At my age, weight control is no longer about attempting to diet down to some unattainable model’s measurements. That ship sailed so long ago I suspect it has circumnavigated the globe 10 times or more. Likewise, it would be pointless to try to return to the weight I was in my 20’s or 30’s. Even if I could, at some point, gravity takes over and even skinny starts to sag. Sagging is not a pretty sight, no matter how much, or how little, you weigh. So, skinny is no longer a goal.
No, at my age, it’s more about maintaining a healthy weight so that I can postpone those knee replacements as long as possible. It’s about still being able to paint my own toe nails and lace up my snow shoes. It’s a way to decrease the strain on my heart so that it keeps beating long enough to see my future grandkids graduate and maybe even dance at their weddings. It’s all about quality of life.
Unfortunately, getting old is not optional. If it were, I would have frozen the calendar at 42. Or maybe even 51. But just in case I will wake up someday and find myself 80, or 90, or maybe even 100, I want to have some control over how much fun I’ll still be having. That means staying as healthy as I can for as long as I can. I can’t control the calendar but maybe I can at least control the scales.
I’m no longer looking for that fad diet with quick, short term results. I’m in this for the long haul. I need some life style changes that I can live with for the rest of my life, no matter how long or short that may be. I’ve been slowly acquiring a few tips but sure could use a few more. If I share mine with you, will you share yours with me?
I finally kicked the soda habit with iced tea made from Zinger Fruit Flavors by Celestial Seasonings. Each morning, I toss a couple of tea bags into a pitcher of fresh tap water. Within an hour or so, I have tea that is so sweet I had to check the label on the box twice to make sure it didn’t contain any sugar or artificial sweeteners. For now, Mixed Berry and Country Peach are my favorite flavors but when I get bored with those, there are heaps of others to try. I may never drink soda again.
For a mid-morning snack, I’ve been defrosting a handful of frozen blueberries or strawberries and stirring them into plain, fat free Greek yogurt. Fresh fruit is good but I’ve found that as frozen fruit thaws, the juices seep out and provide even more flavor to the tart yogurt. Greek yogurt is so high in protein that half a cup with fruit carries me through until lunch time without the mid-morning crash I used to experience from carbs.
When nothing but candy will satisfy my sweet tooth, I nibble on a couple of pieces of candied ginger. Yes, it does have sugar. But ginger is so spicy that even if you wanted to devour the entire bag in just one sitting, the burning in your mouth simply won’t allow it. I can easily eat an entire bag of chocolate chips – or chocolate anything for that matter – but even I can’t eat more than a few pieces of candied ginger at a time.
Those are all of the suggestions I have so far but I would love to learn a few more. I know that I can’t give up bread or pasta for the rest of my life so don’t even bother to suggest any of those radical diets that are doomed to fail. If you have any tips that work for you and keep you healthy without feeling deprived, I would love to hear them. Then maybe we can meet at the top of Vail Pass in twenty years and share some candied ginger before snow shoeing to the next warming hut.