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By Connie Warnock, The Northwest Connection

By Connie Warnock, The Northwest Connection

When I left you with Part One, I had refused to accept the pills prescribed by my doctor for my cholesterol and blood pressure. Hubby and I were planning to show dogs in Washington. The motorhome was packed, including a banana cream pie and cinnamon rolls with mile-high cream cheese frosting. Arriving home, I took out the pie and the cinnamon rolls. I had thrown down the gauntlet so-to-speak, and now I had to make good.

That weekend I ate sparingly. And, each evening I walked all around the show grounds. We arrived home Sunday and I whipped up soup and half of a peanut butter sandwich. Monday morning, I didn’t make my customary trip to Starbucks. Instead, I ate a large bowl of Honey Nut Cherrios. Tuesday, I added blue berries to the Cheerios! I didn’t waste time wondering what to cook. Instead, I became a tweaker…for every calorie-laden meal I had ever cooked, there was a way to get around it. My “treat” became a small bite of 72% dark chocolate. I discovered when eating out, I could make smart choices, or splurge, and only eat a few bites. It became a game.
Meanwhile, I walked, working up from two to four miles a day depending on the weather. Christmas loomed closer and I wondered if I would lose my resolve. Instead, I found the array of calories repugnant. All this time I didn’t notice that my size 16/18 clothes were becoming a bit loose. In February, we vacationed in California. I walked my socks off! When our daughter flew down, she and I went to a 60% off sale at one of our favorite clothing stores. In the window was a bright pink jacket. I found a clerk and said “I hope that’s an extra-large, I just love it.” She stepped back and looked at me and said, “You can’t be an extra-large.” “Well, I am,” I replied. She brought me a small. And, it fit! The light went on. We did not own a scale because I simply did not want to know.

What I had done, in effect, was make a life change. Every day it was easier. August rolled around along with my yearly physical. A new doctor sat with my chart. My previous doctor had retired. “How did you do it,” she queried, “You went from 175 pounds to 135!” I replied, “I changed the way I looked at food and I started walking every day.” My blood work was similarly amazing. A year later saw me reach 119 pounds.

Then I started on my skin. My great skin cream had been discontinued and my dermatologist had retired. I had a new dog helper who was addicted to a TV program that sold everything but the kitchen sink. Two nights a week this program features beauty products. Each product is sold with a tutorial and a money back guarantee. If ever there was a neophyte, it was me! I watched and listened. I started with a light oil to use on my face and neck then I went to a cream then I went to what I use today…a primer. That’s all. It doesn’t clog and it brightens and evens skin tone. I learned about blush! I covet two primers – one by Bare Minerals and one by Laura Geller. I watched Dr. OZ one day and he said he used Peter Thomas Roth’s eye cream to get rid of bags under the eyes. I get it on QVC – a small tube lasts forever and the results are residual. Drooping eyelids? (I’m 77!) Ole Henriksen’s eye gel! Sparse eyebrows? IT Cosmetics Brow Power pencil (QVC). Dry skin? Josie Maran Argon Oil! They should hire me, right?! I do use Tarte mascara…hey, it’s all easy. If I can do it, and get compliments, it must be easy, right?

Now, as to the walking. It was the best thing I could have done for myself. I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and a worsening mitral valve prolapse two years ago. The weight loss and toning of my body made my open heart surgery a year ago easier than had I not been in shape. This is the gift you can give yourself that “keeps on giving.” So, start moving and playing dress up! Remember how fun that was? You’ll feel better, I promise. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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