But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. ~ 2 Chronicles 15:7 (NIV)
Today I felt really discouraged and I kind of yelled at God. I was driving to the store alone, rare occurance, and I just let loose. I was mad. I told Him how frustrated I was with my weight. I almost cried a couple of times, but didn’t because I didn’t want to walk into the store with mascara streaked down my face… ah, pride, hello old friend.
And do you know what God said to all of my ranting. “Trust me.” Ugh, I don’t like it when He says that. It usually means I have to step out in blind faith. It usually means He’s not going to give me earthly reassurances. It usually means I’ll be clinging to Him for dear life to keep from being swept away by the current… in this case… diet mentality.
For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. ~ 2 Chronicles 16:9 (NIV)
So today’s lesson was about being strong and not giving up. Seemed perfectly timed because, let’s face it, changing old habits is so difficult. The author talks about the story of King Asa. I remember reading about him during one of my passes through the Bible and I remember thinking, “No Asa, don’t do it!!” But alas, he did. He took his eyes off of God and trusted in mere mortals to save his kingdom.
That’s what I do when I turn to a diet or obsessively exercise. I’m trying to fix myself, by myself. I’m trusting in earthly things to solve this issue when it only addresses the symptoms. And when that doesn’t work, I swing to the other side of the pendulum and binge. I never got to purging (but don’t think I didn’t try a time or two) thanks to the Karen Carpenter story. I didn’t want to die in such a way… and at my own hand no less. Now that doesn’t mean I never ate until I was so stuffed that I threw up – that did happen a couple of times after a binge.
I have used food in all kinds of ways over the years. I’ve punished myself with it (denial), I’ve rewarded myself with it, I’ve pacified myself with it, and I’ve stuffed myself with it. I think the one that is the most difficult to let go of is the pacification.
One participant confided: “It is a challenge to live consciously all the time rather than anesthetizing myself with food. When I’m anxious, I’m still tempted to pop chocolate mints into my mouth instead of going to God. But I have discovered that if I don’t stuff my feelings down with food, I am more sensitive to how the Lord is leading me.” ~ Thin Within p. 77
That’s exactly what I think I’ve been trying to avoid, “living consciously”. There are parts of life that are really painful… or just annoying lol. Food numbs me out. Even just a bite of something. But then I end up living in the extremes again (feast or famine) and living consciously is about living in the here and now… “come hell or high water”.
Taking a look at old beliefs…
So we were asked to take a look at some old beliefs about food, eating and our weight. I know I’ve ditched a lot of them since the Fall, but there are definitely some still hanging on like “If I paid for it, I have to eat it” or “I always gain weight back after I lose it.”
Then we were asked to evaluate our beliefs and decide if they are working for or against us. Um, mostly against. Then the author suggests coming up with some alternate plans for dealing with things that pop up and make us want to turn to food. She calls it at “contingency battle plan”. This was an interesting exercise.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. ~ Ephesians 6:13 (NIV)
As a result of applying today’s lesson, this day proved victorious. A day that started with a temper tantrum, ended with victory in Jesus. With the Lord’s help, I was able to discern true physical hunger and was fully present at every eating occurrence. This was kind of a big deal for me. I hope this becomes more of the “norm” for me.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 10:3-5