Chapter 1 Reflections can be found here.
Chapter 2 - Replacing My Cravings:
1. When it comes to your relationship with food, what repeated behaviors or events describe the cycle you experience and feel powerless to stop?
When it comes to eating in general (not following a healthy eating plan), I have a major problem with emotional eating. I eat out of boredom, sadness, stress and loneliness. I also experience strong cravings for sweets.
I feel powerless to stop the emotional eating because as much as it sucks after the binge, for that particular moment in time, there is nothing that will satisfy that emotion but shoving food into my mouth. So, I guess I need to keep myself busy, happy, stress-free and around others? Easier said than done.
I have proven to myself, recently in fact, that I can live without sweets, at least in the short term. However, it's not beneficial to me because when I do allow myself to eat them again, I go crazy and binge on sweets. I would like to limit my intake of sweets, to say, 1-2 sweet treats per day. I mainly crave them after lunch and after dinner. So there's a possible solution to this overabundance-of-sweets problem! I'll give that a go this week and see how it goes.
What I really need to do is incorporate prayer into these 2 situations when I feel powerless to food.
2. There are many reasons we have for wanting to eat differently - losing weight, fitting into a favorite pair of jeans, looking good for an important event. What reasons motivate your desire to eat healthier? Do these reasons give your struggles with food a purpose strong enough to help you resist unhealthy eating? How do you respond to Lysa's statement: "I had to see the purpose of my struggle as something more than wearing smaller sizes and getting compliments from others....It had to be about something more than just me"?
I listed 17 reasons for why I wanted to lose weight here. I guess if those reasons were enough to have me eat healthier, I would be dropping weight like it's going out of style. In years past, I think the typical reasons for losing weight (as mentioned in the question and in my previous post) were enough for me at the time. Now, however, it's different. I think that this time around it has to be more about improving on my relationship with God. It's clear that I cannot do this journey alone - I need His strength and guidance to reach my goals.
3. "I had to get honest enough to admit it: I relied on food more than I relied on God. I craved food more than I craved God. Food was my comfort. Food was my reward. Food was my joy. Food was what I turned to in times of stress, sadness and even in times of happiness." Consider your eating experiences over the last few days or weeks. Using the list below, can you recall specific situations in which you turned to food for these reasons?
I want to point out that I think you can really insert any problem into this and all questions in this book. Replace the word "food" and insert the word(s) alcohol, drugs, shopping, sex, etc into the sentences above. The same principles apply.
- Comfort - I was feeling anxious last night about the amount of schoolwork I have piled up for the next several days, and so I ate (chocolate no less) while sitting in front of the TV to calm my nerves. Please note that the chocolate didn't do the textbook reading for me!
- Joy - Joel and I enjoyed ice cream and alcohol both nights while at the beach.... as a celebration of sorts for our vacation in a new place.
- Stress - on the drive home yesterday we stopped at a Wendy's to take a break from the blinding rain storm. I ate and I wasn't even hungry.
- Sadness - I ate more before I went to bed last night because I was sad for not staying within my DPT yesterday.... as a result of poor eating earlier in the day.
- Happiness - this would be the same as joy...
Keeping the same situations in mind, how do you imagine your experiences might have been different if you had relied on God, craved God, instead of turning to food?
For starters, I wouldn't be spending the rest of this week trying to undo all the damage I did last night/yesterday. I also believe I would have received more of a depth of comfort from God if I would have consulted Him with my troubles rather than turning to food. Food cannot accomplish my studies for me, but perhaps by praying I could have found peace in Him knowing that He will help me get through whatever assignments I have mapped out for the week. I know that turning to God will fulfill my needs completely, rather than food, but I need to practice turning to Him instead of food.
4. How do you respond to the idea of using your cravings as a prompt to pray? How had prayer helped or failed to help in your previous food battles?
I think using cravings as a prompt to pray is a great idea. I haven't used this technique in the past so I have no immediate experience as it helping me before. However, I think the same thing applies as I said in the previous question. It is putting this idea into practice. When I have a craving, my automatic response (most of the time) is to satisfy the craving without even thinking twice. I need to get into the habit of recognizing the craving, then reminding myself to pray about it first, and then walk away from the craving knowing I can because of Him.
5. Brick by brick (or craving by craving), Lysa dismantled her tower of impossibility and used the same bricks to build a walkway of prayer, paving the path to victory. Brick by brick in an effective way to dismantle something but it also takes time and careful work. In your battles with food, are you more likely to choose a drastic, quick-fix approach or a moderate but longer-term approach? What thoughts or feelings emerge when you consider dismantling your own tower of impossibility one craving at a time?
I am more like to choose a moderate, long-term approach to removing this weight. This is the longest I've ever stuck to trying to lose weight without completely giving up. This is also because I am committed to finding something that works for the longterm, not just to meet some short term goals to only have it backfire later on. For example, I've had people suggest that in order to accomplish sticking to a plan, I should just eat the same few things everyday - that way I don't have to worry about planning each week. I did this before and it worked for me. However, there are a lot of foods I cannot even stomach the thought of today because I just ate that same stuff over and over and over again. Did it yield results? It sure did, but eventually I gained all the weight back, plus 10 lbs. I enjoy variety with my food, and I'm trying to find a longterm approach to getting to enjoy variety, while still being able to lose, and eventually maintain my loss.
Taking a more moderate approach takes time as well as trial and error. There are days when I just want to revert back to eating the same 5 meals every single day just to get the weight off quickly. However, I know this didn't work for me before and so I have to remind myself to be patient and deal with each issue as it comes. I think if I can get a handle on my cravings, one craving at a time, I will enter into a world of joy and success!