Day 736: Get Your Rear In There

I know that I’ve addressed this time and time and time again… buuuuuuuuut I’m going to harp on it again because of an article I read this week that totally matched up with some of my non-scientific observations.

People: we have GOT to sleep more!

We have just got to get our rears. in. bed.

I mean, just look at this infographic from the Huffington Post! Two of their major points are connected with weight gain and eating! Obviously that’s going to get our attention, but… well, maybe it SHOULD get our attention! {Don’t worry, I have a few tips below it to help us!}

So, can we just agree to do whatever it takes to get our rears in bed tonight in time to fall asleep?

And I’m not saying get your rear in bed at bedtime… I’m saying that we need to put a system in place that gets our bodies in bed, relaxed, and

get ready for sleep before bedtime!

So, here are a few of my little “tricks” for getting my rear in there!

  1. GET UP: No one likes this one so I’m just going to get it out of the way: get your body out of bed at the same time, every day and don’t get more than 8 hours of sleep. (Okay, okay, sleep in on Saturday if you want!) If you are trying to get your body into a habit of getting to sleep at night, waking up in the morning is THE most important thing to do. It might mean a few days of dragging yourself out of bed and just muddling through the day but eventually this can really help you to get to sleep at night because… well, because you’ll be exhausted! But that exhaustion will wear off when you start falling asleep easily (or easier, at least) at night.
  2. DO THE MATH: Figure out what time you need to go to sleep (as in “lights out”) in order to get 8 hours of sleep… even if this means that you need turn the lights out at 9:30, give it a go for a few weeks and see how it makes you feel. Then, plan backwards: 15-30 minutes before “lights out”, you need to be in bed with tech off. I have read the research that supports that your mind can’t “chill out” with the lights of tech in it. And that includes the phone, the laptop, the TV, etc. Now, go backwards more:. 15 minutes before being in bed you need to start getting ready for bed: brushing teeth, washing your face, PJs on, etc. If you look at the “math” this really needs to be happening 45 minutes before “lights out”.
  3. HEAT IT UP: One of my favorite tricks for helping me go to sleep is the heating pad. Lay the heating pad down so that it aligns with your spine (to clarify: so that the bottom of the heating pad is just above your rear and the top of the heating pad is on your shoulders). Put it at whatever temperature you are comfortable with and turn out the lights. The heat will relax all of your extremities and your core making it easier to drift off.
  4. COUNT DOWN: I actually learned this little trick in my high school psychology class from a video that the coach popped in one day, but I have used it time and time again! Lights out, on your back, start with your toes. Make yourself very aware of relaxing your toes (it sounds funny but give it a try) and countdown from 10 with each number relaxing your toes more. Next, move to the balls of your feet and countdown from 10, then move to the arches counting down from 10, then your heels, your ankles, calves, knees, etc. {Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever made it to my knees before falling asleep.}
  5. THINK ABOUT BED AT 2PM: I know I’m gonna have some haters over this one, but really… if you have trouble sleeping at night, make sure that you are cutting off all caffeine by 2pm. You might have trouble even making it to bed the first few days if you have some withdrawal. For some people this can be a huge key to falling asleep easier.

I actually got into being very deliberate about going to sleep when I realized that I am one of those people that simply MUST meet with Jesus every morning before the day starts if I want to be a good person and to help me focus my mind on Him instead of food. And in order for me to meet with Jesus, I just have to get to sleep on time or I canNOT drag my rear out of bed. So, honestly… this whole sleep thing. It might just help out more than just your weight.

Okay, so there are my five (and I think I might have crammed several into number 2 up there), but I knwo that there are other tricks of the trade: let’s help each other out! What are your non-medication tricks for falling asleep at night?

 

Day 682: Becoming A Butt Head

You are defined by God's Love instaquote

Ya know, yesterday, on Day 681: I’m On Steroids, I wrote about taking my healthy lifestyle and tightening it up so that it is “on steroids”: eating veggies, fruits, nuts, rice but cutting out cheese, bread, chips, etc. and amping up my amount of time working out. Just long enough to help me lose the weight and then I’ll taper it back down to a nice, normal, healthy lifestyle.

This is, of course, all just my theory that it will work.

But anyway, as I finished writing yesterday’s post, I was all like… Gosh. Will this even work? What if I fail? What does that mean about me?

And then I remembered a status update that I made on The Covenant Diet facebook page and twitter on Monday…

You are defined by God's Love

And I realized how I have been, yet again, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO focused on me. my weight. my appearance. my rolls. my ability or inability to lose weight.

Honestly, it’s hard not to do that. I mean… when your jeans don’t fit and none of your clothes look good on you… it’s hard not to worry and think about yourself. And that’s where I am at. Which means that I need, more than ever, to press hard toward God.

Because otherwise I’ll just get trapped up again into this mentality that my worth is somehow tied to my ability or inability to fit into my jeans.

And I wonder when God looks at my “brain usage” chart if He’s bummed because I invest so much of my mental energy on wondering how to lose weight. Not necessarily that I think He’s mad or even really jealous of that, but I wonder if He’s like, “Dang, January… I have SO MANY other things of weighty, eternal importance for you to focus your mind on!!!

But in my head, I’m just so focused on the size of my own butt.

I’m literally… a butt head.

{Haha… sorry, but that’s just kind of funny.}

And that’s what I want to change even more than not fitting into my jeans. I don’t want to be a butt head. I want to be a… bible head. (And yes, I know “bible head” sounds dumb… but work with me here.) I want my head in the clouds… I want my mind full, bloated, and stuffed with the thoughts of God.

So, I think that during this 30 Day Experiment, I will also take my usual healthy Christian-lifestyle and amp it up a bit. I’m in that phase of life where I am just hitting Jesus one verse at a time, and that’s okay, but for this “diet” I think I’m going to need to put my relationship with Jesus on steroids too. Like, some serious bible reading and meditation every morning.

And maybe my butt will get smaller and my soul will get bigger.

Day 681: I’m On Steroids

The Covenant Diet 30 Day Experiment

Well, I mean… not really.

Not at all actually.

I’m referring to my post on Monday, Day 678: Such A Yo-Yo in which I had this epiphany that being on a diet is really just picking a healthy lifestyle and then “putting it on steroids”… essentially making it a bit more strict and amping up the working out.

So, I decided to try to lifestyle-diet for 30 days and see what happens.

Cause really… those gosh dern Plexus people are breaking me down. It sounds so easy and it LOOKS like it is easy when I see these women I know just dripping weight off effortlessly, but I’m just so afraid of the aftermath. Ya know, what would happen if I did Plexus’s little “pink drink” and lost these last thirty pounds that have hung on to me since I was 15 and then I STOPPED!?!?

What will happen to me?

Is my lifestyle solidified enough to maintain that weight loss?

So, I’ve decided that I’m going to give healthy eating another run. I’m going to put my healthy lifestyle “on steroids” and see if it works.

I’m eating a vegetarian/Daniel Plan diet of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and rice (along with some basic sauces and whatnot). Now, my LIFEstyle will also include a bit of cheese, bread here and there, pasta once a week, etc. But to lose weight, I’m going to try to cut those things out.

I’m also going to do yoga and/or my recumbant bike for an hour a day, five times a week. It might not necessarily be an hour all at once.

30 Days (started this past Monday). I’m gonna call it my little “experiment”. And hopefully… hopefully we’ll see that it works.

And that my “epiphany” was right!

Day 635: The Diet That’s Not A Diet

more jesus

I thought about doing Paleo.
For like a day.
Being vegetarian/sometimes vegan is just so… easy for me now.

No defrosting.
No cross-contamination.
No hormone or non-hormone worries.
No lean or not lean.

It just matches me.

BUT.

Props to you people doing Paleo. or Vegan. or Weight Watchers. or WHATEVER!

And that’s one of the things that I love so much about The Covenant Diet… it’s not A diet! It really should be called The Covenant Life (but that website was already taken – ha)!

The thing is – so much of a successful lifestyle change comes from the heart and not the mind. I can count calories for six-months straight but if I haven’t had a change of heart about food, I’ll probably just revert right back.

And this is our goal. We are trying to shift from a food-focus to a faith-focus. Because we need Jesus just as much, if not more, AFTER our diet is over than we did during it.

When the compliments stop.
When another salad is just NOT what you really want.
When your mom makes her infamous chocolate chip cookies again and you haven’t had them in soooooo long.

THAT is when we need Jesus to remind us of our freedom from food.

And so it doesn’t matter at that point if you are vegetarian, vegan, rawist, whatever… what matters is that we work on refocusing our minds. What matters is that we allow Christ to redirect our attention to Him over and over and over again. What matters is that we don’t “go” on a diet but that we live in health and freedom.

And THAT is what The Covenant Diet is really about.

Day 580: Losing Weight Is Great, Buuuuut…

Okay, so tomorrow marks 2 weeks since I started my Daniel Fast/Plan.

(Which reminds me that I need to talk about the difference between the two in a post sometime! I haven’t forgotten! Well, I mean, I have forgotten, but I haven’t like… forgotten, forgotten. Ya know? Great!)

Anyway, so tomorrow is 2 weeks. Only 14 days of being essentially a vegan but even more hard-core than that. I’ve been eating only fruits, veggies, and nuts except for two times when I’ve had rice with my meal. No cheese. No pasta. No bread.

And it’s weird… I’m not, like, dying or anything.

On the contrary, I’m probably having the exact OPPOSITE effect on my body! I’m probably earning myself some extra days for every meal that I eat like this.

And I won’t lie and say that I haven’t been THRILLED at the fact that I have obviously lost some weight in just those two weeks. I mean, y’all know that I don’t weigh any more after Day 118: Trippin, but I can tell in my clothes BIG time. I mean, I’m not like rockin a size 4 after two weeks or anything but I am fitting much more nicely into my shorts again. And my face… it looks completely different already. Maybe none of that is noticable to anyone else, but I know it… I see it… I feel it.

BUT.

That is not why I am feeling blessed tonight.

I’m feeling blessed because it has been two weeks of freedom again. And especially because I know that this time it’s for the long-haul. As each day passes and I feel more and more free and less and less wrapped up in FOOD THINKING, the more I know that I want this to be me… forever. No more 1-year contracts or 5-year contracts with God. Forever.

And friends… it is good to think about being free… forever.

free is better

Day 464: Out Of Options

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Vegan.
Vegetarian.
Paleo.
Raw.
Fruitarian.

There are just tons of options out there. These are more “lifestyles” of eating rather than diet programs (e.g. WeightWatchers, Jenny Craig, etc). I went vegetarian last year but that was simply because it was essentially what a Daniel Fast was which is what I was going for… well, actually… a Daniel Fast is really vegan (here’s a list) but since I was going to do it for a year instead of for just three weeks, I decided to keep in dairy… and fish… and eggs. So yeah. Apparently, I made up my own Daniel Fast.

Well, since my recent redoing of the whole covenant process back when I was at the MomsAway retreat (and just in case you don’t have a mental catalog running of all of my posts, it was back on Day 444: So. Worth. It.), I have been praying (well, honestly, only been praying a little) about what to do with my overall “diet”. And I don’t mean diet as in… an eating plan to make one lose weight, but I mean… my diet as in, what will I eat? Will I eat meat? bread? dairy? processed? fish? eggs? pasta? rice?

Seriously, there are a gazillion options.

And I wasn’t sure which one to go with. I mean, I already feel a little guilty just having to CHOOSE a dietary plan when massive chunks of the world have a dietary plan of, oh, you know… rice. But, I’m not even going to start to dip into issues with food-guilt, so let’s just work with the situation that I’m given here.

What it mainly boils down to is that when I did pray about it or think about it, I just kept hearing the words: go back to the beginning. Pretty sure that it’s “me” hearing “me” say that, but considering that I have been asking Him for wisdom about what to do with all this He could have just made “me” tell “me” what to do.

Well, back at “the beginning” there was the Daniel Fast, so I decided to do a Daniel Fast-Diet from now until the time I go on a trip with my fam for my brother’s birthday weekend in mid-May. I call it a Daniel Fast-Diet because I’m not really fasting in the sense that I’m praying over something that grieves me like Daniel did. I suppose I would call it Vegan, but for some reason I can get on board so much more easily with a “Daniel Fast” than I can with something called Vegan! Ha!

Anyway, I started the Daniel Fast on Tuesday and already I feel so. much. better. Just one day in and I’d already felt leaner and just, well, better. I know that this is just another step in the journey… coming full circle (again) to realize that food is here to make my machine (my body) run efficiently. I am reminded again of this verse:

You say, “I am allowed to [eat] anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to [eat] anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23

And it just seems like whenever I’m eating Daniel Fast-ish that I feel… like it’s beneficial. I feel like it’s good for me. And I feel like it shows me so quickly how much I’m eating of bread and pasta and rice and and and… all those “extras”. So, it’s just cool that, without reading a bunch of reports or counting my calories or whatever, I can know what is beneficial for my body. Anyway, I have a feeling that being a vegan (I think that’s what it is) for just under a month will show me a lot. about me. about food. and hopefully a lot a lot about God!

{My son straight up STOLE my breakfast smoothie!}

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Day Zero: I. Adore. Chocolate.

I love food.

I love to eat.

I love to cook.  I love to go out to eat.

I love desserts.

I adore chocolate.

Now, I know that this is typically not the type of post that you anticipate seeing on a blog called The Covenant Diet. But after I started a “homepage” post about eight thousand times I decided that the best way to start… the best way to introduce myself… was to keep it real.

And for real… I love food.

Which is why I am here and quite possibly why you are here.

WHY ARE YOU HERE? This is a blog that I am keeping of my journey through something I’m calling The Covenant Diet. To get a better idea of where it all came from, you can read my story and get some background information. But in essence: I am going to do a Daniel Fast (veggies, fruits, nuts, grains, beans, and some dairy) for… well, for the rest of the year of 2012. Possibly longer depending on how deep my addiction to food runs… and as you can tell from my first few sentences… it’s pretttttty bad!

WHY SO PUBLIC? Part of my goal is to make it as public as possible.  Not because I want to show off.  Not because I want a jillion readers on my blog. But because I need, like, a TON of accountability. I wish that at this point the only accountability I needed was God… but well… I’m just not sure that I’m there yet and that’s kinda one of the reasons He put us all in a community: to support each other.

MIND RENEWALS? Another part of my goal was to focus on God changing my heart… renewing my mind. As you can see if you read my story, I know exactly what to eat and what not to eat. So I know that I need… I mean, I NEED God to change my heart. So, I’m going to try to post a little thing I’ll call a Mind Renewal each day (typically normal people call these “devotionals” but I’m not entirely sure what that word means or where it comes from and “mind renewal” was just a bit more specific for me). DISCLAIMER: I have two young boys and so there will probably be days that I do not post. Sorry in advance for that!

IT’S ALL ABOUT ME  I hate to say that but this blog is really all about me. I know that most people write blogs for others but first and foremost I am trying to get my addiction to food under control. If you get some kind of help from this… or if you have advice for me… then that is awesome and I’d love to know.

Happy Covenanting!