Readers of Made to Crave, the illustration Lysa Terkeurst shared about the garden was spot on, don’t you think? I’ve been trying to think of an alternate illustration to share so I don’t give away too much of her text (I think you should buy the book!) but so far, nothing comes close to hers. I guess that’s why they pay her the big bucks.
After many years of being unhappy with myself I had to come to the place where I take responsibility for where I am today. Lysa writes: “The reality is, I can’t eat like an athletic teenager and then complain about my extra layers of fluff. Or my pants size. Or my tummy pooch. Or that my arms are starting to wave back at me when I raise them.”
In chapter three Lysa describes the time in her life when she finally decided to make a plan and live by it. She says that for her food had become a drug. “And honestly, it’s a good drug choice for a Christian woman.” And I might add, for Southern Christian women, we just make sure to batter and fry otherwise healthful foods to make them even more addicting.
Lysa, once again, took the thoughts straight from my heart and put them in her book. That’s why I feel so confident that I am not alone in this battle. Yes, I’m exposing myself to the possibility of criticism here, but so far, I’ve only had positive responses. I’ve received private emails and messages from people who have longed for a way to stop the yo-yo. They are thankful for the book I’m reading right now and have ordered or downloaded it already. What an exciting privilege to be a part of helping someone else find the tools to make changes in their own life!
Another section of this chapter that I highlighted:
And I felt discouraged and down about my escalating weight yet powerless to make the necessary changes. I had lost weight before, but I couldn’t keep it off for any extended period of time. My changes were always temporary. ~Lysa TerKeurst
The feeling of being powerless to change this about myself led me to such negative feelings that I actually found comfort in eating. I would have never described it as that while I was doing it but looking back, that’s exactly what I was doing. I tried justifying my actions with the thoughts, “It’s been a hard day; you deserve a little treat.” This was proof that I was medicating my emotions with food. I have also thought, “You got the kids taught, fed, and down for a nap, go ahead and have dessert with lunch. Just today. Tomorrow you’ll do better.” That was proof that I was using food as a reward.
Lysa goes into a little detail about the healthy eating plan she chose and I decided that, along with some tips from my trainer, I wanted to adopt the same plan. During the early phase I knew I needed to be fairly strict. When we had spaghetti last week, I chose to have left-over grilled chicken and steamed vegetables so I could avoid the high carb content in the pasta and bread. I don’t believe that making two separate meals for my family is always an options so for the past two months I’ve just made them eat what I could eat. One night I splurged for the boys and made rice to go with their meal and I had none. (VICTORY!!) Carson’s favorite meal in the entire world is spaghetti and, though I make it about once a month, he feels like I “never EVER” make it. I believe that eventually I will be able to join my family in eating spaghetti, just not during this phase of retraining my body.
A friend who recently wrote to me asked me about this very topic. She wanted to know if I make two separate meals; one for myself and another for my family. I told her that I’m not up for that. I feel like I’ve done a good job as a wife/mother/household manager if I get one meal on the table. I’m not ready to attempt two meals simultaneously. She also asked for some great recipes to mix up her “chicken-chicken-chicken” diet and I told her that I’m honestly stuck in the same rut. Grilled chicken, baked chicken, crock-pot chicken. Veggies: steamed, grilled, and raw. I don’t have a very large collection of super healthful meals and so we’re getting close to being sick of chicken ourselves. I have a large collection of “regular” meals my family loves that work with my “Cooking By the Month” plan… very few of these work within my new “healthful eating” plan… which is evidenced by my yo-yoing weight. I need to invest some time in looking for new, healthful recipes but honestly, with doing two-a-days, most of my free time has been spent exercising or with the kids.
I read this chapter on June 4th, the day before I started working out with my personal trainer. How fitting that it was in this chapter that Lysa wrote about her first day with a nutritionist. I believe God is in control of the timing of everything and there are no consequences. It was just the time I needed to read this chapter!
And where I am now: This is the week I reduce my work out schedule from two-a-days five times a week to only twice a week and I’m a bit nervous about that. I am also nervous about heading to Edelweiss later on this week and falling off my plan. On the other hand I’m sort of excited about the challenge of living my new plan outside the safety of my own home. I think I’m ready for a chance to prove to myself that I am in tune with my cravings and what they’re really for.