Monday, February 22, 2010

My Lenten "Program"

Every year when Lent rolls around it seems I am deciding what to "give up" late at night on Shrove Tuesday. I decided this year on my diabetes friendly no-sugar-added ice cream. Later on Friday I decided I wanted to go further. So I have put myself on a strict diabetic diet. This is something I fell away from about a year and a half after being diagnosed. It is the same diet that I lost over 100 pounds on.

I never put it all back on, in fact I have kept the greater part of that off because I've never gone back to the hog wild late night Denny's diet I was on through college. But going back on the diabetic diet is going to be tough.

And good. I need it. For far too long I have been much too free with what I am putting into my system. It seems typical that diabetics who get their sugars under control begin to cheat much more often because they think it won't affect them. And it doesn't, until you cheat all the time. The the weight begins to creep back on and the sugar averages begin to rise and all of a sudden you've completely fallen off the wagon and its tough to get back on.

Have you ever heard this story:

"So and so just had their foot amputated. They have diabetes but refuse to eat right. They just eat whatever they want."

I have heard that story over and over and am determined that will not be me if I can help it. Lent is the perfect time to mortify this particular passion by going to a "strict observance" low-carb diet. Essentially I am allowing myself carbs at one meal per day only. For me that will be dinner since I have to cook for everyone else here. The only other carbs I'll have will be incidental (milk in my coffee for example).

Today I had a ham and cheese omelet for breakfast and a boneless chicken breast with ham, mushrooms, and cheese for lunch. I feel like I am starving myself. Its horrible. Coffee and keeping busy at work and the radio are my only refuges. These first days are the hardest - I know from experience. It will get better but right now I can feel a headache coming on.

"But Matt, how does this bring you closer to God? It seems like you are only doing this to be physically healthy."

I can already hear this reply from some. Being physically healthy is important to your spiritual health since as human beings we are both body and soul. When you lose weight your mind clears and you are less prone (in my experience) to the worries of pride. With less food in life there is much more time and place for God. These 40 days will be the starting point for a perpetual mortification that I must put myself on if I am to be a healthy man for many years to come.

If my body is to be a temple of the Holy Spirit I had better do my best to keep it running.


Latin_Mass_Mommy said...

rock on, Matt :-)

Matt said...

I certainly am trying. Not yet sure what to do about Friday, since I pretty much have nothing else to eat except salad, meat, eggs, and some veggies. Fridays will be especially tough but I'll figure something out.

Technically I'm not bound to abstain from meat on Fridays. But I ain't weak.

Maia said...

Wandered over here from Conversion Diary and am enjoying your content. God bless your Lenten efforts!

"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton