Archive for January, 2012

January 31, 2012

Day Twenty-One: Cookie Dough Syndrome

Alrighty. I have made it to the “last day” of a three week Daniel Fast. Not that difficult! 21 days down and only 336 days to go! Haha!

And it is no coincidence I can assure you that this verse was in my reading plan this morning…

It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart. Mark 7:15

It’s almost like this should be my theme verse for what I’m doing with this covenant. I know that nutritionists have about a zillion different ideas of what is “good” for us and what is “bad”. I also know that their opinions of good and bad foods change and change and change. Like the poor egg for example… the nutrition industry just can’t seem to make up their mind! But anyway… the point is for thousands of years nutrition wasn’t even a word but The Word was very clear on food… don’t. eat. too. much. And that’s why I point to this verse. It’s not what goes in that is ruining me… it’s my heart that has been ruined.

I need a renewal of the mind in order to not overeat… to not be greedy with my food.

And I say this all to bring up what I am going to call the Cookie Dough Syndrome. Before I started this diet I was making some cookie dough as a gift for my son’s teachers at school and it was a big ol honkin batch of cookie dough. And as horribly ashamed as I am to admit this, I almost feel that I need to… I ate almost the entire batch of cookie dough. Like, there wasn’t even enough to make them cookies.

You might be thinking right now… Oh geez! She has a sickness. Seriously… that’s like gross.

And trust me. I thought the same things. And every time I thought that… I ate more cookie dough. And that was pretty much when I knew that something… drastic… had to be done. My soul was sick. And only God could heal it.

Now I bring up the random cookie dough story for a reason. In my effort to find some stuff within the parameters of my covenant, I went looking at some granola bars. They all had chocolate chips in them (except for some Special K bars but honestly… they were kind of gross). So, I decided to make my own. I found a recipe online and mixed all the stuff together. When it was all mixed, I took a bite and thought “Wow, that kind of tastes like cookie dough. Maybe this could be a way to get my ‘fix’ of eating cookie dough without actually eating it. It’s kind of a brilliant substitute…” So I ate some from the bowl with a spoon. And ohhhhhhh was it good. So I ate some more. And then some more.

Stop. my mind said. This is not what you want. This is gluttony. Sure, it’s “healthy” but that’s not the point. This is gluttony.

That, my friends, is Cookie Dough Syndrome.

It wasn’t what was going into my body that was defiling me. It was my attidude. My approach. I reverted back into gluttony because I had given this food a “healthy” tag. Then my “old mind” suddenly jumped back in, “Oh okay… you can eat all you want if it is ‘healthy’.” And that’s one mentality that has helped me to become sixty pounds overweight.

So, immediately after realizing this, I felt horrible. And Satan was on. the. ball. See, you can’t do this! It’s only day 21 and you’re already becoming a glutton again. You really think you can do a whole year of this? You’re going to let God down. Just go ahead and eat it. eat. eat. Eat. Eat. EAT. EAT.

Sound like a familiar story? Satan telling someone to EAT… knowing that it was NOT what God wanted. It might as well be him saying: sin. sin. Sin. Sin. SIN. SIN.

But let me tell you that God. is. good. And He loves me. And He wants me to be free.

Because check out yet another “non-coincidence” in my reading this morning…

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Psalm 51:12

I’m not even sure if I really need to explain why this is relevant. (But because I always overdo it, I’ll explain anyway!) I needed the joy of His salvation (that salvation that I don’t deserve) to be restored to me. I needed a reminder. That He loves me even when I do what I shouldn’t do. That He loves me when I do what I should do. That HE LOVES ME.

And then the second half of that verse. What a great prayer: make me willing to obey you. That’s the prayer I needed in that moment of weakness. Make me willing to obey you. Make me willing to obey you. Make me willing to obey you.

So, here, on day twenty-one… that is my prayer:

God,
Thank you for your salvation. Thank you for forgiveness. Thank you for your help.
And just since we’re keeping it real… I can’t wait until Satan is locked up forever cause he realllllllly frustrates me.
Please remind me over these next few days, weeks, and months that it isn’t WHAT I eat that defiles me, but what is going on in my heart. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and please God, make me willing to obey you. Change my heart. Renew my heart. Create in me a NEW heart and renew a LOYAL spirit in me. Make me willing to obey You.
Amen.

But the granola bars look like they are gonna be pretty tasty… one. at. a. time. Glutton Free baby!!!!

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January 30, 2012

Day Twenty: No Comment

I have lost twelve pounds in the past few weeks. That’s a hunk of fat my friends. My jeans fit better. I am starting to eye those “skinny jeans” again. (Ironic isn’t it that what I consider my “skinny jeans” now used to be my “fat jeans”? Haha- it’s all perspective.) I feel better‚Ķ seriously. I have started to figure out things like‚Ķ my sugar is gonna cuh-rash in the afternoons and although for some reason my mind thinks “eat protein” what I really need is sugar. So I now eat an orange or a pear or something like that and I feel great. I guess just another example of me needing to retrain my mind.

But although I have lost twelve pounds no one has said a thing. Not a single comment of “Wow- are you losing weight?”

I bring this up NOT because I want someone to say “Wow- are you losing weight?” but because I DON’T want someone to say that. For I have recently discovered another area in which my mind and soul need some renewal.

In the past, I have gleaned so much motivation from people making comments about my weight loss. I would learn to thrive off of it.

Until… the comments stop. Ya know how it goes, you lose 10 or 15 pounds and everyone oohs and ahhs over you and then the comments start to decrease until they are gone. And with the comments goes the motivation.

See? Yet another area for renewal. That kind of dependence is placed in the wrong spot! That is dependence upon people’s opinions of me. And their love and adoration will always fail me. Yes, even my mom who is the number one person to tell me nice things about my weight or my hair or my smile‚Ķ some random day when I “need” a comment she will not make one to me. And she shouldn’t need to! I shouldn’t need her comments in order to feel like I am amazing (although Mom, feel free to keep em coming if you want! Haha!).

You know why? I may be Beth Parker’s daughter on earth, but I’m an eternal princess. (Okay but I don’t mean that in some I’m-making-a-new-religion kind of way.)

I. am. the. daughter. of. THE. KING.

I am a daughter of The King Of The Universe. And He absolutely adores me.

I picture God sitting in heaven with His cheek leaning on His hand… watching me… smiling at me. Thinking how beautiful I am. Relishing in a moment when I look in the mirror and see the beauty that He sees. The inner beauty that has nothing to do with those twelve pounds. That has nothing to do with skinny jeans or fat jeans. That has nothing to do with commentary made by people.

The inner beauty of a daughter. Loved by her Father. Adored by her Father. Lavished with blessings by her Father.

So…no need to make a comment! I have all the comments from Him that I need.

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

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January 29, 2012

Day Nineteen: Dreams Don’t Come True

Last night I had a dream that I broke the covenant. I ate birthday cake, ice cream, a Cinnabon sweet roll. And I did the same thing in my dreams that I have always done in “real” life‚Ķ I forgot I was on a covenant/diet and I accidentally ate a piece of birthday cake at my brother-in-law’s birthday party (which was last night). So, I went ahead and went crazy eating.

But that’s what’s so great about this dream not coming true!
I went to a birthday party last night and I didn’t eat the brats they were having for dinner (although the home made macaroni and cheese and the cucumber and tomato salad were both pretty good substitutes)! I did not eat the Reese’s Ice Cream bars my husband brought home the other night for pizza night even though they are my favorite. And I know that if I had accidentally broken the covenant by eating cake that I would not have gone wild. I would have just “repented” and gotten back to the covenant.

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. Psalm 51:17

What a great God. He wants my heart to be renewed. As long as I am on the journey of renewal then he won’t reject me.

But still, I’m SO glad my dream did not come true! Haha!

January 28, 2012

Day Eighteen: Glutton Free Pizza

I think last night was one of my first tests‚Ķ and I “won”!

Our oldest boy requested a pizza and movie night, so my husband took him to pick them up. They went to Walmart and got their Meat Lovers pizza which was fine (although I would have loved a veggie supreme… never thought those words would come out of my mouth) because I just picked off the pepperonis and sausages… just like a kid, hehe!

Now, ya see, I love Walmart pizzas and usually gorge myself on them‚Ķ five or six big ol’ pieces. But this time‚Ķ my mind actually wanted to eat within limitation.

Okay, okay. So what’s the big deal? The big deal is that I wanted to limit myself. Not because I want to lose weight. Not to be healthy. Not to save some to sneak later. Not to impress my husband with my dainty self-control. Not even so that I could have a topic for my next post. But because I am not a glutton.

Not anymore.

I am not a glutton. I am a new creation.

January 27, 2012

Day Seventeen: Sleepy Surrender

A hard core Daniel Fast would limit someone to water, fruits, nuts, and veggies. I am not going hard core although I did for my three week fast last year, a full year of that would probably drive me nuts (hehe) at this point in my journey. So, I decided to keep my liquid options as: water, tea, and coffee. None of those are really “rich” to me and since I’m doing this for a year I figured that would afford me just enough variety. The only thing I would really want to drink outside of those parameters would be Diet Coke! Haha! Anyway, this is another post about the covenant not being as much about what to eat but about renewing my mind and retraining my body.

I had two cups of coffee this morning and was onto my third which is more than I usually drink. After about half way through my third cup I noticed that I was pretty buzzy. My heart was starting to flitter flatter. My arms were feeling a shaky kind of weakness. And my thoughts were starting to jump around.

So, here is an example of a moment of me needing to renew and retrain myself: I could keep drinking despite the fact that my body was telling me to stop. Telling me that I’d had enough. Telling me that I’d had too much. Or I could stop drinking the coffee and those feelings would disperse.

This might be a moment when someone who has a “skinny mind” (aka: someone that does not feel the call of food or at least responds easily to their body’s signals of stop and go) would have no trouble. Just stop. But for someone who has been a glutton for years, and years, and years, and years… well, “stop” is not an action that comes so easily.

So I made myself have a mental conversation about it and I remembered yesterday’s post. It’s not about what is allowed verses what is forbidden. It is about doing what is beneficial for my body. About doing what would honor and please God. What would bring Him glory. And in that moment I knew that drinking that coffee and obviously forcing my body to endure hardship would not be beneficial. In fact, it would probably be detrimental. And in hurting my body that is “not my own“, I in-turn do not bring God any glory.

So, here’s to a sleepy surrender of that third cup of coffee!

January 26, 2012

Day Sixteen: I Eat. I Eat. I Eat.

I eat when I’m bored. I eat when I’m curious. I eat when I’m emotional. I eat when I’m tired. I eat when I’m simply around food.

I eat. I eat. I eat.

Notice how I did not say I eat when I’m hungry. Aye. There’s the rub. But that is exactly when I should eat. When I’m hungry. Otherwise I’m attempting to satisfy a slew of other needs… entertainment, distraction, comfort, etc.

In doing so I am really railing against the system that God designed in my body. He was the one that put in the craving for food in the design of my body. Craving food does serve a purpose… a God given purpose. I’ve heard that this book, Made To Crave, addresses just that, and so did The Weigh Down Diet.

It is important for me to listen to my cravings… and I’m not just talking about chocolate. I think I “crave” sweet and I almost always default to chocolate, but now that I can’t have it I found myself craving pineapple last night! So I went to the store and got me some pineapple!

It is also important to eat when I am hungry. Again, that is a signal that God put into my body for a reason. I need to eat in order to maintain my body. Eating when I am not hungry though is almost an act of greed. An excessive desire for something. I want it for me even though I don’t need it. Yet God has still given me the choice to eat or not.

‚ÄúI am allowed to do anything‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒbut not everything is beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23

I know that eating when I’m not hungry although it might be “allowed”… it is not beneficial.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

And if I want to truly make God my focus and for eternity to become exaggerated, then I must eat… yes, even simply the act of eating… must be for the glory of God. Even if no one ever knows that I am eating, or not eating as the case may be, for the glory of God… I will know my reasons for eating. He will know my reasons for eating.

On that note: I’m starving and my baked potato is ready! Bon app√©tit!

January 25, 2012

Day Fifteen: The Pancake Problem

Today I had no energy to think about cooking… or eating… or anything! It was a cold, rainy day and my oldest boy woke up about 8,324 times last night because the downspout is right outside his window and it essentially sounds like a battle going on out there when it rains. So, needless to say I was in sleepy-survival mode.

And when he asked for pancakes for lunch, I was relieved that he requested something simple. (He does not have my issue with gluttony… getting him to eat anything is a miracle, so he pretty much gets to eat whatever he asks for… within reason, of course.) But I didn’t want to think about what to cook for myself too, so I thought… okay, pancakes are essentially bread. I can eat bread. It’s not like I put syrup on my pancakes anyway. I shouldn’t have a problem with them.

Well…… yes. And no.

I guess in the pancake mix that I use there is juuuuuuust enough sugar to have made those pancakes taste like the most delectable treat that I have ever had in my life. And there popped up my gluttony in a heartbeat. I ate, like, seven of them. Now they were like little silver dollar pancakes, but the point is that I was completely and totally satisfied after three of them.

I didn’t cross the “line” of the covenant technically, but oh my I sure was standing directly on it. And it backfired. So my mind renewal is that I’m attempting to be above reproach. I don’t want to get ON the line… I want to stay as far AWAY from the line as possible. And here, I “sweet talked” (haha, another diet pun) myself into thinking that those pancakes would be okay for me. But in the end, they didn’t satisfy my soul. Those dern pancakes made me feel empty and defeated. By oversatisfying my body, my soul ended up feeling starved. And some food for thought on that point (hehe, get it… “food” for thought?!?!?! I know. I’m a nerd.)…

O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy. I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely. Psalm 63:1-8

January 24, 2012

Day Fourteen: Exaggerated Eternity

I am blatantly going to borrow quite a bit of this material from pastor Dr. Richard Mark Lee‘s sermon on Sunday. It was a wicked awesome sermon… hmmmm, maybe I need to find another word than “wicked” to describe how awesome a sermon is. hehe

Anyway, he was talking about the end of the world (aka: tribulation) and near the end of the sermon he discussed how we can change our focus from materialism to eternity. He led us all in this song…

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in his wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grown strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

The he said something along these lines:

The more we focus on the temporary things of this world, then the more eternity grows dim and the temporary becomes exaggerated.

Straight up. That action got my attention.

Now it can relate to about a billion things in our lives, but for the purpose of my covenant, I’m going to apply it to the destruction of my food addiction… because as I’ve shared, the power of food (definitely something that would be considered “temporary”) has become sooooo exaggerated.

I’ve heard that one of the hardest things for people trying to break some kind of addiction or lust or whatev… is that when you are trying not to eat, not to lust, not to drink, smoke, gossip… that it is like ALL you can manage to think about. Example:

In the past when I have dieted, I would be thinking “Don’t eat the chocolate. Don’t eat the chocolate. Don’t eat the chocolate.” Well, it’s like telling someone, “Don’t think about a red fire truck.” Well….. what the heck are we GONNA think about???? A red. fire. truck. So if I’m thinking “Don’t eat the chocolate”… it’s like the pull of chocolate suddenly becomes overexaggerated until I simply can’t resist the pull anymore.

But, instead of “Don’t eat the chocolate” I’m thinking “Honor God with my body” or “Please God with my sacrifice”, then what starts to become exaggerated in that case? GOD!

Shaweet! It’s such a simple but great way of looking at how our minds flip flop the things of this world with the things of eternity. So the goal is to live out this sentence…

The more I focus on eternity, then the more the things of this earth will grow dim and eternity will become exaggerated.

January 23, 2012

Day Thirteen: An Apple A Day

Okay so this post will be short and “sweet”. hehe Gotta love “diet” humor eh?

Anyway, I have always been a bit curious as to why an apple would be such a temptation to Adam and Eve. I mean‚Ķ it’s an apple. (Yes, I know it probably wasn’t an apple but actually some other kind of fruit but the analogy still works.)

But I have a two fold thought about it now:

1) Okay, so it was forbidden and really that alone made it desirable. Why? I don’t know but my brain certainly tends to desire or at least wonder about things that are forbidden. Like, I don’t know‚Ķ chocolate??? It’s like every piece of it that I come across (and after Christmas I come across it frequently) is physically trying to unwrap itself and jump in my mouth. Or mayyyybe I’m just having some wicked withdrawal hallucinations. Ha!

2) When you are hungry, even something typically undesirable looks gooooooood. Like, an apple. I never want apples on a regular day but today I was hungry and so my mind went to the things I could eat. Suddenly an apple was gorgeous, sweet, luscious, and scrumptious. And that is exactly what a mind renewal is. By unequivocally stopping chocolate or other sweet things from being an option, my mind is renewing it’s process of desire. I now desire an apple! I know, right?!?!?! Cool!

(Side note: gotta check out tomorrow’s post‚Ķ it totally ties in with that! I just didn’t have enough time today to do the topic justice!)

But again, it is only because I have unequivocally shut down those other foods by making this covenant. Otherwise I can assure you that I would convince myself that one bite of chocolate when I’m hungry would be okay.

I’m loving this sweet deal with God!

January 22, 2012

Day Twelve: Free Fresh Asparagus!

I haven’t been “out” a lot since I started this mainly because I got so sick after only three days of being on the covenant. But when I have been “out” pretty much at my mom’s house and at the donut shop yesterday morning, I have been a little surprised at how little I am attracted to the irresistibles. Ironically, it was more difficult at my parents house than at Happy Donuts.

But I have come to a shocking conclusion: life does not revolve around food.

I know. I know. That’s crazy talk. But it doesn’t. Like when Miss Kim handed over a half dozen free donut holes for me and said “You have to try these. You never get these on the weekday but these are hot, fresh glazed. Just now.” Now, granted they weren’t chocolate donut holes. That might have led to an entirely different post. But they were donut holes. Fresh. Just now. And freeeeeee. Oh, and doesn’t free just make something taste better?

Well, maybe… cause I mean, “free fresh asparagus” doesn’t really taste any better or worse. It just tastes like… asparagus.

Sorrry. I digress. So, naturally, I did not eat the donut holes. In fact I got one of those cute little bags and put them in there and honestly I forgot about them until late last night! But you know what? My trip to the donut shop wasn’t completely, totally, and utterly ruined because I didn’t eat those freshly glazed donut holes. In fact, it was really no different at all. Perhaps a little less sticky. But the same.

You see, I have tricked myself into thinking that if I don’t eat the donut holes, or that piece of wedding cake, or the hot dog, or the whatever that I will not be fully experiencing life at that moment. But my life, my happiness, my joy… they are not found in moments of food. What a smash to God if I thought that the joy of life was found in an eclair!?!?!? I don’t need food to experience a moment.

Of course my mind is saying, “Well, unless you went to Fogo de Ch√£o.” But no… even then. My life, my evening would not be a disaster if I didn’t eat a single piece of meat. I would simply be…

Yeah, I would just… be. Be me. Be me in that moment. Apart from food. Free from food.

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