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 780: The Hardest Part About Dieting

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One of the hardest parts about dieting and pursuing health isn’t the strict eating plan. It isn’t the hours you are required to work out at the gym. It isn’t having to weigh yourself at a group meeting. It’s not even trying to squeeze into that dress bought solely for the purpose of motivating you to not eat chocolate cake. It’s not counting calories. It’s not tracking carbs.

The hardest part is dealing with the emotions when you mess up. deviate. get off track. forget. get lazy. gain weight. plateau. binge. purge.

The hardest part about dieting… is the guilt.

So let me tell you… dieting from the time you are 13 until you are 35 and then suddenly just… not …dieting anymore, well, yeah. That’s a major paradigm shift. Cause all of a sudden that guilt is gone.

Well, some of the guilt is gone.

Cause, of course, as I learn that dieting in and of itself is what led to my binge eating, I start to see the possibility that maybe this whole covenant with God to only eat certain foods, maybe it wasn’t the “right” idea afterall. I start to think… “Gosh, I’ve wasted all this time spinning my wheels doing this whole Daniel Fast/Plan type eating and it was all for nothing! In fact, even though I was going to God for help, I was just perpetuating my issues!”

Then I thought about how this week I was hungry and so I went and grabbed a bell pepper and chopped it up and ate it on the way to pick up my son. And here’s why that’s a big deal…

I was hungry and I WANTED a bell pepper.

It wasn’t that I was supposed to have a bell pepper or had to have a bell pepper because of a diet plan. I wanted one.

That would NOT have happened if I had not done the Daniel Fast/Plan for a year. I wouldn’t have even HAD a bell pepper in my house before that! I didn’t even know what health was before I did the first year of my covenant. I certainly had no clue of all the food options out there before then.

So, the more I thought about this journey, the more I realized that me doing the Daniel Fast/Plan first was really the only way. Like, it just had to happen this way! Cause now that I have gone a couple of weeks of Intuitive Eating and getting to choose what I want to eat and not thinking about nutrition or dieting as I just realign my thinking, my appetite, my ability to listen to my body’s hunger cues, etc… I find myself starting to realize that junk food is just… well, not satisfying like I remembered it to be. But it’s like the idea holds: if it is “forbidden” then it MUST be good. That’s how my thinking has gone for so long. And I’ve been eating junk for two weeks and I’m already… ALREADY… kinda burned out on it.

I literally said to myself today, “Man. I kinda want to eat the good stuff again.”

Now, keeping it real, I said that AS I was eating a bowl of S’mores Snack Mix… which I finished. Despite the fact that there were four apples, 7 banans, a pineapple, and a bowl of strawberries all within arms reach of me.

But I’m here to say that I’m not rushing myself, or beating myself up, or getting scared that this might all go wrong.

I’m allowing God some TIME to work in my soul.

I’m not rushing HIM. I’m not blaming HIM. I’m not afraid of what HE is doing! I’m not in it this time to be a size 8 by the time bikini season hits (let’s be honest, even if I had a rocket hot bod… I don’t want to wear a bikini!!!). I’m in it this time for permanent change of my heart, soul, and mind.

Let’s get on that train together, people! Let’s drop what the world says and look to Him and let His Wisdom guide us toward true freedom.

God, gosh… sometimes I wish that your plans were fast. I wish that your change was immediate. I wish that your purposes were more aligned with the world. But then I realize… no. No. That’s NOT what I really, really wish! I really want freedom. I really want true change. So God, please, please, please… HELP ME BE PATIENT! Help me to keep my eyes on the path knowing that You are there all along the way, guiding me, directing me, picking me up, pushing me on, sitting with me when I am just too darn tired to make another step. And give me a vision in my heart of what you are doing in me so that I can press on to that goal! I want to be as much like you as I can. I want to portray a wonderful image of you to the world. Help me to slough off the things of this world… the stuff that holds me down and holds me back! You make this all worth it! I run to you! Amen!

Day 759: A Prayer

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God,

I feel this struggle with food pulling me… toward some epiphany about You, your power, your plan.

But, honestly, this whole experience hurts and I’m tired. I just want to give up and try a bunch of short cuts to just lose weight. I just want to be skinny, fit into my clothes, and never worry about food or fight with food or lust for food.

So I come to You.

Oh God- Refresh me. Renew me. Give me a fresh and new purpose and passion to care for this body you’ve given me. Help me remember that it is an honor to You when I honor my body.

And please God, give me wisdom. Whisper in my ear what to do, which way to go. Guide me to information that will help me overcome. Light it up in my heart so that I might become determined and disciplined once more.

I know that You always have great, amazing and sometimes shocking plans and I know that I often don’t see the entirety of your plan. Help me to walk in faith and know that even through this struggle you are working a miracle of faith in my heart, that you are laying a path for a future prosperity in my soul, that you are doing something purposeful.

God, I love you. I trust you. I believe you.

I will wait.

Give me patience to wait on You and Your plan.

Amen.

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Day 419: Just Jesus

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This past week, I needed a bit of a break from blogging, well… actually, I needed a break from the internet and computers and technology in general… sorry I didn’t give anyone a heads up about it, I sorta didn’t realize I needed a break until Monday night last week when it was time to start thinking of a blog and, well, just the thought of it sorta exhausted me.

Nonetheless, the week was not without tests and triumphs!

But it’s funny… as I sit here wanting to write about one of my tests or triumphs, none of them really jump out at me as write-worthy. I mean, I struggled with a Take5 candy bar that my son (who doesn’t like chocolate) started to eat and then abandoned. I might write about that one later, because it did lead to an epiphany. I overate a lot trying to avoid that Take5 bar before I had my little epiphany. I didn’t eat a cake or cupcake at my husband’s grandfather’s 80th birthday, oh, AND my green skinny-style jeans fit more loosely around the hips/muffin top than they have before. My husband’s grandfather drove past me playing with my sons and their cousins and thought I was my sister-in-law WHO WEARS A SIZE 4! And that sister-in-law told me she was going to let me have some of her old size 6 jeans and was surprised to learn that I was a size 8.

So, yeah, the week has had some good and “meh” stuff.

But, all I want to write about is Jesus.

I’ve been getting frustrated… no, not frustrated… confused lately about the fact that I haven’t lost any more weight in a long time (and, yes, I do have some more weight I could lose). And then I see this verse and although it’s actually about his return, it still reminds me that God sometimes doesn’t answer things right when I expect or want Him to… for a reason.

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 2 Peter 3:9

And I go into His Word this morning to remind myself that He. Is. My. Strength. I could commentate on each of these verses, but I think I’m just gonna let the Word of God do its thang this morning.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Isaiah 40:29

I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him. 1 Chronicles 16:11

God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect. Psalms 18:32

O Lord, do not stay far away! You are my strength; come quickly to my aid! Psalm 22:19

He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Psalm 23:3

(Note: the pic above is from The Action Bible)

Day 360: Pit Stop

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I really debated about rolling over my day “count” (ie… Day 364… Day 365… Year Two:Day 1) or sticking with the count that I already have going (ie Day 364… Day 365… Day 366).

I think that I have decided to stick with a rolling number instead of starting at 1 again. First of all, and this is my highly spiritual reason, I don’t really want to write out “Year Two” every single time I post. Ha! But also, I really do have a spiritual reason… I started to think about “the journey” and I have keenly realized over the past few days how it has not “started over” as I referred to it before, but it is merely another leg of the journey.

Kind of like a road trip (since we are going along the analogy of a journey). Let’s say that I’m driving from Dallas to Denver.

I can look on Google maps and know that the entire journey is going to be about 880 miles. (Gosh, if that isn’t motivation in and of itself to fly there then I don’t know what is.) But, I also know that there are going to be “pit stops” along the way… to eat, refuel, de-fuel (if you get my meaning… har har har… I know, I’m a nerd).

For example, I’d probably stop every two-hundred miles or so. In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma… then on to Salina, Kansas… and a final pit stop in Colby, Kansas before driving on to Denver.

But when it comes down to it, if someone were to ask… “Oh wow, you drove from Dallas to Denver? How far is that?” I probably wouldn’t answer:

Oh it was 205 miles to Oklahoma City, then 247 miles to Salina, another 203 miles to Colby, and then we finished the last 234 miles into the heart of Denver.

No… I’d just say, “Oh, it was 880 miles!

And I guess that’s how I feel about this whole experience… the “turn over” from year to year is kind of like my “pit stop”. I really did take a bit of a break at the end of the year and reevaluate if things were still issues or not.

In my case, I totally assumed last year that I’d be “done” at the end… it was like I thought I’d get to Denver driving only 205 miles! Haha! It’s like the end of the year was coming closer and I was realizing reallllll quick: “This is not Denver. Toto… we’re not even in Kansas yet!”

I never IMAGINED that I would re-start the covenant by choice and ADD two restrictions (bread and chips)! But I’m already sooooo glad that I did! Just the past few days have shown me how much bread, mainly, I was relying upon. I see so clearly how my journey is NOT complete. And I’m so, so, sooooo very glad that I didn’t just up and stop my covenant when I was finished. Even just the past few days have already made the second leg of my journey worth it!

And I know that I have said this so much recently, but I’m still just kind of in awe at the way I thought (you know what they say… hindsight is 20/20). So, I guess a bit of the lesson I have learned is two-fold:

1. Don’t Rush God. He has the map. He knows exactly how long it would take. Sureeeeee, plan a few pit stops here and there to make sure you and He are on the same part of the map, but He’ll let you know when you arrive. And it just might take wayyyyy longer than you thought. And it just might take wayyyyyy less time than you thought, too.

This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently,for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. Habakkuk 2:3

2. Don’t Be Married To Your Plan. Sometimes I think I have missed out on things because I was trying so desperately to stick to my plan that I didn’t see that God was leading me a way I had not planned. Oftentimes then I miss things while He has to turn me around. I mean… think about it, have you ever MISSED an exit or a turn because you were LOOKING at your map?!?! I do that with God… I’m so busy focusing on MY PLAN that I miss HIS PLAN… I miss THE RIGHT WAY. If I would just follow Him and, essentially, ignore my own map… then I can never be lost.

God says, “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.Jeremiah 29:13

Day 319: Half-Car Garage

A couple of days ago my husband and I set out to clean the garage. My mom offered to watch the boys all day (thanks to my request on Day 303: Zero Car Garage!) so that we could really “git ‘er done” as we like to say here in Texas.

And look at me here… so optimistic.

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We got a goin’ right after I got back from dropping the boys off around 9:30. And we sorted and cleaned and purged. And sorted some more and cleaned some more and purged some more. I just knew we were gonna get that garage in ship-shape condition.

We ran a trip to Goodwill, then to the ReStore (a Habitat for Humanity resale store), and got some lunch. And when we got back and I saw the mounds that were yet to be touched, I started to feel a little doubt creeping in that it might not be possible to clean out an entire garage in 8 hours. A garage, mind you, that had not been sorted, cleaned, or purged in about 5 years.

But I was just so determined to finish that I plugged on ahead. I only had a limited amount of time to finish… so it simply HAD to get done.

No excuses. Play like a champion.

… … …

Yeah. We didn’t get it done.

And I was really pretty disappointed. As I hooked back in the kids’ car seats to go pick them up, my husband kept trying to remind me that we had done A LOT. And he was right. He was. But, it wasn’t DONE.

And I drove off feeling semi-accomplished and semi-failure.

{And how does this relate to the covenant???}

Oh yes. Well, as I drove off I was like, “Why am I disappointed? We did so much work! …… But we didn’t finish. And I really thought we’d finish. I dunno maybe cleaning out the garage in one day was an unrealistic expectation.”

Bam.

That was it. Unrealistic expectation. And I immediately started thinking about a mental conversation I’d had with myself earlier that day about how I was a little bummed that I was going to have to keep in the covenant for another year. I’d sorta started feeling like within this year I should have been all healed of my obsession, a size six, have my blog written into a book, and all of that with a nice little bow on top.

But. It was an unrealistic expectation.

Or maybe it’s more so that it was a undivine expectation instead of looking for God’s divine timing.

Cause again and again I am reminded…

    “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord . “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9

And I also came across this verse:

    This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.

Habbakuk 2:3-4

I added in verse 4 as well… because it is like the opposite of waiting patiently. Trusting in myself… had all of those things happened in MY timing, I might have trusted in myself. I might have thought that I was the one that made it all happen. Even if it was just a tiny seed in my heart… we all know how dangerous a tiny seed can be.

So, now I’m glad that my covenant has not reached its fulfillment yet. I’m glad to have a chance to be a righteous one and live by faithfulness to God.

But the garage… well, I wish that HAD been finished in MY timing. Haha!

Day 116: Christian Closet

A couple of days ago, my good friend and former co-worker was coming over to chat while my oldest was in preschool and my youngest was napping. Even though she and I have been friends for a lonnnnnng time it’s been difficult to see each other as we go through the crazy stages of raising kids and so I was really extra excited to see her since it has been, like, five years since we last hugged each other’s neck.

And as I woke up that morning, I thought to myself, “Well, Rhonda’s coming over… I should do my hair (even though Thursday isn’t a day I usually “do” my hair) and I need to wear an outfit that makes me look extra skinny since I haven’t seen her in a while.”

And then I just sorta stopped myself. I thought, “Whoa. That is entirely off of the focus here. You need to just wear whatever you pick out in the morning and roll with it. No trying on 53 outfits to see which looks skinniest.”

And it wasn’t because Rhonda would love me no matter what (although she would!) but it was because Jesus loves me no matter what. Because Jesus looks at my heart.

And I saw a glimpse of myself having the potential to be one of those girls that I have always admired that looked comfortable and cute in whatever they were wearing but never seemed caught up in their looks. And I realized that I really don’t care about fashion or cute-clothes. I never really have. And that’s cool because…

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12

So now, when I wake up in the mornings, I would love to spend a moment focusing on one of these qualities. Asking God as I dress in my earthly garb to make my humility stand out far more than the jeans I’m wearing. That my mercy would “bling” more than my necklace. That the kindness I show someone will show off Christ more than a shirt will show off my figure.

I would love for someone to think about having seen me during the day and not be able to recall a single item of clothing but be able to remember my gentle spirit.

Now, that would be one great outfit.

Day 108: Healing Struggler

I went to a teacher’s conference at St. Mark’s School of Texas today (a brilliant place… we would love to send Pasco there, but we are…… ohhhhh about $25,000 short! Haha!). My English-teacher mentor Lynne Weber is there and even though I’m not in the classroom I still love to go. I left the day feeling revitalized and focused on how to help my boys reach their potential!

Okay but that has naught to do with food! But I did have a great moment there at lunch. I got their baked salmon and cauliflower along with a salad with blue cheese dressing and a cold broccoli salad. I wasn’t terribly hungry but being at a conference where you never really know when you might get struck down with hunger or when you’ll get to eat again, I usually would have eaten everything on my plate.

But I didn’t! I left 1/4 of the salmon there and some of the cauliflower. I did eat all of the cold broccoli salad cause it was delish! And I left quite a bit of my salad too. It was just a nice day to see myself not have to eat. I felt like a size 00 girl even though I’m still rollin in my size 12s.

And ya know. It just makes me think. Yesterday I was posting asking for prayer because of my struggles. Today I post because of happiness of a mind renewal having occurred.

A truth that I have to remember is that sometimes the changes in my life are not necessarily smooth. There are sometimes steps back. Sometimes steps forward. Somedays I am healed in my mind and heart. Some days I’m still a struggler.

On the days of struggle, I simply must remember this:

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. Hebrews 10:36