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The Hour Glass Has No More Grains of Sand

Monday, October 20, 2008

Actually, it's got plenty. I'm not talking about time running out -- I'm talking about a standard hourglass figure getting smaller.

Because it is.

It's time for the month in review!

I have been exercising for, what, something like 290 days. And I have been taking alli for 9 months. My, my, my, what has happened in the last 9 months?

I have been giving birth to myself (oy, such labor! You should not know from such labor!). And on the way I have lost and gained far more than sand.

Weights and Measures

This morning, I weighed in at 249.2, also known as 96.8 lbs. off since the start of this grand adventure.

Bicep: 14", down 1/4" and a new personal best
Bust: 45.5", stayed the same, only 1/4" larger than the personal best
Band: 38.5", down 1/2" and a new personal best
Waist: 40.5", up 1/4", only 1/2" larger than the personal best
Belly: 44.5", down 1/2" and a new personal best
Hip: 45.5", down 1/4" and a new personal best
Butt: 51.5", down 1 1/2", 2.5" larger than the personal best
Thigh: 26", stayed the same, only 1/2" larger than the personal best

Compare these with my original measurements ~

Bicep: 19", now down 5"
Bust: 54.75", now down 9 3/4"
Band: 47.5", now down 9"
Waist: 49" now down 9.5"
Belly: 59.5", now down 15"
Hip: 51", now down 5.5"
Butt: 64", now down 12.5"
Thigh: 32 1/4", now down 6 1/4"

This is an average of 9.0625" off. If you take out the bicep and thigh, the average inch loss is 10.2083".

I seem to turn over the personal bests about once every 4 - 6 weeks or so.


Today I walked home from the last bus stop and felt fine. I did it two days last week and have every intention of doing it two days this week. Over the weekend, Mr. J and I walked to that same stop but we took the hilly route. I came out of it just fine. It's not that I don't get tired -- I do! -- but I find I want to press on.


Due to some food boredom and to stave off a plateau, I am switching to a third type of week (I had been going with just a bean soup week alternating with a pasta week). This will be chicken soup with matzoh balls and should be wonderful for cold weather. It's all queued up in the crock pot and will be started tomorrow morning. The rest of the diet is going well (fish, cheat-y fried skinless chicken night, homemade pizza night, one night out a week) and at this point in time need not be changed.

Eating at the Bar Mitzvah turned out to be not as difficult as I had feared. My next challenge is Thanksgiving. I have already asked for a menu or at least a ballpark idea of what will be served so that I can plan accordingly. Unfortunately I can neither bring anything (too much junk to carry as it is) nor cook anything while there (zero room in the kitchen or oven). I will persevere.


I am currently going through and past XLs and size 22s and I suspect I will soon be a Large and an 18 for most designers. I have jettisoned even more stuff, but I will soon come to the end of the old clothes and will need to figure out how to temporarily cover my body as it shrinks. I haven't been to a consignment store in years but may go that route.

Mood and Attitude

I spoke earlier of some food boredom, plus I can feel the beginning of what is probably Seasonal Affective Disorder. It has not stopped me from eating right, exercising or sleeping but I don't love hurtling headlong into a bad or at least less pleasant mood. Hence I am doing something about it by changing up my food, adding more exercise and taking St. John's Wort, which has worked for me in the past although I do try to not take it for too long a time. Plus, I'm blogging about the whole thing. Spreading the wealth, as it were. ;)

I am coming up on 100 lbs. off. I will bet the farm that in a month, for my next review post, that I get to talk about that. Woo hoo, go me!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 10/21/2008 9:52AM

    The universe should know from such tsuris! :)

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MOEDANCING 10/21/2008 9:09AM

    oy, such labor! You should not know from such labor!

Jes you made me are such a pearl!

The Universe celebrates you!

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JESPAH 10/20/2008 7:07PM

    Thanks! I just despise plateaus so much I want to head the next one off at the pass. Fortunately the extra walking has proven to be pretty easy (so far). :)

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    You are doing an amazing job. I am so far from there. You seem to have everything in control. Full steam ahead. I'll bet you make that 100 pounds off then too.

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TUESDAYS 10/20/2008 6:30PM

    Go YOU is right!!
And thumbs up on being proactive at making good, healthy changes! You're on it alright. I'm cheering in Chi-Town!

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You Just Don't Need It All

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Note: a few of the images on this Youtube might not be 100% suitable for younger folks. Do use discretion. Thanks.

Anyway -- I was thinking about some of the things that are happening, and it's all rushing, hurtling into a transition so that means we're talking about what I generally can't stand -- not seeing the end, not seeing the forest. And, let's face it. The weight loss journey is one big honkin' transition all by itself. And now I am transitioning into what will soon be the second half of it. Some of it is a bit scary, knowing that the second half will probably take longer than the first.

Another transition which dovetails rather neatly into the change in the weather is the fact that I've been conducting a farewell tour of my clothes. While it's still (relatively) warm, I've been wearing this and that short-sleeved sweater, and for almost all of them it will be for the very last time. I am retaining a few so that I have something to cover myself with if it becomes Indian Summer around here, but many of them have hit Goodwill already.

Most of the clothes I've jettisoned, I have not cared about them. Now I'm starting to get into some that I really like, so I'm looking for replacements for them that I can grab and wear the hell out of now. There's a pair of flat from khakis, a pair of relaxed straight leg jeans, and a black quilted fiberfill vest. I don't think there's anything else. The khakis are a 26. The jeans are a 22. The vest is a 3x. I'm going to look around online to see if I can replace them with something comparable. Not just anything, but with the real thing.

There's a leather bomber jacket, probably somewhere on the third floor. It's a size 8. I will wear it again.

I will.

I know it.

But in the meantime, I don't need a lot of this other stuff. Packed closets begone! I want my life simplified. I want to only own things that I love.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 10/20/2008 11:09AM

    As Ian Dury sang, "Every bit of clothing ought to make you pretty."

-- blog to follow -- but first today I have month in review 'n stuff. I be shrinkin'!

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TUESDAYS 10/20/2008 10:51AM

    I'm doing the "clothes deforestation" as well. Watch for a blog coming soon! Thanks for the inspiration!


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JESPAH 10/20/2008 5:53AM

    Today I had to go through three belts before I found one where I wasn't on the tightest notch with room to spare. :-D

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TELERIE 10/20/2008 5:07AM

    Thanks for the inspiration - I've got to go through my closet and toss and give away too. Time to say bye-bye to some summery clothes I'll never wear again. It IS a bit scary.

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JESPAH 10/18/2008 7:19PM

    Well, I found subs for my three faves: the jeans will be an 18 as will the khakis (slightly different brand); the vest will be a Large. Might be a little while before any of them fit but once they arrive they will be their own special minigoal. :)

I got a shirt in the mail I had ordered and forgotten about. It's a Large. It fits but it's snug. I'll wear it anyway; give the guys at work a thrill. ;)

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EMMASMART 10/18/2008 6:32PM

    You made me think. Thanks


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    Getting rid of your bigger clothes shows a positive attitude. It means you are determined to never be big again. That is great! We don't really need a lot of clothes compared to a few good ones that last. Unfortunatly when you are losing weight it is hard to know how long they will last before needing a smaller size, but what fun to be able to wear smaller, more stylish clothes.

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Give Up the Funk

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I suppose it has shown a bit in the last few blog posts -- I'm not as cheerful as I had been.

This is inevitable, I suppose. Up moods, like down moods, do not last forever.

And sometimes they change for reasons that seem inexplicable, or for no good reason or no reason.

This one is changing because of a few things. The weather is turning. It's getting darker. It's a full moon, which reminds me of my friend who passed on in August.

And, things are boring. Not just a little bit dull. BORING. As in, I want to shoot myself boring.

Boredom like this does not happen all at once. It creeps up on you until it's suddenly upon you and you realize -- gawd, everything is so depressingly dreary, how can anyone stand it?

It's a few things. It's the job, for starters. I load data. All the livelong day. By itself, that's bad enough, but it used to be enlivened by occasional disasters. Now that the disasters have mainly dissipated, it's just nonstop data loading. AKA nonstop boredom. Of course, I knew at least to some extent what I was signing up for. And, this is a project, so it'll eventually end and I'll have something or other else to do. In the meantime I am paid well, the place is comfortable and the hours and people are fantastic. But....

My site is also dull, taken over by politics as it is every year and, increasingly, every two years (I manage a forums site). While there are other topics of conversation -- and I do my best to support those -- there are a lot more political ones. Or it's just people talking about the site. And that is what I find to be truly deadly dull. Surely there are better things to do in life than gaze at one's navel all the time.

Food is also somewhat boring although I am thinking of what to do in order to mix it up. As the weather is getting cooler, there is one major benefit -- making more soups. The slow cooker is really perfect for that so I am thinking of reintroducing chicken soup into the repertoire, but I'll do it with far less salt than it used to have. Roasted chicken will also return.

Exercise is ... okay. I have been doing the same routine (albeit with heavier and heavier weights or longer and longer stretches of cardio) for over 9 months now. I'm a bit tired of it. Today a flyer came in the mail for a 5k. It's too soon -- in only a couple of weeks -- but it did get me thinking about that sort of thing as being something to strive for. And I am talking about walking a 5k, not running or even jogging one. I can still only jog for half of the block to the bus stop. It may be a long block but we're still not talking more than maybe 100 yards or so and I strongly suspect that's a serious overestimate.

Anyway, those are my thoughts and that's where my head is at. No wonder I am feeling myself spiral into a bit of a funk. The big thing I was looking forward to -- the Bar Mitzvah -- has come and gone. Nothing looms on the horizon. There is no there there, if that makes any sense. Surely I should make my own horizon, but right now I'm just a bit tired.

I know that this will pass, whether it does so by itself or with help from St. John's Wort kind of doesn't matter. I do get Seasonal Affective Disorder and the sky is greying and darkening and leaves are turning and falling so it is coming. I have never really felt the drop as intensely as I have this year, perhaps because I've been so cheerful for so long. It's funny, I tend to do better in some very cold months, e. g. February, because I know that things are getting better. Right now I just know that there will be another 6 or so weeks of darkening and cooling. It's not forever and it's not the end of the world. But, like I said, I am tired.

I will get over this hurdle. I will set it aside, though it may take a little while.

The Funk Stops Here.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 10/17/2008 6:34AM

    Hey, long time no see! L'Shana Tovah!

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CHANARO 10/16/2008 11:13PM

    {{{{{{ HUG! }}}}}}

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JESPAH 10/14/2008 6:35PM

    Perhaps it is. What I really need is a goal.


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TELERIE 10/14/2008 6:18PM

    I forgot to add something: You'd be surprised at how you feel progress with the C25K program! I am sure of it (heck- I'm in LOVE with it! emoticon)
You can take as long as you want with it.
Perhaps that is the NEW thing to inspire you?

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    Do you have any friends that you can go out with? You don't need a lot of money. Just go for a walk with a few friends. You need to find something new to do, something you are really interested in. Things always seem worse than they are. There is always something down the road, but for today, just take it and live it to the fullest. When I walk, I feel better. It kind of gives you a runners high but without running. I can't run, maybe some day but for now I just walk. I haven't been doing enough of it though. Get a new mindset. When you get up in the morning just think, Wow today is a new day. Look for new things. Really listen and take it in. Life is so great if we just make it so. Take it one day at a time. It is worth it. You are worth it.

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TELERIE 10/14/2008 6:03PM

    I think bears hibernate for a reason ...

I recognize many symptoms of the seasonal affective disorder in myself ... but somehow I also enjoy the cold & dark season - especially things like a warm fireplace, a good book, candlelight etc.

I believe in getting as much daylight as possible - that is why I try to go outside for a brisk walk during my lunch break. Mid winter in Norway can be harsh; it's dark when you get up in the morning and dark when you return home from work.

I don't know what to advice about boring boring work other than saying I know what you mean (!!) and sympathize. Frequent "breathing" breaks and a vigorous walk to see some daylight might relieve the boredom? Can you listen to audio books at work? It's good knowing this too shall pass & plan for something fun to do after work.

Daylight treatment (using special lamps) help a lot of people in Norway who are affected by the dark season. It's advisable to speak with your doctor before starting treatment to make sure it's right for you. According to a website I have checked out, using a daylight lamp for 30 minutes every morning can be helpful for those suffering from SAD. Not sure if it helps everyone, but I have wanted to try it myself.

Hang in there and know that you'll get out of your funk - I'm here if you need to vent.

Make your own horizon! Plan a trip as a reward for getting through the dark!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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In the Outskirts

Monday, October 13, 2008

I am left of center when it comes to weight loss. That is, I am almost in the middle. I have lost over 93 lbs. and want to lose a total of 200. So I'm almost halfway there, almost in the 100 lbs. off middle of things.

I don't know when I'll hit the magical middle. I suspect it'll be after Halloween. I do hope it's before Thanksgiving as I am a bit concerned about not only that day but the weekend. We are going to my in-laws and the eating may be less orderly than I'd like. Of course I will take a million things to eat and the resistance bands and probably the mat and oof right now the very thought of it exhausts me but I've got to do it to maintain focus and stay on track. Fortunately I don't have to pack anything for a while or even think about it for a bit.

And, who's to say what the sizes will be that I will pack? The other day I was wearing size 22 jeans and they were falling off. Hold them up to where they're supposed to be and there's a good two inches of room in there. I can do a shimmy a la Elvis in not only them but in most of my pants and I barely feel the pant legs. There is a lot of room, no question.

Right now I just don't feel like getting clothes. I still feel like jettisoning. One thing I've been pleased to do is just dump stuff. I'm tired of this and that, clothes be gone! I'm pulling out three and four items and replacing them with maybe one item. I am paring down and simplifying my life. I also cannot believe how much I've spent on clothes over the course of my existence. So many useless things. I recognize that a lot of what I wear now is from when I was a road warrior. The problem with that was that I essentially had a regular wardrobe and a packed wardrobe. Plus the office was formal so I had work clothes and play clothes and it was all very bulky and right now it seems just so confusing and wasteful.

So this is another change to my life, a change in progress. I don't want to have a packed closet any more.

In the meantime, I am rapidly approaching the land of people who need to lose less than 100 lbs. I have not lived in that land for a very, very long time. I thought today of when I'm going to see my doctor (next appointment is in January). The scale will be interesting. I'll move over the 200 lb. marker, to be sure. But the extra 50 lb. one? Not a chance. Might not even need an extra 25 lb. marker. It's been a good visualization to have.

But right now I'm still left of the center. Not quite there yet.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 10/16/2008 6:41PM

    I love mushrooms. Thanks for the tip, dolling.

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EMMASMART 10/16/2008 6:25PM

    If you experience SAD, then get your vitamin D. Mushrooms have it. It will keep you in order for the dark and dreary days. Heck I live in fla and still go through that.


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VANESSAANN83 10/14/2008 8:07AM

    Wow, you are doing A-mazing!!! I only had 30 lbs to my goal, and it took five are SO much cooler than me. I loved reading your blog, and I can't wait for that Dr. weigh in either! Good luck, and enjoy Thanksgiving :)

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JESPAH 10/14/2008 5:48AM

    Yeah, I'm not 100% happy -- feeling a little off right now. It's the change of the seasons, I'm pretty sure.

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RUSSELLORAMA 10/14/2008 12:35AM

    That is amazing! Thanks for being so inspiring. You can do it!

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    93 pounds. That is so awesome. You should be very proud of yourself.
You don't quite sound happy though. Not sure what it is but you should be. You have done something so astounding and inspirational. You need to spend a little more time having fun, it sounds like. Enjoy this journey. You have come a long, long way and you can do this.

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TELERIE 10/13/2008 6:31PM

    I bet that doctor's visit will be SWEET! I can't wait to see my own doctor again in December sometime. He was VERY pleased with me last time.

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Many Miles Away

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I saw my friend again yesterday, and again we talked about how our jobs are, as we say, less than optimal. He certainly doesn't want to be cutting up swordfish for the rest of his days. Frankly, I don't want to be data loading but at least it's somewhat related to what I like, and you can't beat the hours.

So we -- and so many other people -- want something better. That term, "better", may be a tad ill-defined, but it's there. It's a kind of a brass ring, I suppose, but the carousel is spinning in a fog so you can't always see it.

For me, the "something better, something different" is to write. I have been doing so little of it lately. There are just so many hours in any given day. And all I do half the time is strap some more obligations to my back and then wonder why I can't do the things I want to do. Truth is, I suppose, I put off writing and moving plots along and coming to conclusions. Sometimes it's avoidance. Sometimes, like now, it's that I can't think of what should happen next.

I can't say that life has been wholly without distractions. That is definitely a part of not writing. The neighbors next door are from, I think, Brazil. They seem pleasant enough but they speak very little English and so we might nod but not say good morning to one another. They have parties, though. Lots and lots of parties. This week has been great weather, and the weekend was spectacular. Me, I'm sitting on my front steps, reading the paper and then hoping to get in some writing. Them, they are having a party.

A loud party.

It's all very odd music, too. It's Portuguese singing, or at least I think it is (it sounds somewhat like Spanish but does not seem to be exactly Spanish), but today's batch had a decidedly Cajun flavor. Which was really strange, when you consider that Cajun culture is actually derived from Acadian (e. g. Canada) and that particular nugget of Canadian culture comes from, yes, France.

Hence these are Brazilian-Portuguese folk listening to something in Portuguese but with a definite French flavor. Oui. I mean, Olé.

The more I sat and listened to the music (which was not half bad; usually the music is very weepy and sounds like the incidental music for a telenovela), the more it disturbed what I was doing. At the point when my characters started to seem Portuguese and/or Cajun, I called it quits for the day. A pity, as that's a favorite thing to do, to sit on the front porch steps and write, in good weather. There will be fewer good days as Winter looms, although this week is supposed to be good. Perhaps I'll have other, better chances later this week.

And that's the main point, is to keep making chances for yourself. There are all sorts of other factors that conspire to keep us from our goals, and to prevent our dreams from being realized. The weather. The neighbors. The economy. The embarrassment. The difficulty. The pain. The agita. The expense. The whatever.

What is keeping you, today, from doing your thing? The weather will change. The pain can diminish. The embarrassment can fade. The economy, well, it may stink right now but it will, eventually recover. And not doing what you want to do is not going to improve or worsen any of those things. Dare I say it? Not doing what you want to do or being who you want to be will have no effect whatsoever on such things.

What keeps you from exercising? What keeps you from eating right? What keeps you from being who you want to be, and getting where you want to go? What stops you? What holds you back?

You may be miles away from your goal. But all you need to do is step towards it. Turn in that direction, and get started. And, soon enough, you'll be miles away from where you are right now. Despite all the distractions. Despite all of the obstacles. You can get yourself there. As Gandhi said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Even if right now you feel a bit like a lemming packed into a shiny metal box.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TELERIE 10/12/2008 6:19PM

    We're on the same wave length today, Jes. I wrote a blog about being on course, steering towards my goal. Nudging the ship in the right direction. Thanks - if we keep on taking one step at a time in the direction we want to go we will get there!

I wonder if your neighbors were playing Fado, a kind of Portuguese blues? I went to Lisbon this spring and heard some wonderful performers.

emoticon Very soulful and riveting to listen to (but perhaps not to write to).

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