The Bard’s to blame: how a poke from a long dead poet provokes a weight loss journey

I’m on a diet!

Botheration – there I’ve said it – it’s out there publicly. Grrr! I love food and hate diets.

So why?

Well, the obvious reason is there is more of me than there used to be hence I can’t fit most of my wardrobe plusI know there are health issues in the family that I can avoid if I keep my weight under control.

But why now? And why am I blaming Shakespeare?

Because I’m reading this book as my Lent discipline. I’m throughly enjoying it. I was going to blog about how brilliant it is even before it ‘poked’ me.

Peter Graystone brings us 40 daily readings from Shakespeare and draws out of them reflections on topics as varied as beauty, justice, relationships, guilt, time and power. If you are not that familiar with Shakespeare, he gives a context and an explanation which I don’t think would feel patronising to those with greater knowledge.

I am LOVING it. It’s the first Lent book where I haven’t missed a day so far. I love my daily dose of poetry. I’m intrigued by the background details on Shakespeare’s life. The plot summaries (and not many ‘spoilers’) make me want to see more of the plays and there are lines in the sonnets that I’d like to commit to memory. (Today’s was a description of the benefits of sleep “sleep, that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care”)

Anyway back to the weight loss journey. So I’d spent the best part of a week trying not to think about the facts listed above about my weight and avoiding the scales. Then the second thing that happened was that I got into a conversation with a friend and discovered she was feeling the same. I suggested we might become accountablity buddies and send each other our weekly weigh ins (cheaper than joining a weight loss class) . This meant not only finding the scales but installing a battery in them , a process which took 2 days.

Then just when I was running out of reasons to put this off, Shakespeare poked me.

It was last Saturday and the ‘portion’ (see what I did there?) for the day was from Henry IV part 2 – it contained these lines:

” Make less thy body hence

and more thy grace”


When issues are raised or brought to my attention three times, I’ve learnt to pay attention so even though it’s massively inconvenient (it always is) I’m on a diet.

Will I be a reduced version of myself eventually? …. Watch this space.

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