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"You look so tiny . . ."

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Ran into two old friends in two different locations while I was carrying out my Saturday routines (at the gym, then picking up some geraniums and nasturtiums at the nursery) neither of whom I'd seen for a very long time . . .

And each of them said, quite spontaneously, "You look so tiny!"

Tiny? I'm 5'9" tall! I've got size 9 or 10 feet!! I'm wearing a size 8 (which is a medium) or an occasional generous 6 (vanity sizing!)

Tiny I am not!!

But have to say, it made me feel good to discover that I'm looking noticeably slimmer!!

Thanks, Spark Friends, for the support. I've been keeping my weight steady at 138-140 for the last three weeks at least. Beck is working for me in helping me find that lowest sustainable weight!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENN03275 6/6/2011 9:45PM

    That is great!!

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PUDLECRAZY 6/6/2011 8:45PM

    Hey, Tiny, you are doing great! What is it with people and their perceptions? People think I'm tall at 5'3" and you are tiny at 5'9"??? I think they meant you are thin. Well, what you are is awesome!

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IGSBETH 6/6/2011 3:55PM


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    That is awesome!

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IMAGINE_IT 6/6/2011 1:45PM

    Enjoy the compliment Ellen...you are a Size 8..and that is 'tiny' in my book too....no matter what Height you are....so a big emoticon and continued success on maintaining..your tiny lil' bitty size emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FROSTIERACES 6/6/2011 1:25PM

    Yep I know this all too well...I will never be "tiny" either. Slenderella's comment made me laugh..Slim is good! hehe ...You're doing wonderful btw! Speaking of sizes...I went to the mall...stopped in at Ann Klein to look at their dresses. They had a bunch of dresses on clearance, and a few that were super cute were sized as Petite. Their size 8 and size 6 petites fit me...I was so confused....how could I ever fit into anything that small. But then, it dawned on me that they were probably a manufacturers defect and that was why they were on clearance!! :) Regardless...there hangs a size 6 petite dress in my closet!

Congratulations on your progress and getting to the weight you feel comfy at! It seems to me after my being gone from Spark for a couple months, the word that strikes me here is CONSISTENCY!...you've mastered that Ellen. You've been beautifully consistent with your goals and Beck. I'm really proud of you and happy for you too! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PHEBESS 6/6/2011 11:35AM

    Absolutely fabulous!!!!!!!!!

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BARBIETEC 6/6/2011 7:07AM

    It is so much fun to get compliments!!!! Enjoy it you tiny little thing heheheh :)

You rock!

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IRONGRANNIE 6/6/2011 4:08AM

    "Tiny"? No, don't hear that much at our height but they meant in circumference of course, not vertically! Nice one!

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NEWKAREN43 6/5/2011 9:17PM

    "Tiny" is a wonderful compliment for a woman who is 5'9"! I always say the 5'9" was the perfect height, I just 'forgot' to stop growing until I hit 6'. I would imagine you look lovely at 5'9" in a size 8. Kudos to you! Blessings on this journey! Karen

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TRAVELGRRL 6/5/2011 9:00PM

    I'm so proud for you!! That was an awesome compliment, and the fact that it was spontaneous is even better!

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CARRAND 6/5/2011 1:05PM

    You sound like a perfect size to me.


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FLOWINGWATER 6/5/2011 12:24PM

    Sure is great to hear, isn't it? I have the same reaction, when people say that to me, being a tall girl myself. "Tiny" is for those petite girls!

Hmm...must see about this "Beck" thing...though I think I'm at a weight I'm happy with, I'm curious...

Congrats on the compliments!!! It's great to run into old friends knowing you're looking F.I.N.E., and having them notice too!!!

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SLENDERELLA61 6/5/2011 12:16PM

    If "Tiny Ellen" doesn't suit you, why don't you try, "Slim"? I think you qualify and slim and tall go well together. Slim Ellen or just Slim? I think just Slim makes a great nickname.

Have a great day, Slim!! You deserve it. Congrats on all your accomplishments. Your hard work has paid off. Here's to years and years of fluctuating in a very narrow range right where you are!!

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FRACTALMYTH 6/5/2011 11:47AM

    Woooohoooooo! :D

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BNSUHAS 6/5/2011 10:51AM


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DONNACFIT 6/5/2011 9:42AM

    Congrats on the compliments!!

A friend from the ball tournament told me I was looking good yesterday so I told her about Spark People :)

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TRYINGHARD1948 6/5/2011 7:07AM

    You are awesome, never mind this tiny business. At 140, you are probably in the middle of what is deemed a healthy weight, in Australia, at least. Which makes you just perfect.

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P0KERS0PH 6/5/2011 5:36AM

    Thats great! I bet it made you feel on top of the world!

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JIBBIE49 6/5/2011 12:10AM

    I love "The BECK DIET SOLUTION." I recommend it to everyone.

My DD is 20 and she's 5'9" and 145# and does the p90X work out so she has a lot of muscle. But she looks "slim" being that tall. I am only 5'4" so I am happy she took after her father's relatives and is tall. She buys pants that all fit and never have to be "shortened."

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ERIKO1908 6/4/2011 11:42PM

    I love how you are starting the maintenance stage!! This really gives me hope!! Isn't it wonderful when friends notice the results of all the hard work we put in? Keep up on all you are doing - it is really working for you!!

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NATKITA 6/4/2011 11:07PM

    I must say, for 5'9", I think a size 8 absolutely IS tiny!!!!! Seriously girl, celebrate that!!!! :)

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TEENY_BIKINI 6/4/2011 10:44PM

    You better go on with your bad self!!! You rock!

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BRIGHTSPARK7 6/4/2011 10:30PM

    You're looking and feeling healthy! SO great that you've found your lowest sustainable weight.

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PENNYAN45 6/4/2011 10:24PM

    YES!!! SUCCESS!!!

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SERENE_ME 6/4/2011 10:00PM

    Wow - great work Ellen! You've done so well and are so inspiring to so many. How great you must feel!

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VENISEW1 6/4/2011 9:55PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHANLSURFR 6/4/2011 9:37PM

    Awesome work. Keep it up!

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LOLAJASPER 6/4/2011 9:32PM

    I bet that felt wonderful!

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June! Perfection!!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

"What is so Rare as a Day in June?"

And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays:
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;
Every clod feels a stir of might,
An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
And, grasping blindly above it for light,
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;
The flush of life may well be seen
Thrilling back over hills and valleys;
The cowslip startles in meadows green,
The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
And there ‘s never a leaf or a blade too mean
To be some happy creature’s palace;
The little bird sits at his door in the sun,
Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,
And lets his illumined being o’errun
With the deluge of summer it receives;
His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings,
And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;
He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest,–

James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)


This is a snippet from a much longer (and rather heavily religious) poem, taken from an interesting birders' site. And really I like best just the first two lines, celebrating the miracle which is June.

We've a full week of sunny weather forecast . . . it's warm, it's summer, I'm wearing my new white sandals today with white pants!! With fresh asparagus in my lunchtime salad!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRIGHTSPARK7 6/3/2011 1:01AM

    I DO love June. It's my birthday month and I celebrate each day, the whole month long. Thank you for this gorgeous poem, so alive with the images of June. It really captured some of the celebration I am feeling. Jubilant.

And after hearing more about the squirrely behavior in your attic, I appreciated your kindness even more.

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TRYINGHARD1948 6/2/2011 5:18AM

    The poetry of earth is never dead: ,,,,, Keats

As you enjoy your June sun, we too are enjoying the most beautiful, clear, sunshiny days now that it is Winter.

Loved the poem, thank you. You always lift my soul and give great pleasure.

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CARRAND 6/1/2011 8:23PM

    Lovely poem. I shared a bit of it with my group at work recently by email. They all know I'm a poetry nut.

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DSHONEYC 6/1/2011 2:49PM

    Wow, we must have been on the same June wave length today! June is bustin' out all over...and yes a 4 day weekend and 3 day workweek works for me!
Ciao, Bella

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_LINDA 6/1/2011 2:03PM

    As with Flowingwater, spring has far from sprung here, let alone summer. Can only dream! But a nice summer poem puts you in the mood! Thanks for sharing!

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KALIGIRL 6/1/2011 1:43PM

    Love the celebration of the season and particularly a sunny summer day.
emoticonfor sharing!

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JOHAL52 6/1/2011 1:42PM

    I knew the first two lines of course but enjoyed reading more of it. Love the buttercup analogy :)

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PHEBESS 6/1/2011 12:16PM

    Beautiful!!! "Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune" - quite a concept!!!

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FLOWINGWATER 6/1/2011 10:14AM

    Great poem! Summer doesn't hit here until mid-July. It's still cool and grey out. But, I am having to dodge many more little critters on my bike. Yesterday, I dodged a squirrel and a kamikaze bird.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE asparagus. Organic is SOO expensive - over $5 a pound, so it's a rare treat.

Enjoy! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PENNYAN45 6/1/2011 8:54AM

"[In June], if ever, come perfect days."

And those are the days we are living right now!

I found another to add to your tribute to this month of June:

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"Mine is the Month of Roses; yes, and mine
The Month of Marriages! All pleasant sights
And scents, the fragrance of the blossoming vine,
The foliage of the valleys and the heights.
Mine are the longest days, the loveliest nights;
The mower's scythe makes music to my ear;
I am the mother of all dear delights;
I am the fairest daughter of the year."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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NANCY- 6/1/2011 8:08AM

    What beauty is written... it amazing me that it was written with the spring of biting insects(which he chose to ignore).
It is all about perspective and you have a great one.
Keep Sparking!!!!

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Squirrel Wars

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The red and grey and black squirrels in our back yard are irresistibly cute. We have a veritable squirrel paradise: walnut and chestnut trees, pine and spruce cones, wild grape and raspberry . . . and plenty of "leftunders" courtesy of the bird feeders. Plus the suet block we hang all winter for the chickadees and woodpeckers and nuthatches : several athletic grey squirrels have learned how to leap on the suet block holder and (even though we had thought squirrels were not carnivorous) can chomp their way through a whole block in about a day and a half.

So: wouldn't you think they'd be grateful? Not so much.

The grey and black squirrels are hardy types who live outside all year round, with huge dreys in a number of trees. ("Drey" = the traditional leafy squirrel house -- one of the first words my kids taught me).

Red squirrels consider our house to be their house. Actually, we are graciously permitted to occupy the lower levels of the house, but the attic is theirs.

Squirrels are "protected wildlife" which means by law we're not permitted to poison (no no no , we wouldn't want to do that) or trap (no no no again: not even live trap for removal elsewhere). We're only permitted to have squirrel guy install one way "exit doors" and then (after a suitable interval for the squirrels to pack their bags and depart) come back and close in the entrance altogether.

So: squirrel guy is a too-frequent visitor.

Last week, he installed yet another one-way door.

I came home from work to find a totally indignant red squirrel on the back deck. Glowering. Pouncing. Posturing. Flexing his little biceps. Glowering more, fixing me with one bright eye and then the other, head tossing.

He KNEW I was responsible. He wanted me to know he knew. Chchchchchchchch. And that he wasn't going to forget it.

Had he weighed 80 pounds more, that red squirrel would have been truly menacing.

We've heard him trying to re-enter that one-way exit. We know that there will be another assault on the fortress. It's just a matter of time before the squirrels create a new hole. Necessitating another visit from squirrel guy.

Cute? Yeah, they are. I keep telling myself that. Cute. Cute. Cute.

But: annoying also. Very very very annoying!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Thank goodness the packrats we get here in the desert are not protected and I can catch them in a humane trap and relocate them. I had squirrels in the attic of an apartment I lived in for a time in Colorado. Noisy little critters!

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NANCY- 6/1/2011 7:40AM

Squirrels are "protected wildlife" !?!
When did rodents become protected?
I loved reading your blog... and I am empathic to your plight. Creating entrance holes?
Usually I think of them as being cute, but when they dig up my bulbs, I am reminded that they are rodents. Having the law on their side too! What is this world coming to...

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IRONGRANNIE 6/1/2011 4:01AM

    Oh dear! makes my battle with possums and rabbits seem very insignificant!

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BRIGHTSPARK7 6/1/2011 12:02AM

    I wonder if you can hear them scampering around and partying upstairs? That would be annoying. I appreciate that you are a live and let live kinda gal. Those one way doors are a great idea. From the human point of view!

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CARRAND 5/31/2011 9:33PM

    Squirrels are just rodents with bushy tails, I've heard.

But I love your description of your squirrel visitors.

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_LINDA 5/31/2011 12:52PM

    Wow! Who knew? We have some cute little chipmunks that race across the yard every now and then, but they don't bother us. Squirrels are rare to see, although I have seen the flying kind. Had no idea they could get in a house and cause trouble. The only thing getting in here is an endless supply of bugs. Mom has to sweep and vacuum them up every day.
Hope your one way doors work! Maybe you could get an animal around the squirrels don't like -a natural control.
Have a terrific Tuesday!

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KALIGIRL 5/31/2011 12:31PM

    Amazingly tenacious...

Here's to their ingenuity and your stick-to-itiveness!

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PHEBESS 5/31/2011 11:17AM

    I love your description of the little menacing squirrel threatening you!!!!

I hope they didn't leave you a nest of babies?

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IMAGINE_IT 5/31/2011 8:13AM

    I can imagine that it is annoying. I feel for you especially since not much can be done about this...i didn't realize that squirrels are protected. It is not like that here in Texas.
Now i have this image of the red little pest..ummm...sorry...squirrel standing up and flexing his little tiny biceps ...and every time i see a squirrel now i will be thinking of you Ellen! emoticon
Hope you and the squirrels will come to a happy living arrangement soon. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRYINGHARD1948 5/31/2011 7:44AM

    We have the same problems with possums, and they are cute too.

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MANDARYANE 5/31/2011 7:34AM

    Haha what a wonderfully vivid tale, I am sorry about your squirrel problem! I am happy that it isn't a bat - but hopefully soon they will learn their lesson about not living in your attic!

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PUDLECRAZY 5/31/2011 7:34AM

    I never know with things like Japanese beetle traps (wait I have a point here) which attracts them to their doom, but some people say it attracts more of the little stinkers to your yard.

In the same light, I wonder about those squirrel feeding toys where you put corn on things that spin around. Would it help or hinder to place a couple of those on the far side of the yard to get them interested in something farther away from your house.

I feel very fortunate to have a couple of hickory trees. The nuts at least keep them enough satisfied that they leave my bird feeders alone.

In sympathy,

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Domestic Diva?? So Out of Character!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I'm not sure what came over me, but today I spent quite a bit more time in "housewifey" tasks than usual -- I'm generally quite non-domestic!

Did laundry (carefully hanging up my husband's favourite golf shirts after 5 minutes in the dryer, as requested!!). And then a little ironing for next week's work outfits . . .

Made soup -- variation on a Lime Cilantro Black Bean SP recipe recommended by FLOWINGWATER. It smelled great while it was simmering away: the basic concept is to puree one can of black beans with a cup of salsa in the food processor, then add a second can, well rinsed and whole, with lots of cumin. I turned my version into more of a hearty stew with diced tomatoes, brown rice, shredded carrot, chopped red and green peppers, corn, onion, roasted garlic . . . this will be my supper soup for the coming week!!

(Went to the gym for a great cardio workout on the elliptical and then a full strenuous upper body weight routine: but that's pretty routine for a Saturday, and doesn't fit my more-domestic-than-usual theme).

Got to the nursery and picked up some hanging bright red geraniums for the front verandah and back deck: I've got a new Canadian flag flying as well. Walked around my garden, admired my iris, pulled a few weeds, picked some lilac and lily-of-the-valley for a bouquet on the kitchen table. (That's the one domestic thing I always do: flowers. Always.)

Did the groceries by myself: a task I hate, especially when I go alone: but DH was at the office, working on urgent stuff for next week, so he was definitely entitled to a free pass. However, on my way to the grocery store, found a new pair of white flat sandals, the kind with the little zippers up the back and lots of straps: very very cute, and comfortable (and not at all expensive . . . ). Figured that I deserved 'em.

After I got the groceries all put away, I made dinner for myself and DH (with leftovers for DS when he gets home from work any minute now . . . ): roasted chicken, baked potato, steamed local asparagus, and a marvellous low cal rhubarb cake recommended by BLUESKY called Oma's Rhubarb Cake . . . thick Greek yogourt and egg whisked together and mixed into the chopped rhubarb, then folded into the dry ingredients -- whole wheat flour. I tried a little variation on the crumb topping, with large flake oatmeal and brown sugar and cardamom and butter . . . very very delicious warm with a tiny scoop of low fat vanilla ice cream!!.

(Yes, I did finish off my day within calorie range. And weighed in this morning at 139 on the Y's scales . . . )

But: laundry and ironing and cooking and gardening and grocery shopping and dinner prep including baking, all in one day??? This is waaaaaay more Martha Stewart than I usually manage!!

And of course, if I were reliably domestic, do you suppose that anyone would appreciate it? No, no, no: all that effort would just be taken for granted, right??

So I'm thinking I'd better revert to my usual patterns right away. Have to manage expectations carefully . . . Tomorrow it's back to the golf course, yeah!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLUESKY_321 5/31/2011 11:49AM

    So glad you enjoyed the rhubarb cake ... I think I may need to make another batch! Even the kiddos will eat it if I top it with ice cream!

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IMAGINE_IT 5/31/2011 8:25AM

    Hurray for all Domestic Diva's...and you are included now Ellen!! emoticon
I am not much of a domestic diva myself..i do what has to be done...you know...i mean who else would do it..since i live alone..lol...but lately i have found a new Interest in cooking..which i never...ever..ever had..i used to cook because the kids..and i were hungry...but nowadays i experience with 'clean' food. Your Soup sounds delicious...and when you described the Oma's Rhubarb Cake..all these memories of long gone days in Germany came back to me..where we ate Rhubarb cake in the summer..made with 'Schmand' a type of heavy cream...it was the BEST!!
I will have to try the recipe by Bluesky..and look out for rhubarb..because it is not available very often or for too long here in Texas.
ummmm....Ellen?? Where are you?? I thought you was listening to me...sitting right there in your kitchen...with your pretty apron on emoticon

.....Oooooh wait..there is a note from you...it says: "you off to the Golf Course"!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 5/30/2011 7:39PM

    Wow!! First, Congrats on that weight. You must be tiny at 5'9" and 139!! Congrats on the yummy, healthy soup and dessert. That's a great habit to always have flowers. Just love that!! Take care, Marsha

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BARBIETEC 5/30/2011 3:59AM

    wow... you have energy hehehe :)

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BRIGHTSPARK7 5/29/2011 7:10PM

    Chuckling at reading your delightful blog emoticon This is definitely more domestic than I usually am in one day, too. But it sounds like you really enjoyed most of it -- except the grocery shopping. And I have to say, my hubs is usually really appreciative of the effort I make -- when it happens. As you say, we have to manage expectations! LOL!

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PHEBESS 5/29/2011 3:38PM

    LOL - way to go on being a one-day domestic diva!

PS - I'm currently poaching pears in red wine. Way too many cals, but worth a try!

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KALIGIRL 5/29/2011 10:40AM

    A new you?

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NANCY- 5/29/2011 10:27AM

    I really loved the part about deserving the sandals. :)
You made all that sound like fun. Taking care of that stuff frees you up for other things.

Now I'm off to find those recipes you mentioned...

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CARRAND 5/29/2011 7:35AM

    It sounds like a great day to me. Sometimes I really get into that domestic diva thing, but not every day. I am off work every other Friday (I work 9 hours days the rest of the time)and those Fridays off are my time to be domestic. I change bed sheets, do laundry, clean bathrooms, vacuum, etc. I do go to the gym on my day off, too - got to do my weights and yoga!

Your soup sounds wonderful.

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MOMAAGAINX2 5/29/2011 6:26AM

    Wow I am tired now!!

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TRYINGHARD1948 5/29/2011 2:43AM

    Well done but when the weather is good, don't waste it.

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PUDLECRAZY 5/29/2011 1:33AM

    LOL! Yup, the golf course sound like MUCH more fun. It does feel good to get so much accomplished but sustained Martha Stewart is hard to do. And remember, Martha has servants so she can spend time doing cutesy. Yay, golf!

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FLOWINGWATER 5/28/2011 10:00PM

    I'm exhausted just reading your post! emoticon I think a day at the golf course is definitely in order!!

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/28/2011 9:55PM

    Now you've gone and cursed yourself with domestic burnout? You won't do anything for a week after such a domestic diva binge, huh?

emoticon Anyway that would be me... Congrats on your clean house & hopefully grateful spouse!

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Former Smoker? Stronger Will Power!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A recent article in the Toronto Globe and Mail offers some encouragement to those of us who used to smoke: current brain imaging research demonstrates that quitting smoking apparently strengthens your will power for application in other areas of our lives, such as weight reduction!

Here's the link: www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/

OK, I'll admit that I used to smoke -- more than 30 years ago. I came from a family of smokers. My husband of 32 years has never known me as a smoker. But I'll also admit -- I've never stopped wanting to smoke. I know I'm one cigarette away from a pack a day. Every day. Working in a cancer hospital for terminal patients as a ward clerk was highly persuasive: watching people in the very last weeks and days of life who still wanted to smoke -- who needed someone to hold a cigarette up to their tracheotomies -- that was an image which stuck in my mind. And I stopped smoking. Cold turkey. Over night.

Don't like smoking: the smell in hair and clothing, the mess of butts on the ground. Yup, I avoid smokers. Long before it was commonplace to restrict others' smoking socially, I made it clear that I would not want anyone to smoke in my home or in my car -- which was a huge problem with both my mother-in-law and my father, no matter how I tried to be "nice" about it and explain that I had a child with severe asthma.

But despite all of that, if I'm honest there's never a week which goes by when I don't experience the craving for a cigarette -- after a meal with a cup of coffee, or passing by someone on the street enjoying a smoke. It's a craving that I sometimes experience daily, even multiple times a day. So I try hard not to be self-righteous about being a non-smoker: I don't have anything to be self-righteous about. I know that nicotine is a powerful powerful addiction and that I haven't "licked" it.

So: you can imagine how chuffed I was about this Globe article which says that developing self-control by giving up smoking can actually result in measurable changes in the brain. And that the increase in self-control learned from quitting smoking is highly transferable to other challenging areas of activity! But also that sustained self-control over a period of time can lead to a "snapping point", and for that reason it's best to ensure (through frequent small meals, exercise, regular breaks) that we maintain stable levels of glucose for optimal functioning of the "self-control" centres in the brain.

Beck talks about the importance of not eating standing up, regardless of the trivial amount of calories you might be consuming, because it's important to strengthen the "resistance" muscle and not to strengthen the "giving in" muscle. That "resistance "muscle" is apparently located in the dorsal-lateral prefrontal cortex which is notably more active in brain scans when we're exercising self-control. That part of the brain is measurably thicker in people who do sustain self-control

So: if you've developed the self-control to give up smoking, does that mean you're likely to be more successful in controlling your weight too? What do you think?

I don't know, but I do see some similarities, some differences. I haven't smoked for over thirty years: I've sustained an 80 pound (now 90 pound) weight loss pretty consistently for almost a decade.

However, I don't really expect ever to stop wanting to smoke, AND I don't expect ever to stop wanting to eat potato chips. But I know that even though I can risk eating a few potato chips or French fries from time to time without triggering a binge, since I quit smoking I've never ever taken the chance of risking even one cigarette.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1HAPPYWOMAN 6/14/2011 10:12PM

    Thanks for the great info! In his book "Changing for Good," James Prochanska wrote, "good habits travel in packs," and I have found that to be very true. Just since starting on my weight loss journey, I've tackled some long-neglected tasks and adopted some new and positive mental habits.

I find it interesting that I have not craved a cigarette in years. I quit 16 years ago, and of course it was very difficult in the beginning! But after a few years I completely stopped wanting them.

Maybe it has to do with the cognitive reframing technique that I used compulsively for years. Every time I saw or smelled a cigarette, I would say to myself: "I'm so glad I'm a non-smoker." And then I would begin to list off all the reasons I was happy to have quit the habit, and by the end of the long list, I would feel calm and happy!

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FROSTIERACES 6/6/2011 1:39PM

    My husband is the same...he quit smoking (thankfully)just like that oneday 7 years ago. Now he hates the smell of smoke, it makes him feel ill, yet the idea of holding a cigarette after a meal or whatever is exactly what he describes as the urge still lingering. Quitting smoking is a huge deal...I'm surprised it doesn't have it's own recovery program and diagnosis code...recovering nicotine lover or something... :)Thanks for sharing!

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BABYFACE26 5/28/2011 2:19PM

    This blog just blew my Mind. the dorsal-prelateral cortex?? that is an amazing concept! thanks for the info. and congratulations for giving up Smoking. Thank God I've never smoked, but I certainly had a drug problem for a good part of my Life...so the "giving in" part of my Brain certainly has some muscle tone to it!!! Very inspiring!

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PHEBESS 5/27/2011 10:44AM

    I'm married to a smoker [and I have asthma] - so I know what you mean - he often quits, for my health, but starts up again. All I hear about is how he wants a cigarette with this trigger, or that trigger - I understand the craving, but at some point one needs to, as you say, build the resistance muscles! (On the other hand, he also needs to build the resistance muscles for chocolate, too!)

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KALIGIRL 5/27/2011 9:34AM

    It makes sense that giving up any habit builds a set of tools and a feeling of success; giving up an addictive substance seems like it would 'strengthen' both.

As someone who forgets the 'bad', wonder if the 'cravings' are more for the 'good' parts of the experience - the cup of coffee shared with your thoughts or friends?

emoticonon your decade of health!

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TOOKES519 5/27/2011 8:45AM

    I am a former smoker myself. I just quit on May 6, 2009.

I knew I had to quit smoking first before I could focus on the weight. One step at a time I had to take. Once I knew I had mastered the art of not smoking, about 6 months after quitting I knew that I would be able to concentrate much more effectively on losing weight. I do truly believe that I have totally and completely been able to focus on this weight loss even more because of quitting. i have so much to prove to myself because I have put huge expectations on myself.

Don't get me wrong I crave cigarettes daily also, its almost so hard to resist because my Mom still is a smoker, but I seriously hate the smell of it and I know that I feel so much better without them. I was a huge social smoker, so when someone else lit up, so did I. I didn't smoke in my home or my car. Is till can't believe that nicotine had such a huge grip over me even though I had the control to not smoke in certain places.

Interesting read thanks for sharing.



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NANCY- 5/27/2011 7:02AM

    Being smoke free for just over two years, It is important to remain vigilant.
Everyday we are faced with choices, it still boils down to what do we choose no matter what the driving force is. Those "measures of willpower" just might be acquired skills.
I could not quit cold turkey, I needed tools. The tools I learned were from Dr. Aaron Beck's CBT and yes for me those skills are transferable.
Waiting for the craving to pass, be it food or smoking.
As you, over time my reaction to smoking and certain foods has changed.
As for the snapping point theory, of course it is easier to snap when stressed, so taking care of ourselves in the first place is the best course of action.
At least for me, when food, rest, exercise and spirit needs are addressed stress levels are reduced and I can make better decisions.

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KRISTI2661 5/26/2011 10:51PM

    Wow - love this! I quit smoking about 4 years ago. I still think about smoking a lot and have said that when I'm 80 years old I'm gonna go ahead and start again - and I've said I'm gonna eat potato chips, too! I'm just glad those thoughts (cravings) don't consume me anymore like they used to. Now I crave and consume health!

Thanks for another awesome blog Ellen!

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BRIGHTSPARK7 5/26/2011 10:39PM

    I'm so proud of you, Ellen, for taking this healthy step for yourself and your loved ones: quitting smoking. And you have clearly built your will power muscles for use in many areas of your life. emoticon

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CARRAND 5/26/2011 8:44PM

    I never smoked, but I know what you mean about still wanting to smoke even after decades. I lost 70 pounds, but I'm sure if I stop tracking my food, and paying attention to what I eat, I would easily gain it right back just because I love food, and love eating.

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