Day 300: Almond Joy

Ahhhhhh, day 300. Now, I’m not so hot at math but I know that if I am on day 300 and there are 365 days in the year, THEN I have less than 100 days left. (How’s that for a word problem??? My 4th grade teacher would be so proud! Ha!)

And still my journey is rocky and rough at times. Although, I continue to grow and discover why it is rough and rocky. And so I consider myself “well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me.Philippians 3:12

I laugh at myself a bit here as I look back at the first sentence of that last paragraph… “And still my journey is rocky and rough at times.” This is true, but when I think back on the grief and weight (both literal and spiritual) of last year… it is so. much. better.

And it is honestly exciting to think, as I come closer to starting in on year two, how it will be THAT much better next year on day 300!

Thinking about that made me want to find a verse, and I was looking for a verse about the future and had seen Ecclesiastes 9:4There is hope only for the living.” And then I kept reading and I came across verse 7: “Go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this!” (Ecclesiasties 9:7)

I was kinda like… eat my food with joy!?!?! Hmmmm, ya know, this focus on weight and weight loss, this struggle with gluttony and food-greed, the lack of self-control and discipline with food, and the ill-placed comfort from food… it has stolen this opportunity for finding joy in my food. Food is the enemy. Like this sign I saw recently at my retreat…

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All we think about anymore with food is how it will affect our rear end or our thighs or that flabby stuff under our arms. We think about if it is off-limits or allowed and then we pine after those things that are off-limits or, worse, we give in to the off-limits food and then have to endure the guilt and shame, failure, and inadequacy. We find ourselves enveloped in despair and hopelessness. All of these things… because of FOOD. Oh these words are a far-cry from eating with joy.

But, now, as I sit here, I am able to happily, joyfully snack on almonds and raisins. Why? Because for 300 days I have been freed from the guilt of food, the shame, the failure, and inadequacy. I’m not saying that I am totally free of food… but oh so much closer just to have a freedom from sugar-food. It’s certainly a step in the right direction!!! I can look at a plate of brownies and know that I don’t need to despair… that it is not hopeless… that Christ has given me power and strength… and oh what a joy that is!!!

Day 166: Thor, Table For Two

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I know. I know.

A picture of pizza and Thor?!!? What am I thinking? But there is method to my madness…

You see, my five-year old is on this cheese pizza kick, and he is sooooooo not an eater. Not a healthy eater. Not a bad eater. He’s just not much of an eater.  I think it comes from the days when I was nursing him and realized, a bit later than I should have, that he was in the 4th percentile (which is an indication that either a kid is starving or has something seriously wrong with them) and in our case… he was starving… my milk was not so much milk as it was… water. Yeah, as if nursing isn’t already the most difficult part of motherhood, add the guilt of starving your first child.

That was a rough time for me… we’ll leave it at that! Haha!

Anyway, so when he likes a food… I pretty much jump on it. Unfortunately the effect of this is that he then almost ODs on whatever food he likes and then never wants it again. But until I choose to learn from that mistake, when the kid asks for a cheese pizza (which is really only like every other week or so… I’m being over dramatic about it simply because he almost never requests food), well… then I give him a cheese pizza.

And this one time in particular, he asked for a cheese pizza on a Friday and I was exhausted from being up really late the night before, so I conceded reallllllllly easily to his request. And then when he came across this pizza at Target and it had a picture of Thor on it… well, whatever defenses were left completely crumbled! (I’m sort of an Avengers nut thanks to my kid… and my favorite is either Thor or Iron Man… wow. irrelevant information yet again!)

Oh wow… ANYWAYYYYY all of this to say, he ate about half of the pizza. And so what was left? Yep… the other half of a cheese pizza. A cheese pizza that’d had Thor’s picture on it.

I was doomed.

Sure, I had already eaten my dinner. No, of course I wasn’t hungry. And I already mentioned that I was tired.

This is a bad combo… pizza + tired = fail.

And I ate his left over piece and two more pieces.

Shame. Guilt. Sorrow. Grief. Resolve. Shame. Guilt. Sorrow. Grief. Resolve.

You know the cycle.

But one thing that I have started to add in to that cycle whenever I eat when I shouldn’t or eat something I shouldn’t or eat in a way that is not honoring God because it’s eating for a reason other than eating to live… then I add in the step of evaluating WHY I ate when I wasn’t hungry. or what I shouldn’t have. or too much.

And a lot of times it is because I am tired.

My revelations on the importance of sleep are going to come up more in another post, but in essence, if at all possible… I need to get enough sleep. Sure, I have a toddler, so this is not always possible. But when I can get enough sleep, I need to shut down facebook, shut down my bible even, shut down the dishes and go. to. bed.

Otherwise, I’m asking for it the next day. And why set myself up for a struggle… doesn’t Satan do that enough as it is? Why should I make it harder on myself!??!

And I love The Message’s version of these verses… encouragement to do what we can, or as my husband has taught our son to say, “Do my best and trust God to do the rest!”…

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! Hebrews 12:1-3

Day 135: Snapple Out Of It

Last night my husband needed me to run an errand for him after my boys went down for bed. It’s kind of a good thing he asked because if it is just up to me I never want to leave when I put them down… I just want to veg out (haha… that’s never been funny to me before… but “veg” out… like be lazy and eat a lot of vegetables… haha… ha… h… no? Not that funny to everyone else… okay… hehe), but every once in a while it is good for me to get into mainstream society without anyone else. I don’t know why… maybe it just makes me feel a bit like… “me” instead of “mommy/wife/maid” which is what I kind of start to feel like the rest of the time.

So, while I was waiting for him to find the empty box of labels that he needed me to get more of, I started thinking “Ooooo, what special treat can I get for myself while I’m out???” Ya see, before when I would leave by myself at night, it was allllllways the perfect time to sneak eat something that I would never dream of eating in front of my husband: premade cookie dough (yeah, I really had an issue with cookie dough), a chocolate shake from Sonic, a candy bar, ice cream, a box of super chocolate chunk cookies… oh, there was a big ol list of things I would get. Oooooooo… one of my favs was when Walmart used to make their own chocolate peanut butter cups… they were divine. I probably would have turned diabetic lonnnnnng ago had they not stopped making those!

Okay, I digress.

I literally had to take a second and evaluate… I mean, wasn’t getting out on my own the real treat? Did I really need to get a… a something… in order for it to feel special? There was no need to sneak eat anymore… I wasn’t trying to eat anything shameful. What I could eat while out running errands I could certainly eat at home without being embarrassed.

It just reminded me again how so many of these eating habits are totally engrained within me. I wasn’t craving anything. I wasn’t hungry. I wasn’t even thinking about food. But I just haven’t been out by myself enough for the process of retraining to get any practice, so my mind (very quickly, I might add) just went right back to what it was used to.

You must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 1 Peter 1:14

I love the way that verse puts it… I searched for “old ways” and this popped up and was just perfect… cause wanting to get a treat is like “slipping” back into old ways. It’s not a direct, purposeful “fall”… it is a slip. But my favorite part is the sass at the end “you didn’t know any better then.” Although I kind of feel like I did know better before… I didn’t really understand before the true depth of what I was doing to myself and to my soul.

But I did get myself a treat. A Diet Peach Snapple… but not one for last night… one for today (when I was supposed to take my kids to IKEA). My two year old got sick though so it’s just sitting in my fridge. But I’m kind of glad that it is… just a reminder that even a “treat” can wait. It’s just a thing of this world… it’s no biggie to have that tea last night, today, or tomorrow… or never.

And that attitude towards food… well, my friends, that. is. freedom.

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Day Sixty-Seven: Not So Slim Fast

I have been on this year-long goal of “purging” our house. My husband often says that a simple house is much easier to clean than a complicated “heavy” house. And our house is heavy.

So I have gone through our closet multiple times (we have a very little master closet so it needs to be pretty streamlined), cleaned out both of our linen closets, tons of toys (although not enough! Haha!). And I have gotten a few items out of our kitchen, but it still needs a good going-through. But with a 4 year old and a toddler, going through anything other than diapers and laundry is a pretty tall order. So I’m putting the kitchen on a “diet” too. And I’m systematically going through the kitchen and getting rid of one item a day.

And yesterday was an awesome item to get rid of… the leftovers from my attempt at a Slim Fast diet.
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Had I thrown these out a few months ago before starting my covenant, I don’t think it would have been as happy of a moment. It was, after all, a failed attempt. And an attempt done in shame as well. I tried to keep it a secret from my husband. I knew he wouldn’t approve and I was ashamed to have had to resort to SlimFast anyway. It was almost like taking a diet pill or something. And I have wanted to lose weight a natural way… a way that would last. I don’t want to just be skinny for a year or so… I want to be free of this addiction for the rest of my life!

Anyway, it was so nice to see how God has once again met my needs when the world could not.

God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless in order to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord .”
1 Corinthians 1:27-31