Friday, June 30, 2017

Bright Line Eating

Hi everybody. I am writing today to share a bit about this journey I've been on for the last two months. Today is Day 61. I waited until now to talk in length about it as I was afraid it might be one of those things that wouldn't last. And, it still might not last but for today my plan is the same as it was yesterday and the day before that. It's working for me so I think I'll commit to another 30 days.
Long story short, on May 1st I eliminated all refined sugar (including sugar substitutes) and flour products from my menu. I thought it was going to be really hard. Turns out it was not. I'm one of those all or nothing kinda girls. There are some things I simply cannot stop once I start. Alcohol is one of them. Sugar is the other. I gave up alcohol nearly 16 years ago. Giving up refined sugar had to be the same way. I know that once I start with the first teaspoon in my coffee, I am off to the races, chasing the feeling I get when I consume it, with me ending up tired, cranky, and wondering what happened.
A close friend from high school told me about this program she had started last fall when we were on our annual girlfriend trip. I thought she was crazy (sorry K!) and that it was just another program designed to extract money from the pockets of fat Americans. When we traveled on another trip this spring, she talked about it a little bit and I shared that I was so uncomfortable in this body of mine and tired of being consumed by sugar addiction. I had told her previously I was not going to spend one more dollar on diet crap. She told me that the woman who started this program recently published a book. I ordered it when I got home from that trip. I spent $14.95 to see what this guru has to say.
The author, Susan Peirce Thompson is a recovered meth addict/alcoholic with a Ph.D. both in Brain and Cognitive Sciences. You can read more on her bio here.  She speaks a language I know. She uses a lot of 12-step lingo in her book but also adds some of her own. One of my favorites I have adopted and has served me quite well is "not my food". As in, those cookies on the kitchen table at work -- not my food. The book is an easy read and one that I'm glad I bought in hard copy so I can highlight and re-read. 
Breaking it down into simple terms, which is what I need, there are only 4 Bright Lines:
1: No Sugar (this does not include natural fruit)
2: No Flour of any kind
3: Planned meals with no snacks in between
4: Quantities are measured
What is a bright line?  It is a line you don't cross, no matter what. Simple as that.
I like simple.
On Day 61, I am down 15 pounds.
It is working for me.
love, susan

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Thank You!

Just want to say thank you to everyone who reads my blog. Whether or not you comment, I appreciate that you follow me. I thought a lot about my mini-rant yesterday and all the replies I received. I always feel hinky after I stick my neck out to voice an opinion.  But I do it anyway. I appreciate that people comment and make me stretch a bit in my thinking. 

So here's a pretty picture for today!

love, susan

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Don't Be Too Careful

Street food vendors in Mexico City
Be careful.  Two words that can really jack my jaw some days. I'll be careful not to make this too much of a ranting post, okay?  But no guarantees. Full disclosure.
I have a friend who is working in Cambodia for three months. He recently posted a photo of flooding in the area where he is temporarily residing while on a teaching gig for nurses. Someone commented "be careful" and it really tripped my trigger. Granted, be careful is a common thing people say without much thought. But I have to tell you, my inner rebel mentally holds up two hands sporting my middle fingers when someone says it to me. Shocking, I know. But she's in there.
Do you remember when you were a child being told to be careful to stay within the lines while coloring? Don't talk to strangers, they said. Be careful to bundle up, it's cold out there. Be careful to follow the recipe. Be careful, it's dark by 8.
I don't want to be careful. I don't want to be afraid to drive down an unknown road. I don't want to live in so much fear that I can't visit a place I've never been, except maybe Afghanistan. Okay, you have me there. I don't want to avoid that homeless person who is sitting on the corner with a sign . I don't want to not talk to strangers. I don't want to not have the difficult conversations with people. I don't want to follow the recipe to the "T".
Recently, my hubby said be careful when I traveled to Nashville with my good friend. Apparently, Nashville has a very high crime. What town doesn't these days? I couldn't even believe he said it to me. This is the same man who took me to Mexico City a couple years ago.
We arrived in Mexico City at 10 o'clock at night armed with very little Spanish under our belts and took the subway, in the freaking dark, to our hotel. There are nearly 21,000,000 (that's million!) people living in Mexico City. I admit I had fear, and I'm sure if he was honest, he did too. We pushed past it and got ourselves to the hotel. The next day, we found our way back to the subway and went all over MC for the next 5 days. It was crazy fun and I loved every minute of it. One day we met a guy (Arturo) on the corner who wanted us to rent a taxi from his cousin. He said he would drive us anywhere we wanted to go for cheap. Red flags went up for me. No way was I going to go. I pictured my hubby and me on the front page of the newspaper as American tourists gone missing. We saw that guy every single day we were there and I looked him straight in the eye and said, "no, we're not going with you". Yes, I was guilty of being careful.
I have hundreds of examples of not being careful that have turned out just fine for me. 
In the future, I hope you'll think about it before you carelessly say be careful. Is it necessary to be careful all the time? 
Just sayin.
love, susan

Monday, June 26, 2017

Blink and It Is the End of June: Life List

Looking Out My Window It is hard to believe it is going to 100 today because of the bright clouds. The numbers after today will be 90, 88, 93, 97, 96, and 90. I freakin' love summer!
Weekend Review I worked 3 hours on Saturday so I can keep my head just above water. We are crazy busy at work and the DUI's just keep coming in. There was a classic car show here this weekend and the police were busy. Yesterday we went to an afternoon bbq at a park near out house. This is our 3rd get together with the same friends and I always come home feeling so happy. I love seeing the children running and playing outdoors. I watch as they quickly pair up on the playground, strangers only for a minute. Love that.
What I'm Learning I am on Day 57 with zero refined sugar and no flour. About 10 days ago, I decided to cut meat from my eating plan. What I'm learning is that I can survive just fine on beans, rice, salad, and fruit. I feel better than I have in a very long time. The biggest thing I've learned is that eating does not have to be an event. This is a major shift in my thinking.
What I'm Creating I've been in purge mode for a couple of weeks now and getting ready to start a new month of The Minimalist Game. I started a new closed group on FB and have a nice group of people who are joining me in a one month purge of clutter. We start officially minimizing on July 1. I'll bring some of the results here to this page.
What I'm Reading I didn't read much last week, one little article from the AARP magazine about John Mellencamp. He used to be John Cougar Mellencamp and will always be John Cougar Mellencamp to me. He's a guy I'd like to know. Besides his songwriting skills, did you know he is a painter?
"Bear" is looking for his forever home
What I'm Watching I'm trying to finish up Season 4 of House of Cards. It's hard to sit indoors very long during summer. Those episodes are kinda long at 45 minutes. Dang.

What's On My Camera I spent a little time with a new rescue Friday night. He's an old guy but sooooo sweet.  I also snapped a couple of images of the dog who belongs to the rescuer. That time spent really fills up my cup.
"Izzie" is 7 months old and has a home!
Quote I Want to Share Painting is harder on me than being onstage. I stand 8 or 10 hours a day. I used to consider it a hobby, but now I don't. It's hard to be taken seriously because I'll always be considered a celebrity paint. Being a rock star has been a pain in the ass all around. ~ John (Cougar) Mellecamp
A Peek Into My Week I am looking forward to going to work today since I know my desk is not piled quite as high as I left it Friday. May help a friend with a photo shoot on Wednesday, music in the park on Thursday, and just random fun between now and then!
A Final Thought Need more coffee.
love, susan

Monday, June 19, 2017

Solstice Week: A Life List

Summer is Finally Here Nice weekend weather. The mornings are still cool but it has been warming up to the 80's by afternoon. It's going to 97 today followed by 93, 88, 86, and 84 on Friday. Perfect weather.
Weekend Review Another fun weekend in the bag. We got our passport photos done on Saturday so I can send in renewals on them. Someone asked where we are going. Don't know but at least we'll be ready when we decide. Father's Day dinner at friends' house and a rescue dog photo shoot early yesterday.
What I'm Learning Saying yes to fun events really fills my cup. Learning to say no at my age still sucks but I'm doing it. I say no to things I don't want to do. That's all.
What I'm Creating I boxed up some rubber stamps I no longer use and I'm going to send them to a friend. I also made a pile of birthday cards for work. I'm on the Sunshine Committee and it's my job to give a birthday card to employees. I make them with photos I've taken around the area and I always tape a little mini-size candy bar to the envelope.
What I'm Reading How to Speak Dog. 
What I'm Watching  I watched What the Health on Netflix yesterday. It is an eye opener.  You may be a little shocked when you see it and rethink those hot dogs and burgers.  I'm on my way to vegetarianism.   

What's On My Camera Oh, the dogs! I took many photos of the newest 5 year old lab who is entering rescue this week. She really lit up when another gal brought her dog to the park to join the fun photo session.  Also, I love this image I got of the old Cadillac in front of a storefront mural. A friend called it a trump l'oeil.  I had to look up that work. Google it.
Quote I'd Like to Share  In the next 25 years, one in three people will have diabetes. (From What the Health
A Peek Into My Week Meeting with a friend tonight after work to visit. Birthday party and photo shoot on Wednesday. Gonna pull some weeds.
A Final Thought  97 degrees today.  I love it!
love, susan

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

June 2017: Life List

Looking Out My Window I see nothing but blue skies. The weather here in eastern Washington has been fickle this spring. The first day of summer is next week. Bring on the 100's, I say.

As I Ponder My days go by so fast I can barely keep up with my own life. I prefer it this way. But once in awhile a down day is needed. I don't know when that will be. I feel like summers are so short that I don't want to waste a minute of it doing nothing.

What I'm Learning I downloaded a new book this week at the recommendation of a friend. Learning about dog language. Did you know dogs can learn/know up to 200 words? I realize as I'm reading it that I don't know which words my dogs know but that we have to spell a lot of things around our house like w-a-l-k and s-q-u-i-r-r-e-l.

What I'm Creating I've been planting a little bit and out taking photos as much as I can. I took a road trip to Spokane with my photo-walking buddy on Sunday. We had a blast going to the botanical garden and Trader Joe's. We took a picnic and ended up in front of a coffee shop eating our lunches as she had prepared a nice one but left it sitting on the chair at home. She was able to buy a nice little salad and a tin can of smoked trout for her picnic lunch.

What I'm Reading How to Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication by Stanley Coren.

What I'm Watching It's summer! No time for sitting in front of the boob-tube.

What's On My Camera From my cell phone a look at some items I bought at Trader Joe's! The cookies are for the hubby.

What's Happening in My Kitchen I have purposely not written much about the program I've been following since May 1st. I am now on Day 44 of Bright Line Eating. I plan a very simple menu for what I'm going to eat today and stick to it. I've lost 11 lbs. and finding I am enjoying the loss of my obsession for sugar. It has made shopping so much easier and faster. It is a plan for living I think I can stay with the rest of my life.

A Quote I Want to Share  This is from the book I mentioned above:

One must not underestimate the receptive language ability of dogs.
The fact that they are not able to produce human sounds to
communicate with us doesn't meant they
do not comprehend human words.

A Peek Into My Week I don't have anything on my calendar this week and that's okay. I'm up for some random fun.

A Final Thought Because I was running all weekend, I didn't get anything done at home like laundry and food prep. I will have to fit that in early mornings every day this week. It reminds that I get to decide how I want to live my life.

love, susan

Monday, June 5, 2017

Stormy June: A Life List

Looking Out My Window Have you ever noticed that it's always sunny on Monday morning after a stormy weekend? I don't think it's funny. Forecast is for sunny and 82 today and 96 on Wednesday. My kinda weather.
Weekend Review We packed a lot of fun in on Saturday. It had been a whole two weeks since our last road trip so we woke up with the road calling us. We ended up in Wenatchee via a segment of road we had never traveled. That's getting rare now that we've lived here almost 9 years and taken a lot of Sunday drives. There is a Salvation Army thrift store in Wenatchee that we love to visit. Their prices are super low and I've found many quality clothing items every time we go. This trip I came home with 8 pair of nice dress slacks, jeans, and 3 pair of capris along with 4 great tops, all at 20% for a total of $35. Hubby found 4 books for $1, and I snagged one of them called Twelve Years a Slave. I started reading it yesterday. He took me to our favorite Vietnamese place for lunch. Saturday night we ended up at our friends' place out in the country. A storm blew in as we were sitting outdoors and I had a horrible allergy attack that left so much histamine in my system I was sick all of yesterday. My eyes still feel like they have gravel in them. But I got great photos while there. It was a full Saturday of non-stop fun.
What I'm Watching I finished the 3rd season of Grace & Frankie. What a great show! Now I can focus on Season 5 of House of Cards.
What's On My Camera Here are my two favorite photos from Saturday. The pano I took with my cell phone. The storm was eerie. The horse image cracked me up! This horse follows me everywhere I go when I'm in the pasture with him. I don't know much about horses and frankly, they scare me a little but I just pretend he's a big dog. He came up behind me and put his nose on my shoulder. Kind of endeared him to me. He's a goof ball.
A Peek Into My Week We're going out to a friend's place tonight after work so I can shoot some photos of the beautiful red headed girl who bought my motorcycle. Tuesday night I'm meeting up with my most favorite friend for coffee, Wednesday I have a lunch date with a friend, and lunch plans on Friday with work friends. Plans are what make life so much fun for me, especially during the work week. I've got a new co-worker starting today so will be training for several weeks.

A Final Thought Dixie (the dog pictured in my last blog entry) found a permanent home over the weekend. I was telling my friend, "T", that we should feel good about the work we're doing with the rescue group. Everyone plays a part in it. Love that. Gotta go now and make a birthday card for my grandson. His birthday snuck up on me. Hope you have a fun week wherever you are in the world.

love, susan

You Made My Day, Dude!

A couple weeks ago while I was driving back to Portland after spending the night on the Oregon coast, we came up on some road construction ...