I Think Pope Francis is Channeling My Grandmother

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I think Pope Francis is channeling my grandmother. 

“Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry,” he said yesterday.

“Clean your plate,” my grandmother told me, “think of those that do without.”

I am not, as some people do, blaming these injunctions to eat what I put on my plate for my weight problem. I know what causes that, and cleaning my plate has nothing to do with it. However, I did get a wee bit of the giggles when I first read Pope Francis’ comments.

Then I sobered up.

He’s right, you know.

Hoarding

We buy too much stuff. Not just food, but all sorts of stuff. I know perfectly healthy people who spend their days shopping. They are using the precious hours and minutes of their time in this life wandering up and down store aisles, looking at things they don’t need in order to buy and then not use them.

I have a relative who used to show up at my house with sacks of uneaten food every time she cleaned out her refrigerator. It was, most of it, half-spoiled, but she would bring it to me and expect me to take it. The question of why she bought it in the first place was never asked, much less answered.

How do we turn this useless excess that burdens our lives with too much weight, too many things and an awful, aching hunger for more stuff we don’t need into something that is useful and productive in this world? What is the mechanism for channeling our excess to those who are wracked by hunger and illness; who live without the adequate shelter or sanitary conditions?

Where is the connection between my garbage disposal and their empty bellies?

WorldHunger

According to an article in NewsMaxWorld, “about 1.3 billion metric tons of food, or one third of what is produced for human consumption, gets lost or wasted very year.”

The article goes on with the usual guilt statistics about the enormous portions served in restaurants, etc. But making people feel guilty doesn’t help. What we need is a means and a method for distributing food so that no one goes hungry. According to the United Nations, 870 million people suffer from hunger, while 2 billion suffer from at least some nutritional deficiency.

That’s about one third of the human race, which, if all these statistics are accurate, is roughly equivalent to the portion of food that is wasted.

I can not scrape the food off my plate and into the hungry mouths of the world. I have to put it down the garbage disposal. I can — and should, for my own sake — buy less. But even that would not get the food to those who need it.

Hunger kills

It takes more than a curb on wastefulness among the well-fed to fix this problem. It requires a will and a determination to do it. 

We’ve got plenty of food. We’re just not getting it to the people who don’t have any.

What would you do to end world hunger, if you were, say, a delegate to the United Nations?

Less of Me: The Diet, Week Three

Gimpy the Foot

I skipped posting about The Diet last week. The only thing I could’ve said was “Ouch!”

I took a fall about a week ago. Broke my foot. Had surgery. Now, I’m wheelchair-bound for 8 or 9 weeks and then back to surgery. After that, it’s rehab for me and my gimpy foot. The doc says it will be about 5 months before my battered foot and I are healed and fully well again.

Nothing I had planned in terms of bettering my health — except, possibly, getting 8 hours sleep — seems do-able right now.

I never knew how much I liked my feet until I lost the use of one of them. They were just sort of there, at the end of my legs, doing their job. I didn’t think they were beautiful, but now I know that two uncomplaining feet are among the most beautiful things in the world.  I am a newly minted feet fan. Two of them. In working order. That’s better than chocolate.

I honestly think that if I wasn’t so overweight I might not have injured myself so badly. That’s my theory at least. My husband said, “How did you smash it like that?” and I told him, “I guess I dropped my whole weight on it.”

The nurse at the hospital told me to stop doing that to myself, that things just happen. Said it as they were wheeling me into surgery, “Honey you stop doin’ that to yourself. Things just happen. Don’t tell yourself stuff like that.”

That was nice of her, but I still think that the amount of weight your bring down on your bones is bound to affect how much torque you put them through. Just guessing. But it does seem logical.

I’m not talking about beating myself up here. If my love affair with junk food and the resulting heft I brought to the fall made the injury worse, then I’m the one who’s paying the price. My overeating. My injury. My payment.

But I have come to the conclusion that this is a price I don’t want to pay again. There’s no doubt that my weight has made things tougher on my husband and kids as they’ve had to shove my wheelchair around. I also know that it makes it harder for me to paddle along with the wheelchair myself.

All this gives seeing Less of Me a whole other level of incentive.

There are real limits to what I can do now. My first job is to take care of my sore baby and get well enough to be more active. But I’m already thinking ahead to the days when I’m quasi mobile and can at least do some things.

We have a women’s health spa/workout place not far from our house called Mademoiselle Ladies Fitness. They have the full set up of weight machines, ellipticals, bikes and pool. But what I’m aiming for at first are the passive work-out tables. I have a friend who used these a few years ago because her condition wouldn’t allow her to do the more strenuous things and she says they actually do work.

The set up looks like this:

The exercises you can do with them look like this:

 

Whaddaya think? Would this work with Gimpy the Foot?

I also cracked my hip bone. Even though it is going to heal on its own with no intervention, it’s still sore. Maybe I should say, Gimpy the Leg. I dunno. All I know is that this little event has made me realize what a wonderful thing a healthy, pain-free body is. It’s also brought home how very fortunate I am that I don’t have diabetes to complicate all this, and how much I don’t want to spend any more days at the hospital being a patient.

How do I work toward the goal of a healthier me from this wheelchair? 

Ideas? Thoughts? And a little encouragement, please. Tell me what you think. 

 

Picking My Prison: Which Diet Program for Me?

I’ve got to lose weight. 

I will not tell you how much I weigh. I will admit that my blood pressure is edging up and my energy level is dropping down. It’s time to stop buying bigger clothes. Time to stop hiding from mirrors. Time to quit avoiding the scale and “forgetting” to go get those blood tests the doctor ordered.

It’s time for me to drop a pound or 50. 

The trouble is, I don’t want to. Eat less, I mean.

If you could wave that proverbial wand and painlessly shave off this bulk, I’d be all for that. But watching every single bite I eat and not eating anything I like and never feeling full sounds like a punishment we should give to the worst criminals.

I’ve considered ways to do this. I hear Weight Watchers is having a join-for-free special right now. SparkPeople costs nothing and seems to work for a lot of folks.

All these programs work. If you do them. They even work for me. If I do them. Truth told, I have no trouble losing weight. I can lose on any “program.” What I can’t do is keep it up.

These “programs” feel like whole-life straight jackets to me.  I can lose weight. All I have to do is watch every bite I eat with an obsessive exactness that often involves weighing my food and measuring it out at every meal as if I was building a bomb instead of sitting down to eat. No spontaneous bite may cross my lips.

I become both my own jailer and my own prisoner, locked in my own gastronomic maximum security prison; caught in a war I can not win because it’s between me … and me. Keeping weight off is sentencing myself to this prison for life without parole. If I relax for a day, I stop losing. If I relax for several days, I gain.

So. I have to keep tabs of every bite I eat. Every. Single. Bite. Every nibble. Every sniff and whiff of food cooking in the kitchen as I walk by. I have to write it down, tally it up and “track it.”

I also have to monitor myself keeping tabs on myself to make sure that I don’t forget to keep tabs on myself and start gaining weight again.

If that isn’t a self-made hell, what is?

I’d forget about it. Again. And buy bigger clothes. Again.

But there’s that blood pressure, creeping up, and that constant tiredness that’s become my new normal. I’m willing to be ugly for food. But am I willing to die for it?  I don’t want to stand before God and have Him thump me on the head and say, “You threw away 20 great years I gave you because of chicken fried steak?”

I need to give up avoiding mirrors and bathroom scales and pick a program. I’ve been going to “do that tomorrow” for a couple of weeks now. I’m “going to do that tomorrow” again. I’ll let you know this weekend if I do any better this week than I have in the ones before. Maybe talking to you about it will help me go ahead and take the plunge. I’m hoping it will.

Now let’s see … Weight Watchers or SparkPeople … or maybe something else … Which prison will I pick?


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