Day 144: Short And To The Point

Last week I went shopping and had such a nice time… mainly because I was wearing a size 10 and so shopping was a bit more fun than usual. Plus, I was just on a God-cloud-nine… I mean, His working in my life was so very evident that day… I even fasted during my shopping excursion because I felt so blessed.

Buttttt, I guess I was just so overwhelmed with the awesomeness of putting on a size 10 that I focused a bit too much on the waist fitting and focused too little on the length of the shorts. They were super cute and not too super short, but like I’ve said several times, I refuse to go back to my old habits of dressing like I want attention for my physical body.

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And when I came home and did the little giggly girl excited try-on-again session (cause you know, some of those changing rooms are a bit deceiving with their special lighting and small enclosed spaces and whatnot), I tried on those plaid short again, and well… although I did not look like a… well, like a Lady Of The Night, if you get my meaning… but I didn’t look like a woman who is the daughter of a King either… I didn’t look regal. And well, that’s the look I’m going for. I don’t want to look like the woman in her thirties who is trying to dress like a thirteen year old. I want to look like I am fine with who I am now… not reliving years that I “missed”.

So, to be short and to the point, I’m going to take them back. Even if they are borderline “okay”, I think that at this point it is the principle of the matter. If I was thinking about showing my friend Christy to ask her if she thought if they were too short… well, then they are. That’s the rule I always used to have with kids in school… if you feel you have to ask, then don’t even try.

And it’s not because God has necessarily told me “NO!” but because I want to honor Him… to please Him… in the same way that I want to honor Him and please Him with my eating, I want to honor Him and please Him with my body, with my clothes even. Here’s why…

You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.” Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 1 Peter 2:9-11

Really, there is just so much there, but what it boils down to is that I am chosen by God to be higher than… myself. Not higher or better or holier than thou… but higher than the worldly “me” can be. To step up to the next level of life… a life of royalty, holiness, owned by God. So that I can show other the goodness of God. And, well, I don’t want for people to be able to look at my shorts and have them detract from the goodness of God. Cause then, what if they miss Him? What if they miss God because they are focused on my shorts being too short???

Nope. Not worth it. Even if they are suuuuuuuper cute… and they are… suuuuuuuper cute. Not worth it if someone who is tied down. weighed down. torn down. misses the goodness of God.

No shorts are that cute.

Day 135: Snapple Out Of It

Last night my husband needed me to run an errand for him after my boys went down for bed. It’s kind of a good thing he asked because if it is just up to me I never want to leave when I put them down… I just want to veg out (haha… that’s never been funny to me before… but “veg” out… like be lazy and eat a lot of vegetables… haha… ha… h… no? Not that funny to everyone else… okay… hehe), but every once in a while it is good for me to get into mainstream society without anyone else. I don’t know why… maybe it just makes me feel a bit like… “me” instead of “mommy/wife/maid” which is what I kind of start to feel like the rest of the time.

So, while I was waiting for him to find the empty box of labels that he needed me to get more of, I started thinking “Ooooo, what special treat can I get for myself while I’m out???” Ya see, before when I would leave by myself at night, it was allllllways the perfect time to sneak eat something that I would never dream of eating in front of my husband: premade cookie dough (yeah, I really had an issue with cookie dough), a chocolate shake from Sonic, a candy bar, ice cream, a box of super chocolate chunk cookies… oh, there was a big ol list of things I would get. Oooooooo… one of my favs was when Walmart used to make their own chocolate peanut butter cups… they were divine. I probably would have turned diabetic lonnnnnng ago had they not stopped making those!

Okay, I digress.

I literally had to take a second and evaluate… I mean, wasn’t getting out on my own the real treat? Did I really need to get a… a something… in order for it to feel special? There was no need to sneak eat anymore… I wasn’t trying to eat anything shameful. What I could eat while out running errands I could certainly eat at home without being embarrassed.

It just reminded me again how so many of these eating habits are totally engrained within me. I wasn’t craving anything. I wasn’t hungry. I wasn’t even thinking about food. But I just haven’t been out by myself enough for the process of retraining to get any practice, so my mind (very quickly, I might add) just went right back to what it was used to.

You must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 1 Peter 1:14

I love the way that verse puts it… I searched for “old ways” and this popped up and was just perfect… cause wanting to get a treat is like “slipping” back into old ways. It’s not a direct, purposeful “fall”… it is a slip. But my favorite part is the sass at the end “you didn’t know any better then.” Although I kind of feel like I did know better before… I didn’t really understand before the true depth of what I was doing to myself and to my soul.

But I did get myself a treat. A Diet Peach Snapple… but not one for last night… one for today (when I was supposed to take my kids to IKEA). My two year old got sick though so it’s just sitting in my fridge. But I’m kind of glad that it is… just a reminder that even a “treat” can wait. It’s just a thing of this world… it’s no biggie to have that tea last night, today, or tomorrow… or never.

And that attitude towards food… well, my friends, that. is. freedom.

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Day Seventy: Grab ‘N Go

Going to church on Sundays, I never seem to eat breakfast before we leave. I’m not entirely sure why because it’s 30 minutes later than when we leave during a weekday. But, nonetheless, I always seem to find myself walking out the door with my sons to realize that I am hungry… and if I am hungry at 8:30 then I’m really gonna be hungry at 12:00 when we get home.

So on Sunday, I was grabbing the bags to load everyone up, realized that I hadn’t eaten, and then glanced around the kitchen. Rushing, I grabbed a banana and an apple.

And as I snacked on them on the way to church, I thought… ya know, I never used to grab a banana or an apple for an “on the go” snack. It was like I always used the excuse that they were “too messy”. But… they aren’t. They aren’t messy at all really. No more so than pop tart or muffin crumbles all over my shirt. In fact, possibly they are less messy.

I have been keen to point out over the past couple months that I don’t think the “what” I’m eating is the problem and I still don’t think that a pop tart or a muffin are inherently evil, but I guess it can go back to this verse:

“I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23

I don’t think I would have needed a nutritionist to tell me that a banana was better than a pop tart in terms of what it can offer my body. Even if I just look to Daniel’s request as a guide, I know that the “beneficial” foods are vegetables and water. So under normal non-fasting circumstances, if I have a choice between a pop tart and a banana, it really is more beneficial to have a banana.

Like I have mentioned before, there is just something less-addictive about bananas, or apples, or grapes than sugar. I’m sure that there is tons of research to show why this is the case, but honestly, I don’t need to see the research to know that sugar compels me far more than a banana. And again, the goal here is for food to transfer from being something I’m fascinated by into something that I enjoy but don’t… fixate upon.

Now I know that this is almost a replica of this post, but I guess that’s the reason that I went on this covenant for a year… because some of these issues are apparently going to keep popping up until they are squelched. And after ingraining habits for 33 years, it is just gonna take several times to retrain and renew my mind. I’m okay with that…

I looked today at how many days I have left (I have this countdown app on my phone) and it was at 288. At first I was like “Less than 300 days left! Yahoo!” But then when I really thought about it… I was like, well… I’m not really in a rush. I mean, after only two months and a bit I am changing and growing and renewing and, well, and all those wonderful things. I now want to be on here at least another two months to see where my heart and soul are at that point! At times I don’t even care how my body changes because I am so enjoying the change within me.

I think that is definitely worth trading a pop tart for a banana, any day!

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Day Fifty-Seven: Facebook Fail

I hate to say this, but fasting from Facebook for Lent has been really, really good for me.

Yes, I’ll admit… I got on there last Thursday in a desperate attempt to use my social network to find the much loved Tigger stuffed animal that my son threw out of the car window at a local intersection. But other than that I haven’t gotten on there.

But just like fasting from food certain foods (and yes, this will tie into my covenant diet in a second), I find that I very quickly just tried to replace my Facebooking habits with another app. Just like I mentioned here when I tried to replace my chocolate addiction with another addiction to bread. Which is interesting, and goes a step to confirm that what I’m dealing with here is not so much about which foods I eat but something deeper. Which is also why I think that a lot of my struggles and successes with Christ have worked to help a few blog followers that aren’t even struggling with food… but other addictive issues. Or, “replacement” issues… like we are trying to replace the power of Christ with something else. Hmmmmm, I don’t know. Sorta rambling there! Haha!

Anyway, the point. Yes, the point…

So, the main reason that I chose Facebook to fast from during Lent was because Facebook is in the same location as one of my Bibles: on my iPhone. And now whenever I pick up my phone when I have a spare minute to do… something, anything, whatever… if I look at my Bible app and think, “Nah.” Then I automatically “require” of myself to say “Yes” and read my Bible. Even if I already finished my reading for the day (which, by the way, I’m going through this study plan to read through the Bible and it has been great! You read for five days of the week and then get two days “off” to read something else, or in my case, to catch up).

Okay, January, that’s just great… now, how does that apply to the covenant diet?

Yes, yes… of course. Well, as I keep saying, I think that the biggest part of “my” success has been the bible reading that I have been doing throughout this experience. Over and over again the way that God reaches down into my life and “saves” me has been through a verse or story from the Word of God. So, fasting from Facebook has had a triple reward: a) I’m not on Facebook all the time which is just good in and of itself, b) I’m getting to read a lot more of the Bible, c) all the extra Bible reading has worked its way into helping with a renewing and refocusing of my mind and, in turn, helping relieve me of my addiction.

So, as much as I love Facebook to share stuff with, I’m starting to wonder if Facebook is a Fail…

Day Thirty-Eight: Feed A Fever, A Cold, A Headache, An Upset Tummy…

I think I have already established that I am aware that I eat when I shouldn’t. And what’s funny is that I feel like over the past couple of days I have been starting this whole experience of “realization” about my eating habits all over (well, minus the sugar as a factor) but now with bread, chips, and snackies… I think I shall address that tomorrow though.

But I have come across another instance where I eat when I shouldn’t… or at least when that is not what is beneficial for me.

I eat when I don’t feel well. Like you know that phrase “feed a fever, starve a cold”? Well here’s what I have realized are my thoughts on that:
Feed a fever.
Feed a cold.
Feed a headache.
Feed an upset tummy.
Feed body cramps.
Feed lady cramps.
Feed lightheadedness.
Feed a pulled back.
Feed a insomniac. (Hey, those two rhymed)
Feed a sore throat.
Feed a cough.
Feed an earache.
Feed growing pains.
Feed a hang nail.

Seriously. I have realized that every time I have a physical “pain”, I eat. Sure, sometimes that’s what I should do… like being lightheaded, but even then… why do I grab a handful of Ultra Cheesy Goldfish crackers when there are grapes, oranges, bananas, etc right there!?! I think that in a way I am trying to “distract” or “relax” myself with a full belly. It usually works too. I feel “better”.

So, today my hips started to hurt (I have this weird disorder thing in my hips and I sat sorta weird last night and aggravated it) and I was just about to dive into the pantry and come up with some kind of concoction to appease the pain. And then I remembered this revelation that I had yesterday when I was lightheaded and sorta had a mental conversation with myself that essentially ended with: “January, a bowl full of oats, raisins, peanut butter, and a dollop of honey is not going to make your hips better. However, a few ibuprofen and laying on an ice pack might.”

So that’s what I did! And whadda know? It worked! Hmmmmm, maybe I’ll lose weight, conquer my addiction to food, and start to treat my “sicknesses” correctly too now! It’s a package deal!

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Day Thirty-Five: Chocolate Celebration Day (aka: Valentine’s Day)

Sooooooooo I kinda dropped off on my blogging for a few days there! Sorry to anyone that is reading these! Thirty days of blogging consistently was actually a pretty big accomplishment for me! I’ll try to catch up on those posts soon.

And actually, I was kinda not “feelin” the excitement of the whole covenant thing for those few days, so I was probably not as motivated to post. Which is weird because I had some great “weight” moments… like on Sunday, I fit into a skirt that I haven’t worn in five years! My “skinny” jeans have officially become baggy. My family all ate these glorious looking steaks on Saturday night (the same day that we had a big breakfast with bacon and pigs in a blanket)… and it really wasn’t difficult at all to not eat that stuff.

Maybe it’s a good thing though… the habits that I’m making now are starting to solidify and I didn’t really think about being on the covenant. Heck, even today (which some people might call Valentine’s Day, but to a dieter, it is really Chocolate Celebration Day, haha!) when I went to the store only to be confronted with a smorgasbord of chocolate and sugar delicacies, I was in no way tempted or even bummed out that I will “miss out” on all of that. Of course, it certainly gets my husband off the hook… he doesn’t have to run into a store and frantically try to find me a chocolate heart!

Maybe I made too big of a deal of chocolate in my mind cause my life has been completely fine without it! Annnnnnnnnd, I think this is why:

We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness. Titus 2:11-14

There are just so many great things in these verses! And it is soooooo accurate.

God,
It feels so good today to be freed from that indulgent life. I have so longed, and still long, for my life to be God-filled and God-honoring. And the best part… this new life you have given me IS now! What a breath of freshness in my soul. Thank you… thank you for freeing me from my old dark, rebellious life… continue to push me toward this good, pure life. It is sooooooo much better. I want to be a person you can be proud of. I want to be energetic in my goodness. Change me, mold me. Thank you, God, for my new life. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Amen