Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Smiling even though I'm wearing (ugh) pink

First, you have to understand that I don't like to fund raise. For years, I have done only the minimum for the charities I otherwise support, either on my own or through my husband's employment. But then along comes a cause that I didn't know I wanted to support.

Second, understand that I don't like pink. Yet I have two pink blouses and a pink skirt in my closet - and that's another essay topic. I won't buy anything that professes to support the Komen Race for the Cure ONLY because these things tend to be pink. I will donate, but don't try to make me wear or display pink. Glad to have that off my chest.

That said, I find myself campaigning to raise a substantial amount of money for breast cancer education, treatment and research. My website is pink. My collateral materials are pink. And in August, when I camp amid hundreds of others in between long, hot, sweaty days of distance walking, my tent will be pink. Blechh

Why am I doing it if I dislike pink so much? Because my friend, Lois, died of breast cancer five years ago. Because my friend Joyce is fighting breast cancer now. Because another friend's mom is dying of breast cancer. Because 200,000 women (and men) will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and 40,000 will die. Because I don't want me, or any of my family members, to become a victim.

The Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk brings together thousands of men and women across the country. Each day, for three days, they walk about 20 miles - 60 miles total - raising money and awareness of the dreaded disease, making friends, and healing hearts. Veteran walkers tell me the miles pass quickly and (almost) effortlessly as they chat and hug and laugh and cry together. Boy, I hope so!

I have thrown my lot in with these sturdy women and men. On August 22, 23 and 24, I will earn my blisters and (maybe) work off a pound or two. I hope I will make new friends, and I hope my walking and talking will keep Lois' memory alive.

If you are moved to help, please click the Donate button in the 3-Day photo at the top right of this blog. And please think kindly of me in August. I can use all the help I can get!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A little off the back, please

So I've been dieting lately. If you know me at all, you might say "So what? You're always dieting." And it seems that way. My earliest recollection of trying to lose weight was when my mother enrolled me in TOPS with her - Take Off Pounds Sensibly. I must have been 11 or 12 at the time. All I remember, though was having to keep a food diary. I am the world's worst journaler, as evidenced by how infrequently I post to this blog!

Over the years, I have tried most mainstream diets. Weight Watchers - three or four times (or more). Nutrisystems. Atkins. And even when not on a formal weight loss program, I have "watched" what I ate, living on my own made-up program.

And the results? Sometimes I lost weight - a few times losing 25-45 pounds. But always, after a certain point, I gradually drift away from the eating program and back into old habits. I get bored, or tired of being vigilant, or something. And then I regain the weight, plus a few for extra measure.

So I've been dieting lately. I found a program that fits me, instead of one I have to adapt to. I eat six times a day, and almost no wheat. I get my carbohydrates from fruits and vegetable, of which I eat 7-9 servings a day. And I've lost 33 pounds to date in 4+ months.

The wheat thing. Very interesting. For the past 5 or 6 years I have noticed that immediately after my evening meal my sinuses fill up and I start sniffing and hacking. My son's former girlfriend, who was obsessed with wheat allergies and convinced she had one (her physician said otherwise) was sure I also had an allergy to wheat. I brushed it off.

When I started the current diet and stopped eating bread, (1) I didn't miss it - what a shock! (2) my nasal passages stayed clear, (3) my heartburn/acid reflux disappeared. Hmmm. When I occasionally break bread, (2) and (3) return. Things that make you go hmmm.

The good news - I've lost two+ sizes, I enjoy Greek yogurt with blueberries for breakfast, my husband thinks I'm sexy and I have enough energy to deal with my new job and any stress that heads my way.

Here's my big secret for weight loss: I start over every day. Whether or not I've been successful - whether I gave in and ate the birthday cake or queso and chips or whatever, I start over the next day. And somehow that has worked for the past 20 weeks.

I think I'll keep trying for a while. Maybe this is the time I break the curse and find a way to maintain. Watch this space for updates. If and when I hit a loss of 50 pounds, I will post a new photo. Cheers!