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JESPAH's Recent Blog Entries

Everybody Seems to Wonder

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pesIGuV9DDk

For all of us who have done this, seemingly, forever, I got news for you.

You have to continue. There is no end point, no stopping point. There is no part where you say, "Okay, I'm done! I can go back to lazy days and lazy eating. I can head on over to the Cheesecake Factory every other day and I can stop working out and drinking the water and everything's gonna be GREAT!"

No.

It. Does. Not. Work. Like. That.

Every day, you wake up, you have a chance. And every day, you can decide.

Salad or cake?
Water or soda?
Walk or drive?
Weight training or watch TV?
Herbs or salt?
Homemade or processed?
Measured or estimated?
Home-cooked or dining out?

And we don't always pick the former, and that's actually okay. That's life and it happens and you're allowed to zig instead of zag at times. After all, a fully rigid life is frustrating and boring, and it can smell an awful lot like deprivation. And the more deprived you feel, the more you'll be willing to cheat and then, well, then that's where the real trouble starts.

But those zigs shouldn't overwhelm and overtake and bypss the zags. They should not turn into your life, with the healthy happenings becoming rare.

It needs to be the other way around, where the healthy happenings are the norm, and the mess-ups and the doings of something naughty are rare.

Wouldn't it be interesting, if we turned it all on its head?

What would happen if we couldn't wait to stop doing those naughty things?

Sheesh, another dinner out? I can't wait to get back to my home cooking!
More salt? I can't wait to get back to cilantro!
Soda again? Cripes, I can't wait to get back to drinking water!
TV? Yawn. I really want to get back to weight training!

We talk about making good choices and creating good habits. Let's not sabotage that with thoughts that there is an end point, and a finish line, other than the absolute end of our days.

This is for good.

This is for life.

This is for a good life.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SANDICANE 6/19/2013 11:00PM

    This is a great blog! Yep, I'm sooooooooooooooooooooooo happy to choose the former! I love water! I love to cook! I love to make healthy, on-plan choices!

It HAS to be forever b/c I don't have another 50 lb weight loss in me....

Cheers,
Sandi

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DDOORN 6/17/2013 10:21AM

    Amen! Thank you for your eloquent exclamation mark to this point! :-)

Don

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UNICORN212 6/12/2013 12:37AM

    Great blog. I had a can of Pepsi the other day - it had been sitting in our fridge for the longest time. It was actually just past the expiration date. So, to put it out of its misery, rather than throw it out, I drank it. It was my first one in a long, long time. And I probably will not bother with another one. Back to water and unsweetened tea....

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SHAPESHIFTER09 6/12/2013 12:22AM

    This is fantastic (well, aside from the cilantro part ;))

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TEMPEST272002 6/11/2013 11:35PM

    Absolutely!!!! Say it like it is!



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DMPRIDER 6/11/2013 11:00PM

    You are so right that it's about all the little choices. I beg to differ though on strength training vs. watching TV. I like to strength train at the gym, but if I'm working out at home for some reason, I sometimes do my strength training with the TV on. There's no rule that TV time must be spent sitting on the couch! LOL

I find that the more I eat healthy and home made the more often restaurant food just tastes way too salty to me. And I far prefer water over soda. Some other choices are much harder though. It's lifelong choices and habits, that's for sure!

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PHEBESS 6/11/2013 10:42PM

    As a friend said, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

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LUCKY8GAL 6/11/2013 9:37PM

    Great Blog! I hear ya emoticon

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CAROLISCIOUS 6/11/2013 8:43PM

    Yano...I do feel that way...excited to get back to it after a break. '

Great blog!

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QUAIL75 6/11/2013 2:29PM

    Thanks! I needed this today!

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MS.ELENI 6/11/2013 11:51AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLUEANGELLK 6/11/2013 11:25AM

    Thanks. I really needed to hear this. It is all about the little choices we make moment by moment, not necessarily about the momentous proclamations we make.

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Speak to Me

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6B25LcgAuE

Oops, I'm a day late with the blog. Ah, well. In repentance, I offer you Natalie Merchant, and a song that isn't played enough.

So - what's new in the world o' jes? Little versus last week. Life was very weather-driven, as it suddenly got hot and so outdoor activities were curtailed and modified. And I was reminded, once again, of how things have changed. It used to be that a couple of 90 degree days would wipe me out so thoroughly that all I could do was nap. I would move from kitchen to bathroom to bedroom (and the only one of those three rooms with air conditioning was the bedroom), like a zombie. Even with air conditioning in the computer room, I would inevitably find myself heavy-lidded and zonked out by 2.

And as for any sort of exercise, well, I wasn't doing that anyway. The heat was simply yet another excuse.

Things are different now.

It's funny.

I have regained about 80 pounds, no lie. Maintenance is incredibly, unbelievably hard. And lest you think I am near what I was when I started, the truth is, I am not - am still 100 pounds off that. Yeah, I was that huge.

But even with a wicked regain, my life is still transformed. Even hot weather doesn't completely stop everything, and grind life to a completely screeching halt. Even that is not enough to stop me.

Do I want to be lighter again? I would like for things to be easier - I won't deny that. But I am happy to be active, and to be doing more than I had been.

Don't let anyone tell you that maintenance is a picnic. It is anything but that.

But.

I want to face it, and its challenges, clear-eyed and without fear, and to continue to do so. No matter where it takes me. Speak to me, and tell me of your tales of it, too, and we will face it clear-eyed.

And fearlessly.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 6/7/2013 11:03AM

    Maintenance is an incredible challenge...absolutely SO with you in your struggles!

During my time with our SparkFamily I managed to get to my all-time adult low of 200 a few years back. Since then I've crept up to 255 earlier this year in January. Some might say 55 pounds is *CREEPING*?!? But yes, for me that is what it has felt like. I've been clawing my way back down the scale and am 240 now. Cycling season has me ACUTELY aware of my extra baggage...the hills, oh the HILLS!

But I'm not bailing on me, on you, on our SparkFamily! If we're gonna live then let's LIVE!

Viva la SPARK! :-)

Don

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 6/6/2013 10:18PM

    Wow that 80 came back so fast! A powerful message. i remember when you were at your lowest and your fabulous photos. I think it is brave of you to face up to your gain and to tell us about the struggle to maintain. I have a long way to go to get to maintenance. I guess this is not something that we can achieve and then call it a day. This was a very important message for me to hear. Thank you.

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TEMPEST272002 6/5/2013 3:43PM

    Alright, I'll do it. I'll be clear-eyed with you. I was once size 26/28, then I got down to size 8 & now I'm a 14/16. Like you, I truly appreciate how "able" I am at this weight... and also feel frustration at myself for having regained so much weight... and still feel hopeful that I can learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. My current goals include: pushing myself to get up and break a sweat every single freaking day & to be real with myself when I'm deciding what to eat. We already know that every good choice counts & so does everyone poor one. The trick, I think, is to consistently make more healthy choices than unhealthy ones.

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DOGLADY13 6/4/2013 9:27PM

    I have never met goal weight. Alas. However I have never regained to the point that I am back at 200. Right now I am losing the 10 pounds I gained over the winter with regular, hard exercise and tracking food. It's hard and it's a lifetime journey. We'll get there, all of us, together. We will get there.

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MS.ELENI 6/4/2013 10:45AM

    I have heard many people say that mantenance was harder than losing the weight. I am sure you will lose weight again. emoticon

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PHEBESS 6/4/2013 10:38AM

    I can SO relate - I'm probably about 10 (maybe 15?) lbs more than my lowest post-Spark - and I truly should lose another 40-50 beyond that. But I can't seem to get below a certain point, and it's so easy to say oh hey it's a plateau, I can't do anything about it, that cookie won't matter anyway.

I'm hoping our travelling will help - I do a lot more walking when in new places (without a car), and I eat what I want when I want, so I actually eat less. I think.

Jeans still fit about the same, though.

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WADINGMOOSE 6/4/2013 10:03AM

    Love your post. I'm stuck in a rut of losing and regaining the same 5-10 pounds right now and it's a little frustrating. For some reason I start making great progress and then I sabotage myself. I think I need to step away from the scale and just focus on how great I feel when I eat right and exercise. The scale isn't my friend :)

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IFDEEVARUNS2 6/4/2013 9:58AM

    emoticon Love the attitude! I can SO relate.

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There's Only One

Monday, May 27, 2013



www.youtube.com/watch?v=XScq7NLRnYU

I have run a bunch of 5K races, but this one was for just one mile.

And it was more important than all of them, combined, for it was the final mile of the Boston Marathon.

My husband and I walked and jogged and did not go too fast as his back was bothering him.

But that's okay. This was not for speed. It was not for PRs. It was not for personal glory.

We participated for those who no longer have legs, and for those whose futures are gone. We did this for the scared, to show that we aren't. We did it for our city, and for our country, and for anyone who's tired of the violence and hate in the world.

I have already told the sponsors that I hope they will do this again, for it was an amazing experience. There is a turn, just before Boylston Street, near the Hynes Convention Center. You have just gone up a small hill. And you turn. And you see them. And you hear them.

The people.

They line the blocks, and they are LOUD. And they are watching, and they are cheering. There were signs. There were high fives from strangers. And the press was there, for people who had been hurt 40 days before, or who had been running and wanted to finally finish. We are not marathoners. We were not that part of the news story.

We were there to be a part of it. And it was one day when this 50 year old who will never run a marathon (trust me, I am FAR too slow) could feel like a rock star.

That day will live on. It was our 21st wedding anniversary, by the way. And that is how we spent it.

And that day will live on.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLISCIOUS 5/27/2013 10:56PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Thanks for being there!

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DDOORN 5/27/2013 8:43PM

    Such an absolutely WONDERFUL way to honor yourselves and your city...! Very, very cool.

Don

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DDOORN 5/27/2013 8:43PM

    Such an absolutely WONDERFUL way to honor yourselves and your city...! Very, very cool.

Don

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DOGLADY13 5/27/2013 7:59PM

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Dan and I wouldn't go to something like that; we don't go for crowds of people, but I love hearing about them. I'm glad you were there to represent. I'm glad you wrote it down for all of us to share.

And congratulations on your wedding anniversary! Happy Day!

emoticon

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CODYG123 5/27/2013 7:03PM

    thanks for sharing! emoticon

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PICKIE98 5/27/2013 2:48PM

    You are so cool, you're hot!

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MS.ELENI 5/27/2013 12:39PM

    What an awesome way to spend your 21st anniversary. Wonderful tribute
by the way our 21st is July 4th.

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NUMD97 5/27/2013 12:20PM

    It's an incredible message to the world: The US will not bow to these madmen. And these simple pleasures will continue.

Thanks for posting a very powerful blog.

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BLUEANGELLK 5/27/2013 12:19PM

    Wow. Must have been a powerful experience. Congratulations on taking part in this and on your anniversary.

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There's Nothing Tricky About It/Don't Tell Me This Town Ain't Got No Heart

Monday, May 20, 2013

www.youtube.com/watch?v=13BK0OT4Py0

Two songs today, for the price of one!

We got back from vacation a few days ago. And I am pleased to note that I was able to maintian (and actually lose some inches), even though the diet and exercise opportunities were not necessarily the best.

We have gotten far, far better at vacationing. This is the same Cape Cod hotel we have gone to for, now, 16 years.

Let me tell you what things were like in 1997.

We would go out to HUGE breakfasts every morning. Omelets, pancakes, my husband would have bacon. Lunch was out, usually something fried. Exercise? What, are you nuts? Big dinners out, of course. Cookies at night in the room. Hot tub. Drive everywhere. Lather, rinse, repeat.

This is what things were like this year, and have been for a few years.

Breakfast is oatmeal and fruit, brought from home. Water. Walk to where my husband gets a pizza - and it's for him, only. Lunch is in the room - pizza for him, salad and a smoked turkey sandwich with hummus for me. There's a kitchen in the room so it's all made there, and it's apportioned. Hot tub. No swimming this year as the pool was not open, but we have gone swimming in the past. Dinner is still out, but this year it was a salad and a medium chicken burrito on day one, sushi on day two and Thai on day three. Filling and wonderful all three days, and well within the calorie budget (sushi went over on the sodium budget, but nothing else did). Skim milk and a skinny cow ice cream (portion control, FTW!) at night.

Oh and let's see. My size in 1997 was probably a 22/24. This year it's a 14/16.

Could I be better? Yes. I could be more vigilant and nuttier and stricter. But I was on vacation, so I allowed myself some leeway, but not too much.

I came home to no change in weight but a change in my measurements. They went down.

And this is why I bring food for two meals/day, every day, while on vacation. There is nothing tricky about that.

As for the second song, it's a tribute to Jeff Bauman, who was injured last month at the Marathon. That man is more than just someone who was unlucky that day, just like you and I are far more than our sizes. If someone bothers to just look, then they'll see.

Enjoy George Harrison, and the Grateful Dead.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNYhr
1GD__4

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 5/25/2013 7:37PM

    Dan and I have done vacations like that. We both feel much better at the end. No food hangovers or guilt. Much better.

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DDOORN 5/22/2013 8:18AM

    Thx for fixing the Dead link! :-)

Don

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DDOORN 5/21/2013 7:03AM

    Who could ask for a better vacation than that?

Thx for the links...although I generally followed all the Beatles fairly closely, don't remember that Harrison tune! The link to the 2nd tune didn't work though...couldn't seem to tweak it to make it work. Loved the live Dead stuff with the extended jazzy jams! :-)

Don

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PHEBESS 5/21/2013 1:57AM

    Way to go while on vacation!

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MS.ELENI 5/20/2013 12:27PM

    because of my health and other reasons if I do go out of town I always get a room with kitchen. I usually do not leave the room. I take a lot of food from home so I always have food handy that is better for me than take out.On plus side it also saves money emoticon

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Sonofagun

Monday, May 13, 2013

www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQZmCJUSC6g

You're so vain.

I'm vain.

We're all vain.

It's normal.

It's probably evolutionary.

After all, you smell better, your clothes or your skin are cleaner or nicer, you're more likely to attract a mate. You smell better, you take better care of your teeth, you live longer. You work out or, as they called it in cave times, you gather or hunt your own food, and you live better and stronger, and longer. You get yourself educated and it makes you happier and you get a better job and you're, again, more likely to attract a mate and you can afford better care and you live longer.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting any or all of these things.

Yet I saw, yet again, recently, someone going on about how plastic surgery is cheating, and diet assistance is wrong and somehow if WE DON'T SUFFER ENOUGH and WE DON'T WEAR THE SCARLET F FOR EVER AND EVER AND EVER then we are somehow, I dunno, unworthy.

Bull.

Now, I am not advocating starving yourself. I am not advocating having surgeons cut you until you look like a cat, either. And I am certainly not advocating stupid acai berry or green tea scams.

No.

Instead, what I am suggesting, is that you do what it takes to get you where you need to be. And if vanity is the key, then be vain.

Make yourself up in order to get the morning paper vain. 500 pairs of shoes in your closet vain. Put me on a reality show vain.

Do it.

Feel it.

Own it.

Make it work for you. Because anyone who tells you that there is exactly one way to do this, or that one way or another is somehow superior, they are lying, and should be called out as the lying liars that they are.

IT. DOES. NOT. MATTER.

You wanna be a vegan? Be a vegan. You wanna eat like a caveperson? Then eat like one. You wanna get your cardio in by doing the polka? Then do the Goddamned polka.

What are the basics?

* Diet, as in watch your calories and your portion sizes, and you proportion your choices away from processed garbage and in the direction of real food that a human cooks, as opposed to a factory constructs.
* Exercise, as in you sweat and you get aches and you pant.
* Water, as in you drink it, and you visit the bathroom more than you're used to.
* Salt restriction, as in you read labels and you find yourself eating a lot more real food because sodium is put in for processing more times than you can shake a stick at.
* Weight training, as in you carry heavy stuff, whether it's weights at a gym or your groceries or your kids or the dog or a bunch of books or luggage but you do it and you stop using wheeled carts for most things and you get some aches from that but you go on and you do it anyway.

All of the details, all of the rest of it, is window dressing. And if you want to read about it, or blog about it, or think about it, have at it.

But it really just comes down to those few things and, in the end, motivation often comes down to vanity, or its products, or its effects.

But don't take my word for it.

Hell, you probably think this song is about YOU.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

QUEENOTHEFOREST 5/15/2013 10:01PM

    No more wheeled carts at the market? What a concept. I can do that.

And I can be vain too. Yes I think this blog is about me. Yahoo. Another reason for my list of benefits of losing weight. Thanks Sistah!

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DDOORN 5/14/2013 9:35AM

    Terrific breaking down to the essentials of living a SPARKED life!

And vanity is a wonderful muscle to build after all these years (for myself, at least...and I suspect I have MUCHO company!) of ripping myself up over perfectionistic and unrealistic standards!

Don

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PHEBESS 5/14/2013 12:46AM

    You so crack me up!

And yes, vanity that keeps us from becoming size 58 is a good thing!

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BLUEANGELLK 5/13/2013 7:25PM

    emoticon I'm so vain.....I bet I think this blog is about me....I'm so vain!!! emoticon

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PLMITCH 5/13/2013 3:59PM

    Vanity can be motivating. The key, as you said, is finding what works for each of us. There is no "one size fits all" approach.

Well stated blog!

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CODYG123 5/13/2013 2:56PM

    Thanks for sharing and have a happy reality day. ;)

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MS.ELENI 5/13/2013 11:39AM

    Great blog and so true. emoticon

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