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    Journal - Third Quarter 2003  

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur. *       

July thru September 2003:

All entries are organized in reverse-chronological order so the newest entry is always at the
top. (If you're reading the journal for the first time, you might wish to start where I began
(the 3rd Quarter of 1999) and go to the bottom to begin reading.

3rd Quarter 1999 4th Quarter 1999 1st Quarter 2000 2nd Quarter 2000 3rd Quarter 2000
4th Quarter 2000 1st Quarter 2001 2nd Quarter 2001 3rd Quarter 2001 4th Quarter 2001
1st Quarter 2002 2nd Quarter 2002 3rd Quarter 2002 4th Quarter 2002 1st Quarter 2003
2nd Quarter 2003 3rd Quarter 2003 4th Quarter 2003 1st Quarter 2004  

September 2003:

September 27, 2003:
Wow, I had the most wonderful day yesterday... I want to thank everyone that took the time to write when I was so down a few days ago.

I am back on track food-wise, and I feel amazing. Spent the entire day with Neil yesterday. Lunch in Cinci (PF Chang's, who now have carb counts on the menu and offer low/no starch dishes), then shopping, then dinner in Columbus at Ruth's. The boys gave Neil and I the romantic little private room and we had a wonderful time. Great food, better company.

Let's just say Neil and I had an amazing night all around.

September 24, 2003:
I've been through lots of ups and downs for the last two weeks, so I haven't really been posting, writing anyone, or making entries here.

This adjustment thing is hard. Everytime I think I have a firm handle on it, it comes back and bites me in the butt. I find myself feeling sad or lost or confused again.

Like yesterday... it was truly a Dickens day... it was the best of times; it was the worst of times. I had a fabulous first half of the day. Then about 4 pm it all fell apart and I hit an emotional coaster that totally derailed.

I have to get this under control. I have far too many positive things going on in my life to let this happen. Yes, some of it's about Neil. Some's about Richard. Some's about work.

Some people can learn to compartmentalize things... put them in boxes. I seem unable to do that. I blur a lot of lines. Maybe this is a mistake...

Result? What it always is... tears and food. Damn. I thought I was past all that.

September 9, 2003:
Yesterday was my birthday...

I don't think I've ever had such a great birthday. And I rarely have days that fall together so nicely period.

I had an excellent lunch with Neil at our usual Ruby Tuesday's. Neil had the Alfa Romeo today. We spent the rest of the day together and it was wonderful.

Finally about 5:30, I took off to Columbus and met Aaron at Ruth's where we had a terrific dinner together. Nathan was our waiter, and Nathan's always fun... he's hillarious. Adrian came by, as did lots of other friends. They arranged a lovely dessert for me too. Then Aaron and I took off to catch a movie. Haven't gotten to the theater in awhile. Then we just went and talked for hours.

So, a lovely birthday, wonderful food, some cards that made me cry, and some great gifts (the best one from Neil.) Fabulous amazing people in my life. How blessed am I?

Of course, I've been listening to country lately. And I don't listen to country... hmmmmmmm....

September 6, 2003:
As I sit here writing this at 5 am, I realize that this is the most content I have been in... well, longer than I can remember. I actually feel happy. Really happy.

I had the most amazing day followed by an even better night. Neil took me to Ruth's... Aaron and Adrian arranged for the private room. Great food, but better company.

I'm not going to get into details of my evening since it's a little on the personal side, but I'll just say wow.

September 4, 2003:
Yesterday was a good one, and today's following suit. Hey, it's nice to feel my head above water a bit.

I'm getting our home refinanced, so an appraiser is coming out Friday. Yesterday Neil came out to do some lovely touch-up landscaping. He made everything gorgeous again.

He called me out to ask me what we wanted to do with the milkweed growing in the back, and I'd initially asked him to get rid of it, when we both realized, wait a minute. It's what Monarch Butterflies eat... and we want to keep those butterflies in the garden, so we left most of the milkweed.

We took both of our cameras and got some great shots of the caterpillars and the crysalis' -- we'll follow those up in a few days, and over the next couple of weeks until we get some good butterfly shots.

When he was done, it was about 10 minutes before sunset, and he said, "Come join me... let's go for a ride." We drove out to meet the sunset and got some amazing shots of it framed in trees.

When we got back I assembled some low carb info and products for his mom. Her doctor (a cardiologist) put her on low carb for her heart condition. (Great news that doctors are wising up, huh?!)

I had a really good session with my therapist today. It's helping a lot. Then I did an interview for LowCarbIz Magazine (a trade journal.) Well see how that comes out.

Tomorrow night I get to go to Ruth's (Neil's taking me) and I get to see the boys. Haven't seen Aaron or Adrian in a week.

Monday is my birthday... I'm not sure how I feel about that. Or who I will spend it with. What an odd feeling to not be spending it with Richard.

September 2, 2003:
I'm amazed at how many things in my life right now are "up in the air." I'm not used to living like that. I seem to have this need for a certain level of structure and stability, and right now, there's very little of that.

I worked all day on getting my house in perfect order yesterday. The weather was so bad there was little else to do. It did help that "all-things-are-not-in-my-control" feeling. But not enough.

I'm going to try to make sure my menus this week also stay very structured. I can't change everything relationship wise or business wise, but I can keep SOME things stable.

August 2003:

August 31, 2003:
I am not sure if it's because of the stress surrounding the separation, or my over-booked schedule, but I am ending up making less than great food choices again. I am playing an up-and-down game with the same three pounds again because of it.

Last night I had plans to go to one specific restaurant, but plans change (because of the OSU game, actually), so Neil and I ended up at Red Lobster instead. Guess it had been awhile since I was there (over a year I think) and the menu had changed. So I walked in unprepared and didn't take the time to properly inquire about ingredients either.

This morning I know I must have had carbs in things I didn't realize... I can feel it. And the last few days I haven't done well cooking either. I'm not a "cook for one" kinda girl, I think.

So it's back to the drawing board and working at the whole planning thing again.

August 29, 2003:
I've been working at making peace with everything in my life now, and indeed each day it gets a little easier, though I am sliding backward a little every once in awhile.

I've been taking some good advice and doing things "just for me." It's hard advice to take when you spend your life both super busy, and filled with guilt. I keep hearing my mother's voice in my head about marriage and commitment and divorce. Sometimes it gets to me, but I don't doubt that I am doing what's right for me.

Everyone has been so supportive and wonderful.

I'm going to Ruth's for dinner tonight. First time since the separation. I think I need this.

Tomorrow night Neil's taking me to dinner... I need that too. I need to feel alive right now. In fact, Neil has been my Godsend through this.

God has truly blessed me with wonderful people in my life.

August 26, 2003:
This is a very, very difficult entry for me to make, but one that might not come as a big surprise to many of you.

As a lot of you know, the journey to lose weight and become your best is two-fold. There's the actual weight loss part (learning to eat a new way, incorporating exercise into your days, and controlling temptation and cravings), and the psychological part... where we find who we are, explore new avenues, and grow as people. So it has been for Richard and myself.

We first married 14 years ago... very different people than we are today. And during those years, we faced many challenges together and accomplished a lot. We became a "team" in the true sense of the word, working for common goals and enjoying each other's company. None of that has changed. We still love and respect one another, and continue to work well together. We continue to be the best of friends.

But as we've journeyed this path, we've also grown apart in other ways. It began to be noticeable a little over a year ago, and as time passed, the chasm grew. There were times we truly did not seem to know one another, and at times this led to a measure of depression in each of us.

For some time now, we've known that something would have to change. And we did not ignore the challenge. We began seeing a therapist in January of this year — a fact I've been pretty open about. And while our sessions and hard work helped us to define our directions, they did not set us on the same path. Indeed, we are no longer the same people walking that path.

Our friendship and love for one another has made it imperative that we step in now and avoid further damage to our relationship. So rather than continue a tenuous grasp on our marriage and risk becoming bitter, angry, and pain-centered, we made the decision to separate, while still friends.

It wasn't a decision made lightly, or one made without pain; without tears. It's a decision made out of love and respect and a desire to preserve the truly good parts of our relationship. We will continue to work together for the good of Low Carb Luxury, and on other projects as well. We will continue to be friends who can rely on one another when we need a shoulder.

Neither of us has any negative feelings for the other, nor complaints. It's just the best solution at this time in our lives. And while we are not happy about it, we do feel it's a good and healthy decision for us both.

Because all of you are so much a part of our extended family, we wanted to make you aware of our decision. Nothing will change here at LCL.

Thank you all for the support you give us both every day.

Lora and Richard

August 22, 2003:
This was an odd day... I'm not sure how to categorize it. It was all over the board. I spent it happy; tense; scared; mellow.

I had a hair appointment at my salon, and ended up going for a very different style for me... Instead of the usual blonde shades with a rather conservative cut, I went for a darker shade, different style — kinda "spikey"and glossy, and fuller. It's really different, but I like it. I'm not sure the old style really fit the thinner me. I love my stylist — I've been going to her for more than 4 years (we were curious, so she looked it up in her books.) She and I made plans to go to dinner and a movie next week. It's been awhile since we did anything together.

As I pulled out of the salon and up the street, I spotted a tree cutting truck ahead and sped up for half a block to get around him before the light. Can you believe a cop was behind me? I was going 40 mph for HALF A BLOCK and he gets me. It's my first ticket. Ever. Ugh!

He was very nice about it though and apologized several times. He flat out told me it was a speed trap and he'd usually be there. He said he'd called it in before he spoke to me, or he'd have skipped the ticket. But once he called it in, it was too late. It was 40 mph in a 25. Mandatory ticket. Like I said, he was very sweet and apologized over and over. (Kinda cute too...) It was almost a pleasure getting the ticket. But.... not really. Damn. All these years with a perfect record. Gone because of half a block to pass a tree truck.

I called Aaron on my cell right afterward and told him my luck had finally run out (he'd been saying I was gonna get a ticket.) He said, "Good. Maybe it will slow you down.."

Aaron and I made plans for Sunday. Definitely dinner; maybe a movie or we'll go see a band in town. I haven't done anything with Aaron in a few weeks and I miss him so it will be nice to see him.

The rest of the day was pretty much work. In fact, I'm just finishing now and it's 2:30 AM.

I did make a new meat sauce recipe tonight to go over Keto Spaghetti. It was so good. Rich had thirds.

I have a long meeting with an author tomorrow and have to finish designing his book cover. Then two client meetings. I expect it to be a long day...

August 18, 2003:
So glad all those negative feelings seem to be behind me. At least for now, I am feeling strong, wonderful, healthy, and happy again! Yay for me!

I had dinner at Ruby Tuesday's again last night (with Neil) and they've begun to totally understand what I can and can't have on Atkins and are working with me beautifully. (No, I can't always go to Ruth's!)

I've been getting a lot more veggies in every day too and I think I feel the difference. I seem to have more energy again. I've got to be better about remembering how food affects me. Mood, energy, outlook, and even personality.

August 13, 2003:
Richard's Birthday.

Pretty good day today, but very busy. I spoke to a reporter from AP, and we'll be helping them put together a story on low carb eating.

Also went out shopping for some nice Richard-gifts. It's his birthday and the girls at work took him out to a nice birthday lunch. I know how he loves it when he gets escorted to lunches by all the chicks at work. It's so cute.

Got a lot of work done today, then still managed to get a salon appointment in, and was dressed for a nice dinner out at Field's for Rich's birthday.

August 9, 2003:
Well, I ended up blowing off work and spending the day Friday at King's Island with Neil. I had a fantastic time. I needed the mental lift, and the physical end of it as well.

August 5, 2003:
It's been a very work-heavy day, and here it is 2:30 in the morning. I should be exhausted, but I'm really not. I'm just happy to have managed to accomplish so much today. Wrapped up TWO client projects, so I am starting to catch my breath from having been away a week.

We even managed to get a review team over for an afternoon and get several reviews done (two already up at the site and more 'in the can' waiting to have photos finished.) Work and travel schedules over the last several months have severely slowed down our product review process here, and I don't like that. So we'll see how sucessful I can be at budgeting my time.

I have the next issue of the LCL Magazine complete and ready to roll as of tonight too. Each issue brings us more and more talented writers I am so proud of.

Lori and I are going to Ruth's tomorrow night. I'm looking forward to seeing Adrian. It's been too long.

Ready for bed now... but here in the middle of the night, and what am I wishing for? Don't laugh... some Lemon LeCarb.  :)

August 4, 2003:
In a great mood today! I'm feeling more in control than I have in a long time. I've spent some extra time getting menus and food plans done. I forget when I get too busy to care for my own plan, things start falling by the wayside.

I called Lori yesterday — jury duty's over and we've got plans to go see the guys at Ruth's tomorrow night. And yes! Adrian's back from vacation. Aaron's back in town. So odd how things fall out of focus when the people around you that mean so much to your everyday life are suddenly gone.

Got to spend an evening at Neil's Friday. He has the most relaxing property I've ever visited. Well, he's a landscaper, so you might imagine he'd carve out a quiet, peaceful oasis in life. I can sit out on that porch for hours and listen to the rain hit the roof, and watch the lightning across the horizon of the rolling country hills. It's all just breathtaking. And we were having LeCarb at the same time, so hey — maybe you can have it all.

Favorite song right now: Heavy by Collective Soul. I dare you to listen to it and not break a speed limit or two.

July 2003:

July 31, 2003:
So it's about time I got back to this. It's been a crazy week. Getting back from SC, as you might guess there was a TON of work waiting for me. There's always a price to pay when I am away for a few days. And this was a whole week.

I believe the trip did me a world of good, though.

My world has seemed very disjointed since coming home, though. Have you ever gone anywhere for a short time and while you were gone, things in your day-to-day world get shaken up? You don't realize at first because... well... you're gone. But you come back and it all seems very Twilight-Zone like.

My friend Adrian left for vacation 2 days before I got back. So it's now 2 weeks I haven't seen him. It feels so odd..

And Aaron... he's one of my closest friends, but he's just had a death in his family. Though he picked me up from the airport, he's been off dealing with family issues ever since and his absence seems so weird. This one's very hard on him though, so he's in my prayers every night.

Lori, a girlfriend I'd had plans with this week is absent too. This is the week she's on jury duty.

And now my closest girlfriend is off on a well deserved mini-vacation and I miss her so much. It seems so odd not being able to pick up the phone anytime and just call her.

So this week has pretty much been all about work. Well, work and spending money I don't want to spend. Right after I got back we had a major plumbing problem in the kitchen. I had the plumber here for more than half of the day. Nice guy; did a great job. But cost me a fortune.

Same day... my car starts pulling and shaking when I hit the brakes. What the heck? I take it in for brakes maybe? They call. It's the rotors. Need 4 new ones. And brakes too, of course. Okay, great. In an hours' time there went $1300. Damn.

I've been cooking my butt off this week, though. Fine tuning LOTS of new recipes.

July 25, 2003:
Well, I got back from SC yesterday and this morning, as I sit here feeling completely exhausted, I ask myself why it is that we always do that? Why do we always need a week to "recover" from a vacation? I always say I am getting away to relax (and I usually do mentally), but physically, we push like crazy.

I think I'm sore in places I didn't know I had. I think carrying SO much luggage through SO many airports doesn't help.

Went to The Melting Pot Restaurant with one of Stuart's friends. There was far more low carb friendly fare here than I would have expected and they were wonderful about my dietary restrictions.

There were 4 of us, and by ordering 2 of the mixed plates, we ended up with filet mignon, lobster tail, pork tenderloin, jumbo tiger shrimp, chicken, teryaki sirloin, and duckling. Plus of course loads of low carb veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, celery...) even fresh cut strawberries.

It was all quite delicious, so I can totally recommend them.

Also had a wonderful dinner with Elaine, Lynn, and Renee from Low Carb Connoisseur. It was terrific seeing them!

July 21, 2003:
I've been in South Carolina since last Friday, and it's been good to get away and see my son and daughter in law. We drove to Charlotte on Saturday to meet some of Laura's friends, do a lotta shopping, and eat at PF Chang's.

I got some gorgeous shoes at Belk's (2 pair -- 1 pair of kinda sexy black strappy things, and 1 pair of pewter mid-heel pumps with tiny little bows at the heels.) Not the sort of shoes I wear very often since I'm more often in boots or sneakers, but really gorgeous. So now I have to go someplace fabulous to wear them!

I also found some really pretty clothes in the mall there. Still buying pants in size 8's, and tops in Petite Small. Then I went into the Coach store there (wanted a wallet but the chances of me paying $200 for a wallet are... well... no chance at all.)

The salesman at the Coach store, though, saw me looking at the kickiest new Coach jacket/coat. (He was very cute, very helpful, and very gay.) He told me I had to try it on, and told me that I "must be a small." God, I love hearing that.

Then I was dashed when the small did NOT fit. The guy actually hugged me and told me it was because Coach cuts all their clothes for women without a chest. He was right. The Medium didn't fit there either.

He told me they'd be getting a really hot leather motorcycle type jacket in that would be perfect for me, so I may get the guts to check back later in the year.

Isn't it weird how we obsess over these things?

Speaking of obsession, every one of you reading this would have laughed out loud at me Sunday when I was at the Brick Street Cafe. I asked the waiter what they had that was diet when he came to get drink orders. He just casually said, "Well, we have Diet Rite." I practically shreiked. I swear people in the restaurant turned to look at the crazy lady. But the waiter got a kick out of it.

Well, I'm off to enjoy more vacation fare. I am not going to want to go back to work.

July 17, 2003:
I believe potatoes lie in wait for me...

I'm coming off of two days of emotional roller coaster, two days of tears, two days of trying not to drown.

I realize I need to get away from things for a bit with someone I trust. No work, no distractions, no overt pressures. Well... almost no pressures. I forgot to allow for the fact that if you join a non low carber for dinner, they just might have potatoes in front of you. And if you're distraught enough, you just might reach out and have one.

Why would I forget? It happened last week! Those 5 fries that attacked me.

So last night as I am pouring my heart out to my friend Aaron, and all my guard is down, I lean over, grab a wedge of potato skins (covered with cheese and bacon and sour cream) and just start eating it. I ate half of the potato wedge (each wedge about 1/3 of a potato) when I saw what I was doing and dropped it with a "thud."

"What the hell am I doing?" I say. Aaron says, "Lora... it's just a potato. You didn't just shoot up with heroin." True. So I did stop beating myself up about it... but it illustrated to me that an addiction is an addiction. Will those two or three bites of potato do me in? Of course not. In fact, they were the only carbs I'd had all day, save a few bites of broccoli earlier.

But I never cease to be amazed at how easy it is to reach out and mindlessly take something without conscious effort.

Potatoes... why does it always have to be potatoes?

On a positive note, I got a lot of things talked through that need to be. If nothing else, I feel less despair. More control. Am I there yet? No. But the trip continues. And I never stop learning.

July 16, 2003:
Well, I ended up staying up till 3 AM, unable to stop a second round of crying that wouldn't stop. Richard was long since asleep. Ugh....

But I did finally get some sleep and I am starting to feel a lot better. It's imperative that I find a way to get all this out. I've got to get my time somehow budgeted better. I have to find a way to balance my client/work schedule with the time spent on Lux, articles, research, recipes, etc. And still keep a personal life.

It seems like every time I make a 'push' in one area that seems to have been ignored, the others end up falling by the wayside. I'd love to be able to cut my work schedule back, but finances just won't allow it.

Deep breaths, Lora

Today's going to be better.

July 16, 2003:
Wow... I just read the previous entries over the last week. I seem so "up", yet I know it's been a roller coaster. I guess it's good I was focusing on the positives.

I need some small stretch of happy times not always followed by their counterpart... the sadness.

Maybe going to South Carolina this weekend will do me a world of good. I need to get away from work and from some of the other stresses in my life.

There are days when you feel completely alone in the universe. This is one of those days for me.

July 15, 2003:
Why do our emotions control us like this???

Tonight all the stress that's been piling up (along with the continual lack of sleep over the last few weeks) finally took its toll. I just lost it. I started crying and couldn't stop.

I feel profoundly sad tonight. I feel such loss. Please let tomorrow be a better day. Please let it wipe away the negativity and pain of today. Of this night. Of this moment.

July 7, 2003:
I feel so much better since in the last two days, my control of food is MY control of food.

I've written an article about it, and how often we use food as a drug. I think writing it was a huge help in getting me over this.


I had about 950 calories yesterday, and 12 carbs. Tonight I will have lots of veggies and a lean cut of meat for dinner. Berries for dessert.

July 5, 2003:
Hey, I survived a dinner with everyone around me eating luscious carb laden foods. I had steak, salad, and strawberries. Still had a great time.

Went to see T3 at the Arena Grand Theatre. I was disappointed

I am really learning this week that stress... (and lots of it) is keeping me from making the smartest food choices. It's been 5 weeks since I've lost a pound and I am NOT being sensible.

I notice that I instinctively grab something to eat when I am nervous, worried, or shaky. Not carby things, really, since I make it a point to have only healthy things in the house... But it's still leading to eating far too much food period. Eating when I am not even hungry. What's THAT about? It's not like I'm new to this... it's been 4 1/2 years. I know better.

There's so much going on in my life right now. Business is making me crazy... deadlines are getting harder to meet because I now have to work so many more hours to get the same $ I made 2 years ago. And somewhere in here I keep trying to have a "real" life, friends, and loved ones.

Oooo.. the more I talk about it, the more I realize how frustrating this has become. I need to find a way to budget my time better. Since right now, there's nothing I can really "cut" from my life.

I also notice how much stronger I get when I DO have some relaxation (unwinding) kinda time. When I went to see Phantom of The Opera at the Schuster Center Theatre last Sunday, I felt totally strong; totally relaxed. I held onto that feeling for three days. Then the stress all caught right back up to me, and here I am back in the same boat again.


*Anything in Latin sounds profound.