Sunday, November 11, 2012
Today is Veterans Day which originally was called “Armistice Day,” the day that ended WWI which at that time was “The Great War” or “The War to End All Wars.” Sadly, that didn’t happen.
On Sundays my blog entries tend to be more introspective, possibly because I never plan an intensive workout or because I’m on my way to church and thinking ahead.
After my father’s death, I became active in the Sailors’ Association of his WWII ship. I maintain their website and have attended their last 5 reunions. They’ve come together every year since 1964 and have just voted to continue the tradition. I think each old sailor wants to be the last man standing.
My Dad and my Mom have been quoted in my blog, usually in a funny way. Today though, I want to say “thank you Dad” and thanks to all those members of the “Greatest Generation” who left their ordinary lives, went off and saved the world and then returned to live their average lives again. Thanks to their spouses who “kept the home-fires burning” as the old song went. Their sacrifice should be recognized as well.
Finally, this isn’t just about a generation disappearing daily. Millions have served since then in a variety of situations and circumstances and they deserve our thanks and support also.
I’m familiar with the charitable efforts of our military in our communities, for example the annual “Toys for Tots” campaign. However, I was surprised by the level of need for holiday support BY military families as well. I was appalled at the number of military families finding themselves in dire financial straits and the need to appeal to the community for help.
“Thank you for your service” is a comment we hear often now and that’s as it should be. However, I hope we won’t stop with easy verbal affirmation. We must support the real physical and economic needs of military families. No one who is ready to lay his or her life on the line for us should have to stress about providing Christmas presents for their families.
Edit: Once again comments have prompted some additional thoughts on my part. My husband is a Viet Nam vet also, so I vividly remember those divisive days and did not intend to open old wounds.
However, while the experiences of some returning vets are reprehensible as stated, the treatment we received from those who supported the war was in my view equally bad. I’m referring to the company and coworkers who viewed my husband’s return with distain because they “had to give him his job back!” He was warned that the law only required them to do that for one year. I consider that being virtually “spit upon.” I do not want that to happen again to anyone regardless of the proper words being spoken.
Whether you (or your parents) were in Viet Nam, in the streets or going on with your normal lives while others served. Let’s do the right thing now.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
We used to have to memorize poetry in school back in the stone age. Do they even do that anymore? “Water, water everywhere and nary a drop to drink.” As I remember, that was the lament of the Ancient Mariner as he was surrounded by undrinkable salt water.
That’s not a problem for us anymore, at least in this country. Water comes free from our faucets and in plastic bottles if, while out and about, we forget to bring or run out of our own. After my morning coffee and OJ, I ONLY drink water
A comment on my Nov 8th blog entry asked how my weight has been so stable (within tenths) over the last few months. I began to wonder about that too. I’ve been in maintenance for almost 3 years, but my weight in that time has always varied by a few pounds one way or the other. Water weight I figured accounted for that. No big deal. Still, all of a sudden something is different and I’m drinking the same amount of water.
At first I thought it was because I became active on SP, determined as I was not to mess up now with my membership in the 5% right on the horizon. That may have had something to do with it, but then I remembered one other big change. Since I never had a blood pressure problem, in fact, it runs on the low side, I never before was concerned with salt intake. We don’t even have a salt shaker on the table, so how could it be a problem for us.
In September I added salt as a nutrient to measure on my tracker. I was surprised to see the wild daily fluctuations depending on which of my “favorites” I had eaten. I’ve been carefully reading labels for a long time now, but concentrating on calories, carbs, fat, protein and calcium. Yikes, salt is everywhere!! I began to actively keep within recommended limits, aiming for the middle of the range as much as possible. Strange how I never considered this before. More salt leads to more water retention and vice versa.
Ancient Rome used to pay its soldiers partly with salt. Salt is a necessary nutrient, not to mention one of the first preservatives. It’s also something I intend to keep in check.
Friday, November 09, 2012
This is absolutely not political, but with a hard fought election just 3 days behind us, I’m struck by the similarities between our weight loss journey and our political landscape.
I don’t have to describe the political situation. We’ve just endured enough of that to understand what I mean.
As for a parallel in weight loss:
Take this pill, no that other one and all will be fine
Buy this gadget and you’ll look great
Sprinkle this on your food. No other effort needed at all
You need lots of cardio. No, you need lots of strength training
Go low fat!
Go low carb!
Weigh yourself often. No, that’s bad!
Eat high carb and lose weight (Dr Oz, just a few days ago)
Promises, promises, promises!
Here I am in the middle of the road trying to walk that line painted down the center. Calories in/calories out - moderation in all things, balancing my nutrients and a reasonable amount/variety of exercise. Occasionally I wonder about those on either side going in opposite directions. I hope they successfully get to their destination too. It may depend on their vehicle (body) type.
Now why is it dangerous to be in the middle of the road?
Sometimes you get run over by both sides.
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Although I’m in maintenance for almost 3 years, I’m very glad that I don’t have an “official weight day” every week or month because a few days ago after 2 months of exceptionally stable (within tenths) weight, I gained 2 pounds overnight. Because I do weigh daily, I knew that this was a fluke fluctuation. For each of us the amount of fluctuation varies by person and will be affected by one’s existing body weight. For me 2 lbs is just a bit less than 10% of my weight loss. I knew I didn’t regain 10% of my weight loss in one day. If it had been a month or more since I last got on the scale, it might have been a possibility.
If I hadn’t monitored each day, I might think I gained back 10% of my hard fought loss in spite of doing everything right. That WOULD be distressing to me. Daily fluctuation – no big deal! An upward trend? Yes, that’s a big deal that I want to turn around before it becomes more difficult. If it is a trend, I would have reason to reevaluate. Perhaps I’m not being honest about something?
Personally I think that avoiding the scale CAN become as obsessive as overusing it. However, if 66% of Americans are overweight or worse, how many of us are overusing it in the manner for which it was intended?
I’m sure that some people are too thin or “skinny-fat” but they are an ever-shrinking minority. Looking around I sure don’t see many. I would think it would also be easier for them to eat more and get fit than it is the other way around. If they actually have an eating disorder, that’s a different matter entirely, requiring serious intervention.
I also know that some people naturally can carry more weight in a healthy, successful manner than others. In the end we all make our own decisions and try to avoid judging others. We all define for ourselves what the right weight and “being healthy” means for us. Quibbling about the best method of measurement obscures the problem. We each choose the means to achieve our goals which very likely differs from that chosen by other people. We often hear that “a number on the scale doesn’t define me.” Of course it doesn’t. Neither does a specific percent of body fat or some bust, waist, hip measurement or dress size.
I’m more than a number on a scale – absolutely true. However, our collective numbers on our collective scales are continuously increasing and as a society, this is something that should concern us.
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
How appropriate that Thanksgiving Day will be the date that I’m scheduled to join that special 5% who keep the weight off for 3 years. How ironic that it’s also a day we traditionally celebrate with food, lots of food.
What can I do to mark the occasion? Maybe:
Find a “Turkey Trot” race to run. That’s an alternative to a morning of cooking.
Plot a route through the mall to hit all the sales on “Black Friday”
Find a fancy restaurant that charges a lot for very little food – enforced portion control.
Volunteer to help serve Thanksgiving Dinner to the needy
My husband and I don’t have a good record with anniversary celebrations.
The problem began 45 years ago on our wedding day when the priest didn’t show up. He FORGOT the date. There I was standing in the back of the church, with the organist playing “Here Comes the Bride” and this bride wasn’t 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 – There was a gruesome murder in our neighborhood.
#20 – DH scheduled his elective hemorrhoid surgery. Why not, right?
#39 – 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 you’re 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 “Billy Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.” (Ode to Billy Joe, August 1967)
Maintenance is a different kind of anniversary and even if I don’t plan anything special, I will be very thankful just as I am for 45 years of marriage. In both cases I’m in this for the long term. One bad day doesn’t matter in marriage or as we work toward a healthy lifestyle.
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