Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A case for being overweight

Want to have a few fries with that grilled mahi sandwich? Longing for a scoop of Ben & Jerry's? Are those chocolates in the fridge calling out to you? Does a big, frosty margarita (or two) sound like heaven right now?

In our weight-fixated society, we've been trained to deny ourselves these indulgences, lest we pile on the pounds. The goal is to achieve -- and maintain -- your ideal weight, as determined by your body mass index. And this struggle has pretty much become out national obsession.

But, guess what? New studies are all pointing to the startling conclusion that carrying a little extra weight (10-15 pounds) might not be all that bad -- and, in some ways, might be better for you!

Researchers, it seems, are now focusing on overall health and fitness, rather than weight, the Wall Street Journal recently reported. Says the article:

"Researchers and doctors are starting to understand that eating healthy foods and getting exercise can matter more than the number that appears when you step on the scale."

I say: It's about damned time! As we move away from the reign of the scale over our lives, perhaps we'll come to a healthier overall approach to our lifestyle!

The Journal story discusses several benefits to being a little over your "ideal" weight:

  • Overweight people are no more likely than those of normal weight to die from cancer or cardiovascular disease.
  • During a 10-year time span, there was a reduced risk of dying for people in their 70s who were overweight compared to those of normal weight.
  • Doctors who study osteoporosis say a little extra weight may help strengthen bones.
  • As they age, women who are overweight often look younger than other women.
This, folks, is news that should make all of our lives easier! Chocolate, here I come ...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The A-Train Express

Don't know whether I've mentioned it, but I LOVE to entertain. My house happens to be great for parties: The layout is very conducive to small groupings in various areas, with easy flow and access around the house. I'm also a born hostess -- not to brag; just stating a fact.

Sadly, I haven't had much of a chance to throw a kick-ass party here in the past few years. Happily, that was remedied last night with a wonderful potluck with about two dozen people -- old friends and new, and strangers-turned-friends.

The weather cooperated wonderfully, staying pleasant and breezy, so that the deck became a usable area for gathering and dining. Many people seemed to mingle around and sit in different rooms at different points throughout the night. Everybody seemed relaxed and engaged, full of good food and good cheer. You couldn't ask for more as a hostess!!

Jake was a huge hit, too. Everybody fell in love with him (duh! -- I do have the cutest dog in the world!) and many of them were glad to play "fetch" with him ... making for one VERY HAPPY, and pooped, pup!

Themed "Get on the A List," the potluck challenged everybody to bring a dish that starts with A or features an A ingredient ... so, we had things with apples, avocado, artichokes, angel hair pasta, etc.

One of the guests brought Amaretto, and she made a drink with Amaretto and orange vodka (a bottle of which I had in the house already). She asked whether I'd like one, too. After tasting hers, I said sure -- but please also put some lemon-lime soda in mine. It was delicious, and became our signature drink of the night. Soon, several other people were drinking it as well.

Of course, signature drinks need a name, so I came up with "A-Train," in keeping with the general theme of the evening. Later on, when the soda ran out, people began drinking just the Amaretto-and-vodka version -- which, naturally, became the "A-Train Express."

What a ride! What a night!!

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