How interesting it is to be plunging myself into this chapter of Get Thin Stay Thin at this time. I feel like the Lord is dialoguing with me so specifically.
NOTE: For those joining me on the “Key #1 – Eat Only When My Body is Hungry” Challenge, I will continue today and I urge you to do so as well. Please continue to note how you *feel* in response to this challenge. Please, please continue to take these deeper feelings to the Lord and to allow Him to process them with you. I think you will see why as I share notes from Chapter 3 of Get Thin Stay Thin.
Grace is freedom that conforms us from within; legalism is bondage that constrains us from without. GTST, p. 58
Legalism says we must shape up by adhering to fixed formulas or a rigid set of laws or codes. This is a deception, however, because no external constraint (legalism) can satisfy our need for love and intimacy, nor can it create a pure heart. GTST, p. 58
why, as though you still belonged to it,
do you submit to its rules:
21“Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?
22These are all destined to perish with use,
because they are based on human commands and teachings.
23Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom,
with their self-imposed worship,
their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body,
but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
No matter how much I may turn to externals (even the Keys to Conscious Eating!), I have a heart issue that is much deeper than my weight, body, and food issues. In fact, as I have attempted this week to “Eat Only When Hungry,” it has been easy to see these surface for me. There has been, on the one hand, this frustrating sense that “WHY IS FOOD SO ALLURING when I am NOT HUNGRY?” and the white-knuckle approach in response to this…and on the other hand, this “I am really something aren’t I? I went the entire day–the entire TWO days–eating only when hungry!”
There is condemnation and this pride…both are aspects to my flesh that the Lord wants to sift–to be rid of. Neither serve in becoming more Christ-like.
I don’t want to turn the Keys to Conscious Eating into a set of laws. I have done that before. God allowed a stomach ulcer to change my focus when I couldn’t land at a 0 or a 5 without a lot of pain. He reminded me:
My sheep know my voice and they respond to me.
This is grace! This is intimacy with God fleshed out in my workaday world! The Keys to Conscious Eating are guidelines, but the final say is with God! He decides if right now I should eat or not. Sometimes he asks me to fast a while in prayer–even when I am hungry! I don’t want to cling to “my right” to eat when I am at “0.” I may miss something he wants to do in me, through me or say to me as I wait on HIM in my need.
Because he is so amazing, he has made my body reliable. As Psalm 139 says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” He never intended food to torment me but established a simple system…hunger–when I should eat…physical satiety–when I should stop eating. Simple! No need to obsess. Just live!
With regard to Ephesians 3:16-19, the authors write:
It is this love, this out pouring of God’s grace, that works the transformation of our innermost being so that we delight in pleasing him–indeed, live to please him. When we love Christ and our desire is to please him in everything, we are released from clinging to rules, regulations, and performance. We experience a profound freedom and at the same time are given power to live out that freedom, for Christ sent the Holy Spirit to enable us to live, not by the letter of the law, but by its spirit, and its spirit is love. GTST, p. 61
for those who are in Christ Jesus,
2because through Christ Jesus
the law of the Spirit of life
set me free from the law of sin and death.
–> How about pride? Have you in some way allowed yourself to feel an ungodly sense of pride that you are abiding by external regulations or rules? Let those of us who struggle with this ask the Lord to help us today to just love him…love him, OH…LOVE HIM! And hearken to HIS voice…and reject performance and the condemnation and pride it can bring.
Below is a song that speaks so much to my heart. I hope it ministers to you. The words are below the video.
By Your Side – Performed by 10th Avenue North
Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don’t turn away
Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I’m not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run
Chorus: And I’ll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don’t fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you
Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world’s sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life
Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I’ll never let you go
“There is condemnation and this pride…both are aspects to my flesh that the Lord wants to sift–to be rid of. Neither serve in becoming more Christ-like.”Amen! I’ve felt both. I had originally lost close to 60 lbs with this way of eating. I got all the great feedback and felt wonderful about myself…and shared my story with whomever would listen. Never in a million years would I have thought that the weight would creep back and be now faced with it not budging…after offering such good advice to so many…lol. I’m now facing the condemnation. I feel its sting…it tells me that I many not have loved God enough, or that I’m somehow hard headed for not being able to actually do these things that I know work. The words ‘If only’ just keeps running through my head. That magical ‘key’ that will make it all click into place seems to be eluding me at the moment.
Heidi: You mentioned experiencing a ‘stomach ulcer’ in this post. Because I know the H. Pylori bacteria ’causes the vast majority of gastric and duodenal ulcers’, I wanted to ask about your treatment. What did your doc prescribe to eliminate that bacteria? Did you take probiotics after treatment? I hope you don’t mind my curiosity, but I haven’t talked to anyone who actually had a true stomach ulcer. Many people (including myself) were misdiagnosed with ‘gastritis’ and wrongly prescribed acid blocking drugs, which obviously won’t do anything to counteract a bacteria induced ulcer.
A urinalysis confirmed the presence of the H. Pylori. I was on a course of two antibiotics which gave me a CONSTANT taste of road kill in my mouth. I sucked on Lifesavers, literally around the clock! So much for 0 to 5 eating! I continued to release weight (I believe) because I listened to the Lord and did what he said. I couldn’t rely on 0 and 5 and was eating those lifesavers. No, I didn’t take probiotics. I totally forgot to do that. I know better, too.
Essy, sometimes I think when we have experienced “victory” in the past we keep using it as a standard for our current performance. We aren’t what we think we were before…somehow, we think that we are less that acceptable because we have gained the weight. But the heart is what God is after…and when we have experienced abandon with our lusts for food and then turn our hearts back to him again, believing him that he is doing a new thing and will complete that which he has begun, I believe this is a huge quantum leap ahead of where we were before…before when we didn’t know how much work it might be or how pride could cause us to falter, or before we knew that the enemy wanted to trip us up…Now, when we turn godward in humility I think there is something especially precious about it. Lord please bless my sister today in a special way with an outpouring of your presence. I pray that she would sense that you delight over her with singing, that you are quieting her with your love. I pray that she will take this moment captive…that she will live in the present moment, one moment at a time and delight in YOU. I pray her focus would be off of her, her “failure” and on you, her perfect Savior. When she is weak, then you are strong in her, Lord. Thank you. In Jesus’ amazing Name, Amen.
Heidi: I’m so glad to hear you successfully treated the H. Pylori. Do you remember which antibiotics were prescribed? I’ve treated several different bacteria, fungus and a parasite with drugs and supplements. I can relate to side effects which made the ‘cure’ seem worse than the disease. LOL Taking probiotics would replace all the good bacteria which the antibiotic for HP killed off during treatment. I had many antibiotic treatments for bladder infections, but never followed those with probiotics (because docs didn’t recommend and I didn’t know.) When I had my good and bad bacteria levels tested a few years ago, I had almost NO good bacteria, lots of not so good bacteria and a really bad one. After taking probiotics for awhile, I digest food better (without bloating, gas, etc.) and don’t bruise as easily. (Good bacteria manufacture at least 1/2 of our vitamin K. Bruising is a vitamin K deficiency symptom.)