Day 735: It Was My Husband’s Idea

A few weeks back my husband mentioned that he’d read somewhere that it was good to eat 8 meals a day.

I gave him that Are you kidding me? look, because I mean, come on… I eat 8 meals a day and gain twenty pounds.

{Of course, let’s not bring up the fact that five out of those eight meals consisted of cookie dough and Hershey kisses.}

But I totally blew him off.

Until I started thinking about Steven Furtik’s new years messages from last year and just the phrase “Change the way we change” kept popping into my head, so I thought that I’d give it a go. Cause I’ve never done that whole 8-meals a day thing even though it’s totally “cool” with the whole nutritionists clan (which is probably part of the reason I didn’t want to do it… it’s a pride thing, but that’s for another blog). But ya know, I knew it would validate my sweet husband a little that I would try his idea and at the same time showing him that I would instantly blow up into a huge blimp.

Only.

Yeah… that didn’t happen.

I loved it.

Cause eating eight meals a day (well, I actually usually only eat six or seven but that is more than the “traditional” three) is awesome. You get to eat, like, all day long. Which is exactly what I was doing before only it was wayyyyyyyy less on purpose and with wayyyyyyyy more overeating and with wayyyyyyy more junk food!

Eight meals a day is like a dream come true for an overeater!

Cause what do we do normally? Well, we eat all day. So what we are doing here is still eating all day, but now we are focusing on our portion control and our hungry cues and smart eating.

It’s purposeful.
It’s fulfilling.
It’s easy.
It fits with any diet!

Okay, honestly, I’m gonna let you look up the science behind it (if you want). I haven’t read any of the science, but I do know that I get hungry about every two hours (if I’m eating smaller portions) soooooooooo, that’s basically my rule of thumb. Since I don’t have a hard and fast schedule like someone might in the traditional workplace, I go by when I ate last. For example, here’s what I might eat in a day:

  • 6:00am – tea with milk, if already hungry, I have a piece of Ezekiel 4:9 toast
  • 8:00am – apple with another cup of tea (or the toast if I didn’t eat at 6:00)
  • 10:00am – small bowl of granola and milk
  • 12:00pm – salad, split in two
  • 2:00pm – salad, the other half
  • 4:00pm – banana
  • 6:00pm – black beans and rice, split in two
  • 8:00pm – (tends to be optional for me) the rest of my black beans and rice (or I usually have a cup of tea)

Okay, I know what you’re thinking:

Uhhhhhhhhh, Rowe. A banana??? Yeah, that is NOT a meal.

Tell me about it.

But I think it’s a meal in the sense that you are stopping what you are doing to eat. I am being deliberate about preparing something for myself. Deliberate about stopping and making food happen. So, if you want to call it three meals and planned out snacks… that’s fine. But “eight meals a day” was just easier to say! (Ha!)

One other caveat that I’d add: I’ve been tracking calories. I know, I know… I always said that I hated it (and I promise to always have at least some mild distaste for the process), but I started doing it because I realized that I needed some accountability and some retraining, so I found this app where other people can see my “food diary”. I’m not like crazy about the calories but it is helping me to get a better understanding of my portions. Like, I always mocked the portion sizes on, for example, cereal boxes… but actually if I’m eating smaller portions (more frequently) then it’s actually perfect. Tracking is keeping me from dumping as much salad dressing on my salad. It’s helped me to know that while broccoli and squash and stuff like that isn’t “free”, it is certainly a great way to “foof” up a meal that would have otherwise been plain.

I know this isn’t a very Jesusy post (but the last few have been pretty spiritual if you need some Jesus: Day 734, Day 730, Day 729, and Day 728), but it’s something that is helping me along my journey from gluttonous to glorious, so I just thought I’d share some of the nitty gritty!

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 609: Keep Your Head Up

just keep swimming

You know, I’m not a huge fan of working out.

And by “not a huge fan”, I mean… I don’t like to work out.

Which sorta aggravated my hip condition because all of my hip muscles got super weak and so I’ve had to deal with some pretty hefty pain for the past two years. So, I learned my lesson: stretch and do some form of work out.

But of course, I learned that lesson, like, about a year ago… annnnnnd never got a gym membership to go work out. I did yoga at home (still love that) but I needed something to really get my heart pumping a bit more because I’m not at that point yet in yoga where I can do the cardio-type yoga.

Okay, I’m rambling.

So, I have recently started swimming at a local gym (thanks to my hubs, Mr. Chord Dice).

And I have already gotten a GOOD spiritual lesson out of it!

In swimming, just like the other sports, form can really help you get more out of the workout, and I had really been feeling sorta like something was wrong with my swim stroke. So I looked it up on what Jon Acuff calls “the internets” and found an article on Active.com that had some suggestions.

Number one tip: Keep your head up.

I totally figured that it would be something more akin to my arm position or how I kicked my legs, but no… keep your head up. The article says, “Look forward, with your hairline cresting the surface of the water in front of you” otherwise “if you bury your head into your chest, it will serve as a 25-pound form of resistance.”

Now, this post is not all about swimming position, but gosh… WHAT. A. PARALLEL. for all of us.

As I just skimmed through the water after reading that I was amazed at the different in my swim. And I think that our life is just like that. We, oftentimes, bury our face down into our SELVES and act as our own form of resistance.

I think that I’ve been doing that for MONTHS. Focusing on why I wasn’t losing weight, on what MY body looked like, how how MY clothes didn’t fit the same, on what I could or could not eat.

All of this focus was all on me. all on my weight. all on me. me. me.

I have been acting as my own form of resistance.

But when I lift my head up and focus on where I am going and Who I am following, then I practically skim through my days.

And one more parallel while we’re at it. There is also the line down the center of each swim lane. A big, thick, dark blue line that acts as a guide for me so that I don’t swim off course. Well, when I am looking straight down in the pool I just see a bit of this line and it makes the lane seem endlessssssssss… I would often think, “How LONG is this swim lane?!?!?!” But when I can look up, I see the end of the lane so much more clearly and it’s actually easier to stay on course.

Again… wow. When I look UP to Him instead of where I am at that very moment then it is easier to see that it’s not all about where I am at that very moment but where He and I are going.

Gosh, I don’t know if this will speak to anyone but it was just a huge reveleation, renewal, restart for me! I can say to myself over and over again throughout the trials and tribulations of the day, during the pull and temptation of food… Keep Your Head Up, January! Focus on Him and on where You are going! And it just… changes my persepctive. Doesn’t always change the fact that I’m only halfway down the “lane” and I’m exhausted, but it does make me remember that He is taking me somewhere… I have to, in the words of Dorrie, “just keep swimming.”

Day 390: Might As Well

{Disclaimer: I wrote most of this on Sunday… but never got around to finishing it.}

Oh my… the words “might as well” are like the kiss of death for someone who struggles with gluttony.

Well, I already ate a few Oreos, so I might as well eat the whole bag.
I broke my diet this morning, so I might as well eat an entire bag of chips.
I ate the rest of my leftover hamburger from last night, so I might as well eat some pizza too.

Yeah… that last one… that was me… today.

You see, I had my first “birthday party” celebration night on Saturday night. My husband’s birthday is… oh, well, it’s tomorrow! {Happy Birthday my love!} And so we went out with some friends to BJ’s Brewhouse to celebrate (and then we were going to go to Top Golf to hang out and play there, but the wait was FOUR. HOURS. LONG.) and since it was a birthday PARTY, I was “allowed” to eat whatever. I thought I did pretty good… I ate some chips, had half of a hamburger (yummmmm) and half of my fries, and had a couple glasses of wine.

I felt GREAT! I mean… I had not busted out into gluttony. It was just as I hoped it would be.

And thennnnnnnnnn, came today.

You see, we got the boys and the babysitter cheese pizzas while we were gone, and gosh darnit, but those dadgum pizzas slices looked and smelled amazing. And I thought about them, and thought about them, and thought about them… this morning and then again when I got home from church.

So, instead of eating the pizzas, I ate the other half of the hamburger leftovers. Honestly, I think this was my downfall even more than the eventual pizza “incident” cause I ate what I WASN’T craving. I wanted that pizza. All I really wanted was that pizza, but instead I chose to eat the hamburger because it could kinda be justified in my mind as “okay” since I had gotten it at the birthday party the night before. But the pizza… well, it was just off limits all around, and I knew it.

So, I ate the other half of my hamburger.

And THEN I ate a piece of pizza.

Because,  you know, I might as well since I had already broken the covenant by having that hamburger.

Honestly, I only ate one piece of pizza because I felt I had to sneak eat it, and then I went to put my sons down for their naps and while I was doing that my husband ate all the rest of the pizza. My plan was foiled. But I was sorta glad because then it took the opportunity away from me.

But what I want to focus in on is the “might as well” syndrome. Cause I’m purty dern sure the that “might as well” syndrome is what takes someone from being just a food addict to being a glutton… that is probably really overweight like I was. Because this phrase is what gives us “permission” to break from our diet, or covenant, or healthy lifestyle.

But WHY?

I… don’t know why actually! Haha! But I know that it is… it is a get out of jail free card, only it is exactly what puts us IN JAIL. This phrase overrides our good decision making and puts us back under the control of our body’s desires to eat whatever we want, as much as we want, whenever we want.

And honestly, I have no new fancy scriptures on my heart that tie to this. I obviously didn’t have anything that dissuaded me from breaking my covenant. And I don’t mind admitting that I’m feeling a bit defeated. It’s like I have had God’s power in my hand for a year, and now it’s… just gone. It’s like I lost it in my miscellaneous junk drawer and can’t find it. And even worse, I don’t really feel like digging for it. I’d rather just… sin.

Just keeping it real. Sorry to be Debbie Downer, but hopefully over the next few days and weeks I’ll work through this and then if you hit this spot too then it’ll help you work through it as well!

Cause one thing I know… there is HOPE. There is always HOPE.