Sunday, April 27, 2008

Another weigh-in and some Catholic stuff

Good news, not great but good - yesterday (Saturday) I had another weigh-in and lost 0.6 pounds. Hurray for me!

The only problem is I got spoiled by the first 3.6 pound loss. I know it's better for it to come off slowly, but I'm so impatient! Oh well, more good news is that it didn't deter me from my path. I'm still going to stick with my efforts.

And now for some Catholic stuff. If you haven't read my previous blog, let me just explain to you that I'm Roman Catholic, but I married a Byzantine Catholic. Byzantine Catholics are similar to Eastern Orthodox, except that they're in union with the Pope and the Orthodox are not.

Interestingly enough, there is quite a lot of what I call "underground ecumenism" going on between our local Byzantine Catholic parish and an Eastern Orthodox parish a few miles away - mainly because of a rift back in the previous century wherein one of the larger families left the Catholic Church and joined the Orthodox. However, some of them stayed put with the Pope, and as tensions eased over the years, they began going back and forth between the two parishes and encouraging others to do the same - among them my husband. I don't go as often as he does but I do appreciate their church; it's definitely an improvement over the guitar Masses and miniskirted altar ladies I grew up with.

And today I actually got to meet the new Bishop of the Byzantine Eparchy! ("Eparchy" is what Westerners would call "Diocese".) Not only met him but socialized with him! He's very nice. I've noticed that the Eastern bishops (both Catholic and Orthodox) are way more approachable than their Roman counterparts. I've only been in physical proximity to Cardinal Roger Mahony a few times and definitely not in a social context (not that I'd particularly want to socialize with him, these days!). It's an interesting contrast.

As I said above, my husband is Byzantine Catholic. I'm attending that church now full-time but haven't really felt compelled to switch rites. I still have a soft spot in my heart for St. Therese of Liseux, St. Theresa of Avila, Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, and a few others who to me embody the ideal of the Roman church. Despite all its problems today, I hold out hope for the renewal that is sure to come someday.

I do wish more Romans (or Latins, whatever you want to call them) knew about the Eastern Rites of their own church, though! It always amazes me to go to an R.C. parish and look through their hymnals, and see hymns from all sorts of traditions and cultures - Spanish, Vietnamese, Protestant, Jewish, secular - but absolutely NONE from the Eastern tradition! And there are some absolutely BEAUTIFUL hymns and chants in the Divine Liturgy! It seems strange to me, but perhaps there are reasons I'm not aware of (copyright??).

Getting back to weight loss (and incorporating Catholicism in the bargain, how's that?), we had a luncheon for the Bishop after this morning's Liturgy, and I was able to control my meal portions pretty well. But I did allow myself to indulge in a little cake and half a brownie. I do still have my 35 "extra" points for this week that I haven't used yet, so I'm not worried about it.

I really like the FLEX plan that Weight Watchers uses - I am allowed 25 points per day, which I normally have no problem at all staying within. One thing that has really made a big difference is that I now take my lunches & snacks to work with me - and I enter them in the POINTS tracker (on the WW website) at the beginning of the day. That way I know exactly what I'm going to eat during te day and am less tempted to go and gaze longingly at the vending machine!

And of course I'm also doing the Curves workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Those are going well too. Though I do wish the Curves franchise owners would take a little time to instruct their coaches in being a little more "p.c." with us fat ladies - the nice lady who signed me up for my membership measured my thighs and said, very loudly, "WOW! It's a good thing you're doing this, you really need to get rid of some of this!"


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