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Moderation? Highly Overrated!

Monday, September 10, 2012


Moderation sets us up for failure, says an article in today's Toronto Globe and Mail..

Why? Because moderation requires us to make too many choices. If I tell myself that I can eat potato chips moderately, then I have to ask myself: how many is a moderate amount? And how many times a week is a moderate recurrence? If I don't eat potato chips at all . . . if I have a "no potato chips" policy for me . . . then I don't have to exhaust my decision-making power.

So: moderation becomes a form of tyranny.

In that sense, an inflexible rule is less tyrannical!

What do you think? Does moderation work for you?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOLAZYBUTT110 9/15/2012 1:56PM

    I think modernation does nothing for me, especialy when it comes to pptato chips! . I feel for me, its... Best... to leave the ch\ips out of my diet and out of the quotient! lol If I want to lose weight! Modernation...does it mena what it says? For modern days they push for more and bigger amounts, so if I woudl think soemhting is too much someone else may think ist not so moderate! For best results one has to decide whats more important. Feeling satisfied or hunkering down to no chips! As for me once in a blue moon I would ahve them, but once I learned to go without I feel better if I were to have an orange or peach in its place. Its ... More satisfying! susana

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NUOVAELLE 9/14/2012 1:44AM

    Moderation is the only thing that has ever worked for me! It's been the antidote to deprivation which has always been my weight loss catastrophe! As for the amounts or the times considered to be moderate, this depends on each individual. We all have to find our balance. As I usually say, I can live with half a piece once in a while but I can't live with no piece for the rest of my life!
But I believe that moderation goes hand-in-hand with self-discipline. There are people who just can't seem to stop themselves once they start and their sense of moderation is lost the minute they get that first bite. I don't know if they can actually practice self-discipline and get better but I think it's worth the try. Our habits have to be sustainable for the rest of our lives in order to maintain our weight. Can we do without not even a single potato chip for the rest of our lives?
Great blog! Certainly food for thought!

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TINAJANE76 9/13/2012 2:25PM

    For me, it depends on what I'm dealing with. I can do certain foods in moderation and keep them around the house without a problem. Others, like ice cream or chips, I can't do in moderation and only have them as occasional treats in single-serve portions. It took me a while to figure out which things I could keep around and which I couldn't but generally keeping my triggers out of the house has helped me a lot.

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DSHONEYC 9/12/2012 7:18PM

    I'm with you...moderation challenges ones decision making capabilities too much. The brain can handle it, but the flesh is weak. emoticon

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JUDI_CUTIE 9/12/2012 12:32AM

    Moderation does not work for me. I do much better when I completely give up certain things. For quite a while I was off sweets. Then I started bending the rules and I lost my whole trend. I keep trying to start this again, but so far, I cannot quite get it. I actually was off sweets for the better part of four years (with only very slight breaks), but for the last year and a half, I keep pushing the limits!

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MOBYCARP 9/11/2012 8:22PM

    Moderation is an important concept, and not just for eating. Right now, I'm struggling with moderation in running. Not running at all means my cardio conditioning will slowly deteriorate to where it was before I was a runner. Running as much as I want to means I'll aggravate the injured foot and have to quit. This is not unlike eating stuff in moderation; it's hard to judge how much is "moderate."

Like it or not, we have to do many things in moderation. Some things, we can totally stop doing to avoid over-doing; other things, we need to limit to something reasonable while not giving them up entirely.

And that's part of why maintenance is so difficult.

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IRONBLOSSOM 9/11/2012 1:24PM

    That's such a good point, it's frustrating though because sometimes moderation works for me, like, over the weekend I think I ate a metric ton of oreos, moderation was out the window. But during the week, I've been parceling them out and don't even think about them when it's not "oreo time."

So it goes! :-)

Have a great day!

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MKELLY72 9/11/2012 1:11PM

    I have always had a tough time with this. The best I seem to hope for is binging in moderation, because often the foods that I should consume in moderation are far too difficult to limit when they are in front of me. One way I have been able to take control of treats (and it's sweet treats with me) is to mostly enjoy them while I'm eating out with a friend- I buy one- I eat one(sometimes saving half to take home to my sweetie).

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DDOORN 9/11/2012 9:40AM

    I definitely find it easier to totally avoid trigger foods, but can certainly appreciate the psychological "muscles" some folks are able to build so that they can enjoy what might have previously been trigger foods, but to enjoy them in moderation. That always impresses the heck outta me! :-)

Don't know that I will ever be able to accomplish such feats, though...!


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KALIGIRL 9/11/2012 8:54AM

    Interesting idea - emoticon vs. emoticon

I believe in everything in moderation - after all if we don't tempt ourselves how do we grow?

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    For me, I need to totally avoid a trigger food. I am with Swede Su.
And some things should be avoided totally because they are simply bad for everyone, like smoking.

Intellectually, I think that moderation is a fallacy. Moderation means picking the middle between two extremes. But how do you define the extreme behavior.
I guess on the one extreme you have never, none. On the other end you have all the time. So does that mean that if you decide you will be moderate about eating chocolate that you would only have it at one-half your meals? It just gets kind of stupid and meaningless and useless.

Even if you can accept a working concept of moderation, some of us are gung-ho types and all or nothing. For me, I don't strive for this. It just seems to make life dull and I like to try to shake things up a bit. Having said that, I am big on routines and forming habits as no brainers so I don't have to make so many decisions throughout the day.

The article is excellent. I love it when people analyze things and get at the truth!!!

Comment edited on: 9/11/2012 7:54:13 AM

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/11/2012 6:47AM

    Now that I think about it, my "moderation" is "rarely". For example, I just had what I imagine will be my last hot dog for the year, last Friday. I had one each at the "victory party" for each of two races I participated in. I will let myself have a hot dog following a run. One. Not many.

Chips? It's kind of a "no tolerance" deal for me... because they are a slippery slope. Ice cream... a couple times a year, MAYBE.

So, while I don't say NEVER to many foods, it really is easier for ME, anyway to manage by just saying "no thanks" to certain things, at least a majority of the time. It has to be a really, really special occasion. After all... nothing tastes as good as being fit feels.

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NANCY- 9/11/2012 5:58AM

    I think it depends on the situation and what we have set up for OUR own rules.
Dining out my rule is a drink or dessert. (I do not eat out much so this is a real treat.)
At home it is more difficult especially with trigger foods it is an all or nothing scenario. I want it all, until there is nothing. :) However when you purchase healthy food, it is difficult to over consume something like broccoli.
Setting up rules and plans takes care of preserving the mental bandwidth.

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DSJB9999 9/11/2012 4:32AM

    emoticon interesting ideas

I can do moderation sometimes!

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SWEDE_SU 9/11/2012 4:02AM

    moderation works for me if it's something that is not a trigger, like chocolate - i am just not a chocolate lover (or a sweets person in general), one little piece will do me fine. but something salty - forget it! better not to have it in the house.

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NEW-CAZ 9/11/2012 3:28AM

    I eat in moderation NOW emoticon

My only downfall could be chocolate so I only by "fun" bars or snap off a portion and keep the rest in the fridge. So far it works

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ROOSTER72 9/11/2012 3:25AM

    Everything in moderation - even moderation!

An interesting thought - thanks.

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_LINDA 9/11/2012 1:51AM

    Did you have to write about potato chips?? (suffering withdrawal symptoms from my favorite sinful snack) Moderation generally works if A: you have no bad temptations in the house, or B: if you have no stress that would cause you to lose control and binge. For the longest time, I was able to limit myself to one square of dark chocolate every night. It was almost a year in fact, then some stressors came up and the one became three, etc. Soon, I could no longer purchase it as I would scarf down the whole bar. Trying again and can usually limit to three, but would prefer doing better, it limits you what else you can have if you have too much of the high calorie treat. I for one, love my healthy foods -I was so happy to get back on them after a weekend of BBQ's. I personally think I need a bit more control then all things in moderation.

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    I think "everything in moderation" is a phrase that was created by and for people who already/naturally live moderately. :P

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TBANMAN 9/10/2012 10:44PM


I don't do a heck of a lot in my life that's "moderate." And I for sure have no sense of what "moderate" is when it comes to food. The few times that I've gone off the tracking plan and ate "instinctively" I always gained weight.

Maybe that means that eating "normally" or "moderately" for me means I'd be a moderately bigger person. Sorry, not acceptable.

My feelings on that score are anything but moderate.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 9/10/2012 10:05PM

    It's better for me to just not even get started.

Otherwise it's kind of like an alcoholic trying to have "just one drink," or a former smoker having "just one cigarette."


The only exception is if I go specifically to, say, the ice cream place, and get ONE KIDDIE SCOOP, eat it, and then come home. There is NO WAY I could have ice cream in the house.

Just last week I tried the experiment with some Roquefort cheese. I even separated it into separate 1-oz portions in their own snack bags. I did pretty well for the first couple of days, having one per day, within my calorie limits.

Friday rolled around and I found myself eating the last three pieces, in a feeding frenzy that eventually ended up being approximately 3600 EXTRA calories.
So, yeah. Cheese is STILL off limits.
And moderation? Not happening. Not with trigger foods like that. Not unless I can buy JUST ONE OUNCE.

Comment edited on: 9/10/2012 10:12:38 PM

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FIFIFRIZZLE 9/10/2012 10:01PM

    I agree it is much easier to have a restricted range of choices, until you just can't stand it any more and bust loose! Perhaps that is where moderation can come into play?

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NEWKAREN43 9/10/2012 9:44PM

    I'm an all or nothing gal myself...it comes with an addictive personality. I know if I eat one cinnamon bear, I'll eat the bag. Not so much with potato chips, because I'm a sugar girl, not a salt girl...

I say nothing in moderation, do it all the way! Go big or go home... emoticon

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PHEBESS 9/10/2012 9:23PM

    Moderation in some things works - like chocolate, because I am able to stop at a reasonable portion. Same with ice cream. And if I have too much, or too frequently, I feel ill - therefore moderation is relatively easy.

Potato chips, on the other hand, can be, well, less easy to moderate.

On the other hand, I don't do well with an absolutely no policy, either - because sometimes a craving goes on for days, and I'm just hungry until I satisfy that craving.

So I have to balance the craving with moderation - the single-portion servings make life much easier since it balances the moderation and craving for me. That way I don't have the item in the house, I just eat one portion when I'm out, when I just can't stand it any more and I'm ready to eat the entire fridge just to satisfy that ice cream craving.

Does that make sense?

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CRYSTALJEM 9/10/2012 9:17PM

    Moderation works for me most of the time. Since tracking on SP I think I have a pretty good feel for portions. Where the challenge for me is when it's something I really really really REALLY LIKE like um potato chips. Those things where once I start I have a really hard time stopping. Those things I have to make a firm decision am I having some (e.g. buy a tiny bag because then I can't break my decision to only have a few - cause a few is all there is!)

Most things, even those I really like, I can have some and then put it aside, or choose to "fill up" on something healthy along side like fresh veggies.

It doesn't always work, but truthfully I don't find one approach works for me - I've always been the type that has to mix and match otherwise I fall off the wagon, get bored or whatever.

So bottom line - moderation works for me - when I use the practice in moderation.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Gentian Blue

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Feeling a little blue about nothing in particular today so . . . Charlie and I went to the swampy woods which reliably has gentians at this time of the year.

Not my own picture . . . because I'm not a skilled photographer at all . . . but this image captures perfectly the unique blue that I look for every year at this time.

Charlie had a wonderful run along the trails, ears flopping and tail wagging and yipping occasionally with sheer exuberance. He races ahead, turns around to make sure I'm still with him, runs back just to smile joyously, and then takes off again.

The yellow goldenrod and wild asters (every shade from palest mauve to deep deep purple) were also in bloom. There were just a very few bright red maple leaves. And the "BEARS HAVE BEEN SIGHTED IN THIS AREA: Keep your dog on the leash" sign had been posted: didn't see that one until Charlie and I were getting back into my car! I don't know how brave Charlie and I would have been if we had known!

If definitely feels like fall. Last weekend was sleeveless top and shorts: this weekend jeans and long sleeved Tshirt and jacket, with warm socks and duckboots. I made a huge pot of French Canadian pea soup, and some apple crisp with new season Paula Reds.

And: definitely left my blues in the gentian patch!! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAMADWARF 9/11/2012 12:22AM

    Love going for walks with my dog. Its always nice. Love the flowers!!

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DONNACFIT 9/11/2012 12:07AM

    Great blog!..I love hearing about the flora and fauna of your area!! So different from here.

It's still hot and dry here, though we've had a couple days of frost it's back in the mid 30's C and really windy and dusty :(

Love apples especially this time of year emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 9/10/2012 2:21PM

    Sounds like a beautiful walk!

Yes, it is fall here as well -- highs only in the 80s, LOL. But it is in the 60s early in the morning when we take our walks.

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DDOORN 9/10/2012 11:12AM

    Yep, this past week has decidedly brought a scent of Fall to the air. Along with mixed feelings too...regretting the summer that I didn't really jump into with both feet, sensing the potential of jumping into fall with both feet, but still unsure and lacking the confidence I used to have so much of...


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NANCY- 9/10/2012 8:47AM

    Ah!!!! you transport me to a place or beauty and peace. It is wonderful that bears did not interrupt you r wonderful day.

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NEW-CAZ 9/10/2012 2:59AM

    A walk is a wonderful way to lift a blue mood, I can feel autumn coming on too.

Love that.........not so keen on the fact winter follows!

Have a good week emoticon

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_LINDA 9/10/2012 2:07AM

    Wow! Gorgeous flower! We sure don't have those around here! LOVED your descriptive walk, felt I was right along with you! The bear warning would have made me mighty nervous though. Charlie's yipping would have warned the bears off though. They are generally shy and avoid contact if there is enough warning. The bottom has certainly fallen out of our temperatures too. One day got down to 3.
Glad you made it home safely and could enjoy that classic soup!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 9/9/2012 11:40PM

    I sometimes have a hard time shaking those kind of vague things...


Good job.

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PHEBESS 9/9/2012 11:21PM

    I'm glad you were able to walk off (and to) the blues!

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/9/2012 7:17PM

    Sounds like your Charlie is a scout, as my Diamond was. Much the same behavior on runs... she'd lope out, come back to check on us, and head out again. Love him extra for me today!

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SLENDERELLA61 9/9/2012 7:16PM

    I've never seen a gentian blue in person, but now I definitely want to. Watch out for bears! I heard this is a bad year for bears in lots of communities. Your soup sounds wonderful, especially with your cool weather. It will be months until we have long sleeve weather, and I'll enjoy it when it comes. You enjoy now for me, too!! Hope the blues stay in the flowers! Take care. -Marsha

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SWEDE_SU 9/9/2012 6:56PM

    i just saw gentian blue for the first time on friday when we hiked up the mountains here in the north cascades! didn't take any pictures, though. we had pelle the border collie also gleefully running back and forth. yesterday we hiked in the valley, and saw bear sign everywhere, but no bear. pelle was running about then as well. still summer here by day, but it is awfully cool in the mornings!

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Productive Failure: Motivation and Maintenance Take Grit!

Sunday, September 02, 2012


This is the time of year when there are lots of "back to school" articles aimed at parents who want to motivate their children to be successful. Intelligence isn't the most important factor in academic success.

Margaret Wente at the Toronto Globe and Mail has written a terrific article interviewing writer Paul Tough (good name!) and summarizing the recent research on "productive failure". Heaping "self esteem" on kids doesn't work very well in motivating them to succeed. Character, Tough says (and Wente agrees), is actually built through failure. That's how we learn persistence, curiosity, optimism and grit. We have to let our kids fail. Because that's how they build character. Especially grit.

But: it's not just kids who need to learn. All of us are learning and relearning all the time, our whole lives long. And particularly in the weight loss context, we know that motivation is key. To learn to sustain the motivation essential to maintenance, we have to let ourselves fail too. Maintenance, I'm thinking, is another process of productive failure.

We lose all the weight. Then we learn how to maintain the weight loss.

And we learn, inevitably, by failing: by putting some weight back on.

And then taking it off again. Immediately. This time, not giving up. This time, keeping the fluctuation within a range.

We learn to be persistent: we keep on tracking.

We learn to be curious: we explore what works.

We learn to be optimistic that this time we will succeed. This time, we will not give up. Ever.

And that requires above all, that we learn grit. Grit in the weight maintenance context means:

willingness to tolerate some hunger;

willingness to tolerate some social inconvenience (when everyone else is eating and we can't); and

willingness to tolerate the day-in, day-out every-dayness of exercise and calorie control necessary for life-long weight loss maintenance.

The initial weight loss process was somewhat glamorous. People noticed. People offered congratulations. There was lots of praise, and the ol' self-esteem rose pretty rapidly. But self-esteem isn't a solid foundation to maintain weight loss. We need something more. Grit.

Grit, for me, means accepting the unpleasant reality of weight loss maintenance. Learning to accept the discipline that it takes. Maybe even, eventually and at least some days, to like it. But to stick with the program even on those days when we don't much like it. To say "oh well". And stop eating. And start moving.

It's those failures we've had in the past -- the yo yo losses and regains --- which eventually produce this change in attitude. That build character in us, just as productive failure builds character in our kids.

We make our failures productive failures when we don't give up! When we learn, instead, the persistence, curiosity, optimism: and above all, the grit which are necessary to sustained success.

Try the grit test!! Pretty interesting!

(I did and . . . was pleasantly surprised by the result).


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSIEMT 9/13/2012 10:24AM

    So True! I hat e that feeling of hunger! It makes me examine am I thirsty? Am I worried about something and on and on! So, maybe I am a little bit gritty! WooHoo!

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CAROL494 9/9/2012 5:45PM

  Thanks for sharing your story! emoticon emoticon

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EASH5M 9/9/2012 5:10PM

    emoticon blog

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NEW-CAZ 9/9/2012 3:37AM

    emoticon blog emoticon

Nice to be home and catching up with everyone, have a great Sunday hun emoticon

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MANILUS 9/8/2012 8:51PM

    Nice blog, those who are successful do have grit! They have been through a lot of tough situations and thrived. All the best to you!

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CAROLISCIOUS 9/8/2012 7:42PM

    Agree with every word written here! Thanks!

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THINTASTICME 9/8/2012 2:14PM

    emoticon emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 9/8/2012 11:30AM

    Exceptional...no wonder you got THE VOTE! Speaking of cornbread (well, grit anyway), check this out:


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DOKEYOKEY 9/7/2012 6:24PM

    So great that you have taken the time to share this with us! It's helpful to me on so many levels!


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HAKAPES 9/7/2012 2:48PM

    Yes, it goes trough failure, and not giving up.
Great blog, thanks for sharing!

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MKELLY72 9/7/2012 1:50PM

    Wonderful blog, and the article you referenced is fantastic as well. Thank you so much for sharing this!

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ESME25 9/7/2012 11:25AM


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MANDELOVICH 9/7/2012 9:48AM

    I love this! You are so inspiring, and it's really important to keep these things in mind during maintenance. Grit is hugely important. And I like to think about having persistence, patience and practice during the journey. Also, it's all about continuous improvement and self-correcting in the moment of little slips!

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KANOE10 9/7/2012 7:50AM

    Great post. emoticon

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TRYINGHARD54 9/7/2012 5:56AM

    great blog

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ELLEKTRA 9/7/2012 4:43AM

    Amazing, amazing, amazing! You have hit it directly on the head with this!
I am someone who has maintained for 1.5 years after living a life of being over weight and I have often said I wish I could bottle up what finally clicked in me and be able to pass it on to those who struggle.

Great read! Thank you!

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SHERYL_B 9/6/2012 9:55PM


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MARTHAWILL 9/6/2012 8:32PM

    Thanks for this. I kind of like the word "GRIT" although I only scored between 2.5 and 2.9. Interesting since I am a pretty ambitious person who likes changes
and can really stay the course. Not enough GRIT I guess but working on it.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AMARILYNH 9/6/2012 6:55PM

    So very true!!

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HEALTHYCALM 9/6/2012 6:50PM

    Thank you for writing this! I love your observation that self esteem is not a solid foundation for maintaining weight loss... I am going to make that my new mantra!
emoticon emoticon

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GUITARWOMAN 9/6/2012 6:38PM

    I scored between 4.5 and 5.

Having this kind of grit does not make one the most popular person in the world, but..... emoticon

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LJR4HEALTH 9/6/2012 6:32PM


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DSJB9999 9/6/2012 3:39PM


Thank you for sharing these ideas


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POPSY190 9/6/2012 3:31PM

    Yes, the 3Rs need to be balanced with at least 2 Gs- Grit, Gumption. Even the words have fallen out of fashion! Great blog.

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DDOORN 9/6/2012 1:59PM

    Great points...reminds me of one of my favorite quotes within SparkPeople (and one of the toughest pieces of advice for me to follow!):



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DOUBLEMME 9/6/2012 1:44PM


Thanks for motivation!


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SHELL22222 9/6/2012 1:21PM

    Fanatastic post! emoticon

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ADRIENALINE 9/6/2012 12:54PM

    Thanks so much for a really terrific article. I completely believe that it is grit that helps us to lose and to maintain and to succeed but I could not put it as elegantly as you have. Thanks for a great article.

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SLIMGOODY160 9/6/2012 12:47PM

    I like this, it's so true. Thanks for posting it!

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SUNSHINE20113 9/6/2012 12:45PM

    Lovely. You've put into words what I've been feeling about maintenance just recently. Thank you.

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-SHOREIDO- 9/6/2012 12:37PM

    G - Greatness
R- Reveals
I - Itself
T - Time&time again : )

Great read!! Thanks for sharing and motivating!

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LOGOULD 9/6/2012 12:29PM

    emoticon blog - thanks for sharing with us a way to view the remainder of our journey - the part after all the kudos and glamour is done! I will hold tight to this vision and muster every ounce of grit I can to get back to my ideal range and STAY there!

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PRESBESS 9/6/2012 12:07PM

    Excellent blog! GRIT! I think I am going to include this word in my vocabulary a bit more. That is truely waht it takes when it comes to maintenance. Thanks for the insight.

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NUOVAELLE 9/6/2012 10:32AM

    It took me many years to realize that failure can be productive. But to be honest, I had never actually made the connection between this realization and weight maintenance until I joined the "At goal and maintaining" team. I don't think it's a coincidence that most of the successful maintainers have had the gain-it-all-back experience at least once!
Now I know that our mistakes are our most valuable learning tools.
Your blog hit the nail on the head!
And I learned the word "grit"! Powerful characteristic!
emoticon emoticon

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TUBLADY 9/6/2012 10:19AM

    Thank you for a well thought out blog. i will go on to read the article.
I do believe I have grit. I have always excelled and am constantly challenging myself.. That's why when I gained to the morbidly obese weight I was , it shocked so many, including myself. But with my determination and "grit" I lost 200 lbs and have maintained for over a year.
Now I want to reach out and help others who stumbled like I did, and help them regain their self esteem and confidence , that they too can make changes, no matter what the weight or the age..
Congratulations on the success you have had and will continue to have.
Be strong, stay positive.
I took the test scored 4.1-4.4.
Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/6/2012 10:23:20 AM

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AEHEGE 9/6/2012 10:18AM

    What a great blog that addresses so many facets of our lives! You said it well, and the links were also interesting. Also, speaking as a retired teacher, the words of Paul Tough are also very true.

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    Love this blog! Excellent post!

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    emoticon emoticon

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LAURIE5658 9/6/2012 9:27AM

    I am comfortably gritty. I love this blog and it gives me insights that I didn't have before. Thank you!!!!!

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NELLJONES 9/5/2012 2:50PM

    My father used to say that "any damn fool can do what he likes and do it well. It takes character to do the things you DON"T like to do and do them well." This was a man who suffered a lifelong disability from polio as a small boy so he knew whereof he spoke.

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CELIAMINER 9/5/2012 8:56AM

    Interesting test. I also scored higher than I expected on the grit score, making me wonder how honest I was with myself. While I am doing well so far with maintenance, I'm still new to it. And while I have a couple of things in life that hold my interest (walking festivals and decluttering, at least in spurts), I am easily distracted by shiny objects at work, and projects that go to the back burner to address a crisis rarely make it back to the forefront without a lot of prodding and without being late.

Also, interesting article. I grew up doing only things I knew I was good at so I wouldn't fail. I once brought home a report card with a B on it in a one-semester art class. One lousy B, rest A's. My dad's only comment: "You need to bring up that B," which I couldn't because the class was over. I understand that the constant effort to build self-esteem can produce offspring that feel the world owes them so they have to do nothing, but it's really easy to go the other way and produce a neurotic perfectionist that also gets nothing done.

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ROOSTER72 9/5/2012 3:21AM

    I love this blog - thanks.

Grit is such a good word. I will use this as a mental trigger. Thanks!

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PERIWINKLE88 9/4/2012 10:06PM

    Wonderful post! (I scored between 3.5 and 3.9).

Trying to teach my kids grit. Much more important than arithmetic!

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CRYSTALJEM 9/4/2012 5:54PM

    Cant wait to read the article. Like the usage of the word tolerate instead of something like suffer through - it puts a more positive, achievable, goal oriented slant on things.

And you are so right - those who have never learned how to deal with failure live in fear of it instead of seeing it as just a part of life, a different kind of opportunity.

Grit - a good thing.

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ISHIIGIRL 9/4/2012 5:49PM

    Fall down 7 times, stand up 8. Old Chinese Proverb. Not being afraid to fail is when we truly find success. Great blog!

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STARDUSTD 9/4/2012 3:04PM

  I scored shockingly high for grit. Amazing, considering how bad it feels like I'm doing at maintenance!
Thanks for this blog. I hope you don't mind if I print it off and add it to my motivation resources.

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KALIGIRL 9/4/2012 9:34AM

    Interesting that you talk about building character... new book about how to build character in our children to prepare them for life was reviewed on NPR this morning.

I carry this in my wallet, "Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?" - John Keats

Namaste my friend.

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GETFIT2LIVE 9/4/2012 1:38AM

    Great point--it IS in failing but getting up and trying again that we learn the most. That has certainly been the case for me in losing weight. Thanks for the links, I was pleasantly surprised by my score, too!

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PHEBESS 9/3/2012 11:47PM

    3.5 to 3.9 hmmmmmm

I agree that the constant praise, or awards for what I consider to be mediocrity, totally contradicts what educators SHOULD be doing to prepare our students for the real world, for their future lives. Not that we need to be mean, or set the students up for failure - but for students (all of us) to realize that sometimes we fail, sometimes we pick ourselves up, sometimes we try a new approach - and that sometimes that new approach helps us succeed. Had we not failed, we wouldn't succeed on the second (or tenth, or thirtieth) try.

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NOLAZYBUTT110 9/3/2012 11:36PM

    Always taking the GRIT test, but I alway seem to fail! susana

Comment edited on: 9/3/2012 11:37:32 PM

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Vanity Moment Pics: by Popular Request!

Friday, August 31, 2012

My DH surprised me by contacting organizers for last week's golf tournament and getting the pictures.

You can see he's successfully reduced by 20 pounds since his pre-season weight: looking pretty trim!

And there I am too in my vanity moment.

Did I mention how challenging white pants are?

And how challenging horizontal stripes are? Not to mention sleeveless??

OK, still feeling pretty good about it!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROSTIERACES 11/11/2012 1:02PM

    Pics?!??!!! What! Ellen has posted pictures!! Look at you! Tall! Thin, lean, fit and that awesome golf swing in your cute outfit!! Awe I love this! You look great! Thanks for sharing....your hard work is paying off! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TIFFANIE150 9/10/2012 4:47PM

    GORGEOUS outfit! I love white capris though.

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VALERIEMAHA 9/8/2012 11:29AM

    DAMN! Sizzling hot!!!

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DSHONEYC 9/6/2012 11:40PM

    You look marvelous, does you DH have an single brother? Cheers and keep golfing on..........

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SLIMGOODY160 9/6/2012 12:49PM

    Look at the definition in your arms, you go girl!

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CRYSTALJEM 9/4/2012 5:49PM

    Wow! You look great!

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ILIKETOZUMBA 9/2/2012 10:13PM

    Wow, you look great! Even in horizontal stripes - most impressive! :)

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IMAGINE_IT 9/2/2012 9:08PM

    emoticon Oh wow...Ellen!! Not many look 'great' or even 'good' when their picture is taking from the back....but you.....??!! You look awesome.....your husband also...both of you toned...slim...like some professional athletes.....i love the pics..and i don't know much about golf...but i know it is a great pose!! emoticon emoticon Thank you for sharing emoticon
Wished i would look half as good....from behind...sighs.....

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ROOSTER72 9/2/2012 6:21PM

    LOVE IT. Looking fabulous

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    Thank you so much for sharing these most wonderful photos of the two of you! You both look amazing!

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TINAJANE76 9/2/2012 11:45AM

    Wow, you could be on the cover of a golfing magazine as golf's fittest couple. There is NOTHING you could possibly find fault with here. You're a PERFECT 10!

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SLENDERELLA61 9/1/2012 8:19PM

    You do look absolutely, positively MAAAR-VEL -OUS!! And strong. And so young, too! If you had told me the young lady in the white pant and sleevelous horizontal stripped shirt was your daughter, I would have believed you.

Thanks so much for posting the picture. It's really fun to see!! -Marsha

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NANCY- 9/1/2012 10:37AM

    The pictures show just how amazing you are. It is wonderful to have a trophy like that, and be able to say..."that's me!" and smile.

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TRAVELGRRL 9/1/2012 9:09AM

    FANtastic! You both look great. I'm so glad he got the photos! What a guy -- he's a keeper!!

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TRYINGHARD1948 9/1/2012 5:06AM

    Beautiful form and style. A very elegant couple,

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NEW-CAZ 9/1/2012 2:33AM

In fact you both look amazing and toned....thanks for sharing!
see you in a week emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/1/2012 2:34:26 AM

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SWEDE_SU 9/1/2012 12:54AM

    you both look great!!

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_RAMONA 8/31/2012 7:37PM

    Oh HOW I wish I coud wolf-whistle, LOL!!!

There may be some traditionally challenging elements to your clothing, but no one would notice the way you're rocking them... your arms are amazing, the horizontal stripes get appropriately shorter (and longer) in all of the right places, and those pants look like they'd fit my daughter (she's 8, BTW)!

It's wonderful to hear about all of the FUN you are having!

{{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}}

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PHEBESS 8/31/2012 7:25PM

    You look wonderful - anyone who can look trim in white pants and horizontal stripes, especially from the back, has got to be small!!!!!!!!!!!

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_LINDA 8/31/2012 7:20PM

    You two look FABULOUS!! And yes, you wore the worst possible things for slimming, and looked AMAZING (and look at that bicep!!)
Well done!!!

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ONEKIDSMOM 8/31/2012 7:19PM

    Nice form! And nice shoulder definition, too! No wonder you are pleased with them.

Oh, your DH looks good, too. What a couple!

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LILLISAGIRL 8/31/2012 7:09PM

    You look great, I love the the pose :P

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Short Holiday

Sunday, August 26, 2012

DH and I are just back from three days in Ottawa -- or more precisely, a day and a bit, with most of the other time spent driving up and driving back!

I wanted to see the Van Gogh exhibition at the National Gallery before it closed September 3. Some of you may have seen it earlier this year in Philadelphia . . . it's a "joint" US /Canadian project which focuses on work from the last four years of Van Gogh's life, with lots of "close up" details from nature and lots of landscape vistas too . . . . There were early photographs and Japanese prints also exhibited, to show a couple of the influence on this period of his work. I had not realized that the texturing effect of his brush strokes evokes the wrinkled paper of the Japanese print "crepon" technique. The gallery (one of Moshe Safdie's best architectural works) was crowded, even with our reserved tickets. But the crowds did not prevent me from seeing and absorbing images that were new to me and which will stay in my mind: a field of wheat, a field of lavender, a vase of poppies, a branch of almond blossom against an intensely blue background, a couple walking through dense undergrowth in a light dappled forest.

We also attended an open air theatre production under a starry sky in a park adjacent to the Rideau River . . . a glorious Marivaux 18th century French farce, comedia del arte style with highly expressive masks, Offenbach music. It was superbly performed, very silly and light-hearted: perfect for a summer night.

Other than that: walking, talking, reading, paying our respects at some dear friends' burial places in Beechwood Cemetery, a drive into the Gatineaus, some nice meals, a few glasses of wine, a very comfortable hotel: good times. Ottawa is a beautiful, human-scaled city where English and French are spoken everywhere, decked out for the summer with provincial floral banners and imaginatively planted flower beds in all the parks. It's our capital city, with its Gothic Parliament buildings and Art Deco Supreme Court, and it always makes me proud to be Canadian!

We shared the drive back, taking turns so each of us could snooze a little . . . I've filled the fridge again, caught up with the laundry, and feel ready to face the week!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DSHONEYC 9/6/2012 11:44PM

    I want to live vicariously through your life...love Van Gogh and have been lucky to have seen a major exhibition many moons ago. Since irises are my favorite flowers, you can imagine what print I have hanging in my living room...oh and Starry Night is amazing to see, even if is is "little".

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NOLAZYBUTT110 8/29/2012 3:56PM

    I am so jealous of you ...for seeing Van Gogh's painting exhibit. He was one artist that inspired me! Hes one of my favorite artist of his time. Love his colors and I can relate to his ear issues (tinnitis can set you crazy and its worst if you have a heart AFib issues too!) I always wonder if he had both, because its the worst issues to deal with (heart and hearing!)

Sounds like you had a great time! Hope you share the photos! I will bet you even lost a few "LBs" from all that walking! Or did that one drink do you in? Its just nice when you get out and just be a Tourist! I hope soon I will be able to do the same (waiting for Hubby to get stronger). Glad you had a fun day off!
susana emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/29/2012 4:00:39 PM

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KALIGIRL 8/29/2012 8:52AM

    Sounds like a wonderful trip!

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SWAZY33 8/28/2012 10:12AM

    Sounds like a great holiday! I would have like to see that collection when it was in Philly!
Short holidays keep us refreshed so I'm happy you were able to sneak away for some time.

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ID_VANDAL 8/27/2012 1:06PM

    Good for you - that's making the most of a short break. I'm jealous!!



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NANCY- 8/27/2012 8:11AM

    What a wonderful way to renew the spirit. I wish I could have seen that exhibit and your description of Ottawa makes me want to visit. Thank you for letting me visit through your eyes.
My eldest son has crossed the border to Ottawa many times while he was attending university, since the drinking age is 19 and here it is 21. I just wish it had been for more cultural pursuits. :)

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TRAVELGRRL 8/27/2012 7:38AM

    What a wonderful renewal for the soul and spirit! Sounds wonderful. My parents honeymooned in Ottawa almost 60 years ago and it is on my bucket list to visit!

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NEW-CAZ 8/27/2012 2:52AM

    Sounds like you had a great break. It's good to recharge those batteries!

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_LINDA 8/27/2012 1:55AM

    Wow! You sure made the most of your short holiday! What a wonderful time!! So nice! I have never been there. I usually always travel to western destinations.
I hope you have a good work week!

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FIFIFRIZZLE 8/26/2012 11:41PM

    What a great break you had. Sounds like a beautiful place.

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TRYINGHARD1948 8/26/2012 11:33PM

    A wonderful break and bound to have given you new energy.

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PHEBESS 8/26/2012 10:27PM

    That sounds like a delightful weekend!

And I've always thought that van Gogh is the most passionate of the Impressionists, and possibly that is why he is also the most popular in our era.

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SOULOFWELLNESS 8/26/2012 10:25PM

    Sounds like y'all had an active, enjoyable "short holiday" that was surely enjoyed. It also sounds like you are all set for the week ahead! emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 8/26/2012 9:46PM

    Sounds like a lovely short holiday! Glad you enjoyed it.

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SLENDERELLA61 8/26/2012 9:14PM

    What a glorious short get away!! Thanks for the rich description. So glad you found this time to enjoy. I know you deserve it.

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