Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My old lady role models

There are a lot of fiesty old ladies in my life. These woman have more energy than people half their age. They are also quite tiny, often underweight. This has lead me to believe that there really is something to the whole Calorie Restriction theory.

First we have my grandmother who tilled her garden for hours every day up to the day she died at age 80. She didn't get felled by any "old age" disease either. She died because she got hit by a truck while in the middle of a long distance road trip. Face it, as crazy as she drove me in many ways, she was a tough old bird and you've got to respect that. She also was very thin and short, around 90 pounds and 5'2" at the time of her death.

Another one I look to as a role model is my Great-Aunt Izzy. She was a big favorite with us kids because she was genuinely interested in us (and slipped us $5 bills -- a large amount in the 60s -- whenever she came to visit). She lived to be 98, which is nothing to sneeze at. She wasn't ornery like my grandmother, but she was short and thin like her.

Then there is my left-side neighbor who isn't nearly that old, but will be some day, I'm sure. She also leads an active life -- one more active than mine in many ways. She keeps her own house, gardens, teaches kids to read at our local school and is active in her church. I don't know how much she weighs, but I bet it isn't much more than my grandmother or my Great Aunt Izzy and she's not much taller either.

Let's not forget the tiny old Chinese lady who is at least in her 70s that one of my niece's bridesmaids met when she went down to Chinatown to do the touristy thing the day after the wedding. This firecracker took M all over Chinatown, wearing out her 20-something butt in the process. Afterwards M said to us "I couldn't keep up with her. She was so tiny but she had so much energy!" I said "that's who I want to be when I grow up!"

Finally we have all my ice dancing friends, who skate several times a week and are working on their Gold Dances just like the youngsters and will probably skate until they die. Yeah, they are all short and thin too.

That's pretty much what all these women have in common, in fact. Some are ornery, some are sweet as pie, some are religious, some are agnostic, some are well educated, some only graduated from High School. But they are all active and they are all thin and they are all outliving their contemporaries.

So that's what I'm aiming for. I've got the short part down. It's time to work on the thin part.
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