Day 426: Fast Fruit

Yeahhhhhhhhhhhh.

Soooooooooooooo.

I……… ate a bunch of chocolate on Thursday.

… … …

Ugh.

It was the leftover candy from my husband’s grandfather’s 80th birthday party that did me in. (Those Twix. Oh my. Twix.)

… … …

Annnnnnnnnnnd then I ate a bunch of white chocolate covered popcorn yesterday at a baby shower at my house.

Okay, okay. And I had some punch.

Well, a lot of punch.

… … …

And. A huge slice of cake.

After everyone had left.

While my husband was in the other room.

Sure, these are small indulgences compared to a year a half ago, but I have learned that with me… and with food… there is no small indulgence.

Plus, I have this, ya know, covenant.

With GOD.

Anyway. You know how you have that moment when you really just have to come face to face with the fact that something’s not right. not working. not… yeah. just NOT working.

As I walked through the kitchen in the middle of the night after my toddler woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep on his own cause he has restless leg syndrome, poor thing, I saw the white chocolate popcorn leftover from the baby shower and thought “Ooooooo, I’m gonna get some of that and put the popcorn on my tongue so that the white chocolate is what hits first.”

At 3am.

I mean… seriously?!?!?! Does my dadgum id EVER take a break? It’s making my super-ego work overtime!

Anyway, I immediately thought to myself: fruit fast. I need to do a fruit fast.

I’ve been thinking about it lately anyway. I’ve realized that even though my covenant started out as a fast last year… it sorta just developed into a diet. I think I knew that a long time ago, but I sorta denied it to myself. I wanted it to still be holy. I wanted it to still be righteous. But, it really was… just a diet.

And I wanted to remind myself what it means to really fast. Like, fast to where it “hurts”. Fast so that I feel the sacrifice. Fast so that I long for food for nourishment instead of for one of the other zillion reasons I long for food.

So, I started a fruit fast this morning. I figured I’d go for three days. My husband’s brother and his family arrive on Thursday and I’ll probably be out of pocket pretty frequently at my in-law’s and grandparent-in-law’s where I won’t have as much control over my options. Besides, I’ve never done a fruit fast, so I wasn’t sure how it would affect me.

And holllllly moly.

I’M HUNGRY.

I was all good. I even thought around 10:00 this morning, “Oh yeah… I could so do this for way longer than three days.”

Until about… noon.

And then all I could see was everything in the fridge EXCEPT the fruit. I saw a carrot and thought “Oh my gosh, I’d love a carrot right now. or a bell pepper. or some tomatoes.” Things that I have wanted to try to avoid the past few months because they were allowed and healthy, simply because they were now “forbidden”, they suddenly became my desires. Honestly, I haven’t thought once about sugar or chocolate today… just vegetables and pasta.

And so I knew… “Oh yeah… I needed this.”

I sang some hymns.
I prayed to God.
I ate, like, 17 clementines.
I tamped down my horribly mean attitude that emerges when I am empty (well, for most of the day I did).

And I remembered… hunger.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6

Day 351: Last Days

“Today is the last day. Then tomorrow I’ll get back on the wagon.”

Ohhhhhhhh, how many, many, mannnny times I have said that to myself. And said it to myself while eating something “wrong”. And, well, today was one of those days. It’s like I’m skipping past rationalization and just admitting to myself, “Okay, so I’m just gonna go ahead and sin today and then tomorrow I’ll get righteous again.”

So, I stood in my kitchen and ate my fourth muffin of the day after polishing off four biscuits from yesterday’s breakfast and said to myself “Today is the last day. Then tomorrow I’ll get back on the wagon.” And I might have added a little “It’s Christmas, after all” there at the end as well.

Santa's Food

Only, it’s not Christmas.

And, who cares? Even if it IS Christmas… why would that mean I should or could eat four muffins and four biscuits in addition to everything else I’d eaten for the day!?!?!

I dunno… maybe it’s that mindset of “Every day is a new day.”

But really, it’s not like all of those sins are washed away. I mean, yes, we sing that song. And, yes, when I meet up with God and am asked to account for my life, all of those sins will have been “paid for”. But, there will still be an accounting. I will sit with Christ and account for every moment of my life. every seed of hate. every wisp of gossip. every slide of laziness. every bite of gluttony.

And it’s not that I want to feel bad or guilty for those things… it’s that I want to choose good. I want to choose holiness. I want to choose righteousness. and purity. and power.

I want for those to be the things He sees.

In those true last days before I start my eternity in worship, I want for Him to sit with me and see the choices I made and look in my eyes and say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant… Let’s celebrate together!Matthew 25:23

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RANDOM ADDITION: By the way, I live in Texas… and we had snow… on. Christmas. Day. (I actually don’t like to go IN the snow, but it is pretty to look at and my oldest son thinks the stuff is awesome!) I stuck my head out in the stuff for about .4 seconds to get a pic of me in it! Ha!

Christmas Snow

Day 240: Snack Attack

Here recently I have been realizing that I am snackie, snackie, snackie. I snack all afternoon and oftentimes up until dinner and then I snack a bit after dinner.

It’s becoming too much of a habit again… eating for the sake of eating. eating when I’m not hungry. eating. eating. eating.

So I’m thinking that I might try a new kind of fast for a few weeks… not a food-specific fast but a fast based on the timing of when I eat. I’m thinking of making a covenant-fast to not snack. To switch that into “positive lingo”, I’m making a covenant-fast to only eat my meals.

I can’t really put a time on it (like the no-eating-after-7pm thing) because my life does not fit into scheduled eating. I might eat breakfast with the boys at 8:00 or I might not eat a banana for breakfast until 10:00 when our morning has finally settled down. Lunch is the same. Sometimes my toddler won’t eat unless I sit with him at 11:00 and sometimes I take that moment of him sitting in one place (note: I did not say “sitting still“! Ha!) to unload the dishwasher or unload the dryer so I might not eat until after I have put him down for nap and after I have prayed… around 1:30.

But. I almost always have a sit down “meal” even if it’s small. But lately I have found myself full already every time I sit down to have a meal because of all the snacking I do up until meal time. Sometimes I just don’t eat my “meal” then and sometimes I eat anyway even though I am not hungry (boo!).

So, all of that to say that snacking is starting to become an obvious problem. And… one thing I have learned is that if there is some kind of problem with food, I have to immediately do some kind of sacrifice for God… to refocus on God… to get myself “right” with God.

So, starting today, here is my new three-week covenant fast:

God, I praise you because you are my healer. I praise you because you are my righteousness. I praise you because you forgive. you restore. you are hope. It is in the spirit of all these things that I give a portion of my freedom over to You so that I might become reacquainted with freedom. I covenant to you that for three weeks I will only eat my meals. I will not eat snacks in between meals, while preparing meals, while cleaning up after meals. God, you have revealed an area of eating that is still lost to lust and desire… snacking. I pray that you help me get rid of this sin within me over these next few weeks and draw my heart to you… closer to you… into you during those times. You are faithful God. I thank you for continuing to point out anything in me that offends you,
and leading me along the path of everlasting life. Amen.

Psalm 139:24

Day 167: Not All That

Lately as I have been meeting and talking with people that are doing the Covenant several people have mentioned that they are amazed at my vast knowledge of bible verses. Well, I bumped a post that I had planned for today back a few days in order to reveal my big secret.

A friend recently asked me the question, “How did you learn all those verses? Did you memorize verses as a kid or something?” I huffed a little laugh and replied, “I don’t have all of those verses memorized!” She said, “Ha- what do you do then, google them?”

Yep.

I literally get on google and search this way:

  • What does the bible say about gluttony
  • What does the bible say about sacrifice
  • What does the bible say about contentment
  • What does the bible say about excess

See, here’s proof…

20120625-000317.jpg

But the cool thing is with technology now a days, you almost don’t have to have the entire bible memorized to access a random verse. All you need is google. Seriously. (And I really like the website openbible.info to find verses… I go to it and find a verse that speaks to my issue at the time and then look it up on youversion.com so that I can see it in the New Living Translation or The Message or one of the other more reader-friendly versions.)

It could take me thirty minutes to find “the” verse I’m looking for. And if I can’t find one then often I find that means I need to look back into my post to make sure what I am saying is biblical!

Now, it does help to memorize a particularly helpful verse once you have found it… like, I say that one “make me willing to obey” all the time, but I came across it on accident while looking for a verse with a specific topic and THEN I memorized it.

So, although I might appear to have a vast knowledge of the bible, I don’t. But I do have something that is better… I hunger and thirst for righteousness. And that is a verse that I used to pray a lot starting when I was in college… I wanted to hunger and thirst for righteousness, and now… at 33… I have finally found that desire. And I have found that my hunger and thirst for righteousness is filled when I read my bible and when I reference my bible in my thoughts.

But, as far as me being some kind of spiritual paragon and master of all things biblical. Ha… no, I’m definitely not all that.

Day 126: Evil Eats

So more and more I discover another friend is doing the covenant and every time I hear that I get excited for them… for the possibilities of what God can do in them.

At first I was a little… bummed… that a lot of these people were doing the covenant and yet they didn’t want anyone to know. I guess, in a weird way, I took it the wrong way… I took it along the lines of it was them saying that they didn’t really like it, or they didn’t really think it was a good idea, or whatever.

I know some people wanted their “silence” to be along the lines of a secret fasting like the bible encourages.

But some people didn’t have that as a reason to not tell. Then the more I thought about how I felt about it at first, I kind of realized that it could be that people weren’t ashamed of me or my idea… they were ashamed of themselves.

Again, not everyone has the same motivations for doing the covenant. I think some are into it because they want to covenant with God to honor their bodies… the weight loss and/or breaking food addictions is not their priority.

But for the people that are addicted or feeling like they want to lose weight, then they might feel that doing a covenant like this implies that they have lost control and need God’s help over some area of their life.

And, well, a lot of us don’t particularly like to admit that we need help. Not from friends. Not from family. And certainly not from God.

And then this chunk of verses got my attention:

In the past you were slaves to sin, and goodness did not control you. You did evil things, and now you are ashamed of them. Those things only bring death. But now you are free from sin and have become slaves of God. This brings you a life that is only for God, and this gives you life forever. The payment for sin is death. But God gives us the free gift of life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:20-23

I know that we don’t often think of eating too much as being “evil” but really when you think about it, God views everything as “right” or “wrong”…… “good” or “evil”. I looked up “evil”, I noticed it’s antonym (cut me some slack… I’m a former English teacher… annnnnnnd a bit of a nerd. I kind of like definitions and whatnot)…

It’s the opposite of righteous.

And dishonoring this body that God has given me… well, that’s definitely not what I would call righteous… therefore, it is evil. And really when I look back and some of the ways that I have treated this body He has given me… well… it was just pure evil. Satan had a hold on me that was fierce and the little bugger was working hard to keep me weighed down… both literally and spiritually. The way I was treating my body is just like the verse above says, “Those things only bring death.”

Not saying that eating right will give me eternal life… heck no. Only my Jesus will give me that. There are some people that eat well their entire lives and die of cancer at 37. And there are people that eat heinously and live to see 97. But I know that God has made rules and guidelines for a reason… self-control does lend itself to so many things that can help a body live longer… and I want to live a long time. If He has implied that I can live longer if I live with self-control and peace, then by golly, sign me up.

Day 104: The Blue Bell Is Ringing

I started to write this morning on a different topic and got sidetracked (dern kids! Haha) but now I am glad that I wasn’t able to finish because I have a post more about the now.

Today has been… rough. Not like the “oh my kid dropped the entire tub of powdered gatorade out on the kitchen floor” kind of tough (although he did do that) but the kind of tough day that deals with being hurt emotionally, dreams deferred, hopes squelched.

Honestly, there is no need to be specific about what is going in (nor can I… although I will be clear that it is not marital nor is it something pertaining to my kids) because all of us have had THAT day. Some of us have had a day like that many times. Some of us a few times. Some people experience a day like that every. single. day.

Now you might be a little nervous that this is going to be a post where I vent my frustrations or something because the connection to food addiction and overeating probably looks pretty… non existent. But, alas, the connection is very, very strong.

Today has been tough. So today should have been a “drown my sorrows in a tub of Blue Bell day”. I should have comforted myself with the bag of chocolate frosted donuts that I treat my boys to once a month. A family visit to Sonic should be in order complete with chocolate shakes and all of a bacon cheeseburger.

But instead… today was a day of renewal for me. A day where I was reminded of God’s unending love and care for me. Because instead of wallowing in decadent foods… I turned to the Word this morning.

I craved it.

I feasted on it.

I gorged myself on it.

I hungered and thirsted for righteousness.

And I have been filled.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6