Good parents also bend and are willing to learn as they go along. They understand that you can’t know everything from reading a book. Experience is the true teacher. A “good dieter,” for lack of better words, also is willing to learn from experience. Just because a book or program says you should eat this or do that, it’s ultimately our bodies that tell us what is right and wrong for us, but too many times we get wedded to the “experts” and forget that we are the boss or ourselves.
In my own interactions with Claire yesterday, I also realized how grandparenting is similar to maintenance. While I’m vigilant and mindful to not let Claire get hurt, I also get to have a little more fun and be a little more relaxed than I did when I was a parent. Same thing with maintenance. While I’m vigilant and mindful to food and exercise, I’m also having a little more fun and am a little more relaxed than I was during weight loss. I’m also a lot more patient, both as a grandparent and a person maintaining a weight loss, more so than I ever was with my kids or body before.
For instance, Claire loves going through my purse. It’s a slow, methodical activity we’ve done since she was 8 or 9 months old. She reaches her hand in and takes out each item, one at a time, observing each one carefully before handing it to me. Some things, like my Bluetooth, are boring and she hands them over quickly. Other things, like the bottle of Advil or Tic Tacs container, are fun to shake first before handing them over. She loves the slide-open mints container with the mirror inside and pulling out the string from the dental floss.
When I was a parent, I had so much going on all the time that I didn’t have time to participate often in slower activities or to take in each moment with careful observation. As a grandparent, time is different. I’m not doing laundry, going to the grocery store, planning, working, fixing, yadda yadda yadda, when I’m with Claire. I’m just with Claire. Same with maintenance. Yes, effective weight loss is a slow, methodical process, but there’s a lot of learning going on at the same time, a lot of multi-tasking. Just as a parent “raises up” children, a dieter is working towards a goal, too. Grandparents aren’t (usually) the primary “raiser-uppers” of the grandchildren, and maintainers are hanging out and (hopefully) staying the same.
So….in six days (or less), there will be double the Grammy Lynn fun. Please forgive me if I’m not here much for awhile, or if I babble on and on about the grandkids. I’ll come back to earth at some point.
One more thing before I end, thank you so much for your kind comments and emails about my kids and their Mother’s Day gift (from my last blog entry). That photo of us is from Cassie’s wedding in 2006, when I weighed 40 pounds more than I do now. Next to the births of my children and Claire, Cassie’s wedding was the happiest day of my life.