Back in the days when I worked for the insurance company and worked in an office, I had an interesting – odd (?) coworker.

Let’s call her Alice. Alice was about 46-47 years old, married and living in a condo with her husband. She was smart, had worked for the company a long time and was extremely well thought of by management. Alice was tall, maybe 5’10” and fat. Not, just a little fat. Really fat. I guesstimated her weight, (compared to mine) to be about 400 to 450 pounds. When she walked, her body went one way and her butt the other. I used to say her butt was so big, it had its own zip code.

Anyway, as luck would have it, Alice had an accident. Slip and fall. It wasn’t in some greasy spoon restaurant, some low-end market, some dirty train station where they never clean up. No, it was in her own kitchen. Since she was such a fastidiously clean person, I assume her home was too. Nope, Alice slipped on a piece of lettuce in her own kitchen.

As a long time member of Jazzercise groups, yoga and dance; at my advanced age (65) I can still do a 3/4 splits. If I go slowly and don’t rush it. And, it hurts if I try to go down too far. So, in a word, I am pretty flexible and I have trouble doing the splits.

Alice, slipped, fell and came down in a perfect splits on the floor; one leg in front and one leg in back. My entire face winched when I heard her tell what had happened. No doubt there was gigantic pain involved in that fall and probably, a number of things ripped and tore in the process. I am certain she was in excruciating pain for some time.

It was after this accident, when she was back at work, that she started a very drastic diet program. She went to a diet doctor, they put her on a liquid protein drink everyday and greyish, chocolate bars to go with. That was all she ate for one year. At the end of the year she had lost 100 pounds. Whew! What a deal! When she was finally able to move again, they had her walking everyday too.

The question is: Why wait so long? Why does the problem (and the consequences) have to be so bad to take action? I get into the gym about three times a week. Over and over again, I see enormously heavy women pumping away furiously on bikes trying to get those pounds off. There are some older men too in there, same story. Again, why wait until you are on the point of needing surgery to take the slightest action?

Bizarre. Something about women seems to hold them back from the necessary steps of taking take of themselves. Seems to me, that in general, men don’t seem to have those reservations and seem to be frequently pretty obsessive about their diet and exercise programs. I see many men who are ‘gym buddies’ and get together to work out and share results. Women don’t seem to do that very much.

Anyway, the Hi-Fitness classes at the gym are always very full and they are mostly 20 and 30 somethings. And, a lot of those gals seem to have friends in the group and to bond with other women. So … maybe things are changing … a little.

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