March 14, 2012

Cankles, Cakes, Cow Stomachs, and Church Ladies


I’m in my seventh week of the No Dementia Diet and things are going fairly well, though I still have as many stomachs as a cow and cankles that look like Tom Sawyer could climb them and set up a tree fort. 
But there is progress to report. I’ve lost nineteen pounds.  If I were Oprah (and clearly I’m not) I would point out that nineteen pounds is almost four 5-lb. bags of sugar. 
In order to effectively finish this story, I need to fill my little red wagon with 10 more 5 lb. bags of sugar and then I will be at my goal.
This is a very strict diet plan and Real Life doesn’t always allow for strict adherence to the diet. When my mom had her first bad stroke in January, I actually packed up food (including the special hockey puck-like muffins that are a staple of this plan) and took it with me to my parents 250 miles away. However, when my mom died, I couldn’t deal with preparing special food and ate what was put in front of me. Amazingly I lost a pound that week, but I’m sure that metabolism and high level of activity had something to do with it. 
I’m sure of it because we had a “Church Lady” dinner prior to the funeral, and I could have personally eaten the entire pan of homemade scalloped potatoes. While funerals aren’t really my cup of tea, I will say that I’ve never had a bad “Church Lady” dinner.  At least in our little village, those old German-style cooks knew their way around a kitchen.
I said before, and I’ll say it again, that what I’ve been doing for fifty-plus years isn’t working and has resulted in a very unhealthy body.  So I’ve picked a plan and mostly I’m going to stick with it, but sometimes it seems ridiculously difficult.
Yesterday we went to a birthday party. The birthday girl turned sixty yesterday and requested that Herman make her a special mandarin orange dream cake.
I love cake!!!
 I dream about cake.  I used to dream about George Clooney and I still do, but in my new dreams George is feeding me cake. 
“Cupcake Wars” is my favorite show. I’ll take cake over pie, anywhere, anyhow, anytime. And none of this sissified fluffy icing, I want pure buttercream so rich you can smell the butter when you get within five feet of it.
So Herman made the cake and didn’t taste it.  I didn’t lick the icing from the bottom of the bowl, which I usually do.  When we arrived at the party, there was a special “cake table.” The hostess had four other people bring cakes, plus she had a display of chocolate cream cupcakes set up.
 Why?  Why?  Why couldn’t I have been born with the metabolism of someone perpetually thin?
Do you know those people who can eat anything and never gain a pound?  My first cousin Matt is like that and Herman’s father was like that.
And there are women like that as well; of course none of them are related to me.  I come from a family of women who look like Alice the Goon from “Popeye.”
When we were kids, my cousin Nancy and I used to talk about the phenomenon of “turkey waddle arms.”  Years later I saw her across the room at my aunt’s funeral and she flicked the skin under her arm to make it move. (She since has gotten rid of all of it the hard way by diet and exercise.  I’m still working on it, and am tired of people singing “We Gather Together” when they see me.)
I really despise thin women who have never had a weight problem in their life, but think if they gain five pounds it is the end of the world.  And it seems that these are the folks who ALWAYS want to give me advice. 
Just eat less.  I love that one. Wish I had thought of it!
 Of course that is the answer but if it was just that easy don’t you think I would have done it already?  I am an educated woman; I know what causes this but I am ADDICTED TO FOOD. 
There, now do you get it?
Think about the most difficult personal challenge you’ve ever encountered.  Did you want to climb Mt. Everest, train for years and then successfully reach the summit?
I suspect if climbing Mt. Everest was your personal goal that you would NOT seek advice from someone who has never even trying to climb a mountain, except in their own mind.
I am, however, optimistic this time that I’m going to climb that mountain.  The “No Dementia Diet” is really pretty workable and I’m enjoying all the fresh fruits and yes, sometimes, even the fresh vegetables. Both Herman and I have lowered our A1C ratio by one entire point!
Maybe this will be the summer I can wear shorts.  Usually at this time of year the government issues a Hazard Warning about my wearing shorts, but with the weight loss it might be lowered to a Watch. 
Meanwhile, I’m off to the kitchen for a spot of unsweetened tea and some yogurt.  Bottoms up!