Wednesday, September 28, 2011

#103 - Tighten It Up Thursday Update - Deciding to Take it Off!

Deputy Dave and I married when I was only 18 years old. Actually, I had just turned 18 when we eloped with him in his Air Force uniform and me in my favorite dress from Sakowitz. I had not even been 18 years old for a full month yet.

However, we'd grown up together and we were childhood sweethearts. You hear people saying, "He was my high-school sweetheart," and I laugh while remembering my blonde haired, blue-eyed, long-legged dreamy boy and he first struck my eye when I was only 11 years old. He was a cutie!

Our first set of wedding bands were purchased on a military base at the BX in the San Antonio, Texas area. They were simple gold bands with a bit of engraved pattern. My fingers were tiny, but I was 18 and without any meat on my bones. In fact, I weighed approximately 98 pounds when we got married. I rarely was able to bust the 100  pound mark on the scale. My body had always been petite and no matter how much I ate, I could not gain weight. My problem was trying to keep enough weight on me so that I would not become weak.

On David's end, he too was built like a lean wire. He had height on his side...I was five foot two inches tall and he was nearly six foot 2 inches tall. There was quite a difference between our heights and it didn't matter. Deputy Dave had lived with tall women his entire life, so he loves a tall woman, but he did not want to marry a tall woman. And I wanted to marry a tall lean man. I'd been surrounded by beefy, stout, muscular men while growing up and I wanted the opposite of my genetics as well. We both got what we wanted in each other.

Through the years, our bodies changed. Often Deputy Dave and I would stand side by side in the mirror and give our best pose, then we'd let it all hang out and give the saggy, poofed out pose...we'd be in hysterics. Deputy Dave would sing along to his old-timey favorite country singer Randy Travis, "I'm gonna love you forever..." and then he'd get to the part, "...time can play tricks on a body, make a young girl's brown hair turn gray..." and we'd sing along, in love, and with amusement at knowing that we were singing about a chorus that would come on some distant day...a day far, far in the future, so far away were those gray hairs that it was difficult to imagine.

I guess since Deputy Dave is a few years older than me, I imagined the gray hair line in the song to represent HIM with gray hair, not me.

But, now we're here in the gray hair days. My hair is definitely turning gray. No, my hair is actually growing white streaks while his hair is thinning. When he is on vacation from the Sheriff's Department, he gets to let his moustache and beard grow out a bit and we've both been amused lately to find that it grows out mostly in white whiskers.

And for other aging highlights...Both of us no longer have a waist-line. We lost our waist-lines years ago, me over children and surgeries and him after enjoying too many full beer-gut-moments until the day they became miserable instead of enjoyable. Over the past twenty-five plus years of marriage, we've both lost height, but I got an inch back after my cervical spine was completely reconstructed, then fused. BAM! I was one inch taller again!

Today, we're definitely not as agile, strong or able to face physical exertion with the never-ending endurance we once enjoyed. And I must say, I often gave Deputy Dave a run for his money. This mama could run circles around nearly everyone I knew. My stamina, energy and non-stop go-go-go personality was hard to keep up with. But, these days, my stamina is unreliable. One day, I might feel as if I could climb a mountain, then the next day I find it difficult to lift the remote control for the television.

Such is the life of a person who is growing older each year. And, that is reason to celebrate. I cherish growing older.

However, lately, I've been bothered by something that has not bothered me for about a weight. Deputy Dave convinced me that it didn't bother him either cause he likes for there to be junk in the trunk instead of it being empty. Well, my trunk has plenty of junk in it. In fact, it's time for me to do some unloading so my trunk can scale down to carry only the best of junk.

I will keep some of these in my trunk...home-made
chocolate wrapped strawberries. My specialty. 

To be honest, I've been rather distracted with staying alive too often over the past few years than to obsess about my weight. Really, it's such a trivial thing that I learned to quit letting it rule my life. For the past decade, I've had one life-threatening battle after another to keep me busy. Watching the scales became a luxury I could not imagine having. I learned to live without worrying about those scales. And, even during my battles, the freedom from the scales has helped me to live in peace from weighty concerns.

On the other hand, I see people who count the calories in the ketchup and I'm oh-so-grateful that I quit letting such shallow obsessions infiltrate my daily thoughts. I know people who monitor their every bite and who feel as if their entire day is ruined by one piece of pie. How ridiculous! If this is you, STOP! If you are going to eat the pie, live without regrets! Conversely, if you have conquered the pie that calls to you, then bravo. To each their own.

As for me, I've enjoyed my extra 25 pounds. They've been good to me. I enjoy going out to a restaurant with my husband, and we make inappropriate noises when we eat things like a rich lobster bisque. Food is fun in my house. That will never change.

I've got a great man because when we are out shopping and my husband sees a skinny woman with a bad attitude, he leans over to me and whispers, "That gal really needs a juicy fat hamburger to lighten her mood."

And, he's probably right. but my line of thinking goes toward emergency intervention, "Give that woman a twinkee!"

In the pictures below, my oldest daughter, Heather, will teach a skinny girl how to find a bit of carefree happiness...not regularly, but on special's risky behavior, so beware:

Go to a party and find the best looking
cupcake on the table. Be ready to fight for it.
This might be a valid reason to hit the gym regularly.

Then, don't worry about proper etiquette, attack that cupcake
and savor every crumb.

If you pass by a man who can't appreciate your taste for
finer pastries and chocolate, then give him this "good-bye" grin.

Okay...back on topic...I've decided to change my way of thinking, just a tad. My body would benefit from losing a bit of this extra weight. I no longer need the extra cushioning to protect me from my uncanny ability to lose weight rapidly...Addison's Disease, my beautiful rare disease, can cause rapid weight wasting, so years ago, once I saw how I could easily lose 18 pounds in one week, I became leery and began to WORK at putting on pounds. Actually, Deputy Dave began the serious task of trying to do all he could to keep me from getting another medical record noting "anorexic" because of the disease (involuntary anorexia---I'm not choosing to be sick, it's this disease and how it affects metabolism).

After all our hard work to help me gain weight, we found success. The weight "cushion" the doctor told me to put on is now padded by an extra cushion. It's getting pretty fluffy around here.

Nowadays, I feel more in control. So, I can safely lose weight and be just as happy as I am now, but in a smaller size. I haven't had any wild fluctuations with my weight in a long time, things have stabilized, so I feel very comfortable that I can drop some cushion and still have plenty cushion left to protect me during rough times.

Instead of letting myself get caught up in the regular woman's obsession with the bathroom scales, I've decided to make some subtle changes in my daily life and to give careful observation to see whether or not my changes result in weight loss. Just so you know, I'm not looking for rapid weight loss, I'm taking the slow boat to China on this one.

What started all of this thinking about losing weight?

Well, recently I found a red blouse that had once been meaningful to me about a decade ago, and I tried it on last week and it fit, but very tightly. I mean TIGHT. Then, I began to look in my closet at all of the clothes I love and that are classics, but I cannot wear them because I'm about ten pounds too button-popping big to fit into the clothes comfortably. Another reason for me losing a bit of weight is that I'm too cheap to go out and buy these same articles of clothing that I saw at Macy's last week, but in a different color and in the next size. My dress style is classic button-down and that style never changes. I literally saw the same dress last week that I have hanging in my closet right now from a purchase made ten years ago. Since I don't buy fad-style clothing, I guess this works for me.

Good thing is, I can still fit into these dresses, but that doesn't mean I can walk in them, or sit in them, or breathe in them. But, I want to WEAR them again. And, I mean, I want to wear them NICELY. Not just the red blouse, but the other things that signal to me..."You really need to lose a few pounds woman."

So, I am going to tell you my plan for losing a few pounds. You may wonder...Is it a plan that includes going on a new-hype-diet that follows the latest book on the charts? Nope. Does my plan include joining a gym so that I can share the sweat soaked machinery of the last muscle-bound goon who wears HIS clothes three sizes too small? Nope. Is it a simple plan, such as starvation? Heck no...You DO remember that I am a Texas gal...Right?

Well, my plan is simple and fun. I plan on drinking more water, eating more veggies and playing more often. Yes, play. I am going to incorporate some hard-hitting playing into my weekly life. At least 3-4 times per week, I will play until I am sweating. And if I hit the sweat stage and am having a lot of fun, I won't stop.

Or, as my great-grandmother Pearl would say, "I will play until I glisten." She didn't think too fondly of women who "sweat." La-tee-da. So, I will GLISTEN.

One method of play I intend to employ is video-gaming. There is a PS3 video gaming system sitting upstairs in my gameroom gathering dust. We use the system to watch movies. The kids in the family play for hours on it. We even purchased the 3D camera and joysticks that are motion-detected so that your body becomes part of the interactive gaming process.

 And, I have a ZUMBA PS3 game for the Move system that has a belt you wear and you put the gaming remote in a special pocket on this belt which makes your body part of the game.

Back up a bit, What is ZUMBA you ask? Well, as far as my unsuspecting, half-witted knowledge can reveal, it is a bit of exercise that combines spicy salsa kinds of dancing and jiggling movements to prove that a forty year old woman should not jiggle. At least not in public.

That's me on the cover of the box. Really.
I was glistening.

The belt, with the remote, makes the ZUMBA game more challenging because the 3D camera watching over you is able to recognize your body's moves by the calibrated remote control tucked into the belt. Shake your booty, yes, it's part of the game, and you get points based on your ability to MOVE. I guess. I shall soon see how this works as I put the jiggle to the test.

I hope I don't break the remote and I hope the belt fits.

Since I am competitive in nature, this is the most fun way for me to get my body moving in extra ways that are fun and to help me shed some pounds. Next, I'll add the dancing game to my PS3 so I can bounce around upstairs and boogie the pounds away.

I'm going to be keeping track of my weight loss and will keep you informed. For sure, I intend to have lots of physical fun while playing games like a big kid. I think that's often what is missing from our lives as big grown-ups, we forget how to have fun. We think we can't figure out how to work a gaming remote control. Well, I want to make a point at learning, remembering and enjoying.

One of the games we like to play that makes Deputy Dave and I sweat buckets --- oh yes --- he sweats buckets and I glisten like the ocean beneath a moonlit night --- is the game where we get to be Gladiators and our remote controls are swords. Each time we slice at each other, the controller vibrates and lights up and I viciously try to take out his knees as he is intently focused on slicing my head in two. It's great.

Okay, back to my weight loss plan. I think I'll write about this plan for every Thursday's post. I could call it - Tighten It Up Thursday...compliments of Stefie's creative thinking process...I tell you...that girl should go into marketing!

For the record, I'm starting at 135 pounds. HAHA. Could you hear me all the way to your place with that super loud giggle?

For the real record, the real record is top secret. I'll simply start with the amount of weight I'd like to lose, let's say 25 pounds. I'll give a count-down to 25. When I lose five pounds, I'll let you know that I have 20 more pounds to go to reach my 25 pound loss. If I gain 3 pounds, I'll let you know that I'm nearly back at square one. Yes, I'm sure that'll happen.

So, today, I'm at my 25 pound starting goal for weight loss. Truthfully, 25 pounds will put me a such a low weight that I'd be thrilled, I could lose more, but it's my starting goal.

On a serious note, I'm getting older...I'm a whopping 43 years old and I know that any extra weight being carried around will be more and more difficult for my aging joints and muscles. Therefore, I want it off now. I've enjoyed the bliss for the past few years as I've been focused on more serious things, such as surviving cardiac-thoracic surgeries, a broken neck and the removal of a huge abdominal mass that caused major complications, but those are the little things in life that had me distracted. Now, the weight is again in focus and I want it gone. Adios to my soft side.

I'll be posting pictures of my efforts. It won't be easy. I have days when I am very weak. Some days I cannot barely move because the hardware in my spine is surrounded by swollen tissue and I could scream at every move, but on the days I can shake my booty, I'll be shaking it.

And, Deputy Dave might lose a few pounds from all the extra laughing he's going to get a chance to do. He'll be on the laughing weight-loss plan.

Actually, last night, we played another serious gaming session on the PS3 upstairs. It was a racing game. Unfortunately, Deputy Dave was the one who probably ended up shedding five pounds because he was obsessed with learning the race track, with coming in as one of the top five in the race instead of #15. And, each session found him comparing the time around the track with the last timed session...he HAD to beat the last time and make it into the top five in order to move forward in the game. Several times, he came in 6th, but never in 5th place. His blood pressure was up, his heart was racing, his palms were sweating and he wanted to be NUMBER ON ON THE RACE TRACK!

Then, it was time to go to bed. Well, there is a drawback to being "old" and that is self-inflicted regimented bed-time. Some things just can't change once you learn to appreciate the importance of schedules, and bed-time is one of those things that can't be messed with.

Sadly, last night was not the night for Deputy Dave to make the top five in the racing game. I'm sure he went to bed thinking about how to jump the ramps more efficiently and he probably dreamed about pushing the others off the track so his ranking would increase, but I have a feeling that tonight is his night to be a winner. However, he's always a winner in my book. And, I think I'd better incorporate a bit of side exercise as the rule for when Deputy Dave is playing his game, then I will be using our PS3 time wisely.

We have several games for me to play that will get me into cardiac mode and to the point of burning fat. I will glisten, glow and resemble a shrinky-dink over the coming months.

Ready? Set? GO!!!


LindaG said...

Good luck, Lana!

My hubby's hair turned white years ago.
He teases me when I talk about the few white strands I have.
I'm 2 years older than he is.

Rambling. haha!

Rae said...

:) My guy has gray hair already, and he's only 32. His goatee is especially silvered. Poor guy. :)

As for weight loss, good for you, doing it in a healthy way! If you're anything like me, you'll really drop when you get out to your acreage. I lost 20 lbs in our first 4 months. Granted, I was spending a couple hours a day installing flooring, painting, cleaning, chopping wood, clearing brush, etc, and more time on the weekends. I didn't even diet (and actually was eating a lot of convenience food). Nothing like property to get you into shape! :)

Karen said...

Lana, I enjoyed this post a lot, and if anyone can lose weight, it will be you. I need to lose 60 pounds, so I'll be following along with your progress. I checked into Zumba once, but didn't make the purchase, it looks like fun (or am I delusional?) Our 35th class reunion is Saturday and I'll be holding the title for Most Expanded Woman, I'm sure. My good friends from high school have all slimmed down to almost anorexic weights now which definitely leaves me the odd woman out, but I have hopes that someday I'll get this all figured out. (I hate the idea of going to a gym, I don't want to slip and slide around in another person's 'glisten' either!)

You are an inspiration to me, being able to accomplish all you do with some very serious health concerns. Full Speed Ahead, Lana!

Lana from Farm Life Lessons said...

Linda --- a few years ago, my daughters would sneak up behind me and pluck a white strand out of my head and I'd yell "OWWW," but they thought they were doing me a favor. Soon, they realized, they better quit pulling out the white hairs cause I'd be left without much hair in clumps because so much white hair began to grow in streaks. Now, I just give up. I'm sure that within a couple of years I'll have MAJOR white streaks and be a natural Cruela DeVil.

Rae --- I love gray hair, so I bet it looks good. Sometimes, I can't decide if I should battle it or not. It seems to be stubborn, so I've been letting it go. As for the weight loss, I am so excited to hear about your country weight loss plan!! haha Every time I'm at our land, I get a chance to work out in a way that is absolutely lovely and productive and mentally uplifting. Even here at the house, my morning and daily chores with the chickens bring me a lot of joy. I guess some people would not like such things, but I am in love. Maybe my body will get the chance to do more country workouts in the near future.

Karen --- Your blog photos show you to look just beautiful and radiant! I think that any extra weight you feel you might have is due to your happiness factor. The life of gardening must be doing something right for you, because you look awesome. Gardners always have to special look to them that most of us are trying to obtain. Maybe they get just the right amount of sun, muscle strengthening and stress reduction that makes it evident to onlookers that they are doing something fantastic on a regular basis. Your school reunion is sure to be interesting and fun. You will be the envy of your classmates because your blog shows such an incredible life with you surrounded by hard-earned beauty. Thank you for the kind words...I do have challenges, like so many of us confront, but part of my goal is to prove that a full life can be lived, even with those challenges. Life is so full of blessings.