"Love My Way, It's a New Road"

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Reset Once Again

For some reason weight loss has been a conundrum for me this go round. When I separated from my husband, I melted off 40 pounds effortlessly. I guess it is that revenge body situation. I have been trying to remember what I did and what I need to do know.

I have been reading Chasing Cupcakes by Elizabeth Benton. It is a good book and says what needs to be said. I am not quite ready to hear her lessons. Plus last week I listened to her podcast Primal Potential and she broke my heart. She lost her 12-day-old baby in April. Enough said. She is soldiering on and applying her grief to her coaching. It tore me apart to listen to one episode of her podcast where she talked about it. Particularly because I thought of Taz.

I decided that for August I am going to focus on three habits. Very simple: 30 minutes of daily exercise, 15 minutes organizing my damn photos (I only need to do this 20x in the month), bedtime at 10:00 with 7 hours of sleep. I have a habit tracker on my frig and off we go.

However, as I sat on my patio this morning enjoying the tropical storm breeze of Isasias, I knew that this isn’t enough for the weight loss. I need more tweaks. I have been doing my daily 30 minutes of Barre Blend from Beachbody on Demand (BOD). It is awesome and I feel my flexibility and balance increasing tremendously. I sweat, it’s hard and challenging, but it’s not enough. Sorry, Elise, but I think I need more pure cardio.

I was losing about 1-1/2 – 2 pounds on another BOD program, 21 Day Fix. Instead of switching back (because I do like the benefits of Barre Blend), I am going to add in another 1/2 hour 5x a week of cardio. Back to None2Run. Ugh. Maybe not the whole program, but at least get into some steady running intervals. The cardio really helps. Step 1 – increase my exercise to an hour a day/5x a week and 30 minutes on my off days. I won’t bore you with the schedule, but my off days will be midweek and those days will only be the Barre Blend.

Next, I need to focus on the food intake. Actually, I need to take my focus away from food. I have enjoyed meal prepping, having various meal options throughout the week and all that stuff. Too much focus on food. I need to downplay it. I am not a fan of intermittent fasting. Done it, meh. I guess my plan is a form of IF, but it harkens back to my previous weight loss success.

I will continue with 3 meals a day, but dinner will be extra light. Some Greek yogurt, a sandwich – very light. Lunch will be plant-based. Breakfast will be the main meal and it will still be reasonable. I need to recognize my hunger cues and stopping cues better. One weight loss coach recommends eating half of your meal, stopping for 20 minutes and then deciding if you eat more. I agree. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to realize if it is full.

I am convinced my scale is broken, but I know it is not. It hasn’t moved in two weeks and I am so frustrated with it, but really the frustration is with me. I am being impatient. Impatient with my body both through exercise and weight loss. I am not helping my body. I am not giving it the time it needs to change. I am not providing nutrition at the levels that maximize weight loss. I am not recognizing it’s strength in certain areas or appreciating where it is gaining balance and flexibility. I love my body and need to be kinder to it. I need to appreciate all it has done (birthed and nursed 2 healthy, beautiful babies, been strong and healthy, etc.), what it is doing now (exercising, staying healthy) and what it can do (get stronger, leaner). My body can do a lot, but I just need to allow her to have the time and the right fuel to do so. Patience. Dammit, it is always a lack of patience with me. Deep breath, reset and let’s try again.

Time to change the middle part, albeit patiently…

Cooked

I’m reading Michael Pollan’s book, Cooked. Fascinating. I also heard his recent interview on Fresh Air about his new Audible book, Caffeine. What he writes/thinks about food has always resonated with me. I discovered him when I read Omnivore’s Dilemma.

In his Fresh Air interview, he summed up his dietary habits in a haiku.

Eat food

Not too much

Mostly plants

That is also my plan in a nutshell. I am proud of myself these days. I have gone to the gym every week day for over 6 weeks. My None2Run training for the April 5k is about to hit the halfway mark and I am achieving those goals. I have increased my water consumption, decreased my food intake and think/plan before eating. I have talked myself out of bad choices for the most part.

I cook more now than at any other time in my life. I enjoy it. Most of my cooking is on the weekends with podcasts going. I am trying a plethora of new recipes. This weekend I made a vegan chicken salad out of chickpeas and raw cashews. Surprisingly delicious. I enjoy planning my meals and challenging myself in multiple ways such as new tastes, create meals from my freezer and/or frig for a week or two.

My body is responding albeit slowly. But slowly means it is gone for good. I remind myself of this as I watch others in our work weight loss challenge drop weight like crazy. I hear the ridiculous restrictions and know that they won’t be able to maintain it. None of them are incorporating exercise like me. I am the tortoise and they are the hare. Let’s see who’s cooked 3 months from now.

Hitting Home

I just finished “Evvie Drake Starts Over” by Linda Holmes.  Wow. Loved it.  Once I got started, I couldn’t put it down.  Chick Lit that hit home.  Evvie’s marriage was so much like mine that it hurt at times.

She was leaving her husband, literally, when she got the phone call he was in a car accident that ended up being fatal.  I am ashamed to confess that I dreamed many a night of my Ex dying in a DUI accident when he stayed out late drinking.

Her husband was charming to everyone, mine often was as well.  Everyone thought their marriage was perfect.  Mine also.  So many similarities.  His temper, his denial of basic facts. She was also a self-confessed “fixer” -someone intent on fixing others rather than working on herself.  Guilty.

She didn’t want to tell others her feelings because of her rocky relationship with her husband.  Same.  I still keep things pent up and don’t share much with the outside world.  I put much more inner truth on this blog than anywhere else and there are still a few things I am not blogging about these days.

People think I am an open book because I will chatter on about my life, day-to-day stuff, but rarely will I spout about my feelings.  Nope, not sharing.  Between my borderline personality mother, absentee father and emotionally abusive husband, I keep my inner feelings locked up tight where I occasionally take them out to look at and then usually stuff them back inside.  Not the healthiest thing to do and I need to do better.

The book left me thinking and spending today listening to the Avett Brothers.  I got out of the shitty marriage.  I am safe.  I am happy.  I am oh so blessed these days.  Time to unpack the emotions and let them have some room to show themselves.  It’s OK.

Get the book.  It is much lighter than perhaps I am describing it.  I need to put Maine on my bucket list for sure….

evvie

New Road Map

I have long believed life is a journey.  A long, winding road full of bumps, detours, forks, .hills and valleys.

I spent today reading Sheri Salata’s book, The Beautiful No.  It is a quick read.  Although I have expressed my reservations about Oprah, Sheri had some good moments that resonated with me.  Not enough to buy her $20 workbook, but enough to purchase her $15 book after starting with a library e-book.

One realization I had while reading her book is I figured out what is up with neutral gear in my reset.  I need a new map.  My map for 2019 was about finding my reset.

To that end, I found a new job, moved to a new city and a new apartment, worked on a new lifestyle of frugality and minimalism, changed my relationship with the Hunter and began working on my health. 2019 has been a year of big changes.  I have taken lots of action and big steps, however, I have felt that I have come to an end.

Now that I have achieved so many big things in 2019, I need to pause.  It is time to rejoice  and celebrate.  I took a moment while writing this to let this thought sink in. I haven’t figured out how I will celebrate, perhaps when I see my kids at Christmas I can think of something.  One thing I know is that I am very, very grateful for this reset.

It is time to create my 2020 road map for the next phase of my life journey. I think my subconscious has already been preparing for this and that is the underlying cause of my unrest.  I am floating in uncharted waters, so I will feel more secure and purposeful if I have a chart or map to provide direction.

One big revelation for my 2020 road map is that it does not contain a single work-related item.  Not one. Work doesn’t need to bleed into my personal life any longer.  Wow, that’s a wonderful thing.

I am selfishly focused on me and my personal life.  That is a first for me.  Perhaps my word for 2020 will be “Selfish” or “Self-Centered”.

I like those words.  Nobody who knows me would ever use one of those words to describe me.  Perhaps that is why they are such great words for me.  It is something I need to learn to be/do.

By living alone, I am able to give myself the space to be selfish, to focus on my needs and wants.  This weekend I am spending my free time focused on me.  Selfish has begun. More to follow.

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Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

 

Frugal Begins

I mentioned in my last post that I am in the midst of adding a few new kitchen accoutrements.  I haven’t been cooking much if any for the past several years since the Hunter tended to dominate the kitchen.  One of the best ways for me to keep my spending (and hopefully weight) under control is to simply eat at home all the time.

I was inspired by the book, The Art of Eating In  by Cathy Erway.  She spent two years not eating out in New York City.  It’s a great read.  You can also read Cathy’s blog.

Anyway, one of the easiest ways to save money is with your food budget.  I am all set to do just that, but I wanted to make my life easier with a few extra gadgets.  The dutch oven is essential for launching my idea of baking.  Not just muffins and brownie mix, but bread.  Cathy talks about a “no-knead” bread that she made constantly.  That’s what I am talking about.  If I am not going to dine out, then I need to be able to cook good stuff.  I need to meal prep so if I am tired, I am not tempted to order something.

I got another book, Budget Bytes, which is also blog.  Beth Moncel is a nutritionist/food scientist and she knows how to cook on a budget.  She has been a big inspiration that I can have some fantastic meals for pennies.

Right now the frig and freezer are full of ingredients.  Now it is time to create some great meals. I have planned out my first round of menu items.  Until I get the freezer a bit stocked with some ready-to-go options, I will be cooking more than usual.  I am hopeful that I can get it down to a couple of days a week with plenty of leftovers.  Fortunately I like leftovers.

There is only one big ticket item left to acquire and that is my sofa.   I have found two good candidates on OfferUp for half of what I was willing to spend.  I hope to see them soon and I should be able to get some guys from work to haul it up for me.

Then, except for Christmas, I will be on a spending lock down.  I really don’t need anything, so it won’t be a hardship.  The hardship will be not buying tickets to events or eating out.  It will be interesting to see how I can keep busy and lively without spending money, but I really need to get myself out of debt and on a firm financial footing.  It isn’t forever.  I am hopeful I can clean things up in less than 2 years.

Here we go……

 

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Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash

My Beach Read

My beach read for my recent trip was “The Naked Truth” by Leslie Morgan.  That damn bitch wrote my book.  Actually she wrote the Hollywood version of my book.

She’s doing the newly divorced 50ish woman re-discovering her sexuality with a flair that only privileged white women can do.  That’s my snarky side peeking out.

Leslie is a beautiful, fit, successful writer with two homes.  That hussy was living the dream — my dream — in her memoir.  OK, enough of my green-eyed monster.  Give me a minute and let me tuck my monster away….

OK, I’m back.  Leslie was right on point.  Her pain, her honesty, her humor but mostly her blinding candor made this book a great read for me.  It reminds me that women in our 50’s with an empty (or nearly empty) nest really need to spend some time discovering and uncovering ourselves (pun intended).

No spoilers.  If you have a chance to grab the book, you’ll spend some time with someone who automatically feels like a friend.  Here are some of my favorite quotes – no spoilers, I promise.

“I was crazy about men now the way Lyon had loved each of his high school hookups.  Including me.  Each of the men in my life was a chip of self-worth, helping me rebuild myself”

“Ever ask yourself what are you really looking for, honey?  Sometimes it seems like you’re willing to pay an awfully steep price in order to feel loved.  That’s what you always say about your first marriage — that the definition of an abuse victim is someone who pays too high a ransom in exchange for love.”    This one hit home for me.

Sara (this is her therapist) had warned me to be careful.  She cautioned that the first serious relationship following a divorce can be more intense than the marriage itself, because after a divorce, you are raw and broken and filled with hope that the next time, you’re going to find lasting love to make up for the love you lost.”  Damn, did that ring true.

“You know it sounds to me like Jake (her boyfriend) is your burn ointment.  Your sexual healing after years of Marty’s (her Ex) sabotage.  But that doesn’t mean he’s your soul mate.  Each man you date now is a building block for your self-esteem.  Not the foundation.  Don’t confuse the two.”  Damn, I need her therapist.  That woman is worth her weight in gold.

“Withholding emotion is a form of manipulation.”  Yeah, I may be guilty of this…

“Part of this journey was, obviously, that I had to learn and re-learn that the way I allowed men to treat me was up to me, and only me. I had to thread a particularly challenging needle:  to find validation from men in my life without completely giving myself over to them.”  Yep, still working on that.

“You grew up in an alcoholic home.  Fundamentally, this means that the people who loved you, who were supposed to take care of you, didn’t protect you.  It’s why you are so independent, and yet paradoxically susceptible to abuse and manipulation by those closest to you.”   This was a biggie for me.  My family wasn’t necessarily an alcoholic home, but it was dysfunctional.  Something to ponder further.

Anyway, buy Leslie’s book.  We divorced nymphomaniacs need to stick together.

Naked Truth

Ick

On Thursday night/Friday morning I managed to work myself into a full-blown migraine that left me nauseous and in bed until about 1:00 Friday afternoon.  I was too nauseous to take any Excedrin Migraine (truly a miracle drug for me) until about that time.  Early in the morning, I crawled into a little ball of misery with my eye shades and tried to sleep it off.  I finally got some Propel and an apple in my stomach so I could take some medicine.  I added some CBD oil to my forehead and by 2:30 Friday afternoon,  I was a new woman.

Part of me had wanted to take Friday off of work anyway, but seriously, I need to just allow myself the day off rather than getting so sick.  Nothing exciting was happening anyway, so a day off wasn’t a big deal.

On Saturday I woke up and had this weird rash on the top and side of my foot.  A nasty, blistering rash.  WTF is that?  It looks like poison ivy/poison oak reaction, but how the heck did I get that?  Now I want to wash everything in sight….

The rash makes shoes a conundrum.  Flip flops are the best option.  I wore sneakers this morning for my walk, but I had my foot bandaged to prevent the blister from popping and spreading.  I know, TMI.  Fortunately they didn’t pop.  My Benadryl cream is working, so hopefully it will calm down tomorrow when pumps will be mandatory footwear for the day.  I’ll have to think about that….

Part of me thinks this is my body reacting to my inner thoughts.  I have to give my body props because the rash was an inspired reaction…new and definitely noteworthy.

I spent the weekend chilling.  A lot of reading the Encore Career Handbook (great book, by the way) and thinking.  I did a bunch of laundry, organized my closet and donated two bags of clothes.  That felt great.  I have been obsessing with the Crown on Netflix. I took a bike ride to get a bagel and took the Kracken to the dog park.  Had a quick chat with Taz, who is doing great but incredibly busy.  It was a mellow but nice weekend.

The Hunter has been busy with work and then he went to the woods on Sunday.  Yeah, I’m not interested in getting up at 3:00 AM in order to hit the woods by sunrise.  Oh and hike about 3-4 miles with some of it in knee-deep water.  Nope, nope, nope.

Now, let me go put some more Benadryl cream on my rash.  Is this all a part of aging?  Good grief!

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Photo by Marion Michele on Unsplash

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