Friday, October 24, 2014

The Endless Cup


In the spirit of Halloween, I will be posting some fun Friday short stories, and invite you to share yours as well. 

"The darkest souls are not those which choose to exist within the hell of the abyss, but those which choose to break free from the abyss and move silently among us."
~Dr. Samuel Loomis (Halloween)

“Could you show me your blackest black?”  He’d asked the question so innocently.  I knew I couldn’t really show him.  I couldn’t reveal the murky depths in which those coils spun.   

No one would understand just how painfully drab the mirth of my existence had become.  How could I explain how desperately I wished to shed my cloak of invisibility, “Miss, are you alright?”  He combed back his premature grey with a single flip of hand, his eyes filling with curiosity.

“You’ll have to follow me,” I untied my apron and placed it on the counter.  I watched his eyes wander across my bosom which was no longer hidden by the frock.  His eyes lingered momentarily, enjoying how tightly my breasts pushed against the cotton of my blouse.  A growling embitterment rose deep inside, daring me to show him the blackest black.    

He must have felt the tension of my thoughts and cleared his throat to burden my ears with idle chatter.  “I love the smell of coffee.”  My eyes drifted to the window, searching the bare streets for any sign of reprieve.  A single guest willing to offer amnesty, but it was a slow morning. The rain had kept most visitors in their cars, rushing through drive-thru windows, for reheated garbage passed off as coffee.   

“Do you ever get tired of it?”  Turning sharply in response to the question, my eyes sought his meaning.  Had he heard me?  Could he have known just how tired I was of the unevenly matched charades?  “The smell, I mean.”  His clarification only offered disappointment.  For a moment I’d been hopeful, but he was just another imprudent man.

“I don’t think I could ever get tired of it.” His smile was so sincere, I almost felt pitty.  A momentary desire for a time when I could have sat down and enjoyed a cup with him.  Maybe even get to know him to some degree, but he was just a simple man, and nothing more.  He’d come and go just like they all did; smelling my coffee, letting their lips touch the mugs I washed by hand every day.  They had no idea how much work I put into their morning enjoyment.  No appreciation for how long it takes to roast a damn bean before it has the proper acidity.

I waved my hand magically across the shelf which housed the individual bags.   Each sitting modestly on the ledge where I’d placed them.  A handpicked selection of distinct flavorful beans, ground daily and placed in artfully sewn sacks made of the finest cotton.  Each delicate label crafted with the very same hands, beamed warmly at the man as he reached for their unique calling, “Wow, it sure smells good.”

I sighed, unsure, glancing for one more opportunity before I gave in, but the rain still fell and the patrons still absent.  I forced my most enthusiastic charm forward, “Would you like to see?”

Instinctively his eyes floated across my bust, before he nodded.  Unknowing it was a glance which made my decision easier.  I turned the sign on the door, Be Back in a Few, Got to let the Coffee Brew, then turned the lock.  Leading him slowly and seductively to the back room, I felt his eyes begin to caress the curves of my body.  Playing coy, I looked over my shoulder, and smiled shyly, “This is the kitchen.” I was sure to force air through my words as I pronounced each “s” slowly. 

“It…it’s very nice,” his hesitation offered assurance. 

We’d come to the end of the kitchen and turned into the small space between the shelving and wall.  He nervously swept his hair back again, a sweet habit I would recall in days to come; I took the opportunity to inhale deeply allowing the peaks of my blouse to lightly graze his forearm.  I could feel the heat rise within him, confirming, what I already knew.  I continued to appear timid and innocent, “This just leads to the basement,” I whispered. 

His thoughts must’ve been too airy to allow him to speak.  His lips parted but no sound escaped, only the sweet smell of desire.  He continued to hold the bag of coffee grounds in one hand and his fingers lightly traced the door with the other, his eyebrows reaching up for a question that would not release itself from the clutches of his mind.

I took a step closer only allowing a fraction of space between us and opened the door.  A blast of aroma filled what little distance was left, wrapping us tightly and forcing the pressure of heat to join us.  It all seemed so coincidental, but life offers little surprise to those who can see through her malicious ways.

I could feel the impending weight of a kiss and stepped away, allowing his hunger to grow.  The hypnotic pull of need pushed him forward, allowing him to move deeper into the darkness of a room he’d never been.  “This is where the magic happens.”  My voice lilted across the room with appreciation and grandeur, simultaneously I pulled the overhead string lighting the room. 

His eyes widened at the pillows of beans which lay innocently against the wall and then he took me greedily into his arms.  His lips rushing in without invitation, devouring all hesitation that was left in me.  His hands roaming clumsily across my body, smothering any sympathy.  Our bodies fell to the bags meticulously laid out for my service.  I allowed him to revel in his passion, I accepted his lustful intrusion for moments upon moments, ensuring he was totally lost and committed.  A painful reminder echoed in my mind as he began to sweat with self-indulgence, “Show it to him.” He’d made his way down, his fingers fumbling with the button of my slacks, “Do you still want to see the blackest black?”  My breathy words filling his ear with tantalizing promise. 

“Yes! Oh yes!” he cried out. 

In one smooth motion I rolled him over into submission; pressing my thighs firmly against his sides.  “How bad do you want to see it?”  I teased.  

I watched his eyes beg for pleasure and satisfaction, just as they all do; selfishly thinking of what awaits them in the sweet gift of my body, never once thinking of what they could do to satisfy or offer a moment’s pleasure to me.  They have no idea how much work I put into their morning enjoyment. 

I leaned forward offering him a taste, a small sample of how worthy I was of being wanted, but the tickle of truth crept its way around us.  A jealous flourish robbing me of enjoyment, binding itself to him with just as much gluttony as he’d displayed just seconds before.  When his eyes closed awaiting ecstasy, the delicate vine of yearning laced itself around his wrists, legs and torso, slowly pulling him down into the abyss of longing.  When the thrill of delight was slowly replaced with nibbles of agony his eyes sprung open in terror.

The curse of my alluring beauty and the intoxicating aroma of my previous pursuers now held him captive.  The beans which rested quietly in the pillow-y bags below him now sprouted to life, feeding on the energy of his desire.  Each tender leaf beginning to fill the orifices of his body, claiming him for themselves, unwilling to let me have even a moment longer to reflect on his nervous habits or sincere smile. I watched as the vines slowly strangled him, sucking what little energy was left until he was nothing more than tomorrow’s brew.

Dusting myself off,  I straightened my clothes, turned off the light and returned to the store front.  Revolving the open sign as I had earlier that morning, I noticed the rain had stopped.  "Business will pick up again soon."  The room remained silent in reply but I could smell the warm aroma of excitement waft through the air. 
 
 

 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Speed Bump Ahead


Well, I’ve been delaying this announcement, but after recent news it is inevitable.  My publisher is merging with a new company and I was given the option of going along with the merger or reclaiming the work for myself.  After careful consideration, I’ve decided to recover my work. 

What does this mean?   Just another hurdle. I will be taking back the four books previously published by Silver Knight Publishing, LLC, (Lilac Hill, Parallel, Unchanged, & Swim), which means they will be removed from the market for a short time. 

Is there any animosity over the merger?  No, absolutely not.  Silver Knight Publishing, LLC put their faith in me as a writer and I am forever indebted to them.  My experience with them has taught me a great deal and has also provided me with a vote of confidence, I desperately needed. 

I wouldn’t be completely honest, if I didn’t say I was a little sad.  I’ve forged a relationship with the artists, editors, fellow authors and other members of staff, which I will miss immensely.  Not to mention the loss of prestige that comes with having an actual publishing contract, but C'est la vie. 

 

“If you find a path with no obstacles,

it probably doesn't lead anywhere.”

~Frank A. Clark

 

So what happens now?  I move forward.  I get these four titles back out on shelves as quickly as possible, self-published of course, (because no publisher wants pre-published work).  Then, I push myself harder on future work and try to do something I’ve put off for a long time…find an agent or a new publisher. 

So, for now, I wish to thank each and every one of you for your support, patience and most of all your reading.  I hope to produce some exciting titles in the future and am optimistic for what lies ahead. 

 


Monday, October 6, 2014

Hauntingly, Spooky, Short Story Challenge 2014


As promised today is contest announcement day.  Each year at this time I like to host a Hauntingly, Spooky, Short Story Challenge.  This year’s writing prompt is:  In 600 words or less, write a story in which a character finds something that they will not be returning.

Each week the stories I receive will be featured on my blog and on October 31st I will select a winner to receive a signed copy of Swim, Unchanged & Lilac Hill.  Only one entry per person, please.

In addition to the main contest, each Monday I will post short trivia or challenge on my Facebook page and will be giving away some e-books.  Good luck!  :D
 
The fun has already started...hope on over to Facebook for today's challenge! 


Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Sugar Queen Book Review


Some authors force feed you every detail, until you are gagging on information, others insist you strain to read between the vague lines created in their ambiguous mind.  However, there are a few writers talented enough to float you along, allowing you to drift among a sea of lines and dialogue with ease. Lulling you into a story and creating a life in which you become an anxious voyeur, unwilling to leave the characters any privacy.  You feed on their thoughts and emotions, devouring their accounts as if they were your own, and become hopelessly lost when the last page insists you close the book on someone you now consider a friend.  Those are the authors I find compelling, the stories I relish and the books that inspire me.  Sarah Addison Allen is one such author. 

I previously read her book Garden Spells and was captivated by her use of language and the dreamy spell her words cast upon the reader, (click here to see my previous review).  I found myself a budding fan and was eager to read her next book on my list The Sugar Queen.  Well, here I am many
months later and finally able to complete that task, which I will only refer to as a joy. 

I’ve never considered myself a romantic but Ms. Allen’s unique blend of mild romance and mystery is something I absolutely LOVE!  The Sugar Queen, was another hypnotic tale, full of intrigue, personality and passion.  Ms. Allen has a real knack for conveying insight from a variety of perspectives.  The back stories for each character really engages the reader enough to want to be invested. 

I’m now eager to read the next Sarah Addison Allen books on my list, Waking Kate and Lost Lake. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Ugly Proof

Okay, it’s June and I have ugly proof that a low carb life is the only way for me.  For whatever reason I took a break from no carb.  I’d found my way under two-hundred pounds and I guess my psyche said “that’s enough”. 

At first I told myself, “One day a week, I will allow myself to indulge.”  Sounded reasonable enough.  However, one day turned into every day.  You may think it was a matter of self-control but it really wasn’t.  It seemed as if I’d never chosen no carb at all.  I just effortlessly floated into a routine of eating what I wanted, when I wanted, without ever really thinking about it.  It was easy.  No more having to make myself a salad while I prepared a separate meal for my family.  No more pealing the bun off my burger or watching others eat dessert.  No more questioning eyes gazing across the room at me, to see what it was I might or might not be eating. 

I would like to tell you this has gone on for a month, two weeks or a few days, but the truth is I don’t know.  I am one of those oddities who loses time like socks.  (I can’t measure distance, in miles or hours, I am broken in the world of numbers, in more ways than one, and without a calendar to plan out my days, I would be hopelessly late or missing.)  I can tell you, I have quickly gained back ten pounds! 

Now remember, I am a woman.   That being said, I know some of this is water weight and may disappear in a day or two, but I don’t want to allow myself that excuse either.  I want to see the truth for what it is.  I absolutely must put in the effort.  I can’t afford to eat a cookie or sit in my recliner all day.  I have to watch what I eat and put in those uncountable miles of exercise. 

The strange thing is, none of this is difficult.  I didn’t have a single problem saying “no” when I started this, so I don’t know why I would have ever changed a thing.  Celebration?  Absurd!  There is absolutely no joy or pride where I stand today. 

So let this be a warning to all of my friends who are battling with me.  Congratulate yourself by seeing your progress and let that be enough.  Don’t lose sight of why you began in the first place, so you won’t have to start over.  Luckily, I am not back at square one, but I would’ve been in the blink of an eye, if I hadn’t caught myself now.   

Remember, I am not saying no carb is the way for everyone, it’s just what works for me.  I am mainly confronting myself, as well as, encouraging you to find what works for you and to stick with it.   Hopefully, July will come with a resounding victory and I will be celebrating again…but this time with fireworks! J


Friday, April 25, 2014

Cashing in Your Chips?


I’ve had an adventurous month, (that’s a nice way of saying difficult).  Life brings many obstacles as a means of testing our strength, and though I think I have shown my ability to endure time and time again, I was about ready to cash in my chips on this no carb thing. 

I have to admit I have had a few small pieces of Easter chocolate, but this morning the toaster strudel my son left on his plate was calling my name. (Don’t judge.  Most mom’s act as a garbage disposal for their kids' left overs.  It’s so we don’t throw it in the trash and feel like we’ve wasted food.  Yeah, that’s it.) Anyway, I made a deal with myself, have one more weigh in first.  “You know you’ve gained weight this month anyway, so what’s the big deal? That strudel is as good as yours!”  How can you mess with logic like that?  So I rolled my eyes, sighed, and stepped on the glass square, that I’m fearful will one day splinter into a billion pieces from this burdensome ritual.  Yet, I was stunned to see another pound gone. 

I have lost a total of twenty pounds in four months, and while that may not seem like much to those who loose ten pounds in a sneeze, it's success for me. I had this discussion with my physician, (and by the way I am awesomely healthy…yay good genes!), and he told me the ideal weight loss is two to five pounds a month.  Any more than that and you are less likely to keep it off.  I am averaging five pounds a month which increases my chances of long term success…THRILLING (insert my best sing song voice)!  Who knows, if I am able to keep this up, I may be at my ideal weight by my birthday.  Wouldn’t that be an awesome gift to myself? 

So to those of you who struggle with me, measure every small achievement as a big one.  We are working hard in everything we do, be it laundry, parenting, jobs or weight loss.  We wouldn’t give up on someone we love, so we shouldn’t give up on ourselves.   The journey is a long one and for that I will be grateful.

I have one confession about that strudel before I go:  I wasted food.  J   

 

 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Hips Don't Lie


“Lose weight, feel great!” … Lose weight, feel great?  Yeah right.  I feel okay but I am also frustrated.  A weak, pouty moment in the journey of my life; but hey, we are all entitled to a few.  Right?
 
I have been on the no carb journey since January 1st and have had some success in weight loss, but it is slow going.  I’ve lost a total of 16 pounds, which is fantastic, yet I haven’t lost a single pound this month.  This month I lost a meager 3”.  THREE INCHES!  That doesn’t seem worth the effort, (although I am now accustomed to eating this way, so it isn’t really much of a sacrifice). 

I did a little research and stumbled onto this article by Kris Gunnars, titled “15 Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight on a Low-Carb Diet”.  It was really eye opening, as well as encouraging.  The first point is “You are losing fat, you just don’t realize it”.  It points out to pay attention to other clues besides the scale, such as how your clothes fit.  Are you close baggier?  Do you look slimmer? Yes and yes.  Then you are losing fat.  YAY!

It also pointed out a few of my boo-boos.  Bye-bye Atkins Bars.  Mornings are usually hurried so I am quick to grab a bar for breakfast, but now I may have to boil some eggs and keep them in the fridge for something quick to grab. 

Another biggie is almost unconscious but I have to say sayonara to stress.  My life has been a whirl wind of scattered activity lately and it is starting to take a toll on my sanity.  This moody, horrible lady has taken over my body.  I am crabby, exhausted and frustrated to the max.  Every little thing sets me off into a frenzy of tears or defensiveness.  I am beginning to wonder if my thyroid has gone on hiatus.  (Taking a trip to the doctor next week just to be sure).  I am lucky to have a patient husband and a sweet mom I can confide in, but I am anxious to get back to my old self…hopefully soon!

All I can do is take it one day at a time, keep putting in the work and continue to hope for the best.  I know eventually I will come out the other side happier and healthier.  My body is already giving me clues and guilty pleasure in random songs that get stuck in my head, as if subconsciously my brain is cheering me on.  Today it was “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira, which ironically is where those 3” came from. 



 
 
Hopefully, my next report will have more positive news, as well as some exciting book updates.  I am waiting for the release date on Swim and just found out that Parallel will be going to AUDIO!!!  All of these tidbits and more, coming to you soon!  Until then, thanks for stopping by and happy reading!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Review of Pure by Julianna Baggott


I just finished a book, I didn’t want to put down, thank goodness it’s part of a trilogy, so I can read more.  I’ve read books in which I thought, man this would make an alright movie, but through this entire book I continued to wonder, Why has someone not made this into a movie?

I stumbled onto Pure by Julianna Baggott  by an accidental conversation.  I was waiting to pick up my child from school and was asked about a book I’d written titled Unchanged.  I, like a lot of author’s am not comfortable describing or talking about my work, but I did the best I could.  The parent I was talking with said, “Oh it sounds like Pure.”  Little did I know at the time, that was a tremendous compliment, (though the stories are nothing alike).    

Pure by Julianna Baggott is brilliant.  It is full of beauty, intrigue and upheaval.  There were definite moments when I was in tears, nervous, and sometimes a giggle or two escaped me.  Every disturbing detail presented by Baggott literally became a fascinating vision. 

Her writing style is certainly unique, one I’ve seldom come across, but it was also inspiring.  How wonderful to find an author with a true voice of their own.  The pure (no pun intended) honesty and emotion which flowed from the pages of this book absolutely stirred a hunger within me to dig deeper in my own writing.

This story is touching, curious and exciting.  It is certainly a book I recommend to anyone who enjoys, action, mystery, sci-fi, YA, romance or just plain reading.  I honestly can’t find enough positive words to express how much I enjoyed this read, except that I am ready to read the second in the series Fuse. 
 

Synopsis for Pure via Amazon:

We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.

Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.

When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cover Reveal


Just wanted to share my latest release with you. I am super excited and it looks like a release date is just around the corner.  I will certainly keep you posted.  Happy Monday!
Coming Soon from Silver Knight Publishing!
Swim

Julie is like any mother, eager to be an example of strength for her children, but first she must escape the bounds of her tumultuous marriage.  A pending divorce has her teenage daughter rebelling against her, her young son frightened, and Julie unsure.  Her unstable circumstances quickly lead to troubling nightmares and an emotionally distraught Julie is devastated to find a year of her life wasted in an institution. 

Once she is released she is eager to put things right again with her children, but is soon haunted by visions of a drowning woman.  As Julie struggles to keep perspective bits of her life begin to unravel and she soon realizes the gaps in her memory are bitter truths to her life.

A mother’s love is undying but is it enough? 

Thank you so much to the ever talented artist Reymond (Rey),
at Silver Knight Publishing!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pig Skins, Writing & Music...Oh My!


After only two months the no carbs experience has truly become second nature.  I rarely crave anything in the way of bread or potatoes.  Well, I did crave chips a couple of times with my lettuce wrap, but thanks to my wonderful mother, who reminded me of pork skins, that craving was curbed.

My success is slow but continued and that is all I can hope for.  So far I have shed sixteen pounds and twenty inches.  I still have a long way to go but it does feel good to need a belt to keep my pants up because they are too big, rather than my belly weighing them down. 

Exercise has still been an elusive creature, I have yet to tackle.  I got a couple of days in and then events, circumstances, or whatever life hands as an excuse stood in my way.  I will manage to begin again one of these days.  In the meantime, I have been able to exercise the old brain once or twice on a writing project which has been in the make for over two years.  I am over joyed to get back to it and all it took was getting some new tunes.  Bundle of Tantrums by Jasmine Thompson has proved great mood inspiring music.  Gaining momentum and rhythm is not always easy and it was a great relief to find it again.  Perhaps you can suggest some workout tunes to give me some drive and passion in that arena as well?
Bundle of Tantrums by Jasmine Thompson

Well, hopefully March will settle down soon; she came in like a lion for sure.  Hopefully, the sun will shine and flowers will perk up into a beautiful spring for us all.  Don’t forget to set your clocks back this weekend.

Happy reading and good health to you all!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Counting Crows by Terri Wallace is Delightfully Peculiar



I love details you can’t quite put your finger on.  Those little nuances that others pick up on which leave you coveting their gift for observation.
 Counting Crows by Terri Wallace is full of such subtle elements, each nook and cranny of a house which is otherwise invisible to our mind, becomes painted in an obscure light, dusty cobweb and chattering crow. 
This particular story is a marvelously twitchy look at adolescence.   The growing pains of teenage rebellion often become complicated, but when mixed with the rigid convictions of religion, it can be a down right catastrophe.  Those brought up in the south may actually relate to the inflexible tone of belief, leaving Yankees tantalized by an incredible taste of something so impossibly true.

Wallace sensationalizes what should be a simple idea, with the complexity and awkwardness that any taboo subject deserves.  Her mindful approach to each character is full of a sophisticated charm which is unparalleled. 

As with anything I have read by Terri Wallace my only complaint is endurance.  I look forward to reading more from Wallace and hope her stamina increases to give her imagination the longevity it deserves.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Supper Bowl


Well, today is January 31, 2014, not February 1st but it has still been thirty days since I began the no carb challenge.  I wanted to go ahead and write my reveal for you now, because tomorrow belongs to my family.

Drum roll please…in thirty days I have lost 14 pounds, 11 ½ inches and one dress size!!! My new eating life style has not been as difficult as I expected, it has actually bordered on easy to find ways around bread, pasta, potatoes and sugar.  However, I have not been good on my vow to only weigh once a month.  I have witnessed lots of fluctuation in my weight, (up and down), the entire month but I am happy with where I landed this morning. 

I was hoping to have a larger number to share with you by now, but then the realist in me stomps her foot and wags her finger at me, “Fourteen pounds lost is wonderful and your pants are almost comfortable again!”  That is a huge deal!  It took many years to get this big, it’s not going to fall off over night. 

I am slowly giving up those bad habits, starting with caramel in my coffee, I finally let it go.  I am excited about my workout which will begin in two weeks.  (Still nursing my husband right now and I refuse to exercise in front of him, when he has access to a camera phone.  Why?  See for yourself.)  
 
video
My daughter & I giving it our best shot!  :)

I am embracing a new mindset as well.  This is no longer a diet for me, even though I hear myself replying to offers of sweets and bread with “I can’t…” it’s not what I mean.  This is my new life.  I don’t feel deprived, I actually feel empowered.  I am finally taking charge of something I have allowed myself to play victim to for years.  I am controlling my food, it’s not controlling me.  In turn I am actually enjoying what I eat even more than ever. 

Hopefully, next month I will be able to repost the same type of loss and conviction, but right now I will focus on today and enjoy every moment of it.  Happy weekend, hope your favorite team wins the Super Bowl because I am totally winning the Supper Bowl!  :D


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Excited About Capers?




This morning I woke up from a dream of donuts.  I wasn't actually eating them but I was watching the kids stuff their faces while I rifled through a salad, excited about capers.  Excited about capers?  Hmmm.

When I woke the kids wanted waffles, one with Nutella (one of my favorite things ever).  So I hurried through making their breakfast and made us all a fruit smoothie.  I took my small portion of smoothie with me as I headed to the shower, trying to escape the sweet, warm smell of waffles.  "You can do this!" I coached myself. 

Then I saw the scale staring at me, remembering I've vowed to only weigh once a month.  "I could use some encouragement." I tell myself but as I am stepping on, my eyes are closed and I am in a battle of "Don't do it Christy!  You won’t have lost or worse you will have gained and then no one will be able to stop you from sprinting for that Nutella jar.  Don't look, I beg you!!!"  I opened one eye and peeked over my protruding belly and saw 211 staring back at me. 

Now, I know for most that would have been reason to run for the Nutella, but for me it was victory.  Nine pounds gone in eleven days is phenomenal, when all you've seen is weight gain for years.  I am so excited and even more determined. 


 
 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

I'm Not a Cow


Okay, so I am doing this diet thing.  I am even doing pretty well at it, even with these little beauties staring me in the face, (I haven’t touched them other than to dole them out to the kids). 

 
 It’s not always easy, but I just keep telling myself, “You’re not a cow…you’re not a cow.”  I am still keeping up with my resolution to be kind to myself, but when I think of carbs this is how I am seeing it now.  Grains are something we feed livestock.  Why?  To fatten them up.  I’ve been eating grains my whole life and I only have ONE stomach, so I can only imagine. 

 

As I said before I’ve been getting help with the Atkins frozen entrees.  I was asked to share my opinion on the few I’ve tried.  It has only been nine days but I definitely have some opinions already.  So far my personal favorites (in order) are: 

 
 
 

1. Beef Merlot (Exquisite!!! 5 out of 5 stars)
2. Crustless Chicken Pot Pie (Didn’t even miss the crust which is usually my favorite part 4 out of 5 stars)
3.  Chicken Broccoli Alfredo (Delicious!!!  4 out of 5 stars)
4.  Chicken Masala (Yummy!!!  4 out of 5 stars)
5.  Swedish Meatballs (Tasty as well as filling.  4 out of 5 stars)
6. Sesame Chicken Stir-Fry (Very good.  A little on the sweet side but not too bad.  3 out of 5 stars)

I prefer traditional home style cooking.  You may have a more exotic pallet.  I don’t completely dislike any of the meals I’ve tried but these were my least favorite.

*Italian Style Pasta Bake (However, I do not like Italian Sausage, if you do…you will love it.)
*Orange Chicken (This would have been good, but just a little too sweet for my liking.)
*Meatloaf with Portobello Mushroom Gravy (I think I just expected too much on this one.  I love mushrooms and again I am a home-style cooking kind of girl.  For me this had the heavy meaty taste of a school cafeteria.)
*Mexican Style Chicken & Vegetables (This was a little heavy on the cumin and just my least favorite of all sampled.)

There are plenty more entrees to try, this is just the selection I have tried so far.  The meals are all very well prepared, the vegetables in every dish have been very appetizing and I have enjoyed them very much.  I hope if you try them you enjoy them too.  (Just in case any of you are thinking it, no I do not get anything from Atkins for saying this.  I am not affiliated with them in anyway and they don’t know who I am.  However, if they wanted to give me some entrees I would not object, I can use all the help I can get.)  

Another Question I have had is…”What are you eating for breakfast?”

*Activia Black Cherry yogurt with shelled Sunflower seeds sprinkled in it.
*Eggs & Bacon
*Smoothies (I have 3 different recipes I enjoy, listed below.  They also make a nice snack.)

Mixed Berries – 1 cup ice, ½ cup coconut water or plain water & 1 cup frozen mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries & blackberries- value brand found in Wal-mart freezer section).

Sunrise – 1 cup ice, ½ cup V8 Splash (peach/mango) & 1 cup frozen mixed fruit (this has mango, peach, pineapple & strawberries - value brand found in Wal-mart freezer section).

Pumpkin – 1 cup ice, ½ water, 4 TBS canned pumpkin, 1 TBS sugar free French vanilla coffee creamer, ¼ tsp. cinnamon

I don’t have those things all at the same time, these are just an assortment of items I have allowed myself in place of toast or oatmeal. 

I’ve given you a list of all my brownie points, so here is my guilt list.  Things I need to own up to, and modify along the way.
1.      I am still enjoying my coffee with one or two squirts of caramel.
2.      I am not exercising yet.
3.      I’ve had a few weak moments where hunger got the best of me.  In those moments I have indulged in chunks of cheese or a banana rolled in sunflower seeds.  I know those aren’t great choices, but they feel better than cookies or ice cream, so I will give myself a break for now.

Lastly, my blog feels a little self-absorbed right now, and I apologize.  I’m not contributing much of value to anyone but myself.  However, I have to do this to better myself.  I hope maybe along the way I can help someone else who is struggling with the same issues and I hope you will feel free to share your experiences and tips. Thank you for the support and encouragement I have already received and God bless you in this wonderful and exciting New Year.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Fatty-itus


Okay so it’s not a resolution but maybe a revolution.  I don’t normally make resolutions, the idea is just too controlled for me and I feel it only sets me up to fail.  This year I thought I'd give it a whirl, but I kept it realistic:
1. Finish at least one writing project. 
2.  Unsubscribe to all junk email, (this will not only save me time but keep shopping temptation at bay).  
3.  Be kinder to myself (It will be impossible to do anything worthwhile without getting rid of those mean voices I have beating me up all the time).
Clear about what my promises are to myself?  Yay!  Here is my challenge:  This year I turn forty…Okay, okay 40!  I did promise myself a few years back that I would be in some sort of shape other than round or oval by the time I reached…that number.  Like everything I’ve ever done, I am a last minute sort of girl.  I work best under pressure so homework, housework, everything but planning and list making, tend to wait to the last minute.  So here we are and the countdown begins.  I have exactly seven months and eighteen days to feel better physically and it won’t be easy I’m sure.
In order to do this I have to take ownership of my bad habits, as well as my current state.  I need to be able to count on myself to take responsibility and remain accountable, something I’ve been good at avoiding.  Making it public is the first step in this process, so...
Ugly Truths:
The reasons for my current station in life are many.  I will skip the numerous emotional excuses for what started this sneak attack of padding myself, and get right to the valid reasons I’ve continued to see someone I no longer recognize.  I suffer from Fatty-itus! 
One day I woke up and was big, I mean really big.  It floored me.  I didn’t feel big, just like I don’t feel old, but there was my big body in plain sight.  I have one of those odd bodies, thin arms and legs, huge bust, no butt and a very round torso.  The bust is so large it is difficult to see anything underneath, making it easy to pretend it isn’t there, but when it starts to get awkward to reach your feet, or you want to cry when you see yourself in a picture, pretending stops being a luxury. 
Being big has changed a lot about me that wasn’t just physical.  I used to be pretty outgoing, but I find I have begun to see myself as shy. I enjoyed activities, I cringe at the thought of now, and I don't often wear make up, fix my hair or enjoy buying clothes. 
Like most misplaced youth I didn’t appreciate what I had in my glory days…yes I was one of those sad few who peeked in high school and it went downhill from there.  At a size 6 and 125 pounds, I knew what it meant to walk into a place and feel people watching you.  I never thought I was beautiful or any of that nonsense, in fact I still saw myself as big; but the energy which surrounded me sometimes was unmistakable and it was really nice.
I began 2014 a size 18 and 220 pounds.  I avoid going places, cameras, mirrors and intimacy because of shame.  When I am around others (even family), I tend to make bad jokes about my size as a defense, (sort of beat them to their own thoughts game).  I feel humiliated, lost and trapped.  I know the real me is stuck inside this padded cell, I’ve created for myself and she is dying to get out, but finding the key is not as easy as some claim it to be. 
I have tried…some attempts were halfhearted but I have tried.  There has been dieting, exercising, and praying.  Nothing worked so there was avoiding, pretending and flat out ignoring.  I’ve never found anyone that had the magic potion, who was willing to share.  So I pretty much gave up, hoping it would fix itself…but here I am and it hasn’t. 
One of my sweetie cousins posted on her social page she’d lost 37 pounds.  I was thrilled for her and optimistic for myself.  Here is someone I know, who hasn’t had surgery, didn’t pay tons of money, hasn’t worked out 24/7 and she is getting results and is still eating!!! What is her secret?  She shared with me that she was reading Primal Blue Print by Mark Sisson.  I instantly ordered my copy, and it is basically a no carbohydrate diet, which I’ve heard of.  I mean who hasn’t?  For some reason it has always seemed impossible to conceive of no bread, but this time is different. 
A few months prior to talking with my cousin I'd been telling myself I need to try cutting back on carbs and now here it is in my face, confirming the very suspicion I’ve had all along.  I’m not sure why, but I am finally ready.  So, January 1, 2014 I said bye-bye to carbs.  Have I modified things a little?  Yes.  I am not a hero in this story, just a struggling fatty.  (Oops there’s that be kind to myself thing…I’m just a struggling foodie…okay that’s a little better).
I have a few diet frozen entrees in my freezer, I’m going to finish them.  Some of them have bread, I figure I will keep those for the days I am really struggling with things.  They are low everything so maybe one give won’t take so much.  I also refuse to give up my coffee but I can limit it to one or two a day.  Then, I have a family, who is shall we say on the picky side, I still have to provide sustenance for them, so I purchased a few Atkins entrees for myself to try out, and YUMMY!  (They are great and I am satisfied). 
Today is day six, I vowed to myself to only weigh and measure on the first of each month, but this afternoon the scale was staring at me.  I was ready to get in the shower and just like chocolate will be on special days, I couldn’t resist.  I stepped up, holding my breath, and mentally coaching myself, “It’s only been six days Christy, only six days.”  But when I opened my eyes and looked down at my feet five pounds had waved good bye.  Five pounds down in six days was more than I’d hoped for. 
Yes, I realize it could be water weight but for today I choose to see it as progress.  I choose to hope this time will be different, not only because I want my husband to have the wife he deserves, and because I want my children to be able to look to me as an example, but because I deserve it. 
 
 *I will keep you posted on my progress.  For any of you who battle fatty-itus with me,  I keep you in my prayers and hope 2014 will change our lives, our habits, and our personal promises to ourselves.  Happy New Year one and all! 
*Please feel free to post your personal victories, as well as struggles, so we can support one another.