Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Weight Loss

First off, I have to say that I am simply tickled by some of the emails I've received (and blog comments) about my Faith Watchers post. If my mother can find one, I'll have her send a picture of Ryan circa 210lbs for public posting. It's a different version of me: 5'8, 210, lots of red hair, and glasses/contacts. Those were the days, oh yes, those were the days.

Someone asked me how I lost/kept off the weight. If I might be so bold, I'll make a few quick suggestions:

1. No soda (totally empty calories)
2. Drink Guinness (after you're 21, of course. Less calories than regular beer)
3. Skim milk rather than 2% or Whole
4. Blot the oil off of your pizza with a napkin -- you can get upwards of 1Tbsp of oil per slice
5. Skip cream sauces

Those are the "Thou shalt not" commands. I have one major suggestion for "Thou Shalt" :


I walk everywhere. To class. To the store. To the train. To take the steps.

When in grad school particularly, I used to pray in the car on the way to and from John Carroll and then, each evening, I'd take my cell phone and go out for a walk. I had a huge circuit to cover (I saw myself as the neighborhood block watch) and I'd catch up with friends while I exercised. Unless it was pouring, I walked every night for about an hour. I was never lonely (had the phone) and it allowed me to socialize AND exercise all at once.

So that's my secret to weight loss. I go to the gym now (hence my rippling physique) but, in general, I've found walking to be the best way to keep off the weight.

Weight loss and praying are similar: they take time, the benefits aren't immediately recognizable, there are days you fall off the wagon (or eat the wagon), but it's never too late to try again. In time you begin to "put on" a diet mentality, a prayerful mentality. You transform not just your body, but your whole way of being. When Paul counsels us to "Pray without ceasing" it points to the attentive stance of one always aware of God's presence; to "diet without ceasing" does not demand that we give much up, rather, it calls us to embrace a path of moderation that both nourishes and delights us.
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