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Round and Round, Up and Down

Monday, October 05, 2009

Unfortunately, the song is a bit cut off, both at the beginning and the end of the video. Pity, it's a lovely song.

Anyway, this past week I ran another 5K. This was not just me and Mr. J but also our friends George and Thomas.

The results are here:

Our results are as follows:

92nd place / 25:21 (8:11 pace/mile) 2nd place in age group 60-69/ 70th male to finish (he got a medal!)

Mr. J
202nd place / 28:52 (9:19 pace/mile) / 10th place in age group 40-49 / 122nd male to finish

358th place / 34:16 (11:03 pace/mile) / 15th place in age group 40-49 /180th male to finish

428th place / 42:13 (13:37 pace/mile) / 19th place in age group 40-49 / 226th female to finish

Oh, and by the way, there were, ahem, 21 people who came in after me, and they were mainly in their 20s and 30s!

I also ran a personal best. I have never, ever broken the 14 minute/mile pace before, and never broke 43 minutes before.

It was wet. And cold. And muddy. And shivery. If the weather had been better, it would have really been a beautiful day, as the Samaritans' (the race was to support Suicide Prevention efforts) had a fair and everything. People had organized teams, running to remember people from all walks of life. My friends and I agreed, if we do this one again next year, we'll go as a team.

But it was ... wet.

And cold.

And muddy.

We ran anyway.

Now my sneakers are mildewy. And I am hoping I didn't get a cold out of all of that.

But if I can run in THAT, which was as bad as it gets, except for snow, well, what are any of us waiting for?

The streets of your town beckon.

Go play in 'em (but, er, don't play in traffic). ;)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SMCBELLE 10/9/2009 4:37PM

    Way to go!!! emoticon

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KUNGFOOD 10/7/2009 1:21PM

    Mildewy sneakers... point of pride, eh?

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DMPRIDER 10/6/2009 3:29PM

    Wow, good job! Saturday was nasty, I put off my Saturday run until Sunday. :) Congrats on your personal bests!

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MARCHMAID 10/6/2009 2:22PM

    What can I say? Thoroughly admirable! Do you have flaws? emoticon

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CAROLISCIOUS 10/5/2009 9:29PM

    Congratulations on you new personal best. You are a ROCK STAR!

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LIV2RIDE 10/5/2009 9:07PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

You did a GREAT job! Congratulations.

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PONYFARMER 10/5/2009 6:56PM

    You go girl and I do wish I could follow in your footsteps. My knees keep me from even walking. But once I get half the weight off, I hope I can do more.

Wow, even in the mud and the yuck and the cold. You are amazing.

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TELERIE 10/5/2009 6:07PM

    You are just PURE inspiration. If you could be bottled up you'd sell for a fortune! :D Congrats on another great run!

Comment edited on: 10/5/2009 6:07:22 PM

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PICKIE98 10/5/2009 4:29PM

    What a great story!! Congratulations!!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 10/5/2009 11:16AM


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SWEETZMIX 10/5/2009 11:12AM

    Janet, you just amaze me. I must get plan a trip to go running with you, as soon as I can run 1 mile w/o hurting myself. lol You are amazing and age don't mean nothing. I would of been last, lol, and I am 23!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I iz back. hahaaaaaaaaaaaaa @ the "iz". I crack myself up!

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CANNOTFATHOM 10/5/2009 10:54AM

    WTG! Thanks for the music :)


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CHERYLRG 10/5/2009 10:48AM

    This is amazing!


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MALCONTENTION 10/5/2009 10:22AM

    Great work! You must feel SO good about yourself and what you've accomplished! emoticon

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    Congrats to you and yours! Just think about where you were at two years ago. Ohmygosh! Very inspiring.
Love to you

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DEGODDESS 10/5/2009 9:37AM

    that's awesome

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MS.ELENI 10/5/2009 9:32AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You did great. I am even jealous. I walked in a 1 mile walk 3 times in the past before my knees got so bad and came in last each time. No it didn't help that I finished.It stunk that I was last. emoticon You are such an onspiration to us all

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KAUNISNEITI 10/5/2009 9:21AM

    CONGRATULATIONS! That run must have felt wonderful - especially after you got home and had a nice warm shower:)

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    emoticon on your new Personal Record!!!

It definitely doesn't sound like the best conditions for running, but you definitely made the most of it. It has been raining for the past two days here...I'm over it!

Happy Monday!


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ZEBEBEE 10/5/2009 9:08AM

    You da WOMAN!!!

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We Wrestled With Our Fears

Monday, September 28, 2009

I've got big news. I'm finally down to an overweight BMI for the first time in probably a good 18 years. I owe it to you all and I thank you. But that's not what this blog is about.

I had this topic kinda planned so I do want to write about it. As for the BMI thing, there's always next week. It ain't going anywhere. Except downward. :)

To begin.

I've been totally overwhelmed lately and so have many of my friends. I think it's this time of the year. The weather changes, school starts (even if you're not in school, it does still affect what goes on in the world. Here in the World's Largest College Town, the effects are rather drastic), leaves begin to fall, etc. Carefree Summer slips away and is replaced with Responsible Autumn. And suddenly you're overwhelmed and feel like you're running in place.

I originally wrote this as a post on a friend's page and then realized, hey this would make a good blog entry, so I've expanded it a bit.

Here's the rules (Or, at least, my idea of same. Your mileage will vary).

* Say "no" once in a while, say, to every 5th thing. Good, bad, big, small, just say no. You can't. Too busy. Overextended. The cat needs to be shampooed. Whatever excuse you can come up with or even try flying without one. After all, you accept that from others, yes? So they'll accept it from you. Say no and move on.

* Once you've established that you say no on occasion (e. g. you have boundaries), start to cull your preexisting stuff. That is, say "no more". Let's say you've done it 50%? 75%? 90%? Then maybe it's time to hand it off to someone else, whatever it is. Let's say you're making a quilt. Maybe hand it off to a friend (or even your daughter if you have one) and see how it goes. If you're handing it off to your daughter, you might need to supervise of course, but what would happen if she did it, or did some of it? Would the world stop spinning if it wasn't perfect? And maybe, just maybe, it'll be a little better, that her lack of experience could be charming, or her lack of preconceptions could bring in fresh ideas. By the way, next time, try doing this earlier in the process. In other words: delegate.

* Corollary to the second one, particularly if there is no way to hand it off to another: say "we're done". Or, rather, YOU are done, but the nicer way to say it is, the whole thing is done. What I mean is not to abandon things at their height, but to simply drive a stake in the ground at some point when it's appropriate. Columbus pitched a flag into Hispanola and declared, "I claim this land for Spain!" He could have walked in five feet or five miles (I have no idea which), and it ultimately didn't matter. He just declared he was done. So stick a fork in some things sometimes. Claim this land for YOU.

* Get away. For a minute. For an hour. For a day. For a week. Whatever can be budgeted in. I have a friend who I walk with, an hour or so, every week or every other week. We have it as an Outlook recurring calendar item. Sometimes we reschedule, or work intervenes and we can't go. But every Thursday the reminder (Thank God it's Thursday!) comes up, and we at least think about going. And often we do. Last week, we walked past the Aquarium. Next week it might be to Beacon Hill. It need not be with a friend and it need not be walking. Sometimes you just need to get outside, or get up and stretch, or take a bubble bath. Do it. The junk you have to deal with will still be there when you get back, and it wouldn't be diminished or added to that much if you were or weren't there for a minute or an hour or a day or a week. So get outta Dodge.

* Get organized. The house keys have a home (mine live on a rack by the door). The canned goods live in one particular cabinet. The clothes are massed by type, or color, or outfit, or season, or level of formality. Whatever is your system, make it, embrace it and use it consistently. A few seconds here and there, getting the canned goods in the right cabinet or the clothes in the right order, will save you serious time down the pike. This kind of time investment pays you back with interest.

* Once you've got a few of these going, pick and choose what else you want. Some things are mandatory (you have to pay your taxes; the kids must be fed; etc.) but for the things where it's not quite such a stark requirement, be selective. Don't want to host the Xmas party like you've been doing for the last three years? Then say you can't do it. And if it falls through, well, that's unfortunate, but maybe the people who you would have normally invited will begin to come around to realizing that someone has to make it happen. Either they'll ask you to do it again (you need to be firm!) or will drop it completely. Decide which is better, which is worse. And if it comes back to you to host it again, insist on help.

* Finally, hate to say it, but multi-task wherever you can and wherever it makes sense (and is safe: don't text and drive or anything like that). That is, use your time as efficiently as possible. Email. Call. Use cut and paste. Microwave stuff if you need the time. Chop the vegetables while the pasta water is boiling. Run the printer while you're on the phone. Have short meetings instead of chasing a bunch of people -- bring them together (and focus!) to forge a quick consensus and give everyone their marching orders. Get your cardio in by walking your errands (dry cleaning, etc.) instead of driving.

In short -
* Don't take on too much more. Stop being everyone's go-to for everything.
* Delegate and hand off.
* Stop projects a little early if you can. If not every i is dotted, unless you are performing brain surgery or rocket science, no one will either notice or care.
* Take some breaks and "me" time and separate yourself from the hustle and bustle when you can. Even small chunks of time can be very meaningful.
* Get a handle on your life by spending some time organizing things. Hunting for stuff is very time- and labor-intensive, so minimize the time you spend doing that by spending some organizational time now.
* Be choosy (where you can) when it comes to future projects. Do a cost-benefit analysis in your head - will this work for you? Will you get a lot out of it? For things that are more trouble than they're worth, let 'em go.
* Multi-task and hyper-efficiently use your time as much as is practical.

Above all: hang in there.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLISCIOUS 9/29/2009 9:29PM

    Yes, we gotta take care of ourselves...good advice. And congrats on the new BMI! That's awesome!

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FURBALLDTH 9/29/2009 8:06AM

    good blog you hit the nail on the head emoticon

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DMPRIDER 9/28/2009 11:06PM

    Congrats on the BMI! And geez, you're wicked smaht! :) Thanks for a lot of good advice there. I think I have to work on the organizational stuff most of all. I need to de-clutter my house and get better organized. Thanks again!

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LAB-LOVER 9/28/2009 9:46PM

    Amen Sistah!
The one that I'm struggling with is putting everything in its place... My house is a mess all the time, and I've realized that it's the result of many small decisions to let entropy have it's way. Those few extra seconds in putting something in its place really make a difference!

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FIT_TERI 9/28/2009 9:23PM

    Love this. I am guilty of stressing out over work deliverables as if I were a brain surgeon. Let me assure you that I am not. I love the "shampooing the cat" line also. I have only 1, but I bet that would be quite the undertaking! I am going to come back and read this again. Thank you.

OMG, and I forgot the first point I wanted to make. Congrats on the BMI!!!

Comment edited on: 9/28/2009 9:25:14 PM

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MARCHMAID 9/28/2009 6:42PM

    So how'd you get so schmart, huh? Sounds a lot like advice I give but don't take.

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    You always have the best advice!

My new favorite line is going to be "Sorry... I am shampooing the cats today." I have three so it's going to take all afternoon!!!


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MS.ELENI 9/28/2009 12:45PM

    Another great blog. I always enjoy reading to see what you have to say.Never dull. Congrats on reaching another goal.You are an inspiration to some many. Have a wonderful day.

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KARVY09 9/28/2009 9:54AM

    What an acheivement. Must feel great!

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BIZEEMOMTO3 9/28/2009 9:38AM

    Okay, first of all, emoticon on being out of the obese category! That is awesome, and should be celebrated!!

I love the blog and the perspective, Keep It Simple, Sweetheart. You are so right about the season of responsibility, however we do tend to cram too much into that season. Thanks for the reminder!

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TELERIE 9/28/2009 9:35AM

    I just love you, J!! Wonderful advice!

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My Life on Alli

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yes, I take it. Here's what my experience has been like.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIL_PENGUINO 2/19/2010 11:17PM

    i just started alli today! thanks for posting this.

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CINDYY00 12/22/2009 11:38AM

    It works for me Too!.... Thanks for sharing a lot of people Don't really know or they are scare to take Alli.

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AMETHYSTD 10/21/2009 10:22AM

    Congratulations on your success.

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LILMAC79 10/20/2009 8:59PM

    thanks for the video, jespah! i just purchased alli this past weekend and have taken my first 2 pills today.. tomorrow should be a full day.
i am getting some comments from people on how i can do this on my own without alli.. and it is true.. you dont seem to lose THAT much more.. but i would like to just have something that keeps me on track. I am about 170 now and am aiming for 115-120 by the end of Spring.. here is hoping. I don't have my gym membership anymore ( was laid off) but hope that this and p90x helps me. I don't eat heaps of fat now.. and alli says my cals should be 1600 while my dr and naturopath say 1100-1200.. so no idea what to do there..
i will figure it out on my way :)
and will have to figure out what i do when i go to my boyfriends family thanksgiving in another state... eeek

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CAPECODDIN 10/11/2009 1:57PM

    thanks for the great information!!! it was really helpful to hear your story... and knowing that's its true gives us all a better understanding of what Alli is all about... thanks!

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EMMASMART 10/7/2009 11:35PM

    Hi skinny!

You are looking much fitter this time. It may be slowing but you are doing better than many... I'm sure you've caught heck for taking Alli from some folk. I'm sorry for that. I think you have a heck of a lot of self-control to keep on it for all of this time. You might be building muscle which you need to do to get lean anywho. I think that you are an excellant example of doing what ever you have to do to get the job done. You are inspirational.. Don't forget to drink your water.


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-LISH- 10/7/2009 7:15PM

  Very informative, Jespah - thanks for taking the time to make this video!

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GRACEISENUF 10/4/2009 2:44AM

    Very interesting and informative blog. I had read so much negative feedback on Alli that it was good to hear something positive. Alli isn't for me but I'm glad to hear it has been helpful to you. You look really great!

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SUNSET24 9/28/2009 6:44PM

    I saw your video on Alli, girllllllllllllllllllllllllll YOU should REALLLLLL YYYYYYYYY be on television.

you speak so clearly and very well and loveeeeeeeeeeeee your personality and you are Fair in expressing your journey.

you did an OUTSTANDING job Jespah. YOu should be on tv shows like 20/20 or Primetime Live or something like.... or a talk show :)

you GO girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! emoticon

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BIZEEMOMTO3 9/28/2009 9:57AM

    Thank you for sharing about Alli. It was very informative and interesting. I am very impressed with what it has been able to help you accomplish.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 9/27/2009 4:00PM

    I tend to get that same "side effect" you describe, unfortunately, because of a surgery I had about 15 years ago that required cutting through part of my sphincter.
You're right, it's no joke. I have to be especially careful before long plane trips, etc.

I'm not taking any dietary aids but I've been eating a low-carb, low-fat, high-protein diet since March, and if I eat more than 30g of fat per day my reflux/pre-gastric ulcer flares up... Which is actually worse for me than "rapid elimination" - last time it happened I spent the hours of 2-5am in extreme pain curled up on the floor of the shower in a fetal position with warm water running on me. I can tell you, that's sure a deterrent to eating too much fat, too!

Good job on your progress, and here's to you (and my) navigating successful maintenance in the future!

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GEE-KNEE 9/27/2009 9:50AM

    I have seen your fitness minutes, and I so think you could have done this even without the Alli. Maybe this helped you do it faster but YOU worked hard with diet and exercise to lose the weight...

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LIV2RIDE 9/27/2009 9:26AM

    I'm glad you found something that worked for you. You have come a long way and look FANTASTIC!!!

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MARCHMAID 9/27/2009 8:08AM

    Boy oh boy! My admiration for you has soared after watching this! I'm not good enough with math to deal with the fat grams. What a lot of work! I can barely count calories. . .

Hurray for you! My way not work, but I just could not take this on I don't think. Falling off the wagon is my lifestyle. emoticon

Still, you make a good deal of sense and I'll give it some careful thought. I'm going to have to talk to my doctor first though since I've got some gastrointestinal issues already.


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JIBBIE49 9/26/2009 7:25PM

    I know that the over-the-counter Alli is just 1/2 strength of what the prescription was that people use to get from the doctor. I think I just read something about them planning to band it because of complaints against it. Of course, I always laugh when I hear such things because it always boils down that some idiots were taking 10 times as much as what was prescribed and then they blame the product.
You have a good system with 3 meals a day. I think the problem is for most people that they set with the bag of potato chips at 10 PM and finish the bag, so they don't do 3 balanced meals like u have done.

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TIME4ME2BFIT 9/26/2009 6:27PM

    I tried it and didn't see where it worked for me, but I am glad that you had great sucess with it. Best of luck, and thanks for explaining, I am sure that it is helpful to some people.

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NEWTINA2009 9/26/2009 4:50PM

  I loved your blog, but i have to agree it is not for everyone. my body do not take pills very well, but i enjoyed the information you gave it was very informative. congrats on the hard work.

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PONYFARMER 9/26/2009 11:54AM

    What an excellent and through explaination of the product. I have always wondered about it, wanted to try it but was afraid to and well like you said it is expensive. I have been on SP for over a year now and I have only lost 23 pounds. These came off fast and furious and since then I have been stuck at 235 +/- a few pounds.

I am going to email you a few questions I have and then I think I will give it a go. I am like you a person who needs the reminders to eat mindfully and the consequences (being immediate) will definately keep me on track.

Again thank you for your wonderful video blog.

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CANNOTFATHOM 9/26/2009 11:53AM

    Hi! Thanks so much for the video. It was nice to have a personal viewpoint on the product. Congrats on your success!


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MS.ELENI 9/26/2009 11:12AM

    I always enjoy your video blogs and this was very informative.It is not anything I am interested in doing but I can see where it would be a help to some people. Counting calories is working for me and I will stick with that. I liked what you said about the 4 kinds of blogs etc.So true.
Have a great day.Keep the blogs coming

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So When the Sun Goes Low

Monday, September 21, 2009

The title of this blog is actually not my favorite line from this song. My true favorite is "think of me and try not to laugh". But that's not true about me. Feel free to laugh. I know I do. Life's absurd at the best of times. Might as well go with it.


I've just returned (yesterday) from an all-too short vacation on Cape Cod where I watched my calories religiously but did not get enough cardio. One pound up, eh, I'm fine with it. It's not like there's no reason for the increase.

I also wanted to do a bit of a month in review as the last one I did was a vlog.


Bicep 12.5"
Bust 38"
Band 33.25" personal best
Waist 22.5" personal best
Belly 37.75"
Hip 42.5"
Keister 44.75"
Thigh 22"

All of the measurements are within 2" of the lowest they've ever been. Right now my hip is the most stubborn in terms of hitting a new low. It last turned over in June. Everything else turned over no earlier than the second week in August.

I would like for my hips to get with the program already.

But, well, one of the byproducts of massive, fast weight loss is, my body shape is, every day, resembling Saturn more and more. Not the car company. The planet. Where's the rings? You guessed it. I wear 'em on my hips and my big ole butt. Hence the desire to have surgery.

Energy Levels and Mood

Both have been eh. Work has not been too terribly fine and so I am under stress because of that. I have been doing my best to medicate myself with exercise rather than with food. So far, so good.


Talk about your self-medicating.

My minutes have been off the charts lately. I routinely have somewhere in the top 10 or even top 5 in fitness minutes for many of the teams I'm on. Plus I've passed over 50,000 fitness minutes. Yes, folks, it's true.

I've been on a treadmill for the equivalent of over 34 days and 15 hours and some miscellaneous minutes.

No wonder I'm sick of the magazines at the gym.


I'm in the high 180s. This is my fourth week in 180-ville. It took 13 weeks to go from 199 to under 190 so I imagine it will be at least another month before I leave 180-ville, despite my best intentions.

I am not using that as an excuse to stop eating right, or dog it when it comes to exercise. It's just a likelihood. The more you lose, the tougher it gets. This is all because of plucking the low-hanging fruit. Everything that is even remotely easy or obvious, I've already done. I seem to have a fairly large loss about once every three weeks, then a couple of setback or status quo weeks, then another surge. This was a setback/status quo week. Perhaps next week will bring a smaller surge. Who knows? It's a complicated system, I figure.


I will finish taking alli in about 50 days or so. I will have surgery in less than 120.

Then what?

I'm open to suggestions.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSAKINS2005 9/23/2009 5:45AM

    You are doing so awesome. I just saw your fitness minutes for today and I am so inspired to go walking...but not in this heavy downpour. I'll live vicariously today...hehe. Keep up the great work.

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EMMASMART 9/22/2009 11:10PM

    Write the book... It could be a video book. You will lose quite a bit with the skin being gone. I am excited for you.

What do you want to study next. You seem like you will have passed this class.

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CAROLISCIOUS 9/22/2009 10:02PM

    Shopping for clothes for the new you!

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MARCHMAID 9/22/2009 7:18PM

    How about entering a contest doing something else you do well!?

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TELERIE 9/22/2009 2:57PM

    Then what? I'm with LL, run, baby! And just keep being wonderful YOU!
I also agree with the suggestion for audio books - it's how I spend a few hours every week running. A local library has a great selection of books and radio dramas that I LOVE to listen to. Time just flies!

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FURBALLDTH 9/22/2009 7:44AM

    they say the final few are the hardest to lose. Your body adjusts to the food intake and exercise. You will do it. Hang in there. emoticon

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LIV2RIDE 9/22/2009 7:16AM

    Maybe I missed it in another blog but what surgery?

It's funny how all the fitness magazines have the same articles over and over again. If you have an mp3 player you could get audio books and listen to those while you are on the treadmill. I haven't tried them but one of my friends swears by them.

You are doing an awesome job! I find that I'm trying to get to your fitness minutes every week. Keep it up! You are doing so good.

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MS.ELENI 9/21/2009 10:37PM

    Just keep on keeping on. Always enjoy your blogs

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    Slow and steady wins the race. You may think this is slow but it sounds great to me.

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LAB-LOVER 9/21/2009 8:08PM

    Then what?

Run baby Run! It'll keep the poundage coming off!

You rock!


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Haven't Seen Your Face for a While

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I got together with another friend yesterday. This was to mainly hang out, plus there was a new little cafe near her apartment that is kind of a wheatgrass-y kind of spot, so we figured we'd try it. She works as a personal trainer/in-home fitness instructor so she is well-versed in what I'm doing and is very supportive. The title of today's song refers to her company.

We walked over to the cafe and it turned out to be closed. Peeking in the windows revealed a good-looking spot, what Hemingway called "a clean, well-lighted place". Maybe next time.

So instead we walked, and we went out to Newtonville, which is a haul. And we talked. I mentioned that I don't have any sort of a work-style Winter coat. I've got a trench coat but it has no liner. Plus I've got a Winter jacket. But I don't have anything I can possibly wear with a skirt once the temperature really, really dips. Her suggestion was to try something vintage. Plus we were going in the right direction, so we walked to Second Time Around in Newton.

This is Newton, there is money. Hence any second-hand clothing store was bound to have good stuff. Plus it's just fun. After having seen her place, I realized she's into old-fashioned stuff. A bonus: it was a beautiful day for a walk.

We walked.

And walked.

And I knew we were getting a lot of walking in but it wasn't until just now, when I checked the mileage. It is close to (keep in mind this is by automobile directions and not on foot) 3 miles.

Each way.

I'll get to how I feel in a moment. But first! Vintage stuff!

Yes, there was a yellow fringed jacket from the 70s, perhaps earlier. There were Asian-inspired gowns. Interesting purses. Hats! We went in the back and looked at coats. There were two that caught her eye. The first probably would have fit me; she was swimming in it. But I decided I wasn't too interested in the colors. It would have been a good coat for her, except for the size. The other coat, though? Oh, man. Calvin Klein, never worn, originally 400 smackers. But it was just stunning on her. But, eh, even vintage it was serious ka-ching. And she wasn't even the one who needed a coat!

I didn't see a coat I liked that would have fit me. But ...

I backed up into a rack. I felt something fluffy. It was soft. I turned. It was teal. Oh, lovely.

A teal cardigan. Fits a tad small but will be perfect soon.

Cashmere, thank you very much.


No, wait.

This is vintage. There was a price for after a certain date: $22.50.

But the date was October. Hmm.

No, wait.

October of 2008.

I went to the cashier. $55, she said, pointing to the tag and showing me that the lower price date had not yet come to pass.

Er, no, see? It's 2008, not 2009.

Well, I'll be.

She gave it to me for $20.

I feel like I got away with Grand Larceny.

We walked back to my friend's place via a different route. This was up the world's biggest hill.

And I kept up! I was huffing a bit, and speech was a tad labored (isn't that the so-called fat-burning zone anyway? It's all good), but holy cannolli she's a personal freakin' trainer!

You gotta understand, two years ago I was working for a company, lovely people (where my friend from my last shopping trip/makeover was my boss, actually) and one day we decided to go walking around a track at a neighboring school. And that day, I could not walk far enough to get TO the track, let alone walk around it.

And now I'm keeping up with my friend the trainer.

That got me thinking.

Why do we make friends? How do we do it? And how do we sustain those relationships? And why?

Of course we make friends in order to form companionships. We do it all sorts of ways, including being thrown together for work or school, or actively getting into situations (e. g. volunteer work), or becoming accustomed to people by seeing them a lot (say, at the gym). We might even actively go out and shake hands with anyone we see, trying to make friends. Sustaining is effort, it's getting together, it's calling and it's writing and it's paying attention.

But, ultimately, why do we KEEP friends?

I think the trick is to be friends with people who can benefit you in some way. I don't mean in a mercenary sense, e. g., what have you done for me lately? I also don't mean that you should drop people who the going is tough. What I am saying is, cultivate relationships that are beneficial. Give yourself those kinds of goodies -- they are as sustaining, if not more, than food goodies. Make your memories with them.

It's called a memory BANK for a reason. It's not just an array of choice experiences; it's also, literally, a bank. As in, you make deposits and you make withdrawals. Deposit good experiences. Withdraw them when you're feeling lonely or down.

Yesterday, I didn't just score a great sweater.

I also scored a great memory.

A great deposit was made yesterday.

Thanks, D___.

PS Next time - I really need to buy a coat somewhere! But I gotta add, after 6 miles plus of walking yesterday, my calves and knees are barking a bit. But I'll live. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KUNGFOOD 9/26/2009 7:52AM

    Teal is so pretty... and heavenly cashmere. Won't that be a great way to greet Fall weather?!

Love your thoughts on friendship. I've learned that give-give is the most rewarding, sustaining, and caring way to have a positive and loving relationship.

Nice blog!

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4AMAZINGME 9/19/2009 3:10AM

    What a great friendship insight. Not only a good reflection but also a great day.

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MRS_TOAD 9/17/2009 8:05AM

    What a great day both in your find and in memories!

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FURBALLDTH 9/17/2009 7:45AM

    Interesting day. When I delivered mail in Brookline there was a second hand shop on Havard St I used to pass. Transferred out in 02 but it should be there. Might find your coat there.

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LIV2RIDE 9/16/2009 9:52PM

    Sounds like an awesome day. We could all use a little more of the relationship aspect of life. I so need to work on that.

Your walk sounds amazing. I walk a lot but nothing near what you do. No wonder you top the fitness minutes every week. Good for you!

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CAROLISCIOUS 9/16/2009 9:27PM

    Good for you for nurturing a friendship. And congrats on the 6 mile walk!

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Loved it. I think you made a smart choice not to buy the coat that did not appeal to you because of the colors. I was not so smart as you once and the coat went to Good Will.

True confession time. I don't even know a personal trainer and would be afraid to! I am amazed and inspired by what you tell us about what your limitations used to be. Jespah, you are truly someone I think about when I feel like giving up or when I lose hope. Thanks for sharing this.

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JURI62 9/16/2009 4:41PM

    This is awesome. What a great day. I've got to start thinking vintage!

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    Wow, I very very much enjoyed your blog. It was interesting and you have a great writing style / technique. Isn't it really neat to see how far you've come - as in noting one walk you took to this one where you walked 6 miles RT and kept up with the trainer. That's the yardstick that really means a lot on top of how you look and feel. Way to go!

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CHERYLRG 9/16/2009 3:08PM

    Great experience all around!

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MARCHMAID 9/16/2009 1:57PM

    Here's to grand larceny! As to friends, I have lots to say on the subject. Maybe a blog subject for another day. Right now I have the pre-presentation flutters and must do something to calm down.


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TIME4ME2BFIT 9/16/2009 1:11PM

    Sounds like you had a great time! And got gobs of excersise in too, what a bonus. Keep up the good work!

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CANNOTFATHOM 9/16/2009 12:46PM

    Sounds like an interesting day!


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MS.ELENI 9/16/2009 11:37AM

    What you call deposits I simply call it making memories. It sounds like a great day.And the walking was amazing.You are such an inspiration. emoticon

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PATSDIARY 9/16/2009 11:12AM

    What a great day you had - and it is one for the memory banks. We all make friends with many people for different reasons, and we fulfill needs in each other, hopefully! One of my best friends can make me laugh no matter how tough things get, but she is there for me through anything life throws at me. I have other friends like that, but I also have some friends that I really do love and enjoy, but we just have not gotten to that deeper level. Sometimes you do eventually, sometimes not, but the true key is to give and receive from the relationship.

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BIZEEMOMTO3 9/16/2009 10:03AM

    I love consignment shopping and finding that oh so perfect steal! Good for you on your bargain. Even better for your physical achievement. And humongous Kudos for your friendship and realizing what is really important - relationships! emoticon

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