Hey, buddy…slim THIS!

This is going to be a rant. A snarly, pissy rant about a topic near & dear to me…and it may leave you shaking your head and telling me to get off the crack pipe, but still…I must rant. If you’re an emotional eater like me, however, it might be worth it to read.

This morning I rolled out of bed, did my personal bizniss, and went straight to my laptop to check email. Stuck in the middle of a half dozen advertisements was an email from a wellness publication entitled “Slimming Comfort Food Recipes”. Shit like this really sticks in my craw.

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I’m really tired of corporations making money off of fat people in the name of helping us “get healthy”. It’s bullshit. People start businesses to make money. If they “cure” all the fatties, they can’t make any more money. However, if they keep feeding us pills and special diets and miracle cures and bullshit…they keep making money.

I know, I know, I know…this is only an article. They’re not selling us anything here. Sort of. But they chip away at our resolve a teensy bit at a time with shit like this. They keep our brains in a “Hey, I can have it all…I’m just not smart enough to figure it out for myself so I need this article” mindset. The verbiage “Slimming Comfort Foods” implies you can have your cake and eat it too. You can comfort yourself with food and still get slim. And that’s what gets me – because that’s how people like me got to be so overweight in the first place: comforting ourselves with food.

They’re not interested in telling us the truth, they’re interested in telling us what we want to hear. They’re interested in what’s going to sell another subscription. What’s going to get more clicks. What’s going to make someone read the article and see the ad for the magic weight loss supplements on the sidebar and…order now. We make them a lot more money staying fat than we ever will living a fit, healthy life.

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What is the truth? The truth is that if you have a problem using food as an emotional band aid, you’ve got an uphill climb ahead of you. Because that pan of organic, lowfat lasagna that you just made in order to live a healthier life isn’t going to help you if you still eat the whole pan. And now you’re not only sick to your stomach because you crammed a whole pan of lasagna down your throat, you’re also completely grossed out that you ate something that tasted like new-age crap on a cracker. Because some recipes should never be fucked with…and sometimes you just have to let yourself eat the real thing. Because it’s worth it. As long as you can keep yourself from eating the whole pan after a shitty day at work.

The big truth I’m trying to convey here is that you have to make peace with food. I did. At times, I have to reinforce the peace when a craving comes along. And they come along. I know I’ll always have them. But I also know that I never have to act on them immediately. And I’ve learned what I can substitute and still enjoy…and what I must never mess with.

For example, I used to love a big bag of Wavy Lays and a vat of onion dip. Now? I make some seriously kick-ass potato chips from scratch…in the microwave…with no oil. They’re not fried, yet they’re crispy and crunchy and salty and awesome. They satisfy my cravings for chips 100%. And I came up with a totally yummy substitution for dip as well. Buffalo wings, on the other hand…not so much. After trying a million variations on a million recipes, I’ve come to realize that I really do prefer the real thing…and that the real thing is worth the sacrifice of extra time at the gym or having a light snack instead of a meal in order to make up for the calories. And I don’t eat them once or twice a week like I used to.

The article that caused my rant is, to me, useful and full of decent looking recipes. It’s the bullshit title I have a problem with. This is probably where you’re going to walk away from this post and say “That bitch cray!” That’s okay…part of this is just me being overly critical. The rest of it is dead-on balls true. I don’t even know if that’s a real expression, but it is now.

I don’t want to comfort myself with food. I don’t want anyone telling me it’s ok. I don’t want anyone telling other people like me that it’s ok. If I ever want to hit my goal and live healthy, I can’t do shit like that. The truth is…it’s hard to quit doing. But it is do-able. Especially for a bunch of badasses like us.

I’m going to talk more about making your peace with food in the next few days, but I just want to put this out there right now because it really grates on me to see article titles like this one. They’re everywhere. And the truth is that you have to always be mindful and true to yourself above all else. Don’t fall for this bullshit. Question everything.

“Slimming Comfort Food Recipes”, my ass. How about “Ways to Tell a Publisher to Piss Off”…how about that! I don’t want to comfort myself with cardboard fake lasagna. I’m all grown up ‘n shit. I can handle the truth. Sacrifices must be made.

The messaging gets in there even if you don’t click through and read the article. Your eyes skimmed it. Your brain read it. Comfort. Food. Slimming. I’m so busy half the time I just skim right past it. This morning I did a double-take and said “Whaaaat?”

I know this is hard and I hope it’ll be worth it. I know I won’t look like a fitness model when I’m done, but if I can at least look in the mirror without hating myself, I think I’ll be okay. What I’m not okay with is some jackhole who’s probably never been overweight a day in his or her miserable life trying to lure me into thinking of food as comfort….because I’ve been down that road many times and it’s full of fat pants and Little Debbie cakes.

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I’m actually not talking about the actual author of this article, by the way. I’m talking about the marketing/SEO geniuses behind the creation of the catchy title. Give me as many light and “tasty” recipes as you want. Give me useful and helpful information…and thank you for it! But don’t try to get me to click through your email with brainwashing bullshit.

*Sigh*

I guess I’m done ranting. For emotional eaters, making peace with food is hard. Shit like this makes it harder…and it adds insult to injury when it’s coming from a leader in wellness. That’s all I’m trying to say.

Next time we’ll talk about baby steps in putting an end to emotional eating. And I’ll try and curb the surly language. In the meantime, if there’s something that just drives you nuts feel free to share it here so I don’t feel like a total dork.

I need a margarita. Holy shit.

You Can’t Drink All Day If You Don’t Start in the Morning


Hand Painted Shooter Glass, Princess

DIY French Memo Board

Ah…the French memo board. They’re gorgeous. I love them. From the time I saw the huge board behind Rachel’s desk on Friends (I can’t find a picture of it, but trust me…it was awesome), I’ve wanted one. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, I offer Exhibit A for your consideration:

They come in all types of fabric backgrounds from damask to burlap and use everything from ribbon to jute for the criss-crossy things. I’d looked around quite a bit and I couldn’t find one that I was absolutely in love with, so I decided to make my own. How hard can it be, right? There are a gazillion blog posts out there about how to make your own, so I schlepped over to Pinterest and found one. Here’s where it begins to go south.

I skimmed the directions. C’mon…it’s a piece of plywood covered in quilt batting and fabric, then wrapped in ribbon and finished with upholstery tacks. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist, right? Right. It does, however, take a person who can follow directions.

Hot Mess Hubby thinks he’s a woodworker, so he actually had 1/4 inch plywood in the garage. He didn’t even have to cut it for me. He had a piece that was 3 X 2 and that’s about the size I wanted. Perf!

I headed off to the fabric and craft store for the rest and returned with my stash: a nice, rustic looking burlap, a matching jute twine type trim, and deep brown upholstery tacks. Rock’in. Let’s do this.

I had quilt batting in my needlework stash, so I didn’t have to buy that. All I needed was HMH’s trusty staple gun and I was in business. He handed it to me as he walked out the door to go work, mumbling “And that’s all the staples we have, so…don’t waste ’em.”

Great. Thanks, babe!

Our house is currently one giant heap of disorganization, thanks to non-stop projects (which includes the current project of turning a spare room into my personal office and organizing a few dozen boxes of stuff to donate to charity). The only feasible place to put this thing together was the living room, so I used the coffee table for a work bench. I went to town, first laying out the burlap and then the quilt batting, then settling the plywood in the middle. I started in the middle of the board with the staple gun and worked my way out to the edges, pulling the burlap tightly as I went. It was louder than I expected and Dyson certainly didn’t appreciate it.

Momma...clean up all this crap before you make pretties please!
It wasn’t long before he was hiding out at the top of the stairs.

Once the plywood was completely wrapped, it was time to start with the ribbon. I’d purchased a spool of jute twine stuff and was pretty sure I’d have enough. Nope. Not even close. Three trips across the board and I was out. Major fail.

I stopped at the craft store on my way home and they were out of jute twine stuff. Bastards. I opted for turquoise satin ribbon. I bought two spools, 18 feet each. That should do it, right? Right. I rushed home and started with my project. Dyson fled to the top of the stairs again. Pussy.

Halfway through my first sweep, I ran out of staples. Shit.

Got staples?
Got staples?

HMH found some more in his “wood shop” the next day and loaded up the gun for me, but this project was really starting to piss me off.

Yeah, you read that right. I was pissed at the project, not my lack of planning. The closest I can come to explaining this phenomenon is to point out that I’ve been married to Mr. Let’s-Not-Plan-Shit-And-Just-See-What-Happens for almost ten years. It’s rubbing off.

I get home from the gym the next day and start up again. Finally I’m going to get done with this damn board. I finish the ribbon and consider it a small victory. Then I get to work on hammering the upholstery tacks into the board. About halfway through the package, I realize I need a hell of a lot more tacks. I’m going to run out. Son of a…

See, I’m not so good with the math, yo. Not that I measured shit on this project – but even if I had, I would have screwed it up.

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At this point, my idiocy only spurs my desperation when it comes to getting this memo board from hell finished. I’m not going down without a fight, damn it. I grab my keys and head for the craft store. It’s on!

I get to the craft store and I’m pretty sure I’d grabbed the last package of this style of tac when I was there previously. Sure enough…none left on the little peg thing. Damn it! All was not lost, however. Thanks to bad customers or bad employees, I couldn’t tell which, I found two more packages of tacs mixed in where they shouldn’t have been. SCORE!!!

I drive home, wondering what the hell is wrong with me that every single step in this simple little project went horribly wrong. I pulled up in my driveway with huge sigh of relief. Now I know, without a doubt, the board will be finished tonight. Nothing else can stand in my way. I walk in, put down my purse and the bag from the craft store, and grabbed the board with one hand. It wouldn’t budge.

I’d hammered the damn memo board right into our coffee table.

Thank God our coffee table is old and crappy and I don’t care about it anymore. I just surrendered to the fact that I am, indeed, a Hot Mess Princess and finished up the board. Now I had a new problem: with all the tacks poking out the back, the board was now very stabby. Quick like a bunny, I grabbed some old cork tiles I had here and pushed those over the stabby parts. Voila! Done!!!

The "after" pic of my coffee table. Good thing it's on its last legs anyway!
The “after” pic of my coffee table. Good thing it’s on its last legs anyway!

Now it just looks like a French memo board. You can’t tell that the project took an entire week and pushed me to the brink. All you can see is a beautiful board that cost very little to put together.

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So my words of advice are:  buy your own – or make sure you listen to the directions and measure!!! Learn from me, my darlings!

Ivory Twill Memo Board


Damask with Black Ribbon French/memo Board

Don’t Let the Assholes Get You Down, Peeps!

I’m up to 21 minutes on the elliptical trainer now, which will seem barely average to some folks, but it’s effing stellar for a 300+ pound Hot Mess Princess wearing sweatpants that have been sewn back together so many times I call them my “Frankenpants”. Soon I’ll be at 22 minutes…and then 23 minutes…and then 24. This, my friends, is how a badass is built.

When I was done with my cardio today, I walked out of my gym with a spring in my step and a smile on my face. Another day closer to my goal. I’m a bit healthier today than I was yesterday. Tomorrow, I’ll be even healthier. Ready or not, world, here I come.

As I stepped off the curb, a beat up Honda went speeding by and the guy behind the wheel glared at me and yelled “Lose some weight, stupid fat ass!”

Wow.

Do I feel stupid. This guy really showed me, didn’t he? I mean…here I’ve been wondering why I have to buy such huge pants and all I needed was for some douchy teenager in his Mom’s beat up old Honda to swing by and tell me to lose weight. I had no idea until he said it. Mind. Blown.

Shit. I feel like a class-A dumbass. Thank God he crossed my path and got through to me.

Most people have to pay a doctor, nutritionist, or personal trainer for such learned advice – but I got it for free. I am the luckiest stupid fat ass in the world. He sped off so fast that I didn’t have a minute to thank him for reaching out. The least I could have done was buy him a new carton of cigarettes. I’m not sure which brand it was that he was smoking, but it sure made him look all grown-up ‘n shit when he was speeding through the parking lot.

Don't let the haters get you down, peeps

The world is full of haters, peeps, but don’t let it get you down. As much as I’m still shocked by this kind of behavior, I’m not going to let it bother me. I did say a silent prayer that he’s either rendered completely sterile or at least fails to produce offspring until he evolves into a decent human being – but I don’t think that was out of line.

There aren’t many people clueless enough to yell “Lose some weight” to a person who is exiting a gym. What the hell did he think I was doing in there…looking for food?

I sure hope he forgives me for stepping off that curb while he was driving 50 miles an hour in the parking lot. While I’m asking for forgiveness, maybe I should apologize for yelling back “Suck it, pinky dick!”

Or not. I’m good either way.

Sacrificing myself on the altar of dignity

Peeps!

This isn’t going to be my regular wordy shut-the-hell-up already, Dianne, kind of post. I’m just going to take up a few minutes of your time today…because I want to show you something.

Exercise isn’t fun when you’re obese. It’s difficult and painful…and you’re sweating in places we shouldn’t even have. I don’t know about you, but I’m incredibly ungraceful. I’m clunky and slow. Truth be told, the only thing I love about exercise right now is the moment that I get to stop – but I’m getting myself to the gym every day because I know it’s either this or surgery (and even with surgery, there must be exercise eventually).

It’s hard for us, I get that. We all get that. It’s hard to clunk around on machines and work up the stamina to get significant amounts of cardio in order to burn that fat. I can’t go near a regular stationary bike…the seats are too small. I get stress fractures even on the treadmill. I stick with the elliptical and the recumbent bike. Mostly the elliptical…but there are times when I feel like the elliptical has totally kicked my butt for the day, yet I’m still able to workout a little more. That’s when I switch to the recumbent bike. And that, my friends, is when the glamour of working out when you’re really obese starts. Even my boobs get exercise on that damn thing…and it’s embarrassing as hell…but I do it.

Click here to see for a lesson in what really matters…Hot Mess style.

See how much I love y’all? If I can suffer through the sweaty grossness and blobby indignity of working out…then you can too. We’re all in this together, right?

Hotness, here we come!

 


ASICS Women’s Intensity Low Sock

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