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Shine up the old brown shoes, put on a brand-new shirt

Monday, January 16, 2012

www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBQ9dm7zaQU

This blog is, in part, a sequel to last week's, which was about The Fat Trap (just check out my blog called I Just Might Stop and Check You Out. The link is in there), a New York Times article about just how mf'in' difficult it is to lose and, even more importantly, keep off a boatload o' weight.

But it's also about news.

And the news is, I am on the prowl again for a new job. Not gonna put the reasons out there. I know that employers Google and connecting my userid to my real name is far from impossible. All that matters is that there was a parting of the ways.

And so I am looking again. I dislike looking for work but, fortunately, there is already interest out there. The economy here continues to improve, and this is a decent time to look, as employers have bright, sparkling new budgets.

My black blazer fits (although I probably wouldn't be able to wear it with a sweater on under it) and my nice pants fit and so, I presume, my black skirt fits and so I am ready to face the world of interviewing. I don't own scads of interviewing clothes mainly because I've been on semi-casual business attire for the last dozen years.

One thing I am in the mood to do is to get things a bit cleaned up around here, and decluttered. I had already started some of it, and now I've done more. Mr. J is pretty supportive with this as I think he is starting to see just how tiresome it is to pick through piles of junk. Plus sending most of this extra stuff to Big Brothers & Big Sisters means that we get a tax deduction. Too late for '11 but it's still helpful.

My mood is not somber, or even that reflective. It's more, just, get 'er done. We'll see how long that lasts, but right now that's how things are. I just have my list of what to do and am plowing through it, much like I do with the trappings of weight loss.

You don't have a daily plan? You don't sit down and figure out, either in the morning, or the night before, or even during the week, what you're most likely going to eat? You don't determine when you're going to sneak in exercise? You don't decide when water drinking will happen, so as to minimize the effects/product of said water drinking?

One thing I have been trying for quite a while is to plan out my life when it comes to weight loss stuff. Just, decide how things will be, and then execute the plan.

One of the things that I got out of the Fat Trap article was that, despite my best efforts, sometimes I couldn't plan and predict the outcomes. And that that was not a personal failing. I take some comfort from this. I won't tell you that I'm not annoyed that things aren't easier. And I also won't tell you that there aren't people who've continued to tell me - oh, you must not be trying hard enough. You're not being vigilant enough. Heh, no. Vigilance is important, yes. Making myself insane with food obsessions is not good, though. I refuse to make this a totally 24/7/365 project. Sorry, but it ain't happenin'. I have to find a job. I have a husband. I have ... a life.

Same thing with looking for work, actually. I refuse to make it my life 24/7/365. Sorry, folks, but I seriously doubt I am suddenly going to run into my dream employer when I'm out buying cod. And if I do, that person, I am sure, will not give a damn that, during obvious time off, I wasn't wearing interview clothes or prepped for trick questions or had a fresh copy of my resume available. You know, with my coupons.

There are folks who do that, you know, who answer every phone call with breathless certainty that this will be THE ONE, and are ready at 7 AM or 8 PM to yap on about paradigms and five-year plans and the like. But that is not me. You call me on my own time, guess what? Your call is going to go to voice mail. Because - surprise! - that's what it's there for. I will get back to you during business hours, like a freakin' NORMAL person. I will only answer if you and I planned to talk at that crazy hour. Then, no sweat, I am here. Let's do this.

If that works for you, awesome. Go for it. If eating a lemon wedge and a slab of raw tempeh wrapped in romaine make you lose like a house on fire, you go and you do that.

But don't expect me to.

The difference - and it is an undercurrent in the article, but not really spelled out there - is that, surprise, surprise, PEOPLE ARE INDIVIDUALS.

Amazing, but true.

See if you can spot some differences?

* Gender
* Race
* Age
* Food eaten as a child
* Weight of parents
* Longevity of parents
* Body composition/overall fitness
* Exercise regimen
* Foods eaten today
* Foods eaten last year
* Foods eaten during the last decade
* Water drinking
* When water is drunk
* Access to and use of medical care
* Current weight
* Weight at heaviest
* Weight at lightest while current height
* Current Height

Some of these matter more than others. What I ate for breakfast on March 18th, 1997 is probably not that important any more. But I bet my genetics still matter. And my age. And my gender. And my current weight. And my ....

In both of these instances - weight loss and job searches - I think a lot of us tend to subscribe to a one size fits all mantra. And I think we do that because there is so much information out there, and it is so vast. It's difficult to get our arms around it. But we have gotta try. Because pushing out a bunch of generic resumes like just so many sausages is not going to get me a job any more than following a weight loss plan tailor-made for someone else is going to make me super-successful in weight loss.

Onward to greater glories, in both areas.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MI-ELLKAYBEE 2/13/2012 2:34PM

    Awesome, sensitive, beautiful blog! God bless your success on the journey we all share - and the job hunt, too. You are truly blessed to be able to hold on to some semblance of a life while searching for income resources. Oh, my God, I could not do that. Literally: 24/7/366 (leap year) - when ANYONE anywhere is willing to talk to me about an income opportunity (job), I will GRAB the phone and RUN to wherever they want me to go. Financial STRUGGLE is with me every waking and sleeping hour of every day - just somehow managing to survive.... So thank God every day for the incredible freedom that lets you make choices, turn off your phone...You are SO SO SO blessed.

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WOLFKITTY 1/19/2012 3:14PM

    Good points! And lots of good, happy, healthy, profitable vibes for you!

May 2012 bring prosperity to us all!
Jocelyn

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MS.ELENI 1/17/2012 12:48PM

    emoticon emoticon

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THECITYMOUSE 1/17/2012 11:51AM

    You know I've gotcher back, gurl.
emoticon
If you ain't happy, change it. That's all.

emoticon

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 1/17/2012 8:15AM

    Sigh. This is just what I needed to read right now. I am going to make my plan and list right after I post this to you. Thanks Jes.

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CODYG123 1/16/2012 11:37PM

    Good luck J... you'll rock it.

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MARCHMAID 1/16/2012 7:09PM

    Good luck, Jes! You can do it. Of course you can. : )

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2WHEELEDSHARON 1/16/2012 4:21PM

    I'm in full support of interviewing jobs as much as one interviews for jobs. You have to spend time with them too, it should be professional but also absolutely mutual. I'm not saying it's easy to find a job that's a good match, but the time and effort is worth it in my mind, so I'm glad to hear you won't be settling for a sausage factory:)

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FLPALM 1/16/2012 2:41PM

    I like yur style! Fresh! Vibrant! And TRUE~!

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CAROLISCIOUS 1/16/2012 12:20PM

    So...if I am hearing your correctly...the burger I ate on Saturday, January 14, 2012 that made me gain 3 pounds is not going to matter a rats azz 20 years from now? Seriously? Are you sure?

LOL! Great blog, JES. I feel better.

We are decluttering, too. Simplifying. The thought of my kids having a bunch of unwanted crap to deal with after we are gone makes me sick to my stomach. I don't want to put them through that. (Not that I am planning on going anywhere any time soon!)

Comment edited on: 1/16/2012 1:45:37 PM

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DDOORN 1/16/2012 11:59AM

    Jes' you just keep taking charge of your life in so many ways! Kudos to your job-seeking decision! It can be so easy, yet hard to "settle." Doesn't sound like that will be happening for you in ANY area of your life!

Cheers to de-cluttering too. I'm prepping an old pc of mine which I don't use very much and donating it to a retired friend of mine who always wanted to jump into the wonderful world of pc's but never has.

Win-win: less "stuff" for me, an inexpensive intro to the cyber-world for him!

Don

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FIT_TERI 1/16/2012 11:22AM

    Good luck with the job hunt. You're right about it being a good time of year to look, and things do seem to be picking up a bit. I wish you well.

And wait....what's this I hear? We're individuals?! I think people rely on the "one size fits all" cause it's easy. I don't need to think on my own...someone else has done the thinking for me and all of the rest of us. But, I have a brain and it (mostly) works pretty well. Thanks for the reminder.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 1/16/2012 10:52AM

    I love that you qualified height with the word "current."

I'm still trying to accept the fact that as I get older I'm shrinking! LOL

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I Just Might Stop to Check You Out

Monday, January 09, 2012

www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aljlKYesT4&
feature=related


www.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/magazine/
tara-parker-pope-fat-trap.html?pagewan
ted=all


If you haven't seen this article yet (and it's been all over Spark, although I have yet to see any sort of an "official" take on it, but perhaps I have missed it), I urge you to.

There is new science, confirming some things that a lot of us have suspected about weight loss all along -
* People who lose weight, regardless of how quickly or slowly they do it, where they start from, where they end up, whether they do weight training, whichever method they use, whether they even exercise at all, whether they drink water, no matter how well they eat or they shun processed food, whether they are vegan, etc. etc. etc. whether the freakin' planets align - they (WE) all share one thing in common - they/WE need FEWER calories to maintain.
* Some people have an easier time putting on the pounds than others do.
* Eating right doesn't guarantee weight loss, although it makes it more likely to happen.
* The simple equation of 3500 fewer calories out = 1 pound of weight loss is false and simplistic and should be taken out and shot, along with the Flat Earth theory.
* Life ain't fair.

So. What does that mean?

I current weight 213 or so; I forget exactly what I was this morning and I'm too lazy to check my ticker. :) I used to weight 346. I also used to weigh 126, 146 and 216, at various stages of my life. The amount of calories needed to maintain my current weight (not lose, just maintain) is LESS than the amount of calories I would need to maintain it if I were on my way up from 210, rather than down from 346.

In other words, losing weight shmacks the hell out of your metabolism. It kills it off, no matter how much weight training, etc. you do. And, that's lovely, when you consider that I run more than I ever have. Back when I was 126, I would barely get up. A walk of 2 miles would easily give me shin splints. Now, I'm perfectly fine with that, and more. Yet I undoubtedly need fewer calories to sustain myself. Pain in the patoot, eh? Aging stinks, yanno.

Weight is heredity + environment. Got big parents? Your chances of being obese are greater. Got a pantry full of processed junk, or grew up with one? Your chances are higher then, too. For people who know me on FB, there are plenty of pics of my family. And you will see what we have in common. At 213, I am one of the skinniest people on my mother's side. What you should also know is, at 346, I wasn't one of the heaviest. I was in the middle.

As for environment, I have been cooking for years. Yes, Mr. J and I go out to lunch at least once per week, and we go out to dinner once per week as well. And ... that's it. Breakfasts are oatmeal, Cheerios or an egg whites-only omelet made at home with vegetables and a small amount of cheese so as to make it edible. Lunches are vegan soups, the aforementioned one day out in Chinatown, a turkey burger, skinless chicken or a sandwich made from tuna packed in water. Dinners are homemade except for one night per week, so they are often homemade low sodium chicken soup, homemade vegan bean soup, whole wheat pasta with low sodium marinara sauce and vegetables or homemade jambalaya which is skinless chicken, vegetables and various spices over plain brown rice. Dinners out are usually Vietnamese, Indian, Thai or seafood, with some Italian grilled chicken thrown in there on occasion. We don't eat fast food. My tracker is out here for all to see, and has been so for years.

What other environment stuff? 8 cups of water? Pshaw - try 11. 20 minutes of weight training every morning, no excuses, with 50-pound weights. Walking every day when I work and then longer on the weekends. Snow shoveling or swimming as appropriate. Ten 5K races in a year. I have been tracking my food, water and exercise for years.

So of course I gained a little over 8 pounds last year.

Did I mention life was unfair?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
But be that as it may, I think the article is still rather helpful. For one thing, it is a way to answer people who seem to feel that you and I aren't trying hard enough, or we're being too ridiculous, that one brownie won't hurt!

Yeah, thanks. Get thee behind me, Satan.

It is good to have credible science to show others, to combat the naysayers and to show them that, hey, you may think I'm huge, but I try way harder than you ever will. And I do it with the baggage of my metabolism being put on life support. I don't deny that I put on the weight in the first place. I own that. But I do want others to know that even alli and plastic surgery weren't magic pills, that this is quite the slog and hey, it's for life! There is no "going off" this diet, for it is not a diet. It is a change in life. It HAS to be.

But I also want them - and you - to know that perhaps the biggest and best lesson in all of this is that we need to kinder to one another, and stop jumping to conclusions about not only the mechanisms of weight loss and maintenance, but also about each other. That 400-pound woman you see? She might be down from 500. She might need fewer calories (sad, but probably true) to maintain, let alone lose, than what you need.

So cut her some damned slack already. And while you're at it, cut yourself some, too.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOLFKITTY 1/19/2012 3:08PM

    This will be the fourth time that I've read this article.. And for some reason this is the first time that I REALLY read it, the whole thing, and listened.

To me it says that maintainers need to try extra hard, that there is some mystery in how great weight losers' bodies work, and it takes more work to figure out what will actually give us the results we want. And it's kind of a gamble to find it.

Enlightening!
Jocelyn

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 1/17/2012 8:19AM

    Thanks Jes. I'm headed over to the article right now.

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EUPHRATES 1/16/2012 12:12AM

    BRILLIANT blog!
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TEENY_BIKINI 1/15/2012 9:24PM

    Fabulous article and explanation. Thanks for putting it out there.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 1/12/2012 2:57PM

    The only problem I have with the article is that the author herself seems to be more interested in making excuses than buckling down and trying to get on with it.

The example people she mentions with the uber-vigilant routines for maintenance sound very familiar, because that's what I'm doing, and it's working for me. It doesn't seem excessive because it's what I need to do to keep myself strong and light. I like what I can do and how I feel and look at this size. So I'm going to do what I need to to stay here.

That's right, life isn't fair. But I can make my life the way I want it, and this is what I want.
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DDOORN 1/11/2012 6:21PM

    Sorry so late to the party! Love your take on this Jes and found this info so helpful as I've blogged on it too. Here's a bit from my blog:

"Food is over-rated, compared to the freedom one can enjoy when one looks at eating just enough to keep your body at a healthier weight where you can enjoy your life more fully and heartily!

So rather than looking at this glass as half empty, as a "fat trap"...I find it liberating to realize that, for instance faithful food tracking, weighing in and daily exercise is not being OCD and overkill: it truly is what is necessary for those of us who have been obese or morbidly obese for a long time. "

Spark ON everybody!

Don

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KASEYCOFF 1/10/2012 2:12PM

    I hear you, sister, I hear you: and yes, a lot of us have known, or suspected, This Is The Way It Is for a VERY long time.

Gah. It ain't just aging that stinks, lol.
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(And it would be good if SP took note as well.)

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MARCHMAID 1/10/2012 7:06AM

    Great blog, Jes. One week of (really) lax eating and I gained five pounds. But I'm back on the wagon, eshewing extra bread and extra cream and cookies above all.

Good read. Less is less. Less is less. Less is less. Less is less. Less is less. Less is less. Less is less. Less is less. Less is less. Less is less. Less is less. Less is less.

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PROVERBS31JULIA 1/9/2012 10:43PM

    Interesting article...

So... should I get discouraged and not try to lose more blubber?

And the 8 pounds you gained, even in spite of exercise - did you take measurements before and after? Are you sure it is 8 pounds of blubber and not 8 pounds of muscle gained by the continuing to exercise?

It's hard to find completely balanced research though and I'm not sure I'd recognize one if it jumped off the page and smacked me in the face. I could see myself in here soooooo much. I remember my ex husband, the skinny little twit, scolding me about eating too many calories. To him it was all this mathematical formula, 3500 calories = 1 pound, easy peasey... he'd gained weight in the Navy working in the kitchen (because he was so thin they thought he'd wash off the ship into the ocean first big wave that came by!), and as soon as he got out of the navy, he lost it. But he's always had jobs with hard physical exercise and he'd eat his just-so small portions and be done with it. His mom, sister and I all struggled with our weight... and he couldn't get it about all the emotional stuff about why we gain weight, or the hormonal stuff. To this day, some nearly 30 years since we married, he's just the same wiry thin (high-strung) guy....

LIFE ISN'T FAIR!

SO of course husband #2, my life's soul mate thus far, we gained weight together in the 6+ years we dated and we've both struggled with our weight in the nearly 17 years that we've been married.

Go figure!

Julia


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VALERIEMAHA 1/9/2012 10:03PM

    I first heard about this article when Don sent me a personal email with the link...to San Francisco. I spent about 2 seconds looking at it. But as you say, it kept surfacing, and other friends like Ellen and Don blogged about it...also TRAVDLGRRL, among the myriad others. Your synopsis is great...and depressing...ugh. It's just NOT good news. BUT it is news I can use...and it makes the struggle more real and understandable.

Thanks for the helpful words...and thanks for who you are and all you offer the SparkCommunity, Jes!

Happy Year!!!
xox
Maha

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2WHEELEDSHARON 1/9/2012 9:39PM

    I LOVE it when I go to a doctor who says "Have you thought about losing weight?" It makes me want to slap their assumptions and single mindedness with a rubber chicken. I'm emailing this article to my doctor. Thanks for sharing.

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CAROLISCIOUS 1/9/2012 9:14PM

    I always say my fat cells are screaming to blow right back up again. Maintaining weight loss is butt kicking hard. That article was very insightful.

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CODYG123 1/9/2012 7:30PM

    I must be living in SP backwaters because it's the first I saw of the article. They gave people only 800 calories a day? No wonder they became food obsessed!

At one time I could loose 20 lbs in a couple of months, the 2lbs a week rule. Now, much wiser but also fatter, it's more like 2lbs a month rule and yippee for that!. Lesson: don't wait to loose weight.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/9/2012 3:17PM

    I really like this blog and voted for it. Thanks for sharing.

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TEMPEST272002 1/9/2012 3:13PM

    Sucks about the fewer calories for those of us who've lost weight, but that's the way life goes. Always could be better... or worse. I'm glad theses studies are coming out. The more information we have, the more ability we have to control what we can.

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PICKIE98 1/9/2012 2:01PM

    Life IS a job..... thanks for blowing off MY steam!

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SHEL1181 1/9/2012 1:33PM

    Great blog! It's so frustrating to know how hard we truly have to work to get rid of any excess weight. It only gets worse the older we get too. Can be a little depressing but you have a great attitude!

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FLPALM 1/9/2012 12:12PM

    Man, SPOKEN LIKE A REAL TROOPER! I LOVE EVERY WORD YOU STATED! You said it perfect, and there ARE LOTS of REASONS, for EVERY PERSON! WE are NOT one size fits all TYPE OF PEOPLE! So THANK YOU! You are my kinda people! And by the way, if we ever meet, I KNOW we will get along! Cause I won't JUDGE YOU and I know you won't be judging me! Thanks, Thanks, Thanks!!!!

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MS.ELENI 1/9/2012 12:04PM

    Great blog. I am always telling people to be as kind to themself as they are others. Great blog.Loved part about judging someone

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ERINBEAR1876 1/9/2012 9:43AM

    Yeah, that article is helpful, but at the same time I hate it because it basically says I have everything going against me (my whole family is obese, and the environment played a BIG role). I am still working on coming down from 300-ish, and I have had a heckuva time. Thanks for highlighting this article. I have too often stayed with the 3500 calories in a pound rule, and it makes sense why not to stay on that idea.

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Psycho Neurasthenic, Too Much TV!

Monday, January 02, 2012

www.last.fm/music/The+Manhattan+Tran
sfer/_/Coo+Coo+U


My apologies for that not being such a great link. Here is a link to the lyrics - www.metrolyrics.com/coo-coo-u-lyrics
-manhattan-transfer.html


I really have no idea why this particular song isn't anywhere online. Wacky.

Anyway, onto the news.

This blog is going to be schizo, as befits the weird Manhattan Transfer song. So let's start with the more serious part, which is a bit of year in review kind of stuff.

FIRST PART OF THE BLOG
I'd like to start with weight and measurement differentials, but I don't want to just look at 2011 versus 2010. Actually, I want to go back to 2008, which is when I first started tracking all of this insanity. These numbers will all be from the first week of the respective years.

WEIGHT
2008 346 lbs.
2009 235.6 lbs. lost 110.4 lbs., or 31.91% of total
2010 183.2 lbs. lost 52.4 lbs., or 22.24% of total
2011 202.8 lbs. gained 19.6 lbs., or up 10.70%
2012 211.4 lbs. gained 8.6 lbs., or up 4.24%

Total loss = 134.6 lbs., or 38.90% of the original total

BICEP
2008 19.00 in
2009 13.75 in; down 5.25 in, or 27.63% of total
2010 12.50 in; down 1.25 in, or 9.09% of total
2011 12.50 in no change
2012 12.50 in no change

Total loss = 6.5 in, or 34.21% of the original total

BUST
2008 54.75 in
2009 42.75 in; down 12 in or 21.92% of total
2010 37.25 in; down 5 in or 11.70% of total
2011 38.75 in; up 1 in or 2.68% of total
2012 40.75 in; up 2 in or 5.16% of total

Total loss = 14 in, or 25.57% of original total. NOTE: This is one area affected by plastic surgery in 2010.

BAND
2008 47.50 in
2009 37.00 in; down 10.5 in or 22.11% of total
2010 33.25 in; down 3.75 in or 10.14% of total
2011 36.00 in; up 2.75 in or 8.27%
2012 35.25 in; down .75 in or 2.08% of total

Total loss = 12.25 in, or 25.79% of original total

WAIST
2008 49.00 in
2009 38.25 in; down 10.75 in or 21.94% of total
2010 34.25 in; down 4 in or 10.46% of total
2011 36.75; up 2.5 in or 7.30% of total
2012 36.25; down .5 in or 1.36% of total

Total loss = 12.75 in, or 26.02% of original total

BELLY
2008 59.50 in
2009 42.00 in; down 17.50 in, or 29.41% of total
2010 35.25 in; down 6.75 in, or 16.07% of total
2011 40.00 in; up 4.75 in, or 13.48% of total
2012 38.75 in; down 1.25 in, or 3.13% of total

Total loss = 20.75 in, or 34.87% of original total. NOTE: This is one area affected by plastic surgery in 2010.

HIP
2008 51.00 in
2009 44.75 in; down 6.25 in, or 12.25% of total
2010 40.75 in; down 4.00 in, or 8.94% of total
2011 43.25 in; up 2.50 in, or 6.13% of total
2012 43.25 in; no change

Total loss = 7.75 in, or 15.20% of original total. NOTE: This is one area affected by plastic surgery in 2010.

BUTT
2008 64.00 in
2009 48.75 in; down 15.25 in or 23.83% of total
2010 44.25 in; down 4.50 in or 9.23% of total
2011 43.25 in; down 1.00 in or 2.26% of total
2012 43.25 in; no change

Total loss = 20.75 in, or 32.42% of original total

THIGH
2008 32.25 in
2009 24.00 in; down 8.25 in or 25.58% of total
2010 20.00 in; down 4.00 in or 16.67% of total
2011 22.00 in; up 2.00 in or 10.00% of total
2012 20.25 in; down 1.75 in or 7.95% of total

Total loss = 12.00 in, or 37.21% of original total

OVERALL THOUGHTS
Well, what does it all mean? It means I didn't have the world's greatest 2010, to be sure. I not only gained back nearly 20 pounds, but by the time it was done, I had gained inches almost everywhere.

But this year, despite gaining a little over 8 pounds, I lost inches in many areas, or stayed the same. Of course the overall loss from 2008 remains scarily impressive, but I am happy with the change from the first week in 2011 to this, the first week of 2012. I also feel stronger, and am just as if not more willing to do more.

I ran 10 5Ks in 2011, one more than in 2010. My times were, in general, not as good, but I was hauling around more weight - in particular, in 2010, I ran five of those races when I was under 182 pounds. I am absolutely not beating myself over declining times. They are completely understandable. But I am still out there, and I am still doing them. Hey, I walked almost five hours over this long weekend. And I am not hurting from that. I think that says a lot.

SECOND PART OF THE BLOG
I want to talk a little bit about embracing your inner freak.

I am talking about the oddness, the quirkiness, the strangeness. Not the sort of thing that can get you committed. It's more like, when you zig instead of zag.

I see these popular topics, yanno. And they are all about how can I get people to work out with me, or eat like me, or whatever. And yanno something?

YOU CAN'T.

So stop trying.

I don't mean to stop trying entirely, of course. It's more, stop trying to get everyone to conform to what you are doing because, for whatever odd reason, you feel like it's too strange and out there and somehow it's shameful or embarrassing or whatever.

It's not, and you're being ridiculous.

Truly.

I mean, consider this. I am going to go out on a big, scary limb here, and assume that everyone here is beyond Middle School. We are all 18 or older, yes?

SO WHY ARE SO MANY PEOPLE ACTING LIKE 13-YEAR-OLDS???? Why are they behaving as if the only way they can get fitness or proper eating done is if it is, somehow, tied into some crowd?

When you get up in the morning, to dress for work, do you call up your friends, carefully color-coordinating your outfits so that you all fit in some harmonious manner, and aren't wearing the exact same thing?

"Like, oh my Gawd! Cindy! Tamera! Ashley! Britni! We have, like, GOTTA wear green spandex today! And, like chill totally fuzzy pink jeggings! Yeah! Shut up!!"

No?

This isn't you?

Then why are you acting as if, when you try to order the salad, you somehow, instead, should go along with everyone who is ordering fries? Or feel, perhaps like you need some sort of a zingy comeback to explain yourself?

Here's your comeback -

I like salad.

Pretty cool, huh?

Or you want to walk to the shoe store, or whatever, and everyone else wants to drive. If it's not dangerous, then, well, why not walk? I recognize not everyone has the same capabilities. And people may be under a time crunch. But if you want to walk - yanno - WALK.

I have a coworker who has told me that - oh noes! - it's dark out now, and now it's oh so awful to walk for 20 minutes to get home from the bus stop. We are talking about a safe, well-lit area. So instead this person waits for 30 minutes or whatever for a ride.

Sheesh.

Just start walking. You'll be fine. Forget what anyone says. Forget who's looking (they aren't). And if they are? Hell, flaunt it.

Embrace your inner rebel, your inner oddness, your inner quirk, your inner differences. Be the one who goes out there and does it while everyone else looks and points nervously but secretly wishes they could get away with what you are getting away with. The one they all talk about. You know who I mean.

Be THAT one.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4A-HEALTHY-BMI 1/12/2012 2:44PM

    Um, you mean, there's a way to be like everyone else?

I never considered that before...

LOL

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TCEDEROTH 1/7/2012 12:10AM

    Just doing my semi-annual check up on you Jes. You are doing so awesome. I'm so proud of you. Wish I had more time to spend here. I miss reading your blogs. I've caught up on a few of them though. Glad to see you are still inspiring, to yourself as well as others.

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DDOORN 1/6/2012 9:31AM

    Oh yeah...absolutely SO TRUE: we all must find our own path! And heck, why NOT celebrate and revel in it?

Check out my latest blog for links to the science behind why it takes such effort and vigilance to maintain our weight loss! I found the info helpful in re-dedicating myself to my efforts and what I know "works" for me.

Kudos to your ongoing vigilance and PUSH!

Don

ps...LOVE Manhattan Transfer!

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GREGORYCOLE 1/4/2012 10:33PM

    Nice blog! Your numbers on Spark are really impressive and especially your commitment. You are really demonstrating that weight loss can be a sprint but HEALTH is a marathon. Don't beat yourself up over a few pounds or a few inches! You are HEALTHY. You are being WELL. I feel like theres nothing I can tell you that you don't already know, so I will just leave my support. WooHoo! Your great!

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2WHEELEDSHARON 1/3/2012 1:16PM

    If I hadn't been calling myself out on my own version of this behavior, I'd be calling all my friends from middle school and saying "Like, can you even believe she said that about me, like I'm SO not afraid to be different. What color are your nails today, anyway?"
Awesome stats! Awesome perspective!

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ERINBEAR1876 1/2/2012 11:25PM

    Hah, I love this blog. Perfect timing for me too as I have been having that conformity thinking lately. That will stop!

Oh, and your stats above? Marvelous, just marvelous. I can't wait to see what 2012-2013 has in store for you!

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ARLENE_MOVES 1/2/2012 10:58PM

    As usual - love your blog and that sweet Boston on your page!! So wish you could get one! At 60 +, I've been embracing my inner freak for many years and yea, I get looks, just like you -- but so what. You progress is awesome -- I plan to be here to support you in 2012 -- friend!

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HANNAHSUCCEEDS 1/2/2012 10:46PM

    Great blog,
Thanks for sharing. I loved it. I will go away remembering to embrace my inner freak. I love that!

You rock and hope this is a wonderful year for you,
Hannah emoticon

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CHANARO 1/2/2012 10:39PM

    This was a great blog post. :-) In the past 2-3 years I've learned to embrace my inner freak, and you're right, it's been totally liberating. Once we stop trying to live up (or down) to *other* people's images of what we "should" be, and just become ourselves, we are so much happier!!!

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MS.ELENI 1/2/2012 7:58PM

    Always a good blog emoticon

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CAROLISCIOUS 1/2/2012 7:08PM

    Yano...when I embrace my inner oddness, who I am and what is right for me...it feels so good...so powerful.

"Thanks for coming to my office all special to tell me about the wonderful home made goodie you are serving in the staff kitchen even though you know I carefully watch what I eat every day...but no thanks...I'll pass."

"What? You're not having blueberry pancakes? But they are pancakes! With blueberries!" (Yes, a blob of flour and oil and eggs...with a few sugared up blueberries thrown in.) "No thanks!"

"Well...I can't track my food or work out...my thrombosciaticalymphopseudononecleo
whatever...blah blah blah!" "Ok...I hope you like being fat and out of shape."

I've embraced my uniqueness...but I need to do it a whole lot more!

Congrats on the 4 years of progress. I like how you looked at the whole picture.

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STRINGS58 1/2/2012 7:08PM

    omigosh, I'm sending you sparkmail

Couldn't load the song, but love Manhattan Transfer. The words reminded me of Joni Mitchell's song Twisted - I have that memorized.

Limitations? yeah, let the inner freak mess with limitations! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FLPALM 1/2/2012 6:45PM

    Good job! Like how you put it, just start, and be yourself! Oh, and the "green Spandex" not my color!!! (Smiles)

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Where the Days are Longer, the Nights are Stronger

Monday, December 26, 2011

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I0d29s6GCc

I've always loved the gentle, intricate hook of this song. And a part of its beauty is the great lyric that I am using for today's blog entry.

For the days, truly, ARE getting longer.

But sometimes it doesn't feel like that, because it's cloudy for too long, or something or other is falling out of the sky, or we are up too early and back too late to even see the light. It can be a tough row to hoe, the last few weeks of December, beginning of January.

It is no wonder that both Christmas and Chanukah hold light dear in celebrations. It can be just so hard to go through this time. It can be very, very easy, as you hear the siren song as it gently sings to you -- "Give up."

Give up, it says, even as it has not struggled and worked like YOU have. It sings to you of pie and hangin' out, and staying under the covers instead of going out to meet the day. It complains that the weights are too heavy, that walking is BORING, and that eating right is just such a heavy and horrible cross to bear.

Or it tempts you, with its promises of fun and frolicking and socializing. It tells you that you cannot be a good guest unless you eat a great BIG chunk of something horrendously fattening because, of course, a smaller chunk or even just a taste could not possibly do and your host or hostess is a slave driver who DEMANDS that you grab at least a good 90 degrees (that's 1/4) of whatever circular dessert is plonked in front of you because, somehow, the success or failure of the party - nay, of the very day itself! - is hinged upon your intestinal capacity.

It's not always easy to tell that little voice to go scratch, but that is, truly, what must be done. I have seen, oh so many of the topics posted here, where people ask how to handle temptation, or how to get the whole family exercising or whatever, and the truth of it is, I know that some people (hell, I did, in the beginning) need a script to get through some of these moments. But I think I have been doing this long enough that I already have the script in my head. And it goes something like this -

I worked damned hard for this.
I will not allow it to be sabotaged.
I will eat right and work out and drink water even if others don't. They are not responsible for me, and they need not live in my skin. I live here, and I am going to treat this body the way it should be treated.

Onward to the light and the warmth.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ABURRIS2 12/27/2011 2:48PM

    Thanks for these encouraging words! Really.

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FIT_TERI 12/27/2011 11:30AM

    This is a great blog. I love the script....I need a very similar one for inside my own head. I was just thinking yesterday about my goals for next year and about how I deserve to be treated better....not by anyone else but me.
And here's to longer days!
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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/27/2011 2:40AM

    Paradoxically I'm beginning to appreciate kayaking in the freezing dark, LOL. I spent 5 hours tonight on Cayuga Lake with a friend. We went about 8 miles and there was no wind and the stars and Milky Way were out. And a thin crescent moon. It was actually really beautiful out there. It was also 28 F by the time we got off the water at 9pm, and ice was crusting all over everything. LOL
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So I guess it's possible to adapt to Living In The Dark, and still enjoy doing things I like. Go figure!

But yeah, it IS exhausting to have to fight temptations. Christmas dinner left me whipped, having to tell myself "NO" over and over and over like a broken record. Those old habits sure die hard!
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Think sun.
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Comment edited on: 12/27/2011 2:41:46 AM

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MS.ELENI 12/26/2011 10:14PM

    emoticon

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HANNAHSUCCEEDS 12/26/2011 10:03PM

    Wow, what an awesome blog. I needed to read this today!

Thanks so much for your inspiring words.

Hope you have a blessed New Year,
Hannah emoticon

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2WHEELEDSHARON 12/26/2011 7:12PM

    Love that script! I also loved the big hair of the 70's, but not so much the flock of hair-do's of the 80's.
I hope January is gentle on your constitution and finds you feeling successful!

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DDOORN 12/26/2011 2:55PM

    Great reminders Jes...getting outdoors down south here where the temps are milder too...nice preview to keep things MOVING! :-)

Don

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FLPALM 12/26/2011 2:27PM

    I like your SCRIPT, for getting you through the holdiays and those "pesky" times when you have to BE WITH OTHERS, WANT TO BE WITH OTHERS, but not necessarily want to EAT LIKE THE OTHERS!

Love it,
Fran

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CODYG123 12/26/2011 12:24PM

    Thank you for sharing and motivating us out of the gloom. The weather here had been very reasonable lately, Christmas Eve was all warmth and sunshine. We were looking forward to a nice long walk on Christmas Day. But, we awoke to heavy rain and it didn't stop there. The wind picked up and it stormed all day long. Sigh. It was an indoors day and it was full of fudge, cookies and lobster newburg. Yikes.

Now I'm actually looking forward to broccoli and yogurt and I'm certainly looking forward to the longer days.

Again, thanks for sharing, you write beautifully. emoticon

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CAROLISCIOUS 12/26/2011 12:21PM

    That siren is haunting me today. I missed my final workout in my 10-week plan. I am avoiding doing my final measurements because I fear the numbers may be up instead of down. Shoulda done it last week before Anniversary pizza and beer, Christmas Eve Gumbo,and Christmas Day feasting. Now that siren is trying to tell me I blew it and that all that work I did over the past 10 weeks was for naught. The back up plan is to make up that missed workout this week and measure again after a few days of pushing water and eating better...then pictures and blog and set goals for 2012.

I hope you don't mind if I steal your script. I'm going to print it and post it in a few key places...like EVERYWHERE! (I will respectfully add your name to the printage for credit!)

This blog is truly one of your best!

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AIRPEACH 12/26/2011 11:15AM

    Thank Moonshine. :D
You can do this!

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I Thought, Oh God, My Chance Has Come at Last

Monday, December 19, 2011

www.youtube.com/watch?v=INgXzChwipY

This is for everyone who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder. You know who you are.

The Solstice is in two days. Two!

And then it will begin to get brighter. So, yay on that.

But in the meantime, man oh man.

It suddenly got colder here. A LOT colder. We had been skirting around in the 50s, and it was lovely, but you also knew it was a lie. I mean, this is freakin' New England! It gets cold here during the winters. We have hard freezes! Every year! So, it was out of place and wicked bizaah.

I held out, in terms of wearing my winter jacket, until last week. And that was somewhat good, as last year I had gone to DefCon 5 with my bundling a lot earlier in the winter. This time, I held out, but it was the warm weather that helped, of course. If it had been in the 30s, well, then of course I would've grabbed my winter jacket earlier.

My winter jacket is also a lot less forgiving in terms of size than my autumn things. And so I was reminded that 2011 has been less than optimal in terms of weight. While things are not horrid (I weighed in at 216.6 this morning), they could certainly be better. I fear the subtle creep back on of weight, and I think that may be starting again. But it's hard to get enthusiastic about being vigilant right now. Life just feels cold and ugly and drab and draggy.

This is not a license to eat gobs of cake and I don't. Plus I do get the working out in. And I do it by lying to myself. The bus, you see, it gets on the highway to Boston. But there are numerous stops after it leaves the highway (this is in terms of the evening commute) and before it gets to the stop closest to my home. So I get off at the first stop after it gets off the highway, and I walk. This results in either 25 or 30 minutes of walking, with the differential dependent upon whether I take one bus versus another. It may not seem like a lot, but it is how I am getting it done these days.

As for the weekends, I make an effort to do the big walk on at least one of the two days, if not both. Last weekend, it was planned out for me as I ran the last 5K of the year, the Somerville Jingle Bell Run. I did not do so well, and could tell, but it is rather difficult to get anywhere near a PB when it's less than 30 degrees F out and you are mainly just trying to keep warm. I also totally forgot to take my performance enhancing drugs (Advil), so the aches and pains and slowness there was also caused by that oversight. But I did finish, and I got another nify finisher medal. :)

In the meantime, the light will come back, you know. It will come back incrementally, and sometimes we can lose patience with that, just as so many other things come back incrementally, and it can be tough to hang in there and wait for it all to happen. And as we goose it along, even then it may not come on our own personal timetables.

But it will happen.

For all of you SAD sufferers, there is a light, and it never goes out.

And that light is in you.

Enjoy the Smiths. :)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARLAH528 12/30/2011 8:25PM

    Thanks for this blog. I didn't know there were others like me. I called it spring fever. I live in GA and it is in the 60's one day and the 40's another with the nights getting cold. I hate the rain and the temps fool the bulbs into coming up and the trees into budding and then the temps drop for a week and kills it all. January thru March are hard for me. I thrive on green growing things. I have my cactus garden on top of the fridge and much be content with that until warmer weather. But now I know I don't suffer alone.

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TEENY_BIKINI 12/30/2011 7:14PM

    Thanks for this blog.

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DDOORN 12/22/2011 9:06AM

    Thx for the reminders, chin up and all...hanging in there!

Don

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MS.ELENI 12/21/2011 9:47PM

    emoticon emoticon

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2WHEELEDSHARON 12/20/2011 9:24PM

    My heart goes out to you SADies. I'm exactly the opposite, spring time comes and woe is me with that warmth and sun all up in my grill, which is why Seattle is perfect for me.
But I do like the light being around longer. Hang in there, it's SO close. I don't remember much about East coast sunsets in January, but here, they're beauteous. Keep an eye up and let me know!

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SUNONMAPLES 12/20/2011 5:26PM

  Oh, FLPALM, me too -- DH is in the same boat! And we mark it as the coming of the lighter days. We also have a new granddaughter, whose birthday is TOMORROW. So lots of cause to celebrate here. But Jespah, thank you for a wonderful blog entry. I do sometimes feel the blues and it's been unceasingly GRAY hereabouts, and rather warm. In fact, I had to buy a new winter jacket -- my old one is absolutely worn to bits, although I LOVED it for our wet, rainy climate -- and it has been TOO warm to wear. I have had trouble getting in the holiday spirit exactly because of the grayness. So in that sense, I am a SAD sufferer. And I'm really looking forward to the Solstice this year!!

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CHANARO 12/19/2011 6:49PM

    Getting off at the earlier bus stop is brilliant! Thanks for the idea.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/19/2011 4:22PM

    OMG I hate the dark. I can't paddle rivers in it. I can do lakes though. And if it's too dark or the rivers are all frozen, that's what I do, with a buddy who also doesn't mind the dark and the cold. Fortunately the Finger Lakes are extremely deep (basically the same thing as Loch Ness, no really) and so they don't freeze over.

But yeah, I am totally looking forward to solstice. And not looking forward to that point when they change the time on us and we have to start waking up in the dark again. But I'll worry about that when we get there.

Hang in there, and shine brightly.
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FLPALM 12/19/2011 2:31PM

    The 21st is my DH's birthday, so we look at it as, his day....then the days just START GETTING LONGER!!!

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TMW54812 12/19/2011 1:35PM

    emoticon

I keep my indoor Christmas lights on till spring...it helps, living in NH White Mts.

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AIRPEACH 12/19/2011 12:04PM

    I, too, am awaiting the solstice. Just after midnight, a little over 2.5 days from now (12:30am EST 12/22/11), we'll be there.
Hmm... Perhaps turning on my full spectrum craft light might be helpful?
Trying to find my internal light, but having a hard time this morning. Thank you for the reminder.
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CODYG123 12/19/2011 10:55AM

    I love to decorate everything with a ton of lights, all that color and sparkle help my sense of well being during an otherwise torturous few months of darkness. This year our Canadian west coast weather has been mild, without a flake of of snow here at sea level. But, as E says, "It's not even winter yet!" Hope you have a Happy Solstice! emoticon

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