It all started with Jen Hatmaker. She and I have a love-hate relationship that she knows nothing about, wherein, she makes me feel guilty, makes me know grace, inspires me, challenges me, insults me, and makes me laugh all within a few sentences in her books and blog. I say all of this with the highest regard for her and her ministry, and I am BEYOND grateful for her passion in waging the war on our current culture. I appreciate her realness and humility through it all, and this is why I keep reading her work.
So, my buddy Jen, I promise I'm not a stalker, wrote this book called 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. It is essentially a book of seven challenges to hopefully draw attention to the most common areas of excess in our lives and help us rid ourselves of all that distracts us from Christ. In the first chapter, she talks about our love for food - quantity and variety. This has always been an area of struggle for me. I have often referred to myself as a "food addict", and I have actually compared myself to drug addicts when talking about my
The challenge to wage the war against food excess is to choose seven foods and eat only those foods for a month. WHAT?! Seriously, I am not happy with Jen about this right now. So, I looked at nutritional value and versatility, and I chose the following foods: 1. Chicken 2. Avocados 3. Black Beans 4. Whole Wheat bread (this includes tortillas) 5. Carrots 6. Apples 7. Salsa (I know there is more than one ingredient in salsa, but I'm counting it as one food. deal with it) I have also decided not to go to restaurants unless it is for a special occasion - mainly because it is hard to stick to "7" at a restaurant, but also because it is a privilege of excess to have someone else prepare my food for me. I'm also only drinking water with this challenge. (this is probably the easiest part... I like water)
I began the challenge on May 1st, and I plan to go throughout the month of May. I have already scheduled in "Grace Days" on which I can eat whatever I want and get a free pass for that day. I decided to do this because there are always special occasions that come up. I have decided to only allow myself 3 days of excess. 1. My first Mother's Day 2. The day after I am done working (I haven't told y'all yet, but I am going to be a STAY AT HOME MOM ON MAY 17TH!!! WAHOO!!!) 3. I haven't decided what my third day will be, but I'm planning on eating fried seafood.
I'm on my 5th day, and I am already seeing some ugly things come out. I think this is a good thing. The other night, I prepared food for Superman (6 months old and eating real food... it's incredible.), and he ate chicken, like mom, but he got broccoli instead of carrots as his side. I was actually JEALOUS of my 6 month old's steamed broccoli. how demented is that?! My co-workers went to lunch this afternoon, and I actually felt left out that I had to tell them "no" because of my decision to do this challenge. It is also a little exhausting every time I explain why I am eating another black bean, chicken, and avocado burrito for lunch (5 days in a row). It's good for me.
Anyway. I recommend this book for all Americans. I think it is exactly the kind of challenge we all need. It's uncomfortable, and it's hard. But - it's worth it.
This is what my g-chat conversation with Austin at work looks like when we are both doing the 7 challenge