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Say the Devil is My Savior, But I Don't Pay No Heed

Monday, October 11, 2010

Okay, that title is sure to alarm some Sparkers out there. That amuses me.

Anyway, a few things.

I went to NYC over the weekend. Now, I despise NYC. It's not that I don't like cities. I love Boston. I love Providence, I love Philly and Wilmington (DE), too. I love Charlotte. I like DC (not love). Hartford and New Haven are okay. Honolulu is meh (although the scenery is a delight). San Francisco is glorious. LA is fair to middling. Both Portlands are good. Seattle is great.

But I really and truly cannot stand NYC. It's possibly the combination of overly crowded streets, arrogant natives (I'm married to a native, BTW, and he doesn't like NYC, either) and a lack of basic services for any kind of a price or convenience level that approaches reason.

Anyway, enough of that.

Mr. J and I went for a gathering of people from the website we manage. And we had a ball. It's interesting, though, seeing people in their (semi-) natural habitat and not only interacting with them but also observing how they are when it comes to food and exercise.

Gatherings, of course, centerpiece around food and drink.

I had a grilled chicken sandwich. The woman sitting near me is a vegetarian so she ended up having a plain omelet. My husband had a pastrami on rye but he has those less than once per year. Our guest of honor had chicken soup and barely had a quarter of what was served (I don't think she realized how large the order would be). This was, of course, a kosher deli. As in, truly kosher, meat-style. No cream, no milk, no cheese and God knows no shellfish.

Those were the more or less healthy choices (oh and two guys did split a larger pastrami sandwich so I suppose that counts as healthy-esque, and another ate half and got the other half to go). Knishes (for those who do not know what knishes are, they are dough pockets filled with meat, buckwheat or potato -- most were potato though I did see one that was kreplach, which is ground beef), sour salty pickles, piled high sandwiches which were finished. One guy goy a turkey leg that looked like it came from a pterodactyl, it was so huge. He also got the only green vegetable -- broccoli -- which he promptly slathered with mayonnaise. Oof.

Walking? We actually walked a lot. Well, most of us did. Mayo and broccoli man left early and took a cab back to, er, somewhere. Three others took a cab to the next place although, in all fairness, one is asthmatic (but also a smoker. Huh?) so the other two kept her company. The rest of us hoofed it. And fast, too.

The leader of the pack was walking very, very fast. He was one of the half sandwich guys. He was a little hard to keep up with.

He's 74.

Yes, you read that right.

He is 74.

Now, we did even more walking later and after a while he finally said he really could not do any more. Understandable, but we had already walked a good four miles together!

I walked a total of five miles that day, all in about two hours or so. I came back to my inlaws' apartment exhausted but glad I'd done all of that walking.

And, it paid off, with the first loss since we got the new scale. I am almost back to what I was when we replaced the old scale! So, yay me!

Earlier that week, I had gone to the gym twice, which also helped.

So, to review: two trips to the gym during the week. Humongous walking on the weekend. Careful food choices all around. Water, of course. Enough sleep. Did my best to balance nutrients and not overdo it on the salt, despite what was around me. Plus fun and fellowship with good friends.

Result: 3.8 pounds off, almost three years after I started doing all of this. And a helluva great example in the 74-year-old. I suspect the guy with broccoli and mayo is a good 5 - 10 years younger but looks older.

This stuff, dear friends, this diet, this exercise, the water, the watching, the life -- it is not just for losing weight. Losing weight is an intended consequence, to be sure. But it's actually only a peripheral. The real prize is getting to 74 and being in totally freakin' awesome shape. It's in outrunning/outwalking people who are as young as less than half your age. It is in not being on oxygen. It is in not using a cane or a walker. It is in getting there and ruling your 74-year-old (or older!) roost.

We are all gonna die.

I know, I know, that is no great shock to anyone, or at least it shouldn't be. And some of us will be hit by buses and the like. But for those who make it past accidents and suicide and HIV and warfare and murder to our elder years, to the years that are eventually eclipsed by strokes, heart attacks, broken hips, cancer and, sadly, Alzheimer's, the best thing we can do for ourselves NOW is to put those days off as long as possible.

There are three stages of being old. Young old, middle old, and old old. Young old are vigorous and alive. My 74-year-old pal. My father. Middle old are slowing down. Grabbing canes and walkers. May have had cancer or strokes. Old old need more active care and may be close to bedridden. These definitions overlap and are not set in concrete. When I was a child, my father's mother was old old, never really younger than middle old. Wanna know how old she was, by the calendar, when I was born?


Yep. And she'd already resigned herself to the end, her fate. Oh, poor her. Oh, the suffering.

She lived another 22 years but never seemed to be truly happy or pain-free.

My father will be 80 next year.

He still walks faster than I do, and I'm pretty damned fast these days.

So I ask you.

Which one do YOU want to be?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACYZABELLE 10/17/2010 3:37PM

    According to the calendar I am 47 but I feel 80 some days! I am hoping by years end I feel 70, lol

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VEEJAY3 10/16/2010 10:25AM

    Wow, Jespah! Am I ever glad I found this blog!!! I'm at that age (54) where for the first time ever, things are starting to poke me (54). Just the little teeny tiny things that go wrong that you never ever experienced before, and a little more often than you'd like. Normal stuff. But it's exactly that time in life to redouble efforts towards health so that you stay on top of things.

We have a great family friend who is a robust, vibrant, healthy 78. Swims a mile a day. He's great inspiration. (And we also have people in the family who started being "old" way too early.)

Thanks for this reminder to rise to the occasion of aging!

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    Oh Gosh I almost missed this wonderful blog. You put down here what I strongly believe. That is that we can build the quality of life. It simply is correct that for many of us and I want to be in this pack, 70 is the new 60 or even 55. Or better. Barring all those things you listed the fitter we are the higher the quality of life we can have. And even some of the things on your list can probably be improved by good nutrition and exercise.

I met an old fellow (late 80's) at the Y a few months ago who works out every day and is amazing. Just amazing.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/12/2010 4:02PM

    Dude. I'm turning 45 next month according to the calendar, but most of the time I feel like I'm in my 20s. Especially while kayaking! LOL

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KSGROTHE 10/11/2010 4:54PM

    Great blog! I love the title you chose! emoticon

It sounds like you did very well on maintaining your healthy lifestyle on your trip to NYC! emoticon on your weight loss!

Keep up the good work, and I have no doubt you'll be healthy in your old age! emoticon

- Karen

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MS.ELENI 10/11/2010 2:50PM

    You always come up with the darndest blogs.Always interesting. emoticon

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KMBERLY817 10/11/2010 12:49PM

    This is a truly inspirational story and life lesson. Thank you sooo much for sharing it. emoticon

emoticon on the loss!!!

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CAROLISCIOUS 10/11/2010 11:47AM

    Great blog JES, and great reminder of the real reason we stick with this. You did great. I'm really proud of you!

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DDOORN 10/11/2010 11:35AM

    Recently I bought a book I just LOVED!

Bike For LIFE! How to Bike a 100 when you're 100!

Here's their website (check out their gallery of photos since 1979!):


There are some AWESOME interviews of fellows who are knocking down MILES & MILES on their bikes at 90+ years of age!

On my first century bike ride a few weeks ago there was an 85 year old massage therapist, steadily pedaling along on her single-speed bike with a wicker basket nestled into the handlebars.

I told her she was my HERO! She gave some of the cyclists massages at the rest stops...wonderful lady! She allowed me to take photos which I included in my blog:


I ABSOLUTELY plan to be as vibrant and active as possible right up to my final day! Woo hoo!


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I was a Short Fuse, Burning all the Time

Monday, October 04, 2010

I have been thinking lately about anger.

Anger at myself. Anger at others.

I spent -- hell, I wasted -- many, many years being an angry person.

I don't show it online, never really have. Perhaps it was the combination of knowing that it would be more or less permanent, along with the fact that the written word can have some reasoned delay behind it. Plus I'm such a nitpicky speller much of the time, so I look over most long posts (including this one). I have a chance to think things over, so the fuse is lengthened and I don't explode as much or at least I tend to temper it with some reason. I often read long posts out loud (not in public of course). Does it sound conversational? Then go. Nasty? Then put on the brakes, regroup and rewrite.

My brother and I did not get along for the longest time, and it is still a struggle, at least on my end, to assure that we do. There is nothing wrong or very little wrong with what he says or does. I know that it is me. I am too impatient. And, we are different. We grew up apart (although we lived in the same home), uninterested in one another's lives. We are now geographically apart and still not too interested but we try. I know of people who contact their siblings -- even of the other gender -- on a weekly basis or more frequently. With my brother and me, if less than a month goes between phone calls or emails, that's amazing. And usually if there is an email, it is him sending me something work-related. There are few personal or family-related things but, we are different. I have no children. I am really not religious at all. I work wacky freelance. He has a steady job, a wife and son. He's Treasurer (maybe he still is -- or maybe he isn't any more; I truly do not know) of his synagogue. He knows all the holidays. Me? I remember if I remember to look them up. Maybe I should set a reminder for myself.

And then there are our parents, who have to navigate our disparate personalities. I was rather PO'd at them last week. They came up and through a combination of bad luck and inertia, ended up staying here, even as we explicitly kept telling them -- the house is a godawful disaster area. But it all falls into a particular place and I bite my lip and pretend like it's all hunky dory for this to be happening even though, inside, I am seething.

And yeah, this is online, and somewhat permanent, and yes, I've put THAT out there.

But, yeah, I was PO'd.

See, anger isn't an awful thing, not if it's wielded with some discretion and, dare I say it, grace. There is nothing wrong with being angry. It is as valid an emotion as happiness. In fact, they are all valid emotions, and I get ticked off when I see people so hell-bent on everyone drinking the happiness Kool-Aid that they will push everyone to smile, smile, smile even when life is just not dictating that.

I well recall a funeral. This was over fifteen years ago. My great-aunt was telling the fresh, new widower, oh, just, you'll feel better soon. Well, no. He didn't. And while I think mourning for a decade and a half is excessive (and he isn't), if you can't feel sad at a funeral, when the hell CAN you?

And if you can't feel angry when you've been wronged or hurt or slighted or ignored or trampled on, when the hell CAN you?

I think fuses that are super-duper long get trampled on. I am not saying to walk around every day with a chip on your shoulder. I am not saying to alienate the people you love, or engage in violence or get yourself fired or arrested.

What I am saying is: give yourself permission to be angry. Permission to be sad. Permission to not get along with everyone. Permission to not always see things someone else's way.

A big part of this journey is seeing, and understanding, your own value. The wealth that is YOU. And that wealth comes with things that are sometimes not so nice. And they are as real and as important and valid as the things that are nice. You have to let those in, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LBEEKMA 10/6/2010 11:33PM

    So real! I, too, have found that putting how I feel on paper just helps...and isn't nearly as toxic to me (and those around me). You have to have a place to let everything out so you can let it go. I say, "Be angry!" and then you can be freed (somewhat) from it.

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BAGGYPANTS5 10/6/2010 5:18PM

    Great blog. Rang a lot of bells with me, too.

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HAPPYWRITER7 10/5/2010 5:58PM

    It's so nice to see you, fel like it's been forever. You really hit so many nails on the head here, I cant even begin to explain. Just recently Ive been fighting with myself about how angry I can get, and I had just give up and wondered what was wrong with me, but Im going to give myself pemission to be angry and then let it go. Sometimes the problem is not my own at all and I have every right to feel the way I do!

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TELERIE 10/5/2010 5:41PM

    I've missed your blogs! Lost the subscription!! Back on now!
And you're so right! I think many of us have bottled up those "negative" feelings for too long and eaten our way out of them instead. It's important to acknowledge the feelings we have and be accepting. They're part of life and living.
By bottling up every negative feeling it's too easy to wallow in them and get sunk in anger or frustration. By allowing our emotions some room it's easier to just move on.
Food for thought here for sure!

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NOLAZYBUTT110 10/5/2010 2:53PM

    Yes its okay to cry ay funerals and get angry, but....dont stay there! We all have issues and some we can talk about, others we should just let them wash off our shoulders alone. Talking about it or writing does help! Hope it helped you. susan

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MARCHMAID 10/5/2010 8:35AM

    I used to be angry more than I am now. Takes too much energy usually. But I hear you. Mostly I get angry at the stupidity of people in the public arena, but often, personally, my strongest emotion is disappointment.

Thoughtful interesting blog--will think on it.

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    Good stuff here. I really dislike feeling badly (anger qualifies with me as a "bad" feeling ie uncomfortable, draining, dark etc) though sometimes I just have to get through it and there are no short cuts. I have tried to short cut feelings with binge eating. It is a huge temptation. Then I get stuck in that phase and can't climb out and it does nothing for the original bad feelings. Most recently last week over sadness not anger, same binge, same result. It is also true for me that if I feel bad I can usually help myself with exercise. Going to that instead of to food is a major internal battle. I have not really thought about this so clearly before. When anger festers for a while it can become resentment. One of my favorite sayings is resentment against someone is like letting that person live rent free in your head. Yep. Thanks for the blog.

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AESOPSREED 10/5/2010 3:17AM

  I'm with you on this 100%. emoticon

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DDOORN 10/4/2010 11:26PM

    Don't know about others, but a big part of my weight was all about stuffing those feelings...*especially* anger! Still not as open with anger as I would like to be, but better...!


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CAROLISCIOUS 10/4/2010 7:24PM

    Well said JES. I'm keep my emotions inside way too much. It never goes well when I express them outwardly. People around me take it personally...and that's not my intention at all. I just want to, need to, express my feelings...and have others just be okay with it.

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KSGROTHE 10/4/2010 6:28PM

    I know what you mean about giving yourself permission to be angry or sad. I spent many years bottling those emotions up, and I ended up fat and divorced. He knew I was unhappy even if I didn't express it much. It was a waste of time to bottle it up and let it fester all those years.

When he left, I was overwhelmed by the emotions, the sadness and the anger especially. I cried a lot, more than I had during the dozen years we were married. I felt like I was out of control, but once I allowed those feelings out, I found I could feel a greater level of joy sometimes, a level I hadn't felt in years.

There's still a balancing act with the emotions. I want to be a positive person, and anger and sadness do not fit my view of a positive person, of course. And I have to be careful about the negative voice in my head that turn the anger inward on myself. That voice often leads me off track from the healthy lifestyle I'm striving to live.

emoticon for sharing your thoughts! You have written a thought-provoking blog as usual!

- Karen

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MADZIE 10/4/2010 2:17PM

  Well said!! It's not good to hold anger inside. It's important to validate our feelings and express them in a way that gets our point across and of course, no one gets physically hurt!!

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CHESAKAT41 10/4/2010 10:38AM

    Anger is an emotion out of control. Since I have become a follower of Joel Osteen a lot of those emotions have gone away. I am in control and a lot happier I have become...

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MS.ELENI 10/4/2010 10:36AM

    I like this. i have always felt fortunate that if i do get angry I never stay angry. I say what i am thinking and then I am over it. And there is nothing wrong with being sad as long as it isn't long term. I have days when I have my own little pity party but one day is more than enough.

Sending some smiles your way so you can
Catch a smile - be part the SMILE of EPIDEMIC!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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250STRONG 10/4/2010 9:40AM

    Very well said. I think it's great to feel what we feel. And (most of the time) express it (with grace).

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Bargain Buildings, Weights and Pullies

Monday, September 27, 2010

You would think that, at age 48, there would be little for me to learn about my body. But there still is.

Last Friday, I went into the office. Now, ya gotta understand, the "office" is incubator space in Worcester. Cheap, cheap, cheap. As in $100/month. Of course you get what you pay for. But we are a startup. There is no money.

Hence we have electricity, and HVAC, and lights and a lock on the door. And, quite literally, that is it.

Spent the time moving furniture in. Desks and chairs being thrown out by WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the alma mater of everyone in the company but me), whiteboards, er, "found" somewhere, a few bits bought at Ikea.

The floor is a godawful mess of less than perfectly smoothed concrete. There are a few interesting small holes in the floor (note to self: do not drop pens, paper clips or the like. Ever.). There is a small separate room which we are calling the kitchen although there is no water source. But the fridge (it reeks of bleach, which is better than when it earlier reeked of old takeout) and coffee maker (I donated that) are in there. Plus every kind of tea known to mankind (another donation by me) but no way to boil water except to run it through the coffee maker, which I hope still works.

Finally got everything in and more or less to our liking, then we spent time straightening, cleaning. They had me taking apart small robotic arms (lots of fine detail work) and sorting the screws and nuts and servos that go in there. Little motors about the width of two fingers and the length of two finger joints. I put up my Wegman calendar. We (mostly) cleared the conference table of robot parts. Soldering station is up and ready. About the only thing we don't have (and will need to continue borrowing from the school) is a laser cutter.

And then it was 3 so it ended up being lunchtime. Pizza. Oof. At least they got me a veggie one. I had the equivalent of 2 large slices. Plus diet Gatorade. Frankly, I have eaten better in my life but, like I said, we have no money.

Next day, I felt awful, like I was hung over a thousand times. Foggy head. Arms hurting. Huh, what?

I am thinking the combo of pizza plus salt (Gatorade) plus too much caffeine (we had coffee in the morning) plus different exercises than usual did it to me. It took a couple of days for that all to purge out. This morning, I feel great although I am up a coupla pounds. But that's fine -- it was a salty week. I figure the weight will be off in a week or so.

But it is telling me -- eating like a 25-year-old is something I truly cannot do any longer. I need to insist on a salad of some sort. I know, I know, there is no money. Then I need to chip in for it. Because this is absurd. It should not take me three days to recover, and not just from lifting and hauling (which, fortunately, we're done with for now). So I need to position myself better. Another thing I want to do is find an area nearby where I can walk or run safely. Probably the school is my best bet. There are a lot of hills -- some are truly substantial -- so that will be good for me.

And that brings me to two things we did that were not moving stuff. One was, heh, a coworker has a remote controlled helicopter. So he christened the space and flew the 'copter around a bit. Very amusing lil toy. We're going to play with it, see if we can get it to work with the thing we make. That should be a fun project.

The other thing was, we started talking about The Robot Run.

The what?

I have run about a dozen 5Ks by now. And I love them! So I checked around in Worcester to find one I could run there. And ... nothing. There are only two 5Ks in a year over there. Then I talked to the guy who puts them on in my area. He gave me an idea on price and what it all entails. And -- remember, we have no money -- we could potentially actually make some $$ on the deal.

So my idea (which my colleagues like, but we need more info) is for the company to put on a 5K. It would have to be in April, September, October or November in order to get the students in, but while the weather is decent and before Final exams. Of course we'd call it The Robot Run because we're a robotics company. We'd need to get sponsors and whatnot. I cannot guarantee that we would do it but I think it would be a blast. This would be -- eep -- my project.

So -- just to throw it out there -- would anyone wanna come to Worcester, Mass. and run a 5K next year? I can promise you major, massive amounts of quirkiness/geekiness. Helfino what the prizes will be. We will think of something (remember, we have access to a laser cutter).

Whaddaya say?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAB-LOVER 10/14/2010 9:43PM

    Yes Yes!
How about April? The Robot Rabbit Run!

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TELERIE 10/5/2010 5:47PM

    Oh my, I really really wish I could afford to come to do that 5K if you get it off the ground!
P.S. Pack some lunch and you're all set without pizza!

Comment edited on: 10/5/2010 5:48:09 PM

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TRACYZABELLE 10/1/2010 4:26AM

    **Note to self-- put carpet under feet so you can maintain comfort!

Also a chair mat would not hurt-- or maybe a tossed out refrigerator box you can cut to size, lol!

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DDOORN 9/28/2010 11:21PM

    Been getting other invites...not a runner, esp. 5K variety...but jeez you runner-types seem to have such BOATLOADS of fun...!

I'm just so partial to my bike...check out my latest blog: reached a TERRIFIC milestone!


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CAROLISCIOUS 9/28/2010 10:18PM

    Hmmmm...can't say yes or no. It's quite a long way for me. I'm sure I can be there in spirit, though!

I always feel awful after a salty meal.

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    I'll be there in a New York minute. How bout that?

I am most interested in your pizza hangover. I think my own recent bug was food related. Not tainted. Just too rich and too much and sugar too. I had a couple of days of binge and I felt miserable on Sunday. And I also put on a few pounds. last week. Who knew? The worst was the sluggishness and the lack of energy. Again. Who knew? Anyhow. A lesson learned. Back to the gym. Is there a gym near your office?

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WOLFKITTY 9/28/2010 2:21AM

    LOL, I don't think I can afford the ticket.

But that sounds really great!! I love it!
And thanks for the tales of your new office.
(Oy! Sodium got me this weekend, too. I accidentally consumed a Panera sandwich that had all the sodium I needed for the day, plus a little more. Ate out the rest of the day to get just over 3x the normal limit of sodium.)


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MARCHMAID 9/27/2010 7:43PM

    We've got a great 5k for Farmland in Hadley on October 17. . . check (shameless plug)

By now I'm sure this has occurred to you, but why not pack a lunch? A salad, you know how. . .

Sounds like fun and work and a challenge on multiple levels. Good on ya.

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KSGROTHE 9/27/2010 1:41PM

    It sounds like you have a very interesting life right now! emoticon

I can't help you out with planning a 5K, and since I don't run (yet) and live all the way across the country, I doubt I would be able to come participate. But I'm rooting for you and your little startup! emoticon

Keep up the good work planning and learning both about the job and about your body! emoticon

- Karen

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JAREJIL 9/27/2010 12:35PM

    What great ideas !! I look forward to hearing more of this journey!

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ONECOOKIETWO 9/27/2010 12:03PM

    Hey Jes,
This sounds fun. I am going to be in Boston in mid November this year. Any chance you could arrange your 5K in a coupla months? Not so much? Didn't think so. I do wish you major good luck on the fundraising, better luck on getting your biz off the ground, and best luck in the continuing journey toward the perfect life (a lifetime journey, or course).
Yer bud and distant admirer,

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DMPRIDER 9/27/2010 10:23AM

    Hi JES, just want to say first that I've been reading your blog regularly, I just haven't been commenting much. I love reading about your adventures with your start up.

I live near Worcester and my hubby and I will totally come to your Robot Run. Hubby is a geek too and I'm a science nerd so your company's slant to it will be a bonus. We really enjoyed our race experience yesterday and want to do it again.

Also, just to let you know, according to this site:
there are 5K races in Worcester every week.

Good luck!

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MS.ELENI 9/27/2010 10:10AM

    I see you are busy as usual. If I was able to run I would come join you for the run emoticon Ok I am lying. But I would be one at finish line cheering for you.
I do hope your job starts paying off for you.Seems like more work for no return right now.

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NOLAZYBUTT110 9/27/2010 9:58AM

    why not sell mini robots? Or have the winner win a Robot......who ever runs the 5K the fastest? That would get a lot of geeks interested. Or why not get people to donate their own phones and other junk.... things you can rewire or recycle to make a robot?

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Hey, Letís Go All Over the World

Monday, September 20, 2010

So, like, what's new?

Me, oh nothing. Just a thirty-seven pound increase. In one week.

Huh? That's impossible.

Yeah, oops, you're right. It was actually 37.6 pounds.

Huh? So, er, jes, are ya pregnant? You know, with the World's Fastest-Growing Mutant Super Alien Ninja Baby?

Uh, nope.

So you had surgery and they put hardware in? Artificial leg, perhaps?


Incredible, Guinness Book of World Records-worthy parasitic infection?


Is it -- uh -- really possible to gain that much in a week? Like, lard cake for every meal, all week long?

No way. A pound is 3,500 calories, my metabolic rate is something like 2,000/day, so just to gain seven pounds in a week is to eat 5,500 calories/day, every day, with no working out whatsoever, and this is over five times that. Hence I'd probably have precipitated a heart attack by Thursday or so.

So what is it?

It's a new scale.

Yes, the old one was THAT bad.

It was lying, lying, lying to me even as my 5K times declined, and even as my clothes started to give me a hard time. And, looking at my measurements, they are comparable to when I was last between 195 and 205 pounds. I am certain that this one is accurate.

So I was never in the 170s, and God knows I was never in the 160s, although I definitely hit the 190s and may very well have hit the 180s. There was a slide, but it was not as huge a skid as the numbers would imply.

And it also got me thinking (and you know that's dangerous). If I can put out there, for the world to see, this crazy super mutant ninja weight "gain" (or difference, or correction, if you prefer those words), then surely every moment of shared intimacy is all right. I suspect, at some point, you will all yell "TMI!" at me. But until you do, my life to you is an open book.

Of course I have privacy. I have secrets and hidden things, just like everyone else. And I try to respect others' privacy (particularly my family's). But me you can get.

Am I disappointed? Only slightly. I love seeing happy, pretty numbers as much as anyone else does, I won't lie. But they are merely numbers.


Today's number is comparable to, I kid you not, late April of 2009. And what has happened since then? I've run, what, 11 5Ks. I've pushed myself into a new job and industry that I love. I've made friends. I've had surgery. I've blogged my head off.

Pretty numbers, ugly numbers. Heh, it's all good, dawg. Like I said in the most recent vlog, I'm catching myself before things become truly dire. I am righting the ship. I am going back to basics. I never stopped tracking, I never stopped drinking the water and I never stopped weight training, but I have been slacking off in the cardio department and I haven't been getting enough sleep. Both of those things are on my fix-it agenda. And I'm carrying all of you along with me, too (see, I toldja I do strength training).

Come along, my Super Mutant Ninja Rock and Roll friends. There are more and newer and better places to go, more than have been dreamed of in your philosophy, Horatio.

Hey, let's go all over the world.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAYGEEBEE12 9/24/2010 8:50AM

    Wow -- now you got me thinking... I have hated our digital scale since the day my husband bought it a couple of years ago. You program it with your age and height, and it calculates your % of body fat or something-or-other, and saves your last 5 readings. I have never trusted it, especially since I am bottom heavy so it thinks I am 43% body fat. My daughter and I have never been convinced that it was accurate. I miss the old-fashioned needle type. And now, after reading this -- I think I am going to buy a new old-fashioned one. I wonder what I REALLY weigh.....

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DDOORN 9/22/2010 6:54AM

    Whew...what a cold shower...! But hey, you're rolling with it...they are just numbers and hardly can quantify all of the AWESOME transformations you've brought yourself!

Sounds like you already KNOW that and are moving right ahead to nail yet MORE satisfying ground! :-)


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TRACYZABELLE 9/22/2010 4:27AM

    Damn that metal monster! Grrrrrrrrrrr

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WOLFKITTY 9/21/2010 11:47PM

    Aha!! Awesome. You always have had a great attitude! I just realized that I wasn't getting announcements about your blogs, so I missed a BUNCH! Geez.

I'm here with ya. Let's rock on!

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NOLAZYBUTT110 9/21/2010 2:46PM

    I would not worry, its more than likely fat turned to MUSCLE! And you will find that happens. You may think you lost because your inches show it, but the weight scale alway seems to lie. Mien does to! Digital scales have a way of making you seem fatter. But with all those K's you waked or ran, ist mroe than likely muscle and muscle alway weights mroe than FAT! So ignore the numbers and check your measurements. I will bet your leg muscles are bigger~~ wave it off. You alway put on muscle just before you start seeinga drop in pounds! Dont let it get to you! Just tell yourself its MUSCLE and smile it off! I am sure within a certain amount of days or weeks you will discover I am right! Being more muscular means you may increase yoru weight but sooner or later the numbers will go down. THINK MUSCLE not fat! Go for a walk and shrug it off! (I ahd a scale that did that to me too! Dont you just hate those new fangled digital scales? (If my husband gets on it before me, I weight less, if I get on it first I weight at least one to 2 pounds more! Gte a kid to stand on the scale before you, truts me it will eb off a few punds when you get on. You cant trust a digital scale, they lie to you. I am almost tempter to go back to my ancient scale!) lol emoticon

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LAB-LOVER 9/20/2010 10:36PM

    I love Carol's suggestion! And it is just one more number. Doesn't hold a candle to all that you've accomplished! So there.

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EMMASMART 9/20/2010 7:30PM

    Apparently you occasionally step on the scale. Tricky, maybe I should try that.

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KSGROTHE 9/20/2010 6:30PM

    I appreciate your honesty! And, I must confess, I had to go check your SparkPage to see if you updated your weight tracker and was pleased to see that you did. So many times we want to lie to ourselves and to others about weight. I know some Sparkers who don't record their gains on SP, so their weight trackers stay at whatever their lowest weight was. Myself, I've been forgetting to update my official SparkPeople weight, but I've been tracking it on a challenge team each week. It's been going up and down, and I've not been making much progress. But I'm working on it.

Anyway, you're still doing great, even if you've gained a little. Now that you've got your shiny new scale, you know exactly where you are. I have no doubt you can get back on track!

- Karen

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MARCHMAID 9/20/2010 4:59PM

    Oh, OK. I'll accept that the scale is correct, but I'm never going near it! I want my own little corner of happy denial still, I guess. Your attitude is so perfectly you! Way to go! Yes, you have made progress and so have I. Yours has been visible and mine has been more psychological I guess.

TMI? Not a chance. I'm letting it pretty much all hang out with you and my select buddies (can't handle too big a group) so I guess it's onward, no turning back, keep a stiff upper lip, "don't give up Tommy Atkins be a Stout Fella, chin up, cheerio, carry on!" (DO you know that old tune from WWII? ) Saw/heard it in an old movie when I was a kid. ; )

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    So in the first place how can this be tmi when this type of information is exactly what we are all supposed to be focusing on?
In the second place If anybody doesn't like what we have to say they can go to another page. The end. For them.

What matters to me is that you and I are focused, focused and focused again. It is too easy to get distracted by life stuff. But in the end what is basic is our health, fitness and energy fed by our well being.

You are a trail blazer to me that is for sure. I'm pleased to be trotting along behind.

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SPARKLES_MCGHEE 9/20/2010 11:30AM

    Great blog!! I'm a frequent TMIer too, but sometimes it's good to just get it out there, ya know?

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MS.ELENI 9/20/2010 9:20AM

    Another great blog. You always get me to thinking emoticon

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CAROLISCIOUS 9/20/2010 8:38AM

    I like Fogerty much better than yodeling...

Well, rock 'n roll continually amaze me. You are right, the scale is just a measurement. Doncha wish there was a tool we could just step on that started blurting out all of the OTHER progress we've made???

Maybe you and your robotics buddies could come up with that?

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Metal Hitting Metal is All I Feel

Monday, September 13, 2010

The reason for the song is because I was recently in a car accident.

Oh, don't worry, It was nothing, a minor fender bender. Extraordinarily, I've now been rear-ended, I kid you not, ten times. In three different states. Heh, I must have a sign in the back of my car or something.

And, my ticker is all messed up. I *SO* did not lose seven pounds this week. The numbers are all over the place because the scale needs to be replaced. It's been faithful to me (despite my kicking it on more than one occasion) for over 2 1/2 years, so it's about to go to that great measurement paradise in the sky. The new scale will arrive in a few days, and I strongly suspect that my numbers are a good 20 pounds heavier than the ticker says -- this is because of how slow I've been running 5Ks and how my measurements are looking and my clothes are fitting.

My work life is semi-messed up in that I am beginning to really need more structure. Working for a startup is all well and good, and I enjoy the freedom but, at the same time, I also would love to get some plans nailed down, If you don't count this work, then I am rapidly approaching a year since I worked at the publishing company. This is a long time. I don't love long-term unemployment and, sad to say, I have already experienced it twice in my life. This is, essentially, time #3. With a startup, there is always the promise that somehow, someday, it will be funded and wonderful and off we'll go and our lives will change and all.

But ... that doesn't always happen and, in a continuingly poor economy, the likelihood is not as good. If nothing else, I need a day job, I am still waiting to hear about the most recent interviews so I am not totally out of the running but it is just so much more limbo and lemme tell ya, I really and truly despise limbo.

So. My car is disordered. My weight is disordered. My job is disordered. We are going on vacation in a few days and, while I love that idea, I know that the eating is going to be disordered. And that won't happen until we've gone through the Mass Innovation company appearance this Wednesday, which I am excited about, and want to go well, but I am tired of the ramp-up and kinda just want it done already.

Life is disordered.

But then again, it has always been so.

Have you ever had a perfect week, where everything went wonderfully? The dog didn't knock your sandwich off the table? The kids did their homework on time? Your spouse came home early, with flowers or a nutritious dinner so you wouldn't have to cook? Your boss gave you a raise (or, hell, while we're at it, a promotion)? Your car ran like a top? Your lawn was gorgeous? Your in-laws gave you the perfect gift? Your parents had a beautiful sharing day with you as you all gloried about the past? The world was living in peace and harmony? The lottery numbers came up for you? Yadda yadda yadda?

Me neither.

So, what do we do, when the dishes overflow the sink, the cat misses her box, the kids don't pick up their clothes despite you telling them for the umpteenth time, the news is depressing, the weather stinks, your favorites sports team loses, the toilet backs up and someone mentions termites and they're talking about your house?


We eat.



Eating caused none of those things and it does no good for getting rid of them anyway. It doesn't prevent the wreckage and it doesn't clean it up. It hides it. It pushes the cracked bumper, the brown lawn, the child with the F on her report card and the yelling boss into the background, but only temporarily. And when they return, those things are worse. They're dirtier, louder, smellier, more insistent.

Denial is oh, so easy. So many of us have lived in that mansion for so long. But it's not a mansion. It's a car wreck. It's broken glass and shattered plastic and dented metal. Sitting there and eating is not going to get you out. You need to unlock the door and lift the handle.

Get out of denial. Stop pacifying your problems with food. You are far, far stronger than you think. Go out and meet your problems head on. And I bet you'll find that, much of the time, they're not as big as you though they were.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LBEEKMA 9/18/2010 12:07PM

    Well spoken! There are so many reasons (excuses) for medicating ourselves with food and who feels better after that...definitely not us! It's so crazy that we punish ourselves like that for what others do to us? Boy, do I need to follow this advice...I'm working on it, though! Thanks for the blog!

Glad to hear you're ok!

Comment edited on: 9/18/2010 12:13:06 PM

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LAB-LOVER 9/17/2010 10:10PM

    Denial? Who? Me?
OK... yup, I gotta DO something!
Thanks for the swift kick.

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BAMAGIRL58 9/15/2010 6:03PM

    I love the way you express yourself and I swear I hear it all in my thoughts. The thing I love the most is how you wrap it all up. Thanks for putting words to my thoughts. Strange how very much more effective it is to see it in print.

I hope the disorder is calmed by a little vacation.

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DMPRIDER 9/14/2010 11:30PM

    This is a great blog. Thank you. Sorry about all the disorder. Hang in there.

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NOLAZYBUTT110 9/14/2010 8:55AM

    If I feel that bad I may go shopping for a new outfit.... feel a lot better for a while and it helps motivate me to eat right, and when you feel right, you start thinking right and life appears to look better! But without Jesus to focus on, I am just like everyone else...poor in spirit. So to get rich in spirit... so I can think right thoughts I alway make it a practice to devote some time when I get up, first thing in the morning to putting G*D in my life; first and foremost. It helps make it much easier to digest things that happen thru out my day when things do go wrong.It sure make a difference. If I did not have that in my life, I would be totally depressed, because nothing has ever gone the way I wanted! I have alway settled for what people dish out, and all those bad things until he came into my life. Now I try and reshape how others think who come into my path.

He has made the difference when I was in a car accident and my car got smashed up and I was nearly killed. That was the least of my porblems. I had a hard time and still do, sleeping and breathing at night. The ER people intubated me wrong and destroyed my breathing passageway. Nearly killed me in the process. Prayer got me thru it. It also helped when I got a viral infection in my lungs, helped when I broke my ankle as I was otu taking a walk in the park. He jsut makes like more adventurous and he keeps me focus on what really matters... loving life to the fullest despite all the bad in the world. If I allowed all those things to get to me, I probably would not get out of bed but cover my head and take a sleeping pill to escape it all. Because Life here and now is not so perfect for anyone. I just Hope others find the peace I have found to get me thru it all. Hope you have him oo.

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GEE-KNEE 9/14/2010 6:39AM

    Schedules and consistency are important. I hope your start up business does take off into something lucrative. Robots with hobbits, how fun. That would be so cool. I am glad you are okay from your fender bender. As for the potential gain, I just gained 20 from dealing with my husbands 7 months of unemployment. There is stress and then there is stress. I was in survival mode because I barely made enough to pay our mortgage, so I tried... but the comfort of the food won temporarily-on occasion. Now that things are bit more "normal", i plan to get it back down. You will get back down too.

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TRACYZABELLE 9/14/2010 5:21AM

    Sounds like order is in need-- do it one step at a time or you will fall..You can do it I know you can

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DDOORN 9/14/2010 4:21AM

    What? You mean wolfing that sweet thing didn't magically transform my house into something from Home Beautiful...? :-)

Yep, been there, done that...magical thinking really becomes obvious if one can step back, take a deep breath and look at things rationally...!

Great thoughts...thx for sharing!


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STRINGS58 9/13/2010 10:43PM

    I want to refer you to a James Taylor song, it has the line "the secret to life is enjoying the passage of time, anyone can do it, there's really nothing to it" --Maybe things are differently ordered instead of ordered the way you would like them . . . and I like the fire that burns up the denial and leaves truth.
I hope you find progress in the midst of the disorders emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CAROLISCIOUS 9/13/2010 9:55PM

    I'm gonna post the link to this blog on my local team page. Boy it says a lot. I'm sorry about all the disorder. I think a vacation is definitely in order. Yeh, you might eat a little more, but you'll have more time to be active and burn some extra calories. Right???

(I hope I can remember this advice the next time I go on vacation!)

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MARCHMAID 9/13/2010 8:22PM

    I almost was the first to comment this morning, but I had to run off to a meeting and my ride was waiting. Nothing brilliant except you've channelled my current feeling--I have been in denial about lots of things for years. Weight was only one of them. I love the clear statement that eating didn't cause any of the things that are wrong and won't cure them either. I've been living like that for two weeks and feel more in control than I have in years--and not just with food.

I do hope the vacation is a success. I have a hunch you'll make it so.

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    What a wonderful three cheers blog. I really like your pretty picture day that you painted. I have the feeling it is possible to focus on the good stuff just as you did here. Maybe not the kind of stuff that we might want to have happen...your ideas are absolutely splendid. But good stuff that we might not notice because we are being occupied with being annoyed. Ever have that happen? Love this. Thanks

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MS.ELENI 9/13/2010 5:09PM

    Easier said than done. But it can be done.Another good blog.
I do hope you get a paid job you enjoy.

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AESOPSREED 9/13/2010 4:49PM

  *offers hugs for all the disorder* !

I empathize with what you're going through, and I really appreciate the reminder that food is not the answer. I'm not at the point where I totally have it under control, but I'm getting a LOT better at stopping myself. And things like what you said here help. Thank you.


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KSGROTHE 9/13/2010 2:36PM

    emoticon for such a humorous and thought-provoking blog!

I hope you find some order soon, even if some parts of your life remain disordered. I find that I can laugh at some of life's disorder, but others (e.g. job issues) are harder to laugh off.

Keep up the good work! You'll get back on track eventually! emoticon

- Karen

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CHERN009 9/13/2010 12:24PM

    Denial is such a tempting path that leads to only more struggles later on. You are so right to stay with the need to fight it off. It has to become a constant reminder that we only need to eat to live and not live to eat. Enjoying the day, improving relationships, and achieving our goals need to be on the top of our lists not what food we can pacify ourselves with for only a brief moment till like you said you end up with a bigger problem than before. I wish you a great week my sparkfriend! Keep on keeping on!
Happy Travels,

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PMFISH 9/13/2010 11:12AM

    Our strongest muscle is our brain!!! I have never seen a happy person bitter or a bitter person happy. It is like the blind man having some one telling him about his new room. Before she could finish, he stated "I love it". She said you can't see it and I haven't finished telling you about it. He told her "When I woke up this morning I decided I would love it, so I do."

Many times that is just what we have to do and it is a better day for it. Times are unsettled for everyone right now.

You can do this girl! Hang it there! Your older body will thank you for everything you do to improve your health!!


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SCHMEVELYN 9/13/2010 10:19AM


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