Category Archives: Motivation

This Is What Effing Awesome Looks Like


I know, I know, I know…if you’ve never been a super fatty you’re probably not going to understand this at all. But if you are or have been a super fatty or if you’re just super awesomely empathetic, you get this. And I love you for it.

Just a few short months ago, putting my shoes on meant sitting on the couch and propping my leg up on the cushion in order to be able to reach my foot. I couldn’t change my shoes at work…ever. I couldn’t lean over far enough to reach my feet because there was too much me in the way.

Now it’s 3 1/2 months later and I’ve lost 61 pounds…and being able to reach my damn feet is just the latest in a fabulous chain of awesome NSV’s (that’s Non-Scale Victories to those of you not in-the-know). If you’ve just stumbled across my blog recently, here are some of the highlights over the past 3 1/2 months:

Fitting into my blue jeans again!

No more blood pressure meds!

No more migraines!

Being able to trust my farts again (click here to see why that’s important…if you dare!)

Moving past the 45 pound demon!

Dropping my first size!

Losing 50 pounds!

By the way, as a special treat for hitting the 50 pounds lost mark I decided to celebrate by getting myself a little something special: a silver Pandora bracelet and charm. I love the idea of celebrating my milestones by adding charms to my bracelet…and I chose a cute little mirror as my first charm. Why?

Because the mirror isn’t such a scary thing anymore.


Just to add a little visual impact, here’s a picture of 383 pound me at a work function last November. To protect the dignity and identity of the Vice President I was posing with, I’ve cleverly disguised him as Robert Downey Jr.

You’re welcome.

I’ve come a long way…and I’m really quite proud of myself. After over 20 years of struggling with my weight and food issues, I’m so grateful that I finally had the courage to change and embrace the wonderful tool that gastric sleeve surgery is. It’s such a lot of work, but it’s such an amazing tool if you’re really ready for it. You can’t sit back and let the surgery do the work for you or you’re not going to learn anything and you’re going to end up gaining it all back. I’m proud to say that I started making dramatic, permanent changes to my life long before they wheeled me into that operating room.

My life is so wonderfully different than it was before surgery. I’ve given up fast food, sugar, and diet soda. I no longer obsess over calories, fat, and carbs. My life is all about protein and eating healthy. I drink water. And I exercise. This is work, but it’s wonderful work. It’s life changing…and I’m really quite proud of the bad-ass I’m becoming.

Sure, I still have a long way to go. I’ve lost 61 pounds but I was more than 200 pounds overweight when I started this. Thanks to gastric sleeve surgery, I know for the first time in my Hot Mess life that I’ll get there. This tool simply eliminates my ability to screw myself up by overeating. That’s all it does. It’s not a magic pill or a miracle cure. It doesn’t make me magically not want cookies or french fries. It doesn’t make me allergic to fatty, unhealthy foods. I can eat anything I want to…if I want to. But I don’t. Because once I made the decision to have surgery, I started to grow up. (And really…once you put yourself through that whole surgery ordeal you’ve got to be bat-shit cray to chase it down with french fries and ice cream, right?)

I’m learning to make peace with food. I’m following the advice of my awesome surgeon and my fabulous nutritionist: if I really want something, I have it. A taste of it. I eat my protein first and then I really only have room for a couple of bites of whatever it is. A couple french fries. Two bites of cake. A cookie. Those things aren’t harmful if you just have a bite or two every once in a while. Hell, even Jennifer Aniston eats cookies. See? I eat just like Jennifer Aniston. I freak’in rock.


I’m not the only one either. I know you’re effing awesome too…so tell me how by leaving a comment. I’m all ears. And a lot of butt still.

Because some things take more time than others.


Sterling Silver Princess Crown Ring

The First Diet I Ever Went On

I was thinking about all the diets and supplements and programs I’ve been on the other day…sort of a sadistic trip down Bad Memory Lane. I was listing them all in my head. Weight Watchers, Biggest Loser challenge at work, Fen Phen (or however the hell you spell it), Meridia, Metabolife…you name it.

But, just like a sweaty tryst on prom night, you never forget your first – and my first was the Scarsdale Diet. Even now, just the name sends images of lean hamburger patties and cottage cheese dancing through my head. But I was fat and I needed to be on a diet. In fact, by the time I went on the Scarsdale Diet I had been hounded about being a big fat fatty for 3 years already.

I was 13 years old.

What a fatty...
What a fatty…

I’m not sure which is fatter…the pointy elbows…the collar bone…the single chin…the flat tummy…it’s really kind of a toss up, isn’t it? What a porker. Obviously, I needed to be put on a diet before things spiraled out of control. I think we can all agree on that, right?

If only I had been successful in losing all the weight when I was 13, I’d never have been such a huge fatty in high school.

Hot Mess Prom
Hot Mess Prom

It’s ridiculous, isn’t it? Look at this girl and call her fat. I dare you.

Okay, maybe I could have lost 5 pounds if I’d tweezed those caterpillar eyebrows – but other than that, there’s no weight to be lost here. By the time this picture was taken, I was a seasoned dieter with years of experience. If you have a daughter, granddaughter, niece, aunt, or second cousin twice removed who’s a teenager would you do me a favor? Walk away from the computer, put down the smart phone, and go give her a hug right now. Tell her she’s beautiful just the way she is. Inside and out. Right. Now.

It’s taken me a lifetime to not look back at these pictures with anger. A little sad maybe, sure. I think that’s normal. But it doesn’t own me. It doesn’t control me. And, most importantly, there isn’t a smidge of my brain, my heart, or my soul that believes for a second now that I was fat or that I deserved to be treated that way. God gives us obstacles. This was mine.

When I hear someone lamenting the loss of their youth, I just smile and think to myself “Why on Earth would I ever want to go back and be that frightened, intimidated kid again?”  No, thank you. Much of my youth was spent dieting for no reason.

Today, I actually am as fat as I felt I was back then…and I wouldn’t trade the me I am today for 1,000 scared little Diannes. I wouldn’t. I’m grateful for me. All of me. Warts, cellulite, moles and all.

But I am glad I learned how to trim my fucking eyebrows. 🙂

Gearing Up for Goals!

Ever stick your toe in the water to see if it’s okay to get in? I feel like I’ve been doing that for the last nine months. Standing at the edge of the rest of my life…gingerly touching it with my toe to see if it’s safe.

I started 2013 with the goal of making exercise a habit. I’m not there yet. I’m closer now than I’ve ever been…but I’m not there yet and there are only a few months left in the year. I don’t want to get to 2014 and have to say that I failed.

I’m sure it’s not a shocker to those of you who read my blog regularly, but I can be a bit long-winded…and I tend to over think things. I’ve done a lot of over thinking this year while I’ve had my toe in the water. It’s funny because I’ve actually gotten better at not over thinking things…so I have to laugh when I think about how bad I must have been in the past. Not going back there again, folks.

I’ve decided to amp things up a bit for myself…and you’re welcome to join me. As you know, I’m a big fan of doing what works for you – so I’m not going to tell you what to do. I’m going to tell you what I’m going to do for me…and if you read this blog regularly, you’ll know what a stretch this is…because I plan to hit myself with full blown shock & awe. Because that’s what I think I need right now.

First I should tell you what I’m not going to tell you: my secret goal. I have many goals I’ll share with you today, but there is one ultimate goal that I’m going to keep to myself for now. Whether I hit the goal or not, I’ll reveal it to you on New Years Eve 2013.

Second, I’ll tell you the rest of my goals. None of these goals are weight related. Purposely. They’re all to do with living healthy. And I’m breaking them down into manageable chunks. Here we go…

September Pre-Dwarfs Goal:

I have approximately 6 days left before the 7 Dwarves of the Menstrual Apocalypse hit me like a ton of bricks. (You’re welcome for the over-share.) I’ve been waffling back and forth on going to the gym for awhile and I’ve been sucking at it lately. Twenty minutes would be a challenge for me right now…so for the next 6 days, I’m going to do 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer. Every. Single. Day. Until the Dwarfs hit sometime around this Sunday. My legs are going to be so pissed at me tomorrow night.

Pre-Doctor Goal:

After my uterus has had its usual screaming hissy fit I have another 6 days or so before I have to see my doctor. I think I’ve only shared this on Facebook previously, but when he checked my blood sugar two months ago it was 105 and he wasn’t happy. That’s not diabetic, but it’s not normal either…and I want to lower it.

My appointment to have my blood sugar re-checked is October 10th. I have no idea how long it takes for dietary changes to show up in your blood sugar, but I would imagine I can make a dent in it between now and October 10th. At least I plan to give it my all. In the end, if there’s no change, it won’t be because I didn’t try. So, it pains me to say, effective tomorrow…I’m going low carb.

veggies - blog

Well…low carb for me. Honestly, the settings on My Fitness Pal tell me I can have no more than 70 carbs a day and I always go over that. I can hit a 1,400 calorie a day limit all day long but it seems all my favorite healthy foods have carbs in them…even apples.

My Pre-Doctor Goal is to not go over 70 carbs a day through October 10th. If I can handle it without going bat shit crazy, I’ll most likely lower it further. This is especially painful for me to declare as a goal today because when I was talking to HMH about it earlier I told him I wanted to have some ice cream since I won’t be having any for a long time…and it’s 8:30 pm as I write this and I haven’t even gone to the store. So farewell, ice cream! I won’t be having one last go with you. That’s probably for the best.

October 10th – November 14th Goal:

Why November 14th, you ask? Well…that’s my birthday. And HMH’s birthday. And our 10th wedding anniversary. Yep. We got it all done in one day…we’re efficient like that.

By the time I get to November 14th, I want to be doing an HOUR on the elliptical.

Sweet Lord Jesus, help me…that sounds awfully ambitious from where I sit today. Nevertheless, I’m going for it. It’ll be my birthday present to myself.

November 15th – Christmas Day Goal:

I want to drop a size by Christmas. Sure that sounds attainable, but when you’re a size 32 and you live in a land of elastic waistbands…it’s harder than you think. It takes a much more significant amount of weight to lose before you notice in pants that are this fat.

I also want to continue on with that hour on the elliptical…and maybe more. I want at least 60 minutes to be a habit. 6 days a week.

And my New Years Eve Goal…

That’s the secret. I’ll tell you on New Years Eve whether I succeeded or failed. For right now, that one’s just for me.

door - blog

So my challenge to you is…what’s a challenge to you? To be honest, the goals that I’ve set for myself here are fairly intimidating to me – even the 30 minutes on the elliptical for the next 6 days. Sure, in my head I know I can do it, but I also know I’m going to feel pain. And I hate pain. I hate it.

Sit down for a few minutes and figure out a challenge that will really mean something to you…and post here to declare it to the world (or at least the Hot Mess world). For now, just pick one for next week. What’s going to challenge you?

I’m going to challenge myself to 6 days of elliptical madness…and if I do it, I’m going to treat myself to a pedicure on Saturday.

What are you going to do and how are you going to reward yourself? Tell me!

Reebok Thumblock Wrist Weight (2-Pound Set) or Two 1lb. weights

Sacrificing myself on the altar of dignity


This isn’t going to be my regular wordy shut-the-hell-up already, Dianne, kind of post. I’m just going to take up a few minutes of your time today…because I want to show you something.

Exercise isn’t fun when you’re obese. It’s difficult and painful…and you’re sweating in places we shouldn’t even have. I don’t know about you, but I’m incredibly ungraceful. I’m clunky and slow. Truth be told, the only thing I love about exercise right now is the moment that I get to stop – but I’m getting myself to the gym every day because I know it’s either this or surgery (and even with surgery, there must be exercise eventually).

It’s hard for us, I get that. We all get that. It’s hard to clunk around on machines and work up the stamina to get significant amounts of cardio in order to burn that fat. I can’t go near a regular stationary bike…the seats are too small. I get stress fractures even on the treadmill. I stick with the elliptical and the recumbent bike. Mostly the elliptical…but there are times when I feel like the elliptical has totally kicked my butt for the day, yet I’m still able to workout a little more. That’s when I switch to the recumbent bike. And that, my friends, is when the glamour of working out when you’re really obese starts. Even my boobs get exercise on that damn thing…and it’s embarrassing as hell…but I do it.

Click here to see for a lesson in what really matters…Hot Mess style.

See how much I love y’all? If I can suffer through the sweaty grossness and blobby indignity of working out…then you can too. We’re all in this together, right?

Hotness, here we come!


ASICS Women’s Intensity Low Sock

I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but…

…I really like my gym.

There. I said it.

I still hate exercising. It’s painful in all the ways I expect it to be and in a few that I don’t, which is why I’m grateful to be headed to the doctor’s office this week – but more on that later. This is about a gym. My gym. Two words I thought I would never say again.

I’ve posted a few times now that the air conditioning system is out at my gym. This is Texas…and it’s summer. It’s pretty hot. Plus, I’m a Californian. This is not my natural habitat. I’m from the land of soft ocean breezes and chilly marine air that rolls in during the night and cools everything off. Between June and September, I stay indoors at all costs in Texas or my wussy California butt gets all whiney – so I’m not usually too happy to be inside any building that doesn’t provide relief from the heat.


Because I’ve repeatedly posted about the A/C problem, many folks have commented that I should probably think about finding another gym…or that I should be upset that they’re not taking care of it. I will be upset if they don’t fix it eventually, I can assure you. But I’m not there yet.

I was tortured over my decision to join a gym. I didn’t want to do it, but after giving myself a stress fracture by merely walking on my treadmill at home, it was pretty clear that I needed to do one of two things:

1. Magically whip $2,000 out of my ass and buy an elliptical trainer that can handle 300+ pound me.

2. Join a gym and use an elliptical there.

I checked thoroughly…and I couldn’t find $2,000 anywhere up my ass. So I joined a gym. Keeping my last gym experience in mind, I certainly wanted to avoid the “meat market” big box gyms. I ended up deciding on Lady of America. Girls only.

I went a few times. It was weird at first. Mostly because I was bitter about not being born naturally waifish like Keira Knightley. But the people who work there are genuinely nice and unpretentious. Not once have I been greeted by a toothy goober in a sports bra. Not once have I had to mop some guy’s forehead sweat off the elliptical display before I can touch it.

At first, I’d carefully glance up every time the front door opened, praying to God that whoever it was didn’t look over at me…pumping away like a grinder monkey on the elliptical. It didn’t take me too long to realize that the women who walk through that door are just regular chicks looking to work out. They’re moms and doctors and secretaries and business owners…they’ve got shit to do. They’re all wonderful in their own individual ways – and none of them give a crap about what I look like as I lunk along in a sweaty, ungraceful hot mess.

Nowadays, it feels like more like a Super Hero lair…and we’re all from the same planet as Wonder Woman. We’re all a bunch of bad ass girls getting strong and healthy. Now when the front door opens I look up and smile…and I mentally send a variety of good vibes their way.

You go, lady in the black capris…wish I could run that fast!

Little ninja girl in the white yoga pants, you are too cute and I’m trying not to be jealous. Work those guns, girl!

And finally…Super Chick in the Texas Rangers jersey. I want to be you on that elliptical some day!

I’d seen her a few times. Running on the elliptical trainer in a red Texas Rangers jersey with a number 10 on the back. Number 10. Michael Young.

MLB: AUG 04 Rangers at Athletics

One of my absolutely favorite Rangers baseball players (although now he plays for the Phillies and I miss him dearly). Michael Young is a class act. As soon as I saw that number 10 on her shirt, I knew she was ok.

The first day I walked into the gym and the a/c was off, she was there too. There were box fans all over the place and it was pretty swampy. I climbed up on a machine near her and started lunking away. I had my headphones in and wasn’t paying attention. After a few minutes, Super Chick in the Texas Rangers jersey jumped down from her machine and got ready to leave. And then she did something that I’ve never seen anyone do in any other gym I’ve ever belonged to: she stepped in between the machines, grabbed the box fan that she had been using, and aimed it at me.

What a considerate, awesome, total super hero ninja chick thing to do. I couldn’t get the smile off my face for the rest of my time on the elliptical.. How thoughtful, especially in that heat. Instead of running to the relief of her car’s a/c, she leaned over and turned a fan on me so that I would be more comfortable. Mind. Blown.

Isn’t it funny how the smallest good deed can make you feel like a million dollars? This would never have happened at previous gyms I’ve belonged to. Not in a million years. I couldn’t get the smile off my face for the rest of my workout.

And as far as the a/c issue goes here’s what I know: the business owner and the landlord’s insurance companies are blaming each other and there’s a $20,000 repair in the middle of it. A letter from the owner of the gym is posted in the lobby, advising gym members of the situation and suggesting that we workout at other clubs in the area until the problem is fixed (sometime this week possibly). At the end of the letter, it’s made clear that if we choose to workout in this gym we do so at our own risk.

Well…it’s not that hot in there…and it makes me sweat more. To me, this is kind of a bonus. My body feels like it’s breaking down. Every day, I feel like I’m on the verge of another injury. Everything hurts, pretty much all the time. I have no idea what’s wrong, but right now I’m sweating more without having to put my body through more. I’ll take it.

Having no a/c does suck, but they appear to be working on it and I appear to still be fat and in much need of cardio – so I’m going to sweat a little extra. Big deal. I just feel like I don’t need to be so upset about it. Believe me, if I found it to be completely unlivable, I wouldn’t be going. So yes, if it goes on too long, I will get upset about it. But right now I’m fine to have patience and wait and see.

I’m so glad I persevered through the awkward stage in the beginning and got comfortable here. When it comes to working out, it’s incredible to have a place where I feel like I belong.

This is my gym. These are my peeps.

Now it’s your turn. Have you found your happy place yet when it comes to working out? Share here!


Stainless Steel Daisy Flower Necklace