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Let Me Start a Fire With Your Spark

Monday, December 24, 2012

I was thinking this could be an appropriate blog song, plus the quoted lyric is epic.

I know many are not reading. It is family time. It is celebration time. It is a time for letting go, a bit, as we begin to truly let go of the old year. And a lot of us end up letting go of our disciplines as well.


Let us, instead, let go of our anger. Let's kick resentment to the curb. Let's push slights and hurts and grudges away.

And let us leave ourselves with a far more positive essence within.

Perhaps, a case in pernt.

Mr. j and I were talking the other day. And we were describing what he eats for breakfast, versus what I eat. Now, there are days when he eats very healthfully indeed (oatmeal and the like). And there are days when his choices are, let's just say, less than optimal.

Yet he weighs less than me. And he is losing weight this way.

It angered me, truth be told. I wasn't angered at him (it's just his metabolism, after all). Rather, I was angry at the injustice of it all.

I had/have been good. I eat Cheerios and toast! Or I have a veggie omelet made with Pam! And that's just breakfast.

My lunches are usually better (in terms of health) than his are. My dinners are often the same, but when they vary, they are generally better.

I lift weights every damned day. He lifts much less often. He does walk more than I do, and he's faster. But apart from that, what gives?

And then I remembered. Or, rather, he reminded me.

* I am female.
* I am 50 years old.
* There is a history of all sorts of obesity, mainly on my mother's side but also for most of the women on my father's side as well.
* I have only been doing this for just under 5 years, and not over 45, like he has.
* And I am starting from far heavier, even now, and was starting for WAY heavier 5 years ago.

And so I remembered - life isn't fair, but there are still some reasons for the unevenness.

And I also remembered.

* I do the best to take care of myself.
* I walk even though I get discouraged.
* I race even though I am usually last.
* A lack of results is no excuse for screwing up and REALLY having a reason for no results.

Allow me to repeat that little tidbit.

A lack of results is no excuse for screwing up and REALLY having a reason for no results.

I swear, I should tattoo that on my forehead in mirror script.

And yanno what happened last week?

I ate my good breakfasts, and lunches, and dinners. I lifted. I walked. I even took a rare rest day.

And I lost over 7 pounds.

Now, at this stage of things, 7 pounds is generally a good 5 of water and salt. But I will take it gladly, and I will remind myself of what seems to be a universal truth, now and in all seasons -

Life ain't fair. But keep plugging anyway. And don't kick yourself for being imperfect. You are no angel, in your behaviors or your choices or your results.

So instead, you get to settle for being human.

And that's kinda cool.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DMPRIDER 1/4/2013 10:52PM

    Thanks for the reminder! Lack of results is no reason to throw in the towel, exercising and eating right is still better for us than not. Very good points to remember!

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    Well that was a great way to end the year. And it is encouraging me to be more thorough too. Thanks Jes.

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CAROLISCIOUS 12/31/2012 10:34AM

    Congrats on the loss...keep those good things going!

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STRINGS58 12/31/2012 8:12AM

    Excellent, Excellent blog! I really enjoyed reading this! I hear the messages loud and clear and I LIKE 'em! Thanks! Thanks for the background music too. May you have a Happy New Year full of compassion and continued dedication! emoticon

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DDOORN 12/25/2012 4:42PM

    Great thoughts for the New Year ahead, heck for EVERY DAY ahead!

Can't start a fire without a SPARK! :-)


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SAINTBETH 12/25/2012 12:11PM

    good reminders

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    Great sentiments! Happy day every day Jes.

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WOLFKITTY 12/24/2012 8:45PM

    Good rememberings! :)


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PHEBESS 12/24/2012 5:07PM

    Yup - DH can lose weight on what he calls the pastry diet - I'd gain if I did that. Life isn't fair. But we each do the best we can with what we've got!

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GUITARWOMAN 12/24/2012 2:19PM

    Yes, being human is kind of our best, take responsibility, and forgive our own lapses.....that's what it is about!

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MS.ELENI 12/24/2012 12:59PM

    emoticon Have a great Christmas eve

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Happy Hours, Come and Gone

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Couldn't let the end of the world go by without a quick blog entry.

Enjoy Graham Parker.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 12/20/2012 9:44PM

    We're still waiting, LOL!

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MS.ELENI 12/20/2012 7:41PM


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AJB121299 12/20/2012 7:23PM


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UMBILICAL 12/20/2012 7:21PM

  The End - Not

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First Time I Ran Was to the End of the Block

Monday, December 17, 2012

I gotta apologize for the link, but it's the only recording I can find of that song. But I hate all the talking. Sheesh. Shaddap!! Ahem. Onto the actual blog.
I ran my last 5K of the year yesterday.

It was m'f'in' COLD!

The gun time was my worst time of the year (and my third-worst time, ever; my second-worst time was last year's December run, BTW). But the chip time was far better (a good 4 1/2 minutes less!). And in all fairness, I was wearing many layers, and I was the second-heaviest I've ever been for a race this year. Which is also the second-heaviest I've ever been for any of these races, ever.

This was my 36th race, and my 11th of this year.

I'm a lil tired. But I suppose I'm entitled to be. 11 races felt very much like one too many by the end of it all. I had overbooked as, last year, we had to really scramble to get in our 10th. So we'll see how next year goes. We have already signed up for one in May. We might mix things up slightly, and run for different charities than we did. One of the races this year had an awful parking situation, so we might swap it out for something else. I dunno.

I will also stop taking the food they give us. That was a poor idea. I found myself ravenous and devouring yesterday, and I am paying for it today at weigh-in, big time. Some of it is salt, but I ain't kiddin' myself. I am up 6 (no typo, folks) pounds since last week. Ugly. Aggravating, but not impossible to cure.

So there are downsides to all this racing.

But the positives far outweigh the negatives. I find that racing focuses my work outs in a way that just keeping track of #s never really has. I find I am not necessarily trying for better times but, rather, I try for just doing them. I strive to not feel quite so awful at the end, or the following day. I strive for breaking into a dead run earlier than usual. I strive for jogging when I am supposed to (yesterday, I jogged more than I had been planning to, so I consider that a positive). I ran a good 477 minutes and 12 seconds of 5K races this year.

I came in 5495/5537 overall (I suspect there were far more walkers than that, but that's what they recorded officially, at
) and 164/172 for women in our 50s.

And I came in ahead of the rest of the world, yes?

I am the Thundering Fat Girl.

I am the Queen of the Tribe of Last-Place and Near-Last-Place Finishers.

I am the One Who Thumbs Her Nose At Notions of Fitness and Rightness and Propriety.

I am laughing at aging, and making fun of my size 16 body.

I am a warrior.

And I can't wait for March, when the racing season starts up again.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 12/23/2012 5:14PM

    I was supposed to be with you at that race! I'm glad I didn't go. I did run 3.1 miles, though, in my fair city. And you are, indeed, a Warrior!

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ILOVEROSES 12/18/2012 5:58AM

    Congrats on your 11th race Janet! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/18/2012 6:00:40 AM

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PHEBESS 12/17/2012 5:08PM

    YAY for you!!!! Way to go!!!! (And I"ve been banned from running, I have disintegrating disks, bleah.)

I have to add, I was in a sailing race once. We came in second in our class. And last in the entire race, LOL! (Someone's gotta do it!)

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GUITARWOMAN 12/17/2012 12:39PM

    I admire you.

I walk a 5K every morning.

But I do not run....yet.

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SEXBOBOMB 12/17/2012 12:31PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MS.ELENI 12/17/2012 11:22AM

    I think it is fantastic that you can run the races.I think it is wonderful emoticon

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PJBONARRIGO 12/17/2012 11:17AM

    Good for you; that's a pretty full race schedule and you successfully completed it! One more than last year! emoticon
I just finished a 5K race listening to J.Buffet on my IPod. It was so cold that it got stuck on one of his first albums and I couldn't get it to go back to menu while I was running. The fastest song on the album was Come Monday LOL

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VEUVEGIRL 12/17/2012 10:48AM

    Great job with all those races! You may have had your worst time, but you did it!

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Oh, We Won't Give In

Monday, December 10, 2012

I think it's really, really easy, to just hang it all up this time of year.

It's dark. There are parties. Your routine is interrupted. People are shoving food at you. It's the holidays! The treats are limited edition. Emotions are amped up. Family is everywhere. Stress levels are through the roof.

It's just a piece of pie.

It's just a cocktail.

It's just a big ole holiday turkey.

It's just eggnog.

It's just potato latkes.

It's just a candy cane.

It's just sufganiyot.

It's just Christmas cookies.

It's just Chanukah gelt.

It's just it's just it's just it's just.

Ai yi yi, what are ya doin' to yourself??!?!?!?

No wonder January is a prime time for starting diets. It's not just that it's the start of a brand-new, fresh year. It's not just that it's the start of a quarter. It's that you're safely past the big ole skeery holidays.

Well, I got news for ya.

That Chanukah gelt?

They'll sell it next year. It's not even that tasty (it's kinda cheap milk chocolate).

That turkey?

You had it at Thanksgiving. And you can have it again in a week or a month. See, they sell turkey all year long. Shocking, eh?

Those potato latkes?

You can make 'em healthier by draining the hell out of 'em.

Those sufganiyot?

They're doughnuts! You can get something rather similar to 'em at Dunkin or Tim Horton's or Honey Dew or wherever ALL YEAR LONG.

This is not the be-all, end-all. You are not putting on layers of fat for the winter (don't you own any sweaters? Cripes, this time of year, doesn't everybody wear their really ugly Bill Cosby-inspired ones anyway?). You are not coming to the very end, where you are never, ever, ever, ever, ever going to have eggnog again.

Now, I love most of the aforementioned stuff. And I can get caught up in the lie that it is oh so special.

It's not.

But yanno what is?

Being together is.

This year, my folks are coming. And then in early January, I am going to them twice (my husband is coming with me the second time), as my mother is turning 80. I will see cousins I have not seen in quite a while (although I do see them on Facebook every day).

This is what is special. This interacting. These hugs. These smiles. These images, whether recorded by our cameras or our memories or both. THAT is what is special.

The rest of it is calories.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLISCIOUS 12/17/2012 8:53PM

    It's not going anywhere...the food that is. What a concept!

Great blog, JES.

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MS.ELENI 12/12/2012 9:35PM

    Happy holidays!

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LALMEIDA 12/10/2012 8:25PM

  Happy holidays!

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PICKIE98 12/10/2012 5:00PM

    SO true!! The last year I had everybody at my home, I had so much food. THEY all loved it because, of course, they are all bean poles, ,,,like 6'6 180 pounds!! Yup!! They eat like the stores will close tomorrow, too!!
One thing I did for myself was to put ALL OF THE FOOD IN THE BASEMENT. I have a very small home, but ten steps to go down to get that food made for lots of leftovers!

Comment edited on: 12/10/2012 5:01:21 PM

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OLIVIANIGHT 12/10/2012 3:02PM

    I don't know what most of those things are but I definitely agree with the principle! If my Grandma is still around at Christmas I'm going to focus on spending time with her. SO much more important than food.

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PHEBESS 12/10/2012 2:47PM


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SEXBOBOMB 12/10/2012 11:38AM

(Says the girl who jumped all over herself to order potato latkes when she found out they had them at the deli on Saturday. Mmm, potato latkes...)

Seriously, though, you're right. It's not about the damn latkes or cookies or cornbread stuffing. And while it's true that holiday celebrations are undeniably food-centric, just sitting at the table shouldn't mean you'll automatically have second, thirds or fourths.

(And even if it does, you're only really screwed if you don't bounce back. Bounce freaking back, people! If you say yes to more than you should this month, just accept that the weeks that follow will require you to work harder in the gym and/or cut back a little more than usual.)

So, hug your grandma, put up with your crazy MIL, enjoy the singularly unique wackiness of your particular and even dysfunctional families -- because you're right -- that is what's special about the holidays!

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CHEETARA79 12/10/2012 11:33AM

    "You don't have to eat the whole thing." That is my mantra. I agree, focus on socializing not on food. Eat the heavy, rich foods in moderation. Save your appetite for a home made treat rather than the Entenmanns cake that just came out of a box. It's the holidays. Make it special!

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SAINTBETH 12/10/2012 11:30AM

    So true! Happy Hannukah!

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Well, They Think They're so Cute When They Got You in That Condition

Monday, December 03, 2012

As much as I blather on about empowerment, the truth is, I am in the thick of low empowerment. And this comes from looking for work.

This is not my first rodeo, kids. Hell, it's not even the first time I've looked for employment since I starting SP, nearly 5 (yes) years ago. It is my ... drum roll ... third.

Egad, that's a lousy track record.

So I am casting about for some ideas as to how to minimize this time out/help to lay-off-proof the rest of my career. And I keep coming up with Web Design and Development. Now, God knows I am no visual artist. I really do stink at such things. And I have little patience for things like moving something over a tiny fraction of a millimeter. Pixels? Fuggeddaboutit!

But I have been doing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) work for quite a while, and I am thinking it's time I actually learned some theory from people who knew WTF they were talking about. I also know HTML, but I don't know it that well. Again, it would be good to learn it from masters, and to correct any bad habits I may have gotten myself into. Furthermore, of course, this is a skill set that is still wildly in demand.

Also, for every long-term unemployment stint I've ever been in, I have always gotten out of it through some form of education. It has happened enough times that I am thinking it's not so much of a coincidence any more.

As for weight loss, efforts have stalled. Things aren't bad, but they aren't great, either. Things could certainly be improved. What kills me is - and Mr. j and I were discussing this yesterday - is I have already plucked the low-hanging and middle-hanging fruit when it comes to weight loss.

Eight 8 ounce glasses/day? Try eleven.
Lift 10 pound weights? No, I lift 40. Every day.
Walk 30 minutes per day, three times per week? I walk 50 most days.
2000 calories? Try 1600 - 1800.
Low carb? Yes, and so much so that it threatens to give me a vasovagal response (that's fancy talk for me getting dizzy, a condition I have had for years. I am not anemic or anything like that; I'm just prone to fainting).
I have been on thyroid meds for decades, and my dosage level is closely monitored.

I know one thing I could do would be to become more careful again with weighing and measuring. But after that, truly, I'm not really seeing anything to do that I am willing to commit to. Calorie cycling? No, no, a thousand times, NO. Real people do not live like that, and the last thing I need is to be obsessing over food like that.

Truth of it is, I am not asking for advice in that area. Right now, I'm just venting.

I need some more empowerment in my life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 12/3/2012 5:39PM

    Some of us luck into the perfect job - others take longer to find their passion and then find a job that fits it. (And the rest live lives of quiet desperation.)

So - if you think this is your passion, go for it!!!!! We spend nearly 1/3 of our adult lives at work - you might as well love it!

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PROVERBS31JULIA 12/3/2012 3:51PM

    I think you ought to write copy for web stories... these are funny and there's a lot of dull websites out there.


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PICKIE98 12/3/2012 3:26PM

    You already know what the answer is dear, push through that wall of indecision and make your landing on the planet design, no loss if you go elsewhere from there.

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MS.ELENI 12/3/2012 1:53PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DDOORN 12/3/2012 12:31PM

    Hearing you Jes...right there with you re: the struggles over food. Does sound like the web design could be your niche...go for it!


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PYNETREE 12/3/2012 9:52AM


OK...You've vented, sounds like you know what to do, to get where you need to be.


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2BMYOWN 12/3/2012 8:03AM

    I dunno about you, but I think web design would be an awesome thing to get into. It's certainly in demand in a big way and I don't look to see that change any time soon, since it seems everything is becoming dependent upon the web, anymore. (sigh) Seems like that would definitely be a lay-off-proof kinda career field. But I can certainly identify with the lack of empowerment. There's something about not being able to find a job that makes you kinda feel like a worthless commodity to people, or at least that is what it did to me. All of my ideas withered to dust, pretty much, so I ended up going back to the nursing, since I could not find one other thing. If I had not had that as a fall-back, not sure what I would have done, other than lose my house and the shirt off my back. I'm thinking that further education is the way to go, but with being unemployed for six months, with no income coming in at all, it's not like I could afford to do even that, so I was stuck like chuck. Kinda makes you feel like nothing more than a passenger in your own life, in a way. People kept telling me all of the nice little inspirational phrases, like 'don't sweat it, don't worry, the universe will provide you with what you need." Well.....I dunno where that universe was 'cause it didn't seem the least bit interested in an old phart like me whatsoever. LOL As for the weight loss, I had to go back on the Medifast plan to get myself kickstarted again because even that seemed to fail me, too. Dunno why this stuff has to be so flippin' hard, but it is. I wish you all the success in the world, if I could send mojo vibes your way, I would certainly do that.

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    Venting's good. Feeling in control is good too. What does make you feel in control? Must be some good stuff? I hope so anyhow. You are certainly in control of my funny bone when you choose to exercise your creative writing muscles. Have I told you this week I lurve you for that?

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