Made to Crave 7: (honeymoon)

Oh, the honeymoon phase.  Isn’t it nice?  You know, the phase where marriage is easy and your spouse can do no wrong?  The period of time when things just work like they’re supposed to and life is rosy and simple?  Guess what?  Life wasn’t mean to be a honeymoon.  Those times are great and, as an Army wife, I get to have those any time my husband returns after an extended period of time away.  BONUS!  But God intended our lives to require a bit more intentionality in all aspects.  In our marriages, especially.  He wants us to have to intentionally love our spouses the way they need to be loved.  It takes effort, thought, and diligence to do so and I find myself failing at this in the current moment.

My love and me on our honeymoon. (Actually, I think this was our first anniversary. We went back to celebrate our first anniversary and to recreate the pictures because all of our honeymoon pictures were ruined by a bad camera. Long story. It ended with me in a puddle of tears in Wal-Mart… my parents had pity on me and helped us go back for our anniversary.)

Okay, I couldn’t resist. See how blurry this picture is?!? My camera had an internal, irreplaceable battery that worked the zoom function. It was dying and we didn’t know that until we developed the 8 rolls of pictures we had taken on our honeymoon. None were clear. The Wal-Mart photo people even had pity on me and developed an entire second set just to make sure it wasn’t their machine. Tough day. Tough day.

I’m thankful Matt understands that my focus is kind of off balance right not, and I’m spending a lot of my time, energy, and effort on this new healthy-eating-exercising lifestyle change.  He knows it takes a lot out of me and he’s being very encouraging and patient with me.  (He even pretended to be interested when I showed him a few recipes I want to try… Thanks, babe!)

There is also a honeymoon phase near the start of a healthful eating plan.  I am just now seeing that what I said earlier in Something had to give… (that I have lived my life capable of losing 20 lbs but it always came right back) is because I always gave up after the honeymoon phase ends..  The deal was, I was expecting the honeymoon phase of diet/weight loss/healthful eating to remain and as soon as it wasn’t easy, fun, or my #1 focus, I’d revert to my old ways and gain it all back.

If we do that in our marriages, we find that our relationship with our spouse suffers. Someone told us about this before we got married (and I don’t remember who… but thank you whoever you are).  They told us that the butterflies and the “he can do no wrong” phase would pass but it didn’t mean that our love for one another had passed.  It was simply a new stage of love that was designed to bring us closer to each other.  During that honeymoon phase we’re literally in love with the other person because of how great they make us feel!  During the next phase, and those phases to follow, we fall in love with the other person on deeper levels and desire to make them feel great.  All of a sudden the tables turn and commitment becomes the central theme. We’re going to be with that person for better or for worse, so we should do whatever it takes to make it better!  Make sure that spouse knows how much you appreciate them and how much you love them.  The phases after the honeymoon phase are more “choice” based than “emotion” based.

Same with this food journey.  I think I’m still in the honeymoon phase.  I’m still excited about the results I’m seeing and I’m staying safely within the confines of my home… until I go to Edelweiss, that is.  I have a feeling that trip is going to be the first step out of the honeymoon phase, with our BIG trip to Italy the final one.  PCSing is going to be a true test of whether I am committed to this journey or not.

On June 4th, as I was reading this chapter I had a HUGE moment.  It was beyond huge for me.  I read:

[Wrapped in the truth that “I was made for more“] is a wisdom and revelation that unlocks great power available to all Christians.  And isn’t power what girls in pursuit of making healthy life changes really need? We need a power beyond our frail attempts and fragile resolve.  A power greater than our taste buds, hormones, temptations, and our inborn female demand for chocolate.  Yes, the truth of who we are and the power to live out that truth – that’s what we need.”
~Lysa TerKeurst

I stopped after I read that and went to the kitchen while the rest of the house was asleep. I got out a few Wal-Mart bags (yes, I call all plastic shopping bags ‘Wal-Mart’ bags) and filled them with the junk in our cabinets.  Chocolate, candy bars, marshmallows.  It was hard to do partly because I love chocolate, though I don’t actually eat a lot of it.  I can savor a single candy bar for several days, breaking off a piece here and there as life demands that I need a “treat.”  What made this so huge for me is that I hate to throw perfectly good money food away.  I had to tell myself that throwing this stuff away was worth whatever the food cost because it was not good for us.  It was a downpayment on my family’s health.  I double bagged so the next morning the kids couldn’t see what was inside and they never even noticed it was missing.  (I don’t allow them to have junk food often, so that doesn’t really surprise me.)  The act of throwing the food away was the equivalent of us cutting up our credit cards several years ago.  It was the moment I threw away the safety net of junk food as a treat or reward or as an emotional crutch in times of difficulty.

And it was awesome!

I have since been to the grocery store for two BIG shopping trips and have come home with no junk.  (Okay, quick admission here:  I don’t do breakfast.  I eat it, I just don’t prepare it.  I let my kids serve themselves breakfast so I do buy poptarts and cereal {the “mostly” healthful kinds} so if you qualify those as junk, that’s okay.  I’m making baby steps here and for me, I’m letting the kids’ breakfast foods slide for now.)

I’ve had to push pause on my love of “Cooking By the Month” because we’re eating so many fresh vegetables.  A sweet friend just introduced me to a menu planning service that gives a weekly grocery list and does a the menu planning like the cooking by the month one, only on a weekly basis.  I’m going to give it a try before I tell you about it so I can give you a full review.  It may or may not be just what I’m looking for as there is one meal I saw for the current week that I couldn’t have during this phase:  Twice Baked Potatoes. I’ll let you know how the menu planning service turns out.

I have, thus far, written a post per chapter on Lysa’s book, Made to Crave.  Here I will have to pause and finish Chapter 5 in another post.  There was so much in this chapter that I simply can’t write all my thoughts on it in one post.  I close with this:  If you’re in the honeymoon stage of your healthful eating journey, live it up.  Enjoy it.  I am. I’m excited to see results, still motivated to say “No” to the temptations that arise, and am still seeing God make changes in not just my body, but my spirit as well.  While in this phase, however, let’s begin to prepare for the next stage that will come.  It will come and, like in marriage, it does not signify the end of the desire to succeed… it just marks the beginning of an even more focus phase… a phase that will require commitment. Intentionality.  Perserverance.  And, for goodness sake, an accountability partner.

Know how I know?!?  Because November and December are just around the corner and those months, for me, bring to mind sweet, comforting thoughts of foods I have previously lived for.  Pies, creamy side dishes, desserts, fruits and vegetables turned into desserts, and 60+ days of eating anything I want any time I want.  (To be followed by months of self-loathing… not a pretty picture.)

Know what I say to the next phase?!? BRING IT ON!  Because this time is different.

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
This entry was posted in About my faith, Made to Crave, weight/health. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Made to Crave 7: (honeymoon)

  1. Dana Jackson says:

    You’re doing a great job and I thoroughly enjoy reading what you post. Keep up the great work! You’re excitement pumps me up (I’m not sure for what… but I’m fired up reading about your excitement!!!)

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