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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
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5072424

  
  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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Can money buy happiness? At least it will buy me a new heat pump

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

While sitting in my cold house yesterday, I read the SP article “Can Money Buy Happiness”?
www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellnes
s_articles.asp?id=1776


It’s strange how SP often emails me a link to something I really need to read.

The answer is “it depends” and the comments seem to support this.

I wonder:
What if I were unable to pay for a new heating system?
What if I were unable to pay my electric bill?
What if I were homeless and cold all the time?

With that kind of stress I would find it very hard to be happy.

Yesterday I wrote that I had responded to my temporary stress and sad reflective mood by consuming lots of comfort food. (Easily accessible since I live with the junk food king).

If I lived with constant financial stress, I would find it hard to live a healthy life also.

Statistics say that obesity rates are highest in areas with the lowest average income levels. Part of the problem is cost and accessibility of healthy food options. Constant stress plays a part as well. Oatmeal, potatoes and some other staples are comparatively inexpensive, but fresh fruit and vegetables are another matter. Occasionally we read about families who are able to defy the odds, but it’s not the norm.

If you can’t provide for your children the way you wish, it takes a very strong person to resist their request for a cheap candy bar or bag of chips. The recent “Weight of a Nation” documentary visited low income areas and compared the cost of junk vs. healthy food.

My comment on the SP article was:
“I think the key is "once basic needs are met." After a certain point, more money doesn't add to happiness, but it's very hard to be happy when hungry or homeless or without the ability to pay for medical treatment”

It’s hard to be healthy also.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILSONWR 1/20/2013 8:42AM

    You're so right. The people who need to work on their health the most are often the ones who can least afford to do so. The stress levels of just living from day to day add to the difficulties.

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MOOSLADY 1/17/2013 4:13PM

    I would say no, money can't buy happiness. My parents are an example. My dad worked as an engineer/chemist and made a decent living. My family lived as if we were much poorer than we were because my parents were determined to save up enough money to feel secure. Fruit, fresh vegetables, meat not on sale, drinks away from home, were all "wasteful" because money was to save, not use. When my childless aunt died they inherited her large savings and stocks. Still they lived as if they were on the edge of poverty. Never new clothes, cheapest food possible, sleeping in the car in rest areas when traveling. Now they are going on 89, their health and energy isn't what it used to be, but they still buy the cheapest canned food(never junk food, too self-indulgent) and worry they are going broke. Just taking care of their investments takes a couple hours per day. Sure, they can pay their medical bills, and replace their heating system but don't, unless they can do it without touching savings. They still balk at eating any fresh food as they believe it is too expensive. They demand that family do all their home maintenance and home health for free rather than pay someone. They consider it too expensive. To put some prospective on them, they live on around $88,000 per year, around 2/3 of that interest income and live in a rural area with very low cost of living. They worry and stress constantly that they are too poor. They have all their basic needs met and still are in a constant misery about money. Thus, I cannot even agree that meeting basic needs plus, will make you happy.
My husband and I on the other hand, make a little over half what they do, could never hope to replace our heat if it died, often choose to go without medical care and just hope we or the kids get better, drive 20+ year old cars that need repair constantly and run out of food money regularly. That said, even though we stress sometimes, we are generally happier with our life and find more meaning and satisfaction with life then my parents do. I am doing exactly what I have wanted to do, raising my kids and teaching, are surrounded by a large loving family of 5 kids and 3 grandkids, are constantly occupied with an active church community, in good health and eating healthy in spite of a limited budget. I tell my kids that money is like grease, it can smooth out life but will never make you happy.

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CAROLCRC 1/17/2013 8:21AM

    Interesting discussions! I'm always shocked at the requests at our annual "adopt-a-poor-family" drive at work - they always need size XXL or larger, even for the kids. You can eat nutritiously on little money, but it takes dedication and knowledge to do so.

Once your basic needs are covered, I think it's more a matter of what you decide to do with your life than how much money you have that makes you happy.

That said, I'm certainly enjoying having enough spare cash for nice vacations! emoticon

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MJZHERE 1/16/2013 9:21PM

  What is interesting is what people consider necessities. Trying to help people "struggling" with finances, I run into common roadblocks - cable, internet, cell phones along with the service are non-negotiable, seen as necessities. Also there are ways to get healthy foods cheaper than junk foods in the city - pricematch at Walmart.
I am not without compassion - help the homeless- but I am always amazed at what people think they have to have, and will allow themselves to end up homeless rather than do without some things and save for a "rainy day."

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DR1939 1/16/2013 11:42AM

    I taught Health Psychology at the university level for many years, also Social Psychology. Both of these areas address the issue of money and happiness. The research clearly shows that not having enough money for basic needs and to meet emergency expenses, particularly along with not having social support to aid you, interferes with happiness. You are correct, once basic needs are met, then it depends. As with most things in life, the equation is not as simple as money = happiness, but rather a very complex set of issues.

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SOUTH_FORK 1/16/2013 10:33AM

    Thanks for bringing this up- such a complex issue. For those who are living above that "able to provide for basic needs" baseline, the question of "enough" is so crucial. When do we have enough?

People make fun of me because I'll not purchase something I want- even for a few dollars- simply because I don't need it. I know that the minutes of enjoyment it brings won't make me happy.

As a family, we've had to defer medical testing because it was simply too expensive. Although this is upper tier "basic needs" its a painful choice to make.

At any rate, the idea of money=choice is a powerful one.

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SUZYMOBILE 1/16/2013 10:19AM

    Not having the time to cook healthy is a factor, too. I ate my first frozen meal in YEARS over the weekend! At least it was Lean Cuisine and did no permanent damage.

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SPEEDYDOG 1/16/2013 9:14AM

    Great blog. I am glad you have a new heater. There is always a question on what is enough money. I live comparatively well. But I consider that luck.

You are correct that many healthy food options are expensive.

Bruce



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COCK-ROBIN 1/16/2013 9:09AM

    I agree. And it frustrates me that healthy food is more expensive than junk. And it should be the other way around.

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COCK-ROBIN 1/16/2013 9:09AM

    I agree. And it frustrates me that healthy food is more expensive than junk. And it should be the other way around.

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OPTIMIST1948 1/16/2013 8:50AM

    Money doesnt buy happiness. It buys CHOICES. And then you can choose the decision to increase your happiness. In this case being warm increases your happiness. You can also redefine how to increase your happiness. Sweet candybar or sweet fruit. Icecream or greek yogurt. Chips or popcorn. Lood guck!

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CELIAMINER 1/16/2013 8:48AM

    Very though-provoking blog, and I'm glad you are getting your new heating system.

Beyond food, I think I've used the *things* money buys as a substitute for happiness. Both DH and I grew up in lower-income households. While we were not below the poverty level, the gap between our house and more affluent ones was painfully apparent, as my clothes came from others' cast-offs, and we couldn't afford all the neat things my friends had. When I got out on my own, I started buying *things* like there was no tomorrow. Not in a hoarder sense, but the things piled up. When DH and I combined households, the result was bulging closets and a maze of boxes in the basement. As we look toward retirement, it feels as if we will never stop being owned by possessions we haven't even looked at in over a decade, but we WILL get there.

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WATERMELLEN 1/16/2013 8:48AM

    Very true . . . it's easier to stick with sensible eating when not under stress financially or otherwise . . . and junk food is so cheap that the temptation is tough to resist.

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NELLJONES 1/16/2013 8:42AM

    I guess I remember the old days when we were shown photos of poor families in Appalachia. No one was fat. My parents grew up during the Depression, and I knew many people that age who were hungry as kids, some who were excited to join the Army because they would finally have enough to eat. My how things have changed!

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SYNCHRODAD 1/16/2013 8:29AM

    Having money does not bring happiness, having lots does not necessarily bring happiness. I think John Bogle is happy. Here is a pointer to an commencement address he gave in 2007 just before our country's financial implosion. Happiness most likely has the greatest opportunity with "enough."
http://johncbogle.com/
wordpress/wp-content/uploads/20
07/05/Georgetown_2007.pdf

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KANOE10 1/16/2013 8:16AM

    I work with low income students. They start off thin and by 3rd-5th over half of them are overweight. They live on junk food. It does not help that our school offers pizza daily.
I agree with you..it is hard to keep thin and be poor. Those stats are right. Quite honestly we do spend money on getting good healthy food.

Great blog and interesting thoughts.

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MYBULLDOGS 1/16/2013 7:39AM

    money can buy happiness. try doing anything without money. if your short a penny most stores will not sell you the item

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It was a dark and stormy night as she drove the twisting country road toward home

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

That’s how mystery novels used to begin and they rarely ended well. Fortunately, nothing dire occurred, only very disappointing. After a day of healthy eating and excellent workout, including navigating several potential hazards, I ate 1200 calories of junk, the equivalent of my total consumption all day long.

The day began with a grey sunrise, not at all typical for our lake. It was foggy and gloomy with a steady rain. OK, she thought positively, we need the rain. The lake level is low.

The house felt cold. Her husband announced that there was something wrong with the heat pump. The compressor was dead. OK, she thought positively, it should still be under warranty. I have the paperwork. I’ll go to the gym and call from there

At the gym all treadmills were occupied (very unusual) so the regular pre-class run was scrapped. At least, we had a heating tech coming out after lunch. Aerobics/weights class went well.

Back home the rain had stopped temporarily. She raced out the door to get a few miles in. After a healthy lunch, the technician arrived. The bad news – a whole new system was needed, inside and out, including corroded pipes. Engineer husband agreed with the diagnosis. OK, she thought positively, we’re lucky that we can afford it and it will be more efficient and better for the environment.

After a healthy dinner, it was time for choral rehearsal in a city 30 miles away. An email arrived with the news of the death of one of our singers. Who would be available to sing at the funeral?

After rehearsal the husband and daughter of the deceased arrived to thank us for singing. Our group had meant a lot to his wife. Only 30 people could fit in the choir loft. There are about 100 of us. They would practice the chosen songs at the end of rehearsal.

As one who was unable to attend the service, she hurried to leave. The weather was getting worse. She was stopped suddenly by the sound of “Amazing Grace” a beautiful arrangement and a standard part of the group’s repertoire. From the back of the church she listened. It sounded heavenly. Singing within the group, in the 4th of 5 rows, she never heard the full effect before.

She drove carefully on the way home. It was difficult to see, even with bright lights on and deer are a common road hazard. Thoughts of the day filled her brain.

Once home in a cold house, she bundled up in a heavy robe that she realized belonged to her mother. Jan 31st would be the 2nd anniversary of her mother’s death.

She made some tea and got “something to go with it.” Soon more and more nourishment was needed “to go with it.” 1200 empty calories later, she stopped. The thoughts stopped too. It was finally time to sleep.

The end!
If you’ve read this far, thank you, I know this isn’t like my normal blog. I’m feeling better this morning and realize why my lapse occurred. This is a long journey and one bump in the road won’t make much difference.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILSONWR 1/20/2013 8:32AM

    At least you recognized it as a bump in the road and moved on. I've been having way too many "bumps" lately (the cruise was disastrous as far as calories).

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DR1939 1/16/2013 11:48AM

    emoticon

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KANOE10 1/16/2013 8:20AM

    You are right..one bump in the journey is not going to make a difference! You had a very rough day. We have a heat pump and I know how expensive those things are to replace. Plus the gray weather doesnt help. I am sorry about your singer. That was beautiful that your choir sang for her.

Today is a new day day on your journey. It will be a good one. emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 1/15/2013 8:19PM

    Great blog . . . sounds like total exhaustion of will power to me after a very gruelling day and a huge requirement for positive effort, delivered.

You just ran out. And as you say . . . one lapse is not serious.

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COCK-ROBIN 1/15/2013 7:41PM

    I"m glad it's better for you.

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COCK-ROBIN 1/15/2013 7:41PM

    I"m glad it's better for you.

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MJZHERE 1/15/2013 6:32PM

  What a journey life is - full of so many ups and downs. In the midst of it, you write beautifully. Thank you for sharing - my thoughts and prayers are with you.

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CAKEMAKERMOM 1/15/2013 12:40PM

    Sometimes things happen and food choices are made that total up everything you ate earlier in the day. Cupcakes do that to me if there are more than 4. Start every day over with a new determination!

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AMSPARKER 1/15/2013 12:18PM

    My thoughts and prayers to you. I just lost my beloved uncle and I can't stop crying...it's funny how these emotions make us turn to food to find comfort...so far, I'm not doing that, but it is a long road ahead, so hopefully I can say this aweek later, too. So many times, death in any shape or form is so hard to deal with...hang in there! how lovely that you have your mother's robe!

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CELLISTA1 1/15/2013 12:13PM

    So, you are a human being with feelings. Your story touched me. I could hear the sound of the choir. I think everyone here understands.

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KANSASROSE67 1/15/2013 11:56AM

    A good blog...sometimes these days just happen. Wish I could have heard the choir with you!

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KANDOLAKER 1/15/2013 11:37AM

    Bad stuff happens, and it is understandable how you could get off track. The good news is that it is a manageable number, and you can burn 1200 calories before you know it. Wishing you a much better day today!!

PS. You are a great story teller! Always love your blogs.

emoticon

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WINDSURFNERD 1/15/2013 11:10AM

    Sound like a tough day, but congratulations for maintaining perspective and the ability to "find the good".

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CELIAMINER 1/15/2013 10:55AM

    So glad you can deal with this bump. I've been having a series of bumps that have my waist band too tight for comfort, so I rejoiced in staying within my calorie range yesterday for the first time in awhile. I hope today is better for you!
emoticon

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SYNCHRODAD 1/15/2013 10:04AM

    I ran into flu "dip" the last 3 days, down 6 pounds. Finally this morning, I have an appetite. Bumps and dips and we return to normal. Thanks for taking the time to write this blog. It took some thinking and I know it takes time which you have given generously to us.

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BOILHAM 1/15/2013 9:41AM

    Bumps in the road - tell me about it. You know how it happened, just like I do. Just get back on plan. No biggee.

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KELLIEBEAN 1/15/2013 9:03AM

    Great blog! Thanks for sharing that!

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DAISYBELL6 1/15/2013 9:02AM

    Life happens and you move on. My thoughts are with you on the anniversary of your mom's death.

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100+ years of Clairol – self image isn’t only about weight

Monday, January 14, 2013

My blog entry on Saturday included the admission that I didn’t diet in the past because I didn’t feel I had to. In spite of my weight gain, my body image was fine.

Case in point: When at a family gathering my aunt remarked to my mother that ooh, Eileen got fat, I responded while gesturing around the room, “compared to whom?”

Still, there was one feature of mine that I always wanted to change – my hair color. Naturally a dark brunette like my mother’s side of the family, I wanted to know if “blondes have more fun” as the commercials said. I started dying my hair at age 15. I couldn’t easily be a blonde, but I went as light as I could with do-it-yourself home products. Did my mother object? No, she was dying her hair too. So was her sister and her daughter, my cousin. We were all “Moongold” women. We were a matched family set.

I went natural for awhile around age 40 just to see what I would look like, including the gray hair, more of which was popping up every day. Finally, my mother had enough. “Dye your hair,” she said. “What will people think if I have a gray haired daughter? They’ll know I dye MY hair.” Well, of course they would, Mom. You’re 65 and your hair hasn’t changed in 50 years.

You see, there was a time when women all claimed their hair was natural. “Only her hairdresser knows for sure” was another Clairol commercial. In our case not even a hairdresser knew for sure since we did it ourselves.

Back in the day coloring your hair was like getting some “body work” done now. It was just polite to believe whatever the remade person said.

I was 45 when my oldest daughter got married and I dyed my hair as Mom wanted. I’ve continued ever since. Fortunately, grey hair is much easier to turn blonde. After 50 years, I’ve finally reached my original goal, but whenever a form requests that I specify hair color, I’m tempted to answer “Nice and Easy #106”

Now we’ve come full circle. My daughter must decide if she wants to turn grey when her mother isn’t showing any. Her sister doesn’t have that dilemma. She started her hair dye ritual at age 15 too and never quit.

Society has expectations of how a woman should look and we can’t help but be affected by some of it. As long as it doesn’t negatively impact your life, go for it. If you prefer to defy convention, that’s OK too. Do what you have to do to keep physically and mentally healthy and happy.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SYNCHRODAD 1/17/2013 6:24AM

    I told my wife the other day, I wasn't sure what her original hair color was. She told me that it is now gray. I had my suspicions... For my last driver's license renewal I had to appear in person and take a written test and an eye test. When I was completing the form, I asked the lady if I should change my hair color to Grey. She looked and said, "Nah." So my driver's license still says "BRN". What do you think?

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LOVESTOWALK49 1/15/2013 2:13PM

    I stopped dyeing my hair awhile ago. I have a few grays in my naturally dark blond hair. The gray hair mixes in with the blond so I just look more blond.

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CAROLCRC 1/15/2013 8:16AM

    There are no grey hairs.... just sparkly ones! I have "natural platinum highlights" according to my lovely hairdresser.

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MJZHERE 1/14/2013 4:43PM

  I have left mine alone for over a year now and I don't think I can go much longer. Streak it at home - trying to match what it use to do naturally in the sun before I decided to get healthy and keep my face and head covered in Phx heat. Thought I was going to quit coloring, but it just seems so blah.

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KANDOLAKER 1/14/2013 1:07PM

    Thank goodness for the option of being able to color! My hair was so short for 15 years, that is wasn't worth coloring. Now that I am letting it grow out again, I just self-colored earlier this month! Seems like an easy "fix" compared to other vanity issues!!



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CELLISTA1 1/14/2013 1:04PM

    I love all these issues that you bring up. We've come pretty far as women but there are still these "vanity" issues that are in our culture. I'm 67 and basically a hippie inside. I never wore makeup and still don't, but several years ago I started having my hair colored with pink and blondish highlights. It was fun for awhile but the color doesn't last long anymore and it's very expensive. A couple of weeks ago my daughter gave us all blue highlights. Mine turned out blue-green and I thought I looked like a mermaid. A grandma mermaid. But it's almost all gone already.

The women I admire most are those with natural beauty, whatever it is. I see a lot of botox and eye lifts around here and it creeps me out. Gray or white hair can be gorgeous. A smile can be gorgeous. Beautiful energy can be gorgeous.

That said, to each her own.

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BOILHAM 1/14/2013 12:22PM

    Hair dying, make up, shape altering undergarments. We men don't even know what you really look like. Not complaining, though, ya'll look purty and smell nice, too. Thanks for all that hard work you but in to look nice for us.

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62NVON 1/14/2013 11:19AM

    I love this! I don't dye mine; it's naturally dirty blonde. But I do help it out with Sun-In. That keeps it on the lighter side and helps with the gray.

I say, barring anything risky, do whatever you like to make you feel better about yourself!

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CAKEMAKERMOM 1/14/2013 11:05AM

    I have dyed my hair, just for fun, a few times, but now that I've noticed the grays coming in, it'll be natural the rest of my life. I'm embracing the dozen long silver hairs I have.

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REFFIE1 1/14/2013 10:45AM

    My mother finally decided to stop dyeing her hair red at 94! She is now a silver fox and getting tons of compliments on her hair. What a surprise! She tells me now that she is in her nineties she is getting more beautiful every day! I still dye my hair because my grey comes in salt and pepper and would definitely wash me out.

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WILLOWBROOK5 1/14/2013 10:36AM

    My mom was Moongold Blonde for years too! I remember buying the stuff for her at the Ben Franklin's Five and Dime. Then back in the 90's, she decided to stop coloring and as her hair grew in, it turned out she was naturally....Moongold Blonde, LOL. She had messed around with her color for so long, she forgot what her natural hair looked like. She finally started getting a little grey around age 80. She is now 86 and still has a lot of her Moongold hair, with some grey, but not all.

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KARRENLYNN 1/14/2013 9:30AM

    I love your answer to your aunts comment about your weight! Good for you! I started to grey early and have chosen so far not to change that. But who knows, not that I'm getting healthier and thinner, I just might make a few other changes!

Have a great week,

Karen emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 1/14/2013 8:32AM

    Yep, that's one ritual I'm not going to give up. I look old enough as is, thank you!

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ANNIEONLI 1/14/2013 8:28AM

    I defied haircoloring for a long time, but the gray hairs were popping up all the time...and now, after 2 years, my hairdresser finallly did the all red dye on my brown hair and I love it! I am a redhead in the sun, and a bark brown in the house... and it suits me and my personality. i don't think it would have fit me back 50 pounds ago....I just wasn't in "that place" yet to do anything "nice" for myself... now, after 3 kids, and 13 years married, I consider it more "me time" to look good and to feel good....and yes, to even defy my age a little bit!

And WILSONWR - you crack me up!! We touched up my hubby's gray beard and had a good laugh the other night! He's with you in that regard!

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WILSONWR 1/14/2013 8:14AM

    I didn't realized so many people dyed their hair! Maybe I should give it a try! (nah -- I'll just be grey)

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 1/14/2013 8:09AM

    The hair dye thing is kind of funny. One day I realized that NONE of my friends had their natural hair color. Since we are out in the sun a lot, most of us end up some shade of blonde, either intentionally or unintentionally. All of the husbands have turned grey and/or are balding.

I can't go by my Mom. She's 91 and still has natural strawberry blonde hair with only minimal grey....VERY unusual! One of the caregivers tried to take her wig off when she was going to give her a shower.........but, oops, it didn't come off. She was a hair model in her younger days and I have some beautiful pictures of her.

I have about 10 grey hairs at 63 in my light brown hair..........which I color to a warmer shade because I find my own boring!

The grey hair thing is just heredity. Guess women color their hair, grey or not!

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