Category Archives: Non Scale Victories

Redefining “Me”

I’ve been defined by my weight since I was ten years old. My dance teacher stood me in front of the mirror in our dance studio and used a pointer to show me the places where my body needed improvements. My thighs stuck out too far. My legs were thick. I had a bit of a “belly”.

Until that moment, my biggest concern was where the other lime green peep-toed pump was for my Barbie doll and whether my dog ate it. I was ten years old. When I laid on my bed and daydreamed about marrying David Cassidy, I never though about knocking out a few sets of ab crunches so I’d look super hot at the wedding. My world was Barbies and school and friends and, already, writing. That moment in front of the mirror changed me forever.

From that moment on, when I walked into a room of other kids I’d look at all the thighs and bellies and see which ones were bigger or smaller than mine. If there were bigger kids, I felt relieved. I looked at the skinny girls with such envy. I was sure everyone loved them. No one could resist a skinny girl because skinny was beautiful. I wasn’t skinny, so that meant I wasn’t beautiful – which meant I was ugly. Kid logic.

Big fat ugly me…or that’s how I felt back then. Now I just see a cute kid with amazing taste in boots.

Whenever someone told me I was pretty, I smiled and said thank you just like Mom taught me – but there was always that inside voice that disagreed with them. No, I’m not pretty…because I’m fat. It is incredibly difficult to change that voice in your head – especially when it’s planted there so early.

I’ve been finding it a challenge to remain positive over the past couple of days because I keep falling back to the old habit of defining myself by a number. I’ve realized it’s not enough to reach for a healthier lifestyle…I need to redefine how I define myself as well.

I’ve been derailed a lot over the past ten days. The mother of all toothaches was first to knock me down. I had an infected tooth that needed a root canal, but I needed to take anti-biotics for 5 days before I could get it fixed – so I lived in pain for nearly a week (as did those of you who follow me on Facebook…because I pretty much whined about it non-stop). I had no idea how much it could hurt to breathe with your mouth open when you have an infected tooth. Holy crap on a cracker! The gym wasn’t an option last week unless I took a pain pill – and the last thing I should be doing is using gym equipment while on pain pills. Those suckers were badass.

treadmill ooops

Then I got the root canal. Yay! I’m petrified of dentists, so this was an accomplishment on its own. No more freaky discomfort of a dental dam, no more huge needles in my face – or the nervous farting that I hope went unnoticed…I’m done! Well, at least for two weeks or so. I probably should have taken Kirby or Dyson with me as a “therapy dog” and then I would have had someone to blame the gas on. You know what they say about hindsight…

Just when I was ready to get back into the swing of things this weekend, the 7 Dwarfs of the Menstrual Apocalypse showed up. If this is your first time reading my blog, I apologize for the overshare. The rest of you know what to expect and you still love me…and I’m grateful. I love you too. And since you know what to expect, you know I’ve spent the last two days curled up in the fetal position, cursing Mother Nature and my angry uterus. In a few more days, I’ll be back to normal. (My new normal, not my former Dr. Pepper swilling, pizza guzzling, snack cake motorboating normal.)

I hate being derailed, especially when I’m motivated to go to the gym. When I joined this gym a couple of months ago, I started at 10 minutes on the elliptical – which was surprising as hell because I expected far less. Right before the tooth-from-hell hit me, I did 30 minutes. I was a freaking NINJA. A chubby, determined, spastic ninja…kicking my fat cells right in the ass.

Bad Ass Couch copy

I’m logging my food every day, but I’m not getting on the scale because I’m not working out. Also because I’m in the middle of my “ladies days”, peeps, and what woman is crazy enough to get on the scale then? I want my new normal back. Hurry up, uterus, and get it out of your system. Momma’s got shit to do!

During times like this, it’s hard to remember not to define my success by a number on the scale…or even the minutes on the elliptical. It takes conscious effort to remember that I need to pay attention to the non-scale victories as well. And I need to focus on the positive instead of giving myself grief for not being able to workout right now. I’ll be back in the gym by Wednesday. That has to be good enough for me right now.

There are many non-scale victories to celebrate – and some of these are going to seem ridiculous to you if you’ve never had a problem with food, but I assure you these are accomplishments. I didn’t use the toothache as an excuse to eat my weight in pudding every day because it hurt to chew. The 7 Dwarfs of the Menstrual Apocalypse are visiting right now and I haven’t once baked a brownie or driven to Walgreens and emptied the ice cream case in a sweaty fury. And probably the biggest accomplishment of all: I’m not inwardly celebrating that I can’t go to the gym right now. I’m not sobbing over it either, but I’m pretty effing proud of that 30 minutes I did right before my tooth decided to be an asshole. That pride feels good.

I’m not a number on a scale. I’m not the size tag on my pants. I’m just a Hot Mess Princess…running towards positive change as fast as my cankles can carry me.

What non-scale victories have you celebrated this week? I’m all ears…share with me!

Fitbit One Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker, Black

Just a Big Girl…Living in a Big Pants World

Spring cleaning this weekend.  Most people go about it without any issues.  For me, however, it’s usually a humbling experience.  It’s not something that’s particularly pleasant for me to write about, but it bothered me enough that I knew I had to.  And there is sort of a happy ending to this – so if I start bumming you out, keep reading…it really does get good.

I cleaned the master bathroom today.  Not a regular cleaning…a big, whopp’in detailed cleaning.  We have a wonderful large oval tub in the bathroom.  There’s a nice shelf area behind it, on which I have arranged lots of girly indulgences like bubble bath and bath salts (the fizzy kind, not the “I want to eat your face” kind).  Every time I clean the shelf, I’m reminded that I never use these wonderful things.  They’re just there to look pretty.  I can’t use them, you see.

I’ve only used the tub once in the five years we’ve owned this house.  After a long day of unpacking, I had decided to fill it up and have a soak.  I was really sore…and tired…and had been looking forward to getting in that tub since the day we toured this house.  It doesn’t have jets in it or anything, but it’s the nicest bathtub I’ve ever had.  And who doesn’t love a few candles and a big tub filled with bubbles after a hard day?

I filled it up, used some gorgeously scented bubble bath, and got in.  By the time I was all the way in, the water level had just hit the top of the tub.  Not a drop spilled to the floor, but the water was well past the overflow doohicky.  When the water was done draining from the overflow valve, there wasn’t nearly enough water to cover me.  I was covered in bubbles and getting cold fast.  Damn it.

I tried to make the best of the situation, but the fact was…I was too big for my dream bathtub.  What was supposed to be an evening of self-pampering quickly turned into an evening of self-loathing.  I was really disappointed.  And ashamed of myself. And now, every time I clean the shelf with the girly bath stuff, I remember that night.

Today, after I cleaned the shelf and the bathtub (sadly, the tub gets dusty), I got down on the floor to wipe down the baseboards.  I usually ask the Hot Mess Hubby to do it, but he was working and I really wanted it done.  I guess I was a wee bit cocky after hitting the 45 pound mark this week.

Imagine 336 pounds resting on your knees.  On tile.  Ouch.

I couldn’t even stand it for a few seconds.  I had to get up fast, which I’m sure was quite funny looking, but somehow I made it happen.  And I twisted my knee in the process.  So now my baseboards are still dirty and I’m limping.  Classic!!
















I limped out to the kitchen, grabbed a glass of water, and stretched myself out on the couch for a bit.  There I was, laying on my side, rubbing my knee and trying not to feel sorry for myself.  I reached up above my waist to scratch an itch and I felt my rib cage.

Does it seem weird that a 336 pound woman could actually feel her rib cage?  Well…let’s just say that when you’re this big, fat moves and jiggles a lot, constantly reminding you that you’re overweight.  It’s like a Twinkie guzzling fairy godmother that rests on your shoulder all the time and screams “You’re FAAAAAAAT!” in your ear.  It’s really great.  And when a fat person lays on their side all the fat just sort of shifts…it’s horrible, trust me.  It’s like I’m part human, part melting snowman when I lay down.

But whatever, I’m not writing today to bash my fatness.  Well, not too much.  I’m writing because when I felt my rib cage, I started prodding around.  With my fingers, I followed the natural curve of my ribs.  Poke, poke, poke…prod, prod, prod.  When I felt the area where my stomach would normally be if I were a regular sized girl, I nearly fell off the couch.  In a good way.  Oh my gosh…

I’m little under here!

This may seem strange to y’all, but poking my disgusting fat took me from thinking about my sad, dusty bathtub to being absolutely overjoyed in 2 seconds.  I poked myself right out of the mental funk I was in.  Just feeling that part of me (that I haven’t seen in over 20 years) filled me up with my usual “Go, girl!” spirit.

Now…I do realize that there will be lots of meat still on my bones when I hit my goal weight.  I’m not imagining that I’ll be trot’in around Texas like some bony super model.  But when you’re this overweight for this long, you have a very skewed view of what regular sizes are.  I know I’ll probably end up around a size 12 or 14 when I’m done, but I can’t even begin to picture it in my head.  It’s not realistic to look at pictures of myself in my 20’s and expect to look like that again.  I’ve gotten used to flying blind and having no real expectations in that department.

It may not make any sense at all, but I felt hope.

Y’all know what I say:  I always try to find the silver lining.  But after the dusty bathtub, the unused bath salts, and the twisted knee I wasn’t feeling very optimistic.  Isn’t it funny that I would find the silver lining by poking around the very thing I’m trying like hell to get rid of?

I found the me underneath it all.  I am fat, but I am not my fat.  I needed to reconnect with that today.  This fat on my body comes from years of self-abuse, but it is not who I am.  I am a fat busting, healthy eating, motivating machine.  Someday my outside will measure up to what I am inside.

Sometimes the silver lining is right beneath your fingertips.  I’m little under here.


Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works

That’s Not Procedure!

Yesterday, I got my long awaited reward for hitting 339 on the scale:  a trip to the movies with the Hot Mess Hubby to see “The Avengers”.  

I am a movie nut.  It’s hardcoded in my DNA – so imagine the major shift in my life when I married a non-movie lover.  

Here’s Hot Mess Hubby’s idea of how to see a movie:  wait until it’s on cable, then turn it on…but talk through the entire thing, take multiple bathroom breaks without pausing the DVR, and then get bored 45 minutes into it and start playing Words with Friends.  If, by some miracle, I do actually manage to drag his butt to a theater…it’s anarchy

First, he whines and complains because he thinks I want to leave too early in order to get to the theater.  If I insist, he drags his feet and comes up with little things he has to do until we’re walking out the door at his preferred time…not mine.  Then he whines more in the car on the way to the theater, pointing out all the places we’re passing that would be more fun to go to.  When we get to the theater, he buys the tickets and points out that we’re “4 hours early” with a sarcastic grumble.  By the time I drag him to the snack bar for popcorn, the lights are already dimming in the theater.  The theater is dark and fairly full as we wander around trying to find seats like a couple of complete noobs.  A million meltdowns later, we actually sit down…usually in the front row because there’s nowhere else to sit, and I’ve missed all the previews.  But that’s okay…because Hot Mess Hubby is congratulating himself for synchronizing his ingenius timing of our butts hitting the seats with the roll of the opening credits.  What a doof.

My way is the polar opposite of his.  There is a very specific procedure to be followed when I’m going to see a movie and I don’t tolerate shenanigans. 
It takes about 20 minutes to get to the theater from our home, therefore we leave precisely 40 minutes before show time.   Once I’m at the theater, I make my way to the concession stand to grab my popcorn & drink.  Popcorn is not only the perfect movie watching food, but it also compliments the red licorice and chocolate covered raisins that I’ve smuggled into the theater in my purse. 

Oh, yes, I do that.  I’m not sure which will shock you more: the fact that I eat candy at the movies or the fact that I smuggle it in like a spy in a World War II movie.  Back when I lived in California and theater employees would search handbags for contraband of the Twizzlers persuasion, I used to have a special bag with a secret compartment at the bottom.  No shit!  Before that, I would just make sure to hand my ticket to the awkward teenage boy with the bad skin and, when I opened my handbag for the required search, his flashlight beam fell on a couple of tampons and a strategically placed maxi pad. 

Hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

I do realize that the theaters make their real money off the concession stands, which is why I’m a good sport and buy my popcorn and drink from them.  There’s just no substitute for movie theater popcorn and, since I only go to the movies about four times a year, I can get away with the occasional indulgence.  However, there’s something ridiculous about paying $5 for candy I can get for a buck at the dollar store.  And it’s all under glass…like you’re at a jewelry store, but instead of looking at sparkly baubles you’re sidling up to the counter and saying “Can I see something in a Kit Kat?”  They should offer financing like a jeweler, too…ridiculous! 














With popcorn & drink in hand, I find my seat.  If I’ve timed it right, I have about 15 – 20 minutes to chat with the hubby and answer the movie trivia questions on the screen before the lights dim.  Then I enjoy all the movie previews and settle in for the movie.  Perfect!  Do you see how my way is much, much better than Hot Mess Hubby’s?  I knew you would.

Now I realize that y’all could have lived the rest of your lives without hearing about my movie going procedures, but I had to vent about it somewhere.  Hot Mess Hubby has still not stopped rolling his eyes because he was made to adhere to my procedures yesterday.  Whatev!

What I’m really here to talk about today is the fact that I’m especially grateful for change.  Real, sustained change.  I need to brag a little here.  I am finally able to say that I can adjust my daily eating habits to include the occasional indulgence without worrying too much about tipping the scales in the wrong direction. 

Yesterday, I had a light breakfast because I knew we were going to the movies.  I shared a bucket of popcorn with the Hot Mess Hubby and enjoyed my movie candy.  I planned on eating a light dinner, but ended up not eating another bite.  I was full all…damn…day.











The difference is that in the past, this would not have stopped me from either going out to dinner with friends or heating up a dozen pizza rolls in the oven while I watched reruns of “Friends”.  I may not have been hungry at dinner time, but it was…dinner time.  So I ate dinner.

For the past 5 months, I’ve been sticking to my menu plans.  When the time for my next meal or snack comes around, I usually feel a tad empty…but my stomach isn’t churning and gurgling.  There’s room, though, and my body is ready to eat.  Yesterday was amazing.  I didn’t even want to think about food for the rest of the day.

When I got up this morning, I was still full.  I had no intention of getting on the scale, but then I realized I needed to.  If there was going to be fallout from my indulgence, it was better to know about it up front.  So I got on the scale.  It said 339.  I felt both proud and grateful.

I feel like I’ve finally broken the unhealthy pattern of eating when I’m not hungry – although some would argue that a ½ bucket of popcorn and a bunch of movie candy isn’t a healthy lunch or dinner…but I don’t go to the movies a lot.  This was not a typical day for me at all.

Sure, I could have smuggled some nasty, bland air popped popcorn in a sandwich bag and gone with the sugar free red licorice and had regular raisins instead of chocolate covered ones…but where the hell is the fun in that?  Going to the movies takes me back to when I was a kid (yes, I saw Star Wars on the big screen…I’m THAT old).  I thoroughly enjoy it when I go and part of that enjoyment for me is the heart- attack-in-a-bucket popcorn and the movie candy.  If I only have it 4 times a year, I’d rather splurge on the real thing.

I am eating all my healthy favorites today and drinking all my water…because that is now normal for me.  Back when I first started this process, I would have been afraid that a trip to the movies would send me into “relapse mode” but I see now that I’m doing just fine.  I’ve got a good balance on when to allow indulgences and how to adjust my calorie intake accordingly. 

So today I’m grateful…for growth, for change, and – of course, for Robert Downey, Jr.

SPACE: the Awesome Frontier

There is space in my closet.

Not too long ago, my closet was crammed full of clothes in a variety of sizes.  From the 32’s I was wearing in December to a size medium t-shirt that I’ve never worn, years and years of yo-yo dieting and wishful thinking come together in a relatively tiny space.  Hangers that used to be crammed together like Kardashians at a ho convention are now inches apart.  My clothes are beginning to have room to hang properly.  Why?

Because the size 32’s have officially left the building!  I can’t wear them anymore.  I swim in the tops and walk right out of the bottoms.  They’ve all been packed up and donated. I’m too small to wear them.

Does that sound silly?  How many 339 pound, size 28 women do you know who have ever said they were too small for anything?  Probably just me…but it’s important.

Looking back over years and years of diets and failures, I remember how much I absolutely hated to be told that I needed to appreciate and celebrate the little victories along the way.  I just wanted to be smaller…healthier…and less self conscious.  I just wanted to shop in a normal store for once.  I just wanted to live a regular, non plus sized life.  NOW!

I didn’t want to have to care about the little victories…so I would patronize myself and say “Oh, yes, Dianne…good job…you lost a pound.”  I told others that I was happy with my progress because I knew it was what I should say.  I didn’t really feel that way, though.  Inside, I was really thinking “Big effing deal, you lost a pound…lose MORE…you’re a huge cow and I can’t believe you did this to yourself.  I hate you!”  Inside, I was trying to figure out how to lose 5 pounds a week and still have a Twinkie once in a while.  I just wanted to get through to the end…I didn’t give a rat’s ass about the middle.  Slowly, I’m beginning to realize that the middle is the best part – not unlike the aforementioned Twinkie.

It was hard in the beginning.  I started this whole thing with only one goal:  never quit.  I’ve quit a million times before and it’s only ever gotten me fatter.  It’s like that Seinfeld episode where George Costanza realizes he’s been a loser his entire life…and he decides that from that point on, he’s going to do everything opposite – because if all his past decisions were the wrong ones, then going against his own judgment should pay off.  And it does, at least for a little while.

In the beginning, I would lose a pound and my auto-pilot would kick in and I’d think to myself “So what…big deal…you’re still huge.  It’s one pound out of over 200…Jesus!  Look what you’d done with your life!!”  As soon as I realized that negative crap was going on, I forced myself to say “Knock it off!  Shut up!!  You’re done!  You’ve gotten me nowhere!!!  I’ve lost one pound and I’m going to accept it and be happy that it’s one less pound I have to work off.  So shut your pie hole, bitch!”  Yeah…it was like that.

As I progressed, it got easier and easier to stand up to my auto-pilot a lot faster.  I’d feel the negativity creep up and would think “No!  Knock it off!!!  That doesn’t help…I know this sucks right now but just deal with it and keep moving forward.  You’re not going to think horrible things about yourself anymore and I’m not putting up with it!”  It sort of felt like I was disciplining an unruly teenager.

If you’re trying to lose weight like me, I hate to tell ya…I think it’s incredibly important to celebrate all the victories you can along the way.  But you’ve got to FEEL it, peeps.  You can’t go through the motions because you know that’s what you’re supposed to do.  You have to actually feel it.  In the beginning, it will feel awkward and it will be hard…but just do it.  Look at your situation and find something good about it.  Say “Okay…I hate where I am right now, I admit that – but I’m not going to hate me.  I hate that this feels so hard, but if I don’t try I’m just going to keep being fat.  I will try.  And when I feel like quitting, I will refuse.  Quitting keeps me fat.  I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to get going…so I’m going to look at this half pound I lost and I’m going to be happy with it.  I know it will turn into a whole pound, then 2 pounds, then 3…as long as I refuse to quit.  I just have to get through the beginning and it’ll get easier…so today, I’m going to be grateful for this one pound.”

The ability to find the silver lining on your plus sized cloud will help make this process a lot less painful.  I started to see a light at the end of the tunnel when my gratitude for the little victories eclipsed the frustration I felt with my fat.   It’s still tough…but it’s a lot less tough than it was in the beginning.  There’s nothing special about me.  If I can do this, you can too.

Back to my closet for a bit.  There’s a certain top in there that I’ve never worn.  You might think it was a cute little fitted thing in a size I can wear when I hit my goal weight, but you would be wrong.  It’s a 26/28…and I’ve had it for about 4 years.

When I bought it, I was a size 32 and not feeling very good about myself. I was only clothes shopping because I was too big to fit into most of the clothes in my closet and I needed some decent looking tops for work. I wasn’t eating very healthy and I was feeling plenty guilty about it.  I didn’t like myself very much.

Everything in the store was either ugly or inappropriate for a professional office.  The more I moved through the racks, the more I hated how big I was.  There was just nothing that I really liked.  And then I saw this top.  As soon as I saw it, I heard myself say “Ooooh!”

It doesn’t quite come off in the picture, but the entire neckline is sparkly (and y’all know how much I love all things shiny).  And it’s pink.  I love pink.  I automatically went for the back of the rack where the biggest sizes always were.  Imagine my disappointment when the biggest size available was a 26/28.  I asked the store clerk for a 30/32 and was told that the 26/28 was the biggest size it came in.

I bought it anyway.  That’s how bad I wanted it.  I’ve never been able to wear it.  That is about to change.  🙂

I should be able to wear this top in about ten more pounds.  This is perfect, actually, because hitting 329 is going to be a huge milestone for me…so I deserve something pretty to wear that day, don’t I?  This top has waited patiently in my closet for 4 years.  It’s about to have a hell of a coming out party.

Count on it.  🙂



Sparkly Pink Square Crystal Rhinestone Cuff Bracelet, 1.25 Inches Wide