Update on my Fasting, From Father Gannon
This was not a diet. Not really. It’s a program about learning healthy habits and choices. It is not really about how much weight one loses. It is more about sacrifice and gaining stronger grace-filled habits (virtues).
The reason I did this was:
1) I was beginning to not like who I saw in the mirror and it was affecting my prayer.
2) I wanted to do something, anything, to pray for the church, Bishops, and victims affected by the recent scandals and this was something practical and positive that I could control and change about myself so I could be a better person, Catholic, and priest.
3) When I was ordained I Promised the church and God that I would lay down my life for the people of God, and I have, but the church invested a lot of time, money, and support into my formation and my priesthood and I believe the church needs the healthiest priests they can have so that I can be a priest well into my old age.
4) I wanted to support my priest friends and others who were starting this program by doing it with them at the same time.
At the time I said I would end on the Feast of Christ the King and my goal was 190 pounds.
Well, I am at 190 and I am starting to transition back into regular eating with new healthy habits that I hope to take with me.
Some of those healthy habits are:
1) I now drink a lot of water a day (about 80-90 ounces). I realized that I was not drinking enough water in my diet and water is always necessary to be healthy.
2) I am eating more Veggies, about 2 servings a day (I don’t like them, but I am warming up to them, it all depends on how they are prepared).
3) I only snack on pre-approved foods I am not just going into the pantry to take the 1st thing I see, I plan my snacks at the beginning of the day and set them aside (how much, what time, is it healthy, etc.)
4) I walk about 10,000 steps a day (about 2-3 miles) during this time I pray the rosary or divine mercy, or listen to worship and praise, or audiobooks.
5) I am swimming at the Y 1 or 2 times a week. I would love to go more, I love swimming, but it is very time-consuming to walk and then get in a car, go to the gym, swim, change, get back into the car, come back to rectory and work. Finding time is a real challenge.
6) I have become more peaceful in my prayer time before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. I always love being before Jesus, but now I find my body is more peaceful just sitting still before him, reading, or praying for like an hour. Just him and I.
7) I find dinner time more powerful because I end up planning for dinner and not just quickly settling for fast food or whatever is in the frig, but planning, cooking, taking my time to enjoy the food and the company. It is an experience not just a moment in the day.
I am currently at 190, but I will most likely go down a bit more because around the holiday’s everyone gains a bit. I do have a coach and she is helping me start the process of stabilizing my metabolism as I am only eating about 900 calories a day currently, but I will need to go out to 2,000 a day (recommended daily by the doctors). I was almost a 42 waist, but now I can fit into some older clothes at 36 and even squeeze into 34. I was a 17 ½ collar now I can fit into a 16 and even a 15 ½ which I have not done since ordination. I had to go shopping for some new clothes because some of my current ones just were now too big on me. HA HA.
But I am keeping them in case I go back up in weight (which I hope will not happen any time soon).
This truly has been a prayer experience for me and an educational experience for me. It is a positive one and I hope to share it with other priests so if they desire and need, they can do it too. I also share it with all of you, so that you can continue to pray with me, and if someone needs or desires to do this level of fasting and prayer, I can help you get in contact with the proper health person and support you with my prayer and witness.
Let us pray for our priests, there are so many stresses out there for priests right now and we need them, including myself, to focus on self care, on prayer, and on being good shepherds for the people of God.