(Days 23 & 24) Temptations Galore!

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday but I have been away at a training and there was just no time to get my blog done. Now that I am back home, I just have to share my win over the past couple days. I am really proud of myself. I set up some goals on Day 1 and while I have not followed every single one, I have actually been doing very good with not eating sweets and that is huge for me! Since I am pretty picky about the kinds of sweets I like anyway it really has been easy for me over the past 24 days. So at the training there was coffee cake and candy on the table along with apples and grapes that were set out for breakfast. It was a no-brainer, the grapes were my choice. But then it happened, my first real temptation, a Panera Toffee Nut Cookie! 440 calories of deliciousness! I mean look at this beauty of a cookie:

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My local Panera has not had this cookie available the last few times I have been there so when I saw this cookie on the table when lunch was served, my mouth just watered. I said “sure, my favorite cookie is here and I can’t eat it!” So I grabbed a tuna sandwich along with some salad and went to my seat. Let me tell you, my mind was trying to find a way to convince me to break my 31 days and eat that cookie. “It’s a favorite for me, I haven’t had one in so long, I can just eat it today and then get back on track tomorrow.” My friend suggested that I take it home and throw it in the freezer and have it after my 31 days have passed. That’s exactly what I have done. It’s in the freezer behind a bag of vegetables so I won’t see it when I go into the freezer. I doubt that it will bother me anyway because I made up my mind that I can wait for it.

I’m being consistent with two things in my life right now and that’s huge for me. I drink my water every day and I’m sticking to my commitment to not eat desserts for 31 days. It’s an encouragement and motivation to see that I can actually stick to these things. If I can do these small changes over time and continue to add changes to my life, there’s no telling how much success I will see in this journey. I just praise God for these small victories in my life.

Thank you for stopping by today.

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(Day 22) Beginning The Fourth Week of My Journey

IMG_1330Here we are at the beginning of the fourth week of my journey and I cannot believe how fast the time is going. There are 10 days left of this blog series and I have seen progress in many ways. Truly the journey to transforming my temple is going to take much more than 31 days but I believe I am off to a great start. With that said, I must confess that my weight this week is up again. This means that the lesson I will take away from this past week is that I must stick to my goals in order to be able to see progress in the scale. But even though I am up 2.2 pounds this week, I am still down 2 pounds from the first day. So all is not lost and I will not allow this to steer me off the path. The idea is to transform my temple which is my body and that includes inside and out and can only be accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit. My mind is being transformed in the process as I spend time in the Word of God, spend time in prayer and worship, spend time being real and transparent with my accountability partner and own my actions and decisions. I may be drinking water consistently and staying away from desserts but even when you are choosing healthy foods, too much of a good thing is still too much.

My goals for this past week were:

  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

Goals 1-2: No progress, try again this week

Goal 3: Keep this one going

I knew this time would be different when I started and I am seeing that it truly is different. This time I am not shaken by the results on the scale. I am not beating myself up for not following my goals to the letter. I am enjoying the journey. I am learning every day. I am moving forward. As my accountability partner tells me regularly “onward and upward” and “baby steps = giant results”. I’m still in the baby steps phase and it’s okay. 1 Kings 6:38 tells us how long it took Solomon to build the temple “In the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished throughout all its parts and according to all its plans. So he was seven years in building it.” It took seven years to build the temple so what makes me think I am going to transform my temple in 31 days. I believe the first step in this transformation is transforming my mind. Romans 12:2 says “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Do you know what Romans 12:1 says? It says “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” So these two go together. I am off to a great start and it is only day 22. Wow! I can’t wait to see what happens in the next 10 days.

Have I told you how grateful I am to have you joining me in this journey? I truly am grateful for you. Thank you for reading today’s post. Have a wonderful day!

(Day 20) Unexpected Motivation

My small victories that I wrote about stirred a conversation with a friend about how do I celebrate these victories. I had no idea how to celebrate. My thoughts of a celebration revolve around food. When my friend asked me how I was going to celebrate my response was “well it won’t be with desserts because I am not eating sweets for 31 days”. The reality that my view of celebration was only about food really caused me to think. I don’t know how to celebrate with anything other than food. When someone gets a promotion or graduates, we go out to eat. It’s what I know. The only other thing I could think of was sending a card but I am not going to send myself a card. That would just be weird.

motivationI asked for feedback on how to celebrate in the group I am involved in on Facebook and got some great ideas that I had not considered. Buy a shirt, take a bubble bath, give yourself permission to take a nap were among the suggestions I received. As I think back to the times when I have been on this journey before I see where I did not really celebrate my victories. I mainly focused on my failures. I was a completely black or white thinker and I was either succeeding or failing, there was no in between, there was no room for the middle ground of learning opportunities. This revelation became an unexpected motivation for me.

When I think back to the time when I lost the most weight within one year I do remember getting my hair cut and colored which was a celebration of my success. However, when I veered off my path I hit a wall and would beat myself up for days on end before ever getting back up and moving forward. It was a major hindrance to my journey. When I got to the end of that year and only lost 86 pounds instead of 100 pounds I didn’t see the 86 pounds as a success but a failure. I know, it was stinking thinking. After that time of what I viewed as defeat I gave up for a long time. I had a few attempts at getting back on track but I could not give myself grace to move forward. I felt that I had let down God. I was on a journey with Jesus, that was and is my purpose for writing this blog.

I’m so thankful that my thinking is shifting and I am allowing myself grace to keep walking even when I don’t meet every goal. I re-evaluate, I change or modify my goals when I find that I am attempting to do too much at once. I listen to my accountability partner when she gives me feedback if I begin to go on a downward trail. I allow myself to learn along the way and I am not rushing into anything. It’s not about losing weight anymore. It’s about being healthy and honoring God with my body. It took years to get to the place I am today with my weight and it may take years to get to a healthy weight. In the meantime I need to truly learn how to celebrate the victories that I am seeing in my life.

Today I have a boost of motivation that I did not anticipate and it’s wonderful. It’s allowing me to grow. I have a new-found confidence that I haven’t experienced before. I am really making changes to my life and each step of the way I am inviting the Holy Spirit to teach me and guide me. I am excited for the things to come. I am motivated to continue this journey and learn to celebrate my small victories with more than just a blog post. What a blessing! Thank You Jesus!

Thank you for stopping by today.

Just another reminder before you leave, DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks again for reading!

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(Day 7) End of First Week Weigh In

1-corinthians-10-31-ipad-bible-lock-screen“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”. 1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV

When I was considering what Bible verse to share today this is the only one that makes sense to me. You see I was so excited to see my scale victory today because I knew that it was all for the glory of God. This past week I have begun a journey that I have traveled before. I began with sharing my why and my goals. Not one of my goals includes a number of pounds that I want to lose. Why? Because I know myself. I get tripped up by trying to go after the BIG PICTURE. I get caught up in reaching the number goal. I will be honest with you. I like numbers. I am a numbers girl. People who know me, know this to be true. I also like dates. I have spreadsheets on just about everything in my life and this is the organizational side of me. I think I really embraced it because of the work I do but nonetheless I am a numbers girl who loves her spreadsheets.

In the past, my spreadsheets have been helpful and a hindrance. I used to weigh myself every day and record it on my spreadsheet with all of my food and exercise for the day. I am at line 2185 on my spreadsheet as of today. However, I am not as rigid with adding my data on the spreadsheet anymore because then my focus is displaced. My focus has to stay fixed and firm and that is the fact that I have chosen to pick up the truth that my body is a sacred place, the temple of the Holy Spirit and God wants to show Himself in and through my body. My focus has to be on Jesus at all times. So that is what I have been doing this past week as I begin to walk this journey again with fresh eyes and lots of lessons behind me.

I do not feel the need to scrap the idea of weighing myself on this journey but I am only doing this once a week. I don’t feel the need to weigh myself every day. I’ve done it and it’s not a part of the journey anymore. I am learning how to pick up the things that God wants me to work on and toss the rest in the garbage and there is no junk drawer anymore for me to save those things for later. Well I have rambled long enough and now I will share with you my scale victory of all my work over the past week.

Day 1 – 10/1/2015

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Day 7 – 10/7/15

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That is a 9.4 pound loss and I just give all the glory and honor to Jesus! I spent most of my time learning and growing in His Word. I was intentional about getting some exercise in and moving my body at 2-3 minutes at a time throughout my day. I have not had any sweets and I am drinking my water. My food intake has changed from eating all day to eating meals and snacks. This is just the beginning of my journey and I will celebrate every victory by giving glory to Jesus. Without Him I can do nothing and I am so glad I finally learned that lesson and I don’t ever want to forget.

Until tomorrow….

(Day 5) Walking In The Spirit

IMG_1002But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (‭Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭16-17‬ ESV)

Walking in the Spirit is a lifestyle, It means choosing to seek guidance for every decision from the Holy Spirit instead of our flesh. It’s telling our flesh to sit down and shut up while we bend our ear to hear the still small voice of the Spirit telling us which way to go and what choice to make. It’s asking the Holy Spirit on a moment to moment basis to guide us to the right choice that will please God and not our flesh. It’s that daily dying to self and picking up our cross to truly follow Jesus.

For this healthy journey to be successful, I must rely on the Spirit of God to guide me. My flesh is like a little kid in a candy store that wants everything and will throw a tantrum if she doesn’t get everything! I want to do right and I make right choices in my mind, yet more times than not I choose to gratify my fleshly desires, why? Well the verses above tell me why – “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”. So you see I must walk in the Spirit otherwise my flesh will keep me from doing the things I want to do. I want to be healthy and that means making new choices, so each day I am asking the Holy Spirit to teach me to walk in Him and allow Him to guide my every choice today and tomorrow and the next day, etc.

So I say to my flesh, sit down sister and be quiet because I can’t hear the still small voice of the Spirit when you are throwing a tantrum! Today was a good day, I was able to overcome temptations and make good choices. I praise God for that and know that it is vital to this journey that I remain walking in the Spirit every single day!

More Baby Steps

  
 This blog is the result of a post I made in an accountability group I am involved in on Facebook. I started with something completely different in mind to share and as I wrote I felt compelled to share it here in my blog as well. My good friend runs the group and she appointed me to do the daily posts on water accountability. As I have done this each day the Lord has given me great lessons from His Word about water, thirst, hunger, accountability, faith and perseverance. I’m thankful that I’m connected with a group of Christ followers who desire to honor God with our bodies by pursuing good health. I’m thankful to be at a place in my life where I’m being intentional once again. I’m still in the baby steps phase and that’s ok. Here’s what I shared with the group today.
Sunday August 16, 2015 water accountability.

I am so thankful to be home. I’m ready to be intentional about not just drinking water but what I eat as well. I was thinking about how a baby learns to walk and it will take a while for that baby to get up and walk alone. It will take a process of pulling up with her arms, rocking on her knees and pushing her body up with her feet even as she’s being held by her momma. She will roll and scoot and rock herself until one day she’s crawling and then she’s taking a few steps holding her momma’s hand and a few steps holding on to the couch or a crib. Finally one day with her parents encouragement she will take the first step by herself. What an accomplishment it will be! Then before you know it she will be running and jumping and hopping everywhere. But she will not come to that place before she falls a few times and gets back up.

The key is getting back up, once, twice, three times and then every time. It takes determination, it takes perseverance and it also takes faith. This is the process for life and for this health journey that we are on. I’m still back here pulling myself up, rocking on my knees and pushing my body up with my feet. But I see the Lord’s hand reaching out for me saying “come on, you can do it”. I’ve fallen so many times yet here I stand ready to get back up again and again and again until I’m running the race set before me with the prize waiting of Jesus words saying “well done, thou good and faithful servant”.

Our God is so practical as we see things in the natural become lessons in the spirit. I had something entirely different to say today but I believe I’m not the only one who needed to hear this and if I am that’s ok too.

Father God I declare today that I am on a journey with you. My goal is to be healthy and fit for my Kingdom assignment. Lord God when I begin to slip and fall I pray Holy Spirit that you would help me to get back up as many times as it takes to be able to walk in victory. Teach us all in this group to be humble, transparent and encouraging with one another as we partner with you to bring us to a place of health and fitness. Lord Jesus we love you and we honor you today because it’s all about you. May we glorify you with our bodies today, in Jesus name. Amen.