Don't Let's Call It a Diet, Lent

Turn these scones into bread

Petite vanilla bean scone I was standing in the local coffee shop in Yarmouth this morning, waiting for two cups of coffee to go, one for my colleague, K, and one for me. I was waiting and looking at the baked goods in the glass case.

There were raspberry muffins (I've seen him eat one before) and lovely, enormous scones, scones nearly as big as my head.

Scones beyond reckoning. 

Maybe not that big, but you get the idea. 

And the tiny little bird on one shoulder said, "Oh, why not?" "You can take a muffin for K and a scone for yourself. They look delicious!"

And the tiny little bird on the other said, but only after a long moment of hesitation, "Nope."

It's not because of Lent that I've returned to the discipline of following Weight Watchers, but the Lenten themes of fasting and sacrifice certainly seem appropriate, even if we're hoping to do something that will be a life change instead of a "diet."

Don't Let's Call It a Diet. That's the category I assigned to posts about my weight loss journey when I began it in earnest in 2007. I reached a point in my life where my doctor threatened blood pressure medication unless I got myself in hand, and as those of you who've known me or been reading along for a long time know, I spent the next year following the program pretty faithfully, despite running into the roadblock of Rheumatoid Arthritis in the second part of the year.

Illness was one thing. I continued to lose weight when I first got sick. Maybe that's *why* I did, at least in part, lose as much weight as I did. Prednisone put a stop to weight loss, in the short term, but mostly feeling sorry for myself did. I spent the fall of 2008 feeling sorry for myself and eating. Around Christmas I decided it had to stop, went back to a Weight Watchers meeting in January, and got back on track. I wrote about it. I followed the program. But I didn't successfully change my life.

I didn't.

I can see it in the Weight Loss graph and chart on the WW website by looking at the last date I weighed in (March 26, 2009) and then looking at the number I had to chart in January of 2010. In between there's a vast empty place in my memory, a sort of blind willfulness about what I put into my mouth. Work was stressful, my husband's absence for work stressful, whatever whatever whatever was…stressful.


I'm trying again, and I've been reluctant to blog about it, because, seriously, we've been down this road before, and why should this time be any different? I can't promise it will be, but I'm trying. I'd like to get back to a point I reached almost two years ago. That's my goal for now, but my real goal is to relearn eating and to have a conscious relationship with food.

It's embarrassing to think of the number of times I've read books on the topic. How many attempts are we allowed in this life before there are no more chances? 

I believe in redemption, that we can change, that where there is life, there is hope. But I know it's hard. I know the source of hunger for scones instead of bread is not some external tempter, but an inner condition. 

I know the devil that tempts me looks less like a serpent and more like me.

Don't Let's Call It a Diet

Under 550

Asiago_peppercorn_steak  I'm trying to get back on the food wagon after a period of flagrant disregard for eating sensibly. We were at Applebee's last weekend, where I will admit I ordered the "Wonton Tacos" from the appetizer menu as my lunch. I noted that they no longer have a small Weight Watchers section on the menu, though I did see some WW entrees sprinkled around the different categories (can't find them on the web menu, though). 

What they do have is a new and prominent menu section called "Under 550 Calories." 

This makes me wonder how many calories are in the Grilled Oriental Chicken Salad I order so often, which is not on the list. 

Don't Let's Call It a Diet, Friday Five

Midway through Lent Friday Five, one day late

As posted by Sophia at RevGalBlogPals:

1. Did you give up, or take on, anything special for Lent this year?

I decided, after a pancake-based frenzy on and around Fat Tuesday, to be honestly observant of my Weight Watchers plan during Lent, with two extra commitments: to eschew butter. (I really love butter and have been described as using it to "frost" bread.) (The pancake-based frenzy? Involved frosting with butter.)

2. Have you been able to stay with your original plans, or has life gotten in the way?

I have, since even when life has gotten in the way, I've made the choice to be as honest as possible in tracking the food and the points, even when I needed to approximate. This was more a question of making myself do it, in other words choosing not to get in my own way.

3. Has God had any surprising blessings for you during this Lent?

Other things feel less "out of control" as I pursue this discipline so consciously. Instead of feeling deprived, I feel I am taking good care of myself. This does include feeling hungry at times and having to decide whether it's hunger that requires immediate or near-immediate feeding, and with what.

4. What is on your inner and/or outer agenda for the remainder of Lent and Holy Week?

To continue on this path, which also helps me to feel capable of doing all the work that lies ahead of me in terms of worship planning, sermon-preparation and also wrap up of certain portions of my work as I get ready to move on to another job (more details on this soon). Taking off the rest of the weight the doctor recommended for me as an otherwise healthy person, given that I now have RA, seems very important. I see this period as an opportunity to consolidate some changes in my life that include eating more fruits and vegetables (not just bananas and lettuce!) and choosing all my food with an eye toward health, while knowing there still need to be treats in moderation or I will not keep at it.

5. Where do you most long to see resurrection, in your life and/or in the world, this Easter?

In line with my Lenten discipline, I'm hoping to get back to the weight loss I had achieved in the season of Easter last year, before beginning treatment for RA and having a prednisone-influenced and sadness-exacerbated weight gain through the summer and fall. It's not just about the number, it's about moving into a new way of living and seeing the next step ahead of me, continuing toward my ultimate goal of health, which includes but is not limited to a number. I'm close at this point, but trying not to get hung up for good or bad on any particular week's loss, rather to take the long view.