July 23, 2011

Losing Weight Without Any Self Control-Part 3

OK, on to step 3. This is the one that actually talks about food and eating. Like I said before, I did not count calories. I did not count fat grams. I did not pay any attention to the food pyramid, a raw diet, a vegan diet, or the diet the Israeli army puts their soldiers on in order to train them for battle. I ate exactly what I wanted to-I put "healthy" on the back burner and tried to focus on being able to remove those cute little blubbers from our fridge once and for all.
Oh, I did have a few psychological tricks I played with myself. One was, I decided not to tell anyone I was attempting this. For some strange reason, every other time I'd go on a "diet" and begin to lose weight I'd stop trying the minute anyone said, "Hey, are you losing weight?" No idea why I did that, but I did. I also started this project in the winter so I could wear baggy sweaters and hide the fact that I was shrinking.

Now is when the rubber, (or should I say, blubber?) met the road for me.
The bible says that: the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 I kept waiting for self-control to magically appear on my doorstep and I'd be thin, only it never did. Finally I got sick and tired of waiting and I knew something had to change. OK, if self control won't come to me, I'll just do it myself!

Even though I think Gwen Shamblin is a little off in her theology, I decided to try her weight loss method anyway. In a nut shell, here's what it is: eat when you're hungry, stop when you don't feel your stomach any more. That's not Full. That's, "Hmmm, do I even have a stomach? I don't feel my liver or my kidneys and now I don't feel my stomach." See the difference? If I ate til I was Full, I wouldn't lose weight. No stomach, and I'd lose. The problem for me were those 2 little words: self control. I just couldn't do it.

To begin with, you're supposed to wait until you. are. very. hungry. We have a saying for that kind of hunger in our house. It's called After Church Hungry. That's when you're so hungry you'd cheerfully eat any road kill you happened by on the way home from church. That's when you're so hungry you trample your children in your mad dash to beat them to the fridge once you do get home from church. That's how hungry I would force myself to get before I ate anything. I would tell myself, every single second you don't eat, your body is losing fat. It's gnawing on all that blubber hanging around your middle instead of the food you want to give it.

So, on a practical level, here's what you're supposed to do:
Wait to eat until you're super duper hungry.
Take a tiny plate and put as much food on it as you can/want to.
Cut the food into fourths.
Eat 1/4 of the food, slowly, taking sips of water in between bites.
After eating 1/4 of the meal, stop eating.
Wait 15 minutes. if you're still hungry, eat another 1/4. If not,
wrap the food up and put it away.

Sounds easy right? It is if you're not using food as a reward, a stress reliever, a comfort, a reason to party, something to do because you're lonely or bored, etc. etc. But, if you're addicted to food like I was this is not so easy.

After the first 30 minutes of being on this plan I failed. It was soooooo hard to stop eating when I couldn't feel my stomach any more. After a few days of failed attempts, I really started praying. I would say, "God, I cannot do this. I need you to do it for me. This is way too hard. Please help me not to eat right now. I'm not hungry..."

I also had a journal that I started the day I started all this. Each day I would write the date, my weight in the top right corner, and then I'd find a bible verse or two to focus on for that day. I would leave the journal open and would write frequent prayers and pleadings in it. I'd look at the verses and beg God to help me focus on pleasing Him with food. I also used that journal as simply a place to emote or write my deepest, darkest secrets. :-)

One of the other things Gwen Shamblin says is actually a promise. She promised that if we would "fight like a tiger" for a time, eventually the control food had over us would be broken and we would be free of it. I can promise you she's right. It happened for me, but it took a while. Food was my go-to for every emotion. But, after fighting like a tiger for a few months that power was broken. And for me, the only, only, only way I could fight like a tiger was to ask God to do it. And He was faithful to do it for me. Minute by literal minute sometimes.

I have to tell you I did a lot of talking to myself during this time. "Judy, you need to fight like a tiger...fight like a tiger. Do not eat. God please give me your self-control since I obviously don't have any.Judy, you are NOT a garbage disposal. Stop eating...." My family thought I was losing my mind along with my blubber!

One other trick I used on myself was this: sometimes I would force myself to eat in front of a mirror. I'd stand there and look at my fat cheeks bulging with food they didn't need and it would really gross me out. All in all, it didn't take that long to lose the bulk of the weight I wanted gone. I think on average I lost 2.5pnds a week.

Oh-If I wanted sugar I would slowly suck on ONE chocolate chip. It shocked me how satisfying one measly chocolate chip could be if I focused on actually tasting it.

Now that the weight is gone, I find I have a stronger desire to eat foods that are healthy. I drink a green smoothie every day, and have cut out a lot of bread. We eat a lot of vegetarian meals and even the boys have noticed they feel better when they eat this way.

So, I think that's it. Please let me know if you have any questions or whatever.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil. 4:13

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