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I wasn’t even trying to lose weight! How is this possible?

... and I did NOT feel hungry all day.

… and I did NOT feel hungry all day.

May 3-6
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I need to write about what had happened to me over the past few days. It happened without intent of design. It shocked me yesterday and now I realize I might have found an answer. For me. I doubt you will believe it but I am going to tell you anyway. No, this is not some fad diet I found. No, I am not sponsored to say any of this. As the title indicates, I did this BY ACCIDENT, Truly.

I intend to write it down because if it continues to work it could be a game changer.

A week ago I weighed in at an amazing 217lbs/98kg. Not proud of that. Officially: OBESE

Four days ago I decided to make some overnight oats. I just put ¹/⁴ cup of oats into a 1 cup Mason jar and filled it up with skim milk. Put it in the fridge overnight. By the next morning it was creamy and I must warmed it up while I put on my make up. Oh, and I added a teaspoon of yellow sugar mixed with Truvia

About for 4 hours later I decided it was lunch time. I took out a 2 cup Mason jar full of salad (lid on very loosely – to let any natural gases out) that I just happened to have in the fridge. I sometimes buy it pre-made and put it into Mason jars. So that it stays fresh. As you can see, the jar isn’t even full.

Had a dinner of a cup of homemade beef stew and sweet potatoes. I showed the size of the precooked dinner as Shepherd’s Pie but you get the idea?

I also had 6 Breton crackers for a snack as I watched some Netflix that evening.

 

The next day I repeated what I had done, just because it was so easy. But decided to check with my Samsung program, what my caloric intake was on this intake of food. I didn’t believe it. I had to do it twice for both the first two days before I did. Check this out:

Here are the daily intake caloric figures:

May 3= Starting weight 217 lbs.

Calories for the day: 559 (because of the portion sizing or the oats? Or the combination?)

May 4 = 633 calories
May 5 = 699
May 6 = 863  weight 213.8

Yes, I notice the calories are creeping up. I am keeping a pretty good count of everything I am consuming. Oh, AND I start the day with TWO cups of coffee with skim milk froth and a sprinkle of yellow sugar/Truvia. All within these calories! No, SERIOUSLY. I can prove it.

Dropping nearly a lb per day?! Is that possible? Going to try it for another week and let you know.

The bridge in the middle of nowhere

I had the wonderful opportunity to visit @convoyofhope this week. We were there to do some of the initial work on @dancember 2017. Sometimes, if you take a minute, you see truly fascinating things. Like this bridge in the middle of a huge carpark. It appeared to be leading to nowhere in particular and yet it was this beautiful bridge that had, obviously, been built with great care and attention to detail. It was also on wheels. It was built to travel.20170221_151006

By now I was hooked. I needed to work out what it was doing there and why it had wheels. Then I noticed a second bridge, about 50 yards farther up the massive parking lot and then I realized what “connected” the two bridges. Water. A large body of water pooling down the entire length of the parking lot. Some thoughtful people had designed the bridges to carry people over River Hope (as I shall now call it) to dry land. Such a thoughtful and caring guesture. So like the wonderful folks @convoyofhope.

I was thinking that we all need to do this with our lives. When we see that our path is flooded. When we don’t want to “get our feet wet”. When going forward would ruin our shoes, self-esteem or dignity. We need to roll out our personal bridge and walk with confidence across it to the other side of River Hope. If we do have bridge building skills then let us find a bridge builder who loves their work as much as the architect and builder (the same person??) of the bridges I saw in Springfield, Mo.

On beautiful sunny days, we can roll the bridge back into the bridge parking spot and carry on with our wonderful, challenging and inspiring lives. On the next cold, dark, stormy and difficult day we can roll our bridge out again and know that it was specifically made to cross River Hope. Our own made-to-order bridge over troubled water.

It touched my soul at some level. That is why I just had to share the story.

 

YouTube Update – Week 235
Subscribers 8.170
Views 829,218
Blog views 56,695
1,505 days of not smoking and $16,106.35 saved
Weight? I am pleased to report that between Christmas and last week I lost 5 lbs by good choices. I am also pleased to report that someone told me “If you are going to Springfield, Mo. make sure you eat some custard!!” I am delighted to tell you it was a great suggestion. I am sad to report that I am now back to my Christmas weight but it was soooooo worth it 🙂

I had a total melt-down

I know you all understand that I am a human being and that being human is part of that reality.

I had what can only be called a very challenging December. There was all the excitement of Dancember but with that came total exhaustion. I expected that. I knew that the road trip would be difficult but also knew I would have 10 days to recover before the 24-hour event. I paced myself for that. However, I did not pace myself for some other things.

Due to a reason I have not yet worked out, I came home ready to relax and take time to recover in my own time. My mind would not stop running. I found myself critical. I found myself frustrated and then I heard that my brother-in-law had passed. That took me deeper into the hole. I emailed and offered to go and visit … to give support. I was told that I was not needed (that felt like rejection) but I could come down for the Celebration of Life. Two days before Christmas I was advised that I was not welcome to that either. Yikes. Family is complicated, isn’t it?

Old tapes, in my head, started to play. I must be a bad person. It must be my fault. It went on and on. I ended up fairly deep into a hole I swore I would not go down again. The hole I had worked so hard to leave. Many years ago. I could hear the loud sucking noise as it was sucking me into the vortex from which I knew it would take every fibre in my body to avoid.

I give sincere thanks to my friend, Yvonne. She was so kind, compassionate and she knows me better than most people. She knew what I was doing to myself and knew I would not allow anyone to treat her like that. She kept correcting my negative thinking. She kept reminding me of all the good I have done and continue to do in my life. I don’t say this to get strokes or rewards I am explaining what helped me hang on to my reality. Sincere care and love from a friend. She didn’t try and fix anything. She was wonderful and I will be in her debt for a long time. With her help, I managed to slowly get control again.

But not before things got worse!

I was vulnerable. I didn’t have my usual mindset. I didn’t have my usual filters and armour. The perfect storm happened and I ended up doing something that upset me grately. I tried to help someone and ended up sounding nothing but judgmental. The sucking sound came back. Louder and the vortex was stronger. My mind seemed to just stop working. I was numb with emotional pain.

To say that it was easy to get out of the “hole” would be a lie. It took every bit of my knowledge of depression (from personal experience) together with even more understanding from Yvonne. I had the most difficult couple of weeks that I have had in close to 20 years. Some of you know that delicate balancing act. The tightrope was swaying. I was no longer balanced. It was impossible to post or take a picture. I was not “safe”. Not a good feeling for a YouTuber who helps people cope! I had to stop feeling guilty about that. I had to stop. I took the longest break I have ever taken away from social media. I had to work on myself. I could not give from a vacuum.

I made it back. Yippee. It feels good to be able to use my mind again. To feel creative again. To laugh again. Thank you all for your patience, love and support. Most of all, my thanks to Yvonne.

QUESTION:
Do you want to hear more of this journey back? If you would like more about how I clawed my way back, please let me know by writing to me at: dearmamasal@gmail.com so that I can know how many people truly do need/want to hear that journey and why.  That will help me decide the “right” way to present it. Thank you.

YouTube Update – Week 228
Subscribers 8.164
Views 802,063
Blog views 55.257
1,459 days of not smoking and $15,619.16 saved
Weight down? Of course NOT. Emotional melt-downs = comfort food. However, I am taking steps to correct that this year. I have had enough of this weight.

The Little Video that could…

I’ve been working hard on the technical side of YouTube during the past few months. I still have a great deal to learn – that is for sure!

However, as in so many other things in my life, I am absolutely stunned at the things that I don’t think will bring me any viewers and then sit back and shake my head when they do. For example, a couple of years ago I was having some problems with the windshield wipers on my Jeep. They were making one heck of a noise. A really helpful husband of one of my viewers, let’s call him Rick (because that is his name!!), offered a solution. I decided to do a video of me trying to follow his instructions.

“Nothing too startling in that”, you say?

Well, I would have said the same. However, listen up. This little video that could decided to get an amazing audience (just under 80,000 to far). It is my #1 viewed video! That’s right. Not the “let me help you with a problem” type video, not the cooking but this little video that I put together while trying to solve a problem. GO FIGURE.

I was thinking about that today. It is so true of our lives. We never know the whether the friend we meet today will be in our lives next week, next month or next year. Others, you think you will meet and never see again and they turn out to be part of your life forever.

Or maybe you said a throw away line to someone one day. Years later they say “gee, I will never forget you saying…” (and they feed back that throw away line you didn’t even give second thought to). It made that much of a difference in their life.

So on this Thanksgiving Day I want to give thanks to all of YOU. To the people who inspire me on a daily basis. To the viewers who quietly help me behind the scenes (Sophie and Liz, take a bow). To the wonderful broadcast viewer team who continue to help themselves by helping others ~ too many to mention but you know who you are and you already know how much I appreciate what you do.

We hit over 765,000 views this month. Amazing. Our subscribers are growing and the love and joy I feel around what we do makes this a very special moment to be writing. I may just be a little YouTuber but I know I have done so much more than I thought possible. I am feeling a little like the engine that could!

YouTube Update – Week 221
Subscribers 7,906
Views 765,504
Blog views 53,455
1,413 days of not smoking and $15,121.16 saved
Weight down? Hmmm… a work in progress!! lol but on the good side I am back using my Total Gym

If you have passion you have hope…

I would love to tell you that my YouTube journey has been easy but, quite honestly, it has been a lot of hard work, dedication and self-talk.

There were days when I wanted to just quit. There were days when it was just too much. There were days when I wondered if it was all worth it. To make sure you understand: being a YouTuber takes a lot of time, dedication and perserverance. You have to be able to withstand the haters and wait, in my case for years, for something to “break” through. It is NOT easy money!

Sure, I have managed to amass a wonderful, loyal, following of subscribers and a healthy number of views – so close to 750,000 viewers that I can touch it, if I stretch a little! Not to be sneezed at. But I was frustrated. The subscribers had plateaued and I needed to do something to change that. I signed on for Video Ranking Academy – an amazing program to teach  you how to rank and optimize your videos. Quite honestly, I am struggling through all the amazing information (no, I am not being paid by them!!!). It is a program where every time you turn around they are feeding you more amazing content.

I got overwhelmed. Nearly quit, quit again. Yes, truly. Felt I was a little stupid because I wasn’t “catching on” the way I should have been. Part of me felt “less than”. My stuff. My pattern when I hit a roadblock that seems too large for me to handle.

Some realities are difficult to take. Over four years of work for a tiny monetary return. Who works that hard for that R.O.I.? I am a business person and getting Return On Investment is ingrained in my brain. This was not hitting the mark.

Then I heard that I needed to “FOCUS” because I needed to concentrate on one thing. Yikes. Now how do I do that when I have spent four years being an ecclectic? My viewers love the fact I have variety: vlogs, cooking, hints, travel, etc. That was about the last straw for me.

I sat for some time trying to work out (a) whether I should just throw 4 years of passion into the can and get on with my other life or (b) just continue to do what I do and pray that somewhere somehow the “magic” perfect storm would hit. That I would be able to incorporate all these wonderful lessons into my way of vlogging and stay true to who I am.

One thing was for sure. I needed to stay who I am. I did not want to be changing what I had spent four years carefully building and, if that meant that I was never going to have any financial success, so be it. I would find another way. I just didn’t want to stop my passion: Helping people cope with love, life and other problems. In every corner of their life. It is what I do.

So I struggled through the learning. Not convinced it was going to do much, to be honest. I learned how to take my videos and get them ranking (technical stuff that I will not bore you with). Knowledge I had not had 4 years ago.

Then late September, something strange happened. I notice a shift in one of my videos. It was a short 5-minute thing about washing Swiffer Dusters that I published about 2 years ago. It wasn’t fancy (none of my stuff is). It wasn’t done on a fancy camera, with fancy lights or whatever. Nope. Just a little “Tip of the Day” thing on how to wash Swiffer Dusters and keep them looking like new. Believe me I know, I have had mine for over 5 years and you would not believe it if you saw them.

It moved from an average of.9 views per hour to 1.8 views. Doubled! Yikes. Then 4 hours later it was at 20.2. I had to sit down for that one. Then, within another 24 hours, it moved to 46.8. Mindblowing. I could hear the voice in my head, “… if it looks too good to be true, it probably is” but then another voice was screaming, “… bring it on!!!”.

Over the course of the next week it dropped back down but not to where it originally was. Is is now at around 1.4 per day. Before you cry and the drop… THINK. 1.4 views per hour is nearly double what it started at (.9). That is my first major jump. So darn exciting. No, it didn’t put hundreds or thousands of dollars in the bank but it did bring up my views by 30,000 for the month which, in turn brings all my videos up and impacts my “brand”.

I wonder if you would be willing to work everyday for years just to do something you are passionate about? If so, you have found your passion in life. You will know it is your passion because even though you “fail” you get back up and try again, doing it slightly differently. You keep that goal in mind. You take the blows and make corrections… every day.

Be passionate. It gives you a reason to get up in the morning!

(For questions or comments, please write to me: DearMamaSal@gmail.com)

YouTube Update – Week 217
Subscribers 7,689
Views 741,110
Blog views 52,191
188 weeks non smoking  $14,777 saved
Weight down? Hmmm… a work in progress!! lol