NELLJONES's SparkPeople Blog NELLJONES's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Jean Nidetch 1923-2015 Jean Nidetch changed my life. Actually it was Weight Watchers, but Jean was still the heart and soul of WW back then. Her very image evoked hope in those of us who were hopeless. She turned a food plan into a mission of success and possibility. She was her own success: she got to her goal in 1963 and stayed at goal until she died, and shared that success with many thousands of us. <BR> <BR> We all know Jean as the founder of a weight loss plan, but most don't know what she contributed to... Thu, 30 Apr 2015 11:37:49 EST Americans spend more money eating out than buying groceries For the first time since the US Department of Commerce starting collecting the stats in 1992, money Americans spent at bars and restaurants exceeded what they spent in grocery stores. The convergence began in earnest just at about the time of the housing bust, and accelerated in the last two years. <BR> <BR> The stats are about money, though, not calories. I wonder how America's waistline will look in 30 years? Sat, 25 Apr 2015 18:08:22 EST Stanford Marshmallow Experiment I was reading about an experiment about delayed gratification in children, done at Stanford University in 1970. <BR> <BR> They took a bunch of young children, ages 6-9, and offered them one marshmallow, but if they were able to wait 15 minutes without eating it, they would get two marshmallows. Some kids ate the one right away. The ones who waited for the two didn't just sit quietly for 15 minutes, but sat on their hands, or stared at the wall, or kicked their chairs, anything to help them... Sat, 18 Apr 2015 09:56:41 EST Case dismissed After months of worry and preparation, the court date was today. <BR> <BR> We had a maintenance man at the condo that we fired last September. Three days later, the newly hired maintenance man discovered that the former guy had used our shop as storage for his son's household goods. That's called trespassing. His son had just gotten out of jail and had to move in with him, and evidently didn't want to pay for storage so stole our space. We found a set of brass knuckles in plain sight, an... Mon, 13 Apr 2015 11:59:16 EST It feels so good to be thin!! When I was at church today, I noticed how beautifully thin some of the people were as they filed out to take communion. I remember when I used to notice thin people and wonder Why, Oh Why can't I look like that? Now I do. <BR> <BR> You can buy a smaller nose or a different hair color. You can't buy a thinner body. If you could buy thin, everyone would find the money to be thin. Thin takes work and patience and diligence. I can be blonde in a few hours every few weeks by sitting in a ch... Sun, 12 Apr 2015 12:18:56 EST Eggs Are Good For You Again I remember back in the 70s when "experts" first told us that ingested cholesterol could kill you. They told us to avoid eggs and shellfish, two of my favorite things to eat. My father was an organic chemist, not into biology though, and he always told us that it was the saturated fat that our livers converted into cholesterol that was the problem, not cholesterol in foods. <BR> <BR> He has now been vindicated but he is no longer around to see it. <BR> <BR> I'm glad I listened to Dad rathe... Fri, 20 Feb 2015 10:10:34 EST Why is Superbowl about food? I was a senior in high school for Superbowl I, although it was called the NFL-AFL Championship Game at the time. It was a new idea, something about trying to see if the two leagues could combine as a business. Nowhere did I read anything about chicken wings or guacamole. I went to the grocery store yesterday and there were football shaped cakes. Really?? <BR> <BR> It's a football game, not a food extravaganza. When my boys were little we'd have a dinner favorite, but nothing in excess, no... Sun, 1 Feb 2015 08:12:11 EST I reached my goal 44 years ago. And have stayed there pretty much ever since. There was a 10 pound blip during menopause, but I knew what to do and I did it. <BR> <BR> My goal weight is about 10 pounds lower than it was when I was 21. Old ladies just can't carry the weight like we used to, I guess. <BR> <BR> I did it by living all the wonderful lessons I learned in Weight Watchers way back when. They gave me the tools, it was up to me to use them. One of the biggest advantages to staying at goal for a long time is war... Sat, 27 Dec 2014 09:44:42 EST Going to any lengths There are times when I'd rather just sit on the sofa and read, do nothing physical, for days on end. Then I see someone like this: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is an old man who after several accidents and serious osteoporosis, still carries his walker down three flights of stairs to go walking. This day was pouring rain outside, so he carried that walker down to the electrical room (a room that has to be empty by law) and w... Thu, 4 Dec 2014 10:35:01 EST A Second Chance isn't the same as a Second First Chance We all get second chances, but each attempt is farther along in life. Sometimes it's harder. Getting a college degree is harder when you have a house and kids than it would have been when you were 18 and had nothing else in life but studying. It's still a second chance at a degree, but not the same. <BR> <BR> It's the same with second chances for changing health. It's harder when you are older, it's harder when you have already had your first stroke or heart attack. But harder doesn't m... Sun, 30 Nov 2014 12:02:02 EST Massive amounts of sugar and oil for NO CALORIES!! Yes you heard me! It's called a sugar polish, and I just had one at the Arlington Spa in Hot Springs, Arkansas. They mix sugar and olive oil and scrub it all over your body, then wrap you up in plastic for 25 minutes before rinsing it off. It feels decadent! And it is totally calorie free! <BR> <BR> I highly recommend it, followed, of course, by a massage. What a treat! Mon, 28 Jul 2014 17:47:32 EST LOSE 10 POUNDS FOR FREE!!!! I love these kinds of ads. If only it were just about money, like a facelift. If only all it took were money! <BR> <BR> I lost my weight on Weight Watchers many years ago, but it was by the week not the pound, which makes more sense. And they didn't promise Easy, just something that worked if I worked it, and they helped me with the work. <BR> <BR> I guess people buy these ads and plans or they'd stop, but the promise of Easy Weight Loss has been around for hundreds of years. <BR> <BR> ... Fri, 20 Jun 2014 15:29:51 EST Fatty Liver Disease Caused by Obesity <link><BR>reat-grows-from-liver-illness-tied-to-<BR>obesity/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 </link> <BR> <BR> I saw this article in the New York Times yesterday. Usually fatty liver disease is found in alcoholics. Now it seems it is a burgeoning problem caused by overeating. <BR> <BR> Everyone is horrified by the practice of fattening goose livers for foie gras (which means, after all, "fatty liver" in French) by forcefeeding. It's a process called "gav... Sun, 15 Jun 2014 13:47:11 EST The pursuit of Easy Pleasure There is a lot of talk about the addicting nature of food, but I wonder. What I am really addicted to is Easy Pleasure. And what's easier than a cheap bag of Cheetos? <BR> <BR> We all reminisce about "simple pleasures", but they all sound so pedestrian these days. Today's Little Things didn't exist for most of us until a few decades ago, like professional mani-pedis. Now they are so cheap and omnipresent that we don't see them as the extravagances they once were. It's just something else... Sat, 31 May 2014 12:26:59 EST Preparedness vs Negativity I am listening to lectures about critical decision making from a business professor. He speaks of hashing out plans, of trying to anticipate every possible failure or problem in advance. He cites business plans for new products, plans by generals going into battle, plans for ascending Everest. In all cases people get together to brainstorm, to try to figure out in advance anything that could possibly go wrong, possible problems they may encounter no matter how absurd it may sound, and prep... Tue, 27 May 2014 09:35:13 EST I Don't Understand Modern Grocery Stores I know there are a lot more products than there used to be, so the stores have to be bigger. I enjoy the bigger variety of produce, but the packaged foods seem to be crowding out the basics. <BR> <BR> Why are the same products in multiple areas? There is basmati rice in the Asian section, short grain rice in the Latin section, and all of them in an American section. It's all rice. <BR> <BR> I couldn't find the peanut butter at my local Harris Teeter, only to be told it's with the bread. ... Sat, 24 May 2014 09:51:23 EST If You Can Dream It You Can Be It?? Really? The slogan is on posters and T-shirts, and I don't get it. <BR> <BR> I dream of being the Best In Class, standing at the top of a skill surveying all the lesser mortals beneath me. That is what a dream is, isn't it? <BR> <BR> But that demeans the work of people who have been working for years, for decades, on a skill. There is no way I can accumulate decades of experience in a few years, no matter how hard I work or how badly I want it. <BR> <BR> There is an arrogance in thinking that ... Tue, 29 Apr 2014 19:24:01 EST I am a Pickle. There is an old saying that once you turn into a pickle, you can never go back to being a cucumber. <BR> <BR> When I was little, my mother gave us 3 squares a day (small by today's standards, normal at the time) and all 3 of us kids were normal weight. Somewhere in my early teens, who knows why, I began to eat between meals. I saved my allowance and bought pretzels and Tastykakes. I snuck the food into the house, and snuck the trash out. No one ever saw me eat, but they sure saw the res... Sat, 25 Jan 2014 10:29:06 EST Find Your Inner Adult! I have read a couple of blogs and posts today about accepting the realities of life as an adult rather than that of a child. "But I want it!" or "That's not fair!" are the attitudes of children. <BR> <BR> We celebrate childhood these days. Everything I needed to know in life I learned in kindergarten? Really? I had to learn self discipline, it wasn't something I was born with, and I sure hadn't learned it by kindergarten. <BR> <BR> Maybe I was just lucky to have been raised in a happy... Wed, 15 Jan 2014 10:06:17 EST Today is our 31st wedding anniversary Amazing. Where did the years go? I remember sitting on a plane with Ron the previous March, looking at a calendar and selecting a date. <BR> <BR> Then the planning. Unlike weddings today, we were doing it on the cheap. It was a second marriage for us both, and back in 1983, most churches still wouldn't marry divorced people. Etiquette instructions for second marriages were no wedding dresses, no bridesmaids, no fancy anything. The theory was, I guess, that if you failed in a first mar... Wed, 8 Jan 2014 10:32:20 EST I have been at goal for 43 years! I actually don't remember the exact day, but it was December of 1970. I just picked Christmas Day because it's a joyous day for so many other reasons. <BR> <BR> My life has changed in a million ways since 1970. I'm older, of course. I had two more kids, divorced and re-married (for 32 years now), acquired a wonderful step-son. Three of those sons are now married with children of their own. I have moved 7 times; I live in a different state than where I lost my weight. <BR> <BR> Time go... Wed, 25 Dec 2013 10:54:42 EST My Wonderful Father Died 12 Years Ago Today I miss him every day. He was the wisest, kindest man in the world, and he loved me without reservation. My mother was the critical one, my father was the accepting one. He was firm about certain things, though, like frugality, perseverance, kindness. He taught me about caring about the natural environment long before that was a social concern. We used to go for long walks in the woods and he made me learn birds by sight and song, and to identify trees by bark and leaf. He taught me abou... Mon, 11 Nov 2013 18:15:55 EST What constitutes "Perfection"? We talk all the time about not being perfect, about how perfection can't be our goal. But what does "perfection" mean? <BR> <BR> I have defined "perfection" to mean eating to my food plan for one day. That's all. I can accomplish nothing else that day and still have a perfect day. Even if I make no inroads on my "to do" list, I can have a perfect day. I used to have high expectations that a Perfect Day meant I was Mary Poppins: Simply Perfect In Every Way. Alas, not going to happen. T... Mon, 28 Oct 2013 10:13:16 EST Think INSIDE the box! When I first joined WW years ago, the Plan was very limited until you reached goal, then you got certain foods back every two weeks for 10 weeks. Then they switched to an exchange plan and the whole universe of legal food opened up. The lists were HUGE! It's an enormous box of possibilities. <BR> <BR> I know people who bemoan not being able to eat the Macho Nacho Platter at some restaurant, yet look at the lists. The components are all there if you make them yourself. Or smothered pork c... Sat, 28 Sep 2013 09:44:58 EST Power Out AGAIN!! I don't know what it is about our section of the power grid, but once again the power is out. I heard a bang at 4am, woke me up, and the power went down. Thank goodness we have a whole house generator!! Although it came on and no power was coming to the house. I had to get a flashlight and reset the circuit breaker on the unit out back. Whatever tripped the grid circuit tripped my generator as well. The people across the street have power, as usual. You'd think that after a couple of d... Mon, 9 Sep 2013 07:05:33 EST Kitchen Almost Done They finally put in the correct cabinets!! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Now, just the final trim and painting. It's been a long two months, but worth all of it!! Thu, 5 Sep 2013 11:23:55 EST It wasn't that long ago... By definition, anything I remember "wasn't that long ago". <BR> <BR> I remember stories of WWII when I was a kid, since every man on the block had served, but since I was born in 1949, I had no first hand knowledge of the time. I vividly remember Vietnam, my first husband served there while I was home with our first baby, yet WWII seems like a million years ago while Vietnam seems like just yesterday. <BR> <BR> When I think of all the things that have happened between a long ago time in ... Sun, 1 Sep 2013 09:39:06 EST Finally!! My son's refi went through! After 3 months of wrangling with the lender, we finally signed the papers last night. Had he had any idea that this lender was so stupid, he could have gone with Quicken Loans and done it last June. But they wanted to stick with their current lender, a reputable national loan originator. They may be honest but they sure are stupid. We all live in Virginia, but had to agree to a deed that isn't legal in Virginia. They had to sign a paper saying that if federal law doesn't apply, they agre... Tue, 27 Aug 2013 10:07:04 EST I Did It!! 42 Days! It's been 42 days since the kitchen remodel started and I had to make do with a temporary kitchen in my laundry room. <BR> <BR> AND I DID NOT EAT OUT OR ORDER TAKE OUT EVEN ONCE!! <BR> <BR> AND I ENDED UP AT THE SAME WEIGHT AS WHEN IT STARTED!! <BR> <BR> It took a lot of planning, but I am used to that. I wasn't used to the limitations of no oven and only one cooking unit per meal, but I managed. <BR> <BR> I obsessively read about kitchen renovations on the internet, and all of them war... Sun, 18 Aug 2013 07:25:26 EST Kitchen Mostly Done Week 6 There are three cabinets to be delivered (two as replacements: I ordered glass fronts above and next to the sink) but I can get back in today. It won't be really finished for another month, but that's visual not functional. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I wish it were all done now, but I need to be patient. I get to reload this week. My oldest son helped me move the furniture out 6 weeks ago today. Today he will come over and we... Sat, 17 Aug 2013 07:16:00 EST Kitchen Reno Week 5-Finally some progress <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> There is still a lot to do, and that is in addition to waiting for the arrival of replacement cabinets for the 3 that were wrong. <BR> <BR> But it feels good to see something has actually been accomplished in the last 5 weeks. <BR> <BR> And I am still succeeding in my little challenge: I have cooked every night at home in the laundry r... Sat, 10 Aug 2013 10:10:06 EST New Countertop Installed Finally! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Hopefully someone will show up today to keep working. There is still a LOT to do and it's been nearly 5 weeks already for a simple reno. Thu, 8 Aug 2013 08:05:54 EST Frustration and $$$ Part 2 I talked to my son's mortgage company today. They say they cannot approve a loan unless everyone on the loan is also on the deed. They say it is a Freddie and Fannie restriction, but that is absolutely not true. I know many people who have names on deeds that aren't on loans (to their sorrow but that's another story), and the mortgage company is making it up. My poor son has already put over $1000 into trying to refinance, and now he can't. I can't get off the deed without incurring a big... Wed, 7 Aug 2013 13:45:15 EST Frustration and $$$ I am on the title of son#2's house, and he wants to refinance. He bought the house in 2006 (top of the market) and has gotten 3 appraisals over the last 5 years trying to be able to take advantage of lower rates. He lives in a rural area, and the appraisals all came in low. He isn't trying to take money out, just get a lower rate. Finally last June, an appraisal came in that he could use. That house is in my trust, so I had to forward the first and last pages of my trust to the underwrit... Tue, 6 Aug 2013 11:30:50 EST Kitchen Reno Week 4-Precious little progress Only 7 hours of work done the entire week last week. All they did was paint some walls. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Four weeks without a kitchen, and I'm ready for some serious progress this week. My patience is being tested. <BR> <BR> I am keeping my own little challenge going: I still haven't eaten out or gotten take out. Sun, 4 Aug 2013 10:08:40 EST Sleeping and Eating I hear people say that it is important to eat whenever you are hungry, but I never hear that we should sleep whenever we are sleepy. We discipline ourselves to sleep at appropriate times, that was the first thing our parents trained us to do. I know I trained my babies to sleep at night as soon as possible so I could sleep myself. No one questions this. Yet the eating patterns are always debated. <BR> <BR> When I was little, we ate three times a day, and we little ones got one snack in t... Wed, 31 Jul 2013 10:16:27 EST My beautiful granite slab! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Isn't it gorgeous?! With the white cabinets it will look wonderful! Tue, 30 Jul 2013 15:42:05 EST Week Three of Kitchen Reno Complete <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The cabinets to the right and left of where the sink will be are the wrong cabinets, they are supposed to be glass fronted. ARRRGGHH! I noticed the error after they were up. It will be another 3-4 weeks to get the correct cabinets, and they can swap them out easily, or so they say. It's starting to look like a kitchen. <BR> <BR> I have often said that one of the most important things I learned while losing we... Sat, 27 Jul 2013 05:22:10 EST Week Two of Kitchen Reno Complete The floor is down <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And the drywall is mostly up <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This next week: cabinets. And if I'm lucky, the oven. Sun, 21 Jul 2013 15:35:33 EST We moved into this house 28 years ago today. I can hardly believe it. That's more than a generation. We bought the house on May 30, 1985 and spent a month and a half after work and on weekends painting, recarpeting, getting rid of the avocado appliances and countertop. We thought we had done an amazing "remodel", but that was back before "remodel" meant something that required a home equity loan. And it's a good thing because styles have changed several times since we moved in. The "cool kitchen" of 1985 looks dreadful today. I am... Wed, 17 Jul 2013 07:51:16 EST Kitchen Reno end of Week 1 The kitchen is fully demo'd and ready for the tile floor to go down tomorrow. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It's bleak but exciting. What you can't see is the DUST! <BR> <BR> Why is it that on TV demo only takes one day, when in real life it takes a week? Sun, 14 Jul 2013 09:52:57 EST Eyes Bigger Than Stomach???? I have heard that phrase all of my life. Someone puts too much food on a plate and can't eat it all. That has NEVER been my problem! It's the opposite. <BR> <BR> My eyeballs are the worst judge of portion size, even after all these years at goal. You'd think I'd get the hang of it, but I never have. I still have to weigh and measure out portions onto a plate. <BR> <BR> But so what? Is there some kind of award for accurate eyes? Is it pride, or just a secret desire to eat more? The b... Sat, 13 Jul 2013 08:41:23 EST What is under my old tile floor <img src=""> <BR> <BR> These are the holes left from the screws that had to be removed from under my tile. It's been 25 years, but I remember the installers in 1988 putting in a million screws to keep the luan that they put down under the tile. Totally the wrong substrate!! The water based adhesive of the day soaked and buckled the luan and so they put in the screws. It's a nightmare for the workmen, but I told the contractor what w... Tue, 9 Jul 2013 19:05:59 EST The kitchen gets demo'd today I thought and researched my options and choices in excruciating detail, decided that a total renovation was the only way to go. Enough with the piecemeal changes! Three months ago I signed the contract. I have selected each component (thank God for the internet!) <BR> <BR> Learning to eat properly, planning and tracking, has benefits far outside the diet realm. I made my lists, adjusted them regularly, checked each item off as it got done. I was able to see which pieces of the job are m... Mon, 8 Jul 2013 07:00:27 EST Road Blocks I hear people all time talking about how their efforts were derailed by something unexpected, an event or a person who presented a problem and they ended up eating over it because-what-else-could-they- do? <BR> <BR> If you are driving and end up at a real roadblock, do you put on the brake and abandon the car? Do you turn around and go home? Do you bewail the fates for doing your trip in? Of course not. You check a map, or push the "re-route button on the GPS, or ask someone for direction... Thu, 4 Jul 2013 10:27:41 EST Spark has changed again! The Start Page screen is almost completely obscured and the points have changed. The Spark Blog is gone, the Insider is gone, the Health Highlights (my favorite) is gone, and it's hard to find the articles. <BR> <BR> I'm sure I'll get used to it but I sure miss that Start Page navigation aid. We have to do everything through the Sparkpoint page now. Thu, 27 Jun 2013 09:45:01 EST It's already started. I talked to my son, the Registered Dietician, and it seems the American Dietetic Association has already proposed new and stiffer qualifications for dieticians. In former times, the dietetics programs were run out of college Home Economics departments (remember them?). Then the rules changed the requirements for being "Registered" to include a 4 year degree in Nutrition Science plus a one year clinical internship plus the state exam (my son did that). Now, in anticipation of a greater and ... Wed, 26 Jun 2013 10:55:03 EST Will the obese now qualify for handicapped license plates? I posed this question on one of the threads. I was at the store yesterday and there was an enormous woman in one of the electric shopping carts. I did not look at what she had in her basket, but I thought that she was avoiding the one exercise available to all of us: walking. <BR> <BR> The elderly do not qualify for handicapped plates because, the thinking goes, disability is just part of aging. Until the old person has a secondary handicap (which is common), she parks with everyone else.... Tue, 25 Jun 2013 11:01:48 EST Obesity is now a "disease"? And what on earth does that mean? Do we really think that if doctors are paid to tell you that you are overweight, you'll just "snap out of it"? What can a medical community tell you that you don't already know, in agonizing detail? Cheetos make me fat??? Really?? Like I don't already know! <BR> <BR> I remember when alcoholism was listed as a disease. Rehabs opened all over the country, happy to take insurance dollars. But did it get more people sober? No. It made non-alcoholics feel... Thu, 20 Jun 2013 20:02:03 EST I'm 64 Years Old Today Like the Beatles song. I talked to Mom this morning and she doesn't know the song. All my kids do, though. What a generational difference! <BR> <BR> My husband is 75 and failing from his strokes. He must be having more of them because his memory and manual dexterity are failing. I just cancelled our motorcycle trip because I don't think he is capable of the rigors of open vehicle travel anymore. I remember when he was 64. He had just retired and we started traveling all over the count... Sun, 16 Jun 2013 09:29:35 EST