I am not a very flexible person.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I will bend over backward for the sake of others. I have a tough time telling anyone “no” when I’m asked to do something. In fact, I have such a problem with this that I will ignore phone calls from work on my off-hours because if I don’t answer, I don’t actually have to say “no” when I’m asked to come in on my day off.

I like routine. I hate it when something messes it up. Initially, I planned to say that changes in my schedule and/or routine make me “nervous.” That would be a lie. It completely freaks me out.

Lately, my morning routine has involved spending more than two hours at the gym. I start with my LIIFT4 workout of the day, hop on the treadmill for an hour, and then take a shower. This routine has been okay. I get to relax and take time, and by 8am, my step goal has been crushed.

However, it’s only been “fine” because I had the time. I went from working primarily in the afternoons to not working at all. When you don’t have to be at work before noon, it’s easy to take the time to spend two hours in the gym. It’s also easy to let the morning routine drag on and take much longer than it should (Parkinson’s Law, anyone?)

I’m working a job that requires me to be at work before 8:30 some days.

This change in my schedule caused me to panic slightly. First, it meant that I needed to figure out a breakfast I could eat on the go. No more plates of eggs, fruit, breakfast meats, and bread. Second, it put a damper on my morning routine at the gym. There are days when I don’t make it to the gym before 6am. Sometimes, it’s 100% my own fault for not preparing the night before or moving slowly. Other times, I’m unable to get into the bathroom before 5:30 because someone else is in there.

When I found out about the schedule change, my initial thought was to go to the extreme: 4am wake-up.

The problem with a 4am wake-up time is that I probably don’t get enough sleep as it is. Losing an extra hour isn’t going to benefit me in any way (especially not at the gym).

Do I need to be a bit more on top of things when it comes to not putzing around in the morning? Absolutely. Still, that only helps so much. It certainly doesn’t do me any good when my gym bag is packed, my workout clothes are laid out, and I’m up and out of bed by 5:10 only to realize that I have to wait 20 minutes before I can go to the bathroom and weigh myself.

I need to remember that my goal is not to spend two hours at the gym. My goal is to complete the LIIFT4 workouts scheduled for the week, go on four 30-minute walks, and get 8,000 daily and 70,000 weekly steps. The fact that I’ve been able to go above and beyond that goal was a blessing, but it was never my goal.

So, maybe the answer isn’t to wake up early. Perhaps the solution is to simplify my routine a bit. On days that I go into work later, sure, I can take advantage of the extra time to lift and walk on the treadmill. On days I have to be at work earlier, maybe, I’m only going to lift (unless it’s Wednesday when I’ll walk). Perhaps there will be days when I do both, but I’m only getting 30 minutes on that treadmill.

The idea of spending less time at the gym makes me nervous. I’ve been getting 80,000-90,000+ steps a week lately. I’m not sure what my step counts will look like if I’m not spending as much time on the treadmill in the morning. I feel like I may have (subconsciously) been trying to race my calories during my reverse diet. I’ve been raising that bar with my activity, hoping that, maybe, I can go just a few more weeks adding to my calorie target. So, while I’ve finally reached the point where my calories are staying put (I think), the idea of having to dial back on my activity worries me (especially since my weight is a tad higher than I’d like it to be at the moment).

Still, it may be what I need to do. Besides, it may open me up to the possibility of having more time in my mornings to get back to reading and journaling.

It doesn’t make this process any easier. I’m still mentally freaking out about everything. I’m just hoping that this will get easier once I get through the initial adjustment period. Perhaps, I’ll learn how to be a bit more flexible one day.



Does anyone ever feel like they’re in a constant state of taking one step forward and two steps back?

That’s how I feel sometimes.

A few months ago, I paid off several thousand dollars of credit card debt. Shortly after, I discovered that a mix-up due to some misinformation I was given has led me to owing another $1,200. Fortunately, I should be able to cover that with my tax refund, but I had plans to save that money towards something other than debt payment.

For the longest time, I racked up debt and refused to save money. Why bother? It seemed that every time I started to slowly build up my savings, something would happen. Typically, the “something” would be suddenly needing to replace all of my car tires after getting one flat. The expense would wipe out the money I had set aside (and often more).

And yes, I could also see the good in that. It’s far better to wipe out my savings account than it would be to get a flat tire and have no savings at all. So, perhaps the fact that these financial emergencies came up when I was better equipped to handle them was a blessing.

It still sucks though.

Now, despite this minor setback with this debt, I am doing fairly well financially. I have a decent chunk of change in savings right now thanks to the most recent stimulus. I’m managing to put aside a little extra every time I get paid. For the first time in my adult life, despite only making about $175 a week, I’m not completely living paycheck to paycheck. The money I get from SNAP benefits helps, of course, but even without that, I have enough money to put gas in my car and buy food (with money left over for other expenses. Am I absolutely thriving? No. I’m still waiting on news about my appeal to Unemployment about my benefits (long story short, they were cut off even though, according to the data on the website, they shouldn’t have been; at my current job, I should still be entitled to those benefits). Do I particularly need the benefits? No. I’m managing without them. However, that extra $300 a week would be nice to put towards saving towards my dream home. (I want a tiny house).

It’s not just finances though. I’ve been struggling with finding a balance with my workouts. Nothing I do ever feels like it’s enough, yet I find myself feeling completely burned out by nothing. I’ve made a few changes to my routine which I think helps, but that nagging feeling that I should do more hasn’t gone away.

I’m also about a month-and-a-half into my reverse diet. It’s been wonderful in terms of me learning to break up with some of my old food rules. I’m enjoying foods I used to restrict because I was afraid I would binge on them. I definitely have a long way to go in breaking up with my food rules, but I’m still proud of the progress I’m making.

But I’m also having some body image struggles. I’m used to having the gratification of watching the number on the scale go down, but I’m not getting that anymore. Part of me loves the food freedom eating more is giving me, but there’s another part of me that wants to go back to restricting for the sake of seeing the scale go down again.

The thing I’m struggling with most, in this moment, is feeling like I’m always sabotaging myself. I have a habit of mentally celebrating a personal victory in the realm of my mental health- only to turn around and do the thing I was celebrating not doing before.

Sometimes, it really feels like I’ve made zero progress when it comes to managing my mental illnesses. True, the social anxiety has been less of an issue lately, but the lack of socializing due to the pandemic may be playing a factor there.

I haven’t seen a counselor in months. My work schedule is just too sporadic. Since I don’t have any consistency in my schedule (the days and hours I work each week change and I don’t have advance notice of my schedule), it makes scheduling the time for my mental health challenging. I knew this was a possibility when I started working; I turned down this particular job because the job was unable to accommodate my counseling appointments last year.

I probably should see one though. I don’t necessarily believe it helped any when I was seeing someone (I went through three counselors in the last year because they kept going on maternity leave). Plus, I also wonder if I should get some more evaluations done in regards to figuring out everything that’s wrong with me and exploring other treatment options. I already know I have Avoidant Personality Disorder, Mild Recurrent Depression, Social Anxiety Disorder, and General Anxiety Disorder. I was also told that I may have an unspecified trauma disorder and ADHD, but both of those require more testing to confirm or rule out.

There’s also a chance that some of my issues may be hormonal. Whether it’s something like PMDD (thankfully, without physical symptoms beyond being ravenous every few months) or simply just hormones exacerbating my existing mental illness symptoms, I’m not sure. But there’s something going on there.

I don’t know what any of this means. I can’t exactly afford to quit my job for the sake of therapy even if it does help. However, I’m also not keen on the idea of going back on medication to try to manage my symptoms. (Oh and the fact that I work with my mom which makes taking time off work for personal reasons nearly impossible; if I worked elsewhere, I’d be able to take time off and she wouldn’t know).

I just know that I feel completely stuck right now.


Throwback Thursday: Happy Magic Marker [June 18, 2013]

I have a habit of finding television shows and watching them through from beginning to end. I’ve done it with The Golden Girls/The Golden Palace (many, many times), Pokemon, Boy Meets World, and more. My current obsession is The Facts of Life.

There’s one scene in particular that Nick at Nite used in its old advertisements for the show. It comes from a season one episode where several of the girls are going on diets to lose a few extra pounds. One of the girls, Cindy, asks Natalie if she would join the others in dieting to become “pencil-thin.” Natalie refuses: “Who wants to be a skinny pencil? I’d rather be a happy magic marker.”

Now, Natalie’s character was known for being overweight (later on, they had to dress Mindy Cohn in baggy clothes because she lost weight due to a new love of dancing; it was their way of compromising the situation).

However, I don’t feel like that comment was the character advertising that she wanted to stay fat.

Pencils are thin, dull instruments of writing. I cannot recall the last time I used a pencil. It was probably for a Scantron test in school. That’s all I ever use pencils: for filling in test bubbles.

Sure, they do have “fat” pencils, but those are generally reserved for young children who are just learning to write. I find it interesting that they were comparing thin people with pencils. After all, isn’t the general view on weight that a little baby fat is acceptable on a young child?

A young child uses fatter pencils, but grows up to use skinny ones.
A young child has a little bit of baby fat, but is expected to grow out of it and be thin as a teenager/adult.

The thing is, when people hear that line from The Facts of Life, they seem to come to one conclusion:

Pencils= thin
Markers= fat.

There’s a significant flaw in that thought process, however. Have you been down the Crayola aisle at the store lately? Markers come in all sizes. Thin and thick. Some markers are short, and others that are tall. Some markers have points meant for drawing and coloring, while others simply have little stamps on the end. Some markers are seemingly useless, but a new color will appear when you color over another marker. There are even markers that will only show their true colors if you use them on particular paper and wait a moment.

How is that such a bad thing? All of the markers have the same purpose: to make art. Some might be better for simple coloring on scrap paper, some might be better suited for decorating a t-shirt, and there are even some that only show their true colors among the company of certain other markers or using special paper.

That’s not much unlike us. We all have a calling to do something, but different people shine in different areas. Some of us don’t really shine unless we are in a certain environment, or with the right people, and that’s okay.

We come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. We all have a different purpose and work best in different environments. Meanwhile, the media is trying to get us to conform to some bizarre concept of “beauty” where we are all walking skeletons. Talents and personalities do not matter as long as you fit the image. When taking a scantron test, it doesn’t matter what color your pencil is- just as long as it’s a number 2 pencil [Why is it called the number 2? Who uses any other kind?] It’s just like putting a different color dress on each member group of identical, size 00 fashion models. It means nothing.

Why be like a boring, skinny pencil that’s best used for a generic “one-size-fits-all” test when you have the option of being a happy magic maker?


Goldilocks: The Problem with WW

It seems like every few days, someone comes online and posts some rant complaining that WW is too low in calories. People start double tracking on MyFitnessPal or LoseIt, or leave WW and start using iTrackBites with their secondary metric and see that they’re barely eating 1,000 calories a day. They don’t understand why their calories are so low, and they’re quick to blame WW and not their own food choices.

I’ve never had that problem- at least, not on SmartPoints. In fact, even on the Green Plan, where there aren’t as many zero point foods, I’ve struggled with eating too many calories.

That’s where the problem with WW lies.

I’ve talked before about how there’s very little correlation between calories and points on SmartPoints. If I eat 30 points of chicken breast, that’s over 2,000 calories. That same 30 SmartPoints can also give me a 640 calorie Bundtlet from Nothing Bundt Cakes.

Of course, nobody is going to only eat chicken or cake for a day, but it illustrates the root of the problem. It’s possible to be “perfectly” on plan- at least, according to the numbers on your tracker- and be way over or way under a reasonable calorie target.

In the past, this wasn’t as much of an issue (though, I’d say the old Points System teetered on being a little too low in calories). On Points, a point was approximately 50-100 calories. On PointsPlus, it was 40-80. On SmartPoints? I’ve seen as low as 16 calories per point and as high as over 200. That’s a pretty big range.

In WW, we’re taught to trust the plan. Track the food, stay in your points, and trust the plan. After all, WW is based on the latest science when it comes to nutrition and weight loss.

And I’m not denying that- to an extent. After all, most of us could afford to eat more protein and less sugar.

However, at the end of the day, we still have a program where some people are eating too little while being told, “remember that 0 point foods have calories!” Some people are taking full advantage of those same 0 point foods and overeating. It’s Goldilocks. Some are eating too much. Some are eating too little. Some just happen to be eating just the right amount.

SmartPoints isn’t self-regulating. There’s nothing in the app telling members if they’re eating too much or too little beyond the very unreliable SmartPoints system.

This is a problem.

WW has created a system that people trust to help them healthily lose weight, and I believe it can be that system, but not without some changes.

I think WW needs to start incorporating a calorie target into the app. Specifically, it needs to be a reasonable calorie range that considers the member’s age, weight, height, biological sex, and activity level. With WW discouraging the use of FitPoints (which I understand, to an extent), they basically say that I should eat the same amount of food as someone who is a complete badass when it comes to lifting weights and working out. That’s just wrong.

The goal should be to utilize your daily, weekly, and FitPoints (if necessary)- along with your zero point foods- to hit that calorie range. It’ll be up to you to figure out what works best for you (which is the whole point of SmartPoints anyway- this just makes it more transparent).

Will it happen? I doubt it. That’s one of the reasons I love that iTrackBites doesn’t allow you to follow Better Balance (the equivalent to WW Blue) without a Pro Membership. The pro membership also gives you the ability to track a secondary metric: macros or calories. Sure, you can opt-out of using it, but it’s available for everyone on Better Balance.

That’s the first step in improving this major flaw in the WW SmartPoints system. It’s not the only thing that needs to be fixed. People need to be educated on metabolic adaptation. We need to stop pushing this idea that 1,200 calories a day is appropriate for most adults. 

But we can start by fixing the Goldilocks issue with SmartPoints and making people aware of how much they’re eating.


Uncertainty and Changing Plans

I’ve been second-guessing my decision to track SmartPoints.

I know. It’s been two weeks. Actually, it’s been less than two weeks.

Yet, I’m having some doubts.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not second-guessing my decision to step away from calorie counting and track points/bites. I am absolutely 100% committed to that decision. Admittedly, letting go of some of that control is hard, but it is worth it. I would rather have a little uncertainty over the exact number of calories consumed if it means not needing to pull out my food scale or tracker as often.

However, I’m not sure that I went back into the right plan.

I love SmartPoints. While I think there are good things to say about all of the SmartPoints plans, Green has always been my happy place. It’s a very livable plan for me.

So, why would I give that up?

Unfortunately, as much as I love Green, the plan isn’t without its flaws. The biggest drawback is that even with the smaller list of zero-point foods (compared to Blue and Purple), there isn’t much of a correlation between points and calories. 30 SmartPoints of chicken and 30 SmartPoints of cake have a very different calorie count.

I don’t plan on being in weight loss mode very long. Eventually, I’m going to take another break. I’m not sure when that’s going to be. I’m also not sure how I’m going to do it. I understand that reverse dieting involves gradually increasing my daily calories week by week until I hit maintenance. I’m just unsure if I’ll be mentally ready to count calories by the time I’m prepared to switch.

Trying to gradually increase my daily SmartPoints is likely to have mixed results simply because the calories don’t line up with the points.

They do with PointsPlus.

The closer correlation between PointsPlus and calories isn’t the only reason I’m considering a switch. Protein is another factor. When I weigh my food out in grams, it’s difficult for me to “see” portion sizes. Since protein lowers the SmartPoints value, I can easily overeat something like chicken breast. On PointsPlus, most lean protein follows a 1 point per ounce guideline. If I have a 12pp portion of chicken, I should probably cut it in half.

I also can’t forget that I stopped tracking SmartPoints in June for a reason. On both PointsPlus and SmartPoints, most of what I eat is the same points. Now, there are some differences, of course, but they balance out. My chicken is a point lower on SmartPoints, but the teaspoon of ghee is a point higher. Unless I have a day where I have some extra sweet treats, things even out. I don’t eat sweets every day. Over a week, I get more points on SmartPoints than PointsPlus. So, the fact that the points for most of my meals balance out is relatively significant.

It sounds like I’ve made up my mind. I haven’t. I feel like I should stick it out a little longer before I switch plans again. After all, I like what I’m doing now. Is this just “the grass is always greener” syndrome? Am I doing this because I’m frustrated that the scale hasn’t shown much movement over the past two weeks, and I think a new plan will kickstart my weight loss?

The latter is definitely a factor in my thought process, but I know that cannot be why I decide to switch plans. Chasing after the plan that gives the quickest results doesn’t work.

That’s why, despite wanting a plan where points and calories are more aligned, I’m not looking at trying the old Points plan. I know that’s not a sustainable plan for me.

At the end of the day, I just need to make a decision. If I decide to switch to PointsPlus tomorrow and am completely miserable, I can always switch back after the week. My goal is to stay in my daily and weekly points. Switching plans doesn’t change that.


Tending List: January 2021

2020 is almost over!

Can we get an “Amen?!”

I’m currently writing to the squeak of my Cubii because I’d rather not be pacing my room at 10 pm tonight trying to get my steps in. I don’t have anywhere I need to go today, so I’m saving on gas and staying home. Unfortunately, without going shopping or running errands, getting my steps in is a challenge. I know the Cubii doesn’t replace a workout, but at least I’m moving.

Even though the new year is still a few days away, I’ve already started on my January 2021 Tending List. I debated starting my new year this week or next week. I like Monday starts. Ultimately, I decided to start yesterday because it coincided with the start date of my beautiful, new Erin Condren LifePlanner. 

This tending list is a little different than the few I filled out for 2020. For one thing, I hardly have any daily action items/habits. One of my 2021 goals is to create a habit blanket where I track my consistency in completing 20-26 daily habits. Since I have a habit tracker in my Erin Condren planner, I wanted to dedicate my Powersheets to things I want to work on short-term but don’t necessarily want to commit myself to do for the year or beyond. 

That being said, here are my January 2021 Powersheets Goals:

Monthly Action Items

Read This Year I Will by MJ Ryan

This is the Diva and the Divine Book Club book selection for January, so this is the one book I must read during the month. That being said, it’s not the only book I plan on reading. Do I have a specific reading list? No. I just pan on reading more than one book during the next five weeks. (We can overlook the fact that I still haven’t finished the December book, The Power of When. I’m slowly working my way through it, but I’ll be honest: I’m having the hardest time focusing. It’ll get done though.)

Switch all banking to Simple

I’m not 100% switching all of my banking to my Simple account, but this was the best phrasing I thought to use. One of my main 2021 goals is to get my finances in check. I paid off a lot of debt in 2020, but I still have a long way to go.

I have a Capital One savings and credit card account that I’ve become a little to dependent on. I have some automatic payments scheduled to come out of the savings account, and I’ve been a little too spend-crazy with the credit card. It’s made it increasingly difficult for me to keep track of where my money is going, so I’m in the process of transitioning everything over so I’m only using my Simple account. I’m utilizing Simple’s Expenses features and Good Budget to start somewhat of a “cash envelope” system. In the mean time, I’ve locked my credit card (so I can’t be billed for any more reoccurring charges while I transfer and cancel subscriptions). 

Return Amazon Packages

There’s really not much to say about this one. I have a few Amazon purchases that I need to return. I just need to go out and take care of them. Right now, the plan is to have the money refunded to my Amazon account balance to help cover my next Subscribe and Save order of supplements. 

Schedule a video call with a friend I haven’t seen in over a year

One of my closest friends moved away last year and the last time we spoke was in March on her eldest’s Birthday. I want to make sure I send a little more time interacting with people outside of my household. Obviously, COVID makes that difficult, but to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t very social pre-pandemic either. Having little to no social interaction outside of my household members, who can be toxic at times, has been rough. While I still can’t spend time with friends in person, I can find other ways to spend time cultivating relationships that matter. 

Create a new copy of my resume

I’ve been out of work since July and I’m having no luck finding work. One of my main goals for January is to fix up my resume. I’ve already reached out for some help in this area becasue,currently, my resume isn’t getting any kind of results. 

Get my flu shot

Prorastination at its finest. I know I should’ve gotten it done a couple months ago, but I just keep putting it off. Last year was the first year I even bothered getting one- after getting the flu twice in two months. I’ll get it done, and maybe it’ll be on a fall tending list in 2021 like it should be. 

Schedule an appointment for a physical

I currently don’t have a primary care physician. I’m one of those “go to the doctor only if sick” people- and even then, I only go because prescriptions are covered by insurance and I an’t always afford over the counter medicine. When sick, however, I generally just go to my local urgent care center. 

It’s been years since my last physical, and I’m not really sure my last physical really counted. It was mainly just getting a TB test for a daycare job. I don’t think I’ve had a proper physical since I was a child. 

Schedule an eye exam

My last eye exam was about three or four years ago, so I’m definitely overdue. I’ve felt, for the past year or so, that my glasses aren’t quite doing their job. Now, lot of that may be because some of the special coatings are chipping away, but I’m also wondering if I need a new prescription. I don’t plan on purchasing new glasses or contacts this month, but I know getting the prescription is the first step. 

Weekly Action Items

Stay in Daily and Weekly Points/Bites

If you read my last blog post, you’ll know that I am back to tracking SmartPoints through the iTrackBites app. My goal here is fairly simple. As long as the numbe of weekly bites I have left on Sunday after I brush my teeth is 0 or higher, I get a checkmark. 

Weekly Clean

While one of my daily habits is to tidy every night, once a week, I like to take a little extra time to clean. I’ll wipe down surfaces, sweep/mop my bedroom floor, and just take care of a few things that don’t necessarily get done during my nightly tidy. Every other week, my weekly clean also involves washing my bedding.

LIIFT 4 Workouts

While the plan is to do some kind of activity every single day, my main priority is doing LIIFT 4 Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. I just restarted the program yesterday after a solid month and a half of being lazy and eating like a jerk and I’m feeling it. 

Attend Church (Online)

I haven’t been keeping up with church attendance during the pandemic. You’d think I’d love online church, but I don’t. I hate it. I don’t feel connected watching a pre-recorded sermon- especially when I’m watching a sermon at a church I’ve never atteneded. Unfortunately, that’s just the world I’m living in right now, so I’m going to have to suck it up and devote that time on Sundays. 

I may also be using this time as an opportunity to church shop, but we’ll see how that goes.

Claim Unemployment

I’ve been pretty bad at logging in to claim my weekly unemployment benefits. I get to them eventually, but Iwant to make more of an effort to claim them during my first claim window instead of waiting until the weekend. Ideally, this will mean I’ll get my direct deposit on a consistent schedule which will, in turn, make budgeting either.

Daily Action Items

No Spend

I’m on a five week no spend challenge that will end no sooner than the first of February. Now, I’m not completely cutting out all spending. However, I’m limiting myself to groceries from Aldi or the Farmer’s Market. gas, pre-scheduled expenses (like my Subscribe and Save order), and a couple specific exceptions (if I run out of coffee, I can go to Starbucks and pick up a bag, but I can’t grab a frappcino or iced tea). This will give me an opportunity to fill my expense “envelopes.” 

Shapa Weigh-In (AM and PM)

This may be a permanent goal for 2021, but I didn’t want to put it on my habit tracker because there’s also a chance I’ll decide to take another scale break at some point. I recently got a new Shapa numberless scale that I’m using to track my progress now that I’m back trying to lose weight. (I’m still not ready to see the number; I just want to know if my weight is going in the right direction).  Since I haven’t been in the habit of weighing in, I’ve added both my morning and evening weigh ins to my Powersheets while I get into the routine. 

That’s it. It feels weird only having two daily items on here, but it makes sense with the extensive list of daily habits in my habit tracker already. Perhaps I’ll share those daily habits (and my Habit Blanket project) in another blog post. 

There’s no saying what 2021 has in store, but I know I’m getting myself off to the right start.


Back to my Happy Place

I’m going back to the WW Green plan on Monday.

Well, ok, that’s only half-true. I’m going to be following the same plan, but I’m not rejoining WW. The drama surrounding the company is undoubtedly a factor, but it’s not the only reason. I still don’t want to deal with weigh-ins and the pressure of Lifetime that led me to leave almost 6 months ago. Plus, I’m already an iTrackBites pro member. I can’t justify paying $500 a year for a plan that I’m currently getting for $18—[Note: I joined iTrackBites during a promotional period and got locked into a discounted rate].

I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about this decision. It seems to me that this year, a lot of people are moving away from counting points. While I, personally, never struggled with under-eating on SmartPoints, I know many people eat too few calories. (But that’s something I’ll rant about another day). Even I jumped on the calorie counting bandwagon. I started with double-tracking both calories and Points (both SmartPoints and PointsPlus). Then, I transitioned to counting calories.

The truth is, calorie counting isn’t right for me. I know losing weight (or fat, rather) is a matter of calories in and calories out. It’s a mental thing. When I count calories, I get obsessive. I have a scale that weighs and measures down to a tenth of a gram. I don’t track “one scoop” of protein powder. I will track 31.3 grams.

I know it’s my own fault. I’m the one doing it. It’s why I burn out on calorie counting.

Last fall and winter, I was killing it. Lately, however, I’ve been struggling with consistency. I keep self-sabotaging- all while desperately wanting to be back in the same place I was a year ago.

I left SmartPoints because I started putting too much pressure on the number on the scale. My weight loss slowed down, and I got distracted. I started experimenting, and my consistency in staying on plan suffered.

Lately, however, I stopped caring about the number on the scale. I haven’t weighed myself in months. I imagine the number on the scale has gone up; I feel like it’s gone up. That doesn’t really matter, though. I’m not frustrated with the scale. I’m frustrated because I feel like, no matter what I do, I struggle to stay consistent. I stay on track for a few days to a few weeks. Then, I self-sabotage. I eat like a jerk. I stop tracking.

And the entire time, I yell at myself: “Do it anyway! You don’t eat like a jerk! Stop it!”

Yet, it’s not enough. I keep ignoring myself. I don’t know why.

So, I decided to really look at things. What was going on the last time I truly felt in control? What was I doing the last time I was consistent for an extended period?

SmartPoints. I wasn’t looking at calories. I was just following the WW Green Plan, and I absolutely loved it. I wasn’t perfect by any means (though, what is perfect?) I still had days where I made less than ideal choices. However, I always got right back on track immediately after. An indulgent dessert with lunch was followed by a simple dinner of protein and vegetables. I rarely spiraled out of control as I do now.

So, I’m stepping away from the meticulous stress of calorie counting. I’m going back to not weighing and measuring every morsel of food I eat. I’m keeping secondary metrics turned off for now. I won’t be tracking my zero point foods with precision. I don’t see a need to weigh my protein powder when I can have just under a scoop and a half for 1sp. I probably won’t measure my coffee creamer anymore. (A quarter cup of NutPods is 1 point, and I know I don’t use that much). 

I’m still taking a break from the number on the scale. However, I am going back to weigh-ins on Monday. I cashed in the money I earned using the WayBetter App and ordered a Shapa scale. I want to see whether or not the scale is going up or down. Right now, my goal is to see the number go down, but not gaining is my top priority. In a few months, I’ll reassess. Maybe I’ll slowly increase my points and reverse back into maintenance. Perhaps I’ll go back to counting calories again.

For now, I’m just going back to my happy place.

throwback thursday

Throwback Thursday: Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum [December 16, 2009]

While running errands today, I got the idea to share content from past blog posts/ my book in occasional Thursday posts. I have a lot of content that was previously published online that I still think is worth reading. I’m not going to share a post every Thursday, and I’m definitely not going to share everything from my book, but I hope you enjoy what I do share.

Note: These posts may be edited slightly from the original. The main content/message has remained the same, but some changes may be made to correct punctuation, spelling, and other grammatical errors and/or improve readability.

For those of you who have been living under a rock, or in a bubble, in in a pineapple under the sea, it’s December. December means many things- colder weather, finals, lots of shopping, and Christmas music. (Now, don’t ask me why in our days of “political correctness” you never hear a single rendition of “Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel” on the radio…)

Earlier today, I was listening to the radio when a classic Christmas song started playing. Ok, so it was the MercyMe version of “The Little Drummer Boy.” (Not exactly the classic song).

Would you believe that song touched me today? I’ve heard that song countless times before, but today, it touched me.

I have no gift to bring
pa rum pum pum pum
that’s fit to give a King

I couldn’t sleep last night. Just as I was starting to drift off to sleep, woke up to a single thought:

What if doing something great is the easiest of my dreams to reach?

It doesn’t seem right. How can my doing something great with my talent be the most reachable of my dreams? It’s that dream that is etched so deeply into my heart that I can’t shake it… it’s a dream that’s at the very core of who I am. It’s so much more than writing a song that makes it on the radio or being published in a magazine. It’s more than writing a book…more than having people read this blog. Even I don’t know how to describe this.

Yet, it might be the most reachable of my dreams?

Shall I play for You
pa rum pum pum pum
on my drum?

I want to do something great with my writing. So great that it’s beyond the scope of my imagination. I want these words to reach beyond where I thought they ever could.

It never occurred to me that I might reach that dream and never know it. I might do something incredible with my talent and not even see it. Pouring out my heart into something and never seeing anything coming out of it? Talk about discouraging!

“Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, and with ALL your mind, and with ALL your strength….”

Isn’t that what it’s about? Isn’t that the main reason God gave me this talent?

I played my drum for Him
pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him

The greatest thing I can ever do with my writing is just write for God. Those nights I pour my heart in my journal… those poems that are a cry out to Him. They mean far more than any blog entries… anything I will ever get published. It’s not about the writing at all. It’s about the One who gave me this talent and passion.

If I look to Him, I can’t fail.

Sure, I may never reach my dreams. Does it matter, though? After all, doesn’t God already have plans for my life? He can do so much with me if I just give this talent to Him. If my sole purpose in writing is to worship God, He will use me.

So, I guess that’s what I needed to work on doing. Pouring my heart out on paper. Not so I can try to reach any of my dreams for my writing; not so I can try and do something great.

Just to worship

Only to worship

Then, He smiled at me…



I’m self-destructing and part of me doesn’t even care.

My bedroom is a disaster. I haven’t worked out in days. I’ve been eating like a total jerk.

Should I stop? Probably. Will I? I don’t plan on it.

These last few days have been chaotic. What started as a simple project to replace some bathroom tiles and fix a loose toilet turned into an entire bathroom remodel. Turns out, there was a lot of neglected damage. It might not have been so bad if the issues were fixed sooner, but they were left to sit for years. There has to be some kind of lesson in that.

We’ve been without a toilet in our house since Friday. We may or may not have running water. Our living room and kitchen is piled up with stuff from the construction. I can’t cook, clean, work out, or anything. In fact, I basically can’t do anything except stay confined to my, very messy, bedroom when I’m home. Otherwise, I’ll just be in the way.

I stopped setting my alarm or trying to get to bed at a decent hour. Instead, at 9:30, I head to the local Target a mile away to make one last bathroom run for the night. Then, I stay up late in hopes that I’ll make it until 7am when the grocery store opens.

I’ve been spending most of my time at Starbucks these last few days. Fortunately, they’re open for indoor dining, but it is a little awkward. Unfortunately, my body isn’t quite used to drinking so much green tea. Plus, not being able to cook or clean isn’t exactly the best on my budget. If I had enough warning, I’d be able to at least pack lunches, but I wasn’t exactly prepared. So, I’ve been relying on fast food, meals at Starbucks, and grabbing packaged food from the grocery store. I haven’t been in my calorie goal since Thursday.

I honestly can’t say I’ve hit any one of my goals this week. I haven’t had water in days. I stopped doing my morning routine entirely. LIIFT4 is over. Who knows how many calories I’ve eaten today? I stopped tracking yesterday.

It’s self-sabotage. I know it is.

I’m being completely inflexible. I shouldn’t let something like not having access to a toilet, kitchen, or workout space slow me down.

But I am. I totally am.

And even though I am aware of what I’m doing, it’s not making much of a difference. I know I should at least do what I can do, but at this point, I just don’t care anymore.

Why am I like this?


Just Another Blog Post…. but this one has Cat Pictures!

I’m feeling anxious today.

I’m not sure why. I’m pretty sure it’s not because of the election drama or anything like that. It certainly doesn’t help, but I’m not exactly thrilled with either of the possible results this year. I just woke up with this incredibly anxious, uneasy feeling. It’s not an unfamiliar feeling, but it has been a while since I’ve dealt with it. Oh, the joys of having multiple anxiety disorders!

I got up, had my coffee, finished week 4, day 3 of LIIFT4, followed by a 2 mile Walk at Home walk.

Breakfast was a smoothie made with chocolate protein powder, acacia fiber, creatine, collagen peptides, kale, cauliflower, and carrots. With it, I had a Pecan RxBar (nothing to write home about) and some of the frozen yogurt bark I made. The yogurt bark was just 2% plain Fage with honey mixed in, spread on a cookie sheet, and topped with fresh berries and Target’s Good and Gather Salted Chocolate Grain-Free Granola before freezing.

To be perfectly honest, I really just wanted the yogurt bark and/or RxBar, but I like a little more protein to start off my day. So, I decided to steal an idea from Brianna and have a chocolate protein shake on the side. I just bumped things up a bit by adding in the fiber powder and some veggies. Usually, I don’t use flavored protein powder for smoothies, but I figured there’s nothing wrong with doing it occasionally. Besides, I was initially just going to mix the powders together and call it a day. Adding greens just took it a step further.

Anyway, after I finished my breakfast, I went out to run a few errands. I took one of my cats out for a trip to a couple pet stores. He was a little clingy when we first got into the car, but he calmed down once I started driving. The hardest part was holding onto him in the parking lot. Once indoors, he was a lot calmer. Don’t be fooled, however! This is the same cat that likes to bolt out the front door and bully the neighbors’ dogs.

Unfortunately, social distancing when you bring a cat into a store is extra challenging, but I’m ok with that. Simba certainly enjoys meeting people. I’m tempted to take him out more. I would love to take him out right now. It’s just the kind of crazy, impulsive thing I do when I’m feeling anxious. (I’ve also shaved my head and gotten my ears pierced, so this is tame in comparison).

I ran half of my errands with Simba in tow, then took him home and stopped at Target and the grocery store to take care of everything else I needed to do to check one of the monthly items off my Powersheets. I’m incredibly excited about checking this one off.

I’m at 12,000 steps right now. I still need to clean up my workout set-up from this morning: roll up my mat and put away the pile of dumbbells I used. I think I use a more extensive variety of weights on shoulder day than any other day. I think, when it comes to upper body, shoulder day might be my least favorite.

I also need to straighten up the kitchen and tidy my room. It’s a little messy right now. Nothing terrible; I just have some things scattered around from one of my to-do list items. Usually, the goal is to tidy before I go to bed, but tonight is book club night, so I need to get it cleaned up before that. Actually, book club tonight is a good thing when it comes to me getting things done.

I think I need to start a load of laundry as well. I might be able to put it off until tomorrow, but I should probably just do it today. Is 4 pm too early to shower and put on pajamas?

Yikes! 4 pm?! Well, I definitely need to get moving. I have to make sure the living room and kitchen are cleaned up before anyone else gets home. I’ve been pretty good about cleaning up my messes in those shared spaces (even cleaning up around or for other people), but the one time I leave a spoon in the sink for longer than 20 seconds, I don’t hear the end of it.

Hopefully, this gnawing feeling of anxiety subsides soon. It’s the worst!

Take care, everyone!