I am a woman of a certain age. I’d tell you that age, but it wouldn’t do any good because I generally lie about it. So let’s just say that “no spring chicken” pretty much covers it.
Having become a type 2 diabetic a number of years ago, I not only had to acknowledge my age, I had to take responsibility for my health. I had to find a way to lose weight and keep it off, exercise regularly, get and stay fit. I didn’t sign up for this, I thought.
Fast-forward ten or fifteen years. He (George) is fit, muscular and healthy, and I’m looking at riding the scooter at Walmart as part of my future. We did a little traveling. He loved visiting castles in Japan, climbing about a zillion steps in the process. I would meet him and the kid at the exit.
Just last week, both the hubby and the kid (now pushing 24) told me they remember those days as times when we couldn’t take a booth at a restaurant because they were afraid Mom wouldn’t fit. Or how embarrassed I was on planes, pretending to buckle my seat belt rather than ask for an extension.
Those days, fortunately, are over. The kid (Ian) is out of the house, actually teaching English in Israel for the next several months. George, with his full head of white hair (no kidding, strangers stop him on the street), is still fit, muscular and healthy. Still goes to karate and the gym. His worst complaint, he told the orthopedic surgeon, is that his shoulder begins to ache after 20 pushups. “Yeah, me too,” said the surgeon. And then the two of them laughed as they compared aches and pains. George is going to be 74 next month. The surgeon is ten years younger.
So George is the key to my success. He led my cheering section six years ago when I took the LapBand leap into weight loss surgery, losing 70 pounds and reclaiming my health. (More to come on that story, incidentally.) Today, we both eat right, exercise five times per week and, frankly, we’re both a bit of a pain in the behind about slowing down the aging process. But the best part is how he supports my efforts. This is not a singular journey. This is a joint venture. Family is key -- including spouses, kids and close friends. If they love you, they won’t try to sabotage you with stuff you shouldn’t eat. They won’t sit around the house with their hands in a bag of Oreos. In fact, they won’t squawk when there IS no bag of Oreos in the house.
In our house, we make food an adventure. Over each weekend, we plan for the week ahead, looking forward to tasty, healthy food. We hit the Japanese, Chinese or Korean markets, we have our favorite Indian take-out place, we even occasionally have a hamburger (Trader Joe’s 96% fat free meat!). No bun for me.
So you can have fun and still eat “diabetic-friendly.” You can reward your fitness efforts with healthy, tasty food. You can have a partner in crime, someone who will encourage you and keep you company in your quest for good health. You can get this support if you step up and ask for it. It’s there.
But you can’t have George. He’s mine.
See you next time! Stay well!