"I've found that when life's brush obscures my view with gloomy strokes that seem to mar the scene, God's hand appears and gives to sunless hue and dreary skies a more majestic sheen." Gustafson

28 February 2009

DAY 24

I'm watching the glistening white snow fall from the sky as I type and reflect on my day. I love what our Teaching Pastor shared at Church tonight. "There are NO accidents in God's economy, only incidents. They are for God's glory and our good." He also shared something a counseling friend once asked him, "When will you embrace suffering as your friend?" When something or someone shakes our world, we try to fix, replace or medicate it. He really drove home the point that as a society, we love comfort. We have access to so many resources, so many technologies to keep us comfortable. I realized as he was talking, that I don't like suffering. I do everything possible to hide/run from it. Namely, stuff my emotions with food. It's too hard to deal with pain and really sit in it instead of running.

I've noticed in the last few days that because I gave up something for Lent, I've been turning to other foods to fill that void. Which I realize isn't healthy but I recognize this pattern in my life.

*It's becoming easier to say NO to certain foods. I turned down a plate of cookies this evening which felt very freeing.
*Still NO WORKOUT today...I've REALLY been slacking this week on my workouts and have got to get back in the game.

Looking forward to the new day....

27 February 2009

DAY 23

Today and the past few days, I've struggled to remain encouraged. I wrote the equation CONSISTENCY + GRACE + TIME = TRANSFORMATION again in my journal! And this is my constant prayer on this quest, "help me to trust in You at ALL times and pour out my heart to You for You are my refuge." Psalm 62:8

I'm clinging to God as my: Mighty Rock; Refuge; Redeemer; Deliverer; Sustainer & Restorer.

Not much to report in the way of HIGHLIGHTS today so this will be short and sweet.

Looking ahead....

26 February 2009

DAY 22

I love the book of Psalms! Here's what the Lord allowed me to read this morning before I started my day.

Psalm 139:5-6
"You hem me in - behind and before, You have laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain."

Psalm 143:10
"Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good spirit lead me on level ground."

"Level ground" speaks of balance and my interpretation is that when I am doing God's will, I will be balanced and self-controlled in all things.

Well, I did my weigh-in this morning and while I didn't gain, I didn't lose either. Again, my focus isn't dieting or trying to drop tons of weight at once, but sometimes a lower number on the scale really is encouraging. BUT, I will say that I'm focusing my mind on what God has allowed me to accomplish these past 22 days. It hasn't necessarily been weight loss (although I have dropped 3 lbs and have kept it off, small victory!), I've been growing spiritually and haven't been controlled by my food addiction. WOOHOO, this calls for REJOICING!

As I mentioned in my blog last night, I've been wrestling with God about giving something up for Lent. I won't disclose what I'm fasting from but I wanted to at least let you know that I've made another 40 day commitment.

*I ate more than normal tonight at dinner and I still have a full belly. I'm trying to figure out why I consumed more. We took Brit to Chic-fil-a as a special treat for doing an INCREDIBLE job at the dentist's today! For those of you on Facebook, I'll be posting pics soon! :)
*No workout
*No sweets today

Looking forward to tomorrow....

25 February 2009

DAY 21

I'm weary and my head hurts but I refuse to go to bed until I post this blog!!! :)

When I looked up at the clock this morning during my quiet time, it was 6:33AM. The time 6:33 has ALWAYS been significant in my life because Matthew 6:33 "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you," was/is my family's life verse. A smile comes to face every time I glance at the clock randomly and see 6:33!

During my time in the Word, I read Psalm 42:5 and was filled with hope and praise.

"Lord, help me not to be downcast or disturbed from within. I can put my hope entirely in you, Lord, and I will keep praising You, my Savior and my God."

Today is Ash Wednesday and I've been thinking about the meaning of Lent and what it would look like for me to give up something for 40 days. The question of WHAT has been nagging at me all day. Lord, show me has been my prayer!

*A dear friend surprised me with my favorite Starbucks drink and a visit at work! She brightened my day!! I treasure God's unexpected blessings!
*No workout today but I have worked out 4 times this week. Tomorrow is weigh-in day!

Tromping ahead...

24 February 2009

DAY 20

My legs are a little shaky as I JUST got off the treadmill! It's late and I really didn't want to workout BUT I did it anyway and I'm glad I didn't pass this opportunity up to take care of my body.

*35 minutes speed walking on the treadmill (Now that we have cable (thanks to Comcast perks for employees) Chris hooked-up the monitor on our treadmill so I can watch TLC while I walk! It's Comcastic! :)
*I pigged out on Kettle Corn today at work...it's lowfat and organic so I know it's a healthier choice BUT I still ate my fair share today.
*I started my morning early in the Word and prayer.

2 Samuel 22:2-3
"I confess that You are my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer. You are my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. You are my stronghold, my refuge, and my Savior - save me from ANYTHING that seeks to destroy me."

Another step forward...

23 February 2009

DAY 19

It's day 19...It's day 19! IT'S DAY NINETEEN!!!! If you can't tell by my enthusiasm, I'm pretty struck with the fact that I've made it to day 19! I'm not a consistent person, I don't stick with things. I get frustrated after my first attempt trying and then give up and give in. BUT, I've been trucking along for the last nineteen days NOT returning to my old habits. WOW, this is so freeing!! I've still got the rest of my life on this quest but I'm so grateful to say that God is allowing me to triumph in even the smallest personal victories.

I read the below excerpt on the 90in09 website this morning and it really stomped on my toes...

From Journey To Freedom Founder, Scott Reall

"The importance of compassion … anytime that we are in the process of training for something or attempting to make a lifestyle change – anything we're trying to change … we need to have compassion for ourselves. Dr. Patrick Carnes, a leader in the world of working with addictions, believe it's the most important part of our efforts to change. Because what Dr. Carnes knows is the same thing that many of you know … days that you don't feel like training or you cant because of your schedule or you simply can't muster up the motivation, you wont walk this out perfectly. You will have days that you wont meet your goals. We mess up. Daily "slips" add up and before you know it, guilty feelings wash over you and you believe that the best thing to do is give up. Just quit. This is where the ability to have compassion toward ourselves is so very critical. Our ability to successfully stay the course when we begin to falter. What compassion provides is the ability to give myself permission to start over – to get right back in there and work my program. To not beat myself up. We have to refuse to go there. Any time that you step back in is a victory. Sometimes the most difficult steps are the ones where we move back toward our goals … admitting we've blown it. We've messed up. It's okay. It's a process. More importantly, YOU are okay. Give yourself permission to make mistakes. It is not about the finish lines … it's about the process. The process is what God will use to transform you."

Ouch! I realized after reading this that over the course of my life and specifically in my journey to healing from food addiction, I have had NO compassion for myself. I listen to my inner critic and live in defeat instead of getting back up the next day, brushing myself off and moving forward. I think that's why these past 19 days have been so different, so freeing, so crucial to my quest.

*I told you last night a Sonic latte was in my future...so I stopped on my way into work early this morning. Sadly, I wasted $2.18 on the WORST latte ever! It had slimy, stringy things in it that kept getting stuck in my teeth (sorry I know that's really gross!). After about 10 small sips, I poured it out and felt sick to my stomach for the next few hours. Needless to say, my strong desire and love for Sonic Caramel Lattes has disappeared...at least for a little while! :)
*I passed up cookies tonight at dinner and only had 1 large piece of cheese pizza with two good size helpings of salad. I was able to say NO to cookies, woohoo! And they looked amazing, by the way!
*I didn't go without sweets today, I had a small helping of chocolate chips and some delicious organic Kettle Corn (thank you Target!).
*No workout or time in the Word today...just being honest. I've been keeping on track with 4 workouts per week and daily time in the Word.
*It's been an emotional past few days and thankfully I've gone a different direction and NOT turned to food for comfort. Instead of stuffing my feelings, I've been able to acknowledge how I'm feeling, talk with others and invite God into my moments.

Another leap forward....

22 February 2009

DAY 18

My morning started in the Word with these two verses....they both brought so much encouragement to my heart.

2 Cor 2:14
"Thank You, God, for Your willingness to lead me to triumph."

Psalm 138:8
"The Lord WILL fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O Lord, endures forever - do not abandon the works of Your hands."

God WANTS me to triumph!! I love that and I can really tell a difference in my moments. I'm making wiser choices and saying NO to food that I've never been able to deny before. We've had a bag of chocolate chips in the house since last Sunday (a week ago!) and Brit and I are still working on them. I've been allowing myself a small handful a day, as opposed to downing the whole bag in 2 days!! Since I made the 90in09 commitment 18 days ago, food hasn't had the loud, tempting voice it used to have. It truly is miraculous! And the same Ben & Jerry's tub of ice cream is STILL in the freezer, amazing!

*45 minutes on the treadmill; 20 minutes of Pilates with Brit (she loves doing it with Mommy, she tries!)
*Cleaned the house with Brit hot on my heels helping me dust, vacuum and clean-up (I'm sure I burned some calories!)
*I'm continuing to pray about going on a mission trip to Russia or Mexico this year. God closed the door for me to go to Peru.
*I wanted a Sonic latte SO BADLY tonight after our Target trip (mostly because I was getting a migraine and knew the caffeine would help) but knew that my one a week commitment doesn't start over again until tomorrow. A Sonic run is in the near future!


21 February 2009

DAY 17

It's been a sweet day with my family and a fun movie night on the couch with Chris after little bit went to bed. We found out some really sad news about Baby Thunder today so I've been sad and angry.

I don't have much to report today in the way of HIGHLIGHTS but I'm hopeful for tomorrow.

Turning in for the night...and looking ahead.

DAY 16

It's midnight people!! I'm about to roll into bed but JUST NOW got home! I had a pretty productive day: worked until 12:30, came home - hung with Britain and did pilates; got my Passport picture made at Walgreens, got a hair cut, we met Chris at Cracker Barrel for dinner and then I went to Encores & More (a HUGE indoor consignment sale) for their pre-opening sale. A sweet friend gave me a pass to go tonight before it opens to the public tomorrow. I got there around 7:30 and JUST got home! I was able to find some great deals and stock up on gifts for Brit's birthday in March. It was worth it but I'm pooped. (I don't typically share details about the events in my day but felt it was needed tonight!).

*Spent time in the Word and in prayer this morning before work
*Pilates for 20 minutes
*Didn't OD on food at Cracker Barrel (I usually eat at least 2 biscuits and tonight I had whole wheat sourdough toast and only some scraps of Brit's biscuit).
*No afternoon snack - which is rare for me but I wasn't hungry.
*Continuing to track my food and water intake - which is SO helpful!

Ephesians 1:17
"Now grant me the Spirit of wisdom and revelation that I may know You better."

A few weeks ago, one of our teaching Pastors included the below prayer in our program and it moved me this morning when I read it.

It's an old Franciscan prayer....

"May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers,
half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that
we may live deep within our hearts.

May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression,
and exploitation of people, so that we may work for
justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer
from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that we may
reach out our hands to comfort them and turn their pain
into joy.

And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe
that we can make a difference in this world, so that we
can do what others claim cannot be done."

Turning in for the night....back up in 6 hours to get
ready for Brit's dance class! :)

The quest continues....

19 February 2009

DAY 15

It has been a super LONG day! I was up at 5:45AM and on the road by 6:45AM heading to Nashville for an all day Grant Writing workshop. I learned so much and loved the instructor! Needless to say, I didn't get in my morning read before I left so after I post this, I'll be spending time in the Word before snuggling up in bed. Tonight's entry will be short and sweet!

*I gained a half pound since my last weigh in BUT I'm not allowing this to discourage me. I feel different in my clothes no matter what the scale says AND I know that I'm victorious already for making wiser, healthier choices.
*Because I was tired going into the workshop, I ALMOST stopped at a convenience store to get a latte but decided that would be the same thing as going to Sonic for a drink (spending money is spending money no matter where you go!). This would negate my commitment to one Sonic a week and since I already enjoyed one on Monday, I didn't allow myself to stop. YAY!
*Lunch was provided and of course it was a yummy boxed meal consisting of a turkey & lettuce sandwich, potato chips and a chocolate chip cookie. When I opened my box, I immediately pulled out the chips and cookie and got them out of my reach! Saying NO to food isn't as difficult as I thought!
*No workout today


18 February 2009

DAY 14

I include A LOT of quotes, devotions and scriptures in my blogs BECAUSE they impact me in such a powerful way. I read the below devotion this morning and it reminded me of how I've lived in defeat for so many years and let the past keep me from moving forward.

"In the Garden of Gethsemane, the disciples went to sleep when they should have stayed awake, and once they realized what they had done it produced despair. The sense of having done something irreversible tends to make us despair. We say, "Well, it's all over and ruined now; what's the point in trying anymore." If we think this kind of despair is an exception, we are mistaken. It is a very ordinary human experience. Whenever we realize we have not taken advantage of a magnificent opportunity, we are apt to sink into despair. But Jesus comes and lovingly says to us, in essence, "Sleep on now. That opportunity is lost forever and you can't change that. But get up, and let's go on to the next thing." In other words, let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him.

There will be experiences like this in each of our lives. We will have times of despair caused by real events in our lives, and we will be unable to lift ourselves out of them. The disciples, in this instance, had done a downright unthinkable thing— they had gone to sleep instead of watching with Jesus. But our Lord came to them taking the spiritual initiative against their despair and said, in effect, "Get up, and do the next thing." If we are inspired by God, what is the next thing? It is to trust Him absolutely and to pray on the basis of His redemption.

Never let the sense of past failure defeat your next step."
-Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost for His Highest"

I LOVE the last line and claim it as my new life motto!! Can I do that? :)

Big Daddy Weave's 90 in 09 commitment still continues to encourage me. I was on his website today and watched a video clip of him sharing his experience on a cruise this past weekend. He said he was able to workout and stay away from the bountiful buffet tables and instead, chose healthy options. He said the chocolate molten cake was calling his name and it was such a battle and I love what he said next, "But, I want Jesus more than that, I want His way for me this year more than that (that being the chocolate molten cake)." What an inspiration!

*45 minutes on the treadmill
*I had a handful of chocolate chips after dinner and typically would go back for more. BUT, I was able to look at the bag, pick it up and put it away all the while thinking, "I want Jesus more than that!" Another victory!
*Tomorrow is week 2 weigh in day and I'm feeling fear. I so desperately want the scale to show me lower digits than last week but I know that numbers ultimately mean nothing. It's the quest, the moments and victories, the surrendering to Jesus and above all my spiritual growth that matters most.

Pressing on....

17 February 2009

DAY 13

In my morning read, these were the scriptures that I read....

Psalm 27:1
"The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?"

For SO long, FOOD has been my stronghold, NOT the Lord. But I don't have to be afraid any longer. God is inviting me to trust Him in this process.

Mark 9:23-24
"You have told me everything is possible for him who believes. Help me overcome my unbelief."

Psalm 19:12-13
"Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me."

Joshua 1:9
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

"Living up in the fresh air and sunshine (out of the pit) where your feet are firm upon the Rock and your head is above your enemy's is not for the fainthearted. It's for those who make up their minds." - Beth Moore "Get Out of That Pit"

I'm on a quest...I've made up my mind!

*I noticed that I felt more hungry today than I have in the last 12 days but also realized I didn't drink as much water as I have been. Food was more tempting today but I used willpower and didn't let the temptations take over.
*35 minutes on treadmill


16 February 2009

DAY 12

I overslept this morning but still made time to read the Word and start my morning in prayer. I find great power in this verse, "be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord." Psalm 31:24

Most days I remember to check my RSS feed of My Utmost for His Highest and today was no exception. A worthy read....

The Inspiration of Spiritual Initiative
Arise from the dead . . . —Ephesians 5:14

"We all have many dreams and aspirations when we are young, but sooner or later we realize we have no power to accomplish them. We cannot do the things we long to do, so our tendency is to think of our dreams and aspirations as dead. But God comes and says to us, "Arise from the dead . . . ." When God sends His inspiration, it comes to us with such miraculous power that we are able to "arise from the dead" and do the impossible. The remarkable thing about spiritual initiative is that the life and power comes after we "get up and get going." God does not give us overcoming life— He gives us life as we overcome. When the inspiration of God comes, and He says, "Arise from the dead . . . ," we have to get ourselves up; God will not lift us up. Our Lord said to the man with the withered hand, "Stretch out your hand" (Matthew 12:13 ). As soon as the man did so, his hand was healed. But he had to take the initiative. If we will take the initiative to overcome, we will find that we have the inspiration of God, because He immediately gives us the power of life."
-Oswald Chambers - My Utmost for His Highest

*I've decided (as of today!) to add a commitment and commit to only ONE Sonic drink per week. I stopped for a Sonic caramel latte this morning (which I found out is 4 points on Weight Watchers). My habit/addiction has turned into 2-4 a week so it's getting out of control. Chris and I made a commitment last June to give up Starbucks altogether (unless someone else is buying!) until our adoption is final. Well, sadly, my Starbucks addiction turned into "needing" a Sonic fix.
*I realized earlier today when I was in the freezer getting something out that we've had a small tub of Ben & Jerry's ice cream in our home since last Friday and the most I've had is one lick on a spoon!!! This is a VICTORY indeed! Normally I would consume a 16 oz tub all by myself in a matter of a day or two! Woohoo!
*I discovered that one pizza is PLENTY for the 3 of us! For the past few weeks, I've been buying Amy's Organic Cheese pizzas from Trader Joe's and was thoroughly surprised to discover that all it takes is one pizza and a salad to fill us up! For years, I've been making two pizzas at a time which just screams EAT ME so of course we would consume most if not all of them at one meal.
*I'm continuing to track my food and water intake. This is so helpful! I'm not officially on Weight Watchers but I'm able to track most of the points as a guide.
*No workout today.


15 February 2009

DAY 11

What a sweet day! I started the morning out in the Word and felt God speaking so clearly to me about the story of Daniel. I read it to Brit last night in her little Bible story book so it was fresh in my mind. To some degree, I think I can relate to Daniel who was thrown into the lion's den. In Brit's Bible story book, it describes Daniel in a pit with hungry lions surrounding him. Oh the reality and how it parallels with my life! I feel like I've been in a deep, dark pit surrounded by hungry lions ready and willing to tear me up and spit me out. They've been on my heels and in my face for YEARS! Then, last week, God in all His grace and mercy, rolled away the boulder, the barricade over the pit and welcomed me out. He stretched His loving hand down into the darkness and gracefully drew me out. Daniel was not destroyed and neither was I. I've been taunted and tormented on every side, but I haven't been alone in the darkness.

2 Corinthians 3:18
"Help me to keep my face continually unveiled before You and cause me to reflect that glory. Continue transforming me into Your likeness with ever-increasing glory which comes from You, Lord."

*I allowed the leftover Angel Food Cake from last night have control over me and had some for brunch AND after dinner. I also had 2 small peppermint patties and 1 TBSP of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

*Brit was my little shopping buddy today and did a great job helping me in three different stores. As we were paying for our groceries at Trader Joe's (my favorite store!), our cashier stuck a bouquet of beautiful peach roses in my buggie! He explained that they had an overstock of Valentine roses and were giving them away! What a sweet, unexpected blessing!
*Sweet Papa (my father-in-law) surprised us with a delicious pork loin for dinner. It went great with brown rice and stir fry veggies from Trader Joe's....it was a deliciously, healthy meal!
*I got in a 42 minute workout on the treadmill.

I love these lyrics from a song called "Made for the Journey"
"So we thirst for freedom
Grace gives us our taste
Until we reach the table
Until we've shed these chains."

I overheard Brit chatting to herself this morning while I was reading and here's what she said...I'm still trying to make sense of it but it struck me...

"Sometimes it's a little crazy,
Sometimes it's a little easy,
Sometimes I can get stuff out."

"Inch by inch we fight..."
-"Made for the Journey"

14 February 2009

DAY 10

Today has been such a sweet day with my VIPS! And thankfully, I was able to remain strong in the midst of temptations. I'll make this entry short and sweet as I want to spend time with my Valentine tonight!

*I was down another pound on the scale this morning. I don't weigh myself everyday but just needed the added encouragement this morning.
*I threw away a large tootsie roll! May not seem like a big deal but the small victories are adding up and are very encouraging!
*We ate dinner at Jason's Deli and I opted for a turkey wrap and fruit (with a handful of wheat crackers) and no ice cream. I usually eat tons of the mini muffins, crackers, chips, sweet tea, etc.
*I served angel food cake, strawberries (with a light sprinkling of sugar mixed in)and Heath Bar Crunch ice cream for dessert tonight and opted for the angel food and strawberries with NO ice cream...another huge step for me!

Another step...

13 February 2009


Yay the weekend's here! I'm a little fearful on the eve of Valentine's Day as I know I'll be faced with numerous temptations tomorrow. BUT, I've already got a few healthier treats in mind to share with my family tomorrow so I can still have something sweet.

Here's a little of my journal entry from earlier today...

I've pushed off shore and I'm not going back. I have believed so many lies and fought with my inner critic for too long. I was settling and getting pretty comfortable in my excess fat because I thought I could NEVER change. I believed that God could heal others but didn't have the faith to believe He could heal me, too. But I also haven't had the intrinsic motivation (as Scott Reall calls it) to make the life change until now. The bondage is stifling and shameful. I relate to Paul so well in that the things I've wanted to change I haven't been able to. I WANT out of this pit! Lord rescue me!

*45 minutes of Pilates (it was hilarious watching Britain try to do them with me!)
*At Moe's Southwest Grill tonight, I opted for rice instead of chips and no cookie (both of these are things I typically get with my burrito but actually wasn't tempted by them at all tonight...again, very rare for me!)
*Tracking my water and food intake continues to be so helpful.
*I turned down a fudge sample at Costco tonight....woohooo!!! Silly but it's seriously a BIG deal for me to turn down food, especially when it's free!!!

Inching ahead....

12 February 2009


It's been one week since I started this commitment and one of the benefits of this is that I've lost 3 lbs! I'm so encouraged! But much more than just shedding some weight, I feel so much more connected with God. Spiritually I feel like I'm growing, even though it's been really hard. I believe God is allowing me to wait on Him and of course, he led me to this verse early this morning!

Psalm 130: 5-6
"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning."

To continue on the path of what a quest is, I looked up the word "quest" online and it led me to something called a vision quest.

"A vision quest is a rite of passage in some Native American cultures."

"In many Native American groups, the vision quest is a turning point in life taken before puberty to find oneself and the intended spiritual and life direction. When an older child is ready, he or she will go on a personal, spiritual quest alone in the wilderness, often in conjunction with a period of fasting. This usually lasts for a number of days while the child is tuned into the spirit world. Usually, a Guardian animal will come in a vision or dream, and the child's life direction will appear at some point. The child returns to the tribe, and once the child has grown, will pursue that direction in life. After a vision quest, the child may apprentice an adult in the tribe of the shown direction."

First of all, God is growing my love for the Native American culture so of course this stood out to me. In some respects, I feel like I'm on a "vision quest"(although I hit puberty many moons ago!). I'm at a turning point in life to find myself in Christ and while I have amazing support from my husband, friends and family, this is something I have to do alone. I feel like I'm more in tune with God than I have been in a long time. These 90 days mark the beginning of my quest.

*I didn't obsess about food all day long, which is rare.
*I was able to throw away some of my lunch instead of cleaning my plate (for the wrong reasons) and overeating.
*I stared at a biscotti calling my name in the kitchen at work but realized that I don't have to eat it just because it's there. I wasn't even hungry although after I left it and walked away, my tummy started rumbling...but I didn't turn back and eat it like I would have in the past.
*No workout today - jam packed day.
*Turned down pizza and cupcakes at a birthday party and chose the salad bar and a Sonic latte instead (still working on my Sonic drink addiction!).

Moving forward....

11 February 2009


Today marks 1 month since Wakia left our home. I have had great sadness today as I've reflected on the impact he had on my life, on our lives. Thinking over the memories we shared together was so sweet. Typically, on days when I'm sad or hurt, I usually eat to stuff my feelings. But today, I was able to name my feelings and rest in God's spaciousness. This was my prayer....

Lord, I want to eat because I'm emotional today. Sad, hurt and angry but in the midst of these feelings, I am glad.

"Gladness is about desiring deeply and having a willingness to walk through pain in the pursuit of the desire." Chip Dodd - The Voice of the Heart

*Pilates for 20 minutes
*Allowed myself 3 of Brit's V-day cookies (I'll be glad when the cookies are out of the house!)
*Wasn't tempted by the V-day candy Brit brought home from her school party.
*Again, didn't EAT to stuff my feelings.
*Continued to track my food and water intake

Another inch forward....

10 February 2009


"I have come that they may have life and have it to the fullest."
John 10:10

This verse gives me so much hope!

*I experienced Curious Gourmet (a fancy cupcake shop) in downtown Franklin for the first time today. I quickly went in to buy 2 cupcakes for someone's birthday and while I was ordering, the head chef was in the process of giving me a FREE shortbread cookie to try and I stopped her! It was so FREEING to say NO! I still can't believe I uttered the words, No thank you, not today! There's a few things you need to know about me: I NEVER say NO to food; I LOVE cupcakes (or anything sweet for that matter) and I NEVER turn down FREE food! So, this was a monumental moment for me! :)
*No snacking while cooking dinner. This is a whole new world for me and definitely not the norm.....yet!
*I allowed myself 3 Valentine cookies Brit made after dinner.
*Worked out 25 minutes on the treadmill.

Inching forward....

09 February 2009


I have a ritual every morning when I wake...I walk down the dark hall in the early morn, open the blinds in the dining room, and look out with wonder at the sky. This morning was no exception to God's creative works. The sky was painted in pinks and reds...it was gorgeous! As I read and study God's word, I occasionally look up and out the window in front of me at God's creation. I've felt so connected to God these past 5 days. As I read this morning, these verses about living in a pit really struck me.

Psalm 40:2-3

"He lifted me out of the slimy pit out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord."

I'm in desperate need of deliverance and decided to look up the meaning online. Here's what I found out...

DELIVERANCE means recovery or preservation from loss or danger; rescue.

I feel guilt and shame because I feel like I've lost so much of myself living with my food addiction. A friend said a quote tonight that really hit me. He said, "A quest is getting in the boat and never looking back." I am on a quest....to find my true self and to know God.

*For the first time ever, I didn't dread going to our weekly community group meeting. Dread because in the past I knew that the dinners we enjoyed together would be so tempting for me to handle. Tonight, however, I ate in moderation and even enjoyed a small piece of cake. It was so empowering!!
*It's late and I'm beat so I didn't get my workout in today. My goal is to workout 4 times a week. So far I've worked out 3 times since Thursday so I have one more exercise time to schedule before this Thursday.
*I've noticed that while I'm cooking dinner or making Britain's snacks, I'm not eating or grazing as I go. This is a HUGE deal in that my normality is to eat mindlessly all the time, even if I'm not hungry.

I'm so grateful for baby steps and for this quest God has me on!

08 February 2009


Today was a gorgeous day! Sadly, I spent all day inside cleaning, straightening up, baking, writing notes, cooking and doing laundry. BEB is an amazing little helper just like her Dad so they graciously helped me. We did enjoy a little time outside this evening as the sun was setting. BEB jumped rope for the first time all by herself! She brings us so much JOY in so many ways.

While today was mostly a "chores" kind of day, I did manage to get on the treadmill for 30 minutes and pay particular attention to everything I ate. I made banana bread for a friend who just had a baby and intentionally made a small mini-loaf for our family instead of the regular size (which I usually end up eating more than half of on my own!). I feel empowered and encouraged on this journey as God holds my hand through it. I still don't feel like I've really "struggled" like I thought I would (up to this point, but it IS only Day 4!). I realize temptation is around the corner so I gear up for the battle every morning as I read God's word.

Thankful for another day....

07 February 2009


The day is ending and I'm grateful to be able to say that I survived my 3rd day - me vs. food! As I sip some yummy decaf my hubs made for me, I'm reflecting on God's graciousness and His ever present help when we call on Him.

A dear friend, had a small group of women over to her home this morning for a "tea party." She blessed and honored us with encouragement and God's Word and served the most incredible brunch I've ever had! Despite the treats and goodies she offered, I was able to eat in moderation and STILL enjoy the yummy foods I so love. It was a huge help (for me) that the portions she served were already moderate so it wasn't as easy for me to OD!

*Enjoyed (yes, actually enjoyed!) 20 minutes of Pilates AND 20 minutes on the treadmill.
*Chose healthier options at meals and didn't overeat.
*Filled up on water all day long.
*Resisted Jason's Deli free frozen yogurt....my favorite!
*I'm continuing to write down everything I eat & drink so I can track what I'm putting into my body.

Psalm 19:13
"Keep Your servant from willful sins;
do not let them rule over me.
Then I will be innocent,
and cleansed from blatant rebellion."

I love this quote by Beth Moore in her book "Get Out of That Pit"...
"Throughout your ascent out of the pit, never lose sight of the fact that God will forever be more interested in you knowing your Healer than experiencing His healing, and knowing your Deliverer than knowing your deliverance. God wants you out of that pit. He wants you in victory. Out of defeat."

Inching toward freedom...

06 February 2009


It's the end of Day 2....and the beginning of the weekend. I'm thankful to be able to say with honesty that God allowed me to live today in freedom. A healthy balance, in all areas. The weekends can be scary for me because typically we eat out more and entertain more with friends (parties, dinners, etc) so I'm going into tomorrow very aware of the temptations that lie ahead. God, give me Your strength!

*Resisted the candy bowl temptation at the bank (typically I grab a handful of tootsie rolls!)
*Went to a Mexican restaurant with a full belly, didn't even have a desire to eat from the basket of chips staring at me. I was able to say NO when offered food.
*Drowned myself in water.

These two verses in Psalms really struck me this morning in my worship time.

Psalm 119:98
"Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me."

Psalm 40:8
"I desire to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart."

Words of wisdom from Scott Reall (quotes from "Journey to Freedom"):

Consistency + Time + Grace = Transformation

In the valley is the vision.

God made our bodies to carry our spirits around for our human experience. That's it.

God wants me to have a healthy relationship with self and food, to balance.
I want deliverance from bondage.
Go a different way.
Discover a vision.
Turn from my own logic.
Hope thinks new thoughts.

05 February 2009


It's day one and after a long day, I am able to say the Lord gave me the strength and self-control needed to fight the good fight. And honestly, it wasn't that hard! Tomorrow may bring temptations, but for today, I'm thankful for His power on this first day of my journey to find freedom in the moments of life.

*The Merridee's Banana bread in the kitchen at work surprisingly didn't call my name. I'm shocked! Normally I would've eaten half the loaf!
*I spent most of the day in the bathroom going potty...lots of H2O!
*I only ate 2 small peppermint patties instead of 20 (and I'm not exaggerating!) :)
*Wrote down everything I ate & drank to stay on track.
*New discovery - fell in love with Trader Joe's Blackberry fruit infusion tea. Yum, yum.
*Enjoyed a 20 minute Windsor Pilates workout

"The caged bird only wants to sing, to be fully alive." -Scott Reall

Psalm 124:7
"We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler's snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped."

My prayer early this morning was...

Jesus, give me Your strength to break the chains; courage to leave the cage; power & might to FLY and SOAR!

I read this excerpt From My Utmost for His Highest daily devotions a few months ago and it's starting to make sense...

"Until we give up our illusion of control over others and God, we will never understand what we do have control over: our own choices and our own intent. Personal power, which is knowing what we do have control over and taking action, eludes us until we accept that we are helpless over other people and God. The paradox is that we cannot move into personal power until we accept our powerlessness over everything but ourselves.

Once your rights to yourself are surrendered to God, your true personal nature begins responding to God immediately. Jesus Christ brings freedom to your total person, and even your individuality is transformed. The transformation is brought about by love— personal devotion to Jesus. Love is the overflowing result of one person in true fellowship with another.

The characteristics of individuality are independence and self-will. We hinder our spiritual growth more than any other way by continually asserting our individuality. If you say, "I can't believe," it is because your individuality is blocking the way; individuality can never believe. But our spirit cannot help believing. Watch yourself closely when the Spirit of God is at work in you. He pushes you to the limits of your individuality where a choice must be made. The choice is either to say, "I will not surrender," or to surrender, breaking the hard shell of individuality, which allows the spiritual life to emerge. The Holy Spirit narrows it down every time to one thing (see Matthew 5:23-24 ). It is your individuality that refuses to "be reconciled to your brother" ( Matthew 5:24 ). God wants to bring you into union with Himself, but unless you are willing to give up your right to yourself, He cannot. ". . . let him deny himself . . ."— deny his independent right to himself. Then the real life-the spiritual life-is allowed the opportunity to grow."

04 February 2009

A Spacious Place...

"He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me."
-Psalm 18:16-19

In an attempt to re-commit to blogging AND get back on track building a healthy lifestyle, starting today, I'm commiting to the 90 in 09 Challenge. Want to know what the heck this is? Read below.


The 90 in 09 Challenge is designed to aid Mike Weaver (lead singer of Big Daddy Weave) in his goal to lose 90 pounds in the year 2009. With help from "Americas Health Coach," Dr. Asa Andrew, and fitness trainer and founder of the YMCA Restore Ministries, Scott Reall, Mike will be given all the health, fitness and spiritual support needed to make his resolution a reality. Take action in your own life and join the 90-day challenge by clicking on the TAKE THE CHALLENGE tab. Your health is your greatest wealth, and a gift from God. Sign up to join the challenge, and commit to pray for Mike and others like him.


To join with Mike and accept the 90 in 09 Challenge, you simply agree to these 3 daily commitments for a NEW Life:

Nutrition – Exercise – Worship


1. Recognizing that the purpose of the foods that I eat is to provide my body with the fuel it needs, I commit to make food choices that are nutritious and appropriate in portion size.


2. Realizing the positive impact that exercise has on my overall well being, I will spend a total of 20-30 minutes at least 4 days a week engaged in physical activity. (Mike's commitment is to exercise EACH day; I altered this plan to fit my lifestyle).

3. Believing that true overall health encompasses spiritual growth which comes from spending time with God, I choose to set aside time each day to be devoted soley to Him.

Like Mike, I went through the Journey to Freedom class a few months ago and had every intention of sticking to my action plan and goals but find myself in a pit of despair (so to speak). For as long as I can remember, I've had a food addiction. I'm an emotional eater and over eat, sometimes out of control. Eating in hiding is something I know and do so well. With all this, brings a lot of shame and body image issues. It is an addiction I've tried to overcome numerous times without avail. I KNOW the truth in God's word, but it has not set me free. I'm on a journey to live in freedom. Not that I won't struggle with it every day for the rest of my life, but I want to invite Jesus into my moments and make choices that will please and honor Him.

I can't do this alone and recognize that I MUST have accountability or I WILL fall flat on my face. Thus, I commit to God, to YOU (anyone who is reading this!), my family, and myself, that for the next 90 days (Feb 5, 2009 to May 5, 2009) I will blog about this 90 day journey to freedom. While I don't need to lose 90 pounds, I do hope to shed my winter (spring, summer, fall) coat of 15-20 lbs. I've got a few pairs of smaller size pants that still have the tags on them and I'm READY for them to stop laughing at me every time I open the door to my closet! Right now, I'm sporting my "big girl" pants, as I call them... NOT FUN or pretty! But some how I've managed to get really comfortable with this vicious cycle of sabotaging my efforts, relying on my own strength, listening to the devil's lies that I'll never be able to change and getting too used to making my home in the pit. Food has such a control over me. It is an idol in my life that has consumed me. I also commit to following the three daily commitments for a NEW Life. I realize this is my journey and my struggles but I covet your prayers as I embark on what will be the most challenging battle – me vs. God and the struggle to surrender moment by moment. Some days I may struggle to blog a single sentence but my heart's prayer is that God will show me that THIS is possible, that I DON'T have to live in defeat the rest of my life.

One last thing...I love this note written by Scott Reall (Founder of Restore Ministries) he calls the "Power of Vision" that's posted on the YMCA website.

"There are two types of motivation - one is called extrinsic motivation, the other is called intrinsic motivation. In Journey to Freedom, we work with people who are trying to create a new life for themselves by changing a key part of their lives. We know that the key to sustaining change is maintaining the motivation, for the rest of our lives, always moving towards our new self, our best self that we are in the process of creating with God in the process of change.

Here's what we know about motivation: when a person is motivated by need, they often will settle for a temporary fix. The motivation is an external motivation - what we call extrinsic. For example: "I need to lose 20 pounds because my husband doesn't like me as much when I am overweight" - this pressure is external. When this external motivation is removed, the change is not permanent and the individual usually falls back into their former habits. But, when the motivation is driven by vision - a vision of becoming the man or woman that God truly wants you to be, becoming your best self - that's called intrinsic motivation. It's being driven by this vision of becoming something that is very meaningful to you - "I want to become this man or woman I can see God calling me to be." It's as if you and God are in it together. You both want to make you the best you can be. Whenever a person is motivated by vision - these are the people who will experience lasting change that will sustain for a lifetime."
May God bless you on your Journey!
Scott Reall

Thank you for encouraging me on my journey!