Friday, July 29, 2011

Refuse to Settle

Several years ago, back before I was married, a good friend of mine used to always tell me, “Don’t ever settle for less than God’s best for you!”  In that particular context, she was encouraging me to make sure that the man I allowed to court me was a man of honor and integrity, who exhibited godly character and actions.  I internalized her admonition, and although at times it made me seem picky in others’ eyes, it resulted in me marrying the most incredible man God could have given me.  He surpassed my wildest dreams and I in no way settled.  My husband truly is my Superman!

Recently, I’ve been reminded of that wise counsel of my friend, as I have been on this journey towards a healthy lifestyle.  I’ve just finished reading a book that really hit home for me titled “Made to Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst.  In it, the author encourages her readers to refuse to settle for less than God’s best when it comes to the way they treat their body and what they allow into it.  Wow…what an eye opening concept for me! 

Those who know me well know that I have pretty high standards in most areas.  I work hard and when I commit to something, I give it everything I’ve got.  Even though I may not always attain it, I really strive for excellence in everything I do…or so I thought.  I’ve come to realize that, for years now, I have been settling for far less than the best God has for me with my weight and health, and have not been walking in the excellence He designed me to have in this area.  As a result, I’ve found myself repenting before God for my careless, “come what may” attitude towards eating.  The beautiful thing?  God hears, forgives, and gives me the strength to change.

One of the biggest truths I have learned over the last few weeks is that, as Lysa TerKeurst put it, I am on a, “significant spiritual journey with great physical benefits.”

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I've been thinking a lot lately about my life, and wondering why it has taken me until the age of 39 to get my act together and come to the realizations I have about my choices in regards to physical health.  In doing so, I have come to the conclusion that I've been plagued by a notorious disease that is found in our society in epic proportions.  It's called..."Excuse-itis"! 

Here is my own personal revelation on excuses:

For every 100 excuses, very few true reasons actually emerge,
and with a little bit of creativity, even most of those reasons can be overcome. 
Once overcome, I am released from what I have been
and propelled into what I am to become!

Excuses are so easy to come by.  They're free and plentiful, but they have drastic consequences.  Excuses steal motivation, breed procrastination, and prohibit progression!

These are a few of the excuses I have dealth with in the past, and my new "no excuse" list of the ways I am overcoming them:

I have no excuse to not eat right.  Even if I feel like it costs more to buy fresh fruits and vegetables than it does to buy processed foods, I can read lables, measure my portions, and choose wisely what I do purchase and consume.  In actuality, I'm spending far less now for much higher quality meats and produce, because food goes farther when I eat the correct portions, and I can actually eat for an entire day or more on what I used to spend on fast food for one meal.

I have no excuse not to exercise.  If my schedule is so hectic that I cannot find even 30 minutes a day to take care of my body, then I'm not managing my time well.  Admittedly, I have a tremendously busy schedule, I'm a wife, a mom to two young boys, a full-time employee with a 50-mile daily commute, a college student with papers to write, textbooks to read, and tests to take, a lay-pastor with responsibilities that require a fair amount of time outside of Sunday and Wednsday services, and a friend and family member to the other dear people God has given me that are close to me.  If I want to be able to successfully manage everything else in my life, I must plan time to do everything I can to help my body stay strong and healthy.  It will make me better able to accomplish everything else!

I have no excuse to feel self-conscious about exercising.  For a long time, I have been afraid of feeling of looking silly trying to exercise at my current weight.  Now, in truth, how ridiculous is that?!  At my weight I really need the exercise!  I allowed myself to believe that because I don't have anywhere in my house with enough space that I could lock myself away to exercise in complete privacy, that I couldn't do it at all.  Finally, I decided enough was enough!  I took a deep breath, ordered exercise DVDs, the Biggest Loser Challenge for our Wii, some good cross-training shoes, hand weights, a yoga mat, and a balance ball.  I pushed the big footstool out from in front of the couch in the livingroom, and told my husband this was something I had to do and the only place with enough space to do it was right there, in the middle of the house!  With tears in his eyes, he hugged me and told me how proud of me he was.  I sat my kids down and told them that mommy was going to start taking care of her body and get healthy to be there for them for a long, long time.  And now, my 6-year-old has become my workout buddy!  He loves to put on his shoes and work out right alongside of me and cheer me on.  And that makes me a very good way!

So, no more excuses! 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sweet Victories

I can hardly believe that I am now five weeks and three days into this journey! As of today, I have lost 15.2 pounds simply by changing my eating patterns and am starting to notice small differences in certain areas. For instance, I find that I am sleeping better and feel more rested when I wake up, and my husband says he can see it in my eyes that I'm feeling better than I have in a long while. I keep thinking that if I'm already seeing a change just in this short amount of time, I can't imagine how great I will feel a year from now!

I believe the thing I still find most amazing, is the change in my entire outlook and perspective on food in general. Quite honestly, for the first time in my life, I'm thinking about what I eat and what type of effect it will have on my body. I can truly say that the last five weeks have been the most balanced I've ever experienced in this area, and it feels wonderful! God truly gets all of the glory, because I know that He is the one who is making these changes in me and helping me find the healing I never before realized I needed, and He is giving me the strength, day by day, to walk it out. I am so grateful that He would reach into my life in this manner and care about my life in this way.

I have just began adding exercise into my life the last few days, and although I can hardly believe I am saying this, I actually like it! Right now, I'm starting with 30 minutes a day with the Biggest Loser Challenge for the Wii, and am actually having a lot of fun with it. Don't get me wrong, it's hard work (and I must admit, sometimes I talk back back to the TV, telling the computerized "Bob" to hush, because I am giving it everything I've got while grunting and sweating and plugging along through my workout), however, the feeling of accomplishment I get from actually doing it, combined with how good my body feels when I'm done, makes it worth it.

So...these days, I'm realizing that victory is indeed sweet, but not because it's filled with sugar, but because of the sweet feeling of serving God through my choices and feeling Him working in this new area of my life!

Monday, July 4, 2011


Happy 4th of July!

There are so many things to celebrate on Independence Day...First, I must say that I am thankful for the great freedoms we experience here in the United States. With so many friends and family members who have served, or are currently serving in the military, the reality of a soldier's sacrifice is no light matter to me. I do not take for granted all they have given so that I can know the peace I enjoy.

Also, I would be remiss in not acknowledging the life of freedom I have in Christ, which is beautiful, almost beyond description, when compared to the bondage I experienced before I knew Him.

I am also celebrating another type of freedom today. The freedom from the "polyester" life I lived for so long. Have I lost all the weight I need to, in order to slide into some sleek spandex workout clothes and run with graceful, long strides down the street? One look at my progress icon on the side of my page will tell you that I've only just reached 9 pounds lost, meaning there are many, many more to go. Rather, I've been set free from the polyester mindset that has held me captive for as long as I can remember. Let me explain...

God has been dealing with me for some time about choices. The choices I make either honor God, or show Him dishonor. By eating things that are destructive to my body, I am disrespecting Him with my choice. I'm littering the landscape of His creation that He made in His own image. Does God want me to enjoy food? Absolutely! Eating was His idea in the first place, remember? But what I eat, and how much I eat, are critical factors that have been out of balance in my life for years.

You see, the polyester mindset kept me bound in unhealthy practices. It made me feel like I had no control over what happened to my body, so why bother trying to do something differently, since it wouldn't make a difference anyway. That destructive perspective fed me lies and fooled me into believing that I would always be what I had always been. This is one of the tricks Satan plays to keep people stuck in their circumstances like one who is trapped in quicksand. The more they fight and struggle to get out, the faster they sink, so the best thing to do, is nothing. Stop attempting to climb out, and make the most of the few minutes you have left, all the while knowing that you've given in to something that is stealing your life away, one inch at a time.

Almost three weeks ago, God mercifully pulled me out of the pit I was in, and I am no longer sinking into oblivion. In truth, I have a hard time putting into words the feelings of freedom I have been experiencing. It's like this area of my life has been born again! Sound a little dramatic to you? Well, I can't help it! The change that has come about in my thinking and perspective is quite unlike anything I've ever experienced, second only to salvation. The way that I look at food has changed altogether. I believe that I was addicted to food all those years, and that the changes I'm currently experiencing is the release from that addiction. The result? I'm finding a new level of dependence on God in ways I never realized I had been missing.

I have a long journey in front of me that will require work, diligence, and faith that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. God has blessed me with some incredible friends who are at different stages on their own paths, that are such an encouragement and blessing to me in this, and for that, I am most grateful.

In the end, it is through our dependence on God that we find our independence from the things that try to hold us captive, and we truly learn what freedom means.

Happy Independence Day!