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Monday, April 18, 2011

How I hate changing my weight tracker but -- there it is, 144.5!! WAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!

Gotta keep it real.

And -- no, I don't think it's "permanent" because it can't be: I simply have not eaten enough or slacked off from exercise to generate a 2 pound gain.

Oh, well. Oh, well. Oh, well. Information only: that's all that scales are for.

Keep on keeping on, and the weight will budge down again.

My blog on "lowest sustainable weight" did NOT trigger a hubristic weight gain: no, it did not!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLENDERELLA61 4/20/2011 6:17PM

    You are right to keep focused on your eating and exercise. It is not a real gain when you are eating right and moving like I know you do!!

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FLORABEL 4/20/2011 11:29AM

    Just water! Promise!

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JOHAL52 4/19/2011 9:30PM

    I still think you need to check out your body fat %. If those two pounds aren't fat--if they are water, then it's really not a big deal!!

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NANCY- 4/19/2011 7:59AM

    Instead of a target weight... what about a "lowest sustainable weight" range?
Everyone's weight fluctuates. Too much salt one day can make you puffy the next. You will see where your range falls.

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IMAGINE_IT 4/19/2011 6:49AM

    I am sure it is Water weight!!! Nothing but water weight!! You will have a good result next time you weigh..just stick to the Beck principles emoticon

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BRIGHTSPARK7 4/18/2011 11:16PM

    You're still in your home weight range, El! I"m with Kaligirl on this. It's probably just a fluctuation.

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TBANMAN 4/18/2011 10:51PM

    You have a great attitude about it - a thin person's attitude! That's all that matters.

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CARRAND 4/18/2011 8:56PM

    My weight goes up a down by a pound or two all the time. I try not to let it bother me.

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KALIGIRL 4/18/2011 7:31PM

    I'm sorry the numbers have distressed you and am pretty sure they're a fluctuation.
I'm happy to move within a 5 pound range (keeps my BMI within a 1 point spread).
I know you'll settle in on a healthy, happy weight.

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DONNACFIT 4/18/2011 4:09PM

    I know you'll bounce back down to your goal weight..you can do it..I'd blame the scale..maybe it's broken?! haha.

We had company and early Easter over the weekend and yes I made the works...turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, hot cross buns and my world famous coconut cream pie and when I stepped on the scale this morning I was only up one pound woo hoo!!

Take care and have a Happy Easter..thanks for the comments, they really helped brighten my days :)

Sunny days are ahead for me...getting back on track :)

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PHEBESS 4/18/2011 1:27PM

    Salt? Travel? The phase of the moon?

I swear I gain in the winter because my body wants to hibernate! Other people lose in the winter because their bodies work harder to stay warm.

Two lbs, I wouldn't worry. I'd keep an eye on them, but I wouldn't worry. Just make sure they don't invite any new friends, LOL!

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_LINDA 4/18/2011 11:13AM

    Hopefully, when you say you are not eating enough to warrant a gain, that does not mean you are starving yourself either..I agree with Kristi. Weigh yourself every day, but pick just one day of the week to count for your ticker. So much less stress every day. My weigh in day is Monday, when I can remember it lol.
You can get this gain off Ellen, don't worry. When you are doing everything right, the stubborn scale will follow.
emoticon emoticon

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TOOKES519 4/18/2011 8:44AM

    I still can't believe you actually track when you gain weight. If I did that it would be different everyday it seems because I weigh everyday, but I only post the reading from my Saturday weigh in. Which lately the numbers have been quite generous to me.

What I try to keep in mind is if you feel good the numbers on the scale mean nothing at all. I try to live by those words and have that thought process. It doesn't mean I always do, but I have good intentions. LOL



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GROEDER 4/18/2011 8:27AM

    Slight changes happen - in fact, it happened to me this week.
Lets not dispair!!!! We are doing it right.
Forget the scale, keep working, and have a great week.

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IPA-RAY 4/18/2011 8:23AM

    I occasionally find random fluctuations on the scale of 1-2 pounds that defy explanation or belief. So I can consider my scale to give me my weight +/- 2. If the following reading in a few days confirms the gain (or loss), I accept it.

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Lowest Sustainable Weight: Periodic Post-Beck Report

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My weight is at 142.5 right now. It may not "stick" there as my ultimate "lowest sustainable weight" (that's the concept from Judith S. Beck's "Diet Solution" I'm experimenting to discover) but my weight has been hovering at about 142 for several weeks. Without yo-yoing. Everything in my closet fits and feels comfortable, including the size 6s.

When I was 230 pounds size 18 in 2001, I could burn 500 calories in well under 30 minutes at level 2 or 3 and RPMs 50 or so on the elliptical cross trainer at the gym. I was using Susan Estrich's "Making the Case for Yourself" approach (which I still think is terrific!). Burning 500 calories per 30 minute session was then my self-imposed "double requirement"; so I had to keep my legs moving until the elliptical screens told me I'd completed not less than 30 minutes AND not less than 500 calories. And I kept that up for quite a while during my initial acute weight-loss phase, generally getting to the gym 5-6 days a week until I reached 150-155 pounds size 8. Where I more or less stayed (with a little yo-yoing of 10 pounds or so) until the cancer dx in 2009. Bumping up then a full 22 pounds to about 172. Pity party pounds. (OK, so I was scared.)

And then in May 2009 I joined Spark to peel off those pesky 22 pounds. At 170, I realized that my calorie burn had dropped to about 400 calories in 30 minutes. In other words, I had to work harder to burn fewer calories. Which was fine. I took off those 22 pounds post surgery and during radiation, inspired by the knowledge that the chance of recurrence of the estrogen-positive cancer tumour I had battled was significantly elevated with even moderate weight gain. But during the later radiation treatments and for months afterwards, I was also dealing with extreme fatigue. So I cut back to 3 weekly gym sessions. Which meant weight loss maintenance had to be about portion and calorie control primarily.

Eternal vigilance. That's what I told myself I was doing. But continued yo-yoing 10 pounds up, then back down. And up. And down. Really.

Until my weight had crept back up to 163 or so in January 2011. I really hadn't been weighing myself regularly, and I really wasn't moving my tracker to reflect the weight I actually was; I was thinking "maintenance weight range" of 5 pounds, but it was 10+ pounds, and not going back down: staying at the high end.

And that's when Dr. Beck's Diet Solution came to my rescue with her 42 day program for learning to think like a thin person. Yes, it works: it even continued to work for me in March 2011 through a significant 3 week "cancer recurrence" scare while I waited for an MRI (which turned out, thankfully, to be negative). But even though Beck works -- yes there are some permanent drawbacks . . . which I'm having to face.

Now at 142 pounds, I notice that it's taking me about 34 minutes or more to burn the same ol' 400 calories, even working away on the elliptical cross trainer at level 8 and revving it up to RPMs 60 or so. To keep up that pace, I'm using the Podrunner gateway to 8 km downloads (from my ill-fated return to running experiment) and today chose the the week 9 segment: it's pretty demanding!!(And the cardio was followed up, of course, with one of my pretty tough upper body strength training routines, plus some abs plus some stretching to sustain flexibility. . . about 30 more minutes, maybe another 100 calories or so).

OK, so what does this all tell me?

That it takes significantly fewer calories to maintain my body at this leaner shape which I prefer.

So I can either eat waaaay less than I used to or I can exercise waaaaay faster/harder than I used to.

I can take in fewer calories, or I can burn up more calories. Or some combination thereof.

But I've known for a very long time that I can never exercise enough to eat whatever I want, or anything remotely close. And it seems to me that my resting metabolic rate may also be changing as I get (sob) older!! And by changing I do mean . . . going lower!!!

How to cope? I can read my Beck cards to reinforce the techniques I've learned, based upon her extensive research in cognitive psychology.

Hunger is not an emergency. Hunger actually helps me anticipate and enjoy my next meal more. Thin people welcome hunger and experience hunger without panic. Don't eat anything standing up. Sit down and savour every bite. Wait 20 minutes after every meal for satiety to kick in.

Preplan nutrition a day in advance. Preplan exercise a day in advance. Then there is NO CHOICE about what I'm going to eat, or whether I'm going to exercise. Or, to think about it differently, it's absolutely still MY CHOICE. But it's a choice I already made. Yesterday.

So for now, I'm acknowledging that my gross calorie intake to maintain 142 is only about 1600-1700 calories a day. But that's providing I burn 400-500 calories at least 3 times a week.

If my "lowest sustainable weight" is to be 142 or so, then I've got to commit myself to continued light eating.

Consistent lighter eating than I was permitting myself when my weight was yo-yoing 10-15 pounds (while I was pretending not to notice!!). Or not actually yo-yoing so much as staying stuck at the high end of a too-generous "maintenance range"!!

Which means I can't waste calories. That pretty much every calorie I eat has to count, nutrition-wise, to ensure I'm eating an optimum fat/protein/carb balance.

Which also means that I need to continue deciding in advance what I'm going to eat day by day, and putting it in my SP nutrition tracker a day in advance to check that I'm eating optimally. And putting into my SP fitness tracker when I'm going to the gym, and what I'm going to do when I get there. (I'm missing my cross-country skiing: but golf will be possible soon! And I'm also thinking of getting my very very old bike tuned up to take some spins on that -- like the skiing, another form of outdoor cardio without the stress on the knees/hips of the beloved running!!)

Which means fighting that very familiar sabotaging thought: this is all taking too much time! (No it's not -- it takes about the same time to pre-track OR to post-track).

And fighting the other very familiar sabotaging thought: this is totally anal-retentive!! I want to be more spontaneous! (And you can be -- about exercise. Go ahead and spontaneously park at the far end of the parking lot!! And get that bike tuned up! And run up and down the stairs three times!! And try a few jive steps while the i-Pod's still running after your workout!! There you go! All kinds of spontaneity -- just not about eating!!)

Yay SP trackers! Yay Judith S. Beck pre-planning!

I'm liking 142.5. I'm thinking that this is a comfortable weight for me now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLUESKY_321 4/20/2011 8:46PM

    Catching up on my reading and just have to say what a great post this is! It reinforces that what I am doing WILL work! It's hard work, and you're right, the more successful we are the harder we have to work ... it seems so very unfair, doesn't it? (uh oh... sabotaging thought!)

I love "my choice"! What a different feel than "no choice"!

Thanks for posting .... it was just what I needed to hear tonight!

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RANCHGAL9 4/20/2011 6:56PM

    Great blog and happy that you are keeping to your goal of health and happiness. It is a struggle when you realize I am eating the same and working out the same so why am I not losing. You got it exactly right - need less, the less you weigh so trying to balance the eating and the working out is a life long experiment - at least it is for me.

Good luck in your continued journey emoticon emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 4/19/2011 9:32PM

    Great job! I have never tried tracking in advance but I can see that it might work for me. I'm so impressed at your consistency and committment!

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IMAGINE_IT 4/18/2011 7:22AM

    Congrats on getting to 142!Awesome job Ellen and what determination you have..love it!!! emoticon emoticon
All the things you talk about are true..don't stand up while eating..preplan..preplan..(i think that is one of the most important things one can do) and for sure taking in fewer calories to maintain..while exercising a bit more intense..
The Beck method must work because you are a great example! emoticon emoticon
Thanks for all your informative and entertaining blogs Ellen emoticon emoticon

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MSSNOWY 4/17/2011 10:03AM

    Sounds as if you've got it figured out, Ellen. And you've got the commitment to make it happen. Congrats! I will muddle along in your wake, if I may.

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NANCY- 4/17/2011 8:33AM

    WTG on finding what works to get you to your goals. You are empowered. Sounds like You have made some great choices for yourself.
Keep Sparking!!!

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JIBBIE49 4/17/2011 12:22AM

    Everyone should read Judith Beck, PhD's wonderful book "THE BECK DIET SOLUTION". She is awesome. It is all about learning to THINK like a THIN person.

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FREELADY 4/16/2011 11:50PM

    You explain so eloquently the reality I am slowly digesting. Hearing you say it makes it less scary. Focusing on other delightful interests and pleasures (NON-FOOD) makes it less scary. Thin people have made peace with the less food, high activity dynamic. I know some really nice and smart thin people, and they don't seem to be suffering, although I see them limiting their food in a wide range of different ways.

Thank you for making this so vivid and so intriguing.

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CARRAND 4/16/2011 8:51PM

    You are an inspiration to me. I started at 220, and got down to 150, which was my goal. (I'm 5'8") Now I'm thinking that I could go lower and maybe get to 142 like you did. I've been exercising 6 or 7 days a week, but a lot of it is yoga and/or strength training that doesn't burn near as many calories as the elliptical. Eat less, move more. That's the secret, and I like the idea of finding my lowest sustainable weight.

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WALKINGANNIE 4/16/2011 5:20PM

    Inspirational stuff Ellen. You're amazing and your blog today helped me a lot. Congratulations on your resilience and achievements and thank you for motivating others by sharing them.

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BRIGHTSPARK7 4/16/2011 4:19PM

    Glad you have discovered what works for you to be healthy and happy, Ellen. I'm at that size 8 place and working on the last ten pounds. This week, I only walked four days out of seven and gained a pound. The lesson for me is to walk daily and eat within my calorie range of around 1200 to 1500. The experiment continues. Reading your blog assures me that if I carry on tracking, eating wisely and exercising, then I can also get to my size 6 sustainable weight. Thanks for writing!
Usha xx

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DREMARGRL 4/16/2011 4:00PM

    It all comes down to one thing.....It's all OUR OWN CHOICE! You have chosen and I'm so frickin' proud of you, my friend! XO MaryAnn
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOPAPGH 4/16/2011 3:48PM

    Yup. I recently double checked my first few months on Spark. I was diligent about tracking food and staying in range coupled with copious amounts of physical activity, mostly outside and I was extremely successful.

Now that I am able to up my calorie burn again I need to focus on not sabotaging myself in the nutrition department.

Congratulations on all you have accomplished since our first week together on Spark in May, 2009. Keep on keepin' on...

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VALERIEMAHA 4/16/2011 3:16PM

    Yeah, well I'm happy to be trotting along with you too, Ellen, but, though it's a familiar tune, I still don't like it. Very difficult to stomach (pun intended). And Trace, your "Get over it...FOREVER" strikes a bitter note.

What a way to finish out the life thang. Yeah, yeah: I WANT high quality life to the end. Yeah, yeah: I WANT to be active and able to play fast and hard. But, the thought of eternal vigilance over intake choices and quantity does depress me, I have to be honest. That's just the truth. Maybe I can make my peace with it. But I'm convinced that's why I'm fallin' off each time as I near the finish line.

Distressed in AR,

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STLRZGRRL 4/16/2011 2:48PM

    Oh, El... you are SO smart... like I need to tell YOU...

This is all so true true true...

In a nutshell for you Cliff's Notes fans:
"take in fewer calories... or... burn up more calories..."

Yes, forever. Get over it.

But mostly I just want to affirm for you that you are allowed to be scared... and do it anyway... that makes you... brave.

I am SO honored to travel with you on this journey...

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KRISTI2661 4/16/2011 2:00PM

    Great blog post. I love hearing about maintenance and how people deal with it - my dream is to one day have that as something on my "plate" so to speak. You are inspiring!

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Satisfying Week!

Friday, April 15, 2011

My regular work week was changed up with some fun things -- a drinks meeting with my collaborative colleagues, and two days of mediation training.

The mediation techniques are meant to enhance my work in collaborative practice -- and there is no question in my mind that working with family law clients collaboratively makes for better resolution all around. Learning new skills is challenging . . . and not entirely comfortable, given that the training was very "hands on". But of course that's exactly what made it useful. And the quality of the training was absolutely superb, with a great class of participants all working very hard and lots of laughs.

In addition, I wrestled a couple of long standing files towards final settlement.

So yup, I'm tired. But also pretty exhilarated.

And on top of all that: spring! Green-ness. Sunshine. A few hyacinths and early tulips in my garden!! A pair of cardinals under the birdfeeder.

And tomorrow it's a haircut (I really really like the guy who's been cutting my hair for 20 + years); then a trip to the gym; and in the afternoon a new opera with my DH.

Life is feeling good.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNACFIT 4/18/2011 4:13PM

    Sounds like you had an awesome week :)..I'll just let your good mood rub off on me..thanks, I needed that emoticon

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NANCY- 4/16/2011 9:08AM

Nothing like closing out a good week to boost our spirit. That accomplishment feeds us.
Here's to many more good weeks.

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_LINDA 4/15/2011 11:34PM

    What a fantastic week you have had!! Green and flowers, wow! Our poor birds are hunkering down in what ever shelter they can find from the cold north winds and constant threat of snow. Its not the early birds getting any worms around here lol.
Hope your weekend goes as great!

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BRIGHTSPARK7 4/15/2011 11:31PM

    I was just talking with my DH about trainings that help us do our work better and how rewarding it can be to push into new territory while doing the same work. Glad it's been a satisfying week for you. It has been for me as well.

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GROEDER 4/15/2011 9:43PM

    Sounds like a great week. I'm glad it went so well for you.
Have a wonderful weekend as well.

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The 7 Virtues -- Smelling Gorgeous for a Good Cause!!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Do you love perfume as much as I do?

Are you a "signature perfume" type -- always choosing the same fragrance? Or are you silly enough sometimes to select a perfume just because it kinda "coordinates" with what you're wearing?

For example, Red Jeans by Versace when you're wearing red? (This is a dramatic lily-based floral). Or Mademoiselle Coco when you're wearing green? (It's so herbal and grassy.) Or, say, Shalimar or perhaps Je Reviens ("I Remember") when you're wearing vintage? Je Reviens is a classy Worth juice which has been around for a very long time and still smells great.

There's always room in my life for playful light-heartedness; perfume is that for me for sure. But maybe perfume can also be more than mere frivolity. Here's a link to a perfume company called The 7 Virtues which is creating jobs for women in Afghanistan and developing new agricultural activities there as an alternative to the growing of opium, a Taliban-controlled industry:


Canadian Barb Stegemann is the author of "7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen", a book which I haven't read yet but which sounds most interesting, and which apparently sets out her purposes in developing her perfume company.

She wants to encourage a life of virtue by cultivation of the 7 virtues -- and this is what she cares about:

1.How adopting an attitude of WONDER instead of doubt can lead to professional and personal advancement.

2.How to obtain a strong mind, body and spirit connection through the practice of MODERATION.

3.How to uncover the TRUTH.

4.How to transform fear into COURAGE.

5.How to trust your instincts to ask the right questions in the pursuit of JUSTICE.

6.How to obtain the WISDOM needed to discover your life’s calling and purpose.

7.How to see the age-old view of BEAUTY as the result of balance and proportion in your life.

(All these are ideas which I know from reading a huge range of our fabulous SP blogmeisters are of interest to so many of us exploring body/mind/spiritual health right here!)

But the 7 Virtues concept isn't just a book or a static philosophy: it's a way of life that integrates business with philanthropy: a genuine philanthropy which goes way beyond mere "charity" to create wealth for everyone involved, drawing upon the principles of Adam Smith. Stegemann has put these virtues into action by sourcing organic fragrance oils in Afghanistan through a cooperative which has come to support over 2,500 farmers.

She's now marketing two Afghan-based perfumes: The 7 Virtues Afghanistan Orange Blossom (orange blossom with jasmine and freesia) and The 7 Virtues Noble Rose of Afghanistan (which combines organic rose oil with carnation, peppercorn and clove).

My DH bought me the rose fragrance for my 60th birthday. He'd read an article about it in the newspaper and special ordered it for me from this site: and he says that he was treated with absolute courtesy and kindliness, with the parcel couriered to him within 48 hours.

So: after all of that build up: what does it smell like? Yes, I do absolutely love it! It is very rosy and feminine but also subtle and layered and complex and mysterious and spicy!!

(The spicy part offers some consolation for Fendi no longer being available on the market -- Fendi was an Oriental that I wore very often indeed and still look for longingly . . . haven't found it yet.)

Very quickly and out of all the bottles sitting on my dresser the 7 Virtues Noble Rose of Afghanistan has quite definitely become my fave fragrance. And I do love fragrance . . .

So what's the right clothing to work with Noble Rose? I will, of course, be wearing it with my new pale pink suit for spring -- and also with a black silk floaty-skirt suit printed with tiny pink rosebuds which I've had for awhile and still like a whole lot. (Shoes for the pink suit are pink quilted leather with kitten heels and tulle bows: could not be any sillier than that!! Although the fuschia sling backs I wear with the rose printed suit are pretty silly too . . . )

I also had Noble Rose on today with wide-leg navy blue jeans and my red leather motorcycle jacket -- and yesterday with a smoke blue grey suit and rose printed scarf. This is one versatile fragrance and I seem to be wanting to wear it every day!!

I'd love to try the 7 Virtues orange blossom/freesia/jasmine perfume. Or Stegemann's next project, which will be a green vetiver fragrance with organic oils sourced in Haiti and due for release this coming fall.

And I'd love to hear Stegemann speak. She is apparently available as a keynote
conference motivational type, focusing on concepts of Courage and Wisdom as essential components of corporate citizenship. If any of you book such speakers for your businesses/organizations, the contact info is of course on the site as well..

[If you'd like to hear her too, there's a link below to Stegemann speaking about the 7 Virtues: and yes, she also speaks candidly about the connection between these virtues and obesity, something she herself has struggled with successfully but not without effort . . .


I thought I'd blog about this amazing entrepreneur and her products because I know there are lots of people on SP who support these kinds of principles and projects -- and who might not be opposed to enjoying a new spring fragrance!

Our Canadian soldiers are fighting in Afghanistan. And dying. Yesterday was the funeral of a 24 year old young man from Valcartier in Quebec, killed on his first tour of duty. Thousands of ordinary Canadian citizens line up on each side of the highway when the bodies of our Canadian soldiers are brought home, to show their respects. We have been a nation of peacekeepers, and this is a new epoch in our military history. Each death of one of our Canadian soldiers makes me very sad. Very sad. Of course we support our brave soldiers who are doing what seems to be necessary, but I like to think that there may be additional methods of combating injustice and instilling democratic principles in Afghanistan -- that the evolution of this perfume business is a parallel effort also doing its part to make the world a sweeter place. Stegemann was motivated to develop her perfume company because her best friend was grievously wounded in Afghanistan.

Perfume is lovely -- and so too is the thought that by wearing this gorgeous scent I'm helping women in Afghanistan find alternatives sources of employment . Helping empower them as they struggle for for their existence, their education and their democratic freedoms in a most oppressive regime.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRACTALMYTH 4/24/2011 7:06PM

    mmmmm my senses are yearning for the scents you describe... they sound SO lovely... and Stlrz, too... I must try happy... I love citrus scents :D

My wedding perfume was Presence D'Une Femme by Mont Blanc... still love that... and hubby bought me Lanvin's Eclat D'Arpege this year which I am wearing for work...

you have made me desperately want to try those Stegemann blends! I wonder if they are available here?

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KALIGIRL 4/11/2011 1:39PM

Love the Virtues - what a way to live life!
Congrats on 60 - I'll join you in December!
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BRIGHTSPARK7 4/11/2011 1:29AM

    Rose is my favorite scent, though I don't wear perfumes. I loved reading about her book and amazing business model, supporting the growth of roses and orange blossom instead of poppies in Afghanistan. Her youtube interviews are inspiring, too. Thank you SO much for sharing this juicy story.

And I love how much fun you are having coordinating scents and wardrobe.


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STLRZGRRL 4/10/2011 7:02PM

    This is so funny, El... I've been wearing Clinique's "Happy" for about a year now! Truly!

And what did I just order a bottle of last week? An old favorite I haven't had in a LONG time... Liz Claiborne's "Realities'... har-de har.. the Universe pulls a funny on me!

I love gardenia but it seems that grapefruit scents (like Happy) make men who smell women wearing them think the women are up to 6 years younger than they actually are!... ha-HA! Another reason for Happy!

My all time fave tho'... Cacharel's Anais Anais... clean... light, floral and like the smell of fresh linens... I will break out the bottle I've had on the shelf and spritz some directly in your honor!



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NANCY- 4/10/2011 10:13AM

    I'm a "signature perfume" type - No 5
I have some sensitivity to some fragrances, I couldn't even walk down the soap aisle at the market without sneezing and getting itchy eyes.
But I do like to seek out new fragrances that will not affect me. In spring a invasive plant blooms and fills the air with an intoxicating scent. (I believe it is Russian Olive)

I also love the perfumed air from herbal teas like Sassafras. (gone to make a cup, BRB)

What an excellent video. She offers lots of food for the soul.
Thanks so much for sharing this.

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TRYINGHARD1948 4/10/2011 7:23AM

    It's a win - win situation. Yeah!

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DONNACFIT 4/9/2011 11:56PM

    What a great blog..I really enjoyed reading about the perfumes and also about your beautiful clothes..wow :) Makes me think for some of my self care mini goals I should change my fragrance..from eau de corral to something nice and wear something besides coveralls and chore boots...thanks for sharing and happy spring :)

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FREELADY 4/9/2011 10:20PM

    Yes, I like a variety of fragrances!

So glad to hear about all this. You always deliver food for the mind.

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DSHONEYC 4/9/2011 8:45PM

    I love natural light fragrance. I used to wear Woodhue by Fabrege (but I don't think they have made it for 40 years). But I have seen it on ebay (check for your Fendi). Now I only wear Tova (by the widow of Ernest Borgnine) and Mariel by H2O. But orange blossom is my 2nd favorite smell (after new mown hay) so I am interested in the other one...

For every evil person in our world, there are people like Stegemann and Mortenson there to meet the evilness. Charity begins at home, we can all do something wonderful and meaningful right in our own backyards.

Thank you Waterellen. I bet you smell good! emoticon

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PHEBESS 4/9/2011 8:38PM

    Sounds like a wonderful project - I'll have to check it out! And I think Noble Rose would work with classics as well as reds, jeans, black - almost anything except sweats!

My fave: Roma, by Laura Biagiotti - mixed floral with citrus and an undertone of vanilla - just love it!

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VALERIEMAHA 4/9/2011 8:19PM

Sounds like a worthy project. I no longer wear perfumes, but I do wear essential oils, and with my over-active olfactory glands I can definitely relate to your love of exquisite fragrances. I definitely plan to read more about Barb Stegemann -- thanks!
And speaking of Afghanistan, I've gotta' put in a plug for one of my super-heroes, Greg Mortenson, also working in remote regions of Afghanistan (and Pakistan), his main focus being building schools for girls! An African proverb that has underpinned his efforts: "Educate a boy and you educate an individual; educate a girl and you educate a village."

His work has up to now established 145 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, which provide education to over 64,000 students, with a emphasis on girls’ education. _Three Cups of Tea_ (well over 3 million copies sold now, published in 13 countries) and _Stones into Schools_ (which I'm currently totally engrossed in reading) chronicle his extraordinary story. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READING.

End of plug; back to regularly scheduled programming.
WOW! Just watched the interview with Barb Stegemann on her book. What a GREAT articulation of such important values! She is amazing -- she has made profoundly spiritual truths wonderfully accessible in this book and, even more impressive, is living them out!

Comment edited on: 4/9/2011 8:35:33 PM

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CMB2048 4/9/2011 7:54PM

    I am more the vintage perfumer--Shalimar is my favorite. Unfortunately, my husband hates any kinds of smells but he likes Shalimar. I will check these out though. Sounds like a wonderful cause to support.

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Friday, April 08, 2011

Yesterday I turned 60!! SIXTY!!

OK, cannot believe it. And have to say, turning 60 is probably the most traumatic "big birthday" I've experienced since 40. When my husband had to take me to Bermuda for a week. And arrange a catered party on our return home for a huge crowd of friends. At 40 I was home with kids, having left a great job as a college teacher, in between careers, wondering if I'd ever get back into the workplace.

By 50 I'd earned 3 more degrees and been called to the bar and was practising law and was preparing a manuscript for publication. But: I also weighed 85 pounds more than I do right now. Had paid a price -- a big one -- for the stress of commuting and academics and all the rest of it.

Yesterday's 60th was low key. Started the day at the gym. I worked hard all day and loved it -- actually made significant progress in resolving two big cases that I've been working on for a long time. Felt great. Came home a little early to warm April sunshine, made dinner for DH and DS, polished off a bottle of pink bubbly among the three of us (a new Argentinean rose which is a glorious colour) and enjoyed chocolate fudge cake and wonderful gifts. (I'll blog about one of these, from DH, soon . . . because there are people here who will want to try it, I'm sure!!)

It was a very good day. Through SP I've met so many people who make 60 look energetic and graceful and powerful: Sandy, you're key among them!!

And so I'm thinking that 60 is doable! Gonna be doing it anyway, right? Will be doing it with heart!! (And smelling gorgeous, as it happens -- but more about that soon!!)

(P.S. When I changed my SP page to indicate I'm no longer 59, I couldn't enter that info without changing my weight tracker because my weight at 144.5 was below my former "goal weight" of 150. So -- put in 142. But don't really know that 142 is my goal weight: I'm still Becksperimenting with lowest achievable/lowest sustainable weight. Did preplan and track everything I ate for the birthday feast: stayed within goal too, and did not gain any weight . . .).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRACTALMYTH 4/24/2011 7:06PM

    Super happy belated birthday!

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TEENY_BIKINI 4/15/2011 7:20PM

    Happy birthday, hot stuff!!!


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WALKINGANNIE 4/14/2011 5:15PM

    Belated but sincere happy birthday wishes.

What a wonderful blog from a truly inspirational woman.


Annie x

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NICE125 4/11/2011 9:58PM

  Wow!! I will remember you each time I think of 'retiring' and we all have those days! Law after 40?? amazing, write about that journey, very inspiring for us , hope to follow in your foot-steps!
And a belated very Happy Birthday, may you have many more!

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TKADEEPBREATH 4/11/2011 3:22PM

    Oh, Happy Birthday Month!!! Or do you prefer "year"? I figure you just have to celebrate every day of life to be sure. I'm not at all far behind you. I will follow you in grace as I cross that threshold too.

Sorry to be so lax with my sparking lately. My job and life are so full of details and I never seem to manage to get around to all of them. At the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is sit at the computer.

Thank you so much for keeping up with me from time to time. I appreciate your friendship and wishes. You are doing an awesome job and your goals truly inspire me.

Take good care and may all the things that are important to you come to be . . . as always, love, Jan XOXOXO

Comment edited on: 4/11/2011 3:26:22 PM

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DONNACFIT 4/10/2011 12:04AM

    Wow..sorry I'm late to say Happy Birthday!! What a marvelous life you have..you've reached so many exciting milestones.. Have the best year ever..you deserve it emoticon

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CMB2048 4/9/2011 7:23PM

    My goodness! I didn't know you had a birthday coming up!!! You never said anything when I wrote about my 50th on April 1. Well, Happy Birthday! I bet you feel terrific being below your goal weight and all you've accomplished. Here's to a great year for you! emoticon

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VIVIANJ5 4/9/2011 11:46AM

    I think you're doing 60 with grace and style...and three extra degrees to boot! Now you're talking my language...I was thinking depressed thoughts for my 50th (last week), but with the loving support of family and friends (especially here on SparkPeople!), I've decided this decade is going to be even better than the last...as it should be for you too!

We stop growing when we die, so until then, we owe it to ourselves to never stop learning, and never stop moving...Happy birthday to you!!

Take care.

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BLUESKY_321 4/9/2011 6:16AM

    Happy Birthday! So much to celebrate : where you are, what you've accomplished - hooray for you!

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DREMARGRL 4/8/2011 10:41PM

    Everyone is the age of their heart. ~Guatemalan Proverb
One question.....
How old would you be if you didn't know your age?
Hope you noted mine and know that you have accomplished much in your short time here.......KUDOS.....Look fervently forward to the next and the next glorious birthday, darlin'. You're lookin' FABULOUS!!!!! XO Your geriatric friend...NOT (geriatric, I mean) lol...(and I don't mind) cuz age is just a number. Afterall, I AM just the age of my heart....63 YEARS YOUNG! Nite.......xo MaryAnn emoticon

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CRYSTALJEM 4/8/2011 8:57PM

    A very big HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! That's awesome. I do find it interesting though... why does there seem to be such a huge mental change when we move from one decade to another? I'm so glad that you are doing 60 with grace. You truly motivate me - There is still so much for me to accomplish, and age is the least factor in whether or not I attain my goals and dreams. Thank you. Enjoy 60 and every year thereafter!

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BRIGHTSPARK7 4/8/2011 8:33PM

    Wow! Happy Birthday emoticon Birthdays are a chance to look back and plan forwards dear friend. You have reinvented yourself and the best is yet to come! I'm SO HAPPY for you.
Usha xx

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PENNYAN45 4/8/2011 8:14PM

    Sixty is a GOOD age! And you certainly accomplished a heck of a lot between 40 and 50. Imagine what you can do now!

Happy Birthday!

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TBANMAN 4/8/2011 7:44PM

    Happy Birthday!

You make it look easy for those of us following in your well-respected footsteps.

Hat's off to you!

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TRYINGHARD1948 4/8/2011 6:55PM

    Happy birthday Ellen, emoticon, What wonderful achievements you have accomplished and your blogs are so full of the joy of living. You always lift my day, thank you. emoticon emoticon

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PHEBESS 4/8/2011 12:36PM

    Happy birthday!!!!! May this be your best year yet!!!!

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    I face the big 60 this year too! It's going to be awesome!!

Happy Birthday - I agree with KMIRANDA - Life only gets better!!

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JHADZHIA 4/8/2011 11:11AM

    WOW!! I would have never guessed in a million years you are 60!!! You look fantastic!! All that in spite of a stressful career! You rock Ellen!
Happy Belated birthday, so glad you had a great one! Gym and calorie counting, you are disciplined!! You for sure will make what ever goal weight your body feels is appropriate!

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KRISTI2661 4/8/2011 11:04AM

    Oh, happy birthday! Sounds like you had a great one and are looking forward to what life has in store for you! Thanks for being my Spark friend!

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NANCY- 4/8/2011 10:45AM

    You certainly know how to party!
You are one amazing lady. I'm sure you will keep that Spark!

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SLENDERELLA61 4/8/2011 8:40AM

    Impressive; impressive!! Especially that pre-planning your birthday. Going to gym on your birthday = great!! All your accomplishments. You've done so much. Just great. Your sixties will be great, too. I'm sure.

Happy Birthday!! -Marsha

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KMIRANDA2000 4/8/2011 8:23AM

Happy 60!!! Life only gets better!

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