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!)

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!

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.

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.

Day 868: The REAL Problem With Being Fat

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My son just turned four. Which means… birthday cake.

Twice.

Cause we had to have cake for his birthDAY and then we had to have it again for this birthday PARTY a few days later. And, well, needless to say… I consumed wayyyyyy more than I needed to. Shocker, right?

So, on the way home from the party with my two sons in the back of the car, I found myself pleading with God…

God, I’m desperate.

And then, I started to think through that…

When was the last time I really said that to Him? When was the last time I said, “Oh God, I’m just so desperate for _____ to change. Show me what I can do to make it change!”

Well, I can tell you this: I wasn’t desperate for the widows and orphans that he so explicitly instructed us to take care of. I wasn’t desperate for those in my neighborhood and in my life that are struggling through the grips of poverty and the cycle that surrounds it. I wasn’t desperate for the souls that live a few miles down the road who live in opulence, but find themselves hunched over at night drenched in their own tears because they bear so much pressure to perform. I wasn’t desperate for the missionaries all over the world sacrificing their entire lives so that a few souls might be saved.

I wasn’t desperate for the things that break His Heart…
I was desperate for a smaller dress size.

And THAT broke my heart.

I realized that with this weight and food issue of mine, there were two sides:

First of all, God has pulled me toward Him over and over again throughout the process. He has shown me, first hand, so much of His truth and His ways and I have learned, most importantly, that He has this plan running through my life that is so much bigger than just me. I have learned that every. single. moment. of. my. life. BELONGS. Triumph and failure. They belong. Healing and pain. They both belong. Skinny and fat. They are both part of my story… my life.

On the flip side, is the devil. And he has tried to take so, so much from me. He has twisted and flipped and pinched and prodded to make sure that this extra fat that hangs off my gut doesn’t just squeeze my jeans but it also squeezes my heart. He has made sure that my focus was on stuff so temporary, so trivial, so pointless… that I was becoming ineffectual.

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the lord. . . For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. . . Does not the Most High send both calamity and good? Then why should we, mere humans, complain when we are punished for our sins? Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the lord. Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven. Lamentations 3:21-26, 31-32, 38-41

So, with that, I change up my original prayer a bit…

God, I’m desperate…
desperate for you to distract my mind
so much towards the eternal
that I don’t even see myself in the mirror.

 

Day 762: Maybe God’s Not Done

There is always a lesson.

In every heartache, in every delay, in every disappointment.

There is a lesson we can learn.

A lot of times we don’t want to learn that lesson. Or at least we want to say, “Show me something new God… but, just not this way.” We don’t want to admit that His Way of teaching us is the most perfect way… even when it hurts. even when it takes forever. even when it keeps us from the very thing we so desperately want.

Yeah. So I know all that yet I still find myself frustrated, depressed, and downright angry whenever God makes me learn a lesson His Way. So, I continue to turn to Him, like I did in my prayer on Friday.

At my wits end, I turn to Him.

And I as I start to try to see things His way, I start to see a semblance of the lesson He is working in me.

Maybe… maybe I did that first year of covenant for God to show me that He can do miracles in my life. For Him to show me that He cared. For Him to show me that His Ways are so much better than mine.

And maybe…

maybe He’s not done yet.

I mean, maybe He wants to show me even more through this struggle with food… through this addiction to the very thing that keeps me alive and yet is killing me at the same time. Maybe He wants me to see that He is powerful enough within me to conquer my issues with food. That He has the strength to enable me to overcome these issues and develop a healthy relationship with food.

Maybe… yeah, maybe God wants more for me than I even want for myself.

Maybe He’s just not done yet.

And if that’s the case, maybe I’m not done with me either.

Maybe God's Not Done Yet

Day 738: Every Day, In Every Way

Day 738 The Covenant Diet - Every Day, In Every Way

My son has a ptosis on his right eyelid. He’s had it since birth and the doctors said it might just resolve on its own but it hasn’t.

Honestly, I hardly even notice it anymore.

It’s not super severe, but it’s there.

He never really noticed it until lately. I mean, he’d say: “One of my eyes is sleepy” and then he’d move on to build something amazing with his Legos, but that was really it. No biggie.

Until.

Until he went to school.

And wow – other kids were really keen to point it out. Not maliciously, but just “Hey! One of your eyes is closed!” He would just shrug at first and say “Yeah. I was born that way.” He handled it so well. Again, no biggie.

But recently he has become very aware of it and whereas before he wouldn’t let us even discuss the idea of surgery, now he is the one asking for it. {He’s going to have to have surgery because it is affecting his vision.}

And last night on the way home from church he said, “Mom! Please, can we just go get my eye fixed tomorrow? Cause, like, everyone is making fun of it and I just want it fixed.”

I wanted to sit down with him and say, “Oh man. I get ya. I get it. But I promise that even though we’ll get that eye fixed, kids are gonna find something else. They always find something else.” But I decided that was a bit too “mature” of a response for him. So, I said,

I understand that you want it fixed and that it hurts your feelings when others tease you. I’m really sorry for all of that. Ya know, when I was younger, people used to tease me about something too.

What? What did they tease you about?

My hair. My very, big curly hair.

But I like your big hair.

Yeah, me too. But it’s wasn’t “normal” and so kids teased me about it. But know what I learned? I learned first of all that Jesus loves me, all of me, big hair and all.

{My son then pointed out that I also have a big belly and that sometimes people make fun of people with big bellies. Yeah. Thanks dude.}

And I also learned that it didn’t matter what was on the outside… my big hair or my big belly… because what was on the inside was more important: that I am fun, that I love to laugh, that I am nice to people no matter what, that Jesus loves me all the time, every day, in every way.

{He then pointed out that I am fun but that I am not very good at Mario. Okay, well, I’ll give him that one. I am not very good at Mario. Like… at all. And this is a serious hit on my level of “coolness” in our house.}

And later that night I thought about our little conversation. I was trying to decide if I had gotten anything into his soul about the truth of what he should think about himself. But I couldn’t make myself think of him: I just kept talking to myself… about myself.

January, do you really believe that? Do you really believe that it doesn’t matter what is on the outside? When you looked in the mirror before church tonight and cursed the fates because you were wearing your “fat jeans” and you still had a roll sticking out over the top – it mattered to you. It mattered what was on the outside.

I had to answer myself: Yes. Yes. It does matter. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to totally make it NOT matter on this side of heaven. But what a great reminder that it’s not what matters to Jesus. Not saying that He doesn’t want me to take care of my body, and not saying that He doesn’t care about what I care about, but that just that He… He loves me.

He loves me.

He loves you.

All the time.

Every day.

In every way.

So just stop. Stop for a second right now. Stop and close your eyes and whisper His name. Whisper the name of Jesus.

Jesus… fill me with Your Love right now. I want to feel Your Love. I need to feel it. I need to know that when you see me, you just see the core of me. I need to know that in your mind, your gaze pierces through to the heart of me. I need to know that in your mind, your gaze burns through the mistakes, through the fears, through the facades, and that it just sees me: Your daughter. Your wonderful, beautiful, lovely daughter. Remind me today Jesus. Remind me to whisper Your Name. Remind me to push past all that is temporary when I look at myself and to see me as you see me. Remind me to love myself the way You love me: all the time. every day. in every way.

Day 682: Becoming A Butt Head

You are defined by God's Love instaquote

Ya know, yesterday, on Day 681: I’m On Steroids, I wrote about taking my healthy lifestyle and tightening it up so that it is “on steroids”: eating veggies, fruits, nuts, rice but cutting out cheese, bread, chips, etc. and amping up my amount of time working out. Just long enough to help me lose the weight and then I’ll taper it back down to a nice, normal, healthy lifestyle.

This is, of course, all just my theory that it will work.

But anyway, as I finished writing yesterday’s post, I was all like… Gosh. Will this even work? What if I fail? What does that mean about me?

And then I remembered a status update that I made on The Covenant Diet facebook page and twitter on Monday…

You are defined by God's Love

And I realized how I have been, yet again, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO focused on me. my weight. my appearance. my rolls. my ability or inability to lose weight.

Honestly, it’s hard not to do that. I mean… when your jeans don’t fit and none of your clothes look good on you… it’s hard not to worry and think about yourself. And that’s where I am at. Which means that I need, more than ever, to press hard toward God.

Because otherwise I’ll just get trapped up again into this mentality that my worth is somehow tied to my ability or inability to fit into my jeans.

And I wonder when God looks at my “brain usage” chart if He’s bummed because I invest so much of my mental energy on wondering how to lose weight. Not necessarily that I think He’s mad or even really jealous of that, but I wonder if He’s like, “Dang, January… I have SO MANY other things of weighty, eternal importance for you to focus your mind on!!!

But in my head, I’m just so focused on the size of my own butt.

I’m literally… a butt head.

{Haha… sorry, but that’s just kind of funny.}

And that’s what I want to change even more than not fitting into my jeans. I don’t want to be a butt head. I want to be a… bible head. (And yes, I know “bible head” sounds dumb… but work with me here.) I want my head in the clouds… I want my mind full, bloated, and stuffed with the thoughts of God.

So, I think that during this 30 Day Experiment, I will also take my usual healthy Christian-lifestyle and amp it up a bit. I’m in that phase of life where I am just hitting Jesus one verse at a time, and that’s okay, but for this “diet” I think I’m going to need to put my relationship with Jesus on steroids too. Like, some serious bible reading and meditation every morning.

And maybe my butt will get smaller and my soul will get bigger.

Day 681: I’m On Steroids

The Covenant Diet 30 Day Experiment

Well, I mean… not really.

Not at all actually.

I’m referring to my post on Monday, Day 678: Such A Yo-Yo in which I had this epiphany that being on a diet is really just picking a healthy lifestyle and then “putting it on steroids”… essentially making it a bit more strict and amping up the working out.

So, I decided to try to lifestyle-diet for 30 days and see what happens.

Cause really… those gosh dern Plexus people are breaking me down. It sounds so easy and it LOOKS like it is easy when I see these women I know just dripping weight off effortlessly, but I’m just so afraid of the aftermath. Ya know, what would happen if I did Plexus’s little “pink drink” and lost these last thirty pounds that have hung on to me since I was 15 and then I STOPPED!?!?

What will happen to me?

Is my lifestyle solidified enough to maintain that weight loss?

So, I’ve decided that I’m going to give healthy eating another run. I’m going to put my healthy lifestyle “on steroids” and see if it works.

I’m eating a vegetarian/Daniel Plan diet of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and rice (along with some basic sauces and whatnot). Now, my LIFEstyle will also include a bit of cheese, bread here and there, pasta once a week, etc. But to lose weight, I’m going to try to cut those things out.

I’m also going to do yoga and/or my recumbant bike for an hour a day, five times a week. It might not necessarily be an hour all at once.

30 Days (started this past Monday). I’m gonna call it my little “experiment”. And hopefully… hopefully we’ll see that it works.

And that my “epiphany” was right!

Day 680: You Can Go Your Own Way

Recently I sent my friend Suzanne a text.

{Get ready to feel sorry for me.}

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So LAME, right!?!?

But… I was being honest with her and I just really, REALLY felt like I should share it with y’all as well.

Anyway, before she and I could get a chance to meet, I had this, like, pretend conversation with myself and Suzanne:

Me-Prentending-To-Be-Suz: What are the things in your life that are sucking your joy?

Me-Pretending-To-Respond-To-Suz: Working out and cleaning my house.

Me-Prentending-To-Be-Suz: Okay, so, address those things. Fix them or get rid of them. Focus on what will restore your joy and peace.

And so, ya know what I did?

I canceled my gym membership!

AND I’M SO GLAD!!!

{Shocked gasps!}

I know. I was so glad, but as I decided to do it, I could already hear what “they” would say…

But, working out is so good for you! You shouldn’t put it off! Think about all those ‘What’s your excuse?’ fitsporations on Instagram? It should be a priority for you!

Yeah, well. Working out was stressing me out! Seriously! I felt like I HAD to do it because my sweet husband got me the membership to support me, but it just. wasn’t. working. I could give you all the reasons (which, I know, some will view as excuses) but what it boils down to is that my gym membership was HURTING the quality of my life instead of IMPROVING it!

And I felt so much better when I finally said “Okay, that’s it.”

I tell you this because I want you to feel free to do this whole weight loss thing YOUR WAY. If God leads you to do things differently than your BFF or your mom or your husband or your roommate… THAT. IS. OKAY.

It could be that “your way” means going to the gym every day for two hours at a time. Hey… do your thang.

It could be that “your way” means doing 15 minutes of yoga on your kitchen floor at home. Hey… do your thang.

There isn’t a formula and don’t let instagram or facebook or a pin on Pinterest or a group of friends or a Weight Watchers ad or a gym commercial or whatever tell you that there is a formula.

Find your way.