Day 10: Meal Planning

Meal planning is one of those things I know I need to do, but I am so lazy about it. I need to meal plan to save money for our family (currently just Husby and me), and I need to meal plan so I’m prepared to make good decisions.

When I know we’re eating tacos for dinner, and I know I have all of the ingredients at home, I’m less likely to purchase some type of convenience food at the last minute.
I don’t have a very good system in place for meal planning. It usually consists of me sitting down on Sunday and thinking of a few meals I know how to cook and I know we like. I need to take my meal planning a step further and think about the nutritional value of what I’m preparing. Also, I need to think through how leftovers of that meal will work out calorically (is that a word? spell check says no, but I’m keeping it anyway) with the new meal I would prepare the next day.
Do you meal plan? Do you have a good system in place? I’d love some pointers!

Day 9: Why am I Eating?

This is a biggie. Why am I eating? If I would ask myself that every time I eat something, I’d probably start shedding pounds. Most of the time I eat isn’t for nutrition.

I’m an emotional eater.
I’m sad. Oooh, I’m hungry. I bet ice cream will make me happy and not hungry.
I’m bored. Oooh, I’m hungry. Eating a bag of potato chips would give me something to do.
I’m angry. Oooh, I’m hungry. I could work out my aggression on some chicken wings.
See the pattern?
Why am I eating?
A simple question that could go a long way.
Why are you eating?
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Day 8: Food Journal

Most people who have been successful with weight loss will tell you they kept food journals. A food journal can be a very eye opening thing. “What? You mean I ate 4,000 calories today? I had no idea.”

A food journal can also be a fairly simple thing. You could just write down what you ate. Sometimes, that’s eye opening enough. Or you could write down the calories, fat grams, carbs, protein, etc. If you’re trying to lose weight, that would probably be the most helpful.
I need to get into the habit of keeping a food journal again, and I need to use it as a tool for modifying my eating habits.
If you like all things digital, an excellent, free resource is My Fitness Pal. It has tons of foods already in its database, and you can add new ones. You can also track your exercise, weight, and measurements. There are mobile apps for smart phones as well, so you can track your food and exercise on the go.
Do you keep a food journal? What system do you use, paper or digital?
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Day 7: Accountability

Day 6 was about a support system. Accountability is linked very closely to that support system. In addition to needing people who will encourage me, I need people who will help me see where I’m slipping. I need people who will ask me the tough questions, expecting answers. People who will ask me what I ate for breakfast (sadly, I started out with candy corn and peanuts this morning). People who will ask me how many times I went to the gym last week (twice? I think.). Then they’ll take their questions a step further. When I answer that I ate candy corn and peanuts for breakfast, they’ll ask me what changes I need to make so I’ll make a better decision next time.

I’ve been afraid of accountability in the past, mostly because I didn’t really want to give up my addiction. I hated it when I would ask someone to hold me accountable and the person had the nerve actually to do it. I tell ya. Some people.
I’m at a point now where I know I won’t overcome this sin without accountability. Similar to my support system, I’m going to be praying about a couple of people who can hold me accountable. They need to be people I trust, people I know love me and are holding me accountable because they want me to be more like Christ.
Do you have people in your life who hold you accountable? What does that look like in your life?
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Day 6: Support System

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV)

One of the challenges I’ve had with trying to lose weight over the years is the fact that I try to do it all on my own. I don’t really like to talk to people about my diet and exercise program (blogging doesn’t count, because I’m not looking at you right now). I think it’s because I’m embarrassed that I’m so overweight, and I’m even more embarrassed when I’m not sticking to my diet and exercise program. I don’t like to talk about things that embarrass me. Do you? Probably not. I doubt anyone really enjoys it.
The thing is, I need people on this journey with me. I need people encouraging me. So do you! We’ve talked a lot about community in church over the past couple of months, and I’ve been reminded more and more how important it is to do life with other people – especially the tough parts of life. For me, my sin issues with food are a tough part of my life.
I need to pick my support system with prayer and thoughtfulness. Because this is such a sensitive area in my life, I don’t want my support system to be just anyone. I want other believers to come alongside me and encourage me with God’s Word. I need people to remind me who I am in Christ, to preach the Gospel to me regularly, and to pray for me. Those will be very special people. I think I know who they are. I just need to pray for the courage to talk to them. That can be the hardest step!
Do you have a support system? Who are those people in your life? How have they been an encouragement to you?
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Day 5: Try Fasting About It

Wow, I have been slack! I knew I was a little behind, but I didn’t realize I was 5 days behind. If you actually read this blog, I apologize in advance. There is a chance you’re going to get 5 posts from me today.

The phrase “when you fast” is spoken by Jesus twice in Matthew 6:16-17. The fact that He said “when” and not “if” indicates that it’s something that should be a part of our lives.
I’m going to be honest about two things: 1) I don’t know a lot about fasting. It isn’t a topic I’ve studied much in Scripture. 2) I haven’t had much success with fasting in the past, meaning I don’t typically last the whole time I’ve set aside for fasting. I usually give in to the hunger.
I think point number two is connected to my problem with food. Eating something – anything – was more important to me than what I was fasting about.
I’m not going to do it today, but I would like to try fasting on occasion about my sin issues with food. I want to use that time to connect with the Lord, to remind myself that He is more important than my food addiction. I think it could be a very beneficial time for me.
Is fasting a part of your walk with the Lord? Have you ever fasted specifically about food issues? I’d love to hear from you!
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