Monday, April 25, 2011
Made to Crave Mondays - Chapter 10
Today, instead of answering all of the reflection questions in succession, I want to tell you the story of the last few days. Starting last Friday, I talked myself into putting my sugar, grain, gluten, and dairy free diet on hold over the weekend and I'd like to share some of the things I've taken away from that experience.
It began while I was sick last week. The only thing I could even think of eating was Chicken Noodle Soup. Then, I didn't have much of an appetite at all and when my daughter requested popcorn for lunch on Saturday, I thought, "You know, I've been sick. I really can't imagine anything else at all that I even would want to eat. I'm just going to share this bag of popcorn with Alyssa." Well, that turned in to having a piece of the deli pizza I threw in the oven for dinner. Wait, make that two pieces. And from there, it was all downhill.
I shared some ice cream with my hubby after Alyssa went to bed that night. "It's been such a rough time," I told myself. Alyssa was up all night with a high fever. I've had trouble sleeping due to sinus issues. I'm worn out. I'm just going to take a little "Easter Break". Well, that thought opened up the whole next day to my eating binge. An "Easter Break" had to include Easter Sunday, right? And, besides, we couldn't go to church, we were stuck in the house, and there's candy! I didn't go too overboard but it was a deliberate, conscious decision to break my promise to God and myself to stick with this eating plan for an entire three months. Sure, I was tired. Sure, I wasn't feeling well. Sure, it was Easter. But, I knew what I was doing.
In fact...you'll never guess where I was when I read Lysa's tale of facing so much temptation on her romantic getaway with her husband, Art, and deciding she was going to stand strong no matter how hard it would be. Seriously...I was sitting on a bench at Ming Shee, waiting on my lunch order to go. I had told my husband we deserved a treat and I had some extra cash on hand. We were going to go CRAZY! I went out to get us a movie to watch while Alyssa napped and and pick up some Chinese food to go with it.
Here's the funny thing. Even as I process this "failure" I think I'm growing in many ways during this spiritual and physical fast because I'm not berating and shaming myself for this latest slip. I'm not calling myself pathetic and wondering when I will ever have enough self control to really form those healthy habits. I went off course. That's it. End of story. I'm back on course today. And, I'm glad to be back on course. I'm not doing it grudgingly. I'm following this eating plan because I believe it will help me draw closer to God by learning to depend on Him instead of food. I'm following this eating plan because I want to identify and eliminate potential pain triggering foods that can cause or exacerbate a fibromyalgia flare-up. I'm following this eating plan because I want to form healthy habits for life, starting with the foods I put into my body. It's not about getting back to a size 6. It's about being obedient to something I've felt God put on my heart and following it through to the end. Even if it means picking myself up after a slip and getting right back on track.
In the past I would have been so angry at the world over the fact that I can't just eat what I want, when I want, and as much as I want. I would've thought of those friends who eat far worse things than what I'd indulged in over the holiday weekend and protested inwardly and outwardly that it simply wasn't fair that they could go on doing that indefinitely while I have to watch every bite. But, honestly, that's not how I'm feeling. So, maybe I am benefiting from this three-month experiment after all.
At any rate, I did find it very ironic that I was telling myself I deserved just one little treat weekend as I was reading about Lysa deciding that even that one little bite wasn't worth it. I'd love to tell you that after reading Lysa's story I walked up to the counter, asked for my money back, and left without my cashew chicken and fried rice. But, I didn't. I went home. I watched the movie. I ate the food. I enjoyed it. And, I also realized that if I didn't make a correction soon I would continue to sail off course to the point of no return. So, this morning I went back to the eating plan and asked God to continue to help me have victory after victory in this endeavor. Not just so I can say, "I made it," at the end of these three months. But so I can say God did an amazing work in my heart and I've learned to turn to Him - even when I'm tired, sick, and nursing a feverish preschooler - instead of egg-rolls.
Was the splurge worth it? Eh, not so much. It tasted good. But, it was just food. And, like Lysa said, I had to start getting my thoughts back on the big picture. How would I feel in a couple of days if I continued down this path? I'd be back to sluggish and back to putting weight on instead of taking it off. That's another area where I've always felt the tug of those words, "it's not fair!" I can gain 4 pounds in two days, easy. But spend two or three weeks working hard to take it back off. However, I know people who have tried everything they can to gain 4 pounds over a month's time. In high school I remember one of my best friends scarfing down whatever she could because she wanted to weigh more than 110 pounds to be able to take part in our school's blood drive. And, yes, I've felt that desire to have other people's struggles instead of this lifelong struggle with being overweight. I used to wish I was skinny like a close cousin growing up even though she struggled with issues most people couldn't even imagine. I thought she "had it made" because she wore a size 0. (Yeah, they actually make a size 0. Isn't that disgusting?) But now, I realize that what you don't know about what one of those skinny girls is enduring could make you so glad that you're issue is losing a few pounds.
So, yes, life isn't fair. And, the truth is, no one ever said it would be. Especially not God. I mean hey, what did we just celebrate? One of the most unfair actions ever; Jesus dying to pay for all of our wrongs. But, did He shout, "It's not fair!"? No, He turned to His Father. He asked that He wouldn't have to take on this impossible task. But, He also asked for God's will to be done, which included giving Him the strength to submit to His plan. And, oh what good news for us that God's plan included raising Jesus from the dead, conquering death forever, and giving us the hope of heaven!
So, yes, I can ask God to make it easy for me to lost weight. To make it easy for me to travel on this road to strength and health. But, I also need to ask for His will to be done, which includes giving me the strength to do the hard work. It's up to me to take control of MY life, MY body, and MY eating. No matter what anyone else says I should or shouldn't be doing. No matter how much I want to take a day off...just this once. And, it's also up to me to turn to God for the power to resist foods that aren't good for me and make changes not just for a couple of days or a few months, but for a lifetime of freedom!
There are my thoughts on Chapter 10. I was kind of embarrassed to admit to you that I had "failed" once again in this fast. But, I'm comforted in knowing that you realize we're all human and will have grace and compassion for me as I would have for you in the same situation.
So, what are you thoughts? Even if you haven't read the chapter, I'd love to hear from you! In the meantime, I'm wiped. Good night and have FABULOUS dreams! Oh, and if you have a free moment, could you please pray for Alyssa to get over this strep? She's going on about six weeks or so and we have another doctor appointment in the morning. Thanks and LOVE to you!