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The Last Refuge
The Last Refuge
11 Mar 2023

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Last week we talked about having a post for people to share their struggles and successes in pursuit of fasting, sacrifices, and healthy living. I had originally intended a weekly post which would be for discussions from both a religious and secular point of view.

After reading comments, as well as reflecting on past feedback from our Treepers, I think that may not be the way to go. We have readers who love to share their religious posts, and mostly do that on the OT, every day. I do think there may be opportunities for those who want to dig deeper into things like fasting and contemplative prayer, or theological discussions, and sacrificial living.

That being said, this is an opportunity for sharing. I am not attempting to guide the Treehouse on a more religious path, or veer away from what it has become. The post will not be a place for arguments or attacks on another denomination. If it goes in that direction I will simply discontinue the posts. There are good sites where one can follow apologetics from many perspectives. Go there for that.

We have also gotten a lot of feedback over the years from people who want a place for discussions other than politics that is not overwhelmingly a faith based discussion. We will try that out also, and I will remind posters to respect the intent of each post, and the audience who may want to contribute.

For now, I tentatively plan to post on alternate weeks, one post, probably on Fridays, for faith discussions, and living it out sacrifically and practically. The next week a post intended for those who’d like to discuss diets, exercise, healthy eating, motivation, share recipes, that sort of thing. I’ll probably post this on Saturday or Sunday with the idea of preparing and being motivated for the week ahead.

This may be confusing, especially at first. Maybe if there is interest we will do it weekly, and that might cut down on confusion. The days might change. Suggestions on my post last week favored every day of the week except Tuesday and Thursday. So, we will attempt something new, and see if it bears fruit.

Now, on to the title I’ve chosen for the first post to share ideas on healthy eating, exercising, health management, maybe even tips on how you manage the aches and pains of aging or injury. For example, my fellow admins had a discussion a month or two ago on B complex vitamins. Their suggestions really helped me with some lingering mild neuropathy from my ankle injury.

Two and a half years ago I fractured my ankle, all three bones, and suffered some ligament damage also. In a few months, hopefully I’ll get an ankle replacement and regain a lot of the mobility I’ve lost, as well as perhaps decrease the pain. For a lot of those two years, I have not handled the new circumstances the injury left me with. I’m sorry (really) to say that I’ve spent a lot of time looking back, a lot of time mourning what I lost, even resenting it, and hating what I cannot do. Of course, that got me exactly nowhere. And was a huge failure in picking up my cross.

Finally, this past December, I decided to forget about how many miles I used to walk daily. The other physical activities I could do. I decided to walk only five minutes, if that was all I could do. To use dumbbells and do one set of low impact exercises, if one set is all I can do. To do chair squats to improve my leg strength. To do the physical therapy exercises again. And to do what I can do throughout the day instead of trying in vain to accomplish things that are no longer in my reach, and will not be, at least for now.

And I’ve gotten stronger. I walked 3/4 of a mile the other day, on some slight hills. I can be on my feet a little longer with less pain. I feel better, and have a better outlook. Because I can see accomplishments physically, I am more motivated to eat healthier foods and stick with my intermediate fasting.

It’s still a hard thing to deal with, that my actions produce incremental progress that might never be what I want it to be. That I have to accept less than what I had, and what I want. But it is better than not trying at all, and I am far from determining what my successes might be.

I recommend the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. It’s a great book on ways to introduce small changes that can lead you to big results.

If you can pass on some tips or experiences to help us eat better, get stronger, stay motivated, and deal with adversity and injury, please share. It might be a keto recipe, a story of how you lost weight and kept it off, or tips on vitamins and supplements like the B complex story above.

Please keep your comments to a moderate length. People stated on the original post, and in emails, that they really don’t want to have to skim past long, long posts, as they simply won’t read them. If you have a big story, share it it segments each week, or sum up what’s most important, or zero in on one important aspect or detail to share.

Second, there are many ways to health and fitness. Many people are eating low carb, or fasting. Some are strictly calorie watchers. Others follow a low fat, no sugar diet. Some are vegetarian. Offer your tips but do not push your thoughts on others. I hope we will get a wide variety of good ideas for people to choose from, no matter what choices they make. Our readers are intelligent enough to make their own choices. Let them.

Stay on topic. I don’t care how much you think political events are relevant to this post, don’t hijack this (or future) posts with political discussions.

I am not sure whether I will start the Fasting Abstinence, and Sacrifices posts during Lent on Fridays, or wait until after Easter. We’ll see how that works out.

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