Okay, I'm posting one more time before we leave for Idaho.
Something has happened, and I don't know what to say about it or even if I should mention it. But I will, of course!
I have struggled with my size for about ten years. (I'm now 30.) I won't go into the boring details, but I've progressed from a happy medium (in high school), to an ecstatic small (in college), back to a medium (met Penn), then large (Penn's a chef), then extra-large (Penn's a good chef), all the way to the plus-size department (Penn's a great chef). I actually lost all the baby weight and have put it back on. Yes, that's right. I'm the same weight as when I delivered Nicknack! So I can't even blame all this excess on him.
I'm not blaming Penn, either. As you may have heard, he is a chef (have I mentioned that enough?) and he is very food oriented. His love language is service and one of those acts is to spoil me with snacks, candy, dinners out, special meals and treats, and giant helpings. But many, many other women would have declined to have a "candy drawer." Left a little something on their plates to signal the portion-size was unreasonable. Or asked for something for their birthday other than cakes ("sticky date pudding AND an ice cream cake!"). Clearly, he is not the problem. He's just my enabler.
Like every other person with a closet full of darling clothes that don't fit, I've tried every diet (even the good ones) and failed. I've also started many an exercise regime and haven't stuck with any of them.
I've always meant to pray about this issue. A time or two I've sent up a fleeting, "Please help me with this, God!" I do this in other areas, too. Sometimes I have a prayer sitting in the back of my mind, but never bring it directly to God. I am an accomplished procrastinator so it makes sense that I would find a way to put off prayer, even when it is so obviously and so desperately needed.
But something has happened.
Yesterday I turned on a DVR episode of Beth Moore on Life Today. I was only half listening because I was on the floor with Nicknack, playing on a pile of sofa pillows (his new favorite activity).
Something caught my ear and STUCK! I won't try to paraphrase Mrs. Moore's message, but I was overcome with the immediate and certain knowledge that I could claim victory in the area of excessive eating. Right at that moment. Before I'd even turned down one slice of cake or lost a single pound. I was going to stop believing the lies of the enemy and I knew I wouldn't fall into his snare ever again. So there!
I spent Nicknack's nap journaling. Basically, having a written conversation with God. He was revealing so many things to me I could barely type fast enough. We talked about the whys and wherefors of overeating. I suddenly had such a clear picture of what food is and isn't meant to be. I realized that food is an addiction for me. I care WAY too much about it. I feel deprived if I have to restrain myself in any way; there is no moderation in my eating habits. And even when I'm dieting successfully I'm craving food, negotiating for it, and waiting for the moment I can abandon my diet and indulge. Overeating, for me, is also an act of rebellion. "I'm a grown up and I can eat whatever, whenever, and how ever much I want." I'd never consciously articulated that thought before, but my actions had.
Throughout the afternoon I just had this overwhelming feeling of victory. Just a palpable sense of freedom from this struggle. I don't know how to explain it other than that I lost interest in food.
It's only been 24 hours, but it's been the strangest day of my life, food-wise. My stomache growls, so I eat. No food I can think of sounds tempting. Tiramisu? Nah. Pizza? Greasy! Lobster? That sounds okay. Just okay. My mom's amazing ham/olive/cheese loaf dip? Whatever.
I probably sound bonkers, but I believe God has freed me from my obsession with food and given me the appetite of a normal person.
As I emerged from sleep this morning, the first thought that popped into my head was, "Victory! I don't care about food anymore!" I was giggling before I even opened my eyes.
I tried to explain all this to Penn and he just nodded and smiled politely. I think he'll believe it when he sees it. Also, I suspect that Penn has a secret fear that I'm going to turn into a religious nut one of these days. We're never quite in step, faith-wise. But we're both moving in the right direction (God's!), so that's good enough for me. I just told him to mark this day on the calendar. "I am not going to overeat anymore. I just don't feel the need."
God and I worked up a little diet for me. We're calling it the 365 day diet. Every morning, during my quiet time, he's going to remind me that I'm free from the need to overeat. That I'm walking in victory and freedom, in Christ. Then I'm just going to eat normal portions of normal food when I'm hungry. I'm not going to weigh myself or keep track of calories. No food is forbidden but all food choices will be consciously made. There will be no such thing as seconds. In 365 days, I can weigh myself. I'll probably have lost quite a bit of weight (although gradually and slowly, most likely). But losing weight isn't the point. That's just icing on the cake. (Which still doesn't sound good, no matter how many times I type the word or the fact that it's just about dinner time.) I don't have any specifical goals. I'm just going to live in victory, every day, and see where that takes me.
I've never felt like this before, about anything. Like I've already completed the 365 days and am looking back at where I began. I am so certain of success. There isn't a doubt in my mind. Because I'm not the same.
Last night, I was a little hungry, but it was bedtime. So I had a glass of water and taunted my stomache. "Get used to that growly feeling. I'm in charge of YOU now, sister! Bwah ha ha!" Penn looked at me a little strangely. Not that he looked strange. But his expression told me that he thought I did! I was and AM giddy with this feeling of freedom. You know how you feel after a bad headache? The absence of pain is such a relief, it's almost pleasant. Whew! It's great to be alive and not have a headache! I feel like that.
I'm not sure what to make of all this. But I'm not questioning it, I'm just going with it!
So now you can see why I hesitated to post this. Because, hello?!, it's day 2 of The New Adventures of New Kitty. I could fall on my face in a couple of months and then I'd have to admit to all of you that I failed. Except that I'm not going to fail. This isn't some fad diet I'm on. This is me living in victory! I'm so convinced that I'm going to have Penn take a "before" picture and in 365 days I'll post that with my "after" picture. I can't wait! See you on June 13, 2008!