As you already know, I’ve jumped into a challenge centered around proving that renewing the mind works. Not an easy task to say the least.
I wanted to share that today marks six days of living within my food boundaries since the start of the challenge.
Imagine with me for a second what you might feel like to realize you have lived (dare I say “thrived”) within your food boundaries for SIX full days.
No doubt, this isn’t something that comes easy for those of us living in this “you shouldn’t have to deny yourself” society. We’re adults for crying out loud. We have rights, gosh darn it!
Well, yes we do, and many of us have indulged ourselves right out of our britches. Then we try in our own strength to “get back on track” or “be good” only to be faced with another “donut”*. We rationalize and we bargain with ourselves and then we hear that little whisper… such a seemingly harmless thought… but it grows and grows until we give it full birth:
“I’ll start tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow I’ll follow my boundaries.”
It seems harmless, even noble at times, to believe the lie. The problem with following this train of thought is it actually makes us feel good about overeating today because of how great we’ll be tomorrow. It feeds “last chance” eating, which, as we know, makes us feel all the more deprived when we attempt to follow our boundaries the next day. Most of the time though, we hear that little voice again by about 4PM whispering:
“It’s been a hard day. You’ve made it this far. You can start over tomorrow.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of “starting over”. So, for the first five days of this challenge I used the “I’ll start tomorrow eating” questions and verses (from I Deserve a Donut) as part of my daily renewing the mind practice. I made myself write the questions and answers every morning for the last five days. I wrote the verses in my journal and prayed about them.
I did reword the questions slightly to apply to following my boundaries for another day rather than the wording that suggests I’m “starting today”.
One of the questions is about what I’ll need to accept in order to follow my boundaries. I like this question because it makes me really weigh the lie that “life should be easy” against the truth that “life is often hard”.
You see, I have decided to accept the simple truth that my food boundaries are there for my benefit and protection. Therefore, breaking my boundaries is actually a punishment, not a reward.
This shift in perspective is monumental.
Of course, when I stepped on the scale this morning, and was sorely disappointed, I’m sure you can imagine the flood of negative, destructive thinking.
In this situation I have a few choices. One of them is to throw a tantrum, adopt a “what’s the point” attitude, and dance around outside my boundaries in the name of “bad scale eating”. Another option would be to take those thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ by renewing my mind.
Admittedly, I did a combination of the two. First, I pitched a mini “it’s not fair” tantrum, but it didn’t involve food. Then, before I ate breakfast, I sat down with my Bible, my donut book, and my journal. I went through the “Bad Scale Eating” questions (writing them) and verses. I felt much better after this.
Knowing this is the weekend and I will have greater temptations to tiptoe outside my boundaries (or even run with reckless abandon), I decided to do the “Holiday/Vacation Eating” questions and verses too. I changed them slightly to better go with weekend eating, but the general theme stayed the same. Again, I wrote them.
I don’t want to wait until tomorrow to stay within my boundaries because I know that every day I do my part is one more victorious day God can use to bring about transformation. I also know I am not responsible for that transformation, He is.
The enemy tries to tell me I’m not doing enough (especially after a disappointing weigh in), but when I’m doing my part to renew my mind, I know that’s a lie. God says:
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” ~ Romans 12:2a (NIV)
The world says to trust in diets and supplements and exercise programs.
God says to trust Him.
The world says to have willpower.
God says to rely on His strength and not my own.
The world says to “think positive”.
God says to take my thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ.
Yeah, I think God’s way is better. So, I won’t worry about tomorrow, I’ll do what I can now.
*A “donut” in this post will refer to anything that tempts you to break your boundaries.