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!

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.”

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…


One Day Of Health Does Not A Skinny-Girl Make


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.


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…


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!





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.

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.)


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.)