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I bet James Garner never tried the keto diet

Scarlet Stone
Posted 3/24/21

I’ve got spring fever! I’ve been decorating the inside of my house for Easter. I added some hand-made Easter ornaments my mother made to my all-season-tree in the living room that …

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I bet James Garner never tried the keto diet

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I’ve got spring fever! I’ve been decorating the inside of my house for Easter. I added some hand-made Easter ornaments my mother made to my all-season-tree in the living room that twinkles every evening with white lights. Last Friday evening I decided to make a wire-frame burlap wreath. I first watched a YouTube video, then found an old 1960’s western with James Garner to half-watch as I created....noticing throughout that he was “so easy on the eyes.” A handsome man indeed. The wreath turned out nice, with lots of pulling, pleating, shoving and twisting. Lovely piece! I finished it on the top with faux lavender and other greenery plus a big green polka-dot bow that I made while James Garner was having a gunfight in the center of a tumbleweed-strewn town with stray dogs, saloon owners and lovely soiled doves looking on from the boardwalks. The western ended, and so did my project. I bought some other cute Easter yard decorations with stimulus money that will soon be outside. I’ve also been finishing painting some ceramics pieces I had in a box from a class I took in Ely a couple years ago...leprechauns, bunnies, candle holders, a couple little Christmas trees and a nifty sea captain. It has been a great form of relaxation. I was joking with friends that I’m now going to have these holiday ceramic pieces to store, but it will give me something to sell at my garage sale in years to come. Efforts at becoming a minimalist easily go by the wayside for artsy-craftsy types because materials and media need storage space.
This will be the year I finally get some painting done on the walls upstairs. Two bedrooms, hallway, and bath were left for last, and have still not been painted since I moved here in 2017. I like to paint when I can open the windows to get some fresh air and those days are soon arriving....those dreamy spring days. I decided my bedroom has a Tuscan feel to it with sheer white gauze curtains adrift, wood floors, angled ceilings and cracked, chipped plaster. While I paint, I can pretend there is a vineyard outside being worked by a handsome dark Italian named Giovanni ...yes, he is just outside there...olive-brown skin sweating in the sun. I gladly am being calmed by the Tyrrhenian Sea breezes, because my jets need cooling. While I peek at him from over the top of my paint brush...I am so careful not to be noticed or fall off my ladder. Before buying this paint I’m going to have to dump the idea of Giovanni’s being up here on “the Range”... and then see what can be used from the basement paint storage shelf. You see, spring fever!
All of these things sound like a gal who’s got quite a bit of energy these days! This is most certainly true. The push from within came out of a visit with my doctor in mid-February. Bloodwork revealed for the first time in my medical history my triglyceride cholesterol was somewhat above the recommended high. My doc suggested putting me on a statin drug, but I vetoed that and said I would try to lower it myself first. Gee whiz, the palms of my hands are not very big to hold any more pills in the morning when I get up. I admit, since former husband, (now friend), Bill’s departure, I have had full rein of the television and took advantage of it over the COVID months. Men in my life have been TV hijackers either with sports or those annoying funniest video shows where idiots drive bicycles off roofs to see what will happen.
Along with getting that high triglyceride diagnosis, I was looking ahead to summertime chores and mowing my lawn, cleaning and managing at the Vermilion Park Inn, and just generally taking care of things in my life. Having the extra weight is becoming more difficult to do the activities in my life the older I get, and while I have been able to stave off the family diabetes, I’m still looking at high blood pressure. So, it’s time to be more serious about that extra half-a-person I’ve been carrying around. “Mabel or whoever you are...get off my damn back!” Fitness could be my next frontier!
A few of my friends have had VERY successful, inspiring runs on the ketogenic diet or keto as they call it for short....and managed to keep the weight off. It’s a low-carb, high-fat eating plan that forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. I tried it briefly a year ago with doctor’s approval, but the large amount of fat consumption was difficult for me because I do not have a gallbladder. It occurred to me this spring I could try to do the keto program again, only add digestive enzymes. This has worked wonderfully for me, and I can report that since March 1 I have lost 16 pounds. I am going in to visit my doc this week and have blood levels checked.
I heard a saying several years ago about weight loss, “nothing tastes as good as losing weight feels.” That is very true because when you put something savory in your mouth that initial rush of flavor, dopamine and satisfaction does not last very long at all. I have an ongoing thrill about my clothes becoming loose, reduced inflammation and the lack of stiffness in my joints. There are so many keto food products in the stores and online for purchase, plus great recipes. I have not been hungry at ALL on this regimen, in large part because eating large amounts of fat is very satiating. There were a few days of adjustment as usual, but now I have great energy and I’m sleeping very well. The next step is to get more regular exercise and I feel very motivated in doing that now, so last weekend I bought myself a new pair of Brooks running shoes from my favorite shoe store in West Duluth. The sales team know about feet issues...which for me are flat, wide, add bunions (not onions) and supination! In other words, my feet roll outward! The saleswoman had me hike up my pants and walk to and from her as she watched my feet. She knew which shoe would work best for my issues and she was correct. I’ve never had an athletic shoe fit so well.
So, let’s just suppose this time, I’m just saying...like we all have done so MANY times in our butter-thigh little lives...let’s say I do succeed in a big way on this keto deal, will I have hanging jowls and a turkey neck? I know skin loses elasticity as we age, and I don’t want to look like a lumpy sheet of strudel dough. I bet James Garner never had these concerns and if he did there was plastic surgery, and he could afford it. I’ve seen women who lose lots of weight and look like saggy leather purses. It’s fine if they don’t care, but I do. When I am driving and nobody can see me, in wooded areas or at night, I do that under-chin, skin-tightening deal where you pull your mouth corners taught and get that skin to firm up like a drum top. Aye, this body is getting an overhaul and I will need to put in many miles to tone but I’m going to just try to enjoy the process. I mean, I’ve never succeeded in losing all of my extra weight, not since I was about twenty-five and then it was twenty pounds. Big deal. Was that even considered my life or just a warm up? When finished, I won’t have this confidence crippling, life-long-pain-in-the-royal-ass goal ahead of me any longer and can’t even imagine that....but that’s not today’s concern is it? I will keep on eating piles of cheese, bacon and mayo and I’m sure in my next column you will get the update on keto, projects, painting and dark Italians in my vineyard. Have a blessed Easter!
Scarlet, telling it like it is, appreciates your comments and can be reached at scarletstone60@gmail.com.

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