Tame the Crave – Trading Cravings?

Today was weigh-in day. It’s the end of week two on my Tame the Crave journey. As I shared before, I started out at 164 pounds. At the end of week one I was feeling empowered when I weighed in at 161 pounds – three pounds down in one week – hooray!

Today was different. I weighed in with a deficit of .6 pounds. Not even one whole pound in seven days. On the one hand I’m pleased that at least I lost some weight, but on the other hand I was so hoping to break into the 150’s today. And after a week of three pounds of weight loss, .6 seems awfully measly.

Since the scale doesn’t lie, I’ve had to evaluate my eating this past week. If I’m honest with myself, and I have to be, I know exactly where I veered off course.

You see, though I’ve removed tempting unhealthy foods from my diet, I’m finding it all too easy to overindulge in other things instead (like, just maybe, peanut butter). And there were far too many times this last week that I kept eating, even when I wasn’t hungry.

There were moments when the Holy Spirit nudged me to stop eating because I didn’t need more. A few times I listened. A few more times I didn’t.

I find unhealthy desires continue to dwell in my wayward flesh. I see that I am not truly relying on God to satisfy and nourish my innermost cravings. Instead, I’m ravenously searching for an ‘okay’ food to feed my crave.

A journal entry from last week perfectly reveals the inner struggle:

Today was a day of excuse and exception bombardment. It sounds ridiculous, but I’m already thinking about the Super Bowl party (we have one every year with the youth group) and all the deliciousness that will be there. And starting to say to myself, ‘Maybe it could be a splurge day?!?’ What? Here I am almost a month away from the event, dreaming of indulgence! This reminds me that there is something fundamentally wrong with my attitude towards food.

In the introduction to her book, “Made to Crave,” Lysa TerKeurst writes:

We feel overweight physically but underweight spiritually. Tying these two things together is the first step on one of the most significant journey’s you’ll ever take with God.

My soul is ready for the journey; though my body wants to stubbornly refuse – like a toddler flopping on the ground and screaming when she doesn’t get what she wants.

So I have to bring my body into submission because it’s desires will never lead me to health or holiness. I must Tame the Crave so that it doesn’t tame me. And I must redirect the crave to the One it has been intended for all along – to the only One who can fill me.

Heavenly Father,

It feels kind of weird to seek You in this area of my life. I’ve often felt like my eating habits were an area in which I needed to ‘get it together’ on my own. 

But I know the truth is that You are intimately concerned and involved with my fight for holiness – even regarding my food indulgence. You are purifying Your Bride, and that includes me. 

Forgive me for ignoring Your Holy Spirit this last week. I want to continue to learn obedience in all areas of life.

God, I want to want You more than food. I want my cry to be “How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God” (Psalm 84:1-2). Not, ‘How beautiful is that birthday cake and my heart cries out for that enticing piece of pizza.’

My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26). You are my portion; not food. You alone fill me up and satisfy my failing flesh; not delectable edibles.

Lord, help me to remember Your truth in the midst of temptation so that I choose to heed Your Holy Spirit instead of my flesh.

Thank you for Your unconditional love. And thank you for continuing to refine me to be more like Your Son.

Amen

Advertisement

Tame the Crave

“Mom,” my daughter questioned me, “where is your sweet tooth?”

Oh, boy.

There’s no doubt my kids know I have a sweet tooth. It’s my most unrelenting food craving.

For the past ten years it’s been convenient to blame all my unhealthy cravings on pregnancy and nursing (5 kids in 6&1/2 years will do that to a woman).

But now my youngest is two, and those excuses are catching up with me.

So, I’m jumping on my second bandwagon for 2016 –  health. (Read about the other bandwagon I’m on: Love Quest)

Generally speaking, I live a healthy lifestyle. I actually like to exercise, I don’t smoke, I drink very little, I don’t consume much caffeine, etc….

But.

Food.

During more active times in life, my bondage to my taste buds has been of little consequence. But the ugly truth is that I’ve been out eating the treadmill.

Conviction about my eating habits has been brewing for many years. I’ve just shoved it aside; liking food isn’t that big of a deal, is it? I could be succumbing to worse habits, right? If this is an area I struggle, it’s no the end of the world. Besides, it’s the inside that matters most.

But for me it goes beyond liking food. My enjoyment of food carries me to the point of eating more than is necessary, to hiding my consumption, and ultimately to the point of guilt and shame. It is an issue of what’s going on inside. And it just happens to have the undesirable result outside plumpness.

Food is a pleasure that battles against God’s rightful place as my truest source of satisfaction and delight.

So it’s time to Tame the Crave.

It’s about more than weight loss. It’s about obedience and victory over my wayward flesh. It’s about loving God with my body, soul, spirit, mind, and strength.

I’m using Lysa TerKeurst’s book “Made to Crave,” as a guide along my journey. Would you like to read and discuss with me along the way? I would absolutely love it! We need each other in this pursuit of holiness! (You can take a look at the book here).

Tame the crave. Claim the victory.

I commenced my healthy eating plan on January 4th. And I’ve already faced more temptations than I would like to admit.

Here’s an excerpt from my journal regarding one of those temptations:

It’s the end of day two on my healthy eating plan. I’m not feeling the greatest – bloated, gurgly tummy, a little weak, and tired. 

Faced a temptation when Cyrus and I went to the movies tonight with another couple. She brought perfectly portioned baggies of M&Ms to share with us! UGGGHH! I would love to munch and watch. I politely refused and instead sipped my contraband tea. This small victory feels good on the inside. Hoping my ‘outsides’ feel a little better tomorrow.

 I know the temptations will keep coming, but I also know that my self-control muscle will get stronger the more frequently I resist the cravings.

My Healthy Eating Plan

My plan may look different than yours. It’s based on eliminating the unhealthy things that I crave the most: Sugar, cheese, and refined carbs.

I have completely eliminated all sugar (including honey, maple syrup, etc…) for now. Instead I’m indulging my sweet tooth with healthier fruit options.

I have also said no to cheese. Not all dairy products, just cheese. I still eat yogurt and sour cream because I don’t have a problem eating those in moderation. It’s the sultry, salty, melty allure of rich cheeses that beckons me to keep consuming. Someday I might eat small amounts of cheese again – if I have reached a place of self-control.

My final sparring partner in this fight for health is carbs. Not all carbs, just those delicious breads, rolls, pastas, and pastries that are oh so delicious, and oh so addicting, and oh so just like sugar to the body. I’m still eating some healthy grains like oats, quinoa, brown rice, and whole grain bread. But, I’m limiting myself to a small amount for only two meals a day.

The Part That I Don’t Want To Share

My weight. It’s embarrassing. I know some might not bat an eyelash at my weight. Others might be shocked and disgusted.

I hadn’t weighed myself in probably five months, but when I when I stepped on the scale to get an idea of where I was starting my journey, I though it would be about the same. Nope. I thought I weighed about 155 – more than I would like to, and squeaking by as not quite overweight according to the BMI.

But I was in for an unpleasant shock. Sometime during those five months I managed to pack on another nine pounds! Even while exercising! I’m positive it was the holidays that did me in.

So there I was, on that Wednesday two days into my healthy eating plan, weighing in at 164. My heaviest in over a year.

I guess I need to tame the crave more than I realized.

My Goals

My first goal is to break free from the control food has over me. I want to seek God for comfort, pleasure, and help rather than food.

My second goal is to lose about 24 pounds. I want to be in a solidly healthy place, not teetering in the edge of overweight.

So there you have it.

There is a part of me that keeps telling me I’m crazy for sharing any of this with you. But, if it can be encouragement for any of you who are prompted to tame your own crave, then the vulnerability is worth it.

What You Can Expect

I am going to document my journey through this blog. I will post about the internal spiritual and emotional aspects of my pursuit of victory as I process them and work my way through the book “Made to Crave.”

I am also going to weigh in every Wednesday to track my progress. I’ll share that too.

You can expect to see more excerpts from my personal journal – I want to keep the struggles of this fight real.

Each week I plan to submit a thought/discussion provoking question. Join in the conversation!

Again, I would love all the support I can get, so if you want to go through the book with me or hop on your own healthy eating bandwagon, let me know by leaving a comment or sending an email. Let’s Tame the Crave and Claim the Victory together!