The Not So Incredible Shrinking Woman (The Saga Continuuues…)

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from this particular character in my life and I thought we should catch up with her progress.

The last four months have been a whirl wind of sorts, what with selling the house, trying to find a new place to live and moving all within a two week period, it did not leave much time for sensible eating or exercise. When they finally arrived in Chicago, it was December 15th, three and half long days on the road, with two dogs and horrible weather, had left them somewhat frazzled. But you all know about that.

Their meals consisted of non-stop takeout for the next two weeks. (Not to mention Christmas goodies). Weighing herself after the holidays, she was pleasantly surprised to find she had only gained five pounds. Not to worry, she’ll just start exercising and whip herself back into shape. Right….the weather was horrible, so she couldn’t walk, the treadmill was still buried in the office, next to the desk with the sawed off legs, so she had to wait until she could get it onto the loft landing to use it. That took an act of Congress.

Meanwhile she had been watching Denise Austin on the Imus in the Morning Show and Denise mentioned that what all you need to do is walk or run 12 miles a week to get into shape. Well now, and she had been walking/running 3.5 miles a day? Piece of cake. So now she had permission from Denise Austin herself to cut her daily workout down to 30 minutes a day to get 12 miles in.

It has been three weeks now of consistent cardio exercise, but the weight has not budged much. There’s the old theory that muscle weighs more than fat and after a vigorous workout you do weigh more, but please. It’s not like she was sitting on the couch eating bon bons everyday. Then the Girl Scout cookies were delivered. Nothing like frozen Thin Mints.

Then there was the frozen pizza incident. She noticed that the fat and calorie count was based on if you sliced the pizza into sixteen pieces! Holy Crap, who does that? She was eating pizza two or three times a week. It all started to make a little more sense now. That and the donuts, pies and potato chips that came into the house every day. Cheese and rice, you’d think someone wasn’t watching their weight around there!

An article in the New York Times says that it doesn’t matter how much you exercise, if you sit around most of the day, and say, watch TV, it scuttles your workout and you tend to gain weight. People who watch more than three hours of TV a day are heavier than those who do not. Rats.

So now the TV is off for most of the day, the radio is on and she is determined to lose ten pounds by her 60th birthday. April 18th is not that far away but if she doesn’t let the occasional errant potato chip dropped on the stairway veer her off course, she just might do it.

Trying To Head North In The South Bound Lane

In our search for a Catholic church, we found ourselves at St. Julian Eymard, my cousin’s church in Elk Grove Village. It was the first Sunday of Lent, appropriate because I had not been to Mass in two weeks, and why not start the season off by going? I seem to be good at starting and stopping, or at least pausing in my faith. The homily spoke to that subject in that Christ wants us to “come back to him.” In the hymn “Hosea” we sing, ” Come back to me with all your heart, don’t let fear keep us apart. Long have I waited for your coming home to me and living deeply our new life.”

As the priest talked of turning away from sins of the flesh, and rejecting pride and materialism for things that really mattered, I found myself wondering what I would wear on Easter Sunday, oh yes, my coral colored suit and how I needed new shoes and wouldn’t those” killer” platform heels I saw at Marshalls the other day look hot with it? Oh yeah…back to church. See what I mean? I have great intentions, but it is hard to stay on the straight and narrow.

The Lenten season is a time to pause and reflect on our spiritual life leading up to Easter Sunday. A chance to try to repent for our missteps and shortcomings. To try to show our gratefulness for the Son of God’s sacrifice on our behalf to attain everlasting life.

That being said, it is not easy. Nothing seems to be enough. Sure we can give up sweets, which would benefit us, (notice I didn’t say anything about beer). When I was growing up in small town America, Lent was a dark time. It meant sacrifice for us, it seemed like a long time between Ash Wednesday and Easter. When you are a kid no candy or soda pop for six weeks seems like an eternity. The chocolate Easter Bunnies tasted extra good when you went without for a period of time. We rejoiced, Alleluia, Lent was over, bring on the Peeps and the marshmallow eggs!

In retrospect, that is what lent is all about. A dark period where we go out into the desert of our spiritual lives looking for redemption, being tempted along the way. It is a time for prayer and soul searching and waiting for the light of Christ to bring us out of the night.