January 05, 2012

Two Links

Why Simcha Fisher is voting for Romney. I applaud her blogesty (blog + honesty). I'll probably vote for Romney as well; I like RuPaul's anti-war stance but he takes it a bridge too far, sounding at times Michael Moore-ish. (Oh balance, where are thy?) Santorum, by contrast, seems too hawkish and gives little indication that he's learned the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan, or the hellish costs. Huntsman has yet to catch fire for whatever reason, perhaps in part because the MSM seems oddly well-disposed to him (Huntsman is more conservative than most think, and I like his anti-torture stance). Gingrich has trouble governing himself which wouldn't bode well for the key leadership position in the federal government. (Plus, as a Midwesterner, I'm congenitally disposed to dislike egotism in others.)

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And a beautiful offering from Fred of Late Papers, who is more concerned with the why of weight loss than the how:
According to Myfitnesspal.com (alias freder1ck), I've logged in 184 days in a row, and have lost 57.5 pounds. I was recently asked how I did this. My first answer (why) is that I've been lucky— I've come up against something that has reordered my desire, made me more reasonable, and strengthened me. My second answer (how) is various: I eat less and exercise more (Catbert); have studied a bit on fitness and overeating (The Culprit and the Cure, Overcoming Binge Eating); use online tools (myfitnesspal, Runtastic app).

People are typically more interested in the how than in the why. However, there's not much of a secret about the how— as Catbert's advice suggests.

What's more interesting to me is the why. To begin with, I noticed that there are many products out there to control appetite, but I recognized that I ate contrary to appetite. I ate when I wasn't hungry and when I was full, and my eating was increasingly disproportionate to my hunger, as if attempting to fill infinite desire with finite matter, or to stop up an infinite desire with finite materials. If the reason for eating is prolonging life, overeating has the opposite impact— an action that betrays an unreasonable attittude.

In 2002, I heard a beautiful song that promised "liberty that Abraham Lincoln could not have given me." This was at the presentation of Luigi Giussani's book The Religious Sense in Atchison, Kansas. In 2007, I attended Spiritual Exercises of Communion and Liberation in Winona, Minnesota, on the theme of "Christ in His Beauty Draws Me to Him." Two points in this weekend fascinated me: 1. instinct is good and 2. instinct is ordered toward totality. As soon as I heard this, I perceived that it would be possible to live in freedom. At the same time, I realized that I would not be content to only lose weight or only to be free of 'the dictatorship of desires.' Only totality, only infinite beauty would be enough.

Why did it take years for me to discover a new relationship with food and exercise? Freedom is a long road, but in the last 6 months things have come together for me. If you're following infinite beauty, you're content to wait a bit for this or that finite beauty. At any rate, Camus wrote that “It is not by means of scruples that man will become great; greatness comes through the grace of God, like a beautiful day."

Along the way, I'm discovering other beauties— the beauty of walking in all kinds of weather, the beauty of raking and bagging leaves: the beauty of sunset and cold while raking leaves, the beauty of combing over the lawn and counting every leaf, the beauty of taking care of my lawn and discovering a relationship with these trees we have.

1 comment:

Fred said...

thank you. It's always a pleasure to read your readings :)