Just what have I been up to?


New Haircut

Hey all! I know it’s been a long time since you’ve heard from me, so I thought I’d give a quick update to let you know I’m still alive.

Although I haven’t been working on Monkbot…I have been busy…working on me.

As you can see, I’ve chopped off a good bit of my hair…which was a very liberating thing. (Thanks to my friend Tammy for giving me such a great new cut!)

I had gotten so stressed about how thin my hair was getting that the only alternative was to cut it all off. The good part of this is that Locks of Love will be getting an 11-inch pony tail from me (my third…and, sadly, my last). Growing it out and donating it was great, but having hair that reached halfway down my back became a stringy, tangly mess…and drove me up the wall!

Before Cut


After Cut


The Ponytail

But the 11 inches of hair isn’t the only thing I’ve lost recently. I’ve been working for about a year to lose weight.

So far, I’m up to 60 pounds gone (well, 59.5). Woo Hoo!!! Here’s a picture of me (left) from 2006 (weighing WAY more than I’m willing to post) and a picture of me from a couple of weeks ago (weighing 54 pounds less). Man, did I look like a stuffed turkey or what back in 2006?!

54 pounds gone

Little by little, I’ve been able to pull out old clothes and start wearing them again. Here I am in a size 22 pair of jeans that I haven’t worn in years and years (I started out wearing a 28). They are still too tight to wear out of the house (I can’t sit very comfortably in them), but in about another 10 or 15 pounds, that shouldn’t be a problem. (Don’t laugh too hard at my kerchief…I had just finished mowing the lawn…something I haven’t EVER been able to do because I was too out of shape…but now I can mow the front and back yards in under an hour…YEAH!!!!)

Size 22

I still have a long journey ahead of me as far as weight loss, but I really feel I’m in this for the long haul. Thanks to my sweet friend Bamaborntxbred, I found a phenomenal website that has helped me tremendously with the process…plus, it’s ENTIRELY FREE!! The site is SparkPeople.com. I really recommend anyone looking into it if they want to get healthy (not just lose weight…but really get healthy). I’ve been blogging there off and on since March. Y’all are welcome to check out my page.

And of course a Monkbot post wouldn’t be complete without an update on my Sadie Mae

Silly Sadie

She’s doing great and keeping me company. We walk more often now (thanks to the weight loss), and we wrestle and play with a lot more energy and pep. She’s really a great dog and I’m so glad I have her.

Contemplative Sadie

I never did sell my house, but, hopefully, I’m going to try again later this year. The economy and housing market have been so bad that selling hasn’t been at the top of my priority list. We’ll see what happens.

So, I guess that’s about all. I really think about posting but just don’t ever get around to it. The weight-loss journey has kept me pretty occupied and I’ve found some peace in my life for the first time in a long time. I do miss writing, though. Hmmm…who knows? Maybe I’ll try to post more. I don’t know. I like not being obligated to anything but my goals right now.

I do hope to give an update on Traveling Monkbot soon. He is back in the South and soon to be back in Mississippi. I hope to get him back before the end of summer and wrap that project up. It will be nice to have him home again.

Okay, I guess that’s all for now. This was a pretty low-key update, but that’s all I got. Take care.

Until next time…




31 Responses to “Just what have I been up to?”

  1. mom powers Says:

    You are so beautiful to me, and especially in one of my all time favorite shirts (Husqvarna)!!! Cute kiddo.

  2. Shelley Says:

    Awww…thanks, Mom. Love you, too.

    P.S. I know the t-shirt is too tight…but I can’t wait until I can wear it out of the house. It’s the COOLEST. πŸ˜‰

  3. Bama Says:

    Yaaaaay! It’s a Monkbot Christmas in July!!

    Girl, you look so beautiful! You have a hot body actually…an hourglass figure! You are going to be a KNOCKOUT when you reach your goal…actually…you already are!

    I can’t wait to see what MB has been up to!!

    Hi Sadie!

  4. Shelley Says:

    a knockout?! wow…i’ll have to post more often. girl, you just made my YEAR!

    love you, bama.

  5. Squeebee Says:

    Shelley! I just clicked on your link on a lark (as I do once in a while), and holy cow, do you ever look awesome! Before I even read the blog, I could see you had lost a bunch of weight from the first picture. I am so proud of you for being so determined! This sounds corny, but you just might be my inspiration to start on the journey myself.

    I am so glad to hear from you…..hoping against hope that maybe the blogs will become a little more frequent (but not overwhelmingly so!).

  6. Shelley Says:

    Awww…my sweet Squeebee…it’s so good to hear from you. Hope all is well up north.

    I have to admit, the reason why I decided to finally post was that I was hoping my efforts might be some help to someone else. So, I don’t think you sound corny at all! You sound absolutely lovely. πŸ™‚

  7. texastaylorfan Says:

    Wow. I feel kinda cosmic right now. I haven’t clicked on your site in forever. I mean forever. You can probably check that somehow and see that I’m not kidding.

    For some reason, I just decided to clean out my “favorites” and there was monkbot on the very long list. Oh, I thought, I miss that site. So I kept the bookmark and after I finished knocking off about 100 favorites, I clicked on it just to make sure nothing had been posted……

    Yay! A brand new post! What are the odds? You look fantastic! Love the new you. Your hair looks great, your weight loss looks great, and your smile looks sincerely happy. I’m so glad to see you doing well. Thanks for updating us.

    You’re staying on the favorites list, and I WILL be checking back.

    Congrats on your positive changes. πŸ™‚

  8. Shelley Says:

    Wow! I got goosebumps seeing you here texastaylorfan…and especially reading your comment! Thanks.

    I guess I’ll have to post again before another 6 months pass. πŸ˜€

  9. rowan Says:

    Shelley, you look unutterably fabulous! I needed to see this post today. I needed a motivational pic for my fridge, as advised on Sparkpeople, and was searching for one of those ‘I looked like this once, and can do it again’ pictures from the dim and distant past. Howevurr… I look too young on all of mine to make it all seem real and do-able. The beauty, joy and health radiating from your pics are the inspiration I need.

    Back on the wagon, Rowan!

  10. Shelley Says:

    I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to see these wonderful names and read these precious comments!

    Texastaylorfan….I’m tickled pink that you’re keeping me on your favorites list. I’ll have to be sure to put up more posts. πŸ™‚

    Rowan, what an honor to be on your fridge! πŸ˜‰ Girl, you’ve inspired me many, many times so I feel very special to be the one giving you a boost this time.

  11. dr.bob Says:

    You look really wonderful — the peace that you have radiates from your face. Love the hair cut.

    Whoo hooo! Glad to see you here again. You look really wonderful. Congrats and thanks for the renewed inspiration.

  12. ruhappytoseeme Says:

    Hi!!!! You look awesome! love the new do! and what a wonderful thing to do (locks of love). I love sparkpeople too, gave me tons of motivation, and since I have a really bad back (many surgeries) and am limited to what I can do I just never cared to do anything, till I put on 59 lbs and realized it will not go away on its own lol
    any way glad to see you post a new blog, have a great week! hugs

  13. peggyisamused Says:

    You’ve changed lots of lives, including mine. Well done.

  14. Shelley Says:


  15. Taylor's Soulmate Says:

    Hey Shelley! I just got an idea to see if you still had a website and lo and behold! You are doing a great job and look great. I couldn’t access your page but I did go to the diet website and sign up. It’s soooo coool! Hey, tell us more about how you lost all this weight and check your page link..What is your page or name on spark?

  16. Shelley Says:

    Hey, Soulmate, glad you visited!

    About how I’m losing weight…I’m afraid it’s not very sexy (especially if you were to see me whilst I was huffing and puffing through step aerobics). I’m simply trying to be healthy…i.e. counting calories and fat and sodium intake and then exercising every weekday for at least 40 minutes. It’s a slow process, but hopefully that will mean the weight will stay gone…or, rather, I’ll teach myself how to live healthy so I can maintain a GOOD weight for years and years and years to come.

    I put a link in the post to My Spark Page. You should be able to read more there. πŸ™‚

  17. Connie8 Says:

    Shelley – Just got my ‘puter back from the Geek Shop (I got a virus – cough cough) and what a surprise to see a monkbot talk notice! I’ve missed it so much – you know – talking to all you people, and being involved in your ongoing saga.

    You do look lovely and you are an inspiration.

    Love to all


  18. texan Says:

    How do you spell β€œmoxie?”



  19. Dr B's Ball and Chain Says:


    You look (and sound) terrific… N.B. I like reading your posts, because they are a good read (I’ve just been catching up, reading this one and the last one about your packrat neighbor).

    The packrat one gave me an idea for a short story.


  20. spinshack Says:

    Hi Shelley, I too thought of you this week. Cosmic, hey? Things happening in Taylor Hicks land and we think of you. Didn’t you come up with that logo that’s being featured currently on the Modern Whomp Records page, for Gray?

    Love your dog, I’m a big animal lover, rescue, save them, find them good homes, all the time.

    Your weight loss looks great, keep it up.

    Regarding Locks of Love, my daughter had her hair past her bottom, cut it off and donated this past month. She has hers cut similar to yours. Such a great cause.


  21. Shelley Says:

    Hey, it’s good to see you, too.

    Yep…I designed that logo. πŸ™‚

    Tell your daughter she’s awesome! (And so are you for the animal rescue.)

  22. Karen Says:

    Shelley, what a treat to find your post. And you are looking wonderful, girl. But, most of all, I’m glad you are taking good care of yourself.

  23. baby duck Says:

    Hi Shelley,

    My heart did an extra little pittapat when I saw this new post. I, too, still have Monkbot listed in my favorites, and click on the link from time to time, hoping you’ll be there. (I try Gray’s sometimes too :)).

    I am so-o-o-o-o-o happy for you, Shelley! You are looking great. Well done! Thanks for posting. I love hearing (and seeing) how well you are doing. Nice to see Sadie, too!

  24. JaxNative Says:

    Well hello there!

    I too was looking through my favs & saw Monkbot and thought I would check to see if you had been on.

    Wow! You look fantastic! Love the haircut too. Sadie as always is just too beautiful for words :o)

    Hope all is well in your world.. things here are good .. I do think about you often.. as a matter of fact I just moved my “Taylor Baby” and “Oh Holy Night” to a more comfortable spot on my computer to wait to be added to my mp3 player (no … I have STILL not upgraded to an I-pod) for the Christmas Season. They are both very precious to me :o)

    See ya next time around!

    Much love to all Monkbots out there!

  25. Claire Says:

    Well well well!!!!

    Ya click on a link just for auld lang syne, and whaddya get!!! A fabberoonie lookin’ Shelley saying hi!! Wow Shelley, 60 lbs gone – you can really see it! Keep it up, it’ll all be worth it. Thanks for checking in, I was wondering if you would ever step through the doors of MonkBot Manor again…

    By the way, I’m living in New Zealand now!! I decided to change my life last year also… I took a career break from my job, and moved from Ireland to NZ on my own to study Veterinary Nursing. I’ve been here since February and I’m really happy. I’ve made some awesome friends and I know I made the right choice for myself. And knowing you’ve made the right choice is half the battle, wouldn’t you agree?

    And isn’t Sadie the cutest puppy evah!

    Love to all MonkBots – Vive le Creme Egg Revolucion!!!

  26. Laurirose Says:

    Just received a blog email entitled “Monkbots Never Really Say Goodbye”… wonder why and how this came to me this morning, but for whatever reason, it was wonderful to read it again, and it also reminded me that I had never found the time to reply to the July 2008 post…

    I’m in law school now, having invented a new possibility for myself and my life after watching “Brokeback Mountain” a couple of years ago – I got so inspired to take a huge risk and act on my passions.. and even though it’s the biggest challenge I’ve ever taken on in my life, I do affirm every day that “Anything IS possible…”

    Reading both your “Honesty/Goodbye” post from June 2007, and this update from July 2008 reminded me of this great quote from Eleanor Roosevelt:

    “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face….
    You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

    Take good care, Shelley, and all others who read this…
    (cant’ resist an emoticon for ole times’ sake πŸ˜‰

  27. HicksChick4Soul Says:

    A NEW POST!!!!!
    What’s goin’ on everyone? Shelley, you look uber uber UBER fabu! You have such a pretty smile!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so excited when I saw the new post, but I suppose I’m still a little late :).

    Anyway, since last year around November I’ve lost about 80 pounds, and it’s very refreshing to know and see others going through the same hellious yet uplifting experience!

    I hope to see more posts in the future…but no pressure!

    I’ll have leejolem stop by soon…

    Love you all!!!

    Until next time πŸ˜€

  28. hickifino Says:

    Congrats, monkbot! Lots of longlasting focus. You look fabulous!

  29. Jax Says:

    Merry Christmas Shelley!!!

    Thank you for this gift … It is just beautiful

    For those of yo that have not heard this .. Shelley recorded it one Christmas after I begged her :o) .. I added the picture last year & uploaded it to Vimeo .. It;s one of my special gifts that I bring out this time of year.

    I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas & a blessed New Year!

  30. Sally Says:

    Happy New Year Shelley.

    Would love to hear an update sometime when you get around to it.

  31. Jan Says:

    Shelley, I really love to read your blog. You are a very talented writer. You share your life with people and it feels like talking to a very close friend. I miss monkbot and you.

    Don’t know why I decided to check out monkbot today but I think of you and my fellow monkbots often.

    Congratulations on the amazing weight loss. You look gorgeous. You inspire me to work harder to get in shape. I’ve been taking my dog on hour long hikes every day for the last couple of months. It’s been fun to see the sun.

    Your dog is a cutie pie. I love my dog with all my heart. She has had a bad ear infection for more than a month. I have a vet appt on Saturday so hopefully she will be cured. I’m crossing my fingers.

    Now I just need to figure out how to be notified if you post anything else.

    Peace and love to all monkbots…

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