I've been led, I believe, to be simple, embracing the Rule and going into this in a simple, prayerful manner. And I believe it's from God because no matter what I try, my heart and mind always return to this simple plan - if it finally works, I hope to share it with others who struggle with their addictions.
1) Stop ordering out: This is the biggest killer of any efforts to lose weight or save money.
2) Fast with the Church: I always try to go above and beyond, such as trying to fast on both Wednesdays and Fridays. How to run when I can barely crawl? No, I shall fast on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and on the Ember Days - let's learn to crawl first.
3) Exercise: I'll never lose weight and keep it off without exercise; and since it's a struggle for me, and nowhere near enjoyable, I offer my exercise to the Lord for the conversion of sinners and for relief of the souls in purgatory.
4) Rare treats: I'll never quit junk food for good, no matter how much I want to, because I know it's going to be a struggle. So, I promise myself to never buy junk food again (except for popcorn for the air popper, which really isn't junk food). However, my parents always have junk food in the house - if the mood strikes, I'll enjoy a treat at their house, but never in mine. With God's graces, I'll resist the urge over there, as well, but one step at a time.
5) Don't sweat the booze: I only have one or two drinks a week - I'm not going to worry about its impact.
6) Eating natural foods: My heart keeps going back to this. I'm not going to do anything extreme, although I *might* replace some of my dairy with other things, like almond milk or flax milk, but for the most part, I'm not going to obsess over organic vs poison-filled, or vegan/vegetarian vs meat and fish - I'm just going to enjoy the Lord's harvest and blessings and be thankful. Yes, my meals will continue to be mainly vegetarian, but I won't worry about the meat (unless it's Friday) and fish. Since South Beach, my meats have been mainly poultry and when it's been red meat, it's been very lean; and since my marriage, I'd say at least half my meals, if not 75%, are vegetarian. Truthfully, if I could just stop ordering out or buying junk food, the pounds would fall off!
So, that's it. No big crazy challenges or extreme penance - just trying to do this in a simple manner, offering it up to God, and begging him for the graces to believe that I'm worth being healthy. And I made goals for myself: Short term, I pray that I'll be down one pants size and one shirt size by New Year's. Long term, by this time next year I pray to be off all my medications.