Category Archives: Motivation

I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but…

…I really like my gym.

There. I said it.

I still hate exercising. It’s painful in all the ways I expect it to be and in a few that I don’t, which is why I’m grateful to be headed to the doctor’s office this week – but more on that later. This is about a gym. My gym. Two words I thought I would never say again.

I’ve posted a few times now that the air conditioning system is out at my gym. This is Texas…and it’s summer. It’s pretty hot. Plus, I’m a Californian. This is not my natural habitat. I’m from the land of soft ocean breezes and chilly marine air that rolls in during the night and cools everything off. Between June and September, I stay indoors at all costs in Texas or my wussy California butt gets all whiney – so I’m not usually too happy to be inside any building that doesn’t provide relief from the heat.

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Because I’ve repeatedly posted about the A/C problem, many folks have commented that I should probably think about finding another gym…or that I should be upset that they’re not taking care of it. I will be upset if they don’t fix it eventually, I can assure you. But I’m not there yet.

I was tortured over my decision to join a gym. I didn’t want to do it, but after giving myself a stress fracture by merely walking on my treadmill at home, it was pretty clear that I needed to do one of two things:

1. Magically whip $2,000 out of my ass and buy an elliptical trainer that can handle 300+ pound me.

2. Join a gym and use an elliptical there.

I checked thoroughly…and I couldn’t find $2,000 anywhere up my ass. So I joined a gym. Keeping my last gym experience in mind, I certainly wanted to avoid the “meat market” big box gyms. I ended up deciding on Lady of America. Girls only.

I went a few times. It was weird at first. Mostly because I was bitter about not being born naturally waifish like Keira Knightley. But the people who work there are genuinely nice and unpretentious. Not once have I been greeted by a toothy goober in a sports bra. Not once have I had to mop some guy’s forehead sweat off the elliptical display before I can touch it.

At first, I’d carefully glance up every time the front door opened, praying to God that whoever it was didn’t look over at me…pumping away like a grinder monkey on the elliptical. It didn’t take me too long to realize that the women who walk through that door are just regular chicks looking to work out. They’re moms and doctors and secretaries and business owners…they’ve got shit to do. They’re all wonderful in their own individual ways – and none of them give a crap about what I look like as I lunk along in a sweaty, ungraceful hot mess.

Nowadays, it feels like more like a Super Hero lair…and we’re all from the same planet as Wonder Woman. We’re all a bunch of bad ass girls getting strong and healthy. Now when the front door opens I look up and smile…and I mentally send a variety of good vibes their way.

You go, lady in the black capris…wish I could run that fast!

Little ninja girl in the white yoga pants, you are too cute and I’m trying not to be jealous. Work those guns, girl!

And finally…Super Chick in the Texas Rangers jersey. I want to be you on that elliptical some day!

I’d seen her a few times. Running on the elliptical trainer in a red Texas Rangers jersey with a number 10 on the back. Number 10. Michael Young.

MLB: AUG 04 Rangers at Athletics

One of my absolutely favorite Rangers baseball players (although now he plays for the Phillies and I miss him dearly). Michael Young is a class act. As soon as I saw that number 10 on her shirt, I knew she was ok.

The first day I walked into the gym and the a/c was off, she was there too. There were box fans all over the place and it was pretty swampy. I climbed up on a machine near her and started lunking away. I had my headphones in and wasn’t paying attention. After a few minutes, Super Chick in the Texas Rangers jersey jumped down from her machine and got ready to leave. And then she did something that I’ve never seen anyone do in any other gym I’ve ever belonged to: she stepped in between the machines, grabbed the box fan that she had been using, and aimed it at me.

What a considerate, awesome, total super hero ninja chick thing to do. I couldn’t get the smile off my face for the rest of my time on the elliptical.. How thoughtful, especially in that heat. Instead of running to the relief of her car’s a/c, she leaned over and turned a fan on me so that I would be more comfortable. Mind. Blown.

Isn’t it funny how the smallest good deed can make you feel like a million dollars? This would never have happened at previous gyms I’ve belonged to. Not in a million years. I couldn’t get the smile off my face for the rest of my workout.

And as far as the a/c issue goes here’s what I know: the business owner and the landlord’s insurance companies are blaming each other and there’s a $20,000 repair in the middle of it. A letter from the owner of the gym is posted in the lobby, advising gym members of the situation and suggesting that we workout at other clubs in the area until the problem is fixed (sometime this week possibly). At the end of the letter, it’s made clear that if we choose to workout in this gym we do so at our own risk.

Well…it’s not that hot in there…and it makes me sweat more. To me, this is kind of a bonus. My body feels like it’s breaking down. Every day, I feel like I’m on the verge of another injury. Everything hurts, pretty much all the time. I have no idea what’s wrong, but right now I’m sweating more without having to put my body through more. I’ll take it.

Having no a/c does suck, but they appear to be working on it and I appear to still be fat and in much need of cardio – so I’m going to sweat a little extra. Big deal. I just feel like I don’t need to be so upset about it. Believe me, if I found it to be completely unlivable, I wouldn’t be going. So yes, if it goes on too long, I will get upset about it. But right now I’m fine to have patience and wait and see.

I’m so glad I persevered through the awkward stage in the beginning and got comfortable here. When it comes to working out, it’s incredible to have a place where I feel like I belong.

This is my gym. These are my peeps.

Now it’s your turn. Have you found your happy place yet when it comes to working out? Share here!

 


Stainless Steel Daisy Flower Necklace

Poetry – The Hot Mess Princess way

I’m not even going to pretend that I’m a poet, okay – let me just start off by getting that shit out of the way. Sometimes I get in a rhymey mood, though, and last night was one of those nights. This started off as a take on the children’s prayer “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” and it just took on a life of it’s own.

I hope it gives you a smile, a little giggle, and a lot of motivation. We got this, peeps.

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Much love,

HMP

 

 


Perseverance vinyl decal

For Her

It’s Thursday – and normally I would be writing about whatever my Facebook fans voted for…but there was a tie between “The First Time You Heard Your Parent Cuss” and “My Morning Drive”. Since either topic would amount to a total snooze-fest, I’m sparing you the agony of reading them. You’re welcome.

When I look back at the relative ease with which I wrestled my food demons last year, I realize it was a total cake walk. Perhaps that’s not the best choice of words, but it did involve giving up cake. The whole time I was cake-walking through my new menu choices, I kept thinking to myself that it was too easy. I kept telling myself I’d add the exercise part when I was ready, preferring to focus on the food issues at first. When the desire to exercise didn’t come around on its own, I decided to make 2013 all about embracing exercise. And here it is…August…and I still haven’t succeeded at making exercise a habit.

I’ve written a buttload of words about my lack of motivation to exercise. I hate exercise, honestly. I haven’t always felt that way, obviously. I used to be a dancer – and I really loved it. When you’re this overweight, though, you’re not just dealing with the discomfort of sweating in gross places – you’re dealing with actual physical pain just walking to the copy machine at work or getting out of your car. All of these things are huge de-motivators for me…and after eight months of trying, I still haven’t found something that motivates me to workout. I can make myself do it, but that only lasts for a little while. Everyone needs something to look forward to and I couldn’t find my something.

Until last night – but we’ll get to that later.

Let’s talk about what doesn’t motivate me for a minute:

Making a list of all the things I’ll be able to do when I hit my goal weight. Ride a rollercoaster with Hot Mess Hubby. Go to a Texas Rangers baseball game without the sides of the seat digging into my legs. Fly in an airplane without a seat belt extender. All of these things are wonderful. Thinking of them only reminds me that I can’t do these things…how long it will be until I can do these things…and how bad I suck because I’m too fat to do these things.

Motivational quotes on Pinterest pasted on photoshopped pictures of skinny fitness models. HELL no. I don’t care what the words say…the pictures are a complete and total de-motivator. While I continue to hold onto the faith that I’ll hit my goal weight, I am not ignorant enough to believe that I will ever look like these women. Ever. Seeing this crap on Pinterest just makes me laugh.

Eyerolls, looks of disgust, and general disdain from strangers at restaurants…in grocery stores…anywhere. Do they really think that’s motivating? What point are they trying to make exactly? Perhaps it’s arrogant of me to think they’re trying to motivate a person they don’t even know…but then it’s arrogant of them to think I give a flying fart in space what a total stranger thinks of me. Have some manners. I give myself enough shit about this…I don’t need your help. I hope you come back as a fat person in your next life, sweet pea.

Dangling carrots. I’ve tried rewarding myself with money, gifts (including gorgeous handbags…my favorite!) and I’m still not motivated by it. And I know this is super hypocritical, but I have to be honest: if someone offered me a million dollars to lose this weight, it would motivate me. I guess there’s a slight difference between a beautiful Dooney & Bourke handbag and a life-changing fortune…but I still feel hypocritical that the money will motivate me but the handbag won’t.

So those are the things that don’t motivate me. I’ve learned that in the last eight months. Last night, I finally had the epiphany that I’ve been trying to squeeze out of my head the whole damn year. At least that’s what I think happened. I almost feel reluctant to talk about it for fear that it might go away, but I can’t help it. I have to talk about it.

In Tuesday night’s blog, when I said that I couldn’t have weight loss surgery because I needed to show my ten year old self that I could do this on my own, that hit home with me big time. I went to sleep thinking about it. I woke up thinking about it. I got myself ready to start my day, then plopped down in front of the laptop and looked at this picture again.

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Look at that face. No, I’m not trying to be an idiot – I know she’s me. Look at her face. She’s a cutie. Although she’s kind of whored up in this picture by her mother’s blue eyeshadow, this is a cute little girl. This is a girl who just wants to dance. She wants to spend time with her girlfriends, go to the school book fair, tease boys, and have fun in art class. And go to slumber parties. Always with the slumber parties.

At this stage of her life, her career ambitions were to be a dancing-astronaut-writer. This girl had hopes and dreams. She was going places. And then a complete dillhole took it all away with ten years of beating her down. She never learned to fight back.

And so when I think of the monumental task of getting myself to my goal weight and I look at the face of this little girl…I see my motivation in those big brown eyes. A motherly/sisterly/auntie vibe comes over me and I instantly want to protect her, nurture her, and show her the ropes. She deserves a good life.

So while I may not want to do it for any of the aforementioned hoo-hah, I would do it for her. Look at that face. What a sweet girl. I would do anything for her.

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This little reminder is going with me everywhere from now on. I’m putting it with my gym card so that I have a visual reminder of my motivation with me always.

For her. I’ll do it for her.

It’s the most uplifting thing to finally feel motivation in my gut. I want to go to the gym today! Not for 300+ pound me…for ten year old me. I can’t stop smiling about it.

So if you haven’t found your motivation yet, my message today is…keep looking. You never know where you’ll find it. I think I’ve found mine.

What motivates you?

The Talk About Surgery

Hot Mess Hubby and I had the talk a few weeks ago. We were talking about my struggles with food…and working out…and my weight. And he said the words that a lot of spouses are probably afraid to say.

“Babe, I’m not being mean…but at some point, don’t you have to think about surgery?”

Yowch. I’m not going to say it didn’t hurt to hear that – but after ten years of marriage, HMH knows how to take the sting out of his words. Pretty much.

He was speaking out of love, not malice. He’s watched me struggle with this for a long time now. Any normal person would be thinking “When is it going to be enough for you to just do it?” There is no pressure attached to his message, no impatience or intolerance. He loves me. He’s worried about me.

We’ve had this talk before. A few times. In the beginning, it was just my crazed ranting against surgery because I was watching a friend (or two or three) go through it without using it as a tool for healthy living. I know many people who’ve had weight loss surgery and gained it all back because they didn’t change what was really important: their thinking.

I’ve seriously considered surgery twice in my life. About five years ago I made an appointment with a local surgeon and then cancelled it the day before. Two years ago, I made an appointment with a different surgeon and kept it. I went through the entire screening process, passed the psych exam (shut up, I totally aced it), and was awaiting insurance approval when I stopped the process and decided not to go through with it. Why? Because I lost weight on my own.

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Ever since the first of many of my friends had weight loss surgery, the option of doing it for myself has hung over me like a dark cloud. At one point in my life, all my closest girlfriends had done it. I lived in a world where they were so excited about their amazing weight loss that they couldn’t stop talking about it…and then they started giving me their clothes that were too big for them. As happy as I was for them, it was absolutely crushing.

There have been times when I’ve felt surgery was inevitable. There are moments when I think…what am I waiting for? How long am I going to struggle in vain before I realize that I’m just not strong enough or tough enough or smart enough to change myself?

And that’s when the answer comes. No. I’m not having surgery.

I admit it: there was a time in my life when I looked down at people who decided to have weight loss surgery. I haven’t felt that way about it for a long, long time. I understand it for what it is: a tool. I have nothing but love and support in my heart for those who choose surgery – because I’ll tell you what: unless you’ve been morbidly obese, you have no idea what this is like.

Surgery has a bad rep because there are many weight loss surgeons out there who are smarmy as hell. They get excited when they see a fat person just like a personal injury attorney gets excited when they see an accident victim. These surgeons don’t care how you gained it or why you want to lose it. They don’t care if you’re emotionally ready for it. They care about whether you have insurance or can qualify for easy financing. Weight loss surgery has become Ritalin for fat people – and that’s why it has a bad rep. I know women who have been told to gain 20 pounds in order to qualify. And I know someone who’s done exactly that.

I also know people who have had weight loss surgery and say it’s the best decision they’ve ever made in their lives. They’ve kept their weight off and they live healthy, active lives now. It’s a combination of being ready and finding a decent doctor that results in a positive, lasting experience. It’s just not for me.

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I’ve pretty much fixed the inside of me. And I’m pretty damn confident that I’d be successful if I elected to have weight loss surgery. I still can’t do it. Not because I’m afraid, but because I have something to prove.

I think back to that ten year old little girl I was when I first learned what fat was. I think about the way I grew up: believing that I wasn’t enough. I wasn’t lovable enough, smart enough, pretty enough, skinny enough. (Yes, I do realize I sound like that idiot from Saturday Night Live.)

I’m just not going to tell myself that I’m not tough enough to do this the way I feel I need to do it. I’m not going to think about that ten year old kid in that mirror and know that my rotten bastard of a dance teacher was right: that my best is not good enough.

I’m not going to say that to myself. I’m just not. I would rather hurt on the elliptical than hurt in a recovery room. So it’s for her that I’m doing this…that ten year old little girl who just needed someone to stand up for her. I can’t just fix her with surgery. I have to show her that she really was enough.

The path you take to living a healthy life is a very personal one. Whatever road you choose, I wish you a safe journey…and fierce success.


Courage: Overcoming Fear and Igniting Self-Confidence

Slowly forward, but forward all the same…

I joined a gym a while back. Ladies only. Sorry, fellas, you can keep your muscly eyeballs off my four asses. I don’t need your weird looks.

After about a month, the frustrating mega-bitch (aka the elliptical trainer) continues to humble me. But it’s okay…because she doesn’t mock me. She waits for me every day after work like a faithful friend and I try my best not to disappoint her, although I haven’t been back to see her since the 7 Dwarfs of the Menstrual Apocalypse packed up and left town last Saturday night.

I’ve just patched my sole remaining pair of Frankenpants again and they’re in the washing machine. I wish I had an Extremely Gentle cycle on the washing machine – or the patience to hand wash them. I don’t. Six months into the new year and I’m still struggling with my goal to make exercise a habit. I still have to make things as simple as possible.

Yes, I’ve tried to purchase new ones. The Avenue doesn’t sell them unless it’s January (because fatties only want to work out after New Years). They’ve also lost my business because they no longer carry “the bigger sizes” in their stores. I would probably forsake that rule if it wasn’t for the aforementioned January thing. Other stores in my area don’t carry my size. Catherine’s only carries cotton and/or terry blends that will do nothing but give me friction sores.

I thought I found a great resource for plus sized workout gear when I found Junonia.com. After shipping, it was $70 for one pair of workout pants…and they never came. Junonia kept updating the shipping date further out. Two weeks later, I called and asked what was going on and they told me that my pants would ship in June. Maybe. I cancelled the order. I’m sure they were disappointed, as it seems they had their entire sweatshop working on my big ass pants.

Likewise, Penningtons seems like a good source – but every time I try to order, there’s a problem with their website. I suck at calling customer service lines to order shit. I’m usually doing about 13 things at once and I can’t seem to stand still and order pants on the phone. I’m going to give it one more shot and then it’s the “three strikes and you’re out” rule. Until then, I continue to patch the Frankenpants.

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Slowly, I’m moving forward. I am becoming the master of steering around my own bullshit. If I had to work out in a tube top and a sailor hat, I’d still do it – because, damn it, I’m not going to be the victim of my own excuses anymore.

If you’d told me a year ago that I would belong to a gym right now, I would have laughed one of my four asses off. 2013 seems to be on a mission to humble me in every way possible. But it’s okay…because it’s a lesson that I obviously need to learn or I wouldn’t be here.

I thought this year was just about making a habit, but it turns out that it’s about my own self-acceptance. I thought I might have a hard time for a few weeks, but I’d light a fire under my own ass and get going. That’s not what’s happened. Instead, the demons in my head have risen together and danced a jig all over my plans…but still I move forward. Slowly. The demons are screaming and resisting, but they’re going down all the same. I will grab them by the hair and drag them across the finish line if I have to.

When it comes down to it, though, I have faith. I can feel it deep down inside me. It’s the voice in my head that tells me I can handle one more minute on the elliptical…that I can sew the Frankenpants one more time…that, yes, someday I’m going to ride a rollercoaster with Hot Mess Hubby again. I love that voice. And sometimes, when I have a bad day and I can’t hear it over all the bullshit going on in life, I get home and hear it coming from Hot Mess Hubby or see it in the comments you leave me here on the blog or on my Facebook page.

Yes, you can, HMP…yes, you can.

And you can too. I have faith.