Posted by: cmittermeier | February 6, 2011

What do I say to my failings?

I recently celebrated candlemass – a yearly event where Catholics can get their beeswax candles blessed.  It won’t take you too long on a google search to find out those candles are said to be needed during the 3 days of darkness, that they will be the only things to light.  A fellow parishioner commented about how its coming, and I had the standard response of, “not yet I hope”.  He smiled and said I should be happy, not sad.  I reminded him that we still had more people to get in the boat first – once we had a full crew then we could leave the harbour.

It brought to mind how far I have come in my own Catholic journey, and how incredibly far I have yet to go.  I started off as a pharisee, ready live up to what I considered “the law” and very eagerly pushing under the rug anything in my faith that I didn’t want to agree to.  It was because only certain things applied to me, and no one every challenged if I should be doing that.   If we put it in any other context everyone would see the hypocrisy, so lets do that.

I want to be healthy, fit and to loose 40 pounds by July.  That means I need to do the following:

  • Cardio Exercise daily
  • Strength training daily
  • Eat at least 5 cups of veggies daily
  • For my evening snack, eat veggies.
  • I need to ensure I move more calories earlier in the day to avoid the 3pm hunger zone

Now, lets see what I’m really doing:

  • Cardio 4-5 times a week
  • Strength training went down to 3x last week
  • Veggies is only a weekday thing
  • Evening snack last week moved off of 1/2 a bag of mini sweet chili rice cakes to a bowl of cereal, still too big and no fruit
  • 3pm hunger zone still deadly, and last week dinner veggies were on the minimal side.

I am a Pharisee health person.  I take what I can and ignore the rest of the rules… right? wrong.  I don’t say the rules I can’t do are not applicable to me, that I don’t need them.  Those of you who know me in person know I like confession.  I have been told I look like I loose 10 pounds when I come out of the confessional, so who wouldn’t like confession?  Sorry, couldn’t help that one.  The rules of the game to get my weight down are the rules.  Can I fulfill them all now?  No, that’s why they are still on my confession list – but something “magical” happens when I confess them.  I seem to be able do a bit more of each of the rules… lets go over the night time snack zone.

  • Before I started this journey:  Snack was half a bag of doritos sweet chili heat
  • Started the journey, was told do veggies at night: hubby measured out 1 serving, 12 dorito chips
  • Middle of the journey, still told to do veggies: moved to sweet chili rice cakes, much few calories
  • Present spot, still told to move to veggies: moved to a bowl of cereal

Ah, now you see the difference.  Slowly breaking the chains of sin does not come from ignoring the sin or saying that the sin just isn’t a sin.  No change can come out of ignoring when you get the commandments wrong.  Yet that is exactly what I did!  Worse, I never felt I was sinning!  In the health context, I was the one who seriously thought I would wake up one day and without changing our eating, without going through the slow process of daily exercise that I would be fit.  I felt that if I put in a few appearances – like doing sit ups a couple times a year, or biking 4 times a year with the kids – well, that was enough and I should be at my ideal weight.  With that list, no one would have agreed that I’d reach any goals beyond adding extra weight and loosing more muscle.

Yet, I the notion in myhead that attending mass a few times and obeying the commandments I felt applicable to me was all I needed to do.  I had no idea I was drowning in sin, and I was not willing to make any change.  Till I was willing to make that change, nothing was possible.  Well, one change was.  Its called a change of final plans.  So I leave off with this cheery thought, just what is your final plan?

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