Re: Hey! I found your blog last night…

Hey! I found your blog last night as I was googling. I too struggle with overeating. I have been on a chronic dieter and lately all it’s doing is driving me crazy! I was wondering where you are now in your journey. What foods are you staying away from? I feel like I will probably have to do something drastic to find victory and freedom. I just don’t know what to do or how to stick to anything.

I got this message today from someone on facebook and I started to write a reply to her on there, but then I thought… hey, maybe everyone would like to know this… soooooo, here’s my “update”. It started out as an actual “reply” and then sorta morphed into a message to… everyone…

I’m on a bit of a struggle myself right now to be perfectly honest! I have found though that when I stick to the foods on my list (thecovenantdiet.com/what-i-eat) I’m totally golden!

But that’s the hard part. Notice how I said I’m golden WHEN I stick to the foods on my list! I get caught up in the three-day-diet cycle… I can stick to it for three days and then I crater and then I eat like crap for four days (cause everyone knows that you can’t start anything until a Monday, right??? Ha!). When I made the commitment originally and I committed for a year, I was totally great… it was almost easy… but then as soon as I was “done” with that year I started to do that justification game with sweets: “Oh it’s a special occasion.” or “Oh I don’t really have any good food in the house” and my fav “Well, I already messed up for the day so might as well go for it!“, etc. But then it got to the point where I stopped caring… even if I committed my eating and my nutrition to God. I think my subconscious knew that the main reason I was committing to God was only because I wanted to get the weight off again – not that I actually cared what God thought.

I think that it bothers me MORE that I’m going through a phase of not really caring either way if I’m honoring God or not… that’s more worrisome than needing a larger pair of jeans. Keeping it real…

I need to get myself connected with God through habitually meeting with Him every single day.

I have completely neglected that very thing over the past year or two and I can tell that it is permeating into every little aspect of my life. Like, I don’t care right now that my kids are sitting playing our iPad for the past hour. I don’t care that my kitchen looks like the cabinets vomited out every single plate, cup, and utensil we own. I don’t care that I have a week of laundry piled up. I don’t care that my hair looks a mess. I don’t care that I’ve stayed up until midnight for four days in a row and I am killllllling my body, my mind, my patience, my willpower. I don’t care that I just ate half a bowl of cookie dough. Heck…

I don’t even care that I don’t care!

Okay, well, I sorta do care about that one a little. I guess that’s why I’m writing this. But what I do know is that my soul won’t change… my soul won’t care unless I go to The One that made my soul. The One who crafted me. The One who genuinely cares that I… care.

Will meeting with Him every day “fix” me? Geez. I dunno. Will meeting with Him every day help to realign who I am with what I am meant to be: a blessing? Well, it is certainly a start.

But y’all. I ain’t gonna lie…

I need help.

I need some encouragement to do that! I don’t have anyone in my life that I am committed to in that regard… maybe one of you will commit with me. I don’t know… maybe we can make one of those facebook groups or something? Some place… some people… where I can be reminded every day to go to Him who will remind me every day that I am intended to be a blessing and where I can remind you that you are intended to be a blessing. Where we can remind each other that we love the Word of God. That we NEED the Word of God. Where we can remind each other that a focus on Him is a blessing to us and then that’s a blessing to the world. To be told time and time again that this food thing is only to distract us from our purpose.

I totally feel like I’m putting out there some kind of “Will you be my friend” plea or something! Haha! But, hey, why not?!?!?! Will you? Will you be my friend? I’ll be your friend! We can help each other look to God… I just know it. What do you think???

Maybe, comment on here if you have an idea or would want to “be my friend” (haha)… or if you are on facebook or twitter let me know on there by commenting on a post or replying to a tweet. Let’s see what we can figure out!

(And thanks to Miss Facebook Message Girl for messaging me… I know that you were reaching out for yourself, but your message will hopefully end up as a blessing to all of us!)

Day 653: Just Like Jonah

Lately I’ve been continuing to think about what can I do to help me get back on track. Well, to get back on track faster. I know that I’m on the right track of fighting back against my issues with food, but admittedly, I just want to be over it… faster.

So I tend to want to go back to how I did things at the beginning: by fasting for a few weeks. But then my brain is all like “No, you need a total 100% lifestyle change!” but, honestly, I am so daunted by that. The rest of my life… to commit to eating healthy without sugar for the rest of my life!?!?! It’s such a HUGE commitment. So instead, I just avoid it. I eat MORE junk than I would have normally. Cause… yeah, like that’s gonna help.

I’m afraid of making a huge commitment of “sacrifice” so what do I do? I run from it.

Like Jonah.

And just like God caused Jonah to get DUMPED into the sea to put him back on course, so will God do the same to me. So maybe it’s time to say, “God. I’m the one. I’m causing this ship to toss about in this terrible storm. I give up. Send me back to the path.”

So, I say that to Him now.

Say it with me if you are struggling (in any area):

God, put me back on Your path.

Allow me, as Jonah did, to see your undeserved grace and mercy.

I ask that, as with Jonah, your grace and mercy would fall on me and on those who hear my story and hear your offer of mercy.

Your way.

Your path.

Your message.

is life.

Help me, God. Help me to choose your true life.

 jonah belly of the whale

Day 650: Liar, Liar, He’s On Fire

Watch Out For Snakes Sign

Satan has been lying to you.

{Shocked gasp}

Who knew?

Well… actually… all of us knew.

But, for some reason, he’s that guy that we let lie right to our faces and we simultaneously rationalize whatever it is that he’s saying so that we convince ourselves that it’s not really a lie. Ya know, kinda like that little stunt that with he pulled with Adam and Eve.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Adam and Eve.

Dang.

They had it all… God made them to look and be just like Himself. He made them to be stewards of the earth… to take care of it the way He would take care of it. They were full of His power and strength and might. They weren’t gods but they sure as heck were as close as a human can get.

And then dern Satan comes in and tells them the lie that they are missing out on something. He tells them that if they eat from that tree then they will be like God.

Whoa.

Wait.

I thought they were already like God? Yeah, they were… look. Back in Chapter 1: God said, “Let us make mankind in our image.” And if you look at it in Hebrew the word “image” means like a replica and in Greek the word “image” means the same thing as “icon”… which is the word for being the representative of something almost exactly alike.

Soooooooo, Adam and Eve were ALREADY like God. Seriously… they weren’t missing out on ANYTHING. But that’s what Satan told them.

And ya know what… Satan is still telling us the SAME. DADGUM. LIE.

If you give up chocolate, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up drinking, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up sex, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up shopping, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up wealth, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up popularity, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up fame, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up social calendars, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up sports, you’ll be missing out.

You’ll be missing out. missing out. missing out.

So, we keep eating those apples that break our relationship with God thinking that if we don’t stick with them, then in some way, we’ll be missing out.

But let me tell you… you are made in the image of God. Not just the OUTSIDE of you but your mind, your heart, your soul… it’s all like God’s. You have access to all of his strength, might, and power just as Adam and Eve did. You have been given all of this world.

TRUST ME. If you don’t eat the apple of chocolate, or drinking, or sex, or shopping, or wealth, or popularity… you WON’T be missing out. You’ll be living in. Living in His original plan to be satisfied and content with His image that He gave you.

{Props: This is another post inspired by the lessons of my teacher James Tippit.}

Day 639: It’s Not Always About You

working at la madeleine

Every Tuesday and Thursday, both my Kindergartener and my Preschooler are at school for about four and a half hours, and so I often escape away to a coffee shop (if you follow The Covenant Diet on instagram then you’re used to seeing my “I’m working” pics as proof for my husband that I am, indeed, working and not out shopping all day)!

This past Tuesday, I went to La Madeleine to work (they have a great patio… with a plug for my laptop) even though I just felt like my soul was dry as a bone. I tried to work for, like two hours, with pretty much no result. It was like everything that was coming out of me was… blah.

So, after a ginormous group of very loud, very talkative women came in and set up shop right next to me (despite the fact that there were, like, fifteen other tables to sit at), I decided to pack it up and go home and do chores so that I’d at least be doing SOMETHING productive.

And on the way home, I got behind the slowest Walmart truck in all of creation and THEN got behind the slowest lawn mower truck in the world. I kept thinking… something is going on. Like, I feel like there is some kind of spiritual battle going on right now. Like, if my life was really like the book This Present Darkness and I could see the spiritual realm then I would see demons and angels battling it out all around me… for me.

So I took it slow going home, went in and thought “I’m gonna go right back to my patio and just chill and see what God wants to say.”

Well, my husband was sitting right inside the front door when I came home. Honestly, I wanted to just blow right by him… I was afraid that he and I would talk and I would miss out on what God wanted to say. But he needed to talk, and so I was deterred from my plan.

And THANK GOODNESS because He’d been having some kind of major revival on his own while I was gone and he just started to pour out his soul to me… which basically caused me to have some kind of major revival… by association! When the joy of the Lord is around you, it’s just… awesome, no matter who He brought His word to in the first place.

The whole thing was just a reminder for me… that, it’s not always about ME.

It’s not always about MY  spiritual walk.

MY weight loss.

MY  pants size.

MY fears. hopes. dreams.

Sometimes God is at work and that work is not all about me.

And honestly, that is just downright kind of refreshing.

Day 630: Tree Hugger

It’s “fall” in Texas.

Which means that it’s 86° at noon… and that’s actually kind of nice right now and we’ve been trying to enjoy the temperate weather. If it would stay 88° all year long then I’d be in heaven, but alas… winter is inevitable! Ha!

A couple of mornings a week, my three-year-old and I have been dropping my oldest off at Kindergarten and then going to the park to enjoy this nice weather before he goes to preschool. Recently we went to a different park than we usually go to and we were there all by ourselves (well, us and some very, very busy squirrels) and it was just beautiful!

Given that my child is ALL. BOY. he immediately found a tree to attempt to climb despite all of the awesome playground equipment  there. But, I was really surprised when he couldn’t climb the tree… especially because it was at an angle.

Tree Hugger - bent tree

So, when he asked me to climb it, I thought… “Oh I’m really gonna show him what an awesome mom I am now!” And then I couldn’t climb it either!

Because at the very bottom it had been climbed by so. many. people. that the bark was worn almost completely smooth!

Tree Hugger - smooth bark

And I was really struck by it… so, of course, being the iPhoner that I am… I immediately began snapping pics of it. And so, of course, that got me thinking about it.

Ya know… I gave up pretty quickly trying to climb the tree. For several reasons. I didn’t have on shoes with any grip. My 3-year-old bolted off to another section of the park. I was kinda afraid that I might fall.

So I gave up and just took pictures of it thinking, I bet it would be cool to see the park from up there.

And as I took more pictures I noticed that just a few feet up the tree, the bark was rough and definitely NOT smooth because either not as many people got up there or because once you got past the initial first few feet of vertical climb, it was much easier and you didn’t have to “grip” on as much.

Tree Hugger - rough bark

And of course I immediately saw the parallel to my own life there. So often I give up when there is an initial struggle. I don’t feel like I have the proper “footwear” so I just… stop. I don’t go get different shoes or just go barefoot. I just stop trying. Like, so many of us, when we don’t IMMEDIATELY start to lose weight we just give up. We don’t try a different diet or a different focus, we just give in.

Or there is another responsibility that I use as my excuse… I have to chase down my kid or pay a bill or do the dishes. Same thing: I don’t have time to go workout because I have to do other stuff. I don’t have time to grocery shop or cook because I have other things to do.

Or there is the biggest reason that we don’t “climb” the tree: we are afraid we might fall… that we might FAIL. So, as soon as we try to climb on that slick bark and we can’t immediately do it… well, that’s just a great excuse to stop right there. Because if I stop trying to lose weight then I can’t fail at trying to lose weight.

Win-win, right?

Nope.

Because it is once we climb past that slicky part that we get to see the world from a different perspective. We might be scratched up a bit. We might be breathing hard from the exertion. We might be scared to death… but we are up there!

Tree Hugger - bent tree 2

So, I am reminded with whatever struggle I am going through… don’t just give up because the first part is difficult, or even seemingly impossible! Seriously people! Let’s remember… with God all. things. are. possible.

Climbing a crazy tree (in the spiritual sense) is possible!

And just as crazy seeming… overcoming your issues with food. learning to rely on Him. losing weight you’ve carried for years.

Even that is possible.

Say it to yourself right now: I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Phil 4:13

Now, go climb that tree.

{And now indulge me in a cute pic of my kid. I just had to throw it on here too!}

Tree Hugger - little boy

Day 625: Daniel Fast Confession

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So… I feel like I gotta tell y’all.

I didn’t really do the 7-Day Daniel Fast this last week.

Well, I did… at the end. But not at first.

I could give y’all a bunch of excuses, but it boiled down to: my husband went out of town Wednesday night and I didn’t go to the grocery store, so it just… didn’t happen.

BUT.

Some of y’all did do the Daniel Fast! And let me tell you… from the emails and messages that I’ve gotten from you that were blessed… guess what?

You sharing your blessing… blessed me! And it challenged me! And it fulfilled one of my favorite verses:

I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. Romans 1:11-12

And it is actually THE reason that I started this blog in the first place… because I needed help and I needed accountability.

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of crossing paths with two of you that were really enjoying your Daniel Fasts and just your excitement and awe at how life-changing it is and the spirit inside of you… well, I went home and I was like “I am going to make this Daniel Fast thing happen for me, even if it’s just the last couple of days.”

It probably didn’t hurt that on Sunday morning I couldn’t find a THING to wear in my closet that fit right. I mean… we are talking

MAJOR.
TUMMY.
ROLLS.

Everything was excessively UNflattering because nothing fit. I mean, we are talking about things that fit me a few weeks ago and on Sunday I was positively POURING out of them.

But, like I said on Day 623: Perfectly Prepared, I trust in the slow work of God.

And He worked through you.

Because on Sunday afternoon, I got back on that wagon and, of course, immediately felt better. Immediately felt my mind turn to God. Immediately felt the freedom beginning to wash over me again.

So. To you who encouraged me simply by sharing your love of the work of God.

Thank you!

Day 621: The Cycle

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I seem to keep going back to this same cycle:

Temptation.
Retaliation.
Rationalization.
Capitulation. (fancy word meaning “to give up resistance”.)

It’s all too familiar to me, and probably to most of us: it is the cycle of most yo-yo dieters. Here it is in a more “specific setting”:

Temptation: Oooooooo, Oreos.
Retaliation: No, I really shouldn’t have those.
Rationalization: I haven’t had an Oreo in so long. or I have eaten so well today, I deserve it.
Capitulation: Nom. Nom. Nom. (Slang for eat, eat, eat)

And what’s so dangerous about this is that after too many cycles of it, I often skip the most important step… retaliation. And when I skip that it’s often a sign that I’ll start jumping straight from Temptation to Capitulation.

And to drown out any Retaliation that might start bubbling up through my conscience, I start to eat more. eat faster. eat ev.er.y.thing.

This morning as my eyes shifted over at that bag of Oreos on the counter, I sighed and prayed: God. I just want to be free again.

I’m not sure how many times He’s gonna have to teach me this message before I get it, but here’s what He wants me to put in my cycle:

Temptation.
Retaliation.
PRAY.
Rationalization.
Capitulation.

The entire reason that I’ve done this 7-Day Daniel Fast was to bring me back to that, and honestly, I’m pretty sure I haven’t prayed a single time since it started.

But.

In desperation, I prayed this morning.

And it worked. It turned my attention away from those cursed Oreos… to Him. And that’s the cycle I want.

Temptation.
Retaliation.
Prayer.
God.
God.
God.
God.
God.

God.

Day 616: Seven-Day Daniel Fast

seven day daniel fast

Tomorrow I start another seven-day Daniel Fast! Several of you joined in for the Four-Day Daniel Fast and I know that it was as eye opening to a lot of you as it was to me. It was the first time that I had felt that freedom from food in months.

Honestly, I’m not sure why I don’t make mine a Rest-Of-My-Life Daniel Fast. Honestly, I think that God is working on me with that one with the whole “shoulda done a LIFEstyle change instead of a YEARlong change”. But hey… that’s why this is a journey, right?

Here is, admittedly, a copy-paste of the information from the Four-Day Daniel Fast

If you are still more curious about a Daniel Fast, here is a website that I used the first couple of times I did one. And danielplan.com is also a great resource if you click on Food and go to recipes! Now, I will say this: I think that there are different “levels” of Daniel Fasting.

- Daniel Fast: veggies, fruits, nuts, and water (I’m doing this one this week…. Oh, and I consider beans as veggies)
- Organic Daniel Fast: all of the above using organic produce
- Flexible Daniel Fast: all of the above and then add any or all of these items: breads, pastas, beans, rice, coffee, tea, cheese, eggs, fish (this is the one that I do usually)
- Specific Fast: if you are aware of your area of weakness (aka: addiction) then you can fast from only that, e.g. fast from sugar or fast from snackies like chips

Now one note: I don’t worry about salad dressings or sauces… I just include them and don’t worry about their ingredients. It’s already a big sacrifice for me to cut out rice, pasta, bread, cheese, and fish that I’m getting the spiritual message here without leaving out the sauces. Plus, like I said, I can still feed my family this way!

As far as menus go, I’m going to follow a lot of the same things from the four-day Daniel Fast and just mix it up a little bit. After all, it’s been almost two months since we did it and so I think that a lot of the recipes could easily be repeated again.

Day One

  • Breakfast: fruit smoothie: take any fruit you want and blend it using water as the liquifier. I usually combine a handful of frozen blueberries, six or seven strawberries, a frozen banana that’s already been sliced, four or five inch frozen mango slices, and four or five inch frozen pineapple slices. I use a Ninja… and it makes a yummy smoothie. If you don’t have frozen, then just incorporate some ice!
  • Lunch: salad with carrots, celery, tomatoes, red bell pepper, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds and dressing
  • Dinner: Caribbean Black Beans , fruit bowl, side salad
    • you can have these with rice if you are choosing to do a fast that includes grains
    • If you have someone in your family that is not fasting with you, then you can throw in some ham at the end after you’ve pulled out the ham-less version for yourself

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

  • Breakfast: Just found these! Almond Butter Bites (it’s on the first page of the link)
  • Lunch: Veggie Lettuce Wrap: Large “sheets” of romaine with avocado, shredded carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, diced red bell pepper, sunflower seeds,
  • Dinner: Black Bean Soup (this is, by far, one of my favorite recipes of all time!) We don’t eat anything else with it, but I’m sure any side that would be good with enchiladas would be great with this too!

Day Five

Day Six

  • Breakfast: Granola with Almond, Coconut, or Rice milk
  • Lunch: We really haven’t had too much salad so far, so let’s have one for lunch today! Here’s a bit of a guide for a super yummo salad! Build a Perfect Salad
  • Dinner: Mexican Baked Potatoes… these are really, really, really yummy! Even my hard-work-farming father-in-law is a fan!

Day Seven

  • Breakfast: Let’s have the rest of our Almond Butter Bites (it’s on the first page of the link)
  • Lunch: Easy Rice and Beans
  • Dinner: Veggie Tacos (I’m actually going to post this one tomorrow… but super easy, all you’ll need are tortillas, lettuce, avocados, mushrooms, bell peppers, and tomatoes… sour cream and cheese if you are eating dairy)

And, of course, it’s not about the food but about what your heart and mind are doing while you are not eating, while your are cooking, while you are eating, and when you have finished. We are focusing on the One.

Day 574: All Figured Out

I think I’m going to stop saying “I got it all figured out.”

I’m gonna even stop thinking it.

Because that always seems to backfire. And then I have to LEARN something that God wants to show me.

Okay, a bit of sarcasm about the “learning” thing there… I always LOVE that I had to learn something, AFTER I have “finished” the learning.

And, well, for the past seven months I have been doing a lot of learning.

A lot of learning, the hard way.

I’ve been learning that God is not a quick fix.
God is not a Weight Watchers plan.
He is not Jenny Craig.
He is not Atkins. South Beach. The Zone.
The Lord of the Universe is not Slim Fast.
Or Advocare. Or Plexus. Or Body by Vi.*
God is not even a Daniel Fast, biblical though it may be.

God is His own plan.
And God has His own plan.
And His plan is not made or designed or produced by us.
His plan was intricately woven in Heaven.
Thousands of years ago.

And as much as it hurts sometimes, His plan involves us going down painful roads. Roads of confusion. Roads of disappointment. Roads of trial.

So, that’s why I made that insta-whatever-you-call-it today. (And puh-lease ignore my typo in it… I swear I proofread that thing a zillion times and still missed it!) Because it is so very, very important to remember in those moments of pain, confusion, disappointment, and trial… it is so very important to remember that GOD IS WORKING OUT HIS PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE.

But he is.

So when you can’t button those “fat jeans”… pray that He would help you.
When the scale is ten pounds more than you hoped for… pray that He would heal you.
When your doctor tells you that you are now a type II diabetic… pray that He would guide you into health.

Because God WILL work out His plans for your life. It is not over. Stay by Him. His faithful love endures FOREVER.

Psalm 138 prayer…

Oh God, help me to see You as you work your plan for my life. Help me to know that your faithful love, God, that it endures forever. Please don’t abandon me, God, because you made me. I am yours. I pray that as soon as these words leave my lips that you will answer me and encourage me by giving me strength. I praise you now for your unfailing love and faithfulness. I give you thanks God with all that I am. Help me and guide me and love me. Oh God, love me. Amen.

.

*By the way, not dissing those diets if they work for you… they were “quick fixes” for me, that’s why I listed them here.

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Day 572: The Change

I recently had a major “purging” session with my blog friend finneyfer on facebook.

And I can just tell you how great it is to have a blog friend? I’ve never met her in person, I just stumbled on her blog one day “on accident”, I don’t even necessarily follow the same diet plan as her (yet)… but she has been one of the biggest encouragements to me over these past months as I have struggled and struggled with my eating.

I was recently asking her to write a guest post for me about getting motivated/staying motivated and here are a few of our convos. I’m including this conversation because I feel like there are probably several people out there that are also STRUGGLING with this!

After asking her to write the post, I told her:

This post is SO MUCH for me as well… I’m genuinely struggling. My previous motivation of God, between you and me, has just petered out and I just. don’t. care. And I want to care. I know that I NEED to care. But I can’t seem to MAKE myself care. I have crossed over from “sometimes” wanting to indulge, back into an hour-by-hour struggle. Like, I can make it until about noon and then whatever resolve is GONE.

She replied…

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This was a BIG message to me. It started me back down the right path of thinking… away from the food issue and more towards getting my mind right! But at the time I told her:

Honestly, my “mental” is just… broken right now. But in ALL areas of my life. I don’t really want to parent. I don’t really want to read my Bible. I don’t really want to be a good wife. It’s all just… meh. TERRIBLE!?!?!?!

She then asked, If you think it won’t completely derail you, why can’t you take a break? Not necessarily from eating properly, but maybe from beating yourself up when you do make poor choices. And this was when answering her question brought me to my own answer.

Not sure… I mean, honestly, I’m hardly following anything of the sort right now. I’m not beating myself up per se, it’s just that I want so bad to be FREE again and I just feel entrapped again. It’s not even necessarily about weight or health. It’s about that freedom from food. I think a big part of it is just what you said… you made a life change. I made a year change and then it all sorta fell apart.

BAM.

Right there at the end. “You made a life change. I made a year change and then it all sorta fell apart.”

That was the problem. I realized it right then. I was still trying to fix this problem with a bandaid. A one-year bandaid. A five-year bandaid. But what it needs is a LIFETIME healing!

And that’s when I prayed:

Okay God. Let’s start over. Let’s go back to the beginning. A Daniel Fast. A little one. Four days. I’ll get some people to do it with me and I will open my heart to You to show me what to do.

And God is good.
He showed up.
In a little four-day Daniel Fast.
He showed up!