“If a fast doesn’t include any sacrifices, then it’s not a fast. The discomfort is where the magic happens. Life zips along, unchecked and automatic. We default to our lifestyles, enjoying our privileges tra la la, but a fast interrupts that rote trajectory. Jesus gets a fresh platform in the empty space where indulgence resided.”
― Jen Hatmaker,
Oh Lord, You and You alone know the cry of my heart these past 10 days as I have been (mostly successful in) forfeiting chocolate and sugar. (Okay, I’ve been eating honey roasted peanuts. They are delicious and bring hope to each new day).
While I fully anticipated Food to be one of the hardest months, by Day 2 it was clear this would be the hardest month.
For May, these are the only seven foods I’m consuming:
- 100% Whole Wheat Bread
- Colby Jack Cheese
- I don’t strictly adhere to these when it will inconvenience others. For instance, when out to eat with family last week at Cracker Barrel, I ordered Chicken ‘n Dumplin’s, with sides of broccoli, salad, and apple slices. While there were non-Seven-approved foods in there, I was also able to eat 3 of my approved foods. The same will go for a wedding next week; if there is chicken, I’ll eat that. If there’s New York strip steak……
- My anniversary weekend. Kent and I are celebrating 1 year of marriage (please hold your applause) and the 7 Challenge Council approved (nay, encouraged) me to not have dietary restrictions on this weekend.
I also committed to drinking only milk and water. This is less impressive than it sounds for the following reasons:
- I don’t drink coffee or tea anyway.
- For the most part I don’t drink pop.
- For the most part I don’t drink alcohol.
- I cheated last Saturday! My MIL brought a gallon of my fave lemonade to a family gathering because she knows my affinity for it. (Bless). I had to.
Basically the only area it kills me in are the juicy, sugary drinks that 4-year-olds often enjoy: Sunny D, Capri Sun, lemonade, apple juice, etc. I need to stop listing things that sound so good when my willpower is so weak!
“Usually the things we think we need become the very things we need a break from.”
― Jen Hatmaker,
So…everything above this line was written 22 days ago. (Whoops!) Now that I’m in the last day of “food month,” I’ll share a few things:
- The first and second days were the hardest, even more so than the 19th and 20th. I felt myself actually getting a little depressed and very irritable. This is so stupid. Why am I even doing this? Eating seven foods won’t freaking bring me closer to Jesus. In other words, I am a much better person when I’m allowed to eat chocolate. I panicked a little on May 2nd, because no matter how much I ate I was constantly hungry, angry, and hangry.
So, I tried reading my Bible. Just like clothes month gave new meaning to the verse “if you have two tunics, give one away” (paraphrasing here), food month gave new meaning to the verse:
“Jesus answered, ‘It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
My brain latched onto that, and the desperation began to ebb. Did the hunger fade? No, but it wasn’t my focus anymore. This makes me wonder how many times in life I’m stressed or upset (or hungry) and all I need is to read a few Psalms…
2. Don’t yell at me, but after briefly stopping Seven for my 1 year anniversary…….I never went back. The day I was supposed to begin eating “right” again, I woke up feeling kind of crummy. It escalated until I was pretty much couch-bound, or wanting to be, from Tuesday-Saturday. It was reminiscent of the abdominal pain I had in 2014 when a cyst ruptured, so I considered going to the ER as well.
The result? Seven lasted 19 days for me this month instead of 31. I resolved to eat healthier every day and be more active. I am a couch potato. Just because I’m skinny doesn’t mean I’m healthy. (More on this soon). If my body is a temple do I care more about what the temple looks like, or what I’m doing to it and how I’m treating it? I may have eaten chocolate cake for breakfast this morning (thanks Julia) BUT I walked over 9,000 steps yesterday, had a consultation with a trainer at my new gym today, and I’m meeting with a doctor tomorrow. Also, I’m going to throw out the chocolate cake.