“You know what they need around here?” she asked me but followed with the answer
before I could ask. “Mirrors, mirrors so they can see how they look. Don’t they
realize how fat they are?”
These words spoken by someone who was close to me cut me deeply and I cannot
forget them as I drive around in my car and see all sorts of unfit men and women
parading around town. I am saddened by the judgement placed on them and wonder
what my friend would say if she could see me walking around with largish shirts
hiding my muffin top most days.
My body has not let me down in the sense that I can hold things with my arms,
can walk with my feet, go up and down with my knees and generally enjoy my
life to the fullest.
I want to live for a long time and yes, I would like to take off some weight, if
only to be able to cross my legs the way I used to and not have pain in my heels
at night from the excess weight. Will this be the year? Only I can decide that,
and only I can go deeply enough into my psyche to figure out what is keeping me
from doing it.
I read today that Oprah has purchased 10% of Weight Watchers stock and I am very
happy for her. I believe in Weight Watchers but I also believe that ANY and ALL
diets will work (temporarily) to help us lose weight. Keeping it off, well, that
is an entirely different matter.
It seems to me that these days a lot of attention is being focused on the epidemic proportions
of obesity in the world. I was a chubby kid, an overweight teenager, a normal weight young adult
and adult until about 15 years ago. My weight has gone up 2 to 3 lbs. per year for the last 15
years, causing me to now be significantly overweight although NOT morbidly obese. I have tried
and succeeded and failed at taking the weight off for the past 15 years because I have honestly
not been trying very hard. I know as well as anyone who has ever really ‘studied’ dieting that
the only true formula is to eat less calories than one burns up and I KNOW that those calories
can actually be fats or protein or carbs…it’s input and output … but of course, we all
know that the mind will believe what it wants and every gimmick or shortcut out there will
induce some of us to part with our hard earned dollars by joining a program or gym and then being gung- ho
a few days or weeks or even months and then something triggers a binge and off we go.
Last January (2015) I decided to do away with any fancy dieting…just deciding to try to
lose 10% of my weight by September, the month I would mark my 60th birthday. I didn’t really
follow a plan, I just tried to eat smarter. 10% was not an impossible goal, it would have been
16 lbs. I did nothing for the first three months. Then in April I followed the Whole-30
not to lose weight but because for many months everything I ate was giving me heartburn. I
experienced no heartburn in the 30 days I followed the program and I even lost 10 lbs. Then
life got in the way, I had a lot of stress and for some reason going off the Whole 30 put
me right back in the mindless eating (mostly at night) which allowed me to regain the weight.
The only difference is that when I reached the beginning weight, I decided that I would
gain no more. I am today the exact same weight I was last January. While I am not thrilled
with that number, I am happy that it is no larger than the previous year for the first time in
a long time.
Oprah has shared her many failures and successes in this area. I remember attending a NOW
conference in 1988 or thereabouts (I was at my normal weight, a weight I had for 25 years)
where she had done Opti Fast or something and she looked fabulous. She spoke to us hundreds
of women from her heart (This I know) when she promised “I will never be fat again!”
I remember thinking OMG, how does she know? How can she say this with such certainty? Well, she didn’t know, did she? Anyway, I know in
my heart that weight problems (overweight ones) often have nothing to do with lack of discipline,
being a food addict, not having a chef who can prepare these foods for us but everything to do
with really thinking about what we are doing, and having a support system that encourages us and does not judge us when we eat beyond our calorie range…
I think I should write a book about it…and maybe I will.
Image Bing.com Public Domain picture
As I look over the stats that WordPress provides, I can see that I have
been rather ‘delinquent’ in my postings on this blog in the month of January.
But just because I’ve been absent here does not mean that I have not been writing.
I have been writing and also dedicating some time to my lovely home and my active
Yesterday was particularly satisfying, a chance to reconnect with a part of myself
that has long been neglected. Today I am looking forward to spending a lot of the
day alone, not lonely and perhaps I can take out pen and paper and jot down the real
projects I want to get done this year. The first thing I need to do is visit my
tiny coffee plantation with a view to determine what can be done for it that will
restore (or rather bring up to) it to a good place. I am ashamed that I rarely
take time to walk around the magnificent property I am privileged to own.
It is hard to believe that the last time I wrote here was at the beginning
of 2016 and we were mourning Natalie Cole’s passing. Fast forward a few days,
we lost David Bowie, quickly followed by Alan Rickman and Rene Angelil, Celine
Dion’s husband. I suppose as I get older, I pay more attention to the passing
of people whose age is not that distant from my own and it makes me ponder life’s
mysteries and reminds me to be grateful for each day and to live it to the fullest.
My days have gone quickly so far in 2016, I expect lots of visitors and I am
eager to see my little town from the eyes of newcomers. I have my work cut out
for me in the following days because my local monthly publication comes out next
weekend. I am usually a little stressed, making sure everything that needs to be
included gets into the issue, collecting my payments, and editing the work that
is sent to me by loyal contributors. I am thankful that my ability and energy to
devote to this endeavor continues to be high and that the publication has become
a tool for new people coming to town and even the realtors who distribute it to
their prospective clients.
I am not so focused on the food issues right now, grateful to be alive and in a
body that is able to move and support me.
Natalie Cole died in the first hours of 2016. Nothing could have made me sadder and
as I read the news I thought of all the things I say to myself when I feel I am not
perfect…little realizing how much rejection hurts.
Geneen Roth reminded me the other day (on a recording from a workshop I “attended”
five years ago) that it is vital to be grateful for every single moment we are granted
to breathe and live and have the opportunity to change our life. She says something like
what would the people who died today give for one more minute or one more day on earth?
Rest in peace Natalie, may you be reunited with all those you love up in heaven.
image of Natalie Cole, Bing.com
My best wishes for all in 2016, let it be the year we know it can be.
For myself, I will put into practice the tips that the many wonderful, positive people
in my life have sent my way.
Minimizing negative rumination will be one of the first goals…just make it
a habit to objectively allow the negative thought to flow out of my mind as
quickly as it came in!