(Day 15) Beginning The Third Week of My Journey

Here we are at the beginning of the third week and I neglected to do my weigh-in yesterday! I was so focused on what the Lord was saying to me about balance and distractions that I didn’t realize that it was time for my weigh-in update yesterday. It happens though. Life happens, we shift our to do lists forward to the next day multiple times and sometimes we never get back to those things. Anyway, I was a little nervous getting that scale out this morning because if you have been following me since the beginning of this month you know that days 8-12 got away from me. I didn’t plan well and the scale actually reflects the fruit of those days. So here we go:

IMG_1226

So as you can see I am up 5.2 lbs but I am still down 4.2 lbs from my original weight. Well that just tells me that I need to really put into practice the things I have been talking about over the past three days as I move into week three. I have some goals for the week that I am going to implement to help move toward my main goals.

  1. My total daily step count goal is to reach 5000 steps for 6 of the next 7 days.
  2. Plan my meals ahead of time and do my best to stick to the plan
  3. Grace, grace, grace

In the past I have started this journey with great initial results and then when the results were not optimal I would abandon ship or fall into a heavy binge and well you can see where I’m going with this. This morning I have a different mindset though and during my morning talk with my accountability partner I said this: “We have to stop looking so hard at the goal and begin to enjoy the process.” I ministered to myself there and immediately wrote it down because it really is true. So I am going to enjoy the process of allowing the Lord to guide me every day in working through transforming my temple. I am the temple of the Holy Spirit and unless I am listening to Him tell me how to re-build and transform, well I may as well quit right now. It’s not about me. Grace, grace, grace. Thank You Lord for grace.

Have a great day!

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(Day 4) Exercise and Excuses

exercise-clip-art-pi5rqzeiBExercise…..Over at Dictionary.com the first entry for the definition of exercise is “bodily or mental exertion, especially for the sake of training or improvement of health”.  Well in times past I would have opted for the mental exertion alone and prayed that somehow my body would benefit from it.  Nice try, right?

Exercise….boy I never thought I would say this but I love exercise. I didn’t love it a few years ago when I could barely walk and I certainly didn’t think that moving my body when it was filled with pain could ever be a benefit for me. I had many reasons and excuses to not exercise….for instance how could I exercise when I could barely stand for 5 minutes at a time? Or how could I find time to exercise when I worked 2 jobs? Or how can I exercise when I have no motivation? The list went on and on but the reality of it was this simple truth….Exercise was not very important to me.

When something is important to us we will find the time to do it. Or if something is critical in our lives then we will find time to do whatever it is that we need to do. For example, if you have a tooth ache that is not getting better with home remedies, you will find the time to get to a dentist.  If you have pain in your body that won’t go away or any other ailment for that matter you will find time to go see a doctor. If you walk in your kitchen and there is no food in the house, you will find time to go to the grocery store.  I can come up with a hundred scenarios here but I think you get my point. When something becomes important to us we will make time for it.

I am on day 4 of this journey to transforming my temple and today I had the opportunity to make some excuses. Today I got up and had an extended time of prayer and worship before church. Then I went to church and afterward went to lunch with a friend. When I got home I had planned to do a whole bunch of things. I was going to do some cleaning, exercise, make my smoothie for my dinner and do some writing. I had great intentions. However, I didn’t do any of that because I came home and went to sleep. I’m not talking about a Sunday afternoon nap either. I am talking about a full night’s sleep only it was during the day.

Sleep is necessary for our lives. I have been running all week. I have been lacking in the area of sleep and my body just took over and I slept for 7 hours. I got up at 9:30 tonight and started thinking about all the things I needed to do. Immediately I started making excuses in my mind. “Oh well I slept all day so I will just start over tomorrow.”  “Oh I can just have 2 smoothies tomorrow instead of making one tonight.” “I can just make today my day of rest and not exercise”

I then said to myself “NO”! I got up and went out of the house and took almost a 2 mile walk. It was slow but it was intentional. I was proud of myself. Yesterday when I was exercising I felt the invigoration in my body that I have not felt for a long time. It’s that feeling that causes me to want to exercise more. I committed to 6 days of exercise and I was only on day 3 so why would I need to take a break? I’m working on building up my stamina. I plan to make it those 6 days straight and then take a break. I love exercise. Well to be honest I don’t love the exercise itself but I love the benefit of it. I don’t have to make excuses, I need to kick those excuses to the curb every time they creep up and they will over and over again. I have to keep my commitment because it is not just to my benefit to care for my body as the temple of the Holy Spirit but it is to God’s glory.

Thank you for joining me on this journey and now I am off to get my squats,knee lifts and wall push ups done since I have finished my smoothie and my water. Tomorrow morning I am taking my calendar to my prayer closet and asking the Lord to help me get my schedule better organized so I don’t have to spend a day sleeping again because of losing sleep over the week. Until tomorrow, God bless!

Big Announcement!!

First and foremost I want to thank everyone who has followed me on this blog. I realize that I have not posted very consistently and I want to let you all know that as of today I am recommitting myself to this blog. I know that the goals I had when I first caught the vision of Losing4Christ are still my goals today. My mindset is different than it was 3 years ago when this blog began. I used to only see my failures, today I see my successes and learn from my failures. I hope to share more encouragement as I re-commit to this site. I want to help people as I go through this journey to health and wellness walking with Jesus Christ learning to live abundantly and be balanced in mind, body, soul and spirit.

So what is my Big Announcement? Thanks for asking. I have created a new blog to separate from the health and wellness journey and share my story. It’s really scary to me but I know that I need to share my story. It is a story of my past which was filled with living in the pit of destruction and miry clay but showcases the victory I now live out day by day as Jesus has set my feet on solid ground. I invite you to the launch of this new adventure.

http://beyondthemiryclay.com/

Find me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/beyondmiryclay

Find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Beyond-The-Miry-Clay/138821282995244

Please consider sharing with your friends as a resource. I am hoping that my story and my desire to help others will bring the reality of one changed life as a result of hearing my journey.

 

 

Death To Self

death-to-self

This is going to hurt. I am going to be real transparent here but I know that it must be done. I need to die to self. I need to come to the place of truly dying to my flesh. My flesh has died before but it just won’t stay dead! September 5, 2011 I died to self and turned my eating habits over to the Lord to lead and guide me. The reality however is I didn’t stay dead for very long. The truth is there is just no way to overcome the flesh on our own.

 Let’s read a few verses from the Bible:

Galatians 5:24 ~ Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Romans 6:11 ~ Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

These were the verses I shared back in September 2011. Now let’s take a look at another verse:

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Did you see what I saw? “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me”. Hmm, yes that changes everything. I keep trying to make my flesh die but I think what really needs to happen is that I need to surrender. I need to remember that Christ lives in me. And since He lives in me, I need to do what the rest of this verse says “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Now let’s look at another few verses:

Colossians 3:1-4

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.  For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

 

Now let’s read just verses 3-4 in the Message Bible:

Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you.

 

Wow.

 

I wrote the following in 2006, if I’m not mistaken it was after my Pastor spoke on dying to self. I am not even sure if I am the one who wrote it or if it was from my notes from the sermon. I am reminded today though that this is what needs to happen in my life if I am to be successful at getting healthy and losing weight. Quite honestly, this is what needs to happen for all of life. I apply it today to this journey of moving toward better health but death to self is really about living daily for Christ.

When you are dead to self, you no longer are drawn to the old sinful habits of your past. You will no longer respond to people who scorn you or speak evil of you, you just pray for them and love them.

When you are dead to self, nothing affects your walk with the Lord. Nothing can move you from your place in Christ Jesus.

When you are dead to self, you no longer are self-absorbed with your problems and situations instead you are ready to help others through their trials.

When you are dead to self, your focus is on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. You have a yearning to bring others to Him so they too can receive forgiveness.

When you are dead to self, you are drawn more to the things of God then to the things of the world. You would rather read your Bible than watch TV all day. You would rather minister to someone in need than sit and sulk about your own problems.

When you are dead to self, no matter how bad your day is going you still smile at your neighbors and you praise the Lord for each and every moment of your bad day.

When you are dead to self, your focus is on the Lord and how you can be used by Him to further His kingdom.

Dying to self is a daily process.

To be continued…

Genuine sanctification … is nothing less than a daily dying to self and daily conformity to the will of God. ~ Ellen G. White

Me A Barney?

This past Sunday my pastors talked about encouragement at church. My senior pastor titled his sermon “They Call Me Barney” and the funny part was he had us sing the I Love You song from Barney. I’m talking about Barney the purple dinosaur. At first I wasn’t appreciating his humor since I had heard so much Barney when my kids were growing up that I could not stand Barney. So after we sang the song I thought to myself well that was pretty cool. Then after the service I turned to a hug from a dear friend who whispered to me “Thanks for being my Barney”. Really, me?? I would see it the other way around to be honest, she is my Barney! Actually I realized that I have several Barney’s in my life. Precious friends who encourage me all the time. People that God uses to get my attention and propel me into the things that He desires for me. I started writing this blog on Sunday afternoon but never finished it and today I get a text saying “Thank you so much Barney”. I just smiled and knew that I needed to finish this blog post.

What people don’t know is that I have prayed for years for God to use me and make me usable for His Kingdom. I’ve longed to be the one that people can come to for encouragement and support. I love helping people, it helps me so much too. So many times I have allowed the enemy to come in like a flood and bring discouragement and depression into my life. I refuse to do that anymore because I can’t be an encouragement to anyone if I am discouraged and depressed. Jesus has brought so much joy and freedom into my life and when I can share that with someone else it just blesses me so much. It’s like a beautiful wave that washes over me to know someone is encouraged by something I have said or done. So now just a little while ago I had another friend blow me away and actually made me cry. She said “You help bring my faith to center stage just by being you”. I had to hang up the phone because I was weeping and praising God. Yes I am a “Barney”.

So I just realized that I never even explained what “Barney” is all about. Its about Barnabas from the book of Acts in the Bible. The first mention of Barnabas is in Acts chapter 4:

Acts 4:36-37

Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement), and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

So Barnabas was like a nickname for this Levite named Joseph. The apostles called him Barnabas in my opinion because they obviously saw him as a man who was very encouraging.  So as we move further into Acts in chapter 9 a man named Saul is persecuting the church and he is on his way to kill the Christians in Damascus. While he was his way the Lord Jesus Christ nails him and he is converted and is now preaching Christ. I think you should just open your Bible right now and read the story because its a pretty amazing story. I will wait for you.

Alright, now when we get to verse 26 we see Saul has arrived in Jerusalem and he wants to hang out and get to know the original disciples of Christ. They are all afraid because they know that this man Saul was killing the Christians and they don’t believe that he is converted. Barnabas took hold of Saul and brought him to the disciples to let them know Saul was for real and he is a disciple now who speaks boldly in the name of Jesus. Let’s read verses 26-27:

Acts 9:26-27

When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus.

See Barnabas was an encouragement and support to Saul in that moment. Those of you know your Bibles know that Saul became the Apostle Paul and wrote much of the New Testament and his mission trips with Barnabas are all through the book of Acts. But lets suppose for a moment that Barnabas wasn’t there to help bring Saul to the disciples. Who knows what could have happened! Saul could have been discouraged and walked away from preaching Christ. Praise God that didn’t happen or half the New Testament would have been very different.

I hope all of that makes sense to you and you get the idea of how Barnabas was an encourager. My pastor’s message was probably much better than my explanation here but I think I’ve pulled it together to make the point. So in thinking of Barney again and me being a Barney to others I really wanted to wear purple and sing the I love You song but I was thinking that might just cause you to stop reading my blogs so I am sharing the real Barney singing his song. If you hate Barney just listen anyway and imagine that I am singing to you with my arm around you. Be encouraged! We all need encouragement! Bless you all!

Choices

In thinking about how we all need to make changes that will lead us in the direction of better health and fitness, I realized that I have finally proven to myself that I can persevere. I may slip up at times and choose something that is not healthy to eat but I always have the opportunity to make the next choice count. This past week there was a guest at our department meeting at work that was talking about internal stressors and she made an example about a woman who is on a diet that eats a big piece of cake and then thinks to herself  “Oh no, I messed up so I’ll start again next Monday” and it’s Tuesday. Then she added that the person should say “I’ll start again tomorrow.”  Well my first thought was why wait until tomorrow. I think if we mess up or feel like we’ve messed up why not make the next choice count or the next meal count. Why not take an extra walk today to counter that  big piece of cake? It’s all about choices, either we choose to move toward better health or not. I was really proud of myself for thinking that so quickly and it just proves to me that I really do have a new mindset. Praise God! It is only because of Him that I am where I am today. What healthy choice do you need to make today to set you in the direction of better health?

Weight Loss Part 2

In continuation of my previous post we were talking about how we make the decision to eat healthy and exercise and then we start strong and then at some point lose the momentum and go back to our old habits. We resolve that we look fine the way we are and people just need to accept us. Well the truth is that is just an excuse. Maybe we do look fine the way we are and yes people should accept us but for those who are like me that are overweight to the point where it’s really affecting our health and our daily life we cannot keep making excuses. We need to face reality and stop saying that we want change and actually do it. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Sure it does but the reality is it’s not that simple.

Over the years, I have tried just about every diet and like a lot of people I lost weight and then I gained it back. I’ve tried it all with the exception of weight loss surgery. I was planning on having the gastric bypass back in 2004 and I started researching it and there were several friends of mine that did it and it worked well for them. But I had prayed and asked God to only allow me to have the surgery if that was His will for me. I found out that it was absolutely not His will because twice I was scheduled for surgery and something happened that made me have to cancel. I believe the Lord showed me that He made my body perfect, with all the right organs and He designed my body to function properly and why should I have to alter His creation so that I could lose weight. No, He wanted me to learn how to be disciplined and He wanted me to learn how to take care of my body that He created so that I could also encourage others to do the same.  It was my undisciplined life and unhealthy food choices along with a sedentary lifestyle that put the weight on me so it was not something I needed a surgeon to repair, I needed to learn to let the Holy Spirit lead me and guide me in every area of my life.

A little over a year ago I took a Christian web course to help me lose weight. It pointed out the fact that gluttony is a sin. I lost 51 lbs and while the program was excellent and I know it was the Lord that led me there, I guess I wasn’t quite ready to really surrender my weight and my gluttony over to the Lord. Oh I said the prayers and cried and went through all the motions and when I felt like giving up I felt guilty because I had a mentor and an accountability partner so I couldn’t just give up. The two ladies who were helping me through the course were wonderful and I know today that there were many lessons for me through that journey but after the course was over I fell again. This was my big crash and burn type of fall. I gained almost all my weight back. My life spiraled out of control between major life changes and overwhelming stress and finally depression. It was pretty ugly. I got to a place where I felt that I was going to hell because I had failed God by gaining my weight back. I failed Jesus by taking my eyes off of Him and looking at my circumstances and letting them overwhelm me and consume me. I was a mess. Then I went through a time of trying to figure it all out. What happened to the freedom that I was walking in? What happened to my passion for Christ and zeal for evangelism and my desire to help people and be an encourager? What happened?

To be continued…..