Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chucking Out NEW Clothing?!?!????

    Now, it just so happens that a few items of the clothing I am sending away to charity are new. How did THAT happen???
   One item was a jacket I bought Ricki at an end-of-the-season sale at the large sizes store. It is too big for me. But the rest???
   Well, it happened like this. This last spring, at the end-of-the-season sales of winter clothing, I purchased about 8 items, being sure to buy things that were a bit too small. And yes, they fit me now. However, when trying them on, two items struck me as rather ugly. Yes, they fit, but I didn't like them.
   I guess I was SO happy to be able to purchase end-of-season stuff  NOT in the "big size" store, at cheap prices, that I was not too careful. I could keep them, but I won't. The days of me wearing things I don't like just because they fit are over. And besides, I have enough items which I DO like, or things from last year that can be altered. And I have purchased a few new items this week as well. What I really noted today was that the style of clothing I wear has changed. I used to wear loose flowing clothing, and over-blouses, to "hide" my weight.Today I feel that this style makes me look heavier, and I am tucking my blouses in, and using more of a form-fitting tailored cut of clothing.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Fun of Chucking Out Clothing

    What's so fun about chucking out old clothes?
     Well, in reality I am giving them away to charity, AND they are not so old. They are simply, a year or two after purchase, too big.
    You see, today I tried on my clothing from last winter, and had to choose what to keep and what is too big to use. What's fun is seeing how much I have lost over the last year…. And two years…
      I also had an OOLLDD blouse from years ago that I had saved (for "when I loose weight") which two years ago was still too small on me. Somehow I overlooked it last winter, and now it is way too big.
   Yeah, I feel great!

Friday, October 26, 2012

At a Wedding- Progress to Normal (Non-Obsessive) Life

   I went to a wedding last night. Due to being busy, I had not gone" walking" (my regular exercise) yet. So I decided that after taking the bus to Jerusalem, I would walk to the wedding hall (about a 35-minute walk), and back afterwards. That would give me the minimum. I even took an umbrella with me in case of rain. 
    However I did not know that Italy's prime minister would be arriving at the hour of my bus trip, so due to security measures (ie. road closures), the normal 1 and a half to 2 hour trip took a good three hours. So I ended up taking a taxi to the wedding hall, in order to arrive at a half-way normal time. 
I ate supper at the wedding, a bit over my normal amount, but still not really over-indulging. As those around me dug into the fried foods and a full 250-calorie bread roll, I felt absolutely NO deprivation at the low-calorie choices I made. 
And of course I loved the "Gee, I almost don't recognize you!" comments...... 

    But what struck me was my ability to eat normally, like a normal (healthy) adult. I was able to allow myself an extra stretch for a special occasion , knowing with confidence that the stretch would not lead to a binge. Also I was able to pat myself on the back for deviating from my initial plan of walking to the hall, without qualms. I was able to allow myself some flexibility. 

     Now this post is NOT about allowing yourself to exercise less or overeat a bit (although it may darn well look that way!). Early on in my weight-loss journey I could NOT eat at a wedding- - if I started, stopping was too hard. But today I have the confidence that I will stay on an even keel, that I will be careful without being obsessive. IE, NORMAL living! 
     And I DID walk back to the bus station after the wedding, passing the "harp" bridge on the way! 

     But do you want to know what was the best part of the evening? I was able to dance and dance and dance and dance without stop, without let-up, without feeling that I'm about to have a heart attack!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I Only Miss You When.....

   I heard the song "I Only Miss You When I'm Breathing" (of Jason Derulo), and although this is NOT a Jewish / religious song, parts of it really resonated with me. If you hear the entire song, you understand that its subject is a romantic one--- but I took it to my "place". I am planning to make a full "remembrance" video on Ricki in due time, but today I fiddled around and did this half minute clip.



-when I put on perfume and you are not here to ask me to freshen you up as well...
-when I hang laundry up and I see that I do NOT have to buy more clothespins, because you don't hang the laundry, and don't drop the pins...
-when I saw a pretty umbrella for sale today and I thought how you would LOVE one like that...
-when I see the laundry room, no longer overflowing with your clothes (because any little stain would make you rush and change clothes, head to toe)...
-when I open the jewelry box and see the ceramic stars you made for me....
-when in the supermarket I am not afraid to buy meaty hot dogs, fearing that you will mix them up with the pareve ones (and make my pots or microwave non-kosher )
-when I open the refrigerator and notice that the ten tomatoes I purchased are still intact....[Ricki could consume 4 or 5 (or more?) a day]
-when I hear music in the street (from a celebration) and you are not here to dance with me...
-when I set the table Friday evening, and you are not here to help....(AND there is one place less).
-when we sit down to eat on Friday evening, and you are not here to hide the humus, to ensure that you get it before your brother...
-when I use scotch tape and there is still tape in the holder ....
-when on Friday evening we sing a psalm that contains her name and she's not here to yell (at the point her name appears) "Ester!!!", her sister's name.

Corrected-thanks to Anonymous

   A big thank-you goes from me to "Anonymous", who wrote in the comments that I could ask to have Ricki remain on my ID card. I went today to the office (interior ministry), and explained that I want Ricki to stay on my ID, with the word  - z"l  -(deceased) added after her name. They agreed, without any problem what so ever.   I suggested to the lady that in the future they ASK people what they prefer, rather than choosing on their own not to include....

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Fancy Purse Shop

    I used to hate clothes shopping. Purchasing articles other than clothing is usually fun. But there are exceptions.....
      One of the times I also felt really out of place would be when I went to more "high-end" stores. These stores get a lot of browsers, who make quick exits once they hear the price. And in reality, I usually avoid these stores because of their high costs. However, I DO have good taste (read "expensive"), and sometimes the extra cost is worth it. So I have entered such stores more than once.
   And here is what happened, as often as not. I would be rather shunned by the store owners, as if my overweight was a limit on my purchasing ability….
   However, as I have lost weight, and dressed nicer, I have noticed subtle changes in staff attitudes.
   But yesterday I came to realize that it involves more than the sellers judging me by my weight. Because yesterday, I went into a higher-end store, looking for a specific object. But I came there after going to Ricki's grave, and I was carting around with me an un-fancy bag, made of cloth, to hold the heavy containers of mosaic tiles which I used to "draw her a picture". I didn't look like I had the money. So the clerks sort of ignored me. But even so, the vibes I was receiving were not as bad as the ones I received as a fat lady…… 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Happy Ricki's Birthday

I really appreciate all the lovely comments written to my post a week ago.
      Yesterday I went to Ricki's grave, and I took the heart and flower of stones that my son had placed on her monument, and I placed around it mosaic mini stones to add some color.... for her birthday!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Poor Birthday Gift

   I lost my Israeli ID card sometime recently, and since I need it to withdraw any large cash sums from the bank, I really needed to get a new one. My last one was not so old; I had recently gotten a new one, fearing that I might have trouble sometimes proving my identity, due to the change in my appearance due to weight loss,  (The old ID card had a photo from the year of one of my heaviest weights.)
  However, much to my displeasure, since Ricki is no longer alive, and no longer a "citizen", her name does not appear on my "offspring" page of the ID. Now if I was running things, I would have her listed, with an addendum that she has died.
   But is isn't like that.
   They simply erased her from my ID, as if she had never existed at all. Like even less than a whiff of perfume. What a terrible thing to do on what would have been her 18th birthday. Color me sad…..

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Walk in Jerusalem

Note : The pictures here where not taken yesterday. I do not use a camera on the Sabbath!
   I spent shabbas this week in Jeruslem, at my son's house. Early Friday evening, eager to get a bit of walking "in", I stepped out of his house into the crisp Jerusalem air. Living as I do on the humid coastal plain, I love the cool crispness of Jerusalem's evening. The setting sun cast a amber-ish glow on the buildings, which themselves are all made of beige-colored Jerusalem stone. The streets were quiet as the area I was walking in was largely religious, and cars are not used on the Sabbath (except in health/safety emergencies).
    Then in the morning I rose early to walk to the Kosel (Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site), about an hour's walk away from where I was staying. The early morning streets had few occupants, but slowly became more populated as the minutes passed, with early risers going to synagogue for prayers. As I neared the old city, I saw more tourists, and more Arabs, being nearer to the Arab side of the city.
   I entered the old walled city by way of Jaffa gate, and walked around the Armenian quarter to reach the Jewish quadrant. 

[Picture (from Wikipedia): David's citadel, and the walls between the citadel going towards Zion gate. I walked just inside of these walls (the citadel s close to Jaffa gate)]

 When I reached near Zion gate and passed it, I could see the massive graveyard that is on the Mount of Olives spread out before me, beyond the far side of the ancient walled city.
[Picture: Ricki, nearly two years ago, in this same area, with the Mount of Olives in the distance.]

   The Kosel plaza was cool, still being in shade. People were praying quietly. One woman was walking between the worshipers (on the women's side), offering wiffs of scent-filled plants.
[Photo, Ricki nearly 2 years ago, at the Kosel plaza.]

  After finishing my prayers I returned to Jaffa gate through the old city (rather than along it's borders). At 8:30 some of the Arab merchants were already opening their stores to catch early morning tourists.
   Then I walked up Yaffo (Jaffa) street, which is closed to all traffic (except for a streetcar which does not operate on the Sabbath. On reaching Davidka square, I turned right to walk through the Geulah section and down to the Sanhedria area. The city was rapidly awakening, and the sun shone brightly in the strikingly blue sky.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ricki's Birthday Celebration

    Next Tuesday is the date of what would have been Ricki's eighteenth birthday.   We always celebrated her birthdays with joy, with pleasure at watching her grow into her teens. For several years she wanted a birthday "crown" as children in pre-school use. As she got older, I convinced her that teens celebrate birthdays differently. I also bought her gifts befitting her age.
   I know that I want to visit Ricki's grave on her birthday. But I do not want the day to be a sad one. [Even visiting a grave can have an element of creativity. When my son visited Ricki's grave he put stones on her grave, as is the custom. But he laid them out in the figure of a heart and a tree…..] I want to mark her birthday as a celebration of how happy we are to have had her in our lives.  I have yet to think exactly how I will do that……
   But I know that one thing I would appreciate  would be if my regular readers would share on that day something that they learned from the blog about  Ricki, that they enjoyed, that surprised them, or the like.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Weight-Loss Black Eye

    Now it would certainly be an acceptable query to ask "What in the world does weight loss have to do with black eyes?"  

So here is the answer:
   Saturday night I discovered to my horror that not only had the thingamajig that hold the toilet seat to the ceramic seat broken, but that when the seat had broken previously, I had neglected to buy (as I generally do) a replacement thingamajig ("pin"?) so as to have one available NEXT time as well. AND I was expecting a daughter in law for the holiday (sundown Sunday to sundown Monday)…..so buying a pin PRONTO was clearly mandatory.
  So although I knew I would not be able to purchase one nearby, hardware stores in our town being closed for the holidays, this was not really a problem. I wanted to get an hour walk in on Sunday, before the holiday, so I would make the half hour walk to the big shopping area just outside our town at a good aerobic clip, and back and forth would give me my hour of exercise. So I set out…..
   As I neared the store, I suddenly found myself face down against the sidewalk, having tripped over something, although I could not identify WHAT. Someone from a passing car (that stopped) answered my "I'm OK" with  a pointed observation that my face was bleeding. I had a gash, and they graciously gave me water to wash up with, and a tissue to use to apply pressure. I checked the wound in their side-view mirrors, and determined that I could survive without further treatment for an hour. So I completed my quick shopping spree (checking for bleeding every few minutes), and on the way home stopped in at a quick mini medical service ("TEREM"). They glued the gash together, but the doctor warned me that I would have a black eye as a result. And yes, by that evening I definitely had one, which grew over the next two days to this:

   So WHAT (you may still be wondering, does this have to do with weight loss? Because two weeks ago I ALSO fell, as well as a few days ago (although I managed to escape that second fall with no more than some bruising to my shoulder and knee). And every time I was wearing the SAME skirt. The same bit-too-loose skirt that needed repeated hitching up. So since I have NOT fallen while wearing other skirts, I am NOT running to a neurologist, but am finally chucking out the old skirt.
  So treat yourself to new clothes as you lose, rather than opting for a black eye (or two or more).

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bullying, Role Models

In THIS article, NBC news tells about a local news anchor who was criticized for her obesity.The writer of the email expressed rage that she was , as an obese person, a poor role model.
    The criticism came from a writer who admitted to not being a regular viewer of the show. Perhaps the news anchor has even promoted healthy living.
   However, our world is unfortunately full of people who feel that they can trample on other person's feelings. I remember being a new mother in the hospital and having another patient tell me "You know, you are fat." I replied much as the news anchor did: "Do you really think you are telling me something I didn't know?"
   All of us are imperfect. But people who are overweight are easy targets for criticism, because their flaw is visible for all to see, But people who are not overweight may often not realize just how difficult the journey to health is.People who are severely overweight often have some psychological issue playing part in their overeating, and entrenched habits ARE difficult to break. Just this week, with holiday meals coupled up with lack of sleep AND stress, I found myself noshing (snacking) on cake more than my "holiday lee-way" would allow.
    Now I am confident that as I get back into post-holiday routine in a week, having more time for exercise, I will be able to deal with stress in healthier and more productive ways.But I do not feel that my ability over the last three years to lose 70 (plus) kilos means that I am any better than a person who is fat. Yes, I am healthier in all probability. And I may live longer. But I am not intrinsically superior.Because we all have our weaknesses, and if someone's fault is NOT readily visible, that does not mean that it doesn't exist. I certainly would see a woman who was overweight as a superior role model than a person who shoots off his mouth.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Missed Opportunity

    The incident I am about to relate occurred about a month ago, say about a week or a week and a half after finishing the "mourning week" for Ricki. One morning I left the house for my daily aerobic walk, a bit before 8AM. On the way I passed scores of children and teens on their way to school. Suddenly I saw "C", a girl from Rickie's class, who lives not too far from us. I smiled at her, and she stopped to talk.

"Hey, you're Rickie's mom, aren't you?!?
"Yes, I am…"
"Rickie died, right?"
"Yes, she did."
"Because she was ill, right?"
"Yes, because she was ill. But not everyone who is ill dies. Ricki was VERY ill."
"I remember that. She even came to school with oxygen. And she was ill because of her overweight, right.?"
"Yes, her weight caused her illness."
"Well, I hope she has a 'refuah shleima'!" (a complete recovery)

   So I smiled to myself, and wished her a good day. Within moments I was kicking myself for the lost opportunity. "C" had learned the phrase, the "script" of "refuah shleimah", but in this case she used it inappropriately. I could have gently explained to "C" that Rina will NOT have a "refuah shleimah", and that she should instead say "I miss her", "You have my condolences" or the like. But I missed the opportunity. [But I DID (at least) tell a teacher from the school who I bumped into a week later…..]