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An unexpected use for a “body shaper”

Sunday, April 13, 2014

And the careless behavior that caused me to need it.

Some years ago in a moment of vanity I bought a “body shaper.” My mother (and Betty White) would have called it a girdle. It was advertised as taking inches off your waist and hips and had several testimonials to go along with it.

No matter how I adjusted that tape measure, the difference for me was less than 1 inch total, a result not noticeable at all, and to me not worth the discomfort. Coming of age in the 60s, the less confining the underwear, the better. So the shaper lay unused in the bottom of a drawer.

On Friday I spent several hours on the computer, not relaxed in my comfortable, back supported position, but in an angry, agitated posture.

I had read a letter in the newspaper of my parents’ hometown which in a condescending, vitriolic diatribe put down runners in general and marathoners in particular. He hit every fat shaming, speed shaming stereotype you could imagine and even included a few racist remarks.

The end result was my own letter to the editor so that such an attitude would not go unchallenged.

However, when I finally got up, my back and diaphragm were in a spasm. Ouch! This continued all day and resisted all my efforts to relieve it. I have a history of weird injuries that have nothing to do with running or athletic activity. (Like the time I tripped over a step while checking out the dessert table at a buffet)

I was very disappointed by this turn of events since I was scheduled to run a 5K the next morning. One month past my half marathon, I was curious to see how well this nearly 67 year old body had recovered.

Then I remembered the body shaper. It provided support all the way up to my bra and made me feel much better. So I wore it in the race and my muscles felt just fine. I maintained a comfortable steady pace of 10:15 min/mile and my 31:45 time earned a 1st place age group trophy. That meant I was faster than 1 other 65-69 year old and any others sitting home on their couch.

I’ve always said that there are valid reasons to lose weight that have nothing to do with vanity.

Now I’ve discovered an alternate reason for a body shaper and I’ll keep it handy, just in case.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MBTEPP 4/14/2014 2:31PM

    A compression sleeve for the trunk! Great idea! You are a problem solver.

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MERRYMARY42 4/13/2014 8:29PM

    makes sense that support would help control spasms and muscle strain, way to go

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STRIVERONE 4/13/2014 4:31PM

    I'd love to see the outrageous letter and your response if you can direct me to it or if it's something you can copy and paste into a SparkMail.

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STRIVERONE 4/13/2014 4:31PM

    I'd love to see the outrageous letter and your response if you can direct me to it or if it's something you can copy and paste into a SparkMail.

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MARYJEANSL 4/13/2014 4:20PM

  I got a big kick out of this blog! My mother used to wear a girdle, and I thought it looked like an instrument of torture. I have never owned one, but now I guess they do have their uses. ;-)

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STEVIEBEE569 4/13/2014 4:13PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SYLPHINPROGRESS 4/13/2014 1:06PM

    Good for staying in the race. Good for responding to the knuckleheaded article.

Shapewear can also double as a tourniquet, don't you think?

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KANOE10 4/13/2014 1:06PM

    Good job on writing a rebuttal to that letter! That was too funny about using the body shaper for your race. I am glad it helped you!

I am amazed at the number and types of body shapers there are available in stores.


Hooray for finishing your race and being number one in your age group.

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_LINDA 4/13/2014 12:10PM

    Good on you responding to that nasty letter in the paper!! I too, can't imagine what problem someone would have with runners! Would love to read the original and your response (hope they publish it)
So glad you found a use for your body shaper although I thought corsets went out with Victorian times :PP I know weight lifters wear heavy leather waist supports and moving people or someone with a back injury, but the rest of us shouldn't need them!
Hope you feel better soon!

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SWEETNEEY 4/13/2014 12:02PM

    You also beat me and I'd be in the 50 - 60 category. So YOU ARE AWESOME. Talk about re-gift - re-engineering - A back support brace.

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SUZYMOBILE 4/13/2014 11:12AM

    Now, of course, I want to read your rebuttal!

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TRAVELGRRL 4/13/2014 10:46AM

    Ha! Don't you find it AMAZING that there was only one other brave soul in your age category, and about 9,999 still sitting on the couch!?!

Yay for the bodyshaper!

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LINDAKAY228 4/13/2014 10:41AM

    I love that story! Glad you found something useful to do with that thing and won the race! And all those sitting on the couch (including me) should get out and run if they can. However, I was doing some running until I had a stroke 5 1/2 months ago and hope to run again in the future. Right now I'm working on walking without falling over LOL. Doing not too bad with that as long as I don't try to do anything else but walking longer distances. But I do see lots of runners since I am now in the Dallas/Fort WOrth Metroplex with son and am so jealous of them. Anyway, hope to be back with you all soon! Hope you don't need the body shaper again lol!

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JAHINTZY 4/13/2014 10:33AM

    lol good thinking! I've been known to wear one of my corsets from the renaissance fair when I've hurt my back and caused a spasm - handy indeed :)

and I loved that bit with Betty White about the spanx/girdle thing

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POOKASLUAGH 4/13/2014 10:20AM

    I never could get into the body-shaper thing either. I bought one once, and it was just so uncomfortable (they wouldn't let you try it on in-store) that I never wore it...

Your 5K pace is awesome! Why would anyone try to shame runners?? It makes no sense.

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WATERMELLEN 4/13/2014 9:16AM

    This is quite hilarious!! I remember routinely wearing "control top" pantyhose and buying some "Spanx" too (which also live in my lingerie drawer). Even the nomenclature is punitive!

Glad you wrote the rebuttal (another great word). And glad you ran and triumphed too!!

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DR1939 4/13/2014 9:16AM

    Off and on I have back pain due to arthritis. Usually walking helps ease the pain, but when it increases it, I have a light girdle/body shaper that I wear to give me a little support.

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ALICIA363 4/13/2014 9:03AM

    emoticon emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 4/13/2014 9:03AM

    So, a spine brace, like we might wear a knee brace? Good job at creatively adapting to the situation! emoticon

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PICKIE98 4/13/2014 8:32AM

    My grandma always told me to never wear a girdle because without it, I would automatically hold my stomach muscles in, whereas with it on, I would not, would relax my muscles and they would be loose and out of shape!! She was very wise....

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WILSONWR 4/13/2014 8:32AM

    That was great! Now it's a muscle supporter!

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WAY2GOCAT 4/13/2014 7:47AM

    I think we've all tried body shapers. No need for it anymore as I have shaped my body with diet and exercise. Neat you found an alternate use!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 4/13/2014 7:41AM

    I love your new application for those things!

Hopefully you won't frequently need to write such letters and it'll be safe in the bottom drawer for several more years. LOL
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DOVESEYES 4/13/2014 7:21AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TERI-RIFIC 4/13/2014 7:16AM

    LOL. I've had body shapers, too. I agree that they at best don't work and at worst make you look worse.But you found a great use for one!! You could slap an ice pack in there , too. Congrats on a great race!! That's a very good time for any age in my book. Where would you have been in the next lowest catagory. emoticon emoticon

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AJR2013AJR 4/13/2014 7:06AM

    This is a funny blog! I have bought a few of those body shaper things to "smooth" things out, but I think they make me look worse! They push all the fat into a smooth, round shape and make me feel like an egg! I might have parts of me I would like to shrink in different proportions, but at least I have curves when I just let my body flow how it wants. I never thought about wearing them running. I had to invest in a knee brace, which compresses the muscles above and below and keeps my knee stable. It might be nice to keep all this fat from jiggling around my core when jogging. I might try it some time! Take care!

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MUSIC123JJ 4/13/2014 7:00AM

    Thank you for sharing. I will have to remember that the next time my back acts up.

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What Spring Means to Me

Wednesday, April 09, 2014



I’m glad winter is over. I love to be outside in nature.
Unfortunately, nature doesn’t love me as much as I love it.
Still I want go outside every chance I get. I want to see the flowers.



The beautiful bushes


and the trees


I just have to take a few preventative measures first.
(Flonase spray and chlortrimeton antihistamine)

Usually that’s enough, but benedryl and decongestant are always on hand if needed.

Fortunately, the inhaler is rarely needed. Cigarette smoke is the main trigger there.
Can’t blame nature for that.

No, nature makes the effort worthwhile




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYJEANSL 4/12/2014 5:44PM

  Lovely pictures! I miss living in your part of the country.

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ONESPOTLEFT 4/10/2014 8:25AM

    love the pictures
thank you

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SUNSET09 4/10/2014 5:51AM

  It's simply mauvelous and emoticon for sharing! You can appreciate the wonder of it all. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GARDENCHRIS 4/10/2014 5:30AM

    Love the picts

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DOVESEYES 4/9/2014 10:49PM

    Beautiful thanks for posting

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PHOENIX1949 4/9/2014 9:01PM

    Looks like my counter top minus my Epi-Pen and medical mask. Love the plant photos. Have a row of Iris blooming along front curb line of our house. So far, just the yellow ones have opened up -- white, lavender, and purple 'in progress.'

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ALICIA363 4/9/2014 8:55PM

    The grass is just starting to green around here ... thanks for the images of hope (and survival)!

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TERI-RIFIC 4/9/2014 6:09PM

    Beautiful. Loved seeing the pics. Nothing has bloomed here, yet I can't wait to see the blooms in real life. I'm glad you don't need the inhaler too much.

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KANSASROSE67 4/9/2014 5:32PM

    We are just beginning to see a few daffodils and forsythia blooms. I can't wait! Spring is my favorite season.

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STRIVERONE 4/9/2014 4:59PM

    Jealous! Those scenes are about a month off for us. I don't know what Judith would say since she is dependent on everything in your first picture and then some.

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TATERCAT 4/9/2014 2:06PM

    I love the scenes - really pretty. Spring hasn't sprung yet over here and I cannot wait for blooming flowers, shrubs, mosquitoes and flies emoticon

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MBTEPP 4/9/2014 1:24PM

    I am jealous. Spring had not sprung here yet emoticon

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COASTAL6 4/9/2014 12:18PM

    Nice blog and pictures!
Rooting for you!
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DR1939 4/9/2014 12:06PM

    Beautiful photos. Can't wait until we get similar landscapes here.

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ALIHIKES 4/9/2014 11:18AM

    Beautiful photos! And I am feeling the allergies too

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LEWILL1982 4/9/2014 10:55AM

    Beautiful pics, hope all the preventive measures work for you!

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SLIMMERJESSE 4/9/2014 9:52AM

    Lovely photos.

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LINDAKAY228 4/9/2014 9:24AM

    Nature means so much to me too and I love to be out in the spring and the fall especially!

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WUMPASTAR 4/9/2014 8:42AM

    Ooooh these pictures are BEAUTIFUL! I envy you for not having snow anymore (like the normal rest of the world) I can't even jog outside yet because there's still a lot of snow. Ah well!

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_LINDA 4/9/2014 8:12AM

    I can't wait for spring!! Lovely photos! My worst time is now with snow mold and dust blowing in the air. Finally get days warm enough to melt everything and the wind blows up a dust storm, but it is too nice to stay indoors.
I hear you on the smoke, every time I go home to my smoke filled apartment to shower or do work, I get sick -its been a relief staying at my Mom's!
Enjoy your spring days (ever consider wearing a mask? I am seriously considering it)

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ONEKIDSMOM 4/9/2014 7:55AM

    Totally identify. The cold lasting so long here has been a blessing for my sinus passages... but when it finally springs forth with the buds? I'm right there with you!

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KANOE10 4/9/2014 7:52AM

    I love your pictures! I have been seeing the same blooms on my walks. It is so beautiful. I hope you are far away from smokers in your runs.

Thanks for making me smile this am.

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What does my new profile picture tell you?

Saturday, April 05, 2014



8 years since my last half marathon and I’m still smiling.

Mile 12 and I want to finish happy.

I carry my own water (and cough drops, darn allergies)

25 years after running my first step, I’m running because I can.

As you can see from my last profile photo,


I always race in red and black.

That’s so DH can find me.
He once took a picture of the wrong woman finishing a 5K.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RACEWELLWON 4/16/2014 5:47PM

    emoticon you totally inspire !! Great Job ! Looking good !

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TRAVELGRRL 4/7/2014 4:09PM

    LOVE it! That's hilarious about your husband!

It's great you make it easy on him now by dressing in the same colors, although you'd think he'd recognize his WIFE and not the outfit!!!!

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MISSB8604 4/7/2014 2:08PM

    Fabulous!

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MJZHERE 4/6/2014 1:24PM

  Great to find something that keeps you smiling - no matter how many years pass. Even better that it is something that is so good for you!

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TINAJANE76 4/6/2014 8:45AM

    It tells me that you're AWESOME! I love that you still love running eight years after your first half marathon. And you look amazing doing it to boot!

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MARYJEANSL 4/5/2014 11:40PM

  Congratulations!! I love the smile - and I have to tell you, you really are an inspiration.

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DOVESEYES 4/5/2014 9:58PM

    Congrats on the new photo. emoticon

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POOKASLUAGH 4/5/2014 12:18PM

    Hahaha, I love the story of him photographing the wrong person. My husband has done that before. :D

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CELIAMINER 4/5/2014 12:08PM

    LOVE your new picture! Congrats on the HM!

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GARDENCHRIS 4/5/2014 11:44AM

    emoticon emoticon

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PHOENIX1949 4/5/2014 11:36AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JANUT57 4/5/2014 11:05AM

  emoticon you look great! emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 4/5/2014 10:51AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Love the photo! One happy runner there! Good idea to wear your own unique colors!
That is awesome hubby is so supportive!

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LINDAKAY228 4/5/2014 10:37AM

    Glad he can find you now LOL! I look forward to the day when I can run again, or a least walk fast ha ha. One day it will come. In the meantime I have you and other friends to inspire me!

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GINIEMIE 4/5/2014 10:35AM

    Good job and looking great. It's a good idea to carry ones own water, for me it's as much about ecology as being prepared. Allergies stink, and cough drops are a necessity. Hope you keep running my friend.
Glad your hubby found you the picture is great.
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PDQ1203 4/5/2014 10:18AM

    emoticon

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DR1939 4/5/2014 9:29AM

    emoticon

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ALICIA363 4/5/2014 9:06AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 4/5/2014 8:57AM

    Wow! 25 years of running! Congrats!

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KANOE10 4/5/2014 8:12AM

    I love both of your smiles in the pictures. You look thin and fit in both of them! Plus your new shoes are cute.

Keep up doing what you love and what keeps you healthy! I am glad your husband finds you in black and red!

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MBTEPP 4/5/2014 8:11AM

    Great pic! 25 years is quite the accomplishment! emoticon

Keep emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 4/5/2014 8:09AM

    Such a cute pic!! You look full of zest and pleasure in your accomplishment: and fit fit fit!!

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TERI-RIFIC 4/5/2014 7:37AM

    What does it tell ME? I was in the same race event. It tells me that you're in my age range, are half my size, ran more than twice as far and ran much faster than I did. It also tells me that I can look like that next year if I keep at it. Keep at it SLOWLY but surely. You look great!! --and lols on the hubs!! I was in charge of taking pics of my daughter and her two friends in a triathalon relay - it can be challenging I got a couple wrong people pics.

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KELLIEBEAN 4/5/2014 7:32AM

    Inspirational as always!

My husband has only come to one race I have done. After I finished, I couldn't find him. I called his cell and he said he was still at the finish line, watching for me to film me coming across the finish line. He exclaimed "everybody looks the same!"

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FERRETLOVER1 4/5/2014 7:15AM

    emoticon

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MOIMAGGIE 4/5/2014 7:10AM

    It tells me you're into life and having a good time.
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ONEKIDSMOM 4/5/2014 6:59AM

    Oh, I had to laugh at the final paragraph! My kid sister tried to find me at the Lincoln HM last year, and did NOT spot me, even though I have to have run by her watching post. Why? Because I told her the day before what I'd be wearing but the day was COLD, and I covered it up with a jacket, so she didn't recognize me!

Spark on, my friend! You always get my engines started (and I, too, am still smiling)! emoticon emoticon

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I must choose WISELY because I have been choosing POORLY.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014



I was halfway through the box of wheat thins when I realized that something was wrong. I wasn’t unhappy or upset. This wasn’t emotional eating. I just really liked the flavor of these crackers. I kept reaching for one handful after another.

This wasn’t the first box I attacked. They were “on sale” and DH can’t resist a SALE to stock up.

Some of you know that I live with the “Junk Food King” who keeps the “other woman” (Little Debbie) in our house all the time. I’ve learned to ignore her, but there was something about these crackers.

I've been hanging out at the very top of my goal range for a while now.
My excuses:
I’m training for a half marathon. I need the extra carbs.
I finished the HM. I must replace the glycogen stores.
The extra distance pushed my body into retaining more water.
And so on.

NO, that’s not it. I'm eating too much - AGAIN.

Then I read this blog from Kanoe10
“Giving Mr/Ms Creep the Boot”
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5659182


It was just what I needed to read. I’m not alone and like my spark friend, I’m going to turn this around.

My data loving brain computed that diving into those crackers dumped 700 extra calories into my body without much actual nutrition. Still, that would only result in a few ounces of weight gain. The danger would be continuing the trend.

A trip to the supermarket provided some healthy alternatives.

I am capable of eating enormous quantities of food, including healthy food, but even I couldn’t eat 700 calories worth of grapes, or carrots, even if I did dip the carrots in salsa.

It’s a good thing that I have sparkpeople and my scale to keep me honest and accountable.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MERRYMARY42 4/3/2014 8:04PM

    wow, 700 calories in those wheat thins, I like them, try not to buy them, and that is the reason why, but wow,

and a great comparison 700 calories of grapes or carrots would amount to what. I can visualize it,

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MARYJEANSL 4/1/2014 10:20PM

  There must be something about Wheat Thins, because they are my absolute FAVORITE kind of cracker. When I buy them, I snap at whatever offspring tries to eat even one. So, I usually don't buy them. It sounds like I am not alone in my liking for them. Good for you for getting right back on track!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 4/1/2014 9:43PM

    I think that the carbs in crackers set up cravings so that it is very hard to step eating them. I have to struggle with these items too.

You have all the tools to beat the siren song of Wheat Thins! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 4/1/2014 9:25PM

    I just love crackers too -- one of the things I'm better not having in the house!

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DOVESEYES 4/1/2014 8:26PM

    There was a great article yesterday on what 100 calories of healthy food can look like I was intrigued as to how much you can eat for that.

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POINDEXTRA 4/1/2014 7:05PM

    Gosh! I too have been fighting the creep lately. I'm still well within the bounds of a healthy range, but am higher than I've become accustomed to and my pants have gotten a little bit tighter. Thanks for reminding me that I'm not the only one!

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ONEKIDSMOM 4/1/2014 6:36PM

    Kanoe10's blog resonated with me, too. Although I got my wake up call nearly 100 days ago and started my turn around back to the land of diligence in December, it's something we as maintainers and athletes have to constantly keep in mind. We can't just mindlessly nibble! Or sip!

Well written, and great resolve. I, too, am grateful for the things that keep me on track, including reading blogs like this one that remind me "I'm not alone"! emoticon

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GINIEMIE 4/1/2014 3:12PM

    Yes, I too have to watch it. I've been yoyoing around with the food tracker bit and found myself indulging in "saltines and milk" a childhood favorite. We have them in the house for Erik, and they present a tripping block for me, especially if I'm not getting enough carbs or calories.
I do that sometimes when I'm working around the house, but then I keep the bad eating habit, even if I no longer need the extra-then whoops, "Here we go again!"
We know we are not alone and having to admit it to others reminds me to keep myself in check. I imagine it does the same for you.
Oh BTW I do remember those pictures of the "junk food".
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LINDAKAY228 4/1/2014 10:41AM

    I;ve done that to and currently putting the brakes on that kind of eating yet again, I know you can do it!

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MISSB8604 4/1/2014 10:33AM

    Wow, you have so much more control of yourself than I do. Nicely done.

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_LINDA 4/1/2014 10:24AM

    emoticon Right on! You rock!
Unfortunately, I have no excuses. I am the one bringing the junk in the house. Long hours, days and months of boredom, not being able to do much exercise because of a long, dangerously cold winter and a badly broken arm that hasn't healed since Dec. 23 has brought all my old couch potato habits back. Playing online games and TV watching. Living with Mom who loves to watch TV, my biggest snack trigger which is why I gave it up!
Because one of the breaks is the humoral head, any sort of movement is painful as its not supported by a cast(the surgeon is hoping it will heal straight, but every move I make shifts my shoulder) So maybe I have no excuses, but I have always preferred vigorous exercises and sitting around doing leg raises or squats and lunges puts me to sleep :P Hoping for some better news from the surgeon Wednesday.
Have a Fun April Fool's Day!

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AUGUSTDRAGON 4/1/2014 9:57AM

    Town House crackers are my trip up right now. Buttery and salty, taste great. At least I take out the portion size and track it but still...it's easy to do that and eat the box in less than 3 days. On the other hand, how many carrots are there in 700 calories!! Yikes!

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LEWILL1982 4/1/2014 9:42AM

    Funny, I always justified wheat thins as being "acceptable", but carbs are carbs and those empty calories add up. I have to watch myself and I can't bring them home...Way to nip it in the bud and get back on track!

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POOKASLUAGH 4/1/2014 9:33AM

    Oh man. That specific flavor of Wheat Thins...major trigger for me. I could never have them in the house, or I could eat the whole box in an afternoon (or, more accurately, I couldn't NOT eat the whole box in an afternoon). It was one trigger I never could escape. They're one thing I miss from before I found out I'm gluten intolerant, but honestly I'm kinda glad they're on the other side of the what-I-can-eat divide, because at least I never have to worry about them again. :D They are SOOOOOOO good!

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DR1939 4/1/2014 9:31AM

    Winter is hard on my eating habits. I am more faithful to exercise than to eating. Here's to Spring and rebooting.

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KANOE10 4/1/2014 9:23AM

    That was so nice of you to mention me.. I also had to face the music or face the scale..which was simply staying at the top end of my range..A range involves fluctuation and I was not moving....except trending upward.
I know you will use that data loving brain to get the data working in your favor! It is so helpful to feel supported and not alone..even in small victories on the scale.

Your step of buying healthy alternatives is a good one, That is what I do also when I am cutting back.

Have a very good Spring reboot. I know you can do it!

I also use our Parole Officer..the scale as a reminder to be accountable.



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RACEWELLWON 4/1/2014 9:14AM

    So true it creeps up on us all - your right I was finding excuses as well , training for a Tri so I need extra this , that and whatever - yes , we require the increase of potassium , carbs and sodium for races - I was over indulging too ! Lesson well learned , work in progress - I used to love little Debbie - those chocolate covered peanut wafers - Mmmm - I know you'll Spring into action at kick this to the curb - Is it spring yet by you ? Karen

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TERI-RIFIC 4/1/2014 8:37AM

    I love it when you read a blog that speaks to you right when you need it. (Like yours did for me) My daughter has a theory about what makes us burn through a bag or box of whatever. Part of it (for us) is getting those perfect morsels that have just the right amount of salt and flavoring. Every cheeto is good, but they are not all alike - some are gooder than others. I've been learning to ignore my hubby's two best friends Ben and Jerry. When it is ON SALE (OMG - men!) I let him get a couple, but I don't trust myself to have it around all of the time. Way to go for keeping yourself on track!!!

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CELIAMINER 4/1/2014 8:22AM

    I had to face myself and my excuses, too, as the winter weight gain showed no signs of departing. Back to tracking, tracking, tracking...and to being honest with myself over portion size. Now that the weather has finally improved, I plan to get outside more to exercise.

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G-R-A-D-U-A-L spells “ME”

Friday, March 28, 2014

I admire those who go “cold turkey” – no sugar, no caffeine, no TV etc.
I just was never very good at all or nothing.

Still, I want to improve myself in all areas.

Check out this teaspoon.


Once it held a heaping helping of sugar for my morning coffee (along with a few drops of milk). I’ve started each day with coffee for about 50 years, but could never drink it black. However, when I gradually reduced the amount of sugar, I never noticed the difference. I plan to keep reducing the amount too.

I eat a lot of yogurt (organic), but could never adjust to the “plain” variety. French Vanilla was my flavor of choice. Even with adding fruit, I could not eat the plain stuff. So I began mixing the two. One tablespoon of plain to five of French vanilla. That was about a year ago. Now the ratio is reversed. One French vanilla to 5 plain. That’s cut the sugar content almost in half and I haven’t noticed it.

This also worked for exercise.

When I decided to run, I started with 30 SECOND intervals followed by 4:30 walking. Adding 15 SECONDS to the running interval each WEEK, it took me 6 months to run a 5K. That’s way slower than any couch to 5K program I’ve ever seen. Still, I never got injured, or quit and I’m still “in the race” over 25 years later.

Weight Loss?
That took 11 months to get rid of the 25 extra pounds I carried for 25 years. No speed awards there, but it gave my body time to adjust and after 4 years of maintenance, it is very happy not to have to drag those extra pounds around.

Strength Training?
In my early days on SP I posted 5 minutes of hand weights. That got a negative reaction from a person who told me quite strongly that my effort was “USELESS.” If I didn’t have experience with gradualism, I might have been discouraged. I knew that I could and would improve if I just approached it gradually. And I have! 30 minutes is no problem and longer with lighter weights. I just don’t post it much anymore. “HE” or someone like him might still be out there.

Well, I do track my strength training when I want to record extra fitness minutes. I like those virtual trophies too.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALIIDA 3/31/2014 9:55PM

    I'm happy to find another gradualist. emoticon

I aim to lose a maximum of two pounds a month. I've come to the conclusion that maintenance means dieting for the rest of my life. I want a level of eating and exercise I can live with for the long term.

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POINDEXTRA 3/31/2014 11:20AM

    Ahh - I'm a gradualist too, and it's so nice to be around other people who understand this!

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WATERMELLEN 3/31/2014 7:11AM

    Gradualism works -- your message is very powerful. (And: I cannot imagine anyone telling you here that your initial ST was "useless": really!! Bet that person is long gone!!)

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CELIAMINER 3/30/2014 9:54AM

    You are living your success...that's proof enough gradual works.

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KPETSCHE 3/28/2014 11:53PM

    Definitely! I go by the gradual process, too. This has worked well for you, obviously, so I'd just like to say emoticon
and
emoticon

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SMITTY4RL 3/28/2014 9:39PM

    Well, you're giving me hope about the weight loss thing, LOL. Thanks for that! And also kudos for working up to running distances, I think it makes all the difference.

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MERRYMARY42 3/28/2014 9:37PM

    I like my morning coffee too, and I have tried just plain black coffee, and know it would be less calories if I would, but I do like my cream and sugar, I have tried several times to quit "cold turkey" and actually I figured I would prefer to just quit coffee, altogether, but I may try your gradual does it,
Thanks for the inspiration

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BLUENOSE63 3/28/2014 9:36PM

  Exactly....patience is rewarded with being injury free!!!!!

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DOVESEYES 3/28/2014 9:11PM

    emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 3/28/2014 7:02PM

    A sensible approach, for sure! It's how I quit soda, how I've approached reducing the amount of caffeine in my coffee... etc. Intervals when beginning to run... even when running long today? Absolutely a help.

To your health, and mine, and all the Spark-friends', too! emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 3/28/2014 6:19PM

  It makes me angry that some rude person would put you down in the way you describe. Who is he or anyone else to say what works for you? Obviously, you know yourself best, and you have succeeded by doing things your way. Grrrrrr... I hope whoever he is, he has learned better by now.

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LEWILL1982 3/28/2014 4:38PM

    Slow and steady, I lost my weight really slowly and am still doing things slowly. It's why I signed up for my marathon almost a year in advance. I need that time to do things my way so I don't get burned out or injured. Good job, thanks for a great reminder!

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RACEWELLWON 3/28/2014 3:09PM

    I have heard of those stories of the early years of Spark - someone told me that your menus and fitness where open to the public - I am slow too - I have that love affair with coffee - I have switched to Stevia - cream still work in progress - for me - I did loss some weight quickly cause I gained that weight quickly due to injury and lack of movement so when I started PT what I gained came off - but I have to say its getting harder now but still a win situation - Great blog - have a good weekend :)

Comment edited on: 3/28/2014 3:11:11 PM

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WUMPASTAR 3/28/2014 2:46PM

    Yessss thank you so much for that blog post. I needed the motivation. Slow wins the race, and I'm often in such a hurry to lose the weight that I forget that slow works too - even better. Thank you!!!

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MISSB8604 3/28/2014 1:15PM

    Really great point! You've inspired me to do better!

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GINIEMIE 3/28/2014 11:59AM

    Okay, I can try that. I've reduced my milk in my coffee, never did sugar. Am now able to eat unflavored Greek yogurt with berries, couldn't even tolerate yogurt 12 years ago. Am able to walk a few miles a day in a reasonable amount of time, with an occasional run between mailboxes-not much, but it's a start.
Thanks for sharing, gradualism makes the pill easier to swallow so to speak.
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POOKASLUAGH 3/28/2014 11:38AM

    This is definitely how I do things too. It took me 18 months to be able to run a 5K! I'm slowly decreasing the amount of sugar in my coffee, and I added fruits and vegetables one at a time for months until I could get to where I could eat 5 a day (took about 18 months on that one, too). Gradual turns into permanent, in my opinion!

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PHOENIX1949 3/28/2014 11:28AM

    emoticon Good to KNOW what works for you to stay on top of things.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 3/28/2014 11:18AM

    Just what I needed to read!

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LINDAKAY228 3/28/2014 10:14AM

    Congratulations to you!! My mom and dad both drank coffee black but I never could stand it that way. I just drink it once in a while now, but I usually do from 7-11 or something and do 3/4 black coffee and 1/4 cappuccino. Like I said just once in a while. More of a hot tea drinker now. But I used to have 1/2 coffee an 1/2 cappuccino
no so I have definitely slowly reduced it without feeling a difference.
Not ready for giving up my tv cold turkey though! Bad habit I know but I still need it sometimes.

Comment edited on: 3/28/2014 10:16:20 AM

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KANOE10 3/28/2014 9:22AM

    You have a great gradual approach that is successful. I am trying to wean myself off of sucralose and have moved to adding stevia. But I allow myself a few sucralose items if needed. I am also trying the gradual approach. I was also like you in ST..I could barely do 5 mins and at very light weights. I have also gradually worked my way into heavier and longer workouts. Too bad you ran into a judgmental negative person on your journey.

I was having trouble meeting my fitness calorie burns, until I figured out that I was not adding ST nor my PT exercises. That does help.

Remember: the tortoise won the race!

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CARI2012 3/28/2014 9:13AM

    You should write a book! So many people jump in with both feet and lose their motivation within days. What a great testament to easing into gradual changes that turn into complete lifestyle overhauls!

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WILEE323 3/28/2014 9:10AM

    Thanks - I needed this!

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TERI-RIFIC 3/28/2014 9:01AM

    I wish I could have read this before I got my second overuse injury!!! But then, would I have listened? I'm listening, now. I'm reading this about 5 min after I wrote my blog today.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DR1939 3/28/2014 8:44AM

    emoticon

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