Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Buddha and St. John Climacus

Filed under: Health and Fitness — Laura Moncur @ 5:08 am

I’ve been within the same ten pounds for over a year now. It’s not like I’m within 15 pounds of my goal weight. I have about forty pounds to go, but I am stagnating at this weight. It’s not Weight Watcher’s fault. When I follow the program correctly, I lose weight. The problem is that I haven’t been following the program. Sure, I’ll be really good for a month, lose ten pounds and then inexplicably start dinking around. Before I know it, I’m back to this same weight.

Right now, I’m following the program correctly, I’ve lost a couple of pounds and the other day, I noticed something about myself. I’m right at the weight where my cheekbones start to show on my face. If I gain five pounds (which I have gained and lost about six times over the last year), my cheekbones become hidden under the flesh. When I lose five more pounds, my face becomes a lot prettier. I don’t know what it is about those cheekbones that scare me, but I think that might be part of what I’m hiding from. What is it about being pretty that scares me?

Damn it, I deserve to be pretty. That whole “Pretty Is As Pretty Does” thing is getting so old in my mind. I am pretty inside. My actions are pretty, so I totally deserve to be pretty on the outside. Why do I insist on gaining enough weight to hide those cheekbones? Am I scared of what will happen to me when I become a beautiful woman? I’m not even comfortable with the idea of being a woman. I still feel like I’m a girl.

I’m looking at my St. Jude figurine. I don’t believe that getting to my goal weight is a lost cause. I just don’t believe that. I can’t call on him for help. To the left of him is Buddha. He is smiling and very fat. He says that I shouldn’t worry about getting to my goal weight. I need to work on my inner self first. I need to achieve enlightenment, then I won’t be bothered with my corporeal being. It is merely a vessel.

Yes, my body is merely a vessel. That is true, Buddha. Yet, I need to be able to keep my vessel healthy and strong so that it will last me for as long as I need on this planet. Sure, you believe you have another chance. You believe we have an infinite number of lifetimes to “get it right” but I’m an atheist. I’m a nonbeliever. I believe in nothing.  No God, no Allah, no reincarnation, nada, nunca. I only have this one life to get it right, so I need to get on the stick. I feel like I have to be healthy, intelligent, enlightened and joyful. Plus, I don’t like the idea that all of life is suffering. That just sucks. Sorry, Buddha, I can’t be the roly poly elf that you are. I have to be svelte. I can’t take being pudgy anymore.

So, I have no help from either St. Jude or Buddha. Who is the patron saint of the chubby? I know I’ve fruitlessly searched for this before. When the martyrs were martyred, there was no such problem. Gluttony was sited as a vice, but for the normal population, it was easy to avoid gluttony. Back then, it was easy to starve to death. This time when I did the Google search, St. John Climacus came up. He’s not the patron saint of obesity, but he did have advice on avoiding gluttony:

The following are the signs, the stages, and the proofs of practicing stillness in the right way — a calm mind, a purified disposition, rapture in the Lord, the remembrance of everlasting torments, the imminence of death, an insatiable urge for prayer, constant watchfulness, the death of lust, no sense of attachment, death of worldliness, an end to gluttony, a foundation for theology, a well of discernment, a truce accompanied by tears, an end to talkativeness, and many other such things alien to most men. – St. John Climacus, Patron Saints Index, 505-649 AD

So, I need to practice stillness. Buddha and St. John Climacus agree on this. I guess I’m not quitting my meditation class. Lucky thing I waited to make a decision until I thought about it for awhile.


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