Thursday, December 19, 2013


i got the book i was talking about recently, made to crave, and began reading it late last week. it's one of those books that i think i'll need to re-read a number of times before it truly sinks in. there are questions to reflect on at the end of each chapter, which i've opted to skip for now since i'm doing the online bible study starting next month. but i wanted to read through the book and start really absorbing and thinking about the concepts it teaches.

so far i've really connected with it and felt like i am onto something new here. it's always been all or nothing for me: strict dietary restraint or an eating free-for-all. middle ground is scary and unfamiliar. how can i achieve success if i'm not a slave to hard and fast rules? how can i stick to hard and fast rules long-term? i'd waffle back and forth between the two questions, my eating and exercise habits following closely behind. made to crave talks about self-discipline and sacrificial living, even in the areas of food, health and fitness, as a spiritual practice. this requires giving up control and allowing God to guide my steps, leaning on Him when i'm feeling discouraged, turning to Him in the midst of struggle or temptation. sounds easy in theory, but in practice it's another story. i've held tight to my control of this issue for as long as i can remember. i am fearful of what could happen should i truly loosen my grip and allow God to transform me.

the truth is, though, there's freedom in letting go of control. i've read a lot (outside of just made to crave) about ditching the diet mentality and focusing, instead, on enjoying all things in moderation. rebelling against the black and white thinking that accompanies dieting.

a blog post from "the rebel dietitian" really helped me to see how rather than fighting against food and my body, i can embrace both in a positive way and learn to find balance and make peace with myself:
"i encourage you to REBEL against the diet mentality and embrace your love for food. instead of tracking calories, track your hunger level and mood before and after all meals. identify trends and ask yourself why am i eating? am i really hungry? am i stressed, bored, happy? what do i really want to eat right now?"
honestly, i've never been much of a rebel. i'm a good rule follower and don't like to disappoint anyone by missing the bar set for me. i gravitate toward rules, control, order. when those rules don't work, i search for a new set of rules to ascribe to that will bring me success as long as i'm "obedient." the problem is, life happens and it doesn't fit perfectly into whatever dietary regimen i'm currently clinging to. i eat out, celebrate holidays, crave chocolate. and i enjoy those things, or at least i have at times. my body, food and weight issues have all too often robbed me of the joy meant to be found in gatherings of family and friends, celebrating holidays and trying new restaurants. i'm really rethinking my rigid view that the only way to find freedom from food and body issues and success in weight loss is deprivation and control.

i know that this is going to be a journey. it's basically retraining the way i think about (and have thought about, for most of my life) myself and food. but i am feeling encouraged that this could actually be the difference-maker. it could be what's been missing in my [mostly fruitless] previous attempts at kicking this issue once and for all. it's scary to say that, because i don't want to be disappointed. but that's the black and white thinking still... my measure of success needs to be in progress, not perfection. like i said, this is going to be a journey. but it's one i'm feeling truly ready to embark upon.

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