Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Comment on an Article

First please go read this article.
As a person who used to weigh 330 lbs, and today under half that, and as  a registered nurs, I feel that I have a unique perspective on this..
   I admire the doctor's honesty in exploring this difficult topic.... and it is a multi-faceted one.
    I remember only too well my former loathing to go to a doctor, when many were openly hostile. Overeating in the extremely obese is nearly always an addiction. [A person who finds moving difficult due to a back injury might be slightly overweight, but 600 lbs is an amount that indicates that something else is in the equation.] As with any addiction, the food is satisfying some need that to the addicted person (temporarily) is more important than the current disadvantages.(The future disadvantages he chooses to try and forget.). Even when they reach a point where they WANT to change, because the physical/emotional/social effects outweighs the "advantages", the overweight person is often at a loss of HOW to accomplish what appears to be a nigh-impossible task.
    However, I can empathize with the frustration of the medical staff. When a patient is so large that doing even the most elemental procedures becomes difficult, an overworked, understaffed hospital staff can easily feel thwarted. It is very frustrating to try and help someone when they appear unwilling to help themselves, and the situation appears hopeless.
    The staff, however, should not make snide or insulting remarks. Not only are these remarks hurtful... they also are not helpful. A bit of understanding of the complexity and difficulty of the overweight person is in order. Because weight loss is not only about eating less. It is about how to MANAGE to eat less.
 The overweight patient needs to learn that treating his addiction is possible- and up to HIM. (And BTW, not as hard as you fear!) The rest of the world, while they can try to help, can not cure all the woes he has, he needs to take responsibility for himself. If he is not willing to make the effort, he cannot expect that others will always "save" them!

    As a society, we all need to show compassion, while simultaneously promoting an environment more conducive to healthy living. And facilitation of practical, useful interventions of food addictions needs to be a priority in the health care system.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The "Dybuk" (evil spirit)

    It was as if a "dybuk" had entered me. I was upset and anxious and suddenly I was overeating.  It was in less amounts than once, and not too bad, but bad enough. I undoubtedly ruined the weight loss of the last two weeks with one evening's splurge.

Gee, I guess I am human, and will just have to get back RIGHT NOW to doing what I REALLY want to do--- which is to be healthy. And I'll need to  find a better way to deal with life's problems…….

POSTSCRIPT next day:
   Thankfully the extra 700 calories did not cause any sizable weight gain (I weighed less than yesterday), but I sure am going to be on my guard today!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A lovely Walk , a Walking Record

     Most days (unless I have lots of "walking-to-do" errands), I try to do an aerobic walk of about an hour. In addition, once every week or two, I try and take a longer walk along with my best friend. However that long walk with my friend can get boring if we do the same walk weekly, so I try and come up with new ideas of places to go with her. And it is preferable if I can check out the area in advance, going there once by myself, before bringing my friend.
    For a long time I have been wanting to check out two areas: a fairly open but undeveloped area north of Tel Aviv's Ramat Aviv neighborhood, and the beach boardwalk in Hertzalia. Today I tackled them both.
   First I took the 45 bus to just after the "Aretz Israel Museum", and spent the morning exploring and traipsing through several parks in the upscale Ramat Aviv area. Then I went north to the are just beyond. There I found a site I knew about only because there was a geocache there: a Samaritan burial caves area.
[image: Samaritan Burial cave.]

[image: Black Iris flowers]

   Then I backtracked a ways south so that I could reach the Namir freeway (without traipsing through mud in the open area). From there I took a bus the remainder of the distance to Hertzalia.
   Arriving at the Hertzalia junction, I walked north-west to the Mediterranean shore, to the northern end of the boardwalk.

[2 images: the sea from the boardwalk]


From there I walked back to the Hertzalia marina (a short walk). After a coffee break I walked from the marina south to Reading (a long walk).
   Total walk was about 40,000 steps (about 19 miles?), a record for me.

   Mind you, I might gain weight tomorrow, for a day. Even though I definitely have a calorie deficit for today, I did not pack tons of food because I  returned later than I thought I would. Thus  I ate 2/3 of my calories after 8PM, and I KNOW that this can cause a temporary gain. But that's OK, it will even out in the end.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


   I have put a link here to a video of Angela Duckworth's talk for TED. If you haven't seen this (especially if you are a parent/teacher ), it is WELL worth the 6 minutes it takes to watch.


    I first saw this a while ago.
    Today it struck me that ALL of my children have a lot of "grit". My children learned early on that learning is possible, that effort reaps results. They saw the effort Ricki put in, and the wonderful results she obtained. And they saw their mother dealing with difficult situations, persevering and going on. These are valuable gifts for children.
    Sometimes people want their kids to see them as invincible, and that is a mistake. We need to be honest about our trials, and our successes. They need to see that successfully overcoming a challenge was not necessarily easy, but that we struggled to do the right thing.

   And for those of you trying to eat in a healthy manner, note that Ms. Duckworth defines "grit" as "passion and perseverance for long term goals". This means that your best chance to succeed at losing weight is NOT some mythological "will power". Your best chance at success is if you can become truly passionate (day-by-day!) about living healthily. It's all about changing your priorities, and making healthy living a central one in your life.

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Crazy Day, with a "Valentine" from Ricki

    Yesterday  wasn't really that crazy of a day, but it got off to a bad start. On awakening this morning, I thought that I had overslept a half hour, and jumped quickly out of bed. Afraid that I would be late for my first physiotherapy session for my shoulder, I started panicking. Then, AFTER  all that adrenalin had flooded into my system, I realized that I had arisen an hour and a half too early!! At least that meant that I had plenty of time, but returning to sleep was out of the question.
    The physiotherapist was very nice, and seemed quite competent. However, part of the treatment was an "uncomfortable" +6 on the 1-10 pain scale.   In the end I used my old Lamaze breathing to get through the twenty minutes of electrical "massage" of the torn muscle.
    On my return home I proceeded with my "pre-before Passover cleaning". This is organizing things in the house, and cleaning of items that do not need cleaning before Passover per se. (But things I want to get clean anyway.)  This type of spring cleaning I do prior to real "Pesach (Passover) cleaning", IF I HAVE TIME. And one of those jobs is to dust off and air the books in our huge library. Having finished yesterday airing out the Hebrew books, I turned my attention today to the books of the "special needs" lending library. And the books were quite dusty, as last year I did NOT clean them. (I mentioned already that I do this only if I have time, right?)
    As I lowered a handful of books from the upper shelf, a piece of paper, apparently used as a bookmarker, fluttered to the floor. It was a letter from Ricki to me, from who knows how long ago.  I had not remembered that I had this, and to be gifted with this "find" today truly warmed my heart.
(rough translation)  :
   "You are a good girl, and very very nice. You are a good girl and very wonderful. Very  very. You are (very very) my mom. You are a successful student in every class. Today you are as sweet as honey. You are my mom, and I love you."
[Note: she writes in the same style of language people praised HER with –"good girl", successful student". And she was probably trying to apologize for some type of misdemeanor…..]
   I sent a photo of the letter to my youngest son, and he posted it on facebook, adding:
  "Do you realize how much love she contained? Understand that we received as a gift a wonderful and sweet girl… we spent 18 years with her, and today, even though she is not here with us, we still feel her love for us, and discover new things about her.  We find ourselves thinking of her, crying over her, missing her, and smiling. Smiling because she knew how best to make us smile."
     Oh yes, my son is so correct. Even when we were upset with her, it was hard to be truly angry.  And this one-day-early "valentine" is going to get laminated and kept. I guess I'll need a different bookmark.

   And while I'm posting, I'll share my latest "mosaic"; I had lots of time, and the weather was balmy (not too hot nor too cold)… so I had the chance to do something a bit more intricate than usual:

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Generation and Culture Gap:

A phone conversation between me andmy son currently living in the USA (but who grew up in Israel) :
My son: it's a holiday here today...
Me: Yeah, happy groundhog day! Was there sun or shade?
DS: Groundgog?!?! What's that?????
(I explain)
DS: But that is not what I meant...
Me: So what holiday IS it???

DS: Superbowl game day.

The "Challenge"

    Passover is coming… not THAT fast, but two and a half months from now I want to welcome the holiday calmly, and serenely. (Reality: very slight chance of that….)
   So this week I plan to organize myself, planning when to do different pre-Passover cleaning tasks, shopping, etc.  But that is not all. In addition I hope and plan to keep exercising and walking for as near to the holiday as I can. So for THAT I have made a "challenge" to myself:
-to do a small amount of strength training exercise twice weekly (3 times if at all possible) until at least two weeks before the spring holiday. (For the two weeks before the holiday I should be doing enough physical labor to keep my muscles in shape.)
-to do an aerobic walk at least 5 times weekly.
     And if I do all this I plan to reward myself with a new watch for the holiday.

    You must realize that we are capable of motivating ourselves to stretch beyond easy limits.
    Bribing works.
    We just need to know what "goal" will make all that effort worthwhile.

   And in the meanwhile, knowing that soon my L-O-N-G walks will need to take a furlough, I have been enjoying the lovely (but unfortunately too dry) weather we have been having, and have been walking along the shoreline:

2 weeks ago to Hertzalia:

This week south of Jaffa: