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Doubt or Gratitude

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Do I believe in New Year's Resolutions? Absolutely. I'm living one, and today is one year full of one.

Last year, 12/31/2007, I promised myself I would treat myself better. Not diet. Not exercise. Not lose weight. Not a makeover. Just treat myself better.

Resolutions are kind of -- they remind me of those old-fashioned proclamations that you sometimes see in the minutes of town board meetings in small burgs. You know what I mean. They go something like this:

Being that it is the thirty-first of December
and that it is the birthday of our native son, Zeke Koznofsky,
and that he invented the fluglehofer switch,
we hereby declare and resolve that today and henceforth every December thirty-first it is Zeke Koznofsky Day here in Clamburg.

So I see them as kind of like one of these little declarations to yourself. I think the resolving can be, and should be, somewhat vague. Resolutions aren't plans. They're generalized statements of intent. The plans, the details, are what work out for you over time. It's what devolves as the year progresses. Hence for me the resolution to treat myself better became one to exercise. It became one to watch my caloric intake. It became one to take alli. It became one to eat better quality foods, and foods that were new to me. It became one to join Spark and become a part of this marvelously supportive community. And it also became one to truly treat myself better, not just in physical health but in mental and emotional health as well. To stop beating myself up if I messed up. To not think of this as a quick fix with a finish line, but rather as a new piece of my daily routine and life, as natural and normal and regular as brushing my teeth or going online. To give myself the opportunity to not only succeed, but also to fail, and to not have one moment of failure or doubt or indecision or lack of resolve wipe out all of those days and moments of success and planning and care and effort and grit and determination.

So my resolution, which worked so perfectly over the year -- how perfectly? 114 lbs. off perfectly, 25 lbs. lifted every day at 15 reps for 3 sets for 6 exercises perfectly. 1800 calories without being starving every day perfectly, 30 or more minutes of cardio every day perfectly -- is the same as last year's. To treat myself better. Because it works.

Be it known that
today is the thirty-first of December 2008
and that jespah is a worthwhile person
despite her quirkiness and occasional bad moods
and that good things can happen
if you will only let them
and make the opportunity for them
and set the table for them
and take out their sneakers for them
and that life is too short to be unhappy
and too short to be hard on yourself
and that gratitude is better than doubt
and that there can be a miracle inside each and every one of us
and that all you need to do is reach in and pull it out
I hereby resolve that, in 2009, I, jespah, will treat myself better.

And I hope you will, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TELERIE 1/1/2009 9:26PM

    YOU are just awesome and I love your proclamation! Congratulations on a great 2008!
I will treat myself as well as I can in 2009 and look forward to another proclamation at the end of 2009. Let's celebrate our achievements together!

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TIKKI-N-ME 1/1/2009 9:08PM

    AMEN and rock on!


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TUESDAYS 1/1/2009 8:52PM

    Applauding your year anniversary... and the one ahead! emoticon

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JESPAH 1/1/2009 10:56AM

    Thank you all. {blush}

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LILLIAN364 1/1/2009 9:49AM

    Way to go! emoticon

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EMMASMART 12/31/2008 11:48PM

    A proclamation is definitely in order. However I find your quirkiness to be an advantage not worthy of a despite!

Worthwhile. Indeed.

Let's Spark 2009! Happy New Year!! emoticon emoticon emoticon


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HYPERTYPER1 12/31/2008 9:42PM

  Very inspiring, Jespah. Thanks for sharing it!

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LAB-LOVER 12/31/2008 1:05PM

    I LOVE your proclamation... I might just have to do one for moi!

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I Hope You See I'm Dedicated, Look How Long That I Have Waited

Monday, December 29, 2008

Today was the final weigh-in of the year and it did not disappoint. I lost 1.8 lbs. and made my 7th minigoal. My next one is another 12 lbs. off. This one took me 63 days since the last one. And it was only 13 lbs.! The one before that took me 28 days, and most of them took a month although the first one did take 53 days. See where I'm going with this?

So, the weight loss is slowing down. Fortunately, I regularly take measurements so I'm not about ready to tie a scale around my neck and jump into the Charles River or anything. My measurements are percolating along just fine, except for my ever-massive butt, and I even hit 4 personal bests this week. My band, in particular, is interesting. It's been under 40 since September, but do ya think that translates into a bra smaller than a 40D? Sadly, no. Those seem to be a hit or a miss for me. Sometimes 40D is fine, sometimes it's tiny and uncomfortable. This is within days and is not a cycle issue. It's just karma being a pain in my not so rapidly disappearing patoot, that's what it is.

But the real point of this entry (and I do have one) is that I've had a clay idea forming around in my head for quite a while. Last year at this time, I was kicking around the idea of trying to lose weight, but I kept the actual resolution as something a lot mellower. It wasn't to lose a set amount of weight (although I was hoping for 60; I've almost doubled that -- ha!). Rather it was to "treat myself better".

Well, I have. I have treated my body better than I have in decades. I was already starting to do a lot more cooking and this year has really kicked that into high gear. Plus working out. I started on 12/31/07. It's been almost a year and this week and the last one, in particular, I have stepped it up big time and, crazily enough, have not been downed with things like shin splints or other pains. I've just been more tired, but still don't nap much. When I sleep, it's deep and refreshing.

But back to the clay idea. Last year's bit of clay was to do better for myself, and that meant being more vigilant. This year's, rather, this coming year's, idea is to not be so tightly wound. I have been vigilant to the point to hyperactivity, and it shows in my personal interactions. I find myself wanting to rush through the food portions of socializing and get on with the talking or other thing(s) so that I'm not dealing with the food quite so much. I've found that I am less into the concept of centerpiecing gatherings around food. But I'm afraid I'm not the best company. Hence I want to relax a bit.

This does not mean that suddenly I can eat whatever the heck I feel like, not exercise, plop down in front of the TV and absorb all of the old movies, Oprah and sports that I can stand, all while thrusting my arm into chips up to the elbow.

Rather, the idea, which is still forming (hence the clay metaphor), is to not beat myself up if perfection is not attained on a daily basis. To give myself permission to go with a weeklong schedule instead of a daily, meal-based one. With alli, I am still committed to a somewhat meal-based life, but I can pull back on that, too, so long as I hit and don't exceed my fat goals per meal. I can still give my permission to not go nuts if don't get enough fiber in one day, or enough calcium or iron.

The trick of it is, I feel, to know that tomorrow you can make up for it. Today may be low in iron, let's say. Well, then, eat more chicken tomorrow, or more broccoli. And exceed with iron. And then tomorrow the deficit might be calcium. So the next day, have more yogurt, or cheese, or another glass of milk. And then the issue might be too much salt. So lay off the salt the following day.

I think the idea of daisy-chaining the days together is a step toward maintenance.

A goal of mine for next year is to get onto maintenance, but I recognize that that might not happen. If I am going 2 months between minigoals now, then there are some 10 more before I hit 146. And, let's face it, I should really be looking at less than 146 in order to have a workable range. Hence that's another 1 or 2 goals. So I could be looking at not this year but perhaps as many as 2 more years after that.

Something tells me it won't take quite so long. Perhaps I'll be back to a goal a month or split the difference, and it won't be Everest in front of me. But just when you think you've scaled K2, then Everest looms in your sights and you've got to climb it, too. And then perhaps it'll be the mountains of Triton or wherever there are bigger mountains than here on Spaceship Earth, because those goals never stop, and that mountain never goes away until you actually scale it.

But while the goals may be granite and stone, the methodology can still be clay. It can still be workable, bendable, shapable and in your hands. The roads are out there. They all reach the same place. You can take a long one, or a short one. A slow one or a fast one. An easy stroll, a meander, or a hard slog, or even a cliff face to be climbed. But to stand still is to watch the world go by and not be a part of it, not engage in it.

Come with me, my friend, as we throw our own pots and climb our own mountains. It's always easier with a friend. And I want you on my team.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANARO 12/31/2008 9:51PM

    Oh, yes, you are SO right! Each day is its own creation, and is independent of the others (therefore, there's no purpose in beating ourselves up for the days we don't reach our goals, and no resting on our laurels when we do meet them! Each day is a new goal and a new attempt!). But even if each day is separate, they do link together, and as you travel down your path you notice certain patterns (in our cases, continued weight/inches loss, hopefully!). The main thing is to not give up, and enjoy the journey.

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JESPAH 12/30/2008 7:30PM

    Thank you dolling. How you feelin'?

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EMMASMART 12/30/2008 6:37PM

    I love your plan. I watch with patient interest.


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4OURBOY 12/30/2008 9:53AM

    Beautiful emoticon

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LAB-LOVER 12/29/2008 9:51PM

    You're doing great... molding... adjusting... learning... Sooner or later (and it just MAY be later) we'll shed our ever massive buttinskis!

Here's to 2009! I'm hoping to be maintaining too, but will need to step up the pace a bit if I'm going to get there!


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TELERIE 12/29/2008 7:20PM

    HELL YEAH! You WONDERFUL woman you!!
I'll be walkin' right along with ya all the way. I love your clay idea of the daisy-chain of less-than-perfect days. I think it's how I do it now - and I manage to keep myself positive by being kind to myself. I may have slower weight-loss than some people, but I feel that I eat like I'm on maintenance and exercise like I'm a thin person so it's bound to happen one day that I really become one.
I can't wait for 2009, it'll be a year where we shine, Jespah!

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JESPAH 12/29/2008 6:40PM

    Thank you both. :)

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LILLIAN364 12/29/2008 6:22PM

    You're doing great. emoticon

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FABULOUSBBW 12/29/2008 10:47AM

  A big congrats to you on your success. I wish you much more on the new goals that you set.
This was an excellent post.

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I Wish I Had a River

Thursday, December 25, 2008

No talking, just a concert.

Happy Holidays, everyone. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 12/26/2008 10:02AM

    Thank you! We spent it scraping the walls in the exercise room. :)

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KUNGFOOD 12/25/2008 6:33PM

    Hope it was the bestest ever!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLUEINKPEN 12/25/2008 5:29PM

    Merry Christmas!

Comment edited on: 12/25/2008 5:30:16 PM

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Tell Your Friend Veronica

Tuesday, December 23, 2008
It's the third night of Chanukah tonight. And, it's time for the month in review.

Measurements (as of yesterday)

* Bicep 13.25" up .25" My highest was 19", overall I'm down 5.75"
* Bust 45.25" up .75" My highest was 55", overall I'm down 9.75"
* Band 37.75" down .25" and a new Personal Best!!! My highest was 47.5", overall I'm down 9.75"
* Waist 38.25" up .25" My highest was 49", overall I'm down 10.75"
* Belly 40.75" down 2.75" and a new Personal Best!!! My highest was 59.5", overall I'm down 18.75"!!!
* Rear 49.75" up .25" My highest was 64", overall I'm down 14.25"
* Hip 44.75" up .25" My highest was 54.5", overall I'm down 9.75"
* Thigh 24.25", the same as last week. My highest was 32.5", overall I'm down 8.25"

Overall average loss for all eight measurements: 10.875"
Overall average for the six main measurements (not the bicep or the thigh): 12.17"

Some time in early 2009, I am guessing before the year is a quarter over, my average overall loss for all eight measurements will be over a foot.


Currently 233.8. Not too shabby. I had a lot of yo-yo plateauing going on last month and that may or may not have stopped. It's not so much due the seasonal foods (I hardly eat any) but probably more to do with the disruptions in the routine, plus my own feelings.


I've been like a fiend for a while now. With snow on the ground I've been going out any day I want cardio, which is every day but Sunday. Even with a day of rest I'm still burning up calories and have already burned over half of what I need to do for the week. It's only Tuesday. Over the Winter break I'll continue to shovel, plus we'll be painting. Variety in cardio is a good thing even though these are essentially just chores. The painting will be of my exercise room so the motivation is to make it something serene and pleasing to me.

I'm also going over to look at a gym this week if I can spare the time and if they're open. Of course they will try to sell me a package but I am nervous even though I know it won't be too costly. I just hate the idea of paying for something I won't use, and I have no idea how much I'd be using the facilities. It is a nice idea but I do not respond well to pressure and that goes double this time of year. We shall see.


Not so hot. This is only the second day of lightening after the solstice and skies have been either clear and frigid or a grisalle (look it up; it's a French word that essentially means grayscale). Work is getting me down, big time. At this time of year, I always take stock and, frankly, I am bored silly. I should not have the kind of time I have, to devote to Facebook, Spark and my site, all during work. That's crazy. Even when I am busy, it's either tinged with a lot of stress or dull. I am tired and unhappy, let's face it. But I am stuck for any number of reasons, one of which is the economy and another big one is the fact that I haven't even been there for 6 months yet. I know that my boss realizes that this is dull as dishwater and she promises that eventually I'll be moved to something else. But what? Who knows.

Everything else is also kind of blah but that's probably more a function of my mood than of the blahness creating/promoting my mood. E. g. the blahness is caused by my mood, rather than the mood being caused by blahness. I am looking forward to time off. While very little exciting is planned (we are going to NY at the end of the break, to see my in-laws and my sister-in-law will come with her family, but we will also be seeing a friend who's getting a divorce so that's fraught with issues. Plus eating there is extremely tricky for me), it will still be better than endless, mindless data loading.

One thing we will do over the break is begin to plan our May vacation. That will help to sustain me.

In all, I'm doing all right, and one of the main things is finding a lot of good fitness opportunities. I know the mood will lift, but it hanging around a lot lately.

Shoo, bad mood, go away. Fly away. If only it were so simple.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANARO 12/28/2008 11:00AM

    WOW. I seem to spend all my time reading my friend's blogs and saying "wow!", but this is REALLY a wow. You have done so well. All right, that was the final push. I've been saying for half an hour now "in a few minutes my daughter and I are going mall walking" (because it's waaaay too cold for me to go outside...anything below 65 is WAAAAY too cold for me!)...but now I'm really going to get away from this computer and DO it! BYE!

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JESPAH 12/24/2008 8:38AM

    Hey, sweetie, thanks for dropping by.

It was a nice gym but there was no one there but me and the dude showing me around. Then again, it was 2 days before Xmas and about 330 PM at a place that caters about 99% to commuters.

It was very clean, lots of nice equipment, little touches like, heh, an ironing board and iron in the locker room. I suspect I will do it, after the start of the year (I don't think I'll be going downtown at all until after the break). Even if I only use it once/week, that works out to less than $7/visit, Cheaper than the movies. :)

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SWEETZMIX 12/23/2008 3:21PM

    Blah, Blah, Go AWAY!! I hope you feel better and don't be nervous about the gym. I was nervous when I joined the gym last year. Just a wreck, but I got one and stuck it out. It took a month or two to be comfy there but now I love it!! Also yeah in NY it can be tricky for ya to eat. But if you are coming to the city, NYC, many places have their cals posted. But not all. Either way, I hope you enjoy yourself!!

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JESPAH 12/23/2008 10:47AM

    Oh I definitely have Seasonal Affective Disorder. I am awaiting my Chanukah present to myself, AKA a full-spectrum light. St. John's Wort is my friend. :)

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CAREWREN 12/23/2008 10:40AM

    Great statistics, progress and current state! Good for you!

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KARBIE18 12/23/2008 10:20AM

    So glad to hear you're doing so well on your fitness quest. You're kicking butt! Hope your blahs take a hike very soon. Could you possibly have seasonal affective disorder? Are you like this every winter?

Anyway, enjoy the rest of your Hanukkah.


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The More I See, the Less I Know

Friday, December 19, 2008

I love this song, plus today is the first big snowfall of the year for Boston. A foot or more is expected. Guess how I'm going to get my cardio today.

I took the half day off (I only work half days on Fridays) because I was supposed to have a mammogram and then have lunch with a friend who also writes. But both the hospital and the friend cancelled so I ran errands. Two big boxes were shipped West. A check was deposited. Food was purchased, but I did not see my friend, who seems to be on some new schedule that I don't know. Ah well, I had wanted to wish him a Happy Holidays. I suppose I'll see him sometime and then just ask how they were.

I came home and ordered a bunch of stuff online. I was given a laptop at work this week and it's heavy. The office does not supply a case so I bought one. Since I could pick (and I had a good Amazon gift certificate), I got myself a black leather case with a shoulder strap. It looks very feminine and I could use it as a regular briefcase even without the PC. Plus I picked up some smaller clothes and a lot of groceries we needed.

Last weekend, I got a few armloads of 16s and 14s from a friend of a friend, so in turn I cleaned out my own closet. Hence the two big boxes. The woman I got these clothes from is a petite, though. Even though my legs are short they are not short enough for me to really be a petite. Right now I'm wearing capri pants over boots. It works.

What may be obvious between the lines is that I am doing somewhat better. All week I was extremely tightly wound at work, though. We have a long break coming up (and I haven't had this kind of a year-end break since I was in school) and there was talk of work over it. After a lot of agita that was finally resolved in favor of no work being done over the break except for what's needed in order to make the application usable in 2009. Plus a DBA will be on call (and hopefully won't have to work) in case anything goes truly kerflooey.

As the week went on, I felt better but for the first couple of days I was really snapping at people. I was not a fun person to be around. It just happens. I know it's coming but I just don't seem to care, and I let it fly. It is not something I am proud of. It is, well, it's me. That part exists, too. No sense in stuffing it under a rug. It's not all sunshine and roses. Sometimes, it's just -- I'm just -- not going to be anyone or anything you'd call great.

And hey, like I said, that happens.

I think a slice of this journey is loving yourself, but also recognizing that sometimes you're just not that lovable. And that's okay. The trick, I think, is to not let those moments drag you down into oblivion and into despair and into what you once were.

It is not all black and white, up and down, on and off, good and bad. It's mixed, and you're mixed, and I'm mixed and all God's chillen are mixed. And if you go through your life thinking that things will always be wonderful when you've gotten thinner, I've got news for you. You'll still see death. You may see divorce. You'll still have times when you're broke, or angry, or depressed or helpless.

And that's all because, during your fat, fatter, fattest moments, you had times when you were rich, or happy, or upbeat, or powerful. You had days of love and strength and beauty. These moments, these days, are not married to your size. But they're not wholly unrelated. I mean, let's be realistic here. Most people who are smaller and can get around more readily tend to feel better. So I think you're loading the dice in favor of happiness and good times as you get more and more healthy.

I think the idea is, load those dice. Put your, heh, put your thumb on that scale. Lobby in your body for health. Make all roads lead to Healthyville and you'll find yourself traveling through Happinessland, too.

In the meantime, the darkest of the dark days is almost here. One of the things I ordered for myself is a full-spectrum light. Of course it won't be here for the solstice, but it'll be here afterwards, and I can use it for next year's solstice. And for this year's, I'll keep my head together and think of the days to come.

Come to decide that the things that I tried
Were in my life just to get high on
When I sit alone come get a little known
But I need more than myself this time

Step from the road to the sea to the sky
And I do believe it, we rely on
When I lay it on come get to play it on
All my life to sacrifice

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 12/23/2008 8:08AM

    Thank you.

I'll Google it.

Sumith, have I told you recently how lucky your wife is?

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KUNGFOOD 12/23/2008 5:16AM

    Great post! I love it, and you are such a good writer.

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SUMITH2008 12/23/2008 2:36AM

    While things in life is not always rosey, we do have choice to avoid the things that tick/piss us off. While we all lose our temper, its important to try to control those negative feelings and how we project it. Are you familiar with "The Noble Eightfold Path"? Google it sometime its worth reading if you haven't.

You said, sometimes your not lovable... Eh i love ya all da time my friend Jespah! That's why i keep coming back to read your blogs and thoughts.. Because your a wonderful person and i respect your thoughts and what you have to share with us. Take it easy my friend and Keep up the good work!

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JESPAH 12/22/2008 8:53AM

    The gal's a petite, though, so the pants are a lil short. I am so past the point of caring when it comes to transitional clothes, I've gotta say. :)

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EMMASMART 12/22/2008 12:27AM

    I love that you got a couple of boxes of clothes. That is soo cool.


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