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Peer Pressure

Monday, November 23, 2009

HELLOOOOO SPARK WORLD!! I'M BACK!!

Boy, I've missed everybody! Thank you all for your notes of concern. I've been tied up with taking care of two ailing, elderly parents -- my 96 year old father, and my 81 year old mother-in-law. They are both like the proverbial Timex watches. They "take a licking and keep on ticking"!!

My father is the most cheerful guy there is. Just recently back from the hospital, I went up to see him in his nursing home room. Despite the fact I had seen him the day before, he exclaimed "Joanne I haven't seen you in ages"! While the Large Jamaican nurse, Bonita, bustled around his room, he chattered on about how I always managed to stay thin and keep my figure and never let myself get fat like -- and he points not so secretively at Bonita, who sees his gesture. Mortified, I start to chastise him but she breaks out in a raucous laugh and reminds me of what a sweetheart that he is, but his mind is getting more childlike and besides he isn't saying anything that isn't obvious! I told her for some reason he doesn't remember that I was indeed heavy just a few years ago, and in fact spent most of my adult life overweight. She explained that it's a facet of his dementia. He can remember details from his childhood, but not what he ate for breakfast.

You see, I wasn't one of those roly-poly children. I was painfully thin. The neighborhood boys loved to tease me - "Hey Joanne - I bet if you turned to the side and stuck out your tongue, you'd look just like a zipper"! My older brother had the teasing down to a fine art. Somewhat of a late bloomer, I found myself still stick straight in Jr. High just about the time the rest of my friends were developing cleavage and curves. He knew this caused me angst and so he would slide up to me and say " You know what your "teats" look like"?
Yep. He'd say teats, knowing that if my mother -- who had supernatural hearing caught him saying "tits" she would cuff his ears. So this way if she overheard anything, he could claim he was discussing barnyard animals. If I tried tattling on him, it would be his word against mine and therefore in the interest of fairness, she would cuff us both!
Anyhow, his next line would be "They look like two raisins on an ironing board" and collapsing into gales of laughter he would lope off while tears of pure anger and shame burned in my eyes! He even found an ingenious way to torment me without uttering a word. He'd just hold up two fingers with one hand while pantomiming the motion of ironing with the other and then point at me!

My weight started to pile on with the 45 pound weight gain during my first pregnancy and blossomed steadily up through two more pregnancies continuing up until I reached my all time high -- 203 pounds on a 5'4" frame!

Not genetic, I had nothing or no one to blame but myself. It was the usual - I ate more calories than I expended. But the big question was why? Was I an emotional eater? Not particularly. I'm a cheerful, the glass is half full kind of person. When I feel stress I usually try to meet it head on and plan accordingly. I am a creature of habit and mostly an organized individual. I enjoy self-indulgences like bubble baths and reading. Nice ways to redirect stress eating urges.
Did I eat out of boredom? Sometimes, but not a big issue. I gave up TV in favor of SparkPeople. Can't eat while you type:)

Hmm...

I could kick into a binge for sure. I did that plenty. But what triggered it? My love of food? Yeah... I'm getting warmer.

Then one morning a month or so ago I had a revelation. A breakthrough if you will:

I walked into my office in the phone triage room where I'm a nurse in a busy ob/gyn clinic carrying a bag of Hershey's miniature candy bars that I like to keep in a container on the counter for several doctors who enjoy a little chocolate now and then. It's mutually beneficial -- they get a treat and I get a captive audience to answer questions on charts I've stockpiled on the side of my desk. I don't really have any trouble staying out of them myself. I've managed to convince myself over the years that unless it's premium chocolate like Godiva, and I have plenty of time to savor a reasonable piece, I skip it.
As I opened the bag and inhaled the sweet chocolately aroma, I exclaimed "Mmm I love the smell of chocolate"! One one of the newer - overweight - triage nurses, Kathy, who only knows me as the "thin Joanne" who eats tuna and vegetables everyday with a piece of fruit for lunch, pronounced to the other two nurses "Ooo you wait, now she'll have to go to the bathroom and throw up that vapor"! A little titter arose from the others as Kathy winked at me. Not easily offended, I unwrapped a piece and popped it in my mouth, chomping it down. "See", I declared defensively, "I eat like a normal person"!
While sitting at my desk a few minutes later, feeling guilty and remorseful at eating 80 calories so senselessly, the image of my mother catching me -- around age 15 as I bent over an ironing board trying to iron my hair straight, came to me. Jerking me up by the other side of my hair she shrieked, "What on God's green earth are YOU DOING"???
"I'm straightening my hair", I stammered "All my friends are doing it"!
She leveled me with a stare that only my mother could do that bored holes right through me and without blinking she demanded, "And if they were all jumping off a cliff, would you do that TOO"?

And then it hit me -- PEER PRESSURE. The desire to feel a part of the group. To be liked. I ate and binged on food like an alcoholic with drink to feel accepted. And just like an alcoholic, the course was one of self-destruction. Why did I feel like I needed to prove to anyone that I was a "normal" person? Why couldn't I feel liked without participating in their excessive behaviors? Why was I constantly justifying my "odd" lunches? Did I have to eat what I knew was unhealthy for me or else launch into one of my long winded explanations of how just a little miniature candy bar used to trigger a "What the heck" attitude in me and set off a binge of astronomic proportions?

Work potlucks. Church potlucks. "Ladies night out". Dinner with my nieces. Holiday dinners at my daughter-in-law's. How many occasions did I find myself overeating so I didn't hurt anyone's feelings? So that I felt like I fit in?
By not attending I would appear even more standoffish than if I went, ate reasonably, and offered no explanations. I always volunteered to bring something healthy like the veggie tray and I always noticed that I was able to toss the empty tray away at the end of the day. I wasn't the only one eating healthy apparently.

Maybe, just maybe, some of my angst was self-imposed.

Gradually, I began to reframe my thinking. I quit worrying about what others thought or didn't think about my eating. I pulled out my before picture one day and showed Kathy who gasped, "No way! That can't be you -- you look awesome now. How did you do it?" "Tuna, veggies, and fruit for lunch", I said smiling.
When my dearest friend that I work with, Terry, brought in her terrific homemade salsa I noticed she brought in a special bag of whole grain tortilla chips for me. Yes, she chuckled when I counted a serving size of chips out on my plate chip by chip, so I could could track it online later at home. I rolled up the bag but before putting the clip on I looked at her and unrolling it quickly I reached in and took out one more chip and tossed it over my shoulder to the plate. "If I'm going to be naughty", I told her, "It'll be with YOUR salsa"!

We shared a laugh and I knew...

That I don't have to prove anything to anybody. I'm liked for who I am -- not for what I eat - or don't eat.




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SISTER_KATHY 2/6/2010 6:52PM

    This is so wonderful! As I began to eat healthy I no longer get invited out to lunch. But you know what it's ok because I know that when I leave the job at the end of the day I have to live with me! Please keep writing your blogs they are great and very thought provoking as well as fun. Be blessed!

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THEQUEENBEE333 11/30/2009 2:41PM

    Great blog and good points! I think you are dead on right! Have a great week. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I am just now getting around to reading older blogs I havent gotten to yet!

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LADY_KATHY 11/30/2009 8:40AM

    have a wonderful day. : )

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BUSYMOM22 11/29/2009 4:08PM

    LOL. I count my chips/pretzels/etc, too. My kids think I'm a little nuts, but they're very proud of me. I just pop everything in a baggie at lunch time. LOL

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LAURT02 11/28/2009 10:08PM

    worrying about what other people think..its one of my flaws. i care WAY too much about how i'm perceived or what people are thinking of how i look. you hit the nail on the head though. i hope i can soon learn that i should live for myself, and not always to please others.

thanks for another GREAT blog :)

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LIGHTHOUSE23 11/28/2009 3:52PM

    I was painfully skinny, also....and then I had babies.:-0 I had an older brother who teased me about being flat. He passed away before I had a chance to blossom. :-) It's funny how your blogs have me thinking about my childhood, as well. Thanks for sharing, and the smile. My brother could not say that to me, today!

Wonderful blog, as usual!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/28/2009 3:57:58 PM

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BONNIEBELLE33 11/28/2009 1:22PM

    Have to disagree about Godiva - Hershey is the BEST chocolate! :)

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JOYSONG1960 11/27/2009 5:54PM

    I have done this also. I'm so grateful my husband is on a diet also since he used to be my peer pressure. Now he is pressuring me to watch what I eat. Way better pressure, but sometimes I have to have what I want anyway, even if it's not what he can eat. He's avoiding carbs and I'm not. I love the Spark diet.

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TRABOLD8567 11/27/2009 11:42AM

  Thanks!

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GRACEISENUF 11/27/2009 11:05AM

    Another great blog.

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BESTSUSIEYET 11/25/2009 11:40PM

    emoticon
Another winner here, Joanne! I'm so glad you share the insights you find into your eating habits - you help us look at things in a new light!

I identified with your story about your Dad -- mine was like that, too -- as his dementia increased, his ability to be "Discretionary" about what he said or did just went away. He was always a ladies' man, and he decided the kindness of the nurses/aides was more than just friendliness -- I got called once about his 'roaming hands'. Oh well -- just deal with it, folks! They work with elderly dementia patients -- Dad wasn't any more of a problem than others, I'm sure! I felt like I'd been called by the principal to discuss a child's misbehavior!

Celebrate the good times with him as much as you can! Dad passed away 2 years ago (on the night before Thanksgiving) and I really miss our times together! He'd say, "What would I do without you?" and I'd just remind him that he would never have to find out. I'm so thankful God gave us special times! I had also built special memories with Mom through her lung cancer fight -- Now I can look back and not have any regrets about wishing I'd done such & such!

Have a GREAT Thanksgiving -- and keep making us thinking!!

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TAKEMETOTHEBALL 11/25/2009 3:50PM

    Sheer gold! emoticon
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Jackie x

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DASEEMAN 11/25/2009 12:39AM

    I love your blog Joanne! It is always a good read! I especially like hearing stories of others childhood.

Your blog was an eye opener for me because I never even thought of peer pressure being a reason to eat. It is up to me to stop "perceiving" the peer pressure is there when in fact it is because I use it as an excuse. Good for you in figuring that out and letting me in on the secret. LOL.

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Deb

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KATHYCOOK4 11/24/2009 5:56PM

    I loved this blog. It makes me remember my childhood - the good part. I remember my mother yelling at me because of something that I was doing & my answer was the same as yours. "All of the kids are doing it". Then she would ask me that if my friends jumped off of a bridge would I do the same thing?

Your father sounds like a real dear.

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LAURIE5658 11/24/2009 11:21AM

    And once again, Joanne hits one out of the Spark ballpark!!!! AWESOME!!! Everyone at my office just knows that I will be standing in the back at noon chopping my romaine lettuce and other great veggies for my salad. They just know that breakfast will be oats and agave nectar for sweetener. They just know and they accept the fact that this is me.

Its funny how that works.

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HAPPYSOUL91 11/24/2009 10:58AM

    Hi Joanne - you really hit it right on in your blog, something is always going on in our lives

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JAVAJO47 11/24/2009 10:24AM

    Hi Joanne~ Thanks again as usual for such an insightful blog. I LOVE how you identified past issues with food and could relate with some of the comments you've received. I decided several months ago to go vegetarian. Just a personal decision that I feel comfortable with. Not only do I have well meaning family members trying to steer me away from it, sometimes my son & husband like to tease me about my non-meat meals. I decided that with or without support on this decision, I have to do what's right for me. It has helped me to lose weight and bring my cholesterol levels to normal, so something must be going right :)

On another note...your dad sounds delightful! LOL I've noticed as my mother has aged, she has become more vocal about opinions regardless of who it might offend. Sometimes we laugh and other times my sisters and I are appalled. I am sure in time, I will become my mother's daughter.

Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!
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Jo Ann

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RAINTHIEF 11/24/2009 10:22AM

    Wonderful blog! Very true and very inspiring! emoticon

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 11/24/2009 9:20AM

    You are such an inspiration!! thank you for sharing. I know the pain of being teased...my sister, who was pretty flat chested, used to call me the boobsey twins in the hall in school. and one day i was at my locker..a lowly 9th grader and her a senior, and she walked by and very loudly said..careful dont shut them in there!
I learned to laugh about them though..i worked as a teller at the drive thru window at the bank...one day as i was putting the drawer out i leaned over at the same time and yeah..you guessed it..the drawer shut on them. of course it was electric...the look on my face must have heen horrid as the man at the window said ARE YOU OK??? i recovered quickly and said yes...just doing a self mammogram...
the girls at the counter heard me...heck EVERYONE heard me!! and we all had a good laugh. the poor man in the car spilled his coffee, but told me he hadnt thought he would smile that day let alone laugh.
memories...painful AND funny!!

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SHIRLEYDILLARD 11/24/2009 7:51AM

    Great blog. Enjoyable reading.

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BARBARAROSE54 11/24/2009 7:07AM

    emoticon

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DENRNAJ 11/24/2009 4:34AM

    I missed you and am glad to see you back.
thank you for sharing....it means a great deal to be able to trace the roots of our issues with food. wonderful, insightful blog as usual!
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VXWALL1942 11/24/2009 12:21AM

    Finally - I think I've got it! Why I eat. My Mom always told me I could have 2nds of mashed potatoes (or whatever) if I "wanted to be fat". Of course I didn't take 2nds and always saw myself as fat. I realized many years later while looking through the retrospectoscope that I have been trying to make up for lost opportunities. I didn't have many friends growing up, so I made friends with food. Geez Louise - all this time I've been looking for the 'emotional eating triggers' and lo and behold they're firmly entrenched in my history. Thanks for opening my eyes!

vicki

Comment edited on: 11/24/2009 12:22:30 AM

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SLIMMERJESSE 11/23/2009 11:59PM

    You bring me into your world so vividly with each blog. I love it. Your blogs are like a present that the reader unwraps while reading. A real delight. Thank you, Joanne. Happy Thanksgiving.

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CYBELEMOON 11/23/2009 11:51PM

    emoticon

I love the way you write, you should put together a book! :D I can so relate to so much of what you write too! GREAT BLOG!

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DDOORN 11/23/2009 11:33PM

    I've been the pioneer at work, always bringing in 3 or 4 fresh veggies everyday for lunch and / or snacking. Folks would ask if I get bored with all these veggies all the time and I always say: "I like boring. It's safe and healthy. I'll save exciting and savory for my special meals at home or dining out."

Soon I start to see other bags of baby spinach, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and other veggies being hauled in by my colleagues. If they forget they swing by my desk and help themselves. I think my veggies are finally becoming even more popular than my officemates jar of chocolates! :-)

Don

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Husbands -- altogether other creatures

Sunday, November 08, 2009

If you were to ask my husband to name a few of the highlights in his life, he would be most likely to mention 2 things:
The first being that football tackle he made in high school -- you know the one. The one that almost won the game that time.
The second would be the after effects of the first time he tried Kashi. "Man Honey, you had to be there. Cory family record"! Somehow, I feel grateful I wasn't there...
If you continue to stare at him long enough, he might be pressed to add "Oh yeah, the birth of my kids and of course when I married Joanne".

I don't tell you about these things to make my husband sound like an insensitive fool. When it comes to foot in mouth, he has no trouble with that on his own. He's a male. That being said, I'm not trying to bash the whole male population either. But the species male are different creatures from the species female -- ask any woman who co-habitates with one.

It is said that when she becomes pregnant, a woman starts eating for two. I actually think that starts when she first moves into the same living space with a husband or male significant other. He's in the mood for pizza and beer. You go eat pizza and beer. He doesn't like eggs -- you can't remember the last time you had a slice of quiche. The freezer that used to hold frozen blueberries and frozen yogurt now houses buffalo wings and fudgesicles.

When you do start having kids the "eating for" number increases. I found myself eating for five. I think my oldest son's first word was "McDonalds"! My middle child refused to eat anything that touched an onion. My daughter, the sweet child, the compliant child, inherited her father's love of chocolate.

I figured out early on that being the parent -- the adult, by rights gave me some control over the content of my children's diet. I strived to strike a balance and cater to some tastes while encouraging healthy choices. That lasted until the teen years when a driver's license and an after school job bought them more freedom of choice.
But the husband. That was a different story. First there is the whole king of the castle thing. Isn't the home a man's sanctuary. The place where he can kick off his shoes and enjoy life. Make rude bodily noises and nobody chastises him? Eat greasy popcorn and wipe his hands on his jeans -- better than the couch -- unless he yells "Honey, bring me a napkin" first?
And why not? He works hard and brings home a paycheck that pays for the groceries.

And just like a DJ scratching the record -- ERRRRRRNT the thought hit me....
Wait a minute. I work too! I not only contribute financially to the grocery cart, I put them in the cart, purchase them, load them in the car, carry them in the house, put them away, AND cook them. For the stay at home mothers and homemakers, except for the official paycheck, I bet you do all that too. That's not to say my husband won't ever go to the grocery store with me and help. He loves to go. It's his chance to make a date with his mistress--
Little Debbie. Sometimes it's easier AND cheaper to go by myself.

So I wondered. Is it easier for me to complain to my friends and Weight Watcher group that it's so hard to diet when I get no support??? To make him my ultimate excuse for not taking responsibility for my own choices? The last of my children left the nest for college and marriage so it was just my husband and me. I decided to have the heart to heart talk with him and find out really just how supportive he would be if I really made up my mind to get busy and get the weight off.
I started out with the worst thing a woman can say to her husband and get taken seriously.
"Dear, do you think I'm fat"? Appropriately he assumed that deer in the headlights look and replied that line he summoned out of his testosterone memory bank:
"It doesn't matter - I love you no matter what you weigh".
Hmm - let me restart this conversation....
My husband actually was very receptive to my plan to lose weight and get healthy. No, he wouldn't promise to always do it with me. He wasn't at that level of commitment. But at his near normal weight, he didn't need to be. He did agree to eat whatever I cooked and not complain. He agreed that joining a gym was a good idea and didn't mind eating supper a little later so I could go right after work. He even volunteered to start dinner if I had a recipe available.
True to his word, he did what he could to help. He ate at healthier restaurants with me, he kept his stash of candy bars and Little Debbie cakes in the back of the cupboard out of sight and tried not to eat them in front of me. He tried new foods willingly , although I caught him once poking around the layers of a casserole with his fork -- checking for hidden black beans.

It wasn't always easy. Change. Radical change can be difficult -- almost threatening. As I mentioned in prior blogs, when I lost weight I literally transformed myself. I got contacts, changed my hair, stopped dressing dowdy. With the new look and cute figure, the male attention paid to me increased ten fold. I didn't put two and two together until my husband started backsliding on his prior fantastic support.
The complaints started: "Chicken again? Don't we eat beef in this house anymore?" "I think you're becoming obsessional about all this weight loss stuff!" "You're spending too much time at the gym, don't you think?"
When I met one of my husbands co-workers, Scott, for the first time, he purred, "Jim, your wife is beautiful!" What does my husband say? "Joanne"? I swatted him and replied "Noooo, he means YOUR OTHER WIFE apparently". Later, in an attempt to smooth the damage, my husband admitted to a certain jealousy. Something he had NEVER been prone to. Never needed to. Oh for goodness sake, I told him. Get a grip! Scott is married -- to Michael!
Finally he admitted the whole idea of a thin, pretty wife scared the heck out of him. He didn't know quite how to cope. I reminded him that he married a young, thin, pretty woman. She just came back. Yeah, but he was young then too, and thinner, AND with hair. He worried there were Greek god looking guys at the gym on the prowl. I wasn't wearing my wedding ring because I had waited until I got to my goal and stayed there a little while before having it sized down. The jeweler had said the last time they couldn't keep changing it without thinning the band too much and risk breaking it. That un-nerved him. After reminding him that I loved him with or without a full head of hair, I invited him to join the Y with me and check it out for himself. He did and went a few times -- long enough to discover that the only Greek god look-a-likes were young enough to be our son. After 2 months of non participation, I took him back off the membership and his foray into the jealousy arena seemed to fade away.

We still have our ups and downs. I'm still changing along my road to self discovery and the psychological impact of it surprises me let alone the innocent bystander - my husband. But he's trying. I took him with me a few weeks ago to shop for a new bathing suit appropriate for swimming lessons -- my latest venture. I had to explain to him that the tannkini from Victoria's Secret that I already owned wouldn't work because the built in "miracle bra" would only serve as a flotation device and Hello! I'm suppose to swim, not float! I found a nice suit that was black with a white panel in the center of the front. Thinking the vertical lines and black sides would look slimming, I opened the dressing room door. Ta Da! What did he think?
He blurted out "You look like a penguin"! I stared at him silently for a full minute before slowly shutting the door in his face. Recovering, I hear him shout over the door, "A THIN penquin! A down right skinny penguin! A definitely HOT looking penguin -- wait do penguins get hot?"...

Yeah, he's trying...



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THE_SILVER_OWL 2/18/2010 11:49PM

    My hubby and I both got a chuckle out of your wonderful blog! I am so glad you told me about it.

Hugs,
~JJ~

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STARBURST31 1/16/2010 6:37PM

    Thank you for sharing your awesome blog! My DH is too thin and I have the constant challenge of feeding both of us.

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NEED2DROP50 1/8/2010 7:55PM

    Had to do some searching to find this..but it was funny and touching. I like that you share so much of yourself here. I believe my husband has the same fears about me losing weight, maybe I would "lose" him too. He definitely has nothing to worry about on that front. We are working on it together, he just started running and is faster than me..won't run with me because I'm too slow..and I've been running longer than him! I love that he is doing that for me but I also get the complaints about healthy foods only in the house. I indulge in junk food but I definitely limit it now. I'm very much conscious of it and I believe he is too now that he sees how hard you have to work to combat the weight gain.

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IDAATJE 12/23/2009 11:09AM

    emoticon
that is so funny!

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NDEBBIEGIRL 12/11/2009 4:26AM

    Awww that's adorable!! I bet you looked amazing in that bathing suit too. He was probably unnerved by it and blurted out what a hot penguin you were. XDD

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TESTACAV 11/25/2009 1:15PM

    Awww, my fiance has those moments too!!

Keep at it hun :)

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SUGIRL06 11/25/2009 12:58PM

    What a cute blog! It sounds like he is really trying to be supportive and that is so great! Congrats on all your success and good luck with the rest of your journey!!!
~Ang

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SUZY6281 11/23/2009 3:38PM

    Another awesome blog!

And you could very easily have been talking about my husband! All made from the same cloth, I'm sure.

suzy



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ELISADEL 11/23/2009 1:33AM

    lol awesome blog entry!

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_MAOMAO_ 11/19/2009 1:48AM

  Now I'm laughing so hard I'm crying!

So, he's the one that Little Debbie was cheating with? omg, did I actually say that? She's just not allowed to come back to visit me!

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BENJIROX 11/18/2009 12:37AM

    Absolutely loved this blog! Your story reached out and dragged me in. I loved the way you were able to tie in a full range of emotions - you are a great story teller!

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BLOSSYSMOM 11/12/2009 8:45PM

    ROTFLMFAO! OMG! We have the same husband.
He blurted out "You look like a penguin"! I stared at him silently for a full minute before slowly shutting the door in his face. Recovering, I hear him shout over the door, "A THIN penquin! A down right skinny penguin! A definitely HOT looking penguin -- wait do penguins get hot?"..

The above is TOTALLY a Rickism. He often trips over his words and they come back to bite him REALLY hard in the ass!

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KRITTERKEEPERS 11/12/2009 7:18PM

    Great story! I had to tell my husband after 1 short year of marriage that he was on his own for snacks. If I had to fix him a snack when he was hungry, I would end up eating it too! If I ate the way he does, (and he is not overweight) I would end up being 300 pounds! He snacks constantly in the evening, and I have learned to ignore his snacking now that we have been married 20 years.
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TELERIE 11/12/2009 6:39PM

    Lovely blog! Change can be scary for bystanders.
I'm really lucky since my darling has joined me in getting healthier and fitter. We run and work out at the gym together and we've lost a small person put together since starting a healthier life together. It's really brought us closer too.

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TRISHP1961 11/11/2009 8:26PM

    Thanks for the good laugh! I wish I had a husband that would come home and cook...His thought of support is to wait until 7PM for me to make dinner...

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ONMYWAYTOGOAL 11/11/2009 4:14PM

    Wonderful blog!!! You're so talented when it comes to describing life. I have to admit that I laughed out loud (at work) when you mentioned Little Debbie. My husband is sooooooo like yours! Sometimes he's in it with me and sometimes he's circling the camp. Gotta love 'em though! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and talent! emoticon

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LADY_KATHY 11/11/2009 11:33AM

    Wish mine was like yours..... LOL

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TONISTRELEC 11/11/2009 8:49AM

    emoticon
Ha! Ha! Ha! Fun blog don't you just lov'em

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ELENEL 11/10/2009 10:10PM

  I loved it! I'm looking forward to this come August - Penguin comment and all. Thanks for the dose of reality!

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TYANDJACKSMOM 11/10/2009 8:37PM

  yes husbands....aw! Got in a fight with mine today for reasons of just because he does not understand things the way I do. Why does God make us so different if he wanted us to be together forever..It is like it was God's mean joke to put us together and make us opposites.

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ZOISMOM 11/10/2009 8:14PM

    Great blog! It helps just to hear it from someone else! LOL

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GRAMVICKI 11/10/2009 7:37PM

    So very true!!

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HEALTHYIN10 11/10/2009 6:59PM

  Great blog - I can soooo relate!

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AMHFALKO 11/10/2009 6:44PM

    Great blog! You made me laugh out loud about the penguin!

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BECKTY 11/10/2009 6:28PM

    HUH-larious.

I'll have to wait and see if my support wanes as I lose...but I doubt it based on responses to my oh-so-slight increased confidence.

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MANDAO97 11/10/2009 5:05PM

    I loved this blog - made me smile!

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ANUT4DISNEY 11/10/2009 4:28PM

    Okay this was my great laugh for the day.

The penguin remark just had me chuckling out loud.

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TAKEMETOTHEBALL 11/10/2009 4:20PM

    Another smile-a-minute blog - thank you!
emoticon
Jackie x

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HEALTHY_CATH 11/10/2009 2:29PM

    Thanks this is so real-life and funny. I love the line about poking around a casserole, looking for hidden black beans.

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BCQUILTER 11/10/2009 2:24PM

    Great blog! My kids call my husband the "snackmaster" - it's good to know it can be done, even with a man in the house!

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DONNA_W 11/10/2009 2:17PM

    Thanks for the blog, very funny. My husband is very supportive in many ways except he still laments that when he tried to grow beefsteak tomatoes all he got was tomatoes and no beefsteak..

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ABILUCHA 11/10/2009 1:16PM

    Hilarious! So glad to know I'm not alone!

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ABILUCHA 11/10/2009 1:16PM

    Hilarious! So glad to know I'm not alone!

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MOM2AJ-ASH 11/10/2009 1:13PM

    Thanks for sharing that. It made me smile today and helps me appreciate my husband for trying.

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NEWBIEBAIT 11/10/2009 12:54PM

    LOL, His first experience with Kashi. Mine has to remind me of his experience everytime we go into the cereal aisle.
Husbands emoticon

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TRACKRBP 11/10/2009 11:39AM

    OMG! I laughed until I cried. This blog is fantastic! emoticon

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LOVE92909 11/10/2009 10:47AM

  this was the best thing I could have read today. my husband does the same thing... especially the "you look like a penguin" thing. that's him to a T!

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SUZSNYDER 11/10/2009 8:58AM

    i loved reading this. thank you so much for sharing.. very good and so true of more then just your family. take care and keep on keeping on... suzanne

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DOTTYLADYBUG 11/10/2009 8:30AM

    I so enjoy your blogs. I laugh, I cry...

A million thank yous for sharing. I'll be looking forward to the next one. :)

Andie

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SAIDTHEFAE 11/10/2009 12:49AM

    This was a great post. I like how you remind us that even those the DH can drive us crazy, he is not preventing us from eating healthy and we can't blame them. I have a lot of the same issues with my husband, and I am always trying to figure out ways to make him eat healthier- and it just might never happen. But that doesn't mean it won't happen for me~!

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ROYALETBONE 11/9/2009 11:56PM

    Man- this was SO funny, and so right on- I had to share it...
Thanks, & yes, I agree!
Oh, look- voted most popular... awesome!

Comment edited on: 11/10/2009 12:00:35 AM

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CABINDOG 11/9/2009 9:24PM

    hormones...

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CHGOJMG 11/9/2009 8:46PM

    This is so true! There is a direct correlation with my gaining weight and moving in with my husband (then boyfriend). I let myself go since I was happy and he was happy. But I wasn't really happy. I finally realized I hid my true self after gaining the weight . My hubby is on board and losing weight now too, but at the beginning there was jealousy.

Thank you for the great blog!

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HEALTHY2MORROW 11/9/2009 7:39PM

    Yep, darn that Y chromosome! It starts affecting the poor guys, early. Even my 10 year old nephew, who is very ill has evidence of that Y chromosome. When my sister asked him if he understood his illness, he in typical male fashion said, no he didn't want to. If he ignored it maybe it would go away. Is that a guy, or what? Gotta love them!

But, tell me you are going to find away to "tease" him without saying a word. Like you just start wearing a penguin pin on your coat or purse. Or get a penguin magnet for fridge.

Smile!
Karen

Comment edited on: 11/9/2009 7:40:36 PM

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SMIRICE 11/9/2009 6:27PM

  This is great - just read the whole thing to my mom. emoticon

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JENARAGON 11/9/2009 4:59PM

    Sooo funny, you are a terrific writer, what a funny blog!!

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TYME2DUIT 11/9/2009 4:38PM

    Hysterical - I loved this blog!

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NICOLEBA47 11/9/2009 4:28PM

    Great biog!!!!
I really enjoy reading it
emoticon for sharing!!!

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B-FLAT 11/9/2009 4:13PM

    Thanks for the laugh and the reminder that mine isn't the only husband who isn't always "on board". A Really Hot Penguin!! That's priceless...

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CYBELEMOON 11/9/2009 3:49PM

    Oh how much I relate to this one... Thank you for the wonderfully written, witty and humorous TRUTHS! :D Congrats on your success! emoticon emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Nobody's perfect

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Someone asked me the other day just what was the defining moment that made me decide to lose weight? You mean like the straw that broke the camels back, I asked? Hmm...
That's a good question. Which time? I've had so many defining moments, epiphanies, straws.

Maybe it was the time I struggled into a pair of snug jeans before we went out to dinner. I had to lay down on the bed to even get them zipped up only to forget this fact when I was done with dinner and had to use the restroom. The woman that walked in while I was lying on the floor -- feet sticking out of the stall -- trying to zip my jeans, shrieked "Are you all right??"
Um yes, please don't call 911...

I was the epitome of yo-yo dieters. I was a lifetime member of Weight Watchers many times over with a drawer full of pins and keys to commemorate each goal success. Some people rotate their clothes in the closet by seasons. I rotated by sizes -- goal, heavy, heavier, and heaviest.
My middle son even wrote a song about it. He played the guitar - badly. Think Phoebe on "Friends" singing about smelly cats. That was him in the coffee shop strumming away and screeching an Ode to Yo-Yo Ma:
" No not the talented fellow with the cello, but my Yo-Yo-Ma who's on a losing streak again, her mood is insane, the diet's to blame , her rules are a pain, but we love her just the same -- My Yo-Yo Ma" Thanks, James...

Every January 2 a bunch of us at work would start up the annual biggest loser contest. $20 dollars a participant. Winner takes all April 1st. Four years ago I walked into work on that post new years day -- that had been filled with football munchies-- and didn't see a sign up for the contest. I asked the usual crew of heavyweights where the sign up sheet was.
"We're not having the contest this year". Really? Why not? "Because you always win!!"
OK...
So why was I still fat??

I was flirting with high blood pressure. My cholesterol was in the 250 range. My fasting blood sugar was what it should be after a meal. I felt miserable because I felt like a failure. I hated to fail. I had to be perfect. If I started a diet on Monday morning and blew it Monday night, I had to wait until the next Monday morning at 8 am to start again. I had to be the perfect dieter or I wouldn't do it. My prior successes were just longer runs of being perfect.
I didn't exercise because I might not do it right. I might not look right. Have the right clothes. Join the right club.

As I said, my son played the guitar -- badly. But that didn't stop him from getting a real "gig", unpaid of course, at a local coffee shop downtown. He didn't care if he wasn't perfect -- or even good. The eclectic crowd of latter day beatniks actually loved him. He was just goofy enough and bad enough to be appealing. He had no fear of failing up there. His attitude was "To hell with them if they can't take a joke!" His fame was short lived though, right along with his life. He died suddenly four years ago. Sitting alone with my tears and memories I sometimes thought about another one of his attitudes on life. "Lighten up mother, we can't all be perfect". Ooo how that used to grate on my last nerve when he'd say that. Knowing he was thinking "Like you".

Maybe that was my defining moment. I'm not sure. but for whatever reason I was 49 years old and looking towards my next half century and thought it was time to conquer some fears. Starting with my fear of exercise. In all my prior weight loss efforts, they were always achieved through diet alone. It might have been Weight Watchers, South Beach, Atkins, but never exercise. I decided that might just be the one thing that could bring about change.
No more dieting. I wasn't going to worry about what I ate yet. One thing at a time.

I joined the YMCA. I toured there first and found ordinary looking people just like me in various shapes and sizes wearing ordinary looking workout clothes. It seemed like a comfortable and affordable fit. The first time I went, I found the woman's locker room downstairs one flight from the main floor. I had purchased a gym bag and lock and felt all sportsy and athletic. The cardio room was on the second floor -- one flight up from the main floor. To get to it I had to walk up two full flights of stairs. I was huffing and puffing so much from the effort, that when I finally got up there I felt like I had completed my workout before I had even started it.

I asked one of the doctors I work for who is a triathlete, to please be my "secret" advisor. Someone to be accountable to. He readily agreed and advised me on everything from maximum heart rate to where to buy proper shoes. He absolutely agreed that starting with exercise would be the key. He told me it would take a month or so to become a habit, but after just about two weeks I'd feel so much better that it was like a built in reward. He was right. I felt like I was gaining confidence. I was thrilled to find that climbing those stairs was no longer such a chore. I started taking the stairs in my building instead of the elevator. I parked my car at the back of the lot for work and shopping. I walked on a treadmill but soon became interested in checking out the elliptical and bikes. I made friends at the Y. I looked forward to going after work. I started out with three days a week and when I decided to add strength training I increased it to six days a week.

AND I found that I was losing some of my urges to binge. Definitely I wasn't having those out of control cravings that so typified my prior eating patterns. I began to think maybe I could handle healthier eating. But NO DIETS. I decided to start with three things. Low fat, high fiber, low sugar. Use those guidelines when choosing food but not worry about portion sizes -- yet.
I became a label reader. I actually planned menus. Had fun trying new recipes. I made some rules for eating out -- like only salad, grilled chicken, or chili in a fast food restaurant. Stick with restaurants that had light or healthy selections. Next step was watching portion size and keeping track of what I ate. And I lost weight!

As they say, the rest is history. For three years I've been at goal more or less. The most I put back on was the 15 pounds while swimming in the river denial, but as you know, my daughter yanked me out of there! I run now and wouldn't think of skipping a workout. I preach exercise like a born again believer.

Most importantly, though. I allowed myself to occasionally stumble and be less than perfect. If I succumbed to temptation and over indulged , I didn't call myself a failure. I didn't wait until the first Monday in January to restart. I STARTED OVER WITH THE VERY NEXT BITE.

Because, after all -- we can't all be perfect....








  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHERLYNN43 1/11/2010 7:22AM

    Love this blog post!!!! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us!
Sher

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SCAROUSEL1 1/3/2010 1:40PM

    This just might be the best and most imspirational blog ever... THANK YOU!

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LOSINGITALL4ME 12/28/2009 12:14PM

    Loved the blog. I could relate in so many ways. Congrats on your success!

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GETTINFITFORME1 11/24/2009 8:37PM

    Truly an inspirational blog. I can relate to the Monday dieting thing, and also the yo-yo dieting with no exercise. I'm also 49 and I think I'm finally figuring out the same things as you. My signature is "Insanity -- doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." I, too, am trying the exercise this time and can finally see how people get addicted to it. I'm not quite there yet...but getting close. Thanks for taking the time to jot down your thoughts!

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_MAOMAO_ 11/19/2009 1:35AM

  Thank you for sharing such a personal, touching part of your life!

That hits deep right now. I'm sure not perfect, I know that better than anybody.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KRITTERKEEPERS 11/13/2009 12:30AM

    Loved your blog! I can so relate to having to lie down to zip my jeans. It is so nice not to have to do that anymore. You mentioned in your other blog that you were thinking about taking swimming lessons. I told my husband last week that I had never learned to swim properly and was thinking of taking swimming lessons. Have you started swimming yet!


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BARBARA_G 11/12/2009 11:41AM

    The penguin part of the story made me laugh out loud. And I don't laugh easily. Your husband sounds cute/funny...lol
I loved the story and I think it's wonderful that you have a supportive husband and worked through your problems.
Barbara

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LISANANCY 11/10/2009 6:48PM

    Thank you for sharing such a personal park of your life.

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MICHELEB609 11/9/2009 11:26AM

    I can totally relate! It makes me feel better knowing that I share the same basic story with so many wonderful people, that I'm not alone. Thank you for the inspiration! emoticon

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LINDA-LCM 11/9/2009 7:27AM

    Love your blog, very enjoyable, and they always hit the nail on the head. It's amazing how everyone's story is nearly the same. I must tell you that you've inspired me to try running next spring (to much snow here in the winter). I've always made the excuse that "I'm not built like a runner"; but I'm not going to let that stop me this time (and who knows, by next spring I may be built like a runner!).

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DOTTYLADYBUG 11/8/2009 5:23PM

    I can really relate! I too am a Monday dieter....and a perfectionist. Thanks a million for sharing. And congratulations are your success. x

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CABINDOG 11/7/2009 11:39AM

    nice blog.

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TAKEMETOTHEBALL 11/7/2009 7:37AM

    A truly amazing blog. I so understand the Monday morning diet syndrome!
Thank you for sharing
Take care
emoticon
Jackie x

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PSTMARION1 11/6/2009 2:34PM

  About a month ago I commented on a blog of yours, telling you I was inspired by your decision to begin running at 50 yrs old. When I mentioned that I still can't swim at 55 yrs old, you said you were going to begin swimming lessons, too. Did you? How are they going?? (I think I might wait until summer because I hate cold water) P.

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LIGHTHOUSE23 11/6/2009 1:40PM

    You ARE one heck of a writer. Inspirational, too. Thanks for the reminder. We are only human. emoticon

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LAFEMMEDELALUNE 11/6/2009 10:34AM

    Great blog!
Very inspiring!
emoticon

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KAYSUSIESS 11/6/2009 9:50AM

 
This is a good post. Thanks. I have just met my boyfriend Mike who is a certified millionaire at Ukwealthymen.com. Money can't buy love, but why not fall in love with a rich guy! If you also enjoy a wealthy lifestyle, join us and chat with wealthy guys now...

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JENSHAWN 11/6/2009 9:03AM

    You are inspiring. You lived up to the motto..If first you don't succeed try, try again and it paid off!!!!!

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MDEAL72 11/6/2009 8:05AM

    Your words are so inspiring. Thank you for such a wonderful example, and for sharing.

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JANE1216 11/5/2009 11:28PM

    I enjoyed reading your blog - so glad I stopped by - thanks!

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REDCIANNA 11/5/2009 3:28PM

  I am a yo-yo dieter too, my closet is filled with different size clothes. My breaking point was when I was in a full length mirror and I had to put on a girdle with some jeans and you could still see my fat rolls. I have lost 54 pounds and I am on my way to 30 pounds but I keep waiting on Monday to start because I am still using my hurt foot as an excuse. I was shaking my head the entire time I read your blog and I agree 100% but I refuse to go back to where i was!

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FLUFFYBEE 11/5/2009 12:11PM

    Thank you so much. I've been struggling lately with staying on the wagon and what you said really hit me hard.
It starts with the next bite.


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BETT2U 11/5/2009 9:06AM

    When I realized that I didn't have to be perfect, is when the success happened. I am so glad that you posted this. Way to go on your success!

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LIVINSKINNY 11/5/2009 8:58AM

    I totally needed this today! Thanks for sharing!!

Ann

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 11/5/2009 6:49AM

    you are one good writer!!

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CFROSTING 11/5/2009 6:01AM

    great blog and I SO AGREE!!!I am also learning that with different things i am doing and blogging is one of them...i don;t care if know one likes it ; ) ; ) I blog anyway and post it!!!

so sorry about your son!!!!!!!

you are an inspiratioon...KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!!!
sue emoticon

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FITCOLLEENB 11/4/2009 11:20PM

    Thanks for sharing. I can totally relate to your story. I am 42 , & have been up & down in my weight. As a kid I was pretty thin, but tenaged & forward it was tough. And after each kid I gained. I've been very active the last 5 years especially. Iam 15 pounds from my goal. I just messed up big on Sunday after Halloween. I felt bad, but there's no use in beating myself up about it . I just try to move forward. Best of luck to you. Sounds like you are doing alright. You will make your goal . God bless!

Comment edited on: 11/4/2009 11:23:08 PM

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SANDSHARK 11/4/2009 10:59PM

    Thanks for giving me yet another reason to remember why I need Spark! Its been a long time since I been on but need all the help I can get. Great story and continued success to you.

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THEQUEENBEE333 11/4/2009 7:29PM

    Thanks for sharing. It was inspiring. I wish I had a "secret coach" - I think it would help me a lot! Have a great Thursday tomorrow.

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GOTHHICGODDESS 11/4/2009 1:20PM

    Thank you for sharing your journey.

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CHRISSYVB 11/4/2009 12:39PM

    Thanks. I enjoy your blogs. Keep it up!

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KARIAMBRIZ 11/4/2009 10:48AM

    I really needed this! emoticon

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RLEWIS14 11/4/2009 9:46AM

    Couldn't agree more.

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BLAZE2000 11/4/2009 9:01AM

    I can totally relate! (especially to the part about lying down to zip your jeans!) Thanks for sharing!

emoticon

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JLPNURSE 11/4/2009 8:37AM

    Inspirational

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B28680 11/4/2009 4:24AM

    emoticon

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VIRENDER1 11/4/2009 3:52AM

  very correct.I fully agree.

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KATHYCOOK4 11/4/2009 12:31AM

    Thanks for sharing your story. It's very inspiring (and encouraging). I needed something like this right now.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROYALETBONE 11/3/2009 11:47PM

    emoticon emoticon
Thanks for the share- awesome blog! I'm clicking the 'I liked this'- I'd love to see this a featured blog.
Mare

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WACHEE 11/3/2009 11:19PM

    What a wonderful story, thank you so much for sharing with us! emoticon

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NESSAGIRL67 11/3/2009 11:02PM

    I loved this blog. You inspired me. Thanks for sharing.

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CYCLINGSANITY 11/3/2009 10:56PM

    That's an inspirational blog...especially for a "failed perfectionist" (certainly an oxymoron) like me!

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ROCKINROBIN333 11/3/2009 10:55PM

    WHAT A GREAT STORY

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ELENAS_SEXY_MOM 11/3/2009 10:53PM

    Great blog. Thanks for sharing!

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LKEITHO 11/3/2009 10:08PM

    A very inspirational story. Thanks!

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LIVINAGAIN 11/3/2009 9:39PM

    This blog was incredible. Your son sounds like he was a really neat person. The song was soo funny. Your story is an inspiration. Truly being a perfectionist more often than not leads to failure, because noone can attain a constant perfection. Thank you for sharing your journey.

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DESSALENA 11/3/2009 9:23PM

    you are truly an inspiration.. and this blog was def a tear jerker( well Im a big cry baby lol) Cograts on your success.

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TADPOLE21 11/3/2009 8:50PM

    Wow, what an amazing journey you've had in coming to love and accept yourself! I am sorry for the loss of your son. I am glad for you that the loss of your son is not the only chapter of your life by which you define yourself. peace.

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MOON2LUNA 11/3/2009 8:44PM

  You are a great writer, and a great success story. You don't have to get to your goal in order to be successful...you just have to feel like your on the road. And if you hit a red light, you know there's a green one coming. Cheers!

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MOON2LUNA 11/3/2009 8:44PM

  You are a great writer, and a great success story. You don't have to get to your goal in order to be successful...you just have to feel like your on the road. And if you hit a red light, you know there's a green one coming. Cheers!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

More Than a Race

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Today was one of those days that will go down in "Joanne history". For starters it was the last day on this earth that I could still honestly claim to be age 52. Anymore birthdays are like any of our holidays and tend to start way too early with the hoopla. You hate to be ungrateful at any age, but especially once you've passed that big half a century mark. The stakes go up. People start saying things like "It beats the alternative".
Ack! My husband tisks. "Look at your dad. At age 95 he's had one foot in the grave the the other on a banana peel for years"! Yeah, but look at my mom...

Which leads me to part II of my day. The Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure.

My mother was a brilliant woman. A WWII war bride from New Zealand who followed a soldier to America and while all the other post war wives were sewing curtains, making molded jello salads, and hanging diapers on the clotheslines, she was doing all that -- AND going to night classes at a local university to get her college degree. How many 5 year olds can remember playing first assistant with the beige thread while their mother dissected a frozen cat that smelled like formaldehyde on their kitchen table? She valued education above almost anything else. But never above my father who was eons ahead of his generation in supporting her endeavors. She got her college degree in English literature and eventually a masters degree as well. She taught high school students for years inspiring them to branch out their knowledge of Shakespeare beyond Romeo and Juliet. At that play she used to huff "Why would you kill yourself over a man? They're all the same in the dark"! Believe me I pondered that comment for years until I asked her one day just how did SHE know this? Never having seen my mother at a loss for words, she finally stammered she didn't know from personal experience, but her mother had told her. Hmm...

Anyhow, I'm getting off track. She was a great woman. A stubborn woman. She had no time for sickness. That's too bad, because she was smart about a lot of things, but not her health. Like many men and women of that generation finally freed from the constraints of depression era hunger, she became overweight. Which led to diabetes. She had mastered everything else in life by studying it, so she spent years reading the latest theories on diabetes and insulin, yet didn't listen to her doctors to diet and exercise. She became almost distrustful of them. She flat refused to have a mammogram for years stating that if you went to a doctor, they would find something wrong with you. Finally, when I became a nurse, I set up her appointment and more or less forced her to go. And she was right. They found something. Breast cancer. By this time in her life - age 66 she had already had a stroke from plaque in her arteries so she wasn't the best candidate for surgery, but at that time she had no alternatives. The risk was less than letting it go. She died a few days after the surgery from a heart attack. Her doctor said had her weight and diabetes not been contributing factors, she would have survived the breast cancer as her lymph nodes were clear.

So with my new found love -- running, the desire to try to run a 5K, and the Race for the Cure having special significance for me, it seemed like a perfect fit. I wasn't up to running more than 2 miles in a stretch yet, but I thought I'd run what I could and walk the rest. We had a large group from my ob/gyn clinic walking and we made plans to carpool to the race site. Yes today it was one of those cold Iowa October days which the weather man promised would warm up as the day progressed. Still, having learned a previous lesson about running in the crisp fall weather, I donned my race shirt and topped it with a nice sleeveless fleece. I even had a pair of those little stretching gloves to keep the fingers from turning into ice pops. I tucked my kleenex into my sleeve and leaving the house at the break of dawn, left to meet my friends -- hubby still in bed.

Speaking of friends, I was so excited because one of my very most special Sparkfriends, Laurie of the "Don't make me slap you with my flip flop" fame, has a daughter who lives in my area and she was going to be here to run the race. We have so many things in common including mothers that had died from complications involving breast cancer so it was especially poignant that we meet at this race. And meet we did, despite the throngs of people, with the help of our cell phones. It was like meeting up with someone I had known for years. That's how we clicked. Several hugs later we were ready to race!

We set off for the starting line and being "New and Newer" to races actually found the signs marked for the different paces and dutifully lined up where we thought we belonged --- only to discover that legions of walkers ignore the signs at the back saying walkers line up here. So needless to say, when the gun was fired, we were still trying to make our way through strollers and old ladies wearing pink feather boas and sipping Starbucks. I felt worse for Laurie who had her shoe chipped and actually hoped to get an accurate time. We agreed to go at our own paces and catch up later.

I felt good. Walking through so many people actually served as a little warm up for me and when I saw some other runners head over to the sidewalk and by-pass the walkers I grinned from the sheer cheesy sensation of "joining the runners"! True enough, in the sunshine, it began to warm up too. I had my ipod on because I am so used to running to music and also to loosely keep track of how far I had thought I had gone. Despite not usually running on concrete and up and down inclines, I was doing pretty good. Streets were blocked off with a policeman and biker at every intersection. Wait a minute -- BIKER? Yep as in Willie Nelson look a like, leather jacketed, bandannad motorcycle bikers giving us the thumbs up. Every so often there would be high school cheerleaders cheering us on or handing out water. The whole atmosphere was so conducive to keep running that the time seemed to fly like the wind in my hair.

I had long passed my 2 mile song when I finally saw the last stretch. By now my legs had started to feel a little like I was dragging bowling balls and my breathing felt a little heavy so upon spying that final hill -- yes a HILL no less, I gave myself permission to walk. I wasn't really disappointed. How could I be? I had ran further than I ever had in my entire life! I was exhilarated!! 3/4 of the way up the hill I saw a sign from my clinic "Doctors for the Cure - Ob/Gyn Associates" and that spurred me to start running again right on up and through the finish -- slapping people's hands as I passed by.

Crossing the finish line, I was over come with emotions and found that my face was wet with streaming tears. I was 52 years old and had never felt this good! I figured I had ran about 3 miles which was thrilling in itself, but that wasn't what brought on the tears ---

It was realizing that because she didn't take care of her health, my mother would never know that at age 52.364 years, her daughter had accomplished something so remarkable in her life and also that she had never had the chance to get to know her granddaughter whom inspired me to do it.

Mom-- I hope you are up in heaven with Laurie's mom, and smiling...





  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_MAOMAO_ 11/19/2009 1:43AM

  Oh, I gotta find my tissues. Thanks again for sharing this. A BIG Congratz on finishing your race and hope you love being 53!
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FAITHFULSTORIES 11/3/2009 7:20PM

    This blog made me cry. My mom died of cancer 7 years ago, and it's my milestones (like your 5K) that bring her memory back the most. It saddens me all that she missed, and that, by the grace of God and good friends, I've reclaimed. Thank you for sharing and congratulations!

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ARUBINST 11/3/2009 11:30AM

    I walked my first 5K 2 months ago, and am signed up for another this coming Saturday. I've been using a Couch to 5K podcast to train (up to week 7, 25 minutes without stopping) and even though my pace is slow, I've been able to last the entire 25 minutes without walking. I'm looking forward to seeing how I do on Saturday, so thanks for sharing your story about your experience.

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DENRNAJ 11/2/2009 8:41PM

    You are a blessing to this community.
I am so proud of you and all that you have accomplished.
from my heart- I will always call you my friend.
Janice

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LORIZIM 11/2/2009 8:08PM

    What an inspiration you are. Congratulations on the run. I hope that someday I will be able to say that I too have broken the mold and am a role model for my family and others. emoticon

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BESTSUSIEYET 11/1/2009 9:25PM

    Wonderful! I am so happy to call you my SparkFriend!

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BLCTLEW 10/31/2009 1:07AM

    You are such an inspiration and a darn good writer, your mother left you to do what she couldn't for whatever reason and you are carrying on like a champ! She is proud of you! Just remember no matter how hard any of us work and learn, our children will wonder why we didn't * * *

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CMRAND54 10/29/2009 2:17PM

    Mohandas Gandhi said: "What lies ahead of you and what lies behind you is nothing compared to what lies within you." The things that lie within you are what make you a very special person.

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MADDE3333 10/29/2009 9:37AM

    Thanks for running the Race for the Cure!

I am a ten year survivor and I was one of those women who thought if I found out I had breast cancer I would never have the courage to go through treatment. Never had a mammogram until 50 when my nurse practitioner found a lump in my breast during a physical. Well, when push came to shove, I stepped up to the plate, turns out I had more gumption than I thought...surgery, chemo, and radiation treatment.

So, thanks...it means a lot to all the ladies in pink when people get together to make a difference!

You are fantastic!

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MOMTO4RUGRATS 10/28/2009 11:02AM

    First off I am so sorry that I missed your birthday!! I hope that you had a fantastic day!!
Your Mother sounded like a pretty incredible person one I would have loved to know. I'm sure I do know a small part of her though, 'you.' :D.

I wanted to walk this year because my Mother in Law is a survivor and I wanted to do something for her.

Take care my friend!

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 10/27/2009 7:53PM

    Happy birthday and you ROCK on the run!

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MICHMOM 10/27/2009 12:47AM

    Wow, good for you on the run & happy birthday! I firmly believe your mom is thrilled that you learned from her situation & is so proud of you. Wednesday will be 17 years since I lost my mother to brain cancer. I have recently completed the Couch to 5K but haven't run any races yet. Keep up the good work & thank you for being an inspiration to us newbies!

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ERMAC22 10/26/2009 5:47PM

    Oh my goodness, tears!!! This is amazing. You have such a great way with words, and such a wonderful family!! Love the race recap - good for you for running and for finding something greater to belong to! You are an inspiration to anyone who doubts that you can be the fittest person you can be, no matter what! Your mom is SO PROUD of you Joanne emoticon

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HEALTHQUESTER 10/26/2009 3:58PM

    I'm balling like a baby after reading your WONDERFUL, AWESOME, FANTASTIC blog!!!! Go you!! I am sure your mother is in Heaven jumping up and down and going crazy at what her daughter just did!! And she's busy slapping high 5s with Laurie's mom and they are both bragging about there amazing daughters!

Thank you for sharing and be proud in your race! Bask in the glorious feeling that you finished it! Woohoo!

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ONMYWAYTOGOAL 10/26/2009 11:06AM

    Great Blog!
I'm SURE your Mom's up there smiling from ear to ear and proud as ever of you!!! emoticon emoticon

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HEALTHY2MORROW 10/25/2009 5:56PM

    I'm so proud of you. You can bet your Mom is, too. emoticon emoticon

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THEQUEENBEE333 10/25/2009 5:15PM

    Great job. So sorry about your mom. We lost my husbands cousin to breast cancer at age 28 a week before the Breast Cancer Race here in Cedar Rapids October 11. It is empowering, isnt it? We had signed pinned to our backs in her memory and people would read it and give us hugs... it was surreal. Happy Birthday and here is to 50 more!!!! Go you! I want to run the race here next year too. Have a GREAT week.

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CHAIMANN 10/25/2009 3:02PM

    Well done! For a long time I have wanted to "do" Race For the Cure, but I'm finally starting to believe I could RUN it. Hope to see you there in 2010!

Have a wonderful birthday, too!
emoticon

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ROYALETBONE 10/25/2009 2:57PM

    Thanks so much for sharing these delightful moments.
Your Mom is running along side you, cheering...!

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WEIGHTWATCHER72 10/25/2009 1:02PM

    I enjoyed this blog. Thank you for sharing it! I was touched and inspired. Your mother would be very, very proud of you. Believe me, I have lost my mo ther too and gone through things in my life where I so wish I could share it with her.....



emoticon ~ Melissa

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JAVAJO47 10/25/2009 10:11AM

    What an awesome accomplishment and purpose for challenging yourself to run! Your mother would've been so excited for you. There's no better way to honor you mom than to keep doing what you're doing now. Happy birthday!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/25/2009 10:12:59 AM

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HAPPYSOUL91 10/25/2009 9:47AM

    This blog is fantastic and very touching. Would have loved to meet your mom! Congratulations for the walk, keep it up

emoticon emoticon

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YAKWOMAN 10/25/2009 8:52AM

    Oh, my gosh! That was a wonderful blog. Yes, your mother and Laurie's are proud of both of you. CONGRATS!!!! You did a wonderful thing and I know that you will continue to get faster with your running. Maybe next year, YOU will be the one with the chip timer. emoticon emoticon

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IAFARMERWIFE 10/25/2009 8:37AM

    I was there yesterday and it was awesome!!! I walked with my daughter. I just can't get over the number of people who were out there, young and old alike. My daughter and I talked, we are doing this again next year and maybe this time we can run it. That's my goal, but the real goal was to be in Des Moines and walk for the cure.
You are awesome! Thanks for this beautiful blog!!

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BONNIEBELLE33 10/25/2009 7:05AM

    Happy Birthday ! Congrats on your run - what a special thing to do for your mother!

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DAYHIKER 10/25/2009 6:53AM

    emoticonCongratulations on a wonderfully successful run! Your mother would be so proud!

What a great blog! And...last but not necessarily least:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! emoticon

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DESERT_BIRD 10/25/2009 5:54AM

    This is a wonderful blog post! Congratulations on your run!

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SLENDERCLAIRE 10/25/2009 4:33AM

    What an achievement - your Mum would have been so proud of you! emoticon

You have certainly inherited her sassy attitude! My mum came from NZ and showed the same strength of character, though she reserved the kitchen table for more conventional forms of dissection, like beef and lamb!

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DASEEMAN 10/25/2009 1:32AM

    emoticon

As I finished reading your blog I got goosebumps! Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience.

Deb

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TYEASLEY 10/25/2009 12:21AM

    Awesome accomplishment. I love this blog on so many levels. Thanks for sharing. Congratulation!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DDOORN 10/25/2009 12:09AM

    Hey, I just KNEW you'd be a CHAMPION today!

...and so did SHE! :-)

Don

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SLIMMERJESSE 10/25/2009 12:06AM

    Whatever else you do for a living, I hope you are -or become - a writer. You took me from smiling (all men are the same in the dark) to tears. I'd just been on the Koman website for San Diego event next Saturday, pondering whether or not I'll walk it, so I'm thrilled for you with your successful run. Congrats. Remember that slogan of recent years? "You're not getting older, you're getting better." It can be so true. Depends a lot on our choices. And Happy Birthday.

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Give yourself permission

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Here it is Sunday again and time to blog. My "Denial is a River in Egypt" blog had such tremendous response I am still in awe. Trouble is -- how do you follow THAT up?
I asked my hubby what if I go down in Sparkpeople history known as the "One Hit Wonder"?
He wisely replied "I bet Katrina of Katrina and the Waves ala Walking on Sunshine fame is still trying to spend her millions". He is right. Even if that's the only inspiring, motivating, words that come out of my brain, I still have so many many new friends and well wishers whose lives were touched by those words and that took the time to let me know....
I'M RICH!!!!!!!
Thanks to everyone who responded and let me know that they are struggling right along with me. I'm not in the boat alone and to me that is priceless.

People have looked at my picture and said I am beautiful. Me? Beautiful? I've always considered myself passable, but beautiful? I guess make up and a good hair stylist can work wonders...

It amazes me. Why are we our own worst critic? It's like standing in a dressing room trying on size 2's and still feeling fat because there is a little roll of loose skin around the belly that all the crunches in the world isn't going to budge. Yet I don't feel at risk for a true eating disorder other than food addiction. My self image isn't fueled solely by my appearance, thank goodness.

This has gotten me to thinking. When I was heavy, I didn't highlight my hair. Sculpt my nails. Wear contacts. Why didn't I? Because when I was over weight I put my life on hold for the great someday when I was going to be thin. For our 25th wedding anniversary my husband wanted to fulfill our dream of taking a cruise to Alaska, but I refused to go. Please, I begged. I don't want to go on a cruise and be fat. There is so much food on a cruise I can't stand to gain anymore. He relented but said get busy...

Our 28th anniversary arrived and I had finally gotten serious enough to lose 25 lbs. and I agreed to go. A cruise! Just the two of us! After spending most of our married life busy raising three children and spending every single vacation in his hometown so the grand parents could see our kids, we were finally going on a vacation -- ALONE.
I was almost petrified. This was a romantic occasion. It required "romantic wear". To be more exact. It required sexy...

I have a habit of seeking counsel from those in the know when I have questions. So with that in mind I went to lunch with my favorite niece. My spicy, sassy niece. A curvascious, busty, blonde who exudes sexuality in a size 14. First thing she does is order pasta. I gasped -- carbs! Aren't you on a diet I asked her? "Not today" she laughed. I laid out my quandary for her. Where do I find sexy nighties in MY size? She laughed again and waving a breadstick at me said "Aunt Joanne, Aunt Joanne, haven't you been in Lane Giant lately? They have a whole selection of heifer teddies"!
Where? What?
Lane Bryant she told me. A teddy is...
Yeah yeah. I know what a teddy is.
Did I know that even heavy people have permission to feel sexy?, she asked.
Wow! Talk about being hit between the eyes! I couldn't help but wonder what else was I not giving myself permission to feel, do, think, until I hit that magic goal weight number on the scale?

We went on our cruise and had a great time. Yes, I felt plenty sexy in my "heifer teddy"! I've since graduated to Victoria's Secret as anyone who read my "Free Panty" blog knows. I wish I could say that I reformed my thinking that very day but as I said in "Denial" it took a push from my daughter only six or so months ago to let me permit myself to run. Now I'm putting on a bathing suit and taking the swimming lessons I always wanted to take.

Don't put your life on hold until you are at you goal. Get out there and enjoy it. Try things you always thought you couldn't do because you are heavy. If I had ran when I first longed to, I would have been at goal a lot sooner than I was. Put on a bathing suit and get in the water! Write that book, learn to play poker. Whatever. AND wear something sexy...
That's why Lane Bryant sells them!




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

B28680 11/9/2009 3:58AM

    emoticon

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MGS528 11/3/2009 11:56AM

  Thanks. You are so inspiring!!

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LORIZIM 10/26/2009 12:44PM

    Awesome blog. You have what I want health and confidence to share with my grandchild. Thanks for sharing. I t does help to know that others have overcome the same struggles!

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BABYRN73 10/26/2009 2:55AM

    This was wonderful...thank you so much!

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BLOOMING52 10/26/2009 1:58AM

    Awesome!

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MEIORI 10/25/2009 8:01PM

    Dang straight! ....wow you're very...inspiring, as a person. Makes me feel like I need to get out there and do, and you know what? I think I will!

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KBEERY 10/25/2009 5:38PM

    Rock on sista! Rock on!

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MADDE3333 10/24/2009 6:39AM

    Love it....especially the reminder about not putting our lives on hold. My sister always wanted to go to Ireland and Hawaii, but never got there....always waiting for some day in the future. She got sick and passed away in 2005 never having the opportunity to travel to places she longed to see ... always putting her life on hold.

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SUCHAHOOT 10/23/2009 1:57PM

    "Don't put you life on hold..."
No wiser words...
I enjoy your posts!

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JOYSONG1960 10/23/2009 10:22AM

    I love this post!

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MOMMAGG 10/23/2009 12:46AM

  I'm still working on losing those extra rolls (around the midriff). I was so afraid of getting my feelings hurt that I stopped trying to be sexy for my husband. I have so many teddies that have been put aside for flannel PJ's & hid those extra rolls Once again, you have given me inspiration again. I see what happens & let you know on your next blog.
. emoticon

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ONMYWAYTOGOAL 10/22/2009 9:42AM

    LOVE IT!!!

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LAURALIANA 10/21/2009 3:19PM

    "Because when I was over weight I put my life on hold for the great someday when I was going to be thin." this is so true-i couldn't have said it better-i have felt this way for a long time now and am now beginning to break free of not living until i'm thin thinking. Good blog-very insightful!

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YOOVIE 10/21/2009 12:34PM

    You're no One Hit Wonder! You are a daily joy.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 10/21/2009 7:14AM

    Love it!

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HEALTHQUESTER 10/21/2009 1:49AM

    I have to agree--you will never be a 1 hit wonder. Fantastic blog. I have often mused on what you wrote about...waiting until I was thin and fit to wear makeup, do my hair, have a nice wardrobe...paint my toenails...you name it. I don't know WHY I wait. I have spent most of my life waiting. Your blog may be just the thing I need to stop waiting, and un-frump myself!

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BLCTLEW 10/20/2009 10:42PM

    You are NEVER going to be a one hit wonder you are too hilarious and oh SOOOO right. Thank you again for another inspiring blog.

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COLEMANSR 10/20/2009 6:08PM

    emoticon

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CHRISSYVB 10/20/2009 12:09PM

    Great thoughts. We all have to stop being our own worst critic and enjoy all the moments of our lives, big and small.

Keep up the blogs - they're great!

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MIS2101 10/20/2009 10:22AM

    emoticon

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AUTUTMNLYNN2 10/20/2009 10:16AM

    I HAVE FAT DAYS AND FATTER DAYS. YOU CAN TELL BY THE WAY I CONDUCT MYSELF AS TO WHAT DAY IT IS. I HAVE LOST WEIGHT AND UNDERSTAND THOSE WHO SAY THEY STILL FELT BIG. A TOUCH OF REALITY NEED TO KICK IN AND FOCUS ON THE GREAT JOB WELL DONE! THAT'S WHAT I AM TELLING MYSELF ANY HOOT!
HAVE A BLESSED DAY!

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BMARIE888 10/20/2009 8:53AM

  Great blog! I've been putting off shopping for any new clothes because I'm not at my "goal weight" yet. Thanks to you, I think I'll buy myself something nice anyway.

You are a motivation - keep writing! emoticon

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 10/20/2009 6:51AM

    YOU need to be a motivational writer!! GREAT blog!

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SLENDERCLAIRE 10/20/2009 5:13AM

    Wow, what an inspiration! At 52 and with a dodgy knee myself, I've said I won't be able to run - and I've totally stopped EVER feeling (or looking) sexy! Your two recent blogs are making me look very hard at my attitude.

I tell off my DS (18) for his lack of care with regard to his hygiene and appearance - "Why won't you make the most of yourself?" I nag. Hmm, look in the mirror. OK I bath more than he does but....

Thanks for the push!

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TWOPAWS1 10/20/2009 12:21AM

    great blog

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AJWILL 10/19/2009 11:44PM

  Joanne, Thanks for the reminder. My word for this year is 'Cherish.' Learn from the past, cherish- read- LIVE IN the present and anticipate the future. Too often, I am other-worldly. I agonize over what has beenand am fearful of what may be. Again, thanks for the reminder to live TODAY!!! How many times have I looked at old photos where I felt... blah... and realized I looked Great!
Today, I lived in the present, didn't worry about falling off and went riding on the prairies with my DD. What a gift it was!!!
Thank you Joanne.
AJ

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JAVAJO47 10/19/2009 5:12PM

    Your blog really hit a spot with me. I have so many times neglected to put on a nice bathing suit thinking I didn't look like all the other Twiggys out there. When I finally got up the nerve this last summer, it felt so wonderful. My hubby and I truly enjoyed our weekend at the ocean and all I could think of was that had I not put on the bathing suit, I'd have denied myself this special moment.

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B-FLAT 10/19/2009 4:30PM

    I needed to hear that today....thanks!

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LAURIE5658 10/19/2009 1:47PM

    Joanne, my Sparktastic buddy, why is it that it is OURSELVES that deny OURSELVES little pieces of happiness? Why is it we are our own worst critics? Why is it that we bash ourselves that no other person would come close to doing to us? Once again, you have put these burning questions into perspective so elequently. THANK YOU!

I have a hug especially for YOU this Saturday!!!

emoticon

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1DERLAND_BOUND 10/19/2009 1:22PM

    Tank you. You are an amazing woman and I look forward to reading the words of wisdom that you have to share. I find myself doing the same things, not caring about my hair or nails because I don't really like the way I feel. What I need to remind myself is that when I do those things for myself, I feel much better.

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WASABI601 10/19/2009 12:54PM

    emoticon. Another great blog as usual....one hit one wonder???? I'm can't wait for the "greatest hits collection"

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WASABI601 10/19/2009 12:54PM

    emoticon. Another great blog as usual....one hit one wonder???? I'm can't wait for the "greatest hits collection"

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TIFFANY_SUZANNE 10/19/2009 12:04PM

    When I grow up, I want to be just like you. Band-aids and all! emoticon

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BARBARAROSE54 10/19/2009 11:49AM

    emoticon Blog, you've done another one, so not a one hit wonder .....

Thanks so much for sharing your advise.

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HAPPYSOUL91 10/19/2009 11:19AM

    Great blog, at any size we should appreciate our body because it does keep us moving and alive.

I remember someone told me long ago...if your friend told you that they didn't want to purchase any new clothes until they were "the size" what would you tell them. Of course the answer would be ...go out and buy something nice and pretty.

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THEQUEENBEE333 10/19/2009 10:53AM

    Great blog! Thanks for sharing!

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JOYCELOUISE1 10/19/2009 9:45AM

  Another great blog. How did you manage to hit the nail on the head again! I recently had to write a wellness mission and found myself saying I want to feel sexy or buy that little black dress. Why am I waiting??!!

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SCOTTSONLYGIRL 10/19/2009 9:43AM

    I have to tell you that you are one AMAZING WOMAN, and to THANK YOU so much for all that I have read from you. I will have to go and read all the stuff that I havent gotten to read yet, you make me laugh and think about alot of things in my life.

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
<
BR>Dana
emoticon

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DDOORN 10/19/2009 9:08AM

    Believe it or not, even a fellow here can appreciate your thoughts...although I KNOW I can be my own worst critic, it still doesn't stop me from bashing myself terribly when it comes to my body!

Great thoughts for ALL of us!

Don

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TREESA57 10/19/2009 7:13AM

    I read your blog today and its kinda funny to me because I always felt a bit sexier with the extra padding. Now I dont want to wear the teddies because I feel too exposed. I am enjoying the new bras and thongs I can get into but the lingerie was so much more sexy when I had more meat to put into it! I guess it just goes to show your line about waiting for goal is true! I liked the stuff better before goal! Thanks for the read today. I enjoyed it.

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DAYHIKER 10/19/2009 5:54AM

    Add me to the growing list of those who love your blogs! emoticon You have a wonderful knack for hitting home. I had not realized that I had gotten so frumpy until I dropped weight and started to feel perkier. Then I got my way too long for a 60 year old hair cut short and feminine, and bought the first jeans I'd had in ages. I am so done with shapeless jumpers! And I have a swimsuit for my trip to Chicago tomorrow! I have curves that I had not realized and don't look at all bad in it other than I still have a bit of a pot belly. CARDIO!! emoticon

You keep blogging!! emoticon

emoticon Cindy

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KATHYCOOK4 10/19/2009 3:35AM

    Your blogs are great! I really enjoy reading them. You make me chuckle & they also make me think.

It is now 3:30 a.m. here & it's time for bed. So have a great night & day.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBRINCONCITA 10/19/2009 1:32AM

    emoticonReally don't ever put anything off because of your weight. I just keep thinking of myself the way I was. I know I don't look the same, but I don't care?

Comment edited on: 10/19/2009 1:33:52 AM

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ROYALETBONE 10/19/2009 1:32AM

    I am down from a tight 3X to a regular large... and at age 55, I got my first Merry Widows... man, they are so fun to put on. Er, not that I've got a partner these days, but STILL- the confidence they give me, the silly feeling of having it on under my blouse... OH YES. I finally got some pretty undies yesterday. Woot! I'm moving past my plain white Hanes.... I can SO relate, but you say it so well. Thanks for sharing!

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DASEEMAN 10/18/2009 11:42PM

    I really like your blogs. They hit home to me. I am 47, almost 48, and am working to get to a healthy weight. When I read your blogs they really hit home! Thank you!

Deb
emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 10/18/2009 11:40PM

    I enjoy your blogs. Thanks for sharing thought-provoding topics. Have a good week.

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