Monday, July 28, 2008


Okay, so I've been on hiatus. I'd like to say it was because I was so busy tending to myself and getting down to the business of taking better care of myself, but you all probably know me better than that. I am at "status quo" regarding the dieting, exercise and overall healthy focus. I haven't gained, and I haven't lost. I've exercised just a little. I didn't hit my goal of losing 20 lbs by the wedding on August 18th, but I WILL get on target to lose the 10% of body weight that was the family challenge. I am switching doctor's for my diabetes and have an appointment on August 18, my hope is that this newer, younger doc will suggest some newer, tighter controls and jumpstart me on maintaining even better control of my blood sugars.

Vickie, on the other hand, has taken control over her life and has been pushing herself away from the table, making herself walk every day and has dropped over 10 lbs this summer. Her initial goal was 20 by the wedding, she's halfway there and now she's talking about 20 by end of the year. She'll make it. Her whole attitude and outlook is good right now. Here is a recent picture snapped at the lake, showing off some nice curves. Speaking of Vic, she's having an incredibly good summer. She volunteered at the OPS summer school program for deaf kids and has set a new professional goal to become a teacher of the deaf. She spent a week in driver's ed and a week at camp. She also has painted and set up her new basement, teen hangout room this summer. In the five months she's been living in our house full-time, we've all begun to adjust and appreciate the changes.

Michael continues to eat a strict, celiac diet and is dropping pounds slowly from the cutback primarily of the carbs he can no longer tolerate. His bloodwork for diabetes improved dramatically with the weight loss and new diet. I have adjusted my cooking and baking and find more outlets for gluten free products all the time. sells gluten free products in bulk and oddly enough, the Mound City Foods in Mound City, MO carries gluten free products much cheaper than any store here in Omaha. I stocked up on gf pasta on our last trip to the lake. Gotta love the small town attitude of taking care of its own, obviously someone in Mound City has celiacs disease and so the local grocery is carrying those products. They even had a gf hamburger helper type meal. Who knew?

One of our friends recently had a lap band procedure. She's lost over 30 lbs since the middle of June and is looking tremendous. She is happy with the weight loss, but she struggles in feeling deprived of eating. She describes it as not really hungry, but wanting to eat,missing it. I had lunch with our cousin, who's had bariatric bypass surgery and has kept her weight off for the past 8 years. I think about both of these procedures and wonder if this would be a route I should consider. Both procedures require a dramatic change of lifestyle and both produce results of weightloss and overall better health. On the other hand, I know if I really put my mind to it, I have and can lose weight on my own. To quote my sister, maybe "the bug (to lose weight) just hasn't hit me yet!" I wonder what it would be like to never have to think about weight, diet, eating, diabetes, etc. I think my thinking about it so much has led to a shutdown and state of denial. I keep telling myself recently - "as soon as the wedding is over . . ." In October I will turn 45, I have spent the first half of my forties slowly gaining weight since the birth of my son and subsequent pregnancies, perhaps I should shift my focus more long-term, and concentrate on the next half slowly losing the weight once and for all. Maybe the short-term goals are too easy to miss. I am going to "perk" this thought a little bit.

On another note, I attended a funeral a week ago of a former neighbor from our little town of Eagle, NE. A woman who lived to be 84 years old and died in her sleep one morning. She was one of those rare individuals who defined an entire community. The school cook for 41 years, she fed generations of kids from that little town. At her funeral, I sat behind some childhood friends, now grown adults, who openly wept as stories were shared of her chili, cinnamon rolls and homemade sloppy joe buns. What is it about the the school cook that touched us all? Was it the nourishment we needed and took for granted that made us all give up our day to pay our last respects to the cook? Was it our need to return to the innocence of growing up in small town Nebraska, where we could race on our ten speeds, play in the park all night and everyone's Mom had authority to tell you to run on home? I took Marc with me to the funeral, not because I wanted to expose him to the sadness that was present, but mainly because I wanted him to experience a glimpse of my childhood, the town in which I grew up and meet some of the people who influenced and shaped me. My sister's, brother and I took Marc and the triplets swimming in Eagle pool, where we worked our way through college as lifeguards and managers and where our summer memories divide between "summers before the pool was built" and "summers after the pool." Hearing Bennie and the Jets by Elton John or Love Will Keep us Together by the Captain and Tenille takes me back to the first pool summer of 1975. I needed Marc to have that experience and the death of our dear old friend gave me the opportunity to share this piece of me with my son. Marc will start Kindergarten on August 13, five days after serving as the ring bearer in his sister's wedding. I wonder what factor Marc will use to divide his summer memories? For me, I will now refer to this summer as the year I took Marc swimming in the pool of my childhood.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

July Update

So far I've lost about 28 of the 40 lbs. that I gained during my last pregnancy. I'm pretty much on track with the weight loss though I know that it may take me longer this time because of the extra 10 lbs. that I gained. Instead of focusing on the scale, I pulled out my pre-pregnancy shorts and I try them on each week, noting how much further I can get them on.

I'm finding that I need to walk daily. I take James and Lizzie out each morning in my double jogging stroller, and we spend 45 minutes hitting all the hills in our neighborhood. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I push myself to walk faster up the hills. We've seen a lot of wildlife on our walks, including a mama deer and her two baby fawns. When fall comes and my oldest is in school, we may have to do our walks in the afternoon. I also hope to make time to do a longer walk weekly at our local wildlife refuge.

I've been reading a wonderful book called Nourishing Traditions and incorporating some of the suggestions into my food preparations. The great thing about preparing food from scratch with little guys around is that they want to be involved in the food preparation. From picking the vegetables in our garden to washing and preparing them for freezing, my four year old is my biggest helper. When I make bread in the bread machine, my Littles want to put the ingredients in and then of course, they can't wait to taste the fresh bread.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Retreat and Rejuventate

My weekend was phenomenal. I attended a Prayer Retreat at the St. Charles Center in Moss Bluff, Louisiana, and instead of feeding my body, I spent time feeding my soul. The photo that I'm including is the only one I took, and it came out looking like my guardian angel was hovering around me head. Isn't it wierd?

The group of about 16 women were introduced to all kinds of prayer styles and techniques. As an ENFJ on the Myers-Briggs scale, I lean toward prayers that involve interaction of some sort like Lectio Devina or placing myself in a Bible passge and imagining what all of the people were thinking, then relating it back to my own world. The highlight and awakening experience I had this weekend was the drum prayer that we did. We were all told to remove our rings and watches and to follow the leader to the library where objects would be laid out on a carpet. We were not to speak, and we were to do whatever came naturally to us with these objects. I felt like Nancy Drew on a mystery tour.

Once we arrived in this room, laid out on the floor were drums of all shapes and shakers and tambourines of all kinds, homemade instruments and beautifully created ones. The leader quickly sat in the middle of the circle and began a drum beat on a drum that looked like it came from India or somewhere, and the beat captured us all. We picked up objects and started shaking or tapping or beating with drum sticks and making noise. The rhythms shifted and leaders emerged and the sound became gloriously loud and then soft and everything in between. We kept it going for at least thirty minutes when finally the last person put down her stick and her drum.

Afterwards we all processed what had happened for us in this drumming circle, and the reactions were all to the community feel of it and also individual experiences. I personally came to a place where I was beating a message to God, and I felt and heard him beating back a message. The dialogue was simple and very loving. I found myself smiling a lot during this exercise of the child within us all. The people who were uncomfortable with it talked of it seeming like a playground with toys they didn't want to play with anymore, and the rest of us just raved about the freeing spirit of the movements in the room. I truly felt God in our midst and have thought that something like this might be possible for ministering maybe in an old folks' home or somewhere like it. I'm going to tell my Theresian women's group about this kind of possibility.

I've come home rejuvenated in my being and soul. My body suffered a bit with the regular meals and too many choices, but I figure God is teaching me to be flexible about this kind of activity. I feel washed and refreshed and ready for more. I thought I'd just share it with all of you and hope you're finding your own pathways. God bless you all.... Linda