Chapter 13 Reflection Questions (Made to Crave)

Chapter 13 Reflection Questions

What are the unspoken truths about food at your church or in your circle of Christian friends?  In terms of how they eat and relate to food, is your Christian community an asset or a liability to your healthy eating goals

Ah, Sunday mornings without food would be the miracle!  Ha ha!  It seems to be true that not only is God present when two or three gather together in His name, but so is a plate of cookies, muffins, and coffee.  Thankfully, lately we have also had fresh fruit, cheese and crackers, and sometimes oatmeal.  I think if we were to communicate more clearly about all of our health desires and needs, this small church body of ours would step up and support each other in this.  We have at least 3 with gluten intolerance, a couple who desire organic and GMO-free foods, and then a couple more of us who are trying to get down to a healthy BMI.  Plus, we want to set good examples for all the children.  Hmmm…I think I am seeing a need here…

Gluttony of any kind—food, alcohol, drugs, sex—could be described as a desperate attempt to silence the cries of a hungry soul.  Have you ever thought of overeating in this way, as an attempt to silence your hungry soul?  How might this perspective help you gain new insights about your battles with food?

Oh I am fully aware that I have used food to squelch the hormonal rages, to fill the emotional holes in my heart and soul.  After reading Psalm 63 this morning, I am definitely feeling that more than ever, and recognizing that it is God my soul is thirsting for instead of cookies, cereal or chips and hummus.  “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.  My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth; they shall be given over to the power of the sword; they shall be a portion for jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be stopped.”

 

If your soul is like a ravenous vacuum cleaner, what kinds of things has it sucked up over the years in its longing to be filled?

Things I have used to fill the voids:  sex, relationships, shopping, dance lessons, alcohol, acts of service, seeking approval from others.  I am now seeking to fill the desires with God rather than things of this world.  I am seeking His Truth to counteract the lies that Satan has fed to me over the years.

Lysa uses the Exodus story to demonstrate how God taught His people to depend on Him by giving them just what they needed each day (pages 131-132).  In what ways might this story be an encouragement to you?  Are you in the habit of depending on God for what you need each day—to be your daily portion of companionship, provision, strength?  What “manna” do you long for most from God?

I think my biggest need is continued emotional and mental healing.  I have a lot of brokenness from my past, and as much as I try to give the Lord all the pieces of my heart, it seems that I always hold at least one piece back.  God is the Lord of my healing, and I have to trust the Potter with ALL of me, including each and every broken sliver.  And, I have a tendency to re-break the vessel once He repairs it.  Anyone else feel like that???

Have there been times in your life when you struggled because you didn’t have what you needed?  How might these experiences of deprivation impact your ability to trust that God can give you what you need each day to deal with food?

Of course I have struggled without having all the right tools in my tool box!  As God revealed to me over time that my box was lacking, He also led me to people and places where these needs would be met.  Through counseling, through friends, through my church family, God has given me coping mechanisms to help me through depression, through suicidal thoughts, through some really tough stuff.  His Word equips me with truth to combat the darkness of this world.  Looking to my past, I know God provides.  He is Jehovah Jireh, and NOTHING will change that.  He alone is my strength in this journey to health, in this journey through life.

“For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things” (Psalm 107:9).  How do you respond to this promise?  If you could ask God for one good thing that would help you to feel a deep and soul-filling satisfaction, what would it be?

I respond with “Halleluiah!” 

I don’t think there is anything else I can ask God for beyond the words of this song.  And all these things He has already given me!  The only thing, I guess, beyond that, is for me to REMEMBER these things!

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That’s what scars are for…

I came across this song by Mandisa, and it just gave me some incredible shivers!  Listen, read the lyrics.  Reflect over what your own scars mean.  I am going to share after the music video what my scars mean to me as well.

 

Most of my scars are internal.  They are emotional wounds in my heart, my mind, my soul.  I do have some physical scars, like from my c-section last year on January 21, and this scar reminds me of the most incredible day of my life:  the day my son was born.  I had tears of joy spring instantly into my eyes the moment I saw him for the first time!  And that scar reminds me that all the muscle aches, the pains, the tears, the emotions, the hormone swings, the back aches were so totally worth it!  My internal scars took me so much longer to value, and I think that is because the wounds they represent took so much longer to heal.  At times, they open up again and healing begins all over again.  Thankfully, that healing is not as extensive a process as it was the first time.  My emotional scars remind me of my sister, my grandfather, my great-grandmother, friends, teachers, loved ones who passed from my life well before I was ready to let them leave.  They remind me of the bullies in school when I was in eighth grade.  They remind me of lessons learned in romantic relationships over the years.  They remind me of my own struggles to overcome depression, low self-worth, and suicidal thoughts.  And they remind me of a Man who also has scars.  That man is Jesus.

Jesus, who became scarred because of my sin.  Jesus, who suffered through countless stripes of the barnacled whip of the Roman soldiers.  Jesus, who had a crown of thorns thrust upon his head.  Jesus, who hung on the cross with nails through his wrists and ankles.  Jesus, whose side was pierced with a spear.  Jesus, who also was rejected, bullied, betrayed.  Jesus suffered emotional and physical scars so that we might come to know Him as our Savior! (Isaiah 53)  We have a Savior who suffers right along with us, providing balm for our own wounds, physically and emotionally.  He brings peace to our weary souls, and holds us, cradling us as a father or mother cradles a newborn baby.  Safe and secure in the arms of my Abba, I can find rest, I can find strength to continue down the path toward healing.

That’s right:  we have choices to make all along the way.  We choose to take the next step.  And that step is not always easy to take, especially when we are so weighed down with emotional pain and grief.  The strength to take that step is not our own.  Truly, if it were, I would not be here typing this.  I would have perished years ago!  God is my Strength, my Fortress.  Psalm 18 describes my own journey as well as that of King David.

So, my scars are reminders that my God has brought me this far.  2 Samuel 7:18-22 echos my awe:  Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord God. You have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind, O Lord God! And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord God! Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness, to make your servant know it.  Therefore you are great, O Lord God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.

And as Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12, I will go on boasting so that the Lord may be glorified!  He is my strength, He is my Savior, He showers me with grace and mercy that I am so far from deserving!  And yet, He has brought me thus far.  I praise Him!

It’s Not Fair…

I was reflecting on the Made to Crave Bible study this morning, and as I wrote my response on the M2C Blog page, I thought I should share my response here as well.  Today and tomorrow, the focus is on Chapter 10 of Made to Crave, entitled, “It’s Not fair.”

So here are my initial thoughts:

It isn’t fair…that I have type 1 diabetes…that I lost my sister to suicide…that I struggle to lose weight…blah blah blah….
All these thoughts have run through my heart and mind over the years. It isn’t fair that every time I have those thoughts, I sink deeper and deeper into depression, which brings me more frequently to the fridge and the deliciousness I find inside. Or to the pantry for the jar of peanut butter and a spoon with which to stuff my face…
I have been on a journey to health. A journey of healing. Type 1 diabetes does not ever go away, and I am 28 years into the journey. Grief is a path that ebbs and flows, with crashing waves at times and moments of serenity, basking in the memories. There are violent storms, gentle rains, and sunny days all mixed in, no matter how long it has been. It has been 14 years now without the physical presence of my dear sister. And I still go on. Granted, I have been in and out of therapy and on and off anti-depressants (currently on again).

In all of this though, the Lord has proved Himself. He provided the best counselors for me when I needed them most. He has filled my life with the best girlfriends a woman could ever want, to the point these women have become as sisters to me. I have 7 women in my life I would gladly claim as my sisters. God knew I needed them, and they needed me.

The path He has given me is not an easy one. Looking back, I can see His handiwork in it: His safety net in place to catch me with every fall. By His strength alone, I am here. I am weak, but HE IS STRONG. Paul writes that he prayed 3 times for the Lord to remove the thorn from his flesh. I have prayed hundreds, if not thousands, of times for the Lord to remove this disease from me, or to bring my sister back. And I hear His still, quiet voice whisper gently as He pulls me into the shelter of His Fortress, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
One of my first blog posts describes my journey: https://walkingfaithlearningtolove.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/footprints-in-the-sand/

The story of Abby Rike is heartbreaking and inspiring.  Her video is in the Bible Study blog page, linked at the top here, and I linked her personal page here as well.  Check it out!

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.

2 Cor 12 (Diabetes Burnout Ch 11, Made to Crave Ch 10)

2 Corinthians 12

English Standard Version (ESV)

Paul’s Visions and His Thorn

12 I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses— though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,[a] a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Concern for the Corinthian Church

11 I have been a fool! You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not at all inferior to these super-apostles, even though I am nothing. 12 The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works. 13 For in what were you less favored than the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong!

14 Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you. For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15 I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16 But granting that I myself did not burden you, I was crafty, you say, and got the better of you by deceit. 17 Did I take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you? 18 I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not act in the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps?

19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved. 20 For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. 21 I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.

 

This passage keeps coming to me this month!  Over and over again, I am reminded that it is NOT my strength, but HIS that gets me through.  His grace is sufficient for me.  It sweeps over me as I choose to make healthy choices (like checking my glucose levels, playing with my son, eating freshly popped popcorn instead of chocolate) and face the battles present in my life.

Made to Crave Chapter 10 was about facing food temptations.  Oh, as a person with Diabetes, do I face food temptations!  Not only do I face the limitations of limited carbohydrate content, I also face the limitations of a slow metabolism and a life-long struggle with weight.  At Christmas, I faced sweet temptation after sweet temptation.  And I ate MOST of them!  It is so hard to say no to chocolate, home-made cookies and pies, Calico Bean Casserole, chocolate (again), cake…Oh so hard!  My son’s 1st birthday is next week, and we are having cake on Sunday.  Guess what I probably won’t be able to turn down?  Hopefully I can talk my will power into just a tiny piece.

Lysa writes that “Temptation doesn’t take kindly to being starved.”  So true!  It keeps rearing it’s ugly face!  It reminds me of how many times before I have failed!  It tells me, “you’re not strong enough and you know it.”  “You deserve that piece of chocolate, because you had so few sweets as a child!”  “Just one piece of cake won’t hurt you.  Heck, two pieces won’t hurt you either!”  Or how about these:  “You don’t need to check your glucose level.  It will just make you feel rotten.  If you know what your level is, you won’t want to eat that cake, so let’s just keep ourselves in the dark.”  Or “Just take extra insulin and you’ll be fine.”

I am made for more that that!  I am made for God’s power to shine through the circumstances in my life!  I am made to glorify Him!  Lord, help me to cling to you when I feel weakest!  When I want to stuff my face, may I fill my heart, mind, and soul with your Word, with your presence, with your PEACE!

It is so easy to write that prayer, and so hard to live it!  I desire to live it, and yet I struggle.

I have struggled for so long: not only with my weight, but with having diabetes.  Polonsky writes of this cyclic struggle in Diabetes Burnout in chapter 11.

Did you know that the average person has a 5% risk of experiencing major depression?  And did you know that the typical Type 1 OR Type 2 diabetic has a 15% chance of experiencing that same major depression?  Milder forms of depression thrown into the mix make it 25-30% of people with diabetes facing some form of depression.  Of that group, approximately 80% of them will have multiple recurrences of depression (Polonsky 117).  Well this explains a lot!

Elevated glucose levels over time create fatigue and lack of motivation, and it is just a downward spiral to depression from there.  “The ongoing emotional struggle of coping with [chronic illness] can also lead to depression.  When you feel that you are constantly failing with your diabetes, when you feel hopeless in the face of long-term complications, when you feel alone with diabetes, these are all feelings that can lead to diabetes burnout and, eventually, depression” (Polonsky 118-119).

Of those who are both suffering from depression and diabetes, less than one-third of them are actually diagnosed and treated for depression.  Seriously?  That’s just not right!  I am so thankful for Dr. Karas, and the time I was able to be her patient!  Truly, I am sad I moved away from where her practice is.  She saw the struggle with depression and diabetes, and her patients had support and encouragement from her and from support groups!

In hindsight, I have probably struggled with depression since I was 12 or 13.  I was afraid of how I was feeling though, and never spoke up.  I never knew how to reach out.  I knew I was struggling, and I even struggled with suicidal thoughts on and off over the years.

All of that pales though when I look at the emotional mess that formed on December 3, 1999.  That is the day my younger sister chose to end her life.  Erin died by suicide that day, and I was out of town.  I didn’t get home and find out until the next day.  Talk about spiraling into depression and out of self-care, and this is the situation it happens.

For years, I would struggle with grief, self-image, self-care in every sense of the word, emotions, depression, suicide, relationships….you name it, I struggled with it.  Except drugs.  Drugs never played a role in my tool box of coping skills.  Alcohol did though.  Definitely NOT good to be a heavy drinker and a diabetic.  Trust me on that one.

I have been in and out of counseling over the years.  I miss my sessions with Kate.  She is a fantastic counselor!  She also works with Dr. Karas to provide support for a number of women who are diabetic.  I have been on and off anti-depressants over the years.  My most recent struggle has been post-partum depression.  I love being a mom.  But, being a mom and being diabetic has its challenges.  So, I am taking the anti-depressants again.  I think I will just stay on them this time.  I hate the roller coaster ride of depression, so I would rather just keep my chemicals balanced from the get-go.

Since we have moved, I do need a new support network of doctors and eventually a counselor.  I am starting with the doctors.  You all know I meet my new endocrinologist the first week of February.  I’d like to ask her about a support group or who she recommends for counseling/therapy.  Maybe the clinic has something and someone in place already.

Well, this is a lot to take in.  These two chapters were pretty hefty for me, and probably hefty for you as the reader of my reflections on them!  Thank you for letting me share my struggles and my battles with you.  Somehow, I don’t feel as alone as I did before.

James 1:2-4

Testing of Your Faith

Count it all joy, my brothers,[b] when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

 

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Diabetes Burnout, Chapter 4 and Made to Crave, Chapter 3

Healthy Eating:

Diabetes Burnout author Polonsky shares a list of 10 roadblocks to healthy eating.  I am going to list them out, then share my reflections on which one(s) affect me the most.  Then I’ll share my reflections on tackling these road blocks.  I have a feeling Made to Crave‘s chapter will somehow impact my reflections…

Roadblocks to healthy eating:

  1. You are not exactly certain HOW to follow a healthy meal plan.
  2. Your vision of a healthy meal plan is unrealistic.
  3. There are too many temptations everywhere, and it is hard to resist them.
  4. Life is too stressful. (Comfort food)
  5. Eating at restaurants or at social gatherings is just too hard.
  6. It takes too much time and effort.
  7. Every time you’ve tried to follow a healthy meal plan, the results have been discouraging.
  8. You get no cooperation or support from your family.
  9. Eating healthfully is boring.
  10. It is hard to say no.

So, which of these roadblocks show up in my life?  I have to say, first of all, how BLESSED I am that my husband and sister-in-law both support and cooperate with healthy eating.  Brandon also wants to be a healthy eater, and even eats his green beans when he DISLIKES them so very much!  (He hates “sqeaky” food…)  So #8 is NOT a hindrance.  #1, knowing how to eat healthy, is not an issue.  I actually LIKE most healthy foods and salads, fruits, vegetables, grilled and baked meats, etc.  Fried foods taste good, but don’t always set well in my system. 

The rest of the roadblocks come up in different forms.  It is hard to set a healthy meal plan and stick to it for a few reasons:  yes, temptations are high, but so are the grocery prices.  Choosing lower-carb, fresher foods and staying away from pastas and potatoes is HARD on a low budget.  Why does eating healthy have to cost so much????  When I went to Palestine and Israel YEARS ago (1999 to be exact), fresh fruits and vegetables at the market were a fraction of the cost of prepared meals.  Here in the U.S.A., it is the exact opposite.  Fresh and/or organic foods are three times the price of a can or frozen bag.  So I am exploring websites for coupons, meal-planning ideas, frozen dinners, crock-pot meals, and such.  The other issue is complexity and lengthy ingredients in some of these recipes.  I am trying to keep it simple and add spices instead of tons of other ingredients.  Any ideas, websites, or such for coupons, meals, recipes, money-saving cooking tips?  Please share below!  I do use Swagbucks, and am just looking at The Grocery Game today.  It is definitely hard to say no to a meal out with friends or a delicious fresh cookie warm out of the oven, bagels and cream cheese, or donuts freshly made just down the street.  Convenience is nice too, especially when not feeling well.  I have been sick for almost a week and a half now, and ordering pizza or running to McDonald’s for a burger and small fry is so much more appealing than cooking.  I do have to say, I am enjoying a Happy Meal more than the Two-cheeseburger meal now.  Smaller portions, and apple wedges and a toy!  So much fun!  But, that is beside the point.

Yes, I have road blocks to healthy eating.  Now, what can I do about them?  Polonsky shares “seven strategies for overcoming the barriers to following a healthy meal plan” on page 44 of his book. 

  1. With your health care team, develop a meal plan that is clear and reasonable for you.
  2. Modify your eating environments to support your efforts.
  3. In the face of meal planning disappointments, get perspective.
  4. Make use of the principles of “structured cheating.”
  5. Focus your attention on the new habits you are planning to start, not the old habits you are trying to stop.
  6. If your daily life seems boring, take action.
  7. In challenging social situations, make use of assertiveness strategies.

I have my physical in two days.  From there, I am expecting to have follow-up appts with a new endocrinologist and diabetes educators in the not too distant future.  I also want to explore budgeting and assistance programs to increase our grocery budget.  Then I would like to have regular, weekly meal-planning meetings with my husband and sis-in-law once we have down on paper the dietary needs we all have.  I am so thankful for supportive people in my life and household!  Now, if only I can gain willpower to not chow down on muffins, donuts, and coffee cake on Sunday mornings…Love my church, and we LOVE to eat!  I need to learn to set limits, and that it is ok to have a little bit once in a while.  Scripture even talks about eating in moderation (I think Lysa TerKeurst will be mentioning this to me shortly after I read chapter 3 of Made to Crave…).

I also know it is important to set reasonable and measurable goals.  Cutting ALL sugary sweets may be unreasonable.  But, limiting myself to 1-2 portions a week, or a mini-candy bar once a day, seems doable, and like a reward to look forward to!  I just cleaned out the pantry, so that is helpful.  I found my vitamin supply this week too, and have been taking those twice a day to increase my immune system while I am sick. 

Best thing I can do:  walk past the Zebra Cakes at the grocery store.  Curse you, Little Debbie!  Those silly oatmeal pies…the creamy goodness that is oh so bad for me…OK!  ENOUGH!  Walk away, Kara.  Maybe, a prepackaged zebra cake or oatmeal pie for $0.75 will be ok, but NOT THE WHOLE BOX!  OK, done.

Since my husband and I are new to the Champaign-Urbana area, we need to learn the locations of some healthy eating establishments.  Unfortunately, we live right down the street from Pia’s, and they have amazing chicken fingers…so, anyone in the I-57/I-74 corridor with food ideas for date night? Needs to be low-budget too…

One thing I have to remember is that even on my best-eating days, my blood sugar may still do something wacky.  I know my hormone levels (spikes and lows) impact my sugar levels.  So do temperatures and activity levels.  Not only in my food choices do I need perspective, but in my environmental factors as well.

Since I am embarking on a weight and inches losing campaign as well, I need to keep in mind that better control over blood sugars will initially impact my weight levels.  Perspective here will be everything.  I need to remember that INCHES lost means more than WEIGHT lost in the long run.  I took initial measurements down on January 2, 2014, and have a “before” picture that is head on and profile views.  I’ll be revisiting these monthly, ideally.  🙂

Polonsky also discusses eating disorders here in Chapter 4, so I encourage anyone struggling with anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating to find a support group and talk to your doctor.  Even call a crisis line if you don’t know where to start in finding help.  SPS America is a great resource for finding an initial starting place.

Made to Crave:

Lysa makes an observation about our society:  “we want the results but have no desire to put in the work required” (pg 25). In dieting, we always make good strides at the beginning.  Yet we fail to keep up with it.  We want the results of smaller pants sizes without the work required to earn it.  Too true, for me especially.  And this links so quickly with the meal-planning it takes to successfully care for myself with diabetes as well.  Lysa writes about HER food plan, and that each of us will have a different food plan.  Hers is quite strict, really, and makes me nervous, but it works for HER.  We all need to set realistic goals, achievable goals, in our eating habits.  She also writes that she has grown to love her plan.  It is an adjustment, no matter what.  We have to grow into our eating plans, and make adjustments along the way.  Consulting a nutritionist would be great, but at least a doctor and accountability group will suffice for most of us.  (I’ll end up with a nutritionist, I am sure, but I am ok with that!).  

Lysa encourages finding some friends to walk alongside in this journey.  I know my husband will walk this path with me.  I also started a facebook group and am adding friends to it nearly daily.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/LetsDoThisTogether/ is a closed group, but you can look me up anyway on facebook.  My link is here somewhere…

So, yes, let’s do this together!   We can keep each other accountable in our food, in our inches lost, and in replacing our cravings with God’s Diet of His Word.

 

In Christ,

Kara

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Reflections on my Readings…

So in my last post, I talked about Diabetes Burnout and Made to Crave.  I feel like it will be beneficial for me to write out what I am noticing hits me the most, so here goes:

From Diabetes Burnout

  • I know the importance of self-care, checking my blood sugars, exercising, and making the right food choices.  I am annoyed by it more than it motivates me to actually do it.
  • My lack of motivation may be created by road blocks.  Some “Personal Barriers” are listed on page 24, so I thought I would share them.  Some of them do apply to me.
  1. Chronic [and even situational] depression
  2. Poor coping skills [like emotional eating and avoidance tendencies!]
  3. Eating disorders
  4. Lack of knowledge about diabetes
  5. Inaccurate health beliefs
  6. Negative feelings about diabetes
  7. Fear of hypogycemia
  8. Fear of frustration about weight gain
  9. Unrealistic or unclear expectations about self-care [such as “my blood sugars must always be perfect; I have to be perfect.]
  • The phrases in [ ] are the ones I struggle with FOR SURE.  I have been on and off anti-depressants since my sister passed away December 3, 1999.  Maybe I should just be on them long-term instead of this situation to situation junk.  I have a doctor’s appt next week, so I will ask about that.  I know I have avoidance issues.  If I don’t want to deal with something (like blood sugars and finances), I avoid them.  They’ll go away, right?  Fat chance!  And I do set unrealistic goals for myself:  If I am going to do this, I am going to do it RIGHT!  PERFECTION!  I forget that the only perfect person is the one who died on the cross to save me from MY IMPERFECTIONS.  Jesus alone is perfect.  Why do I torture myself with the idea of perfect?  I also have what the book calls the “doormat” syndrome.  This is where I put everyone else’s needs above my own.  Like this morning, Zander started fussing and was ready to get out of his crib.  My first instinct was to get up, get him, change him, feed him, etc.  Then I realized, wait, I need to check my blood sugar!  Good thing I did too, because it had gone up overnight.  Took me a couple hours to get it back down, even with insulin (I had to take another Prednisone this morning too).  So my husband got up and took care of Zander’s dirty diaper and fed him breakfast.  I am a blessed woman, and I don’t need to walk this path alone!  The last barrier that hit me pretty hard is actually the financial barrier.  It is EXPENSIVE to be diabetic, even WITH health insurance.  I can’t afford to be on my insulin pump because all the supplies count toward the deductible first, I have a low-income job, and can’t keep up with even a monthly payment plan, pay rent, pay the electricity, buy decent food to actually eat, and pay whatever other bills come up (even with my husband’s low-income job too).  This is where my post the other day about financial planning comes into play, but we are going to need some serious help if I hope to be back on my insulin pump.
  • So the next chapter will get me thinking about how I can overcome these barriers.  I am glad I am reading this now, and will have a list of questions for my new doctor next week!

Observations about Made To Crave:

  • Lysa writes about a different perspective on the “Eve and the Forbidden Fruit.”  Satan tempts us where we are weakest:  in our lust, our cravings, and our boastings.
  • She defines each of these as the following:  Cravings = “trying to get our physical desires met outside of the will of God;”  Lust of the Eyes = “Trying to get our material desires met outside of the will of God;” and Boasting = “Trying to get our need for significance met outside the will of God.” 
  • She compared the tempting of Eve with the tempting of Jesus after his forty days in the wilderness.  Eve kept her eye on that fruit, and all the promises whispered to her from the enemy.  Jesus kept his eye on the Word of God, and refuted each temptation with scripture.  Can the same work for us in overcoming our temptations?  And not just temptations of food.  I am thinking “temptations to NOT check my blood sugar.”  Yep.  The two became one.  In reading one book, it is linking together the issues I am facing and forcing myself to actually deal with now.
  • “Eve craved what she focused on.  We consume what we think about.  And what we think about can consume us if we’re not carefuly,” Lysa writes.  So with what do I want to fill my mind? 

I have a lot to think about.  Look for more reflective posts.  I hope to post after reading a chapter of each book and having time to dwell on what I have read.  Please, post your fears, cravings, issues with self-care, etc.  Let’s encourage and support each other to fill our minds with God’s Word, and to make choices that will satisfy our desires for HIM alone!