thin within: can’t want to

thinwithin

Well, it’s Saturday and today I just “can’t want to”. My oldest daughter used to say if we asked her to do something she didn’t want to do. She was three at the time. Of course, we didn’t let her off the hook.

But here I am, at forty, pouting and saying, “I can’t want to”.

I would love to report that I overcame this feeling, but I didn’t. I sat down with the study for a few minutes but my heart just wasn’t in it. I couldn’t make myself focus. I prayed, but to be honest, I just think I was feeling particularly rebellious. Then all the justification poured in.

“What’s the big deal if you miss one day?”

“You deserve a break, this is hard work.”

“Come on, you’re just being legalistic and a slave to rules if you make yourself do this.” (um, that one was really cleverly cunning)

So, I took the day off. I put the book away and moved on with my day (which was busy). I even spent about an hour reading about why the Weight Watchers CEO decided to change the plan back in 2010… still think it was rather stupid. I think I was trying to find an excuse to go back to Weight Watchers, but I know in my heart that the new program doesn’t work for me. I know where I’ll end up as I’ve tried it numerous times since the end of 2010. Everytime I end up hacked that I’m spending so much time tracking every blasted bite I eat only to stay the same weight. I didn’t rejoin weight watchers but I sure thought about it. Reading the article did help because I didn’t agree with the reasons for the changes and it revealed exactly why I already knew it didn’t work for me.

I guess I could (probably should) be upset with myself for blowing my boundaries today, but right now I just don’t care. Oh sure, I could say, “God’s grace is sufficient” and it is… but this isn’t about that. This is purely… “I can’t want to… and so I just won’t”.

Hopefully tomorrow will be different.

*Remember, these posts are not “in real time”. The actual date of this post is May 2. So, if you run into me and think “my she looks rather in a good mood for having such a stinky attitude”… this day is already in the past for me. Of course, it could also mean I’m slapping on a smile to hide the frustration lol.

thin within: day twenty-two

thinwithin

Today’s lesson begins with “be on your guard”. I probably should have taken those four simple words more to heart.

I am definitely under attack and I’ll be quite honest, I rather muddled through today’s lesson. While a good one, I can tell my dedication is waning because all I can think about today is my size. Yes, this is obviously going to be an ongoing battle.

Day Twenty-Two

When the author makes statements like “the temple is nearing completion” a part of me cringes. I certainly don’t feel like I’m anywhere near completed. I suppose though, I am thinking about what I see on the outside and she is talking about the construction we’re doing on the inside.

While the message today was really what I needed, it definitely didn’t stick with me. I have felt a twinge of discontentment and frustration creeping back in. I think, even though I don’t want to, I’m letting the “sofa eating” really get to me. I feel like I’m failing over and over… which of course the enemy seems to thrive on. I feel a binge coming on. My hormones still have not fully recovered from time change, so that is yet another source of frustration.

Steps to Strengthening Your Belief System

Clearly this was exactly what I needed to focus on… but I didn’t. The author takes us through the first 5 steps in Dr. Stanley’s list. These are 10, very powerful steps… but alas, my heart was hard. I half-heartedly went through the exercises before leaving for the grocery stores. Huge mistake. I should have been diligent because these first five steps probably would have been the perfect reminder to operate in GOD’s strength and not my own.

Yeah, hindsight is 20/20.

Gratitude List

What am I grateful for? Um, it’s Friday and I’m just ready to relax.

thin within: day twenty-one

thinwithinStill in pain, but we press on. This morning the husband and I went for a walk. That was nice. I’m not too sore from yesterday’s jogging so that’s good. My knee was a bit swollen though.

So, we’re on the final third of the book. Goodness, the time has flown. Let’s get to it.

Day Twenty-One

I decided to change my color scheme for this last section to purple and blue. Blue, of course, is my favorite color, but purple reminds me of royalty and since I’m trying to think like a princess child of God… I thought it was appropriate.

So, in previewing this lesson, I knew it was going to be one I wasn’t in the mood for. Stress is rather high right now as we try to wrap up the end of our school year. In a couple of weeks I’ll likely feel like a new woman, but right now, this is definitely a more difficult time to focus on this stuff.

But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. ~ Malachi 4:2

Um, yeah, I’d like to do some leaping. I actually picture my dog trying so hard to wait patiently for us to open the gate to the dog park. He’s sitting, but squirming and whining. He looks up at us like, “Now, can I go now.” But we make him wait. Just when he thinks we’re not going to open the gate, we do. The moment that chain clinks and we say, “OK” – he bolts through the doorway toward his version of sweet freedom.

I need that healing too. Sure, some things are improved, but there seems to still be so much clouding my mind. I don’t exactly feel “victorious from the clouds of desert dust”, but I am certainly more hopeful than I’ve been in a while.

So, the whole section on “the impostor” was super hard to read. Yes, I’ll admit, I don’t air all my dirty laundry, flaws, mistakes for the whole world to see. I can most certainly relate to this quote by Brennan Manning:

The impostor is attentive to the size, shape, and color of the bandages that veil my nothingness. The false self persuades me to be preoccupied with my weight [yikes]. If I binge… and the scale signals distress the following morning, I am crestfallen. A beautiful day of sunshine beckons, but for the self-absorbed impostor, the bloom is off the rose. [Oh dear Jesus, can we say “ouch”] The minor vanities kidnap my attention away from the indwelling God and temporarily rob me of the joy of God’s Holy Spirit. [been there, but the next part is the final slap] Yet the false self rationalizes my preoccupation with my waistline and overall appearance and whispers, “A fat, sloppy image will diminish your credibility in ministry.” Cunning.

Um, that was terribly convicting. I think all of us conceal our real selves on some level. I think we, as dieters have definitely been duped into putting far too much importance on our “waistline and overall appearance”. So, we put up the front of “I’m on a diet, I’m doing something about this at least.” When dieting isn’t the answer… it isn’t the “cure”. We’re so afraid someone will think us “ugly” if we’re “real”.

You can never be ugly when you are real, “except to people who don’t understand.” ~ Thin Within (p. 225)

I really don’t think I have intentionally not been real… most of the time. Sure, there are times when I’m teaching and I have to put on a smile when I really would rather just curl into a ball and sob. I don’t know if that’s hiding the reality or relying on God for the strength to press on through the day. Or maybe the issue is when I’m just pulling myself up by my bootstraps… saying I’m relying on God… and yet still doing it in my own strength. Hmm… let’s stir in a bit more conviction shall we?

20150502_065357 (2)Yes, I hate for people to see my mistakes, although I know I’ve made plenty even while typing this blog series. I feel like the Lord keeps humbling me through ridiculous blunders I have made lately. I’ve even begun to wonder if I’m going crazy because I never was one to make silly mistakes. But lately, I’ve made one mistake after another and feeling really foolish that I didn’t catch them. Yeah, I think He’s trying to humble me. You would think three concussions would be enough to get the message across. He hasn’t allowed me to have a broken leg yet (broken toe, yes), but I have been clocked in the head and gotten to “be still and know He is God”. I should probably learn this lesson before I end up with another whack to this thick skull.

Well, that was Day 21 🙂

thin within: day twenty

thinwithin

The last day of part two. What a doozy. Busy, long day and today’s lesson was one that needed added attention. It was about forgiveness again. Oh how I wasn’t in the mood to think about forgiveness… again.

Day Twenty

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. ~ Colossians 3:13 (NIV)

I’ve studied forgiveness before. I’ve heard countless sermons on it. I’ve even made huge strides in this area. I am no where near the “list keeper” I used to be… still, after today’s lesson, I had to admit there were still things I was holding onto. I suppose it could be classified as an unwillingness to forgive, but I know my heart’s desire is to forgive… so perhaps it isn’t unwillingness, but rather difficulty.

ForgivenessI liked the author’s explanation of what forgiveness is and isn’t. Then we were asked to do a forgiveness phrase exercise. I decided not to do this exercise in the book. I started a “forgiveness notebook” in which to write my forgiveness phrases. I have ten more days remaining in this study and my plan is to do this exercise daily through the end. Once I feel “released” from a phrase, I’ll stop writing/stating it. Just after doing the exercise I felt a weight lift off of me. I’ve been begging God to take the burden, but I haven’t been actively choosing to release my death grip on them.

Observations and Corrections

Today, I started writing a number in the first and last “key blanks” on the chart. I decided this was a much more accurate representation of what was going on and would help keep me from seeing it as “all or nothing”. I was viewing those first and last check marks as “pass or fail”… or extremes. This way it is just a number.

I was quite tired when I got home this afternoon. So the last thing I cared about was whether I was distracted while eating or not. Still, this was an improvement over sofa eating of the past. Progress is being made.

Oh, and the husband and I started running again this morning. This is really slow going, but I’m really tired of being on the sidelines. Yesterday I did about half of a walking video (Leslie Sansone) and my knee was hurting so badly afterward I was a little hesitant to try jogging this morning. It went ok though.

thin within: day nineteen

thinwithinOk, let’s just say today was a rough day. I woke up after a really weird dream feeling super low and angry. Despite yesterday’s victories of staying within my boundaries, I felt so fat this morning. I mean huge. My pants felt tight again for some reason and I just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry.

Not to mention, I am still in pain, which does not inspire me to pay attention to anything I eat.

Day Nineteen

I felt completely under attack today. Pain, frustration, depression… so not fun. And then today’s lesson was on forgiving myself. Well, great, I feel lousy enough so let’s talk about all my many mistakes too. Ugh. Going through this lesson without beating myself up even more was basically… well, unsuccessful. I tried to put down the “club of condemnation” but it seemed it just kept hopping right back into my hand. brerrabbit

I tried over and over to “cast all my cares upon Him”, but by golly, those just kept clinging to me like tar. I felt like Brer Rabbit fighting with that Tar Baby trap. I fell for the trick over and over today and then I just felt stuck. Yes, this was one of those “one step backward” days.

Observation and Corrections

C=”Car”; S=”Sofa”

There were also frustrating circumstances out of my control that led to it being hours before I could eat lunch. By the time I got food, the last thing I cared about was the zero to five boundary. In fact, I ended up scarfing down my lunch sitting in the car. And then I didn’t care at dinner either. I had that in front of the TV.

Yeah, not my best moment to be sure. Clearly the enemy is out for blood. I guess I’m getting too close to actually breaking free of this thing. Lord, I need protection!

thin within: day eighteen

thinwithin

Lord you have assigned me my portion and my cup. You have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, surely I have a delightful inheritance. ~ Psalm 16:5-6 (NIV)

Day Eighteen

Today’s lesson was about setting Godly boundaries. I loved the examples given of Nehemiah and Jesus. These boundaries are so much more than “wait for a zero to eat”.

I think I tend to go to extremes with other boundaries too. I’m either too open or two closed. Finding that middle ground isn’t easy. I’m either too available or refusing to be available at all. I’ll let something suck up all my time or deny it any time whatsoever.

Boundaries are a good thing. They protect us. I’m praying about the boundaries God is calling me to. I really do want to know where my boundary lines have fallen.

Pleasers, Teasers, and Total Rejects

So, the food portion of today’s lesson was about identifying with foods we find pleasing and which ones tease us… as well as foods that we reject altogether. Basically, what foods benefit us (taste, smell, nutrition). My list probably wouldn’t look like yours… and your list wouldn’t look like your neighbors. We’re all different with various likes and dislikes.

I liked the exercise of identifying pleasers, teasers, and total rejects. There are several foods that I thought I loved that I won’t touch. And there are some that I would eat because “it’s good for you” that I won’t eat anymore either. I kicked artificial sugars to the curb years ago. Recently I tried to revisit them but the taste made me gag so I don’t even bother wondering if I should go “sugar free” again. With Oreos and Swiss Rolls, I can taste the chemicals in them… blech… so I don’t eat those anymore either. Certain french fries and chips are “too greasy” for my liking. There is a vegan “butter” that tastes awesome, but it gives me indigestion – so that’s not worth it either. These are total rejects for me.

Observations and Corrections

O=”Office”

I have decided that there is nothing wrong with sipping coffee in my office while I work on my morning Bible study. I am not going to consider this “distracted eating” unless the Lord convicts me otherwise, and for now, at least, I don’t sense Him prompting me in this area. I was feeling rather legalistic about sitting alone sipping my coffee… it’s coffee. I am not addicted to it. I am not using it to “comfort myself” rather than going to God, so I don’t see it any different from having a cup of herbal tea while I read. I’ve gone back and forth as to whether to include it on these charts or not. So, this will be the last time I do include it. If all I have is coffee (or tea), I’m going to treat it like I do water and not log it.

Overall, today was fairly uneventful. Except I have been in a lot of pain lately. I’m not sure why either. The pain had subsided when I first started using essential oils, but it seems to be returning. Maybe I’m reacting to something I’m eating. Maybe it’s related to the hormonal issues I’m dealing with. I just don’t know.

thin within: day seventeen

thinwithin

I am redeemed. I simply love this study. After a couple of days where I felt really out of sorts, it’s a blessing to accept and acknowledge that I am not a failure because I’m imperfect… I am an… uh huh, you guessed it… eagle. Alrighty, so back to our regular program.

Day Seventeen

Today’s lesson was all about gratitude. It is virtually impossible to have a stinky attitude when you are focused on gratitude. Of course, the enemy is a master at twisting anything into something bad… if you let him. I began the lesson praising God for all sorts of things. I even chuckled a few times at some of the silly things I wrote down. I was grinning until suddenly a dastardly thought popped into my head.

“Look at how much you have to lose.”

Gasp. Suddenly my praise caught in my throat and visions of Job being dealt one horrible affliction after another. He had much to be thankful for too… and then it was all taken away in a series of unfortunate events. The stifling grief of burying a child rushed in as I pictured Job receiving the news that all of his children were dead. His security… his money… his health… gone. The enemy left him with one thing besides breath… an angry wife (I’m sure she was grief stricken too).

What this revealed to me was the grip I had on the relationships/things I listed as being grateful for. I need to turn them over to God too. They are His, I just get to enjoy them while I’m here.

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

Hunger Graph

Ok, so we’ve got another tool at our disposal now… “if you choose” to use it. I’ve decided to try it out for a few days to see if it adds to the task of renewing my mind about the eating thing. If it doesn’t, I’ll stop using it, but I’m at least going to give it a go. I kind of think it would be cool to have a tool that encompasses all of the charts in one, but I don’t know what that would look like.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. ~ Psalm 28:7 (NIV)

Observations and Corrections

20150427_101305 (2)

T=”Table”; S=”Sofa”

First of all, ignore those green blobs in the photo. They are just bleed-through from the otherside. I got a little “highlighter happy” on the Hunger Graph. I won’t use a highlighter on it tomorrow.

Yet again I attempted to sit on the downstairs sofa to have a nighttime snack. I broke my boundary of 0-5. I really need to figure out something to break this pattern. It is so frustrating. Putting a sign on my scale a long time ago broke my pattern of daily weigh ins… I’m thinking I should follow through with something like that for the sofa. I’ll take a photo once I’ve placed it. I’m hesitant to set an official boundary that I shouldn’t eat while watching TV at all. I need to pray about this one some more.

thin within: the diet rebel strikes

thinwithinI would love to say that I went through all 30 days without skipping one, but alas, that would not be real life. Today I didn’t do the lesson… I didn’t pay attention to my boundaries… Today I just didn’t care. I felt anxious off and on all day. I’m dealing with some emotions (my first born would be graduating in a few weeks if he were still with us)… and of course Mother’s Day is kind of a bittersweet time too. We’re down to one car right now because the old sedan just decided to quit on us… and the seventeen year old has his first shift at his new job tomorrow. The car shuffling is really inconvenient… not to mention the cost of fixing the broken one. I’m stressing a little over our end of semester co-op performances as well. And now I have to post that I just didn’t do the lesson. Totally trying not to feel like a failure at the moment.

I was planning to do the lesson. I even previewed it last night. Unfortunately, this morning I was also hit with the notion that some people might think I’m on another diet. I got some emails about dietary supplements too… seriously, could we just deal with one attack at a time? And, I seem to be still mulling over a conversation from the other day where a friend was doing a bit of diet talk. Rather than deal with this stuff the appropriate way (by applying truth), I let my “diet rebel” go on strike. I felt like I had to prove I wasn’t on a diet and my old behavior dictates I should throw all boundaries out the window. Of course, this doesn’t prove anything except that my mind is still going to a negative place.

I allowed anger over all the diet stuff. I ended up stamping my foot and declaring, “I am not on a diet. I am not focusing on weightloss”… at least I’m trying not to. Having boundaries doesn’t mean I’m on a diet. Diets are restrictive, harsh taskmasters. Godly boundaries are healthy, protective, and freeing. Of course, I should acknowledge that those who think Thin Within is “just another diet”, don’t get it. Let’s face it, if you’re a natural eater, you don’t understand the struggles of the unnatural eater, so any effort could be perceived as “diet mentality”. And, if you’re caught up in diet mentality, it is really difficult to relate to someone trying to break free from that cycle. Been there.

So, I allowed this to upset me and I ate for comfort on and off all day. I didn’t wait for hunger. I didn’t care when I stopped eating either. I just ignored it all.

Diets would tell me I need to “try harder”. The world would have me believe the answer is another diet (or to start over with an old one). The world’s diet mentality says I’m a failure. It says I’ll never lose the weight unless I “control” myself.

Well, the world is wrong people. Diets are not the answer… and waiting till you’re hungry to eat and stopping when you’ve had enough is NOT a diet. It is how natural intuitive eaters behave…. without trying! These people don’t restrict or count or care about the burn… they eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. If they don’t like the taste of something, they don’t eat it. If they do like the taste of something, they enjoy it, but naturally stop when their body tells them to. There is a HUGE difference between this and dieting.

Will natural eating bring weightloss to someone who is carrying some extra weight… yes. Does losing weight mean I’m on a diet… No. Maybe, just maybe, it means my mind is healing. Maybe it means I am placing food in it’s proper place. Maybe it means I am learning new ways to cope.

Now, for someone who has abused their body with restriction (dieting/excessive exercise), this is something we have to relearn. We do have to be deliberate at first to tune in to what our bodies are telling us.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. ~ Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)

The difference is that we are listening to our internal cues and not external influences. We must lean on the Lord, not just for the strength to fight the mental battle… but to accept the grace that annihilates that voice of condemnation when we fall back into extreme behaviors (feast or famine). That grace allows us to stop the cycle. It allows us to recognize that being imperfect isn’t the end of the world.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. ~ Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

God meets me right where I am, whether it’s on the mountaintop… or in the valley. He’s there to reassure me of His love. He’s there with the gift of grace. He’s there to encourage me to keep pressing on toward the goal… but in His strength, not mine.

No, this is not a diet. It’s so much better. It’s freedom.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. ~ Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

So, I opened my “I deserve a donut” app. Ok, can I just say how much I love the title and that colorful donut image? 🙂 Anyway, I opened the app and chose “Failure Eating”. Why? because I want to make sure I don’t fall for “eating cause I messed up” tomorrow. I want to honor my boundaries of waiting for hunger and stopping at “enough”. Not because I am a diet-aholic, but because “I am an eagle, not a chicken!” Time to soar, ladies.

…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. ~Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

 

 

thin within: day sixteen

thinwithinSo, after yesterday’s victories, today didn’t go as well. Which I guess, after today’s topic, it wasn’t a surprise.

Day Sixteen

Today could have been titled “facing the giants”. I was definitely reminded of how strong a pull my flesh still has on me. I began the day by trying on my “goal from day 3 pants”. The amazing thing was, I was able to not only button them, but zip them too… while standing. They are still way too tight, but going from having a few inches between the button and the buttonhole to being able to close them… in a matter of 15 days, well, that’s pretty amazing.

So, I should have been in a great mood right? Wrong. Those old diet mentality thoughts flooded my mind. All I could think was, “I’m still so far from where I was.” Ugh. I mean it beat me over and over with discontentment. Today felt like a train-wreck.

And then the lesson had us look at significant times/moments in our past… uh oh. I really, really didn’t want to do this exercise. I’ve looked at these things many times before and I really wanted it to all just stay in the past. But alas, I did the exercise. I did not enjoy one moment of it. In fact, as I wrote how the incidents affected my view of God, it was clear that I’m still carrying around some anger and fear. I ended up scrawling a few words in the margin… ok, more than a “few” words. I was seriously upset.

Do you really accept the message that God is head over heals in love with you?” ~ Brennan Manning

Um, I was not feeling this after going through that exercise. I was actually mad. Feelings of “if You love me then why did you allow me to go through that” surfaced. I noted that some of the situations did contribute to the issues I have with food/weight/body image. I also noted that even Jesus begged God to change His mind about what was to come. God brought beauty out of the horrific treatment of His son… and He allowed that for my benefit and the furthering of His Kingdom. So, I decided to accept that He’s allowed pain in my life for some benefit too.

Then the author talked about the reality that the past has nothing to do with our present-time eating. She says, “Present-time eating is asking your body if it is hungry and eating the foods you enjoy now from 0 to 5 or less”. Sound super simple. It takes the emotion right out of the eating experience.

Speaking of taking the emotion out, I ended up downloading the “I deserve a donut” app for android (they have an iPhone version too for all you apple lovers). I got the book a couple of days ago after seeing it mentioned in regard to Thin Within. This is a fantastic tool!! It’s basically a reference manual for dealing with non-hunger eating. If you went through my “hunger unmasked” series then you will understand just how helpful a tool like this can be. I used it a couple of times today, otherwise I am certain my chart would have looked a lot worse.

The LORD uphold all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you , and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in all his was and loving toward all he has made. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. ~ Psalm 145:14-18 (NIV)

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T=”Table”; F=”Floor”

 

thin within: day fifteen

thinwithin

I think it’s great that the author gives us a heads up about day 15. Because yesterday was hectic, I didn’t preview today’s lesson, but there was a little note at the end of day 14 about today. This post should be rather short though.

Day Fifteen

Today was about inviting God into every aspect of our day… and most specifically into a meal.

We were asked to eat a meal with God. Now, I did have a kid at the table because she chose that time to eat lunch too, but I stayed focused.

We are given eleven suggestions for executing “The first meal of the rest of your life”. They are all good suggestions and follow the eight keys. Then we were given a chance to note observations about the meal. I’ve already table settingbeen trying to practice this fully. I do think it’s been easier to wait for zero simply because I had already started working on hunger/fullness before beginning this study.

If you’re struggling with this, don’t lose heart. It will come, just keep trying in the Lord. There isn’t much to add to this. It was a really short lesson. So, I’ll leave you with this passage:

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. ~ Ephesians 3:16-19 (NIV)

T=”Table”; C=”Car”