50 And Losing It Blog

A journey for women over 50 who are looking for renewal and self discovery

Days 85-91: Disappointed, But Not Knocked Out November 12, 2010

Filed under: Mom's Over 50,Weight Loss — Greta @ 10:50 pm
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If not being able to bike these past few weeks hasn’t been enough, my MRI on my knee revealed that I have a torn meniscus. That’s the cushion that the ball of the knee rests on. It’s a small tear and while I’m feeling better, I still can’t squat or bend my knee normally. The doc said that at any time, it could act up again and again. So I’m vying for surgery. Yeah, microscopic surgery. They still have to knock me out and I do have the risk of a traveling blood clot, but I’m going to do everything he says to prevent that from happening.

As for my cholesterol level, my family doctor called to tell me that he needed to see me. That doesn’t sound good, guess my numbers didn’t drop down far enough. Darn it, I’ll have to go on cholesterol drugs. I was hoping to avoid that. Nonetheless, I have lost 14 pounds!

What I’ve learned is I need to include exercise in my life to lose weight. I can’t lose weight just by watching what I eat. I can maintain my weight by watching what I eat, but not lose weight. I learned that while I pursued foods that encourage healthy cholesterol levels, it really didn’t eliminate my need to take cholesterol lowering drugs. But I am healthier for it and I think I’ll benefit down the road for pursuing a healthier lifestyle.

I’m scheduled for my knee surgery the day before Thanksgiving and it will take about four months to get full use of my knee back. When that happens, I’m going to begin my 100 day journey all over again…but this time I only need to lose 36 pounds…a bit more realistic? If all goes well. If all goes well.


Days 53, 54, 55: Back to Biking and Look Out Stephen King! September 27, 2010

Filed under: Mom's Over 50,Weight Loss — Greta @ 3:38 pm
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Hurrah, my knee is all better and so it’s back to biking for me! Now, if it would just stop raining. Granted I’m a rainy day kind of gal. I love it when it rains, it relaxes me. Maybe by this evening the rain will stop and I’ll be able to make my 5-mile ride. If not, it’s also a great day to curl up with a book.

I’ve been reading about Hypnosis. I’m researching the topic for a book I’m starting to write. I actually did the initial research before I was married and then only thought about it over the years. So I’ve decided it’s time. It’s a thriller wrapped around the Salem witch trials. Yeah it’s another witching novel. I don’t like vampires or werewolves so it’s witches for me. I grew up reading Stephen King and I got the itch to do this book when I visited Salem, MA years ago. It’s placed in modern times so it’s not really a rehash of the same old story.

I’ve got a few other story ideas that I want to pursue. Another book I’ve outlined is for 5th and 6th graders. It’s a comedic fantasy that is sure to keep kids entertained. I’m going to continue with both and see which one earns my full attention and then we’ll see what happens. As for the others, they’ll have to wait.

Why two books at once? They say that when you write books, they become a part of your reality. While I look forward to bringing my characters to life and creating the story lines I’ve been contemplating for years, I think splitting my attention on both will ground me, keep me from getting writer’s block and keep my creative juices running.


Days 47, 48, 49: Holding at 11 Pounds September 26, 2010

Filed under: Mom's Over 50,Weight Loss — Greta @ 1:41 pm
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I over extended my knee today and now I’m off my bike for the week. It’s nothing permanent, just sore, but I don’t want to make it worse. So my goal for the next few days is to relax the knee and not gain a single pound. I can still walk Stacey May and watch what I eat.

I love that I’ve lost 11 pounds. I feel better and my clothes fit nicer. But I’m concerned, my real goal is to reduce the fats in my liver. Even though my cholesterol levels are normal, a sonogram showed fat deposits that alarmed me and my doc. So I’m dieting. The real success will be if my healthful eating and water drinking is helping my liver process excess fat tissue. So in November, I’ll return to my doctor to have a sonogram done and we’ll see if eating the right foods is enough.

So I guess it’s fair to say that I won’t be losing 50 pounds in 100 days. Too much has happened over the past month or so to keep knocking me off my target weight loss goal. Nonetheless, I’m going to keep losing weight. I can’t wait to be 20 pounds less…so come on that’s get this show on the road.


Days 41, 42, 43: Okay, Okay, Enough With The Stress Already! September 20, 2010

Filed under: Mom's Over 50,Weight Loss — Greta @ 8:47 pm
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It’s good to be home and back to biking and walking. Unfortunately, the events of the last month have put a damper on my weight loss as I’m holding at 11 pounds. It’s been two weeks, heading toward three. Now that I think about it, I remember why I stopped trying to lose weight last November. I had stopped drinking soft drinks, lost 10 pounds quickly and then hit a wall. I got frustrated and eventually gave into my cravings for sodas. Wow, I had forgotten about that.

As I continued to read about dieting, I’ve read that you can plateau, especially if you’re calorie counting. My latest read is “The Diet Solution.” The author proposes that by eating less I’m “starving my body” and therefore it’s holding onto weight for fear of “famine.” Yet the calorie Counting site I’ve been using says to lose an average of 2 pounds a week, I have to eat less than 1200 calories a day.

The Diet Solution suggests that you stop counting calories and eat based on my metabolism type. I’m the “meat” metabolism type and I should be eating 2,000 calories a day. It’s all so frustrating. But she may be right. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve seen real weight loss. While I personally think it is stress, I’ll give her method a shot.


Day 36: Weigh In, Getting Grounded September 8, 2010

In spite of all those things going on in my life, I’m trying to stay focused on my goal of 50 pounds in 100 days. As of today, I weigh 11 pounds less. Not quite on target, but a move in the right direction.

When I started this journey, I read that dietitians say it’s best to lose between .5 to 2.5 pounds a week. I’ve done that. Yet, I wanted to lose 3.5 pounds a week, but things happened. My trip to New York, our best friend’s anniversary weekend of fun, job interviews and now my sister-in-law’s death all happened, but that’s life. So I’m going to keep focused on the things I can control and acknowledge that things I’ve accomplished.

Over the last month, I’ve ridden 170 miles. My Body Mass Index (BMI) is now 29.1 and according to caloriecount.about.com, I’ve gone from moderately overweight to mildly overweight. That’s something. I now weigh what I weighed last November and that makes me feel younger. I don’t drink a soda, I drink more water, I eat healthier and I reduced the amount of toxins I put in my body and that makes me feel better. My clothes are fitting me better and that makes me look better. It’s all good.

And while I can’t change the events that move my life, I can continue to make small changes.

To reduce the stress in my life, I’m going to dust off my Chi Tai DVD and start a new habit. For now, I’m going to practice Chi Tai every night after dinner. I hate that down time between dinner and my 8 p.m. reality show rush so I’m going to fill it positively.

To sculpt my body, I’m going to have to add to my exercise routine. I want to tighten my arms, thighs, and tummy. So I’ll add a series of stretch band exercises to my day and see how that works.

To improve my weekly weight loss, I’m going to try to eat less than 1500 a day, more like 1200 calories. It won’t always be possible, but there have been days I’ve done it without even trying.

There, three more things I can do to reach my goal of 50 pounds in 100 days, 64 days to go!


Day 35: We Lost an Angel Today

Filed under: Mom's Over 50 — Greta @ 9:04 am
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I lost someone today. She was my family, my sister-in-law, my sister, Marlene. She was 58 and way too young to leave us. While she recently underwent surgery for colon cancer, the doctors said that they got it all. Her diagnosis was good, her body restored. She died today of heart failure we think due to a blood clot, a complication of the surgery. It was her 39th wedding anniversary.

She and my brother met in Baltimore City where he worked as a mechanic at my Dad’s small foreign car repair shop. She lived in an apartment over a business down the street. I remember the first time I met her, I thought she was an angel. Her hair ran down the length of her small frame to her butt and it was the color of spun honey. She was pretty and my brother was in love.

I remember the day they got married, today 39 years ago. I was 12. They eloped and showed up at night on my parents’ doorstep with a smile and rings on their fingers. My parents were shocked and instead of inviting them in with warm congratulations, they sent them on their way. My Mom said that if they were old enough to get married they were old enough to figure out where and how they were going to live. Tough love? They moved in with Marlene’s parents and then into their own apartment. My Mom gave them an ironing board and iron as a wedding present.

It wasn’t long before my brother enlisted in the Army. Within in a year she was pregnant with my nephew. They got a small apartment on the military base and then she had my niece. They were a family.

It took time for my Mom and Dad and Marlene to warm up to each other. I think it had something to do with the day they showed up at our doorstep. But she grew to be a third daughter as she should be. She also grew into one of the strongest women I know.

Ironically, they ended up into my parents’ house when they retired in Florida. It became their home and she ran the household with a firm hand. She was extremely honest and was not shy about giving her opinion. She laughed at life and would shrug her shoulders when life didn’t go as expected. She was accepting.

Her kids were her universe and so were all the other kids they knew. While I spent most of my life in other states, we’d visit now and then on special days and the house would be filled with her children’s friends, each of them calling her Mom. She was Mother Goose and this was her flock.

She saw her son marry twice and bring two boys into the world, eventually, moving back home to open arms and the opportunity to begin anew. She saw her daughter fall in love, move to NJ and bring a daughter into the world, eventually moving back home to open arms and the opportunity to begin anew. Marlene was there for her children and was fulfilled by that role. With a full house, again, she took care of my brother, her children and their children. She provided the meals, got the grandkids off to school and provided day care while their parents worked. She was a full-time wife, mother and grandmother and she loved it.

More recently, her son was diagnosed with colon and liver cancer. It was hard on Marlene. She did all that she could to heal him from praying for a miracle to keeping up with his Chemo treatments and myriad of tests. She was his strength. And as he progressed and his liver improved, she found that she too had cancer. Her cancer was local and could be removed by surgery which she had a few weeks ago.

Born from humble beginnings, she worked hard to give her family stability and everything they needed. Together my brother and she conquered hard times, a flood, illnesses, and more. And while life wasn’t easy, I believe she was happy. She had many friends, many adopted kids, and her family snuggled around her.

The end came quickly with a massive heart attack and then hours of the doctors trying to bring her back to no avail. But it gave her family time to accept and say their goodbyes. While it’s not for us to ask why, we can’t help but wonder. My brother and his family will return to their home without her. And while I have fond personal family memories of growing up in that house, I will always remember Marlene laughing, loving and sharing what was on her mind. She will be missed, our sister, our friend, our angel.


Days 29, 30 and 31: Last Days of a hot and humid summer September 6, 2010

Filed under: Mom's Over 50,Weight Loss — Greta @ 10:25 pm
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When I think of summer, it begins on Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day. My son’s summer ended and his senior year began on Aug. 18. So it’s been good to have my daughter home for a couple of weeks. She spent the bulk of her summer taking a few elective courses at her college in New York, so her trip home was all the “summer” she experienced.

Much needed down time was the only thing on her agenda and it’s been so humid and hot in Charleston that getting out wasn’t part of her agenda either. So we laid low, ran errands, had lunch out, shopped, and talked. It was good.

And so summer ended with her climbing on a plane to head back to NY. We actually booked her a flight out of Columbia as her trip home was not expected and I needed to book her a flight back on short notice. It was a $200 difference to fly out of Columbia. Granted we had to get up at 3 a.m. to make it happen. Not sure I want her to fly out at 6:45 a.m. again, but it was direct and she got into the city by 8:30. She unpacked her bags, got something to eat and crashed.

We got home about the time she was unpacking. Once hubby got off to work, I crashed. Stacey May took the ride with us, so she crashed too. The bike ride and dog walking had to wait until the heat of the day subsided. Hubby rode with me. He’s been doing his own weight loss program and has lost 9 pounds as well.

Well we’ve had a busy few weeks, so I think we’ll just lay low tonight and pick up where we left off tomorrow.