Fat to Fit at 59

My quest to lose 50 pounds in 150 days. (Now that you know about it, I'm committed.)

Day 69—Senior Moments January 23, 2010

Alzheimer's? Or just Old Timers.

Sometimes I worry about being forgetful. What’s normal for my age, and what’s not?

Recently on a Good Morning America segment wit George Stephanopoulos, Dr. Oz said that the incidence of Alzheimer’s will triple in our lifetime, and we’ll all have—or know someone who has—the disease. He described it as power lines (our brain’s message system) that have been covered with sap, which inhibits their ability to transmit thoughts.

How can we prevent it? Some causes are hereditary, but some are influenced by lifestyle choices that can cut our chances for Alzheimer’s in half! He recommends eating a Mediterranean diet (olive oil, omega-3-rich fish and nuts, leafy green vegetables and berries), regular and vigorous exercise (there’s that brain/body connection again!), aspirin (anti-inflammatory), B-vitamins (which rebuild neuronal cables), and turmeric (a spice also referred to as curcumin). Note: The incidence of Alzheimer’s in India is just 1/4 of that in the U.S!

He also cited five warning signs that should serve as Alzheimer’s red flags:

1. (Your) memory loss is destructive to (your) life

2. (You) accuse people of stealing because really, (you) can’t remember where (you’ve) put something

3. (You) put things in unlikely or illogical places (eg: keys in the fridge)

4. (You) repeat questions over and over because (you) don’t remember asking or getting an answer

5. (You) make up new words for words (you) can’t remember

Do you like quizzes? Here are eight items. Read them once, then scroll this post so you can’t see them any more. Do something else, and after two minutes, try to recall the items. If you can remember 6-8 you’re a memory master. If you remember 4-5 your memory could use some work. And if you remember 3 or less, you have reason to worry:

House       Professor       Palm Tree       Teddy Bear      Beach       Pasta       Nun       Cigar

To listen to Dr. Oz’s segment, visit http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/HealthyLiving/dr-ozs-warning-signs-alzheimers-disease/story?id=9618672 .

‘Til tomorrow, stay confident and resolute! Now where did I put those earrings…?


Day 65—Dealing With Disappointment January 19, 2010

How do you deal with disappointment?

For months my middle daughter has been waiting to hear where her next job assignment will be. She’s in an administrative training program with a large corporation that puts her into a different job category every 12-18 months, with the final phase being to earn her MBA.

Since June 2008 she’s been traveling to various department stores to monitor displays. Her next position will be managing a brand store. We’ve been hoping she’d get her first choice: Portland area. This morning she found out it’s not to be. No word as yet on where she will be going, but as a mom, I’d been looking forward to the possibility of having at least four of my five girls in the same time zone!

So the question is, how do we stay on track when we encounter the major disappointments in life? Not necessarily the “I broke my nail” stuff, although enough of those in quick succession can build into a major meltdown as well.

First I’ll get on my knees and ask for some comfort. And, I’m not much on crying, but that option’s looking pretty inviting. Other suggestions?


Day 54—Your BMI (No, not BMW) January 8, 2010

It's easier to get where you're going if you know where you are NOW.

How do we know if we’re overweight—and how do we know how much? One method is the Body Mass Index—BMI for short.

You can find BMI calculators online, but to calculate your own BMI, here’s the formula: Multiply your weight by 703. Now, divide that number by your height in inches squared.

For example, I weigh 194. I’m 5’9″ tall, or 69″. 69 x 69 = 4761.

So for me, 194 x 703 = 136382 / 4761 = 28.65 BMI. That means I’m overweight. Not far enough from obese for my own comfort.

Calculate your own. Here’s what the results mean:

Below 18.5              Underweight

18.5—24.9               Normal

25.0—29.9              Overweight

30.0 and above      Obese

According to a CBS news report last night:

  • Two-thirds, more than 190 million Americans are overweight or obese.
  • Obesity-related diseases are a $147 billion dollar medical burden every year.
  • Childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years. AND, 3 out of 4 children in a Houston hospital study were found to be overweight or obese.
  • This may be the first generation since the Civil War to have a shorter life expectancy than the previous generation.

These are scary statistics. I want to share a long and healthy life with my family and friends. How about you?


Day 43–Return To Reality December 28, 2009

Time to back away from the buffet table and rein in the repast.

After a week’s diet-song of mainly kolachies, thumb prints, snicker doodles, fudge, truffles, mint and caramel chocolates,  huge hunks of prime roast beast, potatoes (at least four varieties), a delicious hot turkey-cranberry salad encased in wreath-shaped crescent roll dough, eggs, french toast and pancakes, I hear the sound of screeching brakes.

The sound is bittersweet. I looovvvve all those things–and some of them are even quite healthy–but I realize that I’ve WAAAYYY overshot my calorie budget for the week (or is that for the month?).

So here we are, now that I’m home: back into the comfortable, predictable groove of more-healthy eating and more-conscious food choices.

I started today off with cream of wheat, skim milk, OJ, and a slice of whole wheat toast with a light buttering. Now I need to work on jump-starting my exercise routine, and trying out the awesome monitor my kids gave me (When there are grandkids around to have fun with, it’s hard to think about hitting the exercise trail!)

So even though Christmas is wonderful, there’s something equally wonderful about getting back home and in control of my “program,” if you will.

Oh yes, the weight report? Yesterday I weighed in at 194, body fat 31.5% and body water 43%. Ouch. I feel it in my waistband. Now I’m off to the grocery to restock my fruits and veggies! Ta-ta for now…


Day 26—Mix It Up December 11, 2009

Healthy mixes make great gifts!

Are you makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice—and realizing that giving calorie- and fat-laden treats to your weight-watching friends may not be very nice?

Here are six mixes to please anyone on your gift list:

1. Ho-ho-oats—containers (cellophane bags, plastic tubs, glass jars…) of oatmeal, raisins, dried cranberries, almonds, walnuts, and any other goodies that your recipients can mix as desired in their oatmeal. Optional: cinnamon.

2. ” ‘At’s Italian” seasoning—mix 1 Tbsp each: oregano, basil and sage, and 1 tsp each: rosemary and red pepper flakes. Great for spicing up the marinara sauce!

3. Tasty taco seasoning—mix 3 tsp chili powder and 1 tsp each: cumin and red pepper flakes. Now that’s a tasty taco!

4. Pumpkin pie spice—mix 1 Tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp each: mace, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. Simplify the season!

5. Hail to the trail mix—mix nuts, dried fruit, sunflower seeds…be creative! (Maybe even sneak in a few M&Ms to satisfy that pesky sweet tooth!)

6. Musical mix—burn a CD of great tunes that you can’t help but groove to. Your recipients can download them to their MP3s for rockin’ workouts!

Do you have any more mixes to share? (That’s what that little “comments” box below is for!)  😉


Day 21—Emptying my nest December 6, 2009

This was Annette's room until last night. It's now a neutral sand color.

I have a date with a mattress. Last night about 7pm I thought I’d move the furniture out of Annette’s old room to prep for painting. (I figured there weren’t too many potential buyers who could picture themselves in this Pottery Barn Teen-style room!)

When I finished that before 8, I decided, Why not just go ahead and paint? So that’s what I did. I finished around midnight. There’s a bit of touch-up to do tomorrow, but then the job is done.

More than staging a house for sale, the redecorating signifies to me that I’m now officially an empty-nester. All trace of the kids’ decorating is gone. Lyanne’s cardinal-red room—officially called Bougainvillea— is now the color of dried grass—my living room/parlor/hallway color. And Annette’s lime green and turquoise stripes are now the color of tawny sand.

I feel more sad than I thought I would. My babies are now out on their own paths. My mother’s dreams for them are relegated to the corners of my mind. I’m no longer the central figure in their lives. And I miss their laughs and their smiles. I even miss their hormones. Heaven knows, between five daughters and myself, there were plenty of those. 😉

But life moves on. I’ve been blessed to see all of my girls and their families in the past month, and will spend Christmas in Portland with Melanie and Annette. I’ve graduated to my mother’s role: I’m now known not as Mom, but as Grandma. Guess I’ll put on my night-cap, take out my teeth and go meet my date—the mattress.


Day 15—Thanksgiving every day November 30, 2009

Jeffrey, who will be 3 on Christmas, admires his tree-decorating skills.

Holidays are wonderful. Friends and family gather, catch up on each other’s doings and growings, and partake of favorite traditional fare. What could be better? As my son-in-law Greg says, How could you NOT love Thanksgiving? You don’t have to buy anything. All you have to do is show up and eat (admittedly a man’s perspective, but lovely in its simplicity).  😉

After our Thanksgiving feast on Thursday and Black Friday shopping, my grandson Jeffrey helped me decorate my Christmas tree on Saturday while his mom and dad spent time with friends at the Vandals game, and Aunt Lyanne kept Jeffrey’s sister Gracelyn (13 months) occupied.

Jeffrey had the absolute BEST time. He strategically placed each ornament I handed him and chattered happily all the while. When we finished, he did what I do—and what my father did—after a job well done. He stood and looked at it. And he came back time and time again to look at it some more. He was satisfied with a job well done.

I think we’d all do well to give ourselves a bit more appreciation each day for our jobs well done. And, to give our Heavenly Father more appreciation for HIS jobs well done. We owe all we have and all we are to Him. As we enter the Christmas season celebrating the birth of our Savior, I’m thankful for the blessing He has been to me and my family. And I’m thankful for the humility that thankfulness engenders.