Monday, June 26, 2006

“Nifty by Fifty”

This past week has been a slow one – not in terms of time passing, but in terms of motivation – a continuation of “Tortoise on Ambien” progress. I exercised only a couple of days, and not my former full routine at that. I didn’t have a single day when I got down all 64 ounces of water I would set myself to drink, nor did I repeat all my affirmations. Plus, I gave in to “self-medicating” food cravings of Burger King and chocolate two days in a row. Nevertheless, as the immortal Scarlett O’Hara used to say, “Tomorrow is another day.” And this week is another week.

Simplistic words indeed, and yet, what would we do without tomorrow?

* * * * *

The late Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, used to say that “a lady who will tell her age will tell anything.” Well, I’m not sensitive about my age – why should I be? It’s not like I’ve done anything wrong by approaching the half-century mark! And it’s primarily the shadow of that milestone that set me on my new path, no matter how many detours I make along the way.

In a word, I’ll be fifty in four years. Fifty! It doesn’t seem possible. Mentally I feel about 21. Fifty doesn’t scare me, but it is sobering, when one hasn’t achieved what they feel they should have by that age. But I have four years, and a person can accomplish a good deal in that time, “detours” notwithstanding. My goals, stated here for the first time, are relatively simple:

- Financial security
- Home ownership
- Maximum weight of 145 (my doctor’s goal) or 130-135 (my desired weight)
- One novel published
- Three books of poetry published

As you can see, I’m not out to become president of the United States or achieve world peace. And frankly, considering the number of tools I’ve amassed so far to help me along the way, it will take me four years just to get through them all!

Remember the saying “Fabulous at forty?” Well, how about “Nifty by fifty?” Of course, once I reach those goals –and that milestone age – I’ll have to figure out what to do with the years still ahead.

But that will be the subject of another blog.

* * * * *

I promised last week to introduce you to two people I’ve come across in my Internet wanderings who also have something to say about fitness. The first is Jamaican-born Misha Newman, who published a wonderful article titled “This Body That I Wear” in the Christian online magazine Relevant. I haven’t yet received permission from the editors to reprint quotes from Misha, but I encourage you to stop by and search the site for her article title. Misha talks about how she no longer has the “ideal,” male-attracting body that she did as a teenager, partly due to medication she must take for bipolar disorder. Yet she sees beyond the surface of stretching skin to the life within her body, the experiences that have been expressed and continue to be mapped by the circumstances of everyday living. It’s a thoughtful and well expressed view, and I hope you’ll be blessed by it as I was. Misha also blogs at Drop by and tell her hello!

Spotlight Number Two shines on California resident Sean Perkey, who has taken on a remarkable quest to lose nearly half his body weight. You read that right – almost half! And he’s sharing his journey with the world on his blog, “Watch My Loss.” Sean has changed his eating habits and begun an exercise routine in his effort to go from “Fat to Fit; from Huge to Healthy.” As if that wasn’t enough, he’s also attempting to raise $50,000 for the American Diabetes Association. Personally, I think he’s going to make it on both counts, and if you read his blog, I’m betting you will, too. You can find him at These are two people with an attitude, folks, and I’m proud of both of them, even though we’ve never met. They encourage me, and so I want to encourage them, partly by sharing their stories with others whom I hope will do the same.

* * * * *

Once again it’s “Tool of the Trade” time. This week’s focus is on the simplest tool of them all – my 70-ounce bright pink plastic water jug. “Pinky” and I are regular companions at work and sometimes on the weekends, although I don’t give her nearly the attention she deserves. She takes a lot of abuse, too, from being ignored to being frozen overnight and strained almost beyond her limits. But she’s hung in there, so I continue to cart her around and swig from her when I think about it…which isn’t often enough, most days. Let’s face it – water may be good for you and a necessity of life, but getting down 64 or more ounces a day can be a sheer pain in the patootie, even if you flavor it with lemon or lime juice or what have you. So I came up with the “five on five” rule to try and help me meet that goal – that is, five sips every five minutes. That’s something of an annoyance as well – all those interruptions – but it does help to make the level go down. Give it a try and let me know if it works for you.

* * * * *

Promises, promises…they’re in the air and everywhere. On magazine racks, in our newspapers, on our televisions and computers. But when it comes to fitness, how many of them are what Mary Poppins called a “piecrust promise” – easily made, easily broken?

I’ll take a look at that next week in “Standing on the Promises.” See you then!

-Treader Lucie-


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