Beautiful Living with Dr Denton Weiss: On Fasting, Refreshing the Routine and Living Lent
Be Blessed this most Holy of Seasons - and Begin Again. Beautiful Loving - Beautiful Living - Bella Vitae
Ash Wednesday began us on a forty day pilgrimage. We began with cleansing the soul, the mind, and - let us not forget - the body. All three a gift from our Lord, all three waiting for healing, for restarting, for new life! The point here is you are refreshing your life by a simple fast. Even on days when you eat three meals, keep the meals small: Simple fish at night for your protein and whole grain breads and water for your other meals.
PORTSMOUTH,VA. (Catholic Online) - I am Back! After a wild 8 months - which included a daughter's Wedding and all that was involved in the final successful inspection of our Surgery Center - I am here to ask, "Did I just survive all of that?" Now, I need a new routine. So, with that being said, it is nice to be jumping back into the healthy side of beautiful living.
In our daily lives, the stresses of the days, weeks, and years just seem to engulf everything. As a surgeon I typically say "I can't do such and such .I've got to see the next patient". My lovely bride, when our girls were just girls, would say that I just can't find the time to. She was right.
In the end, we also let the body go. We do so to take care of the obligations that appear to be more important - and in many ways they are important. However, we miss the balance of life. Suddenly, we look at our bodies in the mirror and say "Wow where did I go?"
And, if I look like this on the outside what about the inside? Yikes! Take a look at a bucket of lard or grease, hardened after frying a Big steak. Not so pretty - that's called fat.
I am often questioned why I am a plastic surgeon and not an internist. Interestingly, when you ask most people if they would like to LOOK healthier they typically point to their eyelids and midsection. Both of which are classic representations of what is going on inside our bodies - and our minds.
If you don't believe me look at a President's picture before and after 4 years in the White House. Stress, eating on the move, fund raiser meals, and no time for exercise all lead to a diminished internal health which is seen on the outside.
What I love about plastic surgery is the ability to help both the inward and outward health of my patients. One cannot exist without the other. What we eat - and how we live - are represented in the health of the beautiful body which our Lord Jesus blessed us with.
Each year I long for Lent. I love the thought of fasting and balancing my life. Fasting is such an important part of bringing balance to a world of excess. In my fasting I become one with the world of poverty - and of wanting.
The physical fatigue I feel makes me wonder in awe at the men and women of this world who work a day on just one meal or no meal. I am ashamed of my excess pounds that came from my seeming inability to control my calorie intake - while others long for just a little. In fasting, I can become one with them and, in doing so, I start anew to make our world, not just my world, Beautiful.
A week ago I spoke about the healing found in human touch; today let us speak of the healing found in fasting together as One Church, One Faith, One People. We are Christians, We must be of Love, and that love must be for all, the poor in body, mind and soul are included.
When we fast we not only change spiritually but also metabolically. The stomach growls because we have stopped our usual routine and our brain is telling the stomach, "Hey, what about a little acid to fire up Dr Weiss? I want that donut in here!"
Once we get past the initial attack by our stomach and brain manipulation, a generalized fatigue will set in. The body was preparing for food, so a few gut enzymes and some insulin from the pancreas were released. As this floats through the body it is looking for some food = sugar to use for energy.
Surprise! No sugar and the brain slows down. At this point, the brain panics (Not Really but that sounds Good), and a signal is given to the body to release glucagon. This little baby starts pulling calories from our muscle and fat stores.
If you fast too long your breath will have a sickly sweet smell because of muscle breakdown. Ketones are made when we breakdown proteins for energy..muscle. An extreme example is a person with anorexia. They simply have burned their muscle to survive.
Remember this smell is not toxins coming off your body which is purported by many extreme fasting diets, but simply ketones from the muscle breaking down to feed you.
As we begin these 40 days of Lent let us celebrate the joy of new beginnings. As we reconcile our actions and thoughts, may we also begin a new healthy life. A kick start to any great event is a moment of peace and prayer. Before each surgery I begin with a prayer and meditation.
Ash Wednesday began us on a forty day pilgrimage. We began with cleansing the soul, the mind, and - let us not forget - the body. All three a gift from our Lord, all three waiting for healing, for restarting, for new life!
Ok, Here's my initial thoughts for a beautiful Lent
Ash Wednesday and every day after during Lent: wake-up 5 minutes early and in the shower or at your bedside give the Lord absolute Praise for giving us another day to make the world better. Now go make it better!
The first person you see. Reach out and touch them. Really Doc! Yes really. Shake their hand; give them a kiss, or just a big old hug. Remember last week... Touch someone - it's OK!
Next begin the usual day in the shower, bathroom you know the general stuff. Now Floss your Teeth. If you don't have floss then swish and spit with Listerine or scope. Don't have any? Alright brush again, your gums need a little extra and this will make your mouth feel NEW again.
The point here is you are refreshing your life by a simple fast. Even on days when you eat three meals, keep the meals small: Simple fish at night for your protein and whole grain breads and water for your other meals.
The fish is an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids, your brains food! The bread should have grains you can literally see. The B vitamins and protein found in the grains will be great and the carbohydrates present will sustain your body's basic needs. The body is made up of many things mostly Water. So Drink!
When you get home - go for a walk. Don't change into work out gear, just get off the bus, out of your car, or off your motorcycle and walk in those clothes. If it is too cold then walk up and down a flight of stairs 4 times. IF YOU ARE NOT BREATHING DEEPLY AFTER THE WALK that was a stroll get back out there! Remember this is a new beginning!
Now sometime during the day you were honored with the placing of an Ash Cross upon your brow. This was the mark of a new beginning. Thank you Jesus for second chances! Be Blessed this most Holy of Seasons - and Begin Again. Beautiful Loving - Beautiful Living - Bella Vitae.
Dr Denton D. Weiss, M.D. is board certified in both Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Weiss' approach to his medical practice flows from his convictions about the meaning of life which are deeply rooted in his Catholic Faith. He and his wife, Michelle strive for an integrated approach to life which recognizes the unity of the body, mind and soul. They call this approach "Bella Vitae" or "Beautiful Living". He, and Michelle, are contributing writers to Catholic Online.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Lent / Easter News
- The Power of the Resurrection in our Lives: Christ Is Risen; Indeed, He Is Risen!
- What a Day! What a Way, the Easter Way, Alleluia!
- The Surprise of Easter
- Easter Vigil Homily of Pope Francis: Let the Risen Jesus Enter Your Life
- HOLY SATURDAY: The Whole Earth Keeps Silence
- The Resurrecting Power of Mercy
- On the Friday We Call Good, the Whole World Stands Still
- Good Friday Reflection on the Logic of the Cross
- Reflection: Let us Apply the Splint of the Cross to our Fractured Freedom
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?
More Easter / Lent
'So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead' - Luke 24:46
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption. continue reading
Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels. (Mark 11:1.11, Matthew 21:1.11, Luke 19:28.44, and John 12:12.19) ... continue reading
On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we celebrate Our Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him and laying down palm leaves before him. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week... continue reading
HOLY THURSDAY is the most complex and profound of all religious observances. It celebrates his last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover ... continue reading
On Good Friday, each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Holy Week we unite ourselves to our Savior, and we contemplate our own death to sin in the Death of our Lord ... continue reading
Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Leo I (Sermo xlvii in Exodum) calls it the greatest feast (festum festorum), and says that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter. It is the centre of the greater part of the ecclesiastical year ... continue reading
For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere. Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed (Lk. 5:35). continue reading
Everything answered from when does lent end, ashes, giving something up, stations of the cross and blessed palms. The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple: Baptism... continue reading
Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion. First Station: Jesus is condemned to death... pray the stations now
What did you give up for Lent?
From the humorous to the bizarre, people have had interesting Lenten experiences. Tell us about what you are going to give up for this Lenten Year.
What others gave up »
F. K. Bartels - Catholic Online, 4/6/2013
There is great cause for belief in the Resurrection. One of the most wonderful tenets of Catholicism and the true Christian religion the Church transmits, is that the Resurrection is a historical ...Continue Reading
Deacon Keith Fournier - Catholic Online, 4/1/2013
Have you have heard the old adage, used often in a disparaging way, He´s so heavenly he is no earthly good. I suggest again that it misses the mark completely. We are Easter people. We are called to ...Continue Reading
Fr. Randy Sly - Catholic Online, 3/31/2013
To make sure that all mankind knows that it is not over but actually just beginning, God has an Easter bombshell. While we may have been able to anticipate the wondrous joy of a day of resurrection, ...Continue Reading
Pope Francis - Catholic Online, 3/31/2013
Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness... and that is where death is. That is not the place to look for the One who is alive! Let the risen Jesus enter ...Continue Reading
On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption.
In the symbol of the Cross we can see the magnitude of the human tragedy, the ravages of original sin, and the infinite love of God. Learn More
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. Learn More
Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion.
ACT OF CONTRITION. O my God, my Redeemer, behold me here at Thy feet. From the bottom of my heart... Pray the Stations
'Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed' Lk. 5:35
Abstinence. The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted.
Fasting. The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday (Canon 97) to the 59th Birthday (i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday) to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal.
Learn More »