Archive | April 2019

Daily Bread #54


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It has been a full year since I started this journey, so it was time for another before/after pic.

In this year, I have turned into an exercise nut, lost over 100 pounds, ditched my C-Pap machine, and ALL my prescription meds.  My body is in good shape except for my knees, but surgery should fix them before too long.  I’d like to lose another 40 pounds, which feels totally doable at this point, and I certainly don’t want to gain any weight back.  The health benefits I have achieved have been simply too miraculous.  I saw my regular doctor this week, for an unrelated minor issue, and she was amazed with the changes she could literally see.  She said that my motivation and dedication has been impressive.  So nice to have a doctor express such a positive message rather than what was before primarily concern.

There were 9 of us tonight at the meeting, and at the end, when one person had not spoken at all, I asked him if he had anything to say,  He did!  As a program participant and not a facilitator, I don’t have to be at all tentative.  The group dynamic is so important and me being the class clown sometimes seems to help when the discussion is lagging.  Plus, I just can’t help myself.  I loved it that after the meeting someone I don’t know that well reached out for a spontaneous hug.

A couple of us had reached out to some our original cohort members who had not attended for awhile.  One of them came! It was so great to see her!  She promised to come next week too.

We talked some more about “drifting” and someone came up with a nautical image of being at sea without a rudder.  This equates to being “off plan” and not having a quick and easy way to reset your direction to where you want to go.  The danger of not having a rudder is that you might drift into the open sea and never reach land.

What being  off or on plan varies by individual.  Some can have a meal or a day when they chose to eat less sensibly, and the next meal or day, they are back on course.  Kind of like stopping and dropping anchor to do some snorkeling and look at all the pretty fish.  For others they need to stay always on board, with their hands on the wheel.

This is so much harder for people with young children or with adult family members who aren’t particularly supportive.  It doesn’t bother me when Anne eats her sweets or chips, but some people may need to ask their family members to not eat ice cream right in front of them.  It can also be harder with extended family members, particularly if they are older.  Neither Anne of I have any surviving parents or siblings, which is not exactly an advantage in the larger scheme of things, but it does make things easier to be the “respected elders.”  I can tell my adult children and nieces and nephews what I need them to do to help me with this program and they (mostly) listen and do what I say.  We are going out to dinner tonight with one of our sons.  I will ask both him and my wife not to order any appetizers (which are really hard for me in restaurants) and I am completely confident that they will comply.

Family members NEED to be supportive if they want us to be healthy and live longer.  IT is one important way they tell us that they love us.  I DID suggest last night that some people might want to play the guilt card fairly heavily in order to bring their family members in-line.  “What, you want me to die?  You are literally killing me!  Get that damn ice cream OUT of the house!”

We also talked about “de-cluttering” and how messy apartments or houses or kitchens with no counter space, refrigerators and freezers stuffed with things that aren’t so great for us to eat, can all increase our stress levels and make staying on course much harder.  Luckily, I have Anne who is a compulsive neat-nik.   Everyone needs a wife like her I think.

I was up a tad this week, (.6 of a pound) which was due not so much to what I did this last week, but what I did not do in the last couple of days.  It may be TMI, but more prunes will be in my food plan this coming week.

Go boldly where others have gone before.  Mind your rudder, steer that ship.  Land Ahoy!


(My stats for the last week – up .6 pound, drank at least 7 gallons of water and exercised for over 620 minutes.  My cumulative weight loss so far is 103.1 pounds.)

Resurrection and Renewal

This is an old poem – from April 2013 – before I began this blog.  I have been reborn, oh so many times, it seems.

I laid my body down
On the brittle brown leaves
Crushing them to dust
Exhausted by the Fall

My ears touched the earth
Soft loam of older leaves
Quiet wrapped my worries
In stillness and in peace

My arms held the sun
Warm in the moment of embrace
Clouds passed in the distance
Memories of the cold

For months I lay in wonder
Wrapped in the breath of hope
Stirrings deep within
Had time to be reborn

Now I rise to my feet
Strong and steady is the call
Once more the path is open
My eyes behold the sky

Daily Bread #53


Every week another miracle seems to come my way!  This week, my doctor took me off of ALL of my prescription medications!  I almost feel a little guilty because I am getting so many rewards from my weight loss.  It doesn’t happen for everyone.  Weight is only one factor correlated to health, and it isn’t necessarily even a direct correlation. (math terms again!)  Fat people can be healthy and skinny people can be unwell.  For me, though, the weight loss is having a huge positive impact on my health.

I am counting my blessings that this has been true for me.   These results will also help me have the discipline to keep the weight off once I am done losing.

Last night we just had seven people again at the group.  One thing, though, about a smaller group is that you get to know people better – at least the ones who talk.  Two people did not say a word, however.  I still hate that.

We talked about strategies for “what if” situations.  My favorite was “what do you do if someone wants to buy you a long island iced tea?”  My response, which made everyone laugh, was to “ask for a martini instead.”  We then discussed the calories in olives.  (10 each for garlic stuffed queens).  2 or even 3 olives are just fine.

We also talked about what to do when “drift” happens, when one meal, one day, turns into 3 or 4 or a week.  So far, I have only exceeded my daily calorie goal once in awhile and on purpose.  I make up for the overage either before or the next day.  Several of us agreed that this program has been enough work that we DON’t want to have to do it again.  It is hard, though, and like quitting smoking, some people have to try more than once before they are successful.  The rewards along the way have helped me, and as I said, not everyone receives those same rewards.  No guilt!  No blame!  I just don’t want my friends to drop out completely.  I will miss them too much.

Our road trip to General Assembly this summer will be more of a challenge for me.  I have a weakness for the fried oysters one can find on the Oregon coast, and we will be eating most of our dinners out.  I won’t have them every night, but I will have them some.  I can easily skip the sides of fries that usually come with them, though. We are taking a cooler and will have healthy breakfast, lunches, and snacks with us, so hopefully I will at least maintain during the trip.  Planning is (almost) everything.  As I said, my motivation could not be stronger.


(My stats for the last week – Down 1.0 pound, drank at least 7 gallons of water and exercised for over 660 minutes.  My cumulative weight loss so far is 103.7 pounds.)

A Reflection on Job

I never really related

To Job and his wailing

He was so self-righteous

A lucky man

For much of his life

Thinking he deserved it.


So much better I think

To receive blessings later in life

When you can appreciate them

And know in your gut

How lucky you are.

Mazel Tov






Daily Bread #52


On any journey, there are milestones.  They aren’t end-points, but a chance to catch your breath and realize how far you have come.  (Are we there yet, Mom?) This week, I made it into the Century Club. (I made that name up and am looking for more members.)

Since beginning this program a little less than a year ago, I have lost a total of 102 pounds.  Always an overachiever, I pushed myself this week to make sure I made it after one week of being so very close at 99.7 and another where I had a slight (.7) gain.  So with a bit more exercise and a little less food, I  got there this week.

This isn’t an end-point.  My journey is not done.  I still need to lose 5 more pounds before I can schedule knee surgery and 40 more pounds will get me out of the “obese” category.  But really, 100 pounds is a lot!


It is kind of hard to realize I was lifting that much weight, each and every day, all day long.

I am lighter, but learned this week that I am also less buoyant.  We opened the pool last week IMG_2195

and when I got in, it felt like I sunk like a stone.  I kept getting water up my nose.  Apparently all the fat kept me afloat and I could just flail my arms and legs to move through the water.  Now I need to really swim.  For now, I am using my snorkel set because I hate water up my nose.  I understand it is used as a form of torture.

It was another small group last night, with only seven of us there.  Since I’d reached my milestone, the facilitator asked me to share some of what has allowed me to succeed.  I see it that way, as something “allowed” not just accomplished.  It is mainly a gift of circumstance, with some luck and a lot of grace thrown in.  And yes. it has also been mixed with some fairly gritty determination and strong motivation.

Weird thing is, it is getting easier.  I now know what my body needs to be healthy.  I understand the science – and the math.  Those last 5 and 40 pounds may just melt away.  Not that I am going to relax my focus and concentration, because my old habits could come back.  But one hundred pounds in one year is something to celebrate.  Can I get a hallelujah?


(My stats for the last week – Down 3.8 pounds, drank at least 7 gallons of water and exercised for over 655 minutes.  My cumulative weight loss so far is 102.7 pounds.)



Daily Bread #51

One of the motivational tools Kaiser uses in the program is the “Passport.”


You earn “stamps” for attending the weekly meetings, exercise (420 minutes or 70,000 steps each week), and recording your daily food/calorie intake.  Once you get 18 “stamps,” you can turn the completed passport in and once a quarter there is a drawing for $20 Whole Foods gift cards.  I love prizes; they can help motivate me.  I increased my exercise minutes in order to earn that “stamp” each week.  The other two (meetings and recording) I was already doing.  I have actually been recording what I eat each day since August 18th of last year.  Yes, some guesswork is involved, especially when eating away from home, but I record every single bite.

So…..this last quarter was the first time I had completed passports included in the drawing………………………………………………………….


and the winner is….


Yay!  Of course, $20 at Whole Foods would be worth $30 at any other grocery store, but who am I to argue with free?

We opened the pool this week and I went swimming twice.  I think I will also continue at least some time on the exercise bike as it will help get my legs ready for knee surgery.

This week class was again tiny, with only 6 people showing up.  We had a good discussion though, mainly about making contingency plans when challenges surface.  Do we avoid movies because the popcorn smells are hard to handle?  We also had a long discourse on donuts, that ever popular office goodie.  Planning is critical.  We can’t change others or the world.  (Well, maybe we CAN change the world.  Activism has an impact.  Voting matters.)

But sometimes we plan, and the gods just laugh.  I was SO sure I would have achieved the milestone of a hundred pound weight loss this week.  I mean, I had only 1/3 of a pound to go.  But it wasn’t to be as my weight was actually up slightly this week.  Next week though, I hope to join the CENTURY CLUB!


(My stats for the last week – Up .7 of a pound, drank at least 7 gallons of water and exercised for over 650 minutes.  My cumulative weight loss so far is 99 pounds.)