Daily Bread #60

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I am still startled by the changes in my body over the last year or so. It is taking some emotional and psychological adjustment.  Who am I?  We are so connected to our physical selves.  It is the most intimate relationship we have.  I believe our souls are woven into our bodies, at least for the duration of our lives.  What happens to our souls when our bodies change?  Sometimes the changes are really hard.  If our bodies are hurting in new ways, we need to adjust, to cope somehow, and to discover new ways of being in the world.  I went through some of that when my health was deteriorating. The more recent changes to my body are mainly positive.  I am healthier and stronger.  But am I the same person?  Yes, of course, and no, not really.  My focus is different.  I am living a more deliberate life than I did before, making decisions, even small ones, with more thought beforehand.  I still “go with my gut” when the Spirit moves me to do so, but in some weird, mystical manner, something has changed. As my body shrinks, perhaps my soul is expanding.

I increased my exercise routine this week and met my goal of burning at least 2460 calories every day.  This lets me eat 1300-1450 calories per day and still lose an average of two pounds per week.  That is enough calories for me.  I am not hungry, but then again the calories are all from protein, fruits, and vegetables.  They include some fat, but minimal carbs, just Dave’s Killer Bread (whole grain/thin sliced) and the sweet potatoes I have with dinner several times a week.  I avoid white bread, potatoes, rice, and sweets.  I did eat an 1/8 of a bagel last week at church. Moderation is the key.  

I am being extra compulsive for these last few weeks before I go on a vacation which will involve some restaurant meals.  Restaurant meals are mysteries as far as calories go.     You can ask questions and try to be sensible, but you never know exactly what you are eating when you eat out. It makes the math so much less precise.

We had 12 people at the meeting last night.  The group seems to go better when we have more people.  We talked about how to say “no.”  “No” is something I don’t usually have a lot of trouble doing, but new strategies never hurt.  There are clearly cultural and gender variations that can affect how people navigate situations of being offered sweets – or wine!  It can be tricky as food is so often offered as a gesture of love and sharing meals is how relationships are often nurtured.  Being clear about what you need (or don’t need) and planning ahead can help.  It was interesting how many people in the group had experienced having to “clean their plates” as children before they left the table.  It was traumatic and did not establish a healthy relationship with food, or even I suspect with parents.  I don’t remember that happening to me, other than being asked to taste things (one bite) or being told not to take more on my plate than I knew I could eat.  We raised our kids the same way, although we counted and divided up the potstickers when we went out for Chinese food.  There were fewer fights that way.

Food is so much a part of every culture.  We need it to live, but too much can kill us slowly.  It doesn’t happen to everyone, of course, but it was happening to me.  My world was contracting.  I feel now like I have been reborn; my life is expanding.  This journey  has been one of transformation for both my body and my soul.

L’Chaim!

(My stats for the last week – down  2.7 pounds, drank at least 7 gallons of water and exercised for over 840 minutes.  My cumulative weight loss so far is more than 118.1 pounds.)

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