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Yom Kippur & Dieting

What’s one got to do with another???

As Yom Kippur approaches, I keep thinking how “weigh-in day” reminds me so much of “judgment day”. Before I go further, a little disclaimer that I am not at all belittling the holiness and greatness of the holiest day of the year. My goal is to bring awareness to how much we prepare for a weigh-in day in comparison to Yom Kippur which obviously deserves MORE attention. 

Why is it easier to prepare for a weigh-in day than for Yom Kippur?

1. The scale gives a specific number assessing our success or lack of it. It is a clear number and we see it visually. The Yom Kippur “scale” is invisible and harder to see as tangible.

2. Diets are viewed as temporary (although ideally they should be viewed as a lifestyle) whereas making commitments or taking on mitzvahs seems more permanent and more of a commitment.

3. If you didn’t do well on the scale, you have a short and tangible period of time to do “teshuva” before your next weigh-in (usually a week)

4. How you do diet-wise on the scale is something you feel and see in your clothing and your body, whereas your Yom Kippur judgment is not as easy to see or feel.

So… How come my clients (and me too) work out extra before a weigh-in? Why do we make sure to write down all the good and the bad we ate, wear our lightest clothing for the scale, confirm our appointment, and make sure to come on time?

Why do we write down exactly what we weighed and what our goals are? Why do we make sure to not drink or eat too much before the actual weigh-in? Promise ourselves rewards for when we succeed.

What if we applied that same (or better) time and energy to our teshuva and mitzvos?

What if we did extra “workouts” (aka mitzvos) before Yom Kippur or wrote all the good and bad just as diligently as we kept a food log? What if we wore our best clothes to Shul and put thought and effort into that as we do with our weigh-in outfits? What if we made sure to show up on time to Shul and use our “session” to the fullest just as we do with weigh-ins?

What if we monitored extra closely what we ate and drank before our Yom Kippur “weigh-in” just as we do with our regular weigh-in? Do we try to eat enough before to have the energy to daven? Do we make sure not to eat too much so that we don’t feel yucky and can’t focus?

Just some “food for thought…” (Pun intended) 🙂

May everyone have a wonderful and healthy year and a productive Yom Kippur! May we treat it just as delicately and give it as much significance as we do to our weigh-in sessions!