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I Notice Nothing Makes You Shatter

Monday, April 09, 2012

It's Passover and yanno what that means.

I don't, either.

Actually, I know what it was when I was a kid. It was seemingly endlessly long Seders and the food was meh and weird and all week long I'd take matzoh sandwiches with peanut butter and jelly to school and everyone looked at me funny. And the Seders were a marathon of, I dunno, praying, yes, but also endurance. My uncle (who has been dead for a good 2 decades already) was insistent that we read EVERY SINGLE SYLLABLE. Which is nuts when you think about it, as the Seder is actually supposed to be a teaching moment for children.

Shrug. I don't see it as a particularly effective teaching moment if the kids are starving or are hopped up on grape juice or can't understand the language anyway.

I celebrate these days by buying a box of matzoh and eating it during the week. I will also make matzoh brei today (which is essentially a matzoh omelet). Most people eat it with jam or honey. I find that disgusting, and eat it with ketchup, which in turn grosses my parents out.

All of this is still more religious than my husband's side of things. And so the springtime cycle of rebirth begins, eh?

But there is more going on there, you see.

We have rituals for springtime, you know. And they are not just hidden eggs or hidden matzohs. They are the changes in the clocks in much of the United States. They are the changes in our wardrobes as we begin to pull out the short-sleeved stuff more often than the long. Where the long underwear is folded and put away for another season. The cute shoes begin to replace the heavy boots.

And our bodies come out as this transformation occurs.

We can see this as a scary opportunity for people to suddenly see how pasty pale we are. And how the closer-fitting clothes don't hide the bumps and lumps quite so well as the big jackets did. There's nowhere to hide anymore.

Or, we can see it as a time when suddenly our necks appear, like swans, and we look at them and think, hey, not bad. Or our calves are bared and we think, hey, they're firm. People can see that I've been doing a lot of walking. Or our faces emerge from behind scarves and are no longer obscured by hats and we think, good for another year, another 10,000 miles.

Not bad for 30.

Not bad for 40.

Not bad for 50.

Not bad for 60.

Not bad for 70.

Not bad for 80.

Pick your "not bad for" and repeat after me -

I am going to be happy with myself today.

I am going to celebrate today, and myself within the essence of today.

I am going out there and I will turn heads. People will wonder who that beauty (or handsome dude) is, or whisper to each other about that athlete. Or maybe they'll cower in terror at the prospect of facing me, for I am their greatest enemy - a person with confidence.

See me and my sturdy thighs. See my parentheses lines around my mouth. See my less than optimal triceps. See my belly. Witness my crow's feet. Note my grey hairs.

Tremble ye citizens, and despair, for I know who I am and I know what I want and you cannot stop me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MS.ELENI 4/10/2012 10:25PM

    emoticon emoticon

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2WHEELEDSHARON 4/10/2012 10:08PM

    Remember when Margaret Cho said something about how if a woman wants to start a revolution, all she needs to do is have high self esteem? I loved that! You go girl! Not bad at all!

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CAROLISCIOUS 4/9/2012 8:15PM

    Not too bad for almost 54!

Comment edited on: 4/9/2012 8:16:16 PM

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SHEL1181 4/9/2012 4:06PM

    Love this! Such great motivation! I'm Methodist and we have friends that are Jewish so we are usually invited to Seder. They usually shorten everything up a little which always makes me laugh because they argue over what they are keeping in or out while everyone is there. I can't imagine sitting through the whole thing though emoticon Someone brought matzoh with a caramel concoction and chocolate on top.....that was super yummy!!!

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PICKIE98 4/9/2012 2:24PM

    Shalom Sister-woman!! Challah , peanut butter and bananas..mmmm.. Seder is about symbols, suffering, not droning words that are not understood by all present..
I guess to each his own...
I would rather be at your place for Seder,,,

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DDOORN 4/9/2012 10:46AM

    "I am going to be happy with myself today." Great mantra to hang onto!

Thx Jes,


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GEMINIMUMMA 4/9/2012 9:58AM

    Love this post!! I needed this today.

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    Great blog!! :)

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KASEYCOFF 4/9/2012 9:17AM

    Demmed good blog, hon. Demmed good addition to my day, thinks me. (And I'm not bad for 59-1/2, lol...)

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Take Me to Your Best Friend's House

Monday, April 02, 2012

We ran another 5K this past weekend (the pic is actually from the first 5K of the year, which was 10 days before that), and I improved my time by almost 2 1/2 minutes.

I also gained back nearly 5 pounds.


I dunno.

I am finding that, these days, unlike in prior years, 5Ks make me ravenous. And then my choices aren't necessarily as good as they could be. Don't worry, I take stuff to the races and it's my own food and drink. But I still want loads of it.

So, weird.

I do 5Ks and they make me gain weight.

Wacky, eh?

The real test will be this month, as there are no 5Ks scheduled at all. So if I can lose or at least maintain, that might lend some credence to the theory.

Or not. One thing I have learned from long-term big-time weight loss is that things are rarely what they seem to be on the surface. And so, well, this is odd but the whole thing is odd and so nice and neat explanations aren't necessarily going to be forthcoming. About all I can definitively say is that salt does not help me in the weight department. But I need it, in order to stave off vasovagal (fainting) episodes. Sheesh. My body, a supreme saboteur, sometimes.

I still feel great about the 5K. I've got another 9 to go for the year (7 of which are already paid for). I am not giving up on them.

This little bit of hard to explain annoyance will not keep me down.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2WHEELEDSHARON 4/3/2012 9:13PM

    Stupid scale! I'm convinced they're no good unless they tell me what I want to hear or provide an explanation if they don't. I'm truckloads impressed by your running dedication.

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WOLFKITTY 4/3/2012 1:43AM

    Your body is a supreme machine.

I don't know what your training for it was like, but there's that whole water-retention-because-of-mucles-b
ringing-in-gylcogen theory.

Hang in there, and keep doing what's right for you!
Lots of love,

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CAROLISCIOUS 4/2/2012 10:53PM

    What you are gaining FOR your health by doing the 5Ks cannot be outweighed...

Oh, I am just too cute for words! Point is...keep doing the 5Ks!

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    You will figure it out. For sure. Do you do your measurements too? Wonder if it is extra hydration or more muscle? Anyhow great picts.

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VEEJAY3 4/2/2012 6:15PM

    Ten races scheduled for your season? Sheeeeesh! I'm so impressed!

My summer "thing" is biking, and I suppose the thing to do would be to set myself a milage goal, or a certain number of 50/60 or 70 mile rides or something like that. Maybe then you wouldn't make me feel like such a slacker.


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SHEL1181 4/2/2012 4:13PM

    You are awesome!!!!

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MS.ELENI 4/2/2012 4:07PM

    Love the pic of you emoticon

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DDOORN 4/2/2012 3:40PM

    I'm sure one ALWAYS comes out ahead doing a 5K, 5# or no... :-)

Trying to get myself pumped up and primed for the only 5K of the year coming up early May...ugh...! Just NOT a runner, but feel like I got toss my hat in the ring at least ONCE a!


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I'm Going to Kick Until I Need New Shoes

Monday, March 26, 2012

Last week's photograph was from the start of the first 5K of the year. This photograph is from that same race's end.

Funny, how perspectives can change.

Last week, I was complaining about gaining 4.2 pounds, due to excess salt intake.

This week, I celebrate losing 6.26 pounds and going down to a tie for the lowest weight of this year so far.

I did it with, well, the same stuff I normally do, except I didn't go quite so silly with the salt. Salt is kind of a double-edged sword for me, as I need to get some in, in order to keep from feeling faint so often (I have low blood pressure. Very low. As in, the nurse checks her instruments low.). But of course with too much I have the same issues that anyone else does - I retain water.

Ah, a balance.

They are so difficult to find sometimes, eh?

And then I see the extremes, too, where I see the woman who was 346. And the one who was, perhaps, below 180 (hard to say if that was real as the scale was on the fritz). The stationary one of last week's photo. The one running all-out in this week's photo.

Who IS that?

And I am reminded that both are me, and that creating one persona, one face, one name, one life, one being, one look, one feel, one idea is wrong-headed, for we are many people. We are dieters and exercisers, to be sure, or we are trying to be. But we are also workers and lovers and artists and neighbors and businesspeople and children and sometimes parents and sometimes siblings and poets and mourners and mischief-makers and writers and photographers and philosophers and social networkers and patients and jokers and spectators and chefs and sometimes soldiers and freaks and animal lovers and fans and and and ....

And we are someone's painful reminder of what they can never have, or can never be. And we are another's amusing joke of how they will never allow themselves to become that way or cannot imagine themselves ever being there. We are someone's "you're going too fast" and someone else's "you're going too slow". We are someone's hero and someone else's villain or weakling.

I am not a fast runner. Photo notwithstanding, I do very little of the all-out stuff. I just plain don't have the stamina for it. I am s...l...o...w.

But yanno something? I figure, next time I fret about how slow I am, I just gotta remember how many people I am carrying around inside of me. And you are, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 3/28/2012 7:53AM

    You know, I used to swim every day - and it took me a half hour to swim a half mile, or I'd do a full mile (one hour) on Saturday.

And it bothered me, all these people zooming past me, swimming quickly.

Then I realized, NONE of them swam for an hour. They'd come and go in 20 minutes or so.

Then I also realized - those of us without speed have ENDURANCE!!!!!!! We're in it for the long haul. And seriously, other than being chased by a marauding buffalo or lion or something, how often do we need speed???? We need to be strong and have endurance, not so much speed - right?

So keep on running slowly! You're getting stronger, you're getting healthier - and that's what this is all about!

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TELERIE 3/27/2012 1:54PM

    You're my hero! Among many other things. Friend, mischief-maker, sister, and and and...

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ABURRIS2 3/27/2012 11:09AM

    Great picture! Timely reminder. Thanks. ~ann

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DDOORN 3/27/2012 8:45AM

    Always a joy to hear from you Jes...! May your Sparks fly far and bright for many, many years!


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    Oh how glad I am to have met you here. You nailed it again. Love from your fellow mischief maker.

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CAROLISCIOUS 3/26/2012 9:47PM

    Slow is better than not at all! Awesome photo!

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STRINGS58 3/26/2012 6:40PM

    I loved the pic -- determination plus AND doin' it!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon May you carry all those people in you to greater and greater "feel good" parties together!
emoticon emoticon

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2WHEELEDSHARON 3/26/2012 6:03PM

    Hey, thanks for this. I've been putting a lot of weird pressure on myself to be someone different, but I forgot that I already am! emoticon

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BUTRFLY_FREEDOM 3/26/2012 3:29PM


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MS.ELENI 3/26/2012 2:45PM

    Slow beats nothing. I think you do awesome emoticon

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FLPALM 3/26/2012 2:23PM

    I love the "comparisons" of ALL THE PEOPLE WE ARE! So true! And I also love the comment from REJ7777,

"When you're running s...l...o...w, remember that no matter how slow you go, you're trumping everyone who's sitting on the couch!"

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REJ7777 3/26/2012 2:12PM

    Great reflection! We do play many roles, some of which even seem contradictory to one another.

When you're running s...l...o...w, remember that no matter how slow you go, you're trumping everyone who's sitting on the couch! (I read that on Spark somewhere.)

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I'm Tighter than Airport Security Teams

Monday, March 19, 2012

The photo is from the first 5K of the year, which my husband and I (and 4,998 other people) ran yesterday in Somerville, Massachusetts. It was my 26th 5K (and I think it was Mr. j's 23rd).


I am still a bit tired, albeit not too sore.

My time was pretty decent for the first race of the year - under 50 minutes for the gun time. Chip time was 46:23. See:

But when we were done, I ate like a horse.

Like a salt-addicted horse, I tell ya!

And so, after having run a 5K, I actually gained 4.2 pounds.

Yeah, folks, exercise is not enough to cut it.

It is a balancing act. And it can be an exhausting one.

Now, I am well aware that if I drink the water, do my workouts, stay within calorie and nutrient ranges and don't go nuts with salt this week, most if not all of it will be gone by next Monday.

Still, it's a kick in the patoot, to see just how damaging it all is when you slip up AND to see, and admit, just how addicted I really am.

It's a difficult addiction, yanno? I mean, it's not heroin or anything like that. But to be addicted - and in particular to be addicted to something that the body actually needs, so that going cold turkey is impossible - is hard.

And it's not just salt that's addicting. Negative self-talk can be as well.

After all, I ran a freakin' 5K! My 26th! Sheesh, jes, get a dang grip!

It's a small setback. It is not controlling. It is not me, it is not the future, it is not my fate, it is not the end of the world.

Eh, I'm probably just tired and projecting.

I ran a dang 5K.

I'll be fine in a week. ;)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PICKIE98 3/20/2012 3:55PM

    Sometimes when I REALLY crave something salty, I go the opposite way and eat sweet,, like a huge apple.. or an orange or banana.. fresh strawberries fill me up when I wash them down with water that I am too full to want anything salty. Adding salt free peanut butter to hang down the protein, also helps..

I think you did a great job, but hit the nail on the head about self-talk..
you're cool, you're frisky, you're stylin'!! JUST SAY NO TO NEGATIVITY!!!!!!!!!!

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VALERIEMAHA 3/20/2012 12:21PM


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2WHEELEDSHARON 3/20/2012 11:11AM

    Awesome job, 5k Star! It's quite an accomplishment.
That darn balance and moderation; the everlasting challenge!

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CAROLISCIOUS 3/19/2012 9:21PM

    I gain 2-3 pounds every weekend. If I get right back to the plan on Monday, by Friday it's gone...and usually a bit more with it. Congrats on yet another 5K...just so awesome!

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AUNTIEA1959 3/19/2012 4:29PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MS.ELENI 3/19/2012 1:59PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon You did awesome. You should be so proud of yourself

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    Glad you said it. Some foods are addictive. And for some of us just eating anything is addictive. And we can't just go cold turkey.

PS On Saturday I saw your post about the planned 5K and it inspired me to go for a 4 mile walk yesterday. Just so you know, sometimes we get inspiration from people who don't even know they are having a positive effect.

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DMPRIDER 3/19/2012 11:49AM

    I hear ya. It is difficult and tiring.


You ran a 5K! Way to go! :)

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FLPALM 3/19/2012 11:31AM

    I give you so much credit for running! Me, still not on my agenda! So WTG! And don't worry about the water weight.....all normal!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 3/19/2012 10:38AM

    Yup, you can gain a LOT of water weight just from salt. I went on a pickle binge a few weeks ago and gained 9.5% of my weight in water. That's 16 lbs. In two days.
The worst part was simultaneously feeling like I needed to pee and being thirsty all the time. And that weird metallic taste in my mouth.

And exercising while the bloat was on was exhausting. Excruciating even. Because the entire 1:45 on the elliptical felt the way the first 20 minute warmup does. It was a slog. LOL

Good on you with the 26th 5K.

I miss running! (stupid knee.)

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DDOORN 3/19/2012 10:37AM

    Do I ever hear ya: "exercise is not enough to cut it." I have to keep telling myself this as well. And it does seem unfair that doing something so healthy, a 5K, all my cycling, etc. should pay us back with a ravenous appetite.

Kudos to your 5K...gotta start gearing up for mine in May!


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You Better Start Swimmin' or You'll Sink Like a Stone

Monday, March 12, 2012

Most of the country (er, the US) yesterday went on Daylight Savings Time. I recognize that this is no big news to any of you, even if you're from some skeery country like Canada. ;)

In any event, what does this all means? Well, of course, daylight isn't actually "saved". I have read innumerable semantic arguments about that. That's nice. Now go play with your dictionary some more. Sheesh. It's really just a quick and dirty term for what happens.

The reality is far subtler. It's actually a large experiment (and a successful one every year, I might add) in behavior modification. Even the states that are unaffected ARE affected, for what happens when you drive across the border and into a state where DST is practiced? Or you call someone there? Truth is, it affects the entire world, for I have worked in more than one company where a call from a colleague overseas had to be rethought because suddenly the time difference was an extra hour, or it was one less than before.

So, behavior modification. We all get up an hour earlier. We wake up (as of now, although that's going to change in a few months) in darkness. We come home in light. And we change! Truth be told, the transition occurs over the course of less than a week, and over 300 million people (yes, really!) are transformed. The experiment is a success, and it is undone every autumn, when another experiment is conducted and the clocks fall back an hour and we are suddenly waking up an hour later than before.

And so I ask you - if you can do this - if you can change your behaviors based on a little old CLOCK, can you change them based on something else? Can you change them based on test results? Or on a scale? Or on what a friend says? Or on how you feel? Can you change them based on the latest research? Or on what the government says the food pyramid should be?

Can you change your behavior and, by definition, your life, because of outside circumstances and influences? Yes? Then, good.

And now for the harder question.

Can you change your behavior and, by definition, your life, because of inside circumstances and influences?

What do I mean by inside versus outside influences?

A lot of us think of weight loss in the context of what our doctors say. Or it's in the context of wanting to fit into a favored pair of jeans or the like. Or the context is how a person we love feels, or what they say. And these things are all well and good, and any weight loss that comes from them is, naturally, real weight loss.

But what happens when the doctor's message is garbled, or the research is inconclusive? Or the jeans are fit into? Or the person we love turns away, or leaves, or changes their mind? If we lose those exterior motivations, I think a lot of us lose ALL of our motivations.

So we need to cultivate inner motivations. The ones where we feel better, and not just because we fit better in our clothes. Where we feel healthier, and not just because a doctor shows us a bunch of studies and numbers. Where we feel that we've accomplished something, and not just because of a stack of finisher medals and commemorative tee shirts.

When you change from standard time to daylight savings, they always tell you to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.

What I am suggesting to you is to also change the batteries in yourselves, for the times, they are a-changin'.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Excellent blog - thanks for the inspiration!
emoticon. emoticon

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BUTRFLY_FREEDOM 3/12/2012 9:22PM

    I absolutely LOVED this post!

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CAROLISCIOUS 3/12/2012 9:02PM

    Well said , JES. I have a harder time these days finding those "external motivations." When I first lost weight...I heard a lot of "you look great!" Don't hear that so much any I've had to do just like you said...find that inner motivation to stick with this. I think it realizing that I want to do this for me...and nobody else...just me. I just have to remember to tell myself "I look great!".

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FLPALM 3/12/2012 6:02PM

    Nice! "FOOD FOR THOUGHT" for us all to ponder! And using the comparison, that most of us follow, well....puts us "A THINKNG!"

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DDOORN 3/12/2012 3:36PM

    Terrific way to put it, Jes! Love the new "spin" to old lyrics...funny how one can re-use old expressions and give them a whole new meaning in this business of taking care of our health and wellness!


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OVERHAULING-ME 3/12/2012 2:34PM


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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 3/12/2012 1:39PM


well said.

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LESSOFPMCD 3/12/2012 1:36PM

    Well spoken - I agree with you completely.

The desire to change has to come from within. If you are only doing it for others you may succeed at first but how long do you last.

Most of us are a little selfish to a degree (even if you don't want to admit it). So when doing anything for others we may end up no longer caring about them/that etc if it starts to interfere with what we want/like.

But if doing this for ourselves we then maybe care about a bit more about reaching/maintaining our goals is this not a good thing?

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PICKIE98 3/12/2012 1:01PM

    Bummer!! My smoke detectors have ten year batteries..NOW WHAT?????????

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MS.ELENI 3/12/2012 11:52AM

    Another good one emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 3/12/2012 10:36AM

    Must replace batteries. Must replace batteries.

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. -- Carl Gustav Jung

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