–> Practical Challenge Today:
- Continue with Key to Conscious Eating #1 – eat only when my body is physically hungry.
- Add Key to Conscious Eating #2 – Reduce the number of distractions in order to eat in a calm environment.
This second key is the first of at least 5 that help us to be in the present moment when we are eating–to take note of the fact: “Hello! This is an eating occasion! Be aware and enjoy!” The theory (and a valid one) is that much of our eating is done without thinking, “unconsciously”–in the car, in front of the TV, while reading–so our minds don’t get to “register” that we are eating. In my experience, it really does seem to help.
So, to apply this key, it is wisest to turn off the TV, push the newspaper away, and send the kids outside to play–ok, just kidding about that last one. Some of us have lives that lend themselves more to a “calm environment” than others. Asking God how we can foster as calm an environment and reduce the distractions as much as possible will be a GOOD thing in this case!
On with the deeper stuff…
Continuing my reading of Get Thin Stay Thin by Arthur and Judy Halliday, a comment jumped off the page at me when I read it a couple of days ago. It followed the question about if I will risk living by grace or not, given where legalism often leaves me:
In the case of those of us who struggle with disordered eating, the standard of legalism might be to be “thin,” to achieve a certain weight at all costs...GTST, p. 62
Are you like me? Can you see yourself in this comment? I had never considered a “goal weight” a standard of legalism! Wow…I see that this is true. Not only that, but it clearly becomes an idol if I have this mentality. If I allow this “goal” to direct my steps, to be what my mind is focused on, to determine my mood…well, then I think it is fair to say I am worshiping this goal…It is an idol.
Another thought that struck me as being powerfully true:
While losing weight may result in an immediate increase in our sense of self-worth and value, it is temporary and does not change the deep-rooted feeling that we are iredeemably flawed nor does it satisfy our silent hunger for intimacy with God. GTST, p. 62
Obviously, the authors are not saying we are flawed…they are pointing out that we *feel* flawed. This is so true in my life. I released the weight and had this sense that I had accomplished something great…and not just superficially, too. I knew that God had been at work on the inside of me…but it is still was performance oriented. In spite of how great it is to be thin now, there is this sense that I am flawed…and the silent hunger continues. I see now that it is because God is at work in me at a different level. (I am currently reading and working through Search for Significance and it is dovetailing beautifully with GTST, bringing to light that it is God who defines my worth and value. He esteems me so highly! I praise Him that this is so!)
By focusing on externals–our diets, our weight, our eating or not eating–we avoid confronting the real issues in our lives: our fears, unresolved grief, emotions, relationships, rebellion and insecurities. GTST, p. 63
I don’t want to focus on externals any more. I have, even with the Thin Within approach. I have focused on the mechanics. I guess that is why I don’t want to have the blog just be about the practical stuff. Truthfully, the practical stuff so easily becomes law for me. I know I have much to process and have been. So much has surfaced lately.
–> Emotional/Spiritual Challenge: Prayer journal the feelings, thoughts, concerns that have been surfacing lately. In my case, I may be creating a time line of relationships to see what the Lord shows me about patterns over my lifetime. I am a bit unnerved about doing this as I anticipate it will definitely be a bit like “walking through the valley of the shadow of death.”
Lord it is so much easier to focus on the externals rather than to allow you to do your probing work to make me more Christlike. I pray that today I wouldn’t be caught up in externals. Help me to have the courage and to carve out the time to journal and to process what you want. I don’t want this to be a self-indulgent, “woe is me,” pity party, Lord. I want to be healed. BE Lord today. And no matter what my emotions do, I pray that today I might eat only when I am hungry and that I will do whatever I can to choose to eat in as calm environment as possible. Help me to be aware of your presence as I eat–the blessing it is to have an abundance of food, Lord. Help eating and drinking to be an “excuse” to praise and worship you today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.