Image Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Image Courtesy of iStockPhoto

A day in the life…

The day begins with hot tea and the warmth of a personal encounter with Jesus. Blessings and truth gush like a fountain off the pages of the Bible and saturate your heart as you are in awe of how intimate and personal His presence is to you. You have carved out this time first thing in the morning and it is richly rewarding!

In fact, you don’t think about food until a gnawing sensation in your stomach overcomes all other thoughts. Wow! I haven’t eaten since last night’s dinner! I am at a zero! Your quiet time was so satisfying and fulfilling and your heart so satiated with the goodness of God that it wasn’t until you were truly hungry that you gave a thought to breakfast. You thankfully relish a modest portion of a thoroughly satisfying meal.

As the day continues, you are prayerful, joy-filled, aware that Jesus walks with you.

Lunch is another “I-can’t-believe-I-am-actually-hungry” eating experience as you enjoy a lunch out with a favorite co-worker. You readily stop eating when you are no longer hungry. This is what it is like to “whether you eat or drink, do it all to the glory of God” as spoken of in 1 Corinthians 10:31!

Upon returning from lunch, however, demanding clients and a disgruntled boss cause the afternoon to lose it’s luster somewhat.  By  day’s end, the warm glow of the morning’s embers has been pretty well snuffed out. Tired, you saunter to your car considering the late afternoon commute. Your heart falls–overwhelmed–at what you know waits for you at home. Barring a miracle, the kids will be squabbling and messes will be everywhere. By the time you emerge through the thick traffic–made worse by a fender-bender in the slow lane–you are famished…you deserve some joy in your life. You enter the house and, sure enough, no one else thought to clean up the sink which now demands attention before you can even think about dinner preparation. Why is this always left to me?

You plug in the electric skillet with ingredients of what will not-soon-enough be a delicious meal and, as you reach for the cumin in the cupboard, the chocolate chips sitting right next to the spice rack grab you by the arm and threaten that you had better eat them! Ha! Not really, but you would think so! Before you give it any thought, let alone a prayer, you dive in. You finish your dinner preparation as you continue to revisit the bag of chocolate chips and by the time dinner is ready, you have inhaled enough chocolate chips to populate two batches of cookies. You aren’t hungry for dinner but feel the need to eat to “balance your blood sugar” since you know you will crash and burn later when you do get hungry after eating so much sugar. Besides, you don’t want the family to ask why you aren’t eating. That would be even worse than having eaten the chocolate chips!

By the time you go to bed, you are miserable…not just from having overeaten, but from the overwhelming sense of “failure.” Why can’t I ever have ONE good day of eating 0 to 5 all day long? The club of condemnation comes out and you start beating yourself up.

Can you relate to this scenario or one sort of like it? Are you frustrated that you can begin the day so well, but by the day’s end you have steamrollered right over your 0 to 5 eating boundaries?

What can you do when this happens?

In my personal experience and through the one-on-one coaching I have been doing for the past few months, I have seen this scenario or one like it play out numerous times. What we choose to do with our “failure” determines how “successful” we will be with our Thin Within program and the release of weight we hope to experience.

It isn’t the slip up that will keep us from releasing weight–not usually. It is allowing a mis-step to define what the next meal will be like, what the next hour will look like, what the next day, week, and month will look like.

This is why we have to, have to, have to be willing to go from merely “observing” (and condemning) our behavior to planning a correction immediately. That way, the next time–and there WILL be a next time–we will have a plan of action to ensure success! We can take the proverbial bull by the horns and bring him down!

What do I mean by observation and correction? For those of you new or not yet experienced with the Thin Within book or workbook, this is a tool we use to help us see where we strayed from behavior and thoughts that didn’t correspond or support our godly goals. This is the “easy” part. It is the part that says, “I ate all those chocolate chips and then ate dinner when I wasn’t hungry and now I am stuffed!” In Thin Within, though, we try to observe dispassionately. We  look at what happened and declare what action or thought was the culprit that derailed our godly intentions. We don’t judge. We don’t pull out the club of condemnation. This is the FIRST thing we do. You can add more power to this step by confessing it to the Lord in prayer.

Secondly, we want to plan a “correction”–what will we do differently the next time we are in the exact–or similar–situation? This is, simply, repentance. Choosing and planning a new behavior for the next time this situation arises. In our example, I would want to make a plan for when I am tired, frustrated, famished, and get little (if any) help at home after a long day. What could I *do* to change things around so that once I land at home the chocolate chips don’t assault me out of the blue? One suggestion for the woman in our example is that she could use her CD/mp3 player for the drive home to refocus her thoughts so that the commute time is spent renewing her mind about the rest of the day. Praise music can make a huge difference! Alternatively, downloading and using the audio files that I have made available to you might be helpful for the stressful commute. You can download the bible as mp3 or iTunes files, too! The journey home from work (or wherever) can actually become a sanctified “Holy of Holies” of sorts–land that you capture for the Lord. And if, when you do finally get home, you are famished you can have a prepared-in-advance baggie with a small snack designed for just such an occasion–to shave the 0 off just a tad. Like three Ritz crackers or one Oreo cookie–enough to get you through the dinner preparation without inhaling the chocolate chips!

Third thing you want to do after you have messed up is REJOICE! What? Did she actually say “Rejoice!”? Yes! You see, you are sensitive to the Lord and to the boundaries he has asked you to live within. That is why you have an awareness of the situation as a “Mess Up!” It means that you are tender-hearted. You haven’t become calloused to sin or to living outside of boundaries. It is a wonderful thing to realize! So, thank the Lord that he has given you a heart to obey him and that while you aren’t doing it “perfectly,” you are growing in godliness with each day. THIS time is different than any that may have come before as you are learning to do the struggle well.

Bringing it home:

Step 1: ObservationConsider the last 3 “mess ups” you have experienced. What did you think or do that worked against your godly goals?

Step 2: Correction. What will you do to structure life for success so that the next time you are in a similar situation you maintain your commitment to your boundaries?

Step 3: REJOICE! Can you thank God right now that he has given you a heart tender to him? You are here reading about this, aren’t you? That says a lot! LOL! 😀

Share your three steps below for one of your “Mess Ups.” You might give others that read your ideas some strategies for dealing with their own struggles! Let’s win some for the LORD!