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At home. Easter Sunday 1961 by Jim Ganley

Sun, Feb 16, 2014 at 10:35PM

Attending a parochial elementary school, I had been told by the nuns that the six weeks of the Lenten Season leading up to Easter was a time for penance. We were encouraged to give something up during this high time in Christianity. In my case, it was candy and desserts I had chosen to avoid. Come Easter Sunday while in my room dressing for church, I noticed that something had changed. My abdomen had flattened and there was a noticeable line running from  my sternum to my navel. I was impressed.

“Just like Tarzan and Hercules,” I thought to myself. Looking back, I realize that the only thing that had changed was that I had dropped junk food from my daily menu. My activity level had remained constant through that six week period. I’m citing this example to demonstrate how important nutrition is for those seeking to lose fat. But while I was excited by the results of this dietary intervention, others in this situation may be frightened, having no idea where such changes may lead.

At home. Springtime 1975

Carol was a cashier at a local department store. Morbidly obese, she had been befriended by my mother, who had apparently taken it upon herself to help her lose weight.

“Carol would be very attractive,” my mother told me, “if she could only lose about a hundred and fifty pounds.”

So toward that end, Ma would have Carol over for lunch, serving nutritious, low calorie fare as well as providing strategies for keeping herself on track. The program worked like a charm, allowing Carol to lose at least two pounds a week, ultimately dropping over fifty pounds and noticeably reducing her girth in the process. Then, for reasons unknown, Carol fell off the wagon, regaining all of the weight she had lost and then some.

My mother was flummoxed, relating that Carol had been literally inhaling bags of Oreo Cookies as well as whole packages of uncooked English muffins and cold cookie dough. My take on this, as I told my mother, was that Carol was a head case.  Ma could not accept this, explaining to me,  that Carol’s husband might have had a problem with his wife looking attractive to other men. It’s more likely that Carol was the one who had this problem. It’s an equal possibility that Carol had a problem looking attractive to her husband as well.

The changes just keep on coming for those choosing to make lifetime fitness their goal. We need to embrace these changes rather than fearing them, though on occasion, if ill-prepared, the changes can become quite unsettling.


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