Day Fifty-Four: Why? Oh, Why?

A couple friends of mine have mentioned lately that they have been trying to find the “source” of their overeating (or whatever stronghold they are dealing with). And so I think that I’m gonna decide if that is something I need to do as well, and well I might as well think it through on here…

So, one friend said that she discovered that her over eating was because she grew up in a house with no rules. She was supposed to eat whatever made her happy. Now she really enjoys the “rules” of a system like Weight Watchers because it gives her structure to an area of her life where she felt she could be indulgent before as her one area of “freedom”.

And this makes me think of another friend of mind who adopted a toddler boy from Africa. She was counseled to let him eat whenever he wanted because he might come from a situation where he was a) unable to get food or b) denied food. Naturally this is a case also where looking at his past will influence her decisions with feeding him for years to come.

And now on to those of us who might not have had a terribly structured or unstructured home life when it came to eating and don’t have anything particularly scarring on our pasts. Should we delve into our pasts to, for lack of a better word, “blame” someone or something for our overeating?

Honestly, I still don’t really know. After all, I’m not a counselor or a nutritionist. All I know is that I am a Bible reader, soooooo I’m just gonna see what the Word has to say about it.

And there is this one instance that I can recall of when Jesus heals someone and the past is discussed. Jesus and his disciples are walking around and they see a man who had been blind since birth. The disciples want to know who is to blame for the man’s blindness (because it was pretty much believed that someone’s sin caused their illness), and Jesus replies:

“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.” John 9:3

So, I’m not sure if I should “blame” my parents, the girls that were mean to me in elementary school, the media, Satan, etc. or if I should let it go. But I do know that either way, I want for it to enable people to see the power of God in me.

Day Fifty: Edible Inedibles

It’s funny how my life has affected the way that I view food. As I made myself a potato lunch the other day, I found myself saying, “Well, I’m adding in this butter because otherwise the potatoes are inedible.” And then immediately after, “I need to add in this cheese and sour cream to make these potatoes edible.”

And now I think… Really? Were the potatoes really inedible??? And I sort of realized how my preconceived notion of food is… wrong. Those potatoes would have been edible had they been butterless. had they been sour creamless. had they been cheeseless.

But I had my brain set to believe that simply because something doesn’t taste decadent or indulgent then it must not be edible. Haha- it sounds ridiculous now that I’m away from the situation, but I think this is part of another stronghold that has needed to be shattered in my mind.

It’s like I’ve let my tastebuds give some kind of lesser value to “raw food” or “pure food”. My mind/tastebuds expect to get spicy food, salty food, buttery food, seasoned food, savory food, sugary food, etc. When they don’t… then it is literally like the food isn’t “worthy”. But food is about sustenance. Not about pleasure. I mean, it does taste good, but going to it for a pleasurable “experience” is not the point of food. That’s not the reason that food is there.

And although God desires for us to get pleasure out of life, it is not what we are to live for. In Ephesians, Paul is writing about the Gentiles and he’s telling us to not be like them (and, by the way, verse 19 talks about sexual obsession, but I changed it to an obsession with food since that is the “lust” that I am dealing with). And here is Paul’s “challenge” to them… to us… to me:

And so I insist (and God backs me up on this) that there be no going along with the crowd… that empty-headed, mindless crowd. They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in an obsession with food, addicted to every sort of decadence.

But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything (and I do mean everything) connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life (a God-fashioned life) a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your actions as God accurately reproduces his character in you. Ephesians 4:17-24

Honestly… I looked at this verse because in the NLT version it has the word “pleasure” in it and so when I did a word search for that it came up. But then I switched it over to the Message cause sometimes that version tends to really convict me since it sounds so… brutally honest! And it just worked on me and worked on me. I immediately identified with those Gentiles that had lost touch with God AND reality! I mean… I ate an entire bowl of cookie dough… that’s losing touch with reality!

And then, I really grabbed onto the verse that I have underlined because I’m working to get rid of my old way of life… all that addiction has GOT TO GO! It is rotten. I want to get rid of it! I am getting rid of it!

And then, that last part in bold. DANG. That is exactly what I am seeing and hope to continue seeing! That I’m experiencing an entirely NEW way of life… a life that God has designed… and life that is totally new FROM THE INSIDE! And it is working on my actions (my previous overeating habits) so that I am like Him… so that I have Him and His Character inside me!

Whoo hoo! That just gets me all sorts of pumped up!!! So, leaving my potatoes “plain” next time won’t be about edible and inedible. It will be about God giving me a new way of life… a life where he is reforming my character into His character! Talk about some goodness packed potatoes! Haha!

 

Day Thirty-Six: Mixed Veggies Mindset

I think that I have realized over the past week or so that I need to sorta “revisit the vision” cause lately I have been following the covenant but my heart has not been in it. Since I really want this to be a change of the heart, soul, and mind… then I need to pretty frequently evaluate my motivation, my heart, my thinking, my reasons, etc.

Like I said, I have been sticking to the “letter of the Law” of the covenant, but not necessarily the spirit of it as well. I was still staying within my parameters as far as what I could eat, but I wasn’t trying to eat well. I was being a lazy eater and trying to sorta stay in the covenant without really having to work at it.

For example, technically a peanut butter and honey sandwich is okay for me to have in the covenant. But not necessarily beneficial. Beneficial would be for me to attempt to go “beyond the Law” if that makes sense. Like, sure I can have the peanut butter and honey sandwich, but it would be better for me if I ate the apple instead, or mixed veggies (like I had today for lunch), or a baked potato. That way I’m not necessarily trying to just stick to the Law (like one tries to “stick” to a diet) but I am trying to please God by going beyond just what the Law asks me to do.

And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is not something that I would think about on a diet. I would totally be focused on how to follow the diet in the most indulgent way possible. (Like, if I get 2,000 calories a day then how many brownies can I eat and stay in that range?) But since this is about so much more than just a diet, then I can get excited about not having that peanut butter and honey sandwich (which is actually one of my favorite things) but excited in having a bowl of mixed veggies (which was surprisingly good… although I do wish they would leave out the peas. Ick. Not sure why God even bothered with those things).

All of these efforts are in hopes… no, in faith… of being free from food. I was teetering on my mind falling right back into the same slavery as before even though I was still following the covenant. I would have just made sandwich bread, tortillas, chips, etc my new “chocolate”.

Now I’m going to go out of order on these verses but for a reason:

If you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace. Galatians 5:4

That was me… yesterday. A slave to the Law. Being driven by the Law. Trying to do right by keeping the Law. But today…

Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. Galatians 5:1

Today I have once again been set free. My mindset today is how can I please God with what I eat? So even though that PB&H sandwich would not make Him mad… it might not make him pleased like the bowl of mixed veggies.

Wow. Who knew that mixed veggies could symbolize so much? Haha!

 

Day Thirty-Five: Chocolate Celebration Day (aka: Valentine’s Day)

Sooooooooo I kinda dropped off on my blogging for a few days there! Sorry to anyone that is reading these! Thirty days of blogging consistently was actually a pretty big accomplishment for me! I’ll try to catch up on those posts soon.

And actually, I was kinda not “feelin” the excitement of the whole covenant thing for those few days, so I was probably not as motivated to post. Which is weird because I had some great “weight” moments… like on Sunday, I fit into a skirt that I haven’t worn in five years! My “skinny” jeans have officially become baggy. My family all ate these glorious looking steaks on Saturday night (the same day that we had a big breakfast with bacon and pigs in a blanket)… and it really wasn’t difficult at all to not eat that stuff.

Maybe it’s a good thing though… the habits that I’m making now are starting to solidify and I didn’t really think about being on the covenant. Heck, even today (which some people might call Valentine’s Day, but to a dieter, it is really Chocolate Celebration Day, haha!) when I went to the store only to be confronted with a smorgasbord of chocolate and sugar delicacies, I was in no way tempted or even bummed out that I will “miss out” on all of that. Of course, it certainly gets my husband off the hook… he doesn’t have to run into a store and frantically try to find me a chocolate heart!

Maybe I made too big of a deal of chocolate in my mind cause my life has been completely fine without it! Annnnnnnnnd, I think this is why:

We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness. Titus 2:11-14

There are just so many great things in these verses! And it is soooooo accurate.

God,
It feels so good today to be freed from that indulgent life. I have so longed, and still long, for my life to be God-filled and God-honoring. And the best part… this new life you have given me IS now! What a breath of freshness in my soul. Thank you… thank you for freeing me from my old dark, rebellious life… continue to push me toward this good, pure life. It is sooooooo much better. I want to be a person you can be proud of. I want to be energetic in my goodness. Change me, mold me. Thank you, God, for my new life. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Amen