Gingersnapped’s Guide to the New Year

There is something about the new year that always feels like a giant ‘do over’ to me,  with all of our good intentions and various levels of effort and commitment wiped clean.  We end up sounding like pre-2016 Cubs fans with a rousing chorus of “Maybe next year!”.  I’m as guilty as anyone!  Some years I’d be fiercely determined and scrawl my list of resolutions in blood, only to abandon them the minute life got in the way.

Other times I wouldn’t even give myself a fighting chance and scrap the whole idea before I even started!  I was wildly successful at this for years! lol

Now, I’m not saying I’m a proponent of the whole “New Year, New You!” philosophy.  But what about the best version of yourself?  Have I EVER been the best version of myself?  More often than not, my best versions have arrived at different times in my life and rarely have they co-mingled.  Like two divas realizing they wore the same designer gown to an Oscar party!

The best version of my physical health was definitely in my late teens and early 20’s.  Give me as moment as I wax nostalgic over my lost waistline and toned posterior…(sigh)  Okay, I’m back.   The best version of my financial health, probably my late 30’s.  What about the best version of my heart health…and I’m not talking about my cholesterol levels!  When have I been truly happy?  Dare I say never? Oh, of course I’ve had plenty of moments in my life when I was happy, but happiness shouldn’t just come in bite size pieces.  It shouldn’t only exist when you’re on vacation or attending a concert or some sporting event.  Those moments should enhance the happiness underneath.  Like buttercream flowers on a cake.  The cake should be awesome too, right?  I mean what if there was no frosting?

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations or relationships that just don’t seem to ‘fit’.  We don’t know quite how to explain it, but we know something is off.  But we stick it out hoping that whatever it is that doesn’t feel right will eventually get in line or fade into the background.  Over time, we resign ourselves that the discomfort we feel is normal – we get used to it and we go through our lives as if that’s how things are supposed to be.  As if there were no other options available.  But what are we willing to sacrifice, put up with, submit to, ignore…to BE happy?  Why should being happy have to feel forced??

I like to believe I am a happy person by nature.  I believe you choose your attitude every day.  However, during this past holiday season, I can tell you honestly, I did not choose to be happy.  Early in December, a dear friend of mine died suddenly leaving me just heartbroken.  That heartbreak lingered as I continued to struggle with my finances.  I felt guilty for not being able to provide anything for Christmas for my daughters.  The walls of my tiny and crowded apartment closed in as I choose misery over happiness.  I couldn’t even fake it.  People began to noticed.  Heck, I noticed!  I had to pull myself out of this funk somehow!

That’s when I realized the New Year’s “Do Over” was upon us.  The clean slate.  So, I chose to flip the switch.  I chose to take action!  I wasn’t going to let another year go by where I just ‘settled’.  I put a list together.  You may call them resolutions – nothing wrong with that.  I am resolved!  To stop making excuses and start making changes! Sorry to bore you with the whole list, but hey…it’s my blog. lol

My list for 2018:

  • Log food daily (!
  • PREP! Prepare or think out meals ahead of time!
  • Eat Clean(er)!
  • Meet daily step goal at least 5 days a week (increase from 5k/day to 10k within first 2 weeks of Jan)!
  • Long-term goal – Lose 60 lbs by July 9, 2018. 110 lbs total by Jan 2018!
  • Stop procrastinating – face your problems/responsibilities head on!
  • Be more productive with your time!
  • Have more fun!
  • Let your creative side out!
  • Keep your brain in shape too!
  • No fast food!
  • Get organized!
  • Add regular exercise (at least 30 min to start) into your weekly routine (5 days/week) – Pilates, resistance bands, weights, kettle bell, etc.!
  • Save at least 10% from each paycheck!
  • Find additional way(s) to supplement income!
  • Inquire about doing voice-over work/radio!
  • Find 1 volunteer activity to get involved in!
  • Learn how to knit or crochet!
  • Read more!
  • Blog entries at least twice a month!
  • Live your values!
  • Drink more water – and track it!
  • Move more – sit less!
  • Explore more – get out there!
  • Send handwritten letters and thank you notes!
  • Eat breakfast!
  • Take your vitamins!
  • Watch less TV!
  • Wake up earlier – get more done each day!
  • Try something new every month!
  • Clean out your email!
  • Start making your own happiness a priority!
  • Value the lessons you learn from your mistakes!
  • Create your own happiness!
  • Keep cleaning out your closet!
  • Try “Meatless Mondays”!
  • Try a fitness class!
  • Go for a hike!
  • Do a little act of kindness each day!
  • Start at stretching routine!
  • Journal! Ideas, recipes, thoughts, sketches!
  • Organize my photos!
  • Go through one box in storage at least once a month! Donate what you don’t need!
  • Get an Annual check-up!
  • Visit the Dentist!
  • Get an Eye Exam!
  • Take a class (cooking, painting, writing, etc.)!
  • Work on creating an outdoor space to enjoy!

Remind yourself why you are doing this!  Remind yourself what the benefits will be!  Remember – YOU ARE WORTH IT!  

Let’s do it!!


A Year in the Life

When I was a kid, waiting a year for anything seemed like an eternity.  Ugh… A YEAR?!  How could I possibly wait that long!?!   When my girls were little, a year felt like a long time in the moment (potty training, sleepless nights, temper tantrums – and that was just me! lol), but when the year was over it felt like they were growing up too fast.  Now, a year goes by in a blink.  It must be part of getting older.  The more I want to hold onto time, the quicker it slips passed.  Last year at this time, I was still pretty bad off.  Not in the holiday mood at all.  And yet, I still had big plans.  I was going to start my little blog and offer up anecdotes about life and motivation for  weight loss.  Spreading sunshine and inspiration to all!  I was not only going to heal myself but maybe help heal the world!!!



Except there was just one problem…I didn’t do it.  I didn’t do any of the things I set out to accomplish last year.  I didn’t get stronger, healthier or happier…(none the “ers”).   Okay, I did purchase my domain name, but it took me months before I ever made an entry and more again before I made entry #2 and then just…stopped.  Why?  What was wrong with me?  Didn’t I want to change myself?  Didn’t I want to bring people along with me for the journey and make folks laugh and brighten their day?  Had I given up?  Had I become someone who had resigned themselves to the fact that “it is what it is” and it was never going to change so why bother??

Those who know me, are probably chuckling to themselves right now.  “That’s not the Shari we know.  No way!”  And you’re right – it’s not me.  And if you’re expecting me to beat myself up about it (as I’m prone to do), or make excuses to validate my apathy, you might be surprised to hear me say…it’s okay.  I forgive myself.   I didn’t get “better” this past year, but I did survive – and that’s pretty damn good all things considered!

So, let’s get this train on track and make it official shall we?

The goal:  100lbs

How am I doing this?

  1. Exercise:  I have a Fitbit (I hear Garmin is awesome as well!!).   Starting with 5000 steps per day for 2 weeks then upping it to 10K.  I would like to add additional exercise(s) but I would need some guidance.  I mean, let’s be honest, fitness has never been my strong suit. lol

2. Eating:  Now we’re talking!  I think I can handle this part!

I am using to track everything I eat and drink each day.  I am also measuring!  Whaaaaat?  I know…not my favorite thing to do but we all know the definition of insanity, right?  I must do things differently or they (“they” being “my waistline”) will never change.  I also did some research beforehand about my body type and the best eating plan for me.  I am an Endomorph.  Take me to your leader. lol

Endomorphs have a soft, curvy and round physique and display the opposite characteristics from ectomorphs. They have a sluggish metabolism, gain weight easily and have to work hard to lose body fat. Endomorphs often have a larger frame and tend to have wider hips than shoulders, creating a pear-shaped physique. (


  • Smooth, round body
  • Medium/ large joints/ bones
  • Small shoulders
  • Short limbs
  • High levels of body fat (may be overweight)
  • Body fat tends to settle in lower regions of body, mainly lower abdomen, butt, hips, and thighs (rather than being distributed evenly throughout body)
  • Pear-shaped physique
  • Can gain muscle easily, but tends to be underdeveloped
  • Difficult to keep lost body fat off
  • Lose weight slowly
  • Have to work hard to lose weight
  • Slow metabolic rate
  • Attacks of tiredness/ fatigue
  • Fall asleep easily

The best diet for endomorphs tend to be low-carb diets as many endomorphs are carbohydrate sensitive.  Knowing this and using an online Keto Calculator, I have set my nutritional goals as such:

1500 calories, 38g Carbs, 100g Fat, 113g Protein.

I began tracking everything on 11/27.  So far…(drum roll please)….I’m down 8 lbs.

By George I think she’s got it!!

I learned a lot this past year.  I learned I am stronger than I ever thought I could be.  Despite everything, I didn’t fall apart and somehow managed to keep myself, my daughters, my mother and the dog alive!  I am no damsel in distress.  I took the time to heal.  I am no longer broken hearted.  I’m good.  Did I accomplish everything (anything) I wanted in the last year?  No.  Is that okay?  Yes, it is. Am I on track now?  You bet your ass I am!

‘Till next week!





Hello all!  I hope everyone made it through the week relatively unscathed.  I had a couple of rough days, but then…don’t we all?  It’s not gonna be rainbows and unicorn farts all the time – I know!  But I’ll admit, I really struggled this week thinking about what my next blog entry should be about. How could I hope to motivate or inspire others when I felt no motivation or inspiration for myself?  My life is a mess!  What did I have to be thankful for?!? Yes, I had my daughters, of course, but was I ever going to be able to do enough for them in my current circumstances?  I even considered chucking the whole thing and admitting to everyone that I have no idea what I’m doing and truly have no business thinking I could write anything that anyone would ever find the least bit interesting.  Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!

I got up this morning, early as always, and went for a walk.  Really…I did!  You can check my steps!  No music playing, no phone to look at.  Just me and the early morning.  And the perspective of it all came up and smacked me in the face!  Almost as if the universe was insulted that I would consider my life unworthy of gratitude.   I was walking wasn’t I?  Not bed ridden or wheelchair bound.  I was breathing wasn’t I?  Not sick or struggling to pull air into my lungs.  I was upright, alert, strong and alive.  Good heavens girl, how much does one person need before they begin to give thanks?!

So, I began to celebrate…

When I finally made the conscious decision to quit my internal bitching and start being thankful, it was like blinders were removed.  I swear I hadn’t noticed how many hummingbirds there are in my apartment complex!  Okay, that may sound like a strange thing to notice, but I love hummingbirds.  And I’ve lived here a year now and haven’t noticed ONE…until this morning.  I saw dozens!  Chirping at one another, having some type of humming bird argument over whose turn it was at the feeder.  I stood and watched and realized I hadn’t celebrated much this past  year.

While I’d been focusing on the bad things that had happened, I’d missed out on the positives.  And really, that’s not like me.  I’m a positive person dammit! lol  There is enough negative crap going on.  I’m sure I’ll have an occasional rant now and then (what self-respecting redhead wouldn’t?).  But I will make you all a promise.  I, Shari, do solemnly swear that I am up to no good.  Annnnnd, I will do my best to  steer clear of politics and controversial current events.  Not that I don’t have opinions on these topics, nor have I ever been afraid of voicing my opinions (hey, did I just hear a rousing chorus of “Boy, ‘aint that the truth!!”?  Quiet down!).  However, my intention from the start with this silly experiment has been to share some of my experiences and musings (the things that make me go, hmmmm), infused with some laughter, the occasional wistful smile and any wisdom I gleaned along the way (haha, yeah right!).  I will not intentionally bash anyone, spread hate, name call or swear.  Okay, can’t promise that last one…I mean, it is ME after all.

I began to think back over the week about the little things that I should’ve celebrated in the moment.  The parents holding their young son’s hands in the parking lot doing “1, 2, 3 Whee!” and the boy giggling with delight.  I miss doing 1, 2, 3 Whee with my girls until my arm felt like rubber.  But then giving in and doing it just one more time.   My dad (81 years young, by the way) putting a message on Face Book just saying he loved me (I love you too, Pa).  The song on the radio the other day that immediately transported me back to Dallas in 1987 and all the memories that tagged along with it.   The elderly gentleman at the grocery store who ‘flirted’ with me and then told me my hair reminded him of his wife when they met.

The love of friends is something I haven’t celebrated nearly enough this year.  One of my best friends moved to Colorado not too long after I became single again.  At the time, I felt like she was breaking up with me too.  Moving away just when I needed her the most.  But Nan and I are still best friends.  Two redheaded sisters who certainly must have been separated at birth!  Or my other “sister from another mister”, Dede in Texas.  Friends since college and we’ve seen each other through just about everything.  Distance doesn’t diminish friendship.  I thought about my dear friend from high school who is in the hospital fighting for his life and the friends who have been by his side (even flew in!) to comfort him while the rest of us pray for his recovery (we’re still praying, Paul.  We love you!).  Time doesn’t diminish friendship.  Or two men in my life who manage to reach out every day to say hi or just make me laugh.  I’m sure I don’t tell them often enough how grateful I am to have them in my life, but Mark and Robert always put some sunshine in my day.

So, now I challenge you.  Celebrate something. Tell someone you are thankful for them. Watch, listen, smile and enjoy.  I believe Ferris Bueller said it best…

Till next time…Ginger out!


Starting Over…

Hi there!  Welcome.  Grab a cup, sit on down and let me extend you an invitation to join me on an adventure.  Some might have used the word “journey”, but for anyone who knows me (or knows any redhead, for that matter), this is definitely going to be an ADVENTURE!

I don’t want to put a lot of parameters around this blog.  I hope it will be as varied and random as I am.   Oh, I should probably introduce myself.  I’m Shari. Okay…moving on.  lol  Just kidddddding.  I wish it were that easy. Like being 5 on a playground again. No backstory, no baggage.  Just a simple “Hi” and “You wanna be friends?”.  <sigh> Unfortunately, I do have a backstory and plenty o’ baggage.  So, let’s see if I can give you a Shari history lesson…Cliff Notes version!

I’m 50 years old, as of July 9 this year.  I’m from Tucson, Arizona.   Was married for almost 20 years – that’s over.  I have two beautiful, smart, funny, kind and talented daughters who are pretty much my reason for everything.  I thought I had found the love of my life a few years ago – I thought wrong.  I have been overweight for most of my life.  I have red hair…tons of it.  I don’t judge anyone by their age, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.  I judge people based on their sports teams – the way it should be! lol  I love coffee, movies, music, sports and craft beer.  I should be the perfect catch! (if he’s not too picky about the fact that my hourglass figure has some extra sand in it…lol).  Instead, I am a single mom and sole financial provider for not only myself and the girls but for my mother as well.

Please understand, I did not choose the title to this first entry lightly.  I really am Starting Over! I purchased this domain name nine months ago. Fueled by red wine and feelings of independence, I thought I was going to create my masterpiece!  People will be delighted by my wit and admire my moxie and perseverance. They’ll hear my story and be moved.  Ellen and Jimmy would soon be calling to have me on to talk about my remarkable life.  I would regale them with amusing anecdotes and everyone would laugh and quietly whisper to one another, “Wow, that gal has her shit together!  And my, doesn’t she looks fabulous?!”

Uh…in reality, this is my 5th attempt at getting this blog off the ground.  But, I’m starting over.  The same is true for losing weight.  I can’t… no, make that, I won’t count the number times I’ve tried to lose or complained about trying to lose weight. But, I’m starting over.  My heart has been broken, my bank account is empty and I seem to have just been existing instead of living for quite a while now. But, I’m starting over.

Today I hit the reset button.  Let the adventure begin!