Tomorrow is scale day. I’m hoping to hit my goal of 349 tomorrow, but I woke up with a rapidly declining attitude and I’ve been trying to figure out why. I think I know…
Although I’ve been kicking ass lately, there is still the matter of the week and a half when my exercise plan was on hold. I had walked my last workout in the old shoes and the new ones had to be ordered. I made a judgment call and decided not to work out, fearing a stress fracture if I did another 7 Days of Sanity – and while I don’t regret that decision, I’m starting to realize that I may regret it tomorrow when I step on the scale.
On top of that, I was rendered immobile by the 7 Dwarfs of the Apocalypse (by the way, I left them in California…do you think they’ll find their way back to Texas by next month?) Overall, not a great workout month for the Hot Mess Princess.
I’ve long since learned the lesson that I’ll get out of this exactly what I put in it. No matter how valid my reasoning was, I may not hit my goal tomorrow…and the perfectionist inside me is just seething about it. This is ridiculous, of course, because I don’t even know if I’ve fallen short yet…but my attitude has been rapidly declining all morning. My inner demons are getting too close to the surface and I don’t like it.
Two very specific demons are poking at me this morning: Bitter & Pissy. They’re a couple of real douche bags and I don’t need them dancing around in my head right now. They’ve caused plenty of damage in the past when my attitude has been on the decline. They love to send me headed straight for the Little Debbie’s. Not happening today. Today I win, they lose.
Every time I even get a whiff of a setback ahead, I’m so thankful for the fact that my inner Hot Mess Bad Ass comes out and clears the road ahead. I remind myself of what happens if I give in to Bitter & Pissy: negativity, unhealthy eating, lots of tears, and defeat. HELL…NO. I’ve been down that road, I know where it goes. Not interested.
At the moment, the only thing I can think of that will battle Bitter & Pissy is music. Music can lift my spirits faster than anything…except maybe winning that $540 million mega-millions jackpot tonight. One thing at a time.
Right now I need to focus on getting rid of this nasty attitude, so here I sit with my ear buds firmly tucked in…listening to every “feel good” piece of music on my Amazon Cloud Player. And it’s working. I know you can’t see it, but I’ve busted out in a “chair boogie” several times already.
I am focused on putting the brakes on Bitter & Pissy’s downward spiral. I don’t care who walks by my desk and catches me move’in like Jagger in my chair, it’s worth it. My attitude is on the upswing. The only thing going down is the scale – and I’ll dance with my demons if that’s what it takes to get it done.
See y’all tomorrow. Wish me luck.
Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle…especially not YOU.
When it comes to exercise, even those of us who struggle at making it a habit have our favorites. Some of us enjoy running or walking outside, others go mountain biking. Some play tennis or take aerobics classes. For me, it’s walking…and it’s the treadmill.
It wasn’t always this way. During a stretch in 2009 when I was unemployed, I was struggling with my beloved treadmill. It was in the guest room collecting dust, facing a blank white wall. Boring. Friends and family had all kinds of suggestions for me to try:
• Move a television in the room and watch tv while I walk
• Take a good book and read
• Move the treadmill to the living room so I didn’t feel so isolated
• Vary my exercise routine with some bike riding mixed in
Isn’t it funny how everyone you know is suddenly brimming with advice when you embark on a healthy eating or fitness goal? It’s amazing how many experts just spring up out of the ground like the critters in that “Whack a Mole” game. I recently read a quote by my other husband, Robert Downey Jr, that nicely sums up what to do in the face of unsolicited advice:
Well, I didn’t listen to dear Robert and I tried everyone’s suggestions. Sort of. We didn’t have the money for a second television for the guest room. I tried reading, but I would get so absorbed in the story that I would actually forget to breathe. When it comes to reading, I discovered that I don’t like to multi-task.
After much agonizing, I had the Hot Mess Hubby drag the treadmill into the living room. This went against every fiber of my being. For years, I have dangled a very financially unrealistic goal over my head: to have a home so tastefully and fabulously decorated that it looks like it came right from the pages of a Pottery Barn catalog. Obviously, a treadmill is completely out of place in this scenario – unless Pottery Barn comes out with the Rustic Treadclimber 2000 with a realistic tree bark frame, canvas slip covered belt, and whimsical votive candle holders to match.
Nevertheless, I had the hubs drag the treadmill out into the living room and put it in a corner so I could watch tv while I walked. Hated it in 3 minutes. That’s when I realized: I don’t want to have to pay attention to anything else when I’m walking. I want to zone out while I’m walking. After only a few days, I knew it had to be moved again.
I was unemployed at the time and my schedule was pretty clear every day – so I decided to try something new. I would get up at the crack of dawn and go walking on the trail that runs right through my neighborhood. It’s a good 22 miles or so of paved path that goes right through the woods, linking neighborhoods together and creating quite a beautiful place to run, walk, or bike. I loved walking outside, in spite of the fact that the Texas summer was fast approaching. It was so peaceful to be out there with the trees and the birds…and the squirrels. Beautiful. There was only one problem…
I am a city girl from southern California. I was not raised in rural Texas like the Hot Mess Hubby. Add in my intense fear of anything creepy crawly and we’ve got ourselves a bit of a problem.
As I was walking down the path one day, I approached a foot bridge over a creek when I saw it on the path ahead: a bug. Not a mere ladybug or grasshopper, the latter of which would have been enough to send me into a screaming frenzy. No, nothing like that. This was a cicada – and it was bigger than my first car. (Bugs 101: it’s pronounced si-KAY-duh. Like Al Qaeda, but for bugs. Probably not a coincidence either. I like them both about the same.)
I stood on the path and watched as it crawled down into a hole in the cement, which it probably chewed itself. It was certainly big enough to chew cement. I shudder just thinking about it, even now. I scurried around it very quickly. Just as I was congratulating myself for being so brave (brave = not peeing my pants), I ran into his older sibling about 300 feet up the path. It sat in the middle of the trail, fluttering its wings at me as if to say “Bring it, bitch!” As it took flight, so did I…back up the path towards home. Screw this! Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him fly off in the direction of the dog park…probably on his way to grab a terrier or two for lunch.
I decided to try the path in the other direction. I walked very quietly by the cicada hole in the cement, lest I wake him from his creepy nap and send him buzzing at me. Once clear of “danger”, I set off in the other direction and tried to shake off the creepy crawly feeling.
I focused on the big, bright blue, beautiful Texas sky and the gorgeous green grass & woods. I was instantly glad I’d decided to be “brave” (retreat and go the other way). I was determined to make this a good walk. Two bunnies were eating grass in a clearing in the woods. Adorable. A squirrel scampered up a nearby tree. It was almost as if I was a Disney princess, dancing my way through the woods to a merry tune without a care in the world.
As I approached a bend in the trail, I saw something on the edge of the path ahead. Another bunny? A raccoon, perhaps? What else could possibly be on this trail on this absolutely perfect day?
I could see its head sticking out from a hole under the path ahead. What was it, though? I stopped in my tracks. As if on que, a big, black 3 ½ foot long freaky deaky snake shot out and slithered into the woods. That sucker was fast. Not as fast as me.
Even though he didn’t slither in my direction, I screamed bloody murder and RAN back up the path. I screamed and I ran, I ran and I screamed…until I got back to the trail entrance. I stood on the sidewalk in my neighborhood, doing that wiggly ninja dance we all do when we walk through a spider web or see something incredibly creepy. To add insult to mental injury, a cute guy on a bike whizzed by just as I was checking to see if I actually did piss my pants. (I didn’t.)
I did the walk of shame back to my house. Actually, it was more like the waddle of shame. Never run with an extra 200 pounds of weight hanging off your body. My back, my butt, my knees…everything was suddenly hurting.
I look forward to walking the trail in the fall and winter, when the snakes and the 30 pound cicadas have gone back to hell – or wherever it is they come from. The trail is beautiful no matter what time of year it is, although it’s unbearable for this California girl in the hot Texas summer.
The trail has taught me to appreciate my treadmill for the non-threatening, bug and snake-free zone that it is. And my treadmill will help me get down to a weight where I can go bike riding and rollerblading on the trail, which seems like much more fun to me than running away from bugs. At least I’ll have wheels and I can just zoom by the creepy crawlies when I see them, flipping them the bird as I whizz by their startled asses.
After a lot of eye rolling on his part, Hot Mess Hubby finally agreed to move the treadmill into our bedroom – where it sits happily next to Hemi’s cat tree. She keeps an eye on my form while I’m sweating like a pig. Occasionally she reaches up a tiny black paw and swats at me as if to say “Faster, Momma! You still got four butts chase’in you!” I don’t have the heart to tell her that her belly looks like she swallowed a large grapefruit. Chubby.
Most importantly, I can see the treadmill every day. It’s a huge, honking reminder that I need to get on it. It’s impossible to ignore and it’s no longer standing in the way of the Pottery Barn fantasy living room that I will never be able to afford.
In other news, it’s 4 days to my showdown with Mr. Scale. My goal is to hit 349 by the end of the month…which is Saturday. Hitting 349 has an extra little victory attached to it: I will officially be closer to 300 pounds than 400 pounds. Then I’ll be working my way down to the next set of tens: 339 pounds.
I think Mr. Scale is worried. As I stumbled in the bathroom to brush my teeth this morning, I swear I saw him shudder a little. He knows. I’m coming for him and he knows.
In the meantime, here’s hoping we all stay clear of exercise fail!
One of my readers, Jacquie, commented on one of my posts a few days back and I was reminded of this article. I shared it with her and wanted to share it with all of you as well. It’s great information – and there’s no such thing as too much great information.
No matter what anyone tells you, information is the most valuable weight loss tool you’ll ever have. No miracle pill, no clever device, no special diet can ever come close to the value of real, truthful information.
It seems like a million years ago, but I still remember being a young adult and spending hours in the bookstore with my freshly cashed paycheck burning a hole in my pocket. The first time I ever spent time in the self-help section I found a book called “Compulsive Overeating”. I didn’t want that to be about me, but I knew deep down it was.
Needless to say, it wasn’t a “how to” manual. That book and dozens of others finally opened my eyes and helped me crawl out of denial, find a therapist (or two or three), and start to piece my life together. Bookstores were my new drug. I remember the thrill I got every time I stepped inside a bookstore, looking at all those books and thinking “What else do I not know about? What else can I learn…change…or just understand better?” A fire was lit back in those days – and it has never stopped burning. Books, magazines, Google…I know I’ll find the answers if I look hard enough.
Not too long ago, I stumbled on an article about the different stages of change – specifically healthy changes. The article specifically addresses exercise, but can be applied to starting any healthy habit. I had decided that I was going to “start eating healthy” again. I was going through my usual stages of “tough love” that I always went through: throwing out the junk food, dusting off the exercise videos, stocking up on healthy food that I didn’t really like but told myself I had to eat. I was very pissy about it. And I realized something: I didn’t want to make these changes. I wanted to want to make the changes…but I wasn’t ready.
As you’ll see by Linda Melone’s wonderfully informative article “Prepare Your Mind to Change Your Body”, I was in Stage 3. I had made some changes, but I was definitely not ready for Stage 4: the GO! stage – yet my perfectionistic, all or nothing, black and white mindset was pushing me to it…even against the will of my subconscious. I was buying the veggies, trashing the pizza rolls, and already coming up with excuses for not exercising. My heart wasn’t in it.
This article made me look the truth squarely in the eye and say “Okay, I’m really not ready.” I felt like the weakest person alive because I wasn’t ready. The broccoli went bad before I had the chance to choke it down. I did buy pizza rolls again, but I stopped eating fast food every day. Soon it was only once a week. I still bought ice cream way too much, but not candy bars and other crap. Admitting that I wasn’t ready gave me a very subtle underlying sense of freedom from the guilt and the “coulda-shoulda-woulda” monster that was always at my heels.
For years, I was caught in a tail spin. I would catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror at work on Friday…and say “That’s it! I’ve had it!! I’m starting a diet Monday!” Then I went out for 700 calorie meals with the girlfriends. Saturday I was curled up on the couch with a good book and a pint of mint chip. Sunday I was at the movies with a 10,000 calorie tub of popcorn and a diet coke. And then there I was on Sunday night throwing out all the junk food, stocking up on healthy food, and resolving that this time I’m going to do it. I’d starve myself with diet food on Monday. By Tuesday, I was in the drive thru screaming for a Shamrock shake.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
I was finally ready on December 15th, 2011. As I stood in my living room, eating one chocolate covered butter toffee after another without even really tasting them…the light finally when on. I cried. I realized…this is absolutely nuts. I walked to the kitchen and tossed the entire tin of butter toffee in the trash can. Then I brushed my teeth for about 15 minutes. It was a Thursday night.
I didn’t need to wait for Monday. There was no grandiose tossing of the junk food in the house. There was no trip to the grocery store to buy food I knew I wasn’t going to eat. There was no dusting off of the exercise videos – I knew I wasn’t ready for that yet.
Revving up for GO stage in 3…2….1….
I gave up sugar and fast food that day. Ten days later, I gave up diet soda. Three months later, I’ve lost 27 pounds…and I honestly can’t tell you anything I’ve done that’s significantly different than any other of my million-and-one tries…except that I didn’t force myself to change.
Ready doesn’t happen overnight like we wish it would. Ready happens in stages. Be still and quiet for a bit…you’ll know in your gut when it’s GO time.
So…what stage are you in?
Oh, and that bookstore I used to spend hours in? I carry one in my purse now: the Kindle Fire.
Yesterday was fun. I raffled off the Meal Measure portion control tool after having tested it and determined it’s not extremely helpful in the Hot Mess household. But there were plenty of you who did think you could use it and I was very happy to raffle it off to a good home where it will be used and loved appropriately. Congratulations, Emily!
The raffle got me to thinking, though: what a great way to have fun! I’ve always loved raffles. There’s nothing like the excitement of winning something, is there? Who doesn’t love winning stuff! I think this is the perfect way to celebrate my weight loss milestones with everyone who reads my blog and supports me. Here are the milestones that are victories along the way to my goal weight:
331 lbs – Vindication! I lost 50 lbs in 2010, only to get cocky and “take a break” for my nephew’s wedding. I completely derailed myself and gained all 50 lbs back. Hitting 331 will exorcise that demon for good!
299 lbs – Holy crap! I’ll be in the 200’s. I will completely say goodbye to the 300’s forever. I will have lost 82 lbs at this point. I’d say hitting 299 on the scale is worthy of quite a celebration!
281 lbs – I will have lost 100 lbs! Go me!!!
265 lbs – This is what I weighed when I met my husband. Enough said, right?
225 lbs – A long time ago, I went from my (then) top weight of 295 pounds to 225 pounds. It was an amazing achievement, even if I lost it in a very unhealthy way. I hit a wall at 225 lbs and couldn’t lose another pound. I also started dating again and it didn’t take long for my fragile self-confidence to be shaken away. I gave up and started eating again and before I knew it….301 lbs. Seeing 225 on the scale will exorcise this mental demon and really give me something to smile about.
199 lbs – Today, at 354 lbs this seems like a dream. I can’t think about it for too long or I’ll get discouraged. Clearly, being in the 100’s will be an amazing victory for me. I haven’t been there since I was 20 years old. We’re going to have to seriously party for this one.
181 lbs – OMG, I will have lost 200 lbs! Freak’in AWESOME!!
155 lbs – GOAL WEIGHT! Let me just say that it’s been a long time since I’ve been under 200 lbs…so if I look absolutely fabulous at 165 lbs or…whatever weight, I will adjust my goal weight accordingly. It’s not about the final number for me, it’s about being healthy and looking great at the end of all this.
Eight milestones. When I look back on this list, it makes me smile. I feel excited…and a little scared. Mostly excited. After 3 months, I still feel like my head is in the right place and my feet are firmly on the right path. I feel good.
I may decide to add in some NSV’s (Non Scale Victories) at some point. For example, dropping a size or finally leaving the glamorous world of elastic waists behind me. Those things should be celebrated as well, don’t you think?
For now, the scale is holding firmly at 354 and that is actually a very good thing. Why? Because the 7 Dwarfs of the Apocalypse are very close -in fact, Bloaty has already come for his visit…the little bastard.
COURTESY WARNING FOR MY MALE READERS: Read at your own risk from this point forward. There’s girl talk come’in!
Bloaty the evil dwarf is here. Cranky arrived a few days ago. That means that Starsky & Hutch are hurt’in big time. I probably need to explain that one, don’t I?
Yeah, well…when I was a teenager it was cool to name your boobies. It never occurred to me to name them after GIRLS. Hello, Dianne? Anyone home??? No, I decided to name them after the two coolest, grooviest detectives in California: Starsky & Hutch. Shut up…I was just a kid. Anyway, I told that story to the Hot Mess Hubby once and he hasn’t stopped teasing me since.
But I digress…Starsky & Hutch are hurt’in. You girls know what that means: I’m taking on water like a sponge. In fact, I’m not wearing my wedding ring today because my fingers are a little swollen. So if the scale says 354 and I’m holding water….muahahahaha!!! That sucker’s going down when the Dwarfs pack their bags next week, right? Right!
My goal is still 349 by the end of the month. 5 more pounds to go. I’ve got this!! Every day that I’m motivated and focused is like a gift to me and you are all part of that. You keep me honest and you keep me talking about it instead of eating over it. Thank you!
What milestones and victories are you looking forward to in your own weight loss efforts?
This post will be super short because I just have some quick & dirty housekeeping things to share tonight…then I must skidaddle off to bed. I’m about 30 minutes into Ambien-land and I don’t want to bid on any eBay auctions!!
Tonight, I had the drawing to give away the Meal Measure portion control tool. (Congratulations, Emily!) This was such fun that I’ve decided to have more raffles in the future…and I’ve decided that they will coincide with some important milestone for me. More details on that to follow, but I can tell you that the first milestone will be when I hit 331 pounds. I’ll explain why later!
Also, for those of you who aren’t on my Facebook fan page…I got my new walking shoes today! Yay!!! I drove out to the store in the middle of a thunderstorm to get ‘em. So happy!! Now, we’re having severe weather tonight and Mr Dyson was quite snuggly – so I didn’t get on the treadmill tonight. I’m wearing the shoes around the house tonight and can’t wait to walk on the treadmill tomorrow!!
The 7 Dwarfs of the Apocalypse are arriving soon…the bastards. There will be some days this week when I don’t feel like walking, let me just tell you. I feel confident that Mr. Scale will be my bitch again after the 7 Dwarfs leave…just you wait. For now, the scale is floating dead on at 354…which is fine with me. I’m eating healthy and doing great – the only thing I wish I could change was the week and a half long wait for my dang shoes!
I wish you all a good night tonight…I’m going to hit the hay and listen to the thunderstorms. I’ll be back soon. Until then: