I will kind of fill you in on the process. After years of yo-yo dieting, I just really want to honor God by finally getting my whole-self together. I have known that there had to be some kind of balance, but I hadn't been able to attain it. Either I was ignoring my health altogether (and therefore getting bigger and bigger), or I was completely obsessing over every workout and bite of food. In the latter scenario I always got smaller for a time, but my methods were never healthy or manageable over any length of time. I have always been frustrated at my lack of ability to gain control over this issue but had failed to see the God connection.
Then several weeks ago, as our Monday morning Bible study group was wrapping up our series on the Fruit of the Spirit, we came to the end: Self-Control. I am going to recap a bit what Beth talked about here, and I hope it helps you as much as it did me~ it was like my 'lightbulb/aha!' moment! (The thoughts in italics are mine...)
1. Deeply absorbing a biblical perspective of our physical bodies would free us from the horrific stress our culture has placed on us.
2. From a strictly biblical point of view (as opposed to medical), physical fitness is probably more about freedom than size (Galatians 5:1). Here Beth talked a bit about size, and I can directly apply her examples to me. I have been a size 4, but every moment of every day that I maintained a size 4 (and it wasn't long!) was consumed by focus on that size... staying that size... what I could eat, clothes I'd wear, how long I had to exercise every day. There was NO freedom for me in that size. I have also been almost a size 16 (several months ago). At that size I was also constantly focused on it but in a different way... depressed about it... eating to fill some kind of void... terrified that my clothes wouldn't fit when I tried to wear them the next day. There was NO freedom here either! For me a size 8-ish is typically where I can find freedom. I can be fit and confident but not have to obsess every second about maintenance. Now understand that this isn't about size! Your free place may be different than mine, and that is perfect~ the key is to find that place!
Keep in mind that extreme conditions call for focused measures. By this, she elaborated that for one to truly find freedom, there may be a period of time when we must focus like never before. For example, I am definitely not at a size where I can experience freedom, so for this time, I am intensely focused on my health and fitness so that I can reach that place of balance. The ultimate goal for most of us, however, is freedom from obsession so that God rather than a body can be glorified. This goal is most often realized through
- recapturing the lost art (practice) of moderation (Phil 4:5)
- learning to do what we need to do, then getting on with living. Just get on with it!
I don't know about you, but especially point number 2 completely rocked my world. I want to be free! I began praying just that God would help me find freedom. And then it happened... I suddenly was looking at food differently. I started paying attention to the things I was putting into my body, seeing them as nourishment. And while I don't deny myself the occasional chocolate chip cookie, I'm not really craving them because before they were serving some other purpose. And I began looking at working out as a means to an end... I pushed play on my Turbo Jam dvds because the dancing and music could improve my mood while getting me healthier. And I started seeing results. Then I worked up the courage to go to a Turbo Kick class, and while the prospect of exercising in public terrified me, I looked forward to interacting with other people. I'm on my way... Glory to God!!
Okay, so I realize this is getting quite lengthy, but let me wrap it up if I can... In the self-control dvd, Beth also made one statement that stuck with me. She said that 'gluttony has become the accepted Christian addiction'. I couldn't get it out of my head, I think because it's so true. Around the time I started going to the gym, a friend on twitter got me plugged into the Team Beachbody website. The site has awesome tools to help with scheduling workouts, logging stats and tracking progress. With my coach's accountability I was more likely to keep that workout I had scheduled, and I think that has been key to my success. I loved the relationships I built online with several other coaches, and then just this last week I felt that doing this would be a way that God could use me to help others with accountability. Just logging onto the site helps, but Beachbody also creates so many products that assist in the journey (Remember my mentioning Turbo Jam? They're Beachbody, along with tons of others you've likely seen on tv: Slim in 6, P90X, Insanity). I would love to help you stay accountable to your goals, match you up with a workout program or even a nutritional supplement to help you get on track~ God wants us to find freedom here! You can join for free by clicking on the 'Join' button from my site on the link above, shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or just leave it in the comments here. Have a great day!