Weight Watchers Saga Continues…

Dearest Readers:

Today has been a busy, but beautiful day for me. The sun is beaming down baking the city of Charleston, SC. Current temperature is 92 degrees. Yes, a hot day – but oh such a glorious day!

This morning started off like normal. Today is my weigh in day at Weight Watchers. I have hit another plateau and at times, I am getting quite discouraged; nevertheless, I still go to the meetings. Why? I enjoy those meetings. We have an interesting group of regulars, and then, we have a few men and a few returning who were ‘missing in action.’ I say missing in action because they — shall I say — fell off the wagon. Today, two of the missing in action ladies returned and it felt like homecoming week. Hugs. Squeals. Small Talk. You get the drift I am certain!

I am pleased to announce another weight loss. Minus .06! Yes, you read correctly — only .06 pounds. As a member of Weight Watchers, I have repeatedly told myself “any loss is a loss — so be happy with what you are losing.” End of discussion there!

Another discovery I realized today is the beige pair of shorts I am wearing is much too big — and I do mean too BIG! Somehow, this pair of shorts managed to work its way to the bottom of the drawer. When I dragged them out, they were new – with tags still attached, so this morning I thought would be a good day to wear them.

While shopping at Walmart, I almost panicked. Raising my ever so short arms high to reach the merchandise I needed, these beige shorts slipped down. “Oh God,” I thought to myself. “Are my shorts about to fall off?” I touched the waistband quickly. “Sh-hhh…Close call!”

Why are you laughing? It wasn’t funny! Yes, I’m certain, here is this wild and crazy woman named Barbie about to moon someone at Walmart — and I’ve never mooned anyone in my life! I could just picture it, along with the descriptions. “Attention Walmart shoppers…whoever is mooning in the soft drink aisle, please stop it!”

I grabbed the waistband of the shorts quickly. Arriving at home, I decided it was time to remove these much too big shorts, wash them and place them in the Goodwills bag. Trust me, that bag to Goodwill is growing!

Why am I giving my clothes away? Simple. I do not plan to ever wear them again, and when they are too big for me, it’s time to pay it forward and give them to an organization that might benefit others. Never will I wear these shorts again!

So, today has been a good day. Now I must plan to get through the Memorial Day celebrations. I am so proud of myself. I do not care how long it takes me to get to my goal weight because I am taking Weight Watchers one day…one step…and one bite…at a time! This is my lifestyle now, and I cannot wait to hit goal. Have a great Memorial Day weekend while enjoying your celebrations with family, friends and everyone!

Mother’s Day Reflections

Dearest Readers:

Today is Mother’s Day in the USA. A day to appreciate mothers, regardless who — or where — they are. And so, I would like to wish all of the mothers a Happy Mother’s Day. Today, I remember my mother. She died unexpectedly on September 11, 2002. There is an interesting story regarding her death, but that is another chapter I will share in my book, “Chattahoochee Child.”

Today, I will reflect on Mothers. Motherhood is a day that most girls dream about as little children. We play with our baby dolls, changing their diapers and clothes, feeding them baby bottles and we dream of the blissful day when we become mothers. Becoming teenagers, we babysit, still dreaming about the day when we give birth to a child.

I will go on record here to say, it takes more than imaginations, dreams and desires to become a mother. A mother is the first person babies get to recognize when we are so dependent on a mother. I imagined myself as a great mother because I loved small children. I loved scooping them up sitting on my lap while I read picture book stories to them. I loved playing pretend with them, singing and dancing with small children, and I loved babysitting.

After marriage, I discovered it indeed ‘takes a village to raise a child.’ After giving birth to my child, I recognized motherhood was more demanding that I imagined. Suddenly this tiny little boy was placed in my arms, screaming louder than I imagined a baby could scream. After we came home, I was convinced I did not need help to care for him. After all, I was his mother. I could handle any of the demands he screamed out to me. I was wrong!

Mornings began early — really early, and sleep was something I was deprived of. I learned to sleep when the baby sleeps. My husband did not help — at all. He used the excuse he didn’t know how to care for a baby. He couldn’t change diapers or feed him. All that he enjoyed was the fun of making a baby. Maybe that is why we only had one! While making a baby was fun, the joy of caring for a baby quickly wore me out. And when my husband jokingly mentioned having another, I did not laugh. Motherhood was just a bit more demanding that I ever imagined.

Perhaps that is the reason my mother and I did not get along in life. As a child, I was the persnickety one! I loved to dress up and make an entrance. Singing and dancing on the stage gave me life and I knew at the age of five-years-old I was meant to entertain. As a teenager, I grew into a shell, hiding away, afraid to speak, sing or dance. I watched my parents marriage quickly deteriorating. I stood between them, serving as the referee so they would not hit one another. I remember screaming, “Please stop this. You are killing each other.”

When I was 15, my parents separated and divorced. Mom moved us into our grandparents mill house. I enrolled in high school, blending into the walls. No one remembered me. The music stopped and I no longer sang or dance. My life was in turmoil. My mother and I fought. Sometimes she would pull my hair and slap me, just to shut me up. I saw the bitter side of motherhood and for a while, I thought I would never become a mother.

Today, I do my best to look for the good that was inside my mother, and I reflect on her unhappiness. Not every one is good mother material. After all, life has a way of demanding too much controversy and difficulty. After moving away from the mill village, my husband and I drove back to the mill village occasionally to see my mother. Each time, I left in tears. Bitter words were spat at me. Questions vocalized that I was ‘rich’ since I drove a new car, wore expensive clothing and shoes. I laughed! All of my clothing and shoes were sale or clearance items and I managed a tight household budget. It was obvious with each visit that jealousy brewed inside my mother. Never did she rush to hug me, or tell me she loved me. All I remember were the brutal attacks, and with each visit, I wiped tears from my eyes while inside all I wanted to hear was that she loved me and was happy to see me. She stood her ground — refusing. Inside her home, all of my pictures were gone. In her eyes, I no longer existed.

In later years, she had a stroke. I found out when the nursing home phoned me to ask if I would fill out paperwork for her to remain. My youngest sister was missing at the time, and the social worker admitted to me that my mother had been removed from my sister’s home after a court order.

I completed all of the paperwork and my mother received the medical care she deserved. I drove to Georgia to see her. She didn’t recognize me, but did recognize my husband. Returning home, I spoke with the nursing home every day, hoping that my mother would improve.

On September 11, 2002, my mother died. I was informed after my sister’s son phoned me to let me know the funeral would be the next morning. The one comment made to me several times while on the phone was: “Do you think they’ll do an autopsy?”

I had less than 24 hours to get to the funeral. At the time, I was in bed sick with acute bronchial asthma. I was taking Prednisone at the time and was a total zombie to be around. My husband was away in Italy, so I did not make it to the funeral. Never did I get to say goodbye to my mother.

Three months later, I wrote a letter to my mother, to say goodbye. Now at peace with her death, and our history together, I wish her a Happy Mother’s Day in heaven. To all of you who are mothers, or have mothers still alive, I do hope you will take the time to wish your mother a Happy Mother’s Day. Even if there are challenges and adversities you share, think of it this way — she is the one who gave you life. Without her care, you would not be around to breathe or appreciate life.

May God bless mothers, everywhere. As we know, motherhood does not come with an instructional booklet. None of us are truly prepared to be a mother; however, we must work together to become appreciative of each other and our lives together. Life is too short to hold a grudge. Pick up the phone today to speak to your mother. To say thank you..and most of all, to say, “Mom. I love you.” Regardless. She is your mother.

Happy Mother’s Day!

My Weight Watchers Saga Continues

Dearest Readers:

Today is T-minus and counting. My weigh in day at Weight Watchers. For once, I actually slept well last night, managing not to awaken for a length of time until 5:00am. I went back to sleep and didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. Most unusual for me! Slowly, I managed to get myself dressed and go to my meeting. The question at hand as I drove to the meeting was “Will I use my ‘get out of jail card free’ again, or will I actually step on those scales. Grumbling to myself as I approached the meeting, I reminded myself how discouraged I was. ‘Plateaus are killing me. I am so tired of being on this yo-yo. I’m so tired of not losing. I want to reach goal.’

I opened the door, after several members saw me standing at the door. “OK. Here goes.”

Our leader, Kathy, was at the weigh-in desk. “Great. She’ll see that I’m not losing – AGAIN!” She asked how I was doing. I grumbled. “I’m so sick of not losing,” I said. She closed my booklet, handing it back to me, she said. “Good job!”

I thought she was kidding! Looking at my booklet I realized I had lost 1.4 pounds! Shocked, I jumped off the scales and did a happy dance!

What I’ve learned in the last three years as a member of Weight Watchers is the reality that we all will have set-backs, days…and weeks of discouragement…and the recurring battle of plateaus. Yes, I have lost 35 pounds at Weight Watchers, and during weeks of plateaus and yo-yo’s I remind myself that IF I quit Weight Watchers, no doubt, the weight would pile on again. Gaining weight is not someone I wish to be anymore!

When the meeting started, Kathy, our wonderful, encouraging leader asked if anyone wanted to share their experiences from the last week. Of course, it was me – being the shy, timid, non-opinionated woman that I am – NOT – raised her hand.

“I’ve lost 1.4 pounds this week. A total shock for me…and I have something to add. Last night I had rehearsals for a variety show that I am singing in. After rehearsal, my husband and I decided to stop at Finz, a local restaurant, bar nearby since one of my favorite dj’s, Steve Russell, was playing music, including karaoke. While I do not claim to be a karaoke-style of singer, I do love to sing. We plopped down at one of the tables. Steve asked if I wanted to get this singing party started. Of course I said yes. I have enough confidence now with singing that I never hesitate to start the show. When round two of the rotations began, Steve wanted to know if my outfit was considered shorts. Perhaps I should’ve said, “Yes…but dress shorts.” I did not share that comment. The outfit I was wearing consisted of a slightly short pair of dress shorts I could not wear previously because they were much too little. Last night, they fit nicely.

When Steve called me up to sing, he introduced me with the song, “Who Wears Short Shorts,” and when the music began, I danced around.

Truly a nice night to enjoy friends, and to finally recognize that my body size is changing now! Friends are calling me skinny. Something I shall never be, but it’s nice to receive such encouraging words, especially at an age where some people say, I do not dress age appropriate. Whatever that means!

Yes, it is true. I do not dress like a woman middle-aged, or afraid to show her legs! Dreadful, isn’t it! I suppose I should be ashamed, but I’m not. I love wearing my short skirts and I love my heels…just like the commercials seen on TV – the ones where the woman isn’t revealed, with exception of her rushing high heels, short skirts and legs! When the camera reveals the woman, we realize she isn’t a twenty, or thirty-something woman, but she is one of those gorgeous women who has fought the aging process, and it is paying off!

Yeah…that’s me. Short skirts. Platform, or stiletto heels, boots…and so much more.
Just stay tuned. All to the credit of March 3, 2011. The day I joined Weight Watchers while deciding it was time for me to dance again…to love life again…to be the best I can be! Thank you…Weight Watchers. While I am not at goal yet – I simply say – STAY TUNED! The best is yet to be!

Free Writing 101…

Dearest Readers:

Today is a beautiful day in the Lowcountry of Charleston, SC. The welcomed sunshine is beaming brightly in my windows, especially in my breakfast room. Yesterday, May 4, 2014, I decided to work in the yard, cutting back the brittle branches of my Lantana, lace Hydrangea and other brittle branches needing attention. Normally, I do these gardening workouts in early February. February 2014 was bitterly cold and wet in Charleston. Every time I planned to go outside, either the weather did not permit, or my right eye was swollen and as red as a beet. My eye is not a vegetable! I do believe I have developed an allergy in my right eye. Of course my doctor disagrees, and I laugh. Silly doctor. She may have the medical degree, but I know my right eye fairly well! Like me, it is stubborn, opinionated and loves to do things on its terms – not mine!

I enjoyed working in my yard and I was thankful I had a pair of good gardening gloves – to protect my newly manicured nails. After all, a woman has got to look nice, even while gardening. Yes, my hair was styled. I wore shorts and a black top. It was a great day to be in the yard, bending, stooping, stretching, walking – working out!

If you are curious as to where this post is going – well, let’s just say – it is free writing, so I do not know where it’s going. According to Natalie Goldberg, the rules of free writing are:

1. Establish a time limit. I usually free write for five or ten minutes. Sometimes more, and sometimes less.
2. Do not edit, or correct your writing. Ooooh—h! That is a hard rule to follow, and those of you who know me recognize I always say, “Rules are made to be broken.” I taught that rule of life to my son when he was just a little guy, and later, I truly ate those words when we were in a discussion and I reminded him that he broke the rule. His reply to me, with his devilish little grin was, “Mom… You’ve always said rules were made to be broken.” I wanted to crawl through the floor because he remembered my words. Silly me. Sometimes being a mom to a small child can be a bit of a task. Those of you who are moms certainly understand.
3. Back to the rules of free writing – “If you get off topic…keep writing…” Didn’t I just do that in rule #2???
4. If you struggle to write when free writing just ask yourself if anything is bothering you while you free write. Anything bothering me? Not yet, but it is such a beautiful morning in Charleston just what could bother me today??? Stay tuned. You might find out!
5. When the time is up – stop. Excuse me. I am a writer. Sometimes the words just pour from my fingertips while my fingers dance across the keyboard!

Today, I have many things to do. For one, vacuuming! Last week was such a busy week I failed to do my household chores, so today is the day, and while I vacuum, I will turn on some Neil Diamond music and dance while cleaning. After all, cleaning is movement and according to my Fitbit One, movement is exercise. Yes, I will bend…and stoop…and stretch…just like I did yesterday…and when the vacuuming is done, I’ll do a bit of Zumba. Yes, today is a great day to workout. Tomorrow – I hear the beach calling my name.

So much for free writing. I must get busy with life. Next chore – styling my hair. Let’s just say, at the moment, my hair is ‘every which a-way but styled,’ looking more like I must’ve stuck my finger in an electrical outlet, if you can picture that. I hope you cannot! After that ritual is done, my makeup awaits, and I must find that silly vacuum cleaner. Yes, I know where it is, but I so hate to vacuum! There is too much life to enjoy!

More later, Readers. Enjoy this beautiful weather! And for those of you who are not having this glorious spring weather, just imagine taking a nice stroll along the beach. Your warm feet feel the soft sand underneath while the chilled ocean waters tease your feet. How I hope springtime will arrive for everyone soon, and all might enjoy the beauty of the welcoming, warm sunshine after such a bitterly cold winter.

Have a great week!

Top 10 Workout Songs for May 2014


The Top 10 Workout Songs for May 2014

Fort Wayne, IN – May 1, 2014 – This month’s top 10 list contains a healthy mix of perennial favorites and relative upstarts. Chart regulars like Shakira and OneRepublic both clock in with their most recent singles. At the same time, Ed Sheeran and Christina Perri are making their first appearances in the top 10—him with some uncredited assistance from Pharrell Williams and her by way of a Passion Pit remix.
Whether you’re looking for the comfort of something familiar or a boost from something new, there should be a song or two below that will pop you into a pair of sneakers.
Here’s the full list, according to votes placed at Run Hundred–the web’s most popular workout music blog.
Skrillex – Recess – 105 BPM
Ellie Goulding – Beating Heart – 128 BPM
Christina Perri – Human (Passion Pit Remix) – 119 BPM
Naughty Boy & Sam Smith – La La La – 125 BPM
Ed Sheeran – Sing – 121 BPM
Shakira – Empire – 80 BPM
Mystery Skulls – Ghost (Solidisco Remix) – 124 BPM
Calvin Harris – Summer – 128 BPM
OneRepublic – Love Runs Out – 121 BPM
Childish Gambino – Sweatpants – 80 BPM
To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at RunHundred.com. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.

Chris Lawhorn
Run Hundred
Email: mail@runhundred.com