Since we are in the new year, I thought it would appropriate to talk about diet verses lifestyle….many popular new years resolutions include “getting right with God,” starting a new diet, and getting in shape. well, I’m going to show you that all these things do have a lot common! Getting right with God is not just a fad diet or a random workout routine that you pick up on Sunday or for a week or two then set aside until you feel like getting back to it… it’s a lifestyle built on daily practices and disciplines that build every part of your spiritual being, which will improve every part of your life, Something that you pick up as a total life change and never turn back from. Same goes for diet and exercise. Nutrition and working out need to be part of daily routine… taking in practices that will help you improve… a lifestyle change that you love yourself enough to stay consistant with. That being said, I’m going to break it down for you, and show you how to”Make it a Lifestyle!”
~ set a goal!
Analyze where you are and get an idea of where you’d like to be. Set a goal that will challenge you, not overwhelm you. So, if you are just beginning to get into the Word, making a goal of becoming the next Billy Graham w in the next year is not really practical. However, reading the Bible in one year, building, prayer and worship, getting more fellowship… these are all practical goals! As far as nutrition and exercise… losing 30 lbs in 2weeks is not only impractical, but outright dangerous! The average person should make a goal to SAFELY lose 2lbs a week and no more than 5lbs a week. A person trying to get in shape, as a beginner, making a goal to run a marathon in a 5 month period, is… again… impractical. However, starting out with a goal.of running a 5k in 5-7 weeks will keep you focused without being overwhelmed. So, basic core and balance work plus walks where you can begin to gradually increase mileage and include running… and you’ll be safely in your way!
~Make a commitment! Commit your ways to the Lord and your plans will succeed! Make a commitment to getting in the Word and praying… designate some quiet time for just you and GOD. I found that the morning usually works best for me. I start my day w God and He helps my day go more smoothly. He gives me the peace of mind, clarity of mind, joy, and energy that I need to face my day. Same w/ breakfast… start your day out right w an 8-16oz glass of water and a well rounded breakfast like oatmeal w Greek yogurt, toast w peanut or almond butter, ir even eggs so your body is fueled and ready to face the day. I also like to do my workouts (unless I’m doing speed work) in the morning. This gives me clarity of mind, knowing that I’ve already pushed through that part of my day AND it gives me focus and energy to tackle my day to day tasks.I found that if I start my day out right, I’m less likely to go wrong later in the day =)
~ Get motivated!
Go to a live Christian concert or sign up and go to a faith building conference! There, you’ll be encouraged, uplifted and motivated to go deeper in Christ. With fitness and nutrition, go to a fitcamp or conference that will inform and motivate you by giving you success stories and support to get you off on the right foot.
With this comes knowing yourself… before you start a spiritual, nutritional,&/or physical make over, you need to set aside some time to really dig in and get to know you! Not all Bible study programs, ways of worship, praying,& fellowship work for everyone. Honestly, how we each relate to God is different. Be prepared by looking into various bible study programs, prayer groups, fellowships, ect AND by planning your week in advance by creating a schedule where you place your quite time in such a way in your day that allows to Holy Spirit to move in His way… in other words…make a commitment each day that gives enough time for you to achieve your minimal goal, yet leaves room for unexpected improvement.Same goes with nutrition.not all ways of eating benefit everyone! Where someone might benefit from cutting back on carbs, someone else may very well benefit from going veggie. Some people function best when they eat small meals throughout the day while others function best on 3 well rounded meals a day. Once you figure out what works best for you,take one day a week to plan ahead… if you’re a busy individual, you can use this day to make your meals in advance, plan snacks, prepack lunches,ect by using Tupperware, Ziploc bags, airtight food bags and labeling as needed. In working out… know what works best for you! While I, personally enjoy a nice long run, pilates and races other people prefer bike rides, walking and hiking. Knowing what you enjoy doing will make it easier to get out there and do it.you can Google different ways of being creative w what you like to do add well. also, one day a week (meal planning day would probably work best for this) plan your fitness as well and (just like your quite time) make sure you give yourself enough time to accomplish your minimal goal while leaving room in case your body tells you it’s a good time to keep going.
~Be willing to take small steps.
“Big changes happen in small steps.” (Quote from a Sunchips bag). Starting you day with God can start with prayer, a song of worship,a devotional, ect… start out small and allow Him to mold and improve things as you mature. Remember… faith as big as a mustard seed… plant it, water it daily, and you’ll be moving mountains in no time! Same with nutrition and exercise. Start by making simple adjustments to your nutrition. You can do this by replacing soda w sparkling water w a splash of 100% fruit juice; replace fried foods w baked, steamed, or raw foods; replace candy bars w nuts and dried fruits, the list goes on.With working out… make a commitment of either time or routine, then add to it. Go from 15-20 min 1-2x a week or a very basic workout 1-2x a week, then increase time &/or intensity.
~ If you mess up, don’t beat yourself up.
“It doesn’t matter what you do in life, what matters is how you rise from the fall.” (Maid in Manhattan). When you mess up in an area of faith, go to God and repent. However, grace is not an excuse to continue to sin. It’s a covering of forgiveness in wich opens the door for us to turn from our ways and freely move forward in right standing with God, asking Him for the strength to remain right. When changing your nutrition, if you mess up… move forward w out looking back and ask God to help you make healthier choices. Remember, your health effects all areas of life, just like your relationship w God. You’re not just doing this for yourself, but also for your loved ones who, I’m sure want you around for the long run. With working out… if you miss a day, pick up whet you left of, don’t give up… determination is the key!
As a new believer I would say that it’s wise to FIRST ask the Lord to help you seek out and find strong, mature, doctrinaly sound, and TRUST WORTHY friends and/or mentors! Some good indicators of someone who is of this nature are
·They attend church regularly
·Show reverence by showing up on time(sitting toward the back if they were regretfully late in order to not disrupt)and being free of distractions (ie: Facebook,txting,ect.)
·Stays focused during messages, and taked notes
·Have a good, positive mind set
·Good relationships w others
·STAYS AWAY FROM GOSSIP (will either politely leave the room or change the subject if a conversation turns into a tabloid/ “Days of Our Lives”).
·Speaks with gentleness and wisdom
·Walks what he or she talks through out his/her daily life. While doing this, be careful not to judge… However, we are to be “fruit inspectors”As you begin to mature, finding others at your same spiritual level can help you set goals in a group setting and keep you accountable.. upon the leading of the HOLY Spirit, you can begin to mentor new believers. You benefit in so many ways from this! Instead of reaching for improvement for yourself, you’re helping someone else improve… While doing this, you are going over things you’ve already experienced and learned, making them more concrete in your own life and often times bringing about new revelation and insight. Be sure that you are getting properly fed BEFORE, AND WHILE you mentor.spend more time w God and other strong believers or your may find yourself becoming weak. With changing your eating and working out, find a mentor.. someone who will challenge you, hold you accountable, and help strengthen you and build you up.people that are good mentors usually carry the following traits
·Are positive and outgoing
·Active in a healthy lifestyle that includes the type of nutrition and fitness that you’re wanting to get into.·Inspires you to get up and get going
·Trust worthy (I keep this as a general rule of thumb all together)
·Is very knowledgeable and balanced in their eating and fitness.·Someone who will help you get to your goals safely and show you how to prevent injury, and push you through ruts and plateaus (which I’ll explain in future posts).You can also partner with a group of people who are at your current nutrition/ fitness level and are in the process of finding a positive change, thus creating a support group while keeping you accountable. Great places to meet people include the gym, nutrition support groups, and at sporting events.as you grow stronger, become a mentor… this will encourage you by showing you how you’ve improved and will help you become more solid in what you’ve learned by teaching it to someone else. Now both spiritually and physical having and mentor and being one can do some incredible things for you. Instead of working alone (which leaves too much room for inbalance) you have a support group. Vary your days by having an alone day, a day w your mentor (working up) which will strengthen and help you improve, and a day of being a mentor (working down) which will refresh your mind and help you recover from the harder workouts by working with someone at a lower level. (You’ll benefit them by challenging them! Win win!)In closing,I will say… have fun! Find creative ways to get to know God, learn about His love and compassion! Find ways to enjoy reading healthier and getting in shape! The more fun you have with it… the easier it will be! So, I will leave you with a recipe that I came up with to help me use left over turkey =)
Apple Waldorf Salad With a Case of the Gobbles
~4 apples/ diced (I prefer fuji)
~1 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
~2 stalks of celery finely chopped
~1/2 cup raw, crumbled walnuts
~ 1cup turkey finely chopped
~2 tbs clover honey
In a bowl, mix honey and yogurt. Dice apples and mix with diced celery walnuts and turkey, slowly mix in yogurt and honey place into fridge… after 1 hr… ENJOY!