Saturday, December 02, 2023

Time Flies

​how has it been a month since I last wrote anything?  It feels like yesterday!  I wish I could say that I was doing fantastic and had dropped weight, was always happy and felt confident in my job.  But I can’t.

My job.  What to say?  I am thankful to have a job.  I am so very grateful.   They have laid off people.  My team is a trial.   I am made to feel like I can’t to anything right.   The stress of that gets me flustered and that just causes me to make errors….a vicious cycle.   

I remain stressed about a few aspects of life. Can anyone say finances?   Jason being off work for six months with no pay really hurt it’s going to take quite a while to recover.

My health.   I am on protonic for acid reflux.  It doesn’t seem to help.  Some meals are worse.  Some things don’t seem to affect me.   I mean, my morning bowl of cereal doesn’t affect me!   But a girl can’t live on cheerios alone can she?   I also seem to be good with a pb&j sandwich at lunch….only the sandwich.  Adding anything to it is a crap shoot to the appearance of ‘the flux’.   I have decided to add a bit of probiotics to my life.   Maybe my gut health is playing a part in this mess.   So far no change.  Honestly, am I eating too much?  Am I eating too fast?  I’m trying to curb how much I eat and how fast…but I find myself shoveling food in.  It’s a bad habit that is proving hard to break.  I have an appointment in about 2 weeks with a gastroenterologist.  I needed to go anyway to have a colonoscopy (my dad died of colo-rectal cancer).   But one of the main topics of discussion at that appointment will be the GERD diagnosis and acid reflux.  Jason made a comment a few days ago…and it’s not something that I haven’t thought….he said ‘I’m wondering if you were misdiagnosed’. Since the medication isn’t touching it, it does make one wonder.  So I’m just waiting for the appointment with the specialist.

My weight.   Exactly the same.   I dropped weight the week after I was at the ER.  I felt so miserable I could t eat…and didn’t eat for about 3 days…and then for the next week I only at about 300-600 calories a day.  And I lost weight.  I was looking fabulous on the scales.  The following week I got back to it and ate between 1200-1500 calories and my weight went right back to the ‘unhappy happy weight’ that I am stuck at.   It is super frustrating!    I’m not giving up…tracking my food (for the Flux as well as for weight loss.  And I have vowed that I will get back to my daily workouts.  This journey to lose weight is so difficult.

So that’s where I am at…my angst and worries in life.   November flew by and I can’t imagine December will be any different.  

Monday, October 30, 2023

A New Doctor

 ​I actually for the first time ever was a bit excited and ready to go to the doctor.   Yes, I hate to go to the doctor!  But I was looking forward to it and ready.

I was trying out a new doctor.  Technically, I was trying out a nurse practitioner.   The office was quite laid back with everyone wearing shorts and jeans.   Was that because it was Friday?  Was it in deference to the upcoming holiday?  Or was that the normal dress code.  I’m unsure.  But who cares what people are wearing, I’m there for the knowledge in their heads.   The NP was a bit older than I, and she had pink hair.  Once again, a Halloween thing or a normal thing? Not sure.

This office was also appalled that I had been told by a previous doctor, to ignore the acid reflux since it was a ‘silent’ and none severe case.  We have adjusted my meds to a ‘long term’ medication.   However, the NP is very aware that I do not plan on being on meds all my life…and that my goal is to manage this naturally and she is behind that goal   I knew that meds were going to be a thing for the near future so I didn’t fuss.    I know we have to figure out exactly what is happening and need it under control in the meantime.

She has ordered a barium swallow test of some sort (I have it on my paperwork in the other room) to start to try to figure out exactly what is happening.  What is causing my cough and throat clearing after I eat.  (And of course whatever that is ultimately caused the flare up that landed me in the ER).  That test may solve that mystery.  However, she predicts that it will simply be the guidance needed for the follow up tests that will be ordered by the gastroenterologist that she is recommending that I visit.  The other reason for the referral is the fact that she wants me to see a specialist since this acid reflux has been left unchecked and we need to see if it has caused any damage.  

We talked about my cholesterol (it was slightly high at 215), my blood pressure (always high at the doctor, but always normal at home checks) and   we talked about the calcium spot on my lung (that was discovered when I had X-rays  after my accident on the bike a few years back.). Unlike my previous doctor, she scoured the paperwork and information provided by that urgent care facility and radiologist and she picked up on a wee little line about some degeneration of my spine and added that to my clinical notes.  We talked about my weight and how I feel as if I am beating my head against the wall in a futile effort to lose weight.     All of these things will be addressed in the future.  When I brought up my weight (she was not the one that brought it up…I did) she readily admitted that most of my issues would be eradicated with weight loss.   I know that historically when I drop the weight my cholesterol drops, my blood pressure regulated, my arthritic knees feel better.   And weight loss would also help this acid reflux thing.

I just had chest X-rays at the hospital the other week so the spot on the lung is a simple thing of comparing the X-rays to make sure the spot didn’t grow (which would indicate some unchecked infection in my body). So that will be an easy check once she has my records and X-rays from both places.

However, we are not working on my weight together right now.  Of course she wants me to continue trying.  But at this time our one and only focus through doctor visits is the acid reflux/GERD.  Mainly because of the long term damage it can be doing to my body.   She doesn’t want to introduce any new meds or greatly different routines to my body at this time…not until we get a handle on the reflux.

She did recommend adding fish oil..for the cholesterol…to try to combat it naturally.  She also recommended that along with my daily protonix pill for the acid reflux that I add in an allergy pill.  (Zyrtec, Allegra, Claritin) since my acid reflux really doesn’t seem to be all day..and only after meals…certain meals.  She said my acid reflux may be caused by an allergy.  

So I am heading down a path of tests to solve the mysteries.  Medicated for the time being, but with the blessing of the doctor heading toward a more natural solution!

Weight loss….I’m still going full steam ahead with trying to lose weight.   I restarted my exercise today!   

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

The Flux

​It has been a while, I apologize. It hasn’t been because I’ve been ill. It hasn’t been because of anything bad. It simply is just life

After my trip to the ER I spent quite a bit of time reading and researching acid reflux, and GERD I knew that I wanted to try to manage this as naturally as possible, right now I am on rather high doses of medication for acid reflux and the flare up of GERD but I don’t want that to be my forever.  I want to manage  ‘The Flux’ as I call it in a natural way. 

One of the first things I did was to pull out the old pen and paper. I started writing down everything I ate, and then I also started writing down exactly how I felt afterwards , did I feel bloated, did I have indigestion, did I have acid reflux cough?  Through this, I have been able to start to identify foods that set me off.  Unfortunately, acidic foods like Italian are really bad for me and I love my Italian.  Yes, even with the medication these foods are still causing the acid reflux. I will be talking to the doctor about that!

Immediately upon coming home from the ER I knew that my weight had to be taken care.   Obesity is a risk factor for having flareups of GERD and acid reflux in general.  The first couple days were pretty easy to watch my food intake  because there was no interest in food. I was still feeling rough. I would eat a half a banana and feel bloated, so it was very easy for me to curb how much I ate.  As time passed it became more difficult as I am now wanting more food and different foods and snacks. However, I have managed to keep my calories in line every day.

I am very cognizant of what I’m eating, and how I’m eating. One of the things that they recommended was to eat slow.  It is recommended to put your fork down between each bite. I realized through working to incorporate this practice that I shovel food into my mouth quickly. I actually put my next bite into my mouth before I actually swallow the previous bite. I am making a conscious effort to slow down and swallow before I eat the next bite.  I’ve also realize that I’m really not hungry as often as I think!   It is mental!  Smaller portions make my mind spin as I am sure that I will be hungry with so little food.  But time and time again I eat and I find that I’m actually quite ok and not left hungry at all!   I’m learning more about my body and my eating habits!

It’s a learning process….and I have a long way to go!

I’ve seen the scale drop down…and then jump up.  It’s like the scale has a kind of its own!  I’m currently fly staying off of the scale.  Friday.  That is the day that I am allowing myself to check!  Simply by calories eaten, I should show a nice loss!

Friday is the big day.  I have an appointment with a new medical practice for my family doctor needs.  I am actually seeing a nurse practitioner.  She has great reviews as someone that listens and takes her time.  So I am hopeful!  I have my laundry list of things to talk about.  First and foremost, the flux and the GERD.  I need to know the immediate treatment plan this period where I am working on management techniques.   But I have a few things that I discussed with my family doctor that were brushed aside when I mentioned them.  (Which had made me start to look for a new doctor even before the ‘ohh it’s just acid reflux…nothing to be concerned about’ debacle.).  For once, I’m actually looking forward to seeing a doctor.  I’m a girl on a mission.

Through the last few weeks I haven’t exercised.  Honestly the first week to week and a half I felt bad.  But information I received was conflicting.  Some say curtail exercise during a GERD flare up and some said ‘light exercise’.  So I am playing it cautious and waiting for the ok from the doctor.  If I get the ok…I’m kicking that into high gear!

I honestly feel as if this GERD attack was just the unfortunate result of ‘the perfect storm’.   We had been on vacation.  I ate spicy Mexican food a few times.  Pizza a few times.  We even ate greasy fast food!  I drank soda every day.  I had lots of chocolate.  I mean, I ticked off so many boxes on the list of possible triggers that it was ridiculous!   And the vacation came to a close and the stress of ‘real life crashed down upon me’….why yes, stress is a trigger.    I am not banking on the ‘once in a lifestime storm’.  My goal is to fix myself!!

I’ll end with the dog.  Zoey is doing well…we wear her out on the weekends!  (She sleeps while I’m at work…so she isn’t as whipped on week days!). 

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Dramatic End to Vacation

​All good things must come to an end…and vacation is one of them.  We had a fabulous vacation.  It was much needed.   It was productive.  It was too short.  And sadly, it ended on a bad note.


In my last post I shared the news (and before pictures) that we were on a staycation and that we were going to be spending a bulk of our time painting our barn with some outdoor hikes thrown in for good measure.    As the aforementioned post indicated, we were off to a good start with painting and a day at a lake in the Micheaux State Forest.  

I am happy to say that the painting is done!  (Well it is done as far as we planned to be done).   The shed looks so nice all freshly painted!

We look like we care now!!! 

We also did get up to Cowans Gap (a PA state park).  It was crazy seeing it with the water in the lake let down (basically the lake with no water).  Just for reference…we had been up there in February with Zoey when she was about 4 months old.  (Why the pictures never made it to a post back then is beyond me).  Here is what the lake SHOULD look like.  

But the water has been let down in order for them to work on the dam and to reclaim the sand from the beach.  It looks so different (sorry no pictures from the same spot as Zoey still wouldn’t go across the grate bridge at the dam and while we carried her the last visit she was only 40 pounds). But you can see the difference with these pictures!

What a difference!  We had a good time though!   And we wore Zoey out!  

The vacation time went way too fast and before we knew it we were heading into our last day of vacation!  It was the last day when things turned around!

Drama and Pain

The last morning we were awaken by a sick dog.   Yeah, nothing like being awoke from a blowout…oh my, the smell!   It happened once or twice more…and you could tell it hit and she just didn’t have the time to alert us that she needed to go out.  She was miserable.   I felt so bad.  But as the day progressed she seemed to perk up and by mo day she seemed back to normal.   But due to that I spent my morning scrubbing out her crate…and the cleaning some carpets.  (The joys of having a pet).  I didn’t eat breakfast because I honestly just forgot in the craziness.  

I was in the shower when I first felt the pain.  It was high in my stomach.  Just under my breast…dead center.   The first time it was just an ache that swept over me.   When it happened my only thought was ‘dude I need to sit down’.   I rushed through my shower and sat down.  And relaxed.  It passed pretty quickly and I went on with my day.  I don’t remember it hitting me badly again during the early part of the day.   I was still feeling good, and took the time to make salads for my week and I put together a tray of lasagna for our dinner on Monday night. And I even finished a bit of painting on the shed (the hardware).  Little twinges of discomfort hit me but nothing too bad.  However as the day progressed the twinges of discomfort started coming at more regular intervals.  I even felt a bit nauseous.  I realized that I hadn’t eaten anything all day and thought that must be hungry (a foreign concept for me…and one that always throws me for a  loop when I feel a true hunger pang.  I have had issues of this in the past, where I am actually hungry but THINK I’m sick because I interpret the hunger pains as sickness.). By the time dinner rolled around I was feeling bad.   But I forced myself to eat…still convinced that it was hunger pains.   Food didn’t exactly make it better but it didn’t seem to make it worse.    I did however tell Jason, ‘I just don’t feel right’.

I went to bed, reluctantly because I was dreading going back to work!  I remember waking up and before I even got out of bed thinking , oh thank heavens, the pain is gone’.   But I was mistaken.  I started to move around and voila, the pain was back.  This time I was sure it was stress.   Vacation had been relatively stress free…and going back to work and back to real life brought it all crashing back.  Makes sense right?  I was sure that’s why I was feeling pain in my upper abdominal area….notice I was refusing to think any higher to heart!  After all, that had happened to me before where I had chest pains and it turned out to be stress (and apparently all tests at that time pointed at me being healthy as a horse).   I ignored the pain and went to work.

At work, I just wanted to lay my head down on my desk and cry as the pains intensified and washed over me.  It came in waves.  I’d have a bit of time where it was just a dull ache…but then it would hit and I would just curl up (literally) as the pain rocked through me. I was in tears more than once.  Taking the dog out was pure madness…I was feeling horrible.  The mere thought of food or drink made me want to hurl.   So nothing passed my lips…which only added to how miserable and weak  I was feeling I’m sure.   

By 1:00 pm I was at my wits end. I never call off sick! But I did.  I slept the afternoon away (discovering if I laid on my side the pain almost totally disappeared).  But when the pain came back it hit with a force if I moved from that one position even if it was to recline on my back.   The dog was a mess….she just wanted to lay on me and take care of me…but 100 pounds on top of someone that is wracked with pain wasn’t a good thing.

I started to get concerned…could this be my heart?  After all, I have had two people from my school years have heart issues.  I didn’t do anything….not until Jason came home.  (I honestly didn’t want to drive I felt that badly and off kilter).   He took me to the ER.  (I knew urgent care would say ‘possible heart’ and ship me to the er anyway).    Immediately upon arrival they did an ekg. (Literally; before I even got a room,  they did an EKG).  When the doctor saw me the first words out of his mouth were ‘your EKG looked good’.  Which of course is not definitive….but a good first sign.  They drew blood to test my enzyme levels. (Apparently when you have a heart attack your body produces proteins/enzymes).  So we did that process.  My enzyme levels that would indicate a heart attack remained incredibly low.  Thank heavens.  So we were eventually able to rule out heart as the cause of my issues. And then we went on to other things.

The end result?   GERD.   Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.   It makes sense.  A few years back I had talked to my doctor about the fact that most times I ate I would have a wet sounding phlegmy cough…never quite coughing anything up.  I would cough once or twice and then I would be ok.    My family doctor advised that it was acid reflux but that it was nothing to be concerned with…since it was just a small annoying cough once or twice after eating.     When the doctor at the ER mentioned it, both jason and I at the same time were like ‘our family doctor mentioned acid reflux’. And I told the ER doctor what she had said and that she wasn’t concerned and said it was under control.   The doctor gave a rueful chuckle and said ‘apparently it wasn’t under control since you are laying here in my ER’.   They gave me a couple IV’s with various acid reflux meds and they sent me home with 3 prescriptions for heavy hitting doses of medications (stuff I can normally get OTC but higher doses apparently to get me past this flare up).

It’s now the next morning and both Jason and I called out sick since we were in the ER late.  Plus I have to get my meds from the pharmacy before the IV meds wear off.    

What did I learn during my ER visit

1.  It’s time for a new family doctor.   We have been talking about it for the last few months.  We have not been happy with the family doctor we have. She has ignored some complaints and issues that I have taken to her.   And this is the final straw.   She could have at least given me the risks of this ‘silent acid reflux’ issue and let me decide on how to proceed versus just brushing it aside.

2.  Don’t play with chest pains.  I should have admitted it much earlier and either called an ambulance or someone to drive me.  (Jason preached this point to me…as he was freaked out that I waited for so many hours after I admitted to myself that it was chest pains.)

3.  GERD is usually managed via medication.   Hopefully the higher doses won’t be necessary long term and I can rely on OTC versions as needed.  But it will be a learning process….and I will have to pay a lot more attention to what foods cause the acid reflux reactions.  It will be difficult because I’m the cough is now just part of who I am that I barely pay any attention to it.  (For example, I just ate some toast, first food in more than 24 hours.  I can’t remember if I did the throat clearing cough or not…..).  This will involve tracking my food…which I need for weight loss anyway and just adding that e xtra note about the cough and any heartburn/chest pain).   Hopefully I can manage this simply by knowing what foods trigger this and taking a dose of medication proactively versus taking a daily preventative medication (s).

4.  While doing my research on GERD I saw that there are some lifestyle changes that can help ease the symptoms.  They include things like the above mentioned finding and avoiding trigger foods.  It also includes avoiding alcohol and smoking.  No problem since I rarely drink and I never smoke.   Avoiding carbonated beverages will be a bit more of a challenge…but luckily I TYPICALLY don’t drink a lot…maybe one can a day. They recommend eating smaller meals throughout the day.  Not a problem on that one either…but it will make me turn away from the ‘one meal a day’ intermittent fasting method that I’ve been toying with trying.   Chocolate, spicy foods, fatty foods…foods high in acid…are all possible triggers.  So it’s recommended to limit those.     Like really, I was on vacation and drank a ton of carbonated beverages, ate fatty foods, and chocolate and the night before this happened a spicy Mexican meal. The night before was pizza.   Every food was full of things that is possible triggers.    So yes, watch my food intake.  But the BIGGEST lifestyle change to help ease the symptom is to lose weight and maintain the loss.

5.  Water water water!  Water helps dilute the acid in the esophagus and it is neutral so helps balance the PH levels that are out of whack.  Not drinking water let’s the acid run free.  I’ve been lacking with water lately.  

So yeah, full circle back to weight loss.  After I got the ‘heart looks ok’ report jason ran home to take care of the dog before coming back to the hospital and we texted a few times while he was with the dog. (The dog is ok for 5-6 hours during the day…but with her upset belly we didn’t want to push it that long..and luckily the hospital is only 5 minutes or so from our house.).   The weight loss thing can be summed up by sharing his text with you.

So there you have it.   No more BS.   I NEED a lifestyle change.   Early stages of GERD are bad enough.   But stage four..precancerous and cancer.   Not cool!   No more BS, it’s time!

Monday, October 02, 2023

Vacation Mode

It is Monday and I am happy to say that I am on vacation all week long!   I have been dreaming about our time off for weeks!  It is a staycation…we aren’t going anywhere.  But we do have a few things planned!  

The Shed

Last year for our vacation we opted to stay home to tear down a lean-to addition on our shed and rebuild it.  It was a a busy week as we tore it down and rebuilt.  We had a fire going in our fire pit going the whole vacation and the old shed was burned one piece at a time that week.  The week ended and the shed was still incomplete.  Slowly it got completed…kinda (very slowly since Jason got injured shortly after vacation…you can read about that here.   Luckily Jason’s dad helped us with getting it done!).     The shed has been in a state of being under roof but the new section was still bare wood and the old section was painted who knows when and it was obviously in need of fresh paint).  So when we decided that a go away vacation was not in the financial cards for us this year we decided to paint that shed!  Here is some pics of before we painted.  

 The pics make it look small.   It’s not huge but bigger than it looks. The leanto (bottom picture) is 20x10.  The main part is 25x12.  With an overhang in the front. The area under the over hang is an additional 25x12   (Jason says it would be prefect for an alpaca…hahahah)

It is Monday and we have now completed two full days of painting.  It looks so good!   We chose green…and it will be trimmed in white. (Stay tuned for completed pictures)

After painting all day today, I’m so tired!

Fun staycation stuff

Our vacation is not all work though!   We are trying and hoping to do a work day and then a relax fun day.  Back and forth.  So we worked on the shed on Saturday and on Sunday we headed to Micheaux State Forest (PA state forest) and did a bit of hiking.   It was actually shorter than normal. Zoey still gets a bit overexcited with new things and we haven’t been hiking much.  So we are keeping our hikes shorter while we ‘break her in.  But it was still awesome to get out!

It wore Zoey our!  She slept so hard when we got home….with her nose by HER sock.   (Our theory is that if we give her old socks that she won’t go after our good ones!)


We have some more short outdoor/hiking trips planned this week.  Tomorrow should be Cowans Gap…at least that’s the plan.  (We have a few other things to do also…more errand type stuff).   Apparently they have drained the lake…and we are nosey and want to see it without water!   It should be interesting.  The last time we took Zoey there she was too afraid to walk over the bridge that had a grate  versus a solid bridge deck.  At that time she weighed about 40 pounds and I carried her over the bridge.  She is over 100 pounds now….now sure how carrying her would work!  Hahaha


Tomorrow will be our second year wedding anniversary.   Yes, two years ago we went on vacation and got married.   Fun fun!!  (Your can read about it here. And that includes a link to my outlive video about it!).  We decided to do our annual wedding/anniversary cake again.  But decided to keep it within the confines of our weekend sweet treat  and have our cake on the weekend before our anniversary.   So we have been enjoying our anniversary cake.

Vacation will be over too soon….but I am ready to get myself back on track with getting healthy.  I have to focus on my health….I’m not getting younger!!!

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Tenative steps and a birthday

​Zoey is one year old!!!!   Yay!   We celebrated with her of course!  

She had cake!  

And a steak dinner.  

She got a toy and a huge bone as presents!  The toy was a hit, the bone was so big that it intimidated her!  Hahaha!


Luckily the cake was a dog cake, so I wasn’t tempted!  Although it smelled good and was all human food ingredients to make it, so I should have tasted it!  

In the midst of the birthday girl celebrations, I saw a post about a gal I knew from college who passed away. I knew she had been on the hospital but didn’t know why.    Curious I looked at her FB feed and saw that someone had mentioned that she had open heart surgery…within the last days of her life.   She was my age.   How sobering!   My age!    This is not the first person my age that had had heart surgery in the last few months!    When I saw the first one (triple bypass) I was like ‘wow, that’s a wake up call’.  That gal survived.   This second one didn’t.   Another wake up call.  And honestly, this second one has scared me!  

I fell off the rails about a year ago.  I’ve been struggling with my weight.   I got back with the exercise in January…and was religious about getting it done every day until June or July.  Then I slipped.   The last two months have been a free for all.    Ok, maybe not that bad.  But there was little to no tracking.  No exercise.  Very few healthy habits.  I still thought about wanting to lose though!  I just didn’t do anything about it!

The wake up call of this gal that passed away is stuck in my head.   I can’t get it out of my head.  And you know what?  That’s not a bad thing.    

I have started to track my food.  I’m on day four! 

I’ve gotten back to exercising.   I have exercised for three days!  

Healthy habits…such as water?  I’m making an effort to drink more.   That is a work in progress…but I’m making steps in the right direction!

Friday, September 15, 2023


​It’s been a hot minute…again!  I’m here.  I think about posting.   However I am always thinking about it and saying to myself, tonight…or tomorrow.  And those times never come.   Well they come but they are wicked up with other activities and responsibilities.  So here I am at 5:30am writing.


I guess I should start with my weight since this was created as a weight loss journey.    So the down and dirty about my weight?    Nothing.  I have thought about it…made efforts to start.  (Ok, so what if those efforts were mostly in my mind.). But I have done pretty much nothing to get the weight off.   I have not recommended tracking.  I have not recommenced exercise.   I’ve thought about it a lot.  That counts for something right?

So I am here to tell you that my weight is exactly the same.   I want it to change, but I just can’t seem to find it in me to add anything else to my life.    Which is crazy because I know that if I got the weight under control that I would feel so good physically!


Work continues to really drag me down.   I’m not going to say much because it is my job…and I do need to retain my employment status.  But the team I’m on is extremely toxic.  BAD!    I won’t go any further than that…but it’s not healthy.

Genera life

The life concerns are still there and they are overwhelming at times.    I try to deal with everything but the pain just bubbles up.   Yesterday I was walking the dog on my work break and was thinking about work.  And I just wanted to talk to my mom.  But while she is alive, she is not really there for me.  It’s hard to explain, but she just isn’t ‘there’.  Her attention span is gone…and she is so buried in her thoughts and misery or whatever that if I do talk to her she usually interrupts me mid sentence to say something random and not at all related, something like ‘where are my shoes’.     So I was outside sobbing because while I still have my mom, I really don’t have my mom.     The finances overwhelm me at times.     It’s just a continually cycle of being overwhelmed…work…money…mom.

Jason has been my rock.   He is the bright spot.  I know it bothers him, because he has commented about never seeing me smile anymore.   And I try….I really try. 

Survive…not thrive

So this morning I was thinking and praying and the best way to describe my life right now is that I’m surviving but not thriving.   I’m surviving.   I’m going to work.  I’m paying all my bills (yes, all bills are paid and paid on time).     I’m doing everything that needs done….but it’s seemingly just enough to survive.   Not getting ahead…not thriving.     I’m surviving. 

I’ll leave you with a pic of the dog!

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Slippery Slope

 I have been on a slippery slope these last few months.  The trajectory of what I am doing has the potential to be disastrous to my weight loss journey.  I have GOT to make a change and correct this course!

Monday, August 21, 2023

A week long post


Has it already been a week since I last posted?  Ok, So actually more than a week.  ~sigh~   Where does time go?  I swear I wake up and start the day blink and then it's over!   I feel as if I'm constantly on the go for most of the time that I'm awake!  It's nuts!

Enough is Enough  

So my first week of trying to take control of the one thing in my life that I have utter control of was partially successful.  I was a whole lot more cognizant of what I was eating. and I made some better choices in my food selections.    However, I tracked next to nothing. So I have no clue how many calories I ate.   So not exactly a failure, but not exactly a success.  I am calling it a successful baby step back into being fully on track!  

The weekend rolled around and we celebrated Jason's birthday.  I did eat a bit too much food over the weekend.  But I vowed that Monday was the day that I was stepping up my game.  I didn't promise myself full perfection, I simply vowed to step up the game.  

So bright and early Monday morning I was exercising. (5:30AM).   I tracked my food for the day.   I felt really good about my efforts.  My water consumption was a bit spotty, but baby steps.  Like I said, I'm not expecting perfection simply positive steps in the right direction.  Ohhh and did I mention that my stomach hurt on Monday morning yet I STILL exercised?  

It is Tuesday morning about 9AM while I'm writing this (IT is working on my work computer and has taken control. leaving me with nothing to do but stare at the computer while they click and make perfect time to write a blog post) .    I have already tracked my food that I'm planning on eating today.    


I am doing such a horrible job of juggling everything.  I  literally had my last post on August 6th.  I started to write a post on August 14th (above) and I am just getting back to it now on Monday August 21st!   What in the world?

So Exercise last week was pretty good.  I exercised all but one day!   I also already exercised this morning at 5AM!   Go me!    My food.  It wasn't terrible, but I only tracked sporadically.  I am really struggling with getting back to tracking regularly.  Really struggling with that!   Time is one of the issues.  (obviously since it took me a week to get back to writing this post!)  My weight is fluctuating in a 5 pound range.   I don't like when I'm at the top end of that range, but I am happy that I'm staying within that same range!

That said, I am sitting here saying to myself "MaryFran, you are 50 years old.   The weight is going to catch up to you sooner rather than later. "   I have been lucky thus far in life that I have not really struggled with any weight related diseases.  Heck, I've been pretty healthy all around.  But I have this oppressive fear that it is going to come around and bite me in the arse!   Seriously, I have a gal I went to high school with that just had open heart surgery/triple bypass!  I'm scared!  Yet, I struggle to get myself under control.   How in the world can I turn my fear into actual actions.  I feel insane to even be typing about my fear yet continuing to be lax about my tracking of my food.  

I want to be thin.  I want to feel good.  I want to not feel uncomfortable in clothes.  I don't want my legs to ache.  I have the reasons.  I just need to get the gumption!

I am the one in control of my eating.  I know it!  Yet am I REALLY taking control?

Sunday, August 06, 2023

Enough is Enough

​I honestly didn’t mean to stay away for so long after my last post.   I realize that doom and gloom and a post talking about depression followed by a period of silence is not very comforting to anyone.  I know it and I honestly thought about writing a new post so many times!  But I just couldn’t find the time and/or energy to get it done!

These feelings suck.  Years ago when I was battling these depressive demons, I wrote in my private journal (good old fashioned paper and pen…and yes I still have one of those going) about how I felt as if I was backed into a corner with high walls all around me with no way out.  Back then I was trapped in a bad financial situation, stuck in a marriage that was not at all healthy and I was struggling with my weight (amongst other things).   I couldn’t see a way out and it led to depression then also.  And that is exactly how it feels now just different life issues.   The walls seem super high.  They feel insurmountable.  I feel trapped within  events in my life.  

That said, in the last two weeks I sat back and thought a lot about that previous bout with these depressive feelings.   Way back then, I actually adopted a mantra, a belief.   And that was, ‘I can’t do anything to change some situations in my life.  So what do I control?’      My answer was not much.  BUT,  the one thing I did have complete control over was what food went into my mouth.    No one was forcing me to eat food that was not conducive to a healthy weight.    

So I took control of that one thing.  I started to really care about what I ate.  It was my little slice of control.  Slowly that control built confidence within me and I was able to stand up for myself and I started to go to Zumba (believe me when I say it was a battle to get there as my ex husband sensed his control slipping and he dug in when I tried to start.).   I became an exercise machine and the confidence grew even more.  Even more crazy than the confidence was the fact that those insurmountable walls started to crumble.  Some of them I was able to climb over, others just crumbled away and became inconsequential.   It wasn’t overnight but it happened.    And it started by me taking control of the one thing that was possible!

This bout of depression has a different set of life issues (thank goodness for my husband Jason who has stood by me and loved me through this).  Some of the issues will most likely eventually rectify themselves on their own.   Others will need a solution and I have no clue where or how because I have no control.    But right now instead of dwelling on what I have no control over, I am going to work on controlling that which I can control.  It won’t be easy, but I’m determined.

So enough is enough.   It’s time to take control of my eating!  It’s time to stop fiddling around and get myself in gear in Regards to my weight!   I’m done with not tracking my food, with no exercise, and with feeling miserable.  It’s time to take control of my weight. And it’s the first step to taking control of my life!

Friday, July 21, 2023

Juggling the Balls of Life

Over the years, I have written pretty openly about my weight loss journey.  I have alluded to other aspects of my life, but it hasn’t been until recent years that I really started to share more and more aspects of life.   In the last year or so, I have mentioned my emotions and mental state a bit more.

I talked about my feelings a bit back in July of last year in this post where I talked about everything going on and how it was overwhelming to me.  I talked about being a mess for a few days.  What I didn’t mention was that the few days were more like a month of battling tears, anxiety and depressive feelings.   I knew that my feelings were all situational and that when things with my job and everything else straightened out that everything would right itself.

Life started to get back to normal and I slowly started to feel a bit more ‘normal’ and not quite so sad and upset That didn’t last long because by the end of November I was writing about a panic attack that I had.  I just couldn’t get a break.   I pushed through everything and kept going.   These feelings would fade, right?  

It’s been over a year now since I first started to allude to these struggles.   Some of the situations have righted themselves but they just created new ones in their place. My insecure job from last July became secure again….for three months then it became insecure again for another 2-3 months.   Then it became secure but my new team/position is highly stressful and made worse because I am learning the job but expected to know it all irregardless of the fact that I just joined the team. And that is just one of my life examples.

I am struggling.  Big time struggling.  Tears are always just beneath the surface. I am struggling to put one foot in front of the other.  Life is just hard right now.  The other day I came up with the perfect analogy.  I am like a juggler, juggling 24 balls in the air, but I feel as if the balls are all falling to the ground.  I pick them back up as quick as I can and recommence the juggle but inevitably they fall  back to the ground as I fail.  Kind of ironic since one of my biggest fears is the fear of failure. 

Seriously, I feel as if I. am even failing as a dog mom.  Sure, the dog is walked for potty breaks, the dog is fed.  She is loved.  But she and I are in a battle for dominance and while I jokingly say out loud that it’s neck in neck, I honestly think the dog is winning.    (This is a big Newfie trait …the battle for dominance as a puppy, the selective hearing,…and this stage goes from 6 months to up to 3 years of age. Once we get past this stage, we should have the ‘gentle giant’ as adult newfies are known).    Have you ever tried to control a 90 pound stubborn dog/puppy that is fighting your authority?      

I’m obviously failing at weight loss.  Sure I’m slowly trending down…but I’m not setting the world on fire with weight loss.  I mean, at this rate I may reach my goal….in about 10 years.   Take your pick, am I winning or failing?  

Tears are constantly just beneath the surface as the balls that I’m juggling drop again.   I’ve tried to pare down to the bare minimum life responsibilities.  I’ve cut extraneous things (quilting, dollhouses, YouTube, etc) to try to ease how  overwhelmed I’m feeling.  But nothing is working.  I’m  struggling.   I feel like it’s been ages since I actually laughed, a real laugh.   I worry that my depressive mood will drive a wedge between Jason and I.  Our relationship is ok and is thankfully NOT a cause of stress…but the worry that my feelings and depression  will harm it and just causes me more panic.  

I’ve been so depressed and 

I don’t have an answer or a solution. And honestly this has been a difficult post to even write to really out my feelings and struggles  out in the open.  But this is life.  This is part of my weight loss journey.  (Stress eating at its finest the last two mornings with homemade pancakes.)   I’m not giving up though.   I’m going to keep posting here.  I’m going to keep trying to lose weight and continue to try to push through this sadness.   I’ll make it through this storm cloud.  The sun will once again shine on me.  

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Overwhelmed and a bit of dreaming

​I am so overwhelmed with life right now that it is ridiculous.   I am moving by 5am every day and I usually don’t sit to relax until the last hour before I go to bed, and even that is interrupted with constant things to do.  I want life to slow down.  I want to have time to do fun things.   Yet somehow my time is sucked up with a gazillion other things!  I kid you not, I was deep cleaning the kitchen at 5am the other morning…it’s when I had the time.

So yeah, the quilt that I was so excited about making?  I haven’t had time to work on it in months!

And it’s sad because you can see that I have more than half of the lonestar completed!   Dollhouse stuff   I’ve been busy with that right?     Well no, none of that either.  The last thing I did was back in late December when I worked on the library. 

I’ve found a bit of time to read, usually in the middle of the night while I can’t sleep!  Or a random few minutes here and there.    I haven’t had time to create and edit a video for YouTube in ages.   I struggle to find the time to post on here.  I have a draft of my reading for the last 30 has a list of books, but no reviews written.  No time!

Work has been crazy lately…which doesn’t help matters. I think it will continue to be busy for the unforseeable future, but hopefully the crazy will disappear!

I have been enjoying a period of freedom from weight loss.  I’m not hyper focused on tracking or monitoring or anything.  I’m cognizant of what I’m eating, but not obsessing.  That’s a welcome change after the last gazillion years.   I’m not gaining, and slowly (like really slowly) seeing the numbers on the scale start to trend down.  I need to get focused a bit more…but I’m happy with the lack of obsession!

So I’m here.  I’m not out of the game with weight loss, but maybe, I’m learning to eat intuitively?   Maybe?  Dare I dream?

Monday, July 10, 2023

Time to Get Serious

Life is getting real and it's time to get serious! I can see where I have been slowly shifting my thoughts and bringing myself around to some new beliefs.  It's been a slow process, but I can see where I've been and I'm starting to see where I'm going.

Weight Loss

I have been really low key with my weight loss efforts of late.   That doesn't mean that I have not been trying to lose weight  That does not mean that I haven't wanted to lose weight,   What it means is that somehow and for some reason weight loss has become more of an intuitive thing.  I am still cognizant of my eating habits.  I still think about exercise.  I still weigh myself sporadically (ok, most days).  I'm just for some reason not stressing about the different aspects of weight loss.  I track my food......some days.  I'm pretty happy to say that when I track, my calorie count is right in line.  Now don't get me wrong, I am still cognizant of trying to make better choices.  I am 100% still cognizant of my choices.  I am just trying to make better choice for my health.   For example, I could have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch each day.   Honestly, I would LOVE it!   However, I have decided that a healthier option is a salad.  Much more nutritious.  So I have been prepping a week worth of salads each weekend.  I'm setting myself up for success and I am just living life the best I can.

So how does this affect the scales?   Well, I have been weighing pretty much daily and the weight fluctuates pretty heavily, but I am seeing a change.  It's a slow change, but it is a change.   When I first started to watch, I noticed my weight was fluctuating between 5 pounds.....then I slowly started to see the numbers drop.....and the five pound range went lower.    Do I have an exact weight?  NO, I haven't set an official weigh in day.  But I know that my weight is 'trending' lower!   It's slow...but it's happening!

We took a huge hit financially when Jason was off work for 6 months.  It didn't help that during that time frame we had some very large expenditures. (car repairs, medical bills, and I had to have my cars re-titled and tagged in our new state, just to name a few).   We did what we had to do to make it through that period.  I wasn't really focused on finances, I was more focused on taking care of Jason and his injury.  As we have settled back into normal life again, my focus has turned to our finances and recouping our expenditures during that time frame. Our savings was decimated and yes, we ended up in debt.   We are now on a strict budget so that we can recoup our will take a while to get ourselves back to where we were.   But we are working on it.

So that brought me to the thought of a side hustle.  I desperately need a side hustle.  I honestly recently started to look for a second job.  However, I know that my current schedule is so busy as it is that a second job would be near impossible.  I could work a bit on the weekends, but then when does the yardwork, groceries, etc get done?  So, side hustles that I can do at home?   Any ideas????

I am 50 years old.  I have been lucky enough to make it this far without having major health issues.  I want to keep it that way but I know that the more I abuse my body through my obesity and unhealthy eating that the odds of major health issues grows. So I am really trying to clean things up.  I'm trying to focus on health.   It's a slow change my lifestyle to simply think differently   But I'm determined to live the second half of my life in a healthy manner! This includes not only healthy eating and exercise, it includes the stress that so often overwhelms me.  It is learning how to deal with the stress, the panic and the depression that threatens me.  It is learning how to live healthy in all aspects.

Wednesday, July 05, 2023

No Regrets and a bit of Accountability

 ​Seriously, I ate it and I have no regrets!

We have been crazy busy the last few days.  I feel like a broken record when I say that. But seriously….   We knew that the weekend was going to be busy, and it was.

My Friday off was one whirlwind!  I got up early like normal and did all my normal morning things.  Jason left for work and I waited.  My mother in law was going to be picking me up at 7:30 and we were driving about 30-45 minutes away to visit a vent and dent store.  I had never been to this one and was excited to go.  We got back at about 11.  I took the dog out, fed her lunch and headed out to do my errands around town.  I got back from that and let the dog out for a bit and then headed out to see my mom.  I got home for good at about 5:45…just in time to start dinner.  

Saturday we had to run to about a half hour south to hit the banks.  (Really, we need to move our banking up to the area we live in!).  We got home and turned right around (after tending the dog) and went no spend time with Jason’s family. (His sister’s family was in town so it was extra special.)   Sunday…I spent a few hours super early making dog food and then we spent  time with my family.     

Sunday is where I ate it!   I caved and I ate a chocolate chip cookie!   It was super delicious too!   I have no regrets!   And I’m super proud because I WANTED a second cookie, but I only ate one!

Monday was a normal work day and Tuesday we had off for Independence Day! It was supposed to be our relax day.  But it turned into the work in the yard day!  We got some mowing done and I spent quite a bit of time at the compost pile. I spent some time turning two compost piles.  The easiest way to turn two 4x4 square piles that are about 2-3 feet tall is to just flip them into n empty area.  So that’s what I did!    This years compost is looking good!   I weeded and did some other things around the yard.  So our relaxing day turned into a yard work day!   But that’s a good sweat!

So now it’s Wednesday and it’s back to work.  It’s like  a second Monday…how yucky is that?  But this second Monday is also a Wednesday…so a hump day too! 

I have been weighing myself sporadically, getting more regular about it.  I’m not writing it down but I am cognizant of what the scales say.  It’s crazy how much the scales are fluctuating from day to day.  I realized this morning that the numbers seem to be slowly starting to trend lower.  Slowly.  But where two weeks ago my high number was typically ending with a 5…it’s now ending with a 0.   So it’s going down!

For the last few months I’ve been trying to figure out some accountability.  I’ve heard a few other people say the same.  So I started a Facebook group.  It is private…so everyone in the world will not be able to see our discussions.  But I would like to offer it up to anyone that is looking for accountability!  I would love to grow it into something that encourages us all to live healthy!

So feel free to join!

Friday, June 30, 2023

Friday Mish Mash

 Friday is here and what a fabulous Friday!  Ok its fabulous because I am off of work today!  I have a scheduled day off.  It's one of those random days that I chose to just take time.  Use or lose and I'm not losing!  (Jason gets a lot less time than those extra days I just use randomly.).     It's been another crazy week leading up to this glorious day!

This week Jason and I have tried a zero sugar diet. Jason wanted to try and has been gung ho to hit it hard.  He is all 'no carbs and no sugar and no artificial sweeteners.'   I tried it.   I gave it the gung ho go.  However, those packets of flavor that I put in my water are still instrumental in me being able to get  a healthy amount of water, even though they are artificially sweet.  I tried it without and the water was a colossal failure.  Therefore, within a day or two I was back to my flavored water!    I also found that for me to cut carbs and sugar INCLUDING fruit was too much.  I found myself eating less healthy!  (I see you chips and crackers!)   Therefore, I have given up on the zero sugar mission. I will continue on with the low sugar meals that I've planned out.  They are healthy and there is no reason to "Add" sugar.  But it is in the simple things like the piece of fruit to appease my hunger versus grabbing a handful of potato chips!   So the attempt to go zero sugar is not a failure, it's simply an adjustment to live with less sugar but not concerned about zero sugar!

Jason and I did go out with a bang on the night before our quest to go zero sugar.  I made a banging awesome cake!  It is an Elvis Inspired Cake.   Banana-Chocolate-Peanut Butter.   Does that not sound heavenly?   Let me tell you, it was!

  As I said this past week has been crazy busy.  Lots of yard work.  Lots of mowing.  Lots of time out with the dog.  Lots of housework.  And of course my normal job.  I was tickled to see that my prickly pear that we cut and started indoors last year.  We planted it outdoors in the succulent garden this spring and Jason has been telling me that it's dead.  In fairness, I think it's wishful thinking, because he got attacked by the fine nearly invisible prickles of the prickly pear and I don't think he has ever forgiven that innocent plant!   BUT, I was super tickled to see new growth!  It's not dead!!!!

Zoey the newfoundland puppy is doing well.  She is growing like a weed!   She doesn't realize her size though and is pretty positive that she is a lap dog!

I have been coninuing my quest to run.  I have been going out regularly.  I'm not going to say I'm enjoying it yet.   I'm also not going to say that I look forward to it.  It's also definitely NOT easy.  But I'm doing it!  I'm trusting the training program and I know that it will get better and easier!

So my day off, a little bit bitter sweet.   It will be one year ago that I last spent a 'normal' day with my mother.  This weekend marks on year since her stroke.   Life has changed drastically for her.  She is not happy with her life and that makes even visiting her at the place where she is at difficult.  So if I want to be honest with myself,, I lost my mom a year ago.  She is still alive and still in my life, but where she is in life with her capabilities (both menally and physcially) and her misery honestly means that I lost my mom.  Irregardless, I will still continue to visit her.

OK, off to enjoy my day off. Mowing, cleaning, shopping and a visit to my mom.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Still at It

 ​I’m still at it in terms of my exercise.  However, I may have  been lulled into a false sense of security!  

I used to run and loved it.  Well, of course I had days where I didn’t love it.  But I did love how it made me feel.  Refreshed, clear minded, powerful and successful!  I have missed it and decided it was time to restart!  I knew better than to think that I could jump in and just run. I knew that I had to start with some semblance of a training plan.  I have used the couch to 5k thing in the past and if you trust the training it really does work.  So I found a version of that and I started and that first run went great!  I could have done double the amount they wanted.  I came home and cleaned the house with an energy that was unheard of.  I wrote about how easy it was!   It was so easy that I was chomping at the big to go on my  next run!  (Which was pretty much a repeat of the first run in terms of run/walk minutes and length)   However, run two was not quite as easy. My legs felt it a bit!  I didn’t let it stop me though.  I completed run 2….and I headed out two days later and completed run 3!

Why yes, I was wearing the same clothes that I wore in run one!  But I promise you, they had been watched! Tomorrow is run 4.   I will go out and do it…pending the weather, which is iffy.  And if I don’t do it tomorrow I’ll still be inside working out during that scheduled  time and run 4 will happen at the first available time!

Today was honestly the first time I have tracked in quite a few weeks.  I’ve just been eating somewhat intuitively.  I’m cognizant, but just haven’t kept track of calories.   Surprisingly, in the last week or two I have seen my weight start to drop.

Which brings me to my final thought for the day.  I have always been a huge fan of weighing myself everyday.  In the last month or so I have not weighed daily.   It’s been a bit liberating.  I’m not sure how long the random weigh ins will last.  I fully expect to at some point go back to daily weigh ins, but for now it’s working for me.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

A book Review: Fear of Failure


I saw the book The Fear of Failure by Wilda Hale and I knew I had to read it.  It should come as no surprise to anyone that has been reading my posts....I've talked a lot about failure recently on here!  To read this book was a no brainer!

Anytime you are reading a self help book,, you can't help but hope that it will solve all the problems in your life and the world.  I was no different as I picked up this book.  I would love to overcome my fear of failure.  I would be tickled to live a full life that does not include holding back out of fear.  This book was not the perfect solution but it really goes into why we fear and what that fear does to us.   As I read I could see myself and I could see why I  am afraid of failure.  I could see how I'm afraid to reach for things because of failure. The book emphasizes the fact that failure is something EVERYONE has.  It gave examples of various failures, sometimes multiple times of  people that are hugely successful.   The book reminds us that what we sometimes only see the success and not the years of failure that proceeded the success.  The difference between a successful person is that they are not afraid to fail.  They accept the failures and the rejections as part of the process and keep going.  We see the success and think that it is all success, so we beat ourselves up over our failures. The ultimate example of a successful person was shown in the iceberg picture.  You see the iceberg above the water and that symbolizes success.  What we don't see is the huge mass of iceberg UNDER the water and out of sight.   The out of sight part of the iceberg is the failures that it took to achieve the success.    The person that is afraid of failure will either never try because they don't want to fail, or they will try once fail and give up.   

Feeling like a failure has such long arms as it wraps around us.   The author sited a study/experiment that was completed.  In this experiement they gave a group of people the same size slice of pizza..just one slice to eat.   The group was split into two groups.  Those that thought the slice of pizza was huge and those that thought the slice of pizza was small.  After the participants ate their one slice of pizza they were given access to cookies.  They were not limited to one and could eat as many cookies as they wanted.   The group of people that believed that they had eaten a small piece of pizza as a whole ate LESS cookies than the group of people that believed that they had indulged in a super big slice of pizza.....even though the slices of pizza were the exact same.  The difference was that the people that ate the slice of pizza  that they perceived as huge thought that they had failed and threw their hands up in defeat and they ate cookie after cookie.  The group that thought that they have kept in line and been successful with their 'small' piece of pizza felt empowered and strong and successful and they ate fewer or no cookies.   The size of pizza that each group ate was the same....what was different was the feeling of failure!    Woah....can I ever relate to that one!!!!

This book ended each chapter with take away concepts and it included some activities to do.  (Honestly, the 100 days of rejection...even 10 days of rejection scared the living daylights out of me.  This challenge was to LOOK for rejection at least once each day.  You can do this by asking a stranger for $1.  Or asking a restaurant to do something crazy with your food.  Things that will usually elicit a rejection.   Through the challenge a person will supposedly learn that rejection isn't a bad thing.).  


All in all, this book was a good one for me to read.  I am still afraid of failure and rejection.  I'm still afraid to try.  But the book, The Fear of Failure gave me some hints and tricks to try to overcome those fears and at the very least helped me to realize that what I fear is a normal part of life. 

Check out the books I read last month here

Sunday, June 18, 2023

That was Easy

​It has been absolutely no secret that I have been soul searching lately.  I’ve been seeking answers to deep questions.  I’ve been desperately looking for solutions to my weight issues.  I’ve been longing for a return of my awesome fitness level. I want to be happy.

Wait, what  fitness level am I talking about?   You know, the fitness level that I was at when I met Jason.  The level that allows me to run 5 miles at sunrise get home and immediately push mow for an hour before breakfast.  Go inside to cool down, shower and eat breakfast before heading out to hike with Jason for 6,8 or 10 miles.  It didn’t faze me!  (Dang, I was a machine!).   But I took a job with a 1.5 hour (if traffic was kind) commute….my running time disappeared.  Life happened and my fitness level slowly disappeared.   

Hand in hand with my fitness level is that I KNOW that my head is more clear when I’m running and hiking!  Seriously, I composed (in my head) the absolute best posts while I was running.  I had the most amazing epiphanies  while I was running.  Life’s problems faded while I was running.  Life seemed better and the endorphins I got from running made life better.

I’m struggling with an overwhelming sadness and depression.   I’m fighting it, but I want to overcome it.  So my mind went back to running.  I honestly miss running.  I’ve said that quite a few times over the last few years.   But I didn’t want to start running because I don’t want to ‘beat up  my body’.     I tried a few times and it hurt!    But just recently we have been watching ultra marathoners on YouTube.   They are pushing themselves to the max…through pain.  Through hell.     And here I am worried about a wee little pain?

So this morning found me lacing up my running shoes.  I decided to restart a couch to 5k style program.   I honestly think that was my problem when I was trying to run in recent years.  I was trying to pick up where I left off and it wasn’t working.   I know that if I start slow and build that my body will handle it better.  So that is what I did, I’m starting at the beginning.    The program I’m following had me warm up and cool down with a 5 minute walk and then I did an alternating walk and run, one minute each..back and forth.  I was expecting pain and misery.     I was super surprised.   It was, dare I say it….easy!    Not bad at all!!!

I can only say thank you to my weekday workouts…the ones that I do at 5:30 in the morning, religiously!   They paved the way for a smooth and easy transition.   I honestly probably could have gone longer.   But nope!   Trust and follow the training plan!   But, the crazy thing?  I am excited and can’t wait to get out there for my next run!!!!!

Friday, June 16, 2023

One Month of Books (Reading May 15 to June 15)

 I actually managed to read quite a bit in the last month.  I expect my reading to slow down in the next month or two.  But then again, maybe not as I always have my ipad near me and pick it up in those few minutes of down time whenever I can.  (I honestly prefer reading to watching tv).  I also realized that I was a lot more heavy on non-fiction than normal this month.   Quite interesting.  :-)

So what did I read this last month (from May 15 through June 15)?   Here goes..... (book links are amazon affiliate links) :

Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir by Matthew Perry.  I picked up this book out of curiosity.  I had heard that there was a memoir and wanted to read about America's friend.  the book talks about his life from the very beginning and through his early times as an actor and of course it took us through his years as Chandler on "Friends".   It was actually  a sobering read to realize that so much of his drug and alcohol problems happened while he was appearing before us each week on our television screens.  

The Spare by Prince Harry. I read this book not because of any great love or hatred toward Prince Harry.  I have always been ambivalent toward him.  I simply read this book to see what everyone was really talking about.  As I said, I was ambivalent toward him and his supposed plight before reading the book.  However, after reading the book I lost every shred of respect for him.  I'm not saying that what happened wasn't true.  I'm sure there are aspects of truth within the book.  But, his attitude of entitled privilege really made me sick to my stomach!  He started his story at his mothers death and referred to her constantly, almost as if in an attempt to garner sympathy.  Oh yeah, and I was extremely bothered by a grown man in his 30's referring to his mother as Mummy the whole way through the book.  

Only when I step on it:  One Man's Inspiring Journey to Hike the Appalachian Trail Alone by Peter Conti  This non fiction book is written by a man that was in an accident that left him dealing with chronic pain and unable to walk any distance.   For some reason he decided that to heal himself he had to hike he complete Appalachian Trail.   So, with only a few weeks' notice, off he went.  His book is an honest look at his hike and his journey to a healing, if not the healing he expected.

Walden on Wheels:  Onthe Open Road from Debt to Freedom by Ken Illgunas.  I really enjoyed this often humorous look at the journey to being debt free that the author took to be free from student debt.  The book takes a serious look at the great institution called the student loan and how it affects new graduates.  The book walks us through the authors sometimes radical lengths to become and remain debt free.   While it may be too crazy for most to complete the journey that the author did, it is a real reminder that if we want it badly enough, we can make it work.

A Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel  This is an absolutely fascinating account of a man that went into the woods and had little to no (if you can count 1-2 times of saying or waving hello to someone) contact with another human for more than a quarter of a century. He survived in a tent year round and lived off of the more than 1000 burglaries that he committed during his time in the woods. Yet, this story is written by a man that conducted multiple interviews with the hermit   I was fascinated from the first chapter and my interest only grew as I read.  I was actually left wanting to know more about the hermit and what happened to him after the hermit broke off contact with the author.   Absolutely fascinating. 

Doctor Ice Pick by Claire Prentice   I decided to read this book for two reasons.  Number one it refers to the insane asylums in West Virginia and in particular the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston,  West Virginia. It had been on my bucket list to visit that historic site for years and finally in 2020 I got to visit (you can read about that visit here). The other reason was that I have read books by and about patients that endured a lobotomy by this doctor.  Yes, this is a true accounting of the doctor that committed the lobotomies back in the mid 1900's.    This book was sobering in that it shows how much faith we put in the medica profession, but in realty sometimes those professionals do not have our best interests in mind!   

There's a Bear in the House by Walter Kirn  This book was the biggest disappointment of the month. The writing was choppy and disjointed.  This made the book hard to follow.  It was thankfully short...but can be summed up in about three sentences.  Man goes to cabin in woods to die and sees bear outside bedroom window.  Man dies.  Bear breaks into house and does no damage.     There you go......I just saved you the time!

The Lodger by Valerie Keogh  The first fictional book of the month, and that is odd for me as usually I am heavier on fiction.   This was a quick easy read.  There were one or two things in the beginning that was a bit predictable.  However, the book led us through a bit of a mystery that included a missing woman, a dead body and some serious accusations.  I was kept guessing the whole way through the book as to the true perpetrator of the crime (s).   The book wrapped up a bit fast in an unexpected and somewhat unbelievable way though.   While I was happy to have a resolution, I was disappointed in how it was revealed. 

Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats by Kymythy R. Schultze  I picked up this book to try to get a bit more guidance in the prospect of feeding our Newfoundland Puppy a homemade and more natural diet of food. About 2-3 months ago we switched to a homemade food (that I make every few weeks and freeze in daily portions) in an effort to relieve some of her intense itching (she was hairless in some areas due to her incessant digging). So this book was important as I want to make sure that I am feeding Zoe exactly what she needs in order to live a healthy and long life.  The book was more geared toward feeding a raw diet to your dog (or cat), which is based upon the theory that in the wild these animals would be eating raw.  However, I'm not quite there to feed raw, so I will keep cooking her food....but regardless the information was spot on for what I need to make sure that I'm feeding my very large baby. 


The Summer House:  By Keri Beevis  Another fictional book.   This is a 'who done it" style mystery.   There is angst between family, friends and enemies.  There is an old murder that is looming over everyones heads and a mystery that really does have one guessing as to who did it!  The summer house is the scene of all the badness from the original murder of a young girl to the main character who is back at the scene years later to prepare the property for sale.  Who to trust though...your enemy, your friends, your family or even a stranger?

I'm not sure what I'll be reading this upcoming month yet.  I sometimes get a list of books that I have stacked up and waiting, but lately I have gone online to the library website and just find a book on the fly to read.  Sometimes I line up two at a time, but lately nothing more than that.  

For more in depth reviews, you can check out 'my library'.  I have decided to start keeping a review on the books I read.   I read so much that I sometimes forget what I thought of a book.