My mother lived to ninety-three. She never exercised.
Women of those days didn’t.
They simply lived.
Without computers or cell phones. So nothing to tie them to their chairs all day.
Which is a good thing.
Today, a lot of us sit too much. At least I do. At my computer. Or perched somewhere checking my phone.
I don’t hang laundry on the line. Walk to the mailbox. Mow the lawn or plant the tomatoes. As my mother used to do.
Movement makes all the difference.
Those ten thousand steps programs are probably good. But we shouldn’t need a program. We should just do it. Know when we move enough. We’ve gotten so used to sedentary, we don’t know the difference. Like that movie “Wall-E” where everyone floats around in space on lounges. They don’t have functional legs anymore.
I walk Rosie. My dog. She’s the program that gets me out. She’s short so every walk is ten thousand steps for her. I’m tall so it takes me longer.
Diets are another health thing that have drifted away. Or the name has. And that’s ok by me.
My go-to diet was always the grapefruit diet. Grapefruit five times a day. With everything. The grapefruit breaks down all the fat. So it’s good for you. Makes you skinny.
When I wasn’t on the grapefruit diet I’d gravitate to the Atkins diet. Protein all day. Eggs benedict without the English muffin. Steak with sour cream. Pork chops with bacon on top. You always felt filled up. And on the edge of a coronary.
Eventually I did have to have my gall bladder out. Too much fat. The Atkins diet probably cinched it.
Now…no diet. The word is gone. Not that you don’t cut back. Today you simply eliminate different categories of foods.
It’s called healthy eating.
No sugar, no red meat, no dairy, no alcohol. Except red wine. I try to follow this, but fail continuously.
I forget. Old habits die hard. I decide I won’t drink before I go to a dinner party. My mind is made up. Then I go in, everybody’s chatting and I’m handed a glass of wine. My favorite Duckhorn sauvignon blanc. I take it. Naturally. Not my fault. They’d already poured it.
Then there’s dessert. If the hostess made it you don’t want to say no and make her feel bad. Make the other chubby people feel bad for eating theirs. And besides, life IS short.
Healthy food gurus spend their lives studying food and sometimes still die young. The guy who stalked the wild asparagus, Euell Gibbons. Promoted eating wild foods… died at sixty-four. Adelle Davis, fared a little better. She was seventy. Born in 1904, Adelle was famous for saying “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper”. Which is probably good advice but doesn’t work for most of us. Dinner is our end of the day celebration. We ask Alexa to play Aretha, pour a little wine and have our way with a stir-fry. Or go out with friends, laugh till we can’t anymore and share a raspberry crumble. The pauper at dinner thing doesn’t really work in western society.
Eating less is good. I ate half my hamburger yesterday. Of course, truth be known, the meat was grass fed and tasted a little bit like sawdust. Healthy for red meat, but I was supposed to be skipping it. Oye.
Skipping breakfast works for me. You know the fasting thing where you go sixteen hours without eating? Good for blood sugar levels and losing weight? You can do it any time of the day. Easiest to do that by just skipping breakfast , for me the most boring meal of the day, and saving yourself for a delicious lunch.
Sanjay Gupta. Love that name. Good name for a fish. Anyway…Sanjay has a special on CNN traveling to all the blue zones where people live longer. Like to 100. They’re all happy. Eat what’s grown in their area. They live in rural areas and often at altitude. They work in the fields flinging rice around.
Which gets me back to the moving thing. These people move. Not a computer or cellphone in sight. They don’t go to a gym, follow a ten thousand steps program or give up carbs.
They just walk up and down the mountains eating bulgur wheat. They dance. They sing. They laugh.
That’s probably the most important. Laughing.
So even if I fail the “eat less; move more” test, I think I’ll be ok.
I’ve got that laughing thing down.