Category Archives: Weight Management

Americans Are Obsessed With Challenges

I'm so challenged

I spent the last two weeks at home with a terrible case of bronchitis.   Too sick and contagious to work, I vegged out on the couch and spent my time watching daytime T.V.  Now that’s an experience, especially for us baby boomers.


I watched the last episodes of the Oprah Winfrey Show, lots of Dr. Oz (both shows are great for women over 50); morning talk shows; afternoon talk shows; The Lifetime Channel; The Classic Movie Channel; and of course all the commercials – and there are many.  All this shows led me to the discovery that our country is obsessed with challenges.  Why? I ask.  Isn’t living life itself challenging enough?  Why do we have to break it down?  Give it a name? The media is so good at seducing us with “challenges” and the products we need to overcome them.  Here are some of the tempting challenges even I contemplated while lying on the couch.

  • The weight loss challenge (by far the most numerous) I was particularly drawn to the Dr. Oz challenge to reboot your body in just two weeks!  He also has the ultimate anti-ageing challenge, and the sleep challenge, too.
  • Jillian Michaels fitness challenge
  • Dr.Phil’s family weight loss challenge
  • Here’s one I like, it’s twofold: anti-ageing and it will give you a new career while going to Botox school:
  • Suze Orman has the ultimate financial challenge, plus  mini ones where you can save $100/mo:
  • The teeth whitening challenge sponsored by Arm and Hammer:

Well, here’s my response to all this.  Really people?  Just take an anti-depressant and get on with it.


Here's a Dare!


Senior Citizen Discounts and Other Horrors


This week I had a very disturbing experience:  I was offered a senior citizen discount at my grocery store!  I’ve never been offered this kind of discount before—anywhere—so it totally flummoxed me.  It didn’t help that the store had a cutesy little name for it, so when the clerk asked me if I had forgotten about their “wisdom discount,” all I could manage was a confused look.  Then it sank in:  she was offering me the discount for people 60 and older!

I almost blew up at the clerk—at her audacity in thinking I could be that old—until I realized that I’m only three years away from the “wisdom discount”.  And that’s when I really got depressed.

I didn’t want to get depressed, but that’s what happened.  I simply could not fathom that I could possibly look 60 to a 21- year-old.  How was that possible?  I’m way younger than that.  After all, I’m only 57!  Besides, I’ve always been the youngest one in my family, so how could I ever look 60?  60 is an age where you look grown up and mature.  Help! I don’t feel that way yet!

Besides, I’ve lost all that weight!  I thought I was looking young and beautiful and very far from 60!  I managed to get over the whole incident by telling myself that one, ridiculous clerk is just so young that she doesn’t have a clue about anyone’s age.  To her, a 40-year-old probably looks 60, I muttered under my breath.

Then it happened again—in a different store, with a different clerk—a very polite 40-year-old man, who asked me if I was “eligible for our senior discount?”. Continue reading Senior Citizen Discounts and Other Horrors

Women over 50: Weight Management: Keeping It Off!


Why is it that keeping weight off seems to be the hardest part of losing weight?  It doesn’t make sense.  It seems that, once you’ve reached a hard goal you’ve set for yourself and lost the pounds you wanted to lose, you would then easily do what you need to do—no matter how difficult—to stay there.  After all, why in the world would you ever want to go back to where you were before? Why?  Because it’s so much easier to be fat! It requires no effort, no discipline, no early mornings, no record-keeping!  No conscious thought.  You can do it with your eyes closed!

And because there are always millions of voices in your head, pushing you to gain that weight back.  Here’s a sampling of what my voices say:

1)     (From inside the Snickers bar left casually on a counter or a delicious fudge dessert pictured on a menu): “I’m here!  Come get me!  What fun!”

2)     “Damn it!  Why shouldn’t I eat that bag of Cheetohs?  After all, I’m 95 pounds thinner than I was before!  Why shouldn’t I reward myself?”

3)     “You’re going to gain back that weight anyway, so you might as well just go ahead and get it over with.”  (This is a very discouraging and depressing voice.)

4)     “It’s too cold/dark/hot/miserable/boring to exercise.  Just turn over and go to sleep.”

5)     “You really don’t look as voluptuous as you used to look.  You’re starting to look a little scrawny.  Eat that ice cream, for God’s sake! You owe it to yourself.”

6)     “Join the crowd.  Don’t be a stick-in-the-mud!  Eat that pizza like everyone else and enjoy it.  Don’t make people feel bad by turning it down!”

7)     “Life is too hard/short/stressed to diet.  Go a little easy on yourself.”

8)     “Well, there you go:  you’ve eaten one caramel cluster, you might as well just eat the whole bag.”

9)     “Who’s going to know anyway?”

10) And, finally, the overwhelming one: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to eat something this incredibly scrumptious!  The chance may not come again!  Eat up!”  Continue reading Women over 50: Weight Management: Keeping It Off!

Weight Management: In Praise of Water Aerobics




I have found, after more than a year of being on my weight management program, that, amazingly enough, there really is a direct connection between exercise and keeping my weight off.  Who would have thunk it?  I have fought this connection for years because I basically hate exercise.  I get bored by walking or running or stepping on an exercise machine.  I hate getting up early in the morning to go to a class.  So, I have never been any good at finding exercise I can do on a regular basis–until now.  I love deep water aerobics!  And I highly recommend it for women over 50! 


Deep water aerobics is basically water aerobics in the deep end of the pool, with or without a flotation device around your waist.  (I usually wear one because I’m phobic about drowning, but most people in my class don’t.)  There is something about deep water aerobics that makes it fun and soothing—at the same time that it works your muscles.  Maybe it’s because when you get tired, you can always lie back in the water and rest for a minute.  Or maybe it’s because you feel so weightless at the same time that you are trying to burn off weight.  Or maybe it’s because it’s one of the few kinds of exercise that doesn’t end up hurting my back when I get carried away with it.  My friend, Nancy, says it’s the only kind of exercise she can do that doesn’t end up hurting her knee—and she has had knee surgery!  And it’s not just for old codgers.  Our class is a mix of people of all ages. Continue reading Weight Management: In Praise of Water Aerobics

Weight Loss Maintenance: The Hardest Part of All


Now that I’ve reached my “goal weight,”  I was thinking this morning that things would be a lot easier if I were still back on an all-liquid diet.  At least then I knew exactly what I had to eat and when.  Now that I’m out here in the real world of eating and have scaled the mountain, I have to confess that I feel sometimes like someone who is balanced precariously on a very sharp, pointy peak, with extremely dramatic cliffs on both sides.  If I stay obsessive about counting calories and adding up steps walked, I could keep losing weight—maybe more than I want to–and I could quickly become bored to death.  If I start feeling that I can eat whatever I want, when I want it, I could quickly gain weight and be right where I started.  I know I’m a food addict, but can’t a girl have a little fun? 

 People come up to me and say things like, “Can you eat now?” and I don’t know how to answer them.  Yes, I can eat, but I’m no longer comfortable eating.  I haven’t gotten any sort of rhythm down.  I don’t trust my inner voices.  One minute I’m feeling that the world is wide open to me; the next I’m thinking I’d better head for a 12-step program.   Continue reading Weight Loss Maintenance: The Hardest Part of All