Friday, August 12, 2016

Mom's Guide to Health and Fitness

I was at the doctor’s office today. I was pretty sure I had Zika but it was only a cough, sore throat. I got the usual: Antibiotics that probably won’t do anything and some prescription cough suppressant that will definitely do “something”. Plus it helps with a cough.
While sitting in that petri dish they call a waiting room, I thought about my mother. Agnes De Patta. She died three years ago this week. She was a lifelong hardcore liberal Democrat, took no shit and had a dark side that I appreciated. She was 96.
Each day I try to get in a workout. Most days I’m OK, but if I skip a few then I’m off my schedule and feel like a slacker, fat, old, soon to die. I eat well but I binge once a week. Or twice. So, guilt and self-loathing, overweight, blood sugar, cholesterol and all the attendant morbid effects of debauchery.
I know debauchery. Well.
I try to take care of myself, I don’t smoke and haven’t had a drink in over 20 years, stopped the weed and the pills and the coke and staying out late and sneaking down dark alleys.
But there is something missing.
Looking back, I try to remember what my mom did to stay fit and healthy for over 90 years.

Weight: She was always about 40 pounds overweight. Five feet four and 180 lbs. give or take a few inches and a few pounds.
Smoking: Started smoking at 16 and stopped at 76. She had a heart attack a few months after she quit and thought that was ironic. Still, 60 years of smoking and she lived another 20.
Alcohol: Not a heavy drinker.  I think I only saw her rough a couple of times. She liked a drink around 5 p.m., sometimes a couple. No big.
Diet: Anything that didn’t bite back. She liked butter and loved sugary desserts.
Exercise: You’re kidding, right? She hated walking from her room to the front door when I visited her. Hated it and said so. She walked from her room to her car; that was the longest trip on foot. She drove until she was 95 and didn’t kill anyone that we know of.

She was smart and articulate until the end. Didn’t mind a good argument. Enjoyed provoking the old conservatives at the residence.
 I’m may adopt her program. It worked for 96 years and I consider that successful.

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