My Weight Loss Journey

Today I am now back to my “normal” weight of 273 which has been my center for 5 years. I go up 5 lbs during holidays and other celebrations and down 3 lbs when I get conscious of my food consumption, but I can’t seem to break the 269 barrier. Been there twice in the last 8 months but could not sustain. By now you all are yawning and wondering who is this guy. You know that saying “too much information”?, well as a counselor I encourage my clients to tell all and I sometimes get into the same vein when I am communicating with others.

Food is such a temptation. Butter, sugar and bread, steak, and, and, and, and… my mouth is watering. How will I ever sustain counting points using the weight watcher point system? One day at at time. Thanks Bill W…. Wish me luck as this is the most important thing I have done in years. Take care of myself. Selfish you say? Naw…. that is the biggest barrier of getting healthy. Reaching the conclusiong that it is OK to take care of self. It is easy to focus on others, help others, serve others but to truly Love and take care of yourself? Seems sinful…. and it can be if your self care is focused on the wrong thing. We (I) sometimes take care of our(my) emotional self in a way that is contrary to our(my) physical health. Your(my) body is the temple of God. The place where we (I) house the creative source of our (my) life. The first cell we (I) became so many years ago now has grown and changed into the humans we (I) are(am) today. WOW…. And I want to kill my body with glutonny, drugs, smoking and other destructive forces? Thats slow suicide, unconscous maybe, but certainly suicide. But it makes me feel good. But it will eventually kill me. But we all die, and so on and so on and so on….

So the battle begins. I hope you are cheering for me, becaus I am cheering for you! May the creative force, that I call God, who has been revealed to me through Jesus, keep me on the path.

Lean Health Care Discussion

Recently I received an email communication from Helen Zak, Chief Operating Officer of Lean Institute http://www.lean.org/ in Cambridge Mass reminding me of the ongoing debate in Washington D.C. regarding Healthcare and how Six Sigma and other lean process analysis tools might be utilized to save money, increase efficiency with medical claims processing and ultimately make the quality of health care better. We have not heard much discussion about the wonderful lean work being done in the public sector, both in the healthcare setting and in government. In response to this apparent lack of awareness the Lean Enterprise Institute has collaborated with the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value to form a nonprofit partnership to make sure lean thinking is part of the current discussion and the future state of healthcare in United States. You can learn more by reviewing their statement of values at http://www.healthcarevalueleaders.org/partnership_announcement.pdf

This seemed very important news to share with the Continuous Improvement blog community, especially in these economic times. Certainly lean thinking and tool use is not a panacea for all the ills of government, healthcare and manufacturing, but in most cases incorporating this analysis in the planning process of each of these industries will increase product and service outcomes and assure the highest customer satisfaction. To completely ignore these effective process analysis tools in the health care discussion would be, dare I say, ridiculous.

Patience

Patience comes with age and wisdom. When you are young you want everything now. Right now, not in a few minutes or a few days or, in the case of completing college or starting a business some amount of years. But as time goes on we learn that all good things eventually come. I wrote a poem many years ago and it recently became more meaningful. Here it is.

Patience

Patience is a funny thing,
that not inside of me.
I wonder how, and why, and when,
patience will come to me.
I hope it’s soon for it’s getting late,
I really am afraid.
For if I don’t get it soon,
I just will have to wait.

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Spiritual Resources

Spirituality is a personal issue. We must each find our own path and then stay true to it.

I was raised in the protestant tradition. I attended the First Presbytarian Church of Pitman as a child and teenager. In College I met and married a wonderful Lebanese Maronite women. I discovered Eastern Christianity which combined my Christian upbringing with eastern spirituality in a Monastic tradition. St Sharbel a Maronite Monk sets the tone and reverence of the Divine Liturgy.

In 1978, after a year of study with the local Maronite Priest, I converted and became a Maronite Catholic.

May God be with you (and me) in your (our) search for the source of life and truth. Ultimately I believe you will find God within you and within others who believe.

Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, `Here it is,’ or `There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21) This last line has also been interpreted as the “kingdom of God is within your midst”.

You must discern for yourself which meaning rings true. For me the silence of prayer and regular attendance at the Maronite Divine Liturgy is the best way to discern this. Silent prayer is best practiced as Centering Prayer, as taught by Fr Thomas Keating and discussed in the Cloud of Unknowing.

Thank you Fr Keating and others in the Centering Prayer and contemplative network, my connection to you sustains my hope in the Lord, which is supported by unending Love provided to me from the Maronite faith and particularly the people of St Joseph Maronite Church in Waterville, Maine.

Peace Be with you.

Stephen

Below are some other links that may help you in your spiritual search:
The World Community for Christian Meditation
A Christian Way to Transformation by M. Basil Pennington, O.C.S.O.
Society of Friends
Centering Prayer Articles by Fr Thomas Keating
Sacred Space: a Jesuit website for daily prayer

Contemplative Outreach
Living Water Spiritual Center
Bible Search

Here are some other links related to the Maronite Church

The Maronite Diocese
Bkerke: Home of Maronite Patriarche
Our Lady of Lebanon – Washington,
DC

Copyright (C) 1997 – 2008 Stephen C. Crate Permission is granted for academic use of this material if cited appropriately.