Category Archives: diet

Too Comfortable

I have this thing, this issue, this constant. When *xyz* gets going good, I get comfortable, get cocky, get way too sure and boom! everything falls apart.

I almost always weigh and measure my food to track it. LCHF life. Totally worth it. But I know there’s a future date out there where I’ll say it’s okay to NOT weigh because I’ve got this and that becomes another day and another and then pounds creep up on me. And break. Rewind. Redo. It’s a vicious cycle.

In writing I write daily when my story is sparkly and new and I love everything about it. I’ll plug along until mid-point and sleep in one morning then another and another…and before I know it I’ve barely written words in a month or more, and I’m in love with lazy wordless mornings.

Work is the same. Working out is the same. Washing my face every night is the same. Taking my daily vitamin? Check.

It’s just my norm.

Now that I KNOW that, it’s something I can tackle. Intentional eating, meditation, workouts, planning. Intentional LIFE.

I can do it!

Shout out to the book Atomic Habits for helping me process this! If you haven’t read it, you should.

What I’m Loving: DGD’s 4th birthday ❤️, hot tea, Saginaw Night Writers, spending time with DH, making my I Want list

What I’m Writing: So Much For Happily Ever After

Surround Yourself With Creatives

Creativity is contagious. My writers group meets at the local library Tuesday evenings. The meetings always inspire me.

It’s easy to not write, but when I go to the meetings I HAVE to write something, even if it’s not great. The more I go, the more I write. The more I write, the better I write…it’s a cycle.

There’s something about writing in community that refreshes my writing spirit.

I almost didn’t make tonight’s meeting since I came home from work with enough time to do a short workout and decided to try HIIT. I nearly died. It’s back to Zumba tomorrow!

What I’m loving: my current WIP, Night Writers, the Dallas Stars, Mixtiles (they are as good as the Facebook ad says!), Quest snickerdoodle cookies, LCHF

What I’m writing: So Much For Happily Ever After

Just Dance

My entire life I’ve wanted to dance.

Way back when I was a kid our school’s dance team was the best. Every girl I knew wanted to dance for them. The process to make the squad was brutal and the girls who did it worked their butts off all year long. A lot like dance teams today.

I didn’t know anything about dancing.

When I was little dancing wasn’t allowed. By the time I reached high school dancing was allowed but frowned on.

It didn’t matter, though, because even if I COULD have danced, I can’t. Dance. Not a bit. I have no rhythm. Elaine on Seinfeld’s a better dancer than me.

That didn’t stop me from trying.

Not that I would have been able to do anything with dance team if I could have danced. Their skirts were too short and that was very important to my elders back in the day. Funny the things that mattered back then.

Anyway, there’s no happy ending to that part of the story. I didn’t have some amazing Footloose moment and sock it to the religious patriarchy with their no-no-nos and dance my heart out under the Friday Night Lights. Like I said. Can’t dance.

Fortunately my late teens/early 20s were spent in the 80s when the ability to dance in the clubs on college night just meant you could jump around for hours and shout the words they wouldn’t play on the radio and do the Cotton Eyed Joe. I could Cotton Eyed Joe with the best of them. But that’s not real dancing. I mean not real dancing the way I did it.

Flash forward to a few years ago when I saw this new class at the Bill Bartley Y. Zumba. I love Zumba with every ounce of my being. I can’t dance, but I can Zumba. Everyone can Zumba.

I Zumba’d for the first time in a long time tonight.

I’ve been Sweating’ to the Oldies. Everyone can do that too, but, sorry Richard, it’s just not as fun.

I’m listening to Atomic Habits, and the author James Clear talks about announcing your intentions. About saying what you are going to do out loud even if you’re alone in a room. Giving voice to your intentions makes you far more likely to get them done.

So here I am. Announcing my intentions. I’m going to dance. I’m going to dance Zumba style. And who knows? Maybe one day I’ll find my rhythm.

What I’m Loving: Zumba, duh! Atomic Habits, Diet Dr Pepper, Dumplin‘, LCHF

What I’m Writing: So Much For Happily Ever After (hit 52k today!)

 

 

 

 

Focus On The New

Today’s Daily Calm worked so perfectly with what I’m reading in Atomic Habits. So often in the new year we focus on the old instead of the new. On what we’re going to fix instead of on the process we will incorporate to get what we want.

It’s interesting how often that message has been hammered home to his week. Last night Seguin scored, and after the game the reporter asked him about finally making that goal. He said he was going to continue his focus on the process and not the outcome. That’s important. He’s an elite level athlete and that focus is essential.

I want to bring the process focus to all areas of my life.

I love the Daily Calm app and meditation.

What I’m Loving: again, the DoTERRA On Guard mouthwash (for real, you should try it), Dallas Stars hockey, my writing group, The Daily Calm, holiday FaceTime dates with DD and granddaughter.

What I’m Writing: So Much for Happily Ever After

Low Carb Helps

I’m a week and half in to my LCHF eating, back on track after months of not worrying about my diet.

10 days.

My acid reflux is gone.

My mood is significantly better.

My menopause symptoms are gone.

I’m thankful for all of that. But the biggest change is in my ankle.

It could just be time after cortisone a month ago, but I think it’s more than that.

My ankle was impinged. Doc said he couldn’t say exactly why, but we were going to try cortisone and if that didn’t work we’d move to exploratory surgery. My ankle is filled with hardware so MRIs can’t tell us anything.

The cortisone made a HUGE difference, but I still had to wear compression socks and boots.

Last Saturday I noticed the pain was gone. Yesterday I had full ankle mobility for the first time in months.

I’m not a doctor, but it’s pretty great that I feel better across the board AND the inflammation in my ankle is gone.

I have an ugly relationship with food. Low Carb helps with that. Hopefully this helps even more!

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

Weight.

Weight.

Weight.

Weight.

“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.

Again.

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.

First training session 

OMG.

Today I learned how to do a squat. The trainer, Shane, told me I’d be doing this, and I laughed at him. Yeah right.

If you know me you understand.

But no, really, today I did squats. 

And I learned how to bend and sit.

If you’re someone who knows this stuff, it looks pretty easy.

If you’re me…OMG.

I didn’t actually realize how hard I was working until it was time to leave and I had to walk again. Lol.

My knees are jelly now. 

I’m proud of me, and I’m thankful for the trainer who says “You’re not broken” while he helps me start down this road to strength and real mobility.

*cool thing about the trainer: he did his master’s at MSU. Yay Midwestern!

Gym Time

When I was nine we moved to Texas.

What I remember from that time: every girl could do a cartwheel and most wanted to be  cheerleaders. I could not do a cartwheel, but I did want to be a cheerleader.

In junior high we started gym classes. Nothing in my junior high world was worse than gym. 1. I was overweight. 2. I couldn’t run, shoot baskets, serve volleyballs, hit softballs, do cartwheels, climb ropes or any of that awfulness. I did love that parachute thing we bounced a ball around on, and scooter races were always fun. 

Today I went to the gym I joined before leaving on vacation. I’ve been one other time. That was to meet with the trainer last week.

The trainer told me I have a mental block where athletics is concerned. He thought it might have been because of a bad coach. But it isn’t that. I LOVED one of my junior high PE teachers. She absolutely believed in me. She believed in all of us. 

I don’t really know what the problem is. 

But I know the trainer is right about my mental block.

I know because I have to psych myself up to drive up the road to go, and then I have to psych myself up to get out of the car and go inside.

Today I sat in the parking lot and told myself to stop being so ridiculous.

And then I took this selfie.


I told myself one day I’d look back at the photo and laugh.

But I don’t know. I look at it now and don’t really feel very funny.

A million moons ago I started this blog because it was January, I’d started a diet and I wanted to develop my writing voice.

Going to the gym is just part of the story.

Gratitude Affects Attitude

thanks

I did less this break than I have in years. I don’t regret that. I needed to breathe. To just be for a bit. So I did, and I feel better right now than I have in months. It’s funny how I was dragging all this negativity around with me all semester and how doing that led to something heavy building inside me. Whatever that was manifested itself in sickness that stayed with me until the bitter end of December. It’s funny how taking the time to breathe actually made me physically able to really breathe.

I’ve always believed in mind over matter, that a positive attitude creates positivity, in the laws of attraction, in letting go and letting God. But believing and acting on those beliefs are two different things.

I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

I’m going to dedicate much of my blog time to reinforcing my life affirmations.

Thankfulness is one of the keys. I’m incredibly thankful for so many people who have been in my life. Without others I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I’m thankful for my students over the years who gave so much of their time and talent to the Rider media program. I’m thankful for family members and for my small group. I’m thankful for my old writing group that challenged me and taught me and inspired me, and I’m thankful for my new writing group…even though it’s so far away. I’m thankful for my daughter who has always shared her life with me and for my incredible husband who is my best friend and my love.

I’m thankful for BBC and their incredible mysteries and Gilmore Girls and Netflix. I know that seems silly, but my break of nothingness translated to time spent with Netflix, George Gently, Phryne Fisher and the Gilmores.

I’m thankful for Zumba. I forget how much I like it, and then I get started again and it makes me so happy…two days and counting this time.

I could go on, but I think I’ll save the rest for later. 🙂

Thanks

Such a little word

That means so much

And so little

At the same time

A word full and empty

Like all words but not

Because thanks

Matters.

It seems

Like a word for others

But in reality

It’s a word for you.

A Happy New Year, THANK GOD!

NYE 2015I love new years. Each one makes me sigh in relief. Even if the year before was great, the clean slate of a new year shines like my classroom’s waxed floor in August before my classes stars.

This last year was NOT great. It should’ve been. I saw plenty of personal successes. But it wasn’t. I saw this image on Pinterest yesterday. It seems appropriate for what was 2014.

lost

I’m glad the minute that was 2014 is over now. It’s easy to find yourself at the end of a two-week break. I look forward to continuing that journey. And if I lose myself, I hope to do it in a way that is fun and fulfilling instead of a way that leaves me sick and tired and demoralized and up two sizes.

Here’s the thing. No person or entity or schedule or dashed expectation can make me lose myself. I know that. In the moment, though, it’s easy to forget that. It’s easy to place blame and waste tears and sink into the morass of dejection and powerlessness. But the deal is I’m only powerless if I cede my power. I did that in ’14. That’s over now. 🙂

I’m looking forward to 2015 and all it’s waxed floor shininess. I plan on moving the furniture of my life and expectations around a bit and scuffing the floor of this year. I’m going to be a grandma–sometime in the next month–and I’m getting rid of these two sizes I’ve gained and I’m going to write more Liz Lee romances (those are the steamy ones…proceed with caution). More than anything, I’m going to surround myself with positivity. That doesn’t mean I’ll accept the awful in education. I’ll still fight for fixes there. That doesn’t mean I’ll be okay with hate and misogyny and inequality. I’ll still post stories that expose those behaviors. It does mean I won’t let those things take away my joy.

I’m looking forward to 2015!