sort of imaginary lap band…and I found something unexpected:  gratitude.

My imaginary lap band experiment opened my eyes. I didn’t miss all the processed crap I had been eating when I went without it.  Instead, I missed the healthy foods that I enjoy cooking for myself.  It surprised me quite a bit…and was the catalyst that caused me to cancel my surgery and do this on my own.

Here we are again, just over a year later, with my food demons in check…and now I’m going after exercise.  Just a few weeks into the process of making exercise a consistent habit, I’m putting an enormous amount of thought into every aspect of it. Why do I hate it?  What do I hate about it?  How can I change that?  What roadblocks are in my way?  How do I get rid of them?  This may seem like a lot of over thinking to some of you, but this is exactly what I did with health eating last year and it worked like a charm.  Examine every rock, every stone, every pebble.

This year it’s not my healthy, delicious recipes I’m grateful for.  Well, I’m still grateful for all that.  With my focus on exercise this year, my relentless over thinking is making me grateful for the fact that I already have everything I need in order to move more.  I hate gyms – but I’m grateful for the treadmill in my bedroom that makes gym memberships unnecessary.  I’ve always had foot problems that can create issues for me, even when I was thin…but I have strong legs and no serious handicaps that keep me from exercising consistently.

And then there’s the path…

The path to victory
The path to victory















This is the entrance to a 6.10 mile long bike/walking trail in my neighborhood. I only have to walk two neighborhood streets behind my house to get here. The trail connects to other parks with other walking trails as well, providing just over 20 miles of room for me to stretch my legs.  If I turn right, I’ll hit the dog park and a few other parks and trails.  The bulk of the trail lies to my left.  I have no idea what’s down there…but I plan to find out.

This post is the beginning of a series of blog posts I’ll be making as I discover what waits for me on the path ahead…on this trail and in my head as I try to fight some pretty serious mental demons about exercise.  Four weeks into my new challenge of making exercise a consistent habit and I’m still resisting myself at every turn.

That’s fine.  If that’s how my subconscious wants to play it, I can’t control it – but I can control what I do about it.  So I will use the legs that I’m so grateful for to propel me down the path ahead whether my subconscious likes it or not…just like I made myself stand in the kitchen last year and actually cook instead of hitting the drive-thru.  At first it was hard, but I avoided fad diets and absolute thinking.  Gentle persistence turned into willingness…which turned into habit…and before I knew it my whole way of thinking about food was changed for good.

As I write this and I think about the fact that I’m going to go down this path whether I want to or not, I’m afraid.  I know it isn’t real fear.  There’s nothing to be afraid of down this path.  (Well, at least not until spring when the bugs come back.) But, as I’ll explain in more detail later, there are mental demons at the heart of this that I haven’t confronted in over 20 years.  When I think about the crap I’m going to have to claw through this year in order to change my life, last year seems like a total breeze.

It doesn’t matter in the end.  It has to be done…because I want it done.  I may not be particularly courageous, but I am stubborn.

And so down the path I go…

Ready or not, here I come...
Ready or not, here I come…



Fitocracy: Too Much, Too Soon

Hey y’all!

As I announced on my Facebook fan page recently, I am going inactive on Fitocracy.  Here’s why…

Although a worthwhile and arguably kick-ass idea, Fitocracy appears to be 90% iron pumping triathlon winning fitness ninjas and 10% fitness newbies.  I may revisit my decision in the future, but after careful consideration and a few experiences that made me shake my head…I’m done for now.  To those of you who followed me there and enthusiastically participated in our group challenges, I wholeheartedly apologize if I have disappointed you.  I love you all dearly and I truly appreciate your support as I go through this process of attaining the healthy lifestyle I’m striving for.

Please allow me to offer the following evidence as I state my case…

Exhibit A:  Naked people.  While impressive, keep your naked ass off my computer – especially if I’m cruising for quests and challenges at work.  People do post naked pictures of their expertly, if not overly sculpted physiques.  I’m just not into that.  At all.

Exhibit B:  Fitocrats hitting on Fitocrats.  Ya know…I’d go to the gym if I wanted to see that.  Save the “Let’s get together for a romantic dinner of Muscle Milk” for someplace where the rest of us don’t have to watch.

Exhibit C:  Speaking in tongues.  You know that feeling when you take your car to the mechanic and they check it out, then walk up to you with what looks like a grease covered apple wedger and say “Your squinky squank’s got malnagging boogle parts in it and they’ve all gotta be replaced”?   You just stand there and blink, wondering what the hell they just said, right?  Check out this actual update that showed up on my feed one day:

This has been driving me crazy all day. I read a t-nation post about avoiding Britany Spears syndrome, thick waist from isolating abs and obliques all day every day. He recommends a female, wanting to lose weight, carb cycle with a (c/p/f) 60/30/10, 10/30/60 split with high fat days are lifting days (ish) and the carb day is a rest day (4 day cycle). I have been doing a lean gains recomp for 6 weeks and have had good results. I want to start a cut but now I’m questioning my macros. 

I must have read it 5 times, all the while wondering to myself how many Power Bars a person has to eat to get that jacked up.  I can’t relate.  I don’t want to relate.  I don’t want to live in a world where “Britany Spears Syndrome” is a real affliction…so piss off!

Further, very soon after I became a “Fitocracy Hero” (thanks to all of you joining me there and winning me that extra badge) I was sorry to see several seasoned members posting whining about the fact that so many new people would be joining at the start of the new year…which was made even worse because Dr. Oz had decided to endorse Fitocracy.  There was a lot of snobbery and eye-rolling going on at the prospect of having to deal with new members – something I thought was kind of shitty, for lack of a better term.

I don’t begrudge the Fitocrats their place on the internet and I completely applaud them for doing what they love to do, but I have to be around people I can relate to…and I can’t relate to them.  I’m sorry if you’re disappointed…and I hope you forgive me.  If it helps, I’m mentally wishing each of you to win a million hundred dollars and a lap dance from Hugh Jackman.

I’ll be back by Sunday to tell you all about The Path.  I hope that sounds mysteriously awesome…because it’s supposed to.

Much love…


Life Before the “After” Picture

Hey y’all –

255-420323I’ve got about four different blog posts going right now and I can already see the writing on the wall: none of them are coming easy.  The writing process is a lot like giving birth for me (or at least what I’ve heard about giving birth).  There’s a lot of pushing and sweating and, in the end, a big mess and a lot of crying.  Hopefully when I’m done, though, I have a new bundle of joy…er, words…to post for you.  I’ve been pushing on this one for days.  Either I post it tonight or I’ll be looking for an epidural and a rubber donut to sit on tomorrow.

I got a very sweet email from a reader the other day that really made me smile. She was highly complimentary about my little blog.  Honestly, I truly consider it an honor when you write to me to tell me your personal stories.  We’re all in this together, right?  We’re all fighting the same battles.

This reader was asking me in particular why the “pounds lost” ticker on the right has been at 44 pounds for quite a while without moving…because watching that ticker go down is very motivating for her.  Like so of my loyal readers who follow my blog (and I love every single one of you!), she’s inspired by my story and enjoys the motivation she gets from it.  It made me realize that I haven’t spoken much about my trips to the scale and my weight loss since I began my goal of moving more in 2013.

This wonderful reader gives me more credit than I deserve, even supposing that I’ve continued to lose weight and am keeping it a secret until I can announce that I’ve lost 100 pounds with much fanfare and merriment.  I would never do that to you, I promise.  We’re in this together – and my purpose in writing this blog is to lay it all out on the line in honest form.  I believe it’s only in honest, raw form that we really succeed.  Anyone who tries to hand it to you all neatly packaged and heavily marketed is selling you something.  And if they’re selling you something, you can’t trust them.  They’re making money off your misery, kids.  That’s why you don’t see any ads for weight loss surgery or acai berry gel or the HCG diet here.  I’m not going to be part of the problem.

I’m going to give you my progress report but I have mixed feelings about talking about it – not because I have bad news, but because I’ve grown tired of the predictable response I get from anyone I speak to about my progress right now.  Let me give you an example of a recent conversation I had with a nice enough person who seems to only be interested in instant solutions. For the sake of abbreviation and anonymity, we’ll call her Clueless.

Clueless:  So how’s the weight loss going?

HMP:  Fine, thanks!

Clueless:  How much weight have you lost so far?

HMP:  44 pounds.

Clueless:  Oh, good for you!  What was it before?  I haven’t talked to you since way before Christmas.

HMP:  45 pounds.

Clueless gets a puzzled look.

HMP:  I lost 45 pounds, then I gained 7 back.  I’ve lost 6 of those…so the total is 44 pounds.

Clueless:  Oh, what’s wrong?

HMP:  (with a slightly patronizing smile) Nothing’s wrong.

Clueless:  Well, 44 pounds is great.  How long did that take you?

HMP:  A year.

Clueless frowns with much disappointment.

Clueless:  Oh…

HMP:  (resisting the urge to throw something at Clueless)  I feel successful and that’s all that matters.  I’ve lost 44 pounds and kept it off all this time.  I’ve never done that before.  We fatties consider that a big deal.

Clueless instantly realizes she’s disappointed that I lost weight and feels embarrassed.  Desperate to change the subject, she says “So who do you like on The Biggest Loser this season?”

HMP:  I don’t watch it.  That isn’t real life or a responsible way to take care of yourself.

Clueless made some more small talk and walked away…most likely chalking my 44 pounds up to failure.  Probably feeling sorry for me in some way because she thinks I haven’t figured it out yet.  Well, I haven’t figured it all out yet…but I’m well on my way.


I experienced something very similar last year when it first became noticeable that I was losing weight.  People were elated for me.  They would come up to me excitedly asking how much I’d lost, how long it took me.  Since I’d lost a significant amount of weight in a short amount of time, they were all ears.  Next came the question how did you do it?


HMP:  Well, I gave up sugar and processed foods first.  Then I gave up diet soda and fast food.  It’s been amazing.

Clueless:  What diet is that?

HMP:  It’s not a diet.  I eat grilled chicken, raw spinach, grilled turkey burgers. Apples.  Greek yogurt.  I eat healthy.

Clueless gives a disappointed look.  No pills, no shakes.  No magic sprinkles to shake on my food.  Nope, just hard work and life changes.  It’s not so sexy to some people who don’t want to hear the truth.

I’m not comparing any of you guys to Clueless, believe me.  Y’all are like me.  You’ve been around the block enough and you understand how the game works.  You’re tired and ready for a solution that works for you…and when you find someone like me with a big mouth who puts all her big butt frustrations on the internet, you feel like you found your long lost sister.  🙂  I feel the same way about you every time I get an email or a Facebook message.  We understand each other’s trials, tribulations, and frustrations in a way that our slim & trim friends never will.

I wish I could tell you I’ve secretly been losing weight so that I can surprise you with a big number, but that’s not the case.  The truth is that the ticker is right.  It’s holding at 44 pounds…and it’s not going to budge again until I make exercise a consistent habit.  That’s how my body works.  Yours may be different – but mine gets to a point where it says “Okay, I’ve lost enough…if you want to look awesome you’re going to have to work with me a lot more.”












I know someone who’s very physically active.  He’s an avid mountain biker.  Very athletic.  He has a serious problem with food temptations.  Too much beer.  Too many yummies.  But the exercise part?  He’s got that down pat.  I’m exactly the opposite.  My food is in check.  My exercise needs help.

That’s why I bought a Fitbit.  That’s why I tried Fitocracy.  2013 is all about moving.  It’s all about getting going and battling all my old exercise demons.  By the end of the year, I plan to be an absolute badass.

My goal is no longer about keeping a stranglehold on my food intake and keeping temptation at bay.  I’ve got that down.  My goals are now about moving more, finding a form of exercise that I enjoy, and pounding out some of the stress in my life with running shoes and treadmills and nature trails.  Eventually, I will get back on the scale on a regular basis.  I do that because I enjoy it, not because I’m obsessing or feel like I have to.  However, to get on the scale in the beginning of all this…when the shortest walk feels like a major, painful effort… is suicide.  All it will do is make it seem like the scale isn’t moving fast enough for all the hard work I’m doing…and I’ll quit.  I don’t want to pull at that thread.

Some of you have asked me what motivates me.  Obviously, it’s not The Biggest Loser if you’ve read my posts about my experience with them.  One of the things that inspires me most is People magazine’s “Half Their Size” issue.  The before and after photos of the people who’ve lost so much weight are incredibly inspiring to me.  I dream of how I’ll feel as I’m posing for my “after” picture.  That’s what motivates me.  So when I see someone disappointed that I’ve lost 44 pounds in a year…or when I don’t tell them that I put miracle sprinkles on a hamburger and lost a size in a month…it’s ok.  It’s really ok.  I close my eyes and I think of the day I’m posing for my “after” picture.  It will happen.

The instant gratification that society is trying to slap on us isn’t real.  Contestants on The Biggest Loser use asparagus binges and deprive themselves of water before weigh-in day in order to hit the big numbers.  Shakeology, HCG, and all these scam diets are just people making money off of those of us who struggle with our weight.  If any of these things really worked, we would all be slim already and obesity wouldn’t be such a raging problem.  But they don’t work.  Not for us, anyway.  They work for the diet industry…because we’re putting billions of dollars in their pockets every year.  Well, not me.  I’m done.

So 44 pounds in a year.  It’s not sexy and shiny.  It’s not all wrapped up in a pretty package.  I’m not showing you how quick and easy it is.  It’s work.  I have many, many more pounds to follow…and I just need to move a little farther down the path.  I’ve already started moving more.  I’m about to increase my goal again.  In fact, you’re about to see me start getting really physically active…and I hope to inspire you to do the same.

I’m proud of my 44 pounds.  Incredibly proud.  I feel like they’re my badge of honor for fighting the food demons last year.  There will be many more badges of honor this year as I battle my exercise demons.  I promise to share it with you here.  For whatever reason, I’m called to put my personal experience out here for the world to see.

So here I am, world.  This is me.  This is my life before the “after” picture.  This is the work that’s been done and the work that needs to be done.  This is the blood, the sweat, and the tears of it.  This is what it takes to get to the day when at last you take your “after” picture.

Bad Ass Couch copy

Don’t Make Me Blog About This…

Alright, that’s it!  I need to vent.  Today we’re going to talk about a subject that really gets under my skin: douche baggery. Specifically, judgmental douche baggery aimed at fat people.

First, who’s got a smartphone? I’m betting some of you do. And I’m betting that some of you have those little “invisible shield” screen protectors on them. Am I right? For those of you who don’t have smart phones or are Amish (just kidd’in!), let me just explain that smart phone screens are glass…and very smooth. If you’re not super careful with your phone, it’s likely that the screen will come in contact with something in your handbag like your keys…or your switchblade (I’m not judging)  that will scratch that screen. Once that happens, tweeting things like “OMG this chick is totally farting her brains out!” from the ladies room at the mall can become a real chore. After the screen gets a good scratch, thumb typing just sucks.

I would think there are many smartphone users who know exactly what I’m talking about. (About the screen protector, not the chick in the bathroom). Further, one could assume that someone in the technology field would especially know about these…couldn’t one? Oh, yes, I think one could. So imagine my surprise when a techno-geek I don’t know very well asked to have a look at my phone and the following conversation ensued:

Geek: “Is that a Droid? Can I see it for a minute?? “

Me: “Um…suuuure…”

Geek: “Everyone I know has iPhones, including me, and I need to see how the operating sys-“

The Geek stops suddenly as she’s swiping her finger along my screen protector.

Geek: “Eeew! You’ve been eating candy again. It’s all sticky.”



Blink again.















First, I’m going to TRY to ignore the fact that a person who works in technology and is responsible for developing apps for smart phones has apparently never seen a screen protector before. These screen protectors make the glass surface less slick – but they’re not sticky. I’m quite persnickety about that kind of thing. PLUS, I keep my phone sparkly clean!

Second, “You’ve been eating candy…” is ridiculous. This chick has never seen me eat candy – I guarantee that!!  In fact, I don’t think she’s ever seen me eat!  She hardly knows me! The fact that she slapped “again” in there made me steam’in mad. It was all I could do not to fling my phone at her like a ninja star. 


I know what you’re thinking:  “Dianne, you knew this person before you decided to give up sugar and eat healthy. Tell us how you can be so absolutely sure she’s never seen you shoving Twix bars down your throat while you were stopped at an intersection?”

Well…I’m glad you asked that question – and the reason is simple:

Because of the Code.

Specifically, the Code we emotional eating Twinkie guzzlers live by. One of our commandments is Thou shalt not be seen eating high calorie foods in public, lest some nosy ass-munch ask you “uh oh, what happened to your diet”?

Let me explain.  When I was practicing the fine art of eating whatever I wanted and pretending not to care, I had a sure-fire strategy for making sure I was never seen with a candy bar or a pack of Ho Ho’s. In fact, I’ve lost track of how many times someone has said to me “How do you have a weight problem when I never see you eat?”  This fatty’s got skillz, yo.

For example, when I wanted a bag of chips or a candy bar at work, I would always buy from a vending machine that wasn’t on my floor. I figured it decreased the likelihood that I would run into a co-worker. I would also make a point to visit the vending machine only once a day. That may sound like I was trying to curb a bad habit, but don’t give me too much credit. I just didn’t want to have to walk back down there in the afternoon!  So I would just take $5 with me and stock up for the day. Yep!  I was that lazy.  I was also concerned about the embarrassment of being seen taking a couple bags of chips, three candy bars, and a pack of donuts back to my desk.

Of course, choosing not to buy 2,000 calories worth of crap to snack on would have been the logical choice.  Instead of common sense, I opted to take a brown paper Starbucks bag (the kind with the rope handles) on my morning trip to the vending machine. Then I’d load up and carry my crap back to my desk in the Starbucks bag, looking like a chubby hipster with a scone instead of the out of control mini donut guzzler I was. I would then dump my partially hydrogenated loot in a drawer and file the Starbucks bag away for the next day. As the day rolled by, I would hide whatever I was eating under a file folder.

So you see…I was quite skilled in keeping the wool pulled over people’s eyes. Combine that with the fact that I barely know this person and rarely see her and, well…I know she’s full of a crap.    I can’t say I’m that surprised, as her social skills have always been somewhat lacking.  

Whether the scale says 338 or 155 or something in between, I will never understand the judgments that get slapped on overweight people. “You’ve been eating candy again”….really? What are you basing this assumption on, Haggy Pants? Ugh!

I was briefly tempted to turn the judgmental tables on her. She has pretty bad skin (no doubt some kind of karma for her shitty attitude towards people). I desperately wanted to hurl back “Put down the meth pipe, honey…maybe THAT’S why your fingers are so sticky!”.  I did not, however.  Instead, I explained to her what an effing screen protector was.  Only then did she see the edges of it against the glass.   

This reminds me of the last time I walked into Victoria’s Secret, on a mission to pick up something a friend had on hold.  There was a sales-bimbo at the front the store arranging panties in a drawer, so I approached her for help.  She took one look at me and said “The big stuff’s in the back”.

Ugh!!!!  I vaguely remember saying something about “Thanks, but I don’t think they have any plus sized butt floss for girls like me.”  Seriously, I was eighteen hundred sizes too big for the biggest thong they had in stock.  Gimme a break!

Mmmhmm.  Some people just need a high five. In the face. With a chair.



















Me…and the mug I bought myself when I hit the 40 pound weight loss mark. Yay!