Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Back on the Wagon


Not a very nice word, is it? Not talked about much anymore either. But, many of the Catholic church's historical thinkers felt that one must conquer this earthly appetite before attempting any others. Gluttony was also tied very closely with fasting - one thing my current church does practice.

Discipline and moderation - my other two non-favorite words.

According to Thoughts Matter by Margaret Funk "...gluttony is the pattern of eating indiscriminately with no thought of how this food is feeding my spiritual life. Eating can be unreflective and even gross. The spiritual practice of eating right is mindful and deliberate."

"Gluttony is deadly when a person makes a god of the belly." source

According to a Christianity Today article, several early church notables outlined several evidences of gluttony:

1. Gorging ourselves and not savoring a reasonable amount of food.

2. Eating at any other time than the appointed hour (like snacking). For the hermit monk, this usually involved one meal at noon or later. For the monk in community, this involved eating with the community at prescribed times.

3. Anticipating eating with preoccupied, eager longing. The hermit who had his desires under control would not be checking the angle of the sun every 15 minutes.

4. Eating excessively costly foods.

5. Seeking after delicacies. These last two are especially concerned with being content with what we have (cf. Philippians 4:11).

6. Paying too much attention to food. This means it is as gluttonous to be overscrupulous about food (and how our body looks) as it is to overindulge ourselves. Inordinate concern can become idolatry of the creation.

So, due to a variety of reasons - continuing back problems, concerns about future health problems, just generally feeling icky, and a desire to be more physically and spiritually disciplined - I'm back on the wagon. The weight-loss wagon that is.

And, after reading Jennifer's post about gluttony and prayer and noticing her mention of a book she read, I got The No-S Diet book via inter-library loan recently. And, I think I've finally found a food change I can live with.

While I was very successful with a Weight Watchers derivative before, the cost and constant label reading, calculator-using, and point counting just became too mentally burdening. But, I did learn the lesson of how much a real "portion" is.

So, as seemingly commonsensical as The No-S Diet may seem to many, it's something I never learned. And, something (for once) that seems "do-able". Also, as a lifelong emotional eater and someone who fallen for the media's "you must snack" mantra for too long, this plan curbs my worst impulses right up front.

And, while I'm getting real, I've gained about 80 pounds in the last 8 years. That is really shameful considering how incredibly blessed I've been and how the last 8 years have been the happiest years (although the most tumultuous as well) that I've ever had.

I swore I wouldn't hit 40 being this overweight but that milestone has passed. So, I'm just gonna start...now. Actually, I started yesterday. But, you get the point. It's just time. There's nothing particularly special about April 20th but I'm hoping that one year from now I can look back and see some serious improvement.


sara said...

I was listening to a sermon last night in which the preacher touched on gluttony (and alcoholism and drug abuse, etc.). He contended, and I think he may be right, that those things are really misplaced worship, seeking comfort apart from the comforter, and looking to a savior who cannot save. It was pretty convicting to me. Interesting that you would be writing about it today. God does that to me often - teaches me lessons over and over in a short period of time. He is a good God.

sara said...

that is "apart from the Comforter."

and if you're interested in the sermon, let me know.

Brooke said...

I heard somewhere that gluttony was when food consumed your life - and that anorexics could be gluttons to because they put their focus on not eating...interesting line of thought at least.

its great that you've decided to take action. and we're here to help you along the way! good luck!

ValleyGirl said...

You and I are SO on the same wavelength!! I just started a marvelous Bible study ~ Dee Brestin's "A Woman of Moderation" ~ and I tell ya, it's what's been missing in ALL my previous efforts all these years!!

I think you and I are finally on the right track!!

Christy - The Sisterhood said...

Beth, I'm so glad you've found something that's reignited your desire to be healthy and lose weight! I'm also excited that we at the Sisterhood will be side-by-side with you on this journey!

Have a great week!

april said...

I'm so glad that you're "Back on the Wagon"!!!

Good luck!! :o)