"I pray that out of the riches of His glory, He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and ground in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth of His love." Ephesians 16-18
Thirteen days ago, I decided that I was going to overcome my addiction to food/sugar. Like any prisoner trying to break-free from the walls that bind them, I have been studying my options and devising an escape plan.
My first step was to brainstorm what I want, where I’m at, and what options I have available. From there, I had to make a decision about how to move forward. I decided to create a GROW Plan. A GROW Plan would give me an overlook of my goals, reality, options and way forward.
My goals included keeping God first so that I could be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, losing weight and building consistency and routine into my life. Because I have a spontaneous, distractible nature, it's important for me to find ways to be grounded. I established the following steps to move forward: (1) spend 15-30 minutes per day with the Lord to prepare my heart and mind for this challenge; (2) write a daily blog to build routine and consistency into my life, (3) gather my resources (educational and fitness) into one area so that I can easily find them and reference them; and (4) build accountability partners by asking my book group if they want to start “The Tablet” or “Think and Eat Yourself Smart” as a new book study.
After creating my GROW Plan, I examined where I was at in the change process. I realized that I have been contemplating weight loss for a long time, and that I was about to enter the preparation/determination stage of change. Building a routine by writing a daily blog would certainly help with preparing my mind for the work that will soon be needed. As I think on this, I'm realizing that I'm actually doing the work and preparing at the same time. I have not set specific dietary goals, but I am becoming aware of my food choices and the feelings that are stirred because of it. This in turn is causing me to make healthy choices some of the time.
I spent a day updating my vision verse by adding a sensory experiences and a present tense to it. The vision allows me to feel and imagine the me I want to be. The me I can be. The me I am walking into.
I developed two SMART goals, and have achieved both! The first SMART goal was: “By Friday, December 1st (time-based and entered into my calendar), I will have written one daily blog per day (measurable, achievable and realistic) about overcoming food addiction (specific) which is grounded in God’s Word (more specific and personally-oriented).” Achieved!
The second SMART goal was, “By Sunday, December 3rd, I will read through my blog entries to examine whether or not I have achieved my SMART goal.” Achieved!
I found two small jars to use as my “I DID IT” jar and “NOT YET” jar. Since I currently attending Dr. Caroline Leaf's Perfectly You Conference, I will use the $20 motivational reward to purchase her "Think and Eat Yourself Smart" book. It's so important for me to recognize and reward the small tasks so that I can feel a sense of accomplishment and success rather than guilt and failure!
I attempted to use the BeeMinder App to track my behavior, but it appears to be having some problems. I'll give it a day or two and then see what happens with it.
On Day 10, I began to feel a bit overwhelmed and realized that I may need an accountability partner(s). But not every accountability partner is the right fit. I tried to use my husband as an accountability partner, but every time he commented on what I was putting into my mouth, I got angry. I know he means well, but I take his words critically and I feel like I’m letting him down. I need an accountability partner who is sensitive to my plight; preferably another middle-aged woman who has walked through, or is walking through, difficulties with weight loss.
Eleven days into my escape plan, even with the best laid plans, the temptation of “bad habit” took over. I was reminded that I am not invincible, that my flesh is weak, and that I sometimes fail. I fell into the Fear Zone and took my mind, will and emotions with me! I had to revise my plan, and added the following actions: (1) Mid-Day Thermogenic Supplement; (2) cooler of healthy snacks in car; and (3) Herbal Tea at night.
Yesterday, on Day 12, I reminded myself that I can still move forward even when feeling frustrated. Feelings are fickle, and often times, are not accurate depictions of truth. When operating in the Fear Zone, negative feelings accompany negative thoughts. Fear is false evidence appearing real. Fear is not truth. Only love is truth. Rather than walking forward afraid, I can step into the Love Zone and walk forward frustrated. I can pray that God will take my frustration and re-design it into something purposeful and beautiful. The important thing is that I continue to walk forward grounded in God's love.
Today, I give myself credit for achieving my first two SMART goals, and I can’t wait to choose a book at Dr. Leaf’s conference as my reward!