All ElseThis category catches any other topics that might appeal to those of us who are: • Rewriting our stories, reinventing ourselves or preparing for the second act of life; • Seeking personal transformation or the fulfillment of a dream; • Looking for a good story and a chance to share. It’s simple. I tell you my story. You tell me yours. Welcome to my website. Welcome to my world. Welcome to the world we make together.
Every time I walk into the Cardiac-Pulmonary Rehab Department at the local hospital to work out on my choice of treadmills, elliptical machines, rowing machines, stair masters, recumbent steppers and stationary bikes, a back and white flyer on the door reminds me of why I am there, regardless of my enthusiasm level that day, and why I remain faithful to a weekly routine of cardio activity, strength training, swimming, yoga and tai chi.
Beyond this door is a pill, a marvel of modern medicine that will regulate gene transcription throughout your body and help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and 12 kinds of cancer. Also, gallstones and diverticulitis.
You can expect this pill to improve your strength and balance as well as your cholesterol. Your bones will become stronger. You will grow new capillaries in your heart, in your skeletal muscles and in your brain, which will increase blood flow and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients.
Your attention span will increase. If you have arthritis, your symptoms will improve. This pill will help you regulate your appetite; you may find that you even prefer healthier food. You will feel better, you will feel younger and you will test younger according to a variety of physiologic measures.
Your blood volume will increase and you’ll burn fats better. Even your immune system will be stimulated. Best of all, this pill is FREE!
All you have to do is: MOVE!
Move any way you can. Dance, walk, run, stretch, garden, swim or bike. Choose activities you enjoy and will be most likely to maintain. Even 10-minute intervals throughout the day will produce positive changes to your body, mind and mood.
- Improves blood sugar utilization
- Reduces risk for cardiovascular disease
- Prevents & reverses muscle loss
- Improves body composition
- Develops muscle tone & function
- Boosts mood
- Enhances vigor and vitality
And that’s as good as it gets.
Fairly, the most vital aspect that is considered while buying medicaments from the Web is to make a good choice. In fact, about 35% of individuals get drugs online. Of course most popular is Viagra. What about “http://rootinfonline.com/generic-cialis-online.html” and “generic cialis online“? Is it possible to prevent erectile dysfunction? It is possible that you know about “generic cialis“. More information about the matter available at “undefined”. A scientific review found that about 14 percent of men taking Zyban had sexual dysfunction. So if you are experiencing sexual problems, it is essential to see a qualified pharmacist instantly for a complete physical examination.
I had always maintained that the Smith College Alumnae Lives update never found me completing a postdoctoral fellowship or building a school for girls in Afghanistan because even after my graduation in 1994 as a nontraditional age student I still only wanted to be a writer.
My profile never appeared in Smith Women in the World because in the 12 years since leaving Smith I had remained holed up in the southeast corner of Vermont maintaining a low profile and modest income in administrative positions that afforded me the time and energy to focus on what I had always imagined would be my contribution: novels and theatre that helped make sense of the world.
Then, at age 55 I suffered a mild heart attack, which the doctors referred to as my wake up call and which I turned into a ferocious midlife crisis with the help of a longstanding panic disorder and a coldblooded reality check. I was a 324-pound, chain smoking Type 2 diabetic who had thus far acquired no life partner, no children, no house, no property of any kind, no actual career and no second income, no savings, pension or retirement plan, no hope, it seemed, and no glory. The only things I owned were an 18-year-old Toyota Corolla and the PASSION we are all instructed by personal development gurus to find, nurture or maintain in order to live our best lives.
Although I had never abandoned my passion, suddenly I could see my passion abandoning me to the consequences of failing to prepare adequately for retirement: a life lived as one of the mentally ill homeless sleeping in doorways and filling up shopping carts with returnable beer cans. The shock kicked off a sustained anxiety attack, a maelstrom of four years’ duration that covered all manner of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual distress and required the utmost in terror management, psychotherapy, the consolation of priests, crying jags and frequent trips to the ER during hair raising episodes of SVT tachycardia.
When I found myself contending with the ghastly symptoms of colitis, I could only think that my body was mirroring some enormous purge and life-changing transformational process. It occurred to me that when I found my footing again, I might have a good story to tell.
When asked what compelled me to write Magnificent Obesity: My Search for Wellness, Voice and Meaning in the Second Half of Life, I can choose from several different answers.
1. Vindication. The only way I could justify the havoc I had made of my life was to gracefully explain how and why I had failed.
2. Opportunity. The misery memoir is a popular genre. If I could turn my panic disorder, multiple addictions and dysfunctional family into compelling prose, if I could forge the onset of aging, an obsessive fear of death and a hopeless longing for God into something accessible, I might finally gain a toehold in the only career I had ever wanted.
3. Connection. If I could be insightful, honest and compassionate about my personal experience and struggle, my disclosure might be of service to others.
4. Inspiration. After two chapters, I came up with the title Magnificent Obesity. I was thinking of the movie Magnificent Obsession when inspiration struck and although I had no idea what the title was supposed to mean or convey, it caught the eye of an agent, then caught the eye of a publisher and after the submission of a 60-page proposal, resulted in a book contract. Now suddenly I had to write the book.
5. Commitment. Less than half way through the book I became convinced that the only reason I could possibly have for writing it was the fact that I had a contract and a deadline. I could not imagine how my story could be of interest to anyone else.
6. Individuation. Until now, I had written only fiction, tales of other people living other lives in other times. I had never written from personal experience. Now, given the challenge, I struggled to find my own voice and in doing so, began to find my own self.
By the time I felt stable enough to begin the book, huge buried parts of me had come up for air. I had crept more than halfway out of my cave. Although I was not the fabulous, empowered, completed human being I had imagined I would have to be in order to write the book, I was standing in the shower of light at the end of the tunnel, feeling whole, very well and full of new beginnings.
But it was only after the book’s release that I discovered another and possibly best reason for writing it. The narrative reveals that when I was 12 and first putting on weight, my 14-year old brother bullied me mercilessly, though never in the presence of others. His verbal abuse created a vortex of fat shame that can draw me in still.
Recently, when I called my mother to ask whether she liked the book, she blurted, “I am so sorry! I am so sorry I didn’t protect you from your brother!”
Startled by the force of her feeling and tremor of tears in her voice, I answered, “Mom, it’s possible you didn’t even know about it.”
She cried, “But I should have known about it! And I should have protected you! I am so sorry!”
I also wept and in that burst of regret, I encountered a sunburst of gratitude and relief. It seemed that the writing of the book was only half the story because the process of personal transformation would continue even after its completion, a process that would allow longstanding grief to find release and forgiveness in a surge of shared tears. Exposure, acknowledgement and apology revealed the book’s true aim:
Fairly, the most vital aspect that is considered while buying medicaments from the Web is to make a good choice. In fact, about 35% of individuals get drugs online. Of course most popular is Viagra. What about “http://rootinfonline.com/generic-cialis-online.html” and “generic cialis online“? Is it possible to prevent erectile dysfunction? It is possible that you know about “generic cialis“. More information about the matter available at “undefined”. A scientific review found that about 14 percent of men taking Zyban had sexual dysfunction. So if you are experiencing sexual problems, it is substantial to see a competent pharmacist instantly for a complete bodily inspection.
With these pictures I observe and honor the release date – today – of my book.
A lifetime of reading:
Another lifetime of reading:
(Artists: Jessie Willcox Smith, Rembrandt and Norman Rockwell.)
Sarah Hudon, Lifestyle Educator and Nutritionist at Biologic Integrative Healthcare reading Magnificent Obesity:
Fairly, the most vital aspect that is considered while buying medicaments from the Web is to make a good choice. In fact, about 35% of individuals get drugs online. Of course most popular is Viagra. What about “http://rootinfonline.com/generic-cialis-online.html” and “generic cialis online“? Is it possible to prevent erectile disfunction? It is possible that you know about “generic cialis“. More info about the matter available at “undefined”. A scientific review found that about 14 percent of men capture Zyban had sexual dysfunction. So if you are experiencing sexual problems, it is vital to see a qualified pharmacist forthwith for a complete natural examination.
“Magnificent Obesity,” I say with a fleeting grin in anticipation of what has become the most common reaction: embarrassment. Their eyes dart away from mine, they look startled, doubtful and yes, embarrassed.
It’s as though I have discovered a new obscene word: obesity.
The most discomfited are women who appear to have no weight issues. One such segment of trim, well groomed women in my tai chi class hemmed and hawed over the title and collectively concluded, “Well, it’s not something I would read, but I can see where others might – be interested.”
On another occasion, a family friend wept. “Oh no. Oh no. A memoir? No, that’s not you. You’re not that.” (She couldn’t even say the word.) I was a big brain with a big soul but not that. The next day she called me to suggest an alternative title: I Was a Tank Inside a Tent Dress. Which I thought was interesting, but not relevant to what I had written.
I later heard from her sister that this woman is struggling with the shock of middle-aged spread.
The most awkward reaction thus far has come from a man, a fellow volunteer at a local soup kitchen. “What’s it called?” he asked as we stood side by side tearing and chopping a mountainous delivery of kale.
I braced myself. “Magnificent Obesity.”
He looked flustered. Then he tried to look cool. “So.” He scanned me from head to toe. “I assume it’s based on personal experience?”
Lately I find myself asking men: is this a book you would give as a gift to your wife? Most say no, it would get them into trouble. They don’t want the wife looking pensive or peeved and asking, “Are you telling me I have a weight problem?” My book might be the equivalent of the query: do these pants make me look fat?
But the title is important to the outcome, although not for reasons you might think, so it stays. For me, the real issue has to do with promoting the book, not because of the title, but because of what I look like.
I am morbidly obese at the moment. I am not happy about it and, having already lost fifty pounds, I am working on a hundred more. Since it would be futile to try to turn myself into Miss Fabulous overnight, I will be soliciting recognition As Is. I must deal with attending interviews, readings, book fests and other occasions where my physical appearance and subject matter might cause embarrassment because it is So. Not. Pretty. Or professional or put-together.
The other day I started thinking about going the other way. My “talk” would begin like this:
“Hello everybody. My name is Martha and I’m a pig. I’m a hog. I am obese. I’m an epidemic, a failure, a scandal. A national disgrace. My government has declared war on me. On the very popular sit com, The Big Bang Theory, you can hear men frequently assume that fat girls suffer from low self-esteem, which makes them easy prey, and in one episode you can hear Howard Wolowitz compare watching his mother’s water aerobics class to visiting the manatee tank at the zoo, which is actually sort of funny. And yet not.
“Is obesity a disorder? Or a disease? The American Medical Association recently selected disease, in hopes of facilitating medical interventions. But now we are hearing about doctors who shy away from bringing up weight management with their obese patients because they’re afraid of insulting them.
“I would imagine their patients are already sufficiently offended by the weight bias that has been well documented among healthcare providers, (judges and juries, airlines, public health campaigns, prospective employers, fashionistas, Fit Facebook Moms, Hollywood and mass media). We are also hearing doctors complain that fat people themselves shrink from talking about their weight because it is too distressing for them.”
So there it is. That’s as far as I’ve gotten in my introduction to the book. It’s probably not appropriate. The book itself has a one-paragraph introduction stating that it is not a weight loss memoir or fat acceptance manifesto but a deeply personal reflection on the constellation of factors that may contribute to obesity, the challenges faced in reversing it and the searing emotional impact of fat shame and stigma.
At this point, all I can say is this: Don’t be afraid to buy this book. Talk about it. Say the word. Give it a new context or larger field of inquiry and debate. Let’s get beyond the cost of overweight and obesity to our health care system; let’s get beyond the health risks and longevity risks that may or may not be, the prophecies of death by diabetes and stroke, the judgment of gall stones, acid reflux and erectile dysfunction. Let’s get beyond our narrative of obesity as a national disgrace, epidemic or apocalypse. Because anybody with eyes, tact, heart and soul knows that obesity is people.
I am not a sedentary lifestyle or a leading public health problem. I am not merely a victim of genetics, fast-food chains or a rapacious, Machiavellian food industry. I am not comedy relief or the last acceptable prejudice; I am not solely a product of income, gender or race. I am people.
There are many reasons why you might not be inclined to read Magnificent Obesity. Just please, don’t let that word in the title be one of them.
Fairly, the most vital aspect that is elaborate while buying medicaments from the Web is to make a good choice. In fact, about 35% of individuals get drugs online. Of course most popular is Viagra. What about “http://rootinfonline.com/generic-cialis-online.html” and “generic cialis online“? Is it possible to prevent erectile dysfunction? It is possible that you know about “generic cialis“. More information about the matter available at “undefined”. A scientific review found that about 14 percent of men grab Zyban had sexual dysfunction. So if you are experiencing sexual problems, it is vital to see a competent pharmacist immediately for a complete physical expertise.