35 Down: Small Celebration

Yesterday’s post walk weight was 150.6, exactly 35 pounds from the starting weight in mid-May.    And this morning, at the official before-breakfast weigh-in, the same.   (Sometimes I gain weight overnight without eating or drinking anything.  Last Monday, for instance.  But not this Monday.)   This takes me solidly below the “overweight” category on the BMI charts , and yes, I know those charts are not an accurate determination of anything much.  Nevertheless, should I come in contact with medical personnel,  they’re less likely to offer hassle about my weight.   Which will save me a blood-pressure spike sure to bring on more hassle.  Once in the 140s, I’m also at a weight where trotting and cantering a horse is less likely to put strain on the horse, no matter what tack the horse carries.  Below 140 I can use my western saddle again (it’s built to a particular weight range–vintage Orthoflex with panels designed to conform to a horse’s back properly within about a fifteen-twenty pound range.

Toward the end of last week I tried on the riding jeans from Miller’s (now gone, but once a good place to buy riding clothes and tack) and lo, I could zip them without having to lie down on my back to do so.   I loved those jeans when I fit into them before.  They’re real denim jeans–solidly made, with real pockets, not those “fingertip length” ones, but I have only the one pair and when I start riding again I’ll need two pairs.  I needed to go into the city anyway, so decided to add a quick trip to Dover Saddlery,  to see if I could find a pair of riding tights, denim pants, or breeches that fit now and for the next size, size & a half down.  Also I needed better mane-untangling stuff, a belt that actually fit (lose 10 inches of waist *and* your leather punch, and no belt in the house really fits or can be made to, despite tries with an ice pick and screwdriver), a “shade thingie” for my riding helmet, and another pair of S&G rancher gloves (they had none in my size, all too small.)   Knew I was going to buy only one pair to ride in, because…still losing.  Will be losing the next 3-4 months.   Next purchase I hope will be two sizes down, since I have one pair (leftover, old stuff)  at that size, and if I time it right, it will mean I only need one pair at the size beyond that.  Then…assuming stabilization at the final size, I will buy an additional pair or so at that size.

Found “denim riding jeans” with skimpy lady pockets, very low cotton content (lightweight but they fit and are comfortable) and a humongous price.  Celebration, though, so bought them anyway.  Best for hot weather but by the time it’s really hot again, I’ll be smaller yet.   And it was straight off the rack, not the largest size carried (checked other styles & manufacturers, too) which means from here on I’ll have less trouble finding something I like that fits.   I wish it had a cellphone thigh pocket, which has become a thing in the riding breeches styles. The belt wasn’t expensive–and it’s adjustable by cutting it shorter as you shrink.   Managed not to stop any of the places I used to stop to eat on the way home by taking a different road and–when the last serious temptation appeared–being in the wrong lane to turn in.  Once past, no urge to find a way back, either.  Win!   Got home to find the box of seed from Native American Seed had arrived and R- had brought it into the kitchen.  Win, win, WIN.

He’s gone off to pick up a replacement hearing aid (still on warranty so *only* $300!)   The right one fell out while he was working outside and he didn’t notice at first, so though we both looked in the horse lot and then out on the land…no luck.  We will do pictures of seeding the burn scar, though, once we get started.  (He got back after I wrote that and will get his right hearing aid replacement in a week or so.)

Please note that what I write about my personal weight-loss situation is NOT intended as directions for anyone else.  We each have a unique body that reacts uniquely via both genetics and past experience, including injury and illness and environmental insults.    We each have foods that agree with us, or don’t agree with us, even beyond the level of allergy or the other level of like/don’t like.  There are some generalities that *seem* (at this time) to hold, and which *might* be applicable to most people, such as the decline of metabolism rate with age, the associated loss of muscle mass and increase of fat that has seemed (until relatively recent research) to be inevitable, but for which a combination of more protein to preserve muscle mass and continued exercise now seems to point to a better future for many.

For me, as a person who for more than half my life was on the thin side, and ate a high protein diet by choice, changing to a “normal” diet as then defined (and still defined), plus other changes, including injuries and personal stresses, resulted  in weight gain, less energy, less strength, and an increasing feeling of alienation from my body.   Discovering this year that old people in general need more, not less, protein, and feeling the change inside when I reached that higher level, has been a strong motivator to ignore advice I’d been trying to follow.   In the last week, nearing a level I’ve not seen for years and years,  I’m feeling more myself.  I see myself in the mirror…older self, sure.  Wrinkles, age spots, thinning hair, stiffness in the morning, complaints in some joints, all that, sure.  But now it’s the same underlying contours, the bones that used to be so prominent.   And out walking, it’s the same gait, my trail walk.    It feels like me to me.  Not just the weight lost, though that’s part of it, but the way the body feels, as if the old tired wolf resting under a tree suddenly felt less tired…got up and padded off down the trail, awake from nose to tail.

If you feel like taking anything from this, take the possibility that your unique, individual, physical body may have a resilience, a “life-force” that can be nurtured and encouraged, if you try things out after due consideration…an equally unique, individual, set of things–foods, actions, colors, surroundings, amount of sleep, daily routine, etc, etc–that will work for you, not against you if you tune in to them.  Broccoli and kale are not the answer for everyone, though they may be the answer for some.  For every so-called “superfood” there’s someone for whom it’s no help at all, and for everyone there’s something that *does* make things better.   What I’ve done this time has worked for me so far and I’ll continue until I’m back to the weight that feels normal for me.     What you do…is up to you.  I’m not here to judge your culinary choices, or your health choices.  If you’re happy as you are, keep doing what you’re doing.  If you’re not…consider a change.  Understand that age *does* bring changes, and what worked for you for years may not work as well now….or may just be impossible for some reason.    But since change is going to come, you can be actively in it maybe longer than you think.

Today’s Nature News…from this evening’s walk out on the land…the monarch migration is now here and trickling through, with monarchs showing interest in the Maximilian Sunflowers and the milkweeds in the near meadow.  I need to get down to the creek woods tomorrow and see if they’ve come to the frostweed there.

8 thoughts on “35 Down: Small Celebration

  1. It’s great that you are feeling like the body you have is yours again. I’ve had that and it makes a lot of difference to pretty much everything you do, as well as giving a great incentive to keep going and not make the same mistake again.

    We do get migratory butterflies in the UK, but nothing as dramatic as your monarchs, I hope there are many of them for you both to enjoy.

  2. After I retired from full-time teaching in 2019 I finally cleared the decks enough to deal with a persistent overweight problem. It started with gaining 10-20 pounds after each of 3 children and worsened from emotional/stress eating. I had lost down to about 155 and kept it off for more than 10 years. But it seemed to be stuck there. It was certainly better than the almost 200 pounds on a 5’1″ frame, but still overweight. I started with the new weight watchers program in Sept 2019 and achieved my goal weight in about 6 months. I am now at the weight I was when I married my beloved 49 years ago. I feel like myself again, not myself in a fat suit. Yes, I’m older with wrinkles, etc, but I hurt less and have much more energy to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Congratulations on your progress toward a more healthy self. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you for telling us. Congratulations to you, too. I am hurting less and also have more energy…and wonder if it will be even better when I reach my goal. I had successfully gotten down to about 175-180 before, but the double brain hit in late 2017 and early 2018 knocked me sideways in a big way. That was part of it. Politics didn’t help. Economic downturn and being unable to write at all for awhile didn’t help. So I quickly ballooned back up, then had to lose through the 190s and stuck right at 185. Until I started the current project. Since I’m (slightly) more than halfway to goal now, I tell myself not to be daunted by how much remains, just keep going. I have scheduled a “feast day” for Thanksgiving, which will include my favorites, but in smaller amounts, and be adjusted into the week’s amount so it doesn’t turn into a sudden five pound rise.

  3. So glad to hear you are so close to that “saddle weight”.

    Somehow I managed to drop 20 lbs during the stay at home portion due to not going out on weekends and eating heavier meals at places with live music. So far only a bit has come back and hoping to make a concentrated effort to get the last ten of the thirty I’d been eyeing to drop for number of years.

    1. Good luck–I hope you achieve it. We rarely ate out, until, the year of our 50th anniversary, we decided to start eating out once a week. Then came the pandemic. And I love to cook and make things up. (Never saw a recipe I didn’t want to tinker with…what if *this* spice instead of that, or in addition to that, or what about instead of this ingredient another one. Or leave out that, but then add…etc.) Not true of our couples’ meals out, but I used to eat “scratch” meals away from home, and do things with friends…to keep from cooking so much so often…and then eating everything in sight. R- likes my cooking and I like it too. So I regained what I’d lost when I could both ride the half-mountain-bike (can’t ride it now…the injury from one fall nearly killed me with a blow to the neck) and ride horses (and then that little buckskin mare dumped me on my head and I got the long-lasting concussion.) Can’t ride, can’t write, can’t sing, can’t knit…what else is there to do but cook and eat??? And gain.

      So again, best of luck and I hope the rest of the loss you want comes smoothly and easily to you.

  4. Congrats on the loss, hopefully you will be riding in comfort soon. Tuff-Rider has some breeches in a variety of sizes that have actual pockets and are comfortable. You may not get a lot of choices in color but if you are willing to take a less popular color you can get them for a good price. While I prefer to try on in person, the local Dover here doesn’t carry large enough to fit me (by about 10 inches if I stick with women’s).

    1. I wish clothing manufacturers would learn that some women fit better into men’s sizes because women’s sizes do not begin to offer comfort (or durability) for all women. Tuff Rider’s sizes stop before they get to where I am now, though. Calling a 32″ waist in one style a 2XL?? When other mfg call it a medium or a large? Grr. And 34 (which I am now) is right off their chart for their schooling tights. Like the price but don’t like the attitude.

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