Becoming Alabaman

According to a recent report, Alabama is #2 when it comes to obesity, outweighed only by our neighbor, Mississippi.  Nearly a third of my fellow residents are obese, and fully two-thirds are “overweight or obese.”

Perhaps this helps explain recent trends that have been registered on Lifelongnewyorker’s  bathroom scale.  Two members of our household have, to use a phrase my mother favored, “filled out.”  On the other hand, two other members have maintained their trim or perhaps even lost weight. For those of you puzzling over this — our household includes the two cats.

Harpo has always struggled with his weight.  He has a large frame, and generally wears it well.  But a couple of years ago, his vet suggested he would be better off shedding a few pounds.  Mr. NYer oversaw his diet and the big guy managed to lose a pound or two–he seemed to level off at 15 pounds and that was fine.  In Alabama, he has ballooned to 18 pounds.  We think it’s emotional eating.

Simon, the younger cat, maintains his youthful figure by collecting and chasing those little plastic plugs that come on containers of orange juice.  The sound alone of the refrigerator door opening in the morning can summon him, and if it’s a day to open a new container, he is on that nickel-sized cap with lightning speed.  A session or two of orange cap floor hockey every day keeps his boyish figure.

Likewise, ample time for exercise has resulted in Mr. NYer shedding what little body fat he had.  Shortly after Lifelongnewyorker leaves for work in the morning, and before the real heat of the day settles in, he takes off for an hour or two of bicycle riding.  On days he doesn’t ride, he goes to the pool and swims laps.

And that leaves Lifelongnewyorker, who is way too close to topping her own personal record.    Twelve more pounds and she’d match the weight when she was ten months pregnant and about to give birth to a nearly nine-pound Abandoned One.  Otherwise, she’s approaching the highest non-pregnant weight she’s ever seen.

Why? Oh, the usual.  Age and time of life.  Lack of exercise contributes.  In New York, the day began with a brisk walk to the bus stop and, on most mornings, a 15-minute walk in Manhattan from Worth St. to Spring St. Now, she rises from the kitchen chair, takes about ten steps into the garage, drives into her designated spot in the office garage, and takes the elevator up to the 4th floor.  There’s time in the evening to take a bike ride, true, but Lifelongnewyorker attracts mosquitoes and the OFF doesn’t seem to work down here.

And then there’s the companionable before-bedtime snacking.  Around 9 o’clock every evening, she and Mr. NYer settle down to watch some television together.  Two glasses of wine and a box of crackers later, we go to bed.  Mr. NYer exercises it off the next day.  Lifelongnewyorker adds it to her waistline.

It’s all part of becoming a real Alabaman.


One Response

  1. […] Lifelongnewyer and Mr. NYer moved to Alabama, we brought two cats with us.  Like us, they were ex-pat […]

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