Today I want to focus a bit on the mechanics introduced in Chapter 3 of Get Thin Stay Thin. We have been looking at a new Key to Conscious Eating each day. Let’s review them so far and press on with applying ourselves to doing them today…

–> Practical Challenge Today:

  • Continue with Key to Conscious Eating #1 – eat only when my body is physically hungry.
  • Continue Key to Conscious Eating #2 – Reduce the number of distractions in order to eat in a calm environment.
  • Continue Key to Conscious Eating #3 – Eat only when sitting down.
  • Continue Key to Conscious Eating #4 – Eat only when your mind and body are relaxed.

So far, the keys haven’t sprained our brains particularly. Sure, we may think there has to be more to it, but none of these keys fly in the face of all the “diet wisdom” that is out there, per say. For some folks reading this blog, the key we add today may. (More on this in a minute!)

  • Practice Key to Conscious Eating #5 – Eat and drink only the food and beverages that I enjoy.

It is important not to toss out Keys 1-4 when doing this! Key #5 is meant to be practiced with all the other keys in place. Otherwise, the result will be a foodfest! NOT what we are after! 🙂

In fact, let’s get ahead of ourselves for just a moment and introduce Key #8 as well…I highly recommend practicing this key when practicing key #5. There HAS to be a stopping place! 🙂

  • Practice Key to Conscious Eating #8 – Stop before my body is full.

You can wait until you are hungry. You can have a calm, peaceful environment, sit down and have everything right with the world, enjoy foods you love, but if you don’t have an appropriate stopping place, you will still gain weight.

Backing up to Key #5 – eating what you enjoy – this means anything. If you love salad, go ahead and eat it if you are hungry. If you hate it, don’t! If you enjoy full-fat ice cream, eat it when you are hungry! If you don’t love it, don’t eat it. Just be sure you check in with your body FIRST. Are you hungry? Physically empty? At a true “0?” Then that is the green light to eat, but you want to be sure to do so calmly and quietly, sitting down, inviting the Lord with you into the meal/snack. As you eat, check in with your body and be sure to stop eating when you are no longer hungry.

This is where some people raise the red flags and say “Hold on! If I eat anything I want, I will be eating hot fudge sundaes, cheese enchiladas and the list is endless! I will gain weight, not lose it!” If you ignore your body’s signal that it is satisfied, then that will be true. By being calm, sitting down, focusing on your food and inviting God into the meal, though, you will know when you are approaching satisfied and be able to stop. Being willing may be another story.

We have to realize that it isn’t a particular food that makes us over-weight.

What makes us over-weight is eating too much of any food! (Even diet foods!)

If diets and diet foods worked for losing weight, then since the advent of diet drinks, non-fat dressings, and low-calorie cookies and so forth, we should have become people with fewer weight problems! The exact opposite is true, however. We continue to have more obesity, obesity related health problems and yet diet foods are in abundance! We may be eating our “reduced fat” Oreos, but in increased quantities. Half the fat so twice as many!

Instead of focusing on the food, let’s allow God to transform our hearts. That is why I have been studying the Get Thin Stay Thin book. This book speaks to my need to allow God to change me from within, inviting me to intimacy with the Creator of the Universe and intimacy with other people. God wants to heal the wounds of my past and present while inviting me into vital, rich relationships now that are grounded in and by Him.

As I prevail myself upon God’s grace, I can enjoy any food that my body desires withing godly boundaries of physical hunger and satisfaction. This is, in fact, how I lost 100 pounds. I never ate a single salad, rice cake, or a single YoPlait yogurt! I continued to eat foods I loved, but in moderation–according to my body’s signals.

Practically, what I have found is that foods with more fat in them tend to sustain me longer…I am not hungry again as soon. Foods that are lower in fat content (like salsa!) don’t sustain me as long. My body knows how often it needs fuel. My body processes the food I eat and as long as I respect the signals of hunger and satisfaction, I will continue to release extra weight until I am at my God-intended size no matter what food I eat. The key isn’t what I eat. It is why–and how much. The why should always be connected to my body’s need for fuel. The how much is, too!

As a person progresses in this process, we begin to want to exercise more discretion…but that is a discussion for another time. Right now, allow yourself to experience the flavors of all the wonderful foods that are available to enjoy. Just do so with an appropriate boundary: physical need–as indicated by the body’s signals of hunger and satisfaction.

The principles are not fixed formulas or rigid rules. They are guidelines that involve choices. To be under grace is freedom–we have the privilege of seeing God’s design for ordered eating and then choosing. God honors us with the freedom to fail and succeed as we risk living a life of faith. As we begin to practice the principles, we will see that God is calling us to surrender to a growing up, a maturing process. This is a challenge that calls us to have the courage to step out of our grave clothes of legalism and allow God to conform us from within. GTST, p. 70