CURTIOSITY's SparkPeople Blog CURTIOSITY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community What is something you own or carry with you that seems contrary to who you are unless ... I think that the things we carry... our talismans, juju, bits of bankie (some call it a blankie - go figure!)... whatever you keep near you as a reminder, or a comfort, things that you don't necessarily care to explain to Joe Blow, may well carry insights into all kinds of things, may well offer wee revelations re eating behavious - who knows? <BR> <BR> Please tell me, what is something you own or carry with you that seems contrary to who you are unless someone knows the story behind it? <BR... Sat, 1 Feb 2014 21:44:07 EST I Embrace You I so appreciate your comments. <BR> <BR> I lived for years in Boston and then in New York City making my living as a professional artist. I have done quite a bit of writing - essays, articles, extensive correspondence and nature journals galore, but I never went out of my way to publish - I simply enjoy writing. I have some examples of my artwork in the photo section of my Spark Page. Please have a look. I would love to hear what you think. Much of my larger work does not translate well i... Sat, 25 Jan 2014 03:09:34 EST Books for Bulges update.... re Backsliding With the Big Boys The flies flew south, but there are still flaws in the ointment. <BR> <BR> At 3 AM, weary of reading Robert K. Massie's endless accounts (the final hundred pages of his "Catherine The Great" bring Xenon's paradox to mind) of the unacceptable number (unacceptable to Massie by implication) of very young men decrepit old brilliant Catherine the Great took to bed, I found myself reaching for Pratchett's Dodger with no intention of climbing on the scale first. <BR> <BR> Dishonored, knuckles dra... Fri, 24 Jan 2014 15:21:42 EST I Trade Bulges for Books I am by nature not much of a chatter. This day I must tell all. <BR> <BR> I returned my 17 library books today and most were unread. For me, this was a scandalous first if ever there was one. <BR> <BR> I have now filled my bag with all sorts of stuff - a couple of books that friends have lent me, including a signed copy of David Byrne's How Music Works and Tan Twan Eng's The Garden of Evening Mists; three untouched issues of the literary quarterly, Cabinet; a spectacular catalog filled ... Thu, 23 Jan 2014 00:40:49 EST Spring Fever In it's origins, the term "spring fever" referred to real medical phenomena. Even though people often use the term now in reference to perceived laziness, there may be more going on than meets your superficial perception. Spring fever traditionally was another term for the flu season or the sinus infection season or the onslaught of allergies to dander and dust that have accumulated during the time when one's home has been closed up for the winter season (whew!) <BR> <BR> Early, early spr... Tue, 21 Jan 2014 17:16:27 EST If gas stations can sell condoms, then it's time to throw out the Christmas tree; a blog for Karen For years, I did all of my workouts in a swimming pool. I went to the gym wearing my Speedo under my street clothing. About half the time I forgot to pack panties in my gym bag. I bought bulk packs of Jockeys to keep in my locker as a back-up, but eventually they would run out and I would be chaffing again. If gas stations can have machines selling condoms and perfume in the restrooms, gyms could have machines selling S, M, L, and Don't Ask sized underwear in the dressing rooms. Is there a ... Mon, 13 Jan 2014 13:22:29 EST How to Sharpen an Old Saw © I am thinking of the old saw "If you aren't hungry, food won't solve the problem." <BR> <BR> If at some point, a person worked out something, some survival mechanism, that substituted food for something else that was needed but was or seemed to be unavailable... well, something definitely happened, something that was satisfying and perhaps punitive all at the same time, but the original need was definitely not met. Quite possibly, in time this alternative satisfaction got confused with/for... Fri, 10 Jan 2014 19:46:32 EST I do know how to spell plagiarism, really I do I invert letters and numbers at the speed of light - much faster than I can actually type. It's called dyslexia. My female brain did a swell job of rerouting so that my dyslexia didn't give me too much trouble as a kid/adult. Old fartism is bringing it back with a vengeance. <BR> <BR> I am so grateful for the Spark tracking system. I generally have a pretty good idea of how many calories are in any given "on target" meal, so if the tracker says that my total for lunch is 12,648 calories - I... Thu, 9 Jan 2014 15:53:51 EST Plagiarism, or How To Make A © for MAC &/or PC A friend just wrote to me that someone lifted her blog, changed 2 sentences and got a best blog award. I sent her a metal water bottle goodie and this note; <BR> <BR> Gentle Reader, <BR> <BR> When freezing water for that next big race, fill your metal bottle half-full or half-empty, depending on how well your meds are working, and lay it on it's side inside of the freezer. That will keep the bottom of the bottle from bowing out as the water freezes over night, which is how long you migh... Thu, 9 Jan 2014 12:31:58 EST Congratulations, congratulations, congratulations to you! I found this video on You Tube 3 years ago and have watched it time after time after time because it acknowledges struggle, congratulates (me for my) good work (yes, I do take it personally, even as it sings to a larger universe), welcomes the spring and welcomes the future. The visuals always warm my heart, as I hope they do yours. <BR> <BR><BR>-Q <BR> <BR> Take it personally - let these babies talk to you. % ) <BR> <BR> Take it in a larger sens... Mon, 30 Dec 2013 15:35:45 EST Ba-da bing, ba-da bong, merrily on high. A new cycle is in the air. When it began and when the old one ended I know not, but I feel the somewhat skeptical hope of beginnings and the bittersweet relief of things put to rest. Please join me as I dare to eat a peach in order to lob the pit at bullies and cads. <BR> <BR> I have but one wish, for myself and for you, dear one - grow. <BR> <BR> Here is the new link for your grinning soul: (try this one Smitty) <BR><BR>8I <BR> <BR> <BR> If the l... Sat, 28 Dec 2013 16:03:27 EST "...dust and ashes, grit in the gears of my soul." One of my favorite Spark friends included the phrase "dust and ashes, grit in the gears of my soul" in a comment on my page today. She was describing how she has been feeling of late and wanted to say that my status cheered her up. I am so grateful to have this friend who has worked so hard, has given Spark her best, and has changed the way she lives during the past year and yet still trusts me enough to say how she is really doing right this minute. Her description exactly nails how I am ... Sat, 21 Dec 2013 15:47:10 EST Stolen Christmas <BR> In 1957, my mother stole Christmas and moved it into her heart for safe keeping. Granted, Christmas of 1958 was spent with friends, but after that, each December Mom brought forth her treasured love of the season, shining it's ever-growing light into even the darkest of corners. Mom bought the most beautiful trees, filling them with lights, ropes of mother-of-pearl washed Lucite beads and ornaments rare and fine. She took us caroling night after night. No church service was missed. S... Tue, 3 Dec 2013 02:01:39 EST Gratitude Attitude Day - T'is the Season! I was scheduled to have a laparoscopic cholecystectomy this morning ( as I understand it, 4 people armed with sterile soda straws were going to remove my gall bladder and then send me on home a couple of hours later.) <BR> <BR> We had freezing rain and light snow last night - the kind of weather that makes a New Englander blow coffee out their nose if you ask whether school is going to be called off. But I live on a mountain in Tennessee and freezing rain turns the north-facing lane up to ... Wed, 27 Nov 2013 13:10:18 EST 10 American Foods That are Banned in Other Countries + 2013 dirty 12 & clean 15 The purpose of this blog is primarily to provide a link (below) to an important article that I did not write. I am posting because of the folks who showed an interest in my previous blog about learning to read barcodes to discover where the food we choose to buy is being produced. I think that my more curious readers will find the information below and beyond enlightening and of interest as well. <BR> <BR> In case you haven't noticed, working class USA (that means any and everyone who ha... Thu, 26 Sep 2013 01:20:00 EST How to Read a Bar Code Many, many foods in the USA contain additives, such as aspartame (marketed under the names Nutrasweet and Equal,) that are banned in other countries in the UK, the Netherlands, and Europe. I order my chewing gum from Ontario because, even though Wrigley (the makers of yummy aspartame-out-the-wazoo ORBIT) does manufacture a chewing gum sweetened with Xylitol, it is only available in Great Britain . I don't trust aspartame so I avoid it. This isn't meant to be an anti-aspartame rant. The poin... Fri, 13 Sep 2013 20:51:40 EST Wascal Wabbit One of my life goals is to make clear, positive and separate my love of cooking (and love of good food) from my habit of eating for love. <BR> <BR> Is it possible for a habit that has gifted me with repeated bouts of obesity with all the trimmings ever to be viewed as positive? <BR> <BR> Hmmmmm. First of all I will need to clean up my language. This site wouldn’t let me say sh__, even if I had a mouth full of it, and I do not mean that as a criticism. I suspect that it is actually an ... Thu, 21 Feb 2013 09:53:29 EST “The Unknown, Remembered Gate” Or… Rehearsing My State of the Union Distress: Conversations With My Mirror <BR> <BR> I'm not sure how to get through to loved ones (including myself) that I am literally dying of my relationship to food, that it is SERIOUS, and that I am determined to change that relationship – and that "you, my dear one, my truest true love, are and have been my enabler and co-dependent in this relationship." <BR> <BR> If I am suffering humiliating looks of disgust from someone who really, really does lo... Wed, 20 Feb 2013 11:56:49 EST THE CONTRACT THE CONTRACT: <BR> <BR> I have made the decision to begin to establish a healthy level of self-esteem and I acknowledge the concomitant changes in behaviors and discipline that decision entails. This will be a slow process. I know I have been attempting to do this all my adult life. Understand that I am trying to learn to believe in myself, and that I need you to try to learn to believe in me as well. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I wanted to come up with a formal statement that I could put befor... Tue, 19 Feb 2013 17:22:13 EST Thoughts Provoked by GreasyJoan's Nutritional Porn Blog There are food commandments I must obey. These are not helpful hints. They are mandates. <BR> <BR> 1. Do not leave home hungry. <BR> <BR> 2. Entertain no thoughts of oral gratification while behind the wheel. <BR> <BR> 3. No eating in a vehicle. Period. <BR> <BR> 4. If you do not want to consume it, do not bring it home. <BR> <BR> I frequently must put the McPedal to the McMetal, singing Ave Maria at the top of my lungs all the way until I have safely traversed the evil world of commer... Sat, 16 Feb 2013 22:23:42 EST Scale-boarding: Indoor Sport or Self-inflicted Torture? Saturday morning I weighed 210. Sunday morning the scales said 140. <BR> <BR> What? You don't believe I lost 70 pounds night before last? That's what the scales said and they still say it and scales don't lie. <BR> <BR> Story A: <BR> I've been retaining fluid for several close friends, so I think it was mostly water. % ) <BR> <BR> Story B: <BR> I use the same scales that I used at age 5, the first time I ever got weighed at home. I'm talking a 1953 vintage steel Health-O-Meter in avoc... Mon, 11 Feb 2013 22:34:41 EST Remembrance of Things Passed - a car talk Traditionally I have referred to my car as "The Gilded Palace of Sin"*. Now I don't even smoke there. I drive an 84' 300D German silver (that's a color - muted silver with a slight green-gold cast) diesel Benz. I intend to be buried in it. (A friend has a backhoe. This is Tennessee. It can happen.) Do not speak to me of new cars. <BR> <BR> Changing my relationship with my car is proving to be an unexpected challenge (Ave Maria). Changing my dog Nell's relationship to it is heart-breaking (... Tue, 29 Jan 2013 19:16:34 EST Puttin' That Pantomime Pony Out to Pasture I have put down cigarettes before - once for 8 years - but (smoking, eating, recreational cussing) triggers are deep seated (for some reason, an image of the Hindu God Ganesh just popped into my mind so I googled the image<BR>nd_goddesses/ganesha.htm The second image down fills the bill - nice mandala below that). <BR> <BR> Yeh... so this many-armed, elephant-headed being that came to protect me long ago needs some re-positioning beca... Mon, 28 Jan 2013 14:13:11 EST 2 Months Down the Smoke-free Chute Tomorrow will mark the beginning of my third month as a non-smoker. I gave 'em up by singing the first line of Ave Maria REALLY LOUD ( plus a deep breath or so) whenever I want(ed) a cig. I only sing the first line because those are the only words I know. So far it has been sufficient. And yes, I am still belting it out, but not as often as I did early last month. <BR> <BR> I am so happy that I only smoked at the computer and occasionally in the car. My reputation at the Piggly Wiggly coul... Sun, 27 Jan 2013 15:46:11 EST I Don't Know How to Reward Myself This is a short blog. I don't know how to reward myself. I am that out of touch with fun. Buying things?... enough with the stuff. De-acquisition makes me smile, but I'm not sure how to turn that into a reward. This is a problem that may indeed be a problem for more people than I realize. It is quite possible that there are all sorts of rewards out there but I will need another attitude transplant before I see them. Is there a doctor in the house? Wed, 23 Jan 2013 12:18:10 EST Twisting a Tiny Hankie Over My BMI <BR> I wanted to share some thoughts/questions I have had about the Body Mass Index. So what I'm gonna' do is think out loud in this blog and if anything is useful to you, great. If not, keep shopping. <BR> <BR> I think the correlation of weight loss or gain and muscle gain or loss merits special personalized attention, particularly of one is over... uh, what? 60? I don't know. <BR> <BR> I have a few friends who are runners (NOTE - a runner is someone who has a certain body type, who can... Tue, 8 Jan 2013 16:00:51 EST Great Green Gobs of Greed VS The Dry Drunk - Mud Wrestling at 2:00 On the surface, yesterday seemed like a series of small struggles where the good guys were winning. For the most part. Until about sundown. But then pain set in so I skipped a concert, went to bed with a book and proceeded to eat 12-14 mandarin oranges. In AA lingo that is called a "dry drunk" - out of control behavior (I don't even remember exactly how many damned Cuties I ate! HA!) that doesn't involved alcohol. I ran the report this morning - in terms of calories, I took in more than I di... Mon, 10 Dec 2012 13:30:02 EST That is a fact, but here is the truth. As of November 29, 2012, I am not a smoker - that is a fact . <BR> <BR> But here is the truth - I did not have a cigarette today. However, I have always been (at least as long as I can remember), am now, and always will be emotionally addicted to tobacco. If I don't know that by now, then I don't know anything. <BR> <BR> I have used the term "I quit smoking" in the past, and I have stayed off of cigs for various periods of time since I was 30 - six months, once for 8 years, most recently... Fri, 7 Dec 2012 17:31:23 EST Dec 1 Quit Date, Ave Maria, Rabbit Rabbit Dec. 1, 2012 quit date. That is what it says in my Spark goals info. I'm talking cigarettes here. <BR> <BR> I had it all worked out - smoke 3/day for a week, then 2/day, then 1/day and at one second past midnight (that is one second into Dec. 1) I would break up any cigarettes left in the pack, toss 'em into the lidded wasabi peas can I've been using for an ashtray, shake well, and then mix the whole nasty mess into the litter box used by our 3 cats, a place which in no uncertain terms deman... Sat, 1 Dec 2012 12:00:43 EST Nekkid Sardines So far, my reaction to the news that my LDL was soaring while my HDL was plummeting has been a lemons into lemonade experience (thank you SP!). My doc sez no more meat, no prob, sez I. But I am having a difficult time getting enough protein ("enough" being defined by the SP pie chart on my tracker.) "Ditch the cholesterol" means I try to keep my daily intake between 10 and 30 (not sure if that's grams, milligrams, or miles per gallon). My calories on Thanksgiving weren't all that bad, but th... Tue, 27 Nov 2012 11:42:30 EST "I used to have a muscle, but it went away." Diana Vreeland Just finished 2 short strengthening videos and the chair stretch one. (Can holding you abs in and shoulders down classify as an aerobic exercise? If it is, it is.) I've been having a mental one-woman mud wrestling event these past few days. If you are anything like me, early childhood training was a mixed bag re results. Some of it has proved quite useful (I'm thinking potty training here), some of it pretty much rolled off my back (a stitch in time saves nine) and some of it wound up pretty ... Sun, 25 Nov 2012 13:26:28 EST Hey, the highest Ted Williams hit was .406 Just hit a 3/2 on Trivia! The question I missed that sticks in my mind had to do with cellulite. I answered that cellulite is a special kind of fat. I mean, if you loose enough weight to see your cellulite without using a mirror... idden that special? Back before cellulite was invented, I remember a dark ages exercise program on TV where the trainer called cellulite "that old biscuit dough flab" - idden that special? % ) Bye now, time to take a quiz. Sat, 24 Nov 2012 10:55:25 EST "Never make predictions, especially about the future." Casey Stengel When I shut down my computer for the night, the last window to go has to do with my Spark report and I always hit "Close window, do not run report." Why? Because I always eat something before I go to sleep, while I am reading in bed. Is that a bad habit? "Frankly, m'dear, I don't give a ****." How much I eat and what I eat is a different kettle of fish. Since I entered Sparkland, I began leaving out sufficient carbs, fat, calories, etc, to allow for a small, just-before-sleep meal, and if I... Fri, 23 Nov 2012 10:19:48 EST Giving Thanks - another attitude transplant Confession - I have a lot of unresolved anger. It sneaks up behind me, particularly during the holidays, and I become someone that I neither like nor admire. Letting go of that anger that I have so carefully nursed, some of it for a lifetime, is crucial to becoming and sustaining my personal health. Anger inhibits gratitude, joy, kindness - all kinds of things I want to be foremost in my life. Today, I am going to mindfully let it go - that is my goal for today. I am going to do things that o... Thu, 22 Nov 2012 09:39:42 EST An Attitude Transplant I guess it takes a while to begin to recognize and overcome inner-voice-based negativity. Today's revelation du jour had to do with Spark Points. Maybe a week ago I found myself setting an unspoken goal of spinning the extra points wheel every day. I started out with adding articles, then quizzes and trivia. Cocky me thought I would do well with them... HA! What a much needed humbling experience that was! Not only did I fare poorly on my scores, I found that I just wasn't engaging my mind and... Mon, 19 Nov 2012 10:08:16 EST