This is 2020

Photo by Monte Dolack

I didn’t get a chance to write a last blog for 2019 or to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Let this post suffice as if I did.

In 2019, our family faced many changes. We put our house up for sale in CO and made a move to GA. Best decision we’ve made since we’ve been married. My husband’s kids weren’t too keen on us moving but oh well. Let them believe I’m the heartless bitch they continually say I am. We moved to better our lives. If they want to stay in CO, more power to them. We aren’t getting any younger and live on a fixed income. We prefer to enjoy our final years on earth rather than be miserable.

I get it. I’m a realist. I hate when people try to sugar coat stuff that shouldn’t be sugarcoated. So, I don’t sugarcoat stuff. I can be blunt too. But, in my defense, would you rather have a friend who blows smoke up your pie hole or someone who will be honest with you? I know which one I prefer. I apologize now if I hurt your feelings, but know it wasn’t intentional.

Our little ten year old granddaughter came to visit over Christmas. We paid for her flight to the tune of almost $1,000 (but, we’re okay when we spend that kind of money on them.) Prior to picking her up at the airport, I had started making a batch of cookies (lemon ricotta) my hubby’s favorite. When we returned from the airport, I proceeded to finish them. My granddaughter asked me what I was doing. I told her I was making cookies for grandpa. I was putting a special ingredient in them so he would follow my every command. This was how I controlled her grandpa so he would do whatever it was I wanted him to do.

Her eyes got big. “Really, Grandma?” she asked. “Yes. I’m surprised you didn’t figure it out for yourself,” I told her. She just looked at me. Of course, my husband was trying to get my attention and mouthing to me, “Don’t tell her that…” I laughed, hysterically, like a mad woman. “What do you mean don’t tell her that, she has a right to know how I get to control your thinking!”

By this time, she knew I was joking and laughed along with us. But in all reality, if his kids were to write a screenplay, they would cast me as the wicked witch who puts shit in their father’s food to control his mind. See, they don’t believe he can think for himself or make a decision on his own. It’s all because of me. I totally get the Megan Markle/Prince Harry move. Tallyho and good for you!!

My husband’s son, who I’ve written about before, is still autistic but not getting the help he was getting prior to our move to GA.

We found out he stopped taking his meds. He claims for only 6 weeks, but we suspect longer. He’s being taken advantage of by at least 2 of his 4 sisters. But we warned him and he chose to stay behind rather than be on his own, living HIS best life. He hasn’t seen a doctor in over seven months and he has no friends because he moved away from them when he went to live with his sister.

But you see, this is why we moved to GA. To live happily ever after, because damn we deserve it. No more are we going to play the martyr. We tell it like it is and we live it the way it is. No more apologies. Ask our advice, we’ll give it. Choose to ignore it, then it’s on you. Selfish for the first time in our lives and God it feels good!

According to Chinese Zodiac, this is the year of the Metal Rat. Since I’m a monkey, it says it’s a very lucky year for me. I’ll take it. I spent most of 2019 finishing up our novel, The Purple Lily with Christine Hartwell. Since she is experiencing some eye trouble, I finished up the rough edits and we hired a professional editor to help us with content and formatting. The novel is currently in the editors hands. We have roughly 62,000 + words and 226 pages. Our next step is to find a publisher.

I started writing for Coffeehouse Writers in 2019 and continue to do so this year. I can tell you, my writing is getting better and I absolutely love when I sit down at my computer to write my next piece, how easy it has become. My mind is constantly thinking of new stories to write and I couldn’t be happier; not only my personal life, but in my writing career. My writing career, for the first time, has a chance of blossoming.

Thank you for following me, reading my ramblings, and liking it. If you read something you like, please share it. The best compliment you can pay a writer is sharing their work with others. Stay tuned for my next Coffeehouse article, “The Looking Glass.” A time travel piece I’ve had rolling around in my head for some time now and finally got it down on paper. I’ll publish it here once it’s live on Coffeehousewriters.com.

So CHEERS to 2020!! Life is great compared to the other alternative! And if you aren’t feeling it today, you may feel it tomorrow. Never give up!

Noom-ing is a real thing

Several months ago, well, maybe more than that, (time flies when your trying to lose weight and don’t), I wrote about trying out Keto. Well, Keto did work for a while until we went on vacation. Even though I tried to stick to it, I ended up going off it once we got home. I don’t know why, I just did. After speaking to my hairdresser, who had lost about 20-30 lbs, I asked her what she was doing. She gave me the name of her nutritionist, who I contacted.

She told me she worked in Keto, Macros, and Mindful Eating. Sounded good to me so I hired her. She then gave me an eating plan with my total amount of macros I was allowed in a day. The calorie portion of 1500. From past experience with my body, I knew it was too much food for me. I have never lost weight in the past by eating over 1200 calories. I know that about my body. However, she is the expert so I gave it a try. I gained 12 lbs. I was devastated, of course, as I had never weighed that much in my life.

We went over what I had been doing and even though I wasn’t following it to a T, there was no reason for me to gain 12 lbs in a month, none! She told me my body had been in starvation mode for so long which was why I was gaining weight and eventually it would reverse itself. I was discouraged, depressed, wanting to throw in the towel. But really, that’s just not me. I am determined I am going to beat this.

Another friend of mine told me about a program she was doing: Noom. Huh? What the heck is a Noom? She told me she lost 22 lbs in 4 months and she is like me, it’s hard for her to lose weight. So I did some research on it. They had a free 14 day trial and if you liked what you were doing, you could sign up for a 6 month membership for $149. Okay, I’ll bite. I put a reminder on my phone and it said, “If this doesn’t work, do not buy it, cancel it today!”

They gave me a coach and access to their food logging system and exercise log, thousands of recipes, and some psychological encouragement. They also put me on a 1200 calorie per day “diet”. It’s not really a diet, they break food down into 3 groups, Red, yellow, and green. Red you eat limited amounts of, yellow is good but not as good as green. You can eat anything you want as long as you stay within your calorie range. You have to weigh every day and log it into the system. They want you to develop healthy habits.

So the first 14 days, the scale went up a couple more lbs, even though I was logging everything I ate. And like I said earlier, I am determined to win this, I am in control, not my body! So, I continued with the program. I mean I’ve already thrown a ton of money into my weight loss these last 15 years, whats another $149? But on the third week, I saw the scale go down. In fact after the 4th week, I had lost a total of 6 lbs! Big thing for me!

Here is what I have noticed from the help of the nutritionist and NOOM. I am very MINDFUL of what I am eating. I am making better choices and in my head I’m not saying, “oh, one of these won’t hurt” cause yes, it will. Ask me how I know this….Saturday we had company for the first time since starting this and I had two old fashion high balls, it made a big difference in the scale of 2 lbs. Those 2 lbs took days to lose and now I am almost back to my Saturday weight. I am putting too much work into this to blow it on a silly alcoholic drink. So, I learned my lesson. A lesson I would not have learned if I hadn’t been weighing myself every day.

I measure everything! I don’t trust myself just yet to “guesstimate.” I am also eating the same foods, some may think this is boring but I don’t think it is, in fact, I do change it up a bit but make sure macros, the fats, proteins, and carbs are equal or similar. I do no carbs at night with dinner, another change I made where I am seeing a difference. I am eating fish, cod, mahi mahi, salmon, shrimp, chicken and a veggie or salad for dinner. Breakfast I have a low carb tortilla with 2 scrambled eggs and 2 pieces of bacon and for lunch I have a Prophorma 1 chocolate protein shake with either 1 T of peanut butter or 1/2 avo. My snacks are 1 cup sugar snap peas, or 2 T peanut butter with 3-4 celery sticks, or 20 almonds. Dessert at night is 20-40 frozen green or red grapes, or a JOJO bar. This is working for me.

Having found my sweet spot with my food intake has caused me to start seeing results. I had to limit my workouts because I hurt my knee but today my doctor told me I could ride my bike, or do squats without weights. No dancing to Zumba or doing any Shaun T workouts. They cause me to twist my knee and then it’s hard for me to walk. My goal was to lose 55 lbs, but my doctor told me to make it 25 lbs, baby steps.

So here I go again on my own….wait, that’s a song! But it’s true. NOOM says I will be at my goal weight by August. I hope it’s right. I’ll be happy with “almost” at my goal weight, anything is better than where I am today. My doctor told me I could be a nutritionist! She’s right. I know so much about food at this point, I know I could coach someone else. However, we are all different. What works for one person may not work for another. I found that out this past year. As always, I will keep you updated to my progress and maybe, no promises, I will post pictures!

Until next time!

New WOE

My New way of eating

From my previous two posts about trying to lose weight…always seemed like an up hill battle.  After getting a few suggestions, I decided to research this Keto thing that seems to work for lots of people.  I did my body type (adrenal and thyroid), purchased supplements (I did this because I knew my body was missing nutrients), watched Dr. Berg’s videos, joined a Facebook group, and began my new way of eating (WOE).  I explained I had tried almost every diet out there with little to no results.  I would lose 10-12 lbs and then put it right back on.  I could not go below that 10 lb mark.  Talk about frustrating.  No matter how long I stayed on track, the scale never budged past that mark.

This is week 4 for me on Keto.  The scale (which I was told to hide) didn’t move for almost 2.5 weeks.  I figured I was doing something wrong.  I sent a private message to Dr. Berg and amazingly enough, he answered (or one of his well qualified staff did!) He sent me three videos of his on how to achieve rapid weight loss for adrenal and thyroid body types.  So, I was eating all wrong!  Well, not all wrong but the little tweaks he told me I should do, worked! I seemed to be following old eating habits: high protein, low fat, lots of veggies and I was putting blueberries in my kale shake every morning.

I was eating the wrong berries.  I should have been eating blackberries and raspberries.  I was eating the wrong nuts.  I should have been eating pecans and macadamia nuts.  I was eating when I wasn’t hungry rather than fasting a little longer.  I was eating the wrong meats.  I was eating salmon and chicken when I should have been consuming more eggs, hamburger, pork, lamb, and steak.  I didn’t know what “fats” to eat.  And now I know I need to consume 50-70% of my meals with healthy fats.  Pork or bacon, brie cheese, steak (prime rib), lamb, hamburger (the fattest I can find), pecans, avocado and butter on my veggies.  And guess what?  Once I started eating like he suggested for rapid weight loss, 2 days in, I had lost 3.8 lbs!  (I did not hide my scale).  And today when I weighed myself, I was down another 1 lb.

So, since starting this eating plan almost 4 weeks ago, I have gone from 193 to 186 – that’s 7 lbs.  I’m so glad I reached out to him for some help because I was again thinking, “oh, no, here we go again.”  But that is not what I’m thinking anymore.  I’m thinking, “oh, hell, yes!”  I do not mind fasting at all.  In fact, most days I fast from dinner the night before until dinner the following day!  So, that’s about a 23 hour fast.  I love how everyone abbreviates OMAD or TMAD (one meal a day vs. two meals a day).  My eating window is 2 hours so I have to consume all the fat, carbs, protein and calories in one sitting within a 2 hour window.  Once you get used to it, it’s pretty darn easy.

I’ll keep you all updated on my progress.  I’ll post more pictures before and afters.   I do want to add, I have so much energy, I am working out 4 days per week with a trainer and I can already see my muscle tone coming back.  This WOE may not be for everyone but for the one’s I have met on FB, the brave souls who post their before and afters, the people who no longer have to take medication for diabetes or pre diabetes, the one’s who are way more healthier than they have ever been in their adult lives, this is for them and for me.  I really thought I would miss sugar, but I don’t.  I still get to cook and bake and it’s fun trying out new recipes.  I’m by far not an expert on this WOE but I’m learning new things everyday, and it seems to be a good thing for me and my body.

Sometimes we just have to let go of the norm and look outside the box.  I’m so glad I never gave up!