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The mystery: Chapter 2 - early success

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chapter 2:

Armed with her new tools (tracking and a list of foods), Helen Heroine went home to put the plan into action. She was not at the moment looking for the suspects, she was just going to stop the plot to kill her in its tracks by protecting herself with these tools. She'd worry about blame in a while.

Her bff Polly Perfectionist stopped by that very first week. "You can do this," Polly assured her. "Not one bite over. Measure everything. You can only succeed by being perfect." Helen listened and followed Polly's advice. The next week at the meeting, the scale rewarded her: 10.5 pounds lost!

Helen was elated, and hooked on Polly's plan. She continued to follow Polly's advice for several months, and by the 4th of July (this all began in February), Helen was looking and feeling pretty great. But then Harried Husband helped with the holiday cookout. Their relatives, Prudence and Patrick Portly were coming, and he wanted to make a good impression. He was not sure which dessert would please them, so he bought four or five different kinds, just to be sure!

At the picnic itself, Prudence asked Helen about her weight loss. Helen proudly extolled the virtues of Weight Watchers. Prudence picked a hole in her pride by commenting that she had once been on that program herself, but as soon as she went off it, it all came back. "But I will say for them, it won't kill you to keep eating that way for the rest of your life." Polly Perfectionist ate it up... "You see," she told Helen, "you have to be perfect for this to work. Look at what happened to Prudence when she wasn't perfect."

In the days that followed the event, Rachel Rebellion brought Freddie Foodbinge and Reuben Resentment over for a visit. "Look at all this leftover dessert," Polly told them. "It is the enemy. It was wrong of Harried to bring it in the house." Reuben suggested, "You've told him you needed his support. Go ahead and eat it. Get fat again. That will show him!" Rachel chimed in, "Besides, you've been good for Polly for so long, you deserve a little treat now and then!" That made sense, so Helen tried a bite... and it was soooo good. Only Freddie then took over... "come on, just a little more..." until they were... all... gone.

The next morning, Earnie Exercise woke Helen and took her out for her training run. Helen was miserable and hung over from all that fat and sugar! Polly chimed in her ear: "You see... you can NEVER do that again!"

And Helen pretty much didn't. All the way 'til October. Polly ruled her life, dictating what and when she must eat and how much and when she should work out. Helen thought Polly was a good friend. How little she suspected.

By October, Helen's success at the scale amounted to 80 pounds lost. She was very happy. But storm clouds were gathering... she had ten pounds to go to her goal, but the stresses at work were increasing and the financial strain of paying for those meetings... and then in December, they CHANGED the PROGRAM, and Polly went completely nuts!

... to be continued ...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PENNYAN45 11/15/2010 8:35AM

    I have been there with Helen - at those WW meetings, and with Polly P.
I've even binged on leftover desserts from a shindig.

I am so impressed with your talent!

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WALKINGANNIE 11/14/2010 3:55PM

    This is such a great series Barb. You're a natural author.

Helen's story is individual but most of us recognise her struggles and the other characters that she has encountered along the way. We also know how very sinister and dangerous some of them can be.

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JWADDELL2 11/14/2010 11:16AM

    Love it!!! We are certainly all Helen - but I wonder if she need new friends!!! Makes one think.... great job!
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SAMI199 11/14/2010 10:49AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JHADZHIA 11/14/2010 10:42AM

    Inventive and fun way to chronicle your weight loss journey! Well done!! Keep up the great work!!
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JUST_TRI_IT 11/14/2010 9:46AM

    This is like those chapter books printed each month in LIFE magazine or the like. I can't wait for the next installment.
emoticonWill Helen's resolve survive the visitors?
emoticonWill her resolve over ride the gossipy tales from Polly?

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PATRISNA 11/14/2010 9:11AM

    emoticon

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BZYBOYSMOM 11/14/2010 8:22AM

    Bravo! Go Helen go!

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SUNNY332 11/14/2010 8:21AM

    Poor Polly Perfectionist!

Thanks for the post. I am loving it!

Sunny

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MSLZZY 11/14/2010 7:27AM

    I'm hooked! Can't wait for the next chapter! HUGS!

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SLENDERELLA61 11/14/2010 7:21AM

    Fascinating! I've got to go back and read yesterday's. I skipped a chapter in this saga, and definitely don't want to miss a word. Keep it up, Barb.

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1000PENNIES 11/14/2010 7:17AM

  Cute! emoticon

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Weight and fitness: the mystery

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Chapter 1:

Someone had stolen her youthful energy and her health. That was plain. Helen Heroine's mother in law even made comments on the phone, not even there to see the clear physical evidence: "Are you all right, dear? You sound winded, have you been running?"

What was worse, Helen was beginning to suspect that the thief was doing more than stealing health and energy... he was literally killing her!

Helen was an intelligent woman. She had a full life, plenty of reasons to want to live it! She did not want to lose it. She was independent and determined: she would solve this mystery. She would figure out just who that murderer was, and have him (or her) arrested!

There were plenty of suspects as Helen started her investigation. There was Carrie Careerwoman, who spent hours in a sedentary job... far beyond what was required. There was Polly Perfectionist, who was an expert at tossing in the towel and not trying rather than not "doing it right" when it came to diet and exercise. There was Harried Husband, who seemed to have endless demands for Helen's attention after work, despite leaving a pile of things undone while he stayed home and cared for their son. Which brings up Reuben Resentment, a squatter who shadowed Helen as she went between work and home. And Rachel Rebel, a close neighbor who would charge in and bring treats from the local eatery: Temptations by Tessa. Her suspicion of Seth Sedentary was strong, but she didn't have enough energy to kick the bum out of her life! And let us not forget Freddie Foodbinge, a chum from her youth, who showed up periodically, because he hung out with Rachel most of the time!

But there were also rays of hope, those reasons for living. There was her son, now five years old. Helen's deepest fear was that in the condition she was in, if he were to fall on the playground she would not be able to get to him in time to help. She would be unable to run in her deepest need. She would solve this for her son... she would regain her fitness and her health.

Helen believed in professionals. She was a professional herself, after all. She trusted her own intelligence, but she wasn't sure her knowledge of this area was good enough. So she decided to hire a private agency to help her find the thief and potential killer.

She was completely despondent at the first meeting with Wendy Weightwatcher, the chief detective. Her hair was unwashed, for heaven's sake she'd come away in her husband's coat... the scale, the first tool of the investigation, read a whopping 225.5 pounds. Her face fell. Still, Wendy gave her a plan: a tracker, a way of counting, and a new shot at the scale the next week. This would be the start of the investigation.

... to be continued ...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATHRYNLP 11/19/2010 8:27AM

    emoticon..Wait till she meets Suzie Sparks.. LoL

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REJ7777 11/19/2010 7:14AM

    I think that some of the suspects have moved to Quebec, because I can sure recognize some of them! emoticon

I'm behind in reading blogs, but I want to start this mystery story right from the first installment so I can follow the storyline. emoticon

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PENNYAN45 11/15/2010 8:28AM

    Fantastic! emoticon

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SAMI199 11/14/2010 10:46AM

    emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 11/14/2010 7:24AM

    Great, Barb!! You made a common tale just fascinating. Thanks for your insight.



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WALKINGANNIE 11/13/2010 4:56PM

    Beautifully written again Barb. You have a real talent for this.

Many of the suspects are probably wanted in other cases. In fact I think they might well be serial killers.

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BZYBOYSMOM 11/13/2010 10:43AM

    Go Helen go! You are so talented can't wait for chapter 2!!

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PATRISNA 11/13/2010 8:29AM

    I loved reading the new chapter. emoticon

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MAMAGERRY 11/13/2010 8:26AM

    I found your homepage and blog after you so kindly commented on my blog. You are great--keep in touch!! I'll look forward to the further adventures of Helen!!

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THIAGRAM 11/13/2010 8:21AM

  Love it! And your balloons are awesome!

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SUNNY332 11/13/2010 8:06AM

    I am telling you, Barb, this should be a book.

What a gift you have....

Hugs, Sunny

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MSLZZY 11/13/2010 7:55AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonCan't wait for next installemtn!

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The Diet Game: cast as a horror story

Friday, November 12, 2010

Helen Heroine was trapped in a fat body. There was no other way to describe it. She felt ugly, and her life was a shambles. She just knew if she could only get to her ideal weight, life would be perfect.

She read ads about diet plans, she tried a few, then she decided to go on an adventure with something she'd heard might work: she would almost fast every other day, and allow herself to eat whatever she wanted on the alternate days.

On those fasting days she ate a little, for good form... a salad for lunch, a can of tomatoes or spinach for supper, but there was very little balance to it. It was no wonder she was ravenous on the "feast days", and then she ate whatever took her fancy. Everything did.

At the end of three months, Helen was pleased with her weight loss... she was a slim 129, perfect for starting college. But she was still ravenous. And her life, unlike what she thought it would be, was far from perfect.

She started going to dark places in the evening, particularly. After supper, she would have a burger and fries in the basement of the dorm where they had a grill for those who had missed supper. She would raid the vending machines at work on her breaks, candy bars and full sugared sodas were favorites. It wasn't long before the comfort of this extra food was not an "every other day" but a daily thing.

And the new clothes stopped fitting. Helen felt like a complete failure. And after all that bragging she did! She was imprisoned by a monster appetite... and her body wasn't about to hide it.

Her friends told her it was "nothing", but the monster kept growing... and growing... and growing. She tried to keep it at bay, from time to time trying exercise programs or more of those "diets", but she never did get it right. Unlike in the movies, she didn't have someone coming to rescue her... she eventually had to rescue herself!

She signed up for a program called Weight Watchers at Work, and as she was preparing to leave for the first meeting, her monster's co-conspirator, her husband - locked her coat in her room, not wanting her to go. She rebelliously took HIS coat and drove off to the ray of hope over the hill.

This turned out to be the first step of the rescue. Helen learned some ways to deal with the monster. She learned about tracking. She learned about balancing nutrition, not just restricting calories. She now had weapons for the fight. It wasn't over, and there are many more skirmishes, many more helpers along the way, many more tools learned. This tale has a team of powerful allies for the fight, including books, group support, co-workers who encouraged exercise, and a 12-step program called Overeaters Anonymous, and a web site called Spark People.

It takes a team to defeat the monster within. It takes a team to tame and nurture the heroine. The tale is not over... because the monster still lives... but Helen has learned to not just do its bidding. She's learned to talk to the monster, ask it questions, find out what its pain truly is... and most of the time, to find other ways to calm and sooth the monster.

Because, in the end, what Helen discovered, is that the monster is a part of herself, and to heal herself, she had to learn to love the monster.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 11/14/2010 10:35AM

    I love your story...

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PATRISNA 11/13/2010 8:34AM

    emoticon

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REJ7777 11/12/2010 9:58PM

    Great analogies! We have to make peace with that side of ourselves. We have to "master" the monster rather than be mastered by it. Then it becomes a useful servant, as we nourish our bodies with joy and wisdom.

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PENNYAN45 11/12/2010 9:46PM

    Excellent twist in this plot. I love it that the monster is her own dark side -- and that" to heal herself, she had to learn to love the monster."

This is so very clever - and well put together.


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JWADDELL2 11/12/2010 3:19PM

    Helen is brave and daring - I know she will succeed!!!!

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BUGGYS 11/12/2010 2:25PM

    Thank you for a very insightful blog...I am still battling my monster...hope to come to terms with it soon!

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ANDI571 11/12/2010 12:45PM

    Wow! What a story. emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 11/12/2010 12:08PM

    I "liked" this blog very much. It's so engaging and well-written. Has telling the story been therapeutic?

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VALERIEMAHA 11/12/2010 10:55AM

    Ah yes, welcoming our shadow side: "The monster is a part of herself, and to heal herself, she had to learn to love the monster. "

Amazing story...beautifully crafted. Do we perchance know this Helen???
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Maha





Comment edited on: 11/12/2010 10:57:47 AM

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LADYBIRD82 11/12/2010 10:04AM

    Loved your blog! emoticon emoticon

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JUDITHS68 11/12/2010 10:03AM

    This was touching. We all have our own "secret" stories. Thanks for sharing yours.

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KATHRYNLP 11/12/2010 8:49AM

    WOW!!!! I think a lot us us will relate to your Blog. Thanks for putting our continuing struggles into words! This is the right place for defeating the monster within us! emoticon

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SUNNY332 11/12/2010 8:18AM

    AWESOME!

I loved it!

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SLENDERELLA61 11/12/2010 7:41AM

    Great blog!! Great success!!

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MSLZZY 11/12/2010 6:56AM

    This is so fantastic-especially finding SP! This program works! HUGS!

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DAISYLADY 11/12/2010 6:55AM

    This is a wonderful story and very inspiring....good for you for taking back your life.

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Healthy Living cast as a Romance novel...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Helen Heroine grew up thinking she had to be perfect, and that if she wasn't, she must be unlovable. She listened to her mother criticize thin women, and trash every diet story. She listened to her dad's idealism that valued mind, not body, and she worked hard to develop her natural mental talents, while neglecting her looks and while she was at it, her health. She was young. She was immortal, right?

When she was low, she turned to her one best friend, Freddie Foodbinge. She stole minutes with this friend, even as a child, finding him in the fridge or in cupboards where her mom tried to conceal him. She met him at the little diner across the street from her grade school, or at the drug store on the way home. She funded the dates with Freddie from her allowance, from her baby-sitting earnings, and shamefully, with dimes she filched from her dad's change jar.

She had no idea that Freddie was abusing her. To her it was "normal", and she loved Freddie, after all.

Years passed, and she was separated from Freddie when she started hanging out with Earnie Exercise between high school and college. She just didn't have time for Freddie, and she recognized that being with Earnie made her feel good. Over the decades, the two vied for her attention.

She kept trying to break it off with Freddie, but he kept showing up when she was feeling low, anxious, or stressed out. The biggest problem with Freddie was how jealous he was of Helen's attention. He didn't want her spending time with Earnie. He wanted her planted on the couch and wherever she went he wanted to be there and be the focus of her thoughts and actions. He pretty much succeeded.

It was a long time before Helen was introduced to Sam Spark by a mutual friend. It was not quite love at first sight, but Sam grew on Helen over time. Before long, he was taking her to all kinds of Spark Team parties. He encouraged her to keep seeing Earnie, and another helpful friend, Ted Tracker. He supported all the things Helen had learned in her various breakups with Freddie, and he encouraged her in her efforts to change to a healthy lifestyle. Gradually, Helen came to understand what Freddie had done to her over the years, and she learned to shut the door more quickly when he came to call.

It looks to be a lifelong match... Sam and Helen ride off together into the sunset, and live happily ever after.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 11/14/2010 10:40AM

    YAY Sam Spark!!!!!! I am hooked-keep them coming (please)

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REJ7777 11/12/2010 9:53PM

    emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 11/11/2010 10:46PM

    Very Clever, Barb!

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KALIGIRL 11/11/2010 8:23PM

    Here's to happy ever after!

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PENNYAN45 11/11/2010 7:24PM

    Isn't that a picture of Freddie Foodbinge below?

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SOOOO creative!! FUN, FUN, FUN!!

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MINENA1 11/11/2010 3:42PM

    Very awesome!! Love it! emoticon

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STEPHIEKNITS 11/11/2010 3:29PM

    Love it!

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WALKINGANNIE 11/11/2010 3:16PM

    Great plot and strong characters - especially the heroine!

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MSLZZY 11/11/2010 10:57AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNNY332 11/11/2010 9:40AM

    I loved it! Can't wait until the next segment.

Have a GREAT day and tell your Son thanks for his service.

Sunny

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PATRISNA 11/11/2010 8:00AM

    Great blog! I am looking forward the next one in your genre series.


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SBILLIAN 11/11/2010 7:55AM

    Oooo.. Great Post! Love it!

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If your weight loss were a novel... what genre would it be?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

OK, Barb's feeling whimsical all of a sudden. In honor of NaNoWriMo (the National Novel Writing Month of November)... would your weight loss / fitness journey be:

A romance?
A horror story?
A mystery?
A fantasy / science fiction?
An epic?
Mainstream fiction?

I think mine's been a bit of all of these through my lifetime. I sense a series of mini-stories coming on... in blog form... of casting the journey into each genre. Happy ending or catastrophe? Stay tuned!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 11/14/2010 10:43AM

    I like WalkingAnnie's catagory-Crime story for me! lol.

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JUST_TRI_IT 11/14/2010 9:49AM

    Mine would be similar to a series of short stories a la Jeffrey Archer's "12 Red Herrings".. a few surprises along the way!

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ANDI571 11/12/2010 12:46PM

    Probably a Comedy/Drama.

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KALIGIRL 11/11/2010 8:57PM

    Lovved your 'romance' emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 11/10/2010 3:21PM

    I love how your mind works - but I'll have to give this one more thought!

Perhaps a crime thriller where junk food is a serial killer and I'm trying to escape?

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ANASONIC 11/10/2010 12:06PM

    Definately an Epic-Horror story...but I'm hoping for a happy ending!

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CARRIE1948 11/10/2010 8:28AM

    A hyprid - epic mystery

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SROUS1340 11/10/2010 8:02AM

    Mine would be an epic-Gone with the Wind!

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LEANJEAN6 11/10/2010 7:55AM

    A horror story and an epic--Good blog!!!!! Funny girl!!!--Hope you are successful in your weight loss story!!

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ELINTY 11/10/2010 7:52AM

  a cross between a mystery and a horror story

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SUNNY332 11/10/2010 7:51AM

    Awesome idea and I can't wait.

Have a Wonderful Wednesday.

Sunny

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MSLZZY 11/10/2010 7:50AM

    A mixed bag of everything for me! HUGS! Can't wait!

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PATRISNA 11/10/2010 7:43AM

    I have to agree with you on it being a little bit of all the genres. Right now mine is a mystery.



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