thin within: day twenty-three

thinwithinToday was a continuation of the last lesson I half-heartedly completed. So, I went back to day twenty-two and visited it properly this time. I am even more convinced that had I really paid attention to what I was reading, I could have saved myself two days of misery.

So, today I’m clinging to the promise that the Lord will make a way when there seems to be no way.

Day Twenty-Three

My goodness, there is but a week remaining. I have no idea where my “day 3 goal” pants are in the equation… and I don’t care. I just realized where I’m at in the lovely monthly cycle, and it is no surprise I was feeling so out of whack. This was also information I could have used the past few days. Just knowing that it’s hormones and they can’t be trusted would have made a huge difference. Alas, as with the study, I wasn’t entering my temps on my chart (had them in my head the past three mornings), so I didn’t realize I had crossed over into the twilight zone known as PMS week.

Despite this knowledge, I had a melt-down upon the realization that the 17 year old had eaten my soup. There were tears and even now, hours later, my eyes still feel swollen. Ok, so I bawled my eyes out over soup. And this was after having a quite lovely time in the Word. Can we say “hormone palooza”? Sigh.

Abraham believed the LORD and he credited it to him as righteousness. ~ Genesis 15:6

If you know the story of Abraham, you know he had plenty of moments where his belief waivered… where his human side showed forth. And yet, here we see his belief is credited to him as righteousness. I figure that must mean God doesn’t expect us to be able to pull off perfection. I figure He expects us to mess up… and that’s why He provided grace.

So, after going back through lesson 22, I was able to continue through the list “Steps to Strengthening your Belief System”. We were asked to write three character qualities that we believe God wants to bring about in our lives. One of the three I selected was contentment. I become discontent so easily and then I find myself feeling down and ultimately making stupid decisions.

If you’ve visited my kitchen, you know that my appliances are a bit dated… and some of them aren’t functioning properly anymore… and I just don’t like the color lol. The husband and I both agree that they need replacing but we had agreed to working on another financial goal before renovating the kitchen. Then our dishwasher decided to flake out for a day and we found ourselves at the store pricing an entire set of new appliances.

Do we have the money? Technically yes. We wouldn’t have to charge them (trying to do the debt free thang), so there was a part of us that was like, “What’s the big deal? So we put off this other goal for a bit longer. At least we’ll have new appliances without incurring debt. And they were at a really great discount. Win, Win… right?” I don’t know how long we were in that store working with the salesman, but right before we pulled the trigger, the husband says, “Ok, thanks [salesman’s name], this gives us something to think about.”

Gasp. I thought we were having appliances delivered. I had already pictured my brand new kitchen (well, except for the rest of the kitchen that needs a facelift). Ok, I’ll admit it, I was mad. We went to another part of the store, sat in one of the lawn furniture displays and talked. The husband wasn’t sure we should go through with it because he didn’t feel right about delaying our original goal. Hmph, now he’s getting all financially disciplined on me (I’m the money nerd… he’s the free spirit… it’s a Dave Ramsey thing).

I didn’t say much, but he could tell I was not happy. “Fine,” I said and we left the store. I think a part of me hoped my sulking would have him changing his mind before we drove away… Nope. By the time we got home, I had come around. He was right… but then he started switching gears on me and was considering going through with it anyway. I told him, no, he was right before. We need to follow through and we need to be content with what we have while we wait. He seemed relieved.

It is really easy for me to become discontent with my appearance too. I want to be thin NOW, but I need to be content with what I do have. I can see and walk and hear and smell and hug and type and smile and laugh and these are all blessings I receive because of this body God has given me.

The next step is to take negative thoughts captive… which I have talked so much about out here that it should probably be the “theme” of this blog. So, I’ll move on to the last three steps.

What then shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – now will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? ~ Romans 8:31-32 (NIV)

God is so “for me” that He sacrificed His Son for my benefit. There is no way I could do that for anyone. So, obviously He is for me in this battle against the flesh. It is for freedom that He has set me free.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. ~ 1 John 4:4

I also liked the reminder in step 9 that God is greater than our enemy. I think so often we forget God’s awesome power because we focus so much on the grace and mercy He extends to us. Children of God have access to that power in the midst of struggles and attacks and we should use it.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there you hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. ~ Psalm 139:7-10

Step ten reminds us that we are not alone. No matter how we may feel, God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5b). That’s quite comforting.

I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my delieverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. ~ Psalm 18:1-2

I’m going to close out this section with Hawk Nelson’s song, Drops in the Ocean. This song came on the radio when the husband and I left the house to buy a new wheel for the lawn mower (yes, it seems like all our stuff is breaking lol). It was perfectly timed for today’s lesson. Enjoy.

Observe and Correct

Ok, so today you’re going to notice some weird stuff on my chart. Not only am I now including my hunger numbers, I’ve added a thing I’m calling my “boundary bowl”. All of those “B’s” you see indicate that I was using my “boundary bowl” when I ate. I have decided to try this boundary in place of 0-5 when I know I’ll be eating in a distracted situation. I’m still going to practice checking in and attempt to pay better attention to the food even with distractions, but I thought I would give myself a physical boundary too. Right now it’s a plastic, 2 cup, food storage bowl. I’m hoping to find a prettier version, but this will do for now.

How does it work, well, this is the bowl I would take to the sofa. If I’m gonna eat in front of the TV, it has to fit in the bowl. So, no taking the entire bag of chips, or a mounded plate of whatever. If I finish off the bowl, I’ll have to re-evaluate my hunger levels before I refill it.

The “M” means “Miscellaneous”. Part of the time I was munching on a few nuts (I did NOT fill the bowl with nuts, just sprinkled a few in the bottom of the bowl), I was standing in the bay window looking out at my pretty tulips (that’s pretty much all that has bloomed so far). Then I went to my office… then the husband needed to talk to me about something… so basically I wasn’t seated the whole time or in the same place so I put an “M”.

Alrighty – that’s it for today 🙂

thin within: backlash

thinwithin

Well, do you know what happens when you stomp your foot and say “No”, and then listen to all the lies to justify your behavior?

Um, I do.

For starters, you end up going two days without working on your Bible study. You end up with two days of crazy, last supper style, eating. You end up feeling utterly wretched and fatter than ever.

And do you know why?

Because I left the lies unchecked. I let them take root, I acted upon the lies, and then do you know what the enemy did?

Um, I do.

He turned around and used my actions to beat me with the club of condemnation. It sounds something like this:

“How on earth could you screw up like that?”

“See, I told you that you didn’t have any self-control.”

“Obviously God is no help.”

“Um, did you say you were set free? I don’t see it.”

“Now you’re fatter than when you began.”

“You fell for it, you’re such a failure.” (add a sinister laugh)

“Hmm, Eagle? I think not. Looks like a chicken to me.”

“Ha ha, now you have to post… again… that you are a big fat loser!”

Suddenly I had those horrible feelings you get when you blow a diet… only I’m not on a diet. I felt more and more hopeless as the day wore on…. and I ate to “soothe”. I was in full-blown “I deserve a donut” lie mode. By the end of the day I felt miserable physically and emotionally.

And then another silly mistake I had recently made was brought to my attention. It was a mistake that, while seemingly minor, upset some people – and rightly so…. which added:

“You just can’t do anything right.”

Ugh. Even as I type this, I really feel like crying. I know they are all lies but I feel so weighed down… depressed… but there is hope.

Maybe I didn’t do my Thin Within study today, but I did make myself go to my daughter’s piano recital despite wanting to hide my body from the world. I’m glad I went, she played beautifully.

Yeah, I didn’t do the TW study, but when I got home from the recital, I did get out my copy of Beth Moore’s Praying God’s Word. I opened it and the page before me was the chapter on “Food Related Strongholds”. Every chapter in this book is amazing, but this is the one I needed today, not because it was about “food” per say (because she says very little about food), but because of this:

Obedience to God is not some diet we suddenly blow. It is something to which we recommit every single day, no matter how we blew it the day before. Victorious living is not an instant arrival. It is the pursuit of one victorious day at a time until the sun sets on enough to begin forming victorious habits. ~ Praying God’s Word, pg. 152

I had to let that sink in for a moment. “Obedience to God”… this isn’t about the food (as I’ve said over and over). This isn’t even about “0-5” eating. This is about obeying God and walking in His will.

I cannot undo the past two days, but I can “recommit” in this moment. I prayed some of the scripture prayers Beth includes, and then I didn’t eat again the rest of the night. Not because I was being “noble” or “good” or even as a form of punishing myself for overindulging. No, I didn’t eat because doing so would have broken boundaries I agreed to live within. I didn’t eat because I wasn’t hungry. I decided to accept God’s grace and tear back down the “high places” I’d let begin reconstruction in my mind.

I’m taking back up my hammer… and my Sword.

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

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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)