DAY 007: Shaken, not stirred

Spoiler alert:  This has nothing to do with how I take my martinis.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to express how the last few months have been for me that led me to the point in my weight-loss mission where I find myself today.  In particular, the last 6 weeks of that have turned me into a raw, exposed nerve at times.  When I saw that today was #007 in my numbering scheme, a bit of an opportunity presented itself.  It’ll be a bit of a stretch, but hey, that’s been true for my pants of late; why should my writing be any different? 😉  So, let’s say I’ve been feeling existentially shaken, but somehow not stirred to action.  (It’s tortured, but whatever.  I’m sure I’ve done worse.)

Most of the year was pretty decent, just extra busy.  When things weren’t busy, I didn’t use my time the right way.  If I could go back to the summer and kick myself in the ass, let’s just say I would.  I did have an ankle sprain in there, but even still… I leaned hard into excuses that allowed me to stray from my healthy eating and abandon exercise altogether.

Zooming in on one cross-section of time, I take you to the period of late November through late December 2017, AKA the holiday season.  Call me over-analytical (and be correct), but a highly symbolic thing happened out of precisely nowhere.  The week leading up to Thanksgiving, the piercing I got to mark the halfway point in my mission got irritated.  It was slightly warm to the touch, and I could feel there was some sort of ball of nastiness between my earring and the hole in my ear.  I the area as best I could without taking the earring out, but after a few days of those attempts, there was no change.  I finally decided to do the obvious thing my body wanted me to do and remove the earring to give the hole a thorough cleaning.  The second the post left my ear, the nastiness ball got even larger and warmer, and the hole was imperceptible.  For the ensuing 2 weeks, it became a one-to-three-day cycle of cleancleanclean, scab slowly forms over site, scab falls off, repeat.  I haven’t been able to figure out what could have caused the sudden flare-up, but it was a week before I dared try getting an earring back in.  When I did, it was my sharp piercing stud from when I got my lobes pierced at age 11 — ohhhh, yeah, I still have those little pink studs in all their juvenile glory — and it hurt more than the original cartilage piercing did.  I’m pretty sure I partially re-pierced it.

That long-winded account is to say, I don’t view it as a coincidence that this happened at a moment in time where I’d solidly backtracked to the pre-halfway mark.  My piercing might as well have said, “You no longer have the right to this.  Come back when you’re serious.”

This saga is persisting even now, albeit to a lesser extent; but I am mostly leaving the earring out, periodically re-piercing the hole to drain it of blood (there’s a blood bubble that’s shrinking, but still present) and cleaning it.  I am not about to let that sucker permanently close.  At one point, I tried to insert the earring I got that hole pierced with, but my ear swelled up around it immediately and I had to take it right back out.  It was several days before I could do anything with it again.  I don’t know if I’ve developed a sudden allergy to sterling silver — is that a thing that can even happen?! — but it was wild.  I guess I’ll have to keep watching it.

Right after Thanksgiving, I had a minor car incident when a friend’s mom hit my car in her driveway.  No one was hurt, but it was enough that my car needed significant repairs, and I was without it, out of state, for over two weeks.  This meant a huge inconvenience at home; hours on the phone with insurance adjusters, rental car agents, and the auto body shop; and an unplanned trip back to my hometown that cost me 8 hours on the road and personal time off work to pick up my car when it was finally fixed.  It was an unwelcome bout of stress and annoyance.

Then, just before Christmas, my grandfather died.  I don’t think I need to expound on that.  Suffice it to say, I loved him very much and everything about letting him go was awful and painful, sometimes physically.

When I finally got back to my place after the unexpected, prolonged time at my parents’, I was drained.  I couldn’t get out of the terrible mental spiral of, What will they say about me when I die?  I need to quit my job and do something that matters.  Life’s too short.  I’m so unhappy.  Like a broken record, over and over again.  And I came damn close to doing something rash.  When I would re-pierce my ear during that period, I liked the pain.  I admit to doing it more than usual because I liked the pain.  The psychology attributed to cutters suddenly made sense to me:  giving myself this physical pain was a type of release valve for the internal pain I was feeling but didn’t know how to express, let alone work on solving.

I needed to get myself back into some semblance of control over the situation I was downward-spiraling myself further into.  That’s why I decided to do a fast to end the year.

After devouring breakfast on New Year’s Day, I signed up and weighed in for a new DietBet.  The pot is currently at $195,870 with 6,532 players.

This past week, I signed up for two additional DietBet games:  a Kickstarter that currently has 13,355 players and a pot of $400,650, and a Transformer that currently has a DietBet record (!) of 7,022 players and a pot of $932,400.  (Both are still open to new players — join me!)  These three new bets are in addition to the Transformer I joined in November that’s still in progress — and that I have lost both rounds of so far, but that I will come back and win!

Even after all the turbulence of the fall, I remained in a sort of helpless stupor where I knew what I needed to do, but I just couldn’t get myself there.  I’ve had to force myself back into meal prep and ratcheting up my give-a-shittitude, and the mental effort of babysitting myself has been tedious and exhausting.  It’s starting to take hold, though.  I’ve gone from being emotionally shaken to having finally shaken myself out of that rut.  I’ve gone from being emotionally not stirred to having finally stirred myself into taking charge.

I’ve already made some progress in spite of that, dropping 3.2 pounds since Monday night.  I’m definitely a long way from being all in, and I have yet to get a proper workout under my belt this time around, but it’s coming.  I’m going to get myself there.  There’s no alternative option.

Life’s too short for regret.




Mean, not-so-lean 2017

For this entry only, I am ditching my usual format of numbering the days because, well, that saga is over.  To put it better, that chapter of the seemingly never-ending mission has closed.

I can’t believe that at this time in 2016, I was getting ready to weigh in at under 200 pounds for the first time since college.  I made it to that milestone, but lost my way in the middle of that year, and then, between a series of fits and starts and flirtations with getting back on the healthy track, I just surrendered at the end of last summer.  It was one too many punches in my ever-expanding gut, and I couldn’t be bothered.  Last year — OOOH, that feels good to put 2017 in the past! — pinned me to the mat and I quit trying to get up.

I steered into the skid so hard, I can’t believe what the scale told me when I forced myself to get on it today.  By rights, I really should have gained a metric fuck-ton of weight.  I devoured all the marked-down Halloween candy, all the yummy fall treats, enough Thanksgiving dinner and homemade treats while staying with family, and basically just kept going down that path until kingdom come.  It got worse when my grandfather somewhat expectedly and somewhat unexpectedly died the week before Christmas.  I went home to my family and we ate our feelings for a week, then I gorged myself on Christmas cookies and more discounted candy.  Once I came home to my empty house after all that emotional zig-zagging, I consciously continued the bender.  I truly don’t remember the last time I worked out, but I want to say it was… early October?  Ugh.

The night before my grandfather’s funeral, I got a punishing migraine.  I get them from time to time, but I thought I had identified the main cause of them — a too-tight hair tie around my wrist — and hadn’t had one since.  Well, turns out crying/fighting not to cry/not sleeping well/not eating right/getting no exercise/having crazy emotions can produce them, too… with a vengeance.  I was knocked off my feet in a cold, dark room for hours, finally throwing up so violently and forcefully I’m surprised it wasn’t coming out of my eyes and ears in addition to my mouth and nose.  That was only my third vomit-inducing migraine, and by far the worst.  I never want to feel like that again.

Yesterday, I decided the way I would end the year-long migraine that was 2017 was by fasting.  I just didn’t eat for 30 hours, from the time I went to bed on the 30th to the time I “woke up” this morning.  Why the air quotes?  Well, because fasting is — duh — a detox, and my body had a LOT to detoxify itself of.  (Yes, I am aware that I am not detoxified now after one day of not eating, but the process started.)  I got a nasty migraine again in the afternoon yesterday, and it didn’t fully dissipate until after I ate breakfast this morning, meaning I was essentially awake all night in mind-numbing pain, in spite of my perfectly lovely NYE plan of sleeping right through the stroke of midnight.  2017 just couldn’t let me go without one last kick in the head.  (At least I didn’t yak this time, although that at least would have provided some relief.)

Sooooo, when I got on the scale this afternoon (after 2 meals and 2 snacks), I was certain that I would see at least a 12-pound gain from my last weight check on December 3rd.  The proximal dehydration from my 30-hour fast, coupled with the month and a half of eating everything in sight and making zero effort to counteract any of that damage with physical activity, really should have ballooned my weight waaaaaay up.  And yet — don’t ask me how — I weigh 2 pounds less than I did on that date, and only 2 pounds more than I did when I weighed in for a Transformer DietBet on November 14th.

OK, body.  You came to play.

My meals for the week are prepped and portioned.  I stayed fully on my meal plan today and am on track with my water intake.  Yesterday was the reset.  Today is technically day 1.  Now let’s see about not stopping until the work is done.

And thanks, universe, for the solid of not making me 20 pounds heavier.  I’ll try to remember this when I’m working my ass off and the scale isn’t budging at all.  Mysterious ways, amirite?

Happy new year!


DAY 740: Headlines

1. I finally made it to the gym today!
2. I got a headache again today 😦
3. I weighed out for round 2 of my DietBet and won!
4. Since starting Whole30, I’ve lost a whopping 14 pounds!  Whaaaaa?  (And I still have 13 days to go!)
5. For my height, I have moved (back) from extremely obese to just regular obese.  Ah, what a strange milestone to celebrate.

That’s all I’ve got for today.  Short, but a lot.  Kinda like my BMI.  😉

DAY 732: Cheater, cheater, healthy eater

It’s day 9 of Whole30.  According to the timeline, my pants are supposed to be feeling tighter on days 8-9.  They’re not.  Everything is feeling looser, including the ring that slid off my finger yesterday and had to be relocated to a neighboring digit to preclude a repeat event.

“Fuck it,” I thought to myself around 9:00 last night.

And I headed to the scale.

And I weighed myself.

Now, there was the inherent risk in this of being completely crushed by the number I saw.  What if it was higher?  What if it was infinitesimal?  What if — heaven forbid — it was completely unchanged?!  I figured it was worth knowing, even though it wasn’t the final Whole30 weight-loss number.  I stood on the scale, looked down at my toes, and saw…

…a 10.6-pound loss.

Yes, honey.

I’ll repeat that:  As of 9:00 PM on day 8 of Whole30, I had lost 10.6 pounds.


  • The first week of any diet change is the best week.  It’s the body’s freak-out-and-adjust period, where it sheds tons of water weight and other crap you don’t need.  So, it’s not like I’ll be dropping 10.6 pounds per week here.
  • My period started yesterday.  (I have a vagina and corresponding lady bits.  I discuss my period sometimes like a grown-ass woman.  If this bugs you, go read someone else’s blog.)  All my period bloat happens during PMS week, and then I lose weight the week of the actual perioding.  So, that’s a factor.
  • I had several bouts of diarrhea on day 8, leading up to the scale reading.  (I have an anus and corresponding human bits.  I discuss my bowels sometimes like a grown-ass adult.  If this bugs you, go read someone else’s blog.)  So, that surely had an effect.
  • I’ve had whatever this illness is since Saturday night, which is often a dehydrating force.  So, that likely showed up on the scale.



I’m not sorry for weighing myself.  In fact, I’ll probably stick with doing it once a week for the duration of the time I stick with Whole30 (and I phrase it that way because, as of right now, I’m seriously considering just sticking with it through the wedding I’m in in May).  Furthermore, I’m cheating on Whole30 in a couple of other ways that Melissa Hartwig would probably have my head for:

  • I’m snacking between meals.  Yeah, that’s right, I’m intentionally snacking.  I am not changing my usual eating rhythm of eating every 3 hours, even though Whole30 stipulates that you should restrict yourself to only 3 meals per day and not snack unless you’re desperate.  Welp, not this chick.  I’m sticking to my 5 meals because I know it works for me, body and soul schedule.  I don’t think it’s worth veering off of that, so I chose not to from the outset.
  • I’m not perfectly balancing my proteins, fats, and carbs at each feeding.  I mean, I mostly end up doing it just by luck, but I’m not melting my brain trying to make that happen.  I am not adding almond butter to every apple I eat just because I must have healthy fat.  I mustn’t.  I wantn’t.  So I willn’t.  (Coincidentally, I do happen to eat an apple and actual almonds at the same scheduled snack time, but the point stands.)  The balance will mostly work out over the course of the day.  Mainly, I just want to get enough veggies, so that’s primarily been my focus.

I don’t think these two grievous modifications will drastically skew my results in any direction, nor am I quite that inclined to care.  The big point of Whole30, which I am adhering to 100%, is the elimination.  Here’s what I *AM* doing:

  • No added (refined) sugar
  • No legumes
  • No alcohol
  • No grains at all
  • No soy
  • No dairy
  • No coffee (not a part of the program; added by me)

Therefore, the intended anti-inflammatory experiment has room to run, and I’m still doing it “right.”  I hereby absolve myself of my sins.

Deal with it, Melissa.

P.S.  10.6 pounds.  Just sayin’.
P.P.S.  Someone even commented today in reference to Whole30 that “it’s working.”
P.P.P.S.  Shut up, Melissa.

DAY 683: Body work

Decent news from the world of podiatry: my bone spur is NOT the issue.  In fact, it has shrunken since I first went in to have it examined.  The discomfort I’m feeling now is from strain on my plantar fascia ligament, which is tight and stretches when I take take steps, causing inflammation and the popping sensation in my heel.  My doctor offered to give me a cortisol injection today that would take care of the unpleasant feeling instantaneously, and possibly permanently, but I decided to hold off.  He’s prescribed me orthotic inserts that will help correct my immediate problem, and they won’t be ready for 3-4 weeks.  My (self-reported) pain level is at about a 3, so I figure that if it gets worse between now and the time I go back to the podiatrist’s office to pick up the orthotics, I’ll get the shot then (or sooner, if there’s a sudden spike).  Otherwise, I’ll give the orthotics (and, hopefully, a bit of weight loss!) a chance to make an impact and then go from there.

It is interesting how my body has responded to my weight re-gain.  I had trained it to be accustomed to a certain amount of movement with less and less mass to carry, and now, it has rapidly re-accumulated a bunch of that mass which was partially caused by, and also which partially contributed to, a significant decrease in movement.  The way that added weight has shown up on me has been interesting.  Whereas I lost it from all over, it really feels like 90% of it went directly to my waist when it came back.  Yes, my face and fingers have pudged out, but the rings I couldn’t wear when I was previously at this weight are still fitting from when I had reached my lowest, but the pants I was wearing when I was last at this weight aren’t.  I know this isn’t any kind of earth-shattering revelation, but the areas that are hardest to lose from, are easiest to gain to.  We all have our trouble spots, eh?  REMINDER TO FUTURE SELF:  Don’t mess around, girl.  It’s too hard to work the fat back off!  Not worth it.

This is so much work.  I’m looking forward to getting back to the place where it just felt routine and second-nature.

Wishing all of you strength and perseverance through the weekend!

DAY 626: No, darlin’.

This… this blog!  It’s alive!  IT’S ALIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!

Sooooooo, as you may have guessed, it’s been a wretched several months.  Work?  Bad.  Love life?  Bad.  Family situation?  Bad.  Friendships?  Bad.  World events?  Bad.  Things have been varying degrees of bad at different times since (and during) the last time I updated this dusty old thing, but the general trend has been just bad.

Some of that will probably come out in greater detail over the next span of entries, but the bottom line is, I haven’t been handling any of it like the baller I was around this time last year.  It’s been uber stressful and I’ve been letting it get to me.  I regained a fuck-ton of weight and I feel like shit about it:  I’m disappointed in myself and ashamed of what I’ve done to negate all my hard work.  Also, man, what a luxury it was to have been so much lighter.  I had forgotten how sucky and embarrassing it is to get winded from walking up a flight and a half of steps.

But ya know, as much as losing weight is secretly a community effort when it’s all going right — you know what I’m talking about if you’re a fellow fatty who gets life from the affirming compliments, helpful online (or even in-person) communities, and essential readings/watchings along the way — it’s equally so when it’s all going wrong.

In the midst of a series of crises at work a couple of weeks ago, I was having a conversation with a colleague about what a mess we were dealing with.  This particular colleague and I typically have conversations that remind me of what it looks like if you draw a flower in the air with your finger:  they start at a central point, then they swing far out from what we were discussing before making their way back to the central issue, only to curve out to something totally different again before veering sharply back to center, and so on and so on until all the petals are drawn.  They’re unpredictable discussions that are simultaneously about 14 different things that somehow all relate in some delicate way.  The conversation we had a few weeks back was no exception.  My colleague had just finished verbally drawing a petal about what she likes to do on weekends before unexpectedly bringing it back to our work situation thusly:  “I say this to you as a woman who has struggled with her own weight:  your face is looking fuller.  That’s stress.  No, darlin’.”

Her delivery was gentle, yet direct, and her message was clear:  Don’t let this place take any more from you.

Those words have been ringing in the back of my head since that conversation, and even though I didn’t successfully put a course correction into place until several weeks later, what she said to me has been helping to stoke the embers of my fading mission back into a fire ever since.

I have wanted to make a new blog post for the longest time, but I couldn’t imagine seeing my failure splashed across a webpage that I wrote with my own hands.  I didn’t want to accept how bad things have gotten.  All the while, I was knowingly avoiding this space to my detriment, because I know that not expressing upsetting things doesn’t make them untrue, and I also know that writing about this whole experience — the good and the bad — is part of what was helping me succeed before.  So, enough time has now passed, and enough healthy weeks have gone by that I feel less-ashamed enough to make a post.

I still care.  I still want to live my best life.  I still have goals, and I still want to achieve them.

I will not let anyone stand in my way.  Including me.

No, darlin’.


DAY 343: The longest shortest month

Leap Day, you reeeeeeeally had to prolong this cruel month?  Well, thanks a fuck-ton.

Silver lining:  at least all the mess will live within the confines of the same month and not spill over into March.  My work drama is, for all intents and purposes, resolved as of today.  (Phew!)

Tarnished edge around the silver lining:  that’s one more day of making all my steps that I was calendar strong-armed into.  Maybe I’ll keep the streak alive just to break my own VivoFit PBR.

It looked like I wasn’t going to hit my 4% goal in the kickstarter Diet Bet I did this month.  I was dropping a piddly average per week in the first 3 weeks of February, thanks in part to my lackadaisical performance in the gym all month, and thanks in part to the stupid, stupid stress I’ve been putting up with.  My food choices were still almost entirely clean, it was just the sustained level of nerves messing with my peace of mind, which showed up in hits to my sleeping and to my hormonal balance.

Then somehow, mercifully, the scale coughed up 4.2 pounds last week.  That’s my best week’s worth of results since my October 11th weigh-in (-4.4 pounds).  And that’s another Diet Bet win all sewn up.

I believe I have changed enough that I would have been proud of having lost any weight at all under these circumstances instead of surrendering to the pressure this month, even if I had not hit my DB goal.  I gotta say, though, that somehow pulling out a victory in the face of all that was a pretty sweet surprise (and reward) for making it through without falling apart.

If this were a video game, I would have just leveled up in mental toughness.  Skill unlocked: crisis management.

Now, on to the next BFD: my impending one-year anniversary on my mission.  I have big plans for March.

I have big senioritis for February.  Good riddance, ya little jerk.