Week Ten, Day One
The Secret to Not Eating Trash Food
The secret to not eating Trash Food is to not want it.
“Duh, well, how do I not want it? That’s insane,” you say. “Of course, I want it and have no control over that.”
That, my friend, is incorrect!
You have the power of self-talk! You tell yourself that THAT is the crap-o-la that has created your suffering, has made you down, has made you unhealthy, and has made you fat! Tell yourself that sugar and janky carbs are the Enemy of what you’re going for: health and thinness. See Trash Food as the Opposition, the Villian, the Destroyer of Dreams. Tell yourself, “Sure, I would enjoy myself for two minutes, but it’s not worth the very life I have given to it! I take back the ground what is rightfully mine, which is choosing what is best for me! Only I am in charge of what I stick in my mouth. I refuse to stick junk in it that doesn’t align with my true goals! I will find my self-soothing and entertainment elsewhere!”
That is how you train yourself not to want Trash Food. You don’t want it because you don’t want the suffering that comes along with it. You’ve been suffering for how many years? It’s time to go after what you really want. And you don’t really want Trash Food.
You’ve Got to Think About Something Besides Food
I hope you have some goals you’re very excited about because you need to be thinking about something besides food. Figure out your gifts, strengths, what you love to do, where you buzz and sing, and where that intersects with restoring a broken world. The Bible says, “Fan into flame the gift of God”. If you’re reading your Bible, praying, thinking hard about your gifts and strengths, you will start putting it all together and will soon have a vision of what God wants you to do. (If you are a young mother, this will most definitely include rearing your children, loving your husband, and managing your home (Titus 2).)
Only 3% of people have written goals. You have your current Top Four Life Goals written in your Ruby Journal though, don’t you? Review them daily, take daily massive action on your goals, and walk closely with the Lord, hearing His still small Voice. When you focus on your current Top Four Life Goals, it helps you think about other things and you will not be so interested in food. Food, remember, is just pleasant-tasting nutrition. It is not zest, color, life, stimulation, self-soothing, or entertainment.
One Reason for Bad Moods
One of the biggest causes of bad moods is that we don’t make choices we know we should. It is impossible for you to enjoy being you when you are self-sabotaging yourself with poor choices. You feel like a loser and a wimp but the only person that can fix that is YOU.
The cycle is this: You make poor decisions, you feel bad about them, you get in a funk over them, then you don’t have the energy and desire to get back on the bus. You just want to shop, eat some more, escape with a movie or something else equally not productive. The bad mood is not going to go away until you stop making bad choices! And guess what is on the heels of bad choices: self-pity! That’s right. You make bad choices and then feel sorry for yourself. What a deranged cycle! (I wish I didn’t personally understand this, but I’m afraid I do.)
So many women clear up their depression when they quit behaving in a way that hurts themselves! If you need to take some time off because you are burnt out, then do so. If you need to sleep because you are exhausted, then do so. Whatever your issues are, take massive action to solve them. And quit doing things that you know displease the Lord. You can’t have joy and energy if your conscience is beating you up. And you can’t have joy and energy if you are making choices you know are not good for you. Friend! I had to slap myself about this and you need to slap yourself about this, too.
Sometimes when I’m “misbehaving”, I do three things to turn it around and get back on the bus: One, pray. Two, make a commitment to do what I know I should do. Three, take a shower. Ha ha, that’s right. I know it sounds a little crazy, but there’s something about a shower to me that says, “I’m washing off the past junk and now going in a right direction.” You can laugh at that but I hope you will find a ritual to get yourself turned around and do the things you know you should.
He who neglects discipline despises himself. (Proverbs 15:32)
Week Ten, Day Two
The Lie That Says Getting Fit and Healthy is Easy and Convenient
I got an email today from Walgreens to alert me that it was time to reorder contact lens. And on top of that, they’re having a 20% off sale. The email had a little box where you click and it takes you to your exact order. Walgreens has all my shipping and billing info and all I had to do is add in my discount code. I think the whole thing took me 30 seconds to reorder my contacts. I was explaining this convenience to David, telling him how I love this kind of business.
Gosh, why can’t everything be as convenient as re-ordering contacts from Walgreens?
I thought about how inconvenient it is to get up and always meet with God and have a quiet time. Then I thought about marriage and how inconvenient it can be. And then I thought about the ultimate example of inconvenience: parenting!! And last, I thought about Skinny School. How inconvenient Skinny School is with all the ditching, planning, and waiting. It is the furthest thing from convenient.
And now we have Exercise. Oh dear! No!
Girlfriend, this is about your mental training. You are going to suffer somewhere. You can suffer learning the new disciplines of Ditch, Plan, and Wait, as well as making an appointment with yourself to Exercise…OR…you can suffer with health issues, The Crud Descending, and the psychological suffering of being fat! You will suffer somewhere! Choose to pay the lesser price of discipline and suffer very briefly, and then enjoy the magnificence of health, emotional well-being, and skinniness. Don’t let the culture and the lies about convenience trip you up. Being thin and healthy is not convenient, but they are so worth it!
The Angst and Glory of Discipline
Some of you were given a proclivity to be disciplined. You are just able to make yourself do what you need to do. It is a gift that the rest of us envy. For we-low-discipline-types, our lower Demanding Child keeps up an argument, and a constant whining about “not wanting to”.
I was not given a natural, disciplined mind (my older brother has one, so I can’t blame my parents.) Somewhere years ago, I read that “high creativity was associated with low conscientiousness”. There was some freedom in that sentence. Since I am a “creative-type”, this is associated in general with having low discipline. That sentence allowed me to not beat myself up so much, but to see that “certain gifts go with certain weaknesses”. We don’t get it all.
Now, knowing that I am not naturally endowed with a disciplined mindset allows me to give myself a break. However, it does not keep me from wanting the benefits and glories of a disciplined life. Proverbs is fraught with the benefits of a disciplined life! Therefore, I set out to learn discipline.
What I found is that discipline can be grown by changing (da da, trumpets please) how you think! This morning (as usual) I don’t want to exercise (no surprise there). But I read my list of why I MUST exercise. I know if I get dressed, get to the gym, I’ll work out AND I’ll feel SO much better (hoorah for endorphins!)
I have had to learn discipline in so many areas. I still have to discipline my mind all the time to “think about what I’m grateful for, instead of focusing on what is missing and disappointing”. I have to be disciplined in domestic life, as I probably hate dishes and housework as much as anyone (creative types hate monotony!) My family doesn’t like living in chaos, especially my sweet Neat-Nick husband.
So, if you are a creative type who doesn’t like monotony, but know you still have to do it, be sure you are making lists in your Ruby Journal. Read and re-read and add to these lists because that is the way to grow your discipline: change your thoughts!
The mind. The mighty mind, of which you are the Emperor. You decide what you think about. And that determines your level of discipline.
“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
Week Ten, Day Three
If You are Still Struggling to Find the Flip, Click, and Switch
Think of these 16 lessons in Skinny School as signing up to learn how to type. Or think of these 16 lessons as signing up to learn how to drive. Remember how both of those activities seemed overwhelming at first? I thought I would NEVER learn to stick a contact in my eye, but now I do it every morning without thinking about it: pop pop, they’re in. Eating correctly will soon be easy too, just like typing and driving are now easy. You have to plod through at first but keep practicing, make mistakes, and practice some more. And before you know it, you can drive without paying any attention to it. You can type without thinking about it.
That’s how these lessons are going to work for you. But right now, you are still just learning. That’s okay. We will slowly go through everything you need to know again and again, so that you can be a stinkin’ skinny flip of a thing for the rest of your life. Wow, just think about how much more you’re going to enjoy life when you are at your Goal A weight!
I might need to make a disclaimer here. I do not think being thin is the secret to life. When I was 22, I was not a Christian but I looked better than I ever had. I was ridiculously fit and thin at that time. I was such a loser, though, because I did not know the Lord, did not know anything about relationships, and I definitely wasn’t happy. So I am not saying being thin is the secret to happiness. (The secret to happiness is another whole book, Happy School, but as you might guess, it has to do with “thinking the right thoughts”.)
Anyhow, SSO friend, you now have a systematic way to finally get thin forever and you have no excuse, no excuse, no excuse to ever be chubby again. Just because you don’t have it yet, doesn’t mean beans. Of course, you’re going to get this. You know you’re a savvy girl. The predictor of whether you get this or not is IF YOU KEEP reading the Genie’s teaching, keep reading the lessons, write in and read your Ruby Journal daily, and what’s the last thing? MEET with your group! (No group? Keep working on that. It might be your missing link.)
I’ve had women in my groups that did not lose weight for weeks. I thought to myself, “Why can’t she get with the program?” They would complain about the stress in their lives and how they just couldn’t get Skinny School. But I didn’t kick them out of the groups. And then, guess what happened? The click and the flip happened in their brains while they were sleeping. How? How did that happen?
It happened because the mind takes orders from you by what you feed it. If you keep feeding it the Skinny School thought, the mindset will seep in, like water seeps through sand. Stay with it. Stay with it. Stay with it. You’ll get it. One morning you will wake up and say, “By George, I think I’ve got it.” And that is the day you decide you don’t need Trash Food in your life anymore. You will realize Trash Food is not your friend. In fact, it’s a Liar and Deceiver, promising enjoyment, but making you pay with your very life. What a crummy deal that is.
Yay for 2018, the year you turned your life around and quit being a slave to food! Enough of that nonsense.
You certainly are going to be one cute Champion at your Goal A weight, I must say!!
Don’t Forget the Power of Planning, the Deceitfulness of Sugar, and the Miracle of Getting Back on the Bus
The title of this section is made up of simple truths but they can get you out of the Food Dungeon.
Planning is essential. Imperative. A must. You WILL NOT be able to consistently make good choices if you don’t have good choices available. This makes obvious sense. We all know that having luscious, God-made food available makes eating right so much easier. Do not fail to PLAN.
Also, if you do not get off sugar (15 g. of sugar a day), then you cannot expect to get rid of your cravings. Cravings are like the Emperor of the World has spoken and you must obey. You will not be able to choose against cravings. BUT, you can get rid of cravings by eating 15g of sugar a day and only eating 50g of carbs.
And here is my favorite of favorite pieces of advice. You will fail. You will. We all do. HOWEVER, and here’s the glorious “however”…as soon as you hear your thoughts tell you that you are failing, you don’t ditch the program, you get back on the bus. Not the first of next month. Not Monday. Not tomorrow. But right this second.
And then you write about your failure in your Ruby Journal, so you can warn yourself about potholes that throw you. How you handle FAILURE predicts your success in this program! Get back on that dang bus, Girl. Now.
Ditch. Plan. Wait.
And soon, you’ll be zipping up those skinny jeans. Oooh, la la. Freedom from the Food Dungeon.
Week Ten, Day Four
A Huge Struggle for Women
The literature on addictions repeatedly talks about a trait that addicts possess called grandiosity. Grandiosity wants high treatment, credit, appreciation, to be lifted up, and is easily offended. You recognize this, of course, as nothing more than a subtle form of pride.
The opposite of getting offended is “to overlook a transgression” (Proverbs 19: 11).
To me, the most beautiful women are the truly humble women. They do not get easily offended. They forgive easily and serve others because of a calling from God. It is not necessary that they receive constant attention and admiration.
In our flesh, we all want attention, appreciation, recognition, and the praise of man. But the opposite of this is the crowning glory of a woman: a gentle and quiet spirit that is diametrically opposite to our dissatisfied, demanding, proud hearts. Only in prayer does a woman find strength to lay down her demanding spirit where she is dissatisfied, and instead, take up the cloak of humility and contentment.
God gives all of us plenty of chances to work on this every day (which you know all too well, right?). Working on getting our “hearts under” is one huge step in healing our need to medicate. Humility is healthy and life-giving. Pride destroys.
Find your vision. Find your mission and calling. And then get on task in fulfilling that calling. Learn to not be offended (ha ha, you will get daily opportunities here), learn to not brag, or exalt yourself.
I have written before about the top, level 5 leaders that Jim Collins describes in his business book, Good to Great. One quality these leaders have is they “take the blame and give the credit”. That’s healthy. That’s powerful. The immature tendency is to “take the credit and give the blame”. When I smell myself acting that way, I get disgusted. How small is that!
As we work on our hearts, our need to medicate is reduced.
Reducing the Storm in You
Acquiring better mental health helps our addiction with food because when we are upset, those emotions want to be medicated. In SSO, we are not only learning to think good thoughts about food, but we are learning to think healthy thoughts in general. I encourage you to collect “good thought”, just like you would collect beautiful paintings or great music on your phone. This is very important, that you have a list in your Ruby Journal of fantastic sentences.
One of my favorite sentences is, “let go of attachments to specific outcomes and embrace uncertainty” (from Slow Medicine, by Michael Finkelstein, M.D.). Read that sentence again and think about it. Then, think about those things you absolutely MUST have. MUST. Even if your “musts” are good things, you often can’t control everything and can be radically disappointed. Common examples of “musts” are “my husband must cherish me”, “my children must behave properly”, “I must be completely healthy”, etc.
It is better to say in your mind, “I wish” or “I hope” such and such. It is better to cry out to God how much you want something then end it with “not my will, but Yours”. This demanding spirit we have, makes us difficult and brittle people, instead of easy-going and flexible.
I have found a verse that repeatedly helps me when I don’t get my way. It is, “Humility and fear of the Lord is the secret to riches, honor, and life” (Proverbs 22:4). That’s pretty interesting, that God had Solomon pen that only two ingredients are needed for riches, honor, and life: humility and fear of the Lord. Humility equals authority in the kingdom of God. Humility and meekness are the only two words Jesus used to describe himself in the entire New Testament (Matthew 11:29). When we have humility before God, and humility before others, good things happen, things like riches, honor, and life.
What does humility look like? It looks like, “not my will but Yours”. It looks like saying in your heart to another, “Your happiness is as important as mine” (by the way, that sentence is a great one for marriage). Humility means it’s okay if I don’t get the credit, if I’m not appreciated, if I serve and no one thanks me. Humility means I do the right thing cheerfully because God sees. It means I “overlook a transgression”.
You can be right and not let everybody know. You can learn to “take the blame and give the credit”. I repeat this example because I think it is so transforming.
I like to remind my students (and myself!) that addicts are easily offended and think no one is ever giving them “high enough treatment.” Instead, the beauty in humans is in overlooking and returning good for evil. That’s the healthy way to live. And it reduces the storm in you, reduces your demanding spirit, enables you to let go of your “musts”, and grows humility towards God and others.
Week Ten, Day Five
The Third Tenet of the Miraculous Threesome: WAIT
Ditch. Plan. Wait.
God gave us a buzzer that goes off when it is time to eat, and it is called Hunger. When the buzzer goes off, we are to eat His gorgeous food but we don’t eat until we are full. We don’t eat until we are “emotionally satisfied”. We eat until the buzzer quits ringing. That means, when you are no longer hungry, you quit. Food is tremendously pleasurable and we don’t want to quit. I have found this tenet is very difficult for many women. They don’t want to stop in the middle of pleasure. Who does? But we are trying to learn how to think like Champions, not the masses and the norm.
What does this mean to you, Skinny School student? It means you have to work on it! It means you try and fail, record it in your Ruby Journal, try and fail again, until you get it. This is how Champions conquer themselves and form new habits.
Another problem women have is that they are mentally and emotionally used to large amounts of food. Friend, it takes a ridiculously small amount of food for the Buzzer to quit ringing. This in itself is a huge mind switch, when you realize, “Hey, I don’t eat much!” That is why it is imperative you eat nutrient-dense, high quality food, because when you start waiting until you are a three, and quit when you are a five, you will not eat much. The large amount of food you have eaten in the past to self-medicate or entertain yourself is over forever. Gone. Tell yourself this is not sad, it is glorious. Food was never meant to be more than pleasant-tasting nutrition. You are now free from your prior wrong thinking.
There are many thoughts to change in Skinny School. That’s why it’s a 16 week program. You can’t learn it in a weekend. Stay the course. Keep bathing your mind with truth. And you can get this Beast of Overeating and the Beast of Being Overweight out of your life forever.
No one is in your way except you.
What Determines Whether You Eat Trash Food or Not
Did you know all your behavior is driven by your beliefs? That’s right. All of your behavior. Your beliefs about children and what they need determine how you treat your children. Your beliefs about money and what is important determines how you spend/save it.
This is helpful to know because your beliefs about food and eating determine your behavior (whether or not you are going to eat Trash Food or not).
I wish I could see your Ruby Journal. I really do. Because it would tell me a lot. It would tell me if you are really writing down sentences to re-train your brain. Do you have a list of all the terrible things Trash Food does to your body, health-wise? Do you have a list of all the emotions associated with when you cheat and the Crud Descends (despair, self-disgust, etc.)? Do you have a list of your current Top Four Life Goals, written in your Ruby Journal? Do you have “meaningful sentences” that inspire and motivate you?
Your behavior results from your beliefs. And you’ve had wrong beliefs in the past about food and eating. Now, you have the truth but you have to retrain your brain to these new beliefs. The Ruby Journal, the Genie’s teaching, and reading the SSO lessons are how we do that.
So…are you retraining your brain? Are you washing it with your new truth? Daily? You won’t have to do this forever. I never read sentences about weight loss in my Ruby Journal anymore because they are concrete in my brain. I read sentences I have written down, though, in other areas I’m trying to master. Because beliefs drive behavior. And it is your responsibility to wash your brain and learn the new beliefs. If you don’t wash your brain and change your beliefs, you will stay as you’ve been for years, suffering with your self-disgust. You are totally in charge of re-training your brain. No one is coming on a white horse.
So want to know whether you are going to eat Trash Food or not? Check your current beliefs! But the cool thing is…you can re-train your brain!!!
See you next Thursday, Champion Girl!
Questions for Group Discussion
- What are you going to think about, now that you are not going to think about food very often?
- Have you noticed that cheating on your program puts you in a bad mood? Explain.
- Have you previously thought dieting should be easy and convenient? Explain your new beliefs.
- If the click and the flip have not happened for you yet, are you committed to staying in the program until they do?
- How do you handle failure? Are you able to recover quickly? Explain.
- Are you easily offended if you do not receive “high treatment” (grandiosity)? Explain.
- Have you accepted that you really don’t eat that much if you wait until you are a three and stop at a five?
- How frequently do you read your Ruby Journal, the Genie’s teaching, and/or your lessons? Is there a correlation between the amount of your success and how much you bathe your mind with the SS thinking?