Is Anybody Out There?

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It’s been a while.

The last post I did was back in April.

Wow.

I haven’t had time to develop new recipes, much less make the ones that I have. Since the global pandemic hit I have been working between seventy and eighty hours a week.

If that wasn’t enough to deal with, I was also hit with the one two punch of losing a childhood friend. After you get past the age of twenty-five I think you realize how important these people are. You realize how rare they are and how they feel more like family then just a friend.

I am very fortunate because I still have several friends from my childhood. Sure, we may not see each other every day, but we keep in contact and when we do see each other it’s like no time has passed at all.

Losing even one is hard, incredibly hard. Not only do you lose a family member but you are reminded just how fragile and precious life really is. If you’ve followed my blog you know my initial weight gain was sparked by a series of deaths in my life. My Grandparents, my parents, and my animals all died in a rapid succession that left me clawing my way back up to the surface to be able to breathe.

You all rode along with me on my journey to get back a sense of normalcy and health and were such a big part of it. I was Wonder Woman. I would never fall again because I knew better now. I saw people who gained their weight back and thought rather arogantly, “that will never happen to me.”

I had cracked the code. I understood what I did and why I did it. I knew how much better my life was shedding all those pounds. Not because of my looks, but because how I felt. No more knee pain. No more struggling for breath if I walked up a couple flights of stairs. I could run around with my toddler nephews like I was 18 again.

Now even before the ‘rona hit I have to admit I had gained a bit back. Nothing unmanageable mind you but just a bit. Right before all this happened I was to the point that my cushion I had for weigh in at WW was gone and I might have to start paying this next month.

Then everything shut down.

No accountability.

I’ve never faired well with that. It’s something I need. I had started only weighing in once a month and was proud of myself for being able to do that.

No times a month proved to be very difficult, especially during a time when I didn’t have the time or energy to really be prepared. The key to my success was planning for success. I was great at properly preparing my meals on Sunday and being ready for the week.

It’s hard to prepare on Sunday when you are working 12 hours every Sunday, let me tell you.

I did start to come to my senses in July and decided my old habits had been creeping up on me and needed to be stopped. It started out innocently enough – just pick up something quick on my way home and not account for it because by the time I ate it was time for bed.

I had written down every single thing I ate for three years straight and it only took one death and a lot of work hours to destroy that habit. Amazing how that can happen, isn’t it?

So it was time to buckle down. It was time to pull myself up by my boot straps and get right. I was only about twenty pounds up at this point. Twenty pounds is nothing compared to sixty plus, right?

Then it happened again.

A good friend of mine was murdered this summer. They still haven’t caught the culprit and the police seem to be clueless as to what happened.

You see things like this all the time on the news, and you feel so sorry for those people going through something like that but much like when your parents die you cannot fathom what they are really going through until it happens to you.

I hope every single person reading this never has to go through something like that.

Needless to say death seems to be a trigger for me, and I’m assuming most people, so this has not been good. Not at all.

There was the recognition though. I realized what I was doing. At times I did make good choices because thankfully a lot of those are ingrained in my now.

I made a lot of bad choices too.

So in the middle of working a million hours a week at the day job and two horrific deaths I also was supposed to be turning in book three of my Snow Globe Café series.

It was just too much. Just to add a cherry to the top when WW centers starting opening again it was announced that mine would not be reopening, and the closest one was 10 miles of bumper to bumper traffic away from my old center. My leader who I adore only had one meeting or workshop or whatever the heck they call them now, at a time I couldn’t go.

Whether you are writing a recipe or a book it takes creativity. All these things, sometimes big things, sometimes little things zap it right out of you. Most of my work depends on it, so the funk I was in killed my performance.

There is one thing I know:

The impossible is possible.

So I started small. I knew I needed to at least start maintaining my weight before I slid down that slippery slope of gaining it all back.

Done.

Then I needed to at least try to get my book going. It brings me such joy to write. I love it and I love interacting with my fans. One thing I didn’t want to do was write complete garbage for them or for me, so I started doing research for another character that would be popping up in that book.

Low and behold while researching potters on YouTube I found something else to love. It sparked my creativity, was decently easy to learn, and has helped me climb out of this hole as I did before a couple of years ago.

It’s acrylic pouring, and I absolutely love it. I have begun writing again, and the juices are flowing for hopefully some new recipes for you all. I’ve decided that life is to short and have started insisting on days off at work. My mental health is more important than a corporation.

I’m not going to go into detail about my acrylic stuff but if you’d like to hear me ramble about how it has helped me the first video below goes into that.

The second one is just a short demo on a particular style with pleasant music instead of my ramblings 🙂

Enough about me. I feel like I’m in such a better place now and I can get through these latest challenges.

What about you? How have you been fairing during this global crisis? So many lives have been turned upside down. Are you all okay out there? For my followers that do WW, how has it impacted you? Did your WW Centers stay open?

Lastly, I’d just like to thank you all. Some of you have stuck with me for years, whether cheering me on or commiserating with me. Y’all are really the best. You know that, right?

To keep up with me:

Follow my blog with the link in the left hand side bar (or bottom of the page if on cell).

Follow the My 30 Point Life Blog Updates on Pinterest

Follow and like me on my Facebook Page.

Join my Instant Pot Healthy Recipes group on Facebook.

Need a kick in the pants with your hug?  Join my Weight Watchers Tough Love Group on Facebook.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel

Like my blog?  My first and second novels have been released!  It’s set in a small, holiday obsessed town, and if you love Hallmark movies you’ll love this book series!

Going_Home_Final_Front SMALLs

The first book in the series is called Going Home. Becca, our heroine,  returns home after a 25 year absence to reclaim a sentimental family heirloom.  She hopes to go in and out unnoticed, especially by the man she’s loved since she was eight years old.

The odds are stacked against Becca, small towns being what they are.  Her 25 year old secret is about to be exposed, and she just might get a second chance at love.

Click here for a look inside!

Follow my Author page for updates and links to my books.

Joy to the World

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I love holidays.  My parents were about the biggest holiday freaks you could ever meet, so you could say it’s in my DNA.  No matter what else was going on with life they always made holidays special and fun.

Since we are coming off the biggest eating day of the year I had a huge reason to be thankful this year.  Thankful that WW decided to give us our old program back!

Yes!

If you are a regular reader of my blog, I’m sure you’ve caught the hint that I HATED IT when they changed last year.  In the past when WW made a significant change I always fell off the wagon, and ended up quitting.

Thankfully this didn’t happen this time, but it did get me out of the very habits I formed to keep my weight off for 2 + years.  The new program gave to much freedom for someone like me, and I found my portion sizes getting bigger and documenting my food happening less and less.

For me those were the two keys things that kept me in line, and with so many things like eggs and chicken being free I found myself toeing that goal weight line, going over for the first time in over two years.

This blog has many followers, and they aren’t all WW.  WW isn’t going to work for everyone, and it is important to find what works for you. This new program didn’t work for me, and I tried y’all.  I really did.

Then life hit.

It hit hard.

I know you all realize my blog has been sorely neglected.  It wasn’t because I had gained weight.  I documented that here.

My job became more demanding, just as I was releasing my first novel.  I was sent out of town for a week and that turned into three months.  I was working between 70-80 hours a week while trying desperately to meet the deadline for my second novel while keeping my household running from four hours away.

The only thing that kept me from gaining back every one of those sixty-some-odd pounds were the things I learned with the first program.  I’ve had a death grip on the back of the wagon for the last six months, and for the first time I feel like I can pull myself up and back on it.

I’ve made some decisions that should make it easier.  Even though work is still crazy, I’m taking at least one day off each week.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel to this crazy work schedule, but I’m not doing it anymore.

As women we are trained early on to take care of people and be dependable.  Unfortunately many of those lessons don’t include taking care of our self.

I’m teaching myself that lesson right now, and it’s time I put myself and my needs first.

I can’t go back to where I was.

It’s different, starting to lose your grip on your new healthy lifestyle once you’ve achieved your goal.  Before when I’d slip, I didn’t really have the belief that I would ever do it.  Falling back into old habits and gaining the weight usually came with a vengeance, because that’s exactly what I expected to happen all along.

Not anymore.

I know I can do it.  I know I can do hard things.

The biggest thing I know is my weight is not the end all be all story of my life.  So if life gets in the way and I get a little chubby, it’s not the end of the world.  Sure, I will always work on staying near my goal weight – not for the old reasons I used to have like how I look, but because I feel totally amazing health wise at that weight.

I felt better than I did when I was in my twenties, and to tell you the truth I feel like I’m about 90 right now.

No regrets though, right?  There was a lot of good this year.  The first two books in my Snow Globe Café series have been well received, and I’ve sold more than I ever thought I could.  I know a big part of that happened because of you, my dear readers, for spreading the word, and I will forever be thankful.

So I’m back.  And I will succeed.

 

 

 

On the Road Again

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Right.  So the last time I posted I was going to get my act together and start acting right.

Life threw back it’s head and laughed an evil laugh.  Silly girl, we can’t have that.

I ended up leaving town for work.  It was supposed to be for a week, and that week turned into two, and those two turned into a month.

If I knew it was going to be this long I would have booked a stay in one of those extended stay hotels with a small kitchenette, but by the time I realized I wouldn’t be going home any time soon, it was to late.

I’ll admit my first thought was I. Am. Screwed.  Eating out is my Achilles heal, and now I was going to have to eat out every meal for a month.

My whole trip was last minute, but I was lucky enough to stay in a hotel that had a small refrigerator and microwave in the room.

Do you ever seen those hard boiled eggs floating in mystery liquid in the gas station and wonder who on Earth would buy something like that?

This girl, that’s who.

I also used to wonder who would buy them already boiled at the grocery store when it’s so easy to do at home.  Now I know!

So breakfast was covered.  Hard boiled eggs?  Check.  Greek yogurt?  Check.

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Happy Holidays?

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Ahh the holidays, that wonder time of the year for being with family and friends.

It’s also that time of year filled with parties, drinks and food.  When I put my jeans on this morning I briefly wondered if I should register them as a lethal weapon because if the button popped off it would probably take out a small child.

So how did they get me, the one who has lost all this weight and kept it off for over a year?  It’s not a simple question.  First of all, the holidays can be hard for people like me who have lost a lot of loved ones.  Secondly, I’ve been working non-stop since August, averaging 80 hour work weeks, hence the lack of blog posts and recipes from me.  Lastly, I really love to bake.  Not only that, I love to eat it.  Sugar, glorious sugar will always be my drug of choice.

I’ve been white knuckling the back of the wagon since September.  My crazy work schedule totally threw me for a loop.  Food prep and just plain doing anything but sleep when I’m not at work is hard once you throw in my commute time to my 12 hour work day.

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Got Perspective?

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per·spec·tive:  a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

Perspective was a very important word while I was losing weight, and I think it is even more important now.

I had a little perspective wake up call this weekend, and thought I’d share it with you all.  It was a lesson I’ll never forget, but sometimes gets pushed to the back of my mind until a reminder brings it to the surface.

We have to go in the way-back machine for this one folks.  It was back in 2002, the first time I joined Weight Watchers.  I was a losing machine, but hungry all the time.  You are only going to get so far that way, and thankfully Weight Watchers and myself have come a long way since 2002.

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Throwing Down the Gauntlet

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So my crazy busy work schedule is hopefully behind me for awhile, so I’m back, and not a moment to soon.  I actually missed my monthly weigh-in for June, something I swore would never happen.

That’s not real life though.  Real life is messy and unpredictable.  Real life seldom presents you with the best possible circumstances to maintain your health, and you have to learn to roll with it.

One month will not make or break me.  I’m going to admit to you all, I was nervous as hell when I stepped on that scale.  Sure there are habits that are ingrained now, but the habit, the most important one, had disappeared since the advent of the Freestyle program.

Tracking.

For over a year and a half I religiously tracked my food.  Even if I had to guess I still guessed and put it in my Weight Watcher app.  I started out with the best intentions.  So many of the now free foods were my daily staples.  Tracking all those zeros seemed like a big waste of time, so I started to relax with it until tracking was non-existent.

How could I go from being so disciplined to a free for all in such a short amount of time is truly terrifying.  I was pleasantly surprised when I hit my goal number on the nose when I stepped on that scale a couple of weeks ago.  Obviously some of those habits still do a body good.

The problem is at one time I was five pounds under that number.  It may not seem like much, but I know that it starts as a little snowball and grows bigger as it rolls down the hill.  Maybe it’s silly, but I felt better, stronger with those five pounds gone.

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MIA

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So I have received a lot of very sweet messages asking about my whereabouts.  Some wanted to know if I was okay, some wanted to know if I fell off the wagon, and some wanted to know if I fell off the Earth.

I’m still here y’all!  Sundays are blog days.  I write all my blog posts on Sunday and schedule them to post during the week.  I’ve been working a lot of Sundays lately, and the ones I haven’t have been filled with Birthdays and other special occasions.

It is also my meal prep day, so when I work or am busy that day something has to give – and unfortunately my choice has to be the blog, because if I don’t meal prep this weight is going to come back with a vengeance.  This much I know.

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It’s Not Working

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So your foray into (insert diet plan name here) is not working.  You aren’t losing, or aren’t losing as much as you used to lose when you did this before.

It’s frustrating.

I’m coming up to a year of being back on the wagon with Weight Watchers, and I found myself in the position just a few months after my restart, before I started this blog.  I mean when I did it in the past the weight just fell off me.  Like 3 or 4 pounds a week  (which isn’t healthy btw and probably why I didn’t keep it off).

This time is was more like a pound or two a week during the first couple of months, but then I started seeing losses that were like .2 pounds.  .4 pounds.  0 pounds.

So it’s human nature to try and find a reason why.  Surely it must be that something is different.  That something is preventing us from losing the weight like we used to lose it.

So I started paying attention.  I’m going to refer to what I found in calories for this post, because a lot of people that read me do not follow Weight Watchers.  I’m a cheerleader in doing what works for you, so I hope this can help anyone who is stuck.

I have a huge coffee addiction, one that I do not want to give up.  I get up at 3 AM!! to go to work.  If I don’t have my coffee, I will end up in prison.

I would not do well in prison.

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Thanks A Lot FACEBOOK

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It happens to us all I suppose.  You get tagged in that Pic on Facebook or Insta and you want to crawl into a hole.

Better yet, it resurfaces on Facebook year after year in memories (especially if a lot of others were tagged) and you get to live it all over again!

This picture is exactly a year old, next to one of me taken a couple of weeks ago:

faced

I remember like it was yesterday when it popped up on my Facebook feed.  I had to go to this event for work, and trust me I tried every stinkin’ thing I could think of to get out of it.

I was not a happy person, and I certainly wasn’t myself.

The evidence is in that picture.  Of course I had about 65 extra pounds on me, but you can just tell by my face that I was not happy, and I wasn’t.

Not long ago I would have been so excited to be going to a formal event.  Now it filled me with dread about what I was going to wear, how I would feel.  I mean that second picture is of me in my pajamas and I had done more to my hair and makeup then than for a formal event?

I had a lost a big part of who I was, and it was time that I found it.  I’ve shared with you all the picture that sent me running to Weight Watchers:

before1

And now I share with you the picture that actually made me do Weight Watchers:

face

Yes when I saw that picture I knew I had to make some changes, big changes.  I didn’t want to be someone who just didn’t care about their self.

Even in the floral dress from hell pic I have my hair and make up done.  That’s kinda who I am.  My job doesn’t really allow for too much girly-girly stuff, so I usually go all out when not at work.

How does this happen?  How do we lose ourselves so quickly?  God knows I had some hard times before I got to this point, and I am thankful every single day that I was able to drag myself out of this….mess that had become my life.

What a difference a year makes, huh?  All of you that have pictures just like that girl in the formal dress who was wishing to GOD they wouldn’t take pictures, I want you to think about this girl:

hpj

You can be that girl.  Maybe not in a month, hell maybe not even in a year, but you can do it.  It won’t be easy, and I’m sorry but there is no magic pill that will make it all melt away.

It is worth it though.  The picture says it all.

To keep up with me:

Join my Weight Watchers Tough Love Group on Facebook.

Follow my blog with the link in the left hand side bar (or bottom of the page if on cell).

Follow the My 30 Point Life Blog Updates on Pinterest

Follow and like me on my Facebook Page.

Join my Instant Pot Healthy Recipes group on Facebook.