The Other I

January 14, 2008

Diet progress

Filed under: Diet,Life as a Nun,Survival Strategies — theotheri @ 2:14 pm

For those not interested in the progress of my diet – which is probably everybody who is reading this – please look away now.

Since I began this diet caper several weeks before Christmas, I have lost three pounds.  Unfortunately, it’s the same pound which I’ve lost three times.  Obviously, I am not onto a winning strategy here.

So for the last three days I’ve lowered my sites with the hope I will actually reach my goal by going in smaller steps.  I have been concentrating on two things.  The first is on exercise – 30 minutes a day circuit training. 

My second concentration is an adaptation of religious practice.  At Maryknoll we said the Divine Office – Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline.  In their strict observance, they have been recited for centuries by monks and nuns about every three hours throughout the day.  Similarly, the Muslim call to prayer occurs five times a day.  The psychology of these rituals is to keep the presence of God constantly in mind, and in both cases, the intervals between prayers is about three hours.  My goal, I fear, is a little less exalted, since what I am trying to do is keep in my consciousness why I am trying to stick to my diet.   But I think a specific reminder every three hours has a solid history of accomplishment to recommend it.  I am truly a reprobate, by almost any standard badly in need of reformation.  Between 5 and 8 pm is the worst which is invariably when I consume more calories than I can burn.  It’s when I eat out of nervous energy, and when I’m most apt to abandon even the semblance of reason.  I have even, on occasion, grabbed one of my favourite chocolate nut cookies saying to myself “I’ll think up a reason later about why I’m justified in eating this.” 

It’s so ridiculous I can’t believe I fall for it.

My new strategy is to put half-minute reminder breaks in every three hours during the day, with a double break at 5:00 when I concentrate on being calm.  I know these breaks are a mere 30 seconds, but they are so short it’s easy to overcome the temptation to skip them.  My back-up strategy is to walk out of the kitchen when I begin that inner dialogue with myself about those cookies. 

So far, so good.  Although do note that “so far” is thus far a mere three days.

I’ll keep you posted.  I’m sure you can’t wait.


  1. Hi, I really enjoy your blog. I always find it interesting on how we start out on a certain path, and how things change over the course of our life. It does seem we go back as we get older to some of the things that touch us when we were younger. I can tell even though you left the convent, some things from that life are very dear to you. That is just very nice to read about. I don’t believe in the good old days-not every thing was good, but their were certain things that were very good. I hope my grandchildren will be also able to look back and find cherish memories. That is what molds us as adults.
    Good luck on your diet-I just did weight watchers and lost 17 pounds-it’s not easy!


    Comment by DJC — January 15, 2008 @ 2:04 am | Reply

  2. This morning my roommate thanked me for doing her dishes from last night. I said, “Oh, I did them because I told myself that if I did the dishes I could have a cookie.” She laughed and told me that she would have just eaten the cookie.
    I enjoy your diet updates because you approach things in such a thought-out and rational manner.


    Comment by Gene — January 15, 2008 @ 6:00 am | Reply

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