Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Little Shopping Miracle (aka Stitch Fix)

Some of you might know that I hate shopping*. I hate grocery shopping. I avoid shoe shopping for as long as possible. I absolutely detest bra shopping. And clothes shopping is right up there is the top four.

*Books and art supplies not included.

Anyway, very few people know that I am going back to college to get a certificate in SLPA (Speech and Language Pathology Assistant) It's something I needed to do to get my life together (damn thing keeps falling apart!) It will also allow me a more steady income, which will greatly reduce the stress of not ever knowing if I'll be able to pay the mortgage this month. Although the program is at the Community College Level, there is a sense of professionalism expected in the way we act, speak, and dress.

Which made me realize that 95% of my clothing either has holes in them, paint on them, or don't fit very well. When running a business from home, how I look is not a top priority when the only people who see me are... well, no one really. I also suffer from low self-confidence, for various reasons I won't discuss, a therapist helped me unearth. Which led me to a revelation.

Ladies, you know what I'm talking about. When you LOOK good, you FEEL good. Amiright?

I first discovered this during chemo when the American Cancer Society came along with their "Look Good Feel Better" program. Yes. Yes, it works.

I cleaned out my closet. Anything with a hole in it was binned. Anything ill fitting was put in a donation pile. Anything I didn't love anymore thrown in same pile, along with anything I haven't worn in several years for one reason or another. (I kept my date dresses because I believe in miracles and I might need them again.)

Remember the first line of this blog post? I hate shopping. I hate the thought of it. I hate dressing rooms with greenish fluorescent lighting that makes a pale girl look sickly. I hate walking around clothing racks not knowing what would look good, or what goes together, or what will fit. And while my angst grew, I kept seeing an ad on my FB timeline. Like a little nudge or whisper in my ear...

STITCH FIX

Yes, it's like hiring a personal stylist you never have to get naked in front of. How awesome is that? If you're not familiar with Stitch Fix, I'll give you the basics. You take an in-depth "survey" telling what sizes you are, how you like things to fit, what you like to flaunt/hide, what colors and patterns you like, and what sort of pieces you want based on various occasions. You can even tell them what price point you want. Once the stylist gets this information, she picks out 5 pieces of clothing and (if you choose) accessories. You get the box, you try the pieces on, you decide if you love/hate them, you send back what you don't want via a prepaid envelope. You do pay a $20 styling fee, which goes towards any purchase you make. If you decide that you hate everything, you have to pay the $20 anyway, but if you love all five pieces, you get a 25% discount on all the pieces (plus the $20 credit.) So that's the basics.

I filled out the survey and told the stylist I wanted a business casual outfit I could wear to an interview or wear to school for a "student professional" look. And went for it. And waited in anticipation... but seriously, let's face it. My expectations were low, I was prepared to be disappointed, because after all we were clothing this body. About a week later I received my box.

And LOVED everything.

Dammit. LOL. I'll show you...

She sent a beautiful maroon blazer.





















A pair of black dress pants (casual leaning, not denim, with a nice front seaming detail.)



















An adorable sleeveless polka dot blouse (navy background, white dots, split neck.)





















Another cotton blouse in a faded-dot chambray fabric.




















And a silver "Statement Necklace"













I tried it all on and it all fit really well (that was really shocking!) So how freaking adorable do I look?

























This is the fit with the Chambray top.

Celia always makes me laugh.




























The navy polka dotted blouse is something I would have never picked off the rack for myself, but I love it. It's really cute dressed down with jeans too.




















So there ya have it. I had to buy everything in the box. Normally I wouldn't have spent money on a necklace because I'm really picky about jewelry and I really don't need any necklaces but this one was cute and it would have cost me more money to just send the necklace back and give up my 25% discount for the rest of the items. So with the styling fee credit and the 25% discount, it was a pretty reasonable price for all the pieces. (No, we are not talking Walmart or Target prices here, we are talking quality business-worthy clothing.) So I was a pretty happy customer and let my stylist know. I also let her know to not send any more jewelry :-)

So let's talk about quality over quantity. You can have a closet stuffed with crappy cheap ill fitting clothes, or you can have half a closet filled with quality well made and well fitting clothes. I am really happy with the quality of these pieces. The blazer is a really heavy knit (bonus because it's really comfortable and stretches instead of pulls across the back.) And it has a most adorable lining, bold black and white stripes vs a boring black nylon lining. One downside, pockets are fake. The pants are really thick fabric, not denim, but not cheap-feeling poly either. It has a nice front seam detail that elongates the leg (says the stylist) and has a skinny fit. Another thing I wouldn't have picked out myself! No pockets either, but I get it because pockets would add bulk (as would the phone you'd want to put in the pocket!) The blouse is a thin flowy fabric, but not see-through. Cool enough for summer days and fall evenings with a jacket over. The Chambray shirt is a nice weight cotton, not too thin, not too thick. The seams are sewn well, the details are nice.

Most importantly, it makes me feel good wearing these pieces. When you look good, you feel good, and it does amazing things to your confidence!

I would totally recommend trying Stitch Fix. It's not for everybody. I've watched some "unboxing videos" on youtube where it didn't quite work out as well as mine did. But you can cancel the service any time, they don't automatically charge you monthly, they only charge when you tell them what you want. (You have three days to try on and decide what to keep/send back.) You decide how often you want a box, or if you just want one on demand for a special occasion. (I like the no obligation/no auto CC charges!)

If you want to try it, I would really appreciate it if you used my referral link:  STITCH FIX
If you refer a friend, you get a $25 credit towards your box, and for me, every little bit counts. And when you get a box, you can use a referral link for credit too :-)

Um, and I may or may not be getting my second box next week :-D

Friday, October 14, 2016

Things You Need to Hear: I Deserve.

I'm taking this class with Effy Wild called Facing Forward II: Things You Need to Hear. I thought it was appropriate. There are LOTS of things I NEED to hear, and I'm working on it.  The theme for the first week was: 

I deserve. 

Boy, I have struggled with this my whole life. I don't think it came from childhood, my parents always made sure I felt loved and had everything I needed, including that set of 64 Prismacolor Colored Pencils and working cameras. I suppose that feeling of not deserving came from adulthood... no one ever directly told me I didn't deserve, but I guess actions always speak louder than words. School, jobs, relationships...

I never felt like I could live up to the expectations of others. 

I was never good enough. I didn't do things right. I didn't look like I  was expected to. I didn't wear the right clothes. I wasn't the right weight. I hung around with the wrong people. I didn't have the right kind of job. I didn't watch the right TV shows. 

It was exhausting. And with each expectation that wasn't met, my self esteem plummeted a little lower, until I developed an attitude of What's the use? Why bother even trying? I can't do anything right. It doesn't matter. After awhile with that attitude, things die inside. The heart breaks, the soul suffers. Thoughts turn into It doesn't matter. I don't matter. 

I don't matter subsequently turns into I don't deserve any better.  

It's taken me about 5 years to declare that utter and complete Bullshit. Of course I matter. If not to myself, then to my daughter, my parents, my siblings, my friends, my dog. I deserve to be loved for who I am, not for who others want me to be. Let me repeat that because it's really important... "I deserve to be loved for who I am, not for who others want me to be." 
I deserve because I am human. 

I deserve to be loved, and to love. 
I deserve to do things that make me happy. 
I deserve to feel joy. 
I deserve abundance. 
I deserve respect. 
I deserve kindness.

I have come a long way the past few years. I have learned a lot about myself, mainly that I matter. I have found my voice again, I have found my confidence again. I have some great friends who support me, a family that loves me. I actually like myself again. I cringe when I think back at all the times I've said I hate myself. I hate my body! 

(Dear Body, I apologize profusely for the way I've treated you in the past. You have been through so much physical and emotional abuse. I appreciate your strength and stamina. You deserve to be loved. And you deserve a lover who treats you with kindness...) 
I think the key is that I no longer feel unworthy of basic human rights. I give myself permission to feel joy, even if the dishes aren't washed or there are dust-puppies in the corner. Even if I weigh more than I should, or would rather take a nap than go for a walk. And I am worthy of respect, from myself and from others. 
I even met a great guy who treats me with the respect I deserve. (He opened the car door for me! Holy crap, when was the last time that happened?!) We are still in the early stages, appreciating the present moment and not placing expectation on the future. We are enjoying each other's company because we both deserve it. 
I think the world would be a better place if people felt like they deserved love. Because then they wouldn't allow others to steal their joy and confidence and respect that they also deserve. If you didn't feel worthy growing up, then feel it now, give it to yourself. You deserve it, I promise. 

And I deserve it. 

P.S. If you are interested in learning more about this class, Effy has generously provided a discount. I am not being paid to promote this, I am doing it out of love :-) 
Facing Forward 2: The Things we Need to Hear. 











Monday, October 10, 2016

Maintaining Balance in a Crazy World

Listen friends, I'm gonna get real here. I haven't said much on this subject, thinking I'm going to keep an open mind. There is a reason that all this Facebook "unfriending" is going on right now. We would all like to believe that "just because we have different opinions we can still be friends." I'm not sure about that. We choose friends because they are like us, no? They support us, they have similar values and ethics and morals. I'm not talking about -you love cats, I love dogs- types of differences, I'm talking about basic values, so many examples to choose from. Is it okay to lie? Is it okay to cheat and steal and take advantage of people? Is it okay to disrespect others, mock them, unfairly generalize? *I* believe it is NOT okay. If *you* believe it IS okay, then there is a fundamental difference between us. It's simple. 
Yes, you are entitled to your opinions. Yes, you have the right to believe what you want to believe. Yes, I will even listen to your viewpoint. It's my right to disagree and it's my right to express my own opinions. Sometimes I even express those opinions on Facebook. I have very strong opinions (which I try to base on fact) and I sometimes share them, but I really try to refrain from attacking others personally. That's part of MY value system... 
We can't do anything about family members except try to understand their point of view. What happened in the "history of them" that causes them to think they way they think? Sometimes we know their stories, sometimes we don't. We can still love them and respect them, but we don't have to agree with them. That's family, you can't get rid of them. But friends are family members we CHOOSE. I am going to choose ones that reflect my moral values. Simple. 
Of course there are different levels of friendship. The ones I keep physically close are going to be the ones whose values I have the most in common with. I have to live with them after all :-) Sure, there are always some differences, maybe there are one or two things we may disagree on, but we always have MORE in common than less. We can always respectfully agree to disagree if the issue isn't huge. It's human nature to surround ourselves with people who have similar beliefs. Would I choose to be friends with a mass murderer? No. That's called a HUGE moral issue. 
When we up our level of friendship into relationships, the same rules apply. The guy I am currently seeing, asked before we even met for the first time, who I support in this election. You have no idea how relieved I was that *he* brought it up and how relieved I was to find that the answer meant we had similar values. It's NOT about being open-minded. It's about being similar-minded. It's about being emotionally connected with someone who agrees with your morals and values. Simple. 
This election is causing extremely heightened emotions. I would even use the term "frenzied." I always encourage others to practice tolerance. I always try to practice tolerance. Be open minded and listen to others and if you must, agree to disagree and move on. But know that there is NO shame in wanting to sever ties if someone is being emotionally abusive, or if you feel bullied. It's called protecting yourself. If, in real life, your friend physically hit you, would you remain friends? If your friend humiliated you and made you feel ashamed of who you are, would you remain friends? I would hope not. So if someone on Facebook is engaging in that type of behavior with their words, it's okay to let them go.
Life is not black and white, right or wrong. It's a series of compromises on a sliding scale. When the scale tips, and things are out of balance, do what you have to, to bring it back to balance. You can't make positive changes in the world if you are bombarded with negativity and agree to wear it like a cloak. There is NO shame in letting go of things that bring dissonance in your life. But let them go gently please, with kindness.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Becoming Visible, Introverts, and Dogs

It's funny. When I first got my dog, I had been living in my townhouse for about 20 months. In that time, I had one conversation with my neighbor to the west. A few hellos from the neighbor to the east. That's about it. The first day I brought my dog home, I had her in the front yard, and suddenly, I exist! A neighbor a few units down, ran out with her dog and introduced themselves. A neighbor at the end of the court came over to meet the new dog on the block. The family with two small children came over to meet and pet the new doggy (while the Mom not so subtly mentioned how much of the dog there was to love.)

Well, in hindsight, they weren't really meeting me, but rather, meeting my dog.

Ruby's Happy Place 
Nothing brings people together like a dog. Will I walk up to a complete stranger and start talking? Nope. Will I walk up to a complete stranger and start talking about how cute/big/small/furry/well behaved their dog is? You betcha. And vice-versa. I can sit on a park bench in a crowded park and people would walk past and not give me second glance.  I could probably pose naked on a park bench and still people would walk past and not see me. But sit my cute little (big) doggy next to me, all she has to do is make eye contact while wiggling her butt and people will stop and chat and want to pet her, and yes, they even talk to me.

Becoming Visible
Is it because most humans like their pets more than they like people? (I confess, I like my dog more than I like some people.) Do animals give us an immediate "safe zone" to be in while meeting other people? Is it just something in common?

Some friends Ruby made at the forest preserve
I feel like my dog has made me human again. A visible human. There are some weekends, when I am by myself, I doubt I would even leave the house if it weren't for my dog needing to go out. I have to make a conscious decision to get in my car and take her to a public park, just so I can interact with other human beings, or at least their dogs.

Such is the life of an introvert.

What do you think? Does your dog make you more social?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

It's not MY problem!

This. Attitude. Drives me crazy.

"It's not MY problem! Why should *I* have to (fill in the blank)?"

I am an observer of humans on this planet. My daughter might call me a stalker. I prefer "noticer" or "overhearer" (yes, I just made that word up.) So many opportunities present themselves to me, to overhear. And think about. I'm also an over thinker.

Shhh. I'm stalk uh, noticing something... 
This morning I was sitting in a waiting room, waiting and reading and overhearing.

"OMG I had to pay my property taxes! I hate that I have to come up with all that money twice a year."

"I know! It sucks! I hate paying the taxes. I hate having to pay for the school system. My children don't even go to school here anymore. And the library! Why should I have to pay for the library when I never even use the library? It's such a waste of my money."

"Right? My kids are grown too. But I still have to come up with $6000 every six months to pay for stuff I no longer use."

(By the way, if your property taxes are $12,000 a year, you should be pretty damn grateful that you are living in a really big house in an excellent neighborhood with a great school system.)

Also, one of the women chose to not have her property taxes rolled into her mortgage. And then complains that she has to "come up with the money." The other woman thought of a hundred things she'd rather do with the money, like put it towards that vacation home up north. That's why she decided to rent instead of own a home. (Guess what? You're still paying taxes, it's just part of your rent!)

So here's the thing. I know that nobody happily skips to the bank every 6 months to joyfully surrender thousands of dollars to pay their taxes. But we all do it. Why?

Because we live in a COMMUNITY, that's why. Our nation was founded based on a taxation system. That local property tax money goes towards keeping our roads maintained (which I'm betting they use daily.) It pays for their parks and open spaces (the ones they walk their dogs in.) And it goes towards libraries (which consist of much more than just books.) It goes towards police and fire departments (which you bet your ass they'd use if their house was burning down.) It goes towards social services, and yes, it goes towards schools (that their children have already gone through!)

When you decide to live in a community, it's your duty to support that community while you live there. If you don't want to pay a lot of taxes, move to an isolated area that has shitty schools and shitty roads and you have to wait 30 minutes for a fire truck to put out your fire. Oh wait, you don't want your kids to go to shitty schools? You don't want to wait half an hour for an ambulance or fire truck? You want to live in an area that has an excellent school district for YOUR child? You want to live in a large $400K home? Then pay up.

I suppose it's your choice to live in an area with an excellent school district while your child attends school, and a great library system while your child is eligible for story time. THEN when you no longer need these services, you can abandon the community that supported you and go live on a mountain. But remember... when you fall and break your hip...

You see, it is your problem. And my problem. Because we live in a society with other people. And our schools need money to pay for teachers to teach everyone's children. Not just yours. You are paying for your future, the children who come after your children leave the system. Your grandchildren, your neighbor's children, the children who will take care of you when you are old. You better make sure they get a good education! 

Can you imagine a world where everyone is in it for themselves and don't give a shit about anyone else? (Yes, I can almost imagine it... I know people who think that would make America great again.) I'm not even talking about people living in poverty, or the homeless (although yes, your tax dollars are putting homeless children through school and probably feeding them lunch too. They are human, they deserve an education as much as your child does.)

I paid for this sidewalk and street, you can't use it.
I am simply talking about people who choose (and are able to) live in an upper-middle class neighborhood, who have already used resources to their advantage, but complain about paying "for other people."

I paid for this park, you can't walk your dog here. 
Guess what? To me, YOU are "other people." And I will pay for the library so we can both enjoy free concerts on Tuesday nights and story time for your grandchildren. And I will pay for the fire department to send out a truck when you burn your toast and start a fire. And I will pay for schools to provide an excellent education for ALL our children, so people will want to move here and help me with my tax burden.

You see, we are all connected. We are all in this life together. We are one. Yes, even you.










Sunday, May 29, 2016

On Being a Failure... Part Two (A weight loss story)

So I wrote Part One of "On Being a Failure" about three months ago, even though I just published it yesterday. 

Because that's another thing I frequently fail at... keeping up with blogging, LOL.



As I left off in Part One, I mentioned a "brain-based diet" or way of eating that has been proved successful by science." The free videos got me all excited. I love brain based stuff. The brain fascinates me. Unfortunately, I found they wanted $1000 to join the club (okay, really $997.00) but still... can you say Red Flag?

[Side Note: I am really tired of these super nice people pretending to be concerned about a very vulnerable population, feeding them hope, promising them love, support, caring, compassion... then hitting them with a $997.00 (or only three easy payments of $333.00!) solution. The interest in this program was insane. Thousands of people signed up, but for ease, let's just say two thousand people signed up. At $1000 a piece, that's two million dollars to the program owner. Run the program a couple times a year... and well, you get the idea. Why does this make me so angry? I am not against making money. Shit, I wish I could think of something as brilliant. I just think that this has a little bit of "preying on the vulnerable" vibe to it. Feeding hope to the obese, the unhappy, the unhealthy, the ones who hate themselves, the ones who desperately need help and would do just about anything. People like me.]

So, we scrapped that idea.  But I took the info from the free videos and applied them loosely to my way of eating. Basically the gist of it is to Plan Everything. If you sit down in the morning and plan exactly what you are going to eat throughout the day, you are taking the stress off your brain to make hundreds of decisions throughout the day about what you're gonna eat. That makes total sense. You're eliminating stuff like:


Brain: Hey Body, what are we gonna eat for breakfast? Eggs and bacon? Cereal? English Muffins with PB&J? Waffles? Protein shake?  Maybe stop at Dunkin Donuts for coffee and a breakfast sandwich. Should we make a lunch to bring to work? Maybe someone will ask us to lunch? Or should we make a run to the Taco Bell? Maybe we should grab a Lean Cuisine to microwave. Those candy bars in the vending machine sure look good. What should we have for dinner? Do I need to take anything out of the freezer? Tacos? But what if we go to Taco Bell for lunch? Maybe I'll make hamburgers. But then I have to stop on the way home for buns. Should I make Chicken Teriyaki? Fish? It's gonna be hot today. We should get some FroYo for dessert. Or maybe... 

Dear Brain...
Yeah, shut the hell up, Brain. Plan all your meals and snacks for the day, make (or at least plan) all your lunches for the week, and you won't have this constant dialogue in your head.

You're welcome. Feel free to send me $997.00 for this secret. Leave a comment asking for my paypal address.

I digress. How do I apply this to my life now? I plan a weekly menu, what we are going to have for dinner each day of the week. Believe it or not, it has saved me quite a bit of money at the grocery store because I know exactly what I need for the week, along with the school lunch staples and the rotating breakfast menu.  (And some of you know how much I hate grocery shopping!)

I work from home, so lunches usually consist of the previous night's leftovers. Or I will mentally tell myself at the start of the day, what I will have for lunch. Now I know what to take out of the freezer in the morning, for the nightly meal. (I used to be Queen of "Shit! I forgot to defrost something for dinner, let's go to Noodles and pick something up.")

So how has this helped me to lose weight? The beginning of February is when I started logging all my meals into an app called "MyFitnessPal" which is also linked to other apps like my FitBit and MapMyWalk, to log exercise.  (As of today, I have logged in for 119 days in a row - can I hear a woot!?) Planning my meals has been a huge help in logging my meals. It only takes me a few minutes a day to input the data, especially since the app keeps track of 'frequent' and 'recent' meals. I told the app my goals and it sets an amount of calories per day to stick to, to reach my goals. Great, right? My calorie "bank" is 1470 cal a day. Easy Peasy. Most days I am 200 calories under that without really trying. I don't feel like I am "restricted" or deprived in any way. It's a lifestyle change, I still go out to lunch with friends and a few times a month, out to dinner with my daughter. I make good choices, check the restaurant/calorie menu beforehand and relax and enjoy myself.

It took a couple weeks at the beginning of February for my body to get used to the program. Then I pretty consistently lost a pound a week. For the first time ever, without radical stress dieting, I lost weight with a healthy plan. (Can I get another woot!?)

I lost 12 lbs so far. Don't get me wrong. I am really proud of that. But no one, including me, can tell that I lost anything. Probably because I have at least another 50-60 lbs to go. As far as I can tell, it came off of my boobs and my calves, because my super expensive DDD bras are a little baggy, and I could recently zip up my boots without sweating and swearing.

But this is my Brain in May:

OH MY GOD. We are starving! We have to do everything we can to prevent Body from losing more weight! Prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse! There might be a food shortage! Fat! Don't you dare move off of Ass! Rolls! You stay right there, front and center! Thighs! Stay thick!


Hey Brain...
(Brain is a jerk sometimes.)

Yeah, despite 1200 calories, and walking 1-2 miles a day, I have come to a standstill. I have tweaked my diet, eliminating more stuff, eating out less. My chiro/wellness doc felt sorry for me and divulged his "$1000 secret" to me for free. (What is it with $1000 secrets? Women pay him that much to attend a seminar where he explains the research behind this secret. It is guaranteed to accelerate weight loss to the tune of 4-8 lbs a week. It has worked for countless women, including "the Hollywood stars" he counsels... me? Nada.) I'd tell you the secret, but you'd have to send me $1000 first.

I tried this "secret" for 2 weeks. (It is NOT a pill or supplement, just a tweak in nutrition.) Dr. said I should have lost at least 4-6 lbs. My metabolism should have been on fire. Two weeks is all I could stand. This tweak had me feeling BLAH the first six hours of my day. It did not increase my energy as promised, instead made me drag myself through the day. Plus, it had me eating more of something I was trying to eat less of, although my calorie intake remained the same, it was a big FAIL.

Am I gonna give up? Not on your my life! Because it's MY life we're talking about. This meat-suit has to last a bit longer, I got things to do. My goal is still health, and I know I have a long way to go. I just don't know what the next step is, how to kick Fat off Ass. Sometimes I just feel broken. I don't know if I will ever reach my goals, but quitting isn't an option.



That's one thing I've been successful at, not quitting.





















Saturday, May 28, 2016

On Being a Failure... Part One (A Weight Loss Story)

My Greatest Success is Failing. 

Oh, I've failed in a lot of things... but it's never stopped me from trying again. I've failed to live up to the expectations of people. It's not always a bad thing to fail in this way, sometimes it leads you down new, happier paths. I've also failed in that I expect others to live up to my expectations, with the result of always being disappointed.

Japanese Proverb
But let's not get all deep and moody and philosophy-ish. There's plenty of stories about that stuff. I want to talk about every-day-life failure. For me, that would be my failure to lose weight. 

I'm not talking about "I want to look good in a pair of size 8 jeans" type of weight loss. (Although...) 

I'm talking about "If you don't lose weight, there's a bigger chance of cancer recurrence, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, GERD, arthritis, and a host of other diseases caused by obesity" type of weight loss. The serious shit. 

Some failures (like being a wife) make you give up and choose a new path. But this failure, the attempt to lose weight, makes me feel like Thomas Edison when he said "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

In the past 30 years I've found about 1000 ways that didn't work. But yet... I can't give up, it's just not in me. I've had so many setbacks and issues, and I've wanted to say "F*ck It" so many times (and sometimes I do... for a week or a month) but I always try, try again. And fail again. 


I can't blame it all on the cancer... I've always been on the "heavy" side during my adult life. After I moved back to Illinois after living in Arizona for 9 years, I had a job that was so stressful, the only way I could breathe was to run. After work every day I would go to the park across the street and run a mile around the track, just to force myself to breathe deeply. Then I could go home. A bonus was my pants started to hang off me and I lost about 30 lbs. I felt good. (My coworkers noticed. My then-husband asked why I needed new clothes.) 

My chronic plantar fasciitis and heel spurs in both feet barely allow me to walk the dog without pain, so I can't run anymore.

I gained it all back when I got pregnant. After the baby 15 years ago, is when I made it into the unhealthy category. (Although is was cool when I dropped 10lbs in about an hour!) Then life for 10 years, then came the cancer. 

Actually, after I was diagnosed and before I started treatment was the first and only time I managed to lose about 10 lbs in about two months, without running. I called it the "Shit I Have Cancer and I'm Really Stressed" diet. When my Endocrinologist saw I had lost weight, she congratulated me and told me to keep doing what I was doing. 

W.T.F. 

Chemotherapy, stress, steroids, stress, hormone suppressing drugs, stress, menopause = barely holding on for dear life. I recently had a physical exam and blood test, and it came back borderline high for cholesterol and triglycerides. The doctor wanted to put me on Statins right away (I am a drug-resistor. That's another story.) I told her no. I wanted to try to lose weight (again) and see if that made a difference. 

Clearly, I need help. I was a freakin' genius in the "fail-to-do-it-myself" department. Maybe if I could get help from a Nutritionist or Dietitian? My health insurance refuses to pay because I don't have diabetes. Cancer, Hypothyroidism, GERD, High Cholesterol, Food Allergies, and General Obesity are not enough for me to get help. They pay for cancer treatment, Synthroid, acid blockers, and Statins, and even obesity surgery, but not counseling with a Nutritionist. Go figure. 

So I'm on my own. Again. 

I don't believe in cutting out food groups, although I have tried "gluten free" and "wheat-free" diets in the past. The result was "not a bit of difference and not an ounce of weight loss." That failure led to the success in cutting out white flour, rice, and sugar, and as a result, a lot of empty carbs in general. My Radiation Oncologist suggested I cut out ALL carbs for a month, then stick with under 30g of carbs a day. That would probably work, but I would also want to kill myself (and you) in the process. Food allergies don't help... NO raw fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, or soy protein. 


In the past two years I've made a lot of changes, I don't eat processed "boxed" foods anymore, frozen or otherwise. One of the advantages of living on my own, I can make meals that actually have taste. My daughter and I make everything from scratch, from pancakes and waffles, to birthday cakes, to tortillas for our tacos. I buy organic foods whenever possible. I've cut way down on sugar and I don't drink pop/soda anymore. I don't have cookies or sweets laying around. I've cut out chemicals, preservatives, food dyes, etc. 

Three weeks ago, I started counting calories again. (Note: This was actually written the third week of February, so I started counting/logging Feb 1st.) I measure all my food and log everything into an app called "MyFitnessPal" and stay under 1400 calories a day. No results worth mentioning.


In my recent research into healthy eating, I came across an eating "program" based on science and how the brain works. It's not a diet, it's a way to train your brain. I'm a huge nerd when it comes to learning how the brain works, so this really got me excited. 

But I'm going to tell you about it tomorrow, so come back.





"We learn from failure, not from success." Bram Stoker