Day 224: Give God A Chance

Day 21 of my hard-core Daniel Fast! Last day!

So, I think the no food after 7pm… “initiative” is one of my new favorite things. It’s almost like a daily fast in a way!

At first I was a little reluctant to do it because I have really learned the importance of eating when I’m hungry, and agreeing to not-eat after 7pm might keep me from eating when I’m hungry. But, like I said on day 219, there is rarely any purposeful eating after 7pm so I thought I might give it a try. I’m now way more game to try something new that involves restrictions because I have found that in restrictions, there is (ironically)… freedom.

And well, that is exactly what I have found in the no-eating after 7pm rule. I don’t have to fight those urges every night. I don’t have to wonder how much I should eat. I don’t have to rely upon food to help me deal with an emotional eating situation. or to keep me from being bored. or to comfort me in my exhaustion.

By “fasting” after 7pm, I am allowing myself the opportunity and God the chance, to retrain my mind. Cause really, if I ate the right amount at dinner, then I haven’t been hungry between the end of dinner and bedtime. I might have a bit of an emptiness or a yearning every once in a while but really there hasn’t been a day yet where I just reallllly lamented over not being able to eat.

But I think that is the key of a covenant or a fast… it gives God the opportunity to change you. to reveal things to you. to renew you. I think I’m gonna expand on that tomorrow, but… essentially, God has already shown me through the 7pm rule that I had some latent habits in there. Some “hot spots” like I wrote about the other day. And relinquishing “control” and not eating during that time allowed me to see those things.

I’m not saying that I will never eat after 7pm again, but honestly, I obviously need some retraining during that 7-10pm time frame. And well, if it takes “fasting” during that time to rid myself of some overeating and/or mindless eating then I’m okay with that.

Day 219: Nothing Good Happens After… 7pm

Day 16 of my hard-core Daniel Fast.

So, even though I don’t weigh myself, like I was saying the other day… I still have sizes that tell me if I’m losing weight or not. And lately, it’s been a bit slower than it was at the beginning. I know that’s because I’m so much closer to my ideal weight than I was in January (thank you, Jesus), but I also know that there is still some extra lovin’ hanging around on me.

I am hanging around a loose 10 and a fitted 8. And I’ve been there for most of the summer. Actually, I don’t think I’d have fit into an 8 at the beginning of the summer so I might have lost a bit.

So lately, I have been really evaluating my eating to see if that is an indication of why I am sorta at a plateau. Again, it might just be that my body is finding homeostasis like I talked about on day 115, and I’m cool with that.

Well, honestly, even as I write “I am cool with that”… in my heart, I’m not “cool with that”. I want to be skinny. I want to wear a size six. I want my body to be admired, envied, coveted.

Are my desires in the right spot? No. But those are my real desires. Godly or not. That’s where my mind wants to go.

And that is the entire point of this covenant: to be transformed. to be renewed. to be changed. on the inside. Perhaps the outside of me will be transformed, renewed, changed, but the purpose is to allow God to do all those things to my soul.

Okay, but honestly that was a bit of a divergence from my original topic! Ha! Got a bit carried away by the good ol’ Holy Spirit!

I was talking with my covenant companion, Christy, the other day and she mentioned that she is no longer eating after 7:00pm. I just kept thinking about that. Cause you know what they say, “Nothing good happens after… 7pm!” Right?!?! Haha! But seriously, there is very rarely any purposeful eating after 7pm. It’s usually tied to some other feeling or emotion.

Exhaustion.
Sadness.
Loneliness.
Boredom.

There are a bunch it could be. But whatever the reason, I often find myself snacking during those late evening hours. It’s a bit like my afternoon hot spot that I talked about the other day.

So, I decided that I’d give the no-eating-after-7pm thing a go.

Wowsers. It was one of the hardest thing I’ve done since the beginning of my covenant! But that was a great sign that I had found yet another snackie hot spot like I discovered a few days ago that needed some fixing!

So, we’ll see in a few days if I’m still as impressed with the “After 7pm Fast” as much as I was last night!

Day 216: Squeaky Clean Soul

Day 13 of my hard-core Daniel Fast.

My husband recently went out of town for a week and while he was gone I, out of necessity, had to get back into a pretty strict routine. Kind of like our school routine.

Which means I also had to get back into a routine with my cleaning. It’s not that I don’t clean in the summers… it’s that I don’t clean on a routine. It’s all kind of sporadic. “Oh, that’s sorta messy… I’ll clean it.” or “Oh, that toilet is gross, I’ll clean it.” It’s more like a REactive type of cleaning instead of PROactive.

Anyway, so tonight I was cleaning up the kitchen before bed and it was looking pretty good. But then I kept remembering that Sarah Richardson, in an HGTV magazine article, said she always puts everything away before bed. A little Martha Stewartish if you ask me. But it kept running through my mind last night.

So I thought, I’m gonna at least do this in the kitchen/big room. And suddenly you start to notice things that have been there for a few days but they have been there just long enough that you start to subconsciously ignore them. They become part of the landscape.

Like this one corner of my kitchen is what the FlyLady would call a “hot spot”. Tons of stuff gets “dumped” there throughout the day. So I went to clean it tonight and there were two plastic popcorn tubs that had been there almost a week. Two bottles of medicine. A rag (always there). My husbands daily collection of cups despite the fact that I have designated a coaster on which he can have one cup a day. A pen. Two twist ties. And an iPhone charger.

So I cleaned it up and wow- it made such a difference. I took a pic of the “after” only because it didn’t hit me until after how this tied into sin. into gluttony.

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There are so many things in our lives that get stuck in the “hot spot”. Little sins often that we ignore until we don’t even know they are sins after a while. We don’t even know they are there.

Gossip.
Laziness.
Envy.

Gluttony.

And sometimes we have to make a concerted effort to clear those things out. It’s so much nicer afterwards to be clean and free of it, but it does take a little sacrifice of time and effort to clean it out.

And there are also little eating hot spots during the day… like when I put the boys down to nap every day, I often come into the kitchen immediately looking for something. My friend Christie has mentioned that her hot spot is right after she puts the kids to bed in the evenings. Some people it’s right when they get home from work. Or on their coffee break.

But I know that I need to work on my hot spot this week. What I will do I think is replace my hot spot with Jesus. Instead of immediately coming into the kitchen after the boys go down, I will immediately go into my room and pray for 15 minutes. I read my bible in the mornings before the boys get up and I pray continually all day, but rarely do I stop and take the time to meditate on God.

Maybe switching those two things out will help to get rid of my afternoon snackie hot spot and therefore keep me out of the hot seat! Haha. Sorry. Nerdy joke!