Finding the path…..to healthy eating – December 22, 2011
I am going to do three segments to get you guys up to date on the last three months of my journey. I’ll calling them “Finding the path….” then one of three subjects: to healthy eating, to regular exercise, and to healthy sleeping & water intake.
The notion of healthy eating has been transformed in my mind over the last few months. In the past my mind would immediately associate those words with dieting. I want to make an important distinction here regarding my journey and purpose. I see dieting with a primary goal of losing weight. Whereas this journey for me is much deeper than getting the weight off. You see I’m not looking for a quick fix such as a grapefruit diet or one of the other fads that will help you lose a lot of weight really fast. I am looking for a complete and total lifestyle change that will last the rest of my life. Part of that lifestyle change involves allowing God into this area of my life to have a voice into my food choices. So weight loss as wonderful and beneficial as it may be is really a bi-product of learning to treat my body the way it was created to be treated. Treating my body in a way that honors God. If my heart is focused on the number on the scale I would be easily discouraged and more than likely give up. When my heart is focused on pleasing God with my food choices and staying in fellowship with Him I feel affirmed and fulfilled.
On a practical level I knew that I needed some structure and guidelines to help me, at least in the beginning because I knew that I wouldn’t be successful without that. So I sought out, prayed about, discussed with my husband many options for healthy eating. When it comes to eating healthy I have never been a person to jump from plan to plan. I have done a few over the years but mainly I think I’d given up when it didn’t work and blamed myself for failure. Self reliance has been a trait of mine since I was a child and it can be a huge strength and weakness at the same time. If I’m not careful I could completely isolate myself and not let anyone into what is really going on. That is partly why I’m sure my Lord has put it on my heart to write this blog. I have learned in my life that we were created as relational beings; we need relationships to survive & thrive. So right away in this process I knew that in choosing a healthy eating plan I would need some peer accountability, peer involvement, and peer support. For those of you who don’t know my husband he is a wonderful, loving, & supportive man who is also on this journey of getting healthy. As good as that may sound it wouldn’t be good enough. He (my husband) can’t provide all that I needed for this intense journey. To further complicate the issue of finding a healthy eating plan I love to cook and am a self proclaimed foodie! So flexibility was also important because at this point in my journey if a plan didn’t allow certain foods such as sugar or carbs I know that I would not succeed. I would become bitter and obsess over what I wasn’t allowed to eat until I binged on whatever that food was. Our choice for a healthy eating plan came down to a few options and ultimately we chose attending weekly Weight Watchers meetings for support & accountability along with using their online tools and program for our food choices. I am in no way advertising or suggesting any healthy eating plan because I know there are many options available. For our home we made this choice based on a need for healthy guidelines, structure, support, accountability, flexibility, and the online conveniences. I think the important part is allowing the Lord to guide the decision and determining for yourself what works best for you based on your own personality and needs.
Another major influence on the healthy eating part of my journey over the last three months is a book called “Made to Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst. During my illness the women’s group at my church went through this book. I was not able to attend and one dear friend let me borrow the book about a month ago. This book is not a how to but another level of support and encouragement for the journey. The author is funny and transparent and she walks you through her journey of learning to let God into this area of her life. I read it once already and it hit home with me on so many levels. Over the next month I want to read it again and journal along with the questions in the back of the book. Lysa is a blogger and her ministry also has a 21 day challenge which sends daily emails with encouragement specific to this topic. I have listed the book, her blog, and the 21 day challenge websites below.
I want to surround myself with every possible avenue for God to speak into my life regarding learning to live healthy physically, emotionally, and spiritually. So far choosing and working a plan that matches my specific needs at this time has really helped kick start this process. Also reading material daily that help me regain my focus and hear God’s voice also help me tremendously.
So if you are taking this journey with me I have a couple questions for you to meditate on and post if you feel comfortable.
1. What specific needs do you have in choosing a healthy eating plan? I mentioned several above for myself and described the process that we took in choosing one.
2. What would empower you most during this season of transformation?
3. What resources do you have available to surround yourself with that will encourage you to stay on the path of honoring God with your body?
4. Maybe healthy eating is not your challenge, if so what area of your life are you holding back from honoring God?
I’d love to hear from you and thank you for taking this journey with me! Blessings to you!