My Public Display of Dieting – Week 24

RESULTS: Lost 1 pound for a total loss of 24 pounds

Right before the start of the 2013 Carlsbad Half Marathon

Right before the start of the 2013 Carlsbad Half Marathon

It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that this is working! I’m doing it! It’s week 24 and I’ve lost 24 pounds!!! If all goes well, next week I’ll be halfway to my goal!

Before the end of the summer, I’ll be at my lowest weight in two decades! Amazing!

I may have mentioned that I’ve had a goal for a couple years of being at my most healthy by the time I’m 50. I want to be at a healthy weight; I want to be my strongest; I want to be able to run faster than I ever have in my life. In just under two years from now.

To that end, I’ve added circuit training to my exercise routine. In just 18 minutes a day, two days a week, I’ve already gotten in good enough shape that when I did a test run last Thursday, it went really well!

2013 - Just moments after I crossed the finish line! John is doing the Olympic bite.

2013 – Just moments after I crossed the finish line! John is doing the Olympic bite.

And now that I’ve signed up to run the 2017 Carlsbad Half Marathon in January, I’m stepping things up! My doctor put together a running and exercise schedule for me Friday, and I started it today. (I love having a doctor who’s an athlete – she’s really excited for me!)

Wow! I can’t believe how well I did on Day One!! But it’s going to be a sore and exhausting journey! Haha! 😀

So here we go! If you’ve got your own health goal, keep going! We can do this!

Book Marks: The Mine – Book Review by Carrie Kurtz

The MineThe Mine by John A. Heldt

Goodreads Summary

In May 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can’t use, money he can’t spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of swing dancing and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.

My Thoughts

Oh, how I loved this book!  So good!  I have never read a ‘time travel’ book before so I really didn’t know what to expect.  I was certainly hoping that it would be a good read and it was!

Let me be totally real with you though, when I first started reading The Mine my immediate thought was that I wasn’t going to enjoy it.  The first chapter did not give me a great impression of Joel.  In fact, I did not like Joel at all.  He seemed like a total brat.  And then, when he first went back in time (I’m trying not to give spoilers, guys) it seemed like he adapted a little too easily.

Then, I started thinking about how I always say I was born in the wrong era.  I thought about how I might feel if I was able to go back in time… I think I’d do great too!  I might have a little longer adjustment time than Joel did, but that might just be a personality difference between us (you know, if he was a real person… sometimes I get wrapped up in a story and I forget it’s not real).

The ending was absolutely spectacular!  I adored it!  I was actually hoping for that kind of ending but I didn’t imagine it quite the way it happened.  I liked Mr. Heldt’s version better than the one I created in my mind 🙂

I will definitely be recommending this book!  It was extremely good and I can’t wait to read another John A. Heldt book again soon!

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

Carrie Kurtz

 

Carrie 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 23

RESULTS: Lost 2 pounds for a total loss of 23 pounds

Smiley face with thumb upWoohooo!! I’m finally caught up again! I was trying not to get down about having such a hard time the last several weeks catching up on my pound-a-week weight loss goal, but somehow I did it! Woohooo!!!

It’s been amazing getting into clothes I haven’t been able to wear for two years. Plus, I even had to start a bag to go to the charity store for clothes that are too big to wear. YAY!!

Can you tell I’m super excited? Hopefully, the excitement will help me continue making great progress. And, of course, it helps that John is counting calories with the My Fitness Pal app, too. Now we’re not saying, “Oh, just this one time” every time the other one is eating something delicious. 🙂

Now the big question for the week is – should I enter the Carlsbad Half Marathon? I have to decide in the next week. I want to. I’m building muscle and losing fat, both of which will help me do a good job and enjoy the run…and the training.

But I can’t do this alone. Do I have enough encouraging friends to push me and encourage me over the next seven months? That’s the question. What do you think? 😉

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 22

RESULTS: Lost 1 pound for a total loss of 21 pounds

May has been a pretty rough month for me regarding weight loss. Not sure why, but my old thoughts about just wanting to eat all the time seem to be more in my head than the better, more recent thoughts about doing what needs to be done to lose a pound a week. Unfortunately, I’ve only lost 2 pounds in the 4 1/2 weeks of May.

On the good side, I’m only one pound behind my goal. So that’s something to celebrate! Plus, now that I’m doing circuit training twice a week, that’s bound to help a lot. This morning, I even did a 30-minute walk in addition to the circuit training. Yay!

Celebrating any progress at all is worthwhile because it helps me keep going. So now I just have to get ahead by a pound or so, and keep on going. 🙂

If you’re working it, keep working! We can do it!

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.