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 172: I Don’t

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A while back on Day 148, I mentioned that I was going to a wedding and well, I went!

Not that it’s particularly related to this post, but it was so not as much of a big deal (in regards to my weight) as I thought it would be… there were some good friends there, some people that I knew but never got a chance to talk to, and a few people that I might have purposefully avoided… what can I say? I’m still harboring a bit of a low-self-confidence-teenage-girl deep in my soul. But, it was entirely irrelevant whether I was wearing a size 16 or a size 8 (although, for the record, I was wearing none of those things… I was wearing a medium! ha!) and all that really mattered was getting to catch up with a good, good friend that I haven’t seen since graduation. And her life story was far more captivating than my dress size!

Okay, but back to the topic at hand… which does have to do with the wedding though (more precisely, the reception), so stick with me.

The wedding wasn’t until 3:00 and my husband, knowing that it would be just me wanting to talk to old high school friends, opted out of going, so he was going to stay home with the boys. Well, I was ready to go by 1:30 and I decided to duck out before the boys woke up so we wouldn’t have to go through the whole rigamarole of me leaving and their tears and waving to me and watching me drive away.

And after I finished my one need-to-do errand, I realized that I had forgotten to eat lunch and… I still had an hour until the wedding. Afraid that they might not have something that I could eat at the wedding and being at the point where I was getting hunnnnnngary, I started heading toward Petra (this aweeeeeeeesome fresh Mexican food bistro in McKinney).

I got their fish tacos (yum.may.) with charro beans and tortilla soup… it was all uhmazing (there’s a pic of it at the top)! And I sat out on the patio all by myself (cause everyone else likes this stuff called air conditioning… weird, I know) and faced out toward the green belt behind the restaurant and listened to the music that mimics that I would hear on the beaches of Mexico.

I ate just enough until I was full… okay, maybe a smidge past full but not feeling gross or anything, and then I went on to the wedding. The wedding was beau.ti.ful. and so special and I was just so… happy the whole time. It made me both relive the awesomeness of my own wedding and also made me want to renew my vows just so that I can have another wedding cause really, although they are a lot of work, they are also a lot of fun… and there’s the whole white dress thing. Loved her wedding dress.

Okay, okay… the point.

Well, at the reception, there was a whole lot more than just cake and punch… they had a brilliant spread! Sandwiches, fruit, cheese, crackers, etc. etc. etc. And my friends all got up from their table to go get some grub. I wasn’t hungry, but I also really wanted to hang out with them… so I went through the line with them… and didn’t get a thing.

And I didn’t spontaneously combust because I didn’t get food.

And no one pointed and laughed at me.

And I sat back down with my friends while they snacked.

And it was all good.

And I was reminded once again of

a) how much food is intertwined with our lives… to a lot of people wedding = reception = good food and cake
b) how I don’t have to eat when I’m not hungry
c) how far God has brought me
d) how far God still can bring me!

So, although I’m so extremely pleased that my dear friend said “I Do”… I’m just as pleased that I said “I Don’t… want anything to eat.”

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