Day 159: Hide And Seek

Yesterday I wrote about how I’m learning to “treat” myself in ways that are not food related. And at the top of the post I had this picture…

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Well, I want to address a bit more of the whole story behind that picture.

Don’t get too excited, it’s nothing super fantabulous, but it was one of those moments that I realized after-the-fact that I have had a whole “mind renewal” that is essentially complete and I didn’t even realize it…

sneak eating.

Ya see, once upon a time, any time that my husband would leave the house… and by any time I literally mean every time he would leave the house… I would take that opportunity to sneak eat something that I would be embarrassed to eat in front of him. A bowl of cookie dough, or I’d make some chocolate icing (this was one of my favorites because there was no evidence… make the icing, put away the ingredients, eat the icing straight from the bowl, wash the bowl, do a bit of self-loathing and he’d never the the wiser), finish off the bag of Twix I got for my son’s lunch bags, and well, you get the picture.

But yesterday, I didn’t even think about eating something while he was gone. I wasn’t tempted by anything. That whole “What can I have while he’s gone?” question never entered my mind even a bit. And ya know what I did?

I took my toddler on a walk. A lonnnnnnnng walk. And I found those clouds in the pic. And I felt the sweet breeze (that felt a lot like an ocean breeze for some reason). And I raced my boy down a hill. And I relished in a big glass of water when I got home.

And it was great. There was no guilt whatsoever. Mind you, I was more worn out than my toddler I think, but it was that good kind of “satisfied” worn out. Anyway, when I was writing that post yesterday about treating myself in ways other than food, the realization that I hadn’t thought about sneak eating hit me.

Because all along, I may have been hiding those eating “sessions” from my husband, but I was never hiding them from God. I knew that He could see what I was doing, but I think I just smushed the guilt far down in my soul… haha, thinking that it wouldn’t matter then.

But God adores me, and He still tracked me down and found me.

I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. Psalm 139:7-11

And those moments were dark. dark. dark. but I could not hide from Him (thank goodness). So God, no matter how far away I try to go, please allow your hand to guide me there and your strength to support me. I love you.

Day 158: Sweet Treats

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Summer seems to be all about… life. When you even just look through the Target ads (which I do… I mean, come on, I have two boys… shopping is not something that I do… ever. So, looking through the Target ads is like my form of “window shopping”… and I can do it in my PJs), you can see that everything is happy and carefree and full of smiles and toys and… life!

And previously for me (and by previously I mean, like… my whole life), summer has been about ice cream, and brownies, and snow cones, and Oreos, and ice cream, and hot dogs, and milkshakes, and chips with dip, and ice cream, and ice cream.

Yeah, so apparently, I like ice cream.

But not this summer… but it’s all good. Cause this summer is going to be about REAL LIFE.

Instead of taking a moment to relax with a bowl of ice cream (and don’t forget the Hershey’s syrup on top), I’m going to take my book and a vat of OFF to keep the buggies away and I will sit in my patio chairs and enjoy real. peace. and real. life.

Instead of a snow cone, I might just take a bubble bath.

No chips and dip for me… I prefer to take a dip in the pool (and yes, that “cool dip” will be in my kid’s pool because that’s what we have, but honestly, cool water feels good whether it’s five feet deep or 1/2 foot deep).

I’ll save the milkshake for another year, and instead go for a walk (which is what I’m doing in that pic at the top)!

And the pièce de résistance, instead of a bag of Oreos, I will take a nap. An afternoon nap. Ahhhhh, the very word makes me get those relaxation goose bumps.

Because it’s not about the food this summer… and I don’t need food to relax, in fact, it’s usually MORE work to eat. Think about it… a bowl of ice cream must be prepared: scoop the ice cream (and dang, if the ice cream is super frozen then that is a Herculean effort sometimes!), chop up some peanuts, smother it in Hershey’s syrup, probably melt some peanut butter to drizzle on there too.

Pffffffff, no WONDER I want to relax when eating ice cream… I’m worn out from all the prep! Haha!

But back to my point, which I have kind of talked about before, but food really shouldn’t be my portal to relaxation (or fun, or comfort, or distraction, etc)… it’s like my husband says, “We eat to live. We don’t live to eat.” (By the way, he watches about three food documentaries a week, so he might have stolen that from someone.)

But I like that mentality.

Because if I want to “treat” myself to some relaxation, then I want to treat the INNER me… not the OUTER me. not my stomach. not my tastebuds. I want my SOUL to feel relaxed. to feel blessed. to feel treated.

So, those things are still treats, but they are sweet in an entirely different kind of way!

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10

Day 135: Snapple Out Of It

Last night my husband needed me to run an errand for him after my boys went down for bed. It’s kind of a good thing he asked because if it is just up to me I never want to leave when I put them down… I just want to veg out (haha… that’s never been funny to me before… but “veg” out… like be lazy and eat a lot of vegetables… haha… ha… h… no? Not that funny to everyone else… okay… hehe), but every once in a while it is good for me to get into mainstream society without anyone else. I don’t know why… maybe it just makes me feel a bit like… “me” instead of “mommy/wife/maid” which is what I kind of start to feel like the rest of the time.

So, while I was waiting for him to find the empty box of labels that he needed me to get more of, I started thinking “Ooooo, what special treat can I get for myself while I’m out???” Ya see, before when I would leave by myself at night, it was allllllways the perfect time to sneak eat something that I would never dream of eating in front of my husband: premade cookie dough (yeah, I really had an issue with cookie dough), a chocolate shake from Sonic, a candy bar, ice cream, a box of super chocolate chunk cookies… oh, there was a big ol list of things I would get. Oooooooo… one of my favs was when Walmart used to make their own chocolate peanut butter cups… they were divine. I probably would have turned diabetic lonnnnnng ago had they not stopped making those!

Okay, I digress.

I literally had to take a second and evaluate… I mean, wasn’t getting out on my own the real treat? Did I really need to get a… a something… in order for it to feel special? There was no need to sneak eat anymore… I wasn’t trying to eat anything shameful. What I could eat while out running errands I could certainly eat at home without being embarrassed.

It just reminded me again how so many of these eating habits are totally engrained within me. I wasn’t craving anything. I wasn’t hungry. I wasn’t even thinking about food. But I just haven’t been out by myself enough for the process of retraining to get any practice, so my mind (very quickly, I might add) just went right back to what it was used to.

You must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 1 Peter 1:14

I love the way that verse puts it… I searched for “old ways” and this popped up and was just perfect… cause wanting to get a treat is like “slipping” back into old ways. It’s not a direct, purposeful “fall”… it is a slip. But my favorite part is the sass at the end “you didn’t know any better then.” Although I kind of feel like I did know better before… I didn’t really understand before the true depth of what I was doing to myself and to my soul.

But I did get myself a treat. A Diet Peach Snapple… but not one for last night… one for today (when I was supposed to take my kids to IKEA). My two year old got sick though so it’s just sitting in my fridge. But I’m kind of glad that it is… just a reminder that even a “treat” can wait. It’s just a thing of this world… it’s no biggie to have that tea last night, today, or tomorrow… or never.

And that attitude towards food… well, my friends, that. is. freedom.

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Day 129: Tea Time

My friend Christy and I were talking about why we would eat at night a lot was because it was like after we got our kids down to bed that was “our time” and part of that involved “treating” ourselves. Honestly, I still have to fight the urge at this time. I used eating after the boys were in bed as a “stall” technique. It was the only way that my husband wouldn’t ask me or expect me to fold the laundry or pay the bills or whatever. If I was sitting there eating… whatever… then he couldn’t ask, or at least he didn’t ask.

Now, I turn to iced tea as my “luxury” item in the evenings. I mean, I know that it’s not a luxury item compared to some of the stuff I used to eat, but in a way it is. I mean, iced tea represents relaxation in the south… sittin outside with my feet up drinking a glass of fresh brewed (okay, okay, fresh brewed to a mom of a toddler means that it was fresh brewed today) well, that’s just luxury. decadence. relaxation. comfort.

And it doesn’t involve a single bite of chocolate.

The other night, even though by the time I had finished getting the boys in bed it was dark outside, I decided that I wanted to get myself a glass of tea and sit out on the patio and look up at the big beautiful sky as it slid from dusk into darkness. So, I sat out there and gazed up at Venus and took several deep breaths and “found” myself again… well at least until every gnat in a five mile radius descended upon me. Ha!

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Part of me (that would like to be June Cleaver… well, it’s a very smalllllll part of me) would like to say that I came right on in and got down to work folding the huge basket of laundry that I had to do, but the other part of me (that loves being January Rowe) came in and went. straight. to. sleep. Haha! Well, honestly, I have already learned that it is more difficult to fight off hunger when I am tired, sooooo I just don’t let myself get THAT tired if I can help it (note: if I can help it… I have a four year old that is going through his nightly “I’m scared” phase and a two-year old that is getting in, what I call, his vamp teeth (the sharp pointy vampire looking teeth… so sometimes I can’t keep the exhaustion away… those are “survival” days).

Really… maybe we as a society don’t take enough moments of rest. I am more “me” when I do take time to rest…

Let my soul be at rest again, for the LORD has been good to me. Psalm 116:7

Day 120: Deserving Donuts

I was thinking a bit more on the topic of “deserving” food after my post yesterday. It is something that I can hear myself saying… to myself… deep in my subconscious. I don’t think that my consciousness would really allow me to say it anymore because, well, I have a different look now on… deserving.

Let me look at what I really deserve…

yeah. nothing.

I’m lucky that God chose to allow me into Heaven, but do I deserve it? Nope.

I’m lucky that God gave me a great husband and two wonderful children, but do I deserve them? Nope.

I’m lucky that God placed me in a beautiful, well-constructed home with fresh running clean water, but do I deserve that? Nope.

Because for every “great” thing I have done, there have been just as many moments of decrepitness in my heart. For every kindness I have shown, I have felt selfish and wronged. For every gentle moment I spend, there as has been rage and envy and jealousy.

So, for every night I have spent up with Saxon that I thought might should have “earned” me a donut as a “prize”… I have kept my husband awake with my snoring, or my tossing and turning, or my sleep talking. Do I deserve to have anything special then? No.

But so often the brownie batter, or cookie dough, or bag of Oreos, or sour cream chocolate covered donuts, or whatever that I would eat… was more pleasurable because I felt like I was “treating” myself to something that I “deserved”. But God is the one that gives us… everything. And not because we deserve it… but for a whole different purpose…

“Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign LORD: I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name, on which you brought shame while you were scattered among the nations. Ezekiel 36:22

If God chooses to bless me… it’s not because of ME… it’s because of Him. Which is really kind of cool… that means that it is not about what I do or don’t do… a blessing from Him is to protect his holy name. I actually kind of like that better… takes the pressure off of me!

So, really, whenever I do something I think is “deserving”… then I should remember this about when I will receive what I deserve for the “good” I have done…

For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body. 2 Corinthians 5:10

And really, if I have to choose between receiving a reward now in the form of a donut or in the form of an eternal blessing from GOD ALMIGHTY? Well, then, I’ll just have to pass on those donuts for today.

Day 103: Table For Two

Last night I had another cool “success” moment. My husband has been out of town this weekend and one of the ways that I “treat” myself when he leaves is not having to cook! So I get myself one of those Bertolli or P.F. Chang’s frozen meals where you dump them in a skillet and they are ready in like ten minutes and they taste uh.maz.ing. Well, they say on the package “meal for two” but every time I have gotten one in the past, I eat the whole thing.

Tonight though, I served myself half of it. Wowzers- it was gooood! And then when I finished my bowl I was like, “Whew, I’m full!” And then it sorta hit me… wow. I’m full. Again. And again, I’m not eating.

Now this might be kind of funny to someone who doesn’t really know my entire journey, but for a habitual overeater… having two back to back experiences of eating exactly how much she should eat… well, it’s pretty significant!

And… I just want to take a moment to praise God for that. On so many levels.

First of all, that his renewal of my mind has… worked. I mean, it’s not that I doubted it. Heck, obviously I had to believe that this would work… I signed on for this thing for a full year!!! But I think it’s even sweeter when you have faith that God will do something… and then He does! Gives a whole new level of awesomeness to:

Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:11

But also, I praise God for this place I live in. Sure, the American government is a little jacked up. Sure, there is sin everywhere and temptation and corruption.

But. I have never gone hungry because I could not get food. I have never had to sleep outside because I had no place to stay. I have never gone thirsty because the water had run dry.

This land… is amazing. And last night, I ate… and I was satisfied. And so today, I praise God for the good land He has given me.

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Deuteronomy 8:10