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I can't wait for Solstice.

Monday, December 06, 2010

I have never looked forward to solstice so much as I do this year. It's probably because I've spent so much time outside having fun in my boat.

Seriously, though. I have a drysuit.

I have gloves, and pogies, and fleece base layers, and a warm helmet liner, etc. The cold isn't fabulous but it isn't the end of the world, either.

Sometimes it's even kind of neat.

I can paddle in the cold.

Yes, those are icicles hanging from my helmet.

What I cannot do is paddle in the dark.

So, yeah. I just can't wait for solstice!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JRZG8R 12/15/2010 11:00PM

    WOW You Rock. Love the new drysuit how is it? Give us a report on Kayaking page.

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JESPAH 12/8/2010 8:14AM

    Icicles on the helmet, alive, alive oh! :)

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KAKIPOPUP 12/7/2010 10:28AM

    I love the returning light - of course, the saying "when the days begin to lengthen, the cold begins to strengthen" is also true. But light conquers all!

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KAYOTIC 12/7/2010 9:54AM

    icicles on the helmet! You go! Waiting for the solstice here too....bring on the light!

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    Wow, very inspiring! I hope you get more light soon!

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WOLFKITTY 12/7/2010 1:40AM

    That's amazing, Ang! Oh my gosh!


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    I ccaaahhh caaahhhh cahhhhh couldn't even immmmmmmagine. Jeezus, I'm fah fah fah fah fah freezin' just looking at you.

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ELYMWX 12/6/2010 1:33PM

    I so wanted to go out on the water yesterday morning. I am, however, sadly lacking in cold water kayaking gear...

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EILEENV3 12/6/2010 12:40PM

    Way to go! I am impressed. ( emoticon -- CAUSE YOU'VE DONE IT!)

My way of dealing with Winter & Cold was to move. When I lived up in cold country no matter what I did, my face could not handle being out when it was less than 10 degress.

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ANNE7X7 12/6/2010 11:02AM

    Wow! Very cool that you continue throughout the Winter! You are HARDCORE!!!

I totally agree!! I hate not seeing any sunlight!! It's really hard on me this year, probably because I am not hibernating with lots of junk food on the couch for the first time in my life! It's hard to go running outside when it's cold AND dark.

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DDOORN 12/6/2010 10:58AM

    Oh WOW! You just aren't going to let these long, dark months slow you down in the LEAST!

Kudos to YOU!


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Help UMass & Polartec get disabled people into outdoor activities!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Vote for UMass among the four finalists, here:

My request here is very much in the spirit of the SPARKPeople site, in that your vote will enable people to go out and participate in active outdoor adventures that they would otherwise not be able to do.

All you have to do is go to the link above, watch the inspiring UMass video of how they would use special equipment to get disabled people outdoors doing the kinds of things we all love, and click the "vote" button.

This is happening on Facebook from November 9th to November 30th. You can vote once per day, anyone can vote and you do not need to be a UMass student or an outing club member.


This whole kayaking season has been a wonderful adventure in expanding my boundaries, trying new things, going to beautiful wild places, and meeting really amazing people.

One group I've enjoyed paddling with this summer and fall is the University of Massachusetts Outing Club. They're great people and solid boaters. I always learn something new when I paddle with them and have a good time, too!

These guys are finalists in a contest sponsored by Polartec to donate $10,000 toward a university outing club.

If they win, they will use the money to start an adaptive recreation program in their club. This will allow people with disabilities to participate in sports, by providing expensive accessible equipment such as mountain wheelchairs, sit-skis, kick-sleds, adaptive climbing equipment, river portaging gurneys and more. They do not currently have enough funds to purchase such equipment, which is why they are participating in this contest, and why I'm mentioning it here.

I have complete confidence in the folks behind this project (I've paddled with some of them) and I have to say that if I needed special equipment to get myself to a river, I would definitely want these guys to win! (And then I'd have to move to Massachusetts. LOL)

Please vote and spread the word (click the "like" button on this blog post if you think others might want to know about it).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JRZG8R 11/14/2010 1:20PM

    Very cool. I have cast my vote for them.

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Mind over Matter

Thursday, November 04, 2010

My personal trainer asked me to read this article from Oprahís magazine about Vision Boards (what Spark People calls Vision Collages)

What struck me about the article is that the author is talking about using her mind to cause changes in the material world. And mind over matter is exactly what is going on here. I use my mind to control my size (which is most definitely a form of matter, LOL). Itís what all of us are doing.

In my case I went through four magazines and I found exactly one image that caught me, of some fruit next to a shampoo being advertized. I donít think printed images do it for me. But graphs, charts, numbers, they do. For the record, I do have an electronic vision collage I created for this site about a year ago and update periodically: tinyurl.com/vision-collage

Visualizing a line on a graph going down is one of the most powerful internal motivators Iíve ever found. Lots of people (not just my personal trainer) have lately been telling me that I focus too much on the numbers, that I need to use other types of measures to assess my progress. I can see their point, but my experience tells me that I should stick with what I know in order to get where I want to go. Once I get there I need to try something different for STAYING there, but to get there Ė that I know how to do, and I think Iím probably better off doing it the most effective way I know how.

I have been struggling a lot since Labor Day. There is a depression that lurks around every bend lately, and whenever I hit a setback it starts up again with threatening to eat me from the inside.

I think part of the problem is that Iíve been gradually losing the support network and activity that I enjoyed most of the season. My best boating buddy got a job and moved to Illinois, so Iíve had to work at finding people to paddle with, and to get used to traveling and kayaking with them. Temperatures are dropping and this necessitates more gear, to stay warm and safe. The fact is, for most people the season is ending and theyíre looking forward to their favorite winter sport(s), which generally involve snow.

I have an arthritic knee from an injury when I was 17 and downhill skiing has always been a bit problematic for me. I do like Nordic skiing and bought a pair of skis last year from a friend. There was so little snow I only used them twice, I think.

What most of my whitewater friends do in the winter is downhill skiing, and while I enjoyed it briefly while younger, Iím pretty sure my knee canít handle it now. Some people have said that I might be able to do snowboarding, and Iím willing to give it a shot, if it provides the rush I get from kayaking. Iím going to miss that rush, the speed, the feeling of freedom and moving with the water, the challenge of hitting my lines not just with skill but panache.

The depression that threatens is worse than I recall in recent years. Iíve been having a hard time mustering enthusiasm for anything except kayaking, and itís starting to affect most aspects of my life in a negative way. Last fall I was at the tail end of losing the weight and buoyed up by the novelty and thrill of getting to a size where I actually started not only accepting, but actually *liking* what I saw in the mirror. The year before that I had just started really losing the weight. The 15 winters before that I soothed myself with food. Lots and lots of salty, greasy carbs. Because thatís comfort food for me.

Itís a good thing I have my annual checkup with my shrink today, because I think I might need something stronger than a daily 20mg of fluoxetine. Controlling depression is one of the key factors identified by the NWCR in managing weight. At the moment Iím about 20 lbs up from goal (which I hit in February and March), and Iím not happy about it.

Night eating is what has been happening, and I think depression has been contributing to this. I just want to crawl into a hole and hide until spring comes and kayaking season starts up again. When Iím home alone at night I tend to fall back into old patterns such as watching TV (on Hulu these days) and that triggers me to eat Ė out of boredom and loneliness.

I have an urge to indulge myself with food Ė to eat for other reasons than just fuel or hunger. Iíve had to purge the house of: popcorn, dried fruit, grapes, cheese, meat, pasta, nuts, sugar, honey, and any snacks or desserts. I never did buy any candy for Halloween Ė I know better from past experience. I may have to remove the rice and whole grains but so far the cooking time has deterred me from binging on them too.

Crawling into a hole and hiding until spring just isnít an option for me. Well, it IS an option, but I know where that leads. It leads to super morbid obesity. Iíve been here before, and I donít like the results.

Over the past several months Iíve tried lots of ways of motivating myself and keeping myself on track. I got a tattoo on my forearm to remind me of why I want to stay in shape.

I joined Weight Watcherís for the weekly face-to-face pep talk. I went back to my previous regime of spinning class twice a week alternating with body pump.

A couple of weeks ago I realized that Iím almost the same weight I was last year at this time. Competition does motivate me, so I started a contest with myself of last year to see if I can get back down to goal weight before she does. I have the records of exactly what I ate and how I exercised back then, so if I do the same things I should get similar results.

Iíve got more muscle and less body fat than she did, so I should have an advantage.

So Iím going to visualize those blue dots dropping down at least as fast as the red ones from last year and use that image to keep myself on track with controlling the depression, logging my food and controlling the amounts, avoiding Hulu at night, and exercising even when I might not feel like it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

S318830 11/10/2010 3:03PM

    Come visit me in Southern California! Okay, so that probably won't solve your problems, but it sure would be fun...

I hope that your self-competition helps kick you in the rear. And hopefully I'll be having my own successes and came come by and further motivate you. I continue to marvel at how our weight numbers have been tracking so closely together all year!

Are there any X-Country ski clubs in your area you could join?

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NEWNECK 11/6/2010 1:51PM

    Definitely give snowboarding a try. I did a snowboarding weekend a couple of years ago with some friends. We were all absolute beginners but had a great time.

Have you considered telemark skiing as an alternative to alpine? It allows you to use the same runs as alpine, so you have the social component (which can be a problem with Nordic skiing). But telemark is arguably easier on the knees than alpine skiing. It's also fluid and beautiful and a fabulous workout.


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DDOORN 11/6/2010 12:02AM

    There is something SO tricky about the change of seasons for us Northerners...! I'm struggling similarly...having gotten SO PSYCHED and HIGH on cycling all during the spring-summer-fall yet now having to stow it away for a few months...?

You mean I have to STOP this stuff that's been making me feel so FINE?!?!

Shifting gears is not an easy proposition when one has been flying so high! And I think it is a bit natural to feel a bit of whiplash in the form of depression when one pulls the plug from something like your kayaking, my cycling.

And then there seems to ALWAYS be some past demon or another nipping at one's heels. It can be hard work to snuff them out.

But it sounds like you've got a lead on some strategy changes that offer promise!

Love the Oprah link! I have yet STILL not done a vision board / collage of any kind. Hoping this might help to inspire me, along with your flikr collage...liked that a LOT!


Thx for stopping by my blog! There is no way I would have rented any bike without a helmet...that's just joining the ranks of all the other future Darwin Award Winners...lol! It really made me aware of the kind of bonding that occurs between a cyclist and one's bike!

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CARRIE1948 11/5/2010 7:47AM

    First, if numbers work for you, use them. I like charts as well, so I understand.

As to cross country skiing, we're supposed to be in for a bad winter - 100 or more inches of snow, which could make it a great season. I am up for anything, even if it's only snow shoeing on my part.

Night eating is a problem. Have you considered that it's boredom? I know what it's like to miss the endorphins. But, eating doesn't resolve their lack. And, of course, you know that.

Good luck with the meds.

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EILEENV3 11/5/2010 6:03AM

    Reading your blog reminds me of my life experiences with Depression; only I did not seek medical help. I regret that. I'm so glad you are seeing a medical person.

Is there any chance that some(definitely not all) of the cause may be the seasonal depression caused by less sun on your skin. I think the acronym is SAD. If it is, there is a light therapy that can help.

It sound like you are very self aware. That is a strength. It gives me much hope for you.

Have you thought about trying Meetup.com to find new companions for physical activities. Besides Nordic skiing when there is snow, there is snow shoeing. In addition, you could find hiking buddies through the site for snowless weather. Biking is another group you could find at Meetup.com If you're interested, go to the main site & plug in either interests or zip code. If you do zip code, change the range from 25 miles to 50 miles.

Good luck with everything!

Comment edited on: 11/5/2010 6:04:37 AM

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GEE-KNEE 11/5/2010 1:14AM

    Life isn't always easy. I am at almost the same weight I was last year at this time. I had a heck of a year. I was like 15 pounds lighter in May. Don't beat yourself up. You will get back down. I will too. We didn't gain back 50 or 100 or 150... a mere 15-20 pounds will be off in no time. Take care of yourself. I am glad you are seeing a doctor. Anxiety is my demon... it's related to depression, but slightly different.


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TELERIE 11/4/2010 7:28PM

    Thanks for reminding me that I'm really motivated by graphs and numbers too. I've sort of stood still this year, weighing more or less the same as I did at the beginning of the year., It's good to maintain, but I am looking to drop a few more kilos before I will tell myself I'm "done". From what you write I will expect the work to just continue, perhaps with a different focus.
I hope you get to play in the snow, perhaps you can find a couple of cross-country enthusiasts in a club somewhere near you to join?
There might be something in the season change bringing on a bout of depression. I feel it too here in the cold north, but once snow gets here, things brighten up for me.

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    Here comes the drive-by psychoanalysis. So, I don't have depression, so I don't think I can completely relate, but I think I used to have seasonal depression. Late October, early November (sometimes earlier), I would start getting bitchy. Warm weather was gone, no more summer sports, long nights, cold days, scraping windshields, shoveling drive ways, driving on ice covered roads ... oh I get chills just thinking about it now.

Seems like maybe a move south could do you some good? I know that's a LOT easier said than done, but my seasonal depression (if that's what it was) vanished the day I quit shoveling snow. While it gets cold down here, it ain't like it is up there. We can still do summer like things outside half the time. Since you seem like a summer time gal ... well, just thought I'd throw that out there based on my personal experience.

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BUZYBEEDEBRA 11/4/2010 5:53PM

    thank you - this spoke to me in ways I cannot begin to describe.

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NIMNIX 11/4/2010 5:03PM

    If you're gonna go all off-season with it, train with exercises built for kayaking, whatever drills you can do indoors, any exercises that will strengthen and hone your body for what you want. There are probably resources out there for circuits and workouts designed for your needs. They exist for every other sport I know of. It helps to have specific training goals in mind.

As for using numbers, some people go overboard with it or get too attached to the actual number. If numbers work for you, why not use them? Use other measurements too for a full picture, but there's nothing like that downward line to mark progress. emoticon

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WALKWITME 11/4/2010 2:00PM


Come here give me a hug !

I can relate to some of which you are going through, especially the Depression.

I too have my own demons on my back.

we are going to work it out.

Enjoyed your Blog

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PAMROPER 11/4/2010 1:38PM

    Sounds like you're working it out. Hang in there - and that competition with yourself is a great idea. Have you thought about volunteering with something that you have an interest in? It will get you out and around people and the happiness you'll get from helping someone else will be a real boost.

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ALIE719 11/4/2010 11:36AM

    I love that you're competing against yourself. Awesome idea.

I'm about to be a year out from a really bad kayaking accident, one that took place after we moved from Yorkshire to Wales. Our Yorkshire canoe club was out for a trip, so we went out with them. Because of that injury, I was out for the rest of the season, and we haven't made any kayaking friends in our area, so I feel your pain. I wound up gaining 30 pounds over the course of this year, and am creeping back down to where I was (15 down, 15 to go, then another 15 to goal...).

Funnily enough, we're just hitting the start of kayaking season here, but everything is III/IV, and my confidence is still a bit too low and my skills a bit too rusty to trust myself with just the boyfriend out on something North Wales has to provide(everything is really freaking technical, but really fun).

I do get a huge rush from snowboarding, so it is something to try. Or you could do what the UK paddles do in the (very dry) summer and go to where the water is. Kayaking trips are a great way to get closer with a new group and oh so freaking much fun!

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LIFE-OF-LEISURE 11/4/2010 11:06AM

    So many times we think 'once we lose the excess weight that all our problems will be solved and we'll be in our happy place 24/7'. It, unfortunately, doesn't work that way.

Thank you for posting such a powerful and personal message.

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chest colds, Halloween, and companionship

Friday, October 29, 2010

I got a chill last weekend while kayaking and it turned into a sore throat and eventually into a chest cold. I haven't worked out all week, took two days off work to stay in bed, and have spent most of my time horizontal, feeling like I'd been run over by a truck.

I'm hoping to feel better enough to go lake kayaking with a friend tomorrow and from there to a Halloween party at another friend's house. My reaction to having to find a costume surprised me. This is the first Halloween in 15+ years when I've actually been in halfway reasonable shape, and a year ago if you'd asked me how I'd feel about it, I would have expected the answer to be "thrilled" because finally I might be able to costume myself halfway attractively.

Instead I felt a bit of dread. It just seemed like it might be a whole lot of work. Went to a few thrift stores and tried on their cheap formal gowns. Found one in black tulle that was kind of cute, but unfortunately my chest and abs are too large (guess it's all that kayaking - the waist and hips were fine, just the part above it was a problem! *sigh*)

Ended up going to see what they had at Wal-mart and got a "fallen angel" thing. I'll use the black halo, wings, and fishnet gloves but the dress is not at all flattering. So I'll wear a clingy sleeveless black knit dress and a pair of boots and fishnet stockings and call it good. I have a black jacket with leopard cuffs and collar to wear if I get cold.

Here is a picture, with one of my critics offering comments.

I think I'll also wear my garage door opener around my neck on a lanyard and say I'm "a fallen angel who can't get up!"
Some of you might be old enough to remember the commercial I would be referencing:

The trick-or-treating plan for Sunday is to be the Neighborhood Grinch again and hand out toys and pencils and stuff like last year.

In fact, I still have a box of stuff from last year, so it's coming out again. And if they don't like it, too bad. If that sugary stuff isn't good for ME to eat, then why on Earth would I give it to children?

On other fronts, I've come to the conclusion that while I love my cats, some human companionship would be agreeable. I lost all this weight and turned myself into an athlete, and maybe it would be nice to share this body with someone else. To that end I'm becoming more assertive about following up on flirting and innuendo from members of the opposite sex. Sometimes this leads to disappointment when it turns out they didn't mean it, but hey, if I don't put myself out there, then I risk being a Cat Sandwich for the rest of my life.

OK, we now have a thread on this last topic over at the HIT squad:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRIE1948 10/30/2010 12:37PM

    Go for it!

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GEE-KNEE 10/29/2010 7:41PM

    It's good to put yourself out there. I am glad to hear that you are feeling comfortable to do that.


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BREWMASTERBILL 10/29/2010 6:17PM

    Go tear it up in the hit forum. Just be prepared for me to chime in. Only way I'll get tweaked is if we start talking about cycles, morning rituals and how you feel. Other than that, all topics that might stretch into the category of research are fair game. To date as the sole moderator/leader/king of the nuts I've deleted, modified, censored 0 posts.

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NIMNIX 10/29/2010 6:12PM

    Haha if I really need the full effect I need to start referring to myself in the third person with my nickname. Which I guess means I need to earn my fighting name. emoticon

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GRACEFULIFE 10/29/2010 5:21PM

    You could try the GTL circuit. LOL.

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NIMNIX 10/29/2010 5:19PM

    Love that name tag.

And I think the Research and Development section would probably be the best for theory, to be continued (if we do perform experiments) in the Results and Measurement section.

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GRACEFULIFE 10/29/2010 5:19PM

    * just some halfway healthy companionship. Who can possibly hold a conversation? Is that too much to ask?

No, not too much to ask, though it seems to me in society today even "halfway healthy" can be very difficult to come by.... healthy in the relationship sense that is. Healthy the other way... well that's not all that easy to come by either I suppose.

*And yeah, I'd prefer a paddler. So where ARE all of these people???

I'd suggest that if you find a guy who likes fitness and outdoor activities (so not just a meathead/mook/gym rat) he'd be glad to get into paddling. The paddling community may be skewed but it's not all that large.

Have you reviewed these pages?:

Comment edited on: 10/29/2010 5:19:46 PM

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/29/2010 4:59PM

    @ GL

Hehehehe. Cute

Torn between suggesting putting this topic in the "Results and Measurement" section (in case we decide to run some experiments) or the Research and Development section (for speculation and referencing studies on the subject)

And yeah, I agree with NIMNIX - I don't want skanky disease-ridden guys, just some halfway healthy companionship. Who can possibly hold a conversation without boring me to death? Is that too much to ask?

I've heard all about how in the white water world the gender ratios are so skewed, it's easy for chix to find guys, blah blah blah. If it's so easy, how come I'm still a Cat Sandwich?

And yeah, I'd prefer a paddler. Where ARE all of these people???
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/29/2010 5:15:01 PM

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NIMNIX 10/29/2010 4:55PM

    Email? No, this discussion BELONGS in the HIT page. I mean come on, where better for lessons on how to hit that? We do love our analysis.

For now my main problem is even encountering the kind of men I like (who are single). I haven't yet found that mecca, not the one that fits into my workout schedule anyway.

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GRACEFULIFE 10/29/2010 4:52PM

    I'll write something up and probably email it to you.

Speaking of name tags I was just shown this one today:

EDIT: Ahh, OK, I have no problem having that discussion in a thread in HITsquad if you'd like.

Comment edited on: 10/29/2010 4:52:50 PM

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/29/2010 4:44PM

    Feel free to launch into a dissertation about how to meet guys. I'm listening. LOL

In fact, just to tweak BMB, let's have the discussion over at the HIT page. LOLOL

Comment edited on: 10/29/2010 4:51:42 PM

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GRACEFULIFE 10/29/2010 4:39PM

    It's awfully strange to hear women saying they have problems meeting guys to date. Usually I hear women saying they have no problem finding guys who are interested. Then again maybe they are only speaking about the one night stand kind of guys? Still, I get the impression it is more difficult from this side of the fence, in real life but even more so in online situations.

And yes, pretty much any low cut neckline is likely to be effective.

Of course, any real discussion in this vein would be ... quite long.

Comment edited on: 10/29/2010 4:41:04 PM

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/29/2010 4:29PM

    Hmm. Does it have to be a scoop neck, or will any shape of low cut neckline work?

I think I need to go to the hardware store and get a stud finder to help me identify where the single guys are.

Nice idea about the Mrs. Fletcher thing. I'll have to think about what would be a suitable prize. Perhaps some of my Halloween goodies that I'll hand out tomorrow.

Or maybe even better, I wear one of those "HELLO My Name Is..." Mrs Fletcher tags, As in, I'm her, and they didn't get help to me soon enough...

Comment edited on: 10/29/2010 4:33:06 PM

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GRACEFULIFE 10/29/2010 4:22PM

    I think you should bring a couple of instances of a prize for anyone who then answers "We're sending help immediately Mrs. Fletcher"

Levramosis always gives out popcorn (they make small bags just for Halloween)... not the healthiest thing in the world since it's microwave but at least it is whole grain! Evidently that is bad for young kids so they get single serving bags of potato chips.

@NIMNIX... depends what you mean by "method".. also what you mean "attracting". But I thought every woman in the world knew the main one:
1. Be where there are single guys
2. ...wearing a scoop neck top.
3. Profit! [Sorry... couldn't resist]

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NIMNIX 10/29/2010 3:38PM

    I hear you on the dating thing, though I'm not even putting myself out there. I have to learn a method I can actually use when it comes to attracting guys.

Maybe I can just take 'em down and fight them to submission?

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MOM5INFL 10/29/2010 1:44PM

    Angela, I do think that having someone else at your side would be good for you. Good luck on the dating scene. I never got to do it! I married my first and only boyfriend!! Have fun with it! Meeting new people will definitely help with nighttime cravings! Butterflies in the stomach kills the appetite! Birdie.

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LILPAT3 10/29/2010 1:40PM

    I understand the companionship. Lost all my weight, married 25 years and suddenly for the last five years...No interest from the other side of relationship. Good luck!

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WOLFKITTY 10/29/2010 1:18PM


Your costume sounds awesome, and your plan for no candy in the house is great. I think it's a good idea to be open to finding love and companionship. You never know where you may find it! :D


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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/29/2010 1:00PM

    Can I help it if I find men in skirts attractive?

y, they are probably not intimidated by my cheap Werner "Desperado" paddle. And no I'm not making that up. It's the actual model name.

Comment edited on: 10/29/2010 1:06:39 PM

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BREWMASTERBILL 10/29/2010 12:36PM

    lmbo! Cat sammich!

It seems to me like all of those co-ed type leagues I play in are pretty good opportunities for guys and gals to get to know one another. Sure, there are the usual cast of clowns there (like me) and married folks, but some single folks too, most of which are athletic. If I would've known about these in my single days ... man oh man :)

Also, volunteer work seems to put guys and gals in a room together with no immediate pressure to commingle. Perhaps help at the cat rescue league once a week (if such a thing exists ... but you catch my drift, right?)

Also note, please stop walking around everywhere with a paddle. Us men find that intimidating.

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Getting a handle on things

Monday, October 18, 2010

Whew. Where do I even start?

I've been kayaking every weekend since my last blog. It's been getting colder so I ordered a drysuit that should arrive on Thursday. Paddled some of the hardest rapids I've ever done this past weekend in the Adirondacks. Some more successfully than others, but I learned a lot, which is always a good thing.

Thursday night I met WOLFKITTY (Jocelyn) and MAXXMANN123 at a Zumba class near Syracuse.

As Jocelyn mentioned in her blog we had a good chat over dinner (at Wegmans, LOL). It is always so much easier discussing weight loss and maintenance with someone who has also been there and GETS IT. Especially when they too started at super morbidly obese and have lost over 100 lbs. The conversation helped clear away some of my mental cobwebs and prime me for attacking the problem head-on.

I've been displeased with my weight gain since March. I used my triathlon training and kayaking as an excuse to fall off my regime of spinning 2x/week alternating with strength training or body pump. I've started binging at night again. Things are not so good in the discipline department.

So I've started spinning again. I'll probably restart the body pump this coming Wednesday evening. I've contacted my weight trainer at the Y so we can hopefully start up our weekly sessions again.

I'll still be kayaking on the weekends, but I'll feel better if my week days are scheduled again. The exercise helps a lot with controlling my appetite, specifically the night eating.

I'm going to take all the shows except Biggest Loser off my queue at Hulu. TV just encourages me to eat, which is not helpful.

I've bought a couple of enormous Hubbard squashes that I'll bake and freeze in containers. That will ensure that I have yummy healthy vegetables available all winter for quick lunches, etc. And besides. Honestly, I'm not sure there IS a cheaper tasty winter squash. They had them at Walmart yesterday for less than $3 per squash, and you know how enormous those things are!

For the record, in case you decide to try this at home, the easiest way to break open one of those suckers is to sweep your sidewalk or driveway well, and then take the squash out there and drop it from chest height. It will break into several chunks that can be whacked into smaller ones with a mallet and cleaver, or baked as is. Just preheat the oven to 350, take the seeds and stringy stuff out, line some cookie sheets with foil, and bake cut-side-up until you can stick a fork in 'em easily. Then let the pieces cool until you can handle 'em and scrape the flesh into tupperwares that will go into the freezer. You can use this stuff just as is reheated in the microwave, as a base for squash soup or pumpkin pie, mash it, bake it in pumpkin bread, etc. etc. etc.

I've started attending weight watcher meetings for added accountability and some face-to-face motivation. I've also started up our little informal Monday weigh-in group at work to help me stay focused over the weekends.

And the latest thing I'm doing is having a race with my 2009 self to see who can get down to 150 first. As of October 18 she weighed 184.6. This morning I weighed 175.8 - so I currently have a head start, but I know how determined she was. She was like a freakin' unstoppable freight train. And that's the kind of competition I need right now. And if she could do it, so can I, because at one time I WAS her. But the me now has even more experience, so if anything I should have an additional advantage.

Here's a graph of my progress so far. As the days go by this image will automatically update. The first dot on the left is the minimum weight achieved in either year over the time frame shown.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOM5INFL 10/25/2010 9:34PM

    Gotta love maintenance! I'm starting to think that binge eating is what causes the vast majority of weight regain. I admit I do it. It's pretty embarrassing to admit. One of these days I will write a blog titled "I am a binge eater". But, I'm too scared to do it. Pretty savvy sparkies can find my statement hidden here in your blog responses...but for now I'm not ready to broadcast it. I could have mentioned it in a private message...but I didn't.

So, how do it deal with it? Keeping my home trigger free. But, I have been known to binge on apples! And yes it is painful! I also try to keep my hands busy. My usual go to is the vaccum. Going shopping is nice distraction, but it gets too expensive. I'm not a take a bubble bath and paint your toes type of person.

How often do I do it?? It usually occurs in clusters. All at night. What I have found is that not avoiding the scale helps me break the cycle. Seeing the inflated numbers can shock me back to reality. Also, I have found that there is a HUGE correlation with PMS. I'm not having much success with overcoming this one. It's getting worse with age...likely because of my age.

I've impressed myself with my ability to pretty much maintain with these behaviors. I attribute it to my muscle mass...which I have not been putting in the work to maintain. I know that the behaviors will eventually catch up with me if I'm not careful.

I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I think that we are finding out exactly why the failure rate is so high. My hope is that our insight and knowledge will place us into the elite 5 percent. Birdie.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/25/2010 1:26PM


I think staying fit is a constant effort probably because it's a moving target, just like an athlete maintaining peak form.

Things happen - injuries, changes in training schedules, our bodies are continually changing, adapting, aging, etc. For me it helps with consistency and continuity if I build the food tracking and exercise into a habitual routine that buffers me somewhat from unexpected wrenches. LOL

And yeah, heaving around enormous winter squash definitely ought to count toward strength training. hahaha

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ZESTYLADY 10/23/2010 11:29AM

    So how come this whole weight loss thing isn't like riding a bike or learning to knit??? Why do we have to keep going back to the same old hurdles??? Sheesh! You have a great plan to regroup and it motivates me to stay true as well. And what a great ime to be heaving giant squashes all over the place!

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JRZG8R 10/19/2010 10:08PM

    Amazing. You are such a whirlwind. The nightly battle is being waged here too. I exercise so much and then blow my calorie budget on snacks or drinks watching tv. I need to get my focus too. It sounds like you are on the war path and those extra pound's days are numbered. I am quite inspired by your previous success and your current resolve. emoticon

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TELERIE 10/19/2010 5:32PM

    Great plan! I'm rooting for the 2010-version of you! You do ROCK!
How fun to meet Jocelyn! It's great to have face-to-face people in your life who understands!

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CARRIE1948 10/19/2010 7:18AM

    You CAN do this

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BREWMASTERBILL 10/19/2010 6:53AM

    Sounds like a good plan. Glad to see you back.

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JESPAH 10/19/2010 6:30AM

    Okay, first off, Hubbard squash look like Invasion of the Body Snatchers pods.

I'm just sayin'.

So replace your old self. ;)

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DDOORN 10/18/2010 6:11PM

    "Freakin' unstoppable freight train"...might just be an UNDERSTATEMENT...lol!

g to ramp myself up too. One of the big drawbacks of cycling is the APPETITE it works up! Ugh!

Keep the SPARK!


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MABELPIE 10/18/2010 5:00PM

    go 2010 self! And thanks for the squash advice...i never know how to open those things without a terrible stabbing motion.

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LIBBYFITZ 10/18/2010 4:08PM


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ELYMWX 10/18/2010 4:07PM

    We'll be rooting for you!

Or at least for the 2010 iteration of you...

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HOT4FITNESS 10/18/2010 4:05PM

    You go girl!!! Have fun kayaking!!

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ANNE7X7 10/18/2010 3:30PM

    I love the idea of a competition with your former self. I have no doubt that 2010 you will kick 2009 you's butt!!!

thanks for the squash idea!!!

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MYSTERY4EVER 10/18/2010 2:38PM

    I love that you are competing with yourself. You can beat the old you! You can do this!

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2SPARKS1 10/18/2010 2:33PM

    Sounds like you have a plan! Good luck and I hope I can be as active as you are one day!

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