Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Repentance

The Mayo Clinic Diet: Eat Well, Enjoy Life, Lose WeightA while back I bought a new diet book, a serious one:  The Mayo Clinic Diet.  I knew this was was more about developing a healthy lifestyle than about a "get thin quick" method.  I think it was around Lent last year, so I felt somewhat virtuous just buying the book.  I duly noted (in an intellectual sort of way) that the 5 new habits and breaking old habits at the beginning of the book was similar to the Lenten disciplines of giving up something for Lent and taking up a discipline.

I read the first few pages. 

I saw the companion journal in the store, and thought about buying it several times.  But I didn't.

I did try to walk more often in the spring and summer.  In my mind I thought I was going to eat healthier and snack less.  But the heel pain cut into my walking time some, and I don't really have a back-up exercise.

A little later I realized that to keep track of some of the things in the journal, I would actually have to record my weight from day to day.  I didn't own a scale, so I bought one.

I didn't take it out of the box until a couple of weeks ago.

Last week I bought the journal.  I haven't started using it yet.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the doctor.  We were talking about my plantar faschaitis and about my family history of cholesterol.  She said something about the risk of being "pre-diabetic".  There is no diabetes in my family.  This would totally be based on my lifestyle choices.

I've got two pedometers.  I'm trying to find one of them.  I have successfully pushed away a couple of desserts.  And I'm working on exercise, with mixed results, so far.  I lost a couple of pounds.  I gained it back.  That's so discouraging.

I've tried not to think of the "warning" aspect of repentance.  I like to remind people that what we are turning toward is as important as what we are turning away from.  I still think that's true, and that I won't be able to stick to an exercise and diet plan with only the words "pre-diabetic" in my ears. 

But there are times when it is necessary to expose the unhealthy, self-centered, unjust, delusional roads we travel on.  There are times we need to step on the scale, or go to the doctor, and hear that part of the truth. 

I think the challenge for me right now is to figure out exactly what I am turning toward, when I turn away from the dessert and the snacks and sitting on the coach. 

Can I keep plugging along even when I get on the scale and discover that it didn't go the right way this time?  Can I keep on a discipline even though I fail sometimes?  Can I get up and try again, and adjust when something doesn't work? 

In a way, it's not such a different question than the the ones that confront me as a pastor, in my ministry.  Sometimes, in my ministry, I'll confess, the scale doesn't tilt in the right direction.  Sometimes when I reflect I think that I may need to change my habits, not only for my own health, but for the health and the future of my congregation. 

 Right now I'm evaluating both my personal health, and what habits I need to have and to develop to be an effective pastor.  Some things will probably remain the same, and some things will probably change.   The question in both areas is this:

"Can I keep on a discipline even though I fail sometimes?  Can I get up and try again, and adjust when something doesn't work?"

5 comments:

Mary Beth said...

I'm stumbling along behind you. Thanks for this!

rev maria said...

I hear you, sister. After I started tracking cholesterol intake about a year ago (on my iPhone - there's an app for that) I got involved in tracking all the other dietary components. Then I started using the pedometer app even when walking to and from the laundry room. I was happy to learn that 2 loads of wash and dry = 1/2 mile!

Sadly, I've learned that just keeping track of what I'm eating hasn't really helped me eat differently although now I'm aware of what is in my food. I guess I need to figure out what it is I am turning toward . . Thank you.

Jennifer said...

Turning (repentence) for me has often included making tiny, incremental turns, again and again.
For good...

Mompriest said...

The weight thing has me perplexed. I have actively tried to increase my exercise and decrease my calorie intake, for six months. Diligent. I lost about 6 pounds, and have gained back 3. I'm in better shape, some say I lost "fat" and gained "muscle" whch weights more than fat...but still...it's very frustrating. I have never been a person who had to "worry" about my weight. With little effort I could lose 5 pounds. Now it seems near impossible. sigh

so, having a book and journal to walk you through it may help. I hope you have more success than I have....

Di said...

Diane, I just finished reading Geneen Roth's "Women, Food, and God," and I can't recommend it highly enough. I'm betting the last thing you want to do is pick up one more thing that addresses the issue, but if you're up for it, I think this one is so important.