My dear grandchildren, Sophie Bell, age 7, and Jonah, age 3, are wonderful playmates. However, sometimes durinig the course of their Monday-to-Sunday quarantine, one finds fault with the other (real or imagined), and the fur flies. Being there most days, to help my daughter, and to join my family for dinner, I become the unintended referee. It recently occurred to me that I could grant my grandchildren the loving favor of teaching them to resolve their differences by themselves. “Just walk away” has become my mantra, and it gives Sophie Bell and Jonah an opportunity to calm themselves. More often than not, they return with smiles on their faces to resume play; proof positive that it is more worthwhile to teach someone to do something (for themselves) than to keep doing it for them.
All of my life I was slender without any effort. It was my body type. (My son was born in 1970, my daughter was born in 1978 and I began producing Body Electric in 1984.) Back in the day, women would say that they “lost their figure” after having babies. Many of the Body Electric dancers, like myself, had had children and looked better than ever! When I approached menopause at age 52, I began to notice subtle differences in my body, so I became more focused on eating foods that were less caloric. However, I didn’t skimp on protein so as to protect my muscle tone and strength. It wasn’t until very recently that I noticed myself gaining weight. The scale reflected that pesky five-pound gain. Then the Coronavirus had us staying home, and the scale reported an EIGHT POUND gain! That was my wake-up call.
Since the Coronavirus quarentine, I work at home (like most) and leave my house in the late afternoon to join my family for dinner. It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. And, so it is for my daughter, Brooke, who has become quite the gourmet cook. It is wonderful to look forward each day to joining my daughter, Brooke, son-in-law Dave and the children to share a delicious, home-cooked meal. However, we must first hear Jonah announce that he doesn’t eat “yucky” food and wait for Sophie Bell to find just the right chair that doesn’t wobble.
It occured to me that the discipline involved in teaching my grandchildren to “just walk away” when they experienced upset, could serve as an effective tool to help me resist excess calories. I first needed to have a solid understanding of my body’s caloric needs, and the healthy foods required to provide sustanance as I moved toward my weight-loss goals. It’s often helpful to be accountable to someone, or the guidance of a weight-loss coach. And, of course, exercise, both muscle-toning and aerobic, are key.
There is that moment when my discipline has waned and I’m headed for food that I can’t resist. BUT I CAN! In that moment I can choose to “just walk away”! And, you can too. It’s a most powerful tool.