CELIAMINER   167,931
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On Today's Daily Spark: Do Not Expect Perfection

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wow, that blog plucked a very raw nerve for me, because the blogger could have been writing about my life: good girl, straight A's, too uncoordinated for sports, afraid to try anything that could result in failure. What surfaced, along with tears, were two distinct, painful memories of how parents' words can cut like a knife.

The first memory was when I returned from a national Girl Scout event when I was in junior high. Now, it was an honor to be chosen for a national event, and only only two girls from my state were selected. The event was held on a college campus in Illinois, and in those days, we traveled by bus, so I made the trip on my own, the first solo excursion. What an exhiliarating time! I had a blast at the event, learned a lot, and returned home elated and filled with enthsiasm. My dad brought me home from the bus station, and as I bounded through the door, my mother's sour face and words stopped me short: "My God, you've gotten fat!" My happiness bubble popped, and I deflated, actually feeling like something heavy had crashed into my chest.

The second painful memory came during my freshman year in high school. When I entered high school, I was feeling the freedom that came with the more mature environment, and I signed up for a one-semester art course. I knew I wasn't good at drawing and painting, but I was hoping I could learn, and I wanted to do something "daring." I got a B in that course. When my dad saw my grades, he skipped over all the A's and focused on the sole B, telling me I had to bring that grade up. I was crushed. The class was over, so there was no chance to pull it up, and it was the last time I was "daring" in high school, ensuring that B was my only one.

What is interesting is that I keep burying these memories until something specific, like today's Daily Spark blog, triggers them. Unfortunately, when I bury painful memories, the good ones go with them, so perhaps that's why I have so few memories at all of my childhood. ELIZRN has also written blogs that have brought memories to the surface, so I feel as if the Universe is trying to tell me I need to take these black things out of their hiding places, examine them in the light of day, and forgive my parents (who probably never realized the impact of their words). It may be the only way to get my memories back.

Finally, you may be wondering why I'm writing this in a blog instead of in the pseudo-privacy of a journal. I feel the need to be public with the struggle, and SP so far has been a relatively safe place to share difficulties. So thanks if you've read all the way to the end. Just sharing means a lot.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAMISON2012 6/3/2012 9:42AM

    Celia- it's like you found the words I had been struggling to come up with for the last few months! I love my mother so much and I had such a great childhood despite some difficult times, yet I seemed trapped by certain things. I have always known that my mom was worried about my health and that is what motivated a lot of her comments and nudges, but for a long time it just hurt. And my relationship with my dad was even worse since he truly believed a woman's only duty was to be pretty and obedient to her husband. So I created this whole identity of rebelling against convention and pursuing indulgences... It wasn't until I admitted that I wasn't physically able to really enjoy life anymore that it finally dawned on me how much I was missing. So now I acknowledge that my health is important, that it is time to let go of the past and embrace the endless possibilities open to me... and my SP community has been such a safe and comforting presence on this journey... So thank you for sharing!

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/21/2012 8:58PM

    Aha! You have made a key discovery... the journey is NOT all physical. I started my journey when I was young... and I lost between high school and college then regained when there were things that being thin seemed to invite and I didn't like them much!

Of course I would never have spotted that was what it was back then! When I got serious about losing it "right", it was 23 years ago. And I have continued to have motivational crises off and on even since then. As I now enter my third year of the current maintenance, I have the feeling I have finally got it. It's NOT about the scale. It's about my health. And I'm worth it.

Being thin won't fix the other things in life. And it takes time getting used to one's new body size. I read somewhere a year for every 25 pounds, so I figure I have another year to go to feel this is my "real" size, as opposed to what I used to be.

Emotions and past resentments can be difficult for those of us who think we have to be "good little girls" and not even feel those negative emotions. What we eventually have to do is give ourselves permission to be HUMAN! To accept the dark sides of ourselves. And forgive ourselves for having a dark side. Then it becomes easier to forgive those who have pushed our buttons. Even our mothers. For they, too, are/were human, and deserve the grace of forgiveness... which, by the way, frees US!

You touched something deep and honest and true here. Well written and well thought out!

- Barb emoticon

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GARELLK 5/21/2012 9:27AM

    Wow. We could be sisters. Funny, I have always had problems remembering my childhood for the same reasons that you mention above. The bad memories always seem to outweigh the good, which is sad, as I have some wonderful childhood memories.

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OAKSHAVEN 5/20/2012 6:42PM

    Yeah, I have those kinds of memories, too, and at 63 there are still some that can stop me flat. I can tell you that with time and encouragement, it is possible to get past a lot of that. I took years for me to realize that my mother just plain doesn't like kids, but she is very conventional, and in her day getting married and raising a family was what women did. And my dad's favorite phrase (to both me and mom) was, "Well, now, THAT was smart." in a sarcastic tone. His mother was physically abusive, so it says a lot for him that sarcasm was all we had to deal with. I tried to do better with my kids, but I suspect that my daughter occasionally will think of something I said or did that was hurtful. Too bad we don't have to study for a parenting license before taking on the role.

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MARYHOLMAN 5/20/2012 6:28PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BUDAPEST-SPAS 5/20/2012 5:25PM

    not sure what blog you read that re: the daily spark about perfection. just wanted to say you touched me and stirred up memories, as well. hi there!

forgive me, but i am skipping the heart of the blog, for a minute -- hey, scout!! someone had the same opportunity as i had, way back when !!? awesome!

when i was a junior in high school i, too, went to a national all-state encampment. ours was in massachusetts and we did wilderness camping. it WAS a big deal to be selected to represent the state, as only two per state attended this.
my solo travel was via airplane, and my first time on a plane! i even brought home a log in my carry-on. go figure...

but i was fat, and i tried to hide my shame when the boys that joined us on the all-state venture carving trails in a reserve park, chose to pair up to the pretty, skinnier scouts. it reinforced my self-image of not being likeable or gorgeous, or perfect, and not being 'accepted'...
i had a better reception at home, at least, from my parents.
(total side track, but that spring we had an F5 tornado blow our house away-- i didn't know if i could still attend the event. then my council paid for my expenses and bought me the gear. my family had a life to rebuild. they were happy i got to go...)

i followed your bus ride, CELIAMINER... and i wish your mom hadn't made that remark to you on your homecoming. i hope she was proud of you.

in senior high i sang in chorus with quartets, musicals, etc... during rehearsal one day we were gathered around the piano, practicing with the instructor. i'd put one knee up on the corner of the bench, as i leaned in to read the sheet music.
guess i 'crowded' my teacher-- when he turned and looked at me in exasperation and in a very loud voice said 'GET THAT HAM HOCK OFF THE BENCH'!!
indelible cut-me-to-the-bone words and embarrassment when everyone laughed, including that teacher.

those cruel moments are, indeed, remembered. and there are many many more from those teen years... i think i released the sting. but it still comes up for me. (can see my chubby thigh in patterned stockings on the bench...)

i like how you phrased it ... '(the) need to take these black things out of their hiding places, examine them in the light of day, and forgive'...

know we can hopefully move on. and this is a very safe place to share.
i came back to sparkworld yesterday, after many months. i forgot this sense of acceptance i have with others here.

hope your sunday is going well and thanks for being beautiful inside and out

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GRATEFUL_BEING 5/20/2012 3:58PM

  Celia I know what you mean some of the blogs I read here trigger memories I had long forgotten about or I had thought. Its hard to deal with "things" that I have buried for so many years. And there are so many, "things" that need to be dug up addressed. Better late than never though I guess.

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/20/2012 11:19AM

    You may have been raised by MY mother! Continue to pull out those ugly memories---I refused to do that for so long. My mom died 4 years ago--I was sad, she was my mom after all but I didn't really grieve. I went through some counseling (unrelated to mom) and started thinking. Really serious, down deep thinking about my life and my relationship with my mom. I realized she was the best mom she knew how to be. She didn't do or say any of those things to intentionally hurt me. Two years ago I forgave my mom--not just words but truly "let it go". I grieved deeply that she was gone before I had reached this point. I talk to her every day--I think she knows of my forgiveness and my deep love for her. I have changed a lot since this. Keep digging through the hurt, there is so much light and love on the other side!!!
Hugs to you, my friend!!!

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2WHEELEDSHARON 5/20/2012 10:57AM

    I've also spent a lot of time wading through the dark to find the positive influences in my memories. Its all been worth it and my Sparkfriends have gone above and beyond in offering inspiration and support!
I wish you lots of peace and healing through your process.

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Goal and Beyond

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Simple blog tonight. Declared victory on the weight goal and will be moving into maintenance mode, fully aware that I need to remain vigilant and keep tracking for the time being.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIVEGODDESS 5/20/2012 9:05AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SHADOWDANCES 5/20/2012 3:08AM



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SHARON10002 5/19/2012 10:51PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
So very happy for you, Celia!!!!

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CONNIER64 5/19/2012 10:35PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUST_BREATHE08 5/19/2012 10:21PM

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/19/2012 9:13PM


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HONEYPOT319 5/19/2012 8:07PM

    Great going! emoticon

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LHLADY517 5/19/2012 8:06PM


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How Big Am I?

Friday, May 18, 2012

The better question is this: What size do I wear?

Today I have on my one pair of jeans that I bought at Macy's a few pounds ago. They're the stretchy, forgiving type, and they're size 14. 14?! WTH? Earlier this week I was wearing a pair of size 8 Alfani pants, also bought at Macy's. Another day I wore a size 8 skirt from Orvis with a size M top from Eddie Bauer bought 20 years ago to go with size 12 pants. Yesterday, I went back to Orvis to return a vest I realized didn't match my style and tried on another skirt and blouse. I went home with a size 6 in each.

So...6 to 14...what size do I wear? I realize the clothing industry has supersized clothing over the last couple of decades, but can't the industry agree on some standard for size? It used to be easy...order the XL out of the catalog of slightly baggy styles that covered a multitude of sins, especially my hips. Now, I can't possibly order from a catalog because even the measurements guide isn't all that accurate.

This isn't a rant blog, but rather one questioning the clothing industry. On the positive side, I absolutely love being able to go into a store and try on things and THEN have to ask the salesperson to bring me a smaller size. That's as good a reward as the new clothes themselves!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANDA82 5/19/2012 1:59PM

    Such a good question! Unfortunately I think nobody knows the answer, even those who were supposed to know... the clothing industry. I'm sure they're are losing tons of money by not standardizing women's sizes as many of us refrain from ordering online, even with the measurement guides. And yes, it does feel great asking salespeople to bring smaller sizes! That's a great ego booster! emoticon

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SHARON10002 5/18/2012 10:53PM

    My feeling is if they can standardized men's sizes, they should be able to do the same for women. Come up worth something and use it universally!

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MARYHOLMAN 5/18/2012 7:00PM

    Not much to do...
I find companies like Women Within make clothes with a more generous fit. Think it keeps the customers happy and coming back.


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GOLFLADY11 5/18/2012 12:05PM

    I am so impressed with your weight loss journey but more importantly the way you have met your goals along the way and set out rewards accordingly.. emoticon

I also wonder about the clothing industry. I also have always ordered the XL - and a lot of it still fits (loosely) but the size charts when I look online to order something are weird. You have to go and try on in person I find - and a lot of the XL's now will fit me in the shoulders but hang around the armpits and bust. LOL!! I really wish there was some standardized sizing. I think a lot of the clothing is getting made in Asia and India and the sizing is helter - skelter. Too bad most of the stuff made at home (US and Canada) carries such a hefty price tag I can't justify buying it. Anyway, congrats again - good luck in meeting your remaining goals. That's my rant for the day!

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PINKNFITCARLA 5/18/2012 9:01AM

    I so agree! I can range from a 10 to a 14, depending on what it is and where I bought it.

emoticon on having to ask for smaller sizes...regardless of the number! You are really looking awesome!

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/18/2012 8:51AM

    I would love to wear an 8 or 6 or even a 10. LOL I totally agree with you about sizing and I think it has definitely gotten worse over the years!!!

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RIDLEYRIDER 5/18/2012 7:17AM

  Good question....the clothing industry is try to flatter Americans getting heavier by the decade. I distinctly remember when I was a kid (okay, 40+ years ago!) my mom, about 5 feet tall, about 103 pounds, wearing a size 10! Today, someone of that size would be a 2 or 4, or maybe even zero!
I don't think the right people will change, but standardization would help us all!!!


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Rant blog: High-efficiency washers aren't

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Finally getting to my rant about front-loading, so-called "high-efficiency" washers. We bought one last fall when the 22-year old top-loading washer finally gave up the ghost. The first thing we noticed was that all those great pictures of the washer on the handy pedestal drawer did not clue anyone in to the fact that the top of the washer would be at about nose level if placed on the pedestal. Our small laundry room will not accommodate a folding table, so we declined the pedestal so we could continue to fold laundry on the washer top. Second, who the heck decided these contraptions were efficient? Yeah, maybe they use less water, but they require special HE detergents, so we are trying to use up the last of our regular detergent. But *efficient*?! Laundry that normally washed in 30 minutes for a regular load and 25 minutes for delicates now takes 58 and 45 minutes, respectively...almost twice as long (and even longer if someone uses too much soap and the washer has to add time to reduce suds). So the "efficient" washer is NOT efficient with my time. And I can't imagine how running the motor for twice as long makes for efficient use of electricity.

Okay, end of rant. Just needed to get that off my chest.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 5/18/2012 10:56PM

    Sorry you are experiencing problems . . . they just don't make stuff like they used to!

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BILBYGIRL 5/15/2012 11:43PM

    Well Celia I have to say that I bought a front loader - a really good one of German manufacture. The guy at the store said that they were so much better than anything on the market and went into detail about why - he said he and his wife had one. He was an older man and there was something about the information and the way he gave it to me, the time and patience he took, that had me believing him.

I was initially aghast at the extra time that the load took though it does have short wash cycles that will do the load if not too badly soiled in 30 minutes. It heats its own water so that seems to be what takes most of the time - what temperature I want to wash the clothes at. I have also been freaked out that I can't stop and open it mid cycle - at one time I had to listen to a crystal bash around in the washer that I'd inadvertantly left in a pocket and washed without checking. What totally astounded me however was the quality of the clean - like WOW! My front loader gets out stains that my top loader never did. On top of that (excuse the pun) it is a lot more gentle on the clothes while getting them clean.

I believe that the front loader requires different detergent because the action produces more suds (which is part of its efficiency clean) but I guess its all about priorities and for me its clean without shredding my clothes. My front loader is everything I've hoped for in a washing machine so I couldn't be happier and I've had it now for about 5 years. I sing its praises all the time!! emoticon

Having said that - I'm sorry that yours is causing so much frustration Celia - maybe some time to get used to it?

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CONNIER64 5/15/2012 10:48PM

    I've also heard nothing but bad things about these so called high efficiency appliances.I've had my Whirlpool washer/Dryer for over 23 yrs and they are still working perfectly.If they ever break down I will replace it with the same brand.

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/15/2012 12:56PM

    They look cool but I've only heard bad things about them. Sorry!

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SABLENESS 5/15/2012 11:57AM

    Seems to be the way of all newer appliances. My energy-efficient dishwasher is pathetic. None of these things are meant to last like the old ones either.

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3016DEBRA 5/15/2012 11:30AM

  I've had my doubts about them too. Too bad you're having to find out the hard way emoticon emoticon
Hope you have a good day!

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Thanks, Mom, from Dairy Queen to Global Volksmarching

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wendy Bumgardner, who hosts the website walking.about.com, posted a question to Facebook this morning asking about walking mom memories. Instantly, I thought of walking to Dairy Queen with my mother and brother on hot summer evenings in Kansas. We usually got a small cone or some sort of slushy drink, and on one of the walks, I found a whole nickel and felt so rich! As a kid we pretty much walked everywhere since Mom's medical issues prevented her from driving. School was about 3/4 mile away and included a busy intersection. The grocery store was a mile in one direction, DQ a like distance in the other. Even the closest bus stop was several blocks away for trips beyond walking distance. But we walked, and I credit my mom with giving me "walking legs."

As an adult, I got away from walking, turning into a running snob. Then, predictably, the knees gave out, and I went back to walking. Fortunately, a colleague introduced me to volksmarches or "people's walks," a sport service members brought back from Germany (www.ava.org is the place for info). The story is that volksmarching was created in response to increasing numbers of competitive events that could have only one winner. In volksmarching, the standard distance is 10K (about 6 miles), though shorter distances are available, and every finisher is a winner; I have boxes of patches, suncatchers, and other trinkets to prove it.

Over time, DH and I were drawn to longer walks in more exotic locations, and we discovered the International Marching League Walking Association, an umbrella organization for walking festivals around the world (www.imlwalking.org). DH calls it "volksmarching on steroids," since the minimum requirement for a stamp in the IMLWA passport is 2 days of walking 20K (a little over 12 miles) each day. In fact, our honeymoon was spent at the festivals in Wonju, Korea, and Hagashimatsuyama, Japan.

Most IMLWA events, though, offer longer distances up to 50K. The most strenuous walk we did was in Nijmegen, Netherlands: 4 days, 50K/day earned us the Queen's Medal. No need to prove anything to anybody after that, though we did return twice for shorter distances. Other places we've walked in this series include England, Ireland, Austria, Germany (many times), Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, U.S., Taiwan, New Zealand, and Australia. In a couple of weeks we leave for Luxembourg's event to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the founding of the IMLWA. Looking forward to seeing this country neither of us has been to before.

When we return, it will be time to start preparing for the DC IMLWA event in October, the US FreedomWalk Festival (www.usfreedomwalk.org). DH liked the concept so much he founded this walk, the only one of the series still operating in North America, as the walks in Vancouver, WA, and Victoria, BC, have closed down. Seems on this continent, it's hard to attract walkers and volunteers for health-oriented, non-charity events. Too bad, but we'll keep walking for our health anyway.

Happy trails!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOOKBALL 5/17/2012 2:09PM

    Keep Walking.

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CANDOK1260 5/14/2012 5:34AM

    i have done volksmarches in cleveland metro parks but the idea of walking for two days trill me but scare me too. you are emoticon.

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2WHEELEDSHARON 5/13/2012 11:30PM

    Neat!! I had no idea about these events. Happy walking, I hope you have a wonderful trip.

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OMMAMA7 5/13/2012 7:56PM

    Wow - how great that you are so well-traveled! I never had any clue about any of that - thanks for sharing!

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PINKNFITCARLA 5/13/2012 2:35PM

    That is so interesting and wonderful you have the opportunity to do all these things. I have hardly ever been outside of NOVA, so I can't even begin to imagine walking in these beautiful places!

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YANKEEBELLA 5/13/2012 1:48PM

    Thanks for sharing the info.

I have heard of this but not taken part.

I may look into it as I am working to get out of my ruts!


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BETHGILLIGAN 5/13/2012 1:22PM

    Interesting! I had no idea!!

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