HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the women out there who took on the amazing job of raising children! I never had any kids (by choice) but the amount of work it takes was never lost on me, nor was it lost that there is probably no greater love.
I had a wonderful relationship with my mother who passed away 6 years ago at the age of 87. I grew up with a mother who looked like a movie star and had a brain like an engineer. She rarely cooked, kept house or did any other housewife-type things, and would never have won any mother-of-the -year awards, but she was fascinating, interesting, eccentric, and fun and easy to be around. She wasn’t June Cleaver and didn’t want to be!
My weight problems came from both her and my dad; (OK, I’ll take some of the blame too!). Now a lot of people can say that, but I do think my story really is different. I inherited my dad’s shape (short and stout) but here’s where it all went wrong: my mother’s bizarre eating habits. My petite, 5′ 103 lb mother ate mostly: coffee, cookies, candy, pastries, ice cream, popcorn; she drank 1/2 and 1/2 like milk, ate sugary cereals, rarely ate vegetables (and I never once saw her eat a salad). Her vegetables were usually a baked potato or squash with lots of butter and sour cream. She would occasionally eat a banana or have boxed macaroni and cheese (made with cream, not milk). She never drank water (Eeeeeuuuwww!). And when we took her to dinner, she would often just order desert, but if we could talk her into eating a meal, she would order something really healthy…..fettucini alfredo!!!! Since she didn’t (or rarely) cook when I was growing up, our diet consisted of cereal, chicken pot pies, chili spaghetti, chili Fritos, PB sandwiches or hamburgers on top of the goodies she always had around.
We should have donated her body to science…..this is a woman who bore 4 children, never weighed over 103 lbs (except when pregnant), smoked 60 years, never (and I do mean never) exercised and was never sick until two years before she died at 87.
So what does this story tell you about metabolism? Not everyone is built alike…..so when Weight Watchers or any of the other big weight loss businesses tell you that YOU can lose 2 lbs a week and still eat LOTS OF FOOD, well, that might work for some people (and I do believe it does work for some, it just never did for me). Clearly if most people ate all the high fat food my mom ate then it’s doubtful they would stay at 103 lbs their whole life. And I did eat a lot of that stuff growing up and I was fat from day one. Not blaming my wonderful mom, she was just different and I had two sisters who never had a weight problem, but it’s just one more reason that I am grateful that science has come up with another way for those of us who cannot lose weight the traditional way. (READ: thank you sleeve!)
So on that same topic, this past week I have had some breakthroughs in my exercise…..I can now run further than before and I went 3 miles in under 45 minutes on the treadmill; my weight lifting is showing progress and my stretching is paying off…..I had no days this past week where I felt I ate more than I should have or had more goodies than normal and stayed more or less within 1200 calories a day (while burning 300-500 a day). And I lost NO weight. Too bad I couldn’t have gotten a metabolism transplant from my mom!!!!
You might have noticed this week that the post is titled Hamakua Coast. This is the coast just north of Hilo and it’s where I went to celebrate not just Mother’s Day with some friends, but also our dear friend Karen’s 69th Birthday. Karen is a local artist and has a tradition of spending her special day at one of the world’s most beautiful gardens called the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden…..a place NOT to be missed if your plans bring you to East Hawaii. It’s a magical place and I cannot think of a better spot in the world to be today to honor my mom. BTW, she would be so happy to see me healthy and on my way to being thin. I know I will never be 103 lbs or as beautiful as she was, but I am finding my own way to a good life.
A hui hou and here’s to all our moms…..
Queen of Crop