Monday, April 11, 2011
Made to Crave Monday - Chapter 8
Discussion Questions for Ch 8
1. We all have at least one physical feature we wish we could change. For some it might be a facial feature like the shape of one's nose; for others it could be breast size or body shape. For Lysa, it's "tankles". What's yours? What's your first memory of feeling embarrassed or ashamed by this aspect of your appearance? Are you now more or less at peace with this part of your body or is it still a source of painful dissatisfaction? Jill's Answer: Growing up I had a huge gap in my two top front teeth and it embarrassed me tremendously. I don't remember when I first began feeling embarrassed by it but it seems to always have been there. Kids would use that in times of teasing and many people mentioned that I should have it fixed. For whatever reason I thought the only way to fix it was with braces and the orthodontist I went to in my late teens/early twenties said braces wouldn't work because I had such small teeth that pulling them all forward to fill the gaps would leave no support in the back of my mouth. So, I told myself to just learn to live with it. I focused on my more attractive attributes like my eyes and hair. After I was married for a short while and probably around 31 years old, I was featured in a South Charlotte (in Charlotte, NC) publication during a several week emphasis on women in ministry. My face was on the front of the magazine and I thought the picture turned out great (after dozens of shots). So, imagine my disappointment and hurt when a friend called after reading the article and asked if I'd ever considered having the gap between my two front teeth fixed. Sighing, I said no, it wasn't something I could financially consider at the time. Well, she surprised me by saying her husband, a local dentist, specialized in this kind of thing and would like to take care of it for me free of charge. I was overwhelmed with so many emotions. At first I was elated and excited but then the old thoughts of, "SEE you are ugly with those spaces" came back to haunt me as well. My husband quickly helped me see those thoughts as the lies they were and we went ahead and had the procedure done. I couldn't believe the difference it made and how I felt so much more confident about my smile from that point forward. It's not perfect, I still have some spaces and one tooth that's position a little awkwardly but it's not nearly as noticeable as the huge center gap was. And, I do realize now that even that center space wasn't as noticeable to most people as I'd thought it had been. In fact, many people didn't even notice the difference after the bonding! Today I'd say the big physical feature I wish I could change is the 50 extra pounds I'm lugging around. I do believe most people notice THAT! And, although I'm learning and reminding myself it does NOT define my worth...it's the area I most want to change!
2. Karen Ehman describes how she learned to shift her motivation for the delight of seeing diminishing numbers on the scale to the delight of obedience to God. When you consider previous efforts to modify your eating habits, what experiences or accomplishments provided your greatest motivation to keep going? Did those motivations ever backfire or become de-motivators? Jill's Answer: I guess events have motivated me like getting ready for my sister's wedding but then losing motivation after the wedding and gaining back the 20 pounds and then some I'd trimmed off to wear my bridesmaid's dress. I need to say focused and realize this is going to be a lifelong event of becoming and staying healthy!
3. Karen made practical her efforts to redefine progress by asking herself the questions listed below. As you review each question and reflect back on your eating over the past week, how would you assess your progress? Are there other questions you would like to add to the list? Jill's Answer:
~ Did I overeat this week on any day? (Jill - I am not sure - need to start logging those calories, ugh)
~ Did I move more and exercise regularly? (Yes)
~ Do I feel lighter than I did at this time last week? (Yes)
~ Did I eat in secret or out of anger or frustration? (No)
~ Did I feel that, at any time, I ran to food instead of God? (Possibly)
~ Before I hopped on the scale, did I think I'd had a successful, God-pleasing week? (For the most part)
4. Lysa describes how it's possible to park our brains in a place of dissatisfaction about our bodies or to accept our bodies and thanks God for making us just as we are. On a scale of 1-10 with 1 meaning My body is cursed with flaws and 10 meaning My body is a gift...how would you describe your current feelings about your body? Imagine for a moment that the rating number was assigned not by you but by someone you love - a child, a friend, a sister. How would the rating make you feel? What would you want to say to this person? How might your pray for them? Are these things you could say to yourself, pray for yourself? Jill's Answer: Right now, my number rating would honestly be a 3 or 4. I definitely see that my body is a gift from God, that is able to do the things it needs to do on a daily basis, relatively pain free except for the aches and pains of fibromyalgia and sinus issues. But, my view of my body is that it is more flawed that not. Too flabby, too chesty, too short. I know it's not the correct view to have, but that is the reality. Now, if my daughter had this view of herself, I would be deeply saddened. I would talk with her about loving herself for who she is. I would pray that God would help her see herself through His eyes and learn to accept her body for the gift that it is. And, yes, these are absolutely the things I should say and pray for myself!
5. Lysa describes the freedom and redemption she felt when she discovered the benefits of her larger ankles. Have you ever thought about your physical flaws from this perspective? What might be the hidden benefits to the physical features you wish you did not have? Jill's Answer: When I was younger, I was so much smaller than everyone that when the class rodent - hamster I think - got loose, I was the only one who could fit under the piano to retrieve it. That memory sticks out in my mind. And, there are benefits to being short. I never had to worry about being taller than a boy. :) And, I guess the benefit to my struggle with weight is that it makes me think about EVERYTHING I eat. It is forcing me to make those healthy choices. And, I guess if I didn't have this weight struggle I'd eat whatever I wanted all the time and forget about exercising, so I'd miss out on all the health benefits besides just losing weight!
6. If a magic genie offered to grant you one of the following wishes, which would you choose? How do you imagine your life might change as a result of either choice?
~ Instant and painless cosmetic surgery to change one thing about your physical appearance.
~ A permanent reorientation of how you think and feel about your body that would enable you to say wholeheartedly, "I've found my beautiful. And I like my beautiful."
Jill's Answer: Well, of course the right answer is to say the second choice. But, honestly, I'd be VERY tempted by the first one. To be able to get back to a healthy weight and THEN start feeling good about my body, flaws and all, would be the dream combination for me. I know I can get there with lots of sacrifice, self-control, and HARD work. But, to be able to get there instantaneously? Not gonna lie. I'd be willing to consider that option. But, yes, the second choice would be the most beneficial in the long. So, my goal, of course, is to achieve both on my own with God's strength!
YOUR TURN! I know you have great thoughts to add to this conversation! Thanks, and LOVE!