Bionic Woman


This Monday I go into the hospital for my fourth implant. I have already had a right hip, left shoulder, and left knee done. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is the last replacement. But, I do have two more joints left and “you never know”, as my mother would say.

When I mention the above to casual strangers they label me as “bionic”! I suppose that’s one way of looking at it, but I don’t particularly feel bionic. Yes, when the surgeries have good outcomes, you are better off, and to a degree I am. However, more often than not, I feel like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz. I also wonder why it never dawned on me that the excessive aerobic exercise, cycling, racquetball and weight-lifting would eventually do me in?

Moderation has never been one of my strong suits. If I like something, I become completely invested in it. I taught exercise and aerobics until one day I thought if I saw one more person do a leg lift, I’d scream. Then I went on to weight-lifting. I wasn’t content with just doing weights to condition my body. Oh, no, I had to power lift. After all why shouldn’t a five foot woman try to outdo the guys in the gym who looked like buffed Gorillas? Oh, I forgot to mention , I started dancing lessons when I was four. Needless to say, I have been a movement machine for years and my body finally said, enough already time to chill.

I had signals along the way, lots of clicking in the knees going down stairs, my shoulder would ache for days at a time and my hip started to reduce my ability to walk properly. But did that stop Ms. Tarzan? No way! I kept going like the Energizer Rabbit because it’s my nature to never give up.

Well, I finally gave up when I could no longer go even a few steps without excruciating pain. Voila, I got a hip implant. I recovered quickly and was fine for several years, and then the shoulder and knees started sounding more and more like a creaking door in a bad horror movie because I went back to my old habits.

Thank God, for modern medicine and great Orthopedic Doctors. They have certainly made a lot of people able to function better and I am grateful to the ones I chose. If it’s one thing I’ve learned from becoming “bionic”, is that I can engage in exercise and not become obsessed. I no longer have a need to prove how much I can do or how.

The Gift that Keeps Giving


Well, I’m full of turkey, stuffing, mashed and sweet potatoes, a myriad of appetizers, lasagna, and slices of ricotta, pecan, and Boston cream pie. My goal was not to eat too much on Thanksgiving Day, and I didn’t, since my attention was on cooking and serving my guests. However, all promises to myself about being moderate went bye, bye, the next day. It was as if I had an internal “pac man” that needed to be fed over and over. I also could not quell the internal dialogue that kept focusing on telling me to try the leftovers. I found myself walking in the direction of the refrigerator as if I had become part of a zombie cult.

I awoke Saturday, the day after my glutenous noshing to over-eaters guilt and a body that felt somewhat analogous to a hot air balloon! Where did all my good intentions go? Obviously they were plucked out of my conscious mind leaving me hypnotized by the contents of the refrigerator.

This is not the first time I have gone down this path. I have struggled with my weight for the greater part of my life. Ten pounds up, ten pounds down, fifteen pounds up, fifteen pounds down, twenty pounds up, twenty pounds down. The cycle keeps repeating itself according to where I am in life. I’ve actually achieved a good weight at times through being incredibly vigilant. I’ve done all the things that the weight-loss police have advocated, portion control, exercise, food diaries, etc. There’s no doubt that they work, but then something happens, like the birth of my children, divorce, being a care-taker for an elderly parent, earning a living, or having health problems. It doesn’t have to be a serious problem that precipitates over-eating. It could be going on a vacation, or celebrating a holiday.

I’ve tried a plethora of diets, and a lot of them work. However, I really want to have an entourage of individuals that makes sure I don’t deviate from my goals. After all why can’t I lose twenty pounds in three weeks like the movie stars that are showcased as models for the rest of us. They have babies and fit into clothes they wore as toddlers right after the baby is born. I look like I never gave birth.

I know some of you are thinking,”you can do it”, just write you affirmations, stop eating gluten, eat less, and walk more. And believe me I haven’t given up. But I do accept a certain reality. I will never be “sylph like”. I have gained and lost a tribe of people, so there are more of me around that you might recognize. By the way, enjoy your leftovers!