Sterling and Me: Tail of a Mystery Author and Her Dog #1 @TheMysteryLadie

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Chris Matheson Cold Case, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Killer Deadline marks Lauren’s first venture into mystery’s purely cozy sub-genre with a female protagonist. 

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

A popular speaker, Lauren is also the owner of Acorn Book Service, the umbrella under which falls iRead Book Tours. She lives with her husband and two spoiled rotten German Shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram ~ Pinterest

Sterling and I Declare War on COVID-20

I still remember the day I turned 50. As I slipped on my size 8 jeans to go out with my family and stuff my face with lobster and crab-legs, I declared myself the victor over what is known as the middle-aged spread.

Not me! I hit 50 and I was still hot!

Then one morning, I don’t quite remember when, but I woke up and I was a size 12. I swear! Hand on the Bible swear, it happened OVERNIGHT!

For the last ten years, I have been struggling with getting back into those same jeans that I REFUSE to throw away. Periodically, I will shove my fist into the air not unlike Scarlett O’Hara, “Some day, I will be a size eight again!” just before unwrapping a milk chocolate truffle to soothe my battered ego.

Truthfully, my weight has never been an issue. I’ve been a size 8 most of my life. After having my son, I had no problem losing the baby weight that many women must deal with.

That post-menopausal weight gain knocked me for a loop!

Over the last ten years, I have tried many battle strategies against these unwanted pounds.

Vegan diet: How many days can you cook two meals, salad for yourself and steak for a carnivorous spouse before caving? I lasted six weeks. But the scale didn’t move. Deciding it was not worth torturing myself for nothing, I threw in the towel.

Weightwatchers: After weeks of cheating on my point counting and seeing the scale moving only a fraction of a pound a week, I bolted. This failure may have had something to do the ladies in my Weightwatchers group and I stopping at Panera bread for a carb-filled lunch and sugar-packed mocha latte after the weigh-in.

Dietitian: She admitted that after a lifetime of not having weight issues, I just needed to use the skills I already had to tackle this small problem. Stay away from the foods that were packing on the pounds: potatoes, bread, rice, pasta, beans, grains, fruit, and so on and so on.

For the next two months, I ate lettuce and grilled chicken breast. I lost several pounds—along with my mind.

Remember, I’m married to a carb-eating carnivore.

I think I did pretty good cooking carb-laden foods twice a day, seven days a week without eating one bite of it.

Then one day I stopped in at the drug store for some migraine medicine. The entire experience was just a blur. As a matter of fact, I don’t even remember being in the store. I only remember going in and coming out. Next thing I know, I had two big bags of Hershey’s milk chocolate nuggets hidden inside my purse. I finished one bag before my poached fish and lettuce dinner that night.

Then, I started thinking. Hey, I am almost sixty. I have a successful career doing what I love—writing murder mysteries. I work hard. I love my husband. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. I don’t cheat on my husband. Why should I not be allowed to eat a bowl of ice cream covered with Magic Shell in the evening.

I surrendered.

Then the pandemic hit along with the lockdowns.

Both my husband and I work at home. As a writer, my working hours are spent sitting with my laptop composing murderous scenes of literary delight. (Don’t tell me that my sedentary lifestyle is the reason for my problem. I know that already.) Jack and I would try to take the dogs for a walk a few times a week.

As March stretched into summer and then fall, I discovered more and more clothes that I could not fit into. No longer was it just my size 8 jeans. Many on social media had mentioned noticing what many referred to as the COVID-15—the fifteen pounds gained due to less active lifestyle that comes with a lockdown.

Okay, so I fell victim to the COVID-15. Never did I dream that dogs could suffer it as well.

I had occasionally noticed that my sidekick Sterling, my five-year-old German shepherd, sleeping in the loveseat across from me that he was starting to look sausage-shaped. Maybe it was just my imagination.

Then, last week, I took Sterling into the vet for his rabies shot and the vet announced that in the one year since Sterling’s last visit he had put on 20 pounds!

That’s right! My previously 90-pound German shepherd had gained 20 pounds in 12 months. He practically increased his body weight twenty percent.

Her prescription: diet dog food and replace twenty percent of his food with green beans and vegetables. Increase walks to two a day.

If Sterling has gained 20 pounds in one year during this pandemic, I can only imagine how much weight I have gained. He’s not downing bags of milk chocolate truffles.

Sterling and I sat down for a heart-to-heart talk. Our health is important to us. We used to have slender figures and active lives. We can do it again. It’s not going to be easy, but we are going to do it for each other. His ears perked up at the announcement of two walks a day.

“Twenty-percent of your meals will now be veggies,” I told him.

“Veggies?” he asked. “Are they edible?”

“Yes,” I said.

“No problem.”

Lesson Learned: Eating healthy is no problem for those who don’t taste their food.

If we gained this weight in one year, we can certainly take it off in one year.

Together, Sterling and I have joined forces in this war against the COVID-20, which is five pounds worse than COVID-15.

As with any war, we need to do our research, to determine the best plans for our battle to beat the enemy.

We hope you join us!


During Sterling and my journey, we will feature various resources that we have examined. Our reviews are based purely on our analysis of them as they pertain to our lifestyles. Are they a good fit for Sterling and me? As with any weight loss or lifestyle book, you need to determine what works for you. What doesn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it does not work for you.


REVIEW: EATLIVETHRIVE DIET: A Lifestyle Plan to Rev Up Your Midlife Metabolism by Danna DeMetre and Robyn Thomson
Purchase Links: Amazon // Barnes & Noble

It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that my weight-gain was due to a drastic midlife shift in my metabolism. I mean, I’ve been a writer all of my life. Most of my life, I have had a generally sedentary lifestyle. So, when I saw the sub-title of this book, A Lifestyle Plan to Reve Up Your Midlife Metabolism, I was sold.

The authors work in the health field. A registered nurse, Danna Demetre is in her mid-sixties. Robyn Thomson is an advanced clinical weight-loss practitioner and in her fifties. The book includes their personal stories of dealing with their own weight-loss battles, which they have both won.

The book is written in plain language. I devoured most of it in a couple of days. Their weight-loss plan takes an individualized approach and makes complete sense.

In a nutshell, different foods impact each of us in a different way. For example, my son has discovered that he is lactose intolerant. Diary foods make him feel bloated. I have found that pasta causes me digestive issues.

EATLIVETHRIVE DIET has a three-phase plan. It’s goal is to identify those foods that cause you problems which keep the weight on. Then, you simply eliminate them from your diet.

In theory, their plan is excellent. It begins with a fourteen-day detox (called the Elimination Phase) in which you cut out many different food groups: carbs, sugars, caffeine, beans, plus much more.

Putting this into action means a great deal of commitment. I’m proud that I made it nine days.

After the Elimination Phase, you go on to the Discovery Phase where you introduce each food back into your diet and keep a log of how your body reacts to it. If it proves to be a problem food, then you eliminate it completely from your diet.

During the Lifestyle Phase, you put together your individualized diet based on the results that you have uncovered during the Discovery Phase.

The entire plan can potentially take months to complete, during which you personally transform yourself based on your own body.

I think the EATLIVETHRIVE DIET is a great diet plan that addresses not just weight, but your entire body as a whole—body, emotion, and spiritual health. I really like that it is not generalized, where the authors tell everyone to give up pasta. After all, we are all different. I applaud anyone willing to dive into this. It takes a lot of commitment and hard work, but I think if you can make it through the Elimination Phase, then you are home free.

Sterling’s thoughts: No way am I giving up dog biscuits for fourteen days!

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