Chow

aka grub. aka food.

I may never know a more pronounced dichotomy in my life as the one I experience with food. I love it, crave it, relish in its tastes and textures, spend most of my money on it, and greatly enjoy how it can bring people together. However, I also loathe its power over my body, mind, and habits; I hate what it does to my savings. My lack of self-control leads to an adverse body image, pessimistic outlook on my future health, discomfort, and social prejudice from those who dislike fat chicks.

So, what about food? It’s love/hate for me. And I think the way to turn it into Love/Love is to change myself: learn control, sacrifice, and budgeting so my portions are smaller, my wallet bigger, and my body healthier. Two major hurdles are adding excercise into my routine so I’m burning off more calories than I eat, and not splurging on fast food or meals out with friends to save money and be healthier.

Check out my inspirations for these thoughts:

One woman spent $30 in 30 days on food–starting from scratch and not spending a penny more. It’s a very interesting experiment, and her blog is a pleasurable and educational read. Read her blog.

Time Magazine did a photo essay on What the World Eats, based on this book. Not only does it give faces and visuals to cultures with which we may not be familiar, but it illustrates just how much we have and just how little we may actually need. See Part 1 and Part 2.

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Baby it’s cold outside

All my life I’ve been part of Christianity in some form or another. I was raised in a passionately vibrant Christian home; I “prayed the prayer” when I was 9; I spent the rest of my life never once doubting that there was a God (Yahweh) and Jesus was his son who died for me. I was a missionary, a leader, a wannabe scholar, and desperate for more of God.

Now I’m not.
And I’m noticing just how difficult it is to be non-religious in the USA, on this forum, and in my daily life. I feel like a loner kid gripping the chain link fence outside of a playground, suddenly shut out of all the games and social groups. I stand there pleading, “I am still me! I have good ideas! Why can’t I play too?”

Where did my voice go? Being heard is so much more difficult now. I have to fight against the censors people unconsciously put up against non-believers. I now have less wisdom, insight, morality, and respectability (all of a sudden).

People have told me I was never saved in the first place. I suppose 16 years of passion for God and trying to ‘walking the walk’ makes me a real tool. I was so good at fooling myself, was I?
Invalidation is becoming something that grates on me the most.

My ego is taking a beating, and I suppose I’m taking much of this personally. I know there will need to be some time to adjust. How can I make this transition?

I am not who they think I am…

So for the first time in my life, someone asked me a question that began, “As a non-Christian, do you…”

This may not be odd to you, but since my Christianity has been a vital, if not supremely influential influence on my entire life, development, identity, and choices, having someone essentially confirm what I’ve been wondering is a bit unnerving. I don’t want to say I’ve deconverted. I really want to avoid it. What if this is a “phase”? I wouldn’t want to say I was one thing and then pull an “Oops, just kidding!”

Most of all, I don’t want to tell the people who still think “that’s Julia, she’s a Christian” that I’m not so sure any more.

I’ve never had this crisis before. I always knew and I always felt like that knowing was impossible to change.

I still have a Christian worldview. I still know the Bible better than any other book. I am still interested in theology and doctrine. I still think Jesus/God makes a powerful, life-changing impact on people’s lives. In fact, I still love God as I understand it and Jesus as I understand him. But… I don’t know if I’m Christian anymore. I don’t care for the religion, even if I care for the principals at its core (love! all should be love!). But the religion is not that simple, no matter how many different pithy ways people explain it. I know this. I’ve been one as long as I can recall.

Clearly, I’m struggling with this. I’m struggling with the idea that a core identifier of my life might be gone. I’m struggling with the fear that I might lose the respect and love of those who respect and love “Christian Julia”. It’s like I think people won’t take my view seriously now, simply because I am not an orthodox believer. Like suddenly my insight and knowledge doesn’t matter anymore…. I haven’t felt like an outsider before. In simple terms, I feel demoted.

And you all might remember how scared I am of my family’s expectations. They have a picture of me in their heads… and they have no idea how far off they are. But they love that picture, and they support it and admire it. They know how to treat it.

But that’s not me! Who am I now?

I’m afraid.