It sounded so promising. “Cheat Your Way Thin During the Holiday Season.” Maybe somebody really had found a way for me to eat the Christmas cookies and drop my unwanted pounds. So I did that sometimes dangerous thing. I clicked.
The nasty little side bar ad had lured me in as I sat in a hotel room lamenting my extra pounds. All my recent travels and odd schedules had had the undesirable side effect of letting the weight that I had dropped over the last couple years sneak back on.
Somebody had studied human psychology quite ingeniously. Begin the healthy diet on Thanksgiving Day. Call it a “cheat day.” And then schedule in regular “cheat days” to allow for Christmas parties and New Year’s Eve. Beautiful! Have my cake and lose weight too!
Of course, the majority of the days—the non-cheat days—did not look like much fun. Lean meat, vegetables, nuts with an occasional treat of dry sweet potato and plain brown rice.
But newfound hope and determination surged in my heart. Not just to tackle the new pounds before they got out of control, but to go after the other stubborn six that never came off after baby #8.
You can do this, Lisa. You can conquer the chocolate chip draw and the treadmill stall. Even in the month of December.
Surely if God was able to part the Red Sea and raise the dead, He could help me with the weight that had been bugging me for years. So I pulled out my credit card and let the guy with the cheating gimmick win.
But in all honesty this battle of the bulge represented something bigger to me. Though the poundage was not of a significance that the casual observer would even recognize, I knew the ugly truth. Though God had taught me proper temple care and my spirit was willing to agree with a life of temperance and self-control, my flesh was incredibly weak.
This issue of a few extra pounds was a spiritual battle for me. All too often instead of turning to my Heavenly Father for comfort and strength, I found myself turning to my precious carbohydrate friends. Crackers, rolls, ice cream, cookies...
A low carb diet was something I had never tried before. It almost seemed lonesome to me. My comforting friends would not be available to pull me out of my little sadness jags and pressure moments...
So there you have it. Stubborn pounds and a weak will. Seems like I might be up for some Holy Spirit adjustment as well poundage adjustment.
What I failed to recognize in this whole endeavor was the effect my Mama diet would have on the rest of the family. As I stocked my fridge with the prescribed ingredients, I was also careful to buy them their normal fare. No need for all of us to suffer, I figured. I guess I failed to calculate that the others might not even call my new menu suffering!
“Mom, that looks great.”
“Can I have some of your broccoli and beef?”
“Did you make some of that for me, Mom?”
“Mom, can I just have one bite?”
It became a test not only of my dietary self-control, but also my patience. Who would have thought that some of my kids would be begging me for my baked tofu!
The real test came when I heard one of my daughters (who shall remain anonymous) call from the other room, “Mom, There was just a little dish of your broccoli stuff left here, so I guessed I could eat it?!”
My perfectly planned, measured, low carb beef broccoli lunch without the rice (which would have been, of course, the best part) was now gone.
Lord, I thought this was a test of my eating habits and self-control, and the end of my friendship with carbs! You mean I also have to be nice while I am doing it?
Why, that’s all right honey! You know that was mine,” I called back to the other room. Not the highest level of nice but probably an improvement. Much better than what tried to sneak out: “HOW COULD YOU? Now I will have to eat ham in a lettuce leaf for lunch tomorrow!"
Check back with me in a few weeks. With four pounds down and the holiday cookies calling, this is going to be quite a victory. But you know what? I am growing stronger everyday. I am trusting in God in new ways and I am not thinking about my carbie friends all the time.
And now all of you are my witnesses. I guess I will even learn to be nice. And somehow adjust our grocery shopping to cut everyone in on some of Mom’s diet! Ever tried chopping and dicing stir fry veggies for ten?
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