Sunday, May 3, 2015

Online Dating Experiment

OK, it's official. I am not a blogger. LOL. I definitely love writing, and write in a lot of random places, but not consistently on this blog.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way. One of the things I was planning to chronicle in this blog was my journey from being a sad single. Years ago in my 20s, I was totally depressed about being single. My parents married when they were in college, so I figured I would be married by 27 at the latest. But going through my 20s virtually dateless, I found myself desperate for a relationship/marriage. It was definitely a long journey, but through prayer, a focus on my relationship with God, and surrounding myself with a village of sisters in Christ to encourage me, I emerged from that low state. Praise God!

Ummm....but I emerged still dateless. I spend time reading books like I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Choosing God's Best, and hearing folks talk about how the man finds the woman and the woman should wait. I definitely respect those books and those messages, because it is difficult to find out the right way to date when the Bible was not written by people who had any concept of what we call dating. Still, my friends and I who were waiting on the Lord found ourselves waiting, and waiting, and waiting. It was after reading How to Find a Date Worth Keeping by Dr. Henry Cloud, one of the authors of Boundaries, that I found a more balanced look at how to date while still honoring Christ.

I had to acknowledge that I was not taking any personal responsibility for my lack of a dating life. When it comes to finding a job, applying to schools, working towards better health - any other area of our lives - we understand that there are things that we must do, while also praying for God's will. But for some reason we don't apply that same logic to dating - especially women. And for shy, introverts like myself, this spells a recipe for disaster. I rarely meet new people, and when I do they are women.  I have no male friends, and I realize that I really need to work on interacting with males as a part of my preparation to be a wife.

So, I decided to try online dating. (I feel like I need to mention this again here - I did a lot of work on myself before I came to this point - spiritual, emotional, financial work. A woman should first make sure she does the work through prayer, counseling, or whatever it takes to gain confidence in who God created her to be before she embarks on a journey to try to interact with more men. When you are confident and not desperate for a relationship, you can relax and interact with guys without fretting over whether or not he likes you or whether or not he will become your husband. Dating while desperate leads to multiplied hurt and disappointment.)

OK, back to what I was saying, I did some research on how to create an online dating profile, and I put myself out there! I tried the following:

  • eHarmony
  • Christian Mingle
  • BlackChristianPeopleMeet
  • BlackProfessionalPeople Meet
I had looked at online dating sites before, but this time I actually put my picture out there and paid for the sites that showed the most promise. eHarmony and Christian Mingle did not have any matches in my area, so I quickly left those. However, on BlackProfessionalPeopleMeet, there was a guy who I had a lot in common with...and he wrote in complete sentences! Go figure. I knew that I didn't want to get into a pen pal relationship, and that you can't really determine chemistry through email. So, I sent him a message letting him know that I had enjoyed our email exchanges, and I would open to meeting for coffee if he was interested. Guess what? He was interested and replied back with his phone number so we could arrange a time. I'm too embarrassed to say how many YEARS it had been since my last date, so needless to say, I was pretty excited about it.

I'll spend the next few blog posts reflecting on my experiences with online dating.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I can’t believe how long it has been since I have touched this blog. Well, one of my goals for the new year is to write on a more consistent basis, with a blog entry at least once a week. So, hold me to it!

So much has happened since I last signed off. I’ll share a little about the “madness” I endured in the past year. I am borrowing the term “madness” from a website I stumbled across called Stop the Thyroid Madness  "Madness" is definitely an accurate way to explain my experience.

To put it simply - my body was falling apart. I noticed that I was all of a sudden putting on weight. I've struggled with my weight all my life, and since I was 35 at the time, I just figured that my body was experiencing slowing metabolism that comes with age. Still, it was quite a rapid weight gain - 40 pounds in a few months. I could not believe I was topping the scale at over 300 pounds!

But that wasn't the only problem - my beautician mentioned on several occasions that my hair seemed to be thinning. My fingernails had become brittle and broke easily. Then even more weird things began. My period stopped. I was diagnosed with PCOS in my early 20s and had been on birth control since then, which of course made my periods regular. I was still taking the pills, but no monthly cycle. I also began to experience random pains in my hands, legs and feet. Then my hands would cramp up to the point that I couldn't use them. Those episodes only lasted about 2 minutes at a time, but it was still odd and uncomfortable.

The final straw that sent me scrambling for answers was when I noticed my mood and mental capacity make a drastic change for the worst. During the winter months, I am generally less energetic than usual. But this was far different from the dips in energy levels I had experienced during previous winters. I was apathetic towards everything. I felt down for no reason. At work, I could not concentrate on my tasks. It was hard for me to figure out how to do things. Then, I started waking up, not wanting to go to work. I was taking more and more time off from my job.

During this time I had listened to a podcast of someone describing the symptoms of hypothyroidism, and I definitely had some. I went to see my primary care physician, and of course the first thing she wanted to do was prescribe an antidepressant. I told her that I wanted my thyroid tested since I had learned that symptoms of depression can be a result of thyroid problems. I refused the antidepressants, but did see a counselor for a few appointments.

While waiting on the results of the blood work, I took to the internet, reading as much as I could on the Stop the Thyroid Madness website and any other resource I could find. I read books on the topic. As many of my readings suggested, my TSH levels were in the normal range, and therefore the doctor did not see the need to do any of the additional thyroid testing. The same was true when I went to see an endocrinologist. So, I decided to pay out of pocket to have the additional testing done.

Armed with my new test results, I stumbled across one person’s online review of a doctor in my area who was willing to prescribe natural desiccated thyroid. I promptly made an appointment with him. He looked at my full thyroid panel and saw abnormalities. He started me on a low dose of Armour thyroid. He also took time to talk to me about nutrition and my other health issues (PCOS, diabetes). My blood work showed high C-Reactive Protein, and he suggested that dietary changes could calm the inflammation.  He was the first doctor that ever suggested that my diseases could be reversed and that I could be off of medication. He told me to read Wheat Belly  by Dr. William Davis and that I need to eat whole, natural foods and eliminate gluten. He also suggested that I only eat gluten free processed foods sparingly. When I told him that I really didn't like being on medication, and wanted to stop my birth control pills (since they weren't helping my period anyway) he supported that choice. I was worried about the return of my acne when stopping the pill, but he assured me that with time, the dietary changes would address the acne too - and he was right.

Well, very shortly after that I got the opportunity of a lifetime, which required me to move across the country - more about that in another post. It was definitely hard to leave a doctor that finally seemed to understand me. I still haven’t found a doctor in my new city that believes in a holistic approach to wellness. At least my new doctor  here did (reluctantly) renew my Armour thyroid prescription (“I don’t know why your doctor would start you out with this as your first medication. Most doctors start with Synthroid.”)

Here I am, in my new city - 40 pounds down from my nightmare weight, and totally motivated to continue the weight loss journey. I have mental clarity and the ability to focus again, which is imperative for my new stage in life. Oh yeah - my periods are coming like clockwork without birth control pills. The mysterious pains have vanished.

I have to admit that I am not 100% gluten free, but that is my goal. If I can see this much improvement with just a reduced amount of gluten, I can’t wait to see what happens when I eliminate it for good.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Zucchini "Spaghetti"

I am so excited about my new kitchen gadget. I learned about it when watching a video on my favorite YouTube Channel - Lean Secrets.If you have never seen her videos, I highly suggest subscribing to her channel.  Here is the video that inspired me.

In my efforts to reduce the amount of processed foods I consume, I was totally excited to try this out. And when I logged onto Amazon and saw that I had some rewards points to spend, I immediately ordered this spiral vegetable slicer:

Here is my zucchini on the slicer.

I crank the handle and the magic begins! Out comes the spirals.

I chose to put the "noodles" in a Ziplock Zip n Steam bag and microwave for 2 minutes. This is not necessary, though.

Rather than making meatballs, I browned a pound of chicken Italian sausage to make meat sauce. Just top with meat sauce, and voila! Dinner is ready
 This was absolutely delicious! I didn't miss the spaghetti at all!.
The slicer comes with two other blades to make other types of slices. But even if I only ever use it to make zucchini noodles, it is a worthwhile investment for me.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Ahhh...vacation. It seems you don't realize how much you need it until you make time for it. I The past couple months I have been having medical test after test to determine to cause of health "issues" I am experiencing. So far, results have come back normal, which is a good thing. Still, I have been somewhat consumed with trying  figure out the cause of the problem. There are more test coming up, but right now my focus is Hawaii!!

Yes, I am writing from beautiful Hawaii. This is my first time here, and though my body does not seem to want to adjust to the time change, I am having a great time. The only thing I have to "worry" about here is relaxing, sightseeing, and spending time with my family. I don't even have to think about eating or gaining weight since I always lose weight on vacation. There's something about being relaxed that makes eating a more conscious activity for me.

Now that I have taken time to put my life on pause, it reaffirms the need to do so more often. Even if it is only for small periods of time. So often, I use my days off to work on advancing myself professionally, or to take care of other business. But I also need to value rest.

I encourage all of you to take time-make time-for yourself. No, you don't need to go to Hawaii. You don't even need to leave your house. Arrange time to do something you enjoy, and do it regularly. Rest!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Book Review - Hope Springs

 Hope Springs by Kim Cash Tate
My thoughts:

I'm Back!

Thanks to those who expressed concern during my absence. I have been having some health challenges, and kind of put blogging on the back burner. I am glad to be back and ready to continue pursuing my goals. I've read some good books, so stay on the lookout for book reviews.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Formerly Food Addicted #9 - Grocery Haul

A new health food store recently opened in my town, so I decided to stop by. It was a little dangerous because I did not make a list before I went. But, I had fun.

Here is a list of what I bought, kind of moving from left to right, back to front...kind of:
  1. coconut oil
  2. dried apple rings
  3. avocado
  4. Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
  5. Amazing Grass green superfood powder (I don't really like vegetables, so hopefully I can get a good dose of nutrients from this while I try to retrain my palate)
  6. romaine salad mix
  7. red bell pepper
  8. grape tomatoes
  9. strawberries
  10. French fries ( I'm having a hard time letting my fry habit go, so I figure I can at least go with organic ones and bake them instead of going to the Wendy's drive thru)
  11. Clemmy's sugar free ice cream - I was excited to finally try this ice cream that I have been hearing about. Natural ingredients
  12. frozen raspberries
  13. chicken wings
  14. Kind Nut Delight bar
  15. Metromint orangemint water - no sweeteners or artificial flavors
  16. Poland springs sparkling water - raspberry lime - no sweeteners or artificial flavors
  17. uncured center cut bacon
  18. whole chicken - this was free! 
Have you tried any of these items?