Saturday, May 19, 2012
No kidding, she was referring to ME!
I was at the hospital last week (routine test, no problems) and dressed in a hospital gown plus robe, not exactly flattering.
And next to me, another lady similarly clad. Both of us undergoing general anaesthesia, both of us requiring to be weighed so the anaesthetist could determine the appropriate amount of juice on a per pound basis!!
And . . . "It's not fair that I have to get weighed right beside that skinny woman," the lady said indignantly to the nurse.
I looked around to see who she was talking about. Nobody else there. Me??
OK, so I hadn't eaten for about 15 hours in accordance with the protocol required. Nothing to drink, either, so pretty thoroughly dehydrated. Clocked in at 63.5 kg which is just under 140. Don't know what she weighed: I averted my eyes sympathetically to give her at least the illusion of privacy.
And tried not to rejoice. Me? Skinny?
And yeah, I'm back to 142 now that I've resumed my normal maintenance range of calories, my normal quota of coffee!! Darn. Short lived, I guess! But for a couple moments, I was "that skinny woman!"
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Just following up on my blog looking at obesity, bullying and individual "blaming" versus environmental changes, a number of people commented on the environmental issue of safety. When people of all ages aren't safe moving outside, it's not surprising that they will spend more time sitting on a couch watching TV or surfing the internet.
It's so true that we almost never see young children out playing freely by themselves, either individually or with a friend or two, anymore. It's actually unusual to see children under the age of 12 or 13 on their bikes, at the park, even walking to school, by themselves. Before and after school care costs money . . . and it's cheaper to tell kids of 11 or 12 that they can go home alone provided that they stay inside with the door locked.
Like most people of my vintage, I played outside alone from about age 4 onwards. Rode my bike to the community swimming pool with other neighbourhood children from age 4 onwards. Went to the park with baby brother and slightly older sister from age 6 onwards (she was in charge, at age 9!). Was gone from morning to night, often with a picnic lunch, all summer long by the time I was 7: the only restriction was to be home as soon as the streetlights came on. We played pick-up baseball (which meant we had to learn how to get along without adult intervention). We had a croquet set and badminton and tennis rackets. We climbed trees and dug forts. We roller skated in the summer and ice skated in the winter and played pick-up hockey (girls too). We tobogganed and went skiing. It was non-stop motion with plenty of skinned knees and elbows. No helmets!
Mums had a lot more freedom then, not having to hover over children constantly or drive them to scheduled activities or arrange for daycare. (Of course mums were at home doing laundry with wringer washers, pegging out clothes on the line, and peeling carrots and making jam and mending clothes: not exactly a life of leisure for them either! And it all burned calories for them as well . . .)
Were those really the good old days? Kids ran free, but sexual molestation of children occurred, maybe even at the same rate of incidence as currently. It's just that when it occurred, it was generally "hushed up" and ignored. Not a good thing, of course, for those who experienced either the molestation or the subsequent hushing. A relatively small minority . . . and the majority did grow up with so much less restriction.
Does this mean that the current regime of constant supervision of children is unnecessary?
Here in Ontario we've just been reading with horror the news coverage of a small girl murdered by a sexual predator, with the luring assistance of his girlfriend. Rare, of course. Statistically, "stranger danger" is much less of a risk than molestation by a person well-known to the family. But parents seldom want to take the chance. Remember that New York mother who permitted her 9 year old to take the subway unaccompanied: she was vilified. I taught my daughter how to use the public bus system to get across town to the Y alone after school when she was about 11 . . . again, this met with considerable criticism, although my daughter did not have any negative experiences at all doing so and loved the independence.
However, even as a grown woman, when I was running 10 km a day, I was on more than one occasion harassed when out running in the early morning or evening . . . sometimes even when I was running with another woman. For working people, generally early or late in the day is the time available for running. Police warned us that what we were doing wasn't safe. Although I've reluctantly given up running (because of persistent knee/hip issues), I do hesitate to go out for walks in the woods alone, or even in local natural park areas, because I've experienced harassment on those occasions too.
It's "safest" to exercise at a gym, I suppose: and gym memberships do cost money (although Ys subsidize membership fees on a sliding scale for people who need it).
I sometimes think that part of what fuels excess shopping (is it sexist to acknowledge this may be primarily a woman thing? ) is that one of the only places women feel safe is at the shopping mall! Ditto the spa . . .
And all those expensive theme park and water park and organized events for kids: it seems to me they've become necessary because kids are so severely restricted in making fun for themselves.
No question in my mind: creating a safe environment for women and children to exercise vigorously outside is absolutely essential to combatting obesity. And probably to combatting excessive consumerism too. And probably to connecting with nature, experiencing birds and flowers and all of the changes of the season.
Obesity has many multifaceted causes . . . and no easy solution.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Hard to believe . . . and it slipped past me . . . but May 10 marked my third straight year here on Spark.
At that point I was recovering from breast cancer surgery, waiting to start radiation treatment, and had permitted my weight to creep up from 155 to 172. Fifteen extra "pity party pounds". Still down from my original high of 230 in 2001. But I was determined to halt the trend right away: particularly because my cancer was the estrogen positive type that is most likely to recur with weight gain . . .
How lucky I was to find SparkPeople! This site turned out to be a great place to peel 'em off again, dip a little lower (142) and learn how to maintain: with the help of Susan Estrich (Making the Case for Yourself), Judith S. Beck (The Diet Solution); Steve Siebold (fatloser.com) and an absolutely dazzling array of Spark People resources: articles, exercises, recipes . . . . it's endless.
JOPAPGH joined the same week I did . . . and he's still here, going stronger than ever with his running and other fitness activities.
Others have come and gone . . . but regardless of the ebb and flow, it's the cast of thousands of amazing Spark People members which remains its greatest asset!!
Those of you who have helped me most and are still here do hear from me often . . . I won't name you for fear of missing any one of you, , but you know who you are.
I do most sincerely appreciate all of your support and all of your wisdom with this most difficult challenge of all: MAINTAINING!
I'm pretty sure it's never going to be "natural" or "easy".
I'm pretty sure I"m going to have to track what I eat every day for the rest of my slim life. (And thank you, SP, for the best and easiest to use Nutrition Tracker).
Too much trouble? No it's not. That's a sabotaging thought. Nutrition tracking takes about 3 minutes a day. That's all. Not as much trouble as lugging around all that extra weight 24/7.
And besides: I'm pretty sure that if I ever stop tracking, I'll balloon back up to 230 pounds in about 15 minutes!
Not happening. I'll be here next year. The year after. And the year after that.
And I will continue to maintain within my range . . . that's my commitment to me.
My commitment to Spark is to continue to offer to others whatever support I can that may be useful, paying forward all of the support so generously extended to me.
YAY SPARK!! What a remarkable worldwide community!!
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