Day 678: Such A Yo-Yo

Every once in a while I have an epiphany. And I think to myself: This is it. I have reached a whole new level of intelligence.

Of course, give it a few days (or even a few hours or minutes) and I often realize that my “epiphany” may have been nothing more than me just finally realizing what the rest of the world has already figured out.

Like…… my recent epiphany about dieting.

I always subconsciously fear a healthy eating lifestyle because the closest I’ve ever gotten to a healthy eating lifestyle is when I’m on a diet trying to lose weight.

And gosh… let’s be real here: being on a diet is LAME. not fun. unenjoyable. plain downright sucky.

So, why would I want to do that for the rest of my life?!?!?

Well, I “figured out” this week that dieting is often a realllllllllly different experience than trying to maintain weight. With dieting you have to work twice as hard and abstain twice as much in order to lose. Whereas with maintaining you still have to work at it but it’s not nearly as difficult because you aren’t trying to maintain AND lose weight.

I am seeing that I need to craft my “diet” this way:

  1. Choose a healthy eating and living LIFEstyle that sounds doable.
  2. Make it a little extra stringent and double my working out for a bit to lose the weight.
  3. Once my weight is lost, revert back to the healthy eating lifestyle I picked in the beginning.

For example, here are the three steps that I should follow:

  1. I have chosen a vegetarian/Daniel Plan lifestyle with 30 minutes of yoga a day, 4 or 5 times a week.
  2. To lose weight, maybe I cut out all bread and chips and only drink water, cut my portions in half, and do yoga an hour a day instead of 30 minutes.
  3. Then, after I lose the weight, stick with the vegetarian/Daniel Plan but maybe toss in a tortilla every once in a while, have chips for a side, and bump my working out back down to 30 minutes.

So it’s not really a hugechange from the diet to the lifestyle.

So, what am I rambling about with my epiphany that wasn’t really an epiphany?

A diet is not forever. It is a way to get your body back to what you view as its “best”. You often have to work and sacrifice to do this.

When your body gets back to its best, the “reward” shouldn’t be chocolate and steak for breakfast but instead that you don’t have to work and sacrifice as much or as hard to keep that “best body”.

Like I said… you might be reading this and thinking, “Uhhhhhhhh hello? Everyone knows this.” But it really just sorta hit me this week.

I always thought of it like this:

Struggle through my diet
Lose weight
Go back to original eating habits

No wonder I have yo-yoed with my weight my whole life.

A diet is simply a healthy eating lifestyle… on steroids for a while.

For some reason it just makes me feel better knowing that. Knowing that maybe if I take this approach I won’t be such a yo-yo this time!

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Day 676: God Of The Arcade

We took my boys to a high-end, fine dining establishment tonight that was also complete with an arcade.

Yep. You guessed it… Cici’s Pizza.

Fine dining at its best.

My oldest had asked to go and although I believe that he genuinely does enjoy their macaroni and cheese pizza (which I have never tasted because I need only look at it and I throw up a little in my mouth), I do believe that the main reason that he likes to go is because of the games that he can freely run back and forth through.

I dug through the extra change bin before we left the house and so when we arrived, I gave him four quarters and said that was it. He ran off, played a few games, and very happily returned to the table and ate his “specialty” pizza.

I realized while he was playing that I had counted incorrectly and that I had two more quarters to give him. But I never let on, and (sweet thang) he never asked for more. So, after he’d eaten a few pieces of pizza and was totally not expecting it, I gave him two more quarters.

The look on his face… well, it was truly, truly happy.

And it was so much more fun for him (and for me) than had I given him six all at once.

Of course at that moment, I immediately thought of God. Cause I think God’s love is like that sometimes. God knows that when we find happiness and joy in what He’s given us, the extra and unexpected gifts will mean so much more.

The key is in that we find happiness and joy in what He’s already given us. If we look at what we have right now and we aren’t content, then what kind of “extra” joy or happiness are we going to get with more?

I know that you’re probably thinking that there is no way that I can pull together a post about Cici’s pizza, quarters in an arcade, and God and somehow relate it back to food (or if you are a seasoned reader of mine, you probably actually won’t be surprised at all). But it does tie in.

Say I lose five pounds.

Am I content with where I am? who I am? what I look like?

No.

Cause, keepin it real here people… I. want. to. be. skinny.

But I have learned (and I am learning) that this verse applies here:

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:12-13

Let me change it up a bit for you though to make it work for us specifically here:

I know what it is to wear a size 18 or a size 8. I have learned the secret of being content in every situation, whether it is with a skinny body or an overweight body, with a thigh gap or thighs that rub, with no rolls or lots, with smooth skin or cellulite bumps. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

This is what God desires for us to learn FIRST. He wants us to learn to lean on Him no matter what the circumstance or situation is. Then, when we receive an “extra” gift from Him that is neither asked for nor expected… well, just imagine how much fun that will be for us.

And for Him.

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Day 667: Making Room

I am going through a lot of my old posts to make sure that my links made it through the transition from my .wordpress site to this new .com site and I thought it would be cool to “repost” a post from the old days when I first started writing. Kind of a great way to look back and see where I have been and how it relates to where I am going.

I loved this one because a) It just shows how great my hubs is, and b) It reminded me of how people might not see this as an addiction, but for those of us going through it… we KNOW that it is, and most importantly c) It reminds us all that Satan has already lost this battle. Really take a look at the last paragraph though to remember how a Daniel Fast/Daniel Plan can help make room for that victory in your life.

Day Three: Resistance On The Home Front

By

So… I’ll admit that I didn’t exactly tell my husband I was planning on doing this. He sorta found out by reading my Facebook post about it. Yeah, I know… I know… a fail on my part. We were lying in bed and I was drifting off to sleep when the following conversation went down:

Hubby: [reading his Facebook on his phone] What? You’re doing a year long Daniel fast? Hmmmmmmm, not sure how I feel about that.

Me: silence

Hubby: Why? You know you can just cut 500 calories a day out of your diet and lose weight. I’m not sure I feel comfortable with this… I don’t want you starving yourself or being hungry: it could affect your ability to think. Hon, I think there are other ways for you to lose weight and maybe something less extreme.

[Side note: this might make him appear unsupportive, but really it was all out of concern for me... when my blood sugar gets low I get really loopy.... annnnnnnd a leetle moody, and he knows that. And he wasn't saying this in a jerk tone either... it was really a sweet voice. Okay... just thought y'all should know that! haha]

Me: Well, I’m not really doing this to lose weight.

Hubby: How do you mean?

Me: I am not doing this to lose weight. I mean, I’m sure that I will lose weight but that’s not what it’s about. Hon… I’m addicted to food. I think about it all the time. I want it all the time. I sneak it all the time. I need to be free of it. I’m a captive and I’ve tried a bazillion “normal and average” things to rid myself of this addiction and none of them have worked. I can see how this might appear extreme and I agree that it is, but since normal isn’t working… I’m going to have to turn to extreme. I need to be free.

Hubby: Ohhhhh, okay… I get that. Okay. And remember: you have already won the victory. Christ has won the victory for you. You don’t even need to fight, all you have to do is accept his victory. Cause needing to be free… I get that.

Me: Thanks for being concerned for me and thanks for understanding me needing to do this. I promise to take care of myself and make sure that I am getting what I need.

I posted this because I wanted to remember the conversation… it was a good conversation and I was really impressed with the way that my husband responded in the long run.

I posted this to point out that not everyone will understand this kind of thinking. That this is not about a diet but about breaking the chains of an addiction that isn’t really commonly thought of as an addiction: most people think fat people are just lazy both physically and mentally and although I’ m not saying that there aren’t those types of people out there, I think a good many of us simply have accidentally fallen into this trap of gluttony and it’s too late to get out easily.

And I posted this to remember that I have already won the victory through Christ. This Satan guy… yeah, already defeated. The ability to conquer this addiction… yeah, already complete. What this fast is enabling me to do though is to allow that victory room to flow through my heart, soul, and mind and take over. It’s not that the victory hasn’t been won… it’s that for some reason food has the overwhelming power to create such a fog that I can’t see that victory.

But no longer! Cause here comes the Son… burning that fog away!

{And I just had to post this cutie pic of me and my hubs!}

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Day 665: God Knew All Along

As I work {very slowly} on bringing this new blog site up to par, I’ve gotten a chance to look back at a lot of my older writings (and when you’re on Day 665 of a blog… well, there are A LOT of older writings). And as I tweaked and updated the My Story page, I realized that this was the last sentence on there:

So, here’s to attempting to live a covenant life… for the rest of my life.

And in light of the fact that recently I have covenanted to quit sugar for the rest of my life (Day 657: I Quit), that sentence of mine really, really grabbed my attention. Cause friends, I wrote that sentence… on May 18, 2011 and it is now November 4, 2013!

What I think is so cool about that, is that God knew.

God Knew All Along

God knew all along!

You see, I recently went to a women’s night where KariAnne Wood, author of the Thistlewood Farms blog, spoke on that very thing… and said that very thing. She had these expectations and plans and yet God had something quite different for her, but the thing was… He knew all along.

And it seems to me as I look back and see that sentence I wrote two and a half years ago… God knew all along that I would transfer my covenanting into a lifelong journey. He knew all along that I would need Him for the rest of my life. He knew all along that I would try it my own way and then find how much better His way really is.

He knew all along.

And back on my verrrrrrrrry first Daniel Fast, on May 18, 2011… He whispered His plan into my soul.

What a wonderful thing to know that God has the plans and purpose for our life and He will override our plans with His. We can remember that when times are hard and tough and not going as we expect. And we can find hope and comfort and peace in knowing that no matter what, we will fall into His purpose and His plan.

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. Proverbs 19:21

Day 664: Where HAVE I Been?

I thought for a long time when I started to struggle with food again that I was being punished by God.

I know, it’s kind of ridiculous.

But I just couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t get past this… addiction. Mainly because I had been able to resist sugar for a whole year and now I found myself plummeting back down toward that same rock bottom where I started. I would pray and pray and pray the psalmist’s prayer…

O Lord, I cry out to you. I will keep on pleading day by day. O Lord, why do you reject me? Why do you turn your face from me? Psalm 88:13-14

(And if you need to read more of those prayers, here are several: Psalm 13:1-3, Psalm 27:7-9, Psalm 102:1-2)

Until lately as my teacher has helped me to start to see my life the way Christ sees it: in panoramic.

With the purpose of each moment bleeding into the next moment into the next to the next. Even the “bad” ones next to the “good” ones. Moments of triumph. Moments of failure. Moments of hope. Moments of despair.

All of those were working together.

To lead me to… now.

To lead me to… Him.

And I thought it would be kind of cool to look through all of the moments that, now, I can see as His hand. His work. Now, this journey started years and years and years ago… I can remember as early as elementary school when I would wake up in the night at a slumber party to go raid the candies and snacks in secret. But for now, I’m just going to go over the past nine-months.

My First Chocolate: In January, a month after I’d “finished” my year-long covenant with God to not eat sugar, my husband and I finished up a trade show in California for his product, Chord Dice. We celebrated an amazing week with a steak dinner and dessert. It was delicious. And I had no idea the struggle that I was opening myself to.

My First Party: When I finished my covenant, I had decided that it would be best to gradually put sugar back into my life lest I go buck wild. So, I was only going to have sugar at birthday parties and on national holidays. It was very specific and led for little interpretation. Well, not long after having my first chocolate, I threw my husband a birthday party at the beginning of February. I ate cake and cake balls and chocolate covered popcorn all the batters associated with making them. And I ate and ate and ate. For dayyyyyyyyys. I was ashamed. embarrassed. confused. I thought that I had overcome all of this?!?!

{In between the party and the retreat that I’ll talk about next, I was a wreck with eating everything and anything in sight. I’d yo-yo… a few days of being “good” and then a few days of being “bad”.}

My Retreat: Twice a year I go on a mom’s retreat called MomsAway. It’s very laid back with LOTS of free time and I can wear my PJs the entire time. I love it. I need it. And I get to spend hours and hours with just me and God… and well, that pretty much never happens at home. So, this time I went with the main goal of wondering a) should I go back to work or stay home and work on this blog solely and b) what the heck was going on with my eating?!?! God revealed verrrrrry clearly that He wanted me to stay home one more year and work on this. And I also heard from Him for the first time, “Give up sugar… forever.” But, I ran from that and decided that I would go off sugar again for five years.

{Yeah, that didn’t work… something had “snapped” in me whenever I had that first sugar in January and I couldn’t seem to stop eating it. I kept going through the yo-yo. On again off again.}

My Many Fasts: In an effort to “figure out” what was going on, I started doing short term Daniel Fasts. I was trying to get back to what started me out in the first place: my love for God over food. I would feel amazing during the fasts and I would feel like “Okay- this is it! I’m back!” but then a few days after the fast was over, the walls would come tumbling down again. I remember thinking: I need a fast that, like, never. ends.

My Teacher: I joined a class in church a while back with this teacher (James Tippit) that is just uh.maz.ing. His teachings push me beyond what I have always accepted and he challenges my thinking but above all, he encourages us. Not in the sense that he does a little pep talk all the time but in the sense that he just reminds me of some of the most important things that God has said about me and to me.

And the most recent one was on Day 650: Liar, Liar, He’s On Fire when he helped me to see that Satan had been telling me this lie my whole life (telling all of us this lie) that if we sacrifice or hold back from doing something that we are going to miss out. So I kept hearing that voice in my head when I would hear the inner battle over food, “January, if you walk away from that plate of cookies, you are not going to miss out.”

My Jeans: Yep. My jeans are one of my big points. I’ve known for months that I was gaining weight, and many of you can identify with this… it didn’t matter that I was gaining weight… I couldn’t. stop. eating. I would even think of the fact that my jeans were getting tighter and tighter and almost to the point where I couldn’t even button them. They were certainly so small that I couldn’t wear them with any cute “fitted” tops. But the thing was, my jeans not fitting wasn’t a sign to me that things were a “little off”… because a little off means that maybe they are snug… we we are talking MAJOR MUFFIN TOP. No, more accurately, there was no muffin top up there, but a POUND CAKE. Essentially, my jeans were telling me a similar story: you have GOT to address this. Stop running from it or you won’t even fit into your jeans.

My Jonah Moment: Then one night while folding clothes, I was praying about what to do. I could hear that small voice to the right and the left saying “This is what to do.” Give up sugar forever. Change your life. (Isaiah 30:21) But just like Jonah, I was too scared for God to ask such a big thing of me. And so I’d been running from that idea… and running away from that idea meant eating and eating and eating… eating junk, junk, junk.

My Circle Prayer: So, as I read The Circle Maker that my husband’s Nanny got for me, I decided why not? I’ll pray it. So I wrote out my circle prayer.

the circle maker weight loss size 6 prayer

And then things began to tumble into my decision last week on Day 657: I Quit to quit sugar (just in the nick of time before Halloween started too)! And it was immediately freeing.

I write all of this for a reason.

You see, this change… this coming to the conclusion to quit sugar forever… it didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen in a week or two weeks. It happened over months and months and months.

But you know the awesome, Awesome, AWESOME thing about this?

I have learned so much about God.

I have learned that He is working even when I think my life is dismal.
I have learned that being determined may not mean progress but it might just mean holding on.
I have learned that God loves me.
I have learned that sometimes God purposefully works slowly.
I have learned that God isn’t going to give up on me and hasn’t given up on me.
I have learned that life is not as much about accomplishing something as it is about keeping my life steered toward Him.
I have learned that just because I don’t think things are on the right path doesn’t mean that I’m off course.

And my list could go on and on.

But I have also learned the power of prayer. Little prayers. Prayers of crying out. Prayers of humility. Prayers of desperation. Prayers of honesty. Prayers for help.

Those prayers have not fallen on deaf ears. He might not have swooped down to “save” every time that I begged for help, but He was listening all along. And He has given me just enough to get through… just enough hope. just enough strength. And He has shown me story after story in the bible where His work was on His own time… and seemingly sooooooooo. verrrrrrrrry. slowwwwwwww. But the end result was always awesome!

So.

Where have I been?

All this time… I’ve been with God.

I didn’t necessarily know it.

But I’ve been with Him.

And He with me.

Day 659: Where Have You Been?

Now that I feel like I’m starting over, I thought it would be a good time to do a little bit of looking back.

Not so much to see what went “wrong” but more so to see where He was.

Because you know that saying “Hindsight is 20/20″? Well, that’s the cool thing about being on the other side of a struggle spiritually is that you get to see all of those places where God was working. It’s kind of like that Footprints in the Sand story… ya know where God is walking with this guy and they are looking back at his “spiritual beach” where they walked together and there are footprints. So the guy looks back and is all like “God, I see here when I was happy in my life and doing well there were two sets of footprints in the sand where you and I were walking side by side. But here in my life where I struggled and worried and hurt… there is only one set of footprints. Why did you leave me when I needed you most?!?!” And God replies, “It wasn’t that I left you… those moments when you see only one set of footprints… that is when I carried you.”

Honestly, I was going to make fun of that story just now before I typed it because I’ve heard it soooooooo many times it’s almost become cheesy to me. But as I look back at the “spiritual beach of my life” over the past nine months I know that He has carried me more times than I realized. So, my little story there, instead of being cheesy to me, just brought tears to my eyes.

It’s not just that He was working in me during that time… but He was carrying me too.

And, well, let’s be honest… sometimes He was probably dragging me kicking and screaming. I bet a few times he just flung me over his shoulder while I threw my little temper tantrum.

But, He kept on.

And that is my message for you friends!

HE WILL KEEP ON.

God doesn’t stop with His plan for your life. He doesn’t pause. He doesn’t take a coffee break. He doesn’t falter or sidetrack.

God will keep on working.

Even when it doesn’t feel like there is any way on earth that you could be part of His plan… He is working in you and He is carrying you.

Stay close. Keep the faith (literally). Stay the course.

Day 659: Easy Peasy

I’m about to drop a mental bomb on you, so prep yourself.

You ready?

I mean seriously, get a glass of water or something because it’s gonna get cuh.ray.zay. up in here.

Okay.

Here we go.

easier to stay on diet

Bam.

You’re mind is blown, right?

But seriously… this little tiny fact is oftentimes the thing that makes it or breaks it for dieters and lifestyle changers. But if you’re still like “Okay, what exactly does she mean?” It’s this:

Dieting or changing your eating lifestyle is HARD. I mean… you are typically going against what your body and mind have gotten very, very used to. And your body and mind are both going to want to cry out for the way you used to do things and quite possibly the way that you’ve always done things. So, you’ve got to make it as easy on yourself as you CAN.

Specifics:

  1. Make a meal plan. Make one every week (or every two weeks or every month). It doesn’t have to be anything fancy… I mean there are some weeks that mine looks like this… Monday: Tacos, Tuesday: leftover tacos, Wednesday: Black Bean Soup, Thursday: Black Bean Soup leftovers, Friday: Homemade pizza, Saturday: Homemade pizza leftovers, Sunday: lunch leftovers
  2. Include LUNCHES in your meal plan. I don’t know why on earth it has taken me so long to figure this out, but I do so much better if I plan out what I’m going to eat for lunch too. Again, it may be easy for you… Monday: Salad, Tuesday: baked potato, Wednesday: Salad, Thursday: Panini, Friday: Black Bean Couscous, Saturday: Leftovers, Sunday: Out To Eat
  3. Go grocery shopping. It is strangely much easier to cook a recipe if you already have all of the ingredients. Huh. Go figure. {Again, WHY OH WHY did it take me so long to figure this out!?!?!} I think the best way to do this is to schedule which day of the week is your meal planning day and then the next day be grocery shopping day. Or, I also will often take my preschooler to play at the park or McDonalds or something and I’ll plan it out while he plays and then we go right to the grocery store.
  4. Get LOTS of healthy snacks. Again… no brainer. But my brain is just being rewired I guess. When you go to the grocery, get a lot of fruit. Just try to avoid that entire middle area of processed food cause it’s no where nearly as good for you or as good for your taste buds. Get grapes, bananas, apples, pre-cut watermelons, clementines, and a pear or two if you are feeling really fun. Those are all snacks that are easy to eat and yummy when you’re needing a sugar fix.

Like I said, I know that these are not major epiphanies, but these are things that even just TODAY I have remembered are important when dieting.

But MOST IMPORTANTLY… don’t give up! If you miss a week of good eating, then spend this evening planning out your meals and go to the store tomorrow. It’s no big deal… it’s all about the journey to health, it’s not about being 100% healthy overnight! It might take you a year… or three years to lose your weight or change your eating habits, but that’s so much better than NEVER losing the weight or changing your eating habits. Remember: God Loves You. You are NOT a lost cause. Trust the slow work of God. {Each of those is a post that will encourage you along those lines!}

Day 658: Day Two, Part II

writers block

I’m gonna admit.

I’m almost at a loss today about what to write.

After yesterday’s commitment and post, everything seems so… NEW! I feel almost like I’m starting over. And I just have so. much. to. say.

You might be thinking, Awwwwwww, that’s so sad. But it’s not! It’s so totally wonderful. You see, that’s what I love, Love, LOVE about Christ. We get to try again and again and again. Sure, there might be consequences that come from us doing it our own way… for example, I can barely fit the “consequences of eating terribly” into my jeans, but I don’t get kicked to the curb or told “Sorry, that was your one chance. No more for you.”

I get to start over if I want.

But now I’m wiser.

And now I’m closer.

Closer to a size six?

No.

I’m closer to HIM.

And He is the garment that I want to wear anyway. I want His spirit to cover me so completely that my size doesn’t matter… that food doesn’t matter… that nothing else matters but Him and blessing the world with His Love.

Day 653: Just Like Jonah

Lately I’ve been continuing to think about what can I do to help me get back on track. Well, to get back on track faster. I know that I’m on the right track of fighting back against my issues with food, but admittedly, I just want to be over it… faster.

So I tend to want to go back to how I did things at the beginning: by fasting for a few weeks. But then my brain is all like “No, you need a total 100% lifestyle change!” but, honestly, I am so daunted by that. The rest of my life… to commit to eating healthy without sugar for the rest of my life!?!?! It’s such a HUGE commitment. So instead, I just avoid it. I eat MORE junk than I would have normally. Cause… yeah, like that’s gonna help.

I’m afraid of making a huge commitment of “sacrifice” so what do I do? I run from it.

Like Jonah.

And just like God caused Jonah to get DUMPED into the sea to put him back on course, so will God do the same to me. So maybe it’s time to say, “God. I’m the one. I’m causing this ship to toss about in this terrible storm. I give up. Send me back to the path.”

So, I say that to Him now.

Say it with me if you are struggling (in any area):

God, put me back on Your path.

Allow me, as Jonah did, to see your undeserved grace and mercy.

I ask that, as with Jonah, your grace and mercy would fall on me and on those who hear my story and hear your offer of mercy.

Your way.

Your path.

Your message.

is life.

Help me, God. Help me to choose your true life.

 jonah belly of the whale

Day 642: Hopeless Hope

I recently started reading The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson (which, depending on when you are reading this, is only $5 at Mardels right now! That’s where the link will take you). My husband’s Nanny (as in… grandmother, not babysitter – hehe) gave it to us and my husband read it in like a weekend, but it’s gonna take me a million years. I’m a fiction reader mainly so non-fiction takes me a lot longer.

Well, I came across this sentence in the book  and it just realllllllly grabbed my attention.

the circle maker faith is sure of what we hope for then unsure antithesis of faith mark batterson

Because I realized as I read that… I don’t even KNOW what I hope for.

What should I hope for?

Is it wrong to hope to be skinny someday?

What does God want me to hope for?

Honestly… I wish that I could now say, “Here is the answer… here is what we should and should not hope for.”

Buuuuuuuut, I have not figured that one out yet.

So, instead, while I read on (hoping that through Mark Batterson, God will help me answer that question) I am just praying

God, show me what you want me to hope for.”

{And I won’t deny that I hope He says it’s okay to hope to be skinny someday! Haha!}

And I thought that I’d just invite you friends to pray that with me.

God, show us what you want us to hope for.