Posted by: cmittermeier | May 16, 2011

To battle the bulge… when desparation enters the fight.

Last week ended with me being sick.  I spent two days in bed, though on the second day I was able to move around without winding myself.   I was hardly able to exercise or ride my bike.  Even today, though I am mostly on the mend, I find myself having difficulty breathing going up the stairs and if I’m not careful end up in a coughing fit.  As I mentioned in the last post, my appetite never went away, and with the lack of movement I’m sure I was taking in more calories than expending even with the extra work of fighting the bugs.  Though I don’t have the scale as proof, I suspect I went up not down with this illness.

Since the trip I’d gone back to night time munching, and not veggies folks.  On Friday night I’d made the decision to go back to veggies – and brought my husband on board with it.  I was going to get back on track, really!  On Sunday we had a ladies tea at the church, and it had an amazing assortment of goodies.  I ate, and ate, and  ate… and in no way was I working any of it off.  I came home feeling like giving up.  I spent much of the night deciding to do just that.  How many times do I have to prove to myself that I just can’t do this before I admit defeat was all that went through my mind.  I was attempting the impossible… get real, your body is slowing down, your appetite is not… haven’t we all heard this litany before?

Not surprisingly, when I moved off of reviewing my health and reviewed my spiritual side I found the same pattern… I’d come back from Rome and had drifted in my prayers and readings.  When I was sick, I did not use that extra time for extra prayers, in fact I dropped my existing prayer times!  By Saturday I was staring at my rosary and thinking thoughts like, “why do you even try, its not like you’d ever be able to do a daily rosary… get real, your just a mess spiritually, you have the consistency of a mexican jumping bean… why do you even bother?  hmm.  Coincidence?

I think not.  My journey to improving my lifestyle is not a vain attempt to fit into some bikini, it is an extension of my spirituality and a very strong desire to make my body a proper temple for the Holy Spirit.  That means I’m talking about mental exercises of charity right along with all those abdominals!  It means accepting that I can’t do this on my own, that I need God’s help – so how exactly did I think I could get anywhere by cutting down on that connection with him?

Today I sat down and continued reading Timothy Gallagher’s “The Discentment of Spirits”, a book explaining Ignaitus’ 12 rules for week one.  It is not the first time I’m reading it, like the bible its a book that needs continual refreshing.  I love his line, “The enemy insinuates the inevitability of defeat”!  That is the one line description of how I felt yesterday!!!

So today I will explain how I’m implementing rule 5, and parts of rule 6.

RULE FIVE:  In time of desolation never to make a change; but to be firm and constant in the resolutions and determination in which one was the day preceding such desolation, or in the determination in which he was in the preceding consolation. Because, as in consolation it is rather the good spirit who guides and counsels us, so in desolation it is the bad, with whose counsels we cannot take a course to decide rightly.

Ah ha!  So don’t give up on going back to veggies at night!  It also means I have to bike to the church 3x a week and bike around the neighbourhood on the other days.  Now to rule six.

RULE SIX: Although in desolation we ought not to change our first resolutions, it is very helpful intensely to change ourselves against the same desolation, as by insisting more on prayer, meditation, on much examination, and by giving ourselves more scope in some suitable way of doing penance.

More Prayer: prayers of petition mainly – ie LORD, don’t let me give up on this!

Meditation: St. Peter after the resurrection – John 21:3-20

3Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We also will come with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.4When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.” 6 So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. 7 So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. 8 The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish.9 When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.10Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.”11So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three 5 large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.12Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they realized it was the Lord.13Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish.14 This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead.15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”16 He then said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” (Jesus) said to him, “Feed my sheep.18 Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”19 He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

I will leave you to your own thoughts with this passage.  I take great comfort from it, knowing for every mistake I make there will be the chance to answer rightly – I believe!

Much examination: that is part of what this entry is a part of.  The other parts were doing my weight log and restarting my food journal.  I will also talk with my husband about other changes I should restart.

Suitable penance: I will have to be a bit tighter with the calories this week.  I know I won’t be able to aerobically exercise to the same level as last week, but I can do more ball time, more hand weights.

Wow, there really is a plan here!  It never ceases to amaze me how practicle our faith really is. Thank you God! Catholic Coaching is awesome! Thank you Ignatius – you didn’t have to write all this stuff for us – thank you so much for making the choices you did!!!!!!



  1. Folks! It really worked! I started the day with like ziltch in the motivation/energy to keep going column. After the above, I not only had the urge to do the exercise (I did swap out 30 minutes on the treadmill for the ride around the neighbourhood as the weather is wet) – BUT – I am back to that wonderful feeling of contentment! It really works – you gotta try it next time you’re in a rut! 4 steps: pray, meditate, examine and penance!

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