Friday, 30 December 2016

Pasta Zero?! Yes, please!


I wanted to share this with you, sneak it in before my New Year's Eve Post.
I had been seeing this around, Pasta Zero.
I have been hesitant to give it a go, but I caved and bought two bags.
Each bag contains two servings.
You can just open it, drain it, and eat it.
It's found in the refrigerated section. Ours was by the tofu and vegetarian items.
The first time I tried it, I did not tell husband what type of pasta it was.
I didn't want preconceived judgements.

I drained the pasta and set it aside while I prepared the rest of the dish.
I sauteed my veggies, including broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, and some corn kernels.
While that was cooking, I mixed a sauce.
I didn't measure, but did it buy eye in a little fruit bowl.
I used lite soy, rice wine vinegar, sriracha, chile garlic paste, sesame seeds, water, a packet of stevia, and a tablespoon of an organic ginger sesame vinaigrette dressing, mixed with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch.
I had some chicken that I had grilled and chopped the night before which I threw in the pan, and poured in my sauce. I cooked and stirred until the sauce thickened to a consistency that I liked. Then, I took the noodles and added them, tossing them for about 2 minutes, just to get them warm and coated. I divided the concoction into two bowls and served.
It was unanimous!
YUM!!

Here is the link to the Nasoya page so that you can read up on the few ingredients and nutritional values. They also have suggested recipes. I may try one of those next.

Monday, 19 December 2016

2017 - the positive post


I've said it numerous times:
Comparison is the thief of joy.
It's true. So is trying to conform and fit the mold of what others do in your industry, or industries. I have been trying to do that for the past two years. It makes me incredibly grumpy, sad, and stifled. To quote the Smashing Pumpkins, despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage.
So, I'm going back to being this girl:
crazy, loud, tries stupid things, does what she wants when she wants, sings and dances and jumps around in public, takes outrageous selfies and pictures, says funny and sometimes shocking things, wears outrageous clothes, shows off her hard work, doesn't play life's or other people's strategy games or rules, writes filthy novels that follows no formula, and hopes that you read them. If I make you feel uncomfortable, so be it.
I am here to live life to its fullest. As long as I'm not hurting anyone, and my loved ones aren't too scarred over it, that's what's going to happen. In 2017, I am going to be unapologetically happy and me.
Welcome back Jen, let's rock on in 2017....
and get that attitude and body back too while you're at it.

Doodle journals, ramblings, and more.


It's something I've been doing. 
I write affirmations, goals, wants, etc., and mindlessly doodle.
It relaxes me.
And lately, I've needed it.
In the past two months, I've had three deaths in the family, and this past week a very close call with one of my relatives whom I am closest with in life.
In fact, she was gone for a few brief moments.
I'm not sure how much longer I will have with her.
She knows more about me than anyone, even my mother.
She's my aunt, but she's like a second mother and best friend.
She is who I most would love to be like.
She is unapologetically her, wild, free, uninhibited, giving, honest, and doesn't care what others think of her.
I love her more than myself.

Also, our almost 14 year old German Shepherd is on a steady deterioration. We know it won't be that much longer that we have with her. We know she'll be with us past the holidays, but after that...

This year has to end.
Or as I've messaged out, "Whoever has the voodoo doll of me...please, feel free to release the pins."

I woke up the other morning with broken blood vessels in one of my eyes.
I burned my arm trying to catch a log rolling out of the wood stove, and scraped my chin too.
Now, I look just as beaten as I feel.

I have been trying to be in gratitude and find happiness, but I am overly sensitive, sad, and snap with anger inside at all of the loss and grief, and just general poop that has been happening. Rationally, I know it doesn't help anything or change anything.
What can I say?
I'm human.
I know others have it much worse. I tell myself this every morning, and start the day saying,
"Today will be good. All positive, love, and happiness."
Then, BAM!
If there is, or whoever is, that greater entity must trying to show me something, but I'm not sure what yet. Obviously, I'm stubborn to figuring out why or what the message is.
Until then, I'm just trying to release the negative as best as I can.
Breathe.
And hope each day will be the turning point, however, every night, I do find at least one thing that I am grateful for. I have been making an effort to reach out to those I have not been in contact with as much and let them know I love them, am thinking about them.
I have come to know who in my life is there for me as well, and I appreciate them all the more.

 I may be slightly beaten, but not defeated.
I plan on turning this around and basically kicking 2017's ass into being my bitch.


Monday, 12 December 2016

It's that time! Ramblings of new year thoughts, changes, recipes, and songs!

It's getting close to that time of year where we all begin thinking about the new year ahead.
We contemplate new ideas, new goals, changes we would like to make.
I came across this pic and thought it was a grand plan for me.


Besides unfollowing people on social media, I am going to be unplugging from Facebook on a more constant basis. In the beginning, I was convinced that it was a great platform for promotion of indie authors. Unfortunately, it is more like a platform for adults to regress back to high school in a race for popularity in the best cliques. Sadly, I tried for a bit. I also hate the way it has made me react on more than one occasion. I am ashamed of it as well.
That's not me.
It's not who I want to be.
Finally, I realize that I didn't fight for that in high school, why should I now?
I don't want to be part of the scheming antics, hate, and maliciousness that it has bred.
Heck, all of the 'promotion' that I do on there doesn't help sales anyway.
I will just continue to write my books because I enjoy it.
What may be, may be.
I'm not saying that I am leaving the site. No, I'm just logging out more and will only check it maybe once a day.  
However, I still love Instagram, lol.
I love scrolling through and seeing the inspiration and funnies posted there.
I will still be posting there for sure.

And don't worry! I will not bombard this blog with my book promotion, but I will probably announce when I am releasing a new book and events that I will be attending.

And, I want to take more care with these blogs of mine. I have let them lapse chasing the book dream.
This one needs nurturing.
It needs to be and stay positive...and eventually inspiring.
My other, more informative and just fun.

I have been reflecting on a career change as well, though what to exactly, I have no clue.
A couple of weeks ago, my computer was infected with ransomware. All of my files were encrypted, so they are still there, but useless until a decryption program is found/created.
I take responsibility for it all.
I had become complacent and not backed up in ages.

It's been stressful, my contract work has been nonstop, and I have been working 12 to 18 hour days.
Up until this past weekend, I worked 25 days straight with no breaks.
I cringe every time my phone pings with a new email.
I know, I am very lucky to have a job, much less one where I work from home.
In April, I will have been doing it, and with the same company, for 25 years.
I think I am just burnt out.
I don't enjoy my work, and haven't for years.

I am happiest in the gym or kitchen.
I love anatomy, physiology, and nutrition.
I am always tossing around the idea of getting my personal training certificate or a nutrition counseling one. I don't know.
Change is scary.
Yet, I'm in the pursuit of happiness, so I need to be brave, make decisions and take a plunge, whatever that may be.

I am back to experimenting in the kitchen too.
I am still in pursuit of making a good breakfast sandwich from ingredients I commonly eat.

It's getting better, but I think there's definite room for improvement.

For these, I took:
1/2 cup old fashioned oats ground in the coffee grinder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup liquid egg whites
Dash sea salt and pepper
Sprinkle of nutritional yeast


I mixed it up and put them in two silicone muffin cups.
I baked them in my toaster oven on 350 for about 20 minutes, but I kept checking on them.
I pulled them out when I touched the tops, and there was a little spring back in them.


I sliced them in half and split one large egg that I scrambled in my omlet pan.
I did spray a little I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray on each.



The flavor and consistency was more like a thick English muffin, but it helped my cravings out.

And to end on a happy note, this song just makes me smile...and dance.

So, here's to reflection, thinking about great changes ahead, happiness, gratitude, turning back into a normal and inspiring human, and acquiring Red Lips and Dat A$$!





Monday, 28 November 2016

Comparison is the Thief of Joy



This is so true.
How many times have all of us looked at someone else and compared what they have to ourselves, be it a banging body, success, material items, relationships?
How did they get it?
We may feel we deserve what they have just as much.
Those feelings can lead to jealousy, anger, resentment.
However, we don't know what they did to achieve any of that, how hard they worked, what pains they have gone through.
Right?

This is what I am reminding myself of today.
I spent days off of Facebook, went on last night, and found myself doing just these things.
Hahahaha, Facebook is the thief of joy.
No, no, but I find when I am on there, I compare myself to all of these statuses and posts.
However, who knows if these statuses are 'real.' It seems we all like to post things that make our lives look perfect. 
Even still, I don't know how hard others have worked to achieve these statuses that I was envious of either.

I had to remind myself this morning that I have no control over anyone but myself. 
I am me.
And that is all good.
I have relationships that are perfect for me, and I don't need to blast it all over the place to prove it.
My body is a work in progress.
I do blast that sometimes, but I want to inspire others to achieve their goals...and so are these other people. They are just ahead of the game, and that's proof of their work.
Success?
Well, I'm still striving toward that.
I have to evaluate what I consider success.
In the book world, I am not successful, but I have a tiny following who look forward to my books.
I am grateful for that.

That being said, I have found positivity also takes work.
Being happy, takes work.
It's all in choices.
Though I backslide, I will continue to strive for happiness and positivity as my main focus.
And maybe less Facebook and more recipes...which I owe you! 😀



Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Today, I posted this on Instagram.
I am trying to be kind with myself and love who I am in the moment.
I am 43.
There are thousands, if not tens of thousands or even more, women of that age who look far better than me. Can I get better?
I have, and I will again.
However, I am okay with where I am at the moment.
I yo-yo with motivation and discipline...and food. It's life, but I keep on trying.
A little progress is still progress.
I will never be perfect, and I have to stop getting upset with myself when I screw up.
I'm telling the negative talk in my head to fuck off more, and it's making me happier. 


And this is probably meant to be a spoof, but eff it doesn't make me feel better and smile every single time that I listen to it. 


Wednesday, 19 October 2016

You never know.


I found out today how true this is.
Something happened to me today as I was at the gym just struggling to get through my half-a$$ workout. I saw a lady, who I have passed many times since moving here. We've chatted before in restaurants or when we've seen each other out, basic pleasantries. I've always thought she was vibrant, happy, and pretty too.

Today, she was on the elliptical, I was doing a little treadmill karaoke when she approached me.
I took out my headphones, and she proceeded to compliment me on the changes I have made in the past few months. She wants to make changes too. So, we chatted. We talked about food, exercise, weights, our similar lifestyles. Our conversation went even deeper. We discussed social media, society standards and how it affects our young girls. She would like me to meet and talk to her teen daughter. We've even exchanged numbers, talked about maybe getting together to food prep, hang out and workout together.

I'm not tooting my own horn at all, but I didn't realize that I had an impact on others, or could even possibly help anyone. I mean, I have my own issues...which I told her a little about too, lol. 
So even though I have been struggling, I haven't given up over the past few months.
Even though I may not always see the changes in me, others have.
Today has inspired me to keep going stronger.
How cool is that?

And on a not so serious note...
Today's legging game:
Cthulu on my crotch.



Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Tasty Tuesday & Progress Pics

I have been lacking veggies in my diet.
I know, I know, they are key!
So, I have been finding ways to sneak more in.

I made this yesterday and made it again today.
This is what I have been eating once I get back home from the gym.
It's super flexible, and I add different veggies each time.


Ingredients:

Some of my ground turkey cooked with salsa that I prep earlier in the week.
1 whole egg
Peppers we grilled (but sometimes I just cut up the raw too)
tomatoes
baby spinach that I cut up
Bragg's Nutritional Yeast


I spray my pan with olive oil spray then layer my ingredients, cracking my egg over the top.
I cover it and cook over a lower heat, checking on it every three minutes.


I like mine done so that when I put it in the bowl, I can slice into the egg and have the yolk ooze over the rest.


Another quick meal that I discovered.
I have been craving salad with something other than spinach.
Sunday, I picked up this Chopped Salad Mix by Dole.
It's the Pomegrante blend.

It contains: Pomegranate infused cranberries, flax seeds, shredded brussel sprouts, cabbage, romaine, kale, carrots, green onions & Dole Pomegranate Vinaigrette.
So, easy.
I just put some of the grilled chicken on top from food prep time.
There are 3.5 servings, but I will have the salad part devoured in three.
Then again, I don't use all of the toppings or a ton of dressing either.



I will definitely be buying these again and trying the other varieties available.

And I have finally been able to start wearing the leggings that hubs bought me last Christmas.
Remember, I told you he bought them and chose the size by looking in my drawers.
Sweet guy didn't realize I have pudgy clothes and in shape clothes.
Now, I'm not 'in shape' where I would like, but progress is progress.

I am doing my first (and more than likely only) romance/ertoica book signing convention in New Orleans next year.
I figured if one of my books is titled Ripped & Twisted, I should try to represent!


Fluff n stuff, but getting there.
Patience, right? 


Monday, 17 October 2016

I'll let you in.

I thought I would share with you.
This is definitely not a 'woe is me' post. It's more of an explanation.
Many people are not aware, but I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, with bouts of depression.
Going into a store that was crowded would bring me to tears.
Driving a few miles on the highway had me breathing  heavy.
Probably around thirteen years ago, I actually took prescription drugs for it because my attacks were so bad.
Eventually, being me, I stopped those medications cold turkey and tried to find alternative treatments.

The best thing I ever did was get into fitness.
The years that I was pretty on track and kept my food in check, I rarely suffered the dreaded attacks.
I handled stress in a better way. In fact, I was more relaxed mentally all the way around. 

These past two years, I've not been diligent in either food nor exercise, or a vitamin routine...as we know...which has led to a renewed recurrence of these dreaded symptoms.
I have to mentally prepare to drive to the gym, the grocery, to get gas, to even go walk my garbage up to the street has me worrying if someone will pass by.
I don't even want people to look at me or acknowledge my presence.
Social anxiety.
My heart feels as though it will pound out of my chest every time my phone pings with an email from work. I do not want to be around people. I do not want to interact. I basically do not want to leave the safety of my house.
It's really a pain, however, I do not want it to escalate to the point it was so many years ago.
The past few months have really gotten better.

This may be one reason why I seem obsessed with trying to get myself back on the wagon again.
Sure, the body is awesome. I do not lie about that.
But, in all honesty, when I am healthy and fit, I feel normal.
So bear with me. I know I am going slow getting back into blogging.
I am a huge proponent of food in being medicine.
At least, it works for me.

I am also trying to remember to practice gratitude.
Focusing on the good everyday because usually my anxiety is caused by all of the fears or worries that I tend to create - what if's.



I want to worry less, embrace the present, do more of what makes me happy, spend time with those whose company I enjoy. 

And this morning, I made a yummy meal.
Tomorrow, I will make it again, take pictures and hopefully get around to posting it too!

And I realize that I am getting older. I hope to be a capable and strong woman as long as I can.
If I can't help the face, I will try to help the rest of me over how ever many years I am granted.



Happy Monday!
I am grateful for the people in my life who support me and believe in me.
I am grateful to live in a beautiful mountain area.
I am grateful to have the capability to make changes that I believe I can.


Saturday, 8 October 2016

Inspired cooking!

Hey all!
I have been a busy bee, but am proud to say that I am another 2 pounds down, 7 to go for my goal.

I have also been obsessed with cooking again...and cookbooks and recipe sites.
I have been going to the library and grabbing bunches.
Then, if one really catches my eye, I order it.
These are my two newest ones on order.
I did not necessarily go searching out Paleo books, but they caught my eye, and the recipes look amazing.



This morning I made these which are from the first cookbook by Julie Bauer.
They are Lemon Raspberry Swirl Muffins.



I found a link for you to the recipe here.

Last night I found this recipe and decided to alter it to fit more of my eating habits.
It's a Bobotie.



The top is actually an egg & milk mixture. I subbed unsweetened cashew milk for real milk.
Underneath is a lean ground beef that was cooked with a myriad of spices and flavors.
There were a few ingredients that I left out, like sugar. 

That's what so wonderful about recipes like this, you can alter them and make them healthier.
It has sooo much flavor from curry powder, tumeric, garlic!

Here is the original recipe.
My hope is to find amazing recipes, alter them, then put them here for you to try.
Right now, I'm just playing with flavors and ingredients to make them healthier.
It must be working because the weight is coming off, and I have not been killing myself in the gym, just enjoying my workouts.
Progress pic soon!

Thursday, 29 September 2016

National Coffee Day!

I didn't even know until after I had posted on Instagram and Facebook!


It's my cuppa protein coffee. 
Basically, I use my protein shake as my creamer.

And yesterday, I had on my Death Before Decaf shirt!

Showing all sorts of coffee love!


And in other news, I'm down 2 pounds since I came home from my trip.
Luckily, as I mentioned, I didn't gain any weight on that trip either.
So, here's to continued progress!

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Back to Reality.

Hi Lovies!
I have been away.
I spent the week visiting friends.
I cannot express how much fun it was, how much love and laughs were shared.
Don't you love a girlfriend that you sit up with all night chatting, sharing all of your secrets?
Or just cuddling in bed while you laugh together nonstop?
Yes, yes, we do.

And of course, we being the women we are, we spoke a TON about our health and lifestyle. We spoke about how we become complacent, age creeping up on us. And yes, we self-deprecated, then boosted each other up because, more times than not, we see the beauty in our friends before ourselves, no? Anyway, we've agreed to do a challenge with each other, even though we're apart again.
I invite you to do it with us.
I will be sharing some of the recipes we will be trying and using.
Luckily, we have the adventure and activity part going for us.
We may eat like s%*t a ton of the time, but we love to move it, move it.
This challenge we're devising is helping us get back to the eating better part - the most important part.

She shot this one of my climbing up from exploring some caves and crevices.
I was surprised at how my arms are coming along.
I will leave out the part of me being chunky because we also shopped.
We went to the most awesome vintage store. My friend found a vintage Diane von Furstenberg dress and immediately coerced me to try it on. I looked at the size...2 and immediately poo-pooed the idea. My friend was adamant. It was only after the owner came up and warned, after looking me up and down, that the dress was "very, very tiny," and shook her head at me. That sparked something in me - to go behind that curtain. Guess who owns a 'tiny, tiny,' vintage Diane von Furstenberg now?
Goes to show, we don't always see ourselves for how we may actually be...and perhaps others don't either because that owner ate her words and then doted a little on me to try the other vintage designer fashions in her store.


Of course, there was a little fun had too.
This was me tasting a vino at a winery we visited.


And another day while visiting beautiful gardens.


We loved visiting gardens.


I swear we walked ten miles a day!

And here I am back home, and pooped, LOL.
But this morning, I got up and began writing documents, recipes, meal plans, instructions.
I am missing my friend dreadfully, but it's not like we don't talk daily anyway, heehee.
Would you like to join us on our journey to getting our sexy back? 




Tuesday, 13 September 2016

What to add on?

It has been super busy in my real life.
As many who have followed a while know, I have the convenience of working from home.
And believe me I know how lucky I am, especially during winter when I do not have to try and venture out on the snowy mountain roads and commute.
This has been an unusually busy year for me.

In a way, I am grateful.
It has kept me away from social media more.
Being away from FB, Twitter, and such, has made me realize how much it drains me, and my psyche - in some areas more than others.
I mean, I do enjoy some aspects of it, but others I most definitely can do without.
Even though, parts of real life stress me out, I'm much happier with extended periods away from social media, lol. 

I want to do more here though.
I have been debating more that I could add that would possibly be of more interest: besides selfies, lol. But I do have a fabulous array of workout wear that is begging to be recorded and posted!
Hopefully, I will always keep a log of my progressions (and inevitable setbacks).

I have been debating doing some form of a cooking challenge.
Transforming recipes?
Following some cookbooks?
Maybe testing out some vegan and vegetarian ones?
Playing with some meal prep ideas?
New workouts each week?
Or a newly discovered exercise to add or switch things up?

I want to liven this place up!





Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Protein Mug Cake

It looks weird, but it tasted great.



I think the light color is because of the color of my protein powder which was a chocolate.
I did not add unsweetened cocoa powder but, it probably would have darkened it and given it a richer flavor. The consistency and flavor was very much like an angel food cake.
And the best part? This was super easy to make and quick!

I mixed one scoop of my protein powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1 packet Stevia in the Raw, 1 egg, and 3 tablespoons of water directly in my huge mug.
Then, I popped it in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds.
*beepbeepbeep*
Done!
Let it cool a few seconds because it is hot!
Then, enjoy.



Wednesday, 31 August 2016

119.8

This morning, I stepped on the scale, and for the first time since December, my weight was below 120 pounds. So what if it's a mere 0.2 pounds below? You have no idea how ecstatic it made me to see numbers without 12 in front of them. 

Now granted, I still have a long way to go, but I took a flex photo after the gym this morning. I see teeny delineations. It's a start.

Happy Hump Day!
Perhaps this means I'm over my hump!
Now to work on my rump again.


Tuesday, 30 August 2016

"Sushi" Bowl

In an effort to get back on track, I have been trying to eat better.
However, I don't want just plain old chicken and brown rice and broccoli or white fish and spinach salads. 
And gosh help me, I have been on a sugar binge, so I need to find some better ways to manage that and maybe make foods that aren't bad.

Anyway, this is a super simple bowl.
It's easy to throw together from items I usually always have on hand.



1/2 cup brown rice (at the bottom)
diced cucumber without the peel
1/2 avocado diced
some diced jalapeno
smoked salmon shredded
sprinkle of low sodium soy
drizzle of Sriracha

Monday, 29 August 2016

Here we are again. The ugly truth.

Yep. This is basically a post about what I've done to myself.
I have had no willpower or discipline, well as far as food is concerned. I have basically been trying to out exercise a poor diet. It doesn't work, and rationally I know this.
So, I am back to my chunky self, again.

I decided to post these selfies. Why? Because when I did this often, it kept me accountable, made me feel more responsibility for myself, actually made me see myself.
I have been completely embarrassed to do so this past year.

I think the realization hit me when I was doing a live video Q&A for my latest smut novel. They are fun, people enjoy them, AND they can only see me from chest up. However, the point is that I was asked if I would ever consider doing a book about health and fitness, like a legit book.
I couldn't lie, but I didn't say, "Well, I don't follow my own advice so how could I write one for others." In actuality, I don't think I have enough educational experience to do so, but I had often thought of adding Ripped Recipes to an updated edition to Ripped & Twisted.

I think it made me think, question myself even more than I have been. Slapped me in the face. People still think I'm fit and able to help them, but I'm not.
I mean, I was certified to teach Boot Camp classes. I've taken many anatomy & physiology classes, studied exercise and its effects on the cardio/pulmonary system. I'm not completely ignorant...but I have faltered in the lifestyle too. 
I am joke. I am a lie.
I have decided to come clean, and have been cleaning up my food this past week. 
(again)
In the past, showing my journey inspired me, motivated me, and helped me stay on track.
And though I am older now, maybe it can still help inspire a few others.

So here you have, my pudge, my cottage cheese, my thickness.





Friday, 5 August 2016

Because I'm still chasing Dat A$$...

I know it doesn't show, but some of my weight (aka fat) has finally been coming off.
I have been working my buns off.
I have been adjusting my food.
No, it's still not perfect.
But today, at the gym, I did notice my booty pops slightly more than it used to, so that made me happy. And me being me, I had to snap a pic.
I know I still have a way to go before I am as lean as I would like to be, but hopefully, the booty doesn't disappear, lol. 

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Dear other gym goers

Yes, you.
You were the only two other people in the gym. And though I am still probably 10 pounds over weight of being 'cut', I am still okay. And, yes I still lift...heavy at times. I have been on a mission of leaning back out.  So I have been a sweaty mess and lifting the past two weeks with vigor. I was so happy that I am four pounds down.
I was not paying attention on my second leg day as I loaded up the leg press and busted out my 5 sets of 20, and squatted a pyramid of the same. I was just ecstatic to be able to do it with sweat pouring off of me.
Then, I went to load up my seated calf raises, you dear lady got off the treadmill and went to your spouse/partner/whatever... Pointed to me and began doing exaggerated poses and laughing with your ' grrrrr ' face.
Thanks, you only pissed me off and want to make sure I never act like that toward anyone in a gym.
By the way...your treadmill body is not what everyone strives for.

Monday, 27 June 2016

What's Old Is New Again

This past weekend, I went into the city and met up with girlfriends that I haven't seen in a few years.
Yes, we kept up with each other through messages here and there, but we had not hung out together.
We all were burlesque performers during the same period, and performed in almost all of the same shows. It was like we had never been apart.
We talked for hours. It was funny that we had all been going through many of the same situations, emotions, illness, thoughts.
It was nice to know that I had not been alone in what I've been going through. I had just never talked to anyone about it, so who knew? It seems that the majority of women my age are experiencing the same things. 
We talked about changing our perspective on life.
We talked about the need for self-love and care, and that it wasn't a selfish thing.
We talked about cutting negativity, including negative people, from our lives.
We talked about the right to say, "No," as an answer without explanation or guilt.
We talked about guilt.
We talked about why we all did certain things in our past, and it's okay because we learned from those experiences.
We talked about people who still judge us from our past and can't see beyond that - and that's their issue. We talked about the difference in the women we flock to now -
women who support us, lift us up, and do not try to make anything a competition.
I realized how lucky I am to have these relationships, these ladies.
I want to cultivate them and not lose these positive influences in my life.
It's wonderful to have them in my life again.
And we're planning on bringing back another old thing - our monthly lunches!
I think I need that too.
Just like I need to learn to love myself again, and it's okay to do that.
I am not just a former roller derby ref, burlesque performer, smut writer, fitness competitor.
I want to be Jen and all that goes with that, but for people to see me as me, not an identifier of my activities.


Love & Joy!
JLE

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

When your comfort zone becomes a cage.

As you may have noticed, or not, I haven't been around a ton.
As you know, I've been unmotivated and keep trying to just start.
What I realized is that I'm just comfortable.
Maybe that's not the right word.
I have been unmotivated because I am just existing.
I have not been living life like I have in the past.
I have not been going outside of my comfort zone. At. All.
This is not me.
And
probably why I have been stuck in a slump, unable to complete a same old same old goal.
I'm not excited about anything.

Honestly, I have not even been leaving my house.
I have been burying myself in my contract work, piddling in the yard, trying to make mundane tasks last, feeding the birds and taking pictures of them as they come to the feeders, making excuses to not do anything.
I'm not sure where I went honestly.
I have not been happy.
I have ostracized myself from pretty much everyone.
Granted, winter did make it hard to commit to anything, but I've let it affect me all the way into spring. Besides the fact that we really do not have many neighbors, so I spend most of my days alone, working, talking to the pups. 

I need to make changes, and not just dietary and exercise regimes.

So, I've begun making plans.

I've booked two trips so far.
One will be for my first author signing at an erotica convention next year.
I'm not even sure what to bring, how many books, what to order for swag, how to dress...
But I'll figure it out from the experienced authors who I talk to, I guess.
There I will finally meet some indie authors whom I admire and spoken to via Facebook the past year. I'm excited to meet them in real life.

Another, I am embarking on alone. But that's for another time. I've done it before, and it was an experience I will never forget. 

I am venturing out with the wife of one of my husband's friends and her friends this weekend for a day out at an amusement park.
I went to one of my team workouts finally.
I missed them so much, and hope to be able to go to them more frequently.

I have been debating another competition.
I always worry about my husband because, let's face it competitions are hard on those who do not live the lifestyle, nor quite get the whole eating and increased workouts, the strict timing of EVERYTHING.
Having appointments, check-ins, etc., several times a week.
It limits many things I can do when we go out together as I sit and watch him eat.
But he assures me, he doesn't mind.
He thinks I need to start doing more, as he's seen me quite despondent and blue the past few months.
Every day, he asks, "Did you go to the gym?" because it seems the only place I may venture out to in the mornings. And I have not wanted to leave the house on weekends either.

This weekend we were forced to when we had to take one of the vehicles into the city for a service appointment. Or rather, since it's my car, he made me go with him.
I did enjoy going out to eat.
I went to Target for the first time since probably January.
Exciting, no?

Anyway, I never understood how this happened to people.
Now, I do. It's a slow spiral that buries you deeper and deeper until you really do need help digging your way out. 
I've figured out that I'm a person that needs to try new activities, adventures.
It doesn't need to cost anything, but I need to push myself, or I begin to hate myself.

Hopefully, I can make this blog a pleasant read again!
More adventures, more crazy exploits, just living and enjoying it.
Until this point, I had been living a life to be remembered.
I can't give that up now.

I leave you with this face, and new sunglasses because they made me happy.




Thursday, 12 May 2016

It Happens...

Muffin Top.
I have it.
I caught this pic while I was changing to go to the gym this morning.
Here you go, lumps, bumps, muffin top.


Sexy, no?