Category Archives: Get Serious!

Okay, I’m calling shenanigans!

I’m thinking I need to send Beets Blu a batch of nuclear brownies or something (trust me, I bake some pretty awesome brownies). If it wasn’t for them offering me a free digital scale to review on Amazon, my current situation might have gone on even longer.

Last year my support team at my doctor’s office finally got through to me and convinced me to try NOT getting on the scale every morning when I wake up. Now, before you jump to any conclusions and say “Hey, Hot Mess, everyone knows you’re not supposed to do that” let me explain…

When I used to get on the scale every morning it wasn’t your typical “OMG I’ve gained a pound? Son of a bitch!!!” Not even close. I’m a woman. That means the numbers on the scale are going to swing back and forth. I’ve made my peace with that, within about 5 pounds. I’m really not going to sweat it. Getting on the scale every morning was just a touch base kind of thing. I just needed to see that I was still operating within those 5 pounds. If the scale ever tipped to 6 or 7 pounds, I’d walk a little more…eat a little less. I’d make adjustments appropriately. This is how I maintain my weight loss. The scale is a tool and a friend, not something that I use to punish myself with.

Enter the Beets Blu company. They contacted me recently, asking if I’d like to review their new Bluetooth scale. The Bluetooth idea intrigued me, so I said yes. My review will be coming next week, but let’s just say it’s a pretty sweet scale.

I also have to say that it’s pretty disconcerting when a talking scale gives you bad news. Really bad news. Like…super shitty.

I weighed 270 pounds when my support team told me to stop getting on the scale. They told me to judge my weight by the fit of my clothes…and that’s what I’ve been doing for the better part of a year. I’m still wearing the same jeans and tops. In fact, I’ve lost inches in some areas. So imagine my shock when the talking scale said “294.3 pounds”.

I’m sorry, what???

That’s right, peeps. In spite of the fact that my clothes still fit, I’ve gained 24.3 damn pounds. What. The. Fuck.

Now, I freely admit that some of it could be muscle…but I also know I didn’t gain 24 pounds of muscle. LOL. Let’s not get ridiculous. I’m not an American Ninja Warrior, I’m just a Hot Mess Princess.

I’m all for following the advice of medical professionals, but in this case I should have listened to myself. My relationship with the scale was working for me. It was working well. I never should have gone against my own instincts on this one.

Add to that the fact that I’ve been dealing with a shitload of foot injuries since I started trying to increase my physical activity and we’ve got a problem. I was just getting back into it again. I was getting 10,000 steps a day on my Fitbit. I was starting to shoot beyond that, even. Then I got the stress fracture…and my podiatrist took me off my feet. And, honestly, the injury was so painful that I couldn’t even stand at work (I have one of those sit/stand desk things…and I hate not using it).

The stress fracture heeled and the pain from that was gone, but my foot was still killing me. Why? Podiatrist said there’s a bone out of place in my foot and I needed physical therapy. Well…great. That’s awesome…because I married for love, not money. We’re broke. We have termites to kill, a truck with a broken clutch, and a shitload of other stuff going on. The co-insurance on physical therapy wasn’t really in the immediate budget.

I’ve been sitting on my ass a lot. Sure, there were medical reasons behind it, but the fact of the matter is that I would not have gained 24 effing pounds if I was still getting on the scale every morning. I know that’s true like I know Kardashians are assholes.

24 pounds, y’all. That’s a real dick punch. If I had one. Kinda glad I don’t. HMH probably is too. When it comes to not getting on the scale being the best thing for me, I’m calling shenanigans. Or bullshit. Whatever.

So tomorrow I’m going to wake up and be the girl who gets on the scale every morning. Because that’s my tool to take care of myself and I don’t use it to beat myself up…and no one is going to tell me differently. This is what works for me, so this is what I’m going to do for me.

Shit, isn’t that what I’m always preaching? I really borked this up. I didn’t listen to myself at all.

There is a little good news in all of this: I had my first physical therapy appointment last Friday and it was awesome. I had three different experiences with physical therapy years ago and all of them resulted in the same thing: no results at all. Sure, it was for another foot problem, but it didn’t give me high hopes for the treatment. Honestly, I was expecting the same this time. I’ve never been happier to be proven wrong.

At the most, I’ll need two more treatments to get my foot back to normal…but it already feels so much better. It’s like a brand new foot. They gave me exercises to do to help strengthen my foot and ensure that I keep the stress fractures away. I finally feel like I have a little hope in the whole foot injury department.

And what sense does it make to freak out over this? I’m a roll up my sleeves kind of girl…so here we go. Here’s my plan:

Effective immediately, the scale is my friend again. That’s just who I am.

For the next three days, I’m going to do a good old fashioned reset on my tummy. This is something gastric sleeve patients do from time to time…and my support team actually recommends it. Monday thru Wednesday will be the liquid diet of protein shakes that I was on the week after surgery.

Per my physical therapist’s orders, I’m to try and stress out my foot a little bit after today. Monday I’ll be increasing my steps. Tuesday I’ll be walking all over an airport anyway…and I’ll have water aerobics that night. Wednesday I’m back at physical therapy. Thursday I have water aerobics again…and maybe I’ll try a little elliptical or treadmill before that. I’ll decide on the weekend later. That’s enough to do for now.

Stay tuned to my Facebook fan page for updates on how this is going. I’m trying not to think about the 24 pounds and just focus on fixing the situation. Once my foot is fixed I can really ramp up the exercise and hopefully soon I’ll be in the 260’s.

For now, let’s just focus on kicking this goal in the ass. ­čÖé

Tomorrow’s the Day

Tomorrow is my consultation with the gastric sleeve surgeon.

Some folks have voiced their displeasure by unliking my Facebook page and unsubscribing to my blog and I was disappointed to see that. In the end, though, you have to do what’s right for you…and if you can’t even hang with the idea that I’ve made an appointment, then I guess I understand.

It reminds me of me 11 years ago, actually. My two best friends decided to have gastric bypass surgery…something I was adamantly against back then. Unlike now, when I feel like surgery is a tool that’s a very personal decision for people, back then I believed that it was WRONG. Surgery was a symbol of your failure to get your shit together. Surgery was not a tool, it was a band-aid solution to the real underlying problem: you can’t keep food out of your mouth. And I was a judgy bitch about it.

I tried to be a good friend and smile as my friends were excited about their surgeries. Underneath, I was absolutely seething with anger. I felt betrayed by my friends (which cracks me up to this day…because why did I have to make that all about me? It had nothing to do with me). So I guess in a way this is my karma for judging my friends when they were just doing what they needed in order to lose about 150 pounds each.

cranky

One of the things that sticks out in my memory of those days is the packets they came home from the surgeons office with about what they would have to do. Not surprisingly, eating healthy and working out was a major theme and that always sent me into a rant.

Why do you need surgery then if you’re going to have to work out and eat healthy? Why can’t you just do that???

The answer? Because surgery isn’t a solution to that problem – and we need to stop looking at it as a solution. Surgery is only a tool to help you stop the unhealthy eating and get the weight off consistently so that you can move again. That’s all it is.

I remember when I was little a friend of a friend of my Mom’s had her jaw wired shut for 8 weeks. People were freaked. Why on Earth would someone do that? Just put the fork down, lady! My God! Have you no self control???

No. Some of us don’t. We just don’t. We’re broken people. This doesn’t mean that we’re bad people, it just means our brains don’t work like other people’s in this way.

choices

As for me personally, I know what my strengths and my weaknesses are. When I’m extraordinary when I’m eating healthy. I kick ass. But then the emotional eater kicks in. There’s something to celebrate, so I get dessert. Someone brings baked goods into work. I have 3 of whatever it is throughout the course of the day. The 7 Dwarfs of the Menstrual Apocalypse hits and I eat 37 brownies. Okay, that last one is an exaggeration, but I’m still loving and medicating myself with food.

What am I no longer doing? The things that got me to this weight in the first place. And those things are quite horrible. I no longer eat an entire large pizza for lunch. I don’t go through a half gallon of ice cream in a day. I don’t drink chocolate syrup straight from the bottle. I don’t make an entire loaf of cheesy garlic bread for dinner and chase it down with a container of Skinny Cows. (Yes…I really did this shit.) And I don’t get so impatient for cake that I drink the batter straight from the bowl.

These are all things I did to myself from the late 80’s to the late 90’s. Emotionally distraught from all the shit my dance teacher put me through, heaped onto my Dad’s alcoholism, my parents’ divorce, a guy in high school who stalked and tried to kill me, and my first love dumping me…from age 7 to age 22, my life was a fucking soap opera and that’s how I dealt with it. From my early 20’s to well into my 30’s I was an eating machine. I’ve been spending my 40’s trying clean this shit up.

So…if surgery is a tool that I can use in order to get some of this weight off my body quickly and put an end to my ability to take another piece of banana bread and drown my cramps with a pint of mint chip, then yes…after over 20 years of fighting this problem, I’m going to talk to a surgeon about it.

True to the spirit of this blog, I will share my experience with you…and I’ll share the decision I come to. One of the things I’m most proud of is the community of extraordinary people who have rallied behind me here and on my Facebook fan page. I hope you’ll hang around, no matter which direction I go. This “Battle of the Butt” that we’re all going through is very personal…and I love that we all support each other no matter what.

I’ll let you know what happens tomorrow. Promise.

Gearing Up for Goals!

Ever stick your toe in the water to see if it’s okay to get in? I feel like I’ve been doing that for the last nine months. Standing at the edge of the rest of my life…gingerly touching it with my toe to see if it’s safe.

I started 2013 with the goal of making exercise a habit. I’m not there yet. I’m closer now than I’ve ever been…but I’m not there yet and there are only a few months left in the year. I don’t want to get to 2014 and have to say that I failed.

I’m sure it’s not a shocker to those of you who read my blog regularly, but I can be a bit long-winded…and I tend to over think things. I’ve done a lot of over thinking this year while I’ve had my toe in the water. It’s funny because I’ve actually gotten better at not over thinking things…so I have to laugh when I think about how bad I must have been in the past. Not going back there again, folks.

I’ve decided to amp things up a bit for myself…and you’re welcome to join me. As you know, I’m a big fan of doing what works for you – so I’m not going to tell you what to do. I’m going to tell you what I’m going to do for me…and if you read this blog regularly, you’ll know what a stretch this is…because I plan to hit myself with full blown shock & awe. Because that’s what I think I need right now.

First I should tell you what I’m not going to tell you: my secret goal. I have many goals I’ll share with you today, but there is one ultimate goal that I’m going to keep to myself for now. Whether I hit the goal or not, I’ll reveal it to you on New Years Eve 2013.

Second, I’ll tell you the rest of my goals. None of these goals are weight related. Purposely. They’re all to do with living healthy. And I’m breaking them down into manageable chunks. Here we go…

September Pre-Dwarfs Goal:

I have approximately 6 days left before the 7 Dwarves of the Menstrual Apocalypse hit me like a ton of bricks. (You’re welcome for the over-share.) I’ve been waffling back and forth on going to the gym for awhile and I’ve been sucking at it lately. Twenty minutes would be a challenge for me right now…so for the next 6 days, I’m going to do 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer. Every. Single. Day. Until the Dwarfs hit sometime around this Sunday. My legs are going to be so pissed at me tomorrow night.

Pre-Doctor Goal:

After my uterus has had its usual screaming hissy fit I have another 6 days or so before I have to see my doctor. I think I’ve only shared this on Facebook previously, but when he checked my blood sugar two months ago it was 105 and he wasn’t happy. That’s not diabetic, but it’s not normal either…and I want to lower it.

My appointment to have my blood sugar re-checked is October 10th. I have no idea how long it takes for dietary changes to show up in your blood sugar, but I would imagine I can make a dent in it between now and October 10th. At least I plan to give it my all. In the end, if there’s no change, it won’t be because I didn’t try. So, it pains me to say, effective tomorrow…I’m going low carb.

veggies - blog

Well…low carb for me. Honestly, the settings on My Fitness Pal tell me I can have no more than 70 carbs a day and I always go over that. I can hit a 1,400 calorie a day limit all day long but it seems all my favorite healthy foods have carbs in them…even apples.

My Pre-Doctor Goal is to not go over 70 carbs a day through October 10th. If I can handle it without going bat shit crazy, I’ll most likely lower it further. This is especially painful for me to declare as a goal today because when I was talking to HMH about it earlier I told him I wanted to have some ice cream since I won’t be having any for a long time…and it’s 8:30 pm as I write this and I haven’t even gone to the store. So farewell, ice cream! I won’t be having one last go with you. That’s probably for the best.

October 10th – November 14th Goal:

Why November 14th, you ask? Well…that’s my birthday. And HMH’s birthday. And our 10th wedding anniversary. Yep. We got it all done in one day…we’re efficient like that.

By the time I get to November 14th, I want to be doing an HOUR on the elliptical.

Sweet Lord Jesus, help me…that sounds awfully ambitious from where I sit today. Nevertheless, I’m going for it. It’ll be my birthday present to myself.

November 15th – Christmas Day Goal:

I want to drop a size by Christmas. Sure that sounds attainable, but when you’re a size 32 and you live in a land of elastic waistbands…it’s harder than you think. It takes a much more significant amount of weight to lose before you notice in pants that are this fat.

I also want to continue on with that hour on the elliptical…and maybe more. I want at least 60 minutes to be a habit. 6 days a week.

And my New Years Eve Goal…

That’s the secret. I’ll tell you on New Years Eve whether I succeeded or failed. For right now, that one’s just for me.

door - blog

So my challenge to you is…what’s a challenge to you? To be honest, the goals that I’ve set for myself here are fairly intimidating to me – even the 30 minutes on the elliptical for the next 6 days. Sure, in my head I know I can do it, but I also know I’m going to feel pain. And I hate pain. I hate it.

Sit down for a few minutes and figure out a challenge that will really mean something to you…and post here to declare it to the world (or at least the Hot Mess world). For now, just pick one for next week. What’s going to challenge you?

I’m going to challenge myself to 6 days of elliptical madness…and if I do it, I’m going to treat myself to a pedicure on Saturday.

What are you going to do and how are you going to reward yourself? Tell me!

Reebok Thumblock Wrist Weight (2-Pound Set) or Two 1lb. weights

Not moving in all the important ways

This has been on my mind for days and days and I haven’t been able to put it into words. I keep noticing that I’m angry without having an obvious reason. This is the reason: my own lack of motion.

The scale is stuck. Actually, that’s not an accurate statement. The number on the scale is not moving…because I am not moving. There is no one to blame but me.

I recently had a conversation with a fitness writer whom I really respect. I was absolutely infuriated by the lack of quality, reliable information out there for obese people when it comes to any kind of resistance training. She confirmed for me that cardio is the best thing I can do to take off the pounds (which I knew, I just needed to hear it again…because sometimes I get all wrapped up in unimportant details). I walked away from the conversation knowing what I needed to do, but not doing it. Again.

clueless

Overall, my feelings are of outrage and frustration…at myself. It’s April. I truly thought I would be farther along in my efforts to make exercise a habit by now. It’s 4 months into the year and all I have to show for it is a longer list of what doesn’t work for me.

Training for the 5K in May? Not motivating me. (Don’t worry, I’m still doing it…so if you’re signed up, you’re still stuck with me!)

Zumba or other group fitness classes? Doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest. I’m already pissed off that I have to exercise, I don’t want to be around happy people – or worse, the kind who shriek and make “yippy!” noises while they exercise. I really hate that shit.

Watching tv or reading on the treadmill? ┬áI can’t focus and I actually can’t breathe right. I’m all uneven and funky. I need to walk to music or silence. But hey…at least that’s one thing I know I like, right? Out of all this negativity…at least there’s that.

And that’s what’s getting me: the negativity. And the self-loathing. And the absolute spoiled brat mentality that seems to be hard-wired into my DNA.

Do you know what I did today? I woke up early, ready to start the day and get some serious shit done…and I ended up sitting on the couch all day. Reading. Watching tv. Snuggling the dog. Talking to the hubby. Actually, my day looked more like this:

Made breakfast.

Watched news, channel surfed.

Started a load of laundry.

Realized I recorded “Prometheus” on cable the other day & hadn’t watched it.

Watched it, then resisted the urge to fly to California and kick the producer in the crotch. (As my mother would say, it was dryer than a cat’s ass!)

Started sorting out the crap on the coffee table.

Thought about putting my shoes on and walking The Path. Didn’t.

Watched more tv.

Read my Kindle.

Snuggled with Kirby. Snuggled with Dyson.

Greeted hubby when he woke up. Thought about getting on the treadmill. Didn’t.

Thought about cleaning the laundry room. Didn’t.

Played a computer game for an hour.

Chatted with hubby. Thought about going for a walk again. Didn’t.

Felt guilty about it.

You get the idea, right?

The path
The path

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think about working out, but I don’t. I’m so overwhelmed by everything I have to do in my life…and so I do nothing. I preach to the world that you have to take things as you can handle them…slowly & deliberately…and yet here I sit: paralyzed.

I’m physically neglecting myself more, not less. As if not moving wasn’t bad enough, there’s still make-up on my face when my head hits the pillow most nights. I don’t wash my face or take care of my skin. Not necessarily because I’m too busy, but because I’m angry at myself and I don’t care. I’m not drinking enough water. The skin on my shins looks like the Sahara after a 100 year drought. When I get up in the morning, I pass my bathroom scale and feel a horrible sense of dread. The number isn’t going down. Why? Because I’m not moving. It will move when I move. And still I sit here…not moving.

I just re-read all of this and it sounds so very depressing…and whiny. I want to cheer it up for all of you who are good enough to read my blog, email me, and support me every day. I feel like I shouldn’t be where I am – which is wrong, because we’re all where we are and there is no right or wrong. And I just said I was wrong in the same sentence where I said there is no right or wrong. It’s quite possible that I’m going insane.

All of this is true – but it’s also true that the 7 Dwarfs of the Menstrual Apocalypse are getting closer every day and I’m extremely emotional/hormonal/fantastically pissy right now. I’m sure this all seems much worse to me than it really is if I think about it logically…if I just strip it back down to what I know and what is true.

Here’s what I know and what is true:

I haven’t quit. I feel like I’m on the verge of a nasty backslide if I don’t move my ass – but that’s only true if I let it happen. I am not a quitter. I may take a lot longer than the average girl to get my shit figured out, but I’m not a quitter. I don’t like myself right now – which is distressing when I consider how many years I spent in therapy just learning how to like myself. I know I need to dumb it down for myself again. I know I need to make myself move more and that I need to make it the highest priority before anything else. Every day.

And so that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to walk. I’m going to get up from my desk and move more at work. I’m going to dance around the house. Joyously. And when I hear myself get negative and I start talking smack to myself, I’m going to tell myself to shut it.

Every damn day.

I refuse to look back one day and see that the only person who failed me…was me.

What demons have you faced down and lived through? Share your stories with me now…I need to hear from my peeps.

 

 

Tree of Life Journal (Diary, Notebook)

The Path: Someone Else’s Legs

This morning I got up and sat around the house for a while, not really motivated to do anything in particular. Do you ever get so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things on your “to do” list that you end up just sitting in the living room and staring at the wall? ┬áThat’s what happens to me…and I hate it.

The 5K training schedule I’m following says I need to do 35 – 60 minutes of walking today. Wasn’t motivated to do that either. Knew I would regret it if I flaked. Still didn’t want to do it. I wanted to sit on the couch and watch “Friends” reruns with the dogs. Instead, I decided to ask all the Hot Mess fans on Facebook to vote if I should turn right or left when I got to the path behind our house. The results? ┬áRight.

I really wasn’t motivated in any way to walk today. The only thing that made me even think about it was knowing that I’m committed to walking the Buffalo Boogie 5K in May and that some of you will be there.

I don’t want to let you down.

Still, I sat here. Staring. And then my legs made me stand up…and they walked me out the door. My brain was still saying no, yet out the door I went…like I was propelled by someone else’s legs.

Storm clouds brewing over the path
Storm clouds brewing over the path

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sky was gray and angry like my mood. I do this to myself every time I make myself exercise, but if I don’t make myself do it…I never will. I get angry. I get bitchy. I curse myself for not being born waifish and perfect like Keira Knightly or Gwyneth Paltrow – even though I know no one is actually perfect. I wish I could hide my imperfections from the world whenever I step out the door but my giant body screams for all the wrong kind of attention. And I’m angry at it. And I’m angry at myself for letting it happen.

It started raining. Immediately, I told myself that I should turn back and go home before it got worse. I love convenient excuses. Instead, I checked the weather app on my phone and saw that it was just an ugly sky and the rain would be fleeting.

Just like my crappy attitude. It’s only fleeting.

I feel like a floundering fitness noob with a pissy attitude…but I know in my heart that by the end of the year I’ll be a total badass. So as long as I realize the negativity is only temporary, the important thing is to keep pushing forward.

And so down the path I go…