healthy mind and body


There's a thing about addiction that derails the honest try. There isn't any reason and it makes me want to cry. There's a signal in the brain that won't accept a no. And the strongest will gets worn away--the best of days can blow. But let me have my well proved tools--they help me in this fight. I cannot do it on my own--they help me get it write. I need a place to process thoughts and have a cup of tea. The combination is the key to unlock who is me. 

I have a drink of water, or a cup of tea. Write a blog or comment. Try to keep me free.

The tools are safe and, used with skill, retain or regain as I will. Control. Healthy lifetime goal.

And so. I go. To improve my hand at making tea. 

HonesT. Hones tea. 

And read a book. Check out this one. Take a look!

Marketing Mystory.

In November 2011, I started on a journey to find good health. I was obese and in pain. My weight was high and my mood was low. I had read a book that convinced me, or rather confirmed my suspicions, that I was like an alcoholic with sugar. And I wanted to change.

Part of the plan to find good health again was to write how I was feeling. And so, in January 2012, I joined Weight Watchers online to use their tracking tools and their blogging space. Over the course of time and tenacity--shrinking myself by counting points and self analysis--I lost over 75 pounds and I had more than enough words to fill a book. I spent a couple of years editing and polishing it into a readable format. I had it edited and proofed and test read. Finally, at the end of February 2016, I published The I'm Possible Journey. It was leap year and I leapt.

I say finally, but that was only the beginning of a new project. I had written it to help me continue on my journey and also to help others who might have similar troubles with sugar.

Mystory is helping my right now as I navigate through another hurdle with addiction wanting to take over. Yesterday, I read and commented on other people's stories and I also wrote several blurbs on the Weight Watchers Connect app. Not only that, I wrote a few comments in a Facebook group for Weight Watchers over 50. It got me through a fierce craving to eat in the afternoon. I would have eaten the afternoon away had I not used my tools to stay in control!

But how can I help other people who are wanting inspiration and motivation to take their health back from addiction (sugar or food)? I have a large pool of friends who are interested in my story, but what if I tried to swim in a bigger pool? That's where marketing comes in.

I resisted marketing packages for the first year plus. But then, my niece introduced me to her boyfriend who is a master marketer. Well, he's a start up. But, frankly, I think he knows what he's doing. He's on a roll and I'm relishing the increased number of views to my website. I'm not sure what I'll catch up to, but I think this could put me on a roll, too. 

Frank for tour. I can see potential for a book tour marketed by Frank. Frank's not my niece's boyfriend. That's Harry, Head of Growth. Frank is the company I'm keeping. Because, hot dog, I think it works.

What do you think? Will you buy the book? Click here!


Looking 'round in a squarespace.

I've been focused on things other than this squarespace site. Both of my daughters got married last month. Two weeks apart. I can't use that excuse forever, but I think it's still valid right at the moment. Mom meant to do a lot of things, but. I've done what I could do. And I haven't done what I couldn't do.

What I could do in the weeks leading up to the weddings (We had about eight weeks before the second wedding and four weeks before the first wedding. I'm not turning this into a weak excuse, but. That's how it was.) was stay in control of my eating. (That last sentence was chopped by a parenthetical paragraph, but. Well, no buts about it. As I mom, I'm a parent. And because my son has kids, I'm a grandparent. (To take it a step further, one of my daughters has step kids.) I see no reason to not tack that on to the "hetical" grammar scenario. If you're not used to my style, I'm driving parenthetical here. (Actually, grand parenthetical.)) Apparently, I'm not the greatest grammar, but. That's okay. I'm around. In a squarespace.

If you've checked out my book (from a library or the take a look inside feature or an actual purchase), thank you. Very much. You may already know I like to play with words. And sometimes symbols. There's a certain rhythm to my writing. Sometimes it has reason. And sometimes it crashes. The crashes haven't been fatal, though. I'm still writing. And it's still working for me as I live with my sugar addiction.

Back to the control I alluded to earlier. I had a crash close to sugar on the way home from the second wedding. There are thousands of reasons or excuses I could think about, but. (Well, there's that but again.) This time, I'm thinking thous-ands. Like blaming someone else and something else. (I was going to use another but, and decided it didn't work.) I have come to the realization (not conclusion) that it was my choice. 

That sounds a little harsh from some angles. But my try angle for this thought is mixed with compassion, I think. I chose to eat nuts and dates as I worked through an exhausted state. I didn't think I had a choice, but I did. I did it. And it's done. I am Aware. I Accept it. And now I'm Adapting.

That's a reference to "my" AAA for trip planning and emergency blowouts. Trip planning sounds a little hazardous in itself. I don't think I've thought of it that way before now. No matter. Well, yes, it matters. This is me. And this is how I right and write myself.

I could have stopped and taken a nap. I could have thrown out the dates instead of opening them. I could have written a blog post. But I didn't. I chose to do what I did and it's done. I can learn from this. And it's good. That's what I should. Focus on. (There's a brilliant thought for me to remember. In difficult situations, keep the focus on. Not off.)

If you look around in this square space, I have a link to my WordPress blog. (Since I'm using lots of parentheses in this post, I'll go for another. When I typed "link", I thought you might have thought, "I never sausage a thing!" A pun my word, it's there.)

Okay. that's enough for now. I'm writing this stream of consciousness to let folks know I know I still have a website to work on. I noticed a couple of folks have found my WordPress blog from this site and I thought I should look around my squarespace again. 

Thank you for looking around it, too. Please come again! 




Con trolls.

 I wrote recently that personifying my sugar addiction was a way for me to identify what was leading the craving or grazing movement in my journey. Sometimes it seems all about control. And when the sugar troll is controlling, it's not good. So yes. I am con troll. 

The pro and con stuff reminds me of something I wrote another time about progress. We're works in progress. Moving forward. Learning from past mistakes. Reaching with hope for better. And the opposite of that? Is it congress? 

Politics aside. (That's enough to cause multiple tremors. But perhaps I should leave the puns aside, too.) I had a conversation with someone who leads a wellness initiative for a major corporation. Like major, major. It was a big deal for little (yes, I'm under my goal weight) old (well, I'm over 50, but I don't see that as old) me to have the opportunity to speak with someone who could help my book reach a wider audience (and maybe help them be thinner). I enjoyed talking with this person and I think she enjoyed talking with me. She ended our conversation saying she's going to recommend my book to her book club. 

Back to the control issue. Part of my journey of learning to live with sugar addiction has been about control. Maybe most of it has been about control. I had people suggesting years ago that I might want to read books about sugar. But I didn't. Because maybe I wasn't ready. Or maybe I didn't want to feel like I was giving control of my problem to someone else. It's a convoluted thought from this angle (of healthier), but I think it was a real problem when sugar was in charge. (As I read what I just typed, I feel so thankful that I recognized my problem and saw a solution as I read the back cover of a book about sugar sensitivity when I was 49.)

I know I struggled with coaching calls associated with an insurance incentives program for two years when I was struggling with regaining control over sugar (and thus had a need to lose weight). I had issues with the coaches wanting to push their agendas of eat less; move more; and "how much are you going to lose before the next call" goals. I had a plan that I knew would work. Logging my food; jogging my moves; and blogging my moods. But that wasn't an acceptable plan because I was the only one who had proven it.

For some reason, the diet mode kicked in with these coaching calls and I proved again that diets don't work for me. Focus on numbers? I tend to lose control and gain weight after I've met a goal (yes, I got the incentive bonus first). Focus on words and thoughts and feeling better? My weight goes to healthy. Feeling good is the incentive. Go figure. I think my figure is better. Part of the value of my book is for people who don't struggle with these things to learn what it's like. 

My thought process may seem way out there, but I know my weigh ins are better when I use the tools that I've proven to work for me. Case in point, I regained control over sugar as I finished editing my book last year. My weigh in at the start of this year's incentive program was lower than my goal weight from the previous year. But it had ballooned after the final weigh in at the end of June. As I paid attention to where I'd been, what I'd done, and how I felt (my book), I continued to pay attention to how I was feeling and what I was eating. My mind and body felt healthy and my weight went to healthy as a side effect.

I had great difficulties with my thoughts when I was on Weight Watchers so many times in the past. I think I gave some kind of psychological power to the receptionist who weighed me as if I had to answer to her about the number on the scale. If the number was down and the reaction was good, there was cause to celebrate (usually with food). If the number was up with a sense of disapproval, there was cause for a pity party (usually with food).

I've learned that the number on the scale is just a tool of awareness. A snapshot in time. It doesn't define me. And it doesn't have to make me feel bad. What really makes me feel bad is poor food choices, not writing out my thoughts and not getting exercise. It's a big deal to be aware of this, accept it, and make adaptations.

I felt a twinge of difficulty at my last weigh in when I was getting my free Weight Watchers eTools for April. I knew I was under goal weight before I weighed in. I also knew I weighed a little more than the last month's weigh in. (You may be thinking I'm weigh in over my head on the psych stuff.) The very nice woman looked at my number and said, "Oh." (pause) "Your weight is up." (apologetic/worried/sad look) My response was, "I'm aware of that, but I'm also aware that I'm under my goal weight and I qualify for an eTools voucher." She quickly recovered her cheeriness and congratulated me on being at free lifetime for so long. I got my voucher and my weigh in booklet back. And headed to the meeting space. Not end of story.

This troll that is my sugar addiction can take the tiniest wedge and work it to distraction. It doesn't succeed much any more, but it still tries to knock me off and grab control over me again. About the same time, I had the bizarre thought that perhaps my book sales would take off and at some point make me a more public figure. I remember reading about some celebrity who had made some public announcement about being off sugar only to have pictures of her with a sugar and soda laden grocery cart plastered on some media outlet with a mocking caption of hypocrisy. "Oh!" says my troll. "You're running out of chances to buy and eat stuff without people noticing." How crazy is that? It's part of why I'm con trolls. I didn't buy sugary stuff, but I did find out that plain popcorn might as well be sugar for me. I ate too much and went for more. But now I'm processing it in my head. And now I'm aware. I care. And I'll beware! Addiction is no joke.

I had a mishap with a platelet donation (major bruising and nerve pain) that messed up my sleep and typing abilities. Actually it made a big impact on my exercise program, too. I found out that my tools of blogging and jogging make a huge difference in how much control I have over this persistent troll. If I'd continued to log my food, I might have done better. But it's over now. While I didn't cave into eating processed sugar or processed grains (they're pretty much sugar to my system), I found myself out to pasture and grazing more than once. Moo. 

The infiltration and subsequent nerve aggravation is pretty much resolved. I've gotten back into running and stretching. My typing has picked up again and I remember how valuable processed thoughts are when I'm trying to avoid processed food. If I can take the time to think past the eating, I'm better able to keep the eating to fueling. Not fooling myself into thinking the food will help me cope with something other than hunger. The mind can be a terrible thing to waist. Or, used with control, it can be a wonderful shrink. And the troll is not in charge.

Back to the weigh in last month and the weird feeling I had when the receptionist made her remarks. I think there was an element of doubt that I perceived (whether she meant it or not). And that was enough of a wedge for the troll to start working. I'm writing about it now because that's how my tools work. I'm processing the thoughts for progress. So they can't be congress.

I learned quite some time ago that it doesn't really help me to make up substitutions for things I stay away from because the substitutions can also make me feel lousy or out of control. Cookies and cakes and candies can be made without processed sugars and grains, but if I go overboard by eating too much of them, I'm really relinquishing my control. If I can't stop, it's not good for me.

I did figure out how to make a pretty great tasting single serving dark chocolate bark, though. Don't read the rest of this if you don't think you can handle it. It doesn't take very long to make. And it takes even less time to eat. I knew I was in trouble with it when I stopped waiting for it to solidify. This was during the time I couldn't type much and couldn't exercise much, though.

Perhaps that was why I let the troll in for a little while. I wasn't using all of my tools to stay in control. Fortunately for me, I realized I was going to the dogs (sorry dog lovers, it's a phrase). I craved feeling better more than the dark chocolate bark. Woof.

Just in case you're curious, though: 

Dark Chocolate Bark. (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free, but not Taste Free)

1 tsp coconut oil. 1 tsp almond butter or peanut butter. 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder. pinch of salt. drop of vanilla extract.

Optional add ins: teaspoons of unsweetened coconut flakes, raisins. chopped pecans or other nuts. 

Combine coconut oil and almond butter in small dish. Microwave until liquid (15 seconds).
Stir in remaining ingredients.
Place in muffin wrapper or on waxed paper lined plate.
Place in freezer for a few minutes to solidify.

This can be made without the raisins for a less sweet version. Larger quantities can be dangerous for sugar addicts. Full discosure: I never made it in this small of a batch. Measurements are estimated. Measurements will be larger if you eat too much.