Yes, I will confess – things have been rough the past month or so. Fell completely off the health wagon. Sugar cravings through the roof. Ran around helping everyone else(I didn’t mind-and would have no matter what.) and neglected myself a bit. It was clear something was off because I stopped beading.

That’s right- I stopped beading for almost a month. Came home, showered, ate/overate, crawled into my comfy chair and binge-watched “Top Gear” “Hotel Impossible” and “Rev Run’s Renovation”. Hell, I even peeked at “Thicker Than Water”–that show was my rock bottom.

Went in for my annual checkup. The good news- I did not gain any weight over the past 6 months. The bad news-failed my blood test-(I am pre-diabetic)-and my Vitamin D level was  almost zero.

So, going off the sugar again (gradually). It’s easier this time since there are so many more yummy choices than a few years ago. Artificial sweetners are a no-no. They’re worse than real sugar. I started Vitamin D therapy. The initial doses are so strong they had to be via prescription.  Egg whites keep me full during the day at work. Almond drink (not milk) in my cereal  on weekends tastes great and no need to add sugar. Yes I jones for some chocolate and allow myself one  if it gets really bad. But it hasn’t been that bad lately.  Walking as much as possible-can’t wait for spring so I can do more.

The best part: I’m back to beading, and promoting my business. And just in time. I have a show at the end of next month, and two others to send samples out for.  However I decided to take a hiatus from my radio show until mid-spring. Between the other checkups, the events, work and family something had to give for a little while. Believe me I already miss it.

So today’s lesson: be good to yourself, go to the doctor, eat right and excercise. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid or feel guilty saying “Hold up, I need a break.”  A healthy artist is a thriving artist.

Oh I did have another adventure with city government. The fire hydrant in front of our house broke. Fortunately NYC Sanitation and DEP came out at 10PM and worked on it, broke up the ice, and put down special ice melt. Our fence is covered in ice, but it is pretty:

We have a solid fence at the moment.

We have a solid fence at the moment.


Peace, Love & Soooooul,



It’s summertime, and the livin’…

okay, it’s not that easy. 🙂

However, it is fun. Spent the better part of last week helping my mother get the yards in order. Yes I said ‘yards’, back and front. Mom is a plant aficionado as far back as I remember. She can take a cutting (sample) of a plant, stick it in water and POOF…plant sprouts up. Every spring we look forward to shopping at the nursery (and they love her too), picking out flowers for the beds, and plotting what goes where.

My duty is the “muscle” woman. I pull weeds. This time I knew what to pull without holding up a sample of a butt ugly plant and asking “Mom do you want this?”

“No mon! That a weed. Chuck it.”  Then my task is to pull a few pounds worth from the section I’m in.

This time I grabbed the nettles, dandelions, the “fake corn” as I call it, and wild grass.  If you want a good cardio workout, grab a hoe and some gloves then hit the yard. At the end of the day, we sit on the stoop and admire the fruit of our labor. The neighbors make a point to stop and check out the garden. It’s nice to be the envy of the block.   Here are a few of our beauties:

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Lilies are the top photo, Begonias the bottom.

For my July radio show, if you are a landscape artist/garden guru, contact me! I’d love to discuss the do’s and don’ts of home gardening.

In the meantime, this Wednesday June 26 is Soapbox Wednesday! I’m dishing on some recent news and listing my summer guilty pleasures.

Click HERE for the link.

Oh My! It’s been much too long. Every week has  been a “life adventure”. First the trigger thumb decided to resurface. Then I fell down a flight of stairs and bruised my  back all the way down to the tailbone.

Let me tell you—a tailbone bruise is probably the worst pain next to childbirth & menstrual cramps. I couldn’t walk for a day or so. Sitting was impossible for two weeks. It still gets sore if I don’t move around.

Fell completely off the exercise wagon. I can run a little now, and walking is no problem.  My goal of losing 20 pounds before my boss’s wedding is out the window.  For now, just staying as active as possible, and let the chips fall where they may.

The good news is that acupuncture helped me avoid a doctor visit. This is the third time I’ve had acupuncture, and it made a difference. Not necessarily a cure, but my body healed faster than I thought. Which leads me to my next radio show:  The Eclectic Experience: Alternative Medicine  Wednesday May 30 10PM EST

I’m also the producer for Raise Your Glass With Tanya Mercado now. We call it the “Girl Power Hour”.  You can check out our latest show here:  Raise Your Glass

Business is on an upward trend however. My goal was to find at least 2 events to present my art before Beadfest in August. Well–I got into one on Aug 10, and have an application for another. 😀  My FBook and Twitter are more active, and the stats show it. Now if a couple orders come in that would be icing on the cake.

Baby it’s cold outside! However, winter is half-way over and we just received our first cold snap and a little bit of snow. We have no right to complain. 😀

Updates updates:

My Adventure in Health:

I had to pause my workouts for a bit. Without going into a heap of TMI, my body wants a checkup. So I see a new family physician this week. Not that worried, though. Still losing weight–everyone’s commented on it, and another pair of pants has become too large. Since the workouts have stopped, not sure why I’m still losing.

The Store:

After a few hiccups, the store is chugging along. Lots of new art, in addition to some originals from the early store. I even have a newsletter again. To subscribe, visit the store and sign up. Newsletters are sent at the end of each month, only once a month, so no spam. And I do NOT rent or sell my mailing list.

Click the logo to visit:


Radio Show:

Yes, I’m back! My regular show is January 30, 10PM EST.  Show topic: Internet hoaxes, Facbook annoyances, and whatever current event I feel like dishing on. Hosted by NDB Media on Blogtalk Radio. The link will be posted shortly.

Health Journey Update

September 27, 2012

Yes, I’m still working out. It’s going on about 4 months. I did miss a week due to vacation and “daughter do” list stuff, but hopped back on the wagon after Labor Day.

Unfortunately there’s been a setback. My right foot is acting up. It may be a tendon problem. Had to ice it yesterday, and the acupuncturist did a treatment on it too. It’s feeling better, but I can’t run on it. As a matter of fact, my right knee is beginning to stiffen. The old meniscus tear is flaring up I suppose.

So for now I’m stuck with the arm bike, and core work. Don’t have anything against the arm bike–upper body work is still work. But there’s just nothing like seeing the mileage on the treadmill screen. 😀

As for the scale–weight has plateaued. I figured that may happen. As long as I don’t gain, I’m cool.


Join me on June 27 10PM EST.  (Link will be posted as date gets closer.) We’re continuing the discussion on the obesity problem; specifically the NYTimes debate on body image/weight/health and African-American women.

As for my personal challenge, had a little setback: my home scale is whacked. So for the past 2 weeks, my measurements were inconsistent. Had to purchase a new scale. My correct weight is 214.

This sucks. I really thought some pounds  came off.  But I shall “stay calm and carry on”.  Completed my first week of workouts, so I’m on the track.


Tomorrow night I discuss the obesity epidemic, including the HBO documentary “Weight of The Nation”, and the NYTimes editorial debates on weight and Black women.  My interest in this is not just as the topic du jour. I am about 30 pounds over my ideal weight for my height. As the saying goes, sometimes I “carry it well”.


Some days I feel great. Nothing can stop me. I am “That Girl”, on top of the world. Other days a photo of myself makes me cringe. Even the best fitting outfit looks like a mumu on days like that.  Now that menopause is setting in, the insecurity increases.  I look heavy, therefore unattractive.

Watching “Weight of the Nation” segment on obesity’s stigma hit home for me. While not as heavy as some of the interviewees, the struggle and emotions are the same.  However, the one thing I never did was fad diets. Instinct told me they wouldn’t work. And it has come to pass that no physician in their right mind would recommend any of those diets. PhenPen–the original magic pill, magically killed a few people, then magically disappeared from the shelves as a result.

The only true way to lose weight is to watch what we put in our mouths, and how we move our bodies. Yes, diet (not fad diets) and excercise.  Cooking at home instead of take out every night. Getting off the train a stop or so away and walking the extra blocks.  Walking the dog (if you have one). Play catch with your kids–it’ll get them moving too. Hell, even using Wii is better than nothing at all.

Weight is an industry: Food plans, pills, shakes, fake food(that is delivered to your house for the amount you could buy your own fresh groceries), gym memberships, and let’s not forget excercise videos. Yes I owned the TaeBo set back in the day–who didn’t? Plus size clothing (for men and women) costs more than “regular” sizes.

But the true high cost is in health care: if you have a condition, more doctor visits, prescriptions to fill, and if one qualifies for bariatric surgery, that’s one hell of a cost.  And let’s not forget the emotional cost.

The teasing, ostricizing,nasty looks and nasty remarks will drive you crazy or make you perpetually angry.  Been there. Put up with a lot of it until high school. I had a hot figure  back then, so never got teased. By my mid thirties–forget it. I hit my highest weight (225),. Had full on hypertension, knee pain, lousy periods, you name it, I had it. Stress eating almost did me in.

Almost. That year was the first time I hopped on the excercise wagon–my TaeBo season. The weight came off. Fine for a year, then fell off. Changed jobs, lost job, lost weight. My doctor was estatic, my refrigerator wasn’t thrilled.

New job, new career, stress eating returned. Hopped back on the wagon again to win a contest–I needed the money for a new computer. A co-worker trained me–and I managed to get under 200 for the first time in years. Kept it off for a year. Then the job took over, lost my apartment, lost my hair, boyfriend got on my last nerve asking about having kids when he knew damn well I can’t have any–stress eating again. Not only was I off the wagon, I was running in the opposite direction.  Went to the doctor, and the scale said 218.

Over the course of the next few years, left the boyfriend, left the apartment, cut off what was left of my hair, and eventually left the job. I did not want to see 225 again.

Thankfully I am in a place where stress eating is over.  My stress is good stress, it’s “I’m busy and I’m cool with it”.  By March I was back at 209. It felt good for a bit, but after watching the documentary it felt like time to challenge myself again.

Then came *****. This person will be anonymous because they were kind enough to hook me up with an online food journal.

I posted my goal, and what I’m eating every day. Then I started posting my activity. Not necessarily gym workouts, anything I did–gardening, lifting groceries, walking through the park…

Then the little dot on my graph started to move. I could look back and see what I’ve done. I’m diggin’ it. Still not ready to hop on a scale, but this is the coolest way to see progress. Today was the first “gym” workout–cardio and a little weight training. Why? ‘Cause I needed something to log on my chart. Can’t let my graph sit still. 😀

We’ll also discuss “fat acceptance”. There is one thing about that I have an issue with: when someone who clearly cannot fit into a bus or subway seat forces their way in just on principle. If you can’t fit, don’t sit.  If I see an open spot, but know my hips won’t fit, I just keep standing. Why make yourself and others uncomfortable?

Also, there are claims that weight and health aren’t related. When a 9 year old is 100 pounds and has diabetes, sorry, they’re related.

But I’ll discuss more tomorrow night. Join me! Here is the link:

“Do These Genes Make Me Look Fat?”

As with most (I think) of my fellow beaders, things are slow lately. We put out our best, and it sits–waiting for someone to appreciate and purchase it.

We update our FaceBook page with photos, Tweet like angry birds, “pin” on the new Pinterest cushion. Nothing happens.

Lately I sat down and decided to make a few changes.

First, clean house. That is why everything currently in my Artfire and Zibbet stores (links on the left folks) are  50% off. I have new items in the works, but frankly I need space to store them properly. There’s nothing worse than finishing a piece, leaving it out in the air, and 30 days later–tarnished.

Second, it would be nice to have some sales under my belt before heading to Beadfest. At least I can justify picking up more supplies and have an idea of what will sell and not.

After the sale(which I haven’t decided on an end date yet), I will probably close one or both of my online stores. I’m paying approximately $16/month to keep them open. Then advertising, online it’s about $50/month, print is sporadic, but my last two mailings came to $120. And that’s just for 100 postcards. I will need to continue advertising of course, so where can I be more efficient?

RMBDesigns will have to be only one site, one fee. Granted Artfire and Zibbet are turnkey, no programming knowledge needed. However, Artfire has become saturated with jewelry. Zibbet isn’t yet, but it’s getting there.

There are additional things to concentrate on: better photos, perhaps more consistent pricing, culling the older items that just won’t sell.

I certainly will continue this blog. I’ve received great feedback and love that people are following and read my musings. I hope it helps someone out there. 🙂 As things begin to change, you bet updates will be here. It will be fun to read the feedback.

In other news: I’m still looking for a fitness/health professional to join me on my next radio show. May 30 10PM Eastern Time via NDB Media on Blogtalk Radio

May 30 (Wednesday) – 10PM EST
“Honey, do these ‘genes’ make me look fat?”
Can one be overweight and healthy? What is “fat acceptance?” Join Shy as she discusses the obesity issue. Inspired by a debate in the New York Times “Women, Weight, and Wellness” and the HBO Documentary “Weight of a Nation.”