A food addict's travels on the road to recovery.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Kiss My Grit(s)

When I was a kid, there was a show on TV that I loved. It was called "Alice". She was a waitress in a diner, a single mom with a son named Tommy, and had 2 co-workers (waitresses), named Vera and Flo. My favorite was Flo. She had this real thick, twangy accent and was always spitting out these funny, witty quips. Mel was the owner of the diner and he did all the cooking. Whenever he would smart off to Flo she'd say, "Mel.....KISS MY GRITS!". I think that's my favorite phrase of all time. But that's not the kind of grits I'm talking about in this post...it's just the reason I added the "s" at the end of the post title. :)

I got some stressful news today. Everyone should know by now that I'm unemployed, and have been for 7 long months. They shipped my Accounting office from Atlanta to the corporate office in Nebraska. They flat out told us it was cheaper to hire people in Omaha than Atlanta. Alrighty then. So much for steady income, following a budget, health insurance, tuition reimbursement, sanity, etc. It's been a rough, highly stressful and downright depressing time since then.

Today Dwayne called me and told me that he's getting laid off too. He doesn't know exactly when but his boss called him in the office and told him that the Big Guy said he had to start laying off people. He has to let 2 go this week. Dwayne is a Team Lead in the Quality Assurance department for HP......a department that only has 9 Quality Assurance employees in this office. So sometime between this week and the next couple of months, they're all going to be gone. Fun times.

Now I know that being laid off is a stressful thing for ANYONE to go through. It totally sucks, no matter who you are. For Dwayne and I, as far as our relationship goes, it's going to be even more stressful. Our finances are not tied together, but he was MORE than generous by helping me out each month when I lived at the apartment that I moved from a month ago. After my unemployment check (what a joke!), he gave me whatever I needed to meet my bills so that everything was paid, and on time. It was usually around $200/mo...some months $300. He paid for every single thing Scarlette needed during that time as well....dog food, vet bills, medicines, etc. When I moved, my rent dropped, so I told him to just let me do it on my own, that the guilt of him helping me financially was killing me.

To say things are tight for me is an understatement. But the burden of him helping to pay my way was lifted, and I'm glad of that. Now, that he's losing HIS job, the guilt of knowing his bank account is SO depleted from all the help he gave me is just overwhelming. I want to hide under a rock. And I don't have any way to help HIM, or give any of it back, because I'm STILL unemployed.

Him losing his job has no bearing on me financially.....he pays his bills, I'm now paying all of mine on my own, and we don't live together. However, relationship-wise, this has the potential to be a real train wreck. I say this because we've been together for 5 years. I know him like the back of my hand, and I know how he reacts to stressful situations or things taking a wrong turn in his life. NOT GOOD.

Dwayne is extremely private and introverted when it comes to emotional/stressful/negative crap. Not your typical guy stuff....guys don't show their emotions...and all that. I mean he completely shuts down. He shuts me out of his life til the storm passes. He stays home. He doesn't go out. He doesn't call. He doesn't do anything but focus on the problem until he's found a way to solve it. I cease to exist in his life. This sounds overly dramatic but I am soooo not kidding you. We've been through this before.....trust me....it gets bad.

The only hope I have here is that it's been a couple of years since anything this major has happened to him. We've grown a LOT closer in these last couple of years and a lot more committed to each other. I'm hoping that will keep him from pulling away this time. I don't want to be shut out. I don't want to deal with that pain.

I've had this on my mind all day....trying to figure out how to deal with the unforeseeable. I've been trying to remain positive in my mind and hope for the best, but when you know someone's track record, that can be hard to do. It didn't take me long to get around to thinking about how I was going to let this affect my eating/exercise if things don't go the way I hope. I don't want to get down, or depressed or lose the communication with him. He is my rock. But what if I do? Then what? How will I deal with it?

I forced myself to take my mind off the immediate problem and look at the broader scope. What all has happened in my life since I made The Decision to get the weight off for the last time, and how did I cope?


I was unemployed for 3.5 months when I started and had cut groceries out of my budget completely. We were living on what Shane could contribute for groceries, which was $85 every 2 weeks. That's $42.50 a week for 2 people.

I was still grieving over my dear, precious grandmother who had passed away just a month earlier.

Shortly after starting this blog in June, I lost 3 important friendships all in the same week.

I've had a multitude of family issues that I have kept out of my blog out of respect for their privacy.

I've had some dire financial problems....things that were outside of my normal living expenses like paying rent and keeping the lights on (the stuff Dwayne was helping me with).

Shane (my roommate) has a seriously ill father. He's in very bad health with diabetes, high blood pressure and major heart problems. He's already had 5 heart attacks and a stroke. He is literally back and forth to the hospital at least once a month, and each time we get the call, we wonder if this is going to be the last one.

A couple of months ago, my 17 year old car crapped out on me. I had to fix 4 or 5 things at once, to the tune of $900. Bye-bye savings account.

I have been consumed for the last month or so over the fact that my biological daughter that I adopted out when I was a teenager will be turning 18 next month.


How has all of this affected my weight loss and exercise? I've lost 39 lbs. in 4 months and I've exercised pretty much the entire time. That's how. And that's exactly how I will respond to this next speed bump. In looking back on my journey thus far, I discovered some things about myself today.

I have a determination that I've never known before. I have a resolve that cannot be broken. Maybe shook up a little bit, like it was a couple of weeks ago when I had 2 days of bingeing over thoughts about Brittany, but not broken. Even when I've slipped along the way....even then....I haven't given up. I haven't quit.

I am finding out just how strong I really am. I'm finding out the true meaning of perseverance. I know what it is to put the blinders on, bust my ass, and get the result I'm looking for. Before I decided to change my life to a healthier one, if something went wrong for me, you would find me face down in a cheesecake. Or doing some serious damage to a 5 lb. pork roast. Or drowning myself with a 2 liter bottle of Coke. Not anymore. Never again. Never.

I know too much to turn back now. I've come too far. I know what I want, and I can't let "life" get in the way. I'm trying to teach myself how to compartmentalize with my emotions. I'm trying to learn how to keep the emotional, stressful crap far, far away from the eating choices. I never want them to mix again. I never want the one to affect the other.

I may be crying while I'm jogging this fat a$$ around the trail....but by grannies, at least I'm moving! At least I'm getting out there and getting it done! I have what it takes to reach my goals....every single one of them. It is within me, and I'm so glad I've discovered it.

I have what it takes to withstand the storms...to clench my teeth and clench my fists....to put my head down and plow through the bullsh*t....to grind it out, day in and day out, doing what needs to be done. I've got determination. I've got perseverance. I've got resolve. I've got stamina. I've got endurance. I've got my mind my made up. I've got....grit.

I did some more jogging at the park today and knocked another 2 minutes off my time. I did 4 miles in 1 hr 1 min today. I'm sitting pretty at 1500 calories. And while watching the BL tonight, I decided it was time to add in the free weights. I dug my 10 lb. weights out of the back of my closet, knocked off the dust, and did 65 reps targeting the underside of my upper arm (a.k.a. bat wings). I'm on the road to freedom. I'm on my way to realizing my dream of a healthier, thinner, fitter me. Skinny Tammy is rocking it out and it can only get better from here, no matter what life wants to throw at me. I say...BRING IT!!!

Quote For the Day:

"The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win." -Roger Bannister


  1. Yeah, Skinny Tammy! That post was pretty depressing at first, but you ended it on a good note. It's great that you realize you are strong enough to keep up with this lifestyle even in bad times. I'm very sorry to hear that Dwayne will soon be losing his job, too. This economy sucks bad lately. But hey, maybe you'll get a job real soon here and then things will start looking up again. I'll keep praying for you, and now Dwayne as well. Oh, and I surely hope you can lift your arms tomorrow. Sixty five reps is a lot!

  2. You go!!! I'm so sorry that Dwayne will be losing his job, but you have got the greatest attitude and I know that this will not stop you! If you are worried about how things are going to fair in the near future between the two of you I would simply talk to him and tell him your concerns. Worrying about something often ends up being much worse than actually going through it. You are such an inspiration, Tammy!

  3. Tammy .... I remember "Alice" very well. Must be showing my age. lol!!!

    You have had a lot of stress in your life and it seems as though you are dealing with everything very well. I'm happy that you can keep on track. I know oh so well, how stress can cause "bingeing".

    I hope you an Dwyane can get things sorted out. God, I wish you could find a job. That would lift all kinds of pressures.

    Keep a positive mind Tammy and hopefully things will work out.


  4. When I was a kid I always wondered what Flo was referring to when she said "kiss my grits." I'm so sorry for your hardships, but damn, girl, you sound like you've got it together! Thanks for your comments on my blog.

  5. I'm glad you were able to pour all this stuff out on your blog. That always helps me when I'm in a stew over life. You have some big stuff going on for sure, but your strength and tenacity shine through loud and clear. You basically just did a life inventory here, noting liabilities, assets and then evaluating it all. And you see that the assets (not the a$$) are real and deeply ingrained in you now. That's fantastic.

    Finally, I want to say that when you said Dwayne is your rock, I immediately thought, "you are your own rock also", and you are. You both will get through this a day at a time. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

    BTW, thanks for your comment about the scale and weighing 3x/week. I've been thinking about the issue a lot. Your input helped.

  6. Hi Tammy. Really tough about Dwayne. Life just keeps on coming doesn't it. I think the best thing you said here is about separating life's problems for your eating choices. Because there will always be stresses and strains as you know only too well, but it won't derail your healthy eating and exercise if you regard them as being in a seperate realm from any emotional issues.

    I hear you about the guilt you feel over having had Dwayne sub you, but who knows, maybe you will be able to get a job soon and be able to sub him? Maybe you will have a chance to help him out a little.

    At least you are not financially dependent on him now so that is one mercy.

    I can only say, keep going down the amazing road you are on. Your attitiude in the face of so many problems and struggles is incredible! You've made such a huge mental change. You are my hero!

    Best wishes,
    Bearfriend xx

  7. Tammy I'm so proud of you for this post! I'm sorry things are tough but I KNOW you will get a job one of these days. There are some tiny signs of life in the job market here. I'm sure you pray about it all the time and keep doing that and you will get your answer. In the meantime, keep up your amazing workout schedule and that will help you stay positive. Big hugs!!

  8. Can I have some of that determination you have right now? Mine has seemed to have flown the coop! Keep it up girlie - you can do it for sure!

  9. Ha ha! Bat Wings! I call them that too!

    Man-oh-man. What a world we live in. I can't believe Dwayne is losing his job as well. This will be a true test of your "grit."

    But I think that you, like John Wayne, have "True Grit." You will get a job, you will be a comfort to Dwayne, and you will not use your sorrows as an excuse to binge.

    I am proud of this blog, proud of how far you have come!!!! I'm praying your financial situation will improve. What a dog-eat-dog world!!!!

  10. I'm sorry to hear about your bf lossing his job (and your too). These tough times are hitting all of us. Here's to hoping that the closing doors will open up even better doors in the near future. For now, keep in mind that it's Out of Your Hands. If all you can do is offer meals for your boyfriend right now, I'm sure it will help him out. And taking long long walks together (sounds like you fiqured out that exersize is the BEST thing for stress). Just keep reminding yourself that in 2 years you will look back at this time and see the struggling hill you had to overcome, but you made it (and you will be looking even better at that time too!)
    Chin up!

  11. Way to go on making the best of things. That's all we can do. I always try to remind myself food really isn't going to make me feel better. The only thing it's ever done for me is calm the internal anxiety and exercise can do that just as good if not better than ice cream (or cheesecake). Sorry to hear about Dwayne's situation. Maybe you can just talk to him about it all so he doesn't shut you out. Hope you have a good day.

  12. Wow, you've been through so much and you are still doing so well and you are looking toward the future in such a smart way. I know there are hard times coming for you but I definitely have faith that you will make it through.

  13. Have I told you lately how awesome you are?

    I just found out this morning that my dad got laid off last night due to financial trouble in the company. Tough times are seemingly everywhere, aren't they?

    But we have the moxy and the buck and the grit to get through this ... and we will!

    Thanks, girl. :)

  14. Damn, Tammy - what insight. Love how you are working through everything!

    I remember "Alice" too - Flo was too funny...loved her bouffant!

  15. I know that you'll get where you need to be. I hope that the next few months brings good luck and ease to you (your fam, Dwayne, Scarlette...)
    A brutally honest and inspirational post.
    Standing right next to you...