Day 170: Pantry Pinings

I haven’t wanted fruit the past week. Like… at. all. Veggies? Nope. Not so much.

Pantry food? Ohhhhhhhh yeah.

And I have this sort of… numb… feeling about honoring God right now. Pretty sure that it is an aftermath of not reading the bible religiously (i.e. habitually) and not really praying for a couple of weeks. But nonetheless, gotta get my focus back. I need to care about honoring God. I mean it’s not that I’m breaking the covenant (although I got realllllllll close to that line this morning when I made the boys “Cookie Dough Soup”… essentially oatmeal with brown sugar and chocolate chips… and Saxon didn’t want his and I was super hungry so I ate “around” the chocolate chips… ya know, the ones that had melted making it virtually impossible to eat “around” them), but I’m not at all worried about making choices that please Him, or choices that are beneficial, or eating to live instead of living to eat.

And I asked my friend Alice to pray for me because I was really struggling (and honestly I’m writing this on day 173 and I’m still struggling with it), and she said that she didn’t really have any major wisdom for me, but she did say “He’s got this.”

And that’s pretty much the reminder that I needed at that moment. Did I immediately start craving an apple instead of a bowl of granola bathed in almond milk? Nooooooo, but it was a start. And then yesterday, I came across this verse in my regular bible reading and it really struck me as what I’m asking for at this point (I changed it to a prayer, by the way)…

God, please work in me. Give me the desire and the power to do what pleases You. Philippians 2:13

Day 137: Sushi Struggle

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For my “birthing day” treat (a tradition that my husband’s family does to honor the mother that delivered the baby on each birthday), my husband got some sushi for me for lunch. I love sushi but I can never justify going to get it and we never tend to go out to eat and get it. I often tell him to go with his buddies to the sushi buffet instead of on date night with me because it is such a rip off for me to go… I never eat enough to make it worth all the money!

Anyway, I ate a little bit of it at lunch that day and it was yummmmmay! But I have learned that sushi makes me very full, very fast… so I can’t eat a lot of it. Luckily, I didn’t eat a lot of it that day.

Later that evening after the birthday party, I was pretty tired and I really didn’t want to do the dishes or pick up, so I sorta defaulted back to my old “stall” technique and I went and got out the leftover sushi to finish. I sorta rationalized it to myself by saying that I hadn’t gotten to really eat any dinner because none of it was on my covenant (which I talked about here), but when it came down to it, I knew that I wasn’t really that hungry.

Of course, then commenced a little internal battle… but luckily, those verses popped back into my mind that have helped me to honor God with self-control over and over again. They are probably some of the most important verses anyone needs to know for the covenant.

“I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

And I know that I keep bringing them up, but I keep bringing them up because the Holy Spirit keeps bringing them to my mind. And those two verses keep helping me to make the right choices on this covenant. Because I want to honor God. I want for Him to receive glory… and I think that He does through my weight loss and through my telling people about how I’m losing weight because of Him.

Day 119: Super Extra Amazingly Delish

Well, I’m feeling a bit like I’m back in the saddle again. Throwing out the scale was huge, and being reminded by God that He WILL continue His covenant with me… well, both of those things somehow managed to get my sights back on track.

Over the past couple of days, it has been relatively easy to eat what I should eat… fruits, veggies, nuts. And I can definitively say that it has not be “easy” to eat what is beneficial (instead of what is “okay” like tortillas, potato chips, feta cheese, etc.) since I finished with my Lent fast. I had a bit of “backlash” from not being able to eat those things for so long that it was all I wanted at first, and since in January I’ll be “released” from the covenant and able to eat whatever I want, it was good to know that it lasted a while… a month pretty much, before I started to feel like something was “off”. And even without the scale telling me that something was wrong, I knew that something was “off”. I can’t really explain it, but eating all of that stuff was just… dissatisfying.

Turns out, food just tastes like… food. Really all of it either fits on the “ick” end of the spectrum of taste or it fits on the “delish” end or somewhere in between. But, really… honestly… nothing really goes beyond “delish”. It’s like my tastebuds max out on a delish signal to the brain and that’s it. Nothing really tastes “super extra amazingly delish”. I think what tricked me into believing that this existed before was because of the emotional connection that I was attaching to the foods as I was eating them.

  • Donuts at Happy Donuts = super extra amazingly delish… because I was with my boys, having a good time, relaxing, indulging
  • Ribeye at Roadhouse = super extra amazingly delish… because I’d go there for my birthday when I was being celebrated, with my family, having a good time, relaxing, indulging
  • Cookie Dough = super extra amazingly delish… because I so rarely make it that when I did it was a special treat, an “I deserve it” kind of moment

And that list could keep going I’m sure, but what it boils down to is that I’m learning “the truth” about food. I’m learning over and over again that it really isn’t a good comforter. or companion. or whatever else it is that I have made it.

And even more dissatisfying was knowing each time that I was not honoring God with my choices. Yes, again, I was sticking with the covenant but I was sort of ignoring making my food choices as something that would honor Him and was focusing on myself and my “needs“.

And honestly, not honoring God leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. in my heart. And, well, ultimately, I am dissatisfied.

But now that I desire for my eating to honor Him again, it’s like… well, everything is satisfying. My taste buds, my stomach, my heart, my mind, my life.

You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy. Psalm 63:5

So, really… I think that I have discovered that my God is really the only thing that is, truly, super extra amazingly delish!

Day Seventy: Grab ‘N Go

Going to church on Sundays, I never seem to eat breakfast before we leave. I’m not entirely sure why because it’s 30 minutes later than when we leave during a weekday. But, nonetheless, I always seem to find myself walking out the door with my sons to realize that I am hungry… and if I am hungry at 8:30 then I’m really gonna be hungry at 12:00 when we get home.

So on Sunday, I was grabbing the bags to load everyone up, realized that I hadn’t eaten, and then glanced around the kitchen. Rushing, I grabbed a banana and an apple.

And as I snacked on them on the way to church, I thought… ya know, I never used to grab a banana or an apple for an “on the go” snack. It was like I always used the excuse that they were “too messy”. But… they aren’t. They aren’t messy at all really. No more so than pop tart or muffin crumbles all over my shirt. In fact, possibly they are less messy.

I have been keen to point out over the past couple months that I don’t think the “what” I’m eating is the problem and I still don’t think that a pop tart or a muffin are inherently evil, but I guess it can go back to this verse:

“I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23

I don’t think I would have needed a nutritionist to tell me that a banana was better than a pop tart in terms of what it can offer my body. Even if I just look to Daniel’s request as a guide, I know that the “beneficial” foods are vegetables and water. So under normal non-fasting circumstances, if I have a choice between a pop tart and a banana, it really is more beneficial to have a banana.

Like I have mentioned before, there is just something less-addictive about bananas, or apples, or grapes than sugar. I’m sure that there is tons of research to show why this is the case, but honestly, I don’t need to see the research to know that sugar compels me far more than a banana. And again, the goal here is for food to transfer from being something I’m fascinated by into something that I enjoy but don’t… fixate upon.

Now I know that this is almost a replica of this post, but I guess that’s the reason that I went on this covenant for a year… because some of these issues are apparently going to keep popping up until they are squelched. And after ingraining habits for 33 years, it is just gonna take several times to retrain and renew my mind. I’m okay with that…

I looked today at how many days I have left (I have this countdown app on my phone) and it was at 288. At first I was like “Less than 300 days left! Yahoo!” But then when I really thought about it… I was like, well… I’m not really in a rush. I mean, after only two months and a bit I am changing and growing and renewing and, well, and all those wonderful things. I now want to be on here at least another two months to see where my heart and soul are at that point! At times I don’t even care how my body changes because I am so enjoying the change within me.

I think that is definitely worth trading a pop tart for a banana, any day!

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Day Thirty-Nine: Damsel In Distress

I want to start out by saying that I’m so glad that I decided to do this for a year. Five weeks in and I’m realizing that I’m gonna need another 47 weeks to get this worked out. That might sound like I’m “down” but it’s actually almost like a sigh of relief! I am just really glad that I gave myself a lot of time to get “over” this addiction. To work through my bad habits. To become a new creation. Too often before I have expected myself to become a new creation over night and that’s not always the way that it works. I mean, hey, I have thirty-three years of addictive habits that I’m trying to break. That might take a little while!

Now, with that being said, I feel like I have moved into Phase II of this experience. Phase I was getting past my addiction to sugar, namely, chocolate. Honestly… haha, yeah… honestly, I thought that was my only “issue”. Nope. Turns out that I realize over and over that it really wasn’t about the chocolate at all (well, okay, maybe a bit because it was soooooooo good), but that it has been an issue of the heart. So, once chocolate was gone I simply started to slowly work in new “addictions”. But the good news is that I’m not going to let those new addictions master me for the next thirty-three years but I’m going to deal with them now. nip them in the bud now. abolish them from my life now.

So… yeah. In a way I feel like I am back at square one. I’m seeing some of the same tendencies popping back up! Eating what is not beneficial but is still technically “okay” on the fast (e.g. potato chips). Eating past the sensation of full (e.g. dinner last night and tonight when I ate two servings worth and was way past full). Eating too late in the day and ignoring hunger sensations in the hopes that I would let my belly eat a little fat while I starved a bit (e.g. yesterday when I tried to skip lunch altogether).

I can tell that my weight loss has stalled out a little bit and I think that it is because of these things.

So, I’m needing to remind myself of the covenant. And I don’t think that this is a sign of me faltering, or Satan winning, or a lack of faith, discipline, etc.

I have just finished reading through Joshua in my daily bible readings, and after Joshua and the Israelites cross over the Jordan River (God, again, stops the water from flowing so that they can cross) they pile up 12 stones that someone from each tribe picked up when they were crossing the river. Then Joshua tells them why:

“In the days to come, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What are these stones doing here?’ tell your children this: ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ “Yes, God, your God, dried up the Jordan’s waters for you until you had crossed, just as God, your God, did at the Red Sea, which had dried up before us until we had crossed. This was so that everybody on earth would recognize how strong God’s rescuing hand is and so that you would hold God in solemn reverence always. Joshua 4:21-24

It’s not that atypical to set reminders… to need reminders. Heck, it’s all through the bible of the Israelites setting up altars to God to remind themselves that He came through. Like Noah when they got out of the boat. He built an altar to God. I just really like how this part ends… the stones are there so that they can tell others what God did… and why He did it: so that everyone would know how strong God’s rescuing hand is and so that we would revere Him always.

So, I am going to be thinking over the next few days of a way that I can set up my stones to remind me that God’s rescuing hand (which I just love that adjective… not just His hand, but his rescuing hand) is strong and that I should revere Him. In the past I might have put a picture of me looking all fatty to “demotivate” me from eating, or a picture of me all skinny to “motivate” me to not eat, or a pig, or a… well, you get the picture. But now again, I am pulling the attention away from me and refocusing it on the things of eternity.

And I think when I see those “stones” and remember that my God has a strong rescuing hand… I might just allow myself to be rescued at that moment. A damsel in distress rescued by The Knight In Shining Armor.

Wow… sounds kind of like a love story.

Yep. The Love Story.

Day Thirty-Eight: Feed A Fever, A Cold, A Headache, An Upset Tummy…

I think I have already established that I am aware that I eat when I shouldn’t. And what’s funny is that I feel like over the past couple of days I have been starting this whole experience of “realization” about my eating habits all over (well, minus the sugar as a factor) but now with bread, chips, and snackies… I think I shall address that tomorrow though.

But I have come across another instance where I eat when I shouldn’t… or at least when that is not what is beneficial for me.

I eat when I don’t feel well. Like you know that phrase “feed a fever, starve a cold”? Well here’s what I have realized are my thoughts on that:
Feed a fever.
Feed a cold.
Feed a headache.
Feed an upset tummy.
Feed body cramps.
Feed lady cramps.
Feed lightheadedness.
Feed a pulled back.
Feed a insomniac. (Hey, those two rhymed)
Feed a sore throat.
Feed a cough.
Feed an earache.
Feed growing pains.
Feed a hang nail.

Seriously. I have realized that every time I have a physical “pain”, I eat. Sure, sometimes that’s what I should do… like being lightheaded, but even then… why do I grab a handful of Ultra Cheesy Goldfish crackers when there are grapes, oranges, bananas, etc right there!?! I think that in a way I am trying to “distract” or “relax” myself with a full belly. It usually works too. I feel “better”.

So, today my hips started to hurt (I have this weird disorder thing in my hips and I sat sorta weird last night and aggravated it) and I was just about to dive into the pantry and come up with some kind of concoction to appease the pain. And then I remembered this revelation that I had yesterday when I was lightheaded and sorta had a mental conversation with myself that essentially ended with: “January, a bowl full of oats, raisins, peanut butter, and a dollop of honey is not going to make your hips better. However, a few ibuprofen and laying on an ice pack might.”

So that’s what I did! And whadda know? It worked! Hmmmmm, maybe I’ll lose weight, conquer my addiction to food, and start to treat my “sicknesses” correctly too now! It’s a package deal!

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Day Thirty-Six: Mixed Veggies Mindset

I think that I have realized over the past week or so that I need to sorta “revisit the vision” cause lately I have been following the covenant but my heart has not been in it. Since I really want this to be a change of the heart, soul, and mind… then I need to pretty frequently evaluate my motivation, my heart, my thinking, my reasons, etc.

Like I said, I have been sticking to the “letter of the Law” of the covenant, but not necessarily the spirit of it as well. I was still staying within my parameters as far as what I could eat, but I wasn’t trying to eat well. I was being a lazy eater and trying to sorta stay in the covenant without really having to work at it.

For example, technically a peanut butter and honey sandwich is okay for me to have in the covenant. But not necessarily beneficial. Beneficial would be for me to attempt to go “beyond the Law” if that makes sense. Like, sure I can have the peanut butter and honey sandwich, but it would be better for me if I ate the apple instead, or mixed veggies (like I had today for lunch), or a baked potato. That way I’m not necessarily trying to just stick to the Law (like one tries to “stick” to a diet) but I am trying to please God by going beyond just what the Law asks me to do.

And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is not something that I would think about on a diet. I would totally be focused on how to follow the diet in the most indulgent way possible. (Like, if I get 2,000 calories a day then how many brownies can I eat and stay in that range?) But since this is about so much more than just a diet, then I can get excited about not having that peanut butter and honey sandwich (which is actually one of my favorite things) but excited in having a bowl of mixed veggies (which was surprisingly good… although I do wish they would leave out the peas. Ick. Not sure why God even bothered with those things).

All of these efforts are in hopes… no, in faith… of being free from food. I was teetering on my mind falling right back into the same slavery as before even though I was still following the covenant. I would have just made sandwich bread, tortillas, chips, etc my new “chocolate”.

Now I’m going to go out of order on these verses but for a reason:

If you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace. Galatians 5:4

That was me… yesterday. A slave to the Law. Being driven by the Law. Trying to do right by keeping the Law. But today…

Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. Galatians 5:1

Today I have once again been set free. My mindset today is how can I please God with what I eat? So even though that PB&H sandwich would not make Him mad… it might not make him pleased like the bowl of mixed veggies.

Wow. Who knew that mixed veggies could symbolize so much? Haha!

 

Day Sixteen: I Eat. I Eat. I Eat.

I eat when I’m bored. I eat when I’m curious. I eat when I’m emotional. I eat when I’m tired. I eat when I’m simply around food.

I eat. I eat. I eat.

Notice how I did not say I eat when I’m hungry. Aye. There’s the rub. But that is exactly when I should eat. When I’m hungry. Otherwise I’m attempting to satisfy a slew of other needs… entertainment, distraction, comfort, etc.

In doing so I am really railing against the system that God designed in my body. He was the one that put in the craving for food in the design of my body. Craving food does serve a purpose… a God given purpose. I’ve heard that this book, Made To Crave, addresses just that, and so did The Weigh Down Diet.

It is important for me to listen to my cravings… and I’m not just talking about chocolate. I think I “crave” sweet and I almost always default to chocolate, but now that I can’t have it I found myself craving pineapple last night! So I went to the store and got me some pineapple!

It is also important to eat when I am hungry. Again, that is a signal that God put into my body for a reason. I need to eat in order to maintain my body. Eating when I am not hungry though is almost an act of greed. An excessive desire for something. I want it for me even though I don’t need it. Yet God has still given me the choice to eat or not.

“I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23

I know that eating when I’m not hungry although it might be “allowed”… it is not beneficial.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

And if I want to truly make God my focus and for eternity to become exaggerated, then I must eat… yes, even simply the act of eating… must be for the glory of God. Even if no one ever knows that I am eating, or not eating as the case may be, for the glory of God… I will know my reasons for eating. He will know my reasons for eating.

On that note: I’m starving and my baked potato is ready! Bon appétit!