Fat chance

My grandmothers, Rose and Fannie, lived to be 95 and 87,  respectively. I don’t believe they exercised a day in their lives and their diets were horrible. Fats and carbs from dawn to dusk, as in cakes, breads, potatoes, breaded veal chops cooked in rendered chicken fat, and other artery-clogging Jewish cuisine.

Not either of my grandmothers

What’s more, Grandmas R and F didn’t have mammograms, colonoscopies and stress tests; wouldn’t know a beta blocker from a statin and thought a good night’s sleep was anything over five hours. So how is it that I’m exercising obsessively, dieting perpetually, reading food labels compulsively, and taking batteries of medical tests–intent to get through my sixties  intact?

Are good genes worth more than sweating on a treadmill, counting carbs, and having a CT scan of the lungs? If they are, show me the cake.





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0 Responses to “Fat chance”

  1. sharon Segal says:

    Hi Geri, Genes are very important in many of our health problems. Never though I would have a heart problem. Thank your parents said the Doctor as he was putting in the stents. Lets hope you have those good genes.

  2. Duchesse says:

    As my bother (MD) says, “Some people are just put together better than others”. If you could be sure you have Rose and Fannie’s genes, have fun! You also have genes from our grandfathers, though, and what about that?

  3. Vera J says:

    It is really interesting that I take a handful of supplements daily… fish oil liquid… liquid calcium… a low carb, high protein diet and still feel like, well, crap, most of the time.

    My dad broke his back in a coal mine cave in many years before I was born. Fathered two children after that. Went on to be a successful businessman, trained racehorses… all on crutches. And ate anything he wanted. He lived to be 83. Looked 63. Had the smooth cheeks of a baby. Never took a vitamin in his life. Ate biscuits and gravy at least 3 times a week.

    What the?????

  4. Kate Line Snider says:

    Genes play a good part but I don’t think good health habits are wasted! Both my grandmothers cooked and ate fat-loaded southern cuisine all their lives. See below for their histories and their legacy:

    My arthritis-ridden grandmother Forgey ( maternal) avoided doctors and NEVER went to a dentist.(EVER!!) She looked like Granny Clampett. She never exercised, but she kept very active taking care of a large, inconvenient house and a demanding husband.She took no prescription medicines. She died of stroke related complications at 82.

    My grandmother Line who was slim and took her fashion cues from Mamie Eisenhower, was as health conscious as old ladies could be in her time. She lamented her salt-free diet and escaped from it whenever she had an excuse. She took leisurely walks ( many of them to the beauty shop on a regular schedule). Her sister died of breast cancer, so at 80 Grandmother was tested for it. When cancer was discovered, she had a double mastectomy and just rolled right on with no regrets. (She absolutely loved her prosthetic bra- her new boobs made her clothes hang better, and she confidentially told me I needed to buy some falsies). Grandmother died at 87 from congestive heart failure.

    It is interesting to note the trickle-down progression of these health habits through the generations. My mother was overweight all her life, avoided doctors ( they make you weigh) never had regular medical screenings, never went to a dentist EVER, and pretty much ate and drank what she pleased, although at intervals she made weak stabs at dieting. At about age 45 arthritis kicked in so she just sat down! She lived in physical misery for 35 years until she died at 80 from an ischemic bowel, caused by circulatory problems- the result of not moving around enough.

    My father lived to be almost 88. He looked great! Although he had heart problems in his later years, he felt great to the end. He watched his diet and his health habits, played tennis ( up to a point), walked, and in his later years, swam. After my mother’s death he travelled to France, England and on a mission trip to Honduras.When he was 85, he married his 43-year-old former student.They had a wonderful time together. The last time I saw him he was swimming laps in the pool.

    Three guesses whose example I try to follow!

    Our life span may be genetically pre-determined, but I think it is best to travel the path of later life feeling GOOD! And NOT WORRYING ABOUT IT!

  5. Linda McCoy says:

    I can remember my grandmother walking to the bakery for cream puffs. She loved these as well as all the potatoes, gravies, and soups she could cook. She lived to be 90! I think housework made the difference. It was the exercise of the day. She would scrub floors on hands and knees, wash walls, laundry was an all day chore. I imagine those laundry baskets were pretty heavy when wet, then all of it had to be hung, taken down, folded and ironed. Housework was a huge chore. I hope I have her longevity gene!


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