Tuesday, January 14, 2020

16 Months plus 2 Years

I haven’t blogged in many months, not because I don’t have anything to say. No, on the contrary. I have plenty to say. I write for a living and I keep myself busy! Sometimes writing for pleasure gets pushed WAY down my list of things I want to accomplish.

Today, though, marks some important anniversaries. As of today, I’m 16 months sober and I’ve been riding a motorcycle for two years: two things that have had a huge impact on the person I am today.
Since I bought my Harley last March, I have put over 10,000 miles on her. On bikes before the Harley, I probably rode another 10,000 miles. That’s 20,000 miles of pure freedom and joy. I have taken several rides with the Litas, the group of women riders I am part of. We have gone on several rides with our group of riding friends. I have ridden with my husband all over the Dallas/Ft Worth area. We took our first motorcycle trip to NW Arkansas in September during Bikes, Blues and BBQ and rode some of the most beautiful roads in the South. But mostly, my favorite riding therapy are those solo rides. Just me and my music blaring into my helmet, clearing my head and feeling the wind on my face.

In July 2019, I wanted to get back into a routine of exercise. In past years, I’d racked up tons of miles walking, but hadn’t been able to regain my focus on exercising for a while. This time, though, I decided to focus on lifting weights. I still sometimes walk, but my focus is gaining strength and tone. Since joining the gym, I have consistently gone 2 or 3 days every single week for going on 7 months now. It’s amazing to see the muscles I’ve never seen before starting to define themselves. I have biceps!

Sometime in the summer/fall of 2019, I started eating foods off my plan occasionally. My mental and physical health suffered because of it. I stumbled through a pretty awful depression for several months, but eventually realized it was because I had stopped focusing on eating the right foods for my autoimmune condition. The important thing is I DIDN’T drink to cope with that depression.  I still kept going to the gym a few days a week. The depression was absolutely caused by eating inflammatory foods that exacerbate my Hashimoto’s. The day after Christmas, I recommitted myself to eating to nourish my mind and my body. It’s amazing…within two or three days of eating paleo once again, that depression was GONE. My body stopped hurting again. My joint pain and low energy were resolved. The majority of the symptoms of Hashimoto’s were gone. You think I’d learn. Eating grains and legumes and processed junk makes me sick. Every single time. And it’s not just digestive symptoms. On the contrary, in fact. Having an upset stomach is the least of my worries. No, when I eat those things, my body hurts. My energy is zapped. My libido is gone. But worse, my mental health suffers immensely. I stop caring about things that are important to me. I cancel plans. I just want to stay home and be alone. I’m grateful I was able to pull myself back up out of this depression again and overjoyed I didn’t turn to the bottle to make it through.

Our family has had some exciting changes this past year.

My son, who battles severe anxiety and depression, started his first JOB a few months ago. He loves it, and has become so much more self sufficient and proud of himself for the first time. This Christmas was the first time he had his own money to buy gifts and was so incredibly excited to give presents to the people he loves! He has even been on a few dates and is meeting new people for the first time in years. He has plans to learn to drive, to earn his GED, and to move OUT. He had top surgery in August, which is a huge piece of confirming and supporting his identity. For the first time in many years, he and we can see possibility.

Our daughter graduated with a degree in hospitality management in May, another exciting feat! Her senior year of high school, so was also diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and struggled with many of the same symptoms I’ve had to manage. Her first year of college was a real battle, but she, too, learned to avoid certain foods and sees a great doctor for managing her condition. And on New Year’s Day, she got ENGAGED! Her fiancé is a wonderful person, and we couldn’t be more proud and excited for them. The two of them truly seem to be in love and make a great team. They live in a brand new house he had built a little over a year ago and are completely independent, working great jobs and doing this adult thing so much better than we certainly were doing at 24 years old!

In October, my husband and I celebrated 25 YEARS of being married. Since that first ride on the back of his Harley in September 2017, we have continued to become closer than ever before. We genuinely enjoy our time together and have a blast going on adventures. 2020 has us both focused on goals and dreams for the next 25 years together.

At 47 years old, I feel so much stronger, confident, and content with life than ever before. When I look back at pictures of myself 5 years ago, I don’t recognize that woman. Sure, there are physical changes, but look at the eyes. Look at the smile. The healthiness and happiness just oozes out from within. The picture on the left is 2009, 37 years old. My Hashimoto’s was undertreated, I was drinking pretty heavily, and my body hurt all the time. The picture on the right is 2019, 47 years old. Sober, happy, healthy.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Another Boring Recap

So it seems my blog has become a weekend recap blog lately. At least I am writing, right?

Friday I took the day off for my son’s doctor appointment and some errands we needed to take care of. By 3:30, I was finished with my parenting obligations and of course, hopped on my bike to enjoy the lovely weather. I love all kinds of riding, but one of my favorites is riding alone with no destination and no timeline. I ventured north-ish and turned when I felt like it. I stopped when I felt like it. I rode so long that the battery in my Sena completely drained. For you non-riders, Sena is a brand of in-helmet communication systems. It allows me to connect with other riders so we can talk via intercom as needed, but it also pairs with my phone so I can take phone calls, hear commands with GPS navigation, and listen to music from my phone. I had my tunes playing and just rode.

I rode a long loop around north Texas and ended up at an old, cool petrified wood gas station in Decatur, TX. I had been here before with a large group of riders, but this time accidentally rode past it. Of course, I had to stop for a few photos. It’s exactly what it sounds like – an old gas station and accompanying small cabins made of petrified wood. It was built in 1927 and later covered with chunks of petrified wood. The cabins and gas station have long since been closed, but it’s become a small roadside curiosity and attraction.

Phoenix in front of the abandoned gas pumps:

Some of the gorgeous Texas flowers with the petrified cabins in the background:

Me in front of Phoenix in front of the gas pumps:

From Decatur, I looped the long way around through Ft. Worth and ended at Texas Harley in Bedford for their bike night. The ride home was just after sunset, which is another favorite type of ride…this was in the dark, after rush hour traffic, going 75-80 down toll roads. It was a stressful, busy week, and my few hours ride with just me, my thoughts, my music, and my bike were a perfect way to decompress.

Sunday consisted of our regular venture to Bikes and Coffee in Denton. We chatted with people there for a bit, then opted not to go on the big group ride with them. There were probably over 20 bikes headed on the group ride, and it was to a destination we have ridden to several times before. It’s a good thing we didn’t go with that group – two different people in that group ended up wrecking yesterday! One was bad enough that he broke his collar bone and is having surgery today. We love taking group rides, but there were enough people we didn’t know (and thus didn’t know their riding skills), that we decided to skip that group. Instead, we decided to ride the opposite direction with 3 other friends and had a wonderful day. We left the house a little after 9 a.m. and didn’t get back until after 5:30. From Denton, we rode over to Sherman to eat burgers at MG’s, a great little burger spot hidden in the middle of a residential area. Here we are parked across from the restaurant.

We took some fun back roads over to the Motorcycle Outpost in Westminster, a frequent biker meetup spot. After hanging out there a bit, we took another REALLY fun, twisty road back to civilization. After splitting off from our friends, my husband and I ended our riding day with a stop at our favorite coffee shop, Mochas and Javas in Frisco.

We ended up riding almost 150 miles throughout the day, and had a wonderful time with our friends.

And of course, our Sunday evening ended with that super intense episode of Game of Thrones! Hard to believe there are only a few episodes left…this week’s was crazy!

Happy week to all my friends!

Monday, April 22, 2019

17 in 7

My body is different. Completely different. Since my last drink sometime Friday night, September 14, 2018 (that’s 7 months, 8 days, but who’s counting? Oh yeah, me 😊), my body has slowly been changing.

I am not constantly thinking about (not) drinking all the time. I don’t make a mental plan to stop at the liquor store on my way home from work anymore. A little over a week ago, I went to a Game of Thrones watching party where the other guests were drinking. I had a mocktail and a few sparkling waters and was just fine. Even my husband had a drink. He had started a non-alcoholic year of sobriety in February of 2018.

Let me explain what a non-alcoholic year of sobriety is. His best friend from childhood was a recovering alcoholic. That friend had died a few years earlier (not from alcohol – he had slayed that dragon). His father was diagnosed with Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome around the time he decided to quit. WKS is related to long-term alcoholism. His dad had been placed in a nursing home at 70 years old as a result of seizures and numerous physical issues related to his alcoholism. My husband has never been a problem drinker, fortunately. After watching his dad decline rapidly, he decided to quit drinking for a year as a sort of protest and eff you to his dad. His dad ended up losing the battle in July, but still my husband did not drink…even after our daughter brought him back a bottle of Jameson whiskey directly from the distillery in Ireland. Then with my own struggles and getting sober, well, he made it well past that year mark and decided to enjoy a single glass of scotch at the party. Then he drank sparkling water and diet soda the rest of the night. I have to admit, I was a little jealous…I was NEVER able to sip and enjoy a single drink. Anyway, I digress. My point was I survived and even had fun at a party with many people I didn’t know. The old me would have NEEDED a few drinks as social lubrication.

Not drinking has changed my body in many ways. But then, a routine checkup with my endocrinologist a few months back changed it further. My thyroid antibodies were up after previously being in check, so she put me back on low-dose naltrexone. Higher dose naltrexone has been used as an anti-opiod for addicts, but in low doses, it has been found to help with autoimmune conditions and cancers. The way LDN works is somewhat of a mystery, but it does, over time, seem to help with many of the autoimmune symptoms.

So LDN plus no booze has been magical for my energy, sleep quality, libido, moods, skin, hair, joint pain, digestive functioning, and overall well-being.

I’ve lost 17 pounds in those 7 months. That’s less than 2 ½ pounds a month, but I haven’t been making a super concerted effort to lose weight. It’s just been a natural result of two big changes in my life. My primary focus initially was just staying sober. I mostly eat low carb with no grains and no sugar, but there were plenty of meals during this time that consisted of junk. I ate what some would call a cheat meal at least once a week this entire time. The scale showed a number for the first time below 200 since some time in 1996! All this without managing to keep up a regular exercise schedule. I mean, riding a motorcycle also burns calories, so I DO count that as some type of exercise. And I ride as often as I can!

It’s not just a number on the scale that’s changed either. Clothes are looser. While I will probably always have a belly apron from being over 65 pounds heavier, my stomach has definitely shrunk. The mesh riding jacket I last wore last fall is much looser – I had to tighten the waist adjustment, and the zipper is much easier to fasten.

I also feel so much more confident. It’s not really the physical changes, though, that I tie that confidence to. It’s primarily mental. I gained incredible confidence learning to ride a motorcycle. I also feel more confident every time I face a situation where I would have needed alcohol to get through. When I conquer those social fears and even thrive in them completely sober, my confidence grows further. Thursday night, for example, I went ALONE to a bike night event at a local bar and grill. My husband and a few other friends were showing up later, but the fact that I went by myself was HUGE! The socially awkward me either would have found a reason not to go or would have bee-lined to the bar for a drink to calm down. Instead, I backed my 723-pound motorcycle into a parking spot IN FRONT OF a few dozen other bikers (that in itself is a big deal – I used to be nervous to pull up and park where lots of experienced bikers would be and would often park nose in instead of trying to wrangle my bike backwards). I marched right inside to the bar, and I ordered a diet coke. Easy breezy.

It feels incredibly empowering to ride up on a big Harley in front of primarily men and saunter right through them all, knowing at least a few are watching and noticing the GIRL who rode up.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Onederland and Game of Thrones

Yep, still here, still here…life is just super busy, and writing seems to trickle down to the bottom of my list lately.

That said, I only have time for a super quick update.

Saturday morning, I stepped on the scale to this:

Yeah, I know the picture isn’t great, but that’s a ONE in the first digit. The last time I saw something other than a 2 was 1995! And I was pregnant then. I owe that both to getting back to low carb/keto AND to low dose naltrexone for my Hashimotos. I’ll have to write another post about naltrexone, but I’m convinced it’s made the difference in my health progress completely.

Saturday evening, we celebrated one of our best friend’s 50th birthdays. While there, they gave me a belated Christmas gift:

That’s made out of an old record album – isn’t it the coolest?

Finally, my daughter and her boyfriend hosted a Game of Thrones watching party Sunday evening. Those two throw a great party! All the food was themed, they had a premium cocktail menu made up (and even an Unsullied Cocktail for us non-drinkers). Their house was completely decked out in GoT decorations, and both of them were excellent hosts, bouncing among guests, making sure everyone had a beverage, and chatting with each person. You can tell they both work in the field of high-end hospitality! The Night King cocktail was a blueish purple color and had a pebble of dry ice dropped in, so it glowed like White Walker eyes – pretty awesome. Here’s just one pic of food that made me chuckle:

Finally, my son Anders made the cheese boards with his wood burning kit:

It was a busy, long weekend, filled with friends and family and laughter. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Monday, April 8, 2019

Back to What Works. Again.

Well, the experiment with focusing on primarily zero-point foods has unceremoniously gone out the window. I tried for a few weeks to choose foods Weight Watchers has deemed zero points (skinless poultry breast, eggs, fat free plain yogurt, beans, vegetables, and fruit). I have come to the conclusion that eating plan is way too high carb for me. Sure, I could make it lower carb by laying off the fruit and beans and measured portions of points-having foods, but, well, ugh. What a pain. In summary, I found that I was hungry all.the.time. I tried an earlier version of Weight Watchers many years ago, and I should have remembered. Weight Watchers works for losing weight if you follow the plan – there is no doubt. But I should have remembered how hungry I was on that plan.

I have spent so many years eating some variation of lower or very low carb that my body just did not know how to manage the higher carbs and the inevitable bounces in blood sugar and energy. I was a bottomless pit, which leads to wanting to overeat. I would load up on a dose of higher carb food, feel great for about an hour, and then crash. Hard. And want to eat again in another hour.

One of the glorious benefits/side effects of eating low carb is the natural appetite suppressant. When I am eating low carb, my energy stays nice and level all day long, and I can eat a reasonable portion of food and be completely satisfied.

As I mentioned before, I am not primarily focused on losing weight. I refuse to spend all of my life obsessing and worried about every little thing I put in my mouth and about what number the scale says. I have way more important things to do and think about. I do, however, want to be as healthy as I can be and just feel good. And from trying every combination of eating plan out there at least once, I KNOW what my body likes.

So, I’m back to skipping to beans, fruit, and points-having foods like corn, potatoes, gluten free goodies, and rice (I’ve still maintained being gluten-free at about 95% or higher for many years).
Fortunately, my few weeks of trying to eat through Weight Watchers guidance did not result in me gaining a ton of weight. I was up a few pounds, but they fell right back off once I decided to re-focus on low carb eating.

And I feel so much more even again. My mood, energy, well-being, libido, and just about everything else related to my physical and mental health is so much better after just a few days back on low carb.
There are a dozen or more different low and lower carb plans out there, but I guess I would describe the plan I follow as dirty, lazy keto. I eat fats and oils, meat, chicken, fish, eggs, a little cheese and heavy cream, and some vegetables. Nuts tend to upset my stomach if I eat too many, so I reserve those for emergencies (like being out and only having a convenience store from which to pick a snack).  I try to pick mostly real food as opposed to low carb bars, shakes, and snacks, but I’ll use those occasionally in a pinch. I enjoy a little sugar free candy and diet sodas here and there, but I try not to lean on them too much.

Like I said, I’ve eaten this way for so many years, it really isn’t a big deal to find food in almost every situation. Ordering in restaurants is generally not difficult unless it’s a place that ONLY has, say, breaded chicken and fried potatoes. But most restaurants, even fast food ones, have some sort of option that works: burgers without a bun, side salads, dinner salads with grilled chicken, eggs and bacon…there are loads of option almost anywhere. And if I find myself hungry and somewhere that doesn’t have any type of low carb option or easy way to order something low carb, I have a packet of nuts or a low carb meal bar in my bag. Easy peasy. And man, do I feel so much better already.

On a separate note, I have, so far, completely failed in my attempt to keep up a walking routine. I mapped out a plan to train for walking 10K, but haven’t managed to get in more than 1 or 2 walks a week so far. I am balancing a promotion and heavier workload with wanting to ride my motorcycle as often as I can. I frankly just have not put a priority on getting formal exercise in.
I burn lots of calories riding, I am keeping up with minimum 5,000-6,000 steps during a work day (which believe me is a lot in my line of work!), and I am relatively active. I rarely sit and veg on the couch for hours at a time – I am always doing some kind of moving around when I am not actively working.

We are also in the beginning of spring in North Texas, which either means gorgeous weather or insane storms. When it’s gorgeous outside, I want to ride!

On Thursdays, I work from home. With an exactly zero minute commute on Thursdays, I can literally close my laptop, put on my riding gear, and be out on the road in less than 10 minutes (in contrast, when I work in the office, I close my laptop, sit in traffic for an hour or longer, and then maybe land on my couch around 6 or 6:30). I did just that this past Thursday. It was about 70 degrees and sunny. I hopped on Phoenix and was riding away a little after 5 p.m. I rode North, which is the only direction from our area that still has some fields, open land, and quiet country roads. Anything East, West, or South is more traffic, more concrete, and more of Dallas/Ft. Worth suburbia. I stopped at a park and took some pictures, and then rode on to an empty high school sports stadium for some parking lot practice. This stadium is where a motorcycle school teaches classes, so different course exercises are painted on the parking lot surface permanently. I spent about 20 minutes practicing figure eights and u-turns. I then headed north again and wound my way around a few more country roads before I turned toward home. I ended up being gone for around 2 ½ hours, pulling in to the garage right as it was starting to get darker out. Perfect.

Anyhow, my work and life have been super busy lately – in a good way, so I haven’t had the time to stop and write a blog post.

I did want to check in on my eating and (lack of formal) exercise progress.

Bottom line: I feel really good physically, mentally, and emotionally right now. I’ll keep on doing what I’m doing…because it’s working!

And on a side note, I am about to reach the seven months sober milestone! Most days, I don’t even think about drinking. I don’t want it and I don’t need it anymore.

Cheers, my friends.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Introducing Phoenix!

Happiest of happy Mondays! Tuesdays! I started writing this Monday and ran out of time.
Another whirlwind weekend in the books for me. I could definitely use some downtime for a day, just to do nothing at home.

Friday after work, I went straight home, changed into my riding gear, and hopped on the bike. The Harley dealership where my husband works has a bike night every Friday night in the spring and summer, so I thought I’d go there, hang out a bit, and then ride home with him. When I got there, he asked if I wanted to go on a test ride…of the bike I have been ogling for months, a Heritage Classic. I was a bit nervous. I didn’t want to mess up the bike! How embarrassing for him to take his wife on a test ride and for her to drop or scratch it. We did go, though, and it was AMAZING! So comfortable and it fit me perfectly. Afterward, he had the finance manager run some numbers for us. This wasn’t completely spontaneous. We had talked several weeks about upgrading our bikes. Both our cars are paid for, and motorcycles are what we do for fun. Plus, this year is our 25th anniversary. We had talked about maybe taking a trip to Europe to celebrate, but long story short, we ended up buying two Harleys for early presents.

Mine is a BRAND new 2019 Heritage Classic with custom paint. I NEVER buy brand new vehicles – all my cars are pre-owned, and I have paid cash for my previous bikes. Isn’t she GORGEOUS? The orange detail is custom pinstriping, hand completed by an artist in Oklahoma. Her name is Phoenix, since motorcycles are what helped me rise out of the flames of alcoholism.

Other than that, it’s a stock bike, so of course I have dreams to upgrade a bunch of features as we have time and money to do so.

He got a 2017 Road King that is COMPLETELY customized, but only had 3500 miles. It’s practically new and is the bike he has wanted for a long time.

We didn’t even start the process of paperwork and all the fun that goes with buying a vehicle until after 8 p.m. By the time we finished and were ready to head home, it was close to midnight! The dealership is about 40 miles from the house, so we had a beautiful night ride home. We didn’t get to bed until almost 2 (and the poor guy had to get up at 5:30 for work Saturday!)
Saturday was rainy and gray, so I didn’t get to ride the bike, but I had plans with my son all day anyhow.

Sunday; however, it was ON! We left the house around 9 a.m. to meet about 15 friends for the first leg of a ride. Here’s our two bikes all polished up and ready to ride!

Why this group of people keep agreeing to follow me places, I’ll never know…but I lead a group about 15 miles on the first leg of our ride, from Denton to Carrollton, TX. Here’s a shot of our regular riding group. That’s my husband on his new Road King in the sparkly silver helmet in the front.

We met up with another group of about 25 MORE bikes there. Another girlfriend led the larger group on an hour ride southwest to a town called Burleson outside of Ft. Worth (if you watched American Idol, Burleson is famous for being Kelly Clarkson’s hometown). It is SO cool to be in a long line of over 40 bikes riding down the interstate! I rode sweep, which is the tail position, to herd slower riders and/or stop if anyone has trouble or the group gets split up. Such a beautiful day – The bluebonnets are exploding on the grasslands this season. Because of lots of rainfall in the fall and winter, the bluebonnets are extra thick and heavy this year. Too bad I cannot take photos while I am riding, because those purplish-blue hills along the interstate are breathtaking. It was sunny and got up to 82 degrees!

Our destination was a place called Moontower Pizza Bar in old town Burleson. We had riders coming from all over the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for an event to eat the world’s largest pizza (at least the world’s largest publicly available pizza – it’s 8 feet long by almost 3 feet wide!)

We ended up with around 100 bikers for the event, and this pizza was gone in less than 5 minutes! I don’t know if it was good – I didn’t eat any because I don’t eat gluten. It was awesome seeing so many of our rider friends! A group of 11 of us walked over to a restaurant nearby to have lunch, and then we rode back home. I didn’t track the exact mileage, but we rode over 100 miles at least yesterday.

My husband and I walked in the door, fortunately about an hour before huge storms came through. We had golf ball or larger size hail…it sounded like the skylight in the kitchen was going to smash in!

Healthwise, I had a good week. As far as my goal for training to walk 10K, I only managed to officially walk 3 days instead of my goal of 5, but it’s still way better than the routine of no exercise at all for many months! Last week’s training was just 20 minutes a walk, so I will still bump up this week to 25 minutes each with a longer weekend walk. Saturday, my son and I are going to an expo, so I know we will walk thousands of steps around downtown Dallas that day.

I mentioned in that post, too, that I am trying something different with my food. What I am loosely doing is much broader than my eating plan before. I am loosely following the new Weight Watchers Freestyle plan. By following, I mean I am focusing on zero-point foods as much as possible. I really like the way they added in some extra lean proteins as zero-point foods. Zero-point foods align nicely with how I was eating anyhow…this just shifts the focus a little more heavily on protein and a lot less heavily on fats – plus it allows a few things I have not been eating like beans. I am finding if I eat as low on the points values as I can during the day, I have room to enjoy limited servings of gluten-free grains, maybe a little sweet or other snack food. The Freestyle points make it completely possible to eat zero or very low points and still have full, satisfying meals. The only thing I avoid completely is gluten, and I still limit my dairy as much as possible because I am lactose intolerant.

Zero-point foods are:
·         fruits and vegetables (except things like potato and avocado)
·         skinless chicken and turkey breast
·         extra lean ground chicken and turkey
·         eggs
·         beans
·         fat free plain yogurt
·         fat free salsa
·         corn

Although a challenge, someone could easily eat only zero-point foods and have a very balanced, satisfying menu. I mean, a big bowl of black beans and corn, some grilled onions and peppers, some salsa and a spoon of plain yogurt is delicious and filling and ZERO POINTS! One or two if I use a small amount of oil to sauté the vegetables. I try to create most of my meals and snacks with these foods and limit anything else to small portions less frequently. I eat as much of these zero-point foods as I need to feel satisfied, and then I will add just 2 or 3 measured portions of low fat salad dressing, half cup of rice, 1 cup of potatoes, or a slice or two of gluten free bread. Or if I’m having a fattier meat like a burger patty, I’ll pair it with veggies and fruit and skip the gluten free bun and potato side.
This has been REALLY satisfying and I’ve been really successful with the balance. I eat very low points during the day so I can enjoy a dinner with fattier meat, maybe potatoes, or even a little sweet treat. OR if I choose to eat foods off the zero-point list while we are out to lunch, I’ll stick to as low as possible for my dinner.

I am still gluten free probably 95% of the time and limit my dairy, but opening up so many more options has been wonderful. I wanted popped rice crackers the other day, so I measured out one portion and enjoyed them. I craved ice cream, which I rarely eat, but I bought one of those tiny single servings of Ben and Jerry’s and completely enjoyed it. But when I do eat those foods, I eat a single portion and try to stick to only low or zero-point foods the rest of the day. Bottom line is for foods not on that list, I make sure it’s really something I want and measure out a single portion. And totally enjoy it.

My digestion is excellent, my energy is good, and it feels so freeing after years of rotating between keto or whole 30 or paleo where I completed limited whole categories and types of foods.
And the scale is moving again. It hasn’t really moved much at all the past few years. I lost the initial 60ish pounds in 2015 and 2016, then have bounced around within about a 25-pound range since then. 
This morning, I reached a NEW LOW…200.4 SO CLOSE to the 100s again, which – I am not kidding – I have not seen since 1995! I’m confident I will see a 1 and a 9 as the first numbers on the scale very soon.

Monday, March 18, 2019

No More Countdowns

I still have a tracker app on my phone where I can see how long it’s been since I decided to get sober, but I am no longer all that interested in counting the days and months. There was something about passing the six-month mark that made this feel so much more permanent. Don’t get me wrong – I know relapse is a very common occurrence, even after many months or even years sober. I have just had a mindset of focusing on the me living in the here and now instead of focusing on the me living with booze in the past. Staying sober is still a top priority, but I’m choosing to keep moving forward on personal goals and accomplishments. If I don’t think about drinking most of the time, I don’t feel the need to look at my sober tracker whenever I want to blog.

Moving on.

This weekend was SOOO beautiful and, well, pretty darn perfect.

Friday after work, my son wanted to go shopping. That in itself is a big deal – neither he nor I like to shop or even get out of the house all that often. Regardless of being tired from a long work week, I jumped at the chance to do something with him. We just went to Walmart, so no huge deal, but we ended up spending over two hours wandering through the store, chatting, and laughing. We both bought a few random things – underwear, personal care stuff, etc. When we got home, he not only gave me a hug, he thanked me for buying all the stuff! Check out this ridiculous find: we were browsing through a clearance rack, and I found this men’s size 3X Bob Ross t-shirt for only $3! It’s huge, but will make a great sleep shirt.

Saturday morning was cool, but the sun was shining and the wind was negligible. I spent my morning catching up on housework. In the afternoon, my son and I gathered up my grand dog Zeke. Zeke is staying with us for a few weeks while my daughter’s house has some major repairs and renovation done from a mold problem. Poor kids – they just had this house built brand new and moved in just a few months ago. Then they discovered some type of leak and mold in the master closet and bathroom. Anyhow, we decided to take Zeke on some of the walking trails at the back of our neighborhood. We border Lake Lewisville in North Texas, so some of the trails run next to the northern edge of the lake. Zeke LOVED it, and we had a nice leisurely 50-minute hike.

Look at that gorgeous sky! It felt SO amazing to get a nice walk together with my son and grand dog.

Sunday morning, we got up early for our regular motorcycle meetup. Two friends were meeting at our house at 8 a.m. to ride out to breakfast. It was back down in the upper 30s that early, but I’d learned my lesson last week. I wore my thick wool socks and a base layer under my Kevlar jeans and jacket. After breakfast, we headed to Bikes and Coffee on the Denton Square, where we all hung out and chatted for a while. Often a group or two head off for rides from there. Here’s a pic of me with 3 of my Litas biker babes. I’m the one peeking out from behind my friend 😊

A group of our friends did head out for a ride afterward, but my husband and I decided to do our own thing this time. Before he changed jobs about a month ago, he was home by 3:30 and had weekends off. We had plenty of time to hang out just the two of us on Saturdays and weeknights. Now, though, he gets home after 8 p.m. and works every Saturday. I go to bed before 10, so that’s not much time together. Now we don’t see each other nearly as often, so we skipped the friend ride this week for some time with just us. We rode the bikes all over, went to lunch and visited a few thrift stores. I found a few dresses and some workout gear – yay, thrift finds! At one point, we were at a stop light, and the SUV next to us rolled down the driver’s and backseat windows. There was a little girl in the backseat. The dad said, “Hello, Motorcycles!” as she shyly waved. I waved and said hello to the little girl. I LOVE when kids wave or point at me when I’m riding. It’s hard to tell gender from someone dressed in full gear and helmet, but I do wear a long ponytail down my back when I ride. I also had a lavender backpack purse on. I hope at least every once in a while, a little girl sees me and thinks maybe she TOO could ride a motorcycle! The sun was out all day, and it quickly warmed up to the mid-60s…absolutely perfect riding weather. Mid-60s is cool enough not to sweat wearing full armored gear and a helmet, but warm enough not to freeze.  We ended up being gone from 8 until almost 5 p.m. We were both exhausted, but relaxed and happy after a full day together.

The weather just about all week looks about the same: sunny with highs in the upper 60s, and today started my official training plan for walking 10K. What better weather than this to get out and walk! I drove to a nearby park on my lunch break and took a nice, brisk 20-minute walk. It felt GREAT!

So in summary, perfect weekend and a pretty great Monday to start off my week!