Report: Weigh-in date Friday, June 22, 2012. Weight 290.5. Down 2.0. Total loss at the end of five weeks 9.5 pounds. I am amazed I lost two pounds considering last Sunday was Fathers’ Day and Monday was my birthday.
Summer is here, and with it comes my family’s semi-annual onslaught of birthdays. My brother, Marc, was born June 16th; I’m on June 18. My nephew, Chris, is June 23. My cousin, Laura, is June 26. My brother, Andy, is June 29; and my sister, Cathy, is July 1. Finally, my son, Michael, is August 28. There are others, but I can’t remember them all.
Ours has always been a family that loves to celebrate birthdays, but I gotta tell you, I am beginning to hate mine. Last Monday I turned 59 and for some reason I am having a difficult time wrapping my brain around it. I am not upset exactly; I think it is more that 60 is next and I don’t feel 60, psychologically. It is like standing outside when you know it is raining, but not getting wet – it just does not seem to fit.
I sure as hell feel it, physically! Whoever came up with the concept “aging gracefully” was delusional.
I used to think that when it came to how humans are designed someone, somewhere screwed up. By the time we have enough experience to make good decisions with some degree of consistency; we begin to deteriorate physically so that we cannot take full advantage of our wisdom. I now realize that what appeared to be a mistake is really a design for survival. As we age, many of us are not as resilient physically as we used to be, but we are more experienced – smarter in the ways of the world – so we make better decisions and avoid making some of the mistakes we might have made when we were younger. When you make stupid decisions you need to be resilient.
Regardless, getting older is no fun, except that it is a lot better than the alternative. Most of us gain weight as we age, and if you have battled weight all your life, as I have, this just makes the problem that much more difficult to solve.
The society in which we live is no help. Advertising, television, movies are all full of young people. If it is fun, it is associated with the “thirty-something beautiful people.” They are also thin – especially the women. Every so often someone will try to suggest that being thin as a rail may not be the healthiest choice, but they usually get shouted down by the entertainment industry. I may have been young once, but I was never one of “the beautiful people!”
I suppose we were once the youth featured all over the airwaves, but now the only ads aimed at my age are about adult diapers and various medications. Remember how you felt the first time you had to visit a physician who was noticeably younger than you? It was all I could do to not ask if his mommy knew he was playing doctor!
I realize I am lucky, especially considering my weight. How many 300 pound 59 year olds can do 30 minutes or more on an elliptical? Or can honestly say they have not developed Type 2 diabetes? Sure, I miss taking long walks without my knees hurting and my back muscles cramping. That is one reason I am trying to lose weight. I am on medication for blood pressure and cholesterol, but that is all. I want to keep it that way. The cholesterol may be hereditary, but if I can someday get rid of the blood pressure meds, I will be very happy. I am basically healthy. There is not anything wrong with me that losing weight will not at least improve, if not correct.
My diet buddies and I consider this a call to arms! We are not going to surrender to self-pity or placidly accept deteriorating health. We will not allow the expectations of society to depress our desire to improve ourselves. Birthdays are a bitch, and aging is anything but graceful. We will progress down the road of life, but we will do it fighting!
We may have to age, but we do not have to grow old!
Until next week….