It took about seven months of truth journaling for eating before I felt a tenuous freedom. I posted my first freedom entry a couple of months ago. What I've found since I wrote that entry almost four years ago is that freedom is more of an ongoing process than a one time now-I've-accomplished-it-and-I-can-relax sort of event.
Yes, it gets much easier to follow boundaries. Yes, I'm far more controlled than I used to be. Yes, I no longer worry about going back to my old ways. But no, I'm not completely free of the desire to eat for non-hunger reasons.
I still have those old desires at times. In fact, even as I write this I'm sad I've already had breakfast, because I would much rather go have something to eat than go back to my writing which is what I plan to do next.
So even though the desire to eat decreases, it never completely goes away - at least it hasn't for me, not permanently, anyway. What happens is that you develop the habit of going to God for help with the problem. You gain confidence that the truth will set you free, and because you're confident, that's where you go for help when you are tempted to go back to your old ways.
Here are a few more journal entries I made after I was feeling relatively free:
Day 219 - 10/4/06
I feel like food no longer controls me. It seems like I could maintain my weight now without a lot of struggle - yet I don't know yet about losing weight. I seem to be in a "limited control" situation and am cautiously optimistic. Lately, I have felt like I may be able to go back to sweets if I stick to meal times.
Day 241 - 10/26/06
I'm trying to think of my problem areas in eating right now, and I can't think of any. My lingering reasons for overeating are: 1) stress and feeling overwhelmed 2) procrastination 3) The "I deserve it" lie 4) Fear of failure (with overeating).
It's interesting to read old journal entries to see how God continues to work. My only lingering reason for overeating now is procrastination (that and unexpected good things available to eat). Unfortunately, I still haven't developed the habit of going to God first when faced with things I don't want to do. When I do, I'll probably lose a few pounds.
I just found your blog today, and ordered your Bible study. I am currently maintaining a 130# wt. loss since June 2009. I am a LT member of WW. The physical weight is gone, but getting rid of the emotional weight....aahhhhh...the next challenge. I have lost this amount 2 times in the last 10 years, and by God's grace, will get to the ROOT of the problem and not go around that tree again. Looking forward to your study, and learning from someone who is further along in the journey than I. Thanks for sharing!!!
That's so great, LeeAnn - 130# for almost a year. What a victory. I hope the study helps with your emotional weight. God used all the things in it to deal with my own emotional weight (which also helped my physical weight!). (I'm not sure if you're supposed to us an exclamation point and a period in a row there, but I'm too lazy to look it up!)
Barb, I can really relate to getting to the point where you can maintain your weight but losing takes more effort. It is easier now after a year to maintain my weight, even after a loss. But losing is where I need more work. I have to really get down on my knees, kneal HARD and constant into Him to do this. I tend to get weary about each 15 pound loss and take a break! LOL! The intensity is overwhelming, the end result is joyful! People could probably tell from my posts which I'm working on!;o)
I thought it was interesting to read that maintaining comes first and is easier. It has been that way for me too. Thanks for sharing!
Elizabeth, I think the break after a fifteen pound loss is a great idea if you can do it. A lot of people would have a hard time with it because the old perfectionist all-or-nothing attitude comes in.
If I ever re-write FFEE I'll include a bigger section on how perfectionism affects weight loss efforts (actually, I can't even remember if I talked about that at all).
Anyway, it always amazes me how much you have to suffer to eat little enough to lose weight. For me, anyway, that's why it's so hard to do. When you maintain you get to eat a reasonable amount of food.
In the old days, though, it was harder to maintain than lose weight even though neither one was easy back then.
Wow! Barb! I just realized that since I finally truly believe that God loves me passionately no matter what; I am no longer a perfectionist about my weight! Wooo-Hooo!! :o)
Yay! For me I think it was realizing that I didn't have to measure up to the world's standards. Although, it comes down to the same thing. I don't have to measure up because I know God loves me and that's enough. (More than enough!)
I too, just discovered your blog today and am enjoying it. Off to read some of the older posts now. Thanks for your honesty here!
Glad to have you here, Joy!
Hi Barb! Just wanted to say Hi and that looking forward to your next post one day :) I know you have been busy. We talked in our TW chat yesterday about truth journaling with Heidi and have been sharing about truth journaling, such a great tool, very thankful for it!
Hi Sunshine, Thanks for your words of encouragement. Sorry I have been so terrible about posting - one of these days I will get around to it! I'm enjoying the summer with my kids and also teaching several accountability/discipleship groups - two for teenage girls and one for women plus a Sunday school class for teenagers each week. God really seems to be moving me in the direction of these little groups, and I'm working on developing some curriculum that others could use, as well. Hope you're enjoying the summer! Barb
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