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What exactly is a binge? Is it like obscenity or pornography, different for different people?

Monday, January 21, 2013

During a case regarding hard-core pornography Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once said that he couldn’t specifically define it, but he knew it when he saw it.

How to define a binge:
By quantity of food eaten?
I’ve had some pretty big meals that didn’t qualify

The length of time we keep at it?
On the cruise we had some 7 (yes seven) course meals that took a very long time.
Definitely not binge material.

How quickly we shove food in our mouths?
I’ve rushed plenty of times eating “on the run”

Is it the type of food we’re eating?
Determined by total calories or maybe fat or sugar content?
I’ve eaten a lot of cheesecake and strudel that I never put in the binge category

Does it matter WHY we’re doing it?
Does there have to be an emotional trigger?

Is it the same as mindless eating?
Last night while watching football with the grandchildren, I ate a bunch of snacks, some healthy, most not. It was more than I should have eaten - excited eating - but not binge-worthy.

Do we have to be alone? Doing it in secret?
I know when my daughter says, “do you really want to be eating that?” that I’m more likely to stop. (Note: DH never says that!)

Maybe it’s the lack of control we feel as we’re doing it?
The voice that says, “you shouldn’t be doing this, it’s bad for you; you’ll feel terrible later” and we answer the voice by doing it anyway.

Maybe like Justice Stewart said, we know it when see it, or rather, when we’re doing it. How we define it may be different for each of us. What we tend to agree on is that it’s bad for us and something that we should strive to avoid. If you are susceptible to binges, it’s a rare person who can cut them out completely for all time.

Maybe overcoming the temptation is just one more step in knowing ourselves and we are all worth knowing. If we slip up, just forgive ourselves and move on.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GINIEMIE 1/25/2013 9:03PM

    Interesting! Since I've not felt well, I've been getting out of bed in the evening and finding "something to eat". Was I really hungry no! What was I doing? Binge eating! Or seeking some kind of solace.
Okay, I can remember a time when if I was low, I would take out a box of saltines and the milk and eat and eat and eat. Was I hungry-NO, I was out of control. Now when I have a desire for that "comfort food" I serve myself one bowl, counting my crackers-more than I need, but not the whole sleeve, adding my milk and sitting down to eat it. I refuse to go back for more, because I don't want to go back to those old habits, but occasionally I still revert to that consoling snack. Is it healthy? NO. I've recognized that I do it when I'm feeling low, but now I have some control over the quantity.
So I would say, there is a definition to binge eating, and yet each of us has our own version of what it is. Most of us recognize that it is eating beyond our needs, and at some point control is lost and our emotional stability or lack there of has an impact. Usually this is followed by feelings self disgust.
I've come a long way and I've a long way to go, but I will not give up on myself. I will be an encouragement to others who are in the same battle for self control.
emoticon emoticon

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RUDITUDI2000 1/22/2013 11:14PM

    For me...handfuls. of chocolate chips when I'm stressed. Unplanned. Always accompanied by a BAD attitude..
Thanks for this blog...Jen emoticon

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SLENDERMAMA1 1/22/2013 4:11PM

    For me a binge is eating despite myself without true enjoyment, regretting the eating even as I am shovelling it into my mouth....so why do I do it? I wish I knew..
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BOILHAM 1/22/2013 6:05AM

    By the definitions below, clearly a binge is how one defines it. To me, a binge has no shoveling or mindlessness. I even do my binges in moderation, I just keep going back for more treats, telling myself I need the carbs anyway, but knowing full well I am "on a rampage" DW and my term for a binge. I'm still unconvinced my rampages are a completely bad thing. I keep telling myself it's not appetite, but hunger, maybe my body is craving for a reason. Hell, I know what I'm doing is wrong, but I insist on justifying it somehow.

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GEMGODDESS 1/21/2013 10:09PM

    For me, it is eating an indeterminate amount of food that I KNOW I don't particularly want, KNOWING that I'm not really hungry, but feeling helpless to NOT consume it. It's almost like an out of body experience. And it's almost always emotion-driven. Oof. Good blog.

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WATERMELLEN 1/21/2013 8:53PM

    What a great blog: so much to think about . . . and look at all the great comments it inspired!

There are certainly some unifying themes here: loss of control; self loathing. Avoiding those trigger foods is key for me!

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CELLISTA1 1/21/2013 12:31PM

    I used to call it "the Evil Robot" as in "The Evil Robot took over my brain and I ate a huge burger and fries without wanting it or enjoying it." That's my definition, I guess: not wanting it and not enjoying it. Ever since I put a label on that feeling, the Evil Robot has turned up less and less.

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CAKEMAKERMOM 1/21/2013 11:22AM

    For me it's when I give up control to the food and it keeps on coming into my system, I may not be overstuffed, but it's wrong choices that blow my calories for the day and may not always have had anything to do with a mood I'm in.

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LOLATURTLE 1/21/2013 11:07AM

    That's really interesting. I think it's probably personal, because everyone binges differently, and probably at least partly depends on how you feel during and after the binge.

I no longer binge the way I used to ~7-8 years ago; then it was filling myself with whatever food I could find, whatever sounded good, but I was never satisfied because I wasn't hungry, I was unhappy. It was the one thing I could control that could bring me some small amount of comfort or happiness in place of all the wrongness in my life that I couldn't fix.

Now it's more like... I'm too lazy to go buy or prepare what I know I need to feel satisfied and well, so I eat a bunch of different stuff that ends up being way too many calories, or a waste of calories because it isn't what I need. It's a more complex definition now, because I'm more aware of the complex interactions that can lead to binging. How am I feeling? What am I doing today? What food do I have in the house/around me? Sometimes it's not so much a binge as, a pre-binge. I ate something I know can lead to a binge if I'm not careful.

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LIVIN2LOVE1 1/21/2013 10:56AM

    For me, defining a binge involves my feelings. When I begin to feel shame and physical discomfort it is then that I realize that I have been on a binge.

I'm still learning how to handle myself. Learning strategies to avoid a binge and to stop a binge when I find myself in one.

It hasn't been easy for me but I accept the challenge because the alternative, giving in, is not an option.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 1/21/2013 10:10AM

    There are clinical definitions of binges, and there are also personal definitions of them.

Since the word is in common usage, you get to define it however you like.

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SUZYMOBILE 1/21/2013 9:31AM

    I think it's your very last point: complete loss of control, along with Nell's self-loathing which may or may not happen at the same time you're binging. It's the food thing to which one can apply the 12 steps, the first being: We admitted we were powerless over our [binging] and that our lives had become unmanageable.

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NELLJONES 1/21/2013 9:17AM

    I haven't binged in years because I HATE the aftermath of self-loathing, the wondering "why??" I hate the feeling that I am my own willing victim. I plan for the inevitable longing to binge the same way I plan a safe walking route and for the same reasons: it's easier to avoid pitfalls than to get out of them. I am basically lazy; avoidance by any means is the only way to keep from abusing myself. And wondering Why.

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DAISYBELL6 1/21/2013 8:56AM

    This blog certainly presented some excellent "food for thought" and it came at the perfect time for me. I agree with Slenderella that letting go of the guilt of binging and accepting that it may happen now and then has been freeing for me. I am human and will make mistakes. What has kept me from binging like I used to 85 pounds ago is the thought that I can immediately go back to my healthy way of eating. I don't have to keep binging because I failed, I have to eat healthfully because I am succeeding. Beating my self up does not change what happened. Acceptance and self love helps. I used to believe that I was "doomed" to keep overeating, that I couldn't help it and that trying to change was useless. None of that is true. I love my new lifestyle and my new body and a one time binge is not going to cause me to return to my old patterns. I wish I didn't binge. Right now, I still binge occasionally but I stop when I recognize what I am doing, look at what triggered it, accept that I need to look at the trigger, then, most importantly, eat in a healthy mindful way. Getting right back to eating well and moving my body is moving me forward.

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TINAJANE76 1/21/2013 7:55AM

    For me a binge is an unplanned overindulgence on food that I'm not even enjoying. It's often something (or a series of things) that are silly like peanut butter or chips. But I think you're right: most of us would probably define our binges in different ways. Thanks for this thought-provoking blog.

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SLENDERELLA61 1/21/2013 7:28AM

    Great blog! For me, it is a combination of a lot of the factors you focus on - the mindlessness, the doing it anyway, the bad choices, the amount, the speed of the shoveling, the loss of control, eating contradictory to my plan and intention, the remorse and even self-loathing.

When I learned I could live life at the weight I want to be and still occasionally slip into a binge, it was freeing. My binges became smaller and smaller, healthier and healthier, and less and less frequent. I found that the real key to it is forgiveness and doing the very best I can each day, each hour, each moment. Don't have to be perfect, just determined. Never, never, never give up!!!

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LESLIE871948 1/21/2013 7:16AM

    I wasn't done. I don't usually blog on the bottom of a blog.. :). What if yesterday was a binge for me. It was a teeny one if it was, but I FELT about it. Should I FEEL about food, other than hunger,- bliss,- satisfaction? I ate things that would formerly be a part of a food orgy. I am so grateful to have sort of grown out of the inclination to stuff my body until it hurts. Still, the guilt dynamic involved in that activity is what gives it the ability to cause me to go down the scary road of 1) binge 2) I am a bad person 3) I might as well give up I am Never going to be okay 4) food is bad 5) I am bad.....
I mentioned somewhere else that in order for me to get to a positive healthy place I have to run toward things that I really want, not back off in disgust from things I don't. For me, how I think about it when I eat something off my major plan in huge. If I just accept that I am human and go on, it's all good. Call it Binge and it turns the other way.

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LESLIE871948 1/21/2013 7:11AM

    Oh Kay here...... There are times when my looonggg history with weight struggles has me over-thinking some things, but this one? I could spend the entire day thinking about this excellent provocative blog. This year I am committed to eating more clean, organic, local foods. Saturday and Sunday past I was short of the mark. Both days I kind of went into a grazing mode, certainly not enough to cause weight gain in any meaningful way unless I continue for some time. Not a *binge*, but also Not what I want for myself. I don't care to eat when my body is not physiologically hungry. Back in the days when I used to diet #crazy# as in 750 calories a day, or using things that Dr's in the 70's prescribed to help me stay on Nutso eating plans, I used to clearly BINGE. Can I be a little bit pregnant and binge a little bit? That is such a loaded ugly word, but is a tiny one a different thing than a huge one? Both one grape and a watermelon are both fruit.

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It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Anyone old enough to get my literary reference? I don’t think “A Tale of Two Cities” is required HS reading anymore.

Actually, I was referring to my week – both real life and through TV.

I began the week in a very sad mood (Tuesday’s blog post) and ended on a happy note. Three of our grandchildren are spending the long weekend with us. Their parents are out of town and Friday was DH’s birthday.

Yesterday we watched a lot of TV. They don’t have cable/satellite at home, just over the air channels and Netflix. We finally got satellite access when I could no longer follow the football action – too many ghosts – the downside of living way out in the country.

I recorded a few movies and shows ahead of time.
“Beverly Hills Chihuahua” - This was a cute 2008 Disney Movie, happy ending of course and even an uplifting social message.

Then back in time to my childhood (1955) - “Lady and the Tramp”
Same kind of message – pampered pup and streetwise companion who saves the day.

Both had good guys and bad guys. In 2008 the danger was a demon dog, “El Diablo” who looked ready to tear you apart and his gangster owners who looked ready to do the same. In 1955 the danger was the dog catcher LOL.

TV Sitcoms – my childhood – Andy Griffith, Donna Reed, Father Knows Best.
For kids today even on Disney – Sorry I don’t remember the titles, but lots of “smart ass” kids.
I asked, “What would happen if you talked to your parents that way?”
The response: “They would take away our WiFi!”
Good!

I will not become a crotchety old woman complaining about “kids today” or longing for the “good old days.” Older people have been complaining about the younger generation since Socrates and the old days had a lot of stuff that was not so good if we’re truly honest about it.

Still, it seems so much harder for parents to raise children today and I give you all a lot of credit for the effort you’re making. It’s similar to trying to live a healthy lifestyle, with or without children. We have so much more information, but it seems that there are more outside influences working against us. I suppose we have to be that much stronger. Fortunately, there’s strength in numbers and hanging out with those with similar goals really helps.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILSONWR 1/21/2013 9:00AM

    Things are definitely more challenging for parents of today. My folks used to let me and brother walk down to the lake (a mile away), go swimming, go exploring, and just having a great time outdoors. Parents can't do that anymore, unfortunately - too many dangers there now. Dealing with all of the electronics has also got to be a challenge. Some of it is great, but not at the expense of never getting outside and getting some good healthy exercise in.

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CELIAMINER 1/20/2013 7:28PM

    Love uplifting movies. Most of TV today seems to have bowed to the political tide and turned from minimizing women as brainless organisms in need of male protection to bashing men or portraying them as imbeciles. NCIS at least seems to strike a balance.

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WATERMELLEN 1/20/2013 1:44PM

    Sounds like a great ending to your week: lucky grandkids!!

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DR1939 1/20/2013 12:15PM

    Read A Tale of Two Cities in one day because I had messed around during Christmas Break and had a book report due the next day. Nonetheless much of it stuck with me.

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KARRENLYNN 1/20/2013 10:12AM

    It's all about perspective, I think. In some ways things are easier and some ways harder.

I also give credit to those doing their best to raise good kids against all the bad influences out there.

I'm also thankful to have family and friends (online and offline) to give and take support from, like yourself. Sticking together makes it so much easier than going it alone!

At the end of the day, all you can do is the best you can, and hope we catch each other if we fall.

Have a great Sunday!
Karen

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KANOE10 1/20/2013 9:56AM

    I have the same reaction to many of the modern tv sitcoms. The humor is often cruel and makes fun of other people..both the kid shows and the adult shows. No wonder we have trouble with bullying in our schools.

I am not complaining about the younger generation, but it is not an easy time to raise kids. I agree with you. It is hard to lead a healthy lifestyle in this society. Thank heavens for support!

Great blog.

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KELLIEBEAN 1/20/2013 9:46AM

    AMEN! I'm so glad I'm not raising kids now!

I raised my kids in the late eighties and early nineties. I watch my sisters with their kids now and their attitudes and I think to myself, 'kids today!' Then I think 'oh no, did I just say that??! emoticon

Every generation gets harder and harder. I'm glad your week ended on a high note!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/20/2013 9:39AM

    A great, nostalgic blog!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/20/2013 9:39AM

    A great, nostalgic blog!

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NELLJONES 1/20/2013 8:49AM

    Our own youths seem easier in retrospect than they really were. At least your grandkids have family that cares, the most important component in a child's life since, well, Socrates' time.

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SWEDE_SU 1/20/2013 8:05AM

    we have had many of these thoughts and discussed how different things were when we grew up in the 50s, and when we raised our kids in the 70s/80s/90s. definitely do not envy today's parents...

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SLENDERELLA61 1/20/2013 8:03AM

    Brilliant blog! You are so right about being stronger to overcome negative influences. It is like trying to eat healthy in a culture that is obsessed with the best taste rather than what is best for our bodies.

Time with grandkids is precious. I must run get our two in just a minute! Take care and have a great day. I sure appreciate your support on my blogs and page!!

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What does your shirt say about you? “Do you box?”...

Saturday, January 19, 2013

... he asked me as we stood at the grocery check out counter.

It happened last summer. I haven’t been ‘hit on’ in decades and this would have been one weird pick-up line anyway. I was old enough to be this guy’s mother, maybe grandmother.

As I responded with “Huh?” he explained further. My workout clothes said “EVERLAST” in large letters across my chest and Everlast makes boxing gear.


I just picked the shirt out of a clearance bin – great quality for only $2. I was wearing the shorts too, but fortunately the logo wasn’t plastered across my butt only the waistband.

I thought about this at the gym this week when I got comments about this shirt


This tells people that I keep my clothes a very long time.
Regardless of the title, it’s unlikely that anyone running 5 miles on New Year’s Day actually had a hangover.

It also indicates that I like keeping the memories of races past. On that day I remember settling in to run behind 3 guys, dressed as The Three Kings, following a 4th guy carrying a large star on a pole. It was the only time I remember running while singing a Christmas carol to myself. O, star of wonder, star of light…westward leading, still proceeding… It was very effective as we circled the DC Mall twice. Grab motivation wherever you can.

My favorite shirt is this one.


The words are on my back and I’ve gotten a lot of positive comments from runners following behind me. We’re a friendly bunch – that bottom 30-40% of the pack. That quote, originally from my daughter’s HS Cross Country team, is my tag line here.
It can be applied to so many areas of life beyond an actual foot race.

So, whatever type of “race” you happen to be in, or whatever journey you happen to be on, just hang in there!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LESLIE871948 1/22/2013 11:27AM

    My favorite t shirt is a huge black one with a happy face in the middle of it, and the happy face has a piece of duct tape over it's smiling mouth. Then it says:
Silence is Golden
Duct tape is Silver

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WILSONWR 1/21/2013 8:44AM

    You definitely have me beat, but I have a few old T-shirts. I still work at the ranch with a T-Shirt that says "I use Windows 2000, do you?" I might get a few comments if I wore that one in public...

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KA_JUN 1/20/2013 11:26PM

    Nice blog! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 1/20/2013 1:45PM

    Great shirts . . . and I'm another who keeps clothes for a long long time!!

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BOILHAM 1/19/2013 7:08PM

    Love that thrifty side of you which has you keeping your old clothes! I'm hoping leisure suits will come back into fashion. Or Nehru jackets.

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CELIAMINER 1/19/2013 6:07PM

    Okay, you have me beat. I have a volksmarch shirt from 1994 that I wear now. It's still wearable because of all the years it was too small.

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LEB0401 1/19/2013 1:38PM

    I love the last one!!!

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WINDSURFNERD 1/19/2013 11:19AM

    Good blog! I have many old race shirts too! I suppose my shirt says I have a history of spending "too much" money on race entry fees and not enough on "decent clothes"! Or maybe it says I care more about a PR than current fashion...

I figure I earned my quirky look! emoticon

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DR1939 1/19/2013 10:02AM

    Very motivating.

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DAISYBELL6 1/19/2013 10:02AM

    I loved seeing your different t-shirts!
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SUZYMOBILE 1/19/2013 9:20AM

    Good for you keeping all those shirts! I've thrown away more race T-shirts than I currently own T-shirts, I'm afraid.

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KANOE10 1/19/2013 8:45AM

    I like that last shirt quote. Keep running! I find shirt logos amusing. Like you I workout in any shirt.. I had no idea everlast was related to boxing.

Great job of staying fit and maintaining. emoticon

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COCK-ROBIN 1/19/2013 8:40AM

    Very good!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/19/2013 8:40AM

    Very good!

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The Junk Food King & I – One day in 1963 changed the course of my life

Friday, January 18, 2013

When I was 15, I attended a party and met a COLLEGE GUY. I never knew anyone who had gone to college. In my working class neighborhood it just wasn’t the norm. This guy was studying to be an aerospace engineer. I wasn’t even sure what engineers did although there were a few at my father’s factory. Dad was a welder.

We started dating - Joe and Me in the summer of ’63


He told me that I should take the SATs. Although I was entering my senior year, no one ever mentioned that to me. This was my 3rd high school because of family moves and although I had excellent grades and an academic program, in NYC it was easy to slip through the cracks.

I didn’t know that CUNY (City University of NY) had free tuition.
I didn’t know the state gave “Regents Scholarships” based on test score results.

We married in 67 just before my 20th birthday.

I finished college in 3 years. I REALLY wanted to marry him.

And here we are today, a retired math/computer science teacher and engineer.

Happy 68th Birthday to my DH!
But my mission to reduce the junk food will continue!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYJEANSL 10/8/2013 11:12PM

  Lovely story! And congratulations again!

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SUNSET09 10/6/2013 1:24AM

  emoticon and what a revelation as I was directed to this page 50 years later! emoticon As once you know, you KNOW! emoticon emoticon

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JULIE_DV 10/5/2013 7:45AM

    Beautiful! Happy belated birthday to your dear husband! emoticon emoticon (No sweets!) emoticon

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KANSASROSE67 1/21/2013 1:11PM

    I love this blog! You two are just a beautiful couple and your story is wonderful.

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WATERMELLEN 1/20/2013 1:47PM

    Such a sweet story!

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WILSONWR 1/20/2013 9:30AM

    Great story and I loved the pictures! Happy birthday to your husband!

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WINDSURFNERD 1/19/2013 11:12AM

    Beautiful story of love, and the pictures are awesome...you are a well-matched pair! DH and I are engineer & engineer/mathematician so it's nice to see another "nerd couple"!

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KANOE10 1/19/2013 8:42AM

    That is such a sweet story. You are a lovely couple. I hope your husband enjoyed his birthday!
I loved your pictures. emoticon


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MJZHERE 1/18/2013 9:04PM

  Thank you for sharing this! Love it. Happy Birthday to your husband.

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WONDERWOMAN 1/18/2013 7:39PM

    What a cool story. Happy Birthday to the junk food king.

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FITFOODIE806 1/18/2013 1:25PM

    What a great story! And beautiful pics.

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STRIVER57 1/18/2013 12:19PM

    lovely story and lovely pictures.

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SOUTH_FORK 1/18/2013 11:51AM

    Happy birthday to your sweetie- I hope that the years will find me and my guy as happy as you two look! How awesome that he gave you that little push to take the SATs and go on to college so you could go on to give to others through teaching!

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 1/18/2013 10:41AM

    Very sweet story. Congrats on your years together. What a blessing you have been for each other.

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CAKEMAKERMOM 1/18/2013 10:27AM

    You guys are a cute couple. May you have many more years together!

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TINAJANE76 1/18/2013 10:20AM

    I love it! Thanks so much for sharing your story. Happy Birthday to your husband too!

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KANDOLAKER 1/18/2013 10:11AM

    Happy Birthday Joe! Thanks for sharing, and love your photos!!

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PMRUNNER 1/18/2013 10:05AM

    Thanks for sharing! I love the story!

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SUZYMOBILE 1/18/2013 9:41AM

    And you two are just as cute as you were!!

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KARRENLYNN 1/18/2013 8:44AM

    What a great post! Sounds like you hit the jackpot when you met your sweetheart. And that is a beautiful picture of the two of you.

I hope you have many more happy years together!

Karen emoticon

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SYNCHRODAD 1/18/2013 8:43AM

    As one who is married to his bride of 43 years, thanks for a wonderful blog. My wife was finishing her RN and I was working for IBM (still am).

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HAYBURNER1969 1/18/2013 8:39AM

    What a wonderful, sweet post! :) Happy birthday to Dad and I'll see the both of you later for cake!

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DAISYBELL6 1/18/2013 8:39AM

    I love your story and pictures. Life is good with the right person even if he is the Junk Food King! emoticon emoticon

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LOLATURTLE 1/18/2013 8:36AM

    You're so cute I could DIE. The both of you. Happy birthday to the (hopefully less and less) Junk Food King!

I love your beach photo. You look like movie stars. It's making me go "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!" with happiness.

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COCK-ROBIN 1/18/2013 8:21AM

    A wonderful life!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/18/2013 8:21AM

    A wonderful life!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/18/2013 8:21AM

    A wonderful life!

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NELLJONES 1/18/2013 7:50AM

    Where did the years go?? It's amazing to look back and see how far we've come in 45 SHORT years!

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ONMYMEDS 1/18/2013 7:49AM

    A great looking couple, then and now. You look like an ad for a Frankie and Annette beach movie.

Happy Birthday to Mr. Junk food. emoticon

Let the mission continue.

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SWEDE_SU 1/18/2013 7:29AM

    great story - thanks for sharing!

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CORGIGIRL2 1/18/2013 7:01AM

  You look as happy today as you did in 1967!

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ANNIEONLI 1/18/2013 6:31AM

    emoticon Happy Birthday to the hubby!!!
Loved the story too!!! That is so sweet and wonderful!!!
emoticon You two crazy kids!

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Strength training: Past, Present & Future – My visual reminder

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My living room would make a decorator cringe. Displayed prominently are these.


The past: The 2 sets on the right (1 & 2 pounds) are the ones I bought for my mother. Her poor muscle tone was impacting her daily activities and I turned into quite a “geriatric personal trainer” to try to stem the tide of time.
Lesson learned: Don’t wait until you are in your 80s to get serious about this.

Mom complained and asked “why aren’t you doing this?” Well, because I thought I was fine. At work I actually once won a “bicep” contest where they measured the difference between your unflexed and flexed muscle. If you’ve read my blog in the past, you know I always thought I was fine, even as I gained weight. But Mom persisted and to keep her motivated I bought the next dumbbells in the line – 3 pounds - and Mom and I “worked out” together.

Mom, approaching 90, never progressed to heavier weights, but she was able to do more reps. I was happy to graduate to the yellow 4 pound pair.

The Present: I use the 5 and 6 pound pairs now, three times a week and when the exercise calls for 2 hands, I pick up the 8, 10 or 12. The 8s and above were a present from my daughter. She has higher goals for me than I had for my Mom.

The Future: I have the mate to each 8, 10 and 12 and I hope to progress to that standard eventually and justify my daughter’s faith in me. I even have a pair of 15s. They’re currently serving me well as door stops in the basement. I really don’t see myself using those, but who knows.

Now why must I keep these in plain sight? Because without this visual reminder, I would never bother with them. Also, keeping Mom’s weights in the line reminds me that it’s possible to really lose muscle tone as we age. Those are my genetics after all.

There’s another fitness tool I keep in plain sight – my scale. It’s at the entrance to my kitchen. Another decorator no-no! Daily weigh-ins became necessary as my Mom lost interest in eating and her weight steadily decreased. I joined her in daily morning weight checks and nutrition tracking as a means of keeping her as motivated and as healthy as possible. Little did I know that it would put me on the right track as well.

Related Blog entry: My scale is at the entrance to my kitchen
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 1/20/2013 1:49PM

    Wow! This is my style of decorating, absolutely. Out of sight, out of mind.

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WILSONWR 1/20/2013 9:25AM

    Great idea! Lots of memories there and a great reminder to keep in shape.

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LOLATURTLE 1/18/2013 8:37AM

    hahahaha! I think they're pretty! I have dumb bells in my living room also, but they are much, um, dustier...

I do use the ones at the gym. I should use mine at home more, though. I think I will dust them tonight and commit to doing some strength training whenever I watch some TV!

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AUTUMNBRZ 1/18/2013 7:26AM

    emoticon emoticon

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OPTIMIST1948 1/17/2013 8:54PM

    Tell the decorators to go stuff it. You are focused on health today.

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CELIAMINER 1/17/2013 12:45PM

    Good for you! Off in a few for ST with my trainer.

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MJZHERE 1/17/2013 12:41PM

  My weights sit in my living room - where I dusted them off and put them a while back. They probably need dusted again. I have finally learned that it takes me a while to actually "start" something. In the meantime, having them there is part of the process for me. Your blog is a good reminder not to wait too much longer.

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DR1939 1/17/2013 12:31PM

    I am very lax about this. I keep my weights and bands where I can see them, but I manage to ignore them. I'm not going to include a smiley because it really is not humorous.

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LOVESTOWALK49 1/17/2013 10:00AM

    I have a roll like that in the library. I don't use them. I worked out with weights regularly for more than ten years. I'm now more into cardio. I do some weights at the gym, but not at home presently.

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KARRENLYNN 1/17/2013 9:48AM

    I'm so much better at cardio than strength training. I enjoy your blog posts very much and today was no exception. It's amazing how fast we lose muscle tone and mass without consistant effort.

Good for you, keeping you and mom on the strength training game.

Karen

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KELLIEBEAN 1/17/2013 9:38AM

    Love your decorating! Very motivating. I'm working on using my 8 lb weights more. Slowly but surely.

My mom had been getting into sit and fit classes at the facility they live in. Surprisingly she likes it. I wish she would hand gotten into this 40 years ago but live and learn and I'm learning from her experiences to keep myself strong and healthy!

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KANOE10 1/17/2013 9:19AM

    That is so cute and inspiring. I was just doing my 8 pound weights last night. Good idea to keep them and that scale in sight for motivation!

I had not weight trained in years...but try to do it twice a week. What amazes me, is how quickly you lose your tone if you skip it!

You are doing great and staying on track.

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SUZYMOBILE 1/17/2013 9:05AM

    They're nicely color coordinated, too!

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DAISYBELL6 1/17/2013 8:53AM

    Great motivator!

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FITFOODIE806 1/17/2013 8:24AM

    Your decorating faux pas are great!

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SSUSMITA 1/17/2013 7:04AM

    Inspiring!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/17/2013 6:51AM

    Beautiful! A rainbow of weights. Keep on using them!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/17/2013 6:51AM

    Beautiful! A rainbow of weights. Keep on using them!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/17/2013 6:51AM

    Beautiful! A rainbow of weights. Keep on using them!

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SUNSET09 1/17/2013 6:45AM

  I've used the 20 lb weights for side bends, and overhead lifts while on the exercise bench. It's a great idea to keep them in sight and that your Mom's condition has encouraged you to work out. Your daughter is looking out for and that's a good thing. We can start from right where we are and you all are keeping healthy as a family! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SYNCHRODAD 1/17/2013 6:41AM

    Very thought provoking. You need to add a couple of kettle bells on the string and you'll be all set. I have not worked on my muscle tone much and I am noticing a big difference as I age. Time to lay out the weights that I have. I can make a line just like yours. Thank you for the encouragement and warning.

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