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Wishing You Were Far Away

Monday, September 24, 2012

You'd think, with all this "leisure" time I have, not working and all, that I'd be happily relaxed and not pining for a vacation.

'Course not.

A part of it is the inevitable worry, not just about money and bills, but also, a small, nagging voice saying, "You're never going to work again!"

I hate that voice.

Yet it is talking to me, and it gets louder at times, and softer at others. Yes, folks, same old, same ole - I can't find work.

It is not through a lack of effort on my part, nor is it due to a lack of prospects out there (although over the summer, it was dead, dead, dead here). Last Friday, I had a phone screen. It all sounded lovely. The woman I talked to was pleasant and liked my questions. And whenever I'd ask, "Now, let me see if I understand ...", I would be right.

And here we are.

Now, I am well aware that these things take time, it doesn't happen overnight, yeah, I know all of this. I know the lyrics to this old song because I sing it every freakin' day.

And of course I sing it about my weight loss journey as well.

Important things take time.
You didn't get heavy overnight.
Maintenance is harder than losing.
Long-term losing is especially difficult.
You're 50 so, by definition, losing is a pain in the patoot.

And on and on and on.

I am awfully tired of the song.

And I am so tired of it that, truth be told, I've been ignoring other still, small voices.

On Sunday (er, yesterday), I got out a pair of jeans and put them on. Now, this is not remarkable in and of itself. However, this was the first time I'd put on something longer than capri pants (other than sweats) since early June or so, when Massachusetts decided to become as hot as the surface of the sun.

Size 16, dontcha know.

And they fit.

No tugging, no holding my breath. No cursing the day I was born.

Yes, I have been smaller. During this weight loss journey, I flirted off and into size 10 territory.

But I am fine with this. For the voice that tells me I will never work again and that I am a 16 and should be a 10 is trying to drown out the other voice.

The other voice says, yeah, you're a 16, but less than 5 years ago, you were a 26.

It says you walk every day and you lift weights and you have stamina that other people of your age can only dream about.

It says you make good choices and you don't let a brownie pulverize your willpower and your desire.

It says this ain't easy but you are doing it pretty damned well.

Now I just need to get it to talk about my job search.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    you sound like you are exactly where you are most comfortable being and what a wonderful thing it is to able to know that.

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TEMPEST272002 9/24/2012 9:15PM

    Keep arguing back against the voice that is lying to you. You will work again. You have made major life changes. You are worthy just exactly how you are right now.

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ADRIENALINE 9/24/2012 1:23PM

    It WILL happen. It just takes time!

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MS.ELENI 9/24/2012 1:10PM

    I think you do great. emoticon emoticon

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GUITARWOMAN 9/24/2012 12:12PM

    Sounds like you have the right attitude!

the job thing is hard....I think you are in a techie kind of field?

Could you do other kind of work?

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PHEBESS 9/24/2012 11:25AM

    YAY for smaller jeans!

And there's a job out there for you - it's the finding that job that sucks.

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DDOORN 9/24/2012 11:14AM

    Self-Acceptance muscles...I think they're some of the hardest ones to build...and it sounds like you are ROCKIN' in that department! Awesome deal! :-)


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KLONG8 9/24/2012 11:05AM

    I loved this blog, thank you. You are fighting the good fight and winning. The voices are there for all of us but recognizing that and working to drown them out is the way to go. Congratulations on losing 10 dress sizes AND with that type of focus I know you'll have a work opportunity soon. Good luck, good luck...good luck! emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 9/24/2012 11:04AM

    And it will. Just be sure to listen! emoticon

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You Can Knock But There's Nobody Home

Monday, September 17, 2012

This is yet another pic from my birthday party. Oh, and the song? There's, erm, a few swear words in it. Enjoy but maybe with earbuds while at work.

Anyway --

Incredibly, I am on my second week in a row of losing.

What magical, mysterious thing am I doing?

I have no freakin' clue.

It's true!

I am just doing my usual thing. If anything, I am doggin' it more when it comes to exercise. Hence it's possible that I was undereating before, and by working out less, I am actually fixing that issue instead.


I am still six (yes, you read that right) pounds down from two weeks ago.

Lower body measurements are up slightly, but otherwise, everything is hunky dory.


And so, dear readers, as I wonder wtf is going on (but am not complaining, mind you), I continue to attempt to focus. Last week I wrote about focus. Well, there is of course more to focus on.

I am starting to wrap my head around my mother turning 80. This will be in January, but of course one must plan for such things. With little disposable income that isn't promised to something else (like mortgage payments and the like), I am getting a little concerned about getting something grand enough, or making a grand enough gesture or the like. It is not that I don't care and it is not that I am reluctant. It's more that it's just a ton to do. And what I hope was made somewhat clear last week remains the case - life is busy. Hence getting from Point A (thinking about doing something) to Point Z (actually doing whatever that is) just looking daunting.

I will think of something, I am sure. But right now I am at the "it looks like a really big cliff" stage of things. I need to get that cliff to diminish, but only time will do that. Ah, well. Can we fast-forward to December, please?

In the meantime, I suppose I will keep doggin' it (hey, it's working!) and perhaps I can rope my brother into stressing about our mother's birthday! Enjoy the Hooters. With earbuds on.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOLFKITTY 9/22/2012 3:42PM


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    You are on a roll. Wonderful pict. And great to be losing. Hey I don't know how I missed this. Sorry. I love reading your blogs. Maybe I was too self involved with my own bird day and working to get over the ten pound marker. So glad we are pals. I always learn from you.

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DDOORN 9/18/2012 8:41AM

    Blood from a stone, eh...? :-)

Great to savor one's birthday and the pay-off of sticking to your SPARKED LIFESTYLE!

Kudos to you!


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CAROLISCIOUS 9/17/2012 8:55PM

    Keep doing what your doing! Woohoo!

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SWEETZMIX 9/17/2012 3:08PM

    Love the pic. And your mom going on 80yrs old! So must do something. Even if it's a small get togethe with family!

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DMPRIDER 9/17/2012 3:08PM

    What a great pic of you! I'm so glad the scale is moving for you again. It gives me hope (and motivation) that if I can get my plan working consistently again that it will actually result in the scale moving for me too. :)

Thank you so much for the link to the Hooters on YouTube. I was just talking to about them to Mr. Rider yesterday. What a weird coincidence! I am originally from the Philly area and spent many fun nights at local clubs at their shows.

Good luck with everything you have on your schedule!

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MS.ELENI 9/17/2012 2:37PM

    Sounds like you are doing great emoticon
Love the picture

Comment edited on: 9/17/2012 2:37:44 PM

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I Shouted Sayonara, It Didn't Mean Good-Bye

Monday, September 10, 2012

Another pic from the birthday extravaganza! :)

Anyway, things are going considerably better as the heat has broken (for now) and it's easier to get outside and actually do stuff. As a result, I have shed all of the gain from last week.

And I am coming to the realization that I need to divvy up my life in a way that makes sense to me. I've come up with 5 areas where I need to concentrate (in no particular order) -
1) My family (friends are included here, as of course online pals are, too)
2) Looking for a job
3) Making and saving money however I can before #2 becomes a reality (I currently have a gig where I get some $$ for internet SEO research, plus I am paid for some blogging and also clip coupons and otherwise watch our pennies).
4) Health stuff (exercise, water, food, doctor, etc.)
5) Artistic stuff (I write fiction in my spare time)

It easy to rationalize other things into this, e. g. I should play a boatload of Words With Friends on Facebook 'cause that's #1. Er, no, it really isn't that interactive with people. I need to cut back on it. Or I'll just write, write, write 'til the cows come home. That's nice (and it's fun) but I can't just drop looking for work while I do that. I need to be more efficient with exercising (heavier weights and faster walking) so that I can get more out of the time I have.

All of this needs to be managed better. Because I find myself getting out of bed at 6:30 and then suddenly I am done with only one of these things and it's noon. That's gotta stop. I need more balance in order to, well, truth be told, combat stress. Yes, even when you're not working, there can be boatloads of stress.

And I am determined to do my level best to defeat that.

So sayonara to the flakiest, weirdest of it, and adieu to things that don't work for me or take too long. And in the meantime, I'll continue hunting for ways to be more efficient all around, and slap away procrastination when it rears its ugly head.

Er, maybe later. There's a squirrel outside.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOLFKITTY 9/22/2012 3:44PM

And essential. I've had to re-evaluate like that before.
You know what you're doing? Yeah- it's called self-discipline!
You gots it.


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CAROLISCIOUS 9/13/2012 9:12PM

    People are actualy brave enough to play against you in WWF? Really?

Good for you for stepping into time management. You got your priorities right!

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BESEVEN 9/11/2012 9:19AM


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    That is a gorgeous shot girlfriend.

I am going to join you and Mal next year and I have a lot to learn from you both about managing a precious resource...time. I don't want to end up on a sofa eating bonbons.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Which I could easily do. I love how you balance health and fitness and also creativity. And community of course. I wonder what it would be like if you did not feel a need to spend time looking for a job? How would your day be different? Interesting stuff here and I am looking and learning. Thanks!

Comment edited on: 9/11/2012 6:42:17 AM

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MALCONTENTION 9/10/2012 2:51PM

    I'm struggling with these too as a non-employed person. My brother suggested making a daily to do list, which I've only used sparingly even though it works pretty well when I've done so.

Good luck!

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GUITARWOMAN 9/10/2012 12:32PM

    Hard to manage time when one is setting one's own schedule....

Maybe set up a calendar and stick to it?


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MS.ELENI 9/10/2012 11:55AM

    Looks like a good plan emoticon

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The End of the Century

Monday, September 03, 2012

Well, it's not the end of the century.

It's the end of the HALF-century. Yes, folks. I turned 50 (yesterday).

The day before, there was a small celebration. Grand fun. My folks were there, Mr. j of course, and seven of my pals, mostly local folk. My poor pal Kris was the only female friend there. But the truth is, my friends tend to skew male. It was a funky, eclectic group. I was particularly pleased at how well everyone got on, even people who had never met before. I think the best part of it all was that there was a lot of laughing. A LOT.

And there was food and all that, and it was good, but it could have been lousy and I would have been fine with it.

Yesterday, I got to celebrate my actual birthday by - egad, guess what??? Well, the menopause gods apparently do not yet have their collective act in gear. Hence I got cramps, you name it, the whole nine yards. Delightful. NOT.

It was a day of three (yes, three, cripes) restaurant meals. And while they were all okay, honestly, I could have done without two of them. I neither needed them nor wanted them. But, you know, we had company, yadda yadda you know the drill.

This morning I am up 4.4 pounds. Frankly, I am pleasantly surprised that things are no worse. I was truly expecting an EPIC disaster.

Oh and I also ran my 32nd 5K. My time was nearly identical to last time - 48:02. Not great, to be sure, but not horrible. And certainly it was something! I went out and I did it, despite the fact that I was continuing to feel less than awesome, due to food, TOM, the stress of having company, etc.

My brother gave me a Timex heart rate monitor. I tried it out today. I am sure I am not doing it right. It got the time down correctly, but it decided I had burned 144 calories. Spark says over 300. My pedometer says over 400. I'll go with Spark, thanks (the monitor does not have anywhere to input weight, which absolutely affects caloric burn during aerobic exercise). So, the verdict on the monitor is meh, although it was easier to check than hitting the pedometer and it has a funky purple strap.

Other highlights (I'm rambling, er, well, I'll claim age is doing that to me. Coherence be gone!) included not one but two bouquets o' flowers. Plus a pink tiara with maribou trim and fake jewels so that I could be a princess. It was made (and sized) for ages 5 and up. There are also various cards and a book called _The_Victorian_Internet_.

Plus there was a huge onslaught of greetings here and on Facebook. A topic was opened up for me on the site that I manage and on a Trek site I go to. Another Trek site I frequent sent a note directly from management. There are e-cards on the other computer - I'll get to them, er, eventually.

It's been great fun, but for 60 - please -
* fewer restaurant meals. Really, I could have done without a few of them.
* good lord if I am still getting TOM, kindly shoot me by then.
* a slightly larger tiara would stay on better. I'm just sayin'.

Otherwise, I wouldn't change a thing. Thank you for being a part of it all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOLFKITTY 9/22/2012 3:46PM

    LOL, you are awesome

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CAROLISCIOUS 9/9/2012 9:06AM

    Sounds like an awesome 50th bday celebration...

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ROB704 9/4/2012 7:13PM

    I've heard great things about the Victorian Internet and keep meaning to pick up a my world social media is a huge tool we use daily.

Happy Birthday!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 9/4/2012 1:34AM


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ADRIENALINE 9/3/2012 11:05PM

    Happy Birthday. Congrats.

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DOGLADY13 9/3/2012 9:11PM

    Happy Birthday! Someday we need to run a 5K together. I don't have any planned right now, though.

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DMPRIDER 9/3/2012 6:30PM

    Belated Happy Birthday! And congrats on your latest race too!

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MS.ELENI 9/3/2012 4:31PM

    I love the picture.You look great. I love the tiara. Sounds like a good one to be. You look very happy in pic emoticon

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KAYBEE37 9/3/2012 4:01PM

    Happy Birthday! Your picture looks great. It's hard having good friends who want to go out to restaurants, but having good friends is very important, of course! And how great that you ran a 5K again. I wonder if I'll be fit enough to do that on my 50th birthday? I hope that I am.

Anyway, congrats on your success and I hope that the next 50 years are happy and healthy for you!

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FIT_TERI 9/3/2012 3:55PM

    Happy Birthday! It sounds like you had a fun weekend! I love the tiara!!

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BONNIEBELLE2 9/3/2012 3:46PM

    Happy Birthday! Wishing you all the best!

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PARKERB2 9/3/2012 3:29PM

    TH BIG 50. Congrats.

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ARNETTELEE 9/3/2012 3:20PM

  Congratulations on reaching your big 50!

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I Guess I Was Wrong

Monday, August 27, 2012

I guess we all were. 'Cause we were sold a bill of goods.

What?! you say.

Well, we were told that we were supposed to have flat stomachs. Hell, not just FLAT, but CONCAVE. We were told that that was the only way to be sexy. We were told that it was the only way we could bare our midriffs in public without embarrassment.

HA! HA again, I say. BULL. Allow me to present Exhibits A and B.

Those two BEAUTIFUL women are Venus and Serena Williams. They are two of the best female (hell, either gender) athletes of our time.


They (not the Williams sisters, God bless 'em) LIED to us.

They told us we couldn't be pretty.

They told us we should hide away.

They said we should be ASHAMED.

I call NONSENSE. I call BS. I call stuff that they won't let me post on Spark.

Yanno what's the truth?

Strength training WORKS. Being on program WORKS. Getting out there and doing it WORKS.

Scales mislead. The truth is in the measurements.

Here are mine, as of this morning.

Bicep 13.25"
Bust 42.25"
Band 36"
Waist 37.25"
Belly 41"
Butt 44.5"
Thigh 20.5"

My weight this morning is 229.2.

I keep my measurements and there have been 20 weeks where the numbers have been more or less comparable, ever since I started doing this. The weight for that time period has fluctuated between 209.2 and 235. Sometimes the butt has been bigger. Sometimes the bicep has been smaller. But through it all, it's been 20 weeks of this, in a time period spanning January of 2008 to the present. About the closest I was with all measurements to today was back in March. Of 2009. When I weighed 212.8.

But wait! There's more!

Numbers go up, down and sideways. In the 9 weeks since the middle of the year, my weight has bobbed up and down between 222.8 and 230. But my measurements, overall, are pretty close. Overall, yes, they tend to be less when I weigh less. But there's probably less of a difference than you would think.

And here's another thing. My bicep has been this size many times before. At my lowest weight, I was in the 160s. My bust and belly have been this size many times before, too. Those aren't quite so dramatic - they've been this size when I've been in the 220s, but with one outlier in the 210s. For the band, waist and thigh, once again, I've been this, done this. But I've been in the 200s. And for my butt, I've actually been down in the 180s at this size measurement.

What does all of that mean? It means that muscle replaces fat. And it makes the scale say nasty things that we don't like. It messes with our BMI, too, as that measurement is far from the panacea that we all grope for. After all, traditional quickie BMI measurements are just weight versus height but fail to take into account just what your body is composed of.

Lift weights, people. Grunt, sweat and strain. Eat protein. Limit carbs (but don't eliminate them). Drink water. Use a tape measure and keep records.

And for God's sake listen to your body.

And if you want to bare your belly, have at it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 9/3/2012 9:08PM

    Preach it, sister! I've learned the same dang lesson. I weigh the same now as I did two years ago. I'm down two dress sizes and one size in jeans. I still use the scale because it helps me with portion control, but it no longer rules my life.

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CAROLISCIOUS 9/1/2012 11:40AM

    Posted verra timely for me, JES! Thanks!

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ELISEL 8/30/2012 2:40PM

    I would love to look like them. They are awesome. I have been monitoring my body fat. The at home monitors aren't the most accurate but you can see if you're moving up or down. Lift those weights!!

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    Gorgeous picts. Beautiful muscles. And an important message.

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SSDCQUINCY 8/29/2012 11:22AM

    emoticon emoticon

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VK2Z10 8/28/2012 12:31PM

    I am VERY slowly realizing that the scale is the devil. It never tells me what i want to hear and makes me feel horrible about myself. i am realizing that NOT having a flat belly is a good thing. it means i am healthy and not starving myself. i don't look sick and thin as a rail.

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BESEVEN 8/27/2012 11:55PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    We HAVE been sold a lie - I think people with concave bellies are emaciated. The Williams sisters rock!

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ANDREWMOM 8/27/2012 2:06PM


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MS.ELENI 8/27/2012 11:55AM

    emoticon emoticon

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