My accountability partner has been teaching me the value of renewing my mind about food and eating. This is helping me tremendously to get back on track. I haven’t been at peace with food and my body for a couple of years (if I *ever* was, really!).

I had a season of exercising a lot and I “justified” eating outside of my boundaries, just like I would back in the dieting days! “I have worked out long and hard! I can ‘afford’ to eat this!”

Recently, I wondered about returning to 1-2 hours of intense cardio each day (in addition to the tennis I play almost daily). I also wondered about getting a bathroom scale again… “Just to motivate me!” I have to be honest with you…these are thoughts–temptations for me, really–that would short-cut what I need to learn. I need to learn to think differently. When I think differently, I will act differently.

My mind has to be renewed. How I view food, it’s purpose and place in my life, how I view boundaries…whether I will have them and which ones, etc…etc… All of this has to be determined, committed to.

This evening I am meeting my sister who is coming from out of town. Our meetings are typically somewhat intense as we have to make decisions and have conversations about our mother’s care. Add to this fact, this morning, my husband left town, beginning a long season of travel, which changes the dynamic in our home considerably given my 19-year-old son and I struggle in our communication. Bob typically runs interference for me with Daniel. So I find myself a bit keyed up (something else I need to renew my mind about!).

Soon, my daughter and I will leave to meet my sister for dinner at a buffet–“Fresh Choice.” I want to be proactive right now and plan to be very specific about what I will eat and how I will look at food given the abundance provided there coupled with the emotions I feel.

With the help of my accountability partner, I have learned how to ask myself questions and how to answer them, evaluating what I REALLY want. Affirming the TRUTH has made a huge difference for me. I am committed to doing this at least once each day regardless of if I have struggled with my eating or not. Practically, this is training me to think differently. But it *is* a slow process.

Right now, I am going to do this with the buffet and how I feel today. I thought I would give you a glimpse into this process, in case you might find it helpful. So here it is, happening in “real time!”

Lord, I am dreading what is ahead today. I am definitely dreading taking my Mom to the doctor tomorrow. In fact, I have dreaded these two days for a while. I feel so helpless. I know, Lord, that the buffet dinner tonight will offer a whole lot of options for “numbing” myself to the feelings I don’t want to feel. I reject that, Lord. Instead of viewing the buffet as an opportunity to do what I want, I choose to take captive my thoughts about food and eating. My body was purchased by the precious blood of Jesus and it isn’t mine to do with as I please. My body belongs to the Lord. I want to feed it only when it needs fuel and I want to feed it an appropriate amount that it needs. 

Lord, I want to apply myself to following the 8 Keys to Conscious Eating, even in the middle of a restaurant with my sister and daughter present. Lord. I know I may FEEL like I *want* to eat more, but what do I really want? Lord, I want to eat in a way that is in line with 1 Corinthians 10:31…to glorify you in my eating! I choose to rejoice in eating appropriately, within God-given boundaries. I choose NOT to look to food to meet needs in my heart that can only be met through fellowship with the Lover of my Soul. Is the sacrifice really too great? Is it really too high a price to pay to lay down a second brownie or another piece of french bread? Isn’t experiencing joy in my eating experience with NO regret afterward worth NOT overeating? I get to eat whatever I want within the physical boundaries of hunger and satisfaction! No diets ever again! That is a gift! Lord, I don’t want to abuse that gift by stuffing more food in than I need. 

Lord, I don’t need very much food at this buffet. I know that even arriving really hungry (which I will definitely be as I am hungry now!), it won’t take much more than a fistful-sized amount of food to satisfy me. I need to slow down and really take note of the wonderful tastes and textures and delight in how efficient my body is! Lord, thank you that I don’t need much food! 

Lord, another thought that is a lie that pops in at buffets is that in order to get my money’s worth, I need to eat a lot of food. That is so silly! I am not paying for this meal so that I can harden my heart, stuff my face, and boast that I have a good cost-to-quantity ratio! That is ridiculous! I want to pay the full buffet price for a wonderful bowl of the chicken pozole I love (with cheese), a piece of french bread (slathered in butter) and a brownie muffin. That will probably be enough to satisfy me and it is well worth the cost since I enjoy the flavors so much and don’t have a soup recipe that I love nearly as much. 

Lord, I do have the emotions to contend with, but if I stuff food to numb my feelings, I will not only have to face the emotions again afterwards, but also disappointment in myself and feeling yucky physically for overeating. Lord, the benefit to eating more than I need is slight…it isn’t even a benefit. It is that I get to taste the food longer. Well, duh! If I eat half as much food twice as slow, I get to taste the food just as long without overeating! It makes no sense to overeat. Lord, I trust this to you. 

Thank you that THESE are the truths. The lies have NO place in my mind. I choose to take captive my thoughts and make them obedient to you. I LOVE how I feel inside when I make THIS sacrifice. When I lay down my wants for the greater joy of following you. Thank you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.