Gold stars. We got them (or at least I did) on our spelling tests when we were kids. I never got one for handwriting and am grateful for my computer now as my handwriting is still terrible.
This neighborhood house above sports 7 or so gold stars, one on the door and several hanging from the surrounding trees. It makes me smile to walk by. Gold stars can be little rewards for jobs well done, for efforts made, for obstacles overcome. I am not sure how that house earned its gold stars. It doesn’t matter. I am sure it deserves them.
I haven’t been getting gold stars for my weight loss and improved health, but I am getting LOTS of positive comments. “Hello skinny,” feels a little weird as I am not skinny and likely never will be, but I understand the intent. The changes in my body and mobility are obvious if not downright incredible. Friends and acquaintances all tell me I am inspiring and that they are super impressed. Frankly, I am kind of impressed with myself too, but it helps to hear it from others. I also hope my example might help others – whatever their particular journey might be. Change, of any type, is just hard, but making changes that you need to make can enhance – and maybe even save – your life.
L’Chaim! This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 48497 steps last week for 19.8 miles. I ate approximately 10269 calories and burned 13895 for a deficit of 3626. My average weight this week is down .8 pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 163.2.
After cruising along for several weeks without resetting the goal weight in my apps, I bit the bullet today and set a new goal. It isn’t at all ambitious at this point, just another 10 pounds which will (amazingly!) get me to “normal” on the BMI charts. This app says I can do that in a little over a month, so why not give it a shot?
I remember how happy I was to get to regular “obese” instead of “morbidly obese.” I still hate those charts, but my body seems like it wants to shrink a bit more and while it was fun to see all the “You met your goal” messages, I am tired of the apps telling me I need to gain a pound or 2. We will see what happens. I am getting a lot freer with my calories at times, but it doesn’t seem to have much impact on my continued downward trend. I am walking and exercising more of course, which I am enjoying. I even got a new pair of walking shoes! Recording my calories every day is also a habit I will continue at least for awhile.
I have to remind myself sometimes about how hard this program was in the beginning. It seems so effortless now. Like learning any new skill, after awhile it just becomes part of you. I remember being a new parent, and learning how to change diapers and sooth crying babies. I was terrified that I couldn’t do it right, that I would be a lousy mother. I remember the first time I preached a sermon and how scared I was. Crying babies don’t stress me now, and I love being behind a pulpit. We learn new skills and then we change and the new skills became a part of who we are. I’ll always be a mom, and a preacher, both are part of who I am, and I will continue to live in a way that enhances my own life and hopefully that of others. I don’t intend to sleep through the revolution. (With a grateful nod to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King who continues to inspire so many of us.)
L’Chaim! This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 49225 steps last week for 19.8 miles. I ate approximately 10521 calories and burned 13527 for a deficit of 3006. My average weight this week is down 1.1 pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 162.4.
As smooth as silk and as shiny as satin
My days glide by
No matter the foggy mist
No matter the rain or hail.
There is a message here.
Keep your windshield clean
Don’t let the grit from the road
Obscure your vision.
Around the next bend
Through this endless seeming swamp
There is a field
A bright meadow.
Rumi and I
We will meet you there.
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’
doesn’t make any sense.”
I am walking again, still gradually increasing, and I did around 15000 more steps this week than I did the week before. I saw this “gratitude tree” on one of my walks. On the tags were notes from both adults and children naming what they were thankful for. I am grateful for my improved health and ability to move.
A friend at church asked me how I felt after my large weight loss. He wanted to know if I felt weaker because I wasn’t getting enough calories. I said no, just the opposite, I feel much stronger and have a lot more energy. I am giving my body what she needs. With the increasing exercise, I get to eat a bit more each day. It is all a balancing act, finding what is right for each day. I eat when I am hungry and sometimes just before hunger hits. It helps to not be “starving.” When I get too hungry, I consume more than I really need. It takes a while for the food to get into my blood stream and reach my brain. Timing of meals is important. My kids hate that I need to eat by 5:30 or 6. They are 7-8 o’clock diners, but when we go out, the are quite accommodating. They are proud of my progress in this journey and want to be as supportive as they can.
This week I reached another milestone. I have lost exactly half of my starting weight. No wonder I have more energy! I was carrying around two of me.
People also ask me if I am still planning on losing more and the answer is no, because I feel fine where I am – AND I also expect I will lose a bit more over the coming months. I haven’t really stabilized yet, or “plateaued” as they call it in the weight loss world. So I expect to lose some more without really planning to or trying very hard. The beginning of this journey was difficult. I had a mountain to climb and not much endurance. Now that I have scaled several peaks, each one gets a bit easier. Walking in the hills isn’t much different than it is on the flats, if you have mastered the habits of long distance travel. This has been a marathon, not a sprint.
L’Chaim! This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 43056 steps last week for 18.2 miles. I ate approximately 10381 calories and burned 13641 for a deficit of 3260. My average weight this week is down 2.8 pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 161.3
I dwelt too long
In the valley
Of the dry bones
Brittle they were
Blackened by fire
Bleached white by the sun
And pockmarked by the winds
That blew without ceasing.
They were crushed by the boots
Of the ignorant hoards
The fury of fears unleashed.
Cracked down to the marrow
Of hope unborn.
No more! Cried my soul
Stop with this mess
Open the tomb
And rattle the bones.
My first two bone poems were posted here.
Dry Bones – Images from Ezekiel 37 (written in April 2004)
In the valley of the dry bones,
Fragile and hard
Spin through the dance
As the rain falls.
Bones rattling to life
Spring is coming.
These bones are old now
Anne and I celebrated our 45th anniversary this week. We went out to dinner and shared a tiramisu for dessert. The waiter brought it in with a candle. The couple at the next table took this pic for us and offered congratulations. It still feels a bit odd to have our relationship acknowledged and celebrated even by strangers. Of course this is the SF Bay Area and other parts of the country and the world are still not nearly so accepting. The pic below is from early 1975, when we were just 24. We’d been together a little over a month and took a trip down to Monterey. It is still one of our favorite places.
I almost look more like that young me these days than I did when we were legally married in July of 2013, a week after the Supreme Court decision establishing federal marriage benefits for same gender couples. We were in California for 3 days and I connected with a colleague via Facebook who did a quick ceremony for us before we returned to Utah where we were living at the time. Our marriage was not yet legal there when we returned. We did a big wedding and religious ceremony in California with friends and family in January of 2014 on our 39th anniversary.
I have certainly changed over the years, but Anne looks pretty much the same. We have loved each other in sickness and in health, through challenges and joys, and created a family with our fabulous children, all of whom live relatively nearby so we see them often. Our love has lasted though thick and thin, from skinny to fat and back again.
Time flies as one ages. It all seems like yesterday to me.
But as for today, I am increasing my exercise a bit more while still being cautious with my new knee. And despite several dinners this week that contained a whole bunch of calories, I seem to be back to losing some each week. Maybe it is because I try to save my calories for things that taste really good, like tiramisu. Forget the burgers and fries!
L’Chaim! This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 29617 steps last week for 12.5 miles. I ate approximately 11179 calories and burned 12982 for a deficit of 1803. My average weight this week is down 2.1 pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 158.5