Musing on Monday

Years ago when I first visited the Golden Door I was weighed when I checked in and again when I was leaving.  I have no memory of what the weight was but I do remember one of the staff members saying that weight is set on a man-made scale and it is better to rely on how we feel and how we look rather than the scales.  Since that time I don’t  weigh myself and use his suggestion of how I feel and noticing if my clothes are getting a little tight.  Then I know  I need to take a look at what I am eating and the amount of exercise I am (or am not) doing.  They will weigh me going in and out of the Golden Door at the end of the month, but once again I will not ask them to tell me what I weigh.

On the subject of weight, and looking for something to write about in my blog,  I found an article in the Daily Mail Online today about the fattest man in the world.  Apparently, Keith Martin who is 42 years old weighed 58 stones and if my calculations are correct that equals 812 lbs.  Using the conversion rate of 1 stone = 14 lbs. He is reported to have eaten 20,000 calories a day.  He is now eating 1,500 calories each day.

Of course he has not been able to leave his home and he said in an interview that he specifically remembers the last time he left the house was on 9/11.  He also says his condition has driven him to the brink of suicide and now desperately is trying to lose weight.  In this he is getting lots of help from professionals who visit him regularly.

What a desperately unhappy young man this is.  His sister apparently lives with him and cares for him, but she has been getting hate mail about his problem, because apparently she shops and cooks for him.  Maybe what is needed is some education for both of these people.

Looking back to when I was growing up following the Second World War, there were few fat people and obesity was never mentioned.  Did we know the word then?  Food was rationed for several years following the end of the war but people were adequately fed.   Petrol too was rationed and private cars were few and far between, so people were forced to exercise. Father cycled to work each day and so kept fit.

Mother had no need to go to the gym (or the Golden Door) because she walked to the shops each day and carried the groceries home in two bags, perfectly balanced she used to say.

Washing was hung on the line to dry so there was plenty of bending and stretching.  I also remember as a young child, she took the rugs out, hung them over the washing line and beat them to get the dust out of them.

Sweeping the stairs is another thing that is clearly embedded in my mind.  Tea leaves were saved and were scattered on the stair treads and then swept down from one step to the next.  Again plenty of bending and stretching and the tea leaves seemed to attract the dust so that at the bottom of the staircase all the dust could be swept into a dustpan and deposited in the rubbish bin.

Houses were heated by open fires and so the fireplace had to be cleared and cleaned each day (bending and stretching) and coal had to be brought in regularly (weight-bearing exercises).

Later when we moved and the house had fitted carpets, quite a rare thing in the late 1940s early 1950s,  Mother had an upright Hoover vacuum cleaner that weighed a ton (in my estimation anyway) that she lugged around the house, up and down stairs so she got her anaerobic exercise without really being aware of it.

Then when I was a young mother we put our babies in their prams and walked to the shops most days for our groceries.  We lived at the foot of a steep hill which had to be climbed to get to the village.  So I had exercise a plenty.  And nobody even mentioned going to the gym or to a health resort.

I am not suggesting that we go back to that way of living, or even that life was better then, but I suggest that most of us were much more healthy than we are today.

And if that young man doesn’t pay serious attention to his health and what he is eating, he wont live to share his memories with his children and grandchildren.  Hopefully with the help he is receiving he will bring his weight and his life back under control.

“The more you eat, the less flavor;
the less you eat, the more flavor.”
Chinese Proverb


16 responses to “Musing on Monday

  1. I agree, especially with the shopping-that way you get what you need that day and nothing more!


  2. Judith, Thanks for sharing this one and bringing back memories. No doubt about it, we were more active in the 1940’s and 50’s. And of course, you and I have so many of the same memories – walking to the stores, hanging out the clothes. Kids rode their bikes everywhere too. It was generally more physical then and no one ever mentioned a gym or even jogging. Wish I could join you at the Golden Door though!


  3. Thanks Dor – life did seem so much simpler then didn’t it? And do come on over to the Golden Door – we’ll have lots of fun and laughter.


  4. I don’t want to go back either but people were probably much healthier back then.


  5. It’s hard to imagine getting to be that size. There was a young man locally who was near the weight you mentioned. His story didn’t have a happy ending.


  6. It’s surprising how much exercise you can do along with the little everyday chores if you just change them slightly. 🙂


  7. I do weigh myself . . . but focus more on how I feel and look than “the number” on the scale.

    I cannot imagine weighing 12 stone . . . much less 58 stone. WOW! Talk about swallowing your sadness.


    • What a very unhappy young man he is. One has to feel sorry for him even if one can say that it is his own doing. Patti sent me a link to a story of another young man in a similar situation – so very sad.


  8. I haven’t weighed myself for at least 15 years – I probably weigh the same, give or take a pound or two. Your descriptions of housework as exercise aren’t memories for me – I clean in a school do all that bending and stretching and walking up stairs every evening for 3 hours! It’s definitely keeping me fit and strong and I don’t plan to retire in the near future. I wouldn’t turn down a week at a Heath Spa, though 🙂


    • A week at a health spa is quite exhausting – but the workouts etc are interspersed with lovely hedonistic activities. Just what I want right now.:D


  9. Pingback: Home again | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

  10. Pingback: Meandering and Musing on Monday – A World Apart

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