My Public Display of Dieting – Week 21

RESULTS: Lost 4 pounds for a total loss of 20 pounds! I’m 40% to my goal!!

Hand weightsWhew! The three pounds I gained last week was just the normal monthly gain that comes and goes as quickly as that. And then I still lost my scheduled one pound for the week! Now I just have to work a bit harder to lose 2 more pounds next week so I can catch up to the week I’m on. My 50 pounds in 50 weeks weight loss goal is still in sight!  🙂

I’ve been super busy the last few weeks, so I haven’t exercised as much as I had been. But I also haven’t been doing as much strength training as I should at all, period. So last week, John showed me a bunch of the exercises he does at this weight-training circuit class they have at his work at lunchtime. Thursday, I finally tried it.

Holy cow. I only did one set instead of two, and I was sucking air on the floor at the end! Haha! The morning after my first try, I could barely walk down the stairs without falling. My legs and butt hurt!! Friday (second day, and in a row, too!) was somewhat better. I’m going to work up to two sets by the end of June, though. Here’s to success!

LOVE AT THE LIBRARY: Two Classes on How to Self-Publish

I’m excited to be teaching two LIVE in-person workshops this spring teaching people what they need to know about self-publishing and helping them get started. You want to come?

Love at the Library event banner

LOVE AT THE LIBRARY – Saturday, May 28, Noon – 6pm, Free
The first one is tomorrow, Saturday, May 28, 2016, at the downtown San Diego library. The San Diego chapter of Romance Writers of America is presenting, Love at the Library, a day of workshops, readings, and book signings (with lots of your favorite romance authors) followed by the screening of the feature-length documentary, Love Between the Covers.

The film explores the romance novel industry, what makes it so popular, and why so many intelligent, talented women choose to write romance. It’s really interesting (I saw it at the LA Film Festival last year) and yours truly has a cameo appearance! 😀 

My workshop, The Ins and Outs of Self-Publishing, will run from 1:00pm to 1:50pm. I’ll have handouts for everyone, and there will be Q&A at the end. Two other writing workshops are at 12 noon and at 2:00pm. More details, including times and location, can be found here. This event is completely FREE and runs from Noon to 6pm. Cool, right?!

THE WRITE STUFF – Saturday, June 4, 10am – Noon, $10
The second workshop is next Saturday, June 4, 2016, at the Valley Center County Library not far from Escondido, California, in northern San Diego county. It’s also not far from Temecula. This one will be very cool for different reasons. 😉

First, it’s a 2-hour workshop instead of 50 minutes. And the class size is capped at 20 people, so I’ll be able to help every student more personally and in greater depth.

Second, the $10 fee per person goes directly to the library! Love that! You get to learn about self-publishing, and the library benefits. Win-win!

I’m part of “The Write Stuff” series and my workshop, Self-Publishing – A How-to Seminar, will cover many topics that are in my online course (Your How-to Guide to Self-Publishing, which will re-open this summer).

Since you need to pre-register for this event (no walk-ins except maybe on the small chance the class isn’t filled), I am attaching the registration PDF here so you can download it and mail it in ASAP. If you have any questions, or want to make sure it’s not too late to register, email me at kitty AT kittybucholtz DOT com.

I hope to see you at these events! Should be lots of fun! 😀

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 20

RESULTS: Gained 3 pounds for a total loss of 16 pounds

Chicago deep dish pizzaWell, the longer I do this, the more I learn about myself. For one thing, every four or five weeks, I gain a few pounds, partially from overeating. Then the next week I tend to lose everything I gained. That’s one good thing.

Also, when I’m someplace with some kind of amazing food I don’t get to eat very often, I’m going to eat it no matter what. And if there are leftovers, I’m going to eat those, too, because – hey, I don’t get to eat this very often. 😀

Last week, a friend of mine bought Chicago deep dish pizza and sent it home with me for John and me to finish. It was awesome. And we’ve eaten this very high calorie pizza for the last four days in a row. I also had margaritas two of those days with the pizza. I wasn’t at all surprised that I gained a couple pounds this week.

Another thing I learned is that it is really difficult for me to get enough exercise when I am away from home. Four of the last five days, I’ve been out – dentist, teaching a class, a couple meetings, and getting the car fixed. I haven’t been able to get up early enough to exercise before having to leave on these days. And that means my exercise has been cut more than 50%!

So…all those things added together mean that yes, I’ve gained a few pounds instead of losing one. But after tomorrow, I’ll be back on track…mostly. I have a lot of teaching engagements and other things in the next month. So in order to not gain weight, since I won’t be able to get as much exercise in, I’ll have to really cut back on the pizza! (Thank goodness, there’s only two pieces left. 😉 )

If you’re struggling, don’t get discouraged. Just look for specific things that aren’t going as well as they should and ask yourself how you can make them work better. You can do this – and I can, too!

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 19

RESULTS: Lost 1 pound for a total loss of 19 pounds!

YESI’m running out of smiley faces to use for these blog posts! I’m so freaking excited that nearly every week, I’m making a little bit of progress. When I was in business school, they introduced us to a Japanese term, kaizen – the art of continuous improvement. As soon as they explained the concept – improve one tiny thing after another, incrementally, across all levels of the organization – I totally got it, and totally loved it!

I’m seeing that the same concept is working in my current physical transformation. Not only am I averaging one pound of weight loss every week, but everything is very slowly tightening and strengthening. Those little 3-pound hand weights that my friend gave me for Christmas are making a difference when used several times a week for three months.

I imagine what I’ll look like at the end of this 50-week challenge and I actually believe it’s going to be great!

When was the last time I felt that confident?

I’m trying to get up the courage to post another picture of myself next week at the 20-week, 20-pound mark. Do a side-by-side comparison. It’ll be really embarrassing since I’ll still be 30 pounds overweight. But…maybe it will encourage both of us to keep going, keep working it, one tiny improvement at a time. 🙂

What do you think?

Elena and Kitty Blabbing About Books – A Live Show

Do you like listening to podcasts or watching video interviews? Are you a fan of shows like Inside the Actors Studio? Do you love to read and talk about books?

You just might love our new show, Elena and Kitty Blabbing About Books!

Elena and Kitty Blabbing About Books

YA author Elena Dillon and I started this new live author interview show on the Blab platform in February 2016 to see if it was something we enjoyed. We’ve interviewed half a dozen authors so far and we’re having a great time! Audience members say they’re having fun, too!

The Blab platform is a new-ish website that allows people all over the world to video chat with up to three other people live while anyone from anywhere can watch and participate in the chat box. The video chats can also be recorded and watched again later.

On Elena and Kitty Blabbing About Books, Elena and I interview authors in a manner similar to that of Inside the Actors Studio. Some of the questions are silly fun, and some are about the author’s process or new books coming out, and the watching audience asks questions as well.

Last week, we tried another format – Elena and I chatted about our favorite sci-fi and fantasy stories while our audience interacted with us in the chat. We discussed The Martian by Andy Weir, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, the Lord of the Rings books by J.R.R. Tolkein, and many more. We’re going to do the same kind of show tonight, talking about favorite time travel stories. There are so many – A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Remembrance by Jude Deveraux, and many more – that we had to dedicate a separate show to time travel, outside the sci-fi/fantasy show!

Elena and Kitty Blabbing About Books is live from 7pm to 8pm Pacific time (almost) every Wednesday. The link here is for the time travel show tonight. But you can click the link anytime after the show is over to see the replay. You can also follow Elena and me on the Blab platform (it’s connected to Twitter) and get a message when a new show is about to go live. Searching Blab will find our past episodes, but I’ll also start a new page here soon and add all the shows we’ve done. 😀

We won’t have a show next week, Wednesday, May 18, 2016, because I’ll be out of town. But we’ll be back on May 25. I hope you join us tonight and/or on future episodes as we blab about books!

Book Marks: The Hearts We Mend – Book Review by Carrie Kurtz

The Hearts We Mend book coverThe Hearts We Mend by Kathryn Springer

Goodreads Summary

Planning and Post-It notes are the epitome of Evie’s life.  But when she meets Jack, her life gets more than a little complicated.

Thirteen years ago, Evie’s firefighter husband was killed in the line of duty, leaving her to raise their young son, Cody, alone.  Now, Cody is marrying the love of his life, and as he packs up his belongings, the house feels as empty as Evie’s heart.  But for all her planning and mad organizational skills, Evie could never have anticipated the dramatic shift her life about to make.

Tattooed, rough-around-the-edges Jack raises quite a few eyebrows in the tight-knit community of Banister Falls.  Where Evie’s life is stream-lined, Jack’s approach to living is moment by moment.  But as Evie gets drawn into Jack’s world—a world that isn’t as safe or predictable as the one she’s worked so hard to create—he challenges her to open her eyes to the problems outside the walls of the church.

Jack doesn’t make Evie feel comfortable, but he definitely makes her feel something.  Something she hasn’t felt since Max passed away—or, maybe ever.  Because even though Jack isn’t anything like her late husband, he might be everything she needs.

My Thoughts

This book is just lovely!  Wonderful amounts of sweetness, drama, funny little parts, faith, and love!  Just simply lovely!  I am ready to read more books by Kathryn Springer right now!

I wanted to get to the end so bad, and yet I didn’t want it to end!  I caught myself trying to skim ahead on the page so that I could see what was going to happen several times (mostly nearing the end of the book) and had to stop myself and go back to where I was supposed to be reading.  There were times that I got so frustrated at Jack, just wanting to smack some sense into him, and then I would feel the same way about Evie!

Faith was a big part of The Hearts We Mend but it wasn’t the kind of book that shoves it in your face. If you enjoy reading faith-based books, you will like this one.  But, even if you don’t typically enjoy faith-based books, you’ll most likely still enjoy this book.  It was just really well written.  I highly recommend reading The Hearts We Mend by Kathryn Springer!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

Carrie KurtzCarrie Kurtz is a full-time mom and wife who can’t help but make time to explore new worlds in between carpooling and laundry loads. She’s trying to encourage a similar obsession with reading in her two children, and she’s grateful her husband supports her habit. She can be found at Carrie K’s Book Reviews.

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 18

RESULTS: Lost 0 pounds for a total loss of 18 pounds!

Kitty and John on the ferry to Manly

On the ferry to Manly in Sydney, Australia, April 2011

Since my 26th wedding anniversary was Thursday (yay!), it’s no surprise that I wasn’t able to lose any weight this week. John and I went to lunch at Rubio’s on Thursday and split a burrito, so that wasn’t too bad. But I made brownies and we ate pizza and fried chicken on Friday.

Then on Saturday we went to Texas Roadhouse for lunch – and half of my lunch was 1813 calories! More than I’m allowed all day! We went to stand in line to see Captain America: Civil War (awesome!!), and I had some low-calorie but delicious sherbert while we waited. Then we had a high-calorie but delicious margarita when we got home. Saturday was definitely the day that put me behind my goal.

Sunday, I ate half of the half a lunch I had leftover, as well as half a dozen peanut butter cookies fresh from the oven, and a protein shake for dinner. At least my weekend ended a little better, calorie-wise. Now to get back on the wagon again and stop celebrating things for a while. 😀

One trick that I learned a couple weeks ago from my friend Kathleen is to enter the food you know you’re going to eat in the My Fitness Pal app at the beginning of the day, or as soon as you know what you’re going to eat. That way, you can pace yourself, make sure you have enough calories for each meal or snack, or make changes before you go over. Once I started doing that, I went over much less – except on those celebratory days.

The main thing I’m finding on this journey is that a one-pound-a-week goal is reasonable enough that I can still have celebrations and still occasionally make mistakes and yet stay on target. I hope you find that encouraging for yourself. 🙂

I had a great time celebrating our anniversary. Now I’m ready to get back to work on this exercise and weight loss journey!

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 17

RESULTS: Lost 2 pounds for a total loss of 18 pounds!

Emoticon with big toothy smile

Emoticon with big toothy smile

Woohooo!! Making progress again! Not a lot to say about all the great things I did – because I didn’t do a bunch of great things. I tried to do a bunch of tiny things that would all help me lose a tiny bit.

I exercised four days, which was good but not great. And I did a liquid fast one day, which was surprisingly easier than I expected. Otherwise, I was pretty busy sitting at my desk. (Not good, of course.)

I already know I have to try harder this week. I definitely need to exercise more (!) and I need to stop eating the chocolate covered almonds I bought. 🙂

I hope your week is going well! Keep working it, one tiny step at a time!

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 16

RESULTS: Lost 2 pounds for a total loss of 16 pounds

Smiley face with thumb upWhew!!

I wasn’t sure I could catch up with how badly I’ve been eating the last couple weeks, but I started eating a little healthier, and a little healthier, and…I lost the weight! I am on target again to lose 50 pounds in 50 weeks.

A big thank you and kudos to my friend Kathleen who encouraged me to toss some of my “travel” food in the trash. I bought one of those little $1 canisters of Nutter Butter cookie bites, for instance, and I was complaining that they don’t taste at all like real Nutter Butter cookies, or anything like peanut butter. I’d eaten some of it on the plane, but it didn’t taste right. So she said – toss it! And I did!

Of course it makes sense to throw out food you don’t like, but…overeaters aren’t used to throwing “perfectly good” food in the trash. I even threw away a handful of Reese’s Pieces! It just tasted sugary and not peanut butter-y and was making me feel sick from the sugar.

So, again…d’uh! I threw out the last of them. (We took pictures and cheered!)

And last night, John and I finally opened the Reese’s peanut butter flavored Oreos we’d bought before Easter. I’d been really looking forward to them but…it just tasted like sugar, not peanut butter, so I’m going to tell John to take them to his game and share with his friends.

John and I are both kind of sick of high-sugar foods now after going without for the six weeks of Lent. It’s GREAT. Though I think it’s been a surprise to both of us because we’ve given up sugar and sweets before, but we’ve always been back into eating it a lot by now.

But this time – thank God – every time we eat something sugary, we get sick. Weird thing to say, but – YAY!

Book Marks: By the Hands of Men – Book Review by Carrie Kurtz

By the Hands of MenBy the Hands of Men Book One: The Old World by Roy M. Griffis
By the Hands of Men Book Two: Into the Flames by Roy M. Griffis

Goodreads Summary

By the Hands of Men Book One: The Old World

“With elements reminiscent of Hemmingway’s A Farewell to Arms, in the midst of World War I, a relationship develops between an English lieutenant and a young Russian nurse – a surprising tenderness against the backdrop of war…with likeable characters, spending more time in the “Old War” is an appealing prospect.” – Kirkus Reviews

“A truly remarkable historical novel – so finely rendered in period detail – that the reader becomes one with the plot and characters. Mr. Griffis has a superb talent for capturing the small details that make up the whole – from the horrors of war to the very intricate procedures involved with early 20th Century Wartime medicine. Charlotte Braninov is a very complex character, one who is beautifully drawn by the pen of Mr. Griffis. Her conflicting feelings on war and her intense emotions sparked by her time treating Lieutenant Robert Fitzgerald left me breathless – they were so emotionally powerful. This is a novel that will not only entertain and inform, but pull at your emotions as well – a truly beautiful novel set during a horrific time in history.”

With the Great War raging around them, wounded Lt. Robert Fitzgerald falls in love with Russian nurse Charlotte Braninov. Torn apart by illness and betrayal, they pursue separate quests that take them across a world on the verge of change. From Shanghai to revolutionary Russia, they learn that hands of men can create a hell on earth – or, through the redemptive power of love, a heaven in which to truly live.

By the Hands of Men Book Two: Into the Flames

Charlotte Braninov, traumatized by loss and her service as a frontline nurse, returns to war-torn Russia to find her family. Captured by the Red Army, she exchanges one hell for another. Her still-loyal Lieutenant, Robert Fitzgerald, believing the woman he loves is dead, struggles to recover from the ravages of combat and typhus. In a desperate bid to rediscover himself, he commits to serve his country as a pawn in distant Shanghai. Forging their destinies in a world reeling after The Great War, Charlotte and Robert will learn anew the horror and the beauty the hands of men can create when they descend into the flames.

My Thoughts


That is the best word I can find to describe these books. Wow! So Good!

Roy Griffis contacted me and asked if I would like to read and review the first two books in his By the Hands of Men series and, of course, I said yes. I was honored and, to be completely honest, a little nervous. I haven’t read many historical novels and I have never read any about war. I wasn’t sure if I would like them and I really, really hate writing negative reviews! Mr. Griffis sent me the novels and I was so excited when I checked the mail and they were there! I love getting new books and was thrilled to see that he signed them for me too! I was ready to dive in! I was already in the middle of another book so I made sure I set enough time in my day to get through it so I could jump into my new, beautiful books.

I’m not sure why, but I felt intimidated when I first started reading book one, The Old World. War…it made me nervous. Please like it, please like it! Well, as I read I quickly realized that I was nervous for no reason at all! It was so good! I couldn’t put it down! Before I knew it, I looked at the clock and it was after 1 o’clock in the morning! I had to make myself put it down so that I wouldn’t be a zombie at work the next morning. As soon as I got home from work I picked it back up and devoured the rest of the book.

Right after I finished the first book, I picked up book two, Into the Flames. Once again, I was sucked right back into this beautifully written novel. Oh my word! It was possibly even better than the first book! I didn’t want it to end! So Good!

I highly recommend reading both of these wonderfully written books and I can’t wait to read the third as soon as it becomes available! Thank you so much, Roy Griffis, for sending these beautiful books to me! These are definitely books that I will read over and over!

Carrie KurtzCarrie Kurtz is a full-time mom and wife who can’t help but make time to explore new worlds in between carpooling and laundry loads. She’s trying to encourage a similar obsession with reading in her two children, and she’s grateful her husband supports her habit. She can be found at Carrie K’s Book Reviews.