A catch up in bullet points is needed before a bit more in depth analysis –
244 Tuesday Erev Shavuos 245 Wednesday Shavuos 1, 246 Thursday Shavuos 2, 247 Erev Shabbos, 248 Shabbos
249 Sunday (today)
Where to even begin with so many days? So much cheesecake. Stress about Grandma, who actually held out until Thursday evening, second day Yom Tov, but has sadly left us. The funeral will be tomorrow afternoon.
I think I don’t want to talk about that. Suffice it to say, it is horribly easy to slip bank into the comfortable but unhealthy eating patterns.
Let me share with you instead about some very varied books I read over Yom Tov instead and some inspiration I’ve taken from them.
A friend lent them to me as I was desperate for sitting to read on the long time Tov nights until LH can’t home from shul. (We can’t start the meal until it gets dark. I’m London in summer that means sitting down to eat at 11pm. Which really messes my whole system up. I am a person who really needs her sleep and all these late nights really their toll on me.
So anyway, back to the books to keep me awake until the very late meal. First off the block was “A year of living biblically” by A J Jacobs (I get no affiliate links if you choose to read it, but maybe I should find out about that). The author who was a fairly secular Jew at the beginning of the book, married with a young son decided he was going to try and live for a year by the literal understanding of the Bible. This included growing a big bushy beard, attempting to stone am adulterer and a bit I found hilarious where he is avoiding sitting in a chair that a menstruating woman has sat, tricky as while he is out his wife makes sure to sit in each and every chair in the house, just to wind him up.
The second book was, “Are you Dave Gorman” by Dave Gorman and Danny Wallace. (Again, I get no kick back). Now this was an equally bizarre but compelling book. The two authors were flatmates and one drunken evening made a bet they there were(n’t) lots of people in the world called Dave Gorman. They then proceed to spend months and thousands of pounds in search of 54 Dave Gorman. It is an insane, pointless and obsessive search that almost destroys Danny’s relationship with his girlfriend and bankrupts Dave. It was surreal and I did find myself laughing out loud at parts (much to the slight annoyance of LH who was very spiritually learning mishnayos nearby).
Actually there was another book I read first, “Lion: A Long Way Home” by Saroo Brierley. An amazing true story about a little boy, who age 5 got lost from his very very poor Indian family, was adopted by an Australian family, and then 25 years later managed to find his birth family again. A truly miraculous tale. One of the most useful tools he had at his disposal was Google Earth and hours upon hours, over many months, not giving up his search.
All three books had something in common that struck me. In each, they had a quest they were seeking. They really gave it their all. They didn’t allow anything to attend in their way.
Now none of them were Jewish Mummies with the young children. I don’t have the freedom to just throw caution to the wind and focus entirely on myself and my quest and let everything worry just slide. I have responsibilities as a wife and a mother that mean that if I say, want to go to the seaside, just because I do, then I have to take with at least three changes of clothing, towels, buckets and spades, masses of food (because there’s no kosher food available at the seaside), wait for LH to have finished davening, water for hand washing, sun hats, sun cream. I have to hang out near the playground on the beach and only stay long enough to be back in time to make supper, give baths and get everyone into bed because there’s school tomorrow. (Can you guess we went to Southend today? It was lovely).
So, the point is that as a Jewish Mummy I don’t have the freedom to devote my entire life to losing weight. I don’t always have the energy to prepare all these different meals and I have my plans disrupted all the time by unpredictable children and their health or school holidays or something else altogether.
I look at other people’s weight loss journeys where they have set themselves a target in a specific time frame and I think to myself, “My life didn’t allow me to do that, who knows what tomorrow brings?”
Except a little voice in my head started piping up, “6 months, just give it 6 months. If you really have it your all, for just 6 months (that’s not even a year) then you could nail this weight loss. 50lbs in 6 months.”
I’m very tempted. To stop making excuses. To cut out all the rubbish. To prioritise myself even when everything else is flying.
Six months to a slim Simcha? There’s a knot in my stomach forming just thinking about what that would really mean. But there’s also a sort of excited feeling. Like, this could be it. Just be black and white about the whole thing. No more cake. No more biscuits. Keeping in my calories. Getting lots of exercise.
Be really really disciplined.
Until the next time something happens…. And all my plans collapse again. And have not achieved my goal.
Today I weighed myself. I weighed 13st 7lbs, that was 4lbs up from my previous weigh in. Bmi 36.9, total weight loss 21.5lbs. In nearly a year this is pitiful progress.
Dare I try “Six Months to a Slim Simcha”?