Day 280: The Skinny Rules Vs. The Covenant Rules

I’m pretty much like every other woman in America right now… I love pinterest. Sure I only try, like mayyyyyyybe once a month, one of the “activities” that I have pinned unlike some of those super-women out there, but there have been a few things that I have found and liked (or other have liked them for me)… snickerdoodle muffins, s’mores cake, the entire style/polyvore thing since I am a complete novice at all things fashion, a couple of toddler and preschooler activities, and my favorite transformation was learning (finally) how to fold fitted sheets so they weren’t just a lump of sheet fabric.

And recently a lot of women were posting about these “Skinny Rules”. Not having cable and pretty much never getting to go to a bookstore anymore (unless I make a beeline with my children for the children’s section), I had not even remotely heard of this book (heck, maybe no one did until pinterest).

But I am intrigued a bit by the skinny-girl mindset versus my own, so I took a look.

Honestly… I sorta checked out around RULE 5… probably cause it had numbers in it.

And it just proved to me how perfect this covenant is for me… cause there are so. few. rules. involved in what I eat. Not that I don’t like rules, but it’s just that I can’t REMEMBER all of those rules whatshisface came up with. Like, here are “The Covenant Rules” for me:

RULE 1: Honor God with the way you eat, what you eat, and how much you eat.

RULE 2: Eat when you are hungry.

RULE 3: Don’t eat when you are not hungry.

RULE 4: Eat food as close to the way it was when it was “ripe” as often as possible.

And really… that is it.

RULE 1 sorta covers it all. It is the breaking away from gluttony, breaking away from foods that even we know are “bad” for us, and breaking away from emotional eating, procrastination eating, frustration eating, boredom eating and the like.

RULES 2 and 3 sorta encompass most of the “diet” part of it… notice that it’s not as much about WHAT food as it is about the APPROACH to food. Food is there solely for sustenance… eat when the body needs food. End of story.

And the last one, RULE 4, is one that I have just sorta discovered on my own through Daniel Fasting. I am the most fulfilled and the least tempted when I am eating on a Daniel-Fast… and really, so much of that is just eating the “foods of the earth” instead of the “foods of the factory”. It means that if I can eat a raw apple instead of a baked apple, I’ll do that. If I can eat a raw carrot instead of stewed carrots then I do that. If I can eat raisins instead of a granola bar then I do that. If I can make my own pasta instead of eating the processed pasta, then I do that. No, at this point in my life (and with how amateur of a cook I am) I cannot do this with everything but it is a goal… because I do think that eating foods the way that God packaged them and prepared them and portioned them is probably the best way to eat simply because it’s as close to the way God intended for that food to be consumed as possible.

(By the way, a quick note: I’m not at all saying that the Skinny Rules above are bad, I’m just saying that, for me, there are a lot of them and I have “broken” about half of them and lost weight!)

Day 241: Those Dern Skinny French People

Apparently I have been eating.

A lot.

Often.

Because I am on day two of what I’m going to call my “Sans Snacky” Fast (if you haven’t noticed, I have a thing for titles or names to start with the same letter), and I have gone into the kitchen about 53 times in the past day and a half to get a snack.

How I have lost so much weight up to this point I don’t even know!?!?! Haha!

Y’all know that recently I started doing a no-eating-after-7pm “initiative” and it was really insightful to me as it showed me how much I was eating after dinner… even when I wasn’t hungry. even when I wasn’t craving. I was eating… just… just because.

Well, if I thought that was insightful then this experience is just downright revealing! (There might be a better word to put there but I’m working on four hours of sleep… hubby had a guys night last night so I heard every creak in the house until I finally nodded off around 1am, and then my toddler woke up at 5:00am!)

My mom recently mentioned a book she saw on a morning show called French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules For Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters (which should seriously be considered for World’s Longest Book Title). I found it on amazon and read the description:

Moving her young family to her husband’s hometown in northern France, Karen Le Billon is prepared for some cultural adjustment but is surprised by the food education she and her family (at first unwillingly) receive. In contrast to her daughters, French children feed themselves neatly and happily—eating everything from beets to broccoli, salad to spinach, mussels to muesli. The family’s food habits soon come under scrutiny, as Karen is lectured for slipping her fussing toddler a snack—”a recipe for obesity!”—and forbidden from packing her older daughter a lunch in lieu of the elaborate school meal.

The family soon begins to see the wisdom in the “food rules” that help the French foster healthy eating habits and good manners—from the rigid “no snacking” rule to commonsense food routines that we used to share but have somehow forgotten. Soon, the family cures picky eating and learns to love trying new foods. But the real challenge comes when they move back to North America—where their commitment to “eating French” is put to the test. The result is a family food revolution with surprising but happy results—which suggest we need to dramatically rethink the way we feed children, at home and at school.

And no worries… this post will have nothing to do with my children’s dinner table habits!

But look at the five-mile-long title… what do you think grabbed my attention? Yep.

Banned Snacking.

Eeek.

Who would say such horrible things?!?!?!

But honestly, since my mom and I had this book-investigation a few weeks ago it has been popping into my mind.

And now that I have {gasp} banned snacking for the past two days… okay, okay… for a day and a half, I am starting to get a wee bit more interested in said book with said five-mile-long title.

Because I think the “permission” to snack has made the road to “unhungry” eating (aka: emotional eating, boredom eating, procrastination eating, etc) far more easy to get away with.

When you have a life sans-snacky then there just isn’t as much of an opportunity to eat emotionally, or because you’re bored, or because you realllllly don’t want to mop that funky, funky, funnnnnky kitchen floor. When you aren’t “allowed” to snack throughout the day, eating at mealtimes becomes, ironically, more of a “chore”. You eat at meal times to sustain. And that is the reason.

So much like the concept of “give us this day our daily bread” or in the New Living Translation, “give us our food for today”. (Matt 6:11) Or “give me just enough to satisfy my needs” (Proverbs 30:8).

Sure, dinner might be yummy but I’ll be eating to feed myself instead of to entertain or comfort or even simply because it’s habit.

Anyway, again, for you skinny-minded people that don’t overeat or snack or indulge (and yes, I have discovered that there are women like that out there), this might be a “duh” kind of realization, but it’s been like a revelation from the Lord for me!

Day 224: Give God A Chance

Day 21 of my hard-core Daniel Fast! Last day!

So, I think the no food after 7pm… “initiative” is one of my new favorite things. It’s almost like a daily fast in a way!

At first I was a little reluctant to do it because I have really learned the importance of eating when I’m hungry, and agreeing to not-eat after 7pm might keep me from eating when I’m hungry. But, like I said on day 219, there is rarely any purposeful eating after 7pm so I thought I might give it a try. I’m now way more game to try something new that involves restrictions because I have found that in restrictions, there is (ironically)… freedom.

And well, that is exactly what I have found in the no-eating after 7pm rule. I don’t have to fight those urges every night. I don’t have to wonder how much I should eat. I don’t have to rely upon food to help me deal with an emotional eating situation. or to keep me from being bored. or to comfort me in my exhaustion.

By “fasting” after 7pm, I am allowing myself the opportunity and God the chance, to retrain my mind. Cause really, if I ate the right amount at dinner, then I haven’t been hungry between the end of dinner and bedtime. I might have a bit of an emptiness or a yearning every once in a while but really there hasn’t been a day yet where I just reallllly lamented over not being able to eat.

But I think that is the key of a covenant or a fast… it gives God the opportunity to change you. to reveal things to you. to renew you. I think I’m gonna expand on that tomorrow, but… essentially, God has already shown me through the 7pm rule that I had some latent habits in there. Some “hot spots” like I wrote about the other day. And relinquishing “control” and not eating during that time allowed me to see those things.

I’m not saying that I will never eat after 7pm again, but honestly, I obviously need some retraining during that 7-10pm time frame. And well, if it takes “fasting” during that time to rid myself of some overeating and/or mindless eating then I’m okay with that.

Day 134: Back To School

I’m just gonna say it… I have been realllllly wanting to weigh myself the past few days.

I know… I know… I KNOW! It’s so utterly ridiculous that I should want to! I mean… when I really sit down and write that down it forces me to remember not so long ago when I was so beat down by the scale that my husband and I straight up threw. it. away.

Yesterday I was even trying to convince myself that it would be okay to weigh, like, just once because I never really explicitly said that I was going to add not-weighing to the covenant… you know, that I wouldn’t weigh for the rest of the year. My mind was like, “Oh you know, you just said you wanted to just not weigh all the time. You never really said ‘I’m covenanting with God to not weigh.’”

Sooooo, to make it clear to myself that there is no room for negotiation here…

God. I covenant with You to not weigh myself for the rest of the year. If I go to the doctor, I will request that they not tell me my weight. And while I’m at it God… thank you for keeping me from weighing myself the past couple of days when I was really tempted to do so. And thank you even more for helping me to see what a detriment weighing has been for me through this process and for freeing me from the “measurement” of the world, so that I can focus on your measurement of me.

Alright. There ya have it. Sealed the deal.

And here’s the cool part… I think that I have wanted to weigh because my size 12s have been… just sorta loose lately. Like, my Old Navy jeans that were my “skinny-girl jeans” are now having to be rolled on top (I sorta have this passionate dislike for belts) to keep them on me. So, I thought… “I bet that I have lost a little more weight! Oh I wish that I could know for sure… just one little weigh-in and that would be it!” Again, thank God that He kept me from it… what if I had actually gained according to the scale? The emotional fall out from that would have not been good, I’m sure.

But after deciding that this post was going to be about be explicit with God about adding the no-weigh to my covenant agreement, I thought… ya know, I do have one dress that is a size 10. I guess I could try that on to see.

It is my college graduation dress… and it’s just so classy and kind of timeless (I think… I have noooooooo clue about fashion), and the cut of it was pretty flattering for me.

And it fit!!!!

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I mean… sure it fit better in college when I was a “big 8/little 10″ instead of a “big 10/little 12″ but that’s not the point. It fit. Now why going through that process doesn’t emotionally bother me while weighing myself can send me spiraling into an abyss of depression… I. don’t. know. (Although I do think that the same process of trying on clothes in the store might not be as “emotionally easy”… even when I was skinny that process would sort of get me “down” since I don’t have a toothpick figure even when I am a size 8, but a lot of “trendy” clothes are aimed at toothpicks.)

But I do know that if trying on clothes in my closet to see if they fit ever does make me depressed then I’ll slap that on the covenant as well! I’d much rather be a happy and content person that finds my identity in Christ than a person who knows if she wears a 10 or a 12.

All the same… it sure was nice to fit into that dress. Even if just for nostalgia cause I have no idea when I will ever actually wear that dress! But it sorta… ya know… took me back to that day in school… or well, the end of the school for me. When Hope was capitalized in my soul. When Dreams were still possible. When nothing from the world could weigh me down.

And after I had taken the dress off (which, I got a little worried that I might have to go and pick my son up in the dress because it has that kind of fabric and one of those “hidden” zippers that get trapped in between seams and I was getting afraid that I would not be able to get it off!) and I had quickly put back on my t-shirt and Nike shorts (and I say quickly because the mowers came right to mow right as I was changing and even though they don’t ever peek it made me feel oogie)… I looked at myself in the mirror, and I smiled. Because at that moment…

Hope was capitalized in my soul.
My Dreams suddenly seemed all too possible.
And nothing in the world could weigh me down.

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 Thirty-Seven: God Post

Today is not a post about eating or not eating.
Today is not a post about my struggles and my successes.
Today is not a post about… today, or yesterday, or the day before.

Today is a post about tomorrow… or the next day… or next week… next month… next year.

When I’m depressed, anxious, worried, happy, emotional, whatever…

Are you tired? Worn out? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me… watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. Matthew 11:28-30

Dang. There are just some verses that don’t really need to be expounded upon… and that is one of them. So, some day down the road when life is just… icky… I will have those verses to remember.

When I want to quit or bend the rules or ignore my covenant…

Let’s not allow ourselves to get worn out doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up or quit. Galatians 6:9

Yes… right! Buttttttt, wait. How do I “not allow myself to get worn out”? Well…

Those who trust in God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.Isaiah 40:31

And another encouragement…

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and peace of heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.John 14:27

So, I know that I didn’t really say anything new… but today was just one of those days where I really didn’t think that I was supposed to say anything. Today, I let God do a “guest post” on my blog. Haha!