Weight Loss and Teshuva
Getting in shape, physically and spiritually.
Once again, my clothes don't fit. Yep, the same ones that fit just fine three months ago. Perhaps they all shrank? A likely culprit: the dryer did it. I'd like to believe it myself, rather than blaming it on chocolate. Such a lovely thing chocolate is, why attach bad memories to it?
I've been watching my weight. I've watched it so well, it hasn't gone anywhere. Matter of fact, I've accumulated more of it, just by watching it! These skills are acquired, mind you.
The truth is, I know the reasons why I gain weight. I eat too much. I don't exercise enough. Plain and simple, no complications.
And I know the formula to fix the problem. It works every time: Eat less, exercise more. But as many times as I gain and lose, eventually I go through the same routine over and over again.
This pattern of failure sure doesn't help to get me motivated to try again. This same problem can often sabotage the process of teshuva, returning to be the best person I can be.
Considering I can't even seem to stay on a diet, how can I honestly say I'll never repeat my past mistake and stay committed to a life-changing mission?
NO QUICK FIX
With both weight loss and teshuva, it's not about quick fixes, but about a lifestyle change.
On some crazy diets I've tried, I push myself beyond my limit, and the first day is very successful. Then the second day is a little less successful. Each day afterward is just a spiral path downward until the diet has failed me again.
It's the same with my unsuccessful attempts to conquer my bad habits. I start my teshuva 'diet' and go on a strict plan to stop immediately. And the first day I am very successful. But just like that crash diet, my teshuva process crashes as well.
Crash diets don't work. Fly-by-night teshuva doesn't work either. Losing weight means changing my eating style and pattern, relating differently to food, and integrating exercise and healthy habits into my life. Doing teshuva means recognizing my behavior patterns that don't work, working on letting go of them, and integrating good character traits into my life.
This year, my list of Rosh Hashanah Resolutions will include: 'Get in Shape!' And I figure, the same basic principles that will get me in shape physically, will also get me back in shape spiritually:
Reprinted with permission from Aish.com, a leading Judaism website.