Chapter 12 Reflection Questions (Made to Crave)

Chapter 12 Reflection Questions

What fantasies do you have about what life would be like if you were at your ideal weight?  Do you imagine everything in your life would somehow be better—your relationships would improve, your confidence would soar, your problems would fall away, you’d be respected, admired, obeyed?  Why do you think your weight has so much power to influence your outlook on life?

Well, I know not ALL of my problems will fall away, but some of them would be improved:  like my health with type 1 diabetes.  I know that with better food and weight control comes better glucose levels, better A1C levels.  I don’t know yet if I will feel more confident or more self-conscious of my figure at my ideal “size.”  (I am shooting for a target size rather than a target weight)  I know that attaining these benchmarks in my journey toward health will not increase obedience of others, but I do expect I’ll have a lot of verbal feedback from people.  It is my prayer that those comments would not go to my head and spoil my heart, but would give me opportunity to give the honor and glory to God, as this victory is only achievable through Him.

Movies and popcorn, parties and cake, ballgames and hotdogs, meetings and coffee, TV and chips.  What activities do you enjoy in part or primarily because of the food attached to them?  Which activities might lose all attraction for you if food weren’t part of the experience?

Ah, church!  Coffee and bagels!  Or baked breads!  Or fruit! Or cheese and crackers!  We always have “treats” on Sunday mornings.  And anniversaries and desserts.  Christmas and cookies, and my family’s Calico Bean casserole.  And French toast casserole Christmas morning.  One year my mom did not make the egg casserole and French toast casserole for Christmas morning, and it just wasn’t Christmas morning for me that year!  Traditions are so hard to break…

Also, Thanksgiving with green bean casserole and stuffing…can you tell my family is big into casseroles????  Yeah, when we get together for family reunions, holidays, weddings, baptisms, baby and/or bridal showers, there is ALWAYS a plethora of foods (healthy and unhealthy) and beverages (alcohol and non-alcohol). 

Again, praying prior to going into these situations, eating in moderation, and bringing something with me as a healthy option just in case something is not available will help bring more success.  Eating smaller portions, choosing to fill my plate with mostly healthy options and a little bit of the not-so-healthy options will help me balance better.

“We are taught to remain in God’s love so that we won’t tie our happy to anything but God” (page 123).  To what other things besides God have you tried to tie your happy?  What was the result?  Do you think it’s possible for you to feel full of joy even if you’re not where you want to be with your weight?  Why or why not?

In the past, I have tried to tie my happiness to men, to relationships, to food, to jobs.  It leads to heart-ache and unnecessary soul-ties that weigh me down!  All of these are temporary.  God alone is constant.

I know joy is possible, and I have felt the Joy of the Lord even in some of the darkest times in my life.  I don’t always recognize it right away, but God reveals it to me as He allows me to reflect back.  Joy is a fruit of the Spirit.  It is not tied to my weight, but to my obedience to the Lord, to me turning my heart and soul over to the Spirit so that God may cultivate His field.  He is the Great Gardener, and His fruit, His Word, His path is to be desired over all else.

“[Incomplete people] are complicated and sensitive and messy in their reactions” (page 124).  Who are the incomplete people in your life?  Are these people triggers that make you want to eat?  Are there ways in which you might be an incomplete person in someone else’s life?  For others as well as yourself, are you able to look beyond the incompleteness to the hurt that may be behind the messy reactions?  What do you see?

I am probably the biggest incomplete person in my own life.  😉  My response to others is not always the cleanest, though that response does now tend to be more internal or away from the initial trigger person.  Through each of these encounters, I am learning how to receive words from others, to read between the lines to see the intentions behind them.  This is helping to calm my reactions to them.  God has given me a gift to be able to view people through their potential rather than through who they are right now.  I praise Him for that ability!  For those in my life who are broken (as we all are), God allows me to be an encouragement many times.  I am thankful to be able to draw upon my own brokenness and hurts in order to share hope and grace with those the Lord brings into my life.

Compassion for incomplete people—including ourselves—translates into acts of kindness.  When you think of the incomplete people in your life, especially those who may be eating triggers, how might a compassionate act of kindness change how you feel about that person?  How might it change how you feel about yourself and your own incompleteness?

I love to serve!  Doing something for others always brings a smile to my face!  I love utilizing www.freecycle.org to help provide for the needs of others.  Last week, there was a woman and a 10-yr old girl at one of my school stops who, in the cold snow and ice, were heading to the bus stop to go to the local hospital to see someone.  The hospital was not far out of my way to my next stop, so I gave them a ride.  I so enjoyed that encounter!  Through continuing to have a servant’s heart even in the midst of pain, bullying, hurtful encounters, and other “trigger events,” others see that there is something different about me.  They see Christ in those moments.  It is not recognized right away, but it is revealed over time.  I have had great conversations with people years after hurtful encounters where they just apologize because they saw me respond with grace.  I praise the Lord for that!  God is good.  In each encounter we have with others, He gives us an opportunity to demonstrate His grace and goodness.  I pray we more frequently take the opportunity to do so.

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My heart is saddened…

There is a news article circulating around my hometown about an 11-yr old boy who died from a gunshot wound.  The authorities suspect it was suicide, with bullying as a main factor in the situation.  My heart breaks!

First, bullying is no laughing matter.  People respond in different ways, and the issues stemming from bullying will manifest at various times throughout our lifetimes.  We need to be reminded, and teach our young people, that our actions and words have consequences.  Matt 22:36-40 says:   “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Whether one is a follower of Christ or not, the second part of this passage is common sense:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  Later in scripture, the question, “Who is my neighbor?” is answered.  Everyone.  Flat out, any one you encounter is your neighbor.  Does not matter race, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

Second, suicide is not something from which we can hide.  I guarantee you know someone who has been struggling with suicidal thoughts or who has lost someone they love to suicide.  Don’t be afraid to talk about this serious issue!  Talk to your children.  Talk to each other.  If you are someone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts, ask for help!  I promise, you are not alone in the struggles.  I also have battled suicidal thoughts, depression, and the loss of a loved one to suicide.  My suicidal thoughts began back when I was in 8th grade (1993-1994), and I have battled them on and off over the years.  Through counseling, journaling, rediscovering my faith, finding some amazing friends, and taking medication (I just started taking antidepressants again for the 5th time…), I am making it through.  In the journey through grief, I find that there are still turbulent times even after 13 years after my sister passed away.  Just as surprising to me though is the fact that I find moments of peace on this grief journey as well.  I can’t tell you which bothers me more, however.  Sometimes, when I feel at peace, I battle a feeling of guilt.  I know there is no reason to feel guilty, and that is part of the struggle.

Thus, I talk about it.  That is one of the tools in my toolbox of sanity that I utilize often.  That is something I learned through counseling.  Truly, I highly recommend it!

If you are struggling, please, ask for help.  If you don’t know where to begin, start here:  Suicide Prevention Services.  If you know someone struggling, reach out and share the information.

No matter how young or how old we are, it is ok to ask for help.  It is ok to struggle.  It is ok to talk about it.  You are worth it.  Press on.