We are almost a week into the new year. Did you make any resolutions? I did not. But my hubby and I did decide that it would be prudent for us to divest of some of our stuff (okay, a LOT of our stuff) and to get our weight in order, so that we might ease off of some medications (that cost money).
Long ago and far away, I taught a class that was more on the "why" of weight control (notice I didn't say "loss" since some people have issues in the opposite direction.). That leads to the HOW of weight control.
First off, understand that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are no longer perfect, like Adam and Eve, but God has put certain systems into our bodies that give us signals as to what we need.
1. Stomach hunger: When one's blood sugar drops, it sends signals to the brain to start the stomach growling. Some of us may have never allowed ourselves to get to the growling stage. Perhaps you are even afraid of it. But remember, God has put this system in place so that we get what we need when we need it. For those who overeat, it is important to wait for the growl. For those who under-eat, it is important not to ignore that sign.
When you wait for stomach hunger, you are more able to discern what it is your body is calling for. Is it protein of some sort? Do you need a piece of toast? What is it that is the "need?"
2. Small portions: Unless you are super self controlled, starting with a small bread plate might be wise. You will be eating from a full plate ... just a smaller one. And take small bites. Your stomach really isn't that large, so eating small portions will not only help with self control, but also with digestion.
3. Slow down: One bite at a time. Put that utensil down between bites. And if you would normally be eating all finger foods, start using a fork and knife to cut those small bites. It will slow you down and show you just how long you can enjoy this small portion.
4. Savor the bite: Since it is a blessing that God gives us delicious options for food, savor those bites. If you are alone, I'd suggest you close your eyes and thank God as you slowly chew. If it helps, also pay attention to your swallowing and feeling the food make its way to your stomach. From experience, I know that you can feel cold foods especially!
5. Sip between bites: You may have heard that sometimes what we mistake for hunger is actually thirst. Your body needs a lot of clear liquids. Not only is sipping between bites slowing you down, but it is getting that water (or other non-sugar drink) into your system to help get the nutrients into your blood stream and trigger the "stop" signal.
6. Stop when satisfied (not full): As long as you are doing the above, it is much easier to discern when you have had "just enough." Eating fast bypasses the natural signals to stop. So let that blood sugar and brain catch up.
And finally, the spiritual underpinnings of all this. Are you heading for food (like I do) for every little thing that happens in your life? Anger. Anxiety. Bitterness. Boredom. Happiness. Peer pressure. Or just because the clock says it's time to eat. None of these are reasons God gave us food to enjoy. It is a blessing that He allows us to enjoy something that we need every day. But if we are eating for any other reason than "need" it's time to turn to Him and ask, "Why am I doing this? What do You want to teach me while I wait for the need?"
Stay tuned ... to the body God gave you.
End of preaching to myself. Thanks for going along for the ride.