Diet: 6 weeks later

It’s been six weeks since G and I started our diet. Six weeks of depriving ourselves of our normal foods, and six weeks to learn new eating habits. I think we’ve both done extremely well.

There have been times where eating a donut would have been like sitting in heaven, but I never gave into the temptation because I knew I’d feel guilty afterwards. We no longer have caffeine (at all). We drink decaf tea (me) and decaf coffee (G), and G sometimes has decaf sugar free Pepsi. We can eat as much vegetables and salad as we want (except pumpkin and carrot), and we are allowed two pieces of fruit a day. Considering I never ate fruit and never drank water, I’m doing great. I make sure I have the right quantity of both every, single day.

The weight has shifted around on my body, but after three weeks my clothes felt comfortable again, and I no longer felt frumpy. I can see the difference in G, and I can feel the difference in myself. There were weeks when we lost the smallest amount of weight, 0.2kg, and that was quite disappointing. However, when you see our overall weight loss, I’m sure you will agree that we’ve worked hard.

Our starting weight was:

G – 94kg
Karen – 71.7kg

Our weight today:

G – 82.4kg
Karen – 64.5kg

I’ve altered my target weight from 60kg to 58kg, which means I have 6.5kg to go. And G’s aim is 75kg, so he only has 7.4kg to go. We are quite proud of ourselves.

WordPress and Smilies

I’m not good with smilies, I only know how to get a few of the graphics to show up here, such as 😛 🙂 🙁 and 😀

What I want to know is…what is the code for all those other smilies I found in the folder? Can anyone share this information with me? Please.

Insomnia

After my marriage broke up, I suffered insomnia for about 18 months. I would lay staring at the ceiling for hours upon hours, every night, and would only manage to fall into a light slumber for about three hours. It was a terrible time, and I lost a lot of weight.

That passed. I met G, and now he suffers insomnia. 🙁

His is going onto two years now. He manages about four hours sleep at night, and feel exhausted all day. After such a long period of time, it’s dragging him down.

So imagine never being able to sleep. Well, this man hasn’t slept for 33 years. One night he had a fever and couldn’t sleep, and since that night, he’s never slept again – he’s now 64 years old. The thing is he’s healthy, and doesn’t feel any side affects. That is amazing!

This story got me thinking. What would you do with that extra time every night (if the sleepless nights didn’t affect you in any way)? Would you try to sleep? Would you take a look at that long list of things on your “to do” list and try to get some of them done? Imagine eight hours of non-interrupted time. Time when the rest of the household were sleeping peacefully, just like your neighbours and everyone else (hopefully) in your vicinity. How would you spend those precious hours?

Writing? I would.

A Helping Hand

Yesterday, I reached out (on my message board) for help with my chapter book, Cat’s Eyes. I really wanted a couple of people to read the entire manuscript – approximately 25,000 words – and tell me if there were plot holes, and/or if I had realistic characters…and the response was staggering.

Not only have several people volunteered to do this for me, three of those people have children they intend to involve too.

As a children’s writer, this is really exciting for me. The responses of those children will tell me if I’m on the right track, if I have the right balance of action and breathing time, and most importantly, if I’ve overstepped the mark with words that mean nothing to them. I’ve been worrying about this last issue, but I didn’t want to turn things around and end up talking down to younger readers either.

Writing for children is NOT easy. Never, ever believe that.

To those special people who volunteered, I give a heartfelt “Thank you”. {{hugs}}

Assassin’s Apprentice

Assassin's Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy, #1)Last night, I finished reading Assassin’s Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1) by Robin Hobb. There were things I loved about this book, and things I hated.

First, a short blurb on the storyline (so skip to the next paragraph if you haven’t read the book, and don’t want it spoilt). Fitz is a royal bastard (as in born outside of wedlock). At age five his mother’s family deliver him to the royals and abandon him. The boy looks just like his King-in-Waiting father, but this doesn’t win Fitz any favours. His father, and his wife, abdicate and move away from the castle, leaving Fitz to be tended by the stable master. Over the years, Fitz is treated badly, but one day the king finds a use for little Fitz, and he is apprenticed to Chade, the king’s assassin. From here everything that can go wrong, does, but I’ll let you read the book to find out how it turns out.

I loved the characters and the plot. Both were deeply woven together. There were a number of surprises, some of them tear jerkers. It is written in first person, but Robin Hobb did a beautiful job with this. She allowed the reader to get right inside the main characters head, and this paid off, because I really felt connected with him – I felt his pain and loneliness. It was enough to shatter the heart.

As I said, Assassin’s Apprentice was written in first person, so the author felt she had to include a short passage at the beginning of each chapter (ranging from a few lines to one and a half pages), which explained the history and other characters. These were things that the main character didn’t know and was mostly “telling”. This is the main thing that I disliked about the book. I found it distracting and…well, boring. After reading the first few, I stopped reading them and I feel I didn’t miss anything. The story was just as rich without these “info dumps”.

There were places where the author also described too much. For example, it took something like five pages to describe a city. By the time I’d read 3 pages, I was well and truly over it and just wanted the story to continue – so skipped the rest of the description. Other sections were over described too, but not as bad as the section I just mentioned. These long descriptions were also distracting and managed to pull me out of the story I was thoroughly enjoying.

Taking these things away, this book is excellent. The story and characters are so real that the reader has no choice but to “get over” the bad things and move on. I did, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The book is the first book in a trilogy, but it is also a stand alone novel. I don’t have to read the next book, but I will because I want to see where the story will go (and how the author improves because, I believe, this was her first published novel).

Highly recommended; and, I think it will gain a place in my top ten books. 😀

Valentine’s Day

Now that I can stop worrying about the comments catastrophe, I can move onto something more exciting – Valentine’s Day.

What a scam!

Are our feelings for our loved ones so shallow that we need a special day to remind us to say “I love you”? Are we so consumed with ourselves that we need the 14th February to remind ourselves to buy a present for our partner/spouse?

As I said, what a scam.

Forcing your partner to do these things doesn’t mean they love you. Forcing anyone to do anything doesn’t prove a thing. And having Valentine’s Day is the biggest load of crock I’ve ever heard.

Wouldn’t you prefer your partner to give you a bunch of flowers, a book, or some other present, just because they thought about you when they saw it and wanted to show he/she loves you? Isn’t a short, hand-written note saying how perfect you are more thoughtful at any time of year, rather than twisting that person’s arm to give you a card and/or present on Valentine’s Day?

Of course it is! Because it shows that they really do love you. It means you are on their mind and that they appreciate you. They don’t have to do something expensive for that action to be heartfelt. And to be the receiver of such a special gift, on any day of the year, is the sweetest feeling in the world.

Don’t fall into the commercial hogwash, where shopkeepers get richer because they put the prices up (especially florists). Showing your partner or spouse how you really feel about them by doing little loving things can be done at anytime, and surprising your loved one will make the gesture special and memorable.

Don’t forget to show you love them as well.

Additions to the Family

I’ve been slow in doing this, but I really should mention the new additions to our family.

Firstly, G’s son and daughter-in-law had their second child on Friday 3rd February 2006 — just a few minutes after midnight. It was a beautiful little girl. And she really is beautiful – unlike most babies who are born wrinkled, red and scrunched up looking. This little girl was smooth skinned and baby doll looking. Mother and daughter have been home for a week now and both are doing well.

Then, there’s my son and his girlfriend. On Friday 10th February 2006, they adopted an eight week old tabby kitten, Bella. She’s a cute little thing and is identical to our cat, Sophie, so naturally we fell in love with her straight away. However, my son was mean and took her home with him. She will be the new playmate of Toby, their five month old existing kitten. Unfortunately, my son and his girlfriend work so Toby has been left on his own during the day. Now he’ll have a little friend.