Day 763: Ten Things To Do INSTEAD Of Eating

I find myself often eating when I am bored or procrastinating (among lots of other reasons I eat aside from, ya know, hunger). And so today I wrote this on Facebook and twitter

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Then I actually saw my own tweet and took my own advice and cleaned out my bathroom drawer (while my preschooler was taking his bath) and a shelf in a linen closet that, ironically, has zero linens in it! Haha!

I thought it might be helpful to me, and hopefully you too, if I had a list of things that I could reference when all I could do was think about those Big & Chewy Granola bars in the pantry.

So, here ya go!

 

1. Clean Out A Closet – I am finding this very cathartic. It accomplishes something and usually gets you out of the kitchen!

 

2. Write A Letter – Especially if you have an older person in your life that lives in a nursing home… they love “real” mail!

3. Do Some Yoga or Other Physical Activity – I love yoga cause I can do it easily in my home pretty much anywhere, but even going for a walk, hopping on a treadmill, or doing some jumping jacks would be great!

4. Take A Bubble Bath – Yes, they still do make Calgon, so let it take you away… from the kitchen, that is! It’s a great way to relax and get clean!

5. Put On Some Music And Dance! – This is one of my personal favorites! I find a station on Pandora and then just crank it up and get my groove on. (Black Eyed Peas is my personal fav station)

6. Read A Book or Magazine - Rarely do I have time to pull my eyes away from my kids for more than a few moments, but even flipping through the IKEA catalog can give me a brain break from dwelling on chocolate.

7. Give Yourself A Makeover, Paint Your Toes, or Play “Dress Up” - If you’re like me and only put on makeup twice a week (at most) then this would be a special treat and can be kind of fun. Or if you aren’t into the makeup thing, then try on a few “fancy pants” outfits.

8. Memorize Useless (or Helpful) Facts, Scriptures, or Quotes - Snapple caps have a ton of those useless facts (my brother has pretty much all of them memorized), but it can also be neat to memorize a scripture that helps you when you are down and out so that you’ve got it at the ready!

9. Play! - Finger paint, color, bounce the basketball, ride your bike, jump rope. Do something a little childlike… it feels goofy at first but most of the time we tend to slip right back into our little selves.

10. Plan A Vacation – This is kind of like dreaming for some of us, but sit down with a pen and pad and dream out a vacation… who knows, if you win the lottery or get a huge bonus, then you’ll already have a planned vaca all ready!

Day 426: Fast Fruit

Yeahhhhhhhhhhhh.

Soooooooooooooo.

I……… ate a bunch of chocolate on Thursday.

… … …

Ugh.

It was the leftover candy from my husband’s grandfather’s 80th birthday party that did me in. (Those Twix. Oh my. Twix.)

… … …

Annnnnnnnnnnd then I ate a bunch of white chocolate covered popcorn yesterday at a baby shower at my house.

Okay, okay. And I had some punch.

Well, a lot of punch.

… … …

And. A huge slice of cake.

After everyone had left.

While my husband was in the other room.

Sure, these are small indulgences compared to a year a half ago, but I have learned that with me… and with food… there is no small indulgence.

Plus, I have this, ya know, covenant.

With GOD.

Anyway. You know how you have that moment when you really just have to come face to face with the fact that something’s not right. not working. not… yeah. just NOT working.

As I walked through the kitchen in the middle of the night after my toddler woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep on his own cause he has restless leg syndrome, poor thing, I saw the white chocolate popcorn leftover from the baby shower and thought “Ooooooo, I’m gonna get some of that and put the popcorn on my tongue so that the white chocolate is what hits first.”

At 3am.

I mean… seriously?!?!?! Does my dadgum id EVER take a break? It’s making my super-ego work overtime!

Anyway, I immediately thought to myself: fruit fast. I need to do a fruit fast.

I’ve been thinking about it lately anyway. I’ve realized that even though my covenant started out as a fast last year… it sorta just developed into a diet. I think I knew that a long time ago, but I sorta denied it to myself. I wanted it to still be holy. I wanted it to still be righteous. But, it really was… just a diet.

And I wanted to remind myself what it means to really fast. Like, fast to where it “hurts”. Fast so that I feel the sacrifice. Fast so that I long for food for nourishment instead of for one of the other zillion reasons I long for food.

So, I started a fruit fast this morning. I figured I’d go for three days. My husband’s brother and his family arrive on Thursday and I’ll probably be out of pocket pretty frequently at my in-law’s and grandparent-in-law’s where I won’t have as much control over my options. Besides, I’ve never done a fruit fast, so I wasn’t sure how it would affect me.

And holllllly moly.

I’M HUNGRY.

I was all good. I even thought around 10:00 this morning, “Oh yeah… I could so do this for way longer than three days.”

Until about… noon.

And then all I could see was everything in the fridge EXCEPT the fruit. I saw a carrot and thought “Oh my gosh, I’d love a carrot right now. or a bell pepper. or some tomatoes.” Things that I have wanted to try to avoid the past few months because they were allowed and healthy, simply because they were now “forbidden”, they suddenly became my desires. Honestly, I haven’t thought once about sugar or chocolate today… just vegetables and pasta.

And so I knew… “Oh yeah… I needed this.”

I sang some hymns.
I prayed to God.
I ate, like, 17 clementines.
I tamped down my horribly mean attitude that emerges when I am empty (well, for most of the day I did).

And I remembered… hunger.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6

Day 307: Hunger Games

Yesterday I realized that I was hungry. Like, really… really hungry.

And nothin we had was cuttin it.

I ate like 10 clementines and 3 bananas and a big ol salad and some oatmeal with raisins and several scoops of peanut butter… and then things got messy.

“A few chips won’t hurt anything.”

Phrases like that are dangerous. Danger. Danger. Danger.

Cause a few chips almost always turns into a lotta chips. Which turns into a tortilla. Which turns into four tortillas. Which turns into a bowl of cereal.

And stillI went to bed with a little bit of hunger.

Hellllllo January. God designed your body to communicate with you through hunger. We have discussed this before! Why do you play games with your hunger like this? It never ends well!

Yeah, yeah, well…

I have to plan. I know I need to plan. I even came across a blog post yesterday and there were some tips to remember and, well, whadda know… planning meals was on there.

Cause all weekend I ate, like, fruit and snack-like meals. And, even if my husband is out of town at a trade show, I still need to cook. Cause I’m gonna need “real” food. So I need to plan again and grocery shop. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners. All of them need a plan.

Day 213: Peach Portions

Day 10 of my hard-core Daniel Fast.

This morning, like most when I am on a Daniel Fast, I woke up and wasn’t even thinking about breakfast. Really, for the past 200-something days I have breakfasted on coffee with almond milk and an occasional day with fruit or oatmeal or something. But most days I don’t eat breakfast because the coffee and almond milk fill me up.

Since I am not having any coffee during these 21 days I have I had to actually eat breakfast. But I don’t usually get hungry until 8:00ish or so.

And so this morning around 8:00 I was taking some medication and knew I was hungry so I thought to go ahead and eat a banana.

About an hour later I thought, “I’m hungry again.” Which is not atypical with this diet to be hungry every hour… so I went ahead and had a bowl of peach slices.

Thirty minutes later… hungry. I thought, “Okay, I need to have something with substance this time.” So I had a couple of spoons of peanut butter and a few raisins. Much better. I made it until lunch on that.

But what I was thinking of is that how cool it is that fruit has sort of been built-in by God with portion control.

I mean- a banana comes in its own wrapper. Once you’re done… you’re done. An apple- in a wrapper. Orange… yep. a wrapper. Peach? Messy, but still in a wrapper. Now berries… those are a little different. They are sorta like buffet style. But anyway. A lot of fruits and veggies are almost like designed for you to just eat one.

So I started trying that. Just eating one thing to see if that satiated my hunger. Cause I used to be all like “Oh I’m hungry” and then I’d automatically pour myself a huge bowl of cereal. or make myself a complete sandwich. or eat a batch of cookie dough. But now I sorta “probe” at my hunger. I think it’s kind of like how nutritionists say that it is better to have like 5 small meals a day. I think I kind of eat like that now.

There isn’t really any deep spiritual principle with that one. I just think it is pretty much the opposite of gluttony… and that is on the right track spiritually.

Day 167: Not All That

Lately as I have been meeting and talking with people that are doing the Covenant several people have mentioned that they are amazed at my vast knowledge of bible verses. Well, I bumped a post that I had planned for today back a few days in order to reveal my big secret.

A friend recently asked me the question, “How did you learn all those verses? Did you memorize verses as a kid or something?” I huffed a little laugh and replied, “I don’t have all of those verses memorized!” She said, “Ha- what do you do then, google them?”

Yep.

I literally get on google and search this way:

  • What does the bible say about gluttony
  • What does the bible say about sacrifice
  • What does the bible say about contentment
  • What does the bible say about excess

See, here’s proof…

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But the cool thing is with technology now a days, you almost don’t have to have the entire bible memorized to access a random verse. All you need is google. Seriously. (And I really like the website openbible.info to find verses… I go to it and find a verse that speaks to my issue at the time and then look it up on youversion.com so that I can see it in the New Living Translation or The Message or one of the other more reader-friendly versions.)

It could take me thirty minutes to find “the” verse I’m looking for. And if I can’t find one then often I find that means I need to look back into my post to make sure what I am saying is biblical!

Now, it does help to memorize a particularly helpful verse once you have found it… like, I say that one “make me willing to obey” all the time, but I came across it on accident while looking for a verse with a specific topic and THEN I memorized it.

So, although I might appear to have a vast knowledge of the bible, I don’t. But I do have something that is better… I hunger and thirst for righteousness. And that is a verse that I used to pray a lot starting when I was in college… I wanted to hunger and thirst for righteousness, and now… at 33… I have finally found that desire. And I have found that my hunger and thirst for righteousness is filled when I read my bible and when I reference my bible in my thoughts.

But, as far as me being some kind of spiritual paragon and master of all things biblical. Ha… no, I’m definitely not all that.

Day Thirty-Nine: Damsel In Distress

I want to start out by saying that I’m so glad that I decided to do this for a year. Five weeks in and I’m realizing that I’m gonna need another 47 weeks to get this worked out. That might sound like I’m “down” but it’s actually almost like a sigh of relief! I am just really glad that I gave myself a lot of time to get “over” this addiction. To work through my bad habits. To become a new creation. Too often before I have expected myself to become a new creation over night and that’s not always the way that it works. I mean, hey, I have thirty-three years of addictive habits that I’m trying to break. That might take a little while!

Now, with that being said, I feel like I have moved into Phase II of this experience. Phase I was getting past my addiction to sugar, namely, chocolate. Honestly… haha, yeah… honestly, I thought that was my only “issue”. Nope. Turns out that I realize over and over that it really wasn’t about the chocolate at all (well, okay, maybe a bit because it was soooooooo good), but that it has been an issue of the heart. So, once chocolate was gone I simply started to slowly work in new “addictions”. But the good news is that I’m not going to let those new addictions master me for the next thirty-three years but I’m going to deal with them now. nip them in the bud now. abolish them from my life now.

So… yeah. In a way I feel like I am back at square one. I’m seeing some of the same tendencies popping back up! Eating what is not beneficial but is still technically “okay” on the fast (e.g. potato chips). Eating past the sensation of full (e.g. dinner last night and tonight when I ate two servings worth and was way past full). Eating too late in the day and ignoring hunger sensations in the hopes that I would let my belly eat a little fat while I starved a bit (e.g. yesterday when I tried to skip lunch altogether).

I can tell that my weight loss has stalled out a little bit and I think that it is because of these things.

So, I’m needing to remind myself of the covenant. And I don’t think that this is a sign of me faltering, or Satan winning, or a lack of faith, discipline, etc.

I have just finished reading through Joshua in my daily bible readings, and after Joshua and the Israelites cross over the Jordan River (God, again, stops the water from flowing so that they can cross) they pile up 12 stones that someone from each tribe picked up when they were crossing the river. Then Joshua tells them why:

“In the days to come, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What are these stones doing here?’ tell your children this: ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ “Yes, God, your God, dried up the Jordan’s waters for you until you had crossed, just as God, your God, did at the Red Sea, which had dried up before us until we had crossed. This was so that everybody on earth would recognize how strong God’s rescuing hand is and so that you would hold God in solemn reverence always. Joshua 4:21-24

It’s not that atypical to set reminders… to need reminders. Heck, it’s all through the bible of the Israelites setting up altars to God to remind themselves that He came through. Like Noah when they got out of the boat. He built an altar to God. I just really like how this part ends… the stones are there so that they can tell others what God did… and why He did it: so that everyone would know how strong God’s rescuing hand is and so that we would revere Him always.

So, I am going to be thinking over the next few days of a way that I can set up my stones to remind me that God’s rescuing hand (which I just love that adjective… not just His hand, but his rescuing hand) is strong and that I should revere Him. In the past I might have put a picture of me looking all fatty to “demotivate” me from eating, or a picture of me all skinny to “motivate” me to not eat, or a pig, or a… well, you get the picture. But now again, I am pulling the attention away from me and refocusing it on the things of eternity.

And I think when I see those “stones” and remember that my God has a strong rescuing hand… I might just allow myself to be rescued at that moment. A damsel in distress rescued by The Knight In Shining Armor.

Wow… sounds kind of like a love story.

Yep. The Love Story.

Day Thirty: Holy Hunger

I’ve really thought a lot about not eating too much. about using restraint. about thinking small.

But I was reminded yesterday of the opposite of that thinking.

Like I’ve said before, God specifically designed my body with a hunger mechanism that tells me when I am hungry and when I am not. When I am not hungry, I really shouldn’t eat. But the same thing goes for the other side of that… when I am hungry, I need to eat.

Because otherwise when the hunger sensation turns to a starving sensation… my mind switches into a different approach to food. And this built in approach actually makes a lot of sense.  When I get to the point where I am starving and I am presented with food, I typically eat more than needed. It’s almost as if the most base aspect of my being is thinking: If you are starving now then you might be starving later. Eat as much as you can while you can. But I don’t have a life where starving is a part of my existence. I don’t need to “store up” food for later.

What I need to do is eat when I’m hungry. Eat enough but not too much.

Lest…… when I do stop to eat I end up eating the last four cookie-granola bars that are left… like I did yesterday. And eating the last four cookie-granola bars my friends savors a bit like… gluttony.

And gluttony is no longer welcome in my life.

So I must do whatever it takes to keep gluttony out.

And one of the ways to do that is for me to eat when I’m hungry and not allow myself to get to the point where I am starving. I know that this is a very basic and simple “healthy eating” concept, but I also know that I am having to relearn (or even quite possibly, learn for the first time) a lot of those basic and simple “healthy eating” concepts.

So today, my prayer is this…

God,
Thank you so much for bringing me to this point. Day thirty… awesome! I still need your guidance, your healing, your help, your power. This addiction is strong God. But not as strong as You. Please, send me your Holy Spirit… and make me willing to obey. God, I live in such abundance, and I have not learned what to do with such abundance. I do not know how to handle it. God, give me just enough to satisfy my needs. Teach me restraint through this experience so that it will pour over into all the other aspects of my life. Teach me to be Holy because you are Holy.
In the Name of Jesus Christ,
Amen