Holiday Scale Accountability Club, v.3 (& other stuff)


Week 3 weigh-in:  Actually, I’m going to count it from last Saturday, because I gained 2.2 lbs. between Friday and Saturday due to my anniversary and having 2 meals at restaurants on Friday.  I am down 4.2 lbs. for the week!  (meaning I stayed exactly the same this morning as I was yesterday.)

Technically, that’s down 2.0 from last fRIDAY’S weigh in, but since I had such a big bump up the very next day, I’m doing a six day weigh-in.  LOL


1.  survive the Halloween breakfast potluck at work today.  I brought a potatoes dish, which at most I’ll have 1 small scoop of.  I plan to mostly focus on the authentic Mexican chorizo and scrambled eggs dish.  There will be a waffle bar with all the toppings, and all other kinds of shit/sweet stuff that I have no intention of touching.  I will IF through lunch; no Friday lunch out today.  Dinner will be the end of the tri tip and veggies.

2.  the rest of the week should be a piece of cake.  Going to Comi-Caze tomorrow (Stan Lee’s version of Comic Con) and we’ll eat out lunch, but I’ve got that down pat no matter where we end up.  No other meals out planned between now and next Friday’s weigh-in, so

3.  I’d like to lose 1.5-2 lbs. by next Friday.

How did YOU do?  What are YOUR goals for the coming week, to make it better than this week?


Why?  Because you couldn’t FORCE me to eat candy/Halloween candy.  Not even today/tonight.  I’ll be handing out plenty of candy tonight (I haven’t looked for the bags, so I don’t know what my hubby bought)…enjoying scaring the little kids (see below)…and enjoying their costumes, and the sounds of Halloween…everything but the candy.

Why?  Besides wanting to continue to lose a few more pounds?


If I had even ONE candy bar, ‘fun size’ or otherwise, there would be regret in the morning.  A LOT OF THAT.

No siree.  Not for me.




I’ve altered a few things around here in the past few days:

1.  cleaned up the header, made it smaller.

2.  changed my navigation/menu bar.  Please note the additions of:

  • my Mantra
  • my Anti-snacking affirmations

3.  speaking of which, I’ve purposely added those two to “The Right Questions” and “Primal Primer” to the menu bar because I consider them great help to me in my mission to not only lose weight and get healthier, but in MAINTAINING that status.  If it can help an old broad like me, it / they can help you, too!  :)

Now, go out there and have a fun Halloween!  I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU TO HAVE A FUN HALLOWEEN WITHOUT EATING CANDY.

Here’s me:



In case you don’t know who I ‘am’, I’m Helena from Orphan Black.  The CRAY CRAY clone.  Here is a video of her best scene.  Please keep in mind that the SAME actress plays ALL EIGHT (and counting) clones.  She’s amazing, particularly in this scene!






WP_20141030_06_58_25_Pro (2)

Yeah, before I start on “Nuts!!”, I just got to say that sometimes, you have to just pull over, stop, and take photos of the sunrise.  You just DO.  :)


It occurred to me as I’ve been working so hard to be total primal this week / going forward, that my morning/breakfast that includes one ounce of nuts/cashews…well, that one ounce had morphed over time, UP.  So I pulled out the food scale a couple of days ago,  and weighed.  Yeah, I was getting closer to 2.5-3 ounces of cashews every morning, than just an ounce!


It’s SO easy to do!  You measure it out, you add a few more.  After a while, you stop weighing, and those few more become the standard amount.  A few months later, or one particular ‘tough’ morning, you add a few more.  Suddenly THAT becomes the new standard.  And on and on.

Suddenly, you are getting an extra 200-300 calories a day, and don’t even realize it.

Plus, over time, I’d gotten use to grabbing a small amount (definitely 1-1.5 ounces) of MORE cashews after I got home from work.  My ‘healthy’ snack.

And over time…you are up 10 lbs.  Yes, I was still at my normal good weight of 126 at the beginning of July.  Then the 18 days of vacation, and then the train started to run off the track a tiny bit.

Reigned back in, it is.  TOTALLY.

I checked my cheese amount; I was still spot on with that.

One ounce of cashews sure is a small amount, but it’s really all I need with my one ounce of cheese and hard boiled egg, for breakfast.  I’m never physically hungry before lunch with that precise breakfast.  Any so-called hunger is an emotional calling.  I am recognizing that, as I fine-tune/tweak/improve my eating regimen.

And it’s paying off!

I lose another 1.0 lb. yesterday!  That’s 4.2 lbs. lost since Saturday!

I was SHOCKED when I stepped on the scale!  Yes, my food intake was identical to the 1.0 lb. I lost the day before, but come on, we all know you can only lose so much so fast (particularly when you are already a normal/healthy weight), and then it slows.  I thought the slow would’ve been overnight after a loss of 3.2 lbs. in 3 days, but not yet.  I’m sure I won’t lose a whole other pound tonight.

Same breakfast, same dinner, same 40 minutes dancing.

But lunch today is being brought in from El Pollo Loco.  I will have one piece of citrus marinated grilled chicken, their steamed broccoli, and some guacamole to dip the broccoli in.  Not even having their salad, because it’s got corn and tomatoes and mini tortilla strips in it, and it’s too messy to cull out.   Now I’m sure there is going to be some extra sodium in their chicken.  So that’s why I’m fully expecting to not lose another full pound.  But it’s a good, healthy, fully primal lunch.  So the weight is what it is.  In any case, for the Club weigh-in tomorrow, I’ll be well over 3 lbs. down for the week.  Hopefully still 4 lbs. down.  SCORE!

So, the moral of the story is be very careful on your nuts.  It’s easy, over the course of time, to gradually, insidiously up the amount you eat, and not even realize it.  (or ignore the significance of it.)

DON’T.  It could be the difference in a good 5-10 lbs., over time.

Learn from my mistakes…with me!  :)

Have a BEAUTIFUL day!

love ya!


Annual Physical lab work results

OK, last time this was done was May 2013, after I’d been ‘primal’ for 3 months.  As a reference post, here is what I wrote THEN:

Yeah, I wish I could say it was all good news.  It wasn’t, but let me explain.  And this is gonna take some explaining.  I didn’t realize it going in, and a couple of results freaked me the hell out; had I researched in advance, I could’ve predicted this AND known the reasons why, and I wouldn’t have had to take a little white Ativan yesterday morning.  :(

For starters, when people lose weight, particularly by low carb or no grain methods (Wheat Belly or Primal or Paleo), there is a lot of weight loss going on, and when we lose weight, we are mobilizing energy stored as fat.  That fat is mobilized as fatty acids and triglycerides  into the bloodstream.  10 pounds lost, for instance, means the equivalent of 35,000 calories of fat released into the bloodstream.  So my 35 lbs. lost went I took the test?  Over 122,500 calories of fat have been released into my bloodstream since January 1st!  YEE GADS!As that fat is used as energy, it disappears as weight, but that doesn’t happen immediately.

And those fatty acids are not alone.  They interact with the other elements in the bloodstream.  In particular, this flood of fatty acids increases triglycerides.  A starting triglyceride level of say, 120 mg/dl, can increase to 180 during active weight loss.  This flood of fatty acids also can decrease (good) HDL.  The excess fatty acids and triglycerides modify the HDL particles, causing their degradation and elimination.  A starting HDL of 45 can drop to 28, for example.

LDL measures go haywire. It can go up, down, or sideways.  And the (miserably useless, per many physicians including Dr. Davis who wrote Wheat Belly), total cholesterol value can go up, down or sideways.

Per Dr. Davis, (a cardiologist), the key is to recognize these phenomena as NOTHING MOR THAN PART OF THE WEIGHT LOSS and the inevitable mobilization of fatty acids into the bloodstream.  According to Dr. Davis, decisions should not be made based on these values during weight loss, because they are transient.

See, I wish I’d known all that.  If I had, I could’ve anticipated the results I got on my lipid panel, instead of feeling knocked to the floor.

Here’s my 2012 results (way overweight)  / and April 30, 2013 (35 lb. down, 3 months primal) results:

Cholesterol  226 / 255  (ugh)

Trigylcerides:  180 / 158 (ok, that’s actually good.  On the way down!  Still, I’ve been as low as 121 in recent years…)

HDL:  42 / 35 (not good.  Should be 40+)

LDL:  148 / 188 (this freaked me out.  Previous high was 170, low 137.  Normal should be 130-.)


Well, let’s talk glucose:

Glucose:  92 / 76.  HOLY HELL!  I have NEVER been lower than 90, and I once reached 106.  So I am SO SO jazzed at this!  See what dropping grains and most sugar can do to your fasting glucose, even if you were borderline pre-diabetes?  Down to 76?  Holy hot damn!!!!  MAJOR GOOD NEWS.


Cut to NOW.  Results are

Cholesterol:  248 (down from 255 17 months ago.)  (for a Primal person…not bad at all.  We all KNOW cholesterol levels are not the evil thing they are made out to be.  I’m very fine with this number.)

Triglycerides:  128 (was 158.)  Normal is 150 or less.  BONZAI.  Excellent!

HDL:  55.  (was 35.)  Normal is 40+.  BONZAI AGAIN.  Rockin’ it!

LDL:  167.  (was 188.)  Normal is 130-.  Oh well.  That said, it’s going in the right direction, and for all we know it’s the nice, big FAT LDL particles now in me.  Not worried.

Glucose:  68.  HOLY HELL YES!!!!  (was 76.  Which was a new low for me.  previously 106 in 2008, 90 in 2009, 90 in 2001, 92 in 2012.)  LOWEST GLUCOSE result EVER as a post menopausal woman.  Didn’t record / track prior to 2008.

Vitamin D:  44.  (normal is 30-100.)  Last 2 years I was ‘significantly’ below normal, although I didn’t get the specific number.  I have upped my vitamin intake, including 2400 iu of Vitamin D, and voila!  Perfectly normal now.  :)

All other blood work (CBC, urine, etc.) normal.

Pap normal.

Life IS good!

Yep, Primal WORKS very very well for me.  So so happy!  :D


Lost another pound (1.0) from yesterday!  That’s 3.2 lbs. since Saturday morning!  Kickin’ A!

Yesterday was a PERFECT eating day, and today will be an exact duplicate.

The night before, I cut up some fresh, organic broccoli, yellow bell pepper, cucumber, and green onions, and baggied it.  I made up tuna salad with olive oil mayo and dill relish and chopped onions, and halved that.  I brought the veggies and the tuna salad for lunch.  I added fresh lemon juice to the veggies and drizzled 2 tablespoons of Ranch dressing on it.  DELICIOUS lunch!

For dinner, Mr. Gwen grilled marinated tri tip, and had bought yellow and green squash, and cut into chunky pieces, and grilled that as well.  Plenty for 2 more nights (well, the tri tip.  Enough squash for tonight too.)

I mean, eating does NOT getting healthier OR tastier than this!!!

Plus, I will own my evil, and say I admit that I felt pretty damned smug at the work lunch table, eating THAT healthy, while all around me, not so much.


Have a GREAT day!  STAY FOCUSED on that eating!



Down 1.2, & it feels great!

Ahhhh, so nice to have a significant loss in 24 hours.  :)

Sure, I still want to lose another 10 (who doesn’t?)…and I’m like a WOMAN ON A MISSION to get there.  But I’m (psychologically) enjoying this success of dropping more than 2 lbs. since Saturday.  I will admit I’ve done more treading water than anything since late July.  Yes, I guess that’s called ‘maintenance’, except for the 8-9 lb. gain in July.  But I feel TOTALLY in control right now, what I like to refer to as being IN THE ZONE, and I know it’s just when I get back to where I want to be, not if.  It was never an if.  I just wasn’t making as full an effort during August or my ‘birthday month’ of September…or early part of this month either, frankly.  I’d have a few good days, then ‘cave’ a little, then hold steady….wash rinse repeat.

Not anymore.











Cray-cray weekend

Three restaurant meals.  (Friday lunch, Friday dinner, Sunday breakfast.)

One Halloween party.

Weight?  Up 1.2 lbs.  I’ll take it.  It’s all fluid retention from the 3 restaurant meals, and I’m already down one pound from what I was Saturday morning.  (meaning I ‘gained’ 2.2 lbs. from the 2 restaurant meals on Friday.) (and have ‘lost’ one pound despite a Halloween party and a Sunday breakfast out.)

Life IS good.

The Halloween party was a blast, and this was our view from breakfast yesterday:


We had SO much fun!

I just had bacon and eggs, and maybe 1/2 cup of breakfast potatoes, and decaf coffee with cream…no champagne.  Such a lovely beach, and still warm; we were all wearing shorts at 10:30 am, sitting outside.  It’s CRAZY that no one (according to my daughter and son in law) are hardly ever at this beach, even in the summer.  A real hidden treasure.  :)

But after this crazy food weekend,  I’m definitely ready for a food break.

I didn’t take any exercise break.  I danced 40 minutes on Saturday before we left for the party, and 40 minutes last night.  I had leftover prime rib for dinner, and one ounce of nuts in the afternoon.

Today will be extremely light as well.  700 total calories prior to dinner.

I’m in UBER lose mode.  I’m tired of carrying this little bit of extra weight.  I’m tired of the 130’s.


There will be a Halloween breakfast buffet at work on Friday, but I’ll be super cautious, and we aren’t going to go to lunch on Friday.

I got this.

Have a GREAT Monday/week!

Love ya!

A tale of two Halloweens

This is a story of two Halloweens.  MY two Halloweens.  Well, actually, a tale about this Saturday two years ago, and today.  On both days, I was prepping for my older daughter’s Halloween Party.  Two years ago, my youngest grandson had just been born.  I weighed about 195-198 then.  Here’s the pictures of me then:

Gwen Oct 121



On ‘good days’, my blood pressure was 160’s over high 90’s.  My doctor had just added a 2nd blood pressure medication, because even the highest dose of the first one wasn’t getting me below this type of reading.  I have ‘white coat syndrome’, which means at doctor’s offices (and presumably, when otherwise highly stressed), my blood pressure could jump to 180s-190’s over 100-106.  Once, in a true panic attack, it was 204/108.  Went to the emergency room on that one.

I was also having equilibrium problems.  I would feel like I was leaning way to the right when I walked.  Sometimes I’d bump into things, and often would reach for a wall when walking down a hall at work.

This (obviously) is also our wedding anniversary weekend.  IF we had gone to the same restaurant we went to last night (I don’t recall where we went that year), I would’ve had a full Friday lunch with a burger, a ton of fries with Ranch dressing, and slugged diet coke all afternoon.  At this particular restaurant, I would’ve had the prime rib, salad bar LOADED to almost tipping over point, a loaded baked potato, 4-6 slices of the garlic cheese toast, 2-3 glasses of red wine, and either my own dessert or shared one with him.

No shit I weighed 195’ish on a 5 ft. barely 2 inch, post menopausal frame!

ANYHOW, cut to this Saturday, two years ago.  I was a hot mess.  As I was making my traditional Dracula cake, the dizziness was getting bad.  It was putting me in near panic attack mode.  At some time frosting the cake, I looked down and realized my ankles and feel were swollen BADLY.  That sent me yelling for my husband in panic.  I was scared shitless.  I went upstairs, got on the internet because I’d only been on the second medication just a few days, googled it, and saw a side effect could be swollen feet and ankles.  But my blood pressure was still high.  I realized I was between a rock and a hard space; I need two blood pressure medications (that still weren’t even enough!), but the side effects were scary!  I realized I was closer to a heart attack and or stroke than I had ANY intention of ever being.  I called the doctor and got through the emergency (basically, stay with it for now but monitor it, she said.  Try and stay off my feet.)  (if still bad she would prescribe a diuretic.  GREAT.  A THIRD medication.)  I couldn’t stay off my feet; I had to deliver the Dracula cake to the party in San Diego 2 hours away.  We went.  Didn’t stay real long, but tried to have some fun.  My feet/ankles got even worse.

All this time, I swore to myself that the ONLY way to get this situation righted…was to lose the damned weight.   I wasn’t sure how, because South Beach / Akins / Low Carb always lost me the weight, but then deprivation would set in, and BOOM. Back up again.   I promised myself to start watching my portions that very next day, and get through the ‘holiday season’, while researching how the hell to do this and do it for GOOD.

It was a HUGE turning point in my life! My body was rebelling.  I had to fix it, and fix it fast, or I was going to die.

And so, I did.  The details are all here on this blog.

Cut to today.

I’m down over 60 lbs.  I’ve kept to a primal diet (no grains, no sugar, very little processed food) for 21 months.  My only non-primal diet items are:

1.  4-6 onion rings, 1-2 times a month

2.  Ranch dressing, 1-2 times a week

3.  BBQ sauce 1-2 times a month

Dinner for our anniversary last night was:

Wait, let me back up, because it was a super nova rare two restaurant meal day:

Lunch WAS the crunchy BBQ chicken salad.  No bread.  No dessert.

It was October Birthday Cake day at work.  I sang happy birthday, and then walked back to my desk.  No cake or cookies.  Despite the chocolate buttercream frosting.

Dinner was the salad bar, but very light.  Not even 2 cups worth of greens.  I DID have a bowl of the chili soup, but picked out the beans.  Had the prime rib, but only ate about 5-6 oz. of it.  Enough left for 2 more dinners.  I did NOT have the loaded baked potato.  I pulled the garlicky melted cheese off 2 slices of the bread; it came off cleanly, and amounted to maybe 1/2 teaspoon of cheese from each slice.   I had maybe 5-6 tiny shoestring/thin french fries of my hubby’s.  I gave him the garlic mashed potatoes that came on my plate.  No dessert.  Only iced tea drank.

Sure, I could’ve not had the soup…I’m sure my fluid retention is up because of it.  I have soup maybe 3 times a YEAR.   I could’ve not had the tiny french fries strings.  But seriously, otherwise, I kicked ASS in the food choice department.

I’ve baked the cakes for the party tonight.  Will frost around lunch time.  Fudge frosting will be Dracula’s hair.  I won’t TOUCH it.

My daughter became a Beach Body Coach about a month or 6 weeks ago.  She’s lost 23 or so pounds in the past few months.  I’m very proud of her!  She has told me she’s making spaghetti for the party dinner, but making squash noodles for her and me.  Not sure what else will be there, but for me zero alcohol and only veggies to munch on.  We are spending the night.  Not sure what will be the thing for breakfast, but not worried.  I GOT THIS.

And I’m down to 1/3 of one pill of blood pressure medication dose…and my blood pressure now stays safely 110-118 over 70-82.


p.s.  here’s the Dracula cake from 2 years ago….

dracula cake 2012

You CAN change your life around!

Even past the age of 60.  I’m living proof of it!

Have a wonderful weekend!  Not sure when my next post will be; either sometime tomorrow, or Monday morning.  :)

Holiday Scale Accountability Club, v2


Happy weigh-in Friday, fellow Club members!  :)

Well, moving into the 2nd week!  Weigh-in day (again.) (I’ve weighed every single day this week.) (Haven’t done that in MONTHS.) (Realize it’s a valuable tool, and as in the past, always a red flag for me personally when I come up with excuses for NOT doing it.)

I’m at 133.2.  That’s up .6 this past week.  :(  HOWEVER, there were three restaurant meals, and a birthday party.  I have been spot on re lack of grains and sugar, so I’m chocking this minor gain up to fluid retention/higher salted meals at the 3 restaurants.  I haven’t been perfect about asking for ‘no salt on the meat, please’, and I’m ‘paying’ it for it now.  Lesson learned!

Let’s talk about setting goals.  Particularly, about setting reasonable goals vs. unreasonable goals.  First off, I’m in general trying to fight the normal tendency to work within a ‘goals’ framework.  This POST of mine explains why.

That being said, it’s almost possible to NOT set goals.  I get that!  So I found a great article, and want to share it with you.  Because I think the worst part about setting goals, is setting UNREALISTIC goals.  Goals that all but set us up for failure.

Setting weight loss goal is a crucial part of losing weight successfully. It is much easier to embark on a journey when you have a clear picture of the destination. Having personal weight loss goals gives you a much stronger sense of purpose and increases the commitment level you feel.

However, there is a wrong and a right way to set your weight loss goals. Doing it wrong will lead to failure. In this article, I want to show you the right way to determine your own goals and to actually achieve them in the near future. If you want to shed pounds effectively, make sure to read this article all the way through.

3 Criteria For Successful Goals

Before you rush to set your goals, make sure they have the following characteristics:

1. Realistic – Your goal must be possible to achieve. For instance, trying to lose 10 pounds in 2 days may seem like a great goal but it’s not realistic.

2. Reasonable – A goal can be realistic in a general sense but it may not be reasonable for you. Let’s say that a certain diet program requires you to train for an hour each day. If you do so, you can lose 5 pounds each week. However, you just can’t put in an hour each day to train hard. You simply don’t have the time. Therefore, the goal of losing 5 pounds a week may be realistic but it’s not reasonable for you.

This isn’t so bad. It’s good to set goals according to your personal situation in life. In addition, reasonable weight loss goals are also healthier ones more often than not.

3. Measurable – For you to be able to really determine whether you’ve achieved your personal goals or not, they have to be measurable. You can’t just say something obscure such as “I want to lose weight”. You have to make your goals more definite such as “I want to lose 20 pounds” is a much better goal.

In addition to making it easier to actually judge your achievements, your mind reacts more favorably to concrete, measurable goals. You will find that the commitment you feel toward achieving your goals rises when they’re measurable. Make sure that they are.

Tips for effective Weight Loss Goals

1. Write down your goals – I’ve explored this issue in depth in a separate article: writing down your weight loss goals, so I won’t discuss it further, other than to say that putting your goals in writing creates a more powerful commitment and motivates you further.

2. Create short term goals – One of the best ways to keep yourself motivated is to meet your goals. This is one reason why setting short term goals is recommended. You simply have more chances to pat yourself on the back and to achieve success. Another reason is that life changes so keeping your goals realistic and reasonable is much easier when they’re for the short term.

3. Keep your goals in mind – You can’t just set weight loss goals and be done with them. You need to keep them in mind to have a clear picture that you’re working towards. By constantly keeping your goals in mind, you’re enforcing your commitment to yourself and improving your chances of success.

4. Set new goals constantly – As you’ll be setting realistic short term weight loss goals, you need to set new ones once you achieve the current. For instance, if you started out by wanting to lose 3 pounds in a week, once that week is over and you find that you’ve succeeded, make a new goal immediately. Don’t wait. Always have something to aim for.

5. There will be setbacks so deal with them right – You can’t lose all hope if you don’t achieve a certain goal. There will always be setbacks with any weight loss process. It happens so get over it and focus on achieving this goal in the shortest time possible. You will find that you’ll be able to make ground with future goals.

In Conclusion

Setting reasonable weight loss goals is a big part of losing weight successfully. However, you can’t just do it any way you please. Follow the tips I’ve outlined above and you’ll find it much easier to stick to your program and to shed weight for the long term.


I’ve been guilty of setting unreasonable/unrealistic goals for myself.  It’s what OCD peeps do.  LOL  I wanted to get into size 4’s (achieved) but more importantly, I wanted to get down to 110 or 115.  I just cannot do it…not without giving up a few items I simply refuse to give up.  (onion rings, BBQ sauce, Ranch dressing, cheese, cashews.)  I don’t eat them, ever, in large quantities, but I do eat them rather regularly, over the course of a month.  To give those all up, I probably could easily drop 10-15 lbs., but I’d be a very unhappy Gwen.  I’ve determined for myself, at this juncture, it’s just not worth it.  I would kick into deprivation mode, and we all know how dangerous that is.  So, 2-3 times a month, I have 4-5 onion rings.  I eat an ounce of cashews 6 times a week as part of my high-protein breakfast.  It is what it is.

That said, I am currently struggling to get back into the 120’s.  I’m sure I CAN.  It’s just not happening as quickly as it had in 2013 or I want it to now.  I’m not quite sure why.  I’ve been pretty stellar in my eating for over a month now, and I am back to 40 minutes of dancing 6 days a week.  It makes me wonder if my body is needing to be closer to 135 than 125 right now…for whatever reason.  I still wear size small’s, I’m still a healthy BMI.  Should I just accept it?  Don’t get me wrong; my eating won’t change, EITHER way.  It’s the mental gymnastics I’m referring to.  The mental beating myself up for the lack of weight loss lately.  I DO know I can ‘tighten up’ a few items:

1.  get back to making a point of requesting ‘no added salt’ at restaurants.  I eat at restaurants 2-3 times a WEEK.  It’s imperative those meals are spot on, or the entire week is screwed, weight wise.

2.  up the intensity of my work outs, and/or the length of the work outs.

But that’s it!  There isn’t anything else I can do better, that I am WILLING to do.  (like give up specific food items.)

So I have to adjust my immediate goal from ‘126’ to ‘staying the course, tightening where I can, and being okay with that.’

So how realistic are YOUR goals for you?  Is there some/any ways you can or need to tweak them, to lower the self-flagellation when you aren’t daily successful at achieving them?  Food for thought.  :)

My Challenges for the coming week:

1.  Today is actually the biggest challenge:  lunch AND dinner at a restaurant!  I really hate that!  But yesterday’s planned birthday lunch was postponed to today, and we had already scheduled to celebrate our wedding anniversary tonight (since our anniversary is actually tomorrow, but tomorrow…)

Edited to Add:  I’ve decided on my lunch item!  It will be this, except no tomatoes (allergic/causes eczema), and no tortilla strips:

Napa, red, and white cabbage,
romaine, tomatoes, avocado, pasilla peppers, cilantro,
carrots, jicama, corn tortilla strips, grilled chicken, and
Red Trolley BBQ ranch dressing.
I’m sure I’ll only eat half; restaurant entree salads are generally HUGE.
Dinner will be steak or prime rib, salad, half a baked potato, and the buttery-garlic top off the garlic bread.  (LOL).

2.  Going to my oldest daughter’s Halloween party, and spending the night.  Fortunately, she’s lost 23 lbs. in the last 3-4 months, has become a Beach Body Coach…so the menu should be pretty safe, other than the dracula cake I’m making (and won’t touch.)  No alcohol!  In fact, we are taking the leftover alcohol we have, and leaving it with them.  :)

After that, things settle down.  But you can see it’s going to be a VERY challenging food weekend.

But FUN.  And it’s the FUN I will be focusing on, not what I shove in my pie-hole.  (LOL)

Have a GREAT weekend!

Are you a fighter, or a caver?

Not cave-person, as in Neanderthal.

I mean, when it gets tough, do you pull on your big boy or girl panties and FIGHT, or do you crumple into a ball, and ‘cave’….?

For years, decades, I was a caver.  I was also a doormat.  I never stood up for myself.  I would TOTALLY avoid conflict.  Of ANY type.  Maybe that came from coming from a home with an alcoholic father.  I just wanted PEACE.  At ANY price.

I wouldn’t stand up and fight for anything.  I caved.

Including my weight, my appearance, my self-respect, and my health.

Oh sure, I could drop a significant amount of weight.  In my early 40’s, I once dropped 60 lbs. in 4 months.  Yep, four months.

I eventually gained it back.

In 2009, I dropped 60 lbs.

in 2012, I gained back 50.

I really cannot put my finger on why I changed from a caver to a fighter, but I did.  I KNOW that having some testosterone (or more) in my veins due to being post menopausal…probably helped.

Or maybe, I just got fed up with myself.  My gutlessness.  It was, quite literally, killing me.  Blood pressure COMPLETELY out of control, and ankle swelling from taking so much blood pressure medication.  Damned if I did, damned if I didn’t.

My whole family, both sides…dies from heart disease.  (Knock on wood) Not cancer.  Or, on my father’s side, heart disease with a sprinkling of diabetic complications, including also some Alzheimer’s.

Take my dad.  No, first take my dad’s only sister; always morbidly obese.  She got diabetes.  She died of diabetes…I don’t remember her exact age, but I’m sure it was somewhere between mid 40’s and mid 50’s.  So tragic.  So premature.

Then, my dad, the ‘beer alcoholic.’  After a DUI took his license away from him for a year when I turned 18, he stopped drinking.  But a few years later, he got diabetes.  He lost most of his excess weight, but the damage was done, and he had quadruple heart bypass surgery in his  mid-late 60’s, got dementia around the age of 76 or so, and developed congestive heart failure and was gone at 77.  Totally unnecessary.  So tragic….to lose this ‘life of the party’ man:


I realized that at 60 plus, I was MUCH closer, in time and actual lack of health, to that heritage than I wanted to be.

With raging blood pressure and unbearable symptoms from too much blood pressure medication, I had to make a choice.  The LAST thing I wanted to do was end up like my maternal grandfather.  The kindest, most gentle soul that I ever knew:  (me with him, circa early 1960’s.)me and grandpaGrandma and grandpa Piper

Above, with my grandma.  Note what’s in his right hand.  I NEVER knew him as a smoker.  He quit before I was cognizant of smoking.  I don’t know how old he was when he quit.

But he was the gentlest soul I ever knew.  A true heart of gold if ever there was one.  The man who never raged or cursed.  I NEVER heard a single swear word out of his mouth.  Nothing but love, sweetness, and kindness, with a sprinkling of old-charm humor.

Then, in his 70’s, he had a stroke.  A MAJOR stroke.  The kind, gentle man who never spoke a swear world in his life, couldn’t speak at all.  Except…I kid not, for swear words.  The only words he EVER spoke, ever again, after his stroke, for the several years until he died, were swear words.  And the tears would just silently stream down his face.  In embarrassment.  In horror.  The kind, gentle soul was still there.  But it was knowingly, painstakingly TRAPPED inside his body and couldn’t get out.  Couldn’t control his words.  And it MORTIFIED him.

It was the most horrifying thing in the world to witness.

I cannot begin to tell you how devastating to watch the most wonderful person in your universe suffer so knowingly, tragically, like that.  For YEARS.

It’s why my mom has had an ‘advanced directive’ for herself for years, and is scared to death of being ‘paddled back to life’.  Fear she could ‘return’ like him.  She would rather die, straight away, than go through what he went through.

I realized if I didn’t get my shit together, I could end up just like my dad, with dementia, or worse yet, like my grandpa, my brain and heart and soul trapped in a useless body that I couldn’t escape.



I will NEVER stop.

I may yet get a heart attack.  Or a stroke.  But it sure as shit will be as late in life as I can control.  And we can control a LOT if we stop caving, and start FIGHTING for our LIVES.

So which are you?  Fighter, or caver?

Which do you WANT to be?

What’s stopping you?

Educating my physician

Well, my physical went well.

Typical beginning, of course; my initial blood pressure was 142/90.  For me at HER office, that is actually low.  I have White Coat Syndrome.  Well, I do with HER.  (and at hospitals.  Not so much at other doctors or urgent care.  Go figure.)

Weight, fine.

Doc comes in, and looks at the pc (doesn’t use physical charts anymore), and said, “I see you still have White Coat Syndrome.”  Yeah, I do.  Small talk, she begins the exam.  After she checked my ears, nose, throat, lungs/heart, she doesn’t SAY she’s going to re-check my bp, but I sense her pulling the cuff off the wall, and I laugh and said “so it’s time for me to start thinking about warm puppies?”  She laughed and said, ‘well, puppies wouldn’t work for me, but if they work for YOU, go for it.”   We both chuckle some more.  I close my eyes and try to relax.

Then she says “a modern day miracle!  124/84!”  That’s the LOWEST my bp has EVER been in her office.  Still higher than my normal, but I’ll take it!  She high-fived me.  Life is good.

Everything else went fine.

I had printed out the entire book ‘Cholesterol Myths.’  (you can do that for free now.  I think it’s a limited time offer.)  I had put it in a hard plastic presentation folder.  I also printed out from somewhere, an article about how cholesterol can rise when you start on a paleo or primal diet, how it’s transitory, and WHY it happens.  I pushed the folder in her direction.  She said, ‘for me?  what is it?”  I told her what it was.  She said “cool!  Do you want me to return it, or is it mine to keep?”  I told her it was hers to keep.  She DID take it with her.

I got my flu shot.

I went downstairs and gave 4 vials of blood.

End of visit.

Now do I think for sure she will read it?  I honestly don’t know.  At least I feel better knowing I gave her a GREAT book on the current scientific knowledge on cholesterol, NOT provided by a Major Pharmaceutical company.  So it means that IF she reads it, her eyes will be open and she’ll learn the truth about cholesterol.  I can only hope.

So, she doesn’t need to see me for another 6 months.  Since I didn’t ask for a lower dose bp meds, not telling her how little of the actual prescription I take, my 6 month prescription will last over a year, so I really don’t see her until time for the next annual physical.  Not sure if she’ll ever put two and two together on THAT.  LOL  (I’ll deal with it in a year if I have to…)

bad Gwen.  bad, bad Gwen.


But, I’m doing what I can to educate my physician, to counter-balance what Big Pharma tries to teach her.  Because doctors need to WISE UP.  There is more research almost every single day about how HIGH FAT (if it’s the healthy kind, not the chemicalized kind) is GOOD for our hearts.  How cholesterol (high levels) does NOT kill prematurely.  We need to spread the word, and learn everything we can FOR OURSELVES because we are up against Big Pharma EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.

And that is your conspiracy theory for the day.  :)


Giving up Google


It’s a scary world out there, when you try to divest yourself from the long-armed/tentacled world of All Things Google.™

First, you ask yourself why?  I came across a GREAT article that spurred me on:

I would’ve already quit Facebook (have, twice) (once during the Presidential campaign end run.  I was de-friending too many because they thought they could change minds on Facebook.  LOL)  BUT, since the bulk of ‘keeping up’ with people, especially grandkid day-to-day photos is solely through Facebook, I’m stuck for now.  It’s a necessary, mildly evil thang.

But, I agree with Robert about Google.  (It helps that I’ve never had a google/Droid phone and have no intention of ever changing that.)  Google Chrome, Google Blogger, Gmail, etc…they are everywhere and they DO track everything.  So, I’ve:

1.  got a new email address.  I chose ‘’ (when you add Adblock, no ads!)

2.  started notifying everyone and their cousin of the email change.

3.  started notifying all businesses that I deal with / have subscriptions / accounts with of my new email address.  THAT is taking some time.

4.  Deleted Chrome.  NOT easy.  Even with a re-boot, it kept saying ‘close all Chrome windows/programs.’  When NOTHING else was open.  Proof POSITIVE how it’s working behind the scenes, TRACKING.  Literally!  I did a search online, and found that if one does control-alt-delete, and then clicks the ‘processes’ tab, you can find several Google Chrome apps running (behind the scenes, TRACKING)…delete them all and then I was able to delete Chrome.  Frightening!

5.  Installed Firefox.  Good, ole Firefox.  :)

6.  Moved my blogroll (which was in essence its own Blogger blog) to a blogroll widget here.  Unfortunately, I have not found one that successfully sorts your blogs by recency.  Meaning I and anyone who wants to check out those blogs have to click each one to see if anything new has been posted.  A small nuisance to, as my hubby has said repeatedly about Mark Zuckerman, “STICK IT TO THE MAN.”  (LOL)  I’m still searching for a better fix, but for now, it is what it is.

7.  I’ve deleted all my old blogs except for the blogroll one.  I would delete THAT, but some of the blogger blogs I follow and like to comment on do not allow comments option ‘name/url’.  Most do.  But without that option available, I can’t comment.  If you have a Blogger blog, might you look into that?  I’d really appreciate it.

8.  I transferred my blogger reading list (after checking out each blog…some had ‘died’)(and there was over 100!)  to my new blog roll, then deleted my ‘membership’ on all of them.  NOTHING personal.  Just part of the divesting myself Google-wise, thereof.

9.  Set up vacation notice on my gmail accounts, after first deleting the oldest one.  I will probably keep that email address alive the rest of the year, to make sure I’ve captured all businesses.  Don’t want to miss anything crucial but that only happens once or twice a year.

As you can see, it’s a long process.  But, it makes me feel better.  I’m old enough that there is certainly a sense of BIG BROTHER wary’ness in me, and I ain’t talking the TV show.  (LOL)  p.s.  Outlook email is WONDERFUL.  Clean, fast.  I like it a lot better than gmail.  :)

So, that’s where I stand.  I’m feeling better, and my physical is at 10:30.  I am armed with a print out of Cholesterol Myths.  Yeah, all 300 plus pages.  It will be a gift to my doctor.  I also printed out data on how cholesterol temporarily rises when one is losing a significant amount of weight, and why.

I have white coat syndrome, so I’m having to deal with that, but by 11-11:30 it will all be over.  LOL  Hubby taking me out to dinner tonight to celebrate.  Don’t worry!  I’ll eat fine/safe/primal.

Have a GREAT day!  Don’t be afraid to STICK IT TO THE MAN!  :)