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My Weight Loss Journey – Week 11

Week 11

Summary

This last week has been a pain, literally. My shoulder has been playing up big time. I have done the exercises the physio told me to do. Not often enough, though. I did them twice, one of which was this morning. I’m afraid I’m not a good patient. I have been able to sleep without pain for the last two nights, but only last night without painkillers. What I did do was order a new, little keyboard, so I don’t have to reach out with my arm to get to the mouse. I think it helps. My husband thinks I’m too much on my phone, and he may be right. No chance in hell I’m going to change that though 🙂

Exercise

As I’ve been in such pain and sleeping terribly, I haven’t done a lot of exercising. I just couldn’t find the motivation. My daughter was fine with skipping yoga as well, so no push from that side to do it either.

Diet

As expected, when I start to lose weight, I start eating again. I’ve been drinking glasses of wine and eating snacks (crisps/chips) and desserts (ice cream mainly). No biscuits with my tea in the afternoon, I’ve been good about that. I’m still eating half a cup of bird food (sunflower seeds, pumpkin pips, almonds, raisins, walnuts) every afternoon. My dinners are still smaller than they used to be and with fewer carbs (pasta/potato/rice).

Results

I was pleasantly surprised this morning that I didn’t gain any weight. I’m still 75.7 kg (11.9 stone). My waistline also hasn’t changed; still 80.5 cm (31.7 inches). Not bad for all the eating, drinking, and non-exercise I’ve done. But if I want to start losing weight again, I need to eat less and exercise more. It’s only logic.

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I know I said I wouldn’t smile in photos anymore, but I couldn’t hide my smug face as I just found out I didn’t gain any weight after not exercising and eating and drinking the way I did 🙂

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I still have a long way to go, but we’re heading in the right direction. Just look at that butt!

My Weight Loss Journey – Week 2

Week 2

Summary

I have good news and bad news for you this week. I’ll start with the bad news to get it out of the way and off my chest. I didn’t stick to the diet. Surprise! I knew this would happen, so I’m not so surprised myself. That it would happen so soon… yeah, I didn’t expect that. My dear friend Stephanie told me it is not a diet but a lifestyle change which means that habits need to be adjusted and this will take time. I’m all for that.

What did I eat that I shouldn’t have? Pizza, a hamburger, and an ice cream. Not too much, you’d think, but the results speak otherwise. I’m going to stick to the diet again this week.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. Ever since I stopped eating biscuits with my tea in the afternoon, my daughter has stopped eating them as well. She is copying my healthy diet (well, not everything, but at least the biscuits thing). In itself, that is good. What scares the hell out of me is that I’m literally influencing somebody else’s life. I guess that’s what parenting is all about, but what if she’s copying my bad habits too? Scary!

My yoga exercises are going great. I don’t have the tight shoulder muscles anymore and am contemplating moving on to the next set of exercises.

Results

Not surprising, I didn’t lose a lot of weight this week. I was 76.9 kg (still 12.1 stone) this morning, so I lost 0.1 kg/0.02 stone. I’m still on the same notch on my belt (85.5 cm/33.7inch), but I am halfway to the next one which is encouraging. It’s an old, leather belt, so fingers crossed it doesn’t stretch anymore.

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Even though I didn’t lose any substantial weight, I think I clearly lost some belly fat. Whether it moved up, I don’t know. Like I said, I’m trying to keep my belly in sort of halfway, but it’s hard to be 100% sure it’s the same every time.

 

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Yep, still the same belly, but if you look at the next picture, you’ll see some progress.

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I put the red line along the front line of my belly. It has certainly gone more vertical since Week 0 (the distance between the line and the front of my thighs is shorter now). This means that even without losing weight, my body is adjusting and losing fat.

Diet

Like I mentioned, I didn’t stick to the diet. I have been good in the fact that I didn’t snack unhealthily. The cravings were stronger than last week and I curbed them by eating walnuts. They are nice but have a bitter aftertaste which stops you from eating too much.

On Friday I treated my family (including myself) to home-made pizza. I thought it would be healthier than bought ones (it does make more mess). Maybe it was healthier, but the number of carbs was, of course, a shock to the system. I didn’t learn, and on Saturday, we had hamburgers, on a bun (those of you who follow me on Instagram already know 🙂 ). It was delicious, but again, my system that was starved the week before took in all the energy and stacked it all on my hips (or boobs, I’m not sure). I also ate an Orea icecream for dessert. One of my kids brought it from the kitchen for me (it’s very hard for them to adjust as well) and I kinda did them a favor by eating it so they didn’t have to put it back. I’m kind like that :). Did I enjoy it? I’m afraid not. It was awfully sweet and the cone was soggy. I’m going to stay away from the desserts again.

Here are some of the things I’ve been eating:

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There are three images of a dish I got from Pinterest: Avocado&Bacon&Egg breakfast dish. One of the images is the one from Pinterest. It looks scrumptious, doesn’t it? The other two are of my culinary attempt to recreate this. You have to scrape out the avocado, break an egg in it, put some bacon and cheese on top, and shove them into the oven for about 25 minutes. Sounds simple. Result: something that looks like ovaries after a cycle of IVF. Not very appetizing.

Next to this, my avocado was way to small to hold even 1 egg, so it spilled into the tray with ceramic baking beans and I had to clean them all, individually, by hand. To my horror, the avocado, which I normally love, tasted like mushy peas after being cooked to death. I can tell you this recipe is no longer on my favorite list.

I’m going to keep strong this coming week! Why? Because I so want to wear this jacket:

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I bought it on eBay from Pixieknix last year (they don’t sell this one anymore though) and I love it. However, the sleeves are very narrow and my belly sticks out from under the zipper, so I really need to lose weight to look good in this!

Do you have any pieces of clothing that you want to wear when you’ve lost weight? Show me!

And the winner is…

ME! Plus forty-nine others, of course…

You may remember my post regarding me being shortlisted for Twisted50 Vol.2. Well, today they finally announced the fifty winners whose stories will be entered in the Twisted50 Volume 2 anthology. It was a long wait, but it was worth it :). Check out all the winners here.

My winning story is called ‘Rumour has it…’ and is not for the faint at heart. It’s about a girl who stands trial for gruesome murders committed. You’ll have to buy the book to read the whole story, and, man, are there some twisted stories in there! At the moment they’re voting on the book cover, but I’ll let you know the link to the book as soon as I’ve got it.

Now, I’m off to dance around the house!

#Twisted50

 

Writers’ Corner update 30/11/2016

Check out my Writers’ Corner update 30/11/2016!

This week there is an interesting article on 10 Screenwriting Lessons We Can Take From… ANGEL HEART (1987). I must admit I have never seen the movie, but the article has some interesting points that can be taken into writing a novel. Another quirky article states that Cooking and Baking Could Help You Feel Better. Could be a way for one of your novel characters to deal with stress. Unfortunately the article won’t load in my magazine, perhaps it does for you. If not, you can find it here. Just click the search button and type ‘Feeling Down,’ it should come up with a cupcake 🙂 .

In Focus on Filming I have, of course, the same screenwriting lessons from Angel Heart, but also a very interesting article on the weird and sometimes cruel directors. I sure don’t envy those actors and actresses! I added an article with advice and tips for the novice screenwriter. Just in case you’ve always wanted to write a screenplay, but didn’t know how.

According to an article in Health Herald, we could be looking at a different life form soon! Scientist have, for the first time, made living cells incorporate silicon. Sci-Fi stuff! And before you go to bed, make sure you’re not angry about something. You may regret this later…

 

My Book Arrived!

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I’m so happy to announce that my proof book is finally a reality! It took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, (and a lot of help from my friends!), but I wouldn’t have done it any other way 🙂 .

There are still some issues to sort out, but they are minor, nitty-gritty stuff. The important thing is that it exists and the order for the first batch to sell at the Winterland book fair has been placed. Now I’ll keep my fingers crossed the order arrives in time!

I will be adding the print version to Amazon soon, so those of you who prefer to hold a real book check it out in a few days.

One Stop Fiction Online Book Club

One Stop Fiction is the baby of OSFARG (One Stop Fiction Authors Resource Group). It is an online book club for readers and writers. They have lots of book available, amongst which 30 FREE books, 20 genres to choose from, and a competition in which you can win a kindle reader worth $110! What more could you want?

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Sign up now and enjoy the work of indie writers from all over the world. If you are a writer you can also advertise your books here. There is something for everyone!

It’s so easy, just sign up here…

This is the current list of FREE books available, if you still have any doubts about signing up 🙂 :

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Lessons Learned #30

I had no idea what to write all week in my Lessons Learned, until I reached the point in my book where girl gets boy. And they go to bed for the first time. And they have sex. There, I’ve said it, the ‘S’-word. Sex! It has been such a taboo, until ’50 Shades of Grey’ came out and now it’s okay to read and talk about it (thank you, E.L. James!).

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Before we go on, I’d like to make you understand what  the difference is between erotica and porn. Absolutely nothing. If you Google ‘erotic definition’ you get “relating to or tending to arouse sexual desire or excitement.” If you Google ‘pornography definition’ you get “printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate sexual excitement.” So apart from the display of sexual organs perhaps, both are intended to stimulate sexual arousal. By the way, the letters in the heading are letters from the ‘nineteenth-century erotic alphabet,’ to be found on Wiki Commons. If you take Google literally, this is actually porn. A few descriptions of the difference of the two that sprung out in my research were ‘the height of the book shelf,’ ‘what he wants and what she wants’ and ‘it depends on the lighting.’ You decide what you call it.

Should you write about sex? Absolutely! It happens in everyday life, it’s the essence of our existence; no sex, no life. I must admit, I like to call my sex scenes ‘love scenes’ as I think that is what I write about. I don’t put it in as something gratuitous to rake up the audience numbers, as so many tv series seem to do nowadays. My son of fourteen has seen more sex on tv than I had when I was twenty-one. The business of written erotica also has never been so good! Since we can read whatever ‘anonymously’ on our tablet, without the tell-tale cover visible to all around us, the world is your oyster.

So how to write a good sex scene? That takes just as much thinking as any other scene in your story. Obviously there are the clichés to be avoided, like naming the sexual organs (unless you write hard core porn perhaps). Less is more. Don’t forget we are writing, not making a movie. The reader has their own imagination and all you have to do is to suggest, leave it up to them on what it looks like. Reading up on how to film a sex scene a while back, they said that close-ups of body parts are more arousing than the actual deed. Her hand gripping the sheets, his halter of breath, her moan as his head went below her navel, that kind of stuff. As the majority of erotica readers are older than forty-five, explicit description of the deed is like telling somebody how to eat.

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Another thing that is important in sex scenes is reality. People have sex as an affirmation of their emotional attraction to each other, no matter their looks. Well, normally, so let’s stick with that. While making love they explore each other’s bodies, so why not describe that. Not everybody is perfect and that’s okay. Let your protagonist caress that mole, tickle that flabby belly, kiss those stretch marks. It makes it all more believable. Readers should be able to relate and feel good about themselves, not feel too ugly to have sex themselves!

Last but not least, if what you write doesn’t do anything for you, the writer, it’s not working. If you can’t feel anything, what makes you think your reader would feel something? I live and breath my characters; I am happy when they laugh, I mourn when they die, and I get aroused when they make love. My husband isn’t complaining, if that is anything to go by 🙂 . Give it a try, it may spice up your love life too!

Have a Wonderful (and Sexy) Writing Weekend!

And… Action!

Tonight I met with two wonderful people (and their daughter, a wonderful small person), who agreed to film the short ‘You Should Have’ with us. We got along like peas in a pod and I am sure there will be many more shorts that will feature them.

I’m so excited that we are finally filming again!

Lessons Learned #28

When I began writing I ‘told’ the reader about the inner emotions of my characters, instead of ‘showing’ them. I would write ‘I was feeling anxious’ or ‘I was so angry!’ I have learned that this is not the way to go. I am currently going through my first book and trying to pick out those situations where I ‘told’ and try to convert them into ones where I ‘show.’

I found that my vocabulary is rather limited. I use the word ‘look’ a lot. He looked at me, I looked at him, we looked each other in the eye… Eyes are a big thing in my book 🙂 . I realised that I needed to widen my scope and write something more varied to keep my readers (and myself!) happy. So I downloaded lists of alternatives/synonyms from Pinterest. Never would I have thought that Pinterest would come in so handy for a writer…

Although I found a list with about 150 different ways to say ‘look,’ I found that most of them were unusable. Who writes ‘he looked askance’ or ‘my eyes had a gander’ (or however you’re supposed to use this word). Most of the words didn’t portray what I wanted to say, which was ‘look.’ There were a few though, like ‘saw,’ ‘glance,’ and ‘glimpse,’ which are okay, but four words don’t mean variety.

So here I was, stuck in my re-write. I knew what was wrong, but I didn’t know how to fix it. Then the lightbulb appeared above my head. I needed to use more body language! I needed to integrate the whole face, the whole body in the description. Which meant I needed to know what people did, how they changed, when showing certain emotions.

Now I’m not the best emotional expert. I can’t read people like a book and usually people find me very blunt in return. So I needed help, lots of it. I tried to study people when I was out and about, which isn’t very often. Unfortunately my brain doesn’t always cooperate and kept drifting off instead of doing its homework.

Then today, after cursing at my slow internet connection and not getting the websites on body language as fast as my impatient self wanted, I remembered I once bought a book called ‘Body language at work,’ by Peter Clayton. It isn’t the most varied piece of work, but it does the trick for me at the moment. It talks about zones and clusters, about trust and assertiveness, about doubt, disbelief and lies. Even about attraction between the two sexes. All the things that I need for my book!

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I’m not saying that you need to buy this book. However, if you are like me and a bit of a frog in the ’emotion’ department, buy a book on body language and read it. It is extremely interesting to read about how people conform to standard principles. And most amazing when you see it happening in real life around you! It’s almost as entertaining as reading a book…

Have a Wonderful Writing Weekend!

Success!

I just wanted to share with you the following:

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Zero Issues in my Repeat Words & Phrases. Finally!!!