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Weight: Time: Fortitude

…the nicer “WTF” of weight management after 60

Barb here.

A long, long time ago (five years) I wrote a post on fitness and aging for another blog. It was hilarious and brilliant. The premise was a warning to younger women that now, right now is the best time to get in shape.

Why now? Because, trust me, it only gets harder. I don’t care how old you are, if you’re an adult woman, it will be easier this year to lose weight and get in shape than it will be during any time in your future.

With the wisdom of age sprinkled with 20/20 hindsight that old post may have been brilliant and funny, but it only told half the story. I did get in shape when I was younger.

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  • Thirty-eight years ago as a new college grad I started running 5 miles a day, actually competed in a road race, and climbed Maine’s Mt. Katahdin.
  • When I was a sales manager, wife, and stepmom 25 years ago I somehow found the time and energy (perhaps motivated by enjoying a bit of quiet) to get in shape and I still fondly recall my size 10 dresses and suits from that era. I called that my “Mo’s in High School Weight”.
  • A number of years later after another few months of diet and exercise, my “Marc and Jenn’s Wedding Weight” was five pounds heavier and the dress was a 12.
  • A few more years after that, the weight I reached for another wedding was another 5 heavier still, I wore a modern foundation garment under that size 12 dress, and while I didn’t name the specific poundage it has become my goal weight for all future attempts.

Now, at 60, I stand behind my statement: Get in a healthy shape now; it only gets harder as we get older.

However, I missed the most important lesson: Once one gets in shape, it would be good to remain in shape. (Now there’s a concept.) As I look at my current size 16 self I realize that it wasn’t enough to get it off if I didn’t keep it off.

So here’s the kicker:

It’s not just about what you or I do at this age, it’s what we do after we’ve achieved some success.  It’s about:

  1. Getting off your butt & moving
  2. Snacking less
  3. Choosing healthy alternatives
  4.  Acting today (and every day) in a manner that helps us be healthier today than we were yesterday, and more active and able next month than we were this month.
  5. Knowing our triggers and telling our beautiful, smart self that the chocolate we crave will not help us to actually achieve our goals for health OR make it easier to get through whatever task has us stymied.
  6. Learning to plan ahead for healthy snacks and walking away from emotional eating.

Because just as I can tell you when I lost the weight, I can tell you when I gained it.

  • When I moved to the “city” of Portland.
  • When my mom was ill.
  • When my dad died.
  • When we sailed in to St. Augustine in 2015 and had a challenging year.

I do not want to be a size 16 for the rest of my life and this is the easiest it will ever be for me to lose weight and get in shape.

And this time, I plan to keep it off.

I hate to imagine my vibrant, funny, and oh so revered 80-year-old-self wearing caftans on her size 18 body and plotting a weight loss regime friendly to 80-year-old-joints that have been asked to work too hard for 25 years.

I think I just threw up in my mouth a bit.  If that doesn’t motivate me, nothing will.

Lynnelle here.

I think most of us have “Marc and Jenn’s Wedding Weight” markers.

1st Wedding – 115#

Mine are:

  • 1st wedding weight – 115
  • 1st divorce weight – 125
  • 2nd wedding weight – 119
  • 2nd divorce weight – 130
  • 3rd wedding weight – 120
  • 3rd divorce weight – 133
  • burying Dad, moving mom to memory care; moving from Dallas to my sister’s; building a house in the country; moving into said house in the country; quitting my job, turning SIXTY, starting this blog… – 139+/- (which we all knows that is 140-ish… trying not to put that in print too much.  Although it grossed me out when Barb said this earlier – I think I just threw up in my mouth a bit…)  

Post 3rd Divorce 133# ~139#-ish 

If I can get back somewhere between my “3rd wedding weight” and “3rd divorce weight” I’d be ecstatic! But even getting back the 3rd divorce weight, I’d still be happy.

My dress size might not be 16, but the issues Barb notes are the same and the points she makes are universal. Being aware of and avoiding your triggers for mindless eating; the discipline to say no to a craving – just walk away; regular exercise; life goals versus date driven goals (i.e. 4th wedding).

Something that helps me is accountability. Some might call it a guilt partner; others maybe “a partner in pain”. Whatever you call it, having someone or something to check in with can give your goal a structure – and failing to work on the goal an embarrassment. Maybe; although I am pretty good at managing the embarrassment as I mix my evening cocktail instead of meeting Karen for our Barr workout. Maybe your guilt partner should be someone other than your sister.

To help me stick with it and to provide more structure, I like trying workout / fitness apps. It can get expensive if you don’t watch it, but most have free versions, so you can try before you buy. Some require your credit card info when signing up for the free version so you’ll need to watch the calendar and cancel before the deadline if you don’t want your card to be charged. Regardless, there are many you can try. If one works for you it may be worth spending a few dollars – no?. Here’s a list of apps I’ve tried / am trying.

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these, what you think, and if you have others you like. I’m likely not using these to their full potential so I’m interested in your experience.

FitBit in the HaT Tribe Teal. Nice!

Also, I’m trying to use my *iWatch to track steps, exercise and sleep. My sister uses this *Fitbit. It seems the Fitbit online system is way more informative and easier to navigate than the iWatch, but unfortunately you can’t even check it out without signing up. Good news is you can sign up for free, even if you don’t have a Fitbit yet. I’m not sure if all Fitbits are the same, but I think I’d like to try one. I haven’t found an iWatch dashboard similar to the Fitbit’s. Anyone have feedback?

* FYI, FitBit & iWatch links above are affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of them and actually buy something, Heals and Tevas will get a % commission. You can see our Disclosure and legal stuff for more details or let us know if you have any questions. 

Life’s Lists, Shoulds and Mlle Colette

Barb here.

Let’s talk lists.

I love “To-Do-Lists!

I really love crossing things off the list.

(I like that so much I’ve been known to write down a completed task just so I can cross it off. Some of you will relate.) 

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I’ve used all sorts of systems (the Franklin Planner being the most elaborate), read all sort of books, (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and one of David Allen’s first books), and attended seminars; I’ve written the lists on yellow lined paper, fancy calendar binders, and a plethora of different software programs.

I’ve had color coded lists, lists with items marked A – D to indicate importance, and lists with stars or highlighter applied to indicate something along the lines of VERY IMPORTANT! DO NOW OR FAIL AS A HUMAN!

List management, with wine

I am really good at lists.

I’ve had life goal lists, daily and weekly to-do lists, monthly lists, and seasonal lists.While cruising, the lists were short and sweet. This year as my life has gotten more complicated, I again struggled with systems, software, and apps. (There are a plethora of apps for lists.) After polling my younger, tech-savvy Facebook friends I’m back to lined paper in my essential, must-not-lose-ever-notebook. I’ve incorporated a few tips from those past lessons, but keep it simple and focused.

How focused?

A while back I discovered a yellow pad with the “master list” I had written shortly after my college graduation. Some of the things on that decades-old list could be on my master list today—if I had a “master list”. For me, a “master list” consists of everything I think I should want to accomplish. Finding that old “master list” largely equaled the new one pulled me up short.

Some of the things on that list don’t need to be on any list of mine today – or any time. They were “shoulds” I picked up somewhere and added to the list for self-improvement, or self-importance, or self-something.

I like lists and I use them so that I can keep track of a whole bunch of things in my life and not forget the important and the urgent. (Did I get toothpaste? Yes.) But the big picture stuff? Those “shoulds” or self-I things? I have no patience for those anymore. I will learn, I will grow, I will achieve. As important, I am learning to accept those things that just aren’t going to change (now there’s an original concept) and banish them from the list.

Perhaps I can now cross “Learn to be an adult” off the list.

Yeah. Probably not. I’m beginning to actually understand that—even at 60—I’m a work in progress. Still, I’ll keep writing my To-Do-List and crossing things off.

Barb’s Happy Dance

It makes me happy.

I found a great article on Quartz about how to write a good to-do list. (Their version of “master list” is reasonable.)

We would love to know if you have a “To-Do” list and if its old school paper or 21st century app. Which app?

Lynnelle here.

Even at THIS age, at 60, it takes such discipline to not let the “shoulds” get to you, or the “theys” of the world who dictate the “shoulds”. I don’t need a list to screw me up about who, what and where I “should” do, be, know or have. As I’m again reinventing myself; transitioning from typical, full-time, professional employment to …self-employed blog-queen/travel writer… there are many “shoulds” (inclusive of “should haves”, “should nots”, and “should not haves”) looking me in the face, clamoring for attention.

“Lynnelle, you should….

  1. ​Get a normal job to have reliable income (& health ins. & vacation pay & retirement savings & …)
  2. Sell that Mercedes because you don’t need that ‘flash’ OR that payment. 
  3. Have saved more money.  
  4. Have started on this writing thing years ago; you would have a track record, by-lines and SALES by now.
  5. Sell the Hermes Kelly bag. It would cover the mortgage for 6 months.

You get the idea.

The above all revolve around money, which is clearly an issue when you go from a 6-figure income to … zero. The more sinister “shoulds” swarming around me like a cloud of black flies are about my self identity. Without the big job, who am I? Well, I know who I am – I’m still me; but the perception of who I am is different. Lynnelle the international banker conjures a different image than does Lynnelle the blogger/writer. We’re the same, but not perceived the same.

I  should  will…​

  1. Be secure in myself. Others’ perception of me is ultimately out of my control.
  2. Ignore those with negative comments, opinions or views about my life.
  3. Not base my self-image or self-worth on the perceptions of others.

Like Barb’s decade-old master list, I’ve been working on these three things my whole life, it seems. I’m so much more secure in myself now at sixty than then, BS (before sixty) – thank God.

ModernStoicism.com

But, there are times – like now – when you take your life in a completely new direction; reinventing yourself – again –  testing your grit. I’m dusting off and updating the secure-in-myself manual. One of the things I’m getting into is the Stoic philosophy. If you’re into that kind of exploration, this is the *book that introduced me to the Stoic philosophy, The Good Life. If you’d like to learn more about the philosophy of Stoicism, go to the website ModernStoicism.com, a non-profit organization that shares information, events and courses on Stoicism as a life philosophy.

I’ll be leaving the “Learn to be an Adult” manual, however, on the shelf.

Here’s an appropriate quote (found at Brainy Quote):

Mlle Colette

“You must not pity me because my sixtieth year finds me still astonished. To be astonished is one of the surest ways of not growing old too quickly.” —Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

By the way, Colette published “Gigi” in 1944 at the age of 71.

Go be astonished.

*  Some of the links in this post may be Amazon Affiliate links. This means that if you click over and actually buy something, Heels and Tevas may get a % commission. The price you pay clicking over from our affiliate link is the same price you, or anyone would pay going to Amazon.com directly. See our Disclosures and other legal stuff for more info or just let us know if you have any questions. 

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Transition Planning

In my post on Monday, I mentioned Karen and I are familiar with the signs of “transition”, having cared for my Dad during the last weeks of his life. Transition is the term used to describe the phase of life when one –well – transitions from this world, the world of the living, to the next world, the world of the spirit (or whatever that other world is according to your beliefs).  Depending on a number of factors, transition period can be an hour, a day, a week or longer. A doctor or nurse can consider a few factors and make an educated guess, but you never know how long.

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Coming Home

Mom was released from the hospital on Saturday evening, 30 September. We had a hospital bed. I stocked up on bed pads, alcohol wipes, gloves, and the applesauce, soup and juice. We were ready.

Please know I am not a doctor, a nurse, nor do I have any professional experience in the field of medicine. All I share here is from my personal experience only. Helping my Dad transition was a blessing. And now, we are with Mom for her transition. Sadly, we won’t need the bed pads, hospital wipes, applesauce, soup or juice.

As difficult as these experiences are, they are even more profound. Helping Dad and Mom has enabled me to see life as the natural process it is. While we might think we can control the course of our lives, any control we may have is limited, at best. Life runs its course regardless of what you do or what you want. The saying goes, “All good things come to an end.”  

  • The sun rises and the sun sets.
  • The leaves fall from the trees at the end of the year and leaf out again the next spring.
  • A college graduate is hired, promoted, named CEO, and then retires to have a previously hired, trained and promoted college graduate take their place as CEO.

This isn’t a bad thing, just a truth; a natural evolution. It goes against the grain of our culture to think of or plan for anything other than reaching the next mountaintop, but at some point we all fail to reach the top or we reach the top and then fall down.  

Planning for Our Own Transition

As morbid as our culture may consider this, I believe we would all be well served to learn about the end-of-life process and to think about our own. We plan weddings, save for our children’s education, our retirement, who says dying is easy? I’m not sure any of us is a “natural”. Knowing the transition process can make the end of our life less scary and, more importantly, the lives of our loved ones less traumatic.  We should all be so lucky to live a full life and die in our sleep. Most of us will not be that lucky.

Talk to your kids, your spouse, or caregiver. Talk about the dying process and the physical changes to be expected. Give them direction as to your preferences – beyond the typical DNR. Should they keep you as aware as possible or keep you as sedated as possible? Should they use oxygen to keep you comfortable or avoid using the oxygen at the risk of discomfort to speed the process? Caregivers, talk to your loved one. Do you know how your loved one feels about these decisions you’ll be asked to make? There are no rights or wrongs.

As I write this just after midnight, early Friday morning on 6 October, my Mom’s breathing is has become more labored and her coloring is pale. We didn’t think she would make it through the night on Tuesday and here we are early Friday morning. Between Karen and me, Mom has not been alone since coming home on Saturday. Knowing Mom, we made the decision to avoid the narcotic pain medication unless she was in distress. We also elected to use the oxygen to keep her comfortable. If you have any questions about other aspects of this journey, or if you’d like to share your own story please do. I’m honored to have been with my Dad for his life transition.  I’m blessed to be with Mom now.

The books below are all helpful in directing you to the important areas you need to focus on for practical end-of-life discussions and planning. It isn’t only about the DNR or where the insurance policy is; although those are important. Just having the conversation is a big step forward. We’re providing these links because we think the information shared in them is good. 

Please know that if you click on one of these books and make a purchase, Heels and Tevas will receive a few cents commission. If you’d like more information about that, please send us an email or refer to our Disclosures and Other Legal Stuff page.  

#5 Commit to Offline Times & Places

Not only to simplify and increase your fulfillment, but surprisingly you can increase your productivity by going offline. Counter intuitive, right? But trust me. It’s tough to do; so much of our lives are now online. But it will be like a breath of fresh air…

Commit to Offline Times and Places

We LIVE online.  How did this happen?  No question; we women over 60 have seen the most dramatic innovations in human-kind. (Men over 60, too, but we women actually noticed.) Most have been helpful, too.

What would life be without the invention of:

  • An ATM
  • Birth Control Pills
  • GPS
  • The Internet
  • Remote Control (the men noticed this one)
  • Cordless tools
  • Cell Phone
  • Digital Music
  • Smoke Detectors
  • Prozac

Seriously, can you even imagine? While technology had a role in the development of birth control pills and Prozac, all others ARE technology. Not only they all a technology, today they’re all managed / accessible through the internet.

  • ATM – mobile banking;
  • GPS – Google Maps or Waze;
  • Remote Control – Apple TV, Direct TV online, Dish Hopper…
  • Cordless Tools – well, not REAL tools, but still there’s an app for a lot – levels, lights, compass, etc…
  • Cell Phone – Skype and Viber and Google Talk and…
  • Digital Music – Spotify, iTunes, Pandora,…
  • Smoke Detectors – how about smart houses, Nest, remote access to your smoke detector…

What Does NOT Involve the Internet?

The areas of our lives that do NOT involve the internet is becoming the exception rather than the norm. The internet has completely changed our existence. The change is for the better, for the most part, as long as we have healthy boundaries. Setting boundaries can protect us from the unhealthy behavior of others. Boundaries can also protect us from our own unhealthy behavior. In addition to all the wonderful things the internet makes possible, the internet can also instigate some bad behavior by making us:

  • Waste our time
  • Lazy
  • Spend money we don’t have
  • “Say” evil, mean-spirited things we’d never dream of saying to anyone in person
  • Believe everyone else online has the perfect life and ours is sub-par
  • Waste our time
  • Lazy
  • Spend money we don’t have
  • Waste our time

I wrote a post earlier this month about time passing so quickly. As we reach 60 and over, it doesn’t slow down. Wasting time (or money) is not something I want to do anymore. So, #4 on my list of ways to create a. more simplified and fulfilling life in 2018 is to commit to offline times and places.

#5 Commit to Offline Times and Places

If you read the Time Flies post, I don’t need to elaborate on ways the internet can sap our productivity, relationships, and health, nor the difference between being connected and being “in flow”. Taking control of when, where and how I immerse myself (or not) online is key to improving my productivity, relationships, and health. It is key to a more simplified and fulfilling life.  This year I’m committing to:

Offline Times

  1. Mealtime
  2. Bedtime
  3. Standing in line time
  4. Drive time

Offline places

  1. Dinner table
  2. Restaurants
  3. Driver’s seat
  4. Public seatings (theaters, arenas, churches, etc)

These may, or may not work for you. You may add others. Let us know what you think.

 

PS – Word of the day is Digiphrenia: the constant, insane dual personalities people are immersed in between their phones and the real life around them. Or, from 2013’s Douglas Rushkoff’s Present Shock,  “The tension between the faux present of digital bombardment and the true now of a coherently living human generates the second kind of present shock, what we’re calling digiphrenia—digi for “digital,” and phrenia for “dissordered condition of mental activity.”

 

10 Steps to Creating a More Simplified and Fulfilling Life in 2018

(#1 – Prioritize Your Passion 10 Min a Day)

(#2 – Unsubscribe  (Responsibly – not Heels and Tevas!)

(#3 – Minimize Options)

(#4 – Prioritize Alone Time and Just BE)

(#5 – Commit to Offline Times and Places)

Want to know when we post 5-10 or to get them directly in your inbox? Let us know here.

#4 Prioritize Alone Time & Just BE

Productivity. Produce. We Americans are all about productivity, doing more, getting more done, multi-tasking, more return on equity (ROE for us business types), etc. etc. etc.  Get more done. Improve productivity! (You’ll get the George Clooney reference and the connection to productivity at the end. Got your attention, thought – right?)

#3 – Minimize Stress by Minimizing Options

You know how difficult it can be to order a meal when the restaurant menu has 10 pages of options? How about looking in your walk-in closet trying to decide what to wear among the packed and piled clothing?  What about looking in your fridge/pantry to decide what to make for dinner? Not-to-mention, walking up and down the cereal isle in the grocery store – 2oo++ different options; REALLY? Or, my favorite mind-bending experience – strolling the aisles in DSW trying to decide what pair of shoes to buy with your $50 Gift Card. Option Overwhelm!