Day 145: That Bites

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Yesterday, I bit my cheek.

I’m telling you… that is some kind of heinous pain.

I don’t know why it hurts so terribly bad, but it hurts… terribly. bad.

Then of course, after you bite your cheek once then you bite it again. in the same place. over. and. over. and. over. again.

And that’s just what I did. over. and. over. and. over. again.

But today, it was a little better, and I didn’t bite my cheek.

Until, I ate when I wasn’t hungry… and I chomped down on my cheek like I was cracking a nut. And then I chomped down on it again, like thirty minutes later… again, when I wasn’t hungry but was eating anyway.

Now I’m not saying “God had me bite my cheek to teach me a lesson.”

But I’m also not denying it. All I know is that I ate twice when I wasn’t hungry and biting the snot out of my cheek sure did bring it to my attention. And, I’ll admit that later in the day when I was about to eat… again… when I wasn’t hungry… I remembered that cheek bite. And I remembered the pain. And I did not eat. I was like, “Ummmmm, I’m not hungry, so if I eat that sweet potato fry, then I bet you a zillion bucks that I will slice my cheek open again.”

And really… I was thinking… I used to focus on the pain of my past to help motivate me to lose weight, but this time… this time is different. This time I’m so focused on experiencing the goodness of God that I don’t focus on the pain of my past. In fact, I’ve almost started to feel separate from that girl. Like I’m truly losing my old self and gaining a new self… still me, but “shedding” my old skin, if you want a really gross comparison. And I think that this verse sorta hits what I’m feeling is happening…

If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. Mark 8:35

I tried to hang on for so long to MY life… and I was losing… desperately. losing.

But once I gave over my life through this covenant to Christ, then it was like… in doing so I found my REAL life.

All the same, spiritual lesson learned… but I’m gonna bust out some of that Kanka stuff, because my cheek HURTS.

Day 125: Uh Oh…

Haha – well, I knew what I wanted to title this already but I just sorta started to think that someone might look at just the title in their inbox and think, “Oh, poor January, she musta broken her covenant again. Bless her heart.” (Which, I’m a southern woman… “Bless her heart” never means that for real, it means, “Oh thank heavens someone has messed up so I can feel better about myself!” haha)

But, it’s not so much about that at all (Thank Ya Jesus!) but about a friend of mine that called a couple of days ago (whom I have yet to call back because I’m a crazy woman with crazy kids that can’t seem to be quiet long enough for me to make a phone call and when they are sleeping, I have to be quiet so that they can sleep, y’all know the drill… even if you don’t have kids then you probably have some crazy sister-in-law or cousin who has young kids… we tend to be pretty crazy protective of the nap time!!!). She recently started the covenant and called saying that she was a little freaked out because she had gained four pounds.

So I’m going to write my friend Rhonda a post in response to her call… sorta kill two birds with one stone, ya know? Plus, I had another friend, Christy, who had the exact same thing happen to her.

First of all, I don’t know! haha! I had no idea that I would lose weight myself so quickly. I had no idea if I would lose weight at all… I just hoped that I would.

GET OFF TOSS THE SCALE: So, really, my first thing would be to say that it cannot be about the weight. If I have learned anything through this process, it is to not weigh. Allow your clothes not fitting to be your only guide if you have to have a guide… as difficult as that may be. We just need to forget all of this weight stuff… these arbitrary numbers. This body of ours that God has designed is infinitely complex and it responds to eating, not eating, changing diets, etc. exactly as it should. So, if you know that you are eating foods that honor God and only eating until you are satisfied/no longer hungry, then just turn your focus to Him. Which leads me to my next point…

FOCUS ON HIM: I think that the best part of the covenant so far as been how much it has forced me to read the Word of God. I mean, like I have said, I have been reading through the bible since October but this has taken it to a whole new level because I am relying on the Word to save me (in a non-get-salvation-go-to-heaven kind of way, of course). When I need some of those things that I turned to food for before (comfort, entertainment, relief, relaxation, etc), now I turn to the Word (well, at least 95% of the time – haha… okay, okay, 92% of the time). And it has been so awesome to see Him sustain me with just the Word. It truly is POWER and it keeps me from overeating or eating when I’m not hungry or eating what I have agreed not to eat… which leads me to my next point as well…

WHAT’S THE PROB: I think it’s important to take a real-honest-to-God look at myself every once in a while and evaluate the way I eat and decide if I think it honors God or not. Most of the time… well, actually, so far… All of the time that I have been gaining or not losing it has been because:

  • I was overeating (eating when I’m not hungry for some “other” reason that wasn’t hunger and/or eating when I am already full) or because
  • I was eating too many processed or “easy” foods (i.e. bread, tortillas, peanuts, cheese) instead of foods that would really honor God because they are beneficial for my body (i.e. fruits and vegetables).

In fact, this has been really good for me to write about because I have been going through a similar “Why am I not losing?” kind of phase. I think that knocking out the bread and chips will help me out in that area because they were becoming an all-too-frequent “go to” but I also think that I’m going to come up with a new rule for myself… if I am hungry and it’s not a meal (like it’s snack time) then I can eat fruit. I still don’t tend to “default” to fruit even though it completely rox my sox and I really have gotten to the point where I love it…

  1. I just need to have it around all the time so I need to be more diligent about getting to the store… the same way I am about whole milk for my toddler I need to be about fruit for me… if we are out then I need to get my bootie to the store and load up, and
  2. I need to help renew my mind so that it defaults to fruit. I have gotten my mind to “default” to the Word to sustain me and now I need to retrain this “go to” into a fruit thang.

Okay, Rhonda, again… sorry for not calling back but turns out it was really good for ME to have to sit down and sort of hash this out! Haha! And well, it IS all about me, right?!!? Haha! Either way, this post is for you!!!

Update: Rhonda texted me a couple days after this post to let me know that she had lost 7 pounds but was gonna stay off the scale for the next month and a half! Blessings and peace to Rhonda!

Day Seventy-Three: Fantastic Failure

Annnnnnnnd another verse that came to my attention in church this last Sunday. I know, I know. I promise this is the last one… well, at least until I go to church again this coming Sunday!

I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

When I read this, I instantly connected with the last part: “Apart from me you can do nothing” because of how I could not… not… not… lose weight before this covenant. And oh wow- I remember now how that failure killed my self-esteem. I went through the phase of thinking that I was “less” because all these websites would tell me I was obese and on top of that I was even lower because I couldn’t get enough self-control to lose weight. My identity was becoming enveloped by those terms: obese. less. undisciplined.

I was essentially like a branch laying next to the Vine of God and wishing I could produce that fruit. But no, oh no, I don’t want to be part of His Vine. I just want the same fruit.

How freeing it was when I realized that I indeed could not do it. That in this area of my life, I was apart from God. And the covenant has been the way to graft me back into The Vine.

Because I think we all know, whether we have much of a green thumb or not, that a branch that has been cut off from the vine or trunk of a plant is not going to spontaneously have fruit on it. The branch is dependent upon the trunk to provide the nutrients necessary to bloom and make fruit.

And that is why I am so glad that my failure to lose weight on my own was so fantastically bad. I needed the Gardener to graft me back into the Vine. And now I am, I think, blossoming and bearing fruit. And I’m not just referring to the weight loss. In fact, that is only an outward showing of the change that is in my heart.