Selfies

I had started a post about my continuing efforts towards a healthy lifestyle, while navigating the Weight Watchers program and balancing my ridiculous love of the fermented grape.   I decided to abandon that stream of consciousness due to the sobbing that was scaring the dog.  Instead I am going to write about my Sister.  The Sista, because she doesn’t know about my new attempt at blogging and therefore will remain totally natural when we are together, not fearing that something funny she said will be relayed to the 3 people who had read my previous blog.  Including my Mom.

My Sister and I met recently for a little dinner and to hear a band called Midlife Crisis.  If you are assuming that this is a band of middle aged men reliving their youth you would be correct.  I took a tour of Mr. Google to see if they had a website but there are a dozen bands that call themselves Midlife Crisis, so this must be a common phenomenon.

I decide that we should mark this momentous occasion with a selfie.  My sister does not take her own selfies.  The most I’ve seen her do is take pictures of her wine and her book in an attempt to mark the occasion of her reading in the sunshine and getting her buzz on.  I think she’s also taken pictures of her car.  It’s a jeep, can’t blame her.  The Sista has also never refused me when I’ve wanted to take her picture.  The catch though is that I have never actually gotten a picture of her that she wasn’t mugging for the camera.  She can’t seem to help herself.  I went through all the pictures I have of us and seriously every single one she is making a face.  IMG_1658

 

Fast forward to my being at my parents place, and my Dad, doing the Dad thing, brought out an old photo album.    I was perusing the pictures I’ve seen a dozen times, and could probably memorize the order they were in,  when I came across the picture that made total sense of my sister.

 

 

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Still adorable, still crazy.

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Grey

 

 

I decided to stop colouring my hair earlier this year and previously blogged my progress.

Shades of Grey

I took a couple pictures the other day and thought I would update my progress.  I have to say my hair, while wiry thanks to the grey, feels a little more healthy.  It could be the B vitamins I’m taking .  I’m actually looking forward to it growing out more and getting a haircut, maybe by the time I’m 70 I’ll be a silver fox.

Aging Gracefully? No Thank You

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I finally know the difference between pleasing and loving, obeying and respecting. It has taken me so many years to be okay with being different, and with being this alive, this intense.
― Eve Ensler, I am an Emotional Creature

 

I’ve never really given much thought to my age. My Grandmother fought, denied, and punched the idea of aging in the face. To say she merely denied her age is being generous.  The family didn’t dare whisper her age, celebrating her birthday was acceptable but there is an infamous story about her 75th birthday where a well meaning family member put up a giant banner declaring Happy 75th Birthday!!  Time has faded my memory but I do remember that the banner was removed before she arrived.  My Father recounts the story of finding a letter from the Prime Minister in her room, when she was living in an assisted living residence.  It was congratulating her on one of her ‘big‘ birthdays.  He offered to hang it for her and she balked at it, conveying her offence that the Prime Minister had the audacity to send a letter that actually stated her age.

My Grandmother was always dressed in heels and stockings, hair done, and bathed in Chanel number 5 when she left the house. She was put together, and I don’t think she would have ever thought about not leaving the house dressed.  Despite her denial of the aging process she lived into her 90’s.  I don’t think she understood my Mom outfit when she visited. My sweat pants with paint on them were for hanging around the house. My sweat pants that came with a jacket were for grocery shopping and picking the kids up at school, and yes I did on occasion drop off in pyjamas.

As I look back I honestly thought I would have a little more money saved, and not still be obsessing about my weight.  In a nutshell I thought I would have my shit together.

Maybe next year.

 

 

Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age.
― Gloria Steinem

Besides, it happens fast for some people and slow for some, accidents or gravity, but we all end up mutilated. Most women know this feeling of being more and more invisible everyday.
― Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters♥♥

Inner Fat Girl

 

 

thI went on my first diet when I was 8 years old.  My friend told me I was fat.  She would compare our stomachs by directing me to stand beside her and I would watch as she drew her hand across my round 8 year old tummy to hers, her hand ending inches above her own, showing me that this was proof positive my stomach was indeed bigger than hers.

I’ve been doing weight watchers now for six months and have not lost any weight.  Well, some days it’s almost like I lost 5lb., but a pint of beer will negate that and I’ll spend the next two weeks trying to lose it again.  I’m not sure if it’s my love of the fermented grape, the menopausal years… pre and post.  Denial.  A love of outdoor patios, or my inability to deny my husband when he wants to take me to lunch.

I am actually a weight watchers lifetime member.  After I achieved lifetime membership, and after those around me complimented my weight loss, I started hearing comments about not losing any more weight.  So, I went from shame when I ate anything but salad, to shame because I didn’t eat anything but salad.  I’ve come to some conclusions about that time after you lose weight and how difficult it is to shed the inner fat girl.  The shame stays with you, you’ve changed the outside but the inside still carries the insecurities.  I also have concluded that there are those around you who would prefer that you were not successful.  One example is my ex-husband, after I lost weight and felt better I asked him to take my picture because I wanted to see what I looked like.  These were the days before cell phones, when you had to actually buy film for a camera, and have it developed.  The olden days, in 1999.  So when I got the film developed I realized he had taken my picture and cut off my head.  When I asked him why he would do that he claimed I asked for a picture of my body.  Can’t imagine why we are divorced.

 

Weight loss can change your whole character. That always amazed me: Shedding pounds does change your personality. It changes your philosophy of life because you recognize that you are capable of using your mind to change your body.

Jean Nidetch
Co-founder Weight Watchers Organization

Grown Up

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Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.
― Coco Chanel

 

 

I’m 51 and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

I’m still marvelling at the fact I’m in my 50’s.   How did this even happen?  I’ve never been one to deny or dread my age but I find myself as a new empty nester feeling like I have opportunity staring me in the face and I’m oblivious to it all.

I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing with said opportunity.  Travel?  Maybe.  I do admire the travel blogs where people chuck all their possessions and travel. If I’m being honest though, the thought of going through everything I own seems like a very stressful endeavour so my laziness would probably prevail.

I updated my bucket list, so maybe that’s a good place to start.

60 Before 60

 

It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.
― Gabriel García Márquez

How To Fail at Weight Watchers

In keeping with my theory that When I Knew Better, I Did Better, and that you learn more from your failures than your successes.  This is what I’ve learned on the path to failing with weight watchers.

I began my weight watchers commitment by drinking smoothies for breakfast.   Add spinach to blender, frozen fruit, almond milk, and 1 tbsp. coconut oil, because I read coconut oil was a superfood.    After calculating the points of this smoothie, I realized that 12 points is probably too much for breakfast and discovered an egg mcmuffin is actually 10 points.  I had to plan a little better.  Next morning I made a smoothie with water, abandoned all thoughts of coconut oil, too many fat and calories.  Smoothie is now spinach, frozen fruit and water.  Chew smoothie.

Social events are my biggest downfall with the weight watchers plan.  At home, calculating points is easy.  When I have to have meals away from home however I find it stressful, and impossible to succeed at the plan.  So when I had a fundraiser come up, I knew that I had to plan ahead.   Following the recommended advice of weight watchers for planning ahead, I discovered that the meal was to be served family style and consist of roast chicken and potatoes, salad and pasta.  No problem.  This is actually a bonus because its family style so I can serve myself the portions to stay on plan, I can save my weekly points, make some lighter choices for the day, and skip the bread basket. I will limit myself to one glass of wine and alternate with sips of water to make my wine last longer.  The plan is in place.

The reality of the aforementioned event, and plan, is as follows.  The first course arrived in the form of a creamy Italian soup with sausage and potatoes.  I passed on the soup.  I watched my slim women friends at my table devour the soup, they encouraged me to try a little bit, but I held firm, confident in my plan.  I realized my friend beside me was on her third bowl.  I drank a glass of water to quell the grumbling in my stomach due to having only eaten a 1/2 cup of yogurt with fruit for breakfast, and a salad for lunch. I cursed myself for not considering the probability for the lateness of the dinner.  I made idle chit chat trying not to sip my wine so I could have it with my meal.  The pasta course arrived in the form of lasagna.  I had not accounted for this.   My anxiety level climbed as I watched the platter passed around the table, each person taking a large piece and placing it on their plate, the cheese stretching between the platter and plate, sauce dripping.  I was quickly trying to calculate the points, and make a decision regarding this unforeseen dilemma.  When the platter reached my husband he presented it to me to take a piece, feeling brilliant I cut a piece in half and slid it to my plate, deciding that I should probably calculate this as 12 points.  Just to be sure.  The bread basket was handed to me and I resisted the crusty italian bread and passed it to my husband.  Buoyed by my positive choice I sipped my wine savouring the flavour as it complimented the lasagna.  I was feeling confident.  I excused myself to the washroom, my calculated 9 cups of water were catching up to me.  When I returned to the table however, I realized that my 1/2 glass of wine that I had carefully metered out in careful sips to last the entire dinner was now a full glass of wine.  I had calculated with much debate with my husband that the original glass of wine would have been 5 ounces.  Erring on the side of caution.  I turned to my husband and demanded in a hushed tone who filled my glass up, assuming it was him.  He shrugged and returned to his conversation, oblivious to my dilemma.  I decided that I didn’t want to be fretting over a couple more ounces of wine and decided to count my wine intake to 2 glasses.   Just in time for the main course, roast chicken and potatoes and salad.  I felt slightly relieved, this I knew how to count.  I took a small chicken thigh, passing over the legs and breasts justifying that the legs don’t have much meat and the breasts could have too much and if I took the thigh meat off the bone it was probably about 3 ounces.  I felt fearless.  No potatoes for me thank you, the pasta was enough.  Salad, 0 points.  Superiority washed over me as the giant bowl of iceberg lettuce and tomatoes was passed to me.  As I lifted the salad tongs it became apparent that this salad was previously tossed with oil and vinegar, the oil lay on the leaves in streaky rivers.  Superiority gave way to the mental anxiety of realizing that I would have to calculate the points for this betrayal from the kitchen.  I quickly dropped two scoops of salad onto the plate and fought back the urge to stab my friend, who was complaining that no bread was given with this course and trying to coerce her husband into finding her some bread.  At this point I gave in and decided that I had done the best I could.  I ate my chicken and salad, passed on the dessert, and my willingness to dance was probably a clue that my careful ministrations of my wine intake were grossly miscalculated.   In the end, my attempts to make good choices caused nothing but anxiety.

When I recounted this experience to a friend of mine she pointed out that I didn’t actually fail at weight watchers, weight watchers failed me.

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****In the interest of full disclosure, I’m still navigating the Weight Watchers program in an attempt to live a healthy lifestyle.  I am trying to view these scenarios as an opportunity to continue to learn balance, and curse my friends with the metabolisms of Hummingbirds.

Shades of Grey

So I decided to stop colouring my hair.  I say it’s because I wanted to embrace my age, to stop denying my 51 years.  To have the freedom to live in Taipei for a year without the pressure of needing to colour my roots.  The truth is, it’s because I’m lazy.  One good thing came out of my self diagnosed possible depression, my funk, my ‘it’s been a really bad few years’.  I have no desire to leave the house so my grey roots aren’t really an issue.

I was inspired by all the women on Pinterest posting pictures of their process growing out their coloured hair.  Of course they look cool, and chic, rebels.  I however do not look cool.  I think I’m OK with that.  Looking at the pictures I probably could have combed my hair.  I’m also realizing how much I look like my Dad.      IMG_2611