JESPAH   191,300
150,000-199,999 SparkPoints
JESPAH's Recent Blog Entries

People Couldn't Believe What I'd Become

Monday, April 25, 2011

Beware, this is gonna be a whiney blog.

You've got your chance.

You can turn back now.

I mean, I wouldn't blame ya.

Or you can leave a quick comment, get a Spark Point and head back to safer ground.

Here, I will even provide some quick comments for your copying and pasting pleasure:
* jes, you're weird
* jes, what's gotten into you?
* jes, quit yer whining
* Is this the Ceramics class?

Okay, now that we've gotten that out of the way....

Yesterday it was beautiful weather for the first time in what feels like a good six or seven years. My husband and I both went out walking (although not together, and he ended up running more). There were blooming trees. There were friendly dogs with soft, velvety ears to scratch. There cute guys from BC (er, that's Boston College, and not British Columbia, although the two are not mutually exclusive) to ogle.

And today ... feh. Back to dismal drab icky blah-ness.

It seems almost worse that we had a good day as now it's even clearer what we are missing.

It is not just the weather, kids.

It is still being unemployed -- and Unemployment is looking to run out in something like five weeks.

It is 32 weeks now of being stuck at 201 - 206 pounds. It is the increased calorie experiment (I'm not done with the experiment yet, and I am attempting to be patient with it) resulting in an incredibly exciting no change since last week.

It is watching my friends also drowning in sameness and fatigue and losing their motivations or at least seeming to be dragged out and grasping for motivations.

It is a feeling of wondering --

Is that all there is?

And I didn't go with the Peggy Lee song (although I suppose I could have), but the sentiment is similar.

There is a lot of foofaraw given to starting. And I totally get that, because initial inertia is mighty powerful. There is an enormous amount of support given to the new, the fresh, the inexperienced. So much to learn! So much to see! So much to do!

And a bunch of changes are made (assuming that person is committed to losing weight) and firsts are attained. Goals! 5Ks! First size change! First ticker change!

Suddenly that person is eating 8 fruits/vegs in a day! They're drinking eight 8 oz glasses of water! They're walking a good 10,000 steps on average! They're weighing and measuring! They've given up soda! They've joined a gym! They finally said no to cheesecake! They tried quinoa!

And while this is all awesome, folks like me, well, we've been there, done that.

Years ago.

Yanno, Spark has four diet stages. I am in the fourth. I have been so for, I believe, over two years.

There are no other stages. This is it, kids!

And it's hard, after a while, to get up, day after day, week after week, month after month and, yes, year after year, and keep on keepin' on.

There is no more low-hanging fruit to pluck.

There are no more simple lifestyle changes.

There are no more quick or even moderate fixes.

Now it's just work.

Slow, slogging, hopefully steady work.

And people wonder why maintenance is hard, why the success rate (yes, even here) is far less than 25%.

I know, and I'm technically not even on maintenance yet.

It's because it's a lot to sustain, over time.

It is not easy.

It is not pretty.

It is not celebrated, except by those in the know.

Longevity is not an easy accomplishment.

Ask Cal Ripken.

It's not as flashy as big numbers. It's not as exciting as wins, and trophies and newbies on their personal growth roads of discovery.

There is no award here for 100,000 fitness minutes. Should there be? I speak not just for myself but, yeah, I kinda think so. I mean, doesn't that level of commitment warrant some actual recognition?

Hell, there isn't even an award for 10,000 fitness minutes, except for a quickie mention in your feed.

There is an award for attendance, yes, but it feels odd and unglamorous, like Miss Congeniality at the Miss America Pageant. Nice try, Toots, and everybody loves ya, but you lose the tiara and the scholarship to the gal who trained a chihuahua to accompany her on the harp and flugelhorn while the two of them sang "The Girl from Ipanema".

I am well aware that health, etc is the main reward. I do get that. And while this is a whiney blog it isn't, so much, being written by me to get you to recognize me.


It is, I hope, for you to recognize longevity in yourselves.

This is a freakin' marathon.

It goes through every Middlesex village and town of your life. You know, the one where you blame your eating habits on your mother, and then a later one where you forgive your mother and then yet another one where you figure your mother wasn't to blame at all. It's in the town where you get the "I didn't get diabetes" trophy, and the one where you get the "I can still walk upright and with strength and purpose even though I'm eighty" award.

But those towns can seem far away, at times, and so whiney blogs like this one bubble up to the surface.

And, by the way, no, this is not the Ceramics class. That is two doors down, you can't miss it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AJHONDRNGAL 4/30/2011 12:25PM

    You put it into words when I can't. I have felt the same way. The newness is gone and now it's boring.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JOPAPGH 4/28/2011 10:10AM


I can relate. Coming up on two years. Started out in a blaze of glory, hit all my goals and then some. Backsliding the past few months. Stopped food tracking and gained.

What's the other option? Put it all back on and quit exercising? I rebooted yesterday. Went back at looked at my first few months on Spark. I have come so far from then. I'll be running my 6th half marathon in two weeks. A 10K was a reach goal when I started.

Tracked everything yesterday and stayed in range. If that;s the price of success, so be it.

Love your breezy, irreverant writing style.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LESS_IS_MO 4/28/2011 9:54AM

    And WHY is this blog NOT on the MOST POPULAR BLOG page????? How did it get passed over? (Or did it make it and I'm just out of the loop as usual.)

You are so funny! And you are so right! (I love your turns-of-phrase, and why are you not working as a writer?)

My dh gives me good lines and when I was down about 25 lbs and plateauing before getting off another 25+, he said (referring to weight loss) "It is not a sprint but a marathon." Well who the hell knew that the marathon had no frickin ending - no REST stops even??? And that it would loop back on itself so much and you'd ending up running parts of it over and over. NOT FAIR! I hate that "maintenance" feels worse than the diet did in the first place, because of what you mentioned - that loss of the feeling of accomplishment and newness. But it's the reality and probably why almost all of us gain some weight back as an eventuality.

Patience with the job hunt. The work that will add quality to your life is just around the corner. Keep searching! Never ever give up!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARCHMAID 4/26/2011 11:41PM

    Sorry. No sympathy. Just amused bemusement. Ditto VeeJay.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JENIFIREHARP 4/26/2011 10:11PM

    * jes, you're weird
* jes, what's gotten into you?
* jes, quit yer whining
* Is this the Ceramics class?

You have a great sense of humor running throughout your "whiney" blog. I totally sympathize! Here I am, lost all those pounds, got so far, feeling stuck at the "so close to my goal" stage because once you hit stage 4 at SP, there are no more goals to SHOOT for besides maintenance and keep earning them there points. I don't even like my current trophy. I want the one back from my last stage :) Seriously this isn't easy. No matter how far you come, you never stop working. So i keep looking for challenges to push me forward, give me some kind of goal. And hopefully I can remember what challenges I joined each month so I can keep tracking them LOL!

I love SP and sparkfriends cause we remind each other that we are all human. Just don't get so down you dive into a container of chocolate cookie ice cream and half a chocolate cake. Definitely not worth the extra workouts!

So, can you point me towards the bootcamp workout room?

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOLFKITTY 4/26/2011 11:48AM

    Yeahhhh... I hear ya.

I'm lucky to still have so far to go. I resist those same urges, though, that this is road well traveled. I try to look at things with a fresh eye. I still have a lot of fitness to find in myself, so there are accomplishments, even physical ones, to find.

I was so motivated by that little "___ pounds lost with SparkPeople" at the start. I was disappointed when it went from 5 pounds to 10 pound increments. And then, for awhile they only had 100 and 100+. Now they have a couple more, but... I thought at first that maybe people just weren't LOSING this weight with SparkPeople, until I started seeking them out. They are! And doesn't everyone deserve the same amount of excitement about their pounds?!

And don't YOU deserve some maintenance WOOHOOs?!

If I manage to spin the wheel for the next couple of days I'll get the perfect attendance for the month (for the first time even though I'm here every day for over 3 years). The CONSISTENCY award (step below perfect attendance) is even less glamorous. LOL!

I'm still trying to learn all I can. In maintenance, I think the goals just have to change in order to be kept real. Maybe there's no "low hanging fruit" of walking the first 5k, but there are personal bests, and time to beat. And I'm sure there are SOME new discoveries out there! Hang in there, we can figure this out.


Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 4/26/2011 9:04AM

    Totally "get it!" Maintenance is the HUGE elephant in the room, with or without our extra's still there! And there are MANY days when "it" gets oh-so-"old"! Yet we do our best to keep putting one foot ahead of the other because it really is all about truly LIVING our lives and not settling for the living death of obesity.


h agreed re: "dismal drab icky blah-ness" hasn't been much "inspiration" lately...ugh!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEELIXNKES 4/25/2011 9:44PM

    Thanks for sharing your journey. I went back to stage 1 instead of moving into stage 4 since I still can't balance everything the majority of the time. Sending you job finding vibes. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SWEETZMIX 4/25/2011 9:22PM

    I know you are going to stick with it. I agree with you that after you reach stage 4 in the spark diet, that is it. I wish at the time back in 2009 they had more things to help with maintaining the weight, which is WAY tougher. But we will keep at it, the both of us!! Good luck with everything. I know with your unemployment running out, it must be stressful.

Report Inappropriate Comment
_CYNDY55_ 4/25/2011 6:09PM

    emoticon *✲*.❤.*✲* Blog Post *✲*.❤.*✲*
and wasn't very Whiney at all.

Report Inappropriate Comment
4A-HEALTHY-BMI 4/25/2011 4:39PM

    You are preaching to the choir, my friend.

And no, SP still hasn't done anything about it since I wrote this over a year ago. They simply do not see it as a priority. Almost no one does. It is not sexy. It does not sell.

Maybe if Chris Downey had actually experienced the need to lose weight and keep it off, there would be some kind of interest in this. But there isn't.

And what kills me is that with the Spark infrastructure there could be so much more.

I have lots of ideas. Based on the scientific research that correlates behaviors and habits with maintenance. I have shared them with SP's leadership, and exchanged emails with Chris, himself. In the form of specific incentives that could be implemented.

But they do not see this as a priority. Instead they want to branch out to teens and people with financial issues.

So nothing has come of it. NOTHING.

And, BTW, I have read no papers anywhere citing a successful maintenance rate of 25%.

The best I've seen is 20% and that's people who keep off 10% of their starting weight (i.e. gain back 90% of the weight they lost).

Less than 5% stay within 5 lbs of their goal weight.

Comment edited on: 4/25/2011 4:51:14 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
CECE0330 4/25/2011 3:02PM

    Love it! Thanks for posting. emoticon I've been here 3.5 years, so I can totally relate.

(I suppose the "new territory" will be hitting maintenance, huh?)

Comment edited on: 4/25/2011 3:12:41 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
VEEJAY3 4/25/2011 2:59PM

    Does it defeat the purpose of your Epic Whine if I stand here laughing my head off?
While my chihuahua toots his horn?
I do NOT worry about people who are this self-actualized.
I'm sending you "job" vibes, though. You will be a new woman when you punch a time clock once again.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KSGROTHE 4/25/2011 2:18PM

    I can so relate! You know, I signed up for SP almost 4 years ago, and I still haven't gotten the hang of controlling my eating and being consistent, so I never even advanced myself to Stage 4. I've been in Stage 3 of the program for nearly 3 years. I have stayed nearly the same weight for the last 2 years and have not gotten back down to my low in May of 2009, much less gotten to my goal weight. It is definitely not easy to continue slogging away day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

Are you sure this isn't the Ceramics class? emoticon

Hang in there! emoticon

- Karen

Report Inappropriate Comment
HSMOM2FOUR 4/25/2011 1:03PM

    ok, so maybe this is the wrong blog to be laughing at, but you cracked me up, especially with the gal who trained the chihuahua.

Just keep on keepin' on. :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEELYNNE1 4/25/2011 11:57AM

    Loved this blog. Two day ago i got a notice from Spark that I'm now in Stage Four and I felt oddly like they were casting me adrift when I'm not ready yet. I'm nowhere close to the maintenance thing, I'm far from being done losing weight, and I'm well into the slogging part. And I'm feeling the inertia you described so perfectly here. And all I can say is, Hang in there! Now I'm gonna go to the gym and the pool.(I can say this too: You're a really good writer!)

Report Inappropriate Comment
MS.ELENI 4/25/2011 11:17AM

    Ok My dear friend yes I am laughing. If we didn't whine once in awhile we would explode. I am the queen of whine. I think it is good to have some bad days so we recognise good ones. Being stuck stinks as I have been there for months. But I have no intention of stopping and never will you. You are an awesome person but you are human and forget that sometime. Now where did you say that ceramic class is.Always wanted to try that.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Ah Jes, there seems to be something in the air. I keep going back to stage 1. Because I keep forgetting the things that we are supposed to learn in all the other stages. And I take up all my bad habits again. Or enough of them to regain weight. Ugh. Your whine is funny. Mine won't be so entertaining as you are even when you are struggling, but I think I will go do it anyhow because you give me courage. And maybe it will help. Did yours?

Report Inappropriate Comment
KIYOSHI04 4/25/2011 10:12AM

    it is hard to keep on keeping on. like you, ive been here years. been in stage four over two years. it is difficult to keep on keeping on when there is no new territory.
but.... i know that you will keep on..cos, well, you will. you didnt get this far to not keep going. this is life. it is ugly, depressing, boring, hard, difficult, terrifying at times. but, you get up and keep going for those beautiful, thrilling, awe-inspiring times.

Report Inappropriate Comment
IFDEEVARUNS2 4/25/2011 9:37AM

    Thank you for writing the blog I would have written. I'm wallowing in nothing right now. But I'm ever so thankful that I'm not worse off, and that I'm still moving forward. I don't even weigh myself because I know I will despair over the result. And yet I feel fit and healthy, even if my clothes are getting tighter again. And like you, I will plod on. We not only can do this, we ARE doing this. Soldier on!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAWNAPRIL 4/25/2011 9:30AM

    Love this post. It's exactly how I woke up too. I feel you. I'm in the same (relatively) area and yes, yesterday's weather was amazing.And today is gloomy. And I have woke up a pound heavier each day for the last five days. (!!!!!!!!!)I wish I could offer some words of encouragement!! I guess we'll have to eait till tomorrow. It's supposed to be in the 70's. (I feel like I should break into Lil Orphan Annie here..) emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NUTRON3 4/25/2011 9:28AM

    Have a woderful day

Report Inappropriate Comment

All the World Over, So Easy to See

Monday, April 18, 2011

Actually, it's not easy to see. Heh, that's what I'm here for, I s'pose.

Anyway, I went to my doc's last week. I was weighed and measured in all sorts of lovely ways.

First, the bad news. I've gained 20 lbs. since my last checkup. I weighed in at 204.4 and learned that my scale is overreporting my weight by .4 lbs.

And ... that's it for the bad news.

Now for the GOOD.

My blood pressure is a staggering 98/70 (normal is 120/80 and it's the lower # that really needs to be kept low). My pulse (and they checked this by taking a baseline EKG because it was so unbelievably low) is 52.


John Havlicek (look him up!) had a pulse in the low 40s.

I suppose I should work on my jump shot, eh?

Hence, my pulse, yeah (shaddap!), is comparable to a world class athlete's. The doc said it was easily better than a good 99% of her patients, as was my pressure.

And now let's look at cholesterol, and compare it to the last few years.

Year Overall chol HDL LDL Ratio Trig Weight
2008 156 40 3.9 346
2009 167 33 113 5.1 105 229
2010 173 38 112 4.6 113 186
2011 194 53 124 3.7 87 204.4

You want the HDL to be high, and the LDL to be low. You want the ratio to hit below 5 (it's just overall/HDL). Trig is triglycerides; you want them to be low. Weight is self-explanatory. Overall cholesterol obviously should be below 200.

By exercising like a fiend I was able to finally get my HDL # up to where it needs to be.

My doctor told me -- you do not look or act like an obese person. Your body does not act like an obese person's body. Except for the scale, you are NOT OBESE. SO STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP ABOUT THINGS.

We agreed, hey, maybe my body's hit a set point. Perhaps this is where it wants to live.

Right now, except for the statistical BMI # and my own vanity, there's little reason to head below 200.

Interesting .....

Anyway, rather than rest on my laurels, I am going to see if I can kick out of this plateau.

I have been somewhere between 201 and 206 for the past, I kid you not, 31 weeks. It might even be more, as I had a broken scale in there.

Therefore, I have decided to see what SP has in store for me if I up my calories. I definitely feel it is counterintuitive, but so are any number of things about weight loss.

This is the experiment. I will continue working out like a fiend and will do this until July 1st unless I see I am experiencing a runaway weight gain. And we'll see how it all shakes out. It may turn out to be trickier to do this than you might think, as I am very used to eating the way I do, plus sodium, for example, is not increased. How to get in the extra calories and not eat junk? Plus, I am a semi-vegetarian -- how do I up protein without just eating two turkey burgers at once (sodium issue) or more tuna (ditto) or tofu (fat issues)? Please don't suggest wheatgrass, whey powder and the like; I will never eat them (and, yes, I have tried).

I will also change my goal to 196 (I think it's 166 right now, maybe it's 146), to reflect a different mindset. This may change, and right now that's purely cosmetic but I want to embrace this attitudinal shift fully.

Here are my older nutrition goals:
Calories: 1600 - 1800
Fat: 45 - 60 g
Carbohydrates: 203 - 293 g
Protein: 45 - 158 g
Cholesterol: 0 - 300 mg
Fiber, total dietary: 25 - 45 g
Vitamin A, IU: 100 - 500
Vitamin C: 100 - 500
Calcium, Ca: 100 - 150
Sodium, Na: 0 - 2,400 mg
Iron, Fe: 100 - 150
Fatty acids, total saturated: 0 - 20
Trans Fats: 0 - 10

And here are the new:
Calories: 1,740 - 2,090
Fat: 44 - 77 g
Carbohydrates: 224 - 323 g
Protein: 60 - 174 g
Cholesterol: 0 - 300 mg
Fiber, total dietary: 25 - 45 g
Vitamin A, IU: 100 - 500
Vitamin C: 100 - 500
Calcium, Ca: 100 - 150
Sodium, Na: 0 - 2,400 mg
Iron, Fe: 100 - 150
Fatty acids, total saturated: 0 - 20
Trans Fats: 0 - 10

It's only calories, fat, carbs and protein that have changed. I am now going up 140 - 290 calories; up to 17 g of fat; 21 - 30 g of carbs; and 15 - 16 g of protein. That's it. Fiber, vitamins, minerals, salt and sat fats and trans fats remain the same.

Meals are going to get interesting around here. Stay tuned.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOLFKITTY 4/19/2011 10:56PM

    More protein without that other stuff = BEANS!
I've been pondering adding more to my own nutrition, so I thought I'd drop off my two cents. :D


Report Inappropriate Comment
MS.ELENI 4/19/2011 10:44PM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 4/19/2011 7:23PM

    What a cool doc!

You are just ROCKIN' the SPARK! :-)

Your song reminded me of another one I like:

No cool video to go along with it, unfortunately...


Report Inappropriate Comment
MARCHMAID 4/18/2011 6:32PM

    I can't focus on my numbers so yours are harder yet to grasp--but it's a good thing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KSGROTHE 4/18/2011 2:10PM

    Great report from the doc! Good luck with your new nutrition plan! emoticon

- Karen

Report Inappropriate Comment
SWEETZMIX 4/18/2011 1:01PM

    No matter what, it's always great to hear the doctor tell you how healthy you are. Good luck on the new nutrition goals!

Report Inappropriate Comment
IKKIMIKKI 4/18/2011 12:41PM

  Woohoo for being healthy! As nice as it may be to fit a certain size, without the health anything else is worthless so you definitely have cause to celebrate.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TEMPEST272002 4/18/2011 11:09AM

    Congrats on the overall good doctor's report. Upping your calories is counterintuitive - but I've seen it work before. You're exercising like a fiend & if you don't fuel that properly, you're body starts holding onto it's existing energy supply. I'm interested to hear how it goes for you, so please let me know. Healthy nuts - cashew, almond, etc are a great way to up your calories, protien & healthy fats.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CANNOTFATHOM 4/18/2011 10:07AM

    Sounds like you have a plan! Glad your appointment went well!


Report Inappropriate Comment

If, when, why, what? How much have YOU got?

Monday, April 11, 2011

I am a member of a private team and we recently completed a 100 days exercise challenge. That is, from January 1st, you were supposed to exercise for 100 days, for at least 30 minutes. That ended on the 9th.

And I did it! Let me give you some numbers.

I shoveled snow some 21 and a half hours. I *probably* (heh, this is New England, and you never know) won't have to do that again until October or so.

I don't know how many minutes of walking I did, but I know that I walked a total of 676,735 steps. If you figure about 2 feet per step, I walked about 256.35 miles. There are other things in there. There were days when my 20 minutes of pulling on resistance bands was supplemented only by 10 minutes of walking -- essentially, those were rest days. There were other days where I walked a good 16,000 steps (over 5 and a half miles). In March, I truly poured it on and would often walk four or five miles a good three days per week and then go to the gym on two of the other days. I ran two 5K races in there, too.

As is to be expected, I am a lil tired.

And, as might not be expected, I actually pretty much just maintained through all of this. I was 204.2 this morning. I was 202.8 on January first. The heaviest I was during the challenge was 205.6 (March 7th weigh-in). The lightest was 201.6 (January 17th weigh-in).

All of this moving is lovely, but it is not a panacea.

You need to do all of the other things we do, like drink the water, watch the portions, watch the salt, balance the intake, eat a variety of foods, etc.

Exercise alone does not do it, kids.

But I think that exercise can play a huge role in maintenance. And in the way that you feel. I have had times recently when I have really wanted to throw things. Instead, I lifted them. Or punch a wall. Instead, I punch out goal times on a treadmill, or jogged around the Reservoir.

I know, I know. It is easy to say to hell with it, and it is often something we just cannot find the time to do. But it does not all have to be at once. While getting your heart rate up is all well and good, you also have to, practically speaking, be able to actually do it.

What's the best exercise program out there?


And if that is topless vacuuming while singing Lady Gaga at the top of your lungs, hey, go for it, just make sure to pull your shades before you start.

Me, I'm going to the gym today. Tomorrow, I'm going to walk to my doctor's for a checkup -- to hell with the bus; I can walk that distance easily. Wednesday? Probably the gym again.

And so it goes, and it continues, for the challenge is still on, even though the 100 days are done. The challenge goes on until, well, until I cease being, yes? And today's huffing is a damn sight better than gasping for breath at age 90 (if I live so long) because I can't haul myself around anymore.


Are YOU up for it?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACYZABELLE 4/18/2011 5:01AM

    So the snow is gone-- what will occupy your hours now, LOL~

Report Inappropriate Comment
GRACEFULIFE 4/11/2011 10:50PM

    Have you got it do you get it
If so how often
Which do you choose
A hard or soft option

Report Inappropriate Comment
REYVE01 4/11/2011 10:44PM

    Wow... 100 day streak. It didn't have to be high intensity every day... but you got moving at least 30 min a day... that is a healthy committement.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARCHMAID 4/11/2011 8:44PM

    good for you. i dropped out. actually I did it but never reported in--that was too much trouble. I'm a Lazy Lulu on some fronts.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TEMPEST272002 4/11/2011 6:35PM

    Great job on making it all the way through your streak! Woo hoo!

You're right about exercise alone not doing the job. Exercise is important on many levels, but if you want to lose the lbs, you need to pay attention to the food.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KSGROTHE 4/11/2011 4:53PM

    I tend to be more able to get in the exercise than I am to eat right (or rather, not eat too much). It sounds like you did a great job on your 100 days challenge! emoticon

- Karen

Report Inappropriate Comment
PICKIE98 4/11/2011 4:43PM

    Topless?? Hmm,, now there is a sight for sore eyes if anybody pointed their peepers at me like that!! Are you trying to kill somebody???LOL! I am so impressed when you added up the miles, steps,etc.. we have plenty of time to sit around when we can no longer stand, might as well go for the gusto!! GOOD going!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 4/11/2011 12:24PM

    All RIGHT! Way to hustle!

...and you are SO correct in reminding that exercise alone won't cut it!


Report Inappropriate Comment
MS.ELENI 4/11/2011 11:30AM

    Exercise is not an easy one for me. I know I need to be more consistant but it is a hard one for me. You are such an inspiration. Thanks for your blogs. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
4A-HEALTHY-BMI 4/11/2011 11:22AM

    BRING IT, woman! LOL


Report Inappropriate Comment
MEGA_MILES 4/11/2011 11:00AM

    I'm with you until my toes are pointing toward the sky emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

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

Monday, April 04, 2011

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. . .

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANONYGIRL 4/6/2011 9:44AM

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

Report Inappropriate Comment
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.

Report Inappropriate Comment
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!!!
P.S. Oh, and BTW, You.ARE emoticon

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

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRACYZABELLE 4/5/2011 4:34AM

    I am in awe of you

Report Inappropriate Comment
MS.ELENI 4/4/2011 6:57PM

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

Report Inappropriate Comment
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

Report Inappropriate Comment
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

Report Inappropriate Comment
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! :-)


Report Inappropriate Comment
DIASTER 4/4/2011 12:17PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
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.


Report Inappropriate Comment
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.

Report Inappropriate Comment
IKKIMIKKI 4/4/2011 10:55AM

  Excellent reminder and CONGRATS on #17!


Report Inappropriate Comment
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

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOMS100 4/4/2011 10:00AM

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

Report Inappropriate Comment
MEL_UNRAU 4/4/2011 9:46AM


Report Inappropriate Comment

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

Monday, March 28, 2011

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

Report Inappropriate Comment

    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.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 3/29/2011 9:43AM

    What a special treat for DH...!

Kudos to going "public" with such heart!


Report Inappropriate Comment
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

Report Inappropriate Comment
JENIFIREHARP 3/28/2011 11:25PM

    Very Sweet!

Report Inappropriate Comment
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!

Report Inappropriate Comment
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

Report Inappropriate Comment
PHEBESS 3/28/2011 1:29PM

    Such a sweet blog!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
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!

Report Inappropriate Comment
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!

Report Inappropriate Comment
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

Report Inappropriate Comment
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!

Report Inappropriate Comment
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!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOLFKITTY 3/28/2011 11:12AM

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


Report Inappropriate Comment
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!

Report Inappropriate Comment
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."


Report Inappropriate Comment
MAMOOAUG 3/28/2011 9:33AM

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

Report Inappropriate Comment
SANDYBRUNO 3/28/2011 9:31AM

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

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOTTIEJANE1 3/28/2011 9:26AM

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

Report Inappropriate Comment
IKKIMIKKI 3/28/2011 9:15AM

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


Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 Last Page