Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Health Warning


While looking after my dad, I pursue a daily habit I had when mum was alive: we used to walk up the road to her friend, Heather, for morning coffee.  Heather is a salt of the earth type, who believes that man/woman cannot live without a permanently full tummy.  To this end, she cooks daily, huge meals for her adult children, who understandably have been in a hurry neither to marry nor to leave home, two of them still not having fled the nest, although pushing forty.  The trouble is this family is very largely overweight, I hesitate to say obese, but that is the truth, and it is impossible for any visitor to leave the house without some or other delicious comestible to take home, usually in quantities that could fill one's freezer for months. I made the mistake of casually mentioning that I would be in my brother's house by myself next week which instantly caused Heather to go on the alert and cross-question me deeply as to how I would be able to sustain myself in a house in which she suspects there will be marginal levels of food.  In vain do I assert that I have mountains of stuff in the freezer and shall be far from starving.  This is met with snorts of disbelief and I see I shall have to come up with a plan to avoid being force-fed by Heather in the near future.  Heather herself, lives on a liquid diet and cigarettes, having Crohn's disease and various other nasty digestive ailments.  She is also on morphine for chronic pain in her knees. She is 78 - but soldiers on regardless fortified by her need to care for others.

4 comments:

  1. I have known some Amish families who are like this. They can't stand to see someone eat a small portion and then be done. They will give you second and sometimes third helpings whether you want it or not! They normally have such large families that cooking is a full time job for them. It isn't any wonder many of the older Amish women end up overweight!

    Sorry I haven't been around much lately. This summer has been extremely hectic and has fled by at such speed it is leaving me spinning in the middle of the path!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah - I wondered where you were! Glad to hear you are merely busy and not sick!

    ReplyDelete
  3. We have neighbors like that: really into food, feeding others and preparing huge meals (or going out to places that serve huge meals). They're lovely people but I'm having to say "No" to a lot of their invitations because I'm trying very hard to lose weight to decrease my genetic risks for heart disease and diabetes. Two of these women have husbands who weigh 300+ pounds, are out of control diabetics and still the meals are huge, with lavish desserts. I'm really stunned about how some people go into denial about health risks. And obesity is so horrible emotionally as well as physically. After a very rough period in my life when I lost a number of loved ones through sudden death, I got depressed and gained over 100 pounds in less than two years. People treated me differently. It hurt my career. And it has taken me years to get close to getting those extra pounds off. I've seen people who are obese from childhood and who, like Heather's kids, never have a life -- and find that very sad.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gosh, Kathy - i really feel for you losing a lot of loved ones at once. It is so difficult to lose that sort of weight. Well done. It is even more difficult after menopause. I watch mine all the time, even so the pounds seem to creep on more and more each year. Typically, the attendant aches and pains in the joints which discourage us from exercising, don't help. It seems that aging is a real test of character. Someone said that one's true character comes out as you age. Some of my acquaintances say that their what they notice the most about their aging husbands is their grumpiness and lack of affection. I do think a lot of this is due to the frustration of our failing bodies. And of course we know who we take our frustrations out on.

    ReplyDelete