Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What's a Girl Gotta Do?

If I were to simply list the stats for the past two weeks, you might think I am a fairly avid athlete.  I have run about 27 miles, walked close to 10 miles, biked 23 miles and participated in 3 sessions of water aerobics and lap swim.  Impressive for a 52 year old woman who believes beaches are for lolling, not volleyball.  

I began the whole run thing last September in an attempt to shore up my heart.  My family heart history errs to the side of weak and I wanted to beat the odds. . .and drop some weight.  I have been successful at both.  My resting heart rate is in the mid 40s, I've lost a significant amount of weight and in the process have become addicted to running.  Bravo.

So, here is the problem.  My resting heart rate (which I already mentioned) is at the same level as a Lance Armstrong type. . .which would be great if I was in the same physical shape.  I'm not and I've had that heart rate for several years, so really there has been no change.  I still have high blood pressure and always will (thanks, Dad, Grandpa, etc.). I have high cholesterol (same family). I have made a concerted effort to accurately and honestly write down everything I eat and drink (and yes, that includes the 2-3 glasses of wine on Fridays with my friends).  I literally cut most restaurant meals in half and take the other half home.  That being said on MOST days (sometimes you have to live a little) I stay between 12-1500 calories a day.  You would think I would be completely transformed.  Yeah, you would think.

So, I look in the mirror and assess.  What do I see?  I don't cast as large a shadow (credit to Ralph for that phrase), but it's still the same body.  Still round, still fat.  This is where I will tell you that it's ok.  I am happy with the achievement, accepting of a body that carries genetics beyond my control.  I am at peace.

But, that would be a lie.  

I can't leave on that sour note so I will let you in on a secret.  It is my summer cocktail-- low calorie, yummy and effective.

Hole in One

If you enjoy an Arnold Palmer (lemonade and ice tea sweet). . .this will kick it up.

1 packet Crystal Light lemonade
2 oz Seagrams Sweet Tea Vodka
1 large tumbler

Mix the Crystal Light (I like mine stronger so I use about 2/3 C. water to mix) with water.  Add ice.  Pour vodka over the top, mix and enjoy.  132 calories.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

On The Soapbox: Marriage, Race and God

I don't normally climb up on my soap box and preach, but this week I have three times been poked just hard enough to make that climb.  I am sure I will get a lot of hacked off readers for this, but the beauty of it all is I really don't care.

I loathe politics.  I am neither red or blue and I think politicians lie.  The other day I read some diatribe written by some dude that proclaims to be just to the right of republican.  His beef?  Gay marriage.  I refuse to reassemble his arguments here but suffice it to say his bottom line is that gay marriage is sick, immoral and disobedient to God. His platform included a proclamation to Republicans that if they were true Republicans, they would agree.  I don't remember the guy's name and I wouldn't print it if I did because I do not want to support anything he says.  If I were a Republican, I would be appalled that he is single handedly undermining the more relevant issues of the Republican platform.  I would stand up for the more critical issues of my party and leave love alone.  Love is not heterosexual and it is not partisan.

Cheerios has a commercial where a little girl asks her mom if Cheerios is good for the heart because daddy said it was.  The mother confirms - yes it is.  The little girl then goes to her father napping on the couch and pours a box of Cheerios on his chest (knowing that is where his heart is located.)  Cute?  You bet.  I love that commercial.  I saw it at least three times before it registered that the couple is bi-racial and the beautiful little girl is of mixed race.  I loved the commercial even more.  However, there has been a very public backlash against this commercial - name calling, complaints, outright proclamations of disgust.  I am shocked and disappointed. I thought we, humanity, had evolved from that.  And I wonder - IF the parents were both Caucasian and the little girl bi-racial;  the unspoken message that the couple had adopted her, would it THEN be acceptable?  Love isn't race specific.

Finally, I had a discussion with a friend who is heavily involved in her church.  I admire her dedication to her church family, I respect her deeply held beliefs.  She believes that those who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior as the ONLY way to salvation are damned to hell. And that's where we part.  I believe in God but I no longer attend any churches or belong to a specific religion.  I was once asked by a pastor why I had not become a member of the church I attended for quite a few years.  I told him that I could not stand up and proclaim that Jesus is the ONLY way to God.  I cannot believe that a loving God would create so many vastly different, beautiful people and cultures, so many different belief systems, only to make the sweeping majority wrong in the end.  The more I think about it, the more I feel like organized religion is a function of the mortal demand to manage God.  If God is love, He loves us all.

I do not feel a need to back-up my beliefs with Bible quotes, philosophical arguments or political facts.  It's what I believe and I don't have to justify it to anyone.  That is freedom.

Judi Coltman is an author of mystery books.  She is currently working on her fourth novel.  Follow her at 
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