Envisioning Better Health? Start Within.

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Health is more than eating right and exercising.
It is addressing the well being of our spirits, souls, and bodies.

I attended a City Current seminar with The Biggest Loser trainer Dolvett Quince on September 21, 2018. He said, “Health is four pillars – physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional. If any one of those pillars are off, then the other pillars will suffer.”

I could write the book on what to do to lose weight: drink eight glass of water a day, cut out meat, sugar, and carbs, sleep 6-8 hours straight, etc. Why I wasn’t doing it consistently is the key to addressing the root of my weight issues. I have had to take a tough, honest look at my walk with Christ, my relationships, daily habits, surroundings, beliefs about myself, and more.

Living Out My Vision for Better Health

Since the beginning of 2019, through God’s grace, I have lost over 20 pounds. I am truly thankful. This is a lifelong process. I’m just walking this journey out with Jesus day by day. However, the following life changes have contributed to this result:

I have my quiet time with the Lord daily. I fill up on Him so I don’t have to fill up on food later.

Rick Warren in his Purpose Driven Life book said that while we can resist the devil, “The Bible never says, ‘Resist temptation.’ It says, ‘Flee temptation.'” Kimberly Taylor of Take Back Your Temple said, “The best way to win a fight is to not even get in the ring.” I moved out of my parents’ house and essentially fled food temptation and stepped out of the ring. My food purchasing decisions are completely mine. I no longer have to contend with soul food, cakes, pies, sodas, etc. I think twice before purchasing any of these items for myself because I don’t want to waste money on food that does not serve me.

I strengthened my decision by hiring an accountability partner Trina Sette, CEO of Go for Goals, to help keep me consistent. The three daily goals I routinely set are: follow the Daniel Plan, do 30 minutes of activity each day, and cut off eating after 9 pm. When I am tempted to venture away from these goals, I remember that she will call me at 10:15 am the next morning. I don’t want to come up short, and I don’t want to waste my money. In this way, accountability serves as the bridge between my decision and my results.

Trina also said during our initial call, “Food is not fun. It is only fuel.” I have had to disconnect food from the many other meanings I was assigning to it. It is not fun. It is not love. It is not comfort. It is not relationship. It is not relief from boredom or stress. It is not something to do. It is not a way to deal with my feelings. I can turn to Jesus for help with these concerns. Food’s only purpose is to give me energy to fulfill God’s vision for my life.

My work cutoff time is now 10 pm. This means I can get to bed earlier, get up earlier, and start my day feeling more refreshed.

Questions to Consider if Struggling With Weight

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If weight loss or maintenance has been a challenge for you as it has for me over the years, I ask that you consider the following questions. Hopefully, the answers will help you uncover the root of the issue.

Do you believe that God loves you?

Do you spend time with God daily?

Have you invited God into your weight loss journey?

Do you love yourself?

Do you know how to say no to yourself?

Do you know how to say no to others?

How are your relationships with others? Who energizes you? Who drains you?

How do you handle comments (good or bad) about your body?

How do you handle offense?

Do you feel your voice matters?

Do you ask for help when you need it?

Do you overcommit?

Do you have a vision for your life?

When you fail, how do you respond?

When someone says, “Just one cookie (or chip or whatever food will throw you off your plan) won’t hurt…” how do you respond?

When you decide to pursue better health, do you strengthen it with accountability to someone outside your world to gain and maintain results?

Is your environment set up to help your health goals?

Do you eat for any other reason than fueling your body?

Is there an area of your life where you need to face fear and step out on faith?

Why do you want to lose weight? Is it to better fulfill God’s purpose for you? Or do you want to lose weight for an event? A mate? Appearance? Revenge? To satisfy someone else’s desire for you? Because you know you should? Etc. (Hint: Besides living for God’s glory, none of these other reasons will work long-term.)

Are there any other questions that you think should be added to the list? What’s your health story? I would love to hear from you.

For a Limited Time…

Maximizing our time is critical to accomplishing God’s vision for our lives.

Time is a nonrenewable resource. Once it is gone, we can never get it back. So it is imperative that we use it wisely so that we can acccomplish all God has assigned to us. Below are three methods I use to maximize my time.

Check In With God Daily

Any time spent with God is time well spent.

Time spent with God is never wasted. By praying, listening to Him, and meditating on His Word, He helps us determine what is important and what is not. He can streamline and simplify our days so we can focus on fulfilling His vision for our lives.

During my quiet time on February 11, I read the following devotional from Small Straws in a Soft Wind by Marsha Burns: Fix your gaze on Me, says the Lord.  Everything in the world around you is designed to distract you and pull you down.  Your spiritual vitality will come from establishing your relationship with Me first.  Then, you can deal with the issues of life with wisdom and the power of the Spirit.  1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

Just Say No

We must say no to the good so we can say yes to the great.

As stated in the above paragraph, many people, activities and responsibilities vie for our time and attention each day. There is no way we can accomplish God’s vision for our lives without focus. Saying yes to one thing means we simultaneously say no to many others.

For instance, saying yes to fleshing out this EnVision That! idea means I have said no to having a TV in my home. Watching TV would waste valuable time that I could spend reading, writing, creating, producing, planning, and implementing.

Also, I once worked on a ministry project that somehow snowballed from just taking meeting notes to prepping folders, decorations, food, and other items for an entire event one Sunday afternoon. No duties had been delegated. Ironically, that day, my father was ministering on, “Are We a Mary or Martha Church?”  I did not hear the message because I was busy being Martha for the fellowship event. The event went well, but I was completely drained and burned out. I cried in my office and felt like I heard the Lord say, “You are doing things I never told you to do.”

From then on, I have been more careful about what I agree to do. My top priority is accomplishing God’s vision for my life. I do not want to stand before Him and hear Him say, “That’s all you accomplished with the years of life I gave you?”

The Pomodoro Method

The Pomodoro Technique is a powerful time management method.

When I need to break a big project down into smaller chunks or if I am struggling with motivation or procrastination, I sometimes set up a pressurized situation with the Pomodoro Method. I set a timer for 25 minutes and work only on one task until complete. Then I take a 5 minute break, reset the timer, and begin again. This method focuses me, increases my accountability and productivity, and maintains my motivation. Each project and assignment moves me closer to fulfilling God’s vision for my life.

Have you ever used any of the above methods to maximize your time? What other time management tips do you recommend? I would love to hear from you!