Weekly Digest 12 10/5/18-10/11/18
It is Monday morning and that means it is time for another installment of the Weekly Digest. I had every intention of launching in to my normal analysis of how my week has gone and where I can improve. But I am not going to do that right now. Yes, my week was difficult, and I will talk about that later.
Not Your Normal Week
Before I go any further, I want to stop a moment and acknowledge something. Hurricane Michael made landfall this week at the panhandle of Florida. It is likely the most devastating natural disaster to befall the region. This troubles me greatly because there are people I care about – people I consider family – that were right in the path of that hurricane – some of whom weathered the storm in-place. So really, in the face of such frightening events, whether or not I think I “struggled” this week with my diet doesn’t mean a tinker’s damn.
Instead I want to talk about people. There are tens of thousands of people in the panhandle that are homeless now. Infrastructure is pretty messed up. There are some places that are getting power and water restored, but many will take a long time before they have those basics. We have all seen the news and the horrific images of destroyed homes. Many trees are down, and even traversing a simple city block can be difficult given the damage. The ability to get supplies to those who need them is even in doubt, in some cases.
I wish I could say that I had confidence that our emergency management systems would be responsive to those who are sorely in need right now. I can’t say that. Instead what I have seen is leadership and compassion from the people on the ground. Friends, neighbors, picking each other up and doing what they can to help each other make it thorough. The number of examples of common people going to uncommon lengths just to help their neighbor make it through the day is inspiring. The National Guard has been busting their ass from day one. First-responders from local agencies were even out IN the hurricane in some cases. There is no doubt that those who live there are incredible people and they are pulling together in the most difficult of circumstances.
Not All Peaches and Cream
This doesn’t mean I don’t recognize that there are dangers there. Currently there is a curfew in place and I have heard several people mention that it is not safe for children in Panama City. Looting is one of the major concerns right now in Panama City and that is partially what the curfew is about. I can imagine that it also has to do with resources and emergency personnel being stretched so thin, that having people roaming around at night, possibly getting hurt and needing emergency assistance would tax the existing resources beyond their limits. In short, it’s pretty scary in some places in the panhandle right now. That makes the stories of kindness and generosity amidst this disaster even more remarkable.
Examples For All of Us
Let me share with you a couple examples that have meaning to me, personally. Jeff Temperley is a British ex-pat that runs Eat My Pasty in Panama City Beach. It is the most amazing fish and chip shop with pastys and shepherds pie and all manner of wonderful English cuisine. It is my favorite place to eat out on the beach. Jeff lost the roof on his shop, and the damage inside was stunning. Fortunately their food truck survived. So Jeff took the show on the road. With whatever supplies he could obtain, he got the truck out there and was making hot food for people. That’s amazing. His shop is destroyed and he is out there feeding people. I watched some of his videos on facebook and he was saying that he has been scrounging propane so that he can keep cooking. That is truly a remarkable effort.
Today, on facebook, I stumbled across a post by Laura E, who is the daughter of my bff Lani. Laura said that she just got power and water back to her house out near PCB, and that anyone that needs or wants a hot shower or a meal, or a place to stay is welcome. They don’t need to call, they don’t need to message her – just show up. She and her husband Dustin (who is one of he many great National Guard people) have opened up their home to anyone they know who needs a place to stay. Again, I am stunned and so impressed by the strength and support that people exhibit in a time of crisis. What Laura and Dustin are doing is replete with generosity, caring and the selflessness shared by truly wonderful people.
Lani’s sister Ann was down there too. Yes, THAT Ann – of “Cooking With A Kukri” fame. Ann, her husband Don, and mom Mary rode out the hurricane. Thank goodness their home is still standing when so many of their neighbors lost so much. Fortunately the damage was relatively minor, I understand – just a few leaks in the roof and some siding damage. But what is more impressive is how friends rallied around to provide a generator and emergency repairs on the roof. I believe it was Dustin that was able to reach out to his current and former troop-mates to get the help that Ann and Don needed. Again- amazing people doing remarkable things for each other.
Support is important. No matter what you undertake to accomplish, surrounding yourself with people that actually care is priceless. Your team of friends and family will be the ones that sustain you through the darkest of times. Choose them wisely, and with your heart. In turn, support them in all they do as well.
These few examples of extraordinary generosity and caring are from just a few people that I know. Imagine how many inspirational stories occurred down there? It is stunning to me that so much leadership and caring be exhibited by the very people most affected. We need to do better than that, America. I firmly and resolutely believe that with the resources available to this country, our response to national emergencies has been completely inadequate. I am looking at you, elected leaders.
Lastly, I want to close this section with this: You can never tell when a kind word or a simple human gesture will mean the world to someone. Don’t hold back. Be open with praise and pick someone up when they stumble. Go out there and be kind to someone today. You won’t regret it.
The Diet Week – A Brief Summary
Now we will talk diet. This will be the cliff’s notes version. Bottom line: No change in weight lost or gained. I am still at 188 pounds lost. This week was complicated by medical issues. Last weekend I had a flare up of gout. However, I did get in to my doctor and was given steroids to stop the swelling response and let it heal. Which it did. It knocked back the gout and I was back on my feet with minimal delay. Prednisone always scares me because of the stories about weight gain on steroids – but it was only a five day course, so that isn’t terribly impactful.
The gout prevented me from exercising for two days. The other days did include exercise, but a few of those were mild, given the healing process. I’m very, very lucky it was only 2 days that I was on Injured Reserve. Last year I had an attack that had my immune system stuck in a feedback loop and it meant not healing for 2 months. Exercise this week was short: two elliptical sessions, 3.4 miles walking and 2 free weight sessions. Now that I am healed from the gout, next week should be more active.
Diet was ok. I stayed inside my caloric limits every day except one were I hit 1700 calories. Prior to the gout attack, I had a few drinks on one day, but the larger trend was consistently eating light popcorn and a couple sandwiches. I noticed this uptick in the bready stuff – and likely that could be linked to the change in weather and the desire to head for comfort foods. Additionally, with the farmer’s market runs done for the season, I am less likely to have so many fresh vegetable options. These are hurdles that I need to overcome by finding some better alternatives.
So next week – I will attempt to focus on reducing starchy foods and upping my activity levels. Onward.