Advent is Minor Penitential Season--First Hand Lessons in Charity, Fasting

Advent is a lesser or minor penitential season-- a mini Lent. We practice the same gospel virtues--prayer, fasting and almsgiving. We homeschooled our kids and being Catholic, followed church liturgical calendar for lessons. During Lent, our church does Catholic Relief Services Operation Rice Bowl, collecting money for those in need. Through the rice bowl calendar we learn about cultures our money helps. Charity gets a negative reputation when it's done wrong. Like a "superior" people helping an "inferior" one. Rice Bowl isn't a do-gooder, we-them thing. They ain't heavy--they're brothers and sisters. And Rice Bowl lessons have applications for Advent and the entire liturgical year. Here's what we learned, plus ways you can bring CRS social values to your advent  What We Learned About Hunger From My Third-World Recipe Fail - News - Bubblews

Fast, Lose Weight, Live Simpler, Eat Healthier, Observe Advent Better

This post might seem like an odd subject for Advent--weight loss. If you think of fad dieting, obsession with appearance--yes, those are far from Advent virtues. I'm advocating "gospel" dieting to lose weight, feel better, be healthier, heal addictions, save money and live in solidarity with the poor.  I'm suggesting partner with Our Lord, for best weight loss. Here's how I lost 85 pounds.

I never had problems with weight problem till age 40. I had four healthy babies, then miscarried the fifth at 20 weeks. I was terribly depressed. I spiraled emotionally, in my marriage, economically, in employment and worst, spiritually. I started taking the antidepressant Paxil (paroxetine). With no baby to nurse, I couldn't shed post-pregnancy weight as I normally would, breast-feeding. Then I lost another baby in 2004 and got more depressed. The kids wanted to try public school after homeschooling and with no sisters to teach it didn't seem fair to homeschool the youngest alone. And I didn't have the desire. I had to find employment because we couldn't make it on one income anymore. Our fixer-upper house was draining all our resources and we couldn't even afford to do it right. More depression.

I weaned myself from antidepressants in 2010, but I'd put on about 105 pounds. I tried dieting and wasn't successful. Then I got serious around fall 2012. Without surgery, drugs or a support group, I lost 82 pounds and gone from size 20 to 6-8. Read more How I Lost 82 Pounds, Dropped 6 Sizes Without Surgery, Drugs


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