Thursday, September 20, 2012

# 85 - Before and After

As the Chamberlain of the Cupbearers said to Pharoah, "My transgressions do I mention today..."
Well, I guess it's appropriate to mention our transgressions during this High Holy Day season. Everyone is looking back in regret, and looking forward hopefully in hope.
In my past life, I worked late, ate late, sat too much, moved too little, neglected vegetables, loved chocolate. That was long ago, about a year back.Today, B"H, I exercise, I move, I sleep, I dance. I go go go. And I don't go to the fridge for a nosh. I prefer a salad - really.
But they don't let you forget. Those "transgressions" do they mention daily, even those folks that you don't know.
Pina Chama Before-After
For the past eleven years I have volunteered faithfully in the Pina Chama Soldiers' Hospitality Hut in Gush Etzion. There, we treat soldiers to a hot cup of coffee and a fresh piece of cake, just like in a USO. Over the years, I have taken hundreds of pictures at Pina Chama and have posted many on my blog .
A month ago, the Jerusalem Post contacted me to ask if they could use some photos from my blog in an article they were writing about Pina Chama. "Of course," I said. "Please just remember to give me photo credit."
So what photos do they pick?
Photos of our soldiers? Of our flags? Of our many volunteers?
Of Israel's Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin on his recent trip there?
Well, without knowing it (because they don't know me), they used a many-year-old photo of my partner and myself. No, not a recent one where I look very put together and trim. They used this old "before" photo. At first, I choked, "Aghregrrr."
Then I thought, the photo is great, because it really portrays the feeling behind Pina Chama, even if I don't look my best. So, I'll swallow my pride and say, "Okidoke." (Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I couldn't get it right side up, so you can't really see it, but you get the idea...)
And .... it gives me an opportunity to run a before and after picture.
So, that's before, and this is after. Hooray.

("After" picture of yours truly with Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and Gush Etzion Mayor Davidi Perl, courtesy of Gush Etzion Mayor Davidi Perl's office.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

# 84 - Thank Goodness for Old Clothes

On the eve of the Rosh Hashana holiday, I had a long list of errands to accomplish.
* Buy more chicken.
* Make another side dish.
* Wash the floor.
* Go to the cleaners.
* Etc.
Thank G-d, I got everything done with a few minutes before the holiday to spare. But suddenly, I realized that I forgot to go to the cleaners.
I was looking forward to wearing my pretty pale yellow suit for the holidays.
Oh no, it was in the cleaners.
I was suddenly very depressed. I had plenty to wear, but I wanted something special!! I mean, it is the New Year.
I tried to set a good example for my children, and not dwell on the yellow suit, but it was difficult to get pasty disappointment.
On the first day of Rosh Hashana, I wore a nice black and white skirt with a black blouse. It was fine, but Rosh Hashana is a light bright upbeat day, not a time to wear black.
So on the second morning, after I sent everyone to synagogue, I rumbled through the closets in my house - mine, my daughter's and my sons' - wondering if I had hung up a stray outfit in someone else's closet.
And on my fourth closet - BINGO!!
I stumbled across a lovely pink outfit that my dearest mother (may she live and be well until 120) had bought me.
I loved it, but I had grown out of it years ago. Perhaps I hung on to it in distant hopes that one day I'd fit into it again.
I tried it on. It fit beautifully. Hooray, I felt like I was wearing a brand new outfit. I looked lovely (blush) in my old outfit, and every time I got a compliment, I replied, "Thank you. This outfit is ten years old and I can finally wear it again."
Everyone was happy for me, and I was happy too. (I sent the photo at left to my mother. She was the happiest of all.)
Thank goodness for old clothes. I hope everyone who is trying to live a healthier fitter lifestyle will one day soon fit into her old clothes.

Monday, September 10, 2012

# 83 - Creative Cheating

Our recent class at the Efrat Women's Health Center took an unexpected turn for the hilarious.We were discussing thing that were difficult for us in the food department.
And one of my friends said she can't stop eating ice cream. "Oh no, what will you do?" someone asked. "I already figured it out," she replied. "I am working it into my food chart. I figure that ice cream is worth about two dairy products and three fruits. So it's all okay."
Everyone laughed. And I laughed the loudest because I realized that I had done it too. 

Many months ago I took my grandchildren out for pizza. The pie had just come out of the oven, and the strong smell tortured me (I am not often tempted by different foods, B"H. I am pretty much beyond that right now, and I hope I'll stay that way. But when something is fresh and hot and the aroma is incredible, I'm in trouble.).
I had a slice. But that was okay, because I figured it into my food plan too, as a sandwich with cheese and marinara sauce.
Another woman loves cake, but knows it's unhealthy to eat a big piece of cake. So she cuts it into smaller pieces, and instead of eating the entire chunk, she eats little pieces, and that seems to be better.

Creative cheating seems to have become an art in my group at the Efrat Women's Health Center. Someone even figured out how to put a glass of wine on her food chart.
Whenever I think of food dieting, I always remember the Bill Cosby stand-up routine in which he makes his children a healthy breakfast - chocolate cake. It has eggs and milk and whatever. Anyway, it will always be the funniest "healthy" routine I've ever heard: