Although my husband is working and so are the garbage guys (Hurray for them being there!), most people who live around here must have a holiday. I went for my morning bike ride and saw about fifteen people, which is a bit up from normal. But this afternoon I was getting tired, so I went for another bike ride and I saw six or seven whole families, at least, twenty gray haired folks, a bunch of men about my age, and about fifteen teens out. It was amazing how many people were passing me or I was passing. Coming home I saw another dad getting ready to teach his little ones how to ride their bikes.

Have fun tonight and be safe.

Getting in shape. Motivating stories.

You read other people's stories and you are supposed to get excited. Sometimes I do.

This lady, Nicole Weeks, lost 16 pounds of fat and gained 11 pounds of muscle in her first 12 week challenge with Body-for-Life. In two challenges she went from a size 14 to a size 4. WOWWEE. I am so thrilled for her. She looks good! Go check out her site. You'll see what I mean.

Sometimes when I hear/read success stories like this, it's a downer. I'm on my fourth challenge. How come I am not in a size 4? (What's a size 4 look like? That's amazing. Well, I've seen 0s on my sister-in-law, but I thought they just jumped from 0 to 8 or something.)

I should not be depressed. I look so much better than I did in the first place. I've gone from a size 18 to a size 9. That's freaking wonderful.

Plus, I started at a lot worse place, physically, than she did. (If you read her essays, you find out she started the challenge right after walking out of a physically abusive relationship. I was in a lot better place than that psychologically when I started.)

I've looked at her stuff and, according to her statistics, she started out weighing 144. I weighed 50 pounds more than that. I'm getting closer to where she started!

I think what is really frustrating to me is that she gained so much muscle. Several trainers have told me that my body will go to muscle a lot better than most people's. But I'm sitting here, 40 weeks into this, with maybe a gain of 4 pounds of muscle. The most my scale ever said was 8. Now it's showing a 3 pound gain, over the whole 40 weeks. I am so frustrated.

I looked at the weights I've been lifting. My lower body exercise weights have increased dramatically since I started. (Well, actually, they've gone from 5 pounds at the heaviest to 70 at the heaviest.) My lower body exercise weights are up, too, from 10 to 40. What's wrong with that? Why am I not gaining?

I don't have muscle you can see like that. And I haven't gained muscle like she did. I would love to. She looks good. She's right, skinny ought to be out compared to having muscles you can see.

Pluses and minuses: blog-city

A plus for the list of newly updated blogs. I like that.

A plus for the list and description of folks blogs. It isn't always as useful as I'd like, but that's because folks don't say what they're doing. They kind of use it as another blog entry.

A plus for the price.

A plus for being able to just write what I want to say.

A plus for different “themes” even though my webbrowser turns some of them into big black spaces, with no text.

A plus for the rapid response from customer service, although it isn't always helpful.

A minus for the dates disappearing/changing for no known reason.

A minus for no pinging

A minus for no way to organize my blog entries, besides by date. I'd like to be able to put categories in the gutter, so you could just see what I have to say about sex or TV or women's clothing.


Okay, I took off the date rant. Now I am going to have to put up another one.

No, I am not talking about going out with your “sweet patootie” as I read in a men's health book today. I am talking about the day that your blog entries show up.

I wrote the MacWorld one about five minutes ago. I published it. But it wasn't at the top of my pub blogs list. So I went to my site. And poof! It's on as written Sunday. (It is Monday night here in the heartland of the USA.)

I don't know why blog-city decides to randomly change dates. I've asked. They said my time zone must be messed up. It isn't. I hate to say this, because I am already coming to really enjoy this blogging community, but, if the act doesn't improve significantly, instead of upgrading in January, I will be jumping ship.


For non-Macfanatics, MacWorld is a twice a year event, January and summer, held normally in San Francisco and New York or Boston.

Next week is the CA event.

Wired is carrying news that Apple may pull out of MacWorld NY this summer, something they had already talked about when it was supposed to be moving back to Boston. They are also saying they may pull out of MacWorld San Francisco. Obviously not this time, but soon.

Their plan is to have more regional shows. Ask me, I think it sucks. You have folks from all over the US with their products at these things and you can show your stuff off to everyone at the same time. It IS expensive and the work is heavy for a week. But it seems to me to be much more efficient that going to six shows all over the place.

Wired hinted that Apple just can't come up with new products twice a year. Well, then they could make announcements at one instead. I'm not opposed to having a regular speaker instead of announcements.


I am sure there are some techies out there with opinions. What are they?

Calculating body fat, 3 ways

I didn't find the site I got measurements from, but I did find this site with several different ways to calculate your body fat. I think one of them is the one I used to use.

I love these measurements, because they say I am making much more progress than my scale says. According to them, I'm “only” 35 pounds of fat, instead of 45 pounds of fat, which is what my scale has been saying the last couple of weeks. (Yes, I know a lot of people out there are grossing out over 35 pounds of fat, but I do have large breasts carrying some of that.)

I've been going down in weight on the scale, but it's been from muscle and since I'm following my diet, I don't know what the problem is other than that the scale is wacky. I did replace the batteries on the scale today, in the hopes that they had something to do with it.


Okay, you may not relate, but there is almost nothing as “feel good” as going into a teeny bopper clothing store and being able to buy clothes, even though you're forty. It's even better when some of the clothes are too big. It's even better when you look really hot in the clothes. It's even better when strangers in the mall are checking you out 'cause you look so good.

It gets better the next day when you put on some more clothes you bought and stand and look at yourself in the mirror and think, “Wow. I look GOOD.”

It's even better when your husband thinks so too.

It makes me very horny to go shopping, find great clothes in small sizes, wear them, get attention, and look great. What a day!!!

Direct TV-Tivo

We have Tivo. Have had it for a while. It's great. You can tape what you like and then watch it when you have time. It doesn't mean there's always something on you want to see, but at least there's a better chance.

My husband's best friend got it just two weeks ago, after hearing us rave about it for months.

But my babe's been waiting for the new Direct TV Tivo receiver to come out. Which it did this weekend. So now we have it. He's been trying to do it himself, although there's free installation. It's not working right, though, and he can't get a human being on the phone. Hate that.

New clothes.

My husband says I need to add to my clothes list.

So I now have a total of three mini skirts. I have two extra shirts and one sweater. I also bought a pair of pants. The pants are flared at the bottom, like bell bottoms. Man. I remember wearing those when I was ten and eleven. It kinda sucks that they're back in, because we looked silly in those pictures.

Day 28

Normally in Body-for-Life this is a free day, but we take our free days on Saturday. I think I had about 4200 calories yesterday. And I did weights, because we didn't on Friday. Normally I would do aerobics today, but I did them on Friday, so this is my exercise-free day.

I've lost four pounds in the last four weeks. I've also lost over four inches in my arms, legs, bust, waist, and hips. I think I'm up to like 25+ inches total loss now. It's a lot more stable than weight loss, which fluctuates depending on whether I'm in my period or not..

We went to buy calipers today, since our body fat scale has gotten kind of wacky. However, Oshman's doesn't carry them. The other two places weren't open, since it's Sunday.

There's a site on the web that lets you put in certain measurements and they give you back your percent bodyfat. But I managed to somehow lose my bookmark for it. I used to keep the email about it, but I somehow managed to delete that, too.

Anyway, when I find it, I'll post it. They say it's within 1% the same accuracy as the total water immersion/displacement body fat measurement, which is the best we have.

How many clothes?

A friend came over on Monday and let me borrow her vacuum, since mine was on the fritz. Better than that, she vacuumed while I cleaned the kitchen and the bathrooms.

Afterwards, she asked to see the closets, since that's what I'd done all morning was clean closets. So we started with mine.

She looked in the closet and said, “Is this all you own?” Then she said, “These are just your winter clothes, right?” And then she said, “Are you always this organized?”

All I own:

one sweat shirt

one pair of shorts (not for exercising)

three sweater shirts (one is cashmere, though)

two cardigans (I'm always cold.)

one skort

two mini-skirts

two midi-skirts (meaning tea length, or calf length)

two silk blouses

four shirts

one pair of slacks

two pairs of jeans

four dresses

numerous assorted undies

six pairs of shoes: boots, sneakers, high heels (2), sandal slip-ons (2)

five exercise short/shirt combos which are not respectable enough for public viewing

Wow, that looks like a lot when I write it down. Compared to the rest of the world (non-West), I do have lots of clothes. But I have discovered that many people around here have more clothes than I do.

My sister-in-law is wearing some of the same jeans she wore in high school, 20 years ago, because she owned 40 or 50 pair then, she's still a size 0, and she's bought tons of others since.

My mom has a walk-in closet the size of our spare bedroom, no, it's bigger, which is floor to ceiling clothes. She doesn't get rid of any of them. So she has a size spread of about six sizes. (Which probably means she can't wear half the clothes in there.)

My sister has a walk-in closet that is bigger than the biggest room in my house. Her clothes/shoes are organized by color, starting with the lightest, to the mustards, through tans, to light browns, then hitting the navys and blacks. I don't think she has any red outfits and I hope she doesn't get any because that would spoil her color scheme in her closet.

My brother-in-law shares the closet with her and his suits and shirts and shoes also are color-organized. Both of them are in consistently teeny sizes, so they never have to have the tailor make them a new suit unless they just want a new brown outfit.

(I buy my clothes at Wal-Mart and Target. Which may be why mine don't last as long as theirs.)

Makes me want to go look in my friend's closet.

And, no, they weren't just my winter clothes and, yes, I am that organized in my closet at all times. I will admit, though, that I cleaned out clothes I've gotten too small to wear and took them to the local ministry this past month.

When we get rich, I'm going to get some new clothes.

Hiding your blog

I've almost decided that I need a blog no one knows is mine.

Not because my parents are reading what I've written. They're not. They don't even know what a blog is.

But because my husband is reading it.

Then he comes home and says, “Ooh, life is hard. You slept late, then you went on a bike ride.”

It's true. I did. But I didn't say my life was hard. If I did, please let me know in the comments, so I can adjust this.

My life is fairly simple. Not totally simple, but fairly.

I get up. I exercise. I eat. I make my bed. I make sure the kids have food.

Most of the time I then start them on schoolwork. (This is the hard part. Being kids they would much rather be doing pretty much anything rather than school, but it IS vacation time right now.) I start doing laundry or dishes or picking up the house, whatever downstairs chores need to be done. I can't go upstairs because they'll start a fight, so no computer or TV for me when they're doing school.

Then, after school, I make lunch. Serve them. (I've generally already eaten. They don't like to eat at a table with dead animals on it, since they're vegetarian.) Sit down somewhere near them. After lunch, I hassle them to clean up their plates, which isn't too hard, and to clean up their places, which they just don't get. What crumbs? What dirty napkin? What spilled juice stain? I cleaned that up already. They don't understand the concept that if you did not do a good job, you need to do it again. –Well, they do with school, because that has always been my rule. They have to get 100%.

Then they go upstairs. Sometimes I go up too and watch TV or organize something upstairs. I generally clean the bathroom up there at least once a day. They say they clean it, but I think they think that means shutting the door.

It's the holidays so I am working on my syllabi for the spring. The one that was mostly finished is now redundant. The class didn't make. Hope that doesn't happen to my class at the college. That syllabus isn't done yet, but that class makes more money for me.

I try not to use my computer when the boys want it. It is my computer and we have two others, but mine is the only one with a printer. And often they want it for Word because they are writing a story. I want them to do all the writing they want to, so I just hang out doing something else.

When I was sick, that was my whole day. I could finish one load of clothes or one load of dishes a day and that was it. It's a miracle we all survived.

Now, however, I am much better. Which means that I tend to get bored more. So I read, which I love, and surf the internet, mostly to find stuff to blog about, and go on second bike rides. Well, today I went to the gym and got on the treadmill, but something exercise-y.

But, no, my day isn't running hither and yon constantly. I schedule my life so that I never have to do that. (Except when my mother is sick and needs me to run errands for a solid month.)

Today the most difficult things I did were 1) not eat too much when I ate and was still hungry, 2) not freak when the kids got in another fight, and 3) iron some shirts.

I actually ironed six shirts. One of my husband's long sleeved shirts was easy to iron. I'll volunteer for that one. The other one was such a pain I was thinking about what I could do to get rid of that shirt. But it's still in good shape, so washing it with an ink pen is not nice. Since he wears Tees to work, I also ironed two of his teeshirts, which were just so wrinkly it was terrible. Hopefully he won't wear those to work out in. I also ironed my mini-skirt, which is on its last days.

Counting calories.

A sophisticated, and in some ways easy, way to count calories is to use the free accounts at FitDay and have them figure your calories for you. There are lots of entries and they can also do custom foods.

Even though BFL doesn't call for calorie counting, I do it anyway. It helps me know where I want to be.

To determine how many calories you should be eating, you can figure your Base Metabolic Rate. There is a formula for this or you could just go to Hussman's site and let them figure it for you. You need to know your % body fat to figure it out, though.

Funny site.

This site, Going Bridal, is someone’s blog I think. My guess is she is also engaged to Dennis.

But she has the FUNNIEST stuff in Cavalcade of Bad Bride Fashion. (On her site.) You click on that and it gets you some really ugly wedding dress pictures with hysterical titles like “Frankenstein Got a Bride. The Mummy Should Too.” and “That's First Dance, not Lap Dance.” There's theme weddings with the wedding dresses: the Muppets, the Matrix. And she has about 100 of them. I'm thinking four a day for a little less than thirty days. They are just fun.

Go there. Laugh. Make sure your fiancee isn't buying that dress.

Metabolic boost questioned.

Pumping iron doesn't boost metabolism says a study reported on Reuter's today. “There is no magical boost in your metabolism,” said the author of the study.

But I found two flaws with the study. And the reporter found two others.

My first flaw was that the study used 10 men. I like men. I love men. But men aren't women. I am a woman. Our genetics are different. (Look in a biology textbook for help if you didn't know this.) I'd want to know if the metabolism boost is in women.

My second flaw was that he didn't say anything about these men. Were they random men? Were they all 18 year olds? How fit were they?

The article points out that the exercises in this weren't to the point of being unable to lift again. The other studies, according to the article, which found metabolism boost were to fatigue. (One of the good things about BFL is that your weights are to fatigue. You're supposed to get a 10, I can't do another one of these by myself, in your workouts.)

Also, there is a lag time in the change. You would have to know what these people were expending pre-exercise and post exercise. Which would mean keeping them in a sealed room for at least 48 hours. Don't know about you, but they couldn't pay me enough for that.

Should you drink water?

I have a friend who is a doctor who read a media article on the first of the studies mentioned in Myths about Water. His response to it was, see, we don't have to drink water.

According to these articles and the reviews of the research, however, that is not what the articles said. One did say that any kind of fluid was useful for getting hydrated. The other said that if the drink is up to 2% alcohol, there is no difference in rehydration. However, if the drink is 4% or more alcohol, rehydration is delayed. (Which I guess means you have to drink more alcohol.)

I thought it was interesting that the NELH couldn't find the research from the Univ of Mex.

I found an online description of his work at What Really Works in a cached file. This article says he did research on over 800 elderly people and found that those who drank fewer than four glasses a day were not dehydrated, based on standard dehydration markers.

Healthwise at says that the study found no evidence that water helps boost the immune system or detoxify the body.

Neither article said how the research was conducted, which I would have liked to have known.

However, what I have found for myself is that I pee more when I drink more water. While that isn't always fun, I don't worry about holding impurities and trash in my body.

Porter Freeman, from BFL, says that in your urine you want to go for the silver, not the gold. If your urine is yellow, it's very concentrated. If it's not, there's a lot more water going through your system.

Anyway, thought you might want to know. Basically, the articles said DRINK, but you don't have to drink water.

Worried about Breast Cancer?

According to Alcohol and Breast Cancer there is a slim increase in the risk of breast cancer by having one drink a day, but that the rate rises as the alcohol consumption rises.

This same study found that there is no correlation between tobacco consumption and breast cancer. So, if you smoke, you'll die of lung cancer before you'll die of breast cancer.

Dementia and drinking

Getting older myself, and worried about the state of my brain in later years, I tend to read dementia articles a little more closely than I did when I was younger.

I looked at this discussion of a study in which it was found that drinking wine monthly or weekly was an indicator for decreased dementia compared to those who never or hardly ever drank wine. It also found that those who drank beer weekly or monthly had an INcreased chance for dementia compared to those who never or hardly ever drank beer.

The review was interesting.

I noted this one as well because I received a research paper on the pros and cons of drinking alcohol and one of the pros was that drinking wine is associated with lowered dementia. I wonder if my student knew that drinking beer is the opposite. The research papers were supposed to be on a controversial subject and I wasn't supposed to be able to tell which side they agreed with.

Health news in the news.

I found a fun new site at the National Electronic Library of Health for the UK.

They've been reviewing British newspapers' presentation of medical information and the studies from which the papers got their information. I thought that was fascinating.

For example, one was the discussion of weak presecriptions damaging children's eyesight which was sent to me on the net. I appreciated the revew, both of the papers' handling and of the study, which is presently unpublished.

I'd also like to see their review of the study when it is published.