- Chapter 1 Reflections
- Chapter 2 Reflections
- Chapter 3 Reflections
- Chapter 4 Reflections
- Chapter 5 Reflections
- "How do you grow closer to God?" "By making the choice to deny ourselves something that is permissible but not beneficial. And making this intentional sacrifice for the sole purpose of growing closer to God. After all, Jesus said, 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'"
- "Yes, I want to lose weight. But this journey is so much more than just that. It really is about learning to tell myself no and learning to make wiser choices daily. And somehow becoming a woman of self-discipline honors God and helps me live the godly characteristic of self-control. The fruit of the Spirit is a list of godly characteristics: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. In the end, pursuing self-control does help my heart feel closer to Jesus and more pure to receive what he wants for me each day...."
- "....live with the willingness to walk away when the Holy Spirit nudges you and says, 'That food choice is permissible but not beneficial - so don't eat it.'"
- Prayer to pray: "I need wisdom to make wise choices. I need insight to remember the words I've read in Scripture. I need power beyond what I can find on my own."
- When the apostle Paul says in Philippians 3:18-19 that "'their god is their stomach', he means that food can become so consuming that people find themselves ruled by it. [....we find that certain foods are impossible to wlak away from - we can't or won't deny ourselves an unhealthy choice in order to make a healthier one - then it's a clue we are being ruled by this food on some level. Being ruled by something other than God diminishes our commitment and will make us feel increasingly distant from Him."
Chapter 6 was titled "Growing Closer to God". The reflection questions are:
1. What is your response to the idea that we grow closer to God when we deny ourselves something that is permissible but not beneficial? Have you ever had an experience of denying yourself that helped you grow closer to God? Do you believe this could be true for you in your battle with food?
I would definitely agree that we grow closer to God when we are sacrificing something that we've made a priority in our life. It makes total sense. I would say that people who experience addiction can attest to this. If you're trying to kick that habit (smoking, alcohol, drugs, food, whatever!), you know how incredibly hard it is, especially taking that first step. You need God's help to get you through those critical moments.
I cannot say I've had an experience where I've denied myself of something and it has resulted in a closer relationship with God. Though, that is what I have gotten out of reading this book. If I want to be truly successful at weight loss, I need to start asking Him for help - because I prove to myself almost daily that I'm not capable of doing it alone! By seeking His guidance, the relationship will flourish from there.
2. The apostle Paul lists self-control among the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Are there areas of life in which you experience self-control and feel that your self-discipline and wise choices honor God? For example, in your spending decisions or how you manage your time? What insights about your strengths in those areas might help you to honor God and grow in self-control with your food choices?
I have thought about this exact concept over and over in my weight loss journey. I am so disciplined with finances & concentrating on my studies, why cannot I not be that disciplined when it comes to weight loss? I don't live beyond my means financially. When school is in session, I don't procrastinate with studying. Why, when it comes to weight loss, can I not translate that same level of self control to my journey? I don't know!
The way I've approached school and money management is simple: I will not fail. I will not spend more than I make. I will not procrastinate/not do my homework. Failure to abide by my goals for those two things scares the crap out of me. Yet, with weight loss.... ugh. So, I know I have it in me to be disciplined. I know how to do it. I just have to figure out how to apply that to my weight loss journey.
3. Have you ever had the experience of the Holy Spirit nudging you in connection with your food choices? If so, what was that like? If not, how do you hope the Holy Spirit might help you now?
I think God is that little voice in the back of my head saying, "Hilary, you don't need to stuff your face with x, y and/or z." Yes, I know I've heard that voice many times telling me I didn't need more of what I was eating at the time. While there have been a few times that that voice was enough to stop me, sadly, more times than not, it hasn't.
4. As Christians, our calling - and our source of spiritual nourishment - is to do God's will and finish His work (John 4:34). To what degree have consuming thoughts about food impacted your ability to pursue your calling and receive spiritual nourishment?
I've definitely had days where I start off completely focused on my weight loss journey, ready to tackle the mountain of to-do's I have, and then something negative happens. This could be a stressful situation at work. A disagreement with Joel. Whatever the case might be - something goes awry. And then, sometimes, the way I deal with that negative emotion is to eat. Then everything quickly goes south. I can no longer focus on what I originally had planned to do that day because now I'm swimming in a pool of guilt for having just eaten away a day's worth, if not a week's worth, of Points. This is just a small example. I've had "fat days", where I just feel like such crap about myself, I cannot even get out of bed to go to work. Now, I try not to make a habit of this (for so many reasons!), but it has been known to happen on occasion. It's sad. And it is getting in the way of living my life to its fullest!
5. Would you say you are spiritually well fed, spiritually malnourished, or somewhere in between? Have you ever tried to use food to satisfy your feelings of spiritual hunger? What was the result?
I would definitely say I'm somewhere in between. I've definitely eaten out of all sorts of emotions on SO many occasions. And I'm doing that to try to find happiness. The result is the similar to the phrase "Money doesn't buy happiness". Well, food doesn't provide happiness either. It just digs that emotional hole even deeper.
6. If we find certain foods impossible to walk away from, this is a clue that we are being ruled by food on some level. Are there foods you can't or won't deny yourself in order to make healthier choices? Why are these foods especially important to you? What thoughts and feelings arise when you think about potentially giving them up?
My major problem is sugar. I love sweets. I've tried giving them up in the past and it does bad things to me. And what I mean by that is, I've given them up entirely with the hopes of losing weight. What ends up happening is that I just substitute one addiction for another. So while I've given up sugar, I end up consuming larger quantities of other things that I normally wouldn't. Then I really gain the weight!
One thing I have to come to terms with about one of the main points of this book is "deprivation". Lysa, in my opinion, says that if we deprive ourselves of certain foods, we then form a closer relationship with God (not automatically of course). That might be the case. I'm not opposed to a closer relationship with Him. However, I don't believe that that is the answer for me. Yes, I know I need to limit the quantity of food I eat daily. Yes, I do believe there are foods that I should cut out of my life completely because there is just no nutritional benefit to them. However, I don't want to give up sweets entirely. I just want to learn how to have them in moderation. I believe that God can help me achieve that as well.
I don't know why sweets are so important to me. When I think about giving them up for eternity, I'm afraid I'm going to miss out on some epic tasting food! Frankly, it just seems wrong to live without chocolate. I'm not even being funny! It's how I feel!
I just want to do the best that I can with what I've been given. And right now, I am fully willing to admit that I cannot go it alone.