When I came upon Isaiah 43:18 in my Bible reading last month, my eyes skimmed over the verse quickly. Skimming isn’t always a good idea because my brain registered the verse as “Forget the former things; do not dwell on pasta.”
I had to smile, though. I was dwelling on pasta. I love it. In any way, shape, or form. My favorite lunch is a heaping plate of angel hair tossed with olive oil and sprinkled with Italian seasoning. And I could have spaghetti every night of the week and not get tired of it.
But the numbers on my bathroom scale were inching up again, and I knew it was time to get serious about losing weight. But I didn’t want to give up my precious pasta.
It isn’t fair! I kept telling God. Why can’t you just bump up my metabolism? For the most part I ate healthy portions and selections. I’d replaced regular pasta with brands containing more protein and fiber, and fewer carbs.
What I was doing was good, but it wasn’t enough. I needed to get out of the denial, pouting, feel-sorry-for-myself dump I was in. But how?
Then my daughter-in-law told me a former teaching colleague had lost 30 pounds on a 17-day diet. I figured it was probably one of the high-protein, plenty of veggies and no pasta diets that had been around for years. Hey, I lost 20 pounds 10 years ago on one of those diets. But, like a forlorn lover, I returned to my pasta. And gained back way more than I’d lost. The extra weight had to go.
The next day I downloaded the diet book on my Kindle. I was right—it is a high-protein, plenty of veggies diet, but includes fruit. And it cycles every 17 days, each cycle including more food choices than the previous cycle. And guess what? After this first cycle, I can add two servings a day of natural starches, which includes brown rice, oatmeal and potatoes. When I get to Cycle 4, the final cycle, I can eat what I want—on weekends. By then, I’ll be more disciplined in portion sizes and food choices.
I figure I’ll probably have to go through the cycles a couple of times before I reach my goal weight. And it won’t be without work: Exercising 17 minutes a day is just as important as what goes in my mouth.
I’ve lost six pounds. Maybe it doesn’t sound like much, but for me, that’s more than I’ve lost in a long time. I know I have a long way to go.
But I can do anything for 17 days—if I forget my past failures at losing weight and focus on fitting into the clothes collecting dust in my closet and sustaining the energy I’ve been feeling.
When the going gets hard, Lord, remind me that it’s the little choices I make, day by day, moment by moment, meal by meal, that will make the difference in the long run. Give me the strength and motivation to stay the course. Amen.
Special-Tea: Read Philippians 3:12-14