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Me and My Heart You Steal

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines' Day.

But this entry isn't going to be about love.

Rather, I want to write about more, more, more.

AKA greed.

Overdoing it.

Too much.



Just plain too much of whatever.

I eat well -- I usually have throughout my life, and not just now. Sure, I've inhaled bags of chips and the like. But I have tended to have good meals and am not a big drinker or desserts person. I was not much of an exerciser, though, which is one major change in the past few years.

And the other major change, which I struggle with a lot, still, is that old chestnut: portion control.

It's hard, even with a set of measuring cups and spoons, to get it right.

And it's not just in the case of food. It's for everything.

I have shorter hair than I've had in years. It's not super-short (it's just above my shoulders), but it's still a significant difference from a couple of years ago. Do I take less conditioner? Nope. I take the same amount, and over half of it bloops down the drain.

Do I squeeze too much antibacterial stuff on cuts? You betcha, and I end up cleaning half of it off.

Do I stuff too much lettuce into a pita bread (lettuce, folks, a good 8 calories per cup or so)? Yep, and it all falls out.

I continue to struggle with personal greed. With portions that, to me, don't even necessarily look right. But I see a plate and think -- I should fill this or that. And, yeah, I know about the trick about using smaller plates. Know what I do with smaller plates? I pile vertically instead of horizontally. Yeah. It doesn't matter, not significantly. I still make sure I fall within caloric and nutritional requirements. I'm not chowing down on 8,000 calories per day or anything. But I do, always, see the plate with greed on the mind.

So, what to do?

Oh, and exercise? I'm in a 100 days challenge right now. The challenge is to work out for 30 minutes/day, every day. I've done, hmm, I think it's over 40 days by now, something like that. But my average isn't 30 minutes -- it's a lot closer to 60. SP routinely yells at me for burning too many calories/week. But working out more is a good thing, right?

Well, kinda, sorta. It's good that I'm enjoying working out. And it's good that I'm still in on the streak. All of that is fantastic. But it's also, partly, a competitive streak that I didn't have before I started. Not that I want others to fail -- it's that I want to succeed MORE than they do. And it's also just plain overdoing it all. And so today I am exhausted, after 90 minutes of walking last night.

Oh and by the way, all this added exercise? I gained almost half a pound. It didn't, in the grand scheme of things, matter much except in the sense of building muscle (which I know I am doing as I am, again, seeing positive fit differences in my clothing). But I ain't seein' it on the scale.

Again, what to do?

Chill out? Eat less? Use smaller plates? Deprogram myself?

I think we are all conditioned these days, in the US, to feel that we have an enormous sense of entitlement. We DESERVE lots of wonderful stuff. And while my house isn't filled to the rafters and I make an effort to clear out my closet, I do, still, even after these years, have issues with telling myself -- enough.

More, more, more? How do I like that? Too much.

Time to let some of it go, and not just to bloop down the drain, wasted.

Time to take, and to do, less of it in the first place.

Methinks I need to take a chill pill and relax a bit.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CODYG123 2/21/2011 6:52PM

    Another seriously wonderful blog. It isn't surprising that when one's culture bombards them with greed patterns, that those patterns manifest. I say deprogramme yourself, have a look around at what is really awesome about being here and now and "your stuff" will become a more sane, and more relaxed, priority. And, ironically, perhaps "less stuff" will be what frees you.

I don't live there so i can only share my speculations and from-afar observations. Culture it's all about the first two inches in front of one's (and family) noses.

I have the same self-competition about exercise and eventually end up in a lot of pain. I'm my own worst enemy. So I see it and I try to adjust next time but haven't found a good balance.

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CAROLISCIOUS 2/20/2011 12:20PM

    Thanks for this post. I am struggling with food and it really helped.

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    Oh my are you writing my story? Love it.

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NYAYNE 2/17/2011 9:42AM

    I have to agree with the smaller plate. I often use a lunch plate for dinner. My DH now asks what size plate do you want. I think he feels guilty taking a dinner plate for dinner. If I do us a full size plate I put a salad on the plate before anything else. I must say for me, having salad or a light soup before dinner followed by a breather I will eat a lot less just like in a restaurant.

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STRINGS58 2/16/2011 8:39PM

    I really loved this especially since I'm real "off" right now -- I understand about the conditioner too!
I didn't want to spark even though I've subscribed to everyone's blogs so that I don't miss things-- and all I have is tons of unread email.

Today some of it is fatigue. My indulgence has been too many nights out in a row for two weeks. Lots of music making, but not much energy left for anything other than overeating.

more, more, more, how do you like it, sang out as I made that last statement!

gh! I keep reminding myself that I have created habit before, I can create habit again. I've fallen off the horse before, and I've gotten back on again.

Your are right about being programmed to deserve or be entitled to treats etc. That's rampant and advertisers have too much power to use sick stuff.

I hope you enjoy finding a way to champion this and have more time for the balance that you really enjoy!

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WOLFKITTY 2/16/2011 1:06AM

    I totally identify.

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MARCHMAID 2/15/2011 12:09PM

    I'm an overdoer myself as you might have guessed--hope it doesn't take you as long as it did me to find pleasure in contemplation of doing less or occasionally just doing less. . .

Comment edited on: 2/15/2011 12:09:37 PM

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TRACYZABELLE 2/15/2011 5:27AM

    I spread myself too thin not giving me enough of ME time

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JONATION 2/14/2011 8:28PM

    This is the most honest writing I've read in a long time.

Go for the streak! Jonathan

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TELERIE 2/14/2011 4:47PM

    Oh Janet! I see so much of myself and my own patterns in what you write. You ARE doing great. You're seeing results on clothes, and the scale isn't the only measure. You're aware and perhaps hyper-aware about some stuff. I try to teach myself that it IS ok to just do _enough_ without becoming all perfectionist about things.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 2/14/2011 11:51AM

    I finally found a solution to my eating problem - now I routinely exercise twice a day, once at lunch and once after work. It seems to be helping both with my overall deficit, and also with controlling my eating, strangely enough.

I'm finally back to the weight I was around October.

Now moving onward and backward to July, and ultimately March. LOL

Oh and I discovered that Hulu Plus has back episodes of Biggest Loser, which I like to watch because it's one of the few TV programs I can enjoy without it wanting to make me eat!

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MS.ELENI 2/14/2011 10:03AM

    have you been peeping over my shoulder.I could relate to most of what you said. You have done awesome tho and you will do great.
Have a wonderful day today emoticon

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DDOORN 2/14/2011 9:27AM

    Great points...there is SO much proselytizing by the media about "having it OUR way" and how we need THIS and THAT to feel more complete and whole. Tough to swim against those powerful currents!

Kudos to your exercise streak! Working on the same here...except today have my socks knocked off with that ENT crud bug that's going around. Maybe I'll try to "coast" with a little Wii!


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HEALTHYME47 2/14/2011 9:19AM

    Very insightful blog entry. I think a lot of us struggle with that "all or nothing" thinking. And no one likes to feel deprived. So maybe the urge to use "too much" of whatever (hair conditioner, lettuce, what have you) is coming from a place of feeling deprived on some level. Good for you for identifying this. This is going to be a lifelong journey of introspection.

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I Never Travel Far, Without a Little Big Star

Monday, February 07, 2011

This song -- and songs by the actual late, great Alex Chilton -- has been living in my head for a few days lately. So I figured I'd share.

Plus I love today's lyrical title.

Things have been up and down and all around for several months now. A few mornings ago, I saw 206, for the first time in, eek, maybe a year. This is not a positive number.

And then this morning I was under 204.


My measurements are good. I am a snow shoveling machine.

So I figure it's, mainly, that I'm just building muscle/my Russian-based body is hunkering along through winter. I am doing what I'm supposed to. But the scale is being a pain in the patoot. And so it goes.

But I think of you all! I do.

And you all do help -- quite a bit. More than, perhaps, you will ever know.

Recently, some very old pictures surfaced on Facebook. I don't know, someone must have been going through my FB pics and they decided to comment. And then suddenly a bunch of other people (not all are SP folk) commented, and I was reminded of just what I had looked like in July of 2007, and just how much I have overcome.

So you, my Big Stars, you have helped me to remember that there was a before time, and it was not a good time.

AND ....

... that what I am doing, even if it does not have immediate scale gratification going on, has a purpose and an end and that it actually freakin' works.

But I have to be patient.

I thank you.

Enjoy The Replacements.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAB-LOVER 4/29/2011 6:03AM

    You are doing great -- and the scale will repent in time... For all those mornings I get on it and say "oh come on, really?" there are the joyous ones when I go to bed hungry get up and say "hey, cool!" -- and then I remember that it's not about the scale but about the choices that I make to workout, or pick the right foods.

I think the end of the 9 year winter will be good for all of us!

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JOPAPGH 4/28/2011 4:32PM

    Children by the millions scream for Alex Chilton when he comes on...

Did you know this song is available in the Rock Band video game? I play it with my son and have subsidized lots of downloadable music content including this song.

Comment edited on: 4/28/2011 4:32:39 PM

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STRINGS58 2/14/2011 7:20AM

    I love having the music background while I read your blogs. I'm trying to subscribe cuz I miss them sometimes. There is a magic to hearing from a spark friend and then trying a little harder, or knowing that someone else understands what is on your mind. I want my weight to get o-f-f, and while I see some subtle physical changes, the scale just flirts between the same numbers and the tape measure doesn't show much. So, I'm looking farther down the road to keep the fire lit, just in case I can't make it happen as fast as I want it.

You have made progress -- The video blog where you pulled out one of your old shirts -- Very Real Progress!!!

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TRACYZABELLE 2/10/2011 2:29AM

    I guess you want the snow to keep on coming-- it is helping you regain your thinner self!!

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MARCHMAID 2/8/2011 9:24PM

    Funny, OneCookieTwo, said just what I was going to say: Jes, you are a love.

204 sounds like too much, but I've no doubt at all that a lot of it is muscle at this point! Onward toward spring--and a meeting in the North End perhaps? emoticon emoticon emoticon

Let's prepare for that! Better than a weight loss goal in winter when the body is consolidating and holding its own maybe?

Comment edited on: 2/8/2011 9:26:24 PM

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MS.ELENI 2/7/2011 5:15PM

    You are doing great.This time of year is not good for anyone. Except maybe us Florida people.But even here is dark and dreary and raining today.
The scale will move for you. You have done great and you are great

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ONECOOKIETWO 2/7/2011 2:07PM

You are a Love.
You are an inspiration to so many of us, to me.
I feel good knowing that we, and hopefully I, inspire you too.
As you shovel that snow, picture it as lard, coming off your body.
Picture it as a weight off your spirit.
And the clear track that you leave behind you enables lots of others to walk.
How's that for a metaphor, you snow shoveling machine!

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TELERIE 2/7/2011 12:06PM

    I know what you mean. Even with the scale being less than cooperative, I can remember how it was. What I was like. What has changed. It is definitely worth keeping on. Enjoy the patience.

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Now She's Stupid in the Street

Monday, January 31, 2011

So I know the title of this blog is weird (it got you to click on it, though, right? See, my plan is working ....). But the song works because we had -- oof -- a bit of fun in the house a few days ago.

I will set the stage for you.

My husband and I live in the Brighton section of Boston, which is the West end. The house, depending upon who you talk to or where you look it up, was built in either 1896 or 1921. Either way, it's old and creaky. It's a Victorian one-family and, as they say in the real estate biz, it's a fixer-upper.

We have lived here since 1995 and have done some fixing and, er, upping, but time and money tend to prevent same, and often those two things do not arrive together. The first few years we were there, we would leave an upstairs window open. I do not honestly know why as, like everywhere else on the planet, there are bugs in Brighton. We are not talking about a big opening here, but still maybe an inch up. But it was the third floor. When there are only two of you, and you live in a six-bedroom place, the third floor tends to be forgotten. It could fly off in the next hurricane and we'd probably notice about four years later, as one would turn to the other and say something like, "Do you feel a draft?"

Anyway, open window = critters come in. And Mr. J had to deal with him. The man kills the big bugs and does critter removal services with aplomb, often clad only in a towel. It doesn't make the critters depart any faster if Mr. J is only clad in a towel but, for whatever reason, it often works that way. Once that window was closed, the number of Close Encounters of the Critter Kind diminished significantly, and we had last seen this particular type of critter (which I will tell you of in a moment, gentle reader) in a good thirteen years or so.

Anyway, it was a work night. Thursday, I think. We were sitting in the Computer Room, doing computer-y things. And he says, "There's something flying around in here." And I'm thinking: moth.

I look out of the corner of my eye and it is bigger. And it's black. And it's flapping.

Yes, folks, it's a bat.

Now, the last times we had a bat in the house, I shivered, got under a desk or table or covers and screamed incoherently. I am proud to say that, in the past thirteen years, I have matured considerably. Yes, I still cowered, but this time I was able to actually say a word. Which was, of course: "BAT!"

Mr. J sprang into action and followed all normal protocols. These involve the following steps:
(a) Get bat out of current room and into hallway
(b) Close off current room
(c) Turn on lights in hallway
(d) Close off all other rooms
(e) Get the Bat Persuader 9000 (an old tennis racket)
(f) Proceed to persuade guest down the stairs
(g) Repeat steps a - d as needed downstairs
(h) Open front door or back door as is most convenient (in this case, it was the front door)
(i) Persuade guest out of front door
(j) Close front door
(k) Begin breathing again

Now, Mr. J was normally clad and not only in a towel. There simply wasn't enough time for him to get into his standard critter removal gear. We will, of course, allow him to slip and be out of uniform for this particular incursion. He performed admirably, despite the fact that he was fully attired as for work (and he does not wear a towel to work -- he's an Engineering Draftsman, not a model advertising saunas. Or is he? ;D).

Me, I also followed normally protocols. These, for me, are:
(a) Cower in fetal position
(b) Shiver
(c) Repeat a and b as necessary

Everyone performed above and beyond the usual and our guest was persuaded out to wide open albeit chilly Western Boston spaces. Mr. J wore a towel later. And I eventually got a chance to say something other than "BAT!" although that took a while.

I wonder how many calories that all burned?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KSGROTHE 3/3/2011 3:07PM

    I'm way behind on your blogs, but this one cracked me up, so I just had to comment:

- Karen

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STRINGS58 2/14/2011 7:24AM

    Ha Ha Ha!! I had a place in college where we had to get out the Bat Persuader! I hope you have had a full recovery! I find I don't burn as many calories as I want to eat when I calm down. emoticon emoticon

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TRACYZABELLE 2/10/2011 2:28AM

    As long as Mr J did not catch a chill! LOL

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WOLFKITTY 2/3/2011 7:50PM


It's a good thing I don't know what your Mister looks like. Instead, I get to picture my own studly man fantasy, in a towel. Without the guilt of picturing YOUR studly man. HEheee.

I love this, Janet.
I'm so glad we're friends!

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MARCHMAID 1/31/2011 9:40PM

    I agree with the Queen. My sympathies are mostly with the bat. Environmentalists only like people in theory. ; )

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TELERIE 1/31/2011 2:42PM

    Real hoopy frood you're married to. I'm glad he knows where his towel is. LOL! Window screen sounds like a good option.

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KENNYWHEELS 1/31/2011 2:24PM

    I looked there is no crouching, shiver in the cardio maybe it's a strength training procedure, but only if you were working the abs in the prone position LOL

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NIMNIX 1/31/2011 1:45PM

    Too much funny. Glad I wasn't drinking something while I read this

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AQUAGIRL08 1/31/2011 11:41AM

    Thanks for the laugh!

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SUNNYESCAPE 1/31/2011 11:11AM

    Too funny!LOL

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 1/31/2011 11:07AM

    You know, although it sounds like having the window open provides entertainment and exercise, I'm going to mention that they have this awesome invention you should try.

It's called a WINDOW SCREEN. I have them at my house and they do a great job of keeping outside critters out and inside critters (cats) in.

Just thought you might want to know.


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    Every belfry needs its bat.

If you were afraid just imagine how the little bat felt.

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MS.ELENI 1/31/2011 10:52AM

    ROFLMAS Too funny.
Don't you get lost in a 3 story 6 bedroom place.

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PHEBESS 1/31/2011 10:37AM

    LOL - hysterical!!!!!!!

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TWEETYKC00 1/31/2011 9:51AM

    thanks for the much needed pick me up this morning!

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    Too funny! I would be doing the same thing, although I don't know if I could have even gotten the word bat out. Thanks for the entertainment!

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You're a Bird of Paradise

Monday, January 24, 2011

So, it's 9 AM and it's still in the minuses in terms of degrees. These are Fahrenheit temps, not Celsius. We passed the freezing point of water quite a while ago.

It is COLD.

I selected this song because, let's face it, beach scenes are coming one of these days but certainly no time soon. I wanted to look at beaches, swimsuits and people with tans. Bright colors. Cute guys never hurt, either (hey, I'm married, not dead, folks).

As for weight loss, it is stalled. Again.

I am back where I was two weeks ago, exactly. Now, for those of you who have followed my exploits in snow removal and the like, you'll see that I have -- I kid you not -- done at least 60 minutes of cardio every single day. And, a lot of times, it's more like an hour and a half. For those of you who are following my nutritional exploits, you'll see I've been keeping within range.

So, heh, WHAT GIVES?

Actually, I know the answers:
(1) Probably too much cardio. I suspect I could use a rest day somewhere in there, but the fact of the matter is, the snow's gotta be removed. And another major storm is coming on Wednesday. As for non-snow removal cardio, I have NEEDED to get out and outta the house. This tends to be either for a walk or to the gym. So reducing the cardio is not, heh, in the cards right now.
(2) Probably not being absolutely perfectly honest when it comes to portion sizes. This is not a big lie, like a half a twelve-pound chicken and say it's three ounces or anything. It's more like I'm saying something is a quarter-cup when it's closer to a third. I do need to watch more closely, and I could stand to measure more. I don't love doing that -- about the only thing I measure is, of all things, cereal. I admit I need to get more on the stick with that.
(3) It's winter. Yeah. It's freakin' winter, folks. The body, I feel, has a lot of biorhythms that we do not understand. But one of these appears to be clear -- we gain or maintain in the colder weather. Why? It should be obvious. It keeps us warm.

So, while I will redouble my efforts to do a better job at measuring, I won't go insane with everything. My own personal measurements are actually pretty good. A blazer that felt tight a few months ago is better. Things are improving. I suspect there is muscle coming on, and we all know that it weighs more than fat does.

In the meantime, though, I need to be somewhere warm, and a vacation is NOT gonna happen right now. Maybe I'll just get in my swimsuit, throw a towel on the floor in the plant room, get a trashy novel to read and pretend.

Ground Hog Day will be here in 10 days.

Stay warm, folks.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IFDEEVARUNS2 1/29/2011 9:04AM

    I've always suspected that the body did its own thing on its own time! [sigh]

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DDOORN 1/27/2011 3:59PM

    Winter is the absolute PITS!

I've gotta make a better plan for winter up in these northern lats!


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DMPRIDER 1/25/2011 7:54AM

    I hope you can find the right balance. That's what I'm looking for too. I'm trying to up my exercise too, but I have to get the food piece under control. The past year has been really frustrating. I not only can't seem to lose, but I've gained! Ugh.

Anyway, thank you for the video. Fun stuff. And those tropical scenes were wonderful. And the clothes and hair - LOL - thanks for the flashback!

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STRINGS58 1/25/2011 7:05AM

    Yeah, it can be a balance thing can't it? I hope you enjoy taking the rest and feel good that you know you can get in an hour of cardio on a regular basis! You may be able to find some creative ways to shake it up nutritionally. A little soup, extra salad . . . I dunno, I'm working on getting back on track -- need a good rest or there's no umphf for any workout . . .

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LAB-LOVER 1/25/2011 6:13AM

    Wanna come over and shovel? He he!

Don't throw in the towel -- when calories out is greater than calories in, you WILL lose weight. Your body's just on its own schedule!

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MARCHMAID 1/24/2011 10:46PM

    You make me feel like such a slug! Usually I'm the one out there overdoing like mad--not this year.

Makes me furious--I'm probably losing all kinds of muscle and strength because of this and and knee debacle!

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    It is too easy to get out of the habit of measuring. And these days we have changed our diet so I am not as familiar with correct portions. Your blog is a great reminder that I have some room to improve. Thanks

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CODYG123 1/24/2011 4:54PM

    I like what Phebess said. It's about the Siberian ancestors. The human body does not want to loose weight when the weather is frightful.
No matter, you're building muscle and that's good.

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KSGROTHE 1/24/2011 2:32PM

    I had to laugh when you said that about the only thing you measure is cereal, because that's about what I do, too! emoticon

Like another commenter said, maybe you don't need to reduce the cardio but increase the food instead. Counterintuitive, I know, but I've heard it works for some people.

Stay warm! Would watching beach movies help?

- Karen

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MS.ELENI 1/24/2011 9:51AM

    Going in your plant room sounds like a good idea. hang in there. You will get past this stall. emoticon

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PHEBESS 1/24/2011 9:41AM

    Yup, some of us have bodies built for cold weather, and we retain fat cells during that time - something about keeping our ancestors warm while carrying water across Siberia, right?

If you think maybe too much cardio, you could always keep the cardio where it is and put it in the part where you set up your goals - maybe you just need a bit more food. Strange, but true.

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JONATION 1/24/2011 9:35AM

    You're shoveling snow AND walking to the gym? emoticon

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Somewhere Cold and Caked in Snow

Monday, January 17, 2011

I like this song a great deal and -- you guessed it -- snow shoveling has been a major source of cardio for me for days. I have done almost 5 1/2 hours. I will be doing more today.

It's tiring and my left elbow is bugging me a bit, but it's ultimately rather satisfying. My driveway is done. Right now, the only thing that needs doing is the front sidewalk, which is maybe 1/3 cleared. It's clean enough that we would not get ticketed, but more snow and rain are scheduled for tomorrow and Wednesday. Plus it will get cold again, so it'll all refreeze. Better to just get the old stuff cleared out as much as possible.

Oh -- and the 5+ hours wasn't just me. My husband has probably done a good 7+. And, heh, one of my hours was spent digging out my parents. Hence I have dug out from this storm from two separate states (NY and MA). Eek.

It is, though, paying off elsewhere. I lost a good 1.8 lbs. And I lost inches or stayed at status quo in all eight categories that I track. This includes the band and the waist, where I lost 1 3/4 inches in both areas and the thigh, where I lost 3" (most likely due to measuring in a different area but, heh, I don't care. A win's a win!).

So I highly recommend snow shoveling (if your heart, back and knees can take it) for cardio.

But it is kinda tiring.

So excuse me if I nap for a while. Zzz.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 1/27/2011 3:57PM

    LOVE snow shoveling! Doubly so while wearing my mp3 player! :-)


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WOLFKITTY 1/22/2011 4:15AM

    Part of me is envious of the free cardio.. The other part, the one that is accustomed to mild temperatures and is a big, wimpy baby, says "no way". I admire you, though! And your strength!


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TRACYZABELLE 1/20/2011 5:32AM

    Congrats on reducing wheeeeeeeeeeeee!!

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ELISEL 1/19/2011 10:38PM

    The snow this winter is killing me. Our driveway is pretty long so there's lots of shoveling. And now they're saying another 6 inches on Friday. We have 4 storms worth of snow in our yard already.

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KSGROTHE 1/18/2011 6:18PM

    emoticon on doing all that shoveling! It's great that you got a loss of pounds and inches to show for it! I hope you enjoyed your well-deserved nap.

I have to say though, reading your blog just reconfirmed for me why I'm glad I don't live somewhere where it snows anymore.

- Karen

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    All those inches. Yes!

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CAROLISCIOUS 1/17/2011 5:39PM

    You get ticketed for too much snow? Seriously?

Maybe I could get ticketed for too much fat? Ya think?

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MARCHMAID 1/17/2011 4:43PM

    i like to shovel but can't--am learning the hard way to take care of myself and do less--against my will!

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PHEBESS 1/17/2011 2:42PM

    Sounds like cardio and strength training combined!

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FIT_TERI 1/17/2011 12:03PM

    The amount of snow we've had is insane. I know you got even more. Oh well, it provides some great exercise. Congrats on the losses of both lbs. and inches. Enjoy your nap!

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MS.ELENI 1/17/2011 11:06AM

    You earned a nap. emoticon

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HEALTHYME47 1/17/2011 10:30AM

    Whew, that makes me tired just reading about all that shoveling! But congrats on the 1.8 lb loss! emoticon

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KARBIE18 1/17/2011 10:29AM

    I actually LOVE shoveling. I like that it gets me outside, and I feel like I've really accomplished something when I get done. Way to go on all the losses!

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