This article is part of the CelebrEighty series by Judy Katz… Let’s talk about breakfast. There are countless healthy choices—fruit, yogurt, steel-cut oatmeal, eggs, and all kinds of protein smoothies. However, put together the two words: “almond” and “croissant” and all these other options go right out the window. Don’t even get me started on “chocolate” and “croissant.” If we’re talking about other meals, topping my favorites list would be a Beef Wellington meat pie with a fully-loaded ice-cream sundae. Not healthy foods for sure. Yet I can fantasize because, even at 82, I would prefer to know that I’m “bathing suit ready” all year. Not just for appearance sake, but for health considerations, mobility and hopefully adventures for years to come.
During the Pandemic—I’m sure many of you can relate—I sat on my couch watching everything streaming video had to offer. I’m ashamed to say I put on 20 pounds thanks (no thanks) to Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Peacock, Apple TV Plus—and more. When the Pandemic ended, and I couldn’t fit into my favorite clothing, I decided an extreme makeover was in order.
So I joined the Jewish Community Center (JCC) on Amsterdam Avenue and W. 76th Street and took Aquacise, yoga, stretch, and Melt classes. I hired one of their trainers. I walk a minimum of 10,000 steps a day with my Chihuahuas. I even spent a torturous hour at OrangeTheory—doing what they kindly term “power walking on the treadmill” while all the younger attendees ran like demons on their machines.
And yes, I chose to improve my food choices—at least to some extent. I can tell you that I am now 20 pounds lighter. I can also tell you that it has taken me eight months. It may take me another eight months to drop the additional ten pounds I want to lose and slim back down to my ideal weight: 130 and size eight.
Interestingly, heftier weights in past eras were associated with success, affluence, and influence. Hefty meant wealthy! Don’t believe me—you can quickly look it up. Today being a size zero is considered an accomplishment in many younger circles. I admit I have “shrunk” a bit and am no longer 5’6”, but still, 130 pounds is my ideal weight, thank you very much. And I don’t care about sizes. I have some 2X silk blouses that look fantastic with leggings.
Here is something I learned from my admittedly extreme new workout schedule: a body in motion wants to keep moving. When I first began walking from my apartment to the JCC, even those few blocks seemed like an exhausting trek. Now I get there so quickly that I arrive at my destination much faster and more efficiently. Another thing that is literally “a walk in the park” are my morning forays into Central Park for off-leash time with my grateful canines Lia and Bindy. They come back happily worn out, and so do I!
What are you to make of all this? Well, look, my friend: If this old broad could get up off her couch, out of her computer chair and “rise to the occasion” to get herself back in shape, so can you—if you need to. And many of the folks I know and love do need to. So take this as my saying: “Hey, if I can do it, so can you.” I did it slowly, one step at a time. And one bite at a time: did you notice an edge missing from the almond croissant in my photo? Spoiler alert: that photo was taken before I devoured the rest of it.
Hey, I’m not perfect—and that’s fine with me. Practice moderation my lovelies, and you won’t have to dream about forbidden treats you can’t have. Treat yourself well, indulge occasionally, and keep moving.
I love you. Thanks for listening.