Category Archives: writing

A New Challenge ~ Give Yourself the Best Gift!

I am starting a new challenge. Click on the picture to read the rules.

Here is the gift I want to give myself:

I want to give myself the gift of a love for exercise. I don’t care so much if I’m losing weight, as long as I am feeling strong and healthy. When I’m eating well and exercising, I feel strong. That’s how I want to feel for Christmas this year. Along with this strength, I want to have more energy for writing and keeping the house clean and spending time with my children. I want to get up every morning, exercise, shower, dress, read my Bible and pray, and then be fit and energized to face the day and get a lot done.

Here are my action points:

  1. I will turn off my computer at nine every night and get to bed before midnight.
  2. I will get up and read my Bible and pray.
  3. I will ride my exercise bike or swim or do Pilates or walk on the mountain or ride my bike on the bike trail six days a week. I will try for a half hour of cardio three days a week and an hour of slower exercise three days a week.
  4. I will keep my calories at 10,000 a week—this is an average of 1429 calories a day. I will not sweat overeating one day and I will eat from whatever food groups I want, but I will make an effort to have foods that are low carb, medium fat, and high protein each day.
  5. I will make an effort to drink more water.
  6. I will keep track of my calories at
  7. I will blog once a week on my progress and link up at Thrice Blessed’s blog every week.


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Thoughts on Week 15 and 16

On the Diet

I’m 4 pounds up in 2 weeks. I’ve learned something about myself. When I don’t have to check in, I don’t bother. Especially if I’m overeating. I’m not going back to recount all the things that went on the last two weeks that allowed me to take two weeks off. I know why I got off. And I know how to get back. 

So I’m back. I’m sixteen weeks into this experiment and I’m only eleven pounds down. Ouch. And it was all going swimmingly up until two weeks ago. But I think it’s going to be OK.

Part of my trouble is my monthly hormone bloat, junk. I want to eat all day for a couple of days a month. At the same time my mood for those two days is something like, “Woe is me, the world is bleak, I’m a complete failure at everything, and it will never get better again.” On top of that, I’m bloated and I gain a few pounds.

Most of the time I can tell myself, “this is not real. It’s just the hormones talking. It will be over in two days, so just ignore it.” But sometimes I let it trigger me into overeating and then I gain weight for real and that makes me feel worse and then I figure I might as just eat as much as I want because I’m not losing anyway. And blah, blah, blah.

What helped me was that Slimmer This Summer Challenge. I knew that I had to report in so I didn’t want to just give up and say, “Whatever! I might as well eat whatever I want.”

So now there is new challenge going and I’m signing up for it. Yeah. I guess I’m going to have to hope that someone will keep challenges going for the next two years.

On the Exercise

I’m not exercising. And I’m not planning on exercising. I will start walking with my daughter–two miles of hilly hiking three times a week and we do one day of Pilates one day a week. But I’ve given up on any more exercise for a while. I need to get my writing on track first and my mother has declined some mentally in the last couple of weeks and I can’t leave her alone anymore, so that makes my schedule a little harder to work around.

On the Writing

I haven’t written on the new book in the last two weeks. I’ve been revising the old book at the request of my agent. I love revision best of all. But it’s a lot of work. I’m changing sentences and words and I’ve changed so many things back and forth, moving them here and there, that I can’t remember what I’ve put in and what I’ve taken out and I’m losing sight of the story.

So I’m not just being lazy. I’m working at the blogging. I do my own blog and now I blog twice a month at a bigger blog and I’m revising. So I’m working.

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Thoughts on Week 14

On the Diet

Down 1 pound.  I’ll take it. I ate a couple of hundred calories over this week. Met a friend for coffee one morning and put down the most delicious frappe I’ve ever tasted. So I wasn’t craving food, but I was lazy this week and didn’t plan my meals as carefully as I have been doing.

This is the end of the Slimmer This Summer Challenge. I am so glad I signed up for it. I have been on it twelve weeks, and I’ve lost twelve pounds and that was my goal. So I call it a success.

Even though my exercise program has been nonexistent for the last month or more…

On the Exercise

I went to Pilates on Tuesday.

That’s. It.

I was supposed to sign up for swimming on Friday. I didn’t go because I have a rash on my neck and I’m sure they don’t want me in the pool. I’m pretty sure the rash wouldn’t spread to others in the pool, but they don’t like you swimming with weird skin stuff and I don’t want the chlorine on my neck, anyway.

Of course the rash wouldn’t have stopped me from biking. But I’m not in love with the exercise bike. I need to get out on the bike trails or back out walking. It’s still hot. I’m not going to worry about it. I’m going to keep trying, though. I’m going to keep telling myself I’ll exercise. Because if I plan for it long enough, I might finally do it.

I won’t swim until the rash goes away. I’ll keep on with the Pilates one day a week. And this week, I’ll try to talk myself onto that exercise bike three days for a half hour a day.

On the Writing

Failed this week. Again. Worked on my blog a lot. Signed up for several carnivals and got on as an editor for So I’ve been really busy. Plus I had a lot of running around to do this week–vet visits, eye exams, all that kind of stuff that cuts into the day.

I won’t write a new chapter this week, either. My agent has asked me for a rewrite of my first three chapters on my last book. So that is what I’ll be working on this week.


I’m excited about heading into Fall, looking forward to getting out and enjoying nature. I’m excited about the way the writing is going and I’m happy that I feel like I can keep eating like this forever. I know, I’ll have to cut the calories down a bit in a couple of months. But for right now, I think this calorie level is working and will keep working for a bit longer. And I’m very satisfied with it. So…onward!


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Thoughts on Week 13

On the Diet

Down 2 pounds.  Yipee! I wasn’t craving anything this week. Pretty boring menu. I had some coupons for Arby’s and found if you buy the French Dip and take the top of the bun off, you can get a very filling sandwich for about 400 calories. We had broccoli, dripping in butter, baked in the oven. I love, love, love that, but can’t do it too often because of the calories. And the salt. But man-oh-man is it good.

On the Exercise

Nothing this week. ARGH! I know I swore last week that I was going to swim. But then I had problems beyond my control that made swimming not an option.

I have Pilates tomorrow and nothing else planned. So I’m making a date with myself to go to the pool on Friday and buy a pass and swim one day this week for half an hour. That’s not overwhelming. It’s totally doable. (I’m such a wimp. I have to talk myself into this stuff.)

I am motivated, though, because I’m feeling so much better. I’m down 13 pounds in 13 weeks but this is a solid loss. It’s a real loss. I realized yesterday at church (the only day I’m not slacking in loose clothing) that my clothes felt fine. They fit me a lot better than they did a couple of weeks ago. Yeah.  As soon as it cools off, the kids and I will start walking again a couple of days a week, and we’ll do Pilates once a week, and swim a couple of days.

On the Writing

Failed this week. Didn’t write word one on my novel. I did load it all into Scrivener and move some chapters around. Piddling around.

I blogged three times and I set up a blog carnival and entered posts in four other blog carnivals. I’m working, working, working on taking my blog to a higher level in the sights of the search engines.

But I need to keep with the chapter writing. One chapter a week is not too much. I’m just at another juncture and having to discover again, where the story is going.

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Thoughts on Week 12

On the Diet

Down 2 pounds.  I didn’t cut down on my calories purposely. I just wasn’t all that hungry this week. Probably because it was super hot, I wasn’t exercising, and I didn’t meet anyone for coffee or have anyone over playing games or watching movies. So there were no munchies or drinks this week.

This coming week, I’m going to try drinking some water. I have been feeling a little dehydrated. And I’m going to try to stay with meat and rice meals, which satisfy me hugely, and which seem to make it possible for me to lose weight.

On the Exercise

Nothing this week. I’m still not sleeping more than about four hours a night. I’m tired all the time and don’t feel like exercising.

The kids go back to school on Monday and the pool will be empty, so I think I’ll buy another swim pass. I hate to start swimming again, but once I get two weeks into it, I love it so much I can’t stand to miss a day. I know this. So…I will buy a swim pass on Monday. I will do that. And I will swim for half an hour three days this week. The added benefit with swimming is that it usually helps me sleep.

On the Writing

I blogged three times and I got a chapter done. I’m thrilled because at ten last night, I realized I had only written half of a chapter. I was going to let it slide, but instead I decided I needed to do a chapter a week so I wrote the second half of the chapter last night.

So…a semi-successful week. This week I need to push to exercise and drink some water.


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Thoughts on Week 11

On the Diet

N0 change in my weight! Well, we’re only one three weeks away from the end of the Slimmer This Summer Challenge, so I’d better get on the stick…or…get on the bike. I need to lose five pounds in the next three weeks if I want to keep up with my one pound a week goal. At this point, I’m 2 pounds behind.

I’m doing fine with this amount of food. I’m never very hungry. It’s easy to have plenty of variety and good-sized portions with a 1400 calorie a day diet. And I still love the weekly goal, versus the daily goal. It is all that’s kept me on the program. I go over so many days that it would knock me out if I didn’t have the option of making it up the next day.

My concern is that 10,000 calories a week may be too much for me to lose on. I understand the part about cutting 3500 calories a week to lose one pound. I’m not sure I was eating 13,500 calories before I started the challenge. I really have never been a huge eater. I think I have a very slow metabolism. So…if I have a slow metabolism, how can someone say that if I cut 3500 calories a week I’ll lose a pound a week. Doesn’t it depend on how my body metabolizes the calories I do eat?

I hate to have to cut my calories more. I’ve lost weight before doing a thousand calories a day, but I couldn’t sustain it. As soon as I went back to eating normally, I gained back the forty pounds I lost and another twenty pounds besides.

So I’m going to stick with the 10,000 a week at least for the next three weeks and see what happens. Even if I end up losing a half a pound a week, at the end of forty weeks, that’s better than gaining or staying even and it’s sustainable. I can live the rest of my life on 10,000 calories a week, if I have to. But I can’t live on 7,000 calories a week, I don’t think. I never feel like I’m getting enough at 1,000 a day.

I cut back on carbs this week, considerably, and I’m feeling much less bloated. The scale doesn’t reflect that, but I think it will this coming week.

I still have not tried the water drinking. I just hate to drink a lot. I have two cups of tea in the morning and one cup of water in the evening.

On the Exercise

I really wimped out this week. When I’m losing I feel strong and motivated. When I’m not losing,  I feel tired. So I didn’t enjoy my times on the bike when I got on it, and I didn’t make myself get on it every day.

My back is out today…I’m staying home from church because, while I can move now, it’s on the verge of going out completely and putting me on the floor for the next ten days (at least that’s where I’ve ended up the three times it’s gone out on me before). I’m babying it, in the hopes that I can avoid that. I don’t know what that means for exercise this coming week. I’ll have to take it day by day.

Sleep is still a problem. I’ve been averaging four or five hours a night for the last three weeks. I cut the coffee out of my diet when I started this diet and took up tea—two cups a day. Maybe I need to cut those, but I’m not going to do that this week, because I’m so tired all day from not sleeping at night and I need the caffeine in the morning to kick start me.

On the Writing

I blogged three times and I got a chapter done. I’m happy with this. I spent a lot of time tweaking my blogs. I set up a blog for my novel. Bought a picture of a girl who looks like my heroine and painted her eyes green and washed the color out a little. She has a plaintive look on his face…oh, shoot, I can’t resist. Here she is:

That’s what she looked like when I downloaded her. Then I painted her eyes green.

And finally I played with the color because I needed her hair and eyes to be lighter—she’s a native girl with light coloring. The other villagers think she’s cursed but the Overlord men find her color arresting.

Isn’t she a beautiful girl?

I put two chapters of my novel on the blog and I put on a lot of pictures of foggy woods, that look like her home, and I have a picture of her boyfriend and her sister on there, too. It wasn’t writing but it was writing related and it was a whole lot of fun.

But all that is for a book that is already written, with the agent, and being sent to publishers. This week I want to try to get a blog up for the book I’m presently working on. Because if I can picture the characters and the world, and if I have a summary pounded out, it makes it feel more like a real book.

And that’s all I have for this week.


Filed under dieting, progress, writing

Thoughts on Week 10

On the Diet

Up 3 pounds! Wha! Gained back the three pounds I lost last week. I’ve been bloated all week. I’m hoping this is hormones out of control and it will come off next week. Because for the first time since I started I’ve dropped below my goal of a pound a week. I’ve been meticulous about the calories. Keeping track of every bite. And the calories I’m putting in are plenty for me. In fact, I always feel full. But…when I gain instead of losing, I am tempted to go have a big old piece of cake.

I’ll refrain.

This week…I’ll keep going on the calories–keeping them under 10,000. I’ll concentrate on more protein and good fats—chicken, hamburger, eggs, and fish—and watch my carbs, this week. I haven’t counted carbs since I started this diet, but I’ll keep an eye on them this week and see if I can get things moving again.

On the Exercise

I didn’t exercise on Saturday because I took my son to the doctor that morning. (Chicken pox. He’s eighteen, six-foot tall, 190 pounds, and built like a football player. All muscle, no fat. And there he was covered in chicken pox blisters.) So I started off on the wrong foot with my exercise. I did my bike on Monday, then on Tuesday I went with Water Lily to her Pilates class. Yikes. Come Wednesday, I could barely walk, let alone ride the bike. Thursday I was still sore. Friday I got on the bike again.

I signed up for a Pilates class starting the third week of August. I figured if it made me that sore it must be working some muscles.

My sleeping was awful again. I got an average of four hours a night. I think it must be hormones running amok.

This week, I’ll do the bike daily for forty minutes and I’ll turn off my computer earlier and try read and drink chamomile tea before bed.

On the Writing

I got a chapter written. Rough. But that’s the name of the game. It’s called a rough draft, after all. I hate the middle of the books. Always. I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and forcing my characters to move, even if they are moving in the wrong direction. I can’t know if they’re going wrong until I put them in action and see where they go.

So, as much as I hated writing this chapter, I’m so glad I got it done.

I didn’t get three days of writing in. Just two. But it worked. I did use the timer. And I’ll do that again this week.


Filed under dieting, progress, writing