Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Becoming Kuwaiti and Oatmeal

I’m not a big fan of oatmeal, so when my best-friend-from-college raved about eating oatmeal in the morning, I listened, even though the gag-reflex was about to kick in. She raved about one particular brand – Snoqualamie Falls oatmeal:

And then, she went one better, she sent me a bag of it. I tried it a couple times. It’s still oatmeal.

Where do the skaters come in, you are asking?

Age creeps up on you. With any luck at all, you lose your bad habits along the way, but some of them stick like glue. I am telling you this, because it is Ramadan, and I am guessing you understand a little. Our sermon in church this week and our readings have had to do with temptation, and how if you focus on something – like “I will not think about jellybeans,” then it is all you think about. Our readings tell us to focus on something else, like reading spiritual writings, or becoming actively involved in some activity that takes you mind totally off the temptation.

I think of myself as a skater. When I was an adolescent, I had what I call roller-coaster grades. I would skate along doing the minimum, and then when it was time to get a paper in or study for a final grade, I would pull out all the stops, and I would get the grade I wanted . . . . most of the time. I underachieved just often enough to stick a grain of doubt in my mind that this was the path to success.

Because God has a sense of humor, he gave me a son with the same pattern, and this smart, cheerful, inventive kid did the minimum until grading time, and then he would pull through, while my I watched in horrified fascination. (Have you noticed, you are always tougher on those who exhibit your own shortcomings?)

So, mature as I am, I have developed a lot of self-discipline and patience and persistence through the years, things I call the harder gifts. I learned them from Motherhood, and from dealing with the normal troubles that come through living life, and all that life throws at you.

Or so I thought. This summer, at my well-woman appointment, I gave up my blood samples and received, in return, a lot of bad news.

I am borderline diabetic. I am borderline hypertensive. I am overweight. I have bad cholesterol out of proportion to the good cholesterol.

I’ve been skating close to those readings for years, but coming to Kuwait, I sort of stopped exercising. I haven’t been as physically active as before. I started blogging, which is sedentary to the max. I thought I could skate, but now the grim reckoning has been presented to me.

I really don’t want to go on a medication I will have to take for the rest of my life. I really don’t want to go on a medication that may have side effects no one knows yet because they are so new. To avoid going on medications, the doctor is giving me one year to reduce my weight, and I had to promise to exercise a minimum of 30 minutes 5 days a week. He gave me a long list of foods not to eat, and foods to avoid. Aaarrgh.

Because God is merciful, and knows our needs long before we do, and because he provides generously, I still have my oatmeal, which I have now pulled our and am eating regularly. I eat it Pacific Northwest Style – with blueberries and raspberries, which are also supposed to be good for me.

I found something else in the US that I love, but I can’t find it here – or at least not yet. Have you seen Kashi Pilaf or Kashi breakfast cereal?

I know I promised not to post any food photos while you are fasting, but oatmeal? To me, oatmeal doesn’t even count, it’s like medicine, like who on earth yearns for oatmeal?

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September 3, 2008 Posted by | Cross Cultural, Diet / Weight Loss, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Food, Friends & Friendship, Generational, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Social Issues | 20 Comments

Hooked on Sunrise

For those of you looking for something to contemplate, this morning’s sunrise was very different, very cloudy, and I couldn’t photograph it until the water had dried off my windows. This humidity makes life very sticky and stinky!

At 0700 it is a mere 88°F / 31°C.

September 3, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, sunrise series, Weather | 3 Comments