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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Comfort Food

As if it were yesterday, I remember Nathan’s honesty. I had used a wheel chair to get through the major airports as I traveled to the Annual Meeting of the National Hemophilia Association. I was on the Board of Directors at that time and Nate was Chairman of the Board.

At breakfast one morning, we shared some pleasant conversation and then I began to open up about my declining ability to walk without the aide of a cane or wheel chair. He listened patiently. As a man with hemophilia, he had personal experience with joint injuries and the aftermath of arthritis. Then, when I had finished my story enumerating the doctors that I had consulted with no satisfaction, Nate said, “Lose 30 pounds and you will be able to walk fine.” It was shocking to hear the truth so plainly stated. It was so unadorned with sympathy that I found myself without access to my usual excuses.

After my return home from that conference, I did in fact lose those unnecessary pounds. As my clothing began to be too big for me, each step I took was less painful. Down ten pounds, I put aside the cane I had been leaning on for support. Down twenty pounds, I didn’t limp. Down thirty, and I could walk easily with no pain. I was exuberant. I vowed never to gain that weight back.

I kept up the new eating plan for years and it would be nice if I could say that I was able to go away and sin no more. But, sins have a way of repeating, despite confession and atonement.

More than thirty years have past and the scale I stand upon now reads very close to what it was back then. Not only do my ankles hurt but so do my knees and back. At my last medical checkup the doctor wouldn’t let me out of the office until she got my blood pressure to go down. So I’ve pulled out the dusty low calorie cookbooks, stocked up on lots of vegetables and put measuring utensils next to each serving bowl.

"Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future."
Oscar Wilde