Saturday, December 31, 2011

You Mean I Have to Plan??

*Please note that I am in no way affiliated with Lysa TurKeurst or Proverbs 31 Ministries. This is my own work using Lysa's book Made to Crave as reference. Thank you - Jennifer.*

One of the reasons I feel Weight Watchers didn't work 100% for me is because of all the planning involved. Every hour of every day you are thinking about food - what I ate, what I didn't eat, what I need to eat, what I'm going to eat today, tomorrow, next week . . . Every . . . Single . . . Moment.

For a food addict, that doesn't work very well.

And yet . . .
You still have to have a plan, right?

Think about it.
When we're battling the enemy in our lives, we have a plan, right?
(the correct answer here is PRAYER)
So why should our battles against our temptations be any less significant or important?

It's important to have a plan of attack.
Even something as simple as: "I won't eat __________"

What I'm learning is that I have to have a plan - a BIG plan.
I don't count calories.
I don't measure portions.
None of that.

My plan is simple:
Eat what God made and eat it in smaller portions.
Exercise daily.
There are four food groups: Protein, Dairy, Plants, Grains
That's it.
Notice what's not on there?

God made food for our bodies for one purpose only - to fuel us so that we can better serve Him.

I have had many, many complex plans in the past.
None of them worked.
Because they focused on the one thing that was taking me away from God - food.
My new plan focuses on God, not food.
Because I am a Jesus girl and I am made to crave God, not food!

God Bless you all!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Sacrifice

*Please note that I am in no way affiliated with Lysa TurKeurst or Proverbs 31 Ministries. This is my own work using Lysa's book Made to Crave as reference. Thank you - Jennifer.*

Everything is permissible - but not everything is beneficial. 
1 Corinthians 10:23

When it comes to this journey there's one thing I've noticed about myself. 
I don't make any sacrifices when it comes to my eating.
This is a problem, especially for someone trying to renew a spiritual relationship with God.

The fact is, weather we like it or not, we have to make some sort of sacrifice in order to be truly close to the Lord. Weather it be drugs, alcohol, money, or sex - no one questions the sacrifice of these things in their daily lives. But people do question the sacrifice of food.

John tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:23 that "everything is permissible - but not everything is beneficial". 
Everything is permissible. 
But NOT everything is beneficial.
Yes, there has to be sacrifices made. 

I have made a list of things that I will and won't do when it comes to this journey. It's interesting, now that I look at it, how many things I haven't been willing to sacrifice - not only in food, but in behavior. For example, I was not willing to sacrifice my little "safe" indulgences (100 calorie packs, to be specific). Sure, one is okay, once in a while. But three or four daily? See where I'm going with this?

Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us. Before he did this, he told his followers that they would also have to make sacrifices to follow him. For some that was money (Zacchaeus). For others, sex (Mary Magdalene). For others, power (John). What is that sacrifice for you? For me, it's the unhealthy foods that have ruled my life for the past 35 years.

Here is my revised list:

I Will . . .

 . . . Pay attention to what I eat, and rely on foods that are beneficial to my body for fuel.
 . . . Take and eat smaller portions of anything unhealthy and eat larger portions of foods that are healthy.
 . . . Not indulge myself on a regular basis (weekly) - only in small amounts on special occasions.
 . . . only weigh myself once every 10 days (I was an every-day weigh person).
 . . . Fully rely on God and make daily sacrifices in His honor.

God bless you all,

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Made To Crave - Finding Your "Want To"

*Please note that I am in no way affiliated with Lysa TurKeurst or Proverbs 31 Ministries. This is my own work using Lysa's book Made to Crave as reference. Thank you - Jennifer.*

I have a bad case of the "I don't wannas".
I don't wanna clean.
I don't wanna get up out of my nice warm bed.
I don't wanna eat carrots and salad when it's cold outside.
I don't wanna get off my butt and exercise.

I just don't wanna.

That is one of the most challenging parts of changing your eating lifestyle, isn't it?
Let's face it, no matter who I point fingers at, or what failed diet plan I blame, the fact remains:
There's a reason I'm unhealthy, and it's all about me.

I start, I stop. I start, I stop. I start . . . I stop.

I have done:
Atkins, South Beach, the Blood Type Diet, Lean Bodies, Weight Watchers, the Eden Diet, Weight Watchers again, Spark People, fasting, starvation, calorie counting, sugar counting, fat counting . . . The works.
The problem is not that these do not work.
The problem is that I don't have enough will or desire to stick with them.
This is something that I know I have addressed more than a few times on this blog.
Let's face it, this is something that affects me daily.

But here's the thing, my "want to" has, in the past, been tied to the wrong things.
A better body. Looking good. Fitting into a certain size . . .
See where I'm going with this? Vanity. My want to has been tied to my vanity for my entire life.
So what has to change? What do I need to do to change that for me?
I have to realize that it can no longer be about things like size or looks.

The point of this rant?
I am a food addict, plain and simple. My lack of will comes from the same place that a crack addict's or smoker's might come from. This is where there has to be a focus shift.

All of these diet and eating plans didn't work for me because they forced me to think consistantly about the one thing that was taking me away from my God. Food. Food was my golden calf, my idol, my false God. When I was depressed, I turned to brownies, chips, ice cream . . . Did the same thing when I was happy.
I was not turning to God.
Daily my focus was around food: what I was going to eat, what I was eating, what I was going to eat later. I made meal plans, counted points/calories/carbs/etc., scoured cook books and recipe web sites. I spent hours staring at Paula Deen and Rachael Ray on the television. Then I'd look at the scale and wonder why I'd gained a pound that week.

The entire focus of Made To Crave is that God should be the center of our lives, not food. When we search for that will, that desire, that "want to", we need to be searching for that in the Father. Like the song says: "we are weak, but HE is strong".

Jesus told the rich man to give everything away. He told his followers to rebuke their selfishness and  "take up your cross and follow Me" (Matthew 16:24). In other words, give up the thing that means more to you than Jesus. For some, that sacrifice is money. For some, drugs or alcohol. But for even more of us, that is food.

Not that we have to stop eating entirely, mind you. That's not the point. The point is that we should re-think how we view food in our lives. Are we replacing God with food? Are we eating when we should be praying? Are we focusing on our meals for the day or on God's grace?

It's certainly something to think about.

Next Week: My Sacrifice

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Made To Crave - God, Not Food

It's been a while since I've sat here at the keyboard pouring my heart out for the world to see. For a while there, blogging just got to where it wasn't fun anymore. It became tedious. I became more concerned about followers and readers than about the real reason I started this journey to begin with: ME. So this and my other blog, The SuperMom Blues will both change slightly over the course of the next few months. Thank you for reading, and enjoy.

I longingly stare at the plate of chocolate chip cookies before me. Ooey, gooey goodness. Homemade. From scratch. Still warm from the oven. Calling to me. Beckoning me. Tempting me. I shove the plate away from me, stand up, and grab a banana from the fruit bowl instead. Chocolate chip cookie it ain't, that's for sure. But there's a part of me that is more fulfilled for choosing that banana. The cookies (yes, "-ies": ya' really think I'd only eat one??) would have satisfied for the period of time it would have taken to put them into my mouth, chew them up, and swallow them. Then, the guilt would set in. Almost immediately. "What have I done? I just compromised all that work I did yesterday! I am such a failure."

That's the one phrase that reverbs through my head consistantly through this journey: I am a failure.
But I am NOT a failure.
I am a woman of God. Fearfully and wonderfully made in His image.
Any setback will not define me for the next thirty years. It's what I do AFTER the setback that does.
Do I sit in wallow in my own self pity, depressed because I gave into a moment of weakness? Or do I forget it and move on?

This is the point of the book Made to Crave by Lysa TurKeurst. Well, one of the points, anyway. Lysa points out in her book that we don't have to be imprisoned by our cravings, chained by the choices that face us every day. God made us to crave: HIM. The entire focus is that we shift our cravings from ones for cookies and chips and fried chicken (my weaknesses) to ones for Him using prayer and scripture. And the best part is, in reality, it has less to do with weight loss and food, and everything to do with your spiritual relationship with the Father.

I still crave cookies. I struggle daily. Some days I win, some days the food does. But the bottom line is that with each setback comes opportunity to learn and to grow both emotionally and spiritually.

Beginning this week, I will start a series based on the Made to Crave book. This blog will become my personal journal, for the world to see. I will share my joys, my frustrations, my prayers. I look forward to sharing this journey with you all.

God's blessings,