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What will your kids remember about you? Mine still talk about the day I ate the whole pie.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Well, not the whole pie. As they remember, I left one little sliver for someone else.

I taught high school math and computer science and was also technology coordinator for grades 6-12. I took my job very seriously and I came home each day physically and mentally drained. Even at home my job hovered over me and the entire family. My lesson plans and piles of papers to grade were never far away. When I took this stuff along on a family trip, DH yelled in exasperation “you didn’t sign a contract, you took vows!” Fortunately, there are more good things to remember about our life than the incidents that have become family jokes.

I used to think that my body was craving nourishment. While most of the time my food wasn’t quite so unhealthy, I was quite capable of eating enormous quantities of healthy food too. What I considered healthy has changed over the years as well. Nutritional content wasn’t always as easy to find as it is today.

Yesterday, I wrote about one big slip-up. That sort of thing didn’t used to be a slip-up. It was the norm. Finally I decided to change the norm and now I join the 5%. I may still slip, but I know so much more now. If I do slip, I’m going to pick myself up and keep going in the right direction.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAKEMAKERMOM 11/21/2012 10:31AM

    And now you eat the sliver and leave the rest of the pie for everyone else.

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GOTTAPLAN4U 11/21/2012 10:05AM

  I say frequently that the major education I have gotten from SP is on the topic of not letting slip-ups take you down. I really needed to learn that. And now, as you say, I know the right direction is always still ahead of me.
Nice blog.

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COCK-ROBIN 11/21/2012 9:38AM

    Good for you! Keep it up.

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KANOE10 11/21/2012 9:27AM

    You have made great gains in not letting a slip up be the norm! That is the key to staying in the 5 percent. Great job.
I have eaten entire packages of cookies and had to go out and replace them. My kids remember me as always being on a diet.

I am glad we are learning how to be healthy.
Great blog.

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WILSONWR 11/21/2012 8:48AM

    While I'm not there yet, I'm working on changing a lifetime of overeating. The problem was that I "got away with it" when I was younger. I weighed 130 pounds throughout high school, and I overate, on purpose, trying to gain weight! I remember one particular morning that I ate 23 large homemade biscuits (with homemade jelly) - I only stopped becuase I had eaten them all! I just couldn't gain weight because I was so active (maybe a bit "hyper")! Today I can eat what seems like hardly anything and gain weight. While I think I'm still active, I guess it doesn't compare to my youth. Maybe I'll blog about this topic in the future - thanks for bringing back the memories. It's nice that we can laugh about ourselves now and then!

Comment edited on: 11/21/2012 8:51:16 AM

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CELIAMINER 11/21/2012 8:16AM

    Ha haaaaa! Your blog triggered two images for me:
1. I was about 7. My mother made a huge, HUGE pot of spaghetti. A regular dinner plate was not big enough, so she pulled out a large glass platter-size plate for herself. The load of spaghetti and sauce was too much (and likely too hot), and the plate broke. Messy.
2. Current age, and this happens too often. If there is one molecule left in the container of orange juice (or soy milk or whatever), DH does not consider the container empty. Countless times I have reached for something, only to find a drop left and no notation on the running shopping list that we needed more. The family joke is that he left a "Miner serving."

Celia Miner

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SUZYMOBILE 11/21/2012 8:15AM

    Cool! That's your daughter on here!

My small family, broken as it was by divorce, still provides my kids with memories about me. Delia, about to make her first from-scratch Thanksgiving dinner, knows enough to take the giblets out of the bird because, once, I didn't.

Oh, and once I ate a whole BOWL of Christmas cookies. And I mean, like, a MIXING bowl. A LARGE mixing bowl.

What kind of pie was it? I hope to God it wasn't pecan!

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WILLOWBROOK5 11/21/2012 7:25AM

    But now in addition to the Pie Incident, they can talk about how you turned your life around with healthy choices and activities!

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HAYBURNER1969 11/21/2012 7:13AM

    Yes, I remember that day!! I remember saying, "Why did you bother dirtying a dish?" and you pointed out that you didn't eat the WHOLE pie... ha ha!

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MAGGIE101857 11/21/2012 6:46AM

    Now you have me thinking - and laughing! Happy Thanksgiving - don't eat the whole emoticon !!!

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SWEDE_SU 11/21/2012 6:44AM

    that is a winning attitude! it's about the journey, and you are moving in the right direction!

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800 calories of ice cream? - Looks like I’m not infallible.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The “bottomless pit” is alive and well.

I’ve been writing regularly about my upcoming 3 year maintenance anniversary and how my healthy habits are finally becoming automatic. So it’s only right that I record and report one colossal failure. I believe in baby steps forward so here’s one giant leap backward.

I know exactly why it happened. One day last week some sad news had me feeling down and awareness of my well-known past reactions didn’t change the situation. The ice cream was there, many cartons of the stuff stashed by DH, the junk food king. He keeps most of his junk food out of my sight, but we only have one freezer. The calories weren’t all from the ice cream. We also have a bottle of chocolate syrup in the fridge which I dumped liberally over my mountain of ice cream.

Something is different though. Yeah, I messed up. There’s no way my body needed that. Yet strangely, I don’t feel all that bad about it.

800 extra calories translates into at most 4 ounces. Even if every last calorie lands on my hips, my body’s destination of choice, I can get rid of that.

What I do realize is that I just can’t eat like that every night. You know, we used to do that, DH and me. We laughingly called it our nightly “ice cream ritual.” We have big bowls for ice cream and toppings. When filled, they look like Mt Vesuvius spewing lava, especially when we added a cherry on top.

The ice cream isn’t going away, but I found something else that might help – my mother’s old dessert dishes – the ones I remember as a child. They actually hold ½ cup of ice cream. So that’s where they get the “serving size!” They haven’t changed it since 1950.

The average American was a different size back then too. Maybe my goal should be to train my body to match those old dishes?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ONMYMEDS 11/21/2012 8:44PM

    I'm amazed you would dirty a dish when you can simply eat it out of the carton. And if you eat it all in one sitting, you only need to wash the spoon once. Just sayin'.


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STRIVER57 11/21/2012 3:21PM

    another person whose favorite binge is ice cream. but yeah the quantities are lower these days. and ice cream is wonderful, if you can keep it under control. and since i want to be able to eat it ...yes we have a set of tiny dishes we serve ice cream in.

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BOILHAM 11/21/2012 3:05PM

  DW sabotaged me and brought hom two packages of Eskimo Pies, explaining she only buys them when there's a 2 for 1 sale. i succumbed and ate 2 or was it 3 of them, over the course of a week. I certainly am not perfect either, but I do like to treat myself now and again. Still, I think I have in under control, so not a lot of guilt.

Comment edited on: 11/21/2012 3:06:36 PM

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CELLISTA1 11/21/2012 11:59AM

    Wow. You touched a chord with a lot of people here. For some of us, ice cream is where we go when the evil robot enters our brain and makes us forget we've be Sparked. But isn't it amazing how when it's over, it's over? Congratulations on that.

I also have some of my mom's dessert dishes and I love them dearly. They are blue glass and she used to put chocolate pudding in them, but I do sometimes have ice cream in them: they hold 1/2 cup!

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SWEDE_SU 11/21/2012 5:14AM

    it's amazing how our dishes have become supersized - compare the corelle plates that were popular when we were married in the late 60s, early 70s, with plates today - definitely a difference. i also try to use smaller bowls to show what a "real" portion is. and at least you recognized what happened, these things *do* happen, and you're back on track again.

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WILLOWBROOK5 11/20/2012 9:25PM

    I agree with TinaJane, 800 calories of ice cream is not what you want to do but is quite controlled compared to binges I have pulled off. It Is surprising to see an old habit suddenly resurrect itself but I like your attitude of not blowing things out of proportion and move forward.

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TINAJANE76 11/20/2012 4:47PM

    You're not alone! I've been at this for almost three years and as much as I'd like to think my healthy habits are a permanent part of my life, my old ones still rear their ugly heads from time to time. I just wish I could keep my overeating episodes to 800 calories. They'd be a lot easier to work off than what mine usually look like.

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FITFOODIE806 11/20/2012 1:30PM

    Old dishes are the best!

I hope you enjoyed the ice cream because what's the fun of a life without a sundae every once in awhile?! Now the trick is to just keep it once in awhile and use the old dishes. Easier said than done, I know!

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COCK-ROBIN 11/20/2012 10:34AM

    Very good! I've got to look for those ice cream dishes.

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CAKEMAKERMOM 11/20/2012 10:08AM

    It happens and then we move on. I use my littlest dishes for my ice cream or I feel left out. I have teeny 6 oz bowls that fit just a cup of something, so they're perfect for anything little I want to eat.

And this is from someone who used to watch "The Biggest Loser" while eating no less than 5 scoops of ice cream in a large bowl with toms of chocolate syrup. I shudder to think how many calories that is. I no longer watch that show either. ;)

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KANOE10 11/20/2012 9:51AM

    Great idea on using small old dishes for ice cream. You are doing a great job of staying positive and finding steps. to avoid the 800 calorie attack!


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62NVON 11/20/2012 9:35AM

    You are my inspiration! Your blogs are always informative and give great perspective. Thank you!

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MJZHERE 11/20/2012 9:32AM

  I had bought a carton of low fat (or something like that) ice cream and it started out with measured portions once in a while, to every night, to eating out of the carton. I didn't even like it, and I was glad once the carton was finished. I am not a huge fan of the taste of yogurt, but I love it is portioned out and that I feel so on top of things eating exactly that portion. You did well to look and learn - isn't that what life is all about?

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KAYOTIC 11/20/2012 9:19AM

    It's well documented (read Brian Wansink's Mindless Eating) that smaller serving dishes will result in small portions and fewer calories eaten. Good perspective on the "fail" and good for you for not blowing it totally out of proportion, and going back to old ways. It was one slip, and really in the grand scheme of things not that big of one. Learn and move on!

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JODROX 11/20/2012 9:08AM

    Great blog! I don't know anyone who eats perfectly 100% of the time. Maybe life would just get too boring if we were all that perfect! LOL So... put it behind you. Enjoy your ice cream now and then -- maybe not such a big bowl! (I'm a big fan of small dishes.) For me, another thing that helps is remembering how crummy I feel when I overdo it. Funny thing, that-- good nutrition feels good, bad nutrition feels bad. Makes sense!

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KANDOLAKER 11/20/2012 9:08AM

    Great blog! Isn't it great that ice cream was such a deal that it got it's own blog? Years ago it might have been "just another night". You are staying on top of it, and I'm sure those 4 ounces will be gone soon. Good insight!!

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SUZYMOBILE 11/20/2012 9:00AM

    I used to have a nightly ice cream ritual, too, but I didn't really count it as a real treat unless it was a BOWL of ice cream. That thing had to have had half a pint of ice cream in it, maybe even a pint! That's such a hard habit to kick that, for me, it would be like taking up smoking again. So I just don't do ice cream any more. And half a cup is such a silly little amount that I don't feel as if it's even worth it.

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LEB0401 11/20/2012 8:53AM

    Ohhh yeah. I've been on an ice cream kick... the pumpkin and candy cane flavors were just calling my name in the freezer section.

I've been able to keep it under control by using ice cream cones, the wafer or "cake" type. If you fill it only to the rim of the cone, it's a perfect 1/2 cup serving. The cone itself is only 20 calories, and no dishes afterward--bonus!

Now.. if I keep eating 2 cones like I did last night, I'll be in trouble.
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/20/2012 8:55:05 AM

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GETFIT2LIVE 11/20/2012 8:50AM

    Oh boy, can I relate! I grew up with a nightly ice cream ritual, and it was not a 1/2 cup serving, I can guarantee. Probably a part of why I put on so much weight and my family tended to be heavy, too. I have to very consciously serve out a 1/2 cup serving when I have ice cream (paper cups and an ice cream scoop help), and I know I can't make it a habit every night any more. It's not the one night slip that hurts; it's what we do on a regular basis that does. Well done for recognizing what happened and using it as a learning experience instead of letting it bring you down!

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GOTTAPLAN4U 11/20/2012 8:22AM

  Please let us know if you manage to keep,yourself to the small bowl when the attack hits. I have special small,bowls but when I am under the influence the carton itself becomes the bowl.

You are in good shape to shake this off, as you said. You worked hard to get there and you will stay there.

Nice blog.

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NELLJONES 11/20/2012 8:19AM

    Remember Dixie Cups? Those tiny little ice creams that came with a little wooden "spoon"? They are 1/2 cup, a single serving.

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DAWN14163 11/20/2012 8:03AM

    Good that you could stop at one night - that has to be progress in itself! And yes, smaller plates/dishes are definitely the way forward.

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WILSONWR 11/20/2012 8:00AM

    I have those dishes and I use them whenever I buy ice cream. I haven't bought ice cream in a while, though, because it is a major weakness for me. I can do fine under normal circumstances, but when the stress comes along, it's way too easy to reach for the bigger bowls - especially with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla!

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MAGGIE101857 11/20/2012 7:42AM

    Interesting perspective! Maybe it's time to hit the "antique" stores and stock up on some old dinnerware and dessert plates! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 11/20/2012 7:20AM

    Great blog: I also have some of those 1950s dessert dishes. Juice glasses too: remember 4 oz servings?? Of course Marilyn Monroe wore a size 16 roughly equivalent to today's 8s!!

As you say, not a disaster and worth it for the added insight going forward.

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Surprise! Dr Oz agrees with my Grandma!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Not about everything obviously. She would cringe at some of his advice.

I don’t usually watch TV during the day, but on Friday the 16th I found myself watching yet another easy fix for weight loss. I was about to switch channels when the promo appeared for the next topic.

They staged a stressful situation in a supermarket and afterwards measured the heart rate and blood pressure of the customers affected. Not surprisingly, the numbers were extremely elevated.

This isn’t really news to us. We know that stress is detrimental to our health. We have plenty of stress in the modern world. Some is unrelenting – a demanding, unreasonable boss, health concerns in the family, money troubles, traffic gridlock. Extreme reactions like “road rage” and “going postal” have actually made it into our common vocabulary.

In this episode the TV staff had an actor delay a checkout line while he communicated loudly on his cell phone with his wife who was still searching the store for certain items. This went on and on while she would return with one thing after another that he considered unacceptable. The waiting continued.

Afterwards during the TV interview the question was “Did you know the effect it was having on your body?” Although the victims knew how upset and frustrated they were, they were surprised by the actual numbers.

What would you have done?

My Grandma’s advice as I wrote in yesterday’s blog would be – “Don’t stress your heart”
But how exactly would we have accomplished this?

Grandma would probably have waited patiently and used the time to say her prayers.

My Dad would have pushed the offending cart out of the way and moved the line along. He always stood up to bullies. Fortunately, back then you didn’t have to risk that the bully might be armed.

I would have called the manager and threatened to leave my cart of groceries right where it was, if he didn’t fix the situation. There’s a bit of my Dad in me.

According to the experiment, the most dangerous thing for our bodies is just silently to become more and more frustrated.

One stressful situation isn’t likely to have long term effects on our health, but continuing stress will and we must find a healthy way of dealing with it.
Stress is something we all have in common, but the type of stress is very individual as are the solutions. There are many suggestions in the SP articles and blogs and we have to find what works best for each of us. Whatever we decide, let’s just do it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CELIAMINER 11/20/2012 11:22AM

    As much as I like to think I would take some action like talking to the manager, the truth is I am the non-confrontational, head-in-the-sand type. I could feel my breathing getting shallower and my pulse getting faster as I imagined myself in that line silently fuming. Thanks for the thought-provoking blog. Now I have time to envision the situation with a healthier outcome before it becomes real.

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DEBBY4576 11/19/2012 4:44PM

    Interesting. I am working on patience with the snowbirds. Our little town swells to double this time of year. And they are all very elderly. Some are sweet, some are mean, and they all are slow. Some because of meds, some because of dementia, and some treat their entire 4-6 months here as a vacation. O my, I can feel my BP going up just writing this haha. It does no good to get upset and their stubbornness, or slowness, or just plain meanness. I've only been here 13 years, so I'm hoping to get this conquered soon. Another haha.

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LINDAKAY228 11/19/2012 2:06PM

    Oh yeah, shopping can definitely be stressful! And the closer to the holidays the worse it becomes. I have a smartphone with a Kindle reader application on it. I've started downloading books and have learned to read those when I have to stand in line (or any other place where I have to wait). Really helps me stay calmer and pass the time.

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SOUTH_FORK 11/19/2012 1:04PM

    I wish I could have your grandmother's calm. I'd probably curse them silently, do some deep breathing, and then ask them to just check out before turning to the store manager. Sometimes people are so oblivious to those around them... of course, we can't consider *everyone* around us before we act, but a good dose of common courtesy would certainly grease the squeaky wheels of society!

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PRINCESSAMY 11/19/2012 12:56PM

    emoticon blog

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CAKEMAKERMOM 11/19/2012 10:57AM

    Was it a small store with only one register open? I probably would stand there calmly, but if the line got too long, I'd ask the manager to open another register so they could have repeat customers because I'd know half of the people having a bad experience wouldn't come back. There's a reason I don't shop at JoAnn's too often.

I'm pretty calm about waiting and frequently let people with fewer items go ahead of me.

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NELLJONES 11/19/2012 10:34AM

    I'm with you and would have called the manager. That's what they are for. I heard long ago to give problems to their owners and walk away. Some problems are God's, some are mine, and some are the store manager's. If he doesn't promptly rectify the situation, you can choose to take your custom elsewhere.

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WILSONWR 11/19/2012 9:13AM

    Yes, we need to confront many of life's roadblocks head on to reduce the stress. Avoiding confrontation may seem easier, but it can certainly be hard on the body!

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SUZYMOBILE 11/19/2012 8:38AM

    How very timely, too! The holidays shouldn't be yet another source of stress, but they are. I always try to make Thanksgiving dinner as easy on us as possible, but Bill thrives on complexity. This difference between us reached its pinnacle one Thanksgiving when he thought it would be fun to cater a Thanksgiving dinner for 30 people whom we didn't know. I'm so grateful whenever Thanksgiving is easier than that, which is every time!

I know when I'm stressed by work situations, and my solution isn't so great. I fume and fuss, and Bill gets all stressed as a result. I think I'll try deep breathing next time.

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KANOE10 11/19/2012 8:27AM

    Great point..the silent stress around us is unhealthy..even in such an innocuous place such as a supermarket. There are inconsiderate people everywhere..even in my gym.

I do think exercise helps us keep that stress level down!

This was good to reflect on especially as the holidays are getting near and stress levels go up!


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BOILHAM 11/19/2012 8:23AM

  I would have asked the cashier that while she was waiting, would she mind asking the manager to open another register.
Had my DW been with me, she would have told me to settle down and go wait in the car.

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DAWN14163 11/19/2012 7:54AM

    "The most dangerous thing for our bodies is to silently become more and more frustrated".....Oh dear. I know I would find it way too stressful to confront the situation, although I would probably abandon my cart and walk away which I guess is a sort of solution. I think I'd have liked your Grandma!

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COCK-ROBIN 11/19/2012 7:48AM

    Very good. Dealing with inconsiderate people like that can be stressful.

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An old lady’s advice – the view from the far side

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My grandmother was 65 when I was born. She seemed old to me from my earliest memory. Now I’m 65 and I have 6 grandchildren ages 11-18. I wonder if I look old to them.

She arrived in the USA in 1900 alone at age 17 on a ship that still had sails along with an engine. I saw a picture of it at Ellis Island. Today I can see photos of outer space provided by astronauts on the International Space Station. “Baba” and I led different lives. “Baba” literally means “old woman” in Slovak – kind of loses something in translation, doesn’t it?

Widowed twice with 6 children, she worked “outside the home” as a cleaning lady – long hours, low pay. No wonder she never really learned to speak English. There was little time to “improve” herself. She did the best she could until her death at age 93 still living in her own home (rented), cooking on a coal stove which also provided the only heat.

I had it easier. However, my demanding job, 3 children and their activities, plus a stressful daily commute didn’t leave much free time either. I thought I did the best I could.

Looking back there were things I could have done better. I’ve written about some of them previously. 50 years ago Baba was warning me to avoid the new stuff they were putting in food. She didn’t know the word “processed” but she knew food was changing.

I spent summers with her as a child since my parents wanted me to get out of “the city” as much as possible. I walked with her to “town” everyday and to nearby “blueberry hill” to get the main ingredient of her pies. If you know northeastern PA, those “hills” are steep! We always picked more than we needed so we would sell the rest to a man from “the city” who bought them for commercial bakeries. 25 cents a QUART! I had $300 in my bank account by age 12. That’s a lot of blueberries!

When I was upset about something, she would tell me “nebudz taka” – don’t be like that. She didn’t mean I should just accept the situation, but I shouldn’t let it get the best of me. “Don’t stress your heart”

I have more time now to follow Baba’s advice. I regret that I didn’t make more of an effort to do it sooner. I well know how hard it is with competing demands on your time.

I hope all you young women (and men) will make a healthy lifestyle a priority. It’s not perfection we’re seeking, but each day to be better than we were. These years count too.

Related blog: Grandma said: “always get a fresh chicken”.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROOSTER72 11/18/2012 3:12PM

    Grandmothers have so much to offer - if only we would listen.
Nice blog, thanks.

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MNNICE 11/18/2012 2:50PM

    I so agree that when we are busy with our jobs, children, husbands, homes, and all that goes along with it, we do NOT take time for ourselves. I see many young women in their 30s gaining weight, and I can totally understand why because I made the same misteakes with eating what was quickest and easiest and not taking time to exercise. It always makes me glad to see the young women on here realizing that their own health is important and finding the time to fit "themselves" into their busy schedules. I certainly wish I hadn't waited until i was almost 50 to take care of me!

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SUZYMOBILE 11/18/2012 11:19AM

    I think there's no doubt that 65 today isn't the 65 that we remember! And the good thing is, your kids and grandkids probably don't see you as old either. Just last night, Bill's oldest daughter said, "Sue sure doesn't look 65!" so she's still operating under the old perception that 65 is "old lady" status. Someday, though, that will change, and as they say, 75 will become the new 65.

(And this is the kind of blog I was talking about.)

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CELIAMINER 11/18/2012 10:59AM

    You really do write well! You could write a book from your blogs. Thanks!

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JACKIE542 11/18/2012 9:47AM

    Great blog, I wish I paid more attention to my grands growing up! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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COCK-ROBIN 11/18/2012 9:41AM

    Wonderful! And you're right. They have a lot to teach us if we'll listen.

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TWEETYKC00 11/18/2012 9:08AM

    Our elders do have the knowledge and their own unique ways that speak of their own years of struggle and it always seems that we take too long to listen to the wisdom they try to share. Better late than never, though.

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IDAHOFLOWER 11/18/2012 9:01AM

    It is nice to remember those wonderful times.
Keep sparking.

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SWEDE_SU 11/18/2012 8:49AM

    thank you for sharing! your grandma was a wise lady.

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KANOE10 11/18/2012 8:44AM

    Lovel blog. What wonderful memories of your gtrandmother and summers.
Good advice for the young people to live a healthy life now!

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MAGGIE101857 11/18/2012 8:41AM

    Don't you sometimes wish you could turn back the clock! When we are young, we think the wise words of our elders are "fool's talk" - now we know better!!!! She sounds like she was an amazing woman!!!

Thanks for sharing these wonderful memories!!!

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WONDERWOMAN 11/18/2012 8:38AM

    Just beautiful.

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JODROX 11/18/2012 8:34AM

    What beautiful memories!

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SAGELADY2 11/18/2012 8:25AM

    Thanks for the reminders we forget about. Grandama's are always special, no matter what the decade they come in.

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GOPINTOS 11/18/2012 8:18AM

    Loved this blog! Thank you for sharing!

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BOILHAM 11/18/2012 8:12AM

  What wonderful memories of your Baba. How much younger we are today than our peers of 50 years ago. I love your blogs!

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WILSONWR 11/18/2012 8:02AM

    Great story. We do learn a lot from our "elders" - hopefully we can pass that knowlege down to the youth of today.

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ONMYMEDS 11/18/2012 7:34AM

    I so hope you never stop blogging. Thank you, once again for starting my day with a good feeling.

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STORMIWEATHER 11/18/2012 7:33AM

    Enjoyed your blog.
The processing of our food these days has really taken away the healthiness of food and the taste. My mom always said "you can not make a good pan of Dressing if you can not make a good pan of cornbread" Well with the ingredients tthey put in cornmeal (or rather take out) leaves the wonderful taste of cornbread only a fond memory. We use to eat it like it was cake. And with a pat of butter , it was devine. Jiffy meal don't measure up.

The things our ancestors could teach us....

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DAWN14163 11/18/2012 7:27AM

    What words of wisdom - from Baba and you! "It's not perfection we're seeking, but each day to be better than we were" very true.

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GHOSTFLAMES 11/18/2012 7:26AM


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FITFOODIE806 11/18/2012 7:24AM

    So glad I have found you on spark! Thanks for this great blg this morning. It sounds like ou have many good memories of a cool lady :)

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Waiting for that outside push – in health, weight and a clean house

Saturday, November 17, 2012

“No one knows our house is messy ‘cause when somebody’s coming we clean it up.”

That was my son’s observation many years ago as I mobilized the “troops” for a marathon effort to get our house “ship-shape.” Company was coming and not just any company – the in-laws. Remember the commercial with MIL and the “white glove test?” I don’t know if there would ever have been a test, but I didn’t want to find out.

Although our house would never be condemned by the Board of Health, House and Garden Magazine would never have us on their “must see” list either. To put it as kindly as possible, it had a “lived in” look. It took an outside push to get us moving.

The same thing happens with our health and weight. Maybe it’s a wakeup call from the scale or the mirror, a too tight pair of jeans or breathlessness at the top of the stairs. Maybe, it’s an annual physical, a school reunion or family wedding on the horizon. Some outside influence makes us put in the effort to get ourselves “ship shape.” Often we’re quite successful. The Sparkpages and blogs report years of pounds lost/pounds gained. Yo-yo dieting has become an American pastime.

I never had the yo-yo dieting experience. This is my first time through this and I do not plan to have to do it again. However, I do understand the concept because I am a “yo-yo house cleaner.”

I must add that my husband does the heavy cleaning, the stuff that requires serious cleaning supplies and I take care of the clutter and daily mop-ups. He once wrote “I love you” in the dust on a table in our guest room – seriously! Once I read it, he made it disappear. My desk has the quality of a geologic dig. I know the age of something by how far down I have to dig for it.

My daughters have developed a different mindset. They do a little bit everyday and never have to endure the whirlwind sessions they remember from childhood (the homemaking equivalent of a crash diet). I can learn from them. That’s my goal. That’s my goal health-wise too. Do my bit everyday to eat right and get my exercise. I’m on maintenance and it’s time to put the house on maintenance status too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 11/19/2012 8:29AM

    Yo-yo house cleaner is very funny..and true. We tend to clean on the weekends and slack off during the week. I was part of that yo-yo diet syndrome. I am glad that was not a main part of your life.

Great blog.

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CELIAMINER 11/17/2012 9:38PM

    Yo-yo house least there's a better name than the one my negative self talk gives it..."slob." I think my less than stellar housekeeping is leftover rebellion at my mother's perfectionism and over-emphasis (IMHO) on cleanliness. I recall too well being handed a dust cloth and a can of Pledge and told to dust the family room. And I recall with total distaste my mother following me around and dusting behind me because I "didn't do it right." So the response in my generation was to enjoy life and put up with the mess. I never had kids, but I wonder if they would have turned into neatniks to rebel against me?

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CAKEMAKERMOM 11/17/2012 12:06PM

    Yep, I have the husband helping my cleaning mode this week as there is a possibility that his brother might show up this week. I thought I had another month!

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ONMYMEDS 11/17/2012 9:14AM

    We just never have company. Problem solved.

This was good!!! Thanks, again.

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WILSONWR 11/17/2012 8:51AM

    We definitely can learn from our kids at times!

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MAGGIE101857 11/17/2012 8:16AM

    I do the same, and then wonder where the weekend has gone! So I set a goal to do 15 - 30 minutes a night, then I get home from work, make dinner and BURN OUT sets in. Your daughters have the right idea, so why is it so hard for us to do the same??? lol

Reminds me of the "poster" that said "the cleaning can wait, your babies can't....? I've taken that to heart even thought the babies are adults now! I didn't listen when they were little and now I'm making up for it!!!

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JODROX 11/17/2012 7:47AM

    I can relate! emoticon emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 11/17/2012 7:41AM

    After I'd been active in Spark for about a year, maybe longer, I branched out from setting weight and fitness goals, and started setting life goals--like writing a to-do list every day, doing the thing I least wanted to do first, etc. This has helped with the housecleaning. I just put down one manageable thing a day (like your daughters). It sure beats the marathon, 5-hour session before company arrived. Such as this coming Thursday!

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COCK-ROBIN 11/17/2012 7:18AM

    Keep on, and you'll succeed in all these goals.

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FITFOODIE806 11/17/2012 7:14AM

    This is hilarious! What a great connection. I'm about to do some crash cleaning this weekend. The in-laws are coming!

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BOILHAM 11/17/2012 7:12AM

  That was fun to read, I didn't wish it would end soon.

I bet you don't have varicose veins, either.

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BIGDOG18 11/17/2012 7:11AM


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LOSE4LIFE47 11/17/2012 7:07AM

    emoticon emoticon

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