Yes, that’s me with a group of seniors in Charlotte, North Carolina, as part of the Shepherd Center Author Series.
Take a closer look at the folks in the photo at the top of this post, all normal-sized and ambulatory. I loved what they shared with me about their lives, past and future.
They gave me such an enthusiastic reception that we hung around long after the program was scheduled to end.
In 2015 UK’s Telegraph reported that “old age should be defined as having 15 or fewer years left to live, which for the baby boomers means that they are still middle aged until their 74th year.” This means I have another 20 years to be in “middle age” and I’m determined to make the most of them!
A word about “ambition clothes”
You can’t tell in the photo that I’m wearing a dress.
An “ambition dress,” to be precise.
Every woman has “ambition clothes” in her closet. We keep them around even though they don’t fit. Maybe we think they motivate us to do what it takes to wear them. In all honesty, most of my ambition clothes go out of style before I can get into them, which kind of nukes the “motivation” rationale.
Maybe the truth is that I’m too frugal to give up hope on something I really want to wear!
Whatever the reason, I was frankly surprised that it didn’t take very long for me to slip into this one. I was on Day 15 of my detox program: no sugar, grains or dairy. There’s more to it than that, but those are the big changes for me.
What I quickly learned about the discomfort I’ve been feeling around my torso is that it was “bloat” more than “fat.”
I still have fat around the middle, but the bloat is mercifully gone because I removed the three things most likely causing it. I’ll be able to figure out which of the three I can add back later in the program.
I can’t believe how much better I feel and how much more soundly I’m sleeping.
Please let me know if there is a group that would enjoy hearing some of my stories from the road. This page on my website tells you more. If you wanna see me in the ambition dress, I can make it happen!
The difference between “bloat” and “fat”
Earlier this month I had a battery of tests for which I gave eight vials of blood and other fluids to a functional medicine specialist. I was shocked and frankly pissed off by what I learned about my declining health.
How could I possibly be on the verge of diabetes when I eat a mostly-organic diet?
How could I possibly have so much cortisol when I pray and meditate regularly?
My friend Mary Miller Brooks helped me sort this out. If you’re interested here’s a video interview she did with me.
The main takeaways for me in the last couple of weeks is 1. the need to keep my insulin steady with good proteins, and 2. that I can manage energy dips with good fats. The right fats and proteins at the right intervals make it easy to live without grains and sugar.
I miss the dairy because some of my favorite dishes are made with it, but that’s just my tastebuds talking.
I’m learning to listen to what my body tells me. What a journey.