Daily Bread (Week 2 Day 3)
Our homework assignment this week is to make a list of why we are doing this rather draconian program. It isn’t just for fun; that’s for sure, although in a weird way, I am starting to enjoy some of it. I feel stronger and I can swim longer and faster. I am not hungry at all. They say it is like drip irrigation, if you take the calories in slowly (every 2.5 hours) you need less and you burn fat not muscle. It is also sort of nice not to have to think about food. “What’s for dinner?” “Where should we eat tonight?” “Should we have a salad or vegetables with the meal?” Anne still has all those decisions to make, and they are lonely decisions without me participating. In some ways it is a relief knowing exactly what I am going to consume each and every day for the next several months. It frees my mind to think about other things, like “why” I am doing this.
So here is my list of “whys,” at least for now. The most important ones are:
Improve my health. I have a whole raft of health issues that, if not all caused by my weight, certainly haven’t been helped by it. One big one is my knees, which both need replacement and I need to lose weight in order to safely to have the surgery. Bum knees limit my mobility and what I can do. The other is the lipodermatosclerosis I have in both legs. It involves hardening of the skin, swelling and lumps, and is very painful. The pain combined with the spacey side effects of the gabapentin I have needed to take for the pain, is the reason I needed to retire from active ministry. Being unable to stand for very long is also a limiting condition. I just want to feel better physically and being in pain affects everything including the mind and spirit in addition to the body.
Live longer. This is part of health, but needs to be listed separately I think. Our 3 adult children are all well established, but I’d like more time with them and with my dear wife, Anne. If grandchildren become a possibility I’d love the chance to play with them. I want to see more sunrises and sunsets, and have more time to spend with those I love.
- I want to be able to participate in marches, rallies, and other acts of resistance in order to bring more love and justice into the world. I have been an activist my entire life. It is hard to need to stay home when other folks are “hitting the streets.”.
- I want to be able to stop focusing so much on my own issues and limitations. This requires focusing on myself for awhile. In the ministry we call this “self-care.” If you ignore your own needs you simply can’t be effective in helping others. Part of it is role modeling. Mind/body/spirit are all one in my theology, and I have been ignoring the body part of self-care for too many years.
- I’d like to be able to travel to places that require more physical stamina than I currently have.
Relatively Trivial “Why’s.”
- I am tired of having to ask for a seat belt extender on airplanes. I don’t want to pray that a friendly and skinny person sits next to me.
- Packing will be easier with smaller clothes.
- I don’t want to worry about breaking chairs.
That’s enough for now. Maybe later I will list things about this program that are really hard, but right now I am focusing on having a positive attitude.
May we all learn to love ourselves and each other. And again, L’Chaim, to life!