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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bible Bite: A Be-Attitude for Dieters and Giving Yourself a Gift on Three King's Day

Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied."
~~Luke 6:21

Yeah, I know that I'm taking this famous Beatitude out of context by making it about dieting, instead of the spiritual context of the Sermon on the Mount. But I think the Lord will understand. :) After all, gluttony is a sin, and the Word is there to teach us, to help us correct ourselves, to assist us as we work to overcome our weaknesses, right?

So...back to my appropriation of the Be-Attitude:

This was part of my devotion for yesterday. And I had to stop and consider it in MY current context--which is the one where I work to beat down my gorging inner beast.

Dieters are generally hungry. Most honest diet books admit it. Anytime you go from, say, 4000 or 6000 or 3000 or 8000 calories down to 2000 or 1600 or 1200, you will be hungry. (Yeah, I know the very low carb diets have an elimination of hunger through ketosis aspect, but most of us don't or won't or can't do that sort of eating.) Some, like Dr. Beck, make it clear that being a grown-up means putting up with hunger pangs until it's time to eat according to one's meal plan. Most diets offer tricks and strategies to get us to feel full on fewer calories, on better foods, because hunger sets us up for gorging.

We dieters will face hunger. It's just how it is.

We don't like to hear this, do we? We don't like to feel deprived, hungry, peckish. And it's not just about the body (though that wars against us). We want the emotional comfort and satisfaction of eating what we want, when we want, or a reasonable facsimile.

But dieting means some acceptance of being hungry.

If we--and that means mostly ME, right now--can accept that there really is a blessing in tolerating a current and ongoing suffering of periodic levels of hunger in order to achieve ongoing and later levels of better health and mobility (the grown-up reasons) and a more attractive physique (the shallower motivation), then I--and we-- can see that the latter blessing (health, beauty) are greater than the current pseudo-blessing of eating what we want, when we want.

Whoa, that was a keyboard-full.

Result of all this pondering? I went to bed Monday a little hungry. I was at 1700 calories, and if I had a meal, even a mini-meal, I'd bust the 1800 I was shooting for. So, I sucked it up and went to bed with that little pang in me.

I've awoken with an appetite, I can tell you. And the scale showed a downward move from yesterday by -.6 lbs. So, that puts me at 276.2 today.

This is Tuesday. This is my mindset right now: Let yourself be a little hungry.

It's probably a good mental adjustment for all of us with weight issues--but how can we hold on to it, how can we live with it? I dunno. I'm just putting this out there: When the pangs start hitting, and what we plan to eat is X --which is low-cal and healthful and as filling as reasonably possible--and what we want to eat is Y--which is excessive and non-healthful and gorgeful--let's call ourselves blessed if we choose the healthful way, even if it leaves us not totally satisfied NOW. There's a greater satisfaction coming. A greater blessing.

Today is the second Christmas for us in the Latin culture. It's Three Kings Day. We celebrate the arrival of the Magi to offer gifts to the one born in Bethlehem and born to be king. (None of the gifts were cakes, cookies or sweets, I might add. All valuable and useful and symbolically significant, but not fattening. Heh.) I used to wake up to gifts under my bed on this morning when I was little. The Christmas season ends today, the Twelfth Day of Christmas. The Feast of the Epiphany.

Hunger as a blessing is my epiphany this week. I hope I can hold onto this blessing.

And this is my gift: I am giving myself today is the gift of a day of healthful eating and of accepting the occasional twinges of hunger and unsatisfied cravings, so that I, the Roly-Poly Princess may one day find satisfaction in being the Slender Queen of my empire.

Be a Magi to yourself today. Give yourself something that enriches your moment or your week or your life. Maybe an inspirational book or a calming cd or just go outside and sing a song in the sunlight. Maybe just ten minutes of positive thoughs: be grateful for the gift of life. Write a love letter to someone you haven't appreciated enough with words. Donate to a food bank in your name, and eat less so someone can eat more.

Seek an epiphany of your own. Be quiet and consider yourself and your life and your habits. Is there something you can come to realize that will be of help to you in any way, small or great?

And let me know what gift you gave yourself and what epiphany you may have had...

Happy Tuesday!


JavaChick said...

Hi ya. I saw your comment on Cranky Fitness and had to come visit because I love the name of your blog. I agree with your definition of diet - being "what we eat" rather than a specific plan. I'm struggling with this "let myself be hungry" thing as well. It's a toughie, that's for sure. Excellent post and best of luck with the dieting!

Katrina said...

I am putting that scripture on my fridge!

Princess Dieter said...

Hey, thanks for teh visit, Java Chick. :)

Katrina, I think if I can find a square inch or two of free space (my fridge is overloaded with lists, pictures, magnet clips and coupons), I'll do likewise.

Squishy ! said...

What a great post! Thanks so much, Princess. :o ) I think that this is the most meaningful and edifying blog post that I've read in a long time.