Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Getting Real About Food (and a few other things)

My friend Angel put out a challenge for us today to GET REAL about our lives. I have been giving a lot of thought to a particular issue lately - so this is my impetus to try to put this in writing!
Before I get to the particular issue - I'll be real about a few other things! Having 3 kids is the hardest thing I have ever done! I know I had rough "mommy moments" when I just had one or when I had two - but they have been much more common in the past two years! Overall I LOVE being a stay at home mom and really wouldn't change it for the world - but dang, it is HARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There are sometimes when it can feel so monotonous - especially in the mornings - get up - get everybody fed, get everybody dressed - keep the boys from beating on each other! Keep everyone's voices down enough so that the neighbors don't call social services! (this has crossed my mind a lot lately since the window's are open now) I have really been faced with my selfishness a lot lately! I realize that a lot of what drives me crazy in my kids behavior are things that I see in myself - reflected by them! I am trying to teach them that they cannot control what others do, but only their responses and reactions to that - and how often do I react and respond in sinful ways - A LOT - would be the answer to that! I wish I could control everything they do and have them act in the right way all the time - but guess what - THEY DON'T! And it is my choice in how to respond to it. One positive is that I really try to admit my mistakes to my kids and I often do apologize and ask for forgiveness. I hope this is helping them to keep it real and be able to admit mistakes!
Now onto the other issue!
I LOVE FOOD! I LOVE TO EAT! Thankfully I am a healthy weight for my age and height - but it is something that I constantly struggle with. Several years ago I read "Weigh Down" and it made a lot of sense to me. The basic idea is not that foods are not inherently "bad" or "good", but that we should just eat when we are hungry and just eat enough to satisfy that hunger - not to be full. A few years later I went through a summer long small group with a group of women and we went through a similar book. It was good to talk about it with other women. My friend who led the group had lost 100 lbs mainly through the above philosphy. We talked a lot about using food for comfort and as a way to insulate ourselves from feelings -much the same way an alcoholic or drug addict uses those vices to escape from reality.
Fast forward to today. I have seasons in my life where I eat well and feel good and my clothes fit well, etc. I have other seasons where this is not so much the case. Until a few weeks ago I was in the latter season. On the other hand my DH has been a madman! He joined a gym 17 months ago and now has a trainer at work (lucky him!). He has lost 27 lbs and is looking and feeling great. His training suggested trying this 21-Day Jumpstart Plan and it is a very specific food plan. I am generally not in favor of this type of thing - but to make this somewhat shorter - I decided to do it along with him! I figured it wouldn't hurt to have my pants fit a bit better and to sort of detoxify my body from all the junk it had gotten used to lately.
OF COURSE, GOD had much more than that in store for me.
I am on Day 18 - for eighteen days, I have had no breads, no dairy and no sugar (not even fruit!). I do feel physically better and yes, my clothes are fitting well again. But the biggest things has been realizing how much I make food an IDOL! I can't tell you how many times I have just longed to eat something sweet or snacky! Is it because I am hungry? NO!!!!!!!!! It has made me look hard at this and realize that it is because I want the HIGH that will come with eating that particular food! It feels yucky to even type that out. It is helping me see again how broken and selfish I am. The days are stressful with the kids and this is often what I find my comfort in! The interesting thing is that I rarely hear this talked about in Christian circles - in fact, many times getting together with Christians is often focused on lots of food (generally the unhealthy stuff). If eating to satisfy an emotional need is SIN then we invite each other into more often than we know! I am not trying to say that we should not enjoy our food, or have meals together- eating together is a HUGE part of many cultures and there are many good things about it! I just wonder how often we sweep this SIN under the rug!
So back to my struggle. In these past few weeks, I have been at times quite irritable (in withdrawl) because I am being denied my comfort from food. How this has made me see how much I am NOT turning to God to fulfill all my needs. This time around I have also thrown in the layer of the awareness of hunger in the world. Even though I can only eat certain things - I still have a pantry and frig full of them. How dare I be irritable and grumpy about not being able to have my favorite things when so much of the world has NOTHING to eat! Again, this isn't about a guilt trip - I am just trying to peel back the layers of this issue and call it what it is!
I am still majorly in process in all of this and I know it will require daily choices for my whole life.
Any other thoughts out there? Am I the only one?


Pam said...

Hey!! I have not had bread, dairy, or sugar (except fruit) for four years. God has worked this way in my life order to heal me of chronic migraines, amoung other nasty things. Yuck. Hang in will learn so much about God and yourself! HUGS!
Pam from RLC too.

elizabeth engelhardt creations said...

You are so not the only one! I discovered I am an emotional eater when I was going through Celebrate Recovery at my church in Highland Village, TX. I have gotten better, but I am nowhere near where I need to be. And becoming aware of the EXTREME POOR, is quite a slap in my face when it comes to eating when I am NOT hungry....sigh....God has big plans for us, emotional eaters...I can't wait to find out what they are.