Last week, the forces of good fortune were conspiring against me and I had no idea. I’m sorry, that’s not entirely right. The forces of health care were conspiring against me.
Quite a few years ago, I had to have major surgery that resulted in me having to take medication for the rest of my life. Not taking the medication daily can result in my pre-cancerous condition returning. It can also have a negative effect on my metabolism. Great!
Needless to say, I’m pretty good at making sure I take my meds every single day. When it was time for a refill, I called my doctor’s office last week and requested one. There was plenty of time for them to call it in before I needed it. Well, they failed. I called and followed up with them on Friday, calling attention to the fact that they never called it in…and they never called me back. As a result, I went 5 days without my medication.
My progress on the scale has predictably stalled. In fact, this morning I woke up, went to the bathroom, got on the scale…no change. I watched the news for a while, went to the bathroom again, and the scale went UP a pound. UP? How is that even possible? Because it’s me, that’s why. Sheesh!
I feel like I’m trying to chug my way up a steep mountain highway in a tiny little Smart car. Putt putt putt putt….stall.
This morning, as I was flipping a rude gesture at Mr Scale and walking away, I realized that it might be time to put him away for a few days. I’m normally a big fan of weighing in every day or I start bargaining with myself (which opens the door to cheating for me). I’m not going to put Mr. Scale on the table saw again since this isn’t his fault, but I am going to move him from his usual position on my bathroom tile. I think he’s due for a vacation…perhaps in my closet next to the cozy pink bed that is a favorite napping spot for Sarah the cat, ruler of the Hot Mess Household and Official Bitch Slapper of Dyson the puppy.
I know that if I just wait this out, things will go back to normal. I’m back on my meds now. It’ll take about a week for things to sync back up again (I speak from experience). I’m not tempted to eat anything bad or derail myself in anyway, I just hate the lack of forward motion. I’m frustrated by it. I want to fix it. Unfortunately, the only thing that will fix this is patience…and I’m not very patient when it comes to losing weight. It’s a miracle I’m still sane. Writing this blog really helps.
I go back to it again: I have two choices. The first choice available to me is to stay put and have faith. Weather the storm and be true to what I know in my head and my heart is fact: if I eat healthy and exercise, the scale will move. The second choice available to me is to turn around and go back to the “security” of an old, comfortable life. Eating for comfort. Sitting on the couch all day. Grabbing a candy bar or three during a stressful day at work. Eating a pint of mint chip ice cream while watching tv. Mentally zoning out of my own life.
It makes me proud to say that, although there are truly two choices here, there is only one choice for me…and that is to stay stuck on this road for a while longer. Soon my meds will kick in and my system will reboot and all will be as it once was.
Until then, I need a plan. I always feel more in control when I have a plan. Here it is:
Mr. Scale is on vacation until Sunday.
Dinner will be a lovely chalk-olate protein shake tonight and tomorrow.
Everything else is business as usual. By the time Mr. Scale gets back from vacation, he’ll be rested…and my system will be reset and running normal again.
Until then, you know I love to laugh…
I saw this old fitness pic this morning and I couldn’t stop laughing. Obviously, this chick is beyond delighted to be able to throw her leg up in the air like that (who wouldn’t)…but what the hell kind of fitness craze was going on here? She looks absolutely delighted, but he looks like he’s doing some kind of va-jay-jay Tae Bo. I don’t care how many calories it burns, that shit ain’t worth it.
Not cool, dude. Not cool.
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One of my readers (hello, Ms Monica!) has asked me to share how I’m handling things foodwise and I promised to share that info here on the blog. So tonight I will explain the plan of attack I have used on my food demons for the last 4 months.
When I first started this “magical adventure of change” last December, I was a very different person than the savvy, has-it-all-together, laugh-in-the-face-of-Twinkies girl you see today…smirk. I was a Hot Mess. Back then, deciding to eat healthy meant flinging myself head first into extremes and setting myself up for failure with what I call “boot camp mentality”. A healthy change meant denying myself all enjoyment in food and forcing broccoli down my throat in large quantities. This, of course, sent me into withdrawals from Little Debbie cream filling (picture me sobbing “Why, God…why???” in a scalding hot shower…sort of reminiscent of Silkwood).
Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic – but it was bad. BAD.
The first thing I did when I got serious was to buy one of those huge books that gives you the breakdown of every food imaginable. This is the one I used:
I’m a Kindle girl, but I bought a hard copy of this sucker so I could hunker down on the couch with my highlighter and go to town. I highlighted every food (healthy and not-so-healthy) that I truly enjoy. Key word: ENJOY. If you know me at all, you know that the words pickle, lettuce, and bean were NOT highlighted. Blah!
With that accomplished, I set about making three lists:
· Foods I can eat (healthy foods or foods that I knew I could reasonably moderate)
· Foods that were naughty but I knew I couldn’t live without
· Foods that were so naughty that I would be giving them up… for 3 months
(I wanted time to really make healthy a habit before even trying to let these foods back in my menu plan)
Every single highlighted food was put on one of those 3 lists. Examples? You want examples? I’ve got examples!!
Chicken. I actually enjoy chicken very much. That went on the “Foods I can eat” list.
Buffalo wings. Naughty. VERY naughty. But I knew that I could not give them up…at least not cold turkey, so they went on the “Can’t Live Without” list.
Ice cream. Sweet Creamy Frozen Milk of Satan. I can’t have it. I can’t be trusted with it. If it’s in the house, I can’t stop thinking about it until I’ve eaten every last drop of it. So, as I wept softly to myself, I put ice cream on the “Give Up for 3 Months” list. Sweet mother of all things holy…I started to realize that I was serious.
I mulled over the “Give Up for 3 Months” list. I considered each food listed. I thought about the taste of it, the enjoyment of it, and the impact of eating it while trying to eat healthy and “behave”. If there was anything that I knew I wouldn’t be able to moderate (like ice cream), it went on that list. That was about as “tough love” as I got with myself.
After I made my lists, I sat myself down for some good old fashioned mathematical fun. I figured out how many calories I would be able to eat a day and still lose weight. For me, that magical number was 1,400 calories per day. With that information in hand, I went back to my lists.
** For those of you who zoned out when I said I did the math myself, let me just say that I spent 20+ years following this diet or that, eating this or that, because every time I thought about going through the trouble of figuring it out for myself…I got intimidated. Google was my friend…and it’s yours too. Think twice before you let the diet industry tell you what’s best for you – that’s all I’m saying.
Back to my plan of attack…
I already knew I was a Hot Mess. Every time I tried to get healthy before, I allowed myself too many choices. I had always done what the diet & fitness industry said I should do and I didn’t pay attention to what I needed to do. I took a good look at all my failed attempts in the past and realized that I tried to run before I could walk…so I put myself on dietary training wheels.
Using the list of foods I could eat, I created a menu consisting of 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner, and 2 snacks. The entire day’s menu was within my 1400 calorie limit. I made sure the menu was balanced and contained only food choices that I was 100% happy with. There were no compromises here – no lettuce, no broccoli, no gnawing on raw carrots all day. I chose foods that I really enjoy: Special K Vanilla Almond cereal…grilled, super spicy chicken…cocoa roasted almonds…Laughing Cow garlic cheese wedges…Granny Smith apples…grapefruit…watermelon. These are all low calorie foods, sure…but they’re all foods I love. (Just FYI, those cocoa roasted almonds really killed my chocolate cravings.)
Here’s where you’re probably going to roll your eyes at me: I ate that same menu every day for about the first 2 months. Why? Because I didn’t want choices. That’s where I always failed myself. When I’m up at 5 am and trying to start my day AND new healthy habits, I don’t need to face off with a bunch of choices. This may come as a shocker, but I’m not exactly the perkiest bitch in the morning. I knew if I let myself have the power of choice, I’d sit on the couch in a half-snooze until it was time to grab my keys and head out the door…then I’d drive through Starbucks for a venti artery clogger and a maple oat scone. Not a good start for Dianne – and it would just get worse from there. I used that one menu like a suit of reinforced titanium armor, peeps…and I headed into battle with the food demons.
Eating the same thing every day was not and is not the final solution for me, but it did make things so much easier in the beginning. Sure, there were days when it got a little boring and there were times when I was really tempted to eat some kind of crap – but I just kept reminding myself how unhappy I would be if I broke my promise. I reminded myself how I would feel if I gave up…again. Overall, I found a real sense of security in eating the same meals every day. I clung to it like a life raft.
After about 2 months, I branched out a little and let myself make substitutions here and there. Now, 4 months later, I have about 3 different breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that I choose from. I plan to keep adding more choices until I can eat like a normal human being. I know that whatever combination of meals I choose, I’ll end my day somewhere between 1200 and 1400 calories. I don’t log my food anymore. Once in a while, I get buffalo wings…or pizza…or something naughty. I compensate by eating lighter the rest of the day. I haven’t had
ice cream sweet creamy frozen milk of Satan since I started living healthy…because there’s some shit you just don’t mess with. Why poke a tiger with a sharp stick?
If I sound like an addict in a 12 step program, well…you’re not far from the truth. You don’t get to weigh 381 pounds because you just like cookies. But I’ll tell you what: alcoholics & drug addicts don’t have to drink or do drugs in order to stay alive. Not true for us food addicts. I’m not trying to make light of anyone’s struggles in any way, but facing the devil is somewhat unique if food is your drug of choice. Whatever the addiction, though, there are always underlying issues and this happens to be the way through it for me. Baby steps and training wheels…and it’s working.
Proof? Look at my weight loss ticker up there on the right. 36 pounds are gone now. I’ve lost 2 more pounds in the last couple days. The fat’s coming off whether it wants to or not…because I finally stopped following other people’s plans and doing what other people said would work. I haven’t done anything crazy like ignore my doctor or go on the “eat pork rinds all day diet”. I’ve been responsible with my health – and you should too. I slowed down and started paying attention to what was working…and what was not working – which is truly an accomplishment for someone who lives for instant gratification. It’s really hard to make a change & stick with it long enough to see if it works or not – especially when all you want to do is take a miracle fat sucking pill and sit your ass on the couch.
This patience shit can be frustrating! Now I’m fully on board because I see that this baby steps thing really works for me. A little setback doesn’t derail my progress for a whole day…or week. There was a time when one little screw up would be just the excuse I needed to give up and grab a pint of mint chip because I didn’t have a perfect day. Now all I care about is keeping myself on the road and moving forward – even if I’m not going as fast as everyone else thinks I should be. And that’s how I’m doing this…each and every day. It brings to mind a quote that I have hanging over my treadmill.
A year from now, I plan to be at least 100 pounds lighter.
Where will you be? Let’s go.
I’m so sorry that I was quiet for so long…I went on vacation last week and completely lost my writing rhythm for some reason, something that doesn’t usually affect me but smacked me right in the 3.5 asses this time. I’m back!
Hot Mess Hubby and I flew off to visit my family last week. I work in the travel industry, so I actually have the opportunity to fly a lot. With planes getting more and more cramped as airlines try to increase capacity, my flight experiences have remained surprisingly positive. This is mostly due to the fact that I have the ability to see which flights are going to be jam packed and which flights have plenty of room – so I usually just plan my travel schedule around the roomy flights and then ask the gate agent to put me next to an empty seat so I’m not encroaching on someone else’s space. If I’m traveling with the hubby, though, I don’t worry about it…he’s used to me encroaching on him. That’s usually where my problems end when it comes to airplane travel – or that’s what I thought until we boarded our plane.
We were thrilled to be on a brand new plane. It was clean and pretty and had this really awesome ambient lighting on it. Here’s the light as seen over Hot Mess Hubby’s head:
I was so happy to have the hubby with me (he hadn’t seen my family in a year) and so excited to be flying on a new plane that I let my guard down for two seconds and completely forgot that all airplane seats are not created equal. It wasn’t until I scooted into our row (an exit row) and was clicking my seat belt extender in place that I realized…the armrests were permanently fixed. They didn’t flip up. Shit.
I turned around and slowly lowered myself into my seat, trying to remain positive as my 3.5 asses made contact with the armrests on both sides. As I forced myself down into the seat and felt my hips get pinched into oblivion, I tried not to say horrible things to myself and get negative. I really had to fight not to start my vacation off on a seriously bad note. Bless his sweet little heart, the hubby tried to help as best he could.
He had to help me fasten the seat belt because I couldn’t move anything from the waist down and the knees up – and I couldn’t see anything because the seat had shoved all my fat UP to the point where my boobs were holding my chin up. I was mortified…and in pain…and had to fight unexpected tears at this sudden, very unpleasant reminder of how very far I have to go in order to get to my goal weight. Suddenly, 34 pounds and 19.5 inches lost made me feel like a big fat slacker. And then the hubby, speaking in the soft & steady voice he uses to calm me down when I get all teary, starts pointing out the guy in 8A who’s shoulders are so broad he’s touching the lady next to him. He points out the lady in 10D who’s hanging over into the aisle probably to put some space between her and a guy who looks like his breath is pretty stanky. Hubby squeezes my hand and tells me how great I’m doing…and before I know it, it’s time to turn off all electronic devices and get ready for take off.
I wedged myself against the window and listened to music on my Kindle Fire. I had long silver earrings on as well, so imagine my surprise when hubby leans over to put the ear bud out of the my ear and tugs on the earring. Yowch! Can see the ear bud cord and the earring? I can tell the difference. Not sure what his problem was!
We had a wonderful trip and visited with tons of friends and family. It was harder for me than I thought it would be in that so many activities were planned around lunch and dinner – and our schedule was pretty full. There were a few times that we were rushing off to have lunch somewhere when I was still satisfied from breakfast. I don’t like stepping outside my normal eating routine and schedule, even after 4 months. I’ve been successful thus far for a reason and I’m almost superstitious about changing anything.
We stayed with my Mom, which meant sleeping in twin beds because that what she has in her spare rooms. Fun! Poor hubby’s bed was so uncomfortable that he was pulling the mattress down onto the floor every night for better back support. My room wasn’t much better. Every morning, I rolled out of my twin bed and looked up to see my giant reflection in a mirrored closet door. Hair all wild, eyes all squinty, and flab and fat in all its glory. Not a fun thing to look at in the morning. It was a good time, though, and nice to see everyone.
Before we knew it, we were back at the airport and getting ready to come back home. We boarded the plane and were lucky enough to get row 7, which is the bulkhead right behind first class. Lots of legroom! So there I am, standing in front of my seat and attaching my seat belt extender and…shit. Shit, shit, shit. The armrests in row 7 don’t move. Hubby’s eyes got all big and he asked me if they could bump us to the next flight. They could, yes, but I really just wanted to get home. I decided that I could suffer through the Playdoh Ass Factory one last time.
We took our seats. Hubby helped with my seat belt. I couldn’t sit back because there was too much ass between me and the back of the seat, so I asked hubby to fold up my jacket and give me some extra lumbar support back there. All of a sudden, I feel him put his hand back there and he starts shoving my ass down into the seat…as if he was tucking a shirt into his pants. Push, smoosh, cram, pack. He caught the horrified look on my face and then I just started laughing. He kissed me on the cheek and laughed with me. There were a few tears of humiliation in there, but I was just so grateful to be going home and back to my normal schedule.
Two and a half hours later, we were landing in the sweet, soft spring air of Texas. About 50% of my body was numb and I had a large bruise on my left leg from the arm rest digging into my skin. But I was home. Home, sweet, Texas home.
We’re in the middle of 7 Days of Sanity on my Facebook fan page if you want to head over there and join us. I have a feeling I’ll be working on making exercise a consistent habit for a long time. Let’s keep going with this!
Also, I just have to share this with y’all. I found this in SkyMall magazine on the plane and I really REALLY want to try and get one of these.
It’s really not in my budget at all, but wow…this looks like fun. And those Al-Qaida bugs won’t stand a chance…I’ll be going too fast! And there’s no seat, so there’s no need to tuck my asses into anything – or worry about those tiny bike seats that would have to be removed by a proctologist if I ever sat on one.
I would love to try one of these babies. What a great idea!!!
Click here to visit their website!
One more thing: April was about losing inches, apparently. My goal for May is 339 lbs by the end of the month. It’s time for me to forge ahead and get moving What’s your goal for May?
No time to waste…let’s do this!!
It’s been about a week since I posted and I wanted to post a quick note to y’all to say that I’m here, alive, and doing just fine…I was on vacation and I’ve gotta get my groove back. (Not food-wise, just routine-wise…I hate going off schedule!)
I’m working on a blog post about my time away from Texas but it’s taking longer than I expected. So for those of you who don’t follow my Facebook fan page, I just wanted to say…I’m here…and I’m working on a new post that should be out by tomorrow. :-)
If you’re not following me on Facebook, you might want to…we’re starting another 7 Days of Sanity over there!
See y’all tomorrow. :-)
Today, I’m proud…and quite a little sassy.
I’ve been blogging for a while about the difference in the way my clothes fit. And, of course, I’ll never forget the feeling I had a couple weeks ago when I wore jeans for the first time in two years. Mr. Scale may be moving a little slow, but April seems to be the month of NSV’s: Non-Scale Victories.
This morning when I woke up I realized I haven’t taken my measurements in a little while, so I busted out the ol’ tape measure of doom and started measuring. Imagine my surprise and delight when I did the math and realized I’ve lost a total of 19.5 inches off my body in the last 4 months. Ho…lee…CRAP!
I’ve lost an inch off my neck (do I look like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or something?) I’ve lost 4 inches off my waist, 2.5 inches off my hips, an inch and a half off my thighs, an inch off of the cankles…and a whopping 3 inches off Starsky & Hutch (aka my boobs). I’ve also lost inches on my arms and calves. Only my wrists stayed the same, but I forgive them.
I went to work this morning with a big smile on my face, which was wiped clean for a brief period when a guy I call “Slurpy Slurpersons” was totally motor boating his morning coffee.
But that’s not where this story ends, my friends. No, it is not. Sometime after I text messaged the Hot Mess Hubby to express my heartfelt condolences that my ta-ta’s are 3 inches smaller, a realization began building…slowly…in the back of my mind. 3 inches…hmm…3 inches…off the boobs….hmm….
I bolted out of my office chair and hit the ladies room faster than a vegan with lactose intolerance. I had to see if it was true. I’m sure everyone else thought I just had to pee, but I just needed to take off my bra.
You heard me. I jumped into the nearest stall and took off my bra.
For a little over a year, I’ve had to use these horrible extensions on all my bras because I’m too fat to even wear the biggest bra you can buy in a retail store. No one else knows about it, of course, but it puts a little ding in my morale every morning when I get dressed and I see that damn extension.
I took the extension off and tried to fasten my bra without it…and it fit. Easily!
It was all I could do not to yell “YES!!!” at the top of my lungs, but I didn’t want to run the risk of someone I know seeing me exit the stall with a huge smile on my face. That’d be a quick way to flood the office with constipation rumors. I did a little happy dance in the stall before I hide the extension in my palm and left with my head held high.
Every once in a while during the course of the day I would reach into my purse and run my fingers over that little piece of nylon-lycra…and I would smile. What an amazing feeling to be free of that damn thing. Amazing.
This may seem silly to some, but it’s a pretty big deal to me. I hated having to use an extension on my bra. Removing it was just as big of a deal to me as fitting into those jeans two weeks ago. Another little victory in the battle of the butt. These little victories are adding up.
Other recent non-scale victories: when I look down at my feet now, I only see boobs. It used to be boobs…and then stomach. Now it’s just the boobs. I won’t see my feet for a while. I also have a pair of pants that are so baggy I can pull the waistband up to my chest like an 80 year old man. Not that I want to walk around like that or anything, but I could if I wanted to. I can also take them off without unzipping them. These are the same pants that left a red welt on my waist in December. Sweet!
Even though I hated the bra extension with a passion, I found myself thinking of it with a kind of gratitude. No matter what, the extension kept me from having to order my bras from some specialty catalog that also makes tents & awning covers. I was happy not to need it anymore, but when I thought of just unceremoniously tossing it in the trash, I thought to myself….no. No. Homage must be paid.
I’ll be donating the bra extensions to a women’s shelter along with all my size 32 clothes…but the one extension I took off today will be staying with me. It’s a souvenir. It’s a trophy of war. It’s going in the Hot Mess Hall of Fame.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to keep it in the living room next to the family pictures. What a conversation piece it would be, though! No, the extension is going on my trophy wall…right over the treadmill.
With 185 pounds left to lose out of 219 total, I am on a very long road. I have never enjoyed the journey like I am right now. Time and time again, yo-yo diet after yo-yo diet, I have won little victories like this and just blew right past them. I have not shown respect for the smaller victories that will eventually make up my ultimate victory: hitting my goal weight. What is it they say about the definition of idiocy? It’s doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Well, if I allow myself to blow right past these non-scale victories just like all those other times I’ll just be doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
I’m also, as regular readers of this blog know, a true believer in having FUN through this process. And it was in the spirit of fun that I imagined mounting this sucker on my trophy wall like the head of a ferocious beast I killed myself. Victory is mine. And, because I was in the mood and feeling quite sassy today, I wrote a poem in homage to my bra extension.
Let’s all bow our heads in respect and reverence:
Oh little scrap of nylon-lycra,
Thank you for your sacrifice
You stretched my bra, you held me up
Your support was oh-so-nice
But now I am a smaller girl
The time has come, you see
For me to hang you on the wall
My first symbol of victory!
A place of honor you will have
For you have toiled so much
It was no small feat you had, dear friend
To hold up Starsky & Hutch
Rest in peace, my friend. You served me well.