Saturday, September 8, 2012

Simplifying Food: Week Two Update

First and foremost, I have to say that this week has made me realize what a BRAT I truly am. You would think something as small as a simple fast wouldn't have such a dramatic effect. After all, it's not like I've given up food all together! I've just set seven rules in place to create some much-needed healthy limits on my food intake and the rest of it is a "free-for-all". I still have so much freedom, yet I've felt trapped most of the week.  It seems all of the things I crave are the things that I've given up.  Let's recap, for those that have forgotten, exactly what I'm fasting from this month:

*No Fast Food
*No Soda/Pop
*No Alcohol
*No Pork
*No Eating after 7 p.m.
*Only One Grocery Trip a week
*No Chocolate

Which one of them has been the hardest for me to adhere to?  ALL. OF. THEM. Geez, I'm pathetic.

It seems as though I have been living a lifestyle that is way too much "on the go". So much so that I never plan ahead what my family will eat ahead of time, and making the possibility of grabbing something fast food pretty much inevitable. It's been a struggle all week, with trips to the Science Museum around lunch time to mall trips around dinner time. I'm learning that I'm not a planner. I'm a "spontaneous eater" by nature. I graze. A little here, a little there, but hardly ever a little at home. That's been changing as I've learned to schedule our outings a bit after some REALLY late dinners and really cranky kids made me realize that's not acceptable. So, I'm adapting.

Let's talk caffeine. I'm not sure how people do life without it. For years I have suffered through existence with a Big Gulp in the morning to wake me up enough to endure people, and then have refilled throughout the day.  This has been to all of your benefits. I'm really not a nice person without a healthy dose of caffeine running through my veins. I'm still getting my caffeine, but in a bit more creative ways. Since the NO SODA rule, I've been popping Excedrin tablets like their going out of style. Before you deem me a druggie, know that the lack of soda has given me daily headaches and Excedrin (that happens to be chalked full of caffeine) allows me to grin and bare it when I really want to crawl into a corner and cry.  I've also taken my morning coffee to a whole new level. I used to drink it only in the fall/winter. But having a morning java has saved my children from many near-death experiences over the last two weeks. I tell them on a daily basis, "Folgers has saved your lives again."  Not to make myself sound too ridiculously pathetic, I have started drinking water again. You know, the stuff on tap in your OWN homes that's FREE?!  I add a little Mio and Viola!  I'm finding I'm not so dehydrated all the time.  This is something I plan to stick to after this whole fast is over.

Mostly this week I've realized that my slightly reduced life is still extraordinary in every way.  There are so little boundaries and no end to my advantages. For whatever reason, I was born into privilege:  I've never known hunger, poverty, or despair. I have been blessed.  Ridiculously blessed--relationally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  My life is so happy, it's almost embarrassing.  And yet I let little things like the fact that I can't run through a drive-thru window or grab a soda obstruct my view on reality. I can't see how blessed I am most days because I'm  not seeing the forest for the trees, so to speak. I've been concentrating too much on the few things that I can't have instead of all the endless things that I do have at my disposal. I have more food (even with all the limitations) in one single day than most of the earth's population see their whole lives. If anything is ridiculous, it's that fact. How many times do we really stop and think about that? If we did, I think it would revolutionize the way we think about food.

My husband and I are desperately trying to afford a mission trip coming up in November. We are saving money and planning on visiting Nicaragua, one of the "third-world-countries" in Central America.  I'm not entirely sure what defines a "third-world-country", but I know it involves a poverty like we cannot fathom in the United States. We see hunger, we see poverty, we see a down slide in our economy. . .But we know nothing about this level of desperation. We want to use what resources that we've been blessed with to go there and bless others. Whether that is with food, relational support, or just old-fashioned care and concern. This fast has opened my eyes to the fact that I don't know much about "need". I'm so looking forward to having my eyes opened in November to what a "need" truly looks like. It's not just a craving for a bit of fast food or a soda. It probably looks a lot more like a mom going to bed hungry so that both of her children have at least a little something in their bellies. My children don't know that feeling. I don't know that feeling.

"Tell me about the world before.  What was it like?"
We didn't even know what was precious.  
We threw away things that people would kill for today."
-The Book of Eli

1 comment:

  1. I have lost 35 lbs since the begining of February. I was a couch potato too and so fond of the drive thru so much so that McDonald's knew my order as soon as they heard my voice (that is what is pathetic). I did not "give up" the same 7 things you have, I chose to exclude them form my healthy diet. I would have defeated myself before I began if I had thought that way. I make better choices. Those things are not treats or rewards for me anymore because my health and happiness is my reward now. Before I started running (I am doing 5km now) choosing to drink water alone helped me lose 10lbs. Now that I have my food choices under control I give in to my cravings every so often. Then I realize it wasn't worth it, cuz even though chocolate tastes good, it does nothing but give me a sugar rush and the crash at the end.
    You are doing awesome and I hope you run that marathon in a year, I hope to be there with you! Please don't think like you are depriving yourself of those 7 things.
    But definitely be thankful for what you have!