Tag Archives: Motivation

Remind in 15 Minutes…



The world of the SciFi writer has always intimidated me. I don’t believe I have the kind of creative mind that can conjure up these special worlds, write complicated stories about them, configure plots that back my protagonists into corners and then rescue them. It just seems so hard. I have always wanted to write literary non-fiction, stories with meaning and purpose rather than just stories to entertain. And yet, so many people simply write for entertainment’s sake even when the stories they are telling scare us, disgust us or make us laugh. I suppose the purpose of creative writing is that it has no real purpose except what the author wants it to have, which is to either make money or engage the reader. Getting a reader to purchase your book, and read it hopefully in one sitting is certainly a challenge that not every author can rise to.

But actually that is not what I wanted to write about here, this blog is essentially created by me to externalize my frustrations with my body, with lifelong dieting and deprivation and with my complicated relationship with my now-deceased older sister. These days of Covid-19 have had me truly in a meditative state. That notwithstanding, however, last week I seemed to have averaged 9 hours per day on my telephone (which doubles as a computer, I might add) a 42% increase over the week prior to that. I know exactly how and why it happened and it scares me.

Last week, we saw many protests around the murder of George Floyd. Adding to that was speculation about the number of people who were expected to attend 45’s rally in Oklahoma. Then the surge in deaths and numbers of Covid-19 victims in certain states. Added to that is stress about my own circle’s health, employment, restrictions, etc. I do recall that Twitter would let me know that I had reached my 30 minute self-imposed daily limit and that I asked it to “remind me again in 15 minutes” several times per day. Then I would go on Instagram. I confess that most of the stories were not new to me on either feed because I do not follow that many people. In addition, it wasn’t extra time that I devoted to writing and that makes me feel bad.

I have a huge challenge in my office that I am trying to sort out. I also have plans for my garden which have not been materializing because I have not been able to get to the nursery when I thought I could. I need to hang in there, as I so often suggest to the people who I write to on my Sunday blog. But I have a hard time following my own advice.

For the moment, I need to concentrate on maintaining my rhythm with my WW program by focusing on one meal at a time. I need to do what I can in my office in 15-minute segments, much the way I ask Twitter and Instagram to remind me. But mostly I need to remember that this crisis will eventually pass and that I will be emotionally, spiritually and mentally stronger and hopefully a few pounds lighter.

bing.com royalty-free image

How boring it can be!


When I was looking for an image to add to this post, I searched “boredom” on bing.com. The first image that caught my eye was this tired, lifeless woman who seems quietly desperate to be elsewhere. The caption reads “souvenir seller”…my goodness, who would buy anything from her? It is the perfect image to add to this post, as I am bored of the same tired subject of weight loss.

I just finished reading a simple, free PDF book by Brooke Castillo called “If I Am So Smart, Why Can’t I Lose Weight?”.  Ms. Castillo is frank about not being a doctor or nutritionist, just a successful entrepreneur who managed to lose 70 lbs. and maintain it. In my book, that lends a lot of credibility to her pitch. I read the book quickly once through as she suggests, and will probably go back and print out the exercises, etc. There are a couple of things in the book that are different from others of its kind. For example, Ms. Castillo does not suggest we get rid of the temptations (junk food) in our cabinets or the scale in our bathroom. She insists they have a place in our life if we are to successfully and once and for all get rid of the excess weight that is keeping us from living our best days.

My “boredom” with everything related to my weight issue is hopefully the beginning of a once and for all permanent weight loss. No matter how long it takes (hopefully not beyond 2019), it is my intention to be rid of the 30 excess pounds on my small frame and never have them coming back to me. Intellectually, I know what to do. It is all about calories in and out. There are thousands of programs out there, for nutrition, for exercise, for inspiration…but everything really has its roots internally. At my age (63), I have read and tried everything. My problem is that I have secondary gains from this weight or I wouldn’t hold on to it.

That is where I am this morning: cogitating the secondary gains. I know they are there and serve some purpose. Today my goal is to be kind to me as I navigate my day from meal to meal. I have just enjoyed a delicious, lovingly prepared squash and cheese omelet, two strips of bacon and one half of an English muffin. I had eaten a banana earlier and I am finishing my second cup of black coffee. This substantial breakfast will hold me for several hours. I can honestly say that I rarely feel real hunger. I snack healthily every couple of hours. My problem comes at night when, after dinner, my husband and I enjoy watching television together and we like to have a cocktail or two and a couple of chocolates. If I reduce what I eat during the day, these “empty but delicious” calories would be no problem. If I increase how much I exercise during the day, the same would be true. But I don’t do either…so my weight either remains the same for weeks on end or (if the indulgence is greater), I gain a pound or two. Like many permanent dieters, I fight with the same few pounds for months at a time.

After childhood obesity, I successfully lost 35 lbs. when I was 19. I maintained that normal weight for decades. A medical emergency in 2000 caused me to gain 6 lbs. in the hospital due to a high calorie diet ordered by my doctor to protect my organs from the strong medication to treat my condition. But 6 lbs. is not 30 lbs. I no longer have any medical conditions (except some knee pain due no doubt to the excess weight) but there has to be some mental reason for this inability to get rid of the weight. I owe it to myself to stop making excuses and delve deep into my psyche. I think this is the big takeaway I got from Brooke Castillo’s book: I owe it to me, no one else is going to do it for me. I can and will succeed.

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A slow journey, the weight loss route!


April has indeed been a very busy month for me. When I began my weight loss
journey in December it was motivated by my disbelief at how much weight I had
gained in the last few years. All my “reasons” for the weight gain were understood
by me, both emotionally and intellectually. When I saw a picture of myself (that I
immediately deleted), I was spurred into action mode.

It is now almost 5 months later. I have managed to lose almost 19 lbs. and wish
it was so much more but I am feeling much better these days that the speed at
which I am losing (slowly) will allow me to “fit” into the idea that going quickly
is not in my reality or future. I cannot say that I have not been hungry on this
program (Weight Watchers) but I also cannot say that I have deprived myself
of healthy or tasty food in the last few months.

I track my food for accountability (personal since I am strictly on the program
“on line”), weigh myself every day (it works for me) and have good support from
those around me. I use the tools available to me, especially the ones that allow
me to see other people’s progress and read their comments.

A new weight watchers enrollee asked others to share their motivations and the
ways in which they get or stay inspired. I began to think about that; I usually
don’t give it much thought, I just do what I do because I know it will get results.
But when I looked deep into my soul, I realized that I am motivated by the most
superficial of reasons: I don’t like what I see when I see myself in pictures!

It’s that simple and that superficial and for now, it is the best incentive I have. I
realized last week that the almost 19 lb. loss has allowed me to consider trying on
clothing that had been relegated to the back of my closet. I am a clotheshorse and
although I have gotten rid of impossible-to-get-back-into-sizes, I have kept those
that are reasonably within my reach. Much to my great surprise and joy, I was able
to fit into a lovely blouse and slacks (size 14…) that I wore to an event last week. My
friend and I took a picture and I did not balk when I saw it; I am beginning to see
the self I recall…it is also worth mentioning that even though I usually drive every-
where I was forced to take a bus last week and I fit into the seat without any discomfort.
All of these non-scale victories are doing wonders for motivation and my self-esteem.

I am eager to continue my slow and steady progress. Just like the turtle, I too will
get to the finish line!

Bing.com public domain image of climber