Guys, I know this might sound too simple, but for real – it’s insane how big of a difference healthy eating makes.
I’ve had a lot of people ask me questions about the DietBet (and everything it entails) over the last two weeks, and since I’ve hit the halfway mark, I thought I would share an update with you!
If we’re honest with ourselves, we all have at least one area of our lives that we subconsciously believe God doesn’t really care about that much. Food has been my area for a long time. I convinced myself for years that I would start eating healthy and exercising more eventually…just not right now. But there was always this little annoying voice in the back of my mind saying, “But what if you wait until it’s too late?” I’m so grateful to God that He didn’t let me dig myself into a huge pit before opening my eyes fully.
In my last post about starting to get healthy, I mentioned finally taking my first step forward in obedience to the Lord.
Just one step.
I have been blown away by the difference that one step has made.
For over a year, I felt spiritually numb. Sure, there were moments in community or worship that I felt God’s presence, and I was pretty consistent with my bible study time, but overall, it just felt very stale. I felt like I was running into a wall, like I couldn’t move forward in any areas of my life, and I couldn’t figure out why. I was incredibly confused, frustrated, and discouraged. I felt like I had tried everything, and I was out of ideas.
Ha. :) I THOUGHT I had tried everything. I feel so silly looking back now. God had been telling me all along what He wanted, I just shoved it in the closet and kept trying to please Him with other things. He didn’t want my good deeds, He just wanted my ‘yes.’
So I gave in. I surrendered my worship of food fully, for the first time in my entire life. I made the decision to start a DietBet, and from the day it started, it was like I was a different person. Remember my embarrassing Chick Fil A story? When presented with an opportunity to eat lunch there alone less than a week later, I voluntarily got grilled nuggets and a fruit cup. I started doing new things, like filling up my grocery cart with more produce and not keeping unhealthy snacks at my office. Things that used to be so tedious and hard for me before (like tracking calories and making good choices in restaurants) suddenly didn’t seem so difficult anymore. It should be noted that I never counted calories in my life before the last two weeks. It’s not that I stopped wanting unhealthy choices, it just became easier to pick something else instead. I NEVER thought that would happen. It’s the absolute weirdest thing, you guys. Things I never thought would change have been transforming right before my eyes.
And interestingly, I found other parts of me transforming too. That one ‘yes’ was like a giant sledgehammer against my brick wall, and piece after piece came crumbling down in front of me.
Worry/anxiety = transformed into peace. Real, actual peace.
Selfishness = transformed into generosity.
Uncertainty = transformed into genuine trust.
The most notable difference of all? Joy. It’s like I was under a cloud for months, and I finally walked out into the sun. There is no less-cliché way to explain it.
Lots of people have asked me: “So what have you been doing differently? How have you made it work?”
- The DietBet. It’s been my biggest motivator because I don’t want to lose the money I invested. It’s made me so much more aware of what I eat and how much I eat.
- I haven’t deliberately cut anything completely out of my diet. I’ve just been eating much more of some things and much less of others.
- I quit making excuses and downloaded MyFitnessPal. Counting calories for a few days was a HUGE wake-up call – I was eating 1,000 calories more than I needed! I never used to think about what I was eating, but after seeing how many calories certain items actually cost me, I started to reconsider my choices.
- I’ve planned out every weekday meal for the last two weeks. I tried doing this probably 27 times before and always failed for one reason or another. Because of the DietBet, though, I have more motivation to stick to my plan instead of deviating from it. If you want to know my meal plans, let me know in the comments and I might do a separate post about them!
- I stopped snacking at work. I think this has been one of the most significant reasons for my weight loss. I got used to feeling like I needed a snack to make it from one meal to the next (and it was never something healthy), but now that I’ve stopped for two weeks straight, my body has retrained itself and I’m fine without one. If I do think I’ll need a snack at work, I grab a piece of fruit on my way back from lunch.
- I started eating breakfast every morning. Even though it’s usually something small, it helps a lot because it keeps me from wanting a mid-morning snack.
- I’ve been eating more veggies. No other explanation necessary.
- I stopped creating reasons to cheat. “I’ve had a long week.” “We haven’t had lunch with these friends in forever.” “This is my favorite restaurant.” “I just worked out, I deserve it.” Anything can be a ‘special occasion’ if you’re crafty enough, but it’s not a special occasion if you do it all the time.
My goals for the second half: exercise more and drink more water!
I don’t think you guys understand how big of a deal this is for me. I am the most unhealthy person ever. I love fried food and I hate working out, and I will come up with every excuse in the world to eat terribly and never exercise. I am that person that’s like, “Aww…I forgot my headphones…I can’t work out today, I’ll just have to do it tomorrow.” So for ME, of all people, to have made this change, is something truly supernatural. I’m doing things that I would never have chosen to do on my own without God changing my heart. That’s just the truth.
Is it all sunshine and roses? Oh my gosh NO. I actually just asked Daniel to pray extra hard for me this week, because my initial boost is starting to wear off, and I really want to go back to my old eating habits. But the beautiful difference between past Laura and current Laura is that I’ve stopped making food decisions based on how I *feel* at the moment. In the past, if I wanted something unhealthy, I would rationalize my choice and eat it just because I wanted it. Now? I still want the unhealthy thing – that definitely hasn’t changed! – but instead of throwing a fit and feeling sorry for myself, I just remind myself that food is not my god anymore. Wanting something isn’t enough of a reason for me to have it, and I have to choose to believe that making a healthy choice now WILL be worth it to future Laura, even though I can’t see its effects yet.
– To all my DietBet people: you guys are killing it!! Two more weeks!
– To my mom and my sister: you have encouraged me more than you’ll ever know. I couldn’t have done this without both of you.
– To my husband: I’m sorry it took me so long to show you love in this way. Thanks for not giving up on me.
For the DietBet conclusion + my meal plans during the month, click here.
If I write more on this subject, what would you like to hear about? Any questions that I didn’t address? Any recommendations as I continue?