25 Days of Diet Devos – Day 25

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Encouragement from a Previous Post:

What a joy it was to spend last weekend with both of my daughters, ages 26 and 28.  I have this habit of complaining about my body and both my girls always chide me when I do saying:

“Healthy Body Image, Mom.”

I actually really like my body.  I’m 51 and it still works. So why am I always complaining about the container I happen to live in? This weekend I realized it’s not my body I dislike, it’s my inner attitudes about food that I dislike.  But I don’t want deal with my mental and emotional problems – the sinful thinking – that takes hard soul work – so my body, which is both external and visible gets the blame instead.  I criticize it for being fat, for aging, for not meeting the world’s standards of the perfect body when all the while my actual problem is a spiritual problem: lack of self control and moderation.

I wrote back in Janauary 2013 about my lack of moderation – how I could do a low calorie diet but couldn’t seem to live day to day in moderation – in my post  A Woman of Moderation, Not –  This article on Gluttony from Wikipedia was very eye-opening for me so I want to reprise it for my last, my 25th out of 25 Diet Devos:

What is Gluttony?

Gluttony=Excess.  Derived from the Latin gluttire, meaning to gulp down or swallow, gluttony (Latin, gula) is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste.

In Christian religions, gluttony is considered a sin because of the excessive desire for food (idolatry is wanting something more than I want God), and its withholding from the needy. Gluttony can be interpreted as selfishness; essentially placing concern with one’s own interests above the well-being or interests of others.

Medieval church leaders (Thomas Aquinas) took a more expansive view of gluttony, arguing that it could also include an obsessive anticipation of meals, and the constant eating of delicacies and excessively costly foods. Aquinas went so far as to prepare a list of six ways to commit gluttony, comprising:

  1. Praepropere – eating too soon
  2. Laute – eating too expensively
  3. Nimis – eating too much
  4. Ardenter – eating too eagerly (burningly)
  5. Studiose – eating too daintily (keenly)
  6. Forente – eating wildly (boringly, like a boor) (In our day and age maybe boringly could mean out of boredom, too)

(I think I have been guilty of them all.)

Encouragement from THE Word:

Philippians 4:5 (KJV) “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”

Romans 6:12 “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts.”

Note to Self:

My real problem is not my body.  My real problem is sin. I have not surrendered this part of my life to the Holy Spirit.  I’m trying to get it under control all by my onesie, and I’m failing miserably. How can I tap into the power of the Holy Spirit and find victory in this area of my life?

  • I have to first admit I’m sinning – that I am a glutton. I have to confess it and then hate the sin enough to repent and turn away from it. (I think a lot of the time I rationalize my overeating by telling myself “I’m not so bad.”  I am bad enough that Jesus had to die on the cross for ME!) If I skip this step, I’ll just fall back into my old ways, my old habits and patterns of thinking.
  • I have to stay in the battle. I have to guard my heart, my affections. Food happens to be a battle for me.  I have to put on the armor of God each day and stay in the battle to eat right.  I have to love God (and God’s way of living) more than I love myself and what I want.  This is surrender.
  • I have realize that this all takes time. There is no instant fix.  I have to walk faithfully day in and day out. I can change.  I can grow. It isn’t hopeless. I can resist the devil (the world and my flesh) and he will flee from me. Sin will not rule over me. I am free in Jesus Christ. Free to NOT SIN!  I can live a DISCIPLINED life. (See Elyse Fitzpatrick’s acrostic for help.)

25 Days of Diet Devos – Day 24

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Encouragement from a visual aid:

I am a visual person so having a concrete picture of my goal and my progress helps me.  I got the idea pictured at left from Pinterest – Hot Mess Princess.

I keep these two glasses on the kitchen table where we eat all our meals.  The glass on the left holds the pounds I want to lose. Each blue stone equals one pound – I have bigger stones for when I break a barrier (like moving from the 160’s into the 150’s) The glass on the right represents the pounds I have lost. (Ironically: the stone is a unit of measure equal to about 6.35 kilograms used in Great Britain and Ireland for measuring human body weight.)

I weigh myself each morning and if I have lost a pound I come down the stairs and move a stone from the “pounds to go” glass to the “pounds lost” glass (or vice versa if I gained weight).  It is very satisfying to see the “pounds to go” glass shrinking. It is also very sobering to watch the “pounds lost” glass shrinking when I overeat or forget to exercise.  The visual aid that the glasses provide keep me accountable to my weight loss goals.

Encouragement from THE Book:

Philippians sure has a lot to say about goals and how to achieve them.  Here’s Philippians 3:12-21 in The Message:

Focused on the Goal

12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

15-16 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.

17-19 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.

20-21 But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.

Note to Self:

Daily weigh-ins are a good way (weigh!) to hold myself accountable but I have to guard against the scale becoming my “god” or a functional idol.  I can become addicted to my scale and the number that appears in the morning can start to dictate whether I’ll be in a good mood or a bad mood all day long.  This is unhealthy.  Just another way of focusing on something other than Christ. While I am seeking a healthy body, I have to remember my ultimate goal is to be more like Christ.

25 Days of Diet Devos – Day 23

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KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAEncouragement from some quotes:

Here are some famous quotes on planning…

  • “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”― Benjamin Franklin
  • “You can’t plow a field simply by turning it over in your mind.” ― Gordon B. Hinckley

Encouragement from THE Book:

I love what God has to say about planning in Proverbs 16

The Message – Everything with a Place and a Purpose

“Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word.  Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; God probes for what is good. Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place. God made everything with a place and purpose…God can’t stomach arrogance or pretense; believe me, he’ll put…upstarts in their place.  Guilt is banished through love and truth; Fear-of-God deflects evil. When God approves of your life, even your enemies will end up shaking your hand. Far better to be right and poor than to be wrong and rich.  We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it.

Note to Self:

One day I sat down and wrote a list of the things I, personally, needed in order to manage my eating successfully:

  1. Overall Plan: I need an eating plan. No plan = Plan to Fail.  I default to junk because it’s easier.
  2. Short Range Plan: A plan to pray – to turn to God before every eating decision.  “We have not because we ASK not.”  I should never eat without consulting God first. I can pray before I plan my food for the day and then eat only what He leads me to eat.  I can pray before I eat, giving thanks and asking for self control and moderation. I can pray AFTER I eat, too – thanking Him for the food.  Praying shows I depend on Him and not on myself.
  3. Daily Plan: One day at a time mentality – Make a plan to eat right for 24 hours.
  4. Plan for Weak Moments:  Stop! Write down the excuses I give in order to give in to temptation. Write the reasons I’m not going to give in and sacrifice my long term goal (health) for the short term pleasure.
  5. More plans for Weak Moments (I have lots of those!) Distract yourself!  Drink water or tea.  Exercise.  Read.  Work on a quilt!

Without a plan I find myself eating whatever I FEEL like eating – and I never feel like eating healthy foods.  With an Overall Plan I make better food choices and find myself staying on track.  With a Prayer Plan and a Plan for Weak Moments I can bring God into my eating habits and not do this all alone.  What works for you?

25 Days of Diet Devos – Day 22

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Encouragement from a movie:

fat-sick-and-nearly-deadI’d been hearing about this movie “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” for awhile so I ordered it from Netflix.  It sat around my house for a month or more but yesterday I finally sat down to watch it.  (You can also watch the movie right now on YouTube (Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead))

The story follows Joe Cross, an obviously wealthy Australian, as he travels across the USA and consumes nothing but juice for 60 days in order to try and let his body repair itself and lose some weight.  As the story unfolds we learn the benefits of juicing and some other health tips.  Joe runs across a 429 pound truck driver named Phil in Winslow, AZ and we then follow Phil’s transformation as he takes up juicing as well.

The thing that got to me was Joe’s on-the-street interviews with average overweight Americans.  They were all impressed with Joe’s weight loss and couldn’t believe he was fasting/denying himself food. They all KNEW that being overweight wasn’t good for them.  They all KNEW that they should eat healthier.  Many of them already had serious health issues because of their weight but here’s what broke my heart:  they weren’t willing to stop, change their ways and quit indulging themselves.  Many confessed to being addicted to food and some even said they were eating themselves to death.  What a sad commentary on our time.

Encouragement from THE Book:

Jesus said this in Matthew 13:15 and it’s repeated in Acts 28:27.  (Word Chick Alert – Don’t you just love the Olde English of the King James version?)

For the heart of this people is waxed gross, (see definition below) and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 

Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Note to Self:

It’s not politically correct these days to talk about fat and the epidemic of morbid obesity in our culture.  I am not obese but I understand the battle with food.  In July of 2012 I discovered the above Bible verse and  wrote in my journal – My weight has crept back up…again!  I have “waxed gross.”

So what does waxed gross mean?  It has two meanings and I think they are related.

  1. to make thicker, to make fat, to fatten
  2. to make stupid, to render the soul dull or callous

I can only speak for myself on this issue – and I’m not trying to be insulting – but I have found the fatter I get, the stupider I get. The more I give in to my appetites, the more spiritually dull I become.  In my life, fatness of the body correlates to dullness of the soul. Satisfaction with the things of this world (like food) does not bring me to repentance and healing. I know this sounds harsh to our tolerance-loving world but scripture calls gluttony a sin so I have to, too.

I heard my pastor say once: The more holy you are the more you have a capacity to learn. – the truth is suppressed in unrighteousness. One sin leads to more sin in other areas of your life. Lawlessness leads to more lawlessness. Satan wants you enslaved to sin. Not free in Christ.

The people Joe interviewed also knew exactly whose fault it was that they were fat.  They didn’t blame anyone but themselves. They were willing to take responsibility but weren’t willing to take action.  Most of them said they lacked self control.  That is why it is such a blessing to be a believer in Jesus Christ.  He gives the gift of the Holy Spirit and one of the gifts of the Spirit is self control.

I know, for me, that I get fat when I don’t listen to the Holy Spirit.  I fail when I rely on myself.  I gain weight when I’m lazy, self indulgent, tired, greedy, and don’t have a plan.  Having a plan is probably the single most important thing I can do.  I’ll talk more about that tomorrow.