Eating right, living well and loving God
In the fall as the days grow short, nights long and the holidays come, folks tend to eat more, entertain more, spend more and stress out more. It’s no wonder Jesus came in this darkest time of the year. God knew we needed light in our personal and corporate darkness then and now 2000 years later. Maybe that is why we start New Year resolutions, with or without God. We as people know we need to always begin again.
We decided at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in West Boylston to start a program called 3-D, a plan for eating right, living well and loving God. This is a twelve week program based on a book by Carol Showalter with Maggie Davis MS, RD, LDN, FADA, CDE titled Your Whole Life. Our program started shortly after the New Year, with two groups of ten women each. We are a little more than half way done and I would like to share some of the things we’ve learned.
As our pastor wrote in the church bulletin, “The Christian approach to weight loss does not jibe with our culture’s obsession with youth, beauty, perfection and thinness.” He goes on to say “ we are all beautiful in God’s eyes and should be in each other’s.” Even those of us who know we are created by a God whose works are wonderful have a hard time praising Him for ourselves or others, as the psalmist does in Psalm 139:14 “I praise You Lord because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
We picked this time of the year to start our program not only because it came after the holidays but also it runs during Lent and finishes just before Holy Week. Lent is a time we are more focused on God’s grace, care and mercy. We are learning that self-denial doesn’t have to be a time of painful, morbid giving up, which produces bad dispositions, but a time of freedom and the abundant life God has promised us. We are trying to be open, teachable and vulnerable to one another.
We laugh and have fun walking our mile with Leslie Sansone’s DVD that one of our members picked up at Walmart. There is still a lot of drama in our weight room. It’s a great room when we are loosing otherwise it is not. But we are learning little bit by little bit to eat healthier, changing habits, caring for others and ourselves. We are encouraging, challenging, inspiring and educating ourselves. We are working at becoming the best God wants us to be.
We are daily loving God, leaning on Him who knows each of us so intimately. We are reading scripture and daily meditations from Your Whole Life to consider and reflect on. We also have a commitment to memories a weekly Bible verse and pray for one another. We are building good habits that are teaching us to focus and submit to God.
Maggie’s system of gradual behavior changes has given us hope for long term change in our eating habits. We do have good weeks and then weeks that set us back. We are learning Satan really wants us to fail, not be healthy, not be whole, but ineffective. But we are learning God is always greater. We are learning we have the power to resist the devil. We are learning to deny our own unsanctified desires. We are learning to submit to God, to change and be well.
It is so nice to go to different Masses and to see someone from our group, someone I know is praying for me, someone closer and more familiar than folks you see just to say hi before Mass, shake hands at the peace, and bye when we leave. Attending our weekly group makes me think how good our God is. He uses our imperfections, our needs, to bless us. And now I can look in the mirror and begin to say Yes Lord – I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
May God Bless you all,
Shirley is one of our newest members of the Commission and we heartily welcome her! Ed.