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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Scene I'm Not Sure How to Write

I want to be light-hearted about this, I really do.
I want to be funny and courageous. 
Losing weight can be fun, right.
Going without food for 18 hours a day is insightful, yes. 
I can have ah-ha moments.  
I can think deep and marvel at the body God created for me.

Or, I can clean out my refrigerator.

That’s what I did yesterday. 

I lost my mind in moldy zucchini sitting in a puddle of juice in the bottom drawer of my refrigerator. 

I let the moments tick by while I watched the baby crawl towards his toys.  Inch by inch he moves his little body, lifting his knee and then pushing off with his other foot.  

Now that’s cute.  

Cute is what you get when you watch a baby crawl. 

I used to be funny and I know I’m still fun, but first, there’s something I’ve got to do.

I’m working on my memoir Starving Girl 

and I have to write a scene that’s eating me alive.

How’s that for a pun.  A starving girl has something eating her alive.  Funny, huh.

Writing this memoir, it’s now necessary to explore the path of a girl who realizes she is so much more than a victim to a gray-haired man double her age who walks with a limp and smells like cigarette smoke. 

At the ice cream store she works at, he doesn’t act much like her boss, even though he is.  

With not much experience, this girl is good at making ice cream cakes. 

The first time her boss touches her she's standing next to the back counter mixing purple frosting.  His boldness shocks the girl and she's not even certain what just happened.

“What do you think you’re doing?’ she tries to say boldly, but all she  can do is whisper.
“Whatever I want,” he says with steady eyes. 

The girl places the frosting tube down on the counter, walks to the bathroom with the cement floor and locks the door.  She looks in the mirror and her pale face stares back at her like a ghost.

For months, her boss double her age continues his game of cat and mouse; teasing, pulling, reaching, tormenting, bullying, threatening, accusing, abusing all while she earns minimum wage.

So naive is the girl, so very trusting and curious she doesn’t see the writing on the wall.  Yes, she’s frightened.  She knows what he’s doing is wrong.  She knows he’s married.  She’s told several people who are close to her of the dilemma she’s in, but no one offers help.  Do they even believe her?
Besides his demands, she’s all alone.

Only when the boss man’s wife is killed, hit by a drunk driver and decapitated, does he leave the girl at the ice cream shop alone.  The girl comes uninvited to the funeral, crying like a fool, wanting someone to touch her so she can feel alive but he acts like he doesn’t know her.  She becomes indivisible.  Problem is, the girl is now addicted to the horrible games of cat and mouse he’s introduced her to.  Why doesn’t her boss want her now?  Why does he abandon her?

They say "time heals all wounds."  I think the saying might be better off “time helps forget deep-rooted rotten wounds.” 

And time did help.  I did move on, but with the scars of abuse I became trapped in another and yet another scenario, almost replaying the same games over and over again with men until one day I found my voice.  I said enough.  I broke free, went on a 18-month mission for my church and returned a new girl. 

I was a woman who understood the power of Jesus Christ can heal and empower.  You see, my love for my Savior is my anchor.  He understood my pain; He healed my heart and set me free.

I was flying, finding my way and dreaming big when I found out my boss from the ice cream shop committed suicide.  Nobody knew my relationship with him, that as a young girl I had given my heart to a man who stole it from me first so when I was asked if I would be attending his funeral I numbly said “Yes.”

And this my friends is the scene I have to write for Starving Girl.

How I shook as I approached his coffin.  My skin was ice cold.

How even through all my healing; even though he was dead, I was still afraid of him.

How I looked for any evidence I could find that he did in fact shoot himself in the head.

And most importantly, how I found the strength through Jesus Christ to forgive him.

Because this journey is not about being a victim, it's about overcoming.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Since fasting, I’ve become more aware, even alert that people all throughout the world go without food every single day.

So, what got me through my first true day of fasting?
Here I am November 2015, six weeks before I started my experience with intermittent fasting.
Desperate, the answer surprised me. 

After sending the kids off to school, I cleaned up the breakfast dishes when the first wave of hunger hit.  The hunger was an earth-moving force and I gripped onto the side of my kitchen counter.  My stomach felt like a black hole and there was soreness.  The actual muscle of my stomach ached, but nothing about the hunger made me crave food. 
Soon after, the first hunger pains subsided and I carried on with my day.  Dishes, laundry, and of course taking care of the most adorable baby ever when at 2:00pm I became hungry again; hunger like I’d never felt before.  The hunger felt like a monster growling from the inside out.  The sensation frightened me.  What was I doing?  Going without food didn't seem healthy.  Something was wrong with me when in my mind I cried out to God.
“Please, I need to eat.  I can’t do this, it’s too hard.”
“Not yet,” a voice in my mind said. 
“Then when can I eat,” I asked. 
“4:00pm,” the voice answered back.  
Two more hours without food? It didn’t seem possible.  I started to feel the weight of what I was doing.  Was this even safe?  The uninvited guest of self-doubt barged into my mind, reminding me of past failures.  Was this just another time to commit myself to something regarding food only to fail later?  Something inside me nudged back, something that was battling my self-doubt and I recognized it as the spirit of God.  
It said loud and clear:
“Do not be afraid of hunger.  You need to feel this.”

I knew I needed to fast, but the commitment felt like sugar running through my fingers.  In theory, fasting was a nice concept but actually playing it out wasn’t something I could do.  I couldn’t do it in the moment, let alone for 30 days.  I was in a kitchen full of food but there was nothing I could eat.  I had every food imaginable yet there I stood starving. 
“I’m starving,” I shouted in my mind when I felt the influence of someone.  It was a girl; a hungry girl.
I searched out this painting and the era of this beautiful girl somewhat resembled what I saw in my mind.
1800 Louis Leopold Boily (French painter, 1761-1845) Young Woman Ironing
Her presence came upon me quickly and there was an urgency to her arrival.  So insistent was she on gaining my attention, I spoke out loud to her.  “I know you’re here,” I said, startled I was speaking to a spirit.  So real was she, so very present was her influence I could see every detail.  In my mind I saw a tall blonde English girl with a light blue apron tied to her thin waist and a kerchief wrapped around her mousy blonde hair.  She was poor and desperate.  She was starving and through her expression and physical appearance, I could see her pain.
She needed to tell me something, but could only do it through prayer.  “Yes, I’m going,” I said kindly to her as I rushed in my room and fell to my knees.  She wanted me on my knees.  I understood and started crying because I knew she was hungry.  She’d been hungry for a long time and my own hunger became insignificant. 
“I’m sorry,” I said to her.  “I didn’t understand what it meant to be hungry.  I didn’t understand what you went through; what you suffered for me, for my mother and grandmothers.” 
            In my mind, she was holding a bucket and stood by a well.  She was worried and weak.  There was no other option for her and in my heart; I felt she knew her fate.  She wouldn’t make it.  She’d seen loved ones die; her pain had been real and great.  I imagined for a second what it must have been like to be literally starving when in my mind I saw myself attending a wedding reception.  Wearing a tight dress, I was uncomfortable because I’d eaten too much food.  Although I was too full to eat, I’d helped myself to a second piece of wedding cake.  Using my finger, I slopped a glob of frosting onto my tongue and quickly forced it down.  I didn’t take the time to taste it and wasn’t present enough to appreciate it, but I went and took another bite anyway.  Another smudge of frosting with another subconscious swallow and I had downed the entire cake.  With the presence of this starving ancestor watching me in her desperate condition, I felt sick. 
I’d been so selfish.  I was a selfish person who for years ate food without a thought to those who went without.  I thought I understood the poor, but I didn't.  Food, no matter the quantity, time of day, or needs of others was to be put in my mouth as fast as I could get it there?  When had that happened?  Why was I stuffing myself with food when others had little or none?  I felt like a drunken king with a greasy turkey leg and a dripping glass of wine all the while demanding more food.  How many plates had I filled with food only to later throw away?  Hundreds?  Thousands?  Such a pitiful act was not right.  I had no idea how hurtful this might be to someone who was starving.  There had to be some validation for those who went without. 
I needed to feel how my ancestors felt when they were starving. They were not able to self indulge every time they had a craving.  They had to work for what they ate and they had to feel hunger pains when there wasn’t any food. The experience made me so sick at myself, the very thought of food made me dry heave.  Never had the feeling of hunger screamed so loudly at me.
The message came clear as sunlight breaking through a rain cloud.  I needed to feel hunger.  I needed to feel comfortable being hungry.  Hunger need not rule me.  I was to rule hunger.  I had more power than hunger.  More importantly, I was to deeply feel the physical symptoms of hunger; the rumbling of the stomach, the fizz in the brain, the fatigue in the bones, the mental awareness that food was not an option – I needed to feel this for those who lived with hunger, those who died hungry – even starved to death.  I could feel them all around me.  I had ancestors in my genealogical line that had lived with hunger and had died because of it. They were with me.
  A starving girl in a house full of food knows she’s not really starving, she just thinks she is.  Through fasting, the suffering of others has become very real to me.  I fast for 16 – 18 hours and then get to eat, but some people go without food and are uncertain where their next meal will come from.  
Starving sisters sitting on the pavement in the Warsaw ghetto, Poland. The small girl died after one week
The picture was taken by Heinz ., a German soldier (Wehrmacht) posted in the Warsaw area in 1941.
Going without food is a humbling experience and for me, it’s a necessary reminder to pray for the poor, give a generous fast offering (money to help feed the poor) and be humble in the blessings I’ve been given.  
No longer do I say "I'm starving."  It's sacrilegious to those who truly are suffering.  Instead I say, "I'm hungry" or "I'm ready to eat." 

Intermittent fasting and prayer is the first time in my life eating has nothing to do with losing weight or body image.  It is about praying for others and having gratitude for the blessings in my life.  It is absolutely glorious.  I sing praises to the creator of the fast, it truly is inspiring.  
Easter 2016 and I've been practicing intermittent fasting for 80+ days.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Intermittent fasting - God is my sponsor; He holds me accountable.

It’s been almost 80 days since I started intermittent fasting and every day is a blessing.
(Canyon says "Hi.")

How did I get from there?

To here?

(Yes, I'm always wearing my baby.)

How did I go from discouraged and fat to liberated and on a path to healing and health?

I was absolutely certain I would never find anything that would help me take control of my body.

My life would be regret, denial and food.

I was going to have foot pain, back pain, belly fat and other obesity-related problems.

That’s how American’s age, right?

A few days ago while fasting, I was in the kitchen preparing a Sunday dinner for me and about 30 of my favorite people in the world.  I made homemade lemon bars, chocolate zucchini Texas sheet cake, chopping fruit, mixing salad and on and on.  Staring out my kitchen window, I had an epiphany. 

Why was I not tempted to eat even a morsel of all the food right in front of me? 
Food did not control me.
Food was the last thing from my mind.

I thought about this for a moment and reflected on diets of my past.  Food had always been a temptation for me.  I would sneak and deny.  Problem was, I was lying to myself.  Food was the reason I was overweight.  Sure, I’d been pregnant and gained weight, but ultimately food was my master.  I blamed it for so many of my problems.  I ate with resentment, always rushed, always wanting more.  I hated it, but didn’t have the slightest idea how to change.

The beauty of intermittent fasting and prayer is I became present.  No longer do I live in a state of either procrastination or rush.  The small pulses of hunger throughout the 16-hour daily experience (and I promise hunger can be empowering) are like little mental post-it notes; reminding me of how strong and blessed I am.  With prayer leading the way, I’m in a constant state of learning.  I talk to God throughout the day and it keeps the negative voices in my mind hushed. 

So while chopping fruit I decided to ask God, “Why am I not tempted to eat any of this food?” 

Before I share the answer, I must say my relationship with God has changed even more then my food habits.  My relationship with God is the primary reason I fast every day.  When I’m present, I recognize God in ways I’ve never experienced before.  Before fasting, I didn’t know God is always with me.  I didn’t feel worthy of such a gift.  God’s presence in my life had nothing to do with my worthiness, but everything to do with His love for me.  When I finally hushed my mental dialogue of negativity, I could hear God.

So, when I asked God, “Why am I not tempted to eat any of this food?”  His answer made me gasp out loud.

The answer was: I am your sponsor.  When you fast, I hold you accountable.  

When this amazing idea entered my mind, I literally giggled.  That happens a lot now.  My relationship with my Heavenly Father makes me smile and laugh and celebrate.  I talk to Him in the kitchen, on my afternoon runs and in my bedroom on my knees.  I love my time with Him.  Where I once felt shame, even put off praying because I lacked faith, I’ve become a daddy’s girl to Him.

I was in Sedona a few days ago walking in the canyon along a creek bed trail with my family. 

Late in the day, the counselor took the kids back to the car and I stayed to listen to the creek.  I loved the way water shimmered and carried on.  The rocks glistened with earth colors as the clear water rolled over them.  

I’ve always loved water and find it healing to my soul.  I was nearing the end of my 16-hour fast and decided to say a prayer.  I was praying that day for on of my hero’s Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, an international coalition to expose and oppose forced abortion, gendercide and sexual slavery in China.  I expressed my love for Reggie and prayed she would be blessed on her path.  The woman is unstoppable and has the courage of a lion.  I admire her greatly and see her as a role model for women.  

After my prayer, I started up the trail when something in my mind said “Ask God what He wants to say to you?”
“Ok,” I thought and walked back to the spot I’d just been praying.  I folded my arms and asked “God, what do you want to say to me?” 

At that moment, I turned my head ever so slightly when I saw something that took my breath away.
A water fall.

I’d been standing in that very spot for how long and hadn’t seen a water fall?  Buried in the ivy and camouflaged by a small crevice behind it, there it was. 

Again, I gasped out loud. 
Again, I giggled with pure delight. 

God is so present, He is always there and has so many beautiful things to teach and share.
I stared at the waterfall, knowing God had shown it to me.  God’s love filled my beating heart and hungry stomach.  It would be another hour or so before I ate.  God’s presence keeps me so full.  His glory is rich beyond measure.

Intermittent fasting and prayer is not about food, but about finding the best of life, the best of self and the absolute grace of God.

Despite all the this, despite the miracles and waterfalls, despite how far I've come, despite my desire to know and understand God I still have times I don't know what I'm doing.  I'm like a child who has been taught a lesson and the very next moment I need the lesson taught again.  I'm easily distracted by feelings of doubt and the difficulty of overcoming the odds.

I'm on a journey, a long journey of healing and health.  I will be fasting for a year.  This experience is fragile and to be handled with care.

I was out running yesterday, working through all my emotions when I told God I was scared.  It's still scary letting go, losing weight, writing, struggles with my kids, household demands and late-night baby snuggles that leave me sleep-deprived the next day.  I told God I was scared I couldn't do it and He told me it would be alright.  He would be with me.  He loves me.

My memoir Starving Girl - My 30-day Experience with the Miracle of Intermittent Fasting and Prayer is done, although I have major editing to do.  Here's a peak at my book cover.  

I'm so happy I wrote about my first 30-days of intermittent fasting.  I was on a roller coaster ride and I learned so much about hunger as a teacher, dieting is for victims, food addiction, living in the present, loving babies, overcoming sexual abuse and discovering God's grace.  In the next few weeks, Starving Girl will be up on Amazon and Kindle.  

Friday, March 11, 2016

What Type of Body Did God Want Me to Have

While fasting, the following thought ran through my mind:  I've always desired the type of body the world told me to have.  I never considered the type of body God wanted me to have. 
I started thinking about the messages the world teaches a woman about her body.  Distorted female body images were everywhere from airbrushing models to anorexia.  If a woman didn’t look a certain way she was deemed not beautiful.  Funny thing was many of the women who were models had been open about their own body image issues.  Despite their beauty, they struggle with accepting their body as well. 
Several years ago, I was talking with my thin and physically-fit sister-in-law.  I shared my frustration with my body and my inability to maintain a healthy weight. 
“I have the worst genes,” I said.  “My metabolism sucks.” 
I told her a bit more about my body image, how I could hardly look in the mirror without having an inner dialogue of shame and hurt.  This sister-in-law, in her state of almost perfect physical appearance mentioned she suffered with the same trial.  She had the same inability to appreciate the physical perceptions of her body.  As a teenager, she’d struggled with an eating disorder and spent most of her time in a state of anxiety about how her body looked.  I was shocked.  With her outward physical beauty, why would she struggle? 
What type of body would God want me to have? 
Chandler in January 2000
I thought of what my body had accomplished.  I’d given birth to six beautiful strong children.  I’d nursed them each through the first year of their life.  I’d ran ½ marathons and 10K’s.  Every day I lifted furniture and held babies.  I’d done flips on the trampoline and dove into the refreshing waters of my backyard swimming pool.  I’d taught my children to swim and how to ride a bike.  With my fingers I’d pulled the stinger of a wasp out of Payson’s foot. I had the knowledge to make a paste out of baking soda.  After applying it to his skin the pain subsided.  How did I know that?  When Mayer, at the age of 14 months fractured his leg, I knew it was so.  How?  The fracture was so small only an x-ray could detect it, but I knew by the sounds of his cry something was seriously wrong.  I’d wrapped him up in my arms and rushed him the emergency room.  I painted dresser after dresser to help pay for Chandler’s braces.  It only took 3 months to earn the money and I’d marveled God provided me a job with such immediate financial results.  Because of my body I rocked sick babies to sleep and pushed babies in a double stroller up the giant hills of Seattle.  On my wedding day, when my husband insisted carrying me in his arms, I stated “We have an equal-opportunity marriage” and I did the same to him.  Although he weighed 40 pounds more than me, I wrapped my arms around him and with all the strength I could muster carried him over the threshold into our new home.  I could giggle like a crazy bird and leap like a gazelle.  That was the type of body the Lord wanted me to have; a body that allowed me to live and feel and love. 
God didn’t care if I looked good in a bikini or wore a size six – I cared about those things.  The world told me a bikini body was the ideal.  The focus on my body had been for my own gain, for attention and beauty.  No wonder I felt uncomfortable when other men looked at me.  No wonder I felt little control about setting boundaries with men when the focus on my body was how the world wanted me to look.  Every image of women from billboards to magazines was screaming “Look at me, lust after me, desire me.”  Now longer did I want a body that desired to be “looked” at in such a way. 
When I thought of the body God wanted me to have I was a mom in a comfortable pair of jeans on a Saturday morning mowing the lawn.  I mean really, what use did I have for a body that froze-framed in poses of enticement and seduction.  These images of women forced sexuality down society’s throat.  It all made sense.  The devil was a liar.  He’d convinced my body wasn’t worth much if it didn’t look like the false images of woman all around me, but I had the wool pulled off my eyes.  I wasn’t falling for the lies anymore.  I only wanted what God wanted.  He wanted me healthy, strong and vibrant.  My body was perfect how it was for He had created it.
Come see me speak on intermittent fasting tomorrow Saturday March 12, 2016 at 2:30 at the Christ-centered Energy Healing Conference in Mesa AZ.  More information here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I don’t want to be strong today

I don’t want to be strong today.
I’ve spent a lot of days being strong lately.
But, today, I don’t want to be strong.

I want to stare and wonder.
There’s nothing in particular I want to wonder about.
I just want to feel the wind and breath.

Today, I want my body for me; to rest. 
I don’t want to carry others. 
I only want to carry me.
When my back bends and moves, I don’t want to feel any strain. 
I only want to feel its support holding me up.  
I don’t want to talk. 
I only want to listen to gentle poetic music. 
I don’t want to save anyone.  
I don’t want to dream and create.
I only want to live under the gray sky and feel the most gentle drops of rain fall on my skin.

Today, I’m tired of change. 
I don’t want to grow.
I don’t want to be challenged. 
I don’t want to prepare.
I don’t want to be strong.
I only want to hold my baby and smell his skin and listen to him breath.
Today, I will let my baby hold me. 

Hold me baby, because I almost lost you and I need your constant presence to remind me everything is alright. 

Baby, today be determined for the both of us.
Be strong. 
Challenge yourself and let me watch how its done.
Because baby, your strong everyday.
Save me through your tired smile.
I only want to hear you.
Let me kiss your soft skin and hold you while you sleep.

Please hold me, baby. 

Please hold me because I dont' want to be strong today.

Heading home from the ER after our baby had a febrile seizure. Canyon had a spike in fever and was not responding. In the ambulance he started having a seizure. The Dr. said this is very common when a baby's fever spikes. I had given him a bath to lower his temperature and that's when he stopped responding. Eyes glared over, skin turned blue, nonresponsive. I gave CPR while Derek called 911. The ambulance arrived right away and Derek gave him a blessing. In the ambulance, his seizure became worse and his temperature dropped. He felt ice cold. When we arrived at the hospital his seizure was pretty strong. They had to help him with oxygen and helped so he wouldn't swallow his tongue. The doctor is very optimistic Canyon will be fine with no long-term side effects. We love all of you and appreciate your prayers.
 — at Cardons Children's Hospital.

Thank you everyone for all your prayers and love for Canyon. This is where we are at: we have a very cranky baby with all the symptoms of the flu and still disoriented but pulling through like a trooper. If he's not in my arms he better be in somebody else's or he's not happy, but we'll take it. Our family experienced a true miracle and we are so thankful to a loving father in heaven who healed our son. #championbaby #likeachamp #poorbaby#miraclebaby

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Intermittent fasting – How to Start

Hi, let me introduce you to my food crutches.

Because I’d grown up fasting, I was accustomed to the pattern of skipping two consecutive meals on day a month. Although difficult, most fast Sundays I’d at least attempted to fast. I can only think of one time I actually did it 100%.

January 3, 2016, was only going to be another attempt to complete a fast I when I felt impressed I should fast for another 30 days. Yes, I questioned my sanity more then once.

January 4, 2016 was an interesting day for me. Other than 100% committed to fasting, I had no idea what I was doing. After getting the kids off to school, I cleaned up the breakfast dishes when the first wave of hunger hit. The hunger was an earth-moving force and I gripped onto the side of my kitchen counter. I thought the hunger from the day before was tough, but this was a whole new level. My stomach felt like a black hole and there was soreness. The actual muscle of my stomach ached, but nothing about the hunger made me crave food. I didn’t feel desperate. I didn’t feel out of control. I felt surprisingly in control. I felt present and accountable when I felt in my heart should pick two grapefruit from my tree, juice them and drink.

Grapefruit juice became my first of three food crutches.

On January 5, 2016 I stumbled out of bed dizzy and lightheaded.  I held onto the wall as I walked into my daughter’s room.  The sky was dark as night and I could hear the rain pouring down on the roof.  Barely able to move, I started boiling some water for mint tea.  I took some aspirin and once the kids left for school laid back down.  The baby awoke and with the little energy I had, we played on the floor with his toys.  I’m not sure what was going on.  Either I was having a strange detox or I had the worst cold in the history of mankind.  
At this point, I did what I could to manage a little self-evaluation:

Self:  Are you ok?
Self:  Are you going crazy?
Self:  Do you need to eat?

Self, clearly and confidently said back to me: “No, I am fine.  Keep fasting.”
The spirit whispered “You crave sweet foods when you want something sweet out of life.  Fill yourself with the sweetness of the spirit of the Lord.” 
With the little energy I had, I opened my scriptures and read.  For the first time in my life, the scriptures literally came alive.  What I’d read time and time again felt brand new.  So startled was I by the beauty of the words and the profound importance of their message, I started reading the scriptures out loud.  I had to repeat passages over and over again, amazed at the understanding.  I’d heard to feast and hunger after righteousness, but I never expected the words to literally fill me up.  They did. 
January 6, 2016 introduced me to my second food crutch.  I was still very sick with my cold, but at least could manage caring for Canyon while the other kids were at school.  I felt impressed to drink some hot chicken broth.  I called my sweet mom and asked her to bring some over.  I drank the piping hot liquid and let it sooth my throat.  The taste was a salty confection of flavor.  Never had liquid tasted so good.
Chicken broth became my second food crutch.

From that day forward, I had grapefruit juice first thing in the morning and chicken broth around noon.

January 8, 2016 - Although I struggled throughout the day with hunger, it never affected my energy level.  I didn’t feel tired, I felt invigorated.  I wasn’t sure how that could happen without food in my belly, but it did.  There were many things I was starting to notice while fasting like greater mental awareness.  My temperament toward my children when the argued and were contentious was more mild.  I could talk to them about how they felt without projecting my own disappointment and frustration.  Many times I felt like an observer in my home, like I was elevated above the chaos.  I reflected on what was happening around me and made quick and accurate mental assessments before reacting.  I didn’t feel the pressure of time because hunger kept me present.  I was living in the moment and could focus on the current crisis with my best self.  I also found an interesting confidence in what I was doing.  My newly-learned self-discipline quieted the voices in my head that before were constantly putting pressure on me.  No longer did I feel I was missing out on a greater purpose – all the “if only” moments that kept me from living the life I was experiencing to wanting the live the life I couldn’t seem to acquire.  My purpose was here, in my home, with my kids and I was to fast at this very moment.  I was journaling every day, reading my scriptures and praying.  A part of myself I thought was gone forever started peaking her head around the corner, making herself present.  No longer did I fight the mental energy to judge my time management or tasks of the day.  I was doing what was most important and my mental “naysayers” had nothing to say about that. The present hunger kept them shushed!
While working in the kitchen, I opened my cupboard and put my hand on a bag of Green Smoothie Girl protein powder.  I just stood there, staring at the bag when I realized what I was touching.  “I should have some of that,” I felt in my heart so I boiled some water and put a scoop into it.  Green Smoothie Girl protein powder is raw, vegan, organic and sprouted – and it tastes really good, especially when you’re fasting.
Green Smoothie Girl protein powder became my third food crutch.

To recap, my first three weeks consisted of the following:
First thing in the morning: two citrus, either juiced or eaten.  I did fluctuate between oranges and grapefruit.
10:00am: 1 scoop protein powder in boiling water.  Boiling water made me sip my drink, which really made it enjoyable and last longer.
1:00pm:  Boiling chicken broth.  Some days I drank an entire quart. 
4:00pm:  I broke my fast with prayer and opened the scriptures to see what God wanted to impress upon my heart.
Once I broke my fast for the day, I felt impressed to not follow any food plan.  I used common sense and because my stomach began shrinking, I could only eat about 1/3 of what I usually ate. 

On my next blog post, I’ll share how I learned because of my food crutches I was not really doing intermittent fasting, but then later I learned my food crutches were essential to starting a long-term true intermittent fast.  I’m telling you, this journey has had a lot of twists and turns; all directed by a loving Father in Heaven.  

Come see me speak on intermittent fasting March 12, 2016 at the Christ-centered Energy Healing Conference in Mesa AZ.  More information here.

If you have a question about my journey with intermittent fasting, please leave your question below or on my facebook page here.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Without food, who am I?

On Sunday January 3, 2016 I did something I hadn’t done in two decades.  I fasted.

As a Mormon, my Christian faith encouraged me to fast one day a month and abstain from eating for two consecutive meals, a task I’d ignored for 20 years.  Little did I know God had a surprise for me.  He wanted me to experience the same type of fast for 30 more days. 

30 days!!!
For 30-days I skipped breakfast and lunch and ate dinner at 4:00pm.

At first, I didn’t know what I was doing.  Going without food was like walking into a jungle with no guide or compass.  I stumbled and felt lost, but I knew what I was feeling was truth.  Fasting was a physical experience with a spiritual purpose and God’s presence in my life became immediate and all-encompassing.  I knew why I needed to fast.  I’d become emotionally passive and after having my last of six kids, I was ready to let myself go. 

Loving my sixth baby Canyon days after he was born.

I'd taken on a laissez-faire approach to life.  
Where I’d once been stalwart and determined I was a now a victim with a withering self-esteem.

Something needed to change in my life or I was going to slowly age into the sunset with all the benefits of obesity and poor health.  Fasting for 30 days was my gift, my necessary journey of high-seas and low-tides.  Some days, even moments I was elated while other times I felt like banging my head against the wall.  With all the spiritual benefits of fasting, I knew change wouldn’t come easy.  Change was painful, especially waking up from the ugly nap of denial and facing what years and years of complacency looked like.  Fasting was a tool a loving Father in Heaven created to help me remember who I was.

My husband has been such a support.

Without food to help me cope with my everyday emotions, on day 12 of my fast, I hit a wall.

Here’s an expert from my memoir Starving Girl of what I experienced:

Day 12 - I spent most of the day at home doing what I did – cleaning, laundry, caretaking, garbage collecting and I was somebody I didn’t wanted to be around.  There was a chip on my shoulder (unfortunately nothing I could eat), a grudge building in my heart that rang loud like an alarm, but unfortunately it wasn’t louder then the empty pit of hunger screaming back at me.  The hunger magnified all my emotions.  I knew I was hungry and I knew it was the emotional reasons I wanted to eat and I was mad as a bankrupt millionaire.  I missed the comfort of food, the way I could suck on a piece of chocolate or whip of a batch of cookies when I was bored or sad or scared.  I missed the impulsive eating where I could eat without giving it a second thought.  I missed the warmth of food, the punch of flavor and the freedom of moving my mouth.  I missed the escape and liberation.  I wanted food for unexplainable reasons – to feel like a kid again, to feel like a grown up, to feel safe, to feel cared for - to feel, to feel, to feel!  Without food, I had to feel everything!!!  I wanted to explode. In my mind I envisioned lacing up boxing gloves.  Punch, PUNCH I hit at my emotional punching bag.  Harder, harder and in my mind my body was sweating out the anger. The girl in my head growled loud and louder while hitting away at an almost disintegrated punching bag.  I showed it!  That punching bag had nothing on me!  I was starving!! I was starving, when my inner voice shouting at me “It’s not about the food!”
“What are you starving for?” I screamed back at myself in my mind.  “What is it you want!!”
The girl with the boxing gloves, exasperated, finally collapsed and breathed heavy while she collected her thoughts, but before long she was screaming back at me.
“I’m starving for life!  I’m starving to do something big, to reach beyond myself and not hold myself back any more.  I want to live.  I want my dreams!! I want what I know I can be.”
I knew it!  I wasn’t starving for food but something much, much bigger.  Food couldn’t even touch what I was starving for.  Food had nothing to do with it. 

Food had nothing do to with the hunger brewing inside me!
Food was actually holding me back.  Food controlled me.
Without fasting, I would have never learned this.

I knew I was overweight; I knew most days I hated my body but I didn’t know I had a food addiction until I started fasting. 

While researching food addiction, these particular questions made me realize how big of a problem I had:

Do you pray and ask God to help you with your weight, and then feel your prayers aren’t answered?

Do you find yourself eating when you are upset or reward yourself with food when you do something good?

Have you tried different diets or weight loss programs, but none has worked permanently?

At times fasting another day seemed impossible, but the blessings that came into my life were far greater than the hardship of going without food.  God knows all and He created a perfect system to overcoming the trials of obesity and food-addiction – that gift is fasting.
 After 30 days of fasting, I decided to keep going.

Now, my friends, I am going to ask for a gift from you.  I have a 200-page memoir I’ve written about my experience. If you think something I have to say can benefit you or someone you love, please share my blog posts on social media via facebook (click here to like my facebook page), instagram (lalalofgreen) or pinterest, etc. The only way I’m going to get the attention of an agent is by building my readership.  Please help my posts on intermittent fasting go viral.  I have so much more to share. 

Also, feel free to add comments with questions on my blog or facebook page and I will do my best to answer them on my next post. 

Never did I think I would conquer my food addiction and low self-worth and I have a long journey in front of me, but God knew obesity would be an epidemic in our day.  I truly feel intermittent fasting with prayer and an honest fast offering is the answer.  It's free and it's free-ing.  Research intermittent fasting and see if it is right for you. My favorite lecture is by Dr. Mike Lara and can be found by clicking here.  

Over the next few weeks, I will share what worked for me but your fast may be different from mine.  My brother fasts 7pm to 7am Monday through Friday and then does a 16-hour fast on Sunday.  My mom fasts until noon on weekdays and doesn’t fast over the weekend.  My other brother has given up energy drinks.  The point is to make your fast intentional.   Sacrifice something physical not only for your spiritual growth, but to pray for someone else in need.  Fasting is the answer to helping those in need.  It creates a greater awareness in us to think of others.  God will let you know your specific fast.