My struggle starts around 5:30 a.m. My favorite time of day; strategically carved out, molded, shaped and perfected after years of practice. It centers around two things – the Word of God and my coffee! Don’t mess with either!
The Word of God is true and whole and should never be changed. And my coffee with a heaping spoon raw sugar crystals and a splash of milk is exactly the way I want it to stay. I do not want my coffee to taste like almonds and honey. I want my coffee to taste like coffee!
And seriously!? You’re going to take my hummus? Do you have any idea how many veggies I can down with a huge scoop of hummus, perfectly nutty in flavor, piled on top? Taking away my hummus is likely to take away 2/3 of my veggie consumption!
And seriously again? Rice… and my gluten-free bread? It may be ugly. It may be dry. It may have a taste frighteningly similar to cardboard that only those of us forced to do without gluten can truly appreciate, but it’s mine! And my crunchy little gluten-free crackers? My gluten-induced headaches have already caused me to give up so much. Must you take this to?
And cheese? Now you’re just being mean!
These are my hang-ups. These are the reasons I’ve never agreed to do this with my husband the past few times he’s been on this journey.
Oh and seriously…my ice cream? I’ve worked hard to discipline myself to eat less food throughout the day specifically so I can have my ice cream at night and be happy. It’s just one tiny scoop!
But, Lord help me die to self.
For years we watched The Biggest Loser. I’ve been amazed at how many out of shape spouses never commit to taking the journey with their loved ones. But my husband is over 6’4”, 194 pounds and does a cross fit style workout four days a week. The man doesn’t need my help!
Again, I must die to self.
I remember all too well one of the worst seasons of my life. I was an awkward 12-year-old. Three inches shorter and 30 pounds heavier than I am today. The snickers and jokes behind my back that weren’t quite so quiet still ring in my ears.
I actually have a phantom pooch! After three pregnancies (the second of which unfortunately ended in the loss of our baby, but nonetheless left me with an obvious 10 pounds of extra belly…Check out my Purpose in Pain series to read our journey through that loss.)
I am blessed in the sense that I fit into all my size 0, pre-baby clothes. My hip bones still show most days, and I have no visible stretch marks. I know that alone is enough to make people hate me, but my struggle is still real even though it’s not seen in the physical.
If I have a day where I’ve lost control of my eating (or better yet, given my eating control over me) it’s like I can physically feel that old feeling deep in my gut the same way I felt it over 20 years ago. Whether it is actually there or not, my stomach physically feels different. It’s as if all that extra weight is still settled between my bellybutton and my thighs. It is a sickening feeling that robs me of every joy God has so lavishly blessed me with. It’s all I can think about. My mind and my focus goes right to my waist, and my eyes, which should be on the Lord, are distracted by my lack of control and feelings of inadequacy, guilt, shame, and self-disgust.
So you see friends, it is all about the heart. You may look at me and think, “What the heck does it matter if you have a piece of cake?” And the fact is, it doesn’t matter at all if I’m actually hungry, but if I have no true, physical hunger then there is a problem in my heart. It is all about what I am allowing to control me. If I am not obeying the innate system of hunger and full that the Lord placed in our bodies, I am no better off and no less guilty than the 200 pound sister in the fast food drive-through.
I have to give a shout out to an old book that helped save me from myself, by teaching me to recognize the natural guidelines for proper portions and timing as set up by our Creator. The Weigh Down Diet: Inspirational Way to Lose Weight, Stay Slim, and Find a New You
“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” James 4:17
My struggle may not show in my pants size, but believe me it shows when from a heart of self -loathing I lash out against the ones I love the most.
So here goes! I’m joining with my hubby and taking on this 30 day challenge to change the foods we put into our bodies, so we can better serve the Lord from the inside out. Believe me, this is not about weight loss. It is all about dying to self and doing my part to give the Lord room in my heart to break every chain!
Please note: I am well aware that a few of my guidelines (i.e. honey and quinoa) do not fall within the official Whole30 compliant list. We do the program through a local (and incredibly awesome) gym, TrinityFitness, and we have a few slight variations in our structure.