A Bodily Cleansing

Okay, well, I wasn't sure if I should include this in my "Redemption" series or what. As I said in those posts I am an avid anti-dieter. :) I cannot go on a strict diet because then it is more about my body and the food and controlling the food than it is about my heart. If I feel like I need to cut back on sugar I just try to keep that in mind when I am wanting dessert or something like that. I don't draw hard and fast lines that say DO NOT EAT SUGAR ... otherwise, I will want to eat it. It's a man made rule and it stinks. Whereas it's more like just keeping everything in moderation, foregoing things as much as the Holy Spirit empowers me to, taking it to God so that He can fulfill me better than any brownie or bowl of ice cream.

Okay, I posted about my sleep issues in an earlier post. Also, I've been getting a lot of headaches lately. Usually I just take some Advil and move on. Another thing I've been struggling with constipation. One at a time these are not huge deals in my life, but all together they are starting to wear on me. My insides just don't feel right. I just sort of feel like there is stuff that just needs to be flushed out.

I've been thinking about it for a while and I think I'm going to try a cleansing thing. (I don't use the word diet because that would be heresy :)). I think I'm going to go with this article and references more than anything. I don't want to take any pills, I just want to do juices, broth, flaxseed and lots of water.

Leaving out gorey details I will probably post about it in my next post. So, I'll let you know how it went.

After getting a bunch of feedback on Facebook (thank you everyone who posted) and doing a little bit of research online I was able to go to the grocery store and get some good organic veggies: spinach, carrots, onion, red pepper. I also bought some flax seed, organic prune juice and organic raw honey. And then some normal stuff for my guys :) Ben said he doesn't feel the need to participate in this cleansing even though I told him it would be good especially since he's eaten a lot of pizza and Cokes lately ;) As usual, I'm not very convincing, and I'm totally okay with that. I'm his wife, not his mother.

I went on my morning walk as usual. I was motivated to go extra far since they said exercise helps the cleanse. I brought along my water bottle and drank all of it as I looped our neighborhood, already feeling better about myself. We got home and I did some more research online. I went to my MIL's house and borrowed her juicer. I'm fortunate to have this resource available. Juicers can be expensive!

As I was feeding Levi his lunch I was pretty hungry so I decided that I would just try to stay as close to cleansing as possible :). Some of you cleansers are going to freak out when I say this, but I decided to make a green smoothie. I filled my blender with spinach, added about 1/4 cup of yogurt, a whole banana and some water. It was really good. Not as good as the times when I put milk and some honey in it, but it was good. I'm trying to do as little sugar as possible. Later when I was hungry I ate an apple. While I was researching I found a few different diets/cleansers/smoothies that I could use. I read about one extreme diet called the Master Cleanse. It has you drinking 6-12 glasses of lemon, maple syrup, salt, cayenne pepper, and water a day. At night you drink a laxative tea (so you will wake up and go in the middle of the night I guess?!?!) and then in the morning you take a salt water flush. Oh my goodness, I know me and there is no way I could keep that up for more than a few hours. I would rather do something moderate that I could keep up for a week or two than something that is so extreme.

Now, part of me, the old Jody would want to do the extreme thing. I was an extreme dieter. I was a failure at extreme dieting. So I'm thinking I need something more sustainable.

My goal in this is to just clean myself out, get things moving that haven't moved in a while. I've never struggled with constipation before, but I wonder if the prenatals I'm taking and the iron in them stops things up. Also, I haven't exercised as much this winter and my eating hasn't been as healthy as it should be.

The things I'm doing:
- drinking 10-12 glasses of water a day, sometimes with lemon in it. (I think I need to get a filter for our water :( I feel like I'm defeating my purpose in a way, but AR has awesome water, I just wonder if it has toxins I don't need). Also, with the water I'm starting to put a teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar and raw honey. I'm still playing with a mixture that I won't choke on. I heated up a bit of the water with the honey and apple cider vinegar to mix it, then poured it over ice. I had to add more water to it, so we will see.
- Juicing 2-3 times a day. Tonight I had carrot juice, just plain, raw carrots and it was SO GOOD. I didn't know carrots were so sweet. My friend says I need to try celery and cucumbers and ginger to help calm the stomach.
- Drinking organic prune juice to help move things along
- If I get hungry I eat an apple or a salad, or fix myself a smoothie
- Taking a long walk every day
- Not taking naps

For dinner I had a salad with a little bit of olive oil and herbs on it. The weird part is that it's three hours later and I'm not that hungry. I am not very tired either, what a strange phenomenon.

I will post more tomorrow. We'll see if I still feel the same way.


So far, so good. My friend called me yesterday and said I would probably have a headache for about two weeks as I cleanse all the impurities out. Yep, I've had a headache since yesterday morning. I took an Advil (just one tablet) and that helped.

This morning I popped out of bed at 5:20. I woke up and was lying in bed thinking, I'm wide awake, seriously?? So I got up and fixed some water with lemon and cayenne pepper. Doesn't taste awesome, let me just tell you that. Then I wanted to have my quiet time so I brewed some decaf coffee. I put in some raw honey and organic milk for flavor. As I was sitting down for my quiet time with my journal and Bible I kept thinking about this amazing cleanse that I'm on and how good I felt. So I wrote it down in my journal and praised God for how He created my body and how fortunate I was to do this thing...

That's when I really realized the temptation.

Flashing back to the old Jody I saw the temptation to become very self-centered in this liquid flush/cleanse thing. The temptation for me is to dwell on it, think about it a lot. How can I exercise more? How can I drink more water? What other things do I need to juice? ... When I really could be thinking about the Word and the wisdom inside of it.

I think that's my main problem with dieting... I get obsessed with it. Then what happens is the diet loses it's appeal and I'm left standing there feeling hungry and weak. I'm learning that it's not about the sprint, it's about the marathon. Most marathon runners don't give it their all the whole time. They pace themselves. If I set small, accomplishable goals and slowly achieve those I am so much better off than going for the huge goal that would require extreme energy and difficulty.

With all that in mind I will go ahead and tell you all what I did today. It's almost two o clock right now, so this is just half the day.
- juiced carrots, spinach and apples for breakfast.
- drank some water
- before heading out on my walk with Levi I ate a banana
- drank water on my 1.3 mile walk
- showered, drank water
- before going to a friend's house I ate an orange
- came home, put Levi to bed and made a green smoothie with half a blender of spinach, two tablespoons of yogurt, 3/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of ground flax seed. It didn't taste very good and I think it was because I forgot the banana. I choked it down anyways in hopes that it would go right through me as the website predicted :)
- drank some prune/acai juice
- drank some water

I still have a headache so I'm going to take my second Advil of the day.

So there you go. Headaches I live with for as long as possible, then I take something. Hunger, I try to keep going through, but when I find myself staring blankly at the wall I go ahead and eat a small, healthy thing with lots of fiber.

I'll update with more later. So far, so good. I'm feeling pretty awesome right now so that's good.


So this afternoon I was able to vacuum and do chores around my house instead of lying around, feeling fatigued. I ate an apple and drank some juice and that helped :)

It helps to have Levi as a healthy distraction. He's always entertaining or needing something, but I think that's good.

I realized that even though I wasn't eating much dinner I needed to fix Ben something, darn it. So I browned some meat for taco salad. I just ate the salad minus the chips, cheese dip, taco meat, and salad dressing. I did have some of the guacamole which just had lemon juice, garlic salt and avacado in it. I also had some extra virgin olive oil on my salad with some seasoning. Oh man, it was so good! Something about those fats are just so satisfying. The salad was made up of lettuce, spinach, onion and red pepper.

I also juiced before dinner. Some carrots, half a cucumber, a bit of a beet, spinach, celery and orange. It was too much. The combination didn't turn out very well. I think I need to better learn the art of "pairing" my juices.

I'm going on a trip tomorrow, just overnight to my brother and sister-in-law's (I'm really really excited to see them!) I don't know how I'm going to keep this up. I think I'll just try to stay as healthy as possible on the trip and while I'm there and then pick up where I was when I left off.

Oh yes, and my only real concern about all this is my teeth and calcium intake. With all the lemon in my water, will that damage my enamel? Also, with the lack of dairy am I getting enough calcium? So I'm trying not to drink lemon in every glass of water, I'm also looking for veggies that might have more calcium in them like broccoli or something like that.
Also, for those of you who are concerned about this, I'm not nursing Levi anymore. He's pretty much weaned! Now to just wean him off any bottle completely... sheesh.

And Julie, to answer your question about cooking your carrots (I too hate raw carrots) I think that yes, you are decreasing the nutritional value, but you are still getting a lot of vitamin A. When I looked at the packaging for the canned carrots I give Levi it still has quite a bit of vitamin A in there. Also, it's better than nothing right? Just keep fixing them for yourself and maybe cook them as little as you can you know? Anyways, that's my two cents. Oh yes, and if you can get a juicer you can juice carrots (they are SO GOOD) and still get all the nutrients from them, except probably not as much of the fiber :)


So much advice from everyone! I love it. Keep it coming.

I went to sleep last night pretty well and WITHOUT Ambien! What?! I woke up at 1:30 but then went right back to sleep and then woke up with Levi at 5:30. Yes, this is my life. I got him back to sleep and went back to bed for about ten minutes until the alarm went off.

No caffeine is what I read online. What?! So yesterday i fixed decaf coffee. I fell asleep during my quiet time. This morning I just had some juice. Maybe the natural sugars in it would help. I fell asleep again. I guess that I'm not getting enough sleep. Maybe I need to start going to bed at nine. Who the heck goes to bed at nine?! Ben doesn't want to go to bed that early and I like to go to bed at the same time he does. He reads to me, we pray and then fall asleep. It's lovely.

I think I will just try to have half a cup of regular coffee and see how that works for my morning routine. I usually have a full cup and a little more, so it's still cutting back. This whole falling asleep during my quiet time in the morning is NOT working.

This morning I juiced a few carrots, a cucumber (peeled), and an apple (peeled). I'm finding that less is more. When you juice you still taste all the items, it's just like you're drinking them. So when I juiced SO many last night it was a little overwhelming.

Today I'm going to Fayetteville to visit my brother and sister-in-law. I'll let you know how the trip went. I'm still not feeling completely cleaned out yet, maybe that's when I will stop all of this. I do have more energy during the day and my sleep feels better, so I know it's working.


So I'm back from our trip. All in all it was a lot of fun. The only meat I had was on a sandwich on Wednesday. I had bread a couple of times, whole grain of course. I drank a fair amount of water, went to bed late, got up somewhat late, slept mostly through the night and took an Ambien just to make sure. I really fall back on Ambien a lot, I'm not sure that's such a good thing.

On the way to and from I was reading through/skimming some books a friend loaned me that are about this thing called the "Halleluiah Diet" It's a Christian-based thing that this pastor started. He watched his mom be diagnosed with colon cancer, go through radiation, chemo and eventually die of pneumonia because the treatments had so weakened her body. Then he was diagnosed with colon cancer, he had a tumor the size of a baseball just under his rib cage. He didn't want to go through all the chemo and radiation (hell) he had watched his mom endure. So he decided to go the natural way. He started juicing things and ate ONLY raw fruits and vegetables. Anyways, it healed him. Cool story. So he started this thing called the "Halleluiah Diet"

I totally think this is a great idea. I believe that raw fruits and vegetables, organic and free of hormones and pesticides is so good. I also believe that we Americans put a lot of unnecessary crap in our body. Cokes, fast food, desserts, fried anything... All those wonderfully delicious foods... I'm so hungry now just thinking about them :) And we are plagued with so much illness: Heart disease and cancer to name a few. So yes, I agree with all that stuff. But this is reminding me of my days on my restrictive diet when I was fifteen years old. I read a book similar to this and was gung hoe. Now I'm reading it with a voice of caution in the back of my mind.

Here's my one problem: it's self-focused. It's body-focused. I'm going to backtrack and say that I don't think this pastor is so much self-focused. I think his intention is to help people, help heal people, but I wonder about his message that it is not about Christ's salvation but about how we can save ourselves. ... I just skimmed the book, read different passages and premises, so this is not a full-on review. Please read it and find out for yourself.

Like I said earlier, I get caught up in this self-centered nature of mine and suddenly food, eating, exercise is all about me. This is the tension between my selfish heart and the Holy Spirit within me.

On the other side of that is the fact that I need to care for this body SO THAT I will be able to minister to others. I need to put healthy things in it so I have the energy to study the Word, to minister to others, to love on my child, to love my husband, to worship God. I need to exercise so that I will have energy and stamina to do these things. But my FOCUS needs to be on the Lord and not on food. In other times in my life I have made dieting an idol, I don't want to do that again. I'm going to continue eating as healthy as I can, continue juicing and things, just to do what I need to do, but I do not want it to consume me.

Lord, help me in this. Help me to know Your will and what You desire for my body, mind and spirit. I want to be used for Your sake and for Your glory. You alone are worthy of my attention and time, help me to worship You.


Update on what I've done today:
To start off with I had a glass of water and then my coffee with my quiet time. Raw organic honey, organic milk and a smaller cup than normal. I didn't fall asleep this time. My conclusion is that I probably just need more sleep at night.
I was not as good about drinking water as I should have been. I started out okay, but it tapered by the afternoon.
In the morning Ben and I juiced some oranges (he really really wanted orange juice) and then I had some carrots, ginger and a little bit of spinach. The ginger was a nice zing. I think the reason why I have rejected ginger in the past was because it felt overpowering. I just has a sliver off part of it.
Then I had a green smoothie (this time with half a banana and 1/3 cup of ground flax seeds) I ended up just sort of drinking it throughout the day. The flax seeds don't taste amazingly, but I think they will be a good help to my system.
Before dinner I juiced some carrots with a bit of a beet (that's all I can stand) and some spinach.
Ben wanted to have fish for dinner, so I thought that would be a good choice. It was SO GOOD! Maybe it was just the fact that I could chew it. :) I miss chewing things... I also cut up some strawberries and peels some cuties, our other side was sauteed asparagus and onions... SO GOOD! I never liked asparagus (sort of just had to choke it down) until I started sauteing it in a little EEVO and with some Italian type seasoning. I think the stuff I used tonight is called Herb De Province.
My headaches have gone away, so that's been pretty awesome. I'm going to try sleeping without an Ambien tonight and see how that goes. The weirdest part to me is that I wasn't ever really hungry throughout the day. Is that totally insane? Maybe it's that when I started to get a tinge of hunger I would just drink my smoothie... I definitely caught myself gazing into my pantry on a few occasions and then snapping out of it. :)

Okay, now I want to update you on this book that I have been reading. God's Way To Ultimate Health, by Reverend Malkmus I'm kind of loving it, kind of hating it.

I love that it's a reminder to eat more fruits and vegetables, to juice things, to eat them in their raw form. I think it's amazing if you are dealing with cancer, heart disease, arthritis, severe constipation, any kind of serious health problem that would require lots of medicine, surgery or treatments. It helps with energy levels (apparently they go way up) and good health in general. Good health comes from good eating.

The part that I am not so fond of is the severe restriction. They are all about vegetarian diet, really, it's a vegan diet because there is no eggs or dairy either. No sugar. No refined flour. No grains. Only raw almonds and sunflower seeds. Only extra virgin olive oil and raw flax oil. No salt. Only freshly extracted juices and distilled water. ... Okay, are you starting to see a pattern here? Also, there are only certain foods that can be combined. Certain fruits are acid and they should not be combined with sweet fruits, then you have sub-acid fruits, then melons should only be eaten alone. Then in the other categories you have starches, proteins and vegetables. You should drink at least thirty minutes before a meal and not with a meal...

If this is God's way to eat, why isn't it in the Bible? Why did God have all the specific instructions for killing animals in the book of Leviticus? Why were all foods declared "clean" to Paul in the New Testament? Why didn't Jesus speak about any of this? Why was it never laid out for the New Testament Church? These are the questions that are being raised in my mind as I read this book.

Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? We eat to live, not live to eat. We as humans like to put all these restrictions on ourselves but really when God gave Adam and Eve the garden he said "Eat from any tree except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." He didn't say eat this food now and then this food later and don't eat these two together, that's not so great... NO! He was more concerned about their hearts and whether or not they would eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil! He was more concerned about whether or not they would fall into temptation and sin against Him.

So I've kind of landed in this middle ground. I think the diet is great in what it promotes, but I do not agree with the restrictions. I am motivated to eat more raw fruits and vegetables. If I had cancer I would definitely do his diet. I just don't think it's sustainable, in our culture today, what about going over to a friend's house to eat? What about having others into your house? Is it a control of the body or a control of the heart? Those are the things I'm struggling with.

A side note on this subject: I told Ben Reverend Malkmus thought that eating a vegan lifestyle would make someone live longer. He said he would rather die 5 years earlier and enjoy his meat! I kind of had to agree with him. God gave us taste-buds as well, we can taste such a variety and that is a blessing as well. (I also wouldn't mind going home a little sooner:))


I don't know how I feel right now. I don't feel the way I thought I would, but I don't feel bad either. I haven't had headaches in several days, I feel hungry, but not bad. Sort of hungry. I just had a banana and some organic acai juice (the kind from a bottle in my refrigerator, no, I did not juice acai berries).

This morning I woke up early before worship team practice and juiced some carrots, ginger and half a cucumber. It held me pretty well but I was hungry by the time 1:00 rolled around. I just kept chugging the water. We went to lunch at my parents house aaaand, that's where I kind of got discouraged. I love my family. Loved the fellowship. Loved the conversation. Except that when I don't eat something or I ask mom if I can just have some of her blueberries instead she gets kind of anxious. She asks me how long I'm doing this for, have I had any protein lately, am I okay. I probably took it more dramatically than she even asked it. This is just the tip of the iceberg on our miscommunication. She means well or course. I'm not doing this for a long amount of time. When I set up to do this I didn't intend for it to be that long. I told her I didn't know, when I felt "cleaned out" is when I would stop. I don't feel cleaned out yet. So, I'm gonna keep going.

Maybe this is a hump day, maybe I just get easily discouraged... In times like these I think "What the heck am I doing? Should I even be doing this? Am I doing it right? Maybe I'm consuming too few calories. Maybe I'm starving myself. What am I doing? These are the thoughts running through my head.

So what is the best thing to do in this time? Evaluate where I am. Look at the facts, look at the benefits of what I am doing.
Things are moving along better in my system
I have not had a time of being extremely tired or extremely hungry
I have been sleeping better and waking up feeling more rested
I have been taking in far more fruits and vegetables than I was before this. Far more vitamins and minerals. My diet has improved drastically.
I am taking in far less sugar than I was before this.
A week without meat protein isn't going to kill me. Two weeks without meat protein is not going to kill me either.
My body is definitely functioning better than it was, I have more energy to love on my son and husband.
I'm not snacking in the afternoons and eating desserts at night.
I have had to exercise discipline in the area of food. The more I was able to exercise it, the more I was able to die to myself and my fleshly wants. Watching Ben eat tacos while I had a spinach salad was pretty stinking hard.
I have been more conscious about giving Levi vegetables after reading that book. I'm going to incorporate more vegetables into our meals.
I have been on at least one walk every day this week. (except today which is Sunday, maybe Ben and I will go, but it's pretty cold out).

All this has made me realize that skinny people can have health problems just as much as overweight people. If we put trash into our body, even if our body can metabolize it quickly, it is still trash. So I think I want the majority of what I consume to be good fuel and not junk. I'm okay with a little bit of junk here and there:) just as a treat, but it doesn't have to be a way of lifestyle... before: oh, it's two pm, I should have some chocolate chips. After: oh, it's afternoon, maybe I will have an apple or banana or some nuts or something.

I have to listen to my body and what it says. I think right now it's saying don't stop this thing. This is good, this cleansing, cleaning out the old and in with the new. Probably soon it will say, okay, I'm ready to start taking in some fat and protein, but for now, this is good.



I'm still doing the cleanse. Still juicing a lot of stuff. Still eating fruits and vegetables when I'm hungry. Two nights ago I was pretty cold so I steamed some broccoli with a little greek seasoning and some olive oil. It was so good. Levi loved it too :) All of this has challenged me to feed him more veggies in an effort to give him good vitamins and minerals for him to grow with. It's so tempting to just give your kid what is "easy" to give them. They don't always like the other stuff at first, so you have to keep giving it to them and keep giving it... I want to make sure he has a taste for all kinds of vegetables, even the ones I don't like as much.

My energy level is pretty high these past few days. I'm thinking I'll re-introduce meat very gradually into my system, just a little at a time. I got some Laura's ground beef on sale the other day. It felt like a little gift from God to me :)

I'm starting to take this thing I got a while back at GNC called Physellium Seed Husk (I think that's how it's spelled. I'm too lazy to get up and look right now.) Anyways, it's a natural fiber and I'm hoping it will do well. I'm contemplating getting some Barley Max to take for a while.

On the side, there is always a possibility that I could be pregnant, in that I haven't started my period yet. I am not late, I haven't taken a test, but I could just be in the first week or two or something like that. You can read my story about all of that here

So I'm thinking that I will probably need to be eating enough fat and protein, calcium, things like that if I am. I'm thinking that it won't hurt anything right now anyways. If y'all could pray for wisdom for me in that I would love it.


Hm, how do I start this post? I sit and wonder how to confess what I have done. ...

I sort of feel like there is all this pressure on me (since I'm blogging about this) to be perfect and amazing and just have the most amazing results. Now that I step back I bit I realize that is a false perception.

I haven't been able to walk the past two days because of the weather. I feel like that's okay though, I don't want to be too hard on myself. Something has been gnawing in the back of my mind though, "I'm not doing that great. I'm not perfect." Last week I was perfect. This week I seem to be anything but perfect.

This afternoon I found myself eating cashews. Cashews? Really? They were in the pantry and then I got them out. Later on I picked them up and started eating them. "What in the world am I doing?" I thought. It kind of shook me.

Okay, if you have ever been on a hardcore diet or even a fast or something, it's like you begin to feel yourself free falling. You were in the sky and doing amazingly and feeling amazing and doing everything extra perfectly and eating exactly the amount of calories, drinking exactly the same water... and then somebody says something and it starts to unearth you. Then you feel strange and it makes you question things. Then you think, I'll just have this one thing and that's when you begin your free fall. That's just the beginning. Then there is no stopping because if you ate that one little thing that was kind of borderline then it's really justifiable to eat this other thing too, and, well I broke that rule so I might as well break this big one over here.

It was kind of a crazy day. I had a meeting, taught a piano lesson, visited a friend who had a baby, had worship team practice, Levi's sleeping was totally weird and his nap wasn't long enough. (This makes him have a constant whine, it's pretty much like fingernails on a chalkboard and you try to do anything you can to make it stop.) This afternoon I would go over and give him this little food (he gets himself pretty messy so you have to be careful what you give him and how you give it to him). Then I would go over here and do this thing on the computer, check this text message. Whoops, somebody is calling, should I start dinner? I really really want to go see my friend who just had her precious baby (it was amazing to hold her!!)

I was totally scattered. I didn't get dinner in the oven. Ben came home and nothing was done I was just standing in the kitchen blankly staring at him saying, "I didn't have time to fix the chicken, we have to go to worship team practice, I'm sorry you're hungry." I failed as a wife. And on top of that, I failed on my anniversary. I started to juice something and it just felt wrong. I didn't want the stupid juice. Ben was tired from being in and out of meetings all day and Levi was a mess. I pulled out the whole grain bread I got a Whole Foods and put some honey mustard and then the leftover calzone fillings from yesterday, stuck it in the toaster. Ben didn't want it. (It really frustrates me when Ben doesn't want food that I just "throw" together. If I take time to fix something and it's good, he LOVES it. Sometimes I don't care if he loves it or not, just eat it, it's food. :) So I ate it. I was hungry and I wanted to justify what I had done.

In explanation for this seemingly spur of the moment decision, I was thinking that I needed to stop the cleanse soon. I needed to start integrating things back into my life. I had been thinking all day about how I would do this. I think I imagined that it would be this perfect moment from heaven and the food I integrated back into my diet would come down on a plate with wings and a bright light that said, "well done, my good and faithful servant."

The weird part is that I began to feel that pull. When we came home from worship team practice (all three of us go) I saw the leftovers on the counter and it had been so good (everything is "so good" when you are not eating anything:)) and so I finished it. Honestly, it wasn't even a full meal's worth. But I began to feel myself magnetically pulled toward the pantry and the refrigerator. I thought, I need to juice something, hm, don't those strawberries look nice, oh yeah, that dried fruit in the pantry is good, I should have some oatmeal too... Thankfully, Ben was in the kitchen with me. He was cleaning and I was wanting to start grazing.

I started to talk out loud and say "I feel like I have broken this huge rule. I have done something that is irreversible." He asked me what in the world I was talking about. "You know," I said, "this cleanse thing, by eating that food I broke a rule and now I need to go plummeting down into the depths."
"Jody, I have never broken a rule of a diet, do you know why?"
"Because you have never been on a diet?"
Shut up Ben, I don't need this right now. That's what I wanted to say. But the cool thing about Ben is he doesn't say things pridefully, he just says them logically.
"Yeah, but didn't you ever struggle with your eating when you went from swimming several hours a day to not swimming at all?"
"I think I just always ate what I wanted to eat" He said. "When I was swimming I could eat two big macs and felt great, but now if I ate two big macs it would make me want to throw up."
"Yeah, but when you are those big macs you had a good feeling right? Didn't you ever think when you were sad, if only I could have two big macs like that one time, then I would feel better."
He looked at me for a minute. Then he said, "I think as a man I compartmentalize those things. Food has its own little compartment. When I'm in that compartment I enjoy the food, I love the food, but I don't associate it with other good feelings. I think that women, who are all connected might tend to associate the feelings food gave them and try to mimic them in other situations. Maybe that's why women struggle with emotional eating more than men would."

Such wisdom there in our kitchen. I associate guilt with food, good feelings with food, boredom with food...

I think food needs to be put back in its proper place.

Lord, help me. My heart is prone towards selfishness, please help me to trust in You. Help me not to be prideful, but to walk humbly with You. I don't want to diet just for the sake of dieting. I want to learn from You the proper place for food.


So it's day two of my "uncleanse" I guess that's what you could call it. I'm determined not to free fall. Now that I have identified it I think it's easier for me to stay away from. I know those feelings and I'm not going to follow what they are telling me.

This morning I was so tired and so hungry. I just wanted to eat a bowl of cereal. In my flesh I wanted to eat some cereal and some sugary snack or something like that. I knew it wasn't what the Lord was calling me to do. I was busy and distracted and so I just prayed out loud, "Lord, please help me to eat what you want me to eat, give me energy for what I need to do today." I kept that spirit in my heart. Thirty or forty minutes later I felt like I needed to juice something. I juiced some carrots and half a cucumber, some kale (never had kale before and it was pretty good) and a cutie (a small orange). It was great. I was hungry and tired for that in between time but I felt like I was walking in obedience, waiting to hear from the Lord.

Maybe it is not only my body that is being cleansed, but my spirit as well. That's probably what fasting is all about.

Also, I found out this morning that I am, in fact, not pregnant. No, I didn't have to take a pregnancy test. :) I guess I have two different emotions at this fact. One is relief and happiness that I have been given at least one more month as a normal person with a normal body to be with my husband and my son and to do my work at the church with. The other was disappointment. I would love to have a baby again soon. Little do people know, but it takes a LONG time to make a baby. Any woman who has ever been pregnant could tell you that. Maybe if she's had three kids in three years or something that will not be her story. But I want our kids to be close together. Levi is already 16 months so he would be two if we were to get pregnant now. I like two years apart. Some of you are balking at me right now thinking I'm crazy. I'm totally okay with that.

So, those are my thoughts about my de-cleanse and my finding out that I am not pregnant. I'm WAY to open about my life. Probably should have caution signs on this blog, "read with the preparation that you are going to know details that are very personal."

I hope you enjoy it.


The De-Cleanse. Detoxing from the detox...

I'll just start by saying I had an amazing time at the Crisis Pregnancy Center today. Had an incredible, real, honest conversation with a girl. Usually our meetings with clients are about 30-40 minutes, this one was at least an hour. We talked about everything. Her pregnancy test was negative and we talked about abstinence, I told her about Ben and my relationship, she told me about her past relationships and just was so open and honest. Toward the end of the conversation she looked at me and said, you know, God led me here today so I could talk to you. I needed to hear this stuff today. I needed to talk to someone about this stuff. Whoa. Driving home I was thinking about how when we get to talk to these girls they are at a crossroads. We meet them in a vulnerable time in their lives and we need to have compassion and love and just be honest with them. That's all they want. They don't want a sermon, they've been hearing sermons all their life, they want some good, practical wisdom. They want hope for their situation. A lot of times they just need someone to talk to them and lift them up. The Crisis Pregnancy Center is an open door and I have the privilege of standing on the other side of it.

So I just came off of this incredible high. I was used by the Lord and it was so good. So exciting.

I come home and tell Ben, he leaves to go back to the office, it's almost two o clock by the time I get to eat and I'm starving. Thankfully, I CAN eat. :) So I ate something healthy.

But it didn't feel like enough. The brownies Ben fixed last night are on top of the fridge and they are calling my name!! I'm sitting in front of my computer. I have a situation I am trying to figure out if I can schedule this music lesson in, can I do this or that, do I have someone to take care of Levi for this? So, I'm distracted thinking about my personal life. The brownies are still calling my name. I'm not starving anymore, but I'm feeling the lust for this food creeping into my heart. Sigh. I did so good today at the CPC and I deserve to take a break. I didn't eat any sugar all last week and this won't hurt me. I'm tired, this will fill me... Do you hear it? These are my excuses/justifications.

Thankfully, I have a blog. I have the accountability of YOU GUYS. Or y'all, as they say it in the south. Seriously, that was one of my thoughts. Another thought was: am I hungry or is this just a desire for more food? Lord, help me. I am weak.

I didn't eat the brownies. Did I say that yet? I left the kitchen, took my computer with me and I'm getting on here to just blog. It helps to talk it out. It helps to flee temptation. It helps to recognize the lies from the Tempter.

So, I'm gonna turn on the Dave Ramsey Show, lay down for a few minutes, regroup, regather and then clean my house.

Also, another thing that I can look forward to are those times when it WILL be appropriate to eat a brownie. When I am with the guests at my house, when I am at a party, maybe Ben and I will get some dessert on our date night tonight (we are going to celebrate our anniversary)... I never know what is around the corner. If I eat the sugar now, I won't enjoy it as much later. I will have feelings of guilt and not pleasure knowing that I have eaten too much sugar and so damaged my body that day. I feel like it's okay to have sugar, but I'm trying to learn MODERATION in my sugar consumption- this is a VERY difficult thing. More difficult than men know. :) Can I get an "Amen" from the women out there? Whether it's chocolate or sour candy or whatever it is, it's just a hard thing.

Thank you all for reading. I hope you learned as much as I did.


I prefer to learn from my mistakes... not make them again. Of course, pride comes before the fall.

As soon as I finished my post yesterday Levi woke up. It was a chaotic afternoon. I didn't want to think about anything, didn't want to put away the laundry, didn't want to fix something for him to eat, didn't want to change his diaper, didn't want to clean the house... You get the picture. Schedules for moms are like a backbone, a way that allows you to do what you need to do. For most new moms, life revolves around the nap time. If nap time ends early, life goes crazy.

All that to say, I ate a brownie. And a banana and some dried fruit and almonds... and a granola bar... I think it was in reverse order. I DIDN'T want to write about this. I thought, "whatever, people don't need to know this, they don't care, I'll just glaze on and go to my next topic on my blog..." But, I don't feel that would be honest. So I will be thankful for these things: eating one brownie doesn't cause someone to gain 10 pounds. (some people say it would cause them to, but that is not possible, a brownie doesn't even weigh 10 pounds). At least I didn't eat the whole rest of the pan of brownies. I will be thankful that the other food I ate was reasonably healthy. I am thankful for a husband who is quick to pick me up, brush me off and helps me to move on. I am thankful we had an enjoyable date that night and didn't even eat dessert (he is a kind man isn't he?). I am thankful that the Lord allows me to be humble.

Okay, with that aside, I just want to tell y'all that I am struggling. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm struggling. I hesitate to share it on here because I don't want pity or for people to feel sorry for me.

After running my errands I took Levi for a walk and was just talking to God today. "God, I don't want to do this. I don't want to go home. I don't want to call someone. I don't want to go see someone, I don't want anyone to come see me. I don't want to be stuck in my house all weekend, I don't want to have people over... " and on and on God just got to hear me complain. I asked God to help my friends. No, couldn't pray for them specifically because I didn't know what to say or how to say it. My speech wasn't eloquent I just asked for some help. Just some help God, You know. I'm tired. I don't want to do this. I kept going and crying out to Him and going and crying out and complaining. I don't know if anyone looked out their window and saw me talking to myself, I told God, I don't want to care about what people think of me. I'm tired. I started to tell Him about how messed up my family is, help my mom as she is helping my grandma and my pre-Alzheimer grandpa go home from Texas to Missouri. Lord, I want my grandpa to come to know you. Even though this is the sunset of his life, maybe he prayed a prayer long time ago, maybe he's saved, but he's not living for You God. My heart LONGS that he would be consumed with love for the Lord. Before his mind leaves him that his mind could be consumed with YOU God! ... Man, I was praying out loud, almost yelling (someone was running their leaf blower, so it didn't matter much).
I was going to the top of this hill and just claiming back my sleep, the sleep of my mom and aunt and cousin back from the enemy. I was sick of Satan stealing from us. I didn't want it for my children, I want to cast off these things!

I got to the top of the hill and saw the clouds and the sky. It was like my face was lifted up. My head was lifted up and all of the sudden it came over me.

"Thank You for being my friend."

Scripture says He is a friend to the down-trodden, to the weary and heavy laiden, to the broken and humble of heart. The thing is, He is a friend who can actually DO something. I have a lot of friends who would probably love to come help me do something about my family, help me straighten out my life, give me some strength, but they can't. He can. He put His Spirit inside of me and he can change hearts. If I ask something He will listen and He has the ability to do it.

He is the author and perfecter of our faith.

He is a loving father.

He is a friend who is more faithful than any friend on the planet.

He knows my sorrows, He has carried my pain, He has born my sins, He carried my iniquities.

And He is not through with me yet.


I want to be perfect.

I was vacuuming my house and yelling at myself inside my head. If somebody would have walked in on me that moment they would have thought I was perfect. Here I was, on a Friday afternoon, vacuuming and cleaning.

I don't know what it is, maybe it is that I just came off of this cleanse, maybe it's the fact that it's that time of the month, maybe I don't have the right kinds of foods in my house, but it has not been a graceful re-entry into the world. This afternoon I just didn't care what I ate. It was like a throwing out of all the rules, kicking them out and completely going in another direction. That's why I was so angry at myself that afternoon. My anger spilled out onto Ben, onto Levi and onto the world. I wanted to do right, but instead I would do wrong. What is wrong with me? I was asking myself, I thought I was FREE from this? I wrote a whole series about how I am free. I'm going to explode out of my jeans in a few weeks, I'm going to look bloated and chubby again! Ahh! Those were the thoughts running through my head.

What was weird is that I didn't even care. It was like I just wanted this other food that was calling my name in the pantry. I could have thrown the food out, but I feel like I would have just gone to something else instead. Am I crazy? Yes. The whole time I'm thinking, what is going to bring me out of crazy land? I called Ben and told him about what I had done. He kind of laughed actually. It's good, because I take this stuff so seriously like it's life or death and he helps me to have some perspective. He asked me why I did it and I said, "I don't even know." Was I trying to get back at him again for leaving the brownies behind? No, that wasn't it. "Well, Jody, you have a choice." I HAVE A CHOICE?! It doesn't feel like I have a choice sometimes. Why doesn't it FEEL like I have a choice?

Maybe it's because I feel alone and I am weak when I am alone.

I want to live in community. Not to be co-dependent and only run to others with my problems, but because I tend toward isolation. I love people, but I tend to isolate myself, especially when I'm in sin. I feel as though I have a tremendous lack of friendships. Not the ones on Facebook and stuff like that, but friends who come over without notice, who call for no reason but just to talk, who come over for dinner or who invite me to come over at any time. Friends who share deepness from their hearts, their walks with God, who ask me to come over so I can pray with them... I'm not blaming anyone for this lack of friendships other than myself. I long for community. I long for a brotherhood, sisterhood... not just to go to the same church and see people each week to smile at them and say I'm doing fine, but to really love on and pray for them and when things are not fine to say that their not fine and could you please pray with me or talk through something with me... I long for community.

I have so much more to say on this subject. So much more that is coming out of my heart and spirit on this. I wish I lived closer, I wish I reached out to my neighbors down the street, why do I not just walk over there? Why do I not have them over? When is it that I don't just get in the car and drive to my friend's house? Okay, so much more. So much more about how I am sick of the American way and the American culture and our white picket fences and perfect neat little schedules and manners and politeness.

I'm going to come full-circle back to the whole eating thing... I think this is why I am never going to go on a "diet" again. Crashing is too much. I don't need to live my life on a roller coaster of "good eating" and "bad eating" I want to live my life on a journey towards the Lord. I want to follow Him and not try to do things on my own anymore.

Lord, please take this broken, messed-up vessel and use it for Your glory. Help me not to be distracted by me. Teach me to follow You with everything that I am.