By Karen Preston
lives, plays, and works
in Portland. A member of TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), she also founded
Pounders, a weight-loss support group focusing on being fit through
exercise and healthly lifestyle changes. Her story
was recently featured in Self magazine (September 2003).
still find each
day too short for
all the thoughts
I want to think,
all the walks I want
to take, all the books
I want to read and
all the friends
I want to see.
Being High Maintenance Is Good
A few weeks
ago I bought myself a new mattress and box spring creating one of those
really high princess style beds that make a definite statement in your
bedroom. After it arrived I remembered reading an article that warned
men against dating high maintenance women with ultra tall beds or oodles
of shoes. I laughed at the time; no one would ever accuse me of being
high maintenance. Shoot, I have more walking shoes than dress shoes!
But after that bed arrived my mind couldnt stop gnawing on the
phrase until I finally decided that being high maintenance aint
necessarily a bad thing. Thats especially true when it comes to
think of a person or thing as high maintenance when they need a lot
of attention. I dont know about you, but Ive certainly found
that maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires considerable attention
to details. I spend more time and energy planning my food and exercise,
but in the end it makes my weight loss journey more pleasurable. I focus
on making healthy lifestyle changes instead of going on and off diets.
So my goal is to make it as much fun as possible remembering that this
is for my lifetime.
comes to food I splurge as much as my budget allows, buying the freshest
and tastiest foods. Comice pears or shrimp might be just the ticket
to spicing up my meal plan instead of the usual Bartlett pears and chicken
breasts. I also strive to make my meals a sensual treat for the eyes.
A variety of colors and textures help make eating so much more pleasurable.
Even at work I keep a nice placemat and a variety of attractive paper
napkins that I use at lunchtime. At home I add cloth napkins, a crystal
wineglass for my water, milk, or juice and china dishes for my food.
I own several different patterns and make the table even prettier with
flowers or candles. My theory is that Im as important as a special
guest and so I deserve the star treatment too.
movie When Harry Met Sally, Billy Crystals character labels
Meg Ryans as high maintenance when she makes a lot of changes
to her restaurant order. When I go out to eat at an unfamiliar restaurant
I often call ahead to check my options so Im not as tempted by
choices when I get there. Ive found the staff to be helpful, often
suggesting changes to their usual fare that will make a dish lower in
get to the restaurant Ill order first if possible so Im
not tempted by my companions choices. At buffet-style restaurants
I try to request a table far away from the food and I make it a cardinal
rule to always walk the entire buffet first without a dish in hand.
invited to the homes of friends or family they usually go out of their
way to serve food on my program. I always offer to bring a scrumptious
dish that I know will also work on my food plan or even a simple tray
of veggies. I bring flowers for the hosts instead of the usual bottle
comes to exercising, at the top of my list is a really good pair of
shoes. I go to specialty shoe stores where the staff is trained to watch
me walk in my shoes. If they dont feel right later when I get
them home these stores will allow me to trade them back for shoes that
fit correctly. Believe me, its worth the extra money to keep my
feet happy! The other essential is a good fanny pack with a water bottle
so my hands are free during walks. I also spend extra money on workout
clothing that feels good. When my budget is tight I comb the thrift
stores. Ive found several high performance shirts with the tags
still attached at my local Goodwill. Cutting corners here allows me
to splurge on the really comfortable shoes, socks, and walking shorts
at the specialty shops.
Ive spent extra money on gym memberships, a trainer to help me
set up a weight lifting routine, sports massages, and my favorite treat,
pedicures. In the end it really comes down to knowing that you are number
one in your life. Some of us are lucky enough to have loved ones who
will treat us like princesses or a prince, but if not, remember its
important to treat yourself like royalty!