It’s been some months since I’ve blogged. Mostly, that’s because I’ve been volunteering with the health department to vaccinate folks. It’s one of the great, uplifting, and untold stories. Ohio reached out through their state boards—medical, nursing, pharmacy, and veterinary—to seek individuals interested in applying to be a part of the volunteer Ohio Medical Corps.
“Finally,” I thought to myself. “I can FINALLY help.”
That need to help was shared by numerous clinicians who signed up and went through the training in droves. We show up, at rec centers, churches, and, as the demand grew, at the convention center (at what are now, to those of us who are retired, God-awful hours) just to get those shots in arms. To explain, to comfort, to reassure.
“No, Sir, I promise, there is not a microchip in this syringe.”
It feels incredibly good. But, as the lines have gotten shorter, fewer volunteers have been needed. Looking at the schedule today, I realized there isn’t a single opening for a vaccinator the entire month of May. All those shifts, in all those places where shots are given, have been snapped up. It’s probably a little story in the midst of a pandemic and a fight for racial justice and (for we Cincinnatians) the impending seventeen-year Cicada. I think, though, that it’s a little story that shines bright; that reminds us there are a lot of dedicated people in our communities who are stepping in when needed.
So, I won’t be giving any shots this month, but I still have plenty to do. I am now thirteen pounds over my goal weight. It’s not a catastrophe (OK, convince my off-the-deep-end dreams of that!) but it needs attention. I need to state it out loud instead of holding it inside like some shameful secret, and I need to deal with it. If it isn’t my fault, it is still my responsibility.
As I look at what I’m doing to manage my healthy lifestyle, there’s a lot I’m doing right. Big things. I have continued my exercise regime faithfully, including the dreaded Cardio Monday workout. However, I did skip exercise on the days I vaccinated, which took me from a five-day-a-week workout to four. Little, right? Certainly deserved. But when I stop and do the math, that’s a 20% decrease.
Over time, I have also added little luxuries to my daily intake—luxuries that have become routine. I added a half cup of berries to my yogurt and granola in the morning, and followed it up with a cup of tea and a dollop of two percent milk. That one cup became two so the dollops doubled as well.
I have stayed true to my avoidance of potatoes or noodles or rice at dinner. I don’t think I have been as vigilant at keeping my portion sizes small. I’ve been heading to the more “reasonably-sized” portions. The thing is, when I kept my portion sizes really small, I was usually satisfied. If I wasn’t, I could always get up from the table and get myself some more. It was much better than starting out with a larger portion size because it’s so much harder to stop myself once it’s on my plate in front of me.
I still don’t eat in between meals and I rarely have a sweet. I think, overall, I’m mostly on the right track. I just need to concentrate on those little things, because in the end, they obviously matter.
Here is the promise I’ve made to myself. One cup of tea only, except for lazy Saturday mornings. I’ll keep the fruit at this point, but if I don’t start heading the right way, that will go on the chopping block. I hope to get more vaccination shifts; if I do, I will work out in the afternoon after I return home. Those portion sizes are going back to being really small—every single one.
I am determined to get down to my goal weight by the beginning of July. All those little things added up together will matter. You see, there isn’t a thing I can put in my mouth or an exercise that I can avoid that is as important to me as feeling good about myself and being at my best weight—the weight I promised myself I would get to almost five years ago now.
It’s time for me to get to a different kind of work!