Tuesday, July 31, 2012

AR Norris...

The Telomere Trilogy Book 1: Revelations of Tomorrow by A.R. Norris is a speculative/sci-fi romance.

I haven't read a lot of this genre. It isn't my favorite. I reminded myself that for me it isn't really about genre about the author. I hadn't found an author who held my interest in this genre. Then I read this post and decided to try it again:

I loved it! Book 2 is already out, so it's on my wish list for the next time I'm able to work it into my budget. Waiting for book 3 is not going to be easy.

Her world creating is vivid and captivating. I enjoyed having several couples to follow. It's a trilogy, and though the book comes to a conclusion, it hints at the next book in the series. The story lines were complex and yet easy to follow once I'd settled into reading sci-fi. I've added A.R. Norris to my must read list.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Carpe diem... Indy...

NASCAR ~ Sigh...Carl came in 29th. Ouch. This season has not been good for Carl. NASCAR makes changes to the car setup every season, and this one is not working for Carl. Still cheering for him! Go Carl!

What needs to be done, today?

Make it through.

I have some writing that needs to be done.

Lately, I've been going through my home beauty books and found several things I'd like to try. Unfortunately, once I close the books, I have trouble remembering what I wanted to try, even though I have them marked with bookmarks. I don't know why. I think I want to try writing down what it is I want to try and the page number on a single sheet of paper. Maybe it will help. We'll see.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #113...

~Friends. I have the most amazing friends in my life now.

~Books. A good book inspires.

~Food. Yummy food feeds my body.

~Happiness. Yes, this week I have had moments of genuine happiness when I felt it all the way down to my soul.

~Writing. The current WIP isn't coming along as fast as I'd hoped it would, but I'm very pleased with how it is coming along.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

In light of recent events...

I cannot imagine the sorrow of those whose lives changed in seconds, last weekend.

There is the story of the girl who lived because the bullet followed a defect in her brain, a channel she was probably born with and never would have known about if not for the bullet traveling on the path. There are those who think that the miracle of her life doesn't justify the deaths. They're right, it doesn't, but neither does it make it any less a miracle. They also don't understand that no one is justifying anything. She experienced a miracle, and we are grateful. It was a miracle more people weren't killed. It was tragic 12 people were murdered by an evil man.

There are those who question where God was in all of the mayhem. Free will is a gift. Some abuse it. If God punished all those who abuse the gift, no one would do anything wrong. Free will would cease to be free will. Free will only exist if there is a genuine choice to be made. The criminal chooses evil.

God sorrows over those who choose evil, and rejoices over those who choose good. He will influence as we allow Him to do so. It is my responsibility to do as much as I am able to choose good for myself and to not turn a blind eye to those who choose evil.

There were heroes who died that day, protecting someone else. I don't imagine the thought is truly comforting, especially when there will now be an empty place at the table. Those they saved will struggle with survivor's guilt.

The question becomes: Will I honor their sacrifice by living my life well or dishonor them by wrapping my life in anger and bitterness?

You see, this is a question I'm allowed to ask. My sister bargained for me with the pedophile on our street. She has repeatedly endeavored to protect me over the years. Blessedly, she didn't have to die for me, though I've no doubt she would have if expected.

Jesus Christ bled and suffered in Gethsemane and died on the cross then resurrected, overcoming death, for me.

Will I honor their sacrifices and live my life to the best of my ability?

I will.

I'll make lots of mistakes, but I will not give up or give in.

My heroes: Those who have given their lives for someone else. May I have the strength and courage to live in a way that honors their sacrifice.

Friday, July 27, 2012

A bit of encouragement...

This was shared on facebook by Godtube, and they requested it be shared:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Week Fifty-Seven of REAL...

Reminders: REAL - Reduce stress Exercise Adequate sleep Lower caloric intake

What Navy SEALs are required to do to make it into BUD/S: http://navyseal.s5.com/requirements.html

RIght up front: Never in a million years could I do what is required. However, I needed to start somewhere. Considering how fit the SEALs are, I figured it was a good place to start. So my SEAL puppy reps consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. I've worked up to 33 and working at slowing it down.

The 20th: weigh in: 235.8 lb. SEAL puppy rep. One-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep.

The 21st: weigh in: 238 lb. One-mile walk and physical therapy. Not actually surprised by the weight gain. Woke at 3 am the previous morning, so ate to stay awake, yesterday.

The 22nd: weigh in: Didn't do it.

The 23rd: weigh in: 240.2 lb. SEAL puppy rep. One-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Well, shoot. I'm stressing about my book coming out. Yes, I'm sabotaging myself. If the book doesn't do well, then I can blame my fat. How ridiculous is that?

The 24th: weigh in: 239.4 lb. Physical therapy. No walk. Tummy is not happy. I haven't been eating well. However, I'm feeling calmer now, less frenetic.

The 25th: weigh in: 238.6 lb. SEAL puppy rep. 1-1/2 mile walk. SEAL puppy rep.

The 26th: weigh in: 237 lb. Waist circumference: 39". Overslept, so I'm playing catchup the rest of the day. Migraine yesterday, and woke with a headache this morning. I think it's allergies. I've taken an allergy pill, and I seem to be doing a little better. I have to take care of me. I think I'm figuring out how.

The first picture was taken in February 2012. The second picture was taken in June 2012. Inspiration, at least to me:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Healthy eating...

I'm trying to learn to slow down my eating. Kara suggested I try to take 45 minutes to eat. My first thought was that it wouldn't be a problem. Then I tried it. Wow. It's a lot harder than I thought. It is helpful to be mindful. So, I'm going to be mindful here until I'm doing it most of the time.

Tuesday: Breakfast went okay, but then I only had Carnation Instant Breakfast and a croissant. It was yummy. :-) I ate better the rest of the day, as well, though not particularly slow.

Wednesday: Still not eating particularly slow, but eating more healthfully.

Thursday: Okay, so my weight is up a little. I find it makes a difference if I eat the majority of my calories earlier in the day, which I didn't do yesterday. I'll do better, today.

Friday: Not so much, today. I woke at 3am and couldn't go back to sleep. I proceeded to eat throughout the day to stay awake.

Saturday: Started better today. Drinking my water on the schedule recommended makes a difference, but I don't always remember.

Sunday: I tried to take a day off, today. I was partially successful. I've done better with my eating today. Stress finally isn't front and center.

Monday: Finished some foods I shouldn't have, but they're gone now. A dear friend stopped for a visit and helped me put things in perspective.

Tuesday: I did okay, until I realized my alone time stacation is almost over. I'm getting rid of my extra junk food by eating it. Not a wise choice. Dear God help me. I cannot do this alone.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Lucy Monroe blogged about characters, yesterday. She asked a question. I shared part of my answer there, but I'm sharing the rest here.


Frodo is my favorite character of all time. Sometimes a HEA isn't the right ending, but the story has to be finished anyway and it's the right end for the character. I don't believe there's a HEA for me, but the story has to be finished anyway and it will be the right ending for me.

I've featured Lucy as one of my heroes. She has over 50 published books and short stories. Honor is a huge theme in her books. Strength and courage and owning your decisions and actions feature strongly. I want to be more like her characters. Living boldly and ultimately choosing to not hide from their choices. She even has a heroine who is sociophobic. As she explored the character, I was able to examine my own sociophobia.

If I keep thinking the character needs therapy more than I do, it's not a good sign, so how do I choose favorite authors? I like their characters. Why do I like their characters? I admire their strength, courage, personal responsibility, honor...if I can't admire the character, why would I want to spend hours on end with them? I look to the characters to see what I might be able to learn. When I finish the story and feel inspired THAT is a great book and a keeper.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Carpe diem... will I?

I've already caught up on cooking. I have Pumpkin Cookies by Rhonda Plumhoff and Chocolate Chip Cookies by Joanne Fluke in my freezer. They both freeze very nicely and cook up in the toaster oven. Fresh cookies. Whoohoo! I also made my variation of German Chocolate Cake. I love cooking.

Saturday, I spent the day editing Hidden Possibilities. Nothing serious, simply spot editing. I'd thought it would only take a few hours and as usual I was wrong. My editing always takes much longer than I planned. I'm distracted as I work. I don't mean I do other things. I mean I notice other things within the body of the work I can improve, so I do.

Today, I want...I will work on Mark's Grace.

I'm currently caught up with all other work. I'll do laundry tomorrow or the next day.

Oops. I need to defrost the fridge. Sigh. I hate how much time it takes, but it needs to be done, so I will do it.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #112...

~Josh Groban's When You Say You Love Me I also bought the whole album for this song. Actually, I own all of Josh's albums.

~Home alone time. Staycation.

~Pumpkin Cookies, using Rhonda Plumhoff's recipe, only trading out the oatmeal for Rice Chex.

~Blessed books.

~My beautiful book cover! :-)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Promise of Possibilities...

I'm interrupting my usual heroes post to share the awesome news:

A Promise of Possibilities by Laurel Hawkes is now featured on the Available Soon page over at Desert Breeze Publishing.

How amazing is that?

Friday, July 20, 2012

The core problem...

"I know what my core problem is: I hide behind my weight."

That quote is from last Friday's post. It is the perfect illustration of being unwilling to face core problems. It's so much easier to simply stick to what is on the surface. Yes, this is a little deeper than "I'm fat."

However, it isn't really the core problem.

The core problem: I'm afraid.

I'm afraid of being noticed.

And there roars the past, ready to devour me.

I'm still avoiding the truth. Dig a little deeper.

I was noticed and abused.

That still isn't the core issue.


The core issue:

I was abused by people I trusted, and I never want it to happen again.

There. The truth.

Now, taking it a step further: How in the world will being fat protect me?

The logic escapes me.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Week Fifty-Six of REAL...

Reminders: REAL - Reduce stress Exercise Adequate sleep Lower caloric intake

What Navy SEALs are required to do to make it into BUD/S: http://navyseal.s5.com/requirements.html

RIght up front: Never in a million years could I do what is required. However, I needed to start somewhere. Considering how fit the SEALs are, I figured it was a good place to start. So my SEAL puppy reps consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. I've worked up to 33 and working at slowing it down.

The 13th: weigh in: 238.4 lb. SEAL puppy rep. One-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep.

The 14th: weigh in: 235.6 lb. One-mile walk and physical therapy. That's a pretty big drop in weight. I'm wondering if someone is fiddling with the scale. Don't know. Maybe making the recent changes really does make that big of a difference.

The 15th: weigh in: 234.4 lb. Four pounds in two days...really? Or is someone messing with the scale? Also a possibility. Sigh.

The 16th: weigh in: 234.4 lb. SEAL puppy rep. One-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Yes, I only walked one mile, today. I woke up with a cough, allergy related.

The 17th: weigh in: 235.2 lb. Physical therapy. Feeling out of sorts. I'll settle soon.

The 18th: weigh in: 235 lb. SEAL puppy rep. One-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Yes, I've cut back my outside stuff because of all the rain. I'm allergic to mold, and it's having a field day with all the rain and then irrigation.

The 19th: weigh in: 236.6 lb. Waist circumference: 39". Not surprised. Finished a major project, yesterday. Physical therapy. I'll do better, today.

The first picture was taken in February 2012. The second picture was taken in June 2012. Inspiration, at least to me:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Gail R. Delaney...

This week, I finished reading my first book by Gail R. Delaney and loving it. Precious Things was heartwarming and left me with the feeling I want at the end of a great romance novel: satisfaction and wanting to read another. The chemistry between Jewell and Benjamin is sizzling and wonder of wonders they don't fall into bed together the first date. It's a delicious balance between a sweet romance and a steamy one. (Sweet - no lovemaking: Steamy - lovemaking)

Benjamin is deaf, and Jewell's mother is deaf, giving a different perspective to the story right off. Benjamin is a fund manager, and Jewell is looking for a job at his company. I don't know much about the field, but I didn't have trouble following the technical stuff.

The storyline is believable and flows well. There were surprises and twists...I'll be reading it again. Yep, Gail R. Delaney is now on my must-buy list. Whoohoo!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


You have to have it. You die without it.

If you don't have enough you become dehydrated and die.

If you drink too much, you drown your organs and you die.

Now that I've started your day so cheerily, I'll dig into the nitty-gritty.

Recently, on facebook, a poster went around about using water to help with weight loss.

Drink 2 cups first thing in the morning. You haven't had any water all night, and you're dehydrated. So rehydrate.

Drink 1 cup of water before each meal. This will help curb your appetite because water takes up space.

That takes you up to at least 5 cups a day.

I've listened to the expert advice, over the years, and if you've been following along recently, you know how I feel about expert advice on eating *pfft*

As a child, I was often sick with kidney infections. It improved for several years, then I had an infection in my early 20s so severe I landed in the hospital. The doctors were sure I'd be out within 24 hours. Three days of an IV in my hand and they finally released me. I NEVER wanted to go through that again. I learned what I had to do.

I must drink 6-8 cups of water every day, without fail. I've fudged on occasion, but I'm quick to make up for it. There have been a few times when I wasn't sure if I was headed toward another infection, but I'd drink orange juice and cranberry juice, dousing my system with vitamin C. I haven't had an infection in decades. Go me.

Anyway, I've tried the above water schedule, and I'm finding it works well for me. It's easy to slip in the addition 1-3 cups throughout the rest of the day.

Helpful hint I picked up years ago: If you are feeling hungry, drink some water first. You may be thirsty.

Interesting fact: Your body is made of 60-70% water. Infants may be as high as 75%, while adults drift down to 57-60%. Thank you wiki.answers.

Important to remember: (Simplified so I understand) Your body sends signals via an internal electrical current, a chemical reaction which needs water to operate properly. Dehydration interferes with the processes.

Easy tip to know if you're dehydrated: Pinch your skin. If it pops right back into place, you're probably hydrated. If it holds or returns to normal slowly, you may be dehydrated.

Drinking water dilutes electrolytes. Your body makes its own, but if you've been sweating or drinking too much water, you may be low and need to replace them. I prefer Smart Water because it doesn't include the sugar Gatorade does. When I was working my horse every day I kept Gatorade on hand. I could tell by the taste whether or not I'd had enough. It would taste good when I needed it and bitter when I didn't.

Listen to your body.

We are taught from an early age to ignore our body's signals. You have to eat when scheduled, in the allotted time.

I'm trying to teach myself to take care of myself, but it means I have to teach myself to listen to my body. Practice. Lots of practice.

Final thought: I don't care what the studies say about bottled water being no different from tap water. When I had my horse I discovered I was more likely to drink more water if I froze it, at least during the summer. I liked my water cold. I was drinking the local water at the time. Then a cousin pointed out the water had a musty smell. I invested in Water N Ice. It's a reverse osmosis purification system. My allergies improved, and I'm much better about drinking my water. I also don't need it iced to tolerate it. Something I did for a while was buy a lemon and slice it a bit at a time and put the slice in my water pitcher. Why pay for someone else to flavor your water? I have pretty 6-cup pitcher I fill and empty every day. I also have an two-cup mug that says: Home is where your dog is. (Thanks Ruth!) Do whatever you have to do.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Carpe diem... Loudon...

NASCAR ~ 18th. If Carl isn't careful, he may not make it into the Chase at all. Go Carl! There is always hope...until it's over. I loved my sister's quip the other day (paraphrasing): "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings, maybe that's why they want to get rid of all the fat ladies."

What must be done, today:


Everything else can wait.

I think I've figured out the storyline to where it makes sense.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #111...

~Josh Groban's Don't Give Up Yes, I bought the whole album for this one song. Not sorry I did. I love his voice.

~Rain, blessed rain.

~Thanks God for having the credit card company catch the fraud in time to save the company and me a lot more headaches than simply replacing my card. I remember hearing about the 3 million names and numbers stolen a little while ago. I had the feeling then I was in that group and knew there was nothing I could do about it, except wait and see. Waiting is done, and we came out all right.

~Being able to help a friend.

~Good books! :-)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Heroes... John Adams...

I'm choosing John Adams first because he and Abigail are my favorite couple. Irving Stone wrote a fictionalized version of their life, using their personal letters and other documents, called Those Who Love.

John Adams was passionate about his vision for the future. Fortunately, his vision was tempered by other Founding Fathers, since John had leanings toward having a king of sorts.

I must admit that part of my admiration is born of having watched "1776." It's an amazing musical. The script was drafted from the records of the Congressional Congress, so though there are a few changes for the sake of condensing the story to fit the time allotted and adding a bit of drama, it's pretty accurate.

Okay, I love Abigail Adams. John comes with the package. She was such a remarkable woman.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Food is not the problem...

In these hectic times and need to be thin, we have lost a treasured tradition, breaking bread.

What better way to screw with someone than to tell them something they cannot live without is wrong?

There are reams of research on healthy eating. I've read quite a bit of it...or should I say I've had it crammed down my throat all my life.

Have you seen the most recent bit of research? Eggs are considered one of the perfect diet foods. Yep. Research has once again declared eggs are healthy, whole eggs. I've watched that particular "tennis" match all my life. I've seen the healthiness of eggs batted back and forth between the worst food on the planet to the whites are healthy, but the yolks aren't, and the yolks are healthy but the whites aren't, and they're the proverbial golden egg. I've completely lost interest and decided research is flawed and a lousy source of "the last word." The very purpose of research is to prove the other experts wrong.

In last Friday's post, I groused about the advice to "get new friends," if you're trying to lose weight and your friends don't eat healthy. I agree with the "birds of a feather" idea. It's true. Unfortunately, the wide-sweeping generalizing is irresponsible, and the research is flawed.

The problem I see, over and over, is the failure to discuss the core problem.

Obesity is a symptom, not the core problem.

We've landed ourselves with 10-year-old girls dieting, who don't need to diet, women comparing themselves to air-brushed unhealthy supermodels, and a diet industry that has gone wild and the only way for them to make money is to keep as many as possible on a diet, not to mention the insane government regulations. Did we learn nothing from Prohibition?

Obesity is a symptom, not the core problem.

As long as it is treated as the core problem, then no one needs to look any deeper. How convenient. Just stop being fat. It's easy to see and measure.

If obesity is the core problem, then all you have to do is cure the obesity and everything is hunky-dory. If it solves the problem, then why do so many people gain the weight right back? And more?

Obesity is a symptom.

Look a little deeper.

If it's a symptom, then what is it indicating? Or is it too scary, too personal, to go there?

I know what my core problem is: I hide behind my weight.

I'm working on changing my perception.

This isn't over. :-)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Week Fifty-Five of REAL...

Reminders: REAL - Reduce stress Exercise Adequate sleep Lower caloric intake

What Navy SEALs are required to do to make it into BUD/S: http://navyseal.s5.com/requirements.html

RIght up front: Never in a million years could I do what is required. However, I needed to start somewhere. Considering how fit the SEALs are, I figured it was a good place to start. So my SEAL puppy reps consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. I've worked up to 33 and working at slowing it down.

The 6th: weigh in: 237.8 lb. SEAL puppy rep. One-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. I slept 7 hours last night, no dreams. Good.

The 7th: weigh in: 237.8 lb. Three plus-mile walk and physical therapy.

The 8th: weigh in: 237.4 lb.

The 9th: weigh in: 238.8 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Not doing well. I'm tired of fighting.

The 10th: weigh in: 238 lb. One-mile walk. Physical therapy.

The 11th: weigh in: 237 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Blessedly, I woke up early, right before my alarm went off. The sun was rising, and the colors were beautiful. The sun wasn't above the horizon yet, and there was a pleasant breeze. I was less than five minutes from home when the sun peeked up out the east, and I was so glad to be almost home.

The 12th: weigh in: 238.8 lb. Waist circumference: 39". Physical therapy. Sigh. No walk, today. Yesterday, when I went for my walk I thought, "We need a frog stranglin' gully washer." Last night, we had a frog stranglin' gully washer. This means molds are growing wild, and I'm allergic.

This next week, I'm going to try some new things, like trying to eat slower and drink my water at more advantageous times (according to studies). We'll see how I do.

The first picture was taken in February 2012. The second picture was taken in June 2012. Inspiration, at least to me:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Watching Extreme Weight Loss...

Wow... I don't usually like reality shows, but this one I'm enjoying. I'm picking up tips and trying to incorporate some of the things I'm learning from it.

What is my biggest obstacle?

Believing I'm safe. Believing I don't need to hide behind my weight. Believing I don't need to fill myself up with food to make up for the lack in my life. Believing I'm enough as I am.

Believing in me.

Believing I am worth taking care of.

Believing I am of worth.

I know it in my head, but every time I overeat I'm really saying there's something wrong with me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Diane Gaston review...

A Not So Respectable Gentleman? http://www.amazon.com/Not-Respectable-Gentleman-Harlequin-Historical/dp/0373297017/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1341876740&sr=8-3&keywords=diane+gaston

Love it!

The problem with all of Diane's books?

They're done too soon! I'm not ready to leave yet! I go so far as to break up the reading so it lasts longer.

Whenever I read one of Diane's books I always feel like part of the pleasure is a mini vacation to the Regency period. She's also famous for visiting the seamier side of the Regency. Though she has a Duke, an Earl, Lords, and a Baron her hero is the bastard son of the Duke's father which puts him in the pale. Regency romances often abound with wealth, but Diane's characters often are not. The heroine is being married off to a dirtbag because her father is a lousy gambler and a louse. A secret betrothal, betrayal, and desperation make for a page-turning read.

There is a love scene and lots of chemistry for those who worry about that.

When I started reading romances, again (I took several years off because I was tired of the formula and/or poor writing), Diane's The Mysterious Miss M was one of the first I read, and I was hooked. She's on my very short must-buy list.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Carpe diem... writing...

Laundry, of course, will need to be done.

Otherwise, I have some transcribing I need to work on, a good morning activity, when my brain isn't quite engaged yet.

Then there's a bit of reading I want to do, which is also research for my own writing. I'm going to finish Diane Gaston's latest book. I'm loving it!

And lastly, I've lots of writing to do. My brain was essentially absent last week. I have the beginning and the end written, so it's time to finish filling in the middle.

Rumor has it 64,000 computers were to go dark at midnight, last night, due to malware. All kinds of sites were offered to have your computer scanned. Unfortunately, I can't use any of them because of the nature of some of my work. So, please God, watch over my computer and keep me connected to my friends.

Update: I'm here! Thanks God.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #110...

~Steven Curtis Chapman's Long Way Home

~Rain off and on means cooler temperatures while it's here. Before and after it's a boiling pot, but enjoying the in between.

~P.Croissant yumminess. :-)

~Reading Diane Gaston's A Not So Respectable Gentleman? Loving it!

~Carl came in 6th at Daytona! Whoohoo! Unfortunately, NASCAR is on TNT, so I'm watching via a leader board on Yahoo Sports. Thanks, Yahoo!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

My Heroes... the Founding Fathers...

What a remarkable group of men, along with the women who stood with them.

This year, every week, I'm going to study one of the founding fathers and share something I learn here on my Saturday Heroes. I'm looking forward to the adventure.

What I know, off the top of my head: The founding fathers were not seeking to go down in history as traitors or heroes. They wanted to create a better future. They didn't want to die for their cause; they wanted to live for it. They believed liberty was worth standing for and fighting for and sacrificing everything, if necessary, and they followed up their belief with action. They talked about it, planned for it, and did what they could to help their dream take shape, grow, and not simply survive but thrive.

It they could do what they did for a country, it must be within my power to do the same with my life.

Friday, July 6, 2012

New friends needed...

From Tuesday's post:


Dumbest piece of advice in a weight loss tips article: "Get new friends. If your friends prefer pizza, wings, nachos and beer on a regular basis, find one’s who are like-minded and want to be healthy. Research has suggested that friends enhance (or can hurt) success."

Really? This is what you suggest? Really? First "friend" to go is this writer.

This is what I see right with this advice: If your friends make your life miserable, then you really do need new friends.

That's it.

I've written and deleted several paragraphs, several times. Why is this such a huge trigger? As I type I find myself becoming angrier and angrier.

The writer is a narcissist. Their way is the right way. Do what they tell you to do because they know what's best. People are expendable. No, the writer didn't suggest that people should be permanently done away with, but they did state clearly that people are interchangeable and that friendship is all about eating and nothing else. What other people do is why you're having a problem. Such a narcissistic thing to say.

Actually, I feel really sorry for this writer. If that's how they see people, then how sad for them. They don't really understand friendship and probably don't really have any friends.

Had I read this article a few years ago, I would have trashed the whole thing as nonsense because of this one glaring red flag of narcissism. I'm able to be more discerning now. I'm able to pick out what is good and recognize what is unhealthy.

No, I'm not saying eating pizza, etc, on a regular basis is healthy. It isn't. However, the food choice is not the problem here. The writer is advising others to ditch friends because of their food choices. Following the path the writer has laid out to it's idiotic conclusion: I'm allergic to bran. All my friends like going out to eat and regularly order whole grains, be it whole wheat, oatmeal, brown rice, etc. So, I should ditch them... I'm going to end up with no friends.

What the advice should have been: If your friends like going out for pizza, etc, then find something healthier on the menu. Exercise some self-control and don't match them bite for bite. Grow a backbone, accept personal responsibility, and find alternatives that work for you.

Friends want to gather together; what do they do? Somewhere in the mix is food. Food is great for bring people together. It's an ancient tradition to break bread together. It isn't a bad tradition. Treating it like it's an unhealthy tradition is ridiculous and quite frankly unhealthy.

Oh. This is leading to a whole new post of its own. :-) How fun.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Week Fifty-Four of REAL...

Reminders: REAL - Reduce stress Exercise Adequate sleep Lower caloric intake

What Navy SEALs are required to do to make it into BUD/S: http://navyseal.s5.com/requirements.html

RIght up front: Never in a million years could I do what is required. However, I needed to start somewhere. Considering how fit the SEALs are, I figured it was a good place to start. So my SEAL puppy reps consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. I've worked up to 33 and working at slowing it down.

The 29th: weigh in: 236 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Did not sleep well, last night. Woke up cold, with a charlie horse in my calf. Easily solved with foot circles. I haven't been as careful about taking care of the ankle.

The 30th: weigh in: 237.4 lb. Shoot. Sigh. Two-mile walk and only a third of my physical therapy. Manuscript is due, so editing, editing, editing...


The 1st: weigh in: 236.4 lb.

The 2nd: weigh in: 235.6 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep.

The 3rd: weigh in: 236 lb. One-mile walk. Physical therapy.

The 4th: weigh in: 236.8 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep.

The 5th: weigh in: 236.8 lb. Waist circumference: 39". No walk. With all the rain, I knew my allergies would be a mess, even with allergy medicine. Still did my physical therapy.

Learned something new about myself, or maybe I knew but didn't want to face. I knew I hid behind my weight. I'm also finally able to admit that sometimes the eating isn't about hiding so much as filling up a space inside. Or maybe even the hiding is about not wanting to acknowledge the space inside...the space where I'm not good enough...something to consider.

The first picture was taken in February 2012. The second picture was taken in June 2012. Inspiration, at least to me:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Interesting list of diet tips from Yahoo...

Well, actually it's from The Post Game. I'm posting it here, so it's easy to find again. I'm only posting the ones I'm able to use.

Goal. Okay, this one is kind of a no brainer.

Tea. I can't help but wonder if this is more about lifestyle than actually drinking tea. Drinking tea means being willing to wait for it to steep.

Weightlifting. Muscle burns fat. Yep. I do this one. I've kept my weights pretty light and increased reps. I'm now holding to the same weight and reps but lengthening the time I hold an extended stretch. Instead of trying to whip through the exercises, I'm slowing down. I know what the writer suggests; I also know what my physical therapist would allow, not to mention what's practical. I've heard doing exercise in intervals is great, but if my exercise isn't done in the morning, it won't be done the rest of the day.

Protein. I have noticed upping my protein in my diet means I'm not so hungry. I try to be smart about it. I also discovered I need it throughout the day. I'm learning variety is a must.

Water. I had kidney infections on and off throughout my childhood. The only way for me to end the cycle was to drink 6-8 cups of water every day. I've learned to drink water when I'm hungry to check and make sure I'm actually hungry and not thirsty. I'm surprised by how often I wasn't hungry but thirsty.

Portions. I did not understand portions. I finally started ordering my food from Schwan's. Yes, I know how silly that sounds. Schwan's provides single portion servings. Yes, it was expensive, but it gave me an opportunity to learn what I needed to learn: What a portion looks like and how calories vary, so one has to be aware of what's in the portion. Yep, I'm able to see the different angles once it's laid in front of me. I do a lot of things from the end to the beginning. Now, I'm able to buy the basic ingredients and create a healthy portion, knowing what it's supposed to look like.

Weigh daily. Yep, I do that because it helps me be aware. I realize my weight goes up and down, but when it's creeping up I'm able to step back and question why and explore what is within my power to change.

Eat breakfast. It really does make a difference for me. I often have dinner for breakfast, something I learned in Thailand. Rice was part of every meal, so it always felt like dinner.

"Eat the bulk of your meals in the A.M. Then eat progressively less throughout the day." I've noticed this helps. Setting this pattern has helped me break the habit of snacking in the evening.

Don’t grocery shop hungry. I've heard this advice since I was a little girl. Really. I also find it better to shop in the morning, on a less busy day. The busier the store is, the more stressed I become, and the more likely I am to buy more, especially the treats.

Bake, don’t fry. I have never fried anything. I'm afraid of hot grease. Really.

"Fidget. A study published in the journal Science showed that those who fidgeted more often -- for example, changed their posture frequently -- weighed less than those who didn’t. This extra movement was termed NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis)." I kept this one because I'd never heard of NEAT before. I grew up being criticized for being a "teetering snipe." I learned to hold still. No, I'm not blaming my excess weight on learning to hold still, but it didn't help. I'm learning to fidget again.

Laugh. The deep, from your middle kind of laugh. I don't do this every day, but I'm doing it a lot more often.

Don't clean your plate. The writer's reasoning is that "every little bit counts." Actually, this is a mind game. You're teaching yourself you have enough and a little bit more.

"When out to eat, split a meal." I usually ask for a box when I order my meal and put half in the box as soon as it arrives. Something else I enjoy doing is sharing. My sister and I occasionally will order a meal to split between us. We both have food issues, so this is actually not only an exercise in eating healthier but also in knowing our food is safe -- we'll have enough to eat that will be ours alone.

"Skip dessert." NO. I left this one in because it's important to know yourself. If I feel deprived, then I was binge later. I've mentioned before that I not only reward myself with food but I also punish myself with food. Dessert can be something as simple as a piece of Dove chocolate.

"Don’t socialize around the food tables at parties." This is unreasonable. Food is a common social point. Instead, figure out the tricks that will work for you. I try a little of all the things I want most. After that, I'm allowed to have a little more of what I liked best. Then I allow myself to eat all the celery and carrots and snap peas I want. I also drink a lot of water.

"Keep chips, dips, and other high fat junk foods out of the house. It’s not about willpower; it’s about being realistic." Again, I left this one to illustrate the importance of not sabotaging yourself. If I don't have treats, I feel deprived and will overeat "healthy" food. I have learned to keep only my favorites with which I'm able to exercise control. I used to have no self-restraint regarding Oreos (before they changed their packaging, and now they always taste stale YUCK). An open bag was an empty bag. I don't believe in wasting food either. I love Dove chocolates. I'm able to keep myself to 3 Dove Promise pieces a day. I've also found I like the 100-calories treats. Again, it helps me visualize portion sizes. 100 calories of popcorn is a whole lot different from 100 calories of chocolate-dipped graham crackers.

"Use smaller plates and bowls." This is something else I've heard for years. I collect place settings and enjoy changing out which pattern I use. It makes meals a bit more of an occasion.

"Slow down. It takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes for your stomach to sense it’s full. If you wolf down your food like a starving dog, you’ll likely out-eat your hunger." I like how the writer put this: "out-eat your hunger." Yep, I've done that. They say you shouldn't do something else while you're eating, but I find it the easiest way to slow me down.

"Plan ahead. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Yep. This works.

"Put yourself first. Many people (women in particular) put everyone else ahead of themselves and let their health fall by the side."

"Remember: It’s not all or nothing. If you fall off the bandwagon, jump right back on. Don’t let yourself continue to fall until all progress has been lost."

Wake up early to exercise. Yep, I do that.

Dumbest piece of advice in the whole article: "Get new friends. If your friends prefer pizza, wings, nachos and beer on a regular basis, find one’s who are like-minded and want to be healthy. Research has suggested that friends enhance (or can hurt) success."

Really? This is what you suggest? Really? First "friend" to go is this writer.

This is going to end up with a post all it's own.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Carpe diem... lots to do...

I hand wrote out a list as a note to myself. Then it dawned on me I needed to write my Monday post and the two would be the same thing.


Prepare Formats and Cover Art Inputs for remaining contracted books and plan future books

5 scenes for Mark's Grace and beginning outlining


Read Diane Gaston's newest A Not So Respectable Gentleman? My reward.

Done. Cool.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #109...

~A different version of Mikeschair's Someone Worth Dying For
As I listen, I feel this song down to my soul.

~Thank you, God, for inspiring musicians.

~My sister, for sharing the fun in her kitchen.

~Another book off to the editor.

~NASCAR I really do love it. Unfortunately, Carl came in 20th, fuel issues. Next time. :-)