Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Daily Devotional Books

I am a huge fan of daily devotional books. Even though my feelings on church have changed over the years, I still find it important to study the Bible and try to grow spiritually.

My Dad's church in northern Indiana used to always give out daily devotional books for the month. He isn't really into them, so they were passed on to me. His new church here in the Indy area does not do this. Luckily, my Dad is friends with a really nice older woman at church, who happens to subscribe to this publisher's series.

It's called Our Daily Bread.

As you can see from the picture, this one is from last year. She gave me the entire series for 2013. I figure the year doesn't matter much since the dates pretty well remain the same.

The Front Cover
There are a few things I really like about this series, The first is that it's simple. You get a very clear, but short, message. If you want to go into more detail, they give extra Bible readings to expand upon. Some of the other series I have read have pages upon pages of explanation. I tend to prefer things short, simple, and to the point.

I also really like that the Bible verses are written in the book for you. Most of the ones I have read in the past list the verse and you have to look it up. It isn't a big deal. Still, it's nice to have it all in one spot. I can throw this in my purse and still keep up with my readings when traveling or whatever.

King James Version, but I think they also do other Bible versions too.

I just think these are very well done. I like to read before going to bed. My evening routine has become reading my daily devotional, reading the verse of the day (I often end up reading the chapter.) on Bible Gateway, and then reading a chapter of whatever book I am currently reading.

This all helps me wind down before going to bed.

Do any of you read daily devotional books?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Outlander: My New Favorite Thing

I have been told for years that I need to read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. It's an older series - started in the early 1990's.

People I knew from the blogging world would recommend it. A few friends from college recommended it. Even my sister's mother in law is a huge fan. It wasn't until a few months ago that I seriously took the time to get into it. This was mostly because I heard a television series was being made from the book series.  I don't subscribe to Starz, but I am lucky to have friends that do. It works out well. I'm one of those people that likes to always read the book before seeing the movie/tv show.

The series follows Claire, a nurse from the 1940's, who travels through time (accidentally) to the 1740's. While there, she meets Jamie Fraser. They fall in love, and the series follows the ups and downs of their life together.

There are currently 8 books. I have read up to the fifth book- The Fiery Cross. I'm about a third of the way through it so far.

I adore this series. What I love so much about it is that it fits into so many different genres. Yes, there is romance. The relationship between Jamie and Claire is what holds the series together, but there is so much more than that. It's historical fiction. I learned more about the history of Scotland in the first few books than I ever did before. It talks about religion - Jamie is a devout Catholic. Diana Gabaldon does a good job of showing the horrible way Catholics were treated when England took over Scotland and when they tried to immigrate to the New World. The series has action (wars being fought), sci-fi (time travel), horror (some voo doo stuff happens when they first come over to the colonies). It's a series women can read and enjoy, but a man could also love it. In fact, I know several guys who read the series too.

The author takes a long time to write each book. It totally makes sense when you think about how much historical research she has to do to make each book accurate. She has mentioned in several interviews that she actually travels to the places in each book and researches the history in person. All of this just to make sure it is correct to the time period.

For me, it's more about the romance factor. I enjoy reading romance. The relationship between the two main characters is very well done. Who wouldn't love a man who says stuff like this:


I made sure to read the very first book before watching the television series. The first season is based off the first book, and it actually follows the book very closely. That's rare. There are only a few extremely minor things that were altered for tv.

The promotional poster
Everything from the actors they chose for each part to the costumes are perfect. They took time to make it right. As a fan, this is something I appreciate.

Claire in her wedding dress
Jamie in his wedding outfit.

I even adore the theme song and opening credits. It manages to capture the mystique of the show.

Plus, the fans are hilarious. Go to Twitter and search for #OutlanderPickupLines You will crack up laughing. This hash tag was created in honor of the wedding episode. Some of them are truly hilarious.

Ha ha!

Have any of you watched the show or read the book? What do you think of it?

Friday, October 17, 2014


I apologize in advance because this is a very strange post. Some people might read this and think I'm crazy. Those of you raised in a religious household may get it though.

For at least the last ten years, I have suffered from what I believe is panic attacks. The thing that drives me crazy is that the panic attack happens for such an odd reason.


Not the death of others, but my death.

It's this odd feeling of being terrified of dying. It's not even the dying that scares me. My fear stems from the thought of there being nothing after death. Of just... ceasing to exist.

I was raised in a very strict religious household.Those of you who read my blog are aware of my time spent in a cult. I was always told the stories of Heaven and how those who were "good" would get to go there. I believed that for years. A large part of me still does. I would have to or my belief in God would be pretty meaningless.

But what if there isn't anything? This is where my panic attacks come in. It will catch me completely off guard. A movie where someone dies. A book that mentions the afterlife.There will be something that triggers this enormous feeling of dread, and I find myself becoming extremely upset. Thankfully they don't happen every day. They don't even happen every month. They just pop up every once in a while.

It's hard for me to believe there is nothing after death. We try so hard to live a good life, follow what we believe is right, and make a difference in our part of the world. I really hope with everything in me that there is some kind of reward for us at the end. Plus, I can't even begin to deal with my emotions when I think of lost loved ones. Part of dealing with Mom's death was the notion that she is in a better place.

The other thing that bothers me is that I don't feel like I've done much in life. If I die tomorrow, what will people remember me by?

I've been considering trying to go back to church. Church makes my skin crawl. It probably always will. Yet, I miss that feeling of assuredness and the strong faith that stemmed from going to church each week. Right before I moved down to the Indianapolis area, I began visiting a local church in the area. I enjoyed it, and I was able to learn and grow For that brief amount of time, I didn't have any panic attacks. After moving, I never took the time to find a new place of worship.

I suppose in some ways I have lost my faith. I would like to get it back somehow.

Perhaps this loss of faith is why I struggle so much?

On a lighter note, I've read some amazing books lately. I'll share them with you guys in a later post.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Weight loss hasn't been my big priority lately. Instead I have been focusing on my mental health - dealing with depression, trying to get through each day, making small goals on life in general. Today was the first time in about a month that I actually stepped on a scale.

Good news! I didn't gain. I also didn't lose. That's OK. I still weigh 320 lbs.

I wish I weighed less, but I am thrilled that I didn't balloon higher. I wasn't consciously watching my food intake, but I did try to make smart choices. Not taking seconds or making sure all my meals included a vegetable was one thing I made sure to follow. I also went back to cooking at home and experimenting with new recipes.

I want to get back into consistent dieting, but I am trying not to overwhelm myself. The first thing I need to work on is exercise. I don't move enough. My desk job is contributing to my lack of  movement. When things got bad, that was the first thing I dropped.

I really want to go back to Weight Watchers. I am working on figuring out the money end. Their start up fees are really expensive, so I'll need to plan for that. I'm also thinking about getting a FitBit. Just thinking. No solid plans on it yet. I hope that I can give happy weight loss updates in the future.

On a side note - anonymous commenting has been disabled from my blog. After my last blog post, my inbox was bombarded with mean comments from someone anonymous. They were name calling and some comments were directed at my family. Not cool. Only one comment was actually posted. I apologize for any inconvenience this causes you, but I have enough going on. I don't need to be bullied on my blog.


I thought my day was off to a bad start. After all, this was my morning commute:

I just love being parked on 65 during rush hour traffic. #sarcasm

45 minutes parked on the interstate due to an accident. My normal 20-25 minute commute was over an hour long today. I was not in the best of moods. 

Luckily, things got better. 

Here are some reasons I am happy today. 

  • Finally got my review at work. I figured I would get a good review, but I didn't know I would get a glowing review. Totally made my day. There are a few minor things I need to work on, but my managers are very happy with my work.
  • A good review means a raise. It's not a huge raise. Every little bit still helps.
  • Review time means free Starbucks. I'm not going to lie, I got a Frappuccino. It was light though.
  • I get to switch my parking garage! Working downtown means parking in a garage. The hotel I work for has monthly parking you can pay for. My garage for the last two years has been an exercise in patience and bravery. Constant construction = a dirty, dusty car and circling for ten minutes trying to find a parking spot. The parking spots are tiny, which means people are always door dinging you. I've been backed into twice and side swiped once. It's also tons of fun (note the sarcasm) to walk three blocks in the snow and freezing cold. Not anymore!! My new garage is right next door, and I can walk to work through the skywalk if it's raining. Love it!
  • Dinner out with Daddy. Enough said.
How is your day going?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Combining Blogs: New Things to Expect from Me

Hi everyone!

I know I have been absent for a while. Most of you already know that I was/am battling some pretty tough depression. It caused me to go into a bubble for a while. I focused on myself and felt that I needed to take a break from blogging.

I'm back, but I have decided to change some things here.

The main one - this will no longer solely be a weight loss blog anymore. This is why I made a small change to the blog's name.

Did you guys know that I was writing four blogs at one point? Yep. Four. That's insane.

My very first blog was a religion based one. It was where I dealt with my feelings after leaving the cult. The second was my author/writing blog. This is where I launched my career as a writer. Then, I started this blog. The last blog I ventured into was a beauty/fashion blog.

The reason I started so many blogs was because I wasn't sure how to fit everything into one. My weight loss blog followers might not care about writing or religion. My writing followers might not care about makeup. I didn't want to offend anyone or alienate anyone from my blog. Yet, I needed the avenue to vent and share things I wanted to talk about. It was difficult to keep four blogs going, keep them updated, keep them interesting, and not lose sight of what the blog stood for.

One of the things I have learned while dealing with my depression is that weight loss and any other major lifestyle change is so much more than numbers on a scale or a few activities you change in life. It encompasses changing everything you do. So why am I keeping everything separate in my blogs?

For this blog, I'll still talk about weight loss and trying to have a healthier lifestyle. That won't change. What will change is that you'll find out what book I am reading. Or what I studied in my daily devotional book. Or what I got in my Ipsy bag this month. Or I'll talk about how I am feeling about something.


Because all of this is me. Not just weight loss. Not just the scale.

I sincerely hope that everyone will still come along for the ride. If not, I understand, and I wish you the very, very best.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sports Bras for Bigger Girls

I never realized how hard it is to find a sports bra for a plus size woman until other day.  Not only am I plus sized, but I am also a size D cup.

In all my years of exercising,  I never needed one. I always used old bras that I no longer need for everyday.  My exercise routine consisted of walking, the elliptical,  bike riding,  or swimming.  Now I am taking Zumba, which requires a lot of jumping and hopping.  It became very apparent that I would need something to hold the girls down.

I went to at least four stores, and all were the same. They either didn't have my size or they had the size around,  not the cup size. I found that a bra that crisscrossed in the back was a must. Regular straps didn't offer enough support. I also couldn't see a reason to buy a bra with padded cups. Really? Who would need that for exercise?

I ended up buying a bra at Walmart of all places.  Only $12 for two. The colors are a little loud for my taste,  but it works perfectly for me. They are very comfortable.  Another requirement in my opinion. It was much nicer doing Zumba with the girls firmly in place.

Do you have a favorite brand of sports bra?  What do you look for when picking one out?