JESPAH   174,256
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JESPAH's Recent Blog Entries

And There Won't Always Be Someone There To Pull You Out

Monday, April 04, 2011

www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO4wcNVbYOQ

I ran (Ha! Walked and jogged is more like it) my second 5K of the year. This was, it turns out, my seventeenth 5K.

Yeah, really.

This is a mainly flat course that I have been on at least a good ten to a dozen times. You go along on the Brighton side of the Charles River, go over a bridge, go on the Cambridge side and then back up and over the Eliot Bridge. I love the course -- it's actually almost wooded and wild, particularly for Boston.

But yesterday was one of those days where the wind is just blowing and blowing. On the water, of course, it's worse. And as I was going over the first bridge, I sarcastically thought to myself, okay, I'm gonna change direction on the other side and the wind, which is currently in my face, will also change direction and remain in my face. And I SO want that.

And of course that's exactly what happened. It is not a good thing to tempt the gods of 5Ks with sarcasm, apparently.

I was huffing along and thinking that I was just making lousy time, when I realized from the music I was hearing (I have a set playlist), that I was actually doing pretty well.

I ended up shaving off a little over two minutes from my last time, and finished at 41:01, AKA my fourth-best time ever.

I was also dead last in the field (which I think didn't even have 100 people in it), but so what?

And I was thinking, as I was huffing along, that it's easy to want someone else to do things for us. And it's also easy to blame others for our failings. Some of us may have had bad childhoods or we are in bad marriages or we have bad work situations or whatever but, unless you're on a hunger strike in a prison, no one's force feeding you.

No one is keeping you from getting up and walking, even a little bit -- not even the wind and rain and snow and whatever, for you have put on a windbreaker or taken an umbrella or put on snow boots and have gone out into it before and not melted, yes?

And while our metabolisms may be betraying us and our ages may be making things harder, the bottom line is that, if we are over eighteen and we are basically competent in life, we are responsible for what happens.

Not hubby. Not Mom. Not the weatherman. Not our bosses or our dentists or our children or our neighbors or the girl in eighth grade who bullied us or our fathers or the media or anyone else.

We are.

With this kind of responsibility, there comes power (to paraphrase Spiderman). For we control our destinies and can even influence and change our futures.

I, like anyone else, like it when someone else can pull me out. I won't deny that. The impulse to remain uninvolved is a strong one. Inertia is a powerful force. But I also like being the one doing the pulling.

Let's pull together.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCHMAID 4/6/2011 8:18PM

    Pull together? Oh, well, if you insist. . . : )

Been reading a lot lately--autobiographies. They make me think I've had it pretty easy all things considered. Actually cleaned, swam and raked today! Pooped and happy and in my element! Now if I can just stop myself from eating too big a supper. . .



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ANONYGIRL 4/6/2011 9:44AM

    This is a message I need because I'm a real whinger about exercise.

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TEMPEST272002 4/5/2011 9:47AM

    I like the way you think. emoticon

Congrats on the 17 5K's and your 4th ever best time! I was reading your main page intro & am super impressed by your determination and focus. When I run, I like to imagine conversations with inspiring spark friends and today, I'm bringing you along. Hope you don't mind!

I love your attitude towards racing and even coming in last because it shows such courage. It's easy to do what comes easily... but to continue to push through and develop skill in something that is hard... I'm so inspired.

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VALERIEMAHA 4/5/2011 9:13AM

    WHA'DYA MEAN I can't blame my metabolism or my age or ex-, or mom, or dad, or brother, or weathermen or my bosses, or dentist, or friends, or neighbors or girl in eighth grade who bullied me, or media or...????????????????????

There Won't Always Be Someone There To Pull Me Out? WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!

I don't want responsibility or power or to control my destiny...I want someone else to pull me out. The impulse to remain uninvolved is overwhelming. Sixty-nine years of inertia is a powerful force. Me like being the one doing the pulling and the power of influencing and changing my future??? ME....???

Your Naughty Not-Nun Sister, who at times (this morning for example) REALLY is NOT sure!!!
emoticon
Maha
P.S. Oh, and BTW, You.ARE emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/5/2011 9:26:18 AM

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TRACYZABELLE 4/5/2011 4:34AM

    I am in awe of you

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MS.ELENI 4/4/2011 6:57PM

    seventeen 5k's That is awesome. But then you are awesome anyway. emoticon

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KSGROTHE 4/4/2011 5:48PM

    emoticon blog! This theme of power and responsibility has been coming up quite a bit in my life lately, and it's definitely time that I take power and responsibility for my life. It's a big change for me, though, because I have spent a lot of my life feeling powerless. I've done what I felt I "had" to do rather than doing what I want to do, and then I let the pendulum swing the other way. I need to find the balance.
emoticon on finishing your17th (!) 5K! Keep up the good work!

- Karen

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MEGA_MILES 4/4/2011 4:29PM

    Thank you. The best damned blog of the day!!!!!

Keep at it. My motto has always been "Succeed in spite of the bastards!" What's really funny is how the same bastards who tried to keep you down, show up when you succeed and explain to everyone how crucial they were to your success.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DDOORN 4/4/2011 3:02PM

    Kudos to your 5K! Just nailed my first the other day...blogged on it.

Yep, there are many, MANY things beyond our control, but what we choose to ingest is very rarely one of them! Serenity Prayer to the rescue...! Always helps me out when I'm feeling overwhelmed!

Spark ON! :-)

Don

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DIASTER 4/4/2011 12:17PM

  Amen!!!

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WOLFKITTY 4/4/2011 12:00PM

    Thanks for the peek into my childhood with the song, and for the ROCK AWESOME BLOG! I totally agree with you, and have been reminding myself that I can't use my husband as my excuse any more. I never recycled because it was too much hassle putting up with his comments and resistance. But really, all of the ways that I suppressed what I really thought, or felt, or wanted to do, need to come out. That includes finding happiness, recycling, exercising, keeping a schedule that includes lots of daylight hours, etc.

I am responsible for me.

Thanks!
Jocelyn



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DMPRIDER 4/4/2011 11:57AM

    Thanks for the good reminder. Especially helpful for me as I deal with my frustration at age-related hormonal changes and my already poky metabolism. Thanks.

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IKKIMIKKI 4/4/2011 10:55AM

  Excellent reminder and CONGRATS on #17!

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DISCIPLE45 4/4/2011 10:10AM

    You inspired me this morning as I read your blog and your dog is absolutely adorable! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and giving me a push!
Ann emoticon

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MOMS100 4/4/2011 10:00AM

    You're SO right! Time to get off my duff & DO something! Thanks for the nudge!

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MEL_UNRAU 4/4/2011 9:46AM

    emoticon

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Words Can't say it, I can't do Enough to Prove

Monday, March 28, 2011

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl1Ysw8XWpA

Yesterday was my husband's 46th birthday. We had a low-key day at home, he got his thank-yous out and we went to a nice Mexican dinner and then walked home (all told, it was about 1 hour and 45 minutes of walking).

And so, today, here's a blog entry for him (Mr. jespah). He reads these (although usually a few days later, 'cause he likes to see all of your comments), so he will see this.

And the words that keep coming up, over and over again, are thank you.

Just that.

Thank you.

Thank you for being supportive.

Thank you for not giving me any crap about not moving too fast, or not losing fast enough, or that I'll lose my curves or some other such nonsense.

Thank you for hanging in there while, for a couple of years, I took alli and our meals were becoming irrevocably altered.

Thank you for not going out to eat when the calories just didn't work for me. Thank you for being cool with me wearing a swimsuit at not only size 14 but also at size 26.

Thank you for listening to me rant. Thank you for walking with me, and reconnecting, which is pretty dang romantic.

Thank you for reading my blogs and picking up my perspective on things, a bit removed sometimes, as I try to make sense of it all.

Thank you for trying new foods. You finally like onions. You like fish. You like bulgur. You didn't grow up eating that way, and you're wonderfully cool with all of that now.

Thank you for reminding me that the gym doesn't just pay for itself so I'd best get out there and use it.

Thank you for coming up with better and better meal ideas. Thank you for tolerating a lot of similar meals as I tweaked and learned and figured them out. Thank you for eating the experiments.

Thank you for rolling with the punches and accepting the changes.

It is not hard to say what it is I see in you.

It's easy to say it, and easy to see it.

Plus the goatee is kick-bun awesome.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KUNGFOOD 4/2/2011 5:59PM

    Baby, you're the greatest! emoticon

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 3/30/2011 9:12PM

    This is just beautiful. Hey Jespah DH. Happy Happy Birthday. I'm wishing you love and joy. Sounds like you have earned it and are well appreciated.

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DDOORN 3/29/2011 9:43AM

    What a special treat for DH...!

Kudos to going "public" with such heart!

Don

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STRINGS58 3/29/2011 6:53AM

    This is a great post! Thanks to your hubby as well! My hubby has not ever been un-supportive about my weight, but he's happy that I'm reducing and supportive of my efforts to do so -- but ha! ha! he doesn't read my blogs. He'd rather watch a game on tv. I'm pretty open about what I'm thinking though. The thought of him being more than vaguely aware of sparkpeople . . .tickling me a bit . . .

Happy Birthday Mr. J!

Comment edited on: 3/29/2011 6:54:53 AM

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JENIFIREHARP 3/28/2011 11:25PM

    Very Sweet!

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VALERIEMAHA 3/28/2011 8:12PM

    Delightful! Sweetness in a relationship is sooooooo rare and, as Veejay said, "Life is so gnarly ... and a good marriage is a island of peace and comfort in the middle of it all."

Rock on! and HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mr. J!
emoticon
Maha

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KSGROTHE 3/28/2011 2:29PM

    Awww, this is so nice! I need to do something like this for my awesome husband because I remember what it's like to be married to someone who is not so supportive.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Jespah!

- Karen

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PHEBESS 3/28/2011 1:29PM

    Such a sweet blog!!!!

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ILUVTTV 3/28/2011 1:04PM

    emoticon emoticon Happy Birthday, Mr. Jespah! Having someone who supports likes this makes half the battle seem easy. You are very lucky Jespah!

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TELERIE 3/28/2011 1:02PM

    I could have written all of that for my darling and I'm so happy you have a man like that in your life too! Happy birthday, Mr. J!

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MS.ELENI 3/28/2011 1:01PM

    I always love to hear about hubby's that are like mine.Aren't they just the greatest. A great tribute to your very loving and supportive best friend emoticon

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DMPRIDER 3/28/2011 12:59PM

    This is an awesome post, it sounds like you have a wonderful relationship. A true partnership is a wonderful thing to share.

I could, and should, write a similar letter to Mr. Rider.

Happy Birthday to Mr. Jespah!

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VEEJAY3 3/28/2011 11:38AM

    I love my own husband in exactly this way, too. Thanks for the beautiful paean to good men everywhere! Life is so gnarly ... and a good marriage is a island of peace and comfort in the middle of it all.

Congratulations to you both ...

And Happy Birthday you goatee-sportin' hunk!
emoticon

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WOLFKITTY 3/28/2011 11:12AM

    So sweet, Janet! Happy birthday to your man! :)

Jocelyn

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MARCHMAID 3/28/2011 10:03AM

    You just gave me the idea of what to give my husband on his birthday Thursday: I letter like this!

I'm grateful and getting started right away!

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JONATION 3/28/2011 9:36AM

    I hope everyone reading this, gets up and walks over to their sweetie, honey, sugar, darling, spouse, partner, significant other and plants a big kiss on the back of their neck.

The answer to their question is "Just cuz."

J

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MAMOOAUG 3/28/2011 9:33AM

    It is great that you have so much support from your spouse. You are truely blessed.

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SANDYBRUNO 3/28/2011 9:31AM

    I'm so glad you two have each other. You both sound awesome.

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DOTTIEJANE1 3/28/2011 9:26AM

    Glad to see that you two are supporative of each other. emoticon

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IKKIMIKKI 3/28/2011 9:15AM

  Fantastic! I always love seeing people who appreciate and support their partner; even more so when both do.

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To Fall Down at your Door

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy4UP_dCjAk

Holy cannoli.

I have done it.

I have achieved 100,000 fitness minutes on Spark. One hundred kilo-minutes. Or, in the English system, at least a good 1700 miles, I kid you not, gentle readers.

Huh?

Well, you see, here's the scoop. Here's how I did it.

I started at Spark in, um, February of '08 (it's on my page somewhere). And I immediately started logging time. And this was (and continues to be) EVERYTHING. When I first started, it took me, no lie, 5 minutes to get to the mailbox around the corner and back. So I would record that, and often it was the only exercise I got, when I first started out. Things are different now, of course, but back then I was over 300 and getting up and down the stairs was not easy and the very act of even buckling my seat belt was a chore and so, dammit, I had EARNED those 5 minutes so I was gonna record 'em.

I joined a gym in, um, 2009 some time, and the minutes started to come more in the form of gym cardio. And I also started running (ha, let's call it somewhat not so slow walking for truth in advertising's sake) 5K races right about then. So some of the time came in the form of 5Ks. A lot of it, too, came in the form of 20 minutes of resistance bands, which I pull on EVERY single morning, without fail, and have done so now for years.

Time also came in the form of frisbee, of house cleaning, of the exercise bike, a smidgen of basketball, some swimming and even in the form of painting, Pilates and lawn mowing. And let's not forget snow shoveling -- I've done just under 21 hours of that this year alone (and hopefully won't be doing any more until, perhaps, October).

But most of the time has come in the form of walking or running. I go run an errand (literally). I record it. We walk to dinner in our neighborhood. I record it. I go to visit my folks and make sure to stroll around the Mill Pond or around their meandering streets. I record it. I go to work and the commute involves not just a bus or a trolley but also some walking to get from point A to point B and I record that, then, too.

I record it all.

And in the middle of '09, I started to really record steps and keep a spreadsheet, because I loved the pedometer I had gotten for a work step challenge (it's an Omron Aerobic and BTW I was nowhere near winning that step challenge) and so I started recording. And I figured out, more or less, that every step is maybe 2 feet. So I started keeping records, and totals and then dividing them by 2640. And that's been a down and dirty way (I don't pretend that it is at all accurate) to try to determine how many miles I have been going.

Now, keep in mind that I have the pedometer on nearly constantly. I went on a job interview today and I wore it. I went to my High School reunion and I wore it. I wear it everywhere but bed and the shower. So the steps don't fully jibe to the recorded times on Spark but, the times also include bowling and whatnot so perhaps it's more of a wash than we think. Anyway, here's the deal.

In 2009, I started recording on the spreadsheet in August. I clocked over 1.77 million steps (yeah, that's a million, kids). This, using my calculation, worked out to 673.15 miles.

In 2010, I recorded every month, and ended up with over 2.26 million steps and 857.33 miles. This is about half the average of the prior year, and I can attribute that to surgery in January and some serious slacking off over the Summer when it was beastly.

This year, I am again recording every month and currently have over a half a million steps and 192.17 miles. My average is even down from last year but I expect it will go up as I go along. My highest monthly step totals are in the 300,000s. I've never been lower than 149,676 and that was January of 2010 -- and I had abdominal surgery on January 15th and was flat on my back for a while there.

Anyway, enough of my crowing, my numbers, and my rah rah. Here are some other facts.

I weigh 204.2, or at least I did as of my official weekly weigh-in yesterday. I have almost 60 more pounds to lose. I love hanging around and doing nothing as much as the next person. I have had my weight go up in the last year -- enough to pull me back out of 10s and 12s and into size 14s again. I looked at a recent picture of myself and thought I looked chunky.

Yeah.

This is not the cure-all to everything.

BUT.

I have gained some pretty serious, shiny new habits. These include going walking, and thinking, rather than staring mindlessly at a TV, bag of chips in hand. They include going to a gym, even when I don't necessarily feel like it. They include using walking as a means for dealing with boredom and frustration, rather than giving in to a carton of ice cream or the like.

I encourage you to move. I am well aware that this is a daunting number, but it took me over THREE YEARS to get here so recognize that it is, perhaps, more of a testimony to longevity and faithful tracking than anything else, yet the number is still there.

Folks, I encourage you to move.

And, even more importantly, I encourage you to pass me.

But if you think I'm gonna just pull over and stop in order to let you do that, well, ha, you've got another think coming.

Happy exercising.

Onward to 200,000.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STRINGS58 3/27/2011 10:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon It was really fun listening to the song while reading your blog. I think my pedometer needs a new batter. The pedometer let me know just how sedentary my job is. I had started my own midday huff&puff and have added quick fire to it.
Yes -- move, ya got to move it, move it.
your progress is emoticon

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MARCHMAID 3/25/2011 4:53PM

    Yup. Moving is the thing that works and shows. Swim, bike, walk--now that spring is here and knee is better, you won't have me glooming around so much!

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VALERIEMAHA 3/24/2011 10:46PM

    I agree with JONATION -- your blog is full-to-running-over with important, useful, and impressive information. Quite amazing, really. And encouraging.

Thanks for modeling how it's done!
emoticon
Maha

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JONATION 3/24/2011 9:12AM

    There is so much in this blog post, but here's what I like best:

"Yeah.

This is not the cure-all to everything.

BUT.

I have gained some pretty serious, shiny new habits."

Waytogo.... J

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TRACYZABELLE 3/24/2011 3:56AM

    AWESOME-- I too have 100,000.....................spark points though! LOL!

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GRACEFULIFE 3/23/2011 11:30PM

    Holy cow. You are higher than DDOORN!

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EDDYMEESE 3/22/2011 11:29PM

    Awesome :) You're right, moving is absolutely necessary!

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 3/22/2011 9:13PM

    I congratulate you for all this represents. And for sharing your work and your success with us. I am feeling pretty overwhelmed right now. Kind of hopeless and unmotivated. But I know this is the way it works. One step at a time. Add em up. I'm going to keep that image of you on the way to the mailbox compared to where you are now. And I appreciate the truth in advertising. You have done a lot with that fast walk. It is about adding em up not just about winning the race. Winning for me is going to have to be starting.

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DIASTER 3/22/2011 8:44PM

  Totally awesome ! No wonder you are such a success.

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MS.ELENI 3/22/2011 8:18PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KSGROTHE 3/22/2011 5:17PM

    emoticon on passing 100,000 fitness minutes! I, too, track many of my short walks, but I don't wear a pedometer (yet). I don't track my grocery shopping, even if I'm pushing a heavy cart. You are definitely more meticulous about your tracking. I'm inspired to go look up what my current fitness minutes are.

Keep up the good work!

- Karen

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TELERIE 3/22/2011 2:41PM

    I'm walking right beside ya, sister! And running errands. And tracking. Hell yeah! Congratulations on that milestone! Gotta figure out how many more miles you've got to walk to get to where I live! :)

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IKKIMIKKI 3/22/2011 11:50AM

  Congratulations! I am a huge fan of tracking and graphing but not nearly as far along as you are. It's unlikely I will pass you but I am following in your footsteps.

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Why is the last mile the hardest mile?

Monday, March 14, 2011

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWL9vYXP6tU

I ran the first 5K of the year yesterday.

Ow. I am tired.

Oh, and Elisel also ran it, so please check out her blog as well: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4088621


Anyway, the 5K. I did okay. This is my 16th 5K, and my time was 8th overall. Which is not bad but not awesome. I weighed 205 (I lost a pound yesterday, apparently, heh) and my time was 43:07.

Hence I decided to do a comparison, and figure out just how much my weight is affecting my times. And here's what I came up with (keep in mind that the old scale broke somewhere in the middle of last year, so some of the pound #s from them are probably understated by 20 or so, I kid you not):

Date Time Weight
6/25/2009 1:04:04 196
7/5/2009 0:43:36 192
9/7/2009 0:43:32 188.8
10/3/2009 0:42:13 184.6
11/8/2009 0:38:12 183.2
12/13/2009 0:41:48 179.4
4/18/2010 0:40:31 181.2 scale may have been broken by now
5/1/2010 0:40:44 182.6 scale may have been broken by now
7/17/2010 0:47:26 173.2 scale was likely broken
8/21/2010 0:43:36 170 scale was likely broken
9/6/2010 0:46:39 170.6 scale was likely broken
10/2/2010 0:43:04 205.6
10/30/2010 0:44:27 204.6
11/7/2010 0:41:17 202.4
12/19/2010 0:45:33 203
3/13/2011 0:43:07 205

What I'm seeing is, the numbers don't change too significantly, and I can even end up with a slower time when I'm thinner (see 12/19/2010 versus 3/13/2011, and that's the exact same course). About the only thing that gets close to consistency is the fact that I tend to do better when it's cooler out.

After that, though, it's harder to tell.

Am I more muscular these days?

In some ways, yes. My measurements are decent, still, and comparable to earlier days although I will admit that I am up a size, fitting more into 14s than 12s. I know I look fine, and my brother, who had not seen me for months, thought I was about 160 or so, and on maintenance.

Heh, nope.

And that, I think, is a big part of why the last mile is the hardest mile. Man oh man. I feel like I have been doing this forever. I am about to hit 100,000 fitness minutes here. I drink about 40% more water than I'm supposed to. I get enough sleep. I go to a gym 2x/week. I stay within a 1600 - 1800 calorie limit, and attempt to give myself variety. I don't go out to eat too much. I watch the salt intake. I attempt to balance carbs to protein to fats.

Yet --

I have been kicking around, from about 201 to 205, for months. As in, at least since September of '10 when I finally replaced the scale but, truth be told, it's probably a lot closer to back to around August or even July of that year.

Yeah, I've been kicking this around for a good 6 months or so. I think that's a fair assessment.

And, I gotta tell ya, this time, it's HARD.

It's not that I don't want to do ANYTHING. But I have plucked the low-hanging fruit. That went into the basket a long, LONG time ago. And I do reach and strive for the higher stuff. But right now, it's difficult.

I cannot say what I should do, or where I should go. And I'm not exactly putting this out there in order to ask for advice. Just, more, as a statement.

It ain't easy to get over the last humps.

I know I will get there, at some point.

But right now, it's just tough.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LBEEKMA 3/19/2011 11:18AM

    Thanks for sharing your continued struggle. I can so identify with this. I sailed to a 15 lb loss from July to Oct 2010 and then started stagnating in Nov/holidays. With a lot that I've faced personally recently, I'm now up 7 lbs, but I refuse to give up.

Congrats on keeping up the 5Ks. I know that is making a difference, physically and mentally. We are worth fighting for!

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STRINGS58 3/15/2011 5:59PM

    I've been hovering in the same neighborhood -- it's been several months and I probably won't change my ticker after my MD appt tomorrow. I'm having cake to celebrate a 3 y.o.'s birthday tonight.

My reaction to the blog is to get off the scale. You've conquered many things. If there's something you've missed, it's hard to tell because you've been thorough. Focus on improving those numbers, the fitness, the things you want your strength for. The mental/emotional fatigue here is more intense than the physical fatigue.

emoticon

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SWEETZMIX 3/15/2011 11:03AM

    You can do it! I am on my second round after gaining some weight. I had a rough year and life happens, but don't give up. I haven't!! I know part of it is, that I know now it's OK if I mess up b/c there is always tomorrow. When before, I did not leave a lot of room for error. I think things will pick up as the weather gets warmer!

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DDOORN 3/15/2011 9:51AM

    You BET it's HARD! Yet, hey, just can't even THINK about reverting to the bad-old-ways, right? That kind of "hard" is not our kind of choice! :-)

Don

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WOLFKITTY 3/15/2011 1:16AM

    I hear ya! Hang in there.
HUGS!
I'm always here for you, and will forever be grateful for the awesome presence you've had in my life.

Jocelyn

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LAB-LOVER 3/14/2011 9:44PM

    Oh, I am RIGHT there with you.

And I want to lose it. Or do I?
Could it be that I don't quite care as much? That I'm settling for "good enough" -- I find myself pondering that often.

I'm making another push these days... but the progress is so slow. I reached my low in September 2008 and have been farting around ever since.

Same as you, maybe, people don't SEE the weight I've gained. But it is most definitely there...

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 3/14/2011 6:23PM

    I know you're just venting, but here's a suggestion:

Try eating more protein (like 150g per day) and lifting heavier.

And feel free to pop by the High Intensity Thinkers team if you want some other suggestions to shake things up...
http://teams.sparkpeople.c
om/hitsquad
I think you'll enjoy the analytical, no-nonsense approach of those folks. We read the literature and do experiments on ourselves. It keeps this process interesting, if nothing else...

It IS a long haul. I feel ya Chica. Hang in there, whether you decide to shake things up, or not.
emoticon

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KSGROTHE 3/14/2011 5:50PM

    I've always heard that the last 10 lbs is the hardest to lose, but I haven't gotten close enough to my goal weight to verify that yet. emoticon

I do know that I have struggled to get back down to the low I saw in May 2009 since I've been tracking using SP. It seems hard to stay motivated for the long term, and I've let stress and other factors derail me.

Keep the faith. You'll get there. emoticon

- Karen

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MS.ELENI 3/14/2011 5:15PM

    Hang in there.I know you can do it. You will get it going again.
I think it is great you ran another 5K.How long it took means nothing to me.I just think it is awesome you did it. emoticon emoticon

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VEEJAY3 3/14/2011 11:36AM

    I got nothin'.
'Cause I completely agree and know it to be true.
Guess I'll just sit here and keep you company, without offering any nuggets of wisdom.
emoticon emoticon

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DMPRIDER 3/14/2011 11:05AM

    Oh I totally hear you on this. My weight has crept up a few pounds over the past year and it is so, so much harder to re-lose those 10 now than it seemed to be the first time. Even when I'm doing everything right. I have no advice either. I've tried changing up my workouts to make them more challenging but that seems to lead to minor injuries that set me back even further. I'll keep striving and tweaking things and working on it. Good luck to you.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 3/14/2011 9:50AM

    I don't know what to tell you except I understand exactly what you are talking about. As for me, I've gained weight since I started running. Some of it is muscle, some of it isn't. My clothes don't fit the way they did, but I no longer have the body I did. My shape has changed. I was looking at pictures of myself running. At first I saw all the flaws, the things I hate. And then I noticed a muscular body and had to rethink things. I'm not offering advice as I myself am in search of it. Just gotta figure out what to do next.....

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They're Falling Down Like a Domino

Monday, March 07, 2011

www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjI4p8_NZVc&
feature=related


I went to my folks for the weekend.

My parents are downsizing and are looking to get into an apartment/condo. This means clearing out their house, which they've been in since 2 weeks before I turned 10.

I'm 48 years old.

So there's a lotta stuff.

But there's less. They've been clearing out for a while. My stuff was long gone, just a few small things and I already got 'em. I was there for kinda moral support and to see the condo they've picked out for themselves.

My brother was there to clear out more of his stuff (after 14 bags of trash, 3 boxes of recycling and a box of stuff to take home with him, he is now down to just the stuff in his old room -- that was after doing this one time before and going through the cellar. He has a lotta stuff). And he was also there to see the proposed new place.

The place is, eh, it's okay. It's important to recognize that this is, by definition, going to be smaller and have far less character than the old house. And a lot more stuff will have to be deep-sixed. As in the living room and den couches are probably toast, the dining table may never have its leaves in it again, etc. The kitchen is oddly configured and, unless they put a freezer into a kind of satellite area, there will be no freezer. This is odd for two people who lived off freezer food (and frozen food) for decades. It's a big adjustment.

But the area seems fine, the people are friendly and the place is kept up pretty well.

It is a life transition. And they are often hard.

I also spent time with my mother. Because I didn't need to clean anything out, I figured I'd give her a break, so we went out clothes shopping for me (I needed some interview/work clothes) and to lunch. This left my Dad and my brother to clear stuff out and hammer or whatever it was they were doing.

And my mother told me that, well, if things turn out a certain way, I will be doing their finances. Don't want to get into details, of course.

Anyway, for those of you following at home, I live in Boston. My parents are on Long Island. My brother is in Maryland. If I end up doing the books, it will be, shall we say, a challenge. This is a downside to living away.

I was also asked -- what's your fondest memory of the house? And the truth was, none of us could think of one. Not that it was an unhappy place, it was more, I think, we were kinda put on the spot, plus we were tired. And, well, nothing leapt out. I remember a less than optimal Sweet Sixteen party. I remember years as an isolated, depressed teenager -- if it had been now and not the seventies, I suspect I'd've been medicated.

It's a transition.

Not unlike the ones we are voluntarily attempting to do to our bodies right now.

Life changes. We adapt as well as we can. We move on. Or we cling, and we cry and we wail against the inevitable. But it doesn't matter what I think about aging -- it's still going to happen. My views on death are meaningless -- it is still everyone's fate. What I feel about weight loss isn't, truly, vital -- it's going to happen, or not, and not because of my mind.

Or will it?

We talk about attitude here, and about feelings a lot. And there is an enormous emotional component that goes along with this. What we feel DOES matter -- but the truth is, it does matter less than whether we move our bodies, and make good food choices, yes? All the happy sunshiney thoughts will not will the pounds off us if we're not working out and eating right, and eating less.

Last weekend, there was very little exercise unless I made it happen. The eating was generally abysmal and done in restaurants. Out of six meals (Friday dinner, Saturday all day and Sunday first 2 meals), I had them either in restaurants or composed of leftover restaurant food for all but 2 of those -- and those were the 2 breakfasts. Exercise was resistance bands and maybe 10 minutes of walking/day, unlike the usual 60.

And yeah, I've gained, although some of that is also TOM.

And I see how my life was, and what my teen years were like and, perhaps, a part of why I was such an isolated and depressed teenager.

I am no teenager. Isolation, if it happens, is my own doing. I take full responsibility for same. And I don't blame them.

Every now and then, I suppose, I need a reminder. But I don't look back there. It's not the house that made me happy (and it didn't).

Look forward, or you really will fall down like a domino.

Move forward.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

QUEENOTHEFOREST 3/17/2011 9:34PM

    Phew. Good words. Touched some sore spots. Glad I had a chance to read this.

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LMB-ESQ 3/10/2011 7:58AM

    Great blog. My parents moved out of my childhood home 20 years ago. And I remember the dredging up of memories, both good and bad. And I did the same thing you're doing, taking stock, trying to reconcile past to future, and then deciding the future is where we need to face. Now my mother is doing it again, moving into a condo from a 29 acre wooded lot. It will be a big change for her too. And now it's the grandchildren who are doing the taking stock and the dredging of memories. You do seem to have a very healthy attitude about all of this. And you're right, we can't blame them for anything. They did the best they could with whatever tools they had, and in the end, we are responsible for our own choices. Once in awhile, it is good to look back at the past, just so we can see how far we have come.

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STRINGS58 3/10/2011 7:36AM

    I wonder if we ever really stop getting to know ourselves? Seems you went a little deeper. The compassion for yourself is available -- maybe something you didn't have as a teen. A chapter has closed. How you walk into the next one does set the tone, now doesn't it.

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TRACYZABELLE 3/10/2011 5:27AM

    Check on them often-- change can be hard on older folks, MY nana lost a lot of weight when she moved and we were scared!!

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DDOORN 3/9/2011 9:39AM

    In my opinion, it is ALWAYS a good thing when people down-size and boil their lives down to the bare essentials...! I know we still have a LOT of boiling to do...always a work in progress!

What we feel AND moving our bodies matters TREMENDOUSLY! And most times (although not always) these work together: moving our body improves our feeling and outlook and vice versa.

Don

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PICKIE98 3/8/2011 6:54PM

    I have been doing my moms financial for awhile now,, no formal training and am glad I listened when the investment papers started coming in!!
My dad had Alzheimer's for a few years before he died,, mom has dementia now and I just put her into assisted living,, (very long story) and I have total responsibility of everything of hers..

Her house is packed with junk, very few valuables, except some very rare BEER stuff, clocks and signs and such, but at some point after she dies, I will have to clean it out too... with money-grubbing sister,,,
I hold very few memories of that house since I only lived in it for a couple years before I got married.. did have my reception there, happy time..
You have the right perspective on this building and the contents.. what did mom say HER best memory was?
Will we be the same pack-rats as our parents are?? God help my daughter,, sure hope not..

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SENATOR9 3/8/2011 9:30AM

    Great blog bring back memories of when my parents sold the house we were raise in Well done emoticon

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MARCHMAID 3/7/2011 6:06PM

    Happy memories. Hmm. Today not the day to try. Lovely blog. I'm in a fog right now so can't do it justice.


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JONATION 3/7/2011 4:14PM

    This is a great piece of writing. I would urge you to go back and try to answer the question about your fondest memory, I do not believe that the "less than optimal Sweet Sixteen party" was it. (Yes, I know you were being wry.)

I was once asked the same question and, like you, I was at first stumped or practicing some kind of avoidance, I came up with several less than optimal experiences. My questioner pressed me to stick with it and suddenly up popped a string of happy times and moments I had completely forgotten. They paraded across my mind as I relished each one.

It didn't change my view of my teen years which might have been as depressing as yours; what it did do was give me some balance, some pieces on the other side of the scale and that was worth something.
--J

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 3/7/2011 3:49PM

    After my dad died, we cleaned out his house. It took 6 of us a week. We filled up 2 20 cubic yard dumpsters. It was exhausting. The "before" picture on my page is from that week when we took a night off and went to see our uncle and cousins.

I couldn't wait to get out of that house. It was a nice house. It deserved to have happy people in it. I did not have very many good memories there.

You're right; it doesn't matter what we think or feel or believe, so much as what we DO in terms of being healthy. Or living.

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KSGROTHE 3/7/2011 2:25PM

    Great blog! It sounds like you have a very healthy attitude about your parents and your childhood. I sometimes wonder what it's going to be like when my parents decide to move. They are packrats, and the small house that I grew up in is pretty full of stuff. They've lived there 33 years this summer.

I'm sure you'll get back on track easily enough and that extra weight will drop off eventually. Keep up the good work!

- Karen

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MS.ELENI 3/7/2011 2:21PM

    Great blog but the one thing that jumped out to me was when you said. I don't blame them. Maybe because my brother is in town and and altho he isn't as bad as my sisters .They all tend to blame everything on our mother. I never did. I made the decision to do the things I did. And besides that the pasts is just that.Leave it there. I never blamed my mom and I do not feel to blame for dumb things my kids have and are still doing.
We are the captain of our own destiny.Read that somewhere

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CANNOTFATHOM 3/7/2011 12:52PM

    I agree that often times the best IS yet to come and dwelling on the past is counter productive. Sounds like you dealt well with a busy weekend that was also mentally challenging. Hope you have a great week!


Penny

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