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Chanukah is over and we are now dealing with the repercussions of wantonly indulging in crispy, crunchy, melt in your mouth potato latkes and overdosing on sugary, chocolaty, jelly-oozing donuts. Skirts that used to be a breeze zippering up (at least half-way) require the pulling in of non-existing abdominal muscles and deep inhaling in order to get the zipper moving at all. Buttons on blouses that ensured you were modestly dressed are on the verge of popping and flying across the room if you so much as move your arm. And the stairs that you used to run up with your groceries now require climbing in stages, even when empty-handed.
The fact is, you’re overweight and out of shape and you’ve got two options. Either buy yourself a new wardrobe in a bigger size or take a good look in the mirror and make some lifestyle changes.
This is especially true of the baby -boom generation. The oldest of this group are hitting 60 and need to do a reality check in terms of their appearance, but most importantly their health.
Of course the second option is the hardest one to choose – but at the end of the day – the most sensible and life-enhancing. However, in order to move forward in that direction, one crucial step needs to be taken. And that is that if you don’t like what you see in the mirror, don’t let yourself be awash in feelings of self-loathing or disgust because “you let yourself go”. Having a negative attitude is counterproductive, as you may not feel you deserve to look good or feel better and you will subconsciously sabotage your attempts to do so. You will, unwittingly, and without being aware of it, “punish yourself” for the “crime” of not being perfect.
In my experience overweight people are not necessarily gluttons who have no self-control. Many, in fact, may even eat fewer calories per day than their slimmer friends. Some people are just “blessed/cursed” with very efficient metabolisms that than convert every calorie into fuel for the body before using the next one, with unused food calories stored as fat. While many may see this as a curse – for those who were in a chronic state of food deprivation their body’s ability to hang on to calories may have made the difference between life and death. My parents survived the starvation they endured in the concentration/labors camps they were inmates of, but many of their friends and relatives who were the same age and were raised in the same economic/social level and had to live on the same meager rations did not. My guess is that my parents had an inborn ability to sustain themselves on fewer calories, a trait passed on to their children.
For despite the fact that I was an average eater and spent my free time with my twin brother outdoors climbing trees and playing soccer, chasing squirrels and pigeons and racing up and down the neighborhood on foot or by bike – either chased by the local bullies (we were small for our age) or engaged in fist fights with them (bullies tend to be cowards and back off when confronted) – I was never average but was considered chubby.
So the first step towards a healthier lifestyle is to not look down on yourself. The second is to ignore hurtful, demoralizing comments about how you look that may come from a spouse or parents, friends or adult children. Some may be well meaning but clueless as to how to express their concern in a way that will motivate you to take steps leading to better health and nutrition. Others, due to their own self-esteem issues are trying to make you feel inadequate in a warped attempt to feel superior or to control you.
Since I usually am a truthful person, I assumed everyone was, and when I was younger and people made negative comments about how I looked or how I was dressed – I believed them, much to my detriment. A “friend” would whisper, for example, in shul, that my hair was a mess or that my sweater didn’t match my skirt – and I would be so self-conscious that I would not socialize, too embarrassed to talk to anyone and thinking why anyone would want to be seen talking to a mess like me. It took a long time but I have reached a point that if I sense that someone is deliberately trying to be mean or undermine me in any way, I weigh their opinion the way I view a dog that barks at me. It’s just a dog barking. Nothing to pay attention to.
(To be continued)
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Yet all are part of one neshamah, planted in rich, verdant soil, determined to grow. May our garden continue to produce a glorious assortment of flowers and trees, each attached firmly to its roots. Our diverse southern vegetation flourishes and grows into different trees, flowers, and fruits, and a rainbow of glorious shades and hues appears. Yet each shoot is rooted in the same soil, stretching its branches and blossoms heavenward in an endless pursuit of growth and connection to the One above.
This past Lag B’Omer, we were blessed to make our first upsherin, where we celebrate our son’s first hair cut. It’s a wonderful milestone that mimics the three years that we refrain from plucking a tree’s first fruits and symbolizes the entry of the child into the world of Torah learning. It’s a clear sign to everyone; this boy is no longer a baby.
Although there are more direct and faster routes to Beer Sheva and Eilat and all the sites and towns in-between, the Basor River is one of the beauties of the Negev that defiantly justifies a diversion.
The importance of death customs has been ingrained in me since birth. When I served as a shomeret for my grandmother, I was instructed not to eat, drink or perform a mitzvah in the same room. In the shock of death, it seemed rather inane to be told it would be considered mocking the dead. My grandmother was gone; she couldn’t do those things because she didn’t exist anymore, a fact that still makes me tear up.
I would have to say that one of the most annoying things about having a newspaper advice column, aside from all these people writing to me and asking for advice, is that they frequently don’t tell me WHY they’re asking.
Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt”l, who passed away on 28 Tammuz, (July18) this year at age 102, spent all of his days and most of his nights learning Torah. He was the paramount leader of our generation, and inspired tremendous awe and reverence in everyone who knew him. Now, every woman has the stunning opportunity to do something in his memory. A Sefer Torah is being written in his memory and women around the world have the chance to dedicate a letter.
Due to her family situation, it is understandable that she will have more responsibilities than other girls her age, but she would benefit from having some free time and receiving more appreciation for her hard work.
For children, summer means outdoor sports, picnics, and of course, no school! Teachers and students work hard all year long – and everyone deserves a break from education over the summer. However, this two-month break can often have some pretty devastating consequences.
It was only after we celebrated the great news that we were expecting twins that we saw the first sign of problems. First of all, my wife was losing, not gaining weight, even as the babies continued to grow normally. Soon after, routine blood work revealed that my wife was suffering from gestational diabetes.
Rabbi Pinchas Gruman is the new rav of the Minyan at Aish Tamid.
One of the most respected Torah figures in Los Angeles, Rabbi Gruman has been described as “The Los Angeles link in the mesorah of the yeshiva world” by Rabbi Nachum Sauer. As a talmid in Lakewood in the 1950s, Rabbi Gruman received semicha from Rav Aaron Kotler, zt”l, and Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l. Soon after, he moved to Los Angeles.
Another tree is down.
I’m driving down Lakewood Avenue, figuring that maybe, just maybe, the tree that blocked the middle of North Lake Drive has been removed, and I can go through. After all, they had a whole day. I’m sure things have been taken care of.
A popular topic of discussion in newspapers, magazines and talk shows revolves around the management of personal finances – or rather the lack of them. In most cases, dealing with overwhelming debt is the topic de jour. Seems many people are drowning in it. Spending more than they have has mired countless consumers into a financial quicksand with maxed out credit cards and collection agencies knocking on the door. Speaking of doors, many face eviction and the loss of their home.
One of the subjects I was taught as a young child in school was Tefillah. Since we spoke only Ivrit during our Limudei Kodesh and secular Hebrew studies – literature, creative writing and Jewish history – we pretty much understood the words we were davening.
Shortly before Pesach, I received a rather agitated call from a long time reader of The Jewish Press who pleaded with me to write a column regarding what she insisted was the unwarranted high cost of Pesach food – in particular shmurah matzah – and how hard it was for young families to pay what she felt were over-inflated prices in order to keep strictly kosher.
The price of deliberate obliviousness is very high – emotionally, physically, socially, and financially.
How is it possible that a person of seemingly normal intelligence (nowhere does it say he is simple) not have the ability to ask a question – to not react and enquire as to the why of the hustle and bustle around him?
It was one of those cold, rain-soaked evenings – the kind that make you look forward to a hot drink, a good book and a soft couch to curl up on. With those happy thoughts in mind, I proceeded to cross to the other side of the street.
The other day I was shopping at a large supermarket and happened to go down the frozen foods aisle, past the endless freezers containing every imaginable flavor, shape and size of ice cream. I rarely buy. Rather I am like a tourist in a museum – gawking at wondrous objects that I know I can’t take home with me.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/self-image-and-barking-dogs-part-i/2006/01/04/
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