Sunday, March 05, 2006

Health: Weeks 7 & 8

I've lost a few pounds over the last few weeks. But when I had lunch on Ash Wednesday at Krystal's (mainly to see if there was WiFi access - there was, but it wasn't much better than Atlanta Bread Company's), I came away with this awful, bloated feeling. Is it apparent that I'm not in the practice of doing anything different during this time of year?

That day, with some prayer and reflection, I decided to give up food, in a sense, during Lent. Or more specifically, give up that "full" feeling I'm so fond of. It's interesting that gluttony is an indulgance we never discuss; but I've talked about that before. If there's anything I abuse, I'd have to say it's food. So during Lent (the 40-day period, excluding Sundays, before Easter, beginning on Ash Wednesday), I'm going to concentrate less on food. Whether that means not eating anything after lunch (which I did after that Krystal's meal), or just halving portions of regular meals and reducing the amount of snacking I do during the day, my actual practice will probably change from day to day. The point being getting used to getting physcially hungry at least every day; hopefully several times during the day.

I'm not doing this primarily to lose weight (or at least I don't think so - if I was I'm pretty sure I'll fail - we'll see). I'm doing this for a number of reasons. For one, to understand what it's like to not be full all day long. I live in a culture where it's easy to gorge myself at every meal. Plus, the constant barrage of marketing of snack foods really helps me in keeping that "overly full" feeling throughout the day. I feel like I need to understand what it's like to not feel that all day long. Understandably, at any time during the day, I know that I can eat, so it's not like I'm able to relate to someone who unwillingly experiences hunger on a regular basis; I'm not deluding myself that I'll have some new kind of understanding of what it's like to go hungry. Jesus fasted for 40 days; and while I'm not ready for that, I want to be reminded just how long he went without food, even if it's just by experiencing hunger on a daily basis.

Also, I think there is this major disconnect with food in my life that needs "fixed", so to speak. Sometimes I think it's odd that to say a prayer of thanksgiving for my food because it seems like it would go like this: "Dear God, Thank you for this food I am about to abuse myself with..." I mean, how can I ask God to bless something "to the strength and nourishment of my body" when there's nothing to work with? "Bless this deep-fried, fatty, non-nutritious food to my health." I realize He's God, but it seems somehow wrong to ask Him to do all the work when it comes to my health.

I just need to put food in a different perspective, and I'm asking God to do that over the next 40 days or so. It's not the traditional Lenten fast (one meal a day, around mid-day), but I think it's a step in the right direction.

Current Weight: 267#
Total Change: -6#


  1. Sweet perspective on food, Jim. I remember hearing this a few years ago by Gwen Shamblin, that we're so used to being over full and if we were just to eat until we were full, we could just lose weight that way. Easier said than done, though, huh? I'm proud of you, man. Thanks for posting on my blog, too! Love you.

  2. Thanks! I hear she's kind of out there now (though I haven't researched that on my own), but she's had some good ideas that really help. It's easier to not eat everything on your plate if you eat the best stuff first. Why do I usually do the opposite?