Another hurdle that I have had to (and have to) overcome is a sense that I can eat three meals a day. In the past, when I ate listening to my body’s hunger/satisfied mechanism, I had a higher metabolism and got hungry many many times in a day. I could literally eat 4, 5 or 6 times between the 0-5 parameters and release weight.
This time around, I get hungry much less frequently. In fact…so infrequently, that I feel like the three meals “I am owed” in a day to enjoy food…well…even that often isn’t necessarily legitimate. I am far from sedentary, but a lot of the muscle I once carried isn’t there any more. This may change over time, of course…certain seasons I work much harder physically than others because of the horses and caring for them, the fences, throwing around hay bales and the like. But right now, today, I know that often, my body just doesn’t need food as often as I *want* it to need food.
(Have you ever LUSTED for hunger? LOL!)
Here is the way it might happen for me… I wait wait wait for 0 in the morning when I get up. 11am rolls around and I am “not sure” if I am at a 0 yet. I “know” that my not being hungry for breakfast is ridiculous.
“Of course I am hungry!! I am ALWAYS hungry in the morning!”
I might even rationalize that even if I don’t feel the definite cues of stomach hunger that I have learned are legitimate 0, that since it has been SO long since I have eaten I better eat or else I will get dizzy or a terrible headache. “After all…”, I rationalize, “…I have virtually skipped breakfast.” (For some people, the concern about dizziness and headaches may be legitimate…for ME it rarely is!)
I might use this train of thinking to go ahead and eat.
This ignores what my body is saying. If I eat at this point, how do I know when to quit, for instance? It all becomes a guessing game. (The diet mentality sneaks in here and says “About that much should be the ‘right’ amount.” Once again, I have ignored my hunger mechanism.
Not only that, but I have claimed my right to do with my body as I please. God has convicted me that this is my pride again…I want to do what I want when I want…period:
“Lord! I should be able to enjoy at *least* three meals a day! They *are* small meals, after all! Will you take them away from me too?” (I can almost hear the serpent as with Eve in the garden, whispering to me about how God is holding out on me and how “mean” he is to deny me my rights….bleah)
When I really analyze this, I realize I feel this way for one reason, simply:
I do NOT want to give up food.
“Normal people…” (I again rationalize) “…eat three meals a day. My meals are so small. Of course I can still eat three meals a day!”
Truth is, if I really want to grow in my walk with the Lord, listening and responding to what He tells me is the key. Some days he may tell me I don’t need breakfast (or dinner…whatever!).
And please don’t misunderstand what I am saying. I am not saying that if I am hungry and I KNOW I am hungry I should bypass hunger and skip a meal to release weight. Nope. God has convicted me that, unless He lays a spiritual concern on my heart to fast and pray over, skipping hunger for any other reason is dishonoring him as well (until he tells me otherwise).
But I know I have said it and I have heard others say it…that we assume we will eat three meals a day…plain and simple. We seem to think of it as a part of being human or something–like taxes, brushing our teeth and other “necessities”…or at least I have in the past and I hope to get over this. I almost think of it as a “divine right.” In fact, a part of me looks at God cross-eyed and says, “Don’t be messing with my three meals a day, Lord!”
When I am most active, I might legitimately need to eat a bit more frequently. My body is reliable, though, and will signal the need for nourishment. Generally, though, I seem to be in the habit of thinking that if I rule out all snacking then that means I have been “good.” But my attitude is such that I act like three meals is something I am entitled to.
This sidelines listening to the Lord and to my hunger/satisfied mechanism.
I want to be done with this sort of thinking…