Saturday, March 24, 2012

The JC 365 Day Diet

Some friends of mine have been doing the GM 7 day diet.  It's a doozy!  As far as I can tell, there's nothing harmful about the food plan but boy, are the combinations weird.  A day with only bananas and milk.  A day with up to 20 ounces of red meat and 6 tomatoes...that's not 5, not 7...but 6.  Lots and lots of fruits and vegetables, thank goodness.  The main purpose of this plan, other than weight loss, of course, is to purge your system of impurities and toxins.  The weight loss, an added bonus, is proclaimed to be 10-17 pounds in one week.  (One friend lost 10!) 

At the other end of the spectrum is my family's Lenten weight loss "Biggest Loser" challenge.  We weigh in each Friday and share our weight loss percentage (or gain!).  This has been a good motivator for me and a source of never ending amusement as the emails fly back and forth throughout the week...encouraging, teasing, challenging each other.  No smack talk. Instead prolific weight loss haiku's from one brother-in-law and  endless laughter and chatter from all 15 others.  The winner each week receives edifying, encouraging, humorous emails from the other competitors and bystanders.   It has been great fun though the weight loss, on most counts, has been slow.

Almost everyone in the world struggles to lose weight, and if they're claiming not to, they're lying to you and themselves.  I'm not talking about physical weight...I'm talking emotional and spiritual weight.

The weight of pain...
The weight of the past...
The weight of failure...
The weight of worry...
The weight of guilt....

The list goes on and on. 

Retaining all of this weight makes us spiritually bloated and infinitely unhealthy.  Losing it makes us stronger and somehow lighter.  The question is, "How do I lose my emotional weight?"

A year ago, I found the right plan for me...shall we call it the JC 365 Day Diet?  Prayer...gratitude...surrender. 

At first, as my need was great and my focus on fixing it extreme, the weight came off rapidly.  I was shedding pound upon pound of heaviness of heart and mind.  And I kept it off while I was living in a sheltered bubble of prayerful solitude.  But just like the GM 7 day diet, though the loss is amazingly quick, a risk of maintaining it lays in reintroducing those things into your day that were causing the toxicity.  The dangers for me were:  self-doubt, fear of judgement, pride, unhealthy associations and, let's face it, real life!  Not many people can sit in quiet and prayer all day every day in an effort to stay at peace.  The kids need rides.  The laundry needs doing.  The spouse needs help.  The house needs groceries.  And eventually, it would be nice to do something that earns an income!

I am grateful that I shed so much so quickly, however.  Now I only need remember that, as with my Biggest Loser Lenten challenge, the slow and steady work at losing this proverbial weight can be just as effective.  I just  need to continually sustain myself with prayers of thanksgiving; drink in the grace of my Heavenly Father; and chew on verse after verse of Scripture until I can truly discern what my path is.  Such a healthful, healing diet, indeed...I feel lighter already!

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