Day two was about “my relationship with myself and my relationship with God”. We begin the day by answering another questionnaire about our relationship with God. Of course, I won’t be posting my answers, but I will say that a couple of the questions made me uncomfortable. It wasn’t because they were bizarre, but because I didn’t like my authentic answer. There were a couple of questions that I know my answers are different now (in a good way) than they would have been last year.
I enjoyed the “God is love” portion. It was a great reminder of how He feels toward us. I also liked how the author listed some of the less than perfect people God worked through in the Bible. I figure if He can use them for His kingdom, He can use me too. This section definitely had the goal of building trust in our Creator. I think sometimes we say we trust Him, but our actions say otherwise. I mean, I would say that I was “wonderfully made” but I wouldn’t trust that the body He made could tell me when, what, and how much to eat… instead I would rely on diet gurus and food labels and apps.
Discovering My Own Hunger Level
This section was where the spiritual application joins with the physical application of trusting God.
Since your body is one of God’s masterpieces, it can be trusted. ~ Thin Within (p. 20)
The author introduces what she calls the “Bodometer Process”. Kind of a funny name, but she tells the reader to invite God into this process to help you know the clear answers. She then goes on to describe a process which helps you identify true physical hunger. I was actually thrilled to realize that I am on track for detecting physical hunger, but I loved the in depth descriptions about what is and what isn’t stomach hunger. I did use the full process twice during day two, I used a shortened version at other times (kind of like a “quick check”).
The Hunger Scale Tool
Ok, this was probably my favorite part of this day. Something about “you’re either at a zero or you’re not”, was comforting. I did feel like it reduced my anxiety over questioning whether I was hungry or not. So, I started trying to wait until there was no doubt I was hungry. Plus, it seemed to help resolve any lingering issues I had over the “your body needs less food than you think” concept from day one.
The really interesting thing about waiting until there is no doubt I’m hungry is that it seems to make it so much easier to recognize when I’ve had enough. I am finding that already… only two days into this thing… I’m pushing my plate away at shocking points in my meal.
I almost got a bit “bent out of shape” when the author made a recommendation that we choose “God’s provision of water” over “man-made” beverages, but then I reread it and focused on the “we recommend“. It isn’t like they are saying you’re going to Hell if you drink coffee or soda. And they aren’t setting a diet rule of “only drink water to be on plan”.
Healing is reaching a point where we can recognize that some things truly do benefit our bodies more than others without making those observations into “rules to live by”.
The Hunger Scale, that showed where you are if you’re holding on to extra weight or even gaining weight, kind of blew my mind. I think I stared at it for a while…. and then stared at it some more. Then they moved on to demonstrating that our empty stomachs are about the size of our closed fist. I am almost certain I’ve heard this before, but when I held up my fist and pictured some of those meals at the local, yummy, Mexican joint… um, yeah, I’ve definitely eaten past full. So I stared at my closed fist and said, “this is the size of your empty stomach”. Then I kept that visual in mind each time I fixed myself a plate of food. That doesn’t mean I only put that amount on my plate, it just means I kept it in mind. I would definitely agree with what the author said about our stomach size:
… however, it is a reality, and when reckoned with can be quite freeing. ~ Thin Within (p. 23)
You see, I think so often, those of us who grapple with binge eating think our stomachs are bottomless pits that will never be “full”. This visual shows us that they are not that way at all. We can honor our stomachs by not putting more food in there than what would be comfortable. We know what “stuffed” feels like. It’s miserable and doesn’t feel “honoring” at all.
Again, I got my back up at yet another quote from the book… seriously, I’m super sensitive when it comes to this stuff:
To honor God, who walks with us, and who leads and directs us, we need to honor the unique and amazing body he has made especially for each of us. ~ Thin Within (p. 24)
I could see how someone might take this as a form of condemnation if we don’t only do what appears beneficial all the time. So I read it again and asked God if this is what He means for me to take from this sentence. He told me to look up the word “honor”. That little word put the entire sentence into the proper perspective:
Honor: high respect; esteem
I absolutely want to show God the utmost respect and esteem Him above all else. I will never do this perfectly though, and God knows this. He knows I’m human. The goal is to live as Christ, but we must also understand that we need God’s mercy to live at all. The other day my 17 year old was asked “what’s the difference between mercy and grace” to which he replied:
It’s by God’s mercy that we’re still living on this earth, and it’s by His grace that we are saved. ~ my kid
Sometimes honoring our body is eating pie. I know that may sound strange, but sometimes your body might need pie. It might be the psychological part, but that’s still part of you. Eating pie is not a sin. Eating past “comfortable” won’t condemn you either. It may not be honoring, but it’s not condemning.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, ~ Romans 8:1 (NIV)
Should we try to honor our hunger cues? Absolutely. Are we condemned when we don’t? No. The author later reiterates that The Hunger Scale is a tool and should be treated as such. Ha ha… “It’s a tool, not a rule!” I just made that up. Yeah, I know I’m cool (rolls eyes).
Anyway, those are the major points I took away. There was much more than this, but I’m trying not to make these posts soooo long.
That’s my Day 2 🙂