Everyday I read this blog. I am a subscriber to the Regnum Christi site but this blog has that plus much more. I highly recommend you checking it out.
From Regnum Christi June 27, 2008
2. God First
“I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.” We can teach catechism, join a religious movement, be on the parish council, help at soup kitchens, or even be ordained a priest; but, do we know Christ? Are we striving to have a true, personal, intimate friendship with Jesus? Are we allowing Christ’s teaching to soak into every fiber of our life? This passage is a wake-up call to all of us involved in good works. We need to be on guard never to neglect God because of the work we do for God: that is, subtly allow what we do to become more important than the one we do it for.
3. Building on Solid Ground
“The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock.” Christ is the true foundation of our life; yet this is a foundation we ourselves have to lay by maintaining a constant prayer life, finding time for silence and reflection on Scripture, going to the Sacraments, and strengthening our will through small sacrifices. This foundation is laid in the peace before the storm. When the ferocious floods, rains and winds arrive, it’s too late to lay a foundation—what has been built is all we have to rely on for safety. Christ reminds us to build on solid ground now so as to be prepared for the storms that lie ahead.
I recently picked up a copy of Reinhard Engels’ No-S Diet book for some light reading to keep my motivation up during my processed foods detox. I only got it because it was cheap and I found it amusing that a computer programmer wrote a diet book.
Once I started reading it, however, I found that it has some of the most helpful, practical insights on maintaining a reasonable weight that I’ve ever heard.
A good (perhaps more descriptive) alternate title would be Conquering Gluttony. While most weight loss books devote 80% of the content to explaining the diet itself and 20% to how to keep up with it for the long term, this book is the opposite: almost all the content of the No-S Diet deals with how to overcome gluttonous tendencies for life.
The idea is that you work to develop lifetime habits of:
- No Sweets
- No Snacks
- No Seconds
- …Except sometimes on Special Days (days of the week that start with S, major national and religious holidays, and immediate family members’ birthdays)
When I first read about this concept, it didn’t sound that remarkable. But trying to put these ideas into practice in my life this past week has led to quite remarkable results…not necessarily in terms of weight loss (yet), but in the way I see my relationship with food. Here are some thoughts:
NO SWEETS: Making special days special
The idea here is that you put sweets in their proper place, enjoying them regularly but not whenever you feel like it. I like Engels’ point that “sweets weren’t designed for daily, routine consumption, physically or spiritually” [emphasis mine]. The discipline involved in forcing myself to wait a little while to indulge in sweets (just until the weekend, which is doable), has been as good for me spiritually as it has been physically.
NO SNACKS: Mindful eatingI’m not much of a snacker…so I thought. But making the commitment to consolidate my eating to three distinct meals per day has made me realize just how much I graze!
It’s also forced me into the practice of mindful eating: for example, if I’m really going to make it all the way between lunch and dinner without snacking, I need to think ahead and make sure I have a plan for both lunch and dinner. The first couple of days I found myself drifting around the kitchen at each meal, unconsciously reaching for the bag of pretzels to quell my increasing hunger while I tried to figure out what to eat. It only took a few days without snacks to motivate me to actually put some thought into what the next meal would be.
Also, as a somewhat “emotional eater,” I’ve found it a lot easier to honestly answer the question “Is it mealtime?” as opposed to the question “Am I really hungry?” With the latter, there’s a surprising amount of gray area depending on my mood. With the former, it’s perfectly clear.
And, finally, no snacking has also made me experience something that is very unfamiliar to me: hunger. I didn’t realize it until I tried following these principles, but I never used to feel hungry. At the slightest pang, I’d wander into the kitchen and grab a handful of cheerios or a granola bar. As Engels’ predicts, my body is adjusting and I find myself less and less hungry between meals as the days go on. But, frankly, the feeling of being hungry is actually kind of refreshing — and it’s made me truly appreciate and focus on each meal more than ever before.
NO SECONDS: Mindful eating, part II
For me, the “no seconds” rule has been the most powerful concept in terms of controlling my gluttonous tendencies. The idea is this: eat however much of whatever you want…just put it all on one plate. You wouldn’t think that that would be that powerful. Let me give you an example that demonstrates why it is:
A few days ago we went over to a friend’s house where they had some delicious quiche. I put a nice, dainty little portion onto my plate…and then realized that if I were really going to make it until the next meal with no snacks and no seconds, I would want more than this. So I estimated how much I would probably normally eat (spread out over second and third helpings), and put it all on one plate.
Y’all, that was embarrassing!
I saw my friend do a double-take as I walked back to the table with my huge dinner-sized plate covered with quiche. “I’m really hungry today,” I said with a self-conscious laugh. Even when I eat alone, it is very psychologically powerful to have the amount that I am eating stare me in the face.
These last two ideas, no snacks and no seconds, have really brought home to me something that Engels emphasizes in his book: Gluttony almost always involves lies.
This was a huge realization for me, and the main reason that this system of eating has changed the way I think about my relationship to food: unless I was counting carbs or calories (which is impossible for me to keep up with for the long haul), snacks and seconds allowed me to spread out my consumption and unintentionally lie to myself about how much I was really eating. Without snacks and seconds, there are no more lies. Without any counting or measuring, I can see with my own eyes (as can anyone else who’s around me) that I am eating huge quantities of food at each meal.
Today June 26, 2008
I got up earlier than normal, showered and washed my hair, stripped the sheets, put up some laundry and headed downstairs for breakfast which was egg toast. I then spent some time on the computer looking up ads for shopping, made my to do list, woke Rob and got him breakfast.
We then went to tennis where he did real well. After tennis we went to the 1/2 price bookstore to turn in his reading card. I found a book from the Jan Karon series for $1.00 and Rob found a Pokemon book for $2.48. I ended up getting out of there for under $1.00. We were hungry so we went to Mr. Goodcents. I just love visiting with this dear little guy. We stopped next at Borders where I used my 30% off coupon for YOU on a Diet. Next, we went to WalMart where we bought potatoes, diet rite, folders for TOPS, and some Fiber One bars. Then on to CVS to pick up a prescription and drop one off. With our insurance change I had to pay over $300.00 for one month of medication. Good golly. I’m glad that it goes toward our deductible and that it may soon be paid for. DH said that this insurance would end up being a better deal for us than the other one offered so I’ll have to trust him on that. Anyway I also picked up three Aleve, 20 counts for $2.99 and used $1.00 off coupon so that was good I guess and we found some new goggles for Rob. Then it was on to Office Max where Rob copied his little heart out for me, it was a joy to watch him work those machines. I’m glad he was there because I didn’t know how to two side copy something. I was able to use my 15% off printing coupon so I saved TOPS some money. Then we finally got to head home.
I told Rob about how when Matt was young like him I would work all day and then pick him up from daycare and have to run all my errands afterwards. We wouldn’t get home until 7:00 or 8:00 sometimes. He asked if my other husband had and job and I explained to him that he did but that it didn’t pay much and we didn’t feel like we could live with just one salary. In retrospect we probably could but neither of us thought about it. I feel so badly that I couldn’t give Matt this life; Rob said as we were walking that he felt bad for Matt.
Anyway good, busy day; off to talk to DH. Still have to do laundry, finish bylaws and load up new folders.
From Saint Study – Good Food for Thought June 25, 2008
Jesus once said that a camel can pass through a needle’s eye more easily than a rich person can enter God’s realm. That’s pretty scary news for us. We may not have great fortunes, but we who live in the West enjoy a share of the world’s goods that people in the rest of the world cannot imagine. Much to the amusement of her neighbors, Jutta disposed of her wealth after her husband’s death and devoted her life to caring for those who had no means. Should we follow her example, people will probably laugh at us, too. But God will smile.
Cleaning Up, Sorting, Making Decisions and Purging June 24, 2008
Today I spent some time cleaning out my e-mail files, my bookmark section and my blog. I still have a bunch to do, but it is a start.
Got the shelf in the garage cleaned off except for the donation stuff. Next I need to get the studio desk cleaned off then DH can move the shelf in there and I can put my books and things on it. I need to brainstorm what I’m going to put on it.
I joined The YOU on a Diet site today. It looks interesting. I am horrified at my waist size (that is what they base things on) and my Real Age. But horrified is good. Maybe it will spur some positive action on my part. My BP is still doing well.