spiritual weight loss
As another years concludes, both liturgically and secularly, my personal health journey is beginning to take a turn. Not for the worse (though my health will if I don’t follow this) but for the better. Diagnoses have been confirmed and now more than ever (as shawn and I want to look towards kids in the future), I want to start losing weight. I know, same ol’ story. And if I say its different, you’ll rolls your eyes. But hold fast grasshoppers!
I am developing a way to better my spiritual discipline along with my physical/emotional/mental discipline, I am going to be starting something new. Well–not new, but something different. It allows me to view my health as a whole and approach life in a better way. Here is the idea: following the church calendar with my weight loss…
Now, i don’t mean following every saint, reading what things they fasted from and then practicing those myself. No–God worked through those men and women for different means. What i means is taking the basics of the liturgical calendar for some structure and apply it to the disciplines of my life that need work.
Why on earth would you do this? — mostly because I love organization and structure. Life has taught me 1) that these can be good and 2) don’t let these run your life. Two VERY important lessons to be applied during this change.
What liturgical elements are you going to include: My method is to use the major church holidays.
Here they are:
Holy Week (breaking up throughout the week with palm sunday/maude Thursday/good friday and holy saturday
the first break between Christmas and lent will have some filling in of Jesus’ life and the break between Pentecost and Advent the next year will be filled with epistle understandings.
Goals? This is actually an important part of my structure. Thinking holistically means working towards a goal in mind, not just reaching a number. So here are my thoughts:
1) to lose 100lbs (yes, that much) over the next year and to keep it off the following year.
2) to have my cholesterol/pre-diabetes/pcos under control to where it doesn’t affect my lifestyle, my loves or my life.
3) to be exercising to the point where, as a friend of mine put it, you are “addicted to it.”
4) to have read through the entire Bible in Greek/Hebrew with assisting translation…and then go through it again… and again… and again…
5) to create a spiritual disciple of prayer, reading and communication with God
I know their small, but they are huge to me. And while they may be high jumps, I know they take small steps and practices to work through it.
So when does all this begin? I have broken up the starting plan into several ways. The first time, like preparation for the coming of Christ, is preparation time for the health lifestyle. I don’t wan tho waste, so my goal will be for the next couple weeks (until October 1st) I will be eating/getting rid of the things I do not need. Unfortunately, that may include my cake-baking supplies, because let’s face it, while I love them, they are not good for me and i frankly have not used them. But good news in this process is I can take the time to pray about it and make a decision.
the Second phase will “begin” on November 30th, at which point all foods will be gone. This is the beginning of advent. I am considering an advent calendar of sorts that will encourage healthy eating with messages about the coming Christ-child.
Third Phase–real life application and devotion. This time is typically devoted to following around Christ in the Bible (since its between his birth and death at Easter). This is the time I plan on still translating and exercising. Practice of discipline, of walking a mile in someone’s shoes, has value and this is about a 2-3 month period anyways…then add in Lent after Ash Wednesday which is a glorified of the same thing.
Mardi Gras–this will be a party. One day where I can eat/drink whatever I want. Where i can purposefully let go of translating commitments and spiritual study, despite my longing to always be listening. Truly.
Ash Wednesday & the beginning of Lent: this year I truly want to give up something. Something of value that others deserve more. Both spiritually and physically. Spirit-wise I may share some of my translations with people or double my discipline time. Physically I may give up red meat, or carbs, or something that I should already be sacrificing or something hard to sacrifice yet vitally important.
Holy Week: this gets its own category because every day, from Sunday to Sunday, brings out new meaning to the New Exodus and New Creation about to be formed in the dying of Jesus on the cross. Myabe I will try translating without assistance until I get it or something. Don’t know, but struggle is the key here… struggle with God. I am thinking of fasting too, maybe Good Friday. You must prepare for fasten
Resurrection Sunday–celebrate! whatever point I am at, not matter how much weight or verses I’ve translated, I plan on using this time (and other holidays sometimes) as i brief moment to celebrate and thank God to where he has brought me & where i am going. you need these days. They’re important.
Pentecost: the point of this day was that all were living in the Spirit. That’s where I want to be. whatever that looks like. This is more Spirit-guided portion of the year always 😉
Well, there you have it. My new guide & goals. And its not new year’s. Nope-its just 2015. Let the new earth and new heaven and new creation come together … in more ways than one. 🙂
This also is a good way to follow the Bible–through the Church calendar. I am in search of a liturgical reading of the Bible through 1 year or 2 years that I can follow. I want to start on advent, get prepared over the next 6 weeks as well as complete some items at work that would make room for more efficient study.
If anyone wants to try & follow with me, that would be great! I am willing to consider publishing daily/weekly reminder/tactics for review if enough people think it might be a good idea.