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
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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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

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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!)

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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?”

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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!

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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!

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Monday weigh with bonus political AND religious commentary! Booyah!

Hey everyone, happy Monday!

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Got me some stuff to do today so just gonna post the weigh-in:

184.2
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Welp, still circlin’ the maintenance drain out here at beautiful Plateau Point.

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But hey, that’s OK! I’m actually happy with that number, as it zoomed up to a whopping 187 the day after the Fourth, when we visited relatives and happily chowed down on hot dogs, pizza, gossip, etc.

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Oh, and we had a couple o’earthquakes this week, in case you didn’t hear (or feel) — and btw, reliable ol’ Pat Robertson decided to cheer us up by reassuring us that hey, nothin’ to worry about — that’s just God applauding for President Trump’s 4th of July parade!

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I mean, even if that were true, there weren’t any parades on Friday when the 7.1 hit, were they?

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Oh well — seriously gotta run now! Hope you have a great week!

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Saturday Snippet: just because…

Well, hey, everyone! If you were waiting on pins and needles for Friday’s post, I apologize. However, I had a VERY good reason:

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Actually, I didn’t forget as much as I just couldn’t think of anything to say. Plus, I went to a really purty place where I spent the day in quiet meditation ‘n stuff.

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St. Andrew’s Abbey, Valyermo, CA

So anyway, sorry if you were disappointed, but better late than never, right? Anyway, hope your weekend’s going well! See you Monday for the weigh-in!

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Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-In: Clean Monday edition!

Well, good morning, everyone, and happy Monday! Time for another weigh-in … and as you may remember, last week I had a small GAIN. But as Homer Simpson once said, “hope springs internal,” so let’s step on the ol’ scale and see where it lands. Ready? Here goes:

206.8
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Hey, that’s great!

Nice! I think that actually takes me a little lower than I was two weeks ago, so I’m happy. I think the walking I’m doing almost every day is helping a lot – not only with weight loss but with my overall health. If you’ve got a few minutes, why not take a walk yourself, today? (But not till you finish reading my blog, of course!!)

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OK, so today is Clean Monday. In case you’re not familiar with it, that’s the first official day of Lent in the Eastern Orthodox/Eastern Christian world. As virtually every Eastern Orthodox (EO) will tell you, I, by virtue of being Eastern Catholic (EC), am NOT in any way, shape or form, “Orthodox.”

However, we ECs do our best to irritate both the EOs and the RCs (Roman Catholics) whenever possible. For example, we irritate the EOs by copying everything they do, like their liturgy, their prayers, their eating habits, etc. etc.

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And we irritate the RCs by insisting that we’re fully, totally, 100% as Catholic as they are, even though we don’t (officially*) do ANYTHING they like to do, like for example, Ash Wednesday. Now mind you, it’s not that we have anything against Ash Wednesday – it’s actually a lovely tradition, and it’s nice to see so many people who never ever EVER set foot in a church the rest of the year go in to get their annual reminder that they’re skating on thin ice.

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However, we have our own tradition on the first Wednesday of Lent (which we start two days earlier, nyah nyah nyah!) which involves a liturgy every Wednesday evening till Holy Week. There’s always a confused Westerner who stumbles in off the street looking for ashes, and we have to gently explain that we don’t have any, other than whatever’s out in the garden, which they’re certainly welcome to. (I’ve suggested we just keep a container of ashes by the door with a sign reading “Help yourself!” but that never seems to go over too well.)

But that’s okay, we all have our different traditions and practices and that’s what makes religion so much fun, right?

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One thing we ECs DO have in common with the RCs this year is that our Easter falls on … are you ready? … April Fool’s Day! That’s right, Easter is on April 1st, and as you can imagine, the memesters are having a field day with THAT!

And of course, Ash Wednesday is on Valentine’s Day, so even though we ECs don’t join in with the ashy stuff, we can certainly commiserate about the fact that we’re BOTH supposed to abstain from CHOCOLATE on February 14 OMG why why why??? Although I’m sure St. Valentine himself isn’t too upset.

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Oh well, we’ll muddle through somehow.

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And after all, there’s more to Lent – Eastern OR Western – than just giving up stuff. As our priest pointed out yesterday, “The Great Fast isn’t about losing weight. It’s not Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers. It’s about getting closer to God.”

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So whether you’re Eastern, Western, or even just an interested bystander – happy Lent to you!

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