Random Crap Update

Hey, y’all!

I have been fighting my own schedule to get time to write a blog post I’ve been working on…and I’m still fighting – so I’m posting this update today instead. Expect the actual blog post to show up in the next couple of days, I promise.

I recently explained that I’d gained almost all my weight back because I failed to keep using the tools I value so much – mainly my bathroom scale and my food log. Meanwhile, elastic waists on giant pants don’t help much either.

As you can see by the weight loss ticker on the right, I’ve lost 4 of those pounds already this week. BOOM!

I’m back to logging my food, I’m back in the gym, and I’m drinking a ton of water. I’d like to say something sassy and brag about my awesomeness, but I’m still quite pissed at myself for having to do this work over again. It’s a daily chore not to beat myself up mentally for being in this position in the first place, but I’ve gotten pretty good at focusing on my true goal and marching the hell down the road toward my ultimate goal.

My next blog post will be another very honest, humbling post for me about some pretty constant pain I’m having. So if you’re struggling right now and you can’t seem to stop that scale from going up instead of down, this next blog post might be the thing you need to put the brakes on. Stay tuned…I’ll be back before Sunday!

In the meantime, do one thing today that’s more than you did yesterday. Drink more water…eat healthier…move more. Just one thing. Don’t think about the big picture and don’t beat yourself up. Just do one thing.

Hugs from me,

D

Fitbit One Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker, Black

Thank you ♥

The last few days have proven without a shadow of a doubt that you are, indeed, my tribe. My peeps.

I just want to say thanks to each and every one of you. Thank you for your comments here and on Facebook and for your private messages and emails. Your support has always made this process easier for me, but recently it’s what’s kept me from turning on myself.

I’m taking this weekend to regroup. I mentioned in my last blog post that I’ve become mired down with details and disorganization. I’m spending the weekend decluttering the house and turning a spare room into something special for myself. I always meant it to be our guest room, but after six years in this house we’ve had precious few visitors and I realized it didn’t make much sense to dedicate an entire room in the house to something that happens maybe once every year and a half. As of this morning, it’s officially my office and personal retreat.

As of this moment, I’m surrounded by piles of crap. My living room and dining room look like I’m auditioning for Hoarders. Don’t worry, I’d never make it…there are no rat feces or clown body parts around here. It’s basically six years worth of “Oh my God, that would look GREAT in the (insert room name here) when I’m ready to decorate.” I’m gonna go ahead and call it here: if I haven’t used it or hung it on the wall in six years, it’s time to donate it to charity. And so that’s where it’s all going on Monday.

It’ll take a month or two to get my office up to my standards, but I spent all day painting it today…sweating like a pig (seriously…I’m that out of shape…) and getting my giant body into impossible positions in order to cram a brush into every corner possible. Kirby, our Saint Bernard, is quite ticked at me for leaving my office door open all day since she likes to sleep with her butt up against it.

My office will be my own place to write (this blog and also my creative works), stitch (which calms my brain and keeps my hands busy), and meditate without worrying about a 12 pound cat landing on my back. Yes, that’s actually happened to me.

I’ll post some before/after pictures as soon as I’m done refinishing our very old dining table to use as my desk. First, though, I need to finish making my piles of Crap to Donate and Crap to Keep.

I’ll be back in a day or two to talk about another issue rearing its ugly head in my Hot Mess life. Till then, group hug…I love y’all.

D

Failure

This is going to be an incredibly difficult post for me to write & publish, but I have to do it. I want to do it. Because I promised myself long ago that I would always be real about my process – and if I don’t talk about it, then what the hell good is this blog anyway?

I’ve gained weight. Quite a bit.

If I don’t talk about the negative as well as the positive – and if I don’t keep pushing through it – there would be nothing to differentiate me from the hundreds of other bloggers who’ve come and gone before me, their blogs now forgotten. I’ve followed dozens and dozens of them – yet I can check them on my Feedly list right now and I know what I would see: dead, dark blogs. Blogs that were once active and full of motivation, now “dark”. No posts since 2012…or even longer. These countless bloggers stopped posting when they hit bumps in the road, perhaps because they thought no one was reading – or perhaps because they were afraid of who would say what if they admitted failure.

Well, I may be afraid in some ways – but I’ve got more courage than sense in others. Whenever I think of not posting, it’s not the readers I might lose because I fell flat on my ass that makes me persist. It’s the idea that there’s one person out there who needs to hear what I’m saying as much as I need to say what I’m saying. It’s that person, perhaps with their hand deep into a box of Little Debbies, who needs to know that they’re not alone in this – and that there are people with the same demons who are fighting the same fight…and that they’re not alone. That’s the person who sends me back to my laptop. Every time.

This is also going to be an incredibly long post. Sorry. I simply can’t break this down into digestible chunks. You may want to pace yourself. I hope you read the whole thing. It’s not my intention to overwhelm you with a giant blog post, but…I have to say it all.

I’m here to tell you that I’ve failed. I’ve fallen right on my ass…all over the internet, in front of a gazillion people and the NSA and everything. I am embarrassed and ashamed, afraid and dumbfounded at my inability to save myself from something that makes me feel like the dumbest person on the planet. Yet every time I get ready to mentally flog myself for being a moron, a tiny bit of inner strength comes over me and reminds me that there are much more horrible things in this world than the fact that I didn’t get it perfect this time. The Kardashians are reproducing, for fuck’s sake. Anything I do can’t possibly cause as much damage to the world. This realization is usually all it takes for me to remember to focus on the solution and stop beating myself up.

Looking back, of course, it’s perfectly clear to me where I went wrong. I stopped logging my food, convinced that I could depend upon my auto-pilot. Without logging, I lost sight of the little things that quickly add up to bigger things. I stopped weighing myself, trying instead to focus on the positive steps of making exercise a habit.

The simple truth is that, while others may be successful at living a healthy lifestyle without logging their food, I need it. Always. And, while others can’t step on the scale every day, I have to. My food log and my scale are the tools I use to successfully navigate these waters. I am not the kind of person who can be without them. I need them daily.

Motivation Marbles HMP

Without my tools, it’s far too easy for me to get distracted by daily life. I’ve become mired down with a million details. Things to do. Places to be. People to see. I’ve gone from being a fairly organized person to being a scatterbrained twit surrounded by a bunch of half-done tasks with no idea what to do next. Completely overwhelmed. I feel like the dumbest person on the planet for letting this happen. I fell back into the land of quick fixes and lazy thinking. And six months into 2013, I still haven’t made exercise a habit.

My monumental failure: I’ve gained back all but one pound of the weight I lost.

Living in a world of elastic waist pants makes it very hard to judge whether the weight is creeping back on – especially when most of your clothes are a 30/32. It takes a lot to move from the low end of the 30 to the high end of the 32.

43 pounds, to be exact.

It would have been easy to spot had I not stopped getting on the scale every day, but I got the brilliant idea in my head that I should take a break from the scale in order to train my focus on exercise. Dumb. Really dumb. I understand what I thought I was doing, but I was failing to accept one undeniable truth: I fucking HATE exercise. I hate it. I could quit everything else in life in order to focus on exercise but I would still be focused on something I hate doing – and all that brings is negativity. I should have kept logging, kept weighing, and kept trying at the exercise.

I have one pair of jeans that fits (or used to). They’re a size 30. I don’t wear them a lot. Imagine my surprise when I went to put them on a couple of weeks ago and they weren’t even close to zipping or buttoning. I actually thought I’d mistakenly grabbed at the wrong pair of jeans. I had to look at the tag to see the size. Imagine my horror as reality sank in. I hadn’t been getting on the scale. I hadn’t been logging my food. Oh wow…HMH and I have been ordering pizza more often, haven’t we? Shit. How long had it been since I could wear these jeans? I had no idea.

It took weeks before I had the balls to get on the scale and face the music – and in that time, I still wasn’t eating as healthy as before and I certainly wasn’t working out consistently.

So here I am…facing the music and feeling like the biggest failure in the world. And the funny thing is that I didn’t feel this way at all when I gained back the 75 pounds I lost back in the 90’s. I’ve been having quite the internal dialogue about this since I got on the scale. It hasn’t been pretty. It’s been a weird combination of beating myself up and coming up with a plan to fix this – lately, more of the latter.

believe

What am I going to do about this? Pick myself up, dust myself off, and get moving. Although the thought did occur to me briefly, I am not pursuing weight loss surgery.

As of this morning, I’m back to logging my food. Logging is my safety net and I’m never living without it again. No more pizza, no more convenience foods. There’s a half gallon of ice cream in my freezer right now that’s going down the drain tonight. I don’t need the temptation…I have shit to do.

Mr. Scale is back in my life. I appreciate him for the information he gives me. I don’t get pissed when he tells me I weigh one or two pounds more than I did yesterday. I’m a woman. For some reason, weight fluctuation is all part of the majesty of owning a uterus…or having owned one in the past, whatever your situation may be. I don’t care about two or even three pounds. I care about five. I need to know where I stand.

The 7 Dwarfs of the Menstrual Apocalypse are just packing up and leaving, so I’m not headed to the gym today – but I am tomorrow. From now on, there will be no more trying to embrace the positive kittens-and-rainbows “exercise is good for me” mindset. I hate exercise. It’s painful and horrible and I hate it – and it’s dishonest for me to try and get all warm and fuzzy about it. From now on, I am going to the gym regularly – which will require me to force myself. Tough shit. I’m giving myself permission to hate it. I’m going to bitch and moan and scream bloody murder if that’s what I feel like doing, but I’m going to the gym whether I like it or not. Like a good parent with a stubborn child, I’m going to get this medicine down my throat one way or the other.

It nearly broke my heart to pull 43 marbles out of the “Pounds Lost” jar today, but I did it. They’re not my victories to claim anymore. They’re back in the “Pounds to Go” jar where they belong. For now. It hurt to do, but I know with a certainty I’ve never had before that they’ll be back in the “Pounds Lost” jar soon.

I lost my way. I’m not proud of it. Hopefully you’ll forgive me. I sure do feel stupid because of it, but I’m not going to let myself wallow in self-pity and self-hatred over this. This has happened. I caused it. I’ve picked myself up, brushed myself off, and put my feet back on the road. I’m really not proud of where I’m standing right now.

I’m just not going to be one of those bloggers who fades into the background to lick her wounds. Y’all know me. I have no compunction about licking myself in front of you. This blog is about embracing change and finding what works. This is all part of that process for me.

I reset the weight loss ticker on the top right of this page. Makes me sad just looking at it. So here I go. One marble in the jar…

Oh, the Places I’d Go

It’s Thursday! It’s Mama Kat’s blog meme day!! Woohoo!

This time, you voted on Facebook for the topic “8 Places I’d Go This Summer If Money Wasn’t an Object”. Easy enough, but a bittersweet topic for me because I work in travel. I get killer discounts on airfare – like you seriously would slap me for – but it comes at a price. I took an entry level job just to get in the front door with my company…so I make 50% less than what I can make somewhere else. That cuts into any travel budget we have pretty bad. And although I get discounts on airfare, I don’t get killer discounts on hotels – so I can afford to get there, I just can’t afford shelter. Kind of a problem. So if money wasn’t an object, these are the 8 places I’d go. (In no particular order because I couldn’t possibly decide.)

1. The United Kingdom: England, Ireland, Scotland.

In England?

The Tower of London…in fact, anything to do with the Tudor family. Henry VIII, Bloody Mary, Elizabeth I – they all fascinate me. I mean, c’mon…Henry VIII has a daughter (Bloody Mary) by his first wife, then invents a religion so he can get a divorce. He marries Anne Boleyn and they have Elizabeth…then he has Anne beheaded. Then he just goes nuts and starts marrying everyone. Bloody Mary grows up determined to return England to Catholicism and marries Prince Philip of Spain, ok? She dies childless…no heir…and almost has her 1/2 sister Elizabeth killed for treason, but doesn’t. While she’s dying, Philip proposes to his sister-in-law Elizabeth. What an ass munch! Elizabeth doesn’t accept his proposal – in fact, she never marries. Instead, she rules England and goes to war with her brother-in-law and kicks his ever love’in ASS all the way back to Spain. You can’t make this stuff up. (Apologies if I got some of that screwed up…I provided enough links for you to check it out, though…it’s amazing.)

I want to stand in the places where these people stood (especially Elizabeth) and I want to think about what happened right there…where my feet are planted.

I want to see the Moors, Stonehenge, and the white cliffs of Dover…all of it. And Nottinghamshire because I have ancestors buried there. And my friend Michael…because I haven’t seen the dude in ages.

In Ireland?

I want to see the countryside and kiss the Blarney Stone. I could just drive around the countryside the whole time and be happy.

Blarney Castle

Scotland?

I want to head specifically to Aberdeenshire and Dunnotar Castle. My 3rd great-grandmother is a Keith. Clan Keith has an amazing history. They lived at Dunnotar for a time. Mary Queen of Scots (Elizabeth I’s cousin…not even kidding) visited there. I want to go see it, touch it, feel it. Pretty much all of Scotland looks gorgeous and interesting, but this place in particular calls to me.

Dunnotar Castle

2. Australia & New Zealand

Everything. I want to see everything. And then I want to see every place where they shot the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit movies. Yes, I want to stay in a Hobbit hole. And I want to have dinner with my friend Bruce, the Kiwi, and his family.

3. Machu Picchu. How can you not want to go there? It’s really really old…and cool. And beautiful.

4. Switzerland. I hear they make Saint Bernards and chocolate there. Seriously…I want to go to the monastery where my favorite dog breed in the universe started…and I want to hug a couple hundred Saints. I want to get Swiss Saint drool and slobber all over my clothes. I don’t care if I get on the plane covered in dog hair. I want to go hug on these babies. And then I’ll go have some chocolate and see the rest of this gorgeous country.

5. Austria/Hungary/Germany. My mother’s family is from these countries – and some of HMH’s as well. I want to put flowers on the graves of my ancestors (is that gruesome? Sorry…) And the castles…oh, boy…the castles. I want to get allll up in those castles. Gorgeous.

6. France. Yeah, I hear a lot of stories of rude Frenchies – but I don’t care. Their country is gorgeous and I want to see it. Paris, certainly. The Louvre alone is enough to make me want to tolerate their pissyness. The Eiffel Tower. The countryside. If I have to wear ear buds to keep the nasty remarks away from my ears, I will…but I want to see France.

The Louvre

7. Italy. First on my list? Venice. Such a place is incredible to me. I have to experience that. Rome…Tuscany…the Amalfi Coast. Is there any place in Italy that’s not gorgeous? If so, I’ve never heard of it.

8. Easter Island. Yeah, you heard me. There’s only one flight in and out each week – so if you miss it, you’re there for another week. But I want to see those giant heads and sit and ponder who put them there and why. I’ve heard the people are absolutely lovely and that Easter Island is amazing even without the heads.

So…where would you go if you had all the money and time in the world? Tell me.

The Ass Turkey of 2012

Yeah, you read it right: it’s time for me to tell you about a culinary catastrophe that will go down in the Hot Mess Household Hall of Shame. I’m talking about the Ass Turkey of 2012.

Why am I writing about this? Because I recently purchased a book called “642 Things to Write About”. It was my intention to blog my way through it on my author website, but as luck would have it the second prompt is something I would never write about on my author website:

Describe the worst Thanksgiving dish you’ve ever had.

I went to bed last night wondering whether I should skip the topic all together or write about it here. When I mentioned this to HMH last night, he said “You’re gonna write about the Ass Turkey, aren’t you…”

See? There’s only one serious candidate when it comes to the worst Thanksgiving dish ever…and that’s the Ass Turkey.

HMH’s grilling and smoking skills are legendary in our family. We were living in California when he bought our first smoker and introduced me to the wonder of smoked meats…particularly turkey. One year he smoked the turkey for our big family dinner and there wasn’t any leftover turkey…that’s how good it was. From that point on, we bought and smoked multiple turkeys to ensure that there would be plenty for leftover sandwiches and tryptophan hangovers.

When I was younger, I used to fantasize about roasting the perfect turkey for my husband and children. Kind of like a Norman Rockwell painting but with less gray hair and suspenders. One bite of HMH’s smoked turkey and those dreams went willingly flying out the window. Screw that! HMH can do the turkey every year…I’ll spend my time on the side dishes. And that’s exactly how we’ve spent every delectable Thanksgiving since. Except last year.

The problem with HMH’s cooking skills is that he thinks it’s fun to experiment – whereas I’m more a creature of habit who lives by the motto “don’t fuck with perfection”. There’s just no reasoning with HMH, though, so last year he decided to use a marinade injection on our turkey.

Other than the pickle flavored potato chip he tricked me into eating once, it’s quite possibly the worst thing I’ve ever tasted in my life. Even now…if I close my eyes I can still hear the screaming. Why, God! Why!!!!

How can I adequately describe it? Think of the turkey they served in the cafeteria at your elementary school. Now put it in a dirty sock and throw in the dryer for an hour. Then take it over to the dog dish and use it to mop up the kibble encrusted drool from the side of the bowl. Now fart on it.

Ass turkey.

It was so bad that I couldn’t even eat the portion that was on my plate, let alone have seconds. The dogs got most of the turkey last year. I posted this picture on Facebook later that night…with the caption “Guilty of crimes against Thanksgiving!”

I'd rather eat a hair sandwich
I’d rather eat a hair sandwich

At least my festively fabulous cornbread acorns were a hit…

I don’t know who that Mr. Stubbs guy is but he needs to stop hurting turkies. Bunghole.

Nordic Ware Platinum Acorn Cakelet Pan