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 759: A Prayer

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God,

I feel this struggle with food pulling me… toward some epiphany about You, your power, your plan.

But, honestly, this whole experience hurts and I’m tired. I just want to give up and try a bunch of short cuts to just lose weight. I just want to be skinny, fit into my clothes, and never worry about food or fight with food or lust for food.

So I come to You.

Oh God- Refresh me. Renew me. Give me a fresh and new purpose and passion to care for this body you’ve given me. Help me remember that it is an honor to You when I honor my body.

And please God, give me wisdom. Whisper in my ear what to do, which way to go. Guide me to information that will help me overcome. Light it up in my heart so that I might become determined and disciplined once more.

I know that You always have great, amazing and sometimes shocking plans and I know that I often don’t see the entirety of your plan. Help me to walk in faith and know that even through this struggle you are working a miracle of faith in my heart, that you are laying a path for a future prosperity in my soul, that you are doing something purposeful.

God, I love you. I trust you. I believe you.

I will wait.

Give me patience to wait on You and Your plan.

Amen.

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Day 752: Never Too Far Gone

The good people over at Proverbs 31 Ministries shared this on their Facebook page this morning and I just had to pass it on. If there is any message we should think about moment by moment, it is this one.

You’ve never gone too far that God can’t redeem you, restore you, forgive you, and give you a second chance.
- Lysa Terkerst

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Day 336: Sin Switch

I was thinking this morning about  how I am going to need to stay with my covenant for a longer stretch of time.

I got a bit of a complex, wondering a bit why I needed to still stay with it when the people on the WeighDown testimonials had been skinny for years and years. Was there something “wrong” with my covenant? Was there something “wrong” with me?

But then I was reminded that not everyone that has done WeighDown has lost tons of weight and kept it off. I have a friend that did a WeighDown course and lost weight but gained it back.

And ya know… I think I am having to readjust just as much of my mind to remember that gluttony and food addiction are not just sins that you can switch on and off like a light switch.

These sins are sooooooo ingrained into my flesh and my habits that it will take years (and possibly my entire lifetime) to overcome. And maybe that’s how I’ve gotten so far in my life without really breaking this addiction… I did all these diets and short-term “fixes” when really I needed to address the main issue of gluttony and all the things that pushed me toward gluttony (boredom, procrastination, sadness, etc). It was like that analogy… a diet is like putting a bandaid on a seriously massive, festering wound and expecting it to heal.

I’ve focused on the short game for so long, and now I’m finally addressing the REAL issues in my heart that drive me to overeat.

And our dear friend Paul understood the struggle with sin so well…

The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. Romans 7:14-15

So, so, so accurate… but here’s what I love about what Paul has to say even more. Just this kind of talk is depressing. Full of hopelessness, but Paul always seems to point us back to The One Who Saves…

I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 7:22-25

And if PAUL HIMSELF continued to struggle with sin, even after having been blinded by the glory of Christ on the road to Damascus, well… then… maybe I’m not such a spiritual freak after all. But I have hope… I continue to run this race because, Jesus Christ will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death!

He is the switch… no matter how many times I sneak into my soul and flip it back down and pout in the darkness, He has the power to flip that switch back on… and flood me with Light.

Day 121: UNglorious

I think I’m starting to get a much better understanding of what it was to be an Israelite.

I’ve often read about the Israelites going around and around in circles with God… He would save them, then they would praise Him and adore Him, then they would begin to worship an idol, and then He would punish them, and then they would repent, and He would save them. Over and over again. I was always like, seriously? Why would you worship some gold cow after what He did for you?

But I think now I’m starting to identify a bit more with them.

God has brought me out of my own little proverbial “Egypt” of food addiction. I have spent days praising Him and being in awe of His “mighty hand and outstretched arm”.

But, sitting here at day 121, I can say that over the past four months there have been days when, well, it’s not as… fun. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not breaking the covenant. But sometimes I find myself forcing myself to blog… and not because I don’t want to write (although, there are days of just mere exhaustion with two young boys where that is the case) but because I don’t feel like there is anything “new” to write about. There are days that are just… well, to play off of my “tag line”… there are days that are just UNglorious. At least that is the way that some days feel.

But, really, there are no days that are UNglorious.

The Lord makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18

So even if a day of tge covenant journey is… “boring” or “lame” or just plain “normal”, I am still in the process of being changed into his glorious image. Wow. That just makes every day… a glory day!

Day 104: The Blue Bell Is Ringing

I started to write this morning on a different topic and got sidetracked (dern kids! Haha) but now I am glad that I wasn’t able to finish because I have a post more about the now.

Today has been… rough. Not like the “oh my kid dropped the entire tub of powdered gatorade out on the kitchen floor” kind of tough (although he did do that) but the kind of tough day that deals with being hurt emotionally, dreams deferred, hopes squelched.

Honestly, there is no need to be specific about what is going in (nor can I… although I will be clear that it is not marital nor is it something pertaining to my kids) because all of us have had THAT day. Some of us have had a day like that many times. Some of us a few times. Some people experience a day like that every. single. day.

Now you might be a little nervous that this is going to be a post where I vent my frustrations or something because the connection to food addiction and overeating probably looks pretty… non existent. But, alas, the connection is very, very strong.

Today has been tough. So today should have been a “drown my sorrows in a tub of Blue Bell day”. I should have comforted myself with the bag of chocolate frosted donuts that I treat my boys to once a month. A family visit to Sonic should be in order complete with chocolate shakes and all of a bacon cheeseburger.

But instead… today was a day of renewal for me. A day where I was reminded of God’s unending love and care for me. Because instead of wallowing in decadent foods… I turned to the Word this morning.

I craved it.

I feasted on it.

I gorged myself on it.

I hungered and thirsted for righteousness.

And I have been filled.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6

Day 101: Wonderful Weight

I got a new (free) app on my phone and was messing with it last night before bed. My friend Gayle (yep, changed her name too) asked me the other day if I had really looked, like at pictures or something, to tell the difference of how much weight I had lost. I really hadn’t so I plugged in a “before” photo and a “now” photo that was very similar to see the difference. And I was actually almost shocked! Now, I by no means thought that I was ugly before… I actually thought I was quite pretty. Not to sound stuck up but I always thought that I had a great smile and God has gifted me with a joyful spirit with which to use that smile. I was more so shocked at the mere difference.

So I posted this pic to her Facebook…

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With this caption…
So remember the other day you asked me if I had really looked at myself to see the change? Well, last night I got a new app and was messing with it and I put these two pics next to each other (sorta like a before and after I guess) and doing that I was pretty amazed at the difference!!! So thanks for bringing that up!

Well I didn’t think about the fact that my other friends would also see the pic and several of them commented.

And I was thinking about how cool it has been to lose weight because of God. I mean, it is nice to have an outward evidence of my inward healing.

And even though I have used the following verse before it has jumped out again to me about why it is such a blessing to be able to a) be healed of my food addiction, and b) be able to have my healing cause people to ask about God… so that His Power Might be shown in me, and hopefully in others as well.

“This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.” John 9:3

And if that can be the case, if the power of God can be seen, then all of my days of weight were wonderful.

Day Eighty-Eight: Cat Call

I’m not even entirely sure how to breach such a subject, but again, my blog is an avenue for me to work through issues that arise from a food addict losing a food addiction.

Like I mentioned yesterday, I have lost quite a bit of weight… would my body be featured in a magazine? Ummmmm, no. Would I want it to be? Ummmmm, no. But it does look a bit more like what this world praises as “fit”. According to whatever people invented the BMI, I have moved off of the obese range and am now “just” overweight.

But enough of that talk… what is my point?

Well, I got my first “cat call” in years the other day from some random guys down the street. And I mention it here because… well, because it felt good. It felt good to be found attractive by someone other than a family member that HAS to think that I’m beautiful (or at least has to SAY it whether they think it or not). But these were just random people that I have never seen before and will never see again.

Immediately, I was bursting with… well, I’m not even sure I know what I was bursting with. First there was a bit of surprise along with a look around to see who they were talking about. Upon realizing that it was me, I guess it was just regular ol’ pride I was feeling.

Okay, so a surge of pride, then the moment was gone, right?

Nope. I wish that had been the case but it wasn’t. I allowed my thoughts to linger on that “compliment” for hours. I had craved that kind of feedback for so long before meeting my husband (who compliments me all the time, by the way)… and I guess my mind just sort of falls back on that.

But I also began to hear that voice in my head that I was chasing after something wrong. Something dangerous. Oh how I wanted to ignore that voice and continue to bask in their words a while longer. But I kept hearing “THAT is not The Way… THAT is not why I have freed you.”

I have been freed from chocolate but do not want to simply pick up another habit of overeating chips and bread. Same thing here… I don’t want to lose an obsession with food simply to replace it with an obsession based on how mankind views my body. I’m afraid the latter would be a far more dangerous addiction than chocolate, bread, or chips.

Don’t judge by appearance or height… The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Day Fourteen: Exaggerated Eternity

I am blatantly going to borrow quite a bit of this material from pastor Dr. Richard Mark Lee‘s sermon on Sunday. It was a wicked awesome sermon… hmmmm, maybe I need to find another word than “wicked” to describe how awesome a sermon is. hehe

Anyway, he was talking about the end of the world (aka: tribulation) and near the end of the sermon he discussed how we can change our focus from materialism to eternity. He led us all in this song…

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in his wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grown strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

The he said something along these lines:

The more we focus on the temporary things of this world, then the more eternity grows dim and the temporary becomes exaggerated.

Straight up. That action got my attention.

Now it can relate to about a billion things in our lives, but for the purpose of my covenant, I’m going to apply it to the destruction of my food addiction… because as I’ve shared, the power of food (definitely something that would be considered “temporary”) has become sooooo exaggerated.

I’ve heard that one of the hardest things for people trying to break some kind of addiction or lust or whatev… is that when you are trying not to eat, not to lust, not to drink, smoke, gossip… that it is like ALL you can manage to think about. Example:

In the past when I have dieted, I would be thinking “Don’t eat the chocolate. Don’t eat the chocolate. Don’t eat the chocolate.” Well, it’s like telling someone, “Don’t think about a red fire truck.” Well….. what the heck are we GONNA think about???? A red. fire. truck. So if I’m thinking “Don’t eat the chocolate”… it’s like the pull of chocolate suddenly becomes overexaggerated until I simply can’t resist the pull anymore.

But, instead of “Don’t eat the chocolate” I’m thinking “Honor God with my body” or “Please God with my sacrifice”, then what starts to become exaggerated in that case? GOD!

Shaweet! It’s such a simple but great way of looking at how our minds flip flop the things of this world with the things of eternity. So the goal is to live out this sentence…

The more I focus on eternity, then the more the things of this earth will grow dim and eternity will become exaggerated.