image by mossholder
Yesterday we talked about the freedom I’ve found in my thoughts around my work. Today I want to share the freedom I’ve found around food and exercise as the 4th part of this series.
In the past weeks, I finally read Lysa TerKeurst’s Made to Crave. I’d read tweets about it, blog posts about it, even watched webinars about it. I had it on my Kindle since it came out, but just read it this month. Again, the timing was perfect.
I have struggled on and off for years with an addiction to sugar, some unhealthy body image issues and difficulty committing to exercise. I’d get off it for a time, but then was right back to it.
Lysa gave me several insights that have really changed my thinking around this and truly think this time the changes are here to stay. And listen, I’ve heard many of these things before, but since being freed, it’s like so many things are actually “sticking” now where they weren’t before.
The first is Lysa suggests getting some accountability. I’ve done that in my exercise first with a Facebook group this month. Knowing they are expecting me to stay on task and are checking in on me totally changes the game for me. God made us to connect to others, so it’s no surprise this is helping. Also, Scott is waking up with me when he’s not working and doing the exercises with me. It’s been great having him beside me.
I’m in my 4th and final week of T25 and have seen amazing results. And it’s not just physical. It’s my thoughts towards exercising now. I truly enjoy it and look forward to it in the morning. For the first time in my life, I’m getting up 30 minutes early to do it. March is usually my most active of the year, but I’m praying that this “sticks” this time. I think it will.
The second is that we should measure our progress not by a number on the scale, but by our obedience. I have weighed myself every single day as an adult and much of the thoughts towards myself were based on whether the scale displayed a lower number or a higher number than the day before. Lysa suggests that the number can’t tell you many things like how much salt you had, what time of the month it was or most importantly, how obedient you were. Did you make good decisions that day? If so good, then that’s the measure of success. Turning food and exercise into an obedience issue instead of a numbers issue was a revelation for me. My body is a temple and I am to take good care of it.
The third and final idea that brought me great freedom in this is the idea of temptation during difficult or celebratory times. Basically, we use food to celebrate everything and to get through everything. There was always an excuse to why I needed a bowl of ice cream—I had a great day, let’s celebrate or I had a horrible day, let the chocolate fix it or even, I’m bored, let’s eat some ice cream. If we were at the mall, I’d get Starbucks because it was a “special” day out with the family. I’d grab some extra dessert at work because I’d been working hard. Or it was Christmas, or Easter, or Valentine’s Day, or someone’s birthday. There was always a reason to eat something I didn’t need. And while I truly believe in special moments, I was using them as an excuse to not take care of my body. In the book, Lysa shares truths from God’s word we can use in times like these. For me, this was freeing.
I can feel old thoughts already creeping in as I write this—this won’t last, you’re just on a lucky streak, you can’t eat this way forever. But no, we are more than a conquerors through Christ and we can have lasting freedom in His strength.
As we wrap this unexpected series on freedom in our thought life, I can’t help but encourage you to take stock of your thought life. Are you constantly discouraged, negative, cynical and defeated? It’s not supposed to be that way! Seek the Lord with your concerns, read Scripture we’ve talked about and pick up the books that have helped me if you’re not sure where to start. God wants more for you and so do I. And let me know if there’s a specific area I can pray about with you.