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.)

deathtoselfie

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

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 849: Let’s Make A Deal

Last night I got really… sad. Like, “I’m fat” sad. And then I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking “I’m fat. and undesirable. and ugly. and worthless. and lazy. and undisciplined. and… and… and…”

So, what did I do?

I looked up pics of skinny-me on my facebook page.

Yeahhhhhhhhhh, that was NOT the best idea I’ve ever had. And I can guarantee you that it didn’t make me feel any better. Cause all I did was start to say the same things to myself over and over again… and there was the proof!

See, January!?!?! See??? You used to be so skinny! Even when you thought you still had weight to lose you were perfect! You looked great! But you blew it all, didn’t you? You just ruined it. And now you are fat again and stuck in the same boat you were when you started this whole thing. Way to go.

Admittedly there was a little part of me that retorted, “But you did it once, you could do it again. Go to God. See what He has to say.”

Yeah, I didn’t listen to that part of me. Ya know… the part of me that knows what she’s talking about? I should have gone to God. I should have spent that time searching His Words for the things that are true of me. The things that speak to His Power in my life. The words that address His unfailing and constant Love for me.

But I didn’t.

So.

Let’s make a deal. Next time. Next time that secret sad part of us starts to spout off this DARKNESS into our hearts…

Let’s fight back with LIGHT!

Come back to this post if you need to… cause here are a few things he says about you:

  • I am completeIn Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.  So, I am also complete through my union with Christ who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:9-10
  • I am lovedCan anything ever separate me from Christ’s love?  Does it mean he no longer loves me if I have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?  (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is mine through Christ, who loved me.  And I am convincned that nothing can ever separate me from God’s love.  Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither my fears for today nor my worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate me from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below–indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate me from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39
  • I am a work in progressI am certain that God, who began the good work within me, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6
  • I am strongI can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
  • I am a masterpiece. I am God’s masterpiece.  He has created me anew in Christ Jesus, so I can do the good things he planned for me long ago. Ephesians 2:10
  • I am worth a lotGod bought me with a high price.  I must honor God with my body. 1 Corinthians 6:20
  • I am chosen by Him. Since God chose me to be a holy person he loves, I must clothe myself with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12
  • I am guarded and celebratedFor the Lord my God is living among me.  He is a mighty savior.  He will take delight in me with gladness.  With his love, he will calm all my fears.  He will rejoice over me with joyful songs. Zephaniah 3:17

 

Zacchaeus – Short Dude. Weird Name. Noticed By God.

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Okay, so I master teach in middle school youth occasionally, and this past time I taught on Zacchaeus. At first I was really bummed about it because I was all like, “Uhhhhhh, every kid who has ever gone to church knows this story… it’s like the children’s ministry’s favorite one… what the heck am I going to say that’s ‘new’ that they haven’t already heard!?!?!”

But then as I started to study it, I felt washed over with a “new” perspective that I had never heard of/thought of before. Several of my friends wanted to hear the message and since I script out all of my lessons, I just changed it up a bit to make it blog-friendly and thought I’d share it here with you!

 {ZacchIKEAus}

Did you know that IKEA will babysit your kids… for free… for an hour… while you go upstairs and have a cup of coffee in their café?

Yeah. Well, they will.

And yeah, it’s awesome.

And yeah, that is the main reason that I potty trained my kids… so that I could take them to IKEA childcare and maintain my sanity every once in a while. Annnnnnnnd, well, now we are pretty much “regulars” there!

When we first started going out there my oldest son was three and he couldn’t remember the name of the store but they were learning the whole Zacchaeus climbed a tree song in church and so… yeah.

ZacchIKEAus.

Well, let’s talk about him.

Short dude with a weird name.

Yeahhhhhhhh, that combo was probably NOT good for his social life. I mean… I can totally identify with that. I’m a short girl with a weird name. So, yeah, I get it… I’m that chick that has to stand up on the seat at football games when everyone else stands up. I’m the girl who every time someone learns that my name is “January” they have to say “JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER…” as if they were the first person ever to say that to me.

I actually asked this question on facebook and twitter…

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And here were some of the responses…

Napoleon
Flava Flav
Zach Galifianakis
Danny DeVito
E.T.
Rumpelstiltskin
Prince
Benedict Cumberbatch (okay, yeah, he’s not exactly short but his name is crazy awesome-weird, so I had to include him!)

Anyway… those were cracking me up! I mean, E.T.?!?! Brilliant!

But to the REAL Zacchaeus… here’s his story:

 1Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. 3He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.5When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”6Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 7But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.8Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”9Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Luke 19:1-10

Geeeeeez.

Short. Rich. Weird name. Tough break for this guy.

Plus, what’s even worse is that it says in verse two that he was the chief tax collector and that he had gotten really rich… and man, there is not a whole lot that we like less than a RICH politician guy with a WEIRD name who is also SHORT. So, anyway, Zacchaeus was NOT well liked. Jewish people tended to really not like the people that were tax collectors.

Here’s a pretty good explanation as to why…

As a chief tax collector for the vicinity of Jericho, Zacchaeus was an employee of the Roman Empire. Under the Roman system, men bid on those positions, pledging to raise a certain amount of money. Anything they raised over that amount was their personal profit. Luke says Zacchaeus was a wealthy man, so he must have extorted a great deal from the people and encouraged his subordinates to do so as well. About.com

So, here’s this short dude, weird name, AND he’s basically conning people out of all of their money.

Zacchaeus is a bully.

And we reallllllllllllllllllllllly don’t like bullies.

But Jesus took the time to stop, call him by name, and talk to him… so he must be worth checking out. The thing that I think sticks out the most to us about Zacchaeus here is that he climbed a tree to see Jesus.

Did you pick up on that? He climbed. a. tree.

Like, a grown man. A politician type guy. Climbed a tree. To see some preacher dude.

Okay, that would be a little weird now… I mean, okay, I’m just going to go with THE politician everyone knows: Obama. I mean, he kinda has a weird name like Zacchaeus, so let your imagination stretch. Can you imagine if some super preacher, like Billy Graham, was walking through town and Obama heard about it and he was all like, “Oh dang. I can’t see him… I’ll just climb this tree.”

Uhhhhhhhh, weird.

And it was just as weird then. But ya know… Zacchaeus was willing to do something CUH.RAY.ZAY. to meet Jesus. He was willing to climb a tree to see him. To see if it was true. To see if all this awesome stuff that he was hearing about Jesus was true.

And I think that we have to remember this… because we see people do all sorts of crazy, stupid stuff sometimes, and we are all like “Ugh… they are just trying to get attention.”

And ya know what? Yeah… yeah they are.

They are trying to get the attention of Jesus… well, the only Jesus they know: You.

You are the walking, talking, representative of Jesus.

And they are being crazy because they want your attention. They want HIS attention, through YOU. They want HIS love, through YOU. They want HIS forgiveness, through YOU. But the only way they know how to get to Him… is to be crazy.

You see, most of us, it doesn’t matter if we are 4’6” or 6’4”… we feel that we fall short. Just like Zacchaeus. We feel that there is this… something… about us that makes SHORT. Too short to really see Jesus. Too SHORT for Jesus to see us.

And so people do crazy stuff to make themselves NOTICED.

Zacchaeus climbed a tree. Your friends act all drama-mama. Or they go do crazy stunts to get everyone’s attention. Or they monopolize the conversation. Or… whatever.

Thing is… Jesus NOTICED Zacchaeus. He called him by name. While he was up in a flipping tree!!! And then not only did he NOTICE Zacchaeus, but Jesus also became his friend… in front of everyone. Like, THE guy in town that no famous person would EVER want to befriend, and not only does Jesus befriend Zacchaeus but he also goes over to his house.

Now, I remember when I was in school, a lot of kids would use this as an example for “Hey, mom and dad, you say that I’m supposed to be like Jesus and well, according to the BIBLE, He went to this guy’s house for dinner… a notorious sinner! So, obviously, if Jesus were here today… then he would go to this drunken drug fest at Susie Q’s house this weekend just like he went to Zacchaeus’s house.”

Okay, yeah no. This chunk of scripture is NOT saying “Go to parties… go get drunk or high with those kids.” That’s what not it’s saying here. You gotta look at what this represents.

What Jesus did was to STEP OUT of what everyone THOUGHT he should do and he showed Zacchaeus love. Compassion. He made Zacchaeus worthy just by being with him.

And Jesus didn’t even require Zacchaeus to change or confess or become perfect BEFORE He befriended him… no. I mean, look… Jesus is all like “Zacchaeus… yo. I’m coming to your house.” There was no “Zacchaeus, Hi, my name is Jesus. Look, you’ve been a really bad dude. Tell me all the bad stuff you’ve done, tell me you feel guilty for everything, show that you can be different for a few months, and then IF you do all of that… THEN I’ll come over to your house.”

No. And I want all of you to hear this: Jesus doesn’t NEED you to be perfect or worthy BEFORE He will come over to your house… He doesn’t show up in your life because you are extra awesome… you BECOME extra awesome when He shows up in your life.

God doesn’t choose us for His work because we are worthy;
when He chooses us, we become worthy.

Paraphrase of a quote by Augustine

Okay, so the three things I want you to remember:

  1. Attention seekers: they just want to see JESUS in you.
  2.  Jesus doesn’t require change to be loved by Him: He requires your heart. Change will come.
  3. If we are going to BE Jesus then that means that we can’t require others/attention grabbers to be perfect either.

 {I didn’t script the prayer, but I thought I’d go ahead and end this post with a prayer…}

God, wow. Thank you… thank you for loving me no matter what. Thank you for loving me without me having to do a blooming thing. Thank you for just wanting my heart… despite the rotten condition it is in half the time. Thank you. I pray that you would help me to see some of the people around me that are obviously just trying to get attention… and I pray that you would transfer the feelings in my heart from those of annoyance to those of compassion and love and kindness. I pray that I would see them as you saw Zacchaeus: just a person, doing something crazy, trying to get your attention… trying to see you. I know that sometimes I do that… I stray from  you just hoping that you will come and fetch me. God, if you see me sitting far away from you, call me out by name. Call my name Jesus. TELL ME that you are coming to my house. Seek me out God. Seek us all out. Eat with us when no one else will. Infuse us with your worth… it is the only worth that matters. Oh thank you again God. For the ease with which you accept us all. I love you, Jesus. Amen.

 

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!

Day 771: The Question Of The Ages

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I have come across the question of the ages…

You might think that it’s “How do we obtain world peace?”

Nope.

Or “What came first, the chicken or the egg?”

Nah.

How about “Why don’t men replace the toilet paper roll when it’s all gone?”

Okay, well, that is a close one… but still not it.

The question of the ages is this:

Why do we go on diets?

I mean, instead of just doing this whole Intuitive Eating thing? And just eating when we’re hungry and eating what we’re craving… why diet?

Okay, yes, I know the obvious…  we go on diets to lose weight.

But I mean, why are we so pushy? So… rushed with them?

Because of time.

You have a reunion coming up at which all of your childhood buddies will be there.
You are going to be in a wedding in a few months at which a photographer with a very high resolution camera will come and take LOTS of pictures of you wearing a (very likely) extremely unflattering dress.
You gained twenty pounds over the winter and the warm weather is coming and you won’t be able to wear any of your spring clothes.

THAT is why we diet. Otherwise, we’d probably be more comfortable taking it a little slower. Being a little more “real” about it. But we care so. very. much. about our appearances so we rush about and restrict ourselves and guilt ourselves and hate ourselves and then love ourselves and then hate ourselves again and we are just… miserable.

And while I will openly confess that I am terrified that the warm weather is coming close to me and I quite literally cannot fit into any of my shorts or capris… over the past few days that I’ve embarked upon this new path with food (Intuitive Eating) I have fully enjoyed living without guilt and self-loathing and anger and frustration and fear (well, there’s been a little bit of fear, I’ll admit that…).

In lieu of those feelings I’ve had some pretty cool conversations with myself:

January, your childhood buddies will love you and your laugh and your smile and your jokes and your stories no matter your size.
January, no one is going to care about the pictures of you in that bridesmaid dress. The bride will only look at herself every time anyway. (Besides, no one looks good in a bridesmaid dress.)
January, you can just go to Goodwill and drop $20 for a “new wardrobe” until your weight has gone back down a bit. You’d spend $20 at Target in a snap anyway; it’s no big deal.

I’ve been able to tell myself wonderful, uplifting things instead of constantly “You shouldn’t eat that” and “Why did you eat that?” and “Great, now you’ll be a fat lard for summer.”

I’ve been able to say…

You are loved.

Tell yourself that right now… regardless of what “issues” in your life make you feel the opposite… close your eyes for just a moment and tell yourself ten times… slowly, emphatically. Speak it into your soul. Ask God to say it to you.

You are loved.

God, you are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15