Mary W. Walters’ Rita Just Wants to Be Thin

I owe a huge apology to Mary W. Walters. She emailed last fall and asked if I would be interested in reading her book Rita Just Wants to Be Thin, and I fell all over myself gushing yes, I would LOVE to read her book and give it a shout out on my blog. Guess who read the book and never gave it a shoutout??? Ol’ Reliable over here, that’s who. And Mary even mailed me an actual AUTOGRAPHED paperback copy FROM CANADA (hello crazy shipping fees) and I didn’t even mention her book at all. So, I am formally apologizing to Mary here and now:

Mary I am so sorry I didn’t uphold my end of our agreement. I suck. Feel free to say a few choice words under your breath (or out loud, whichever makes you feel better) about me. I hope you’ll forgive me. I really did enjoy your book! 

Here’s a description of Mary’s book (from Amazon.com):

As she breaks 200 pounds, and not in a good way, 29-year-old Rita finds herself married to a self-focused widower with two difficult kids and a mother who almost makes Rita’s own mother look like a role model—which is really saying something. Graham’s first wife, being dead, just keeps getting better and better in everyone’s memories while Rita just gets fatter and more aggravated. She’s tried every diet in the book, but it’s not until a family crisis forces her out the door that she discovers that the easiest way to lose weight is to get rid of the baggage on the inside. Funny and insightful, RITA JUST WANTS TO BE THIN is sure to make readers of all shapes and sizes feel better about themselves—and ultimately maybe even about Rita.

I’ll admit, I found it hard to find sympathy for Rita at first. She seemed so pathetic and pitiful that in the beginning I found it hard to feel for her, but once she starts discovering her worth, and by the end of the book, I was really rooting for her. This is a book about realizing that we are worth the time and the effort it takes to take care of ourselves – and if that isn’t the same journey I’ve been on for the last 6 months, then I don’t know what is.

As of this morning, it was listed on amazon.com for $2.99 for the Kindle version or for free if you have Kindle Unlimited. So affordable and a fun read! What’s not to love? Go buy this book and take some time to read over the weekend and show yourself some love!

A question for you: has there been a book that you’ve recently read that you really identified with or that touched you deeply? Comment below!

 

A Yoga Site for Regular Folks

I’ve dabbled with yoga for a long time, but have not been consistent in my practice enough to feel anything other than a beginner each time I unroll my mat. I’ve come to accept that this is perfectly fine – and I would also love to spend more time in yoga and make it actual practice instead of an occasional activity. I love yoga for the way it makes me feel – centered & strong – and it’s so good for both my head and my body.

So I was excited when I received an email from Sebastian at So Much Yoga offering an infographic about how yoga helps with stress-relief and fat loss. This website just started a few months ago, but it is full of great articles and reviews of all things yoga. And the best part is, it’s for regular folk like you and me. You don’t have to be a super bendy yogi to appreciate it. Go check out the website and let them know how you like it – tell them you came from Sassypear! Here’s a few words and a fun infograph from Sebastian:

Why yoga can help you shed some pounds this year [Infographic]

It is usually this time of year, shortly after Christmas and the New Year Eve festivities, when stress begins to creep into my daily life. I love the holidays because it’s a time when my family comes together and we cook, bake, and binge eat all of the delicious dishes we made.

However, in January the mix of new year resolutions and the 5 additional pounds of cake and turkey I gained usually leaves me a bit frustrated.This year has been different though. It’s been 6 months since I started yoga and I have to say I have never felt better!Not just because I lost a few pounds, but because of how yoga has helped me see myself and define my weight loss goals.

I enjoy eating healthier food after a yoga session because it just doesn’t feel right to binge on junk food. It has gotten easier for me to resist cravings (and everyone who knows me also knows how much I love a good triple chocolate cheesecake brownie), but most of all I feel better about myself because every day I take time to focus on myself.

Even if it is just a 10 minute yin yoga session, the fact that I am doing something good for myself while becoming more mindful of what makes me feel good, and what does more harm than good, has helped me to make better decisions.

There is actually a lot of  research that supports my experience, so if you want to learn more about how yoga can help you lose weight check out my longer article on somuchyoga.com.

For a short,visual version just check out my little infographic below.

Namaste!

Yoga-for-weight-loss-infographic

 

Weekend To-Do List

I was making a list of things I need to accomplish over the weekend:

  • Clean the fridge (what IS that pink stuff all over the bottom shelf??)
  • Mop the kitchen floor (I think somebody spilled something sticky)
  • Clean my bedroom (so much stuff everywhere!)

when I realized I didn’t have any fun things on my To-Do List. Gotta remedy that!

What do I want from this weekend? What do I want to do and how can I make it happen?

In addition to all of those chores above, I also plan to:

  • paint my nails
  • watch a funny movie
  • read for a couple of hours
  • spend some time on my yoga mat

And as much as I love doing the above things, I find that I have to be intentional about scheduling/doing them, otherwise I get bogged down with one chore after another and I end my weekend feeling productive yet unfulfilled. Now that I’ve written them down, I’ll be much more certain to make them happen because as my motto says “if it’s not on the list, it doesn’t exist!” (which mostly applies to shopping for groceries, because if I don’t write it down, I am probably going to forget that I need it, but it’s also applicable here).

What fun things will you plan on doing this weekend??? If you don’t have something fun planned yet- plan it now! Tell me in the comments what you’re going to do. :)

It’s a joke…from a movie…nevermind

Just received a package at work that said “FRAGILE” on the front of it. I carried into the boss’ office and said “IT’S FRAHGEELAY, MUST BE ITALIAN!” and my boss just stared at me blankly as if I were actually speaking Italian.

This my life, people. Pity me.

My Smutty Summer

Back when I was in college (way back in the day), my best friend and I were lucky enough to live in an apartment complex that had a pool and during the summers we spent as much time as possible soaking up all the sun’s rays. And because we were 20 years old and were tight and toned, we wore cute little two-piece bathing suits for maximum exposure (I would KILL to have that body now, btw). We wanted to be exotically tan, but we didn’t want skin cancer so we carefully applied our SPF.05 sunscreen before spending six hours by the water. On reflective blankets. In the middle of July. (Do you guys remember those reflective mats people used to use? It was shiny on one side so as to attracts ALL THE UV RAYS for maximum tropical glow. Bonus points if you slid off your shiny metallic mat due to the half bottle of baby oil you glooped all over yourself.)

Our preferred entertainment while we baked ourselves crispy was to read cheap paperback books. Specifically, books of the Harlequin Romance variety. I scoffed the first time D told me she read romance novels but she said, “No, seriously you have to read at least one – they’re HILARIOUS!” I can distinctly remember standing in the smutty book section at our local Walmart reading the book descriptions to each other to see which ones sounded the most ridiculous – we brought the winners home to read by the pool that afternoon.

We spent many hours that summer reading passages to each other and rolling from laughter due to phrases like “he dipped his finger into her honey pot” and “she could barely wrap her hand around his hard shaft because of its girth”. We gasped for breath and our abs hurt from laughing so hard because OH MY GAWD! The word “girth” made me giggle like a 12 year old boy. And I’m sorry but if you can barely wrap your hand around it, you should probably run away. For your own health and safety. *Ahem*

No offense to anyone who reads these types of novels and I’m sure they’re more sophisticated today than they were twenty-ish years ago, but the ones we read were predictable and awesomely ridiculous, which made them so much fun to read. The hero was usually the strong, brooding type (with massive girth, obviously) and the heroine always had a heaving bosom and a cascade of wild flowing hair. They would hate each other at first, but then some conflict threw them together and eventually the would succumb to the ever-increasing tension between them. Then he would profess his undying love to her and carry her off into the sunset. It was mindless and over the top and WE LOVED IT.

I haven’t read a good bodice-ripper since then, but I’ll admit that sometimes during the dog days of summer, I’ll think back on that time and wish I had a good smutty paperback and hours to spend reading. Maybe next summer I’ll pick one up while I’m shopping for SPF275 sunscreen to read while I sit by the pool in my cover up and floppy hat. I’ll still probably giggle at the word “girth” though.

 

I go to bookclub now!

Hey Friends!

I went to book club last Thursday night and I loved it!! I was super nervous to go and I even toyed with the idea of not going, but then I remembered I had my big girl panties on and so I went. I was the first one there, because NERD, and so I sat and visited with the bookstore owner for a few minutes – she was very nice and made me feel comfortable from the start. There were 6 other members there, although I believe there are 12 members on the roster.

Ken is a retired high school math teacher and a cyclist who has cycled all over Europe. He is smart and well traveled, so he a lot of interesting points of information during our meeting. Linda is about my age and I’m not sure what she does for a living, but I know she has horses. And she is smart as a whip – very witty and dry sense of humor – I liked her immediately. Joan is a wry character – the first thing she said to me is “I don’t like the books we read in this club – they’re way too heavy for me. Why can’t we read a good bodice-ripper once in a while?!” She cracked me up from the get-go! Janice is the bookstore owner and leader of the book club pack, and she is a cyclist also. She is good at leading everyone back to the book when the topic would stray (and it tended to stray a lot!). Finally, there is Gwen. Gwen is probably in her mid to late 70s and I fell in love with her immediately. She is very soft spoken but will break in with a well timed quip and leave us all laughing. At the end of the meeting she touched my arm and told me that she hopes I’ll come back again – it was very sweet.

Our book for January was Sarah’s Key, and if you’ve read it you can understand that our conversation got a little heavy at times, but there was also lots of laughter at certain points too (especially when the topic would meander about). I became the Googler in the group – whenever there was a question about something, I grabbed my phone and Googled the answer. It was nice to have a job to do and to feel that I was helping out in a small way.

Overall, I had a really good time – the conversation was stimulating, I laughed a lot, and I got to meet some really great people. I can’t wait to go back next month. I’m really proud of myself for putting myself out there for a new experience. It might not seem like a big deal to most people, but for me this was huge.

Btw, does anyone have the book We Need To Talk About Kevin that I can borrow? :)

My Self Care Emergency Toolkit

I’ve been working on my own Self Care long enough now (four-ish months – woo!) that I have certain things that I know will make me feel better when I start to feel resentful or overwhelmed or just generally pissed off at the world. I turn to these things to soothe me, comfort me, or relax me which in turn makes me less scary to be around which benefits my family because as the saying goes, “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”.

I thought I’d share with you some of the things I keep in my “toolkit” – no it’s not an actually toolkit, although you could probably make one, but these are the things I keep in mind or reach for first when I need to bring the emotion down a few notches.

  • My fluffy robe. I got this robe for Christmas and it’s already one of my favorite things. It’s as soft as a baby bunny and when I slip it on, it’s like slipping into a hug. It feels luxurious and comforting and I would wear it to work were it not deemed socially irresponsible to do so.
  • A cup of hot beverage. Most of the time it’s hot tea, sometimes it’s hot cocoa, someday it might be a hot toddy (side note: I’ve never had a hot toddy, but doesn’t hot buttered rum sound nice on a cold winter’s night??), and holding a steaming  mug in my hands brings me right into the moment and helps distract me from whatever is bothering me for just a little while.
  • Music, specifically classical or instrumental music. Just like Frankenstein’s monster, my savage beast is tamed with music. There is a classical music radio station I like to listen to when I’m driving if I’ve had a frazzled day, and this CD that was sent to me a few years ago by a dear friend (thanks Laura!!) is something I treasure – it instantly makes me feel better every time I listen to it.
  • A nice scented hand lotion. My hands are always dry and having a nice lotion is a must. The act of smoothing on the lotion and inhaling the scent is also a good way to distract from whatever is annoying me at the moment. I use a lot of lotion at work, not surprisingly!
  • Therapy notes from my sessions with Emily. Sometimes I can go back and re-read notes I’ve taken and realize that I have come a long way and there are ways to feel better and I can use them to my advantage.
  • My husband. Sometimes he’s the reason I’m ticked off, but more often than not, he’s a great resource for me. You may be surprised to learn that I’m not very talkative at home – I keep a lot of things inside (yet I have no problem spilling it all here on this blog – go figure) but when I do finally open up to him and tell him what’s bothering me, I always feel so much better afterwards. Sometimes I forget that he doesn’t mind shouldering my burdens with me.
  • My BFF, Dinah. When I need a shot of reality or when I need someone to tell me how great I am, I call her. An hour on the phone with her lifts my spirits in a way that nothing else does. Sometimes you just need to hear your best girlfriend’s voice to make it all better.
  • A walk in my favorite park. Being outside in a beautiful setting is soothing and the walk is good for my blood pressure too.
  • Either Lindt 70% Smooth Dark Chocolate or Godiva’s Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt. Because chocolate.

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. I’m sure there are other things I’m not remembering or haven’t discovered yet, but you get the general idea. For a long time, I didn’t realize that I didn’t have to stay in a resentful, angry, pissy mood; I didn’t know I had the power to change my emotions. Using these tools helps me change my mood so that I can think clearly and wisely.

Do you have a self care emergency toolkit? What do you do when you are frustrated/resentful/overwhelmed with life?