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Tasting Truth

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”   Romans 12:1-2 (ESV)

I am reading Taste for Truth and it has been a very enlightening journey.   Instead of using a specific diet plan or digging into the reasons why people overeat, this study focuses on the boundaries we may need and the renewing of the mind in order to gain freedom from the control of food.

I started drinking at age 15.  By age 18, I was using alcohol daily to cope with my home life.  I liked the way alcohol made me feel and how it made me more outgoing.

I continued drinking in my early to mid-20’s, but quit a couple of years before I became a mom.  I didn’t enjoy hangovers and had started to take notice of coworkers, family and friends whose lives were out of control because of alcohol or drug abuse.  I am one of the fortunate rare people who could stop using alcohol without support and have had less than 10 beers over the last 30 years.

Sometime in my late-20’s, I replaced my alcohol usage with food.  Unlike alcohol or drugs, our bodies need food so overeating is the acceptable addiction in our society.  I ate when my stress level went up because I took on too many volunteer positions.  Like many people, I often ate too much at celebrations.  My overeating was the most out of control when I had to deal with stressful family situations.

One particular time was the last time I saw my father.  My siblings and I were were physically, mentally and verbally abused by this man, so visiting him was extremely nerve-racking for me.  I hadn’t seen him in over 20 years, but my sister and I had to visit him before cancer took his life so we could ensure that our grandmother was taken care of.  I had a strong urge to get a drink after leaving his house, but thankfully my sister was doing the driving and wouldn’t allow it (thanks, Little Sis  ❤ ).  Instead of alcohol,  we both self-medicated with pasta and cannoli.   I can look back on that event now and realize that using food wasn’t any different than using booze.

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We have an enemy who wants to use our weaknesses so we are ineffective for the Lord’s work.  Through this study, I realized that I have spent more time overeating than renewing my mind.  By renewing my mind, this was my very first Thanksgiving that I DID NOT overeat and I feel I finally have gained control over food!!  Thank you, Jesus!!! 

If your story is similar and would like to learn how to break free from the stronghold of overeating, I will be leading an online study of Taste for Truth  beginning on January 2nd – February 24, 2017.  There is a companion book, I Deserve a Donut that is available in paperback, a Kindle version, and even an iPhone or android app (I purchased the Kindle version of Taste for Truth and the iPhone app of I Deserve a Donut for under $10).  You can click on the links to the books to look inside them and/or read the reviews.  The online study will take place in a secret Facebook group where only the members will be able to read your posts.  Feel free to email me at plewing@hotmail.com if you have any questions or visit http://barbraveling.com/  for more information on the author and her books.

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Committing our plans

 A coworker has started using a weight loss program where she eats mostly carbs one day and then eats mostly protein another day (and also uses expensive shakes and supplements).  She shared with me how she will be under a “certain number” by the end of the year.  This information started to make me sad jealous because that particular number had also been my personal goal weight by the end of December.  

I felt sorry for myself for a few hours, but then I took out my scale as soon as I got home from work.  I had NOT weighed in since Thanksgiving because I had put the scale away while my toddler grandson was visiting — I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I have only gained 3 pounds!!!  I realized I should not have been so surprised because even though I have indulged a bit, I have also continued to drink water, do my yoga stretches in the morning and walk in the afternoon.

I have LOST and KEPT OFF about 25 pounds this year, so I am very, very thankful!!!

I was ashamed at myself for coveting my friend’s weight loss.  By going home and weighing myself, God allowed me to see that what I had been doing was working and that I need to stick with it.  I am committing to get back on my diet plan on December 28th so that I will be under a particular weight by my birthday in April.  I used a weight loss calculator to see if this is a realistic goal and it is — by keeping under 1700 calories per day and continuing to exercise daily, I can do it!!   

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 Do you have any plans you need to commit to the LORD?

Relax — but DON’T be lax

 I have been doing really well following my diet plan and exercising.  We have gone away twice this summer, and I planned ahead by packing healthy snacks.  I used my fitbit and would log on to my account to check my stats — if I was close to 10,000 steps, I would find a walking trail and go for another 20-30 minute walk. 

 Last week we came back from a 5 day DC trip.  When I weighed in the next morning — I FREAKED because I was 5 pounds heavier!! I could NOT imagine why — I had brought healthy snacks, I chose healthy menu options at the restaurants we ate at, I drank plenty of water, and I walked A LOT (one day over 15,000 steps according to my fitbit).

 I really, really looked back at what I ate and sadly remembered: the 3 bites of cheesecake that I didn’t count (or maybe it was 4 or 5?), the roll with butter that I didn’t write down (wait, I ate 2!), the handful(s) of my husband’s peanuts that I failed to add to myfitnesspal, the piece of my daughter’s chocolate bar that I forgot about, and the handfuls of her gluten free granola I neglected to add either!!  Ugh….and what about that small double chocolate gelato I ate after we had toured DC all day?  How did I do this?

When we go on vacation, we relax and get lax.
The bottom line is that I let my guard down.

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I am very happy to report that I was able to get back on my diet.
I exercised and lost that 5 pounds plus .4 more in a week.

 By letting my guard down I ate things I shouldn’t have.  When we let our spiritual guard down, there are far worse effects than just gaining 5 pounds:  we become apathetic to the things going on around us, our prayer life suffers, we stop going to church, we cuss, we start looking at our coworkers of the opposite sex, we watch shows we shouldn’t, etc.

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 Heavenly Father, thank You for the beautiful season of summer.  Thank You for allowing us time to relax and time to spend with our families.  Thank You for the beauty of this planet!  Holy Spirit, please remind us to not let our guards down while we’re relaxing and enjoying our vacation times.  Please convict us when we get lax in our spiritual disciplines and encourage us to stay firm in our faith.  Thank You for forgiving us when we fail You and thank You for pointing us back in the right direction.  In Jesus’ Name I pray.  Amen.

Emotional Triggers

Emotional Triggers

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Since the last P31 study, Satan has been attacking me with my childhood and things that I did before I became a Christian.  I withdrew from some activities to really dig into God’s Word.  With the LORD’s help, He showed me how to deflect those arrows.  Then a few weeks ago I was invited to my 35 year high school reunion.

As I started to connect with former classmates, I felt led to apologize to two people.  The first one was very gracious and we started messaging. The other was fairly nice in the first reply, but I found it odd that my apology wasn’t accepted.  In the second reply, I was told that I needed to “let go of the past”.

I was a bit hurt at first, but then quickly realized there was truth in what this person said…truth I desperately needed to hear.

The host of the reunion started posting photographs from the yearbook.  None of me, of course, because I was not athletic, not popular, not much of anything — just a teenager trying to survive.  I could feel the ungodly emotions start to come back: fear, anxiety, shame, and anger. When a “hangover picnic” was added to reunion page, I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to delete myself from the reunion page (I am an alcoholic).

Even though I am no longer the person I was 35 years ago, the photos were bringing back emotional triggers that use to make me want to overeat.  By deleting myself from the reunion page, I removed myself from the source of my temptations: the temptation to keep looking back at my past, the temptation of wishing for a childhood that I didn’t have and the temptation to eat to fill the void from both.

In the past, I ate when I’ve been hurt. I ate when I was scared. I ate when I was angry.  I ate when I was lonely. I ate when I was sad.  I ate when I was ashamed.  When you’re a broken person with a very broken past, it’s easy to find excuses to overeat.

This time, I did not eat — I dove into God’s Word, allowing His Truth to saturate my mind instead of the lies I was hearing.  Instead of feeling sad for the childhood that I did not have, I choose to be THANKFUL for what I DO have!!

Forget

In chapter 14 of Made to Crave, Lysa TerKeurst writes how we need to deal with our emotional triggers.  I am doing this, and instead of thinking on these hard things from my past, I’m following Lisa’s advice by “parking my mind in a better spot” (page 141):

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” Philippians 4:8 (The Message)

Being Bold in 2014

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My word for 2014 is “bold”.  There are several definitions for this word, but these three define where I feel the LORD is leading me:

1.  courageous, confident, and fearless; ready to take risks
2.  showing or requiring courage
3.  standing out distinctly; conspicuous

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I am reading “The Daniel Plan”.  In the very first chapter, Rick Warren writes how he shared his heart with his entire congregation in how he had been a poor example to them.  Like many in his flock and in America, he was obese and unhealthy.

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I, too, have felt like I have been a poor Christian example because of my weight.  How can I be bold in my witness if I look the way I do?  How does the way I look show a lifestyle that someone else wants to follow?  How am I being a true daughter of the King when I’ve let His temple, my body, get so badly out of shape?

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I am TOTALLY turning my food addiction over to God.  My act of worship will be restoring this temple for His glory—to be used by Him and to point others to Him.  I desire to be a woman who will be bold in her witness, being courageous enough to allow God to have control of her food addiction, so it will be evident to all Whose child she is.