Thursday, April 30, 2009

Shrinking Update – 4/29/09

I wasn’t expecting it, really. As I stood upon that blessed little digital instrument of measurement, I felt my tear ducts beginning to agitate. I just knew I was going to see failure.

I had already begun to condole myself with the simple fact that it has been a rough week. Doing my best to choke back the disappointment, I hopelessly looked down at my feet…

Wait a minute.. What?? Could it be???

I rushed to my notebook, where I record my weight each week, just to be sure. My mind had to be deceiving me…

No, not this time... It’s really true.

I’m down TWO POUNDS!!

I honestly think this week was about perseverance for me.

Hubby was out of town. I had a sick kid at the start of the week, and I was/am battling illness as well. (Sinus issues and a UTI… what a combo, right?!?) I had every reason to give up. I *so* wanted to say, “Well this week’s gonna stink anyway, why bother with the whole moderation thing?”

But I didn’t. I pressed on.

Oh, I wanted to quit… or at least hit “pause” for this week, and wallow a bit. Then I got this little message (series of messages) from a PRECIOUS friend via Twitter.

"You are a force. A warrior - even when you don't feel like one. Allow Him to power your day and bless your struggle."

"May He move mightily on your behalf today! Holding up your arms this morning..."

How could I give up so easily after READING THAT?!?!

The answer is I couldn’t. I pressed on… toward the goal.

The result?

TWO POUNDS GONE!

Two may not seem like much, when you hold it up against the FIFTY that I want to lose… but it’s progress. Forward moving, intentional, habit-breaking progress toward Becoming a Woman of Moderation.

And you know what?

I’ll take it!

Not that I have already obtained all this,

or have already been made perfect,

but I press on to take hold of that

for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

(Sisters), I do not consider myself yet

to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do:

Forgetting what is behind

and straining toward what is ahead,

I press on toward the goal to win the prize

for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

(Philippians 3:12-14)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Weigh-in Wednesday

Sisterhood of the Shrinking JeansWell, I'm still shrinking. Technically.

I knew the 4-5 pounds per week pace wouldn't last forever, but I certainly didn't expect it to be over already!! Geez.

I'm down only 0.4 this week, bringing my total in the last two weeks to an even 8 lbs, and in this current Sisterhood challenge to 3.8 lbs. I was really hoping for a cutie li'l 5# "sticker." But I know there were a few things working against me this last week ~ both within and without of my control.

Within my control being, of course, the excessive snacking I've done this past week!

Do any of you have this same problem: for the first two weeks or so of a new plan/regimen/whatever, you're all gung-ho, but after that it kinda fizzles out? That's the stage I was in this past week. I still didn't eat anything during the day on liquid and fasting days, but my suppers were larger and often included second helpings. My "half" days ~ the most annoying of all!! ~ were probably closer to what would be considered "normal" days, and also included snacking in the evenings. So basically, any ounces I may have lost during the day, I went and gobbled them right back up again in the evenings.

And beyond my control, well... it's that time of the month. And we all know how THAT works for weight loss.

So all things considered, it's amazing I'm down at all.

So I'm thankful. But I know I've been over-indulgent and I intend to correct that. I'm going to push through the proverbial runner's "wall" and get back into the ZONE. I want more victories. I want more holy fireworks.

And we shall have them.

Yesterday's lesson points out, "Today many believers, while condemning sexual immorality or materialistic greed, would not condemn gluttony. They pile their plates high at potluck suppers, jesting about their appetite. They graze between meals and overeat at meals with little conviction of heart. While it is true that we are free to eat anything that does not also mean that we are free to walk the path of indulgence."

I am guilty of this. Of walking the path of one kind of indulgence while condemning those who walk a different path of indulgence.

So this week, I will allow Paul to nag me a little. I won't like it (who likes a nag?!), but this week I will allow it. Because he knows what he's talking about and I need to hear it:

Everything is permissible for me" -- but not everything is beneficial.
"Everything is permissible for me" -- but I will not be mastered by anything.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
~ I Corinthians 6:12, 19-20

How was your week? Are you still going strong or have you lost some enthusiasm for your lifestyle change? Power though it, my friend.

We will not be mastered by anything!

No, in all these things we are
MORE THAN CONQUERORS
through him who loved us.
~ Romans 8:37




Sunday, April 26, 2009

Okay, half. But half of WHAT??!!

I have come to really dislike these "half" days. What is HALF of what I would normally eat? I dare you to try it sometime ~ it's WAY harder than it sounds.

And to complicate things further, my "normal" has obviously changed somewhat over the last two weeks because I often think I've stopped at half and yet I'll feel like I've eaten too much.

Interestingly, I don't usually have that problem on the two "normal" days of this eating plan.

Another thing I don't usually have problems with on "normal" OR "liquids" days is over-eating or excessive snacking.

On "half" days? Much more likely to be an issue. Isn't that weird?

I think it's interesting that I find "liquid" days easier to handle than "half" days. It's easier for me to just not eat, PERIOD, than to try and figure out and limit myself to what I believe would be half of what I would normally eat. I'm tellin' ya, it's harder than it sounds!!

I'm sure the point of having these "half" days in the eating plan is to really force us to examine in great detail how much we've eaten in the past compared to how little we can actually survive just fine on. But it's SO hard to determine what HALF is!!!

One thing I've discovered is that I can't allow myself to eat anything beyond what is on my plate at the beginning of the meal. My lunch today is a perfect example of why:

I began the meal with a half-bun and two thin slices of cheese on my plate, a half-cup of homemade beef barley soup in my bowl, and a cup of homemade ice tea.

What I also put on the table were containers of my mom's best pickles, raw cucumber slices, and carrot sticks, and a plate with more cheese slices.

After finishing half my open-faced cheese sandwich and some soup, I grabbed a few carrots, pickles, and cucumbers. Hubby and I were deep in conversation; the girls already playing in the living room.

And then I grabbed a piece of cheese.

And then more carrots and cucumbers.

Now, I KNOW carrots and cucumbers have next to no calories and no fat at all, so likely, as far as that goes, I probably still ate only about half what I normally would have ~ half the more fattening stuff, that is. But if the point is to really examine the quantities we eat, even replacing the other half of a bun with carrots and cucumbers is still missing the point.

See what I mean? The line between half the quantity and half the quality can be kinda hazy sometimes. You understanding yet why I find these days a little aggravating?!

What do YOU think is more important?

Question Mark

Friday, April 24, 2009

Verses That KICK SOME DEVIL BUTT!!

On Wednesday, the last question in the daily Bible study asked us to think of and look up our own verses. That's one thing I like about this study ~ the answers are NOT necessarily right there in front of you in the passage at the beginning of the day. It makes you THINK!!

I mean, geez, we were compared to CAIN, for Pete's sake!! CAIN!!! The first murderer in the Bible! You wouldn't think that the occasional nibble when no one's looking could be equated somehow with murder, would you? But God asked Cain what was bothering him. Asked him to make it right, and what did Cain do? Completely IGNORED God and went and carried out the plans of his blackened heart anyway.

Isn't that what we often do when we hear that little voice saying, "You don't really need a snack. Just turn around, walk away, and find something else to do."? Have you ever ignored that voice? If you're like me, a better question is probably "have you ever NOT ignored that voice?"!!

But every time we ignore it and stuff our cake-hole anyway, then we ARE like Cain. And not only that, but, as Alicia observed, we make a mockery out of God when we allow the devil to win in these "little" situations. It's like he does the happy dance behind our backs, teasing God and singing, "I made her cave in! I'm stronger than you are!" in that nasty little sing-song voice we're all so familiar with.

I don't know how you feel about that, but.... OUCH!

The last question in the day's lesson asked for verses not necessarily mentioned in the study, and I thought it would be good for all three of us ~ Alicia, Susanne, and Tammi ~ to share with you the verses that popped into our heads (or that we had to search the concordance for!) and some of the reasoning why. After all, our hope, OUR MISSION, here on this blog, is to help you find ammunition for YOUR fight!!

The question read:

The Enemy wants you to think you can never conquer him. But that goes directly against God's Word. When the Enemy comes, defeat him wtih God's Word. This is an important point, for we defeat the lies of the Enemy with the truth of Scripture.

Find a Scripture from the New Testament or Genesis 4 to combat each of the following lies.

Here are our responses:

LIE #1. You are going to fail in this program and you can never be a woman of moderation.

  • Alicia: Genesis 4:7 (the week's memory verse) ~ "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."
  • Tammi: James 4:7 ~ "Submit yourselves then to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
  • Susanne (shoutin' at the demons!): John 8:44 ~ "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."
LIE #2. You can gratify the flesh now and start tomorrow.
  • Alicia (focusing on the idolatry of overeating): I John 3:6 ~ "No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him." (HARSH!) Also, I John 5:21 ~ "Dear children, keep yourself from idols."
  • Tammi (focusing on choosing the right thing TODAY): Hebrews 3:13 ~ "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." Also, Joshua 24:15 ~ "But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."
  • Susanne: I John 3:7-8 ~ "Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work."

LIE #3. The consequences for disobeying won't be that bad.

  • Both Alicia and Tammi instantly had the same verse pop into their heads for this one: Romans 6:23 ~ "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
  • Susanne (back to the memory verse!): Genesis 4:7 ~ If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.

Another question instructed us to pick a particular Psalm that we could turn to for encouragement and I'd like to share the one I chose:

Have mercy on me, O God,
have mercy on me,
for in you my soul takes refuge.
I will take refuge
in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfils His purpose for me.
He sends from heaven and saves me,
rebuking those who hotly pursue me;
God sends his love and his faithfulness.

~ Psalm 57:1-3

So, is your ammunition store restocked to handle the challenges of today? Because there will be challenges; there always are! We hope you can turn to these verses and find encouragement and new resolve ~ and maybe even the desire to seek out some passages on your own that you could share with us!

Wishing you a victorious, butt-kicking weekend,

Top of the World



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Shrinking Update

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

Well, it’s not what I’d hoped for… but it’s still a loss. I am DOWN ONE POUND from last week!

I have to admit, I was a little discouraged at first. But then I talked with my Cherished Canadian Confidante, and she offered these words of encouragement:

Susanne says:

I am down one pound. A little disappointed.

was hoping for at least two.

Tammi says:

But you obviously had some victories!!!

And you started this study while at your parents' house, so that was not your 'normal' anyway.

Susanne says:

Yes. Counting today, I have exercised 4 times already this week. (Starting Sunday).

This is true. I've only really been "serious" for the last 4 days.

Tammi says:

There you go. So maybe you need to think of it that you've lost a pound in 4 days, rather than 10.

That's right away a much better rate!!

Thanks Friend!! I needed that perspective!!

I have had some victories this week. In addition to four straight days of exercise, I have met my water goals (8 – 8oz glasses each day) every day, and am staying away from sweets and other fatty foods. I have managed to stay ON PLAN (see sidebar) so far this week, and THAT in and of itself is a huge VICTORY for me!

So what are my goals for this week?

To continue on with the eating plan, and complete my first week of exercise training. The plan is to walk (at least two miles, either out doors or via Leslie Sansone DVD) on M/W/F and do Pilates on T/Th.

So far, so good.

I’ll close with a scripture that my Mom sent last week in an email:

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work is finished correctly - 1 Chronicles 28:20

I’m believing for GREAT THINGS next week!!

Weigh-In Wednesday

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans
Well, ladies (and whatever gentlemen might be out there reading this!), I really am finally shrinking.

I'm down a whopping 4.8 lbs from last week!

The good news is, I've lost a total of 7.6 lbs since starting this Bible study a week an a half ago.

The BAD news, however, is that since I ate WAY too much over Easter weekend, I've only just this week been able to get rid of that excess and move beyond it. So for the purposes of this current Sisterhood challenge, I'm only down 3.4 lbs.

Wow, how annoying is THAT?!!

This is exactly the kind of see-saw pattern that gets so many of us discouraged, frustrated, and ultimately, usually gets us to quit trying. Which is exactly why something like this Bible study is needed ~ for us to see that the root of our problems lies in our nonchalance about sin.

This week's memory verse is Genesis 4:7:
If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.
(And yes, I typed that for memory, folks!)

This is SO true for me. If I give in once ~ no matter how I might rationalize or justify it ~ it weakens my resolve and I'm that much more likely to allow it to happen again. Failure is just waiting to pounce, to tear me apart, to tell me I shouldn't have bothered trying because I'll never succeed anyway.

BUT... conversely, the more tiny little victories I have ~ the more times I succeed in walking away from the snack cupboard, or turning down second helpings at mealtimes, or reaching for an orange instead of a bag of chips ~ the better the chances I am to have more. Because I'm slowly but surely stomping out failure. I'm stomping out the devil's flickering flames of lies and deception and relying more on God's power and promises.

And the victories are growing. Success really does breed success!


Raise The Roof 1

Monday, April 20, 2009

Holy Fireworks!!

I've had some great instant messaging conversations with my Sweet South'un Sistah over the last several months. I always enjoy our chats, but the one we had last Friday was downright monumental for me. (She posted her take on it HERE)

We were discussing how our weeks had gone ~ our first week going through the "A Woman of Moderation" study together. Discussing how losing weight is HARD and WHY it's hard.

Here's the excerpt that really blew me away:

Tammi says: It's hard to shift the mindset to reality though, when it comes to weight loss, isn't it? At least, I find it that way.

Susanne says:
Yes. It's like we want to change pace for a couple of days and have it all fall/melt away. HELLO!?!?! You didn't get like this over night (allthough it seems like that sometimes) and there is no such thing as a "quick fix".

Tammi says:
Ugh, I know. I hate that there's no quick fix for reasonable, normal people!!
But I think that's an overall societal problem ~ none of us wants to accept responsibility for our failures, pay the consequences, and actually learn from the experience of righting the wrong.

Susanne says:
That is what my Dad said the other day. He said the problem with our generation is that we want stuff NOW, and we never learn to wrestle with things until we learn the lesson.

Tammi says:
Doesn't the Bible actually SAY that hardships are good for us?!

Susanne says:
Yes. It actually does. They are meant to test and prove us. I was reminded this weekend of the Columbia Commissioning from the Beth Moore (LPL) Event that Mom and I attended exactly two years ago. Mom has it printed and on her refrigerator door.
Going to fish it out of email and forward it to you...hang on.

Photobucket

Tammi says: Oooo, I LOVE that!!! I'm totally printing it out and putting it on my fridge!!!!
"Go forth and display divine special effects"... AWESOME!

Susanne says: It's GOOD. That whole weekend was AWESOME!! I needed that reminder. Yeah, she says that the verses about "a cloud of witnesses" (James, James or Hebrews, I think) refers to what's going on all around us that we can't see (spirtual realm) and that everytime we choose Christ and his will for our lives they are applauding and sending out "special effects" that we cannot see.

Tammi says: I always kinda wondered about that verse. I like that interpretation. Makes struggling through something instead of desiring the quick fix more worth it. Almost kind of fun! (almost!)
Vectorial Elevation, Channel4 Big Art Project
Susanne says: Yeah... ALMOST!!

Tammi says: But imagine the fireworks! Or better yet, you know how at really big events, they use spotlights that you can see for miles and miles? It's like the angels are saying, "Hey, God! Over here!! We've got a victory over here!!" Dang, and now I'm crying. Geez.

Susanne says: THat is EXACTLY what she meant! And now I have GOOSEBUMPS!

You know why this made me cry? (other than that I'm just a crier, plain and simple?!) The idea that the angels around me, unseen to the human eye, throw up a beacon, set off the fireworks, to celebrate each little victory in my life with our Heavenly Father. That is so completely humbling and encouraging all at the same time!

I was so energized and refocused after that!

Friday was a fasting day for me and it almost KILLED me to fix Fidget's lunch ~ a hotdog and a handful of chips ~ or afternoon tea, which included a cheese and cracker snack. But turning to God while my tummy rumbled on, all the while knowing that there were mini-celebrations in honour of these tiny little victories made it worth it.

Check it out ~ here's a picture of me resisting the urge to nibble a chip or two while making Fidget's lunch:

AdvertisingBalloons.com

Who knew one small self-discipline victory could be so beautiful?!

Or how 'bout this stunning B/W shot of me deciding to give up General Hospital permanently after Lent was over:

Searchlights, Portland Waterfront, Oregon 1936
Isn't that AWESOME?!

I think my angels were going all out because it had been so long since they'd been able to throw a decent party. So long since there'd been even the smallest of victories to celebrate.

What challenges are you facing today? Do they feel insurmountable, like you'll never succeed, so why bother trying?

Are you looking for the easy road... or the one that leads to the incredible laser and fireworks display?

asiahotels.com

Trust me, the harder road is worth the reward.



Fireworks

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spurring On...

One of my all time favorite verses of scripture is Hebrews 10:24…

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

It really is one of the main purposes of this blog. To encourage, inspire, and hold (me) accountable.

Last night, while having coffee with two precious friends (I guess you could call them my IRL accountability partners) we vented our disappointment with our weight loss efforts. One friend said, “What can we do? We need to do something to SPUR EACH OTHER ON.”

After much more discussion on the matter, we all agreed that our problem is NOT in KNOWING what to do, but actually FOLLOWING THROUGH with it. Each of the three of us seem to be “all or nothing” type girls… and we seem to give up too quickly.

This past week, while visiting with my Mom, I found a brilliant reminder on her refrigerator. Two years ago, she and I attended a Living Proof Live event in Columbia, SC. During that weekend, Beth Moore illuminated several verses in the book of James for us. These in particular:

Count it all joy, my brothers,when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of our faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

Steadfastness. Could that be my issue?

Dictionary.com defines “steadfastness” this way:

firm in purpose, resolution, faith, attachment, etc., as a person: a steadfast friend

I am quick to make resolutions, and statements of faith, but am I FIRM IN THEM??

My Dad and I were discussing something similar the other day. He said (very lovingly) that my generation is one of “instants”. Instant messaging, microwaves, and drive-thrus. We don’t want to wait for anything. And we especially don’t want to “wrestle” with things.

But isn’t that what these verses are all about? PERSERVERING through trials, could be another way of saying “wrestling with the struggles of life”. For me, weight-loss, finances, and other areas of self discipline are all a part of these struggles.

I often feel like a failure, or a fake, because I haven’t “mastered” this stuff. I don’t have it all together and it’s painfully obvious. There have even been instances when I’ve considered quitting blogging altogether because of feelings of inadequacy and concerns over being inauthentic. (I certainly would have NEVER considered the possibility of co-authoring yet ANOTHER blog! What?!?! Are you CRAZY? - Obviously God had other plans…)

But that reminder… that brilliantly crafted graphic representation of Beth Moore’s Columbia Commissioning, sitting so prominently on my Mama’s fridge, was EXACTLY what I needed.

(Thanks again, Maggie, for this beautiful interpretation!)

With every struggle, every trial, every “wrestling match” He is proving that I am NOT a fake. He is moving, he is working. He is producing “steadfastness” in my life.

I am his MASTERPIECE and He has special plans and a specific purpose for my life.

This has completely encouraged me, to keep on keepin’ on and give God ALL THE GLORY!!

And hopefully, my journey will inspire you to do the same.

SPURRING EACH OTHER ON… that’s what it’s all about!

A-ha!!

Hooooo, those Setting Captives Free people are SNEAKY!!!

Yesterday was the first "normal" day for me ~ eat what you normally would, being careful not to over-eat ~ but I tell ya, after three days of consuming mostly liquids or half-meals....

I ate LESS than "normal" and still felt a little too full all stinkin' day.

Well. Huh.

It would seem.... "normal" has already begun to change.

Smile

Thursday, April 16, 2009

True Confessions

Moderation, shmoderation...
I totally tanked last night!!

I did SO well all day long, and even though I had a small second helping of mashed potatoes (with fat-free sour cream and Steakhouse Pepper seasoning blend) at supper, it was my habitual first-night-hubby's-not-home bingeing that was my complete undoing.

I sensed I'd have problems already earlier in the day when my friend was over in the afternoon and I confessed to her that I'd had the "I'm gonna snack as soon as she's gone" impulse briefly flash through my brain.

I didn't snack when she left. I didn't snack while making supper. I ate a balanced, reasonable supper.

But all the while, I couldn't push the knowledge out of my mind that there was an open bag of Creamy Dill chips in the cupboard. (Hmmmm, could this be why the book says to RID YOUR HOUSE OF ALL BOOBY TRAPS??!!)

The chips pulled me in with an iron grip and I KNEW I should walk away and open my Bible. But I didn't. Even before I succumbed, I was hating myself.

I felt so gross halfway through the snack ~ you'd think that would have stopped me. But no, I forged ahead and forced every last morsel down my gullet. I was past the point of no return, and all the while hating myself for letting myself down. For failing to keep a promise I made to God and to myself in the morning.

This morning, I still feel disgusting. And disgusted. Blegch.

BUT, on a positive note....


I've now rid my home of the only snack I absolutely can't resist!!

Chips

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Shrinking Update

As I am away from my scales this week (visting family for Spring Break) I have not yet had a "proper" weigh in. (Mom has a scale, but it's on the fritz... Darn.) ;-)

I can report, though, that Days 2 and 3 in my A Woman of Moderation study have been rather successful. Yesterday was a liquids day, and I made sure I stayed hydrated with lots of juice and water. (I also drank lots of Dunkin' Donuts coffee). :-)

For supper last night, I had a Greek Grilled Chicken salad (w/ lite dressing) from a local pizza parlor, and one small brownie for dessert. YAY! I did it!

After supper, only water... oh, and coffee, again.

Today has been a "normal day" in which I have tried to watch portion sizes. I had some Nabisco Newton Crisps (100 calorie) and a glass of 1% milk for breakfast. After visiting the zoo, we met my sister for lunch at her favorite barbecue restaurant, but I managed to behave. I had grilled chicken with veggies for sides, and ate only until I was full. I plan on a "light" supper (turkey sandwich and fruit).

Here's the good news... I went shopping this afternoon, and tried on some clothes from Cold Water Creek. My "normal size" has been rather snug on me lately, and I was really nervous about having to go a size up to get a nice fit. I was wrong!! I selected several outfits and hesitantly made my way to the dressing room. To my surprise they fit PERFECTLY! Yay!! So although, I have not been able to weigh, I can tell in my face and my midsection that I'm at least losing a little water weight. That's always a good thing!

This study is once again rocking my world. Our memory verse this week has been a great help in resisting the temptation to overeat, and snack on sweets.
"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed are those who take refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing". (Psalm 34:8-9)
I am learning what it means to "take refuge" in Christ and seek him for my emotional needs, instead of running to food to complete me. Once again the Psalm Meals are really helpful. This one in particular spoke to me today.
"Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord! I have fled to you for refuge!
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God!
Let your Spirit lead me on level ground!"
(Psalm 143:9-10)

The key, for me, is learning the difference between PHYSICAL hunger and SOUL (emotional) hunger. Yesterday's study was huge in that it brought me to this realization:

The Lord will satisfy our deepest desires. We need to listen to his spirit and let Him show us what we're really hungering after. If it is food, our stomachs will rumble and He will provide---we don't need to panic, eat fast, or graze. We are hungry for Him. We need to be still before him and allow Him to feed us from His Word.

Now.

All I have to do is learn to practice Psalm 81:10...

Open my mouth WIDE and let Him fill it!

Weigh-In Wednesday

Sisterhood of the Shrinking JeansI have to share a quote I saw someone use on Facebook last Wednesday.

"Why does God allow us to spend so much of our life in battle? Because He never meant for us to sip His spirit like a proper cup of tea. He meant for us to hold our sweating heads over the fountain and lap up His life with an unquenchable thirst."

Ugh. Why do these random quotes I find always seem to apply so well to my life, dang it??!!

I did a quick Google search and it came as no surprise it's from a Beth Moore book. Praying God's Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds, to be precise. That Beth Moore is ONE WISE WOMAN. Still never read any of her books, but she's reached me on more than one occasion despite that!!

Interesting, the title of that book...

On Monday, my closest IRL (in real life) friend as well as my sweet south'un bloggy sistah Susanne started working through the "A Woman of Moderation: Breaking the Chains of Poor Eating Habits" study by Dee Brestin. So far, in two days, I'm down 2.8 lbs! Unfortunately, I'm still heavier than I was last Wednesday. Not by much ~ like, just under a pound ~ but still heavier.

Obviously, I ate too much over Easter.

But I'm excited. I'm excited to be going through this physically, TANGIBLY, with a dear friend, and also to be going through it in bloggy format with someone who's also become a close friend. As much as I love sites like The Sisterhood, for myself, it simply isn't a replacement for a flesh-and-blood friend with whom I can laugh, cry, vent, share, and pray.

I'm so thankful for both these ladies!!

Blow Kiss

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Starting Over

As I am out of town this week (Spring Break) visiting family, I thought I'd modify my plan a bit. Yesterday (instead of liquids) I had a "Normal Day". I know that sounds like I was copping out, but if you'd seen what I ate over the Easter holiday, you would know that even "normal" portions was a cut-back for me!

I did fairly well. I had eggs, toast and juice for breakfast. For lunch, however, Papa wanted to dine at one of our favorite Columbia area burger joints. RUSH'S! I ordered a regular cheeseburger basket (which comes with some of the most awesome fries you've ever put in your mouth) and root beer. For accountability purposes, I want you to know that I am aware that this was NOT the BEST choice I could have made. (I should have left off the fries, and opted for a diet coke, instead!) However, I didn't eat the entire burger, or even half of the fries. I amazed myself in practicing a "novel" concept. I STOPPED EATING when I got FULL. That is a HUGE victory for me!!

For supper, Nana cooked Chicken bog, butter beans, and corn. Buck made some of his "famous" cheese bread, and a bowl of fresh fruit salad. (The healthy kind, not made with fattening ingredients like mayo/salad dressing). I was very careful to use small portions, and ate only one small slice of bread. I did eat seconds...but not of rice. I had an extra portion of fruit salad for dessert instead of brownies or cake.

Because I have not been consistent since I started this program, and since my sweet Tammi has recently decided to begin the same study, I have decided to RE-START as of yesterday. I am so excited about this "second chance" at success, and the accountability that this blog offers.

Let's DO THIS THANG!

Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.

Psalm 34:8-9


Monday, April 13, 2009

Day 1 ~ End-of-Day Evaluation

Oops. Had a little chips-and-pop mishap already this evening.

My husband asked me how this figured into my new diet and I said, "The book doesn't actually say anything about snacks." I just assumed they followed the plan just like the other meals.

Except I forgot about the section at the beginning of the book that says to RID YOUR HOUSE OF BOOBY TRAPS.

On Sunday night when I met with my "in real life" (IRL) friend who's going through this study with me, we'd decided together that promptly ridding our homes of snack foods would be met with extreme resistance (and outright pouting, whining, and fisticuffs), so we would leave the snacks in the cupboards and just try desperately to avoid partaking despite the snacking habits of our loved ones.

Huh. You can see how well that worked out for me!! It's DAY ONE, for pete's sake!!

BUT, I was still victorious today. I did NOT eat anything until supper time (it was a "liquids day")and I ate less than I normally would have, but felt quite full. Afterwards, I went for my 2-mile walk and recited the memory verse for this week several times and spent most of the half-hour walk talking with God. Yes, I snacked this evening, but only one can of pop and only one cereal bowl filled with chips. Which is significantly less chips than normal.

Tomorrow is a "half day," meaning I can eat what I normally would, just only HALF the amount. Could be tricky in the afternoons, since I often don't really have lunch but kinda snack for a couple of hours!

Chips

Psalm Meals

As some of you know, thanks to my sweet friend Diann, I began a new Bible Study today called A Woman of Moderation by Dee Brestin. I am so excited about this study!! Mainly because of the subtitle…

“Breaking the Chains of Poor Eating Habits”

This has been an “issue” of mine for several years. Oh, snap! Let’s be real. This has been an issue of mine for my entire adult life! And, as I said in this post last week, I have gained a new resolve in the matter. I am DETERMINED to see these “chains” broken. Once. And. For. All.

Can’t you just hear Mary Mary (or Mandisa) now?

“Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance… I just wanna praise you, I just wanna praise you!! You broke the chains now I can lift my hands… I just wanna praise you… just wanna PRAISE YOU!!”

(Oh, sorry. I guess I got caught up in the moment… Back to the Bible Study and topic at hand.) ;-)

According to the back of the book, these are the goals of this study:

  • Learn how to enjoy food as God intended
  • Learn scriptural truths for approaching food in a healthy way
  • Learn how God can satisfy your soul’s hunger

In addition to following the Setting The Captives Free program (oh yeah, I am ALL OVER that title!) we are encouraged to partake of “Psalm Meals” throughout the day, specifically, at meal times.

“Make no mistake---the Enemy does not want you to be set free from slavery to food. He delights in keeping you in chains. Your two greatest weapons against him are Scripture and prayer---so why not combine them?”

The lesson goes on to quote Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “The young man who took a courageous stand against Hitler and was martyred for his faith, wrote in his book Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible:

It is a dangerous error, surely very widespread among Christians, to think that the heart can pray by itself…. Prayer does not mean simply to pour out one’s heart. It means rather to find the way to God and to speak with him, whether the heart is full or empty… If we wish to pray with confidence and gladness, then the Words of Holy Scripture will have to be the solid basis of our prayer.”

Wow. I’ve never thought about it like that before!

My morning Psalm Meal blessed me beyond measure as I prayed it out loud, and I thought I would share it with you:

Psalm 16 A Psalm of David

Keep me safe, O God,

for I have come to you for refuge.

I said to the Lord, “You are my Master!
Every good thing I have comes from you.”

The godly people in the land
are my true heroes!

I take pleasure in them!

Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods.
I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood
or even speak the names of their gods.

Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing.
You guard all that is mine.

The land you have given me is a pleasant land.
What a wonderful inheritance!

I will bless the Lord who guides me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I know the Lord is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.
My body rests in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead
or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.

You will show me the way of life,
granting me the joy of your presence
and the pleasures of living with you forever.

I know I said this last week, but, at the risk of sounding repetitive, I want to praise God for always providing EXACTLY what I need, EXACTLY when I need it.

I also thought you might be interested to know that I have chosen verses 7-8 (highlighted in pink, above) as my new memory verse(s) for this challenge.

Why?

Because I am DETERMINED to do this. I will NOT BE SHAKEN, for HE IS RIGHT BESIDE ME!!

What foe do you need to defeat in Jesus? What chains can He break for you???

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Never-Ending Story

I have a problem.

Every time I have a weigh-in coming up (or am beginning a new "diet" plan), I eat like there's no tomorrow.

I generally weigh myself Wednesday mornings and usually I'm pretty well behaved from Thursday to Monday, but Monday night the munchies hit with a vengeance and by the time the alarm goes off Wednesday morning, I've usually succeeded in undoing all efforts made earlier in the week. It's very frustrating.

This past Wednesday, my best friend and I decided to start working through the Dee Brestin study "A Woman of Moderation" on Monday, and I've thoroughly gorged myself since making that decision. I've felt uncomfortably full almost continuously since then, it seems. Disgusting, isn't it?

Last night, we were invited to my aunt and uncle's home for Good Friday supper and guess what? I overate. Later at home, while hubby grabbed his Oh Henry Easter egg to munch on in front of the TV, I told myself to leave mine for a different day. I reminded myself how uncomfortable I was still feeling, how the waistband of my jeans was leaving angry red marks on my skin. I reasoned that it would taste better if I knew I'd waited until I was actually hungry ~ or at least until I'd had a day of restraint.

I didn't wait. I ate it anyway.

And though it gave me temporary satisfaction, I've had nothing but regret since I swallowed the last delicious, melty morsel. Hating myself for giving in AGAIN, hating that I'm still feeling full 12 hours later, kicking myself for 'wasting' a treat on a full stomach...

I'm so tired of this.

Fat Woman 5

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Woo-hoo!!

My best friend said YES, has ordered the book, and we're kickin' it off on Monday!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Longest, Slowest Road

Sisterhood of the Shrinking JeansI thought I'd been "good" while away in The Big City. I believe there was only one meal where I very definitely overate.

I thought I'd been "good" this past week ~ never over-eating, rarely snacking.

Apparently, I haven't been good enough.

I'm still half a pound heavier than I was two weeks ago at the start of this challenge.
A Woman of Moderation
I've had this book sitting on my night stand for several weeks already, but hadn't quite decided to throw myself into it yet. I'd really like to be able to do it together WITH someone. The blogging group that was following and posting daily sort of petered out after a few weeks and now the blog has been removed entirely, so I have to say, that doesn't really inspire me.

My best friend and fellow weight-loss-struggler and I will be resuming our Wednesday afternoon coffee habit this afternoon, now that her work schedule has returned to normal... I'm hoping she'll be interested in buying the book and working through it together with me.

Spaghetti