Tag Archives: weight

I found my mojo! In a pot. (Warning: graphic images)

In a 5-gallon stockpot, to be precise. Yes, I’m cooking, and it’s as shocking to me as it is to Josh, who claims that in the last two weekends I’d spent more time in the kitchen than in the four years he’d known me. And to be honest, he is only slightly exaggerating.

It started as part of this overall pledge I made to myself, to be healthier and to not ever let myself get as run down as I was right before Christmas. It was both the mental health and the physical, its kind of difficult to separate them. To be honest, the stress is still there, even though the workload has slowed, I think my nerves are worn out raw – I cried again at work last week and even took a day off when I woke up crying in the morning. It mostly has to do with an unpopular decision I made and several people passively-aggressively letting me know just how unpopular I am at the moment. It will pass, but I have to survive the next couple of weeks somehow.

So back to the stockpot. When I was making that pledge, I have recognized that part of the whole mind-body calamity had to do with what I eat. Normally it’s pretty healthy, meat and veg, but it has been repetitive and I have started sneaking in snacks, even sugary chocolate. Every single afternoon, around 3pm I would nearly lose the will to live and prop myself with some hot chocolate, or birthday cake (always someone having a birthday!) or something else just to get to the finish line. As a result, my slowly creeping weight finally reached the number I saw only once before, about ten years ago, right before I had a major crisis and left the US for Australia. I knew that eating sugar was a bad idea, but when you feel like you’re in a crisis every day, survival comes first. But it had to change.

I’ve read about bone broths before and thought I’d introduce them as a snack, not a full-on broth diet like I’d heard of, but more as a supplement. The trouble is, every commercially available broth I’d tried tastes bad, anywhere from “bland” to “slightly bitter with a touch of puke” to full-on “is this made from poo?”

So I decided to make my own. How hard can it be?

It’s not that easy, actually. Turns out you need to know some basics, like “don’t let it boil, ever” and “buy a decent pot and strainer”. Oh, and which bones to get. I tried to boil beef bones and they do smell like roadkill, so I’ve concentrated on making good chicken stock. Yes, stock, because my ex-firefighter husband won’t let me leave the gas on overnight, so 4-5 hours of cooking is all I can do. True to my perfectionist ways, I have researched and experimented and basically had to “science the shit out of it”.

But it was worth it.

Not only have I made gallons of “liquid gold” that tastes delicious in any soup and even as a drink, but I have also lost two pounds in just over a week! Yes, almost a kilo of fat, and I have not changed anything other than eating as much of my own creations as I wanted. I still have a “breakfast sandwich” every morning, made by Josh with eggs, bacon, and love, but the rest of it has been soups of various kinds – tomato, pumpkin, potato, and leek. I have been full and did not even crave the chocolate fixes. It was a miracle of sorts, losing weight without actually trying. I do go to the gym almost every lunch, mind you, but that did not work before. I just had strong musculature wrapped in a fluffy layer of fat.

I decided to document this miracle in detail, should it continue. So here are the graphic images I have mentioned earlier:

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I am already less bloated in these photos, although I did not expect my whole stomach to stick out quite so much. On the positive side, I did not expect to see the faint outline of abs, woo-hoo!

I know what you’re thinking, what is this? The author-turn artist now starts a diet fad? I promise to keep revealing photos to a minimum, just wanted to share with you something that’s simple and has made a huge difference for me in the last week. If it keeps on working, I will update you further, for now, try making a stock/broth/whatever you wanna call it at home. The web is full of recipes and all of us can do with more nutrients and less garbage in our lives.

And guess what? All that time in the kitchen did not stop me from slowly progressing on those fiery dining room walls.

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I don’t know if it’s the nutrients or the active meditation of skimming a slowly simmering pot, but I feel good right now. Hope you do too.

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Filed under General thoughts

The full-time writing gig is almost here, plus pics of my writing room

With just a couple of days left till I’m a full-time writer (for five months, but still!), I’m feeling the pressure of my ambitious writing plan. To be honest, I have not been writing much lately, partially due to some traumatic personal stuff I’m going through at the moment, and probably because I’ve been deferring writing for this time when I will be free from work stress and thus magically transformed into a writing machine. As a result, my tracking spreadsheet looks like this:

Bad writing record

The zig-zagging red “goal” line shows that I have twice already given up and reset my goal, only to fall short again. This can’t happen over the next five months, otherwise I would have wasted my long service leave, which I’ve been accumulating for eight years…it can’t happen!

So, I have started by setting up my environment. Virginia was right – oh, what a difference a room of one’s own makes…and here is mine!

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Terrible photo, sorry, can you tell how fabulous is the desk? Made even more so by the fact that it set me back just $10 on eBay. I mean, $10 AUD! That means it was practically free in American dollars! And the chair was just $25 from a garage sale.

My Italian Greyhound approves…everyone, meet Bubbles:

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I have managed to write a thousand words today, which is a far cry from the 3-4K I mean to write every single day for the next three weeks or so. Still, having a space to go and sit at the desk, all official-like was better than my usual lounging in bed or on the couch, which inevitably led to Internet surfing.

I plan to also dangle a carrot in front of my nose, for further motivation – I just made a deal with myself that if I complete my weekly plan, I will get a 45-minute massage at the end of the week. If I overachieve the plan by at least 25%, I will get an hour-long massage. And if I don’t complete it…well, there will be an extra grueling gym session on the weekend. Oh, I didn’t mention – I plan to also lose a couple of kilos during the five months. These are quite possibly pipe dreams, but who knows? I am trying to pound into my cerebral cortex a message of “your life could be like this every day.”

Speaking of pipe dreams, here’s another one. I finally unpacked an artist’s easel and a huge canvas I’d bought about a year ago:

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The big white canvas is just as frightening as my current word count and the number on my weight scale. Still, with a plan and daily discipline, I should be able to do it all, right? I started by taking stock of the “current state”, as I usually do at work:

  • Published books: 1
  • Drafted words: 33,330
  • Paintings: 0
  • Kilos: 62.6 (that’s 138 pounds)
  • Klout score: 61 (more on Klout in the next post)

Let’s see where I get to by 1 August 2016!

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Filed under Self-publishing and marketing