Monday, April 3rd. I turned 60 years old. 21,900 days. That’s a lotta days.
People often laugh (okay, at me) when I tell them that I usually wake up with a song in my head but it’s true. It will stay in my head most of the day. Sometimes I’ll add it to our Spotify list at Marcel’s, often having it deleted by one of my beloved coworkers as soon as I turn my back. Seriously, who doesn’t love “One Less Bell To Answer” by The 5th Dimension? Anyway, the last few weeks before the big day, I was consistently waking up to John Lennon’s “And So This Is Christmas” only it had morphed into “And So This Is 60.” It became a sort of mantra of accomplishments and disappointments, changing at any given moment, all sung to myself to that comforting tune.
The second half of my 59th year was pretty momentous on a very personal level. On Wednesday, October 26th, I decided that enough was enough and that entering my 60’s at 200+ pounds was probably a really bad idea. Major change was needed. With the guidance and support of a wonderful doctor, my husband and sons and one coworker (Hi, Anne), I quietly made the life adjustments needed. My days (mostly, just in case anyone reading this has seen the celebratory birthday pics!) have consisted of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein. BOOM! That’s it. I stayed on the QT until people started to notice – it took about 30 pounds or so – and then I became an open book. One of the things that I find interesting is the assumption that for someone who loves food and cooking as much as I do, this must be a miserable journey! Nothing could be further from the truth. Actually, loving to cook has made this process far less painless than one would think. You just need to get creative.
One small piece of equipment that I invested in is a traditional two-tiered bamboo steamer that we carry at Marcel’s. It offers endless variations using fresh veggies, fish and chicken. I line the baskets with fresh kale, cabbage or Swiss chard, pile loads of vegetables in the top basket and nestle my protein in the bottom basket. I place the steamer in my wok to which I’ve added two inches of broth and twenty to thirty minutes later a complete meal is ready. I’ll add a side of grains or potatoes for my family and everyone’s happy!
So, here I am – 50 pounds down with 15 – 20 to go. I’ve never felt better. I walk two to five miles daily. My darling husband gave me my first new bike in 40 years for my birthday. “And So This Is 60.” Bring it.