Pollyanna meets the Apocalypse (the unauthorized sequel)

If you’re tired of all those cheerful Facebook videos, Twitter posts, and other messages of hope and optimism from our suddenly shuttered world — well, you’ll probably want to pass this one by as well. Yeah, I’m one of those relentlessly “glass is half full” types who refuse to let you wallow in unmitigated misery!

glass half

And Pollyanna may have been an unbearable little twit, but she had her good points (especially as played by Hayley Mills, who wasn’t quite as unbearable as the original)! Namely, she helped all those around her, even l’il orphan Jimmy, see the upside of things!

prisms

There’s always something fun to do, even in a seemingly never-ending lockdown!

But Pollyanna had a point — when life screws you over, like it has so many of us recently, you have to decide how you’re going to deal with it. Rage, rage, against the dying of the light? Or rejoice, because now you can see the stars more clearly?

doctor dark stars

That was pretty philosophical, huh? Hey, I have my moments! So anyway, now that Pollyanna and I have helped you see the brighter side of the Apocalypse, let’s check the ol’ weightaroonie, shall we?

193.8

Yikes! Uh, uh yeah, well, y’see, my gym’s been closed for a week (the one I rarely go to anyway) and all the hiking trails have been closed (not that I’d go hiking in the rain anyway) and church is closed, so none of those fun Lenten prostrations (even though I always just bend over halfway and touch the edge of the pew — hey, I’m not a FANATIC, man!) and there’s not enough healthy snacks at the grocery stores (other than the vegetables, which no one seems to be hoarding for some reason).

lame excuse

I mean, there’s an excuse for everything, right? And it’s a stressful time for all of us, and at least another week to go! And yeah, I know it could be *longer* than a week, but let’s face it, one week at a time is probably the best we can all do right now, am I right?

one week later

Oh, let’s hope not! But if it does, rest assured, I’ll still be here to spread more cheer! (Oh, and speaking of spreading more cheer — you TOTALLY have my permission to treat yourself to one completely off-limits, highly calorific, fatty junk food item this week! Go nuts, friends! We’ll work it off together once this is all over!)

junk food

Repost for Ash Wednesday, ’cause I’m preoccupied, dagnabit!

Hi, everyone! Oops — just realized I’d forgotten to do a blog post this morning! Dare I say I made an “ash” of myself? (Get it? ‘Cause it’s Ash Wednesday?)

Oh well, sorry! Anyhoo, no weigh-in today, but please enjoy this blast from the past (last year, to be exact) and I’ll see ya next week! 

FROM FEBRUARY 25, 2019:

Post-Road Trip, Pre-Lent Weigh-In

Good morning, everyone!

Meatfare Groundhog

Yes, that’s right — as I’ve occasionally mentioned in this blog before, I’m an Eastern Catholic (Byzantine, Ruthenian, Greek Catholic, or whatever). We’re simple folk with different ways, but we’re cool.

easternstress

Anyway, the main thing to know about us as it relates to this blog is that even though we’re Catholic, we follow the same basic traditions as the Eastern Orthodox. And yesterday was what we call “Meatfare,” or “Farewell, Meat!” (You militant vegans out there should appreciate that since it’s the total, polar opposite of “Meet your Meat.”)

meet meat

The idea is that instead of melodramatically going from feast (Mardi Gras) to famine (Ash Wednesday), we kinda slide into the whole fasting thing gently. This week, we give up meat. Next week, after Cheesefare Sunday, we give up … well … everything else, basically!

lent no soup for you.jpg

That’s right — our Lent officially starts two days BEFORE your Ash Wednesday!

endora

Anyway, you can read more about the whole Meatfare/Cheesefare Sundays thing here, if you’re so inclined. Meanwhile, I suppose I should get on with the whole weigh-in thing.

finally.jpg

Oh … wait … did I mention I was on a road trip last week? So that might have affected my weight? I mean, I did put the words “Post-Road Trip” in the post title and all, so I probably should at least mention it, right?

get on with it

Oh, all right!! Today’s weigh-in is, like people who don’t spout their political opinions to everyone they meet, whether they want to hear them or not (*cough* EVERY DAMN PERSON AT THE OSCARS *cough*), surprisingly neutral!

180.0
vo de o

That’s right — it’s EXACTLY the same as it was Monday, before I hit the road for beautiful, sunny Phoenix, Arizona!

Phoenix rain walk 1

And I did indulge in some non-diet-type foods at the hotel’s fabulous Continental Breakfast Bar.

So I’m actually pretty impressed that I managed to keep the numbers from wildly skyrocketing. I did do some walking (in between the torrential storms) so that probably helped.

umbrella.jpg

Anyway, that’s it! And I’m going out on a limb AND going on record (hmm, can’t seem to find a meme that combines those two images! how bizarre) to renew my pledge, before God and everybody, to start counting my calories again. To be completely honest, I’d slacked off a bit on actually writing everything down, and keeping a running total in my head. Now that may work for you super math geniuses, but y’know, I’m not one of those.

math2

So it’s back to pen(cil) and paper for me! Let’s see how that works out. Meanwhile, have a GREAT first week of pre-Lent, everyone! See you Friday for a brand-new Five!

five.jpg

 

“Good morning, I’m fat! How are you?”

“I’m fat; how are you?” Great line, isn’t it? Sure wish I’d come up with it! But no, I have to give proper credit: it’s from Simcha Fischer’s “What’s for Supper? Vol. 201, Potatoes and Other Tornadoes?” post last week.

Well, there’s something to be said for celebrating, rather than denigrating, your fatness sometimes — and my cat Pumpkin seems to agree, since she seems to find my “trying-to-sleep-under-a-mountain-of-covers” body the perfect memory foam pillow, to knead and mold into the shape she wants!

And of course, all this preliminary hoohah is just my way of psyching us all up for today’s weigh-in! Shall we?

194.0

Yeah, up an entire 0.6 pounds since last week!! The horror, the horror! But hark, what’s that approaching, in the not-too-distant future?

That’s right, campers, it’s that time of year again! And if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that yours truly follows the Byzantine Catholic way of life (more or less!).

And being pseudo-Orthodox, the ideal is to give up all meat, cheese, dairy, oils, and just plain FUN for the next month-plus.

And then, of course, during the week FOLLOWING Pascha, or Easter (aka “Spring,” for all my atheist, heathen, and Pagan pals!), it’s basically “all you can eat at the Resurrection buffet” time!

(And “New Calendar,” please — I can’t wait another week!)

So here’s the sked: this Sunday is Meatfare, following which we give up

the following Sunday is Cheesefare, after which we give up

and voila, there we are, all us Eastern Christians, deep in the heart of Lent a full two days before all you Westerners get those smudges on your foreheads!

But hey, it’s all good! At least, it’s *supposed* to be good. I always think I’m going to lose weight during Lent, but somehow it never happens. Maybe because “bread” is not one of the forbidden fruits — and I can definitely eat WAY too much bread!

Which is just another reason not to give up on the calorie counting, ’cause no matter what you’re eating — even if you’re a full-fledged Ultra-Orthodox Vegan — it’s STILL possible to overdo it!

So there ya go! And here *I* go, but I’ll see ya NEXT week, when hopefully we’ll have, not Meatfare or Cheesefare, but FATFARE!! So long, fat!!

Doctor Who, “Partners in Crime,” Catherine Tate & David Tennant

Whether dieting or “Jesus-ing,” stick with the basics!

Welp, yet another small but HISTORICALLY significant gain this week — but some theological AND diet wisdom to go along with it! First, the annoying news:

190.4
don't step on scales
apple core

Yep, that’s right, as of today’s weigh-in, I’m no longer 50 pounds down!! Thus, I’ll either have to rename the blog (“50 by 61?” “50 by 62?”) OR get back to basics and recalibrate that diet!

cat mouse remember diet'

And in a weird weigh way, it kinda ties in with some theological stuff I’ve been dealing with. See, as you longtime regular readers (all 3 of you!) know, I’m a Byzantine Catholic.

babushka

However, every so often, like most sensible people, I have my doubts about the whole “religulous” thing. That’s because, also like a lot of otherwise sensible people, I have a tendency to let my religion get tied up with my politics, and wind up worshipping something more like the all-too-human leaders of my party of choice (whichever it is at the time) than any transcendent deity that may or may not exist!

And no matter which version of Jesus you favor, Democrat, Republican, or “other,” you have to know, deep down inside, that if there even is any such Person at all, He’s probably not tied to any one particular political party or ideology that we humanoids have managed to cobble together for ourselves!

30 rock we count those

Anyway, the nice thing about going through a bout of atheism on a regular basis is that it’s kinda like cleaning out that junk drawer in the kitchen.

junk drawer.jpgYou know how it is — you throw everything out, clean the drawer, leave it empty for a while, till one fine day you need to store a new kitchen thingy (“Hey, why not in that nice, clean, empty drawer?”) and then another thingy, and another,  till before you know it, everything’s back to normal! Except now, at least you’ve got NEW junk in there, instead of all the old junk, and for a while, anyway, maybe you’ll actually remember what’s in there, and occasionally even find something useful there!

batteries.jpg

(And trust me, I’m getting to the dieting stuff! Be patient!)

get on1

ANYHOO, so from time to time I throw out all the theological crap I’ve been storing in my internal junk drawer, aka “brain,” and then a few weeks/months/years later, I find myself with a brand new religious idea that makes sense! So I store it in my nice, clean, empty brain, then add another,  and another, till pretty soon everything’s back to normal, till the next spring cleaning time rolls around.

But the mistake a lot of theologically inclined people make when they’re losing their faith is to try and “Jesus” harder, a term I first came across in Rolltodisbelieve, a “nonreligious” Patheos blog by the very amusing and perceptive Captain Cassidy, aka Cassidy McGillicuddy. (And before my religulous friends get uptight, yes I’m still religious, but you know what? When you’re lost in the forest, sometimes it’s helpful to consult someone who’s outside it, and thus has a better view of the overall map!)

99 trees.jpg

Anyway, in a recent post, Captain Cassidy writes about how Christians rarely think about how they will cope if they find themselves starting to lose their faith:

If the doubters don’t want to do a bunch of busywork or they don’t respond in something other than the expected manner, then Christians fall back on accusing the doubters of Jesus-ing incorrectly. …
If doubters fail to resolve the doubt in question, then obviously the doubters allowed the scripts to fail.

Again, I don’t necessarily agree with all of the Captain’s *conclusions* in that post, but I sure do love the fact that she really pinpoints the problem(s) in ways that my fellow religulous friends are sometimes afraid to! And that brings me — AT LONG LAST!! — to the connection with the diet!

finally

When a longtime dieter who’s lost a whole bunch of weight starts regaining — “Why is this happening? I’m doing all the same stuff I was doing before! I’m eating all the same stuff!” — and they go online, what happens? Do they get sympathy (“Oh yeah, I’ve been there! Don’t worry, just take some deep breaths, get on with your life, take it one day at a time, it’ll all work out!“)? Well, maybe sometimes, but more often, they get stuff like:

“You’re dieting wrong! You should be [fill in fad diet of the month here] instead! What are your macros? Check your macros! Keto! Vegan! Calories don’t count!”

So here’s the connection! (OPINION ALERT!) Just like there’s all sorts of religions out there — all sorts of ways to find God and/or be spiritual or whatever — the ultimate goal of the best of them seems to boil down to having, and expressing, compassion and empathy for everyone.

jesus tattoos stupid questions

Now, some religions do that better than others, but you have to admit that’s at least the ideal, right? Well, the ultimate goal of every DIET is, of course, to lose weight! And some of them do that better than others — but they all do it by producing the same result: the all-important CALORIE DEFICIT!

calories points

As another blogger I admire, Jay at aworkoutroutine, points out, the best diet is the one that achieves that:

Whatever diet plan best suits your personal goals, needs and preferences and is therefore going to allow you to put the required fundamental principles of weight loss into action in the most Preferable, Enjoyable, Convenient and Sustainable (PECS!) way possible… THAT is the diet that’s best for you.

And that ties in with my personal opinion about “which is the best religion?”

brockman true faith.jpg

OPINION ALERT: The best religion is the one that makes you less likely to deliberately run over someone on your way to/from work — and the best diet is the one that results in a calorie deficit!!

Yes! It took a while but we finally got there!

what year fox.jpg

So there you go, your deep, heavy theological and dieting wisdom for the day! And yeah, I know this was a super-long post, but then again, I’m super-late posting it, so deal with it! See you next week!

happy wednesday.jpg

Another week fighting the fat (and patriarchy)!

Good morning, and happy Tuesday, everyone! First of all, I wanted to express my sympathies to all the victims of gun violence over the past few days. It’s heart-wrenching and happens all too often. Let’s see if we can do anything useful about it *this* time, ok?

gun

Anyway, my weight remains steady:

186.0
70s scales
zerogood

in spite of (or perhaps because of) a week spent arguing against patriarchy within my beloved Byzantine Catholic church. Specifically, one of *our* priests (gasp!) posting propaganda videos for something called “The New Emangelization Project.” (Go ahead … read it! I’ll wait)

eyeroll

I know, right? Anyway, it’s not like the whole idea of “men do this, women do that” isn’t already pretty much baked into Church teaching … I get that. However, this particular group was apparently founded specifically by the very manly Cardinal Raymond Burke:

burke.jpg

to push the idea that all the problems in the Church today — especially the child abuse scandals — are happening because of (brace yourself) WOMEN!

gasp

Yeah, that’s right! If all those pushy women hadn’t been pushing their way forward from the back of the bus, er, church, and demanding the right to stand somewhere in the vicinity of the altar so they, too, could wear long dresses and lace in front of God, then the good Christian men wearing all those long dresses and lace wouldn’t have abused all those little kids!

makes sense.jpg

Also, he wants women to stop wearing clothes he doesn’t approve of, because it makes him nervous.

right eye.jpg

Anyway, that’s what I’m on about now. And yeah, I realize fighting patriarchy within the Catholic Church is an unwinnable fight. But hey, I figure I’ve got at least as much of a chance of winning that one as Americans have of ending violent mass shootings within our lifetimes. So it’s worth a shot! (get it?)

don't get it.jpg

And yeah, I’m following through on my suggestion a few weeks ago that this blog might indeed transition into something a bit more political! Let me know what you think! Meanwhile, have a good, safe, and PEACEFUL week, my sisters and my brothers!

peace out buddy christ.jpg

Procrastination never works, amiright?

Hi everyone! Mr. 50by60 and I had a nice weekend, participating in a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church in Anaheim, California. And of course, when church-y people celebrate anything, there’s inevitably FOOD involved.

So, I held off an extra day for the weigh-in because I thought that would give my weight a chance to settle back down a bit, after not one but TWO days’ worth of food.

Yeah, I don’t think it made all that much difference! So …

here’s the weigh-in:

186.0

Oh well — the GOOD news is that even though our own beloved pastor is retiring this weekend, he’s made it abundantly clear that he does NOT want or expect a potluck! And of course, being good, obedient Catholics, we always do what our priest tells us, so there shouldn’t be any more fattening food to deal with this weekend.

And just a reminder, I’ve decided to shift the weigh-in from Mondays to Tuesdays for a while, to see if that makes any difference. Obviously, it didn’t THIS week, so as usual, everything’s subject to change — including yours truly, nyuk nyuk!

Oh well — see ya next TUESDAY and we’ll see how things go!

Holy Week Without A Weigh-In, Batman!!

Good morning, everyone! Although technically, it’s “good evening,” since I’m actually writing this on Sunday evening, and just *scheduling* it for tomorrow morning. So whenever I say “today,” I mean “Monday,” which is really “tomorrow” for me “today.” So good morning (evening)!

time travel verbs

Anyway, just wanted to let you know there’s no weigh-in today tomorrow! Monday! because it’s the start of Holy Week. As I may or may not have mentioned, both Mr. 50by60 and I are cantors at our Byzantine Catholic church

babushka

and this is a busy busy busy week for us, starting this morning with a long service called “Bridegroom Matins,” after which there are MORE services every day, till we get to the weekend and the services are so long that they spill over into the next century, or so it seems.

bridegroom matins

Anyway, bottom line is, no weigh-in today (Monday!), and no posts besides this till after next week (aka “Bright Week”). Hope you have a blessed Pascha/Easter; or Passover, which also starts this Friday; or, if you’re not religious, a “nice week”!

alligator crocodile

Clean Monday: Last Weigh-In Before Pascha!

Good morning, everyone! A happy and blessed “Clean Monday” to my Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic (aka “Orthodox Lite”) friends out there!

babushka

And rather than repeat myself ad nauseum, I’ll just refer you to LAST year’s Clean Monday blog post and let you go on about your day.

Meanwhile, without further adieux, here’s the weigh-in:

180.2
scales
oh poo

Aw shucks … back in the ’80s! But hey — Lenten fasting is upon us! So obviously that’s a great opportunity to lose some weight … right?

…this is the fundamental basis of Lenten promises. Whatever we give up, we have to ensure that God is kept at the centre of our resolve, and that the primary purpose is to draw near to Him. I will decrease my indulgences or bad habits so that God can increase in glory. NOT: I will decrease my chocolate intake so that I can increase my confidence on the beach, popularity at school or likeness to the celebs.

Oh, OK — and well said! So on that note, whether your Lent starts today, or Wednesday, hope it’s spiritually profitable for you – and not “just another diet”!

Post-Road Trip, Pre-Lent Weigh-In

Good morning, everyone!

Meatfare Groundhog

Yes, that’s right — as I’ve occasionally mentioned in this blog before, I’m an Eastern Catholic (Byzantine, Ruthenian, Greek Catholic, or whatever). We’re simple folk with different ways, but we’re cool.

easternstress

Anyway, the main thing to know about us as it relates to this blog is that even though we’re Catholic, we follow the same basic traditions as the Eastern Orthodox. And yesterday was what we call “Meatfare,” or “Farewell, Meat!” (You militant vegans out there should appreciate that since it’s the total, polar opposite of “Meet your Meat.”)

meet meat

The idea is that instead of melodramatically going from feast (Mardi Gras) to famine (Ash Wednesday), we kinda slide into the whole fasting thing gently. This week, we give up meat. Next week, after Cheesefare Sunday, we give up … well … everything else, basically!

lent no soup for you.jpg

That’s right — our Lent officially starts two days BEFORE your Ash Wednesday!

endora

Anyway, you can read more about the whole Meatfare/Cheesefare Sundays thing here, if you’re so inclined. Meanwhile, I suppose I should get on with the whole weigh-in thing.

finally.jpg

Oh … wait … did I mention I was on a road trip last week? So that might have affected my weight? I mean, I did put the words “Post-Road Trip” in the post title and all, so I probably should at least mention it, right?

get on with it

Oh, all right!! Today’s weigh-in is, like people who don’t spout their political opinions to everyone they meet, whether they want to hear them or not (*cough* EVERY DAMN PERSON AT THE OSCARS *cough*), surprisingly neutral!

180.0
vo de o

That’s right — it’s EXACTLY the same as it was Monday, before I hit the road for beautiful, sunny Phoenix, Arizona!

Phoenix rain walk 1

And I did indulge in some non-diet-type foods at the hotel’s fabulous Continental Breakfast Bar.

So I’m actually pretty impressed that I managed to keep the numbers from wildly skyrocketing. I did do some walking (in between the torrential storms) so that probably helped.

umbrella.jpg

Anyway, that’s it! And I’m going out on a limb AND going on record (hmm, can’t seem to find a meme that combines those two images! how bizarre) to renew my pledge, before God and everybody, to start counting my calories again. To be completely honest, I’d slacked off a bit on actually writing everything down, and keeping a running total in my head. Now that may work for you super math geniuses, but y’know, I’m not one of those.

math2

So it’s back to pen(cil) and paper for me! Let’s see how that works out. Meanwhile, have a GREAT first week of pre-Lent, everyone! See you Friday for a brand-new Five!

five.jpg