Guest Author - Kathie LoMonaco
I am one of those people who has had to fight the good fight with weight issues a good part of my adult life. My Mother was overweight once she started having us 'kids'. However, as far as my Father was concerned, aside from a little beer belly, he had good eating habits which apparently were instilled in him when he was young. He walked every day. He really enjoyed it. He would walk to the post office, the local candy store, anywhere within a mile or so of wherever he lived. My Father never had any heart problems, never any blood pressure problems. Neither of my parents ever had to take a prescription pill for anything. Even when he and my Mother moved to Florida, he walked a lot - even in that heat, which now, when I think back, might not have been the best idea at his age.
When my Mother would offer him a piece of cake that she made, or any other goodies, he would always say "I'll wait until my dinner, thanks". He was always active - I think that is the key to keeping fit. The only thing I would ever see my Father 'snack' on was a tomato! he would pick them up as if they were apples - put a little salt on it and eat it. In his late 60's, even very early 70's he could still play 'stickball'. I wish I would have followed in his footsteps where food and fitness was concerned - but unfortunately for some reason that did not rub off on me.
Since entering Midlife - I have seen the weight creep up like a spider creeps up on a fly - very mercilessly and insidiously. I have given up the notion of ever being a size 3 like I was when I was 17 and 18. At 19 I was a 5. I married young - after having my daughter, I became a size 7. From there it was all uphill. I've dabbled in 9's, 12's - then dieted, back to an 8 at one point. Then gradually creeping into a 9/10. I've hovered mostly at a 9 my adult life. But, once, when I wanted a pair of 'Sergio Villency' designer jeans so badly - I went out and bought a size 5 - and I hung them on the front of my bedroom door - so that they were the first thing I saw when I woke up in the morning - and throughout the day, when I wasn't working I would pass them a hundred times imagining myself finally fitting into them. That was my "boiled eggs and grapefruit" diet phase. I had read that Morgan Fairchild, the actress, said in an article that she was chubby growing up - and so she went on this diet and lost the weight and apparently never gained it back. So, I figured - if it was good enough for Morgan Fairchild, it was good enough for me.
Maybe once a week I would take the fancy jeans off the hanger and try them on. Little by little - inch by inch - they slowly crept up a little farther each time - until about 3 months had gone by - and one day Voila! I was gobsmacked! they went over my hips and right up to my waist! that was a day of celebration. I had recently been divorced and I wanted so much to get back into shape and start enjoying life again. I was about 32 at the time. The size 5 was a bit of a stretch for me to stay with - my body had changed and I knew it was just a matter of time before I would be a 7. It took about a year. But I stayed at that 7 for a number of years, until maybe 37 or 38. Although the boiled eggs and grapefruit did work for me - I would not recommend it as I've read it is really not healthy and I could have upset my metabolism and invited a whole host of other problems for myself. What it did give me, though, was a really bad bladder infection from all the grapefruit (acid). I started drinking bottles of cranberry juice which greatly helped.
I had some elective surgery at 39 - so I decided to lose weight for the operation. I was going good after all that - until the time that most women go into their changes - or perimenopause, anywhere from 40's to 50's. Then usually full Menopause takes over and all bets are off! The only women that I personally know of that have kept and still keep their youthful shapes intact are women who have never had any children. They did not have the hormonal changes and upheavals that pregnancies bring with them. Either that or they have only eaten one lettuce leaf and two pieces of popcorn for most of their adult lives and although you may think 'thin is in' - you don't want to look like what they call a 'lollipop' head - that's a big head on a stick figure-like body. That is definitely not something to strive for - it's unhealthy.
All joking aside - recently I read where a lot of female celebrities - one of them being Alicia Silverstone - have gone to the 'other side' and become vegetarians - or vegans. You see, meat (protein) clogs the digestive system and also causes plaque to form on the arteries. Before you know it, you have high cholesterol and you have to start taking prescription drugs, such as 'statins'. Statins have been known to damage the liver - so you can see that it is a domino effect. You get one ailment, which then leads to other problems and, combined with all the medications you must take, your body's immune system, it's defenses, are pulverized. It all starts with what you eat - and how quickly your body can break down the foods you eat without storing it as fat - which brings me to the topic of 'enzymes'. I've learned rather late in the game that I should have been taking enzymes that break down food in the digestive tract from probably around my mid 30's or at least starting at 40. Meat is the biggest culprit when it comes to digestive problems - it is very hard for your system to break down meats such as beef. And, if you eat meat with a starch - oh boy - that's double jeopardy! Alicia Silverstone has said how much 'lighter' and healthier she feels now that she has given up meat. I feel that it should be 'everything in moderation'. We should only eat meat maybe twice or at most three times in one week; other days you should eat much lighter, more digestible foods, such as fish, veggies, salads, legumes, fruits.
If you don't know the story with Robin Quivers, Howard Stern's sidekick - google her and look at her 'before' and 'afters' She started fasting with the 'Master Cleanse' maybe 4 or 5 years ago. How I envy her now! she is in the best health of her life! she was tired of the swollen ankles, the pain in her joints. She said she literally felt like her body was falling apart. She also contributed to a book that was written a couple of years ago. She had someone literally come to her house and stay with her while she drank strictly liquids and stuck with a certain detox program. She had great support with someone monitoring her and walking her through it.
I've enlisted my daughter to start not only the Master Cleanse along with me, which we are going to try and stick with for 10 days - but also I've been sent a video by Suzanne Andrews, who is one of the hosts on Public Television. She has come out with a new workout video entitled "Functional Fitness" - it has low impact routines - it burns fat fast - and there is no expensive equipment involved. Since my daughter has a very active 3 1/2 year old - I've been waiting for just the right time for us to do it together - we already postponed it once - she wants to get back into her 7's as much as I do - so I felt we could give each other moral support every day -- between the Cleanse and the exercises with Suzanne's video.
I'm going to award a 'Functional Fitness' workout video to one of my readers - so please send me your emails telling me why YOU should win this video. I'll read them ALL and make a decision about the winning email. Suzanne has also told me she liked the idea and will also contribute a 2nd video for the contest. I welcome all your responses on this!
At the bottom of this page you will see a link where you can go and check out Suzanne's video - it is available now if you wish to purchase it. I will keep you posted with updates from time to time on my progress and let you know how I'm coming along - what is working - and what isn't.
Wish me luck! And, if you're starting yourself - I wish you every success!