Tag Archives: dieting

5 Friday Faves – Big Birthdays, Long Life, Words on Inauguration Day, the Life and Wisdom of Hank Aaron, and Bonuses Make 5

Fastest week ever. Here I am late again for Friday Faves, but they have to be posted. It was a beautiful and amazing week for this woman here. Hope you will find something through which you are encouraged or amused. Happy week ahead!

1) Big Birthdays – I had a big birthday this week. Big. One of those with a 0 in the 1’s place. Another year, it would have been celebrated by a beach somewhere. With a dinner in a nice restaurant or a movie out with Dave and a family-size buttered popcorn. COVID. So…my kids planned a birthday lunch for me, and that would have been sweet enough. Coming so close after Christmas, I just couldn’t come up with any gift ideas. It was going to be ok…just being thankful for life and with my little family. Well…this birthday turned into a one-day-after-another, full of surprises huge hurrah!! Dear friends and neighbors showed up in so many sweet ways. In so many humbling and satisfying ways. That birthday joy was spread through a full week. Wow! So many thanks to you who knew this was going to be a bit bewildering for me. Can we do this again next year?!

2) Long Life – During my younger years, the Bible verses promising long life to those who honored their parents were easy to grab hold of. My parents were easy to honor. It just wasn’t much work for me. In fact, it was a joy.

Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
 – Deuteronomy 5:16

Here’s to long life! And wonderful parents! Especially after one of those “big” birthdays.

3) Words on Inauguration Day –  Every four years, this large day is observed in the United States of America. The peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next (after a two-term presidency or if the incumbent doesn’t win the second term). There are speeches, songs, and oaths. Many highlights. The most special for me? The 22 y/o poet laureate Amanda Gorman asked to recite one of her poems for President Biden…as the rest of the world listens.

Below is just a bit of her poem. Click on the video for the whole.

“We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace
And the norms and notions
of what just is
Isn’t always just-ice
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it
Somehow we do it
Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn’t broken
but simply unfinished.”

‘Not Broken But Simply Unfinished’: Poet Amanda Gorman Calls for a Better America – Camila Domonoske – NPR

Caleb McDaniel – What Is America? Is It a Place? Is It a People? Is It an Idea?

4) The Life and Wisdom of Hank Aaron – Baseball great Henry “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron died this week. He was a great athlete and a great man. my Dad loved the Atlanta Braves…so much so that whenever they lost in the playoffs, the World Series no longer had interest for him. Hank Aaron spent most of his baseball career with the Atlanta Braves, and I grew up watching him and hearing Dad talk about him.

I should have known, but didn’t, how much racism Hank Aaron endured. Especially as he edged closer to beating the homerun record of national hero Babe Ruth. Aaron could bring homeruns…Photo Credit: Hank Aaron, AZ Quotes

…all day long. Hammerin’ Hank. He was a champion and a man with deep character. How is one’s character forged? With Hank Aaron, he probably learned it from a mom and dad, but he also unfortunately learned it through suffering. [“…suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”Romans 5:3-5]

I thank God for Hank Aaron – for enduring the racism of that era without bowing to bitterness. He was a shining light to so many.

Please find below some of what Hank Aaron said about life and baseball:

“In playing ball, and in life, a person occasionally gets the opportunity to do something great. When that time comes, only two things matter: being prepared to seize the moment and having the courage to take your best swing.”

“I need to depend on Someone who is bigger, stronger and wiser than I am. I don’t do it on my own. God is my strength. He gave me a good body and some talent and the freedom to develop it. He helps me when things go wrong. He forgives me when I fall on my face. He lights the way.”

“What you do with your life and how you do it is not only a reflection on you, but on your family and all of those institutions that have helped to make you who you are.”

“I am very proud to be an American. This country has so much potential, I’d just like to see things better, or whatever, and I think it will be.”

“The way I see it, it’s a great thing to be the man who hit the most home runs, but it’s a greater thing to be the man who did the most with the home runs he hit. So as long as there’s a chance that maybe I can hammer out a little justice now and then, or a little opportunity here and there, I intend to do as I always have — keep swinging.”

Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream (1995 film)

YouTube Video – Vin Scully Calls Hank Aaron’s Historic 715th Home Run

5) Bonuses Make 5 – The week flew by. Any of the following could have been #5, but you can choose. I could not.

I dream a world where man
No other man will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom’s way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black or white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free,
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the needs of all mankind-
Of such I dream, my world! – Langston Hughes
“A high school class learning about the Salem Witch Trials, and their teacher told them they were going to play a game.
“I’m going to come around and whisper to each of you whether you’re a witch or a regular person. Your goal is to build the largest group possible that does NOT have a witch in it. At the end, any group found to include a witch gets a failing grade.”
The teens dove into grilling each other. One fairly large group formed, but most of the students broke into small, exclusive groups, turning away anyone they thought gave off even a hint of guilt.
“Okay,” the teacher said. “You’ve got your groups. Time to find out which ones fail. All witches, please raise your hands.”
No one raised a hand.
The kids were confused and told him he’d messed up the game.
“Did I? Was anyone in Salem an actual witch or did everyone just believe what they’d been told?”
And that is how you teach kids how easy it is to divide a community. Some adults can learn a bit about this too.”

The F** Word, Fat-phobia, and an Obesity Task Force – 3 Small Stories

Blog - incourage.me - Fat PhobiaFor You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You… – Psalm 139:13-15

Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:18-20

The F** Word – After church one Sunday years ago, while living in Morocco, we gathered for lunch with other American friends. It’s funny how we talk about eating while we eat. I don’t remember the subject of that conversation, but we all remember a particular humorous miscommunication. For some reason forgotten now, I said, “We don’t allow the F** word to be said in our home.” Another parent of teenagers said rapid-fire, “Well, I should hope not!” – thinking I was referring to the four-letter F-word. Then one of our teens said, “She means the word ‘fat'”.

I have struggled with my weight all my life. Part of it probably goes back to our Scottish heritage – not all of whom are stocky, I’m sure, but definitely our family was, for generations back. Part of it also is a propensity for filling whatever sense of emptiness (or lacking) I had at the moment with food. That being said, I don’t mind the culture of celebrating with food, either. There’s just no getting away from food, really, and who wants to? Using food properly is a challenge, and one I have taken on, with varying degrees of success (keep reading).

Fat-Phobia – Having had issues with food and experiencing “fat-shaming” from an early age, I did not want that for my children. However, I did NOT want them to be fat-phobic either. I did not want them to define themselves or others as desirable or not, just based on size or body type. We didn’t use that language.

However, knowing my own struggle with food, I didn’t want to pass that struggle to them, as much as was possible. When they were young children, we could help with their food choices and portions. As they moved through puberty with all its body change freak-outs, we operated from the God-inspired premise that they were “fearfully and wonderfully made”. Can’t say how successful we were, but we tried. Now young adults, their choices are their own. I never know what to cook for them, because there is that fear of “fat” lurking about, even though they are all gorgeous healthy young people. [Photo insert would usually happen here, but better not.]

Obesity Task Force – Years before marriage and children, during a time of major career investment, I was invited to be part of an obesity task force. We were all affiliated with Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia – a huge inner city medical center. Blog - Fat Phobia - wabeThe task force consisted of internal medicine docs, endocrinology researchers, nurses, and dieticians. We met regularly for several weeks, after work for dinner, to tackle the problem of obesity in our urban poor patient population. We all gained weight. One of our members was Italian, in the US for an endocrinology fellowship. He made the most amazing fettuccine carbonara I have ever tasted (recipe below).

Back to the subject: what we discovered on that task force is that obesity is not easily defined, nor its causative agents as easily identified as we all previously thought. Finally, we also realized how inadequate and unrealistic our interventions had been and we weren’t sure what we could do better. It’s too easy to judge the obese person who has dangerously high blood pressure and continues to eat in ways that will shorten his/her life. However, it is much harder to help someone change habits, their history of coping, and social culture related to food. Much harder.

What are the morals to these stories?

1) Fat shouldn’t be a bad word. Eating disorders and disorderly eating are part of our Western culture (for sure, if not globally). We do not help by harming – whether it’s another person or ourselves. Poor nutrition, leading to morbid obesity or thinness, is definitely a struggle for us as a culture. However, the trend in the US of being so food-conscious and food-controlling is surely not healthy. Or as socially conscious as we think. Something to think about. For each of us…not just for health’s sake, but for the sake of our community and world. The world can’t afford to eat the way we do – either to excess or for health. How can we simplify our diet and still enjoy the great good that food brings?

2) Food is meant to be shared. That brief season on the task force was so fascinating; we learned as much from eating together as talking together. Our family table, with the children growing up, sharing food with each other and lots of company, was a time I will always cherish. Today, in these times, sharing food is a bit more challenging, with busy schedules, and food-related issues (allergies and preferences), but I am determined to stay in the game. I think we actually eat less when we eat together. The company fills those empty places as much as the food does.Blog - Fat Phobia - MakeLaughterYourChocolate (2)

3) Face the reality of obesity without shaming or judging – yourself or others. For those of us who struggle with our weight, I am learning that it is possible to have some victory in that area, without dieting (notice that word has “die” in it). That doesn’t mean that I am thin (“the tyranny of thinness” is a subject for another time). My blood pressure is good, and I am not on any medications right now, but being thin is not the goal. Living healthy is the goal. The wee bit my husband and I try to do to live healthy is this: work hard, do some regular exercise, rest/sleep enough, try to limit salt and “white” carbs (sugar and white flour/rice/pasta/potatoes), avoid nighttime eating, battle a sedentary lifestyle (that comes with all the “screens” in our lives), nurture your sense of humor, practice gratefulness and forgiveness, find ways to serve people, spend time in community, and spend time with God.

I’ll close with what Jesus said about food:

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” – John 4:34

From other passages in Scripture, Jesus enjoyed eating with others, but He lived also with that greater purpose. I want to be like Him.

Italian Grandmother’s Recipe for Fettuccine Carbonara

Chipsy – Egypt’s snack-food giant – A Time to Munch – interesting article about a food industry in Egypt that has over the last 30 years affected a culture – “the Chipsy Generation”

Photo Credits: www.incourage.me and www.aholyexperience.com and image of Grady Memorial Hospital