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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Just a quick entry. I was laid off today. As in, about three hours ago.

Not 1000% unexpected, but unexpected enough. The IT Department was gutted and most of it is being outsourced. Ha, good luck doing my job -- the people I was training to take it over were ALSO laid off. So, no one can do ETL!

Hey, it's no longer my concern.

Right now I'm pretty tapped emotionally. I did not love it there, but I love working in Boston and being a part of the city so that much is not easy. Plus I will have to cut back, and the gym membership renews in two months (and it's downtown). It's a logical place to cut back. But in the meantime I will go any day I can -- not today, I didn't have my stuff with me and frankly I'm in no mood.

I walked. A lot. And I'm not going to drown myself in carbs.

It is, like I've said before, a monkey wrench, and there always is one. But wrenches are used for work. I will work again, and soon.

I am going to make it happen.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEETZMIX 11/16/2009 1:03PM

    hmmm I have come to realize crap happens for a reason. I am always here for you. That is the least I can do!


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4OURBOY 11/12/2009 12:21AM

    Shucks J that rots. Don't ditch the gym membership - cut back on, umm, ummm, I don't imagine you have an expensive drug habit, do you? :)

Can't wait to hear how this turns out, 'cause I know you'll spin it into gold!


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ERIN1022 11/11/2009 8:19PM

    This suck! I am so sorry. I hope you can find something even better next!

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NYAYNE 11/11/2009 1:36PM

    Sorry to hear you've been laid off. Remember the saying "When one door closes another door opens." I know you like working in Boston but I have to say the Kendall Square area is nice too. Good luck in your search for a new job or career.

Comment edited on: 11/11/2009 1:37:15 PM

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FIT_TERI 11/11/2009 12:43PM

    Oh no. I am really sorry to hear that. Like so many others, I have been in your shoes and it's no fun at all. I hope that you can find something else quickly. And I am sure you will come up with ways to use the unanticipated free time productively.

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 11/11/2009 11:17AM

    I was so self involved yesterday I missed this entirely and learned about it on the Mass team page. I am sooo hopeful for you that this becomes a good opportunity to find challenge and fulfillment in your life. Economy or no I am sure as an IT person you will be employed fast. My hope for you is that you get picky. I bet your gym could use some IT help in exchange for a whole year's membership, never mind a discount on your membership. Time to think outside the box. Polish off the resume. Make a list of the fabulous Boston places you want to work. And go check em out. Find out who you know on the inside. Don't assume the want ads are going to be the best source of info. You madam are a commodity that is precious. Don't sell yourself short in the light of the trauma of layoff. Go to a spa and treat yourself like a queen and build that confidence. You are awesome. (Sorry to blog all over your blog. I am all fired up over your options!)

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DMPRIDER 11/11/2009 9:30AM

    I'm so sorry to hear this. I've been laid off several times in the past and it stinks. I know you will find something better and more fulfilling and in the end this will be a good change. Good luck!

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JLITT62 11/11/2009 5:25AM

    Sorry to hear this. I hope you are able to find a job that is even more fulfilling. Just remember that this is happening to a LOT of really good people; it really isn't personal, altho I know it feels like it is.

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EMMASMART 11/11/2009 12:25AM

    You are way cuter than you were when you did this last time.
The economy is getting better (says me people are calling to invite me to work)
So I think it's just a matter of time. I can't wait until they ask me to go up to boston.

Definitely get in as much time as possible at the gym so when you go back to work, you have taken advantage of this little break. I'm sure your pretty upset, but let that go, and take advantage of this break to do what needs done.

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LAB-LOVER 11/10/2009 10:35PM

    Ugh! So sorry to hear this -- but it's your chance to show that you can have a new job in record time! You can do it!

And if you've been a loyal member of your gym, it's a great time to PLEAD for some flexibility in price, payment, or whatever works. They do NOT want to lose paying customers! Particularly role models Iike you! Heck, maybe they'd let you teach a motivational class for a discounted membership rate. Figure out what you need and go ask for it. You never know...!

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LIV2RIDE 11/10/2009 9:51PM

    I'm so sorry. I know exactly what you are feeling. It has happened to me twice. It doesn't sound like you loved it though. So maybe this is your chance to do something you love. I read several blogs during the day. One in particular that I read today was talking about how she got to doing something she loved. If you get a chance check out Oh She Glows. To make her story very short when she left a job she hated she made a list of the things she loved to do and figured out a way to do what she loved. She isn't making a ton of money right now but she is so much happier. Sometimes things like this happen because we aren't where we are supposed to be. This is your chance!! emoticon

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CAROLISCIOUS 11/10/2009 9:42PM

    So sorry to hear this news. Something better will come along...a closed door is an opportuninty for another to open.

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MS.ELENI 11/10/2009 7:48PM

    So sorry to hear you have been laid off. But things do happen for a reason even if we don't know what it is.Maybe there is an even better job waiting for you.
You are going to make it and be just fine.You are strong emoticon

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STRINGS58 11/10/2009 6:57PM

    Sorry to hear about these turn of events. After the cloud clears, I hope you enjoy redesigning things in life. May all of your best interests be served.

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PICKIE98 11/10/2009 6:23PM

    Who knows, amybe somebody at the gym where you workout, will know somebody, who knows somebody,etc,,, gatekeepers!!!

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GEE-KNEE 11/10/2009 5:00PM

    I am sorry. Hopefully there is a better job right around the corner.


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NOMORESTALLING 11/10/2009 4:27PM

    Sorry to hear of your employment loss but with your winning attitude I'm sure you'll be able to stay on top of things and come out on top very soon! There's always something positive that comes out of a negative Keep us posted.

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KARVY09 11/10/2009 4:16PM

    Sorry to hear the bad news. A friend of mine in Boston was laid off yesterday too. I don't think there's a recovery going on here! Chin up, and keep up your healthy habits. It's an opportunity to get even more exercise in!

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KIRSTY1306 11/10/2009 4:08PM

    Awww that is terrible news =( I hope you can find another job soon, I really do. Just try your best to kee your chin up! I'm sure it'll get better , you know where you Spark friends are f you need us!
Kirb xx

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LADYROSE 11/10/2009 3:59PM

    Enjoy the carb fest! ;)

Many hugs!! It's still a shock emotionally - continue to be kind to yourself, take each day as it comes, etc.

The best advice I had when I was laid off was to not make looking for a job a full time job. Take this as a chance to focus on YOU. Cry, scream & laugh. Especially laugh... laugh often and laugh loud!

I like Tuesday's take: It's a plot twist. Can't wait to see how the story evolves.

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TELERIE 11/10/2009 3:54PM

    Oh Janet, I'm so sorry!! Times are so tough and your attitude is admireable. Hang in there and let me know if I can help in any way!
Meanwhile I'll promise to put my work frustrations in perspective and be glad I have a job. I know you'll find an open door somewhere. You HAVE a wonderful writing style and "voice" so perhaps you should listen to Glenda and write... emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 11/10/2009 3:48PM

    Sending positive vibes! You WILL make it happen, I know it. emoticon

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TUESDAYS 11/10/2009 3:39PM

    Sorry to hear, Janet. emoticon

Though I have to say, it's likely just what we call "a plot twist." Watch for the next open door and, in the meantime, market that book/article. You have a warm and witty style and a weight loss story that many will happily buy. I know you're going to land on top of the stack, probably smelling vaguely of freshly laundered workout wear. Ahhh..."sweet success."

emoticon I'm rootin' for ya...

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/10/2009 3:33PM

    Oh ugh. So sorry to hear about this!

Hang tough. Let us know if we can help.

One positive is that given how people judge with their eyes in this society, your hireability has increased with all of your fitness progress...

Comment edited on: 11/10/2009 3:35:11 PM

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    I'm so sorry to hear this news, but you are right...YOU WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN!

I will keep you in my thoughts and send good vibes your way for a new & better position!


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No, I'll Never Look Back in Anger

Monday, November 09, 2009

Yesterday I ran my fifth 5K.

What a strange thing to say, seeing as it was only two short years ago where I would have laughed at you, thought you were insane to suggest such a thing. Even last year at this time (after I'd already lost a good 100 freakin' pounds!), I would have thought, well, I can do maybe one. But five? In six months???

Oh, but there's more. See, once again, I set a new personal record. Now, I realize that a part of that is because the initial bar was set exceptionally low, but I'll still take it.

Okay, no, wait a second. Step back. Look back.

This is something I have trouble with, and I imagine a lot of other folks here do, too. We think, oh man, a compliment? How could that possibly apply to me? It's selfish. It's wrong. It's vain. It'll make other people feel bad. Yadda yadda yadda until we end up with just so much white noise buzzing as we minuet out of the way of anything good that anyone could possibly ever want to say about us, and that even means our own self-talk.

So let me try that one again.

My first 5K was run in one hour, four minutes and four seconds, back in May. Yesterday's was run in 38 minutes and 12 seconds, AKA about 39% faster, six months later. I had been hoping I would break the 40 minute mark this year and not only have I done that, but I've blown past it and instead have also broken the 39 minute mark. I'm running one more 5K before the end of the calendar year. Will I break the 38 minute mark? I dunno. I attribute a lot of my success to this time running for one song, then walking fast for another, then running again and so on. I went so fast that I didn't even make it to the finishing song on my playlist. It was a good running day for my husband, too, and our friend Thomas. We had a blast, as always.

There, now, that's better. Did lightning strike me for being oh so self-centered as to say that I achieved something? Of course not. Did the earth stop spinning on its axis because I dared to crow about something good? Tap tap tap I'm still waiting.

I have power, to be sure, but not THAT kind of power.

And you -- what have YOU got? More situps today than yesterday? Looser pants? More weight on the press-up machine? More steps on the pedometer? More errands run by actually running them rather than driving? Being able to say no to cake? Or at least say no after just one piece instead of two? Better choices at the grocery and the dinner table and the restaurant? More restful sleep at night? A happier day? Speaking the truth of these things out loud will not cause the sun to crash into the moon.

But above all, don't look back angrily at the old person. That was you, too, and you need to not just love who you are now but even love who you were then. Forgive that person in order to become the person you are now, and the one you can become in the future.

Every race is with ourselves. Every time I come down that track and I hear those people (this time, my number was 99, so I could hear people calling for 99), I hit the gas. Whatever I've got, I give it then. Sometimes I hit that pedal earlier than others. This time around, it was quite far back where I was jogging, and then I hit the gas pretty far back as well.

And in my own personal race, yesterday I came in first, and the October me came in second, and the September me came in a close third, and the July me came in fourth and the May me came in fifth and then we all stood and cheered and applauded and waited for the ones who never ran, for the 2008 me and, yes, even the 2007 me, even if it took her all day. She may not have been fast. She may not have been strong. She may have been filled with doubts and fears. But she had more courage than any of us, as she saw through to a murky end that was unknown but impossibly hoped for and wished.

One small change to today's song:

No, I'll never look back in anger
No, I'll never find me an answer
Can't be no warning how could I guess?
I'll have to learn to forgive and (NEVER) forget

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIGISCRAPPY 11/10/2009 4:22PM

    Surfed in... somehow... not sure how. But what an awesome blog! Thank you for posting it! Congrats on the new PR!

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LADYROSE 11/10/2009 4:00PM

    That was fackin' amazing!!

BIG applause to all of the YOU's that DID IT!!!


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XCRMONGER 11/10/2009 1:48PM

    You never fail to inspire me. Thank you. :)

Comment edited on: 11/10/2009 1:48:32 PM

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TRACYZABELLE 11/10/2009 1:29PM


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DMPRIDER 11/9/2009 10:18PM

    Wow, another great blog! Congrats on a great race and time. You are amazing. And thanks also for a very timely topic. I was thinking tonight about how I've improved my fitness and so forth and sort of lamenting the fact that I hadn't found Spark and made the lasting change sooner. But as you point out, it is what it is, and the person I was then is a part of me now. Thank you.


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MALCONTENTION 11/9/2009 10:04PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CAROLISCIOUS 11/9/2009 8:50PM

    I am so proud of you! You have such a way with words! And yes, I ate only one very small piece of cake today (how did you know???)...I REALLY wanted another, but I said no.

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VANYELMOON 11/9/2009 7:14PM

    Awesome post as always. You are an inspiration!

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HAPPYWRITER7 11/9/2009 5:10PM

    Wow Congratulations on your 5K! This Blog was great, I really enjoyed the imagery!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/9/2009 4:27PM

    I don't have anger toward the old me. I feel kind of sorry for her. Sometimes I even pity her feelings of helplessness and hopelessness about her weight. She'd given up. There were too many other things going on in her life (and her mind) to focus on fitness and health.

I just want to go back in time and hug her, and show her the size 12 jeans I'm wearing that i inherited from our big sister (who is also losing weight), and tell her not to worry, that it will turn out OK. That it's not too late to begin again. That she will be fit again in the future.

Heck, I'd even go back to the old me of December 2, 2008 when I weighed 326 lbs and tell her those things.

I don't know if she'd listen to me or believe me, but it would feel good to be able to go back there and try to tell her. The best I can do is tell her, now, because she's still very much with me.

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TELERIE 11/9/2009 3:50PM

    J, another GEM of a blog!
I got all teary-eyed with pride for you and the imagery of all the you's lining up cheering you on! Absolutely fabulous!
And congrats on the PR!

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TUESDAYS 11/9/2009 3:11PM

    Thumbs up on your blog, girlfriend! Love the "2007 & 2008" imagery...powerful. And even happier to hear of you holding the line! AWESOME success story...

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MELS-JOURNEY 11/9/2009 1:41PM

    Wow. That was FABULOUS. Those lyrics at the end made me cry.

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GEE-KNEE 11/9/2009 1:39PM

    Great job!!!

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FIT_TERI 11/9/2009 1:14PM

    wow this is beautifully written. I especially like the part about the loving and cheering for the "you" that was, and admiring her courage. Because she, of course, is now the you of today. I hope your blog finds folks that are just starting on their journey - one that may seem insurmountable. You are proof that it doesn't have to be.
Congrats on your PR!!

Comment edited on: 11/9/2009 1:15:57 PM

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LESS_IS_MO 11/9/2009 1:10PM

Great job. And wonderful blog. I love giving myself pats on the back. I think it's because my immediate family don't really give them to me - for my weight loss or running. (Now my friends gimme plenty - but my family? - they just sort of buzz along perhaps pretending not to notice - JUST like they pretended not to notice when I got big)

I looked for an applause emoticon for this blog because I LOVE the pictures you painted and the set-up too. that image of all of the former selves lined up at the sidelines cheering you on at the finish line. WHat a fabulous visualization! I'm gonna steal that.

I bet you'll get that 38 minute PB on your next one. ANd what a superb idea to run one song and walk fast the next. Great idea -I bet you invented that for your own use and it seems to have worked perfectly. I love it when we invent something and it spurs us forward. (I *thought* I invented the system of picking a goal pace speed and trying to run one minute longer at that speed every day or every second day, but alas after doing that to achieve a PB in my 10k time, I read about the system in Runner's WOrld. Huh? I was SURE i'd invented it. LOL)

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ETAGGEL 11/9/2009 12:18PM

    Ccongratulations, you are doing great!


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MS.ELENI 11/9/2009 11:55AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Don't just crow
go up on the roof top and shout it to the world girfriend.
You should be proud of what you have done.
We sure are proud of you. You are an inspiration.
You are the bomb!!!!!!
I got excited for you just reading what you have done.

Comment edited on: 11/9/2009 11:56:20 AM

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JLITT62 11/9/2009 10:29AM

    Awesome job! And such sage advice.

It's funny, I often think back to the me that hated living in VT all those years ago, now that I've been dragged back to the Northeast. I'm such a different now than I was then. Would the me of today hate it as much, or would today's me find the positive? I'll admit I'm glad I'm not actually in VT, so I won't completely have the answer . . . but we'll see how the winter goes!

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SWEETZMIX 11/9/2009 10:18AM

    emoticon on beating your previous time!!

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NIKKIR123 11/9/2009 9:18AM

    congrats!!!! Great Job!

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    Now this is an absolutely beautiful blog. You are wonderful.

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MARCHMAID 11/9/2009 8:58AM

    yup. that's it.

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 11/9/2009 8:55AM

    Absolutley awesome! Great job!!

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There May Be No Exit, But Hell I'm Going In

Monday, November 02, 2009

Actually, the full line (which is a tad long for a blog title) is:

Don't Know Where I'm Goin'
I Don't Like Where I've Been
There May Be No Exit
But Hell I'm Going In

And I think the full stanza is what makes the most sense.

Anyway, it was just Halloween, and if any holiday is the weight losers' holiday, I think it's gotta be Halloween.

Because of the candy and its inherent temptations? Sure. Because of the idea of mask wearing, and letting masks fall? Absolutely. Because of the harvest? The change in seasonal look, from warmer, colorful early autumn to late, brown-leaved, bare-treed, cold-winded fall? Because of the time change? Yes, yes and yes.

It is a time of wrenching changes, even though we are prepared for them -- or at least we think we are. It is a time of putting aside shorts and tee shirts and grabbing jackets and sweaters. Extra blankets. Storm windows. My husband put plastic on the stained glass windows in the back -- now they almost look 3-D, spooky and ghostlike, wrapped up tight like a mummy.

It is a time when you get serious, when frivolity seems to exit and the grind truly begins. It separates the women from the girls.

It is, yes, the beginning of Seasonal Affective Disorder, although I have been feeling the onset early this year, earlier than ever, as the weather has shown more clouds than sun and more rain than warmth, all year long and on and on and on into a future of darkness and howling winds and long underwear and icy roads.

It is coming, I know. We all know, it is obvious, it is the mob of squirrels I see on neighbors' lawns, bold and arguing with each other, grappling over whatever nutrition they can grasp and store for the months ahead. It is in the decapitated sunflowers, brown and limp. It is in the skies, as the paintbox mixes steel grey and a wash of rose madder in the mornings but not this morning because it is still pitch, and the streetlights are still on and the black cloak wraps around and threatens to tighten and bind and hold.

But there are good things, there, too. There is joy to be found, even among the dark places. Joys of holidays, of years renewing, of calendar pages flipping, of personal renewals and reversals as timeless as the air. And mysteries, for there is nothing so obvious as a Summer, or as mysterious as a Winter, its veil of black and snow and cold hiding away its treasures.

Do I know where I'm going?

Well, sort of. I have plans, sure I have plans. But things have a way of happening regardless of your own personal planning so while I have my ideas and my hopes I am not kidding myself. There will be a monkey wrench. There always is.

Do I like where I've been?

I do in many ways, but I also don't, and I shouldn't, for living in the past is not where I should want to reside. There is better up ahead, and resting on my laurels is not going to get me anywhere. Like a shark, I must move forward, even if it's into the abyss.

Is there an exit?

Sure. The exit is long, though, and it leads through the rest of my life, and there is nothing on the other side because this is how life is going to be and continue. It is up to me to assure that the exit I choose is the right one, the one that will sustain me, and make it worthwhile to go on this journey, on all journeys.

But Hell I'm Going In.

Just you try and stop me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KUNGFOOD 11/8/2009 7:49PM

    Liked it so much I've visited to read this post three times!

You nailed the season change.


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SWEETZMIX 11/3/2009 10:02AM

    I haven't even thought of S.A.D. --and I have been in tears for like a week. Seriously, like a break down every morning for 15-20min. It's wearing me out more than my life right now. hmmm thanks for bringing that back into my mind. I also feel tired everyday, even though I been catching up on my sleep. This combo with all the stress I been having makes a lot of sense. OK - enough blog hogging.

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MARCHMAID 11/3/2009 12:53AM

    Am I to infer that Hell is not other people after all? Darn. Thought I had that knocked as the primo reason for all misery. emoticon emoticon

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CAROLISCIOUS 11/2/2009 9:38PM

    Wow! This blog gave me chills...or was that winter nipping at my heels. Seriously, I really liked this. Heyl, I'm going in, too!

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    Say it girl.

I hate fall. The long nights and short days and hunting season and raking leaves and not swimming outside. Fall ends for me on Solstice. We light a huge bonfire at work and hundreds of people show up. The days start to get longer. The nights start to get shorter. Spring is on the way. Hope.

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LESS_IS_MO 11/2/2009 4:14PM

    Cool! WHat a great read. Thanks.

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TELERIE 11/2/2009 3:59PM

    You have such a wonderful way with words.
I try to focus on how I love the changes, it might be grey, dark and cold, but it has its own beauty and these days have their own charm when we snuggle up by the fireplace and huddle inside. And the bright days are so much brighter.

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MS.ELENI 11/2/2009 1:22PM

    Another great blog

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RAVENSTAR25 11/2/2009 12:24PM

  I loved this blog.... it was so very true and hard to believe that it is that time of year again. ;) We'll be okay... like one of the other sparkers said... you can only go halfway in cause after that you are going back out.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/2/2009 11:52AM

    To paraphrase a joke my mom used to tell,

How far can Jespah run into Hell?

Halfway. Because after that she's running OUT.

Just see if you can make it through, say, the end of February - by that point the days will be getting longer again... It's four months, but it's ONLY four months.

My main concern with the passing of Halloween is that we're now heading straight into Food Season:

New Year's
Valentine's Day

I did OK through Halloween (although it's not really candy that tempts me - I prefer starch, salt, and fat). That's 1 down and 5 to go.

I'm just trying to remember that I want to be in shape for the spring melt for WW kayaking, and focus on that...

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DMPRIDER 11/2/2009 11:17AM

    Wow, great blog! Thanks for the reminder that this is a good time to reflect on where we're going and where we've been as we batten down the hatches to face the winter.

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JLITT62 11/2/2009 10:23AM

    Wow . . . what a wonderful blog! I used to suffer from SADD something miserable when I lived in VT. It's been so long since I've gone thru a real winter, I don't know how I'll react -- but I'm such a different person than I was 20 years ago. We'll talk again in April!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 11/2/2009 9:33AM

    Love this, and the bittersweet change in the seasons once again....

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MCR0285 11/2/2009 9:26AM

    Loved your blog!

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Let's Go Crash that Party Down In Normaltown Tonight

Monday, October 26, 2009

We agreed that we would not get tattoos. And while we did not discuss any objections to skinny-dipping, it was too dang cold to even be considered.

But we did have fun.

Who, you say? Or, whom, if you're better at this English stuff than I am.

Why, Telerie and Lab-Lover, you silly people. Haven't you been following every moment, every nanosecond, every pixel I've written in preparation?


Ah well that's okay. All will be revealed.

For those not in the know, Telerie is here in Boston on business from Oslo. Once in a lifetime opportunity alert!!! Lab-Lover and I live and work in the area and met before, at a 5K.

Our tale begins with me getting to Telerie's hotel in Copley Square. Now, ya gotta picture this. I'm wearing a 20-year-old brown leather jacket (yes, it fits again!), a yellow Champion sweatshirt, a pistachio green-colored turtleneck, blue jeans and New Balance sneakers. I'm carrying my purse and a canvas bag which has stuff in it (camera, water, giftie thingies, etc.). The hotel, on the other hand, is what you see in the dictionary when you look up the word "posh". Marble. Glass. Painted ceilings. Ornate gilding. Fresh amaryllis flowers in the foyer, thank you very much. And I am thinking, I have never been this posh. Even if I were to gather up every semi-elegant thing I've ever owned, including my wedding gown, and wore them all together (assuming that was even possible), I would never measure up to such standards. So I'm ready to see my Sparky pals but at the same time I feel like pretty soon someone's gonna grab me and escort me from the premises, perhaps using a hook from one of those carnival crane machines.

I called Telerie and she came down and -- I gotta tell ya -- she is one stunning woman. She's tall, she's brunette, she has a lovely smile and laugh and is very stylish. And she immediately tells me that she feels permanently underdressed in the hotel, too, and it wasn't her idea, it was her boss's. Whew.

Then Lab Lover arrived (she was dressed pretty similarly to me) and we decided to get outta Dodge. But not before some photos were taken (I will upload tonight when I get home). Lab Lover has the prettiest blue eyes.

The area is mostly flat and mostly safe and mostly interesting. There's a boatload of history and a lot of tourists and a variety of vehicles (DUKW, anyone?). But who needs any of that? Instead, we walked around, of all places, offices where I used to work. This is not as odd and pedestrian as it may sound, as my current office is across the street from Government Center (The World's Ugliest Capital Building!), and the one from a few jobs before that was a few blocks from Telerie's hotel, so it was just a kind of passing thing to point out.

Then we detoured to Faneuil Hall. Faneuil Hall is where, er, some sort of historical type stuff happened over two hundred years ago, involving a buncha dudes in powdered wigs. At least, that's what I think happened. Plus there was break dancing although that might've just happened yesterday.

And then ... ahh ... wait for it ...

It was the best line of the day.

We were walking by some guy holding a cup and hoping for spare change. There are, unfortunately, quite a few of these guys, and probably more because of the current state of the economy. One who hangs around near an ATM near my office routinely proposes marriage when I walk by.

I'm thinking it over.

But wait, I digress. This was a different guy, the one with the cup. He sees us and says (I swear this is true), "You're three of the most beautiful women I've ever seen. Can I have a dollar?"

Well, the dude did not get his dollar. But he did get a lot of smiles and thank yous.

And yanno something, he's right.

Except, er, for the dollar part, I think.

I mean, what is beauty? What is it, REALLY? Sure it's looks. And it's brains and talent, too, I suppose. And we are not movie stars by any means and we all know when we're being buttered up and overly flattered.

But what is truly lovely, truly stunning, is how we have changed. We aren't just thinner. We aren't just faster. We don't just now have closets full of running tights and Polar heart rate monitors.

We have confidence. We have charisma. We have soul.

We know that sparking hasn't just helped us to become more fit. It's helped, in many ways, to make us better people, better versions of ourselves. You know, the selves who get promoted. The ones who elicit smiles. The ones who find jobs quickly, even in a bad economy. The ones who are respected. The ones who are spoken of in mysterious tones.

Did ya hear she ran a 5K? In the rain? Did ya hear she gets up every morning and works out, even on the weekends? Did ya hear she gave away bags of clothes because she truly believes she'll NEVER be fat again? Did ya hear she ...?

Turning heads is one thing. Changing minds is something else.

But lest you think we just floated by in a gorgeous haze, we also sat down together and just talked. And we laughed and joked and were serious and sweet, and you feel like: I've known you forever. Didn't we go to third grade together? Didn't we get in trouble that one time? Didn't we play Capture the Flag in camp? Didn't we ...?

Watch out for us; we're the wild girls, walking down the street.

Join us.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TELERIE 10/30/2009 8:16PM

    It's true I feel like I've known you guys since kindergarden. How funny is that. Such is the connection of Spark People I suppose... Thanks for a wonderful walk and talk through the garden, didn't see any torn sheets, but I could have danced! Didn't we?

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GEE-KNEE 10/28/2009 9:31AM

    That's cool that you had a good day with your spark friends. You are right about gaining all sorts of stuff from sparking. It is life changing.

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LJOHN44 10/27/2009 6:57PM

    Your blogs give me goosebumps. Thank you!

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CAROLISCIOUS 10/26/2009 9:30PM

    So glad you guys had fun. I met some sparkfriends in Vegas last year. It was a total blast and such a connection. There is just something about the bond we share...havig worked through this weight-loss journey together.

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SWEETZMIX 10/26/2009 9:06PM

    Well 1st this is all types of greatness that you got to meet up with sparkyfriends!! ALWAYS GREAT! 2nd you gals are hott!! But what makes you gals even more beautiful is that you inspire, you lead (even when your not trying to) by example, and you are always there for a friend...all of this changes the mind of those who only want to follow in your footsteps aka ME!

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LIV2RIDE 10/26/2009 8:53PM

    Sounds like you guys had a great time. Glad you were able to meet up with some SP buddies in person. That's awesome! Can't wait to see the pics.

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FIT_TERI 10/26/2009 8:27PM

    "We have confidence. We have charisma. We have soul."

Love this blog. You 3 have all that and more. And you deserve to.
I am always so glad to hear when these online relationships turn out to be as good (or better!) when conducted in person!! It's so great that you felt just like old friends. To me, the qualitative benefits (vs. quantitative.... I think you'll know what I mean here) are key!! Counting the calories, cardio minutes, etc is "easy" for Spark to do. Fostering this kind of connection is a gift.

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WOLFKITTY 10/26/2009 5:44PM

    Aww!! Isn't it magical meeting up with other SparkFriends?! I was a little jealous, because I've known Telerie on here from around when I started, but I was more overwhelmed with how HAPPY I am for YOU to have this experience, and those like it.

You deserve all of this and so much more. It warms my heart to hear about how you feel about yourself, Janet!

Keep up the great work!!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 10/26/2009 2:14PM

    Looking forward to the pics!

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MS.ELENI 10/26/2009 1:20PM

    Another great blog.Waiting to see the pics. Sounds like a great time.

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MALCONTENTION 10/26/2009 11:09AM

    Can't wait to see the pics!

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 10/26/2009 10:53AM

    Wow I needed this. Thanks!

But one thing...go back there right now and give that guy his dollar. In fact give him a fiver.

I absolutely love that image of you in every posh thing you ever owned including your wedding gown. Yeah!

Gurl, you would be posh stark nekked.

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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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