Thursday, July 6, 2017

Taking Yourself Back

In late August of 2015, my father passed away.  He'd been sick for awhile, congestive heart failure combined with kidney failure.  My husband and I had been taking care of him, basically unassisted by either of my brothers.  After he passed, there was a will and dealing with his estate as Executor.  I had to get the house cleaned out (my brother had an estate sale,) and repaired and cleaned up for sale. Finally, everything was in order, all outstanding bills were paid, and the court allowed me to disburse the funds from the estate according to the will.  There was family in-fighting, struggles and doubts, but as 2016 begun, it was finally over.  Done.

And I decided to take myself back.  In the four years since my father had moved close to me (previously he'd been living in Colorado,) I'd battled exhaustion, frustration (he wasn't easy to deal with and fought me on a lot of issues).  My writing had suffered, my health too.  It's really hard to write an uplifting romance when life is in the toilet.  For the first time in years (I've been published 20 years now), a manuscript was returned by my editor and I was asked to rewrite it.  I don't blame her - it was a mess.

I began walking.  Like I do about a lot of things, I got obsessive about it.  I competed and I couldn't stand to lose.  So even if it mean walking 3 hours a day total, I did.  Looking at my Fitbit stats, I walked over 20,000 steps a day numerous times,  One time I walked 33,367 steps!   I won the Weekend warrior 30 times, Daily Showdown, 20 times, And finally, I won the Workweek Hustle 68 Times.  I walked so much that I injured my foot and got Plantar Faciitis.  But I digress.

I lost weight deliberately and slowly.  Over the course of that year, I lost 15 much needed pounds. My writing once again started to feel joyful and I wrote a book of my heart that was well-received and stayed on Bookscan's top 100 Romances for 4 weeks!

And then I went on a week-long cruise, it was Thanksgiving and our wedding Anniversary, Christmas and New Years and Valentine's Day.  By early 2017, I'd gained every single one of those 15 pounds back.

By mid-this year, once again determined to take my life back, I signed up for a fitness challenge.  For a set fee (very inexpensive, $79.99,) I received a meal plan (lots of protein, healthy fats, complex carbs,) and exercises (along with videos of the coach - popular Fitness model Jamie Eason Middleton - showing how to do them.)  Once upon a time, I'd worked out with a persona trainer and I was familiar with the exercises.  I was surprised at how weak my body was/is.  I just completed week 3 and feel stronger.  My blood pressure is down, I can easily lift a 40 pound bag of dog foor (I'd struggled before,) and my mood is better.

As a bonus, the writing is flowing.  I'm honestly, truly happy.  Yes, I miss my father.  I always will.  I know I'll see him (and my mother) again someday.  But for the time being, my life belongs to me.  I'd like to keep it that way.  I will lose the weight, one pound at a time.  But this time, I'll be building muscle too.  I hope and plan to keep up with this.

Determination = success.  Whatever it is that you truly want to do, the only way you have a prayer of succeeding is if you try.  That's the point of this long post.  I hope you take it to heart and I hope you succeed wildly.

Meanwhile, I have a new book out - July 1st.  It's a Harlequin Nocturne and my first Bear Shape-shifter.  I hope you'll try it.

You can purchase it for Kindle here:


  1. An inspiring post, Karen. It's something I've been working on, too, and I stumble more often than I go forward, I think. I'm glad it's working out for you!

  2. Karen:

    I resemble that story. That was me. That is me. Touched to the core.

  3. First, condolences on your losses. But this is not a story about grief, it's a story about gaining back control. It's not easy! But determination and perseverance work and you've proven it.

    I'm so glad the writing joy is back. We need the writing to be joyful. We need our lives to be in balance and I think you've found yours.

    Congrats, Karen and welcome back to the best side of writing.

  4. You're an inspiration, Karen. Thanks for the post.

  5. I'm a walking nut, too, but not as obsessively as you! I have also developed plantars fasciitis. I didn't realize they were related. Good luck on getting those 15 pounds off. It ain't easy. And good luck with the new book.


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