Posts by Melissa

Bare feet

I spent most of my childhood barefooted. I grew up in the South with meadows, woods, and ditches right out the back door. I remember how tender my feet would be on asphalt and gravel when it first got warm in the spring, but within a few weeks, I hardly noticed. When I got horses as a teen, I wore shoes more often, but only because horse hooves are awfully heavy when they step on you. And because stables harbor tetanus. But mostly the former.

My mother blamed my wide feet on my going barefoot so much. It’s probably true.

At some point along the way, I stopped going barefoot much. Never outside. Inside until a massage therapist told me that my knee pain was caused by going barefoot. He told me to get orthotics in my shoes and never be without them, or I’d end up with knee and backpain for life. So for the last several years I’ve slipped on shoes as soon as I rolled out of bed in the morning.

It never seemed to be much of a problem. I mean, this is what grown-ups do, right? At some point I stopped being the tomboy who lived in the woods and became the woman who cringed away when “nature touched me.”

Last year, as I began delving into Paleo and Crossfit, I heard about barefoot running. Now, I’m not a runner and can’t imagine I ever will be. But I thought some of the arguments they made about bare feet being healthier than shod feet were interesting. I dropped the orthotics and switched to minimalist shoes. I looked at Vibrams — those glove shoes — but hadn’t taken the plunge yet. It didn’t occur to me to just kick off my shoes and go barefoot. Ew. My feet would get dirty and wet and cold. And there were bugs. And spiders.

A week or two ago, one of my daily meditations suggested going outside, taking off my shoes, and just connecting with the Earth. See above: bugs, spiders, cold, nature touching me. But it got sunny, and it was early spring…. It seemed silly, but I tried it.

I’d forgotten how cool the grass felt and how spongy the earth was. It felt… right. I walked on grass. I walked in dirt. I picked up a pinecone with my toes. I closed my eyes and felt the sun on my face and the ground under my feet, and I felt balanced and connected.

Today I walked to the mailbox and back barefooted. I avoided the honeybees on the dandelions and tried to ignore the plethora of little black spiders scurrying out of my way. I gritted my teeth and picked my way across the gravel road. (Want to pracitice mindfulness and “be here now”? Walk outside. With bare feet. On gravel. You will be here now. I promise.) There were moments I questioned the sanity of that choice, but when I got inside, my feet were happy. Truly happy.

It may take some time to build up those tough soles I had when I was a kid, but I want to give it a try. I really think all this shoe wearing has a price, and I don’t want to pay that price anymore. I miss the meadows and the woods and the ditches. I miss that connections. I think it may be time to let nature touch me again.

Remodel update at the end of week 2

Wow, those two weeks went by fast. So far we’re still energized and excited by the project. The chaos hasn’t gotten on our nerves too much, and we’re not arguing with each other or our contractor. 🙂

Current state

  • The basement is completely naked — concrete floor, no walls, bare to the studs in the exterior walls and ceiling.
  • The guest bedroom (my future office) had the carpet removed and is completely empty. We’re going to do some electrical work in there, but we don’t have to take it to the studs to do it.

Decisions made

  • Our contractor worked with an engineer to figure out how to replace the beam down the center of the basement with steel in order to remove one of the posts. Ain’t happening. That post, it turns out, is the central point of the house and, because of how everything was built, it’s carrying the load of not only the floor above it but the roof as well. A steel beam would have to be 2 feet thick to compensate, which would mean we’d have to limbo to cross the room. Thus, we’re not going to mess with the beam or post at all. Money saved!
  • We’re adding the laundry room to the list of things being remodeled in this project, because the changes we want to make in there involve plumbing and propane. Makes sense to do those while we have the plumber here.
  • Our contractor gave us a bid for the complete remodel of my office. It will cost just under what we expected to pay to change the beam and get rid of the post. Because finishing the office will give us some space and get a lot of junk (and me!) out of the kitchen, my husband wants to put that at the top of the priority list.

Current tasks

  • Our contractor is arranging to bring in a plumber and an electrician.
  • My husband has found a propane provider, and he’s arranging for someone from there to come out and give us a bid for tank installation.

New challenge! Maybe.

Okay, I stuck with the last challenge for 3 out of 12 months before spectacularly crashing in flames. After that I fell completely off the wagon and swung to the other end of the diet continuum. That threw my body into a tail spin, sending me to the doctor yesterday, who totally read me the riot act. She’s making me come in every two weeks until I get things back under control.

Sigh. That’s annoying, even if I do know it’s for the best. (Grains and sugar are evil, people. Truly evil.)

I knew I needed to start a new challenge, but I wasn’t MOTIVATED to start a new challenge yet. Then, this morning, my friends and I solidified plans to go to the Bay Area of California next February. And as we discussed costs I realized I was going to want some hefty spending money.

Enter motivation for a challenge!!!

Our trip is almost exactly 10 months away. (Can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait!) Original challenge had a particular monetary payoff for 12 months. I knocked off a sixth of that and came to a wonderful round number for ten months of effort.

(When I told my husband I wanted the money for spending money, he said, “No way! What are you going to buy? A mongoose/cobra death match?” My eyes opened wide. “If I find one, hells to the yes!”)

(That, by the way, links to the funniest Internet story EVER.)

Anyway, I reread that thing, can’t stop giggling, and have totally lost my train of thought.

Challenge. Okay, right. Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t like the monetary terms of the new challenge. Last time I was collecting some cash and lots of time off. This time I want money, and he’s not thrilled with the idea of trying to set aside that amount while we’re remodeling the basement. I get that. I also get that the money was the ONLY reason I stuck to the challenge before, and I’m pretty sure I won’t do it without money this time.

(I mean, look, if the health benefits were enough, I and every other fat person would be thin, active, and healthy. Right? Whether they *should* be enough is utterly irrelevant.)

So, I suppose the challenge is a big maybe while he and I negotiate.

Terms of the challenge:

This challenge will/would be similar to the last, but not exactly the same. I’m tweaking the diet a bit and adding some flexes.

  • Between today and June 8, I’m following the Leptin Reset Protocol by Dr. Jack Krause. It’s strict Paleo, no cheats, fewer than 25g net carbs per day.

After June 8, everything loosens up a bit:

  • Six days a week I’ll follow strict Paleo. That means no grains, no legumes, no starches, no sugar (except for dark chocolate and as explained in the Flex section below), and no dairy. I can do limited fruit — my doctor wanted me to include berries — raw honey, and dark chocolate. But I want to keep myself to fewer than 50g net carbs per day. Preferably far less.
  • The seventh day is still a free day, but for the most part I want to keep it more controlled than it used to be. I have ideas about what I want to do, but to keep flexibility, for the purposes of the challenge, Saturdays are still a free day.

Flexes. The biggest issue with the challenge last time was that it had zero flexibility, and life just isn’t that predictable.

  • Flex #1. I’m going to build in 10 “Get Out of Jail Free” cards. That averages 1 per month, but that’s not how I have to use them. Basically a flex allows me to have an additional free day. They will keep me sane when I’m sick, when I have to spend ALL DAY at a work function, when I have to travel, when we lose power and can’t heat food, etc.
  • Flex #2. Salad dressing. I had this one last time. I don’t eat a lot of salad, but when I do — particularly if I’m at a restaurant — I don’t want to futz with trying to ensure the dressing is Paleo-friendly.
  • Flex #3. I eat very few prepared foods, and I’m not changing that. But occasionally there’s something we want to try that’s 99% Paleo… but it has some minute quantity of sugar or non-honey sweetener in it. Get over it. I’m tired of that level of micromanagement. Daily net carb levels DO apply, however, and this isn’t an excuse to go on a dessert binge.
  • Flex #4. Soy sauce. Tamari is preferred, but if I can’t get it, I will survive, even though soy sauce has gluten in it.
  • Flex #5. Occasional cheese. I want to be 99% dairy-free. However sometimes my husband likes to cook a meal that has some cheese. It shouldn’t be a regular thing, but I can live with special occasions.

Naked basement

The house has been shaking for the past two days as my contractor and some awesome neighbor kids have been demolishing my basement. They’re not completely done with the demolition, but they’ve done most of it. It’s so cool to get rid of that middle wall. It really gives me a better idea of what the space will look like later.

Biggest surprise? We discovered someone had done all the plumbing for a bathroom and then walled (and floored) over it! We’ll be able to put a small bathroom down there and add a ton of value to the house for not-very-much money. Score!

Here are some pics:

This, and the next two pics, are taken from the existing stairs (where my desk use to be). The old well room is that area behind the pellet stove. See the beam in the ceiling on the upper left edge of the picture? There used to be a wall running the length of that beam, separating the basement in half.

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I pivoted about 45 degrees to the left. The opening in the right of this picture is in the left of the picture above. This area used to be Jay’s office and the storeroom. Kind of in the center, in the corner, you can see a tiny black circle on the floor. That’s part of the surprise plumbing. The bathroom would be put in that area. We want that beam in the center of the picture to GO AWAY.

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And this is one more 45 degree turn to the right. The stairs are to my left (by the flashlight). The drain thingie is in that corner on the right. The bathroom will take up a portion of the right side of this photo. The left side will be an alcove at the back of the main room. We’ll probably build in bookcases and make a reading nook.

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New vantage point — over by the pellet stove looking back towards the stairs, where I was standing in the last photos. These stairs will be closed up, and the new stairs will be at the right edge of the picture.

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45 degree turn to the right. Looking into the corner where the reading nook will be. That post is the one going bye bye.

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A turn further to the right. The bathroom will be on the left side of the photo. The hot water heater was in the old storeroom. It’s going to be moved to the well room, which is out of sight to my immediate right in this picture. We’ll rebuild the storeroom for just that — storage.

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Final pic. I moved to stand in the new bathroom (sort of) to get a picture of the well room. This room is going to stay, but it’s going to be considerably smaller.

Before pictures

Well, we did it! We got everything out of the basement and the guest room, and were ready to start the remodel on time. Some people have asked for pictures, so here are the “Before” pictures.

The basement had four areas: den, Jay’s office, the storeroom (which we refer to as the “attic”), and the well room. I didn’t take pictures of the well room. In addition to the basement, we’re remodeling the guest bedroom and turning it into my office.

Before photo of the den, from the stairs. It’s long and narrow — Jason’s long and narrow office is on the other side of the wall to the left. The plan is to get rid of that wall and make one good-sized, well-proportioned room. Notice that there’s no carpet. That’s because we’ve been battling leaking down there for years. That’s one of the things we MUST fix with this remodel. The door at the far end goes to the well room.

And here is the view from the opposite end of the room. You can see the wide stairs from what we call the “mezzanine” level of the house. Those will be closed off during the remodel, and the stairs moved to the right, under the main house stairs. The area of the mezzanine you can see here will be turned into Jay’s new office. Eventually it will be a finished bedroom (that we’ll use as an office).

This is the before pic of Jay’s old office. The dark cavern at the back is the storeroom.

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Here is the other end of Jay’s office, shot from the doorway to the storeroom.

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And here is the storeroom. Not organized. We don’t have an attic in the house — or a garage — so this is our primary storage room.  (Well, less so now that we don’t have horses. Our barn has turned into a garage.)

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Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take a picture of the guest room before it was broken down. Be glad you missed the overflowing closet. Not a very exciting room — yet. This will be turned into my office.

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The “stuff” we pulled out of the rooms being remodeled has been stuck in two areas — our kitchen and the mezzanine. Here is a shot of the kitchen showing my temporary office on the kitchen table.

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This photo is taken from roughly the same location — I just scooted forward and turned a bit so you can see the rest of the stuff (including couch, treadmill, and TV) that we packed into this room.

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The mezzanine is a long narrow area with a sunroom on one end and that area at the head of the stairs to the basement at the other end. This is the sunroom end.

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And this is the other end. I basically just swiveled around to take this shot. You can see that Jay has set up his office. This is where his office will live permanently, but a regular room will be built in that area for him.

Preparing for a remodel

Our house is… quirky. The original cabin was a summer house built in the 1930s. (I adore the original part of the house.) It was added on to at least twice since then, including finishing the basement. We have a lot of square footage, but the house feels small because the space isn’t usable. The house lacks FLOW.

The first five years or so that we were here, we focused on improving the infrastructure of the property. We cleared brush and debris, did a ton of fencework, improved drainage/mud control, and put down gravel in key areas. We didn’t “landscape” and make it pretty, but we did a damn good job making it usable.

Then we moved on to the house. Thus far, our projects — with the exception of removing the drop ceiling in the hallway — have been practical rather than aesthetic. Now we’re about to take the first steps of a major remodel, which will be both functional and aesthetic.

We’re tackling two areas initially: the basement and the guest bedroom, which is soon to be my office. We’re taking the basement to the studs in order to do some signficant inside-the-walls work. We want to rip out and replace every bit of electrical wire in the house, updating it for the 21st century and wiring in a generator capable of running the whole house. My husband wants to bring in propane, and we want to make sure all the plumbing is solid. We also need to do infrastructure work for the computer networking and a new heating system. Oh, and we need to replace the central beam that runs underneath the original cabin.

Massive, expensive work, and that’s just the functional stuff!

The demolition begins on Monday, April 2. Over the past three weeks, my husband and I have been preparing. There are five spaces (four in the basement, plus the guest room) that have to be completely emptied. Three of these were used primarily for storage. The other two were Jay’s office and our living room, which includes my office and the treadmill. Everything in those five areas is being moved to two other areas, both of which have other functions — like our kitchen. I joke that it’s like playing three-dimensional Tetris.

Still, I feel good about where we are. I’ve taken “before” pictures of the basement. (Haven’t taken them of the guest room yet, which is a bummer, because it has been mostly broken down now.) We’re down to one storeroom and the big furniture, and we know where everything is going. My biggest frustration now is that I need to take a bunch of stuff to the barn and out to the trash today, and it’s pouring down rain. That’s a pretty minor frustration considering we’re just a few days away from D (Destruction) Day.

We don’t have a firm timeline for the project. We pay for these sorts of things in cash, and so we can do it exactly as fast as we are able to save money for it. We have some “getting started” money, and I *expect* to work some overtime this summer. If the latter fails to materialize, that’s okay — it will just take longer to finish. It could, in fact, take years to get back into the finished basement. But, like I said, that’s okay. We’re doing what needs to be done, and we’re doing it right.

Animal Communication workshop, day 2

Sunday was day 2 of the workshop. This day was tougher for me than day 1, but St. Francis came through again. Thank you, St. Francis!

The first half of the session was spent working with three dogs who were there at the workshop. Aries is a black Lab mix who belongs to the woman who hosted the workshop, Aspen is a golden retriever, and Murphy is a beagle. They were all sweet, delightful dogs.

We did several exercises before we tried direct communication. One was an exercise of awareness. I have trouble extending my awareness to other energies around me. I just don’t feel anything. I had trouble with that exercise, but it turned out that the impressions I got were spot on.

The next exercise was an exercise in imagination. I was excited about this one, because THIS I do well. My imagination is extremely well developed! We were supposed to imagine greeting each dog, imagine them greeting us, and imagine what each likes to do. I loved that exercise, and I felt completely plugged into the dogs, because I’d already met them and gotten a feel for their personalities.

It turned out that I was again pretty much spot on with what I imagined. This made me wonder if maybe all the “imaginary” conversations I have with my beasties on a routine basis is more real communication than I thought.

I went into this workshop expecting animal communication to feel external — to feel like I was hearing or seeing something that very clearly didn’t come from myself. Instead, what I learned is that it feels more like you’re making something up. Only what you make up ends up being correct! The secret is practicing so that your accuracy goes up and TRUSTING that you’re not actually making this up.

That’s tough. The exercise with my partner on day 1 really helped with the trust, because it didn’t feel “external,” but the precise accuracy was immediately confirmed.

After our mid-session break, we worked with photos of animals provided by the workshop participants. I brought pictures of my three dogs, and Guin and Blue, the horses. (Blue isn’t technically mine anymore, but Heidi gave me permission.)

There were two rounds, so each person spoke with two animals. Mary provided a list of 13 questions. After each session, we went around the room and gave the answers we had gotten, and the animals owner told us what we got right and wrong.

In general, concrete facts like color of the food dish was difficult. At the same time, many people were able to provide really detailed descriptions of houses (inside and out). Mary also cautioned that sometimes people would think something was wrong, but then later would realize that it was right after all. We had an example of that with Aspen, the golden retriever. One person asked if she had a red toy — said the red toy was her favorite. Aspen’s owner said she didn’t have a red toy. Later in the workshop, Aspen’s owner casually mentioned that she gave Aspen a stuffed Kong anytime she left. Bingo! The favorite red toy.

The animals I spoke with were Ying Mo, an African Grey parrot, and Whisper, a black cat. I am fairly unfamiliar with both birds and cats. I think, though, that’s a good thing, because I had fewer preconceived notions about them.

I didn’t do well with Ying Mo. I did better with Whisper. The highlight with WHisper was that I saw her crunching bugs. It didn’t really fit any of the questions, so I noted it, but didn’t report it. Whisper’s owner said that her big thing right now was encouraging Whisper to eat all the bugs she found in the house. I showed her the notation I’d made.

That was cool.

The person who read Blue did a phenomenal job. His report back gave several people goose bumps, which I’ve learned is a common sign that a reading is accurate. (This is true both with animal communication and Tarot. Probably with any intuitive reading.) He said that Blue had a message for me: “Thank you for making it possible for me to live the life of my dreams.”

You’re welcome, Blue man.

There were solid things in every reading. Some people had a success rate of probably 80-90%. Those readings were AMAZING. I’m not that good, LOL.

Mary reminded us to focus on what we got right. As she said yesterday, this is like learning a foreign language. After one workshop we’ve just learned a few words. It will take time and practice to become conversational — much less fluent.

Next step for me? Practice. I’m going to try to set aside some time each evening for meditation and practice. I have many animal friends who have shared pics of their pets and who will give me feedback. My goal is to ask just a few questions at a time, and work with the same animals in many different sessions. Hopefully my accuracy will improve over time.

Animal Communication workshop, day 1

Today I attended the first day of a two-day basic animal communication workshop with Mary J. Getten. So. Much. Fun.

I have always wanted to communicate with animals. Animals are my life, and to communicate with them… well, there is no higher blessing. So through the years I’ve read books, and I’ve practiced now and then, but I’ve had only limited success.

I have always known — and Mary said it’s nearly always true — that I’m a better sender than receiver. Two examples:

  1. Anyone who has every moved a pet to a new house knows how stressed they get. It is, in fact, in credibly common to lose pets during the transition. I read an animal communication book that said to just talk to your animals and tell them very clearly what’s happening, what will happen, why it’s happening, what it means to the dog, etc. So when we moved to Duvall, I did that for Rain (an extremely insecure dog) and Pax. Neither dog showed even minor stress about the move, during or after. They transitioned to the new house as though they’d been visiting here for years.
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  2. I tried an exercise from an animal communication book where you visualize an image and send it to your dog. This was right before we got horses, so I decided to send a picture of a breed of horse I liked. I happened to have a call with an animal communicator the next week, and I asked her if she could ask Pax what image I had been sending him. She said, “A black and white horse with feathers?” I had been sending a picture of a Gypsy Vanner.

I have had only one clear experience as a receiver, however, and that happened just a couple of weeks ago.

Miss Pflouff had been coming inside from the yard soaked in urine. It was like she had lain in a puddle of it… but there were no puddles. Or like she had peed while she was lying down, but she was clean and dry around her own lady bits. She was too tall for the boy dogs to hike their legs and get her back like that. I had no idea how this was happening, but it was happening regularly.

One morning she jumped up on the bed to tell me good morning, and when I leaned over to kiss her head, BAM! An image just appeared in my head. I saw her squatting to pee, and one of the boy dogs lifting his leg to mark her spot — while she was still peeing. I wasn’t thinking of the situation, and I had never even thought of that possibility, but I saw it plain as day.

So I believed it was possible, but I had never been able to open that channel at will.

Today was the first day of the workshop. There are sixteen students, plus Mary. Some are experienced; some are just like me. She explained to us that learning animal communication is like learning a foreign language. You don’t go to a class and come out speaking fluently overnight. You learn a few words. Then you get haltingly conversational. Then a bit better. And only with time, practice, and immersion do you get really fluent.

Today we didn’t practice actual animal communication. We talked about various aspects and did some exercises and meditations to help prepare us.

We did the COOLEST exercise with a partner. We sat face to face and visualized a tube connecting us heart to heart. One of us was the sender and the other the receiver. Mary would say a color — out loud, so we both knew. The sender was supposed to pick a shade of that color, pick an object or objects in that shade, try to imagine how it feels, etc. Then the receiver had to say what he received. Each person was the sender twice and a receiver twice.

My partner and I got all four right!!!!! The colors and our objects were:

  • Pink / Pepto Bismol
  • Orange / Orange juice
  • Yellow / Baby chick
  • Purple / Eggplant

I was a better sender than receiver. I sent pink and yellow. She said both correct answers IMMEDIATELY — no hesitation or working up to it.

I got the right answers for mine, but I kind of worked my way to it.

  • For orange, I said, “Orange Crush, and I see an orange with juice spurting out of it.” But I never actually made the leap to “orange juice.”
  • For purple, I picked up the color Mary was going to say before she said it, and then had to push an image of Barney out of my head. LOL. I knew it didn’t come from my partner. I saw like thick swirls of slick, deep purple oil paint, then it turned into an eggplant. And she was sending eggplant.

Tomorrow morning we work with live animals, and then tomorrow afternoon we work with photos. I’m not taking one of my dogs — there are only going to be a couple there and they needed to be smaller and cat-friendly — but I have photos of both my dogs and horses ready to go.

By the way, when I decided to do this, I prayed for help from St. Francis, Patron Saint of Animals. And he really came through! Thank you, St. Francis!

My challenge comes to an end

The last few weeks have been hard. My motivation has been terribly low, and I’ve hung on to the challenge by the barest of threads. I found every possible loophole to exploit. I wasn’t losing weight; I was backsliding. I was miserable… but I didn’t want to quit.

Jay and I had a long talk about it just a couple of days ago. He said if it was just about the money, he’d cut me a check right then. That wasn’t what I wanted, though. Having that goal out there gave me something to hold on to. I figured motivation was cyclical. I just needed to find some new something to get me jazzed again.

Yesterday I had a doctor appointment to go over blood test results — my first since starting the challenge. The appointment was at noon. Considering how much I’d been pushing the boundary lately, I didn’t want to go to a weigh in with a bunch of food in my gut. So I didn’t eat yesterday morning.

The appointment went well. I was teary and depressed and confessed the difficulty I was having. We went through my results, and they were admittedly excellent. My fasting glucose dropped from 110 to 105. My A1C dropped from 6.5 to 5.8. And my vitamin D3 rose from 18 to 50. The problems I’ve been having with my tendons, both quad and deltoid, are clearing up, which she attributes to lack of gluten in my diet.

She said, “I want to be sure you’re hearing this.” Everything we were working on was improving. The challenge was definitely working.

And yet, I still screwed it up.

Afterwards I was hungry, and I just didn’t want to face the food we had in the fridge. So I cheated. I enjoyed every damn bite AND the accompanying serotin. Instead of fessing up, I tried to hide it (which was seriously disrespectful to my husband). Obviously I don’t try to hide things from him too often, because I got caught.

(Apparently my offering to take the trash out was a big clue. Can’t imagine why that was seen as unusual. Also, apparently the receipt I dropped was also a clue. Husband smart.)

I don’t want to make light of this. I made two rotten choices yesterday. I chose to go off the challenge, and I lied to my husband. He forgave me, but the challenge is toast, and I am… bereft. I think this might have been the biggest failure of my life. No, I do not want to hear about how I accomplished all those good things the doctor talked about. I had a 12-month goal. It was important. And I failed.

I didn’t sleep much last night. I was trying to come to terms with it. Trying to figure out what I do next.

I didn’t find any answers. Mostly my thoughts were, “I’m a lying loser who fails.” I wanted to write that on the walls. Maybe tattoo it on my forehead. I’m a lying loser who fails.

I cried a lot. Thank goodness I have River, who snuggles and licks my face. I wanted to sleep, because everything always looks better in the morning.

Except it doesn’t.

I don’t want comments, but I can’t figure out how to turn them off. I don’t plan to check in and read them, so they’ll sit out there in limbo if you bother writing them. I don’t want comments on Facebook either, so I’m just going to close the site for a while. I don’t want emails or phone calls or, dear God in Heaven, in-person visits.

Eating fish tacos is not the worst sin I’ve ever committed. I don’t care about the fish tacos. I’m mourning the loss of the challenge — the goal, the thing that gave me some reason to TRY.

I just don’t know what to do now.

I’m lost.

Week 11 Weigh In

Weight loss this week: .2 lbs
Total weight loss: 19.6 lbs

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Motivation and energy were low, low, low this week. I blame the cold, but honestly, they were low before that too. My motivation is cyclical. I simply can’t stay up and focused forever.

The cool thing, though, is that because of the challenge, I may not be losing weight, but I’m also not sabotaging myself. I can’t just blow it off and binge on yummy processed carbs because that would void the challenge. I’m too mercenary for that!

Speaking of mercenary, I have a huge project coming up at work. It will likely run from April/May through October. Now, I’m a contract worker, and so they generally limit my hours, BUT they also don’t want to hire a bunch of new people. If they want this project done, they’re either going to have to work me to death or staff it, because the scope is simply too large for anything else. To be honest, I hope they choose the former, because I’d like to fund the remodel of the basement. 🙂

I’m also looking forward to the challenge of the project, no matter which solution they choose. I adore the big, nasty, scary projects, and I beg for them when they come up. I think they’re fun (even though I have moments where I hate them).

So I’m not sure what will happen with my motivation over the next week. I learned long ago that there’s a switch in my brain. When it’s on, ANYTHING is easy. When it’s off….

The issue, of course, is that I don’t know how to flip the switch. If I could figure that out, not only would I be thin, fit, and a prolific novelist with well-trained dogs, but I would be a billionaire, because I’d sell the secret to the world. EVERYONE would be the best they could be if we knew how to keep that motivation switch flipped on.

I’d like to get to the point where it doesn’t matter if the switch is on — where I would do all the right things habitually. But I’m a long way from that. If the switch isn’t flipped, I do what I have to do and no more.

The good news is that I know it’s cyclical. I may not be on right now, but it will come back around, and I’ll be re-energized.