Monday, November 7, 2011

Why Diet is a Four-Letter Word

I received an interesting email from one of my readers this weekend.  It was about weight loss and the importance of motivation.

Weight Loss?  Lack of Motivation?  Of course most of us would like to lose weight.  And often we have plenty of motivation, like not having to buy bigger clothes.  But when you are a woman past the age of menopause, good luck with that.

I had never really had a so-called 'weight problem' when I was younger.  Yes, it would have been nice to be 'model thin', but hard to do when you have hips and boobs. 

When I was in home-economics in seventh grade, everyone had to make a skirt.  We all took our measurements so that we could go buy the right size pattern.  (Do they even teach this anymore?) 

I had a 24-inch waist and 37-inch hips.  These are not standard measurements and I had to buy a pattern to fit the hips and then alter the waist.  I never again made anything with a waist even though I sewed a lot of my clothes through high school and college.  Hmmm.  Probably why I hate sewing and my Singer machine has not been touched in years.

In my 50's I still had a 25-inch waist and now 38-inch hips.  Not bad for an old broad.  I had even joined Weight Watchers and got thinner than I had ever been.  And then the dreaded 'M' appeared. 

At first my doctor prescribed a new estrogen supplement.  I stayed on that until the study came out about how dangerous it was and he took it away.  So, I increased my exercise program figuring that I would just use up the calories that way.  And then I started having pain in my foot.  That was diagnosed as end-stage arthritis in my big toe.  Recommendation: no more long walks that irritate the toe. 

In my late 50's I found that I did not have to actually eat any food to gain weight.  It just seemed to jump onto my flesh.  And then the disaster of 2007.  I fell at work and suffered a tri-maleolar fracture of my left leg.  I was non-weight bearing on the leg and mostly sitting for over three months.  Then the long physical therapy and another surgery one-year later.  And more physical therapy.

I have had six different surgeries in the last ten years.  I hope I am done now. 

I have been able to lose about 15 pounds in the last two years.  Not a lot, but not bad considering how my back situation has hindered me over the last year. 

But here is the big deal with weight gain:  Food tastes good!  I enjoy food.  Obviously my body likes it too.  Years ago I was at a big political luncheon and was seated at a table with a well-known female politico who was model-thin.  When the lunch was delivered she covered everything on her plate with salt and explained that it is her way of making sure she did not eat too much food. 

Ok.  Moving right along.  I am healthy according to my doctor who laughs at the idea that I could ever be a size six again.  But I would settle for a size 8.  Oh, but wait, under the new 'vanity sizing' of some manufacturers, I probably am. 

As for more dieting, I'll continue to eat healthy small portions of food and know that in case of dire circumstances with no food in the house, I can probably use up some of my 'stored' resources in my thighs.

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