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!

If you would like to subscribe
{and I’d LOVE for you to},

click here to subscribe
or contact me personally
!

Also, I am very active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest. I think you will find a lot of encouragement and help on those social media channels in addition to all the posts you’ll receive when you subscribe!

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!

Choice

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.

His HOPE.

Just Eat The Orange

IMG_9942.JPG
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.”

Let Them Eat Cake

My friend at school had her birthday yesterday and another one of the teachers made her a red velvet cake… positively loaded with icing.

It looked… awesome.

And it looked… terrible.

It looked so awesome tasty and that’s what made it look terrible. It looked like a terrible turn off the path for me. I eyed that cake through most of lunch… talking about it in my mind.

I don’t have to eat it.

But it is her birthday, so you’d better have some.

Yeah, but no one will notice if you don’t eat it.

Oh, what if the girl who made it notices if I don’t eat it and she gets her feelings hurt thinking my decline means that I don’t think it will taste good?

Maybe I could slip out before she even offers it.

But, I mean, it’s just one slice.

And that’s what got me. I remembered all the times that I’ve said “just one” and then later that always turns into “Well, since I already had one then I might as well…”

But then I remembered two other times that I’ve quite successfully celebrated my own birthday without cake… when I turned 34 and when I turned 35.

So I said to myself “Ya know. It will still be Adria’s birthday even if I don’t have cake.”

Annnnnnnnd that was it.

The struggle was over. I sat through the rest of lunch, cake-less.

But also stressless. sugarless. guiltless. gluttonless.

And yet despite all that “less”, I sure was…

HopeFULL!

One Day Of Health Does Not A Skinny-Girl Make

IMG_9933.JPG

I’ve joked before about how I get so disillusioned when I eat well for, like, three days… and I expect to be able to go in my closet and shimmy into my size 8s (which, let’s be honest, I could probably barely even shimmy my calf into those things at this point!)

And I’ve had to remind myself of that the past couple days. I started (yes, again) eating well on Monday AND I went to the grocery store to get the food I’d need to be successful AND I have started the past three days with a dance workout.

So I had to be careful with myself this morning as I danced in front of the mirror (yep, I’m THAT girl) and my instinct was to be all like “Whoa. Look at those chunky arms” or “Hey there, Floppy Belly!”

Because, one or two days of health does not a skinny-girl make.

BUT

One or two days of health does a skinny girl START to make.

I have to remember that the first time I went down this journey it took a while before even I noticed anything. And while I’d LOVE to be able to honestly say “This isn’t even about my body getting skinny… it’s about me wanting to take care of this vessel that God has given me!” that wouldn’t be entirely true. I do want to take care of this vessel but I, honestly, want to be skinny TOO.

Usually, the two things go hand-in-hand.

But I think what’s important is that I’ve started. It’s almost like a sign of repentance. But what’s got to be different this time is that there is no… goal. no end date. no event to lose weight for. no jeans to have to fit in to. Okay, well, there are those, but the goal is to fit in to them and STAY fitting in them.

So, one day of health may not a skinny girl make, but lots of days of health will a healthy girl make!

If This Is The Day…

IMG_9920.PNG

I grew up singing hymns in church. And since I would stay with my grandparents (Southern Baptist preacher and his wife) some in the summers, well, then I learned all four verses of most of those hymns.

And they tend to bubble up in my soul pretty frequently even though I don’t sing them as often anymore.

This morning, after 5 hours of sleep, I swung my legs out of bed and almost automatically said to myself…

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. ‭ Psalms‬ ‭118‬:‭24

But then I really started to think about that…

If this is the day that The Lord has made, then this is the day that God can make you new.

If this is the day that The Lord has made, then this is the day that God can restore to you the joy of his salvation and make you willing to obey. (Psalm 51:12)

If this is the day that The Lord has made, then this is the day that you can allow God to open your eyes to how strong you really are.

If this is the day that The Lord has made, then this is the day that God can turn your mourning into dancing and clothe you with joy. (Psalm 30:11)

If this is the day that The Lord has made, then this is the day that God can show you how to be a blessing. He can show you that you are WORTH so very much and that no matter your state, you DO have something to offer the world.

If this is the day that The Lord has made, then this is the day that God can help you become who you can be.

If this is the day that The Lord has made, then this is the day that God can make. you. free.

If this is the day The Lord has made… well then, by all means, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

God…

I…

Ummmmm…

I…

I am scared.

Scared I’ll never get rid of the weight.
Scared I’ll never get rid of the addiction.
Scared I’ll fail.
Scared I’ll succeed.
Scared I’ll give up and then never want to try again.
Scared I’ll confuse success OR failure with how much you love me.
Scared.

I’ve tried so many times.
I’ve failed so many times.

I’m oppressed by this.
I feel so hopeless at times.
So alone.
So… awful.

So I remember…
The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, do not abandon those who search for you. Psalms‬ ‭9‬:‭9-10‬

I know I’m not oppressed like women in some countries.
I know I’m not oppressed like a child in a factory.
I know I’m not oppressed by abject poverty.
I know I’m not oppressed by hatred and prejudice.

But I feel as if this… food thing… keeps me from being 100% for you. I feel like I could be so much more if not weighed down… oppressed… and utterly distracted by my issues with food.

Oh God, be my shelter from it. Keep it from me. Be my refuge. My place to relax and be myself and be taken care of. I trust you God. I trust that you will not abandon me. I trust that you will use my pain and heartache and struggle and that you will comfort me and protect me. I ask God that you release me from this oppression. Loose my chains.

Set me free.

Beans For A Birthright

I like a preacher who yells a little.

Makes some jokes.

Walks around a lot.

Yells a little more.

And uses lots and lots of scripture.

To each his own, but that is just the kind of preacher I like to listen to. So, when my hubby introduced me to the hours and hours and hours of archived sermons from Elevation Church with Steven Furtick… not gonna lie, I was kind of excited. Cause the guy does all of those things. I’m not usually the type to jump into what all the “cool kids” are watching, but… I dunno. God just speaks through him… to me.

So, since I’m working again, I have about a 25-30 minute “commute” from my house to the school where I teach. About ten of that is spent in the car with my oldest before I drop him off, but then afterwards, I plug in my iPhone and listen to the audio of Furtick’s teachings (there’s an app… you can watch or download a podcast).

Well, when I started listening in, I just went back and picked one called #DeathToSelfie and I thought it looked interesting for two reasons:

  1. The whole concept of DEATH to SELFIES!?!?! Nooooo, I love selfies!!!! (Yes, I am *that* friend.)
  2. The picture on the front was just… intriguing… like in an artsy kind of way. Look at it… isn’t that just… cool??? (Click on the pic to go to the main page for this series.)

deathtoselfie

So, ya know… I obviously picked it for VERY spiritual reasons.

And let me tell you: I would really, really, really, really encourage you to check out this sermon series. Especially, part two… called Starving Sons (Beware of the Bowl). Here… read this:

As the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter. He was an outdoorsman, but Jacob had a quiet temperament, preferring to stay at home. Isaac loved Esau because he enjoyed eating the wild game Esau brought home, but Rebekah loved Jacob. One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home from the wilderness exhausted and hungry. Esau said to Jacob, “I’m starved! Give me some of that red stew!” (This is how Esau got his other name, Edom, which means “red.”) “All right,” Jacob replied, “but trade me your rights as the firstborn son.” “Look, I’m dying of starvation!” said Esau. “What good is my birthright to me now?” But Jacob said, “First you must swear that your birthright is mine.” So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his brother, Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate the meal, then got up and left. He showed contempt for his rights as the firstborn. Genesis 25:27-34

Now, I’m with Furtick… I always read this and thought “WHAT. AN. IDIOT.” But, like he brings up… we do this alllllllllll theeeeeeeee timeeeeeeee. And you and I, my friend, we might just be doing this with food… literally.

We have this birthright now that we are sons and daughters of God… a birthright of freedom from the enticements of this world, but we come in STARVING (and knowing us, we probably aren’t starving for food, but for something else… love, comfort, a break) and we convince ourselves that it’s “worth it” to trade our birthright of freedom from food… for a bowl of beans.

Who, praytell, ever wants a bowl of beans?

No one. They are beans.

That Twix… yo. It’s really just BEANS.
The bag of Cheetos? Yep. BEANS.
Even that Mocha Frappachino at Starbucks… beany bean bean BEANS.

If we are eating it or drinking it for any reason other than we’re hungry, then we are trading our birthright for beans.

So, this week… ever since listening to this, I’ve been repeating to myself over and over again all day (even when I’m not around food) “My birthright for beans… my birthright for beans… my birthright for beans…” It’s making me come face to face a lot of the day with the REAL choice that I’m making.

Am I choosing my God-given birthright?

Or beans?

 

(Hey, so seriously… listen to/watch this series, or at least the first two… because he goes into way more detail and explanation than I even got remotely close to in this post.)

A Piece Of My Arsenal

I’m kinda “in” to this whole reading the bible again.

Ain’t gonna lie… I have been doing some major avoiding of reading it for quite a while. Not sure what happened, but dang. I just didn’t want to read the bible at all.

Like, at all… at all.

But I’m reading the One Year Bible (my husband’s grandmother {Nanny} bought me one years ago… you can also do the plan for free here) and now I’m finding myself thirsty for it. I mean, I should be… I haven’t had any Living Water for months… I’m dying of thirst.

It seems like each day there is just a nugget that pierces my heart or soothes me. (The great days are when I get a dose of both!) Just this last week the verse popped out at me…

Victory comes from you, O Lord. May you bless your people. Psalm 3:8

I’m keeping this one tucked away in my arsenal… to protect me from myself. When the “You can’t do this…” and the “You’re not strong enough…” statements start to bubble up out of my soul, then I can answer back… just like Jesus did to Satan. He used The Words of The Father. I’m gonna say, “Hey… shut your trap. Victory over this comes from God.”

It’s not on me… this is on Him. And He’s strong enough to win the war.

Victory comes from God

The Worst Kind Of Success

I feel as if I need to come clean before we even get started…

I just ate four Lindt chocolates.

(Hey… at least I went for the good stuff.)

And ya know, I’m not entirely killing myself over it either. It was sort of a test run. First of all, I haven’t had sugar since December 26th and compared to how my covenant eating has gone over the past few months, THAT ALONE is like a flipping miracle!

Tonight I went to my niece’s birthday and someone plopped a piece of strawberry shortcake in front of me. And not just any ol strawberry shortcake, but made from scratch strawberry shortcake… and if you don’t think “from scratch” is an important detail to this story, then maybe this blog is not for you… cause here at this “diet blog” we reallllllly like food. ;) And I thought “Let’s see what happens… let’s see if somehow, in the lengthy experience {sarcasm} of the past nine days, I have possibly found the fortitude within to eat a little bit and then resist.” So, I ate the cake and then that was it! Success!

Until I got home and accidentally stumbled across those dadgum Lindt chocolates. If it had been the icky-no-good-low-quality regular ol’ chocolates then I probably would have been fine. But nooooooooooo. It had to be Lindt.

Well, you know the rest of the story… if you haven’t lived it yourself then you can certainly fill in the blanks: Because I’d already had sugar tonight, I “might as well”, so I ate “just one” whichhhhhhhhhhhh turned into all of them.

But, I’m sorta glad for a couple of reasons. Here’s why…

I was sorta on the fence about going hardcore with the sugar thing again this year. Like, maybe I should try out that whole balance thing again. Honestly, I knew… I mean… I KNEWWWWWWW it wouldn’t work to have both. But I guess I just needed one last reminder.

Even more so though… ya see, my teacher, James Tippit… he has been talking a lot lately about the idea that sometimes the parts of our lives that we think are successes, God might look at them and just brush them away. But parts of our lives that we view as dismal failures… He might say…

Oh no honey… look… look where I was here… here… and here. This part where you thought all was lost, where you thought you were a mess, a disaster, a wreck… oh, dearest… this is when I was DOIN WORK in your life… in your soul. I was filling in those parts where you were weak… to be strong. I was changing you, forming you, molding you. Making you more like me.

And this is why, tonight, after those infuriating (but honestly… totally divine) Lindt chocolates, I wasn’t in utter dispair. Because this looked like a dismal failure.

Heck, this whole COVENANT DIET itself looks like a dismal failure to me right now… but when I am weak, then HE. IS. STRONG. Perhaps He is just using this whole thing to help melt my heart and reform me… renew me… purify me.

So, tonight, I ask God…

Be strong within me God. Show me how strong you are through my dismal failures. Melt my heart and help me to fall in love with You again. Help me to fall in love with your kindness, your compassion, your ever-ready forgiveness, your patience. Help me to look back on my life and see all of these wonderful, beautiful moments that have changed me, formed me, molded me. Melt me down and make me more like You, so that I might be a blessing. I love you, God. I do. I love you.

I’m Melting

Have you ever had that friend who you rarely see, but when you get together, it’s as if you were just hanging out yesterday?

I hope that, maybe, you feel that way about me… and this blog.

Because, it’s been almost four months since we’ve gotten together, but I’d like for us to start hanging out some more again.

And I hope that it feels just like we are old friends… catching up.

You see, I got a teaching job again (yay) and I really enjoy it (yay) and I love the differences that I’m making in kids’ lives (yay). But it was wayyyyyyyy more of a change than I realized (eek) and I was wayyyyyyyyy more busy than I realized I’d be (eek) and I was subsequently wayyyyyyy more tired than I realized (eek). So, the hubs and I decided to tuck the blog into maintenance mode for a few weeks (which unfortunately turned into MONTHS) to help me because I had shifted 100% into pure, unadulterated survival mode. If hashtags worked in blogs, then I’d hashtag this paragraph #ItsHarderThanIRememberedToBeAWorkingMom

Anyway, I’m truly, purely sorry to have worried some of you, and I genuinely appreciate those of you that tracked me down to find out what was going on! I can’t promise that I’ll be a daily poster like I have been in the past, but I really want to get back with you guys… back to my writing… back to my reading… back to my covenant… and most importantly…

back to God.

For I have wandered… far, far from Him.

With every pound I gained, I grew angrier and angrier at Him. And then I’d gain another pound, and as I packed on the weight I was packing in bitterness and brokenness in my heart.

So, then I just threw my hands up. Said, Forget it. Who cares anyway. You’re getting fat struggling… might as well just dive on in and enjoy it. And yeah, well, here’s the spoiler for the ending to that story (but I’m pretty sure you know that it won’t be much of a shocker if you are in the same boat as me):

I didn’t enjoy it.

I hated it. More than I hated it before. And I got fat. Fat again.

And the more I hated getting fat, the more I continued to dive in, the more I was angry at God, the more I ate, the more I gained, the fatter I got.

But, then, I numbed myself to it.

Ohhhhhhhhh, my  friends… the numbness. That is more danger to our relationship with God than anger… any day. I just couldn’t find solace in the bible. I couldn’t find solace in my prayers. I couldn’t find solace at church. I couldn’t find solace… an.y.where.

I was numb.

And the numbness… hurt worse.

It’s the worst pain.

Because it’s not living. It’s death. Being numb to all of the feelings and challenges and hopes and dreams and hurts and disappointments… that’s not living. It’s dying.

So, in a weird little twist of events that range from me cleaning out my bookshelf and finding my One Year Bible to reading some article about how screen time is bad for your eyes and sleep… I started to read that thing before bed. Not really expecting anything to change. And it didn’t… at least, not right away. My heart was hard, cold, frozen.

But over the past few weeks I have felt my heart… slowly, slowly, slowly start to soften a bit. Slowly, slowly, slowly begin to let God back into little parts of my life. Cautiously… but hopefully.

And hopefully, even though I bailed on you guys out of nowhere… hopefully, you’ll be willing to step out on this journey with me again.