Wednesday, October 03, 2012
I mean the ‘heels’ on our shoes, not what you may want to call an obnoxious male boss.
Every day I drive past a billboard advertising surgery for varicose veins. The caption is “Love Your Legs Again” and the picture is of a woman, seated with legs crossed, wearing stilettos.
So the comments I’ve been reading on blogs and message boards about foot pain from shoes got me thinking. The business attire of women tends to hobble us.
My job as a teacher/computer coordinator required me to be on my feet quite a lot. One day a male colleague and I were hurrying down the hall to provide tech assistance. I literally could not “keep up” with him. As a runner, cardio wasn’t the problem, but even my sensible shoes with the low (less than 2”) heels impeded my stride.
Soon after that, I began wearing running shoes to work for daily activities and stashed my ladylike pumps under my desk in case I had a visitor, meeting or trip to central office scheduled. Then the official directive arrived. We were all to dress professionally – no “sneakers” although orthopedic shoes were allowed. Fortunately, I discovered that my running shoes came in black so unless you had your nose on the floor for a close-up view, I was OK.
In this respect at least, men are fortunate. They can go about their daily work comfortably even in their “dress shoes.” Society expects a lot of women. We have many more body image issues than men do and are overwhelming targets of the fashion industry. I’ve always been a bit of a rebel in that department so my fashion shoes are limited to special occasions. I won’t offend a bride by showing up in sneakers at her wedding.
Women have told me that yes, their shoes are uncomfortable, but they “make my legs look so great.” I hope they don’t end up as the customers of that billboard ad someday.
Monday, October 01, 2012
I defy the norm. It was my positive body image that caused me to ignore the added pounds.
Before BMI we had height & weight charts on the doctor’s wall. At 5’6” the range was 117-154. In high school I was at the lower end and always assumed I had a “small frame.” Gradually I decided that was wrong and by retirement I was content with my “large frame.”
During each of 3 pregnancies in my 20s, I gained exactly 25 lbs. Back in the day that was the upper limit. If you were on a pace to gain more than that, the doctors and nurses would actually yell at you. Of course we also drank coffee, ate chocolate, alcohol was OK in moderation and so was smoking, although my book did advise women to cut down. Fortunately, I never smoked and when I realized the amount of calories in alcohol, I quit that too. I didn’t want to push that weight limit. I lost all my baby weight within 6-8 weeks of giving birth.
Then life happened and the pounds gradually piled on. In my 30s I decided I had a medium frame. The only negative comment I remember was at a family gathering when my aunt remarked to my mother, “ooh, Eileen got FAT!” Looking around the room, I responded, “Compared to WHOM?” See, no body image problem here.
Fast forward 2 more decades and my now LARGE frame was edging into the officially overweight category. Finally, I was beginning to express concern. However, American society had been gaining weight at a faster pace then I was and I was told not to worry because I could “carry it.” .
Finally I decided I didn’t want to carry it anymore. While skipping dessert made sense, most of the popular diets sounded wrong to me. I didn’t have any dieting history, but I sure knew that I couldn’t stick to any of them.
I had always been active so my only option was to analyze and change my eating habits. Fortunately, my running forum had a “healthy eating” group and although it took nearly one year to lose 20+ lbs, here I am approaching my 3 year anniversary of maintenance (132-135). No, I’m not trying to get back into the 120s. Maybe it’s that lifetime habit of being content with not being perfect, but I’m OK right where I am. However, I intend to keep tracking and paying attention. I don’t want those extra pounds to sneak up on me again.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
That was a 1960s movie and popular song. It’s also fits my exercise plan.
No, it’s not a religious thing. I just take one day a week to give my body a complete rest and Sunday seems to fit in well.
It’s not that I don’t move at all, although I must admit to several hours on the couch during football season, but my fitness tracker is empty. I may take a stroll with DH or take a leisurely canoe ride together. We live on a lake. Considering our pace and the time spent being still and observing wildlife, both on land and in the marsh, it’s not about the calorie burn.
It’s time taken to recharge - body, mind, soul and spirit.
Wishing everyone a good day, regardless of how you choose to spend it.
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