Don’t need permission
Made my decision to test my limits
‘Cause it’s my business, God as my witness
Start what I finished
Don’t need no hold up
Taking control of this kind of moment
I’m locked and loaded
Completely focused, my mind is open
– Ariana Grande
Getting up before a certain time in the morning makes me physically ill, or even worse… weepy.
This is not a drill, people.
Nothing will make me gag, or vomit, or burst into tears quicker than a 6:00 a.m. wake-up call. It is no secret I am not a morning person. It’s just one of my things. A hang-up, a quirk, a short-coming – a personality highlight of mine. And everyone who knows me, gets it.
The boys at work – including my boss, and my boss’s boss – even do their best to accommodate my disgust for mornings. “Hey, Chels, I know you don’t get here until late. Maybe we can do a 9:00 a.m. video conference with Slovakia? Will that work for you? You could call in from home or we could just ask the Slovak guys to stay after on those days.” That’s love, my friends. Requesting an entire team – on the complete opposite side of the world – to stay late because I can’t get my lazy ass out of bed? That is fucking teamwork.
Most days, I shamelessly roll in around 9:30-ish. Everyone sees me burst in with all my shit, wander over to the break room, fix my breakfast, and finally start my day around ten. It is what it is. I make no qualms about my tardiness. And everyone on our floor knows it too. Last week, I wore one of my typical all black ensembles. Scrolled across my boobs, in nice, neat gold block letters was, “Sorry I’m late. I didn’t want to come.” This is who I am. I’m a late riser who loves graphic tees.
Speaking of late rising and graphic tees…
Since I’m always late, and trying to fend off a puking attack, clothes are the last thing on my mind. Often times, I just pluck something out of my closet blindly or through tear-filled eyes. I don’t think too much about my OOTD M-F. As long as it doesn’t smell, isn’t covered in dog hair, and I don’t have to steam it – we’re good. But recently, Outfit Russian Roulette has started to become a problem.
It’s a problem because half of my closet is too goddamn big.
As a result, I spend most of the day yanking up pants, and making sure my bra is covered, and shaking my head in the bathroom mirror. I look like a fucking hobo. I’ve got saggy crotch, and baggy ass, and gaping arm-pit holes. I can pull my pants down to pee without unbuttoning them. Although convenient, it’s fucking annoying. I’m not six. I have to hold my belt loops when I cross the train tracks for fear those bastards will be on the ground by the time I get to the other side.
I look like a goddamn hoodrat – a wannabe gangster.
I look like Justin fucking Bieber.
By the time I get home, I’m so pissed that I start ripping articles of clothing off of my body and throw them straight into the trash can. It’s liberating, and exhilarating, and sort of fun. But it’s wasteful too. I start to feel guilty. I start to think of all the people who would have been grateful to have those terrible pair of grey pants, or that tank with the lace, or a cami with the built-in bra. So, the other day, when I got home and pulled off those devil navy blue legging things, I immediately began throwing shit out of my closet.
Do you know how fucking fantastic it felt to pull stuff out from last summer, try it on, and watch that shit practically fall to the floor?
This has never happened to me. Over the last few years, I would dread every season change. A season change meant new sizes, bigger clothes, and broken confidence. There is nothing worse than pulling up a pair of shorts you’ve only worn a couple of times and then not being able to button them.
I can remember the first time I brought home a one-piece bathing suit. Momma and Mace came over. I showed off my TJ Maxx find. It was a bubblegum pink, BCBG suit with a sweet little ruffle around the legs. The look on Momma’s face said it all. She knew then that every bit of my confidence was gone. She knew that my weight wasn’t just a small issue anymore. It was a real thing – a real thing that was really affecting me.
I had never worn a one-piece suit before.
The fact that I had introduced this one particular piece of clothing into my wardrobe really signified something. I remember sitting on the floor in my spare bedroom. Momma and Mace ignored my excitement over the new swimwear. They delicately tried to address the real issue.
I knew they were right. I knew I would feel better if I tried to “get back to my old self” as they said. Subconsciously, I knew the future of my relationship was riding on the number staring back at me on that scale. I knew I needed to exercise and change my eating habits. But unbeknownst to me, I was in the middle of something so much worse than just poor dietary decisions.
No amount of exercise, or water, or leafy greens, or fruit, or vegetables could have pulled me out of this funk.
The bulk of my weight gain was a direct result of my mental state.
I was unhappy. I was sad. I was angry, and depressed, and exhausted, and hurt. I was not being challenged. I was stuck in a rut. I was lacking drive, and confidence, and motivation, and hope.
I was mentally unhealthy.
If people thought my body looked bad, my insides looked worse.
I cannot imagine how hard it must have been to be around me during this time. For people like, my mother, my family, my very best friends – those who know me best – it had to be terribly difficult. It had to be terribly difficult to watch their loved one literally transform into a totally different person before their eyes. And there was nothing they could do. There was nothing they could do, or say, or subtly suggest that would snap me back to life.
At one point, Momma even mentioned she thought Tyler and I should try couples therapy. I was shocked. Therapy wasn’t something I would have ever guessed my mother would suggest to me. We just aren’t those kinds of people. Granted, I had tossed the idea around before for myself but never something for the both of us. I laughed it off. We weren’t even married. Wasn’t that for married people? How would I even bring something like that up to him? He would have told me I was crazy – again – and went on about his life.
Eventually, the hard conversations with Tay and Kristen started to happen. They weren’t afraid to ask me questions head-on. “Are you happy?” “What’s keeping you here?” “Would you be here if it weren’t for Tyler?” “Are you sure you’re happy?” If it weren’t for those talks – those difficult questions about my feelings – I’m not sure where I’d be today.
They forced me to quit my bullshit and take a real, long, painfully close look at my life.
Was I happy?
No, I was not.
And I hadn’t been happy for a very long time.
Immediately after I left Tyler, people constantly asked me how I was doing. I can remember feeling so heartless replying with, “I’m doing great. Ummm, I sorta feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.” Those same individuals would give me a hug, pat me on the back, and then walked off thinking I was a lunatic. But at the time, that is truly how I felt – like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
For me, the mourning process was delayed until months later.
In the meantime, I could be myself again. Actually, I could be whoever the fuck I wanted to be. There were no expectations, no goals, no nothing – just a clean slate. It didn’t matter if I wanted to spend hours in front of the TV, or getting wasted with my friends, or eating shit food. I could do whatever I wanted after work, on the weekends, and with whomever I wanted to do it with (pun intended).
And then, the newness wore off.
Suddenly, I was feeling claustrophobic again. I was suffocating – drowning. Depression and mania often go hand-in-hand for me. So, I felt manic and out of control. Out of no where I felt like someone hit me with a ton of bricks. All of those repressed feelings from the break-up came bubbling to the surface. He was flaunting his new relationship in front of everyone. And I was stuck right in the middle.
I went to my doctor and asked her to change my anxiety/depression medication. After a few tries, we settled on Effexor XR (75mg). I was kick-boxing at least three times a week. I started seeing a therapist without telling anyone.
My therapist said I was the perfect patient. She told me I was the kind of person she loved to have in her office. I was very self-aware, honest, easy to talk to, and open to treatment. Apparently, I was dealing with things, I was growing – I was “normal” for someone with my kind of issues.
As flattering as it was to hear all of those things… I was sort of devastated.
I was fucking normal?
There wasn’t anything significantly wrong with me? There was nothing more she could do for me? I just had to deal with all of this shit on my own?
I had to feel?
Don’t get it twisted. It was nice to feel vindicated. It was nice to unload on a third-party and have that third-party tell you you weren’t the problem. It was nice to hear a different perspective. It was nice to just let that shit out.
But goddamn it. Why couldn’t there be something wrong with me? Why couldn’t she give me a tranquilizer? You know, just a little one. Just a teensy somethin’, somethin’ to knock me into next year, that’s all. Why couldn’t she give me some real, solid advice? Fuck that Mindful Meditation CD she handed me. Yeah. Fuuuuck that hippie, patchouli-smellin’ noise. I was looking for substance. Something real. Something tangible. I was desperately hoping this woman would throw me an emotional life raft of some sort and all I got was a mother-fucking gold star student ribbon.
But then, Tay sent me that article about the girl who quit her life.
And the rest is history.
The other day, I make a doctor’s appointment. My chronic headaches and migraines are back, plus, I need refills on all of my meds. I haven’t been to the doctor since last year, and the break-up, yada, yada, yada.
So, the door opens and a girl calls my name to come back. Her name is Genevieve. She says it’s her first day. “Oh, well, it’s my first day too,” I respond. As I step on the scale, Genevieve says something about starting out at fifty. I wasn’t really paying attention/didn’t totally understand what she was saying. Y’all, check it, I’m a writer. Not a lobotomist. Anywho, then I hear her mumble, “Oh, wow, I could’ve sworn you wouldn’t have weighed more than 100 pounds.”
‘Scuse me, Genevieve? What was that?
Did this woman fo’ reals just say she couldn’t believe I weighed more than one-hundred pounds?
I nearly shoved ol’ Genny down in the pocket of my size tens right then and there!
A hundred pounds?! Was she fucking crazy? I haven’t been 100 lbs. since middle school. I called Momma immediately. “Mom. Genevieve said I was so skinny I didn’t look more than 100 pounds. She told me I had better get my skinny ass to an In-n-Out and get a fucking cheeseburger pronto before the Santa Anas whisk me away. She’s in the back seat now. We’re going home to walk the puppies. I smuggled her out of the doctor’s office in my pocket. She’s going to live with me forever and ever.”
Momma laughed, “You smuggled her out on her first day?”
“You’re right. I should probably just pop in on Day 3 for lunch. Yeah. Lunch. That’s a better plan.”
As it turns out, I’ve lost 30 pounds.
So that’s cool.
You know what else is cool?
A doctor that gives you drugs.
My new doctor gives me all the drugs. I love him. He’s awesome. I originally went in for refills and to revisit my headache issues. But I left that joint with three new scripts!
Oddly enough, he kept asking me, “Are you stressed about anything?” I would think for a bit, “No. Nothing out of the usual.” He asked me other questions but always seemed to circle back to stress, “And nothing is causing you any sort of stress [eyes looking down on me over black rimmed glasses]?” At one point, I almost said, “Look, buddy. You have no fucking clue how ‘stress-less’ things are for me right now.”
Long story short, Doc prescribed me something for my migraines, another something for my acid reflux, and maxed out the dosage on my anxiety/depression meds. Oh, he also told me I need to start working out four times a week to help with my headaches, “You might want to look into yoga or meditation…”
Will do, sir.
I chose to focus on my wins when I left the doctor’s office that day. The fact that I obviously give off some sort of crazy-eyed, off-centered, padded-room-not-included vibe… yeah, all that shit could be left for another day. The wins go as follows:
- I have a new best friend. Genevieve is the nicest lady I know.
- Genevieve’s friend, the one who gave me that Cam Newton shot, can go to hell.
- New Doctor, though a bit judgey, is super cool.
- Turns out, I was right all along. I need supplemental medication to take in the event of a migraine.
- It’s about damn time someone mentioned, “If this doesn’t work, I’m sending you to a neurologist.”
- I’ve lost 30 pounds.
Hey, so let’s talk about that.
Let’s talk about how I’ve lost thirty. mother. frackin’. pounds.
Well, honestly, I’m not too sure there’s much to say.
I mean, I’m not too sure where those thirty pounds went exactly. Maybe they slid down into the Grand Canyon? Maybe they got away from me somewhere in Vegas? La Jolla? Shit, I’ll bet 10 of those bitches went to Disney World. And I feel certain a few went straight in the toilet. Not because I developed a temporary eating disorder, or anything like that. I just puke when I’m severely stressed.
Which – P.S. – I’m not anymore, by the way.
In Truffle Butter I mentioned, “I have changed nothing. I still eat like crap, nap like a fucking infant, drink, and refuse to get off my lazy ass.” And that is true, for the most part at least. The only two things worth noting would be: I don’t eat out nearly as much as I used to (Tyler and I went to lunch every day at work and all the time on the weekends) and I don’t drink as often (mainly, because I don’t have friends out here [well, other than my bestie, Genevieve… clearly.]).
My point is, there is no secret.
I’m not counting calories, or eating rabbit food, or working myself to death. I’m just better. I am in a better headspace. I am happy, and positive, and less stressed, and free. I’ve cut out all of the negative in my life. All of the shit that was weighing me down – mentally and physically – is gone. I don’t carry around any more guilt, or heartache, or resentment, or anger. I refuse to do anything I don’t absolutely want to do. If I don’t like you – I’ll ghost your ass out. If I’m not feeling like this or that – I don’t. Now, I do things just because it sounds cool, or because it looks neat, or because I just fucking can. And life is a lot more fun.
I buy season passes to shit. I bring home random mutts. I take walks in rose gardens. I go wandering downtown. I stop off on the side of the road when something catches my eye. I volunteer for crap.
I leave no stone unturned.
Just the other week, I came in seventh place – out of 25+/- participants – during our work 5k!
Granted, I walked it. Like, a fast walk though (obvs, I mean, PB: 44:35 – holla!). But not the kind of fast walk they make actual competitions out of – I’m not into that weird shit. If I’m being honest though, I only signed up because the email said we got snacks, a free t-shirt, and a participation prize. Then the participation prize turned out to be a fucking FitBit.
Okay, so I’ll admit, I was a tish upset we didn’t get a medal. I was really looking forward to having that medal. Or maybe even a trophy. But a FitBit? Just for skipping work for an hour and walking by the water? I’ll take it. I’ve been meaning to pick up one of those bitches anyway. You know, to track my shitty sleep cycle, and all.
Thinking about it now, I would have never done something like that before. I would have never had the courage to sign up for a 5k before. Before, I would have had someone breathing down my neck about “training” and “getting into shape” for the 5k. Before, it wouldn’t have been fun.
This was fun though. My “training” consisted of eating a maple-glazed donut for dessert the night prior and not drinking coffee the morning of race day. I “got into shape” by going to SeaWorld once and taking the elevator downstairs a lot. Theresa and I – my new work friend – walked together and complained the entire time. We kept dreaming up unrealistic ways to get across the harbor back to our cube on the 18th floor. I let her go ahead of me at the finish line. And the best part is, I didn’t even try to trip her or anything when we got there. It was great! Very noble thing of me to do, huh?
I am finally living my own life and my body reflects the changes my mind has made.
Will the remaining weight I’ve gained over the years just melt off like these first thirty pounds? Probably not. I’ll probably have to do something more than take the boys out for pee breaks every 2 hours. But I refuse to starve myself. I refuse to give up things I love. I refuse to turn my life upside down just to fit into a pair of jeans I wore “blah blah blah years ago.”
My #transformationTuesday, or Thursday, or whatever-the-fuck can’t be found in a photo.
It can be found in my words…
My renewed confidence…