Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Further Food For Thought

I just finished getting dressed and I'm thinking about body sizes.  I'm a small boned person. For most of my life my weight has been in the low 100's, except in times of stress when it dips below 100. 

But now I have the double edged sword hanging over my head: aging and stopping smoking so the low 100's are gone. I'm in the 115 range.

Apparently smokers heartbeat can have an extra 10 to 20 beats per minute, hence the higher metabolism.

Stop smoking and your heartbeat slows down and your chance of a heart attack lessens but the chance of weight gain doubles.

Now you all know I've been working my tail off both in the gym, at Zumba and on my daily walks.  Actually my tail isn't a problem, my abdomen is.

I have never had a diet so full of greens and more greens.  I pull out a carrot to snack on as naturally as I used to light up a Camel.  I do eats nuts daily but I believe their goodness overcomes their caloric intake.

My breakfast is my homemade granola, fruit and yogurt.  I bring a salad for lunch, mixed greens or spinach, a touch of goat cheese or feta, some of those nuts and maybe a avocado half.  I dress it with a splash of olive oil and a salt.  This is accompanied by a half sandwich on whole grain toast with maybe a bite of turkey and cheese and a scraping of mayo.  Dinner is often another salad but with the addition of garbanzo beans, tomato, perhaps an apple or a mango, toasted walnuts and avocado served with a few slices of that very grainy bread toasted.

Writing all this down is making me very hungry but also putting some perspective on my life.

I have probably never been this healthy.  The end of this month will be 7 months without a cigarette except in my smoking dreams.   I guess a few extra pounds and a larger waistline are a small price to pay for the ability to breathe deeply and move quickly.

But sometimes when you're trying on a pair of shorts you've worn for years and you have to squeeeeeze to zip them up?  You wish the glass of health was a little less full.



  1. Jane,
    I know exactly what you're talking about. I went thru the same thing when I quit 15 years ago. I'm probably about the same size as you - most of my life I've been in the 102 to 105 area, and not by trying or dieting, that was just my normal weight (I am a small person). When I quit, I rapidly went up to 116 and like you, it was pretty much all in the belly. It was so distressing to think about finally being healthier only to find out I was so much heavier! I've always been pretty active and I've had a regular workout routine all my adult life, so I was stumped as to how this happened. But I found that after about a year or so, I started dropping the weight. For the last 12 to 14 years I've been around 107, which I maintain without trying, so I guess that is where my body feels healthiest. I'm sure (especially given the fact that I am 15 years older than I was when I quit!!)I'll never be 102 again, and that's fine by me. I know I've done the most important thing I could do for my health and that's a great feeling. Hang in there! I'm so happy for you on the quitting - that is a phenomenal thing you've done for yourself and those you love. The weight will work itself out. You, my dear, are AMAZING!

  2. You are kicking butt, Jane. I haven't weighed 115 since I was in high school. Is your blood pressure good? Your cholesterol? You are moving. You are eating a balanced diet. Carry on and be proud. You deserve it.

  3. Ditto. We (you, life in small chunks and me) seem to be about the same size, or were. I quit smoking 10 years ago, everything stayed the same for 5 months, then wham! I never weigh myself so I don't know the lbs. difference but my niece got most of my size 2s-Luckily I still fit the 4s-and I can breathe. Congrats on 7 months.

  4. That salad looks delicious. Congratulations on 7 months--that's an eternity.

  5. I'm going with don't change anything you eat: your body will regulate itself It takes about a year for the body to adjust to dramatic change.
    How much H2O do you drink? Water is good for flushing out toxins and healing the Bod. Don't throw those shorts away yet!

  6. I say throw them away and accept that as we age we thicken a little in the middle...healthy is better than skinny. Good for you!

  7. If you were to substitute the word 'chocolate' for 'greens' you would be describing my own strict dietary régime exactly: we are soul-sisters divided by an ocean.

    (With a diet like yours, your body-shape can't be wrong. Don't fret about it!)

    1. Mise, I have altered my diet to fit yours, ie substituting chocolate for greens. Very tasty, though my day is full of sugar highs and lows, occasional bursts of tears and a toothache now and again.

      but hey I've seen your picture, you look good so I'm sticking to it!

  8. Good for you Jane on the no smoking. Getting knocked up was the only thing that finally made me quit for good. As for weight gain...well, story of my life. I tell you the thing that helped me the most was taking deep breaths and stopping to drink water between bites. But then I'm not a good person to listen to since I seem to have gained the 10lbs I lost last year back. Oh over.

  9. I was super-skinny without trying for most of my life. About 5 years ago I found out that I have coeliac disease - lets just say that the food I had been eating had not been being processed very well! I have found it easy to cut out gluten, but now that I'm absorbing nutrients properly from my food - it has all headed to my belly. I'm of the age where I don't actually care that much, and I'm still only in the 'slightly overweight' category, but I much prefer being a little rounder if it means I am healthier!

  10. Jane, two things. First, your diet sounds wonderful, and your exercise routine is great, so give yourself 10 points for that. You might add more water, but that probably won't help the belly.

    Secondly, sadly most women have a "gynoid" body type and from 40 on, it tends to change with the belly getting larger, boobs drooping as our backs shorten. It's called aging - and menopause does not help at all! Your exercise may help a lot with maintaining spine strength and avoiding the bent back, but gravity is definitely at work her.

    Check your BMI - there are websites, or do this: (weight x 702) divided by (height in inches squared). Eg.: (115 x 702)/(63x63) = 20.3 a very good, normal BMI. As long as you are less than 24.9, you are at a good weight.

    we love you whatever your silhouette. xo

  11. Webb is right Jane- we can less than we've ever eaten, but at a 'certain age' it gets piled on to the abdomen, apparently a protection from way back when our tribe decided we were worth less food as we were no longer productive! x

  12. Karin,What a reassuring response. I have seen this miracle in another friend of mine who stopped smoking but she has just good genes I assumed she was just lucky. Thank you for the hope!

    Denise, blood pressure fabulous, cholesterol a little high, overall pretty good shape:-)

    Amelia, I caved in and got a few pair of pants in a 4. Why make myself suffer, right? But I'm not giving away my favorite 2s quite yet!

    Jen, Thank you. It is an eternity. But the LOUD cravings have quieted down. Thank God.

    Shelley, You are so right I don't drink enough water, especially at work,I drink tons of espresso and maybe 8 or 16 ounces of water. I drink it at home and while working out but I will up my consumption at work. thanks.

    Heather, I know you're right,and I love being healthy....I just want to be a little lighter. Acceptance, not my best quality. xo

    Denise, You pegged that one, I eat like a florist aka a wolf or like the food will be taken away any moment. I need to learn to eat swallow and breathe. good tip.

    the veg artist, see you got to the acceptance place , I'm still struggling. I don't want to be skinny. I just want to be healthy and wear a size 2. Don't worry, I'll get to the sane place.

    Thanks Webb. My BMI is 22, clearly n the healthy range. It's my mind that's unhealthy, expecting me to grow older, stop smoking and not gain a pound! Yes, you too on the water. I will increase consumption as of today( as soon as I finish this iced latte!)

    Karen, Grrrr. Screw our tribes! Well as Helen Reddy said: "Sometimes it's hard to be a woman"

  13. Just found your blog. Very informative and nice to see the photos.

  14. Man, take a day off and I'm behind in my reading by about 50 posts. I say don't worry about the size. You're not doubt healthier. Talk to your trainer about the gut, maybe some changes are needed in the routine.

    You're doing great and I'll bet you look mahvelous!

  15. Your breakfast sounds good Jane! I hope you will keep up the 'non smoking' and lose the kilo's you gained.

    What I wanted to say....whenever you come to Holland you are more than welcome to visit my garden! I would love to show you!

    Happy weekend!

    Madelief x

  16. Spanx. In a word.

    You sound a paragon of virtue and health, it is so annoying how we can eat better/less and get more muffin-topp-ier in the forties, driving me nuts!I think for us healthy eaters it is a portion issue, we can't need all the calories we consume? Plus normal hormonal/aging issues? Having said that your bmi is perfect, so don't be too hard on yourself. I need to get fit, and you have already done that so huge respect to you.

    1. Spanks you Belinda. Just had a bite of after dinner chocolate, feeling centered now. Hell with it yeah?

    2. You do have spanx in the US don't you? Those huge knicks that hold everything in? Not some weird spanking innuendo?! Oh Lawdy!

  17. And after quitting, have your taste buds waken up to enjoy all those savory foods? Your landscaping looks delicious.

    1. Yes! That's the problem! How much are you loving all this rain?

  18. I always thought smokers were skinnier because they smoked instead of eating... the heartbeat thing never occurred to me!
    Congratulations on seven months! :)

  19. Jane,
    your salad looks all that avocado. Congratulations on 7 months no smoking!

  20. Seven months Jane! That's fantastic.
    I have no such excuse for the weight gain. It's so depressing even reading about it. I don't think I like this aging thing much. That said, I also enjoy (mostly) healthy fresh food, with a few treats thrown in (far too often) for good measure.
    I guess acceptance is part of it as you say. When I was younger I'm sure I was on a diet every second day. Now I do pretty much enjoy my food, and other than a little 'migration' I'm pretty much the same size, without the diet or the guilt.
    And all that home grown food looks so delicious!

  21. Congrats on being cigarette-free for all that time. Your diet sounds SO yummy to me, just my thing. I am hungry now after reading this, too :-)