Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Day 16 - Monday

Down 0.8 pounds from yesterday, 14.2 from the beginning, and 90.2 from my heaviest weight. 

I’ve hit the 90-pound mark!  Thank You, God!

Thoughts from Made To Crave:

“I had to see the purpose of my struggle as something more than wearing smaller sizes and getting compliments from others…It had to be about something more than just me…I determined to make God, rather than food, my focus.  Each time I craved something…I used that craving as a prompt to pray.” 

I’d been doing that for a while but had slacked off.  I’ve started doing it again. 

Today should be a good day of catching up on reading Made To Crave while Brianne’s in class.

I’m ready to start chewing again.  Thursday I shall!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Day 15 - Sunday

Down 0.8 pounds from yesterday, 13.4 from the beginning, and 89.4 from my heaviest weight. 

Today was an uneventful day for this fast. 

I’m counting down the days until I can eat solid food again.  Wednesday night I’ll make some yogurt to start eating Thursday morning so I can replenish good bacteria in my digestive system.  That day I’ll shop for fruit and veggies to make salads with for the next two days.  I’ll cook up some chicken and eggs to put on the salad (yay!). 

I had a dream last night that I was eating mindlessly.  I was popping some kind of cake-ball things in my mouth and then later I was at a restaurant with Brianne and was drinking Coke like it was going out of style.  The glass I was drinking out of was only about 4 ounces but there was another glass that was probably 20 ounces sitting there too.  I remembered putting my straw into it but I think then it became a 4-oz. glass too.  Weird.  I then realized I was drinking Coke and it turned my stomach.  Not that I don’t like Coke, but if anything I would’ve ordered Dr Pepper.  What turned my stomach is that I was drinking anything carbonated at all.  It was doing nothing good for my body.  I should’ve been drinking water. 

I went for a 1-mile walk yesterday and even ran about 100 steps!  It wasn’t anything like the running I used to do and will get back to next week, but it was something. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day 14 - Saturday

Down 0.4 pounds from yesterday, 12.6 from the beginning, and 88.6 from my highest weight. 

I just went for a short walk and ran a little bit of the way (less than 50 steps).  It felt strange.  Now I need to lie down for a little bit. 

Thoughts from Made To Crave:

“I had to see the purpose of my struggle as something more than wearing smaller sizes and getting compliments from others…It had to be about something more than just me.”

“I determined to make God, rather than food, my focus.”

The author asked if there could be any benefits to listening to my cravings rather than trying to silence them.  My answer was that when I crave a particular food I could ask God if it’s because my body needs a certain nutrient or I’m just remembering how good something tasted.  Or do I need something that’s not food? 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day 13 - Friday

Down 0.2 pounds from yesterday, 12.2 from the beginning, and 88.2 from my highest weight.  This is the same as Wednesday. 

Yesterday was quite a busy day.  I did some work and then made supper for some friends who recently became foster parents to infant twin girls.  I prayed that I would be able to fix the food without tasting any of it and without mindlessly licking my fingers.  I even asked a couple friends to pray that specifically!  Praise God, I didn’t taste or lick! 

I went to a birthday lunch for my nephew and took along some veggie puree.  I also went to a smoothie store and got a smoothie.  On the cup was this saying: 

That’s not true.  Chewing is wonderful, and I look forward to next Thursday when I’ll be able to chew again!  I made sure it had no added sugar, dairy, protein, etc.  It tasted okay but was too sweet.  I was trying to figure out why it was sweeter than what I make at home when it had basically the same ingredients I use.  After some thinking, I realized that I add pumpkin to my smoothies sometimes.  That’s nutrition but not sweetness.  There weren’t any bananas in the store-bought smoothie and I put them in my homemade ones.  I know they’re sweet, but somehow it’s a different sweetness than other fruits.  Anyway, the lunch was at a BBQ restaurant, and BBQ is what I want when I’m off this fast.  More prayer.  It smelled so good when I got out of the car!  I ordered only water, though, and drank my smoothie and puree.  I also was able to feed and play with my niece, which helped distract me from the fact that everyone else was eating. 

Yesterday was set up to be a very difficult day food-wise for me, but it really wasn’t.  Thank you to the friends who were praying specifically, and thank you to all who were praying in general.  That certainly played a big part in how my day went.  Another thing that helped the day go smoothly is that my heart wasn’t divided.  For example, when I got out of the car at the restaurant I knew I wasn’t going to order anything or take a bite off anyone’s plate.  I didn’t have to agonize over what low-cal, low-fat, low-whatever thing to choose from the menu.  I wasn’t going to eat.  Period.  Simple as that.  Honoring God by reining in my flesh was the highest priority.  I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself.  This is more about God gain than weight loss, and I certainly experienced growth in God yesterday! 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 12 - Thursday

Up 0.2 pounds from yesterday, down 12 pounds from the beginning, and down 88 pounds from my highest weight.  That gain is just normal fluctuation.  I didn’t overeat overdrink. 

I finished reading A Hunger for God and have started Made to Crave for the third time.  I might have to get another copy of it after this!  I’m doing the questions at the end of each chapter and will do the workbook too. 

Thoughts from Made to Crave:

“…my body is not my own and that I need to honor God with the way I choose to treat it.” (a testimony at the beginning of the book)

Made to Crave is not about weight loss; it is about complete dependence on God.” (another testimony)

“I’m a simple Jesus girl on a journey to finding deeper motivation than just a number on my scale for getting and staying healthy.” (underlining mine)

I identified with the two of the rationalizations listed for not tackling my sin:

I’m good in every other area.

I make so many sacrifices already.

“Read the story of the rich young man in Matthew 19.  ‘Jesus meant this for any of us who wallow in whatever abundance we have.  I imagine Jesus looked straight into this young man’s soul and said, ‘I want you to give up the one thing you crave more than me.  Then come, follow me.’”

“When Jesus says, “Follow me,” it’s not an invitation to drag our divided heart alongside us as we attempt to follow hard after God.”

“Nothing changes until we make the choice to redirect our misguided cravings to the only one capable of satisfying them.”

“It’s about recalibrating our souls so that we want to change – spiritually, physically, and mentally.”

“The very downfall of humanity was caused when [a woman] surrendered to a temptation to eat something she wasn’t supposed to eat.”  Whoa.  That’s serious. 

“I am made to rise up, do battle with my issues and, using the Lord’s strength in me, defeat them – spiritually, physically, and mentally – to the glory of God.”  YES!!!

Those are just things I underlined in the introduction!

“…whatever we’re craving will always depend on whatever we’re consuming.”  [We crave what we eat.  Think about it.  Do you crave poi?  If you grew up in Hawaii you might.  I’ve never been to Hawaii and never eaten poi, so I’ve never craved it.  If you clear things out of your life that offer no real benefit, you’ll eventually lose your taste for them.

Finally, in question one at the end of chapter one, Lysa talks about a commercial a weight loss company had that personified cravings as a little orange monster that followed a woman around all day.  She asked how we would personify our cravings.  A year ago I wrote that for me a craving would be a giant monster whose reach is so vast it really doesn’t even need to move itself.  It just opens its mouth and eats whatever it wants, no questions asked and no thought involved.  It would laugh at me viciously because it knows I have no power over it.  It would be very confident in itself.  Of course, this was all before Jesus changed me.  Now when a craving comes, which is rare, there’s a struggle.  I fight it with prayer, scripture, activity, and setting a time 1-1/2 hours in the future when I’ll allow myself to eat in a controlled way. 

Three months later I answered that question by saying that when cravings come now they still roar but not as loudly.  I don’t cater to them anymore. 

Last night I said that my cravings now are words that logically present their case and make a lot of sense.  Their job is to make me eat what I don’t need to eat or at a time I don’t need to eat. 

In the past year my cravings have gone from (almost all-) powerful to weakened but persuading, or at least trying to persuade. 

I just got a slow dictator whom I don’t do very often so I don’t know if I should speed her up or not.  She’s been talking for about a minute just stating her name, the patient’s name, and the doctor she’s dictating for.  My thought was that I need to get a smoothie or some veggie soup to drink before I tackle this.  NOOOOO!!!  That’s wrong!!!  I already had some of each and I’ll have some more soon.  I don’t need food to deal with difficult situations. 

Finished that dictator.  I sped her up twice and will do it again the next time I get her.  I now have a smoothie at my desk but I did that dictation that I thought I couldn’t do without any!  Thank You, God!

I found this picture on Pinterest.  It doesn’t need me to comment on it. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day 11 - Wednesday

Down 1.2 pounds from yesterday, 12.2 from the beginning, and 88.2 from my highest weight. 

I’m really tired of this pureed veggie soup.  I’m almost tired of fruit smoothies.  I’m ready to chew again.  One more week of liquids and then I can. 

Putting strawberries picked by my own hands into my smoothies helps!  J  I try to make them a little different each time and haven’t had strawberries in the last couple ones. 

Another outfit for the give-away pile. :-) and :-( It was one of my favorites and used to look really good on me, but size 20 jeans and size 1X tops just don't anymore! Thank You, God!  I was able to put the jeans on and take them off without unbuttoning or unzipping them and there’s no elastic!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day 10 - Tuesday

Down 0.8 pounds from yesterday and 11 pounds from the beginning. 

I’m halfway done!  At first I felt torn being happy about that.   I thought I shouldn’t be happy to have this time end.  Eating is the way God provided for us to sustain life, though.  It’s meant to be the normal way.  I was just going too far in that direction and needed a course correction.  My course is being corrected and I’m looking forward to getting back to eating in a regular way without letting my taste buds overtake me. 

I walked only 1 mile today, but that’s all I attempted and it was on purpose.  I did 2 last week and was sorry later.  I feel fine now. 

From A Hunger for God by John Piper:

“…fasting is an expression of humility – that is, our sense of desperate, utter dependence on God for what we need.”

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day 9 - Monday

Down 0.2 pounds from yesterday and 10.2 pounds from the beginning. 

I sometimes miss running.  Now (Tuesday morning) I want to get back to it. 

I’ve known for several days that my first meal after the fast will be BBQ.  I want meat.  Smoked meat.  With a little sauce.  I’m not too concerned about the sides.  I just want meat. 

8:45 a.m.  Hungry now but have enacted 1-hour rule.

I miss eating.  I miss chewing. 

Glad to have Dee joining me!  My friend Dee started this same fast today.  Follow her blog at http://dee-lightfullmoments.blogspot.com/

Quotes from A Hunger for God  by John Piper

“…we are less sensitive to spiritual appetites when we are in the bondage of physical ones.” 

“I want the manifestation of You Yourself more than I want food.”

Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 8 - Sunday

Down 1.2 pounds from Saturday and 10 pounds from last Sunday, which was day 1.

No special revelations today. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Day 7 - Saturday

I forgot to add to yesterday’s post that I was 1.6 pounds down from Friday and 8.2 pounds down from the beginning. 

This morning (Saturday) I was down 0.6 pounds from yesterday and 8.8 pounds down from the beginning. 

I don’t miss running.  That doesn’t mean I won’t return to it. 

I walked at the mall today for about 1-1/2 hours.  I did stop to look at things in some stores so I wasn’t walking constantly for that time, but I did walk the length of the mall upstairs and downstairs at least twice.  And when I was walking and not shopping, it was at a pace brisk enough that my hair was being blown back.  Yes, I walk fast! 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Day 6

I really can get by on a lot less food than I normally eat. 

I don’t have to have chocolate every day.  I usually keep Dove dark chocolate on hand but sometimes go a week without having any.  In my Christmas stocking Brianne put a package of fun-size caramel Twix, which I really like, and some Dove.  On a shopping trip I got myself a bar of dark chocolate with bacon just to try.  I had been having one piece a day since Christmas and thought I was being disciplined.  Now I see that I can stretch it out even more than that.  I considered adding powdered cocoa to my fruit smoothies for chocolate taste.  I even checked the ingredient list and there were no milk products, just cocoa.  Fine, right?!  God spoke to me and said it’s really not necessary to add it.  I can do without.  This is a fast to rein in my flesh, not to see how close to the edge I can get without violating the guidelines.   

A fast is a good way to find out what’s wrong in your thinking, like with the chocolate.  I just couldn’t understand why I wasn’t losing weight.  I don’t think the chocolate was the only factor, but it’s what was revealed to me just now.  We’ll see if there are other things.   

I was at a dinner book club with friends this evening.  Of course it was at a restaurant.  I took a container of smoothie and a container of broth. 

One of the other ladies set her piece of chocolate cream pie down in front of me. 

Not directly in front of me like she was offering it, but…it was in front of me.  (It's kind of hard to see the pie, but it's just in front of my silver container with black and blue circles on it. Brianne's not here or I would have her make the picture black and white but leave the pie in color.) The victory is that I wasn’t lusting after the pie.  I looked at it but felt no compulsion to eat it for several reasons:   

  1. It wasn’t mine.  That would be extremely rude!
  2. I don’t like pie.  If I eat it at all, I eat only the filling because I don’t like the crust.  And in most restaurants whipped cream tastes very “industrial.”  This probably would’ve too. 
  3. If I’m going to have chocolate, I’m not going to get it from Piccadilly pie.  It’s going to be quality chocolate that’s worth every calorie!
  4. I’m fasting.  Duh!  Eating that pie or anything else right now would be direct disobedience to God and therefore sin.  Eating it another time may not be.  But I’m fasting now. 
So I had a victory tonight.  Thank You, God!  It really wasn’t even that much of a battle.  As soon as I saw it I knew I wasn’t going to eat it.  My mind still went through the thought process, though.  I just realized two things as I read over this entry. 

  1.  Today was quite the day for chocolate, huh? 
  2. That piece of pie never got eaten.  I don’t know why.  She didn’t even take it home to have later.  It seems as if that pie’s only reason for being was to teach me something. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 5

This is the report for yesterday, which was day 5 and one-quarter of the way through this fast. 

I lost 1 more pound from the day before for a total of 6.6 from the beginning. 

I took a walk on the Pinellas Trail while Brianne was in class.  I didn't even attempt to run, knowing that would be asking too much of my body.  I walked for about 40 minutes and a distance of 2 miles.  I felt great!  I did have a little bit of ankle pain so I slowed my pace but otherwise was fine.  I made sure I had something to eat drink before and after and I took a 1-hour nap as soon as we got home. 

When I woke up that's when the hunger hit.  I think I overcompensated by drinking too much smoothie and broth for the next few hours.  I won't be doing any walking today and will do only 1 mile tomorrow. 

In other news, the top I wore yesterday is one I got when I was doing this fast the first time.  When I bought it it was too snug for me to feel comfortable, but it was only $5 and I knew I'd eventually fit into it.  Besides, it had strawberries on it!  I've worn it these last two years and I put it on yesterday too.  It's too big! 

It drapes like a maternity top so I won't be wearing it again!  Time to make it into a pillow. 

Speaking of time, it's time to get today started and make it better than yesterday.  See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Day 4

This will be short because it's late and I'm tired. 

I found a packaged fortune cookie in my mom's car.  I wasn't going to eat it but just in case, I decided to throw it away.  Just throwing it in the trash bag as it was, though, I could've easily taken it out and eaten it.  I considered throwing it out the window, but that would be littering.  I ended up crumbling it in the package, but that still wouldn't have made it impossible to eat.  I then opened the package and sprinkled it in the trash bag.  Then all danger of eating it was gone!  :-)

Down 1 pound from yesterday and 5.6 from the beginning. 

Starting to desire (not crave) Taco Bell and toast.  Taco Bell is not my favorite.  Toast is fine, but not something I have all the time and it’s not a big deal when I do have it.  Hmmm.

I don’t miss chocolate, surprisingly.

I want to eat raw bread dough.  Or cooked, like garlic knots from Little Italy. 

I realized I wasn't really letting myself get very hungry.  I've decided to enact a 1-hour rule.  When I feel hunger, I'll wait 1 hour before eating, well drinking. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day 3

Angie, thank you.  I just prayed for you.  Ask God to show you how he wants you to honor Him.  Have you ever fasted before?  If not, I recommend starting slowly by going just one hour longer in the morning before you eat.  If you normally get up at 6 and eat right away, wait until 7.  The next time go for 8.  Then 9.  You’ll eventually work your way up to all day.  The point is saying, “God, I love you more than _____________, and here’s how I’m going to show that.” 

Tina, good for you!  It’s better to let it go to waste than to let it go to waist! 

Down 1.6 pounds from yesterday and 4.6 from beginning. 

A smoothie made of beet greens and an apple/veggie juice is nasty!  I added apple cider, applesauce, and cinnamon and it's much better. 

I made my first veggie broth this morning with beets, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, green peppers, and yellow squash along with Old Bay seasoning, thyme, chipotle powder, and basil.  Oh, and the leftover Carmelita's salsa!  Quite colorful and I'm proud of myself for that!  :-)

I cooked it for a few hours in the crockpot then strained the veggies out and froze them for soup after the fast.  I now have broth for Tuesday and Wednesday. 

I chopped the beet greens and stems and put them in the blender along with some Apple & Eve Fruitables Apple Harvest juice.  By itself it's not too sweet, which is good, but the beet greens need sweetness!  I had to add apple cider, applesauce, and cinnamon to it and now have enough smoothie for today and tomorrow also!  I won't be using beet greens in a smoothie again, but I'm not going to waste this batch. 

Insights from A Hunger for God by John Piper:

Food is good.  But God is better. 

...from time to time we need to test ourselves to see if we have begun to love His gifts in place of God.  

It is the passionate resolve to resist anything that lures the heart away from an all-controlling satisfaction in God. 

I will...allow my heart to be probed with fasting to see where my allegiance is and who is my God.  

Physically, I'm feeling fine.  I get tired a little more than usual, but that's to be expected.  I take a nap and am able to continue on with my day.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Day 2

Here are my thoughts from today:

1. Down 3 pounds in 1 day??? I ate yesterday so how can that be?! I'm not complaining, but...

My friend, trainer, and nutritionist, Brandice Lardner of www.fitnessinfusiononline.com said that when our bodies store carbohydrates, they hold onto a water molecule, so if you stop eating carbs you will see a quick weight loss.

Okay. Makes sense.

2. Usually when I'm hungry and get a growl, it's way over on my left side. I mean WAAAAY on the left side. Like my side. Not my stomach/abdomen. This morning I'm getting a growl right in the middle of my abdomen.

3. Insights from A Hunger for God by John Piper: "The weakness of our hunger for God is not because he is unsavory, but because we keep ourselves stuffed with other things. Perhaps, then, the denial of our stomach's appetite for food might express, or even increase, our soul's appetite for God."

"The issue is not food per se. The issue is anything and everything that is, or can be, a substitute for God."

"The danger of eating is that we fall in love with the gift; the danger of fasting is that we belittle the gift and glory in our willpower."

"The true mortification of our carnal nature is not a simple matter of denial and discipline. It is an internal, spiritual matter of finding more contentment in Christ than in food."

"Faith is a spiritual feasting on Christ with a view to being so satisfied in Him that the power of all other allurements is broken."

4. Hot tea without honey and cream is just not worth drinking. Blech! I'd rather do without.

5. Why am I doing this 20-day fast? Wouldn't one day be fine like I usually do once a week? I had gotten lax and not been diligent about controlling my appetite. I was slowly creeping back to eating whatever I wanted when I wanted it. Not overeating, but definitely letting flesh have its way. That has to stop. This fast is to rein in my flesh and remind it that God is in control.  And no, one day would not be enough right now. 

6.  I took a 1-hour nap this afternoon and then went on a ¾-mile walk instead of my usual 3-mile run.  The weather was beautiful, wasn’t it?!  The distance seemed just right to me.  Not too much and not too little.  I thought I would just automatically run when I got to my starting point, but I didn’t.  I was surprised.  I guess I need this rest.  I had a little bit of pain in my foot so it’s good that I didn’t run. 

7.  Going to start taking a multivitamin. 

8.  I saw some earrings today that I forgot I had.  I saw them more than 20 years ago at Wet 'N Wild in Orlando and thought they were cute.  I haven't worn them probably since before Brianne was born.  Now I don't think they're cute.  God little by little shows me things that I need to get rid of.  These earrings are the latest thing.  I thought maybe one of you might want them, but the paint is chipping off them and the post is bent on one.  Here's the picture: 

8.  Tired of salad.  Well, no more until Feb. 2.  Just water, juice, smoothies, and veggie broth for the next 16 days.  And Jesus.  :-D

9.  "The Motions" by Matthew West just came on the radio.  I don't remember if that was one of the songs that helped me the first time I did this fast or if it came later, when I was training for my first 5K.  Either way, it still inspires me.  The first line is, "This might hurt, it's not safe, but I know I've got to make a change."  Pretty appropriate, huh?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Still Day 1

Okay, I had Brianne take a picture this afternoon to document the start of this journey. 

I actually like this picture.  That's an added benefit of the weight loss these last few years.  I don't automatically dislike pictures of myself. 

I had a salad of spinach, tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers for lunch with salsa dressing.  The salsa is from Carmelita's and I've said for years that I could eat it with a spoon and forget the chips because it's so good!  It still is, but it seems very salty this time.  Fish tacos I had at Tijuana Flats the other day were very salty too.  I don't like much salt anyway, but these were extra salty.  Now the salsa.  Am I getting more sensitive to salt? 

I also had the salad for supper then went to the store for veggies for the broth starting Tuesday.  I wanted to go to a produce stand and get more unusual veggies, but I was at Wal-Mart with my parents, so that's where I shopped.  I got beets, carrots, green peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, and yellow squash.  I'll add the leftover salsa, onion, and whatever appropriate spices I have on hand.  This is a good start.  The next time I need veggies I can try for more unusual ones.  At least this time I got a variety of colors!

Confession:  I made a cup of tea this afternoon and put half & half in it.  There's supposed to be no dairy on this fast.  My thought was to use it up since I have a half-pint.  I could freeze it, but it's a pain to thaw milk.  I have poured food down the drain as a sacrifice or just to remove the temptation, so I have that option.  I did that just tonight with the little bit of eggnog-flavor creamer I use for tea.  Anyway, I won't have dairy again until February 2 or 3, when I'm transitioning out of the fast. 

One more thing:  I saw this as I walked into Wal-Mart tonight:

A new cereal from Kellog's - Krave.  It's little pillows of grain with chocolate inside.  Or I could get the kind where even the pillows of grain are chocolate.  Or I could've chosen caramel Cheerios (dulce de leche).  Ai yai yai!  I don't expect any better from the world, but still...siiiiiiigh.  Really?  I didn't read the box, but my impression is that this is being marketed as a fairly healthful option.  Seems to me it should be marketed as junk.  Maybe I'm overreacting.  The fact that it's called Krave and one of the books that helped me so much on this issue is called Made to Crave did not escape my notice. 

Stepping off my soapbox now. 

Working and then sleeping.  Good night.  :-)

Day 1

Good Sunday morning, friends!

I haven't posted here since the Jingle Bell Run almost six weeks ago.  I've still been running, but there hasn't been much happening to report on.  Until now. 

More than two years ago, when I was doing The Lord's Table Bible study at www.settingcaptivesfree.com I did a 20-day fast that is part of their Phase II.  I loved it!  It was a time of getting rid of much of self physically, emotionally, and spiritually and of getting more of Jesus.  For a few months now I've wanted to do it again but the timing wasn't right.  Now it is.  Today is day 1.  I'm finishing up my fruit salad for breakfast:  apple, orange, banana, peach, and pear tossed with a little orange juice. I'll have it for breakfast tomorrow too with some strawberries.  I forgot to take them out of the freezer and I don't want to put them in the microwave and have them be warm.  For lunch and supper today and tomorrow I'll have a veggie salad with salsa for dressing.  No meat, cheese, creamy dressing, or oily dressing.  Tuesday will start the liquid portion of the fast:  water, juice, smoothies, and veggie broth.  No potatoes or meat in the broth and no dairy, protein, or peanut butter in the smoothies.  That will last for 16 days and the last two will be transition days out eating fruit salad for breakfast and veggie salads for lunch and supper but I can add back in meat, cheese, and dressing. 

I plan to blog every day about how things are going and what God's teaching me.  I expect the usual lessons about denying my flesh, etc.  I want more now, though.  To be honest, I want weight loss.  The last time I did this I lost 17 pounds and gained back 4 (which is to be expected) for a net loss of 13 pounds.  I'd like to do at least that this time.  That's not my primary motivation, but it is a motivation.  My primary motivation is to remind myself that I can live with a lot less food than I've been eating and that it's God who sustains me, not physical food.  I slowly got away from following the eating plan The Lord's Table recommends.  I wasn't overeating like before, just not being diligent.  I was still fasting one day a week most weeks but would occasionally skip fasting just because I wanted to eat.  Flesh was starting to rear its ugly head again.  I know I gained fitness last year by starting to run seriously, completing two 5Ks (!), doing two 8-week sessions of fitness class and now ongoing weekly boot camp with www.fitnessinfusiononline.com.  I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that all that fitness caused muscle gain and consequently less actual weight loss.  I'm glad I'm more fit, but I want weight loss too.  I'm human and a woman, and I want weight loss!  Just being honest.  Hopefully God will change my perspective through this fast so that reason fades into the background and more spiritual reasons arise.  Yes, I see the inconsistency here and I'm admitting it to you. 

I got on the scale this morning and it said __________.  You didn't really think I was going to tell you the actual number, did you?!  :-)  I also measured, but I'm not going to tell you those numbers either.  I will report weight lost every day and a final weight and measurements.  I'll report what God shows me and how I'm feeling physically.  I'll have Brianne take a before picture this afternoon and post it. 

I still have to work this whole time, but I'm going to stop running and stop going to boot camp.  I'll walk some in place of the running, but not 3-3.4 miles like I have been doing. 

I've started printing out the emails I sent out with my last 20-day fast so I could read them and remember what it was like.  I'll do this one by blog instead.  My regular Bible reading is in Luke so I'll share insights from that.  Also, I'm reading A Hunger For God by John Piper again.  If I finish it before the end of this fast, I'll re-read Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst and share insights. 

I would appreciate your prayers for the next three weeks and your encouragement.  You can leave comments on this blog.  I'll be sharing announcements of new posts on Facebook so you can access this blog easily, but I don't want to blow a trumpet announcing the fact that I'm fasting. 

If anyone has a juicer I can borrow for this time, please let me know.  I'd like to give that a try in place of making smoothies in the blender all the time.   

So, picture this afternoon and insights if I have any.  See you then!