(Disclaimer: I’m allowed sweets on my food plan though I can only eat half or less. The following list explains how I eat my sweets. I do find it interesting that since I’m allowed sweets, they just don’t entice me as they once did. Don’t get me wrong. I do love my deserts, but they no longer call my name. Sometimes I’m just not interested. Imagine that. God has set me free.
I do apologize to my friends that are on restricted diets for one reason or another. God gave me a food program I could live with for the rest of my life. He has a plan for you too. Everyone is different. This is just what worked for me. It was a slow process, but it was the easiest process for me. God knew I couldn’t stick to a diet after 41 years of dieting failures. So He gave me a plan I could stick to, which included some sweets.)
WHAT I LEARNED ON MY WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY TIBITS / HELPFUL HINTS
1. Read your Bible daily. There is a lot about food, strength to resist temptation, and encouragement in there. Remember the first sin was eating the wrong food.
2.Pray seeking God’s will about what and when to eat. Listen in submission for the voice of God. Pleasure food usually screams at us, “You know you want me.” God’s love speaks softly, “I want your love”.
3. It’s true, “When in doubt, do without.” I’ve asked God to give me a heart for Him versus food. Excess food is a bad lover; the pleasure is good for a short time, but before it’s over you get hurt.
4. When you are facing a large amount of food treats, snacks, or desserts at parties or buffets, don’t look at it. Just walk away, Remember the first sin came as a result of “it was pleasant to the eye” and it’s “the lust of the eye” that gets us in trouble. Focus on the people, not the food.
5. Take a “before” picture, preferably in your bathing suit. (I have one of myself. Yes, in all my glory.) It will help you see yourself as others see you and you’ll have something to compare to as you lose weight. You won’t regret it. I’m glad I did, evidence of God’s healing power.
6. Keep the blouse, pants, dress, etc. that you wore when nothing else fits. I got sick of my pink blouse because I wore it so much, but I wish I had it now.
7. Keep a food journal. I did in the beginning, but I also wrote my feelings and my conversations with God. Talk to Him about it all, He can handle it.
8. I was a compulsive over-eater that ate throughout the day, sometimes in bed too. Then God told me to eat only three meals, with no snacks, to help me gain some self-control. Baby steps, one step at a time.
9. Set short time goals to experience success, then set another short time goal. My time goals were in periods of 40 days. Jesus fasted for 40 days, so I thought that just maybe I could eat only three meals for 40 days.
10. Write “Thank you Lord” for every successful day on your calendar. I did, it helps to see your successes and to praise God for the victory.
11. I also wrote “Day 1, Day 2, etc. on my calendar. If I messed up, it was back to “Day 1” until I had 40 successful days.
12. An accountability partner helps. I had four and failed all four, but I was good at starting over again. Failing is not falling down, it’s not getting up to start over again. The last accountability partner I had helped me, I called her every day.
13. Find a support group if you can, even if it is a group of women at church or work. Since I failed so many partners, I concluded I needed a whole group, so I went to Celebrate Recovery. (I used to serve as a cook for this group.)
14. My advice from experience: When cooking for a group, give away the leftovers. Don’t’ eat them on the way home like I did. Once I ate a whole banana bread loaf on the way home.
15. The leader (an ex-drug addict) of a woman’s addiction class told me that those with a drug or alcohol addiction could put the “tiger” in the cage and walk away with God’s help. But the one with a food addiction had to take the “tiger” out of the cage, pet it three times a day and then put it back in the cage. I think about that every day.
16. If you know someone who has had successful gastric bypass or a skinny person, watch how and what they eat. I have noticed that they eat what they want to, but in very small amounts. So why not copy them, and lose weight without the surgery. I have a friend that had a gastric bypass, I watch her eat and try to copy her.
17. After I succeeded eating only three meals for 40 consecutive days, then God said, “Now cut your food in half.” This is mainly what I still do, although when I realize that my love for desserts is becoming greater than my love for God, I give them up for 40 days.
18. I had a family birthday party during a time of fasting 40 days from desserts, so I cut several pieces of birthday cake and put it in the freezer for later. Frozen birthday cake is not as good as fresh. Someone told me to let it thaw out first, but I ate it frozen. Yuck.
19. When going to a restaurant, share a meal; it will satisfy you and save money too. If your friend doesn’t want to share, then take half your meal home and enjoy it again the next day. You get to enjoy two meals for the price of one. I do this all the time.
20. Desserts are pleasure, but God allows me this pleasure as long as I seek His will first. If your order a desert from a restaurant, cut it in half and then cut the half in half. You will get four times as much pleasure if you spread it out over a period.
21.Chocolate kisses are a lot of pleasure for 22 calories. If you freeze them, they will last longer in your mouth. Let them melt in your mouth to increase pleasure, don’t chew. I usually just eat only one and that’s enough.
22. Chocolate kisses also help a sore throat as they melt down your throat. Now that chocolate is a medicine will I lose the desire for chocolate? Uh, no. A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands. Caution: Eat only one to two, no more.
23. Keep sugar-free popsicles in the freezer. It helps to have something as a free food that is sweet and you can chew. They aren’t considered a snack, but just frozen liquid. Protect your clothing from colored drips, they may not come out in the wash, I know.
24. Buy M&M’s in the individual packages. When you want a little chocolate, divide the package in half. Then eat your half one by one holding in your mouth until it melts. I have divided my package by thirds and was it was enough to satisfy.
25. Slice Easter Canterbury eggs into fourths after they have chilled in the refrigerator. Eat one-fourth at a time for your dessert. My husband brought them home, not me. It amazes me, now that I allow myself a little chocolate if I want it, the desire is just not there. Amazing.
26. My favorite dessert is nutty bar snack cakes (Little Debbie, go figure). Since I eat half, that’s one of the twin bars. I break apart the different layers and eat them one at a time. It lasts longer that way. Then I put the second bar away for next time. Now that I think about it, I haven’t had one of those in a while. I guess I’ve just lost interest. Wow.
27. Concerning ice cream, I do love vanilla. I eat a half-cup as slowly as possible to savor each mouthful.
28.We eat supper at church on Wednesday night. If I want the cake they have for dessert, I usually cut the top half off and eat it, then throw away the cake part. Sorry, I love icing. I want my half of cake to have icing.
29. If you’re with others and they’re still eating, but you’re done, get something to drink and hold it in your hand. Sip it if hot, eat the ice if cold. This keeps your hands busy and your mouth full. I would suggest water, but that is boring. Coffee with cream is more interesting, or even fancy hot tea; use something that makes you feel special, not deprived.
30. I’m not disciplined enough for structured exercise, but I do take a walk outside when I feel stressed. Fresh breezes blowing your hair, beautiful flowers blooming, and birds singing their praises to God will always lift your spirit. I have also walked through the neighborhood singing my praises to God.
31. “Prayer walks” are good when you need to get of the house, but still need an intense conversation with God and you can pray for your neighbors too. I have walked praying out loud. It’s just occurred to me that my neighbors probably think I’m crazy.
32. I’ve noticed that if I wake up with an empty feeling, I’m losing weight. If I wake up feeling bloated, I’m not losing weight. So I drink more water and be more careful with food choices. Focus to achieve the empty feeling again.
33. Usually, I weigh once a week on Sunday mornings. If the scales go down, I go to church praising God for this miracle. If the scales go up, I go to church asking for strength to resist temptation. I used to weigh on Mondays, but changed it due to eating out with friends after church. Eating supper late does affect the scales.
34. Use extreme caution at Mexican restaurants, I can gain weight from just one Mexican meal. In the old days, I’ve gained as much as three pounds from one meal. Yes, it’s true. Those chips are dangerous.
35. One weight loss program counts 12 Mexican chips as one serving, so I only eat 6 chips with lots of salsa. I get my own salsa bowl to double dip.
36. When I order a taco salad, I request “no taco shell please”. I also use the salsa for a free salad dressing. Usually I just ask for my own bottle of salsa.
37. If I order quesadilla, I get a side order of lettuce and tomato. (I don’t like enchiladas.) Then I eat half the quesadilla and take the other half home. Leftover quesadilla make a good breakfast.
38. At a Chinese buffet, I start praying before I walk in. I try to choose vegetables, a small serving of fried rice, and grilled meats. I do eat the egg roll with sweet sauce but only half of it. They usually have fruit, good for dessert.
39. Yes, you can eat just half a fortune cookie, and enjoy the fun of the fortune inside. Don’t bother saving the other half for later. They get stale too fast, this I know. Some things you just need to let go.
40. You can lose weight cooking country food, I did by eating just “half servings” in submission to God. My mother in law (in Heaven now) lived with us for four months and I cooked for her, some type of bread every day, dumplings, chicken ‘n rice, field peas with ham ‘n okra, fried chicken, dessert every day, etc. I did lose weight during this time.
41. I enjoy the crunchy part of bread, so I eat the outside edge and give the soft inside to the birds. You get to enjoy watching God’s beautiful birds as a treat. I usually ask for corner pieces, but I have punched a hole in my muffin or biscuit, then ate the outside crust.
42. At the present time, I’m trying to drink cups of water in between my cups of coffee to increase my water servings. No, I don’t measure and drink my 8 glasses a day, I’m still working on self-discipline.
44. While traveling in the car, carry a full glass of ice with some water. When you get back in the car after shopping, you still have cool water. If it spills, usually it doesn’t stain the car, I know.
45. If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to eat breakfast at home, usually fast food places have ice cream cones at breakfast time. Believe it or not, the ice cream cone has less calories than a sausage biscuit and it’s more satisfying too.
46. I usually eat a whole ice cream cone if thats my breakfast and it’s all I have. If it’s my dessert, I ask the server to just fill it to the top of the cone, no more. You try eating a half of an ice cone, I’ve done it, but it’s really hard to throw away ice cream. My husband and I go out for steak every Thursday night. I eat half my steak and bring the rest home for another meal. Sometimes he is willing to share his steak, so we save money.
47. Once God told me that for every day I surrender my food to Him that He would give me blessings and I was to keep a record of these blessings. He always blesses me, but I guess He just wanted me to stay aware of what He is doing in my life.
48. Play with your clothes every day. You’ll be filled with delight as you pull out those smaller clothes you saved to get back into. Last month, I wore a classic expensive suit that I bought in the 80’s. (over $100 then) Yes, I wore a thirty year old skirt to church, got a lot of compliments, and felt great too.
49. As soon as something is too big, give it away to bless someone else. God has blessed you greatly, now pass it on. My closet has become like the tide, clothing in, and clothing out. I call this recycling.
50. Thrift stores, consignment shops, and Goodwill have the best deals. You can come home with a bag of new clothes for a small amount of money. Isn’t shopping fun when you try on a smaller size and it actually fits?