“The Morning Show” A+

So, this past weekend, I started Apple TV’s “The Morning Show.”

And by the end of Monday, I’d binged the ENTIRE SEASON. And these episodes are not your average 41 minute ad-filled telecast. No, these are straight 60-75 minutes of, imo, brilliant television writing and beyond.

After I cheered for it getting itself on air – yes, if anyone could it’s Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, but it’s the fact THEY DID IT – I began to really think about its message.

While the obvious message is the lack of truth in “journalistic news” (and trust me, they’re preaching to the choir on this one,) but what REALLY stood out was the way they embraced the destructive culture of celebrity.

The importance some of the main characters placed on their position in “journalism” was like one who was fighting a war as leader of a third world country. These “news anchors” forgot who and what they were and instead believed themselves to be “above” things or at the very least, so incredibly important they could treat people like shit and be abusive.

And the way Witherspoon and Aniston had the balls to tell their OWN INDUSTRY to take a look within…

Exceptional women, no?

As someone who has had several jobs in the entertainment industry – assistant to Scott Rudin (seriously, look him up…), assistant editor on American Idol, script analyst at Imagine Entertainment for over a decade…. I’ve learned a thing or two about this business.

The entertainment business is a beast.

But to me, this was one show willing to unmask the absurdity and abuse that exists behind celebrity culture.

My take away – Be true to yourself and you will prevail, though you must be patient. Be true to the facade, and you will learn little truth, except that pretense comes with a steep price.

#themorningshow

Quitting Alcohol For A Month – Day 24!

If there was a time I was going to cave, it was this past weekend.

Heat wave, Labor Day weekend, pandemic and the anniversary of meeting my husband eight years ago, Sept 3.

But I didn’t.

I stood strong and channeled more self-control than I think I ever have before.

People were drinking everywhere… and my favorite thing to do in a heat wave is enjoy a cold glass of sauvignon blanc with a good book by the Pacific Ocean. I had the book, in fact was finishing it, and the ocean, but I needed to teach myself the wine was not necessary, just a compliment.

And I did.

But what I’m most proud of is the fact I didn’t let the no-booze change my plans. My hubby and I went on a bike ride along the coast and even stopped at a boardwalk bar for snacks. I tried a Heineken 00 – no alcohol beer – and it was quite good!

So, here I am. On week four and feeling good. Down five pounds and my sleep has gotten so much better. I’m sleeping through the night without waking up multiple times and I also don’t feel bloated, like I would after a night of drinks.

Next week, my month dry will be over.

24 days in and it doesn’t seem as long as it had when I started. And while I’m not going to be sober, I know I have changed. My thought process for wine is different and my body is loving the results of being alcohol free.

Thank you for coming along with me. Stay tuned for next week, when I list everything, all the good and the bad, to expect from a month dry, as according to my time doing it.

Quitting Alcohol For A Month – Day 16

I really want a glass of wine, but I’m not gonna do it.

That’s been something I’ve been dealing with lately and this whole going dry thing has really put my self-discipline to the test.

There are so many lovely moments to have a glass of vino, from enjoying it with hearty pasta dishes to sipping a glass by the roar of the Pacific Ocean, from relaxing with a drink after a long day to toasting alongside others after a hard week comes to a close.

But what I’ve realized is that those things don’t NEED wine. Wine just compliments them.

So, I’m resetting my brain essentially to see alcohol for what it is – a most delicious treat that needs to be handled delicately.

Even if one isn’t addicted, it’s very easy to abuse drinking. And the pandemic had made it far too easy for me to indulge…

So, this is where I’m at.

Day 16 dry and feeling pretty damn good… despite the urges.

Thanks for coming along with me!

Revisiting Sex And The City Fifteen Years Later

The other day, I decided to turn on Season 4 of Sex and the City. No reason for selecting that particular season, only that I saw it on my Amazon Prime homepage and thought, wow, it’s been a hell of a long time since I watched the show that meant the absolute world to me way back in the early 2000s, so why not put it on while I decorate….

Well…. one thing led to another and I watched the entire season – all 18 episodes – in a matter of five days.

And yes, I will admit, watching in hindsight makes me realize it wasn’t as far-reaching or convention-defying as I thought it had been but still… at the time, it pushed boundaries the status quo imposed and allowed women to explore their sexuality and individualism in a way no other show had before. It empowered a whole generation of people.

And it showed women were not the lesser sex; simply a different sex than the one who had been dominating.

For all I mention, I will never forget this show. Sex and the City made me feel not so alone, not so crazy to want to explore life rather than have children right after college (or ever, for that matter) and defined us women as strong, powerful humans with the expectation to have every right a man has. It didn’t show us in the kitchen or watching children, it showed something else I will state after a quick story….

Post college, my dear friend would recap entire episodes since I didn’t have HBO (or a TV for that matter, haha!) She would detail every moment, every scene, and I was captivated, waiting until I could make it over to her place to watch what we had just discussed and dissected.

Watching the show present day, however, showed me the difference in which I viewed the material, especially in relation to marriage.

When I was in my twenties, or even early thirties, I wasn’t sure marriage was for me. I thought perhaps I liked my independence just a tad too much to be good for someone or have someone be good for me, not to mention I had determined children were not going to be in my plan, so that was limiting in selecting a partner as well. You’d be surprised how many men want children. Not just women.

Exactly the type of material Sex and the City explored, right? Which is why I loved the show so damn much. It was almost a religious experience for my friends and I, but that’s another discussion…

Now, though, having found a man whom I genuinely want to spend the rest of my days with, I realize Sex and the City no longer confirmed my singlehood, but rather, what it really did, at its core, was show us CHOICE.

And I will never forget that it did that for me and still does. And I’d imagine a ton of other women would agree. I believe it gave us, in particular me, a voice that marriage, kids, sexuality, all of it, was a matter of choice, not a predetermined route to be defined by society or religion or anyone else other than the person(s) involved.

So, thank you Sex in the City, and Sarah Jessica Parker, and all those who created the show, for having the courage to do so when it wasn’t in vogue or so readily accepted, and while, sure, if the show was made today it would be different, what it was is precisely why it was so perfect at the exact time it was made.

It helped paved the way to be where we are today.

And that is a beautiful thing. At least to me.

#sexandthecity

 

Losing 20 pounds – post 16

Why oh why do I have to like bread so much? Question of MY LIFE.

So…. to catch up, my weight loss journey is moving along, I’ll be it, slowly. Being busy is one of the best ways to organically lose weight, in the sense that it happens naturally, but it’s also one of the best ways to indulge in bad habits. At least, this is what I’ve found to be the case.

I got down to the 130s when I did some traveling last month – Yay! – but my love of bread and wine is keeping it steady in the higher part of the 130s. Still, I’m happy to report I’ve lost well over ten pounds since I began my weightloss journey toward a healthy way of living and my body has changed from soft to toned, though I still have work to do.

I will get back to the 120s, which I hope to then maintain, but damn if it isn’t a tough road, especially when you’re myself and will not cut out carbs and sugars and alcohol, haha.

I want to be happy, yet healthy.

An example of what I mean by this is allowing myself treats but paying attention to the ingredients. Rather than opting for something with high fructose syrup (ugh, can’t we just get rid of that shit) I’ll select a sweet made with simple, natural ingredients. Like strawberries and a few dashes of simple syrup I made myself or slices of cheese instead of chips.

Anywho, thanks again for coming along. I genuinely feel better since I’ve begun working out (still going strong 5-6 days a week!) and I love the strength I feel. Also, clothes have never felt looser and people have begun to notice and I’ll admit, both put a smile on my face as affirmation that I’m successful because, let me tell you,  I’m working damn hard at it.

 

 

Losing 20 pounds – post 14

Hi All!

I appreciate everyone who has kept me going by asking me about my health journey and keeping me accountable! I will now start to blog more as I seek an agent for my book  :)

But here’s where I’m at.

I’m averaging weight-loss of about one pound of week. Sigh.

It’s beyond frustrating BUT what Don, my ex-fitness trainer husband has told me – my body is transforming the fat it’s stored into muscles as I work out and exercise. So, I’ve been staying off the scale for now so I don’t get overly discouraged. I could boost things up by dropping all carbs, alcohol, etc… but no, I’m not at that point right now. I just need a little patience, moderation and healthier choices when it comes to my diet and not expect anything overnight. I am shedding weight and I have never felt stronger in my life. My thighs are tightening every day and when I sit, they no longer want to spread out!

But for now, I’ve been staying off the scale, but I am due for a weigh in next week and will keep you posted – good or bad!

Something I’ve noticed, however, that I want to write about today is the extra time it takes to prep my food. Drive thrus are a thing of my past (except for El Pollo Loco) and that leaves me little options when I leave work at 11pm.

But, it’s all about planning.

I have learned to make a bunch of chicken wings at the start of the week to bring with me to work to snack on before, during and after. Also, I keep them on hand for a quick protein boost. I’ve learned to cut up veggies so I can grab and go, leaving me no excuse not to have them rather than having a bag a of chips or even a high calorie protein bar. I’ve learned limiting wine is not only smart for losing weight but also for boosting my energy. I’ve learned my skin likes less carbs and my tummy appreciates green things that come from the earth. I’ve rediscovered my love for artichokes, Chinese broccoli, mushrooms and shredded lettuce. And I forgot how much I love steak salads and dill greek yogurt dressing. Also, I’ve fully embraced my love for chickpea flour and have substituted it whenever a recipe calls for flour of any kind. Sour cream has been replaced by greek yogurt and nuts are a better snack than processed crap, so I keep those on hand for when I feel snacky…

Do you have any healthy eating tips to share? I’d love to know!! Meal prep is half my battle of being healthy and losing weight.

 

My First Mammogram

First off, I want to apologize – yes, again – for my delaying in posting on my blog. I truly appreciate you, dear readers, and want to explain that for the next six months, I might not be writing as much as normal here because I am editing my novel (while I wait tables and work on freelance writing assignments.) I then will be sending it out to agents and publishers so my time will be a little more limited but this is only a brief interruption. I will continue to post at least once or twice a month.

For those following my Diet Coke addiction, I have to admit I have fallen off the wagon and use this dark beverage for help with my weight loss journey. More to come…

And as for my weight loss journey, expect a new post next week. I’m figuring out my routine much more and will be sharing about it shortly. And yes, I am down a few pounds but lots more to go!

And now, for this post…

I had my first mammogram today. I turned 41 this year and my doctor told me it’s time I do it.

After waiting forty five minutes after my appointment time, I was finally called into a little dressing room area to undress to the waist and robe up.

And then more waiting.

Finally, I’m called – about an hour after my appointment time but I try to use this as training for patience (something I need continual work on.) Why do doctors set so close appointments? The majority of my doctor’s appointments keep me waiting well beyond the appointment time. When did this become acceptable??? But I digress…

My technician (I think that’s what she was…) was to the point. Friendly but distant. Definitely gave the vibe this is all routine for her.

But for me, it wasn’t. For the next ten minutes, my poor boobs were smooshed as they were x-ray’d. With all our technological progress, I don’t understand why this can’t be made a little easier on the chest??

Fortunately, the whole thing went by quickly but every time the tech told me not to breath for a x-ray (4 total), I suddenly became a person who couldn’t hold their breath longer than a second.  I realized it was because I use my breath when I feel stress or pain or uncomfortableness so having that taken away while I was clamped down was the hardest part for me.

The funniest part, though, was at the end, the tech drew closed the curtain so I could put my bra/top back on. Considering she had gotten to know my chest closer than my husband does, I couldn’t help but wonder if that was really necessary.

Overall, knowledge of my body’s health will by far make this whole visit worthwhile but if anyone can make this process more comfortable, please do!!!

 

Friendships can be family.

Okay, I’m single, and have been for quite some time now. By choice mostly… but that’s another story. I know that many will say friendships have to take a backseat when their friend finds their significant other. I get that. I’m not the one my friends are going to commit their life to, be executor of their will, have their children. So, yes, fine. But does that mean friendship is not existent if your friend marries or finds the love of their life?

No, I don’t think so. And when I do find that one, and hopefully I will, my close friends are going to be just as important to me still. They are part of my family and I don’t take that lightly.

Now, I’ve been through having friends determine friendship isn’t that important, especially if I disagree with their choice in their significant other. But I’ve learned that it’s their choice to make, not mine, and whether I agree or disagree, it will likely not matter nor should it I suppose, so even if all I really want is for my friend to be as happy as possible, I can’t be the one to decide who or what will make them happy. They need to decide that for themselves and I need to keep my mouth shut unless otherwise asked. (But chances are, they know how I feel because inside they see it too but will deny it so they will definitely NOT ask me, at least from my experience this seems to be the case…)

Anyway, I bring this up because I’ve been fortunate enough to have some great friends in my life. Those who will tell me when I’ve been an asshole or ridiculous or on the flip side, when I’ve been amazing and inspirational.

This past weekend, I hung out with two of my close friends (on different evenings.) One, who has been a friend of mine since I was eighteen and the other, who has been a friend of mine for eight years or so. And both of whom treat me with the utmost respect and who I really like being around. They’ve taught me what it means to be a good friend and I’ll be honest, I haven’t always been that. I’m not sure I really knew what that was when I was in my early twenties. But I do now and I’ve been fortunate to have these women in my life who not only show me that friendship isn’t something to be scared of or run from or feel the need to be defensive toward. It’s something beautiful, special and meaningful.

Nicole and Tina. I love you. Thank you, both, for not only being my friend but allowing me into your lives when I know they are very full and for making me a part of them, because you truly want to. (And Jamie, I know we didn’t see each other this weekend but I know how much you love me and I love you too!)

Friendships. True friendships.

They can be just as meaningful as family.