Tag Archives: movies

Chugging along

Low-carb life is, as usual, more effortless for me than other eating plans.

I’ve been far from perfect, as I did treat myself to a small popcorn when I went to see the new Kevin Costner movie, “Three Days to Kill” on Sunday. (I did not, however, eat popcorn when I went to see “About Last Night,” “Winter’s Tale” or “Endless Love,” so that’s an improvement. For a while there, I was getting popcorn every time.)

I also bought a box of Girl Scout cookies Sunday. I couldn’t resist when the girl approached my table at Starbucks. We chatted for a while. She’s aiming to sell 360 boxes and was at 320. She was out of Thin Mints, but I got the Samoas. I did break them open in a group setting, but I still have some. Thinking about eating a couple more tonight.

I am feeling a lot more in control, though. A sidestep from the low-carb path does not lead to an all-day binge. I don’t know why it’s easier for me to get “back on track” when I’m low-carbing it, but it is.

Shamrock ShakeIn fact, I had a bit of a breakthrough. I’ve been thinking about a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake ever since last week, when I walked into McD’s and saw a human-sized poster of one on the wall.

The one in this photo was taken in February 2013. I recall using a chunk of Weight Watchers Flex points on it — and thinking it was really, really sweet.

Tonight, instead of caving in to the urge, I drove to Safeway and picked up some low-carb vanilla ice cream.

Shamrock Shake fixin's

And then I made my own, lower-carb Shamrock Shake. I used 1/2 cup of ice cream, 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk, a little green food coloring and peppermint extract. (Decided the peppermint patty syrup was overkill.)

Not bad. Next time, less food coloring, a little more mint flavor.
Not bad. Next time, less food coloring, a little more mint flavor.

Not bad at all. It was a bit runny, though. Next time, I might try 1/4 cup of milk with 1/2 cup ice cream … or boost it to 3/4 cup ice cream with 1/2 cup milk. It was kind of a pathetic portion, especially when compared to the McDonald’s version above.

Ah well. Even with the whipped cream, my shake as it was made had only 4.8 net carbs. It’d be 3.5 NC without whip. Compare that to the  stats I lifted from the McDonald’s website for a 12-oz. Shamrock Shake:

(Daily Value)
Calories 530
Total Fat 15g 24%
Carbohydrates 86g 29%
Protein 11g
Sodium 160mg 7%

86 grams of carbs? Yikes! Clearly I made the right decision.

Low-carb eating is working, too: The scale is finally headed in the right direction again. When I last checked the scale (last Thursday, I think), I was down 5.4 pounds. I’ll probably check in again this morning. (I avoided the scale Monday after eating that popcorn and not drinking enough water Sunday …)

Crazy that I’m no longer hungry all the time. but I’m not complaining.

I will, however, kvetch about leg cramps. I HATE the sharp pains that wake me out of a sound sleep. In fact, I tweeted about the problem last week, and got a response from the folks at Atkins.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.02.02 PM I haven’t picked up any magnesium yet, but you can bet it’s on my to-buy list. I’ll get some when payday rolls around on Friday.

One more thing: Can I just say I screamed like a fangirl when I saw this response to my tweet:

22 Jump Street likes me!

That’s right: @22jumpstreet favorited little ol’ me! It feels good to be noticed! 😀

Back to the ’80s

It feels like I’ve taken a step back in time this week. Starbucks has been piping ’80s hits through the sound system. Peter Gabriel, OMD, the Eurythmics, XTC …

Ah, memories! Take me back to a simpler time.

And because I had Tuesday night off, I got to go to the movies for a “classic cinema” screening of an oldie but goodie.

Sixteen Candles

Sixteen Candles. On the big screen, the way it was meant to be seen …

It. Was. Glorious. I ❤ Jake Ryan. And Farmer Ted—and his geeky little friends. What a trip to see John (and Joan) Cusack when they were so young.

I remember the first time I saw Sixteen Candles. It was also at the theater, a heck of a lot cheaper than $8.50, I’m sure.

I was in middle school (I think sixth grade). My Girl Scout troop went into Fort Wayne. We went after school, and had dinner at Chuck E Cheese before (or after) the movie. I used my game tickets to buy a grape-scented mechanical pencil … the kind with the pre-sharpened nibs that you used up and stuck in the top end to push down a fresh one. I used that pencil to fill an entire notebook with a teen romance. I remember a lot of descriptions of the “cool” clothes my heroine was wearing … like a white mini-dress with a wide black belt. (Thank goodness my writing skills have improved!)

I seem to recall there being a thunderstorm, too, because the car we were in was driving in the rain and we talked about the possibility of the car getting hit by lightning before we could see the movie. I assured them my dad said that we were safe because of the rubber tires.

Or maybe that was a different trip altogether. The memories do all seem to be jumbled up in my mind as a single trip, though.

We were pretty shocked at the naked girl in the shower. Looking at it now, it’s not shocking in the least … but back then it was a BIG deal. I do wonder how the movie got a PG rating, though. PG-13 wasn’t invented yet, I’m guessing.

The bad news? I had Tuesday (and Wednesday) off because I have to work Saturday. Another page designer quit, so I’m stuck working Saturdays until we get a new guy up to speed to replace him. 😛

I am off on Saturday, Feb. 8, though. I already had unbreakable plans: I’m attending my first book signing as an author!

Print copies of DIVA

I’ll be at the Chocolate Affaire in Glendale, Arizona, from 2 to 10 p.m. Feb. 8. I ordered a bunch of print copies of DIVA IN THE DUGOUT to sell.

My name looks good on a book, doesn’t it? 😀 This is the first time I’ve gotten a good look at the print book—and I LOVE it. It’s beautiful. So much fun!

More fun is forthcoming: I’ve been combing through the galley of Book 2, BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER.

Book 2, coming in March ...
Book 2, coming in March …

It releases in e-book form in mid-March. (No current plans for a paperback. I got paperback copies of DIVA, which was to be e-book only, because I entered it in the RITA and needed them for the judges.)

The eating/exercise front has been a mixed bag. I faced the scale (278.6—blergh) a week ago Monday, kept a food journal all week and managed to lose 5 pounds by Monday. But I’ve been more lax with the journaling (and eating well) this week.

See the bag of popcorn I ate Tuesday night? Hey — at least it was only a small.

Sidewalk by MaverikI walked a mile or more three times last week, and once so far this week (Wednesday). Plus, on Wednesday when I got home from Starbucks, where I spent my day off writing/editing, I told myself I had to walk to the Maverik if I wanted a Diet Dr Pepper.

It’s not far from my house, but it did give me an excuse to sneak in some extra steps. #wycwyc, right?

For far too long, perfection has been bringing my diet down. If I can’t eat perfectly, or work out for 30 minutes or more, I might as well not even try.

Yeah, well, you see where that got me. I’m back up to the weight I was when I started Atkins the first time, in 2003.

Ugh.

I need to remember that perfection isn’t necessary. Consistency is the key.

And throwing in the towel is not an option.

I’ve worked too hard for too long to become a published author. I want to be around to enjoy it, not eat myself into an early grave.

What do I want?

I’ve been a sometime reader of Janetha’s blog, Meals and Moves, since I met her at Blend2013. Tonight, I saw a link to her latest post, “Real Talk.”

All I can say is “wow.” Add her to the list of people who are wise beyond their years.

i guess i wanted to write this post because i know how it is. you read blogs and scroll through instagram and wish you had the things other people have. the stage-ready bikini body. the medal from a marathon. the perfect, on-point eating habits. but stop comparing yourself to others and wishing you had what they had. also, remember what it takes to have those things. recognize the hard work those people are putting in to get those things. it’s not a walk in the park and they earned those results. if you truly want those things, good for you, GO AFTER THEM. put in the work, you will get the results. but don’t feel bad if you don’t want those things. don’t feel bad if you choose a different path. be happy with your decisions. make your own goals and go after them and be happy when you reach them. and find what works for YOU.. because we are all different. and that’s completely okay.

This post just convinced me to add Meals & Moves to my Feedly feed. As a copy editor, the lack of capitalization might drive me nuts, but recipes like Protein Cheesecake and Cauliflower Crust Pizza, along with cute pictures of Randy and Penny and deep thoughts like this will be worth a few eyelid twitches. 😀

A beautiful fall sunset
A stunning fall sunset in northern Arizona.

I think I’ve spent most of the summer/fall of 2013 feeling bad about the path I’ve been on—at least where diet and exercise are concerned. (My writing life is finally starting to take off, after years of writing, submitting and receiving rejections.) I’ve seen everyone having fun/eating ____________ on Twitter and Instagram and thought “why can’t I do that?” while I’ve struggled with making good, healthy decisions.

Instead of trying to be like everyone else, I need to find what works for me.

Right now, what works for me is a lower-carb diet.

After less than a week, I feel like I’m back in control. Why do I never remember how easy it can be? Every time I think about doing low-carb, I drag my feet. I whine and cry and think how awful it’ll be to give up fries/bread/pasta … And every time, I don’t miss ’em.

When will I learn?

Butternut Squash Fries
Yes, those are bacon-wrapped scallops alongside my butternut squash fries.

One of the good things about not doing full-on Atkins (yet) is that I’ve left myself some room for higher-carb splurges. Friday’s lunch was that yummy salad with a few dried cranberries. For dinner Saturday, I made some butternut squash fries. (About 14 Net Carbs in a cup.)

Unlike what’s been happening all summer (eating junk leads to eating more junk—and then more, because I’m still not satisfied), I find I can splurge without going hog-wild.

It's better with butter.
It tastes better with butter, too.

After dinner Saturday night, when I went to see “Last Vegas,” I enjoyed some popcorn (with butter. Dr. Atkins said that if you’re going to eat carbs, do it with fat to mitigate the blood sugar spike). I tracked it and moved on. And when I went back to the theater Sunday to watch “Bad Grandpa,” I ate the nuts I sneaked into the theater in my purse. Didn’t want the popcorn. Barely even thought about ordering any. (It might have helped that I’d just eaten lunch minutes before walking in.)

By the way, in case you had any doubt, go see “Last Vegas.” Hold out for “Bad Grandpa” on video.

I’ve lost that “all-ravenous, all the time” feeling. I’m back to not thinking about food between meals—or indeed sometimes at mealtime. Low-carb is the only plan I’ve ever followed where I can forget to eat.

Anyway. Janetha’s post made me ask what I want.

The answer? Aside from the obvious …

I want my book to hit the Amazon bestseller list

I want to go out to a restaurant and order something that appeals to me, whether it’s a steak/burger or salad. I DON’T want to feel bad about ordering said steak when I “should” get a salad. If I want a salad, fine. But if the damn burger sounds better, I want to get it without feeling guilty.

I want to (eventually) get to a place where I don’t have to count/track everything I eat. The whole Intuitive Eating thing still sounds like the Holy Grail. But like I’ve said before, I’m not there yet. I may never get there.

I want the Boyfriend to stop pushing food on me. (Good luck with that one.) Maybe I should change it to “I want to find the willpower/courage/strength to just say no when he starts pushing food on me.” With a low-carb diet, it becomes much easier for me to do that.

I want to start moving more. I want to rejoin the gym and start taking fun classes like Zumba again. (Money’s the problem with this one. Maybe once I get my first royalty check …)