Friday happiness

Friday’s here, but I think I skipped Wednesday and Thursday,  it’s been that kind of week.   Like stuffing 10lbs of potatoes in a 2 lbs sack kinda week. Travel, meetings, calls, travel, meetings, calls, repeat.

But, I got to talk with Mom last night – she’d not been feeling well so that made phone calls not an option for the past little while.  She’s on the mend now.  Happiness # 1.

get-your-happy-on-quote-1

Something I’ve been working on for 6+ months is finally coming to fruition. And it’s something good for my team. I get to tell them about it next week.  Happiness # 2.

happy boy

Oldest boy’s fiance went bridesmaid shopping last night and grand-daughter MJ went, too.   I hear she tried on every hair accessory in the store, including this one:  Happiness # 3.

MJ dress shopping; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

MJ’s joy at being included; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

There’s been sickness all around – stomach flu, respiratory bugs – you name it.  Not sick.  Happiness # 4.

happy donkey

Living my life grain-free is now a way of life. Down 11.5″ and 11lbs in 30 days.  Feeling rested, healthy and in control – for the first time in years.   Happiness # 5.

super hero girl

What are you feeling happy about this week? What victory can you claim?

Rock on, friends!

Related:

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Family, Food, Gratitude, Growth, Joy, Mom, Opinion, Personal, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Random 5 Friday – home parties, epiphanies and chick-chats

It’s Friday and I’m happy about that because there’s something particularly challenging about slogging through a January work-week.  Lack of sunlight, yes, but I’m convinced all those new year, new budget cycle spreadsheets and projects have something to do with it, too.  OK – so here goes:

1  **Language warning**  but this made me laugh and snort my coffee:

quit eating shitty food

2 Home parties?  Hate them.  This is the time of year (long winter, folks are bored, I get that) that I get a bunch of invites to parties selling stuff I have no interest in.  Carrying stuff.  Crafting stuff.  Cleaning stuff.  Jewelry stuff. More. Stuff.  I have enough stuff. I don’t even like the stuff I have.  I don’t want more. Make it stop.

direct-sales-party-games-consultants

Almost as painful as those stupid shower games!

3   Had a lab follow-up appt with my Doctor yesterday.  This was to compare lab results from November to now.  My total cholesterol is  down 22pts, blood sugars are down 20 (not pre-diabetic but hovered close to it), Vit D is up, Thyroid stabilized (on meds ) and the best part was my Doc saying “I see no reason to change what you’re doing, it’s obviously working for you!” – Also – no recent resp infections (I had 5 last winter!). On the Wheat Belly way of eating I’ve shrunk – lost 10 lbs, 11″ and all BODY ACHES + chronic pain and inflammation.  I’m eating yummy real foods and today marks my 25th Day … not going back.

Picture on the Left taken Dec 29th, picture on right taken Jan 27th!   ( My motivation to change here:  Sisters don’t need words )

wb dec to jan.png

I’ve got some sass in my stance now! :)  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

 

20 days!

20 days!! and Emjayandthem (C) photo

4 Had a wonderfully hilarious soul-fulfilling afternoon with a dear friend this past week (the day that picture above was taken).  We laughed and talked and laughed again. We commiserated, strategized, supported and plotted.  I don’t know many like her – maybe 3 – and when I get the opportunity to be with her my soul sings.    I see the possibilities.  I realize that this is what I yearn for – a pal and a confidante who knows full well that the worst decisions always make the best stories and that a few hours of “chick-chat” can beat years of therapy.  Here’s to soul-sisters and great friends!

Good Friends

 

5  Something else happens when you finally put yourself on that stupid “to-do” list you’ve been carrying forever:  you become a little kinder.  To yourself. You start to appreciate all the nonsense your poor body has tolerated because of your choices over all these years.  And when it quietly whispers “thank you” and begins to function again as it was designed to do you catch yourself in a puddle of tears -tears of gratitude for what’s to come.

my body my friend

 

And how was your week?

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Curtain intolerance

It’s been an adventure, that’s for sure, this Wheat Belly way of living – eating differently, thinking differently, feeling differently.  Sleeping differently, looking differently.  All different – good – wonderful – but different.   Empowering different.

Hubbs is on board, cheering me on.  Youngest boy enjoys being my “sample taster.”  Friends are asking questions.   One has reacted negatively, because when you change it can create friction in a relationship – your change, motion, and movement can make another feel like they’re standing still.   Years ago I would have stopped my progress to rush back and “save” her and our rapport.  Not anymore.

Talking with a colleague about her unhappy relationship I listened in sadness as she described all she does for her boyfriend and how little it’s appreciated.  I listened as she told me about taking his kids to school, along with hers, how he doesn’t like it when she has to travel because he must assume her role.  It’s been three years and there’s no ring on her finger and between you and me, I don’t think he ever intended to put one there.  I listened until I couldn’t and then asked her this, “If you had a girlfriend telling you all this, what would your advice be?”

self talk

Making small changes to better my health have me feeling like I lifted the curtain – I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.    The  view has sharpened.  It has less to do with what I’m eating and more to do with (finally) putting my name on that d*mn “to-do” list I’ve carried for 30 years.  And when you do it, finally do it, the clarity you enjoy lessens tolerance for the curtains around you.

My colleague?   Settling for an unhealthy relationship with a guy who treats her badly.  I can’t save her.  She has to save herself.

Can you relate to this post?  Are you on your “to do” list?  What messages have you told yourself and are you willing to change the message?

 

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~e.e. cummings

emjayandthem in grade one

emjayandthem in grade one

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Growth, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

How not fine we are

You know that old saying about how you never know what you’ve lost till it’s gone?  Or left? Or something like that?

I didn’t realize how bad I felt until I didn’t.

Seriously.

This is what I felt like before starting the Wheat Belly way of eating 15 days ago.  Slogging though, getting it done, barely living.

sleepy-kitten-cute-kittens-9835304-450-301This is how I feel today.

peeking kitten

I wake before my alarm. I come home from work with energy to spare.  No longer am I just slogging through.

alert kitten

www.wheatbellyblog.com 

15 days. 7.5 lbs.

Inches lost.

Inflammation – gone.

Body softly whispering “Thank you.”

Muffin Face has left the building ~ someone else has taken her place and she’s feeling just fine!

 

wheatbelly-cover

“Sometimes, though, we let ourselves get so used to being ‘fine’ that we lose track of how ‘not fine’ we are.”  – ― Martina Boone, Compulsion

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Determination, Food, Gratitude, Growth, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Opinion, Quotes, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Good-bye, muffin face

I’m the daughter of a grain farmer. We grew wheat, oats, and barley on our family farm in Saskatchewan. Home-made bread was part of every meal growing up (lucky us).  Mom could stretch the meal with bread and butter, and I know we weren’t alone.  Sauces thickened with flour, baked goods welcomed us home from school, we started our mornings with porridge.   All healthy, right?

And I was a pretty healthy kid – energetic, bright and talkative.  Rarely sick, I’d catch the junk going around at school – Chicken Pox, Stomach Flu, you name it. Flash forward 45 years – my weight started to creep up, I often had the sniffles and regularly succumbed to respiratory infections.  My joints ached.  Out of nowhere my elbows starting hurting.  I became used to it.

Flash forward to my 50s, I felt like I hit a wall.  With my face. Weight loss was incremental and short-lived. My body ached for no reason whatsoever.  I’d go through bursts of energy/feeling good, working out, eating “right,” including “heart-healthy” whole grains.   Then I’d hit a point of complete and utter exhaustion.

My Pharmacist suggested Thyroid medication and that’s helped – somewhat – but still — right before Christmas, I woke up one morning to muffin face.  That tired-puffy-you look like h*ll moment.  Worse yet, I felt it.  Going up and down stairs became painful. My wrists started to ache.  I was restless at night.  I was running on empty.

Like many of you I’ve counted points on Weight Watchers, I’ve choked down Nutrisystem, I’ve taken over-the-counter metabolism boosters, I’ve followed Atkins and here’s what happened: I was cranky, hungry and annoyed.  I like to cook, I like real foods, and pre-packaged junk just isn’t my idea of a meal.

So here’s what I did.  I read and I read and I read and I read.  I watched a PBS special featuring Cardiologist Dr. William Davis talk about what happens to your body when you remove all grains.  I had purchased his book “Wheat Belly” 2 years ago and never read it.  I read it.  Then I bought “Wheat Belly Total Health,” and I read that, too.    On December 20th I bought his newest book, “Wheat Belly 10-day grain detox.”  I read that too, only this time with a highlighter.

On January 3rd I took the picture on the left at 6pm at night. I started detox Jan 4th and the 2nd picture was taken yesterday morning.  10 days.  I felt a difference in 3.   My skin is happy and less inflamed.  My face literally shrunk. I lost 5.5 lbs and more than an inch off my waist (!).  My eyes are brighter. I sleep like a tree fell.  Detox is hard – your body is so used to grains/carbs/sugar that it will fight you for what it wants.  But after about 4 days I found I was longer a chip-aholic. I no longer planned my dinners around what I could snack on later.  After 6 days I rarely felt hunger and my joints no longer ached.  With Wheat Belly you eat real, delicious, yummy food.  REAL – not out of a wrapper or box.   I’ve made Fettucine Alfredo with spiraled Zuchini noodles instead of Pasta.  I had given up eating that type of food because I always felt awful afterwards.   LOW-fat is a no-no on this way of eating – healthy fats are in (olive oil, coconut oil, avocados).

My first picture is me living on grilled chicken in a “healthy” whole wheat wrap, eating whole oats for breakfast and sipping a light beer at night.  My second is me eating Salmon seared in coconut oil, sauteed vegetables and grain free cheesecake with a glass of wine! No, I am not kidding.   The transformation I see is from existing to living!

 

My 10 day detox results - an Emjayandthem (C) photo

My 10 day detox results – an Emjayandthem (C) photo

 

I share my muffin face with all of you — to encourage you.  Maybe, like me, you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. Maybe your weight is “stuck,” too.  Maybe you want to try something for 10 days just to see if you can.  You can.  If I can do it, you can too.

Now on to the rest of my life – feeling wonderful and saying adios to muffin face! :)

  • for more visit Dr. Davis’ website http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/  or you can find the official “Wheat Belly” site on Facebook — packed with information, tips and success stories.

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Determination, Family, Food, Gratitude, Growth, Joy, Life, Personal, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Random 5 Friday – New Years, Strangers, Queen and the King

Hey! It’s Friday! It’s time for 5 random things from my world.  Ready? Set?  Go!

1  I’m still getting used to writing 2016.  I can’t seem to do it, I’ve written 15 and 17 but 16 throws me off.  What gives?

2016

all shiny and new but I just can’t seem to get used to you!

2 I don’t know about you but that first work week of the year kicks butt.  I did nothing more than “normal stuff,” but every night found me dozing in my chair before 9pm.

sleeping-dog

If only I were that tall …

3  Facebook: I have my account set so that only friends of friends can request me as a friend (say that 3 times).  Still – the other day I received a weird message from some guy in Florida who I don’t know asking me to connect with him and telling me his daughter (!) would really like me as a Step-Mom.    I didn’t respond but it drove home the point once again, “You just can’t make this stuff up.”

Facebook-thumbs-down

4  True.  Every time.

bohemian rhapsody

 

5  Today would have been Elvis Presley’s 81st birthday. I’d still be swooning and singing along.  *Sigh

Hello, Handsome! google.images.com

Hello, Handsome! google.images.com

 

 

Happy Friday! We made it – what’s on tap for the weekend, my friends?

 

Categories: Attitude, Friendship, Fun, Home, Joy, Life, music, Opinion, Personal, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Clementines and disconnects

I came back to work to an ignored box of Clementine oranges on the lunch-room table; shortly thereafter the January potluck sign-up sheet was up and I chuckled, “There go the resolutions.”

You see, at my office, if a food item contains any of these four ingredients: Cheese, Chocolate, Cool-Whip or Barbecue – it’s gone. Demolished.  So while someone very kindly thought to share the lovely little oranges, they met a sad, rotting fate with my crew.

I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions other than mulling over an epiphany that happened several weeks prior:  stop waiting.  You see I was thinking that (soon) things would slow down (they won’t). Soon I’d have time (no more than the 24 hours we all get every day).  Soon things would ease (not likely).  So quietly and calmly, just before Christmas, I made a decision and it was this:  do one thing – just one – act of kindness every day – for myself.  It wasn’t made in a manic, frantic racing around moment. It was a quiet and gentle urging:  you deserve care, too.

And so I did.

The Holidays were super-fun, we had the monkeys (grands) for several sleepovers and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and them. But we also snorted how glad we were that we had our boys when we were much younger. Those kids are busy, with questions and concerns, and interests and things to say.  Love them.

I took naps.  I read. I dropped out of contact for 24+ hours. I spent time with Hubbs and time without him.  I went out with friends, talked on the phone and slept in. I ate when I was hungry, and didn’t when I wasn’t.  I listened.

It. Was. Glorious.

Before I went back to work, I spent Sunday cooking — a roast beef dinner for hubbs, roasted vegetables, salads and chicken for me.  I packed my lunch, went to bed early, and left the office for home before dark.   And when I left, I turned off my cell phone.

These all seem like very basic things but I am here to tell you they’re not, at least for me.  Disconnecting at the end of the day has allowed me to lean into my evenings.   Tuesday, I repeated what I’d done on Monday.  Planning the same for today – revolutionary!

Simple.  Profound. And why didn’t I do it sooner?

At 52, I guess I ‘m still learning that I want the best of me, not just the rest of me.

 

Buddha-quotes-about-love

Can you relate to this? Are you capable of giving yourself love and affection, too?  What lesson has taken you years to learn?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Growth, Home, Life, Life Lessons, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

On not knowing

“Would you like to know your future?

If your answer is yes, think again. Not knowing is the greatest life motivator.

So enjoy, endure, survive each moment as it comes to you in its proper sequence — a surprise.”

― Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

 

wish

Here’s to the New Year – and all its surprises!

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Determination, Faith, Growth, Life, Personal, Quotes, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Random 5 ~ NYE

It’s Friday Thursday and New Year’s Eve.  Here are 5 randoms from my world:

1 Remember when New Year’s Eve was a big deal?  Getting dressed up, wiggling into pantyhose and new shoes and a sparkly little something to go out with a bunch of people, dance, and kiss under the 5-4-3-2-1 Happy New Year countdown?  It’s been years since I’ve felt like that.  Yes we’re going out with a group tonight – to dance, sing and such -but there’s no pantyhose in sight :).  I have a sparkly sweater in mind and we’ll probably be home by 10:30 to watch the ball drop in the basement ~ the only one I’m smooching is Hubbs.  :)

What sparks your creativity? google.images.com

2 I’ve been on vacation this week but didn’t feel like it until yesterday.  You see I’ve been on conference calls and had people pinging me left, right and center.  Yesterday I slept in, pushed away that nagging feeling saying I “should” accomplish something and instead embraced the massage chair that accompanied a pedicure.  I sipped a Caramel Iced coffee and read Hollywood magazines, catching up on the lives of people I don’t know.  When I was done I drove my relaxed self home and warmed up leftovers for supper.    A better day was not to be had.  <3

giant coffee

3   “A year of ending and beginning, a year of loss and finding…and all of you were with me through the storm. I drink to your health, your wealth, your fortune for long years to come, and I hope for many more days in which we can gather like this.”
― C.J. Cherryh, Fortress of Eagles

Mom me and sissy - wedding 2015

Me, Mom and my sister – August 2015.

4 Another year is upon us.  I stopped making resolutions a few years ago and instead continue to do what works for me — clearing away the clutter and making room for the good.  Getting rid of those who drain me and resisting the urge to let just anyone in. There’s a reason the rear view mirror is small and the windshield is wide.  :D

chapter

5 I’ve always loved this song.  And so I ask you this, “What are you doing New Year’s Eve?”

 

Happy New Year, friends!  ~MJ

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Grief, Holidays, Home, Life, Love, News, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Romance, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Christmas 2015 ~ Changes, lessons and blessings

Christmas has come and gone and with that comes time to reflect.  I have a few days off ahead of me and a couple of closets that need attention.  But I also have new books waiting on the end table … I think the books might win. :)

The grand kids were with us the night of the 23rd and all day the 24th, and our family feasted, played and opened presents that evening. It was fun and cozy and wonderful.  But it was also different.  You see things changed this year: they’ve slept over on Christmas eve for 3 years now, and we have embraced waking to two bright little faces … even if they do tend to get up on the early side.

But this year was different.  They wanted to go home, to hang their stockings there with Dad and his fiance.  That’s a very good sign that they know who their home is.

Still, we packed as much in as we could, playing Yahtzee and Dice, making chocolate chip pancakes and lunches/snacks, enjoying Holiday movies like “Elf” and “Prancer” and calling the Santa Tracker regularly to check on the big guy’s whereabouts. We read the story of Jesus’ birth and “The Night before Christmas.”    At the end of the night, as Dad and his love bundled them up, they were sleepy but excited to go home, see the dog and put out cookies for Santa.

Several times that day I had tried calling Mom but she didn’t answer; what I didn’t know is she’s congested again and that impacts her hearing.  The phone is next to her, but she never heard it ring.  Talking with my sister Christmas Day she relayed that she and my oldest brother spent part of the day with Mom and how much she enjoyed it but that it played her out, too.   I shared my connectivity concerns and she suggested I call the front desk and have them bring Mom the portable phone, which we did.  For about 5 minutes Mom chatted with me, Hubbs and youngest boy, and while our conversations were brief,  we all expressed our love and gratitude for her as well as our sincere wishes for a Happy Christmas.  We each had a tear when the call ended. And if the time comes that she can no longer hear well enough to talk on the phone, I guess I’ll have to come up with an alternative.

I’ve beat myself up for weeks,  wondering why I wasn’t feeling it ~ the Christmas “spirit.”

I can see now that life has been preparing me for another change.  Time to let some things go – to roll with the changes – and to land safely on the other side.   I’m trying to remain open as to what He has in store for me.

a time to keep

“Sacred blessings and divine opportunities appear in your life disguised as unforeseen changes and challenging circumstances.” ― Miya Yamanouchi

 

What changes are you sensing?  Are you able to roll with them?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, fear, Grief, Growth, Holidays, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Mom, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Seasons, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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