Sunday, October 8, 2017
Sunday, September 24, 2017
Getting ready was a study in crisis management - imagining the worst possible scenarios and preparing for them all.
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Sunday, June 11, 2017
- That workouts at the gym now will allow them to survive into old age
- That they are still healthy enough to be using the gym on a regular basis when they reach that age.
- That when they become the old folks at the gym, that the young people there treat them with the same respect they now show their elders at the gym.
Sunday, June 4, 2017
In January at my routine 6 month doctor's appointment all my numbers were great! My blood pressure and cholesterol were down, my “good” cholesterol was up, my triglycerides were enviably low and…I had gained 7 pounds.
I long ago resigned myself to the fact that I was going to weigh more than those ridiculous height and weight charts suggest that I should. Honestly, if I was down to skin and bones, the weight of my bones alone would still put me well into the overweight range. I also came to the conclusion that my weight had little to do with my overall health.
It never came easily, but in the past I could and did lose weight when I made an effort to do so. Once when I had lost weight between 6 month visits, my family doctor at the time said, “I see you lost some weight, which means either you are making an effort, or you're terminally ill.” I’d like to say he was joking but he wasn't given to fits of whimsy.
Everything became more complicated in 2013 after I was diagnosed with IBS and acid reflux. I am not sure why but people don't like to talk about IBS, which stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and causes symptoms like bloating, constipation and/or diarrhea, triggered by certain foods and stress. It took six months of every imaginable medical test to get a diagnosis while enduring a living hell of bloating that made my abdomen feel like a balloon about to burst just about any time I ate. It took another year of experimenting to figure out my “trigger” foods (which are different for everyone) that brought on symptoms.
My (identified) trigger foods for IBS are salads, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, artificial sweeteners, carbonated beverages, dairy products, processed foods (especially meat), very rich food, very fatty food, and eating a large quantity of food in one sitting.
To keep my acid reflux under control I need to avoid tomatoes, citrus fruit and things like peppermint. I should restrict salty foods for my high blood pressure, and carbohydrates in general (sugar, bread, pasta and fruit) to keep my borderline sugar numbers, well, borderline.
What's left you ask? Good question. Basically I can eat all the boneless chicken breast and grilled shrimp that I want.
While this was all happening I was concerned with eating what I could without feeling violently ill. Weight was the last thing on my mind, although it is remarkable that I could gain weight on a steady diet of probiotics, shrimp and chicken. When things were under control I went to a nutritionist, followed her instructions exactly and continued to gain weight. She gave up on me after six visits.
Even though my health was generally very good and my IBS was somewhat managed, the fact that I continued to gain weight despite a generally healthy diet gave me pause. I also have two arthritic knees and the extra weight did not help that condition. I couldn't just keep gaining weight indefinitely.
So I re-joined the fitness club I used to frequent and started going there most mornings before work. I do a combination of upper and lower body strength training exercises and walk a 15 to 19 minute mile up to four times a week. I continued to eat the way the nutritionist had taught me. For good measure, I stopped eating all the goodies that people bring into work.
I still did not lose weight until one Monday six weeks after I began back to the gym, when I got on the scale and saw a ONE pound weight loss! I set out to the gym with renewed enthusiasm and resolve and what do I find when I get there? A big huge sheet cake already cut and plated sitting in the lobby to celebrate the club's 26th anniversary. Saboteurs, I thought! I did not eat the cake.
However I thought this was funny so I shared the incident on Facebook. Ah, the response I received from my sweet Friends! Words of encouragement and words of praise and wonderful suppositions that I was just replacing fat with muscle came pouring in.
But they need not have fretted. A few days later I was babysitting my infant grandson whose arrival has brightened the world of our entire family beyond all measure. I was holding him while sitting on a low couch and when I stood up I could do so without using my hands to brace myself – my arms remained tightly around him.
That's why I'm going to the gym my Friends. To have arms and legs and a heart strong enough to hold that precious little guy close and tight. That's what matters.
That said, I was still pretty happy when I went back to the doctor's yesterday and found that I had lost those 7 pounds I gained the last time I was there!
Sunday, March 19, 2017
This was not the first time I’d ever been on TV representing my organization. I have been interviewed on Comcast Newsmakers a few times.
On those occasions, there was a lot of preparation before my appearance. I knew for weeks ahead of time that I would be doing it. I carefully chose what I wanted to talk about, what I planned to wear, and meticulously fixed my hair and makeup ahead of time. Just in case I messed this up, Comcast provides a woman who fixes your makeup and hair before the taping. You talk to the host to determine how the interview will be structured and are assured that if you screw it up they will just tape it again.
Me (thinking in dismay): “Oh good grief! My face fills up the whole screen.”
There are two lessons here:
Monday, February 20, 2017
You see, I dared to express my respectful, positive support for my preferred candidate during the Presidential primaries on a public Facebook page or two that supported that candidate. I did not mention her opponent at all. I was bombarded with insulting, antagonistic, hostile, and downright vicious responses attacking me personally for having the audacity to openly support my candidate.
They called me every name in the book. I was called more derogatory names in one day than I had in the rest of my long, long life. I was called “pissy,” misinformed, a witch, a bitch, evil, ignorant and stupid, to name a few. I was called “condescending” because I suggested that they stop attacking me and my candidate and tell me why I should support theirs. I was schooled that they would not stoop to defend their candidate, only to attack mine. I got a couple of personal, hateful messages.
Then there were the threats. I was told that if I did not come over to their side and vote for their candidate, that I would “face adversity the likes of which [I] had never seen before.” This person had no idea the trouble I’ve seen. I was told that if I voted for my candidate, that we would lose a whole generation of young people to the Democratic process. I doubted that, but if so, good riddance, because at the end of the day I had the right and in fact the responsibility to vote for the person I thought would make the best president of the United States. I was told that God hates me, that I was going to hell, and that I should just leave the country now.
I explained that I was a working person who would be in the workforce at the very least another 10 years (but probably longer) and that based upon my parents’ longevity, I might be on this earth for another 20 or 30 years, and that I very much cared about the future of the world that my children and grandchildren would live in.