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2017 Green Dragon Gets Healthy?

This topic was continued by 2018 Green Dragon Gets Healthy?.

The Green Dragon

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Jan 5, 2017, 9:50am Top

We have had dieting threads in the past to encourage one another, but since I don't believe in dieting, I wanted to start a thread for encouraging healthful habits. If the information here is TMI, feel free to skip it! :D I like to see where others have had success and get ideas about things which might work for me.

Are you trying to develop any?

These are what I'm working on:

HEALTHY TEETH AND GUMS: Do cleaning stuff to my teeth and gums three times a day. For me it works out to this routine (although I might slack on a weekend day if I don't go out anywhere):
Morning-swish coconut oil for 10-15 min. The idea behind this is that it gets under the gums and prevents bacteria from growing. I have been having great checkups since starting this, but that might be due to the fact that I also use the waterpick and my electric toothbrush in the morning.
Noon-use a sort of rubber pointy thing to remove food ick and push the gums down between my molars.
Evening-use a tiny brush between the molars and a regular brush with my homemade toothpowder for a quick cleaning.
Results: Great checkups for 5 years! Also, have not had a serious flu/cold/allergy sickness in that time either. Whether that is due to dental hygiene or not, I don't know, but supposedly it is possible.

MOVING: I am an extremely sedentary person. I have read that it is not possible to change one's metabolism, but I'm trying to do either that, or at least just keep the muscle memory alive.
Morning: 10 minutes of the Sun Salutation. High stepping at the microwave while waiting for things to warm. Walking to work whenever possible.
At Work (my job is at a desk): Standing when possible, jogging in place while waiting for copies to print, walking home for lunch when possible. I would like to add in walking on my breaks, but I find it hard to actually leave the building for a break. Not due to my employer, only due to my mindset.
Evening: Let's face it. Once I get home, visit with my mother and fix dinner, all I want to do is sit and read.

RESTING: It is supposed to be crucial to good health to rest. So I am really going to try to be in bed by 9pm. I rise at 5isham. This is hard because I am a natural night owl and I resent sleeping so early.

EATING: I am trying to eat whole foods which have not been prepared for me by a corporation. Trying to up the vegetable intake, decrease the processed carbs and sugars. Also learning which foods cause my joints to hurt more, and which, if any, help them. I will be starting a challenge on Monday to learn to eat mindfully. I'm afraid that may mean not reading while I eat. *gasp*

SPIRITUAL/MENTAL/PSYCHOLOGICAL (or whatever): Let's face it. I'm approaching my 54th year on the planet this month. I have been married 34 years. It is easy to be in a calm place where nothing excites or ruffles the brain, but I don't think it is good for us. So this year we are starting a new thing. Husband and I are looking for something to learn/do which we haven't done before and probably wouldn't do without intention.

We are making a list of activities/avocations which begin with the letter "A" then on Friday or Saturday we will sit down and take turns crossing one off until we are left with the one we will learn about/practice or do this year. Next year will be "B." This will keep us fresh for the next 26 years, right?! So far we have things like Arabic, Aquatic Culture, and Astronomy. Any suggestions (if anyone has read this far!)?

Jan 5, 2017, 9:58am Top

"I'm approaching my 54th year on the planet this month."
Spring chicken! I complete my 67th in a week or 2.

Mental exercise: I've been a botanist all my working life. So I reckon cataloguing the Railway History Society's library on LT counts here. It certainly means I've needed to learn a few ultra-basic things about railways, mechanical and civil engineering fast. What societies in your area have chaotic libraries that you could clean up?

Jan 5, 2017, 10:19am Top

>1 MrsLee: I think this is a great topic for discussion! I'm focusing again on weight loss (24 lbs in 2016, hoping for 36 this year), flexibility, and mindfulness. My wife and I are reading Being Mortal together and discussing what it means to and for us, as we age and also as we deal with my aging parents. I haven't felt able to play bridge quite yet--can't stay alert that late--so I'm replacing it for the time being with doing lots of crossword puzzles, sudoku, etc.

As for "A" items, I guess you won't want alcoholism, adultery, abduction, ... I'm learning a lot about artificial intelligence for work, but no idea if that would be of interest to you and hubby.

>2 hfglen: Happy upcoming birthday!

Jan 5, 2017, 10:30am Top

I've adopted a "if you don't use it, you lose it" approach, since I also sit at a desk a lot, and often am in my pjs on the couch with a book within an hour of getting home at night.

Got a better seat for my stationary bike so I am more inclined to get on it - it has a slot that holds my tablet so I can read at the same time :)

Have been gradually improving my eating habits, and plan to make more strides in that direction.

Brains need exercise too, so to that end I signed up for piano lessons. I read somewhere that learning music uses the same region of the brain as learning a language, but I'm terrible at languages so hoping this will suffice.

Jan 5, 2017, 10:45am Top

>3 Jim53: Haha! I added "artificial intelligence" to the list (I'm trying hard to avoid those other options, although, as a study subject or volunteer they could work), which made me think of "aliens" and >4 Darth-Heather: made me think of "a capella."

There has to be a musical instrument which begins with "a"?

Jan 5, 2017, 11:04am Top

>3 Jim53: Thank you!

>5 MrsLee: I suspect there is an ancient or medieval one. Though when you get that far down the alphabet I rather like the idea of your playing a racket or a serpent ;)

Jan 5, 2017, 11:08am Top


Jan 5, 2017, 11:58am Top

I'll join the fun. I've noticed my weight creeping up and I need to take control before it gets to the point where it starts to cause other problems. Plus, I have mild depression.

My plan:
1. Cut out candy. I seldom drink alcohol (mostly don't like it) or soft drinks but I do have a major sweet tooth. I'm going to try to satisfy it with fruit and things that have at least a little food value, as opposed to straight sugar. mmm, sugar... I won't be completely hard-line about this, but most of the time it should be okay.

2. Physical activity. Like many Dragoneers, my natural tendency is sedentary. I have a desk job, and the rest of the time if you give me a book and a cup of tea, I'm happy. I started running a couple of years ago, and it was great, even in the winter. This fall, though, I've slacked off and have been getting out only about once a week, if that. I have the winter gear, I have a beautiful place to run (Edmonton's river valley is gorgeous), and I'm still making excuses. So going to start with two runs (3-5 K to start, going up to 6-8 K) and one brisk walk per week. I'll get back to yoga, too. At work we have classes three lunch hours a week, and I have a good app on my phone for home practice. Of course, once gardening season starts, my activity level increases quite a bit naturally.

3. Retire. I'm 58, have worked 34 years with the same employer, and I've been eligible for a couple of years. On Tuesday I submitted my official notice to retire at the end of March. I'm feeling rather weird about it. I have ALWAYS worked, aside from two nine-month maternity leaves. I'm fairly sure I'll end up getting a part-time or seasonal job eventually, but not this year. This year is for me.

4. Make good art (for my values of good LOL). I love printmaking, and I do it about once a year to make Christmas cards. I'm going to play and experiment and see what happens. If I really get into it, there's an art walk in my neighbourhood in September, and I could exhibit and maybe sell there.

Of course I'll keep up the volunteering that I already do. I'm going to try hard to not increase it this year, but as long as it's something I enjoy doing, I'll do it. Gardening will be a constant, as ever. I want to declutter the house some more (can start with most of my work clothes LOL) and we're still planning more renovations. Also travelling.

Jan 5, 2017, 12:21pm Top

I feel bullied, but hey, I need to lose weight, so the more peer pressure the better.

The most successful approach for me when trying to lose weight has proved to be having salad at lunchtime rather than a full meal. I know, some people consider salad a full meal. That is not the way I was brought up. :-)

Getting a walk at lunchtime should also be on the list.

I tend to sit up a night and it can be midnight when I get to bed. It is more usually 11:00 or 11:30pm. As I get up at 06:00hrs I am probably a little short of the necessary sleep.

I am nearing the end of my 59th year but the work pension does not kick in until I am 68. Retiring is not an option at this point.

Some for of chart will probably be required to keep me on the straight and narrow. "We behave as we are measured." That is something I keep telling people in work when discussing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators for those of you who do not have to worry or struggle with TLAs).

So, I'm in.

Good luck everybody, and I mean, every body.

Jan 5, 2017, 12:23pm Top

Thanks MrsL for starting this. I should take a page out of your mouth-care book. With all this expensive dental work, I need to keep it in tip top shape.

Experimentation, set point and stability are the watchwords for me now.

This is a little long (I’ve been keeping a journal about this since September), but here are the bullet points -

  • Weight loss v. maintenance
  • Food intake epiphany
  • Ch-ch-ch-changes
  • Set point and target weight

Weight loss v. maintenance
Last year I had an epiphany about how often I eat and how much I consume when I eat. When I first gave up processed foods in 2012 and went to a whole foods way of eating, I lost about 25 pounds. I was thrilled, but then the pounds piled back on until I was nearly at my heaviest weight again. This is despite keeping my diet the same and exercising about as much as I always have. I flailed around a bit trying things that didn’t work, but ultimately went on an all potato diet for about a month. Plain potatoes for three meals a day (Mon-Thurs); no fat added, just salt and spices. I lost 10 pounds during that time, then modified the diet so I ate normal meals in the evening during the week and I lost another 7. But that’s not a sustainable way of eating, so I looked around, did some reading and applied my epiphany and it’s been reasonably effective.

Food intake epiphany
What I think is true is that humans evolved with frequent and prolonged periods of low and no nutrition. This came home to me when I read about the pilgrims and a visit they paid to a nearby Indian tribe. They were offered no food. For days they stayed with Massasoit and his people and they ate nothing. Neither did the Indians. They simply didn’t have any food on hand. No one panicked except the Europeans. The Indians did have agriculture, but because of the fact they had no horses or cows, it was a different kind of agriculture than Europeans had and thus they had periods of eating very little.

They were much healthier overall than the settlers though, as borne out by many journals and other first-hand accounts of the meeting of the two peoples. This got me to thinking about how often I ate and I decided that it was really stupid of me to expect to burn the fat on my ass when I was stuffing my face all the time. The fat is there to be burned as fuel in the absence of food. So I started fasting, which is just another way of saying I shortened my eating window. In addition to fasting I ate less when I did eat. Sometimes it was a regular, if smaller meal, sometimes it was potatoes and sometimes it was a protein/fruit shake. The key is not to starve all the time. Your body and metabolism works both ways - to store fat and to burn it, but you have to give it the opportunity to do the latter and that means going without. These days I regularly fast 15-20 hours at a time with no problem. If I don't feel good doing it, I eat. Simple as that. I even lift and hike on an empty stomach with no issues.

It’s not as hard as you think. Once you become fat-adapted (that is you’ve started burning fat for fuel), an empty stomach becomes only one hunger signal and the least important. My body has been getting sufficient nutrition from my backfat in between the times I eat. Some of those meals are nutritionally dense and so it further signals the body that there isn’t a shortage. That it’s ok to burn the fat because that’s what it’s there for and there will be more food along the way. Prolonged hunger will trigger “starvation mode” where the metabolism shifts and burns less and less, but the key is prolonged. Weeks. Days or hours won’t do that. The metabolism won’t reduce demand, but it will look to your fat as a source. I don't ascribe consciousness to this process, but like anything with your body it takes training. My biggest hurdle was the first few days of hunger, but after that it was much easier. Believe me. Now it's nothing. Especially when I'm out doing something. I don't feel hungry much at all then.

Set point and target weight
This has brought me to what I think is my new set point; that is a weight that my body is comfortable at and can defend. It’s still too heavy, but I’m stable at this weight with a reduced diet and intermittent fasting. I fluctuate a couple of pounds and ate a lot during vacation and holiday festivities, but my weight hasn't changed since November. My next step will be to go on the all potato diet to lose another 10 pounds. If that happens I will work to make that my new set point and maintain it for the rest of my life without killing myself.

Start weight = 172 (September 12, 2016)
Current weight = 155
Target weight - 145

Jan 5, 2017, 1:52pm Top

What a great idea for a thread.

>1 MrsLee: What about archery or antiquing? Both should inspire being more active too.

>10 Bookmarque: So you give yourself an eating window? Or do you follow something more like alternate day fasting? I find the subject fascinating. A guy I used to work with did similar and he always had so much energy and was very healthy. I haven't researched it much but I do wonder if there isn't something to this. I have debated trying something similar myself but just haven't worked up the courage yet. It is 100% a mental block. I know that "fasting" is temporary, I'm not going to start, but still lol

For myself, last summer my job consolidated down our office space and made around 75% of the employees full time work from home. I... let's just say it has advantages and disadvantages. One of the main disadvantages is I feel like I've become a slug. My daily activity rate has gone waaay down and I'm feeling it. I'm still fairly active on weekends, taking hikes as weather permits, but it's not enough. To help motivate myself I got a new Fitbit Charge 2 and have programmed it to remind me to get up and move once an hour during the work day. I find the little buzz on my wrist much more helpful than a calendar reminder on my laptop that I tend to ignore. So far, so good! Two weeks ago I also started doing a workout every other day. I am not as motivated as I used to be to go to the gym so I've started pulling up YouTube videos to try. It's been fun :) There is so much variety that I never fear of being bored and it will get me through winter when hiking just isn't practical.

On the food front, every year I do 2 or 3 diet resets. This is typically after a time of gluttony, like the holidays, or just when I feel I've let nutrition slide too much. It is basically an ultra clean eating program for 5-7 days. No processed foods, no restaurants, no added sugar, no dairy, no alcohol, lean meats only and as much vegetables as you'd can eat. The first day or two are always the worst as your body combats sugar withdrawal. By the end, though, I always feel great and wonder why I let my diet get so bad in the first. Not that it prevents it from happening again a few months later lol It also has a nice side effect of removing sugar cravings and I remember what healthy portions are again. We'll be doing our next reset later this month as soon as the last of the holiday goodies are gone.

Edited: Jan 5, 2017, 2:45pm Top

>10 Bookmarque: You remind me of a Serbian Orthodox priest and his family. They told me that decently devout Orthodox people observe somewhere between 180 and 200 fast days a year -- Wednesdays, Fridays, Lent, Advent, etc. etc. etc. (Thinks: I hope this doesn't contravene the sign in the entrance. If it does, I'll happily delete this post.)

Jan 5, 2017, 2:50pm Top

lol. I think making an observation is allowable.

These days I fast as long as I can every day; that is without discomfort. If I know I won’t eat during the afternoon, I’ll eat in the morning before I go out then eat dinner at the normal time. If I feel headachey or slightly nauseated those are signs I have to eat and I obey. I will snack if absolutely necessary, but snacking defeats the purpose. I don’t want to make this unhealthy or uncomfortable.

I haven’t had anything today except for 2 mugs of coffee and I’ve -
Done laundry
Had a light weight-lifting session
Fooled around on the internet

I’m slightly hungry, but otherwise I feel fine. I’ll probably have 2 small baked potatoes in a while then a regular dinner. No booze though. I’m REALLY trying to restrict it to 3 days a week - Friday, Saturday & Sunday. I sleep better without it anyway.

For me the difference is that my body isn’t waiting for nutrition/energy - it’s looking for it and finds it where it’s supposed to be - stored as fat. I still eat, and fairly nutritionally dense so it isn’t a case of shortage.

It is totally a mental thing and I feel dumb when I let myself put off something so simple and effective because I think it will be hard. So what if it isn’t the easiest thing ever? Since when is the easy way out the best? If it takes effort I’ll put it in. It isn’t the end of the world. No one is making me do this. I can stop anytime.

Jan 5, 2017, 3:09pm Top

>1 MrsLee:

Edited: Jan 5, 2017, 6:35pm Top

>5 MrsLee: said, "There has to be a musical instrument which begins with "a"?"

Accordion. But that brings to mind this old Far Side Cartoon.

EtA: Here is a link that will set you up for 26 years of musical instrument lessons... Maybe go with the Alphorn for 2017...? ;)

Jan 5, 2017, 5:04pm Top

Oh dear! This health drive is really hard. There is still Christmas cake left.

Jan 5, 2017, 5:05pm Top

Anarchy? (just kidding!)
Acultomancy? (Divination with needles apparently)
Anemology? (studying the movement of the wind)

Jan 5, 2017, 5:06pm Top

As for musical instruments - acoustic guitar?

Jan 5, 2017, 6:43pm Top

>5 MrsLee: - What about an 'armonica?

My new thing for this year is running, but this time featuring proper shoes that aren't going to give me blisters (hopefully). I'm planning to restart C25K in the next few days. My sister and I are planning a couple of 5k runs in the summer to raise money - probably for Cancer Research UK.

I would like to lose some weight (I'm about 25lb heavier than I really ought to be) but I'd like to focus on being generally more healthy rather than obsessing over the numbers. To that end, I'm moderating my drinking and trying to get more vegetables into my diet.

Jan 5, 2017, 9:17pm Top

Activism? You could research a couple of causes that are important to you and do letter writing, rallies or marches. Hold meetings in the community, give a talk in the schools, lots to occupy a couple.

Jan 5, 2017, 10:44pm Top

The Husband and I did this last year. He lost 55 pounds. I lost 35. What we did:

* we went off refined sugar for 30 days. After that, we allowed it in small doses, but we had to stay under our calorie count.

*We started paying attention to calories and serving sizes. We used the My Fitness Pal app to help count the calories.

* we didn't eat out for a couple of months. Now we do, but sporadically, and better restaurants. Absolutely no fast food.

* exercise. We were active, but not regular at it and not as hard core. We'd go the gym and lightly lift or walk on the treadmill. I started running. We biked before, but he really stepped it up and rode 2,700 miles last year! I ran my first 5K at Thanksgiving.

So for this year: keep it up and step it up. I want to be running five miles by summertime, not just 5K. I also want to ride a 50 miler in July and a 45 miler in August. He wants to do a 100 miler in July. Get back to watching the sugars and calories now that the holidays are over. I'm happy to report neither one of us gained any weight over the holidays. :)

We both feel so much better! More energy and I haven't been nearly as sick as usual. It's been worth the effort!

Jan 6, 2017, 9:47am Top

Thanks all for the "A" words! I'm going to have to look a couple of them up. I will let you know which one we end up with tonight. It will be interesting. I don't know if Mark is wholly on board with the program, but he is on board with being intentional in our relationship. :)

>10 Bookmarque: That is interesting. I have started not making myself eat breakfast at 6am before work. Hate food that early. So I take a fruit, and a protein or two to work and then eat them when I need to, usually around 10:30 or so. When I'm home on my own schedule I don't usually eat until 11am or so. I'm trying to follow the signals from my body more than the clock when it comes to eating. It feels great to be actually hungry before eating. For me, carrying around a couple of nutritional snacks takes the fear out of not eating a meal. I reason with myself that it takes weeks to starve, so if I have access to a snack and water I should be fine.

After about a week of feeling like I was trying to walk under water, suddenly my bone aches cleared up yesterday, along with my mood! My husband met me at work and we walked during lunch. The sun was out for the first time in days, coincidence? This is something I will be watching. It was bone-numbingly cold though because a north wind was blowing. Made us walk faster!

One thing I know for me, is that whatever I do, it has to be something I can enjoy or see the reason for. Also something I can maintain as a natural part of my life.

Jan 6, 2017, 10:53am Top

>22 MrsLee: I reason with myself that it takes weeks to starve, so if I have access to a snack and water I should be fine.

Apparently one can survive about 70 days without food if you take water. Without food or water the estimate is 30 days.

These are the things one picks up from the press when one lives somewhere that people go on hunger strike.

Jan 6, 2017, 10:54am Top

Funny, I was just remarking to my husband over dinner that eating by the clock is another hard habit to break. Yesterday I got done lifting and thought "I should eat". Then I thought "why should I?" since I wasn't really hungry. It was the clock that made me think I should. So I did a whole bunch more stuff and ate around 2 when I was actually hungry in more ways than just an empty stomach.

I don't even bother with carrying food anymore, even while hiking. Fasting is fine. I can do it and don't worry about it anymore. I got enough fat on me to last a while! And if I do need food, it's not like there's a shortage here in the US. Sometimes when flying I'll stash some macadamia nuts or a Kind bar in my bag.

Jan 7, 2017, 4:39am Top

air guitar?

Edited: Jan 7, 2017, 8:01am Top

I need to move more -- stop sitting still in front of the computer 6 out of 7 days in the week. At the very least, I need to make a point of standing up and walking around every 90 minutes. So there's that habit to develop.

I need to drink more water. I realized last month that the lack of hydration is having an impact on my sleep patterns.

I have done better at removing sugar from my diet. (Except for that unfortunate incident involving the petit-fours)

Otherwise, I'm pretty good at balancing things out across the day in my lifestyle. It's just that whole moving and exercising thing that's challenging.

>5 MrsLee: , the first musical instrument that begins with "A" that sprang to my mind was the accordion. Can you play one? Might it put you in even greater demand for parties and celebrations?

Jan 7, 2017, 10:37am Top

>25 MrAndrew: Good one! But we are both already excel at that!

>26 jillmwo: We actually had a beautiful accordion inherited from family. Sadly, it disappeared out of the ceiling space when we had our roof replaced. We didn't notice it was gone for a couple of years. I am one of the few people who enjoy the accordion within reason.

Jan 7, 2017, 3:22pm Top

in case you need some more suggestions

agronomy and agriculture

Jan 7, 2017, 4:16pm Top

>28 Taphophile13: Thanks! All but acrobatics were on the list. We are whittling it down today. I thought it would go quickly, but husband wants to work at it slowly.

There are 12 left on the list, and I see that husband snuck one on when I wasn't looking

Array mbira; which we actually have a simple form of in our cupboard. How could I not know this?

Jan 7, 2017, 4:39pm Top

I had to go Google that (array mbira) but the search yielded up some videos that were quite useful. I like the way that the instrument sounds!

Edited: Jan 8, 2017, 11:58am Top

My health focus for 2017 is to get serious about running again - since I was ill a couple of years ago, I've struggled continuously with managing my energy, but I finally seem to be back in a good place. I signed up for a half-marathon last year, but realised very quickly that I still wasn't well enough to handle the training, so deferred to this year. So I have 6 months to go from being able to slowly but comfortably run 3 miles to being able to manage 13.1 in a sensible amount of time. It will also be my first multi-surface half-marathon - the previous 2 were all road.

I'm starting off by running 3 times a week, and walking from the office to the station on the other days to gently stretch my legs (25-45 minute walk depending on which office I'm at). It remains to be seen how well these good intentions will survive the kick-off of a very big project next week, especially as it is likely to involve travel, and I'm nervous about running the streets of a strange American city at night. However, I can't defer again so I will find a way! Whether it is running (part-way) home from the office when in London, or booking hotels with gyms / finding a local gym that offers temporary membership to keep me moving while I'm away.

I'm also trying to swap to soup or sushi at lunchtime rather than sandwiches. Soup has the added bonus of making me feel full for fewer calories and lets me stock up on veggies!

>24 Bookmarque: I am trying to be more mindful of eating because I need to, not because I want to / think I 'ought' to. Your notes here are very inspiring.

>29 MrsLee: I'm very curious to hear what you agree on MrsLee!

Jan 8, 2017, 3:40pm Top

The consensus is Art. Each month we will decide on a different form to explore, experience and possibly partake in. Mark wants to pick first. He thinks he can choose the 'Art of Dodging,' but he has another think coming. ;)

Jan 8, 2017, 3:57pm Top

Jan 8, 2017, 4:29pm Top

>32 MrsLee: That sounds like a good place to start with lots of different options

Edited: Jan 8, 2017, 9:42pm Top

>34 Peace2: I think that's why we ended up with it. We will be studying the art in our local community. Taking the Victorian homes self-guided tour (walking), learning some of the history of them and their reason for being, going to any exhibits and art stores which are here. At the art store, I plan to get inspiration for next month. I want it to include lots about color, because my husband loves colors.

Does anyone else take a day off from the regimen? I am giving myself the grace to relax a little one day a week. That doesn't mean I pig out or don't do anything, it just means I don't track it all or hold myself to high standards. I have found it refreshing today to relax, and am looking forward to tracking again tomorrow.

Jan 9, 2017, 3:36am Top

>27 MrsLee: well there is always air bass, air drums, air keyboards... why not be the first to be an air-orchestra?

putting aside the fact that i don't think it's possible for an accordion to be "within reason" (much like bagpipes... hey, looking forward to "B"!), that story reminds me of the accordion in Accordion Crimes that was full of cash (gulp!)

Jan 9, 2017, 12:39pm Top

>36 MrAndrew: Don't disrespect the bagpipes. Every dragon loves these:


Jan 13, 2017, 9:42am Top

I just finished a week of "Mindful Eating" which was interesting. My brain is full of conflict, but on the whole, I think it was a positive experience. There are so many food triggers and habits we have which we are unaware of. Now the hard part, implement some of the good things I discovered into my life and eliminate some of the bad.

A real eyeopener and surprise for me: I LIKE bananas. Until I ate one mindfully, I was convinced I hated them. Weird.

I am going to hesitantly say that some of my weight is coming off. Nothing huge, but I'm thinking the scales are swinging to the lower end of the 170s instead of the upper end and over. I feel amazingly better. Surprising what a little success will do for our brain.

Trying, trying, trying to change into a mildly active person instead of a sedentary snail. I don't manage my 5000 steps every day due to weather and several other excuses I keep on hand, but I seem to be hitting over that at least 3 days a week. It would certainly be easier if I had a treadmill sort of thing, but there is zero space for one in my house.

I have a new thing for when I get sleepy in my 2 hours of reading at night. The first time, I get up and brush my teeth and do the other necessaries for getting ready for bed. This is because the light in my bathroom is super bright, so turning it on right before bed = bad idea. The second time, I get up and turn on the TV and do about 10-15 minutes of Tai chi with a video. Then I can read for 1/2 to an hour longer and go to bed without any electronics having messed up my sleeping pattern. I'm trying to get 7-8 hours of sleep at night. Last night, no hot flashes! Yay! Still woke up at 4:30am, but since I go to bed around 9pm, it's not the end of the world.

On the art front: I am feeling loved. My husband, who poo-pooed the idea, spent yesterday going around town exploring the possibilities (without any prodding from me!). He signed us up for an art class, found out the library has a coloring night once a month and the next one is on Valentine's Day, so he signed us up for that as well. He has several other ideas up his sleeve, such as exploring the used book store for an art book to buy, and going through our shelves and pulling out what we have on hand. I discovered that there is a neat empty space where I keep our art books, just the right size for a new one!

Jan 13, 2017, 10:00am Top

I love that you guys are doing art together! I may have to steal this idea!

I've been finding it hard to get motivated to run. I hate the treadmill. It is so boring! And this snowy, cold weather hasn't helped. Getting to the gym today will be my reason for getting out of the house.

Jan 13, 2017, 10:27am Top

The weather is beautiful here today, so I'm exercising outdoors while I can: once I get off work I'm wandering around our downtown playing Pokemon GO! It's silly, but it works to keep me walking, because there are things in the game that only happen when the game logs a certain amount of distance moved, and if you go too fast (riding in a car, biking) it doesn't count, so it's a nice "baby steps" goal. Just... walk!

Jan 13, 2017, 11:28am Top

>38 MrsLee: That's awesome!

My weight is going up at what I consider to be an unnatural rate - over 7 lbs in a month or less. Even over Christmas that's not normal for me. I am afraid it's my thyroid (some history there although has been sub-clinical up to now), so I've made a doctor's appointment. I have not been running as much as I should, but I have been active at work (re-shelving, moving boxes, etc.) and I've been walking more and doing stairs instead of the escalator. Shall see what the doc says.

Jan 13, 2017, 1:35pm Top

Congrats to everyone who is taking steps towards being healthier! I need to get on this too. My weight has crept up over the past couple of years. I'm not really overweight, but bulgier that I'd like to be. About 20 pounds bulgier right now.

I haven't been running since September - stopped when Hamish started having eye problems, and haven't started again. I do ski regularly, but it isn't as good aerobically as running. I haven't been swimming much since last spring, either. I'd really like to add some weight training, too, but am not sure how to get started, although I could probably google it.

My big problem, however, is not exercise, but my diet. I often grab a quick meal between my after-work ski and whatever I am doing after, and it is often lacking with regards to vegetables. I know I should eat more of them, it's not that I don't I like them, but they are sadly lacking in my diet. And rotting in my fridge. My sweet tooth doesn't help either.

I may mostly lurk here, but I will be getting inspiration from all of you.

Jan 13, 2017, 1:57pm Top

>42 NorthernStar: I had a similar problem with not getting enough veggies, but have been doing better about it by making a week's worth of lunches on Sundays. I started out making soups and stir frys, but got lazy, esp during the summer when it was too hot to cook much. Now I just lay out five containers and fill with various vegs - usually frozen or canned ones. This week I defrosted some chopped spinach, sauteed celery and mushrooms in some leftover wine, opened a few cans of diced tomatoes, and put some into each container with some spices and a few olives. It took about 20 minutes. The flavors mingle enough in the fridge during the week, and I can easily grab one container when I leave for work.

Jan 13, 2017, 2:29pm Top

My mom gave me a resolution in December, which requires me to be nicer to myself.  We all know that this is easier said than done, because there are reasons for us to be hard on ourselves, whether they're true or not.  I'm also resolving to argue with my roommate less.  It's kinda difficult, given our personalities, but being nicer to myself should make it easier to be nicer to others.  In theory.  Why not move?  We're kinda gridlocked in this economy, and my roommate and I are actually friends.  I just don't want to chase the new roommate away.  He's the hearty sort, so there isn't much to worry about there, and he's a really good cook!  We buy ingredients and he turns it into food!  I'd rather our childish antics not grate on his nerves.

New paragraph, because this one's kinda big:  My husband and I are going to try to take a true vacation.  We have the opportunity at the end of this month, so we'll see what happens.  Since our work is mostly digital, it's easy to get sucked back in, no matter where we are.

>40 RowanTribe: - Since the craze has died down, I think now's the perfect time to get back on the GO.  There's a park nearby that is the perfect distance away.  I find it easier to stick to when someone's with me, so I'll ping some friends.  If I don't get any bites, I'll go, anyway.

Edited: Jan 14, 2017, 9:53am Top

Rozax, I hope you had a good time playing - either with or without company. I was expecting to go alone, but my husband unexpectedly got off work a bit early, and a couple of work friends joined in once they got off, so we had a nice little migrating flock by the end of the afternoon, and even took over a couple of gyms! No interesting catches, but the day was so lovely and we had such fun just being outside that we didn't even really care.

It is SOOO hard for me to keep moving in the winter. I know I'm fortunate that I live in a place where it doesn't get very cold at all, but it feels cold to me, and the days are so short and dreary and clammy that I just want to curl up in a ball and hibernate until spring. It's lovely to have a few days of warm weather and to feel myself getting a bit more energetic. Now I just have to figure out how to keep it up once it gets back to "normal" cold weather again.

Jan 14, 2017, 2:03pm Top

>41 tardis: I find that if I buy veggies on the weekend, a mix of those which should be used soon, and those which will survive the week, then get them prepped and ready to cook, I do much better with eating veggies. I will roast several kinds to use through the week in salads, soups or beside a meat.

Here's a veggie drink I've made which my household in enjoying as one would a V8, only this has no tomatoes, as I'm avoiding them due to the nightshade effect.

1-2 c. greens (spinach or "power" greens mix of baby kale, chard, whatever)
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1 lemon (or less)
1 slice fresh ginger
1" piece fresh turmeric
1 t. (or less to taste) very hot chili pepper
pinch of salt
1 t. agave nectar
1 T. nuts (I use a Dukkah mix I made which has fennel in it, along with other seeds and spices)
1 T. flax seed
pinch of kelp granules
1/4 c. vinegar (I used the cherry vinegar I made, which is not as strong as commercial, so I used more)
water to blend

All of these are really suggestions, it's how I did it and it was delicious, but I don't actually measure, I just toss stuff in.

Jan 15, 2017, 4:55am Top

Today will be a test of my commitment: it's due to rain all day, and I'm due to do my long run (4 miles this week).

Jan 15, 2017, 9:58am Top

I passed the test. I think that means I get a bath and maybe some hot chocolate while the mud on my shoes dries to a point where I can deal with it :)

Jan 15, 2017, 10:17am Top

Me and my diet Mt Dew salute you all in your endeavors!

Jan 15, 2017, 10:26am Top

>48 imyril: Woot! Hope you found joy in it, or at least in the accomplishment of it. :)

Jan 15, 2017, 11:47am Top

back when I used to do a lot of walking, I actually liked it when it was lightly raining. I found it refreshing. A downpour though, that was the pitz.

Jan 28, 2017, 11:03am Top

A very good article IMO on the demonizing of one ingredient or the other.


Here is a suggestion from the article for new health/dietary guidelines.

1. Cooking meals from fresh whole ingredients while minimizing restaurant meals and ultra-processed foods; eating those meals free from distractions, and ideally with friends or family.

2.Exercising as often and as much as is enjoyable, and appreciating that short bouts also provide benefit.

3.Not smoking.

4.Cultivating good night sleeps.

5.When considering any dietary indulgence, asking first if it’s worth it, and second, if it is, what’s the smallest amount needed to be happy?

6.Drinking alcohol only in moderation.

7.Nurturing friendships and relationships.

Jan 28, 2017, 1:07pm Top

All good things, for sure.

Jan 28, 2017, 1:35pm Top

>52 MrsLee: Good article. I like the Michael Pollan mantra, too: Eat food, mostly plants, not too much. Or something like that. Can't be bothered to look it up :)

The doctor says my thyroid isn't the problem, although we will still monitor it, and there doesn't seem to be anything else wrong with me that might lead to weight gain. So, will keep on with original plan noted above and see what happens.

I found a "30 days of yoga" iPhone app, and am working through it. I won't do yoga at home on the days when I have it at work, which will make the app last longer than 30 days. So far I'm on day 8, but I've actually done 11 days of yoga. Enjoying it.

I also impulse-bought an elliptical trainer (it was on sale and I'd just been told I would get a small retirement bonus from work). I don't mind running when it's warm or wet or cold (until it gets below -20C - that's TOO COLD), but I really hate it when it's icy like right now. So the elliptical machine will be my backup for days when I can't run, either due to trail conditions or crazy cold.

Jan 28, 2017, 2:48pm Top

>52 MrsLee: One advantage of item 1 that I've never seen mentioned anywhere: with the backing of a decent collection of books such as many LT members, especially Dragoneers, enjoy, the choice of dishes and cuisines one can explore is vastly greater than you can find in the local supermarket or local eateries. You also know exactly what questionable (or otherwise) ingredients went into the mix.

Jan 28, 2017, 9:28pm Top

>52 MrsLee: And one just feels better when not eating processed foods. It's been great for The Husband and myself. In the year we have been really eating healthier, we haven't not let ourselves have anything (except the first 30 days were sugar free), but when we do indulge, like having ice cream, we make sure we have an actual serving size or less. It's been great!

Feb 1, 2017, 9:23am Top

>55 hfglen: & >56 catzteach: Isn't it fun? I find myself looking forward to the end of the day when I can cook a simple meal, because my house is stocked with the basics, and fresh veggies. Tonight will be Thai soup made in my Vitamix. Last night I made Pasta with homemade pork sausage (my brother made it), arugula, garlic, parsley, red chilies and cream sauce, topped with shredded real Parmesan cheese. So yummy! The trick is to get a small serving dish and eat slowly and mindfully. I ate about 1/3 of what I normally would have done, but was completely satisfied and not hungry after.

It's difficult to eat mindfully when eating with someone else, but since eating and visiting with my mom more frequently is also on my list, I am working at it. I find that setting down the fork/spoon between bites helps.

I've come up with a name for my green drink. Green Genie. An homage to David Bowie, a stand in for Bloody Mary. So far, I've only tried a "virgin" Green Genie. One of these days...

I am on a two week fast/break from alcohol. I read that it is good to do that now and then to reset your hormones, especially cortisol. There seems to be a lot to the hormone issue and weight loss, for women of menopausal age especially. I've only read a bit about it. Enough to be dangerous. ;) Anyway, I'm thinking that the short bursts of exercise I do throughout the day are what is having the biggest impact on my weight loss. Now it feels good, too!

The past week I've been working on my posture throughout the day. Amazing how fast we get out of alignment! My son is in weight training and he was giving me some tips.

1. Roll your shoulders back until your thumbs face forward if you gently close your hands.

2. Your cheeks should be in alignment with your shoulders/breastbone, because we tend to lean our necks forward.

3. Pull in your tummy so your back touches your chair if you are sitting.

I work on this during the day when I'm stuck at my desk. Yesterday I discovered a great exercise at work. I had to be going back and forth from my desk to the printer (admittedly I could have processed all the documents, then walked over to get them and sort them, but then I wouldn't have got my exercise and I have time to spare). So, I would jog while waiting at the printer (it's slow), then instead of sitting in my chair (although if I had, I could have worked on my core by using good posture and slow sitting and rising), I squatted in front of my desk while I hit the few keys necessary to process the next document (son says when squatting have feet ever-so-slightly turned out to save your knees). Wow! The front of my thighs and my tummy wanted to know what on earth was going on!

Also, since I have to carry a thermos of coffee and one of hot water to and from the waiting room each day, I will use them as weights for my arms. Might as well get something out of a slightly tedious chore.

Edited: Feb 1, 2017, 10:59am Top

Keep up the good work, MrsL! Isn't that quiet sense of satisfaction great? The meals, the movement, all of it adds up to a more relaxed state of mind. And you bet hormones have everything to do with weight loss. That's why sleep is so important. Also your leptin response.

It's official. I've lost 20 pounds since September. For a long time there (since December) I hovered at 155-157 pounds and today I'm 152. No change to exercise other than upping my weights in an effort to get back to where I was when I was lifting at my heaviest. Gotta train for that so the weight goes up and the sessions do, too. I lift about twice a week.

Eating less is truly the key. Getting over the idea that it's a punishment or a deprivation is the hardest part I think. When I have something to do, hunger doesn't grab me like it does if I'm idle. That whole eating from boredom thing is very true and very dangerous. So I'm shifting my mindset to making a reduced eating window no big deal. It's normal, it's natural and it isn't hard. Then when I do eat, I try to limit portions and eat less than I would have a year or two ago. The fact is that I just don't need as much food as I think. At least not until I get to a weight I really enjoy. Then we'll have to tinker, but for now this is an interesting time.

The no booze thing is getting easier, too. We just have too much good wine on hand and that makes it an easy slide. Can't let it pile up and go bad - that would be a waste of money. Plus I love it. But last night I said no when it would have been easy and doubly excusable (mourning and a hard day with hubby's surgery). I slept better as a result and I really do prefer that to hours of wakefulness. Plus I gotta give my liver something else to do besides detoxify alcohol. You know, like burning fat to make ketones!

Oh and a tip on squatting - check out any toddler - that's exactly the posture you want.

Feb 1, 2017, 11:46am Top

>58 Bookmarque: Any day soon we'll have to feed you black coffee so you continue to cast a shadow!

Feb 1, 2017, 2:28pm Top

Not for a while yet. Believe me!

Feb 1, 2017, 7:21pm Top

I've had a bit of a back slide as of late. I've been super busy and stressed at work. I've been coming in early (6:30 to 7:00, my normal arrival is 7:30ish) and staying late (5:00, I usually leave around 4). And today I had to videotape myself for my National Board work. Not fun. Very stressful. So tonight I'm going to indulge in comfort food and then get back on the exercise and eating better thing tomorrow.

Feb 1, 2017, 10:01pm Top

>58 Bookmarque: Yes, it is good to see some progress after four years of healthy eating.

Now I need to go hunt for a toddler! Then I'll toss a colorful toy in front of them.

Feb 2, 2017, 11:21am Top

Sounds like the group is having some success :)

I'm in week 3 of a free weight routine I'm trying out. I love that I can do it from home at any time I have 20 minutes free. I'm noticing results already. My arms and legs are looking more toned again and it's helping me manage my work stress better than cardio was.

Feb 3, 2017, 5:41pm Top

I'm not really making much progress towards improving my eating habits, but have been out or busy a lot. I'm going to try this weekend to plan meals for the week which include more vegetables.

Feb 3, 2017, 9:56pm Top

I ran four miles tonight! I didn't think I'd have it in me. I had a busy, stressful week and I'm exhausted. I'm hoping to get up to six miles. I want to run a 10k eventually.

Feb 4, 2017, 5:53am Top

>65 catzteach: well done! It's always a lovely surprise to find you've got the legs for that extra distance.

Feb 23, 2017, 10:04am Top

I'm so weary peeps. Walked 10000 steps yesterday. For me this means walking to work, taking every waiting moment opportunity to jog in place (standing in front of microwave, printer, etc), walking during my two 10 minute breaks, walking home from lunch, then walking home from work. I know that it is a mile from my home to work, so, more than three miles. People do this every day?!

Now my heels hurt again which makes me feel more sad and discouraged than I can say.

I ordered a Fitbit Alta finally. Tired of carting my phone everywhere and having an odd bulge on my waist. It should arrive on Friday. Expensive toy, or health aid? I guess we shall see, but hopefully at least it will be a good work watch.

I'm not tracking calories anymore on my phone either. It's not that easy when you don't eat the prepared/fast food that the program can find easily. My homemade bean soup is nothing like whatever version the calorie app brings up, so what's the point.

Instead, I am recording my eating in a food journal. Hopefully that will keep me honest about what I eat and how much, without the waste of time figuring out calories. After doing the other for so long, I think I've got a handle on portion size, etc.

I was almost down 15 pounds, but my body is fighting me at the moment. It really wants to stay at the weight I've been for the last 15-20 years. I was 10 lbs over that weight at the beginning of the year. That's why I'm trying to get to 10000 steps a day, but what a chunk of my day it takes! I have to find ways to make this happen that feel good and are fun, because otherwise I will become resentful.

On the Art front, well, we will not earn a doctorate in Art by the end of the year, but we are learning small things, being open and aware of activities and such that we might not otherwise have been. Still, I think I need to get more purposefully into it. I'm planning to go to the de Young Museum in SF (actually their sister museum, the Legion of Honor) to see a display of Monet, his pre-impressionism paintings. It was going to be an outing for me and my girls, but I will include Mark if he promises to behave and has the desire to join us. So expensive. :(

Edited: Feb 23, 2017, 10:52am Top

Years ago when I thought exercise was the key to weight loss, I walked a lot. Many miles per week and it took me a while to get my feet toughened up - I think a few weeks. Then it was nothing. They did ache like crazy though and I had to make sure I walked enough to keep them conditioned. These days I don’t walk as much and so my first couple of long hikes bring the soreness back, but because I deadlift and squat regularly, my feet are in good shape. Maybe try working your way up to a level that doesn’t eat up all your time, but gets you off your chair. Personally I think 10,000 steps is arbitrary and based on a false idea of exercise as the cure to losing weight.

Congrats on the weight loss though! That’s awesome. Don’t you love how it’s like you get a new wardrobe? I was going to buy a pair of shorts and went to measure the inseam of some of my favorites when I found 3 pairs that I couldn’t wear last summer, but can wear now. Love that!

The set point oh the dreaded set point. I’ve done a bit of reading about how the body fights to maintain a weight once you’ve achieved it. It’s what I’m butting up against right now, too. It’s a weight level determined by hormones that signal the brain to regulate how much we eat, calories burned and how much fat we store. It’s that level of fat that is maintained no matter how much or little we eat or how much we run or walk. That’s why most people don’t keep gaining weight until they explode. A drastic diet change takes weight off, but the body will fight to get back to that set point, that “normal”.

What I’m trying to do now is get my hormones in line so that they work to regulate my set point at a lower level. Whole foods are effective for me as is eating when I’m hungry, but smaller portions. I think 155 is my new set point since I can maintain it even when I overeat. From here I will do another drastic all potato diet for a few weeks in an effort to lower the set point. But I think my bod needs to get used to this level of body fat first. To get it to defend this weight instead of 170+ pounds which it was defending before. Does that make sense?

Feb 23, 2017, 9:11pm Top

>67 MrsLee: I use myfitnesspal and I enter my recipes. It then calculates the calories and such for me. Most of the time it's awesome. But sometimes it says something silly like a teaspoon of salt has 20,000 calories. I just delete that ingredient and get the recipe back on track.

Feb 24, 2017, 9:57am Top

>68 Bookmarque: So how do you get your body to reset the "set point"? Do you have to keep your new weight for a certain amount of time for it to be the new normal?

Feb 24, 2017, 10:02am Top

>68 Bookmarque: That makes a lot of sense. That's why I'm not going to freak out or give up until 2020. My goal is to love my lifestyle and have a healthy new body.

I've been too tired to read the last few nights. Which is probably not helped by the fact that my last book finished was traumatic and heartbreaking for me, and I'm reading nonfiction which isn't entirely compelling. However, I don't want my reading to feel compulsive in a bad way either, so I'm trying to relax about it.

I've noticed my jaw is clenched a lot recently. It may always have been so, but I am now noticing it all the time. I'm wondering if it's because I've set such a regimen for myself and I am stressed about remaining "on point" so much? What I'm trying to do is to make healthy lifestyle choices a habit instead of something determined by willpower, because I've read that we only have a certain amount of willpower within and when we are drawing on it all the time, we use it up, then we fail. This is why so many diets fail. I don't know if that is true, but it is interesting.

>69 catzteach: I'm just a lazy person on my phone. I'm hoarding my minutes and don't want to spend any typing in my recipes to find out calories! :) I've quit wearing makeup, because that saves me about 20 minutes a day (15 in the morning, 5 in the evening). It was quite a mental hoop for me to jump through, but I'm okay with it now. I liked makeup to be a sort of imaginary barrier between me and the public (I've never worn it at home).

Feb 24, 2017, 10:30am Top

You are totally right, MrsL - being happy/content/joyful in your current body is key. Why we are so unhappy with ourselves all the time is a mystery and I think it’s probably our biggest problem as women. That and jerky boyfriends. When I was lamenting my weight when it was 170+, I wished my set point had settled at 160 instead of 170. Now I’m closer to 150 (152 this morning) I’m still not happy. Crazy.

I’m not sure about the willpower thing either. Probably like anything it waxes and wanes. Results and feeling good probably bolster it, but I find myself making excuses for bad behavior pretty easily despite achieving my goals of lower weight and better health. Oh we are such weak creatures aren’t we?

Narilka - From what I’ve read there’s no particular time frame that the body needs to be comfortable at a new set point. My feeling is that if you can maintain a lower weight by eating like a normal person and occasionally overeating/drinking (oh the dreaded booze!), that indicates a new set point and theoretically you should be able to lose weight from there with low fat/low cal eating. I haven’t tested it though, so I have no idea. Everything is an experiment with just one person - me. I think this is how it works because I maintained 155 pounds since November with basically normal eating and drinking. The first three weeks of February I had wine every night and I went from 152 pounds to 155, but not over. Alcohol basically shuts down fat burning so I didn’t expect to lose, but neither did I gain, which leads me to think 155 is a weight my body is defending. Make sense?

Mar 3, 2017, 9:36am Top

Since clamairy and Peace2 are walking in Middle Earth, I've decided to join them, although I am far behind. Since I got my Fitbit last Friday, I've walked 26 miles, which I estimate (starting from Bag End) puts me right about at Frogmorton. Not even out of the Shire yet, but isn't it lovely! All this green and peaceful country.

Mar 3, 2017, 4:54pm Top

>73 MrsLee: 26 miles in a week is fantastic - you'll be overtaking me before I finish at this rate! My walking is suffering due to the weather - I can't face the wind and rain and arriving home half frozen. Still the lighter evenings help a little and hopefully the wind and rain will diminish a little making walking at least a few more times a week a possibility.

Mar 3, 2017, 5:19pm Top

I got myself a Garmin Vivosmart fitness watch a few weeks ago. Still figuring it out, but it is kind of fun. My routine has been derailed the last week or so, but I'm really trying to keep active. Really missing Hamish as a skiing partner, but I've been out with friends and their dogs for walks and skis. Still not much progress towards eating more vegetables; I've been into comfort food a lot lately. One good thing, when I am sad or stressed I tend to lose my appetite, rather than the opposite.

Mar 4, 2017, 11:52am Top

After years of not having any living plants in my house (due to the fact that I neglected them and they died, and this house has very low natural light levels at all times of the year), I am once again attempting to incorporate them into my life.

I've been reading about the air cleansing benefits of them, and assumed that they would all be good in the bedroom, but apparently not so much. Most plants produce oxygen in the day and remove ugly unbreathable stuff, but at night, the process reverses and they take oxygen out of the air. Probably not enough to hurt us, but there are a few plants which produce oxygen at night.

Right now, in my bedroom are English Ivy, a maiden hair fern and a draconea. I plan to put the fern and draconea elsewhere in the house and replace them with possibly a snake plant (much as I detest that name, mother-in-law tongue does not appeal either) and an aloe vera. Also a floral, if I can find one, or perhaps some essential oils would be more reliable.

This is a new venture for me, both the night-time benefits and simply houseplants in general.

Here is a list of the 10 most beneficial indoor plants (according to NASA) from a website called Healthy & Natural World

Here is a blog which lists the 10 most beneficial bedroom plants. Take the science for what it's worth.

Having no pets or children, I am not concerned with the toxicity, but one should be aware if they have pets or children. I can attest that the spiderplant is not toxic enough to kill a child, because my daughter (crawling stage) managed to consume quite a bit of it one day. My husband was "watching" her while I cooked. After a panicked call to poison control, we found that it all came out well in the end. ;)

Mar 4, 2017, 11:57am Top

I've been maintaining my 3X week workouts at the gym, but also invested in a treadmill desk to use on the days I don't work out. I can do email/social media quite comfortably on it, and that's an hour or two walking at a slow but steady pace (1.9 mph) that would otherwise be spent sitting on my backside. I'm hoping to work up to actual writing work on it, but suspect that might not work as well, apart from typing in work I've done longhand. This is all new (only on my second week) so we'll see.

What I should really do is start reading on it...that'll keep me on it!

Mar 4, 2017, 1:20pm Top

>76 MrsLee: If you have light problems, I wouldn't try Aloe vera -- you'll be overrun with red spider and mold in no time flat. For the rest, can you rig a spotlight on the plant/s? If so, I'd try something with a nice scent (for example, there are forest-dwelling jasmines in our neck of the woods -- er oops, pun not intended). Lavender might be a lousy idea -- like Aloe vera it needs light, heat and drought.

Mar 4, 2017, 10:12pm Top

>78 hfglen: I'm going to give the aloe and lavender a try because I have a window facing south and it does get sunlight if I leave the curtains open. If it doesn't work, at least the plants were very inexpensive. I may have to go to essential oils although I would rather do it with plants.

It made me happy that my son asked for plants as a housewarming present. This is the boy who never wanted to work in the garden.

Mar 10, 2017, 9:46am Top

In my kitchen the other day, putting dishes away from the dishwasher, I realized how easy it was for me. Which brought me to a realization.

It was last year that I made a resolution to stop groaning with every bending movement due to pain. I felt that at my age I was too young for that. I also changed things around in my kitchen to make the access easier, putting things I use frequently in easy reach, and heavy things where I could get at them without pain.

As I was squatting, reaching to the back of the cupboard and then standing up with very little effort and no groans, I realized how far I have actually come in a year. Feels good!

Mar 10, 2017, 9:58am Top

That is fantastic! Congrats on excellent progress.

Mar 22, 2017, 10:23am Top

155 and change - bah!

I cannot be a grazer. I have to eat like a carnivore. All at once with stretches of not eating in between. I got sloppy and figured I could coast along eating pretty much the same volume, but spread out all day with almost no hungry times. Nope. Can’t do it. There has to be a chance for me to burn fat not just accumulate it. I gained about 4 pounds in 10 days. Not good.

So fine. I can probably eat a few nuts or apricots during the day (my usual grazing fare), but it has to be with a meal, not all alone. And those meals need to be smaller. Last night I wanted to have another chicken drumstick, but since I hadn’t eaten much all day I waited. Sure enough, that full almost stuffed feeling came and I was glad I hadn’t eaten a third one.

It all comes down to being satisfied. Why is putting something in our mouths and chewing so satisfying? Why does it soothe us? Calm us? I need to disengage from some of that. I don’t want to take the pleasure out of eating because I don’t think that’s possible (and dammit why not keep simple pleasures?), but I think I can divorce myself from it being a pacifier of a sort. Not so much a reliever of boredom, although there is that and I think it's easier to subvert, but a way to make myself feel better. I need other ways. Then when I do eat, and eat well and appropriately, I can relish the feeling of repletion and not have any guilt about it. The guilt, if there needs to be any, should go with the eating that doesn’t come from hunger.

Oh and I can’t have food I am weak around in the house. I broke down and bought some salsa and tortilla chips the other day, knowing full well I shouldn’t, but wanted some variety in my snack foods. Bad all around. First, why am I snacking? Second, why am I buying something I know I have a weakness for? OMG so stupid. So I ate way more than I should. Felt crappy for days afterwards and for what? For a few minutes of feeling good eating what I shouldn’t. With horrible repercussions - upset gastric system and more fat on my ass.

Bleah. That was kind of all over the place, but in the end I learned something and that was positive. Gotta take all of that we can.

Mar 22, 2017, 12:21pm Top

Quitting smoking was way easier than quitting eating!

Mar 22, 2017, 1:26pm Top

>83 mamzel: And healthier too!

Doing the former will likely extend your life while the latter will definitely shorten it. ;)

Mar 22, 2017, 10:04pm Top

>82 Bookmarque: You have been through a LOT the last month. Relax, you won't live there. You will move on and get back into the habits which you enjoy doing for the health and joy they bring you. Remember, we are in it for the long haul. :)

I am working on a mindset of doing the healthy things, regardless of how my body responds. Would I love to have the body I had at 17? You bet I would! Would it be the healthy thing for me now at 54? I'm not so sure. I don't think it would be if my mind was constantly berating myself for eating healthy food. So, I'm putting away the guilt, working on thinking about the joy good food and exercise bring me, and letting go of thoughts that tell me I'm not good enough the way I am. So hard to let those go. I look at them, acknowledge the feeling, then let it go as probably not accurate since it is based on feelings and not fact.

I look honestly at my body of today and see that it has toned up in so many ways. I feel stronger, I have less pain when I move at my daily tasks. Life isn't perfect, I'm still working on it, but I'm not going to fret about a week here or there. This is a lifestyle I am developing which I hope will carry me to the end.

Apr 29, 2017, 11:39am Top

Continuing my research on health I find an article by James Hamblin, with the following quote. I like it, for its bookishness. Link to article below the quote.

"I could go on, but suffice to say that evaluating food by its calorie count is like evaluating literature by the number of pages in a book. It’s usually worth knowing whether you’re committing yourself to something like The Stranger or something more like Infinite Jest, but the number alone is a poor measure of what that book will do for your health. A day is not measured in number of pages read, nor a person by the number of books on their shelf."


Then there is this study, which seems to indicate that if we eat the poo of young folks, we will act younger. I'm waiting for more study on this one.


Apr 29, 2017, 10:02pm Top

Fascinating, thanks for sharing.

May 6, 2017, 8:38am Top


So I’ve been on a mostly potato diet for the last two weeks and I’m down 6 pounds. The 140s are on my horizon for the first time in probably 15 years. I can’t remember the last time I weighed less than 150. I did eat a regular dinner on Thursday this week because I was cold. That’s a symptom of this diet - I’m cold a lot of the time and I just got sick of it. But it appears to be working so I’ll get another huge bag of potatoes today and keep it going.

I’m lifting, too, so it’s not muscle loss going on here. Plus my skin is suddenly worse and I think that’s a byproduct of fat burning. The hormones and chemicals in your system become a part of the fat molecule when you store it and so it’s released when you burn it. I’ve noticed it before and it seems to hold and I use that as another measure of real weight loss not just water fluctuation.

It seems that 155 was a new set point. Holding my weight there wasn’t difficult and so I hope that with this recent loss I can create a new set point and have the same success keeping it. I’ve got a lot going on in late May through June and I want to look good doing it, but not worry about what I put in my mouth all the time. Such freedom I haven’t known since I was 25.

Anyway. Just an update on my journey to 145 pounds which was my ostensible goal and it still is, but I may change it if it seems feasible. It all depends on how I feel and how I look when the fat is gone and how difficult it is to get it gone and keep it gone.

May 6, 2017, 3:55pm Top

>88 Bookmarque: Glad you are having some encouragement!

I seem to be stuck at 163, but that's lower than I've been in 20 years, so I'm going to hang out here and not stress about it for awhile. Trying to find my happy place for mind an body. I do hope that when my body realizes that we are not going to stop moving, nor are we going back to processed/sugar/carb heavy foods, that it will give up its fear and shed a few more pounds. :) Right now I feel pretty good. Stronger, more flexible, and one can actually see the difference.

May 8, 2017, 2:19pm Top

Yeah, I'm pretty happy about the progress. They say that the last 10 pounds are the worst and is that ever true.

Finding the happy place is tough, but it seems like you're almost there. A combination of being realistic, but not settling for what's easiest and of course judging by how you feel, too. Congratulations!

May 22, 2017, 2:02pm Top

I'm going to stop tracking my sleep with the fitbit. All it does is discourage me when I do everything I know to get a good night's rest and fail. Until I can find a way to overcome hot flashes and aching or numb joints, what's the point?

May 22, 2017, 5:39pm Top

I very rarely go a whole night and for a while I was upset that I wasn't getting my 8 hours, but it turns out to be very common - http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-16964783

Now, unless I feel bad from not sleeping I don't worry about it. It can be a pain to be awake for hours during the night, but sometimes I'll get up. No screens, but I can sit in the dim light and read or just look out the window. I also keep an iPod with me in bed and often listen to books while I'm waiting to fall back to sleep. Ones I've already heard so I'm not trying to keep up with it and eventually the voice can soothe me back under.

Just some thoughts. I hope you don't get too discouraged.

May 23, 2017, 9:04am Top

>92 Bookmarque: Thanks. I don't think I'm discouraged, but a little disappointed. I really wanted to be able to get more sleep because supposedly that is one thing which helps reset the hormone business.

I rarely lay awake at night, but I have to turn over frequently due to muscle and joint discomfort. I fall back to sleep almost immediately as a rule. My usual alarm wakeup time is 5am, so I have time to get my yoga routine and squats in. Lately, my body has decided that 4am is a good time to have a hot flash and then be uncomfortable enough that there is really no point in trying to get back to sleep, so I toss and turn until I give up at about 4:40 and get up.

The golden milk treatment I was doing isn't going to work in the summer. It is hot, hot, hot, the last thing I want before bed is a hot cup of milk. I don't want to take ibuprofen again, that's what started me on this whole healthy food thing in the first place.

Not sure what I will do, but will keep gently working on it. Stressing out about not sleeping never helps! Wish I were retired, because I think in my head, the alarm going off at 5am messes me up. Just knowing that I have to be on task. On the weekends, I often am up no later than 6:30, but it doesn't bother me because I know I can nap later if I need to. It's this always having to be on task to get things done that bothers me sometimes. Welcome to the world, Lee.

May 24, 2017, 9:48pm Top

There's a natural, medicinal Herb that's legal in California for recreational use... just a suggestion :-)

Honestly I wonder if it would help my anxiety levels! It's been a real rough 6-7 months.

May 25, 2017, 8:22am Top

Is it crack? I'm hoping it's crack.

May 25, 2017, 9:12am Top

>93 MrsLee: Have you ever researched maca? It's supposed to be helpful for some menopause symptoms. I'm not old enough for that yet and have never taken maca so can't comment personally. It might be worth googling though if you don't mind trying herbal remedies.

May 25, 2017, 9:40am Top

>95 MrAndrew: Some of the benefits I read about the "maca" that >96 Narilka: recommended sound better than crack. I'm just saying!

>96 Narilka: I will keep it in mind, but I tend to be highly suspicious of powdered substances that might be put in a capsule and sold for lots of money, but are, to the consumer, unidentifiable. :)

>94 reconditereader: Don't think I haven't considered it. Seriously. Only, I hate the smell. What I'm considering are other ways of using that substance without the smoking thereof. When my housekeeping staff at the hotel used to find it in the rooms, they would soak it in the vodka which was also found in rooms. They would then rub that on their aching joints.

The problem with consumption of said product is, employers can still fire employees if they test positive, and the positive test can be from as much a 30 days in the past. Although legal, there are still many roadblocks. :)

May 25, 2017, 2:06pm Top

One thing that's definitely helped my back pain is sleeping on a Famous Swedish foam mattress. Prior to moving here we had a knock off version of one of these, but this time my hubby bought the real deal. It didn't happen overnight, but eventually I noticed my back wasn't a daily misery anymore. You know how long it takes to notice an absence sometimes, but damn if it isn't true. The only thing that changed was the move and that mattress, so unless Wisconsin water has some kind of miracle agent in it, I can wholly recommend Famous Swedish foam mattress company.

May 28, 2017, 12:08pm Top

I recommend edible things, if I were going to recommend anything...

(It's not crack, sorry :-)

May 28, 2017, 12:18pm Top

MrsLee, I might have mentioned this already, but if you haven't gone through your body care products and gotten rid of anything containing parabens and phthalates, you might want to try it--I was getting those 4 a.m. wake-ups, but as soon as I stopped using lotions with parabens, they stopped. (article here: http://menopausematterstoday.com/what-do-personal-care-products-have-to-do-with-...)

May 28, 2017, 12:36pm Top

>100 Marissa_Doyle: Very interesting. I'll have a rummage through my cabinets today. I actually use very few of those products. Still, there are a few I'm trying to "use up" before I switch to other more natural products. Love my scented lotions! *sigh* I put my citrus/lavender lotion on my hands and inhale deeply right before sleep, which makes me relax, but I wonder...

May 28, 2017, 12:55pm Top

>101 MrsLee: You don't have to give up scented lotions--just read the ingredients carefully. My favorite hand cream is from Crabtree & Evelyn, and their products are paraben-free.

May 28, 2017, 7:51pm Top

I'm happy to say, there was only one lotion (Curel, unscented for extra-dry skin) and one chapstick which I had to throw out. I'm not actually throwing the lotion out, but I won't be buying more. The chapstick I've been going to throw out for some time. So, sadly, this probably isn't my problem, but gladly, I'm already using good stuff! :)

Jun 2, 2017, 9:41am Top

So weird. After about 2 months at one weight, I step on the scales and am 2 pounds lighter for 2 days now. I don't mind.

Getting into vinegar/fermenting mode. Will be starting a batch of cherry vinegar, and a batch of kimchi is ready to be put in jars in the fridge.

I've also been playing with making tepache. Usually made with pineapple skins, I made some with watermelon and anise seeds. It is to die for!

Here's the thing. There is no conclusive evidence that the microbes we eat in these fermented things perform the miracles people say they do, but, they taste fantastic and are a way to get veggies in so I figure they don't do harm, either. I worry about the sugar in the kombucha and tepache though. I treat those like soda pop and only allow myself a small glass of one or the other each day. They are very refreshing though!

Jun 2, 2017, 10:26am Top

>104 MrsLee: I had to look up tepache (*blush*). It sounds like first cousin to the pineapple beer that schoolboys make or used to make illicitly under their beds. Venomous stuff!

Jun 2, 2017, 3:53pm Top

>105 hfglen: No need for blushing, I've been making a version of it for about a year now, but only just found out its proper name. :) Mine isn't that strong, it's supposed to be mild, but I must say that the pineapple batch gave me a slight buzz. The watermelon one not so much.

Jun 4, 2017, 9:06am Top

Mrs. Lee, I use an essential oil blend that has helped with my hot flashes. It's called Clary Calm. I put it on my back in the morning and before I go to bed. I haven't had a hot flash since starting it.

>100 Marissa_Doyle: I didn't know that about parabens! I'll have to look at my lotion when I get home.

Jun 4, 2017, 8:14pm Top

For those of you that follow my thread you may remember I read Wired to Eat. It's a nutrition book that's based on Paleo that incorporates personalized nutrition after you go through a clean eating phase to reset your diet baseline. Well, I'm past a few events that were all about eating so on 6/1 the DH and I started the 30 day reset outlined in the book. Would anyone be interested in hearing how it goes?

Edited: Jun 4, 2017, 8:54pm Top

>108 Narilka: Absolutely!

Jun 4, 2017, 9:07pm Top

That would be great! Post away.

Jun 4, 2017, 9:20pm Top

I'd love to hear how it goes!

Jun 5, 2017, 12:11pm Top

Ok! This will likely be a long post. After this, unless something significant happens, I'll probably post weekly updates. I'll put in section headers so you can skip down to current progress if you'd prefer.

The Plan
There is no one size fits all diet. That's the main premise of Wired to Eat and one I fully agree with. We're all different so it stands to reason that each of us will have different nutritional needs and react to foods differently. The book goes on to talk about other variances to make if you are suffering from certain diseases (type 2 diabetes, autoimmune disorders) but since neither I nor my husband suffer from those, we're doing the basic version of the plan. Paleo has made enough news over the last few years that most of you have probably at least heard of it. A rough form of this is used in the 30 day reset and then afterwards you start testing your reactions to certain foods to see what works for you and what don't. Then you know exactly what foods to avoid going forward. The author goes briefly into the science and cites many studies that help support this theory, which I'm not going to bore you with. So! Phase 1 is the 30 day reset. We started on 6/1 and will go the whole month of June, which makes tracking what day we're on very easy. It's basically a clean eating regimen. Here's the basic idea...

Avoid: Grains (wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, etc), dairy (cheese, yogurt, milk), legumes (beans, peanuts, peas), processed foods and added sugars.

Eat: Meat (beef, fish, poultry, shellfish, etc), fruits, vegetables, healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, etc), nuts, seeds, herbs and spices.

Also allowed are dark chocolate and dry wines :) Though they should be kept to smaller portions. The chocolate is supposed to be 80% dark or more, which is too dark for me. I'm doing I think 70% when I feel the need and it seems to work fine. Caffeine is ok too so you can still have tea and coffee, just don't add sweetener or milk/cream.

It's a bit overwhelming at first so it's great that the book provides some meal plans and strategies on how to tackle social situations, dining out, etc. It definitely takes some planning! And, unless you're going to use a meal delivery service, then you need to not be afraid of the kitchen.

About Me
I'm in my late 30s and by-the-numbers healthy. By that I mean all my blood work is in normal, healthy ranges and my BMI is considered "good". We have been bad about staying active lately due to DH throwing his back out in March. As his back returns to normal we are starting up our regular walks and hikes at local parks again, shorter at first until he can handle full distance again. I work a stressful job as an IT Project Manager, so my work hours are all over the place, my sleep schedule gets frequently interrupted and I sit at a computer all day. I have a Fitbit Charge 2 that I love and I have programmed to remind me to get up and walk throughout the day. Over the last several months I've been feeling more worn down, nothing specific just general blahs, having brain fog and difficulty concentrating. It's more than just a need for vacation as I took several days off over the holiday and, other than catching up on sleep, didn't really feel that much better. I've also been eating poorly lately and put on a couple pounds that I'd like to lose so my clothes fit better again. My goals from this is to get my eating back on track to see if it is what is causing the issues I've been feeling lately as well as lose those few pounds I had put on.

About Him
He's in his mid 50s, needs to lose a good 50 lbs and has a couple health issues he's trying to address through this experiment, mostly related to improving energy levels and lessening migraine frequency. He has a history of poor eating, had a daily Starbucks frappe habit and an addiction to sodas. He drove me nuts the two weeks leading up to the reset by NOT READING the book and then proceeded to obsessively and loudly worry that he wouldn't have any food to eat during the reset. Yeah. He's reading the book now :)

Current Progress
It's day 5.

The first 24 hours were hell. I was hit with the worst candy cravings I've had in a long time, which was weird because I really don't eat candy. I think it was my body's way of objecting to missing out on sugar/carbs. I kept myself as busy as possible in an attempt to distract my mind from it. I powered through and they were gone the next day. Day 2 was the start of my detox reactions. My chin broke out like I was 15 again, so not fair, and my skin became very itchy. By today all the acne is gone. My skin itching has reduced though still here slightly and I have one spot on my arm that is peeling. On the bright side, I've had some unexpected benefits too. I have lost 4 lbs! Eating a protein heavy breakfast means I don't get hungry again until almost 1pm on most days. My vision has cleared up!!! I had noticed that some of my distance vision was looking fuzzy and thought I just had eye strain. Guess not. I worked most of this weekend and my vision is no longer fuzzy. The brain fog is going away and I'm starting to feel more alert. The KP I've had on the back of my arms for my whole life, was told it's genetic and I was stuck with it, are going away. I had no idea that was even possible.

He was sad he had to give up his daily Starbucks habit and sodas. Which also means by the end of the first day he went into caffeine and sugar withdrawal big time in the form of bad headaches. Through some trial and error we found some teas he likes unsweetened and started having him eat more fruit to make up for the lack of sugar. It's working. Today he is headache free. On day 3 he told me he doesn't feel like he's on a diet at all because we're still eating real foods and can still go to restaurants :) He's also lost 6.5 lbs so far.

I am highly encouraged in our 5 days so far. It's giving me the boost I needed to stay resolved to finish all 30 days.

Jun 5, 2017, 1:18pm Top

Yay! It's so nice to feel better, isn't it? My hubby and I basically eat like you are now (with dairy though because we're both ok with it) and have for 4 years. We just don't eat what we don't want to eat and we don't apologize for it. We leave lots of bread and beans in our wake, but since we feel so good and weigh so little, we don't care!

Once you get through the carb/sugar withdrawal it gets easier. It's literally an addiction/physical dependency so it's a bit rough sometimes. I had to kick caffeine all at once when I was about 18 so I totally get the headache thing. But be careful about trying to replace the sugar (fruit) - the withdrawal will only last longer that way.

Jun 6, 2017, 9:12am Top

It is nice to feel better. I could see turning this into a lifestyle choice just for that reason.

Jun 9, 2017, 9:51am Top

I go out to eat very rarely now. Last night we took the in-laws out for Chinese food. It was delicious, I ate small portions of mostly meat and veg, no more than 1/4 c. rice, and about 1/4 c. noodles. I didn't feel stuffed at all when we were finished, only satisfied.

My guess was that I would be 3 lb. heavier in the morning due mostly to salt intake. I was only 2 lb. heavier. It is so depressing though, because the weight I was at was one I have been battling to attain and only touching at occasionally. Now it will probably take my body several days to get back there because it does love to hang on to those pounds. That's why I don't like to go out to eat anymore, the battle isn't worth it most of the time. This time it was though, so I will suck it up.

Went to a chiropractor yesterday for the first time to see if she could help me with some of the pain issues I've been having at night. Never been to one before and have been skeptical all my life, but hey, it's worth a try. It sure did feel good when she was finished! Jury is out on whether the relief is long lasting or not. I've decided to give it 3 months before I decide one way or the other.

Jun 9, 2017, 11:07am Top

>115 MrsLee: it isn't fair how little effort is needed to regain that which took a lot of hard work to lose.

Jun 13, 2017, 9:42am Top

>115 MrsLee: & >116 Darth-Heather: No kidding. Had that experience myself over the weekend. It almost makes me want to stop eating out.

>115 MrsLee: I hope the chiro works out for you.

Jun 13, 2017, 9:59am Top

Progress Report
Day 13

Our weight loss has ground to a halt. We decided to have Mexican this weekend and apparently that was a bad idea even though we just had the fajitas without any side items. They must have been loaded with so much sodium both our bodies are rebelling and we both put on a pound. The hubby is very upset by this and the fact that even two days later it isn't coming off yet. On the bright side, I am feeling loads better! My brain fog is completely gone, I'm able to concentrate better again and my energy levels are returning. I'm even finding myself ready to get up when the alarm goes off so I think I'm starting to sleep better. Too bad my work scheduled doesn't allow for consistency just yet. I've noticed that I no longer have the 2pm energy slump that I used to get and can keep going through a regular workday without feeling like I need extra caffeine.

Jun 19, 2017, 11:14am Top

Progress Report
Day 19

Weight loss has resumed! I'm down an extra pound and he's down 4 more. I continue to feel better. I love being able to concentrate and focus again. My energy levels are hit or miss and seem to be tied to my sleep schedule. When I get proper sleep, I have energy that lasts the whole day. Unfortunately my sleep schedule is going to be all over the place until I get a job that doesn't include evening work. I've noticed that my natural portion control has reset, I feel fuller faster, and don't feel deprived at all. Also my taste buds are resetting. The taste bud thing is weird. I notice I taste salt easier. Since we're avoiding sugar I can only imagine how overly sweet certain foods will taste when trying them again after this.

Jun 19, 2017, 8:52pm Top

>119 Narilka: Glad it is working so well! After 2 months of no weight loss, it has slowly started up again. I notice that my average for the week is going down, even if the day to day is frustrating.

A good night's rest continues to be my big bugaboo. I keep working at it with this and that, but most of all, I try to relax and not worry about it, otherwise it's worse. :)

Jun 27, 2017, 2:55pm Top

Progress Report
Day 27

We're hanging in there. I'm down another pound and hubby is down 2. He's noticing improvements with concentration and focus as well. His migraine incidents have gone down too. I had a cold or something over the weekend but feel much better 3 days later. We are both starting to miss other foods. He keeps wanting ice cream. For me it's been chocolate chip cookies. I found some paleo-style baked goods recipes to try after we pass our 30 days. We're going to hold steady until then. We're both thinking to keep going with this general eating style though less strict over the next couple months and see what happens.

Jun 27, 2017, 3:38pm Top

>121 Narilka: You are doing great!

I notice that since I've been doing all the stuff I've mentioned in this thread, I miss out on a lot of the office bugs. When I do get one, it seems to be milder and run a shorter course. I don't really know which of the things I'm doing have made the difference, or if it is a combination of all.

I've lost a few more pounds. I'm three away from my goal weight. After that I plan to continue with my lifestyle and see where the scales fall. So long as they don't go up, I will be happy. Saying that though, makes me do a check on my attitude and remind myself that even if I never lose those 3 pounds, I will still be happy. I feel great, look better and love the food I'm eating, so why would I want to base my happiness on 3 pounds? :)

Jun 28, 2017, 1:11pm Top

>121 Narilka: nice job! The one thing The Husband and I noticed in our get healthy journey was the energy we now have. Eating decent food really makes a difference!

With summer here, I'm more active, but I tend to snack a lot so I need to watch my snacking.

Jul 4, 2017, 7:51pm Top

Thank you both for the encouragement :) It definitely helped those last couple days.

Final Progress
We're past our initial 30 day trail. I'm down a total of 6.5 lbs and he's hovering at 12 lbs lost. We both feel loads better than when we started. It's taken some discussion and we've decided to keep on it, though slightly less strict. He still wants to lose another 20+ lbs and this is working so on we go. For me I'm happy where I'm at weight wise, my clothes all fit again and super happy to be feeling better in over all general health. My energy levels still fluctuate and I can 100% tie it to how much sleep I've gotten with my work schedule. If I work at night and don't sleep, my energy dips. A full nights sleep and my energy is normal. I also discovered that I have stress cravings. When work is extra stressful I crave bad food. So now I make sure on those days I de-stress as much as possible immediately after work, with a walk, a workout, extra play time with the pets, etc. Hubby retried soda this weekend, which he said he missed, and discovered it's not all that special! This is huge progress!!

Jul 4, 2017, 11:44pm Top

>124 Narilka: Glad you hubby can taste real food now and the fake food isn't as attractive.

I had planned to indulge last Halloween and eat a handful of candy, but it just didn't taste good. So now my indulgences are dark chocolate or homemade (on the stovetop) popcorn. Oh, and a glass of wine, or a cocktail on the weekends. I find that if I drink more than 2 oz. of gin in an evening I get a bad headache in the middle of the night, so even that indulgence may go by the wayside.

Jul 5, 2017, 9:44am Top

>124 Narilka: I gave up soda years ago and haven't missed it. I took a drink of one quite a few months ago and it was awful! I'd gladly drink an iced tea instead. It's amazing how much sleep affects us! I have to get at least eight hours or I'm worthless. And after eating only dark chocolate the last year, milk chocolate just doesn't taste good anymore. Good job!

Jul 5, 2017, 12:54pm Top

Oh my yes, we both love dark chocolate. Milk just doesn't do it any more. On that note, I made a grain free, dairy free treat for the holiday yesterday: http://www.paleorunningmomma.com/paleo-sweet-potato-brownies/

It was quite a success. These are super rich and ultra dark chocolatey! They definitely satisfied my craving for baked goods while still staying true(ish) to the diet :) Since they're so rich a small portion is satisfying so it isn't a calorie overload.

Jul 26, 2017, 9:24am Top

I spent a couple of weeks in NH taking care of my mom after surgery and I knew I’d probably put on a few pounds while there. I did. When I came back and weighed myself on July 20 I was 158 and change. Six days later I’m down 5 pounds. It’s not the lovely 150 of a few months ago, but it was effortless. No exercise. No starving. Just back to my routine. I didn’t even give up drinking wine with dinner. I haven’t lifted weights in weeks and my longest hike in weeks came on Sunday. Very interesting. For the first time since I turned 30 do I feel in control of things. I also feel relaxed and not stressed about my weight. Oh sure, losing another 10 pounds would be great, but I said I could be at least content with this weight and I am. That nagging, humiliating ‘fat girl’ image is gone.

So will I take up exercise again? Yup. I really felt it after my hike on Sunday. It was only a couple of hours over slightly hilly terrain, but my legs felt it and so did my feet. Feet need conditioning in order to stay tough and resilient. Legs, too. Now I’m back on home turf, that will be easy to remedy. Ditto for the lifting and I have even more reason to do it.

My parents.

They are in their 70s and have some issues. The one that concerns me most is my mom’s skeletal problems. She has some minor arthritis which she takes turmeric for and it helps her a great deal. The bigger issue is osteoporosis and spinal disc degeneration; both of which have needed major medical procedures to combat. After doing a bunch of reading I think that keeping up with weight lifting will prevent a lot of the problems my mom has. So back in the saddle I go today. No excuse since the gym is right downstairs!

My dad provided a good lesson as well. Lately he’s had a multitude of health problems that required long hospital stays and multiple surgeries. He’s doing very well, especially for a man of 74. In one of our recent conversations he chalks it up to the fact that he was very strong, robust and active right up to the point where his illnesses caught up with him. I agree. If he was sedentary and weak, he’d probably be dead or severely debilitated. Sure, he has some muscle loss and he’s very easily tired right now (2 major abdominal surgeries within a couple of weeks will do that to a person no matter how old), but he’s come through with humor and cognition intact. Some rehab to build back muscle and stamina will be in order, but that will come. And he will do great with it. He can’t wait to come home and start getting well.

So that’s my life affirmation. Being active and doing strenuous activity well into your golden years will make those years more golden. Not just bearable, but enjoyable and if the universe throws health horrors at you, you will be more able to survive them and even thrive after them.

Jul 26, 2017, 10:52am Top

>128 Bookmarque: Preach it, sister. :) I agree. Looking at my brother and mother has been a big inspiration to me. I see the difference in outlook and mobility of people who are active and eating healthy vs. people who are not. I also feel the difference in my own body and mind.

I have met my weight goal this week. Now, I wouldn't mind losing more weight, but I know this is a healthy weight for me to be at, so my effort now will be to not lose ground in my muscles. Also, I'm still working hard to be aware of hunger vs. appetite or boredom or stress.

Like you, I have found that several days of not pushing and working hard do not throw the whole program off, they only create a pause and when I get back into my good routine, the weight behaves.

My life is in temporary stress mode, because we are in the process of assimilating a whole other household into ours. My son has moved back in temporarily. Trying to fit in all the food/products that don't go into storage is hard. He has given me permission to donate all the canned/processed food that I don't want in my house. I'm pretty proud of him that he didn't have all that much, but it has put the pressure on my space to store all the healthy stuff! My kitchen counter (of which I have very little) is full of half empty bottles of various coconut and other seed oils, vinegars and hot sauces.

My cooking will reflect my efforts to knock this down, using things up if possible. However, I don't want to get out of my good eating habits. I have to watch that mental process, remembering that it does no good to use something up if it makes you unhealthy in the process.

Jul 27, 2017, 8:15am Top

Congrats on the weight goal!! It’s funny how things can just happen when we’re not paying close attention. I’m glad you feel good and know it’s the changes you’ve made that allow you that.

Oh you are a wonderful mom to bring him back under your roof, but yeah, it’s stressful. Just two weeks at my own mom’s and I was ready to gag her sometimes. We get along fine, but close proximity can make anyone mental. Despite what she says, I'm sure she wanted to gag me too sometimes.

The using up/throwing away dilemma is one I remember from when we ditched processed food. We felt bad about throwing it out as it seemed wasteful, but also felt bad about giving it to people when we knew it was bad for them. Mostly we tossed stuff and never looked back. That was in 2012. Maybe if something is flat out bad - has lots of sugar, industrial oils or chemicals toss it. If it’s mostly ok use it up. Also toss if you just plain don’t like it. No need giving up your precious counter space for that!

Oh and I’m down another pound. Fasted until about 11 when I had a leftover baked potato followed by some cherries then mopped the floors and had a shake, some nuts and a little later some cheese. Then wine before and with dinner which was a t-bone pork chop, fresh green and yellow beans and potatoes. Odd. I’m not actively trying to take off the weight, my bod just seems to want to go back to normal which seems to be 150. We’ll see what tomorrow brings!

Jul 27, 2017, 9:32am Top

>130 Bookmarque: Hurray for the normal! Your day of food sounds delish. That's what I love about clean eating, so much amazing food, in reasonable portions, it's like there isn't much willpower involved.

Yesterday I was reading up on spices, trying to simplify my cupboard. That may be a pipe dream, because I love my spices, and they are good for me, with few or no calories! Clearing out spices is rather like trying to clear out books. They are my friends, memories and comfort. Anyway, I will go through my cupboard looking at the ones I haven't used in a long time and tasting. It's possible some of them will go.

Also was thinking about my green drink. I don't want it more than 3 times a week, but I'm going to try to alternate it with a fruit smoothie during the week. Smoothies make a perfect breakfast for me on my break at work at 10am. I made a fruit one today and this is what I put in it. This serves a large drink for my husband and myself, and a smaller one for my mom.

2 bananas
1 orange (used peel except for top and bottom)
1 c. blueberries (I plan to alternate this portion with a variety of fruits, specifically those in my freezer first such as figs, persimmon and pumpkin)
1/2 c. plain whole fat yogurt
1/2 c. almonds (whole unroasted, but I may use other nuts too)
2 T. flax seed (or chia or hemp)
1 t. fresh ginger
1/2 c. fruit vinegar (I make this)
4 allspice berries
2 cardamom pods
water to make volume I need

So, this was a little thicker than I want, I will try it with one banana tomorrow. It was also lacking in pizazz. I may try adding 1/4 t. sea salt and a lemon next time. I wonder if I should put some of my homemade sriracha in it? I'll let you all know when I get it right.

Jul 27, 2017, 10:06am Top

Wow! You are so much more of a cook than I am. My husband does all the cooking basically. I just help and lend my incompetence sparingly. lol I can make a mean risotto though!

Here's my shake/smoothie. I make them in a single serving little blender from Hamilton Beach, so it's just for me. No exact measurements here, just going by sight.

frozen berries - usually strawberries and blueberries, but sometimes a mix
1/4 c heavy cream or sometimes half and half
1-2 tbsp full fat plain yogurt
1/3-1/2 green banana
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
water to consistency

Every now and then I'll put a few pecans in it, but not often. I used to add some light olive oil to this for fat, but these days I leave it off and save the fat for lovely butter or sour cream, etc. Plus the dairy has a good amount of fat in it, so it's fine.

Jul 28, 2017, 11:32am Top

I'm sort of back on the healthy eating bus. I've lost a couple of pounds this week, which is encouraging. I ate loads of salt yesterday, so today is all about the hydration.

Has anyone read any good books about diet/healthy eating/munchables in general? I'm reading First Bite: How We Learn to Eat at the moment, and really enjoying it.

Jul 28, 2017, 3:22pm Top

Yes. I read Wired to Eat earlier this year which inspired the hubby and I to eat healthy. We're still going strong. Even no longer being on the "strict" portion, we're keeping to it. It feels completely natural now too! The weight keeps coming off too, slowly, without doing anything else. We aren't exercising as it's just been too hot to go outside.

Jul 28, 2017, 3:49pm Top

>133 pokarekareana: I may have mentioned earlier in this thread about a lady named Darya Rose. She has a blog called The Summer Tomato. She also wrote Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting. I haven't read it yet, but it is on my wishlist because of the things I've read by her on her blog. Very common-sensicle.

The title of that book you are reading made me think of a baby book for vampires. :D

Jul 28, 2017, 4:05pm Top

Just been reading Exploring the World of the Celts, a beautiful and interesting tome. There's a half a paragraph in the spread on the Celtiberians that bears repeating in this thread, stomach-turning though we may find it somewhat over 2000 years later. We are told that Diodorus Siculus (writing in the last century BC) found these people careful and cleanly except for one thing. They were in the habit of cleaning their teeth with urine. The author of the book mildly notes that the active ingredient in some 20th-century dental health chewing gum is urea, same as these pre-literate people used. Urk.

Jul 28, 2017, 4:22pm Top

The ancients also used it to clean their clothes. Often roman laundresses would collect chamber pots from nearby apartment blocks and also welcome anyone in the neighborhood to donate to her supply. Effective, but omg the smell!

Aug 7, 2017, 1:30pm Top

Well, I knew from the tightness of my pants that I had put on some of the weight I lost a few years ago going to Weight Watchers. I got on the scales today and it was much worse than I thought. I just sorta crept back up. So I signed up for MyFitnessPal, which is free (WW works but it's expensive, and since we moved the nearest WW store is an hour away). The extra weight is not only uncomfortable in the clothing, but is wreaking havoc with my bad knee and hip replacement. So I'm tracking the calories and making better decisions. Right now I am eating a spinach salad and leftover linguini with red clam sauce. Fortunately I prefer red sauce to the white, which I THINK is a better choice, and I actually enjoy a good salad. Goodbye Dairy Queen and chocolate chip cookies!

Aug 7, 2017, 1:58pm Top

I use Myfitnesspal. It's a good app for tracking everything. I have synced it with Strava and my iPhone so it tracks my exercise a bit easier.

Aug 7, 2017, 3:45pm Top

I've found MyFitnessPal helpful too.

Sep 4, 2017, 11:05am Top

I am thrilled this morning, as the scale tells me that I now weigh the same as I did before I became pregnant with my first child. This is huge for me. I feel healthy and love what and how I'm eating and living.

I'm sharing this link below for any of you moms out there who still have what is called Diastasis Recti, or mommy belly. It is a 10 minute breathing and belly tension exercise. The article says how it helped women even one year after giving birth. Well, on a whim, I tried it for a month, and I lost 3" measuring around my belly button area, an inch and a half around my waist. I did mine lying in bed at night before falling asleep. I found that if I counted my breaths, 200 was the equivalent of 10 minutes. Mostly, I was able to stay awake the whole time. :D


By the way, it's been 24 years since I last gave birth.

Sep 9, 2017, 8:11pm Top

OMG that is so great!! Congratulations. Seriously. It's an accomplishment to be proud of.

Sep 10, 2017, 11:49am Top

>142 Bookmarque: Thank you. :)

Oct 1, 2017, 10:50am Top

Another month, so I took some measurements. I lost 1/2" on the waist, 1/2" on the hips, and 2 1/2" on the belly. this is happy-making. Weight is stable, but in a good place. Everything I'm doing is sustainable, although, I have not had any huge storms to my life lately, so I wonder how I will do weathering them when they come. Because of course they will come.

My boss is going to pay for a gym membership for me, so now I have to figure out if that will be of help. It will be nice to go somewhere with no mad dogs, traffic or suspicious people to watch out for, but is it the same for the body to work on a machine rather than walking naturally? I don't know. There is a Tai Chi class available which I will probably do a couple of times a week, although I wouldn't be able to stay for the whole class. I guess one of the things I need to figure out is how long it takes to get from the gym to work.

Now I'm wondering about my hearing. Trying to screw myself up to go see an audiologist, but I'm not sure I'm ready to accept a hearing device. Oh pride, thou layest me low.

Oct 1, 2017, 12:00pm Top

Congrats on the diminishing you! I'm stable as well, but still need to find the motivation to go for another 10 pound loss. Funny how when you arrive at a contented place. At least a place that doesn't make you miserable, motivation goes out the window.

Gyms are great, but you have to make them work for you sometimes. If you can't get outside to walk, a treadmill is a decent alternative, but I wouldn't make that your primary activity. In the past I used gyms to access equipment I couldn't otherwise - for me it was heavy things. Now I have heavy things in my basement I don't have much need for a gym, although I do miss pushing the sled. No way to do that here. Mostly you have to make it a place that's fun; that you want to go to. If it isn't or it's too inconvenient well, you should have asked for the money instead of the membership.

And why are you worried about your hearing?

Oct 1, 2017, 12:24pm Top

>145 Bookmarque: I can't use a treadmill, get horribly dizzy on them. I plan to use an elliptical thingy. I may do some weights. My body isn't responding well to them at home, so I've kind of quit. I would like to have someone guide me a little with them.

As for the hearing, I have a tough time on the phone hearing people clearly, also my husband, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. No one can hear my husband, and half the time people on the phone are on their speaker phones or cells in vehicles when they call our dealership. I have read that some hearing loss is hereditary, and it is certainly present in my family. Also that it can cause depression and possibly dementia. I think it would be a good thing to have a checkup.

I do get buildups of earwax which can plug my ears, so perhaps that is going on, not sure. My husband and a friend were listening to a song which apparently had an underlying tune/melody/notes (not up on musical terms), but I couldn't hear it. Both of them could. I thought he was having me on until my friend said she could also hear it. That's what really scared me.

Oct 1, 2017, 12:39pm Top

That does sound a bit worrying. Good idea to get someone to look.

If you'd like a good starting place for weights without the male drama/bs, check out www.girlsgonestrong.com

Yeah, it should be women, but girls it is. I've been a weightlifter for more than 1/2 my life and have found it a good resource and most importantly, one that knows and coaches proper technique.

And speaking of strong women, I gotta go swing a bell!

Oct 1, 2017, 12:40pm Top

>147 Bookmarque: :D Thanks for the link!

Oct 1, 2017, 10:18pm Top

Mrs. Lee, just an FYI, my sister just got a hearing (or is it 'an' hearing) aide. She can answer her phone with it! Not sure how, my mom told me this information as I don't actually communicate with my sister.

I've gained a wee bit of weight over the last month. With all the smoke and school starting, I think I've been stress eating.

I did manage a six mile run today. I need to get back out there as I have a half marathon in a month.

>147 Bookmarque: I am so checking out that site! I really need to improve my weightlifting. I don't enjoy it because I feel like I'm so weak that people are laughing at me. Throwback from being teased in high school I suppose.

Oct 2, 2017, 7:49am Top

Must get back to weights--a few days a week made a huge difference for me.
Followed regimen in Strong Women Stay Young (2005).

Oct 2, 2017, 9:26am Top

yay! Ladies lifting. I had this whole idea for a big getting started post, but I'll refrain. If I can be of help, hit me up. While I'm a strength lifter (power lifter), I'm in conditioning mode and in the past I did decades of body building/hypertrophy lifting so I know the difference and why one v. the other. I can wax on like a mental patient because I like to do it and love to see strong, capable, confident women in the gym. You go girls!

Oct 3, 2017, 1:57pm Top

Congrats MrsLee!

Thanks for the link Bookmarque. I want to work some light strength training back into my routine so this is a very well timed post :)

Edited: Oct 23, 2017, 12:31pm Top

156 and change

After months of not enough motivation to try to lose more weight, I think I’ve found enough to try. Even if it’s 5 pounds, I want to lower my set point again. I’ve had success keeping off the weight I lost this time last year and so want to go for it.

One thing that motivates me, other than knowing 145 pounds will look better on me than 155, is the advanced edema I have in my left leg. Due to a number of severe sprains, I’ve broken the little valves in the veins in the ankle that keep fluid from collecting in tissue. They cannot be repaired (at least that was the answer the doc gave me last year) and now as a result, my whole leg is swamped and there is about an inch difference in circumference all down the leg. No one would notice unless they’re really studying me or I pointed it out, but I know it’s there and I hate it. So I figure if I can shrink my entire leg it can better fit inside my pants and be less noticeable. Plus my thighs jiggle too much. In my early 30s I was in the 140s and so I know how it looks on me. It looks good and so I’m going to try.

This means no booze and potatoes during the day for all my meals and I’m going to eat mostly potatoes for dinner although I will have small portions of whatever else my husband makes.

So here we go. I’m not sure if I’ll have success, but I figure if I don’t really try I’ll always wonder and it will nag at me.

Other than that, health is decent. Upped my weights recently to 115 lb squats, 105 bench press and 185 deadlift for sets of 3, 5 reps each. A good start at getting my strength back to where it was and improving. You gotta lift heavy to be strong and I have no excuse since my gym is in my basement. Twice a week should do it and when things move up in weight I’ll do a push/pull split which works really well.

Enough for now. That’s my update. How are you peeps doing with your goals?

Oct 23, 2017, 3:57pm Top

>153 Bookmarque: You can do it!!!!

Doing well on my side. Our household has maintained our "diet" long enough that it's a lifestyle change and one we plan to keep permanently. I'm happy where my weight ended up and I have to say I appreciate feeling better :) No more aching joints or digestion problems. We both mix the odd treat in here and there, like I'll put cheese on things or he'll splurge on a hot dog. We don't let it derail us though and simply go back to normal immediately afterwards. I don't miss bread and pasta at all. As a bonus there are so many recipe blogs out there that I can find alternatives for almost anything. And I enjoy cooking so it's been pretty great.

Oct 23, 2017, 4:07pm Top

Thanks Narilka, I have been fasting all day and may just cruise until dinner. Since I'm solo tonight that means I can make it whenever I want. Might be earlier rather than later.

So happy that you & you're man are doing well without the grains and sugars and other stuff they call food. Amazing how feeling good makes you not miss eating the stuff that makes you feel bad.

I just came from a dental cleaning and the hygienist is amazed that I have so little plaque or other problems like decay. I'm not a crazy brusher or flosser and so can only attribute it to my diet. No soda, no candy, no cookies etc. Healthy teeth and gums. That's a fair trade.

Oct 24, 2017, 9:08am Top

>153 Bookmarque: Sounds like a plan! My son is impressed with your bench press weight, I'm impressed with all of it!

>154 Narilka: Glad to hear about your success!

I had a bit of a setback yesterday. After a weekend of good exercise and clean eating, I came home to pizza. Pizza is my kryptonite. Then yesterday I had the Monday to end all Mondays at work. Caught in the middle of a family feud at work. I knew it was coming, but it wasn't any better for that. My boss has several sisters, they are forceful women. His wife is also very much in control of everything. I will never get caught in the middle of that again, and if any of them try it, I will walk out of the room, I don't care who they are.

Anyway, came home last night after having a cry to eat two pieces of pizza, a bowl of fried rice which I made for dinner, and a large gin and tonic. Up a pound today, but I'm heading to the gym and all will be better by the end of the week.

Oct 24, 2017, 9:53am Top

Poor you. That sucks. That kind of environment/situation so stressful that I don't blame you one bit for indulging in pizza and gin. I miss it a little myself. But with your healthy routine, your body will shrug off eating like that once in a while. After all, when we were evolving as humans it was feast or famine a lot of the time. As long as it's not all one or the other all the time, you'll be fine. I just hope you can keep out of the fray.

Weights are fun and I enjoy lifting heavy so I do it. I'd like to get back to my highest bench press - 135 for sets of two reps. Maybe be able to do five. All in good time.

Oct 24, 2017, 11:17am Top

>156 MrsLee: What Bookmarque said. One bad night of eating won't derail your goals as long as you go back to healthy habits immediately. I don't doubt you'll do just fine as long as your work environment stays sane :)

Oct 24, 2017, 3:38pm Top

I've never thought of myself as an emotional eater before. That was interesting to learn. I think it was a combination of being worn out with the stresses of travel and a very active weekend, then to get hit with a Sh*tstorm at work on Monday.

Anyway, back to the routine now. Went to the gym this morning, eating healthy now. My boss that vented on me yesterday isn't at work today. We are taking my son and his wife to dinner tonight for their anniversary, but the place we are going has delicious and healthy options, so it will be fine.

Oct 24, 2017, 4:01pm Top

Oh good. I hope you can find a way to tell your boss you don't appreciate the venting. Enjoy dinner!

Nov 25, 2017, 4:40pm Top

I made it through Thanksgiving and actually went down in weight. Probably not a lasting number though. More to do with not building muscle, nor drinking enough water and such, but it was still fun to get on the scale this morning.

I have been hovering at slightly higher than I was for awhile, but doing all the good things. Strength training twice a week, getting lots of steps, eating right which means higher protein meals. The new pants I bought last month are starting to look baggy on me. Doctor says don't pay attention to the scale, pay attention to the pant size and how strong I feel. On that measurement, I'm doing great!

I'm trying to come up with my goals for next year. I think they will be maintaining what I've achieved, with adding one more day of strength training to my week.

Nov 25, 2017, 5:14pm Top


Nov 25, 2017, 8:30pm Top

I ran a half marathon on the 4th. Unfortunately, I fell and injured myself. Running and weights were out of the question. Then I had a gum graft. There’s another week of not exercising. :( now, my shoulder is feeling well enough that I can run, but I still can not do a weight regimen. I’m debating on when to go back to the doc for it. Maybe another week.

Nov 26, 2017, 11:49am Top

My weight hasn't budged, but it's a bad time of year to try to stick to a restrictive diet. I'm just coasting and trying to maintain a small eating window and keeping grazing to a minimum.

Yesterday I upped my lifts a bit and will work that into my new normal.

Dead lift - 195 - not really a struggle so getting to over 200 won't be hard, but I have to watch my neck/head position and keep it loose and natural
Bench press - 115 - only for 4 reps, but it's a start
Squat - 125 - damn my squat is weak, but I'm careful about form and not raising my back before my hips or letting my knees collapse so I should progress
Pullups - nearly at dead hang so yay for me

Nov 30, 2017, 7:19am Top

>153 Bookmarque: Sometimes vitamin B6 helps with mild fluid retention--may or may not help with your condition? I believe it facilitates the production of the protein albumin, which transports water to kidneys. I remember a secretary who, feeling puffy, tried it and came to work the following day noticeably slimmer, but complaining of having spent most of the night on the potty! :-)

(Some people report more vivid dreams if they take B6 before bed--again because of protein production? I think it also helps with that stress-related, burning sensation between shoulder blades?)

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