Monday, June 26, 2017

Back in Black

Hello, strangers! I’m back in black because it’s the only color that hides my ever-growing muffin top! Some of you might wonder where I’ve been and I would love to tell you that I’ve been sailing the Mediterranean on a yacht with a gorgeous man but y’all can’t be fooled. Where have I been? Hiding. That’s what fat people who are ashamed do. Yes, that’s right, dear friends, I am fat. I’ve put on 60 disgusting pounds and I loathe myself for it. What happened? Life. I went through a shitty break up, twice, and gained 20 lbs. each time because I eat my feelings (shocking, I know). Then, over the last year, I put on 20 more just to pour salt in the wound. These are just excuses and I’m sick of it. I’m sick of dwelling on it and I’m tired of reviewing all the reasons why the gain happened.

My clothes don’t fit, I am embarrassingly out of shape, and I’m uncomfortable in my skin. I never thought I’d be this girl again. I thought I would continue my weight loss journey and be fine but the truth is that I didn’t deal with the issues underneath my fat. Losing weight didn’t cure my anxiety and it certainly didn’t make my emotional eating disappear. I absolutely hate that this happened and ignoring it isn’t making it better. The “I’ll start Monday” phrases are piling up and I’m drowning.

Let’s make a deal—you and me. We start over today. I prepped my lunches & snacks, I walked two miles at the gym, and I promise to be accountable. I don’t want to live like this because a 60 lb. gain will very quickly become a 90 lb. gain if I don’t get my shit together. I know what rock bottom feels like and it’s a too familiar place for me. Everyone tried to tell me and I didn’t listen. It’s SO hard to lose weight the second time. I’ve learned my lesson. It ends today. For real this time. You and me. We have a deal!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Too Much

“You’re not the same as you were before, you were much more…muchier. You’ve lost your muchness.”

I’ve spent my whole life being too much. In pre-school I was much too bossy of my peers. My teacher even commented that she didn’t need to be there because I told everyone what to do. During my elementary school years I always got in trouble for talking too much. Middle school is where I was much too confused on who I was (I also loved Justin Timberlake too much). Later, in high school, I was absorbed in the drama too much. In college I was much too lazy (mom would say I partied too much). The real constants throughout my life have been eating too much, thinking too much, worrying too much, overanalyzing much too much, and hating myself too much.

When I started dating a year and a half ago I realized for the first time that I am too much for some people. There’s this constant line you have to tread and it gives me WAY too much anxiety. Don’t be too forward but don’t be too reserved. Don’t be too smart but don’t be too dumb. Don’t try too hard but not enough. Don’t text too much but don’t disappear. Don’t be too nice but don’t be a bitch. Don’t be too emotional but don’t be closed off. Don’t be too funny but don’t be dull. It all boils down to, “don’t be too much,” which can be either end of the spectrum. Maybe I live my life in extremes but I am not a middle-of-the-road type of girl. Here’s what I know: I’m funny and smart, I wear my heart on my sleeve and emotions on my face, I fly off the handle but I always cop to when I’m being mean (it’s usually because I’m hangry), and I apologize too much. I will infuriate you beyond belief but I will love you harder than anyone ever.

My first relationship, he was too much, too. That’s how we could handle each other because we had the common ground of being too much for others. However, that was a ticking time bomb for when our muchness would clash. Ever since him I have struggled to find someone who is the perfect balance to myself. This dating thing is for the birds because I dizzy myself in the circles I spin agonizing on how much I should be of something. Well, I fucking give up. I’m done worrying too much about my muchness. I’m going to be as much as I want. It worked for Alice in Wonderland so damn it’s bound to work for me.

Don’t lose your muchness. It makes you who you are!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Sunshine and Rainbows

At one point in time this blog was the light of my life.  When walking Oliver, the dog, around the neighborhood I would come up with anecdotes, lessons, stories, etc. about the honest truths about weight loss.  I started writing and posts developed and one day I went live and it was so encouraging.  The huge issue with starting a happiness blog is that I set this expectation that I had to be happy all the time.  The truth is, it’s hard to write about happiness when you feel anything but.  I have struggled so much this past year and it’s hard to write about your trials and tribulations when your problems seem so small.  This is why I started therapy.  Just me and my therapist in a room on a couch where I can vent to her all my thoughts and issues.  So where have I been? I’ve been hiding.  I have this huge desire to be the girl I once was but she seems like a distant memory now.  She was untouchable, goal motivated, and incredibly disciplined.  I don’t know how to be her anymore. 

I felt really good for a few weeks—incredible even.  This came after a low point.  I didn't want to see people, I would cry a lot, and I didn't want to do anything but sleep.  I realized I had a huge problem.  I went to the doctor and tried to explain what I was feeling.  The only words I could come up with were, “off,” “sad,” “disconnected.”  She told me that she was listening to this podcast one morning and the speaker was saying that life has created this expectation that you’re supposed to be really happy and okay or something is wrong.  If you’re sad or feeling blue that there’s something wrong with you.  The truth is, there’s nothing wrong with you.  This happens to everyone and sometimes you just need to embrace the sad.  While she was telling this story, tears started streaming down my face.  Through my sobs I told her, “I just want to feel better.”

I think it's really hard for people to understand what someone who suffers from anxiety and depression is going through.  You think, "No one WANTS to get out of bed in the morning so I'm no different."  It's not that there's just a lack of want, it's that I physically can't.  In fact, if  I didn't have an animal relying on me, I wouldn't some days.  When a 23 lb. dachshund is sitting on your chest and whining in your face to go out and pee, you get up.  He's in charge.  When I have an anxiety attack, I can't physically sit.  I can't sit at my desk at work, I can't try to watch TV to distract me.  I have to pace, or drive, or just get the fuck out of wherever I am.  It sucks and it sucks even more that Cheetos puffs have a way of calming me down.

Life is full of ebbs and flows and not every week/month/year is going to be sunshine and rainbows.  For some, the thunderstorms just last a little longer.  October 2nd begins Mental Illness Awareness Week.  There are so many stigmas attached to mental illness that a lot of sufferers remain silent.  I have numerous friends who battle their own issues and I am, obviously, very upfront about mine.  For anyone struggling: you are not alone, you don't have to be ashamed of your disease, and I encourage you to seek help.  Let's all be #stigmafree and support one another through the tough times.  Recognition and acceptance are steps one and two.  Choose happy, y'all.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Snip, Snip

Short(er) hair!
I did it. It was huge and scary and much like ripping off a Band Aid. I did it in the moment, without much thinking, I just knew it was time. I had given up too many days, sacrificed too many tears, and allowed myself to become someone I didn’t like. The conversation started with, “I love you but right now I have to love myself more.” It wasn’t healthy. Attempting to be friends with an ex is never a good idea, especially when that person was your first real love. The fighting had started to overshadow what we once were. My happy memories of us were being clouded by anger. When I heard him call someone else, “babe,” it was like a dagger and it was my final straw. I cut him out, cold turkey, which is something I should have done 6 months ago. His biting words and cruel tone made walking away so much easier that day. Snip, snip.

I went to San Francisco for work the next day and felt so much lighter. I didn’t realize what a weight it was carrying that relationship (whatever form it was) around with me. I actually had people comment about how happy I looked. I felt it, too. For the first time in a long time I actually felt like myself again. A week turned to four and now it’s been six and I still feel SO much better. His, “have a nice life,” kept ringing in my ears and it fueled me to stay silent. Truth is, I had a nice life before him and I will have a nice life without him.

When you learn how much you’re worth, you’ll stop giving people discounts. It was time for me to stop giving so many fucking discounts. You don’t want to put in effort-- snip, snip. You don’t want to spend time with me-- snip, snip. You want to ignore me and only talk when it’s convenient for you-- snip, snip. I wasn’t just snipping out people, I decided it was time for a shake up and cut my hair. I am dropping dead weight and dead ends—a whole 8 inches gone!

For the first time in over a year, I’m putting myself first. I need to be my priority and I’m going to be incredibly selfish with my time. In 2014, I made a huge decision to put 100 percent of my focus into weight loss and it’s about time I do it again. How’s the saying go? “If I cut you out, chances are you handed me the scissors.” I’m collecting a ton of scissors, y’all. Demand better of the people you surround yourself with. We all deserve to have friendships and relationships with people who build us up and not tear us down. I am a high-value person and if you don’t like it—snip, snip.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Whoa With The Woes

It started with curtains and ended with a tree (hopefully). The middle was tears…lots of tears. I bought these super cute new curtains for my living room and decided to be really ambitious and hang them one night after work. As the anchors start pulling out of the wall, bending my brand new curtain rod, I realized I probably needed help. The pulled out anchors left huge gaping holes in the wall, which will need time to dry after spackling. I’m sweating. It’s 9 o’clock at night. I’m so tired. It should be noted that these windows face the street and don’t have blinds so leaving nothing up is out of the question. Duct tape to the rescue. My do-it-myself attitude (and ego) takes a blow that I can’t even hang a curtain rod on my own. No tears yet but there was a mini-screaming meltdown.

A few nights later, I take
Duct Tape Motif--all the rage!
Oliver in the backyard for his final outing and as I reach for the knob to get back in the house it doesn’t turn. I’m fucking locked out of the house. I’ve had 3 glasses of sangria and am in my sheer-ish pajamas WITHOUT A PHONE. Thank God for nice neighbors and a very speedy (but pricey) locksmith. Bill, the locksmith, I sincerely apologize for the tears, barking dog, and slightly inappropriate choice of clothing. As I sat on the stoop waiting for him I realized that I am alone in this. I don’t have a husband or boyfriend or life partner to help bail me out of locking myself out.

It’s decided that two things are needed immediately: a knob without a push lock and blinds (custom cut, of course). The new knob is installed in 3 seconds and I’m feeling so capable. I got this homeowner shit. I painted the two walls to get the blinds and that had its own set of issues. Seriously, painters earn every dollar they charge. What a pain in my tush. It’s time to put the blinds up and of course THEY DON’T FIT. I cut my finger opening the box and installing the hardware so I’m bleeding everywhere. I haven’t showered and I’m covered in teal paint. I’m a disgusting mess so it’s the perfect time to go to Lowe’s AGAIN. I box up the blinds and start questioning if I can do anything alone. I, obviously, can’t measure. I can’t install anything without the help of a man (or equally capable female friend). What made me think I could own a house alone? I’m irritated and seconds from tears and I realize while the man is cutting my blinds AGAIN that I stink—legitimately stink.

The blinds came with their own set of issues but after a few supportive phone calls from Pappadopolous they’re installed. As I sat and admired my work of the day I realized I need to calm down with the woe-is-me mentality. Yes, it would have been nice to have someone to call when I was locked out but without breaking a window a locksmith was probably needed. Sure, it would have been nice to have someone troubleshoot when I kept hitting the header around the window and couldn’t get the blinds up. They’re currently up with one screw and a few prayers, by the way.

While getting ready for work on Wednesday morning the doorbell rang and it scared the bejeezus out of me. It was my neighbor, the one who helped me in my lockout, and she had this look of apprehension on her face. “What now?” I thought.

Neighbor, “Have you been in the backyard?”
Me: “No, why what’s up?”
Neighbor: “Let’s go take a look at the back.”
Me: “Why is it bad?”

A tree in the land behind me lost a limb and took out a portion of the fence, which isn’t mine. Whew. Silver linings all around as it could be so much worse. It’s another frustration. It’s another woe-is-me opportunity. It’s another reminder that I have to handle crap on my own.

I had a little pep talk with me, “It’s time to suck it up, buttercup. Quit crying when stuff is frustrating and seems tough and figure it out. You are not a damsel in distress and have overcome way bigger problems than having to have your blinds trimmed. Put a Band-Aid on that cut and keep it moving!”

I think I got the memo.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Things Are A Changin'

Those of you who know me really well know that I HATE CHANGE. I’m a creature of habit and change stresses me the eff out. Lots of things, exciting things, are changing. As you can tell from my last post, I’m a homeowner! I’ve been at the same apartment for 7 years. I shop at the same Publix, I go to my gym, I have my zone in Gainesville that I thrive in. All of this is completely thrown off by the move. I will have a new Publix, I have to change gyms (I’m currently shopping), and I’m living in another city, technically. This move was a huge leap out of my comfort zone and I’m actually very proud of myself for taking it.

My hesitation to change got me to 291 lbs. I was “afraid” to lose weight because I would have to buy a new wardrobe (heaven forbid my size 24 orange pea coat wouldn’t fit anymore). I was so uncomfortably comfortable in my fat shell. It was part of my identity, much like my red hair, and I rationalized that it would forever define me. There was always an excuse to get me out of losing weight and the excuses multiplied as the years dragged on. It all boiled down to too much work and too much change for my psyche to handle.  I'm still so thankful for the day I decided to face my fear of change and got my booty in gear.

I’ve been in the house over a week and I’m starting to settle into the new strides of life. I have a new (and longer) commute, I’ve shopped at my new Publix twice, and I’m loving the quiet life inside my new neighborhood. I am slowly realizing that I may need to purchase a pickup truck because, well, I kinda moved to the country. My neighborhood has 2 roosters to prove it.

This week I was reminded that I am capable of change. I need to make some more changes but it's about baby steps y'all.  Get out of your comfort zone, change those bad habits, and have courage to face fears.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Home Sweet Home

 Eleven years ago, as an incredibly intimidated freshman, I moved to Gainesville. What I imagined would be a pit stop of 4 years has morphed into an experience beyond my wildest dreams. Here, in this ever-growing town, my friends became family, a part-time job became a career, and I lost and found myself countless times over. Here, clad in my orange and blue, I grew up. On Friday, I made the biggest/scariest/most exciting purchase of life. I closed on my first home. What started out as a whim became a quest to find the perfect space for Oliver and me. I did find it—tucked away just 15 miles north of the apartment I have called home for the last 7 years in the town of Alachua. I have been impatiently waiting for the last 45 days to pass so I could finally hold the keys in my hands (and of course reveal the semi-secret to all of my beloved friends/readers).

This house marks a new chapter for myself. It is step one of a journey I need to make and I need to make NOW. I have been incredibly lost over the past year and I needed something to shake up my soul. MY house is a clean slate, a fresh start, and an opportunity to stand on my own two feet. I finally have something that is mine and it’s a huge responsibility. Not only is it a very large monetary impact on my life but it feels like a huge step to being a grown up.

The thing that no one tells you as you’re growing up is that you really have control to design the life you imagine but not everything will turn out the way you plan. Yes, I always saw myself buying a home but I never dreamed it would be on my own. Society and romantic comedies have taught me that you get married, buy a house, have a few kids, drive a soccer-mom car and live happily ever after. I never pictured mowing my own lawn, being in charge of killing the spiders, and owning a caulk gun (thanks, Pappadopolous!). Instead of focusing on all the things I don’t have that I thought I would by this age I would like to focus on what I do have. I own a home, y’all! This is insane, overwhelming, incredibly scary, and extra happy!