Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Nurture You : 21 Days to Naturally Caring for Yourself

As some of you may know, I joined a BeachBody Challenge Group back in March/April 2013 and lost about 20lbs starting out. About August 2013, I decided to start a private group for my friends and I who are extremely interested in supporting each other on a daily basis towards a healthier lifestyle. This group and managing it the way the groups I were in were managed has helped me tremendously in maintaining my weight (still working towards losing another 35lbs) and certainly taking much better care of myself on a regular basis.

In comes Halloween through Superbowl Sunday. Clearly, the holidays and sporting events (namely college basketball, Go 'Cuse! and the NFL) tend to impact our routines with all parties, visitors, travels and so on. It is really, really difficult to get ahold of yourself and focus on health. I am not at all a fan of eliminating specific foods. I'm a self proclaimed foodie and, well, I just can't excuse myself from a table of cannoli's or what have you. I am much more aware of letting go of a healthy regimen, though. Desserts are cool, especially when paired with some extra water on top of the 100-120oz I try to get in daily or a round of the T25 workout. The problem occurs when we indulge and treat ourselves WITHOUT balancing. We should be able to enjoy the chips and dip, the pizza, the holiday desserts, the Christmas ham but we can't expect to feel awesome afterwards when we leave out the good, the fruit, the veggies, the water, the exercise.

Oh, and that's not all. There is this horrendous moment when you've accepted the 5lb gain that took you two months to lose and you're still tossing random holiday decor into the box that goes to the basement when your nose starts running and your child suddenly has a high temperature and your husband's cough is keeping you up all night ..... flu season. There is no better reality check than the one coughing in your face, blowing into the tissue you are holding and yanking you out of your half sleep on the hour ... every hour ... As many parents know - there is a great deal of restoration necessary towards the last few months of winter. I was sick about two weeks ago (not even that bad and for only a few days) and today was the beginning of my personal renewal, seriously, it actually took this long for me to get out of the funk.

My motivation was His message :) Our church, The Father's House, does this fabulous 504 Journey each year in the beginning of the new year. I urge you to visit the link and watch the 504 series as it will inspire you! We actually missed two weeks and I did not fast at all during the series but we attended service the past two weeks, thankfully. This past Sunday REACHED me! Our pastor and several other pastors under him spoke about their personal experience with 504 the past few weeks and from them I gathered that week one has a sort of euphoric atmosphere about it. You're feeling good, you know you are cleaning up your act in regards to health and spirit and there is an excitement about the results you'll experience when the period is over. Week two seems to hold a sort of loss of hope, kind of like you've been conquered and fighting to get through. I suppose this is when weaknesses start to creep in and you'd like to simply give up. So easy, right? Week three. This is what you've pushed through week two for. Pastor Chris said it best, Victory. There are anxious feelings in week three as you're nearing the end of a journey but your eyes are open to what you have overcome and you are able to appreciate the little joys in life, as exhausted as the process can be and victory surfaces. We left that service and my notes and all that was discussed sort of sat in the back of my mind as we got ready for a big, fun SuperBowl party with dear friends. Really quick, for how awful the game was, we valued the company and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves down to the last bite of bad, bad food at about 2am. Yikes.

Monday it dawned on me. I weighed myself and, although I'm at a weight I've been happy with as I've continued to progress, I felt .... like crap. I literally was heavy with all of the food we had all weekend, stress I was not addressing and it was like I could actually feel this invasion of toxins in my body. BLECK! Pairing this with service was a no brainer : I had abandoned Bible studying, reading scripture, giving needed attention to my health, my body, this gift God provided to me. In no way is life about scheduling everything all the time. I'm not about to drop everything at 7pm and read the bible for one hour. You will not find me suddenly buying only fruits and vegetables and blending my meals for three weeks. The way I see it, I am extremely blessed. I do not suffer from mental illness, a disability, terminal illness, etc. I was given the opportunity of a life in His grace and the majority of the time I am reading His word and taking care of my mind, body and soul is a given. I want to spend three weeks, similar to 504, getting back that place where I don't need to remind myself to care about God's provisions for me. When I read scripture daily, I find the purpose to each and every day. I've said this before, but the day I accepted Christ was the most free I've ever felt, the most clarity I've ever experience. Every problem that came by be wasn't so much a problem anymore but an opportunity to serve Christ and kind of like, "Well duh, this is how to handle this!" I feel that again and again when I get back into Bible study. As wild as it may sound to some, those feelings regarding health where I think, "How can I not eat that fantastic cheeseburger right in front of me," simply fades away. Instead of fighting with a self control issue, scripture can literally feed that hunger. Whenever I read the Bible I am filled with that idea of the "bigger" picture and suddenly cheeseburgers and such are a thing of the past, hehe. Don't get me wrong, I'll eat a cheeseburger once in a while but when I'm in tune to taking care of myself my daily health related choices are so much more balanced and without effort. I feel good by doing good by ME and filling up on His love and His provisions and all the opportunities he lays before me to stop worrying about cookies and help an elderly woman, teach my child, be a great friend, listen to others, show respect and, as in Colossians 3:14, above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness.

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