Day 163: Just Food

I was recently having coffee with my friend Alice and we were talking covenant stuff. She mentioned that one of her struggles was that she felt the need to be strong enough to resist on her own. She said with a sarcastic note to her voice, it’s “just food”. She felt that she should be able to deal with “just food”.

And I have been really thinking on that a lot since then.

Cause really… she’s right. We so often feel a little extra dose of extra guilt because we can’t resist this stuff that is “just food”.

But as I have thought about it, a few thoughts have come to mind about “just food”…

Satan used food as the first form of temptation in the Garden.

Jesus performed his first miracle changing water to wine.

Christ compared his own body to bread and wine at the last supper.

It’s not “just food”.

And honestly, I thought and thought about WHY it’s not “just food”… WHY does it have more of a power than other things in our life?

And I’m thinking that it ties, in a weird sort of way, to our level of faith. Satan knew that Adam and Eve were provided every piece of vegetation in the garden except those apples (or whatever they were) from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. And I think he played off of a small, tiny fear that has glowed in our hearts for all of time… the thought – the fear -  that we might not have enough. Not necessarily that we haven’t gotten to experience everything, but that deep down we fear that we might come across a time of… want. need. starvation.

And now I live in a time where most people in America live in a situation where there IS abundance like in the Garden. there IS enough for all of us. there IS plenty.

But we still have these images from the Holocaust. I can still remember stories of the Irish Potato Famine and the mass exodus that ensued. We see pictures pouring in from Africa, India, Asia, Russia of men, women, and children bare boned and sallow eyed.

And although we might grab another brownie it’s not typically because we are consciously thinking, “Oh, man, I’d better stock up on brownies tonight because we might all be starving tomorrow!” But in the ever increasing state of unrest in the world, it is more than likely in the back of our thoughts.

So, I wonder if much of this addiction and pull to “just food” is in response to our fear… and our subsequent need to control that fear.

But God has instructed us that food is now to become… insignificant. a non-issue.

I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.

And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:25-33

And He gives us a promise here… that if we run toward Him that He will give us everything we need. He doesn’t promise that we won’t starve, He doesn’t promise that we won’t be hungry, He doesn’t promise that we will even live. But He does promise to give us everything we need. And once we start to learn to trust that He will take care of us… then we can free ourselves from stressing over “just food” and then it can truly become exactly that… just. food.

Day 149: Covenant Christy

Lately as I have conversations with other conventers, I find that some people expect… or maybe it’s that they hope… to have the same results as me. Nooooooot to sound cocky, but I think that if I was watching someone else undergo a similar transformation… well, I would want it too. So many of the people that know me have seen me go from 210 down to 160 (well, that’s what I weighed the last time I weighed a few weeks ago) and that’s a big change. Even I have had to make myself acknowledge the change a few times because it seems so drastic for just four short months.

But, God tends to be drastic sometimes.

But, God also tends to work differently through each of us. He works at different speeds. He moves our lives according to the “big picture”. He blesses some with an abundance of worldly gifts and some with eternal gifts. He is just… God.

And so I want to say first and foremost, that no one is going to have this covenant experience. It is mine. It is God’s. And that combination cannot be replicated. Which… is kind of cool for me: this moment in time as I write these words is completely and utterly unique. And it should be cool for you… this moment in time reading these words is completely and utterly unique.

All of that to say… I’m going to bring up my friend Christy again. I know, I know… I talk about her a lot. It’s just that she’s so extremely open about her life, her feelings, her thoughts, her experiences, etc. So, she gives me a lot of material to work with! Haha!

And Christy still has not lost weight… in fact, she has gained weight. So, I asked her the question the other day that I have had to ask myself many a time, “If you had to blame it on something, what do you think is causing it?” She knew pretty quickly what to say. She said, “I need to lay off the fruit salad.” Well, I’ll be honest. I was a little surprised that a bunch of fruit salad would make her gain weight… until she clarified that it wasn’t just plain fruit salad. It had fruit, and pecans, and some kind of fake cool whip. And she said she was really hittin it when the kids would go to bed. She’d sit at her laptop and eat fruit salad.

And her truthful self-analysis led me to do a bit of a self-analysis as well…

At the time I responded that I think part of why I have lost weight is because I really don’t eat as much as I used to. Like, she does a great job of making sure that her family is well fed. She makes meals. She keeps good produce in her house. And, well, I’m not like that (wish I was, but I’m not), and so quite often I would find myself coming up upon lunch and thinking, “Well, hmmmmmm, nothing much to eat, so I guess I’ll have a bowl of tomato basil soup. or sweet potato fries. or a salad.” Whatever was easiest. And often the easiest thing didn’t have a whole lot to it, so I was cutting down on the amount of what I was eating.

Now, my portion control is a bit more under control simply because I’m eating less and less “stuff” (i.e. chips and bread) and instead more fruit (like, I made a deal with myself to only eat fruit when I’m snacking). Plus, I have been really focusing more and more as the covenant goes on with the beneficial versus permissible and eating in such a way that would make God pleased. So, even though this really started out as a Daniel Fast… more often than not, my covenant is less about what I am eating and more about how much I am eating. First, I had to cut things out (like chocolate and meat) to just get over the “I have to have” mindset. But once I got past that, then I have had to refocus on “I need more” versus “I want more”.

And that’s what it boils down to… not only am I eating closer to what I think God intended my body to eat, but also I’m eating closer to the amount that God intended my body to eat. Eventually, my weight loss will stop because I will have, truly, found my body’s homeostasis.

But, in the meantime… honestly… I’m totally fine with losing weight! Haha!


Day Twelve: Free Fresh Asparagus!

I haven’t been “out” a lot since I started this mainly because I got so sick after only three days of being on the covenant. But when I have been “out” pretty much at my mom’s house and at the donut shop yesterday morning, I have been a little surprised at how little I am attracted to the irresistibles. Ironically, it was more difficult at my parents house than at Happy Donuts.

But I have come to a shocking conclusion: life does not revolve around food.

I know. I know. That’s crazy talk. But it doesn’t. Like when Miss Kim handed over a half dozen free donut holes for me and said “You have to try these. You never get these on the weekday but these are hot, fresh glazed. Just now.” Now, granted they weren’t chocolate donut holes. That might have led to an entirely different post. But they were donut holes. Fresh. Just now. And freeeeeee. Oh, and doesn’t free just make something taste better?

Well, maybe… cause I mean, “free fresh asparagus” doesn’t really taste any better or worse. It just tastes like… asparagus.

Sorrry. I digress. So, naturally, I did not eat the donut holes. In fact I got one of those cute little bags and put them in there and honestly I forgot about them until late last night! But you know what? My trip to the donut shop wasn’t completely, totally, and utterly ruined because I didn’t eat those freshly glazed donut holes. In fact, it was really no different at all. Perhaps a little less sticky. But the same.

You see, I have tricked myself into thinking that if I don’t eat the donut holes, or that piece of wedding cake, or the hot dog, or the whatever that I will not be fully experiencing life at that moment. But my life, my happiness, my joy… they are not found in moments of food. What a smash to God if I thought that the joy of life was found in an eclair!?!?!? I don’t need food to experience a moment.

Of course my mind is saying, “Well, unless you went to Fogo de Chão.” But no… even then. My life, my evening would not be a disaster if I didn’t eat a single piece of meat. I would simply be…

Yeah, I would just… be. Be me. Be me in that moment. Apart from food. Free from food.