VHALKYRIE   16,233
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Surfing the Waves and Wipe Outs of Life

Friday, October 14, 2011

When we were little, we imagined who we would be, and what we would be doing as adults. Maybe we imagined we'd be doctors, lawyers, or movie stars. Most of us end up growing into lives quite different.

I remember in the 80s/90s, the Tony Robbins style of "secret to success". You write down on a piece of paper what your life goals are, step by step. It's your roadmap to your future.

I've heard of some people for whom this works. Jim Carey apparently wrote a check for ten million dollars to himself when he was a struggling actor. He received a check for ten million dollars for his big movie break, "Dumb and Dumber".

For me, this style of planning does not work. My life is a rollercoaster with tracks that are built just before I get to them. I am no where near where I thought I would be at this point in my life. And that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

I haven't written much lately because I've had a lot of changes in my life. In a very bizarre twist in my path, I am losing one job, but I have the possibility at the job of my dreams.

The job I am losing is bittersweet. I'm not happy with the work. I never have been. I originally started working for a subsidiary on this project. I was very happy with my work, the company and what I was doing. Then the parent company decided they wanted me because I was getting spectacular reviews, and I fill a difficult role. So they took me from the subsidiary, where I had a lot of flexibility to do my work, into a very rigid environment. I did the best work that I was able to do, making lemonades out of lemons. When I said we were moving to Savannah, they gave me a laptop to work remote because they didn't want me to quit.

Since working with the parent company, I've had my hands tied in so many ways. The first being is my knowledge far surpasses my lead. I did all the work creating the system and how it would function. I constantly had to influence and prod him on how to do this work, "Have you spoken with xy manager? We need to tell them this-this-this." He took my documents I prepared, cut and pasted them into powerpoint slides, and presented them to management. So of course, he looks like the genius who came up with this. I was told that upper management described the work as 'groundbreaking'.

So yes, I propped him up. He gets more credit than he deserves for it. And I am the one that received notice that my contract is ending. They are outsourcing my work to an Indian offshore company.

And yet, I don't harbor any animosity towards my lead or the outsourced people who are taking my job. I'll explain in a minute.

First, I had a number of things against me. When I made the move to remote worker, I had the unfortunate luck that my senior manager was replaced with someone who didn't know me. I made the mistake that I didn't reach out to him and build a personal relationship with him, so he could see first hand the kind of work and value I brought to the company. Why they went to the efforts to allow me to work remote. I mistakenly assumed that my lead was communicating with him about the work and direction, since they had weekly meetings. I was wrong. Another area where if I had known, I would have prodded him.

The first wind I got there was a problem was when I explained that I had to change parts of the code because the application had changed. He got upset and said he was getting pressure from management about how long this was taking, and whether they were getting return on investment. I became alarmed. If management starts grumbling about this, you have to get in front of them and become a salesman, pitching how awesome everything is. You have to pitch the strengths, not the weaknesses. You have to set up demos and show them why our approach works. He said he would get on that.

But it was too late. He let it build up for too long. They had already started researching alternatives.

I heard from a friend that some people on another team would be meeting with representatives from an Indian company. Ut oh. Big freaking red flag. I contacted my lead, and again prodded him. He said he thought they were just rumors. ARG. He started making phone calls to upper management, who dodged him.

So we get notice that we're meeting with the senior management. Ut oh.

He drops the news that I'm being let go, and my lead would be helping this Indian company with the transition. I was as gracious and professional as I could be, in the suckiest of circumstances. I thanked him for the opportunity, and wished them the best. His tone at the start was very harsh, but it seemed to soften. Perhaps he wondered what he thought about me was a mistake? Maybe I wasn't just sucking up resources? I hope I planted the seed of doubt. At the end, he said, "I'm sorry, Cathy". I just replied, "I understand." There was nothing I could do to change it, and I wasn't going to try.

An hour later, I received notice that I would be meeting with a few people from this Indian team. I was livid. I contemplated just refusing to go. I made an angry outburst at my lead, who sounded a bit like a wounded puppy. After a night's rest and a cool down, I decided that I would do what is necessary.

So I met with the Indian team, and it was pretty much the most gut wretching experience ever. I let my lead do most of the talking. He showed them pretty much every part of my code, and they asked, why did you do this, why did you do that. When explained, they all agreed - yes, that is a good approach. Yes, of course it is.

I was battling a mix of rage and sorrow. However, that changed in the most bizarre way. The senior manager of the Indian team asked, "So what are you two working on next?"

It was a moment I'll never forget. This team that I was so angry that would be taking my work weren't told that they were replacing me. In that instance, I realized these were people, just like me, who were being played by managers who look at people as an end to profits and bonuses. Is it any wonder that so many people are angry with American businesses?

I harbor no animosity to my lead or to this team. My lead has been able to ride this far because he was riding on my work, and my gentle pushes on what he needs to be doing. Now I am being removed from the equation. He has to stand on his own. This Indian outsource group just sees this as potentially the most exciting opportunity of their lives.

While this is the sucky part, there is a potential big plot twist. You see, before I received notification that I was being let go, I was already interviewing with another company for what could be the job of my dreams. And they contacted me. They found me and my professional resume, and thought I would be a perfect fit. Really? Me? At first, it seemed like something too good to be true. But take opportunity when it comes. I took the leap. I took the chance.

So on the day where I got my gut kicked transferring my work to another group, I received notification that I would be flying out for an in person interview at this other company.

I do not harbor animosity. I know I got the raw end of the deal on so many things. At the end of the day, I sleep with a clear conscience knowing I have done everything to the best of my ability.

Whatever wrong has been done to me speaks on their actions, not mine.

I have no idea where life will take me, but like a surfer, I'm just riding the waves and wipe outs as they come.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMMERJESSE 10/17/2011 3:39PM

    Good luck with your new opportunity. I have a good feeling about it. You handled a lousy situation very professionally.

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DDOORN 10/17/2011 3:28PM

    The business world is notoriously short-sighted and so often handle things in the WORST possible way not only for the employee but for THEMSELVES TOO! Even if they never gave a hoot for employees they would run things WAY differently if they realized the kind of potential profits and gains they throw away due to poor management decisions! So often there really can be WIN-WIN decisions that are overlooked! Argh!

BUT: it sounds like you parlayed the whole mess in your favor. There could have been an ABUNDANCE of mis-steps on your part which would have been understandable, but you managed to avoid them!

Way COOL for YOU!

Don

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BILL60 10/15/2011 7:38AM

    Wow!! I'm very impressed at the way you handled this. Shows a lot of class. The very best to you on your potentially new job. "You deserve a break today."

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SEDGEY 10/14/2011 4:46PM

    What a gut-wrenching few days. I love how you faced it and twisted your misfortune into an opportunity. A little luck never hurts, but you had been working on that too. Congrats!

*Flying* out for an interview!?! Hopefully this new fantastic job is somewhere in the country where the default isn't deep-fried. Wishing you Farmer's Markets and grass-fed beef in your future! ;)


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LUCYSUNFLOWER 10/14/2011 3:49PM

    Wow, that hurts! However, I know from personal experience that when something leaves our lives it leaves room for something else...

A close friend of mine is moving out of state in a few weeks. He's not someone I'd date but he has been a pal and his brain is wired like mine. He's also the only person I have ever known who treats my dogs with the same oversight and protection that I do - I'm losing my dogsitter and the boys are losing their Uncle Jim! I keep reminding myself that this does leave room in my life for someone or something else that I would not have otherwise seen, but I still have to process the loss.

Your analogy is so good - we ride the waves sometimes on the crest and periodically we do a full wipe out! I am actually very excited for you - you lost a lot (especially with a weasel taking credit for your work - I'm taking the low road here and am calling him as I see him!! LOL), but you also stand to gain a lot. Can't wait to hear the next chapter!!

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THINRONNA 10/14/2011 2:23PM

    Well...speaking as someone who has had this type of thing happen to them, I am sorry that you had such a sucky thing happen to you at your current position BUT I think that you know deep down it is for the best...ultimately you would have needed more. You are too good for them. (you are far more kind and generous than I would be about your lead by the way...) And HEY! How cool is it that this new opportunity arises! It is VERY cool! You deserve more and better and you will get your dream job one way or another. Keep us updated on all of the goings on!

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WOUBBIE 10/14/2011 11:25AM

    That's so..........corporate. I'm happy to see that you're not taking this as a negative reflection of you. It's just people being short-sighted as usual.

Good thing there's always another wave coming up right behind the one you just rode. ;)

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FITGIRL15 10/14/2011 10:58AM

    Ugh.
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This is a story of such pain and potential! I can relate on a very different level... but still know how you must feel!

I am really hoping that this NEW opportunity comes to fruition for you and that wonderful things a lurking on your horizon!!!
When one door closes, it allows so many other NEW doors the chance to be seen and potantially opened! Seize your opportunities! Now is the time!

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Dad's Diet Update

Monday, October 10, 2011

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about my dad's new diet. He's fed up with the drugs he's taking for his diabetes, and decided to see a dietician. The dietician put him on a carb controlled diet. Not really a low carb diet, but carb controlled. He has a carb 'bank'. He has a budget of how many carbs he can eat per meal.

Today I got news from him. He's been using MyFitnessPal.com to track his meals and carbs. My recommendation. It is easy for him to use, and all he needs is the tool.

And the verdict is...

The carb controlled diet is working! He has lost 6 pounds in 2 weeks! Pretty good for a guy in his 70s with minimal exercise! No news yet about how it is affecting blood sugar and high blood pressure, but I am sure that will come in time. I'm expecting his numbers will look great when he sees his doc next.

His dietician says he can eat what he wants for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and not worry about it.

As for me, my diet is working, too. I now have size 4 hips and size 2 waist. I could stand to do more exercise to tone up, but I am feeling great. My fiance told me the other morning that I'm looking pretty hot these days. ;) No idea what my weight is. I haven't weighed myself in months. If I'm looking pretty 'hot', who cares what the scale has to say!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHEFSOPHIE 10/12/2011 2:36PM

    I can't imagine the blood pressure and blood sugar won't improve with the weight loss. The dietician sounds great.

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ANDREA409 10/12/2011 10:46AM

    Terrific, Cathy!! I'm sooooooo happy and excited for both you and your dad. Glad you're looking "pretty hot" these days, lol. I don't think I've ever seen (or will see) size 4. My hips won't allow it, haha. At my smallest I was a 5, and I looked pretty good. Eager to get back to that!

But the more important news is, of course, your dad. I'm grinning so big right now at his success. He probably already feels loads better, but if not, I'm sure he will soon. Just wonderful for getting off those poisons...er, drugs.

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FITGIRL15 10/11/2011 4:04PM

    GOOD JOB, for both of you!!!!

HOT STUFF! emoticon

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JUSTBIRDY 10/11/2011 10:08AM

    emoticon emoticon If he continues losing weight, his numbers will improve. Most people's numbers do better no matter what they do to lose weight, except for some people who get worse when they go on a low fat high carb diet.

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DDOORN 10/11/2011 10:01AM

    AWESOME job Spreading the SPARK! :-)

Don

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BTVMADS 10/10/2011 11:02PM

    So awesome -- for both of you!!

Even though I ate a scone today and eat 100-cal all-carb gels on my long runs, I still firmly believe that low carb is the best way for most people to eat. It just makes sense. If there's a diet to eat to make diabetes better... why not just always eat that way and avoid it in the first place?

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MRS.CARLY 10/10/2011 9:28PM

    WOW, that is awesome! I can't wait to start looking hot too! Keep up the great work!

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MYLADY4 10/10/2011 9:04PM

    That is AWESOME!!!!!! See, he did listen to you. Great job.

With my new meds for insulin resistance, it said a low carb diet was the best way to eat. Sweet, I already eat low carb. I knew my body was telling me to stay away from sugar and carbs.

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Apple Inflation

Saturday, October 01, 2011

I read something recently that stuck with me. It was about how portions we eat today are greater than in the 70s, when America was slimmer. Not just that, but how much more sugar we consume. It's not just the high fructose corn syrup, which is in everything. Soda is the most obvious. But it is also found in snack crackers and commercial bread. However, even healthy food like fruit has been bred to be sweeter. The article mentioned apples are larger and sweeter than apples from the 70s.

Apples? I thought an apple a day is supposed to keep the doctor away?

Well, apparently, today's apples are the equivalent of eating 2 or 3 apples of four decades ago.

I decided to view this phenomena for myself. I bought a regular, conventionally grown pink lady apple, and an organic gala apple. Organic apples should be closer to the 'natural' size, since there are no mega fertilizers to make them grown to monstrous proportions. I'm using my fist for scale comparison. The conventionally grown apple is about the same size as my fist, maybe slightly larger. The organic gala apple is half sized or slightly smaller.



The small gala apple is the correct portion size for a single serving of apple. Eating a full sized conventional apple should be considered 2-3 servings.

Apples are not the worst thing you can eat too much of, but I think it is important to know how much you're really eating.

I actually prefer the smaller apple for snacking, myself. Eating half an apple is awkward, because it starts browning almost right away. The larger apples are easier for baking, since it's easier to peel and chop.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VHALKYRIE 10/11/2011 10:26AM

    JustBirdy: Large red delicious apples are a hybrid apple that has been engineered to sit on the grocery shelves a long time. They were the only kind of apple I knew when I was a kid, and I hated them.

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JUSTBIRDY 10/11/2011 10:11AM

    I think the apple report is a bit misleading. I remember large red delicious or golden delicious apples as a kid, but it was only when I moved to NY that I saw tons of other kinds (mostly smaller) in the stores in the fall. So, really depends on where you live to see that difference. Tomatoes and sweet corn sure have been overbred, too.

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ASHAIXIM 10/10/2011 9:02PM

    Not just apples either!! They have modified a LOT of veggies and fruits to be sweeter. did you know that watermelon, bananas and most other fruits are SUPPPOSE TO HAVE SEEDS??? They don't and they are wayyyyyy more starchy (sugary) than they were 100years ago. Even corn has been modified. YOu can eat sweet corn on the cob RAW right off the cob and it tastes great! and is rediculously NOT great for you. The wheat we grow now only gets to be like 6 inches high!! So they can have many crops in a season. They are ruining our food :(

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HUTCHISDM 10/6/2011 8:13AM

    Interesting, and very well stated. And when you stop and thing about it and other fruits, if you have memories from years ago, apples aren't the only fruit that's gotten bigger. Oranges have, grapes have, mellons and more. For me, apples though have never been about how sweet they are, but rather how crisp and tart they are. I recently found honeycrisp apples, which I really like, and winesap apples - which are smaller, crisp, and with a bite :-)

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DDOORN 10/4/2011 3:33PM

    What food will they think of perverting next...? lol!

Loving my apples this time of year...Cortland's are my favorite.

Don

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TAICHIDANCER 10/4/2011 7:45AM

    Great blog. A lot of this increase in portion size can be traced back to former Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz. We owe him so much! emoticon

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CHEFSOPHIE 10/3/2011 6:47PM

    This is a really interesting blog, especially since I just made an apple, pear, cranberry crisp. For pies and crisps I go for larger as they specify pounds and larger means fewer to peel and core.

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FITGIRL15 10/3/2011 10:55AM

    I absolutely LOVE the flavor of the Pink Lady Apples! But my grocery store has stopped carrying them and has replaced them with Gala (which are disgusting) or the HUMONGOUS Honey Crisp (which is pretty much a Pink Lady.)

I agree, they are DOUBLE the amount of apple I want to eat in one sitting. But if I must, I'll save it for later. They say putting lemon juice on the cut portion will reduce the browning... I need to try that!

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ARCHIMEDESII 10/3/2011 10:30AM

    Don't you know that Americans are looking for the most bang for their buck ? They think BIGGER is better ! they love super sizing everything !

You should do this test with conventional strawberries you buy at the grocery store and fresh picked strawberries straight off the farm. There's a big difference in size (and taste) there too. I was shocked at how big store bought strawberries were compared to smaller organic or fresh picked ones from the farmer's market.

Good visual



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KAYOTIC 10/3/2011 10:16AM

    Love the visual (and love apples too!)

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TRICOTINE 10/2/2011 3:12PM

    emoticon emoticon

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TYGRLILY 10/2/2011 9:16AM

    i agree that portions are OUT of CONTROL! i was born in 1974, so much of my 'candy-bar buying' was back then as a kid, and i'm amazed to see that the 'normal' sizes now look like my forearm!!! (and those are definitely not as 'ok' as apples lol)

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BILL60 10/2/2011 9:03AM

    Good to know. Thanks

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THINRONNA 10/2/2011 3:22AM

    Norsk apples are hanging on everyone's trees right now. It is surprising to me how many people have apple trees here. (we don't, but we have a pear tree and several plum trees) Norsk apples are really big! Big people, big apples I guess! :D I have gotten some for the kids and although I find them the tartest apple I have ever tasted Quin really likes them. (Liam is more like me and isn't as crazy for them.) Matboks (lunch boxes) are rather small here...more akin to a bento box...(lunch box sizes would be another interesting topic) ...anyway, I have to cut these big apples in half to put them in her box. Plus, even though these apples have a thinner skin than many other types it is easier for her to start an apple if it is cut as her little teeth are kind of wiggly these days. ;-) I just quickly wrap the cut apple tightly in a good plastic wrap and set it cut side down in the matboks to help avoid oxidation. Surprisingly it works pretty well. (kids won't eat brown apples any more than we want to)

The apples I used for my fall dessert are Norsk. Really good because they are tart and can stand up to sauteing without losing their shape.

I know I got off topic a bit. In all reality it really bothers me what people will do for the all mighty dollar. Very scary with the whole bioengineering thing. I gave a speech in culinary school way back on the dangers of it and that was over 15 years ago...it has gotten worse since then!

Great blog!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/1/2011 10:33PM

    I just weigh them and subtract 10g for the core (which I won't eat). It gets around the whole serving size thing.

I prefer Honeycrisp when in season and Fuji the rest of the time.

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VHALKYRIE 10/1/2011 10:23PM

    Honeycrisp is actually one of the varieties I had in mind when I read that apples are larger and sweeter than in the past. I'm envious you have your own apple tree! I don't think organic apples are much more expensive, either. If you need volume, then yes, conventional is more cost effective. But apples just for snacking, organic is better for a variety of reason. Unfortunately, I know a lot of people who complain about how small they are. That is actually how big an apple is *supposed* to be!

Comment edited on: 10/1/2011 10:25:12 PM

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MYLADY4 10/1/2011 10:15PM

    I prefer organic apples too and they are not that much more then non-organic. I saw some honeycrisp apples in the stores now that are HUGE. As big as a grapefruit.

The best ones are from my apple tree. No pesticide's or herbicides used on that one. Just let mother nature do her fantastic work.

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VHALKYRIE 10/1/2011 6:52PM

    The pesticide levels on 'conventional' apples is very alarming. I don't eat conventional apples without peeling. Washing is not sufficient.

Comment edited on: 10/1/2011 6:52:52 PM

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JUSTBIRDY 10/1/2011 6:45PM

    thanks. I eat mostly homegrown apples, and rarely whole apples since it is playing russian roulette by biting into a real apple.
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BEARCLAW6 10/1/2011 6:45PM

    Ironically, I just got back from a trip in the country where I ate the first apple I have had in over a year! It was yummy, but definitely still a treat at 30 g carbs per apple.

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VHALKYRIE 10/1/2011 6:12PM

    Larger apples make more profit - that is why the larger apples are so prevalent in grocery stores. For snacking, I like the smaller apples. For baking, larger apples.

Actually, there is a GMO apple. It is bred so it doesn't "brown" so easily. They bred it so they can sell more processed snacks in children's lunch boxes. How about just putting the small, natural apple in a kid's lunch box? It doesn't brown when it's in the skin! I read that a Canadian biotech company asked the USDA permission to sell it, but I don't know if they have been approved yet.

Comment edited on: 10/1/2011 6:13:09 PM

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CATLADY52 10/1/2011 5:26PM

    We used to get apples that were as big as my fist but were delicious. Now I get several types of apples to make applesauce with. emoticon

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BTVMADS 10/1/2011 5:24PM

    Honestly, apples getting made bigger doesn't really bother me the way that bloated farmed fish do, or the vast fields of corn. The main reason is... apples aren't genetically modified (if for no other reason that it's not cost effective, since trees have to be a few years old to produce a crop), unlike the major US crops. And, unlike corn farms, apple orchards can use far LESS fertilizer because trees are so much more resourceful and less damaging to soil.

But, of course, my understanding is based on my experiences in VT, where orchards are independently owned, and the apples are sold at the orchard, at stands and farmers' markets or to local cider mills; it could be very different out in Washington where most grocery store apples are sold.

Luckily, there are many single-serving sized apple varieties in the world: Macintosh, Empire, Paula Red, and Cortlands are all happy little apples. Unfortunately.... I haven't seen any of those since I left New England.

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SUNSHINE99999 10/1/2011 4:16PM

  Good little story. My wife and I can homemade sauce every year with cinnamon and a little sugar and it turns out pretty fantastic. Thanks for sharing. :)

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MKPRINCESS007 10/1/2011 4:14PM

    This is so true! A friend of mine bought Honey Crisp Apples, and they were gigantic! I agree, apples aren't the worst thing to eat, but our mentality of 'bigger is better" with food has definitely impacted our waist lines.

Thanks for sharing this awesome blog!

Karen

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RIVERCITYTOM 10/1/2011 4:10PM

    Agree with your perspective. Got some apples that would not fit in the 8 section cutter. Thanks for sharing.


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It's Like Magic

Friday, September 30, 2011

This past week something weird happened. I put on a pair of size 6 pants, and they were too loose! I have no idea when or where this happened. It may sound strange that this just 'snuck up' on me, but I work from home. No, I'm not the stereotypical dotcommer that works in their PJs. However, I wear just a comfortable pair of shorts and tshirt, so I don't wear clothes I might normally for a regular 9-5 office job.

This afternoon, we went shopping at Costco, and they had some slacks for $20. If you remember, a couple months back I posted photos of my old work slacks that don't fit me anymore. I do occasionally have to go out to a work facility that is business casual dress, so I thought it would be a good time to pick up some slacks that fit. I picked up a size 6 again, just to be sure my other pair wasn't a fluke. I tried them on, and again, too loose! So I guess I am officially a size 4!

Is it strange that I actually feel slightly guilty? I feel I have barely worked for it. I remember not so long ago I used to work out 5-12 hours per week, peddling away furious to 'work off calories'. I painstakingly counted everything I ate. I lost 10 pounds in 10 years doing this. Now suddenly, I went from a size 8 to a size 4 in 4 months with about 2-4 hours per week of exercise - total. I haven't counted a single calorie in over 4 months. My birthday blog shows me indulging in martinis and cake. No, I don't do this every day. But mysteriously, I have transformed into one of those people who can magically eat 'anything', doesn't have a second address at the local gym, and still loses weight. It sounds like a freaking scam infomercial - "Eat what you want and lose weight!"

I'm not going to rehash the reasons why - if you've been reading regularly, you know the "secret". After a 'lost decade', I finally found the right foods to fix my metabolism. I'm burning more fat than I store.

When I look in the mirror, I think to myself, "Where did the weight go?" I still look the same, to me. My weight actually hasn't changed all that much, but my size sure did shrink. If it wasn't for the size 6 pants not fitting, I wouldn't believe that I have lost anything. When I look in the mirror, I don't see the missing inches. I guess I still see all my flaws. I hardly have a washboard stomach. I would have to put in more exercise/strength training effort than I am doing for that. But my size IS changing.

What occurred to me is I am now a US size "4". Women's clothing sizes are so strange. What does size 4 really mean? Buying pants for men is easy - just need to know waist size and length. But size "4" or "6" or "12" is rather arbitrary. It's harder to mass produce clothes for women. Some women have narrow waist and large hips (like I do); some have narrow waist and small hips. Some women like myself have thick thighs, no matter how "skinny" they are. Skinny jeans? Not in my lifetime.

Yet I fit perfectly into a pair of size "7" jeans I wore when I was 22-25. I find that very interesting. Today's size "4" is a 6 or 7 from 10+ years ago. I have heard that clothing manufacturers changed the size scale over the years. Now I have proof. It is also interesting that my old jeans are a size "7". I haven't seen an odd numbered pant size in a very long time.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NAYPOOIE 10/3/2011 1:37PM

    I remember when a size 8 was reasonably slim woman.


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MYLADY4 10/1/2011 8:53AM

    WHOOHOOO!!!!!

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VHALKYRIE 10/1/2011 8:12AM

    KELPIE57: I definitely believe in vanity sizing. There's no way I could squeeze my butt into a size 4 from the 90s!

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BILL60 10/1/2011 8:03AM

    Well done!! Let's keep losing those inches.

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VHALKYRIE 10/1/2011 7:43AM

    FITGIRL15: Oh! Is that what it is with even/odd numbered sizes? That makes sense! Thank you!

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BEARCLAW6 10/1/2011 7:06AM

    They do the same thing with men's clothes. As absurd as it sounds coming from a man who is 6 ft 3 inches and over 200 lbs, but I am now a Nordstroms MEDIUM.

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KELPIE57 10/1/2011 5:31AM

    I think it's called "vanity sizing".......Well done on working out what is best for you!

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THINRONNA 10/1/2011 2:50AM

    How great is that! You have figured it out and are doing it! I am so very happy for you that you have found the lifestyle that works for you...and it truly does because you are able to do it effortlessly. I so enjoy reading your blogs and going with you on this journey. How great! A size 4! Now that you have begun to figure out your size over there you better not move over here or you will have a whole 'nother set of crazy sizes to figure out! (I still am not exactly sure what I am...36? 34? 38?!!!!) lol Let's not even talk about shoe sizes!



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FITGIRL15 10/1/2011 1:22AM

    Women's clothes are sized with even numbers: 2,4,6,etc...
Junior or youth clothing is sized odd numbers: 3,5,7,etc...

You've been wearing ladies clothes, most likely because of your curvier figure! I personally prefer the cut of women's clothes to the "low rise" styles that the teens of today wear! My bum needs full coverage pants, thank you very much! LOL

CONGRATS with your magical weight loss trick! LOL Sounds to me like you are living the lifestyle, it's NOT just a diet anymore!!! GOOD FOR YOU! Enjoy it!

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CTTAGENT 10/1/2011 1:20AM

    Very nice blog. It is so nice to hear that you fit into smaller clothes. You are so right about manufacturers changing the size labels so as to put women in smaller sizes. I am sized like you for pants. When my mom did my body measurements, I am a combination of so many different sizes. I am sure it is nice to be able to see progress and not have to track everything. Congrats on your progress.

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EVOLVEFISH 9/30/2011 10:16PM

    Interesting blog. I hope to write something like this myself in the future!

Incidentally, in pants I wear a size 8, but a 10 feels so great I wear a 12!

Lol!

Hope you're well!

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WOUBBIE 9/30/2011 8:46PM

    LOL! My mom always told me that about clothing sizes. In fact, she says that back in the 40's and 50's at least, the very expensive stores sized their clothes a size down routinely, so if you wore a 10 at Penney's you could fit into an 8 at Saks. :)

I so agree about how relatively easy this all seems to be. If you just pay attention and plan ahead you just.... eat. I was actually getting a little antsy this week because my appetite seemed a lot higher than usual (think it's job stress) and I was afraid I'd gain. Then I looked at my tracker and hadn't even gone over my calorie limit.

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Birthday in Charleston

Sunday, September 25, 2011

This past weekend, we went to Charleston, SC to celebrate my birthday. My birthday isn't actually until Tuesday, but I wanted to go to a particular restaurant in Charleston. So we decided to have a night in Charleston. We found a bargain on Priceline, and packed our overnight bags.

We started off by taking a walk on the waterfront, where we spotted wild dolphins chasing fish. Unfortunately, we have bad luck with the camera, and weren't able to capture any on camera.

We mostly wandered around town, window shopping. The only things I bought were spices from a spice shop - cajun blackening seasoning (I love these on baked chicken wings) and a Moroccan blend.

We got checked into our hotel and got ready for dinner. The humidity was so high, I didn't bother to straighten my hair, and just left it curly.



We went to one of our favorite restaurants for cocktails, but don't eat there too often. We had our usual martinis to start.



We splurged and ordered a 4 course meal ala carte. We had crab cocktail, caesar salad, a NY strip with a port wine reduction sauce, and brussel sprouts and roasted cheese tomatoes for sides. For my birthday dessert, we shared a chocolate molten lava cake.





This all ended up being way too much food. We packaged up half our steaks and most of our sides to stash in the mini fridge. We did, however, finish the cake! It's 50% fewer calories when you share!

We were planning on taking an evening walk after dinner, but were too full. We just decided to go back to the hotel and pass out in a food coma.

Today we mostly spent with more window shopping and picking up weekly groceries. We don't have a Costco in our area, so we stock up on goodies whenever we are in Charleston. I picked up a tenderloin roast and flank steaks for dinner in the week, along with brie, cheddar, and artisan lettuce. I haven't been cooking much lately, but with cooler weather setting in, I'm in the mood for roasts.

It was a nice, low key birthday, and I'm set up relaxed for the upcoming week!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BTVMADS 9/29/2011 8:45AM

    Happy Birthday! What an awesome gift to yourself -- I love that you two just get up and go whenever you can! And, of course, it's also nice to have a couple of times when you just allow yourself to go crazy and truly savor a wonderful, decadent meal.... and cocktails. Delicious, delicious cocktails! emoticon

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JUSTBIRDY 9/28/2011 11:59AM

    Oh, I love your natural hair! Happy Birthday to you!

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HAPPYNOW26 9/27/2011 2:02PM

    That's is a true birthday feast!
Happy birthday today! emoticon
(Love Costco, have one near us and when we travel we seek them out too)

Comment edited on: 9/27/2011 2:05:08 PM

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CHEFSOPHIE 9/26/2011 2:14PM

    Happy Birthday. Your weekend sounds about perfect.

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FITGIRL15 9/26/2011 11:44AM

    Happy Birthday!!! I hope you enjoyed that birthday feast! The dessert looks scrumptious!

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BILL60 9/26/2011 7:01AM

    Happy B'day!! Sounds like you thoroughly enjoyed it.

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KAKIPOPUP 9/26/2011 5:40AM

    Sounds like a lovely celebration! Happy Birthday!

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THINRONNA 9/26/2011 12:58AM

    Happy Birthday! What a wonderful birthday weekend! You look so beautiful! What fun. That cake looks yummy. I am so glad you had such a good time!

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LUCYSUNFLOWER 9/25/2011 10:51PM

    Wow, that sounds like a really wonderful weekend! Happy early birthday and thanks for the pictures of the dessert - I drooled on my keyboard! You are gorgeous and look very happy. And I am happy for you!

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