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Virtual pals, real value

Thursday, May 12, 2011

That was the headline on a tiny article in the Toronto Globe and Mail earlier this week. It outlined UK research indicating that the typical user of a "social networking site" (such as Facebook, or I presume SparkPeople) has 121 online friends, in comparison with 55 physical friends. It also found that 1 in 10 people found their "best" friend online and that people tend to be more honest with friends online than with their physical friends.

No question: I have made some wonderful friends here.

No question: there are people here with whom I share very important values that are not so much a focus among many of those I encounter in my day-to-day life.

No question: there is a degree of honesty here which is huge. For one thing, most of us post our current weight on those weight tickers!! How many people in "realtime" know your actual weight? And how funny is that, when presumably those realtime friends can make a pretty educated guess just by looking at us??

Thanks so much to all those who congratulated me on my Second Sparkiversary and left such kind comments! Friends indeed!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNACFIT 5/15/2011 9:43PM

    Love all my virtual friends... emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 5/15/2011 11:47AM

    Excellent and so so so true!!


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VALERIEMAHA 5/14/2011 11:08PM

    I couldn't agree more! AND check this out...scrolling down through the comments are many mutual friends, three of which are virtual-become-real-time friends: WHITE-LOTUS, PENNYAN, and STLRZGRRL! Ain't it grand!

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MSSNOWY 5/14/2011 11:04AM

    You are so right. It's such a blessing to have SparkFriends -- and other virtual friends as well. They don't 'seem' virtual at all. And, in fact, I suspect they aren't -- we just contact them differently.

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COSMIC_ENERGY 5/14/2011 10:13AM

    Amen and amen! My virtual friends are supportive, non-judgmental, and honest (ok-so are my "in person" friends too, just don't have quite so many!) Just that my Spark friends are working on body/mind/spirit all together and that is a different bond.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IRONGRANNIE 5/14/2011 3:48AM

    That is so true about showing our weight. I certainly don't tell people my weight, they would think I was very strange, but not here!

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FRACTALMYTH 5/13/2011 8:11PM

    I missed your Sparkiversary :( but that doesn't mean I don't love you heaps!!! Virtual friends are the BEST. What a sad and isolated life it would be if I were confined by geographical circumstance to those few friends I can maintain in real life. So glad we are connected :D

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PENNYAN45 5/13/2011 6:02PM

    I, too, value some of my virtual friends as much or more than some of my real-life friends.
And I feel grateful to be living in this great age of technology which makes it all happen!

Thanks for being one of my special virtual friends.

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DSHONEYC 5/13/2011 12:09PM

Perhaps my very first SparkFriend 2 years ago...drawn to one another by virtue of the medical journey we were both taking.

emoticon Happy Friday the 13th.

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JOHAL52 5/13/2011 9:17AM

    I wouldn't have "met" you Ellen if it weren't for SP. And we couldn't have shared our mutual memories of Canada. I am looking forward to more! Like mosquitoes in summer....

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STLRZGRRL 5/13/2011 12:36AM

    ellen, it has been a stone honor to watch you on yoor journey... I won't be here very much after today... but please know how much I love your writing, your wit and your incredible take on the life as it goes on and on...

Sparkmail coming at you in 3..2..1...

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TRYINGHARD1948 5/12/2011 6:01PM

    I never cease to be surprised at how absolutely wonderful virtual friends are, no bitching, lots of time to read to 'listen' and above all the most wonderful sources of support. I wonder if it is because we all have similar goals, emoticon and my Spark emoticons.

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_LINDA 5/12/2011 1:15PM

    That is a very interesting article! Thanks for sharing! I am a little below the online count and have no personal friends, so I am quite grateful for this online community that gives me such a warm welcome and great interaction! I can see why people hang out with social networks so much.
I was so glad to have met you in my online travels!
Have a terrific Thursday!!

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CARRAND 5/12/2011 12:22PM

    I was surprised at the value of virtual friends after I joined SP. I wouldn't have thought it was possible to feel so close to people I'd never met in person. I feel like I share more of myself here.

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PHEBESS 5/12/2011 10:41AM


However, I show my weight LOST, LOL!

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KALIGIRL 5/12/2011 8:29AM

    emoticonshare my weight?

Isn't it grand to have such great virtual friends?
emoticon emoticon

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Second Sparkiversary!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It's been two years!

I weigh a solid 30 pounds less than when I found Spark People May 10 2009, down from 172 to 142 (or 141, with occasionally a glimmer of a "middle 3"!!). Still working on determining lowest sustainable weight . . .

That was recapturing and then sustaining an original loss from 230 pounds in 2001 to 150 pounds in 2002.

My new stability of weight maintenance in the low 14os resulted from my introduction to the Judith S. Beck 42 day program in cognitive psychology techniques for Thinking Like a Thin Person: thanks SLENDERELLA61 and the Beck Diet Solution team for support with this project, which I began earlier this year, blogging my way through the 42 days! It works!! And I was able to sustain it through a serious "cancer recurrence" scare in March.

I'm continuing to pretrack nutrition on the Spark Nutrition tracker: I'm continuing to sit down to eat, manage my environment, recognize that hunger is not an emergency, cope with sabotaging thoughts (including the primary sabotaging thought that pretracking takes too much time and is OCD!!).

Right now everything in my wardrobe fits (or is too big). Love that!! And after a winter of cross country skiing and regular gym attendance, I feel fit and strong.

Nothing feels better than feeling healthy.

Thanks, Spark People. Included in that thanks: Chris Downie and staff, the site itself (free, free, free!!), all the resources and links and articles, and most especially all of the wonderful Spark friends I've made right here.

This is an absolutely amazing community and I continue to be grateful for all of the support and good ideas and shared values I've found right here, every day.

Thank you, all!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEENY_BIKINI 5/15/2011 11:47AM

    Fantastico!! Wonderful!! You are amazingness!!


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VALERIEMAHA 5/14/2011 10:59PM

    Yep, I'm cryin' in my beer that I missed the BIG emoticon

Your accomplishment is emoticon; YOU are emoticon

A devoted admirer,

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IRONGRANNIE 5/14/2011 3:44AM

    emoticonfor 2 years.

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FRACTALMYTH 5/13/2011 8:12PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PENNYAN45 5/13/2011 5:57PM

    SO happy for you! Congratulations!!

emoticon emoticon

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NANCY- 5/13/2011 8:40AM

Just a thought to ponder, perhaps the lowest sustainable weight is more of a range than an actual number.
It is amazing the gift that being here at SP brings and that you bring to SP.

Keep on Sparking!!!!

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JOPAPGH 5/12/2011 9:34PM

    Congratulations on your two year anniversary too! You continue to be an inspiration.

Keep on keepin' on...

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    You are simply amazing.

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_LINDA 5/12/2011 1:20PM

    You have done such an amazing job turning your life around! So glad you found a plan that really works for you!
So Happy, Happy belated anniversary!! (don't know how I missed this blog -it didn't show on my friend feed)
May you reach the weight you are happiest with and keep it forever off!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IMAGINE_IT 5/12/2011 1:21AM

    You have come a long way...and worked very hard on getting down to your Goal weight emoticonon your success and your 2year Sparkversary.. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TBANMAN 5/11/2011 11:53PM

    Congratulations! You are an excellent motivator to so many here, including me. Thanks for the last two years.


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CARRAND 5/11/2011 8:37PM

    Congratulations on all you've accomplished!

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NICE125 5/11/2011 7:54PM

  Congratulations!!! And you are an inspiration to so many of us, I doubt I would have even attempted the Beck plan without the support of your excellent blogs.

Thanks and keep on!!!

Best wishes

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CASJ57 5/11/2011 10:15AM

    What a wonderful anniversary!

emoticon emoticon


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KALIGIRL 5/11/2011 8:46AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Way to maintain your healthy lifestyle!

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DONNACFIT 5/11/2011 12:56AM

    Happy 2nd Sparkaversary!!! emoticon

You are an inspiration to me and I'm so glad you're my Spark friend!!

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JIBBIE49 5/11/2011 12:47AM

    emoticonI love the BECK DIET SOLUTION because you are right about THINKING LIKE A THIN PERSON. It is what matters.

Happy Sparkversary.

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BRIGHTSPARK7 5/10/2011 11:49PM

    Happy emoticon Sparkeversary Ellen! Congratulations on your well deserved success! Looks like you've found a new way of life, and a new lease on life!

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KRISTI2661 5/10/2011 11:37PM

    Love, love, love this blog. You are an amazing Spark friend and I am so glad I have met you. I have read bits and pieces of Beck (I've had the book for years and never even opened it until I saw another Spark friend talk about it) but I've never committed to it - maybe I should? The one thing I do say to myself all the time is "I'm hungry, but it's not an emergency" - I love that! And, you know how much I love Spark, too!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRYINGHARD1948 5/10/2011 11:36PM

    Congratulations Ellen, you are a winning loser.

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SHECHAM 5/10/2011 10:29PM

    Congratulations and well done! Whooo Hooo To You!!!! emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 5/10/2011 10:04PM

    And I'm grateful for you, Ellen. You are one wise and thoughtful woman, smart and hardworking. I've learned a great deal from you and I am grateful. I have the strong feeling that your goal to maintain within a tight little range is well within your grasp, although I know that is a goal that will require effort every day. But you know what to do. It's worth it and you will do it!!

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PHEBESS 5/10/2011 9:29PM

    emoticon emoticon

Happy 2nd!!!!

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TACONES 5/10/2011 9:14PM


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THINLIN07 5/10/2011 9:12PM

    I agree this site is amazing. I have lost so much weight and dropped so many sizes. I also have made some great new friends as well. Congrats on your 2nd sparkiversary I just celebrated my 1st on april 1st. emoticon

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Counting Every Calorie: Obsessive? Future Eating Disorder?

Thursday, May 05, 2011

I've been counting calories -- using the nutrition tracker, pre-planning my meals, following the Beck cognitive strategies to "learn to think like a thin person". I've got Beck cards to review which remind me to arrange my environment to eliminate temptations: that hunger is not an emergency; that I should sit down to eat; and that I can identify and cope with "sabotaging thoughts" -- including, that the process of tracking nutrition so closely is anal retentive and takes way too much time!!

And for me: it's been working.

Instead of yo-yoing 10 pounds up and down, I've been pretty stable.

And: I've been stable at a lower weight than I'd achieved before. I seem to be at a lower sustainable weight. So of course, I like that.

I particularly like it because staying lean reduces my chance of breast cancer recurrence significantly.

But today in the Toronto Globe and Mail on line edition there is a discussion with a psychologist who suggests that tracking calories can be the precursor of an eating disorder.

My family gets it. Nobody at home is pressuring me to eat more, or to stop tracking my food. They do understand. Completely.

But I certainly know that I've got social friends and acquaintances who would like to pressure me to eat more like they do -- more spontaneously, and more "binge" type high calorie foods on "celebratory" occasions. Whereas I'm trying to think of other ways to be social, and other ways to celebrate that don't involve overeating. Because life is to be celebrated much more often than I can "afford" the calories to overeat!!

I don't believe that I have any of the indicators of a future eating disorder, and I do believe that the Beck method is superb. It reduces the need to make eating decisions every day: NO CHOICE (or, I already made that choice, and it was MY CHOICE to do so. Yesterday. When I pre-planned.)

Whaddya think for your own selves: if you're tracking, do you think you're getting obsessive? Are you worried you may trigger an eating disorder??

Here's the link:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRACTALMYTH 5/9/2011 3:19PM

    I am trying to get myself to a position where I don't need to track - not because I'm worried about any obsessiveness, so much as I tend to rebel against any kind of repetitious regime... wait - that's not right.... hmmm. OK. I tend to rebel against having to comply with too many repetitious regimes at once! I am right on top of the health and fitness regime when the only other thing I am doing is parenting. When I add working to the mix, my efforts at all 3 become haphazard, so health and fitness takes a back step - or rather, instead of being a mandated regime (albeit one that I have mandated for myself) it has to become more integrated and flexible. If eating starts getting out of hand I will track for a few days to get myself... back on TRACK lol... but then I am working on trusting myself to stick to the plan while playing unsupervised (to borrow a parenting metaphor lol). It gets to the point where I just want to eat my dinner and not pull it apart and weigh it first! I know that extras and portions can be problematic, so I am working at developing good judgment based on what I have learned from the tracker and taking a "refresher" whenever I feel myself slipping. I am getting better at accepting that exercise can be squeezed in anywhere I can, even if just for a few minutes here and there instead of a concerted all out effort. For me, it is about keeping in control while releasing the need to control (if that makes any sense...) - accepting the difference between Life as it actually is, and Life as it is meant to be :D and learning how to make Life as it actually is the best that it can be at the time.

As always - thank you so much for helping me to clarify my goals and what I am doing to reach them. I wouldn't think about this stuff and realise there may be method behind my madness if not for your provocative (in the sense of poking my brain) posts :D


Comment edited on: 5/9/2011 3:24:26 PM

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PHEBESS 5/7/2011 11:30AM

    My problem is that I NEED to be obsessive about my calories in! At least for a while. Because it does work!

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BLUESKY_321 5/7/2011 8:03AM

    If this is working for you (and let's face it, it IS) then so be it.

I agree with Mssnowy - if you are using the numbers to try and one-up yourself each day, that would seem to be a sign of an unhealthy use of the tracker.... that's not you!

I track ... but post-track and I'm still indulging in spontaneous eating on occasions (I'm not ready to give that up YET! although you and Marsha make me think about it all the time emoticon) I'm definitely not obsessive but my family does think it's weird and sometimes I worry about the message that I'm sending to my kids. I try to put the "healthy" spin on it, but they know I'm all about the weight issue .... LOL.

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TRENTDREAMER 5/7/2011 7:36AM

    "I've been counting calories -- using the nutrition tracker, pre-planning my meals, following the Beck cognitive strategies to "learn to think like a thin person". I've got Beck cards to review which remind me to arrange my environment to eliminate temptations: that hunger is not an emergency; that I should sit down to eat; and that I can identify and cope with "sabotaging thoughts"
* While usually Beck's views are a little too libertarian for me, it sounds like he's on the right track with this. That being said, I still like listening to "Loser". Soy un perdador (I'm kidding).

"But I certainly know that I've got social friends and acquaintances who would like to pressure me to eat more like they do -- more spontaneously, and more "binge" type high calorie foods on "celebratory" occasions. "
* Change can be really hard when something that has traditionally been enjoyed together becomes a thing of the past for one(especially when it reflects bad decision on the one(s) who continues partaking).

"But today in the Toronto Globe and Mail on line edition there is a discussion with a psychologist who suggests that tracking calories can be the precursor of an eating disorder. "
* And I would say that it absolutely can. It can be a first step. But that doesn't mean that it inherently (or even probably) will.

If I had a daughter who started counting literally every calorie, I would probably look closely at "next moves". Is she always talking about calories? Is her day/weekend totally ruined if she went 28 calories over because she was hungry and needed to eat a piece of fruit? Basically, is her calorie counting helping her get her eating on track or is it becoming a matter of life and death for her psychologically.

The author uses the term excessive with little definition. I think obsessive or compulsive calorie counting and obsessive/compulsive worrying about it is more of a symptom of a similar problem/problem set that underpins eating disorders. But in and of itself, calorie counting kind of is what it is.

Comment edited on: 5/7/2011 7:43:56 AM

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CARRAND 5/6/2011 12:23PM

    I've been tracking my food for a year and a half. If that's an eating disorder, so be it. I lost 70 pounds, and am still within 2 pounds of my goal weight. I have no desire to starve myself to death. I do eat things like chocolate candy, or gluten free cookies on occasion, I just track the calories to fit them in (or not, depending on my mood). I figure that I'm not ever going to have a perfect diet, but that's not a reason to stop trying to eat healthy food. Stick with it. You're doing great.

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MSSNOWY 5/6/2011 10:05AM

    I think it has to do with the motive for tracking. If , as you are doing, it's to pre-plan and make sure that you are within your range of food intake, or if it's recording what has been done to make sure that you're staying on track, then I don't see a problem at all. In fact I think it's healthy and it obviously works for you.

But I do think that 'tracking' can be obsessive in the hands of someone who feels some virtue in taking in less and less each day and trying to 'beat their record.' If they have a competitive mentality that makes a 'game' out of it in the worst sense of the word, then, yes, I can see where it could lead to compulsively trying to out-do your earlier 'record' and create a real health problem.

I don't think that's you. So count away. I need to do more of it, and you are a great example to follow. Thank you.

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NANCY- 5/6/2011 8:14AM

    Personally if tracking for info works for me when I am looking for trends. Otherwise I am not a tracker. (I prefer to be oblivious.)
Sure come folks could become obsessive about it. But that would probably already be within their personality.

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SLENDERELLA61 5/6/2011 8:07AM

    Great blog. You raise a great issue. For me, counting calories just makes sense. If I don't I'll be overweight. When I count my calories I can maintain a healthy weight. Simple as that. I do not sense that this "obsession" is going to increase. I may take off a week here and there and do a little intuitive eating. But I know for me, intuitive eating won't work for the long run.

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1000PENNIES 5/6/2011 7:41AM

  I don't think tracking calories or exercise is obessive behavior. If anything it is helping me to be more balanced in my approach to eating and exercising. There are days that I go over and it is not always planned (Im still working on that). But I am finally getting a grip. Compared to where I was several months ago. Barely exercising and eating close to 3000 calories a day versus exercising at least 5 days a week and eating around 2100 a day. I would say that is an improvement. My goal is to get to the point that I am consistently within my calorie range and exercising everyday. I am losing weight. Yes it is slow but I try not to focus so much on the number but the benefits instead. So I would keep on doing what you are doing.

By the way what is the Beck approach? It sounds like something that I would be interested in looking into.

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IRONGRANNIE 5/6/2011 1:57AM

    I am with you on this one. I don't track all the time but I do it in controlled bursts-1 or 2 weeks at a time to make sure I am not falling back into old habits. Sometimes I find I have got a bit of portion-distortion going on and I can reel it back in.
Future eating disorder? Honey that takes waaay too long to develop for me to worry!!!!


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BRIGHTSPARK7 5/6/2011 12:48AM

    You are doing what you need for optimum health and wellbeing. I don't pretrack but I do tend to repeat healthy options day after day. I like to think I'm using my decision making muscles during the day and tracking really supports that. It provides good information -- as you know -- about other things besides calories.
I'm with you on celebrating with friends in ways that don't necessarily involve lots of food. We can gather for hikes, movies, or just for fun. My friends know I'm a vegetarian and they expect me to cook pretty healthy food for them, so that definitely helps. And if I'm invited out, my family and friends know to checkout the veggie options for me. This has taken years of training them ... but has been well worth it.

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JUDI_CUTIE 5/6/2011 12:24AM

    I'm with you on this one. The tracking in advance is the best way for me to succeed. Whenever I get myself to do it (which comes in waves) I always do well. Sometimes I rebel and just don't feel like it, but I firmly believe it is a good thing to do. (I am on my sixth night of tracking ahead after being out of the habit for a while. I feel great about it!)

I don't think it leads to eating disorders. I think it is actually a way for people who have problems with their eating (maybe an eating disorder or maybe just struggles) to get a grip on it. Choosing in advance is not dysfunctional. Enjoying life without it being all about the food is quite a feat. If you can do that, you have to count that as a GOOD thing and not as a problem.

(It is pretty important though that you do not put a damper on events if your friends want to indulge. Be sure you are really ENJOYING the company even without the food.)

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FREELADY 5/5/2011 11:45PM

    What you are doing is sane and successful. It's simply practical and effective, like using a bank statement and a budget to manage financial resources.

When slightly skewed information floats around out there, distressing and or discouraging good, earnest people, it makes it all the more valuable and significant that you are so generous and kind in encouraging and instructing others on this site.

You give of yourself continually around here, and it nourishes confidence, strength, and good judgment for many of us. So I would say, far from being vulnerable to an eating disorder, Watermellen is functioning as a one-woman eating-disorder ANTIDOTE!

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DONNACFIT 5/5/2011 11:17PM

    You're doing great!! I don't think you have to worry..it's only obsessive if it is interfering with your daily life in a bad way.

Keep on Sparkin' emoticon

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EDWINA172 5/5/2011 10:57PM

    I've tracked my calories for over 4 years. I am down 50 pounds and am healthier, more fit, medication free and very happy. If that makes me obsessive, so be it. If someone wants to label me with a disorder~then slap it on me.
My husband and I will track our calories until we are no longer able to. We love how healthy feels. We are helping others become healthy. There are many "friends" and family who don't understand our lifestyle. That's ok with us. They don't have to understand our life because WE are living it, not them.
Sounds like you are doing well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Thanks for posting the blog. Have a great weekend.

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ERIKO1908 5/5/2011 10:15PM

    I can totally see where that 'could' be an issue, but I'm thinking you are one of the ones that has it under control. This really is working for you & it has taken you to a WAY better place that is much healthier for you. I think over time, as you get more and more into the Beck way, there might be a 'slight' relazing of some of it - at that point if you feel yourself starting to slide you really don't have that far to go to recover. I really liked your comment about there being way more in life to celebrate than you can afford with calories. This is such a wise comment & I am taking it with me to ponder. As long as you keep it smart & are aware of what you are doing & also what a disorder looks like & know if you are heading in that direction, I'm sure you will do fine. I'm at that same place, because I'm not sure of my end weight. I know in my brain that I will recognize when it is too much gone...I keep looking for that point at which I am done & ready to maintain. Yeah for all your successes!!! This really is about you doing it and doing it well!! Keep up all your hard work!!

~~ Erica

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VALERIEMAHA 5/5/2011 9:50PM

    I have the *feeling* that your approach to weight control via Beck tends to reflect the way you live your life in general, which is why you've accomplished bunches of stuff and contributes to you having what's known as "The Good Life!"

Although your approach is a little too controlled for me, I'd certainly like to find a territory mid-way between when I'm at these days and where you're at!!! No true confessions at the moment -- so 'nuff said.

But I applaud you and think you're doing great...AND of course the health considerations are more urgent with your history!

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NICE125 5/5/2011 9:44PM

  It's a matter of balance, I am 40 pounds overweights so I need to count calories, and I don't think I am obsessive, I don't beat myself if I go overboard by a 100 or so cal. I don't get irritated or angry if I do that, also if one pre plans then there is always some built in extra calories one can take, no danger of eating disorder here!!!

Loving Beck! thanks Ellen!,

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DREMARGRL 5/5/2011 9:42PM

    DON'T WORRY....BE HAPPY! Look at the alternative and know that you are just determined and focused on staying trim and healthy....WAAAAA-HOOOOOOO FOR YOU! And for me........xo Take a look around and know that you are the smartie pants. I XO
Have a good night, darlin', and keep up the good work.
Have a lovely summer and keep that spark blazin' hawwwwt!

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Liposuction: The Fat Comes Back!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

An article in the Toronto Globe and Mail says that liposuction isn't permanent. The fat comes back -- just not necessarily in the same place. So if you have fat liposuctioned off your tummy, it's back within a year but maybe in your upper abdomen, or back, or even your triceps.

Here's the link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/the-ho


And the interesting thing is . . .even when people were informed about this research, many still opted to have the liposuction done!!

OK, I've fantasized about liposuction from time to time but . . . really? Worth the discomfort? The cost? And the wondering: where's it gonna reappear??

Whaddya think??

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 5/7/2011 11:31AM

    I have a friend who thought we should be able to lie in the sun, melt the fat, and then just suck it out with a turkey baster. Wouldn't that be so much easier???

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CARRAND 5/5/2011 8:43PM

    I never was interested in liposuction. I wouldn't mind having some excess skin trimmed, though. Maybe I'll get my neck tightened.

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JIBBIE49 5/5/2011 7:08PM

    The fat doesn't "Reappear" but the FAT CELLS that were there are now the ones that get FULL of fat, because a person goes back to their old eating habits and GAINS weight. So the fat cells on the back of the arms or on the inside of the thighs NOW get full.
The place where you have Lipo-suction no longer has the fat cells there so you CAN'T fill them back up again.
I know a woman who had it done along with a tummy tuck after having six children and her stomach area looks great so now she can wear dresses that have a belt rather than having that fat bulge sticking out that made her look like she was about 4 months pregnant.

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TRYINGHARD1948 5/5/2011 4:42PM

    It's amazing what people will do to themselves.

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NANCY- 5/5/2011 9:33AM

    I heard about this, but decided long ago that I didn't really trust anyone well enough to suck stuff out of me for vanity sake. I feared that they might leave me looking worse than when I started.

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FREELADY 5/5/2011 12:18AM

    I am such a cautious soul. I always tell myself I prefer the known negatives to the (possibly worse) unknown ones!

Thanks for this info.

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ERIKO1908 5/4/2011 11:44PM

    Tee hee...I giggled after reading this...I had an evil thought...maybe I can get mine to reappear on that cute little stick thin bopsy girl at the gym who eats everything and anything under the sun without gaining an ounce...and will happily tell you the whole story while swinging her ponytail and rolling her eyes...sorry...my brain took a not so nice detour there...perhaps kinder and gentler Erica will return tomorrow...

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BRIGHTSPARK7 5/4/2011 10:57PM

    Lipo doesn't appeal to me at all. I try to love my curves into their new forms.

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VALERIEMAHA 5/4/2011 10:08PM

    I stay as far as possible away from all medical establishments unless I need urgent care.

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MARELNAT 5/4/2011 10:07PM

    My fat would probably reappear right back where it started in the caboose! emoticon

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MAINtaining! And anticipating the leaping greenly spirits . . . any day!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

I'm feeling very lucky that my slight indulgence over a birthday dinner for DH yesterday did not push the scale up -- or at least not yet! I'm holding at 142 for now, got to the gym today for cardio and upper body weights plus abs and stretching, we'll be heading out to the golf course tomorrow if weather permits! (And quite possibly, even if it does not!).

This is such a wonderful time of the year, I'm in a continuous state of barely-suppressed euphoria. I noticed that the big sticky buds on our chestnut trees are just beginning to split open. After a winter's worth of hyacinths blooming inside, I now smell hyacinths when I step out into the garden! In just a couple of days, all of the trees will be covered with that sharp acid green of first leaves. I may just have to take a day or two off work to get the full benefit of the spring joyousness, that "leaping greenly spirits of trees".

The first fuzzy green each spring always coincides within 24 hours or so with my son's birthday, and always reminds me of of his birth -- a difficult one by C-section, scheduled so that he would have his "own" birthday and not have to share with his dad . . . although as it happens they are so very close that neither would have minded . . . . and that first walk to the window after his birth, looking out from the hospital over the park across the street with all of the magnificent old maple trees just coming into leaf, as if the whole world was celebrating with a burst of renewal. (Oh, yes: he was worth it! Absolutely!! And continues to be . . . a very sweet young man! )

So here's the poem, which many of you will already know is one of my absolute favourites, and which never fails to give me pleasure:

i thank You God for most this amazing
by e. e. cummings

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 of 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)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAWMS48 5/3/2011 11:19AM

    While staying with my daughter in Chicago, I got to reexperience spring. The flowers that bloomed a few weeks ago at home are in full bloom in the yards around her condo. Beautfiul deep purple hyacinth. Pink, orange, yellow and striped tulips. Magnolia and pear trees. Forsythia. Only those of us who suffer through the cold of winter can truly appreciate the warmth and color of spring.

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JOHAL52 5/2/2011 3:52PM

    That poem is great! I had read e. e. cummings years ago in college but don't remember that one. I love Spring too! Spring and Fall are my favorite times of the year in eastern Canada!

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PHEBESS 5/2/2011 11:35AM

    ABSOLUTELY ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE POEMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!R>
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRYINGHARD1948 5/2/2011 6:23AM

    Most of us only see through a glass dimly but with your help Ellen, you clear the glass and suddenly we can see things with our mind's eye that we walk blithely by most seasons. Thank you, already I am looking forward to our Spring in six months time.

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SLENDERELLA61 5/1/2011 6:43PM

    How springly! How beautiful!! Sure hope you can take off your day or two to soak in the coming of spring and celebrate! Celebrate spring! Thank you so much for sharing your wise perceptions and your spirit of joy.

Must say it is 86 degrees here and it seems like summer rather than spring. But there is beauty and joy here, too. I will look harder for it, Ellen. Thanks for the inspiration.

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VALERIEMAHA 5/1/2011 2:17PM

    emoticonWhat pure delight you are Ellen emoticon

emoticonthen there is the utter joy of e.e.cummings' gift

emoticonand finally there are your friends' amazing heart-touching comments


Comment edited on: 5/1/2011 2:18:13 PM

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FREELADY 5/1/2011 1:47PM

    You are fitting beautifully into a balanced, healthy groove.

Your blogs are a treat, a nice slice of verbal dark chocolate.

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NANCY- 5/1/2011 9:08AM

    Thank you so much... that poem was a beautiful way to start my May.
Your joyous spirit is infectious. With an attitude like yours, maintaining will become second nature to you.

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DONNACFIT 4/30/2011 11:46PM

    Glad you're enjoying your green..I love hearing about it and your blogs and poems..especially when we woke up to snow and wind today :(

Keep on Sparkin' emoticon

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CARRAND 4/30/2011 11:13PM

    I absolutely love that poem and I am going to copy it into my collection. We had a gorgeous spring day here today with a blue true dream of sky and azalea blooms everywhere.

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    I told man-of-my-dreams that I need to find a poem or two to memorize, to strength train the little grey cells...

and here, mere moments later, I find a poem I have loved and forgotten handed to me on a silver platter with a side of watermelon!

Thank you and your leaping greenly spirits! I'm off to find a permanent home in the back of my mind.

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BRIGHTSPARK7 4/30/2011 9:53PM

    Celebrating with you, dear Ellen. I saw a solid beacon of green shooting from the top of our magnolia this afternoon and the hubs and I stood together admiring it's effort and vitality. There are fuzzy pink apricot buds on the apricot tree and the pomegranate tree is covered in greenly brightness. My lemon pickle has been sunning itself this week with temps up in the 70s. It has been a blessed April.

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STLRZGRRL 4/30/2011 9:37PM

    Oh, El! I am sending our leaping greenly your way, Doll!

I truly thought it would never get here and I have rarely been so glad to have been wrong!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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