My Father Lived to be 71 my Mother 94. They lived in the same house ate the same foods but had completely different lifestyles. My father retired at 57 and spent the rest of his life on the couch watching television and drinking beer. My mother quit drinking alcoholic beverages at 57 and went out and got a job at a delicatessen where she was on her feet all day. After retiring, she joined a barbershop quartet called the Alley Cats who had skimmer hats and long tails. They swished their tails when they sang and danced.
I asked mom who they performed for and she said they went around to retirement homes and sang for the old people to cheer them up. I laughed at her because she was about 70 at the time so she clarified it by saying old people like my father who did absolutely nothing except complain and talk about the weather. The other big lifestyle difference was the amount of food my mother ate compared to my father. My Father believed in three huge meals a day. breakfast was a couple of fried eggs, toast and meat, which was usually ham, bacon or kielbasa. My mom usually had just toast and tea. Lunch for mom was usually rabbit food, celery, carrots, cucumbers, pickles or a salad. Dinner was a shared meal and she ate a small portion of whatever was cooked.
Despite living to 94, a Nutritional Nazi would have insisted that my mother was killing herself with what she ate. She loved the skin of a roasted ham and thought ham fat was a food group. She ate the very salty, jellied brine that seeps from a ham when you refrigerate the leftovers. She would eat the crisp skin of any fowl she roasted and of course she would pluck and eat the very fatty tail of a roasted bird. She would take a small portion of the mandatory potatoes that my father insisted upon at every dinner and a full portion of overcooked green vegetable. Her total portion of meat, skin, fat and soft bones never totaled 6 ounces. She stayed healthy by working like a bear and eating like a bird.
I don’t gain weight because I eat excessive portions, I gain weight because bad habits creep into my diet. I like Ting, grapefruit soda, before coffee and a bag of nuts with my coffee and heavy cream. I like a 1500 calorie dinner and when I am in bad habit mode, I do not cut back if I have a social luncheon or breakfast date. I just eat 2 big meals for the day plus my standard bottle of wine.
As to exercise, I still do walk in bad habit mode, just not as much. When unconcerned about my health, I will walk about 2.5 miles 3 or 4 times a week and find it a little difficult to walk 5 to 10 miles. When concerned about my health, I will walk 5 to 7 days a week with at least 2 days in the 5 to 7 mile range.
My biggest problem comes because I enjoy being both physical and cerebral. When i am in my physical mode, I work all day in my yard and on my house. Perfection is not a goal it is a standard. If anything isn’t perfect, it is done over. Not a stray plant or blade of grass in my cactus garden, just cactus and mulch (Ouch). I never think of food nor do I get hungry for anything other than my one meal a day at dinner.
When I am writing, I live in a world of my own making. There are so many things to learn about including history, heredity, Arduino programming, geology, gardening, cooking, wild flowers, herbal medicine, politics, economics and more. Whenever I stumble upon a missing connexion or incomplete thought, I get up and pace.
Of course the refrigerator is a traditional stop in these walks. Depending on the severity of the mental block or amount of missing information, refrigerator stops can get more frequent. I cannot change my nature but I can minimize edibles beyond carrots, celery, broccoli and lettuce. It used to be hot air blown popcorn at 150 calories of carbohydrates and starches with minimal vitamin content and a few minerals.
I checked my blog content and found I was in physical mode from 2009 to 2012 when I dropped from 265 to 165 before returning to a comfortable and stronger 175. From 2012, I started writing my two pirate books about St. Croix and as described above, I was less physical and much less food focused. I had moved back to the 17 century in my mental time machine and let my house completely run down to a pitifully low standard. My weight rose to a maximum of 215 pounds on several occasions but residual knowledge helped me keep it in check in the obese range and not morbidly obese.
I have several more books I need and want to write so the question is, now that I understand the problem, can I start another book without losing interest in my wellness programs.
If I don’t resolve this issues there may not be any more books as I stay physical to stay alive, stop exercising my mind and end up as a mindless Alzheimer Victim walking the streets and not recognizing anybody. On the other hand if I collapse into the imaginary world of my next book and ignore physical activity, I may not live long enough to finish it. When you have a lifetime of clinically accessed ADHD, there is no guide book for gracefully growing up and especially growing old.
There is no published recipe for this meal. The recipe for the super healthy home fries will be posted in a couple of days. After all, why would anybody want a recipe for a ham streak from a picnic ham with all of the skin, fat and salt.
But, Hey, Mom lived to be 94 still had all her marbles and died peacefully after expressing the sentiment that she was ready to go.