Archive | Kaiser Medical Weight Management Posts RSS for this section

Daily Bread #111

000ea37f-800

It is now the third week of real maintenance, of being a “normal” weight, one that feels comfortable. My intention is to stay a tad under 150 pounds for the rest of my life.  This will mean I will go up and down slightly week to week, which may be just as tricky as losing weight, but I will get into that routine too, because it is – well – the right time for me to do that.

I am still trying to burn 2000+ calories a day, but am doing it as an average now rather than daily.  That works too, if I pay attention to calories consumed vs burned each day.

The county I live in is relaxing some of the sheltering rules this week which means we can drive and park at some trails that are not within walking distance of our house.  Hurray!  Although I love that 6-7 mile loop we have been doing at least once a week for the last couple of months, it will be wonderful to cover some different ground for a change and also to spend more time on an actual trail rather than walking to the trailhead. We will continue to stick to fire roads until there is a vaccine.

My poem this week was about rainbows it came to me after I saw this on the sidewalk on a rainy day.  There were no rainbows in the sky.  Sometimes we have to make our own.

Rainbow

96736458_10221307505304700_5621830062652260352_n

There must be a rainbow somewhere

A silver lining in the clouds

It’s what they tell me anyway

Dangling hope amid despair

That fragile feathered creature

Spinning high above the flames

Sometimes I catch a glimpse

A flash of color

The warm breath of God.

 

Down here though

The days are long

The news disturbing

It’s an effort to go on

Sobs rise on winds of grief

And fear stalks my battered soul

Maybe my tears will drown the rain

And the rainbow will appear.

 

Be well, stay safe.  Look for the rainbows.

L’Chaim!  Week 3 of maintenance: My Fitbit report shows 96875 steps for 39 miles.   I ate approximately 11053 calories and burned 14278 for a deficit of 3225. My average weight this week is up 1.1 pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 173.6.

Daily Bread #110

000ea37f-800

When I finally settled on a name for my blog posts about the weight management program, “Daily Bread”, was almost a joke.  Bread was not on my meal planning lists at all – if fact I was only consuming “products” – the Optifast meal replacements that the program used.  But our “daily bread” in a metaphorical and theological context is not about baked goods, leavened or not, but instead is about what sustains us in both our physical and spiritual lives.  So I smiled and went with the name.

Two years later, I am eating actual bread again, not every day, and primarily thin sliced, whole grain varieties, but actual bread.  My weight is now in the “normal range” for my height.

This week I have been experimenting with what it will mean to simply maintain my weight.   I exercised a little less compulsively and ate a few more calories.  I had a couple of cookies and a cocktail or two.  I still recorded every thing I ate, most of which was my now normal high protein, low carb diet, and I did exercise, including a 9 mile hike.  But it was less exercise overall and more calories, but even so, I lost another1.6 pounds this last week.

My weight is up a bit today, still in the normal range, but higher than last weeks average. That second Mothers’ Day martini was likely one too many, but it was worth it.

I wrote a couple of poems again this week:

I  Wonder

91099273_10220805674919254_8188051607305322496_n

I wonder what my life

Would have been

If the path was less clear

If the trail had disappeared

Under a carpet of dead leaves

 

Dusty my feet got

And sore

Blisters appeared

When something

Rubbed me the wrong way

 

Still the trail called me

All I could do was follow

Never quite knowing

Where it would end

 

From space it must have seemed

Aimless

A wandering with no plan

Somehow though

I ended up here.

Thank God!

 

I think I got to this good place in my life partly because I have managed to escape the hell that too many of us create in our own minds, forgetting that we don’t have to be stuck there for all eternity.  God is so much better and more forgiving and accepting than we are.

Hell

They say you’ll go

To Hell in a handbasket

But a basket

Is not what you’ll need

You’ll need a much bigger container

To hold all your fear and despair

And the demons that wake you

Just after midnight

When the world

Has been way too much

Hunker down, friend

That Hell is mainly in your mind.

Your nightmare imagination

Is restless

And needs to run through the streets.

The world can punish enough

Don’t give it any help.

 

Be well, stay safe. Try to live with love – for yourself and for the world and all its creatures.

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 92916 steps last week for 38 miles.   I ate approximately 12355 calories and burned 14660 for a deficit of 2305. My average weight this week is down 1.6 pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 174.7

Daily Bread #109

IMG_3084IMG_3085

It has been 2 years and two weeks since I started Kaiser’s medical weight management program, and I have now lost more than half of my body weight and have finally entered the “normal range” on all the “ideal weight” charts,  It is a milestone worth celebrating and I really am amazed and grateful that I have been able to reach it.  Despite knee replacement surgery and a global pandemic, I have stayed mainly on track.  My loss rate slowed at times, but the trend continued to slope down.  As I learned from another program participant, for me it was mainly about following the 4 W’s .  Watch (what you eat), Walk, Weigh, and drink enough Water.

It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t as hard as I imagined it would be, and the rewards have certainly been worth it.  I had a multitude of health problems when I started, including diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, lymphedema, the list went on as did the increasing number of prescription medications I had to take each day.  Currently, I have no chronic health issues and don’t need to routinely take any medications at all.  The health benefits are so much more important than any label, but I have definitely also noticed that now that I am no longer fat (or even overweight!) people treat me better.  Those judgmental looks have stopped, at least the ones related to my size.  The bias against “people of size” is real and still makes me really angry when I see it.

While I am proud of my own success, I would really hate it if anyone used my experience to shame or guilt trip someone else.  I have been extremely lucky.  Because luck matters too, along with all the hard work.  Sometimes Grace will rain down on us and bless our efforts, and sometimes she seems to look the other way.  It is the whole theodicy question of theology I suppose.  Why do bad things happen to good people and visa versa?  I gave up the idea of an all-powerful God years ago and resolved that question for myself with the process theology image of a God, Spirit, or Power that helps lead and guide us toward the greater good, but can’t make anything happen without our help.  “God has no hands on Earth but ours.”  I try to be useful to that Spirit and keep my hands (and heart) busy.

The long term success rate of dieting is horribly low, even for people who work really hard at it.  Not everyone can finish a full marathon, even if they train long and hard.  A positive can-do attitude is a critical part of both marathons and diets, as is a strong motivation, but even those are not enough.  Losing weight and regaining it repeatedly has damaged so many people.  That yo-yo dieting loop is more detrimental to your health –  physical, mental and emotional – than simply staying fat.  This program was the very first time I seriously tried to lose weight, so I had a lot less baggage to leave behind.  That helped me stay on track as I wasn’t expecting another failure since I’d never really tried before.

If you are considering starting a program like this, I wish you strength, luck, and grace. And please only do it if you can do it out of love, and not out of guilt or shame.  Do it out of love for yourself and for life.  You are each precious, unique, and lovable just as you are.  You really don’t have to run a marathon or lose 170+pounds to be worthy of love and respect.  You can focus on your health, and not the scale.  I say that as someone who weighs herself daily and blogs weekly about the numbers, but what has worked for me may not work for you.  I am a bit of a maniac, but you don’t have to be. Or you can choose your own particular obsessions that you think will help you achieve your goals, whatever they might be.

Continuously losing weight for 2 full years is very rare.  The amount I have lost is huge and that is also very rare.  And I intend to keep it all off and maintain my current weight.  If I do that, it will be rarer still.  I’ll do it though, because I want to and I now know I can.  The 4 W’s will help and I will continue with all of them.   I will also continue to attend the program support group – virtual these days of course.  My success in losing as much weight as I have has put me in a special and very select circle, one that, in some ways, I am not entirely sure how I got into.  It is a circle that I am committed to staying in which will require continued work and attention.  It will be worth it.  I am not going back to the old, unhealthy me.  I love being able to hike too much and I know it is a victory to complete a marathon, even if you are crawling at the very end.

So this journey of mine will never really be done, for at least as long as my life lasts.  But now is a really good time to take a moment to celebrate, recognize and relish my accomplishment.  Look at these two photos:

The first picture was taken on day 1 of the program – 4/18/18.  The second was a week or so ago while I was out hiking.  Back then, I could barely walk a flat city block without stopping to rest. Now I can hike 7 miles with an elevation gain of 1700 feet.   I will still take a couple of breaks on a long hike, but most of the time when I stop it is just to enjoy the views.

image00192967667_10221042882129286_7576144416893566976_n

Transformation takes work, but resurrection is a miracle.  I have experienced both.  May God’s grace shine a light on all our journeys, helping us find our way.

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 99560 steps last week for 40 miles.   I ate approximately 11067 calories and burned 14817 for a deficit of 3750. My average weight this week is down 2 pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 173.1

Daily Bread #108

IMG_2195

This is our quarantine pool.  It won’t be full of family and friends for awhile, like it has been at times in other summers, but I am grateful that it was warm enough to swim in it this week.  There are definitely worse places one could be sheltering in place.  It is important to stay grateful for some of the blessings we have.  I know I have more than my share right now even while we face some frustrations like a broken dishwashers.  I lived most of my life without one, so it really isn’t so bad and when it is safe to do so we can afford to have it repaired or replaced.  It is only 5 years old.  Is my memory faulty or did appliances used to last much longer than they do today?

Memory is funny.  Quarantine brain is a running joke among my facebook friends as we forget what day it is.  I wrote this poem after a conversation with my 30 something daughter.

When I Was Young

When I was young

We hid under our desks

For fear of the atom bomb

Now I hide in my house

Afraid of disease.

When you were young

You practiced lockdowns at school

For fear of bullets flying.

Now the schools are closed

And very safe one would think.

 

When I was young

The only homeless people I saw

Were hobos riding the rails

And long haired hippies

Looking for crash pads and revolution

When you were young

Tent cities crowded the streets

Of every city you saw

So much misery and poverty

And no one seemed to care.

Now there is some concern

But only to contain the viral

Spread of this dread disease

 

When we both were young

We went to concerts and rallies

We gathered with friends

And only robbers wore masks

Except for the Lone Ranger I guess

But he was the exception.

There are no exceptions now.

 

What will your children say

If you have them

About when they were young?

Will there still be long days at home

Writing sidewalk messages to the world

Grandparents and teachers on video

Unable to give kisses or grades

I’d bake the kids some cookies

But I may be out of flour.

 

It is a blessing to be old.

I hope you are really old someday.

Your children too

If you have them.

I kept to my calorie burn goal again this week and realized that I am back up to the amount of daily walking I was doing before my knee surgery.  And now a lot of it is on hills and trails, something I couldn’t do before my new knee.  Another thing to be grateful for.

I am also eating more, because of the extra exercise, and I am still recording all the calories I consume.  I guess some on the veggies, but I still weigh meat, cheese, and sweet potatoes, and I carefully count the calories in bread and the occasional cookie or other sweet.  My food scale lives on my kitchen counter.

I am VERY close to another “goal weight” which I think will be the last goal I will set as it will move me out of the “overweight” category into the “normal” range.  I am still suspicious of those charts, but given that I started out as “morbidly obese” it feels like quite an accomplishment.  I actually hit that number this morning, but my average for the week is 1.7 pounds higher.  Since I decided to use my average weight for each week to monitor my progress, I am sticking to that method.  Therefore, I will need to be that little bit further down before giving myself a rousing cheer.

Be well!  Stay safe and healthy!

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 108784 steps last week for 44 miles.   I ate approximately 11445 calories and burned 15169 for a deficit of 3724. My average weight this week is down .6 pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 171.1

Daily Bread #107

92967667_10221042882129286_7576144416893566976_n

I have become quite the hiker.  There isn’t a whole lot else to do.  At least the fire roads near our house are open and not crowded at all.  It is a real blessing.

My goal this week was to burn 2000+ calories every day.  I did it!  Mainly with hiking/walking, but also with some time on the stationary bike.   I also did a few sit ups and push ups every other day or so.  Exercise can be fun and I believe it is also helping keep me healthy.  I really did up my game this week with 20,000+ more steps than last week, with an average of 5+ miles per day.  I am down only a little over a pound rather than more because I also increased my calorie intake.  I did enjoy that too!  This week I also dipped down to a number on the scale that I haven’t seen since my mid-30’s.  My weight loss curve has definitely begun to “flatten” in the last several months, however,  as I near the end of the “losing” journey and shift completely to simple maintenance.

Flattening the curve is a good thing.  A life-saving one in fact.

Two poems I wrote this week:

First, a kind of fun one.

Heel

I scraped my heel

Walking down a hill

Or maybe it was up

I can’t remember

 

I was well prepared

Thick socks and boots

Hiking sticks to lean on

It didn’t matter

 

Hills come

And we go up or down

Defying or giving in

To gravity

 

The view was worth it

At least I think it was

Because with time

My heel will likely heal

 

Isn’t that what we want?

Isn’t that why we were born?

To climb the hills

To accept the challenges?

To live our lives

Without regret?

 

Preparation always helps

But scrapes come still

I climbed a hill

But it seemed a mountain.

I’ve got the scars

To prove it.

 

And now a more serious one:

Virus

This virus isn’t new

Not really

The sickness has been here

From when the first white colonists arrived

To this green and healthy land

 

They took possession of the earth

Not caring that it wasn’t theirs

They drove compassion out

Down a trail of tears.

They sent justice on the road.

 

They brought the poor of Europe

Here to work their fields

Then stole the souls from Africa

Leaving their own hearts behind

Frozen tight in greed.

 

The beat’s gone on

The infection’s spread

200 years and more

Walls are built and borders closed

While vigilantes roam

 

It’s time to pause it really is

Take stock in measured order

Heal the sick and feed the poor

Find some shelter for all souls.

A vaccine to prevent this evil

 

We’re all in this together

A lesson we must learn

Before this virus kills us all.

A pandemic isn’t easy

But we WILL find a cure

 

We are well stocked on food for awhile, thanks to a Costco 2 hour delivery which actually came the same day and within an hour and a half of ordering.  It was a minor miracle, as it has been taking a week to get “same day” deliveries.  We ordered 2 gallons of milk and gave one to the insta-cart shopper who said he could use it.  I don’t drink milk and no way could Anne drink two gallons before it went bad.  We also tipped generously, but it also felt good not to waste food when so many are hungry.

Be well!  Stay safe and healthy!

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 93507 steps last week for 38.7 miles.   I ate approximately 10906 calories and burned 14434 for a deficit of 3528. My average weight this week is down 1.3  pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 170.5

Daily Bread #106

92948370_10220990876149169_4443545569276723200_n

I saw this on one of my walks.  People are leaving positive messages everywhere these days it seems.  This is a good thing.  Sometimes good things come out of hard times. And the message feels right. “This too shall pass.”  It doesn’t always feel that way and it is easy to feel despair and lose hope.

Poetry definitely helps.

Poem:

Old Leaf

The old leaf rattling down the street

Doesn’t yet know it is spring.

Dry and brittle, energy spent

It looks for a place to rest.

That gutter maybe

Or under that bush

Somewhere safe from the rain

Or a virus in the air

Whatever is lurking

On the other side of fear.

 

Once you were green

And spring felt eternal

You lolled in the grass

And got drunk on the sun.

 

You won’t feel this spring

Like you did in years past

Please find you some shelter

As you wait for this strange

Lonesome winter

To pass.

 

What also helps is just sticking to it, carrying on.

Reflecting on the Passover and Easter stories can also help.  The plague will pass over some of our houses, although the sounds of grief from our neighbors will echo down through the centuries.  The Egyptians are always remembered at the Seder table. And after 3 days, or 3 months, the stone will roll away and we will be reborn into a new life.  Not the old one.  Not the one filled with consumerism and callousness toward the vulnerable. No, hopefully into a kinder, more compassionate world.  That is my prayer anyway.

I did suffer from some food anxiety this week.  2 hour delivery from the grocery stores takes at least a week, and they don’t have everything you order.  We have plenty of staples to sustain us, soup and canned beans, rice, protein bars, and pasta.  But being able to control what I eat has become very important to me, and I started to stress out about not having enough veggies and protein to stick to my food plans.  The delivery came, however, and I have relaxed again.  We are now well stocked with cod, chicken, pork tenderloin, and fresh and frozen veggies. Getting some Thai food via Grubhub also helped cheer me up.

Thai food is apparently less salty than the Chinese we had last week.  My weight is back down, despite a couple of cocktail parties via zoom where I enjoyed martinis.  I am running out of garlic stuffed olives, and am rationing them, but I have plenty of gin and maybe a jigger of vermouth.  No worries there.  Who needs vermouth anyway?  We also got some wine delivered for Anne and showed the required ID and our gray hair through the kitchen window.  We are both WELL over 21!  Our son dropped off some TP and coffee for us on the porch.  We now have all the necessities of modern life.

Gratitude.  This could all be so much worse, as I know it is for too many.

Be well!  Stay safe and healthy!

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 72610 steps last week for 30.3 miles.   I ate approximately 10115 calories and burned 13593 for a deficit of 3478. My average weight this week is down 1.6  pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 169.2.

Daily Bread #105

IMG_4938

Last week I posted about a trail that was too steep for me.  This week we found another way, and I reached the top.  Someone hung two swings where you can sit and enjoy the view.  They made me a little acrophobic so I didn’t get on one, but the view was amazing as was my sense of accomplishment.  I am so lucky to have had my knee surgery when i did because now I can go on hikes when there is nothing much else to do while we shelter in place.  We are using delivery for groceries because although I am fairly healthy now, my age alone puts me in a high risk category for serious complications from COVID-19 as well as a lower priority for a ventilator if needs exceed the number available.  Even when just walking around, we are advised to cover our noses and mouths.  My purple bandana still serves.

92262968_10220895137835771_7119867651374972928_n These are definitely unusual times and I am not at all sure that we will ever get back to what we once thought was normal. There are some good things happening.  Governments are renting hotel rooms to house people without homes.  People are being released from jails and prisons early.  Why did we have so many non-violent offenders behind bars and why did we ever ignore all the people forced to live on the streets?  Now we finally appreciate grocery clerks and farmworkers because we know we would not eat without them.  They have always been essential.  Maybe we should be paying them more.

I do worry that the November election may be delayed. Our President has killed people, right on 5th Avenue like he bragged about, and I am really afraid about the callousness to suffering and death that he displays.  He is either stupid or evil; most likely both. I am also really glad to be in California and also proud to be part of a faith that went to virtual worship nationally even before California shut such gatherings down.  Listen to the scientists not the politicians unless it is very clear that the politicians are listening to the scientists.  I like having a rather nerdy governor.

I am getting used to the way things are and will be for longer than we may expect.

I wrote this poem to keep my spirits up.

Live your life

Live your life

Such as it is now

This isn’t ending soon

The world grows smaller

Shrinks down to a neighborhood

A house, a room, a prison cell.

Our connections are more distant

But deeper too

As we share the fear

The grief, the loss.

Howling in the night

We find some small release.

 

Live your life

Such as it is

While you have it

While you can.

Relish the sunshine

Savor the flowers

Bursting with spring

They are

What your soul needs now.

Talk to your neighbor

From a distance of course

Help them if you can.

We are all refugees now

There is no escape.

There are no borders

Anymore.

This is the whole world

A planet in pain and fear.

 

Live your life.

It is what you have

For now.

Enjoy each day, each moment

Find a way to laugh

To smile.

Courage will come.

This isn’t ending soon

I hope not for me

Or for you.

This is the time to focus on what we can do, not on what we can’t.  The weight management program I have been in is a practice, a lifestyle, built on thousands of separate decisions which when taken together make a difference.   So too, a community responds to a pandemic.  Thousands of individuals make decisions that affect their entire community and even the world.

My weight went up a bit this week, but that is nothing for anyone to worry about.  We have bigger fish to fry – um – I mean bake.  I am getting at least 10,000 steps in every day – if it is raining too hard outside, I just do them in the house. This is not the time for mall walking. I am also doing 30-40 minutes on the stationary bike most days.  My exercise level and calorie deficit were both up slightly this week from the week before, so if it was simple math, I would have lost rather than gained.  The difference might be the amount of salt I ate last week and some water retention that went along with it. That Chinese food delivery order was delicious and well worth a small gain, however.  There are thousands of decisions as I said.  Some are worth it and some aren’t.

We are all  learning what matters most as so much of our former life has slipped away.   I miss our adult children the most.  I knew I was lucky they all lived close by and we could see them often. Now they might as well be thousands of miles away, but am glad we can stay in touch via the phone and video chats and they are all healthy and still employed, at least for now.

I’ll end with the messages I hear so often these days, from family and neighbors, strangers and friends.

Be careful out there!  Stay home if you can, wear a mask, wash your hands.  Be safe.  Stay well.

Love to you all!

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 87053 steps last week for 34.7 miles.   I ate approximately 10269 calories and burned 14276 for a deficit of 4007. My average weight this week is up 1.7  pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 167.6.

Daily Bread #104

91099273_10220805674919254_8188051607305322496_n

Sometimes there is a path you think you can follow.  The rise looks gentle enough, doable, as they say.  But sometimes that path, after it winds through some trees, after you get a glimpse of simply breathtaking views, the trail becomes a trial.  It goes almost straight up and there are loose rocks that slip under your boots.  At some point you realize that maybe you can reach the summit, but no way could you get down again without falling and sliding on your butt. It is important to find a path that leads more gently to the place you want to go.

The above picture is of a real trail in my neighborhood that looked inviting, but quickly became terrifying and so we turned around.

There are lessons in my walkabouts, if I pay attention.  The metaphors get strained sometimes, like my muscles, but moving can also be a meditation.

I think we are in the second week of lockdown due to COVID-19; time is a little weird these days.  We walk through the neighborhood between rain showers, I ride my stationary bike and do my physical therapy, we play cards, read, go to virtual church, share video calls with our kids, talk on the phone, and cook meals which take more planning as we are avoiding grocery stores and home deliveries can be delayed.  Having a hot tub really helps for relaxation and we discovered GrubHub this week.  We had a great dinner delivered from our favorite local Chinese restaurant with lots of leftovers for another day.  I also wrote a couple of poems.

The Wind

Little Things

Life goes on, at least for now. It feels important to pace myself.  This is a marathon not a sprint.  After almost 2 years in the program (started in April of 2018), I have yet to wander too far from the path. If I can do that, I can also make it through this pandemic.  I am grateful to have good companions and guides along the way, and feel very lucky to be in California where science is not considered fake news.

For all who are afraid, may courage come. For all who are sick, may they be healed.

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 75670 steps last week for 31 miles.   I ate approximately 10367 calories and burned 13889 for a deficit of 3522. My average weight this week is down 1.1  pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 169.3.

Daily Bread #103

90234122_10220738042748492_6405505360441901056_n

Who is that masked woman?

I used to wear that same bandana back in the day, going to demonstrations against the Viet Nam war.  I kept it wet and pulled it over my face to protect my eyes from the clouds of tear gas.  These days, I just pull it up when others are passing a bit too close.  It isn’t as good as a N-95 mask, but we need to save those for the health care workers because the US government is very unprepared for the pandemic.  I am glad to be in California where I can at least trust the state, county, and city officials to not lie to us about the situation.

It is getting to me.  The clueless people still running around in groups.  The run on toilet paper.  The racism still coming from Washington. I wish we had a president that at least acted like he cared about anyone but himself. They closed the parks here, which I knew was coming after the traffic jams at the beach this weekend.  I’ll miss the trails, but at least my neighborhood is pleasant to walk in.  Great views, especially if I head uphill.  Tempers are short, though, including my own.  I usually write this weekly blog fairly early on Mondays, but just couldn’t get centered enough today to put any words together.  I am still not very centered, but am writing anyway.  Does it have to make sense?  Does anything make sense these days?  I am scared and grumpy and am trying to cut myself some slack about it, and trying, not always effectively, to be generous with other stressed and grumpy people, especially on-line.  We will get through this.  I have to keep that hope alive, a flame that at least still flickers even if it isn’t burning very bright right now.

I lost some more weight this week again.  Who cares?  Maybe I still do.  Paying attention to my body and its needs seems even more important just now as we hunker down and try to survive as best we can.

Love to all of you who might read this.  We are in it all together, that much, at least, is very clear.

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 78875 steps last week for 32 miles.   I ate approximately 10479 calories and burned 14074 for a deficit of 3595. My average weight this week is down 1.7  pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 168.2.

Daily Bread #102

90052149_10220661029583211_817323398731399168_n

As we hunker down and avoid crowds, attend virtual church services, stock up on essentials, cancel appointments and social engagements, pretty much the only place to go is the great outdoors.  It has been raining off and on this week, but we have still managed a few fairly long hikes.  At home there is the internet, reading and playing cards.  This poem, by the Rev. Lyn Unger is helping me cope:

Pandemic

What if you thought of it

as the Jews consider the Sabbath—

the most sacred of times?

Cease from travel.

Cease from buying and selling.

Give up, just for now,

on trying to make the world

different than it is.

Sing. Pray. Touch only those

to whom you commit your life.

Center down.

And when your body has become still,

reach out with your heart.

Know that we are connected

in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.

(You could hardly deny it now.)

Know that our lives

are in one another’s hands.

(Surely, that has come clear.)

Do not reach out your hands.

Reach out your heart.

Reach out your words.

Reach out all the tendrils

of compassion that move, invisibly,

where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love–

for better or for worse,

in sickness and in health,

so long as we all shall live.

–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20

 

I wrote one this week as well.

When Fear Comes

When fear comes knocking

I never know

If I should answer

Or hide somewhere inside.

Maybe it won’t know

That I am here.

Maybe it will go away

If I leave it standing

At the door.

 

But fear is just a

Messenger, a warning.

Not a harbinger

Of what must be.

Listen, Fear,

I hear you.

I’ll be as careful as I can

And I thank you

For your time.

Go away now.

I need courage more

Just now.

Send some over, please.

Last week, in group, likely our last in-person meeting for the duration, we talked about self-control.  I ran across this article which seemed timely.

The Myth of Self-Control

It had some useful insights I think.  This is one:

“People who are good at self-control … seem to be structuring their lives in a way to avoid having to make a self-control decision in the first place,” Galla tells me. And structuring your life is a skill. People who do the same activity — like running or meditating — at the same time each day have an easier time accomplishing their goals, he says. Not because of their willpower, but because the routine makes it easier.”

Read the whole article, but if this current cloud has a silver lining, our lives are all becoming much more structured as our options become increasingly limited.  Maybe that is why my weight is down again this week without really trying.

Stay well, everyone.  We are in this together. The whole wide world is in this.

“Promise this world your love–

for better or for worse,

in sickness and in health,

so long as we all shall live.”

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 79153 steps last week for 32 miles.   I ate approximately 10388 calories and burned 14115 for a deficit of 3727. My average weight this week is down 1.6  pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 166.5.