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MONTANA_ED's Recent Blog Entries

Today

Monday, July 05, 2010

Today just struck me and I had to write about it.

I got back into the swing of things and went back into the gym. I did my exercises downstairs in the weight room and then came upstairs for the treadmill and my last of the exercise bike.

I have to tell you - the treadmills look out windows into the day. Today was an especially beautiful day so let me describe it to you.

As I started up the treadmill, I looked out and right outside the windows is a flower garden. The YMCA had planted many different flowers so there were reds and yellows and blues all lit up by the bright rays of the sun. Beyond that was the parking lot and then a vast field. The sun and the wind had manged to turn this area from green to a slight brown, but that only offset the hills farther on.

Up past the field were some small hills that lead to the college campus. I could see glints of brightness as it reflected off the odd car parked here and there. Around the majestic red buildings were the tendered greens of the grass.

Farther out still were the rolling hills that lead into the mountains. They are mottled with greens and browns and grays . Even more into the distance is the outline of the mountains. They were just a pale blue outline that only hinted at their size and strength.

And finally it was the sky. Ah - the vast Montana blue sky. Across this ocean of blue there were cloud ships that sailed along in all their splendor. Little boats and huge cloud ocean liners, plying there way to places I know not where.

Across all of this was the kiss of sunshine and the caress of the breezes that seem to just calm the soul.

It was awesome! I'm SO happy that I got back into my routine. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Onwards...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESTSUSIEYET 7/9/2010 7:55PM

    Love it! God Bless You on your Journey to Health!

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HAWAIILINDA 7/7/2010 7:05PM

    Ed, I enjoyed your view. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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MARCYNA 7/7/2010 3:55AM

    WoW... Appreciating nature around us is a byproduct of a healthier frame of mind...It's happening to me as well. I feel better with my body and people. Nature is such a beautiful scenery for this awakening - it's a bit like being born again emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/7/2010 3:57:08 AM

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REBECCA180 7/6/2010 11:41PM

    Well that sounds glorious!
My old gym only looked out onto a bank of TV's. The gym I'm in now looks out over the pool, which is much more interesting.

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JACKSMIMI2 7/6/2010 7:44PM

    Wow! Maybe we should organize a road trip to visit you and your gym... loved the 'cloud ships'... made me think of being young and laying on the grass for hours to decipher cloud shapes... I'll have to try it this w/e!!!

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KAREN19682 7/6/2010 5:49PM

   
I'm glad that you had a good day ed .I started to get back in the gym too .I returned to planet fitness yesterday .I havet set foot in there in three monthes because i was in Maryland spending some time with my older sister and her family . I misset going to the gym so much i never thought that i would never say that lol.Another good blog ed thank you for sharing with us how your day went .


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Karen

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HEALTHIERTINA 7/6/2010 5:41PM

  Sounds like a gorgeous day. I had the extreme pleasure of working on a ranch near McLeod, MT one summer just after college. I really miss the gorgeous Montana skies and beautiful mountains. The lovely hills and sunny days here in Ohio just don't quite compare. Enjoy!!!! Happy day. emoticon emoticon

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JDROHAN 7/6/2010 2:31PM

  Ed; you did it again. When is the book coming out?

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250STRONG 7/6/2010 9:38AM

    Sounds wonderful. I love those days where the day just matches your mood.

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LOPEYP 7/6/2010 5:36AM

    Lovely motivation to go to the gym.

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MEGANC1988 7/6/2010 1:27AM

    emoticon

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PJGABRIEL 7/6/2010 12:02AM

    That sounds so beautiful and jealous that you get to see that anytime you want.
emoticon emoticon

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DEVORA4 7/5/2010 11:34PM

  I felt as if I was there with you seeing the view, Glad you are back in the swing of things

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CATHEITE 7/5/2010 11:20PM

    Wow, I love your description of the landscape! Very poetic. I feel like I can "see" it for myself. You're lucky to have such a beautiful view to keep you company on your workouts.
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CATHYCOUNTS 7/5/2010 11:12PM

    Ed that was a beautiful picture. I believe you looked out and saw the handy work of our creator in all it's glory. That's what I like about riding my motorcycle and kayaking. Just being out and feeling the wind and sun you experience creation in a totally different way.

Thanks for sharing. You leave me in awe!

Comment edited on: 7/5/2010 11:18:28 PM

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BLESSED2BEME 7/5/2010 11:09PM

    Hurray that you are back in the thick of things and the beautiful view from the treadmill!

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GRITS46 7/5/2010 10:18PM

    You couldn't have painted a more beautiful picture if you'd had a palette in one hand and a brush in the other! Thanks for sharing your day.

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1DEBIE1 7/5/2010 9:48PM

    Your description of your day, made me feel as if I too were right there grazing upon the great outdoors.
Thank you for taking the time to share your day!


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BRENDY_28 7/5/2010 9:44PM

    lovely description :)

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LILABE11 7/5/2010 9:42PM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing the sunshine and flowers! What a good way to find healthy, non-food motivation!

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JAY75REY 7/5/2010 9:28PM

    emoticon

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SLEEPYDEAN 7/5/2010 9:25PM

    Sounds lovely. Ahhh that Montana sky - pictures of it online had me contemplating moving there during my "quarter life crisis" haha. I will definitely have to visit Montana someday to check it out for myself.

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DESERT_BIRD 7/5/2010 9:24PM

    I love Montana, and your description is beautiful.

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IUHRYTR 7/5/2010 9:00PM

    What a terrific sight that must have been. Glad you experienced it. May you have many more like it. -- Lou

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What are you afraid of?

Monday, July 05, 2010

I was doing some reading this weekend about some other things and it struck me - what am I afraid of? What is it that has made me scared enough that I thought I had to add this extra layer of "me" to "protect" me.

- Was I afraid that I would get hurt physically? Was it something that I thought that if I started to exercise I might hurt myself? Maybe I thought that my body just couldn't do it. NO - that wasn't it. I checked with my doctor first and he gave me the go ahead and even gave me inspiration.

- Was I afraid of looking stupid? Would people point and laugh at me? This was an issue for me when I was little. You see, I was born with two of my ribs fused together on my right side. When I was little, this bump was very noticeable and that made me feel different. I even stopped going to swim lessons because I felt "weird". Maybe I didn't go to the gym because I would be that fat man sweating in the corner that other people would look at in disgust. NO - that wasn't it. It may have affected me earlier but as I got older, I seriously couldn't care what others thought. Once I got to the gym, I found that there were others JUST LIKE ME that were there working out. As for those ribs... I WISH I could see them now!

- Was it a matter of money? Did I not eat well and skip the gym because of the cost? Mmm - possibly. I mean, gym membership isn't inexpensive. Buying junk food is (I'm afraid to say) cheap and easy. By not going to the gym and getting fast food I could just save tons of cash. NO - that wasn't it. It occurred to me that despite the money I thought I was saving, a stay in the hospital after recovering from a heart attack wasn't worth it. Finding recipes on the Internet, Spark, South Beach, and others - I found that I could cook up healthier alternatives to that fast food. I bought small containers to keep my meals ready to grab and heat up to eat. The best part is that my office offered gym membership as a deduction from my paycheck. I never even see the money!

- Was I afraid of a relationship? Oh, this might be it. If I "padded" myself, then I wouldn't be attractive. I could just be comfortable being with myself and not have to try to be with someone else. Of course there were some that I was with and even then I might have thought that this extra protection would keep my heart safe. Alas, NO - that wasn't it. The heart can be hurt no matter what you do to try and protect it. The only way to not get hurt is to be totally alone and that isn't what I want. Granted, I have made the decision to not pursue any relationships or even to date at this time until I lose weight. Yes, part of it is vanity - but the other part is that I want to be healthy for whomever may enter my life. I guess it's a guy thing - but I don't want to be a burden to anyone because I am not healthy.

- Maybe I was afraid of change. I know that change can be scary. When things change in my life, I know that I would have to look at things differently. The friends that I had before may not like me any more. I wouldn't be "fat and happy" Ed. I would need to buy new clothes (hmm, another item for above and the matter of money?). I might have to go new places and do different things. NO - that wasn't it. I have learned a long time ago to embrace change. True - I get into my own personal groove, but I'm not afraid to try different things or go different places. Learning that change is good was a huge epiphany within myself and I will be scared for a bit - but know that in the end it's not all that bad.

- Maybe I was afraid that it would just take too much time. Ah, this is a good point. Time... It seems that there isn't enough time in a day. I have to work - I have to sleep - I have to eat. When is there time to exercise? When is there time to cook? This just may be it! Hmm, NO - this isn't it. Along with that matter of money - I thought just how much time does it take to recover from a heart attack? How much time would I lose doing the things I want? I listened to an audio book called "How to live on 24 hours a day" (From librivox.org). Granted, it was written some time ago, but it made a good point that each and every one of us has the gift of 24 hours. It is how we utilize this time is what is going to make all the difference. I stopped bemoaning the fact that I don't have enough time and just made a point to do things. I learned to just leave work and go directly to the gym. I learned to cook on the weekends so I had things to eat throughout the week. I learned to buy healthy foods so I could snack better and not want fast food.

The more I thought about it - I just couldn't pin point what my fear was. To be honest, I still don't know. All I know is that I just made the conscience decision to do something about my life. I wanted to live longer. I wanted that person that I am inside to be reflected on the outside. I know that this isn't an easy task and I will have times that I just want to give it up and let go. I didn't get fat over night and I'm not going to lose it over night. Only one day at a time and an inner determination not to give up.

If you are in an empty room and the light goes out so that it is so black that you cannot see your hand in front if your face. Are you afraid? What if you sit in that same room and close your eyes. The same thing is going on. You cannot see. The difference is external vs internal. If the light goes out - you didn't have control of it. If you close your eyes, you can open them again. It is a mind set. If you have the strength and faith in yourself, you can be unafraid of the external influences just as you can be unafraid of the internal.

We all have more strength within each and every one of us. It may not seem like it at times - but it's there. You just need a little faith in yourself, your friends, even a high power.

With that, we are always moving forwards to a better, healthier, enjoyable life.

Onwards...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCYNA 7/7/2010 4:04AM

    To me, my worst fears were related to my dropping out of dance classes due to a dance teacher who offended me. I was 12, no idea of what to do....so fear of being offended is top of my list. I did not date as a teen-ager, I simply avoided all the occasions as I was too scared. Tapestry was my best friend....and the couch too, I'm afraid.
Oh my what a disaster,luckily I went out of my teen years emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/7/2010 4:05:57 AM

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REBECCA180 7/7/2010 12:01AM

    Fear of success.
Food addiction.
Not caring.

Now, I'm caring enough about myself. I'm creating a new relationship with food and with myself. I'm not going to quit. I'm not going to beat myself up anymore. I'm way too curious to see how much more confidant I'm going to be. How much more physically comfortable I will be. If I don't quit, It will be impossible not to reach my goal!

Thanks Ed.
PS the soul shines through, fat or thin. I'm glad my boyfriend and I didn't both wait until we were both thin, before deciding to date, or we wouldn't be together! I have about 30 more lbs to loose. ( he could probably loose that as well, but I think he's relatively healthy at his weight, and I'm fine with how he looks) My healthier choices have been rubbing off on him, so who knows....


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GRAMMAELLEN 7/6/2010 8:13PM

    Thanks Ed. I do know what I am afraid of. However, holding on to my excess weight is not the answer. I realize that now. And I'm workin' on it. Thanks Ed! Always good to acknowledge and own these issues.

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JACKSMIMI2 7/6/2010 7:53PM

    I need another word besides WOW! for your blogs... This one is full of a week's worth of 'stuff' to chew on...

As for the fact that you are going to the gym... I'm glad you made the decision that you are worth the price and the time, etc.

I am also so grateful that you have such an ability to put the deep-down thoughts into words...really thought-provoking stuff... don't you just wish we could all have a pajama party and talk about some of this stuff for hours on end...of course, with only healthy snacks :)

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KAREN19682 7/6/2010 5:35PM

   
I enjoy reading you'r blogs so much ed .You have givin me so much to think about .I Think that i am going to write a blog on what i am afraide of also ..you are a very smart man ed .Thank you so much for writing a blog about this .


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karen

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GRIMMIE2 7/5/2010 9:59PM

    You are right about change. Change is hard--fear of the unknown. I, for one, have a very hard time with change. Change takes one into unfamiliar territory and sets up one to be vulnerable. I found this out 3 years ago when I left my full time job that I had worked at for 17 years to switch to another place full time. I won't lie and say the change was easy--for me it was extremely difficult leaving my comfort zone. What I didn't know at the time of that change is that as difficult as that decision was for me to make (I agonized about it for weeks), it also ended being one of the best decisions I ever made for myself. So, while being "fat" can have a certain comfort, choosing to live a healthy life and getting to a reasonable weight can be difficult, but it can also end up being one of the best decisions a person ever makes in their life.

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LUCYSUNFLOWER 7/5/2010 9:56PM

    Very interesting blog. Fear and anxiety is something I have thought a lot about the last couple of years. I think my deepest fear is that I will become far more successful in life than I think I can handle. Having not been there (thin, visible, active, etc.) I don't know how it looks or feels.

When I lost a lot of weight two years ago, two men at work targeted me with inappropriate attention. I do not lack a brain - or a mouth to back it up - but these two men somehow shut me down. (One was the general manager and the was his favorite toady.) In looking back now I can see that I gained weight again to become less visible to them. I did not know how to handle extremes of positive or extremes of negative attention.

I don't work there anymore so that particular threat is gone. My response was tied into fear and it is probably something I'll keep exploring for a long time. We can only move forward in life by facing it - together and one step at a time! Thanks so much for posting this blog!

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BRENDY_28 7/5/2010 9:54PM

    we all have fears to conquer... very thought provoking...

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CARRIEMT 7/5/2010 7:54PM

    I think it's a combination of experiences from the past influencing our fear of the future, unknown. Fear that we can't be the person we want to be or do the things we so desperately and secretly want to do.
I'm still afraid, but the more I do, the more I feel I can do in the future.

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250STRONG 7/5/2010 7:36PM

    I so relate to this! Thanks.

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MAMADWARF 7/5/2010 5:48PM

    Thank you Ed for putting that into words and inspiring us to look at things we prefer not to. I have noticed on this journey things I didnt realize were helping to keep me heavy.

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EMBRACE_SUCCESS 7/5/2010 5:22PM

    Thank you for sharing your thought provoking blog!! I'm not sure what I'm exactly afraid of either-- definitely something worth thinking about!!

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CINDYCHARLENE 7/5/2010 5:20PM

    My fears in the past have stopped my progress because I allowed them to. They became excuses to indulge in my favorite pass time and that was eating junk food. But like you I have decided to look past the fears to a better goal and it is in a Higher power that I have been able to keep my focus on the positive instead of the negative and in so doing I am making progress. I am no longer stymied.

Thank you for your introspection and inspiration which speaks to me as well as others. Great blog.

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GAYLE-G-63 7/5/2010 4:55PM

    HI Ed,

I always enjoy your blogs. This one in particular 'spoke' to me.

I keep trying to discover what I'm afraid of too. You've made me see something in myself I never examined before. I think I may be afraid of a real relationship. My parents marriage wasn't that great and I can remember as a kid when the fought saying to myself I'll never get married. Now that I'm older and set in my ways, I don't give a fig!

You've given me something to seriously consider. Thank you.

Huggz,
~Gayle~

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GRITS46 7/5/2010 4:11PM

    What a thought provoking, inspirational blog! You've given me lots to think about and sort out, but I'm not sure I can answer any of those questions either. BUT I need to think about them. Ed, you always write beautiful blogs that make me stop and ponder lots of things about life, health and fitness. Can't say thank you enough!

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MARCYNA 7/5/2010 3:07PM

    WoW..How inspiring!!!You're great and I appreciate your preoccupation on dating only when you're healthier, that's cool for the person you'll meet and shows your respect!!!
Btw, I went to the gym wearing a new tanktop and I thought about your goodie 'new workout clothes' , I was giggling all the time, and survived the class, it was really hard and I'm all sore now...thanks for making my class more lively!!!
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PS Sure you can use my self-interview....I'm looking forward to reading yours!!!

Comment edited on: 7/5/2010 3:20:46 PM

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EPIPHANYANGEL 7/5/2010 2:50PM

    What a thought provoking blog.

I guess we all have fear within us but it's what we do with it that shapes our lives.

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ONECOOKIETWO 7/5/2010 2:16PM

    Weight. Wait, perhaps it's not fear...
Could it be some other emotion?
Just sayin'...

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ROXELLS_WARRIOR 7/5/2010 2:02PM

    Hey Ed, thanks as always for sharing your inspirational thoughts. Keep up the great work!!

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MINAMURO 7/5/2010 1:12PM

    FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real

We all have our set that is unique to us. I know I have caught myself arguing about weight loss "Well if my size went down so much, I'd need a whole new wardrobe... money I don't have." I have shied away from this aspect of myself... afraid of what else I would find out.

Great blog, ED.

emoticon

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GOSPELCLOWN 7/5/2010 1:07PM

    Not all our action is fear driven. Sometimes we opt for comfort over health. We are like a rivulet of water finding the easiest track to follow... then it gets habitual.

Thanks for blogging, Ed. May you find strength, happiness and fulfillment in this fresh and healthy journey!!

Karen in BC

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SLY_REDUX 7/5/2010 1:03PM

    If I were to ask these questions of myself, I don't think I'd be able to answer them either. Truth is, I don't think my overeating was due to any kind of fear. It can just as easily be attibuted to sensuality out of control - and if you ARE going to let your sensuality spin out of control, eating is a relatively innocuous, from the standpoint of social mores, to do so. I loved the flavors, the fragrances, the textures, I loved it all. And the inactivity was self-indulgence as well.

Where these things are concerned, one size does not fit all. But it's something to consider.

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IUHRYTR 7/5/2010 12:48PM

    Many years ago when I was running a lot, I played a game where, if I was jogging past the track's half-way line, then I had to keep jogging to the finish line. If I didn't think I could make it, then I walked before the half-way line. A great many times not only did I finish the last half jogging but kept going, often in a sprint. We don't know the strength inside of us until we push ourselves to a limit and beyond. Thank you for a good message. emoticon -- Lou

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DEVORA4 7/5/2010 12:46PM

  You have given me a lot to think about. Human nature is strange and when people get into a niche they just don't want to change. I have spoken to at least 25 people about the spark and told them it costs nothing, None of them joined,

I believe that I was afraid that I would not succeed. emoticon emoticondebby

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DREMARGRL 7/5/2010 12:43PM

    This is a thought provoking, excellent blog, my friend. I enjoyed your insight and feel that it was probably cathartic for you to put those thoughts into words. I'm sure that you will succeed and along your journey you are learning more about yourself than you would ever imagined. Good for you...Many go through life kidding themselves....thus, not living life in their own skin. I don't even know you, but I am very proud of your progress!! Go ED!
Wishing you an amazing day....You are on your way...
Your friendly cheerleader, emoticon emoticon
Mary Ann
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CREATINGAMANDA 7/5/2010 12:43PM

    Great, great blog. We're all afraid of something! I still haven't figured my issues out (lol) but someday. Until then, as you say, onwards ...

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Mixed feelings about "Huge"

Saturday, July 03, 2010

(sounds of soap box being dragged out)

OK - This is my personal opinion.

I watched an interview with one of the actresses from the new show on ABC called "Huge". I think the premise of the show is great! I think that it is awesome that there is a show out there that addresses what we all battle. That specter of "weight". I think that having a healthy self esteem, and being a healthy person is important.

However...

I totally agree about being comfortable with your body. I am fine with being OK with being large. Heck - *I* am large. The thing I'm not comfortable with is the side affects of being my size. The high BP. This possibility of diabetes. The fact that climbing 3 flights of stairs will send me into a wheezing fit. The fact that I have to sleep with a machine to pump air into my lungs so I don't die in the middle of the night.

Those are realities. I can live with the fact that I'm over weight - but will I live the long life that I want? I guess I had the "ah ha" moment that got me going on losing weight when my doctor told me to "lose weight or die". (he was rather blunt).

I know that my particular journey is different from others. We are all different and have our our own problems that effect our weight loss. I can appreciate that. It's never easy for any of us. It's especially hard when there are issues that keep us from losing the weight that we want.

The thing that I see on SP - is that we don't give up! We have this great network of support that keeps up uplifted when times are down. I experienced this today when *I* was down. Yes, even "ever so optimistic" Ed was down. I have my days... However an uplifting blog helped me overcome my "down" status and lifted me back up.

Weight loss is a lonely thing to do. We all need to find our "ah ha" moment to spur us into the change that will lead us into the realm of health. We might not all be that slim and svelte body that we strive for - but we will at least be healthier.

The biggest thing that I have issue with is just to be "status quo". To be OK with just who you are and not try and improve yourself. I guess that "Huge" doesn't do that - but it's not "Biggest Loser" either. I guess there should be a happy medium.

We should be able to find that spot that we feel comfortable with. It might not be the "perfect" size - but so what? We still want to strive for being healthy. A reasonable BP - cholesterol within range, no diabetes. All those things that show that we are "healthy".

Trust me - I personally have a long way to go. I know I do things that are far from optimal. I screw up. I make mistakes. I plateau when there is no reason to plateau. For me it's a struggle.

But it's a struggle that I'm willing to make. Read my creed... I know I have a long way to go. I WILL do this. You too WILL do this. It's all within each and every one of us. It may be fast - it may be slow - but we WILL do this.

The thing is that we are not going to fall back on the rhetoric that "it's OK to be fat". It is OK to be ourselves, but ONLY if is the healthy self!

(dragging the soap box away)

Onwards...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEHECATY 7/10/2010 4:07PM

    That's absolutely right Weight loss is a lonely thing to do. We all need to find our "ah ha moment , i learn this in the hard way and still - this make my cry .
i read a lot about healthy issue and fitness for all my years but dont do any thing with this knowledge so if you know that cardio burn fat this will not make you thin we all know that and dont do cardio .no one can do it for me except me .
go on emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/10/2010 4:13:08 PM

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REBECCA180 7/6/2010 11:38PM

    I don't think anyone should be discriminated against because of there weight. I know someone who is obese, but is pro-fat. She believes she can be healthy despite it. I think it's her way of convincing herself that being that fat is OK. and it is in terms of discrimination I see her point, but when your knees and back hurt, when you can't run a few steps for the bus....
I just can't see how being obese is comfortable. If they say they are, I don't believe they are being truthful. I think it's a way of fighting against the pressure of the cult of super skinny, and fat bashing. It's a very complicated subject. I'm doing it for health and vanity. I admit it!

I haven't seen huge but I suspect it's pro fat acceptance.

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CRIS76 7/6/2010 9:46AM

    There is a difference between vanity weight and health weight.... I am losing weight because I want to be healthy and enjoy my life - a side effect of being healthy is being at a normal weight.

I do not think people who are obese and higher can truly be happy simply because of the poor health. I know that's a bold statement, but I just don't see it. The human psych is affected by health. To have a person that is morbidly obese say they are genuinely happy - I just don't see it as plausible. People are not happy when they can't move. To top off the fact that someone who is morbidly obese can't do normal things (like breathing) without difficulty... they also have to face societal norms head on.

I would love to have a high self-esteem when I was morbidly obese... it just wasn't gonna happen because I feel I'm a normal human. A normal human will have these issues when they are bigger, and they will be worse the bigger they get.

I would like to have a different opinion, but sadly, with my experience and education - I really don't have anything to show differently.

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OWENZZOO 7/5/2010 10:47PM

    I just have to say that it is so nice that having a site like SP makes this weight loss journey much less lonely. Thanks for another great blog Ed.

Anna.

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OTTAWABOUND 7/5/2010 11:33AM

    Thanks for a thought-provoking blog, Ed. And sorry you were having a down day. But glad you found a blog, as I so often do, too, to keep the motivation going.

It does drive me nuts that people base so much of their sense of self worth on their weight. Being fat (and by that I mean obese and up, as am I) means health issues. But being fat doesn't make us horrible people, or failures, or any of the scathing labels I've heard people call themselves. Being fat will limit our choices in clothing, certain jobs, and romantic relationships. But that is all, it just restricts our choices a bit. Just like a man who is 5 feet tall will have to live with the knowledge that some women (assuming he is straight) will dismiss him outright because of height--and vice versa for a very tall woman. But it's just some choice limitation. Like living in a small town means that you have less shopping choices...

There are studies that show that, as we get older, being at the heavy end of 'normal' BMI or even carrying a few extra pounds is a benefit when we go through illness.

I'm taking my weight off for all the health reasons you describe. It's a real benefit that along with that comes some more choices in terms of the clothes I can buy and that I now fit into seats and places that I didn't before. But gain, lose, or maintain, it doesn't change who "I" am, how I interact with the world, and the kind of person I am.

If you are unhappy with who you are, losing weight and getting fit may be part of the picture, sure. But I've got all sorts of slender friends who are desperately unhappy with themselves. Like one of my favourite Sparkers, TeenyBikini(?) often reminds me in her blogs--get living now, don't wait to be the right weight, have the right partner, or the right job, house, etc., to enjoy your life.

Sorry, Ed. Seem to have gone off on a ramble. But I agree with you about Huge. It is good that there is some fighting about the stereotypes around fat, but I'd much rather see a range of sizes on all TV shows. I'm a little uneasy about a show that ignores the health complications that come with weight.

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GRAMMAELLEN 7/5/2010 10:11AM

    I haven't seen the show "HUGE". But I couldn't agree more with what you have to say about both self esteem and weight loss for improved health. Never have watched the biggest loser. I guess it seemed to unrealistic to me. Too fast, too impossible to maintain. (And I am probably a little bit jealous of the contestants.) I really don't know. I do know I want to feel good about myself now, and most of the time I do. I also know that I want to lose weight for healthy reasons that you mentioned. And I am. I am also realistic enough to know that part of me wants to lose weight just to look good again. I want to look HOT (at least as hot as a 53 year old grandma can.) LOL I want to get my sexy back. So , for whatever the reasons, deep and shallow both, I am going to lose this weight! Thanks for the blog! Helped me realize some things about myself! emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/5/2010 10:14:05 AM

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MINAMURO 7/4/2010 2:45PM

    ED,

I resonated with so many of your points. Great blog!

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KAREN19682 7/3/2010 11:28PM

   

I love reading you'r blogs Ed ..I have been strugeling to lose weight most of my life ...you are so right weight loss is so lonly when you are doing it by your self .Exercising by you'r self is lonly too . We will reach are goals some day! we are not in a race to lose weight ..we are losing weight for diffrent reasons my reason is so i can be healthy and live a long and happy life .I'm not geting any younger ill be 42 next month ...

emoticon karen

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CASEYREE3 7/3/2010 10:13PM

    Very inspirational and very true. Thank you for putting things into a real perspective, somethng our media never seems to do. I agree totally that the goal is not to just be ok with yourself the goal is a healthy lifestyle. Thanks!

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MT-MOONCHASER 7/3/2010 4:54PM

    Additional thoughts for the soapbox ---

So maybe we should all gather together for a media onslaught to pitch a show with the very catchy title of "Spark Away" (or some such). It would feature real-life people who have been living an unhealthy lifestyle that are dedicating themselves to improving it "Sparkstyle". Nobody would be voted off, maybe there could be a "Motivator of the Week". Now where did I come up with that??

It really would be nice to see a reality type show that was actually close to reality.
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End of soapbox thoughts ---

Have a great Independence Day weekend!!
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SLY_REDUX 7/3/2010 4:21PM

    And blogs like this are why I keep coming here again and again. You've got a healthy sense of perspective, Ed. I like it. And I like you.

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MISHKALA 7/3/2010 3:24PM

    Well said Ed!! As always, you hit the nail on the head. emoticon

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CBAILEYC 7/3/2010 3:16PM

    YES!

I hear you, and I'm right there with you - and all our other Spark-family members.
C~

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PATTISLIM2 7/3/2010 2:54PM

    Ed - A FANTASTIC blog! You are very eloquent! Spark People is all about making each and every one of us HEALTHY! Getting to our optimum weight is a beneficial side effect that we love. Keep writing - you inspire all of us to be better.

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MEGANC1988 7/3/2010 1:14PM

    I totally agree with you! I wonder if the show is on demand, I'd like to watch it to get my opinion better. I work for a dr's office and we have a family of children who come in, all between the ages of 12 and 18. They are all over 240 lbs, and already on blood pressure medicine and have been diagnosed with hypertension. I think a show about girls who are healthy sizes and weights being real girls (a size 8-10 versus a size 0-2) would be great, but the idea of promoting staying a weight that is so unhealthy is really upsetting!

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AURORAVII 7/3/2010 1:11PM

    Stay on your soap box, Ed. You are preaching to the choir! Thank you for putting this into such perfect words. emoticon

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LOOKY-LOU 7/3/2010 12:33PM

    Great Blog Ed! This really does have to be a journey toward better health, not just a race to a certain number on the scale...

Thanks for the reminder of why I am doing this!

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PS. Hope you don't mind, but I stole "Onwards..." on my blog (but I always give you credit)

Comment edited on: 7/3/2010 12:33:27 PM

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MAGNIFICENTMAGG 7/3/2010 9:41AM

    Great blog and thanks for sharing. I was feeling down today. Thanks for the push onward.

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JOKNOWS 7/3/2010 9:40AM

    Great blog -- that was a soapbox speech worth hearing. Life IS a challenge, but totally worth it as we improve ourselves and strive for optimal health and fitness.

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SILVERCHICK 7/3/2010 9:22AM

    I remember when I first saw the preview for the show. I thought it looked good and then the title comes on the screen and says "HUUUUUUUGE, airing on whatever day". That was when I kinda lost interest. I totally agree with everything you said in your blog.

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JDROHAN 7/3/2010 9:13AM

  Leave that soap box out!

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PJGABRIEL 7/3/2010 9:00AM

    Being the best you can be is right on, and it is about getting there. Well said and onward and sorry for the pun downward.
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JACKSMIMI2 7/3/2010 7:00AM

    Well said...I think if our organs were on the outside of our bodies, it would be a different story for many of us :)

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IUHRYTR 7/3/2010 5:57AM

    Fat is NOT where it's at -- for the reasons you gave. Keep on keeping on toward your new life. -- Lou

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CATHYCOUNTS 7/3/2010 2:21AM

    Hi Ed,
I rather like the sound of your soap box. You make a great point. I agree with you that we should like who we are. But we also need to be a healthy. Facing the fat takes being real with ourselves and once we are real about it then we are faced with am I willing to do something about it. I believe all to often in the past I have not been willing to take the steps to make a change that takes courage. You are so right we will do this, and yes some day's it will be a struggle. But, like you did today you sought for help, an answer, or an outlet for feelings as I did tonight by blogging. One positive step at a time. We shall be more that conquerors. Glad you found something positive to help you through your funk.

Cathy

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LITTLEFAY 7/3/2010 1:59AM

  I agree with you about the show. I don't want to watch it. You give such a wise reason for your discomfort with the premise. There has to be a happy medium. I don't want my grandaughter to think it is OK to be morbidly obese before she reaches high school. The health factor is not brought up enough to young people; only the TV celebrity factor. Everyone inherits a certain body type or build and they have to work with that. It's not fair, but then life is not fair. Some will have to struggle against type their whole life. If only people kept their caustic opinions to themselves and not make people who struggle feel inadequate, we could live a civilized life.

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GRITS46 7/3/2010 1:52AM

    Kudos on a great blog, Ed! You have said what many of us think about daily, and you've said it well. Thank you!

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Halfway point

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

So I'm half way though my little experiment of not working out this week. I'm doing something that I don't usually do - and weigh myself each day. I'm happy to report that the weight is staying the same! I'm also happy to report that my body is feeling better too.

Of course I'm getting my walking in, so I'm not exactly being a couch surfer.

The plan moving forward is when I restart on Monday, it will be at a slightly lower level. I feel good about myself and I know that this is going to help me in the long run. I love the new lifestyle - not just the "diet". It's ALL good!

Onwards...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRAMMAELLEN 7/5/2010 10:15AM

    I think you've hit the nail on the head! You ROCK ED! emoticon

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MIKEANDLISA1 7/2/2010 8:14PM

  I think you're doing a great job Ed! Keep it up!

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KAREN19682 7/1/2010 6:36PM

    I agree we all need to let are Bodys rest now and then from exercising .I go back to planet fitness Monday i cant wait to start exercising there again .I hope that you had a good day ed ;-) emoticon


Hugs karen

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DEVORA4 7/1/2010 12:37AM

  The main thing is that it MUST work for you.

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REBECCA180 6/30/2010 10:35PM

    I think what you've done is a good idea. It's easy to get too rigid and not allow the wiggle room.

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BRENDY_28 6/30/2010 10:00PM

    emoticon

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CMB2048 6/30/2010 5:27PM

    You're doing great!

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WISEONE68 6/30/2010 5:04PM

    glad to hear all is going well... emoticon

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PATTISLIM2 6/30/2010 2:08PM

    I think it's great that you're listening to your body. We all need to mix-it-up in terms of fitness regimes to keep the health weight loss going AND to find the right mix for our bodies for the long run. Keep up the great work!

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SUGIRL06 6/30/2010 2:00PM

    Great idea! I go through phases where I work out a lot and then take a week off out of nowhere. Not on purpose but I just get tired. I guess its my body's way of recovering!
~Ang

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POKIEFUZZBUCKET 6/30/2010 11:44AM

    We all need rest - good for you for recognizing that and letting your body recover. You definitely don't want to burn out. Keep up the good work and have a great day!!!
Patti

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GINGYCAT40 6/30/2010 11:42AM

    emoticon emoticon
I think this idea is a good one. Mix it up and have the body guessing. Glad the scale is co operating too !!

Enjoy

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IUHRYTR 6/30/2010 11:37AM

    We all need a change now and then, don't we? Glad it's working for you. -- Lou

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GRANDMAAMIE 6/30/2010 11:18AM

    emoticon

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PJGABRIEL 6/30/2010 11:16AM

    Glad to hear you are enjoying your vacation away from your exercise routine, and feeling better. Have a good day.
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How about Victory Gardens?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I have been watching a series I got from the library called "The 20th Century". It goes through the highlights of things that happened each decade from 1900 - 1999. (I like to expand my mind by watching and reading all kinds of stuff).

I was watching the decade of the 1930's last night and they talked about how people banded together to help the war effort of WWII. They mentioned Victory Gardens. It then struck me - with all the concerns that we have with food now-a-days, why don't we restart such a thing?

Personally, my "garden" consists of about 6 pots and 3 planters that I have filled with various types of veggies. I wish I had the space for a garden proper - but I don't. I know that there are a couple of community gardens around town and I need to be better at helping out at them.

The thing about the Victory Gardens were that during the war, it was hard to get produce so people would plant their own little gardens to help supplement the own needs. I think this is an awesome idea! It doesn't take a lot of space and it can even be something as simple as some flower pots with spices in your windowsill.

I envy those that have the space to have big gardens. I used to have raised gardens in the past and they were awesome! There is so much that can be learned even on the Internet!

The other thing that I have learned to do is home canning. Yes - it takes time to do something like can up a box of tomatoes - but then you have those to eat all winter long. It's not that hard, just time consuming and time seems to be in short supply. Well, I say that time is going to go by no matter what at we need to make decisions on what we want to do. Eating healthy and saving money is always worth the time.

Of course those that cannot have their own garden - the local farmers market is still a great deal to get some good food, support the community, and just visit with friends.

So how about it? Victory Gardens for Good Health! That sounds like a great idea, huh?

Onwards...

Note:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_garden

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOSPELCLOWN 7/5/2010 1:10PM

    In my neighbourhood lives a retired garden guru. I want to pop in with a teabag and ask if he has any boiling water... then I'll pick his brain a bit for gardening ideas.

Onward to victory, ED!

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CATHYCOUNTS 7/3/2010 2:34AM

    I like the idea of a victory garden. I have 5 acres at home but I usually come to my daughters for a couple of weeks or three in the summer. I have them off and it helps them with not having to pay daycare for my granddaughter. So, the garden would not thrive so well.
My girlfriend on the other hand does plant a garden and people at church always have surplus so I do get to can. Last year I put up peaches, plums, pears, relish, spiced tomato sauce, applesauce and pumpkin. I love the satisfying feeling of seeing it all lined out on the counter cooling.

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REBECCA180 6/30/2010 10:31PM

    I listened to a radio show the other day, all about the spiritual side of gardening. Of course they played Joni Mitchell's song, with the line, "and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden".
I had a little shared apartment garden when my children were young. When my son pulled out his very first carrot, he said, "That's a miracle!"


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JACKSMIMI2 6/30/2010 10:31PM

    Hi Ed:
I actually asked my company to consider a "Victory Garden"...to no avail...so I planted my own!!! I planted 10 tomato plants, 6 eggplants, 4 squash (only 2 made it), tons of basil, cilantro and dill and one of each herb I could find... I also planted raspberry bushes and rhubarb... I live alone so there is always more than enough to share... I open my garden to all my neighbors... I love to garden, they get the rewards :)

The payback, aside from healthier eating for all... the neighborhood kids are now my gardening companions (you should see the trellises they have made out of forsythia, etc.)... the the parents are getting into it to... they bring me their grass clippings for mulch, etc... It has fostered a great way for us just to get to know each other....who knew ??? :-)



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SLY_REDUX 6/29/2010 11:08PM

    And let's not forget there is NOTHING more therapeutic than pulling weeds! You can't even imagine the aggression I burn off doing that!

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BRENDY_28 6/29/2010 9:48PM

    i have also been thinking of gardening. we have a backyard that had grown wild with neglect. i could try fixing it up... but that would be a huge undertaking since my family is not into it at all. i'm trying to start small. i bought seed packets and a grow kit. once I get a hang of it i'll slowly work on the backyard :)

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1DEBIE1 6/29/2010 5:08PM

    How nice to have your own mini garden. I miss having a garden, canning, and freezing the fruits and veggies....yeah, yeah, you can town the Girl out of the country......

I love history and would of enjoyed watching that show as well. So great to learn how communities survived during other challenging times.


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SPARKLE1908 6/29/2010 1:36PM

    Since I have no sort of "green thumb", I'll be visiting our local farmers markets....

But you are right, planting your own garden is both smart and budget conscious...can't beat that!!!

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OWENZZOO 6/29/2010 12:59PM

    As soon as I get moved into the house that is being fixed up I am really looking forward to getting a nice garden going.

I think it is funny how the big push is "organic" everything now. I grew up on organic foods. My grandparents always grew their own produce when I was growing up and my grandfather even butchered the meat we ate. I remember helping to grind the hamburger and wrap the meat. They had seven kids and one Christmas they gave each of the kids a half of beef. We even had a pig on their property that he butchered for us one year.

I grew up across the street from an apple orchard and there was a cherry orchard up the road. I remember every year canning cherries and making applesauce with my mom. Those are sweet memories even though at the time it was not my favorite chore. One year my dad even made cherry wine.

Thanks Ed for bringing back those memories with your blog.

Anna emoticon

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JAY75REY 6/29/2010 12:56PM

    Sacramento is a garden and tree region, so tons of people have vegetable gardens. Exciting place: The Saturday Garden section of our local paper is probably the best read section of the entire week! Hot summer crops like tomatoes are a favorite around here.

I don't have big space but I have a nice tomato patch, plus containers with bell pepper, jalapenos and tomatillo (check on Google). So far the rodents or squirrels have eaten all my Roma tomatoes so I'm picking them sort of green and ripening them on the kitchen counter. It's a "victory" for the vermin!
LOL
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JDROHAN 6/29/2010 12:14PM

  Many communities are already doing this. My father died about 15 years ago and when I went to visit his grave on father's day I noticed that the cemetery people were allowing a community vegetable garden in the area that was not being used yet. There were several people working there. My husband and I just purchased a home with a lot of space and are starting one next year. We managed to get some tomatoes in this year. Excellent idea.

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MYOWNHERO 6/29/2010 11:35AM

    Great idea. I don't have much room for a garden anymore but I grow some things in huge pots. I have a dwarf fig tree and a dwarf blueberry bush. Swiss chard and cherry tomatoes grow well in pots, too.

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NEWYORKORCHIDS 6/29/2010 11:16AM

  AH! I do this! I do this and I didn't even know it! I have a decent size garden (40' x 50' - I think). I LOVE making my own salsa and canning it. And canning tomatoes to use in all sorts of things (especially homemade tomato soup).

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STARINTHESKY 6/29/2010 11:05AM

    I have a balcony and have been thinking about doing this for a while...Those Topsy Turvy tomatoes seem interesting..Thanks for the idea!

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SHAUNDA 6/29/2010 10:58AM

    Gardening is great, keeps you busy plus you get healthy foods! What could be better. We have a garden but not sure I would call it big but it is not small either.

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NANASAMM 6/29/2010 10:57AM

    Last year my husband planted a garden and the mole had some pretty good meals on us. That and the rain put a damper on his efforts. But in the past we have had gardens and there is nothing like your own produce. We also have a local farmers market in town that we frequent. emoticon Idea!

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PJGABRIEL 6/29/2010 10:48AM

    I wish could have a garden, don't even have a patio here at the apartment. I use to have a garden at my house in Virginia and Ohio, where I planted along the deck and extended it out a little bit. It is a great idea, and know in some places you can rent a plot to plant a garden, just wish I could find one to do that with.
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LOSINGITALL4ME 6/29/2010 10:26AM

    We plant cucumbers and tomatoes. I used to can tomatoes but as you said the time factor. I think I will try canning again this year. It's so nice in the winter to have those to add to soups, etc. My mom would always freeze corn and can tomatoes. It really does save.

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DEVORA4 6/29/2010 10:18AM

  emoticonidea but sadly I live in an apartment with no balcony.

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GAILRUU 6/29/2010 10:15AM

    I have always had a huge garden and lots of fruit trees. It is good to know that I have safe food to eat and save a lot of money as well as getting lots of exercise while growing it.

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MEGANC1988 6/29/2010 10:12AM

    I love that idea!

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SUGIRL06 6/29/2010 10:09AM

    Awesome! This year is my first attempt at gardening (with about an acre planted). I'm hoping we learn something and continue it in the future! If we don't get much this year, there's a farmer's market about a mile away!
~Ang

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