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Does Ethel Mertz look fat to you? How about Ralph Cramden?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

This is related to my blog entry yesterday. I love the old TV shows, the ones that remind me of my youth. Today I woke up at 5 am, a bit too early for me. While I drank my coffee, I turned on the TV to find an episode of “I Love Lucy.”

Remember Ethel? - Lucy’s sidekick? Ethel’s weight was a running joke on the show. Looking at her today, she’s positively slim!

Lucy was followed this morning by “The Honeymooners” – the classic spin-off from the Jackie Gleason show. Now Jackie was definitely obese. Back then though, his weight was considered so extreme it was always mentioned in the scripts. Being paired with the extremely slim Art Carney emphasized the theme. According to his biography at 5’10” he occasionally dieted to 180 lbs, but his top weight “approached 300.” He would be a good candidate for SP, but he also would have lots of company. He wouldn’t even be our “biggest loser.”

Neither of these actors would even get a second glance on the street today, at least not for their weight.

Checking further, I learned that Lucille Ball was reported to be a “perfect size 12” according to her studio. That’s equivalent to a size 4 in today’s world of vanity sizing. She was 5’7” with weight varying from 115 to 132 lbs. Ethel (Vivian Vance) was 10-15 lbs heavier. It isn’t true that she was contractually obligated to maintain that difference.

Two recent articles (msn and huffington post) report that seeing larger people make us feel better about ourselves. The fashion industry entices us to buy more by slapping smaller sizes on ever larger clothes.

I believe in a positive self image. I have many qualities of which I’m proud that have nothing to do with my height, weight, body type or degree of attractiveness. However, Lucy, Ethel and I would have worn the same size. Calling me a size 6 instead of a 12-14 is just an attempt at false self esteem.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JODROX 12/2/2012 11:31AM

    Such an interesting observation. I wish clothing manufacturers used universal sizing. I just had a lesson in extreme vanity sizing when I needed a size 6 in a skirt I had my eye on......... I've never worn a 6 in my life, and I don't now either! If I had bought it, I'd have from 6 to 12s in my closet -- how crazy is that? I understand a slight variation in brand sizing, but 6-12?! That's nuts!

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MOMMACASSEY 11/29/2012 3:16PM

    I remember seeing something about how Marilyn Monroe, who is considered to be physically perfect by so many people, wore a size 12. I don't know if that is relatively modern 12, or the 12 of her era, now... I know that looking at pictures of her and looking at pictures of myself when i wore a size 12 (which was, admittedly, a number of years and pounds ago) she looks much more slender. I wonder what her size would be, now.

I love those early-morning Lucy episodes. I've seen many of them, lately, being awake at that hour feeding my little one. I never realized there was much worthwhile difference between their sizes. I remember watching the show as a kid, and wondering what Fred's problem was, talking about how much Ethel ate, when he clearly could stand to push away from the table a little sooner, himself. To me, the clearest difference between the couples was their ages, and I think that has more to do with the Mertz's experience in burlesque, and with Fred... I never thought Vivian Vance looked old enough to be his wife.

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 11/29/2012 2:35PM

    Calling me a size 6 instead of a 12-14 is just an attempt at false self esteem - I like that a lot!

No, neither one of them were fat. But, i completely understand what you are saying here. It is really sad what society is doing

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BOILHAM 11/29/2012 2:23PM

    Not only are sizes changing to fit our egos. Our attitudes about what is healthy and attractive are being changed to suit our egos too. Overweight people who are famous are cionstantly encouraging us to not worry about weight and be happy for what we are. I respectfully disagree with all of them. It's not attractive to me, and certainly not healthy.

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CELLISTA1 11/29/2012 1:41PM

    Have you ever seen Lucy's old movies (before she was on TV)? She was a gorgeous, slender glamor-girl. On TV she was already in her 40s (that was OLD, then!). I'm sure Vivian Vance was cast because she made Lucy look good, and as someone else wrote here, her clothes were frumpier, and her husband was certainly frumpier! And it is true that "the camera adds ten pounds." So today, in order to look thin on camera, actresses are positively scrawny in real life.

This self-image thing with the sizes is the same thing as the pervasive cosmetic surgery I see around me all the time. There are little tiny women in their 50s-60s-70s whose faces look totally weird because nothing moves. They dress beautifully, in very small sizes, but their self-esteem is dependent on what they think is a youthful image. It's a matter of choice whether or not to have cosmetic surgery, but it is also wrapped up in issues of confidence, relevance, and environment.



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GLADGAD 11/29/2012 1:37PM

    I'm glad you pointed tihs out, because I oftentimes see old shows and it strikes me at how not fat those actors are compared to today's body sizes. When I was in high school in the mid 70s, I wore a size 5. I was 5'2" and weighed about 95 lbs. Today I am 5'3" and weigh around 123 lbs and take a size 6. I laugh because I know it's only because the industry has changed the sizes; I just wonder what 1976 size I would be in 2012.

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LINDAKAY228 11/29/2012 11:58AM

    Yeah, remember the super model of years ago Twiggy? As for clothes, I have to try them on because one brand a size can be a whole lot different than another brand. I will be happy when I get down to 145 to 150! That's where my dr says I should be.

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LOLATURTLE 11/29/2012 11:30AM

    I had to go look at some pictures of Ethel to remind me. I wasn't picturing her as "fat", and what do you know! She isn't! It just looks to me like she naturally has a slightly rounder face than Lucy, and they dressed her in a slightly more "frumpy" style.

If you're interested in how sizes are created look for some articles about "fit models." It's pretty interesting actually.

If you look at clothes in different sizes, or have been a variety of sizes in your life, you can see some pretty eye opening clues as to the assumptions made by clothing manufacturers. Most "regular" women's sizes (~8) assume an hourglass body shape, but not an extreme one - waist slightly smaller than both hips and bust. They assume a "straight" shape for small sizes, 00 to 2 or 4 (I have friends in this size range who are either hippy or busty and they have just as much trouble finding clothes that fit as I do.). For plus sizes they assume an "apple" shape - big stomach smaller bust. This is a problem for me because I'm the opposite - big bust small stomach (well, relatively anyway). So I can usually find pants (though sometimes ones that fit in the hips gap at the waist), and stretchy tops, but dresses and fitted tops are a huge problem. I haven't worn a button down shirt... ever, actually. If I ever want one I'll probably have to get it custom made.

There may be some interesting developments in sizing/shaping of clothes in the future, possibly moving towards universal sizes. Check out the NYT article "One Size Fits Nobody: Seeking a Steady 4 or a 10." Interesting stuff!

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HFAYE81 11/29/2012 10:11AM

    I remember those jokes about Ethel's weight! I never understood them, she looked normal to me.

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SUZYMOBILE 11/29/2012 9:10AM

    You're right! I think of Ethel as "normal" and Lucy as being the glamour girl, model type.

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CELIAMINER 11/29/2012 8:45AM

    Wow, love these facts! I can picture Ethel in my mind and envision the difference between her weight and Lucy's, but I wouldn't have called Ethel fat. Funny that if she was 10 pounds heavier than Lucy, Ethel and I would weigh the same in the low 140s, and I am at a healthy BMI. I recall when Farrah Fawcett came into fame and was 5'7" and 110 pounds. She looked so bony and even painfully thin, but she was considered an ideal.

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WILSONWR 11/29/2012 8:22AM

    I wonder if the same is true in men's sizing? I'll have to get my tape measure out...

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1935MARY 11/29/2012 7:47AM

    I love old shows too. When you watch TV then you didn't think about if they were fat. Today we are judged on to many things, weight,looks, money, color etc. Now if you are 5'7 and don't weight 100 lbs. you are fat. Why do people want to look like they are starved to death. I think being to thin ,looks bad and makes you aged. I guess I am being judgmental. I think size of clothes vary with who ever designed them.

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An exception to vanity sizing. Simplicity patterns tells it like it is (or was)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

This blog began as a description of my unsuccessful search for a long holiday skirt. I decided I could make one inexpensively like I used to do long ago.

On the Simplicity website I found this post from a frustrated customer.
”I got a fantastic pattern, Simplicity/Threads 2758. I was in the middle of cutting out the pattern when I discover it’s not true to size! I just found out that it’s 4 sizes off, that my normal pant size of 14/16 is actually a 20/22 or more in Simplicity sizing.”

For some time I’ve considered the effect of vanity sizing in masking the supersizing of society. Personally, sizing creep did me no favors as it allowed me to gain 30 pounds while continuing to wear the same size. This is important to the fashion industry. Making women feel good about themselves allows companies to pad their bottom line as we continue to pad our own bottoms.

Suddenly, here’s a company bringing us a dose of reality. They haven’t changed their sizing. The measurements/size are the same as they were in 1960.
What does this mean for me? As I shop off-the-rack I can now buy a size 6 instead of the size 10 I wore in 1968. Even after my weight loss I’m still 13 lbs more than back in 68. Checking the average measurements for a size 6, I find 36-28-38. Yep that’s me all right – a size 6.

Now what if I decide to make myself a new dress or skirt. What if, like the poster on the website, I buy a size 6 pattern. The measurements there: 30 ½ -23-32 ½. Oops!
The sizes of off-the-rack clothes and pattern sizes were once exactly the same. I bought size 10 dresses and made a few of my own from size 10 patterns.

The fashion industry has research to prove that women are more likely to buy if there’s a smaller size attached. Sizing creep has produced some ridiculous results. Since the old size 8 is now a size 0, the very small woman, who would have worn the old size 6, now is called size 00. If this continues, how many zeros can they fit on a size tag? What’s the alternative, negative numbers?

Still, I don’t understand the disconnect? Are women who make their own clothes less vain than those who don’t? Are they willing to buy patterns according to their measurements because the final product won’t have a size tag in it anyway?

One solution would be to forget arbitrary sizing and just sell womens’ clothes based on actual measurements. Efficient yes, but how many women want to sort through a rack where their actual waist or hip size is prominently displayed?

Finally, for the record I would have to buy a pattern size 14 to match the measurements of an off-the-rack size 6. Much as I hate sizing creep and believe it fosters false self esteem and is adding to our obesity problem, there’s some vanity in me too. I admit, I’d rather call myself a 6. However, I must keep reminding myself that it’s not real. It’s just a consequence of the supersizing of America.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMACASSEY 11/29/2012 3:03PM

    I went for a long time not knowing what my size was because I started wearing men's jeans instead of women's, and I'd always worn large and XL size t-shirts. The thing about men's sizes is that they are based on the measurements... Only recently, I started trying to get out of my frumpy look and into women's clothes again, only to find that I had gone from size 10/12 to size 18/20.

On the other hand, my toddler is wearing anything from a 2 to a 5, depending on who made it. I find it incredibly frustrating that not only are sizes creeping around, but that they seem to be perfectly arbitrary--no one designer or producer is making sizes the same as any other. It makes it so frustrating to shop, I've just about decided to stop trying to look feminine and to go back to just large t-shirts and men's jeans again.

Women need to relax. All this reminds me of the line from the movie "The Devil Wears Prada" when Emily says, a little grudgingly and a little proudly, "I'm one stomach flu away from my ideal weight." I don't think there should be a size 0 at all--to me, that means that it fits, perhaps, a hanger. Which reminds me, again, of someone saying once that clothes they make nowdays look best on a hanger, and that's why women are trying to look like clothes hangers.

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FANGFACEKITTY 11/29/2012 2:39PM

    I laugh at it now. Today I am a size 2/4...yet I am still 15 pounds heavier than when I was 20 years old and a size 6/8. Whatever. I'd much prefer to buy clothes like the men do, based on my actual measurements so I would know exactly what I was getting without having to try on every single item before purchase because of all the variations in what a size is supposed to be. Clothing sizes, like weight, are just numbers and I try to keep in mind that how I feel is more important than a number on a label.

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MJZHERE 11/28/2012 2:50PM

  Forget the second hand stores and sizes - I am completely lost trying to find what fits there (I can't judge at all by looking). Then the sizes differ from store to store, and among the brands. I am so fortunate I was given a pile of clothes - most fit- because I am not having fun shopping. Glad to see that I haven't lost my mind - even when I was younger, in the 120's, I wore size 12 and 14's - I think skin and bones my hips won't be smaller than 35 (and then my waist was 24). In fact, I started to get really worried about my DD as an adult as she kept telling me smaller sizes when I would pick her up clothes.

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CELLISTA1 11/28/2012 11:52AM

    I didn't know Simplicity was still in business. I didn't know people still use patterns to make their own clothes... My mom made all my clothes when I was a child (in the 50s!) and I learned to sew too, but stopped when fashions changed and store-bought clothes became so much less expensive. I used to love looking through the thick pattern books at the store (Simplicity, McCalls, Butterick). As a young woman I was a size 8-10 and I was pretty tiny!

My solution to the size problem now is to buy everything from the same company: J Jill. I wear their size XLP (extra-large petite) and I know anything in that size is going to fit me --- til I get smaller, that is!
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LOLATURTLE 11/28/2012 11:52AM

    Definitely interesting. I think there are limits to what people will accept, though. It has to be gradual size creep or it doesn't work.

I discovered the last time I lost weight that Lane Bryant vanity sizes above and beyond the "normal" vanity sizing going on! When I got into an LB size 18 I was excited to shop at other stores only to discover that fitting into LB 18 means not yet fitting into Old Navy 18 or department store 18.

I just noticed HFAYE81 also mentioned this! When LB resized all their pants 2-10. I was irritated because I had to figure out what "size" I was all over again. I asked the salesgirl what was up with that and she got all gushy about it "Isn't it GREAT?? I've never been a size 6 before!" I just looked at her. Because, what??? Just because the tag said "4" didn't make me any smaller.

It was even more confusing because they have three "shapes" of pants, but that part I wish ALL stores did! I am "blue" which is the biggest difference between your waist and hips (small waist big hips). "yellow" is slightly bigger hips than waist and "red" is same size hips/waist.

They don't have the 2-4-6 pants anymore, so I'm guessing the quick jump in vanity sizing didn't please too many customers.

Comment edited on: 11/28/2012 12:42:22 PM

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HAYBURNER1969 11/28/2012 9:20AM

    Yes, since I still wear a size 2-4 (like I did in high school 30 years ago), I wondered where would I shop now for clothing in the size I needed then? The children's department, I guess. I noticed at Wal-Mart the other day when buying underwear for my daughter that they have bras there up to 36". Maybe that's where I need to start buying my bras now, since finding a 32B is not easy. Although I guess I must be a little vain too, because I really don't want to buy a bra named "Growing Up with Bali."

Comment edited on: 11/28/2012 9:28:55 AM

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SUZYMOBILE 11/28/2012 9:15AM

    Thanks again for a terrifically well informed blog! You know, of course, that because I shop at Goodwill, where the clothing can be any age, I'm assaulted with a wide range of sizes, all of which fit me--from 1.5 to 11!

The really sobering part of your blog is the question: What next? How many zeroes will they have to add on to make women feel good about themselves? How about the 450-lb woman who died in Hungary because they couldn' t find an aircraft big enough to return her home to her usual medical care? In the future would she be a size 14?

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HFAYE81 11/28/2012 9:08AM

    How interesting! I noticed this when buying patterns for Renaissance dresses earlier this year. I for one would rather have universal sizing, my vanity can get over it (I'm a "20"). Its a pain to order clothes when you don't know how the sizes fit you. A few years ago the plus store Lane Bryant resized everything, a 14 was a 2, a 16 a 4, an 18 a 6, you get the idea. Luckily they dropped that confusing b.s. pretty quickly.

Comment edited on: 11/28/2012 9:11:41 AM

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COACHMOMMY 11/28/2012 9:06AM

    Funny, I just experienced that this morning. My sister's friend has clothes of all different sizes from all different eras (they're both in their early 60's, but don't tell anyone!). She has very expensive taste and very nice clothes. My sister gave me a bunch last year that were too small for her friend. Not sure how old they are (they look brand new), but I put on a suede skirt this morning and noticed it's a size 14. I buy size 8 & 10's off the rack now. I'm about the same weight I was 20 years ago (but before kids!) and back then I was a 12/14.

I must admit too, it was nice after I lost my weight buying size 8 & 10's, but sizes don't matter as much, especially since you can be a different size at different stores. It's very frustrating buying clothes for 3 teenage daughters!

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PMRUNNER 11/28/2012 9:06AM

    Maybe they can convert to actual measurements, but use the metric system instead of inches! No one really knows the metric system anyway, so folks could get the right size and still be blissfully ignorant of the actual measurements!

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OPTIMIST1948 11/28/2012 9:02AM

    This -- THIS is an interesting blog. I have "known' about sizing creep, but this is the first time I've heard an intelligent discussion on the topic that isnt whiny or pompous.

The sad part is that I'm also finding the same thing as many of your commentators. Sizng isnt accurate in the stores. I have to spend more time shopping because I dont know what size I fit into in *this store* as opposed to *that brand*. And for someone like me that hates shopping, its a real BORE!

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WILLOWBROOK5 11/28/2012 8:49AM

    It is interesting, for sure. I am now getting into size 4, plus I need short length for my pants and it is becoming a challenge at times to find something that fits. 6 is often the smallest size on the racks, which makes no sense. I thought finding 3X's could be hard, but now I'm wondering what the women who are smaller than me do. I guess shop in the juniors section, which I haven't done since college and so the sizes there are a true mystery to me.

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LEB0401 11/28/2012 8:47AM

    YES! We should go the Euro way and have sizes based on measurements, not relativity. It's so much easier to buy jeans based on your waist measurements, tops based on your bust. It seems to me that only the expensive retail stores (like Guess) are doing this.

Even in 5 short years the sizes have inflated. I'm now the same weight I was freshman year, but as I shop in the same stores as I did before, I find I have to size down. I got burned pretty badly when I bought some trousers without trying them on.

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CELIAMINER 11/28/2012 8:41AM

    Thank you for putting sizing creep into numbers. Since my closet contains clothing that fits ranging from a size XS sweater from Ann Taylor to a size 14 pair of jeans from Macy's, I get very frustrated trying to shop. I miss being able to order cute clothes from catalogs, especially when they are on sale, but I don't want to take the expensive (postage/shipping) chance I will have to return/exchange them or the even more expensive chance that they can't be returned. I have to try *everything* on now. While it's gratifying to be able to try on clothes without tears and gloom descending on me, I'd like to be able to head to the dressing room without three sizes of everything to cover my bases.

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 11/28/2012 7:32AM

    I was sewing a cobbler apron from a pattern that I used to use about 50 years ago.
It is a family tradition to make these cobbler aprons (more fitted than regular aprons). The size is "medium" , for sizes 12-14. Converting that size to today's sizes it would be about an 8-10 or maybe even smaller. I have to bear this in mind when I sew for some of the average sized adults who would saythat they think that a medium would be the right size for them.

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KANOE10 11/28/2012 7:11AM

    The fashion industry is definitely catering to vanity. Great blog.

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AZMOMXTWO 11/28/2012 7:10AM

  Why do we need to lie to ourselfs
I am fat that is the end of it I just need to get my weight under control and go from there
I do not need to be told that I am smaller than I am to feel better

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ONEKIDSMOM 11/28/2012 6:53AM

    Yep! I have seen this phenomenon. One of my favorite examples is my mother's wedding dress. She was wed in 1949. She wore a calf-length (midi) satin gown that was fashionable at the time. In a size 16.

My kid sister wore it at her wedding in 1989. It did not need to be altered. At the time, she was a size 10, I think, on the rack.

I tried it on when I was at a point where off the rack I was wearing an 8 tight, and it fit me tight.

It is what it is. Bottom line, every time I look to purchase, I have to check the sizing charts, and base it on my measurements!

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Challenges of a spur-of-the-moment vacation

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

After posting daily since Sept 17th (my first ever), I was ready to skip this morning. I’ve just got too much to do. Yesterday I wrote about DH’s great idea to spend 2 weeks on a river cruise in Europe. When you’re retired, you are able to take advantage of the great deal on one of the last cabins, drop everything and go. When searching for the good things about joining the ranks of senior citizens, this one tops the list – the short list. So in 10 days off we go!

DH & I have traveled a lot, but never in winter. This will be different. SP must be on the same wavelength as I am since the daily featured blog is “3 ways to avoid weight gain on vacation.

www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=3_w
ays_to_avoid_weight_gain_on_vacation


I’ve been so happy about my 3 years of maintenance that this is obviously a concern of mine. Yet I’m not too happy about their suggestions. They’re the same as I would observe when eating out here at home. But, I won’t be at home. These are different cultures, different foods, new people and places and I need a somewhat different plan.

Starting with the easy stuff
“Do a lot of walking” –
This one is easy. The tours are advertised as requiring a lot of walking. There’s also a “fitness room” onboard. So an extra few miles on the treadmill are doable. I’ll even pack my running clothes. Running along the Rhine will be a nice addition to the bucket list.

“Don’t make every meal a heavy one” –
It’s a CRUISE! Lots of food! At least we’ll be ordering from the menu for 2 meals a day when I can make good choices. Breakfast is buffet. As long as I avoid the bacon & pastry, I should be OK. I rarely eat a lot in the morning.
“Grabbing fresh produce from a market and making a salad in my room” doesn’t fit our situation. I wouldn’t do that even if it did.

“Sample the different flavors but don’t have to finish the meals” –
This one will not work for me. I won’t overstuff myself if there is really too much on the plate, but leaving something just to save the calories is for me a recipe for deprivation depression. This is not the state of mind I want while visiting the Christmas Markets.

Then there’s the title itself “avoid weight gain.”
If that was my only goal, I should stay home. My plan is to avoid excessive weight gain. If I come back a few pounds heavier (up to 4?), that’s OK. There will be a scale in the fitness room, so I can still weigh myself daily to keep things reasonable, just like I do at home. It’s part of my morning routine.

Here is my one unbreakable rule.
Except for the wine at dinner and the champaign at the captain’s reception, I will not drink ANY alcohol. First of all, I have to pay extra for that, usually a lot extra and that doesn’t agree with my thrifty self. If I’m going to get 400 extra calories, I’ll get it from the strudel.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANDOLAKER 11/28/2012 8:58AM

    Great plans for your river cruise! Love your thinking ahead. All in moderation, and I know you can do it. Have fun - what a great way to see Europe - kinda like traveling the ancient highways. Enjoy packing and getting ready!

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KANOE10 11/28/2012 7:14AM

    Great healthy plans for the cruise. My husband wants to take a river cruise also. Get lots of walking in!

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DAWN14163 11/28/2012 5:48AM

    Not sure exactly where you are going, but I've noticed that here in Continental Europe, there are very few overweight people. Cycling and walking is part of the way of life. The unspoken motto regarding food/drink seems to be "moderation in all things" - it is regarded as very silly to get drunk, even though the bars are open at breakfast and don't shut until the early hours....
You seem to have a good plan in place, but my advice would be "when in Rome, do as the Romans do".
Enjoy your holiday - I have to admit to being slightly envious!!!
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STRONG_SARAH 11/28/2012 2:35AM

    Wow that sounds like fun! I hope you have a lovely trip.

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TINAJANE76 11/27/2012 7:28PM

    I know you'll have an awesome time and that you'll enjoy it so much more because you've got a sensible and realistic plan. I'm sure you'll undo any minor gains in no time once you get back home and back to your normal routine. Have a blast!
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WILSONWR 11/27/2012 7:05PM

    What a great attitude. I'm the same way - if I'm in a different place, I want to experience the local food. I won't make a pig of myself, but I won't deprive myself either. Whatever weight I gain is worth it, and I won't mind the extra exercise when I get back. You may only get to do this once, so enjoy!

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SOUTH_FORK 11/27/2012 1:49PM

    Have a wonderful time and enjoy- eat and do what feels good for you. Getting in a few miles along the Rhine sounds like a super treat. Sounds like you have a great mind set AND won't be kicking yourself for missing out on something that could be a once in a lifetime treat... and by limiting the alcohol, you'll be less likely to snack more, doing yourself more benefit than just avoiding the calories in the glass.

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MJZHERE 11/27/2012 11:20AM

  Food included in the price I paid! Oh no, there would be no way I would be leaving food on my plate. No way to take it back with me, save it - this would be a dilemma. But in the same vein, missing anything, not walking to every place I can see, using all the cruise's fun toys to play on (even gym equiptment falls in this category when it is included in the "price") - I would be there. So enjoy it all - you have done well for 3 years and you know how to do this! Have a great time.

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DAISYBELL6 11/27/2012 10:08AM

    Sounds like you are making good tailormade plans for YOU. Have a wonderful time!

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CELIAMINER 11/27/2012 9:39AM

    My MIL went on one of these cruises years ago, and we've been drooling over them ever since, but we just can't plan DH's vacay far enough in advance to get the cheap advance rate, and we sure can't do the last-minute specials. Anyway, MIL took every shore tour she could and walked her tootsies off. Hope you have a blast!

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CAROLCRC 11/27/2012 9:24AM

    Have a blast! I'm envious... been looking at those river cruise brochures for years. Enjoy, walk a lot, and just be reasonable about your food without being obsessive...

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JODROX 11/27/2012 9:09AM

    I love IAM53559's advice. Sample the good food, just know when enough is enough and stay active! Have a blast!!!

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IAM53559 11/27/2012 8:57AM

    Well, my husband and I went on an Italy/Adriatic cruise - Home of the carbohydrate and luxury eating - last year. I had been already dieting and working out and I too was nervous about weight gain but adamant I wasn't going to deprive myself. For Pete's sake, it was Italy! Would I ever get an opportunity to experience such a place as this again? I didn't want regrets. I wanted happy memories and stories to share. I figured I would just deal with any weight gain when we got home - I had spent a lot of money on this cruise and I was going to enjoy it.

I ate pizza, steak, chicken, white bread with fresh butter every dinner and I indulged in dessert after every dinner. My favourite part of a meal is meat and veg so I chose to eat the mouth-watering fresh breads and only sample my potatoes, rices, and pastas - except the one night that I had ravioli for my dinner, I ate most of that emoticon .

We played mini golf on board, swam in the pools, walked in each city we visited, and even went ice skating on the ship's ice rink. I don't think I made it to the on-board gym once...

When we got home I was astounded! I had not gained any weight! I thought, "Oh, it'll catch up" but a week went by, no weight gain, then 2 weeks, three.... no weight gain.

I think by not depriving myself, I felt I didn't need to over-eat anything. So I had decent portions of everything, including real, full-fat Gelato from local shops! I also think that the slow process of losing weight helped my body to accept my new, lower scale weight as normal. By eating regularly and ensuring I ate a wholesome variety of foods, my body didn't explode and go crazy. As far as my body was concerned, it was just a normal routine... with more sunshine emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 11/27/2012 8:39AM

    That's a very wise plan, especially the alcohol part. I thought you said it was included, which would make it my downfall.

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LEB0401 11/27/2012 8:36AM

    Yeah! Enjoy yourself. emoticon

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BOILHAM 11/27/2012 8:19AM

    When DW and I went on a European motorcoach tour, a 10 day multi country thing, we both gained weight. Returned home at my top weight ever. I think thosevacation pictures were what 'sparked' me to return to my formerly slim self.
It seems to me the cruise ships pastries, cookies, etc are low fat. They just don't have the taste of 'real' pastries to me. We've been on lots of cruises and seldom gain weight, we walk a lot, and I use the ship's weight room, and we eat normally.
You will do fine. Sample all the various special foods in moderation.
Have a wonderful vacation. You deserve a special reward for all the entertaining blogs.

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ROOSTER72 11/27/2012 8:11AM

    I agree - you are going on holiday, you want to have a good time.
This means doing what makes you feel good.

Excessive weight gain would not feel good, but relaxing a little will feel terrific.
So great that there is a fitness room - this will energise you, making the holiday even more fun.

Any weight gain will go once you are back to normal routine.

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The ultimate test of maintenance? How about a CRUISE?

Monday, November 26, 2012

For those who have read my history of unfortunate wedding anniversaries, we’re doing it again – for my maintenance anniversary. DH got this great last minute deal that he couldn’t refuse. So on Dec 7th off we go for 2 weeks on the Rhine.

It will be a lovely trip – the Christmas Markets, beginning in Basel and ending in Amsterdam. There will be lots of walking tours in cold weather which burn extra calories, but there will also be lots of FOOD, all paid for in advance. First order of business will be to restrain my thrifty “get my money’s worth” gene. Wine is also included, so I’ll have to keep that in mind too.

I once wrote that I don’t deprive myself when on vacation, but neither do I plan to overdo it. River cruises aren’t as food laden 24/7 as ocean cruising, but still it will be a lot more than if I were cooking for myself. My favorite food has always been something someone else made and put in front of me.

We will see. Maybe I’ll pack all my smallest clothes.

Related Blog Entries:
How to celebrate an anniversary
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5126926


How I eat when on vacation
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5093681


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 11/28/2012 7:15AM

    Have a great time. That sounds like a wonderful cruise.

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WILSONWR 11/27/2012 6:57PM

    Good luck - it really sounds like fun! We're going on our first ocean cruise in January. That will definitely be a test for me as food is my weakness...

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BOILHAM 11/27/2012 8:23AM

    Spur of the moment cruise deals. Perfect for us retired folks. Gotta love 'em.
Have fun!

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TINAJANE76 11/26/2012 5:33PM

    Have a wonderful trip and enjoy yourself! I'm sure you'll work out the best compromise between taking advantage of everything the cruise has to offer and not getting totally derailed. The Christmas markets around Europe are gorgeous so you'll be sure to have a blast.

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ROOSTER72 11/26/2012 5:16PM

    It might be good to remind yourself that each meal is not the last meal. It might all look good, but there will be another good meal in just a few hours - so no need to go over board. Enjoy but not to excess.

Have a terrific time - what a lovely trip. I hope you get lots of chances to explore on foot - great exercise, but also the best way to really see new places!

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MJZHERE 11/26/2012 12:57PM

  Wow! I'm envious. Have a wonderful time!

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GOTTAPLAN4U 11/26/2012 10:40AM

  Good blog. I agree about the clothes. It's bad enough to be stressed about eating without adding the unnecessary anxiety over small clothes. You are supposed to be having fun. The purpose of being healthy and fit is so you can have fun and enjoy all life has to offer. So do that.

HAPPY VACATION!

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CELIAMINER 11/26/2012 7:51AM

    Have a wonderful time, and, as Lattelee said, don't pack your smallest clothes. If you had more notice, you could have gone down a few pounds to give yourself a pad, but with less than 2 weeks' notice.... Anyway, please don't be so severe with yourself that you end up resentful. The way you run, a few pounds will disappear in no time when you get home.

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COCK-ROBIN 11/26/2012 7:38AM

    I know you'll succeed!

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SUZYMOBILE 11/26/2012 7:17AM

    Oh, how wonderful!! You might end up being surprised. I lost a little weight while we were on a cruise a little over a year ago, because I was so conscious of not eating all the junk that was available 24-7. Just because there's a serving area of pizza all day long doesn't mean I'm going to gorge on pizza. Just because there's dessert doesn't mean I have to have it. Free wine would be a challenge, but that's self-limiting! emoticon

And I'm sure the same sort of thing will be true for you. Have a wonderful trip!! We'll miss you!

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DAWN14163 11/26/2012 7:05AM

    That should be a wonderful holiday - the markets and ice rinks are just being set up now! Pack your thermals though, it's pretty chilly. I hope you have a brilliant time.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AZMOMXTWO 11/26/2012 7:01AM

  enjoy the cruise

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TERRIPAL1 11/26/2012 7:01AM

    You'll do great with all your walking enjoy yourself and burn off those calories!

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LATTELEE 11/26/2012 6:59AM

  Don't pack smallest clothes

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DMEYER4 11/26/2012 6:54AM

  have a great time on your cruise.

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Facts - Knowledge – Wisdom

Sunday, November 25, 2012

We know they’re not all the same thing. We have more “facts” available at our fingertips than at any time in history. There are so many facts that we need help to sort them out to gain any real knowledge. So we subscribe to media to help analyze it all. Unfortunately, we also tend to patronize those sources which agree with what we want to believe.

“There are 3 kinds of lies - lies, damn lies and statistics.” This statement was popularized in America by Mark Twain and attributed to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.

We all view information through our own lens which sometimes distorts our view of reality. Just look at the competing bumper stickers and commercials during an election year. Half of the population believes each side completely. It takes an extraordinary effort to find the truth and chart our own course.

I’ve written about my grandmother. We called her “Baba.” She was a wise woman. She warned about how our food was changing about 50 years ago. She also had ideas that were false. No Baba, jumping rope and running will not make my insides fall out. In her defense, this was the conventional wisdom at the time and she didn’t have the Internet.

Take the quote I mentioned earlier. As it turns out, it’s unlikely that Disraeli was the author.
www.twainquotes.com/Statistics.html
www.york.ac.uk/depts/maths/histstat/
lies.htm


Obviously, this commonly accepted fact whether true or false won’t adversely affect anyone’s life. However, it is important that we realize our own preconceptions, investigate competing resources and sift all the facts carefully to arrive at true knowledge. Hopefully this will lead us to the wisdom to lead healthy, meaningful lives.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IAM53559 11/26/2012 4:26AM

    Oh my! I have a Facebook account and that's all you need to see how true your message is! :) I see posts about missing people, "facts" about politics, information about health, religion and social norms.... and I never forward or react unless I have checked it out. www.snopes.com is a good source for checking if "they" really said this or that. Even Wikipedia can help ascertain truth and help me to decide if I believe the propaganda being sent.

Too often we hear something and take for granted it's true, especially is sent or told to us from friends or acquaintances. We need to sort it and make our own rational judgements before we condemn, criticise, or comment. Sadly, too often, we judge then learn truths.

Thanks for the thought-provoking message this Monday morning emoticon

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KATIEEMMA5 11/25/2012 9:27PM

    Luckily spark people have done all the most up to date research for us. x

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CELIAMINER 11/25/2012 9:17PM

    I'm happy for you sharing YOUR wisdom!

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-AMANDA79- 11/25/2012 11:46AM

    We recently watched the documentary Forks Over Knives. I believed every word while the husband was a little more skeptical. We are trying to incorporate some vegetarian meals though!

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SUZYMOBILE 11/25/2012 10:38AM

    I've been delighted lately with Doonesbury's celebrating the return of truth and science! Google Doonesbury from the past week or so, if you don't already read it.

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COCK-ROBIN 11/25/2012 9:54AM

    Very good! Thanks for sharing.

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MJRVIC2000 11/25/2012 7:49AM

    Praise Jehovah God for His truth and wisdom ! If we will follow Him, humbly and faithfully, He can and will keep us from the bondage of the flesh! Worship Him and give Him all the glory! Vic.

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