I’ve noticed that, as I’m getting close to zero ~ truly hungry, but not starving ~ anxiety rises up in me. If I’m busy and my mind is occupied, anxiety is less likely to happen, but it often does.
I obviously need the Lord to renew my heart and mind regarding zero. So I thought I’d start by defining anxious.
The word anxious has two different, almost opposite meanings, and I feel both aspects of the word as I approach zero…
One kind of anxious is what you feel when you’re looking forward to something and you have tingly butterflies in your tummy. Like when you think of meeting a friend for coffee, or going to get a pedicure, or an upcoming vacation to a fun destination. Eating my next meal may not be quite as exciting as vacation or a pedi, but my resident butterflies nonetheless say otherwise.
Linked to the fun kind of anxiety is the other kind of anxiety – where you feel nervous with a sickish sense of dread. Like…
• a test coming up that you haven’t studied for, or…
• stopped-up traffic on the freeway when you’re trying to get to the airport, or…
• someone told you they want to talk to you, but didn’t tell you why, and you have a hunch it’s going to be hard.
Because of that dreadish kind of anxiety, just getting down to zero is a huge victory for me!
In my “pre-Thin-Within” days, I seldom felt hungry! Seriously! I often went months without ever feeling a single hunger pang! If I ever did, it was purely accidental; never planned for, and certainly not something I desired or sought!
So I’m thankful that I’ve become much more acquainted and comfortable – in an uncomfortable way – with zero! It’s not quite my “friend,” but we’re definitely more than “mere acquaintances.”
Instead of rushing to fill my tummy once I hit zero – and thus stuff that anxiety with food – I have asked the Lord to give me a fresh view of zero, to help me renew my mind about it.
I want to deal a death blow to the dreadish anxiety, but doing so is a process. And, thanks to Thin Within, I have a wonderful array of tools to help me deal with these anxieties!
I’m “attacking” it from four different angles, which I think of as the four sides of a boxing ring. I actually hate how violent boxing is! Why would any sane person would put themselves inside a ring where the sole intent of their opponent is to punch them repeatedly and win over them by knocking them out! But that is exactly what I want to do to my unruly appetite! Deal its unruliness some death blows and gain victory over it!
The four “punches” I’m utilizing are to: 1) Renew my Mind about Anxiety, 2) Make Truth Cards (or a Truth List) about Zero, 3) Gain Wisdom Regarding Eating (Once I’m at Zero), and 4) A Prayer as I Approach Zero.
Let’s take them one by one…
1. RENEW MY MIND ABOUT ANXIETY
I did a word study on anxiety using a study tool I share in “Two Forms for Studying Scripture” called the “Word Alive Study.” Here’s the one I did on the do-on-your-computer version. (There’s also a print-and-write-in version for those who prefer handwriting.) I copied the definition from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary and pasted it into a box on this form!
(Click on this form to see it more clearly in a new window; click your back arrow to return here.)
2. MAKE TRUTH CARDS (AND/OR A TRUTH LIST) ABOUT “ZERO”
To get a fresh view of zero, I created several Truth Cards about it and made a Truth List using the same truths. So the two are the same in content; one is just in card form, with one truth per card and a pretty picture or page, and the Truth List is just a list of the same truths. This can be hand-written on a piece of paper, or typed and printed out, in a list on your phone or computer. Or you could make them into a small booklet.
Here are several truths relating to “zero”:
When I reach my zero, it is not an excuse to chow down, but to simply replenish my body’s fuel.
I need to be more thoughtful about my zero, and “spend” it wisely and with self control.
Zero is not to be feared; it is God’s design for my body – as is self control.
“The Lord Himself is my inheritance, my prize, He is my food and drink, my highest joy.” (Psalms 16:5)
“Nothing tastes as good as obedience feels.” ~Heidi Bylsma
“When I eat at zero, food tastes so much better, I am free from bondage to food, and I feel peaceful and content.” ~Christina Motley
And here are several of the above truths made up into Truth Cards. These first four are photo/graphic truth cards I made in Canva(.com):
I also make many on my phone using Word Swag, an awesome free app. Here are three using that:
I keep all my digital Truth Cards in an album on my phone, and have printed some out and added to a pack of Truth Cards.
These last two are actual physical cards in a spiral card pack that I made like small scrapbook pages, using stickers, pretty papers, and buttons:
3. GAIN WISDOM REGARDING EATING (ONCE I’M AT ZERO)
EATING PARAMETERS & ENVIRONMENT
The Keys to Conscious Eating are the foundation of becoming wise in how we eat. These are presented and discussed in:
- Keys to Conscious Eating (blogpost)
However, even though the concepts are simple, for those of us with disordered eating and food addiction, it’s not so simple. This is why there are several more resources to help you dig down and deal with the reasons behind our disordered eating. (It’s not just a simple matter of loving food!) These resources each have different but dove-tailing messages that will greatly help you gain freedom from food addiction:
- Hunger Within (book)
- Rebuilding God’s Temple (workbook)
- Thin Within (book)
WHAT TO EAT
There are no food rules in Thin Within! No “taboo” foods, omitting of entire food groups, nor focusing on just a few certain foods… just common sense, really. And, while there are some basics that don’t vary much, specifics vary from person to person.
Here are a few words from Judy Halliday in Hunger Within, page 112:
There are no forbidden foods. Nevertheless, as we follow the leading of the Spirit, we will find ourselves making wiser, healthier, God-honoring choices. While we have the freedom to choose what we will eat or drink, we know not every food or beverage is beneficial for us, nor do we want to be enslaved by anything. When we are guided by the grace-giving keys to conscious eating, we recognize that certain foods can be detrimental to our health, and are best enjoyed in moderation or avoided. We also develop discernment about what we call “trigger” foods and beverages.
4. A PRAYER AS I APPROACH ZERO
Finally, in my prayer, I want to cover what I’m feeling as I approach zero: the good anxiety of looking forward to eating, the harmful anxiety of fearing that I will throw off all restraint and just binge.
Lord, I’m getting close to zero, and I need You to help me process this anxiety that I’m feeling, and not just rush to squelch it with food. I’m excited to eat, but I don’t want to use it as an opportunity to indulge my flesh.
I don’t want to have my heart be so connected to eating that I look forward to eating more than is appropriate. So help me utilize the Keys to Conscious Eating and really take time to enjoy what You have provided for me.
I’m also feeling some fear that I will lose self-control and just devour everything in sight, so would You live Your life through and in me so that, “by the mighty power of the Spirit of the Lord at work within me,” I can eat as You originally designed me to eat? I want to learn how to “eat to live instead of living to eat”!
We do not earn grace or our salvation. Salvation is “the free gift of God to those who believe in Christ Jesus” and grace is “unmerited, unearned favor.” Which means we don’t have to DO a single thing to get them. Both are entirely free!
So I think of doing “all the above” work not as a way to earn my healing and victory, but simply as applying all that He has given me to “work out [my] salvation,” making it my own, especially as it relates to this very difficult area of my life. This helps me get all the hindrances out of the way that keep me from receiving all God has offered me! And you, as well!
Please feel free to share any prayers YOU pray as you approach zero, as well as any insights you have gained in this arena that would bless and encourage your fellow journeyers!
Y0u nailed exactly what I feel as I approach zero. I love your thoughtful, well laid out plan in dealing with this! Thank you for your tips, your truth card examples, the tip on Word Swag…absolutely everything!!!! Blessings to you…