Tag Archives: exercise

Life Before the “After” Picture

Hey y’all –

255-420323I’ve got about four different blog posts going right now and I can already see the writing on the wall: none of them are coming easy.  The writing process is a lot like giving birth for me (or at least what I’ve heard about giving birth).  There’s a lot of pushing and sweating and, in the end, a big mess and a lot of crying.  Hopefully when I’m done, though, I have a new bundle of joy…er, words…to post for you.  I’ve been pushing on this one for days.  Either I post it tonight or I’ll be looking for an epidural and a rubber donut to sit on tomorrow.

I got a very sweet email from a reader the other day that really made me smile. She was highly complimentary about my little blog.  Honestly, I truly consider it an honor when you write to me to tell me your personal stories.  We’re all in this together, right?  We’re all fighting the same battles.

This reader was asking me in particular why the “pounds lost” ticker on the right has been at 44 pounds for quite a while without moving…because watching that ticker go down is very motivating for her.  Like so of my loyal readers who follow my blog (and I love every single one of you!), she’s inspired by my story and enjoys the motivation she gets from it.  It made me realize that I haven’t spoken much about my trips to the scale and my weight loss since I began my goal of moving more in 2013.

This wonderful reader gives me more credit than I deserve, even supposing that I’ve continued to lose weight and am keeping it a secret until I can announce that I’ve lost 100 pounds with much fanfare and merriment.  I would never do that to you, I promise.  We’re in this together – and my purpose in writing this blog is to lay it all out on the line in honest form.  I believe it’s only in honest, raw form that we really succeed.  Anyone who tries to hand it to you all neatly packaged and heavily marketed is selling you something.  And if they’re selling you something, you can’t trust them.  They’re making money off your misery, kids.  That’s why you don’t see any ads for weight loss surgery or acai berry gel or the HCG diet here.  I’m not going to be part of the problem.

I’m going to give you my progress report but I have mixed feelings about talking about it – not because I have bad news, but because I’ve grown tired of the predictable response I get from anyone I speak to about my progress right now.  Let me give you an example of a recent conversation I had with a nice enough person who seems to only be interested in instant solutions. For the sake of abbreviation and anonymity, we’ll call her Clueless.

Clueless:  So how’s the weight loss going?

HMP:  Fine, thanks!

Clueless:  How much weight have you lost so far?

HMP:  44 pounds.

Clueless:  Oh, good for you!  What was it before?  I haven’t talked to you since way before Christmas.

HMP:  45 pounds.

Clueless gets a puzzled look.

HMP:  I lost 45 pounds, then I gained 7 back.  I’ve lost 6 of those…so the total is 44 pounds.

Clueless:  Oh, what’s wrong?

HMP:  (with a slightly patronizing smile) Nothing’s wrong.

Clueless:  Well, 44 pounds is great.  How long did that take you?

HMP:  A year.

Clueless frowns with much disappointment.

Clueless:  Oh…

HMP:  (resisting the urge to throw something at Clueless)  I feel successful and that’s all that matters.  I’ve lost 44 pounds and kept it off all this time.  I’ve never done that before.  We fatties consider that a big deal.

Clueless instantly realizes she’s disappointed that I lost weight and feels embarrassed.  Desperate to change the subject, she says “So who do you like on The Biggest Loser this season?”

HMP:  I don’t watch it.  That isn’t real life or a responsible way to take care of yourself.

Clueless made some more small talk and walked away…most likely chalking my 44 pounds up to failure.  Probably feeling sorry for me in some way because she thinks I haven’t figured it out yet.  Well, I haven’t figured it all out yet…but I’m well on my way.


I experienced something very similar last year when it first became noticeable that I was losing weight.  People were elated for me.  They would come up to me excitedly asking how much I’d lost, how long it took me.  Since I’d lost a significant amount of weight in a short amount of time, they were all ears.  Next came the question how did you do it?


HMP:  Well, I gave up sugar and processed foods first.  Then I gave up diet soda and fast food.  It’s been amazing.

Clueless:  What diet is that?

HMP:  It’s not a diet.  I eat grilled chicken, raw spinach, grilled turkey burgers. Apples.  Greek yogurt.  I eat healthy.

Clueless gives a disappointed look.  No pills, no shakes.  No magic sprinkles to shake on my food.  Nope, just hard work and life changes.  It’s not so sexy to some people who don’t want to hear the truth.

I’m not comparing any of you guys to Clueless, believe me.  Y’all are like me.  You’ve been around the block enough and you understand how the game works.  You’re tired and ready for a solution that works for you…and when you find someone like me with a big mouth who puts all her big butt frustrations on the internet, you feel like you found your long lost sister.  🙂  I feel the same way about you every time I get an email or a Facebook message.  We understand each other’s trials, tribulations, and frustrations in a way that our slim & trim friends never will.

I wish I could tell you I’ve secretly been losing weight so that I can surprise you with a big number, but that’s not the case.  The truth is that the ticker is right.  It’s holding at 44 pounds…and it’s not going to budge again until I make exercise a consistent habit.  That’s how my body works.  Yours may be different – but mine gets to a point where it says “Okay, I’ve lost enough…if you want to look awesome you’re going to have to work with me a lot more.”












I know someone who’s very physically active.  He’s an avid mountain biker.  Very athletic.  He has a serious problem with food temptations.  Too much beer.  Too many yummies.  But the exercise part?  He’s got that down pat.  I’m exactly the opposite.  My food is in check.  My exercise needs help.

That’s why I bought a Fitbit.  That’s why I tried Fitocracy.  2013 is all about moving.  It’s all about getting going and battling all my old exercise demons.  By the end of the year, I plan to be an absolute badass.

My goal is no longer about keeping a stranglehold on my food intake and keeping temptation at bay.  I’ve got that down.  My goals are now about moving more, finding a form of exercise that I enjoy, and pounding out some of the stress in my life with running shoes and treadmills and nature trails.  Eventually, I will get back on the scale on a regular basis.  I do that because I enjoy it, not because I’m obsessing or feel like I have to.  However, to get on the scale in the beginning of all this…when the shortest walk feels like a major, painful effort… is suicide.  All it will do is make it seem like the scale isn’t moving fast enough for all the hard work I’m doing…and I’ll quit.  I don’t want to pull at that thread.

Some of you have asked me what motivates me.  Obviously, it’s not The Biggest Loser if you’ve read my posts about my experience with them.  One of the things that inspires me most is People magazine’s “Half Their Size” issue.  The before and after photos of the people who’ve lost so much weight are incredibly inspiring to me.  I dream of how I’ll feel as I’m posing for my “after” picture.  That’s what motivates me.  So when I see someone disappointed that I’ve lost 44 pounds in a year…or when I don’t tell them that I put miracle sprinkles on a hamburger and lost a size in a month…it’s ok.  It’s really ok.  I close my eyes and I think of the day I’m posing for my “after” picture.  It will happen.

The instant gratification that society is trying to slap on us isn’t real.  Contestants on The Biggest Loser use asparagus binges and deprive themselves of water before weigh-in day in order to hit the big numbers.  Shakeology, HCG, and all these scam diets are just people making money off of those of us who struggle with our weight.  If any of these things really worked, we would all be slim already and obesity wouldn’t be such a raging problem.  But they don’t work.  Not for us, anyway.  They work for the diet industry…because we’re putting billions of dollars in their pockets every year.  Well, not me.  I’m done.

So 44 pounds in a year.  It’s not sexy and shiny.  It’s not all wrapped up in a pretty package.  I’m not showing you how quick and easy it is.  It’s work.  I have many, many more pounds to follow…and I just need to move a little farther down the path.  I’ve already started moving more.  I’m about to increase my goal again.  In fact, you’re about to see me start getting really physically active…and I hope to inspire you to do the same.

I’m proud of my 44 pounds.  Incredibly proud.  I feel like they’re my badge of honor for fighting the food demons last year.  There will be many more badges of honor this year as I battle my exercise demons.  I promise to share it with you here.  For whatever reason, I’m called to put my personal experience out here for the world to see.

So here I am, world.  This is me.  This is my life before the “after” picture.  This is the work that’s been done and the work that needs to be done.  This is the blood, the sweat, and the tears of it.  This is what it takes to get to the day when at last you take your “after” picture.

Bad Ass Couch copy

Fitbit: Sleep Tracking

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while are well aware that I suffer from insomnia.  Probably from squeezing so much awesome into all this plus sized cuteness, right?  In fact, I’m so awesome that I have to resort to prescription drugs to catch my z’s – but that’s another habit I hope to kick in 2013.  I think it’s reasonable to expect that once I start consistently shaking my moneymaker I’ll be a lot more tired at night…don’t you?

I’m using one of the coolest tools around to help me hit my 2013 goal of making exercise a consistent habit:  the Fitbit Ultra tracker.  If you’re not up to speed with this little badass bit of technological goodness, click here to read about my first experience with it.  One of the features of the Fitbit Ultra activity tracker is that it monitors your sleep.  I kid you not.

The technological geniuses over at Fitbit have several activity tracking devices to choose from.  Some offer more features than others, some are at a lower price point than others.  I have the Fitbit Ultra, which I recently purchased, but don’t see on their website, so I’ll have to ask them about that.  Stay tuned!!  I encourage you to check out their website for complete info on all the devices they have to offer.

The sleep tracking feature has been really interesting for me to play with – and I would imagine it could be very enlightening to some folks who might unknowingly suffer from sleep apnea and have no idea. It tracks how many times the user wakes up during the night.  I average around 11 times.  I have no idea if that’s normal, especially since I take medication to help me sleep, but I plan on sharing that information with my doctor the next time I see him just to make sure.

Likewise, I can imagine that the sleep tracking feature could be very enlightening for anyone who sleep walks and has no idea.  Like Hot Mess Hubby.  Seriously…he thought he was stumbling into the bathroom one night and peed on a ficus in our bedroom instead.  Try explaining that to the carpet cleaning guy.

To track my sleep, I just slip the Fitbit Ultra into a little slot on the wrist band that came with it.  (Normally during the day I keep Fitbit clipped to my bra.)  When I lurch out of bed the next morning, I log in to my Fitbit online account and enter the time I went to bed and the time I got out of bed. Simple.  Here’s what Fitbit had to say about last night’s sleep:











As you can see, it took me an hour and 11 minutes to fall asleep.  This is actually pretty accurate.  I was reading in bed last night.  Fitbit sensed that I was flipping pages on my Kindle (or petting Caesar the crabby tabby when he head-butts said Kindle).  Once I fell asleep, I awoke 8 times.

I don’t track my sleep every night.  Why?  I’m not sure why I should.  I guess I don’t understand the benefits of daily sleep tracking.  Maybe I’ll throw that in the email I send them about the Ultra.  I do find it useful, though, and I’ll definitely publish follow-up posts if I hear back from Fitbit – and when I discuss the 11 average wake-ups with my doctor.

Fitbit provides this answer on their website to the question “Why should I track my sleep?”

“Fitbit’s sleep tracking is based on research conducted by sleep labs. Following body movement during sleep provides a measurement of the quality of rest. Tossing and turning in one’s sleep, which can be detected by Fitbit Trackers, is indicative of restlessness.”

As I motor through 2013 on my way to a healthier, more active lifestyle I hope to ween myself off all sleep medications…and maybe I can put a dent in those wake-ups – although, according to Fitbit, I’m a fairly efficient sleeper.  Obviously, they’re not taking 130 pound half-wit dogs into account.








See, Dyson doesn’t like to be reminded that there are other dogs in the world. I left the tv on in the living room and got the bejesus scared out of me when he started barking like there was a serial killer on the front porch. Maybe Fitbit can come up with a dog collar that wirelessly connects to my Ultra tracker and shouts “No!” if I’m sleeping peacefully and he opens his doggy yap.

Hey, I can dream.

Have you been motivated to grab a Fitbit tracker because of this blog?  I’d love to hear what you have to say about your own experience.  Share your experience here!


Fitbit: the first impression

Hey y’all!

As you know, I’ve decided to make exercise a habit in 2013.  2012 was about getting the food demons in check, which I’ve done – so now I’m going after exercise.  Keep in mind, I have the same love for exercise as I do for the Taliban:  less than ZERO.  In many ways, I feel like this is going to be a bigger challenge than my food demons ever were…so I’m gathering all the tools I possible can.  Fitbit is one that I’ve decided to try (click here to read the original post about why I decided on Fitbit).

I’m still getting to know how it works, but so far I really like it.

Mine! All mine!!!













Here’s a quick run down:


Set up is pretty easy.  The packaging information gives you four steps to set up your device, including the set up of your free account on Fitbit’s website.  It took less than 15 minutes.

The online process for registering Fitbit is only 4 easy steps.



I bought the Fitbit Ultra, which is the one that monitors your sleep patterns and stairs climbed.  Normal retail price of this one is about $99, however I had a nice sized gift card thanks to my Best Buy Reward Zone membership…so I didn’t have to pay that much for mine.  Unlike BodyBugg, there no monthly fee to use this device.

The Fitbit Ultra packaging contains the Fitbit device, a belt clip, the usb charging cord and stand, and the wrist band you can use if you want to wear it for sleep monitoring.









It’s interesting to me how small the device is.  You can see here that it’s not even as big as a tube of lip balm. The device clamps onto whatever garment you want it to – even without the belt clip.  In my opinion, the device is snug enough on it’s own. Judge for yourself, though!

Smaller than a standard tube of lip balm…nice!

















After the set up process, I clipped it to my bra and immediately began wondering how it can the different between a step and just random movement.  How accurate is it?  How does it know?  I had to find out in my very non-scientific way, so I did what any non-scientist would do:  I shimmied my boobies like I haven’t shimmied in years, peeps.  I’m fairly certain I achieved some kind of seismic activity.  Then I reached down into my bra and hit the button on Fitbit that tells me how many steps I’ve taken.  0 steps.

Hmm…a good sign.  I couldn’t fake it out with my giant boob dance.  Cool.

(Oh, and I didn’t take pics of the scientific boob shimmy experiment.  You’re welcome.)


I went about my day, mostly unaware that the little thing was clipped to my bra.  You can’t feel it, it doesn’t interfere with anything.  (Boys, you can clip it to your waist band or belt – although, personally, I think y’all should have to wear underwire undies just to keep shit real between the genders, but whatever.  If you think underwire might be uncomfortable, just wuss out and put it on your waist or clip it to the front pocket of your pants.  Wherever you put it, make sure you push it all the way onto your garment and you should be fine…it’s got a pretty good grip.  Read the directions, use your best judgment.  I barely noticed it.

Any time I want to see how many steps I’ve taken, I just push the button on Fitbit and the display shows me the number.


Every once in a while, I would be back around my laptop and POOF my Fitbit would sync its data with the Fitbit website and my stats would update.  Syncing didn’t happen every single time, but it did happen throughout the day.  The online FAQ states that you should attach Fitbit to the charging cradle if you ever want to force a sync, which I did a few times the first day just because I wanted to see the update.  The nice thing is that you don’t have to force a sync in order for the device to update your online account.


The online account is free and there is no monthly charge.  Online, you’ll see the details of your activity – depending on which Fitbit device you have.  Here’s a snapshot of just a portion of my online account yesterday:


There are mobile apps for iPhone and Android users.  I downloaded the mobile app, thinking it would be handy to use when I’m away from the laptop for extended periods.  I thought that’s what it was for…but Fitbit surprised me again.

There I was, sitting on the couch a few hours before bed time, when my phone vibrates.  It was the Fitbit mobile app telling me “Almost there! You only have 287 more steps to take before hitting your goal today!!”

Seriously…eff’in awesome!  Nudge, nudge, nudge, Dianne…get up off your ass and take 287 more steps please.  And you know what?  I did.


Fitbit’s price is easier on the wallet.  Fitbit Ultra is $99.  Bodybugg is $119 and $149, depending on which model you get.  Also, Bodybugg doesn’t have a digital display, so if you want a display to see your steps, etc. then it’s another $50 and an extra device to wear (on your wrist…looks like an ugly black sports watch).  Fitbit has a less expensive model for $49 that counts steps, but doesn’t track sleep or stairs climbed.

Syncing is wireless with Fitbit.  My old Bodybug required a cable – although I believe they do have wireless syncing available now.

Unlike my old Bodybug, I can push a button on Fitbit and see how many steps I’ve taken.  My Bodybug had to be synced at the computer before I could see my steps.  As mentioned above, they have a wrist display that you can purchase separately…but Fitbit clips to your bra or your pocket and doesn’t require a wrist display.

There is no monthly fee required in order to sync my information to my account with Fitbit.  Bodybug requires a membership fee.  I do not like recurring charges of any kind and avoid them whenever I can.  I figure the less I spend on crap like that, the more designer handbags I can put in my inventory.  Priorities.  🙂

One last thing:  Fitbit is very affectionate.  I picked it up yesterday and it said “SMOOCHES” on the display.  Adorable!  I can always use more smooches.  It probably seems silly to some of you, but think about it this way:  I hate exercise with the fire of a thousand suns…and this little pro-exercise bugger got me to smile and take 287 extra steps.  Before Fitbit, I would have kept on sitting.

Future blog posts will include more detail on sleep tracking and other features – so if you’re thinking of buying one, you might want to stayed tuned for that.  For now, I can say that I’m a very happy girl.  My money was well spent.


** I have not been compensated by Fitbit in any way for this blog post – in fact, they don’t even know I exist.  This blog post contains my sincere opinions and experiences with the Fitbit device.  I think it’s important to confirm for you that my  purchase of the Fitbit tracker and my experience is my own…and that my opinion has not be swayed in any way by any kind of compensation from Fitbit.  (And if Fitbit ever happens to read this…you’re welcome for the free advertising.  LOL.)

Let’s have some geeky FUN!

You non-techy, video game haters are just going to have to trust me…this post really does wind back to my 2013 goal of moving more. Stick with me.

Ever since Mario bounced on that first magic mushroom, I’ve loved video games.  I am a bit of a geek.  Not to the Uber Dork level of Tron Man here, but still a geek.

All hail Tron Man!


















Ms. Pacman was my first pixelated gal pal. Back in the day when Atari ruled the world, however, video games were for boys…not girls – so it was my little brother who got the Atari for Christmas. (He cried like a pussy when he got it, by the way. I still tease him.) I think I got a sweater or something equally cool that year. Not!

Even when I was all grown up with my own job and everything, I saved up to buy a Nintendo gaming system. I still get a warm and fuzzy feeling whenever I see one of those game controllers. I spent so many hours earning coins and badges and leveling up in so many different games. It was a fun distraction from the drudge of the everyday for me – back in a time when I was overwhelmed by the emotional damage The King had caused.  After working a full time job, taking classes at the local college, and hashing out my problems with a therapist, it was welcome and much needed down time.

Then computer games came out. Technology was starting to compound on itself and there was more and more fun to be had. I still remember playing DOOM on our first home computer. It scared the crap out of me. All the demons and monsters, their guts exploding everywhere. So gross and so terrifying. And then my brother got an addition to it that made the halls of hell look like the ship in the second Aliens movie…and changed the demons to those hideous monsters that terrorized poor Sigourney Weaver. I remember playing late into the night, hunched over our giant computer monitor (some of you will remember when computer monitors weighed 100 pounds and generated enough heat to fry an egg). I would wear headphones so Mom didn’t get upset about the sounds of my awesome alien blaster gun at 1 am, but the problem was I would be so engrossed in what I was doing that I didn’t notice anything else.

So there I was one night, hunched over the computer with my headphones on, slowly walking down the hall of this space ship…looking for aliens on the motion detector. I could hear one breathing close by and it was such a creepy feeling (if you’ve ever seen those movies, you’ll understand). I didn’t even notice my brother’s headlights in the window when he pulled into the driveway and, as I carefully moved my character forward down the hallway, my brother crept into the room…came up behind me…and poked me in the ribs.


I nearly peed all over myself. I definitely screamed. Our mom bolted out of her bedroom yelling at us, but we were already laughing. We apologized profusely, of course…and after the initial scare, I’m sure she had a chuckle on her way back to her bedroom.

More computer games followed after that – even after I got my first apartment. Sure, I went out with my girlfriends and had a social life…but there was always room for pixelated fun…which led to a second, pixelated social life. Back when we were just good friends, Hot Mess Hubby talked me into buying one of the first really great online games: Asheron’s Call. All the other characters running around the make believe world of Dereth were actually other human beings who were sitting at their computers in their homes…doing the same lame shit we were doing: playing a game. I was in awe.  Playing computer games AND chatting with people?  Hell yeah!

Many times you couldn’t get a task done without help, so you would have to team up with other people on the internet to take down a bad guy…and afterwards there would be chat conversations that ensued.

“I’m in California, where are you from?”

“I need the Monkey Island quest, do you? Can you help me later tonight because I have to go to work right now.”

“Oh really? What kind of job do you have?”

I know it probably seems incredibly lame to those of you who would never play such games (and technically you’re right), but I made friendships back in those early days that I treasure even now. Hubby and I have actually met several online friends from that game in person as they’ve visited the DFW area for one reason or another. Do I need to spend any more time convincing you of my geekness? I hope not.















Gaming is a fun escape for both hubby and me, although I no longer play like I used to. I honor my adult responsibilities first…unlike some people around here. Personally, I find it difficult to relax and enjoy my time if every dish in the house is dirty and the carpet has chunks on it…but that’s just me. Not so much for the hubby.  I once came home from a weekend trip and found him eating soup from the gravy boat while he played on the Playstation, the sink and counters piled high with dishes that were not as important as completing the next mission on Call of Duty.

Don’t get me started.

I also love social media (if you’ve LIKEd my Facebook fan page and you see the crap I put up there every day, you already know this). Foursquare is fun as well because I get coupons and rewards for shopping and eating out…and I earn badges. Oh, I love to earn badges! I have no idea why, but I do. Something in my psyche is hard coded to respond to this kind of meaningless crap. Instead of trying to “fix” it, I’m just going to embrace it.

When Little Big Planet came out for Playstation 3, Hot Mess Hubby would tease me relentlessly because allegedly I had a “dopey smile” on my face every time I played.  (I still insist it’s my “game face” and not just a regular dopey smile.)  I really loved making Sack Boy run and jump through the make believe world of Little Big Planet, earning amazing goodies and prizes as I went through each level. Seriously, that’s what they’re called in Little Big Planet.  Doesn’t that sound like so much fun? Who doesn’t love goodies and prizes?

In yesterday’s blog, I shared with you that 2013 is going to be the year that I move more and tackle my exercise demons. As always, my process involves me doing this my way. I hate gyms, so that’s not an option. In fact, anything that requires me to drive to it…ain’t gonna happen.  I’m too good at talking myself out of it and it’s just not a battle I’m going to fight with myself right now.  I feel confident that things will change later.

Jazzercise and Zumba are also not options for me at this time. I would love to go bike riding, but I fear that any bike I buy will have to come with a discount card to a local proctologist so that I can have the seat removed from my ass when I’m done with my ride for the day. You’re welcome for that mental image, by the way.

I’m going to be creative about my exercise tasks in 2013 – especially in the beginning because mentally I’ll be screaming like a little baby every time I have to bend at the waist. I hate exercise. What I need is something fun and distracting to get me through the beginning until it becomes more of a habit. I need social media. I need to earn pixelated badges that ultimately mean nothing but put a smile on my face nonetheless. I need to level up. I need quests and challenges – especially if I get more badges and trophies for completing them!

Fellow Hot Messes, I present to you….Fitocracy.

Fitocracy is an online social media platform centered around living a fit lifestyle…one in which you level up and earn badges for logging your healthy activities. WHAT??? Badges??? I am there!

I’ve been messing around with it for the past week or so and I have to tell you…it’s cute. And fun. It’s free to sign up and use…so there’s no financial burden. There is a paid membership available with a few extra benefits, but nothing that wow’d my pants off.  (Unlimited work outs to save on your profile, etc.)  At my fitness level, unlimited workouts don’t really concern me.  I’d be ecstatic just making exercise a consistent habit, so let’s not get all fancy just yet.

A word: when you first sign up, Fitocracy takes the liberty of putting you in a few groups and giving you some friends so you’re not all lonely and loser-ish. One of the groups I was put in was for strength training/weight lifting enthusiasts…and when I logged in one day, I saw this comment by someone:

“Lost weight over the holiday…totally not happy about that, but what can I do?”

Yeah, I left that group with a quickness. I need to be around people I can relate to.  But if they don’t hook you up with anyone, your “wall” is going to be blank…so they’re trying to help and I give them props for that. Click around and see what you like or don’t like…leave groups you’re not interested in and join the ones that tickle your fancy.

One of the coolest features? I was able to create a group for us!!! Hot Mess Princess fans UNITE!!!  But first you have to sign up for your free account. If you can, please use the link below to join because guess what? I get a special badge for that! I also get a free month of Fitocracy “Hero”, which is their paid version…but honestly, I don’t see that it would be of much use to me. I just want the eff’in badge. Seriously. If you don’t want to click my link, then I’ll forgive you…and I still hope you come and play with us.

Here’s the link I would like you to click when you’re ready to join:  Fitocracy

Clicking that link and joining will get me a fabulous HERO badge.  Do it, do it!

Once you’re signed up then go ahead and join the Hot Mess Princess group here:  Hot Mess Princess Blog Fans

Once you’re all done, comment here with your user name so that the friend requests can start flying. My user name is, of course, HotMessPrincess.  No spaces.

Members can start duels with each other and we can have group challenges.  This actually sounds fun to me…and I hope it sounds fun to you.  I’m really looking forward to using Fitocracy to motivate myself AND you to move more. I hope this turns out to be as much fun as it seems! Come play with me!!

Now…want to see what a Fitbit is like? Watch for tomorrow’s post. I bought mine today and I’m test driving it now!  So far, I’ve climbed the world’s tallest pencil.

I’ll explain tomorrow.

The picture below is a little something sweet to end my geek sermon with…back before Hot Mess Hubby and I were married, he gave this item to me in the first game we ever played together.  It was a time in his life when he was wondering whether he should stop procrastinating and just ask me out.  One of his rare romantic moments.  Sometimes pixelated moments are precious too.

Hubby’s character was named Deadhead. He’s not extremely creative, but he can be very sweet.

2013: The Year of Moving More

Last year at this time, I was strutting around my living room like Mick Jagger’s fat sister…adamantly proclaiming that 2012 was going to be my year. Take no prisoners, batten down the hatches, I was going to forge through 2012 and make it my bitch.

I feel like I did that, but not in the “In yo face, chump!” way I thought I would. Sometimes when I get very excited I turn into Richard Simmons…and that shit’s not good for anybody. Then I calm down and remember that I’m just me: a former snack cake guzzler who has seen the light.

2012 was my year. (I have a whole “2012 was awesome” post coming on New Year’s Eve. Sort of a snarky retrospective on all things Hot Mess. You’re welcome.) It was the year that I created a bunch of motivational tools to help me hit my goals. It was the year that I realized this is a war of tiny battles…and that if I just focus on the little steps and map out a plan for myself, I can get there from here. And it was the first year that I have ever lost weight (45 pounds) and kept it off. Ever.

True enough, a year ago I imagined that I would plow through the year at full speed and kick major scale ass for the entire year. I imagined celebrating 100 pounds lost sometime around the end of the summer, victoriously donating box after box after box of fat pants to the Goodwill. That did not happen. I hit a plateau on the scale and then I hit a plateau in my brain. I had to fight the urge to take my frustrations out on Twinkies. I won that fight (sorry about that whole bankruptcy thing, Hostess, but I’ve moved on). In fact, Little Debbie is probably getting her affairs in order as well…because I have successfully avoided Nutty Bars for a year. Take that, you little bitch!

2012 was the year I kicked my food demons in the ass. Looking back at it now, I can clearly see that was the lesson I was supposed to learn this year: finally getting control over my food demons. I feel good about it. I feel victorious. And sure, there are a lot of fatty haters out there who would say I’ve failed because I didn’t keep losing…and I don’t care about them. This is not their life and it’s not their process. In over 20 years of being obese I have ended every year weighing more than I did at the start of the year. I have never lost weight and kept it off. I will proudly stand on top of my plus sized mountain and proclaim victory for losing 45 pounds and not gaining it back. I’ve earned that right.

Another victory to celebrate is the fact that my outlook on food has significantly changed. Even when I’m famished, steering my car towards a drive-thru is not an option for me. I don’t even consider it. I’m done with fast food. There have been a few times when I’ve been out with the hubby and we’ve stopped for fast food because that’s what he wanted. He would catch me making a face every time and I’d just shake my head and explain that it doesn’t taste like I remember it. At all. Fast food tastes terrible to me now. And sugar? A little sugar goes a long way with me. We went out to dinner the other night and our waiter asked if we would like dessert. I immediately said “Oh, no thank you…I’m full!” After he left, hubby smiled at me and said “You’ve changed so much, babe. You used to always get dessert no matter what. I’m proud of you for how well you’ve done this year.” There’s nothing like someone you love being proud of you. Nothing.

He’s right, too: whenever we went out to dinner before I got on a healthier road, my heart would race just looking at the dessert menu. If the waiter brought the check and didn’t ask us if we’d like dessert, I was downright pissed.

“Are you trying to say that you think I’ve had enough dessert, Mr. Waiter? Is that it? Because I’ll tell you what: I haven’t! I’d like to pack a few more asses into these here fat pants, Mister, so get your skinny ass into that kitchen and bring me some mud pie!”

Yeah. I’ve changed.

So what about 2013? It’s nearly upon us. Is 2013 going to be the year that I celebrate 100 pounds lost? Oooh! Maybe I’ll lose 150!!! Or maybe I’ll even get to my entire goal of 219 pounds lost by next year! OMG yes! And I’ll do it all by drinking organic smoothies and eating nuts I find in the yard.

Okay, seriously. No.

My 2013 is going to be about moving more. Part of me cringes every time I say it, but it’s true. 2013 is going to be about me moving more. A lot more. Why am I cringing? Because I fucking hate exercise. I hate it!!! That’s something else 2012 taught me – but unlike all the positive results and wonderful lessons I learned in 2012, I know that my attitude towards exercise is unhealthy…so it’s time for me to do something about it. If you’d like a mental image of what that’s going to be like, imagine being shoved into a tiny cage with an angry badger while someone pokes said badger with a very sharp stick. There will be a lot of screaming and probably a lot of bleeding, but I’ll get through it. I will tame the badger.

When it comes to my goal of moving more, 2012 taught me that my treadmill is a wonderful convenience that gets boring if I don’t mix it up. I learned that doing dance and exercise games on our Playstation 3 makes me feel like the 9 year old little girl who didn’t measure up at the dance studio. It brings a lot of issues up for me that need to rest in peace, so I’m not likely to do that kind of exercise for a while. I love dancing, I just need less junk in my trunk when I get down with the funk. And I learned that the task of bringing exercise back into my life is going to require a lot of careful thought, some trial and error, and a high level of motivation from a lot of different sources. One of those sources is electronic gadgetry. 

In addition to being a handbag ho, I’m also a gadget geek and a bit of a gamer. So, in these last few days before 2013 is upon us, I’ve decided to buy myself a Fit Bit activity tracker. I’ve heard tons of good reviews from many of you here on the blog and on my Facebook fan page. Tomorrow is payday and I’m going for it.

Fitbit One Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker, Black

Why Fit Bit? Well, I had a BodyBug once. I saw the contestants on the Biggest Loser using them (back when I used to watch) and I loved the idea of having real time data telling me whether I was moving enough in order to hit my calorie deficit each day. I actually bought one and I loved it. I miss that. What sucks about the BodyBug is that it comes with a monthly fee for their online service…and we don’t need another monthly expense in the Hot Mess Household. No way. Fit Bit doesn’t require a monthly fee.

If you’ve never heard of these gadgets before, I encourage you to get all Google-y and check it out. You strap these little gadgets to yourself (they’re small enough to conceal) and they tell you how much you’re moving and how well you’re doing in relation to the goals you’ve set for yourself. I’ll give you a real world example to compare this to: a shitty job I had a long time ago.

I had a boss who was a complete jackass…and every month he would call me to his office for our “one on one” meeting. Every month he would tell me that I didn’t hit my productivity goal. He would make suggestions like “work faster” or “don’t take a break every day”. You know…douchebag advice. He was a real piece of work. And every month I would work really hard, trying to get to my productivity goal, and every month I would fail.

Then he went off to do something else (I think they actually created a douche bag department and put him in charge) and I got a new boss. In our first meeting together, my new boss asked me how I was monitoring my productivity. I explained to him that I had no tools to do that. Douche bag boss would not allow us to even use the printer that all the reports came off of, nor would he allow us access to print any…or even know what was available. New boss says to me, “Well, how are you supposed to hit a monthly productivity goal if you can’t tell how you’re doing during the month? Would it help you to have access to that information sooner so that you can make changes accordingly?”

Hell yes!

New boss gave me access to the reports, explained to me what kind of reports I could run, gave me some suggestions about what to look for, and set me loose. I hit my productivity goal well before the month was over. By the end of the year, I had increased my productivity so much that they didn’t hire a replacement for my co-worker when she transferred to another department.

The lesson here? Information and the right tools are more valuable than cigarettes in prison, peeps. The thing I loved most about my BodyBug (and hope to love about my Fit Bit) is that it will give me real time info so that I don’t have to wait to get on the scale to find out I wasn’t trying hard enough. If you’re still shaking your head at me, don’t worry…I’ll be blogging a lot about this over the next several weeks and you’ll get to see it in action. I promise.

Tomorrow we’re going to talk about another cool tool…one that I hope you’ll join me on. It’s free and I’m enjoying it so far. I have a Hot Mess Princess group all set up for us, which I’ll tell you all about in tomorrow’s post. Maybe if enough of us are having fun, I won’t be so grumpy about having to move below the waist.

I’ll be posting pics here and on my Facebook fan page as I go along.

See y’all tomorrow…