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 217: Practice Makes Perfect

Day 14 of my hard-core Daniel Fast.

I’m not sure how I survived this for forty-six days during Lent. Geez. All I want is a tortilla and some feta cheese and my life would be great.

So funny how starting this whole thing in January I was probably thinking “All I want is a Reese’s peanut butter cup and my life would be great.” ha! How things have changed.

But actually I think the temptations are harder on a short-term fast because you know that you’ll get that stuff again… and soon. When I started my covenant so many months ago, the lust for chocolate and sugar quickly died off and stayed away for quite a while because the day when I would once again get to have those things was sooooooooo far away it was pointless to even dream about eating it after a while.

But now that I’m pretty much just one week away from a feta topped salad, or a cheese pizza, or a fish taco… well, it makes the wanting of it stronger. But that’s a good thing on a fast. To want something but not be able to have it. It creates a tension in me… a tension that brings my struggle to light. A struggle between the light and the dark.

What it does is make me practice over and over the act of choosing God. relying upon God. feasting upon the things of the Spirit.

And hopefully three weeks of “practicing” that will carry over past those three weeks. So that for another three weeks I’m still just in the habit of choosing God over my own desires and wants.

Day 153: Search Party

Am I eating too much?
Would this food honor God?
Why am I eating right now?
Is this food becoming a new “addiction”?

Ya know, so much of the success of this “diet” has had little to do with the actual food choices that I have made and far more to do with looking inside myself and really evaluating myself. I think that I knew pretty early that it wasn’t the food that was really the problem… cause when I looked at my basic diet it really wasn’t that bad… it was the “extras” (sugar, chocolate, bread, chips, etc) that were really getting to me, but I was never eating the “extras” because I was hungry and rarely was I eating them because I craved them… I was eating them for a slew of reasons that were in my heart and my soul and my mind.

And multiple times throughout this experience I have had to do some real honest looking at myself. Cause I honestly thought that once I cut out sugar and chocolate that my issues would be over. I don’t think I realized how much I was overeating as well on just regular foods nor did I realize that chips and bread really were issues for me as well.

So, as I would realize that I wasn’t losing weight (back when I was weighing) or that I wasn’t getting into any smaller sizes, then I have had to look at my life and my eating and my motivations and my thoughts and my Bible reading and my emotions and my… me. But all I have had to do was allow God to search me and show me what was going on. I may have fought it (like right now I am having a “discussion” with Him about dairy… and wouldn’t ya know, my favorite brand of feta cheese was OUT at Sam’s when I went today… in the year that I have been shopping there it has NEVER been out!) and I might not have chosen to add it to my covenant right away, but He always seems to show me.

And again I think that this is a part of the covenant diet that is going to spill over into other areas of my life… because I am learning a) that He will show me if there is something that offends Him, and b) that He will then lead me along the path of everlasting life… in essence, He will show me what to do. He will conquer it. He will purify me.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24

The only “danger” here is that, like I said, He will show me if there is something that offends Him… but then He really expects me to do something about it. Now, I fully believe that only God can conquer habitual addictive sins. But He expects me to do what I can to help my earthly body to get away from that sin. For example, I knew that God would be the only one that could conquer my addiction to sugar, but my part was to make the deal with Him to give it up in the first place. I know that God can help me to find more self-motivation to do my work around the house, but first I’m going to have to commit to Him that I will make choices with my time to honor Him.

So, if He shows one of us that a certain food is an issue that needs to be added to our covenant, then we do it. If He shows us that although we agreed to only fast Monday-Saturday, that we need to add Sundays to the covenant agreement, then we do it (you know who you are- haha!).

But first, we must ask God to show us. reveal our true selves. test us. try us. know us. and the best part… lead us.

Day 142: Got Almond?

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I think that everyone has “those” foods that are areas of temptation, or weakness, or just plain old habit. Most people list things like sugar (cough, cough… chocolate) or salt. But a lot of people also have drinks as an issue… Route 44 Dr. Pepper is one I hear a lot, mocha frap from Starbucks, etc. For me… it’s milk. Good, fatty, whole milk. Back when I used to work out I would have a glass after a good run when most people would drink water. My best friend used to tease me about coming over and having a glad of milk and a handful of Hot Tamales candies. In fact, her mom kept them stocked with both for when I would come over… which was often.

So, when I made my covenant, I knew that milk would have to go as well. Even though I could have dairy… milk was just… well, almost a dessert to me. Certainly a treat, and definitely an avoidance to drinking water. (I know it’s weird, but water has never really been that “awesome” to me… maybe cause I was always drinking milk instead!)

Well, the other day I was in a bit of a daze as I was making my coffee (which is not entirely that odd seeing as how I am half-asleep when I make my coffee most mornings), and I poured whole milk into the mix instead of the almond milk that I have in my coffee every other morning. Once I realized it, I wasn’t going to pour out that precious milk (two young boys in the house… we go through a lot of milk) or the even more precious… coffee (two young boys in the house… need I say more?). So I drank the coffee with whole milk in it. No biggie.

It was actually kind of gross.

I mean… in comparison to my coffee with almond milk, which has like… flavor. It was kind of cool though how this life of sacrifice is actually better than my normal life. Again like I mentioned yesterday, I would have missed out on a lot of things, both spiritual and “earthly” if I had not done this covenant.

And honestly, I’m not sure of a scripture to put with this one (comment below if one comes to your mind). It just makes me think of how we just don’t see… the whole picture. And by that I mean, there I was for years thinking that whole milk was kind of the end all be all for drinking in coffee. But… it wasn’t. There was something better out there.

And I think that is what this covenant has shown me… there is so much about this world that I haven’t discovered, and might not ever discover… without God showing me. But it took me committing to Him, allowing Him to break down this wall inside of me… in order for me to see that the grass IS indeed greener on the other side if HE is the one that takes you there.

It just makes me want to covenant with Him about… everything! So that He can show me how lame my “whole milk life” is (that I thought was oh-so great)… and reveal to me how amazing an “almond milk” kind of life can be (which I don’t even know exists)!