What to Avoid When You're Feeling Sh*tty

Man, I had a sh*tty start this morning.

The first thing I discovered is that nothing fit.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Except for my shoes—they always fit.

Thank goodness I’m my own boss and I can declare it a “sweatpants day at work.” I stared at myself in the mirror and must have tried on 15 outfits because every time I turned around one of my housemates would say, “What happened to that other one you had on earlier?”

I have to tell you, I have a lot of clothes.

Of course, I got in the car and prayed that I wouldn’t have to been seen, but my gas tank was on “E.” I pulled into SAM’s club wearing the most pitiful clothing pumping my discounted premium gas next to a man in a suit standing next to his Escalade. The feeling was, “I must look like I’m the hired help going to get gas.”

So, that was the start of my day. Hopefully you can relate.

Once I got to the office I thought to myself, “ I just need a new style… a new look.” So I pulled out a stack of magazines. That was a mistake, and that’s how I came to realize what not to do when I’m feeling shitty.

  • Avoid fashion magazines. It doesn’t help for me to be looking in a magazine filled with gorgeous bodied women. She probably wears a size 0, and I’m supposed to be finding outfits for myself, and all I keep thinking about is there is no way I’m going to be able to fit into that bathing suit, and will probably never be able to wear it. I’m not going to pull off those bibbed overalls like her, so I should stop fantasizing.

  • Avoid the kitchen. If I go into the kitchen I will contemplate eating every edible item in there, even if it looks questionable or doesn’t even taste that good, I will probably eat it. If I find something salty, I’ll have to eat something sweet. If it’s not anchored down, it’s fair game.

  • Avoid the gym. I seriously recommend never going to a public gym when you’re feeling shitty, ever! What does it do? It undoubtedly will take you down the road of feeling even more shitty about yourself, and here’s why. I was feeling shitty about how I looked, and I thought “You know what, I’m going to work out.” So I walked into the main area of the gym (you know the area with all of the Nautica machines and weights) wearing my poor excuse for spandex shorts, and a t-shirt with the yellow peanut M&M guy on it. As I walked in, all of the body builders pumping iron stopped and wondered, “what the hell just walked in here?” If you really want to sabotage yourself—you go ahead and walk right into that gym. I’m serious.

  • Avoid crafting projects. I’m all for creativity and artistic expression, but don’t use this time to try to replicate a ridiculous Pinterest project you saw online. It will most likely be a “fail,” and boy I’ve had quite a few of those. Remember the days of legwarmers? I was feeling shitty and scrapbooking in my legwarmers, and trust me a scrapbooking accident sent me to the hospital for stitches- I’m almost inadvertently amputated a finger. The doctor in the ER said, “Well, were you trying to cut your finger off?” I felt like saying, “Yea sure buddy, I just wanted to come in here and see you.” [asshole] So anyways, ladies set aside those watermelon carving dreams for another day. Using Exacto knives or other sharp objects should be avoided.

  • Avoid being a bridesmaid for a wedding. Have you ever been asked to be a bridesmaid? I’m pretty sure many people out there have been bridesmaids. I think it’s really just a cruel joke. She gets to have the man, and you get to watch them. “Carry my train for me because it’s my day.” Really? Okay I get it, you got the man and I got the frickin’ train. I even missed it when they threw the flower bouquet. Instead I got a dorky wrist bracelet with flowers on it. Men at least get to wear tuxes that cover them up, but when you’re overweight, you’re going to have to wear the same dress as the skinny bridesmaids, in a color like, “salmon” or “hot pink” and stuck wearing a strapless dress with a weird jacket that accentuates your already enormous breasts. They’re heaving over the top and she’ll be telling you to “tone it down,” but you can’t when you’re a size 24. It’s not going to have the same look. Instead, I recommend calling a month in advance telling them you’ve got Lyme’s disease, and are not going to be feeling well. Dodge that bullet.

  • Avoid the candy shop. In particular, Godiva Chocolate Shop at the mall. You just don’t. You know how they have all those little samples behind the counter? If you tell your sad story to someone back there, they’ll just hand you the whole tray to try to make you feel better. By the time you’re done with the samples, you’ll have eaten a gazillion frickin’ calories and you’ll feel more depressed. It’s just sad.

  • Avoid exercise freaks and “fixers.” When you’re down you definitely don’t want to hang out with friends who are exercise freaks. She will be enthusiastically chanting, “C’mon, let’s do it!” And you’ll be feeling sweaty just thinking about squeezing yourself into your spandex exercise clothes. The more energized, the more frustrating they are. The last thing you want at a time like this is someone who is going to quick fix you with something you already don’t want to do.

  • Avoid emotional emails or communications. You will regret it. You know the ones I’m talking about. The letter from your mother, your ex, your co-worker you’ve been avoiding. Now is probably not that moment to respond. My recommendation, just delete it. My motto is, “don’t respond to the assholes of this world.”

  • Avoid shopping, especially infomercials or the home shopping network. Seriously, I have a friend who watched an infomercial while she was emotional on, “How to train your dog.” She ordered the video set. She doesn’t even have a dog. Seriously people, those infomercials are dangerous, don’t watch them when you’re vulnerable. You will see something ridiculous like a “super plunger” and convince yourself you need it (well at least I did). Only time I ever used it went something like this: I clogged up my garbage disposal with potato peels, “I know! I’ll use the super plunger!” So I ran upstairs and grabbed it, put it over the hole in the sink, pushed down and out blows all of the water and potatoes out the other side of the sink. I’m wet head to toe, literally covered in fucking sewer water on Thanksgiving. Needless to say, I was feeling the regret of my emotional purchase.

So through all of these fashion magazines, yes I came to realize this depressing list of what to avoid when you’re feeling shitty. But in reality, we eventually get ourselves out of the slump (well, at least hopefully we do).

Eventually, I find that I get so sick of being the way I am, I just start doing the things I need to do to get myself out of it. It just depends how long I want to stay there. And trust me, after struggling to lose 245 pounds (the equivalent to Arnold Schwarzenegger or a baby elephant), I get it.

Eventually I found myself starting to put on my exercise clothes, scheduling my meals and slowly beginning to invest in myself.

My best advice to people who are having a shitty day, is to recognize you’re having a shitty day, let yourself have your moment, your rant, whatever it is, and know that it’s okay. It won’t last.

I recommend committing to tackle a small task and just starting there. So for me, I recommend cleaning out your closet of the things that do not fit you anymore, so that you’re only keeping the things that you really feel good in. Otherwise, you’ll try on 25-30 outfits before you leave, and be looking in the mirror going—“yuck.” Instead it’s starting to look at yourself in things that make you feel better.

Maybe plan a marathon clothes trying on time. You might be depressed trying on things that don’t fit, but you’ll probably find a few outfits that you actually do look good in. You might want to invite a good friend for support and their honest opinion. But in the end, you’ll feel better starting fresh every day with clothes that fit, and a great attitude because I know they are clothes I don’t have to fight with, and I make more room for new things when I feel better about myself. It’s not giving up, it’s starting over. Plus you’ll have the bonus of some extra room in your closet in the meantime. What a concept?

If the journey seems hard, the truth is that it is sometimes.

But if we can find a way to reclaim a small part of it (like our closet), you’ll realize that you do have the ability to change it. You do have the ability to change yourself. If you’re looking for a quick fix for the day, I can’t really give you that.

This journey is about rediscovering yourself, and figuring out what does work for you, and what really does make you feel better.


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