Adios, Bathroom Scale.

I’m looking to scale down my life. In a lot of ways. Because the more I scale down the more I can actually achieve. My mind stays busy with all sorts of nonsense. One of those being: weight. And my weight, my body, has always been a conversation piece. Sadly.

It also has always been a very normal body though it does more than most women I know. It has birthed 4 children, at home, without intervention save the loving care of a midwife. It kept me strong when I took in my sister and her 5 kids to help rehabilitate them. It held it together when my marriage unravelled. It helped me crawl out of depression when I learned to scale limestone walls on a nothing more than a rope. It helped me succeed, to the highest standards, as I redefined my life through classical ballet teacher training. And then it carried me through a tragic and traumatic divorce, which turned my life – and my children’s lives – upside down. It is strong. It is capable. It is sound.

But it’s also that of a woman’s body. I’m not a little girl anymore who bounces back from the stress of life. Adaptations to new stressors – emotional and physical – have created a nurturing  environment for self. One thing the body does during times of stress is pack on the pounds. It’s a basal response to self-preservation. Thank you, body, for preserving me.

It’s time to move on.

So 2 weeks ago I quit eating sugar, dairy, and wheat. Not for the sole purpose of weight loss, but as a means to help clean up a lot of other issues going on. I have aches, pains, injuries that won’t heal, chronic virus infections that won’t go away, undiagnosable “pain” that is real but doesn’t show up in scans of any kind. And this has been going on long since before the divorce. It is, I believe, 100% related to my very liberal Standard American Diet and of course my love for deep fried everything. HAHA

You would think that after two weeks, and absolutely no cheating, and following a strict Ketogenic diet, that things would start to happen. But alas, when I stepped on the scale yesterday, not a single pound has disappeared. It was kinda disappointing. I miss my “real” figure as I refer to my self as I was before the divorce. In which I could grab clothes off the rack, not even bother trying them on, and everything fit fine. That’s really what it comes down to for me: can I go shopping for fun or is it a chore? You laugh, but most woman silently agree.

I used to be a size 2. I used to get a lot of compliments on my figure. What no one knew, was at the time, and for the duration of that period of life, I was on heavy medication and I wasn’t eating. At all. Maybe a morsel every couple of days. Medication == anorectic side effects. And I didn’t object. What I did do, was weigh myself every single day. And develop a strange view of self. When I got smaller than a size 2, and every vertebrae in my spine was showing, and my arms were as small as twigs, my ballet teacher complimented me on my weightloss efforts. I had started ballet teacher training a size 10. I ended it a size 2. I remember going home, weighing myself, and crying.

And going to the Dr. the next day, coming off the meds, and stabilizing my weight around 130lbs. I felt strong. I felt healthy. I felt just fine.

Fast-forward to the past two weeks. Since changing my diet, I’ve been obsessing over the scale. I have weighed myself every single day for two weeks. I have been disappointed every single day for two weeks. Regardless of how awesome I’m doing at this new dietary change. Regardless of how much better I feel overall. Regardless of progress I’m making at the gym. Regardless of the fact that all my clothes fit better. The puffy circles under my eyes are gone. The water bloat is gone. I’m associating defeat with this lifestyle everytime I step on the scale.

It’s a mind game.

I saved the batteries. They are still good for something.
I saved the batteries. They are still good for something.


So I threw the scale away today. My weight is not my self worth. The scale is as toxic as the sugar I was consuming. I’m decluttering my life. And that includes my Self. I encourage you to do the same. I’m now free to go forward without self-hate. Which is basically what all that boils down to.


I enjoy working online until times like these arise. Then I have to filter and mute so much of the internet or my emotional triggers are flared up. There is just so much uncertainty these days and we’re all so quick to tweet our raw emotions – good and bad – and then all so quick to judge each other.
It’s like the iVillage forum has thrown up all over the net.
In other words – there’s nothing new here with the vitriolic drivel coming from our fellow man – it’s just amplified because the number of people online today vs. even 10yrs ago, has increased by the billions.
Everyone is wrong.
Everyone is right.
Everyone is good.
Everyone is evil.
Every civil liberty affords freedom.
Every civil liberty brings oppression.
Every negative social tax brings a positive social entitlement.
Every positive social entitlement brings a negative social response.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Newton’s 3rd law applies both to the physical space, metaphysical space, and now the Internet of Things/People/Events/Emotions.

My Greatest Contribution to Twitter

I got railed on a little for calling her female instead of a woman but in my mind it’s all the same:

Crazy  how much traffic it gained and no, I never promoted it. It just kinda went viral on it’s own. I have no real idea why.

Screenshot 2015-11-10 15.02.16

Twitter is quirky like that.

Try not to spend too much time obsessing over it.

Free Printable Daily/Monthly Planning Pages

I know, I know, I said I was giving up paper note taking, but some habits are just too ingrained and it’s going to be a long time till I give up my Franklin Planner. I LOVE IT.

Today I realized I needed more planning pages. But, today is part of No Spend November so guess what I couldn’t do? Order more pages. So, being all resourceful and stuff, I just created my own. They’re not as pretty as the Franklin Planner Leadership Pages in Monarch Size but they get the job done and that’s what matters.

Continue reading

No Spend November Week 1 Update

November may not be the best month for you to curtail your mindless spending as it is the ONE month the entire Retail  Universe is depending on you to open your wallets for everything under the sun. If you are a bargain hunter, maybe you should have a No Spend January. The only thing that really goes on sale in January is home organization, linens, and bedding. Apparently, according to the retail industry, January is when everyone organizes the closests and buys new sheets?? Anyway my point is – if you’re really into Christmas and you really like to save on all the things you have to spend on Christmas, maybe November isn’t a good month for you to lock up your debit card.

Yesterday there was a sales flier in the mail from SAMS with special savings happening next weekend on big ticket items. We need to big-ticket-item our living room. Presently the living room has 1 couch from my sister, 1 coffee table John and his daughter built, and 4 book shelves with stuff stacked absentmindedly on them. Some of which are not books at all. Oh and a side table for the couch made up of 4 boxes of books and some oil cloth draped over it + 1 lamp from my Gramma.

I kid you not. Here’s proof:

Living Room
Don’t be envious. This can all be yours for the right price. :D

Needless to say the living room needs some TLC. So when the flier from SAMS had the TV we want knocked down  $300, and the sound system knocked down $200, and we knew we could pick up a rug at Target for about $200 and Pottery Barn Outlet ALWAYS puts their furniture on major clearance during the holidays – and especially on Black Friday weekend… I looked at John and said, “Maybe I picked the wrong month to do this no spending thing…”

So we went to SAMS and we looked at the TV’s and it occurred to me: if we buy it – and save that $300 – what are we giving away? We are gaining a TV for the living room and the point of that is to have a place to spend family time/hangout time with the kids. But for every action there is always an equal (usually negative) reaction. So what’s the flip side of saving that $300?

Giving Up Control

The point of No Spend November is to regain control of finances, but ultimately, regain some balance to life. It has been super edifying to cook every meal at home this month (all 8 days of it so far) and to say No more than Yes to the kids. We are laying the groundwork for a fiscally sound 2016 but if we give in to the SAMS flier than we’ve lost a battle we have only just begun.

The Living Room Can Wait

Losing Notes and Other Analog Remembrances


I love the way it feels to write on. Color on. Mark on. I love how much it weighs. I love the variety of colors, texture, weight, you can pick for writing on. My ex-father in law was a printer and his print shop was one of my favorite places to hang out at. He had stacks and stacks of paper. In all colors, sizes, textures, and sheens. Paper has intrinsic value and thus anything on paper has value as well. Which is a lot different than binary jibber jabber that resides on your phone or computer or online services or ….the cloud (dun dun dun).

And you know what is more impressive about paper?  You can put it in typewriters and have tons of fun! I mean come on what is not to LOVE here?!?!

I Love My Franklin Planner

There’s nothing like writing out a long list of everything you need to do and then categorizing them by letters and numbers. And then knocking all those things out in a strategically sound manner. Start at A1 and don’t move on to A2 until A1 is completely done. If you don’t get to something just put a little –> next to it, and move the task to the next day. It’s a habit that’s hard to break. And of course since the tasks are written on paper, you actually REMEMBER them. As opposed to hacking something out on your phone’s Reminder List and then forgetting you even have a Reminder List in your phone’s OS. But I’ve digressed.

Ok so seriously now -does your online planning system give you this kind of feedback on the daily?

Yeah. I didn’t think so. It’s like having a Best Friend at your side. All day. Cheering you on. I love mine.

I Love 35mm Film, Prints, and Slides

My Dad gave me all his old 35mm cameras and lenses before he passed away. I don’t know if any of them work, we’ve not had time to mess with them yet. But I love 35mm film, prints, and slides. I love my iPhone 6, and the Olloclip lenses, but I also have thousands upon thousands upon thousands of photos on hard drives that I worry will never be printed. Never be put in albums. My children will never see. It’s impossible to keep up with. I need to get in a better habit of ordering prints.

The problem is that the digital prints don’t look as good as the digital images. And I’m a total photography snob. My ex-husband is a super talented photographer, thanks to yours truly, and pretty much no one comes close to his level of expertise with photography save Chase Jarvis. I’m not even joking. Anything Royce wanted to do he does to the most perfect form. Except marriage and family but again… I digress.

The point is 35mm prints are on film and that film has an intrinsic value that I don’t attach to digital pictures. Digital pictures are …what? Nothing. They have no value as an item of substance until you print them. They are just data saved to …the cloud? Your hard drive? Your social accounts? They can all be gone in a **poof**.

I literally have hundreds of these of the children. These are not my slides – but I have binders full of slides!!!! In fact, I’m going to set up a slideshow at the family Thanksgiving party this month. Yes – I’m GEEKING OUT ABOUT IT!

Digital Data Hoarding

Lately I’ve been losing a lot of things. Probably because I’ve got a lot going on. Let’s talk about tonight, for example. I need to write up some user personas and get those to my team. My distributed team. We had a chat last week and discussed and I took lots of NOTES ON PAPER but that was a week ago and guess what – I can’t find the paper with all my notes. I even kept working after the call so I could finish detailing the user personas that we had brainstormed to a fairly polished state, conceptually speaking that is, and I jotted all the thoughts on that notepad.

Guess what I can’t find tonight?

Guess what I need to get done tonight?

And you know what that has made me do?  Reassess the way I value digital data that makes up notes, photos, and planning software. Imagine if I had just worked in my MacBook notes, or Google Drive Docs, or Slack Files, or Basecamp Project folder. I’d have the information at my fingertips. And I’d be done with the task. And my team mate Jackie could already be looking at the User Personas.

But I didn’t.

Because I’ve been holding onto things that no longer make any sense. Like paper note taking.

I’m not willing to give up on my love for paper, planners, and photos from film, but I think it’s time I join the 21st century and stop taking work-related notes on paper that ends up lost and I waste time looking for it and then waste more time wishing I had just used a dang digital method.

It’s time to embrace THE CLOUD. 

💰💰It’s time for No Spend November!!💰💰

I have one more day to spend all the money and then I have to go on a budget. This is our yearly self-imposed hell-month in which the word NOPE! becomes the automatic response to all “Can we….” requests from the kids, which is then followed by a resounding  “This sucks!” from said kids and a sinister-esque, internal laugh from yours, truly.  Because it’s time for: no spend november

How to do a No Spend November
(If the title wasn’t clear enough…)

There are lots of ways to do a No Spend November – if you’re curious about it – but for me, I eliminate all unnecessary spending. I only spend money on the following things:

  • Bills & Budgeted Events (we have a November birthday)
  • Food for the House (NO eating out)
  • Doctor/Medical Needs
  • Emergency Repairs

It’s tough the first week — but if you stick to it “Nope” soon becomes an auto-response and by the 2nd week you completely stop thinking about if you need to buy something or not. By the time December comes around (AKA the month people spend ungodly amounts of money ungodly holiday 😂) your family has reset their consumer driven habits and you can generally save quite a bit as you’ll naturally REALLY evaluate whether or not you REALLY need to buy that Made in China plastic crap toy for your 1 yo that’s going to end up being donated to Goodwill in 6 months when you get tired of stepping on it, playing with it, or cleaning it up… But I digress.

No Spend November does a few things for any parent tired of spending money. It resets the family budget. It adds a little (or a lot) to the savings account. It breaks everyone’s habits of consumerism. It empowers you to regain those healthy boundaries between your children and your pocketbook. And honestly – it’s just plain fun to tell the kids NO for a full month. Nothing more fun than seeing a bunch of teenagers squirm like spoiled toddlers over things as meaningless as grabbing a soda from the gas station or picking up pizza on a Friday night. Ha!

What I really enjoy most about No Spend November is the extra time I have with my kids when we cook meals and eat together more often. This past month I took an informal survey of the amount of time it took to cook a meal or go out to eat. With a family of 6, would you believe me if I told you it takes about the same amount of time either way? Seriously! So I’m not really saving any time by eating on the run. I’m just spending extra money on junk food.

No Spend November is really whatever you make it. I’ve yet to go on a big spending binge December 1st but I suppose that could happen. Like when some people try to diet and they do the whole binge-eating-when-everyone-is-at-school thing. Not that **I** know what that’s like I’m just saying…you  know…I suppose it could happen.

On a more positive note – I’m thinking of extending No Spend November from a 1 month family FUN BONDING EXPERIENCE to a 3 month endeavor. Maybe a six month endeavor. Maybe I’ll try and blog once a month on how things are going but yeah… probably not. Ha!