Oct 252015

Chaos in the Kitchen

My grandmother broke her hip about a month ago. She was in the hospital for a couple of weeks. She almost died, and then she didn’t. She went to rehab to get her physical strength back and maybe walk again. Then she took a down turn last weekend. Went back to the emergency room. Was in the hospital a few days and is now home with hospice care. Family from out of town is starting to come visit so they can see her while she’s still mostly alert and with-it.

She’s not eating much, so she may only have weeks, or maybe months. Or she may get her appetite back and then go on to live several more years. The way things are going right now though, it doesn’t look so good. Big sigh.

The family is neither hastening nor prolonging her life. We’re just letting God do His thing and accepting His will, whatever it may be. If it’s time for Granny to go home to be with her heavenly Father and her husband, who she has sorely missed since he passed away in 1976, then that’s okay. She’s 94. She has lived a long full life and dying is just another part of living. I’ll miss her sorely, but going home to Jesus is not the worst thing that could happen, that’s for sure. So I’m accepting of the process, at least as much as I can be.

Preparing myself for losing my Gran is a big deal. My life changes. My thinking changes. Living is different that it was when she was still in good health. Like most changes, it’s uncomfortable and there’s nothing I can do about it except adapt and take things one day at a time.

The next thing happening in my life is that I have been plateaued in my weight loss for 10-months now. Another big sigh. On the bright side I have maintained my 60-pound weight loss, for which I am sincerely grateful to the Lord because it is only through his Grace that this has been possible. On the other hand, I surely would like to lose the rest of my weight so I can be as healthy as I possibly can. That would be a very good thing and also make me feel like I had more control in my life. Right now I feel like I don’t have control of much, especially with Gran’s health declining so rapidly. It’s a lot of emotional stress. Working on my blog is one of my traditional methods of managing my stress, so I may in fact, find myself blogging more, or maybe less if I’m sad. I can’t predict it one way or the other.

What I can do is continue to work on my health goals for my self. The most selfless thing I can do is continue to take care of myself and make my needs–emotional, physical and spiritual–a high priority. The most selfish thing I could do is put my needs last and everyone else’s needs first. It seems easy to put my needs last, like maybe I should do for everyone else and let my needs take a backseat for the moment. In fact, that is the most lazy and selfish thing I could do. The less care I give myself, the less strength and energy I have to serve God and the other people in my life. So I am reminding myself, that making sure my needs are met is the most selfless action I can take right now. It seems counterintuitive at first thought, but it’s still true. Maintaining my own health is the kindest thing I can do for anyone else in my life. And it’s the kindest thing I can do for myself too.

On the food front I read an amazing article at Raw Food SOS. It’s an article about the benefits of a low-fat diet. I’ve been considering switching over to a low-fat, calorie controlled diet to get over my plateau. The article gave me a lot of food for thought. It helped me make sense of the conflicting nutrition studies that I’ve read. It seems that extreme diets, either extremely low carb or extremely low fat, both have benefits. It’s the middle of the road, moderate ways of eating that seem to be the most troublesome. So both types of eating extremes have benefits which is why there are so many studies that seem to contradict one another. Low carb does work. Low fat also works. Both have equal value. Both have health benefits. One is not better that the other. They’re just different paths to the same destination–weight loss and improved physical health. Yay!

Once I understand this fact, I am in a great position to determine which way of eating is best for me.

Another article about low-fat diets

I’ve tried low carb. It’s an expensive way to eat. It is possible to do it on a budget, just like it’s possible to be wheat-free and gluten-free on a budget. It ain’t easy though. Just like being gluten-free on a budget isn’t easy. After a few days low-carb diets tend to make me feel sick, itchy, jumpy and I don’t sleep very well. Low-carb diets are not the best for me personally.

I’ve also tried low-fat. The last time I really went low-fat was in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. I kept my calories at 1500 a day for 3 solid months, and did not lose weight. It was pretty frustrating. At that time I was eating a lot of sugar, a lot of refined carbs, huge quantities of gluten and a lot of low-fat dairy. Now, of course, I know better. I know that whole foods and whole grains are better than pudding mix, low-fat cream of something soup, and white bread spread with jelly made from high fructose corn syrup. I’m older, hopefully wiser, and definitely know a bit more about nutrition. With my metabolic disorder glycemic index is a lot more important than I knew back then.

I believe that a low-fat diet, made from whole foods and whole grains is probably a better choice for me right now. I know for certain that a low-fat, whole foods diet is more affordable than a low-carb diet. So for the next couple of months, until the end of this year, I’m hoping to reduce my fat intake, reduce my calorie intake and hopefully see if I can push past this plateau and kick start my weight loss back into action.

I had hoped to have made more progress on my 1500-Calorie a day weight-loss booklet by now, but with my grandmother’s condition deteriorating it will not be done in time for the new year. Instead I hope to work on my Thin & Thrifty Category–getting it in better shape and doing what I can to update the information I have already shared. These are my goals between now and the end of the year.

  1. Update Thin & Thrifty; upload new recipes/articles.
  2. Reduce the calories and fat in my own diet.
  3. Continue exercising daily (walking and swimming).
  4. Continue attending 12-step groups for overeating.
  5. Continue reading my bible and praying for guidance.

I can’t do anything much for my Gran except be there with her and love her really well while she’s still around to receive it. I can do things to take care of myself and make myself strong and well so I can carry on her legacy of faith, family, friends and really good food. With God’s grace and mercy, that’s what I hope to do during this leg of my journey.

  11 Responses to “Faith & Family”

  1. I’m so sorry about your grandmother. They are so special and it’s hard to let them go. You are in my thoughts and prayers. ((HUGS))

  2. Dearest maggie, know that my prayers are with you. As we all know, grandmas are special and a blessing,(they also save us from mom and dad’s wrath sometimes :)). We’ve only recently lost our son.(Fri, Oct 23). Our grief is huge, but that’s because we want him back. As I prayed for him while he was in the hospital, I asked our Heavenly Father to do whatever was right and beneficial for HIM. He got his final healing on Friday morning, although deeply saddened, I know he’s now free from a body that caused him so much pain,and of course, gram and gramps are there with him. My own selfish feelings are eased knowing that he is now surrounded by NOTHING but love. For that I’m so very grateful. Your work on this blog is more comforting than you know, and if it comforts you to blog, know that you’re comforting and encouraging others. If your sadness is too much to blog, know that there are many of us who keep you and your family in our prayers….I can do ALL things through Christ who strengtheneth me. My prayers and love are with you.

    • Thanks Karoline. I don’t believe God takes our loved ones, but I do believe He receives them with love and grace. My sympathies for your recent loss. It’s heartening to know that my efforts reach others and comfort them or give them hope in times of need. Thanks for sharing your story. It’s a blessing to remember I’m not alone, even in my grief. That is a comfort all on it’s own. 🙂 Blessings and thank you for your prayers.

  3. My prayers go with you and your family through this difficult time Maggie. May the God of all peace be your comfort and stronghold.

    • Thanks Merrilee. God is giving my whole family a lot of comfort right now. I feel his presence and his love. Makes things a lot easier to bear, that’s for sure. As another reader (Frankie) says, tough times don’t last, but tough people do. Thanks for the prayers. They help more than we know. 🙂

  4. Maggie and Karoline, I am so saddened to hear of the sorrow you both are dealing with. I am not very good with words but I pray that Gad will provide for both of you in the future to meet your needs and love you though it all.

    • Thankyou Pat. God does provide, every single minute, every single breath. He gives us what we need, even before we know we need it. Thanks for your kind words, I think you did just fine with them. I’m trying to celebrate Granny’s life and rejoice that she’s going home to her Father in heaven. It takes the sting out of letting her go.

  5. Pat, thank you so very much for your very kind words. we are celebrating his life and know the he is in peace and finally whole, but I won’t tell you it’s easy, this is the fourth child gone from the family and it doesn’t get easier, but your kind concern and prayers, are of more help than you’ll ever know.

  6. I am just reading that you lost your Gramma.I am so sorry and hope that your heart is healing from your grief.

  7. Maggie, just read your blog an your Granny. I can truly emphasize with you. My dear, sweet Daddy went to glory on Dec 3, 2011. I realize that my seem like a long time ago and that the sting should be softened almost to oblivion. But it isn’t and I don’t think it ever will be until I see him again in Heaven. He was 3 months and 1 day short of his 97th birthday and until he was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer on April 27, 2011. I signed him up on Hospice and brought him directly home from the hospital. His hospital bed was in the living room and his TV was in the living room and we transferred his cable here and he watched his favorite programs. He was a big western fan and adventure and comedy fan. When a movie came on that he had seen, he’d call me out of the kitchen to watch it with him. He could remember the stars’ names and the characters’ names and the plots. My sister’s daughters came over to visit frequently and my two sons living in town were over here frequently.

    I really gained weight fixing all of his favorite foods. And I kept the freezer filled with several different flavors of his favorite of ice cream. The hospice nurses were amazed at how alert and contented he seemed to be. Of course I kept up with his meds so he wouldn’t be hurting. He lived from April 25 to Dec 3. And when he was diagnosed the nurse told me it would only be 6 weeks to 2 months because of how far gone when he was diagnosed and how fast it was progressing, but I think he was with us much longer than they expected was because we included him in everything we could and didn’t lock him away and forget about him. Taking care of Daddy was about the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I felt and still do feel that God blessed me profusely by giving his care at the end of his life to me. And I couldn’t have done it without the complete co-operation and endless help from my husband.

    I am looking forward to seeing him in Heaven and he’ll be young and healthy, so very handsome the way he was when we were little girls, with a crazy sense of humor and always ready to play games and cards with my sister and me. He was the best playmate we ever had.


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