Hubby and I bought a blood pressure monitor. I had been having a lot of dizzy spells, so thought it prudent to start monitoring my blood pressure. Hubs’ blood pressure has been going up recently…another reason for a BP monitor…to see what is going on with him.
Anyhow, since I started monitoring my BP, I have been floored at the consistency of the lower readings.
Just now after resting a few minutes after exercise, I took my BP and it was 104 over 62 with 73 pulse…after exercise, I was a bit surprised.
Often, my BP is below 110 (systolic) and 70 (diastolic).
I have been on medicines for my blood pressure, so I hope that when I go for my next physical, the meds might be reduced significantly.
Last night I had a chance to see again that while there are times when Oreos may scream at me loudly, by the same token and MORE of note is how far He has brought me with regarind food as an idol to bow down to and worship. Last night we ate at what is probably my favorite *local* (relatively speaking…when you are out in the country, nothing is local) Mexican restaurant.
I ordered a full meal knowing I would take much of it home. I had no idea how much. The salsa was exceptional…but I had just a few chips loaded with salsa…how weird is that? One way that the Lord has definitely worked deliverance is that I don’t mindlessly eat chips and salsa with my meals out like I used to. I absolutely LOVED and relished the portion I *did* have, but I didn’t feel deprived at stopping.
When my two cheese enchildadas came with the beans and rice, I knew it wouldn’t take much to satisfy me. After 1/2 way through the first enchilada, with about 1/3rd of the beans and rice consumed, I was good. I felt GOOD. I stopped and didn’t mess with it even though the waitress didn’t bring the to go container for a while.
THIS IS DELIVERANCE! 🙂 More so, the joy that I had doing this…the fact that I didn’t feel deprived…that is all evidence of God at work. In fact, I rejoiced that I would have enough food for two more meals (or maybe 3) at home from the leftovers!
Thank you, Lord, for caring about even these small things….they really are indicative of HUGE changes in my life. THANK YOU!
A few nights ago, I wanted two Oreos. I mean, I wanted two Oreos…BADLY. In fact, I could toy around with “Am I hungry?” and justify saying…”Well, sure.” Or I could justify eating the Oreos by drawing on my vast dieting knowledge “I haven’t had many calories today , so surely the two Oreos won’t make a difference in my weight…”
I had forgotten that THIS IS NOT ABOUT WEIGHT! This is about my heart. It is about WHO WILL I HEED?
Do I really want to obey the call of the Oreos over the call of God?
Saying it like that really makes it sound as absolutely ridiculous as it is! But, SHOOT, those Oreos sure sounded GOOD!
I got the Oreos, I got a mug for milk. Then it hit me…again…”Child…will you choose something I have not given you the freedom to enjoy with my blessing?”
OUCH. I knew without a doubt I didn’t have the freedom to eat those Oreos.
I did something weird. I didn’t debate. I didn’t think about it or rationalize.
Weird for me…
I put the Oreos back and went and brushed my teeth and went to bed.
It occurred to me that this is a HUGE difference. When I hear his voice so clearly as I did in that moment, I didn’t argue with him. Hmm…I think there is a key there. I just did it.
The best thing is I know that the cookies aren’t the issue. It is listening for and heeding God’s voice. It is choosing to practice having a soft heart. I am still pretty amazed that I did that. I hadn’t felt so drawn to something in a while and so clearly heard his voice telling me I was making a choice to hearken the voice of the Oreos or hearken to HIS voice.
I wish it would be that clear all the time.
I think the more I respond to Him willingly…the more I…*submit* to Him, the more likely I am to do so again. I trust that the work He is doing in me will continue (Philippians 1:6).
Thank you, Lord, for helping me to choose you over…erm…gulp…sigh…two Oreos. Sounds so crazy… :-/
The question about constantly thinking about food and struggling with obsessing about 0 and 5 has come up on a Yahoo group I am a part of.
If you identify with anything you read here, please don’t beat yourself up over it. God doesn’t want us to beat ourselves over our own heads. He wants us to confess and repent. Observe and correct. We agree with God and choose to change. Each moment matters. Each moment offers a choice to agree with God or turn our backs on His voice. We can observe and correct and press on, period. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process. 🙂
God offers us freedom. God offers us His peace. He is our authority and when we submit to his authority, we find peace…amazing peace.
I have found that, for me, obsessing about food, 0, 5, the scale…anything…often has its roots in one or two (or both) things:
1. Making hunger and satisfaction more difficult than it actually needs to be.
2. Dieting mentality that I cling to.
Let me explain…
What I have found for me is this: Most of the time, if I am honest, hunger and satisfaction are much simpler than I make it.
The difficulty comes with….I don’t *like* the answer. What do I mean by that? Well, that it simply doesn’t take that much food for me to manage in this life (and I live a VERY active life and have little extra weight left now). I *want* more food. So I tend to fudge that “Am I at a 0? Gosh, I want to be at 0. Maybe I can really convince myself I *am* at a 0…I must be at a 0 because I want food and I haven’t eaten in 2 hours…sure, I am at a 0…erm…aren’t I? Besides, I exercised today! Yep, I am at a 0!”
(Do you hear the obsession in this line of thinking?)
I hope it is obvious that this is also deception. Catering to these thoughts not only leads me to believing lies, but it also feeds the obsession (thinking about food all the time or wondering if I am at a 0 or 5 all the time).
One of the things God has shown me is if I want this leg of my journey to be different than all the other times I have “dieted” or even “done Thin Within,” if I want it to “stick for life,” I have to be willing to admit truth. So God’s truth in this area for me that He has shown me is…I seem to WANT figuring this out to be difficult because I don’t want to let loose of the food. If it is simple, then I have no “excuse” for not letting go of more food!
OUCH! (Remember, if you can identify, don’t beat yourself up, but just observe and correct!) (NO, I am NOT talking about being anorexic!! We eat WHENEVER we are hungry!!!)
It is easy to lie to myself about a 5, too… “Am I already satisfied? Gosh, that can’t be! I have only had 6 bites! Surely, I can’t be at a 5 already. No way…I can’t be…right? No, a few more bites before I stop…but surely that won’t put me past a 5! Oh, NO! Am I *past* a 5? Surely not!”
More obsession…see what I mean? 😮
Each time I engage in this kind of thinking, I muddy the clarity of understanding my body, again shutting off the hunger/satisfied mechanism that God wants to use to guide me on this journey FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. It prolongs everything! This isn’t a diet! The sooner I am honest and listen to my body as it teaches me about my personal hunger and satisfaction and the feelings associated with each physically, the sooner I can be on about living the rest of my life this way!!! There IS freedom there!!!
Further, when I deceive myself about 0 or 5, this feeds the obsessions with food and 0 and 5 and other stuff. It doesn’t take long before I hop on and off the scale obsessively. When I fudge about 0 and 5, I want to get on the scale to prove that I have gotten away with eating that way when inside I KNOW that I didn’t really wait for 0 and I know I didn’t stop when I could have. GOD WILL TELL ME the truth! All I have to do is ask ask ask ask ask and respond to his voice.
That is the first thing that leads to obsessive thoughts for me.
The second point is the dieting mentality that I might struggle with from my past or struggle with now because I keep clinging to it intentionally.
For me, when I was thinking about food all the time, it had a lot to do with my associations with dieting. I came out of years of dieting, having managed the food. I *had* to think about it all the time when I was dieting. I had to plan, count, calculate! I counted this or that, graphed it, charted it, counted percentages and proportions and tried to match them at each meal. It is hard to shake that. But, after a while, when I stopped trying to control what and how much I ate according to what makes “dieting sense” and just trusted that God would use my body and the voice of the Holy Spirit to guide me, the obsession went away! I can honestly say I do not think of food now unless I am hungry (and sometimes not even then, depending on what I am doing at the time). I used to, so this is a huge work of God in my life. Before, I couldn’t STOP thinking about it. That came with dieting. Thin Within is not a diet. The sooner we make the break from any and all things that make it feel that way, the sooner the obsession will dissipate! Honest! 🙂
God promises that we WILL walk free of all of it. We WILL. He promises that we will be FREE from captivity. It is a FACT. It isn’t a MAYBE!
Will we believe him?
Trying to control everything ourselves…in fact trying to control ANYthing ourselves is believing a lie. Romans 6: 21-22 says this: “What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” Why would I want to cling to the things of the past that led my heart astray? I don’t have a clue why. God doesn’t need them to set me free!
I have been SO ashamed when I have gained weight back. Can anyone else identify? What benefit did I really ever reap from dieting? I lost weight, but it always found me again! For me, after 110 pounds lost with Weight Watchers and running marathons and going to a gym constantly (and and and), my heart was SO chained to food…THESE are the things that caused my obsession! I believe strongly we have to break totally free from that former way of life that didn’t work for us. It didn’t do anything but lead us further into deception. In fact, I had a season where I could not even exercise at ALL because of the obsessive thoughts I had. God showed me that it was fine. If I don’t exercise, it won’t matter for hunger and fullness. I will still eat when I am hungry and stop when I am not. He would still use that to direct me. SUCH FREEDOM!
I have a choice before me…each of us does…THIS DAY…RIGHT NOW: Will you (will *I*) covenant with God that we will eat what our body needs when it needs it, only eat as much as it needs, and run to him for every other impulse that would draw us to food? Or will I (you) continue to insist on doing it MY way, MY food, with MY body…????
I believe that this is key to being free from obsession.
I am so concerned that we see that much of our obsessive thoughts and struggle to understand 0 or 5 is because we keep piddling around with God about this. (I know that is a harsh way of saying it. If there is truth in this statement, please just observe and correct as God leads.) Hunger is HUNGER! Yes, if I have shut off the signals with years of dieting it may take some time to figure it out, but if I have been at this any length of time at all, I probably *know* in my heart of hearts if I am being honest about this or not. Do I really want to keep lying to myself? It works against me. What benefit is there in this? 🙁
At our support group meeting last night, here is a verse one lady shared: Isaiah 42: 16 (God speaking) “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. “
Look at the things God says HE WILL DO!!! He leads us on a path that bears NOTHING IN COMMON WITH THE WAY OF THE PAST…nothing in common with dieting. He will make light fall on our path. He will make the rough places smooth. Do I believe Him for it?
The obessions WILL leave. We just have to commit to God’s path for this. If we do, we will walk in freedom…inside and out.
I am the biggest rebel known to man…God has done it in me, so I know it can be done in ANYone.
Praying for all of us to walk in the freedom that has already been purchased.
Some have asked me what has made the difference in my return to applying the principles this time with Thin Within compared to all the times before. I found something I wrote November 18th, just a couple of weeks after God coaxed me 🙂 into sharing about Thin Within with an online group of horse women who had never heard of the “non-diet approach.” They had absolutely no experience with waiting for hunger and stopping when satisfied and going to God for everything else. It was bizarre that they “discovered” my connection to TW and more bizarre that I was so heavy and not even *close* to walking with God in this area (and thus in my entire life…everything was out of whack). When they found out I had been involved with it, they were intrigued and asked me to lead them…brother. God has a sense of humor. 🙂
Right away, he showed me something profound…God removed 10 pounds almost over night. That floored me of course. I wrote this:
(Regarding the weight released…) “That is exciting, yes.
“But more exciting to me is what God has been doing in my heart. He has moved a huge mountain in my heart. There is still much work to do, but he is doing it. I had no idea just how connected my attitude was to what I was willing to let go of food wise. I think I had this attitude that I could “punish” God somehow for some things that I have been angry at Him about. I was trying to “make him pay” by eating what I wanted when I wanted. This is true confessions…I know it sounds absolutely ridiculous. I didn’t realize, of course, that this is what I was doing…
“I see it now.”
I have no idea if anyone else can identify, but as I began to work through the forgiveness material…well, I realized while I had kept pretty “up to date records” with regards to people, I hadn’t with God. I was filled with resentment toward *God* about lots of things. This is a truth that is hard for many of us “good Christian women” to admit. Sometimes we feel angry at *God* and feel we *shouldn’t* so rather than admit the truth and process it we keep shoving it aside or call it something else. This is deception. We simply have to be willing to see truth if we are going to conquer overeating and contempt for ourselves and our bodies. Or I believe that anyhow.
Some keys for me have been: 1.) I must be willing to face truth and deal with it…not “sugar coat” it or turn away. Jesus said that knowing he truth is connected to being set free and I have found this is true.
2.) I must PRAISE God…if I don’t want in humility, I will return to my sin…my way, my food, my (so-called) wisdom…so in order to feed a heart that is focused on God as good and to put pride to death, I work consistently (and it is work) on gratitude. Right now, I do this, in part, through a blog where I just type in almost daily things I am grateful for. I tell you, this has transformed this journey for me…it is amazing.
3.) I must hate sin, not just avoid sin. It is easy to minimize eating when my body doesn’t need food as not being sin…”Not compared to ‘really bad’ sins, Lord!” But the truth is, each time I ignore the voice of His Spirit, it is rebellion. It doesn’t matter what it is about. God hates rebellion in any form and when I choose my way instead of His, it is pride again. Pride is at the root of my having gained weight back in the past. It is at the root of the struggles I have had with the material “clicking” in the past…so any way that I can get rid of it is helpful (see #1 and #2 above…all three of these are about pride!).
Anyhow, I don’t know if this helps anyone. It is no magic pill…in fact, this is tough to swallow, but for me, the deep changes that God has brought this time have been very much related to these three things….and I daresay that doing these three things could transform *any* life. Just a guess.
Here is another “Before” picture. I found it yesterday. The horse I am with is Harley. This was taken last summer. Thank you, Lord, that I don’t live in the fears I had when I carried this much extra weight! Thank you that I FEEL so much better inside and out. But for the grace of God…
Ok, on to what this blog entry is supposed to be about.
Yesterday…I don’t know what was up but BOY was I ever struggling. I was hungry a lot, yes, but beyond that…my heart, mind, spirit must have been hungry, too. I felt like I *wanted* to eat…oooooh how I wanted to eat. It was like a demon was on my back or something. Ever since I started this journey (again) in November…I don’t think I have felt the pull of food so powerfully as I did yesterday.
God used this to give me a glimpse of just where I would be apart from HIM and HIS deliverance. I resisted, yes…but wow…ask me why it took me all day to finally call OUT to Him to make it stop!
In the midst of all of it, I felt anger…a lot of it. I know that I feel resentful towards the kids these days. I don’t know if they are being different–more challenging–than usual, or if I am just in a nasty funk. Probably the latter. I feel like my No doesn’t mean NO for one of them…and the other one blows off everything and anything anyone says while nodding and saying “Ok” as if he is engaged in the conversation! I think it sounds like I have a couple of teenagers, doesn’t it? LOL! I guess I do. But I have long vowed we wouldn’t be “typical.” I just don’t think we have to be “typical.” I know we are a bit weird. My kids hold my hands, cuddle me, sit me on their laps or sit on mine…they tell me they love me, that I am the best… I know this stuff isn’t typical. Now I would like it if they obeyed me, thank you very much! LOL!
That all said, I don’t know if the yuck hit the fan in my spirit and that is why yesterday I was thinking of food so much, or what. One of my former behaviors is that when I had a fight with one of my kids, I would eat…as if to say “Neener neener! YOU can’t eat, but **I** can!” I know…stupid, huh? I am thankful that is past…but yesterday I think I felt some of that same old yuck.
Thank you, Lord, that I don’t have any regrets about my eating yesterday, but I sure do have regrets about words and attitudes that I conveyed…
The family went to the tennis courts late after hubby got home. Dinner was put off so we could play before it got too dark. My son got irritated out the wazoo about stuff and that tweaked me and put my shorts in a bunch. :-/ Such a godly humble response! NOT!
Came home and continued preparing the mexican feast which I typically eat within appropriate parameters. God has done such an amazing work.
Hubby was whipping up some fresh salsa and since the kids were hiding out in their room, his typical “taste tester” (our daughter) wasn’t available. I tasted the salsa and it was SOOOOOO good I had more tastes…and then more. I justify no restraint, I suppose, because I literally do not eat a vegetable unless it is in salsa. Knowing that vegetables are good for me (rationalize rationalize…) I kept tasting. I knew that I was rapidly using up my 0-5 eating space in my stomach for chips and salsa and that would normally be fine, but I KNEW I wanted to have some chicken, rice, beans, etc., etc., before my meal was over.
The upshot…I blew it. I think this is a 6…or maybe I would even call it a 7 because I HATE THIS FEELING. I don’t even like a 5, as I have mentioned before.
So observe and correct:
Observation: I got emotional (emotional eating about struggles with Daniel have been a habit of my past)…
Planned Correction next time: Be ready. As soon as a conflict happens with my son, I should hit my knees (sooner would be good) so that I won’t have an arrogant attitude.
Observation: there are more…but I set this down to put Michaela to bed and that was an hour ago…now I am too tired to think…
Lord, forgive me my arrogant, self-righteous attitude. I see that it allowed me to slip into some bad habits. Humble me, Lord .
Today at church was the first time that people asked me “How are you doing it?” (meaning the weight ). I never have a good answer to this question. I want a chance to say something like this: “By eating when I am hungry, stopping when I am not and going to God about all the other things that make me feel like I have to eat!” Typically, before I get the last part out about God, I get interrupted about which foods they feel they shouldn’t eat or they start saying things about not being emotional eaters or whatever. I really want my testimony to focus on the Lord…so I guess I have to try something a bit different like, “Turning to God with everything that draws my heart to food and asking for *his* solution. If I am hungry, I eat. When I am no longer hungry, I stop….” Or something like that. It was nice to have a chance to share with people about how God has been at work, but nuts! I wanted to really be ready with a more adequate answer. I will have to work on this!
Today was a good day to see some serious changes that God has been working in me. Today was the first time in YEARS that I have been in a Black Angus restaurant (steak house). My Mom wanted to pay for lunch for all of us. In the past, I would have plunged myself into the beef…the prime rib (or Filet Mignon or baby back ribs!) and the soup ahead of time…the potato, the bread…and the dessert…ALL my own to eat for ME thank you very much!
This time, as I looked ahead at the meal, I realized that beef is less appealing to me. That seems weird, given I have always been a “steak and potato” girl. I realized that over the past months, I have been eating more chicken—and grilled at that. Even eating half of the barbeque bacon burger hubby and I have grabbed in town each week for our big “hot” date out has been unappealing to me in the past few weeks. Beef just seems so “heavy” or something. This is soooo bizarre!
God has changed my desires. I actually ordered the grilled chicken today. Seems so WEIRD! I could have had Filet Mignon! LOL! Go figure!
I think the whole family was at MAJOR ZERO by the time we got to the restaurant! While waiting, the bread came first and OH MY WORD! I loved it! A tiny piece of that sweet brown goodness slathered with butter…yum. The soup came and I had three spoonfuls of steak soup….uh oh…it was so filling I knew I had to stop if I wanted to enjoy the main course! LOL!
When the chicken and baked potato arrived, I had a couple of bites of the chicken covered in barbeque sauce and about 8-10 bites of potato…While it was REALLY good, it was easy enough to stop, as there was a promise of desert .
We ordered two deserts to be shared amongst the five of us. OOOOOOoooooh….very good….one was the Mile High Mud Pie and one was the Double Decadence Chocolate Fudge Cake or something like that served with chocolate sauce (not that Hershey stuff LOL!) and Dreyer’s vanilla ice cream. WE LOVED IT. I had about 3 bites of both and boy was I good….
I don’t typically eat to a 5. This time, I stopped at 5 (probably more like a 4 to some folks)….I was satisfied…as full as I prefer to get, but thankfully, not miserable! I was SO thrilled that I could walk away from Easter dinner out at a fancy restaurant feeling SO good!!!! THANK YOU LORD for purchasing my freedom!
Got to buy some clothes before we went home, too. I found just what I was looking for…a little dressy (sort of) jean jacket to wear over the dress I had worn for Easter (a bit after the fact, maybe! LOL!) and a sweat jacket for tennis. LOL!
I am loving that my kids have been playing tennis here at the courts for almost an hour now without fighting…how weird is that???? VERY weird! God is doing MIRACLES IN ALL OF US! LOL! I would be out there playing with them except my toe is killing me…I hurt it getting into the back seat today.
All for now. Thank you Lord for your amazing goodness.
I am reading through the book of Isaiah somewhat slowly…This verse really puts my former way of thinking and living in perspective:
You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death, with the grave we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by, it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place.” – Isaiah 28:15 (NIV) === When I was living in license, it was a posture of arrogance. It was as if I assumed that God didn’t care and that I could continue to get away with eating that way and not have it affect me emotionally, physically, or spiritually. It was as if I thought I was immune to an “overwhelming scourge.” Other people around me might have health problems as a result of overeating…but surely I wouldn’t die “before my time.” Hello?
Who is supposed to be my refuge? The Lord! Yet, I hid myself in food as my refuge. When Ii was upset, I would run to the food. This was making a LIE my refuge! Oh, Lord! THANK YOU FOR YOUR GRACIOUS RESCUE!
Who is supposed to be my hiding place? The LORD! Yet, I ran to hide myself in food…in more cookies, more pizza, more enchiladas…I had made FALSEHOOD my hiding place!
Oh God, thank you for your forgiveness and grace! May I never return to the lie as my refuge. May I never again focus on faleshood as my hiding place. Thank you, dear Jesus.