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No One Can Tell Me That I'm Doing Wrong Today

Monday, September 22, 2008

Today I smiled at the homeless guy who I see almost every morning and every afternoon, walking to and from my office to the bus stop.

Now, this guy is no threat and it is no come on. It was just a smile. A little smile. And the dude smiled back a little.

And I thought to myself, my smile isn't so expensive that I can't give it away.

So I gave it away.

Now, I don't smile at everyone on the planet, of course. I do not walk around all day long, grinning like and idiot and looking as if the only reason I'm out and about is because the institution had no free chairs.

No. Of course not. But if I'm feeling good or at least neutral, what the heck? Why not?

There's a psychological value to smiling. It literally can make you happier. Even if you're not feeling so hot. Smile anyway. I don't mean: deny your feelings. Of course not! You have feelings. And they are wonderful and important and appropriate, no matter what they are and no matter what the circumstances are.

But if you want to be happy, and you aren't, try it. Smile therapy. Smile exercises. Just a little each day. A shy upturn of the lips to the paperboy in the morning. A small brightening of the face when you return a library book. A tiny shining of the eyes when you pay your trolley fare or pass every third house on your street or hear the word "interface" used in a sentence. Hey, whatever works for you. Select your own triggers, whatever they may be. And you may find that other things become triggers, things you never even thought about. These days, for me, the phrase "thank you" is a trigger, whether I say it or hear it, it doesn't seem to matter. I just smile. Certain people are triggers for me. I just can't help smiling when I see them. And yanno something? They smile right back.

And, today, I have more to smile about. I made my fifth alli goal. This means I have lost over 25 % of my initial weight. No, I haven't made it to my 90 lbs. off ticker, but so what? I'm smiling anyway.

And my measurements? Good news! I made a few new personal bests this week! My left bicep is down to 14.25"! My bust is down to an actually manageable 45.25"! My band is a sweet 38.75" -- I may, one of these days, start wearing a bra that's smaller than a 40! My hips are tied for two previous personals best of 46.25"! Only the rear and the thigh went up, 1" and .25", respectively. But, yanno, so what?

I'm smiling anyway.

My smile isn't so expensive that I can't give it away.

So I'm giving it away.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TUESDAYS 9/26/2008 11:10AM

    And I smile any time someone sends me J.T.... (swoon is more like it...). So thanks for that TOO!

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JESPAH 9/23/2008 9:58AM

    Clinching will come, of that I have little doubt. I guess Mr. Beckett and friends just wanted to make it interesting.

Yanno who also makes me smile? Dustin Pedroia, Mike Timlin and Tim Wakefield.

Pedroia because he tries SO hard, all day, every day. He works at everything he does, and I really admire his work ethic. Even when he slumps, you can tell that he is making an effort. Timlin because he's a goofball. He knows they're playing a child's game and getting paid for it, and while he's a professional he also recognizes that he could just as well be digging ditches somewhere so he's thrilled to be doing what he's doing, but he has fun doing it. And Wake because he's been doing what he does for so long and he's realized that maybe his skills aren't as perfect as they had been but he is so completely unselfish and accommodating like so many professional athletes, sadly, aren't. Last year for the World Series, he gave up his spot for Jon Lester. The guy who noticed that sacrifice? Timlin.

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SISNAMIL 9/23/2008 9:20AM


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BO42SOX 9/23/2008 8:34AM

    You made me smile, and the day is early so this is good. congrats on your desire and reaching goals. (even though we didn't clinch a playoff spot yet)

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JESPAH 9/22/2008 7:05PM

    Blush -- thank you all.

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EMMASMART 9/22/2008 7:01PM

    You've got some awsome reasons to smile.


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MELINKY 9/22/2008 6:23PM

    I love smiling! I'm the idiot you wrote about, walking around smiling to just about everyone. LOL

Congratulations on your personal bests! emoticon emoticon


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TELERIE 9/22/2008 5:41PM

    SMIIIIILE-ing from ear to ear reading your blog!
I smile a lot too. It's free anti-depressants. Have a emoticon, my friend. You're doing so great.

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You Don't Stop the Rock it to the Bang Bang Boogie

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's 19th of the month time, so it's time for a reassessment. It's been, eep, eight months since I started taking alli, for a total of approximately 240 days. And it's 250 days since I started watching food intake and 260 since I started exercising on a daily basis. I've only missed 1 day of exercise (I had fluish symptoms) and have not missed alli. If I've gone over on calories (which I have on occasion), it hasn't proved fatal.

Weights and Measures

I am currently (let's see if it holds until Monday's official weigh-in) 257.2 lbs., which is 88.8 lbs. off in 8 months.

Measurements are a trip.
Bicep: 15" down 4"
Bust: 47.25" down 7.5"
Band: 40" down 7.5"
Waist: 43" down 6"
Belly: 50.5" down 9"
Hips: 46.5" down 4.5"
Butt: 50.5" down 13.5"!!!
Thigh: 26.5" down 5.75"

This is an average overall loss of 7.22". Take out the outlyers (bicep and thigh) and the average overall loss is a staggering 8.75"!!!


I started this journey at a size 26 up top (3x) and 28 (4x) below. I am currently officially a 20 (1x) up top and a 22 (2x, sometimes 1x) below. However, I have been able to get on some XL and 18 tops and blazers. Fit is still snug but getting there. And my size 22 pants are starting to get looser.


Tomorrow I am going to up the weights lifted to 25 lbs. I started off lifting 4 lbs. I also walk far more than I ever thought I could. Yesterday I walked home from the last trolley stop, then I walked to the Post Office. All of this in addition to my usual commuting. My hamstrings bothered me a tad while going up the hill to the Post Office (plus I was carrying a 6 1/2 lb. package) but they felt fine afterwards and I am suffering no ill effects today.

Keeping it fun, my husband and I now play frisbee twice a week. Once it gets later in the year, we'll have to stop as it will get too dark to be able to see what we're doing, but in the meantime we are having fun with it all. We walk two nights per week and also on Saturdays. I don't honestly see not going walking unless the weather is actively awful, e. g. blizzard or horizontal rain. But otherwise, bundle up and do it.

When the weather gets really bad, I intend to help him with snow shoveling. Hence we'll take advantage of the change of the seasons. He thinks we'll be able to jog together next Spring. he may very well be right.

Attitude and Emotions

Regular exercise is as good as any anti-depressant medication and I fully believe that. I believe that being 200 lbs. overweight is so clearly and obviously a sign of clinical depression that I'm a little shocked that no one else seems to see it. I know that exercise and diet (and thinness) do not cure everything but I can definitely see a marked difference in myself. Some of that is unfair, let's be honest. I am treated better, and with more respect. Is that because of being smaller, or because of being more optimistic? I sometimes wonder how we as a society treat the people who need help the most. Why is it that we shun those who need a helping hand or an encouraging word, yet we flock to those who don't need it?

Be that as it may, I have broken the shell of depression and isolation. I like it out of that shell. It's not very nice in there and I'd like to stay out for good.

Future plans

Aside from the ideas of shoveling snow and walking instead of frisbee, some of my other plans including changing up the food a bit. As it gets colder, I'll want to make soup more often so it will be good to make something other than bean soup. I found salt-free matzoh meal so I'll try my hand at making matzoh balls from scratch. That should be more than possible and I will make them without salt (the mix has, I kid you not, 750 mg of sodium in every serving!). I'd like to use the slow cooker for chicken soup. That can be a good, satisfying meal and if it's made without salt it will be awesome diet fare. I also like to roast chicken and haven't done that in a while. That can certainly enter back into the repertoire.

Somewhere in there I'd like to return to having Chinese food on occasion as I have been avoiding it because of the sodium content and concern about the sauces. I feel I may be strong enough to tackle it soon.

Immediate Issues

Next weekend is the Bar Mitzvah. I know that eating will not be easy, and it may be tough to find the time to get in a workout even with facilities on site at the hotel. It's family so people are going to demand our time, and I know hotel gyms and pools don't stay open 24/7. It may be difficult to be able to take alli as I want to avoid treatment effects, and those will happen if I ingest more than 19 grams of fat in one sitting. And that may be surprisingly easy to do over that weekend. We will bring a lot of stuff but I have no idea if we will have any occasion to eat it (e. g. oatmeal). I'll do my best to get in the water and then .... Like I said, I'll do my best. It's not like this sort of thing happens every day or even every year.

Onward to more, more, more as I weigh less, less, less.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALLOWA 9/22/2008 2:30PM

    Congratulations... what a wondeful commitment you've KEPT to yourself!

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JESPAH 9/21/2008 12:32PM

    Thank you all. :)

I have called about the Bar Mitzvah menu and phyllo dough seems to be the predominant ingredient. The actual reception shouldn't be too bad, so long as I can get a salad without dressing. It's the peripheral stuff. I suspect it will be less of a fat issue and more of a salt issue when all is said and done.

I am up a little this morning but really, eh, it's no biggie. I know I won't make the 90 off for next weekend but since I originally thought I'd be down only 60 I am still rather psyched.

Much dancing will happen. I will hora 'till the cows come home! W00p!

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TELERIE 9/21/2008 5:42AM

    Great post! I love your attitude, and you have so much to be really proud of. I'm sure your husband is right and you'll be jogging before long! (I'm in love with the Couch to 5K-program and cannot speak highly enough of it!)
Have a wonderful stay at the Bar Mitzvah and be proud of yourself!

Comment edited on: 9/21/2008 5:40:32 AM

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EMMASMART 9/21/2008 12:43AM

    Yay. That's a great milestone. You will find the best way to handle the Bar Mitzvah. You might could call ahead to find out what the menu is so you can think about your strategy.. Good going. You are still doing amazing.


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LIQUEURLADY 9/20/2008 3:27PM

    Enjoy the Bar Mitzvah! I know you'll prepare as best you can, to do the best you can -- and then be OK with yourself if the plans go awry. Be sure to dance a lot!

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SISNAMIL 9/20/2008 2:10PM

    On a site called i found a really great sounding mushroom stew. And it will even go in your best friend the crockpot!

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I Believe in Miracles -- Where Ya From?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The above is one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite films. And what I love about The Full Monty is that, for the most part, they're ordinary people. Not great beauties. Just people you'd see fixing your sink or waiting on your table or driving the bus. But they're sexy.

And ya know something? They're not the only ones.

Today I got home from work. It was a long day, and I was tired. I put on a new pair of size 22 Lee jeans. I tossed on a size XL 3/4 sleeve u-neck black top. And the top's a little clingy, but instead of tucking it in, I left it out, and it hugs my hips. I took a look at myself in the mirror and was taken aback. I looked at myself on the side. And, yeah, at the back.

I'm sexy.

How the heck did that ever happen?!?!??!

Who the heck replaced me, you know, ME, everybody's Mom, the IT gal, the nerdstress, going grey, thyroid failing, dental implant-wearing, glasses-sporting, paunchy ME, with that sexy gal? That gal who's 10, no, 15, no, maybe 20 (?) -- okay, 15 -- years younger than me. That gal whose hips shake. The gal with, yes, a belly, but it's like another curve. The gal with the smile, with the flashing eyes. With the nipped in waist and the rapidly disappearing booty. THAT gal. HER.

Oh my God, she's me.

She's really me.

I mean, she talks like me. She thinks like me. She acts like me. She's me.

Me, 2.0.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SISNAMIL 9/16/2008 10:41AM

    That is so funny because I have always seen you as young vibrant and yes sexy. I'm just glad you caught up with the program.

You know we could almost pass for relatives. I will just have to be your goyim sister lol.

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JESPAH 9/14/2008 6:05PM

    Ponies?! Awesome! :)

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WALLOWA 9/14/2008 1:36PM

    I ran across your post and the links in your ticker/ID box amused me greatly, so I came exploring here to see who oh who had this quirky sense of humor -- not only that, but you're workin' it, girlfriend.

Best wishes to you and all here... Kathy in eXtreme NE Oregon at the end of the road, where no human hand has ever set foot...

You tickle my sense of humor. Keep on keepin on

58 degrees, sunny, and the ponies are calling for their treats...

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CANNOTFATHOM 9/14/2008 12:00PM

    WTG! I think sometimes it isn't how one looks...but how they feel :)


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NEWKIM1 9/12/2008 7:42PM

    You so rock! What a great day for you! One of your ah ha moments! And do you want to know what is the coolest thing ever...everyone who knows you has already seen that part of you...before the weight loss...they saw the real you and now you are as well! Yeah you!!!

Hope you have a great weekend!

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TANSHAN1 9/12/2008 12:57AM

    Congrats on seeing the you that is so true! You are beautiful!

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MERAINA 9/11/2008 6:23PM

    Rock on Done Girl!
Love it... you are showing your Doneness!

Keep on Dancing,

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JESPAH 9/11/2008 12:15PM

    One o' these days, Tracy, I'm gonna wear a dress like the one you have on in your avatar.

One of these days.... :)

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TCEDEROTH 9/11/2008 10:26AM

    Jes, not only are you sexy, but you are beautiful too. Inside AND out. The fact that you are finally seeing that for yourself is awesome.

I so enjoy reading your blogs and watching you attain, and then surpass your goals. You are truly an inspiration.

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JESPAH 9/11/2008 5:32AM

    Thank you, thank you all.

Yeah, the kid. He's just spot on in the whole thing.

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EMMASMART 9/11/2008 12:18AM

    You keep believing it and it's keep being true.


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TUESDAYS 9/10/2008 10:36PM

    Woo hoo! You go, Girl! We're all believing in miracles these days! LOL!

Loved the clip too. I'd forgotten it. My favorite part is when the kid shields his eyes and finally just leaves. Omgosh, HOW true is that?! We are sooo embarrassing to kids. And that is half the fun...

Thanks for sharing your victory, "ewe sexy thang!" emoticon

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JESPAH 9/10/2008 8:52PM

    Oh, rent it, Mel. It's a fabulous film.

Marit, you sexy thing! :)

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MELINKY 9/10/2008 6:49PM

    I think it's wonderful that you've recognized the sexiness of you! that is a big deal. CONGRATULATIONS!
btw, I've never seen the full monty and want to, so this little trailer was great and I was laughing out loud!
Thank you for sharing.

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TELERIE 9/10/2008 6:42PM

    Who? You did that. And you're HOT. Awesome writing, made me smile and cry (happy tears)
- Marit (believes in miracles)

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There's Calm in Your Eye

Monday, September 08, 2008

Hurricane Hanna came and went and here it was just a lot of rain and frankly there's been more rain at other times. This is not to diminish what it did to others but for us it was just ... eh.

I've been through real hurricanes, the kind where trees come down, and this was not much at all. Then again this is Massachusetts which by definition is very remote from tropical waters. It has to have a pretty specific trajectory to really do damage here. We get Nor'easters, sure, and those are essentially snow hurricanes and they can be awful. So call me in six months when I'm getting whacked with the umpteenth storm of the season.

The actual day was very humid but we went out walking anyway. It was one of those days where you just got hot and sticky pretty much no matter what you did. I don't love getting hot and sticky but this wasn't bad. If there was a day (not during a blizzard) to blow off exercising, it was that day. But I didn't.

And it paid off this morning. I smacked down another ticker goal and have now lost over 86 lbs. There is a possibility, albeit not a certainty, that I will lose another 4.8 in the next two weeks. If I do, then I've lost 90 lbs. for the Bar Mitzvah. Pretty amazing for someone who originally thought, okay, I'll lose 60 in a year. Then it was 60 for the Bar Mitzvah. And now it's looking like it'll be close to 50% more than even that.

I paged through some catalogs today, and while that in itself is not terribly remarkable, I did it with an eye to wearing not 20s or 22s but 18s. I tried on an 18 blazer I have at home as an aspiration and it fit but was a tad snug in the arms and the bottom was a bit stretched when I buttoned it. So that's close. It'll arrive in a month, maybe less, I figure. Some of my measurements are up, the bicep is down (new personal best! yay!) but no matter. The trend is going down, down, down.

Oh and that catalog? In another three or four sizes, it'll be useless to me as everything in it will be too big. I'll bag and recycle it like yesterday's newspapers. Goodbye to it and I won't miss it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 9/9/2008 4:56PM

    Aw, poor catalogs! Not!

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EMMASMART 9/8/2008 10:04PM

    I wonder how we ever stop the catalogpalloza that comes every day.. How will we ever teach them to quit. It must be heart breaking for them as we shrink out of range... Aawwww.

Emma emoticon

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MELINKY 9/8/2008 8:52PM

    Congratulations on lowering your ticker!
And glad to hear you only received rain and not a hurricane.

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JESPAH 9/8/2008 7:11PM

    I dunno, do you burn more cals with a nekkid workout? :)

The catalog I will dump is Jessica London. I like their stuff but they have a smaller version called Chadwick's and I am fitting into more and more stuff on that side. Plus of course there will be a ritual burning of the Lane Bryant ('scuse me, Woman Within) catalogs.

PS I like the idea of freezing off the patootie. Somewhere, somehow, someone is getting a patentable idea ... hmm ...

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TELERIE 9/8/2008 6:57PM

    That's awesome! Keep on truckin', you're doing so great!
I'm browsing catalogs for sportswear. Can you explain to me why it is so hard to find large enough sizes? I really need sportswear for colder weather so I can keep on exercising outside and can't find any! Perhaps nekkid workout is in my future. emoticon Actually, there's a catalog I might try, will keep you posted about how it works out.
- Marit

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TUESDAYS 9/8/2008 6:40PM

    I can relate to the "rain thaaang." Here in CHI-town, it was summer this morning and autumn this afternoon/evening. I wore sandals and a short-sleeved dress to see a client and ended up freezing my patootie off. (Well, maybe not OFF... THAT'd be too easy!!! ha!) But I guess we can stand the rain when others get the flying projectiles, eh?

Good news on the additional LOSS and on continually moving toward those goals. It's remarkable how much over your originals you've gone! Keep an eye on those catalogs...

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From the Morning, Past the Evening, 'Til the End of the Light

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

First off, I love, love, love this song. It's not only catchy, it actually has a little backstory. The lead singer is of Indian extraction and is from England, and the song is (in part) about Bollywood. Asha apparently means hope and that's also the first name of a Bollywood star.

So a brimful of asha is a bunch of hope. The hope cup runneth over.

Plus there's the chorus. Those cups also runneth over, heh.

And I like the video. I remember being about that age (13?) and playing a bunch of 45s. So it makes me smile.

Today I kind of had that post-birthday hangover which is not alcohol-related (even though I had a small glass of white zinfandel last night). It's more like you spend at least a little time anticipating a birthday and then the day after is, well, normal.

Normal's fine, of course; it's just not a birthday. Which is not a slam on today or normalcy or anything of the sort. I had an excellent birthday and the outpouring of notes on this page, on the blog and in private, plus on topics, plus goodies, was a little overwhelming.

And so I thank everyone.

Back to business.

Yesterday I received some clothes in the mail that I had ordered. The size 22 jeans fit like a charm. Out went an old pair of 26s. A pair of navy dress pants (size 22) was a little snug and will be usable in, I'm guessing a few weeks. But I won't toss the old pair until they're really unmanageable as I'm not in love with the new pants. Not that it matters. I won't be a 22 for too terribly long, I'm sure. I don't have a full week's worth of size 22 work pants but I'm not bad off. Might just have to wash more frequently than usual. That tends to reduce useful life but so what? Like I said, this is only one stop on a longer train ride. No biggie.

The other thing I received was my dress for the Bar Mitzvah. I tried it on, of course. It fits okay. Not great. But that's a little understandable. I had checked the size chart and knew the upper part of me would be a stretch but the bottom half would fit all right. And that's exactly what happened.

It's 3 1/2 weeks until the Bar Mitzvah so there's time to lose more weight. But I won't go nuts if I don't lose a huge amount between now and then. C'est la vie if it's not perfect. I've been a perfectionist with the weight loss. That has stood me in good stead and has helped me to really lose but there are some areas where you just need to get mellow. This is one of them. The dress is wearable and appropriate and that's what matters.

Next year, it'll be huge on me and impossible to wear, but for the opposite reason.

In the meantime, I did go through some belts and tossed two of the largest ones. I am down to a size 22 but my belts are still about a 24 or so. I think that's a function of belts having very little give to them. Still, it was a joy to toss 'em.

Getting there. Getting there. That's today's mantra.

I am getting there.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 9/5/2008 5:54AM

    Aww thank ya.

I tend to look at manufactuers'/sellers' sizing charts if I'm unsure, and then guess from there. The company's measurements for size 20 show a smaller bust and waist than I have and, sure enough, that's where it's snug. But it's not horrible. I also try to watch the fabric. If it's something like this where I know I might wear it before it being a perfect fit, I try to go for something with a little give.

And I know what you mean about altering. I don't sew but my mother keeps asking if I'm going to get anything altered, and the answer is always, not a chance. Most of the big clothes, I hated them anyway. I have better clothes now but I'm making sure not to fall in love with them. Anything I really like, I try to get a smaller size in the identical item, then toss it.

It won't be until I get really small that the clothing that I absolutely love will come out. I have a brown leather bomber jacket. I think it's a 10. I have a black leather vest (this sounds like I'm into leather but really these are the only pieces I own) and it's maybe an 8 or so. I am truly looking forward to getting back into those. :)

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TUESDAYS 9/4/2008 11:36PM

    Isn't it fun getting rid of the "big clothes?" Another of my issues is that I know how to sew --- so sometimes I think, "I could alter this." But then --- WILL I? So I'm tossing and saving randomly at times.

You're doing great at clothes-guessing. I call mine "clothes WISHing." I have a wedding to attend next month and I'm trying to figure out what will fit.... hmmmmm....

Keep it up, Girlie. You're DOIN' it!

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JESPAH 9/4/2008 7:17PM

    Dang, thank ya!

blush blush blush

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EMMASMART 9/4/2008 6:56PM

    You rock as usual. I love how sure you are about this dress being too big before long. I need to work on having that attitude for myself. For you I believe it. That dress will totally not fit by next year. I'm so happy for you.


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TELERIE 9/4/2008 6:25PM

    Belts! I need a new notch in mine. Still haven't rummaged through my wardrobe, but it sounds like fun! Will see if I can dive into it this weekend.
Let's keep on keeping on, and we'll get there!
- Marit

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