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We All Know the Chosen Toys

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's time for the month in review.

Frankly, I almost forgot this one -- ewps -- but I thought of it while I was waiting for something to get done at work yesterday and so, while I sat, I started composing this entry.

The song, by the way, has nada to do with this but I like the bass line and it was in my head. Now it's in yours. :-P

Anyway, the month in review.

Bicep 12" (3/4" over personal best)
Bust 37.75" (3/4" over personal best)
Band 33.25" (tie for personal best)!
Waist 34.25" (1 1/4" over personal best)
Belly 38.25" (2" over personal best)
Keister 42.25" (new personal best)!!
Hip 40.5" (new personal best)!!
Thigh 21.25" (2 1/4" over personal best)

So you can see everything is good and on target. Adding them together, you get 259.50. When I first started, if you added all 8 of these measurements together, you got 377.00. Yes, folks, I've lost 117.50 inches, total. As in almost 10 feet. That is the length of one of the dimensions (walls) of my TV room.

Size 10s, baby! Regularly. Seriously. I have some larger clothes and am really swimming in the 16s and am pretty close to swimming in the 14s, even the size 14 jeans. I am wearing mediums, both top and bottom. Oh and 36D, too. :)

I've been running every weekend. My times have not been too hot but I have been going. This weekend we are taking a break from it (plus there's a lot of socializing going on so it's semi-impossible anyway) but will be back to it next weekend and then the next one is another 5K. Then there's a December 5K, that reminds me, I need to register for it. Then no 5Ks until probably March or April, as I'll be recovering from surgery and then it'll potentially be icy. I've got ice gripper thingies for my sneakers but have yet to test them out. It may take me a while to get a good set. In the meantime, after surgery, I get the feeling I won't want to bounce quite so much.

Mid to high 180s. I keep flirting with 186 which officially gets me into overweight range, and was even there for a couple of weeks. I'll be back there. A lot of this is muscle-building, given how I'm fitting into clothes. BMI is rather rapidly becoming a nice idea in theory but useless in practice for me.

Energy Levels
Fair to middling, I have to admit. I am energetic enough to run every weekend but then it seems to wipe me out. I confess I am tired, and I know my body is starting to think of winterizing itself. This means quiet, rest and storing fat. I can see it is already happening which is not good. Couple that with the fact that I get Seasonal Affective Disorder and it's even worse. What tears it is that the other day, yes, it snowed. In mid-October.

Now, snow is not impossible (hell, I've seen snow in June), but it just feels all wrong. Essentially what has happened all year is that it's been cold and wet for months. We didn't really have seasons, we just had very cold and wet; somewhat cold and very wet; warmer and still kinda wet; cold and wet and now colder and wet. I think there were, I kid you not, a total of three days this year where we really wanted the air conditioner. And that was it. Not good, not good. Now that it's also close to the end of daylight savings time I am really feeling the change and am seriously considering grabbing the full-spectrum light a full month earlier than usual.

I am doing what I can to keep my energy up. I go to bed at nine every night. I eat right. I get good workouts in but don't kill myself with them. I drink enough water. About the only thing I don't do much of is intake caffeine, but I've found it whacks me with monthly cramps, plus it does me no favors in the weight loss department. I don't need that agita so I keep away from caffeine. But right now it looks mighty attractive.

Other news
Not much, though some of that is a function of my mood. I am looking forward to seeing people, and the holidays will bring some socializing whether I am ready for it or not. It's not bad, of course, and I am always happy for it when it happens but right now, at this very moment (some of this is a function of me putting in way too much time at work yesterday, plus the dark), I am really averse to it. But I'll go and have good times. I want to see people, I do! And I NEED to, in order to banish the darkness.

In about a month I'll be done with alli. I think I figured out it would be November 23rd. Somewhere in there I ended up with an extra one so I believe on the 23rd I'll just be taking one pill instead of three. Eh, another little wacky thing in my life.

Onward to wet, chilly wackiness, as ever. Next week: Close Encounters of the Telerie/Lab Lover Kind ....

Stay tuned.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    How did I miss this blog? I was wondering what you were up to. Your reporting makes this sound more manageable than it is feeling at the moment. So those light thingies work? Maybe we should have been using them in July last summer?

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CAROLISCIOUS 10/25/2009 11:37PM

    I love how you are keeping up with your progress so succinctly. I wish I had done that. I am so jealous of your meeting with Kathy and Marit. How fun!

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TELERIE 10/25/2009 11:02PM

    Yay, you are REAL! I loved meeting you and LL today!! Thanks for taking the time to see me! Bloggage from me will have to wait until I am home, but I just wanted to hug you again! Thanks for the great walk around Boston!

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LAB-LOVER 10/23/2009 6:28AM

    Hey there! Great progress... Somehow I, er, FORGOT COMPLETELY to set October goals, so there won't be any report from me this month. Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday, after the cold and wet Saturday!

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SWEETZMIX 10/22/2009 9:43AM

    Progress...we can't ask for anything more!

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WOLFKITTY 10/22/2009 1:16AM

    So much adventure left ahead, Janet!! :D Congrats on your progress! It's always interesting to see #s and stuff from my friends.


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MARCHMAID 10/21/2009 3:04PM

    How tall are you? Just trying to visualize. And BTW, WOW! Hot dog! Jumpin' Jehosephat! Hurray and Hallelujah! And so on.


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MS.ELENI 10/21/2009 12:00PM

    Another interesting blog. emoticon

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DAISIESR4ME 10/21/2009 10:31AM

    GREAT JOB on your many successes! -- especially those inches -- WOW! Hope to be able to join you in that feat some day.

Best Always,
Carla Jo

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DMPRIDER 10/21/2009 9:47AM

    i love your description of our weather this year. You are right on the mark there. Thanks for the laugh! And you are doing great! Congrats on all those inches lost!

Have fun with LL and Telerie!

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JOHAL52 10/21/2009 9:42AM

    Great review!

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FURBALLDTH 10/21/2009 9:36AM

    Keep it up your doing great!!

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A Great Philosopher Once Wrote/Something Good/Shamanic Anarchistic Archaic Revival

Monday, October 19, 2009

Three for the price of one today!

I've had a wacky day already. Got to my office (I start work at 7:30 AM) to find that there's been a water main break in the area. Hence the office was closed (no water in the building)! What to do .....

I had my gear with me and went to the gym, even though I really had not eaten enough. It was fine, I was okay. Then went home, ate my apple on the way. Got in and realized, ewps, I better open email. I did. The bigwigs were still kinda floundering around. It was declared a work from home day. Well, that's nice but the laptop is in the office. Not a helluva lot I can do, other than read and respond to email. I sent a few crucial emails and told my boss that the laptop is there while I'm here.

Oh and of course someone said, well, the building management says the building could open at any moment. Gaahh there's always someone like that, eh? I figure, I did my part. I came to work, I was unable to do so, I got home and I did the really important stuff. Not my fault that I didn't have the laptop (I usually don't). I won't be thrilled but if I am stuck losing a day off, well, so be it. I am planning on Friday off anyway and am not changing that. I need the break, desperately.

And so that's been my day so far.

In the meantime, the weight loss department is not going along as well as usual. I've gained back 3 lbs. in the last 2 weeks. Not good. But I am working out like a fiend, still (when I last looked, I had, yes, this is the God's honest truth, more fitness minutes than anyone else in Boston). And my pants fit better than ever. Can't blame muscle for everything but I figure I'm okay. Though it is annoying to see the scale doing that. I am doing what I am supposed to do. It'll all right itself at some point.

So, why three songs? And why are they so techno?

I recently went through all of our CDs and added whatever I wanted to the iPod. This resulted in over 2500 songs -- days and days of music. I pulled the three songs for this blog out and put them not only into the iPod but into the Running playlist. This is the playlist for getting out and doing 5K stuff, both formally for competitions and informally for training. I was listening to them (and maybe a dozen other songs) when we were training on Saturday, and it was fun to hear them as they are from the early '90s and remind me of when we used to live in Mineola, NY. Plus I can't resist laughing along with the sinister laugh on "Ebenezer Goode". I'm sure the fine citizens of Brighton were unsure of what to make of the woman running in navy tights and laughing to herself like a fiend.

Eh, it's that time of year.

But it also got me to thinking about how music has made so much more of this possible. I didn't even have an iPod until after the first 5K, as it was obvious that I needed my own music in order to simply get through the time it takes me to run one. Now I put together my own little collections, about 43 - 50 minutes long, and I just run and enjoy them and don't waste any time or energy thinking, "Oof, what was I thinking, why is this on here?"

It's a little thing but it works for me and I know it helps me to run longer and possibly faster.

Before I started, I recall feeling that exercise is boring and how the heck am I gonna endure hours and hours of such a non-intellectual pursuit? Well, lots of pursuits can and should be non-intellectual. There's nothing wrong with feeding your muscles instead of your head. Or they can be mixed -- there are always books on tape for the truly ambitious. Or silence if you prefer. The sound of your own breathing, your own heart, your own feet pounding pavement, all of those are rhythmic and musical, mystical and magical.

Whatever it takes to get you, to the gym, to the park, to the field, to the court, DO IT. Play the music, get the sitter, eat lunch early, take a little time off, whatever works.

Whatever it takes, whatever works.

And now if you'll excuse me, I need to practice my sinister laughing for Halloween.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

QUEENOTHEFOREST 10/19/2009 11:07PM

    So Dahlink. Work from home means...vacuum, do the laundry, play with Milly.

Yes you may come out here and play with Milly. It is vital work.

Best to you!

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GEE-KNEE 10/19/2009 6:32PM

    Thats funny... techno, i remember those songs. The Shamen's "Move Any Mountain" was playing when I met my husband.

Hope you had a good day off. I am happy to hear that even though the scale went up, you still are keeping it in perspective. Sometimes it's so easy to get caught in those numbers, even when you know you are progressing with inches lost. The scale lies.

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TELERIE 10/19/2009 3:02PM

    I love to listen to my mp3-player when I work out too. Also when I do chores at the house, it helps pass the time in a more interesting manner. I'm hooked on radio drama and plays as well as audio books, but some groovy music really gets me going with more stamina. Have a great wacky day off and enjoy the rest of the week.

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WOLFKITTY 10/19/2009 12:00PM

    "Rhythmic and musical, mystical, magical" - - - I love it, LOVE IT, Janet. You're right (of course). I don't know what I'd do without music though either. It pushes me when I'm all fired up, and it supports me when I'm trying to light that fire. But, music is my muse.

HUGS! I'm glad you're well.

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MS.ELENI 10/19/2009 11:53AM

    ok I really feel old now.Your videos were a little too much for old grandma.But to each his own.

Sounds like quite a day for you. Enjoy your unexpected day off

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DMPRIDER 10/19/2009 11:33AM

    I run without headphones. I prefer to listen to nature and free my mind to wander. I also like to be able to hear approaching traffic. Lately I've been wondering if running to music would help me increase my speed. I think it may be time to experiment with that.

Enjoy the rest of your wacky day. Thanks!

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'Cause It's so Easy to Say that You'll Forget Your Past

Monday, October 12, 2009

Don't panic; the song isn't about Mr. J and me. Rather, it's about my original running sneakers and me.

I ran an incredibly rainy 5K 10 days ago. So rainy, so wet, so icky that I ended up with moldy sneakers.

No amount of washing seemed to be able to fix them, so out they went. The replacements aren't so hot so I will buy the absolutely correct New Balance number and not vary again, ever, under pain of death.

God help me if they ever retire that number, 758.

But I'm okay for now.

Anyway, I wanted to really write about forgetting your past.

Or, rather, not doing that, if you can.

I think photographs are astoundingly important, particularly the bad, "before" shots.

So many of us have so few of them. We gave up on our appearances. And the people who loved to photograph us gave up on doing just that, too.

Invisible, we came out briefly for major parties and then turned turtle and retreated to our caves. You know the cave. It's the place with the Pringles and anything made by Hostess or Little Debbie.

Caves. Quiet. Dark. Damp. Musty. And the best word of all: dank.

There's nothing nice about dank. It's chilly and moist and smelly and just plain awful.

And we lived there, in those dank surroundings, and we self-medicated with food and inertia and we sat in the dark and wondered why no one ever came over to switch on the lights for us.

Because, you see, we simply could not do so for ourselves.

And then you fast forward, and you hit today, and things are different, and the cave is a distant memory and you meet someone new and you find yourself playing along with their belief that you were always this way. It was ever so.

And if someone crosses your paths who is overweight, and your new friend says, Oh, I could never be like that, you nod involuntarily. No, not you. That could never be you.

Oh, but wait, it was. And that person, that nameless person, looks out to you, and their eyes reflect the cave.

If you are honest with yourself, you bring yourself up short. That cave. You've been there. You know it. You've lived there.

And if you are really honest, you tell your new friend, I can understand, because I have been there.

Last week, I went out to lunch with a friend I had not seen since before I started my journey. We had a lovely time, and after the initial "You look great!"s by her, she told me something I never knew about her before.

She had not always been thin. She had been heavy in High School, and had ended up with an eating disorder. It was a long time ago. She was better now, healthy and happy. And felt even better to be able to tell one more person.

Because bulimia was her own personal cave.

The amazing thing about the caves is, if you bring them out and into the light, they lose their power. They become just another place. They loosen their grips and become just another phase of your existence.

So you need to acknowledge them, to remember them. To tell the world: this was me. I wasn't always like this. And I remember and I acknowledge and I embrace it because without it I am not here today.

It's so easy to say that you'll forget your past.

But you shouldn't.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NGCHILD 10/19/2009 4:05PM

    What a great blog. You very much hit the nail on the head. I don't want to be in this place anymore and am taking steps to seal it up!!


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KUNGFOOD 10/19/2009 7:47AM

    Onward and upward into the light.
Shadows are part of it ...we need them to remind us which way we are going.

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WOLFKITTY 10/13/2009 6:33PM

    That's right - remembering in order to PROGRESS is a fantastic idea. There are other ways to not forget our caves, destructive ways, that we can avoid too!

You're so insightful Janet!

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EMMASMART 10/13/2009 3:40PM

    Still in the cave... I'm going to get fresh pictures taken this week. I think that might be the way out of the cave...


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MS.ELENI 10/12/2009 7:29PM

    Another good blog

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LAB-LOVER 10/12/2009 6:07PM

    This is a great blog -- I can definitely relate to not having mnay "before" photos -- I wouldn't let anyone with a camera near me, and always played the photographer role, so that I could hide behind my own camera. I HATED the me I saw in pictures because the camera didn't lie, but I was lying to myself everyday. I'm not sure that the cave metaphor works for me, but I understand it. I was the "victim" in so many ways and when I started losing weight, running, setting goals and meeting them, I took charge of my own life in so many other ways. Sometimes I see people I want to coax out of their own "caves" but I know that they need to do it on their own time and in their own way!

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TELERIE 10/12/2009 4:36PM

    Never gonna forget. Never going back into that dank dreary cave. I have a few dark corners still, but some of those are homely and cosy and I don't mind those. Simply brilliant, my friend. I adore your blogs! emoticon

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MITEJOE 10/12/2009 4:20PM

    Wow! Great post. I understand that cave; been in and out of it several times now. But this is what I had to do to get where I am now! No more dark and damp for done with that!

Best to you!

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VANYELMOON 10/12/2009 4:03PM

    Awesome post! You are right, we can never forget that "other" person we used to be. To forget the past is to repeat it in the future.

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MARCHMAID 10/12/2009 3:10PM

    It's true, we all have caves as DMPRIDER notes. Some, I venture to say, have even been nice places in some ways---not always dank but filled with amazing corners and lovely stalagtites--but still places we shouldn't have been and don't want to go again.

Here's to new sneakers and new insights! emoticon

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/12/2009 2:38PM

    I've actually started carrying around "before" pictures along with my spark cards, because people glaze over when it comes up in conversation that I've lost 149 lbs. It happened just yesterday in Walmart when I was shopping for a couple new bras, with the lady giving out the numbers and unlocking the cubicles...

And Saturday the woman who cuts my hair and has known me for at least the last 5-6 years showed she's already forgotten how big I used to be, because we were talking about kayaking and outdoor activities, and she asked if I'd tried the climbing wall at Cornell. WHAT?! I just spun around and looked at her and said, "You cut my hair last December, so I KNOW you know what size I used to be - I was over 300 lbs... There wasn't any way I was doing any climbing!"

How soon we forget...

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CANNOTFATHOM 10/12/2009 1:55PM

    Nice blog! Thanks for sharing!


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CAROLISCIOUS 10/12/2009 1:45PM

    Simply GREAT blog. I carry a before pic with me everywhere I go. Remembering my "cave" keeps me motivated to move forward and not go back.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 10/12/2009 10:40AM

    Great blog. I have a similar attachment to my dance sneakers. Bloch better not ever retire that model!

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DMPRIDER 10/12/2009 10:32AM

    Wow, great blog. I think we can have caves of many kinds, not always related to our appearance. I'm still working my way out of mine. Thanks!

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KARBIE18 10/12/2009 9:44AM

    Great blog! I have no doubt that I will NEVER forget. I have been very sneaky about avoiding the camera, but the few "before" pictures I have make me very proud about how far I've come.

Thanks for sharing. You definitely have a way with words.


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SWEETZMIX 10/12/2009 9:37AM

    Again a great blog. You know I don't let myself forget. This year has been sO hard for me with my journey. And in June, I just forgot and let myself go. Gained tons of weight, & then this fall I was like "EB, what's wrong with you, you are not happy. Did you forget all the hard work you put in, how you used to feel, how heavy you were?" And of course I "forgot", or more like push it in the back of my mind. But now I remember & always remind myself that hard work may never end.

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    Oh Jespah, this blog is so full of compassion and understanding. It takes a lot of courage to shed light on our caves, I'm not completely out of mine yet. Working on it though. And your reminder of other caves in my past gives me hope I will get out of this one. Thanks.

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    I so needed to read this today! I have been spending my weekends with cookies and ice cream and it isn't any fun!

I am coming back out of the cave today!!!

P.S. I wear 749's and if they discontinue them I may just cry!

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KARVY09 10/12/2009 9:21AM

    Beautiful blog, Jes. I'll never forget where I've come from because it makes me stronger. And with every 5K I run, I'll remember the girl who could barely make it up the steps to her apartment without panting.

Thank you for this!

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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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