A Bit of a Catch Up with Me

In the past (as many of you know), I’ve had a love/hate relationship with M&Ms. Crikey, I used to graze on them when I wrote. You will be proud of me when you hear I haven’t had any M&Ms in ages. I bet your stock price went down.

I’ve also had a love/hate relationship with losing weight. It’s been pretty easy to write about Jo Wheeler and her weight struggles, because I’ve experienced most of them myself.

I happen to be on the good side of losing weight these days and am at my lowest weight in many years (down 62 pounds since August – yay!). Before you ask what my diet has been, I’ll tell you: FEAR. That’s right, fear.

My heart gives me fits, and I’ve had terrible bouts of afib the past few years. Probably brought on by stress but also brought on by sodium. Do you have any idea how much sodium is in our food!? It got to the point where I was afraid to eat anything.

Now I make a lot of my own food without salt – really. I make a killer hot chili oil that I put on everything. I bake bread and make my own deli roast beef. I dehydrate mushrooms and jalapenos to always have on hand. I make my own mayonnaise and salad dressings. Spinach is my friend. Plus, I simply don’t eat as much. And no sugar! Giving up sugar was much easier than I thought it would be.

I wanted to start exercising, but I’m limited with what I can do because of occasional knee/back/hip problems (thanks to many years of playing racquetball competitively), but I knew I wanted to get outside and walk.

To date, I am presently up to 1.65 miles per walk (3-4 times per week). I typically walk the ten blocks up to my new apartment. (It’s really a duplex – do you still call it an apartment?) I keep checking on the progress of the renovations.

On the book front, I realize I jumped the gun a bit with choosing a March publication date for my new Two Sisters and a Journalist book. I still might make it, but with the upcoming move, I suspect it will more likely be in April.

It saddens me that I started my new cozy series way back in 2016, and the first book still isn’t finished. But it’s close! I love this new series, and want to have this first book, Delicious Death, ready to publish by summer.

From there on out, I hope to alternate writing books between the two series. I still have dreams of writing another Susan Hunter book – maybe from the eyes of her teenage daughter. We shall see.

What are you working on? I’m on my way to losing one hundred pounds. Have you ever done this? Share with me!

15 thoughts on “A Bit of a Catch Up with Me

  1. Well, let’s see . . . where to start.

    Congratulation on being afraid and doing something about it. Many people just ignore it.

    Exercise (walking) is good, and we too are fairly rigorous about it, minimum 3 and usually four times a week of gym time, and outside walking once the weather gets better — we have a treadmill at home for when we can’t hit the gym, plus weights and a rowing machine that gets a fair amount of use (I row at the gym on the same kind of rower).

    That said, every decade is adding about five unwanted pounds. I’m now up to 180 and holding … and my doctor said that’s good and that I shouldn’t try to lose weight . . . but I’m still working on dropping about five pounds. That said, I have clothes that I’ve had since the 90s and still wear (without looking like a stuffed sausage), so I’m not doing bad, but still, I don’t want to become complacent.

    We’ve talked about giving up sugar, but we’ve opted for cutting back on carbs. Seems to be working. If we can’t control consumption, then, we too will dispense with things we love (not m&m; I’m talking about Nutella, cookies, and baked goods).

    Like you, racquetball did a number on my hips and knees, so there’s always some amount of pain. Not enough to warrant surgical intervention, but enough to limit some of what I do (plus, at 69, the body just isn’t what it used to be). I’m going through a bout right now (since December) that’s more related to the spine, but beginning to control it with targeted exercises (no drugs or shots yet, and don’t plan on any). That said, I’m not limited in anything I want to do, so that’s good, but the ever-present low-level discomfort can sometimes wear on a person. Keeping active seems to keep degradation at bay.

    Congratulation on being excited about writing and having projects you love. I remember reading one Susan Hunter book (I think I bought it, but it could have been free, I don’t remember) … It’s no surprise you’re doing well with your fans. I have to be honest and say that while I enjoyed it, it’s not really geared toward my interests (I’m partial to shootings, action, justice (justified violence), honor, draconian solutions to dealing with bad guys, etc.)

    I also admire the commitment to a series . . . I tend to tire of ideas and move on. I’ve had ideas for series, and they’re still there, waiting for me to get back to them … but new stuff is more exciting.

    You’ve not explained the apartment bit, but that’s OK.

    As for what I’m working on . . . stuff. Nothing specific. I write when the mood strikes me. The desire to send my books out has been stirred, but I’m not doing anything about it (yet). There’s the challenge I’m in, but I also want to write other stuff (I go in waves, alternating between photography and writing).

    Whew! I think I covered everything. Good luck with your move.

    • Great comment! Thank you.

      Rich has done yeoman’s work researching afib and heart irregularities. I give him a lot of credit for my change in diet and exercise plus the addition of a couple of missing nutrients. I am really grateful the bouts of afib have diminished greatly.

      It sounds like you and your wife have a good handle on what you’re doing. I thought about going to a gym. This might be too much information, but my skin still has good elasticity, and I think I can tone this poor old body up nicely. I just have to put in the work.

      No kidding on racquetball. It can do a number on you, that’s for sure. I’m with you – that low-level discomfort can really be wearing at times. But wasn’t the sport great?! I would love to get on the court just once more and play as hard as I did in my twenties. I was fearless. I actually won our state tournament my first year out. Granted, as a novice, but still – a state tournament under my belt.

      Yes, based on your writing, I can see that my fluffy works would not be up your alley. You were kind to read one of my books. 🙂

      More on the apartment and what is happening here next week.

      I hope you will either shop your work around or self-publish. You are very talented, and there is an audience who would enjoy your work.

      Thanks for the well-wishes.

    • You are welcome and thanks for the kind words.

      And, yes . . . it would be nice getting back in the court as I was ten years ago (wow . . . has it been that long since I quit!?)

      . . . yes . . . April 2012, after my second rotator cuff surgery, so maybe not going back ten years ago, but eleven, when I was at the top of my game. Anyway, I miss the memory of the game, but, realistically, it was changing . . . in the last few years, I came up against more and more players I didn’t enjoy playing (the word is “jerks”), and my favorite courts were closing, forcing me to play crappier venues.

      . . . ok, ok, I’m rationalizing, but still, it wasn’t as difficult to give up as I would have thought, probably because the second surgery was a wake-up call.

      I hear paddleball is becoming a thing, and I often imagine I could probably still clean a few clocks, but my heart isn’t in it (a poor substitute, it would be) and I’m fine with rowing, weights, stationary bike, and walking to keep fit.

      Thanks again.

  2. Look at you doing all the things! And doing them well! Good job! I wish I could lose weight. Ugh. I know it would be so much better for me but I’m lazy. LOL And no sugar! Oh wow, do I need that out of my life! Did you know that diabetics crave sugar? That’s one reason it’s so hard for us to stop eating it. Those diabetic cravings are the worse. Any way, I will talk to you soon! No, really I will. 😉 ❤

    • Hahaha, I am still torturing you with emails. Just sent another one. 🙂 I honestly couldn’t have done all this without Rich’s help. He has lost quite a bit of weight himself. Together, we have lost 117 pounds. He says we could be on a tv commercial.

      I am shocked that I don’t miss sugar. And I can’t stop eating these herring and sardine fillets. So good when fried with blackened seasoning – and I’m getting my Omega 3’s. 🙂

      Looking forward to hearing from you via email, Jackie!

  3. Awesome job with the sodium and sugar. It is amazing the sodium in food. I don’t have teeth anymore so I gave up a lot. False teeth are a pain. lol I don’t eat M&Ms either. I do love fish! Your cover looks great.

  4. I read it all. Loved hearing from you and your world. So happy for your weight loss journey. I wonder if I can ever get inspired, along w figuring out anything that will really work.

    You will always be special to me. You played such a big role in helping me find good books for my kids who grew up on the mission field. It was such a cry of my heart and you saw me, remembered me, had great suggestions. It was all so personal. You helped me carry that big burden. You made it a non-burden. :).

    The kids are in their 20’s and are turning out well! They still love Jesus even though they were raised on the mission field. Ha (Sadly I’m not kidding. A lot of kids grow cold). The three girls are all huge readers. All four kids got great scholarships and went to college and made the most of it. Three out of the four are married and the fourth will be married in June. (I’m glad that they think marriage is the next step in life.). Our eldest went back to Honduras and is teaching first grade. She gave us our first grandchild.

    Anyway I’m happy to say that they are not weirdo’s who don’t get the American culture, and that they even turned out more equipped than many of their peers. That was quite an accomplishment and you were part of it!!!

    Love, Cathy Carrion

    • Cathy, it delights me so much that you are here. People used to refer to our book business as a ministry. At the time, I always thought, “No, it’s a job.” It was later that I realized how many families we helped and how important those books were. You were one of the people who helped me to realize that truth. We schlepped those books around for almost sixteen years. 🙂 It’s hard to believe we worked so hard for so long, but we loved it, too.

      I’m happy to hear how well your children have been and what they accomplished. All four with scholarships – that’s impressive. And congratulations on your first grandchild. We don’t get to see our granddaughter very often, but I’m hoping that will change soon.

      Thank you for all of your lovely words and for being in touch. It means a great deal to me.

      Love you!

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