Daily Bread (Week 26)
I missed class this week because I was attending a gathering of UU Ministers at a local retreat center. What a joy and a challenge it was! It is always a joy to gather with beloved friends and colleagues – those I have known for years and others that I just met this week. The program was excellent and included a lot of prayerful singing – singing is something I don’t do well, but that doesn’t stop me from loving it. I particularly enjoyed some of the conversations I had with the newer ministers and seminarians. They hold the hope for the future, not only for our faith, but for the world.
No one understands a minister better than another minister. While resting in the embrace of that mutual understanding, there were also challenges. We are human and part of the larger culture and are not unaffected by the wider systems of power and privilege that bring such harm to those who are trying to survive on the margins. I had to do my “Jeremiah” thing during a discussion of white supremacy where I witnessed a few “micro-aggressions.” It is so important to at least name those when they happen.
I am also realizing that I am completely out of patience with the “hurt feelings” of those who feel victimized when someone names the harm they have caused to others. No one expects perfection. If you blow it, when you make a mistake (and you will), apologize, and then SHUT THE F___ up and move on. No one you have harmed wants to hear about how guilty you feel about it or how your intentions were pure. Process those emotions with others who have similar identities to yours if you need to do so, but don’t redirect the attention of a larger group to your emotional distress. Don’t make it about you. This is work, very hard work indeed, that really needs to be done, again for our faith and for the world. The blessing I felt is that everyone there at least wants to do the work, even we bumble and stumble along that journey toward justice making and beloved community where all are truly welcomed in the fullness of who they are.
The other challenge, for me at least, was the food. (This is my weight management blog after all.) The retreat center served very healthy, and mainly organic, food, so it was much easier than it might have been. It was also super tasty. I stressed some though, as I was not able to weigh or measure anything and I had to guess at the calories. The lunches were vegetarian, so protein was harder to find and manage with no lean meat available. It was also hard to pass by the awesome desserts and say to no to the social hour wine. I stayed strong on those last two, however, and next week’s weigh-in will tell me how well I did on estimating calories. This was my Tuesday night dinner plate:
Baked chicken with pesto sauce, roasted cauliflower, and a smidgeon of salad. The salads were all pre-dressed, so I was careful with them. My guess was around 340 calories.
I am also thinking about taking the test in the next few weeks that will tell me about my metabolism – how many calories I burn just breathing. Knowing that number will help me calculate with more precision just how many calories I should be eating each day. It is not good to go too low because too few calories can slow your metabolism permanently and make long term weight loss more difficult. Too many calories, and you don’t lose any weight. The program includes one free metabolism test, and subsequent ones cost $50. The recommendation is to wait and do the test when your weight loss slows, but I want to do it before then. If it turns out I need another one later, I can just pay for it. Given the investment I am making already – in money, time, and attention, I am not going to quibble over an extra 50 bucks if it will help.
There are maybe a couple of weeks left of swim season, before we need to close the pool for the winter. I hope to catch up on my exercise goals this week.
(My stats for the last week – down ? pounds, drank over 7 gallons of water and exercised for 240 minutes. My total weight loss so far is 57.6 pounds.)