Freedom In Honduras

I remember the exact location.
Los Fuertes, Roatan, Honduras.
We were sitting in an 'off-the-beaten-path' eatery.
It was Sunday, 
February 16th.

And for the first time that I can remember, I felt
FREE from food.
Totally free.

You see, in the past when we'd be on vacation,
my mind would be consumed with when our next meal might happen.
I'd eat one meal and then start wondering when we might eat next.
I'd have my back-up plan ready in case adventures called that might 
lead us to the land of little-to-no food.

Jack's what I'd call a guy who does NOT live to eat.
He eats to live.
So he could go hours and hours without food and it's just no big deal.
I, on the other hand, would be counting down the hours until it's time to officially eat again.
I'd get a wee little bit panicky if we reached the 3 or 4 hour mark and it didn't seem 
like Jack was ready to eat again.

To say food consumed me is perhaps the understatement of the decade.

Yet THIS trip, things were different.
Drastically different.

Food didn't have a hold on me.
I found myself not even thinking about food.
Eventually my tummy would rumble and I'd think that perhaps it was time to 
begin figuring out where we might eat.
But it wasn't all-consuming.
 It felt AMAZING.

I felt it so clearly.

Food didn't have control over me.
Food wasn't calling my name every second of every day.
Food was way down on my list of priorities.

Don't get me wrong.
We had treaters along the way during our vacation.
Ice cream a few nights as we walked along the town streets.
But the freeing thing was, I wasn't fixated on food.
I wasn't living to eat the next treat.
In fact, one night Jack said, "Should we get ice cream?"
and I said, "Nah, I'm not hungry."
If he ever suggested food in the past I was like,
"OH YES. For sure. We must. 
Because we never know when we might get that treat again."

I'm blown away by the freedom I am feeling in the
'eating department.'
Truly, deep down, I think I secretly felt that
I never EVER could be free from the hold it had on me.
I've tried in the past to get a handle on my eating.
And failed.
And failed again.
Oh, how many times have I failed? 
And when you continually fail, it's almost like you decide to just give up.

I think I finally came to the end of myself and realized this addiction
was so much bigger than myself.
I called it what it was.
An addiction. To food. 
But quite frankly, that's no better than an addiction to drugs.
Or alcohol.
Or porn.
Or whatever else has a hold on you or me.
But I think sometimes we don't call food issues what they really are.
An addiction.

I needed a plan that would break me of my cravings for carbs and sugars.
And for me, Mr. Clean's plan really did -- and continues to -- work.
I needed a plan that cleansed my body of the countless toxins that 
have built up over decades of bad food choices.
I needed to get to the point where I wanted it bad enough to actually do the hard work.
To follow through.
To work through my issues.
I needed to want FREEDOM more 
than I wanted the quick fix of junk.
I needed God to do some breaking through in this area of my life 
that I wasn't willing to let Him have.

I've tasted FREEDOM.
And it tastes SO delicious.
I mean, it is SCRUMPTIOUS, folks.
It's WAY tastier than cheesy garlic bread or Lou Malnatti's pizza.
Lest you think I'm crazy, 
those still do sound AMAZING to me. 
But for now I say no.

It's worth the sacrifice.
It's worth the hard work.
It's worth the extra hours in the kitchen.

We're still at the clean thing.
This weekend, in the busy-ness of a church conference,
I found myself slipping up a bit.
But the beauty of this is, I know what it feels like to feel
amazing and full of energy,
so I jumped back into 'clean' with no problems at all.
It's habit now.
It feels great and I know when I don't eat well.
It's so much more than a number on a scale.
In fact, if I never lost another pound but continued to feel this good and healthy,
I'd be fine with that.
Well, maybe not. 
Because I really do need to lose more weight.
 But -- my motivation for this journey truly is how I feel. 
Does that make sense?

Tonight, as I write in my 'thankful' journal, I will simply write:
I am FOREVER grateful to God for giving me the courage to step forward into
the mess of dealing with my eating issues. 
Still messy mind you, but no doubt getting a little less messy.

I am FOREVER grateful to God for giving me will power when I thought I had none.

I am FOREVER grateful to God for giving me a glimpse of what freedom feels like.

 I am FOREVER grateful to God because 
He cares enough to let me make mistakes
 {like becoming addicted to food in the first place}
 and then picks me up
and loves me through the process of becoming healthy.

I guess I am FOREVER grateful that 
God's heart for me 
is that I would be 

What a gift of hope AND love.


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