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I'd like to say I've started getting in shape but really, I started some time ago. Not just a body reshaping which I've desperately needed but a total transformation. A blending of good stuff from the past and hope for the future. My online friends will note (and have noted) how much less I post on LJ and how much less I can be found online anymore. Simply put, I've passed through my Internet addiction and it no longer has a hold on me. I used to wile away the long Illinois winters by spending hours on the Internet, chatting, playing games, making journal entries for the sake of just making an entry. This is not to say the whole time was wasted. I've met a lot of good people, well most of you, on the Net and some of those online relationships I've transformed into face to face relationships and hope to continue to do so. But I'm past seeing the Net as a vital part of my life. It's a tool just like my camera is a tool. Tools are meant to enrich a person's life, not become their life. So I've been spending my weeknights doing things with Deb, trying to get outside and see new things. Cleaning the house, making new jewelry and so on. Weekends have been spent making repairs at the farm and every chance I get, I've been exploring the surrounding county. Going down new roads. Finding old houses and old farms to photograph. Winter in Illinois can be depressing if you let it be. I'm determined not to be depressed and not to sit around wasting time on the Net. Back to the physical transformation. I need to lose 60 pounds. I'm going to lose 60 pounds. I'm just not giving myself a time constraint to do it in. Needing to loose it means I'm carrying an extra 60 pounds around with me all the time. I'm 6'3" and weigh 260. in 1997 I weighed around 200 lbs and was very happy with my weight. I had all the energy I wanted and all the stamina I needed. Now I have neither.

In 1992, I weighed 320 pounds. By 1993 I had lost 120 pounds and kept it off for 4 years. Basically I stopped drinking beer and eating pork BBQ (I lived in NC) and I bought a used rowing machine and did 30 minutes to an hour of rowing each day and hiking on the weekends. In 1997, I started a job as Managing Editor of a weekly newspaper. In 1998, I took my present job as photo editor with Glencoe/McGraw-Hill Publishing Company. Both jobs led me to a very sedentary lifestyle and while I don't eat a great deal, I also don't get a lot of excercise to keep the weight off. So this time around, I'm trying the 6 meals a day eating plan. I'm on the CardioGlide each morning before work for 30 minutes and then I'll be walking 2-3 miles when I come home from work each night. Every Saturday morning, I'll be going on a 10 mile hike on the Illinois River trail, building up to 20 mile hikes. I've got no illusions this will be easy. I'm really sore today from my workouts yesterday and today so I know it will be tough to keep myself at it. But I'm tired of being sedentary. I turn 40 in two weeks and if I don't start doing it now, I'll be 60 in no time and still fat and lazy.

Over the weekend, Deb and I went to Starved Rock State Park to photograph eagles and melting waterfalls. We basically got rained out but we did see some eagles and photographed a few waterfalls in spite of the rain and we have plans to go back. We had fun exploring the little towns up there and found a nice little restaurant called the Pomodori Grill. They had my new favorite dessert, Caramel Pecan Anglaise which of course I can't really eat very often with my new eating plan. I do want to figure out how to make it though. When we came back we went down to the farm to see my folks. I'd say they are visiting but it's not really on purpose. They had gone out to Sedona with my aunt and uncle for two week and stayed in a resort out there. They were on their way back to NC, stopping in Illinois for just two days and they hit a deer and nearly totalled their van. So now they are stuck here until the van gets repaired. Meanwhile, Dad is missing all sorts of activities and meetings back home. He's not exactly a happy camper at the moment.

Dad is helping to plan his 50 year high school reunion which will take place in 2006. One of the things he wants to do is recreate a 1950's style soda shoppe. He's got the juke box no problem and we can arrange for CD's of all the old tunes. Worst comes to worst, I'll download them all from iTunes. On one of my photographic forays, I found six of those old soda fountain counter stools, the kind that rotate. So Saturday, before we went up to Starved Rock, I took Dad and Mom over to Camden to look at them and see if they wanted to buy them. Turns out my neighbor, one farm up, owns the building so Dad is negotiating with him for the stools. The building the stools are in is an old pool hall and I imagine the stools faced a bar at one time. right next to the pool hall is a Beauty Salon that is still in operation. I think it's the only business left in town. There were a couple little blue haired old ladies lounging about inside. Dad, Mom and I got out in our long, heavy coats. Dad and I had black crusher hats on and we were carrying our digital cameras. Someone inside the salon got the idea that we were carrying guns, not being familiar with shiny metal digital cameras but being very familiar with shiny metal guns. So I caused quite a scene when I popped my head into the salon to ask who owned the building next door. I had my camera in my hand partly concealed at my side and the stylist kept looking at that hand. I kept thinking she was looking at something behind me so I kept turning away from her which made her panic and finally she more or less yelled at me to ask what was in my hand. The sighs were audible when I raised my hand up and explained it was only a camera. Seems the Beauty Salon building was oncea bank and they reasoned I might have thought it was still a bank and was trying to rob it. Fortunately, after they calmed down, they were quite friendly and told me all I needed to know about the old pool hall. The woman getting her hair re-blued had once been the owner and was telling me the long history of the building when I told her I needed to get going. The folks laughed themselves silly when I told them what was up.

The folks are still here and will be until Friday when they getthe van back, We are headed down that way on Friday evening because Deb's nephew's 5th birthday party is Sunday. He was actually born on a leap day. But his folks figure it is too cruel to only let him celebrate once every four years. He's taking full advantage of it too. Right now he's trying to convince his folks that he ought to actually have two birthday parties a year to make up for the fact that his birthday really only comes along once every 4 years. His younger brother Andrew has his party a week later so it will in effect be two parties for Connor anyway.

So that's the happs from here. I'll just be trying to lose weight and trying not to be mistaken for a Beauty Salon robber.




( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 23rd, 2005 03:01 pm (UTC)
I'm speaking for myself here...

Friends understand, it's not like you're gone forever. You are missed, but I understand that there are things that you must tend to. And sometimes even the fondest of things seem to wear off its novelty to us. It was like that when I hit a dry spell in the vampire game and when I didn't want to be online because there really wasn't much to do there.

I am happy for you. And the diet, wow! I'm proud of you! Not many people can say that they've lost so much and managed to keep it off. I posted something long ago about The Blood Type Diet. You might want to look into that as well. progress is giving it a try.

Mmm... eagles! Got photographs to share? By the way, thank you so much for posting recipes. I managed to sample some of them and it turned out to be an instant favorite.

Take care poppabear!

Much love,
Feb. 23rd, 2005 03:05 pm (UTC)
On the eagles, nope, I was observing them with binoculars. Even with my film camera and my best zoom, they would have been little more than dots. I was standing upon a high rock on a bluff overlooking the river and the island where they made their homes was at least a half mile off. They were big and pretty inthe glasses though. I'll check out the diet.

Feb. 23rd, 2005 03:20 pm (UTC)
I think that's awesome. And hilarious.

You may have read my recent post (or maybe not), but I've decided to lose the 70 lbs I let myself put on while I had no self-esteem. I'd love to hear of how it goes for you from time to time.

Feb. 23rd, 2005 03:25 pm (UTC)
Sure, I'll give an update from time to time. I've read all the theory on this eating plan and I agree with it. Just not sure if I can stay motivated to doing it. My dad lost about 100 pounds doing it and lowered his cholesterol to safe levels at the same time and since I know where my metabolism came from, I'm hoping it will work for me. Good luck!

Feb. 23rd, 2005 06:16 pm (UTC)
What a nice long update. Good on you for taking your life by the love handles :-) I wish you much good luck and health with your program.

People are way too anxious nowadays. Glad they didn't take you down with something heavy and then find out you were just a photog.
Feb. 23rd, 2005 07:26 pm (UTC)
I agree with what Miyu said. True friends understand. I'm glad for you.

My computer to me now is a way of keeping in touch with those far away when I need to and for games when I want to.
Feb. 23rd, 2005 07:27 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, I also just realized, if your birthday is two weeks away, mine is right behind it! I forgot!!!! OMG another birthday!
Feb. 23rd, 2005 09:08 pm (UTC)
Caramel Pecan Anglaise... I do want to figure out how to make it though.

From the name I'd suppose it involves caramel, pecans, and a few English people. ;P
Feb. 24th, 2005 08:39 am (UTC)

Feb. 24th, 2005 09:32 am (UTC)
You know you laughed!
Feb. 24th, 2005 09:37 am (UTC)
Yeah I did. By the way, it's made with Caramel Ice Cream with layers of caramel and honey roasted pecans on top and then Anglaise sauce around the sides. Anglaise is made with heavy cream.

Feb. 23rd, 2005 10:10 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad that you're so dedicated and positive about your health =) I wish my bf could be as determined as you (or myself for that matter).

Best of luck =) And yes, programs like MSN seriously made me more withdrawn rather than social...strangely enough...
Feb. 24th, 2005 08:40 am (UTC)
Comes a time when you just get disgusted enough with yourself that you do something about it. That was one of my biggest motivations.

Feb. 23rd, 2005 11:05 pm (UTC)
Errr. Just because we enjoy your writing doesn't mean we neither respect nor understand the circumstances that may require a certain amount of privacy or downtime. ...The friends I've kept are the ones who've not panicked when I've disappeared for weeks - occasionally months - at a stretch.

One of the things he wants to do is recreate a 1950's style soda shoppe. He's got the juke box no problem and we can arrange for CD's of all the old tunes. Worst comes to worst, I'll download them all from iTunes.

Damned newfangled '50s music. *shakes head*

And. Err. Didn't you realise you can shoot someone just as handily with a camera as with a firearm? ;) *click* *poof* and there goes their reputation!

Feb. 24th, 2005 08:52 am (UTC)
Yeah, I know that. I'm not worried so much about people forgetting me or thinking I'm forgetting them. Most people I'm friends with don't need to hear from me all the time to know I still value thier opinions and friendship...as I do yours (even though or maybe because of the fact you like to poke fun at my opinions). And yes I realize that about the camera. Job in soft journalism aside, I'm a journalist at heart so I well know the power of the camera to wound.

Feb. 24th, 2005 07:41 am (UTC)
It's difficult to get in shape, but making the decision to stick to a fitness/eating plan and sticking to it is the biggest hurdle. I made a similar decision a few months ago. I've been boxing and doing other exercise programs for three-and-a-half months now. I've lost about twenty-six pounds. I hope to lose a bit more. My muscles are hard and my endurance levels are increasing. It's really cool to watch this transformation. I wish you luck on yours. You'll kick the ass of this thing in no time. I've full faith of that.
Feb. 24th, 2005 08:54 am (UTC)
Wow! You were drop dead gorgeous the way you were before. I can't iamgine where you would have lost 26 pounds from but good for you. Yeah, I'll lose it. It's time for me. This is getting in the way of my next steps down my path and so needs to become part of my past now. Thanks!

Feb. 24th, 2005 09:05 am (UTC)
It seems you and I are going through a lot of the same things.
I am also working out again. I started out with too much too fast and had to go back to a reasonable 30 minutes a day on the treadmill plus weight training 2 X a week.
I have been making new jewelry and not on line much either.
I understand the dead of winter tendency toward depression. I have also been getting outside more and I think it helps.

That country beauty shop story is a riot! My mom lives in a town oof 200. She can't do anything without everyone knowing about it. You know you are the" talk of the town" this week!
Feb. 24th, 2005 09:08 am (UTC)
I'm sure I am and I have friends where I live now that grew up there so I'm sure I'll hear about it from them as well.

The getting in shape thing was motivated by a few factors but my own disgust at looking and feeling this way was most of it.

Hope you do well with your plan too.

Feb. 24th, 2005 10:47 am (UTC)
Good Luck to you too!
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )