Where I’m At: Catching Up in March

Every so often, I try to update you with the details of my life, beneath the writing, and the subtext behind poems. I don’t think I’ve done this since the end of February, so I’d like to share a bit about my life lately.

One of the biggest areas in life I’m working on is my health. Those of you who have been with me a while know I suffer from a mood disorder (depression) and from that depression,  excessive amounts of fatigue.


Psychiatric drugs are evil little pills. I started with Invega which stopped an initial psychosis (which has never occurred again) but also made me ‘flat;’ caused a great deal of pain in muscles of my back, shoulders, and neck;  as well as resulted in a weight gain over ten pounds. After switching to risperidone, I gained another ten pounds and using a medication to help me sleep called Gabapentin, added twelve pounds or more. The antipsychotic I’m on now works a great deal better for me then any of the ones I was on before, but as usual, I gained another ten pounds.

Experiencing fatigue most of the time makes it difficult to exercise and do cardio. I have been feeling well enough to walk for twenty to thirty minutes three or four times a week. And on off days, I have been trying to do yoga for twenty minutes.

My big change lately has been a diet and supplement overhaul. I use supplements from a

Heart Vegetables
system called the  ‘redbox.’ It is a system of health focused not only on losing weight but living a healthy lifestyle. Different supplements in the system have helped many people lose weight; stop feeling chronic pain such as fibromyalgia or arthritis; given people a ton more energy; and aided people in maintaining a fitness level at the gym or otherwise.

Using the supplements you start with an Eight Day Ignite, a detox in which your body gets rid of bad toxins and resets your metabolism so you can lose weight and function better. In my first Eight Days, I lost 5 lbs and 8.5 inches. I was pleased with my initial result, especially losing inches in my hips, waist, and thighs. Many women lose much more then I lost initially. I’m continuing on the ignite plan for the rest of the month (the detox part is finished) and I’m hoping to be able to lose 9 lbs by the end of this month, to reach my first weight and health goal. After, I will continue on some of the supplements on the weight loss plan.

A meal plan is provided, and the plan includes eating well in small meals throughout the day focusing on eating protein and green vegetables. One day I get to eat carbohydrates such as fruit, rice, whole grain bread  (etc.) and on Sunday I can eat what I like, it’s a cheat day. The plan also includes exercise of about thirty minutes a day and using some of the supplements. Many people have had great results on these products. So I’m excited to see where they can take me, especially since losing weight without significant cardio has been a challenge.


pen writing
Besides my health, I have been up to many other things. I have been working a lot on developing short stories and other pieces for submission. I was excited to submit one of my first short stories developed off a Flash Fiction piece I wrote in the past. And I’m looking also at submitting some pieces of poetry in the future.  I keep discovering new ideas and new topics that I would like to write short stories to submit. It’s a bit of a challenge as many of you probably know because each place you submit to has different submission guidelines and wants stories of specific length. Short story for instance, vary widely from 800 words to as many as 40, 000 in some of the places I’ve been looking at.

Work on my novel continues, albeit, at a slower pace then I have been doing. Working on

Writing Once Upon A Time
the novel and working on pieces in-between, often results in the novel being left for a week or two. I do plan to write up a couple of chapters this week if possible. The book is at an exciting  part  so I have to move onward. I thought initially, I was writing long chapters and would have plenty of length for a full book. But PJ asked me if I was doing a novella or novel, and I thought about it a bit and I think I might have to add some parts into the novel, or weave in a second storyline. I will see where I am at the end of the first draft which is rapidly coming to a close. I’m thankful to have a blogger friend Martin, offering to go through and help edit my book once I have all the chapters together on word, and I will do the same for his book. Then, I suppose I will be doing a whole bunch of rewriting.

Blog Words
My blogging schedule has been hectic. Since I’m not in a course so I can write, I don’t mind it at all. Although, sometimes commenting and writing takes a great amount of time. So you know, my blogging schedule is as follows: Sunday Sunday Photo Fiction with Alistair Forbes,  MondayMoral Monday’s with Nortina S from Lovely Curses and La Duchesse D’erats Lists, Tuesday Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer with Priceless Joy, WednesdayLiterary Lion with Laura from I Smith Words ( every second week) and 3LineTales with Sonya from Only 100 Words, Thursday Echoes of My Neighbourhood with Jacqueline from A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales, FridayFlash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner with Roger Shipp at It’s All In Finding The Right Words, Saturday – Free Day.

In-between this all I’m still working through different forms of poetry, doing the one word prompts provided by The Daily Post , as well as my novel. I will not be doing The Daily Post prompts in April due to National Poetry Writing Month. But, you will still find I do the odd beauty post and other topics that come to my mind.

I’m not sure how completing the POPSUGAR booklist will end up. I read here and there but have only been able to get through two or three books lately. I know when spring finally arrives (in appearance), and I can see the flowers and not see it snowing outside, I will be in much more of a reading mood.

In addition to writing and health, I’m going to movies, catching up on my favourite shows such as Scandal (my favourite right now), watching movies on Netflix, seeing friends whenever I can, doing a bit of dating, and fitting everything else in when I can. Hope all is going well for you.

I know there is an A to Z challenge going on with some bloggers in April but I also wanted to bring up another fantastic challenge I’m doing in April. April is National Poetry Writing Month or NaPoWriMo. It is similar to Blogging 201 Poetry except for you’re writing a poem with a prompt provided on the website, everyday for the month of April. You can check it out and add your blog to the list of bloggers participating here if you want to join me for the challenge.

Thanks for reading!


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

26 thoughts on “Where I’m At: Catching Up in March”

  1. I applaud you, Mandi for your dedication to improving your health. That is quite the schedule you’ve got, and I look forward to seeing how it all goes. Just to get through the detox is no small feat. As one who deals with depression and the effects of medications, I find it encouraging that you don’t just settle for that. It takes real commitment and you’ve got that!
    I’ve finally got my new blog started http://scoutsthoughts.wordpress.com/ and closed my healing blog (mandy). I wanted to contact my favorite bloggers to let you know. I’ll go by Scout. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Scout for your encouraging words. I always keep hoping, I guess and hope springs eternal, as it is said. Looking forward to your new blog Scout. Thank you, I’m glad I’m a favourite blogger of yours 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck with the health things Mandi, its a hard gig losing weight but I admire your determination and I see you are having success, so good for you. Good luck with the writing, you are taking on a lot so good luck with it all and keep writing those great stories and poems….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing these detailed and interesting aspects of your life. I felt as if a little window was opened into your life, and am moved by it.
    Coincidentally, I am also participating in NaPoWriMo. Just submitted my URL yesterday on their site. So, we’ll be Napo colleagues, as well! Looking forward to it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fire sure I can Jacqueline! Go to this sight: http://www.napowrimo.net and at the top go into ‘submit your page.’ Enter in your blog details and bookmark the page. Then in April come back everyday to receive the prompt on the website. You can also read the work of other poets who submitted their blog on the site. Happy you are joining!


  4. I take Lexapro for depression (I don’t think that’s a strong drug) with Atavin for anxiety on standby. The condition and treatment of my heart also lead to weight gain. Ironic, isn’t it?

    I don’t think I could keep a schedule in my blog, though I’m turning toward taking part in the A to Z Challenge in April, thanks to Rosema.

    But more importantly. Goodness, you gone through a wringer, one that has wrung out health, difficult emotions, and reasonable tears. I’m impressed you have withstood so much and yet come back–or move on–to be as active as you are. Productivity in our world is kind of a cheat as a value, for it usually translates to busyness. I mean you are active in ways that help yourself and so may others. Life should be a combination of treat and of service. You manage both. How do I know this? I read you here, where you express so much.

    I hope the new seasons are good for you. That you continue finding pleasure and yet enough through your awareness to challenge the world about itself. About ourselves. I’m thankful for all you do–including taking breaks for fun–and that I get to appreciate and enjoy the fruit of your efforts.

    Pax, Mandi. Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment Christopher. I very much appreciate your comments. They make me feel great about what I have written and I can tell the effort you put into crafting your comments well. I don’t know if I will always be able to keep up the schedule. Looking at it now, I see it’s a lot but I’m okay if I have to step out of something for a time. It has been a long road getting to a point where I can have the concentration to do this much writing. The last medication I switched to this summer, was a difficult medication change, the most difficult, but literally every month I’ve felt a little better. But it,s been an 8-year journey of many drugs. I don’t think your antidepressant sounds bad, I’m on cymbalta, it’s always worked the best for me as antidepressants go. Sorry about the weight gain, it’s not fair is it? I’m motivated to do what I can do. I’m glad you benefit from my writing, that means a lot. I think with health issues you take things a day at a time. You have goals but just do your best for that day. I’m hoping somehow your heart condition will improve. That they can do something to make it work well again. I know it’s not that simple but I do hope. Prayers. Thank you again 🙏🏻 I look forward to your A to Z challenge posts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tomorrow I see the cardiologist. Maybe she’ll have something new and more effective to recommend. You’re right, we have to take our challenges day by day. Which is probably good philosophy but hard to take when the day might be a challenging one. Well, we’ll keep striving, won’t we?

        Liked by 1 person

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