Did Madonna Get it Right?

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Photo from playbuzz.com

Many years ago, a young girl danced and twirled her way across Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, singing about being a Lucky Star.  When she finished her performance, Dick Clark asked her what did she hope to do in her career, she simply responded – “Rule the world.”  Some will argue that she didn’t really rule the world, but without a doubt she certainly did have a great amount of influence on American Pop Culture.  What made Madonna such a phenomenon was her uncanny ability to reinvent herself.  When being a popstar wasn’t enough, then she became an actress.  In both of her careers as an actress and a singer she showed such great versatility because she kept showing us what she could do.  She would simply reinvent Madonna.  Madonna, the Material Girl,  Madonna, the funny actress.  Madonna the serious actress.  Remember her role as Evita? OMG — she really did it. (Sorry Patti LuPone, I always thought of you as the real Evita)

So what have I learned from Madonna? I’ve learned the importance of reinventing myself.  Not only once, but a continual renewal of self.  I’ll always be me, an older and wiser version of me, but why not upgrade.  I’m not talking about plastic surgery – don’t need it, I’m gorgeous…..I’m not talking about weight loss surgery – even though I could madly use it.  I’m talking about taking myself to the next level.  I enjoy who I am, a wife, a mom, a sister, a school teacher…….but I’m more than that.  I have had so many life experiences, that I should not let one thing, one era, one event, one success define me.  I have decided to reinvent myself.  In that decision I have decided to go to graduate school.  I took the plunge.  I thought I couldn’t do, I thought I wasn’t good enough, I was afraid.  Afraid???   I want to become a smarter me, a more useful me……someone that can add to society….someone that can truly make a difference.  Is it going to be scary? Yes.  Will there be some doubt along the way? Maybe.  I just don’t want to be that puddle of stagnant water that the sun never seems to evaporate.    Stagnant water stinks, I don’t want to be stagnant.  I want to grow, I want to change…….What can you do in your life to reinvent yourself. Do you think Madonna got it right?  I’d love to read your ideas here on Flashes and Lashes.

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My Utah Adventure – Let’s Start with the Hotels Shall We?

In February of this year, my husband and I decided it was time to start doing those things we had always talked about doing. One of which was to explore southern  Utah. I’m going to blog about my adventure in several post rather than one — to avoid a wordy post.

I have to be honest here — I’m a mall girl. I like air conditioning and new stuff!  I’m very simple. I like everything to smell like leather, cucumbers and lemongrass. My main concern about our Utah adventure was our hotels. Not real adventurous right?  Okay, I need my comfort area if I’m going to step out of my comfort zone.

We actually stayed at four different hotels. I’ll only discuss two of the four.  One of the hotels , the worst one, the one my husband chose will be dubbed several names like Bates Motel, Nightmare on Elm Street, but I will not use the real name.. That would be rude. I knew what my husband had gotten us into because Internet pictures do not lie. Let’s just say, when we arrived, I had already practiced my favorite line “I told you so”, several times. yep!

Now on to Zion a National Park.We stayed at Flanigan’s Inn. This place was wonderful. It smelled of cucumbers and lemongrass. It had that spa smell – wet cleanliness. The moment I stepped into the lobby I knew this was the place to be. 

 

Our suite -yes, I require suites- was outstanding. The room was well stocked with tea and coffee and a Keurig!! Unlike the previous Nightmare on Elm Street that supplied a coffee pot from 1952. The bathroom was wonderfully stocked with high end products that smelled wonderful. The room was perfection.

Now for the imperfections – only one! Well maybe not a total imperfection.. The restaurant.  The Spotted Dog Cafe – cute right? Flanigan’s Inn  has a restaurant attached to the property that has fine dining.  I was not impressed. We ordered Brie and fruit as an appetizer – it was tasteless. I love cheese and I did not love this cheese.  For my main corse I ordered pasta.  Unfortunately  The pasta was drowning in olive oil and pesto. The pasta gave a new definition to “al denta”.. I think a better term would have been “al undercooked “. “The atmosphere was absolutely beautiful but the food was AWFUL.  And by looking at the clientele – this place was probably the fanciest in town, but hey I’m from Houston and you just can’t beat our fine dining establishment. However The Spotted a Dog offered a wonderful breakfast to Flanigan’s guest for only $4.99.  You can’t beat that with a stick.

Overall my stay at Flanigan’s Inn on a scale from 1 to 10, gets a 10. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for pasta!

Look for my next blog on my stay at Sorrell River Ranch.

Yes! I’m Fed Up…..It Really Isn’t My Fault Or Is It?

n-FED-UP-POSTER-large570Just recently, on Friday night and nothing else to do, I turned on Netflix and of course found nothing worth watching.  As I was scrolling through and endless sea of movies, I saw a documentary called Fed Up.  I thought, “okay, this is snooze worthy. At this point all I needed was something other than a sleeping pill to put me to sleep”.  I thought, okay, this will do it.  Boy, was I wrong!  This documentary, hosted by Katie Couric – so cute – is about the sugar industry and how it is making the world fat.  This was a revelation.  The documentary followed a few children and their parents as they struggled to lose weight.  It was indeed a losing battle for many of them. Why?….They were all eating the wrong foods…..their food choices contained too much sugar. These people were not dining on pies, cookies and cakes, but foods that many of us think is okay, if we limit our portions….crackers, low fat chips, fat free salad dressings….FAT FREE DRESSINGS???!!!??  People FAT FREE = LOADED WITH PROCESS SUGAR TO MAKE IT TASTE GOOD.

Over the years, my internist and I have been going back and forth about how, I need to eat less and stay away from deserts and exercise more.  He even had the nerve to say to me, “you can’t expect to lose weight while eating Snicker bars and drinking Cokes.”  I’m like really Mother F@*%$#…..you are really going to insult my intelligence like that.  Do you think I enjoy swallowing poison on a daily basis to reduce my blood pressure?  Do you really think I feel good about my having a stomach that strongly resembles that of the Michelin Man?  Come on dude, really?!?!?!?  So I walked away thinking, okay it’s me.  I am intended to get old and fat!  Hell, no! Old maybe, but FAT!!! Hell to the no!

BackFedUp Blog to Netflix, after watching this documentary about just how much sugar is actually in the foods we consume, I was in shock. Have you ever noticed that on food labels, the percentage of sugar is not on the label?  Why? Maybe because 75% of what makes the product is actually sugar.  So, why not just buy sugar and a spoon and have at it?  I was also in shock about how the body deals with sugar and the pressure it places on your liver and pancreas. I was devastated to learn that my food cravings having nothing really to do with will power but more with my addiction to sugar.  Sugar addiction, according to the documentary is just as strong as cocaine addiction.  The affects that sugar has on the brain is the same as that of cocaine.  So, when we crave food we are not really craving food, we are craving the process sugars, the extra added sugar, the glucose, fructose, lactose, processed sugars that have been placed, hidden in our foods to make it taste good.

After watching this very informative program, I decided to make a change, make a commitment to end my addiction to sugar.  To forgive myself for not knowing and not doing the research.  Maybe now the pounds will come off, but now the struggle looks different.  The exercise will feel different.  I know I’m not fighting my body anymore, but an addiction. My goal is to be able to walk into my internist’s office and say, you know, I figure out you can’t lose weight eating low-fat salad dressings, reduced fat, artificially sweetened anything.

Watch this documentary on Netflix, or watch it on YouTube, watch it with a friend and take the challenge.  What are your thoughts on sugar addiction?

Ahh…Sugar, You Are My Candy Girl……

 

funCandyOkay, so now I’m going to really put myself in a museum.  The title of this post are the lyrics from a song from a group called the……hold on to your hats……The Archies!  Yes, like in the comic strip, but with real people. Okay, look it up on YouTube, there really was a group called The Archies and they had a song called Sugar, Sugar.

Okay, so what does that have to do with my blog.  Well, as I mentioned in my very first Flashes and Lashes post, I am on a journey to renew myself, feel better, younger, smarter, or just simply put… “lose some weight”.  This week I am fully embracing the fact that sugar, as sweet as it is, as euphoric as it makes me feel, we are breaking up. Tears for real.  Sugar is like that boyfriend that makes you feel so good, but is just so darn bad for you.

SUGARAll this week, I have manage to escape sugar.  I have a love affair with sugar/candy.  How can something so small, sweet, delicious, wonderful….be bad for you.  From what I read this week, sugar is similar cocaine.  Sugar addition is a serious matter for those of us that just can’t lose the pounds. Sugar may be the number one reason why my body refuses to loses weight.  Last week, my blood test results revealed a glucose level of 80.  80!!! I remember when it was 69 ( a very good number by the way – get your mind out of the gutter).  So how did it happen?  Me!  That’s what happened, me!  One doughnut is not harmless….A cup of coffee full of flavored creamer aka HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP aka fat-on-your-ass, is not harmless.  So, I am giving up my love affair.  Sugar, you are no longer my honey!  FYI, since giving up sugar this week, in 3 days I have already lost 6lbs!!! No Lie!! 6lbs, in 3 days. Now! Stir that in your coffee.

I have to give this more time to really figure out what is going on.  I am trying many new things.  Giving up sugar, unfortunately, fortunately may be the answer.  I’ll keep you posted.

A Day Without Sweat is Like a Day with Sunshine

This is my first post on my blog, Flashes and Lashes.  My whole purpose in this blog is to share my reality of getting older, but getting better.  Like fine wine.  Just because I’ve gained a pound or two, or ten or more and I sweat like Bruce Jenner back in the day, does not mean that I don’t like style like any other Kardashian or Caitlyn.

The most annoying thing I have found about getting older is sweating and weight gain.  You would think with the amount of sweat that leaves my body, water weight gain would not be an issue.  It just doesn’t make sense.  This is what makes me feel older, the sweating, not the tiny lines appearing on my forehead or my eyelids, but the darn sweat.  It’s so embarrassing to sitting in a meeting and someone ask, “Are you hot?”…..or “Deb!, you are really sweating, are you okay?”  Okay, so now everyone is looking at me…..and it’s not because they like my shoes.  Going one day without hearing those two questions or getting that OMG look, would make me so happy.  It would be like a day in Carmel (California, not the gooey stuff).

The thing about being a flasher (person who suffers with ridiculous hot flashes), is that it’s not something you can suffer with privately.  I once had a former hairstylist say to me “There’s steam rising off your scalp. Are you having a moment?” Really?!?!?  Another hairdresser turned her salon temp down to 60 degrees because she didn’t want to have to restyle my hair before I left. Ladies, it’s just our lives……but do we have to deal with it? Huh?….that would be a yes….But we do not have to suffer forever.  I have a few suggestions that have, not made me feel 100% normal but have significantly reduced the INTENSITY OF THE ETERNAL HEAT!

#1 EXERCISE – I know…..I know….this fat girl hates the word, but sometimes you just have to decide which is worst.  Your makeup rolling off your face to your neck OR one hour of aerobic activity.  Trust and believe, I had to make some serious choices.  I talk more about my weight loss journey in a future most. My husband turned our oldest daughter’s former room into a home gym.  Way to go empty nesters.


#2 ANTI-DEPRESANTS – This would involve the medical route.  I tried a low dose of an anti-depressant called Venlaflaxine.  Hey, it worked after a few months.  The doctor had to get the dosage right, but it did make the flashes LESS INTENSE.  I stopped taking the anti-depressant because I don’t necessarily like taking unnecessary poison.  And yes, meds are a poison that will eventually kill you.  This is why it is important to get healthy and stay that way.


#3 OVER THE COUNTER OR NATURAL PRODUCTS.  I tried Black Cohosh for a while, it worked, but my blood pressure went out the roof (not a good thing).  So after months of research and exercising, I decided to give Estroven Weight Management a try.  I tried this only because my gynecologist told me that some women swear by it but it takes months to go into effect.  I tried the Weight Management version because I was gaining a pound a day.  So far, after one month, hot flashes have subsided, not as intense and the WATER WEIGHT is “Bye Felicia”.