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.