Daily Bread #38
I don’t want to sound like a commercial, but the Fitbit Anne gave me for Christmas is making a real difference. I also paid the $30 (per year) to upgrade from the free version of Lose It so it could send my meal info to Fitbit. I have always loved technology and this one is so fun. Like Santa , it knows when I’ve been sleeping and tells me how much REM and deep sleep time I got the night before. The exercise programs are a motivation and much easier than timing my exercise on my phone. It tells me to take 250 steps every hour and it is hard to ignore a vibration on my wrist. Best are the “adventure” challenges. This week I virtually hiked the Vernal Falls trail in Yosemite, something I have done in real life at least 30 times, starting when I was a child and taking my own children there. I know that trail in my bones although I haven’t been able to hike it in many years. So fun to do it virtually and see the photos of places I know so well. I start the “Valley Loop” today. At 35, 899 steps, that will take me almost a week.
At group this week we talked about resolutions, goals, and intentions, and what the different definitions are. I said that I like to use the language of covenant, which is a more of a sacred promise, something you come back to again and again, even if at times you falter. (I am preaching on this topic this Sunday.)
I am trying to learn the names of the new-to-me people in our group. It was easier this week as there were 3 men named John. I try to use people’s names when I speak to or about them, and will try and model this more often in the group. Knowing someone’s name is the first step in making a real connection. In a support group, knowing each other’s names is critical I think. It can be hard, because people drop in and out and the facilitator has lots of classes with lots of people. It is kind of like congregational life, I guess, and as a minister there were always people whose names I did not know. But I’d rather ask for a name multiple times, than skip over what is a need-to know.
One of the John’s made a comment that struck me. He said that now that he is no longer fat, he feels like he is who he was always meant to be. Body and spirit both was the implication. So much of our fat shaming culture eats away at our sense of dignity about who we are and/or who we have been. I hate that. There is virtue is setting a goal and accomplishing it, but there is no shame in failing. This stuff is hard. Life is hard.
A colleague posted a question today about experiences with food and shame. The following is what I wrote in response:
“Growing up working class, and having a large garden, there was always enough food although the quality declined as the month ended and the money grew tight. We celebrated with rich food when the money came in. Free food has always been particularly hard for me to resist, storing up for some intrinsic fear of scarce times I think. I was thin until my mid 30’s, but eating has always provided some emotional comfort for me. It started when I was a child eating potato chips or saltines with butter late at night when the house was chaotic and going out for pizza with my mom when my father was very drunk and we needed to get out of the house. It is funny, now that I am in a serious weight loss program (because of my personal health needs, NOT because being fat is inherently unhealthy!) for the first time in my life I am only hungry right before mealtimes. I have never felt a lot of shame about eating or my size, even when I was over 300 pounds, although I was frequently upset and pissed about others reactions to my size. It is OK to use. my name. I am who I am.”
We are going out to dinner tonight for our 44th anniversary. I will save up some calories so I can have a martini with the meal, but I won’t get dessert this year. I will order a reasonably sensible entree, but if I go over in calories today I now know one meal will not sabotage my progress. I am feeling good and it is time to get on the stationary bike and start walking the valley loop trail.
(My stats for the last week – down 1.9 pounds, drank over 8 gallons of water and exercised for over 510 minutes. My cumulative weight loss so far is 74.2 pounds.)