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The Line Forms on the Right, Babe

Monday, May 23, 2011

We got back from Cape Cod on Saturday, and things looked okay on Sunday morning, only up by .2 and I'm thinkin', this isn't so bad.

Oh, no. That was *yesterday*.

Silly me. I am not allowed to lose weight anymore! So long as I remember that, I won't be disappointed, eh? Because, of course, I'm up another 1.4. Yes, oh, thank you, sir, may I have

I am tired of this nonsense.

I am in the final week of my "eat more, see if you can reset the setpoint" experiment, and so far it has been a big, fat failure. As in, I weigh what I did in April.

Of 2009.

See why I'm a lil ticked off, eh?

I can totally see why, and how, people backslide (hell, I regained several times when I was younger. This isn't exactly unknown territory for me). I can see it, and I can hear it, the siren song of sugar and idleness and alcohol and oh, one won't hurt you!

And then suddenly it creeps back a little, but your clothes still fit, even though they don't look quite so hot, but you go with it, because a little play is natural. And then you're just wearing the stuff with forgiving waistbands and then you buy a few bigger pieces because you need a nice dress or a suit for a job interview or whatever and then you do that again and I swear it is like being a backsliding alcoholic because 14 is okay, and then 16 and 18 are okay and then 20 is okay because it's not the size 26 you used to be, eh? And then suddenly you're back to 26 but somehow that's justifiable because it's comfortable and you used to be that size and people loved you and you were fine and now you know better and you can do it again, right? Right?

Except you're older, and more cynical, and the low-hanging fruit was plucked a long, long time ago and you are staring at yourself in the mirror and thinking, I am too old for this nonsense, and I hate this, and I am tired of it and why can't life be easy like it used to be and oh poor me and God I hate my life and my clothes and my body and wouldn't it be good if somehow someone would invent a way to make it easier and I would do that except right now I just can't haul my butt off the couch.

Yeah, I know those thoughts, those feelings, those actions.

And they have crossed my mind lately. Let it go. Be Zen. Toss it all away.

It all seems so simple. Backsliding. For sliding is easy. You just let gravity take a hold of you and whoosh! You're back to where you were before except, for real, you're lower and the mountain is steeper and you just haven't got as much energy as you used to.

This morning, on the site that I manage, I had a discussion (I don't want to say fight although I was hopping mad) with a girl who was trying to convince people that REM sleep burns more calories than running on a treadmill. And she was annoying and self-righteous and I did my best to present the arguments and say, yes, you do burn a few calories at rest because your heart and your lungs are powered by calories, but to say that that is more than running is just downright irresponsible.

It got me angrier than it should have, and so I am attempting to at least be Zen about that.

As for being Zen about the weight gain, I am not Zen about that.

I am annoyed. I am tired, yes, but I am annoyed. And I am also -- and this seems a nutty thing to admit -- I am hurt.

I am hurt that my body has decided that, for whatever reason, eating well and exercising and drinking water and getting rest are just, somehow, not even cuttin' it for maintaining the weight loss I've achieved so far. I am hurt and I am angry. Something, someone, needs a spanking. Bad body! Bad! Naughty!

So, where do I go from here?

Back to basics? Uh, no, I've been at basics all along. Basics are not working for me. Basics are, right now, a rut. I track. I work out. I eat right. I drink the damned water (I live in the bathroom enough already, thank you very much). I watch the salt. I don't go carb-crazy.

Tomorrow (for today I have a job interview, and that is a part of why I am stressing right now, too), I return to my gym, and pound the treadmill, like I have been, like has not been working for me, for I know that giving up is not in the playbook, and depending on REM sleep for my weight loss is a lot like depending on elves to get it done.

Look out, naughty body. You're not gonna know what hit ya.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LBEEKMA 5/29/2011 9:07PM

    I like your spunky will win!

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SKEPCHICK 5/24/2011 4:33PM

  Frustrating, yes, but hang in there.

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SWEETZMIX 5/24/2011 8:41AM

    I agree it's frustrating & your experiment is not working. You will figure it out. It sucks, but you will & I love how you know giving up is not an option!

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    Sounds like it is a good thing you are at the end of the eat more experiment. Maybe ending that will jump start weight loss again? Fingers crossed for you babe. The job hunt stress would have me in bed with bonbons, liver and all. But you seem to keep fighting and that is inspiring.

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TEMPEST272002 5/23/2011 6:16PM

    I have had these exact same thoughts. Push through for a week and you'll likely feel differently. There is an ebb & flow to everything - you can be annoyed by this or not annoyed by this, but it changes nothing. Sigh. Pound it out on the tredmill. Nothing like a good run to clear your energy.

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KSGROTHE 5/23/2011 5:04PM

    I agree with 4A-HEALTHY-BMI - changing up your cardio might help. I hope your interview went well. Hang in there! emoticon emoticon

- Karen

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MARCHMAID 5/23/2011 5:03PM

    Jeepers, Jes. Never've seen you so bummed. Par for the course for me so it's interesting to see you do it. Sorry. Feel better. Do better. Or change your goal.

No? Your call.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 5/23/2011 12:21PM

    Dude. Deep breaths.

I don't believe in the "eat more" theory, myself. I use my weight changes (up or down) combined with known caloric intake to estimate my requirements.

Here are some suggestions:

1) Your body is used to running. It is efficient at it. Switch up your cardio if you want to increase your burn. Can you find a spin class? Or a rowing machine? Or a Nordic Track? Or a Tae Bo class? To really work some different muscles and burn enormous numbers of calories, you could try doing hard lap intervals in a pool. And I mean really hard, balls-to-the-wall, nothing held back, gasping for breath, wondering if you're going to drown.

2) Use to figure out what your calorie requirements are. You just put in your daily weight and total calories. It does all the math for you. If you have a scale that estimates % body fat that can sometimes help too.

If what you're doing isn't working then try something else. Just do not give up, no matter what happens. Because giving up is how the backsliding happens. Your body is not the enemy. Your mind is.

Comment edited on: 5/23/2011 12:30:18 PM

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MS.ELENI 5/23/2011 12:02PM

    You will get it figured out. I have no doubt you will be back on track. Stress can really mess everyone up. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DMPRIDER 5/23/2011 11:20AM

    Ugh. Don't know what to say that hasn't already been said. But I will add Good Luck with your interview!

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    Hang in're doing awesome. I know it's frustrating, but the changes you've made are making a difference even if the scale isn't showing it. Maybe try a new type of cardio - if you've been doing the treadmill, try spinning or swimming, change it up a little. If nothing else it'll give you something a little different! Good luck!

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JONATION 5/23/2011 8:43AM

    Please stop looking over my shoulder and typing my thoughts into your blog before I can think of them.

Hang in.... J

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KARBIE18 5/23/2011 8:06AM

    I know you've been around here for as long as I have, and have probably tried everything when it comes to plateaus, but have you tried interval training? If changing up the nutrition hasn't worked, is there a way to change up the movement?

My heart goes out to you - I think of the 3.5 years I've been Sparkling, 3.4 years of that have been spent on one plateau or another. It's frustrating as hell, but, based on your last sentence, I have no doubt you'll bust through.

Hugs to you,

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VENISEW1 5/23/2011 7:58AM

    I often feel the same way.

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But Now it's Time to Say What I Forgot to Say

Monday, May 16, 2011

First, thank you all again for your kindnesses last week. I am actually feeling a bit better although the stress level continues to be pretty high. But I am workin' on it.

Last week, I went to NY for my Dad's 80th birthday bash (no pics yet), and saw various cousin type people and a relative who is ill (and for whom this song was chosen - so now you know what kind of a treatment that person is going to get). Specifics about the ill family member will not be forthcoming, as that person is entitled to their medical privacy, of course.

Though I gotta say, it's interesting. I rarely see my cousins, seeing as they all live in NY and NJ and we are in the wilds of oh so far North Bahstin. In all fairness, one of them has small children. I recognize that visits are not easy or cheap, and I am totally understanding that as I haven't worked in a dog's age, and I know some others haven't, either.

But we all hugged so much tighter this time. And the vibe I got was -- we may all be thinking this, consciously or unconsciously, that this might be one of the last times we can all do this together. So it's a tad bittersweet.

My father is the last male of his generation on that side, and one of the last on the other side, as well. Even his younger brother (5 years younger, I might add) is gone. Dad is IT. And he seems to take that in stride, kinda being everyone's Dad now. He doesn't just have a son and a daughter, and a son-in-law and a daughter-in-law and one grandson. Oh, no.

He's got three other daughters. And one other son. And another daughter-in-law. And another son-in-law. And another grandson. And two granddaughters. And they may call him Uncle or Great-Uncle but they come to him, and he jokes with them, as he fixes their light fixtures or fiddles with their computers or explains about refrigeration (inside family joke: if you ever have insomnia, call my father and have him explain refrigeration. It's better than Ambien. Trust me.). And he offers advice. Or sometimes he's just there, and he makes an example.

He is up at 6:30 AM like a shot, every single morning. He still walks faster than I do. He can fix things. He has over forty patents (most of which are hanging on the walls of my house). He wears bowties. He is a jokester. The belt on his pants gets higher every year and is now under his armpits. I imagine it will become a headband one of these days. He forwards every Internet warning there is. He teaches senior citizens how to use computers (and, probably, also how to send that kinda junk). He loves my mother unconditionally. He is everyone's Dad and Grandpa. He has a work ethic that is off the charts, even as he jokes that he never worked a day in his life. Well, it's not work if you love it.

He and Willie Mays turned 80 on the same day, May 6th, 2011. And to that I say, Say Hey, Dad.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANONYGIRL 5/21/2011 1:15AM

    Now call him up and read him the last 4 paragraphs!

I love my Dad to bits too. He just married a woman with heaps of kids and grandkids, and I thought I might be jealous, but I found that I'm old enough to be delighted instead that he has a big rambunctious family crawling all over him now. He's a great grandpa, and I didn't have to breed. :)

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DDOORN 5/17/2011 1:30PM

    Nice memories...thx for sharing...!


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CAROLISCIOUS 5/16/2011 9:06PM

    Your dad sounds like a true gem. I sure coulda used a refrigeration chat last night!
I'm glad you are doing better, too!

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MARCHMAID 5/16/2011 6:50PM

    You're pretty lucky to have had a dad for so long. Glad you recognize it and enjoy him. Keep it up. Mom, too. : )

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GRSMITH80 5/16/2011 6:35PM

    You have such a great dad! I'm glad you had a good time.

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PICKIE98 5/16/2011 5:49PM

    Sounds like a cross between Andy Griffith and John Candy!! You are blessed.

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    I love you Da and I love you too. Headband. Ayeee. How do you think these things up?

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KSGROTHE 5/16/2011 2:22PM

    Glad you got to spend some time with relatives! Your dad sounds great!

- Karen

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TEMPEST272002 5/16/2011 12:54PM

    Awww, what a great dad you have.

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EDDYMEESE 5/16/2011 12:32PM

    Great writing :) Your dad sounds amazing.

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MS.ELENI 5/16/2011 10:07AM

    What a wonderful tribute to your Dad.He sounds great.

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THECITYMOUSE 5/16/2011 9:39AM

    Love this entry...for so many reasons.


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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 5/16/2011 8:32AM

    Sounds great. What's his number? Just in case I have too much caffeine close to bedtime...


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SWEETZMIX 5/16/2011 8:00AM

    I loved hearing about your dad. Just sounds like an extra cool guy with lots of awesome stories! Glad you got to see him and your family. I have a decent amount of family that I know here in NY and in NJ (I know there is tons of us out there I don't know), and I wonder sometimes why don't I visit or call more. Something I need to work on, since I tend to be a loner sometimes. Either way, glad you enjoyed your day and you are blessed to still have him around to talk to you about refrigeration!

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Me, I Do the Only Thing that Still Makes Sense to Me

Monday, May 09, 2011

Okay, Tim Curry in the 80s. Rawr.

All righty then.

So, life is mixed. On Thursday the 5th, I called my pals at Unemployment. Oh, answer these questions. Ah, you're still not working. Extension until mid-August! Score! Then this morning, I put in for a check and their computer spits out, oh no, you've exhausted your benefits. WTF???!!??!?

So now I have to call them again, and of course they are busy, fast busy signals. Gaah.

But there are also a lot of job calls suddenly. I am guessing that one of the sites where I am listed ( ) must have offered some sort of a May special. It's all centered around May, and these recruiters all seem to say that they found my name on Dice.

Prospects but nothing concrete yet, of course. And prospects don't pay the bills.

As for weight loss and working out, that's also less than optimal. I gained a pound since last week. Thank you so much, experiment in eating more calories so that the fitness tracker stops screaming at me. I am still continuing with the experiment, it'll end at the end of the month, but this is annoying and dispiriting. My measurements are meh, some slightly up, some down. My calves are slightly firmer, I suppose. This does nothing toward getting me back into size 12s.

"Hey baby, I dig your hot calves!" I do not hear this too often.

I walked a good 25 miles this week and went to my gym 3 times. Part of the walking/jogging included a 5k that totally was not a 5k. We did it for brain tumor research (God, that's an awful disease to have) and the course was absolutely not laid out long enough, as Mr. J and I both got honkin' amazing PRs that had no basis in reality. Others also said they felt the course wasn't long enough. I am guessing, based upon my usual speeds, around 2.85 or 2.95 miles, as opposed to 3.1. I mean, I did it in 36:10 (they did not have an official timekeeper; this was by Mr. J's watch). Since my best before that was 38:12, when I weighed a good 24 lbs. less than I do now, well, no. That was so NOT a 5k. But it was nice, and our finisher medals look like dog tags so we are all set if there is a scene of M*A*S*H ever filmed here - we can be extras.

I am going back to the gym today, and I am going to call my friends at the Commonwealth and try not to turn purple as I explain to them that they TOLD me I had an extension, so couldja please enter that stuff properly into the computer already???

And I also wait for news for a relative, who needs treatment (I am being deliberately vague about this but it is not a happy disease - not a brain tumor, though) and so that is tossing me on edge some more.

And I am workin' on my hot calves.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MS.ELENI 5/11/2011 10:28PM

    never ends does it. You will get thru this.

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    Ugh. Unenjoyment. I do hope you get a great job and that is the end of them.

You know much more about Spark than I do so you probably know how to do this, but did you check the mileage on the "map your route" feature of the fitness section of Spark? I suspect it is not not precise but it is better than nada.

Sorry bout your wait over the relative's illness thing. Having just gone through a 4 month cancer recurrence check I know waiting for results is harrowing. Hugs to you.

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KSGROTHE 5/9/2011 7:57PM

    " 'Hey baby, I dig your hot calves!' I do not hear this too often." - Well, maybe your husband isn't into calves that much! emoticon

Good luck with the job search and the unemployment office. emoticon

- Karen

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TEMPEST272002 5/9/2011 5:44PM

    Sounds like a lot of stress right now - and stress can make the scale unkind. I hope you get the extension... and a new job. Keep working out - it's great for stress relief.

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TELERIE 5/9/2011 4:48PM

    Just LOOK at those hot calves!
All the best with relative, the missing benefits hassle and here's to those prospects turning things around. You're so good with the exercise and I love that you and Mr. J do 5k's together!

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MARCHMAID 5/9/2011 4:33PM

    Hang tough, Honey. Keep on keepin' on. ; )

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SWEETZMIX 5/9/2011 1:08PM

    I have my fingers crossed for you and your family member. And those hot calves will come in handy when you are ready to wear some capris this summer!

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DDOORN 5/9/2011 11:42AM

    GL in pushing the Commonwealth to get their act together! Great to hear of job prospects...keeping fingers crossed!!


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LESS_IS_MO 5/9/2011 10:37AM

    Here's to hot calves! Which lead to strong achilles tendons and staying injury free.

Tim Curry makes nice bkgd music for perusing your blog.

I also ran one of those 5ks that were a little short. It was my first 5k, so naturally I was thrilled with my time. Big LOL! Never been able to match that time!!!!

Sounds like your exercise is going great!

Just hoping that you get that dratted extension after all and that some of those prospects become a real job.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 5/9/2011 10:28AM

    Hey baby, I dig your hot calves!

It just needed to be said. :-)

Good luck dealing with the Commonwealth. Let's hope one of those leads makes them moot!

When you're done with your experiment if you want help troubleshooting, feel free to join the HIT squad. They're sharp and on the ball.

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It Really Feels Like ....

Monday, May 02, 2011

This is one wacky video. The cigar-chomping dude reminds me of Curtis Armstrong.

Anyway, eh. Not such a hot day/week/etc.

It is week #2 of eat more and stop have the fitness tracker yell, thereby, presumably, lose weight!

Not so fast.

Last week, I stayed the same. This week, I am up 1.4.

In all fairness, I've also got TOM going on, but still!

Very discouraging, particularly as I walked almost 30 miles last week and went to the gym twice, for a total of 2 hours cardio/weight training there. Measurements are, mainly, up, although not by too much.

It is discouraging.

And other fun stuff is not helping.

The Commonwealth has decided -- look, little job seeker? See the hoop? Jump, job seeker, jump!

There is a new form to fill out online. But you can't fill it in on Sundays. But that's nowhere in the literature. And so we hold your check because you had the audacity to try to fill it out on Sunday, when every other part of that website is usable.

I do hope they realize they are also shooting themselves in the foot with this, as two trips multiplied by however many job seekers = more strain on their server.

Jump, job seeker, jump!

You'd think with all this jumping, I'd lose some freakin' weight.

Anyway, it is not a happy day. I am sorry I am not funny or perky today. I am just tired of it all.

Why am I not getting a job? Well, uh, there aren't any in my field. Or, at least, the match is just not being made. I have been told I'm great but, oops! We're going with someone internal. Or, oh, you don't fit our vision (whatever TF that turns out to be). Or, you're perfect, but we found someone perfect-er! Or you're too experienced (I always wonder about that one -- I'm sure in most cases that's code for, you're too old). Or you're just, hmm, well, we had 87 specifications and you only fit 86 of them, so sorry. But we do love to watch you jump. Jump again, and you might get a biscuit!

I had a dream early this morning of this awful coworker I had had years ago (who became my boss IRL). I dreamt I was working with this person again, who was as loud and obnoxious as ever, and sitting even closer to me than this person had over a decade ago. The company (in the dream) compensated my annoyance by giving me a printer. But of course I had to share and service this printer as well.

And that is how I am feeling. I have home and family things going on as well and I am not going to get into those on a public page like this but I am just plain tired of battling. The forced perkiness that I will need to be able to network and do all of the hoop-jumping is just not gonna come easy, if at all, right now. I have had it.

Does this mean I am stopping? Not really. But I am not up to par by any means.

Oh and it also doesn't mean I want a pep talk. A pep talk is not gonna cure this. I appreciate your thoughts - I do - but this is not a pep talk situation.

Again, sorry this isn't cheerful or funny. It's just ... not. It really does feel like hell.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KSGROTHE 5/3/2011 7:02PM

    I'd never heard that song before. I don't have much to say, and I'm pretty sure I'm not equipped to give a pep talk right now, so I'll just offer:
emoticon emoticon and a emoticon for good luck.

- Karen

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MS.ELENI 5/3/2011 10:19AM

    No one can be funny and perky all the time. I can do funny on occasion but forget perky most days. I am late responding to this so I am sure you are doing ok by now. You are going to have some not great days.get thru them and get on with it. At least that is what I tell myself. emoticon

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LELAINE2 5/2/2011 8:26PM

    Sending big emoticon your way. I can feel for you, on the not getting the job. They told me I had the job, Then called and said they were not going to give me the job. There is know work out there. It rots.

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VEEJAY3 5/2/2011 6:54PM

    Yes. I see.
I'm taking a cue from the Book of Job, and not offering you any useless advice or words. I'll just sit here with you. That's what Job's REAL friends did. (And I haven't read the story in a while, but I'm pretty sure things were maybe even worse for him ...)
emoticon emoticon

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    Awuh Jes I wish I could make you more comfortable as you often do for me when I am down. Can't though and I don't want to trivialize your feelings with pap. You are indeed one of the wittiest writers that I know. It is not fair that you have this struggle. You are so unique and gifted. Well accept hugs and knowledge that your fans are rooting for you.
Oh and 30 miles? Heavens! Great!

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DDOORN 5/2/2011 4:49PM

    Ugh. Life sure seems to know how to throw too many days like this one's way. Sorry to hear, but all things considered, seems you are hanging in there better than *I* would under the circumstances...!


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CAROLISCIOUS 5/2/2011 3:10PM

    I agree with you. It all sucks. Hugs.

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TELERIE 5/2/2011 2:16PM

    Some great big hugs across the ocean! It sucks that you're still unemployed and I dearly wish people got their eyes open about your qualities! emoticon

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CANNOTFATHOM 5/2/2011 11:59AM

    Sorry you are having a lousy time! Keeping venting if it helps!


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VALERIEMAHA 5/2/2011 10:34AM

    I'm so sorry. I can definitely things not being as you want them on SO many levels.

Keep the faith!

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MARCHMAID 5/2/2011 8:53AM

    Hey, kiddo. Life's a bummer sometimes. Wallow a little and then stick out your chin again. What else can you do?

Hugs from this quarter. And BTW it's spring and we have to set a date to meet! THAT is cause for anticipatory cheer--

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LESS_IS_MO 5/2/2011 8:40AM

    HUG. Control what you can. Leave the rest.

You are doing your part for the weight loss. Maybe the intensity of your exercise needs to step up? But then maybe you don't have that in you right now with all that's going on (You see, that is what i think is happening to ME, and I'm just projecting the same scenario onto you too!).

For the job hunt, I share your disappointment. There are some people out there who are so good at selling themselves, so good at all the BS, but when it comes down to it, they don't deliver the goods any better than those of us who find all that self-promotion a bunch of crap. It's tiring to try to do something that maybe goes against our nature (well it goes against mine anyway) . It makes a person want to just get a kind of job(also known as low-paying) that doesn't need any of that gunk.

You hang in there...there are just some things we can't control and the opportunities that come available are on of those things.

Rant about it (here i mean) when it makes you feel better. But if it's tiring or stirs up frustration to report to us on the job hunt....well you know, we'd understand if you don't talk about what's best for you is what I'm saying.

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FIT_TERI 5/2/2011 8:36AM

    Ugh! When it rains, it pours, sometimes. I hope you start catching some breaks soon.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 5/2/2011 8:26AM

    Sending you a virtual hug! Feel free to return the favor - I too can use it. emoticon emoticon

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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.

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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.

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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!

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MARCHMAID 4/26/2011 11:41PM

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

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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?

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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.


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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!!

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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

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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.

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_CYNDY55_ 4/25/2011 6:09PM

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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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. :)

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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!)

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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

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    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?

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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.

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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!

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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

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NUTRON3 4/25/2011 9:28AM

    Have a woderful day

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