Day 219: Nothing Good Happens After… 7pm

Day 16 of my hard-core Daniel Fast.

So, even though I don’t weigh myself, like I was saying the other day… I still have sizes that tell me if I’m losing weight or not. And lately, it’s been a bit slower than it was at the beginning. I know that’s because I’m so much closer to my ideal weight than I was in January (thank you, Jesus), but I also know that there is still some extra lovin’ hanging around on me.

I am hanging around a loose 10 and a fitted 8. And I’ve been there for most of the summer. Actually, I don’t think I’d have fit into an 8 at the beginning of the summer so I might have lost a bit.

So lately, I have been really evaluating my eating to see if that is an indication of why I am sorta at a plateau. Again, it might just be that my body is finding homeostasis like I talked about on day 115, and I’m cool with that.

Well, honestly, even as I write “I am cool with that”… in my heart, I’m not “cool with that”. I want to be skinny. I want to wear a size six. I want my body to be admired, envied, coveted.

Are my desires in the right spot? No. But those are my real desires. Godly or not. That’s where my mind wants to go.

And that is the entire point of this covenant: to be transformed. to be renewed. to be changed. on the inside. Perhaps the outside of me will be transformed, renewed, changed, but the purpose is to allow God to do all those things to my soul.

Okay, but honestly that was a bit of a divergence from my original topic! Ha! Got a bit carried away by the good ol’ Holy Spirit!

I was talking with my covenant companion, Christy, the other day and she mentioned that she is no longer eating after 7:00pm. I just kept thinking about that. Cause you know what they say, “Nothing good happens after… 7pm!” Right?!?! Haha! But seriously, there is very rarely any purposeful eating after 7pm. It’s usually tied to some other feeling or emotion.

Exhaustion.
Sadness.
Loneliness.
Boredom.

There are a bunch it could be. But whatever the reason, I often find myself snacking during those late evening hours. It’s a bit like my afternoon hot spot that I talked about the other day.

So, I decided that I’d give the no-eating-after-7pm thing a go.

Wowsers. It was one of the hardest thing I’ve done since the beginning of my covenant! But that was a great sign that I had found yet another snackie hot spot like I discovered a few days ago that needed some fixing!

So, we’ll see in a few days if I’m still as impressed with the “After 7pm Fast” as much as I was last night!

Day 134: Back To School

I’m just gonna say it… I have been realllllly wanting to weigh myself the past few days.

I know… I know… I KNOW! It’s so utterly ridiculous that I should want to! I mean… when I really sit down and write that down it forces me to remember not so long ago when I was so beat down by the scale that my husband and I straight up threw. it. away.

Yesterday I was even trying to convince myself that it would be okay to weigh, like, just once because I never really explicitly said that I was going to add not-weighing to the covenant… you know, that I wouldn’t weigh for the rest of the year. My mind was like, “Oh you know, you just said you wanted to just not weigh all the time. You never really said ‘I’m covenanting with God to not weigh.’”

Sooooo, to make it clear to myself that there is no room for negotiation here…

God. I covenant with You to not weigh myself for the rest of the year. If I go to the doctor, I will request that they not tell me my weight. And while I’m at it God… thank you for keeping me from weighing myself the past couple of days when I was really tempted to do so. And thank you even more for helping me to see what a detriment weighing has been for me through this process and for freeing me from the “measurement” of the world, so that I can focus on your measurement of me.

Alright. There ya have it. Sealed the deal.

And here’s the cool part… I think that I have wanted to weigh because my size 12s have been… just sorta loose lately. Like, my Old Navy jeans that were my “skinny-girl jeans” are now having to be rolled on top (I sorta have this passionate dislike for belts) to keep them on me. So, I thought… “I bet that I have lost a little more weight! Oh I wish that I could know for sure… just one little weigh-in and that would be it!” Again, thank God that He kept me from it… what if I had actually gained according to the scale? The emotional fall out from that would have not been good, I’m sure.

But after deciding that this post was going to be about be explicit with God about adding the no-weigh to my covenant agreement, I thought… ya know, I do have one dress that is a size 10. I guess I could try that on to see.

It is my college graduation dress… and it’s just so classy and kind of timeless (I think… I have noooooooo clue about fashion), and the cut of it was pretty flattering for me.

And it fit!!!!

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I mean… sure it fit better in college when I was a “big 8/little 10″ instead of a “big 10/little 12″ but that’s not the point. It fit. Now why going through that process doesn’t emotionally bother me while weighing myself can send me spiraling into an abyss of depression… I. don’t. know. (Although I do think that the same process of trying on clothes in the store might not be as “emotionally easy”… even when I was skinny that process would sort of get me “down” since I don’t have a toothpick figure even when I am a size 8, but a lot of “trendy” clothes are aimed at toothpicks.)

But I do know that if trying on clothes in my closet to see if they fit ever does make me depressed then I’ll slap that on the covenant as well! I’d much rather be a happy and content person that finds my identity in Christ than a person who knows if she wears a 10 or a 12.

All the same… it sure was nice to fit into that dress. Even if just for nostalgia cause I have no idea when I will ever actually wear that dress! But it sorta… ya know… took me back to that day in school… or well, the end of the school for me. When Hope was capitalized in my soul. When Dreams were still possible. When nothing from the world could weigh me down.

And after I had taken the dress off (which, I got a little worried that I might have to go and pick my son up in the dress because it has that kind of fabric and one of those “hidden” zippers that get trapped in between seams and I was getting afraid that I would not be able to get it off!) and I had quickly put back on my t-shirt and Nike shorts (and I say quickly because the mowers came right to mow right as I was changing and even though they don’t ever peek it made me feel oogie)… I looked at myself in the mirror, and I smiled. Because at that moment…

Hope was capitalized in my soul.
My Dreams suddenly seemed all too possible.
And nothing in the world could weigh me down.

Day 118: Trippin

Well. I have had it.

I mean, actually, I’d “had” it yesterday.

With the weighing.

Yes…… I know that I said that months ago, but now, for real. I’m done. Here’s how “done” I am with weighing myself…

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This morning my husband came out to weigh himself and I just started word vomiting all over him, and it went something like this…

I am done with that thing. Done with it. I was depressed all weekend because of that dad gum thing and the dad gum number it kept showing me. I am done being defined by it. I am done weighing. I don’t care anymore what it says. I’m done. I will not weigh myself again. Do. not. let. me.

And let me just tell you what he did.

He got off the scale, picked it up, walked into our kitchen, pulled the trash out and held it out over the trash. Then he said, “Ya wanna do it with me?” And we tossed that scale into the trash.

(Side note: I. LOVE. MY. HUSBAND.)

And I was already feeling pretty free after my reminder yesterday that God will continue to work in me, but this took it to a whole new level. Because that scale (and every other scale… ever) has been a constant source of depression, and wrong identity, and emotional sickness, and… and… and. So, we got rid of it. Know why? It was slowing me down. slowing down my race to God. And so we had to get rid of it…

Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

And I know (well, I mean, I have a decent idea) what is at that finish line. And I know that the race gets better the closer I get to Him. And I don’t want to wait any longer than I have already had to wait to get closer to Him. So I’m leaving that weight behind cause it was tripping. me. up. And I’m running with endurance this race to the face of my Jesus.

And for a girl that doesn’t like to run… well, this is a kind of race that even I am willing to train for!

Day 117: HE WILL DO THIS

Okay so I have been feeling crummy for several days now… and for once I don’t mean crummy just physically but also spiritually. Like, something akin to depressed but not quite that strong. And I hate to admit it, but I think most of it stemmed from that dad gum weight thing, although it has taken me days to realize (or admit) that was the root cause.

But over the past day I have realized that all of my thoughts were centered around my weight. my lack of weight loss. my covenant blog posts. and then this morning to just plunk a nice big ol’ cherry on top, I weighed and had gained four pounds.

That was all she wrote. I was plummeting after that… what if this doesn’t work? What if God has abandoned me? What if I was wrong all along? What if I have failed?

And so I was so glad that today was a church day. I needed some fresh perspective. Some Word of God from… outside of me. Although I have kept on reading the Word through all of this, I realized today that I was reading the word with tunnel vision on: reading it solely for a Word about the covenant. about why I wasn’t losing weight. or about something I could use in a covenant post.

And there I was in worship, sangin and dancin… and the wisdom I have been praying for was right there. Not in a particular song… just in some truth written on my heart, whispered to me in the midst of me losing myself in praising Jesus for my salvation. A True Word From God…

I WILL do this.

And that was His voice saying that… not mine. HE. WILL. DO. THIS. I almost wanted to laugh there standing in the middle of the church. Haha- it was so simple. God and I had made a covenant… and I had lost faith that He could and would hold up His end of the deal.

I was thinking again that I could do it. That I could lose the weight. He just wanted me to realize that He is the one that has to do it. That He is the One who can do it. That He is the One who WILL do it.

And then, wanna guess what the Pastor spoke on???

Yep. Fear.

And at it’s core, that’s what I was… afraid. Afraid that God couldn’t, or wouldn’t, continue his work in me. But these two verses struck true with me…

But Moses told the people, (as they were about to have to cross the Red Sea) “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today… The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:13-14

And here I have been wondering and worrying DESPITE THE AMAZING WORK HE HAS DONE FOR ME ALREADY… would He save me all the way? Worried that He would only take me 117 days in and then drop me? I’m so like those dadgum Israelites that He brought out of Egypt. I have seen this miracle in my life… recently… and yet I was afraid that God might not take me across the Red Sea? I was really afraid that He would change my entire life and then just dump me out for the Egyptians to come and slaughter me? or WORSE, take me back into slavery?

Nope. I just need to stay calm. stand still. and wait for the Lord himself to fight for me. to rescue me.

Cause He has.

Cause He can.

CAUSE. HE. WILL.

 

Day 114: Like… Jesus

I weighed again a couple of days ago and I’m sittin pretty at 160. Now, I can tell you that I have not lost more than maybe two pounds in the past two months. I can also tell you that before making this covenant I would have been crushed. devastated. depressed. if I had been limiting my food for two months and not lost any weight. And I can also tell you that even though I have not lost more than two pounds in two months… I. don’t. care!!!

I mean… like, I’m really feeling completely free right now from the burden of having to have lost weight! It’s as if my weight is slowly becoming just what it should be… something temporary. something of this earth. And my mind is more concerned about the things of eternity.

I hate for this to sound like an “Oh thou shalt listen to me for I am holier than thou” kind of post. What it is, really, is a praise post.

Because for me to be able to say the words “I don’t care that I have not lost weight”… well, that just signifies a whole new me… and I can assure you that becoming a whole new me has only been possible with Jesus.

Let me break it down for ya.

For yearssssss I have obsessed about my weight. And even though I obsessed about it, I continued to gain and gain and gain. Because, like I said above, it had become my obsession. And we tend to embrace what we obsess about.

And then it became more than just an obsession. Food became my… everything. And I had to have it all. the. time. Not for nourishment’s sake at all but for… well, for I don’t even know why… for appeasing some, like, monster inside of me.

And I was literally out of control.

And all the while, I was obsessing over my weight. And obsessing over my failure to lose weight.

And now. Still sitting at 160 and I am perfectly cool with it. Cause God is taking over my body. my mind. my soul. my spirit. If he wants me to weigh 160 then that’s what I’ll weigh. If he’s got a plan for me to hit 150… 140. Then coolio. But I’m not gonna stress it. I have bigger stuff to think about. more important stuff to think about. more awesome stuff to think about.

Like… Jesus.

Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God’s throne. Hebrews 12:2

Day Eighty-Seven: God > Ghirardelli

Okay, well, I can definitely say at this point that I have lost weight. And I guess I might as well admit it: I weighed myself the other day. I mean, I knew that I had lost two pants sizes and my curiosity got the best of me. And well… I have lost 25 pounds!

I know, right?

The last time I lost 25 pounds was in college… in 1998.

170 had always been my “If I weight 170 then I will do whatever it takes to lose weight”. Little did I know a day would come when I would rejoice at getting down to weighing 170. But I got to 170 my freshman year of college, came home that summer and did the Atkins diet. I also worked as an intern for my church youth group which… well, leaves relatively no time to even think about eating. Those two things together (oh, and my first serious boyfriend broke up with me the first day of summer, so I was determined to get “hot” and get him back) worked to get me down to 150. Add to that going back to college to an ex-boyfriend that still didn’t want me, and I got down to 140.

Then I kept most of it off until I met my husband in 2002 and it slowly crept up to about 190 our first year of marriage. And I never was able to shed that. Occasionally, I’d drop down into the 180s… one time getting all the way down to 180 only to promptly gain it all back within a few months (plus an extra 10 for good measure). So, this January I found myself hovering around 180-190.

And ya know what is said… I can track my entire life through my weight… and it’s like I have said before that weight is a scary thing because I can so easily allow it to define me. And I subsequently give each of those weights a level of “happiness”:

  • 140 = ecstatically happy
  • 155 = meh, life’s okay
  • 170 = something’s wrong with me
  • 190 = I’m a loser
  • 205 = I’m worthless

Truth be told, I was no happier or unhappy at 140 than I was at 205. I was the same person inside… and I was just as obsessed with food at 205 as I was at 140… if not more so at 140. Because having to avoid food in regular circumstances causes just as much obsession as it does when you can eat whatever you want.

But now, I am not the same person. Not the same person that I was at 140… not the same person that I was at 205. I’m not the same person not because of my physical body change but because of the change inside of me. Because I have rediscovered (or perhaps really truly discovered for the first time) an obsession entirely separate from food. And He is far more fulfilling than any piece of chocolate.

Even Ghirardelli.

Your word is so pleasing to my taste buds— it’s sweeter than honey in my mouth! Psalm 119:103

Day Twenty-Eight: Shout Out

It’s actually happening.

My craving for chocolate is pretty much… gone.

Seriously. Like I almost never think about it unless I am presented it right in the face. And honestly, unless I were to go searching for chocolate, there are not a lot of times that it gets presented right in my face. Which is weird… I felt like it was there all the time before but now it’s like I’m not even sure if we have any.

I guess because I don’t think about it much any more since it’s gone as an option. And since I don’t think about it, I don’t go looking for it. And since I don’t go looking for it… the chocolate might as well not be there.

Oh the freedom from that stuff! That and the freedom from no longer weighing myself… ahhhhhh! I think if nothing else changed and I stayed in this spot the rest of the year it would still be worth it because those two things have been a huge “weight” on my soul.

A weight that I have been carrying around even longer than my extra sixty pounds, to be sure. A burden that I have begged, and begged God to have mercy on me and to take the burden off. And something in my reading today in Mark 10 caught my eye in relation to that.

Jesus is walking through the town of Jericho and this blind guy named Bartimaeus calls out to him “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” A bunch of people yelled at him to be quiet, but here’s what it says that he did in response to their shushing… “But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” So Jesus stops, tells them to call him over, and he heals the guy and tells him “Go, for your faith has healed you”.

You see, all those times I was calling Jesus to remove the burden, I think I was sorta like using my “inside voice”. I wasn’t ever really loud in my soul. I think in a way, I was kind of in denial that I really needed help from God Almighty. I guess that I wanted to believe that maybe I could do it on my own.

Until… the cookie dough incident. That’s when I realized… I was blind. I needed mercy. I needed salvation. I needed Holy and Divine Intervention.

And I tell you…at that point, I shouted louder. Louder than I ever have. My soul was screaming at the top of it’s lungs “SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!!!!!!!”

And He did. And I am being healed. In so many ways, I am already healed.

But, one more thing that I think is interesting to look at…

When Jesus heals Bartimaeus, note how He tells the guy “Go, for your faith has healed you.” I find that so interesting. Along with so many other times in the Bible, people’s faith heals them. Like, they didn’t necessarily need the physical body of Jesus to come over to them and touch them. They just needed the faith.

And with that in mind, I find it interesting that I knew months and months ago what to do in order to get healed of this addiction. My faith could have healed me. But I guess I was like so many others in the Bible… I needed Jesus to show up. I needed Him to answer me when I shouted louder. I needed to know He would take the time to stop and heal me.

And He did. And now I know that from now on, if I need Jesus to listen. to stop. to call me. to heal me. that He will.

Sometimes… I think He just wants me to shout!

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You know You make me wanna SHOUT!

Day Twenty-Six: Light As A Feather

(sigh of relief)

I feel so much better today since I decided not to weigh anymore. I literally feel as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders (hehe- pun). I wasn’t dreading my food selections this morning like usual. I didn’t look in the mirror and think “failure”. I didn’t even think about my weight. In fact, as I write this I’m having to really think to remember how much I weigh!

So as I was putting words to that just now I started thinking “why?” Why would not-weighing give me so much freedom?

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1. Weight is one of the world’s measurements of my value. And I no longer desire to be “measured” by the world. Sure I’ll still have the mirror as a “gauge” of my weight but it won’t be as black and white… fail or succeed… like it feels now. I already feel as if I’ll be able to get a better renewal going without those numbers daunting me. haunting me. pulling on me.

2. Weighing myself causes me to fixate on losing weight instead of thinking about eternal things. When I weigh myself or think about weighing, it seems to permeate my thoughts all day. I even made a note on my phone about what I should weigh by each week to lose the weight by the time June rolls around. I would find myself checking it and checking it. Almost… worshipping those smaller numbers.

And so when I removed those numbers, when I removed that element out of my day to day attempts to focus on obeying God, pleasing God, honoring God with my body… it was as if I freed myself from a “restraint” the world had for me and I was suddenly light as a feather. Almost as if I was “above” the weight. “Above” having to weigh myself. “Above” the worry of such… mundane worldliness.

Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That’s why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen. 2 Corinthians 4:18

Day Twenty-Five: Weighing Me Down

New addendum to my covenant: I’m not going to weigh myself anymore. Not until January 1, 2013. That process has got or be just as bad for me as chocolate.

When I weigh myself I have two responses:
1. Elation- if I lose as much as I hope or want then I’m so excited. And then there are two more responses that stem from this:

motivation- I get all pumped and do great for a few days “watching” what I eat.

overconfidence- I get so pumped that I feel like I don’t need to pay so much attention and I might let a few things “slip” in my diet cause I’m doing such a great job.

2. Depression- if I don’t lose as much as I want or hope then I feel bad about myself. I allow it to affect the way I view myself, and that, in turn, causes me to respond almost the same way:

motivation- I get all bummed out and do great for a few days “watching” what I eat so that I won’t feel bad again the next time.

underconfidence- I get so depressed that I didn’t do well enough and feel like I might as well give up.

And this is the kind of thing that I have done time and time again on diets. And I don’t want to diet anymore.

You see, each of those responses are… just that. Responses. I don’t want to respond to my weight. I don’t want to care about my weight. I only want to retrain my mind to make decisions based on what will glorify God. What will please Him.

And since I have been weighing, my mind is focused on my weight. On what that scale says. Not on the things of God. Not on His renewal of my heart and mind.

So, no more weighing in and no more being weighed down!