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Geeks can pick ANY topic to be geeky over

Monday, February 28, 2011

You can take me away from my computers and such, you can make me more active, and feed me nutritious foods. But I'll always be a geek at heart. Numbers fascinate me.

Yesterday, I had a 6 mile walk planned, part of my training for the half marathon May 1st. I was doing it on the treadmill, the weather being what the weather is. I had my old episodes of Murder, She Wrote keyed up to keep me company (as opposed to MP3 tunes or basketball on TV, my other considered options). And I thought in terms of time, as I'm starting to do more and more. I have been doing about 90 minutes on my "long" walks, which at 4 miles and hour would be the requisite six miles. But since I crank the speed up a shade above that 4 mph, I usually finish the six and have time for a brief cool down in that 90.

The geek brain: My treadmill clock only has two digits in its "minutes". What would it do if I just added ten minutes to my workout? Would it switch to Hours:Minutes? Or would it reset to 00:00 and, most important, would I lose my miles and other statistics when it did?

I kept going to the 100 minute mark and found that it does reset to 00:00, but I don't lose my other statistics. It then becomes my job to remember the extra hundred minutes. Should not be a problem... nobody forgets having been on there for 100 minutes! emoticon And... the mileage for the day turned into seven miles, instead of the planned six, including the warm up and cool down parts. That's more than halfway to the half marathon distance.

Another goofy statistic that intrigued me this weekend was something I saw in "Angry Fat Girls" by Frances Kuffel. She quotes Pam Peeke, the author of "Body for Life", as saying "For every twenty-five pounds removed, it takes one year to mentally adjust. So be kind to yourself, okay?" Not having looked up the source, can't say that's an exact quote, but it jumped off the page at me. No WONDER I feel a little alien... I'm still adjusting.

Based on that statistic, I have a couple of years of adjustment yet to go to really feel this me (with my "tiny little body" to quote one consultant) is the genuine article. My Spark Friends, if you, like I, have lost or are in the process of losing a considerable sum of pounds... be kind to yourself while you adjust to it. And, if you have NOT lost as much, or have re-gained, give yourself a break.

Everyone, be kind to yourselves. Because we're worth it! The dignity of humanity rules, Geek or Not.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 3/2/2011 10:44AM

    Great advice! We geeks have to stick together! HUGS!

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LJCANNON 2/28/2011 11:54PM

    emoticonSo, in about 7 years this new Body should feel and look Natural?
emoticonIt looks like I'm gonna be here awhile!!

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BUGGYS 2/28/2011 2:49PM

    Great quote...I'm still thinking about that one!!!

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DEBRITA01 2/28/2011 2:16PM

    I'm sure it takes time to adjust and settle in with a major weight loss. You seem to be adjusting well. Whoa, 100 minutes on the treadmill?! I'm ready to jump off after 45...impressive!

You're right, geek or not, we deserve to be kind to and accepting of ourselves...

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REJ7777 2/28/2011 1:11PM

    Another "Murder She Wrote" fan! emoticon I love how Angela Lansbury plays the role of Jessica with such dignity. She's kind but clever, courageous and smart as a whip!

Well, that geeky brain of yours seems to be helping you to get those miles in and train for that half-marathon. emoticon

"For every twenty-five pounds removed, it takes one year to mentally adjust. So be kind to yourself, okay?" That's a very interesting quote. I'll have to think about it.

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TURTLETALK 2/28/2011 11:11AM

    Geeks rule!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 2/28/2011 11:05AM

    "For every twenty-five pounds removed, it takes one year to mentally adjust."

WOW -- I really needed to read this today. Not only the adjustment comment, but the whole "be kind to yourself" message.

Your blog is the first one I've read since being gone for a month. And you didn't disappoint me one bit! Thanks, Barb -- it's so good to be home and among fellow SparkFriends!

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MT-MOONCHASER 2/28/2011 10:36AM

    I like the message that it takes time to adjust to the 'new you'.

I think that all the people who are rushing into surgery for the 'skin thing' should also take this into consideration.

Have a good week.


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SUNNY332 2/28/2011 9:23AM

    I must be a geek. You know it takes one to know one! Have a Marvie Monday.


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DAISY443 2/28/2011 8:21AM

    I am a true geek! When I walk on my step machine I mentally decide that I am 1/6 th of the way to goal, then 1/3, etc. etc. Comes of having been a bookkeeper for way too many years. When I go to the eye doctor, I memorize the letters and they have to change the charts. At least, I admit to it!

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HOT4FITNESS 2/28/2011 7:57AM

    And us geeks are going to finish this half strong!

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BEEBEE1936 2/28/2011 7:42AM

    well, I must not be a "geek".

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Vitamin D and progress photos

Sunday, February 27, 2011

By the time I got to the end of yesterday's blog, I went and looked: it had been 3 weeks since I'd taken my most recent vitamin D "booster" pill (the big dosage my Dr. put me on)... so I took one. And I got through the day, without resorting to overeating. It also helped to see the messages of support from my Spark friends, who never fail to encourage when a whine comes out. We all know there will be days like that! The trick is to live through them and do as little damage as possible, because the next day is bound to be better for it.

That said, it IS the end of the month, and that means progress photos. Once again, I've tried to match the pose from last year's photo. I even dug out the same sports bra, but the old sweat pants I was wearing then? No way they would stay on my hips today.

Last year, this was me, at the end of February:

And me, this morning, trying to mug the same shot:

I know I said last month I wasn't going to show you the loose skin, but, well, there 'tis. It's not too terrible... but I'm not going to wear this outfit in public, either.

Here's to today being a better day than yesterday, mood-wise. On the agenda: 6 miles on that half-marathon training schedule.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTURTLE 3/1/2011 11:27PM

    emoticonLook at that muscle definition! You are looking incredible! emoticon

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MSLZZY 2/27/2011 9:29PM

    Wow! What a difference a year makes! Keep on taking that Vitamin D!

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KALIGIRL 2/27/2011 8:46PM

    Loose skin, my eye - you look fabulous!
Hope the vitamin D is working.

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SUNNY332 2/27/2011 7:52PM

    Believe me Barb, if I ever get my abs to look like yours, I am headed to Nebraska to borrow that outfit.

Woohoo - you look amazing.


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TEACHINMOM 2/27/2011 2:14PM

    emoticon Lookin' AMAZING!! WTG!

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MNTWINSGAL 2/27/2011 1:01PM

    Woo Hoo.....check out those abs! You Go, Girl!

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JOANOFSPARK 2/27/2011 12:25PM

    When I looked at the two photos.......all I could think was Wow!!! you are looking awesome and you can definitely tell you are way more toned and your muscle definition is really showing. Way to go!! Good for you..:)

Gotta much does your doctor have you on.....?? I just got a new bottle of DG women's multivitamin and mineral and it shows that it has 250% of what is needed for Vit. the Sparks tracker is showing me over ......way over in Vitamin D.......

again...... emoticon emoticonyou are lookin good..:)

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BUGGYS 2/27/2011 10:16AM

    You look great and you can see your muscles and how toned your body really is! emoticon emoticon

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LJCANNON 2/27/2011 9:46AM

    emoticonYou are looking AWESOME!! And talk about a Six-Pack!?! You've got it going ON, Girlfriend!!

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DAISY443 2/27/2011 8:58AM

    Lookin' good, girl! Great job!

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DEBRITA01 2/27/2011 8:48AM

    Both photos look great but you can really see more muscle definition in the recent photo. Glad you are feeling better today! emoticon

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ROCKLAND2010 2/27/2011 8:24AM

    Awesome....keep up the good work. You have made such amazing progress. Thanks for inspiring us.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CONCHA77 2/27/2011 8:21AM

    Great Barb. You look great and I can see by your smile you FEEL great.
You earned it.
Have a great workout. Connie

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REJ7777 2/27/2011 8:19AM

    I'm glad the sunshine vitamine is doing you good! I think a lot of us are counting the days until Spring.

emoticon You looked pretty good in last year's photo too, but you've made a lot of improvement in your muscle definition in just one year. emoticon emoticon

Keep up the good work! emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/27/2011 8:20:03 AM

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HOT4FITNESS 2/27/2011 8:15AM

    I must say you are looking quite good my Sparkfriend. Have a good run. I am guessing you are doing it on the treadmill, unless you are venturing out in the snow. I hear next week spring like weather again.

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What is it about the end of February, anyway?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

End of February, 1990: I joined Weight Watchers at Work, for the first time. I was 37 years old. My son was 5. I had to go in my husband's coat because he had me locked out of my room in a fit of rebellion against my taking more time than my job and church away from HIM.

I was in tears, but I knew I needed to do SOMETHING about my weight. After all, my mother in law had recently asked me was I running when I took five steps across the room to answer the telephone.

Here is it, 21 years later. I'm 100 pounds less than I was that first weigh-in. A lot of life, losing, regaining, and "stuff" has happened in those years.

Two years ago, sitting in my doctor's office about this same time of year, I was in tears, again, miserable. I had regained, yet again. I felt so... worthless. The doctor, who had seen me get my act together and have it fall apart again, put me on Vitamin D and reminded me that I could do this.

It is the end of February. I feel... restless, sad, frustrated. Maybe it has NOTHING to do with weight, exercise, nutrition... and a lot to do with the time of year? Now is the time to re-evaluate. Now is the time to reassess goals and desires. Spring IS right around the corner. Do I even know what I hope for?

Must be time for another vitamin D capsule! This is a "hang in there" day for me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 2/27/2011 7:25PM

    I've found my "light box" has made a huge difference for me this winter . . . 30 minutes of sunshine every day without fail since Christmas . . . might be worth considering???

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KASEYCOFF 2/27/2011 5:39PM

    I hear you. Just like there are the 'good' seasons on my personal calendar, so too there are the tense ones.

Hang in there, kiddo. This too shall pass.

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BUGGYS 2/27/2011 5:06PM have done made your've accomplished so reason to feel down! Losing weight isn't going to solve all your problems..don't all the experts say that the reasons we overeat has to do with some underlying emotions we have and need to deal with. Maybe you're not done in that area of your life. The weight is off and you're down? Look inside instead of in the mirror! You have been such an inspiration to so many of us here...I have so enjoyed your journey through your blogs and have learned so much. You are a blessing...maybe when spring comes and you can get outside, your outlook will get better. In the meantime, we are all here for you!
emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 2/26/2011 11:50PM

    When you think you reached the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on! You CAN do it! HUGS!

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REJ7777 2/26/2011 11:20PM

    emoticon Here's a bit of sunshine to help you through the rest of the winter. I think we're all pretty anxious for Spring! And it's just around the corner. emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 2/26/2011 7:02PM

    You???-- You feel this way???_-- No No No--------You have done so well!!!! Just keep doing what you aRE DOING-----You have inspired so many people!!! Hugs to yu!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBRITA01 2/26/2011 6:05PM

    It's probably this time of year....winter seemed so long! At least this February, you can take great pride in knowing that you have maintained your awesome weight loss, so that's something to cheer about!

Spring is coming...Hang in there! emoticon

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CHRISTURTLE 2/26/2011 5:10PM

    I hate the end of winter, I hate the beginning of winter, I hate winter. Each and every year I end up in my doctor's consulting room an absolute mess - S.A.D. - seasonal affective disorder is the cause. It is very common, and yes, my doctor also tells me to go get some vitamin D (the 'sunshine' vitamin) - I take it all year through as it helps with calcium absorption too.
One thing, by the time I am such a wreck I need to go cry on his shoulder, the worst of winter is over, and the knowledge that spring is just around the corner with all its promise of cold mornings and brighter days, with baby animals, baby birds, new growth in the gardens...
You have done so well in the past, you are doing well now, just take a look in the mirror and think back to that first time you joined Weight Watchers at Work - look how fit you are, how much weight you've lost, how much better you feel when you tackle anything physical... focus on the beginning of Spring, the start of a whole new season and the start of a whole new happier mindset for you.
My doctor always has some bulbs in pots along his windowsill in his room - he says they remind him of the coming of spring. Maybe you too need some daffodil bulbs on a sunny windowsill.
Sending lots of hugs, good wishes and love your way,
Chris xx

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TURTLETALK 2/26/2011 4:56PM

    I am planning my "spring break escape." Even just thinking about spring and sunshine being just around the corner brightens my mood.

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SLENDERELLA61 2/26/2011 4:10PM

    When the sky is gray unending days and the branches are bare and there is little color on the earth, those days drabness can seem to rule. Come to sunny Florida. Right now we have azaleas in full bloom, yellow and pink trees, Gerber daisies of pink and red in my yard. I saw my first butterfly of the year today.

Hang in there, Barb. You can do this. You have all the knowledge and skills you need to maintain. It is worth all the effort. I just finished the Beck Diet Solution. She says maintenance is hard -- occasionally. You should expect it to be hard from time to time. Then it gets easier. I think she is right. In the past I have quit thinking it was too hard when if I had just done the best I could I would have gotten through the rough patch with just a bit to lose, if any.

You can do it!!

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DONLYN1 2/26/2011 3:07PM

    Hey Barb,
I am proud of all you have accomplished, it is probably just the time of is good to reflect .... believe me from what I have learned it is not about the weight...that is the easy part! HA! Have a fabulous day!
Ciao, Donlyn

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BRADOS 2/26/2011 3:02PM


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PRETTYBLKGYRL 2/26/2011 2:44PM

    emoticon I'm sending some "hang in there" energy your way emoticon

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SUNNY332 2/26/2011 2:34PM

    I understand about those winter blahs as I have them too. I did exercise this morning but have been camped out on the love seat in the living room reading since I finished my workout. I am so ready for some sunshine and warmer days.

You have come so far and I am in total awe of you. It is alright to have a "hang in there day".

Time marches on toward MARCH along with thoughts of spring, sunshine, flowers and long days outside. How about a BBQ?

Huggers, Sunny

Comment edited on: 2/26/2011 2:34:54 PM

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ROCKLAND2010 2/26/2011 1:49PM

    I think we all have the end of winter 'blahs' from not enough time outdoors and sunshine. Spring always makes me feel renewed when the garden starts to show a hint of how awesome it's going to be. I look forward to my early morning walks when it gets a bit warmer.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DAISY443 2/26/2011 1:00PM

    I think that more sunshine and less snow will do a lot for your mood! Natural Vitamin D is a miraculous drug. Hang in there!

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USASCOTSWIFIE 2/26/2011 12:57PM

  I know what you mean. It's especially hard for me as both my parents died in February, my Mom in 1972 and my Dad in 1993. I miss them so much.

You have proved you can overcome this and you can do it again. Hang in there!

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Friday mish-mash

Friday, February 25, 2011

Well, I finished reading "Passing for Thin" by Frances Kuffel in honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness week. It was both disturbingly similar and disturbingly alien... if you know what I mean. My reading experience was colored by the fact that I already knew there is a sequel: "Angry Fat Girls" about her relapse while the book was being published, and her subsequent re-recovery again. I've started that one now. If you classify yourself as a compulsive eater, these are worth the read, even if your life experience doesn't quite match that of the featured people in them.

In some ways, these books validate what SparkPeople does: in recovery, we need support. Learning to take better care of ourselves, for that matter peeling back the layers of why we aren't doing so especially if we truly do know how... and recovery... is not usually a solo activity! Even being able to come on here, write a blog to vent about a tough day (or week, or trip, or whatever), come clean and move on is part of a "one step back, two steps forward" healthy attitude toward recovery.

I'm writing from a world of white this morning. White, slick, heavy, wet. I only cleared enough to get the car out because I'm a little short on time... dental appointment before work. I am a weather wimp, but I will make the trip to work unless I hit something really nasty out there, because I have things I really need to get done (meetings with other people) today.

Have a great Friday, all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTURTLE 3/1/2011 11:24PM

    I failed at Spark People the first time around, because I tried to do it alone - no Spark Teams, no Spark Friends, not even a Spark Page. I learned the lesson that we can go so far by ourselves, but need help and support of others taking this journey to continue. Its thanks to all the wonderful Sparkers who offer so much encouragement and support that I am still headed in the right direction. emoticon

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MSLZZY 2/25/2011 9:44PM

    Light dusting of snow today but very cold.
Those books sound very interesting and you have a great perspective on this issue.
Take care-hugs!

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REJ7777 2/25/2011 12:58PM

    I really enjoy books that expand my awareness about things, and increase my understanding. I learn a lot from blogs on SP too, as people share their experiences and how they cope with challenges. And the support on here has been a vital part of my success. emoticon

I think we're all pretty sick of the snow. A snowstorm is just starting up here, and may I be truthful... Yuck!!!

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BUGGYS 2/25/2011 11:55AM

    We need support in every aspect of our lives, in everything we is not a solo experience! The support on SP is invaluable and the support of my family and friends is tremendous...I truly feel blessed!!!

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ANDI571 2/25/2011 11:08AM

    The support on SP is priceless. I know I would have given up months ago if it wasn't for all of you cheering me on.

Can I consider the up 2, down 2, up 2, down 2 as push ups? emoticon

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SUNNY332 2/25/2011 9:15AM

    We woke up to a winter wonderland too. Do have a safe day.

I did not know about the sequel to the book but agree that it does sound like it just reinforces what we have learned through Spark People. We need each other for this journey.

Hugs, Sunny

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DAISY443 2/25/2011 9:02AM

    Stay safe and thanks for the Goodie!

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WISEONE68 2/25/2011 8:57AM

    Here's to supporting one another and moving along in our own personal journeys!!
Be safe and have a great day! (I have SO many books to read during my 6-week recovery from surgery...but, I will add these to the list, in case I get through all the ones I have now!!)


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HOT4FITNESS 2/25/2011 8:02AM

    Sparkpeople is a great part of our journeys. We meet so many people that have been where we are, and ones going through the same issues. It has been a very valuable tool to me as well. This site has helped me getto the healthy point in my life to walk, let alone walk a half marathon. Are we crazy!! Have a great day today.

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DEBRITA01 2/25/2011 7:43AM

    You are so right, SP is an invaluable support tool and resource, as we continue on this journey of self-discovery.

Sorry to hear you're getting a wintry mix...have a great Friday in spite of it all! emoticon

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DWYER1952 2/25/2011 7:39AM

  Hope you have a great day

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National eating disorders awareness week

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Spark calendar proclaimed this at me yesterday morning as I turned the page: National Eating Disorders Awareness Week begins Sunday (today).

As normal as my body size may look (right now), I do suffer from an Eating Disorder. I am a compulsive over-eater. I have accepted this, it's a fact about me.

Some days I get stronger reminders than others of my condition. Turning the calendar page yesterday was one such reminder. Reading a blog by PonyFarmer yesterday was the beginning of another. She mentioned a book in her entry, "Passing for Thin" by Frances Kuffel.

The title alone spoke to me: "Passing for Thin" evokes some inner feelings, because despite my body size, despite having been "in maintenance" for over a year... there are times when I feel I am just pretending to be this fit, active, slim person.

One incident from about 1994 or 1995 comes to mind. I had dropped the weight then, too. I was in a new-to-me city, working, and at a work event. A dinner, no less. I was sitting with other normal sized people and treated (if you can call it that) to some conversation about another person in the room, who was a size I used to be.

These people did not know my history, and clearly did not INTEND to be cruel. They honestly did not "get" what it is like to live with addiction, or for that matter, that food could be a substance of addiction. That evening, I made them uncomfortable by enlightening them.

That, in turn, made ME uncomfortable, and within a year of that dinner... I had regained about 50 of those pounds I had worked so hard to shed. At that time, it was very important to me to be understood, and it was as though a switch was thrown: "these people" would never understand.

What's different today? I no longer care whether normal people understand. It is more important that I understand it. I know I have this disease. I know that eating certain things will make me want more of them. And that's OK. It is within my power to decide how to act, based on that knowledge.

This disease has several faces: over-eating and carrying the excessive weight, over-restriction and over-exercising, and binging and purging. That is its practice. But its roots are in the mind, as well: when food is at the center of one's universe... and all things revolve around it, to the exclusion of the enjoyment of the rest of life, that's a danger sign.

Here's to recovery: It's the best thing that has ever happened to me... one day, one decision at a time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PENNYAN45 2/23/2011 1:06PM

    This blog really got me thinking. (Your blogs usually do!)

Anyway, I wrote a blog of my own as a result of reading yours.

Thank you once again for stirring up the thought processes.

emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 2/21/2011 9:07PM

    So glad your have recognized the inner demons and acknowledged their influence on your life. Would that we all were so intuitive. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNNY332 2/20/2011 6:29PM

    I need to do the best I can and If I help someone along the way, then that is terrific. I never thought of myself as having an eating disorder but it does make sense. People don't understand the struggles if they have never been there.

Thanks for a great post.

Hugs, Sunny

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BUGGYS 2/20/2011 5:57PM

    I'm with Deb in the fact that I don't really care what people think...I just want to be the best that I can be a to be a good role model to my grandkids. I know my trigger foods and know that I cannot trust myself with them and that's's only taken me almost 60 years to figure that out.I am still learning every day about nutrition and wellness and know that every day is a gift and to treat it with health!

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SUNNYWBL 2/20/2011 1:37PM

    I had no idea!

For me, the issues are simpler- eat less and exercise more, Thankfully!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REJ7777 2/20/2011 12:42PM

    I can relate to what you wrote. Sometimes I realize that there's something *wrong* with me. Why do I binge? Why is food so important to me? I have to be extremely careful about trigger foods, or I can lose control. I don't relate to food in the way *normal* people do. Sometimes I feel like a phony-baloney when I talk about fitness and hiking. And yet, that's where I am. That's my reality. It's where I have to begin. And what I'm hoping is that, in time, it will begin to feel authentic. As I've read, "Fake it 'til you make it."

You're becoming an athlete. I hope that in time, you will truly see yourself as that. I think that we'll always have to be more on guard than normal people, as far as food is concerned. But as we develop new interests, I hope that our identity and self-perception will change to reflect who we are truly becoming.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 2/20/2011 11:33AM

    Yes, I think all too often people hear the words 'eating disorder' and immediately jump to anorexia or bulimia. There have been famous people who've publicly acknowledged they suffer from those; there have been shocking pictures of people who are practically skeletons, and even well-known deaths. But you don't tend to hear that 'eating disorder' is an umbrella category for ANY addictive food behaviors, whether it's eating one Cheerio for breakfast, binging and purging, or hiding 'caches' of chocolate so you can indulge in secret. I can appreciate the fact that you tried to enlighten the people you'd been with at that dinner - and I can understand that they didn't get it. But sometimes it breaks my heart that overeating (as opposed to undereating) is so little understood that it's not even recognized as a problem.

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CHRYS13 2/20/2011 11:28AM

    What a powerful blog. I thank you so much for sharing your journey with its ups and downs.
Way to take it one day at a time! emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 2/20/2011 10:43AM

    Awesome job you've done, Barb. Thanks for sharing.

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SWELL10 2/20/2011 9:09AM

    Thank you for sharing. We must each learn how we react to food and what our triggers are. I am an "all or nothing" kind of girl and know I can't eat or drink certain things. As you said, they are a gateway, eating them would open a door. I know many preach moderation in all things, but we must do what works for each of us and for me, I must leave certain things alone.

Good blog!

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DEBRITA01 2/20/2011 8:21AM

    It's hard to make others understand when they have no idea...the great thing is, YOU understand and have made great progress in working through this addiction. Another great thing is, we have people here at SP that DO understand and are living it...such a wonderful support when we need it.

Something I've learned recently (I'm a slow ... it's not my job to teach others. It's my job to be the best role-model I can be and be a good example if others are so inclined to follow (or learn)

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HOT4FITNESS 2/20/2011 8:18AM

    Thanks for sharing this blog and a little about yourself, your strength and your success, It is definitly one step at a time in these journeys of ours.

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