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Mean girls/women come in all sizes

Friday, January 25, 2013

The horror stories of abuse hurled at overweight girls/women are sadly numerous. I read them all the time here on SP. They are very visible in movies and on TV as well.

Unfortunately, mean comments about our bodies aren’t limited to cheerleader types.
I regularly hear remarks about being flat-chested and having no boobs. Sometimes it’s directed at me. I prefer a serious sports bra which squashes down whatever I’ve got. I’ve even heard it directed at Michelle Obama. Granted that was probably sour grapes and politically motivated, but still, when will we stop putting down women based on some ideal body image?

Would I accept a few extra pounds of fat if they could be deposited right on my chest? Sure I would, even if it increased my body fat percentage, but we know our body puts the extra fat where it wants and for me that’s my hips and thighs.

I could buy myself some bigger boobs. I understand they cost about $4,000. Nah, Victoria’s Secret gives me options a lot cheaper and I can put them in a drawer and happily sleep on my stomach or run comfortably.

For the record I’ve never responded with “too bad those boobs come with a big stomach and a butt that could stop a Mac truck.” And I never will. Negative comments about our bodies are hurtful no matter who is making them.

Then there’s the backhanded compliments.
My related blog entry: “That’s a great suit for someone small on top”

Is this just a gender thing?
Do adult men treat each other this way?

I’ve heard opinions that this sort of ill treatment teaches you how to deal with life and makes you stronger. I can understand wanting to be strong enough to “take it,” but I don’t understand the mindset of someone who wants to “dish it out.”

Note: I make an exception for military drill sergeants. Their environment and goal is quite different from those of civilian life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJZHERE 1/27/2013 10:30AM

  Well, not to get too graphic, but having some fat on top, now that I am older, they have to be rolled up and deposited into my bra (maybe that was a little too graphic lol). And believe me, mean comments are made for either big or large - maybe because it has nothing to do with the receiver of the comments and everything to do with the speaker. Kind of sad isn't it?

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BOILHAM 1/26/2013 12:19PM

    Oh yeah, we men are notorious for ripping each other apart. Then we laugh and call it "male bonding". But, I was pretty good at putting down my friends when I wanted to. I've seen gotten older, and don't do that kind of stuff anymore. Believe me, I took a lot for being a skinny kid, too. I even wrote a blog about it a while back, so yeah, I guess it bothered me.

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HAYBURNER1969 1/25/2013 7:44PM

    I was running on a TM at the gym yesterday and there was some kind of fashion makeover going on... maybe on Rachel Ray? I don't know, not a show I ever watch. Anyway, they were making over these two twins and it was a contest for these fashionistas. When asked to describe why she chose the outfit for one of the ladies, the fashionista said something along the lines of, "She's got an athletic build, straight up and down, so we wanted to give it some curves." It didn't make me mad to hear it, but I wondered how many people might hear that and think, "Oh gee, I don't want to become athletic because I'll lose my curves!!!!"

In terms of my own body, I kind of smiled inwardly and thought, "Well, whaddya know... I look athletic. Cool."

33-27-34, and small on top just like her mother.
Thanks for the genes! emoticon

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WINDSURFNERD 1/25/2013 3:10PM

    emoticon blog! As one who has passed the "Pencil Test" my entire life, I can heartily agree that we all have our insecurities! Now that I'm older, I can "compensate" for those past insults by thinking of my body as the athletic marvel that it is, and celebrating the achievements that it delivers me.

p.s., my running group (almost exclusively women) are very kind to each other about "body issues"...most of us have been through the cycles of life and know that boobs, legs, booty, etc all are fashion focus...they come and go with the decades. A strong working body lives on.

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LOVESTOWALK49 1/25/2013 1:33PM

    I found it was other women that judged me. It was the worst in my teens and early twenties. After that, it stopped outside the very infrequent rude person yelling from a car. I had been called "fat, ugly chick" by frat boys at that age. The comments to my face about how fat, ugly, unlovable were done by other girls/women. Men occasional hurled insults from a car, but never said that I was too fat to ever marry and have a family or other things just as vicious to my face.

In addition, I'm rather large chested. When I was in junior high, the other girls teased me and said that I stuffed my bra. I wore the wrong size bra for almost a year since my mother didn't want to believe that I was bigger in that area than her. I've never had anyone tell me that more than a handful was a waste.

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SOUTH_FORK 1/25/2013 11:49AM

    This sort of crap makes me angry and sad at the same time. You have indeed touched a nerve with this one... As someone who was bullied from the time I was in kindergarten, and as someone who replicated that pattern for a brief stint when at my absolute unhappiest (shameful, but true), I truly believe this stems from a place of deep insecurity. Sometimes people are awful to each other; most of the time those people are hurting too. Sometimes people don't even notice how hurtful their comments are... sheeesh! way too much to say here....

Yes, I know the grass is always greener, but if there was a way to trade a bit of what I've got up top for some of what other women have on the bottom, you could sign me up in a heartbeat! But, overall, I've grown to satisfaction with my body - and my happiness isn't determined by how well I fill out or if I can fit into a particular garment.

I hope we can all be kind to each other and to ourselves- and that kindness will trickle out into the universe, giving people regardless of gender, age, weight, color, sexual orientation, financial status, etc. a gentle reminder that we can all be better to each other. a gal can hope, right?

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CASEYTALK 1/25/2013 10:38AM

    In my experience, women are often far more vicious to women verbally. It's a stereotype that has some basis in fact that men are more physical and women are more verbal. Whether that is culturally created or innate is not entirely clear, but it is true. Those are sweeping generalizations, of course -- some men are very verbal and some women are very physical.

When dressing for a special occasion, who is looking at what the women look like with a critical eye? The women. Men are usually looking at women appreciatively. They ALL look good to them! (Again, generalizations here.)

Our society is so heavily appearance conscious that it's going to be very hard to change how mean women can be to other women.

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WE_PA_FIT 1/25/2013 10:01AM

    women hating on women is awful. no wonder so many are plagued with low-self esteem and insecurities! I embrace my double AAs!!

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TIGGERJEAN 1/25/2013 9:58AM

    I can not stand the attitude that breaks a woman down into her parts - as if a woman is some sort of object to be special ordered according to the user's desires. It's demeaning - and yet women even perpetuate this attitude as they lament the size of (--fill-in-the-blank-). You are more than the sum of your 'parts' - you are a beautiful whole and your worth is not regulated to the size of whatever.

Promote positive body image by refusing to break yourself down to fit someone else's ideal.

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KANSASROSE67 1/25/2013 9:58AM

    My husband is overweight now (wasn't as a young man) and yes, other men make very hurtful comments, passing them off as jokes. DH carries his weight in his stomach so guys will ask "When are you due?" or pat his stomach and make some comment. He has said to me that he doesn't understand why people think it's ok to make comments like that to men but not to women...neither of us has ever heard anyone put down a woman to her face about her weight, although from what I've read on Spark, it certainly does happen.

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-AMANDA79- 1/25/2013 9:57AM

    Nice blog. I've heard bigger girls describe healthy girls as "rail thin" with a look of disgust on their faces. It isn't nice no matter who is saying it.

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CAKEMAKERMOM 1/25/2013 9:42AM

    Although I hear it more from women, I've gotten if from men too, I had this boyfriend that told me straight out that "more than a handful was a waste" and they already were that big, then he told me point blank that if I gained weight he'd drop me like a bad habit. Needless to say I broke up with him shortly after that.

It doesn't matter your size, someone will have something negative to say about it, especially since the media tells us what's supposidly beautiful.

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COCK-ROBIN 1/25/2013 8:55AM


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COCK-ROBIN 1/25/2013 8:55AM


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CELIAMINER 1/25/2013 8:55AM

    Now that my weight is down, I prefer what I have "on top," because it is easier to exercise. I also like exercise bras for workouts and T-shirt bras for a smooth profile otherwise. The only change I am seriously considering right now is a tummy tuck, though I would not rule out a gentle facelift at some point. These changes are for me, not for anyone else.

I asked DH about men commenting on men's bodies. His response was some occasional crude locker-room talk (because men do peek), but the only derogatory comments he could recall had to do with fat. My own experience with men commenting on women's bodies (including mine) has been along the lines of what others have said. I am a pear shape, and it has taken me 5 and a half decades to be at peace with that, thank you unkind men and unrealistic social expectations. I recall when I was a teen working behind a deli counter, a cute-ish guy placed an order and flirted while I put it together. When I stepped around the counter to hand him his order, his face totally changed, and he said, "Oh, I didn't know you were so heavy below the waist." I weighed all of 130 pounds then at 5'7" and was already insecure about my weight and body type. I can look back now and recognize he was an @$$, and think smugly that I have most likely done way better in life than he has, but at the time it hurt...bad.

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SUZYMOBILE 1/25/2013 8:39AM

    Well, well. I think you hit a nerve with this blog!

I love my practically nonexistent boobs and couldn't imagine going around with two huge sacs bouncing around attached to my chest. I do have a tendency to get hung up on my belly, though. Don't like much protrusion, and I just can't get over that reaction.

BTW, I have no problem with my first sexual experience. I figured it was high time, and I got it over with, with a guy I didn't much care about. It was underwhelming.

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DR1939 1/25/2013 8:25AM

    I taught a gender issues course at the university level for many years. Students wrote a variety of papers responding to development of gender identity, body issues, sexual experiences. Almost every woman, regardless of size, was unhappy with something about her body and had had comments made about it, usually by men. Men on the other hand tended to be happy with the body they had but quite critical of women's bodies. I remember one young woman who was rail thin but dieting to lose enough weight that her thighs did not touch. Her boyfriend had told her she needed this. I used to tell the women if their boyfriend didn't like the way they looked to get rid of them immediately because they were not always going to be thin and wrinkle-free. I told the men if their girlfriend worried about her weight or her looks to reassure her that he loved her not what she looked like. I don't know how many took my advice, but I felt I had to try.

BTW, almost every woman felt she made wrong decisions about the timing of her first sexual experience, either too soon or too late. OTOH, every man reported when he had his first sexual experience without comments.

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KANOE10 1/25/2013 8:16AM

    My sons were overweight as teens and were regularly bullied about their weight. I do not understand the mindset of someone who needs to denigrate someone's body either. I think they are insecure and try to control others by putting them down for their bodies.

I had the opposite problem..I was overweight and huge on the top. Now that I am thin, I have shrunk and like it. I also love my exercise bras also..for exercise and they are warmer!

What surprises me is the number of young women who are doing plastic surgery to look more beautiful..teens and twenties. A girl in her 20s had a boob job and tummy tuck after her baby. She just had another baby and plans for more plastic surgery.

I am sorry people have made unpleasant comments to you. emoticon

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MJREIMERS 1/25/2013 8:01AM

    Well said! Unfortunately, most of the comments I hear aren't from men...they are from women. I think magazines and "movie stars" put an image in the mind of women that they think they need to be like! I've heard a couple stars state that they had to put on weight for a role and they "just ate normally!" Right there tells me that they eat unhealthy the rest of the time just to stay stick thin.

I think each of us can help this! We must strut our stuff and be proud of who we are. Men like strong women that are comfortable with themselves. I've lost my weight, but now I get to deal with middle age skin that is losing it's elasticity and boobs that are racing south. emoticon I should say that I am not well endowed, either.

However, I'm healthy and I've come to accept my body! I feel strong and I like the feel of my skin...saggy and all! My wish for all women is that they try to be the healthiest they can be for THEMSELVES! Not their friends, their family or their spouse, but for them! (I'm sure family and spouses want health so they can keep their mom/wife as long as possible.)

Here's to a weekend of wellness and acceptance!

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NELLJONES 1/25/2013 7:59AM

    People have exalted their own status about something I think since they started living in tribes. For most of time it was blood, status was conferred by birth. The founding fathers of the US eliminated hereditary class, but people found other ways to feel superior. If we eliminate judgement based on appearance, there will be something else to take its place. Human nature, I guess.

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MOOSLADY 1/25/2013 7:50AM

    So true, and it is truly not about body shape, it is mean spiritedness, or maybe their own insecurities.. If you are larger than average in the chest, like me. they tell you more than a handful is a waste. High School boyfriend complained about that and he was so heavy, the military wouldn't take him. I had a girlfriend tell me that my husband only loves me because we were both overweight. I lost 50 and he lost 30 and haven't changed our feelings. She was as overweight as I am and had just ended a really bad marriage.
While you can use surgery to change your body, it wouldn't take away the feelings that caused you to do something drastic to be someone you weren't. There is something hard about every body shape and you have to accept it. I have small wide feet. It is hard to find shoes in a 6WW, they often have to be special ordered and dress shoes are not existent. Yet I am not considering foot augmentation!
My husband works in a 90% male environment and no, they don't comment on each other's weight or body shape. They hassle others about intelligence, what social class they are from, whether woman like them(but not based on their looks) and what car they drive. Maybe these things bother men as much as body image does women(although my husband was teased by girls as a boy for being overweight). As an example, we have a Volvo wagon, an 84, and someone told my husband it suited him because it was square, boxy, and boring but dependable. I think that counts as some sort of back-handed complement.
And while perhaps we should be strong enough to "take it" should we have to? It is not a mentally healthy pattern for either the giver or the taker.

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MAGGIE101857 1/25/2013 7:07AM

    Well said indeed! Rarely have I heard a man talk about another man in such negative ways; my BH said about Governor Christie recently "I hope he can pull it together and lose some weight because he's a walking heart attack". True, not necessarily mean spirited or derogatory, well meaning. But I hear men make derogatory comments all the time about women. I used to just stay silent, now I respond with positive comments about the person; less confrontational and hopefully makes the speaker think. One step at a time, slow progress.

By the way, I'll trade a bit of my upper for less of my middle! emoticon

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PAHOOT 1/25/2013 7:05AM

    It's true! I often think of a friend from high school. She was gorgeous. Long blonde hair, perfect skin, beautiful features. Now in our 60s she says she hated high school because she felt so insecure with the barbs thrown her way about her looks. People, like children, can be mean and often are. Good for you for not responding to the negative comments!

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WILSONWR 1/25/2013 7:04AM

    Guys can be just as cruel to others when it comes to weight. Although I was hopelessly skinny in high school, I definitely saw the prodding given to those that were overweight. I wonder if that still goes on since almost everyone is overweight?

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JGRAY76 1/25/2013 7:01AM

    I right there with you on this one. Flat chested and don't understand why people feel the need to comment on it.

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BLUENOSE63 1/25/2013 6:59AM

  Well said ! emoticon

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Shut up, Jillian! I know my body better than you do

Thursday, January 24, 2013

And the question is: ”What will you never hear on the “Biggest Loser?”

But you will hear it in my living room. I have one of Jillian’s DVDs. My daughter gave it to me along with the weights I wrote about last week. I love cardio, but the other stuff? There I need all the motivation I can get.

I assume some people must need or respond to Jillian’s “in your face” method. Not me. Perhaps I’m just too old and ornery or too much of a free spirit. Come to think of it, I doubt I would have made it in the Marines either.

I know Jillian has her fans and even a team here on SP, so let me say that I do like her workouts and completely support “different strokes” and doing whatever works for you.

I prefer SP’s videos, but lately I’ve has issues with them freezing. Of course, I’ve also had problems with heat, electricity and Internet access, so I can’t blame SP and a DVD is an alternative.

I have no problem with most of Jillian’s routines, except for jumping jacks. My body considers that a most unnatural motion. Maybe it’s my flat, over-pronating feet, but thrusting my legs out sideways and hopping back in again, over and over, feels very stressful on my knees. I don’t have knee problems (sound of me knocking wood), but if I make them do that, I’m afraid I soon will.

Jillian loves her title of “world’s toughest trainer,” and to her credit she does point out modifications for some of the exercises. NOT for jumping jacks! There she yells that even 400 lb people can do jumping jacks – NO MODIFICATIONS!

I wonder how she reconciles her attitude, with the disclaimer at the beginning of the video. Basically, they are not responsible for any injuries.

I understand personal responsibility and I’m grateful for all the resources I’ve had that have allowed me to get to and remain in maintenance without verbal harassment. For me that would have been counter-productive.

As for Jillian’s DVDs, I’ll still use them. I’m just glad I have a mute button.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJREIMERS 1/27/2013 8:38PM

    Well said. I don't think people need to be yelled at, but I'll admit I can't stand the "mushy" ones either. Denise Austin just about drives me crazy with her too sweet and too encouraging voice. "Come on you can do it," is fine, but over and over again...UGH! I guess that's why I don't use a lot of videos.

Thanks for the blog. It looks like many people agree with you and it's nice to see that others have similar feelings and experiences. emoticon

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DUCKTURNIP 1/26/2013 3:15AM

  emoticon I fully agree with you. I don't like the "in your face approach"-- it's not gonna work for me.

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LOVESTOWALK49 1/25/2013 1:40PM

    When we do jump jacks in Zumba the instructor has modifications that including jumping and ones without. I jump but I don't spread my legs as far and I modify the arm movement so it's easier on my shoulders. Jumping jacks may require modification for the older crowd. No shame in that.

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CAKEMAKERMOM 1/25/2013 10:01AM

    I find she comes across as a fat hater, not a motivator. That could just be my point of view though. No one should be crying because they're in pain and someone else wants them to "do 5 more".

Of the 2 original trainers, I prefer Bob, he seems calmer and more receptive. Either way, I don't watch the show anymore, even with it on Netflix.

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MERRYMARY42 1/24/2013 8:59PM

    I agree too, those jumping jacks are just not my natural thing, makes everything hurt, even my head emoticon

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DEBBY4576 1/24/2013 4:41PM

    I don't like to be yelled at. Don't like watching it on Biggest Loser either. I suppose it has it's place. But not in my life.

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WILSONWR 1/24/2013 1:53PM

    The drill sergeant routine may get you going and help you to see your potential, but I don't believe you can depend on it for a lifestyle change. It also wouldn't work for me at this stage of my life. Yes, it did lots of good when I went through basic training in 1970, but there would be too much resentment now -- I don't respond well to intimidation tactics, and I have never thought too much of the people who use them in their regular jobs.

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CELLISTA1 1/24/2013 12:31PM

    Jillian on mute. Perfect.

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DAUGHTEROFTWIN 1/24/2013 10:39AM

    Thank you. I will no longer feel guilty when she shouts that I must do the jumping jacks because even her 400 pound clients on BLC can do them. I'm not doing the jumping jacks (yet, if ever). I DO modify them by running in place and doing the arm movements and do the same thing with the "jumping rope" action. Doing the jumping makes my knees AND ankles both crack and pop on every single jump--not to mention the discomfort. I have a history of knee problems and since losing 80 pounds and developing a consistent exercise routine, my knee problems have virtually disappeared (except for Zumba nights). You are right on the money. Know your body. Know when you should push your limits and know when you are avoiding damage.

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BOILHAM 1/24/2013 10:28AM

    I suspect the drill Sargeant routine works in real life much better than via DVD.

I will never forget Navy boot camp, which was just about 50 years ago. It works on the toughest and weakest recruits, and will force you to reach deep inside for that last fibre of effort. You emerge stronger than you'd believe possible. Thanks to those bastards in boot camp I found out how strong I really was.

Perhaps it must be witnessed first hand to appreciate.

Hey, I am glad we can disagree from time to time, it got boring aggreeing with almost everything you wrote. :)

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DR1939 1/24/2013 9:25AM

    I agree wholeheartedly.

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MJZHERE 1/24/2013 9:03AM

  Made me think of my children - with DD you couldn't even raise your voice (once DH and I used "elevated voices" (truly not very loud) with one another and we looked over and she was cowering in a corner). She was the "perfect" child and it was easy to speak quietly with her. Then DS came along and what a handful. I would find myself yelling and he would yell right back (at age 2). Different strokes for different folks. I don't like hearing someone else being yelled at little long anyone yelling at me.

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SUZYMOBILE 1/24/2013 9:01AM

    I have a bit of a hip problem, and I KNOW I can't do jumping jacks any more! I have no problem adapting whatever exercise videos throw at me, or dropping them altogether.

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MOOSLADY 1/24/2013 8:57AM

    I am sure some 400 pound people can do jumping jacks but this 158 pound person with a bad knee and DD chest does not. Way too much impact and shouting at me wouldn't change that. I have never watched one of her videos but shouting at me is more likely to make me work less than more. I have a Petra Kolbert video that is has some encouraging to work at your own pace but mostly just very straight forward. I am with Kanoe, mute button and some music.

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LRSILVER 1/24/2013 8:53AM

    I am with you. Tell me I am doing great and I respond better.

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OJ_2_OK 1/24/2013 8:40AM

    i was told you don't have to thrust your legs out very far to get the benefits of a jumping jack. Just make sure you have good shoe support. However, if your knees feel discomfort, don't do them.

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NELLJONES 1/24/2013 8:18AM

    I don't like to hear anyone yelling, not even on news discussion shows.

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FITFOODIE806 1/24/2013 8:18AM

    Another great blog! I did the 30 day shred after both pregnancies and I have all her one liners memorized. I prefer my peaceful runs over her screaming voice any day.

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AMARILYNH 1/24/2013 7:54AM

    LOL - I say YOU decide!! And while Jillian may not offer them, there ARE modifications for JJs -

As you said, YOU know your body!! And its up to you to keep it healthy!! emoticon

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KELLIEBEAN 1/24/2013 7:46AM

    I agree, she can be over the top but apparently it works for me at times. I couldn't listen to her all the time. I have the 30 day shred DVD that I love, just not all the time.

I was watching the biggest loser the other day and she was getting into it with a woman on the treadmill who broke down saying she couldn't do it and apparently she had before. Jillian was going on and on to her that she has to stop the crying, she has done this before, she has to stop saying she can't, yadda yadda.

I thought that was rediculous. The next night, I was on the treadmill at the gym and I just didn't have it, I was extremely frustrated after I pushed myself and had a great run a few days before. Jillian popped in my head yelling at me... "you've done 5Ks, you're run obstacle course races, you have run 3 miles on the treadmill before, what is the matter with you, shut up and run!"

Okay that was all me but in my head, I put Jillian voice to it and I got moving and I pushed myself just a little harder to finish.

She's definitely not for everyone!

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WATERMELLEN 1/24/2013 7:36AM

    I've never responded well to drill sargeant . . . or to excessively cheery "encouragement" . . . or for that matter to huge dollops of sympathy. Probably the reason I haven't worked very often with a personal trainer.

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KANOE10 1/24/2013 7:32AM

    I would use that mute button also. Nor do I like jumping jacks. However, in this cold weather, we are forced to use alternative exercise. Good for you keeping on track and exercising! emoticon

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XOBSIDIANX 1/24/2013 6:57AM


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AZMOMXTWO 1/24/2013 6:54AM

  I agree and if I was skinny I would not be working out as much any way

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One dessert I would not deny myself – Granddaughter’s birthday cake for Grandpa

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I meant to post this last week after my post for DH's birthday - The Junk Food King & I.

Our 11 year old granddaughter likes to bake and decorate cakes. This is our lake complete with sparkly water, our dock and boat, truck and jet skis. There’s even “edible rip-rap.” Very cool.

Here’s our baker with grandpa.

Yes, that’s a race shirt. She’s a runner too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GINIEMIE 1/27/2013 11:30AM

    Nice job, nice picture. Thanks for sharing
I love it, my granddaughter hasn't learned to decorate cakes yet- I pretty much gave that up 00 some years ago when we lived in Florida and I was melting the frosting while trying to make flowers.The eldest GD is only 8. But she does like to cook with me.
Maybe this summer I'll sign her up for cake decorating classes-her brother too.

emoticon emoticon

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MERRYMARY42 1/26/2013 6:30PM

    you are right, you can not no eat a piece of it. healthy is one thing but we all have to indulge some times

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HAYBURNER1969 1/25/2013 7:47PM

    I just showed Brooklyn Born's granddaughter (my daughter!) the comments and she is smiling from ear to ear. Thanks, everyone!

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KANOE10 1/24/2013 7:34AM

    That cake is too cute! What a sweet grandchild and your husband looks happy.

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CELLISTA1 1/23/2013 9:17PM

    Yay, grand-daughter! What an accomplished baker and decorator! My oldest grand-daughter is 7 and she loves to cook with me. (I haven't broken the news to her yet that I really don't like cooking.) She is good with a knife and I let her do everything except the stove. Her specialty is baked salmon with bok choy. Anyway, you are lucky and wonderful grand-parents. Enjoy every minute with her!

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WATERMELLEN 1/23/2013 7:56PM

    What a lovely picture of baker, cake and grandfather!! I can't imagine turning down a piece of that!!

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DEBBY4576 1/23/2013 6:22PM

    I am so glad you posted a picture of the cake for us to see. She is one talented little girl isn't she?

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HAYBURNER1969 1/23/2013 10:44AM

    It was yummy!!!!! emoticon to Dad!

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DR1939 1/23/2013 9:17AM

    Our niece once made her father a coffee cake with coffee grounds as the main ingredient emoticon

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BOILHAM 1/23/2013 8:06AM

    That is a great cake. Don't you love little girls who are learning to cook? So many young woman have never learned. DW is teaching our 9 YO GD so many things, so I really love this blog.

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    I believe I'll have a slice too.

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FITFOODIE806 1/23/2013 7:43AM


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SLENDERELLA61 1/23/2013 7:43AM

    Absolutely awesome!! Talk about a treat worth the calories!!! You must be very, very proud. Have a great Sparklin' day today!!

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WILSONWR 1/23/2013 7:37AM

    That is great! My granddaughter also loves to bake. We've been encouraging her since she was little and she is still going strong at 16 (although now she has a few more interests keeping her busy...)

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TINAJANE76 1/23/2013 7:36AM

    That's incredibly sweet and it looks fantastic. Hope you enjoyed every bite!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/23/2013 7:35AM

    Beautiful cake! Almost too beautiful to eat.

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COCK-ROBIN 1/23/2013 7:35AM

    Beautiful cake! Almost too beautiful to eat.

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ONMYMEDS 1/23/2013 7:28AM

    Very cool!!! A future Top Chef?

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JSTETSER 1/23/2013 6:20AM

    Beautiful cake. I hope you enjoyed every bite!

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JGRAY76 1/23/2013 6:16AM

    She did a great job on the cake and good for you for introducing her to running at such a young age.

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LOVESTOWALK49 1/23/2013 6:14AM


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Regarding the weather, just call me Goldilocks

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My goal this year is to increase my distance running. I even found a trail that perfectly suits my needs. It’s a 25 miles drive, but out here in the country that’s practically next door. The plan was to run there every week or two.

A week ago the temperature reached 70* while I was out on the trail with unfortunate results. I described it here. “Seeking a distance run”

Today it’s 18* and according to the forecast it may not get above freezing all day. I own a lot of layers, but I’m not ready for that.

I’m like “Goldilocks.” I don’t like it too hot or too cold.

I also do not like to run in the rain
or in the wind
or when the pollen count is high.

Now I sound like Dr. Seuss.

Unlike Goldilocks, I rarely find conditions “just right.” If I wait for that, I’ll never get off the couch. The gym is an alternative. I run on the tm all the time, but usually never more than 4-5 miles. Last Saturday I hung in there for 6.25 miles. That took some determination.

I admire those of you who live in less temperate climates and get out there anyway.
As for me, I’ll either have to learn to like distance treadmill or hope for an early spring.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUDITUDI2000 1/22/2013 11:18PM

    I love to run...unless its crazy windy. Any run outside is a good one for me..the treadmill is my dreadmill..I get too hot. Glad you are making it work & chasing your goals. emoticon

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BOILHAM 1/22/2013 2:00PM

    I must be weird, because I run in the rain, heat and what we call cold down here in FL, like in the 40s. I think if I was back up in CT, I would still run in the cold, though. I kind of like toughing it out in different conditions. I used to ride a motorcycle in the snow and ice when I lived in CT. I have yet to take one step on a treadmill. Maybe I need to get one and see what I am missing. Love your blogs!

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DR1939 1/22/2013 11:24AM

    I can manage the cold as long as the wind is not blowing. However, the cardiologist says no outdoor activity in below freezing weather regardless of windchilld. Same thing goes for above 90. Purchasing a treadmill works for me.

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GINIEMIE 1/22/2013 10:19AM

    An early spring with low pollen. I understand your predicament very well, and it doesn't even usually get quite that cold down here. Today we have a balmy 30 degrees, but I have a sore throat and headache.
Increasing from 4 miles to 6.25 is good. Do you own an MP3 player?

emoticon emoticon

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PMRUNNER 1/22/2013 9:33AM

    I know exactly what you mean! I think my outdoor temp range has shrunk a bit over the years. But it is still nicer to be outside most days than run inside. (Yesterday I did 6.5 on the treadmill in a very crowded gym - all the undergrads were back from their winter break and every single treadmill, elliptical, and bike were in use!) Tomorrow is supposed to have a high of 17, I think I will just have to bundle up!

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DAISYBELL6 1/22/2013 9:29AM

    I have had a hard time going out in the "cold" in the winter and the "heat" in the summer, but I keep pushing it. Last year I wouldn't exercise outside if it was below freezing, yesterday I ran 5 miles at 16 degrees. So my tolerance is expanding. Last year I didn't like running when it was above 70 degrees. I'll have to push my heat tolerance up this year. It's all about improving and moving! emoticon

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CELIAMINER 1/22/2013 9:05AM

    Wish there were a "Like" button, not only for the blog but for comments as well. I used to be an all-weather walker, even walking once in a snowstorm. Over time, my weather comfort range shrank considerably, and I'm just now trying to broaden it again. However, 22 degrees this morning was just too cold, and I wouldn't even think of running at this temp. Good luck with your distance training.

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MAHGRET 1/22/2013 8:54AM

    I am the same way!

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SUZYMOBILE 1/22/2013 8:53AM

    I do not like it in the snow,
I do not like it when I'm slow,
I do not like a distance run
When it is neither nice nor fun!

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ONMYMEDS 1/22/2013 8:41AM

    There is nothing like a long run on the treadmill to make you re-assess your tolerance for weather conditions for an outdoor run. This morning it was -4F, so I opted for the treadmill. If it had been 4F, I probably would have run outside.

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WILSONWR 1/22/2013 8:31AM

    Our climate is much milder, but I'm still not crazy about walking or running when it's very cold. Our gym at the local Air Force base has a great alternative - an 1/8 mile track on the second floor that looks down on all the activities on the first floor. They also alternate the running direction every day so you don't get sore muscles from all that turning in one direction.

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MIRAGE727 1/22/2013 8:17AM

    Great blog! I live in Florida!
THAT gives me no excuse not to run! Stay strong and run well!

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KANOE10 1/22/2013 7:58AM

    I am with you. I will not walk when it is too cold. The gym is the only option. Good for yu doing the treadmill. Stay warm and hope spring is early!

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NANNABLACK 1/22/2013 7:29AM

    I'm with you on the cold. Nice here this week. 50's in the morning and up to 70's in the afternoon. Have a good day!

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LESLIE871948 1/22/2013 7:12AM

    I had to laugh. I live in a more temperate climate I guess. If you can call 94 degrees and 90% humidity most mornings at 5 A.M. in the summer temperate. It is remarkable how some mornings I can make myself do my version of running in that weather. Right now we have 60 to 70 (ish) and my routine got all shook up when we had a run of 40 (ish) mornings. I get all stiff and unhappy in that.
What I wanted to say about this is that it is VERY HARD to change any routine I get into. If my routine is to go out first thing in the morning, then I am BLIND to other options until I get desperate for the exercise. And I am blissfully addicted again to exercise. I would not want to even try to run on a treadmill, but the other day I put on my IPOD and did 90 minutes of dance, clean the tile, race around the house like an idiot workout. It was neat.

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NELLJONES 1/22/2013 7:10AM

    I always used to laugh at mall walkers, but now I understand completely. I don't think they allow running, but for us walkers it is climate controlled.

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GRAMPIAN 1/22/2013 6:28AM

  Enjoyed this. emoticon

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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 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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