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.

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.)

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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.)

A Piece Of My Arsenal

I’m kinda “in” to this whole reading the bible again.

Ain’t gonna lie… I have been doing some major avoiding of reading it for quite a while. Not sure what happened, but dang. I just didn’t want to read the bible at all.

Like, at all… at all.

But I’m reading the One Year Bible (my husband’s grandmother {Nanny} bought me one years ago… you can also do the plan for free here) and now I’m finding myself thirsty for it. I mean, I should be… I haven’t had any Living Water for months… I’m dying of thirst.

It seems like each day there is just a nugget that pierces my heart or soothes me. (The great days are when I get a dose of both!) Just this last week the verse popped out at me…

Victory comes from you, O Lord. May you bless your people. Psalm 3:8

I’m keeping this one tucked away in my arsenal… to protect me from myself. When the “You can’t do this…” and the “You’re not strong enough…” statements start to bubble up out of my soul, then I can answer back… just like Jesus did to Satan. He used The Words of The Father. I’m gonna say, “Hey… shut your trap. Victory over this comes from God.”

It’s not on me… this is on Him. And He’s strong enough to win the war.

Victory comes from God

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 794: The Only Diet I’ve Ever Truly Loved

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I’ve been on a slew of diets in my day.

Atkins
South Beach
Slim Fast
Weight Watchers
20/30 Fat & Fiber
Juice Fasting
Daniel Plan
Hay Diet
Eat Clean
Sugar Busters
And several metabolism boosting pills whose names I can’t remember.

I lost either a little weight on some of those or a bunch of weight… but you know what is in common with all of the diets listed above? I gained my weight back with every. single. one.

Whether I lost 6 pounds or 60, I gained weight whenever I “quit” my diet. Heck, I gained the weight back even when I didn’t “quit” the diet. Which is when I knew something was up.

That’s when I came across Intuitive Eating… it’s my favorite diet yet! (Link: What IS Intuitive Eating?)

And I don’t mean that tricky kind of diet that the people call a “lifestyle” but you still have to drink blended organic asparagus or something equally bizarre. This isn’t a “lifestyle” diet. And that’s what I love about it…

It’s not a diet.

It’s not about nutrition, or calories, or workouts, or portion control. When it comes to choosing which food… there are no rules. But even better, there is no guilt.

Here’s the way I look at it: I have been dieting pretty much continuously for twenty-plus years. And I’d say that out of those, we’ll say 22 years, I’ve only been “skinny” for probably 5 years. That means that out of the last 22 years, 78% of my life has been spent with

FAILED DIETING.

I’ve been eating what I didn’t want to eat, how I didn’t want to eat it, or I’ve been starving to death and miserable… for what? For nothing!

So, I think that’s why it was so easy for me to just give up, stop dieting, and give Intuitive Eating a try. Because, seriously, think about it… if I’m dieting and I’m still overweight, then I might as well NOT be dieting and be overweight. At least I don’t have to walk down life with the heavy burdens that comes with failed dieting: guilt (remember this post?), depression, crushed self-confidence, shame, hopelessness, doubt, and you KNOW that the list could go on and on and on and on.

Instead, I’m getting a chance finally to let my body be my guide.

I’ve released myself from the terrible, overwhelming pressure of HAVING to lose weight.

I don’t fight the cookies or the chocolate in the pantry. {And truth be told, I desire them far less than I use to when I was dieting.} Sometimes I eat them and sometimes I don’t. I eat whatever I’m cooking, whatever’s being served, whatever I’m craving. I just eat. I don’t have to think, or dwell, or ponder, or wish, or lust, or dream, or conspire, or hide, or sneak. I just… eat.

And I bet you can understand how wonderful that might be… especially if you’ve been on a slew of diets as well since you were 13 (or earlier).

It’s a new kind of freedom.

A scary kind of freedom.

And, well, I think it’s probably just like the freedom that God intended in the first place.

Day 785: Sometimes I Just Want To Punch God In The Face

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Sometimes I just want to punch God in the face.

I know… major sacrilege there.

But be honest… you’ve been there. There have been times that if God were a physical dude sitting across from you and He said something like, oh, I dunno… “Hey, you should thank me for you being overweight.”

You’d probably punch Him in the face.

Well, that’s pretty much what happened this morning. I was reading my Jesus Calling devotional and that’s essentially what is was about. {And yes, I know that Jesus Calling isn’t God Himself talking to me, but I also know that God does talk through authors like Sarah Young} Check out this little chunk:

“The best way to befriend your problems is to thank Me for them. This simple act opens your mind to the possibility of benefits flowing from your difficulties.”

I mean… seriously. It’s so accurate.

I hate that it’s accurate, but it is so true.

So, today as I felt myself slipping down into a pit of despair as I attempted to find something semi-cute that fit me because my group of bible study ladies was going to lunch (without our kids!), I said…

Thank you God for making me overweight.

Yeah, weirdest prayer ever.

But I am gonna tell you… as soon as I said thank you, I started thinking, “Why? Why be thankful for this???” And I actually came up with a few reasons. So, give it a go. Tell God thank you for whatever issue it is that you are dealing with and just see where it takes you.

I have a feeling, if you go at it with the right heart, you probably won’t want to punch Him in the face anymore.

At least not today. {Hehe}

Day 780: The Hardest Part About Dieting

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One of the hardest parts about dieting and pursuing health isn’t the strict eating plan. It isn’t the hours you are required to work out at the gym. It isn’t having to weigh yourself at a group meeting. It’s not even trying to squeeze into that dress bought solely for the purpose of motivating you to not eat chocolate cake. It’s not counting calories. It’s not tracking carbs.

The hardest part is dealing with the emotions when you mess up. deviate. get off track. forget. get lazy. gain weight. plateau. binge. purge.

The hardest part about dieting… is the guilt.

So let me tell you… dieting from the time you are 13 until you are 35 and then suddenly just… not …dieting anymore, well, yeah. That’s a major paradigm shift. Cause all of a sudden that guilt is gone.

Well, some of the guilt is gone.

Cause, of course, as I learn that dieting in and of itself is what led to my binge eating, I start to see the possibility that maybe this whole covenant with God to only eat certain foods, maybe it wasn’t the “right” idea afterall. I start to think… “Gosh, I’ve wasted all this time spinning my wheels doing this whole Daniel Fast/Plan type eating and it was all for nothing! In fact, even though I was going to God for help, I was just perpetuating my issues!”

Then I thought about how this week I was hungry and so I went and grabbed a bell pepper and chopped it up and ate it on the way to pick up my son. And here’s why that’s a big deal…

I was hungry and I WANTED a bell pepper.

It wasn’t that I was supposed to have a bell pepper or had to have a bell pepper because of a diet plan. I wanted one.

That would NOT have happened if I had not done the Daniel Fast/Plan for a year. I wouldn’t have even HAD a bell pepper in my house before that! I didn’t even know what health was before I did the first year of my covenant. I certainly had no clue of all the food options out there before then.

So, the more I thought about this journey, the more I realized that me doing the Daniel Fast/Plan first was really the only way. Like, it just had to happen this way! Cause now that I have gone a couple of weeks of Intuitive Eating and getting to choose what I want to eat and not thinking about nutrition or dieting as I just realign my thinking, my appetite, my ability to listen to my body’s hunger cues, etc… I find myself starting to realize that junk food is just… well, not satisfying like I remembered it to be. But it’s like the idea holds: if it is “forbidden” then it MUST be good. That’s how my thinking has gone for so long. And I’ve been eating junk for two weeks and I’m already… ALREADY… kinda burned out on it.

I literally said to myself today, “Man. I kinda want to eat the good stuff again.”

Now, keeping it real, I said that AS I was eating a bowl of S’mores Snack Mix… which I finished. Despite the fact that there were four apples, 7 banans, a pineapple, and a bowl of strawberries all within arms reach of me.

But I’m here to say that I’m not rushing myself, or beating myself up, or getting scared that this might all go wrong.

I’m allowing God some TIME to work in my soul.

I’m not rushing HIM. I’m not blaming HIM. I’m not afraid of what HE is doing! I’m not in it this time to be a size 8 by the time bikini season hits (let’s be honest, even if I had a rocket hot bod… I don’t want to wear a bikini!!!). I’m in it this time for permanent change of my heart, soul, and mind.

Let’s get on that train together, people! Let’s drop what the world says and look to Him and let His Wisdom guide us toward true freedom.

God, gosh… sometimes I wish that your plans were fast. I wish that your change was immediate. I wish that your purposes were more aligned with the world. But then I realize… no. No. That’s NOT what I really, really wish! I really want freedom. I really want true change. So God, please, please, please… HELP ME BE PATIENT! Help me to keep my eyes on the path knowing that You are there all along the way, guiding me, directing me, picking me up, pushing me on, sitting with me when I am just too darn tired to make another step. And give me a vision in my heart of what you are doing in me so that I can press on to that goal! I want to be as much like you as I can. I want to portray a wonderful image of you to the world. Help me to slough off the things of this world… the stuff that holds me down and holds me back! You make this all worth it! I run to you! Amen!