Day 642: Hopeless Hope

I recently started reading The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson (which, depending on when you are reading this, is only $5 at Mardels right now! That’s where the link will take you). My husband’s Nanny (as in… grandmother, not babysitter – hehe) gave it to us and my husband read it in like a weekend, but it’s gonna take me a million years. I’m a fiction reader mainly so non-fiction takes me a lot longer.

Well, I came across this sentence in the book  and it just realllllllly grabbed my attention.

the circle maker faith is sure of what we hope for then unsure antithesis of faith mark batterson

Because I realized as I read that… I don’t even KNOW what I hope for.

What should I hope for?

Is it wrong to hope to be skinny someday?

What does God want me to hope for?

Honestly… I wish that I could now say, “Here is the answer… here is what we should and should not hope for.”

Buuuuuuuut, I have not figured that one out yet.

So, instead, while I read on (hoping that through Mark Batterson, God will help me answer that question) I am just praying

God, show me what you want me to hope for.”

{And I won’t deny that I hope He says it’s okay to hope to be skinny someday! Haha!}

And I thought that I’d just invite you friends to pray that with me.

God, show us what you want us to hope for.

Day 629: I Love It When My Pants Won’t Button

if you wake up and your fat jeans wont button consider it a challenge

Okay, well, I love the effect it has on me when my pants won’t button.

Wait. False.

I love the effect on me AFTER the original response I have when my pants won’t button.

Confused?

I bet.

This morning I woke up, did the whole parenting thing, made lunches, got kids dressed, yada yada ya. And then I needed to throw on some clothes to take my son to Kindergarten (He still insists that we walk him into the school instead of car drop off, and well… I indulge him), so I ran into my closet and thought “Oh, I’ll just grab my ‘fat jeans’ and wear those.”

Now, mind you, my ‘fat jeans’ are heinously uncomfortable and actually they aren’t even a bigger size… so ‘fat jeans’ is really quite a misnomer. They are my ‘cheap jeans’ that look terrible on me so I call them my ‘fat jeans’ because they are the ones that I wear around the house.

Only, not today I didn’t.

Because they wouldn’t even button.

I looked up at myself in the mirror. And I could see the dismay on my face.

It’s happening.

I said to myself.

I’m gaining weight.

A lot of it.

I must be if these jeans won’t even BUTTON!

And cue the moment where I spiral into a depression because I am doing the VERY thing that I do not want to do: gain. I mean, it’s cool for me to maintain, but gain?!?! No.

I could feel the horrid self-talk bubbling up from deep inside me… raging to crawl up into my mind and tell me that I’m worthless. weak. stupid.

But then I looked up again… and I said to the mirror, yes, I said it outloud, by myself, in the bathroom, with my ‘fat jeans’ hanging open.

Well then, it’s on!

{Cause I really try to never miss a chance to make my life feel a little bit like a cheesy movie.}

But it was… it was ON!  I decided in that 13 seconds that I was going to go to the pool and swim that morning (even though not even an hour before I had decided to cancel my membership since I hadn’t been in three weeks… which was a post-injury sabbatical of a week that had stretched into three) and then I was going to make a meal list for the week and then I was going to go grocery shopping later today.

Okay… that is the too-much-detail-I-always-tell-too-many-irrelevant-details version of the morning. And I mean, it was cool that a moment that should have gotten me down… a moment that would have knocked every ounce of motivation out of me a couple of years ago… that moment turned into my motivation!

But it got even cooler.

So, I went to the gym (and I am currently straining myself to leave out every detail of the morning between dropping my son off at school and finally making it into the pool) and of course water aerobics were about to begin and you can’t lap swim during that time. Since I was feeling very, very tight I hopped into the hot tub to get my body warmed up. While I was in there I started doing some stretching and thought

This would be a great time to pray.

So that’s what I did… I stretched and prayed… and THEN, I started to sing.

Yep.

In the hot tub.

Which is in the same room as water aerobics.

I just couldn’t come up with a verse or a prayer that was expressing my heart right, and my mind just sorta defaulted into song (which unfortunately, try as I might… I canNOT remember which one it was)! So… I sang.

And then when water aerobics really got jumpin, I got into the small portion of the pool by the steps that they don’t use and I just did some swim-kicks (whatever you want to call it… I held on to the step and kicked my legs as if I were swimming) and I said thank you to God for everything that I could come up with.

Thank you God for this membership.
Thank you God for this pool.
Thank you God for the time to do this.
Thank you God for your grace.
Thank you God for my body.
Thank you God for where I am now.
Thank you God for where I will be.
Thank you God for where I have been.
Thank you God for this revival of my heart.
Thank you God for…
Thank you God for…
Thank you God for…

And it was beautiful. And I did those leg kicks for thirty minutes. Not because I had to but because I wanted to. I wanted to stay there with God. I wanted to say thanks to Him both through my words and through my commitment to stay there and work my body. I wanted to stay there and say thanks…

Thank you God for… the fact that my ‘fat jeans’ didn’t fit this morning.

fat pants made me workout

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 618: A Fast Delivery {Don’t Worry, It’s Not About Having a Baby}

seek me and find me jeremiah

I’m a Daniel Fast groupie.

Can’t help it… my first Daniel Fast just completely and totally changed my life because it introduced me to the “idea” of covenanting with God about what I eat.

Plus, it was the first time I’d ever tried a diet that was even remotely vegetarian, and I learned that I really liked being vegetarian. Even if it was only because then I wouldn’t have to worry about meat spoiling before I used it, cross contamination of the meat and all the juices, remembering to defrost meat for dinner that night (I was perpetually forgetting to do this), and just overeating on meat altogether!

But… all of that is wonderful and great, but really… really, a Daniel Fast has so very little to do with the food.

I mean, we make it that way.

But it’s really… about Him.

Daniel wasn’t going on a fast because he had food issues like most of us. He was fasting because, like, the whole nation was about to be obliterated!

Quick reread if it’s been a while: Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar) had another vision. He understood that the vision concerned events certain to happen in the future—times of war and great hardship. When this vision came to me, I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three whole weeks. All that time I had eaten no rich food. No meat or wine crossed my lips, and I used no fragrant lotions until those three weeks had passed. Daniel 10:1-3

And that’s why we are doing this… we are trying to break away from our typical eating in order to be drawn to God in prayer. For us, it is because we are in mourning because of the WAR we have against our own bodies and our, seemingly, unquenchable desires to eat junk… and because we are mourning the HARDSHIPS that we endure with this struggle with food: being overweight, feeling stuffed, and the worst: our inability to stop ourselves from eating what we don’t. even. want. to eat.

So, friends… sure, change up your diet. But really… make sure you are changing up your prayer and bible routines. Spend these days of fasting focusing on God and on His ability to deliver you.

Because He WILL deliver you from this. He WILL bring you back. It may take time, but He is faithful. Remember what He says:

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.” Jeremiah 29:13-14

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!

 

Four-Day Daniel Fast: Thank You

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I really want to say “Thank you” for the past four days.

Of course, to God. Okay, really, only to God… because through Him it’s all possible. Through Him I knew what a Daniel Fast was. Through Him, I was able to keep my focus and resist things that have been haunting me for months, for years, heck… for my entire life. Through Him I have been brought to a point of knowing that I needed to eat better, that I needed to take care of my body, that I needed to honor Him through EVERY part of my life.

But really, I also want to say thank you… to you guys. For doing the four-day fast with me.

You see, I needed to remember that it was possible… possible to resist. And I knew that two things needed to happen:

1) I needed to start small. Very small. A typical Daniel Fast is 21 days and I just knew that was not where I needed to start. Four days just seemed so feasible this time.

2) I needed some major accountability. That’s mainly why I asked you guys on my facebook and twitter to do one with me.

And when I said that I’d offer up menus and recipes… yeah, I really originally meant it for you guys, but it helped me A TON! Having a plan for every meal took all of the guessing game out of it. When I was knocking against those pangs of hunger, I didn’t have to think what I was going to eat – I already knew! And I was like, well, my friends said they were going to do it so I want to stick by it with them, so I went to the store to make sure I had supplies.

For the first time in months I have been able to eat “right” for four days in a row. Sugar and chocolate were again not temptations for me. I felt so… free. And I see why Daniel chose to not eat rich or eat meat for those three weeks while he prayed… he wanted to be free of the distractions. He knew too from when He was captured: he knew the power of food over the body. And he saw what it could do for a person when coupled with the guidance and power of God.

So, I am doing another four days… still praying to God, still eating wonderful food, still be blessed, and best of all…

still feeling free!

.

Photo cred: Andrea Howey on instagram (she is the best instagram account to follow, by the way!)

Day 562: The Two Of Me

I talk to myself sometimes.
Full on conversations.
And I almost always fight with myself when it comes to food.

One side of me: motherly and wise.
The other side: a teenager… brash, selfish, and thinks she’s untouchable.

Out of all those qualities, the one I mostly want to be is WISE. And be wise about food.

Like, when I went out to dinner with some girlfriends of mine, I got a shrimp chimichanga (AFTER I had already eaten the equivalent of a bag of chips).

shrimp chimichanga el tapatio the culprit

About halfway through it I thought “If I were a skinny girl, I’d stop right here.” But teenager me: “Well, you’re NOT a skinny girl, you never get to go out to eat, and you don’t want to take a shrimp chimichanga home with you, so just finish it! Just this one time…”

Yeah, I was crazy uncomfortable the rest of the night. Geez! I just want to hear and listen and obey that motherly voice in my mind! And you know, I think it all goes back to prayer. Cause ya see… who am I NOT talking to in that scenario?

GOD.

The ONE who can actually free me and empower me to hear and listen and obey.

So, it looks like I need to invite God into this little fight in my mind… cause I’m pretty sure that He can put the smack down on both of those voices.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

Day 556: Remember That Time

Remember that time when I had a blog?
And I, like, wrote… posts?

Wasn’t that fun?

Hehe!

Sorry that I “went dark” there for a little while (“went dark”… can you tell that I’m in the same room as my husband while he watches reruns of 24 on Netflix?) We went on a trip to Colorado for a couple of weeks and I thought that I’d have time to write but alas, I did not. But if it makes you feel better… we were having a great time with family!

Okay, enough of that…

Yesterday, I came across a post by Proverbs 31 Ministries on their facebook page that was a game changer for me. No secret that I’ve been struggling through the past few months… but when I saw this quote by Billy Graham today, it was like a light bulb went off in my mind.

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Prayer.

I mean, I talk about it, I type a prayer out on here every once in a while, but we are talking that this prayer thing needs to be CONSTANT.

Hmmmmm, isn’t that, like, a verse or something?

Never. stop. praying. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

And yesterday for the first time in a while, I made it a more constant thing. I prayed throughout most of the day. And it WAS great! I felt connected to God in a new way. Sure, I was using the Covenant Diet’s twitter and Facebook pages as my prayer medium, but it kept me focused throughout the day. I sorta lost it though during the second half of the day (our friends from Germany are in town and they came over to visit… I got a little derailed with that. (Not much of a hostess/blog-author multitasker, I guess)

It helped me to have a time set aside for a quick prayer. A “twitter” prayer, if you will… 140 characters. Kept me from babbling and forced me to really focus in on what I wanted to REALLY say to Him. It was a neat exercise.

So today, I’m not going to write out a little prayer. Because I need it to be more than just a “when writing a blog post” and “before dinner” prayer thing for me. I need to be communicating with God more often. I need to stop my day… no matter what is going on, and pray. I need… to never. stop. praying.

{P.S. You can also follow Proverbs 31 Ministries on twitter and on instagram along with their website}