If you missed the first posts in the series:
On Sunday, I had the conversation with my husband that I have been dreading. For the past year, our little dog (who has been with us for almost twelve years) has had lumps and bumps…and they are cancerous. Within the past few days his breathing had become more shallow, and that morning, he didn’t want to eat.
Let me assure you, he has never turned down food. Never.
“It’s not a good sign that Scooter doesn’t want to eat. We need to talk about what we’re going to do.”
I burst into tears.
“I just think we need to talk about this now, so we can decide how long we wait before the suffering is too much. We need to decide if you want to be there when we put him to sleep, or if that’s even what we want to do.”
My husband is amazingly compassionate, and he has to help pet owners make these decisions almost every single day. I, on the other hand, could never be a veterinarian. I would be a basket-case…weeping with everyone who came in that had a sick or injured pet.
It’s something I don’t want to talk about–even though I know I have to.
Piled onto the knowledge that we’re losing our little buddy soon is a week’s worth of various life stressors, relationship stressors, and just every day living.
And it makes me want to eat.
When I started the Whole30 last week, I knew the first week would be challenging. It has been for sure, but it has also been eye opening. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reached for the cabinet door to pull out a handful of chocolate chips…only to stop and remind myself I can’t eat that. It’s not on the list!
Partially it’s habit, but partially it is a prop—it’s a way to help soothe over those feelings and a way to give me a quick burst of energy to make it through that moment.
It’s a craving.
Two things that have worked for me this week when said cravings hit:
1) Ask myself whether I’m really hungry or I’m just having a craving. You’d think it comes naturally, but I have mixed up hunger signals–and I have a hard time discerning whether I’m eating out of boredom, frustration, anxiety, etc. It’s been so helpful to follow the advice in It Starts with Food: “It can be easy to confuse cravings for actual hunger, but we’ve got a quick-and-easy approach to differentiating between the two. Simply ask yourself, ‘Am I hungry enough to eat steamed fish and broccoli?’ If the answer is no, then you’re not really hungry; you’ve just got a craving.” Simple enough and it’s been working well for me!
2) Prayer, prayer, prayer!
Made to Crave (Chapters 7-9):
Even in the midst of all the turmoil going on around me, it really turned out to be a good week. I have a little sign on my fridge from Made to Crave Week 3 (you can find the sign and more freebies here) that says PEACE. I want to find inner PEACE in the midst of the outer chaos. I want to be at PEACE with my body. I want to be at PEACE by using food to fuel my body instead of using it to fill up the sadness or loneliness or other stressful triggers.
Chaper Eight was especially helpful for me. In it, Lysa TerKeurst shares about her friend Karen Ehman’s struggles with weight and a “Weight Loss Wednesday” post she wrote on her blog.
“Define your week by obedience, not by a number on the scale.”
Since I’m doing a Whole30, I’m not supposed to weigh myself (although I had to on Monday for a weight-loss competition I was in…but now the scale is put away). It’s so freeing not to be tide up in the numbers. Believe me, I know what it’s like and how frustrating it is when you are doing everything “right” and the scale doesn’t seem to be moving!
I’ve decided that instead of marking my progress by the scale–instead of letting myself be defined by the scale, to ask myself these questions that Karen asked:
- Did I overeat this week on any day?
- Did I move more and exercise regularly?
- Do I feel lighter than I did at this time last week?
- Did I eat in secret or out of anger or frustration?
- Did I feel that, at any time, I ran to food instead of to God?
- BEFORE I HOPPED ON THE SCALE….did I think I’d had a successful, God-pleasing week?
(Find the full post here.)
I think those are such good questions–especially since I sometimes beat myself up over what the scale says. I can ruin a completely good day just by stepping on the scale and not seeing what I want to see. That’s ridiculous, right?!!
Maybe we should all do what Lysa suggests and put the word “Peace” over the number on our scale. Better yet, do a Whole30 with me, and put the scale away until May!
Do you struggle with the scale or has stepping on it ever ruined your day…or even ruined your progress because it made you want to give up?