Category Archives: Get Real!

Alright, that’s enough…

This year has been unlike any other year of our lives. I’m not sure how yours is going, but as far as I’m concerned 2020 can go straight to hell. Damn! Can we just bury this thing in the yard and move forward? Ugh.

When the pandemic hit, I was blindsided with having to say goodbye to a job I loved at the best company I’ve ever worked for…but, being the scrappy girl I am, I quickly set about making a plan for how I was going to make the most of my time. We all saw how that went. It all tanked. Why? Because I’ve never been through a pandemic before and, well, it turns out I don’t handle isolation and global panic very well. At all.

For the last several months, I’ve been sort of….yessing myself. Don’t want to get dressed today? It’s okay, Dianne. Pandemic happens. Only want to eat chips today? It’s okay, girl. Pandemic happens. Don’t feel like moving off the couch? Hey, it’s a pandemic. Get the picture?

My clothes don’t fit right anymore. The weird funky things that used to happen to me when I only ever ate junk food are coming back…like itchy shins at bed time. I have no idea why that’s a thing for me, but it is. And it’s back. And I just feel GROSS. I feel bigger and I feel gross. And now I’ve realized…in trying to be all “hey, it’s okay” and gentle with myself (I’ve been telling myself it’s self-care to be indulgent), I’ve gained 44.7 pounds back.

That is ridiculous, y’all. I did that. In the name of “self care”. I indulged myself into a weight gain that is anything BUT self care. I neglected myself and told myself it was okay because it’s self care. LOL. I mean…what kind of jacked up thought process is that? Lordy!

So here’s the thing: I don’t want to indulge myself anymore. Clearly, I need to redefine what “self care” means to me before I gain back all of the 132 pounds I lost. But I also know this: self care does not mean to go all boot campy on myself and beat myself into oblivion trying to get rid of the weight I brought back. And it doesn’t mean spending even one second on chiding myself for the decisions I’ve made during one of the shittiest years ever. So what does it mean?

Well, this morning I crawled out of bed and got on the scale to face the consequences of what I’ve been doing. That’s how I know about that magical 44.7 pounds. And I put myself on a 3 day “pouch reset” plan. For gastric sleeve patients, that’s basically going back on liquids. So today I’ll have 3 protein shakes that will give me all the nutrition I need…and I’ll allow myself an iced coffee. My iced coffees don’t have any sugar in them except for literally 1 tablespoon of creamer…so they’re pretty harmless.

Another casualty of this self indulgent lifestyle: my house. It’s a mess. Every room is a mess. So this morning the dishwasher has been running non stop and I’ve put quite a few steps on my Fitbit putting things away and just…behaving like a responsible adult who gives a shit about her home. There have been quite a few times this morning where I’ve had to resist the urge to feel guilty about the state I’ve let everything fall into. I’ve already decided that I’m not going to get super down on myself for all of this, though, because…pandemic. While I no longer believe that laying around and eating crap is okay for me to do, I still say getting negative about what I did is not helpful.

Now that I’ve taken a good look at where I am it’s time to get busy. Not perfect, just busy. I’m not eating one more bit of crap. This might get tricky because there are cookies in my house. Lots of cookies. Christmas cookies. Gingerbread cookies. Shortbread cookies. Yep. Hubby has self control. Me, not so much.

For now, they’ll stay in the house. If I start giving them the side eye then they’ll have to go. But for now they can stay because my resolve to actually take care of myself is much stronger than my desire for a cookie.

I’ll keep updating as I lose the 44.7. We all know I know how to do it. LOL. I’ve done it a few times now, haven’t I? Funny how I thought self care was essentially packing on a bunch of weight so I’d have to work hard all over again. 🙂 That wasn’t self care. Thank God I had the realization before it got worse.

All of this has given me one other idea as well. Usually this time of year has me reviewing how I did with my New Years resolutions. I typically set 5 or 6 for myself and I enjoy checking in and seeing how I did by the end of the year. When I started trying to think of fresh ones for next year, I decided almost instantly that I will set only one resolution for 2021. Only one…and it’s a big one that I didn’t hit this year:

Hit 225 on the scale. That number means something to me. It’s not my goal weight, but it means something. And that will be my sole resolution for 2021.

Okay, I’m calling shenanigans!

I’m thinking I need to send Beets Blu a batch of nuclear brownies or something (trust me, I bake some pretty awesome brownies). If it wasn’t for them offering me a free digital scale to review on Amazon, my current situation might have gone on even longer.

Last year my support team at my doctor’s office finally got through to me and convinced me to try NOT getting on the scale every morning when I wake up. Now, before you jump to any conclusions and say “Hey, Hot Mess, everyone knows you’re not supposed to do that” let me explain…

When I used to get on the scale every morning it wasn’t your typical “OMG I’ve gained a pound? Son of a bitch!!!” Not even close. I’m a woman. That means the numbers on the scale are going to swing back and forth. I’ve made my peace with that, within about 5 pounds. I’m really not going to sweat it. Getting on the scale every morning was just a touch base kind of thing. I just needed to see that I was still operating within those 5 pounds. If the scale ever tipped to 6 or 7 pounds, I’d walk a little more…eat a little less. I’d make adjustments appropriately. This is how I maintain my weight loss. The scale is a tool and a friend, not something that I use to punish myself with.

Enter the Beets Blu company. They contacted me recently, asking if I’d like to review their new Bluetooth scale. The Bluetooth idea intrigued me, so I said yes. My review will be coming next week, but let’s just say it’s a pretty sweet scale.

I also have to say that it’s pretty disconcerting when a talking scale gives you bad news. Really bad news. Like…super shitty.

I weighed 270 pounds when my support team told me to stop getting on the scale. They told me to judge my weight by the fit of my clothes…and that’s what I’ve been doing for the better part of a year. I’m still wearing the same jeans and tops. In fact, I’ve lost inches in some areas. So imagine my shock when the talking scale said “294.3 pounds”.

I’m sorry, what???

That’s right, peeps. In spite of the fact that my clothes still fit, I’ve gained 24.3 damn pounds. What. The. Fuck.

Now, I freely admit that some of it could be muscle…but I also know I didn’t gain 24 pounds of muscle. LOL. Let’s not get ridiculous. I’m not an American Ninja Warrior, I’m just a Hot Mess Princess.

I’m all for following the advice of medical professionals, but in this case I should have listened to myself. My relationship with the scale was working for me. It was working well. I never should have gone against my own instincts on this one.

Add to that the fact that I’ve been dealing with a shitload of foot injuries since I started trying to increase my physical activity and we’ve got a problem. I was just getting back into it again. I was getting 10,000 steps a day on my Fitbit. I was starting to shoot beyond that, even. Then I got the stress fracture…and my podiatrist took me off my feet. And, honestly, the injury was so painful that I couldn’t even stand at work (I have one of those sit/stand desk things…and I hate not using it).

The stress fracture heeled and the pain from that was gone, but my foot was still killing me. Why? Podiatrist said there’s a bone out of place in my foot and I needed physical therapy. Well…great. That’s awesome…because I married for love, not money. We’re broke. We have termites to kill, a truck with a broken clutch, and a shitload of other stuff going on. The co-insurance on physical therapy wasn’t really in the immediate budget.

I’ve been sitting on my ass a lot. Sure, there were medical reasons behind it, but the fact of the matter is that I would not have gained 24 effing pounds if I was still getting on the scale every morning. I know that’s true like I know Kardashians are assholes.

24 pounds, y’all. That’s a real dick punch. If I had one. Kinda glad I don’t. HMH probably is too. When it comes to not getting on the scale being the best thing for me, I’m calling shenanigans. Or bullshit. Whatever.

So tomorrow I’m going to wake up and be the girl who gets on the scale every morning. Because that’s my tool to take care of myself and I don’t use it to beat myself up…and no one is going to tell me differently. This is what works for me, so this is what I’m going to do for me.

Shit, isn’t that what I’m always preaching? I really borked this up. I didn’t listen to myself at all.

There is a little good news in all of this: I had my first physical therapy appointment last Friday and it was awesome. I had three different experiences with physical therapy years ago and all of them resulted in the same thing: no results at all. Sure, it was for another foot problem, but it didn’t give me high hopes for the treatment. Honestly, I was expecting the same this time. I’ve never been happier to be proven wrong.

At the most, I’ll need two more treatments to get my foot back to normal…but it already feels so much better. It’s like a brand new foot. They gave me exercises to do to help strengthen my foot and ensure that I keep the stress fractures away. I finally feel like I have a little hope in the whole foot injury department.

And what sense does it make to freak out over this? I’m a roll up my sleeves kind of girl…so here we go. Here’s my plan:

Effective immediately, the scale is my friend again. That’s just who I am.

For the next three days, I’m going to do a good old fashioned reset on my tummy. This is something gastric sleeve patients do from time to time…and my support team actually recommends it. Monday thru Wednesday will be the liquid diet of protein shakes that I was on the week after surgery.

Per my physical therapist’s orders, I’m to try and stress out my foot a little bit after today. Monday I’ll be increasing my steps. Tuesday I’ll be walking all over an airport anyway…and I’ll have water aerobics that night. Wednesday I’m back at physical therapy. Thursday I have water aerobics again…and maybe I’ll try a little elliptical or treadmill before that. I’ll decide on the weekend later. That’s enough to do for now.

Stay tuned to my Facebook fan page for updates on how this is going. I’m trying not to think about the 24 pounds and just focus on fixing the situation. Once my foot is fixed I can really ramp up the exercise and hopefully soon I’ll be in the 260’s.

For now, let’s just focus on kicking this goal in the ass. 🙂

My favorite Valentine’s day tradition

Hey y’all!

I recently posted an informal poll for my followers on my Facebook fan page asking readers to vote on which blog topic they wanted me to write about this week. The winning topic was “My favorite Valentine’s day tradition”.

You’re probably not going to like my answer. I usually get all schmoopy around holidays, but Valentine’s day is another story. It’s a retail holiday, you guys. There’s no spiritual meaning to it. No patriotic meaning. No meaning at all except that we’re all made to feel that we have to observe it or it means we don’t love our husbands/wives/boyfriends/girlfriends…whatever.

If I’m being honest, the last time I had fun on Valentine’s day was when I was a little girl. Remember what it was like to be a kid and go to the store and see all those red and pink little boxes with differently themed Valentine cards? How exciting!

At my school, we were given a brown paper lunch sack to decorate with red and pink tissue and glue and glitter and crayons. Any blank piece of paper, even a bag, was an inspiration to me. I was always so excited for Valentine’s day…and I loved picking out just the perfect box of Valentines to give to my friends and classmates.

By the time I was a teenager, Valentine’s Day was already losing its appeal. I was a cute enough girl, but I was beyond shy around boys and I didn’t wear all the cute, fashionable clothes or flirt or go to dances. I didn’t know what to do around boys. So every Valentine’s Day the girls would get all giggly and the boys would give out valentines to the girls who caught their eye…but it was never me. So by the time I graduated high school, it was already just another reminder that I wasn’t enough of something. Not pretty enough. Not skinny enough. Not…enough.

As a single woman in my twenties and thirties, it just got worse. If I was dating someone, everything was rainbows and kittens. If I wasn’t, I was just made to feel more alone by the endless sappy jewelry commercials and news stories about romantic proposals. It was everywhere. And work is the worst on Valentine’s Day. An endless parade of florists delivering huge expensive bouquets to my female co-workers who were either married or dating Mr. Right.

Royal Albert New Country Roses Formal Vintage Teacup and Saucer Boxed Set, White

And then I met HMH. Well, we were friends for five years on the phone (via work) before we ever met in person – but once we met in person, we were inseparable. We moved in together on Valentine’s Day weekend. The following year, he made the world’s worst marriage proposal on Valentine’s Day (it’s a long story and he’s damn lucky I said yes). After that, we just settled into normal life and that was that.

So my favorite Valentine’s Day tradition is…paying no attention whatsoever to Valentine’s Day. And I invite you to do the same.

It made me feel shitty for years as a single girl. It puts seriously awful pressure on a lot of men, honestly. Just yesterday I saw a commercial for jewelry where a guy gives his wife or girlfriend a gift box over dinner, she opens it with excitement…and then her smile fades and she looks up at him and says something like “Where’s the real one?”

What the actual fuck, people!

Other ads prey on men by guilt tripping them into paying five times more for a bouquet of flowers that they’d pay much less for on any other damn day. Jewelry store ads attempt to pull at our heartstrings with step-dads giving little step-daughters diamond pendants that match the one he just gave mommy. Restaurants woo guys with special dinner prices and heart shaped desserts.

As women, we’re pressured with ads for lingerie and magazine articles telling us how to get that hot body before the big day. Or, my favorite, top ten tips for pleasing your man in bed. Wow. You’re with someone who wants to boink you. Know how to find out how to please him? ASK. Holy shit. Just talk about what you like and don’t like.

The Valentine thing is all bullshit. Seriously.

HMH and I both work hard for our money and the things we have – but HMH has a very physically demanding job. He works his ass off. How loving is it of me to throw a bunch of bullshit expectations on him about a made-up holiday? When I see those commercials, I don’t want HMH to buy me jewelry or roses…I want to smack the shit out of the advertising jerks who insinuate that my darling hubby is some sort of failure if he doesn’t buy me their crap.

When you’re in a healthy, loving relationship every day is Valentine’s Day…and that should be the same whether your relationship is with yourself OR a significant other. Just because you’re not dating anyone doesn’t mean you’re lacking in some way. Don’t buy into the bullshit.

Valentine’s Day is a giant guilt trip.

It’s as simple as this: if you’re single and Valentine’s Day smacks of loneliness I want you to stand up, square your shoulders and yell BULLSHIT at the top of your damn lungs. DO IT!!! Because that’s what it is. BULLSHIT.

If you have a significant other, take it easy on them. Give them a break. If you both enjoy schmooping out on Valentine’s Day, then I say go for it…but if you’re both spending tons of time wondering what the hell to buy the other one, then why? What’s the purpose really?

When HMH wants a new vinyl record or I want a new needlework pattern, we get it. That’s how we are. If I’m at the antique mall with the girls and I see some vinyl he’d like…I pick it up. And yes, HMH actually bought me a needlework pattern for my Christmas stocking one year. Occasionally, we buy each other our favorite candy…or some other trinket we see around. But we don’t need to be bought stuff in order to feel that we’re loved.

The only people I’m inclined to buy Valentine’s gifts for are my co-workers sometimes…or my fur persons. Those things are still fun for me when they’re in the budget. Otherwise, it’s just another day…as it should be. Except the day after. Candy is 50% off, bitches.

Let’s all go buy ourselves a treat.

Maybe we should start a new Valentine’s Day tradition. Instead of being pressured to spend money on others in the name of love, maybe we could just look in the mirror and smile at the person smiling back at us. Let’s accept that we’re all beautifully flawed, amazing humans worthy of love.

And maybe go back to decorating paper sacks…because that shit’s always fun.

So what’s YOUR favorite Valentine’s Day tradition?

Jusalpha Vintage Rose Bone China Teacup Spoon and Saucer Set TCS03

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.


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

Well, this is sort of new…

So I gained almost all my weight back…and had a “Come to Jesus meeting” with myself. Then I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and shoved myself back onto the straight & narrow path. I’ve been using all my favorite tools: the scale, My Fitness Pal, and my gym membership. I’ve already lost 5 of the 43 I gained back. In a week. Not too shabby for this Princess.

Of course, this is the perfect time for me to exhibit what I believe to be the first obesity-related medical issue I’ve ever had – or at least that’s what I get to wonder about for the next 12 days until I see my doctor.

I need you to be prepared – and if you’re squeamish about gross physical or medical problems, you probably don’t want to read past this line. However, if you’re struggling for motivation right now and the numbers on the scale are going up instead of down, you might want to keep reading and take a good, long sobering look at these pictures. It might be the motivation you need to get moving again. Y’all know me…I try not to sugar coat things – these photos are not retouched in any way.

For the past two months, my feet have pretty much hurt me all the time. Just getting up is painful and the first several steps I take are agonizing. This is a huge part of what led me to the realization that I was pulling the wool over my own eyes and needed to get on the scale. One night I got up off the couch and waddled into the kitchen like an 80 year old lady…and I felt that nagging feeling you get when you know something is wrong that you can’t turn your back on.

What’s worse, there’s a darkened scabby patch of skin on the outside of my left ankle. If you’ve ever had a sunburn that’s starting to heal and the top layer of skin is brown and dead…that’s what it looks like. But it’s bumpy and kind of scabby…and definitely scary. And it’s all nestled on top of a severely swollen ankle and foot. It’s so disgusting it doesn’t even look human to me. When I took the picture, I was horrified that this was me.

This was my left foot on June 28th:


Do you see the large bulbous area over my ankle? That’s swollen. Notice the brown scaly looking skin. When I first noticed it, I thought I need to exfoliate in the shower – but that doesn’t work. Whatever this shit is, it thinks it’s here to stay. Look at how puffy and swollen my foot is as well. It looked weird to me, but when I took a picture and could see it up close I nearly cried. This barely even looks human.

This image was taken just before my “Come to Jesus” meeting with scale.

Last week, I put myself right back on the straight & narrow path again. I went to the gym. I logged my food. I got on the scale every day. I lost 5 pounds last week just slipping into my old routine. Look at my foot now.

Two weeks later
Two weeks later

The balloon over my ankle is gone. The top of my foot is no longer swollen. That brown dead skin gunk is still there, though. My feet do look better, but I still feel pain when I walk…and I want to know why that skin is so creepy different – because I’ll tell you something: I think it could be lymphodema. I pray to God it’s not. Google it.

Walking is very painful, but I’m dealing with it. The elliptical machine at the gym doesn’t hurt it. The recumbent bike doesn’t hurt it. I did some Googling on this and it can be a product of morbid obesity. There are some remedies for it, but it must be treated as soon as possible – and one of the ways to fight it is to get rid of the excess weight. Talk about motivation.

Here are some images of advanced lymphodema:

   lymphedema2 lymphoedema3      lymphedema1

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a little worried about this. I’ve long suspected that I have circulation problems in my legs. And yes, I do realize that I could be completely on the wrong track here – and that’s why I’m going to the doctor.

This is what’s been bothering me for quite a while…and I can no longer sit back and ignore it. Especially after finding these pictures online today. If one of the best ways to control and get rid of it is exercise, then honey…I’m on board. In fact, I’m declaring right now in front of y’all: I’m going to work out every day through Friday. Five days in a row.

When I lost the 45 pounds, my ankle measurement was 12.5. A month ago, it was 15. Tonight it was 14 – so I’ve already done quite a bit between the water challenges on Facebook and eating healthy and working out. I just need to get to a doctor and find out what this is…and keep moving, fighting, swinging. I’m determined to get through this

I’ll keep you posted on what the doc says. Until then, you try and keep me from the gym. 🙂


** side note: This is not Plantar Fasciatis. Just putting this here because I’ve received a lot of comments between the blog, Facebook, and private emails/messaging. 🙂 I had Plantar Fasciatis for 20+ years and finally had Fascia Release surgery about 13 years ago on both feet. This is something different – but whatever it is, I’m going to kick it right in the ass!