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Thursday, October 15, 2015

The 7 Experiment month one - food

Well, my newest obsession revolves around a book (big surprise).  It's called The 7 Experiment by Jen Hatmaker.  My friend introduced it to me with the sentence - "You have to read this, it's so you."  All I had to do is read the back and I was hooked.  This author looked at seven areas of excess in her life and pared them down to the essentials.  Most of the areas were the same ones I've been making changes to in my own life - food, clothing, possessions, media, waste, spending, and stress.

In my life (somewhat documented in my story, Journey of 100 Bags) I made gradual, sustainable changes in various areas.  Jen Hatmaker took it to the extreme.  She considered each section a fast and her goal was for God's kingdom to break through in her life. 

For the first month she ate only seven foods - chicken, eggs, whole wheat bread, sweet potatoes, spinach, avocados, and apples.  She examined the Western diet and discovered how it is making us sick and fat.  She explored the ideas of whole food, organic, local food, and industrial agriculture.  She looked at how much food we waste as well as what God has to say in the Bible about food and our bodies.  She looked at the world around her and how so many are starving while a few are so indulged. 

I was challenged and excited.  I tried a water fast for one meal - yep just 1 meal.  I was miserable.  I felt weak and hungry and irritated.  I learned that fasting knocks me off center, shakes me up and reveals my character flaws.  It's not fun. 

Then I decided to follow one of Jen's suggestions and fasted from seven foods in my ordinary diet.  This was easier than the water fast, but it still got old fast.  I was not entirely successful.  One particularly stressful day I came home and ate cinnamon rolls.  These are not one of my trigger/binge foods, but they are a treat and one of the seven foods I chose to fast from.  I learned that I still turn to food for comfort.  One day my daughter drank the last of my unsweetened tea.  I snapped at her.  I was tired of drinking tea with no sugar to start with, but if it ran out I only had water.  I was embarrassed to see that a drink was that important to me.  Another day I was again bemoaning my lack of sweet tea when I looked at my glass of water and decided to be grateful.  I was thankful that I live in a country with pure water and that I can even afford to buy bottled water if I want to.  I learned that my life is full of blessings that often go unrecognized.

Food month was hard.  That means I need to do it again sometime.   I have more to learn... but this month is clothes. Bring on the next adventure.

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