Day 363: Pantrywaist

No, I promise that’s not a misspelling.

It’s just that over the past few days I have realized Whoa. This Big Momma here (that’s what my boys call me) has been eating a lot of bread!

And I find that every time I am hungry, I head right for the pantry. And well… my pantry is what one might call “Processed Central”! So, I haven’t really been able to eat anything out of there. I mean, I do have pasta, rice, and I just bought some quinoa to try, raisins, cashews, and peanut butter. But other than that- oh, popcorn, I also eat popcorn- it’s kind of stuff not… for me. (And no, my pantry is NOT organized in the least bit… but, neither am I!)

20130107-164732.jpg

So, I have found myself to be a bit pantry-less over the past few days since I started my “new” covenant of no bread and no chips.

But I’m thinking that’s maybe a good thing cause I’m pretty sure over the past few months I have developed a bit of what I might call a “pantrywaist”. My waist is holding onto quite a bit of our pantry’s contents! Haha!

And I originally just came up with the name cause I thought it was a clever spin-off of “pantywaist” which was used for a while to denote a weakling man, but it originated with these outfits where the shirt would button onto the kid’s underwear!

20130107-165412.jpg

See… who says I only talk about diets on here!?!? Haha!

Anyway, but yesterday when I started trying on my clothes that I wore this past June when I went to Nashville with my husband for his trade show for his music instruction/songwriting product Chord Dice… wellllll, let’s just say that yesterday my muffin top was a bit more pronounced than it was in June!

And I thought to myself “Oh man… looks like I’ve got me a pantrywaist!”

20130107-165822.jpg

And what I find interesting is that I tried, I tried multiple times, last year to start a covenant for a few weeks or just mid-year to go “off” of bread. I’m still not entirely sure why my commitment wouldn’t stick with those. Probably because they were more me led. Like, they were temporary fixes instead of a long-term desire to be healed. Covenanting off of sugar, meat, bread, and chips for a year… well, that’s a commitment on my part to change permanently instead of to just keep the pounds off. I have already found it so “easy” to resist bread and chips (easy as in there isn’t a battle raging inside of me because they are just… not an option!

So, I’m working again on this retraining- going to the fruit supply instead of the pantry supply for food.

20130107-185938.jpg

And I see now why all the nutritionists say that you need to make a “life change” because diets sorta wear off, motivation tapers, and old habits slowly creep back in… so even a “life change” can kind of wear off. So, it isn’t really about a “life change” for me… for me it’s a “life commitment”.

A commitment to deny the presence of the sin of gluttony in my life. A life commitment to turn to God for fulfillment. A life commitment to never be the same. to be a new creation. to never be a pantrywaist again.

Day 360: Pit Stop

20130104-223651.jpg

I really debated about rolling over my day “count” (ie… Day 364… Day 365… Year Two:Day 1) or sticking with the count that I already have going (ie Day 364… Day 365… Day 366).

I think that I have decided to stick with a rolling number instead of starting at 1 again. First of all, and this is my highly spiritual reason, I don’t really want to write out “Year Two” every single time I post. Ha! But also, I really do have a spiritual reason… I started to think about “the journey” and I have keenly realized over the past few days how it has not “started over” as I referred to it before, but it is merely another leg of the journey.

Kind of like a road trip (since we are going along the analogy of a journey). Let’s say that I’m driving from Dallas to Denver.

I can look on Google maps and know that the entire journey is going to be about 880 miles. (Gosh, if that isn’t motivation in and of itself to fly there then I don’t know what is.) But, I also know that there are going to be “pit stops” along the way… to eat, refuel, de-fuel (if you get my meaning… har har har… I know, I’m a nerd).

For example, I’d probably stop every two-hundred miles or so. In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma… then on to Salina, Kansas… and a final pit stop in Colby, Kansas before driving on to Denver.

But when it comes down to it, if someone were to ask… “Oh wow, you drove from Dallas to Denver? How far is that?” I probably wouldn’t answer:

Oh it was 205 miles to Oklahoma City, then 247 miles to Salina, another 203 miles to Colby, and then we finished the last 234 miles into the heart of Denver.

No… I’d just say, “Oh, it was 880 miles!

And I guess that’s how I feel about this whole experience… the “turn over” from year to year is kind of like my “pit stop”. I really did take a bit of a break at the end of the year and reevaluate if things were still issues or not.

In my case, I totally assumed last year that I’d be “done” at the end… it was like I thought I’d get to Denver driving only 205 miles! Haha! It’s like the end of the year was coming closer and I was realizing reallllll quick: “This is not Denver. Toto… we’re not even in Kansas yet!”

I never IMAGINED that I would re-start the covenant by choice and ADD two restrictions (bread and chips)! But I’m already sooooo glad that I did! Just the past few days have shown me how much bread, mainly, I was relying upon. I see so clearly how my journey is NOT complete. And I’m so, so, sooooo very glad that I didn’t just up and stop my covenant when I was finished. Even just the past few days have already made the second leg of my journey worth it!

And I know that I have said this so much recently, but I’m still just kind of in awe at the way I thought (you know what they say… hindsight is 20/20). So, I guess a bit of the lesson I have learned is two-fold:

1. Don’t Rush God. He has the map. He knows exactly how long it would take. Sureeeeee, plan a few pit stops here and there to make sure you and He are on the same part of the map, but He’ll let you know when you arrive. And it just might take wayyyyy longer than you thought. And it just might take wayyyyyy less time than you thought, too.

This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently,for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. Habakkuk 2:3

2. Don’t Be Married To Your Plan. Sometimes I think I have missed out on things because I was trying so desperately to stick to my plan that I didn’t see that God was leading me a way I had not planned. Oftentimes then I miss things while He has to turn me around. I mean… think about it, have you ever MISSED an exit or a turn because you were LOOKING at your map?!?! I do that with God… I’m so busy focusing on MY PLAN that I miss HIS PLAN… I miss THE RIGHT WAY. If I would just follow Him and, essentially, ignore my own map… then I can never be lost.

God says, “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.Jeremiah 29:13

Day 358: First Donuts… For Real

20130102-080015.jpg
This morning I woke up before everyone else and (honestly) my first thought was: Donut Day!

I had planned on keeping today as a “Celebration Day” of no restrictions even though it wasn’t a birthday party, national holiday, or full moon. It was more of a Celebration Day for the past year.

Only as I started to think about it… having a hamburger, maybe some cake or ice cream, a pepperoni pizza for dinner… I realized, that I actually didn’t even want those things today.

Well, wait… I wanted them but I more so wanted to keep my jeans fitting. And I realized that I would have plenty more opportunities for all of those things… so it wasn’t so vital for me to have them today. I have certainly learned over the past year that cravings come and go. That I don’t have to give in to them. That I can just eat to live.

But…… I still wanted that donut.

There were several donuts leftover from the bunch that my father-in-law brought over yesterday (see my post Day 357: First Donuts for that story), and there was a half of one of them that is my favorite: a chocolate covered “tractor wheel”, as we call it (I think our donut shop labels them as sour cream).

And so I didn’t wake anyone up… cause I was remembering my cookie dough incident that I wrote about on Day Twenty-One… this whole thing started with just me and God. alone. Well… I guess it was me and God and a huge vat of cookie dough. Anyway, I just thought it was appropriate that it be just me and God and the sugar once again.

And it was a beautiful experience… eating that half-donut. And not because it was so amazingly good (although it WAS good), but because of the celebration in my heart and the thanks to God for bringing me to this point… to the point where eating a donut was a big deal instead of just another regular ol’ day of gluttony.

20130102-080034.jpg

And after I finished the donut… it was just… over. I poured myself a cup of coffee and went on my way with the day. I never even thought about the fact that there was still another donut.

This is a big. deal.

For yearsssssss I would have obsessed over that donut until I would have just given in and eaten it. And today I ignored it as if it weren’t even there.

Cause it might as well have not been there. I had already decided that I was only going to have half and that God would find honor and joy in the fact that I didn’t HAVE TO have the food just because I COULD.

How far He has brought me.

I suppose I have learned a bit from God and He has renewed me enough this year to know that it would be foolish to return to the same habits.

But more importantly, this is something I have to say only God could do for me. You see, I “knew” all of this before in my mind. I “knew” I shouldn’t overeat. I “knew” I shouldn’t eat pounds of sugar. I “knew” I shouldn’t eat when I wasn’t hungry. I “knew” I shouldn’t eat what I wasn’t craving.

But it took God to renew my heart so that it wasn’t just my mind that knew those things but also my heart and soul.

Now, I truly know

And it was His wisdom that kept me from being a fool today…

    As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness. Proverbs 26:11

Day 357: First Donuts

20130101-151802.jpg

Way back on Day Forty-Two, I was already thinking about this day. I was already planning what I would eat on January 1, 2013. Weird to think that now… I am… here. On January 1, 2013.

But also on Day Forty-Two, I also came the conclusion that I was going to hold back today from eating “whatever” {and yes, I am going to copy-paste a big chunk of it here}…

From Day Forty-Two: Skinny Tuesday Fat Tuesday is pretty much all about getting to over indulge simply because lenting requires sacrifice. It’s almost as if we fatten up on this day because we feel like we deserve it since we will have to self-sacrifice the rest of the time. And that is kind of the mentality that I’m afraid of having.

For example, I have already been thinking and planning about what I’m going to do when my covenant diet is over. Last night I was thinking about what I would have on January 1, 2013… a ribeye steak from Roadhouse… my mom’s chocolate cake (you know, the one that I’m going to miss on my birthday)… a liberal glass of red Merlot…

But now that I get to thinking about this whole Fat Tuesday mentality, I’m kinda of wondering if maybe that’s not what would please God. I mean, my whole thing has been about Him changing my mind, my heart, my soul. Wouldn’t that be just like me turning my back on Him pretty much as soon as He has delivered me into the promised land? Which is so much of what the Israelites did when He dropped them off. After the generation that had been wandering in the desert died off, the people started worshiping other idols in no time. And God was NOT pleased with that scenario. I’m reading through Judges right now and it seems like any time one of the judges gets the people back in order, everything is good, then he or she dies, and everyone gets right back into their mess of looking somewhere other than God. And then He punishes them.

Yeah… I don’t want that.

I want for God to see my actions on January 1st and be pleased. I want for Him to look at me and think… Wow, she really did want to change. She really does want to please me. I really want to give her my blessing.

So maybe I won’t go all out on January 1st after all. Maybe I’ll even follow the same diet for that day. Not because I have to, but because I want to. Yep. That would be a pretty neat New Year’s gift to offer to God.

And so this morning I woke up, totally cool with the idea of giving God my “first fruits”, so to say and not eating “off” of the covenant even though I was technically “allowed” to do so.

(If you are wondering What is she talking about with this “first fruits” stuff? It is essentially based off of the idea that God commanded the Israelites in Exodus 34:26 to bring the very best of the first harvest to Him. So, although I didn’t grow anything to give to him, it’s the idea of taking the “first chance” to eat sugar and stuff… and giving that to Him instead of me eating it.)

And I was feeling a little, admittedly, self-righteous about doing so. Like, I honestly had a few “I’m soooo good to do this” kind of moments.

And then my father-in-law showed up…

… with donuts.

Yep. Donuts.

Donuts with sprinkles.

Well, that certainly was a bit of a buzz kill for my self-rightousness (but it was REALLY nice of him to do… my kids were ECSTATIC)!!!

And after I got over my little pity-party, I thought to myself… Why am I surprised that it happened this way? It had to happen this way. It wouldn’t have meant a thing if I gave up eating “whatever” I wanted all day if there was no temptation. No true sacrifice. It was actually an opportunity for me to really show God my thanks for this past year.

So, today, God I give you… not so much my first fruits but my first donuts. Thank you Lord for providing me with power, forgiveness, compassion, more forgiveness, guidance, wisdom, and self-discipline. Thank you for freedom that You have given me through Jesus. Thank you, quite simply, for my life. Both the physical life that I have as I breathe and walk and live, as well as for the spiritual life that I experience every day. This earth may not be perfect anymore, but with You as my God… I truly feel as if The Kingdom of Heaven IS here.