September 5, 2012
Physical fitness is important, and our generation probably understands more about that that any of the previous ones, right? So why are we so fat (yes, I said “we”)? I get it. I’ve worked at it for years, both nutritionally and in the gym and on walking trails all over the county. For years, I was very fit, with a healthy BMI, low-to-normal blood pressure and not-too-bad-looking legs as a result.
Then I turned 50, and still … I kept up my regular workouts, ate right and felt good. Then I injured my knee and had that surgery that I know you’re all sick of hearing about. That was five months ago, and I’m still doing physical therapy and undergoing new treatments for such injuries. Today, I got the first of three injections in my knee that are made of the stuff in a chicken’s comb. Weird, I know, but I did. It’s supposed to help.
Here’s the point to which I’m getting: my husband and I have made a pact to get fitter, together. I’ve put on some weight since my surgery, as my physical exercise is still pretty limited. My husband has put on some weight because I’m driving him crazy as a result of the same surgery. We figured that if we tackled the problem together, we could solve it together.
I bought a protein drink mix the other day, as I know that we need to ingest enough protein in order to both heal and be fit. The label on the industrial-size tub the kid talked me into buying claimed that the drink tastes just like the chocolate milk you remembered as a kid.
It tastes horrible, like rotten vegetables blended with chocolate syrup and eggs, and mixed with milk. It smells even worse. It takes me about 15 minutes and as many gags to get one down, but I do it every day, just the same.
So does my husband, although he has come up with an ingenious way to make the shake taste less disgusting. He drinks it with the chocolate chip cookies he’s eating, a trick I discovered quite by accident the other night when I hobbled back downstairs because I forgot to take my vitamins before bedtime.
The look on his face was priceless, when I limped around the corner just in time to see him cram one last cookie in his mouth and chase it with the thick veggie-protein-chocolate concoction. It reminded me of the old days, when I’d see one of our children with a big chocolate ring around his mouth, telling a very different story than his wide, innocent eyes told. Come to think of it, the expressions were exactly the same.
Oh, things will get better. We don’t normally have cookies in the house; they were just leftovers from our Labor Day barbecue. In fact, my husband can typically just think about losing weight, and he drops a few pounds a week. I think about it, stress, stress-eat, and gain weight.
Doesn’t seem fair, does it?
Carole Townsend is also a Gwinnett Daily Post staff correspondent and author of “Southern Fried White Trash.” The book takes a humorous look at families and how we behave when thrown together for weddings, funerals and holidays. She has been quoted on msnbc.com, in the LA Times, USA Today and the Christian Science Monitor, been featured on FOX 5 News and CNN, and is often a guest on television and radio shows nationwide. She currently travels throughout the southeast, meeting readers at book signings and speaking publicly at various events. Her next book, “Red Lipstick and Clean Underwear,” is expected on book shelves in Fall 2012.