June 2018 RAW NEWS Update

I’ve taken the advice that many of you offered in response to May’s RAW NEWS Update and have been relaxing into the outdoor work demands of spring rather than fighting against them. That little shift has made June, as you’ll see, a much better month than May. So thank you. I truly appreciate the support and encouragement of our tribe.

hand drawn icon of bookRead

I’m really happy to have broken the chain of ‘blah’ books I was reading in May. Of the seven books I read this month,  one was hopeless, one was ‘fine’, and the rest I either really liked or absolutely loved.

If you’re looking for a good summer beach read, I absolutely loved On the Island by Tracey Gervais-Graves. And I was inspired by the author’s story. Gervais-Graves’ manuscript was rejected by agents and publishers so she self-published. Her debut novel has since spent 9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, been translated into 31 languages, and is in development as a feature film.envelope journal cover

hand drawn icon of painting with brush and pencil on topArt

I made one collage this month titled “The Fish Sees Water.” More interesting, I’m currently making an envelope journal. It’s a simple process. Choose 6-10 envelopes. The envelopes that form the front and back covers should be the same size, but the inside envelopes can be different sizes. Use any strong wide tape to adhere each envelope to the next one. Wrap a piece of tape around the spine for extra reinforcement. Decorate the envelopes and slip in bits of paper, cardstock, or postcards on which you’ve written your journal entries or letters.

hand drawn icon of book with pencil on topWriting

As you can see from the cover photo, my envelope journal spans the period from birth to age five. I’m using it as a place to record information, thoughts and memories (not that there are many of those) about that time in my life. The envelope journal idea came from a course I purchased called 21 Secrets: Tell Your Story, but what I’m writing to go in those envelopes is from Julia Cameron’s book, It’s Never Too Late to Begin AgainDiscovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond.sample pages of envelope journal

In It’s Never Too Late… Cameron promotes the basic tools she discusses in all of her Artist’s Way books: morning pages, artist dates, and solo walks. But the real meat of the book comes in her suggestion that you divide your age by twelve and answer the questions she asks in the book for each chunk of your life. The end result, if you wish it, will be a memoir.

I read It’s Never Too Late when it was first published a couple of years ago, but didn’t do any of the exercises. Then Molly Totoro started talking on her blog about her progression through the book. And Pat Doyle mentioned the book to me in a recent chat. Jenny wrote a brilliant post titled “I’m Not Lost…I Just Don’t Know Where I’m Going” that describes exactly how I’m feeling and provides a great framework for moving forward.

If the Universe is sending messages, three in a short span of time should be sufficient so I’m paying attention.  I’ll post my summer plans (my version of Jenny’s metaphorical road trip) next week. It dovetails nicely with the results of my very first Tarot reading which I’ll also share.

hand drawn icon of apple with bite out of itNutrition

Last month I mentioned that I was going to nudge intuitive eating to the side and engage in a plan to kickstart some weight loss. I’ve done that and dropped eleven pounds. Yahoo! Most important, I’m no longer craving sugar and breads.

I’m still a big proponent of intuitive eating and don’t believe that dieting is successful over the long haul. However, I’ve learned that if I don’t totally abstain from sugar, starches, bread, fruit long enough get a handle on my cravings, I’m never going to get to the mindful, sane eating that is my goal.

hand drawn icon of stylized person in motionEnergy

A huge uptick in energy is supposed to be one of the benefits of abstaining from sugar and bread. Unfortunately, consistently good energy hasn’t been my experience this month. Rather, I’ve become very aware that I have been using sugar and carbs to override fatigue. I’ve been doing that for decades and now am feeling the deep exhaustion that I’ve been burying.

But that’s okay. I’ve still been on lots of walks, and accomplished plenty of outdoor work this month. The number of books read in a month is the only thing that has been negatively impacted. I just can’t stay awake for more than a few pages.

hand drawn icon of open boxWonder

During the A-Z blogging challenge, I wrote a post about curiosity. A few readers, in their comments, asked me to tell them more. So this month I read a couple of books and a half dozen research articles about curiosity. Blog posts to come.

 

hand drawn icon of lotus flowerSelf-Care

In addition to my usual hot baths, power naps, and breakfast and walks with a friend, there were two significant self-care actions this month.

I saw the movie The Book Club. Having read Fifty Shades of Grey, the book being read by the club, I was interested to see what would be done with it by acting powerhouses Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen. The movie was okay, but what I found truly fascinating was the fact that the theatre was packed on a Tuesday afternoon with both women and men. Watching their reactions was more fun than watching the movie.

Community theatre is very much alive and well around here. In fact our theatrical productions are so good that busloads of people come from major cities like Toronto, Kingston, and even across the border from the United States, to see them. That was the case again last week when I went to a production of Fiddler on the Roof. The movie version bored me to tears, but the play was exceptionally well done. I love that I live in a community that supports the arts.

Is there an aspect of your local community that is especially important to you? Anything else from this month’s RAW NEWS update that you’d like to chat about? You know I love to connect!

 

 

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44 comments

  1. sugar and carbs to override fatigue…sticking hand up. I know as I’m doing it that it’s wrong, but until there are more hours in the day I can’t see that changing.

    Love the envelope idea. My Mum has a significant birthday in a couple of years, and I wanted to make her something (will need the lead in time, so yes, need to start thinking now). This might be just what I was looking for. Thanks, Karen.

    1. Great idea, AJ. There are all kinds of videos online if you happen to want to make a more elaborate one where you stitch the binding rather than using tape.

    2. Hi AJ,
      I should have also said — accepting the use of sugar and carbs to override fatigue is, I think, so much smarter than railing against it and yet continuing to self-medicate in this way. That just adds a stew of stressful thoughts to the mix and makes the situation worse. (Take it from one who knows!)

  2. Wonderful catch up on all your news Karen – it was similar to my end of month virtual coffee post style (I love round-up posts). You’re doing very well to cut out all sugar and bread – I’ve been doing my best to reduce my sugar intake and stick around the recommended 6 teaspoons a day – but it’s everywhere and in everything! I also really liked your envelope book idea and might try something similar – I just need some envelopes that would be the right size. I’ll ponder upon it some more – I hope you’ll do a post on it and show and tell what’s in each one – at some stage.

    1. Hi Leanne,
      So true that sugar is everywhere. I’m back to eating fruit now – it’s strawberry season here and I adore strawberries – but that isn’t activating my sugar cravings the way that other things would. I’m also back to eating bread but only bread that has 5 grams of fibre or more, which is actually quite difficult to find.

      I hope you do try the envelope journal. It’s fun and it’s a great way to make use of those random extra envelopes that we all have kicking around. It’s kind of like socks not having partners once they come out of the washing machine. I always end up with more envelopes than cards to put in them even though I buy them so that there’s just an envelop for each card.

  3. As usual, you have a thoughtful mix of ideas and observations in today’s post.

    First however, WOOHOO to 11 lbs!! Maybe I can find inspiration in your success. Yes, I too am the product of self-medicating with sugar and carbs to keep myself going – and I know that bone-tired feeling. On ‘good’ days, I know enough to stop and have a nap rather than filling my face. Sadly I don’t do that nearly often enough.

    It sounds like you too had a very rich month of June. Looking forward to hearing about your plans for the summer. The best part is I know I’m included in a very tiny part of it 💕

    1. Hi Joanne,
      Hopefully your cycling trip and all of the amazing things you do outdoors probably balances the scales – literally and fatigue-wise -when it comes to imbibing sugar. Even if outdoor activity just eases the guilt, that’s a bonus!
      Speaking of sugar and guilt, we’re enjoying the former and not allowing the latter next month, right?? Can’t wait.

  4. Karen – 7 books – I’m impressed! And I’m curious how you liked the movie — I thought of going to see it but never made it. And I’m going to check out “On the Island” for sure! While I’m less crafty these days I think the envelope idea is clever. Thanks for sharing your monthly round-up — I’m seeing other bloggers do the same and wondering (given how I cling to my inconsistency as a badge of honor) if I could pull it off. At this point, I’m still trying to be consistent in a weekly post! 🙂

    1. Hi Janet,
      The Book Club had a few good laughs, was a cozy movie that didn’t require any thought, and was conducive to an afternoon in an air-conditioned theatre eating popcorn and licorice. An award winner it’s not. It pretty much defines the term ‘chick flick’.
      I’ve been doing the monthly round-ups since November and do find it a good way to be accountable to myself for living my RAW NEWS acronym. But I’ve given myself permission that, if I have a really tedious month, I don’t need to inflict a reflection about it on anyone else 🙂

  5. Every time I read your RAW NEWS, I have so much I want to comment on! Here goes–7 books! You are a whale reader, aren’t you? I have found myself reading more books in a month than I used to but I then realized it’s because fiction books are getting shorter. 400 pages used to be the norm; now it’s much less. That lets me power through more books.

    I’m amazed by people who can do several creative endeavors (art and writing) well. I love that because probably at any given time, one is churning away well.

    Energy–haven’t had any since my first baby–and she’s now 32. It’s always a battle. Glad to know that cutting out sugar and carbs did no good. Now, I don’t have to try it.

    1. Hi Jacqui,
      Most of my reading is non-fiction and, I guess because of the way it’s structured, it’s usually pretty easy to read fairly quickly. But you’re also right – whether fiction or non-fiction, books are getting shorter. I’m hoping for a few really satisfying long reads this summer. The last really long ones I remember reading were Greg Iles’ Natchez Burning trilogy where each one clocked in at a hefty 600-750 pages.

      Nice deflect on the sugar and carbs energy equation! I’m not feeling the energy benefits yet, but only because there are layers and layers of fatigue to get through from all of my sugar and carb self-medicating of the last several decades. I fully expect that I will someday feel better. Of course you can certainly wait until I confirm that for sure. No need to rush into a sugar and carb ban yourself right not 🙂

      1. Hehee–I will wait for your confirmation. I don’t eat that many sugars but carbs–yikes!

        I read Greg Iles too–good trilogy. I don’t like all of his books but that one was a winner.

  6. Good Morning Karen!

    So nice to read and catch up with your daily happenings as I wake up here on the west coast of California sipping my morning coffee. As usual. I am amazed at how much we have in common. I’m a big fan of Julia Cameron’s (I’ve been doing her morning pages for over 25+ years!) and read her new book a couple of years ago (and yeah, wrote a blog post about it too) but didn’t do most of the exercises. I’m bad that way 🙁 I will look forward to seeing what you focus on and write about.

    As for the movie, Book Club, I thought it was cute. Thom went with me and there was only one other man in the entire theater filled with women. The movie wasn’t that deep, and Diane Keaton was a wimp, but other than that it did make us both laugh–that’s a good thing in today’s world for sure. FYI…I never read 50 Shades of Grey…I think I made it through the first chapter….I just couldn’t….

    Speaking of couldn’t….I decided to “treat” myself with a novel here at the beach so I picked up The Great Alone which has sat on my bookshelf for several months. I’m about ready to throw it across the room. I detest books that drag the drama to the max and that’s what I’m reading. I’m I the only one who feels that way? I’m tempted to pick up your recommended “beach read” just to give me a break. I am in awe that you get so many books read each month regardless. I think I’m only averaging about three.

    And good for you for settling into a new way of eating with less sugar. I gave it up (mostly anyway) along with most grain about a year and a half ago and it definitely helped with my cravings. I’m hoping my next blood test will show it’s helping with my glucose!

    And yes to Power Naps during the summer. 🙂 Long days make them so great. I hope the rest of your week unfolds well and look forward to hearing more as summer unfolds. ~Kathy

    1. Hi Kathy,
      We certainly do have lots in common. I haven’t been consistent about morning pages over the years but I do tons of journaling that are more morning page than journal. If we take Cameron’s definition of a journal as writing on a theme, and morning pages as random jottings, I’ve been doing morning pages for a while.

      ‘Cute’ is a good way to describe The Book Club movie. I saw it the day before I started my no sugar no carbs time so it served mostly as a great excuse to eat an entire package of licorice and some popcorn.

      I hear you about Fifty Shades of Grey. I don’t remember if I finished it, but I definitely got well past the first chapter. It’s redeeming feature for me was the humour, especially in the email exchanges between the two characters. Once that chapter was over, I disengaged.

      On the Island is definitely a beach read – not demanding at all, but enjoyable. I’ll be interested to hear what you think if you decide to read it. And thanks for letting me know about The Great Alone. I probably won’t bother.

      I hope you have a great rest of the week as well. It’s super hot here now and supposed to stay that way for the next 8-10 days. I’ll have to cool off in the breeze from my pond. Not quite an ocean breeze, but water nevertheless 🙂

  7. Hi Karen,

    Kudos to you for your success in taming your sugar/carb demon and your weight loss!!!! I first started self-medicating with these when I was a new mother desperate for sleep that I was not getting and somehow had to make it through day after day with a baby that would not sleep DAY or NIGHT. It’s a hard habit to break. I’m having a tough week and again sleep-deprived and yesterday I ate not one but two candy bars. I’m “lucky” if I eat 2 candy bars in as many years, and now I had 2 in one day!!!! Oh my.
    Anywho, this too shall pass…
    I’m a bit concerned that you are yet so tired – but then again it may be the “low-carb flu” yet lingering as your body gets used to burning fat instead of carbs for energy. I hope you will continue to look after yourself my friend, and seek medical attention if this persists.
    I’ve added your book recommendation to my To-Read list, thanks!
    And happy to read about your art including your envelope journal and progress on It’s Never Too Late. I bought that book and have yet to do any exercises, but it’s slated for a retirement project so I’m not stressing about this (and other things I just can’t get to at the moment).
    Glad to hear you are napping – I believe in the power of naps, which is not quite the same as a power nap. Power napping has a taint of “surviving not thriving” however, to me…it reminds me of when my husband was ill and power napping was all that kept me sane and upright (just). I was definitely not thriving then.
    To me a nap is one of life’s most underrated luxuries and I nap whenever I get the urge (weekends only for now, unfortunately). My aunt takes an afternoon nap religiously (has done so since being a young woman) and she is one of the most vibrant, gorgeous women I know (and in her late 70s!). She also does 15 minutes of isometric exercises upon waking up and while still in bed – I should get her to write down her routine. I think she has this self-care thing nailed. 🙂
    Loved reading this update!
    Keep on rockin’…

    Deb

    1. Hi Deb,
      Thanks for the concern about the ongoing fatigue. I’ve got an underactive thyroid (have had for decades) and it’s really tough to get the medication right and keep it right for that so I’m guessing that may be part of what’s going on. But I might go and get a full blood panel done just to see where things are at and give me a baseline for improvement over the next year and a bit. I’d love to be in the best shape of my life when I turn 60 in August of 2019.

      You’re really not a sugar fiend are you? Two candy bars in two years is typical for you? Good grief, Deb. Can you clone the relevant cells in your body please? I’ll pay anything to ever feel that way. Two a day, on the other hand, I understand. If you’re having one of those days, get your comfort where you can. Given your track record, I can guarantee you are not going to develop a sugar addiction!

      I want to amend my reference to power naps because I agree with you completely. No interest at all in power naps, but definitely keen for the power of napping. When I take afternoon naps it’s for however long I want it to be and often begins with some reading. It’s just a great time and way to relax. I hope you’ll get lots of opportunities during weekends and your summer holidays.

      1. YES! That is the way to nap like a boss. To gently drift away with your nose in a book – heaven!

        Please don’t think I am some sort of eating paragon – I’ve never really liked chocolate on its own, not even as a child, but I’ve never met a caramel I didn’t like. Although it (chocolate) can be good with other stuff. So I can “tolerate” candy bars that are loaded with caramel and/or nuts. And I really can go to town on starchy carbs. I also love quality ice cream, and as you know from A-Z, I have a life-long love affair with Dairy Queen (accept no substitutes). 😉

        And I am down with you and Joanne and I having a no-guilt get together next month. Counting the days… 🙂

  8. Hi Karen, great to see you making a start with new thoughts and actions through Julia Cameron’s book. We have chatted about this and like you I am working through her book since reading Molly & Pat’s posts. The envelope book is a great idea! I might steal that 🙂 I recently saw Finding Your Feet with was a very bitter/sweet movie about making changes in our lives Over 60. The stories of the three main characters was so relevant to many and although I needed a box of tissues, I totally enjoyed it. Good work with losing weight and your health plan. Sounds like you have had such a positive month and can’t wait to read about July – but I don’t want to wish our lives away! Have a fabulous week, my friend and thank you for your continued support. xx

    1. Hi Sue,
      I’m really glad that we’re working on Julia’s book together. I didn’t want to mention that in the post in case you weren’t talking about it.
      I’ve never heard of Finding Your Feet. I’ll have to watch for that.
      Talk soon, Sue.

  9. I always enjoy your round-ups, Karen. Good for you for saying “no” to breads and sugar. I’m not at the “no” stage but I have managed to cut back quite a bit. And… 11 pounds! Wow, that’s outstanding! So much else to like in your RAW NEWS… the envelope journal… your reading list… your focus on self-care. I have read a few reviews of The Book Club; some good, some not so much. But yours was the first that I read that included the info about the book they were reading in the movie. That alone may make me pass on it. I had no desire to read that book (not sure why my aversion is so strong) so the movie is less appealing too. But, good to know about On the Island… I’ll check it out!

    1. I understand your aversion, Janis. They really don’t do much of anything with the book in the movie. It’s there only for its ability to titillate just by saying the title. But the movie definitely isn’t worth going to any kind of effort to overcome your objections. Relax and enjoy On the Island instead!

  10. Hi Karen,

    Thank you for linking to my post! I’m so glad you found value in it!

    I love your RAW NEWS updates. Even being relatively new to your tribe, I always find so much I can relate to! Congratulations on transitioning to an eating plan that is working for you. I also struggle with thyroid issues and controlling my sugar cravings. I can’t handle caffeine at all, so I’m always chasing that sugary energy bump. Which, as we all know, is a lie 🙂

    I live in an arts-friendly community, and we also have many microbreweries. I don’t often avail myself because it doesn’t take much anymore to make me feel kind of yucky. But I do love all the free live outdoor music we have around town during the summer.

    1. I not only found value, Jenny, but I’m working that metaphor for all its worth as I plan my summer. Your post was a godsend!
      Oh the sugar energy bump and crash. It sometimes feels like the bane of my life and I give in so readily. Someone sent over half a dozen homemade butter tarts this afternoon. I’ve eaten one. Why? Because they’re there, because it was nice of her to make them, because I’m weak, because I feel like I deserve it. Whatever the reason, I want the rest of them gone tonight and my thought is to eat them, not give them away or throw them out. I’ll resist but that’s just how devilish sugar is for me.
      We’ve got some microbreweries too but, like you, that’s not my thing. Your live outdoor music all summer sounds pretty great though. I hope attending some of that is part of your planned detours.

  11. you talk of heat and summer reads and cooling breezes by the pond and I talk of cold and frosts and rains and wintry days – though mostly we have a lovely sun warmish middle of the day here with the cold nights and mornings . I had not heard until recently of Julias book , I am going to get it and have a go . I did love the artists way and got a lot from it and sometimes I do morning pages as in yesterday and sometimes I do evening pages as in tonight and sometimes I journal and sometimes not.
    what a month – I have read but dont recall anything remarkable to pass on , I have written a few blogs averaging one a week I think, I have been walking most days and lots of grandbaby times, I have found friends to meditate with and had two stories published in a local womens zine. and of course you know I have been involved in a transition sorting thru the stories I tell myself those I can discard and those that will serve . the envelopes sound intriguing .- the grandson was drawing pictures last night cutting them out and stuffing them in an envelope – oh the synchronicities of life … you are a treasure karen

    1. As Pat mentioned someplace, the biggest advantage to It’s Never Too Late… is that it’s focused on people who are retired, so all of the examples come from that group. That and the questions for memoir. They’re proving to be very interesting indeed.
      I’ll talk more about it in next week’s post about my tarot reading, but have to say that I was caught by the last sentence of your first paragraph, Sandra. I really, really need to adopt more of your relaxed approach to life. I just find it so difficult to do but I’m hoping that in continuing to read your posts and talking with you, some of your wonderful ease will rub off on me – an Australian version of fairy dust!
      Congratulations on the two published stories, Sandra, and on the work you’ve been doing in your transition. And thanks for letting me know about your grandson. I adore synchronicity.

  12. Karen,
    You know I love your RAW NEWS updates! I’m glad you were not as hard on yourself this month. I’ve put On the Island on my to-buy list….too bad I didn’t have it this past couple of weeks as our beach cottage is actually on an island! 🙂 I’ve started into the Outlander series…book 2 now. It’s up to 8 books now, I picked up the first 4 in a collection. We’ll see how far I get.

    With everyone working thru Julia Cameron’s memoir exercise… I might have to go back and give it a go. My sister just called to say she found a bunch of old pictures of me in her stuff; I’m seeing her in August, so I’ll get them from her I’m sure (she wants to get rid of clutter and is going through old boxes of stuff).

    I’ve toned down on sugars in the last few years but carbs … I adore carbs. And this past 3 weeks, I think your 11 pounds found it’s way to me! I’ve increased activity, but also increased breads…. sandwiches for lunch are easiest to pack when we’re heading to the beach for hours. Then nights, I realized I was getting fried foods and pizza almost regularly… not a lot of fruits and veggies in site. We went shopping today and I loaded up on fresh fruit and veggies. With next week’s holiday (July 4th here in the US is big vacation time), the beach restaurants will be packed…so more home cooking. Maybe those pounds will go away before we head back north?

    What are you looking into for curiosity? I’ve just used The Idea Book as a back drop for my morning journal (it was given to me, and it felt like a good idea to use in that way!) Every 2-3 pages is a blurb on creativity, ideation, or something similar. I’m about to finish and thought I should relook at and see if there were 2-3 favs in there to share more broadly. It’s very work-focused ideation, but not all.

    Also looking forward to hearing about your memoir thinking and Tarot reading. So much going on!!

    1. Hi Pat,
      On the Island is a good beach read, but it’s not something I’d want to reread so please don’t purchase on my recommendation. I borrowed from my public library.

      How cool that you’re on an island! Is it a heavily populated one or just you and Tim and the fish?

      Our vacation time here starts tonight. Kids finished school yesterday and Canada Day is on Sunday. I live in ‘cottage country’ so I avoid our major highways like the plague all this weekend because they will be packed with people getting out of the cities and heading for the water. However, I’ll be taking local roads into the farmers’ market tomorrow morning to get my fix of the best sausage rolls I’ve ever eaten. So yes, I get it with the carbs. I’ll buy some more lettuce while I’m at it and count that a win!

      Re the curiosity stuff, I’d promised during the A-Z challenge to read Todd Kashdan’s research into curiosity. He’s the pre-eminent guy in the field. So I read his book, his articles, and a book by a Hollywood producer – Brian Grazer. Kashdan had some interesting stuff about how to get curious about something you don’t enjoy (I’ll post about that in a couple of weeks). Grazer’s book was terrible – a total self-absorbed puff piece about what a brilliant, curious, and connected mogul he is.

      So much going on indeed. Have a great weekend, Pat. Talk soon.

  13. There is so much here that I identify with and want to comment on…yet here it is, the middle of the night, and I am barely keeping my eyes open. I’ll definitely add On the Island to my reading list. Perfect, as I’m on an island! I also read Cameron’s book a while ago, but am just lately applying it to my daily life. I love your envelope journal. My girls and I used to make similar ones – we called them pocket journals – for trips and adventures. Congratulations on your weight loss! I’ve been fighting the low-carb, no-sugar approach, as it seems so alien to my lifestyle. And yet, yours is another one of many success stories. I did a no-sugar regimen a year or so ago, with good results both in my overall well-being and a decent weight loss (5 lbs.). But, once I started making allowances, I was right back to my normal patterns in no time at all. You are inspiring me to try again! Thanks for all the news!

    1. Hi Cindy,
      I hope you’ll enjoy On the Island, although do caution that it’s very much a ‘beach’ read, not the literature you’ve ordered in for your summer reading.
      I’m back to making the occasional allowances for sugar and daily allowances for carbs, and I’m worried about falling back into my normal patterns. So far, so good- I’m down almost 13 pounds now. But I know I have to be cautious. The slippery slope of lots of sugar and carbs is an easy one to start down and almost impossible to get off!

  14. Hi Karen – Wonderful round ups with so many things that you accomplished in June. Your reading list is impressive. Eleven and now thirteen lbs weight loss is a lot. I can resist sugar but still go for freshly baked bread. Hope you have a lovely Canada day long weekend and stay cool.

    1. Hi Natalie – We’ve got an incredible bakery here – the Millstone. I gave the freshly baked bread a miss for several weeks, but am back into it. But only a bit. We’ll see how long I can keep it minimal. I hope you had an excellent Canada Day weekend too. I’ll look forward to reading about it in your next roundup.

  15. Hi Karen,
    Good grief…I hope you meant it when you said you love connecting. LOL 😉 Ready? Here goes…

    Read – I am so glad you have finally broken the chain of ‘blah’ books you read in May. I saw that happening via Goodreads where we follow each other. On the Island sounds interesting – I have added it to my WTR list.

    Art – Envelope journals sound really interesting as well. I had something like that for both of my sons for school years, they were bought but the same idea for every year there was a big envelope to put in a class picture, excellent test papers or their greatest artwork that year.

    Writing – LOL, yes, the universe does seem to send messages of the next thing we need to pay attention to. I’ve gotten a few of those too in years past. Wow, that course sounds great with lots of content to keep you discovering how to write your memoir.

    Nutrition – Yahoo indeed! Celebrating with you the terrific achievements of dropping 11 pounds, no wait I read it is now 13 pounds in the comments, and kicking your cravings for sugar and bread. Congratulations!! I have been looking into the Keto diet…high fats, protein and really low carb counts. I have seen a lot of success stories for significant weight loss.

    Energy – I think it is more worthwhile to realize what you’ve been using sugar and carbs to do all this time than a burst of energy as a result of cutting out sugar and bread. I am glad you are okay with that revelation too.

    Wonder – Awesome I am curious to see your curiosity focussed blog posts. 😉 LOL

    Self- Care – Hahaha…watching the movie audience was more fun than watching the movie. I bet it was! It totally does not surprise me that you read the book that the book club read in preparation for seeing the movie. 😉 I am glad the play Fiddler On The Roof was more entertaining for you – it is a great story. I saw the movie years and years ago but thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Finally, You asked, ” Is there an aspect of your local community that is especially important to you?” Well, I love that in our small community everyone waves to each other, will go out of their way to help each other if there is a need and our neighbours just four houses away deliver farm fresh eggs to us every week. I love country life! 🙂

    1. Hi Susan,
      My naturopath is writing a book about the ketogenic diet so I’d looked it up. No question that lots of people have had significant success and, as you know, I adore my naturopath and respect everything he says. The only reason I didn’t try it is because I have had a problem with hypoglycemia and was afraid I wouldn’t be able to handle the required fasting. Surprisingly, now that I’m mostly off sugar, the hypoglycemia seems to have disappeared. You’ll have to let us know what you think if you try the ketogenic diet.

      True confession – I read 50 Shades of Grey long before the movie. When the book was first published, I was really keen to know what all the fuss was about.

      I love country living too. Fresh eggs are easy to come by here, but I don’t think anyone delivers! That’s pretty great.

      1. I am really considering trying the ketogenic diet but I need to consult my doctor first. I want to be really careful and not upset the balance of things in regards to my type 2 diabetes. Like they say…before you start any new exercise or diet always check with your physician first, so that is what I plan on doing. I will definitely let you know should I be given the go ahead and try it for myself.
        Thank you for your honesty about 50 Shades. Given what you have said about it I am glad I gave it a pass. 😉

  16. Congratulations with the weight loss, Karen, that’s huge! I’ve experienced that, once you stick to a health(ier) diet, your body gets used to it, and it actually requires and enjoys it. Like with many things in life, once something becomes a habit, it appears easier and more natural. I never thought in the past that my stomach would balk at, say, French fries (Belgium’s national dish) – yep, my body is the one that protests, not my mind… 🙂

    It looks like you had a satisfying and successful June. The story about On the Island by Tracey Gervais-Graves is an amazing one – a great example of never giving up. And, I like your new envelop “exercises”, what a fun way to create a memoir.

    While you are collecting memories and producing them on paper, I’m saying goodbye to many of them, as I finalize what will remain in Belgium of my past life, and what will be thrown out forever.

    1. Hi Liesbet,
      I imagine you’re having such a bittersweet time in Belgium. As you sort through the memories, I hope you’re reliving many pleasant times and that it isn’t too difficult to throw things out. I hope also that the process gives you a fresh feeling of clarity and freedom.
      14 pounds now, Liesbet. I’m very happy… and glad that I’m not in Belgium because I’m not sure I could resist those French fries.
      Safe travels home, my friend.

  17. I’m so glad to hear you are working through Julia Cameron’s book … and it is wonderful to learn that it is truly Never Too Late to Begin Again 🙂

    I am just now becoming aware of intuitive eating. As someone who has suffered from body image issues for the past four decades (maybe longer…) it is difficult to let go of counting calories, sugar grams, fat grams, and every other aspect of nutritional eating. But I am determined to shed this mental hangup and learn to accept myself.

    1. Good for you, Molly. It’s a major mind shift to embrace intuitive eating, but there are excellent resources to help including a free monthly webinar with an intuitive eating coach. If you need any suggestions, feel free to get in touch.

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