Faint heart and fair lady.

After weighing myself this morning and discovering that I am within 3 lbs and 6 ounces of my goal weight, I gave myself a pat on the back.  For me this continued loss means the gluten-free diet is not compromising my weight loss regimen.  Either that, or I have a deadly disease and am wasting away.  Seriously, I think I am in pretty good condition, despite the problems I have with arthritis.

I have a severe form of this disease.  I read this week (in one of my numerous magazines on this topic), that only thirty percent of folks over the age of 65 have osteoarthritis, so getting older does not mean you will develop this crippling ailment.  A smaller percentage has the severe form of arthritis that eventually puts one in a wheelchair.  My variant of the disease began when I was in my 40s or earlier, and I inherited it from my Mom’s side of the family.

Being overweight did not cause my arthritis, but it certainly did not help it.  My nightmare scenario was becoming so heavy that it would take several strong men to carry me, if I became incapacitated.  I think this issue dawned on me when I was first carried down the stairs at my house by an ambulance crew.  But, when I had a stroke and the rescue crew and my boss carried me out of my office and down stairs to the waiting ambulance with my boss yelling, “it’s heavy” the whole way, I decided the time had come to do something.  The thought that my weight could make life difficult for other people motivated me to act.



Above: Nandina or Heavenly Bamboo in winter

Sitting on my porch this beautiful morning, I watched the birds cluster around the suet feeder.  First came one of the male Downey Woodpeckers, then a Song Sparrow followed by a several Catbirds.  A couple of Starlings flew in and soon hogged the feeder.  I could see Lady Catbird urging one of the male Catbirds to go back to the feeder and run the Starlings away.

She finally persuaded him, and he flew down from the fence and briefly engaged in a beak fight with one of the Starlings, who drove the Catbird away from the feeder.  Next Lady Catbird gave the male a “can’t you do anything right?” look.

Having returned to the kitchen table, which overlooks the feeder, I rapped on the window to scare the greedy Starlings.  One bold male Catbird, who had been waiting in the Nandina shrub below the feeder, flourished his wings like a cape, and returned to the feeder.  Did he win the fair Lady Catbird’s heart?  Don’t know, but he sure showed he could deliver the goods for a clutch of nestlings.

I am linking this post to Michelle’s Nature Notes.  (see link list below)  

21 thoughts on “Faint heart and fair lady.

  1. Yes you have done an amazing job of taking care of your health…. I love watching the birds as you go. I often think that the male birds preening and showing off is so like the human male especially the teenagers.. Perhaps we have more in common that we think..Michelle


  2. I’m so impressed with all you’ve done to improve your health and well-being. I feel that one can be WELL even with a chronic disease (or two). You have not given in or given up. Do you have a definite date for your surgery now?

    And it was very fun reading about your bird activity. When we had our yard in Oregon (before we sold out to travel full-time) starlings were the bane of my existence. I could never put out suet feeders, even in winter, because those greedy birds would steal every bit of it in two seconds flat. Then they’d eat all the sunflower seeds before the other birds had a chance.


    • Most of my efforts health-wise have been remedial. Although I always walked at lunch and did yoga every day, sitting at a desk too many years took its toll.

      Starlings are the bane of my existence too. What a pest. And to think, some fool introduced them to America by Turing a pair loose into Central Park in NYC deliberately!!


  3. Kudos for your weight loss. Funny how that works. I lost about 10 – 12 pounds trying to relieve the stress on my bad (arthritic) left knee and my bad (arthritic) right ankle. But I’m still more like 10 – 15 lbs over my ideal weight, not 3 lbs., 6 oz.


  4. Bravo on approaching goal weight while also merging the new dietary requirements with weight watchers system.

    My weight-loss epiphany came when I saw a photo of myself from the side. I was on a dock,leaning forward to catch a line and secure the boat that had ferried one of our researchers and local media types to see firsthand an alien jellyfish invasion. i am sorry but the account of your boss tickled my funny bone. And your determination to do something because of the impact on others is admirable. My basis for taking action was pure vanity. But it is from health concerns.

    Enjoyed your saga of catbird gender interaction.


    • Photos certainly tell a story don’t they? OK if you laughed, although sometimes a humiliation provides a wake up call doesn’t it? Glad you enjoyed the catbirds. We can learn so much from animals can’t we?


  5. Congratulations on being so near to your goal weight Dianne. I am still trying to lose weight because of aching joints. I was astonished to see when I got on the scale after returning home from our vacation, that I had lost 8 lbs. I didn’t exactly eat light but the extra exercise helped tremendously. The bird saga was very interesting also.


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