Category Archives: Introspection

Time for a #confession

I cheated on my diet today.

As transgressions go, it wasn’t a massive one … but I did eat something that’s supposed to be off-limits.

Let me start from the beginning. I made the mistake of stopping at Arby’s on my way to work, during the lunch rush, when I hadn’t eaten breakfast. (I didn’t wake up ’til nearly 10, and wasn’t terribly hungry, so it didn’t make sense to fix breakfast when I could wait an hour or so and have lunch.)

As I stood in line at Arby’s, I was suddenly ravenous — and I convinced myself I needed a 4-piece mozzarella sticks with my bun-less roast beef sandwich. I’d been doing so well on the low-carb plan that I deserved the “treat.” Besides, they couldn’t have TOO many carbs, right?

Let me tell you, those mozzarella sticks tasted fantastic. And a quick check of the LoseIt! app (hours after the fact) tells me a 4-piece mozzarella sticks has 9.2 grams of carbs and 0.5 grams fiber for 8.7 Net Carbs.

Not a diet-buster by any means.

Unfortunately, the marinara dipping sauce added another 5.2 NC … Oops. Lesson learned: Bring own marinara next time I feel like cheating with mozzarella sticks.

But you know what? I’m not sure I’ll feel like cheating again anytime soon. This was my first time straying from the low-carb plan since I restarted on Jan. 1. I’ve had a couple of days where I’ve gone over 20 NC, maybe to 25 or 30 … but there’ve been no massive “oh my god, let’s eat EVERYTHING IN SIGHT” moments.

And, even with that slight amount of carbs, I noticed a slight dip in energy around 3 or 4 p.m. … the same afternoon slump that used to plague me every day. Before I started Atkins the first time, I’d fall asleep on the couch watching The History Channel every afternoon I had off.

In fact, last night I stopped for gas after work … and then I pulled into the parking lot at In N Out. I’d been thinking of a burger for about an hour — but after I parked and cut the engine, I realized I wasn’t really hungry.

“Why eat if you’re not hungry?” I asked myself.

When myself came back with no good answer, I restarted the car and drove away, burger-free.

I’ve had other victories over food lately, too. When our lovely newsroom assistant brought in brownies the other day, I barely looked at them. Okay, I did note there were two kinds: cream-cheese frosted and turtle … but neither variety was strong enough to pull me off the low-carb path.

It’s a process, I know. There’ll be other cheats and setbacks … but I remain convinced that consistently eating low-carb is easier than any other diet I’ve tried. I’m thankful for the structure and the way it allows me to live without constantly obsessing over my next meal.

P.S. Since I have no pictures of mozzarella sticks, enjoy this gratuitous shot of me at my lowest adult weight, having fun at Olympic Garden in Vegas. I’ll get there again (hopefully both to that weight AND to Olympic Garden)!

Yes, that was me, at my lowest adult weight. You don’t want to know how much we had to pay for a lap dance. I was miffed they gave ’em away for free in “Magic Mike.”

My “one word” for 2017

Over at FitViews about a month ago, Kerri wrote a post about her one word for 2017. (Spoiler alert: hers is CONSISTENT.) Today, I listened to an episode of Elise Gets Crafty on the same topic. She interviewed Ali Edwards about the practice of choosing a guiding word for the year. (Some of theirs included OPEN, WHOLE and BRAVE.)

Needless to say, these posts have gotten me thinking. I’ve been doing a lot of that these last few days as I consider how I want to get healthier in the coming months. (Because what I’ve been doing is not working. AT ALL. Guess that’s what happens when you do a whole lot of nothing.)

I’ve been brainstorming ideas for my one word for 2017.

Some ideas: connect, health, love, understanding, gratitude, consistent, joy (my word in 2014), change (2015’s word), strong, healthy, happy, determined, dedicated, open (to new experiences and ideas), act (Elise Joy’s 2017 word), involved …

Some of them can be grouped together, like connect, involved and act; or determined, dedicated and consistent; or gratitude, joy and love.

But the one little word that calls to me most of all is ADVENTURE.img_3338

After the slog that was 2016, I’m ready to seek adventures.

Eating well can be an adventure. So can exploring faith, getting healthier via walks and yoga classes, doing more craft projects (especially quilting) and, of course, journeying farther down the road to bestselling authordom.

If I plan correctly, I might even be able to take a couple of road trips.

That’s the goal, anyway: I want 2017 to be a year of adventure.

I want to learn to knit and do calligraphy. I want to write new stories and do oh so many things I’ve never done before. I want to embrace life, in all its messy imperfection.

And when I drop a few pounds along the way, that’ll be icing on the low-carb, sugar-free mug cake.

A look back at 2014 — & a look ahead to 2015

This was at about 1 p.m. Snow kept falling all day.
This was at about 1 p.m. Snow kept falling all day.

Seeing WordPress’ report on my year in blogging—and reading so many other bloggers’ year-end recaps made me want to do a look back of my own.

Well, it helped that my phone decided to take a crap tonight. I went to the kitchen to cook dinner, and when I got back, it gave me the message that it had “no SIM card.” And unless one of my cats figured out how to remove the card, there was no reason.

I tried turning the phone off and back on. Same message. So I installed the iOS 8 software update I’ve been avoiding … no help.

On the Boyfriend’s advice, I googled what to do (first on Apple support’s sheet was installing the updated software). If that didn’t work, it said, remove and reinsert the SIM card. And if that does nothing, restore the phone to factory settings.

I did as instructed. Well, that was one step too far, because now my phone is absolutely useless. It wants me to set it up, but I can’t complete the setup without a SIM card. Verizon apparently closed early because of the holiday, plus it’s been snowing all day here in Flagstaff, so I didn’t really want to drive over there tonight anyway.

That leaves me phone-less, with nothing to do but work on my laptop. I know, I know: #firstworldproblems.

Let’s move on. 2014 was supposed to be the year I pursued joy.


On Jan. 1, 2014, I wrote: “I’ll start looking for small bits of joy in every day.” My loose goals included:

  • Keep a food journal (without obsessing over every bite that goes in my mouth).
  • Find a way to unlink food from fun in my mind.
  • Enjoy all foods in moderation. (See Carly’s thoughts on the five words that should never be used to describe food.)
  • Use my new FitBit to track activity and sleep—and figure out what to do with the info it gives me.
  • Read more books.
  • Keep writing.
  • Do more yoga.
  • Take more photos.
  • Stress less.
  • Love more.

Unfortunately, 2014 threw me for a loop. My job of 15-plus years disappeared when the corporate powers that be sent our paper’s page design to Nebraska. I was unemployed through most of September, all of October and most of November, when I went back to the same office on a part-time temporary basis. I also was hired for a new job, in a new city, that necessitates packing up 13-plus years of stuff from my house in Flagstaff.

That is to say, there wasn’t much joy to be found in parts of the year. The only things I managed to do on my list were “keep writing,” “read more” and (maybe) “take more photos.” I wore my FitBit regularly, but didn’t always track my sleep, and I never did figure out what to do with the data. The whole being jobless thing really didn’t help on the “stress less” front.

With so many new things on my personal horizon, I’ve chosen a new word for 2015:

Embrace change #2015goal

You heard me. Instead of being dragged, kicking and screaming, into new experiences, I plan to embrace them.

It’s an attitude that should serve me well.

And among the changes I intend to embrace are making better, more healthful food choices, exercising regularly and (hopefully) dropping some extra pounds. Actually, my 2014 list looks like a good starting point again this year.

I keep thinking I should go back to a low-carb diet, but I haven’t committed to that yet. I know I want to focus on Roni and Carla’s #wycwyc approach. Instead of having big plans to stick to something—and going off the rails when I “mess up”—I want to focus on doing what I can, when I can. Making one healthy choice at a time…

You know—that concept I started my blog on and then somehow lost along the way. At some point, I became convinced that if I’m not perfect, I might as well not even try.

How did that happen? Ugh.

Anyway…I promised a look back at 2014. After poking around in my site stats a little, I found my most popular search terms and the most-read posts of the year.

Popular search terms

Reese Witherspoon (plus bangs, hair, sideswept bangs, haircut) — Variations on the search brought 30+ visitors to my blog

Noodle-less spaghetti — 20

Adventures in weight loss — 28

Pineapple upside down cake smoothie — 13

Egg-based snacks — 6

Other searches caught my eye just because they were funny or recurring:

damn fasting sucks

chia seeds just got scary

why is almond milk not on WW simply filling list (3 variations on this one, so I’m not the only one who found the omission odd)

Top posts

Weight Watchers, Take 2: My first gain had 392 views

Reese Witherspoon I’m not (a 2012 post) had 251 views

Recipe: Noodle-less Spaghetti had 235. I can’t say I blame them. It’s a tasty recipe.

Recipe: Pineapple Upside Down Cake Smoothie had 147. It’s another personal favorite, so I’m glad to see its popularity.

My What I ate Wednesday posts also got a TON of views. Combined, they made up 1,031 of my blog’s hits for the year. Clearly, I need to participate in #WIAW more often. 😀