Thirty days?! I can really say that it hasn't felt that long.
Who says that when they are 'dieting'???! I'm shocked myself.
I will just jump right in to letting you know what the past few weeks looked like. First off, it has been WINTER...ugh! Rainy, gloomy, gray and way too cold!! Can you tell I am not a fan of ole man winter?! Cold weather literally does cause my body to hurt. As in pain intensified greatly. As does rainy type weather. So, not only do I hate short days and not being able to get outside for my walks, I hurt. Alot.
Okay...enough complaining about the cold. :(
I was very good on the Ten Day Update to give you details per day, but this one will be more of a 'all-in-one' and you may forgive me when I tell you about what took up half of these days.....FLU!!
Like, almost killed me, slept for days straight, headache-for-days flu! It was rough!
So am I forgiven?? :)
But even thru the flu, thankfully I didn't have the stomach issues that were going around too! And, I never completely lost my appetite (imagine that!). At least on the days I was awake. :)
* SO HOW DID THE EATING GO?? *
I am still amazed and shocked as I write this today, but I was able to keep up eating for health! AMAZING to me! Am I saying that 100% of everything in my mouth was nutritious and sugar-free? NO! Impossible! BUT I can tell you that I was able to eat ABOVE my 80/20 (nutritious/junk) goal!
I AM NOT BRAGGING ON ME! This is all JESUS! For REAL!
Let me try to explain a few things I have experienced this time:
1- This time is DIFFERENT. The other times have been all about me 'physically' and what I wanted or wanted to prove. The results were up to MY WILLPOWER, which is so weak long-term!
This time around, getting healthy was not 'my' idea, but the Lord's as I told you in the Introduction to this series.
Because it was His idea, I told Him in my prayers leading up to this that I had already proven I COULDN'T, so He was going to have to change me, my thinking, and my desires to match His.
Y'all...He has! It has been really unbelievable to this recovering carb-oholic!
2- My ONLY expectation in all of this health plan is just the blessings that come from being obedient to what He asks. HUGE again!
Whenever we 'sacrifice' our wants & desires, it is usually with expectations of ridiculous extremes. Like trying to get bathing suit ready in 30 days....umm.
But this time, my expectation is spiritual instead of physical.
I KNOW by now that my Lord ALWAYS blesses obedience! ALWAYS! Usually, it comes in ways better than I could have expected too! I am already reaping. :)
But for those who want to know about the 'physical part' too:
- I lost a couple more pounds which brings me to 5# lost. My pants feel much more comfortable :)
-TRUTH here....when you limit sugars, you will notice BELLY FAT beginning to budge!! TRUTH! I noticed it last time for reals! But please don't look at my belly if you see me...it's only been 5 lbs, okay?!
-I have had a few days I felt more than my normal amount of energy. The flu probably ruined the others!
-No real cravings to speak of.
-My brain fog has been noticeably different on several days! I've actually finished 3 books in the past few weeks! YES!
3- ALL MY LIFE when I have felt 'bad' physically, I generally fell into 'bad' eating habits because it is just plain EASIER to eat junk/convenience food! Doing this only continues a vicious and harmful cycle for me.
Well, that cycle was upset this month!!!! Even thru the flu weeks, I CHOSE to eat my better options over the usual comfort foods. I chose them, as in, I did not fast food or junk!
Choosing the right thing was not a "let me pray I have the power to do the right thing". NO, the healthy choice came without any discussion! (miracles)
Just last week, I had errands all morning that ran over & it was 1:30pm and I had not eaten lunch yet. Normally, I would have been starving and would have taken the opportunity to grab some fast food & call it 'necessary'. But I couldn't think of anything I wanted more than what I had at home! Salad full of goodness over hot-dipped chicken strips with fries??! WHAT?! HUGE WIN JESUS!! HUGE!
There is so much more He is renewing & re-wiring in me these days! Food cravings are just the beginning! I will surely share soon! My God is truly amazing me with this journey already and I can't wait to see what is to come!
as I said earlier...God ALWAYS blesses Obedience. ALWAYS.
Today, I want to leave you with a prayer for your spiritual health to grow over into your physical health as well:
Father, God over all things in Heaven and Earth, You only want goodness and life for Your daughters! You want us to know life here with Heaven mixed all around. I become more certain of this each day that I go to You! You are a good, good Father. You give us power and strength that we are usually unaware of. You have given us the Holy Spirit to speak, lead, guide, help, comfort, and renew our lives to be more able to see You and hear You! Thank you for this 24/7 Counselor & Advocate to help us not only with our spiritual wellness, but that He also can and will guide our every step in the physical world with everyday life issues....like food! Father, please bring your Word and help to each one reading today and have them understand Your words apply to them in whatever area they struggle today! Have the Holy Spirit inside of them to speak loudly with joy, comfort or conviction if needed. Use us as vessels for You! Praying for Restoration, Strength & Endurance for us all to be able to see the Mighty things you have in store! AMEN!
I'd love to hear what God is doing in YOUR life today! Nothing beats real life testimonies!
First 10 Days of My (spiritual) Journey to (physical) Health
When I follow someone else's diary of 'real life', I want all the details! The victories & the failures and big life lessons learned. Because that is real life, right?!
If you missed the introduction to this journey series, you can read it here: My Spiritual Journey to Physical Health.
PRE- Start: I had a head start with this 'health plan' that I've never had before. It came in the very uncomfortable form of conviction! For several months! Conviction is never, ever fun or comfortable. The first week in December I decided I had to obey Him in this. Did I immediately obey...sadly, no. But I set the date for Jan 2 when all the holidays & out of routine would be over. No excuses. :)
IN THE BEGINNING: I really should have taken a pix of myself & did all of the measurements to tell you my starting point. I just didn't. Previously, the numbers were my motivation! I tracked it all. BUT, this time it feels completely different.
- My weight on day 1 was 125 on my 30 yr old scales I got when we got married! I don't hate that number, or my size, but as I've said before, my motivation is NOT numbers. My motivation is to obey the Holy Spirit's leading to RESTORE MY HEALTH. I have had others tell me all my life "if I was your size I would be so happy, thrilled, worry free...you fill in the blank." We always need to remember that HEALTH DOESN'T COME WITH A CERTAIN NUMBER. Every human body is unique & I know sugar is my mouth's favorite thing but is destructive on my body's functions!
You know what it is called when I eat something with full knowledge that it will not benefit my body....either TREAT or NEGLECT. What is it called when I do this every day, all day....ADDICTION & SELF HARM. OUCH!! That is the conviction I've been talking about.
THE "NOT a DIET" PLAN I WILL BE FOLLOWING: Clean Eating with a special emphasis on eliminating as much sugar as I can from my regular eating. It is much like a diabetic diet...no white bread, white pasta, & bad carbs that turn into sugar. My plan does not include stressing, counting, measuring or other burdensome things tho!! I learned good information about nutrition my last rodeo & will use that. I also remember than anything in a package is loaded with sugar!! LOADED. And yes, even if the label doesn't even say sugar, it is in there! (over 50 code names for sugar!)
CHOCOLATE must always have a place in my day!! I usually eat a couple of dark chocolate kisses as my after dinner 'dessert'. I allow myself this treat & do not see it stopping.
DAY ONE: I can proudly say that my first day was Jan 1. The day before I was to begin! I didn't really think about it, I just felt I had guidance when I was helping my plate at lunch that day??!! :)
DAY TWO- EIGHT: Success!! I ate good, was not hungry or deprived at all. I grocery shopped with 'natural' in mind. This is pretty much staying around the perimeter of the grocery store only with very little from the packaged food section. It makes cooking more difficult because of the thinking ahead mainly. The actual cooking part isn't hard. Planning ahead & prepping natural food is the hassle, but it wasn't bad. I am just HORRIBLE at the planning ahead for food!? BUT, my effort paid off in spades!! Having tasty & colorful food in clear containers for later makes it so much easier to eat something good for me.
DAY NINE: The good before the bad is that I had a healthy breakfast & dinner this day. Lunch is another story. I went on a road trip with my Daddy to VA Hospital for appointment. His favorite restaurant is Sonny's BBQ. I was fine & was planning to get the salad bar. UNTIL....until I kept sitting there smelling the garlic bread and baked beans all around me! So by the time the waiter came back, I caved and got BBQ sandwich on garlic bread, and baked beans and drank water. I will not shame myself because 1) it could've been worse and 2) I will not obsess because that is when it becomes ME trying to do it instead of me letting the Spirit lead me! It was yummy but I ate too much, felt miserable and sleepy.
DAY TEN: TODAY was when I couldn't believe what happened! I worked this day at an office. I took them the remaining brownies I had made for my bible study group. I only had 1 BITE of this entire pan! WHAT?! In my normal, I could easily eat the entire pan of brownies in a day or two....seriously! Then another lady brought in a big box of doughnuts....real doughnuts! One of my other super weaknesses.
GUESS WHAT?? I did NOT eat either! I was in the file room with those doughnuts over half of the day and I never craved one! That is another WHAT??!! I didn't fall into craving even at 3pm!!
Today is when I knew something was different. I found myself talking internally with the Holy Spirit as I was warming up my (good for me) lunch in the microwave beside that box of doughnuts. I smiled and thanked him. I thanked him for the conviction that showed me how I was disconnecting my physical habits from my spirit life. Then I thanked Him for the supernatural self-control & power over the cravings!! It really has me shaking my head even now! When the thought of a doughnut or brownie came, I quickly felt Him take that thought and replaced it with this..."I'd rather obey Him & see what happens!"
My entire being is to be given over to the Lord, not just my soul. I am seeing this in a whole new way. The Holy Spirit never condemned. He only kept showing me if I would listen and obey, my body would RESTORE, STRENGTHEN and BUILD ENDURANCE.
- 10 days = successful
- Everyone needs a bite of chocolate in every day!
- down 3 lbs (and my pants feel much better already!)
- I actually had a couple of days I woke up feeling 'awake & alive' which is a wonderful feeling!!
- Best Yet- the power over the normal cravings! not my will to not eat it, but HIS power to snatch & replace my thoughts about it! WILD & CRAZY our God is!!
LOVE Y'All! If you have any questions or comments, let me know. Or any tips & trick to easy & healthy cooking.
My Spiritual Journey to Physical Health
It's New Year's Eve and I'm writing a blog post! :) I will tell you that this is NOT the post I ever expected to share with you as 2018 rolled in!
If you are on my email list, you remember a few weeks back when I shared my tentative 'plan' for 2018. I thought it was a great plan with deeper teaching and thought provoking questions for the week to accompany it. I already had the introduction post & notes for the next one under way. We were going to dive in head first in 2018!
Great plan, right????
Good or Great, it was MY plan to do more of what I thought I was supposed to be doing.
Let me just quote the verse I say to myself almost daily...."His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts. His ways are higher than mine. always" (Sheila Version paraphrase!)
You may be thinking this post is about New Year's resolutions since it is that time of year for all those goals, but this is not about what Sheila WANTS to do, but what I must do. I'll give you the high points:
For six months or more, I have been convicted of my eating habits. Mainly my sugar addiction. Did you see the word convicted? This is different than before. More than just wanting to do better because my pants are too tight or wanting to be a certain number on the scale.
This journey is about me, my conviction, and my responsibility to my physical health. I am not trying to impose my convictions on anyone else. I am only sharing with you what He is doing in me spiritually as He leads me to change something that most of us see as not a big deal. I have prayed, struggled and prayed some more about this. I must take time to rest and listen to the Spirit's leading on how to best take care of my body and my health.
I deal with chronic health issues that are not easy or fun. My rheumatologist has several medical names for it because he doesn't use the word 'Fibromyalgia', but it is just easier to call it that. I have dealt with this most of my adult life but diagnosed only 6 or 7 years ago. It STINKS! You never know what a day will hold. It can be a good, almost pain free day, or it could be debilitating pain you have to suck up as you deal with normal life. It can be a bad day or a bad week. Sometimes it turns into more. Pain & fatigue are my normal. I try not to complain or dwell on it, but some days are just so hard. The pain is high and energy is below zero. It can be discouraging when others can't see it or understand, thinking you are just a moody witch. I can't blame them for what they can't imagine, but it can feel like a kick when you are already down.
So, all of that to say that dealing with any chronic issue STINKS! I may not can heal all of my issues by eating right and self-care, but I WILL feel better if I do! I WILL be stronger in body, mind and spirit if I feel better physically.
I made changes in my health four years ago by adjusting to a clean eating diet and taking time to care for my body. This was after a huge health scare that lasted 5 months or so. I know God healed me from what doctors couldn't identify. It was my responsibility to treat my body better. It was remarkable how much better I felt when I did! I remember saying " I don't think I can ever go back because I feel so much better now."
So why did I fall back into my old ways? I could tell you time, stress, life happened, took on more responsibilities, but the bigger truth is I probably just got lazy. :(
I HATE cooking and love eating.
I have carried over several healthy habits from 4 years ago like giving up soda, eating whole wheat & nut bread (nuts & twigs as someone used to tell me), drinking water all day. I also found lots of foods I now like & eat like greek yogurt, quinoa, oil & vinegar dressings, spinach & kale salads. I just probably do not eat them as often as I should be these days.
It takes TIME to take care of our bodies and we are a world that wants to squeeze in all we can into ever single minute and our bodies pay the price. Convenience food is not generally healthy food unfortunately.
This journey is mainly for me to document what I learn spiritually as I try to be obedient in getting my health under control. I have put it off for months between my herniated disc injury and the holidays, but it is time to get to it.
I would be lying if I said I am excited about disciplining myself, even when I know my physical health will benefit. I also know enough of the Lord to know that when I obey, in whatever He leads, I have NEVER been disappointed! Peace and blessings always come from obedience!
I hesitate to hit publish on this post because that means I must follow up. This could mean having to share my epic fails. Who likes that?! :(
But this journey is mainly about how different this time is for me. To be CONVICTED about my health habits is way different than my wanting to do better! This time it is a spiritual thing that I have never known.
I truthfully have no idea where this will lead, but I do know following Him is always best whether I understand it or not. :)
As I begin, I will update you on my progress...the good and the bad. I am not concerned with numbers as much as feeling well and healthy and being my strongest in Him..
Please pray with me as I undertake this journey to become stronger and healthier physically and spiritually!
So here we go....