Friday, 15 June 2012

Weight Loss

So, I'm down 19 pounds.  This is not an overnight thing.  I have been working at it since January.  I started following a weight loss blog.  If you want the link, let me know and I'll dig it up for you.  I joined  I started drinking a protein smoothie, by Visalus every morning and I began exercising thirty minutes to an hour after dinner each evening.
Just tracking my food has made quite a bit of difference.  Not that I am a huge eater, it's just that I was eating the wrong things.  Too many starches/carbs, not enough fruits and veggies, that kind of thing.  I started to try and get the most nutrition out of my food and began substituting things that would fill me AND give the best amounts of protein, fiber etc while keeping the calories to a minimum.  The site is fabulous for aiding in creating a caloric amount specifically for you.  You plug in your current weight and your weight goal, and it generates a calorie, carb, protein, sugar etc. goal for your day.  As you go about your day, you log what you've eaten.  This can take a bit of time initally, but if you keep plugging away at it, it gets easier.
I have also had a thyroid issue and my doctor has finally figured out the correct dosage so the things I have been doing are finally making a difference.  I aim to be a 'fraction of my former self' (size wise) by this time next year.  It has become my motto.  "A Fraction of My Former Weight."  I won't mention what that fraction is but I will say that I have a few multiples of 19 to go!
I am so encourgaed to see this change.  I have felt so discouraged about this aspect of myself for so long that this is an entirely new feeling for me.  I was content in everything about my life....except my size.  And there was nothing I could do to change it.  Now, the things I do actually make a difference to my body.  I still fight discouragement when I hit a small lull and things don't happen as quickly as I'd like.  But I remind myself often that things ARE happening.  God has me going slow and steady for a reason.  I believe that reason to be that it will STAY off.  I'm not fad dieting, I'm making a series of lifestyle changes and I'm feeling pretty good about that.
Stay tuned, I'll mention this again!

Honor Redeemed by Lorie Lough

Normally, I love Lorie Lough.  Her characters are rich, she writes in a way that you can actually feel what the characters feel.  Her stories are great, intriguing and gripping.

But I'm having an issue with her First Responder Series.  I read the first one, From Ashes to Honor, and enjoyed it.  But it didn't end the way I would have chosen.  Enter book two, Honor Redeemed.  It lets you know what happened to the characters from book one.  But it was done in such a way that I felt like I had missed out on something.  I didn't like that part but since Honor Redeemed was a book about a new couple, I figured I'd give it a try.  Except this book ended just like the first, with things left hanging in the balance.  That is not my kind of book.  You become so invested in the characters that to jump forward to such a degree without reading what happened, at the time it happened, and not in retrospect, left me feeling somewhat removed....or empty.
I'll likely read the third of the series.  Eventually there will be a happy ending.  At least I hope there will be!  This series is worth reading, but it's not the type of series where one feels absolutely compelled to get the next book.  It's more of an "It's on my list; I'll read it someday"...which I will.

Having said that, not all people like a happy ending.  So if you want angst and a dangling ending, this is just the book for you!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Maire, by Linda Windsor

Okay, Linda Windsor is my new favourite author of the week.  This is the first book (of hers) that I have read and I have already determined I will be adding others to my collection as soon as possible.

A Brief Synopsis: 
Maire, warrior queen has come to invade.  She pillages, she plunders, but she really does not have a taste for violence. Conquering? Yes, absolutely; but violence, not so much.  And then she meets Rowan.  Rowan is a warrior and he has the scars to prove it.  But he refuses to kill.  He doesn't even want to fight.  So, being the smart, sassy woman that she is, she decides he will make a great hostage husband - even if he is a Christian.  And she will rule.  But along the way, something happens.  Rowan is not easily controlled.  He really does become king in his own right.  But danger lurks.  Evil is waiting.  The horrid Morlach is ready to curse the two of them in order to take over all the land.  Will they ever be one in spirit?  Will they overcome the evil of the enemy? 

This was a great read.  The characters were gripping.  The heroine was real; she had confidence, she had doubts, she was human; she was not just a warrior or a queen but she was a woman.  The hero, was a perfect blend of strength and softness.....and the 'bad guy' was really bad!   The other characters all had distinguishing personalities and they were each very easy to get to know.  The village of Glennmara is quaintly described and the peasants are just everyday folk trying to eke out an existence in a land that has been robbed of its value. I found myself really gripped by this book and found myself wanting to read the next in the series right away.  The book was serious, engaging, often fun and light-hearted and at times heart-wrenching....which makes a great recipe for a novel. 

I highly recommend this book.