Oct 032014

Dieter's Envy

Well I would like to tell you that I’ve lost more weight and am sitting pretty while I shrink out of my clothes, lower my cholesterol, blood pressure and decrease my risk for heart disease. I’d like to be able to tell you that, but it wouldn’t be the truth.

The truth is often not as pretty as the ideal. The truth is that I’ve been plateaued around the 185 to 187 mark for several weeks. In the morning I’m 185. In the evening I’m 187. It’s frustrating. My eating has become sloppy. I’m not weighing my food. I’m not planning it out ahead of time. I’m trying to follow my non-existent “instinct” to eat properly. I did okay for a while. My weight loss slowed down, but I was still losing weight. Now the weight loss has stopped, and if I’m not careful, I think it will start to go up again.

I’ve been praying over it for the past week, asking God to show me the way He wants me to eat. I don’t expect fast or instant answers. I’m willing to give God as much time as it takes for me to be able to hear His voice. If you don’t manage your food plan with the help of God, then this logic of mine may not make sense to you. That’s okay, you can skip the next few paragraphs, down to the food plan stuff.

I am absolutely certain that God wants me to eat a certain way. My job is to ask him what that way is, and then be willing to follow his will.

Some people think that God is a busy executive and doesn’t have time to worry over one small woman’s daily diet. I’ve had people tell me that my belief is absolutely absurd. Maybe for them it is.

For me, it seems perfectly logical that my creator would have a vested interest in what I eat and how much of it I eat. He loves me. He designed my body–with all of it’s problems, all of it’s weaknesses, all of it’s challenges–with a clear purpose. That purpose is to bring me closer to Him.

The apostle Paul had his thorn, and I’ve got mine. My thorn is food. God gave me some knowledge in the way of food, but he also gave me a challenge. That challenge keeps me dependent upon on Him. If I could cook and eat on my own, without his help, then I wouldn’t need to turn to Him to figure out how to take care of myself. If I had the power to follow a food plan of my own ability, then I wouldn’t have to rely upon Him to stick to it.

God wants me, he wants all of us, to rely upon him for every breath, every decision, every moment of our lives. I believe He gives us challenges so that we can be reminded of our immediate need for him. This allows us to turn to him, for his help, for his guidance, instead of trying to get by on our own power.

So I’ve been praying to have a clear understanding of what he wants me to eat, how he wants me to address my health concerns through my diet. Sometimes he tells me things that I don’t want to hear, such as eating more egg whites and avoiding whole eggs. That’s when I need to listen to Him instead of my own mind.

In the case of egg yolks, the scientific and health community is filled with mixed messages. Some sources say avoid them completely to lower your cholesterol. Some say a few egg yolks are all right, just don’t overdo it. Some say to eat more of them because they actually reduce your cholesterol levels instead of raising it.

I’ve been praying about egg yolks for many, many years, and I have been reluctant to hear God’s answer. When I am quiet and go to him with a submissive spirit, I hear that I need to avoid them for a while, to see what happens. I’ve never really given myself over to eliminating egg yolks in earnest. I’ve done it casually  for a week or two. I’ve pretended to do it for up to a month or two, but I’ve never sincerely and honestly eliminated egg yolks for several months at a time to reduce my cholesterol and triglycerides.  Maybe avoiding them will be good for me. Maybe it won’t. I need to be willing to go without them, to see what happens. That’s the message I’m receiving–be willing to live without them, genuinely willing, without cheating, and see what happens to my blood work.

Sigh. I really don’t want to go without egg yolks. I suspect that it won’t make any difference whatsoever. I’m not doing this for me though. I’m doing this for God. And if God really wants me to give egg whites a go, then I need to be willing to do it. I don’t have to understand it. I don’t have to agree with it. I just need to be obedient. Being obedient is a lot of work. Submitting to a food plan is such a struggle for me. Still, if I can submit to Fred and his earthly wisdom, then I guess submitting to God’s divine wisdom shouldn’t be any more work.

As the old saying goes: More of God. Less of me.

With my food plan this is a literal statement. Besides the specifics of the egg whites issue, I’ve asked God what else He wants me to do, as far as my food plan goes. What follows is a compilation of what I believe God wants me to do:

  1. Avoid wheat. Eat as little gluten as possible.
  2. Avoid all dairy products.
  3. Avoid red meat. Eat beans, fish, seafood, chicken and turkey instead.
  4. Make moderate use of calorie-free sweeteners (Jiminy Cricket! This burns my buns! I want to use honey and sugar!)
  5. Follow the DASH diet. Even the parts I don’t like.
  6. Use the Exchange Plan to follow the diet.
  7. Weigh and Measure food. Even when I don’t want to.
  8. Write down everything I eat. Even the parts I don’t want to write down. Even that lick of my fingers when I’m spreading peanut butter. Yup. Even that one.

I really don’t want to do this. I want to keep going my own way, playing with my food plan loose and free. I don’t want to obey. I want to eat what I want, when I want to. The problem with that though, is that so far, all it’s gotten me is fatter. So, with that in mind I am making my food plan look like this:

  • 6 servings of Starches (breads & cereals)
  • 6 servings of Protein (fish, poultry, legumes, egg whites)
  • 6 servings of Vegetables (or more)
  • 4 servings of Fruit
  • 2 servings of Milk (soymik, cause I’m dairy free and soy-friendly)
  • 4 servings of Fat (without red meat or egg yolks, I can use a little more fat in my diet than the 2 servings called for in the official DASH diet.)

If I weigh and measure all of these faithfully then I will have room for 3 or 4 Free Exchanges and 50 to 100 bonus calories a day, to do with what I like. Such as an extra food exchange or an Other Carbohydrate exchange, or just 50 to 100 calories to play fast and loose with. This totals about 1600 calories a day, which is not super low calorie, but is not super high calorie either. It provides an amount of food I think I can live with for the long term, and that is what I’m trying to find.

Ideally I’d like to stick to this every day for an entire week. If that goes okay, then maybe I can do it for a month. I am fearful about this because I know how much trouble I have sticking to a strict food plan. I may not be able to do it. I’m certain that I cannot do it on my own. I think that maybe, if I rely on God for my strength, that I might be able to do it with his help.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.–Philippians 4:13

And another good one.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. — 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

To me this means that the weaker I am, the less I rely upon myself, and the stronger I allow God to be for me, the more I rely upon him, the easier my life will become. His divine strength can do for me, things that I could never do for myself. I am not alone in this journey. God is my leader, my partner, my escape hatch. I don’t have to do it all myself. He will help me. I just have to get out of the way and let Him do His job. Instead of me trying to do it for Him. That never ends well. 😉

  2 Responses to “Paying the Price for Plateaus”

  1. I love the art you chose to accompany this piece, Maggie. I crane to look at dessert carts like some people rubber-neck at car wrecks!

    • ROTFL, I know, isn’t this one of the greatest pictures ever. Her face is even tinted green with envy. I laugh every time I look at it. Glad you enjoyed it too. 🙂

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