Thursday, June 04, 2009

A Brief Moment of Open-Hearted Sincerity

I gained nearly five pounds in Hawaii. I’m not sure how this happened. It seems that the active lifestyle of boogie boarding, swimming and so on was completely counter-balanced by eating ice cream at Lappert’s every single day before going out to dinner.

On the way to church this Sunday I was telling Krista that these five pounds seemed almost like a metaphor for discipline in my life. I feel out of shape in my physical and spiritual life, as well as in things that I love and care about but take extra effort… things like seminary and my writing. Additionally, I’ve been thinking about my new little girl (who should be joining us on August 7th at 7:30 am if all goes according to schedule) and how if I wanted to live until she’s my age, I’ll be SEVENTY YEARS OLD! When I was fifteen I thought that sixty would be a good target age for a full life, but I’m re-evaluating.

We talked about this for a while and I told Krista how I was making plans to reverse some of this and re-engage with self-discipline in my life… get back into deeper relationship with God, re-discipline my body, schedule in time for the secondary priorities in life like seminary and writing.

Then we went into church and Pastor John’s message was this. Listen to the excellent sermon called "Introducing an Outlier Life." It’s all about the need for discipline, why it’s necessary, how it works and why our church will be looking all summer at the spiritual disciplines. Krista kept leaning over and saying, “God’s really trying to hammer this one home, isn’t He?” I kept praying and saying, "Okay, enough already, I get it!"

One of the things available at the end of John’s sermon were these blue bracelets that say HAGIOS on them (the Greek word for holiness). I felt it would be a good reminder of my commitment to get my life into shape this summer. I’ve never been much of a jewelry guy (with the notable exception of my wedding ring… lovingly fashioned to look precisely like the One Ring from the Lord of the Rings movies, though I’ve never tested it out in a fire and it appears that it has never, for instance, turned me invisible) so wearing this band for the summer is a little weird for me, which makes it a good reminder of why I’m wearing it, because it bothers me (if that makes sense).

So I’m working hard at these things. The weight issue is a mind-boggling one for me. I looked up my BMI (body mass index… I know, I had never heard of it, either) and apparently someone of my height should way 180 pounds. WHAT?!?! I haven’t weighed that little since high school when I returned from being a counselor at a summer camp in Alaska where we ran, hiked, swam, kayaked, canoed, shot arrows and played running games all day. I tried not to eat the food because it was almost completely recycled Soylent Green and the bathroom was about a half mile walk from my cabin (if you ate the camp food you discovered that the bathroom was a half mile away even if you ran). I don’t know if it’s possible for me to get to that weight, but I thought what the heck let’s give it an experimental try. That means losing thirty pounds. I am thinking of sawing off one of my arms to give me a jump start. Updates as they are available.

And now you are thinking, Mikalatos, why do you share these things with us? And I can only say that when I am typing my hands are too busy to eat anything. I prefer being in disciplined shape. I feel better physically. I feel spectacular emotionally and spiritually. I enjoy life more when I am writing regularly instead of “when I can squeeze it in”. I just don’t like all the hard work and organization.

And that is all I have to say about that. Okay, stop looking at this post I am getting embarrassed.



  1. How come your most serious posts put me in the floor laughing? Not at you man, with you. The Soylent Green reference is priceless. Man, let's do this together. I'll be 86 when my youngest reach my age.

  2. Anonymous8:23 AM

    what's up with the label of Diet Jesus? ;-)

    But anyways--- I think it's moments that we have like this Matt that refocus us. We get going on a million different projects.... and get so caught up in what we're doing... we easily forget what got us there or the passion driving us to do what it is we're doing day in and day out.

    Keep it up!

  3. Anonymous1:14 PM

    "Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Went from 205-160 (high school weight) in 6 months about 18 months ago. Still at high school weight...

  4. For some inspiration, read these posts of mine, the first is almost a year ago:

    and this

  5. You, embarrassed? I wish I could see what that looks like because I can't imagine it. Well anyway, you shouldn't be. I have a hard time with organizing and discipline too(understatement of the century!), but one thing I am realizing is you have to keep trying. Bummer, I know. Couldn't there be a finish line of some sort? Oh yeah, death. So, at least your not dead yet!

  6. There's a British musical comedian called Mitch Benn who uses his blog to keep accountable about his weight loss. He is supposed to post his weight every Monday and if he doesn't his fans are supposed to email him to make sure that he does.