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Hot Hot Hot: and Not!!! (So Fat)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

This summer I'm close to 20 pounds lighter than last summer -- maybe 155- 158 then, pretty steady at 138 now.

At 158, I was a lot lighter than my 230 max.

But even 20 pounds less feels better in hot weather:

1. My clothes are looser -- especially the waistbands. No more sweat marks around the waist.

2. My thighs don't chafe together. No more heat rash.

3. I just don't feel the heat as much: so I'm experiencing less temptation to "cool down" with an ice cream cone, or a frozen treat or an iced cappuccino . . .or even what we Canajuns call a "pop" (American soda).

4. I feel better at the beach in my bathing suit. In fact, I really need to buy a suit in a smaller size. I'll be watching for a good sale!!

5. I've got more energy on the golf course, especially towards the end of the game.

Well, there are five reasons I'm happy to be thinner this summer --- but there are lots more!!

And they all add up to motivation. Motivation to stay at this weight. Middle number 3.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANNJ77 7/15/2011 9:40AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WANDERINGGIRL 7/15/2011 8:30AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Thighs that don't rub and buying a smaller bathing suit?! I am quite envious, it has been years since I wore a bathing suit or went swimming. Keep on doing what your doing and you will be where you want to be in no time!

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BJUBILANT 7/15/2011 7:38AM

    Thighs that don't rub? I thought that was just a far off fantasy! Thanks for letting me know it IS possible. emoticon (I have no idea what this image represents but it struck me as cute.)

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RONOSOF 7/15/2011 6:57AM

    I couldn't agree more:)

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ERIN4771 7/15/2011 6:43AM

    love reason #3!! so true!! congrats on your success so far, can't wait to see that middle number become a 3 for you!! and i know it will happen!!! emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 7/15/2011 6:22AM

    You are amazing. Brilliant reasons for sure...



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_LINDA 7/14/2011 1:09AM

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Isn't that just the greatest?? So glad you are feeling better and no doubt looking fabulous!!
I am lucky/unlucky in a way. I have no ice cream place near to me or even a confectionery to get those slurpees I used to love or other confections! Fate? Luck? No temptations = no slip ups!
Keep on enjoying and loving your new body for a fantastic summer!

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REDSHOES2011 7/13/2011 8:51AM


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NEWKAREN43 7/13/2011 8:47AM

    Good morning! I agree that a tankini is a good option of a 2 piece with coverage...and I've seen them sold as individual pieces so you can have the style of bottom you want with the style of top that you want and I think that's cool! Can't do THAT with a one piece! Have a great day! Blessings, Karen

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TOOKES519 7/13/2011 8:26AM

    Good for you!! Not until you mentioned it did I thnik that all of the above applied to me also. Except the 138 pounds, lol. Thanks for putting things in perspective for me, and you.



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NEWKAREN43 7/12/2011 10:26PM

    Let me add...I hope to never, ever buy another swimsuit that's bigger than the size I'm wearing this year. I actually had a thought of a two piece but that was fleeting...at best. No need to scare the children! Blessings! Karen

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CARRAND 7/11/2011 9:43PM


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PHEBESS 7/11/2011 7:26PM


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PENNYAN45 7/11/2011 7:03PM

    What a great blog! Twenty pounds make a very BIG difference -- and just in time for summer! Congratulations.

I think you ought to go out and buy that new swim suit right away!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPEEDYDOG 7/11/2011 11:26AM

    Thanks for the great blog. Very motivating! Next time I reach for a pop I will recall your #3. (Here in the Western US we also call soft drinks "pop" or "soda pop")

Thanks, Bruce

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DDOORN 7/11/2011 10:09AM

    Kudos to YOU!

I LOVE being able to enjoy the heat instead of DREAD it!


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NANCY- 7/11/2011 8:05AM

Great list and great middle number.
You are rocking this summer!!!!

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IMAGINE_IT 7/11/2011 6:12AM

    Ellen those are definitely great reasons to stay or be slim! And for me to 'just not feel this horrible Heat here in Texas will be one of my main reasons to lose weight. 20 pounds lighter then last year??? Awesome!! :)

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TBANMAN 7/10/2011 9:32PM

    It's always fun to come up with new reasons to stay slim - and motivated. Good job!

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SLENDERELLA61 7/10/2011 8:50PM

    Great blog! Wonderful accomplishment. Love the list. I definitely feel better in the heat now, too. Good observation. Keep up the great work and the great blogs!

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NEWKAREN43 7/10/2011 8:25PM

    I love this list, I was just thinking this morning that I was chafing on my legs because my work out pants were falling down, not even covering me! I just tried on swimsuits (my own little store, I have so many sizes, and I never get rid of them because they are SO expensive)...last year on vacation, the humiliation of wearing a "swim dress" instead of a suit was the last straw. This year, I get to wear not one, but two gorgeous suits that actually look good on me, make me look 'normal' and that I'm comfortable in...wow! What a difference 30 pounds makes! I am cheering for you and me! It sounds like you are where you want to be, I still have a lot more to lose but I'm well on my way! Blessings! Karen

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DONNACFIT 7/10/2011 8:15PM

    Great blog!!! Love your list of 5 things

Keep on Sparkin' emoticon

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Saturday, July 09, 2011

Bright orange, bright yellow. Peach streaked with pink, pale yellow. Dark red, bright red, light red. Frilly, floppy, fabulous. Peppery flowery fresh fragrance.

Tumbling out of my verandah window boxes and planters, tucked into the front of my flower beds beneath the verandah.

I've loved nasturtiums since I was a little girl planting fat beige seeds at my grandfather's house and rewarded with tiny seedlings within days. And have grown them every summer since I've had my own gardens.

Those round spoked leaves taste delicious in a salad or sandwich too!

Nasturtiums are one sight, scent, and taste of summer for me.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROSTIERACES 7/20/2011 12:57PM

    I have them too every year but this year....what is wrong with me?!....I've always loved their colors! Doubting any flower stores are carrying them here yet...but I'm going to check! Need pictures of yours Ellen!

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_LINDA 7/14/2011 1:05AM

    FANTASTIC description!! I love them too, and we have an incredibly healthy crop growing in Mom's garden. I picked a beautiful bouquet of them for our supper table and to also show they are good to eat, but my niece looked at me like a grew an extra horn and wouldn't try them LOL! My sister did though, and likes the possibilities of garnishing salads with them! Unfortunately, the storms we have been getting have wreaked havoc on the garden. I have been hoping to get some good photos, but right now they are shredded and tired looking.
Enjoy your summer bounty!

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BRIGHTSPARK7 7/10/2011 2:52PM

    Nasturtiums are such vigorous flowers. I have loved them since I grew them as a girl, too. Haven't planted any in ages. I had no idea you could eat the leaves! Learned something from you! Thank you! And enjoy your golf!
Usha xo

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DBCLARINET 7/10/2011 12:19PM

    Beautiful flowers! I love the yellow and orange -- and in a salad, that would make me want to eat salads all the time!

Tried soft tofu with berries today, blended in my Magic Bullet. It was surprisingly a lot like eating... berry flavored yogurt! It definitely still tastes like tofu, but I like tofu anyway, so no issues there. Thanks for the suggestion, I think this one can stick around for a while!

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PHEBESS 7/9/2011 8:56PM

    I love the concept of edible flowers - just such an amazing thing to do!

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CARRAND 7/9/2011 8:17PM

    Those are lovely flowers. I've seen them and loved them, but didn't know what they were. I'm glad to hear they're easy to plant and grow.

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NANCY- 7/9/2011 5:28PM

    I love how the flowers brighten the salad and I didn't plant any this year... Boo Hoo!!!
So easy to grow too. This reminds me to plan for my garden next year.

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VENISEW1 7/9/2011 12:05PM

    Interesting, not sure if I've ever had them before.

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I've only eaten the buds before, and had no idea the leaves were yummy!

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DONNACFIT 7/9/2011 9:43AM

    Hi I love your blogs on flowers...I, too, love flowers...especially wild flowers and with all the rain we have an abundance of wildflowers. When I quad the cattle I always look for and enjoy the flowers and different grasses. Now we have blue wild flax, pink wild roses, white wild strawberries, and lots of yellow flowers of different types!! When I had the granddaughters last year for swim lessons we did a book of pressed wildflowers and grasses and labeled them..hubby does all these classes on identifying grasses, etc :)

Now when I see the flowers, I think of you :) and how different the flowers are here from there....

Take care and nibble some flowers for me emoticon

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I Am Canadian!!! Song Lyrics (English/French)

Friday, July 01, 2011

Canada, all our hopes can thrive
Both immigrants and native born
Make our land come alive
Canada, one nationality
We form our unity unique
From our diversity.

I am Canadian
Join hands with me.
I am Canadian
Feel proud and free.

Canada, the mountains and the plains
The cities and the forests
Highways and country lanes.
Canada, as varied as our land
Our people forge their strongest links
When we join hand to hand.

You are Canadian
Different from me.
You are Canadian
Feel proud and free.

Listen to the nation's heartbeat
Canada's a state of mind
If we strive with thought and passion
It's a dream that we might find.

I am Canadian
Join hands with me
You are Canadian
We are proud and free, so proud and free

Canada, a world of every hue
We honour our first peoples
As we build something new
Canada, a vision we'll maintain
For tolerance is never won
But always still to gain

I am Canadian
Join hands with me
I am Canadian
Feel proud and free, so proud and free

You are Canadian
Different from me
We're all of us Canadian
You are Canadian
Feel proud and free
You're going to make us feel proud and free
We are Canadian
Joined hand to hand
We are Canadian
Strong as our land
We are Canadian.

Canada, depuis beaucoup d'annees
Qui fait vivre notre pays
C'est un peuple si varie
Canada, nous ferions une unite
Immigrant ou indigen
De notre diversite

Je suis canadien
Je te donne ma main
Je suis canadien
Je le mets en train

Canada, divers comme notre contree
Les montaignes, les prairies
Les forets et les cites
Canada, une poignee de main donnons
Pour joindre notre patrie aime
Dans une vivre reunion

Tu es canadien
Different de moi
Tu es canadien
Donnons-nous ta foi

Ecoutez battre le coeur canadien
Ce n' est qu'une etat d'esprit
Tout notre pensee, tout notre passion
Peut-etre ce revre c'est accompli

Je suis canadien
Tu me donnes ta main
Tu est canadien
Mettons-le en train

Canada, des coleurs mondiales
Honourons nos originaires
Mais fondons une nouvelle
Canada, il faut pour soutenir
La vision de la tolerance
Essayer l'acquerir

Je suis canadien
Je te donne ma main
Je suis canadien
Je le mets en train
Tu es canadien
Different de moi, et j'aime tes differences
Tu es canadien
Donnons-nous ta foi
C'est a nous donnons la foi
Nous sommes canadiens
Plein d'espoir
Nous sommes canadiens
En Canada faut croire
Nous sommes canadiens.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 7/14/2011 1:14AM

    Fabulous song!! Thanks for sharing! I am so sorry I have missed your blogs, can't get why they are not appearing on my friend feed :(((

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LEGALLYBLONDE81 7/5/2011 12:10AM

    It is authentic! We even DRANK Canadian (67 for those of us "healthy camping").

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BARBIETEC 7/3/2011 8:11AM

    heheh.. Happy Canada Day!

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DDOORN 7/2/2011 10:38PM

    You and your fellow Canadians have a WONDERFUL country!

In fact, if I had the means to do it, I would love to move and become a Canadian myself!


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BLUESKY_321 7/2/2011 5:52PM

    one of my bff's from Ontario posted this song in honor of Canada Day:


actually, it's a beer commercial.)

Hope you are having a fabulous holiday!

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FRACTALMYTH 7/2/2011 5:03PM

    Did I ever tell you I am a tiny part Canadian? My direct maternal line traces back to a Creek indian who married a Scottish missionary... about 6 generations ago, I think... I seem to have a lot of faith in the direct maternal line lol because I feel a lot closer to her than any other part of my bloodline.. must be mitochondrial :D HAPPY CANADA DAY

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BRIGHTSPARK7 7/1/2011 10:56PM

    What a beautiful song. I love the lyrics -- especially about tolerance, honoring the original people while building something new. Lovely.

Happy Canada Day dear Sparkfriend!

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SLENDERELLA61 7/1/2011 7:30PM

    Wonderful! How appropriate. Happy, happy Canada Day!!

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PENNYAN45 7/1/2011 5:47PM

    Happy Canada Day!!
Canada is my birthplace - and it has a very special place in my heart.


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CARRAND 7/1/2011 4:49PM

    Happy Canada Day! I love the sentiment of this song.

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PHEBESS 7/1/2011 12:05PM

    Happy Canada Day to you!

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NANCY- 7/1/2011 11:16AM

Happy Canada Day!
Freedom is a wonderful thing.

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COUNTYGRRL 7/1/2011 10:35AM

    Happy Canada Day!!

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A Somewhat Immoderate Response to Moderation?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

KALIGIRL and BRIGHTSPARK have both kindly pointed out that my reading of the Leslie Beck article in my previous blog was (ahem) somewhat inaccurate and perhaps a little immoderate and . . . . that in fact the occasional French fry might not spell disaster and . . . . like that.

Here's what KALIGIRL said:

I hate to differ, but the article stated: “People who REGULARLY ate French fries, potato chips, mashed potatoes, processed meat, meat, sugary drinks, sweets and refined grains were more LIKELY to gain weight.”

I'm an EVERYTHING in moderation person unless you have an addiction, and consider a DQ cheese coney, sharing onion rings and a mini oreo blizzard a REAL treat!


And of course they are both absolutely right.

I replied to KALIGIRL:

Thanks for your comment on my "moderation" blog: your gloss on it is definitely more moderate (and accurate!!). And yes, I do think I have an addiction to French fries, potato chips and all the rest . . . trigger foods for me!!

And I repllied to BRIGHTSPARK:

On reconsideration, I'm thinking you and KALIGIRL are right, Usha . . . I need to be more moderate in my rejection of moderation!! The two of you have a lot of wisdom.

But (defence of necessity) my intensity is related to my addiction . . . last week when my weight went back up over 140, I'd had just a couple foods that aren't on my usual program (small serving of chicken wings, a muffin) both tracked and within range but . . . . they trigger cravings and my metabolism seems to deal with that kind of food differently.

Don't like the results of "moderation" for me. *sigh*

I really had only eaten some treat foods with moderation. And I really don't like the results of "moderation" for me. But that's because . . . . I've still got some work to do on "thinking like a thin person", pretty obviously. I'm still dealing with those incredible and uncontrollable urges to eat yucky stuff in great bucketloads . . .

Maintaining weight loss is not easier than losing weight. Or at least, not yet. I'm still working on finding my lowest achievable weight, and determining my lowest sustainable weight. Not there yet: maybe not close yet.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSSNOWY 7/1/2011 10:21AM

    This is an interesting discussion. I don't get cravings, but I do notice that if I am not careful 'moderation' becomes 'just a little more.' And that's a slippery slope. I have not read the book you've been reading and using to help your weight loss and maintenance, so I can't comment on what she says. But I can tell you that my husband is thin and to think like him, I would have to not bother even thinking much about food. He eats -- sensibly and not a lot -- and he doesn't think about it at all. Most of the what I would call "naturally thin" people I know don't think about it. They just don't focus on food at all except as a fuel. Period.

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BRIGHTSPARK7 7/1/2011 12:39AM

    I appreciate your thinking more about this, Ellen, and responding to a different point of view. How lovely is that!

I guess the decision to eat or not to eat hinges on whether or not the food is a trigger food for you. I know you are really great at practicing moderation Ellen -- in dark chocolate for example -- which might be a trigger food for someone else.

In the end, it's about doing what works for you. And that may change over time. Just saying. :) I'm with you in practicing ongoing awareness about our choices.


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CARRAND 6/30/2011 9:42PM

    I'm still a work in progress, too.
I do seem to be able to count out 10 french fries and leave the rest, but french fries were never a real passion of mine. I only eat them at all if they're really good.
I never eat potato chips any more.
My particular craving is dark chocolate. I just can't leave it alone.

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PHEBESS 6/30/2011 7:59PM

    Each of us are different. Some people binge if they taste a trigger food. Some people binge if they deny themselves that same food.

So - if avoidance works better for you, go for it.

I'm the kind of person who can't handle permanent avoidance, I need the occasional moderate treat.

Whatever works!

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BELLEFAITH42 6/30/2011 2:42PM

    I don't know the right answer to this one for myself either. I think that CONSISTENCY is the key to MODERATION. Whatever you can consistently eat in order to always eat in moderation is ok. If something is a trigger food, and it blows you out of MODERATION, then its no longer moderation is it?

HUH? emoticon

I just confused myself...

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NANCY- 6/30/2011 11:03AM

    Ellen you will find your balance.
Each day is a new one that bring about new changes. At the shore yesterday, I ate only two fries. It wasn't that long ago that I would polish off everything, now I think nothing of leaving food on my plate. Even though they were good, the two satisfied me. Eating more would take me from my goal. (Ah so that is what Dr. Beck means about being mindful. )
You know what is right for you...follow your heart.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 6/30/2011 8:57AM

    I'm one of those people who has to be careful what she starts... 'cuz I might just finish it.

Starches, grains, things with added sugar, and even things with natural sugar (such as fruits), things with non-nutritive sweeteners, etc. all tend to trigger cravings for me. And cravings lead to binges. And binges lead to... Well I suspect you also know where those go. LOL

It's one of those things where I'm not likely to be able to have "just one." It's better for me if I just stay away and never get started.

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DDOORN 6/30/2011 8:46AM

    "Maintaining weight loss is not easier than losing weight."

Couldn't agree MORE! A corollary for me is that moderation of trigger foods takes a great deal more effort than to simply ban them altogether!


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SLENDERELLA61 6/30/2011 8:08AM

    OH, you are all right! Moderation works when you can think moderately. Moderation doesn't work when it triggers more eating. I had the same experience recently. I went out to eat and ordered grilled chicken and veggies. I had one bite only of a white bread stick. The chicken was delicious but very salty and seasoned; the baby bok choy and the green beans were swimming in different seasonings and oils. Afterwards I had the biggest cravings I'd had in months. I wanted everything to eat. Something was in that food that stimulated my appetite. Could have been psychological, but I think it ws physical.

Anyway, here is to being moderate about moderation!! Use it when it works. Shun triggers when you can. You are doing great!!! Really, really great!

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STLRZGRRL 6/30/2011 7:03AM

    Yeah, no. I'm an all or nothing kind of girl, too, Ellen...

MY answer is NO french fries.


As in EVAR.

Maybe I need to moderate my ELIMINATION... but I don't think so...

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BD3269PM 6/30/2011 6:39AM

    Me too, close but not there yet. I am still learning but do go by the motto, everything in moderation! emoticon

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Absolute No to "Bad" Foods

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


OK, it's official -- at least if you are prepared to rely upon a Harvard study tracking almost 121,000 people over a 20 year period. The link above will take you to the whole article, written by Toronto based dietitian Leslie Beck. But here's the condensed version.

Some foods really are bad.

It's not the case that you can eat all foods in moderation.

The baddies? Predictable. All my faves.

That would be French fries and potato chips at the top of the list. And would include "sugary drinks" (what we Canajuns call "pop") and processed meats and desserts and refined carbs and . . . even baked potatoes. Yikes.

People eating these foods put on 17 pounds over 20 years. May not sound like a huge weight gain . . . but often apparently combined with additional weight gain associated with inadequate exercise, drinking, lack of sleep . . . yeah.

I've been trying to persuade myself that a French fry or two (snatched off DH's plate) isn't going to hurt . . . so long as I stay within my calorie range. And I have permitted myself a baked potato probably once a week.

Gotta reconsider this.

Stick with the veggies, fruit, nuts, whole grains and yogourt which are the mainstay of my diet - and which the Harvard study tells us are associated with no weight gain, even moderate weight loss.

Not what I wanted to hear, frankly. But this is a pretty reputable source. So, I'm listening.

Moderation in all things? Maybe not.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARBIETEC 6/30/2011 8:56AM

    WHAT! But french fries are potatoes!!! heheheheh :)

Strange that studies always shows what we know :)

*hrmp?.... going to take a look at this article :)

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    No, this really a case of eating in moderation. There is nothing surprising or new in this study. High calorie food has the propensity to put weight on people, low calorie food does not. The article says:

"The pounds accumulate gradually and most people don’t know what specifically causes them to struggle with weight gain."

It's not because they're eating potatoes, it's because they're not paying attention or in fact, some just don't care. It was no mystery to me as to how I got fat.

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BRIGHTSPARK7 6/29/2011 11:38PM

    I"m with Kaligirl on this one, Ellen.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 6/29/2011 9:01PM

    Well, thank GOD cheese isn't on that list, or I'd just have to kill myself. I'm not going to live entirely without cheese, darnit.



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TEENY_BIKINI 6/29/2011 8:16PM

    Always so informative, gorgeous. You rock!!


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TRYINGHARD1948 6/29/2011 6:30PM

    Why is it that life is supposed to be so restrained all the time? Unfortunately, food is one of the great joys that we have and to never eat something that is totally delicious just dulls my spirit and makes life such a chore.

The good thing coming from this is that it adds a thrill to doing something that is supposed to be wicked. (Very occasionally, of course.)

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CARRAND 6/29/2011 2:04PM

    I saw this study in the paper recently. I think they're right that people who regularly eat french fries and potato chips gain more weight. The key is regularly. I think once in a while a serving (or half serving) of really yummy french fries won't ruin anyone's diet and can keep a person from feeling deprived. The trick is not to eat them every day. I'm trying to focus on eating good things, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, peas and beans. If I fill up on those I really don't miss the other stuff. I'm eating less meat, too, even weighing my portions at home so I know what 2 ounces or 3 ounces look like.

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KALIGIRL 6/29/2011 1:10PM

    I hate to differ, but the article stated: “People who REGULARLY ate French fries, potato chips, mashed potatoes, processed meat, meat, sugary drinks, sweets and refined grains were more LIKELY to gain weight.”

I'm an EVERYTHING in moderation person unless you have an addiction, and consider a DQ cheese coney, sharing onion rings and a mini oreo blizzard a REAL treat!

Namaste my friend.

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_LINDA 6/29/2011 9:57AM

    I thought I had my kitchen in pretty good order for healthy food, but I do have the odd potato! I have been maintaining for a year and a half, strictly counting calories with the odd fries and chips, but have not regained any because of it.
Thanks for sharing!!

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PHEBESS 6/29/2011 9:26AM

    It not only isn't fair, it sucks, doesn't it? Oh well. (I'm practicing. I actually ate most of my fries yesterday, instead of telling the waitress to hold the fries. Made up for it by having Cheerios for supper. I haven't eaten fries in years, I just really wanted them. Not a smart move, and my stomach is not happy with me today for having ingested all that fat.)

My niece told me that potatoes are basically void of nutrients - that's why we load them up with fat or fry them or whatever, to add nutrients. One way of looking at it.

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TOOKES519 6/29/2011 8:48AM

    Between you and I and now all of Spark.....LOL I WILL eat all of those things....You know why? Because I have already proven that I can. I have eaten all of those things during this journey of mine and I have still lost 140 Pounds. I read a story the other day stating its not about low carb diets or high protien diets etc......., they said that counting calories is the key. I happen to truly believe that cause thats really all I have done (besides a poop load of exercise) when it comes to eating. Mind you I do find lower calorie versions of things I like to eat. I have not told anyone this, but I also have some kind of dessert 5 nights a week, if not more after dinner too. Smoothies, pudding, jello, microwaved smores....yummo!! So I do truly believe the all in moderation thing. Thats truly what my journey has been all about for me. Eating the foods I still love, but less of it.



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WALIDGAZALA 6/29/2011 7:20AM

    emoticon emoticon

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