Thursday, April 16, 2009

Change Up

Sharon at 5

April, 1949 

I’m going to be 65 on Saturday. Already, I’m in the post-Paul McCartney’s When I’m 64 period of my life. How did this happen? That’s the universal question from those of us lucky enough to have reached 60 and over in this world. I’ll bet it’s asked in every single language.

Well, enough of that. The whole point is, I’m looking at the short end of the stick, and it’s become clear that “now or never” has never been truer. So I’m doing something about a couple of important things, like physical and spiritual health. She is my partner in the physical health arena. We’ve signed up for a 10 week “Make It Personal” session at the Zacharias-Ganey Health Institute here in town, and this is our first week. The program combines weight loss management with exercise, and they’ve had some outstanding successes, even with people in much deeper doodoo than She and I are. I can already tell you the secret of their success. The physician who runs it and the staff of personal trainers are with you, adaptations are made to fit your situation, you’re part of a group that signed up at the same time you did, you all exercise and weight manage together, and cheer each other on. It’s very structured, and yet friendly and personal, and not in some phony, false-cheery way. I love our group’s trainer: “If you hurt yourself, I’ll kill you.” “If you’re late, I’ll skin you.” “No jut butting!” (The latter refers to the wrong kind of posture while lifting weights.)

Having said that, I can tell you that for this first week we are on kind of a detox program from our high-carb way of life, and it’s not all fun and games. We are supposed to eat 5 small meals a day, of approximately 300 calories each and (here’s the kicker) no more than 25 carbs each. (Apparently we are going to be able to eat more carbs after this first week.) (We pray that this is so.) This week’s eating plan is supposed to get rid of our cravings. Not yet, folks. Not yet. And if we were doing this alone, both of us would have quit already. But we’re together, we’re doing it for the same reasons, and we ain’t quittin’.

For one thing, we’re investing a lot of money in the program. I wasn’t going to do it at all, due to the expense, and then I realized that we spent $400.00 just having a new toilet put in recently. And we had the kitchen painted, and the carpeting taken up. We pay a guy to take care of the grass and shrubs. We justify spending money on the house because the house is an investment. Hello??? Time to spend money on getting and keeping ourselves ambulatory for the final stretch. We have not been doing too well on our own.  I have severe osteoarthritis and a titanium hip.  Strangely enough,  60-70 extra pounds caused by eating like a pig and not exercising does not help alleviate pain or allow for much mobility.

As for spiritual health, one of the events I recall is my confirmation as an Episcopalian, 50 years ago. I chose that particular church on my own; my parents were not churchgoers and both disavowed the existence of God, although in retrospect I think both would have loved to have been talked into it. I have been on a serious spiritual journey my entire life, enhanced by reading and prayer, but a big chunk of it has not been spent going to the Episcopal Church, or any other. Oh, for awhile I thought I was a Unitarian, and I’ve explored Judaism, but most of the time I’ve stayed home on the Sabbath. Occasional forays back into organized religion have all fizzled out, mostly due to the “organized” part. However, those of you who read my blog know that I have been a rather steady attendee for the last year or so at the Celtic service at the Episcopal Church. And the other night on my way in to the service, I signed up for the Inquirer’s Class before I had a chance to talk myself out of it, much like the time I got my ears pierced when I was 30.

The class is for those who are already confirmed Episcopalians as well as those who are not. Our first class was last night. It was interesting and I felt comfortable there. That’s all I know right now. Well, actually, I know a lot more than that right now, but I’m not ready to articulate and share. For one thing, I don’t have enough calories and carbs on board right now to be articulate. I just know that I need to get my spirit healthy right along with my body. And for me, that might require some organization. 


  1. Happy Birthday to you, Sharon. I think that you are giving yourself and those that love you the most wonderful birthday gift in taking steps towards better health---physical and spiritual. You have a lot of folks supporting you, I know...and please know you have one more down here in North Carolina cheering you (and She) on. Hang in really will get easier.

  2. Happy Birthday to you!
    My daughter did that exact diet when nothing else worked for her....and guess what? It worked. She dropped about 45 pounds and said she didn't feel hungry. In fact, sometimes she found it difficult to eat and had to set an alarm to make sure she ate every 3 hours. So good luck. I want to try it, but have a hard time with not having anyone else in my household willing to only eat small meals every 3 hours.

    The Retirement Chronicles