My Thoughts About The New Weight Watchers…


My thoughts regarding “Oprah” and the changes are simply this: Those of us who are overweight have had difficulty with belief in ourselves…We have the tendency to cater to ourselves via comfort foods, sweets…temptations…etc…when we should be caring about ourselves. Instead of negative thoughts and “I’m done with Weight Watchers” posts, what we should do is say this — “We are good…We are worthy…We are strong…and together…We Can Do This!” I have the tendency for depression, and when I am depressed, nothing will stop me from eating bad things. Thru Weight Watchers, I’ve seen changes — in myself…my faith…my belief…I am strong…I’ve made loyal friends with several members at our meetings. I am blessed! Maybe I am beautiful…Maybe I truly believe in ME — now! Thank you, Weight Watchers. I believe change is good. Without change, we cannot grow. If we do not grow, we do not find success, happiness and belief in ourselves. Just my two cents worth for today! BELIEVE!!!

I’ve been a member of Weight Watchers since 2011. Four years. During my four year journey, I’ve seen changes. I am one who believes in life we ALWAYS have changes. Weight Watchers has been around for 50 years now, through many changes – everyone of these changes is for the better! I’m one of the rare people who truly believe life is all about change. Without ‘change’ we cannot grow. If we do not grow, we are not successful. So, you ask — what is the BIG DEAL with the changes at Weight Watchers.

Honestly, I cannot answer those questions. My meeting is on Thursday of every week. It is my “Weight Watchers” day. I plan my schedules around this day. No doctor’s appointments…meetings, etc. on this date. After our meeting three of us go out to lunch – to do what most great friends do together — to talk…to get to know one another…to build friendships! To support!

At the moment, people who are members of Weight Watchers are FREAKING out! On social media sites, they are asking, “what are the changes?” And — “why are they changing things?”

I suppose they want someone to tell them ahead of time about the changes. News Flash – people — Weight Watchers, their leaders and those who work for Weight Watchers are FABULOUS about keeping secrets!

No, Weight Watchers is not a secret society. They are there to help us; nevertheless, there are many changes rolling out this week. ALL of these CHANGES are to build a better Weight Watchers for all of us to succeed. They DO want US TO SUCCEED! By now, you’ve probably heard millions of complaints about the new plan…”It isn’t working…I can’t log in…” And — “Why did they change something that isn’t broken?”

Correct me IF I’m mistaken, but Weight Watchers is interested in the self-worth of a person…not only is it a corporation established to help those who are struggling to lose weight…Weight Watchers is helping us to BELIEVE IN OURSELVES!

We’ve had discussions about Belief. Self Discovery…and How We Can Break the Plateaus. Activity…Mind Over Matter…How to Cope With The Holidays and Social Events…and so on. All of these weekly discussions are building us to truly find the person we want to be. None of this is related to Oprah Winfrey. These “changes” were in the works earlier this year, not when Oprah signed on.

Speaking only for myself, Weight Watchers has changed my life for the better. Yes, I am eating healthier. I am more active – able to walk the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge…able to dance and to sing. I have found a new and better person previously locked away, deep inside my soul. In March, 2011, Jennifer Hudson was the spokesperson. I was struggling to lose more weight, and I kept telling myself — “One day, I plan to walk that bridge.” For those of you who do not know, that bridge [Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge] opened in July 2005. Just WHEN would I walk it?

In 2011, my life changed for the better, and I feel confident that the New and Improved Weight Watchers 2016 will lead the way for me to embrace the change and get going with my weight loss. After all, I have goals (secret goals) I will not share – yet. Hopefully soon, I might share a few of those goals on my site.

Today, I will go on record to say – Hello, 2016 — it is ready, and it is time for me to move on with my writing and my story, “Chattahoochee Child,” and it is time for me to get moving more with Weight Watchers. Many members are throwing their hands in the air, as if to say — “I’m done.” The question they should answer is this — as a member of Weight Watchers — online, or a weekly member who attends meetings — are you really ready to give up on yourself? Think about it. Change is good. I embrace it!

 

 

 

The Top 10 Workout Songs for May 2015


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The Top 10 Workout Songs for May 2015

Fort Wayne, IN – May 5, 2015 – While every month brings with it a crop of new tunes, May’s releases bring an unusually high number of fast songs and remixes. Both are ideal for your workout as quick tunes naturally lend themselves to momentum and remixes give proven hits a second wind.

On the uptempo end of things, you’ll find songs above 140 beats per minute (BPM) from pop phenom Meghan Trainor, rockers Florence + The Machine, and breakout star Katy Tiz. In the remix department, you’ll find a club cut from Kelly Clarkson, a collaboration between Maroon 5 and Nicki Minaj, and a version of “Uptown Funk” that dials up the intensity of an already boisterous track.

Just as a remix can breathe new life into a familiar favorite, a few new songs can liven up an entire playlist. So, take a listen to some this month’s highlights, see what moves you, and put the winners to work.

Here’s the full list, according to votes placed at Run Hundred–the web’s most popular workout music blog.

Natalie La Rose & Jeremih – Somebody – 105 BPM

Meghan Trainor – Dear Future Husband – 158 BPM

Mumford & Sons – The Wolf – 153 BPM

Maroon 5 & Nicki Minaj – Sugar (Remix) – 121 BPM

LunchMoney Lewis – Bills – 126 BPM

Florence + The Machine – Ship to Wreck – 142 BPM

Tove Lo – Talking Body – 120 BPM

Kelly Clarkson – Heartbeat Song (Nebuer Remix) – 135 BPM

Katy Tiz – Whistle (While You Work It) – 162 BPM

Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk (Dave Aude Remix) – 124 BPM


To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at RunHundred.com. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.

Contact:
Chris Lawhorn
Run Hundred
Email: mail@runhundred.com
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Welcome Back — To Weight Watchers!!!


Dearest Readers:

To quote my words from last night, when I was able to sing — and HOLD the notes as long as I am known for — I AM BACK! Last night at Karaoke I was fearful I could not carry and hold the notes of “I Who Have Nothing,” — one of my signature songs. Much to my surprise, I held most of the notes without interruption without another coughing attack. Gosh, it was great to finally sing again!

When I finished, after the applause, I said, “Hooray…I’m Back!”

So great to finally be living again! This morning was my first Weight Watchers meeting in exactly one month to the date! After removing my boots, a white jacket, and other things I could take off, I got on the scale with much anticipation. My leader weighed me…I waited…Inhaled…Exhaled, in anticipation of this weigh-in. My leader wrote 3.4 on my card. “What did I do?” I asked. She smiled, but she always does that, even when we gain. “3.4,” she repeated. Now, she’s teasing me….The anticipation continued until I finally said. “I’ve gained 3.4?”

“NO,” she laughed again. Her laughter is delightful. Melodic…a laughter that is welcoming and familiar. “You lost 3.4 pounds while you were sick!”

I squealed like a child. My voice is doing that sound a lot lately since I am still recuperating! So happy I’m back on track after this illness. Today is a new day!

BREAKING NEWS:

So much for the new day! After Weight Watchers we have a group joining us for lunch. On my way, I listen to music, singing again! Oh how wonderful it is to have a voice again! I glance in my rear view mirror. A black car is just a bit too close. Thinking to myself, I am praying she backs off. She doesn’t…There is nothing like driving on Hwy, 17, Mt Pleasant, SC with someone just a bit too close. When I slowed down to stop, the vehicle behind me gets a bit too close…THEN…BAM! Yes, I was in a slight fender bender today…No injuries to either of us. As for the cars — well they both need a rear end lift (mine) and hers — needs a major face lift. Thank you, God…we are safe…No injuries, and to the lady(???) perhaps I should just say — the female in the black car that had to switch lanes due to the accident – while I am on the phone with the police department…You should be ashamed for using that middle finger. It wasn’t very lady like for you to do that. Incidentally, the Police department told me not to move our cars until the police officer arrived.

Now that I am home I am calmer, so thankful that neither of us were injured. We have no witnesses to this little accident since both of us were driving in our cars – alone. When the officer arrived, he was very nice. I shared my ‘side of the story’ with him. He listened and approached the other driver. A young girl. She doesn’t get out of her car, and when I asked her if she was OK, she was in tears. No reason to cry. It’s an accident. Cars can be repaired. And that is exactly what the officer tells her as I am walking around since we have moved both cars out of the area into a parking lot. I didn’t want to sit in my car, so I walked, just to ease the stress. I’ve been ‘rear-ended’ before, so I’m accustomed to this in Charleston. Believe me, drivers in Charleston, SC LOVE to navigate almost on the bumper of the car ahead of them. What caused this accident? Traffic stopped, so I stopped. I had plenty of room to stop. Word of warning to anyone driving in Charleston, SC – please drive carefully and don’t get too close to the vehicle ahead of you. PLEASE!

REGARDLESS, IT IS A GOOD DAY…

Although my day started with a fender bender, it is a good day. I believe in focusing on the positive in life…allowing the negative to slip through my fingers. After all, my baby steps are working. I am definitely on the road to getting over acute bronchial asthma, I am losing weight once again. The pollen is flying around outside since Father Wind is gusting the world outside with fresh pollen and oxygen. Even if it is a cloudy day, my life is moving forward. I imagine there will be fog drifting down soon, covering the lawns and trees with the magical gray blanket so welcoming, and I can listen to the melodic sound so familiar and beloved by me — Fog Horns. How I love them! This morning I heard them while getting dressed.

Baby Steps, and now I’m off to rest, while I continue to improve! My cough is only an occasional raspy sound.

Yes. Baby steps while the beauty of spring time arrives as I continue my journey with Weight Watchers and Life!

BABY STEPS!

So Much For Valentine’s Day…


Dearest Readers:

Have you missed me? I’ve certainly missed writing. Please allow me to explain.

Most of you who read my blog understand that I am a writer, photographer and singer. Since February 14 — Yes, Valentine’s Day — I have been extremely quiet. My quietness started on February 12, when my husband acquired a ‘respiratory infection.’ He called in to work. When he got up, he sounded horrible. Understand I am not a doctor – although I know what ‘respiratory infection’ sounds like since I’ve had many. I backed away from a morning hug, telling him to go to the doctor now. “You seem to have a ‘respiratory infection.’

Hours later, he returns home with a gigantic bottle of cough/congestion medications and antibiotics.

“What did the doctor say?” I asked.

Phil glanced away, mumbling “an upper respiratory infection.”

BINGO!

I cared for my husband. Attempting not to get near his germs, but on Friday morning, I was coughing. Saturday morning, I felt like death!

Tuesday afternoon, feeling like I was stepping a few feet into my grave, I asked my husband to take me to Nason Medical since I did not feel like waiting a few days for an appointment at my doctor’s office. Monday night although I struggled to sleep, each time I fell asleep a horrid, raspy roaring wheezing awoke me. “What is that noise?” I listened again, setting up while struggling to inhale a breath of air. I fought to breathe recognizing the horrid, raspy roaring wheezing noise was me!

When the doctor saw me, she listened to my lungs. “You really are wheezing,” she said.

I wanted to scream “No joke” but my voice, nor my bronchial tubes would not permit me to speak. My voice was not only raspy, but a small, little voice sounding more like a small child, or someone inhaling helium…and I never do anything such as that!

ACUTE BRONCHIAL ASTHMA

By Tuesday, my husband was almost well and back to work. As for me, I was deathly ill…unable to breathe without gasping for air…and…coughing…COUGHING…Coughing…until my body ached. The doctor diagnosed acute bronchial asthma, gave me a breathing treatment and 10 minutes later, with prescriptions in my hand, we left. I could not wait to get home — to crawl back in to bed. No, not for extracurricular activities — for rest and sleep.

Now, it is four weeks later. For four weeks, I’ve been inactive. Unable to work out on the treadmill, and unable to do upper body workouts. It takes a lot of air to exercise. Air that I do not have! I’ve missed my weekly Weight Watchers meetings. Heck. I’ve missed LIVING!

Since I’ve been so ill, I haven’t written, with exception of publishing a few press releases sent to me. Last night we attended the Committees Dinner at the Elks Lodge. I found a seat, and sat. No socializing for me. When friends came to say hello, I put my hands up, letting them know I am still sick. I really doubt if I am contagious. To get acute bronchial asthma, one must be asthmatic…nevertheless, I do not want someone to get sick and blame me!

After the dinner, I did not make the rounds of hugs and kisses and goodbyes, sending virtual hugs to my friends, I struggled to walk to the car to go home. Today, I am still sick; however, today is the first day, I have not heard the little monster of wheezing inside my chest. I am thrilled that he has left me — finally. Still, it is a bit difficult to breathe, but I am now taking “Baby Steps” to health — FINALLY! Some of my friends tell me they are worried about me. “I need to go back to the doctor and get more drugs to get well…”

Give me a break! I’ve fought Acute Bronchial Asthma since childhood. I know what to do.

WHAT TO DO

*Get my nebulizer – AND USE IT — every four to six hours
*Use the inhaler
*Take cough medicine
*Rest
*REST
***REST MORE…

I’m sick of resting. AND I REFUSE to take Prednisone — the infamous ‘wonder drug’ for Bronchial Asthma!

The last time I took Prednisone, I drove my car off the road! I could not sleep! Reportedly, Prednisone increases appetite; however, when I am sick, I do not eat! I am a total zombie…bimbo…or ditzy blonde when I take Prednisone. Let’s just say — this illness does something to my brain! I cannot focus. I struggle to find the correct words to communicate and I am not a nice person…so Prednisone makes me a monster.

Have I lost weight with this illness? Beats the heck out of me, but when I am well enough to return to Weight Watchers I pray I have lost a pound, or maybe two!

Today, I am taking more ‘baby steps’ to get well. Since today is the first day I’ve written on my blog in a month or longer, just maybe I am getting better. Today, I did not awaken with another headache and the awful gasping sound of coughing. Just maybe….

Baby Steps…!

My Weight Watchers Saga…


Dearest Readers:

I’m back! Have you missed me? Frankly, I think I’ve missed myself. Allow me to explain. Three weeks ago, I awoke on my Weight Watchers weigh-in day with a bit of a stomach bug. I stayed home. Jumping on my scales, it appeared that I was gaining — again!

RATS! I screamed, choosing to return to bed to sleep off the stomach bug. Sleeping is something I embraced since I have a rather serious case of insomnia. Last week, I promised to return to Weight Watchers for the dreaded weigh-in; however, my body decided I needed to stay home. I awoke early Wednesday of that week with a dreadful migraine headache. For those of you who do not recall, I have suffered from migraines since nine-years-old. I was hit by a car as a child. All I recall about that incident was feeling a gush of wind escaping my body as I hit the hood of the car. Reportedly, I bounced around like a dog, flying through the air, landing 60 feet across the highway of a “Dead Men’s Curve” landing on the sidewalk. Don’t ask me…I wasn’t there! When I did awaken, I looked into the beautiful blue eyes of a medical technician. In those years, we didn’t have EMS, or EMT’s, only ambulances. I remember attempting to turn my head, noticing a crowd of people overlooking me. I struggled to move – but I couldn’t. I saw my parents. I do remember saying, “I can’t move,” and the medical technician with the gorgeous blue eyes picking me up. My response was, “Mommy, he’s cute!”

Yes, at nine-years-old, I was checking out the guys. Silly me. I remained in the hospital for two or three days. The doctors said I had a brain concussion and needed to take it easy for a while. I do remember touching the crown of my head, feeling it squashing like a sponge as I pushed it. The pain it created was almost unbearable! No playing. No bicycle riding…skating…dancing…Nothing! The driver of the car that hit me was only 17-years-old and drunk! I do not know his name, nor do I know what happened to him; nevertheless, I do hope he learned a valuable lesson that afternoon about drinking and driving. The only thing I do remember about this accident were the severe headaches where my head throbbed, feeling as if someone was beating my skull with a hammer. I could not stand bright lights (still have trouble with them and probably will for the rest of my life.) I could not tolerate loud noises, and when I did get a headache, I was sick to my stomach. Friends have told me they can tell when I have a headache simply by my voice. Apparently, my voice is raspier than normally. I do know that when I have one of these headaches, it is difficult for me to focus, comprehend and make simple sentences. Yes, a writer who cannot communicate due to a headache. Duh! Fortunately, those severe migraines have ceased. Rarely do I get one, but when I do — it is truly a headache from Hell! Last Wednesday, my headache remained all day and all night long, leaving me to be not too nice to everyone around, including my four-legged friends.

It appears I am rambling a bit, doesn’t it? Today, I returned to Weight Watchers after a three-week absence. Much to my surprise, when I slipped on to the scales, I maintained my weight. No loss…No Gain! I was stunned and so proud!

Next month will be four years since I joined Weight Watchers. “And you’re still going,” my friends say. “Yes…still going…and still maintaining…” BUT — not reaching my goal yet. I confess, I have not discussed my goal weight with my leader, but I will say — for me — I have a goal in mind and that goal is only about 35 pounds away.

Meanwhile, I still exercise weekly. My NordicTrack treadmill is blessed with my presence at least four days weekly. When I started on the treadmill two years ago, I used one that was purchased in 1998 for my husband. After his zipper was placed in his chest — The infamous Zipper Club — he bought a new treadmill to use – to keep active. To be honest, the only activity he gets is a remote control, to exercise his thumb so he can watch TV and the golf he plays. So, two years ago, I decided the treadmill needed to be used for something besides a place to hang clothes to air dry. In mid 2014, that treadmill said enough, when the belt decided to split. Attempting to be conservative with our funds, I bought a roll of duct tape, to repair the belt. Guess what…It didn’t work! The belt continued to split!

Fortunately, I have a generous husband. He bought me a new treadmill. “One of my choosing,” he said. I chose the NordicTrack. Now, I have it inclined at seven degrees, walking at a speed of 3.2, for 50 minutes at least four times weekly. My right leg is fighting me now, wanting me to quit, but I ignore it and move! Not so bad for someone with asthma!

Today, when I returned to Weight Watchers, I was ecstatic that I did not gain. I really expected to see a two or three-pound gain. I think I’ll take a “maintained” as opposed to a gain, shooting to lose maybe one or two pounds next week. Meanwhile, the inches are melting away and I am proud of who I see now in the mirror.

The question I have for myself is — “Will this be the year that I achieve goal and lifetime at Weight Watchers?”

I certainly plan to. Stay tuned!

Finding True Happiness With Myself and Weight Watchers


Dearest Readers:

Like many women, there have been many road blocks and detours in my life. Marrying at a young age — much too young — I recognized that happiness does not come from marriage, or from living with someone, or from the temptations of food. I have battled with weight problems all of my life. You probably know the drill. Diets…Diets..and More Diets. I tried high protein diets…Lost weight, only to gain again. I found success for a while after going to a doctor. I lost weight, only to gain again. Over and over I found myself on an endless spinning wheel of weight loss and weight gain.

In 2005, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. My doctor suggested losing weight, and so I stepped onto that spinning wheel once again. Three months later, I went back to my doctor, discovering a weight loss of 14 pounds. “I’m eating healthier now,” I said, ever so happy of my weight loss and A1C levels.

“I’ve got this,” I whispered to myself on the way home. “I want to lose 30 more pounds.” Little did I know how difficult weight loss would become.

I remembered the last time I joined Weight Watchers without success. Going to the meeting, I saw a beige curtain, with a doctor’s scale. When someone entered the curtained area, they closed the curtain, weighed and hopped off the scale, but the number on the scale was still revealed. Yes, everyone could see the weight of the previous person. I was mortified. I went to one meeting, never going back. If my memory is correct, liver was one of the foods recommended to eat once a week. Since my family would not eat liver and we rarely ate in restaurants, I knew I could not be successful with Weight Watchers; nevertheless, I wanted to continue my weight loss.

On March 3, 2011, I turned the TV on, watching a new commercial from Weight Watchers. Jennifer Hudson was speaking about how she has lost 80 pounds with Weight Watchers. Staring at her, I was envious. I remember saying to myself, “I deserve to be happy, and I deserve to lose weight. Maybe I should go back to Weight Watchers. I want to be slim. I want to wear clothes that compliment my body instead of covering and hiding my body. I can be slim – one day –someday. Sitting at my computer desk, a voice spoke to me. ‘Go to Weight Watchers…Go to Weight Watchers…’ I Googled Weight Watchers, reading about how they had new programs – with ‘confidential weigh-ins.’ I was curious. Just what is a ‘confidential weigh-in?’

Confidential weigh-ins…I decided it was time to start the journey. Rushing to get dressed I decided…today is the day…My first day in a long time…I will be the REAL ME…the one who enters a building with a gigantic smile on my face. I will lose weight. After all, I am SOMEBODY!

At 9:45, I entered the meeting area of my local Weight Watchers. I wanted to cover my head with a grocery bag. I prayed I did not recognize anyone at the meeting. Never did I establish eye contact. The leader approached me, introducing herself as Kathy.

“I’m new,” I whispered. She reached for my hand.

“Welcome to Weight Watchers.”

I thanked her, found a seat in the back row, holding my head down. Listening to the meeting, the tightness in my body eased. I left the meeting a bit confused. Just what could I eat?

At home, I read the literature, discovering all I needed to do was track my food intake, making certain to have 26 points daily. “Sounds easy enough,” I said.

Yes, I am still a member of Weight Watchers. March 11, 2015 I will celebrate four years as a member of Weight Watchers. Have I reached my goal?

Absolutely not. I haven’t even discussed my ‘goal weight’ with my leader — Yet! For now, I am somewhat in limbo. Bouncing back and forth. The holidays were a nightmare for me. I gained almost 10 pounds and was so furious with myself, I missed meetings due to the holidays and a cruise to the Bahamas.

When I did force myself to return to the meetings, I discovered a weight gain of two pounds – not the 10 I thought I gained. I missed the meeting last week due to a stomach virus. Tomorrow is my regular weigh-in day. I think I have gained; nevertheless, if I have — I will face the music and get back on track.

Losing weight is easy for some people. For me, it is a struggle. Nevertheless, I am determined. I have changed my eating habits considerably and I work out every week – usually five days weekly. My exercise routine includes walking on the treadmill, inclined at seven degrees, with a speed of 3.3 for 50 minutes. By the time I finish, I am dripping wet! My goal is to incline my NordicTrack to 10 degrees. You must realize, I have asthma and if I push myself, I end up gasping for breath. After the treadmill, I do aerobics. My exercise routine is a slow progression. I must say, the inches are melting away. I am able to wear clothes I never thought I could. My shoulders are slimming down, and a few weeks ago, I discovered I actually do have ribs and collar bones! Rejoice! Eureka! “Yes, I’ve got this!”

If you are curious about Weight Watchers, go to the website, https://welcome.weightwatchers.com/ and read all about it. I encourage others to consider joining at a meeting, not online – however, if you are the type of person who can work alone and do it all by yourself, then online might work for you. When I joined in 2011, I started to join online. Fortunately, I listened to that little voice in my head, deciding to go to the meeting — just to see what ‘confidential weigh-ins’ are all about. At our meetings, the confidential weigh in consists of two small scales sitting on the floor. NO BEIGE CURTAIN! As I approached I thought — that can’t be confidential…all the people have to do is move a bit closer to the line up and read what he or she weighs.

Surprise! I was incorrect! When I got on the scales, I expected the scales to moan or groan, so I looked down to read the number – but –the number was not visible.

I glanced at the receptionist writing on my card. “Where’s the weight?” I asked.

“We’re confidential now. Only the person behind the desk can see the number.”

I laughed. “No beige curtains?”

“Nope…not anymore.”

Silly me. She was familiar with the beige curtains!

After almost four years with Weight Watchers what have I learned? Simple. I’ve learned so much it might take an entire chapter to discover all that I have learned. I’ve made friends — loyal, supportive, kind friends, and I’ve learned that all of us who enter the Weight Watchers meeting have felt the same way. The first visit, I recall walking in, just wanting to be invisible. I did not want others to discover what I weighed, nor did I want them to laugh at me. No one did. I’ve discovered all of us at the meetings, even those at lifetime, have walked in those same shoes. The dreaded shoes of weight gain, and together, we join hands to encourage everyone. When we see someone returning to the meetings after a few absences, we smile at them. Many times I embrace them, telling them I have missed them…and many times, they will hang their heads in shame. I smile and say, “But you’re back…”

Together we can do this. So for now, smile and welcome to Weight Watchers! Together we are on an amazing journey!

Moving On — With Weight Watchers…


Dearest Readers:

I apologize for not posting much this month. Let’s just say, it’s been a most unusual month for me, starting with getting so frustrated with weight loss, the holidays and my lack of interest in losing weight, combined with a cruise we took on the Carnival Fantasy. I promised myself I would be good on the cruise…the reality is – I’m human and I blew it big time! Arriving home from the cruise I hopped on the scales and almost cried. A ten pound gain! Yes, I beat myself up — not physically, just mentally…and then, I decided it was time to return to Weight Watchers and face the music.

From January 8 – January 13, we were cruising from the Charleston, SC port to Freeport and the Bahamas. Every day, I ate breakfast, ever so careful of what I ate. Fruit. Cheese omelet. No toast. Coffee. When I tried to log in to e-tools of Weight Watchers, I could not — unless I wanted to pay the outrageous rates for “Cellular by the sea.” I got lazy. Never writing any of my food intake in my journal. Lazy…LAZY…just downright a Lazy Lion. After all, I was on vacation! At lunch, I treated myself to cheeseburgers and fruit and — the dreaded — french fries!

I said a prayer that God would motivate me. He replied it was time for me to find my motivation, and so I did. On the cruise, I took the stairs most of the time, clocking over 500 steps in five days. Yes, occasionally, I huffed and puffed on the stairs, but I refused to stop. Breathing a bit heavily (thanks to asthma) I refused to give up. I did the jogging track, walking 15 laps – daily, with exception of the day it rained. Back at home, I hopped on the treadmill, increasing the speed and incline. I huffed and puffed my way with a newfound determination. I was so angry and disappointed with myself.

Although Weight Watchers does not encourage it, I weighed daily, watching those dreaded pounds decreasing! “Eureka,” I shouted to myself. My four-legged friends popped their heads up to see why I was so excited. Those uninvited pounds were going away! I was so proud.

Today, I decided it was time to face the music completely, get on the scales at Weight Watchers and get rededicated to my new healthy eating weight loss style. “Hello, NordicTrack…You are now my best friend.”

Using the treadmill five days last week, I think I actually heard it moaning from overworking. I suppose that treadmill had a nice rest while I was out-of-town, and now, I am a workout queen!

Arriving at Weight Watchers this morning, I could not find my weekly pass booklet, so I opened e-tools to show I was a member. Believe me, everyone at Weight Watchers knows this ‘totally shy and reserved’ woman that I am not, so they were happy to see me returning to face the music. My weight gain that was over ten pounds? Now, according to Weight Watchers, it is only a 2.2 pound gain! Think I’ll do a happy dance, just to get a few more steps and movements going!

WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS AND WEIGHT LOSS/GAINS?

According to Weight Watchers, the average gain of a person during the holidays is only one pound. Okay…So, I’m not an average person – or normal! I am me. Determined. Stubborn, Opinionated and Gregarious. I simply LOVE being the center of attention. Anyone who knows me can attest to that statement!

This year, even though I told myself I would not gain — I would lose, and on the cruise, I would not gain — I sabotaged myself! Like most women who cook during the holidays, I found myself nibbling and not counting those infamous “B-L-T’s.” BITES…LICKS…and TASTES. I baked cookies and cakes. Some of you who read my blog regularly might remember two years ago when I went on a binge with “Christmas cookies.” I do not know what caused me to be so weak during the holidays of 2014, but something certainly sent me on a downward spin. I am so happy that I had a talk with myself, telling myself I could not afford to gain ten pounds, and I could not afford to quit Weight Watchers.

Today was a good day for me. Although at Weight Watchers it appears that I only gained 2.2 pounds. The reality is since last week I have lost eight pounds!

Yes, I am using that NordicTrack and I’m certain it is a bit tired from all the workout…and I do aerobics, so I am back on the move — ready to attack this year of 2015 with a force. I do plan to make my goal weight this year and become a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers. Will I accomplish this?

Don’t laugh! Of course I will. After all, I am a stubborn, opinionated, determined woman who does not believe in the word No! Think I’ve proven that over the holidays and at the cruise. No is not an option! This I WILL achieve!

You JUST WAIT!

DREAM…

BELIEVE…

ACHIEVE…

My bracelet reminds me of this daily. After all, today is a new day…and I AM BACK!

Friday Reflections — Enough Said!


Dearest Readers:

Late autumn always depresses me when the sun sets so early and darkness blankets the skies, much…much too early. I enjoy evenings where I enjoy the sun setting later. Tomorrow evening is the Elks show in Murrells Inlet, SC. Since the show started traveling “on the road” with our talents, I have always attended. This show is different because I am not going. It was my decision to remain at home. Many reasons that others do not understand. Quite simply – my budget at this time of year is not one I want to stretch to the limits. Allow me to explain. Many of the casts are driving up tomorrow afternoon. After the show, they are going back to Charleston. Yes, it is true. I could go. And I could drive home late at night, but I don’t think so. Driving after 10:00 at night is just a bit testy, considering all of the drivers under the influence, and of course, the deer roaming around the highways. Then, I must consider, I would need to arrange a pet sitter to come to my house two, if not three times daily while I am gone — at the expense of $20.00 each visit. I do not believe in boarding my animals. They are most comfortable within their atmosphere of HOME. After all, my four-legged friends are rescue animals – four of them tolerated much abuse previously, and now, within our home, they are happy. LOVED. SPOILED. Considering all of the expenses of ‘going on the road’ for the Elks Lodge show, the amount of money it would cost us was just not worth it. While it is true, I could get a cheaper rate for a hotel, I think I made the right decision. I am the type of household finance manager who does not believe in tapping into the budget, squeezing it too tightly. After all, the holidays are approaching! I do wish the entire cast of the show to have a good time. I understand I was ridiculed when I said “Break a leg” to the cast. I got the distinct impression a few of them were thinking I was wishing them to ‘break a leg’ physically. Now honestly…Those of us who have been on stage, or a thespian truly understand the definition of “Break a leg.” Those who do not — well…let’s just say, while I am the type of personality defined as “Julia Sugarbaker,” never do I wish anything bad on anyone. SO, cast members, I still say, “Break a Leg!”

Next week is our show at the Elks Lodge in Charleston, and I still wish everyone to “Break a leg.” Enough said!

This week at Weight Watchers, my weigh-in showed another small gain. This time, .06 of a pound. RATS! After weigh-in, I turned to look at the magic mirror. Have you ever seen one of these? They instantly give you a 10-pound reduction. I want one for my home! Maybe I’ll tell Santa. Perhaps if I sit on his lap, maybe — just maybe — I can convince him I will make this generosity worthy of my talents! Looking in that mirror, I do see a difference. Heck…My body is shrinking, even IF that disagreeable scale says otherwise. I think I’m looking pretty good! I’ll say it again — RATS! I want that stupid scale to stop dictating who I am. Age is just a number, and so is a Weight Watchers scale! Enough said!

Looks like this epistle should be titled “Enough Said.” After all, I am free writing, and I have no idea what my fingers will pour from my soul as I write this. I am sitting at my desk. My little love bugs, Hanks the Tank, and Sandy Bear are resting next to me, curled on the pillows, probably getting warm. The weather is changing drastically…almost momentarily…The present temp is 42.8 degrees…OK…let’s round it up to 43! I am wearing a short black lace skirt with black leggings. Black boots! The temperature inside the house is only 69 degrees, but the house is warm, so I refuse to cut the heat on until later. Yes, I will turn on the electric blanket before going to bed. I simply love curling into a warm bed!

See…I told you, I am free writing. This week has been a better week than last. During that time, for three days, PTSD was dictating the behaviors of my husband. If you’ve never lived, or been around, someone with PTSD consider yourself blessed. Simple eye contact…body language…ANYTHING can ignite strange behaviors and when it happens in this house, I simply close myself away. I do not like to argue, or to be mistreated, so I am thankful this is a Friday Reflections where I can say, this has been a better week. Thank you, God.

On Friday’s, I like to give thanks to God for all that I have endured, experienced, or learned this week. When my dad was alive, and all of us lived at home, I recall him asking me, “What did you learn today?” And when he asked, I shared my lessons learned. How I miss that man. Holidays just are not the same without my dad here with us. After his death in 1999, Thanksgiving was the hardest holiday ever. I cooked the meal, set the table with linens and china, only to notice my dad’s chair was empty. The emptiness I felt was almost unbearable. This year, I feel his loss still — even though it is 15 years later. I’ve asked God, “How long does one grieve?” Funny. I’ve never heard an answer. I believe the grief process last for eternity; however, we who grieve, must learn to walk through the grief and — as my dad would tell me — Move On. That is truly a hard lesson learned.

Now that I am finally writing again, I must give thanks and be proud that the words are flowing — a bit. I still have people ask me — ‘are you EVER gonna finish your story?’

My answer — “Yes…writing takes time.” It isn’t a process where you can just sit and write. NOT ALWAYS!

And so, tonight – while it is still Friday, I am reflecting on life…gratitude…and my personal reflections for this week. My thoughts just strayed a bit while listening to the TV. Honey Boo Boo’s Mom was speaking on the network. Sorry I do not know her name…All I do know is she has two, if not three chins! Oh…my goodness…she is undoubtedly the most non-photographic woman I have ever seen. Just how she became a household name is beyond me. Not a good mother…and certainly not someone photogenic or pretty, or someone I wish to reflect on… Make up doesn’t help her at all! And most women really are glamorous with makeup. So, I suppose I shall keep the remainder of my opinion about that woman — to myself. Is that a first? Perhaps!

To those of you in Murrells Inlet at the Elks Lodge, I hope you all enjoy the show, and to the performers, I still shall say, “Break a Leg!”

Until next week…

Friday Reflections…


Dearest Readers:

If you follow my blog on a regular basis, you will know I haven’t written much in this column in about two weeks. Last week was truly the week from Hell for me. Beginning with suspected car problems where the technicians replied, “The engine light wasn’t on when we checked it…” Of course, that is a typical response from men to a woman at a service department…now, isn’t it — WOMEN! They were slightly mistaken. The engine light icon returned, and on Wednesday, it took over three hours to get it repaired. Of course, the main reason it took so long is due to the fact my car warranty was purchased with the car ($1549.00) at Car Max. Still, I am furious with Car Max; however, I will go on record to say that the service tech at Dodge possessed an amazing amount of patience with them — JUST — to get the warranty approved. Thank you, Dodge…and NO THANK YOU…to Car Max!

But — that chapter is closed and I am pleased to share that the repair that I had to pay for in the amount of $477.21 has been compensated to me – minus the $100 deductible since I DID NOT USE CAR MAX FOR THE REPAIR… Heck, I could not get Car Max to return a phone call, or the Mouse Lady to acknowledge me! Can you detect my frustration with Car Max???

Enough about Car Max! I suppose this post should actually be Friday frustrations, instead of Friday Reflections; however, since I am a person who looks for the positive in life and not the negative, I will do my best to reflect with a positive attitude.

While I am reflecting on Friday and this week, I would like to share that I was finally able to attend my weekly Weight Watchers meeting yesterday — the first meeting I’ve attended in four weeks. I confess, I anticipated a weight gain of 3 or 4 pounds and was a bit happy when I had only gained .06! It was wonderful to get back to my REAL life again. This reflection proves to me that I cannot complete my Weight Watchers journey alone. Like someone with an addiction, I must attend weekly meetings to share my ups and downs with all. I confess, I think the only reason I did not show a weight gain of four pounds or more was due to the fact that I have worked out on the treadmill every day since last Saturday. It was suggested at the meeting for me to ‘shake up’ my exercise routine a bit, so this week I will go for an extended walk — on the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge, and I will return to walking my dogs again. I’ve been slack about walking my dogs ever since we lost my precious Shamey-Pooh. The last time I walked the dogs on our three-mile journey someone actually stopped me to inquire where the ‘beautiful silver dog was,’… when I replied that he died, they apologized and I burst into tears.

Undoubtedly, there has been a black cloud over me for a few weeks, or maybe it is the full moon returning; nevertheless, this week started off — shall I say unpredictable. Monday afternoon, Phil and I left the house a few minutes after 5pm, headed to the Coastal Carolina Fair. What would normally take about 30 minutes was at least 1.5 hours. We arrived at the fair at about 7pm. Never did Phil get annoyed about the traffic and we had a great time at the fair. Little did I know how things would change within 24 hours!

For those of you who do not know – My husband has PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. If you do not know what it is like to live with someone with PTSD — count your blessings! Tuesday afternoon when Phil returned home from work, he had a strange look in his eyes. I know that look well — PTSD! Within 30 minutes, we were fighting. I cannot recall what set him off, or me off – but our fight continued. I decided to shut myself away in the bedroom. That night, I broke our rule – a rule made when we were newlyweds…the rule of “never going to bed angry, or without a good night kiss!”

Wednesday – we had the same scenario. No matter what I said, we could not stop the fight. Listening to someone is difficult with him. I approached him carefully, telling him ‘we need to talk.’ When someone has PTSD communication does not exist. Every time I said I needed to talk to him, we fought. The real kicker was when Phil shouted to me that I was exactly like my mother. Yes, he does know the right buttons to push! I exploded although with a calm, diplomatic voice letting him know that I was ‘nothing like my mother!’ Never did I behave, or deceive him in the manner my mother deceived my father.

I gathered my dogs and off we went to the bedroom. I pretended to be asleep! No kiss. Nothing! Breaking the rules continued. I should add, Wednesday, Phil called me several times. No doubt, he wanted to end this scenario on the phone. I stood firm.

Thursday morning, after Weight Watchers, I had lunch with a close friend from Weight Watchers. As I was leaving the car to meet her, my cell phone beeped with an e-mail. From Phil. Subject – Peace! He said he was tired of fighting…recognized that at times he could be difficult, only that is not the word he used! And he was sorry. I phoned him. Fight over.

No, I was not refusing to take the first step to end this emotional battle, but when you live with someone with PTSD there does come a time when you must be firm so they can see the issues related to PTSD. I’ve had several friends ask why I tolerate his behaviors and mental treatments. My reply – simple –he is the only person who has ever loved me. He rescued me when I needed rescuing. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, reading my issues with my mother and the domestic abuse of my family, then you must understand. When someone grows up in such an environment, never do you anticipate a life of love and peacefulness. Never did I EVER see my parents hug or kiss, so — due to LOVE(??) that is why I tolerate such behaviors. I do recall my parents shouting and I shall quote:
Mother – expressed to my father: “I hate you…You no good Son of a B—-!”

Dad’s reply: “I wish I never married you!”

Mom’s reply: “I hope you die soon…”

Those cruel expressions echoed in my ears as a child, and they still echo in my ears. Once you live in an abusive family situation, you never forget it!

Maybe that is why I strive so hard to be positive. When I hear others gossiping, ridiculing others, I say something positive about the person. Maybe that is why I’ve lost “friendships” because I do not wish to gossip about others. I do not function well with gossip or negativity. As a child, I recall my mother dragging me to the beauty shop in Bibb City, GA where she would sit for hours gossiping about women, men and the couples within the village of Bibb City. I hated these moments and would rush outside, or sit with my head covered with one of the bubble hair dryers so I would not hear their shrewd gossip. Women can be so dangerous and cruel. I suppose those ‘toxic stories’ made my mother feel better about herself, and I do recall saying to my mother, “God don’t love ugly.” My grandmother’s favorite expression! My mother’s response, “You shush your mouth, you stupid girl!”

Later in my life, I focused on a new definition of STUPID!
S – Sensitive
T – Tenacious
U – Unique
P – Passionate
I – Imaginative; Independent; Intimate
D – Dignified; Dependable; Desirable

Perhaps for today, these are my Friday reflections. I am hopeful next week will be a positive, happy week for me, and for you. What are your Friday Reflections?

Friday Reflections…Exhaustion…And How To Cope In A World Of Stress


Dearest Readers:

Today is Friday…a day of looking forward to the weekend. As for me, it is another day of exhaustion.

Why? Allow me to explain…Undoubtedly, this week has pushed me to the limit, starting with Tuesday. Early Tuesday morning, my husband and I had to be at Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center. Hubby was scheduled for an eye lift. We arrived on time. Checked in at the kiosk and waited…like everyone does for their name to be called for prep. The waiting area was packed! Hubby was scheduled to arrive at 9:00 am. We were early. Parking was an issue, so we used the valet for parking. After check-in, hubby waited impatiently for his name to be called. The procedure was scheduled for 11 am. And so, we waited…and waited…and WAITED!

I don’t recall the time when his name was called, although by the time, I made a few friends, chatting with the ladies in attendance, checking my phone for e-mails, calls and of course, dearly beloved(???) Facebook.

About two hours after the procedure began, the doctors spoke with me, letting me know the surgery was successful and he might have a bit of bruising. The bruising arrived later! After he was cleared for dismissal, we gathered our things and left. On the way home, Phil’s eyes began gushing a ‘bit of fluid…’ AKA — BLOOD!

When he got home, I encouraged him to rest, relax, keep his head back and let the ice pack ease his discomfort. By now, the fluid is streaming down his face. I checked the list of instructions from the hospital, dialed the number for an emergency…having much difficulty getting through. About 15 minutes later, with his face streaked with blood, we were told to get back to the hospital at E-R. Phil did not wish to go back. I stood firm. “This isn’t open for negotiations…Get in the car.”

Reluctantly, he followed me, telling me I was “really being bossy!”

Perhaps! I suppose I don’t deal with a grown man behaving like a two-year-old! Upon arrival, Phil was rushed back to E-R…the doctors and nurses settled him in bed and the eye doctor was called. The eye clinic closes at 4:30. Fortunately, the doctors were still at the eye clinic, so they rushed down. I must compliment Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, their staff and volunteers…what a difference they are from another time and visit where I wanted to claw the eyes of a nurse out…but I am not a violent person. [Incidentally, that experience is posted on my blog, if you care to read it.] I believe in diplomacy…or “killing with kindness…” Never did I have to invite my Julia Sugarbaker style to kick in. Everyone at the hospital was kind, courteous and helpful to us. Never did I have to request anything. Such a difference! Maybe the hospital, along with the VA, is getting their act together now. Thank you, Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center…I do believe Ralph H. Johnson would be proud of you!

The complication with the bleeding was a result of Phil taking his blood thinners a few days before surgery. After the doctor cleared the blood and got it to stop, his eyes were severely swollen and as black as midnight. He reminded me of a raccoon…or someone who was in a violent fight — and lost. Everyone who has seen Phil has joked about me finally getting my revenge with him and beating the H— out of him. Rest assured…I am not a violent person. Even though I grew up in a family of domestic violence and severe child abuse…where shouting, beating, cursing and knocking each other around was almost a daily ritual, I have never been a violent person. Even when my youngest sister slapped me, I simply wiped my face and walked away. I refuse to become another domestic violence statistic. Whenever I am mistreated, I crawl inside myself, a tactic I learned as a child, and I walk away…so the black eyes are simply a result of surgery.

Phil has been at home the remainder of this week. I must say, having to take care of him, making certain he applies the ointment, rests…applies the ice pack…and doesn’t bend down…has been quite a chore. Tuesday evening I was too exhausted to open my mail. Now, I have four days of mail stacked high. I haven’t opened any of it. Most of it will be shredded, including the never-ending catalogs I did not request. The usual clutter of mail many of us get…so no doubt, my starving shredder will be stuffed with the junk mail I will shred. I do recall getting a catalog from Montgomery Ward’s…didn’t they go out of business years ago?

Sleep has been a major issue for me this week. Monday night — no sleep. Too afraid of what I might have to face on Tuesday, especially since Phil is a heart patient, having the tendency to do what he wants and not what the doctor advises. Tuesday night, I carried my cell phone to the bedroom — something I NEVER do, in the event Phil needed me. His doctor advised him to sleep in the recliner, so I placed his cell phone on the table next to the recliner, with instructions to phone me if he needed me. On Wednesday — now sleep deprived for two if not three days — I was a total B—-! Compared to Julia Sugarbaker, I was truly the wicked witch of the Southeast! Not a Southern Belle…not a Steel Magnolia…just an exhausted, raving B—-! I was so physically exhausted that I wanted to run away from myself.

Wednesday afternoon I managed to go grocery shopping. Since I am doing Weight Watchers, I needed fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, almond milk and bread. How I prayed that no one would get in my way! While driving home, I had a serious discussion with myself, realizing that I was so grouchy — actually BITCHY — because of fear. The last time Phil had a procedure at the VA Hospital, he had a problem with his breathing. I suppose I have learned to keep these fears within myself while recognizing I needed to relax and say a prayer to God, thanking Him for keeping Phil safe. I suppose the gushing blood from his eyes horrified me. He absolutely looked like a monster from a horror movie. I needed to breathe…inhale…exhale…relax…and SLEEP!

Wednesday night I managed to sleep – finally. Thursday morning I awoke at 9:15 — too late to attend a Weight Watchers meeting. Refreshed, but still a bit tired I decided I needed to exercise. I worked out on the treadmill for 31 minutes, aerobics for 35 minutes. Much to my surprise, I felt amazing after my workout!

Today is Friday. A day to reflect. No doubt I haven’t lost weight this week, but on a positive note, I’ve discovered ways to make one of the “two B’s in my name,” recover and relax. I must remember to appreciate the little things in life. The warmth of sunshine. A warm lick from my precious, beloved animals…and mostly, I must appreciate that my husband came through the procedure with only a mild complication that the staff at Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center worked quickly and extremely professional to resolve.

Now, I must get on the treadmill…afterwards, I will tackle the mountain of laundry I must fold after doing laundry yesterday…and I must attack that stack of mail. My shredder will be so full and happy as it gobbles the stack of unwanted mail.

Hopefully, next week will be a better week…more relaxed and quiet…with a weight loss!

My Friday Reflections…I hope your week was much better!