Wednesday, November 07, 2012
How appropriate that Thanksgiving Day will be the date that Iím scheduled to join that special 5% who keep the weight off for 3 years. How ironic that itís also a day we traditionally celebrate with food, lots of food.
What can I do to mark the occasion? Maybe:
Find a ďTurkey TrotĒ race to run. Thatís an alternative to a morning of cooking.
Plot a route through the mall to hit all the sales on ďBlack FridayĒ
Find a fancy restaurant that charges a lot for very little food Ė enforced portion control.
Volunteer to help serve Thanksgiving Dinner to the needy
My husband and I donít have a good record with anniversary celebrations.
The problem began 45 years ago on our wedding day when the priest didnít show up. He FORGOT the date. There I was standing in the back of the church, with the organist playing ďHere Comes the BrideĒ and this bride wasnít moving. There was no clergyman there to make it official.
Fortunately, it was Brooklyn in 1967. Finding a substitute priest was easy although the delay did cause a stir among the guests who were wondering which one of us was having second thoughts.
The marriage went well, but each anniversary was a bust.
Recalling a few of them:
#1 - DH got his orders to active duty in the army. Lots of tears, no celebration.
#2 - DH got orders to Viet Nam. Same reaction as last year.
#3 - DH was in Viet Nam. Baby & I were alone, very sad
#5 - 6 months pregnant pulling a U-Haul across the country with a 3 year old throwing up in the back seat
#10 Ė There was a gruesome murder in our neighborhood.
#20 Ė DH scheduled his elective hemorrhoid surgery. Why not, right?
#39 Ė I tripped over a planter outside the restaurant and fell sprawled out face first resulting in a frozen shoulder that took 6 months of rehab
If youíre familiar with the songs of the sixties, our anniversary, June 3rd is noteworthy for another reason. According to Bobby Gentry, it was also the day that ďBilly Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.Ē (Ode to Billy Joe, August 1967)
Maintenance is a different kind of anniversary and even if I donít plan anything special, I will be very thankful just as I am for 45 years of marriage. In both cases Iím in this for the long term. One bad day doesnít matter in marriage or as we work toward a healthy lifestyle.
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Ah, the dreaded plateaus of weight loss. As I read the new blog posts each morning, itís a rare day that they are not a focus of concern to someone. A search of the message boards reveals the same thing. Anyone who has ever been on a weight loss journey has been there.
If I think about it geographically, standing on a plateau gives me a chance to see where Iíve been and where Iím headed. I can look around, take in the scenery and focus on other things for a bit. Maybe thereís something here that I havenít noticed before, like some inches lost, or stronger abs, or less jiggle in my arms. Maybe the jeans are going on easier or that image in the mirror looks surprisingly good.
After a rest period on the plateau, Iím ready to continue my journey down the mountain to my final destination. I trust that my body knows when itís time to move on as long as Iíve been honestly taking care of it and I havenít been unrealistic about the distance or speed Iím trying to achieve. Finally, I definitely prefer the view from the plateau to retracing my steps back up the mountain only to have to come back down again.
Difficult though it may be, donít be discouraged. Plateaus are just a necessary part of the terrain.
Monday, November 05, 2012
Could this be a new direction for the junk food king?
My husband, aka the junk food king of the world, has carried on a 45 year affair with Little Debbie, the snack cake lady. On my sparkpage I have a candid photo of our kitchen table at its worst.
Recently while we were grocery shopping together, he passed up all of Debbieís ďcharms.Ē He still put his sugar laden fruit juice and apple cider in the cart, but progress is progress. Then on the way out of the store there was a Bake Sale for a very worthwhile cause Ė a man with high medical bills not covered by insurance. When DH stopped at the table, I suggested we just make a donation and leave the homemade baked goods for others to enjoy. He got it halfway right. He bought 2 packages of cupcakes and told them to keep the change.
Once back home he was visiting a neighbor who was working on his house Ė serious physical labor. He told me about the neighborís project, grabbed one of the cupcake packages and gave them to him.
My husband is about 20 to 30 pounds overweight. In our society thatís hardly noticeable anymore. However, thatís exactly the position I was in when I decided I didnít want to carry around the extra baggage any longer. Both of us have been considered healthy and fit. He swims, I run and we canoe and kayak, weather permitting. Iíve also written in a previous entry about how we switched to healthy nutritious meals about 20 years ago. Unfortunately, our weight didnít decrease at all since ďportion distortionĒ affected us as much as it did the rest of America. Who knew that we were perfectly capable of eating enormous quantities of healthy food too!
He recently had a physical and the results, while not terrible, were heading in the wrong direction. Thatís not what you want to see at almost age 68. Since objective assessment by a professional doesnít happen all that often, itís easy to fall into a false sense of security.
Now considering his ďdonationĒ of baked goods: Was this just a solitary moment of generosity or maybe a sign of good things to come? Time will tell, but Iím hoping for the best.
Sunday, November 04, 2012
It took me a minute to understand what that old acquaintance was actually asking. I hadnít seen her since my retirement and when we reconnected, I was two years into maintenance.
I lost my weight very slowly so I really didnít get much recognition for my efforts one way or the other while I was on my journey. However, when meeting someone whom I hadnít seen in a very long time, the change was obvious to her.
Isnít it interesting that her first thought was that I had surgical help to achieve the new me? Breast implants, tummy tucks, butt lifts, face lifts, all kinds of nips and tucks as well as serious gastric intervention are so common now that that scenario seemed more likely than the possibility that I might have managed it naturally.
Whenever I see a movie star who looks great at 50, 60, 70 or more, I have to wonder how much artificial help was sought to keep up with their contemporaries or younger competitors. Fortunately, Iíve never had a job or lived in an atmosphere where I depended on my looks for success or validation. I can understand how someone who has a camera thrust in their face with great regularity might consider it a necessity.
I would never criticize anyone for what is really a personal choice. My fear of medical procedures far outweighs my need for bodily perfection or improvement. I even close my eyes when having blood drawn or getting a flu shot. Yeah, Iím a wimp.
So the answer to my incredulous friend was YES, I had work done and I DID IT!
Saturday, November 03, 2012
How about preventing weight gain in the first place?
Now I donít expect SP to be inundated with new members in their appropriate BMI range, but Iím glad to see a team of those with ďLess Than 10 Pounds to Lose.Ē My daughter is in that group. I understand that such a group can be diverse, including those who have managed a significant weight loss and now are working on the last difficult 10 pounds. It also includes those who have seen the first stage in the weight gain that affects so many of us.
10 pounds may not be concerning to a 200 pound man, but to a petite 120 pound woman, thatís about 10% of her body weight. That may not yet be cause for alarm, but itís certainly worth considering the reason that it occurred. Without an honest assessment of lifestyle, that 10 pounds can turn into 20, 50 or more quite easily. For many of us thatís exactly what happened.
The National Institute of Health maintains that ďyour weight may be affecting you more than you thinkÖ that even a few extra pounds each year can affect your quality of lifeĒ
Weight plays a role in blood sugar levels, knee, hip and back pain, sleep apnea etc. as well as the risk of serious disease. Losing even a small amount reduces those risks.
I definitely AM NOT referring to the few extra pounds we all seem to gain over a lifetime. Iím perfectly happy 13 pounds more than that sweet young mother I used to be.
I mean the few extra pounds that are added year after year until we reach that moment Ė Yikes! Who is that in the mirror? Or worse - whew, that was a steep flight of stairs!
I also DO NOT advocate badgering our children (usually daughters) into being obsessive about their weight and appearance. Well meaning efforts in that direction can be counterproductive at best and positively dangerous at worst.
Thatís why I love SP. The message here is a healthy lifestyle, not some quick fix diet or pill. Itís like taking the wrong turn on a road trip. I would much rather discover my mistake 10 miles down the highway rather than 50.
Iíve written about my Dadís struggle to quit smoking. He told me that the easiest way was never to start. Similarly, obesity happens one pound at a time. So does preventing it.
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