Greetings Friends and Family. My Spirits have been lifted higher than high. My Energy levels are good.
Where to Begin? Where to End? Where indeed ………………………
First of all I know this Update is a little late. I have been going full speed since last week and have not stopped. My life is so filled with JOY and PEACE and HARMONY that I …. I just don’t know how to correctly describe it. So I guess I will leave it at that.
This is a most busy week for me. I just came back recently from a Spiritual Retreat that has changed my life forever …….. I am still on a high from that and I don’t want to come down. Time will tell. I know one thing: I will never be the same …. Never.
I have my last Confirmation class, this week, I will have my marriage Blessed by the church this week, I will be Confirmed in the church this week. Can I have an amen? HA!
I won’t go into great details, but I have to say that I was humbled beyond all expectations. First of all we gave up watches, cell phones, i-pads and such in order to not be distracted during the time we spent together. It was a relief taking the leash off for this period of time. Every day, every hour brought us something good, something wonderful, something GREAT! If you are a Catholic or just interested in my religious experience at the Retreat and just email me and I will share with you. Let me just say this experience is just so overwhelming that I am for life a change man. I was already on a path in that direction. I give Zero Carb credit for clearing my mind and granting me physical freedom so that my spiritual being was free to soar without hinder.
*I was not able to take a camera, so I did not take photos of the food I ate*
The Retreat is set deep the woods in and around Magnolia Texas. It was a very beautiful wooded setting with lakes, wooden bridges, abundant gardens and wild life in the form of ducks, geese, peacocks and other birds that I have no clue of what they were called, roaming the grounds. They were so used to humans that they did not run away. They just simply wandered around freely and undisturbed. This place had a feeling of Pure Serenity.
Food for Thought
I have to say these folks did their best to accommodate me. First of all I requested on the registration form that I eat only an all meat diet. This was about a month before the Retreat. Then about two weeks before the retreat a gentleman emailed me that inquired what foods would be appropriate especially for breakfast. I simply explained that I could eat any kind of meat that was grilled, baked, roasted, deep fried, pan fried and so on. I also want requested that the meat be free of any breading, sauces or gravies. I told them that eggs and a hamburger patty would be fine for breakfast.
Day One: Thursday 6/2/2011
At 5:30 pm I arrived at the church to begin processing in. I was the second to arrive out of around 38 Retreatants. Check in lasted for about an hour or so. We then loaded on the bus and took off to the retreat.
I would say it was around 7:00 pm or so when we arrived. We then went to the dining hall where they had a set up to make sandwiches. They had large aluminum containers with rolled lunch meats such as turkey, ham, beef and so on. As well as a variety of sliced cheeses and all the fixings. They also had a tray of assorted chips, cookies and cakes ….. oh my. I ate a couple of rolled up beef and turkey. I really was not hungry and should not have eaten anything. I estimated that I ate about 4 ounces of meat. After the meal we had a eye and heart opening experience that will follow me the rest of my days and this was just the start of one overwhelming event after another.
Day Two: Friday 6/3/2011
We were up very late the night before. If I had to guess I would say past midnight or near one AM. They woke us up I would guess around 5 AM. Let me step back a bit. We were instructed that at the first bell to get up and get ready. At the second bell to make your way with haste to the conference center and wait outside the doors. I shared a small cabin, actually more like a small house with five other Retreatants. I shared a room with an older gentlemen, he was a very nice and kind person. Well they had a little miscommunication with the bell ringer and the second bell was rung around 10 minutes later. I like to take my showers at night when sharing with others in order to have more time and privacy. So I lucked out. My group hurried to the meeting area only to wait around 45 minutes. It was really not a big deal. This is the first A.C.T.S. Men’s Retreat this church has held and small quirks are to be expected. To tell you the truth the rest of the time was perfect without flaw. They carted coffee for us outside until all showed up. We then had “Sharing”, prayers and singing in the conference area.
Just a side note: Similar to my experience while on jury duty, they had tons of packaged and fresh carb filled treats to snack on every day available in the conference room. I mean chips, cookies all and any type of candy available. Sorta like a vending machine that was free. They keep the huge bowls stocked. They also had a central area full of more snacks and treats. I am so in tuned with ZERO CARB that this did not bother me at all. I never felt tempted or compelled to snack on those “things”. I dare not call them food. HA! What amazed me was the continuous eating of the Retreatants and other participants. In all there were about 85 of us at all times.
Breakfast rolled around and since we did not have watches I have no clue at the times we actually ate. Any way we were seated and the folks served us plates filled with pancakes, toast, scrambled eggs and bacon. They also had fresh fruit, muffins, brownies and so on. I told my server to take back my plate and take off everything except the eggs. I did not want to throw away the food. Hey I was worried a little because the eggs only looked like two and I had a feeling it would not hold me. Then an angel appeared with a plate tagged with my name on it. It was a two egg omelet with cheese. They also put a thick piece of ham on it. They told me the cheese was lactose free. I was very happy to get this meal and that they did not forget about me. I was suspicious about the cheese, but oh well.
Lunch rolled around after lots of activities. This time we were in a line cafeteria style. I was partnered up with one of the “servers”. Their job was to serve us in our needs during the Retreat. I was always served my meals and drinks the entire time. Anyway I could see that we were having beef and chicken fajitas tacos with all the trimmings. I warned my server that I was on an only MEAT DIET. Well I really don’t expect too much from folks who are not familiar with (ZC) or lc. Anyway he grabs a packet of flour tortillas. I asked him to put them back because I ate only meat. Then we approached the guy serving the beef and chicken and he puts about 3 ozs of each on the plate. I told him I ate only meat and he kinda laughed. I said “no really I only eat meat” so he put about an ounce more of each. Don’t get me wrong with all the sides and deserts I would have been busting my sides if ate SAD. I asked my server for a refill on the meat and he came back with about t 4 oz of each meat. I was satisfied with the portions and moved forward.
Dinner rolled around after lots of activities. We were seated and the servers began to take plates of food to everyone. They ate hamburgers with all the trimmings and deserts that you could not imagine. Then a plate tagged for me promptly showed up with some of that thick sliced ham and a single burger. I would judge the burger to be around 5 to 6 oz and the ham to be about the same. I grabbed the butter bowl and took about half the stick and placed on my plate to my tablemates’ surprise. The burger must have been “ground round” because it was very dry considering it was a little pink in the middle. So I smeared the butte on top and ate. I was well satisfied with the meal. We had another activity that night, but not too late.
Believe it or not: I got a few stares about my way of eating, but after a brief explanation and the revelation that I have lost a total of almost 100 pounds (ZC +VLC) they seemed to understand. I had different tablemates every meal so I did the explanation every time just for the sake of it.
Day Three: Saturday 6/3/2011
Breakfast rolled around after a nice rest. We went to bed a little earlier and slept in a little later. We had an extended event in the chapel before breakfast. Well while everyone was having French toast and other carb filled breakfast delights, I was served two easy over eggs and a hamburger patty. I ended up eating another chunk of butter to compensate the dryness of the meat. Hey I am not complaining at least it was good clean protein.
Lunch rolled around after tons of activities including confession and other spiritual experiences. They served grilled chicken breast over a strawberry spinach salad. I received some sliced chicken breast. The meat was a bit over cooked and dry. Thank GOD for butter. I would say that I was served around 12 ozs of meat. I don’t think they understood that I did not eat all the sides or munched all day long at the conference room like all the other Retreatants and Servers. If I ate SAD I would have been bursting from the sides. There was tons of food, just not the kind I could eat.
Dinner rolled around after yet another full day of spiritual experiences. I swear the events built upon the other. Must when you thought you were at the top, you went up a little further. Outstanding! To my delight we had BBQ brisket. I got a nice size plate of sliced brisket. I would estimate about a pound and a half. This had to be my best meal yet. The meat was tender, had some fat and tasted great.
We were told that we would not have a regular breakfast the next morning. They said that Danishes and drinks would be brought to the cabins. We were to leave that day in the morning and conclude this spiritual journey at Mass at the church. We would also have a lunch reception.
Day Four: Sunday 6/4/2011
This was such a nice day. We slept in a little and instead of the bell ringing we woke up to a group of strolling singers singing hypes accompanied by a guitar. They then carted Danishes and milk to the cabins. I look and thought “Oh well they forgot me”. I was not worried because I could wait until later or did I? Once again an angel came to my rescue. I server came to our door and asked for Dave. He left me two boiled eggs, hamburger patty and a slice of cheese. Wow, a really nice size breakfast compared to the others. I was very grateful for this. I was very grateful for all the effort these folks made to aid me in keeping with my way of eating.
I weighed myself on Monday morning and to my surprise I lost another 1 ½ pounds while on the retreat and another ½ pound current for a total of 2 pounds lost since my last reported weigh in.
I had an all time low on Zero Carb today = 179.8 lbs.
Yippee!!! Should I cross out eh 179 lbs Mini Goal? No way Jose. It is too close to 180 lbs for that and then I need to stay at or under that weight for at least one week. “Dave’s Rule”. Hey I will get there when I get there.
I hope you enjoyed my little “Big” Spiritual and eating Journey.
I plan to take new pictures Sunday after Mass. I will try to post them that day. Remember that yellow shirt that wrapped around me a little? Well I plan to do an update with that. I hope I can buy a fitted shirt for the Sunday photo shoot. I have bought a total of three new flat front slacks and a pair of black Jeans. I need at least one more pair of slacks and some blue jeans. I have also bought two new shirts. I believe they were size 15. I want at least three more shirts. I also need an new jacket or suit. Any donations? Yeah right? Ha!
Sorry so long.
Have a Great (ZC) Day my Friends and Family. Keep the Faith and Always Battle On!!
(ZC) Just when you thought it could not get any Better