Day 241: Those Dern Skinny French People

Apparently I have been eating.

A lot.

Often.

Because I am on day two of what I’m going to call my “Sans Snacky” Fast (if you haven’t noticed, I have a thing for titles or names to start with the same letter), and I have gone into the kitchen about 53 times in the past day and a half to get a snack.

How I have lost so much weight up to this point I don’t even know!?!?! Haha!

Y’all know that recently I started doing a no-eating-after-7pm “initiative” and it was really insightful to me as it showed me how much I was eating after dinner… even when I wasn’t hungry. even when I wasn’t craving. I was eating… just… just because.

Well, if I thought that was insightful then this experience is just downright revealing! (There might be a better word to put there but I’m working on four hours of sleep… hubby had a guys night last night so I heard every creak in the house until I finally nodded off around 1am, and then my toddler woke up at 5:00am!)

My mom recently mentioned a book she saw on a morning show called French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules For Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters (which should seriously be considered for World’s Longest Book Title). I found it on amazon and read the description:

Moving her young family to her husband’s hometown in northern France, Karen Le Billon is prepared for some cultural adjustment but is surprised by the food education she and her family (at first unwillingly) receive. In contrast to her daughters, French children feed themselves neatly and happily—eating everything from beets to broccoli, salad to spinach, mussels to muesli. The family’s food habits soon come under scrutiny, as Karen is lectured for slipping her fussing toddler a snack—”a recipe for obesity!”—and forbidden from packing her older daughter a lunch in lieu of the elaborate school meal.

The family soon begins to see the wisdom in the “food rules” that help the French foster healthy eating habits and good manners—from the rigid “no snacking” rule to commonsense food routines that we used to share but have somehow forgotten. Soon, the family cures picky eating and learns to love trying new foods. But the real challenge comes when they move back to North America—where their commitment to “eating French” is put to the test. The result is a family food revolution with surprising but happy results—which suggest we need to dramatically rethink the way we feed children, at home and at school.

And no worries… this post will have nothing to do with my children’s dinner table habits!

But look at the five-mile-long title… what do you think grabbed my attention? Yep.

Banned Snacking.

Eeek.

Who would say such horrible things?!?!?!

But honestly, since my mom and I had this book-investigation a few weeks ago it has been popping into my mind.

And now that I have {gasp} banned snacking for the past two days… okay, okay… for a day and a half, I am starting to get a wee bit more interested in said book with said five-mile-long title.

Because I think the “permission” to snack has made the road to “unhungry” eating (aka: emotional eating, boredom eating, procrastination eating, etc) far more easy to get away with.

When you have a life sans-snacky then there just isn’t as much of an opportunity to eat emotionally, or because you’re bored, or because you realllllly don’t want to mop that funky, funky, funnnnnky kitchen floor. When you aren’t “allowed” to snack throughout the day, eating at mealtimes becomes, ironically, more of a “chore”. You eat at meal times to sustain. And that is the reason.

So much like the concept of “give us this day our daily bread” or in the New Living Translation, “give us our food for today”. (Matt 6:11) Or “give me just enough to satisfy my needs” (Proverbs 30:8).

Sure, dinner might be yummy but I’ll be eating to feed myself instead of to entertain or comfort or even simply because it’s habit.

Anyway, again, for you skinny-minded people that don’t overeat or snack or indulge (and yes, I have discovered that there are women like that out there), this might be a “duh” kind of realization, but it’s been like a revelation from the Lord for me!

Day 240: Snack Attack

Here recently I have been realizing that I am snackie, snackie, snackie. I snack all afternoon and oftentimes up until dinner and then I snack a bit after dinner.

It’s becoming too much of a habit again… eating for the sake of eating. eating when I’m not hungry. eating. eating. eating.

So I’m thinking that I might try a new kind of fast for a few weeks… not a food-specific fast but a fast based on the timing of when I eat. I’m thinking of making a covenant-fast to not snack. To switch that into “positive lingo”, I’m making a covenant-fast to only eat my meals.

I can’t really put a time on it (like the no-eating-after-7pm thing) because my life does not fit into scheduled eating. I might eat breakfast with the boys at 8:00 or I might not eat a banana for breakfast until 10:00 when our morning has finally settled down. Lunch is the same. Sometimes my toddler won’t eat unless I sit with him at 11:00 and sometimes I take that moment of him sitting in one place (note: I did not say “sitting still“! Ha!) to unload the dishwasher or unload the dryer so I might not eat until after I have put him down for nap and after I have prayed… around 1:30.

But. I almost always have a sit down “meal” even if it’s small. But lately I have found myself full already every time I sit down to have a meal because of all the snacking I do up until meal time. Sometimes I just don’t eat my “meal” then and sometimes I eat anyway even though I am not hungry (boo!).

So, all of that to say that snacking is starting to become an obvious problem. And… one thing I have learned is that if there is some kind of problem with food, I have to immediately do some kind of sacrifice for God… to refocus on God… to get myself “right” with God.

So, starting today, here is my new three-week covenant fast:

God, I praise you because you are my healer. I praise you because you are my righteousness. I praise you because you forgive. you restore. you are hope. It is in the spirit of all these things that I give a portion of my freedom over to You so that I might become reacquainted with freedom. I covenant to you that for three weeks I will only eat my meals. I will not eat snacks in between meals, while preparing meals, while cleaning up after meals. God, you have revealed an area of eating that is still lost to lust and desire… snacking. I pray that you help me get rid of this sin within me over these next few weeks and draw my heart to you… closer to you… into you during those times. You are faithful God. I thank you for continuing to point out anything in me that offends you,
and leading me along the path of everlasting life. Amen.

Psalm 139:24

Day 239: Proper Prayers

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I started a bible study at church tonight called Transforming Prayer. The act of prayer is something that has been popping up in my radar quite frequently of late… getting asked to teach on prayer in our youth department, then replacing my “snacking hot spot” in the afternoon with 15 minutes of prayer, realizing that I wasn’t sure what to pray or even if I believed if prayer even did anything, then my 5-year-old son starting to more interested in prayer, etc. So, when I saw that bible study open for sign ups I jumped on it even though I am taking another bible study as well on Wednesday mornings.

And just one night of the five week study is already something I’m pumped about! It’s already opening my eyes! I won’t go into it too much, but here is one thing that we did last night that I really enjoyed and it has been easy to incorporate already with my prayers.

So, last night I went to the first evening of a bible study called Transforming Prayer. It is ALREADY transforming! Wanted to share this little tidbit: start your prayers with “You are…” to acknowledge the cool things about God. Helps to get your mind pointed in the right direction for prayer and it’s some pretty awesome worship, too! Like, just pick a word and complete the thought:

I praise You God because You are…

- eternal.
-faithful.
-good.
-gracious.
-holy.
-unchanging.
-impartial.
-incomprehensible.
-limitless.
-jealous.
-fair.
-patient.
-loving.
-merciful.
-all-powerful.
-everywhere.
-all knowing.
-righteous.
-supreme.
-superior.
-truthful.
-wise.

And my friend, Janet Chowning, recommended this option when I posted about it on Facebook:

“I like to do this also with the different names of God. You are my

- Savior.
- Redeemer.
- Healer.
- Provider.
- Creator.
- Prince of Peace.
- Comforter.
- Good Shepherd.
- Friend. etc.”

Anyway… I mean… it’s not specifically “diet” related, but well… all of this is Jesus-related. And part of this process is a little bit of breaking off some of my relationship with the world and developing a better relationship with Jesus… and so this is one way that I am working on my relationship with Jesus.

See, here is one that is covenant-related:

God, I praise you because You are my Healer. my Renewal. my Hope. my Sustenance.

Day 235: Blue Moon Blues

Oh my Lordy.

Yesterday was… well, it was a bonafide me. me. me. day.

And I don’t mean that in a good way.

It was one of those days where I was pushing away my Jesus-loving self and allowing myself to act like a woman of the world. I wanted to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it however I wanted to make it happen.

I wanted to sit around all day and flip through my IKEA catalog even though my son is out of underwear.

I wanted to eat three slices of toast overly buttered this morning.

I wanted to have my kids watch movies all day so that I wouldn’t have to do anything.

I wanted to eat 3/4 of a cheese pizza.

I wanted to ignore God’s whisper that eating a bunch of junk wouldn’t make me feel right. or better. or good. or happy.

I wanted. I wanted. I wanted.

But there is a big difference between just wanting and actually taking.

And well, yesterday I took what I wanted. It was the first day in a long time that I felt like the “former me”… ya know, like: ignoring God’s pleas to not overeat, feeling powerless to resist eating, feeling like I needed to eat for some other reason than hunger. And I’m a little numb about it actually. I should feel bad and remorseful about it and I want to feel bad. But I don’t.

I think maybe it’s because a little bit of me is convinced that it was a result of the blue moon… everyone knows how full moons drive women a little wacko. Haha!

Maybe it’s because I knew that today would be a new day. A day where I could do right. Maybe that is why before my covenant started I was bawling over my cookie dough (that story is on day 21)… it was because I felt no hope. I had not yet learned that God could take my one horrible day and turn it right. I had not yet learned that God has the power to forgive and give me new life.

And honestly, today I feel almost as if yesterday didn’t happen. And double honestly, I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I hate to say that I feel like I “got it out of my system” because I don’t even like that mentality. But that is kind of how it feels.

Okay- I just had the moment where all these ramblings have brought me to the realization that I was needing to get it out of my system. Because I have been carrying the weight of the temptation on my own for the past few weeks. And resisting these food temptations is a heavy burden. A burden that added up day after day after day starts to beat me down. And I think I needed to get allllll the temptations off of my shoulders. How does my human mind think to do that?

Ironically enough, by sinning.

How does a mind set on eternity think to do that? Spending a day of fasting and prayer. A day of total and complete humility before God. A day of begging for His help and guidance and freedom.

And well, I think I have a day like that only once in a blue moon.

And it’s time to change that.

{Ahhhhhhh, but I do feel better having “figured” that one out!}

{Annnnnd, props to my hubby for helping me come up with my post’s name!}