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I'll Put the Cobwebs Back in Place

Monday, February 04, 2013

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.


'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:


    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! :-)


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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!

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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

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.


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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    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!


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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.

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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

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:


    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 just can't top great quality time together with our loved ones!


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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

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 -

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.


  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! :-)


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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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    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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One for the Now, and Eleven for the Later

Monday, January 07, 2013

I am poised on the brink of some massive family stuff. My mother is turning 80 later this week. And so there will be two parties. It's not that the two sides of the family don't get along or anything like that; it's just that there are WAY too many people. Hence there's just no way we could do a party without it turning into an *affair*, complete with a hall and a caterer and all that other junk.

Therefore, the first will be my mother's side, held at a Chinese buffet near their home, on the 12th. I am taking a train in on the 11th and staying until the 14th. The second will be at my aunt's in NJ, on the 19th. For that one, both Mr. j and I are coming in on the 18th and staying until the 20th.

In the meantime, the number of people staying at my folks' is spiraling out of control. As in, I received an email, asking which couch I preferred. Argh. I would go to a motel, but it just ain't in the budget. And so I flipped a coin and it came up guest bedroom, rather than den.

I suspect I will also be on driving duty. I have been on photo album duty already, which has resulted in pics of mystery babies and forgotten images of their friends from God knows when and holy crap when did your hair look like THAT?

Helpful hint from jes - never, EVER, make it apparent if you're at all good at anything like that. 'Cause you'll be stuck doing it every f'in' time.

But I do it, I do it because I have to, but also because of course I love my mother and I want her to be happy. I haven't got the bucks to give her a trip or a day spa visit or an iPad or whatever. So the album is it. I wrote a sonnet.

In dieting news, this whole trip will be an occasion to try to stay away from really bad foods and squeeze in some form of exercise. Since pretty much no one but me regularly works out, this will be tricky, as this is supposed to be Family Togetherness Time (TM). Hence running off (literally) for an hour every day may not be in the cards. As for walking with someone, er, I'm not so sure I want to do that, either. I'll find a way; I always do. This might involve getting up super-early. Pain in the patoot but otherwise I get no exercise and no alone time and that is not good.

Now, I realize there is very little above about me actually enjoying any of this. I do like seeing my family and all of that. And I haven't seen my cousins in a LONG time (although I keep up with most of them on Facebook, so it's not like I'm completely clueless as to how their lives are currently going). But it just seems so trying.

And, the unspoken bit, the part that nobody mentions, is, we all wonder - is this the last big birthday where all are together? Is this the swan song, the final hurrah? Or is it one in a continuing series, and we'll laugh about how silly and scared we were when she hits 90 or 100? Of course, there's no way for me to know, or for anyone to know, not right now.

And so I will go. And I will grin and bear it, and will try to have my own needs fulfilled as I dovetail them with others' needs and it all gets wrapped up in a pretty little anxiety bow.

That frustrated scream you're hearing from the vague direction of Long Island? That would be me. Enjoy the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 1/15/2013 8:25AM

    I'm betting you'll be able to pull off some good family times during this event...pulling off workouts & healthy eating is always a challenge. That's what un-raveled me during the past holiday season, ugh!


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CHEETARA79 1/9/2013 6:17AM

    Greg and I call it Family Torture Time, in a loving way of course. I don't envy you those two trips! My grandpa turns 100 this year, within days of Greg, so we're toying with a 130th birthday party. Who knows? That party will have to be down in the Bronx, possibly at the senior center that my Grandpa goes to every day. He still lives on his own. His hearing and sight are gone but the man is still sharp as a friggin tack.

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PROVERBS31JULIA 1/8/2013 6:54PM

    She'll only have one 80th birthday so better to party as many times as ya'll can! Bring a sleeping bag to help pad out the couch or the den or wherever you end up sleeping. The scrapbook sounds great. And someone mentioned the electric photo frame - that's also a big hit with my mom (we had a 69.5 year birthday party for my mom one Memorial day weekend because her birthday is in the winter and my siblings and their families in colleges etc were busy in the fall and winter months with their games etc) and us kids all kicked in a few bucks (well I don't know like 10 each? 20? depends on how fancy a frame, I guess....) and then we all loaded in the photos we had from various jump drives and flash cards and email. Worked out well. Mom never suspected a thing and she didn't have to mess with adding the photos in. She LOVES her photo frame. So that's something to consider (especially if you hurry, your family might be able to find some nice ones on clearance prices from being "last year's model" just in time for your mom's birthday! (one of the advantages of a January birthday - I know! That's where I get a lot of my own birthday presents!! haha!).

In any case however it works out, have a great trip! And don't worry about the 90th birthday until it gets there!! Worry about one birthday at a time!! ;-)
(or if you want to worry about it, you'll have 10 years to think about the next poem to write!?)


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BESEVEN 1/8/2013 11:49AM

    3 years are something my daughter and I share. She enters the double digits in March and I turn 50 in December! Congrats to your Mom, and don't stress, just flow with the go! emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 1/8/2013 4:00AM

    Well, by golly, congrats to your mother!

Love the photo album idea - after all, really, what can you get for someone at that age they haven't already got or don't want? When my grandmother turned 95 we got her one of those digital frames that cycle photographs. My uncle had collected pictures from all of us and scanned them in - she loved it!

Re the running: surely in a family that big, someone - a cousin, a nephew, a sister-in-law, someone - also runs / works out. And if they don't, who knows, you might convert a nonbeliever who'll at least keep you company while you're there!
p.s. For what it's worth, I think a sonnet trumps a limerick, lol...

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    Well maybe it will be a pain in the patoot but I for one am expecting some hilarious blogs out of all this. After all these years I feel like one of the clan.

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SAINTBETH 1/7/2013 8:20PM

    Happy birthday, Mom! You can handle it. And a walk to take a break from family might make it even better.

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TEMPEST272002 1/7/2013 7:45PM

    If I was your mum, the photo album would be my most treasured gift! It's wonderful that you have the skills to put that together for her & I bet it will be the hit of the party. Sounds like you have a good plan to deal with the family stress. Hopefully there won't be too many unpleasant moments... but there will be lots of laughter and fun. Lucky you on the coin toss. lol

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DOGLADY13 1/7/2013 4:19PM

    You know what... I used to think it was rude to go off on a run when I was with family. But they don't really care. Pick a time when people are just doing nothing and then go. I typically head out around 10 in the morning.

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GUITARWOMAN 1/7/2013 12:38PM

    Wow, what planning!

I think you are a good daughter.

Try and get some workouts in, I know you can do it!

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MS.ELENI 1/7/2013 12:17PM

    We have a lot of 0's this year. My grand daughter turns 20,my youngest daughter will be 40,My oldest son 50, My hubby 70 and my sister will turn 80. My sisters kids will do something for her and my brother is coming from arizona. i know Bill's kids will want to do something but I don't want my kids left out.We just had them all here and really don't want to go thru that again. But it might be the best thing.These things are stressful

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