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My church helps me lose weight

Saturday, December 18, 2010

This morning I joined in for an hour as a family from our church moved a block & a half, from a rental to a two-flat they have bought with another family. My church is famous for (or maybe I should just say justifiably proud of) its moving prowess. We're a neighborhood-focused church, & more than half of the congregation has moved within a square mile of each other to build community & serve our neighborhood. Folks have developed a "bucket brigade" style of moving boxes, lining up & passing them from one to the other with instructions on where they go. Moves are big social occasions.

So this morning I got 45 solid minutes of cardio exercise that was also upper-body strength training as I passed boxes--& admired the still-in-process renovation of this spacious old house & talked & laughed with friends. If I hadn't had a big freelance project waiting for me at home, I would have stayed the whole day--lunch is being provided.

So you see how the church is helping me with weight loss. Of course at other times--such as our neighborhood Christmas caroling tomorrow afternoon, after which we share cookies & hot chocolate, & our monthly potluck lunches after the Sunday morning service, where the buffet tables are laden with yummy foods from around the world--it doesn't help so much. Self-discipline is still required.

I love my church.

And last week I lost 1.4 lbs, despite attending two holiday parties with fabulous food & drinks. Yay!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CZARINA_TV 12/18/2010 9:43PM

    That sounds amazing -- you have a real community going there!

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 12/18/2010 6:14PM

    WTG! emoticon emoticon

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JMCADE 12/18/2010 6:02PM

    Too great for both you and the beneficiaries of the church's goodness.

Congrats on your weight loss also. You are doing so extremely well.

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CTEMPLE 12/18/2010 5:37PM


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SHANSHE 12/18/2010 2:09PM

    AMAZING that your church does that and great loss, great self-control there!

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DEPAULGIRL09 12/18/2010 12:59PM

    Loved hearing about how your church helps people. Our church handed out presents from the Giving Tree today. It's nice to see a smile on people's faces when they see others genuinely care. Keep doing the work you're doing!

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ZUMBAWITHTASHA 12/18/2010 12:46PM


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DAWNDMOORE40 12/18/2010 12:31PM

    I am glad to see there are still churches out there that believe that the people are important and that helping each other is still what this world should be about! I have seen many churches fall apart because of division. Oh and hey it can't hurt that you are loosing weight in the process! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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New restrictions coming up

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Well, as of January 2, 2011, I will have some unforeseen help on my weight-loss journey. For nine months I won't be able to drink any alcohol! I'm not a heavy drinker now by any means, but I like to have a beer, a glass of wine, or a mixed drink a few times a week. Even that very moderate imbibing will not be allowed.

Here's the deal: At the age of 10, back in the US after spending some years with my family in southern Colombia, I had a positive TB skin test. It was followed up by a chest x-ray, which showed no problems. I didn't have an active case & never had; they explained that I had the organism walled off somewhere in my system, though, & at some point it could flare up. They told us there was no medication to take, that I should just pay attention if I ever had lung problems & should get an occasional lung x-ray to make sure things were OK.

This past summer I felt a weird hard node on the back of my left calf. It was excised, & the lab report said it showed inflammation. The diagnosis was very iffy--it might be a sign of lupus or another autoimmune disease (lab tests nixed that, thank God), it might be something ultimately unidentifiable, OR it might be a sign of a TB flareup.

I had a chest x-ray; then I had a chest MRI, which showed one tiny 3mm UNcalcified node in one lung, which just might be a touch of active TB; then they took my blood; then I had to spit in a cup first thing in the morning 3 days in a row & drop it off at the lab on my way to work. Everything came up negative, which is a good thing because now I have to take just one strong drug instead of a combination of them.

This drug is hard on the liver, which is why I won't be able to drink during the next 9 months. The tropical disease specialist was the one who suggested that I wait to start till January 2, after the main holiday festivities are over.

In any case, since I'm doing the 5% Challenge & tracking/limiting my food, alcohol, as empty calories, doesn't fit very often these days. And it happens that this drug often causes a bit of weight loss--good timing!

But I did have room in today's calorie totals, & I'm not taking the drug yet, so after being at the doctor's today I came home & made a sandwich & drank a beer! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTEMPLE 12/17/2010 1:40AM

    Dear Ruthie glad they discovered it and something can be done having to avoid alcohol is a blessing in disguise, we lose the will to be careful with food when we drink and as we get older us females, tolerate it less and less.

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JMCADE 12/17/2010 12:47AM

    It is good to know that you were tracking and watching for this flre up so it could be handled right away. I am glad to hear that there won't be much change to your lifestyle.

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SASSACAIA 12/16/2010 10:22PM

    Oh, wow, Ruth, this sounds rough, but I'm glad to hear you're being proactive about it! How do the drugs make you feel? Not drinking isn't the worst thing... you might actually benefit from that as well! I'm glad you're taking care of yourself!


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CZARINA_TV 12/16/2010 9:36PM

    Sorry to hear that you have TB, but I'm glad to see that you're in good hands.

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Inching down

Thursday, December 09, 2010

It feels so good to diminish into a "decade"--the 160s--that I hadn't seen since last April, according to my weight report.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SASSACAIA 12/16/2010 10:23PM

    Yay! Congrats and good for you!!

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RUTHXG 12/9/2010 11:24PM

    Thanks for all the cheers, people! You make me feel like I MUST maintain this loss & keep the momentum--don't want to let you down!


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SHANSHE 12/9/2010 9:23PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon sooo happy for you!

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BILLB000 12/9/2010 9:07PM

    The numbers speak volumes. Glad you are feeling good about it. You deserve. to. It is an accomplishment.

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JMCADE 12/9/2010 4:01PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
These and all my congrats. Keep up the good work!!

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SASSACAIA 12/9/2010 1:27PM

    Excellent job!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 12/9/2010 1:01PM

    emoticon emoticon!

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SAM910 12/9/2010 12:40PM


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Memorable day

Thursday, December 09, 2010

It's way past my bedtime, but I've decided to take tomorrow as a rest day from exercise & to drive to work, so I won't need to get up at the usual hour. And I want to write about today (actually yesterday now, as it's just past midnight).

Wednesdays are my work-from-home days, so I let myself wake up naturally with no alarm, & last night I got nearly 9 hours of sleep--delicious. Then I did 40 minutes of challenging exercise plus some stretching. I did some laundry & a bit of work, expecting to get the bulk of it done after returning from therapy in the early afternoon.

I told my therapist about how I had been stewing yesterday over my husband's most egregious financial abuse in past years, & how today (maybe because exercise helps our brains to work better!) I got an idea of how our divorce settlement could incorporate a way for him to make that right. It would be healing for me, & I think also for him, because I believe his blustering hypersensitivity & rage were efforts to mask how bad he felt about not having work, & especially about the fact that I had to pay one particular set of expenses that he really should have taken responsibility for. (I should have put my foot down & refused, but I found it very hard to tell him no.) It was good to talk this through with the therapist.

Then I headed outside--& my car, parked at the curb, had a flat tire! The tires were new this past summer, though, & I had bought "full coverage" on them. Long story short, the tire was repaired & I got the car's oil changed & new wipers put on as well. And while I waited, I drank 3 cups of water--my fellow Starfish will be glad of that. emoticon I've gotten plenty of fluids throughout the day--always a good thing.

The flat tire meant that I will need to count the day as vacation time--I had lost the whole afternoon. But it also meant that I could go to Trader Joe's & shop for groceries & Christmas treats for friends, & then to the hardware store, where I got pots for some of my herbs plus a huge bag of ice melt for our condo building.

My Christmas present to myself is a baker's rack-style set of shelves (on its way from that I'm going to install in front of the south-facing windows in the little back room, to hold the herbs as well as the other plants I brought in from the back porch. I'd love to keep the herbs alive through the winter--I hope this will allow them to get the light they need.

I have spent the evening working on my favorite ongoing freelance project, editing poems, stories, and creative nonfiction for a stellar literary magazine.

One more thing: it made me very happy that I could pay cash for the road service & the oil change & wipers, & for everything else I bought today, & I have paid extra on credit cards (which I'm doing every month now) & will still have enough to pay cash for all my Christmas presents. This is SO DIFFERENT from the way life was when my husband was around.

And now I'm off to bed, very pleased with myself & very grateful.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CZARINA_TV 12/10/2010 1:23PM

    I had a big revelation when I was out for a long walk the other day -- funny how just being alone with yourself brings these things up. I love seeing how you've landed on your own two feet! It sounds like everything's going well, even when you hit bumps in the road...

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CTEMPLE 12/9/2010 2:39AM

    Dear Ruthie ain't single life sweet sometimes! The pity is how long it takes us to separate from the moment we make the decision. We expect change and it's hard to give upon dreams of a a life together.
I had something similar, I lived with an out of work actor that didn't make any efforts to find work ( he felt women owed him because his mother abandoned him and he went to live with his granny) and paid for a lot of his son's bills, what for? once we separated the son relationship disappeared from my life. This went on for 2 years and then I made the decision to split but it took me another 2 years and it was the best decision I made, although I would have liked to do it quicker. I still loved him and so that delayed things.
Lived many years on my own in between relationships and only at 45 matured enough to find my equal, emotionally and financially. Lessons learned.

What an altogether good day you had, some problems ( the flat tire) are a blessing in disguise.

Comment edited on: 12/9/2010 2:40:28 AM

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5% Challenge assignment: What do I want to change, & why?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

* How do you want to look?
Not skinny, not perfect (which is impossible), but slim & healthy. I want all of my size 10 & 12 clothes to fit me comfortably or loosely. I want my arms to be more toned.

* How do you want to feel?
I want to feel like myself--alive, light, active, curious, contemplative. I want to have energy & to sleep well consistently. I want to be stronger & enjoy being able to carry heavy things as needed!

* What things will you be able to do in the future with a slimmer healthier body?
--- Climbing more flights of stairs quickly without becoming short of breath.
--- Hiking uphill without undue strain (living in Illinois, I don't get many chances to do this, but when vacationing in California & elsewhere I do)
--- Rearranging furniture more easily

My soon-to-be-ex-husband is 7 years younger than me but looks older because he hasn't taken care of his body. He overeats & doesn't exercise much & smokes off & on. When we used to go places together on foot, he would complain because I always wanted to walk quickly--I love walking so much! And nowadays I'm in touch with an old friend, a guy who is 3-4 years older than me (I'm 56), & he is already talking about himself as OLD! He is quite overweight & has been for years. I'm sure if we take a walk together next time he visits the US, he too will not be able to go at my pace.

I'm not interested in denying my age, but I don't want to be that kind of older person! Being around these guys & noticing how they're just giving in to lethargy & not challenging themselves physically has helped motivate me. Because of my lifestyle, I expect to have a long life--& I want to keep my body awake & resilient & strong just as I want to keep my mind alert & functioning well. That's why I'm aiming to shed 5% of my current weight in the next couple of months!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CZARINA_TV 12/5/2010 10:07AM

    Great entry! I love seeing your new pics!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 12/4/2010 6:20PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SHANSHE 12/4/2010 1:53PM

    I am glad to hear how you refuse to give in and want to be as healthy as possible! I bet even I could not keep up with you walking, LOL! However, I am improving slowly but surely!

P.S. LOVING the new pics on your page!

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BILLB000 12/4/2010 11:36AM

    " into lethargy" speaks volumes. I think some for many people the giving into lethargy physically is like a metaphor for the rest of one's life choices. There is clearly a point in life in which one chooses to continuously be born or deal with decline. Great blog.

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CTEMPLE 12/3/2010 7:36PM

And lovelky new pics
Claudia emoticon

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