My dear friend brought this phrase to my attention upon talking about her mother in the context of food right around Christmas time. She would announce this upon eating the last piece of pizza, brownie, cookie. No one cared, but she obviously needed a group stamp of approval, and continued regardless of a response and had a conscience issue about it... why else would she bring it up? It occurred to me upon reflecting and conversing with my friend that this is downright sin. Announcing that you "shouldn't" be doing something you are going to do anyway is sin.
Since then, I've caught myself doing the same thing. Just not announcing my choices to a group of people. Oh, I really shouldn't stop by micky-d's... but I just want a cheeseburger (300 calories + 12 grams of fat) and I'm on the run... it would just be so easy. Oh, I really shouldn't get that grande mocha (aprox. 470 calories +16 grams of fat)... but the green logo at Starbucks is so alluring and the cups feel so good in your hand. In my mind I was being "diet-ish" - you know, when you kind of put yourself on a " mental diet" when you kind of feel guilty about something you think you should feel guilty about, but honestly don't know the cost of that decision. Do you know how many calories you should be eating per day? Do the above numbers register for you? Do you say, oh... that's a lot? I didn't.
Context: In the past several months, God has brought just a messy mess into my life where I struggle after struggle seeing my sin, the effects it has had on my relationship with God, my family, my husband my friends. If your not struggling with your sin... are you walking with God? God showed me that I was not really walking the walk, the walk, the walk with him. I was "playing" church, family, wife, home, but not walking with Jesus. This is all an aside to say that after dealing much muck that I've been convicted on - this is just the latest and the most physically challenging to say the least.
Damon was in the hospital and quite ill for just about 6 weeks from the beginning of January to mid-February. I looked at myself one day and realized I had gained several pounds. The thought of me walking through the hospital cafeteria to get a meal - on a break from the room crosses my mind. 1. It was a break from the small room we were in and 2. I could "feel" good by the plethora of choices available to me - and Children's cafeteria does have good food. Not only was I over eating to "feel good" - I was over spending. I didn't have $10 per meal budgeted! What was I thinking? Oh... but it felt good. I shouldn't have...
Fast forward to me looking at my belly in February. Yep. Rolls. I was on the loosing streak and just bounced myself back to bigger than I had hoped. I hopped on the scale at my friend's house and was disgusted.
I was also drinking at least ONE glass of wine a day, that was just recently, between December and January, I was having at least ONE margarita with a couple of shots of tequila per day. I shouldn't... but I did.
God really convicted me: my body is a temple of God. What the hell was I doing to it? Well, I got introduced to a couple of things in a really random way and I believe that God truly works in random ways with a huge overall plan that none of us can really see until later.
February 20th, I had run to Costco and yes.... I stopped in *of all places* the "health" area of Costco. They were promoting a supplement and I had seen it before, but this time it clicked with me - it was on sale and I thought, heck, I've never tried anything like this before, so I'll give it 2 weeks and just see what happens. As with anything like this they always recommend a healthy diet as well. I thought that was a little funny, but decided to do it anyway.
February 21st - I started the supplement, I started a new skin care routine and I stopped drinking alcohol. I recorded it on my calendar... just to see what happened. Just to see how long I would stick with it. How long I could "go" with out alcohol.
February 22nd - Monday - I started logging my calories on livestrong.com, using the "my plate" program. I quickly learned just how many calories I was taking in - I was super surprised to see that all the foods I thought were healthy... were absolutely not! Wow - another crazy awakening.
Later in the week, I found out I could "log" any exercise I did. That was really funny to me. I don't exercise. I don't like to go outside and I can't afford a gym. One of my last blogs was about how I love my blankie. Well, my sweet neighbor showed up at my house with her three kids and said... I'm in front of your house... we're going for a walk. Logan started standing in front of the door begging for shoes to be put on his feet and just get OUTSIDE! My 8 year old was having a terrible, terrible day with much crying and I insisted we get outside and just take a walk. He cried the first block, until I told him it was a stress reliever and gave him a goal to race to. When we got back to the house, he had stopped crying and said, "Wow, I feel better, it's just what I needed." Me too buddy.
God reinforced just how important these things were. I viewed exercise as dry and boring, but God showed me that 1. I am enjoying my friend on our walks and Logan gets to see his friends 2. Logan gets his heart ministered to by just getting out - he's now insisted on pushing the stroller the last block (you go Logan) and 3. My big boy loves to get out and race me - this week he raced for video game minutes in 5 minute increments... they added up pretty quick. It's not about me anymore, but I am benefiting from it.
I am now becoming more and more aware of what my body needs and realizing how ignorant I was to calories, fat, fiber, sugar intake. I ate an egg the first day, thinking the protein would carry me through the day - or until the next meal, as I was sure I would be hungry. It was an eye opening experience to find out that the ONE egg I had eaten took up all my cholesterol for the day. How many eggs had I been eating prior to my week of revelation? I had also been eating lots of bacon - duh - bacon is not a weight loss solution, however I did not realize it was maxing my body out on sodium! I walked into Starbucks earlier this week and I was HUNGRY. I used the app on my phone to find out how much that low-fat berry thing I like so much was going to cost me... 350 calories. I couldn't do it. The cost was too high. Luckily, Starbucks had nuts for sale...
When I was having the "I really shouldn'ts..." they were there for a reason. I had a responsibility to explore what that was. I knew that McD's was "bad" for me, but I didn't know why or just how bad. I do now. If I can't remember what I've eaten, I take a picture on my phone so I can log it later.
If your questioning, should I? The answer is usually no. Also, if you make a statement like that in a group setting. Please understand that I will shut your trap with a response that goes something like "no, you shouldn't" - that goes for the rest of you. Hold the "mental dieters" to a higher standard so that one day it will occur to them that they will need to shit or get off the pot. In saying all this, I am not making a judgement in WHAT you are eating, WHAT you weigh or "should" weigh, but rather holding you accountable to what seems to be a conscience issue. In saying this I don't want any of you to be worried about being judged about what your putting in your mouth. That's your business... but if you make it mine, I'll be sure to let you know what I think.
Since February 20th,
- I've lost over 10lbs.
- Dropped a dress/pant/underwear size. They were having a great sale at Lane Bryant last week and I thought I should probably go check it out... then it occurred to me that nothing in the store would fit! I'm below my pre-wedding weight (over 3 1/2 years ago).
- I have ENERGY. Crazy Energy. I feel great.
- I am aware of my behavior.
- My skin looks better.
- I have not had a lick of alcohol since February 20th and have not been tempted. I don't believe I had an "alcohol" addiction, it just tasted good. I do plan on having a cosmo for my birthday next week.
Last night, I was hungry. Really hungry for the first time since I started all this. I choose to go over my calorie allowance. I have been so strict for so many weeks now and my progress has really shown. I decided that for one night, it was ok to fulfill that true physical hunger - my conscience was clean and I ate healthy foods. I will live a life of discipline, but not live a legalistic life with false guilt and "I shouldn'ts...".
This isn't necessarily about me loosing weight, but God has woven this into my life as an opportunity to obey him about the things I choose to put in my mouth.
Don't be like me - pre-February 20th: on a mental diet with "I really shouldn'ts..." I love the learning process - about nutrition, but also a new journey of conviction that is ultimately reflecting the glory of God in my life. This is one area that I can share with authenticity to those around me - with physical results. Jesus showed the disciples his scared hands after his resurrection so they would "see" Jesus and know him. I am glad to follow his example and say, "hey, I am living out what Jesus did... let me show you how he's put his mark on my body" - I hope the same for you - inside or out.
"I shouldn't..." By God's grace... I won't.