Monday, January 9, 2017

The 3 "Cs" I'm Giving Up This Year

As the new year gets under way, I look at how I ended the last year and realize I didn't do something important I wanted to do. The last few months of my year were some of the hardest I ever lived, and even though I DID rely on God and kept up some of my healthy habits, I didn't follow through with my goal to leave stress eating as a thing of the past. I have overcome it for a time, multiple times, and then life gets harder, and as they say, old habits die hard. I prayed through a lot and worked out 6 days a week, but at the end of an exhausting day, the old comfort of sitting in front of the TV with food played out in my mind, and I rationalized that it would not be so bad to relax that way for just ONE day. Of course, it's never just one day, is it? No, when you have an addiction to something, it comes back to get you the minute you let yourself go back to it. Not to mention, the holidays were here, and even though I do fitness as a business, I went with the wrong mindset of "I will just deal with added pounds later." Well, guess what? It's later. And I am facing with the consequences of my actions.

As I am working to plan out the months ahead and taking a look at all the things I want to do better, I was reminded of the last Danial Fast I did over Lent again. I wrote about it earlier and shared that at the end of that time, because I had placed all the focus on God and not weight loss, I felt a sense of complete peace and joy, even though my mom was sick and we had not yet conceived the child we wanted after months of trying. I had allowed God to become the primary point of focus in my life, as He should be, and the other things, while still hard, didn't matter as much because I remembered that God was ultimately in control of all of it and we would be all right. And the attacks of the enemy began after that, because there is nothing like being at peace with God and finding contentment to put a bullseye on you. Summer was hard because my mom was diagnosed with ALS, on top of the dementia she had already been struggling with daily. We finally knew why her body was failing and she couldn't swallow well, but the diagnosis was hard to take anyway. Then we conceived our baby, and we were so excited, we told everyone, and we thought for sure this was God's blessing in the middle of the storm we were living in. We thought it was the culmination of what He promised us and that it was our glimmer of light in the dark, because our family needed some joy. But in September, that dream came to an end temporarily, as I lost my pregnancy and couldn't understand how I would ever recover. Cue the Netflix, chips and Oreo cookies. 

When my mom passed away in October, with my sadness came a sense of relief for her, that she was finally out of her pain and in the presence of Jesus instead. Yes, I still ate more than I needed to over the holidays, but I was renewed in a way by God's goodness and the drive to make my mom proud, I thought about how there never seems to be enough time after her departure. Life is not that long. And I better not sit here wasting time, letting my emotions lead me around. So now, as I look to revamp, I have been in prayer about what God would have me do to get healthier, overcome my addiction forever, not just a few weeks, and place Him back in the front over my desire for other forms of comfort. I thought of the time doing the Daniel Fast and how that sense of peace to come back is what I truly need. I felt like God was telling me that if I want to master going without something that is not good for me, I need to give it up for a longer period of time than 3 maybe the rest of the year. The Daniel Fast way of eating is healthy, basically vegan, with no junk food allowed. But that is a little extreme for me for an entire year, because it just makes more sense for me to eat some chicken and eggs sometimes. And cheese...that's important!  I could think of giving up ALL junk for the entire year, but I was afraid not allowing for any treat ever would set me up for failure, even though this was a spiritual thing. So I kept searching for what it would be that I could give up for the year. I needed to be able to draw a bright red line that I wouldn't cross when it came to certain "trigger" foods that lead to overeating for me. And God let me to 3 "C" words. Therefore, for the remainder of this year, I will not be eating chips, cookies or candy. Those are the three things that lead me into the danger zone when I eat them. I go far away from moderation and right to overeating almost every time. Chocolate is addicting to me. At the wrong time, I think I could totally eat one of those giant Hershey Kisses, no problem. And chips, well who can just eat one chip? Or two or five or eight for that matter? And then cookies can be problematic too. Notice I didn't say I would NEVER have cake, or pie or ice cream this year, because when it comes to those things, one serving is plenty, and I typically eat them only on special occasions. Not so with those other foods that are often in the house for my son. 
So here you have my promise that I will not partake of these things, except I plan to allow for what I was going to do this past holiday, and have a cookie or two on Christmas Eve. Waiting until then means I may not bake them like I did in 2016. However, we will see. After practicing self control for that many months, it may just be easy by then! Will power is like a muscle, right? 
Send me your encouragement....I might need it. And even though I don't expect anyone else to give up all that for the entire year, I do hope you will join me in a challenge group this year so we can focus on healthy food and exercise together. There is strength in numbers! 

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