Forty Years Fat Is Enough! part 6

My Journey Continues

Raw and Unedited–Kinda like my life…


“Help! I’m falling back into my old habits. You know, eating whatever, whenever… I have GOT to STOP this.” I type as I sit at Panera Bread wiping the gooey egg yolk from my fingers and brushing away the crumbs from the brioche bun that have fallen onto my keyboard. “I’ll do better tomorrow.”


These past few weeks have been a struggle. I don’t know why, I was doing so well. Strike that. I do know why. Because I am not trying. I am doing what I’ve always done. Which is lying to myself. “Oh, eat that. It’s okay. You’ll go back to your plan tomorrow.” If only that were true. I never go back to my plan tomorrow. Because tomorrow never comes. Rinse and repeat. To infinity.


Why, when I know this about myself do I continue to believe it will be different? I started out so well. I’ve lost nearly 25 pounds. I’ve lost many inches. I’ve gone down sizes in clothing. I FEEL GOOD! But that’s not going to stay that way for long if I don’t get back on track. And stay there. Seriously, this is not a diet but the way to eat for life.

I am not totally off track. But I’ve indulged in so much bread these past few weeks. And sugar. My willpower has been pretty much nonexistent. And that’s on me. I know I can do this because I had been doing this. I let myself slip and, well, downhill and alla that…


It’s like that damn diet coke. I gave it up for ten long months. TEN MONTHS of NO diet coke. I drank a lot of tea. Drank water. Allowed myself some diet 7up occasionally. But once I had one, there was no going back. Oh, I’ll just have one in the morning I told myself. Well, maybe another in the afternoon. Another after dinner wouldn’t hurt… Yeah, for me with diet coke it’s all or nothing apparently. As long as I wasn’t have any, I was okay. But once I had one, well their stock went up let me tell ya. But I’ll do better tomorrow.


So, I’m sitting here psyching myself up to do this thing. To eat like I know I should. And to stop this diet coke obsession. To stop making excuses. To stop justifying what I am doing to myself. To stop telling myself it’s okay today, I’ll do better tomorrow.




Forty Years Fat Is Enough! part 5

My Journey Continues

Raw and Unedited–Kinda like my life…

Lesson Learned!

Weight Loss Goals. That is why I am following this program and trying to change the foods I eat. As well as to be healthier, feel better and look better. But, weight loss. Yeah.

Detox and Reduce Inflammation. Those are the main things eating like this is supposed to tackle. (And by “eating like this” I mean eating the way I should…) The weight loss is a wonderful side effect of eating right… But seriously, does cutting out sugar and bread and dairy make that big of a difference? To my joints? I am overweight. My body hurts. Of course it does. When I sit for a while then get up, my knees and my hips scream at me. Sometimes my ankles too. That’s par for the course when you have all that extra weight silly girl, right?

But, listen. I want to tell you something… I started this plan back the first of June. I have lost weight. I have felt good. Even better than good. My joints were NOT achy. After sitting, I’d get up and move and not groan. My knee hasn’t been a bother while walking, biking, or doing yoga. It’s been a great feeling! Until…

These past couple of weeks I’ve been out of town off and on. I didn’t plan too well so I was off my plan somewhat. I ate more sugar. I ate bread. Then more sugar. And bread. All. The. Bread. And this is what I noticed over the past weekend…

Ouch.  All the grumbling. My joints ached. Getting up after sitting for a while caused all sorts of groaning, moaning and well, what else rhymes with groaning? Yes, all the pain. What in my life has changed? Have I stopped moving around? Am I letting my old bones and muscles just hang out and do nothing? No, I’m still doing all the same things. I’ve maintained what I’ve lost so far. The ONLY thing that has been different is my diet. Sugar and bread crept back into my life when I got lazy while traveling. This was more than just the occasional cheat I might sneak in. This was me eating foods I hadn’t been eating and thinking oh, well, some bad choice days spread out over a couple of weeks is not going to make a difference. It’s not going to hurt anything.

Lie!  It did hurt something. It hurt ME! I hurt myself! No one to blame but me and my lack of planning and my poor choices. What have I learned from these past two weeks? Inflammation and toxins are REAL! Staying away from sugar and bread make all the difference. All. The. Difference.

I’m totally back on plan today and my joints are all jumping for joy.

And it doesn’t hurt…


Forty Years Fat is Enough! part 3

My Journey Continues

Raw and Unedited–Kinda like my life…

Sugar is THE DEVIL!

What the hell am I doing?  I’m usually not much of a sugar craving kind of person. Bread, chips, more bread, more chips, hot rolls fresh out of the oven dripping with melted butter kind of person.  But I’ve been craving the sugary stuff.  The Chick-O-Stick? It’s still in the cabinet. Mocking me.  Taunting its peanut buttery coconut sweet goodness. I’m still the boss of it. So far. But Red Diamond Splenda sweetened tea?  It still owns me. I know that’s fake sugar, not real stuff, but I’m supposed to stay away from that devil stuff too.  So far it owns me. And those 5 animal crackers I ate while watching the grandgirls last night. And the three Hershey’s Kisses I’ve had over this past week.  And a few diet cokes. I went off Diet Coke last July 2 and went like 10 months without any. None. Zip. Nada. But these last couple months? I’ve slowly had a few. Oh, nothing like the drive-thru McDonald’s 10 times a day (slight exaggeration) for a large cold one, but a few times a week.  I know, I know, having the fake sugar is causing me to crave the real stuff. I know!  I know what to do, why can’t I just do it? Just Do It! Nike you suck, shut TF up. I’m sorry, that is the sugar craving talking while I sit here and enjoy a big ol’ glass of unsweet tea and think about Splenda.  And Chick-O-Sticks.

Okay, sugar rant over.  New week coming up let’s see if we can do better.

Forty Years Fat is Enough! part 2

My Journey Begins

Raw and Unedited–Kinda like my life…

So, what am I doing about it?  I have started a program to detox and reduce inflammation… but another happy result is weight loss.  I’m not going to go into all the details here; basically, I’ll be eating clean. Like I should. No sugar, artificial sweeteners, no bread, potatoes, corn… I have a list of food I can choose from.  Lots of veggies, fruits, beef, chicken, fish.  I’d say 1000-1200 calories a day.  It’s really doable I just have to be committed and disciplined. And realize it’s really a way of life, not a diet. The way I should be eating.  I’ve been doing pretty damn good since beginning June 1 if I do say so myself. Is it easy? No. Not because there isn’t enough food to eat or choose from, but the foods I want are not on the list.  I must make the changes to achieve what I want! And not just for a week. Or a month. Or a few months. Or a year. FOR LIFE! And I mean that as a measure of time and as opposed to death… yeah!

To borrow from Nike: Just Do It! Every. Damn. Day.

Have I cheated? Well, let’s just say I haven’t been perfect. That’s not something I’ll ever be. Trust me on this. But, my cheating hasn’t consisted of eating chips or bread or chocolate. No, my cheating has been Splenda tea.  Red Diamond already sweetened with Splenda tea.  Not cheating would be making my own tea and using stevia drops to sweeten. Is that going to hurt my weight loss? Probably not. Detox? Definitely.  I’ll get there. Just not today.  I haven’t had bread in 14 days. That’s huge for me! Haven’t had any heartburn in 14 days either. Coincidence? I think not.  I recently realized bread gave me heartburn. My beloved bread! When I abstained from bread? BOOM! No heartburn.

What have I noticed these past 14 days?  Well, as of this morning, 10 pounds gone. I know that’s not going to continue at the same rate, but it’s sure a nice jump start to get me excited.  What else have I noticed? I’ve noticed when I get up after sitting for a while I just get up and go. None of this groaning as I get started. Most likely due to less inflammation. What do I have to say about that? Amazing!

Am I exercising? I try to walk a couple of miles most days, and on the weekends I bike with my DH (that’s darling husband) 12-18 miles on Saturday or Sunday or both days if feeling adventurous and get up early enough before it’s 200 degrees outside. (that might be a bit of an exaggeration on the temp, but not by much)

My worst times seem to be at night after 8:00. That’s when I want something to eat that I should not have. In my cabinet is a Chick-O-Stick I bought last month. Saw it in grocery checkout lane. Used to eat those when I was kid—you know, like last month— it calls to me “Hey Shir, come take a bite. You know you want to. Just eat me and get it over with…”  Sure, I could just throw it away and shut its stupid mouth for good, but it’s a war now. He’s going to have to sit in that cabinet forever…

Who’s the boss now???


Up next:

My Journey Continues



Meanest Mom in the World

To my darling daughter:

I am laughing as I re-read your text from this morning regarding your not quite 3-year-old daughter, my granddaughter. “She’s a crankypants this morning. Said she didn’t like me.” Makes me remember back to when I was the “meanest mother in the world” or sometimes the “worst mother in the world,” and you (or one of your brothers) didn’t like me. Yeah, I heard that often enough. I knew you (or your brothers) didn’t mean it. Well, maybe you DID mean it at the time, and for some time afterwards. But for whatever reason I was dubbed “meanest” or “worst” mother in the world you can bet it was because of something for your own good!

Now you are a mother yourself. And a damn fine one at that! I hope I had a little something to do with that. But know that anytime your children tell you they don’t like you or you are the worst mother ever, (and trust  me, they will) they don’t mean it (well, they won’t mean it for long). They love you, just as I have always known you love me. And now that you have a beautiful daughter yourself, one that you are filled with love and joy for, you perhaps have just a glimpse of how much I love you (and your brothers) and always will.  Enjoy every moment!

Sassenach Without A Phone

Last night at the end of a wonderful evening my phone shut off, battery depleted.  Okay, so just maybe I overdid it on the selfies and the tweets.  No problem, it was midnight when we got home and finally time to watch the newest episode of Outlander.  No phone required! Technological distractions for that are most unwelcome anyways.  So, I plugged it in and escaped to 1743 Scotland.

Fast forward a few hours and it’s time to head to the water park for a day of floating, reading, writing, relaxing, Facebook and Twitter surfing.  After all, it is imperative that I see any new pictures of JAMMF or any discussion of last night’s Outlander episode as soon as possible throughout my sundrenched day.  I go to grab my iPhone and see it is still not charged despite being plugged in for 8 hours.  I start sweating profusely and tell myself to calm down.  CALM DOWN!   I tried different outlets, wriggling the cord, using a different cord.  Dead.  My phone will not charge.  WHAT. THE. BLUIDY. HELL. *insert Scottish noise*

I stop banging my head on the granite countertop when Lord D steps into the kitchen. “Sassenach,” he says in that deep, rumbling Scots brogue, “ye can take my phone.” He slowly reaches those big, work-roughened hands into the folds of his kilt and pulls out a Motorola razor phone circa 2005.  “Ye need not be scairt, not so long as it’s with ye.”

Okay, so it didn’t really go down like that, but my fellow Outlander and Heughligan peeps understand my temporary lapse here.

In all seriousness, though, a razor? All that thing can do is make phone calls.  Oh, and text if you have the patience to press each key 1 to 3 times per LETTER in your message.  I think it might take pictures. Not really sure.  No data plan, No social media.  I mean really, what is the point?  Seriously, what can it do?

“I’ll tell you what it can do Lassie,” he says quietly, “it can hold a charge…”


What is your heart wearing?

A recent conversation with a friend has me pondering how we dress for church. Apparently she was confronted with her clothing choice and made to feel bad about how she looked. Seriously? Is what we wear to church the focus of other peoples’ attention? Is that why you attend services? To see what others are wearing? Are you offended by those who aren’t “dressed to the nines” for worship on Sunday morning? Wow, I think you might be focused on the wrong thing. I am sure my clothing choices would offend you. My normal attire for Mass on Sunday is jeans. Nice jeans, but jeans nonetheless. I have to be honest here; I really don’t notice what others are wearing. I am looking around, mind you, but at the people around me, their cute little babies that are taking it all with wide-eyed innocence, the younger kids who are poking each other while their parents try and shush them. It all makes me smile. Beautiful people! What are they wearing? Damn if I know…

I am what I am, not what I wear. I don’t dress to impress (quite obvious to those who know me) and my style is quite casual. Others have great style and dress beautifully. Always, whether at church or at the grocery store. That is how they are and they are beautiful! Well, I am beautiful too, just casually so.

We’re certainly all different on the outside there is no denying, and how we dress and accessorize ourselves highlights this. But on the inside? We are all the same. So, what one wears in their heart is another matter. Far more important if you ask me. I try and keep my heart “dressed to the nines” and hope that that is what people see. I know that is what God sees.

What is your heart wearing?

Diet Coke, I Miss you!

Diet Coke Deprivation: Day 3
Yes, you read that right. Those of you who know me are no doubt shaking your head and saying “no way!” I assure you it is true. I’ve got the nearly empty bottle of Advil to prove it… Can you say headache?

Let’s rewind a couple of days. Ah, those glorious days of the never ending diet coke… It was a normal Monday. You know, one where I frequent McD’s for a large diet coke (light ice) for 99 cents. Several times a day. I spend my time in between drive through visits reading Dr. Seuss, watching Dinosaur Train, and posting on Facebook. Dr. Seuss? No, that is not a typo. Anyways, diet coke pretty much flows through my veins. True story. I remember my first like it was yesterday. No more Tab for me! The introduction of diet coke in 1982 made it the absolute best year ever! Wait, I mean my daughter being born in 1982 made it the best year ever with diet coke a close second… (sorry Jen). So, for 31 years now I’ve probably not gone too many days without diet coke. Even when visiting London, Scotland and Ireland. I had no ice, but by god I had diet coke or coca cola light as it is called in the UK… Anyways, I digress. Yes, for 31 years I’ve pretty much had diet coke daily. You don’t have to tell me that’s not good. I know this. But do I care? Apparently not. Which brings me to the why of my deprivation…

I blame Facebook. Isn’t Facebook the root of all evil? Yeah. I created a Facebook page (‘cause I wasn’t wasting enough time having just one profile…) but this one will be used to promote any writing I do. (Good luck with writing when you’re not drinking diet coke–you really thought that one through SJ.) My page had 51 likes so as a challenge I shared the link to my page and said for every additional 10 likes I’ll go without diet coke for a day. That afternoon I received 30+ more likes. So, three days without diet coke. I can do that.

Day 1 wasn’t too bad. I had tea. I sipped water. Water is something everyone should drink more of! I’m such a slacker there. But hey, when I’m not constantly guzzling that bubbly, caffeinated liquid ambrosia, I have to make do with something. Tea and water. I can do this.

Day 2 still doing okay. I hit McD’s a couple of times for their iced tea. It just fits in my hand so nicely and I find I need that. My hands were getting twitchy.

Day 3 (today) has been a struggle. I’ve had 8-10 cups of water and at least that much tea. And Advil. For my headache. You’d think with the tea I’m downing I would not get that lack of caffeine headache. But I think my diet coke consumption was still twice what I drink in tea and water so caffeine saturation has probably been cut in half… At the zoo today I felt tears welling up in my eyes as I looked at the diet coke nozzle, unused on the soda machine, as I filled my cup with lemonade. Lemonfreakinade! Later as I was standing with my granddaughter looking at the elephants I overheard some of the visitors asking people near us if that was the elephants making that pitiful noise they could hear while they were over at the tiger exhibit. I looked up and saw them shaking their heads, glancing nervously at me and quickly look away, but not before I saw the fear in their eyes. Then I heard them whisper, “no, it was that red-headed lady.”

All I could think about the entire afternoon was how wonderful that large diet coke was going to taste first thing in the morning. I’m going to make it! I busied myself with a little cleaning, sipping water all the while. Sitting down to relax and read a bit, I picked up the iPad to check Facebook real quick. It’d been an hour after all. That could be some kind of record by the way… I’m shocked at the notifications I see staring at me. My page has garnered quite a few more likes. What. The. Hell???? Now, last I looked, I’m up another 69 likes. That’s SIX MORE DAYS OF NO DIET COKE! Almost seven! I’m telling you now; you better dump your stock in Coca Cola. A friend posted on my timeline a link to a news article from today showing a decline in soda sales for Coca Cola and PepsiCo. He does not think it a coincidence… Bryant you may be correct.

Tomorrow, Friday, is Day 4. The weekend coming up presents even more challenges. My Captain Morgan will sit on the counter, mocking me. Cap’n Morgan and tea? Uhm I think not… Looks like a margarita and Advil filled weekend for me. Somebody might want to check on the husband this weekend…

“The god’s chosen beverage. Tremble before the horror of Diet Coke!” You tell ‘em, Percy!

Creative Aspirations

button bling picked up at RT13 for inspiration
some of my button bling picked up at RT13 for inspiration

I spent a few days this past week in Kansas City at the RT Convention Writers Bootcamp. Amazing! I met so many wonderful people. Published authors of books I love as well as new ones I’m sure I will soon love. I also met aspiring authors (like myself) who are just learning this craft. Wow! There is so much to know and learn! I am suffering a bit of information overload, but in a good way.

I enjoy reading romance. Historical romance, paranormal romance, contemporary romance *whispers* some light erotica romance. It has been my desire for a while now to write a book and tell a story that I hope others will enjoy. This was my first step (among many to be sure) in helping me along that journey.

If you read a lot, you may think to yourself, hey why don’t I write a book? I’ll bet I could do this! Yeah, that’s what I thought, too. It’s NOT easy. Not easy at all. For me anyways. Nor for most authors I met and talked with this past week. Or for those wonderful author friends I have made over the past year or two through the internet. It is a lot of work. A LOT of work! I found this out quickly when I sat down a while back and tried to get the ideas and thoughts for my story from my head onto paper. Not an easy task… Truth be told, a monumental task. But it can be done! I have a healthy respect for all those authors out there who consistently provide us readers with the wonderful stories we so love to lose ourselves in. May you all never run out of caffeine!

So, what am I going to do with all this newfound information? Well, I am going to work on my character’s GMCs (goals, motivations and conflicts—yeah some of that information swimming around in my head now) and work on telling you Jace and Kalli’s (short for Kalliope) story. It may take a while, a looooong while, but hey, I’ve got the time… Am I scared? Yes, scared shitless. How’s that for descriptive?

(Please pardon the overuse of exclamation points… I may have used up my allotment) *shrugs*

Stay tuned…

The Lives We Live

Below are my incorrigibly random thoughts from earlier today. Bouncing around in my head, ping-ponging from one side of my brain to the other for whatever reason. So I typed them up to shut them up. Maybe someday I’ll elaborate and polish these thoughts, but for now I can relax and enjoy my Zac Brown Band concert tonight!

We can never be born enough… E.E. Cummings While getting ready this morning, thoughts of my life were crowding my mind. Or should I say thoughts of my many lives… I feel as if I’ve lived several lives, each one special in its own way, but each one giving way to the next. When a part of your life is over and you move on to the next it’s almost like that same person doesn’t exist in the present anymore, just the memories and what you have learned. And from each of those lives there was much to be learned.

Being a child seems a lifetime ago. Several lifetimes ago. Sometimes it feels like that never happened; that I’ve always been as I am now. Some would say, “but you still act like such a child.” I laugh and think to myself it’s true. No matter my age I think that child is and will always be within me. Don’t let this shell fool you; I’m still a 17 year old girl. You learn in each lifetime, you just don’t realize it. What I learned as a child was to be carefree, live in the moment, enjoy each day for what it is. Into adolescence and young adult life, however, you are just impatient to get on with your life and grow up. What a paradox these two lives are! You cannot live in the moment if you are impatient for what may or may not happen in the future.

My life as a mother is ongoing, yet ever changing. When you have children you realize you underestimated just how much you could love another person. I love you my children, you are the jewels of my life!! You also realize, if you hadn’t before, just how much your own mother loves you. Thank you Mom, I love you! A lifetime of raising children, busy with their activities and loving every minute of it, leads to a “what do I do now” moment when they are older? Time to get a life. Well, another life…

Life as a non-traditional college student, attending classes while my children were also in school, since I had put my education on hold while raising children. Working at a few jobs throughout my life, but my main job was being a mom. It’s what I had always wanted… to be able to stay home with my children when they were young. Grateful that my life afforded me that opportunity. When I did finish my education, I had a business degree (cum laude no less!!!) and certification to teach business classes in high school.

Being a high school teacher was another lifetime. Being a teacher gives you a whole new appreciation for the teachers you had during your lifetime as a student. And how much those teachers cared for you. The students I taught throughout the years brought me endless joy as well as consternation. Their enthusiasm always contagious, keeping me feeling young, stoking that 17-year-old in me. Getting to know such diverse characters and watching them grow, hoping I had some small part in what they become. Caring about each and every one of them. Ah, a lifetime ago. I think about it often, though.

The life of an elementary school administrative assistant a much different life. Being a part of a new school from practically the beginning, watching 5-year-olds grow into tweens heading into middle school. It was a hard life that first year, working in the office of a new school, very few staff, so I also was the makeshift nurse. Where I was practically never sick while teaching in the high school, my first year at the elementary school I was sick often. One cold after another, several bouts with bronchitis, and even swine flu. After that first year, I think I was immune to everything and haven’t had much more than a cold here and there since. Those elementary kids are a germy bunch… but what a life. What a joy to know those developing kids and their parents. This is one of my most cherished lives so far! So, why did I leave this life? Well…

Throughout all these lives my own children were growing up, living their lives. Going to college, getting jobs, moving out. Getting engaged and married. And making me a grandmother. A grandmother! This was a life I had been looking forward to for some time. To make the most of it, I left my job so I could be the one to take care of my granddaughter each day while her parents worked. Again, my life afforded me this opportunity and I am grateful. It’s hard to put into words how much love I have for this beautiful little girl. Being a grandmother brings to light the love your own grandmother had for you as you think about all the wonderful times you had together, and vow to be this and more for your own grandchildren. Thank you Grandma(s)! I love you and miss you!

E.E. Cummings said, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” Well, I am working on it. I don’t know that I’ll ever grow up or ever fully become who I really am. But that is what living is. Living and changing and growing and evolving. This lifetime here and now I am enjoying each day through the eyes of a one-year-old. The joy and wonder of her is exhilarating. This lifetime here and now I am exploring my own life and wants and dreams as well. As I have in every lifetime in some respect. I think I am just more acutely aware of it now.

Living my life on Facebook, and laughing about it. Yes, it’s a whole ‘nother life out there. People with interests similar to your own that capture your attention and you become acquainted with them over the years, even good friends. A Facebook life. Who would have thought something like this was possible years ago while you were busy living your earlier life. Amazing. Daunting. Amusing and entertaining. An addiction that steals your time if you are not careful! Something that definitely adds interest and a new dimension to this life. Without it I may have never discovered my desire to write, to create, to dream…

A lifetime of love. And what has been constant throughout these lifetimes? The one thing that grounds me, takes care of me, encourages me? No, not diet coke. The unfailing love a wonderful man. Best friend, confidant, lover. Husband, father, grandfather. Through what will be 34 years of marriage this summer this man has been my life and will continue to be for as long as we both shall live. Yes, I feel as if I have lived several different phases of lifetimes each wonderful in its own way, but this lifetime, as a wife, is ongoing and evolving and I cherish every moment of it. It is this lifetime that has made all the others before and after possible. The adhesive that holds all the aspects of my existence together. You let me be what I want to be, whatever that is at the moment. I love you, D

To quote E. E. Cummings once again: “today may I be me, smart, serious, happy, frustrated, impatient, joyful, running, sleeping, smiling, eating, trying, believing, listening, being and becoming.”

Yes, each day in my life may I continue to be all these things!