Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Amazing Miracle Jesus Diet

It's been a year since I took a hard look at myself, and decided that my ever-expanding girth was starting to become an issue.

Oh, sure, I was far from obese.  But at five nine and somewhere between 178 and 180 pounds, I was feeling my mass.  I'd been rail-thin growing up, so I really didn't ever worry much about it.  But as I aged my way into my forties, my metabolism was slowing.  I felt more and more lumbery and cumbersome, not to mention cumbery and lumbersome.   I was at the point where it was getting to wear on me.  I didn't feel healthy, and my capacity for self-delusion wasn't anywhere near enough to mask my increasingly barge-like profile.

Plus, there was that picture of me in a wet swim shirt at a church event.  Oh, the humanity.

I had always hated the idea of dieting, particularly succumbing to one of the endless fad diets that seem to cycle through our collective consciousness from year to year.  Plus, I'm cheap.  Me, pay money for a diet plan?  Feh.

So I came up with my very own super amazing miracle Jesus diet that will work for almost anyone!  And it totally, totally worked!

I'd write a book about it, but I'm not sure the word count would pass muster with any sane publisher.

On page one, it would say:

Eat less.

Somewhere in the middle of a sea of blank pages, it would then say:

Exercise more.

That'd be it.  Those four words.  Nothing more.  That's all that'd be in that book.

In fact, hold on.  Let me write it, and publish it.

Just a sec...upload file...get huh...done!

There we go!  Ah, self-publishing in the Amazon era.  Gotta love it.

Eat less, exercise more.  For a few people, this won't work.  I'll admit that.  Some folks have major metabolic issues, or congenital disorders, or deeply-seated food addictions.  My heart goes out to them.

But for so many human beings, it's always been that straightforward.  You don't need to pay anyone anything, dangit.  I mean, jeez, if anything should save you a few bucks, it's losing weight.  You're buying less food, eh?  And yet we manage to botch even that.  Pills and shakes and books and memberships and blah blah blah, spending enough money trying to figure out how not to eat that we could make a huge dent in global hunger. 

Seriously.  The United Nations has estimated that to insure that no human being would starve, it'd cost $30 billion a year.   At the same time, here in America, we throw somewhere between $20 billion dollars and $60 billion dollars every year at the "weight loss industry."  Yeah, I know, that's a pretty crazy range, but this "industry" is not like building cars or growing corn.  Is a diet soda part of the "weight loss industry?"  What about gym membership?

It's a wildly squishy number, but the low end, most conservative estimate would go two thirds of the way to ending hunger for humankind.

So as millions starve, we try to figure out how not to eat ourselves to death. 

Human beings are insane.  We really are.

Just eat less, and exercise more.  Do those things.  So simple.

Whichever way, using my sure-fire method, I managed to drop from around 180 to the mid-150s, right smack in the middle of the healthy range for my height.  Took me six months of eating less and exercising more.  What, you think it happens quickly?  Why would you think that?

Was I occasionally hungry?  Sure.  I was eating less.  Of course I got hungry.  My body had adapted to consuming more calories than I needed.   Hunger is what it feels like when your body is spending more energy than you're consuming.  Which, if you're trying to lose weight, is kinda the goal.  So I'm hungry.  So what?  I wait until my next meal, and just feel hungry for a while.  I'm hungry now, as I write this, because it's going to be dinner time in about two hours.  Whoop dee doo.  I am not starving.  I'm just peckish.  

Did I consume anything I felt like consuming?  Of course not.  You can't do that.  I cut out the empty calories first, cutting waaay back on delicious hoppy beverages and pointless industrial-bag-o-carb anxiety-snacking.  Then I dropped the caloric input from basically healthy food to a level that would consistently result in weight gain.

As the weight slowly began to come off, I picked up the "exercising more" part.  I didn't go crazy, or spend a dime.  I walked more.  I started using that old hand-me down weight set more regularly.  That was about it.  Nothing magic, nothing complicated.

Just eating less, and exercising more.  So simple.

Which is where, in a wildly tangential way, is where the Jesus thing comes in.  Jesus never said a blessed thing about weight loss.  Not a thing.  The whole idea would have seemed absurd to him.   But he did teach in a very specific way, about a very specific path.

Of all of the great faith traditions in the world, nothing should be easier than following Jesus.  Love God.  Love Your Neighbor.  That's it.  In those words rests the whole of the One Sacred Law, the completeness of what you need to do to be a walker of the Way.  It is wildly simple, as pure and potent as a tumescent singularity.  It is so easy, so light.

But we prefer to lose ourselves in the complicated.  We prefer a mess that we can hide in.

Nothing comes harder for us than the simple.