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 728: I Have Learned The Secret

Okay, whew…  my kids are back in school so I have a bit of time to write again! I sure do love public education (and the private preschool my youngest goes to as well)!

Last week on Day 720: Remember That Time I Had A Diet Blog And Then Gained Weight???, I mentioned at the very end that I had some upcoming posts… I had hoped to get to them last week but it just didn’t happen so today, we begin! The three things that I wanted to talk about this week were: changing the way we change (a la Steven Furtik), systems in our life, and getting in daily doses of Jesus. When I looked at those three things I knew that we needed to cover first things first: JESUS.

I have been doing quite a bit of self-reflection over the past few weeks (well, actually over the past YEAR), but I really asked myself a question that helped me get to the quick of what was going on with me. In 2012, I felt so great about life… so content. Gain weight, lose weight, money issues, money blessings… it didn’t matter I was just ALLLLLLL GOOOOOOOOD. And then 2013 hit like a wrecking ball (sorry, couldn’t help myself with that one – hehe) and it was like struggle, struggle, struggle. So, I had to ask myself,

What changed?

I know that’s not some super deep, life changing question for most people… but for me it was. Cause I’ll tell you right now what changed. Him. I wasn’t interacting with Jesus every.single.day. in 2013 whereas I had been in 2012. And it wasn’t so much about my circumstances being worse but it was about the fact that I just didn’t feel…

contentment.

And feeling content, no matter the situation (like in Philippians 4:12), is one of the most blessed feelings you’ll ever experience. It’s like true peace and true joy combined into one feeling.

So, I decided if anything was going to be different in 2014, that was going to be it. I was going to read the bible every day, pray every day, meditate on Him every day.

And, friends…. oh friends…. I can already tell you: HE has made all the difference. So I can tell you now, I have learned the secret. And it’s

JESUS.

The Covenant Diet - I have learned the secret

Day 303: Zero Car Garage

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My garage is a mess.

I mean… not like an “Oh no… the rack that holds up all the yard tools just fell down” kind of a mess, but a “You mean they make racks that hold up yard tools?” kind of a mess. Like… my garage has probably only been able to fit a car in it for like a total of three months during the eight years that we have owned this house. Just look at it… it’s cuh.ray.zeeeeeee.

And I hate that. I mean… winter is coming to Texas. Yes, I know, it will only be really, really cold for, like, two or maybe three months, but all the same… the whole defrosting the car in order to drive five minutes to take my son to preschool and then five minutes back home, well, it just wears me out. (I’m not a fan of cold weather, if you hadn’t noticed.) Plus, a clean garage is such a great place to take kids to play on rainy days… it’s like they are getting outside kinda but not really. And then just looking for something… for ANYTHING in there is a beat-down.

What was that?

Clean it out, you say?

Pffffff, well OF COURSE that would be an easy solution. If it were THAT easy do you think that I’d have an unorganized, cluttered, messy garage?

And that’s just it… the garage is an area of my life in which I am able to close a door and forget about it… sure, occasionally I have to go in there to get out Christmas decorations or to look for my son’s toy light saber to complete his Obi-Wan outfit, but most of the time I just avoid that entire room. No one else goes in there, so no need to clean it, right?

But deep down I know that it is an area of our house that needs to be organized. It needs to be cleaned. to be decluttered. to be… useful. Cause now it is only “useful” for holding junk and for successfully hiding all of our tools when we need them.

And I think that my life and my soul… they are pretty similar to that. Most of my soul, I at least give touch-up spots occasionally. Some areas, I clean regularly. Some areas, I am closed-up, locked-down, and there are no-admittance signs posted all over that stuff. And then there’s areas like the garage… ignored. Purposefully ignored. But ignored all the same. And I think that this is almost more dangerous than those areas with top-secret-clearance-only. Because ignored stuff rusts. festers. grows. It defeats me whenever I look at that part of my life just because of the sheer AMOUNT of things to sift through.

But (yes, here’s the big but… you were hoping that I wasn’t gonna ramble about my garage for an entire post, right?)…

My husband and I are planning on asking my parents (Mom, if you are reading this, then you can consider this me asking you about it… haha) to watch our boys for a day over Thanksgiving break so that we can, as I like to call it, mama-jama that sucker and clean. it. out.

And we are going to have to sweat. and get dirty. and get rid of some things that we are attached to. and be embarrassed at some of the things that we have been keeping in there. BUT we are going to clean it out. And start fresh. And start new. And clean. And hopeful that we can keep it relatively fresh, new, and clean.

And sometimes that’s what we need to do with our God. Like I said, recently I went away for a MomsAway retreat… and that’s what I let God work on… pulling some stuff out of the garage. But I needed to have someone take over my responsibilities for the day, for the weekend. No, not everyone can do this for a full weekend, I know. I guess I would encourage you to set aside a night each week to do it for yourself then. If your kids are in bed by 8:00pm then take every Thursday night to let God get some stuff out of the garage. Or if you have to wait and do it on Saturdays or Sundays if you work, do it then. Just remember, the dishes can wait. the laundry can wait. lesson planning can wait. catching up on your favorite shows from the week can wait. Eternity… can’t. It’s too important. Actually, it’s the only thing that is important AT ALL.

I was reminded again of this yesterday when I was reading through my Jesus Calling devotional (I spoke about it yesterday) and it had Jesus saying, “My main work is to clear out debris and clutter, making room for My Spirit to take full possession. Collaborate with Me in this effort by being willing to let go of anything I choose to take away.” And I know that He is working to clear out a lot of my debris and clutter right now… in a bunch of areas of my life, not just with food… although food continues to be an issue that I have to deal with daily. Daily I have to open up the garage door… the BIG garage door… and let everyone see what is going on in there while He rips out the junk and replaces it with cleanliness. And so my prayer continues to be:

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24

Day 302: Jesus Calling

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A friend of mine that has recently started the covenant (along with a fast from Facebook and several TV shows… you go girl!) recommended the devotional Jesus Calling. She told me there was an app and so I thought I’d check it out. I’m a bit of a devotional snob… as in, I am terribly picky about them and almost never read them. BUT, I love apps so I simply couldn’t resist looking into it!

Well… let me tell you, from the perspective of someone that is pressed for time, only has a few minutes a day somedays to read the Word or meditate on God, and gets annoyed by typical devotionals… this one is great! (If you are already a Jesus Calling fan, then you can skip down a bit and then I talk about one of the things that I have recently gotten out of the study.)

1) It is from “Jesus’s” point of view. Not His actual words but based on His Words. It really does feel like Him… calling. speaking. encouraging. challenging.

2) There are always scriptures at the end that support what was just written. A couple of times if the writings didn’t snag my soul then the scriptures have done so. But for the days where the writing really hits it, the scriptures just come behind and solidify the revelation.

3) Hate to say that this is a “selling-point” for me, but it is… the devotionals are short. Of course I prefer days when I am not interrupted during my 6am readings or prayers, but… kids like to wake up early when you need them to sleep in. It’s just a fact of life! So, this is a great boon on those days when I might not otherwise have gotten anything for my soul.

Alright… that was my little “check it out” speech. I promise that I didn’t get paid or whatever for all that. It’s just that when I find something that I think is spiritually encouraging, I love to share. Cause if something will crack through my hard heart then it is typically good for just about anyone!

And yesterday’s reading (Nov 6) was just really, really helpful. This sentence in particular (remember to read it as if Jesus is saying it to you):

    A quick glance at Me is all you need to make the right choice.

I mean…… bam. That was all I needed to help me get through the past few days. I had been really struggling lately with the “little bites” of food sitting around. The leftover homemade donut bite. The remains of a jelly sandwich. (Yes, you heard me right… a jelly sandwich… my 5 year-old doesn’t eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Nope. Just jelly.) The three or four uneaten goldfish crackers destined for the compost bin.

I knew that those things were not what was best for me. not on my covenant. not an honor to God. and not being eaten when I was hungry. But I was popping them in my mouth anyway! But after reading that little phrase, I tried it… there was a donut bite out and I literally glanced up and away from it at Jesus. Knew what was right. Knew He would give me the power to resist. And threw it away. And then it was soooooo much easier to resist the next time and the next and the next. (As a mom of two boys and wife to a grown-boy, I am around food… a lot.)

And through those moments I found one of the accompanying verses exceptionally accurate!

    Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Psalm 37:4

My true heart’s desire is not to eat a leftover goldfish cracker. My heart’s desire is to be free of the things of this world (right now, food). And I delighted myself in God’s power and loving spirit and He gave me the true desire of my heart… freedom.