Hello, my FABULOUS friend! I just wanted to say, "You are beautiful and God loves you!" Don't know why but I thought you might need that precious reminder today.
Well, we are up to chapter 18 in Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst and I have to say things are beginning to take root in me that have been choked out by the rocks and weeds of unhealthy ideas and habits in the past. I hope you're feeling the same way. This week we're revisiting a verse in the Bible that has been a go-to phrase for me during this journey toward healthy. I think it's good to revisit these words and the idea that there are some foods that simply are not the best for me to include in my general lifestyle and diet. That's not a super exciting idea, but I am starting to see the benefits of making some foods a red light for the good of myself and my family.
I'd love to hear what God is doing in your heart through this week's chapter. After reading my answers to the following questions, please take a moment to comment with your thoughts. We're in this struggle together, so let's encourage each other every change we get!
Discussion Questions for Chapter 18
1. "'Everything is permissible for me' - but not everything is beneficial. 'Everything is permissible for me' - but I will not be mastered by anything" (1 Cor 6:12). When it comes to healthy eating, what are the things that are permissible for you but not beneficial? Is there anything permissible that might nevertheless have the potential to master you? How do you feel about the idea that you may have to avoid some foods forever?
Jill's answer: As far as eating just for the sake of eating and nothing else, I don't think I could say anything should be off limits forever. Do I need to take them out of the place of God in my life and return them to their rightful spot? Yes, absolutely. But, I have seen in the past the downfalls of writing off an entire food group FOREVER. Especially if it's a GOOD food as long as it's eaten in moderation. Chemicals, poisons, and a lot of processed stuff, yes, I can see a need to say goodbye for the long run. But, a sweet treat made with pure, whole ingredients, I can see partaking in moderation and a whole lot less often. HOWEVER...I do have an issue with the pain that comes with fibromyalgia. Now that I've been allowing sugar back into my diet, I have noticed a significant increase in that pain. So, yes, sugar is permissible, but I can say it is absolutely NOT beneficial for me. It not only causes my belly to grow, but eating it too often and in too high doses can lead to an excruciating pain flare-up all over my body! I'm considering eliminating white sugar from my diet permanently. I realize there will always be those special occasions when a cupcake or cookie would be OK. But, I know the damage it does when I become too lenient. So, yes, white sugar may be one of those foods that I have to say, for the most part, simply cannot be a regular part of my lifestyle.
2. "I can" is a powerful little statement for a girl feeling deprived. In what ways might you incorporate these two very small but mighty words into your healthy eating journey?
Jill's answer: With Jesus' help, I CAN make the right choices each and every day that will not only fuel my body, but help it operate to its fullest capacity with the least amount of pain possible!
3. Think of an old-fashioned balance scale, the kind with a pan on either side that counterbalances one weight against the other. Imagine placing in one pan all the things you need to give up and in the other pan all the things you've gained and will continue to gain. Which side holds the most weight and significance for you?
Jill's answer: Oh, definitely the pan with the things already gained and yet to be gained by a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating. Being able to get out of bed in the morning with a lot less pain. Being able to lift my five-year-old daughter for a hug and kiss. Being able to make it past 8:30pm without feeling desperately exhausted. All of this and more is a gain that can make me completely forget about the sacrifices. (If only the rest of the world would forget to tempt me as well.)
4. "We like to identify our shortcomings, form them into a club, and mentally beat the tar out of ourselves". In what ways have you identified with and punished yourself for your shortcomings? Instead of punishing yourself, can you imagine giving these things to Jesus and asking Him to chisel them away? How might the truh of His compassion help you to break free from your shortcomings in ways that self-condemnation cannot?
Jill's answer: Every time I discover a shortcoming in myself, I become determined to whip myself into shape and totally eliminate the weakness. However, like most people who try to do things in their strength, once it gets hard I give up. I talk myself into accepting that imperfect part of me and to stop beating myself up for being human. This has happened time and time and time again in my 41 years on this planet. However, in those rare situations when I've decided to ask Jesus to work in me and through me, INSTEAD of trying to make the change happen on my own, I've seen a true transformation take place. That is what I need in this struggle with food and weight. Instead of beating myself up and then deciding to just not care so much and accept myself as I am...I need to go FIRST to my God and Savior and simply ask Him to mold and shape my desires and habit into ones that please Him instead of me. I have seen this in many areas of my life, and need to trust that it will be the same with food. Why is this the one area that I continually believe will change if I just have enough determination? Why do I continually go back to relying on what I can do to make things different? Why don't I go to the One who has proven that He can and will give me the strength to break free from the prison of old habits and into the freedom of a healthy lifestyle? It's SO simple, and yet I make it so hard. Self-condemnation and self-deceit have to hit the road. It's time for a new Jill to take shape through the careful and gentle chiseling of my Creator!
Have you decided to give up some foods for good simply because they aren't beneficial for you? How's that going? Please join in the discussion with a comment!