Responses From the Lent Wellness Challenge Participants
1. Sugar is everywhere! Since I made a conscious decision to honor my body with nutritional packed foods first, in appropriate portions, as you taught me, it has brought balance into all areas of my life. This included choosing proteins that were not grain-fed as you stated. Seems like such a trivial thing, but what a difference in my body. Our Lord Jesus faced the same temptations as we do. It starts when you are tired, overly hungry and seeking control or power. Use the HALT theory -Hungry,Angry,Lonely or Tired….before reaching for the quick fix of sugar. Thanks again for your insight.
2. For me I use sweets to numb the emotions as well as to cope with stress. So I completely understand how you feel. It’s been a little tougher because I was laid off at work and I haven’t been able to find anything yet. What I’m eating is in direct proportion to how I’m feeling, I’m completely aware of that but I still have trouble completely stopping it. I am grateful that right now the awareness is there and the next step is to choose the right way to handle it. I am currently starting meditation and I am going back to yoga so that is helping a little.
3. My connection to sweets has always been out on loneliness. I went away to college and turned to cake after every meal. When my husband was deployed I turned to ice cream (ironically I was still able to maintain my 113 pound frame). And now when loneliness creeps in, because my husband has been busy with work and school, I crave and desire sweets, specifically chocolate. I am finicky and only like certain things. I can’t enjoy cake without ice cream; I hate cheese cake and pound cake and any cake with fruit on or in it. I try to limit my desserts to once a week and we try not to bring sweets in the house. I am praying that I desire healthier options like brownies made with applesauce and flax seed. I’m a new mom and vowed not to give my son sweets so I’ve got to do a better job avoiding them myself.
4. For years I’ve thought I’ve been dealing with sugar in an addictive sort of way and it always bothered me. The lent challenge has helped me to stop and think about why I’m wanting to eat. I agree with you Nicole to not be too stringent. God doesn’t restrict us, we are free in Christ. But as I’ve been learning with freedom comes responsibly. It has helped me to think about what types of food I still need to get in for the day. For example, I have eaten enough fruit or protein. Last week, once I had a banana with peanut butter when I was needing something and another time I had some left over pork chops. These are not my normal snacks, but they took care of my cravings and afterwards I felt OK about eating them because they were helping me get in my healthy portions for the day. I think it would help me more if I had those types of foods more readily available.
5. Sugar is an addictive substance for me. It may not be for you. I believe when God created each of us uniquely, that also included weakness and predispositioning to certain trigger substances. Sugar is refined and therefore man made. The natural sugar in fruits and vegetables are more digestible to our bodies that God created. It says in the Bible that everything created by God was good for us, but not necessarily beneficial for each unique individual. Wine was acceptable to drink throughout the Bible, but not drunkenness. The wine in Biblical times has been determined to be of much lower alcohol content than the high powered stuff man has concocted now. The Bible says what is good for us to be consumed may not be good for our fellow believer in Christ. In this matter, I think Kimberly would agree that I may allow myself one alcohol drink as a treat but she may choose not to. In return, she may allow herself one sugar treat of 1/2 C ice cream but I may choose not to. For me, after years of all or nothing mentality, I had to find out for myself what my individual triggers and weak areas to avoid were, and not compare myself with other’s struggles. For me, everything is free through Christ, however, Christ has opened my eyes to the fact that not everything is beneficial to my body’s health. The freedom Christ has allowed me is to see that when I abstain from a certain trigger food or treat, there is empowerment in the abstinence and not the pain of denial. I no longer feel like I am denying myself when I choose abstinence. I feel a peace that transcends the quick fix of sugar and the after effects of binging. What I have discovered is the peace and satisfaction of not being in bondage to food. If I feel I need an additional treat in the form of sweetness, I turn to fruit. Since I have abstinence from refined sugar, I have found fruit to taste exceedingly sweet. Be blessed!
6. I started eating sweets-in specific cake, in college too!!! In fact, my nickname in college was the Cakelady!!! I roomed with my super skinny friend. She would make one of these quickie box mixes and only eat bitefuls of it. It would sit there “talking” to me the rest of the week. I’d start out taking mini bites that turned into devouring the entire cake. She would return to find her cake gone!!! Then I would make another one out of guilt and end up eating that one too. But I sure did not stay 113 pounds like you! I ballooned-overnight from binging on cake and vending machine sweets. Then would panic at my gross weight, seemingly overnight, and start the starving process. The boys were ruthless in college. I remember they would hold up score cards and judge the girls walking by them in the cafeteria. Horrible. College was exactly where the binging and nonpurging started for me. My other two weaknesses are chocolate and ice cream. I can not stop at either one. And once I start, I turn into an orange muppet cookie monster! It’s vicious in cycle. From loneliness I eat for security and love. Then I am forced into seclusion by my out of control behavior and the end results. More loneliness, more comfort food. People have a hard time understanding how I can gain and lose so fast. I can vary 20-30 pounds. Just eat normal they say…..including my husband and father. But for me, I did not know what normal was anymore…… thanks for letting me share.