Monthly Archives: November 2018

My Name is Mary Beth Lee, and I’m a Sugar Addict





“I don’t care. I’m eating creme brûlée.”

That’s how it started last December.

Who am I kidding? It started when I was four. I still remember seeing my picture and thinking man, I’m fat.

But this iteration of my addiction started last December 17.

Two and half years into a low carb lifestyle, solid size 10 and holding I went to Vegas with hubby for our anniversary.

On the flight there I told him I was eating creme brûlée. By the time we landed I’d decided to put my eating plan on hold.


Even though low carb loving me has a ton more energy, can maintain my weight, has the best blood work, has no arthritis pain, breathes better and rarely gets sick.

But, I told myself, it’s no big deal. It’s four days in Vegas. I can handle it.

And, I sort of did.

The thing is, after that, those “breaks” happened a little more often. A piece of chocolate here, mashed potatoes there, chips and hot sauce and queso. Tamales. Margaritas.

You know. Little celebrations where food became my go-to instead of my fuel.

And I mostly maintained. I gained 10 pounds over six months, but I could drop that in a month with dedication and exercise.

That’s what I told myself as I took out the size 13s and 14s.

And then my father-in-law’s terminal cancer turned into a dark, dreaded awfulness. The every two week trips became weekly back and forth from Ft. Worth to Lawton. DH stayed there mostly. Life was a waiting game and fast food and family and stories and shared desserts and visiting and mourning and trying to stay positive and knowing the inevitable end was here.

When my father-in-law passed away,) I vowed to get it together, get back on plan, take care of myself.

The 10 pounds had become 20. The 14s, 16s.

I banned sugar from my existence. I got my flu shot.

My voice disappeared for three weeks. The first week was a weird laryngitis. The next two weeks were filled with the kind of sickness where chicken noodle soup seems like the perfect answer. Adding a piece of carrot cake to that McCallister’s order was just medicine.

The 20 pounds became 30.

And of course, that weight destroyed my body. Arthritis reared its ugly head. My ankle impinged. I had to use a scooter to get around.

You’d think THAT would be my wake up call. It took about three weeks more for me to get my head straight.

My relationship with food is all kinds of messed up. It has been my entire life. I know that. My body chemistry is different from the norm. As my doctor says, I need to steer clear of white foods. 😊

It’s not “fair,” it’s a pain in the neck to eat with friends, it’s life without ice cream–and don’t even get me started on devil’s spawn Halo Top, that slippery slope to sugar hell.

I can wish all day that working out was the answer. It’s not enough for me. Neither is simple calorie reduction.

One thing works in a way that is healthy for me. No short cuts. No “time off.” No sushi.

I started this blog a bajillion years ago with the plan to focus on weight loss, writing and family. I have no idea how many pounds I’ve lost and gained, but let me tell you, I am expert level at both.

That’s got to stop.

I know it.

So here’s to me losing weight while getting healthy, again. If we’re friends in real life, I hope you won’t be offended when I turn down the M&Ms or your homemade cupcakes or those Christmas tamales. My body needs me to say no.

Limits and Boundaries

I want to reclaim my joy. I want to reclaim my peace. I want to reclaim the feeling that all is right in my own little world.

I’m not sure how to do that.

I could take a social media break and turn off all the news. But burying my head in the sand isn’t a real answer.

I give to ACLU. I donate to candidates who support public education.

And still I turn on the news and see the border situation (We tear gassed children today. That’s nice.) and just want to cry.

Setting limits and building boundaries might work.

We’ll see.

It’s been 2 years. It feels like the whole world has changed.

I remember when all this started a political activist I follow said choose your thing, your focus, or the next four years will make you crazy. I chose public education. It’s an issue that crosses party lines. Most people are impacted by the war on public schools.

But focusing in this environment is so hard.

Still, I need to try.

I need to make finding things to be joyful for a habit again. I need to surround myself in positivity. I’m listening to Michelle Obama’s new book. That’s a start. 😊

The next four weeks are Yearbook Yearbook. That’s always fun.

My new granddaughter is such a miracle. My older granddaughter is a doll. My daughter is a strong woman. Those are things to be thankful for.

I got to spend nine days with DH. That’s always nice, especially after the last two and a half years.

I love Fort Worth.

Tarrant County voted blue.

I hit 30k on my NaNo novel, and I’ve done it without killing anyone or blowing stuff up. That’s a different kind of book for me.

I’m planning my next CLE trip.

I’m planning the beach trip.

My job is fun.

We took a microwave to my classroom today.

Creative Writing Club is still hilarious.

I’m back on low carb (day 2, yes!).

Young and the Restless is still fun to watch.

I saw an ad for a new Bridgerton book.

I got an air fryer on The Macy’s Black Friday sale.

Beto didn’t win but he’s not going anywhere either and his message is amazing.

It’s Christmastime.

There’s a Christmas station on my radio.

I have FOUR Stars games coming up.

I snagged a bag of Thanksgiving blend coffee before it sold out.

Our Bass Hall season tickets were in the mailbox today!

Gas is cheaper.

I can’t eat romaine but spinach is safe.

My ankle is still fine. The shot worked!

We watched Hitchcock and it was GREAT!

I’ll see my writer’s group friends this week!

Yeah. That helped. ❤️

Thanksgiving Family Flight Drama

I thought they were going to fight. One row in front of me a woman sat with her SO not saying a word, phone out taking notes of the invectives as the woman in front of her hurled hateful words in her direction. Eff this, eff that, they’re my blood, love them, eff, eff, eff. The longer she ranted, the more slurred her speech became. After a few minutes, she passed out on her SO’s shoulder, and both men sighed and said “finally.”

The women were beautiful. I looked around to see if there were cameras because it played out like a Real Housewives scene.

Nope. Just Thanksgiving family flight drama.

At first when the screamer started, I thought she was just ranting about something going on in the airport, but after a minute it became apparent this was ugly and personal. The three others in the group didn’t respond much. They’d seen this before, I figure.

But WE hadn’t, and in those minutes while the scene played out, a million thoughts crossed my mind.

I had my noise canceling Bose. Should I put them on and try to ignore what was going on? Should I pass them forward to the woman being verbally skewered?

At first it wasn’t even obvious they were traveling together. I listened for a few seconds and wondered if we should intervene. Once it was obvious they were family, I wasn’t as worried.

But I did wonder what would I have done if they WEREN’T related? The news is filled with people going on awful rants while others look on in stunned silence. Every once in a while someone speaks up. I always thought I would be that person. The one who got involved. But being in the situation and living in that pause while we watched in stunned silence, I don’t know. That pause leads to questions, to should I-shouldn’t I-what should I do?

There’s not a one size fits all answer.

Fortunately, watching this situation, playing the part of stunned bystander worked out all right.

A Weird I’m Thankful

I’ve always had worst case scenario brain. I’ve turned the possible bad outcomes of a situation over and over in my brain, allowing those thoughts to paralyze me. My mistakes play over in my mind again and again while I try to think of should haves and could haves.

Once I was on my way to a wedding and stopped in the middle of the trip, turned around and went back home where I suffered through the guilt of not going. But I couldn’t. My brain took over and stopped me cold. I was shaking from the inside just thinking about walking into the celebration filled with people.

Most of the time I can fake it. Force myself forward. Power through. But when I can’t, I really can’t.

I thought all that was normal, just part of me. I’ve said I’m a shy extrovert to explain it, even though that didn’t feel quite right.

It wasn’t until my daughter started posting regularly about her battles with depression and anxiety that I learned nothing about that is normal.

I’m thankful today as I visit with my daughter and her family that she is so open about the challenges she’s faced. I know it’s helped me, and I bet it’s helped others as well.