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A visual reminder of miles traveled

Saturday, January 05, 2013

My local running store collects our old shoes to donate to the city’s rescue mission. Yesterday while tripping over stuff in my closet, I realized that I had forgotten about this for quite awhile. I replace my running shoes every 500 miles (about 6 months) after which I use them for another 6 months just for everyday stuff. The walking shoes (top row) are heavier and last somewhat longer.

So, from my logs and estimating my extra steps in daily activities, these shoes have seen about 3000 miles in 2.5 years.

These shoes have taken me on various routes in my area as well as on trips to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, England, Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Italy, France, Czech Republic and Slovakia and up and down the east coast and the midwest here in the USA.

These shoes have seen most of my 3 years of maintenance. In fact, they are partly responsible for my staying in goal weight range all this time.

So, goodbye old friends, you’ve been replaced. You’ve still got a lot of wear left and I hope you serve someone else well on her journey to a new life.

Edit: Just for the record, the insoles are all brand new when I donate the shoes, thanks to my custom orthotics which replace them for my use.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAWN14163 1/6/2013 9:54AM

    Lovely idea! Here's to making lots more memories with your new shoes!

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WOLFKITTY 1/5/2013 12:29PM

    Yay! Cool. :)

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MJZHERE 1/5/2013 11:58AM

  I'm so glad you did this - what a great idea. We get shoes from a used clothing store that donates those that don't sell to give to the homeless - they are always so appreciated. However there aren't many sneakers which are always in demand. Hmmm, maybe I can get something going here.....

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SUZYMOBILE 1/5/2013 11:09AM

    If you'd been doing the virtual walk across America, you'd be nearly finished!

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WATERMELLEN 1/5/2013 9:32AM

    Terrific. I wonder if the recipient would appreciate knowing where they've been!!

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-AMANDA79- 1/5/2013 9:32AM

    Great blog! emoticon

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LOLATURTLE 1/5/2013 9:26AM

    Wow! That's such a cool picture and fact! If I just saw the picture, well... it's just some shoes. But knowing they represent 3000 miles, well that's something else!!

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MIRAGE727 1/5/2013 9:03AM

    Sweet! My running store, of which I'm a part of their run team, does the same thing with old shoe collecting. It makes total sense. Stay strong!

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WILSONWR 1/5/2013 8:58AM

    Great idea!

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SATCHMO99 1/5/2013 7:48AM

    What a great idea, I wish more sports shops took it up!

I made the mistake of buying a pair of running shoes in a non-specialist shop last year, and paid dearly with an Achilles tendon tear. Those shoes are in our charity shop bag, which is due to be taken soon with the clothes that are now TOO BIG.

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TORTISE110 1/5/2013 7:17AM

    What a great pic of what fitness-and a good life-reveal!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/5/2013 7:12AM

    It's wonderful. Wear out the shoes, means you're in top shape!

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MAGGIE101857 1/5/2013 7:09AM

    Goodbye loved shoes! They are going to a great new home and will continue to be loved there!!!

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Yet another sensational headline –“Is Fat Good for You?”

Friday, January 04, 2013

This popped up on my screen this morning.

I’ve always believed that as stated in #6 that “once you’re unhealthy, fat helps keep you alive, at least for awhile.” So this isn’t a surprise to me.

I also spent 10 years monitoring my mother’s diet as she lost interest in things, including eating, after my father’s death. That’s how my daily routine of morning weigh-in began. Trying to encourage her, we both recorded our weight. So when she died at age 88, she was VERY thin. This had nothing to do with her weight throughout her life.

We already know the relevance of the location of body fat, fat vs. muscle, drug intervention in chronic diseases and the limitations of all of our measures of healthy weight. About the only thing not discussed in the article is quality of life and the effect of extra weight on our joints, specifically knees and hips.

We also know that it’s a lot easier to move up in weight than down, unless you have some underlying mental disorder – another situation entirely. So if you decide you want to be heavier, it's not that hard.

It’s not the article that upsets me, just the headline. I wouldn’t mind if it said that maintaining a stable weight with some extra fat in harmless locations is good for you. However, in our super-sized society I’m concerned that this is will be used as one more justification to keep going in the wrong direction. We're surrounded with the evidence of the wrong direction.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOILHAM 1/6/2013 6:21PM

    According to number 6, Rosie O'donnell ought to be good for 6 or 7 months without nutrition.

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MJZHERE 1/4/2013 10:43PM

  I also don't understand Mjrvic2000 post. My mom was always thin, always extremely active and ate healthy foods. My dad went back and forth from overweight to obese, was inactive and loved everything except fruits, vegetables and anything healthy! My mom lived about 15 years longer than my dad, had a much better quality of life than him always. For me when I get 15 lbs heavier my joints hurt, my back hurts more, and I feel much better lighter.

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WATERMELLEN 1/4/2013 8:31PM

    Saw this too (or another version reporting the same research) and thought it was very confusing and dubious.

There's not much doubt: we're healthier being thinner, almost always! And in so many different ways.

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HLTHYLIVN_BAM 1/4/2013 8:26PM

    Thanks so much for your post - I agree that you really need to read the article beyond the headline. It is obvious from the article that ttey make a distinction between a "little overweight" which may or not be overweight but heavier end of normal vs. obesity.

It is interesting to consider, I think you hit the nail on the head about the quality of life. My father's death, just about 9 months ago, has also taken a toll on my mom, me and many members of our family, and I am concerned about healthy eating and healthy living. It isn't just about the weight - it's about the nutrition, how you feel, and how much you are living your life!

Thanks for the post.

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NIMNIX 1/4/2013 12:46PM

    I have more of a problem with people just reading the headline or summary paragraph, instead of fully taking the time read the article or the studies it's reporting on. That's how internet-knowledge stays alive. People skim a headline and blast it all over the place, tell their friends, argue on forums citing the summary, without bothering to understand what it says.

Headlines are meant to be attention-getters, and the writers know what headlines are going to draw readers in. Sensational, oversimplified, "haha WE know the truth, not these so-called health professionals" headlines get more people reading them.

Of course, I take the writer's article with a grain of salt as well, considering the tone throughout the article.

The human body isn't a binary equation. It's not like JUST the amount of fat vs. amount of muscle will define how healthy you really are. There isn't just one cause or measurement for every result. Our bodies are a result of the combination of genetics, lifestyle, environment and mental state.

There are fat healthy people, skinny unhealthy people, fat unhealthy people, skinny healthy people, and the occasional godlike specimen that is the epitome of health, fitness, and all things good in the world. Of course, those people weren't covered in the study...

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WINDSURFNERD 1/4/2013 11:51AM

    Interesting article and blog! I think we all know that fat is an essential part of our bodies and our diets, but the article confuses fat (the noun) with BEING fat/obese (the adjective). I suspect it won't change anyone's mind, people will believe what they want to believe... emoticon

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CAKEMAKERMOM 1/4/2013 11:03AM

    I thought for a second you were going to go into eating foods with fat in them with all the "cut out the fat from your diet" fads, but then I read your blog and then the article. There are too many variables to consider when it comes to any study and so many studies can be skewed to the publishers motives.

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KANOE10 1/4/2013 10:28AM

    Yes,,that title could be misleading. I still the benefits of being thin and muscular to avoid disease are worth it!

Thaks for an interesting article.

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CELIAMINER 1/4/2013 9:12AM

    My MIL used this article to justify telling me I needed to gain a few pounds. This from a woman so thin she looks emaciated. For crying out loud, I am 5'6" and weigh 143. That is NOT too thin.

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COCK-ROBIN 1/4/2013 9:10AM

    wow. this is disturbing. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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KANDOLAKER 1/4/2013 8:57AM

    I agree completely! Read this headline, and felt it was just going to be an excuse-getter for a number of people!

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DEBBY4576 1/4/2013 8:32AM

    Wait a while, and they will find out they were wrong. For years they claimed eggs were bad for you. And meat. The list goes on and on.
I too am upset at what the headline will do. We all know we look for excuses not to lose , or why we haven't lost. Many people will just state the headline that fat is good for you, to others and make up their own story to go with it, another words they now have an excuse to be heavy.

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WILSONWR 1/4/2013 8:11AM

    I thought it interesting that the article said it might be appropriate to shift the BMI to the right for what is acceptable. The overweight would now become normal. Sounds like supersizing to me!

I don't understand MJRVIC2000's comment - your blog sounded fine to me!

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    There might be something to this, I'm not sure. I think it's another indication that BMI, especially in and around the "normal" zone is highly suspect when it comes as a measurement of health. You could be in the overweight category, maybe flirting with obese, but have a favorable body composition. It would seem that would be far more favorable from a survival standpoint than having a normal BMI with unfavorable body composition.

The rub I have is that most people who are overweight, borderline obese do NOT have a favorable body composition and this article may allow them to think they get a pass. As someone who was overweight, bordering obese and more recently at the lower end of a "normal" BMI, I can say personally that I preferred neither. Today, I'm very close to "overweight" on the BMI scale and I feel better than ever. While I'm intentionally and deliberately up 30 pounds from my low weight, I'm still wearing the same size pants and shirts. To me this, shows just how flawed the scale and BMI are. Now you apply these flaws to this article and it opens up all kinds of questions and doubts.

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1935MARY 1/4/2013 7:57AM

    I don't know how I feel about this,except that we live in a world where fat is not excepted. I clean a little lady's house and we talk about a many things,she said her doctor told her older people needed to weigh more to protect their bones and joints. I think babies look healthier when they are chubby a real thin baby to me looks sickly, Are they harmless locations to carry fat? I don't know. I know some of my doctors needs to diet.

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NELLJONES 1/4/2013 7:57AM

    A little fat is good for you, yes, but everyone's idea of "a little fat" is different, alas.

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MJRVIC2000 1/4/2013 7:52AM

    Oh, be careful little mouth, what you say, For the Father up above, Is looking down in love, So be careful little mouth what you say. Did You Know? Vic.

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The super-sized potatoes vs the info on the bag

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Last week I bought a 10 lb bag of Russet baking potatoes. They were on sale; we were expecting family during holidays, and we are descended from sturdy, potato eating, peasant stock. I was surprised to see nutritional information printed on the bag. I suppose in the “low carb” era, it was understandable that the company would want to tout the healthfulness of their product.

Only 110 calories per potato, read the information on the chart, for a 5.3 oz potato. The other nutrients also indicated a very healthy food choice. As a life-long consumer of carbs, a lot of them from baked potatoes, those numbers seemed low to me. Then, I weighed a few of the “spuds” in the bag.

Most looked like this.

14.2 oz which translates to 295 calories.

The smallest potato was this one

10.6 oz - exactly twice as large as the one described on the bag – 220 calories.

Of course, this is before any butter, sour cream or toppings are added.

There was no deception here. Everything was clearly and appropriately labeled. Yet, when have I ever seen BAKING potatoes half this size? Are potatoes growing larger along with everything else?

The lesson learned here is to be vigilant. I love my food scale. It keeps me honest.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HPSANDDOLLAR 1/7/2013 8:12AM


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BOILHAM 1/6/2013 6:29PM

    Not to get too peevish, but I have been shopping for glucosmine with condroiton tablets.

On different BioFlex bottles the recommended dosage spans 1 to 3 per day. The nutrition label appears to be identical on each bottle! I spent a long time looking for the flaws in my reading and comprehension abilities, but I failed to find any difference in the ingredients.

Check it out sometime and let me know if I am wrong. Just kidding, I know how busy you are, running a mile a day.

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WOLFKITTY 1/5/2013 1:07PM

    Serving size is so important for loss, and maintenance, and general health!

Those are big potatoes. I remember when I found out that a little red potato was one serving, it made me realize that I needed to know more.

Good post!

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MJZHERE 1/5/2013 12:27PM

  Wow, and I know my sweet potatoes always are bigger than potatoes. My scale doesn't work real well and I don't think I want to know as this is my one real staple during the holiday months.

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CAKEMAKERMOM 1/3/2013 11:55AM

    I love my scale too. I would never know what an ounce of something is unless I stuck it on my scale.

About potatoes though, it all about how you prepare them. Just by french frying them and cooking them in oil, the become twice the amount of calories from all the oil.

Love baked potatoes!

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KANOE10 1/3/2013 10:59AM

    I love my food scale also! Great blog.

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CELIAMINER 1/3/2013 10:48AM

    Ouch! The second picture you posted looked like a nice size, but it's TWO servings?! I'll start using my kitchen scale more often. DH and I frequently split a sweet potato, so that helps.

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LOLATURTLE 1/3/2013 10:32AM

    I love my food scale so much, I bought a little one that's about the size of my cell phone to carry in my purse!! (I just wish I could FIND it. I may have left it at my mom's house after Christmas!)

I think you are right. Everything IS getting bigger, including produce! Look at apples. I often see apples that are bigger than my fist! I think they might be even larger than "large" apples in the tracker. I started a few months ago weighing my fruits and veggies, because I got tired of trying to figure out if it was a "large" or "extra large" banana, or a "medium" or "large" potato, or whatever. I weigh all my bananas and write the weight in grams on the skin with a sharpie, haha. Same for oranges. Apples I write the weight on the sticker with a pen.

I recently bought a ton of sweet potatoes, because they had some that WEREN'T the size of my head!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 1/3/2013 9:59AM

    Yes, ma'am. I have a food scale in my purse, at work, at home, in my car, at my sister's house in AZ... LOLOL

I wouldn't be able to figure what is going on or how much to eat, without it!


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WILSONWR 1/3/2013 9:07AM

    I love my food scale also - it has been invaluable. Although the bag may have been labelled accurately, it still seems misleading to have a serving size smaller than what is possible only by cutting the potato. That's like a small bag of something that is labelled as 2 servings. You just have to read the fine print...

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SUZYMOBILE 1/3/2013 9:04AM

    Yikes! They're probably genetically modified, too.

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LOVESTOWALK49 1/3/2013 8:37AM

    I prefer the smaller potatoes, more flavor. Still, it's good to know.

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NELLJONES 1/3/2013 8:26AM

    As an exchange eater, 5 oz raw or 4 oz cooked has always been my guide. Where would we be without good kitchen scales? Use the kitchen scale and the bathroom scale will follow.

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62NVON 1/3/2013 8:26AM

    I find the same problem with frozen chicken breasts and fish. There are a variety of portion sizes in the same bag, so like you... I weigh it to get accurate NI. =)

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LEB0401 1/3/2013 8:22AM

    I've had potato trouble in the past when trying to track them. SP has them down as "small, medium, or large" and gives no weight options. Is a small potato a fingerling or a new potato? Is a large your baking potatoes or one of those 8-oz. microwave wrapped ones? Who knows... I added potatoes weighed in grams to the database so I can figure it out.

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    Thanks for the heads up! I will be using my scale alot more often this time around!

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DAISYBELL6 1/3/2013 7:49AM

    Thank you for this heads up. I don't use my food scale often enough!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/3/2013 7:45AM

    Very good. That food scale is priceless! I'm proud of you.

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SKMINNY 1/3/2013 7:45AM

    Wow , those taters are large! I haven't thought to weigh them.. no wonder i can't get the scale to move... too many taters.

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Even our alcohol has become supersized.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

I did not know this.
I’ve compared life today with my childhood in the 50s in many different areas.
This article describes the sizing creep of our mixed drinks.

I gave up cocktails a long time ago simply because I prefer to get my calories from something I can chew and crunch. I still drink wine occasionally and sample different types of beer when in Europe, but water has been my liquid of choice for over 20 years.

Still, this article was interesting to me since customers’ resistance to attempts at downsizing reflects our denial of other areas of our supersized lives – sizing creep in clothes, larger dishes filled to the edge, enormous drink cups and bigger furniture to accommodate the inevitable result.

Today many people are still recovering from a New Year’s Eve of revelry which included mixed drinks. To each his own, but as for me, I prefer my calories in the cheesecake.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJZHERE 1/5/2013 12:30PM

  Another supersize. Think about growing up with everything supersize - this would be the norm for you. Now that is scary.

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COCK-ROBIN 1/2/2013 8:12PM

    Good for you!

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WILSONWR 1/2/2013 7:52PM

    You're right! Some of the better beers now come in either 22 ounce "bombers" or 750ml bottles. The alcohol content also often ranges from 9 - 18%!! I like to try some of the better beers now and then, but I pour some in a smaller glass and then vacuum seal the bottle like you can do with wine. I enjoy it over the next day or two this way!

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JESSICABOOTY 1/2/2013 4:55PM

    So many people have left such interesting comments on the size of just about everything!!! I use salad plates, the rest of the dishes are in the basement. I don't drink cocktails and I agree that liquid calories are a waste of calories. Every dinner out starts with bread off the table and a left-over box which is filled when the food is served.
It's a full time job just getting past the portion size creep.
Thanks for reminding us.

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CELLISTA1 1/2/2013 12:21PM

    Supersize food/supersize drinks = supersize people.

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CAKEMAKERMOM 1/2/2013 10:58AM

    When I go to certain restaurants, I am fortunate to have a couple of people that will split an entree with me. I remember when a small pop was 8 ounces (maybe it was 10?) at my first job at McD's. Plus I'm not 'that' old. 16 ounces is not "value".

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SWEDE_SU 1/2/2013 10:23AM

    it is amazing how supersizing has taken over everything. when i got serious about weight loss last spring, i gave up wine for the first month and the pounds absolutely fell off. i also prefer my calories in crunchy chewy form. while i will have my glass of red wine most evenings now in maintenance, water is my drink of choice.

i can't understand those huge glasses/cups of pop that people get in fast food places - no one needs that amount of sugar! and now alcohol too!

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KANOE10 1/2/2013 9:36AM

    Interesting article. I had no idea that we were making large cocktails..I bet margaritas are even bigger. You are right it fits in with the super sizing in the rest of society.

Thanks for sharing.

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GINIEMIE 1/2/2013 9:28AM

    As we have learned/are learning in our journey, bigger is NOT better. That starts with super-sized fruits, rolls, burgers, meals, salads and drinks-except of course water. And even too much water can be bad for some people.

Read, become savvy, and demand moderate portions or kid sizes. I'm into ordering an appetizer in place of an entree at some of the restaurants I go to.
Happy Health & Holy New Year to all.

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ITSMATT 1/2/2013 9:24AM

    Good article and very interesting blog post. Thanks!

It is pretty ridiculous and sad that we just don't get what a reasonable portion size is anymore.

Make it a great day!

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FITFOODIE806 1/2/2013 9:23AM

    Thanks for sharing. Liquid calories are dangerous!

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HAKAPES 1/2/2013 9:01AM

    Great article to share!

Since I'm on the healthy track, water became my main source of fluid, and such drink. I made drinking 8 cups of water (glasses) a daily habit, and since then, I drink it.

Also, for enjoying calories, I prefer "chewing them", so I consume fruits and vegetables as fresh, or maybe cooked, but usually not as a drink. Although smoothies and fruit juices are promoted as healthy.

As for the portion sizes - since I do portion control, I often find myself to be "less environmentally friendly" and buy smaller packaged poritions, or be less "cost effective" buy buying a smaller portion at a higher cost/size ratio.
And I look at it as a small expense for not having to consume calories. Makes me happy.

Thanks for the article, I share it with friends!

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SUZYMOBILE 1/2/2013 8:59AM

    Boy is that ever right! And if it isn't in mixed drinks, it's via happy hour!

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DARJR50 1/2/2013 8:50AM

  It is hard to find single serving packages of anything now days. I end up tossing a lot of food because I either can't find small size packages or refuse to be ripped off by the higher unit cost for small sizes. I am single and it bugs me to have to open a 3-4 serving can of something because I know it will spoil before I use the rest of it.

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NELLJONES 1/2/2013 8:38AM

    I don't even buy Vente coffees for the same reason: by the time you get halfway down the thing it's cold. Remember the old jokes about "everything is bigger in Texas"? Now everything is bigger everywhere. I don't get it.

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Days of cupcakes, cookies, ice cream and TV

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

And the question is: What did you do when you didn’t have Internet, Eileen?

Actually, I had SOME Internet access. It was just enough for frustration to set in. For me frustration = grab some carbs and vegetate. It didn’t help that the weather was too cold for much outdoor exercise and I was too lazy to drive to the gym.

So I ate more sweets than I’ve been used to and sat around more than I should have.
Thanks to TLC’s marathons, I learned some unusual (and rather useless) stuff from reality TV. There’s an American Gypsy community I never knew existed and there are some Amish who act definitely “un-Amish.”

There were good visits with family too as well as TV marathons of nostalgic old TV shows – time to look backward and reminisce.

Now it’s time to look and move forward. Fortunately, after 3 years of maintenance, my body seems determined to keep a stable weight in spite of my temporary “unsparklike” behavior. I’m at the very top of my goal range and looking forward to being able to track again. I’m not delusional enough to think I can behave this way indefinitely and not do some damage.

Happy New Year everyone!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COACHMOMMY 1/2/2013 2:48PM

    I feel like I was reading my own blog! Except for me it was HGTV - for some reason I'm became addicted to watching people buying/renovating a house (especially international!). Unfortunately my body was not as determined and I find myself having to make a "weight loss resolution". I'm just glad to get back to my routine.

Happy New Year!

Comment edited on: 1/2/2013 2:49:33 PM

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SWEDE_SU 1/2/2013 10:25AM

    happy new year to you too! it's a good thing that new years resolutions follow hectic holiday splurging... and that we have a range in maintenance to make it work!

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WILSONWR 1/1/2013 10:25PM

    I think we've all had a few "un-spark like" moments lately. Now we begin anew!

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WATERMELLEN 1/1/2013 4:13PM

    Isn't it lovely to know that maintenance cuts us a bit of slack now and then?? Thanks for your comment on my "more of the same" blog and welcome back to full internet!

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SUZYMOBILE 1/1/2013 3:56PM

    Ah, we all need days like that ... for a little while! Thanks for your note, by the way! I really appreciated it.

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JESSICABOOTY 1/1/2013 3:54PM

    That last paragraph says it all. Let's get back on track. Luckily there are tracks out there that we can jump on! I've got my own "goodie gain" to deal with.
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SOUTH_FORK 1/1/2013 2:05PM

    Oh, how i miss cable tv (been a year without it)! Here's to a wonderful New Year... even the most sensible have to just flake out a bit every now and then....

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LOLATURTLE 1/1/2013 12:50PM

    Oh, TLC. Hahaha! It's been a while since I've watched. They have a lot of medical shows, and watching shows about freaky super rare ailments turns me into a hypochondriac, so I'm not allowed to watch most of their stuff. hahahaha. emoticon

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COCK-ROBIN 1/1/2013 11:56AM

    You can do it!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/1/2013 11:56AM

    You can do it!

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KANOE10 1/1/2013 10:14AM

    Happy New Year to you also ! I am at the high end of my range also and will work on getting it back down!

Maintenance is work!

Have a great new day in the new year.

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MS0669 1/1/2013 9:19AM

    Happy New Year - I had a very un-spark like couple of weeks, but my body reacts terrible to processed carbs. YIKES ! But I am going to make myself drive to our community center and use the track today, nothing like a silly date on the calendar to get me back into the healthy groove !

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BIGDOG18 1/1/2013 9:09AM


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KITKAT717 1/1/2013 9:05AM

    Happy New Year!!! I am in the same maintain slump!! Hope you have a great start to your New year!! emoticon

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