Tuesday, September 02, 2003
Age and Weight and Fitness, Oh My!
posted by Julie |
When I started this column, among my first regular readers were F.O.M.s
Friends of Mom's.
My mom has always been a great diet buddy of mine. Though she has never been anywhere near as overweight as I have been, she has always worked hard to keep her weight in check, and so she is one of my favorite research partners, always bringing me recipes, books, ideas for the column. And because so many of her friends are readers (having no choice in the matter), I hear from them too. And what I hear is just a little hair-raising.
I hear war stories about managing fitness, health, and weight throughout the decades ahead of me. I'm in my 40s now, but I've been given a glimpse of what to expect in my 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s.
I expect my metabolism to slow down. I expect my bones to weaken, my balance to become an issue. I expect it will get harder to maintain muscle without a lot of work. And I expect to have to work through hormonal shifts, and I know I'll join in with a bunch of other women and men who work together to learn and support one another through these changes.
Well, but maybe I don't have to wait. And neither will you.
Because there's March.
March is a new Skinny Daily Post reader, who knows all about the value of mentoring, partnering, helping one another through life's changes. She used to be the executive director of Big Sisters, the first mentoring program for women and girls.
March has just entered her 60s, and is interested in exploring new ways of eating and moving that will help her continue and sustain her weight loss efforts. She's learned a lot and is looking for other people her age and beyond who have done the same, who are interested in learning more, sharing stories, encouraging one another toward healthier living.
She really wants a mentor.
Here's some of what March has to say:
For 61 years I have been physically inactive and professionally and personally highly active. It may even be that the last time I did anything physically significant -- in terms of "exercise" -- was playing basketball in high school. Now after losing 35 pounds (30 to go) I'm not so overloaded with pounds that I can excuse myself from not becoming more active.
Here's the rub-what to do? I mean specifically. Yes, I can walk (but not run). And I have time since my three kids have flown out across the country.
The real challenge is this. Frankly diets are ridiculous -- any "diet" is "cobblers." If by diet we mean a period of time when one changes what one eats. It appears horribly clear to me now that after decades of roller-coasting on diets, the only rational behavior is to change how one eats for life. Embarking on "dieting" is useless, and yo-yoing is harmful to ones health.
I now suspect that one must devote a great deal of one's life to controlling what you eat -- far more than the huge majority of dieters are prepared to do.
Frankly if I had truly been aware of all the ills one is subject to with far greater probability when one is significantly overweight I might have been able to pull myself together and kept off the weight I had lost and stopped the roller coaster.
Well, so for March and all the F.O.Ms, and my friends who are, with me, curious about what to expect, I just opened an Age and Weight and Fitness discussion on the Skinny Daily Post board at 3FC.com. March will come and play there. Maybe we can encourage Malachite to make another appearance, teach us more about what she's learned.
Let's learn together, not-so-big brothers and sisters,
SDP, Age and Weight and Fitness Board
Big Brothers, Big Sisters, International
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