Day 16- Getting Up

Just wanted to take a moment to define some vocabulary I often use. 

1.) CLEAN FOODS: When I mention clean food, I’m talking about food that is healthy and good for me. Stuff like veggies, two fruits a day (fruit is a carb thus, when sticking to a diabetic diet it’s encouraged to only eat 2 pieces of fruit a day. I will usually pick two of these options… 1/2c of berries, 1/2 banana, a small red delicious apple (my fave), a kiwi, a cutie, 1/2 c grapes or 1/2 c of watermelon. These are the ones I prefer. Mangoes, and watermelon are the ones I’m most carful with because they’re sweeter, and in mango’s case, starchier.) Anyway, clean foods are also nuts, chicken, beef, fish, cheeses, and small portions (1/4-1/2 c) of brown rice, grits, beans, sweet potato, and even sometimes a white potato. I eat these with minimal olive oil use, no-very low salt, no added sugar, no frying and no caffeine, or sugary drinks. This all sums up “Clean Food.” I’m talking about food that’s clean of dyes, and human tampering, and stuff that’s good for my heart and spirit. 

2.) MESSY FOODS: Are everything else. Anything in a package. Anything that has been touched by human intentions. Salty, sugary, starchy, carby foods like pizza, chips, cookies, fried chicken, etc. Messy foods are high carb foods that mess with my head and heart. Like Thanksgiving side dishes, that I ate too much of this Thanksgiving! It’s not just junk food, it’s anything that sways me from eating in a God-honoring way! 

3.) GOD HONORING EATING: I use this phrase to define the times that I am eating in a way that glorifies God. It’s allowing God to be Lord over every part of my life, including my eating. 

4.) GODLESS EATING: Is the exact opposite. It’s when I binge and eat in a way that is void of the presence of God as Savior from this old habit and sinful way, and it is also void of God as Lord over my eating. It’s me eating for my own pleasure, glory, and satisfaction. 

Great, now that I’ve defined it, you can know what I mean when I mention it. Today is day two after hearing about my 2 lb gain. I’ll be totally honest and confess that I’m so annoyed with that. I have no one to blame but myself. I chose to eat messy food. 

I think I did out of laziness to be quite honest. The leftovers were accessible and easy, so I ate that because of convenience. But one thing I’ve learned through this process is that weight loss is NOT easy. There is no part of this process that is easy. What’s that saying, “if it were easy, everyone would do it.” That’s so true. 

I think I can get up and walk out of this tiny setback (if I can even call it that) and do my best to remember the lesson in it all. Do the work, don’t take the easy way. The most important thing after weight gain is to keep going. If I let it, these two pounds will kill me. They’ll mess with my mind and I’ll run to binging over it. 

That’s how my mind works. I’m upset, I eat. I’m lonely, I eat. I’m sad, I eat. I’m bored, I eat. I’m happy, I eat, I succeeded in something, I eat. I failed at something, I eat. Food has been my best friend, my lover, my medicine, my hero, my comrade, my babysitter, my mother, my father, my brother, my sister, my leader, my mentor, my all in all. People, I’m not kidding when I tell you that food has been my god. The worst sentence I can utter. But that’s the truth. One day I’ll tell you how I got there and what binge eating is actually like. 

That’s what this is all about. Not allowing food to be my god. I am fighting to rip food out of the seat of my King, Jesus Christ who is my Lord and Savior, and who is now and will always be, better than food. I just want to make this clear. Food was my god, “their god is their belly” (Phil. 3:19). When I eat in a Godless way, I declare that again. I declare food the god of my life. But when I eat in a God honoring way, Jesus sits on the throne of my life and I give Him his rightful position as LORD.

Writing all of this really helped me wrestle through this little setback. I feel like I have a better handle on this right now and like I can move on and be okay with the weight gain because I’m looking at it in light of what it could have been. I am a champion overeater. If it were an Olympic sport, I’d have a gold medal, ten in fact. If it were a degree, I’d have a PhD or three. If I had fully let go this past week I could have gained fifteen pounds. I’m serious when I say that. So, praise God is was only two.  

I must get up and keep going. I must. Thank you Lord.

Day 14- Soup

I had the privilege of being asked to join one of my close friends to go pray over her cousin today. He has been in a coma for some time and we’ve been praying for his recovery for months now. It’s great to be part of a community that is so interdependent.

We encouraged her aunt and shared some Gospel truth with her, and prayed over her cousin. After that, I was invited by she and her husband to go out and have some Korean food. My food has been so messy this week that I was honestly reluctant to say yes. I was scared that I would mess up my food even more.

I ended up going and eating a very balanced meal. I had some beef, and half a cup of steamed rice with the greatest tofu soup ever. The soup was piping hot, I mean, still boiling in the pot. (Which is the exact temperature I like my food!!) Anyway the soup was amazing and I feel like it restored my happiness. I know how silly that is. But I needed it. This week has been messy, especially food wise. I’m quite nervous for weigh in tomorrow.

Whatever the outcome, I take full responsibility. Anyway, today, I was able to eat a healthy dinner at a Korean restaurant and eat piping hot soup which not only blessed my tummy, it blessed my soul as well. Is it wrong to think that, Lord? Am I making food more than food? Hmm…

 

Day 13- Walls

“Christians are all about building walls,” I said. Then I burst out into laughter. I’ve never said something so profoundly honest about the state of the world and the state of the Church. That sentence perfectly sums up the recent American presidential election. I found it quite comical.

Yesterday was a dark day. I awoke this morning and still had a carby thanksgiving breakfast… again. So, no change. I didn’t get in the word yesterday. So, again, no change. But then…

I met with one of my good friends for lunch. A healthy tofu and veggie lunch with NO carbs. It was delicious!! We sat for hours and caught up on our lives. We laughed about nonsense, and joked about rejection [from the waitress]. All in all, it was one of the highlights of my Thanksgiving holiday.

She shared about her pending move out of state and we began to discuss my leaving California. She encouraged me to travel, which is already on my heart. And I told her that the reason I haven’t yet moved is my church. She lovingly looked at me and said the famous line all my out of state friends say, “there are churches everywhere.” And with all sincerity and gentleness, I tried to explain… “yeah, but none like mine.”

This idea of walls was such a profound thought in my puny little head that I went on to elaborate. The American Church generally tends to build walls. At least the Churches I’ve seen. I feel like more often than not, I see many churches getting bigger in numbers and constructing bigger and bigger buildings to house those massive numbers of people, who are itching to hear what their ears itch to hear. These fellowships are building walls around those who “believe,” those who have been “enlightened,” and maybe by extension even building walls around the gospel itself? Something to ponder there…?

Instead of providing a building in which to do ministry, these fellowships, and maybe even most of the American church as a whole, end up creating walls which keep the truly hurting and needy out of the place in which hope should be most alive! Walls fortify a city (“community”) to remain secret and secluded and hoarding all of the supposed love of God inside instead of outside where it is needed most.

Walls wall the walled and leave the outsiders outside. That may be the stupidest sentence I’ve ever uttered, but it’s the best summary I have for this point. It breaks my heart. I went on to tell my friend how I feel people misrepresent Jesus and how most “Christians” belittle the marginalized and they neglect to love those who really need it. The Jesus most “Christians” in America follow is oppressive and scornful of those who He BIBLICALLY cares most about! The American Church has contorted the Biblical Jesus into something He is not. The hurting need Jesus, not more reasons to hate Him.

I am blessed to belong to a fellowship that loves the marginalized well. Not perfectly, just well and with heart. It’s very flawed because it’s made up of forgiven sinners with very real issues. But the reason I cannot move out of state just yet is because I have found a community that loves, accepts and challenges (in love and gentleness, yet with boldness) people from all walks of life, right where they are. They care about the oppression of immigrants, and the communities that feel sidelined by modern Christianity.

I don’t know how this theme ended up here. And I don’t intend to make my weight loss blog about politics. But, alas here I am. I know I have so much to learn. And I know I am in the right place. I am where I am supposed to be. Perhaps one day I am to take the knowledge and wisdom I acquire to other places. I dream of traveling. I really do. It’s my hearts greatest desire… okay one of them. I can’t wait till the day I am able to.

Which brings me to a different type of “wall.” Obesity. Extra weight, or in my case, morbidly excessive weight walls in the person who wears the weight. In this case, myself. I have often compared being overweight to being in prison. It very much feels like that, nearly all the time. I cannot travel out of state via airplane (the cheaper way) because I cannot comfortably or cheaply fit in plane seats. I don’t make enough money to buy myself two plane seats to travel out of state. As much as I wish I could do it. This wall [of fat] hinders the freedom and mobility that many people take for granted. Simple things even, like bending down, exercise, and standing require strange alterations we obese people make in order to function in this world. Therefore, as part of my prison sentence, I must learn to live amid the societal confines of the wall that I have unknowingly accepted. I won’t wear a bikini to your beach. I won’t squeeze into furniture I cannot fit in, I won’t attempt to live joyfully in my skin. No, I could never do that. I am to live in the prison and only do these things when I fit in and fight the wall. Sigh, vicious circle.

All this brings me to yet a different type of wall I have always dealt with. Assimilating with that prison (wall) on purpose out of fear of the outside. Now this story is sounding far more complicated than I wish to be, but here’s my truth. As I stupidly said before, walls wall the walled and leave the outsiders outside. I want to lose weight. I really do. But, I want to do it, as invisibly as possible. I know this is unmanageable, but I just don’t like the attention. Someone once suggested that I ate myself into so much weight to protect myself from harm. I believe there may be some truth there. Which would explain my passionate and very complex relationship to walls and how they function.

I do know that I know nothing. And I know that Jesus is the wall crusher and He alone destroys and demolishes walls of all kinds. His love is sufficient for my hurt heart to be healed and whole, and for the oppressed who hate him and his people, to feel love and forgiveness. This post was all over the place. But, it’s where I’m at.

What walls are in your own heart? Do you mean it for good? For protection? Self-preservation? Or is it fear? Consider it. I pray you find your hope in the Wall crusher-Jesus. As I do, and am learning how to better do it daily. Oh Lord, change my heart.

Day 12- Pie

Okay, I admit it. It’s been about three days since I’ve spent time in the Word. Sadly, I know why. It’s because I want pie. I just want to justify eating crap. And the Bible will not let me do that. So in my rebellion, I’ve chosen to avoid the Truth that will pierce my heart, so I can blissfully enjoy ignorance and sin.

I’ve had more carbs than I should have had, y’all. I’ve had thanksgiving leftovers at least thrice now. I’ve rationalized eating carbs by telling myself that I will work it off. But I know that you cannot out run a bad diet. I know that. I’m absolutely powerless in the sight of all of this sugary (carby) food. I need Jesus. Seriously. Pray for me. Really. I hope to change my attitude, soon. I must fight. And I just don’t want to. I don’t.

Day 11- Thanks

Thanksgiving has such a special smell. When you walk outside of your home and stand in the street, the wafting aroma of Turkey and warmth embrace your entire body. It’s such an incredible sensation. I am beyond thankful and there is so much I can say about how good my God is, but I won’t even attempt to put it in words. So, I will say, that I am thankful and that the Lord is good beyond my understanding! Thank you Lord!!

Food: It’s super hard to maintain healthy and balanced diet today. But, I think I managed to do well. I did in fact have sweets! I ate a couple slivers of pie, and guess what? It was just pie. Again, thankful! Praise you, Jesus! Look at all this food! Its unreal how many carbs were present! Oh Lord!

And this is a Thanksgiving tradition I started a couple years ago. We make a “Thankful” art piece every year. Last year it was a turkey. This year we made a tree. This was so great to take a moment to pause and laugh as we wrote things like “wi-fi,” and “chips” (kids!!) to serious stuff like “health,” and “salvation.” So thankful for this moment today. (I covered personal names just to respect those mentioned.)

tree

Anyway, I am thankful Lord. You are beyond my understanding. I am so grateful for your goodness and above all, MERCY!

“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” -Psalm 9:1

May it be so, Jesus!

My friends, I am also thankful for you. Thank you for being on this journey with me.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Day 10- Tennis

I’m officially the worst tennis player to walk this earth. But alas, this fierce tenacity of mine will not let me quit. I’m in love with the popping melody of tennis balls being kissed by rackets. I am genuinely overwhelmed with joy when my strings make contact with that fuzzy little highlighter colored ball.

Much like tennis, I am realizing that I suck at this clean eating and healthy lifestyle thing. It’s so tempting to sum up both of those things with the word, “diet.” But we all know, it’s not a diet. “Diet” means the food a person eats, it’s not the limitations they set on themselves for weight loss. Let’s get that definition right, people.

Anyway, this very short entry to state that although maintaining sobriety from gluttony cannot be absolutely perfect, I must continue. I must go on. I must keep trying. I will never be perfect, eating well will never be perfect. But, I must go on.

One day, I will be better at tennis. I pray to one day be better at this too! Lord, help me.