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May Snow and Chestnut Blossom

Sunday, May 09, 2010

The rain on the roof which was so pleasurable Friday evening solidified into that four-letter white stuff mid-way through Saturday. And yes, my husband remained undeterred from his golf game, his foursome as dauntless as Shackleton venturing into Antarctica . . . or so they seem to believe. But he needed the electric blanket to recover last night. In May!!

That wasn't all. We woke this morning to snow on grass. Snow in among the tulips and lily-of-the-valley. Snow in the mauve lilacs. And snow smothering the deep pink flowering crabapple.

Over the course of the day the sun has come out and the temperature risen from 0 celsius to about 7 degrees. The snow is gone, the sky is bright bright blue but the wind is bone-chilling. I did not even think about attempting to swing my golf clubs . . . too traumatized, or that's my excuse.

Snow in May is, of course, completely unconscionable! Still, my mid-afternoon inspection assured me nothing appears to have been fatally damaged in the garden. The candelabra-like bud clusters on the huge chestnut trees remain unbowed. With the recovery of some warmer weather, I believe we can probably still expect our Yeats moment to happen pretty much on schedule later this week. They smell so good. That bees love them helps ensure a bumper crop of glossy conkers each fall. And up close each individual flower resembles a pink and white fringed snapdragon.

Should I mention any of this, my beloved son will simply roll his eyes and flute in what others might consider a cruelly pretentious falsetto, "Ah, the floryngia is in bloom". "Floryngia" would be his all-purpose nomenclature for whatever initiates each round of my spring ecstasy. And I tolerate it, because all things considered I am quite quite fond of him. And even I can recognize that my raptures must become rather tiresome . . .

O chestnut-tree, great-rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance? - William Butler Yeats

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TKADEEPBREATH 5/16/2010 9:36AM

    May's weather has been "odd" for us even as far south as Georgia!! I finally got my tomato plants in the ground yesterday, all 24 of them!! So as you can imagine, I'm moving slow today. Goodness, just can't do it the way I used to, but at least it's done!!! The joy of harvest belongs to the planters, no matter how hard it becomes. If I don't try, I certainly won't get the reward.

I hope you have received the "LAST" snow for the season. We got hail last night in the area. At least it didn't come by "my" house.

Take care my friend . . . Jan emoticon

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    I hadn't realized that those blossoms (I googled them) were chestnut trees. Lovely and yummy in one tree!

Bloom on, Floryngia, and drink in every drop of Spring!

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TEENY_BIKINI 5/12/2010 7:02PM

    "Snow in May is, of course, completely unconscionable!"

Amen to that, sister. The weather is weird in NJ too. I had to turn the heat back on and put the seedlings in the boiler room. But they seem to like it in there a lot - maybe I should start sleeping in there :)

Hang tough, gorgeous.


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FROSTIERACES 5/10/2010 7:37PM

    What a beautiful blog - :) We were covering our spring plants and roses as the frost arrived two mornings in a row. I think snow is pretty - love big snowflakes...but somewhere in me is still like...come ON, it's MAY...let's bring on the warmth! blink once and summer will be over. You have a great appreciation for nature! :)

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FRACTALMYTH 5/10/2010 12:35PM

    Ohhhh I shall have to go and google chestnut flowers. That is something I have not seen and they sound amazing. We are forecast for four days of frost and are having some very chilly autumn nights (though it never snows where I am) so I guess for once our weather is *almost* in sync :D

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PHEBESS 5/10/2010 9:14AM

    I always enjoy your blogs - "floryngia" indeed! It's like a little escape from my usual conversation with middle school students! (You can imagine what that's like, with the constant definitions because I refuse to speak down to them.)

And I think it's spring that I miss the most, and my lilac bushes which I rescued from the bulldozers and city hall. (There was a lovely wooded area across the street from my parents' house, which was being torn down for a new, larger road. I was 16, and began my first foray into politics and my first act of civil disobedience - numerous phone calls to the college campus, maintenance, city hall, parks department, you name it, I called them - after several days of calling and no answers, my father and I waited until dark and walked across and dug up several lilac bushes, which we then planted in our backyard, right outside my bedroom window. The lilacs bloomed the following year, as if to say thank you. I'll never forget that expedition with my dad, knowing we were doing the right thing, however illegal it might or might not be. We went back the next night and took out a bunch of rhododendron, which we planted in the front yard, facing their former home. The following year, there was another area on campus being "renovated" - turned into a parking lot - I stole another lilac, by myself. Renegate gardeners, we were!)

Comment edited on: 5/10/2010 9:16:28 AM

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GEODAWG 5/9/2010 7:20PM

    My goodness I wish I could send you some of our heat from here. It is already hot in Orlando.

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WALKINGANNIE 5/9/2010 5:41PM

    Nature is so beautiful and so unpredictable. Snow in May is definitely something to blog about! It's been a lovely spring day in this part of the UK.

Hope your weather warms up soon.

Thanks for sharing your observations so poetically.


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TRYINGHARD1948 5/9/2010 5:21PM

    Ah Ellen, you enrich not only your family's life but each and every one of us who read your blogs. Thank you for being you and sharing with us your wonderful love of Nature.

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JOPAPGH 5/9/2010 5:10PM

    Cold here, but no snow. The winds are something, although I think they were worse yesterday during my 30 mile bike ride.

I still plan to get my run in outside today though!

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DSHONEYC 5/9/2010 5:04PM

    Dear Ellen, only someone as positive and loving and giving as you could find the "Floryngia" in a late May snowstorm.

So enjoy the rest of your day and have a great, if not warmer, 2nd week of May. Happy Mother-Earth Day!

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Canadians are Healthier and Cultivate Their Gardens!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

A recent article in the Toronto Star says that Canadians are healthier and live longer than Americans. Here's the link if you are interested:


Like many Canadians, I'm a huge Obama fan and in particular admire his courage in advancing socialized medicine in the US. Politics is the art of the possible -- what Obama wants to do and what he has been able to do are not entirely co-extensive, but he has made a start. And of course he may pay the political price for his principles.

As a Canadian I'm well aware that many Americans believe that they have good reason to be concerned and wary about the Obama health care programme. And I don't consider that as an outsider to the American system I've any right to comment about that. ‘Il faut cultiver notre jardin.’—We must cultivate our (own) garden, said Voltaire quite properly!! However, for those Americans who do fret about these changes, the recent comparative Canadian/American statistical data reported in the Toronto Star may offer reassurance.

The Star article describes a report prepared by David Feeney, a dual American/Canadian citizen based in Portland Oregon who looked at the effects of two Canadian measures: universal health care and social programmes intended to reduce economic inequalities. Canadians pay more taxes to fund our safety nets. There is a price and we feel that pain for sure.

Apparently, however, they work.

Canadians on average live in perfect health till age 52: Americans, only until age 49.3.

Canadians on average live to age 79.7; Americans, only until age 77.2.

While we live out those longer lives, only 6 % of elderly Canadians are poor in comparison with 23% of elderly Americans.

These discrepancies are considered by experts to be statistically huge. And the stats don't change when racial differences are taken into consideration. To top it off, although Canadians do pay more taxes the cost of health care in the US is significantly higher than in Canada.

I work hard to stay healthy and to keep my family healthy. I earn a decent living and could afford to pay for our routine and basic health care myself. In fact I would be very willing to make co-payment for non-catastrophic health care proportionate to my income, as would many Canadians. Not all of us would claim that Canadians have the perfect funding model for the universal health care system we enjoy and it's likely that some tweaking will be required to keep it solvent.

Still, and despite my best efforts to keep us healthy, members of my family have from time to time required some pretty extensive health care interventions. The costs of the crisis health care we have needed could have been crippling if we had had to pay for it. And there is no question paying for it would have significantly affected my ability to support myself and my family in the past, presently and in my old age.

Voltaire would probably have approved of my work cultivating my garden this morning! It felt good snapping off those dead perennial stocks; rooting out the arching and invasive raspberry canes; bagging the debris; dragging it to the curb. While I worked, bending and yanking and clipping and heaving, I experienced my strength and health with pleasure. Surrounding me and intoxicating me was the colour and scent of dozens of pink, mauve, white and deep purple hyacinths -- naturalized from the bulbs I've enjoyed during the winter and then planted out in the fall over the past 23 years. There are clouds of pale blue forget-me-nots and dark purple violets. Lily-of-the-valley and lilacs are budding and soon to bloom.

Last spring passed in a bit of a blur as I wrestled with health stuff: this spring I'm consciously inhaling every minute. Nothing feels better than feeling healthy. But it also helps not having to worry about paying for the health care that I received unstintingly when I needed it. May need again.

So -- I'm not Canadian smug -- really not. But today I'm cultivating my garden. And feeling quietly Canadian grateful.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMBUDMAN 5/9/2010 5:50PM

    All I can say is I'm sick of all the politics. Something needs to be done and when someone like Obama comes along I think it scares everyone. I don't think he gets the respect he deserves. I agree with PHEBESS I expect my government to use my tax dollars for programs that HELP people but I have not really seen it yet. There is to much money wasted in federal and state government. All I can do is hope things change for the best, I will survive.

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FRACTALMYTH 5/8/2010 9:00AM

    I know I am grateful for the AUstralian system... but OH - your garden! Lilacs... lilly of the valley... hyacinths... "arching and invasive raspberry canes" (mine would be better described as "straggling and struggling")... there are times I think there are definite advantages to a cold climate lol

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GEODAWG 5/7/2010 9:19PM

    Thank you,Thank you,Thank you,Thank you
I am thrilled with Obama but since I live in an area full of, to put it nicely, think quite differently from me, I very seldom hear praise for this brave and wonderful man! The insurance companies have done a fabulous job of scaring the beejeebers out of Americans. This was a thoughtful and great explanation of our differences.

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DBCLARINET 5/7/2010 3:15PM

    Interesting thoughts. When my husband was in school, he was on the school's student healthcare, and then when he moved in with me, he had to switch to his new employer's healthcare, but there was a 90-day waiting period before it went through. So sure enough, during those uninsured 90 days, he got hit in the face playing racquetball and broke his two front teeth. Yeah, all of that came out-of-pocket because of some dumb loophole in the system. Grrr.

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WALKINGANNIE 5/4/2010 3:51PM

    Thanks for a thought-provoking and interesting blog Ellen. How wonderful that you are no longer wrestling with health stuff. Loss of health makes us value its return so much and we have a good deal to be thankful for.

I have relied (heavily) on the UK's National Health Service throughout my life and, whatever its shortcomings, I'm very grateful for its benefits.

The US bankruptcy statistics relating to medical costs are very sobering.

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DSHONEYC 5/1/2010 7:19PM

Thank you Ellen for your objective view of healthcare, and the interesting reaction a lot of Americans (and I heard an earful today as I associated with my fellow non-profit board members who are staunch Republicans) have to the healthcare crisis in the USA. You hear Obamacare this and Obamacare that...its nauseating to be sure. But people fear what they don't understand, so it behooves Obama and company to "over" communicate.

Here's an interesting statistic to add to your list. 67% of Americans who declared bankruptcy in the previous year did so because of staggering healthcare bills. Not maxed out credit cards, not risky investments in snake oil and not Wall Street "rape".

I, like you, experienced the system in 2009. I am grateful for my employer who paid a bulk of my premiums and allowed me the flexibility to deal with my situation. It still cost me approximately 15% of my income to supplement my insurance. I can't imagine what anyone without healthcare would do.

I'd much rather pay for medicine than bombs, for life rather than death.

Anyway, ignorance leads to fear and fear leads to irrational behavior. My fellow Americans - educate yourself and you'll feel so much better and maybe live a little longer.

Comment edited on: 5/1/2010 7:20:59 PM

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TRYINGHARD1948 5/1/2010 7:01PM

    We also have a national healthcare system here in Australia. We are also given substantial benefits for belonging to a private health scheme. Like you we have been very grateful to not have to worry about the financial aspect of healthcare in the last couple of years. It must be very frightening to have sick children and no health insurance wherever you are in the world.

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PHEBESS 5/1/2010 5:16PM

    I was so surprised when Americans started talking about how the concept of national health care was Socialist - like that was a bad thing! Totally outside my way of thinking. But then again, they'd probably label me a Socialist, because I expect my government to use my tax dollars for programs that HELP people - what a concept!

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JHADZHIA 5/1/2010 12:22PM

    As a fellow Canadian who has had, unfortunately, to make multiple use of our health care system all throughout my life, I am certainly grateful for our system! I would be in debt for the rest of my life if I had to pay for all the treatments and surgeries I have had, all on a disability income!! As a listen to the wind and rain howling outside my window with the threat of snow coming, I can certainly envy you getting to be in your garden! Flowers are a ways off for us!

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and i also thank you, ee cummings!

Monday, April 19, 2010

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any -- lifted from the no
of all nothing -- human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

ee cummings

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GEODAWG 5/7/2010 9:20PM

    Oh the joys of Spark People. Finding people who know and quote ee cummings!

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PHEBESS 4/27/2010 10:07PM

    One of my favorite poems by one of my favorite poets!!!!!

Thank you!!!

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FROSTIERACES 4/24/2010 11:10AM

    Always something refreshing in your blogs : )

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    Thanks for posting. ee cummings is one of my favorite poets!

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MSSNOWY 4/23/2010 10:53PM

    emoticon emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 4/23/2010 10:51PM


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FRACTALMYTH 4/23/2010 2:04AM

    "the birth
day of life and love and wings"


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WALKINGANNIE 4/20/2010 2:23PM

    'i who have died am alive again today'

Thanks Ellen. This captures the feelings so well doesn't it?

We have so much to be thankful for.


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TRYINGHARD1948 4/20/2010 4:56AM

    Thanks Ellen.

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BRIGHTSPARK7 4/19/2010 8:02PM

    LOVE this! So much exuberance finely contained.

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PUDLECRAZY 4/19/2010 7:57PM

    Ah, thank you! I love ee cummings!


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Running is Making Me Fat

Friday, April 16, 2010

I was interested in a recent article in the Toronto Globe and Mail with this headline; here's the link if you'd like to read it too:


The gist of the article: many people GAIN weight when they start a running programme or are in training for a 10k or marathon or triathalon -- as much as 10 pounds or more. And for only a small number of people is the weight gain related to increased muscle mass.

Mostly, the weight gain results from people failing to realize how few additional calories they are actually burning because they're running. The average runner burns only about 420 calories for 1 hour of running at an 8-minute pace. And runners find their schedules more time-crunched than ever because they're fitting in the runs. That means less time to plan and prepare healthy foods -- chopping vegetables for salads, and so on. Plus appetite increases and they feel entitled to "grab and go" -- a handful of cookies, a sandwich (there's the 400 calories) because they are, after all, virtuously embarked upon a vigorous workout.

But, according to Joe Friel (in a different article), every pound of additional body fat causes a runner to slow by 2 seconds per mile -- 25 extra pounds means 7-8% slower runs. The lighter you are the faster you go: up to a point. Running coach Simon Whitfield says that persons who are excessively thin because of poor nutrition (about a third of female college age runners) are generally not able to sustain their running careers for long. Not to mention: every extra pound has the effect of about seven extra pounds when you're running and landing on your heels!

Moderation in all things: not a new message, but one I need to keep telling myself. After a month's hiatus (slow recovery from pneumonia, breathing difficulties) I'm back to my podrunner intervals week eight, running a steady 28 minutes after a 5 minute warmup and then a 3 minute cooldown. Using the POSE technique: rapid cadence, short stride, landing mid-foot, vertical posture --and it still looks dorky but is beginning to feel more instinctive. Remembering to stretch after the run. And I've got right back into my strength training too, with attention to the lower body hip flexors, quads and hamstrings to stablize the knee joints and hip joints. No injuries so far: yay!! Plus I've been out on the golf course as much as possible . . . my 'cross training" on non-running days.

When I was running 10 k some 15 years ago, I forgot about the strength training, ran every day, landed heavily on my heels with a long stride, and weighed at least 20 pounds more than I do now. Blew out my hip and knee joints. And I'm determined not to do that again. Gotta stay light so that I CAN run: and not expect that my tentative return to running justifies eating more.

Which is tough. Because: I'm hungry!! But: I'm runing because I really love to run. And there's no way I want to let running make me fat.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROSTIERACES 4/24/2010 11:08AM

    Hi Ellen! Catching up on blogs again!...I know exactly what you mean about thinking we need to be as light as possible to be light on your joints with every step we take running. I often think about that and get caught up in then not eating enough! and yeah...it's amazing that the calories burned aren't that high. It still fathoms me when I just got done running 30 long minutes of wow...that was really great!! to see just a tiny number of calories used. Bizzaro! I love running to. You will always run and the new technique your using is really impressive. I need to take more time to look into that. I have these ...what I call, "football" knees...they are just rock solid. My hips do get sore though. Hope you're having a wonderful weekend and ...ya know, I imagined you golf...it so fits!! emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 4/18/2010 4:22PM

    Yes, when I move more, I am hungrier and somehow feel entitled to EAT. Have a fun day.

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MSSNOWY 4/18/2010 11:30AM

    Interesting article, Ellen. Thanks for pointing it out. I think it's pretty much spot on in terms of people allowing themselves things because they think they are taking it into account by whatever they're doing to 'work it off.' But it's not happening. Been guilty of that myself -- not with running, but with activity in general. The only thing I knew that worked was breast-feeding! I could eat anything in those days and never gain an ounce. Trouble was, I got used to being able to do that and, whoops, can't breast-freed forever! And I wasn't quick enough to realize it and make the adjustment before weight started to accumulate. And after letting it sit there all these years, I'm finally making real efforts to get it off. So I love the nutrition tracker where I'm logging it all!

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FOSSE_OF_LOVE 4/18/2010 11:20AM

    I will be coming back and read your blogs again when I get to the running point in my life as I find them sensible and your strategy well thought out. In other words WISE. Thanks for the blog.

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WATERMELLEN 4/18/2010 11:07AM


Read another article in Friday's Toronto Star which says that every extra pound is actually multiplied BY TEN when running or even just walking downstairs -- so the effect of two extra pounds would be like running with a 20 pound weight! Arrgh. No wonder my knees/hips were unhappy when I was running before 20 pounds heavier (ie like running with a 200 pound weight?? Can this possibly be right????).

Yesterday (Saturday) I completed the third session of week eight of podrunner intervals with knees and hips quite happy after the 5 minute warmup, 28 minute run, cool down, stretch. Then upper body weights/core exercises and even found time for a whirlpool and steam room session afterwards (which generally is NOT possible when I hit the gym at 5:30 am before work). Ahhhh, bliss!!

Comment edited on: 4/18/2010 11:07:40 AM

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CMB2048 4/18/2010 10:35AM

    Well, I can believe what is in that article! I think that is what happens to many of us. Especially when we start out to try to lose weight. We think that exercise we got off our butt to do finally makes up for eating some more food but when I see how many calories you burn for different activities and then figure that 1/2 cup pudding might undo that, it is really depressing! :--)

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XENAMY 4/16/2010 9:01PM

  Hey lady! Wow! This just made me cringe. It's an attestation to keeping awareness though and keeping at it. 420 calories? That's it? I can't even run for more than 9 minutes straight without doing the run/walk/run/walk thing on the treadmill. Building up though. Love the POSE technique... must become aware of that.

Hang in there... emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 4/16/2010 12:44PM

    I hope that your recovery continues apace Ellen. Pneumonia is nasty so be kind to yourself.


You have raised some really interesting issues in this blog. The nuances of the 'eat less, move more' balance are fascinating and the more we share, the more we understand.

Thanks for sharing the information and the link.


Keep well,

Annie x

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BRIGHTSPARK7 4/16/2010 12:01PM

    I like that you have added strength training and stretching into your regimen ... to support your runner's body. As far as eating goes, my hunch is that planning meals ahead of time and eating mindfully would help keep a runner on track (pun intended!)

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VALERIEMAHA 4/16/2010 9:58AM

    Hmmmm...interesting grist for the mill or, as we say, "food for thought"...all intended puns OF COURSE!

Melodie makes a good point, AND some caloric increase is justified with major caloric release via exercise.

Thanks for the interesting article -- and your insightful thoughts...as always!

Blessed be!

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MELODIEO 4/16/2010 9:40AM

    I dont think its so much of eating more its what they are eating. I had the same problem and i had to realize it wasnt that I was just eating more its like you said I was eating fast on the go stuff. I was already barely squeezing in my run time much less finding time to eat right. So I buy bagged salad mix and then add a few quick touches tomato ect. in a closable bowl and eat in the car on my way to my second job. The more fruit and vegs. that I eat the less hungry I am after my run.

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MUSYCLAU 4/16/2010 9:33AM

    I have never heard of the correlation between running and over-eating. Of course sitting on the couch might burn .42 calories and lifting a fork 4.2, so exercising and burning 420 calories sounds good to me.

Comment edited on: 4/16/2010 9:33:56 AM

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RUNNINGPFUHL 4/16/2010 9:17AM

    I agree with that. I have been an injured runner since I started running, because I wasn't paying much attention to strength training. Now I get at least one day a week of ST. And I'm taking it slow and low!

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DEBRA_T 4/16/2010 9:15AM

    I have read in many articles that exercise in general causes a lot of people to gain weight because they rationalize more eating. The trick, as we know, is to exercise without additional eating (unless it supports the exercise program). A trick indeed!

Cheers, Debra
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JOPAPGH 4/16/2010 9:10AM

    Been there, done that!

Now that I am taking my stress fracture imposed break, I as back to focusing on nutrition and am only 2.5 lbs from my original goal weight.

I'll be more aware when I start the running back up this time.

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HAPPYNSMILING 4/16/2010 8:55AM

    I totally agree with you. Running seems to make me hungry, too.
Thanks for the information in your blog, because I really didn't think about the eating more vs not that much more calories burned. I'm not going to let running make me fat, either.
Hurray for you for getting back on track after being sick.
Have a great day!!

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PHEBESS 4/16/2010 8:48AM

    It's all a balancing act. Cals in, cals out. But yeah, lots of intense cardio makes me hungry!

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JETTSTAR999 4/16/2010 8:37AM

  Right on! Reap the benefits!

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A Little Birthday Blog . . .

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

. . . . on the occasion of turning 59. That's FIFTY-NINE!! How can it be possible??

SP sent me birthday greetings: thank you!!

And so far 59 (despite the sticker shock) is looking way way better than 58. I'm 20 pounds lighter and wearing a sleek little size 8 skirt suit this morning -- shortish skirt, French blue shirt, sheer black stockings ("the legs are the last to go") and French blue peep toe heels with little grosgrain bows. We old girls have to keep on trying, doncha know. And my frivolity is in part a recognition that this year's birthday follows upon my return to health: that precious one year all clear!

Later today I have a business lunch. After work a "celebration of life" for one of my former college colleagues who has passed away, way too young. Saddening but also a poignant reminder to live every day -- as she did-- with zest and enthusiasm.

Then home. The robins are singing now, and I expect they will still be singing then. There are scylla in blue bloom under my crabapple tree, and the sticky buds are bursting open on the chestnuts.

What a great time of the year to have been born!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOPAPGH 4/16/2010 9:08AM

    Happy belated Birthday! I hit the big 50 this year.

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HAPPYNSMILING 4/16/2010 9:00AM

    Happy Belated Birthday, Ellen!!
Kudos to you that you made yourself healthy!!
Hope your day was great...sounds like it got off to a good start!!
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TKADEEPBREATH 4/11/2010 8:49PM

    Happy Birthday!!!I'm right behind you . . . it's amazing how "young" sixty sounds these days, LOL!!! No really, don't you think?

I hope you had a great day . . .

Jan emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 4/11/2010 11:41AM

    AW SHUCKS Ellen (like Teeny says)...I missed your Personal New Year too! But I'm a firm believer in the Birthday Season, which spans AT LEAST a week on either side of THE day...and up to a month at times!!!!!!

So, let the festivities continue for one of the most emoticon , insightful, thoughtful and generous members of this incredible Spark Community!
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TEENY_BIKINI 4/10/2010 3:06PM

    Wow. I missed the B-Day - Shucks!!!

Another year fabulous!!!

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CMB2048 4/10/2010 12:41PM

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I turned 49 on April 1 and I'm saying the same thing about turning 49! I'm hoping to be 50 lbs lighter by my birthday next year. That big 5-0 is going to be a doozy!

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TRAVELGRRL 4/9/2010 5:48PM

    I second all of the warm wishes! Congratulations on a VERY well spent year; 59 is going to be the VERY BEST EVER!!!

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FRACTALMYTH 4/9/2010 4:13PM

    Happy Happy Happy (belated) birthday! I hope you enjoyed the day in all it's (and your) beauty and promise for the future!!! Hip hip hooorayyyy! :D

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FROSTIERACES 4/9/2010 1:33PM

    59! Happy Belated Birthday!!! and thank you for the sweet comment - was just one of those days! I'm better today :) You're so inspiring with YOUR zest for life and ability to appreciate the birds chirping and the sun shining..it's a great reminder for me to do the same. :)

I hope you had a marvelous birthday!!

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TRYINGHARD1948 4/9/2010 5:17AM

    Ah Ellen, I am little late but Happy, happy birthday. I won't forget again as your birthday is on my wedding anniversary. Ken and I have been away for a few days so I missed your post. emoticon You are looking fantastic. Hugs.

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BRIGHTSPARK7 4/8/2010 10:08PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, dear Ellen,
Happy Birthday to you ... And wishing you many many many more to come!

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And Woooo Hoooo for being fit and fabulous!

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STLRZGRRL 4/8/2010 9:58PM

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

And many more!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRENTDREAMER 4/8/2010 9:49PM

    Happy Birthday!

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FOSSE_OF_LOVE 4/8/2010 12:30AM

    Happy Birthday Sweetie...you do have some sexy legs there.

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PUDLECRAZY 4/7/2010 10:58PM

    A very happy birthday to you! Isn't it lovely to have Robins ushering in your birthday? I am just leaving my 59th year, and found it to be a very good age - especially since this has been my year to regain my health. Be sassy, wear your short skirt, wink and let the world beware. You are a fabulous 59!

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PENNYAN45 4/7/2010 10:06PM


Happy Birthday! I am happy to have just met and 'friended' you here on SP at your young age of 59. Being your elder of 6 years, I am here to tell you that it keeps getting better!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 4/7/2010 6:18PM

    Happy Birthday Ellen. It's so good that you can celebrate in good health - the best gift of all.

I'm sorry for the loss of your colleague.


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IMAGINE_IT 4/7/2010 4:40PM

    emoticon Happy Birthday to you... emoticonHappy Birthday to you..Happyyyyyyyy Birthday dear Ellen..Happy Birthdayyyyyyyyy to youuuuuuuuu emoticon
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DSHONEYC 4/7/2010 2:15PM

    Happy Birthday, friend!

You have received the greatest gift emoticon of health!

Trust me, 59 is ok...though its very very close to 60! emoticon

You must look great today (take a pic and post it for us to see)! emoticon

I hope this year is filled with all the health and happiness you deserve, Ellen. 1951 was a great year to be born (well, of course I was also born that year). My office is celebrating someone's birthday today (it was Sunday) with make your own chocolate sundaes...I brought the nuts. In your honor I vow to eat with restraint (hence the raw veggies and lean meat for lunch). I joined you in good health and I want to join you at the size 8 racks!

Happy Birthday! emoticon Hugs, D

Comment edited on: 4/7/2010 2:17:16 PM

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MSSNOWY 4/7/2010 1:42PM

    Happy birthday! And congratulations on feeling so much better at 59 than at 58. May 60, when it comes, be even better! Hope you have a great year.

One of my sons was born today, too. Obviously a fine day to be born!

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PHEBESS 4/7/2010 10:51AM

    Happy birthday!!!!!!!!!

And I love your description of your ensemble!

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BOOKAPHILE 4/7/2010 10:42AM

    Happy Birthday, Ellen! May you have many more healthy years!

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TLGREIG 4/7/2010 8:40AM

    Happy Birthday! Keep up the good work! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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