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"Body of the Year": Age 66

Friday, August 05, 2011


Oh my: there is hope!! Yeah!! Six more years to work on it . . . . .


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEEBELO 8/16/2011 12:21PM

    Helen Mirren is AWESOME!

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TEENY_BIKINI 8/16/2011 6:14AM

    Love, love, love Helen Mirren.

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_LINDA 8/10/2011 12:27AM

    Lots of good looking seniors right here on Sparks -Marsha comes to mind, but wouldn't want to be guessing who is a senior and who is not, people are taking good care of themselves here and looking fabulous!

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FROSTIERACES 8/8/2011 3:24PM

    She is beautiful. I love Elle Macpherson too...that beauty tho is like unattainable! I love it when there are seemingly *normal* looking women that look stunning the older they get. I think Helen Mirran was in the movie RED? Funny movie. Thanks for sharing!

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PHEBESS 8/6/2011 8:09PM

    I want to look like her in 9 years!!!

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TBANMAN 8/6/2011 3:25PM

    She does look fabulous. So does Kate Winslet.

It gives us all hope - and something to look forward to!

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JOHAL52 8/6/2011 11:32AM

    She looks like a healthy woman! And that smile does wonders too!!!!

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NANCY- 8/6/2011 10:35AM

    What a different vision of getting older is now!
No more buns, babushkas or baggy house dresses.
WE are hot stuff!!!

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JIBBIE49 8/6/2011 12:14AM

    I'm sure she has had cosmetic surgery to get there, but more power to her! Sally Field is 64 & she looks great. She's 5'2" and 100# & runs 35 miles per week. Denise Austin is 54 & 5'4" and 112#. I know at 66, she'll look great.
Joyce Vedral looks wonderful and she's about 68 now. Love her videos.

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PENNYAN45 8/5/2011 9:05PM

    I'm a big fan of Helen Mirrin. She looks terrific!!

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CARRAND 8/5/2011 8:31PM

    Wow, she does look great!

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DBCLARINET 8/5/2011 8:28PM

    Wow, she looks AMAZING. I aspire to age that gracefully. And I liked how several of the top spots were snagged by women who weren't 25. Aging is not the end of the world! Yeah!

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TRYINGHARD1948 8/5/2011 6:57PM

    Yes, there was a photo of Helen Mirren in a bikini not so long ago. I have too many scars and stretch marks to even contemplate that!!!!

She does look great and I'm sure you are looking fantastic too. Why wait until 66!
Admit that you are one beautiful person now, I sure do think you are in mind, body and spirit. emoticon

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Weight Creep Halted . . . Chew on That!!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Weighed myself today AFTER lunch (a nice salad and fruit lunch out at the golf club with a glass of red wine too, all tracked) and: 136.5 pounds!! Hurray!!!

So, recorded 137 again. Back down from that pesky 138 on July 30. Leaving a little margin for the scale goddess to play around with . . .

Eternal vigilance? It works.


And: maybe chewing does too.

See link above for an article from today's Globe and Mail concerning the effect of chewing on weight loss. Most of us chew food 15 times; but chewing 40 times results in 12% lower calorie intake.

Not sure how reliable this study is: small sample, all young males (I'm neither). But indicators were that the hormone ghrelin, associated with elevated appetite, was lower in persons who chewed longer. A 12% reduction in calorie intake can translate into 25 fewer pounds in a year . . .

So what the heck, chewing more might be a concept worth chewing on!!

One thing for sure, the kinds of food that require more chewing (freggies, high fibre whole grains) also tend to be the kinds of foods that work for increasing satiety and reducing weight gain.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 8/9/2011 10:08AM

    Kudos to your vigilance!

Having a messed up kinda bite, which was semi-corrected through oral surgery in my teens, but is kinda slipping back...it all makes me pretty careful to chew, chew, chew! I'm always the last one to finish when dining out...especially with all those salad veggies! :-)


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FROSTIERACES 8/8/2011 3:29PM

    Congratulation on the continued loss!!! woohoo! You MUST be smiling! :) :) :) I LOVE the 130's!!! I just have to get back there myself now. I'm really happy for you. emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/8/2011 3:29:50 PM

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SLENDERELLA61 8/6/2011 9:34PM

    Congrats on the weight!! Chewing more does sound like a good idea. Improves digestion, too. -Marsha

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JOHAL52 8/6/2011 11:30AM

    I am sitting here chewing away on my Genesis bread and peanut butter. Feel like a cow.... Yay on the weight control!

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NANCY- 8/5/2011 8:35PM

You are very wise woman!

There might be something to that chewing. Eating mindfully helps chew longer and really experience the food being consumed so in my not so humble opinion :) so slowing down gives satiety a chance to kick in.
My question is how did they get young males not to inhale their food !

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KALIGIRL 8/5/2011 12:53PM

    emoticon I'm just trying to get to 20...
emoticon on 137!

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FRACTALMYTH 8/5/2011 11:58AM

    Must work... my MIL always goes on about how her mother taught her to chew slowly - and she is still slender, fit and active at 90!

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BARBIETEC 8/5/2011 5:19AM

    I am eating breakfast while I am reading this and now I chew slower heheheh :)

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CARRAND 8/4/2011 9:40PM

    Slowing down and chewing more is certainly a good idea for me. I tend to eat really fast, always have. That's something I can work on. Congrats on reversing the weight creep. I had been almost up to 154, but after the colonoscopy was down to 150 again. Tough way to lose it! That was 150 at the doctor's office with my clothes on, getting my tetanus shot.

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ONEKIDSMOM 8/4/2011 8:22PM

    Wonder if chewing gum helps? (Sugar free, of course!) emoticon

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PHEBESS 8/4/2011 8:15PM

    I'm a big fan of slow eating - makes a huge difference, since you feel full more quickly. Plus enjoy each bite of food more than if you eat quickly.

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Resilience, Optimism

Monday, August 01, 2011

At stressful points in my life . . . and this is one . . . I focus on optimism.

Willed optimism.

Because: optimism is the essential ingredient of resilience.

What helps most in willing optimism? For me, it's a deliberate "paying of attention" to how beautiful the world is. Persistently beautiful. Consolingly beautiful. Fascinatingly beautiful.

I know that I can be irritatingly Pollyanna-ish. A bit of a Victorian botanist lady in my love of flowers. (Purple phlox, nasturtiums sitting beside my computer: powdery and peppery fragrances mingling).

But it's noticing the world which works best to take me out of myself, my own pesky stresses and trivial (or not so trivial) problems. And I can choose to do that.

The full grown speckled seagulls squawking at the parent seagulls on the beach, demanding to be fed. And the exasperated parent seagulls flapping away.

A little girl proudly showing her daddy how she can swim. But wanting to make sure she doesn't have to swim too far. "Don't move back, Daddy." And plunging confidently towards him, kicking vigorously. The dad, thirty years younger, grins over at me: he knows I'm remembering.

Charlie, sitting on the verandah with his chin resting on the fretwork, watching a Russian blue cat (the neighbour's) crouched on our lawn. Tail thumping lazily as I tell him what a good dog he is. But never taking his eye off the cat. Which is watching a chipping sparrow under the mock orange.

The golf course sparkling with dew. Sparkling. While over our shoulders to the west, thunder mutters low. And then the sky is black. And we race for the clubhouse. Coffee on the balcony till it's over, and we can head back out. The heady scent of soaked grass. Soaked cedars. Soaked lavender and thyme and salvia. Racing clouds. Then sunshine again.

"The world is so full of a number of things/I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings."

(Or maybe queens).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSSNOWY 8/4/2011 6:31PM

    Totally agree. Too tempting sometimes to focus on me, me, me. Much better -- and saner and healthier -- to realize that there's a big world out there with lots of fascinating stuff going on in it.

Tell Charlie I'm impressed he sat so still and just WATCHED!

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PENNYAN45 8/4/2011 4:30PM

    Getting out of one's own head is a great way to deal with stress. And noticing the beauty all around is a lovely way to do that. And you are noticing not only the physical beauty - but also the beauty of loving interactions (as between the father and daughter).

Optimism and positive thoughts are strong remedies for just about anything that ails us.

Let me add my own positive thoughts and wishes for you - as a friend.

emoticon emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 8/3/2011 9:18PM

    Love this blog... it so captures one of the best tools for remaining motivated... noticing the good in the moment! emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 8/3/2011 1:37PM

    Willed Optimism is a great concept. I love it. And your poetic writings about the earth, our world, is just beautiful. Thanks for writing. Long live Willed Optimism!!

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FROSTIERACES 8/2/2011 5:28PM

    awe..I SO needed to read this right now. Thank you...

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DDOORN 8/2/2011 1:26PM

    Sometimes when cycling I'll find myself so self-absorbed and pedaling away like crazy. I have to remind myself: hey! You are out in the great wide open! Look around! Soak up all that Mother Nature has to offer! The sun, blue skies, clouds, warmth, breeze, lush nature of all shades and varieties...! There: THAT'S better... :-)


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NANCY- 8/2/2011 9:34AM

    May I come visit you?
Just reading your blog made me feel better. I think you said it best when you said the world is consolingly beautiful. The beauty that surrounds us soothes and heals us in a way that nothing else can. It redirects us. We can realize that all will be right.

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KALIGIRL 8/2/2011 8:42AM

    Here's to chosing positivism! emoticon

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PHEBESS 8/1/2011 6:29PM

    NEVER lose that optimism, that ability to enjoy the little moments, that outlook that life CAN be good, even in our worst moments - that is what makes us human, what gets us through the darkest nights.

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CARRAND 8/1/2011 4:50PM

    I love your optimism! I'm sure optimism is what's carried my Dad through to 97 and counting.

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Up a Pound: GRRRRRR!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Today's weight: 138.

I've been pretty steady at 137 for a couple of weeks.

But: yesterday involved two (2!!) glasses of wine and some cheese and crackers with DH on the patio after work before supper; some vanilla icecream with my berries for dessert. Total "score" for the day less than 200 calories over my "high end" range: and I'm generally at or a few calories below my lower end range (because that's what it actually takes for me to maintain).

So: the scales were quick to record this indulgence. Which seemed worth it yesterday. But: I know it will likely take a week or so to see that pound drop off again . . . And I also know, if I'm not vigilant I'll zoom up to middle number 4. Quickly.

Not happening.

So: I'm reading my Beck cards. Reminding myself: hunger is not an emergency. Sitting down to eat everything, slowly. Rearranging my environment to hide the peanut butter and cheese (no chips in the house at all, thank goodness).

Doing what I did to LOSE weight is not necessarily what I need to do to keep it off. Still learning what my lowest sustainable weight is, and what I have to do to keep it there.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 8/2/2011 1:24PM

    Your bulldog vigilance is MOST IMPRESSIVE!

I've got to build a better bulldog for myself...am getting there...! :-)


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NANCY- 7/31/2011 12:15PM

    hmmm... cheese usually involves salt. Salt likes water.
You are being attentive and mindful.

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PHEBESS 7/31/2011 10:23AM

    While 1 lb isn't that big a deal, it can bring friends along quickly - so being proactive is good! And we both know you can do this!

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SLENDERELLA61 7/30/2011 4:19PM

    Good plan, Ellen! Taking action now and recommitting are smart moves. I find that when I am near the top of my range the best move for me is to cut back just a little, not all the way to losing calories. I find that easier and it works.

Your willingness to take a week is good. Since you only went over a little, though, I bet it doesn't take that long. Cheese and crackers have quite a bit of sodium, so drink a little extra water and that will help, too. You'll find what works best for you. Take care.

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CARRAND 7/30/2011 3:58PM

    Yeah, I was up two pounds this morning. Maybe the snacks I ate yesterday, maybe skipping the gym the last 2 days. I'm back at it today and I'll be fine. I have a colonoscopy on Monday, so only clear liquids tomorrow, with a strong laxative in the evening. That should take care of the two pounds!

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DBCLARINET 7/30/2011 2:07PM

    Wow, if I worried about a pound, I would go nuts!! I put two back on from over-indulgence, myself. You obviously have better discipline than I do -- I tend to over-indulge, and then when the scale goes up, work my butt off to get it back down. Your way is definitely more practical!

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ONEKIDSMOM 7/30/2011 2:03PM

    What Contagieux said! You're doing great, and consistency is what counts, long term.


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CONTAGIEUX 7/30/2011 1:42PM

  Keep looking forward. Don't hold on to the guilt. What you ate yesterday doesn't matter anymore. What's important is that you make better choices today . . .

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LRK4CHRIST 7/30/2011 1:39PM

    I pray God gives u good success!

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Shoplifting, Overeating: Compensation for Loss?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I read an interesting article in the National Post last Saturday about shoplifting. Nope, shoplifting doesn't tempt me at all . . . but this was a review of a book by psychologist Dr. Will Cupchik about the reasons why people shoplift. Cupchik says shoplifting is not just addiction. Here's the link if you want to read more:


Cupchik thinks that all of us can be pushed to do too much of something in order to cope with various stresses. The stresses that interest him arise from losses and especially when there is a perception that such losses are unfair. Some of us eat too much, or work too much, or run away too much, or party too much; some of us shoplift (any amount of that would seem to be too much). In other words, if we don't cope with our losses appropriately we're going to "act out" -- inappropriately.

So: even though I'm not a shoplifter, it's absolutely the case that I ate too much for a very long period of time. Worked too much maybe as well.

To compensate for losses? Doesn't entirely resonate with me, frankly.

Shoplifting as a compensation for loss: there's a pretty clear connection. And Cupchik says that shoplifting is most strongly associated with otherwise upstanding citizens coping with the ultimate loss: death.

Eating too much or working too much as a compensation for loss? Hmmm. Of course Cupchik also acknowledges that some stealing is just rebellion: not all stealing is the loss-triggered "shoplifting" phenomenon. So presumably that's also true of some over eating, over working etc. etc.: there are other motivations for these behaviours.

Just helped my DH with a couple of 20 kg (44 pound) bags of salt for the water softener. Hard to believe I used to weigh 2 bags of salt more than I do now!! The loss of 90 pounds?? A good loss!! No compensation required, really: and especially not overeating!!

(Although come to think of it, and given only about 5% of losers actually maintain weight loss . . . maybe there's something there! A return to overeating to make up for the "loss" of all that food that other people can unfairly eat without gaining weight? )

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEENY_BIKINI 7/29/2011 7:18PM

    Really great read. I love when you review things. You and Cupchik make some interesting points.

Look at you hauling salt. You go girl!!

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CARRAND 7/29/2011 3:24PM

    Very interesting. I've never even thought about shop lifting, so it's hard to comment on that. Overeating for me was more of a habit than anything else. I just like food. I like the taste and texture and smell of food, in large quantities. If I'm compensating for the loss of something, I'm not sure what. I did manage to lose 70 pounds through SP and I've kept it off for seven months now. I still love food, but I'm making better choices of what to eat, and I've come to love exercise, too.

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PHEBESS 7/29/2011 9:58AM

    I LOVE comparing my weight loss to something tangible, such as the salt - it makes it so much more real to have that object(s) in front of me!

So good for you on this LOSS (which needs no compensation, and instead needs to be embraced and rewarded, which you do continuously)! Way to go!!!!!!

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PENNYAN45 7/28/2011 9:24PM

    What a great physical reminder (the salt) for all the weight you've shed. (Please note that I didn't refer to the weight you 'lost.')

I do agree with the author that dealing with stress inappropriately can lead to all kinds of acting out behaviors -- and certainly overeating is one of them.

Shoplifting is something I have no personal experience with - thank goodness. It seems logical to me that it could be related to a feeling of lacking something.

It's an interesting subject.

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SMILINGEYES2 7/28/2011 4:18PM

    I attended a conference back in the 70's where the presenter indicated that some persons who engage in shop lifting have problems with low blood sugar. The person does not eat breakfast or eats foods with high sugar content emoticon that causes their blood sugar level to soar. After a couple or so hours, the sugar level in the blood drops to a critical level. emoticon If the individual does not get another sugar fix, they may seek alternatives to give that spike and shoplifting releases loads of adrenalin with the "Can I Get by with This?" mentality. I have not heard much on this since but the presenter used multiple illustrations and did a demonstration on the impact of even a little sugar on the body. It's food for thought anyway.

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ECHAVEZ2 7/28/2011 10:22AM

    I have no advice, but would like to send you some emoticon Hang in there! emoticon

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DDOORN 7/28/2011 9:42AM

    Food can represent just about ANYTHING to food addicts. It all depends on what you struggle with. Have difficulty with anger, boredom, loss, anxiety and even good things like intimacy, joy and celebration? Food to the "rescue!"

Building new ways to meet our needs and deal with all of our emotions: That's the challenge for many of us...yours truly included!


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NANCY- 7/28/2011 9:41AM

    if you look hard enough you can find an explanation for everything.

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BELLEFAITH42 7/28/2011 9:15AM

    I am reading this book called Shirran's Solution and he talks about how using the phrase 'losing weight' implies that something is lost and will need to be found again. We should think if at as getting rid of the rubbish!

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KALIGIRL 7/28/2011 9:01AM

    Great blog - interesting how we hold on to 'stuff' - loss of what? When you think about it, our attitude is everything - if we let it go, 'it' (whatever it is) doesn't cause us stress...
Namaste my friend.

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DREMARGRL 7/28/2011 12:14AM

    Interesting.....We are all so unique and complex. There's a good book on why we do the things we do that I've read a couple of times. It's called "The Moral Animal" (Why we are the way we are: The new science of evolutionary psychology by Robert Wright. Your post just reminded me of it.

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PUDLECRAZY 7/27/2011 9:55PM

    Sometimes I think things get oversimplified; we have fairly complex psyches and response. Interesting ideas, though... I'll have to ponder that. I am definitely a workaholic, and even in play I continually challenge myself. From loss?? The thing is, there are no control groups. We all suffer losses. Can it be biological? I have one driven son, and one who isn't. My driven son was very active throughout my pregnancy, crawled early, walked early, talked early, went to Brown, got a great job, has many of his ideas patented, plays music, loves to tango. My other son was less active before and after his birth and is far more laid back. I have to think that some of this is nature, not nurture or loss of nurturing. Darn it, Ellen, you made my brain tired! emoticon

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