Recovery

Addiction Shows Up in Unlikely Places

I don’t know about you but the more time I spend with me, the more the “past” haunts me.  During these “stay at home” times, most nights I’m by myself since hubby is an essential employee.  Despite my best efforts, the inner gremlins of the past creep in.  I think about those I have hurt.  I think about the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” things.  I think about “what if”.  Not always a good place for a recovering addict.

I love this simple message:

“Don’t Stumble On Things That Are Behind You.”

I thought hard about this seemingly simple directive about a habit which trips so many of us up: looking back. Allowing the past to deter and diminish our present and our future.

I had an “epiphany” last night.  As I was thanking God for the blessings of the day and asking for his guidance, I realized I had again substituted one thing for another.  My addiction had shown up in an unlikely spot –  not really unlikely for me. Showing up in unlikely places is not uncommon for addicts if we don’t keep things in check.  No, I didn’t have thoughts of using drugs or drinking.  No, I didn’t go on a shopping spree.  I was eating “junk food” and hiding it.  Crazy, right?

I thought about the went last 5 days hubby had worked.  I went to pick up some groceries and here is what happened.

  • I stopped to Dunkin for my iced green tea.   It was Friday so I got a “free” donut”. I was out a second time on Friday to pick up Baby’s medicine.  Stopped at Dunkin again and got another “free” donut.
  • Went to Aldi’s for some fresh fruit and fresh veggies – a good thing, right?  They had Cadbury mini eggs on sale.  I have been obsessing over them for a week so I bought a whole bag along with a bag of Robin’s Eggs.
  • Stopped to Wawa and picked up bottles of Wawa diet tea. Not very healthy because of all of the artificial sweeteners.
  • Had to stop myself yesterday from going out just to get a Dunkin tea and a donut.

Each time I go on a shopping run, I end up buying something I normally would not eat or drink.  WHY???  I want what I want when I want it.  LOL. The crazy part is I was hiding all of this stuff from hubby.  I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal BUT it is how it starts, right?  Substitute one thing for another and keeping secrets.

I know I am only as sick as my secrets so I am letting them into the light….I’m sharing it publicly as a way to be accountable.  As harmless as it may seem to someone, it is the start of the spiral.   I beat myself up.  I start to justify things with “I haven’t gained any weight”, or “it is stress eating” or when this is over I will do better.  The truth is by then it will be too late…..the weight will be back and I will be miserable.  I have been riding the stationary bike every day for at least 20 minutes which has helped to keep me from gaining weight BUT it doesn’t justify the sneak eating.  This is an old behavior from my days of being a bulimic – the only difference is, I’m not purging.

I know I’m not alone….finding things to keep us busy and out of our heads can be tough.  I have been creating angels, reading, sewing and cleaning out closets.  I have been doing at least one video meeting a day – over the weekend it was 3 meetings a day.  WHY?  Because I know when I hear what others share, I am out of my head and I know I am not alone.

Today I am giving myself grace – it meets us in the asking for strength from our Higher Power.  Because of this I can move forward (and so can you) in His grace. Even when life is complicated and messy.

It’s not about locking things in a secret compartment of your heart. When we turn things over, no matter how insignificant it may seem to our Higher Power, He can give us the rest we long for. Healing for our heart wounds.

The reward of faith is freedom in our Higher Power. With this faith, the past has no hold on us.  Grace fixes our gaze forward.

So the next time I’m tempted to beat myself up because of a mistake, I will turn things over to my Higher Power and choose not to beat myself up, not to re-hash a painful conversation, not to blame another person … not to stumble on things behind me.

Instead I will reach for grace. I will reach for my Higher Power and call to Him for help.

This seems like a jumble of thoughts but I need to be accountable.  Are you struggling with keeping away from the “junk food”?  What are your best tips?  Share them with us..

Have a blessed day!

Hope Wissel

Tasty Tuesday: Italian beef and Lentil Stew

Thank you Weight Watchers USA for today’s recipe……

Last week, I took the plunge!  I signed back up for WW Online.  I know going to meetings can be overwhelming for me and it is hard to focus BUT I wanted to get off the few pounds which crept back on over the last year or so.  I am determined to get back to my goal weight.  It will help with the walking issues I am having with MS and I will feel better about ME!  So, watch for some YUMMy recipes to come your way….

The weather is getting colder and I am a soup/stew nut!  I could eat it for lunch and dinner   every day…. Slow-simmer soup is a cold-weather comfort food and makes the house smell so GOOD! This one takes just 20 minutes of prep and your slow cooker does the rest.  The result is a flavorful soup with tender pieces of beef. For the lentils, opt for green or brown lentils. They hold their shape better and add more texture than red lentils, which dissolve as they cook (ideal for a smoother soup). Dry lentils don’t need to soak like dried beans do before adding them to the soup.   It is a good idea to rinse them and remove any debris. You can substitute 2 cups of fresh green beans, cut into 2-inch lengths, for the zucchini, and 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley for the basil.
Total Time:  7 hr 20 min     Prep:  20 min     Cook: 7 hr     Serves:  6

Ingredients

  • 1 small, chopped uncooked onion(s)
  • 1 medium clove(s), minced garlic clove(s)
  • 1 large, diced uncooked zucchini
  • uncooked lean beef round: 16 oz, cut into 1-inch chunks, or 1 pound
  • ½ tsp, crushed dried oregano
  • 14½ oz, undrained canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp canned tomato paste
  • ¾ cup(s) dry lentils
  • 4 cup(s) canned beef broth
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup(s), fresh, slivered basil
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients except basil in 5- to 6-quart slow cooker; stir well. Cook on Low until beef is very tender, 6−7 hours.
  2. Stir in basil and cook 5 minutes longer.
  3. Serving size: 1½ cups

Headed to a tailgate party.  What better way to warm up then with a cup of soup!  Thirty One’s Market Thermal is the perfect way to keep things HOT….The Fresh Market Thermal is a stylish, portable thermal that’s large enough to hold two 9″x13″ casserole dishes. A must-have for family picnics, tailgating, trips to the beach, days on the boat, potlucks, grocery shopping or weekend camping. Its water-resistant Leak Lock® thermal lining means you can add ice to this cooler bag to keep food and drinks cold. Need more room? The sides unsnap and expand to give you more space inside. Long handles allow you to carry it over your shoulder when you need to be hands-free. The Fresh Market Thermal also features a zipper closure for securing contents and an exterior front pocket to hold other important items.

Have a blessed day!

Hope Wissel

Tasty Tuesday: Flourless Pumpkin Pancakes

It is the Pumpkin Spice time of year from coffee to cookies to marshmallows….These yummy pancakes will surely be a hit in your house.

Nutrition facts for the entire recipe: 169 calories, 4g total fat (0.5g sat fat), 420mg sodium, 16g carbs, 6.5g fiber, 4.5g sugars, 19.5g protein

Prep5 minutes     Cook:  5 minutes     FreestyleSmartPoints® value 2*  Makes: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup powdered peanut butter
  • 1 packet natural no-calorie sweetener (like Truvia)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup (about 2 large) egg whites or fat-free liquid egg substitute
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Seasonings:

  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • Optional toppings: lite pancake syrup, light butter

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix powdered peanut butter, sweetener, baking powder, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.
  2. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla extract, and stir until uniform. (Batter will be thick.)
  3. Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat.
  4. Add batter to form three medium pancakes (about 1/4 cup each).
  5. Cook until solid enough to flip, about 2 minutes. Gently flip, and cook until both sides are lightly browned and the inside is cooked through, about 2 minutes.

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Have a blessed day!

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Time for a Spiritual Checkup

Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message…

I have struggled with weight issues since I was a little girl. Part of my struggle is rooted in “fluffy” genes lovingly passed down to me through several generations of “fluffy” relatives. The remainder of my struggle is firmly rooted in the fact that I hate exercise, take medications that cause weight gain, enjoy eating, and sometimes use food as an emotional outlet and reward.

I was a young adult and living on my own before I realized that part of the creation process included green things called vegetables. The motto in our family was, “If it ain’t fried, it ain’t right.” Gravy was a condiment and potatoes a staple at every meal. No bread? How can you have a meal without bread? And dessert was a necessity. Get the picture?

Over the years, I have tried just about every diet I could find. I could always lose weight. I just could not keep it off. The day came when I threw in the towel.

My name is Mary, and I am a Carboholic.

I was done. I was burned out on diets and quick fixes. I didn’t want to be a certain size. I just wanted to feel good and to be as healthy as I could possibly be at this point in my life.

I went to a highly-recommended Christian nutritionist who asked me to complete a packet of 500 questions (not kidding), did an EKG, ran more blood tests than I have ever had run in my life, and introduced me to the coolest machine that measures fat and muscle in the body. After all the tests were in, Dr. Tague smiled at me and calmly said, “Mary, you are a malnourished woman.”

My mouth literally fell open in shock. At the time, I was at least 50 pounds overweight and ate pretty much everything in sight whenever I felt the slightest twinge of hunger. How could I possibly be malnourished?

The doctor went on to explain that I was indeed eating … but I was eating all the wrong things … at all the wrong times. In fact, I was dangerously low in several key vitamins and minerals. He handed me a small paper cup filled with a mixture of those vitamins and minerals to take before leaving his office and said, “If you were my patient in the hospital, I would not release you until some of these levels came up.” Now he had my undivided attention.

God often works the same way.

I spend more time working on ministry checklists than I spend in God’s Word.

Prayer is more often a drive-through event than the sit-down-at-His-feet experience it should be.

I give God the leftovers of my day when I should purposefully plan my time with Him.

Rather than investing time in relationships, I follow friends on Facebook or text them to ease my guilt.

I choose what is easiest and more convenient in ministry instead of choosing the best part of ministry, which is often messy and inconvenient.

I often allow the hedges of protection to go untended, resulting in a lack of boundaries and margins in my life.

I allow myself to become a malnourished Christian.

God then lovingly but unquestionably gets my attention in several ways – a crisis that knocks every prop but Him out from under me, or an illness that rips every choice out of my hands and really makes me stop. I can then get the spiritual nourishment that really feeds my soul. Nourishment like sustaining time in the Word of God … significant, life-giving time in prayer … nurturing time with encouraging friends … opportunities to give myself away in service.

After following the carefully laid out plan of my nutritionist for two years, I have lost 65 pounds, but that is not the best or most important news. I feel better than I have felt in many years! My blood work, EKGs, and BMI (body mass index) are all perfect. And the doctor has now pronounced me a well-nourished woman.

I want to be a well-nourished Christian. I am taking the next year to get my spiritual ducks in a row. I am seeking God on what I should and should not do. I am setting boundaries and asking my husband and accountability group to hold my feet to the fire in keeping those boundaries firmly in place. I am practicing saying “no.” I am bringing order to any areas of chaos. I am resting beside the still waters. And I know He will restore my soul just as He has restored my body in so many ways.

How about you? Are you a malnourished Christian? Today is the day to take a step toward spiritual health!

Have a blessed day!

Tasty Tuesday Recipes

Tasty Tuesday: Grandma Tillie’s Cole Slaw

Today’s Tasty Tuesday is about an amazing product I round at the Brick Farmer’s Market a few weeks ago.  I LOVE cole slaw but since I’m not able to have dairy and eggs, I haven’t been able to find the perfect one.  I was offered a sample while strolling one Saturday morning.  OMG!  It was amazing.  The perfect blend of ingredients. Their mission is a world of longer, heart healthier lives. They take pride in their product!

Here are some facts about them:

  • Just 6 Ingredients.
  • Better Taste, Better Quality!
  • No Mayonnaise!
  • Great For The Calorie Conscious! Only 50 Calories Per Serving!
  • Long Shelf Life!
  • At Grandma Tillie’s We Stand By Our Product!!
  • Our Packaging Is Tamper Resistant, Safe And Secure To Arrive Cold!
  • 10% of the purchase price of each container will go to Tackle Kids Cancer

Here are the nutritional facts.  I absolutely LOVE putting it on my salad – no need for dressing.

Here is the story behind the product straight from their website.  ……..Grandma Tillie was born in Warsaw, Poland on a potato farm. She was one of four siblings. After the family traveled to America, to Ellis Island, Tillie began her educational studies, and by the time she was ten years of age, she had mastered the English language. Her  entire life she helped out her parents in terms of financial support, as when she sought full time employment, to help her bed-ridden Mother.

Tillie’s rule in life gave her an understanding of the value of family ties and to cherish life instead of focusing on problems. She enjoyed dances in her town of Elizabeth, New Jersey, and spending time at Coney Island and the Jersey shore.

Tillie met my Sicilian Grandfather while working in a cigar factory in Newark, New Jersey, who she later married.

The downside is they will no longer be at the farmer’s market in Brick….BUT you can call to place orders or find out where you can pick some up. Their number is 908-330-5717.  Check at their Facebook page too:

Packing lunch, this makes a great side for any sandwich or add it to your salad.  Need a NEW lunch box??? Try Thirty One’s Lunch Break Thermal (one of my favorites).  It is the stylish way to take your lunch to work or wherever you and your family go. Great for school, the pool, sporting events, day trips, flights and dozens of other places. Extended handles allow you to tote this cooler bag over your shoulder so you can stay hands-free. An interior thermal lining keeps your food cool or warm, while an exterior pocket gives you a useful place to put your cell phone, keys or wallet. Makes a great gift for teachers, neighbors, friends and anyone else who loves to lunch!

Have a blessed day!