I’m sensing a trend…an annoying one. Each time I bust through another “set of tens”, I go through a kind of post-euphoric depression when I hit the 8. For example, when I hit 359 I was elated…then I hit 358 and it seemed like forever to get to 357 and 356. Then I hit 355, smack dab in the middle of the tens, and I’m rejuvenated and ready to kick ass all the way through.
Now that I’ve hit 349, it’s happening again. I’m now 348 and I feel like my entire universe is dragging through six feet of thick mud. With such a long road ahead of me before I reach my goal of 155 pounds, I know I need to come up with a plan on how to handle this better. If I continue to whip myself into a frenzy from *78 – *75 pounds it’s not going to take long before I get busted for kicking the crap out of the Little Debbie display at my local grocery store. (And now that the Bag Boy from Hell is back, I don’t need any more grocery store grief!)
I’m a battle-tested veteran of weight loss (and gain) and I can smell a burnout coming. I’ve had this exact feeling a million times before and I’ve always just thrust my chin in the air and forced myself to keep trudging on…fighting the brave fight…until I fall right on my ass. If I don’t come up with a plan, I’ll be back to driving through McDonald’s at lunch and grabbing greasy chips & fatty dip for the Rangers game. Within weeks, I’ll burn myself out in frustration over that little range of three pounds. Well, that ain’t gonna happen. Not this time.
This little range of 3 pounds turns me into a spoiled brat. I suddenly forget about all the personal victories I’ve won up to this point and my morale turns completely negative. Yesterday was a real challenge for me. I woke up in a pissy mood, which was only made worse when I scuffed into the living room and found Hot Mess Hubby’s empty ice cream container. He’d gone to the store after I went to bed and had a little treat while I slept off my Ambien coma. This is perfectly within the rules of our household. Hubby is allowed to cheat on me with ice cream – I just don’t want to know about it. (Suddenly, my life sounds like a sleazy nighttime soap opera but you know what I mean.) He is supposed to hide the evidence and he didn’t…and when I saw the ice cream container, I felt a surge of excitement – just like I do when I walk by the bakery section and smell frosting. I could feel the sugar demons leaping underneath my skin. Just seeing that container made me want ice cream…so I went from pissy to pissy-er in 2 seconds.
Yesterday was hard. Certain people that I find generally annoying on a normal day seemed to have extra flair about them. Just looking at them pissed me off. I spent several hours wanting to eat the entire world. I forced myself to stay put, avoid all people and temptations, and tried to focus on what I know: I’ve lost 33 pounds. I gave up sugar, soda, and fast food. Little Debbie is no longer my best friend. My treadmill no longer gathers dust in a corner. I am not a 381 pound, size 32 person. I am getting healthier every day. I am getting stronger every day. I am a Hot Mess Bad Ass.
My day got better after a few hours. I went home and let the dogs pummel me with their giant paws until I felt my smile coming back. I took them in the backyard and watched them chase each other around the raised beds in our garden. I had to stop Dyson from stealing a tomato. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who wanted to eat everything yesterday.
I pounded the rest of my frustrations out on the treadmill. As I walked, my legs felt heavier than usual and I didn’t want to be there. I focused on the pieces of paper I have taped to the wall in front of the treadmill: comments and emails and Facebook messages from readers. As I walk, your words tell me I’m inspiring…my story is motivating…I read about how much you relate to me and how much you enjoy the way I write about it. The story about the ghosts in my closet touched you deeply. The DIY mammogram made you snort at work. You made your own marbles and have already moved some. All of these things – these emails, comments, and posts – they’re like a salve on my heart when it’s heavy. Suddenly I’m not the only one on the treadmill. You’re all there with me…and I think to myself for the millionth time: Never, never, never give up. I stepped off the treadmill right when Hot Mess Hubby came home. I got a huge hug, a kiss on the top of the head, and a “Good job, babe…you’re doing great.” My world, which had been tilting lazily, was right side up again.
Tonight, I am noticeably better – almost back to my old, cheerful self. The scale didn’t budge again this morning. I’m sitting smack in the middle of 348, trying not to stew in it, still wanting so badly to push myself to 345 where my motivation seems to pick up again. I feel like I’m standing in the middle of the road…in the exact same spot where I’ve given up a million times before. A huge semi-trailer truck is speeding towards me. Emblazoned across the trailer in fiery red paint is the word “FRUSTRATION”. I can feel it getting closer and closer. I’m torn between fear and perseverance. I want to avoid this confrontation and jump in the ditch on the side of the road.
I’ve been here before. I’ve jumped into the ditch countless times, thinking I was fleeing to safety, not realizing that the ground would give out from under me and I would go barreling down into a ravine that would take me weeks to climb out of. Standing in the middle of this road, I feel a very real sense of déjà vu.
I know what happens if I jump in that ditch. I have no desire to do it again. Frustration is speeding towards me and I’m going to stand here and be brave. I’m going to play chicken with a semi truck. I’m not moving.
I’m realizing for the first time that I’ve never dealt with frustration – I’ve always just given up. Obviously that’s worked out well for me, right? Well, I’m done hiding from Frustration and any other big rigs that want to come speeding my way. This is MY road. If Frustration wants through, it’s going to have to knock me over – and I’ll tell you what: that’s going to be pretty damn tough to do.
This whole struggle is just the spoiled brat in my head trying to take over. That’s all it is. I’m doing everything I need to be doing, it’s just suddenly not going fast enough for me. That will change when I hit 345, though. For some reason, it’s only this 3 pound range that makes me want to pull my hair out. I can see that I’m going to have this same issue at 338…328…318…and so on. It’s better that I make a plan for how to deal with this now so I don’t end up in the ditch later. I think it’s time that I faced off with Frustration.
Here I stand in the middle of my road with my healthy food choices and my 7 Days of Sanity to back me up…and nothing is going to make me flinch. I know if I just hunker down, focus on my plan, and wait it out the scale will eventually budge and I will be moving forward again. So come on, Frustration, if you think you’ve got what it takes to deal with a Hot Mess Princess. I’ve got spike strips.
Having been an obese person for quite a long time, I’m no stranger to embarrassing situations – in face, I have extensive experience. My fat girl resume is a veritable list of humiliating interludes. A few of them have been quite heartbreaking, but most of them were just damn funny. I’m the kind of person who would much rather laugh than cry. Okay, maybe I wasn’t laughing at the time…but in retrospect, this is the kind of crap that could only happen to me…and if I have a choice, I’m gonna laugh about it.
I went grocery shopping a few nights back and was shocked as hell to discover that the bag boy at the center of this story is still working there. I haven’t seen him for ages and assumed he’d moved on to his dream job (which is clearly punking fat people). No such luck, though. I stood there horrified, trapped between a rather threatening display of Little Debbie Easter cakes and the Bag Boy from Hell.
(Yes, the Little Debbies were on clearance…she is such a nuclear bitch!)
Of course, I was so alarmed that I went straight home and updated my Facebook Fan Page to let all of you know that the Bag Boy from Hell was back. I promised to tell the story here…so here it goes:
One chilly Texas winter night not too long ago, I was standing in the check-out line where this very same bag boy was working. In addition to a ton of food, I also had two large packs of firewood that were a little hard for me to lift into the cart (just got my nails did!) So, when I paid for my groceries and the bag boy asked me if I needed help out, I said yes.
As we walked to the car, we exchanged the normal pleasantries that are customary during the bag oy/customer walk through the parking lot.
“Isn’t it a chilly night…”
“Yes, I do have all my Christmas shopping done…”
“Oh, you want to be a rapper someday? How nice.”
Run, Dianne. RUN.
As I’m unlocking my car, he starts rapp’in. Badly.
At first I thought he was being funny, but then I realized he was dead serious.
The only line I can remember besides the chorus was “So I needed me some coin, got a job atta Kroger”. After that, I was acutely aware that everyone in the parking lot was looking in our direction. People going in and out of the store slowed down just to watch. A family loading groceries in their car completely stopped what they were doing. The owner of the effing Chinese food place next to the store came out and stood in the doorway.
I stood there, helpless, as P. Diddy Junior rapped at the top of his lungs while throwing my firewood ON TOP of the bottles of diet soda in my back seat. Just when I’m thinking it can’t possibly get any worse, he gets to the chorus:
“So I load’in up ya car and you take’in it all home
You gonna EAT IT UP, EAT IT UP, EAT IT UP…YEAH!
You gonna EAT IT UP, EAT IT UP, EAT IT UP…YEAH!”
Well, I’ll tell ya peeps…there’s nothing a big fat girl loves more than to have some Tupac wanna-be loading her car full of food and yelling “You gonna EAT IT UP, EAT IT UP, EAT IT UP…YEAH!” over and over. It felt like an hour before he loaded my damn groceries in the car, and then I peeled out for home.
Thanks, Diddy. Thanks a bunch.
Not too long after that, I noticed he wasn’t around anymore and I thought he either found another job or was fired. Perhaps he started rapping “Smack a bitch and steal her Snickers” to the store manager’s chubby wife and she took offense. Can’t imagine why.
Now he’s back…and I have to choose my check-out lane with extreme caution again. Of course, I can always try and beat him at his own game. I could just get jiggy myself and take the words right out of his mouth…check it, yo:
I gave up sugar and soda, I’m a fat girl’s Yoda
I’m gett’in lean and mean and I’m eat’in some mo green
Yo, I got smarts in my nogg’in and I love to do da blogg’in
I got my marbles, found my niche – Mr Scale is my bitch
Made a purse outta my pants, come on, y’all, let’s dance
Shit just got real. Word. Peace out.
When he addressed the Harrow School in October of 1941, during World War II, Winston Churchill looked across the crowd and said “Never, never, never give up!”
There are many famous quotes attributed to Winston Churchill, but this is one that especially motivates me. It reminds me to keep my focus where it needs to be. It is what I say to myself when I have a weak moment – when I’m thinking of picking up the phone and ordering pizza or talking myself out of getting on the treadmill.
Today is Winston Churchill Day – and, as such, I feel particularly inspired to pay homage to a man who’s life and wisdom have motivated me in such a positive way.
Winston Churchill was no stranger to issues buried deep in his childhood. He had a very distant relationship with his father and, having been born in a privileged family, rarely saw his mother. He didn’t do well in school. His father didn’t expect much of him and didn’t consider him particularly bright.
Churchill rose above his own adversity and ended up leading Britain through World War II. He gave the “Never give up” speech to the Harrow School just two months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In fact, he had a heart attack when he was visiting President Roosevelt at the White House in December of 1941.
He served in many distinguished positions in the UK during his amazing life.
On April 9th, 1963, President John F. Kennedy declared Winston Churchill an honorary citizen of the United States – which is why we recognize it today. Bet you didn’t know that, did ya?
When he died at the ripe old age of 90, the Queen of England attended his funeral.
Another Churchill quote: ”Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Amen!
I’m actually reading a biography about him right now. I was wasting time on Pinterest a few weeks back (shocker!) when I came across this quote:
That was the clincher for me. I already knew he was the one who said “Never never never give up” – but when I saw this quote, I thought “Who was this guy?” I downloaded his biography on my Kindle Fire and, except for a brief stint when I plowed through all three Hunger Games books in a matter of days, I’ve been reading about this amazing man.
The World War II generation always inspires and amazes me, so it’s no surprise to me that I find Churchill so interesting. My father was a WW II veteran and was well decorated for his service in the Phillipines, having been awarded a nice handful of medals – including two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star. My mother regularly attended USO dances and, like many young women in her community, assembled fighter jet cockpits in a re-purposed vacuum cleaner factory in Chicago. (I’m the 5th of 6 children…mom was older when she had me. :-) People always do a double take when I tell them my parents were part of the Greatest Generation.)
I wear this pendant around my neck every day:
I bought it a while back because it was motivating to me – in fact, I really wish that the engraved version had been available back when I bought it. I never take it off. When I see it in the mirror or my fingers play with it while I’m concentrating on something, it reminds me to never lose focus. I think of this quote and my mind is immediately re-focused onto my goal…onto what’s most truly important to me in this quest to change my life for the better.
I still catch myself saying things like “I’ve only lost 32 pounds” when people ask me what I’m doing and how I’m doing it. Even though I can’t see a physical difference in how I look, I feel it in my clothes. I see it on the scale and the tape measure. So when people ask me how I’m doing this, I tell them what’s true for me: the most important thing is to keep your focus…and never, never, never give up.
Thank you, Winston, for being a force of change in our world…and in my life.
Day 7 is done and today is REST DAY! (Or it was…I know this is coming late!)
I did 6 of 7 days of insanity, losing 1 day on Wednesday when I had a migraine and was in a stupor. How did you do?
I meant what I said when I declared that I was going to pick this right back up again tomorrow. Seven more days of sanity starts tomorrow for me. I absolutely need to make consistent exercise a habit – and it’s going to require the same persistence I applied to getting my eating habits in line.
I’m going to move the tracking of 7 Days of Sanity over to my Facebook Fan Page, however, as it’s just not possible for me to update the blog every single day (and those of you who subscribe by email will probably be thankful I’m not spamming your email every day with Sanity updates, right!) If you’d like to join the challenge, I’m going to try using Facebook events and see how well that works. Then you can share with friends and, hopefully, we’ll all help motivate each other to start healthy habits.
This is a short post today, as it’s Easter (which means in the Hot Mess Household that the hubby sleeps on his ass all day and I clean everything myself…don’t get me started). I’ll be back tomorrow to share one of my big motivators with you.
Speaking of motivating…I moved another marble this morning. 33 pounds and counting.
339 by the end of the month…I’ve got this.
When I rejoiced in my last post that I could finally fit back into my size 30 jeans for the first time in 2 years, I also promised to tell you what happened to the last pair of size 32 jeans I owned…so here it goes:
Way back in 2009, I lost some weight (that I ended up gaining back) and dropped from a size 32 to a size 30 – which I’ve just now done again. (For the LAST time…hollah!) I realized that I had dropped a size when I was walking up the stairs in our home and my size 32 jeans fell down around my ankles, nearly sending me rolling in a pantless heap to the bottom of the stairs.
Sometimes fashion can be so dangerous.
I vowed to get rid of all my size 32 clothes, effectively burning all bridges – but I felt that respect and reverence should be paid to the jeans that lovingly covered all four of my asses for so long.
But what to do with them, I wondered…
I wanted to do something that was both fun and motivating. Something that would be useful, perhaps…yet would help me to remember that I never EVER want to wear these jeans again. And that’s when it hit me…
If you’re one of my regular readers, you already know that I am a self-proclaimed “handbag ho”. I love handbags. I am an addict. In fact, if someone from Dooney & Burke came over and dangled a purse over my treadmill I would probably run myself to death trying to grab it.
Here lies Dianne…ran herself to death over a rather divine looking satchel.
Do you remember when blue jean handbags were all the rage? How cute is this?
I always wanted one and never got one. And then I heard a little voice in my head say “Hey! I’ve got a pair of jeans I’m not going to use again!!!”
Yes. Yes, it’s exactly what you’re thinking. I took that pair of size 32 jeans and I made myself a BIG ASS TOTE BAG!
Look at how ROOMY this fabulous tote is! Y’all just know I’m the envy of all my friends with this fabulously spacious tote, right?
AND to make sure I stay focused on my goal and remember my 381 pound beginning, I placed a cupcake patch on the tote’s ass. Reminder: eat too many of THESE and you’ll be back in these jeans again…so JUST SAY NO!!!!
(No, I’m not drunk in this picture…just giddy with excitement over my amazing new tote bag!)
For those of you who are wondering, YES…I really use this tote bag. Those ghetto .99 cent reusable bags just tremble in fear when I go shopping…they can’t hold a fraction of the shit I can cram in this bad boy.
I can’t sew for shit, that much is clear. I used pink bandanas for the shoulder strap and I sewed off the legs in an uneven line, but oh well! Trust me, when someone sees me lugging $300 in groceries out of the grocery store in the ass of my old jeans they’re not going to point and yell “Hey, the bottom seam is uneven, lady!”
For me, this was a perfect and FUN project for me to do that would give me a good giggle and yet help me remember one simple fact: put the wrong kind of groceries in here and you’ll be buying size 32′s again!
Fashion can be so motivating.
Just a little something I like to call…
We’ll wrap up 7 Days of Sanity tomorrow. Happy Easter everyone!!
** I got the image of that adorable blue jean handbag from Worn Again, in case you want to check them out. I have no affiliation to the seller, I just like to give credit where credit is due!