Weighing In - from a 2014 post
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 69% of adults over 20 years old are overweight. I am one of them, more specifically a yo-yo’ing one of them. In my weight-loss journey I have successfully graduated from Diet Workshop, Weight Watchers (twice), and The South Beach Diet. Yet I keep finding myself back in that 69 percentile – and I honestly don’t know why. I can take lots of educated guesses, but perhaps it stands to reason (at least in my mind), if I’d stumbled on the real reason, I stopped the cycle by now.
In February, 2013, after a “back up the scale” bout, I wrote a Tech Talk column entitled Making a Better Temple. It was the start of Lent, and somehow I thought the grace of the season would provide me the necessary, and often missing, oomph to get over my distain for exercise. I reviewed “The Official Couch-to-5K” app and tried to incorporate it into my own daily routine. I don’t like to use the word FAIL but…I did not last very long at that endeavor. What I dislike the most about setting these goals and missing the mark is that they leave me feeling so guilty, which is ridiculous. Instead I should be thankful for the #smallsuccess of the 5 or 6 days of exercise I got, which was far more than I’d had the previous months!
Slow Your Roll
I’m an apple shape. All my weight sits precariously around and sometimes over my waistband, also known as a ‘muffin top’, painfully present in my latest “only God could open this door” miracle: my Blink series: Sharing the Faith on Social Media, on CatholicTV.
This was one of the greatest accomplishments of my ministerial career, and all I could focus on were the faults in my appearance. This was not the voice of God in my head, but someone bent on stealing the joy of this moment. How many of us look at the images from those special moments in our lives, especially our baby’s Baptism (most occurring just a month after giving birth), and instead of offering a prayer of praise and thanksgiving, experience that pang of sadness or embarrassment of the sight of ourselves frozen forever in time? This whole scenario reaches epic new levels with the invention of social media, where now this picture that would have once been relegated to a family album is plastered across computer, smartphone, and tablet screens across the world (or at least that is how it can feel)!
Moving and Grooving
After several novenas, the latest one to Mary, Undoer of Knots, I’ve finally realized my prayer to be thin is probably the wrong prayer. I am focused on the wrong thing: this goal, if I am honest, is based in vanity and pride. I have definitely been like the widow at the judge’s window figuring if I just pestered God long enough I’d just wake up one more free of cravings and eager to run around the block. I have erroneously determined how I want God to answer my prayers, and getting discouraged when He doesn’t follow my plan.
If I believe, which I do, that I have adequately put this struggle into the Blessed Mother’s hands asking her to bring it to her Son, faith tells me that Jesus is well aware of my request (well, let’s face it, he was well aware of it way before I even asked!). Most likely it has already been answered in the way God has determined is best for me, which could be for this ‘thorn’ to be part of my side for my entire life, because in His infinite wisdom knows it keeps me reliant on His Grace and close to Him.
Instead of focusing on the negative and on my will, I shall ask God daily for the grace to make healthy choices and accept His movement in this struggle. However, true to form, I will also continue to seek new technologies to utilize in “operation spare tire deflation”!
2016 Update ...
In May, my dearest of friends made me an offer I could not refuse. Seeing my struggle to maintain a healthy weight and more importantly adopt a healthier way of eating; they offered to pay for 3 months of Weight Watchers for me. At first, I bristled. Oh, that call to change can be so fearful sometimes. Then the Spirit gently opened my heart to how this generous gift answered many recently asked prayers.
Some of the important lessons of the last 6 months. This is a life long journey; like any addict I will forever be drawn to foods higher in fat and sugar. My body will crave them; but unlike other addictions that I can give up cold turkey (aka I am an ex-smoker and nail-biter)- this one will require me to learn how to still eat without falling back into old 'bad for me' habits. The key for me has been recognizing trigger foods - those I can not eat only a little bit of and walk away - and finding NEW treats for my palate. I have discovered a great love for frozen blueberries!!
Most importantly, I have learned that to succeed I need to continue to seek the grace of God as well as the support of my friends and fellow weight watchers. When I isolate myself, avoid the scale or deny I have an issue is when I fall into destructive behavior. It is dangerous for me to be overweight and to eat unhealthily as I have one parent who is a heart transplant recipient and another who is diabetic! The Lord has also given me a great love and desire to walk - turning that once chore into quality time with Him!
So WHY post this the day before Thanksgiving?? This marks the 'kick off' for the holiday season - one that in the past has been associated with an unwritten permission to myself to EAT! This year I want to remember where I have been, and how far I have come. As we enter into the Advent season - I want to use this time to focus on the coming of Christ and of the joy of the season - and some of that will include food but this time it will NOT be all about food! And that is something to be THANKFUL about!
All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016