With 2017 comes a renewed sense of hope and a journey to better health. For several years now I’ve been doing more wellness things and have seen a great change in myself and my life. As I begin the new year I realize that the journey has really just begun. I didn’t get unhealthy overnight and I won’t get healthy overnight. So, as my journey begins (or continues), I’m more hopeful than ever that it will bring lasting changes so I can live out the next 30-40+ years of my life healthy and whole!
I love food. I love to eat. I eat when I’m happy, sad, angry, frustrated, anxious… the list goes on! Last year I read through a book that was very powerful and helped me begin to look at food differently. The book is called Thin Within – A Grace-Oriented Approach to Lasting Weight Loss by Judy and Arthur Halliday. It is a grace-based approach to food and weight management. It does not involve diets or pills or quick fixes. It’s meant to change me from the inside out. Over the years I’ve lost weight and then found it again! Obviously I did not get to the root of the issue as to why I eat. I have often prayed and asked God for help. This is a book full of tools and God’s Word to help me on my journey.
I mentioned above that I’ve already read this book. Yep, it was great and I was looking at things differently… until one day. I can’t even pinpoint that moment in time when I threw it all out the window. I think it happened gradually over time. So, as the new year begins, I’m committing to walk this journey again and would like to share it along the way with you! Perhaps you have food issues… or maybe you don’t. It’s still solid biblical ideas that help us to put food in it’s correct place.
As I read Chapter 1 this morning, here are the nuggets of truth that I came away with that are very encouraging to me at the start of my journey…
- You will find yourself drawn closer to God, the lover of your soul and the designer of your body, the one who purchased your liberty. He longs for you to see His handiwork displayed in a most miraculous masterpiece – YOU.
(Wow! I’m His most miraculous masterpiece… and so are you!)
- God is crazy about us! God loves us exactly the way we are!
- God is able and willing to lead us to freedom from food and to the abundant life!
- I want to “release” weight… not lose it. When you lose something you are always hoping to get it back! (I don’t want it back!)
- I am ready for my heart to be set free!
There are some simple keys to conscious eating which include only eating when my body (not my heart) is truly hungry and stopping when I am satisfied… not full but satisfied. That is NOT the way I was raised and have lived most of my 53 years! Next is to eat in a calm environment and reduce distractions… like social media and TV. Eat when sitting down! Eat when my body and mind are relaxed… invite the Lord into the meal. Eat and drink things I enjoy… no guilt while listening to what my body craves. Pay attention to what I’m eating… eat slowly, actually enjoying the taste of the food I’m eating, and STOP before my body is FULL.
Sadly, these are counterintuitive to the way I was raised. We ate three times a day (and many snacks in between) whether we needed it our not. We ate at specific times each day. We ate everything on our plate because there were starving children in Ethiopia. As a teenager dealing with my parent’s divorce, I ate to heal a broken heart and never even paid attention to any sort of hunger. I don’t think I was ever actually hungry. I lived to eat instead of eating to live. I also have strange ideas about what a meal must include. I grew up in a large family and learned to eat quickly in order to get seconds. As a teacher, I also eat quickly to get on with the business of teaching! I have always eaten beyond the meal… food sitting on the table as we visit, putting it away and even as I prepped the meal. I’ve consumed WAY more food than my body has or ever will need!
I know that these keys to conscious eating are powerful and work… when I use them and make them a part of my day. So, here’s to round 2 of this grace-based way of thinking about food! I’m worth it and have a very grace-filled Papa on my side who has designed this plan for my benefit, to give me a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
It’s a new day and the sun is shinning!
And my windows are very dirty!