Monday, December 1, 2014

He must increase

"He must increase; I must decrease."
John 3:30

We can't both increase.

Today I'm focusing on Him, not me.
His ways are higher. His ways are better.
His thoughts about me are better.
My ways fail. His don't.
Then why do I keep fighting Him for control?

Graphic by:

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Trying again...

Funny how when you take your eyes off the road for just a minute, you find yourself completely off track.

That's how I'm feeling lately. I can't seem to get my mind on track. It's so frustrating to KNOW what you SHOULD do, yet watch as you choose the wrong thing over & over. I'm certainly thankful that His mercies are new every if only MY mercies towards myself were that forgiving!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


The "sugar free" train definitely got derailed by Halloween.... ugh, "Butterfingers" and "Snickers", why must you taste SOOO good??!!

Determined to get back on track with my thinking AND eating: sugar free is best for me. 0-5 is the way to go.

Trying again.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Give me Jesus...

More & more I become convinced that the only way to succeed at anything is to think of myself less.

Marriage: It really doesn't matter if I write a million love letters, send flowers, singing telegrams and balloon bouquets every day of my life. If I wake up every day and think my world revolves around me, my marriage will fail.
Parenting: I can buy every educational toy, sign my daughter up for every activity and help her learn everything there is to learn. But if I am doing it to make MY name great, I will lose her.
Friendships: I can spend quality time, make phone calls, send cards, attend coffee dates, but if my heart is set on what it will get ME, I will be a miserable excuse of a friend.

If my desire to eat healthily becomes the entire focus of my day and it's not about a pursuit of obedience to my Maker, I've missed the mark. I've still made it all about me. I have to have Jesus. That's all there is to it.
I have to wake up every morning begging for more of Him.
More grace. More patience. More kindness. More Spirit-driven obedience.
Nothing good in my life will come on my own volition.
I need Him.

Monday, October 20, 2014

4 days off sugar....

So the more thought I've given it, I have decided to go off sugar as best as I can. For now I'm defining that as "obvious" sugary food: desserts, pastries, muffins, donuts (ACK!), candy, icecream, soda (regular and diet since the diet just makes me want sugary foods)...

I'd started using coffee creamer again (I'd been off of it for months) and I think that was adding more fuel to the desire for candy and sugar. In fact, I was having 2-3 cups of coffee just for the creamer. When I drink it black with stevia, I only have a cup.

I realize that sugar-free sometimes means people using aspartame or other sugar substitutes. I'm trying to not go that route. I think that the sweetness just makes me want more, whether it's real or fake.

Since my big-picture-goal is to be un-obsessed with food and weight loss,  I don't want to get nuts over checking labels stringently and being obsessed with hidden sugar in items.  Yes, sugar is in just about everything. And, yes, I should eat less processed foods. So for now the goal is to avoid obvious sugar, make healthy choices and continue to work on eating when at zero and stopping at "5".

Thursday, October 16, 2014


I've been thinking on this passage from the Bible lately....

"You say, 'I am allowed to do anything'—but not everything is good for you.
You say, 'I am allowed to do anything'—but not everything is beneficial."
1 Corinthians 10:23  (NLT)

My pursuit to eat when truly hungry and stop when satisfied (on the hunger/fullness scale of 0-5) means that technically I can eat anything that sounds good. However, as I've watched my habits and inclinations, I see that this verse is true. It may all be "allowed", but it's not all "beneficial". 

The balance here comes in recognizing that I may need to limit myself or implement some boundaries for ME, for MY body....not because a celebrity does it. Not because a diet book as recommended it. Not because it's the "IN" thing to do. 

I'm starting to find that I do not handle sugar well. It throws my mood off wildly. It sends my energy-level on a roller coaster. It's likely what's to blame for my skin's ups-and-downs. I am suspecting it may be behind the digestive problems I've been having. 

A book I'm currently reading even addresses the fact that sugar & alcohol are almost identical in their composition. I can't help but see the similarity behind the idea of someone being a sugar addict in the same way one can be an alcoholic.

Lots to think about... but I think it means some change is comin'!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Naturally Thin Eater

This article has a fantastic list of observations that the author made while comparing her eating habits with her naturally thin sister.

Now if only I could DO those things......

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Not sure what else to say. Just been a rough couple of days. The voices that hate my body are louder than usual. Sometimes I just hate being a flawed, imperfect human with a sinful mind & heart. As much as I know Jesus loves me, died for me and dwells within me, it's hard to REALLY know that day in, day out with the other voice seems louder.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Like falling in love...

I heard this quote yesterday & I LOVE it:

"Being hungry is like falling in love. If you're not sure, then you aren't."

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

What I'm thinking on today....

This issue of being able to eat at "0" (truly, biologically hungry) and stopping at "5" (comfortable, biologically satisfied) is hard.  My eyes want me to eat when anything looks good. My emotions want me to eat when I feel ___ (sad, bored, angry, discontent...).

It's easy lately to hear the voices that tell me, "this doesn't work", "you need to weigh yourself", "you should be journal-ling your food, your calories, your fat, etc." I am trying to trust that  the way God has made my body to work IS right. This WILL work if I am obedient to the signals He has given my body. This article with Scripture reminders came at just the right time for me today!

Monday, October 6, 2014

This week's goals

I've been looking at the website for "Thin Within". It's a Christian, grace-based approach to eating. It promotes eating when truly hungry & stopping at satisfied, not stuffed. They use the lingo: 0-5.

This is a challenging concept for me: waiting until my hunger is a zero. Truly, really, biologically hungry. Not bored. Not watching the clock and eating because "it's lunch time". Not "in the mood" to snack. Truly hungry. A zero on the hunger scale.  And then when I am a zero, stopping at 5--not 10. Not continuing to eat just because it's there. Not cleaning my plate because it needs to be cleaned.Stopping because my body is satisfied, whether my emotions are or not.

My goal today is to pay attention to being at zero and five.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


This is what success looks like....

This chocolate has been in my house for TWO WEEKS.... & it's still not gone. I've pulled a  square off when I really wanted something sweet. But, as I'm discovering, sweets are really not something I *need* more than a bite or two. They don't "fill me up", in fact, too much gives me a headache rather quickly. So, by listening to my body (novel idea, huh?), I'm discovering I can have two little bites and feel totally satisfied!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Numbers, numbers, numbers....

Numbers make me obsessed.
Or maybe it's more accurate to say: I obsess over numbers. It's so easy to do too!
Calories eaten: Too much? Too little?
Macronutrients: Enough? Not enough?
Calories burned: Which activities will burn the most?  Have I burned "enough"?
Steps taken: Have I reached the standard 10,000/day?
Weight: it is above or below my highest weight? Is it close to my goal? How close am I to my goal?

The numbers & questions are ENDLESS.

My New Year's Resolution always has a number attached. But if I embrace the intuitive eating approach, how can I create a goal that is not numerical?

 What goal is there if it's not weight related?
Do I know who I am or where I'm headed if there's no number attached?
How will I know when I've made it to the finish line if the finish line isn't a number?

It's scary how I've let me identity be so wrapped up in these numbers.
But aren't I more than a number?
Are we all more than a number? 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Too busy to binge....

It's funny what a little bit of busy-ness can do for you! In these 7 days I have:
-a quick two-day trip out of town with a rambunctious almost-three-year-old,
-over 30 graduate-level research papers to grade and return,
-2 out-of-the-normal church functions to attend,
-a Bible study to prep for and teach,
-a 3 year old's birthday party to plan, bake for, clean for and pull off (ACCCK!)

On top of the usual life stuff---laundry, meal prep, cooking, cleaning, caring for said almost-three-year-old & supporting a graduate-school husband....

Does this make it harder or easier to overeat? It seems to be causing me to not care so much about getting every little bite. I don't have time to dwell on a craving or desire. In fact, come to think of it, I'm not detecting any craving or desire when I'm not truly hungry. Makes me wonder how many times my emotions, boredom, whatever gets me to eat.

Is it THAT unusual for my body to be the thing I'm listening to? Kinda makes me sad that I've not paid good enough attention to it all along....

Thursday, September 25, 2014

No more scale!?!

I'll be honest, the number on that scale defines me. Or maybe, more accurately, it defines my self-esteem. It quantifies the type of day I'm going to have: will I be relieved? Will I be anxious? Am I going to spend the rest of the day hating myself?  And I  know I'm not the only one who does this.  I was stunned to read this article in which Geneen Roth admits that she's been known to weigh herself 10-20 times a day when battling a stomach bug just for the sheer joy of seeing the lower numbers. I had no idea someone else does that too!

Here's the thing though: if the scale tells me I'm 5 lbs. lighter, I was already that new weight even before I knew it. Being happier, feeling lighter and more energetic was always the possibility but I choose that reaction because I now see a number to support it.  So, what if I let other cues determine how I'm feeling rather than a number on a machine (especially a machine that can be wrong, can break, etc.)?
What if I let how my clothes feel tell my clothes feel?
What if I let how my body is working and responding tell me how energetic I am?
What if I found joy in a walk outside, holding my husband's hand, reading to my three-year-old?
What if my self-worth was grounded in my Savior's grace and lovingkindness in saving me?
What if that bathroom scale went in the trash?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Intuitive Eating

I've stumbled across the "Intuitive Eating" movement. Particularly, this article on Refinery29 grabbed me.

 "Weight loss, for the first time, is not my end goal. Every day, I remind myself how much I want to have a peaceful, healthy relationship with food. That's the priority."

"What would happen if we all blew this joint? What would the world look like if we all just ate food? Not the food we should and food we should not eat--but, just the food we wanted, and the food that made our bodies feel fueled and satisfied?"

Monday, September 22, 2014

Square peg in a round hole...

Growing up, I was not an athlete. I chose choir, drama, writing for the yearbook & the honor society over basketball, softball or cheerleading. It was a world I didn't understand. Instead, I rode my bike, played outside, went roller skating every Tuesday night with church friends & my sister, played badminton in the summer in our backyard and took gymnastics class at the Rec Center.  My dream was to be a figure skater or a horseback rider. Both of those sports involved lots of money. They also are sports designed for smaller frames. Without being told, I could see that didn't fit into those sports. Though short, I'm not slight. I could see I didn't measure up (or down) to those sports' standards.

Recently I watched part of a "Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making the Team" episode.  It horrified me to watch as one very talented cheerleader was cut from the team because she is "stocky" and couldn't "wear the uniform" like the other girls. Seeing this girl dance, there was no denying that she has the talent, the energy & the passion to do this job. She was "fired" because she is shorter and curvier than other girls. Notice this: she is not overweight. She is fit. She is athletic. The complaint against her is that her body isn't made for the Cowboy cheerleader uniform.

Does it strike anyone else as INSANE that the criteria for this sport, this job is a piece of clothing?! You can be talented. You can be knowledgeable about the sport. You can be a great fit with the rest of the team. You can be a punctual & respectable. You can be a dynamic performer. And you will still get fired.

What if the measure of a human was their ability? Their spirit? Their kindness? Their intelligence? 
What if we altered a uniform to fit the unique bodies that house that talent?
What if we steered our young girls towards sports that match their ability rather than change them to fit the sport?
What if I had embraced my size when I was younger, and rather than criticize myself for not looking like a figure skater or a cheerleader, I used my strong legs and backside to kickbox, or run a soccer ball, or powerlift?

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Lately, I've been thinking about what kinds of things are triggers for me...not emotional eating triggers, but disordered-thinking-triggers.

For some who are recovering from anorexia, it's seeing other people's weights (particularly weights they perceive as lower or "better" than their own). For some with bulimic-tendencies, it may be certain foods that will send them into a spiral of self-loathing.

I'm finding that for me it can be various things, of course, but lately I've become more aware of the danger that is "wellness"  Instagrammers/bloggers/Pinterest-ers. Seeing those incessant before/after pictures and reading about all the food plans, workout routines, meal preparations & supplement recommendations send me into  a tail spin.

Here's the conclusion I've come to:
-A lot of those women are athletes, truly & genuinely training for a specific event/competition. I will admit that it may be that those kinds of athletics require such disciplined behavior. However,
-I am not currently pursuing that kind of competitive behavior, nor do I believe that kind of behavior would be healthy for me at this point in time. Also....
-Some of these women are dealing with their own disordered eating & thinking. It is cleverly disguised as athletic discipline and iron willpower, but it is disordered none-the-less.  I just can't bring myself to believe that scheduling your meals to the minute & eating exactly the same things every day while religiously measuring, weighing & analyzing every morsel is normal eating behavior.

My mantra has become:  BE NORMAL.  Granted, I don't necessarily know exactly WHAT is normal, but I find saying that to myself does help me to turn some switch. A normal person does not mentally repeat over & over the list of foods eaten in a day. A normal person does not panic, full-blown, cold sweat panic, over not working out in a day. A normal person does not need to finish everything on her plate and fret over if she can have more.

In this pursuit to balance normal and healthy, I have discovered something: I like working out. And you know what's normal? Doing something regularly because it makes you sleep better, think more clearly & smile more.

Friday, September 19, 2014

For my daughter...

One of the first fears I felt when I learned the baby I was carrying was a girl was "what if I pass on my food issues to her!?"  It never crossed my mind when I thought I was having a boy.

Each day I question myself:
"Does she know she's perfect the way she is?"
"Do my words speak life & grace into her?"
"Is she learning to be critical and self-deprecating instead of confident & grateful?"

Will it find her? That angry, dark voice that criticizes my thighs and reprimands me for wanting french fries? The eyes that are always sizing up the other females in a room and comparing the ways I fail to measure up... will those eyes turn towards my daughter?

See this curl? This perfectly formed, sweet spiral appears on her beautiful little head every morning. I can't make it do that. It's exactly the kind of spiral I always wanted on my own head, but it never happened.

It's a grace-reminder to me. This little girl is exactly what her Creator made her to be.

And so am I.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Giving myself permission....

Pop of Color

So I have a confession: I'm a closeted clothes horse. I love fashion. I love color. I love the big labels. I can waste time on Polyvore like nobody's business!
The problem, though, is that this is all fantasy. Apart from the fact that I can't afford to make my Pinterest wardrobe a reality, I don't have the body to pull it off.  I tell myself that my body doesn't fit into this fashion. And to some extent, this is true. I am a size 16 in a world that demands 0's & 2's.
Lately I've realized that I will never change what the "industry" says is beautiful. And that's fine. But I am allowed to have my own opinions. I'm allowed to love beautiful things. I'm allowed to want to look lovely in this body, while not engaging in unhealthy eating practices. I am giving myself permission to stop subjecting myself to fashion's mindset.

I can be me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fast food is an addiction.

"Recovery is about feelings, not food..."  (

Today was tough. 

I'm finding (like probably most people) that the busier I am and certainly to more tired I am, the harder it is to objectively assess how I am feeling and what I need. 

I spent nearly all day today in the car: errands, grocery shopping, dental appointment, play date.... I find myself turning to evil fast food for quick, easy dinner. Here's the thing though: 
I don't like fast food. 

Yes, it's fast. Yes, it's easy. Something about it is "comforting". I'm sure it's some kind of chemical thing. I am convinced they manufacture it so that it makes you want to eat it. Maybe higher amounts of fat and sugar trick your brain into feeling calm and craving more. 

When I'm thinking clearly and looking at the food objectively: I don't like it. It's not tasty. It's not filling or life-giving. I like how I feel after I've had grilled chicken, spinach, salmon, apples.... Why do I choose the junk?

Not only does the quality of the food decrease, but the amount I eat increases. It's like my eyes close and I forget to look. I forget to listen to my body's signals.

It's like stress or exhaustion settles in and I feel myself go on auto-pilot.  I become a mindless robot.

But that's life. Suck it up. This is recovery. Eating Mc Donald's for dinner doesn't solve one blessed thing!

Staying aware really IS the battle.  The question, though, is how?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Little victories

This project of being more aware of my body's signals has been difficult. I don't know why, but it seems like I'm programmed to  listen to everything BUT myself.

Sunday night though, we had some lasagna for dinner. I slowed down and paid attention to my plate. I noticed that the pasta actually didn't taste great---too soft and bland. I found myself pulling out the ricotta filling & eating only that with the meat sauce. I left a white, mushy pile of lasagna noodles on the plate.  I found the same thing happening last night with my dinner.

Paying attention is making me pickier. It's kind of exciting to see that I have preferences. I don't have to just eat it because it's available, in front of me, on my plate, etc.

Does anyone else out there find themselves ignoring/downplaying their preferences?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Waiting to be the right weight


  I recently read Portia deRossi's book, Unbearable Lightness.

 It's one (of the few books) that I think I will need to own & reread. Reading it was a turning point for me.  In it she recounts the period of her life in which she battled anorexia. She shows the progression of how an *innocent* thought of dieting soon grew and overpowered her until it became an obsession. She rarely ate more than 300 calories a day...unless she was binging out of control in which case it was way more. She developed obsessive habits: certain utensils, times of day, types of food, etc. And as I'm reading it, I'm thinking to myself, "that's insane! Why would someone do that to themselves?" and at the same time, "the fact that a number on a scale would keep you from hanging out with friends is really no different."


That's NOT normal, is it?

Webster's dictionary defines disordered as: "not functioning in a normal, orderly, healthy way". 

I like to think that because I'm no longer purging, then I'm no longer "bulimic". The truth is my thinking and my eating habits are still disordered. They're messy. They're not normal.  Choosing not to attend an event because the first number of your weight is a 2 and not a 1, is not normal. 

So what does it look like to eat in a "normal, orderly, healthy" way?  

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Stop when full?

    "Eat when hungry and stop when moderately full. This sometimes requires enormous persistence and faith to learn and practice, but self-trust and wholeness depend upon it." (EDA literature )

    Why is this always the hardest thing for me? Something about listening to my body and stopping when it's done, feels like punishment or deprivation. Why stop when there's more food on the plate?
    But if I listen to the food I am letting an outside voice become louder and more prominent than my own body's voice. 

    That's not peace.
    That's not freedom.
    It's definitely not wholeness.
    Who listens to food anyways? 
    Why am I letting a French fry boss me around?
    Or a donut declare my worth? 

Saturday, September 13, 2014


For as long as I can remember I’ve hated my body.
I have analyzed every part of it, and rather than asking myself: “is this part good?” or “is this party useful?”  It’s always been, “just how bad IS this?”, “how could this be changed/improved?”
Always operating in the derogatory.
Always assuming I am deficient.
Lacking because of excess. 
In fact, I’ve never assessed myself fairly next to someone else. The benefit has ALWAYS gone to the other person.
“Oh! Those must be the legs I should have.”
“That must be the way I’m supposed to do my hair.”
"Her size is the size I’m supposed to be.”
Everyone else is the expert. Everyone else’s voice is stronger, louder, more authoritative.

It’s only been recently, sadly at the age of almost-35, that it has occurred to me that this is not normal. Well, maybe it’s normal, but it’s not right. It’s not good. It’s not true.
If everyone else gets a say, when do I get to? When do I get to be me?

I can’t spend one more year, one more day in this body hating every part of it.

So I’m making a resolution….no, scratch that, I never keep resolutions. I think this will be a peace treaty.  I’m declaring peace with my body,  and I’m going to spend the next year figuring out what that looks like.

Friday, May 16, 2014


"There is no rest for a compulsive eater. We are either on our way up the scale or on our way down the scale. We are either lamenting what we look like today or wishing we looked the same as we did yesterday, when we were wishing we looked the same as we did last year...Contentment is unthinkable"  (from When Food is Love by Geneen Roth, p. 71).