Monday, July 3, 2017

My Weight Loss Inspired by Perils of Wrath

145 pounds (current weight on August 16, 2017)

I’ve struggled with weight most of my life, especially after having four kids. It’s always been a brutal war between eating unhealthy or healthy, overeating or showing portion control, sitting on my rear end or exercising, feeling unhappy or feeling content with my life. I’ve had my seasons of a healthier lifestyle or a not-so-healthy existence. I’ve had times when I’ve been so completely sick of my unhealthy habits that I’ve gone to the extreme and restricted my eating to the point of unhealthy or exercised way too much. These practices always backfired with negative results and eventually sent me back to weight gain and depression over my body again.

So what finally got me to change my relationship with food? Writing my second book for one (the other being good friends who inspired me). PERILS OF WRATH, sequel to my first PG-rated medieval action-romance SHADOWS OF VALOR, is slated to release May 22, 2018. In PERILS OF WRATH my heroine is forced into squireship to a stern knight who sends her through rigorous drills of knight training and who changes her unhealthy view of food intake. Needless to say, she ends up gaining muscle and losing some weight in the process. How much and to what avail? You'll have to wait for the book to come out spring 2018 *wink*. Now this isn’t the only theme in the my story, but I won’t touch on the others in this post.

While writing PERILS OF WRATH I got thinking that as the author of such a tale, I should be an example of what I write. I can do the same thing my characters do. After all, I write stories not only to entertain, but to uplift and inspire readers to make a change in their own lives if need be, and to feel the confidence to accomplish it. So after I finished PERILS OF WRATH, I set a personal goal to, once and for all, gain control over my mind and body to create a healthy relationship with food and exercise. I wanted to “eat to live, not live to eat.”

NOTE: I realize that some people have legitimate sensitivities to certain foods and must adjust their diets accordingly, but for most others, make sure your food choices aren’t just following the latest dietary fad or craze and have nothing to do with your personal needs. That being said, I won't talk about individual circumstances, nor do I have the authority to do so, but I'll simply tell you what I do personally.

What I currently do is quite manageable and successful for me, and it doesn’t discourage or make me feel that I’m “missing out” on anything. I calculate my calorie intake for my height and current weight so I know what will help me maintain or lose, and then I simply REGULATE what I put in my mouth while adding in some light exercise. Yes, it’s that simple, but I know that even simple principles still take effort to follow. 

EXERCISE: I try to do some pushups, sit ups, squats and yard work at least three times a week. If I have the time and feel like going out on a three-mile walk or jog, or doing some aerobics inside, I do, but I don’t stress over it if I can’t. And I don’t kid myself anymore that because I’ve exercised I can eat a ton of junk food. It takes a lot more exercise than one might guess to work off even 500 extra calories, and many candy bars have that many calories in just one. 

EATING: Generally, I keep my calories to about 1,500 a day, but allow for more or less if I feel I need or don’t need them. I listen to my body. I drink water most of the time, but permit occasional juice or soda. I allow for splurging on holidays and other special occasions, but I regulate those times so I don’t go overboard. I don’t restrict ANY foods. I don’t cut out sugar, carbs, grains, fat, meat, dairy, etc., but again, I do regulate them, making sure to eat more of the healthy foods (we all know what they are: healthy fats, lean meats, veggies, fiber, fruits, whole grains, dairy) and less of the unhealthy ones (we know what those are too). I keep a loose record of calories eaten to keep me on track. If I eat way more than I intend to, I don’t beat myself up anymore, but simply start fresh the next day.

I find activities to keep myself out of the kitchen. Drinking water throughout the day and keeping a bottle of it near me all the time helps stave off the munchies. Going outside and working in the yard or playing with my kids, spouse or friends helps to keep my mind off of food. If it’s too hot or cold outside, I stay in and do chores, find a good book to read, play games, or work on a project needing to be done. I try to eat when I'm hungry, not simply because I'm bored. 

Is my weight loss slow? Yes, I suppose it is, but the pounds still come down, and that's what matters. Depending on how “good” I’ve been during the week, I can lose a half to two pounds a week, but my average is about one pound a week. I didn’t used to be satisfied with this slower rate of weight loss and, in fact, have lost up to five pounds per week in the past. But it came off at the price of fatigue, muscle loss, hunger, irritability and gaining it back after I’d burned myself out and quit.  

I’ve latched onto the adage that slow and steady (and may I add wise) wins the race. And this isn't a race against anyone else but myself. If I'm the only one racing, I will certainly come out the victor in the end, no matter how long it takes to get to the finish line.

But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that other people contributed to my recent weight loss success. I must recognize that there are numerous people in my life who have also been successful in getting healthier and losing weight. Along my own journey, these people have supported, inspired and encouraged me to keep going, and I love them all for it. Thank you!

Keeping our bodies healthy gives us a greater chance of living a longer, active life with our loved ones and friends. And that is the ultimate blessing of a healthier lifestyle.

145 pounds (August 16, 2017)

: I lost the weight at different intervals stretched out through a one and a half year period that was dotted with times of weight maintenance and even some weight gain depending on my personal circumstances. It was a roller coaster ride, but such is life. 



Sir Roland Beaumont's investigation into his birth parents’ deaths leads him to Guildon Castle, domain of Lord Craven. Roland’s plans are complicated when the earl enlists him to tame his stepdaughter, Audrina Gibbons, by training her as a squire. Roland soon finds that Audrina―Audri―is much more than he imagined.

Unable to save her mother from Craven's physical abuse, Audri’s open hostility for her stepfather and his scheme pits her against her would-be trainer. Audri's provocation strains Roland’s composure, much as his merciless training regime tests her willpower.

Sir Roland’s quest for truth soon tests the resolve of both knight and squire as the dark secrets of Guildon Castle are unearthed―secrets never meant to be revealed . . . secrets that some would kill to keep.

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Youtube: Perils of Wrath 1-minute teaser trailer

Something dark stirs within the peaceful walls of the prosperous town of Graywall, something only the mysterious vigilante known as The Shadow can overcome. Torn between a sense of justice and a desire for revenge, The Shadow is the nobleman Sir Calan, who must use his skills to assist the Lord of Graywall.

When Sir Calan is sent to hunt down smugglers who have run rampant after the levying of a harsh tax by King Edward, he learns of a plot against the just ruler of the town, Lord Shaufton. To thwart this plot, Calan enters a pseudo courtship with Shaufton's daughter under the guise of Sir Calan, even as he wrestles with emotions stirred by the lovely Elsbeth, Lord Shaufton's niece. Elsbeth may be the only person who can heal Calan's troubled soul, but she has secrets of her own.

Rife with deceit, greed, and betrayal, Shadow of Valor is a timeless tale of honor, love, and redemption. 

Amazon paperback
Amazon Kindle
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Indigo paperback
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(Or anywhere online where books and e-books are sold)
Deseret News review
Youtube: Shadows of Valor trailer 1

Youtube: Shadows of Valor trailer 2

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