Day 629: I Love It When My Pants Won’t Button

if you wake up and your fat jeans wont button consider it a challenge

Okay, well, I love the effect it has on me when my pants won’t button.

Wait. False.

I love the effect on me AFTER the original response I have when my pants won’t button.

Confused?

I bet.

This morning I woke up, did the whole parenting thing, made lunches, got kids dressed, yada yada ya. And then I needed to throw on some clothes to take my son to Kindergarten (He still insists that we walk him into the school instead of car drop off, and well… I indulge him), so I ran into my closet and thought “Oh, I’ll just grab my ‘fat jeans’ and wear those.”

Now, mind you, my ‘fat jeans’ are heinously uncomfortable and actually they aren’t even a bigger size… so ‘fat jeans’ is really quite a misnomer. They are my ‘cheap jeans’ that look terrible on me so I call them my ‘fat jeans’ because they are the ones that I wear around the house.

Only, not today I didn’t.

Because they wouldn’t even button.

I looked up at myself in the mirror. And I could see the dismay on my face.

It’s happening.

I said to myself.

I’m gaining weight.

A lot of it.

I must be if these jeans won’t even BUTTON!

And cue the moment where I spiral into a depression because I am doing the VERY thing that I do not want to do: gain. I mean, it’s cool for me to maintain, but gain?!?! No.

I could feel the horrid self-talk bubbling up from deep inside me… raging to crawl up into my mind and tell me that I’m worthless. weak. stupid.

But then I looked up again… and I said to the mirror, yes, I said it outloud, by myself, in the bathroom, with my ‘fat jeans’ hanging open.

Well then, it’s on!

{Cause I really try to never miss a chance to make my life feel a little bit like a cheesy movie.}

But it was… it was ON!  I decided in that 13 seconds that I was going to go to the pool and swim that morning (even though not even an hour before I had decided to cancel my membership since I hadn’t been in three weeks… which was a post-injury sabbatical of a week that had stretched into three) and then I was going to make a meal list for the week and then I was going to go grocery shopping later today.

Okay… that is the too-much-detail-I-always-tell-too-many-irrelevant-details version of the morning. And I mean, it was cool that a moment that should have gotten me down… a moment that would have knocked every ounce of motivation out of me a couple of years ago… that moment turned into my motivation!

But it got even cooler.

So, I went to the gym (and I am currently straining myself to leave out every detail of the morning between dropping my son off at school and finally making it into the pool) and of course water aerobics were about to begin and you can’t lap swim during that time. Since I was feeling very, very tight I hopped into the hot tub to get my body warmed up. While I was in there I started doing some stretching and thought

This would be a great time to pray.

So that’s what I did… I stretched and prayed… and THEN, I started to sing.

Yep.

In the hot tub.

Which is in the same room as water aerobics.

I just couldn’t come up with a verse or a prayer that was expressing my heart right, and my mind just sorta defaulted into song (which unfortunately, try as I might… I canNOT remember which one it was)! So… I sang.

And then when water aerobics really got jumpin, I got into the small portion of the pool by the steps that they don’t use and I just did some swim-kicks (whatever you want to call it… I held on to the step and kicked my legs as if I were swimming) and I said thank you to God for everything that I could come up with.

Thank you God for this membership.
Thank you God for this pool.
Thank you God for the time to do this.
Thank you God for your grace.
Thank you God for my body.
Thank you God for where I am now.
Thank you God for where I will be.
Thank you God for where I have been.
Thank you God for this revival of my heart.
Thank you God for…
Thank you God for…
Thank you God for…

And it was beautiful. And I did those leg kicks for thirty minutes. Not because I had to but because I wanted to. I wanted to stay there with God. I wanted to say thanks to Him both through my words and through my commitment to stay there and work my body. I wanted to stay there and say thanks…

Thank you God for… the fact that my ‘fat jeans’ didn’t fit this morning.

fat pants made me workout

Day 406: Patched Up

rainforest pool

Last summer, my boys wanted to blow up our little kiddie pool in the backyard, but Big Daddy was gone and I didn’t know how to work the air compressor, so I decided that I would just have to go old school on that pool. Well, sorta old school. I used a bicycle foot pump.

And it took for.ev.er.

But I did it. I struggled through. Switched out which foot I used several times. Sweated. Huffed and puffed. Used my hands to work the foot pump a few times cause my legs were giving out. But I kept going and finished it. Even had to blow up the little extra decorative parts using air from my lungs.

And then, I realized… one of the little extra blowup parts that made the pool look like a rainforest… had a hole. It wasn’t the WHOLE pool that had a hole, but still, If I didn’t keep that part aired up it would fall over into the pool. I mean, the pool would still be usable, but not as fun.

My faith has been so much like that pool the last few months. It has needed constant work to keep it aired up. And it just hasn’t been as much… “fun”. But, it’s worked. When my sweet grandmother went to Jesus in November, my faith was there… it led me immediately to Jesus. He was my comfort, my hope, my refuge. Then my faith went back to “keeping it aired up” status. Not splashing around. Not resting in the cool comfort. Just working at keeping it going.

But lately, there is this tiny… okay, maybe not tiny, but very small… almost imperceptible change happening in my heart.

Where I find myself softly choosing Jesus instead of my own desires.
Where I find myself longing for His Word.
Where I find myself speaking words of adoration and thanks to Him.
Where I find myself slowly, slowly finding calmness, contentment, perspective.

Honestly… I can’t say that there is anything that I did, or didn’t do, that led to this change. Maybe I’m reading my bible again more. Maybe I’m praying more and with a little more faith. Maybe my Sunday School teacher is the bizomb and is ripping apart everything that I have believed and making sure I believe it for real. Maybe just picking up the Beth Moore book every couple of days is transforming me. Maybe it’s my life calming down a bit. Maybe it’s the Easter season upon me.

Or maybe it’s just God’s plan. God’s timing. God’s change.

Cause I learned a lot about myself, my faith, my God, my gluttony, my hurts, my hopes during that time of keeping my faith “aired up”. And I was reminded of how important it is to stay the course, stay steady. It doesn’t have to be a Beth Moore study every night, or a Jim Cymbala prayer, or a Billy Graham conversion.

A verse a day. A prayer a day. A worship a day.
In the car. On the potty. In my bed. At the dinner table.
Quick and hurried. Tearful and begging. Flustered and worried.

The key… is going back to Him. Keeping that faith aired up. Cause He’ll patch that hole. You keep it aired up and He’ll patch that hole when the time is right. When you’ve learned a little something. When you’ve realized how much easier it is to just let Him patch that hole instead of keeping it aired up.

And then, for a bit, you can sit back, grab a glass of iced tea (peach flavored, if you’re really living it up), and relax in the cool, refreshing water of His Spirit.

Day 404: Rally Tally

tallymarks

Lately, I have been taking a study at church over The Patriarchs by Beth Moore, and in one of the videos she mentions that God isn’t in Heaven tallying up every time we sin; He is up in Heaven tallying up every time that we take an opportunity and do something that honors Him.

(Note: that is a TOTAL paraphrase because I can’t remember exactly what she said! And also, I have no idea if that statement is biblically sound… yet. I’m going to look into it; however, Beth Moore is a biblical scholar, so I tend to default that most of what she says is accurate.)

And I only have like two more minutes to post (cause I’m trying to get to sleep by 10:00 or 10:30 since I’m doing this whole up early thing for Lent), but I really wanted to post this.

Think about the last time you messed up and…

ate a bag of Oreos (or Girl Scout Cookies, since that’s “in season” right now!)
devoured your lunch leftovers even though you weren’t hungry.
hid some food from your husband or roomie so that you could sneak-eat it later.
ate someone else’s food because you couldn’t resist it.

And just remember that as BAD or HORRIBLE or GUILTY or SAD or DEPRESSED that you felt at that moment, God. isn’t. tracking. that.

What He IS looking to mark down is the time that you…

stopped by and visited a widow in the nursing home whose family lives across the country.
defended someone that was being picked on.
told someone that they were important and loved by you.
sent your kid to a less-than-desirable school so that you could reach more people.

It’s just cool to think that God is up there looking, watching, waiting for you to do GOOD. WE are keeping that tally of ourselves that marks down every time that we do BAD. But He IS tallying every time that you do choose to drink a glass of water instead of eating a handful of Thin Mints because you want to honor God by taking care of the body He has given you here on Earth. He IS tallying every time that you think of Him and take a deep breath instead of chewing out your son, your brother, your neighbor, your parents, your boss.

So rally up… be freed of all of those nasty marks of “BAD” and “WRONG”. Instead, start to think, “How can I get a “good-mark” for God? So that I can take that and get a jewel for my crown so that I can offer that crown with lots of jewels to God when I am at the judgment seat in Heaven.”

Day 402: Food, UNglorious Food!

You know, if ever Food had a theme song… then I don’t think that there is any doubting that it was the scene from Oliver where the boys all serenade… well, food. Okay, I can’t help it… if you haven’t seen the movie, then you can at least watch this song.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ly7PONiKGUs?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

And especially the part near the end of the song. Here are the lyrics (just in case you aren’t as big a nerd as me and don’t have them memorized) for the very end:

Food, glorious food! Don’t care what it looks like — Burned! Underdone! Crude! Don’t care what the cook’s like.
Just thinking of growing fat — Our senses go reeling One moment of knowing that Full-up feeling! Food, glorious food!
What wouldn’t we give for That extra bit more — That’s all that we live for Why should we be fated to Do nothing but brood
On food,
Magical food,
Wonderful food,
Marvellous food,
Fabulous food,
[OLIVER] Beautiful food,
[BOYS] Glorious food.
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Oh, how I identify with that song.
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But for ALL the wrong reasons! The boys in this video obviously dream and sing about food because they get slop to eat. Is that why I dream and sing about food (okay, so I don’t really actually SING about food)? No… I dream and obsess over it, not because I don’t have good quality food to eat, but because I have always had SO MUCH stuff to eat!
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But lately, I’ve been becoming extremely disenchanted with food. I know that should have happened long ago, but I’m almost going to the pantry or the fridge every time and thinking, “Nothing in here is going to taste the way I want it to taste.” But then when it doesn’t taste the way I want it to taste, I dwell on it even more while I long for some kind of wonderful flavor to hit my tastebuds. Not sure if this insatiable desire is a result of having had so much sugar cross my lips over the years or if so much sugar crossing my lips was a result of this insatiable desire. Either way, I’m having to fight it back now.
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So, a couple of nights ago I just found myself saying to God, “I don’t want to think about food anymore.”
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That was it. That was my prayer. And then I realized that saying that a) out loud b) to myself, and c) to God already started to help. So I said it again. And then when I woke up the next morning, I said it again. And again. And again.
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I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help. Psalm 77:3
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And I don’t think that it was a coincidence that this new prayer of mine has come about right at the beginning of Lent. Not that I’m changing anything with my eating, but it is 40 Days of Focus on Jesus. I did give up Facebook for Lent which has already been such a relief for me, and although ironically enough I did add a twitter “activity” to do during Lent, I’m cool with that because twitter for me is all about Jesus, so it’s been a great refocus for me to be on there. But I’m also giving up “sleep” for Lent, and I think that this will be the game-changer for me.
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No, I’m not not-sleeping for 40 Days… that’d be cuh.ray.zay. But I am waking up at 5:30am every morning to make sure that I get in a shower (so that I’m fully awake) and some bible study/reading/meditating time on Christ. I used to get up early all the time like that, but somewhere in the midst of my toddler becoming a frequent night-waker, I started to sleep in until juuuuuust before my boys woke up in the mornings, so this is a big deal for me.
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Not only is it a big deal because I am missing out on sleep so that there is the element of “sacrifice” for Lent, but also because if I am getting up every morning (including Sundays) for the 46 days of Lent to commune with God… well, that is gonna have a pretty big effect on me.
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And that is so what I hope for! I want my soul to be getting thinner and thinner (got this concept from that guy over at Fat Pastor) as it sheds off this desire to appease my worldly desires. And I want to lose all of this desire and obsession over food. I know that the only way for that to happen is for me to replace those thoughts with the thoughts of God and let Him take it from there.
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You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3
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Day 397: Lovate

You know that relationship that you had in high school (or maybe college) during which you were desperately, insanely, blindly in love?

Past all judgment.
Past all hurdles.
Past all advice.

He was…… it. The end all. be all. of existence.

You had some kind of almost supernatural bond with him. You always deferred to him because you wanted him to be happy. You could have been stranded on a desert isle for years and had a grand ol’ time. You were just… connected. Not at the hip, so much… but connected in the soul.

.

And he was totally, completely, thoroughly, absolutely, and altogether horr.ib.le. for you.

You despised the hold he had over you. Felt terrible because of all the times you told yourself you were over him. Felt even worse when you would let his opinion of you become truth even though it was often false. Lived in fear that one day he would leave you… and then who would you be without him?

You loved him.
You hated him.

You… lovated him.

Heyyyy, ya like my new word?!?!

Lovate: v. to simultaneously love and hate someone or something.

Brilliant? Yes, I know.
And yes, I promise that I have a point. It’s coming. In a minute.

I spoke of “him” as a generic figure that we have all interacted with… {and shout out to my guy readers, I went with the “he” analogy cause, well, I’m a girl, but feel free to replace “he” with a “she”!} …but, in reality, this boy was a real figure in my life. A real “love”. A real emotional torture to my soul.

I went off to college far away from him, got myself a good, down home boyfriend and pretty much moved past the emotional hang up with my former lovate.

{Oooooo, look, my new word is also a noun apparently!}

And thennnnnn, my good, down home boyfriend broke up with me.

And so what did I do? I reverted back to my lovate again. Knowing that he didn’t love me. Knowing that he was terrible for my self-confidence. Knowing that nothing good would come from my running after him again.

But I did it anyway.

You see, looking back on this experience today, I thought- Wow. You would think that after a year of being without him and away from him that I would have realized what a terrible match we actually were. You would think that I would have realized by then that it would never, ever, never work and that it shouldn’t ever work. You would think that after a year I would see what I see now. that I would have laughed at the thought of returning to him. that I would have perhaps sighed a bit in sadness at the poor, confused little girl I had been.

But I so quickly slid right back into what had given me my identity for so long.

Much like I did this weekend with sugar.

Sugar. My other lovate.

I love it.
I hate it.

I love the way it tastes. I love the way it takes me away momentarily. I love the explosion of feeling on my tastebuds. I love the connection and the memories that I have with it.

I hate the way it makes my heart race. I hate the pimples that I always get. I hate that I can’t manage to have just a little. I hate that once I’ve had some I can’t stop thinking of it again.

But more than anything, I hate that I can’t seem to tell it no.

And this weekend, as I prepared on Friday night for my husband’s family birthday party, and all day Saturday… I just went back to my lovate of sugar. Even though I have found True and Lasting Love in my God… I went back to sugar.

And I hate it now. I gorged myself on it all weekend. And I felt almost entirely guiltless. I felt superior. I felt… bad. sick. sad. empty. hopeless.

I. DO. NOT. LIKE. TO. FEEL. THAT. WAY.

I realized… wait, if it took me years, and years, and years, and years to get over my first “love” so long ago… then perhaps I should expect my loveate relationship with sugar to be the same. Perhaps it IS too early in the game to even allow myself “celebrations”. Perhaps I was just asking for it by allowing myself to dive back into that so quickly.

So, I revert.

Tomorrow sugar is out again for the year. I will make one exception. On my birthday, I may have ONE PIECE of cake that my mom makes. But that’s it.

Sugar… my lovate of days past… farewell. Perhaps we shall never meet again. And… well, perhaps that is for the best.

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.

Day 339: Mother Knows Best

20121214-070840.jpg

B12.

Ever heard of it?

Well, I hadn’t.

Nor had I heard that it is an essential vitamin for vegetarians.

Ohhhhhhhh, but I’ve heard of it now!!!

{Background} For the past two or three months I have been… exhausted. I just sorta chalked it up to having a toddler. Cause I mean, I’d been eating healthy and that was supposed to give me more energy. In fact, people were always asking me, “Don’t you just have so much more energy?!?!” And I’d probably say “Yes, oh, yes!” cause I’m a good southern girl… but no, oh, no I did not have more energy.

And it wasn’t like the kind of mild-exhaustion. It was a ready-to-sleep-18-hours-at-1:00-in-the-afternoon kind of exhaustion. I mean, I had more energy when I was teaching high school, directing one act play, raising a toddler, AND 9-months pregnant than I have had these past few months.

Serious exhaustion. Serious enough to make me mention it to my mom.

Now. If your mom is anything like my mom…… well, then, first of all, you are blessed, and secondly, things like illness you sorta wait up until you know it’s bad before you mention it to her. Because you know that she will immediately get on MISSION to fix it. You’ll get website links with suggestions. She’ll offer to pay for a doctor visit. She’ll text at strange hours asking how you’re feeling. And she won’t stop checking up on it until it’s resolved.

So, I mentioned it to my mom a couple of weeks ago. And she actually had just seen some show on TV where a famous actress got so exhausted that she had to start taking B12 shots.

Well, that certainly got me interested in B12 and so I did a bit of research on it and lo and behold, it is highly connected to energy and it is only in meat… which I don’t eat!

Wow- she knocked that one out of the park on her first swing!

{Back to now} But being a typical… well, whatever is typical about me… I sorta shuffled my feet around about it. Tried to eat more eggs for like four or five days. Ate some more fish. But it wasn’t helping. And I’m sure it really didn’t help that I got so sick the past two weeks.

I even crossed my fingers yesterday as I went on another walk that the exercise would help.

Nope. Exhausted.

So, when my toddler woke up, I loaded up my boys (under the auspices of going to the store to get tortillas for fish tacos) and went and got some B12.

Now I ain’t gonna lie to you. I took the stuff at like 4:00 and by 9:00 I felt a teensy bit less tired than lately. I even did the dishes!!!

I have no idea if that was just a placebo-effect or the real thing actually working (I mean, it said that it was 50,000% of the daily value) but either way, it was nice to have some energy… or at least to not be 127% exhausted.

So, today, nothing spiritual (that’s coming tomorrow). My only message today is… listen to your mother.

    If you follow my teachings and keep them in mind, you will live. Be wise and learn good sense; remember my teachings and do what I say. If you love Wisdom and don’t reject her, she will watch over you. The best thing about Wisdom is Wisdom herself; good sense is more important than anything else. If you value Wisdom and hold tightly to her, great honors will be yours. It will be like wearing a glorious crown of beautiful flowers. Proverbs 4:4-9

Day 338: Stop …… Temple Time.

{How about my post title… pretty awesome attempt to reference MC Hammer’s “Hammer Time”… eh?!?! Hehe!}

Soooooo I need to work out.

I hate to admit this to myself. I hate to admit it to you. And I really hate to admit it to God… cause then that means that I’ll actually be accountable to it. Ha!

And it’s not because I want to lose weight but because I am realizing that the better my body is in shape the longer it will hold out (in theory). My hip being a prime example. Not that I would be pain-free but I would at least have minimized the pain had my hips been stronger.

But I have spent several years taking care of everyone else but myself. And not that I’m switching over now for myself either.

I had this mental convo today:

Jesus Me: I really should go for a walk.

Earthly me: Yeah, but I don’t have time for a walk. There’s the dishes and the laundry and the bills and Christmas gifts and…

Jesus Me: Look, you make time aside from all those things to make sure you read the bible, but you won’t make time to take care of the temple of Christ entrusted to you?!?!

Earthly Me: Well, the only time I could go on a walk is early morning when it’s dark or late night… when it’s dark and I don’t feel safe at either time.

Jesus Me: Newsflash. Your husband works from home. You can go while the kids are asleep. God has provided a time for you.

Well, after my little Moses-moment there, I “agreed” with myself and got all geared up.

It was a) do the dishes or b) take care of the temple of God.

Hmmmmmmmmm. No brainer.

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So I went. Just twenty minutes. Just one mile. And it was beautiful. And peaceful. And it honored God.

    Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20