For those just joining the program, I’m going through Judy Halliday’s, Thin Within. The first post in this series is here. Now, let’s get on with Day One…
I previewed today’s lesson last night. One reason was because “preview what you’ll go over tomorrow” is one of the “ingredients” in the “recipe for straight A’s” that the kids learn at our DoJang. The second reason is because I tend to be impatient and this is a compromise that keeps me from reading through the entire book in a day. I preview the lesson the night before, then study it in the morning, then I get to preview the next day that night. Remember, preview doesn’t mean “do the exercises”, it means read over it to see where you’re going the next day.
I refuse to step on the scale, so I’m only going by how my clothes fit. Since I’ve gained weight during my journey through the “valley of doritos and donuts” (Josie Spinardi), I am currently in the largest jeans I own… and today they were snug. They bugged me all day in fact. I definitely felt bloated.
Why am I not giving sizes? Because I don’t want anyone “comparing”. I would hate for someone to think “well, she’s bigger than me, so I can’t relate” OR “well, she’s smaller than me, so how can she understand”. We’ve all read the books where someone is like “oh I was so huge” and they were 50 pounds lighter than you… and you want to throw the book across the room… ok, maybe all of us haven’t had that experience, but I have.
Anyway, I really, really pray I don’t grow out of these jeans, but I like how the author stresses that God loves us no matter what size we are. He doesn’t love us more if we’re a certain size and He doesn’t love us more if we eat certain foods. He just loves us… period.
But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do ~ 1 Corinthians 8:8 (NIV)
I thought I would be put off by having testimonials peppered throughout the book, but I’m really not bothered by them at all. I kind of see them as little lights of encouragement that others have walked this path and experienced freedom.
You will begin to need less food as you realize much of your eating has been triggered by something that food really can’t satisfy. ~ Thin Within (pg. 5)
Ok, I’ll admit it, this was the first thing that made me go…. OH NO IT’S A DIET. But then, I had a little talk with myself. Maybe I do need less food, how should I know. I rarely paid attention to my hunger cues for 28 years, and one thing I have discovered since last Fall is that I’m not physically hungry as often as I thought I was. So, ok, I can get on board with the thought that maybe my body doesn’t need as much food as my mind says it does.
I think I’m so afraid of restriction… like paranoid… that I overreact when it’s suggested that I need less food. See, what I mean about my diet rebel?
And then the author stresses that we need to make sure we don’t turn what we learn over the next 30 days “into a set of laws that you must keep to be ‘good’ or to please God.” So, when I read that I said, “whew… ok, God, I need to you teach me how to know I’ve had enough, and help me not to even think about it being less or more… just ‘enough’.”
The Dieting Merry-Go-Round
I have never heard the following verse used to debunk the “dieting merry-go-round” before, but I will probably use it that way now (smile):
Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. ~ Colossians 2:20-23 (NIV)
Um, sounds a lot like dieting to me, but I really never thought of it like that. Wow. I’m not saying the Colossians were dieting and that’s what they were being admonished for, but clearly they were putting more emphasis on man-made rules than on the worship and following of Christ. Boy can I relate to bowing at the altar of diets! How about that part that says, having “an appearance of wisdom”? Kind of eye opening. At least I thought so.
God made these bodies. He didn’t hand Adam and Eve a manual telling them exactly when, what, and how much to eat. No, He knew He had given His Creation internal cues to tell them when they were hungry and when they were full. We’re the ones who have messed that all up with our man-made rules.
I thought the exercise of thinking about your last meal was interesting. I liked the idea of observing my behavior from a third-party perspective.
Keys to Conscious Eating
Now, I’m not going to detail out the 8 keys. I’m sure you will be able to deduce what they are through this 30 day series, but I really do encourage you to just get a copy of the book if you don’t have one.
Most of this section wasn’t “new” to me per say, but there were some things I was able to take away that I think will be helpful as I journey on.
When in doubt, leave it out! ~ Thin Within (p. 8)
Super simple. If you aren’t sure if you’re hungry, don’t eat. If it all possible, wait till you are certain. The second thing that jumped out at me was when the author addressed eating what your body enjoys, not because it was a new concept, just because I like the way she worded it. I think recovering dieters really struggle with this one because we’re so used to being legalistic about our food. She backs up the thoughts below with two verses: Mark 7:18-19 & Romans 14:17.
Too often, we get caught up in thinking we are “good” or “bad” based on how we eat. Food cannot cleanse the heart no matter how little fat or how much fiber it contains. ~ Thin Within (p. 9)
This is where the author asks us to throw out all of our diet related paraphernalia. I am a HUGE proponent of this. Since I’ve already done this step, I was able to breeze through that part, but I do remember how difficult it was to get rid of those things. It feels a bit like stepping off a cliff, but that’s where we have to trust in the God who made us.
I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt… Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful. ~ Jeremiah 31:3-4 (NIV)
Thin Within Observations and Corrections Chart
I LOVE charts. I do. It’s “a blessing and a curse” (Monk). So, when I saw that we were going to get a daily chart to record our progress with the 8 keys, I thought that was a brilliant idea. Now, my Day 1 chart isn’t that pretty. I am still trying to work out the best way for me to mark up this chart so that, at a glance, I can see what areas are progressing nicely and what areas need more help. So, when you look at the chart, it may be a bit confusing.
I think tomorrow I’ll draw lines between each of my “eating occasions” as the author suggests. I did try to color code them but ended up adding the dashes where I didn’t have check marks because it was looking a little weird to me. Oh, and the last row of pink was “dinner” that I forgot to add in the 4th spot and had to put it at the end. See, told you it is a mess.
“Standing in the kitchen” (circled K) occurred after dinner (which wasn’t what I wanted). I was in the kitchen and remembered that the 15 year old had made mashed potatoes for the 12 year old (whose mouth was hurting after the orthodontist today). Without thinking, I picked up the serving spoon and had two bites of the potatoes (which I did enjoy) before realizing I was standing and eating. I thought about putting some potatoes on a plate and going to the table but I checked in with my stomach. I wasn’t hungry so I put down the spoon and left the area.
Later, I was really, really hungry, but I was already in bed reading. I got up, went all the way downstairs and sat at the table (alone) with a small cupcake (on a plate) and a fork. I enjoyed every bite of that cupcake. It was gone at just shy of full, so I cleaned up and went back upstairs.
Now, I am choosing to focus primarily on the positive when I make these observations. I don’t want to get into the habit of beating myself up for not doing this “perfectly” (which wouldn’t be a far leap for me). I fully expect to observe some behaviors I don’t wish to keep (like standing to eat), but then I have the opportunity to make a choice to continue in that behavior or stop it.
Key #6 was the one I performed the best today with six out of six possible checks. Key #7 was in last place with four out of six possible checks. Earning those check marks took some serious concentration today. I had to be very deliberate, to the point that I had to remind myself to relax and breathe. It is so funny that I was motivated by little check marks.
I would also like to point out that I had already begun to work on hunger/fullness recognition before beginning this 30 day study. So, if it seems like I’m “rocking it”, that’s probably because I’ve already been attempting to practice some of these principles. So, if your chart is more of a mess than mine, don’t lose heart. Keep pressing forward and asking God for help.
Well, that was my day 1 🙂
The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. ~ Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)
As much as i think charts would help me, writing down what i ate brought me back to my first diet days where my mom thought bad things and said them about me, because she believed i was too big. Big boned and thick waisted, big like an elephant, she use to tell me i would look disgusting as an adult and no one would want me. It took me almost 28 years later for me to realize that what she said were all lies. Through counseling i started watching couples and started to take notice of the size of the women with her man. Because of how my mom treated me, i picked abusive partners. But, now I have been set free in the Name of Jesus Christ, through Bob Larson Ministries received deliverance healing. Now after gaining 45# from a life chancing event, I finally feel ready to accept Jesus to restore me in Thin Within. Thank you for letting me share. I do think that by writing down how much I eat, I will see how little it takes for me to reach 5 , not about being perfect but a 5.