Panic at The Restaurant

You’ve heard of Panic at the Disco?

I panicked at the restaurant.

We went out to eat twice last weekend.  the first time wasn’t so tough. It was a new Austin place outside of the city, rural really. It’s called Proof and Cooper.  The outside was so cool.  Rusty tin roof,  lots of land.

tree lights


Inside, you order and then sit.  There was a bar and live music.  Pretty standard Austin stuff.  The best part about Austin is the people (so friendly) and the Vibe.  By that I mean, there were people there in swimsuits.  There were people there in cut off shorts and t-shirts.  I saw tattoos and piercings and dreadlocks. There were kids and parents and groups and cats and chickens.  That last part is no joke.  Here’s a picture of my daughter with one of the baby kittens.

nat and cat

There were 5 kittens and we just couldn’t get enough of them.  Everyone was coming around and chatting about the kittens.  All ages. Some with their cocktails, just wandering around the outside space talking about the rooster that was in the tree. That part is real too.  I swear.

The next day I looked up the place on Facebook and saw that the person playing guitar there was actually “famous” in certain circles.  We talked to him while we were there because he came out to see the kittens and actually laid down on the ground and let a kitten climb on his chest.  My friend’s daughter likes to sing so he asked her about that and said, “I’ll let you sing!” He was so nice.  And calm.  And apparently “important”.  He is the son of some famous music people and he was in the movie, “Walk the Line” and a bunch of other stuff.  His name is Waylon Payne.  See, you have to be careful in Austin.  Famous people hang here but they blend in which is the whole point.

Ordering at this restaurant was easy because it was farm to table.  I had a salad with tomatoes and avocado and fizzy water with a lime.  Yum. It helped that there was a lot going on and it wasn’t all about the food.

However, the next night, Jeff and I went to a restaurant sort of because we “had to”.  We had time to kill.  It was dinner time.  We were far from home but had to pick up our son soon…you get the point.  So already, I felt like I was not in control of my situation.  See, I had it all planned, we were going to go to Chipotle.  We were on that side of town (not our usual side) and I haven’t had Chipotle in a year.  I read on the Whole 30 that you can have the carnitas bowl so I was beyond excited.  I was thinking about the carnitas and the guac.  Literally, running to the door.  We get in and see the sign.  NO CARNITAS AVAILABLE.  There is a shortage. They have stopped working with their suppliers because of the way they treat the animals.  They are looking for a supplier that meets their requirements.  You can google it.  It’s a thing. You guys…I literally almost cried.

We went to a steak joint.  Because we are in Texas.  As I looked at the menu, genuine panic came over me.  All the memories of onion stacks and nachos and beer and wine and french fries…the smells, the music, the dim lighting. Ugh. The menu was not confusing.  Oh no, it was not.  I have learned to know what my body needs to feel good.  THERE WAS NOTHING ON THE MENU FOR ME.  If I was going to keep this Whole30 thing going, I needed to really THINK. And I was getting hungry.  The waiter said he was going to bring us a basket of bread and I jumped down his throat…NO!!!! He’s like, fine lady…chill.  I literally frowned the whole time and felt so testy.  We were sitting at the bar.  For the love of God…why???? I could see myself in the mirror…again, why???? And I looked so sad and confused.  I ordered a salad…no dressing…with a steak on it, dry…which means no rubs or sauces.  It was good and I felt full and I stuck to the plan.  But honestly, everything in the world is dripping in oil and cheese and sour cream and ranch dressing.  The good news is I survived.  And I will be better prepared next time.  I really like just eating at home now.

I have this thing.  I don’t want to be difficult.  I don’t want to special order stuff.  Maybe it goes back to when I was young and I didn’t like the McDonald’s onions on the cheeseburger so I would order it without onions and my family would have to pull the car over and wait for little Susie’s (I’m the youngest and only girl) cheeseburger.  (This is why Burger King is better for me – special orders don’t upset them.) My brothers still discuss it to this day.  I learned that just going with the flow makes people happy.  I like to make people happy.  Which leads to why sometimes I eat cake if someone makes it even if I don’t want it.  And why I say, “Sure, anything is fine!” as people order sausage on a pizza (yuk) or decide we need potato skins with bacon and cheese and sour cream.  I want to be easy and light.  I want to be cool. As LuAnn says, “Be cool.  Don’t be all, like, uncool.”

But here’s the thing I know now.  People thinking I’m easy breezy is no longer my goal.  It is not worth the bad feelings in my body.  I can say no and still be cool.  I think. Right?  I have a feeling some of you know what I’m talking about.  You don’t want to say no to your grandma’s cheesecake.  Or she won’t let you.  She stops just shy of shoving it down your throat!! The pressure and dirty looks from family if you are not stuffing your face…does this happen?  What if you ask for a dry steak and dressing on the side?  Do you hear the groans?  Do people tell you, “You used to be fun”?


It’s tough because it’s not just the food.  It’s the emotions, the memories, the patterns, the feelings, the history, the relationships, the connections.  It’s not just your body, it’s your brain and your heart and your soul.  Your spirit is wrapped up in this.  That’s why eating the “wrong things” can lead to depression and doubt and shame and guilt.  That’s why eating the “right things” takes a whole rewiring of our thinking.  Not just our thinking but our feeling.  You guys, it’s not easy.

My friend, Tricia, recommended the book Made to Crave.  Thank you Tricia!! I read it right away the day I got it.

Turns out, I’m not the only one who has ever struggled with all of this.

©2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

Day 13

whole 30 day 13


Okay…so I’m trying something new. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know this already. It’s called Whole30.  I am eating whole foods for 30 days. No processed food, no alcohol, no added sugar and no scale. And also no legumes.

You may be thinking, Wait…I thought you were not going to “diet”.  You are right. I am not. I ran this through my “Check my heart with God” lens and also my “does it feel icky and restricting” lens and “am I paying exorbitant amounts of money” lens and I decided it was a go.  It’s fits my life and what I’m trying to do.  It’s about health and wellness and real food.  There is no magic potion, no tracking, it is not a “get skinnier than your friends in 7 days” kind of deal.  It’s just me and the real food. It is challenging my attachments to food and my unhealthy fear of fats and my mixed up ways of thinking about what is “good for me”.  Turns out all the stuff that is real is good for me.  So…here’s what we’ve got. Me. Real food. 30 days. Here’s my story.

It’s Day 13 of the Whole 30 and I feel amazing! Honestly, I want to take pictures of all my food because I’m getting into making a pretty plate.  You know, all the colors and textures…I could share them on Instagram.  But you would be bored and unfollow me and honestly, all my meals aren’t cute. However, they are keeping me full which is keeping me from snacking which is awesome.

Things I’ve learned so far:

I’m addicted to the scale. It’s dumb and I’m sorry but it’s true. I’m getting with the Lord on that. He tells me He loves me regardless of the number.  My husband says the same thing too.  Which makes me feel happy and loved but still wanting to jump on the scale.  What the heck?

I learned a new term…  “Non Scale Victories”.  Here are some of mine so far:

I am in the kitchen more often and there is always food in the house. Progress.

I’ve learned that I like kale and squash and zucchini and all the things that I’ve never tried before.  Also, beets are messy.

I like a non-stick pan better than a shiny new sticky pan. I know it’s bad for me but honestly,  I’m cutting out all sugar, do I need to cut out non-stick pans too?

I’m sick of eggs. I love that they are a POWERHOUSE food but Every. single. day. is. a. lot.

It’s okay to eat a hamburger for breakfast and eggs for dinner.

When you don’t eat sugar, you no longer crave sugar.

Black coffee is good.  Also, you can drink it in bed and sing the song.

I don’t miss peanut butter. Except now that I typed it. Now I miss it.

I actually feel like working out. Really. Except when I’m on the couch watching, “Gilmore Girls” on Netflix. Then, I just feel like moving to Stars Hollow.

Reading labels isn’t hard. If it has a lot of (more than 5)  ingredients and you can’t pronounce the names, it’s not healthy. Put it back on the shelf.

Bottom line:  I feel better. The bloat is gone. Tiredness is gone. No longer need my caffeine mid day. I have a clear head.  I’m less moody. I’m sleeping well.

I feel freedom in the food arena now because I know if it’s real, I eat it.  If it’s fake, I don’t.

It’s simple.

I could eat like this forever. Really.

For sure for like 17 more days.

©2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved




The Coach

I was walking yesterday and listening to a podcast about all of us being in training and God being the coach. It got me thinking about working out and eating and the vicious defeating cycle that we call “health” in America. Gluten free, no carb, low fat, low calorie, starvation, shakes, programs, points, packaged meals, DIEts, juices, cleanses, running, weight lifting, yoga, crunches, six packs, squats, torture, exhaustion, competition,never enough, too big, too small, too weak, too slow. I’ve decided to ask God to be my coach. I long to hear His voice above all others. I am crying out to Him, “Feed me and Lead me!” He will show me where to go. I believe Him. I’m ready for His training. For firm muscles and strong bones that come from heeding His voice. Feed me and lead me Lord- or in other words, “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play!!”

I posted that on instagram and Facebook yesterday with this verse from Isaiah 58:11

isaiah 58-11


After that, my mom and I were talking on the phone about Weight Watchers and her struggles to eat well and she said, “It’s hard for everyone right? Even you young girls…it’s just tough.” I agreed. And I remembered that my mom is not on social media so she didn’t see the post. Which reminded me to write on the blog which is what she prefers because she doesn’t really understand Facebook and typical Mom fashion, she says, “Honey, honestly, do I really need all that?” Which is a good point. So I thought I’d post here because this is a conversation for everyone – all ages and sizes…everyone who has felt like throwing up their hands and laying on the couch with some chips and chocolate and giving up.

I’ve been praying all day…”Feed me and Lead me Lord”.

I love the image of Jesus as a coach. He’s not like Bobby Knight throwing chairs or like my high school volleyball coach who told me my thighs are “way too big” and I should run stairs and do squats every day or “I’ll be sorry”.   (I’m clearly over that.) Jesus knows love is a greater motivator than fear.  He doesn’t shame us or scare us or use violence to get His point across.

I told my friend the other day that I was disgusted with myself and my lack of discipline with working out and eating. She very clearly and slowly spoke truth to me. She said, “He is not disgusted with you. He is not disappointed in you. You are beautiful and loved.”

Maybe you need to hear that today.  It’s for you too.  See we put that crap on ourselves. If society shames us enough, we will buy their program.  If we feel like we are never enough, we will invest in their schemes. There is money in making us feel less than.

But Jesus’s currency is love.

Sure, He wants us to be disciplined and practice self control but as long as we are reeling and competing and full of fear, none of that is possible.

He is not the God of chaos but of order. Harmony. Peace.

We must seek Him first.

You are not your body but let’s be honest. Our bodies play a big part in how we see ourselves. The words we say when we look in the mirror sink in to our hearts and souls and minds. We forget whose we are.

Scripture tells us: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2) 

I need Jesus to come in and coach me. I need to hear His voice above the others even when I’m in a loud gym or on the even louder internet. The patterns of this world with regards to health are messy and confusing and overwhelming and extreme and often just plain out wrong. What is His will?

Feed me and Lead me Lord.

I don’t think the answer is another advertising campaign celebrating itself for using “real” models this time.

I don’t think the answer is a new diet, a juice cleanse or a protein shake meal replacement plan.

I don’t think the answer is a longer run or more weights or planking in the kitchen waiting for the water to boil.

The answer is Jesus.

To be honest, I wanted my friend to tell me what to do, what plan to follow, how to lose weight.  I wanted her to tell me what was “wrong” with me so I could fix it. But she is wise, so she didn’t. She just reminded me that I am beautiful and loved.

We all are.

I think that’s an amazing place to start.


I love this chart. If you are hearing a voice in your head, check it against this list to see if it’s God’s voice. Remember, He is for you.

god's voice2


©2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved