I ache, therefore I am a couch potato

Linda Conway Eriksson - Contributing Columnist

I have had a sedentary lifestyle for years. My full-time job is done seated. I no longer have my walking buddy, Jackson the Hound Dog, who was content to move at my pace, unless he spotted a rabbit. I don’t move around enough or fast enough to keep my body toned, my balance even, and my muscle support strong.

So Mom’s hitting the gym, thanks to a birthday present of a membership from my daughter Jenny.

After four sessions working out with Beth, the super-trainer (and Jenny’s good friend), who puts me through my somewhat limited paces with kindness and determination, I think I already feel more flexible. I will admit to some soreness, as my underused muscles are waking up and letting me hear about it.

Beth tells me my gut (sorry, there’s no polite way to say it) is the result of what I eat, while my lack of muscle tone is the result of lack of exercise. She has me on a workout regimen of what I can only term “gentle repetitions.” She doesn’t ask more of me than what I can comfortably do. (I admit ‘comfort’ is relative.) Finishing up my second week, I have already learned if Beth says I can do it (whatever it is), then I can. It’s getting a little easier each time I work out.

Hopefully, I’ll be more coordinated and have better balance going into fall.

Now, about that abdomen. In hot weather, it’s not so hard to give up heavy meals. I don’t crave beef, potatoes and other starchy vegetables and lots of bread. Salads, which I do crave, taste cold and refreshing and they crunch. The crunch definitely answers a need!

My mother used to tell me to lose the pounds as soon as a couple crept on. She insisted that “the older you get the harder it is to get rid of extra weight. My mother was a smart woman. I wish I’d listened more.

Now that I am watching what I eat, it’s fun to find new things to satisfy seasonal cravings without piling on the pounds. Desserts are especially tricky but, like any other dietary bump in the road, you can work around it. Here’s a good dessert that’ll leave your sweet tooth satisfied without adding to your girth as long as you don’t eat the whole panful!


4 cups apples, cored and chopped

1 cup whole, fresh cranberries

1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup uncooked quick oatmeal

1/2 cup butter at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

dash of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a three quart casserole.

In a large mixing bowl, fold fruit to mix and pour into casserole.

Mix rest of ingredients to form crumbs. Place crumbs on top of fruit and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven, allow to cool for half an hour, and serve.

Serves eight.

Can be served with a small scoop ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream (or the whipped cream in an aerosol can for serious weight watching), or a little custard sauce.


Linda Conway Eriksson

Contributing Columnist

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at lindaconwayeriksson@gmail.com.

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at lindaconwayeriksson@gmail.com.