Category Archives: weight loss

Perseverence and Pride

“god grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, the courage to change the things i can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” serenity prayer

three simple thoughts. how many of us beat our heads against a wall trying to change things that aren’t going to change or wallow in feelings of helplessness when there are steps we can take to make a change. ah, so it’s the wisdom to know the difference that makes the difference. words are easy, life is hard.

a year and a half ago c and i began a new way of life. and we’ve continued it to this day, which has allowed us to enjoy a healthier and happier life together. as somewhat of a culmination or perhaps continuation of his healthy life, c rode in a 65 mile bike ride to benefit the american cancer society this past weekend.

in spite of spending months training for the ride – which c completed with impressive dedication – he was nervous. he said he was nervous about making a fool of himself by falling or failing in some way. i suspect that he wasn’t nervous about completing the ride because he was certainly ready to ride 65 miles, but about completing the ride to his own satisfaction. and because he was a rider as a younger man and by his own admission just “loves to go fast”, he wanted to complete the ride in the same way completes his weekly rides — tour de france-type riding.

he not only finished the ride, but he finished the ride an hour earlier than anticipated and with the first 40 out of a total of 3,000 riders. here’s the spectacular part: this is the same person who had difficulty walking ¼ track in january of 2013. now, 110 (or more) pounds lighter, he rode 65 miles at a pace of 20 – 30 miles per hour and wasn’t even exhausted.

he’s now training for a 150 mile ride in october and i’m sure he’ll also finish that in spectacular style.

courage to change the things i can.

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Journey of Genetic Defiance Part II

oddly enough, at the age of 57 and the same height i’ve been since the age of 16 but weighing more, i’m wearing the same size i wore 35 years ago.

something ain’t right.

when i was a kid, stores that carried downscale women’s clothing only went up as high as a size 12 or 14. upscale women’s clothing stopped at size 10 or even smaller. clothing from paris was made to fit adult women who were the size and shape of 10 year old boys. clothing today is made to be put on models who look as much like hangers as they can. someone should invent robotic runway models so no one has to be pressured to eat tissues to become one.

i don’t know what size the kids clothes stopped at when i was a kid because i never got to shop in those regular stores. my only shopping option as a young teenager was lane bryant where they carried only half-sizes. while is sound like a size accommodation – “oh, i’m between a 10 and a 12… i’m a 10 ½”, that’s not what half sizing meant. it meant that you wore fat sizes. kind of like husky in the boys’ department or what “women’s” sizing is now. (for you men out there, women’s clothing refers to all clothing for women, but women’s sizing refers to clothing sizes that are much bigger than regular women’s sizes. regular sized women’s clothing is carried in the “missy” department or the department sometimes labeled as “women”. got it?)

much as i would like to believe that i am the same size i was when i was 22, i know that it’s not true.

it’s called vanity sizing and the stores where you shop are all doing it. over the past 40 years, the actual measurements of women’s clothing have increased by an average of 4 inches, which means that most women’s clothing sizes are a size or two bigger than they used to be. funny, kind of snarky take on this here.

while the clothing measurements are keeping up with us as we get bigger, the labels are scaling down to make us feel better. and to keep us buying. maybe that explains the wall mart photos we all see on line.

there is no standardization in sizing in women’s clothing and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. on the surface it seems to make sense that a size 10 should be a size 10 should be a size 10, but labels sell their customer on an identity and a macy’s size 10 customer is simply not a j. crew size 10 customer.

now, in all fairness, this increase in size is not just about being overweight or obesity, since women are taller too and their bone structure is bigger. some of this larger sizing is due to better nutrition, less smoking, less restrictive corseting and breast implants. yep, implants. i’m guessing a lot of people are not complaining about that one.

you’ve probably all heard the recent flap over abercrombie and fitch’s ceo mike jeffries, who spouted off that a&f only wants to sell to “cool, good looking people”, which begs the question: “why are they selling to mike jeffries?” people expanded jeffries’ cool remark into protesting that a&f doesn’t carry larger sizes for girls (not so sure a lot of grown women shop in a&f). well, they do carry larger sizes, they just vanity label them more aggressively than most other stores and you can tell that because they carry xsmall and xxsmall and double zero. my guess is you can pick up a lot of that tiny a&f merchandise in places like tjmaxx and marshall’s, ‘cuz not a lot of girls are buying it. By the way, if you are seeing a lot of only small sizes on the racks when you go into a store, it’s because the larger sizes are all sold out. And the department buyer is stupid.

you will be witnessing the end of a&f because they are business idiots. when 67% of the apparel purchasing population falls into what’s being called the plus size category, cutting them out of your business model (not to mention insulting them along the way) is just plain stupid. you gotta sell a lot of $150 ripped jeans and $50 t-shirts to make up for those pr mistakes.

every women will tell you that she’s got at least three, maybe four sizes in her closet and if she doesn’t she’s either got a lot of money for custom clothes or she’s lying. and by the way, any woman who insists on sharing her size with you is a jerk.

i have to admit to being hesitant to support the “let’s all be fine with huge sizes” thing, just because we all know that it’s not healthy. it’s just not and you can’t vanity your way out of it. conversely, thin or skinny people are no better humans than anyone else. let’s just get rid of that nonsense too.

you know that you should be fit and healthy and take care of your body. you also know when you feel good physically and have the best idea of what shape your body is. no amount of fashion dictation is going to change that you got your mother’s thighs or your father’s paunch and no amount of reading nonsense in fashion magazines should influence what you know to be the best for yourself.

buy what looks and feels good on you or make your own clothes or get them tailored to fit you properly, cut out the size tags when you get home and forget the rest. look and feel fabulous.

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Journey of Genetic Defiance Part I

back in january c and i embarked on a weight loss journey together.  ooops, sorry.  i’m supposed to say a journey toward getting healthy so i don’t make anyone feel badly about themselves or discriminated against.  but here’s the thing: to successfully lose weight you have to tell yourself the truth and the truth was that c and i needed to lose weight.  i could tell you that both c and i have a genetic history of obesity and that it makes it hard to lose weight and keep it off.  i could tell you that, and i could also admit that it’s an excuse.  yes, genetics play a role in weight, but just like inheriting crooked teeth or lousy vision, there are ways to fix things. staying within your ideal weight range is no different. some of us have to pay more attention to fixing weight things than others.

for the past five months c and i worked at losing weight together and so far the two of us combined have lost the equivalent of a runway model.  not a vogue model mind you, but a regular runway model that weights in the three-digit numbers.

i like to lose weight in the winter and i’m always more successful at it if i start during the winter months.  by the time summer rolls around, i’m too lazy to think that much and intentionally sweating in the heat feels icky.  but it’s easy to keep weight off in the summer because it’s too hot to eat and i drink a lot of liquids that fill me up.

c’s transformation is so dramatic that people who haven’t seen him in awhile stop him and ask how he did it.  he tells them the truth and they don’t like the answer.  everyone wants a quick fix and trust me, i do too, but after spending an entire lifetime gaining and losing weight, i know that getting weight off is concentrated work.  the upside is that the longer you follow the plan, the easier it gets and absolutely the more fun exercise becomes.

the last time i lost weight, i hired a personal trainer to teach me how to work out and to some extent how to eat.  and i kept the weight off for a couple of years until our daughter needed a bone marrow transplant and i kept my worry in check with wine.  i thought about medication and maybe that would have been a better option, but i went with the wine and along with it came the weight.  of course, that was my excuse for one year, but then another year went by, our daughter recovered beautifully and i kept enjoying my wine, not to mention discovering a liking for botanical gin and small batch whiskies.

(lest you think i settled into being an alcoholic, know that along with the lovely alcoholic beverages came wonderful charcuterie spreads with crusty bread, all of which combined led to a larger version of me.)

by the time january of 2013 rolled around i was in such pain in my knees from the extra weight and lazy lifestyle that i thought i might need knee replacement surgery.  instead, c and i started walking.  it hurt, i’m not going to sugar coat it, walking hurt my already hurting knees.  but then a funny thing happened: my knees felt better the day after walking.  and the more i walked, the better they felt.

at the same time, i discovered an app called lose it! which is basically a calorie counting app for your phone.  you dial in your weight, your goal and the number of pounds a week you want to lose (up to 2) and it returns the number of calories you should be eating a day to achieve that goal.  you can enter in your exercise type and time and it adds those calories back into your available calories.  as you lose weight, you enter your weight loss and it subtract calories from your available count to help you keep going.


well, only if you tell the truth and if you’re diligent about entering your food every day.  results don’t lie.  and what i quickly learned was that i had to earn more calories or more weight loss by exercising.  so i added zumba class.  and elliptical.  and weight training.

all of it worked.  what worked the best was (is) having c as a partner.

experts have always said that it’s easier to lose weight with a buddy and c and i found out how true that is.  but it has to be a specific kind of buddy – one you can trust, one who doesn’t sabotage you and one who doesn’t compete with you.  basically, a buddy who acts as your cheerleader and who is just as willing as you are to coax their buddy into a workout or convince your buddy out of a bad decision.

next time: journey of genetic defiance part II


Filed under Fitness, Food, health, weight loss, women