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They Do It At Waikiki

Monday, August 10, 2009

www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WngGeI9lnA

... or, maybe they don't. I'll explain in a moment.

I saw my friend over the weekend. And he told me he'd been an overweight child, but suddenly had a growth spurt and ended up underweight. He was (and he's about an inch taller than I am) 129 at the beginning of this year. But after quitting smoking, he's now about 160. He's not too worried (he was rather slight before, and now seems to be a bit better-proportioned), but it did remind me: you change your life and suddenly your body changes, too. Even if you expect it, even if you want it to, it can still surprise you.

But what I really want to talk about is the following article: www.nytimes.com/2009/08/02/ma
gazine/02cooking-t.html


The title is, "Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch", and it discusses the rise of cooking shows in America (some of this is a tie-in to the new "Julie and Julia" movie) and the decline of actual cooking. It makes some fascinating points.

* Most cooking shows are designed to entertain, rather than teach you how to cook. Still, there is information, even in the entertainment-heavy shows.

* Cooking shows have changed from make it right to make it fast. Rachael Ray, anyone?

* Other cooking shows have evolved from mainly cooking to mainly eating. Guy Fieri, anyone?

* What does cooking really mean, in particular, scratch cooking? Is it scratch if you open a can, or spoon out some mayo that you did not make personally?

* The less cooking, the more obesity. "as the 'time cost' of food preparation has fallen, calorie consumption has gone up, particularly consumption of the sort of snack and convenience foods that are typically cooked outside the home. ... when we don’t have to cook meals, we eat more of them: as the amount of time Americans spend cooking has dropped by about half, the number of meals Americans eat in a day has climbed; since 1977, we’ve added approximately half a meal to our daily intake.

"The more time a nation devotes to food preparation at home, the lower its rate of obesity. In fact, the amount of time spent cooking predicts obesity rates more reliably than female participation in the labor force or income. Other research supports the idea that cooking is a better predictor of a healthful diet than social class: a 1992 study in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that poor women who routinely cooked were more likely to eat a more healthful diet than well-to-do women who did not."

That last point cannot be hammered home enough.

Want to eat less? Want to eat less junk? Want to have a shot at health and weight loss?

I got one word for you: COOK.

And another thing, spend time doing it.

You need not slaughter your own chickens (unless you want to; urban life tends to preclude that) or grow your own wheat, and, yes, you can use the microwave and some packaged stuff (particularly when you're away from home). But take some time. The weekends are a good time to take time, and then you can take advantage of that spent time during the week.

How do you add time and care to cooking?

Chop.

Stir.

Follow a recipe.

Make up your own recipe.

Shop carefully, from a list you have written by thinking about and planning a week's worth of meals.

Take care of your equipment, and the prep area.

Taste what you prepare -- and I mean taste, not grab a portion while cooking -- to assure it is seasoned correctly.

Do occasional difficult things, like cooking live lobster or deboning a chicken or making a Moroccan stew. Get outside of your comfort zone at times.

And have fun.

Fifty years ago (hell, twenty!) every home had a home cook. This was almost always a woman, though not 100% of the time. Not coincidentally, there was far less obesity then, High fructose corn syrup wasn't an issue because you ate at home and that just wasn't an ingredient you could find and use in home cooking. There were trans fats, yes, but you knew how much of them were going into your body. Salt? Sure, but you could see most of what was going to go into you. Sugar? Absolutely. But, again, you had a chance to control your intake from the very beginning. It was not just portion control at the plate, but also portion control before your food ever hit the oven, fry pan, microwave or stock pot.

People cooked. They did it here in Boston and, yes, they did it at Waikiki.

Let's bring it back.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAB-LOVER 8/17/2009 9:29PM

    Oh god... we part company on this one. I'm not even sure why I OWN an oven!
: )

As I said to PSEUDOBRITCHICK the other day, it's "cooking"if I toast the bread before I make the PB&J sandwich.



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H-2-OH 8/13/2009 8:45PM

    Great points. I've been getting some go-to recipes I can make w/o looking at a recipe and have been getting more olive oil, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains into my family's meals and it's a good feeling to know how it affects us all. Also, the more busy you get the more likely you are to want to eat something fast.

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TRECECOOKS 8/11/2009 11:23AM

    Your point is so right on, Janet. My daughters range in age from 19 to 26, and they are always coming home with stories about co-workers who don't know the first thing about cooking. It is terribly sad. I am trying to pass on to them the joy of a meal well prepared and presented.
Did you catch Melissa D'Arabian's new show (12:30PM Sunday)? She shows wonderful meals that cost less than $10 and don't take a long, but look and taste wonderful. Check her out!

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SWEETZMIX 8/11/2009 9:12AM

    I love this Janet, you are just sO inspiring and that article just helps bring it all together. Funny thing is I realized this past weekend, we stopped cooking as much as we used to. Hence my tighter than normal pants...sO I just decided I am going to start cooking more. And if all else fails, I got family who only cooks home cooked food using fresh seasonings, lol, I might not know the exact calories but at least I know it doesn't have a ton of crap in it. Thanks for the reminder b/c I usually need them!

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HELGA1958 8/11/2009 8:27AM

    Thanks for inspiring me to do some cooking today.

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CAROLISCIOUS 8/10/2009 9:35PM

    I am trying to do a little more cooking. My husband is actually much better at it than I am. My daughter has turned into an amazing cook...and my two sons like to grill.

What's wrong with me??? (Hint...lazy!!!)

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LIV2RIDE 8/10/2009 8:29PM

    Agree 100%. We have come so far away from home cooked meals. I'm glad my parents were big believers in family home cooked meals. Now that I know how to cook I make weekends about trying new recipes. It has become fun. Thanks for sharing the article.

Kelly

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WOLFKITTY 8/10/2009 5:01PM

    I love to cook. I also love to bake. I've given up most of the baking, but still love the cooking. Alas, I definitely don't do it enough. Even though I'm still unemployed, most of my evenings are spent tending after my husband and driving him to his work (since we have one reliable car, and he can't fit in the seat to drive it himself). He used to drive the unreliable (and less fuel efficient) car to work since I didn't get home in time, and those were usually the nights when I cooked us a well prepared meal. :) Even though we're both eating less fast food now, and eating a lot more meals at home, very often they're super salads (mine) or sandwiches (his).

I always wished that I knew more about cooking methods and results. My mom wasn't a very good cook at all, and seemed to hate it. Luckily my MIL is a wonderful cook and has taught me a few things (how to make a roast, one of the simplest things that I'm still intimidated about doing!)

However, I still love to cook. Thanks for sharing the article, I read the whole thing!
OMG~ did you see:
"Balzer said. “A hundred years ago, chicken for dinner meant going out and catching, killing, plucking and gutting a chicken. Do you know anybody who still does that? It would be considered crazy! Well, that’s exactly how cooking will seem to your grandchildren: something people used to do when they had no other choice. Get over it.”

I think that's B.S.! Or, if it does come to fruition, that will be a sad day indeed. Maybe there will be a cooking revolution, or it will come back into style to make delicious, from scratch, meals at home. .... Maybe that's one of the benefits of the Green and Health movements will bring! Viva Revolution! In the meantime, *I* will still enjoy picking up tips by watching Tyler's Ultimate or one of the actual food preparation shows (don't like the reality bits) on Food Network! They provide a window into how I can actually accomplish what I want in the kitchen.

Jocelyn

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LOSING4KEEPS 8/10/2009 12:41PM

    You are absolutely correct. I was never able to lose much weight or maintain a loss successfully until I finally buckled down and learned how to cook. Much to my surprise, I actually enjoy it. And yes, last week, I did make a Moroccan stew for the first time. (it was delicious!)

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NYAYNE 8/10/2009 12:20PM

    In most countries/cultures the meal is prepared while Americans tend to Fix Dinner.

Can you imagine if we had to make all our breads for the day? For each meal? Even Parantha (Indian flat bread) is packaged in supper markets to be re-heated.

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DMPRIDER 8/10/2009 10:54AM

    I agree completely. I definitely find I have better control of my calories when we cook at home. And having control of ingredients is key too. I saute my veggies in a little olive oil - I'm sure any restaurant is using lots of butter. Also, my husband and I usually just cook two portions. That way there is no going back for seconds! Thanks for sharing this.

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 8/10/2009 10:30AM

    You are so right. From personal experience I am learning that home cooked is more likely to keep me within my calorie ranges. When I am out my greedy self still just can't ask for half my portion to be bagged before I gobble it up. I have a tough time making good choices. I even find that home made leftovers means better nutrition than eating out.


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BIZEEMOMTO3 8/10/2009 10:14AM

    It seems to almost be epidemic about people not knowing how to cook. Just consume. And it is true, the more you participate in planning, shopping, storing, and preparing food, the less likely you are to eat a ton of it. Because you appreciate it and all the effort it took to go into putting it on the plate in the first place.

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GEE-KNEE 8/10/2009 9:59AM

    I agree that it is nice to know exactly what you are eating and you are not going to get that from packaged food. I used to eat out often and now it makes me uncomfortable. I steer clear of processed foods, even if labeled "diet". I like to see my foods the way God intended them to be before its made into anything. Heck, I even prefer for it to start at the farmers market (where I can support local economy-no apples from Chili-and have less chemicals in the first place-who really needs wax on their apples?). On another note, I cook, but I am not a great cook, and I don't really enjoy it. It just has be done, so most nights it's simple cooking. Something tells me that you're a great cook.

Comment edited on: 8/10/2009 10:02:41 AM

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DREAVG 8/10/2009 9:37AM

    Thank you for sharing that article. That is something I noticed in my own life. When I make fresh bread, muffins, etc, my weight shrinks.

Andrea

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First Day with the new webcam

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


A catch and release program for public transportation, plus why I still don't like my driver's license picture.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAN_ODEA 8/12/2009 6:29PM

    Connecting "in person" is better than reading their posts, isn't it? Thanks for sharing!

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MS.ELENI 8/12/2009 5:04PM

    Love this blog too. You are a trip and a pleasure to watch

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ELFERSP 8/6/2009 10:06AM

    Great video blog! Loved the story and you're so right!

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WOLFKITTY 8/5/2009 1:25PM

    OH JANET!! Look!! It's my buddy talking to me!! I love it. HEheee. It's like we're having coffee together. I've luckily never had the problem of wondering why I'm doing so much cardio, but, I know some people do, so THAT IS SUCH A GOOD POINT!

I love that you caught the bus and weren't even winded!! WOOHOO!!!
Yay for you!!

HUGS!
Jocelyn

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FABNFITANNIE 8/5/2009 9:22AM

    Your video blog was a lot of fun to watch/hear! Congrats on your successful slo-mo sprint!
emoticon

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 8/5/2009 6:33AM

    Love the new web cam blog! I feel like I got to know you that much better today. Hey great hair Blondie. It looks very different in the video than on your picts.

It sounds like you have found the key to plateau busting. Running to catch trains and busses. It is getting to be a habit with you. Does that mean I won't be able to bust my own plateaus when they happen? We don't "do" public transportation out here in the boonies.

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ANONYGIRL 8/4/2009 11:42PM

    Neat addition to your blogs! I'm in the slowpoke running club too - my 69 year old uncle outruns me!

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KENNYWHEELS 8/4/2009 10:05PM

    i really enjoyed your vlog. it was the first one that i have seen on spark people. Good quality picture and sound with the webcam, i wish more people would try using them. i think i have a couple of webcams here at the house i should try digging them out and using it.

Great story about catching the bus. I have been doing a lot of walking and when i go to the gym i do start my treadmill off running but have3 not have a lot of luck running for long amount of time, I usually get the first 6 minutes on the treadmill and maybe 2 other smaller amounts during my 65 minute walk.


ps i was wondering if you are originally from mass, since you called it the massachusetts turnpike, instead of just the mass pike. just wondering

kenny

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CAROLISCIOUS 8/4/2009 8:55PM

    Awuh! You're so cute!

I started running earlier this year. The spin class was full and I needed to get my cardio done so I opted for the treadmill. I was so shocked that I ran 4 miles! From there I eventually tried it outside in the real world. Now I am running 3+ miles 3 days a week!

Congrats on making the bus and, more importantly, on feeling stronger and healthier and just plain better! emoticon

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GEE-KNEE 8/4/2009 8:44PM

    Good job on catching that bus. That is so cool. It's good not to be winded. I can't wait to get a new drivers license. I actually weigh less now, than I lied about weighing on my drivers license. I liked your vlog. It's nice to see a face and hear a voice.

Best,
Jeannie

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ANEWVERSIONOFME 8/4/2009 8:36PM

    emoticon on being able to chase down the bus!!!

It was nice to "hear" you tell your blog vs. reading it!!!

P.S. I call myself a runner, but I am more like a jogger. emoticon

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With a Little Bit of This, and a Little Bit of That

Monday, August 03, 2009

www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_OWZabMK-E

This is kind of a mish-mash sort of a blog, hence the title. Plus, well, there are other reasons for said title.

I started off this week royally PO'd as I'd been gaining for four weeks in a row no matter what I was doing. I was exercising, eating well, drinking water, getting sleep, yet the scale was giving me a hard time. We can say muscle, we can say water weight, we can say sunspots or whatever, but the ugly truth was that I mainly wasn't losing inches so things were not looking good.

It kills me because, heh, if I had been cheating, at least I'd accept that, change back and move on. But being punished and NOT cheating???!! I felt, well, cheated out of the cheating. If I'm gonna gain the weight anyway, at least can it be that I had some chocolate ice cream or something? I mean, criminy, it was slow cooker Indian stew with chicken, tofu and vegetables last week. With a salad on the side, some yogurt, fruit and skim milk. Properly portion-controlled. Oh yeah, I was having a party. Not.

I didn't have ice cream, though, and I didn't use the whole thing as an excuse to have any. Hmpf. Right now I guess I just don't care about such things. I figure I'll eat them next year or so. No rush.

And that's another part of this week. A woman in my office asked me, "Do you cheat?" And I realized, well, sometimes I eat an extra few raspberries and don't record them. "No, not that! Do you have a Three Musketeers bar, or a bag of chips?" Uh, no. And, funny, I don't miss 'em. Again, if I have them again, it'll be 2010 or so, or later. Not a thousand years from now. I can wait.

Another thing - for the first time in 2 months or so, I saw my friend! We discussed, well, the usual stuff, the usual joking around. And he reported that he's still smoke-free. It's been, what, six months? Seven? More? If he can give up cigarettes forever, then surely I can defer ice cream or whatever until next year. Pshaw. It's like nothing, in comparison.

Then this weekend rolled around. Mr. J and I decided to go to Providence, which is where we lived 15 years ago. It's a pretty little city. We walked around the area, had lunch at a favorite place (where I bought myself a tee shirt in a women's medium size and yes, it fits!), etc. And then, oops, it was time to get back to the train. We walked. Fast. Uphill. Did I mention it was 83 or so? Faster. Egad.

We're not gonna make it.

It's hot.

I'm sweaty.

I hate being sweaty.

It's uphill.

Dammit, keep moving!

Don't talk to me.

I'm concentrating.

Left, right, Hope Street.

Left, right, Benefit Street.

Left, right, North Main Street.

Holy cow, there's the station.

More uphill.

Go faster.

We made it.

With 9 minutes to spare.

And, because we're insane, we also walked home from public transportation in Boston.

Uphill.

Did I mention it was 79 here?

At least we weren't trying to catch a train.

We got home and it was about all we could do to have dinner and grab showers. Lots of sleeping happened on Sunday.

And then this morning?

Down 4.4 lbs.

Woof.

Why the heck would I want some old Three Musketeers bar anyway?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIT_TERI 8/4/2009 4:13PM

    Woo Hoo! Way to stay the course, as usual. Something for all of us to learn there. It must have been so frustrating though! Good for you. But I am not surprised. You haven't gotten where you are now by giving in to a little adversity.

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MARCHMAID 8/4/2009 2:52PM

    Nice. And sensible. And will keep me on track today.
emoticon

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SWEETZMIX 8/4/2009 11:46AM

    What a story?!? Crazy how things workout!!
emoticon

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CHERYLRG 8/4/2009 10:01AM

    Very inspirational! You didn't let the disappointment get you down to where you stopped caring. You just kept going.

emoticon

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ANONYGIRL 8/4/2009 9:26AM

    Ah, plateaus and pointless gains. I'm right there with you. Though I DID have ice cream this weekend. But a small cup, not an entire pint of ben and jerrys.

At least the 4 pounds finally sloughed off. Congrats. Your pictures look great.

It's funny how my old treats were ice cream, or tiramisu, or chocolate. And my new ones are fage yogurt, or fresh cherries, or a summer salad. I can't even believe a few short months ago I was happily nomming vending machine snacks at work. Gross. I had to stop by Walmart yesterday for some stuff that I can't find anywhere else, and I took a shortcut down the snack aisle and was just appalled when I looked at what all that stuff was made out of. When did we all stop eating real food?

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LIV2RIDE 8/4/2009 6:48AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Way to stick with your program! I like your determination.

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TELERIE 8/4/2009 1:35AM

    Yay! Woohoo! 4.4 lbs! Wonderful!
I portion control my candy/ice cream, and they are weekend treats _in_ range. Can't wait for 2010, gotta have it now - but I have learned to be much more aware and limit myself, thankfully. Wonder if it was the hillwork that made things move for you?

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 8/3/2009 9:40PM

    4.4. Every bit of it. Wahooooo! And you made the Providence trip sound like fun too. In fact it sounds like you two have fun a lot.

And were you wearing sensible shoes? Now that is what I want to know.

By the way, the Indian chicken sounded spectacular to me. I have no pity for you.

Would love to know what caused the big plateau to turn around. You do lots of cardio every day right? Mystery. Good thing they have all those hills in Bahston.


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LAB-LOVER 8/3/2009 9:28PM

    Congratulations! Way to go on the four pounds! I don't feel cheated out of cheating. Mostly because I've been cheating... hey...hey... but that stops here. I'm not so good about giving up stuff... I want it, I eat it. But I'm MUCH more limited in what I want! So that's good!



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CAROLISCIOUS 8/3/2009 9:24PM

    A-mazing! What a great story about sticking with it and seeing results. I know what you mean about feeling cheated out of the cheating! I get those feelings, too.

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PONYFARMER 8/3/2009 7:38PM

    WooHoo 4.4 pounds, and running to catch a train. You so rock. Maybe you could go check some of the Sparkpages of people who do think it is ok to cheat or have that candy.

I know what you will find. NO WEIGHTLOSS! Sorry for yelling there.

Enjoy the new you,
DAS

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WOLFKITTY 8/3/2009 7:26PM

    HEHEee. Somehow I didn't know you were giving up junk like that. Hmm. I know that when I ate it less I wanted it LESS. Lately.. well, it's been like a waterfall.

Anyhow, CONGRATS!!
WOOOHOOO!

Joce
lyn

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WIFEALF 8/3/2009 7:21PM

    wow congrats 4.4 lbs that is amazing!

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SPARKLE72023 8/3/2009 7:14PM

    Hmmm . . . wonder how that happened? Oh well . . . . emoticon

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Shed My Skin

Monday, July 27, 2009

www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqyc3
7aOqT0


Well, shedding my skin would certainly help with weight loss. I'm up another 1.4 lbs., which is annoying and a tad disturbing but I know I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing (I'm within calorie range every day, drink 10 c of water/day and am #5 on the Boston SparkAmerica fitness minutes list), so things will eventually unstick and go downwards. Eventually.

Even if I want to turn the scale into a lovely planter or objet d'art.

Still Life With Scale
archive.liveauctioneers.com/a
rchive3/conceptartgallery/9364/0042_1_
lg.jpg


Be that as it may, things are more than okay.

Last weekend, a friend we've known from online for, what, a decade? Close to it, I'm sure, well, she came up from Houston. We have never met in person before. She's behind my recipe for Mac's Cajun Dirty Bulgur. And of course the three of us (plus two others from my site on Saturday) all hit it off famously. Then she had some time to kill on Sunday before her flight so I brought her to the house.

This is remarkable not just because she is an awesome friend but also because she is MY inspiration. She lost 125 lbs. on Weight Watchers and has kept it off for a few years. Right now she is looking to drop the last 30 or so, but is in no great rush.

As you can imagine, we had some interesting conversations when it was just the two of us. We have had very similar experiences, plus she's had the experience of maintenance, or at least a semblance of maintenance.

Some wisdom and observations from her:
* There are people who are truly happy for you, people who are jealous, and people who are actively looking out for you to fail/backslide.
* Maintenance is a terrifying word, sometimes it seems easier or better to still be working on losing, versus being done and trying to stay the same. This is the case even though, with a large plateau, you are often essentially in the midst of maintaining.
* Losing face is as tough as losing weight. What happens when someone finishes, leaves and then is suddenly 50 lbs. up? They often stay away because they swore it would be different, and then it wasn't, so they stay away longer and the hole they're in is dug even deeper.
* Know the differences among regular meals, replacement meals and special meals. Eating at home is inevitably a regular meal. Replacement meals are standard restaurant fare. Special meals are things like your own wedding supper. Regular meals should be as healthy as possible. Replacements should be as healthy as possible, too, and are not enough of a special treat to warrant going off your regimen by too much and letting it all go to hell. Special meals should be rare -- but they also are, truly, a free zone. Do with that what you will.
* You can only be responsible for your own actions, your own self, your own body and your own health. Being encouraging to others is one thing -- feeling or acting responsible for them sticking with things is another matter entirely, and that way lies madness. Let people, ultimately, stand or fall on their own.

I've come out of last weekend tired but with more mental tools at my disposal.

So what if the scale is up?

It does not define me.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRECECOOKS 8/11/2009 11:19AM

    Awesome and useful blog; thanks!!

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WIFEALF 8/3/2009 7:25PM

    Interesting i took alot out of this blog thank you it got me thinking and back on track i hope..Thank you for that.,..

I am glad you got a new feed back from the lady that lost so much weight good to talk to others that is going through the same as we are...

keep it up ...Thanks for this!!!!

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TRACYZABELLE 7/31/2009 6:59AM

    emoticon

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KUNGFOOD 7/29/2009 8:21AM

    That is the best plan that's not a planned plan way to think of meals. Paradigm shift in thinking. Thanks!

Oooooh! Red looks good on you!
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QUEENOTHEFOREST 7/28/2009 10:18PM

    Greetings Jespah

I loved your blog from the moment I read it yesterday. My life is rarely so programmed and racy that I don't have time to acknowledge someone who helps me. But that was yesterday. This is today.

All of it was so dead on. But the piece that really called out to me is about the missing person who gets too busy to be engaged and next thing the missing person has a 50 lb added problem to cope with. Shame and embarrassment is such a terrible thing and is out of place in a wellness program. This program is for us with all our failings. I am getting so much support and community and wisdom from Spark that I forget in the beginning I only came here to lose weight. If I had not had to use this I would have missed out on a lot. It is tragic that some of us get too embarrassed to be able to start over or admit temporary and even major setbacks.

There is the other side of this embarrassment thing that you alluded to. I have learned that judgemental people are often people who are hanging on by a slender and shredding thread. They can be dictatorial about doing things one way and only that way. They can make thoughtless comments to a struggling person. Or worse they make comments calculated to hurt. And bless them they are the ones who fall by the wayside big time. Interesting stuff this.

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MARCHMAID 7/28/2009 9:20AM

    "Special Meals" Now that's an interesting concept. I have always had way too many of them!

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ANONYGIRL 7/28/2009 7:33AM

    My scale is up to, so I'm opting to ignore it and keep doing what I'm doing.

You're inspiring friend is a smarty. I love her point about meal types - all too often people (including myself) use being out of the house as an excuse for making bad choices. And she couldn't be more dead on about people's attitudes towards others weight loss. I'm going to make sure I make it clear to anyone who is struggling with losing weight that I'm in the 'truly happy for them' camp.

There's another one too - happy for you until you're smaller than them. emoticon

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TELERIE 7/28/2009 3:50AM

    How I love your blogs! Thanks for sharing the wisdom of your friend! Isn't it really cool to meet after such a time - and get to meet your inspiration too!
The definitions of the meals was useful. Also, I've considered myself in practice for maintaining right now on my way further down the scale, as the pounds come off very slowly. To be _there_ is still quite terrifying. And now I wonder which categories those around me fall in. Most of my colleagues are genuinely happy, I'm sure. There might be some jealousy, but I haven't noticed anyone actively sabotageing my efforts yet.
Keep on keeping on!
Hugs, Marit

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WOLFKITTY 7/28/2009 2:05AM

    I liked this blog!! :D Thanks for sharing her nuggets of wisdom! LOL!! #5 for all of Boston?! I knew you rocked, but.. WOW!!!

Hang in there!
HUGS!
Joce

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SPARKLE72023 7/27/2009 10:33PM

    While it's is true that the scale may not define you, nevertheless it is your OBJECTIVE GUIDEPOST to your weight loss goals and should be respected as such.
emoticon This is no time to start disliking the scale or forgetting how much it has shed light on the reality of your awesome progress. Without getting overly fixated on the scale, keep an open mind (and eye) on what it tells you so those pounds won't creep back on.

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CAROLISCIOUS 7/27/2009 9:41PM

    What a kewl thing to get to do...pick the brain of someone who has maintained for a whole year. Sounds like you made the most of it. Good stuff here!

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LIV2RIDE 7/27/2009 9:14PM

    Thanks for sharing this. There are a lot of great takeaways for me.

Kelly

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LAB-LOVER 7/27/2009 8:44PM

    You know it actually never occured to me that there might be people out there who WANT to see me fail. I know that there are a few that are jealous, and I try to be encouraging for them to undertake their own journey without pushing -- as I know that they will be ready when they want to be. And then there is someone who was friendly to me until I started losing... I wouldn't say that we were friends, but friendly. Now he is not friendly. Perhaps there are other reasons, but I think it is about weight.

I do think about maintenance sometimes and agree that it's easier to be on the journey and maintaining while trying to lose. The idea of reaching my goal and then maintaining is a little terrifying. Because at some level I think that I have to keep doing everything I'm doing if I want to STAY the same.

How fun to meet online friends!

-LL

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PAM1968 7/27/2009 8:32PM

    Thanks for sharing this! It really gave me some food (no pun intended) for thought!

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_RAMONA 7/27/2009 8:12PM

    This was GREAT!

I'm taking away the definition of meals, and her take on maintaining... I always have viewed me 'plateaues' as 'maintaining'... somehow that always made them easier to live with, and I've learned some valuable stuff in the process.

THANKS!

And you are doing great... just hang in there. Have you checked out Tom Venuto's 'Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle'? I don't think you'd regret purchasing it... he's got some really interesting perspectives on why excess skin happens, and he just might have the answers to making your last lap at losing go a little more smoothly. If you'd like to know more, sparkmail me!

{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}
Ramona

Comment edited on: 7/27/2009 8:19:13 PM

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ANEWVERSIONOFME 7/27/2009 7:52PM

    As always....a very insightful blog! You had me sitting here pondering on each one of your friends tidbits of wisdom and observations.

emoticon

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ETAGGEL 7/27/2009 7:34PM

    SOme very good advice there!


Phyllis

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Andy Kaufman in the Wrestling Match

Monday, July 20, 2009

www.youtube.com/watch?v=BisS5
JxeUW0


Today, July 20, 2009, is exactly 40 years since the lunar landing.

President John F. Kennedy, on September 12, 1962 (hey, I was 10 days old!) said:

"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best..."

It's the month in review, and I assure you I will get to that, but I want to talk about that quote a bit first.

When I plunked money down for alli, for a full year at the gym, for plastic surgery, I made commitments. And I've made time commitments, as well, from walking to and from farther away bus stops to taking a Saturday for a race, to careful food shopping and recipe reading/creating/modifying/calculating/rec
ording. And you've made those kinds of financial and temporal commitments as well, haven't you?

If you have had any success at all, you've put up with something, at some time or another.

You've gone down different supermarket aisles, and bypassed the old, familiar ones. You've drunk more water, and experienced the attendant results of doing so. You've lifted weights and felt pain afterwards. You've walked and taken more time, and perhaps that has prevented you from doing something else. You've gone to bed earlier, missing out on TV or the 'net or time with your family. You've stayed away from vending machines and fast food, and cooked your own food instead. You've controlled your portions, even when you didn't want to, You've insisted on salad dressing on the side. You've passed on the birthday cake. You've gone to the gym rather than the movies. You've purchased more healthy foods, even if sometimes they were more expensive, or harder to find, or you really, really wanted a cupcake instead.

Make no mistake about it: these things are difficult. Sure they may not be in little doses, but over time there is a lot there, and it can seem taxing at times, or like a huge mountain looming ahead of you, particularly when you're first starting out. It can sometimes feel like it's not at all worth it. It can feel like every moment of every day is a struggle, particularly if success is elusive or feels like it's far away and in the past or the distant future.

But you keep doing these things, anyway. You keep on keepin' on.

We choose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

Do you have respect for things that come easy? Does tying your own shoes give you an enormous sense of pride and accomplishment? Most likely not, I suspect, much like how it's rare that anyone gets a medal for peeling bananas or adding two and two. The reason for that is because, for most adults (and I am not diminishing someone coming back from a stroke, etc., please do not misunderstand me -- for them, shoe-tying may be an incredible achievement, and I salute them for it), these things are easy.

But what about the stuff that's HARD? Differential calculus. XML programming. Anatomy class. Playing anything by Mozart. Making a soufflé. Dancing a minuet. Juggling five or more different-sized objects. Biomedical engineering. The legal Rule Against Perpetuities. Public speaking in front of a thousand people. Parenting a troubled child. Designing a state of the art hospital. Corporate accounting. Pitching a no-hitter. Writing a novel. Or landing on the moon.

Those things are very, very hard to do.Yet people -- and you may be one of those people -- do these things every single day. They get up in the morning, and they do them. And those things are very worthwhile, and those things are awarded with Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes, or patents, or large contracts or a community's gratitude, and all of the trappings of success and appreciation.

Yes, those things are exceedingly hard.

They're almost as hard as changing your life for good, shedding your skin and becoming a new person.

Yep. They're almost as hard as permanent, sustained weight loss. The awards for permanent, sustained weight loss aren't handed out in Stockholm or Oslo. But they are awarded in your doctor's office, in your family's eyes and in your own skin.

If they can put a man on the moon, then surely you can put your life right and get on the path to health, and truck on down it. And then keep on keepin' on, and live the life. Walk the walk. Get up every morning, and just do it.

Here's the month in review.

It's been a year and a half since I started alli. I took a five-week period off recently in order to kick-start weight loss again, regroup and try a few things to try to break out of a plateau I'd been on for a month and a half or so. Hence I've taken alli for 17 months.

In the past month, I've run two 5K races and my second time was a good third less than my first. I've had an initial consultation with a plastic surgeon and am scheduled to get things tucked, trimmed and lifted on January 15th, 2010. I've gone back to taking alli. Plus I met the very beautiful Lab-Lover and Quirkles.

Weight

I gained .8 lbs. last week (which is also .8 since last month), but such is life. Overall, I've lost over 150 lbs. And I am coming to understand that I've probably plucked most of the lower-hanging fruit when it comes to weight loss. This does not mean that I have nothing left to lose, but rather that the easier (and it has been anything but easy!) stuff is gone so now it's just going to be tougher. But I'm okay with it. I keep doing what I should be doing: eating right, watching my portions, drinking water, exercising, resting, lifting, being as happy as I can be, and I'm okay with it regardless of how the scale shifts around because I know that I am giving it my all.

Measurements

Except for my thigh and big ole butt, I'm within an inch or less of my personal best in all areas. And even those two areas aren't bad, as in 1 3/4" above the best for my keister and 2 1/4" above my best for my thigh. As for overall, the results are truly remarkable as I have lost a whopping 108 inches (yeah, that's no typo) from eight areas (bicep, bust, band, waist, belly, butt, hip and thigh), total. That's, er, NINE FEET of me gone. To add some perspective, I'm only 5 1/2 feet tall.

Energy Levels

Pretty good, certainly good enough to race twice. Yesterday I buried my husband in frisbee, and he used to play in a league! Now, I was in the shade and he was in the sun, but still! I have my quiet and slow days like anyone else, but I make sure to get the workouts in, even if I'm less than thrilled to do them. I am always glad to get them accomplished.

Sizes

I'm trading around 14s, 12s and 10s for pants, depending upon the cut of the garment and how stretchy it is. When I started, I was a 4x/28W. Up top I'm wearing a medium (I think that's pretty much a confirmed size 10). When I started, I was a size 3x/26W but was getting into 4x/28W tops.

I wear bracelets a lot of the time now; my wrists and hands are so much smaller. I can fit into a teeny silver bracelet I remember from college. My wedding ring is practically falling off my left middle finger. It hasn't fit my left ring finger in ages. My engagement ring is still in the safety deposit box, but it's from when I was about 40 lbs. lighter than I am now. Perhaps it's time to get it out and see if it fits.

I've got a size 10 - 12 Winter jacket for later in this year. It fits me just fine, including over the hips. Two years ago, I wore a huge 4x/28W Winter jacket. I suspect the old one would make a lovely tent. For a family of four.

Choices, choices. Respect the hard stuff. Respect yourself as you do those hard things, even if you don't succeed all the time, even if the scale is less than kind, for it does not define you. And, just as surely as the Moon circles the Earth, keep on keepin' on.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GEE-KNEE 7/22/2009 10:25AM

    I read your blog because of the interesting title, and right now I am so glad I did. I like your perspective. It's very inspiring. Before reading this, I was sitting here thinking how much I did NOT feel like walking this morning, and now I feel much more motivated. I really appreciate the metaphor about plucking the lower hanging fruit because I feel it getting more difficult these last few months, but I keep pushing forward.

Thank you,
Jeannie

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TRECECOOKS 7/22/2009 9:45AM

    You are speaking the truth with love, and modeling respect and love for yourself.

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ANONYGIRL 7/22/2009 9:31AM

    What great writing, and what astonishing progress. Congratulations.

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SLCB1023 7/21/2009 10:38PM

    Thanks for the blog and inspirational talk. You kick butt!! Well maybe nos so much of it anymore. emoticon emoticon

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SPARKLE72023 7/21/2009 11:14AM

    All I can say is WOW !!!! 9 feet of you gone?

Wow! emoticon WOW! emoticon WOW! emoticon

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MARCHMAID 7/21/2009 9:12AM

    emoticon Nothing more to add but a mouthful of awe!

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LIV2RIDE 7/21/2009 7:39AM

    REALLY FANTASTIC BLOG!!!!! There are so many great points in this blog. Thanks for putting them out there for us all to read.

Kelly

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WOLFKITTY 7/21/2009 4:01AM

    Wow!

I am speechless.
~Jocelyn

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TELERIE 7/21/2009 3:19AM

    emoticon Oh, I can't resist a wiseass comment: I REALLY intend to get my reward for permanent sustained weight loss in Oslo! I might even take a trip to Stockholm too, we've got friends there. emoticon
And YOU inspire me beyond words. Thank you!
Hugs from Marit

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VANYELMOON 7/20/2009 10:44PM

    Thank you for your poignant commentary. It is great to read something so positive and upbeat. I hope with all my heart that you reach all of your goals....

Tammy

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CAROLISCIOUS 7/20/2009 9:40PM

    Boy I really needed this today. Thanks Jes!
emoticon

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 7/20/2009 8:58PM

    You and your words are so inspiring.

It is hard. Sometimes very hard. You offer hope. I have only been at this since March. My life is already many times better than it was pre Spark. I simply did not believe that there was still a thin person inside me. I know she is there and I will find her eventually. I think it will take a long time. It's ok. She is not going anywhere. I am sure she is in there now.

For me it is not only the measuring, the choices, the prepping and the cooking and the tracking or the exercising when I really really don't want to do it. It is also the community and the laughter. I know I can count on you for that. It keeps me going.

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_RAMONA 7/20/2009 8:36PM

    FANTASTIC blog!!!! You inspire me beyond words. I am choosing to be in the position of being able to write my own similar blog in about a year's time. THANK YOU!

CONGRATUALATIONS!!!!

Comment edited on: 7/21/2009 11:38:01 AM

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LAB-LOVER 7/20/2009 8:12PM

    Great blog. You know I thought I could live another 50 years and NEVER see a reference to the Rule Against Perpetuities in a SP blog!

But you're right about the need for choices! And you're doing GREAT with them! I hear you on the diminishing returns from weight loss efforts, but I'm trying to think of it as practice maintaining!

-LL

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FITKAT2010 7/20/2009 8:02PM

    You say a lot of good things in this blog.

I too realize that the difficult things in life is worth the effort in achieving them.

Good job on your weight loss.

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