Food File: August 29 2018

Target Audience: Evangelical Christians, Overweight People

I haven’t updated this file in quite some time. When I created it, I had planned on doing weekly updates about food, my weight, and my health overall. In my defense, I have Attention Deficit Disorder and I rarely do things consistently, even those things that I enjoy doing. That being said, a week ago Saturday I started a new chapter in my weight journey. I rejoined Weight Watchers for perhaps the eighth or ninth time in 30 years. I tipped the scale at 368.7 pounds. I am 5’7″.

This summer has not been kind to me in a few ways. I live in southern Ontario, in Canada, and we have had one of the hottest summers I can remember. It isn’t so much the heat as it is the humidity that bothers me. I am much more acclimated to cold weather than to hot weather. When the temperature hovers around 40C, that is too hot for me and I find myself confined to my air conditioned apartment. I have a bachelor’s apartment in a senior’s building, which has a number of wonderful advantages for me. Unfortunately, in hot weather, I can’t get out much and exercise is extremely limited. So while I wanted to start walking the streets this summer, the weather was simply too hot, even in the evenings. 

The sad reality about walking is that I have been inactive for so long I can barely walk from my apartment to my truck. Even walking around food stores is stressful and exhausting. Most of the time I shop at Costco, Walmart, or Loblaws, not because they have the best deals or are the closest to me, but because they have scooters that I can drive around the store and I don’t have to stand in line. At this point, it is more the standing in line that is the issue more than the walking. There are days when I can do the walking but I just can’t stand in line. 

There are other problems as well. Moving itself is sometimes a battle. From having to sit on a shower stool to take a shower to sitting in the kitchen while I prepare food, I have lost much of my physical stamina that I had even three or four years ago. I have arthritis, and that can be debilitating for anyone, even people who are not obese or even overweight, but I can’t use arthritis as an excuse most days. 

I attend a large church and there are many volunteer opportunities, but most of them are only open to people who are physically fit, not because the church discriminates, but because the work can only be done if a person is in reasonable physical condition. I finally reached the point that I want to do more at my church, but in order to do more I have to be able to do more. 

As I said above, I have tried Weight Watchers in the past. I have also tried Overeaters Anonymous, high protein/low carb diets,, My Fitness Pal, among other diet schemes that I came up with on my own. All of them are good programs and many people have lost weight on all of the programs I mentioned above. Recently, at a Celebrate Recovery Step Study meeting we talked about accountability. As I drove home from the meeting I realized that I had always tried to lose weight on my own. I thought that stepping on the scale each week at Weight Watchers was my moment of accountability. For some it might be, but for me, it was too easy to rationalize why I gained weight or maintained when I should have lost weight. I needed people to hold me accountable, but not in a judgmental or negative way. I have enough shame, guilt and remorse over being overweight to last the rest of my life. No one has to add to it. 

What I needed was a group of people, a small group of people, who I saw on a regular basis, people who are part of my life, preferably from my church, who would ask me about the past week, did I lose weight, what challenges am I having, how can they pray for me, how can they encourage me. I am still trying to build that small group of people who can positively hold me accountable on a weekly basis and support me when times get tough. 

The tough times are when I experience emotional upheaval in my life, when I am depressed or discouraged, lonely, or feel isolated from the people at my church. Right now all small groups are on hiatus until the middle of September. Small groups are a critical emotional and psychological anchor for me, as well as being an important anchor spiritually. Three weeks may not seem like a long time to some and this is one of the busiest times of the year for people with kids, but I still need a small group. So, I suggested meeting for coffee at a local coffee shop with a few people from my Wednesday night Bible study. Tonight will be the first of three meetings until our regular Wednesday night group resumes in September.

I have started a journey with Weight Watchers that could last two years to lose the roughly 200 pounds to get to my goal weight. Round One ends in February 2019 and I hope to lose between 40 and 60 pounds in that time. I have done it in the past, but then I was younger in the past and more capable physically. 

I will try to post weekly if nothing else to recount my previous week and update my weight loss. So far, I have lost 2.6 pounds, and that was with minimal exercise.


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