Just two more weeks without any real food. It is so tempting to start a little bit early. But I have been 100% on plan the entire time and this is the home stretch. Except of course it isn’t. Even eating real food, I will need to plan and stick with that plan. For next week, we are supposed to come up with the one real food meal we will eat for breakfast each morning. Plan A for me will be 2 hard boiled eggs and 2 ounces each of carrots, tomatoes and snap peas for a total of 200 calories. Our facilitator said that, just in case our plan A doesn’t work for some reason, we should have a Plan B (still legal, at least with the current Supreme Court). My Plan B will be 2 3/4 ounces of turkey breast and 3 ounces of spinach and 5 ounces of mushrooms salted/steamed in 1 teaspoon of butter, with a dash of garlic powder, for a total of 234 calories. I hope plan A works, as I don’t want to cook every morning. Luckily, one of my sons loaned me his scale, so I can weigh the food and be super-accurate about calories.
The whole idea stresses me. It is so much more complicated, and I have appreciated the ease of not having any choices with the meal replacements. Then again, we make choices every single day of our lives, and not just about food. I have always tried to make good choices, just not always about food. It is time to ramp up my skills.
Some of you have enjoyed my nostaligia pics. Here is one more:
This photo is from 1968 0r 1969 in the UC Berkeley dorm room of a friend. I am the one sitting on the bed, cigarette in hand, ashtray by my knees. Part of my weight gains over the years were due to the multiple times I quit smoking. At least I managed to do that before it killed me.
(My stats for the last week – down 2.3 pounds, drank 7 1/2 gallons of water and exercised for a total of 360. My total weight loss so far is 40.4 pounds.)
I have to drag my eyes open
With sheer force of will.
Stay asleep please
In the land of dreams.
The world is too full
But like a dried
Looking for moisture
Less than a month to go before I can taste real food again! August 9th is the day and it will only be one (small) meal each day for that first week. We will start slow and continue on plan, being very careful of calories, increasing them just enough to keep our bodies out of starvation mode, but low enough that we will continue to lose weight. It is kind of scary. As hard as the full meal replacements have been, the joy has been not to have to think about it. Our facilitator said that was the goal for when we are back on real food. Do enough planning, measuring, etc. so that we will continue to be able to function around food and healthy eating will become a new routine. She likes to call it the “new normal” but that always reminds me of the slogan “This is NOT normal.” You know where that comes from.
Speaking of treason, it hit me in class that I was one of very few (2 maybe 3) people in the class that have stayed completely on plan for all 13 weeks. That freaks me out some. Is it going to be harder for me when I get my first taste of, say, an actual egg? Eggs are a good choice, it was said, for our first non-product breakfast.
The other thing we talked about was how to avoid falling into old patterns of gaining back the lost weight. One of my issues has been not continuing to pay attention and to assuming that any weight gain would be VERY slow. I can’t do that again. One thing that will help, I think, is that I am now much more aware of my body. There is a favorite hymn of mine that has the line, “body and spirit united once more”. (Gather The Spirit by Jim Scott)
Much of my life, however, I have lived in my head and my heart, and my body was a mere vehicle for getting things done. My weight gain over the years has been like a slow motion car crash. I need to keep my eyes on the road and my hands on the wheel: of my body, of my life. I also need to look out for those hit and run drivers, running red lights, bringing bagels.
In other news, I figured out that swimming with my snorkel set was easier on my neck than my usual modified, head-out-of-the water dog paddle.
Once the whiplash is completely healed, I’ll likely go back to my noodle.
But the only donuts I will play with will be inflatable.
(My stats for the last week – down 3.2 pounds, drank 7 1/2 gallons of water and exercised for a total of 340 minutes. My total weight loss so far is 38.1 pounds.)
I have a new theory: exercising too much can slow weight loss! Probably not true, but because of whip lash from my car accident last week, I wasn’t able to exercise much and lost more weight than usual. Most of class this week was hearing from someone who has been doing this for over a year. She is still paying very close attention to what she eats, this isn’t a one-time, quick-fix program. I found her story moving and interesting, but did miss skipping the group check in.
Today is a day to mark the passage of time. The first photo is from May 16, about a month after I started the program. The second is from July 10, roughly 2 months later.
I can see the difference.
Today is also the 5 year anniversary of our legal marriage. Below is a photo from that day and one from 1975 shortly after we first became a couple.
I can see the difference there as well.
Ah, how times flies.
And, ah, life always brings change and challenges. Today, I worry about a new Supreme Court that may invalidate our marriage. I also have a deeper fear that putting immigrant children in cages is only the beginning of more and increasingly abhorant crimes against humanity. The White Supremacist Patriarchal Culture that is in ascendence, seeks to destroy all diversity. Almost all of us are at risk if they succeed. I need to get healthier so that I can continue to resist. The ups and downs, the aches and pains, are frustrating, but life is so precious. I will continue to fight for it.
(My stats for the last 9 days – down 3.2 pounds, drank 9 gallons of water and exercised for a total of 105 minutes. My total weight loss so far is 34.9 pounds.)
We live our lives
With hummingbird hearts
Beating so fast
It seems we rarely
Find the time
Racing from flower to flower
Our fragile bodies
Are always prey
To the shadow cast
By the hunting owls
Swooping down like death
The only lesson
Is to keep drinking
That sweet nectar
While it lasts.
Whose body is this?
Smaller than it was
The muscles firmer
The skin looser
But so much the same
Every ache and pain
The bruises and the scars
No miracle this
Just a change.
Is the same
I pray it will continue
To carry me
As best it can.
What a week it has been, and it hasn’t even been a week. We met on Monday night this week because this Wednesday, our regular day, is a holiday.
Having class on Monday was difficult, and they even moved us to a different room. Change is hard, and I find myself so much less flexible than I have been in the past. I joke about it, but it is true. Following this program requires paying close attention, having a meal replacement every 2 1/2 hours, drinking enough water, avoiding food-centered situations, and planning time to exercise. This increased lack of flexibility and attention to detail should serve me well, however, when we go back to eating real food.
Most of class was talking about why we regained weight after previous diets. The discussion was moving as people shared their personal stories. There were so many themes that resonated with me. My weight gain over the years was fairly gradual, and I was thin until my early 30’s. Twice, I took Kaiser’s weight management class and lost about 20 pounds each time, but then my weight crept back up because I relaxed and assumed that regaining it would take decades. Magical thinking is so common. “Broken cookies don’t count because the calories have all fallen out.” “I am still 25 years old, have a fast metabolism, and can eat whatever I want.” “Finish your food, don’t waste it.” “If it is free, eat up.” That last one comes from growing up working class, and going to college on a full but barely sufficient scholarship. It has always been hard for me to turn down anything free.
This time is going to be different. Life will still happen, and there will be challenges, but I am learning that this is a lifelong commitment and that I will always need to pay attention to exercise and to what and how much I eat.
Life definitely happened this last week.
On Thursday, I learned that Wendi Winters was one of the victims of the shooting at the Capitol Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. I knew Wendi when I served my ministerial internship there in 2006-2007. She was a fierce, brave, quirky, and compassionate woman. She was an active church member, volunteering with the youth of the local church and the district. What a loss. It is reported that she was moving toward the shooter when she was killed, trying to protect her co-workers. That was so Wendi. Tears came often this week. This is the first time that someone I know has died because of a shooting rampage. Unfortunately, it will likely happen again.
Baltimore Sun article about Wendi.
On Saturday, I attended a rally with over 1000 of my closest friends at the West County Detention Center to protest the current immigration policy and demand that ICE be abolished. It wasn’t a march, so I brought my camp chair. It felt good to be able to sit down and be counted. The images of small children, ripped from the arms of their parents, have tugged so strongly at my heart. Love has no borders; we are ALL children of God.
Monday I got a cortisone shot in my shoulder which I hope helps, but when I drove home from our evening meeting, my car was hit in the right rear end by someone who ran a red light. As my car spun around in the intersection, the other driver sped off onto the freeway. I was stunned and shaken, but relatively unhurt. I have aches and pains today, but that isn’t all that unusual given the arthritis I have in multiple joints. I am not so sure about the car. The side airbags went off, and the right rear wheel was at not-normal angle. I did a police report and the car was towed. We have insurance and are waiting on the adjuster. Hopefully it won’t be totaled as it is a great car, if an older one. It felt weird that it was a hit and run, that the guy did not even stop to see if I was OK. But it also felt very good that three witnesses stopped and checked on me, two gave me their contact info, and one called the police, moved my car out of the intersection, and waited with me until the police came. Look for the helpers, as Mr. Rodgers advised. I was lucky they were there and very lucky that I was not seriously hurt or even killed. Even if the car is totaled, it is only a car. Life is so precious.
(My stats for the last 5 days – down 2 pounds, drank 5 gallons of water and exercised for a total of 280 minutes. My total weight loss so far is 31.7 pounds.)
The quality of light
Filtered through smoky air.
The quality of life
When a child is crying.
The quality of your soul
If you ignore their cries.
May the fire of the Spirit
Melt the ice in your heart