Welcome To The Covenant Diet!

I’m constantly amazed by the wonderful mix of people that end up here at The Covenant Diet. Oftentimes someone is simply looking for a recipe and connects from Pinterest, read about the site when I was interviewed for The Atlantic, did a random google search for help with overeating, or heard about it when my mother told them (because I tell ya what… she’s still my biggest fan and most avid reader)!

Whatever brought you here, I’m really, truly glad that you came across this blog!

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I hope that you will be encouraged, challenged, and helped by what you read. You’ll see several options above in the menu area to help you learn more about me {Hi – my name is January!} and my journey from gluttonous to glorious! It is my prayer (and seriously, I’m not just saying this, I really am praying this) that you are blessed and freed from whatever it is that holds you back from the full potential that God intends for you!

Steady My Steps

Steady My Steps

I’m on this kick where one word from reading my bible one day, spurs me to think about another word, which then leads me to yet another word. I’ve been trying to write each day about a word from the Word (see what I did there?!?!). Yesterday, my focus was on “help me overcome my unbelief” and so then I started to really zone in on that word OVERCOME.

I searched for OVERCOME in the bible and it took me to Psalm 119:133 NLT – “Guide my steps by your word, so I will not be overcome by evil.” I liked that… but it just didn’t quite connect with me. I needed a bit more clarification. So, I pulled up The Message translation. (A lot of the time I have to take the bible and sort of put it into my own words to really and fully understand it, but if I just don’t have the brainpower to do that then I go to The Message. Just to get a different feel.) And that version grabbed my heart and mind. STEADY MY STEPS with your WORD OF PROMISE.

Oh. heck. yeah.

Cause let me just say that this journey, while the first year was relatively “easy”, since then I have felt like I’m just tripping and stumbling through my own life. I get up for a bit and then I fall again. I get up and then I fall AND I scrape my knee. I’m just not… steady. And as much as I don’t want to admit it to myself, I know… I KNOWWWWWW that it is because I have not relied on His WORD OF PROMISE to STEADY MY STEPS.

So again today, I remind myself and the rest of us… go into that Word. Search in that Word. Look for the verse that you need. Use bible.com to search. Use www.openbible.info/topics to find verses on particular topics. We are seeking a WORD OF PROMISE.

And then we pray:

“Oh my Jesus… I smile as I think of you. As I think of your love. As I think of how you loved ev.er.y.one. As I think of the miracles you did for the weak and the beat down. Oh you just ARE LOVE. And you are my promise. Your Word is my promise. Please God, as I read your Word, STEADY MY STEPS with your WORD OF PROMISE. Help me to remember how to keep my feet steady with You as my support and my guide. You are my Hope. Amen.”


help me

Part of what’s been holding me back is my just inability to really and truly BELIEVE that getting back in covenant with God (as far as my eating is concerned) is even possible.

I mean, y’all. I’ve tried and failed before noon.
{Weeks pass before I can get the courage up again.}

Then I tried again and made it a day – lost it at night after the kids went to bed when my weary soul was coupled with a midnight deadline for my grad class.
{And so I had to lick my wounds for a while before trying… again.}

So, lately, I’ve been able to make it like 5 or 6 days in a row but I always lose my focus, lose my way, lose my ability to even CARE. —By the way, when I say that I “make it for 5 or 6 days” I’m talking about not having a binge. For those of you just joining in… I have a serious binge eating issue. —

But each time it’s because a) I don’t read my Bible and really seek support from Him throughout the whole thing all day long, and b) I don’t really BELIEVE that it can happen again… I don’t really, truly BELIEVE that I can lose 80 pounds again like I did when I first started this whole “adventure”. Even though despite what God showed me yesterday


that I just need to BELIEVE because I’ve already seen him do the work! So, what’s the issue? The issue is that I have this unbelief… and I DON’T KNOW HOW TO GET RID OF IT!

So, I don’t really have an answer per se, but I do I have a prayer-verse for us to get us moving and thinking and praying in the right direction…

Jesus. I’m a mess. A hot mess. A messy mess of a mess. And dang it… You love me. You do. I know it. I feel it. And so it is because I know that you love me that I ask you… help me. Help me overcome my unbelief. Help me overcome it, Jesus. Anyhow… anyway. Help me overcome my unbelief. Oh my wonderful Jesus. How I love you. Amen.”


At Least Believe

It’s interesting how much this whole “reading my bible” thing helps me out with, ya know, LIFE.
I really focused in today on asking God to turn my eyes away from Worthless things (here) and to help me to get over my weeping (here) and to just BELIEVE.
But then I just kept coming up with nothing at all in my heart that connected with BELIEVE. I mean… I know I’m supposed to, but where does this “belief” come from? I don’t know how to just “get it”. And, obviously, if I was good at the whole believing thing then I probably wouldn’t be calling out to God for help in the first place. I guess I’d just “believe” and POOF He’d heal my heart. (Okay, so maybe that was a little bit of over exaggeration.)
So I went back into the bible and I searched for “believe”. A ton of verses popped up but this one… it’s like I’ve never seen it before or something… seriously… not being sarcastic. As many times as I’ve read that ol’ B.I.B.L.E. of mine, I cannot remember seeing this. But gosh… it grabbed me today. And I heard it with a sassy-Jesus-voice (one of my favs) “Well, geez, January… would you AT LEAST BELIEVE because of the work you’ve seen me do already!?!?!” And wow. Yeah. He called me out on that one!
Cause, yo. Jesus has done some WORK in me already. I just need to look at where He and I have been in my soul and I can BELIEVE that He can do it again.
And maybe that’s the simple message my heart needs to hear. HE’S DONE IT BEFORE. HE CAN DO IT AGAIN.
If I would AT LEAST believe.

Jesus Wept.

I flipped open bible.com tonight to do a little reading and it went straight to John 11:35.

Jesus Wept

Why would it go straight to that?

Oh well, who cares… I loved seeing it, cause ya know, it reminds me that Jesus was human and all that, and that’s ya know… like… important.

Then I started to think a bit (that happens occasionally at night when I don’t have a kid’s voice on repeat in my mind MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM… … … MOM) and I remembered that he was weeping because of his boy Lazarus being dead. But then I was all like “Wait. If He knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead… if He knew He was capable of bringing someone back to life… then why on earth was Jesus crying?” Seriously… I had to really sit and think on that for a while. And, plot spoiler, I never figured it out. (I’m sure there’s about 8 zillion theories on that if you want to look.)

What did grab me all of a sudden was the connection to me… if I know that God is capable of healing me, if I know that God is willing to help me do things that seem utterly impossible, if I know that God wants me to be free of this tomb of fear and worry and entrapment that I find myself in… then WHY. AM. I. CRYING. !?!? I guess cause I’m human… just like Jesus was. But maybe it’s time to get up and get angry and roll that big ol’ boulder aside and tap into the miraculous awesomeness of God. Maybe it’s time to stop weeping. Maybe it’s time to take action.

Maybe it’s time to believe.


I went into my bible this morning looking for verses about fear. Because even though I don’t want to be, a lot of days I am afraid. Afraid of failure if I try to eat well- cause honestly it’s quite often hard to remember being successful at eating right. Afraid of NOT trying to eat well- cause yesterday I saw his article about how many women die of heart attacks. Afraid that it will be too hard. Afraid that I don’t have God on my side.




When I searched for “fear” I was brought to Psalm 119 and then stumbled across this verse, and I thought, “Whoa. Wait. Fear isn’t my focus. It can’t be my focus. I don’t live in fear. I wasn’t given FEAR in my spirit from God. Fear is a worthless thing. Sugar as a way to cope is a worthless thing. I want to focus on HIM and on HIS WORD. I want to focus on LIFE. I want to focus on HEALTH in my spirit and in my body.”

So, this verse is my prayer for today. “God, I love the life you have given me. I am thankful for this life. Turn my eyes away from worthless things and continue to give me LIFE through your Word. Amen.”

The Problem With Being a Confident Fat Girl

I really like myself.

Seriously! I do!

I’m a really cool person. I’m funny… I’m fun… I’m fun-loving. I care deeply about my friends and even more so for my students. I am a great mom (note: not a perfect mom) and a good wife. I have great… and I mean GREAT hair. I’m graying pretty quickly and I don’t mind- I’m actually pumped about it. I am a really talented teacher both in a public high school as well in my youth department. I love Jesus with all my heart and I want desperately to be a blessing to those around me. I am joyful and would say that my gift is being a light in the darkness.

See, I like myself! I am a confident woman!


I am fat.

(Now, before you get all in a tizzy about me using the word “fat” please, read this so you know where I’m coming from.)

Yeah. Fat.

Okay, how fat? (I know some of you girls out there are wondering cause the only way you’ll listen to me is if I’m “fat enough” to know what I’m talking about.) Well, then, if I went by the national standards for “fatness” or obesity or whatever, my doc would say that I am about 70-80 pounds overweight. So, no I’m not that “fat” girl who is like “Oh my gosh, I have to move up into a size 6?!?!?” No, I’m the one who’s all like “Where’s the plus size section?” And I’m not gonna blame it on genetics or hormones or being a working-mom or whatever. I’ve fluctuated my entire life. I can distinctly remember pretending to be asleep at a 9-year-old birthday slumber party so that I could sneak over to the food-table and get a brownie (or five) after all the other girls had gone to bed. Yeahhhhhhh, like I’ve got some issues.

But honestly, the issues are not what I’m talking about here. Cause, the thing is I sorta “mocked” that girl up there who was lamenting moving up into a size 6, but here’s the deal… she probably feels the same dismay that I often feel when I gain weight. Yeah… she dismays just like the girl moving up into a 16 and just like the girl moving up into a size 26. The size is really irrelevant. The “level of fatness” is really irrelevant. Cause, whether we like it or not, perception is reality. So, when you feel fat… you are fat. And that’s me… I feel fat and therefore, in my mind, I am fat.

Now, whoa. Look at the two things that I have said about myself:

1. I am a confident woman.

2. I am fat.

I used to think that those two things couldn’t really go together. If you were fat… you HAD to have confidence issues, right?

Wait… right?!?!?

But I kept looking in the mirror at a woman who was wayyyyy overweight and yet I absolutely adored myself. And THAT is my “problem”: I am a confident woman. And so that is one of the main reasons that I often don’t worry or try to lose weight for months on end even though I might be “grotesquely obese” or however the government coins me. I love… me. I love my big smile that can disarm a group of people. I love my crazy-loud-boisterous laugh that lets everyone know that I am going to be having some fun. I love my squishy hugs that I give my kids and the fact that they can plop their heads down on my cushy legs while they read a book or watch TV. What’s not to love… I am designed, created, and loved by the God of the Universe. Ya see, I love so much about me that, to be honest,

I quite often forget that I am fat at all.

I’ll forget so long that I’ll catch myself in the mirror and almost not even recognize myself. How could that be me? I have the confidence of a super model some days and so when I see my size 16 reflection pass by me, I can get a little surprised at myself. Cause I’m just good with being me: confident and fat.

Do I wish that I could just slide into Forever 21 and put on whatever I want and not have to worry about how it will look on me? Yes.
Do I wish that I could go bathing suit shopping and not need to find one that has a skirt or some kind of tummy control area? Yes.
Do I wish that sleeveless and strapless bridesmaids gowns would be banned by the government? Absolutely. (And yeah, sorry for that one, bridesmaids of mine… although, you ladies looked stunning, I think.)

More than anything I wish that my “issues” with food (remember the slumber party story?) were gone. Admittedly, that part of me is… annoying. You can read the rest of the blog to know why and how I struggle with it, but yeah… I would totally pass on the whole “food addiction” if I could.

But I guess I have two messages for two different groups of people:

  • If you feel like you are “fat”, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t UH.MAZ.ING. You be you… be confident. Sure, I would absolutely encourage you to continue to search for health and for freedom from whatever issue you might have with food… but just be confident. You are loved. You are important. You are beautiful. Trust me, there is no pure joy like realizing one day that you are not the billboard’s version of “beach body ready” but that you are amazing anyway!
  • If you look at “those fat girls” and think they are lazy, or if you look at “those fat girls” and see one that is happy and totally fine with herself and you are a little weirded out by that, just know… YOU DON’T KNOW. You don’t know her story. You don’t know her soul. You don’t know her struggle. You don’t know her joy. Maybe, just maybe, be cool with her just for who she is: both on the inside and the outside.

And so, dear ladies, if you are one of those that “define” yourself as fat… it is my hope that you also have a moment every once in a while where you just feel wonderful and when you, too, forget that you are fat at all.


Re: Hey! I found your blog last night…

Hey! I found your blog last night as I was googling. I too struggle with overeating. I have been on a chronic dieter and lately all it’s doing is driving me crazy! I was wondering where you are now in your journey. What foods are you staying away from? I feel like I will probably have to do something drastic to find victory and freedom. I just don’t know what to do or how to stick to anything.

I got this message today from someone on facebook and I started to write a reply to her on there, but then I thought… hey, maybe everyone would like to know this… soooooo, here’s my “update”. It started out as an actual “reply” and then sorta morphed into a message to… everyone…

I’m on a bit of a struggle myself right now to be perfectly honest! I have found though that when I stick to the foods on my list (thecovenantdiet.com/what-i-eat) I’m totally golden!

But that’s the hard part. Notice how I said I’m golden WHEN I stick to the foods on my list! I get caught up in the three-day-diet cycle… I can stick to it for three days and then I crater and then I eat like crap for four days (cause everyone knows that you can’t start anything until a Monday, right??? Ha!). When I made the commitment originally and I committed for a year, I was totally great… it was almost easy… but then as soon as I was “done” with that year I started to do that justification game with sweets: “Oh it’s a special occasion.” or “Oh I don’t really have any good food in the house” and my fav “Well, I already messed up for the day so might as well go for it!“, etc. But then it got to the point where I stopped caring… even if I committed my eating and my nutrition to God. I think my subconscious knew that the main reason I was committing to God was only because I wanted to get the weight off again – not that I actually cared what God thought.

I think that it bothers me MORE that I’m going through a phase of not really caring either way if I’m honoring God or not… that’s more worrisome than needing a larger pair of jeans. Keeping it real…

I need to get myself connected with God through habitually meeting with Him every single day.

I have completely neglected that very thing over the past year or two and I can tell that it is permeating into every little aspect of my life. Like, I don’t care right now that my kids are sitting playing our iPad for the past hour. I don’t care that my kitchen looks like the cabinets vomited out every single plate, cup, and utensil we own. I don’t care that I have a week of laundry piled up. I don’t care that my hair looks a mess. I don’t care that I’ve stayed up until midnight for four days in a row and I am killllllling my body, my mind, my patience, my willpower. I don’t care that I just ate half a bowl of cookie dough. Heck…

I don’t even care that I don’t care!

Okay, well, I sorta do care about that one a little. I guess that’s why I’m writing this. But what I do know is that my soul won’t change… my soul won’t care unless I go to The One that made my soul. The One who crafted me. The One who genuinely cares that I… care.

Will meeting with Him every day “fix” me? Geez. I dunno. Will meeting with Him every day help to realign who I am with what I am meant to be: a blessing? Well, it is certainly a start.

But y’all. I ain’t gonna lie…

I need help.

I need some encouragement to do that! I don’t have anyone in my life that I am committed to in that regard… maybe one of you will commit with me. I don’t know… maybe we can make one of those facebook groups or something? Some place… some people… where I can be reminded every day to go to Him who will remind me every day that I am intended to be a blessing and where I can remind you that you are intended to be a blessing. Where we can remind each other that we love the Word of God. That we NEED the Word of God. Where we can remind each other that a focus on Him is a blessing to us and then that’s a blessing to the world. To be told time and time again that this food thing is only to distract us from our purpose.

I totally feel like I’m putting out there some kind of “Will you be my friend” plea or something! Haha! But, hey, why not?!?!?! Will you? Will you be my friend? I’ll be your friend! We can help each other look to God… I just know it. What do you think???

Maybe, comment on here if you have an idea or would want to “be my friend” (haha)… or if you are on facebook or twitter let me know on there by commenting on a post or replying to a tweet. Let’s see what we can figure out!

(And thanks to Miss Facebook Message Girl for messaging me… I know that you were reaching out for yourself, but your message will hopefully end up as a blessing to all of us!)

Track Switch



Sometimes I wish you had put a switch in me. Like, a light switch or something. Or a reset button. A restart option. A breaker. Or one of those things they use on the railroad track- I actually think it’s called a switch, too- where it sifts the track to go in a new direction. Yeah. That kind of switch is what I need.

I knew all that Thomas the Train knowledge would come in handy someday!

That’s the switch I need because then YOU control it. As the “train driver”, I have no control over going straight or switching to the right or the left. The switch-man (YOU) decides the direction and the train has no choice but to follow.

Cause this morning I just want You to be able to just flip that track’s switch and send me down a different path.

But ya see, then I am reminded that the whole no-choice thing is not how You roll here. You want me to be free. You want me to have the choice to choose the path that will be a blessing to the most people. You don’t want me to feel oppressed and optionless. You want me to OWN my choices because life is so much more abundant when I get to take part in it.

But, God, it’s. so. flipping. difficult. sometimes.

It’s as if my mind is already on a switch but it’s not YOUR switch or even MINE! And when I try to guide my life down a better track, my mind (like, subconsciously) switches me BACK to my old self.

And well dang it. Even as I wrote that I know Your response. I need to train my mind and my body overtime to automatically switch back to what is “true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.” {Phil 4:8}

And I know that takes two things: practice and meditating on Your Word. It will take a concerted effort to retrain and renew my mind. And over time, hopefully, I will see that instead of my mind-switch defaulting to those things that I do NOT want to do… it will slowly begin to default to who You and I both want me to be… who we both know I can be.


photo credit: Choices via photopin (license)


Ya know, gaining “control” of your eating issues has a whole lot less to do with the particular foods you eat than we think. Don’t get me wrong, food choices for weight loss are important, but I’m talking about our eating issues.

Like we’ve talked about before that we eat for ALLLLLLLL the wrong reasons: bored, tired, angry, sad, hurt, sick, procrastinating, frustrated… the list goes on and on. But today I am reminded that there are choices beyond my food choices and beyond my non-hunger reasons to eat…

Today, we must choose between

HOPE and despair.

(Here’s a tip: you want to choose HOPE.)

I was gonna write a whole bunch more cutesy little opposite phrases like that but then I stopped because… really… those are your two choices.

Today you either choose despair… I can’t get over this. I am too far gone. I am so fat. I am so trapped. I am tired of trying. I just give up.

Or you choose HOPE… I am a new creation. I have Christ. I am not bound by the limitations of this world. I am a daughter/son of the King of the UNIVERSE! I can be happy. I am already complete. I can use God’s strength.

I’m not saying that you will automatically choose a salad over a burger at lunch today just cause you said a bunch of hopeful sentences, but let’s just begin today by infusing ourselves with hope… not despair… hope.


Just Eat The Orange

Do you ever just… avoid good food?

Like, even though you might really be interested in an orange… a cold, juicy, sweet orange?

But you subconsciously (or consciously) think “But it’s… healthy. I don’t want… healthy. I want a sugary sweet dessert. Not… healthy.”

So what happens?

We eat pretzels, granola bar, granola and milk, a hot dog, and who knows WHAT else just trying to avoid the orange because it’s healthy?

Yeah, well, I do that.

I did that.

And I still ended up eating the orange.

So, my message to Next-Time-Me is “JUST. EAT. THE. ORANGE.”