Tag Archive: habit


Amendment to my POE

Weight is not valueDear Sponsor,

I got on the scale yesterday and discovered an undesirable weight change has crept upon me. Since I haven’t weighed in several months, I am not greatly disturbed by this discovery, but I am prompted to make some changes in my daily Plan of Eating (POE). My daily calorie intake goal had been 2150, due to my continued weight loss at the standard 2000. Since that no longer seems to be the case, I am dropping to the standard 2000 until things level off.

In practice, I plan to eliminate:

  • the half serving of raw almonds from my typical lunch (75 Kcal.)
  • one half serving of almond butter from typical dinner (100 Kcal.)
  • though the above represents 175 calories, I am committed to reducing the daily target by 150 calories, whether the “typical” meals are on the menu for any given day or not.

I haven’t written much lately, but great changes are taking place regarding my personal development. I was recently reawakened to the existence of my character defect of wrath as expressed by outbursts of rage, harsh criticism, and verbal condemnation. While addressing this defect in prayer, I was convicted that is is correlated to my habit of judgement, for which I am responsible. When I look at these and the way they correspond to my progress regarding food and weight, I am reminded that I cannot control my weight, but I am responsible for my food choices. When I make healthy food choices according to properly administered limits, there is a corresponding body weight change. I cannot merely pray that God remove my excess weight while eating whatever I want whenever I crave it, and neither can I stew in my hateful judgement and expect God to remove my character defect of wrath. I have some habits to change. So, I am addressing each instance of judgment much like I would a craving for food, cigarettes, booze, or any other toxin. I recognize it as judgement, turn from it, turn to God in prayer, and relinquish the craving to His care and control, offering the outcome to Him. So far, it works when I work it.

Another development in my life is the halfway mark in Nursing School. I would never have imagined it would be this difficult. I don’t know how much of my problem is that I am an adult learner returning to school in middle-age, or just that I have become an unteachable know-it-all who refuses to learn the new language of Nursing Academia. I can’t control the first option, but I have full control over the second, so I repeatedly pray that God will make me teachable, that I will study the right materials with focus, retain what I need, and be able to recall with clarity the answers I am called upon to know. I have been counseled by professors that I “overthink” exam questions, but I don’t really understand how overthinking can be a bad thing. I guess what they mean is I over-create details that aren’t written, or imagine what-if scenarios that aren’t articulated in the perfect vacuum of an exam. In my previous career, second and third guessing was routine, any possible outcome or precipitating cause had to be explored, and life balanced on my ability to anticipate the unimaginable. Now, in the world of the Nursing Student, my hyper-vigilance is considered an attention deficit, one I have to rein in or else. As a matter of fact, this very blog post represents a digression from my studies.

Because of that, I can’t really go into detail about the other personal development, but it’s huge. It involves the recognition of abuse in my life, forgiveness offered, and amends being lived out. I really must tell you about it soon.

 

(prayer) Holy Father, make me teachable. Relieve me from the bondage of self, especially as it relates to wrath, and help me cease this habit of judgment since it only serves to alienate me from Your children You put me on this Earth to serve in love. Thank You for progress. Thank You for grace. Help me live so saturated in it that, when I open my mouth or hands to share, Your grace is all that flows out. May Your will be done in every aspect of my life as it is in Heaven.

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)

“Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” (Psalm 86:11)

Bearing Fruit in Unity

unity handsAbstinent Today:

I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †

I didn’t plan my transition very well. In moving my gym days, I forgot to account for the plethora of service technicians who will be marching into my house this morning. I guess I will move my workout to tonight. (That feels like the precursor to an excuse.)

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Honesty, hope, faith, courage, integrity, willingness, humility, self-discipline, love, perseverance, spiritual awareness, service, unity, trust, open-mindedness, responsibility, acceptance, equality, and fellowship: These Twelve-Steps and Twelve- Traditions principles, rather than our problems, should be the focus of every OA meeting.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 147

It’s hard to “practice these principles in all our affairs” according to Step Twelve if we haven’t identified the principles by working the previous Steps and keeping the Traditions. Reading these principles causes mixed emotions in me. Part of me believes the list to be an oversimplification of the program, another part objects to the pile of character traits that seems at first glance impossible to achieve (and are, if one is counting on their own power), and another just wonders why the principles of twelve steps plus twelve traditions amounts to only twenty terms. Compulsive! Aren’t I?

Still, the list reminds me of yet another crop of traits that I look forward to yielding in my life as I strive to be motivated by God’s will rather than mine.

Galatians 5:22-23, NASB

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

 

 

 

From Proverbs 9, NIV:

6 Leave your simple ways and you will live;

walk in the way of insight.

Look! It’s recovery in one Bible verse! It confirms for me the instruction not to do what I feel like, but what is revealed to me as God’s will. It is amazingly more applicable to compulsive eaters because of the verse that precedes it. The call of Wisdom should not be missed.

Dear Father, today, rescue me from the patterns I have developed. Lift me out of my ruts and help me onto Your path, in Jesus’ name. Amen!

 

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in 1 Corinthians 3, NIV:

1 Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?

Two things strike me about this passage: first, Paul’s real intent behind this chapter, the instruction that division among believers defies the One in whom we believe; and second, that the characteristics of immature Christians, converts who still act worldly like “mere humans” does not disqualify them from the family of God, as he still addressed them as “brothers and sisters.” It is important not to be content with infantile faith, even as verse 15 mentions one saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. I don’t want my relationship with God to be one identified by a close call or a near miss!

Paul’s criticism of the Corinthian church was they had begun to separate themselves according to their discipleship under Paul, Peter, or Appollos, and argue about their denominations. I find that we still do the same thing, when one group professes to follow Calvin and another Wesley and another the Pope. Paul’s message is that we all are one body, and comprise the Temple of God (vs. 16-17), and as such, we are to maintain the Temple’s wholeness and unity. We are all Christians; not Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians or Catholics, but Christians!

22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas[That is, Peter] or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.

Papa, help me live in unity with Your children, never alienating anyone by my words, actions or inaction. Keep me from defacing Your Temple, Your Bride, the Church.

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 17:

We are average Americans. All sections of this country and many of its occupations are represented, as well as many political, economic, social, and religious backgrounds. We are people who normally would not mix. But there exists among us a fellowship, a friendliness, and an understanding which is indescribably wonderful.

 

Footnotes:

*Abstinence began for me on May 11th, 2010.

† For the sake of accountability, the details of my eating are posted in my online food log.

Abstinent Today:

I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time.  †

In a few hours I will be at the cardiologist’s lab, sweating on a treadmill, while technicians take ultrasound pictures of my heart, arteries, and blood vessels.  We are trying to figure out why this formerly fat, hypertensive guy is now hypotensive, ruling out blockages, deformities and the like with a stress echocardiogram.  I’m not worried about it, but am curious to see if there will be an explanation or not.  God knows what the trouble is and is capable of fixing it; and it will be interesting to discover whether He will clue the medical professionals into it, or if it will remain a mystery.

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Unconscious eating is one of the ways I express my lack of conscious contact with God. Eating is a habit and a compulsion.”

I remember when every television commercial was a call to the refrigerator, and the inside of my pantry must have thought I was a cuckoo as often as I peeked in on it.  There is nothing so satisfying as a relationship with God, and nothing can block that relationship so thoroughly as self-indulgence.  Ironic to me is how many people I talk to, who are inquisitive about my healthy changes, are fully aware that what they want and feel they deserve is what prevents them from the health they desire.  “I just could never give up ____ !” they exclaim, and they turn to walk in their self-gratifying way, convinced I’m the one who’s nuts for living the way I do.  Food is fuel for the body, and the body is the conveyance of the spirit.  I tend to my vehicle in ways that best honor the nature of the spiritual passenger.

 

 

 

From Proverbs 7:

laughing Lord of Darkness (Curry) “25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways
or stray into her paths.
26 Many are the victims she has brought down;
her slain are a mighty throng.”

This urgent plea to avoid even the notions and motions of the seductress comes with a graphic warning.  I believe there is a spiritual death that comes as a result of passionate indulgences such as Proverbs 7 describes.  The crafty temptress lies in wait for the innocent youth and drips honey in his ear until his downfall is consummated at the end of a returning husband’s arrow.  Certainly the one seeking to devour the innocent knows well the mechanism of the trap he is laying and laughs even when we narrowly escape.  I want to live in such a way, not just to be safe from my enemy, but to remain in constant communion with the Spirit who sustains, provides for, guides, and loves me.

 

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Luke 1:

Gabriel vistis Mary30 But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.’”

The angel Gabriel brought messages to both Zechariah and to Mary in this chapter, foretelling the arrival of John the Baptist and the One for whom he would prepare the way, Jesus the Anointed One, the Son of God and Son of Man, Immanuel, God with us.  As Zechariah put it:

74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
75     in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”

Thank You, Holy Father, for orchestrating Your righteousness here on earth where I may sample it.  Help me to live within it, in alignment with and obedience to You, so that I may not bring shame on the Name of my Savior, Jesus Christ.  Guide me to Your will and empower me to do it, in Christ’s name I pray. Amen!

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 14:

“There was a sense of victory, followed by such a peace and serenity as I had ever known. There was utter confidence. I felt lifted up, as though the great clean wind of a mountain top blew through and through.”

 

 

 

 

Footnotes:

*Abstinence began for me on May 11th, 2010.

For the sake of accountability, the details of my eating are posted in my online food log.