Sunday, October 07, 2012
That was the comment of my 4 year old son when he was lying on the couch sick one Sunday morning. I hadn’t noticed that his cartoon program had ended and he was watching a local preacher known for his fire and brimstone delivery.
Thirty-three years have gone by and our family still uses that phrase whenever we encounter someone whose advice is presented in an unnecessarily harsh, mean spirited, arrogant or ridiculing manner.
There are some situations where a severe approach is warranted. Marine drill sergeants have developed their tactics over generations of practice. Parents have employed “tough love” when demanding uncompromising adherence to house rules.
However, in the overwhelming majority of cases, a positive, supportive approach is much more successful. I’m not talking about false compliments or denial of a problem, but the wrong tone can make the recipient of the advice tune out the message.
I’ve only been active on SP a short time, but I’m happy to say that I’ve observed a general atmosphere of support and acceptance that is conducive to success, especially here on the Maintenance Team. Of course, in any online community this can’t be 100% true. The recent article on the healthiest frozen meals comes to mind. Some comments sounded like anyone consuming one or serving them to the family had committed the culinary equivalent of mortal sin.
We are limited by the printed word, devoid of visual cues. Perhaps it’s the striving toward a common goal, but I’m very glad to have found a place in this welcoming environment.
Saturday, October 06, 2012
I remember reading that the amount we eat is influenced by those around us.
That makes sense, but I’ve also realized that our image of ourselves is influenced in the same way.
In some yoga classes I feel like an old oak tree surrounded by young, flexible saplings, but it doesn’t stop me from going. As the “Silver Sneakers” group arrives for their session, I perk up. I applaud their efforts to stay active. As I told one 88 year old woman, I want to be you in 23 years, active and mobile and still coming to the gym.
I visit nursing homes regularly, a habit begun during my mother’s several rehabilitations and continued after her death. One day an old gentleman wheeled his chair next to me at the lunch table. He whispered “You’re one fine lookin’ woman.” I thanked him for that unexpected compliment and he continued, “You have nice legs.” Now, that’s something I’ve never heard in my entire life. Maybe his eyesight was failing?
I mentioned this to a female resident that I knew well and she told me that he was 95 and was quite the ladies man in his day. Then she added, “You do have nice legs – no varicose veins!” LOL
So, your perspective changes depending on your vantage point. All we can do is continually try to be the best version of ourselves possible.
Note: Grammatically, I'm pretty sure the title should begin with WHOM, but it doesn't seem natural to me. I don't talk like that. Perhaps because of whom I hang out with? English teachers feel free to comment.
Friday, October 05, 2012
That’s was the song in my head while running the other day.
Coming back from rehab sometimes it’s discouraging not to be going as far or as fast as I want. Many on SP get discouraged when the weight loss is not progressing faster. Sometimes you realize in spite of all your effort, your body doesn’t look that that woman across the room. Still we keep on trying to be the best version of ourselves possible.
We all started in different places and have our eye on a different finish line.
As the lyrics say:
It's not where you start, it's where you finish,
It's not how you go, it's how you land.
A hundred to one shot, they call him a klutz,
Can outrun the fav'rite, all he needs is the guts.
Your final return will not diminish,
And you can be cream of the crop.
It's not where you start, it's where you finish,
And you're going to finish on top.
See you at the top Sparkers. Have a good day
Note: It's Not Where You Start (It's Where You Finish)
Music by Cy Coleman - Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Thursday, October 04, 2012
Although I’ve only been active on SP for a few weeks, I have been quietly lurking for over 3 years. Lately I’ve been aware of the differences between the insulated environment of SP and the larger society we live in.
On SP there are differences in approach and disagreements on various topics, amount of carbs or other nutrients, intensity/frequency of exercise, and even the appropriate shoes when beginning to run, but we are united in striving for the common goal of living a healthier life. Moving more and eating the right foods in appropriate quantities are the methods we use to get there. We also realize that the ‘one size fits all’ approach is not reasonable and we find our own modification to achieve success.
Then there’s the world outside of SP, the world increasingly accepting of the new size of America.
We meet them personally. “You don’t want to be a size 0, do you? It’s unhealthy to be too skinny.” (Like that’s right around the corner or even an option)
We meet them anonymously through the resizing of the fashion industry. “Don’t worry, see, you’re still a size 10” (Even though you’re 30 lbs heavier than you used to be)
Finally, we’re beginning to meet them in print – the apologists for obesity, subtly denigrating those striving to change.
r-you/article4560312/ ) Thanks to Watermellen’s recent blog
While the title “A little fat is good for you” is reasonable. It also states that:
“Taking and keeping weight off is next to impossible” (So why try?)
“Entire empires – commercial, government and academic – have been built on our morbid fear of fat” (Looking around, we must have conquered our fear pretty well)
All of this has led to fat becoming the new normal
-the-new-normal/article4576071/ ) Again thank you Watermellen for finding this.
This is reflected in the adjustments in our environment.
• Home furnishing companies make their products larger
• Urban buses need reinforced frames
• Hospitals re-engineer their equipment to be able to serve patients
While these are necessary to deal with reality, they also mask the problem
As the weight of our nation increases, our image of ourselves is changing. With 66% of us overweight or worse and another % struggling with anorexia or illness, normal BMI or slim people are currently an ever shrinking minority.
A generation ago America didn’t look like this. Scare tactics may not work but putting the statistics out there is necessary. Making us happy with the status quo is not helpful either individually or as a society.
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.
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