Tag Archives: weight

The backside of 40

Funny-Old-Woman-smokingIn a few short hours – less than three, actually – I will officially end the first half of my 40s and get started on the back half. I say “officially” because I’ve not yet decided whether I will accept what the calendar says or simply remain 45 for as long as I can get away with it.

I have, through the duration of my 40s, proudly exclaimed how wonderful this decade was. I found myself. I discovered new things about myself. I accepted myself for who I am, and realized that in reality, I’m a pretty cool person to know. I’ve flirted with the gym, quit smoking, ended a 30-year relationship with Diet Coke and vastly improved my eating habits. I built strong, lasting relationships with my kids and guided them into adulthood, ready to spread their wings. I’ve reconnected with those I thought I’d lost, and have a renewed sense of reality about lifelong relationships I had mistakenly put on a pedestal.

In short, I’ve lived.

I expected – and was fully prepared – to spend the last half of my 40s the same way I’d spent the first, enjoying life as it happened.

Then came May.

I have no misconceptions about aging. I know it happens to the luckiest of us, in some way or another, and we can choose to let it happen gracefully or fight it. For the most part, I fight it. People ask if my red hair is my natural color and I smile and say, “Yes, and no. This is my natural color, but not all of this color is natural.” I don’t color my hair, I just refresh the red. I’ve been blessed with the fair skin of the Irish and, somehow, have managed to keep my face smooth and young looking – people are often surprised to hear I have a child who is 17, and they are really surprised when I mention her 21-year-old brother. I look at myself and think back to when my mother was my age and know that I am not my mother’s 45.

But May – May had something special in store for me. A lot of somethings, actually.

It started early on in the month, when I began to notice a greater difficulty reading scores on the TV or even some street signs at a distance. I went to the eye doctor in late April expecting to get a stronger prescription for my reading glasses and was given a different kind of prescription: for bi-focals. And yes, I opted for the invisible line. The glasses came May 3, a Friday.

That following Monday, May 6, I got a text from my Man/Friend – his pregnant daughter, due at the end of the month, went in for a doctor’s appointment that morning and was told they were doing a c-section that day. The baby, an amazing little girl, has stolen all of our hearts. She is simply fabulous. I posted a photo of me holding the beautiful girl on Facebook, where a friend promptly asked, “Does this mean we can call you Grandma Molly?” Ummm …

A week later my son turned 21, and my daughter and I were summoned to pick him up from the bars his co-workers took him to for celebration.

A week after that, my daughter – my own baby – graduated from high school.

Then I worked with a photographer on a special project at work and discovered I knew his parents – I worked with them a decade earlier when this photographer, now a married professional with two small children, was still in high school.

If I didn’t know better I’d swear May was a month full of Mondays.

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New Year’s Resolutions? Hmph.

New Year’s resolutions are overrated.

Everyone posts grand plans for the new year – to lose weight, become more active in the community, save money, be smarter – and yet by about mid-February, the same time we’re buying Conversation Hearts and celebrating dead presidents, they’ve already fallen by the wayside. By June we’re wondering whatever happened and why we even bother.

My No. 1 resolution of last year was as it’s been for the last four years – to lose weight. My body either revolted or got confused and I ended the year a size larger than I started.

I also resolved to save more money and be more organized with my finances. That worked so well that I discovered in one month I had spent $300 at WalMart and Target on unnecessary things that added little to no value to my life. (Of course, box stores are evil so I partly blame the magnetic affect they have on me – I now drive out of the way around them to avoid that magnetic pull.)

Another goal of 2011 was to write a book. OK, that one was accomplished, making me three for three when it comes to years in which I’ve had a book contract. But because I’m an independent contractor when those contracts do come around there are no taxes taken out of my checks. Because I fail miserably at the saving money resolution, tax time means an IOU to the IRS – and you really don’t want to mess with those guys.

This year I’m making it easy: I resolve to get rid of junk.

All that extra “stuff” I let take up my time? It’s junk – and it’s gone. That garbage I continue to think about and never do anything about, either because I can’t or I won’t. Erased. And yeah, I’ll still address that junk in my trunk – hopefully this year with better results.

 

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A week at the Beach — South Beach, that is

Pour Me Some Whine has returned to its not-so-regularly scheduled appearance. Sorry for the absence …

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It took me a while to become convinced that I needed to try the South Beach diet.

Friends had used it and had much success. They touted its benefits and even talked about how much they liked it.

“Liked it?” I can hear your thoughts from here. “Really? They liked it?”

That’s what I thought too. It’s a diet, after all – what is there to like? How could you possibly like something that restricts your foods in both quality and quantity, no matter what the end result could be? And South Beach? The one that says no breads or starches, no sugar and no fruits for the first two weeks? Really?

This photo, taken in early October 2010, spurred my motivation to start the South Beach diet. That's me on the left, in the short-sleeved green shirt.

Really.

I’ve been on the South Beach diet for a week now and, I have to say, it’s not too bad at all.

In fact, I kind of like it.

To back up a bit, I’ve been slowly gaining weight over the last three years or so. When I was divorced in 2002 I lost a LOT of weight – about 115 pounds – and dropped to a size smaller than I was even in college. I loved it, although some people (read: my Mom) thought maybe I was too thin. (There’s something I’ve never said before or since.)

I managed to maintain that weight and size for about five years – mostly because, I think, I was dating a man who smoked and, having always loved the smell, I started smoking again. I continued smoking for about a year after the relationship ended, then I quit – cold turkey.

Having quit smoking before, about 14 years earlier, I knew what could happen with my weight. I was determined that this time it wouldn’t happen, I would be careful because I was aware.

But it happened anyway.

I never denied that I was gaining weight, I think I was just unaware of how it looked. Then the picture above was taken recently at a friend’s birthday party. I knew I needed to get serious. (I do have to say that part of it depends on the photo – the one I use for my Facebook profile was taken exactly four weeks earlier, and I’ve maintained the same weight since February.)

Enter South Beach.

My friend and cousin Cara had recommended the South Beach diet a few times after having to listen to me whine about my weight for weeks. She did it a few years ago, loved it and has managed to keep the weight off.

“Eh,” I thought. “Maybe.”

Then came the before-mentioned photo. I couldn’t get to Barnes & Noble fast enough to get a copy of the South Beach book.

Of course, pessimist that I am, I skipped straight to the “Foods to Avoid During Phase I” page. All alcohol, all baked goods, all fruits (Fruits? Aren’t they supposed to be good for you? Oh, yeah – that natural sugar thing …) and fruit juices. Even some vegetables, like carrots, green peas and all potatoes, are on the list of things to stay away from during Phase I.

Then I looked at the “Foods to Enjoy” section – all six pages of it. I couldn’t believe it. White meat poultry, lean cuts of beef and pork, all the vegetables (except the banned ones) my heart desires – with a minimum of 2 cups at both lunch and dinner. It doesn’t really feel like much of a diet.

One week – and one weekend – down and I’m feeling pretty good. Have I lost weight? I don’t know, I banished the scale from my house years ago. But I feel good, I’m not starving and I can really see this as something that will last beyond the time it takes to get to my goal (two sizes by Christmas, for those wondering).

Pour Me Some Whine won’t become a diet journal – but there will be occasional updates … 🙂

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Women really ARE hard to understand

For years I’ve listened to men joke about how difficult women are to understand. No we’re not, I’d think. All you have to do is pay attention.

Today, I started to see the light.

I’ve blogged about this before, on my Losing It blog: reality slapped me in the face this week and I’ve discovered/realized that I’ve not just gained “a little bit of weight.” I’ve officially gained back half of the 115 pounds I lost with my divorce. Ugh.

I was talking to my mother about it earlier today, and I told her I was a little upset with her for not having mentioned it to me. “Could you have at least said, ‘Hey …?'”

And then it hit me. Would I have really wanted my mom, or my best friend, or my sister, or anyone to tell me, “Hey, you should really think about losing some weight.”

I’m not sure.

On the one hand, it would have been nice to have someone agree with me when I said, “Wow. I can’t believe I’m gaining so much weight,” rather than say things like, “No, you look fine,” or “Really? You don’t look like you’ve gained weight.”

But is that something we really want to hear? We tell ourselves that yes, we would want our mothers or best friends to let us know, but when it really comes down to it, do we? How would I react if I was sitting at dinner with my best friends and, when the waiter took our order, my friends looked at me and said, “Do you really think you should get the chimichanga? I’m thinking the chicken fajitas would be better – without the tortilla.”

To say I wouldn’t react very well is a bit of an understatement.

So, dear guys and men, maybe you do indeed have a point. Maybe we really are a little hard to understand.

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On to 2010

Every year I make a list of things I resolve to complete during the next 12 months. I write them down, fold them up and put them in an envelope, then store them away until the end of December, when I pull them out to see how many I’ve actually accomplished.

This year I’m making it a little more public. If I can’t do a great job of holding myself accountable to my resolutions, then maybe anyone reading this can help me along.

1. Yeah, yeah, the weight loss thing. Every year it’s the same thing, and every year it’s the same result. This time I have a goal in mind: I want to drop at least one size before my son’s high school graduation in May. Notice there are no pound restrictions attached? I don’t care what I weigh, just what I feel comfortable in.

2. Do something new and different each month. I’m not thinking of bungee jumping or riding a camel bareback, but things that take me out of my comfort level, just for a bit. Like, when meeting a friend for a drink going on into the bar and waiting alone. Going to a movie alone. Buy a stranger a cup of coffee. Push the personal development just a little.

3. Do a “vegetarian day” one day each week. Take the day to cleanse out all the fats and toxins absorbed by meat.

4.  Enjoy the kids’ company. I was once cajoled for spending too much time with my kids and not enough time on me, but you know what? My time with the kids is limited. I’ve got one graduating this year and the other in three years – and then I’ll have so much time with myself I won’t know what to do.

5. Breathe. Sometimes — a lot of times — I get so caught up in the busy-ness of life that I forget to breathe. I need to remember to do that more often.

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