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JESPAH's Recent Blog Entries

No One's Gonna Drag You Up to Get into the Light Where You Belong

Monday, October 03, 2011

Okay, so I realize this group was, like, the '90s version of ABBA, but I don't care. I like the song's pseudo-reggae beat. And I kinda like the lyric I quoted in this blog title.

It's week #2 of work. And this is not a huge deal by any means. I have been through this drill many, many times before. It's funny how you can get right back into the groove with very little preparation or mental psyching. Hey, I know how to do this! And now I'm moving in and just doing it. There's lots to learn but the basics, to me, are simple. Competency returns with very little fanfare.

And yanno ...

We restart weight loss all the time. Don't we?

And most of us have the information, and we remember it. Or it's a small thing to be reminded and then - yeah, that's right! - and we are ready to go. At least, intellectually, we are.

Now, this is not to say that certain information is never proven wrong, or is never hidden. There are plenty of diet traps out there in Restaurant Land. Companies LIE.



We see this all the time. Some terms are regulated; others are not. So we see all sorts of stuff on menus and it's not necessarily good for us at all.

That information is helpful. Personally, I often read the Spark Showdowns although I believe that, often, some of it is reaching. Telling me that an 800-calorie appetizer is the better choice is, well, silly. I eat about 2 1/2 times that amount of calories in a DAY. I am not about to blow that much of my diet budget on a stupid appetizer.

But I digress.

My real point in all of this is that most of this is not about the information.





It is not about information. It is about motivation.

You need to be able to make your choices with confidence. You need to be able to say no with conviction, if something is presented that is no good for you. You need to split out your time and your energy and find a way to do things for yourself, because God knows most of the people here find time to do for others.

No one can teach you motivation, I'm sorry to say. It is a far different animal.

All that can be done by the management of Spark is to give you information. And here on the blogs, what we, your peers, can do is, we can share our own motivations, in the hopes that you find a way to siphon off a little of it, and cobble it together into something that works for you. Or we share our triumphs. Or our frustrations, or our sorrows. Or our setbacks. And, the hope is, you see something in there, and it drives your motivation, or it pumps some gas into that tank. Or, perhaps, it just begins to point you in the right direction. But you will get there when you get there.

This race does not go to the swiftest or the strongest, even as we are all attempting to become swifter and stronger. It goes to the one who is in the light, and who tries to shine that light on others. But we all climb up in there on our own.

As the song says, no one's gonna drag you up.

You have to get there on your own.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IFDEEVARUNS2 10/4/2011 5:01PM

    Yes, you have to get there on your own. Time for me to get moving!

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LAB-LOVER 10/4/2011 6:47AM

    This is a great blog -- to paraphrase Craig Harper "we're not lacking in information about how to succeed...we're more educated than at any time in history... and more fat!" We know exactly WHAT to do, we just don't do it.

I'm gonna carry this little ditty in my head this week and will the scale downward!

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MARCHMAID 10/3/2011 11:50PM

    Amen. As Miss Scarlett noted in another context: ". . . . Tomorrow is another day!"

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    Great motivation Jes, thanks. And great to see you back in the groove. Yay Jes

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CAROLISCIOUS 10/3/2011 8:50PM

    Thanks for all the motivation from you,JES...

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VALERIEMAHA 10/3/2011 10:33AM


We REALLY need to take control of our health through radical life-style adjustments! Thanks for this attention call.

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LESS_IS_MO 10/3/2011 9:38AM

    Amen. Thanks for the sharing your light! Great!

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MS.ELENI 10/3/2011 9:25AM

    Yep we are the one that has to do it.And staying motivated is so hard for me when life gets in the way

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DDOORN 10/3/2011 9:24AM

    One source of motivation for me which I tap into when at grocery stores and restaurants (sometimes more successfully than others...!) is Fighting Corporate Control of Our Bodies!


You are SO RIGHT re: LIE LIKE RUGS IN ORDER TO GET YOU TO EAT THEIR FOOD! And of course "THEIR FOOD" is using the term WAY loosely! Don't know if we should dignify it by calling it food!

If only they could be so devious about motivating us to eat truly TERRIFIC FOOD!


Comment edited on: 10/3/2011 9:24:44 AM

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The Time to Rise Has Been Engaged

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tomorrow, I go back to work. Things are delayed for a day because the silly drug test last week was delayed by a day (the testing center's computer was down. Sheesh!).

No worries - it's kinda nice to have an extra day to myself, knowing that I am actually going to be making some money, and soon. See, that's the thing - I've had people say to me - isn't it great being out of work? You can do what you please!

Er, no, you can't. You should be watching your pennies. And there are few people to hang out with, anyway (and you should be networking with 'em, not hanging out and watching interminable reruns).

I feel it's a bit like that, in terms of having lost a boatload of weight already. Oh, you can relax! You've already lost over 100 pounds! The rest should be easy, right? You already look radically different!

Well, heh, yes, THAT particular mountain has already been climbed, true. But it does not mean that suddenly life is a festival of hangin' out and doin' nothin', or I'll be right back there. And, by the way, it also does not mean that exercise is easy. It is less painful, yes. I don't have the huge pain afterwards unless I've done a 5K or something comparably strenuous. These days, I pretty routinely walk for about 80 minutes, usually for around 3 1/4 - 3 1/2 miles. I don't need recovery time from such things anymore. But I've still gotta get out and do 'em.

It's funny.

So many of us have no problem (well, we probably grumble about it) getting up and going to work in pouring rain, or when we don't feel like it, etc. Now, we may take a mental health day here and there. But the bottom line is that we usually get up and get out there and do it.

Why is it so hard to do that with our health? Why does a drop of rain, or a little feeling that we don't feel like it, or the promise of almost any kind of alternate activity, derail the good intentions of so many of us?

When it's pouring rain, and we have to go to work, what do we do? Oh, we may want to stick our heads under the covers and return to Dreamland. But we suck it up, and we grab an umbrella and we go.

Grab an umbrella (or its equivalent) and solve the problem that's holding you back, and GO. YOU are just as important as the Holbrook account, as the Davis report, as the patient in Room 123, right? RIGHT?

You are your own most important project.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VALERIEMAHA 9/28/2011 11:31AM

    "You are your own most important project." Huh? Oh really...oh yeah, that's RIGHT. Why do I keep FORGETTING that Most.Important.Truth??? Denial? Dementia? Self-sabotage? Lethargy? WHATEVAH! It just ain't acceptable, none'a it!

You know how to cap it, sistah! Thanks, as usual,

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DAISYBELL6 9/28/2011 10:36AM

    Thank you for your timely blog!

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DDOORN 9/28/2011 9:49AM

    Do I EVER hear you Jes! re: "Why is it so hard to do that with our health?"

Am making a major re-committment, getting back to what works...big blog today.

Thx as ever for sharing your wisdom!


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STRINGS58 9/28/2011 6:20AM

    I've been a little off track -- and i haven't been putting my exercise goals or that part of my health first, and I'm missing it! I'm hoping to turn it around today and I read your blog -- What an excellent kick in the "do it"! I really needed to hear your brain today!

Our boys are neck and neck emoticon We have a Boston fan in the orchestra and baseball was the topic of discussion during our concert intermission break. emoticon

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LESS_IS_MO 9/27/2011 9:34AM

    I hope your work day (which is now today) is going great!

I am my most important project. I like that. Good attitude which could help keep us focused.

My husband, who is a physician, has a great outlook on life most of the time. I think his attitude is cultivated partly by seeing people with real, serious, debilitating problems every day without a day off from that that keeps him feeling lucky and grateful.

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MALCONTENTION 9/26/2011 10:46PM

    Good luck at your new job!!!!!! I'm SO happy you're going to be back at it!

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CAROLISCIOUS 9/26/2011 9:23PM

    The absolute truth, JES...and I love that last paragraph. I need to show up for my work out for ME...just like I show up for my employer every day. I will never look at an umbrella the same!

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NVDONNA 9/26/2011 3:55PM

    So true. I get up everyday and go to work,,, wishing I could stay in bed,,but ultimately getting up and going, why? Because it's the right thing to do,,I need the $$,,, and doing what is expected of me. Yet, I come home and think about exercising, and so easily blow it off. If only someone would pay me to exercise!! Well, that's not gonna happen, so I need to expect it of myself, and do the right thing. Get off my tush and just suck it up and do it!

Oh,,,and best of luck at your new job! You'll be great!!

Comment edited on: 9/26/2011 3:56:09 PM

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KASEYCOFF 9/26/2011 2:00PM

    Great comparison - and really good insights! I'm adding it to my 'keep' file...

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MS.ELENI 9/26/2011 11:09AM

    Well said as usual. emoticon

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MARCHMAID 9/26/2011 10:30AM

    As I'm complicating my life starting a 6 month consulting gig next week on top of all I do or having been doing and must alter, I hear you.

So, I'm adding more exercise, beginning yoga instruction, continuing helping with the two new grandkids, going to New Orleans for five days of vacation but lessening my involvement on boards and committees. They will have to learn to do without me--and it's going to be better for the organizations in the long run!

I'm channelling the tune from My Fair Lady: "without you turning it the earth will spin. . . . "

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VALERIEMAHA 9/26/2011 10:05AM

    Your wisdom, my friend, NEVER ceases to amaze me!

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ANGELOO29 9/26/2011 7:56AM


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LAB-LOVER 9/26/2011 7:50AM

    Amen Sister! Good luck tomorrow. I am no fan of the "first day on the job" when you can't find anything, do anything and feel like two left thumbs. But you'll be in the swing in no time at all! And put those exercise dates on your calendar! Bet you're the fittest one in the place!

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    Oh my goodness you nailed it. Are we really as important as all that? Is exercise and wellness care really as important...more important...than Work? Maybe i could pay myself to exercise and eat well. Hey. There is a notion.

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CHRISTINECAN 9/26/2011 7:35AM

    You are right on the just do it thing. But I so hear you on being out of work and being able to get back to it. Always such a Catch 22: if you're working you can buy hobby supplies but have no time to do them; if you're not, all the time in the world but can't spend the money!

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Inside Myself and My Own Mind

Monday, September 19, 2011

I had a rather mixed week recently.

Because of getting a job, people suddenly want to see me/us. This is nice, but I was out of work for over a year and a half. I suppose now I have optimistic things to talk about. Shrug. It's fine and I don't begrudge it. It's just that I do actually have to get my act in gear for the job. Some of that work takes longer than other aspects. But doing it does take time or, like today, it involves distance (I am going to Worcester today to wrap up most of my stuff with the 'bot boys).

First, my folks came up, so before that we were in a frenzy of cleaning. Cleaning, of course, needs/needed to be done, but it was a lot to do. Then they got here, and we were both reminded of, well, the changes that are occurring. Don't want to say anymore.

Then on the weekend we went to a friend's (she used to be my boss a good seven years ago) house for a gathering of the people we used to work with (we meaning me and my colleagues; my husband never worked there). That was great fun, with a LOT of laughing but we stayed a LONG time, and I ended up leaving with swollen tonsils that are not yet gone. Whether that was from talking (there was no alcohol at the party) or fatigue or allergies, I have no idea. I have the two hour each way drive to Worcester today, and that is not going to do my tonsils any favors.

I need to stay in bed, or at least close to home, and rest. Plus I need to cook stuff in preparation for not only next week (which is supposed to be when I start working) but for later as well. Oh and I will need to have the plumber come in, and deal with (and pay for) all of that.

Plus somewhere in there I am supposed to get a drug test for this job. No one has even contacted me to schedule it. So that is yet another unnecessary source of stress.

It feels precarious, this job, as if by "forgetting" (I will call them tomorrow if I don't hear anything by the end of business today) to schedule the drug test, they are telling me something about being hired, that it's a will o' the wisp.

I know that that is not true, of course, but it doesn't help matters one iota.

So I feel turned around, and twisted. Things are going to fall into place. I know this intellectually. But I am still feeling like something is nagging at me. I don't suppose anyone else has ever welcomed a drug screening as much as I will once the stupid thing is scheduled.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLISCIOUS 9/21/2011 9:22PM

    I like FIT_TERI's advice...list making really helps me. This is a new beginning...resulting stress is a given. And that on the heels of the toddler parents visiting...leaves a lot on your mind I'm sure.

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MARCHMAID 9/20/2011 5:09AM

    Always something, huh? I've got a busy couple of weeks ahead and then am starting a new consulting gig. I get the stress thing, believe me.

I think that if I can stay on track for two weeks I'll be OK. This will be hard as two chubby friends from Michigan are visiting starting tomorrow for three days. Food will be a focus if I let it. Can't. Tracking and planning must be the focus.

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FIT_TERI 9/19/2011 9:03PM

    Jes, I can so relate to the uncertainty you describe about not hearing about the drug test. When I stay too long inside my own head, I can invent very many (usually poor) outcomes to almost any situation. I'm sure the scheduler is just busy.

Make yourself a list, and start checking things off. Get done what you can. Maybe your hubby can help with the to-do list? He seems to me to be a very reasonable and helpful guy....sometimes, well in my case, they just need to be asked (told?).

Try to get some rest, too, so that you're feeling better when you start the new


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TELERIE 9/19/2011 4:36PM

    It will all work out and you'll get into a groove. Hugs. Breathe!

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MS.ELENI 9/19/2011 10:50AM

    My head is spinning reading all you have to do. i know yours must be too. But you will get thru all this and then you can relax.

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I'd Pull One Down For You

Monday, September 12, 2011

Well, I got a lovely 49th birthday present, one week late, on the 9th.

I got a job.

Now, it is pending a drug test (I will test positive for Claritin and Unithroid - oh no!) and a background check. Undoubtedly I'll be Googled. Hey, they'll find my weight loss pics on Facebook. Maybe some investigator type will join Spark.

Hey, the Spark's spread in mysterious ways ....

I'll probably start the last week in September although it might be the first week in October. I have no idea how long drug tests and whatnot take. In the meantime, among other things, I need to shop for workety-work-type clothes. I am definitely up a size, possibly two, since I was buying networking clothes. Yeah, yeah, I know, I know, you're not supposed to buy larger sized stuff. You're supposed to lose the weight.

I get that.

I also need decent clothes to wear to this serious corporate job where I will often see the President of the company, and I need them RIGHT NOW.

This is a company of some 20,000 people, a far cry from the four-person startup I am currently at. It is a long-term temp role until the end of calendar year 2012. It cannot be renewed, as the job (and a lot of others) is going to the Southern United States (no specifics, please). I will be looking for work again in a year.

But until then, money will be made, my retirement fund will go back to increasing instead of being in a steady state, and I will do everything in my power to reduce our mortgage debt even more by the end of '12. We are currently, we figure, a little under 4 years until the mortgage is completely paid off. If this employment stint can reduce that time by half or more, that will be terrific. We'll save most of the rest of my salary. I don't intend to live high on the hog although Mr. J and I will try to meet for lunch 2x/week. His office is about 20 minutes away, so it is very possible.

Oh yeah, what am I gonna be doing?

It's a data analysis job. Products are sold by this big honkin' financial services company. The company needs to know how they're trending, what works and what doesn't. Plus the company is transitioning over to a new reporting tool (which I would learn) and people will need help making new reports, and there will be QA work as the transition progresses. There will also be relationship building in order to assure that the maximum number of people are happily cooperating. The reports need to be streamlined, made uniform, documented and gotten organized.

All of this is right up my OCD Virgo mind's alley.

As for social media, I am not out of it, not by a long shot. After all, I will need to find a job in a year. But right now this is a rather comfortable landing during that interim as, hopefully, the economy improves so my reentry into the ranks of the unemployed is shorter and easier in '13. Perhaps that will be a lucky year, eh?

So - thank you all. You helped me change MY world.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASEYCOFF 9/13/2011 3:59PM

    You go, sunshine! Sounds like it's a great match, and I just know you'll be great with it! Re clothes: I agree with you about buying larger, as sometimes it's a case of 'needs must.' But would it be worth your time to look thru some of the charity shops? You might find a few good outfits for the office, and spend far less as you work your way back down clothing-wise...

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MS.ELENI 9/13/2011 11:51AM

    emoticon emoticon You are going to do great.

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MARCHMAID 9/13/2011 10:06AM

    Just wanted to add my formal and hearty congrats to those from the throngs of admirers. ; )

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CAROLISCIOUS 9/12/2011 8:37PM

    Congrats on the new employment situation! I've really admired you through all took a rough situation and made it as positive as possible.

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SWEETZMIX 9/12/2011 7:44PM


And no one wants to buy larger sizes. When I changed positions I realized I needed to face the facts b/c I needed clothes NOW. If you want to keep the job until the end you have to be decent. Hopefully you can find some items on SALE!

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TEMPEST272002 9/12/2011 7:18PM

    Congrats on the new job! Don't feel bad when buying the larger sizes. It is what is it & you deserve to look professional no matter what size you're currently at.

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VALERIEMAHA 9/12/2011 6:07PM

    That is just such damned good news. I'm in the same holding pattern you've been in, job-seeking with nothing shaking out.

Doin' the happy dance (aloha-style)!

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FIT_TERI 9/12/2011 10:42AM

    That's terrific news!! Congratulations!!!!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 9/12/2011 9:54AM

    Woohoo! And you totally deserve to get nice clothes that fit NOW!

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    Yahoo and congrats. Sounds like you have a great plan. And the pieces are lining up. I have a feeling that getting back into a routine will also renew your weight loss efforts. Nothing like structure! Anyhow. Great news Jes.

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TELERIE 9/12/2011 8:31AM

    Oh this made my day, Janet! MUAH! So happy for you!

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BLUEANGELLK 9/12/2011 8:10AM

    Congratulations. I know you will knock them out!

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If They Were Me, and I Was You

Monday, September 05, 2011

A few things have happened recently. First off, I turned 49 on the 2nd (hence the song -- many thanks to Pseudobritchick for reminding me of it). One more year and I will hit a new running division. This is a much smaller division, at least in the 5Ks that I run. And so I have a chance to actually crack the top 3. Keep in mind I don't think I've seen more than 5 women in this division unless I run a really big race but hey, I could use the kudos.

Today I ran my 22nd 5K and did okay, finishing fourth from last and in about 44:10. Official results will probably be posted in a day or 2.

But -- let me tell you about the gal who finished last.

She was, I am guessing, about 225, 250 lbs. or so. Probably in her 30s.

She was also in a regular wheelchair.

The course is uneven and there are wooded portions. There are two bridges that you go over. There are sticks everywhere, evidence of Hurricane Irene.

And things that you or I would not see as hills -- they were hills to her. And, we talked to her afterwards, and she said that the paved portions all sloped over to the right. So even what didn't feel like even a slight hill was still an issue for her. She said she had to steer with her left hand while pushing with her right. It could not have been easy -- plus it was another overly warm and humid day. She was redfaced at the end of it (as was I).

She finished in about 1:06 and some miscellaneous number of seconds.

Results will be up soon, as I stated above. And then I will know her name.

She says she's going to do the Marathon in April. And I want to know who I'm cheering for. I sometimes go to the Marathon. I live pretty close to where Heartbreak Hill ends. I hope I see her.

Hell, when I grow up, I wanna BE her.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NVDONNA 9/10/2011 10:37PM

    Wow,,such strength and determination. And I complain about how tired I am after 30 minutes on the eliptical,,,,kinda puts a new perspective on things,,ya know! Thanks for sharing!

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STRINGS58 9/10/2011 10:04PM

    What a cool story -- and Happy Birthday (youngin') I tried jogging today and it will take work to get my body cooperating.
May your inspiration shine on and on

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SHEL1181 9/8/2011 2:07PM

    That's amazing.....thanks for this story.

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KAYWEB555 9/7/2011 12:10PM

    Thanks for sharing! with her as your inspiration I'm sure you will pick up your pace ! Hope you see her and can give her the Spark People Cheering team that she should have !

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WINACHST 9/7/2011 9:46AM

    WOW! that woman is an inspiration

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KASEYCOFF 9/6/2011 3:57PM

    Incredible story - whatta woman! She's got genuine courage!

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    Hey Jes, your story is making me count my blessings this morning. Thanks

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BESEVEN 9/5/2011 10:17PM

    Just a little over a year until my 49th. Thanks for blazing such an inspiring trail! 22 5Ks. Wow. The last 5K I did was when I was in my early 30's. Wheelchair gal may be inspiring, but to me she's no more inspiring than you!

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SWEETZMIX 9/5/2011 8:42PM

    OMG that lady is freaking awesome. And we complain all the time about what we can't do! Kudos on your 22nd 5K!!

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DDOORN 9/5/2011 5:17PM

    I am just bowled over by how amazing folks with such limitations can be...!

Just goes to show how much our spirit and attitude has to do with our whole approach toward life!


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CAROLISCIOUS 9/5/2011 5:07PM

    I am continually amazed at the awesome-ness of some people. What a great story. Congrats to her and to you.

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MS.ELENI 9/5/2011 2:44PM

    Awesome story. Thanks for sharing it with us.makes us stop and think.

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JENNYD97 9/5/2011 2:38PM

Happy Birthday! Our official birthday tune at work is the beatles tune so I posted a link for you :)
She is definitely an inspiration. Good luck to her in April!

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MAPLECANDY3 9/5/2011 2:28PM

    It really is motivating isnt it? It reminds me of a similar story. When i was on weight watchers, there was a woman on the message boards whom was a regular poster and decided to walk a 5k race. She was in her 50s and occasionally needed a walker. She went to the race (with her walker) and pushed through all her physical pain...but she was so slow, and behind everyone that people started to move the road blockers so that traffic could start using the roads. It didnt stop her. She knew the path and had her timer on and kept going. I beleive it took her over 2 hours. She was the first woman to walk it with a walker and she ended up being in the paper! :)

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TRICOTINE 9/5/2011 1:09PM

    Now that Lady sure is some INSPIRATION!!! emoticon
I think I wanna be her too!

Happy 49th BD to you! emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/5/2011 1:10:18 PM

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