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JESPAH's Recent Blog Entries

I Feel Like I Never Should

Monday, February 11, 2013

www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uEBuqkkQRk

It snowed a bit here - have you heard?

Seriously, we got 25" of the stuff, according to the official measurements from nearby Logan Airport. This was the view out of our front yard after my husband had done the first 45 minutes of shoveling.

Currently, after a combined 7 hours and 45 minutes (I only did 2 hours of that; I'm such a slacker), things look like this.

It is still ugly, and I easily have my cardio set for the remainder of the week.

It's okay. I actually like shoveling.

Wha--?

A few reasons -
* it's a way to get outside on an otherwise impossible day. I don't belong to a gym these days, so it's either this or walk, and walking means the street, and cars on some ice. Not a good combo.
* it's extremely good exercise. I get a caloric burn of nearly 700 calories in an hour, whereas I walk for an hour and a half and get maybe a third of that.
* it accomplishes something. See, this is what bores me about the gym. I recognize that fitness is an accomplishment unto itself, but it can often feel like, quite literally, the road to nowhere. Shovel the driveway and the rewards are considerably more tangible and immediate. It FEELS like something.

I suppose this is why I also like racing; it's got a tangible ending to it, and a tangible reward - tee shirts and sometimes medals, too!

What is also extraordinary, right now, is that, for the most part, I feel just fine. It was, I admit, less than perfectly pleasant to lift weights this morning. But it wasn't awful, and I am more than ready and willing to return to the task at hand this afternoon, once I've done my work for the day.

Bring it on. I'm ready.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 2/23/2013 10:43PM

    Hey they delivered the snow to the wrong place! I love shoveling too! But: looks like it's just as well...a little cardiac boomerang has me taking it easy these days...

Don

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MALCONTENTION 2/13/2013 5:26PM

    Way to go!

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 2/13/2013 8:35AM

    It is nice being out in the snow...if it is sunny...if it is light weight snow...if, if, if. I like my snow days on my terms. And I don't like the rain that is filling all the little air holes in the fluffy stuff. And I totally hate the ice. But I get the idea of a job with a point to it. Never thought of it before but maybe that is one of the many reasons I like dog walking. There is always a point to it. When are you coming to walk dogs with me? I probably wont be able to keep up with you. But you will love Milly. And you will feel accomplished.

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VEEJAY3 2/12/2013 8:13PM

    I'm jealous!!! We've had barely ANY snow in Denver this season, and that means drought conditions (and water cutbacks) this summer. Plus probably a bad fire season (add the dryness to the recent hundreds of acres of beetle-killed pine trees, and we're a tinder box). So I WISH I got to shovel snow. Lots of it. FEET of it.

Glad you have the right attitude for it.

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GAYLLYNNE 2/12/2013 7:00AM

    Great job!! We got at least two feet of snow too! I live in a town house so I don't have to shovel (and I have a teenage son). I hate the cold but I also wouldn't mind shoveling. I like the feeling of accomplishment too!

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CAROLISCIOUS 2/11/2013 8:36PM

    I'm the same way...I like to make push mowing my cardio.

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CDCSMITH2013 2/11/2013 6:53PM

    I enjoy shoveling too. Thought I was the only one. ;)

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PHEBESS 2/11/2013 5:06PM

    THIS is functional fitness!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!

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MELLY3183 2/11/2013 12:50PM

    woohoo!! Great job and snow shoveling, I can't believe you guys were hit so hard. Have a great week!

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MS.ELENI 2/11/2013 12:15PM

    brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr To cold for me. emoticon

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I'll Put the Cobwebs Back in Place

Monday, February 04, 2013

www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFYFj5q8_Qk

Sorry I'm late. Life's getting in the way a lot more and more these days.

Anyway - just a quickie as, egad, it's after 7 PM and too much other junk has to happen before dinner and TV and bed and, dang, about a thousand other things.

The main thing going on is that the 5K schedule came out. And once we've got some nickels scraped together, we'll be signing up for a bunch. We already have 2 set up. I think we'll do 8 - 10 more. It'll depend on budget and scheduling, and how we feel. I know at the end of last year, we'd done 11 and it felt like 1 too many. But maybe this year will be different, eh?

And I suppose I could be faster. I could save it all up for 1 or 2 races. And maybe I'd be faster, and I'd be better and all of that.

Or not.

But I'd rather do more.

Why?

'Cause they're fun.

But really, why?

'Cause I'm 50, and I'm in a tiny division. I actually have a chance at placing no matter where I end up.

But seriously, why? You're nearly always last when fewer than 100 people run, and you tend to be in the bottom 5 when fewer than 250 people run.

Why the hell would you want to subject yourself to that, not once, not twice, but 10 - 12 times this year??!?!??!

Because, you see, I would rather be slow and last than not do it at all.

I would rather be huffing than watching.

And because I know that at some point there will be a slide downhill, when it comes to fitness. And at some point in time, my world will begin to contract, rather than expand.

But I am NOT ready for that.

Not yet.

And when it does finally happen, I want to be able to say that I squeezed all the juice out. So forgive me if I'm too busy, and I'm here, there and everywhere.

'Cause I'm busy squeezin'.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

QUEENOTHEFOREST 2/7/2013 8:03AM

    Squeeze indeed! This is just great. You nailed it again pal of mine.

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DDOORN 2/6/2013 1:28PM

    ANYONE and EVERYONE out there for a 5K is a winner! Go Jes! :-)

Don

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QUAIL75 2/5/2013 10:09AM

    That's awesome! I'm planning on doing my first 5K in May and you've inspired me to do more! emoticon

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1STATEOFDENIAL 2/5/2013 1:13AM

    Coming in last is still ahead of the person sitting on the couch. Never feel bad about how you place in a 'race' because just doing one is better than not doing one. I hope you can do all or most of them.

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PHEBESS 2/4/2013 11:13PM

    Because you either use it, or you lose it - so you are using it to keep it moving!

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ILOVEROSES 2/4/2013 10:58PM

    Keep on squeezin' and having lots of fun! emoticon emoticon

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SEXBOBOMB 2/4/2013 7:53PM

    I love this whole post...and I think you're the coolest!
emoticon

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MS.ELENI 2/4/2013 7:41PM

    I think it is awesome that you run the 5k's emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 2/4/2013 7:25PM

    Because it's fun! I wish I could race in small races rather than a cast of thousands. Enjoy!

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He Can't Even Run His Own Life, I'll Be Damned If He'll Run Mine

Monday, January 28, 2013

www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyTJqn7GT5s

This morning, I hauled myself up and, by the time I got a chance to look outside, it was about 6:45 or so. And I saw something at that hour that I hadn't seen in months.

Sunlight.

Oh, yeah.

So this winter business has an end after all. And I'm trying to keep that in mind as the Weather Channel tosses out warnings about snow and Armageddon or maybe it's just a dusting. I dunno.

And through it all (yes, there is a fitness point in all of this), there's the feeling that slow times and low times and hard times and fat times and itchy times and unpleasant times - yanno something? They come to an end eventually. And things do get better.

I see way too many people moaning the gaining of a pound as if the world were ending. I see far too many giving up because something didn't work the first time around. But as the amazing CAROLISCIOUS said recently, "What do you do when what you *know* works doesn't? You do it again."

And it's true. You do it again until it DOES work. And in the meantime, the fat times and the itchy times and the low times - they've got a finite cutoff date. You just need to find that.

Way back when I was first starting this journey, I went to a dinner party hosted by a lovely friend. And I had lost a good 40 pounds by then, and was finally flirting with getting out of the 300s for good. And she and other friends greeted me and no one said anything. It was weird to me. I hadn't seen them in a while so I thought, surely they would notice a change. But they didn't, and I ended up having to bring it up, which is weird but that's life. And it's not that these people were so self-absorbed. It's that they truly couldn't see it.

Yanno what else happened? I did not let that kill my motivation. I didn't let it bowl me over, and make me feel that the whole setup was useless and I might as well gorge myself on chips if no one notices or cares. I just kept at it.

And in a week or so, people finally started to notice the change. They all thought it was less - a 10 or a 20 pound loss. They were astounded when I told them it was 40+ pounds off.

Our perceptions differ. But they also matter. And we can change them.

Perception #1 - I've been eating right and exercising for months and no one notices. Might as well throw in the towel.
Perception #2 - I've been eating right and exercising for months and no one notices. Might as well do something different as it doesn't matter.
Perception #3 - I've been eating right and exercising for months and no one notices. Might as well keep going as they might not notice, but I do. And they'll eventually notice.

Really only #2 and #3 are viable at all. After all, there can sometimes be a need for a change. That's fine. But the change should be based upon sound principles.

Calorie cycling might or might not work. Low carbs might or might not work. Extra strength training might or might not work. Faster cardio, or steeper hills, might or might not work. All are worth a shot.

But nobody ever got thin by gorging themselves on chips.

I'm gonna go out and enjoy the sun before Armageddon.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHEETARA79 2/5/2013 7:54AM

    You know what works for me? Focusing on my health and how I feel rather than how I look. I try to take more pride in what my body can do rather than what it looks like. That's what keeps me going. It might not work for everyone but I stick with healthy living because it makes me feel good. I don't do my exercise to have a rock-hard, fitness-model physique. I do it to have a healthy body that's capably of doing cool stuff like climbing mountains and moving refrigerators.

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 2/2/2013 8:55AM

    Great blog to start my day. I know what works. I am just going to have to do it again. Armageddon be danged.



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DDOORN 1/31/2013 8:51AM

    True, true...! We all "know" for sure what DOESN'T work! So cheers to keeping on keeping on with some variation of what DOES work!

Don

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PHEBESS 1/28/2013 9:48PM

    So right! And yay for the approach of spring, eh? (Pretending to be Kiwi)

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CAROLISCIOUS 1/28/2013 7:56PM

    Well said (as always!) There is no success in giving up...thanks for the sweet shout out.
emoticon

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PICKIE98 1/28/2013 2:11PM

    Hey! !Would you grab a mirror before you leave and reflect a teensy bit of that sunlight towards this area of he country,, I would say, point it north east and let it hit my house.. last one on my street!

You are right, some people would say, "SCREW IT" I am not going to bother. When they are dead and gone, I will still have done this for me...

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MS.ELENI 1/28/2013 1:43PM

    Good one. emoticon

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GYPSYW0LF 1/28/2013 12:02PM

    Those are right on target perceptions!

Enjoy your sunny day!

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HEALTHY156 1/28/2013 11:27AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GOODWITCH333 1/28/2013 11:25AM

    Wow, you are blessed! Both with the ability to keep going when you don't get your well deserved "Attaboys" and with REAL friends!
You see, real friends might not notice the weight loss but they also may not have noticed the previous weight gain. That's because they notice YOU: The person you are, the mood you're in, your smile, your laughter or your tears. In their eyes, your weight does not define you. So don't get down when the praise isn't immediately there. You are not a number on a scale or a size of a dress. You are awesome. emoticon

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I Think I Know What I Want

Monday, January 21, 2013

www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZJNrf6NGt0

I just spent the past 2 weekends doing massive family stuff, as my mother turned 80. Two parties to accommodate everyone without going to the expense of renting a hall or making people travel too much.

I came out of it with little exercise but with decent food choices. Over the course of the 2 weeks, I gained a big honkin' .2 pounds. My measurements are fine and are comparable to what they were. By all rights, this was a staggering success, considering the dearth of exercise opportunities and the plethora of bad food choices available.

I also watched. And learned. And here's what I learned.

* Obesity is family-related. It may or may not be genetic but it certainly related to family culture. That is, people who are used to playing sports or walking or whatever will be thinner, over time. Those who are used to eating everything in sight, and making unhealthy choices, will continue to do so unless they make a supreme effort. And, over time, they will be larger.
* Perception is all. I have gained back a good 60 pounds since my lightest on SP but it does not matter. They still tell me I'm thin, God bless 'em. And my relatives who are heavy tend to see that as their normal, even as I see them hitching up their clothes, or taking thirds, or untagging themselves from Facebook images as they think they look too fat. Well, I got news for ya. The reason why your picture makes you look fat is because you ARE fat. Sorry, that's harsh. But the camera isn't adding 100+ extra pounds. That part's all you.
* Amidst challenges, there are opportunities. During the first weekend, my father and I went to a local beach and walked on the boardwalk. We did, all told, about 1.75 miles (he had thought it was 2, but my pedometer claims otherwise). But I got him up and out there. At the events, I piled my plate with salad, or vegetables, or sushi, or shrimp, or plain turkey. I refused the store-bought cake but I did have some of the homemade.
* Related to the last one - choices are all. You can make good or bad ones. No one is holding a gun to your head either way. Choose carrots or choose chips. Both are out. You're a grownup and can make this choice.
* Nobody notices if you don't finish something. I helped clean up after the second party (the first was at a restaurant). And I noticed food on people's plates. They didn't scrape them clean. Who did that? Damned if I know. And it doesn't matter. What am I, the Food Police? Yes, they should have taken less. But they didn't intake as much. Either way is a victory.
* There will always be critics. "Oh, you shouldn't run so much. My brother destroyed his knees that way." This was said by a guy who's about 12 years older than me, and walks with a cane because he's so heavy. Er, your brother destroyed his knees because he was running in the 70s, when equipment was bad. But I didn't say that. I just said, "I'll be careful, thanks." And I moved on.
* Children's behaviors should be of interest. One doesn't like fruit. Another hoarded vegetables and dip. Another was shy but ultimately made good choices. Another ran around, bored, but didn't intake too much. How will they all grow up? Of course I have no idea, but I wonder about what I saw. Will the fruit-hater learn to embrace apples? Will the run-around-er slow down and then stop and let weight catch up? Will the one making good choices continue to do so? Will the dip and veggie hoarder start hoarding much worse foods? Stay tuned, I suppose.

And through it all, these were good experiences. They are not all about food, and failed fitness opportunities. It was all, after all, really about my mother.

And what is the best gift I can give her?

To be as fit and healthy as I can be. To keep the worst of diseases at bay, if I can. To be available for her, and able to help when she (eventually) needs me, as will my father.

And so today's walk, and the omelet with tofu and the 11 cups of water? They're for you, Mom.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

QUEENOTHEFOREST 1/23/2013 8:56AM

    What a read. You captured the flavors of the experience. Which of the little ones were you Jes? I wonder. Sometimes I remember being a kid on roller skates or running like the breeze and looking at adults and promising myself I would never let myself stop running or rollerskating or swimming. What happens to us? I wonder too. This blog is like watching a movie. Loved it.

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DDOORN 1/22/2013 8:41AM

    You got it: #1 for ourselves AND others is to be the best possible role model of health and wellness that we can be!

Agree SO MUCH that obesity is SO entwined with our family culture.

Two thumbs WAY UP to your walk with your father...you just can't top great quality time together with our loved ones!

Don

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PHEBESS 1/22/2013 12:26AM

    Love it! You are so perceptive, and share that so well!

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DOGLADY13 1/21/2013 3:15PM

    I got all verklempt. Very nice blog. A beautiful gift for your parents is to be healthy for them. It's a beautiful gift for your husband. It is the best gift that you give to yourself.

Thank you for the reminder.

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MS.ELENI 1/21/2013 2:36PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLUEANGELLK 1/21/2013 12:49PM

    Great job with your food choices and even better on your insights! Use them to kick the next pound to the curb!

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GUITARWOMAN 1/21/2013 12:03PM

    Wonderful blog!

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I'm Gonna Set Your Flag on Fire

Monday, January 14, 2013

www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1voj6H8CHY

I am back for a few days, in between parties. My mother turned 80 and so there are 2 parties. Because, well, why not?

The first one went well, and I was also the videographer for THIS - www.youtube.com/watch?v=80hS89l2T34

Yep, that's my Dad.

He learned the napkin-folding trick from his aunt, who brought it to the US from Austria. So consider it a bit o' my traditions for you.

Oh, and the buffet that was larger than Venezuela did not do too much damage.

Iko!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GUITARWOMAN 1/25/2013 12:36PM

    Love your dad and the mouse!

Would have love the buffet too...but it wouldn't have loved me!

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DDOORN 1/25/2013 8:24AM

    Hey thx for the way cool intro to your father!

Thumbs WAY up for great family times...better than gold! :-)

Don

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PICKIE98 1/15/2013 4:04PM

    What a hoot! I love that trick, I wish I could show him my "dollar bill through an apple" trick!

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 1/14/2013 10:31PM

    Pops is adorable. So is the mousie.

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DOGLADY13 1/14/2013 9:46PM

    I love buffets the size of Venezuela!

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MS.ELENI 1/14/2013 9:25PM

    Loved your Dad. He looks like he is a lot of fun to be around emoticon

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CAROLISCIOUS 1/14/2013 7:41PM

    I wonder if I could show that mouse thing to Ellie and Miles? I shall give it a try!

Glad party #1 went well!

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MS.ELENI 1/14/2013 6:30PM

    It does sound like a good time. emoticon

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CAPECODLIGHT 1/14/2013 5:15PM

    Sounds like a good time and you enjoyed yourself without totally derailing. Good for you.

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