Walking in Mom’s Footsteps

September 25, 2010 at 8:05 am 1 comment

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in our country.  Or so I am told.  Here on the Left Coast we’re all supposed to be tall, tanned and svelte, spending our lunch hours playing volleyball on the beach, our weekends beating our personal 10K bests.  (Okay, if you say so.)  Silly as that sounds, you must be blind not to notice a growing degree of girth in our nation, most alarmingly among kids.

Yes—news flash, millions struggle to keep the pounds from piling up, and God knows I’m one of them.  Let’s face it:  after age forty your body just naturally wants to sit in a Barcalounger®; and dieting alone is simply not enough to maintain a healthy weight.

Now my mother, Peg Bracken—who advocated eating and drinking pretty much what you wanted in moderation, never really had a weight problem.  She walked a treadmill daily well into her eighties, propping an enlarged-print book in front of her and striding on for an hour or so.

Likewise, because the Great American Media Machine tells me I need to lose five pounds to be happy, I walk in Mom’s footsteps, mounting the elliptical trainer most days like some two-legged hamster.   The only difference is, I’ve got NPR on the headphones, or my favorite crime show on the flat screen.

At the other extreme, I know many grey-haired folks who push themselves to the limit athletically and eat like a hummingbird trying to look like a twenty-something.  But does having a six pack or buns of steel really make you a beautiful human being?  I wonder.

In the end, I again find myself following my mother’s advice, which was:  enjoy cooking and eating as two of life’s many pleasures.  Exercise regularly to avoid getting fat.  And maybe spend a bit more time trying to love and accept what you see in the mirror.


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Sandy Abernathy  |  September 25, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Jo, I hear you!! Your Mother was always svelt and beautiful I thought. And it always amazed me how thin she always was while cooking such excellent foods!! I am a “Foodie”. I enjoy good foods, too. You know, as for the over weight kids, back when you and I were young, we did alot more exercising! We rode bikes, would swim in the ocean, walk everywhere, and in school, we had PE every day. Something that many schools are now taking out of schools sadly. As we get older, learning to love what we see in the mirror is a challenge for everyone I think. Aging gracefully, or accepting what we are as we age. I’m still working on that one!


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