Friday, May 31, 2013

Why am I fat?

I grew up in a crazed world.. As a 'tween" I was pudgy.. but my family, those who loved me insisted that I would never loose that weight and all of them constantly bombarded me to do so. I was an athletic, cute kid.. I wasn't obese, I wasn't a slugabed, I ate a really healthy diet, so why did they insist on discussing my weight?

As I got older it actually got worse, because I had curves I was treated like the fat one.. even when my friends came over borrowed my clothes and they were too tight on the "skinny" girls. Yep, I was the same height but wore a smaller size and yet I was the "fat" girl.. How does this happen? For me it was those darn hips.. I had this teeny tiny waist (21 inches in high school) and to the faulty thinking of those around me.. if my waist was so tiny and yet I had hips obviously the hips must go. Who cares if my hip bones actually stuck out..

Even clothes designers were in on it.. remember "dittos" they were made for girls with straight figures.. I remember I had to buy a size 9 for my hips but the waistband gapped so much I could fit 8 squirt guns in them without anyone noticing.. (how do I know this? Something about smuggling squirt guns into Disneyland). And still I was the fat girl..

Looking back at my prom pictures, at my gorgeous prom dress I think.. I wore that? It was fitted for me.. and believe me no fat girl ever wore that dress. Too bad the girl at the time didn't know it. But it wasn't just me.. it was those around me.. My friends, my family, my society.. I wasn't fat.. Sadly everyone kept saying I was until I too believed it.. And that scarred my life. It changed how I looked at myself, what I thought of myself and who I would become.. No boys would want to date the "fat" girl.. No employers would want to hire the "fat" woman.. It changed how I looked at myself, how I appreciated myself and how I presented myself. Slowly it became a self fulfilling prophecy..

As I grew older I allowed myself to become fat in reality.. I stopped trying, I gave up.. No longer can I blame my childhood for bad choices (as I am an adult of some 50 years) BUT I can blame the world around that child for knocking her down for destroying her self esteem.. That has been hard to rebuild.. Recently I started a lifestyle change (yeah dorky words but I don't know what else to call it). I am tired of being ashamed to have my picture taken. I want my smile to be full of joy and that can only happen when I am happy with me..

The best part of all this focus has been that people really are starting to fight back. No longer does the fashion industry get to say when a girl is fat.. Well, we are working on it. There are actually countries who BAN super skinny models.. It isn't healthy.. And when people look at comments that were made by those less understanding.. the uproar begins.. It isn't a perfect world but it's getting better for us former fat kids..

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Common Symptoms of Women with ADD/ADHD

Have you ever considered that you might just have ADD/ADHD? Oh sure we joke about it, loosing our train of thought and getting easily distracted by shiny things. But what are symptoms we should be looking for?

  1.    Difficulty with Boring, Repetitive Tasks:  Is your house a mess because you hate and avoid doing chores? Completing repetitive tasks like laundry is hard for women with ADD/ADHD.
  2.    Spending Time Ruminating: Getting lost in your thoughts or daydreaming are common among women with ADD/ADHD. This ties in with distractability.
  3. Difficulty Making Decisions: Skim, 1%, 2%, or whole milk? Regular or soy? Grocery shopping is often painful with all the choices available in stores today.  Seemingly simple tasks require too much thought or commitment to a singular idea, leading to distraction.
  4. Difficulty Sitting Still: Easily burnt out? Or do you often fidget? Tiredness and restlessness both are signs of ADD and ADHD.  Though not so much an issue of a "running motor" as it is in children, fidgety and hyperactive behavior are still prevalent in adults.
  5. Difficulty Falling Asleep and Waking Up the Next Morning: Many women with ADD/ADHD experience sleep disorders. Insomnia gets worse during menopause.
  6. Poor Sense of Time: Time management is often an issue for women with ADHD. They are often running late.
  7. Starting Projects but Seeming Unable to Finish Them: Do you have piles of empty photo books? Heaps of unfinished sewing projects? Focusing and following through on a project is difficult with ADHD.
  8. Taking on Too Much: On top of work and parenting, there is often the need for women to take on even more like volunteering, helping out with school-related functions, making meals from scratch, etc.  This symptom goes hand-in-hand with time management and difficulty finishing projects.
  9. Engaging in Addictive Behaviors: Shopping, TV (reality shows!), and eating are common types of addictive behaviors.  Impulsivity is a key symptom to ADHD, including in adults, and an addiction to shopping - often irrational in practice - is a sign of this symptom.
  10. Feeling Low Self-Worth: Women may feel they should be able to "do it all" and feel defeated when they can't keep up. Juggling parenting and work responsibilities can simply be overwhelming.
  11. Hypersensitivity to Criticism: High expectations since childhood of being a "good girl" can make women with ADHD more vulnerable to these sensitivities. 
  12. Being Emotionally Charged and Easily Upset: Easily upset or frustrated? Emotions are exacerbated during hormonal changes.  Emotional issues, including depression and anxiety, are also related to ADHD.  It is estimated that one in four adults with ADHD also has symptoms of depression.
  13. Difficulty Remembering Names: Difficulty remembering names often gets worse before, during, and after menopause.  This is also a sign of inattention, a common symptom in ADHD.
  14. Problems with Word Retrieval: Difficulty remembering words often gets worse during menopause. And when the problem is not cognitive-based, it could just be an issue of inattention of spinning too many thoughts at one time.
  15. Saying Things Without Thinking: Many social issues follow aduts with ADHD.  Prone to "foot in mouth" moments? Saying things without thinking often leads to hurting others' feelings. 
  16. Appearing Self-Absorbed: Do your friends get upset with you for interrupting them in conversation or bailing out on plans at the last moment? Appearing selfish is a sign of ADD/ADHD.
  17. Seeming to Not Want to Hear What Others Are Saying: Appearing aloof is especially difficult for women, who often want to connect socially but have difficulty doing so.  Impulsivity (in one's own statements) and inattention (while others may be conversing) can emphasize this issue.
  18. Poor Math and/ or Writing Skills: Not a numbers person? Some women with ADHD exhibit poor math and reading skills.  This could be a product of difficulty during schooling, possibly due to ADHD.
  19. Poor Handwriting: In addition to poor math or writing skills, poor handwriting can be an embarrassing symptom of ADHD.
Pretty interesting stuff.. The question is what do you do with this information? I would have to say, if you have several of these symptoms get to your doctor and discuss options. If you are like me and really hate to medicate things.. then seek out alternative options. Exercise, Sleep, Diet.. see what methods you can apply to your life...

For me I am just thrilled to learn that failure to have a clean house can be diagnosed... here I just thought I was domestically challenged all of my life! Of course I am the laundry natzi, so even there I don't quite fall into the symptoms... But really do all of us have ALL fo\\of the symptoms? NO!!! Could you imagine how psycho we would be then? 

I would seriously like to suggest that if you feel you fall into these parameters and have over half of these symptoms, get to your doctor.. see if he can help you work with these issues instead of allowing them to control your life... They have mine for years.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013


I am a schedules person.. One of those people who never met a spreadsheet she didn't like. Which is rather odd because I am one of those creative types.. I can easily get lost in the fantasy of my own mind.. Spend hours there.. 

Yes these two characteristics have caused me no end of troubles.. my nature is that of a free spirit and I have always needed an anchor to keep me grounded. When I loose that anchor I tend to flitter and float and loose all structure to my life.. Why does a free spirit need structure you ask??? Well honestly it's the only way to function in society. You know, pay bills, buy food... all that fun stuff. 

For years I have lived this half life. Letting the world set my structure and failing miserably at just about everything.. Well I did do a rather spectacular job in raising my kids, if I do say so myself, but the rest of life just sort of passed me by.. Why? well because I didn't create the structure I needed in my life.

With all of the changes going on right now in my life.. it is the perfect time to add that structure.. So today I wrote up a schedule.. Not a confining, insane by the book schedule but one that allows me to be me. Allows me to have my daily devotions, do my writing, reading, reviewing, exercise and yes still have plenty of time left during the day to be that free spirit..

I am sure I will stumble, I will falter, I will even fail at times but if the schedule is there.. I stand a chance of getting what I want, instead of taking the leavings of others. Instead of suffering through lecture after lecture from just about anyone with an opinion I can stand true to my dreams.. my secret hopes and what I want to do with my life. If I have structure and goals.. I can share those accomplishments with people instead of just sitting around singing I dreamed a dream.. There is so much more to the dream than just the dream part... 

My life has changed so much this past week, I am starting to wonder what will happen next? For the first time in a long time Life is looking oh so good!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Doing Ok, So Far So Good

Me Now
I started my lifestyle change the other day and so far I am on track..

I have changed my eating habits.. small meals, no meals after 5 pm

I have started a very limited exercise program.. a walk to the park and around it twice then home

I have started taking care of me better.. not lazing around first thing in the morning but getting up starting my day right.. which includes putting on makeup - a soft layer that just shows I am taking time for me.

For those who wonder about my diet plans.. I need to loose around 175lbs.. yes that is way to much weight to have as a weight loss goal but I gained it so now, I must loose it..

I am on what my mom and I refer to as the three W's diet.. 

I Walk
I drink lots of Water
and I Watch what I eat!!

Not very fancy, not very "in" but instead a practical slow way to loose the weight that I have piled on over the years.  

Watching What I eat Portion sizes is actually one of the hardest things.. We are a supersize society.. we think in Extra Large.. I need to think in regular... The best part about it is I don't need to starve myself to loose weight I need to eat properly.. 

Water.. believe it or not this was hard. I had to stop drinking soda.. I have spent years treating soda like my main source of hydration.. yeah not healthy at all.. Worse, I drank diet soda.. do you know the damage diet soda does to your body? I did too, just chose to ignore it.. Finally at the beginning of March I gave up soda.. Not gee I am an soda alcoholic and can never have soda again.. but rather soda is a  TREAT therefor should only be drank/drunk/drinked on special occasions. I have had three individual sized sodas since. Just think I was drinking two, two liters every three days. And nothing else.. no tea, no milk, no juice just soda.. I am rather proud of this particular accomplishment.. 

Walking.. this is hard for me because I am pathetically out of shape. Me, the one most of my friends growing up would have called the athlete.. The jock.. now I am just the slug.. So walking it is.. slow and steady. Right now I am not even power walking. I get a cardio if I just get up off the couch.. So I get up.. walk out the door, to the park and around it! Right now just once a day but on Sunday I will start walking TWICE a day!! Sounds so easy doesn't it? 

Day by day it has already gotten easier.. my life is going to change.. I will be adding some other things for my mental health as well soon.

I want to seriously dedicate a minimum of two hours a day to my writing..
I want to spend some dedicated and scheduled time in my devotions.. no more gee God I don't have the time right now.. I am going to make it.
I want to get my hands on a camera and as I start venturing farther and farther afield I want to be able to photograph my world.. Find the joy again
and eventually.. I want to get a bike.. 

See where I am headed? I am adding some W's 

Wheels, Writing, Wondering (devotions) even *gasp* Working...

But for now it's baby steps and a trip around the park!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

This stops TODAY

Take a good look.. This is my final fat picture.. OK sure there will be some more because I am not loosing the weight overnight, or over week or over month or even over year but this weight is GONE!!

I am starting a daily regime.. get up.. walk, small breakfast, prepare for day (including makeup) lunch, small snacks and last meal of the day by Five PM and it will be small, maybe a salad (a good tasty salad not a small bowl of lettuce) then end my day by an evening walk...

Sure there will be other things involved but this starts it.. I am tired of not being able to tie my fricken shoes..

Do you realize that by nature I do not have a round face? Nope it's more like an arrow, broad forehead then narrowing down to that chin..

At this moment I won't put my actual weight down.. BUT I will admit that I need to loose more of me than I need to keep!! My goal for now is 175 lbs.. scary isn't it?

Amazingly enough, the only weight related health issues I have at this time is bad knees.. But we all know that is going to change if I don't do something soon.. So here goes..

You will get a dailyish snipped of how I am doing and yes a weekly picture... and all, I am asking you to help hold me accountable. I know my friends the Evans' and my kids are good for some encouragement but words from you all will help as well..


Friday, May 17, 2013

Just a Bad Attitude!!

As I have stated previously, I write book reviews.. I write LOTS of book reviews.. for the most part in the Romance, PNR and YA genres.. I have my own format I use which yes is based on those essays we had to write as children. You know.. opening paragraph... information paragraphs... closing paragraph.. it helps me focus my thoughts. It also helps me write a positive review when I didn't like the book. I won't say hey it's a great book.. but I will point out positive aspects.. great story concept.. good character creating... excellent world building.. things like that.. 

I recently wrote TWO reviews for books written by author Jacquelyn Frank.. An author whose work I enjoy.. which you can read HERE if you are so inclined.

I don't think I write bad reviews and plenty of authors have agreed with me. Oh sure I will read another review of the same book and think wow..that was an awesome review but mine aren't bad.. I have also read some pretty bad reviews but that's ok, someone is daring to share their opinion and put their voice out there.. kudos to them.

I think one of the most amazing thing about doing my reviews is the awesome interaction I get with the writing community. The bloggers, the readers, the reviewers and yes the authors.. Aside from a favorite author commenting about how she didn't like the name of my blog Bodice Rippers, Femme Fatales and Fantasy (for which she gave a very good reason) and I listened then chose to keep it anyway because to me it is tongue in cheek and saucy.. I have never run across a real negative comment. Well until today.. I seriously doubt this comment was directed towards me but I was totally and completely offended for all reviewers..

I don't see myself reviewing anymore of her books.. Fortunately for me the last few books I did review were from NetGalley and NOT books I purchased..

Jacquelyn Frank
Taking the day off after writing a NIGHTWALKERS Guide. It's harder than you realize! Writing a guide without giving away elements of the story. Hmmm. And a pet peeve of mine is when people review my work and retell the damn story (usually badly) instead of letting readers discover it for themselves. A review should be about the style, the approach and the overall feel of the work. Not a freakin' 6th grade book report!
(kicks away soapbox) That is all! LOL.

and my response

Shaughnessey Steenburgen-Lill I agree with Sandra.. I try really hard to create a good review.. yes I share my opinion of the synopsis.. I also give my opinions of the book.. It is after all my opinion.. I don't share spoilers and honestly.. I am more than a little offended.. I work hard at giving a positive review even when I don't like a book and I admit sometimes that 6th grade book review format is the best one to use.. especially when a book isn't that good. I want to show a positive feedback.. I WON'T under any circumstances trash an author.. I feel if they have the guts to write a book then I can have the courtesy of giving an honest opinion without being harsh.. Sorry to go on but your attitude totally sucked and I was completely offended..

here is the comment I was agreeing with

Sandra: You may want to reconsider this status. I'm a little offended. Your readers are not professional reviewer who get paid for their opinion, and the fact that they read and review at all is plenty of reason to be happy, in my opinion. To compare their reviews to sixth grade book reports is a bit harsh, I think. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

H&M Shows Model is Just That

I say enough attention has been given to Mr Jeffries at A&F.. Instead let's focus on H&M.. you know that magazine that always has beautiful women on the cover? Well they actually understand what real beauty is.. In May they Plus-size fashion model Jennie Runk model their new swimsuit line on their company homepage!! 

"Runk rose to prominence in early May when she was selected by clothing retailer H&M to model their new swimsuit line on the company homepage. For the campaign, the 24-year-old 5'10 beauty, who wears a dress size 14-16, traipsed on a beach wearing bikinis and one-piece swimsuits. The seemingly innocent photo series sent shockwaves around the Internet. First, H&M has a history of featuring toned models (Gisele is the company’s latest cover girl, replacing a bikini-clad Beyonce) so selecting Runk, of normal, healthy proportions, to model their new line was a refreshing departure. And second, unlike many companies who bury plus-size selections deep within their websites, H&M never once mentioned the word “plus-size” on the same page as the images of Runk (you have to click on the clothing samples to land in the plus-size section). The company message was clear: “Our model isn’t stick thin—so what?”*Yahoo Shine 

I say it's time to celebrate those who understand true beauty.. understand that each person is unique and stop advertising the bullies.. yep Mr Jeffries that means you!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Boycot Abercrombe & Fitch

Have you seen this??? 

What an appalling statement. Why would anyone want to exclude shoppers.. then to proclaim that their store is only for the cool kids.. I WAS A COOL KID.. I was an athlete, a scholar, in the choir and welcome just about everywhere.. and guess what? I HAD BODY ISSUES.. 

I was told I was fat from as far back as I can remember. Oh I am fat now but I wasn't then. I had a 21" waste and hips.. those darn hips caused me plenty of problems, why? Because the stores didn't make products for hips. We weren't supposed to have them. I was raised in the Twiggy era and had a Marilyn Monroe body (ok, not the boobs but the rest) yep I had curves!! And because of idiots like this, I spent my formative years hating my body.. There was nothing wrong with my body.. it was healthy and fit... But I could never get it  to stringy. I lost so much weight once that when I was goofing with my friends and was rolling down hills, I BRUISED myself because with my hip bones.. and guess what I was still trying to loose weight...

People who make statements like this destroy self images.. they batter at a girls who are already over battered by what society says they should look like. When FINALLY people are wising up and standing up for what is a healthy body image. When countries are BANNING too thin models.. what an idiot.. 

My friend, author Sara Humphreys responded to this with a wonderful blog on the Huffington Post.. check it out by clicking HERE

I have never stepped foot in an A&F store and I never will.. I will also not shop in Hollister, RUEHL, and Gilly Hicks. which is owned by the same company... My kids already don't shop there.. and guess what I have cool kids.. ok, well adjusted kids.. who are well liked, good looking, some are thin and some are not.. but what they are is decent.. and secure in who they are. Consequently they don't need some idiot deciding that they will be cool if they wear clothes from his store. You want to be cool, create your own style and stay out of A&F


Monday, May 6, 2013

Taking it WAY Too Far

I admit it I am a Tebow Fan... this kid does what others can't he wins.. in rather unusual circumstances. It's not that he is that great of a football player it's that he LEADs.. team members have said of him that when he leads they pull something more out of themselves. He pushes those around him to do better.. 

I think the way the Jets treated him was abysmal from the signing right down to the way they released him the day AFTER the draft, making sure that all rosters were full and no one would want to take that second look at him. 

He is a class act whom I would love to have my children (all his peers) emulate.. That being said... I saw this headline today.

Tebow fans plea to President Obama in an effort to sign him with the Jaguars 

Seriously? This is what you think the president of the United States should spend his time on? Tebow has already made more money than some people make in a lifetime. If you are really that worried about helping someone get a job... shoot contact the president for me. But MY president has other issues to see to than seeing that one man gets a job playing a game! 


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Has it been 17 years already?

 I think someone is doing the math wrong.. It can not be 17 years already and if it is then it wasn't 17 years before. 25 years ago I had a house in town.. I lived there for 5 years some time during that period the cicadas came!! And it was a 17 year cycle.. these babies were LOUD!!

I remember leaving my message on my machine.. something about beware the cicadas or if you can't hear me it's because the cicadas are so loud.. My mom teased me.. well that is until she said what is that buzzing in the background.. Geez mom, it was the cicadas.. Oh my gosh did she laugh.

But my point is.. if the 17 year cycle was then and it was between 20 and 25 years ago this year can not be the 17 year cycle. I may not be a rocket scientist but I can do basic math! *grins* No matter this summer promises to be a noisy one..