JESPAH   182,339
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JESPAH's Recent Blog Entries

Stable Now, With Rising Possibilities

Saturday, November 01, 2008

It could be normal but it isn't quite ....

99.9 is pretty close to the number of pounds I still need to lose. It's less, actually, but if I rocket past goal, well, who's to say?

Today my husband and I went out and played frisbee, and yesterday I walked home from a much farther away bus stop than usual and tomorrow we are meeting someone for a late lunch and are going to walk from a remote stop and and and and ....

This is the new me. This is the new normal. I walk. I jog a bit. I play. I putter around and break out into spontaneous shimmying. I can do all kinds of things that were painful before. Seemingly small and silly things like being able to keep my arms up long enough to get my hair dried with the blow drier, and standing long enough to get a mess of vegetables chopped and ready to go for the week, and walking to and from so many different places and avoiding driving and traffic and parking and all of that agita much of the time.

The old gal, she was not a fan of walking. Walking hurt. Shin splints were a way of life. Clothes were tight and painful to move in. Thighs chafed. Arms did not feel good when swung. Breathing was tough, she was out of breath. She didn't sleep well, and snored loudly. She is me.


She's not me any more.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 11/2/2008 8:48AM

    I think we get caught up in the big stuff and kinda miss the little things if we're not careful.

Look at all those trees! I wonder where the forest is? :)

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EMMASMART 11/2/2008 1:25AM

    Very awesome yes.


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KARBIE18 11/1/2008 10:29PM

    What a positive message! I am so happy for you. And what a blessing to appreciate the little things. Keep that attitude, and you'll make your goal before you know it. Stay active!


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LOBRENNAN 11/1/2008 9:12PM

    Hah, I didn't think anyone else had the hair dryer problem. Lately I dry my hair downstairs in the recliner, so I can rest my arm on the back at a 45o angle and still aim at my head. How awesome is that?

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Oh, Why Can't I Live a Life For Me?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Everyone wears masks.

Not just today, but every day.

We hide our true feelings. We tamp down our preferences. We sequester our opinions. We shunt aside who we really are.

We do it to be accepted. We do it to be admired. We do it to be rewarded. We do it to fit in.

We do it to be loved.

I realized I loved my husband (long before I married him) when I realized I wasn't pretending to be someone I wasn't and he loved me anyway.

I realized that I, as a person, as an individual, as someone different and unique and quirky, was worthy of affection and caring.

One of the things I think a lot of us do as we get heavier is, we hide behind the fat. No one looks at the fat girl, the fat friend, the fat guy. Unless, I suppose, you dress up as Santa. And then that's just another mask. The fat friend is always the sidekick, the wingman, the wacky neighbor or the one who's dying or evil but not the lead.

Be the lead role in your life. But this time, take off the mask. Show who you really are. Reveal your thoughts and speak your mind. Insist on what you need, whether it's food to fit into your plan or clothes to fit your body or time to exercise and take care of yourself. Be assertive without fear, but also without rancor.

Perform a striptease of your soul.

I think you'll find everybody is just like you. Maybe not exactly. Not precisely. But most of us have the same values, the same dreams (but with different specifics, of course), the same fears. We want health. We want security. We want companionship (and also want independence and sometimes some solitude). We want love. We want freedom. We want to be who and what we are.

It's the same, it's the same in the whole wide world.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 11/1/2008 10:25AM

    Definitely less to hide behind these days.

I tend to go around more, thinking of how I can enhance my appearance rather than melt into the woodwork.

Wearing shirts from 15 years ago is pretty good, although sometimes they're a lil, er, style-challenged. :)

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BELIEVINGISEING 10/31/2008 11:19PM

    Sometimes you don't realize you are wearing a mask until something shakes you up. It takes a lot of courage to look beneath that mask to find the real you. There are many layers to your personality. Anyway have a great day and find your truth. Pam

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EMMASMART 10/31/2008 10:27PM

    And your mask is slowly melting away. I'm so glad you are so devoted. At times you must notice. There much less to hide behind these days!


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MARI195 10/31/2008 9:47PM

    How true! I am just realizing, for me, who I am. Your book is growing, entry by entry, with your blog. Thanks for sharing!

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KARBIE18 10/31/2008 6:23PM

    Well written, as usual. I think you've given great advice. I can't say that I hid behind the fat, but I've definitely had trouble showing my true self. Even among my closest friends, I've had to remind myself to relax and reassure myself that these people love me for who I am. I've been working on my social phobias along with my weight loss, and made significant progress, but thanks for the reminder.

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EM_CLARK1 10/31/2008 12:17PM

    Words of wisdom, my friend. I've been thinking about this a lot lately and am so glad that you said it so eloquently.

You're right, we are very similar (whether we realize it or not) and wearing those masks can be very tiring.

Thanks for being open!
:) Erin

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SUNNY11 10/31/2008 11:42AM

    Great comments! I can definitely relate!!

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Women Seem Wicked

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's almost Halloween. The building at work is making haunted sounds (actually, that's just construction happening next door), the server is doing all sorts of odd and unexpected things and a guy at work (who I think likes me) is calling at weird hours just to make conversation.

The goblins have come out.

The worst goblin, I suppose, was a coworker who, knowing I am watching my weight, offered me a Reese's peanut butter cup the other day. I stared at him something fierce and finally said, "I'm gonna take that 100 pounds I've lost and hit you with it."

He stopped bothering me. Goblin, not gobblin'. Sheesh.

The weird season is upon us. Cold weather brings with it the desire for comfort food. Close quarters bring stress and WAY too much togetherness. Darkness can bring on depression. Snow makes it harder to exercise. There's candy and once a year goodies everywhere. Temptation is all over the place.

Bottom line -- this is the time to really keep it together. This is what tests your resolve. This is what, once you're through it, should give you strength for times to come.

I visualized a gelatinous mass of 100 pounds smacking the guy with the Reese's. I realized (I'm so wicked) that I wanted that mass to get larger so it would be more effective. That means more of it has got to come off of me.

I think my new visualized motivator is going to be a catapult. Send that fat skyward. Blast your demons with it. Throw it off to the universe.

I bet you get back a much better treat.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 10/31/2008 6:32AM

    I don't think the guy is malicious; I think he thought he was being funny, and then he realized how serious I was and backed off.

I asked yesterday about bringing fruit to the holiday party because otherwise it's all desserts, all the time. Sure! They said. Bring it for 75 people.

Ai yi yi.

I won't bring that much (I mean, if I brought in a cherry pie it would serve 12 people at the most) but I will bring in some sort of easy finger food fruit like grapes and strawberries.

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WOLFKITTY 10/31/2008 1:23AM

    Good for you!

The goblin that you defeated wasn't actually the guy himself (unless he was offering it maliciously), but rather the temptation. You destroyed it before it even appeared. Super!

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VEEJAY3 10/30/2008 3:02PM

    hahahaha! I LOVE that come-back, and thanks for a visual that will keep me smiling this afternoon.

Really funny.

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JESPAH 10/30/2008 2:04PM

    Dang, that's gonna go to my head.

An average-sized male Rottweiler is 110 pounds; a female is 90. So it's between two rather large, snarling dogs.

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EMMASMART 10/30/2008 12:23PM

    I wonder what 100 # of fat would look like. That would be amazing. You used to carry that all day and now you don't. You are so inspirational.


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JESPAH 10/30/2008 10:55AM

    Thank you. :)

May we all have a lot of ammo.

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    Great blog...i can just picture someone getting hit with a great big blob of fat......i have some people i would like to do that to...i need to lose more blob is only 23 pounds.........i have 98 more to go.....what a nice blob that will be, lol! Keep up the great work, and stay is the time when you have to stay on track...Good luck!

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TELERIE 10/30/2008 8:47AM

    What a GREAT image you conjure up! I'm gonna steal that and visualize it too!

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PAULA1210 10/30/2008 8:31AM

    Wonder Blog I love it you are very creative. LOL Keep up the good work with resisting temptation from all of the goblins and demons. Great Job!!

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Each Sensation Makes a Note in My Symphony

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Come on the amazing journey.

Yeah, you.

Take my hand and let me show you how I've gotten this far. This is my own personal roadmap. Your mileage may, of course, vary. But these are the tips and tricks that work for me.

Yes, I take it. Three times per day. Alli is not for everyone but I have found it to work. I had exactly one treatment effect. You never want to have one again, so it's a powerful incentive to be true to yourself. You can't lie to alli.

I plan out food in advance and, before breakfast, I often know how dinner will unfold. If I am going out, I get nutritional information online, or at least a menu. I make a choice, with a secondary just in case whatever my first choice is, is unavailable.

Even if you don't take alli, you can follow their diet. For anyone over about 200 lbs., here are all of the nutritional targets you need to hit:

Calories - 1800
Calories from Fat - 540
Total Fat - 60g
Saturated Fat - less than or equal to 20g
Cholesterol - less than 300mg
Sodium - less than 2400mg
Total Carbohydrate - 203 - 293g
Dietary Fiber - at least 25g
Protein 45 - 158g
Vitamin A - 100% of your RDA
Vitamin C - 100% of your RDA
Calcium - 100% of your RDA
Iron - 100% of your RDA
Water - 64oz or more

I have found, as I've been so used to watching the fat, that I sometimes need some fat to be added to my meal (alli is kinda useless unless it has some fat to work on, so they recommend at least 5 mg/meal). I call these little fat bombs. Fat bombs are things like a tablespoon of olive oil, margarine or guacamole. Or a handful of nuts. Or a tablespoon of grated parmesan. These supply various amounts of fat and some contain other interesting things but each of them can get me to 5 mg. Plus there's also things like chicken skin, salad dressing, low fat cheese -- all of these contribute. Don't forget to count fish oil capsules if you take them,

I eat every few hours. Breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and dinner stretches out a bit so it practically encompasses a second snack.

I am more aware of salt intake than I ever have been, which means I cook a lot more of our food, including things I hadn't dreamed of making, like pasta sauce. I think cooking your own food helps a LOT.

I also try to overestimate calories and fat as I tend to underestimate portion sizes.

I get cardio every day or almost every day because of my commute but I know not everyone has the luxury. I would suggest, though, if you must drive, to take possession of the farthest away parking spot. You know the one I'm talking about, it's off in Timbuktu! Consider it as if your name is painted on a sign. You know, like the spot in the front is reserved for the CEO? Well, the most remote spot is reserved for YOU.

I also lift weights every day. Mondays and Thursdays is chest, shoulders and triceps; Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays is thighs, abs and butt; and Wednesdays and Fridays are back, biceps and calves. It about 20 minutes --3 sets of 15 reps each. I happen to be at 25 lbs. total weight but I started off at 3 lbs. I recommend a similar sort of program because the one I'm on leverages your rest days (e. g. Tuesdays and Wednesdays for chest, shoulders and triceps) and uses them for other lifting. You need not do the same stuff on the same days but I do recommend picking three areas and keeping them together in a similar pattern, plus doing the core exercises three times per week rather than two. But you could do chest, back and calves on Sundays and Wednesdays. I won't tell anybody. ;)

I also seize fitness opportunities where I can find them. I walk to do all of my errands except for food shopping (too much stuff to carry). My husband and I have found a few local restaurants that we like, so we walk to them. I carry more groceries and take out more trash than I used to.

Underestimate your fitness duration and speed just like you should overestimate calorie and fat intake. That helps a lot.

Get it. Any way you can. My natural body rhythm is to be up with the sun so that's my work schedule. I don't watch as much sports as I used to because I'm often in bed by the fourth inning or so.

Other Stuff
Alli isn't the only thing I take. I have a failing thyroid and am on a prescription for it, but I also take kelp four times per day, which may or may not help with that. I also take a chromium picolinate pill every day which may or may not be helping me with sugar metabolizing. Now that the weather is getting colder and the days are getting darker, I've started taking St. John's Wort again, which is to help elevate mood. It's important to me to feel happy doing this as that makes it much less likely that I will fall off the wagon. I'm not above getting a little chemical assistance in that area.

Speaking of attitude, exercising and losing have both helped me to get into a better mood than I had been in for, well, for years. Even without the St. John's (which I probably won't take all Winter long like I have in the past). I smile more and also interact more with people. I think that's very important. Not everyone needs to know your life story or share in your weight loss experience but I figure wishing the postman a Good Morning is not gonna kill me and it may even help.

It's here, and it's on the alli site. Plus I run a website and there's a topic about everything you ate yesterday. I post there religiously, plus I post here, plus blogging. I want people to know about my successes, and I want to share enough that I'll feel weird if I have a lot of failures to share. Not that my friends wouldn't try to help me out or poke fun at me. No. It's that I kinda don't want to let them down.

I get newer pants every two sizes, otherwise they are quite literally falling off me. Shirts about every three sizes or so but I still have a few larger ones mainly because they could be useful, but I suspect I will toss them if I have to put them on and REALLY realize how huge they've become on me. I give away clothes to charity and willingly accept if friends have anything that might fit me. This is all transitional stuff so I'm less picky about it. I also buy a lot less and wash it more. I think right now I have four, maybe six pairs of work pants that fit, and one pair of jeans. That will change once I've hit goal but right now it's silly to own six pairs of jeans in every size.

The Future
Keep doing what I've been doing. I'd love your company.

Like Pete Townshend wrote, "On the amazing journey together you'll ride."

You don't have to take my map; you can take your own if it works better for you. Just make sure you come along, okay? :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 10/31/2008 6:35AM

    Thanks! Well, I think basic guidelines are pretty similar from most responsible sites (like Weight Watchers). Eat something like 1600 - 2400 calories/day, 30% from fat split more or less evenly amoung saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, remaining 70% more or less evenly split between carbs and protein, get enough vitamins, particularly calcium and iron, stay within healthy sodium guidelines. Not very sexy and not the kind of thing that makes headlines, but it doesn't have to because it works.

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WOLFKITTY 10/31/2008 1:20AM

    Wow that is definitely a comprehensive map!! LOL!! Hey, I realized that we're doing a lot of the same things, especially nutrition-wise (well, except I follow SP recommendations and don't take Alli).

Keep up the good habits, and they'll continue to work for you! It's great that you spelled it all out for people too. Very inspirational!


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JESPAH 10/29/2008 6:25PM

    Oh, the sushi was wonderful, and the company even better. My two buds couldn't believe I'm still in the 200s.

We all agreed we have to start some sort of company or something (one of them used to be the boss of me and the other gal, plus a bunch of other people we're still friendly with). Something with computers, political activism, sushi and frisbee playing on a beach. Hmm. :)

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TUESDAYS 10/29/2008 4:26PM

    I'm echoing the "map" comment and cherry-picking myself! I think it's really helpful when Sparkers share what is working for them. You're blazin' a trail, Janet. Keep up the good work!
P.S.- How was the sushi celebration? emoticon

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TELERIE 10/29/2008 4:16PM

    I haven't heard of alli before I read about it from you, not sure if that would be an option in this country. Or for me. But I love to read how you're doing it and it's quite similar to my own road map. Let's have a chat when we meet the cross-roads, I like to pause there and admire the view. It makes me happy to read about your successes!

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JESPAH 10/29/2008 3:33PM

    I know -- alli is definitely not for everyone. I think a lot of exaggerration is out there, too. I'm not Ms. Alli by any means (they get way too many of my $$, for starters), but it works for me. Everyone's different. :)

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MARI195 10/29/2008 3:26PM

    Wow. Great blog. Thanks for sharing your personal journey with us. What a great map to glean from!

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LINKYBLANK 10/29/2008 1:30PM

    Totally afraid of ali!
ONe of the side effects I read on the bottle has me never wanting to take it.

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You Can Make It If You Try

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thank you falettinme
Be mice elf agin

Thank you all. I am touched (well, more tetched than usual).

Today you named me not only Done Gal o' the Day but also an SP Motivator. In all seriousness, you've all been so fantastic to me. I am truly moved.

Thank you from the rapidly disappearing me. The love isn't the part that disappears.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 10/30/2008 8:29AM

    Heck no, dolling.

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EMMASMART 10/29/2008 11:26PM

    I love that Love is the part that doesn't dissappear.


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LUCKYLESLIE 10/28/2008 9:59PM

    emoticonCongratulations!YOU are awesome!-Leslie

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JESPAH 10/28/2008 7:56PM

    Thank you thank you thank you all.

Amazing journey -- now I know tomorrow's blog song.

Stay tuned, sistahs.

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AWILL09 10/28/2008 7:16PM

    What you have accomplished is an amazing feat! You truly insprire me to keep going and never to give up because I have 100+ pounds to lose and if you lose 100 in 9 months, I strive to do the same thing! You are the TRUE definition of a DONE GIRL! Thank you for being so inspiring.

Take Care!

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BABYFACE26 10/28/2008 3:45PM

    Hey darlin, its the Power of music again - wow, what a great video tape on UTube, well, I didn't really look at it, to be honest, I was too busy
Dancing!!! Yeah!


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GTGEM61 10/28/2008 2:22PM

    keep on keeping on -- you go girl!!!!!

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TELERIE 10/28/2008 11:35AM

    I love love love reading your blogs and always happy to hear your reports about weight loss. 100 pounds is amazing, and you deserve all the praise and all the laurels bestowed on you!

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MARI195 10/28/2008 10:29AM amazing journey you are making. Congrats on being named Done Girl of the Day, too! You are truly an inspiration to me! emoticon

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KMBERLY817 10/28/2008 10:14AM

    emoticon emoticon
I got a little choked up reading your blogs about your amazing success. You truely deserve the acknowledgement. You have done an awesome job! emoticon for showing the rest of us that IT can be done!


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TUESDAYS 10/28/2008 9:54AM

    We saw the gem all along... now you're just makin' the headlines! emoticon
Congrats again, friend!

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