My less than 400 calorie grilled chicken salad was oh so yummy!

Hello lovelies and welcome to day 108 of social distancing and isolation! That’s right, we are in the triple digits of our countdown. I can’t believe how much things have changed in these 3+ months, and can’t help but wonder how much change we will continue to see until a vaccine is approved and administered to the public. I don’t think we’ll see life go back to what was once normal, and to be honest we probably shouldn’t. For now, please wear a mask if you have to be out in public and just stay home if you can. And don’t forget how important proper hand hygiene is. You aren’t just protecting yourself, but everyone you come in contact with.
I didn’t publish an article here in the last few weeks because sometimes we need self-care more than we need to write a blog article, ya know? It’s been a crazy, emotional, anxiety ridden three months. The pandemic was enough to break you, but then came George Floyd and the ensuing flood of raw emotion. Our nation is so much more deeply divided along the lines of race than I ever imagined it could be in the year 2020. We have a president who is so obviously racist, and who continues to fuel the flames of hatred. It has divided our country in ways that we haven’t (openly) seen in decades. It’s a lot to take in and process.
It’s heartbreaking for me, a white American, to see and process all this hatred. So, I can’t imagine what it is like for Black Americans at this time. They are having to both mourn and be strong enough to stand against the violence and racism. They are fighting to bring about change so that their children don’t have to face the same issues. I can imagine that they are exhausted, and that is where you can help. They need for EVERYONE to stand with them, and help hold them up. They need for EVERYONE to fight! We ALL need to fight to ensure that changes are made to a broken system, so that we can eliminate systemic racism and bring about justice and equality for all Americans. That is why it is so important that each and every one of you make your voices heard with your vote. Changing the way our government approaches racism, justice, and equality starts on the smallest, small town level and goes all the way up to the POTUS. You should vote in every local, state, and national election. It’s the least you can do. This November we need to vote out Trump, so that we can begin to heal this country.
Thankfully, we had some good news come our way in the last few weeks as well. The SCOTUS ruled on two landmark issues that left us all feeling as if there is hope. The first was their ruling that the 1964 Civil Rights Law also protects LGBTQ workers from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation. The second was their ruling that rejected the Trump administration’s attempts to end DACA, which is the program that protects immigrants, who have lived in the US since they were children, from deportation. Hopefully this will now lead to legislation to bring about a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers.
Meanwhile, In my small, cozy condo I’m still reading and writing, and just trying to stay positive and anxiety free. I’m writing poems, short stories, and lots of journal entries. So many journal entries! I’m also reading a lot. Looking back at my reading choices thus far this year, I seem to be enjoying memoirs, poetry, short story compilations, and self-care books. Since I last posted I have read 5 more books, making my total thus far 30. I finished The World’s Greatest Short Stories by Various Authors, Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, From Scratch by Tembi Locke, Wisdom From a Humble Jellyfish by Rani Shah, and The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur. I just started The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton, which I bought at the bookstore a few weekends ago. I’m so happy to have an actual book to hold and read! Kindle is nice and convenient, but nothing compares to the feel and smell of a new book. Nothing.
In other news… I started on a change of lifestyle journey recently. I’ve gained about 25 lbs since moving to Canada in 2016, and no amount of dieting and/or exercise has done anything to bring those numbers down in a consistent way. So, On June 8th I weighed in at a number I won’t share with you, but it wasn’t my finest hour. And I’ve weighed in everyday since. I have also starting using a calorie counter app (CalorieKing) and have restricted my calories to between 1000 and 1200. I’ve started doing the 16/8 fast (more on that later), walking for exercise on average 2 to 4 times a day (depending on the weather), using my stepper twice a day, and I doing stretches and mediation every morning. I am also restricting my alcohol and sugar intake.
So far, I am down 5.8 lbs. I can now see that there is a pattern of weight loss all week and then on Monday, after having let myself have alcohol on the weekend ,there is usually a gain of 8 ounces to 1 lbs. But, it is consistently moving in the right direction, so I think I’m on to something. And that feels so good!
The 16/8 fast is where you restrict your eating to a set 8 hours of the day and fast the other 16. I have my eating set to between 11am and 7pm. I don’t eat anything before or after those times. I have two regular meals and a small snack in between. I try to stick with high protein, low calorie, whole foods. No sweet snacks (unless my calorie count allows it and then I let myself have 1 serving of dark chocolate covered almonds. Yum!) or alcohol (only on weekends). I can have tea (no sugar added) or water during the times I’m fasting.
This last week I felt I levelled out a bit and never made any progress on losing more weight. I started researching and found that I might have cut my calories by too much, given the amount of activity I had added to my daily routines. So, I have course corrected and given myself between 1200 and 1400 calories a day. We’ll see if that jump starts my metabolism again. Fingers crossed!
And now I’m going to enjoy a week of having my husband at home with me, no distractions. Just lots of walks in nature, drinks of the balcony, and snuggly movie times. That's right, it’s time for a Staycation! So, until next time, make sure you are following me on Instagram and Twitter and remember to be kind, be loving, & be better!​​​​​​​