Those who know me know well, it takes a whole lot to become a hero in my world. I have heroes and they have earned that place for a variety of reasons. Most have one common denominator, their unquenchable thirst to leave the earth a little better than it was before they were here. Princess Diana of Wales, first wife of Prince Charles (he, is not one of my heroes…. just to make that very clear), is one of my most cherished heroes and I was crushed by her untimely passing. Like millions of other people worldwide, I watched her beautiful boys grow into dashing men.
One of the many things I loved about Princess Di was that she was tall. In fact, she was taller than me by a few inches. She was not ‘stick insect thin’. She was, nonetheless, beautiful and oh so graceful. She had my attention! She had broad shoulders, something I struggled with and something that no diet in world and no plastic surgeon….. no matter ‘how good’ or how well paid could shave off. One of the deep dark secrets the world did not know at the time was the beautiful Princess was paying a big price to stay trim. She had the eating disorder known as Bulimia Nervosa; eating and then purging /vomiting/ taking laxative and/or water pills or any other means of ridding the food that was ingested. Princess Di openly admitted by the mid 1990’s that food was her comfort to fill the void off her empty marriage. Her courage to come forward helped thousands of women around the world combat their own eating disorders and was something that earned my respect taking her from someone I greatly admired and promoting her to, “Hero”. Princess Di also became my hero because she put the best interest of others before pomp and circumstance. At at time when we really did not understand a lot about HIV and AIDS, she was out holding babies with AIDS and touching patients dying of this horrible disease. She did not care what the queen thought of this, she cared about what was right and good. When she died it broke my heart. When she passed, sleeping was much easier for me. Eight hours in bed was the norm and not the exception. Insomnia was a very rare thing. Now it is pretty much a way of life. At that time, I was not a morning person at all. So you know I loved Princess Di because I woke up at ‘God awful o’clock’ USA time to watch her funeral, live, here on the East Coast in Virginia. I cried with the rest of the world as I said goodbye to my ‘friend’.
When Diana’s eldest son Prince William married a few years ago, it was delightful! His bride was lovely and Diana would have been pleased. Catherine, or Princess “Kate”, as the world would know her, Princess of Cambridge would be much like her husbands late Mother…… refined, elegant and stylish…… yet likable and real; not stuffy nor stuck-up.
My small regain in the last year of about 20-25 lbs has left be beating my head against that proverbial wall. I have tried everything under the sun. I have gone back to basics. I have eaten barely nothing. I have eaten nothing except the bare minimum. I eat the same thing each day; an almond milk smoothie with blueberries and various fruits, a pepper wrap (red, yellow and orange sauteed with red onions) and low fat cottage cheese with pineapple tidbits for lunch, and a nice, lite, healthy dinner. So what IS the problem? No movement? Winters in Virginia, unlike my homeland of California, are cold. While not constantly snowy, it is still cold here for nearly four months of the year. For a person with chronic pain, the cold goes straight to the bone. Growing up in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California, a ‘cold’ day was one that dips below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Going out walking is basically impossible for someone with chronic pain when the windchill is 22 degrees. It simply is not an option.
I had an epiphany just a few days ago. Why not try eating like a princess? Both the late Princess Diana and her daughter in law Princess Kate have svelte figures my large Dutch frame will never see. However, I can get back to my ‘happy place’ which is fine by me! I looked just plain ill under 140 lbs and really started getting told I looked truly healthy at about 150 lbs and above. How many women in their forties can say they are within spitting shot of their high school graduation weight? So as doom, gloom and tough as it all seems, there is a bright side to it all. Still, there is much to be done. So ‘eating like a princess’ is a rational thought. I researched and found out that Princess Diana liked to eat a light breakfast….. after a strenuous work out. She liked freshly squeezed carrot or apple juice, perhaps half a grapefruit or some melon with a poached or scrambled egg that would be coupled with whole wheat toast and coffee. With her trim figure being at the forefront of her mind, she never had bacon. I know firsthand, being married to a Northern Irishman and spending much time in the area, the Brits and Irish like their bacon! Sadly, despite the contrary, Princess Diana danced with eating disorders. I also must confess to this same battle. I have danced this dance twice in my life….. once while in High School and once, just a few years ago. So I decided to focus more on Diana’s daughter in law, Kate Middleton. Though I admit I truly feel Kate is too thin, I do feel if I look at how she kept her thin, howbeit too thin figure, I could get some ideas on how to get back to my happy zone and still maintain a realistic weight. In other words, think like a thin person.
The first thing I discovered was that Kate views food as fuel to keep her body healthy and active. Good way to think! Kate begins her morning much the same way her late Mum-in-law did….. with organic porridge (for us in the USA that is oatmeal), muesli, which is a base of uncooked rolled oats, fruit, and nuts….. or you can buy it at the grocery store already made. It is rather costly and it is full of wheat for those that are sensitive to grains. I have read and heard on TV shows that a good, hearty bowl of oats with blueberries or another anti-oxidant fruit is a very good way to start the day. I have had this on a few occasions and can say it is a very good, low calorie but rib-sticking way to get going.
I usually start my day with an almond milk, all fruit smoothie. I put fresh or frozen blueberries and frozen strawberries, mangos and sometimes frozen or fresh pineapple. If you like bananas you can put in 1/2 a banana. Add about enough almond or soy milk to cover the fruit and 2-3 tablespoons of stevia (optional), blend and drink up!
No pun intended, but for the meat of the food comparison. I truly feel whether oats or a smoothie, either breakfast is fine. What about the rest of the day? I wish I could say there was some Holy Grail…. some big secret. There is not. Princess Kate is a light eater and enjoys organic (for those of us who can afford it, regular will suffice for the rest of us) fruits and vegetables. She is said to stick to a diet of “beans, salads, salmon, and barbecues.” That sounds good to me! One of her favorite recipes was a salmon that I actually tried. It was delicious! I have never been a fish person, but am turning into one. As long as the fish is not strong, I am actually finding I prefer this light, tasty main dish to chicken. I think I have had chicken 80% of the week for so many years, I have actually ‘burnt myself out’ on poultry. It does not sound good to me anymore. I turn more to fish, ground meat (turkey) based meals or even veggie based meals with cheese serving as the protein. While I did make a lovely chicken marsala a few nights ago that is a ‘keeper’, chicken at The Glover’s seems to be the exception these days rather than the rule. You will, however, generally find a bag of Tilapia ready to be baked.
So what am I doing wrong? Junk. It is that simple. I have taken to marshmallow poles from Dollar General and Marshmallow Confetti from Wally World. Also, I need to drop the soft, white tortilla for my veggie pepper wraps and substitute whole wheat, keep a strict watch on portions and of course, move. Now with my fibro and the sluggish start we are having with spring (one nice day so far), moving is at best, difficult. I don’t have the money right now to join a gym so that is not an option. So I am at the mercy to the great outdoors. I am not gaining any weight…. thank God. I have kept off that 5-7 lbs I have lost. Thank God. I just am not going anywhere. So just those simple things and guess what? I already am, eating like a princess. The process was kind of like getting lost and going on a big trek only to find out you were right back where you started. Ironic? Perhaps, all the same, it was a good learning process to see that I really was already eating like a princess. I just need a few minor adjustments. Until next time, K.