Category Archives: Gimme a Break!

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. 🙂

No drama…or know drama!

When I was very young…and even as I grew older…I was a magnet for unavailable men, screwed up people, and drama. Then I finally found a therapist who could get through to me and I soon learned how to establish healthy boundaries. I learned to ensure that the actions of the people I let into my life met the words that came out of their mouths…because I was a sucker for liars.

It was many years before I built my boundaries up strong enough to keep the drama out, but I worked and worked at it until the only drama in my life was the shit I caused myself. When you cut the trouble causers from your life, it leaves a peace behind that only you can disturb. Sometimes you still disturb it, but in many ways it’s a lot easier to deal with yourself than some unpredictable shit of a person that can come at you from left field.

The fingers of dysfunction still have a tiny hold on some who are close(ish) to me…and one of them has recently been in need of help. And HMH and I let them into our lives and offered our help.

It’s only weeks later and we’re finding that we’ve been lied to. And manipulated…because this person knew what to say to us and how to say it in order to get something they wanted. There’s been plenty of drama around our normally boring, drama-free household. Drama stirs up the ghosts of the past. At least it does for me.

I worked so hard to eliminate as much drama as possible from my life. I married a drama resistant man, at least in all ways other than the occasional “Hey, y’all, watch THIS!” crap he gets up to. He does, after all, own a t-shirt that says “WARNING: I do dumb things!”. It’s all true.

So now we’re in a position of having to remove this person from our lives, which will involve to some extent a little kicking and screaming on their part as they’re shown the door. More drama. But our boundaries are declared and this person will be made to make tracks. And me? I’m finding that the entire episode is causing me a huge amount of stress.

What do I do when I stress out? What does any compulsive overeater do when they stress? They eat the world. I’ve had gastric sleeve surgery to stop myself from eating a large pizza and a pint of Blue Bell ice cream in one sitting…but I didn’t have brain surgery, so eating is still what I’m driven to do whenever I need to cope.

I can’t physically eat enough to calm myself down, but my head still wants me to. So I end up with my soul in a riot when there’s drama. I’m already an insomniac, so this makes it worse. I have nightmares. I don’t sleep much. But there are things that help:

  • Stitching. I’ve said it a million times, I know…but having a hobby that is just for me does me a world of good. It makes me count. It makes me focus. And I end up with beautiful creations when I’m done.
  • Venting. It’s not healthy to keep it in. Whether it’s Hot Mess Hubby, a friend, or just writing it down…I have to vent.
  • Being kind to others. Yeah…sometimes I catch myself feeling like everything is terrible. Doing nice things for others with no expectation of anything in return renews my faith in life.

The thing is…you can’t let it in. The drama. You can’t let it get inside your boundaries, and if you don’t have any boundaries it’s time to get some. I’m not talking about hardening your heart to the world and declaring everyone the enemy. That’s easy and stupid and not at all healthy.

  • Build healthy boundaries. Find a good therapist. Read some books about it. It takes time to learn, but you’ll learn.
  • Surround yourself with good people. How do you spot good people? Words are cheap. Do their actions meet their words? That’s the quickest way I’ve ever sniffed out an asshole. Okay, that sounded really gross, but you know what I mean.
  • Vent your frustrations in a healthy way. Get a hobby. Get away from the drama. Have good friends. You have to be there for yourself.

You’ll be amazed at how little drama you put up with once you accomplish this…and how little drama you have to put up with because you made good choices.

Ultimately, I made good choices in this situation. I knew the risks of allowing a person like this into my life, but I wanted to have faith in them and believe that they were changed. They were not. That doesn’t change the fact that I did a kind thing and tried to help someone I thought was in need. The fact that they were manipulating me is no reflection on me. It’s a poor reflection of them. The fact that I won’t fall for it again is a testament to those healthy boundaries I’ve worked so hard to build.

And so I have to do a little extra sweeping to clean the drama out of our lives…but I’ll sweep it, trust me. Soon HMH and I will be back to our fabulously awesome, boring-ass drama free lives. And loving every minute of it.

My favorite Valentine’s day tradition

Hey y’all!

I recently posted an informal poll for my followers on my Facebook fan page asking readers to vote on which blog topic they wanted me to write about this week. The winning topic was “My favorite Valentine’s day tradition”.

You’re probably not going to like my answer. I usually get all schmoopy around holidays, but Valentine’s day is another story. It’s a retail holiday, you guys. There’s no spiritual meaning to it. No patriotic meaning. No meaning at all except that we’re all made to feel that we have to observe it or it means we don’t love our husbands/wives/boyfriends/girlfriends…whatever.

If I’m being honest, the last time I had fun on Valentine’s day was when I was a little girl. Remember what it was like to be a kid and go to the store and see all those red and pink little boxes with differently themed Valentine cards? How exciting!

At my school, we were given a brown paper lunch sack to decorate with red and pink tissue and glue and glitter and crayons. Any blank piece of paper, even a bag, was an inspiration to me. I was always so excited for Valentine’s day…and I loved picking out just the perfect box of Valentines to give to my friends and classmates.

By the time I was a teenager, Valentine’s Day was already losing its appeal. I was a cute enough girl, but I was beyond shy around boys and I didn’t wear all the cute, fashionable clothes or flirt or go to dances. I didn’t know what to do around boys. So every Valentine’s Day the girls would get all giggly and the boys would give out valentines to the girls who caught their eye…but it was never me. So by the time I graduated high school, it was already just another reminder that I wasn’t enough of something. Not pretty enough. Not skinny enough. Not…enough.

As a single woman in my twenties and thirties, it just got worse. If I was dating someone, everything was rainbows and kittens. If I wasn’t, I was just made to feel more alone by the endless sappy jewelry commercials and news stories about romantic proposals. It was everywhere. And work is the worst on Valentine’s Day. An endless parade of florists delivering huge expensive bouquets to my female co-workers who were either married or dating Mr. Right.


Royal Albert New Country Roses Formal Vintage Teacup and Saucer Boxed Set, White

And then I met HMH. Well, we were friends for five years on the phone (via work) before we ever met in person – but once we met in person, we were inseparable. We moved in together on Valentine’s Day weekend. The following year, he made the world’s worst marriage proposal on Valentine’s Day (it’s a long story and he’s damn lucky I said yes). After that, we just settled into normal life and that was that.

So my favorite Valentine’s Day tradition is…paying no attention whatsoever to Valentine’s Day. And I invite you to do the same.

It made me feel shitty for years as a single girl. It puts seriously awful pressure on a lot of men, honestly. Just yesterday I saw a commercial for jewelry where a guy gives his wife or girlfriend a gift box over dinner, she opens it with excitement…and then her smile fades and she looks up at him and says something like “Where’s the real one?”

What the actual fuck, people!

Other ads prey on men by guilt tripping them into paying five times more for a bouquet of flowers that they’d pay much less for on any other damn day. Jewelry store ads attempt to pull at our heartstrings with step-dads giving little step-daughters diamond pendants that match the one he just gave mommy. Restaurants woo guys with special dinner prices and heart shaped desserts.

As women, we’re pressured with ads for lingerie and magazine articles telling us how to get that hot body before the big day. Or, my favorite, top ten tips for pleasing your man in bed. Wow. You’re with someone who wants to boink you. Know how to find out how to please him? ASK. Holy shit. Just talk about what you like and don’t like.

The Valentine thing is all bullshit. Seriously.

HMH and I both work hard for our money and the things we have – but HMH has a very physically demanding job. He works his ass off. How loving is it of me to throw a bunch of bullshit expectations on him about a made-up holiday? When I see those commercials, I don’t want HMH to buy me jewelry or roses…I want to smack the shit out of the advertising jerks who insinuate that my darling hubby is some sort of failure if he doesn’t buy me their crap.

When you’re in a healthy, loving relationship every day is Valentine’s Day…and that should be the same whether your relationship is with yourself OR a significant other. Just because you’re not dating anyone doesn’t mean you’re lacking in some way. Don’t buy into the bullshit.

Valentine’s Day is a giant guilt trip.

It’s as simple as this: if you’re single and Valentine’s Day smacks of loneliness I want you to stand up, square your shoulders and yell BULLSHIT at the top of your damn lungs. DO IT!!! Because that’s what it is. BULLSHIT.

If you have a significant other, take it easy on them. Give them a break. If you both enjoy schmooping out on Valentine’s Day, then I say go for it…but if you’re both spending tons of time wondering what the hell to buy the other one, then why? What’s the purpose really?

When HMH wants a new vinyl record or I want a new needlework pattern, we get it. That’s how we are. If I’m at the antique mall with the girls and I see some vinyl he’d like…I pick it up. And yes, HMH actually bought me a needlework pattern for my Christmas stocking one year. Occasionally, we buy each other our favorite candy…or some other trinket we see around. But we don’t need to be bought stuff in order to feel that we’re loved.

The only people I’m inclined to buy Valentine’s gifts for are my co-workers sometimes…or my fur persons. Those things are still fun for me when they’re in the budget. Otherwise, it’s just another day…as it should be. Except the day after. Candy is 50% off, bitches.

Let’s all go buy ourselves a treat.

Maybe we should start a new Valentine’s Day tradition. Instead of being pressured to spend money on others in the name of love, maybe we could just look in the mirror and smile at the person smiling back at us. Let’s accept that we’re all beautifully flawed, amazing humans worthy of love.

And maybe go back to decorating paper sacks…because that shit’s always fun.

So what’s YOUR favorite Valentine’s Day tradition?


Jusalpha Vintage Rose Bone China Teacup Spoon and Saucer Set TCS03

The most fun I’ve sort of had

Not gonna lie, peeps. It’s pretty damn thrilling to be sitting here with a total weight loss of 79 pounds hovering up there in the right corner of this blog. See it? Ain’t it purty?

79 pounds. 3 sizes. Countless NSV’s (Non-Scale Victories). Eff’in-A, bubba.

I have a bit of a deja vu feeling about some of this, however. Back in the early 90’s my quack of a doctor misdiagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and told me that I would never be able to lose weight at a normal rate. She put me on a 750 calorie a day diet and told me to work out at least an hour a day…and I did. I lost 75 pounds in 4 months.

I weighed 295 pounds when I started that diet and I was 220 pounds when I hit the plateau that ended it all. No, it was more like a brick wall. I couldn’t have lost anymore weight if I’d stopped eating all together. My metabolism had had enough. I hit the wall and then, to make myself feel better, I started dating again. Big mistake since I apparently had a sign on my back that said “Assholes, please hit on me.”

On the bright side, I was having a great time shopping for clothes. Somewhere around 230 pounds my legs started looking like legs again and less like tree stumps. I wore dresses to work and even got girly and matched my jewelry and shit. Before I lost that weight I would just slap on whatever tunic covered my front butt well enough.

Never heard of front butt? Here…I drew this for y’all.

Authentic Artist's Rendering
Authentic Artist’s Rendering

Seriously, if I run out of things to write don’t you think I can get a gig as a sketch artist? I think I’m pretty awesome at it.

It was really fun shopping for clothes when I was a size 18. Stores actually had cute things in my size and they didn’t look too shabby on me. Losing 75 pounds was fun, even though I was starving myself on the advice of a doctor who had no effing idea what she was talking about. (Incidentally, her diagnosis of PCOS was later disproved by my next doctor…who explained that actual tests are required in order to arrive at that diagnosis. The new doctor ran the appropriate tests, including a pelvic ultrasound and blood work, which proved I didn’t have PCOS at all.)

Anyway, here I am again. I’ve lost 75 pounds plus 4 more…and it’s not as much fun as it was the last time. Mostly because I’m still quite a huge girl despite having lost a shitload of weight…and clothes that look cute on the hanger just don’t look cute on me.

Just a week or so ago I dropped my third size. I was so excited about it that hustled my booty over to the mall on payday to grab a few things. I’m in particular need of clothes for work – especially since I’ve just been promoted and I have to look professional all the time. But I also wanted to pick up a light jacket in case HMH wanted to take me out some lovely spring evening. My current jacket is more of a wrap coat at this point. The day I had my surgery, there was about 5 inches too much of me to button this coat. Now look at it:

Ta Da!!!
Ta Da!!!

I grabbed quite a few cute things and bounced off to the dressing room. I found a couple suit jackets for work as well that would look cute. I thought. How exciting! Girly tops. Suit jackets. Even a light jacket for the occasional spring rain storm. Perfect!

20140502_173925

Tried on the tops. Jabba the Hutt covered in ruffles. Tried on the suit jackets. New fashion length does nothing for me. I need another yard of fabric to cover my ass. Tried on the coat/jacket. Fatty at a pocket convention. Seriously, where the hell did all the pockets come from? It was way cuter on the hanger.

Finally I sat down on the bench and just gave up. But not before I snapped this picture. Be glad it’s out of focus…it was pretty hideous.

Argh! RAWR!!! Craptastic.
Argh! RAWR!!! Craptastic.

Seriously, though, I’m really grateful for the success I’ve had so far. I just wish shopping was a little more fun. It’s just not. I’m not there yet. And I have to just give myself permission to be disappointed that shopping is still a chore and move on. The most important thing is that I’m not a disappointment. I’m proud of myself.

For now, I’ll focus on getting my happy vibes from other kinds of shopping. Mainly from shopping at Pandora for charms to add to my weight loss milestones bracelet…and the Dooney & Bourke store for my reward when I hit the 200’s (or Twoderville). Twoderville sounds like an awesome place to party, doesn’t it?

I have five more pounds to lose before I’m in Twoderville, though, so I’m going to close out this post and go get my ass on the elliptical trainer. I can’t wait to get on the scale and see 299 blinking back at me instead of 300 and something.

What’s the next goal you’re excited about hitting for yourself?

Sterling Silver Cute Butterfly with White CZ Bead Charm Fits Pandora Bracelet

 

 

There’s Too Much Hair Down There

If you actually opened this blog post to read it, please stop what you’re doing right now and give yourself a huge effing hug from me. Holy shit you’re a loyal reader!!! I’d have been way too scared to open a post that might be about some crazy chick’s lady garden but hey, that’s just me.

hmp funny

As a reward for your bad-ass loyalty, let me go ahead and assure you right now that this post is not about my lady garden. Read on in peace, my friends.

I was in the shower a few weeks ago, lathering up my luxurious mane (I thought romance novel verbiage would work here…maybe not) when I looked down at the drain and thought to myself “Oh holy shit…there’s too much hair down there.” Seriously, it looked like a few hamsters had somehow sneaked into the shower and got squished into the drain by my giant Flintstone feet. Yabba Dabba Death.

As I was rinsing conditioner from my silky tresses (still not working? Shit…) I pulled on my hair just a little bit and dozens upon dozens of strands came loose. Uh oh. That can’t be good.

They warned me about this. Hair loss is a fairly common side effect of weight loss surgery. I remember my best friend calling me on the phone one day about 12 years ago…in tears because she was pulling clumps of her hair out after gastric bypass surgery. This was particularly painful because her hair was thin to begin with…and gastric bypass is a “malabsorptive” surgery, meaning that it prohibits you from getting all the nutrients from the food you’re eating. It was the only weight loss surgery available back then.

This has been going on for a few weeks now and I haven’t panicked. The only reason I haven’t blogged about it before now is that I seem to have teetered off my regular blogging schedule (does that mean I’m bloggy constipated?) and I haven’t gotten around to it. I didn’t share it on my Facebook fan page because they always find out everything first…I had to save something to actually post on the blog, right? So you’re all finding out at the same time, Facebook fans and email subscribers alike.

By the way, I took this picture for y’all about a week ago. You’re welcome.

What I typically pulled out in the shower...and then there was an equal amount caught in my hair brush
What I typically pulled out in the shower…and then there was an equal amount caught in my hair brush

I didn’t panic for two reasons: first because this is no more hair than I was pulling out of my head two years ago for reasons I’ve never been able to explain…and second because I knew it was only temporary. Plus I have super thick hair. Like…I’m sure my family tree and Chewbacca’s meet somewhere up the line.

Hair loss after weight loss surgery can start up anywhere from 3 months to a year later and it can last a few months. It’s a temporary side effect and hair will eventually grow back. I’m pretty lucky. I’ve gotten into the habit of pulling on my hair in the shower now to see what happens and last night there wasn’t much that came out.

Hopefully I’ve experienced all the hair loss I’m going to have, but if not I’m feeling resilient. Honestly, though, if I have to deal with hair loss why can’t I wake up and be all “Oh awesome! I don’t have to shave my legs anymore!” or “Yo, I wiped my hoo-hah after I peed and now I’ve got a Brazilian!”

Cripes. Why can’t we women catch a break?


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Conair Velvet Touch Paddle Hair Brush