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Monday, May 13, 2013

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.


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.


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.


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:


    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!


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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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From the Past Until Completion

Monday, May 06, 2013

I ran my 40th 5K a few days ago, on Saturday. I shaved over 4 minutes over last week's time and came in nearly exactly the same as when we did this race last year (this is the third year of doing this race), when I weighed 11 pounds less.

Wait, what?

Yeah. Wacky, eh?

Even wackier when you consider how I was 5 1/2 years ago.

Anyway, I had thought of more to write, but the Internet gods ate it and I've gotta get some work done. :)

So enjoy New Order and please support brain cancer research, which is what I was running for.

Saturday will be my 41st 5K. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCHMAIDME 5/7/2013 7:38PM

    The 11 pounds must be muscle. ; )

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PHEBESS 5/7/2013 12:43AM

    You are the racing queen!!!!


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WOLFKITTY 5/6/2013 10:55PM


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WUNMURRA 5/6/2013 5:23PM

    Loved your blog
I too have lost much of what I have typed over the time to the 'internet gods' appetite.

Well done on the run

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WENDYSPARKS 5/6/2013 5:09PM


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THINAGIN2 5/6/2013 4:24PM


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DDOORN 5/6/2013 4:10PM

    Energizer Bunny of the 5Ks! Kudos to ya!


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MS.ELENI 5/6/2013 3:41PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JMB2LOSE 5/6/2013 3:39PM

  Great job! 40 races is ALOT to be proud of!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 5/6/2013 3:15PM

We may get older but we also get better. emoticon

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You Feel Joy, You Feel Pain 'Cause Nothing Will Be the Same

Monday, April 29, 2013

This peppy song is a part of my 5K playlist. I don't listen to this playlist unless I am running, and we ran a 5K on Saturday so it came up.

It is one of those songs that gets me moving, and it's set at a time during 5Ks when I am not at the start and not at the end, and the runners have spread out and sometimes I wonder what the heck it is I am doing there, and why I do a dozen of these every year. This year, it was even more meaningful, as this was our first race since the tragedy at the Marathon.

It was a charity event, for PKU awareness. If you've ever read the fine print on a sweetener packet, you've likely seen the phrase: phenylketonurics: contains phenylalanine. That's a substance that these folks can't metabolize. Intaking it will (eventually, as it builds up over time) kill them. It is a genetic disorder. I don't know anyone who has it. But it's of course an area where people could use support, so we ran.

And I heard that song, as I was huffing along, and had the same old conversation in my head -

Why are you doing this?
Wouldn't you rather spend your Saturday sleeping in?
Or, better yet, going out for brunch?
Pancakes sound nice.
You haven't had pancakes in a while.
Ooohh ... pancakes.

And then I remind myself that, if I am ever going to see a pancake again, I still need to finish the race. So I continue plodding along.

This time, I found myself getting bad fatigue and shin pain when I could see the finish. And that's always ironic - I like to pour it on at the end, and my body was telling me not to.

And then I remembered that there are people who, 2 weeks ago, lost their ability to run or even walk or stand, without help.

So I said, what the hell and I ran anyway.

My hips hurt today, 2 days later. My shins are on and off wonky. Advil is only working sporadically.

But I don't care.

We spend so much of our lives trying to avoid pain. And it is normal and natural to do that. After all, even the tiniest of animals will move away from negative stimuli. It seems foolish, unless you're some sort of masochist (and I am not, in case you were wondering), to go in the direction of pain, and do things, repeatedly, that hurt. Repeatedly.

But as I think about this, and I grab another pair of Advil, I am again reminded that I have shins at all.

So who the hell cares if they hurt a little?

I feel both joy and pain today.

But I feel more joy than I do pain.

Come join me for joy and pain this Saturday. It'll be my 40th 5K. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IFDEEVARUNS2 5/6/2013 3:18PM

    Thanks for the reminder. I have aches and pains, but you're right, I can run. So I will, and will just pop the Ibuprofen!

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PHEBESS 4/30/2013 9:53AM

    You truly inspire me. I know you don't think that you do - but you do.

Not sure what I'll be doing Saturday, we're currently in Singapore - but I'll think of you on your 40th 5K.

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CAROLISCIOUS 4/29/2013 8:39PM

    Here's to #40...the joy and the pain.

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BLUEANGELLK 4/29/2013 2:31PM

    Good thoughts. Without pain, we wouldn't know how good joy is. Congratulations on #40!

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CDCSMITH2013 4/29/2013 1:25PM

    You are totally my inspiration for my 5K in June (assuming my PT guy give the okay).

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QUAIL75 4/29/2013 1:22PM

    Wow! Your 40th 5K?! That amazing and so motivating! emoticon I'm doing my second in June and I will run it for those who can't.

I love that song! I haven't heard it in a long time and it brings back great memories. emoticon

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SHEENADEE 4/29/2013 12:56PM

    Wow! #40! emoticon

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MS.ELENI 4/29/2013 12:18PM

    emoticon 40 - 5Ks So very awesome. I just think it is so great.

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DDOORN 4/29/2013 11:32AM

    OUCH to your shin pain! I have my one & only annual 5K @ the Binghamton Bridge Run this coming Sunday. Have been out doing some practice jogs and am gearing up for it. Not my thing, but I like committing myself to at least this one 5K a year to mix things up. I like to pour it on at the end too. Doubt I'm going to do as well this year as others...have had a consistent 11 min. mile speed demon, and slowing a bit: But we're OUT THERE and DOING IT! Yeah!

Cool song...hadn't heard before. Thx for the tip! :-)


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Tell Me Friend - Why Do You Stand Aloof From Your Own Heart?

Monday, April 22, 2013

You hardly need for me to rehash the incredible series of events from the past week. What is perhaps most extraordinary about how Boston has been is that we are still - as of this very moment - 2 hours away from it being a week.

A freakin' week!

It boggles the mind.

Friday was a forced rest day. Why? Because we were in the initial lockdown radius. Looking at a map, we were less than 10 miles away from ALL of it. The Thursday night shootout was within walking distance.

It feels like a movie that you would never believe. It would be incredible, and it would never, ever be greenlighted. Producers would take one look at the script and trash it, saying that an audience would never buy it.

Yet it's all true, from the heroism of ordinary people to the swift response of law enforcement to the overwhelming social media juggernaut that helped with the manhunt to the outpourings of love and support for the injured and the bereaved. Hell, people are even giving money to help David Henneberry buy a new boat.

It is an unpredictable world we live in. I feel it is more beautiful than ugly, righter than wrong, warmer than cold, sweeter than bitter, kinder than cruel.

On Saturday, we were already planning to run a 5K. Now we will still do that, at 10 AM. And then, at 2 PM, my husband and I will run The Last Mile. I hope the Hoyts come with us.

It is so easy to stop, yanno? It is easy to let stress and despair and fear lock us not only in our homes but lock our spirits away.

Run, crawl, walk or wheel that last mile with me, will you? Do it for the child in this picture, Martin Richard. For Krystle Campbell, for MIT Police Officer Sean Collier and for Lingzi Lu.

Do it for Jeff Bauman, and Celeste and Sydney Corcoran, and Patrick and Jessica Downes, and Boston Police Officer Dic Donohue.

Do it for yourself, and for love and hope and justice and mercy and goodness and freedom and kindness and charity and any other wonderful things you can think of, the things that make life worth living, and that make and keep this world beautiful.

Do it for peace.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLISCIOUS 4/23/2013 8:46PM

    Doing a 5K Sat morning...definitely with Boston on my mind. Our town had a run yesterday specifically to raise money for Boston...really sad that I didn't know about it.

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    Fitting tribute. Healing run-walk-crawl. Skillful words.

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PHEBESS 4/22/2013 9:01PM

    It's so so sad, so unbelievable, and it was such a pointless act on the bombers' parts.

And yes, I will walk that Last Mile with you - well, maybe 12 hours earlier, but still.


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DDOORN 4/22/2013 2:47PM

    Such sorrow all the way around, including even for the perpetrators. How the world can warp persons toward such, so sad.

But yes, one foot ahead of the other, we move forward as best we can!

Locally we have our Binghamton Bridge Run coming early one & only official 5K...will keep Boston, victims & perpetrators in mind!


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MS.ELENI 4/22/2013 2:14PM

    How scary that must have been. I am glad you are safe. emoticon

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QUAIL75 4/22/2013 1:58PM

    It's been very surreal. My gym is a block from Copley Square and that's where I take the T to or did until last week. I was in that area at least twice a day and while it's still cordoned off, streets are starting to open. It was nice to see the Duck Boats back in front of the Shaw's on Huntington yesterday, instead of the National Guard.

After all the horrific events of this past week, the importance of family and friends has definitely been reinforced as you never know what might happen. It has shown the fragility of life but also the beauty, compassion and strength that people show.

I'm so glad they caught the second suspect so now we can start to heal.

I'll see you at the Last Mile on Saturday! emoticon

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CDCSMITH2013 4/22/2013 1:50PM

    You said that so well. I was just typing a request for the 5K I was planning on doing before my knee issues. I still wanted to participate, but I was starting to become less intent on it. Until the "Run for Boston" mantra I started to hear. I am litteraly, while you were posting this, working on a rough draft of a sign I am hanging for work essentially saying what you said and asking people to support the spirit in which I plan on running, walking, or hobbling, by making a donation to One Fund Boston. You rock!

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I Love That Dirty Water

Monday, April 15, 2013

If you have not yet heard, I will tell you what happened today.

It is the Boston Marathon today. And it is a sweet and lovely and fun event where people show homemade banners and buy and hand out their own water and cups and bottles and orange wedges because they feel like it. Heartbreak Hill is a few blocks from my home.

And today it was the scene of horror and devastation, as two explosions rocked the finish line about 3 hours after the start.

There are newer news stories and they are horrible. 2 dead? 3? 12? 64 injured? 107? I just don't know, and it will be a while before things are all sorted out. Reports of a suspect in custody proved to be false. People are talking to the police. The local hospitals have their collective hands full.

All that someone like me can do is pass on the best possible information, as accurately and unemotionally as possible. And I can donate blood - which I will do on Thursday. I can offer positive thoughts, perhaps prayer.

It is shocking and frightening. And it hits home not because this literally WAS at my home, but also because this is the kind of thing that I do.

It is easy to put our heads into the sand, and say that, well, if we stop doing such things, we will be safe. It is far easier to sit at home and munch and fret.

Or we can be out there, and thumb our noses at it. Not forget the victims. Not forget that these things, sadly, do happen.

But to reaffirm that we are going to do for ourselves and our loved ones.

And we shall be unbent.

And we shall be unbowed.

This is my home.

This is what I love.

And we shall be unbowed.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PICKIE98 4/17/2013 1:32PM

    Senseless, sad and a tool to make us more determined to help each other whenever possible, ,we never know ,, lief is not day to day, it is second to second..

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    Well said Jes. Good healthy words. Cant let the b*****ds get us down.

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COWGIRLUPINOK 4/16/2013 9:24PM

    My heart breaks for the victims, their families, and the City. Praying!

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CAROLISCIOUS 4/16/2013 8:56PM

    I was happy to see you post and know you were ok yesterday...and all my other Boston sparkfriends. This is just beyond belief. My heart is deeply saddened....but I put on the running shoes and got out there today...for Boston.

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MADERINERUE 4/16/2013 7:29PM

    I have been thinking a lot about this, and how lucky I feel that I haven't had to live my life waiting for a bomb to go off. I go to sleep at night reasonably sure that I will still be alive in the morning. In some parts of the world, this would just be one more thing among so many...but here, it is terrifying, and we will collectively do our best as Americans to make it stop.

Thanking God (or gods, or the FSM if that's what floats your boat) that you are ok.

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CDCSMITH2013 4/16/2013 4:32PM

    I'll admit I'm having a lot of trouble keeping upbeat. We were camping and my husband's phone alerted that the local news said a bomb had gone off at the finish line. Couldn't get to a tv fast enough at that point. So, so sad. So angry at whoever did this.

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THECITYMOUSE 4/16/2013 12:39PM

    There are no words, really, are there?


Comment edited on: 4/16/2013 12:39:26 PM

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MARCHMAIDME 4/16/2013 9:34AM

    I am just so angry at the stupidity of this act. Glad you're OK and my sister in law and niece and lots of friends in Boston. I'll be at Legal Sea Food next week and go t a play. Damned if I'll let some nut case scare me away from a city I love!

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PHEBESS 4/16/2013 12:00AM

    So insane! obviously not you - just why anyone would do this!

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2WHEELEDSHARON 4/15/2013 10:40PM

    Thanks for your perspective. I was wondering about you. While I'm terribly sad about the people who have been hurt, I'm also grateful you're ok.

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REBECCAMA 4/15/2013 10:23PM

  So sad. I was at Old Sturbridge Village today commemorating Patriots' Day and giving our daughter a history lesson. When we left we got the news, around 5:30pm. Absolutely shocking. :-(

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GETSTRONGRRR 4/15/2013 8:14PM

    Amen sister, Boston You're my Home!

Let's also remember, "We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm"

We'll get them!

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JACKIE542 4/15/2013 8:06PM

    Very sad emoticon

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MS.ELENI 4/15/2013 7:01PM

    It is so sad. And scary too

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