Category Archives: Fitness

The Scale: A Poem and a Giveaway

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Scale

In honor of us menopausal types, my poem, “The Scale”:

Do you cringe

When you deliver

The bad news to me,

Or is smirking

More your style?

Someday, Scale,

I hope you’ll speak

Kindly, firmly, fondly

With words since 

Your numbers fail me.

Are you a scale girl?

A waistband girl?

So lucky you don’t need to measure your weight in any way at all?

Or so carefree, it’s not a concern?

Giveaway:  Speaking of weight and weight issues, Mika Brzezinski chronicles her eating troubles as well as her friend Diane’s and much of America’s in OBSESSED: America’s Food Addiction – And My Own.

Get the inside scoop on the eating habits of Gayle King, Charles Barkley, Jennifer Hudson, Padma Lakshmi, and others.  Best of all, read Kathleen Turner’s comments on appearing naked, at 46, as Mrs. Robinson in the stage version of  The Graduate.

For a chance to win a copy, simply enter a comment by May 25 saying you’d like to be the winner.

Obsessed

Guest Post: That Damn Gravity

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A guest post from artist Jennifer Miller:

I was walking the dogs and thinking about different ingredients to try in my won ton wrappers.

When I tripped I was looking at the sky, a light rain kissing my face, and pondering little bits of fresh cayenne pepper, minced garlic and chopped shrimp. The ground came up at me so hard that I still wonder whether some spirit gave me a mighty shove.

When I hit, I heard something snap. I began a chant of expletives that lasted till I was in x-ray and being advised that I had a long path ahead toward recovery.

I got to be 58 without breaking a bone. But I wonder if being 58 had something to do with falling. Did my younger toes have eyes? Have my senses dulled?

I know other women, my age or older, who have also broken bones recently. The first question is “have you had a bone density test?” Lucky for me and my friends, none of us have osteoporosis. As my orthopedic doctor said, “You have good bones but bad luck.”

Yet I feel lucky. Aging isn’t all bad.

Experience is helpful: I paint with less constriction and more creativity.

When I plant a bush, I make sure the hole is big enough and there is sufficient mulch, which makes the bush happy too.

I can plan a meal and prepare it with pleasure, without mishaps (unless I drop the main dish while serving).

I know how to slow down and enjoy Summer.

It is rare that I feel depressed.

But something else is going on in my brain: Fog. More than before. Not being an attorney or teacher, I’m fine being lost in thought. But how could I forget to watch for roots on a path which I had walked for 30 years?

I am becoming airier. In this journey toward the ether, my core is dispersing a little.

It’s fine, I’m okay with it, except: Gravity is not my friend.  If it weren’t for fear of falling, I would spend more time lost in thought.

Instead I trod carefully, and keep my eyes on the ground.

But whenever possible, I go swimming.

Jennifer Miller is a painter with a studio in downtown Hillsborough, NC.

Painting:  Golden Day. Oil on canvas, 20 x24. To see more of Jennifer’s work, go to her website, http://www.waveoverwave.com/

Photo:  The artist painting  on the shore of the lower Cape Fear River. Photo credit, Jennifer’s sister, who is also an artist, Leslie Deede Miller.

Brush Like a Flamingo

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Balance. The not falling over kind of balance.

I took a nasty spill the other day. I don’t  know what, besides a sharp turn and stepping from road to grass, made me fall.  For a few days, my shoulder felt like Jane’s might after swinging from too many vines, and my hand was black and blue, but luckily, I’m okay.  I might not be next time though.

As we age, balance becomes oh so important.  Falls are the downfall of those up in years.

Have you taken the balance test?  Can you stand on one foot?

I sure need to work on balance. And compared to other things to work on, like cutting down on sugar or learning to “show don’t tell” in my writing, balance work is  fun.

In the April O Magazine, fitness writer Gretchen Reynolds, writes, “My regimen consists of a single exercise–brushing my teeth on one leg.”

So I’m trying to do this too: Stand on one foot while I work on my not-so-pearly whites.

For a picture for this post, I thought perhaps I could show you my bathroom,the very spot where I brush my teeth.  Hmm. Boring?  TMI?

I went in with my camera and found the lovely bird above. I am hoping she might be the Queen of  One Foot Standing, a flamingo (although her beak is too long.) She sits in a tiny gold frame on the wall above my sink.  My eyes meet hers as I brush and balance.

Any balance tips out there?  Anybody swear by yoga or Tai Chi?  Tightrope walking?

Photo: Cliff found the pink bird picture for me in Tijuana years ago.  The print is tiny, about two by two inches.  Below are two other prints, even tinier, that he bought at the same time. The signature on the bird print is hard to read, but I think it’s “Urrutia.”  I can’t decipher the signatures on the prints below.

My friend Lisa just sent me this picture. She was in the Bahamas, getting balancing lessons from an expert!

Thanks, Menopause: The Marshmallow Stomach

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I’d read about it for years:  Weight gain around the middle is common in menopause.

And in recent years, I’ve read more and more:  Weight gain around the middle is dangerous, especially in menopausal women.

Dangerous not just for wearing a bathing suit when you finally get to visit Hawaii.

Dangerous for your health.

Rats.

I’ve never had a great stomach.

Well, let me clarify.

It’s great for eating cake with buttercream frosting and burritos lathered in sour cream.

It’s just not so great for looking svelte in knit dresses or bathing suits of the one or two piece variety.

The Menopause Goddess (who we all know is Ms. Qurikypants Do As She Pleases) has not been gracious to me in this area: the area of my marshmallow stomach.

Or is this not menopause at all?  Is this just me eating too much and paying oh so NO attention to that distasteful word:  MY CORE.

Not the core of my being.  I like working on that.

The core of my body.

Menopause or sloppiness or a bit of both, I’m going to try to have some of  my marshmallow melt away by summer.  My friend for this ride is going to be My Fitness Pal.com.  Since this program means I get to spend more time online, I’m having fun with it so far.

May I have a few volunteers to promise to question me about my success (0r failure) come the First of July?

Photo: In lieu of a photo of my menopausal stomach, I offer this old Campfire Marshmallow tin.  It’s a good thing the tin isn’t filled with marshmallows anymore.  A few weeks on My Fitness Pal, and I might  be ready to woof down five pounds of marshmallows in nothing flat.

P.S . For those of you who remember my Naked Church post at the start of the new year, the visualizing, bad as it was, wasn’t scary enough.  Hence, the new plan.

P.P.S:  The winner of the tube of Valera has been notified.  Thanks to all who entered the giveaway.