Wellness Wednesday: Let Him Make It Possible

This is my first Wellness Wednesday post of NOT doing the Whole30.
I was going share how post-Whole30 is going. Then as I started typing, something happened. So I’m holding off on that update and instead going with the “what happened”…..

I want to share my personal thoughts about HOW to take those first steps towards better health. It’s hard to “get there“. It’s hard to make new habits. It does take an effort. I believe that effort is worth it.

  1. God must be first. I 100% believe if we are trying to be healthier WITHOUT including our Lord, without prayer, without leaning on Him for strength, without seeking Him and His wisdom in the process, without allowing His Grace to Embrace Us, we will not be able to succeed. 
  2. We must have knowledge. I believe we combat lies from Satan by stating truths from God’s Word. It’s what Jesus did when He was being tempted by Satan, He spoke Truth in the face of Satan’s lies. We need to know “truths” about health, so that when we are tempted to give up, or don’t “feel” like it, we can speak truth as to WHY we will live a healthier life.
      • One truth that really helps me: Remembering my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. My body is a gift, specifically designed for me by God. I want to honor the gift of my body He has made just for me by taking care of it. This means spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
      • Reading about nutrition and learning nutritional facts has helped me. This takes effort to seek out nutritional information and to use discernment with the information you find. I personally recommend reading It Starts With Food. I also recommend checking out Intoxicated on Life, I’ve really enjoyed some of their health articles. Like TheHealthWish on Facebook, she shares some great articles from time to time. The only other suggestion I can make, use the Google Search engine to your advantage. Ask friends whom you know are living healthier lifestyles. Learn about nutrition, what your body needs, and start reading labels.
  3. Have a Realistic Plan. Figure out what you want to accomplish and using the information you have been reading and researching in step 2, make a plan. Be honest with yourself. If you’ve been here and done this before and feel that you failed, be honest as to why you failed. Was it that you didn’t feel like it? Remember, when your emotions don’t “feel like it“, you’ve got to speak truth to yourself. Was it that you didn’t have time? Be realistic about your time. Be realistic about giving up an hour of TV in the evening to prepare your lunch for the next day. Remember, it takes effort to learn new habits, healthier lifestyles. It won’t just magically appear. Lean on God for the strength of self-discipline to do what needs to be done. Grow in that fruit of the spirit. It will not only help in this area, it will bleed into other areas as well.
  4. Find a Support System. Family is great, this is true, however, family doesn’t want to be the wall you run up against when you aren’t feeling like it. Family doesn’t always want to push you because let’s be honest, sometimes when we are being pushed we tend to push back. So find even more support. Especially if you have struggled again and again with this area of your life. Find someone whom is living the healthier lifestyle you seek, and ask them to be your accountability partner. Check in with them on a planned basis, once a day, once a week. Find an online support system or group. I found a Facebook group of women who are amazing. I also joined a Facebook exercise challenge for my specific workout plan. There are sites such as SparkPeople with tons of groups you can get involved in. Not to mention websites such as MustLoveGod which host link-ups for accountability on Thursdays. Find other people and get plugged in. Encourage and be encouraged by them. This way, you have the support and encouragement of your family (my husband’s support has been wonderful) AND you also have support from people who may be more willing to push you when you need to be pushed.
  5. Get Back On The Horse. You stumble. You trip. You fall. Get up, get back on, re-work the plan, re-evaluate what is realistic for you, get in prayer with God about why you “fell of the horse“, ask Him for what you need, and keep going. A long time ago I read in a pamphlet at the Doctor’s office that the average person who is trying to quit smoking will “quit” seven times before REALLY successfully quitting. I can tell you, it’s true. I’ve also heard that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. If that’s true, then I have to think that the average person trying to eat healthier, trying to make exercise a habit, will try several times before REALLY successfully establishing those healthier habits.  I cannot over-emphasize how important it is to fuel your body with nutrition. You cannot physically have the energy to make exercise a habit when your body is not being fueled properly. It is so vital. Don’t allow guilt or shame or feelings of failure stop you. Christ died for you to free you from the bondage of sin. Do you struggle with gluttony? I did. Do you struggle with making food an idol before God? I did. Go to Him. Confess of any sin revealed to you in this process, repent of any sin, turn from it, and keep going forward with His Grace as Your Savior. You may think I’m crazy saying this when it comes to eating and exercise. I only say it because of everything the Lord laid on my heart in my journey. I had some sins I wasn’t aware of, and it wasn’t until I got those out on the table and addressed them with Him that I was then Free to make the changes I needed to make.

I know we neglect to give every part of our lives to God. It is a life long process for us. However, I believe we don’t even think about giving Him something as “trivial” as how we eat. The weight we want to lose. The feelings of failure we have when we try and don’t succeed. We push full steam ahead all by ourselves. Then can’t figure out why it isn’t working.
The other thing, from my personal journey, is that as I handed over this part of my life to Him, He gave me more realistic expectations. He spoke truths to me above and over the culture’s truths about how I should look. It became less about “looking good” and more about being healthier. That alone is freeing. I hate the check-out line of the grocery store. Magazines on either side of air-brushed, photo-shopped, half dressed women telling me how I should look. No wonder we have such un-realistic expectations of ourselves, masked as “trying to get healthy”. I believe it’s the bondage of our culture. Preventing us from realizing who we are as women in the eyes of our loving Father. Preventing us from growing from the inside out because we become so distracted with the outside that the outside begins to bleed into our insides.

I apologize if I sound like I’m preaching at you. I feel overwhelmed with passion to try and convey that with Christ, all things are possible. To try and give hope to every woman who is beating herself up with feelings of failure when it comes to body image, how she eats. Who is tired and run-down from poor nutrition. Who, every time she looks in the mirror she sees errors and “ugliness” instead of God’s image, His creation, His love. If that’s where you are, I simply encourage you to seek Him. Fall before Him and pour it all out to Him. If it is causing your soul distress, if it is wearing shame and guilt on you, if it is a cycle of failure, it is not trivial. Give it to Him. Let Him take it from you and let Him clothe you with His Grace. Find brothers and sisters and start making changes, being encouraged, giving encouragement. Let Him use this one area of your life to show you what He can do with it. Let it be what starts infusing all areas of your life.

That is my hope for you.
In Love & Faith,
RaZella

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Wellness Wednesday: The Difficult One To Write

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Before I jump
into today’s post,

I’d first like to ask you to join me over at MustLoveGod.

To take a moment
and think about
what kind of bee you are.
This was a lesson
the Lord brought to my attention last week
when my back was hurting.
I hope you will find it encouraging.

Today’s post has been difficult for me to write. I’ve started, stopped, and re-started. I learned in church this weekend that in Maine, the child food insecurity rate is nearly 1 in every 4 children. Maine ranks 1st in New England for child and senior food insecurity. A person is considered food insecure if they lack access to enough food to ensure adequate nutrition.

And here am I, about to write a blog about my “health and nutrition”.
I suddenly felt so overcome by inadequacy to write this post, I gave up and walked away, feeling there is nothing I have to offer to point to
God’s glory about my “Wellness Wednesday”.

Then I felt convicted as I walked away. Because God meets us where we are. He wants us where we are, so He can begin to transform us into who we are to be in Christ. This “Wellness Wednesday” is where God is meeting me, in my life, and transforming this area of my life.  It’s part of my journey.

finishedwhole30

I made a commitment to complete a 30 day program, and I successfully completed it.

I can’t take credit for completing it, because the credit belongs to Christ. One of the most important things I learned during the 30 days is we cannot truly succeed apart from Christ. Even in something as simple and ordinary as how we eat.

I had made food an idol. I had a relationship with food. Turning to food for comfort and fulfillment instead of for nutrition and fueling my body. When emotionally “unhinged”, I would turn to the nearest “comfort food” and eat to the point of being physically sick, trying to fill the void. The biggest Praise I have for this 30 Days is that I learned to go to Christ in prayer First. He gave me everything I needed emotionally, so I could learn to take better care of myself Physically. 

It does take an effort to eat healthier. Just like it takes an effort to get good grades, to train for a marathon, to learn how to be a better parent, to invest in a marriage, to make a scarf out of a ball of yarn.
The amazing thing is as you keep putting effort into making the scarf, it gets easier. The next scarf knits faster. You find yourself parenting better and loving your spouse better because as you make the effort to do so, you learn how to in a better way.
So it does take an effort to eat healthier, once you do, it gets much easier. Easier to shop. Easier to cook meals. Easier to make healthy fit into a budget.

Of the scary things I learned over the last 30 days, the most important one would be how much sugar we were eating before versus now. Not just natural sugars either, all of the added sugars, the chemical sugars. How much “non food” we were ingesting on a regular basis. Even when I thought I was eating “healthy”, I can now see why it wasn’t working. Because it still wasn’t very healthy.

My husband and I both saw very direct impacts of the Whole30. He was able to cut back dramatically on his diabetes medications (he is type II). He has cut back by over 75%. He also lost 7 to 8 pounds and REACHED the goal weight his doctor set for him at his last check in.

How did I fair?

Last Weigh In, January 30th:                                Today’s Weigh In:
Weight: 139.4                                                         Weight: 134.0
Total Weight Loss since aiming for target weight: -16lbs

I got to this place back in September last year. Then I added back half the weight I’d lost. I “added back” due to my unhealthy relationship with food. Finally seeing it for what it really was, acknowledging food had become an idol in my life, and taking the steps to dethrone it through the power and strength of Christ, I found hope. Hope in Christ. Hope that is bleeding into other areas of my life I wasn’t even aware was in need of His hope.

I have also learned thankfulness this last 30 days. Thankfulness to live in a country where I can make healthier food choices. Thankful our Lord provides for us in such a way we can provide our son with food, so he never wonders if he’ll be able to eat today or not.

While I would recommend Whole30 to anyone who is struggling to learn healthier eating habits, wanting to dethrone food as an idol, or trying to take better physical care of their health, most importantly I encourage everyone to seek God first. Make Him a part of your physical health journey. Make Him the Most Important part of it. I’ve tried programs of every shape and size in the past, never completing them, never getting any healthier by them, never having enough will-power to make it through them. I’ve never tried one with the intention of putting Christ first. I believe doing that first, combining it with a genuinely fantastic program like Whole30, is what gave me the strength to be able to complete the program and gain healthier habits.

The only scary part in all this? I feel like He’s going to start revealing other idols to me I’m not yet aware I have…
The best part, we as a family have made a decision to take action about the hunger happening in our state, in our community. Sometimes I think that’s why the Lord lays conviction on our hearts, so that His Holy Spirit can call us to take action.

I’m linking up with Kim at Weigh in Wednesdays  because I appreciate the encouragement and accountability this fantastic group of women provide for this journey to better health.

I’m also still linking up with IntoxicatedonLife for Wellness Wednesday. I love the energy and time they invest in sharing how to live a healthier life and the knowledge they offer towards that goal.

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In Love & Faith,
RaZella