Feeling Light | Fitness Friday

When I was a little girl, my daddy used to say, “Darlin’, I eat three meals a day. You eat one meal ALL DAY.” What can I say? I’ve always loved my vittles.

My sister loves to tell the story of the time two-year-old me licked all the icing off her birthday cake. She says that cake was so slick she could see her reflection in it. While I don’t remember that incident, I have no doubt it’s the truth. I seldom ignore the serenade of creamy sweet treats.

I remember sitting at the table with my little blonde boys when little Garrett left the table to go potty. Before he walked away, he put his hands over his plate and said, “Don’t eat it, Momma.” Ouch.

I have been in bondage to food my whole life. Until now.

A few weeks ago, I decided to follow a friend’s advice and try a ketogenic eating plan. Basically, eating keto means your macronutrients consist of around 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. (That adds to 100, right? I hate math.)

Within a week, my sweet tooth plumb fell out of my mouth! I’ve been around sweets, but I have no desire to eat them. Soon after, my carb cravings just stopped. I’m not just avoiding breads, pasta, rice, and starchy veggies; I don’t want them.

I had breakfast with a friend earlier this week. The menu included several ultra-sweet pancake and waffle dishes that would have made my mouth water a few weeks ago. I had absolutely no problem ordering an omelette with all kinds of keto-friendly ingredients instead.  I didn’t have to resist the chocolate-stuffed churro waffles. I honestly didn’t want them.

Yesterday, my sister and I went to Logan’s Roadhouse. Normally, I would have eaten at least two of those fantastic yeast rolls slathered with butter. Nope…the rolls sat on the table between Karla and me, and I didn’t even flinch!

What has happened to me?  I don’t know this girl!

Now, the purpose of this post is not to recommend a certain diet plan or a brand of supplements. I’m happy to talk to friends about what’s working for me, but here’s where my heart is right now.

I have always run to food for comfort. That would be called idolatry.

“Do not turn to idols…I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:4 NIV).

I have always eaten too much. That would be gluttony.

“Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags” (Proverbs 23:20-21 NIV).

I have always struggled with resisting certain foods. That would be a lack of self-control.

“Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control” (Proverbs 25:28 NIV).

Christian society makes a huge deal over certain sins, but food-related sins? Now, that’s meddling! Don’t mess with our church potlucks and picnics.

“While many churchgoers have heard their pastors warn against the dangers of indulging in sin we almost never hear about the sin of indulgence” (ERLC).

Why is that?

I think part of the problem is that food issues are tricky. Only God and I know when I’m overeating or emotional eating. You could be eating a piece of pie out of legitimate hunger, but I might be eating it because someone yelled at me at work. We could eat the same amount at the table, but only the Lord knows that I ate half a sleeve of Thin Mints an hour before.

In the article, “The almost forgotten, always misunderstood, all-consuming sin of gluttony,” the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) further explains the complicated nature of food sins.

Part of the problem is that gluttony is frequently mistaken for obesity. Not all who are fat are gluttons, just as not all gluttons are fat. Gluttony—a term derived from the Latin word meaning to “gulp down”—is usually used in reference to over-consumption of food or drink. But from a Christian perspective, it applies more broadly. Thomas Aquinas said that, “Gluttony denotes, not any desire of eating and drinking, but an inordinate desire . . . leaving the order of reason, wherein the good of moral virtue consists.”

Yes, food-related sins are complicated, but isn’t God worth the trouble? Isn’t He worth it to do whatever it takes to flee from all sin in our lives? Even tricky food ones?

I spent the bulk of my life gulping down way too much food for all the wrong reasons. These last couple of weeks gave me a taste of what it feels like to not be a slave to food, and I like it.

It’s not about the diet plan I’m following. It’s about the condition of my heart. I want to honor God with my body and with what I put in it.

I don’t think God is necessarily concerned with what foods we’re putting in our mouths as much as how much we’re eating and why. He doesn’t want anything to hold us back from the abundant life.

Gluttony, emotional eating, and poor self-control have been holding me back from being who He made me to be.

I’m changing because I need to. And I can’t change without Jesus.

Lord,

You say in Your word to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV). I’ve been tangled up by food sins my whole life. I want to be free, and these last couple weeks have given me a taste of what that feels like.

I feel lighter, and it’s so much more than the numbers on my bathroom scale. Sin is heavy, and by Your strength, I’m throwing off the burden of food-related sins and taking on Your better, lighter yoke.

I hear You sing to my soul, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your [soul]. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Keep refining me, Lord. I don’t want any sin to have power over me. 

In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN

Are you tired of carrying the weight of food-related sin? Join me on Fridays for #fitnessfriday where I’ll pray without ceasing through my journey to be fit in body, mind and spirit.

 

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#FitnessFriday My Own Kick-Butt Pace

Week Three of Camp Gladiator is in the books. It was HIIT (high-intensity interval training) week. I feel so athletic even typing HIIT. I won’t mention that I looked it up to see if I was supposed to put periods between the letters or not. I’m still more wordsmith than athlete.

HIIT routines involve short bursts of high-intensity exercise with short rest periods in between. My trainer, Matt, said on more than one occasion, “Everyone needs to work at their own kick-butt pace.”

I don’t think I’ve ever had a kick-butt pace before. Take one look at my butt, and you’ll know it’s true. But this week, I pushed myself as hard as I could, and, you know what? I’m starting to tell a difference.

My push-ups look much more like push-ups. My sense of balance is becoming less and less embarrassing. My lungs no longer burn a hole in my chest after 10 seconds.

But I noticed something that I really hope changes. When I exercise, I have a one-track mind. It takes so much concentration for me to do the movements correctly and to will myself to keep moving that I don’t notice anything going on around me. If there’s counting involved, I pretty much go temporarily blind and deaf.

This realization hit me on Wednesday when a classmate gave me a sweaty high-five and said, “Good job!” I grinned and high-fived her right back, but I had no earthly idea if she did a good job or not. She could have been in the corner eating a king-size Snicker bar as far as I know.

I sincerely hope my kick-butt pace won’t always require 100% of my brainpower. I don’t want to be a self-centered squatter! I want to be able to cheer on my workout pals and even help out newbies (once I graduate from newbie status).

Hard stuff takes a lot out of us, doesn’t it? Whether it’s going through hard times or learning how to do hard things, difficulties have a way of distracting us from other things and people.

It’s easy to make harsh assumptions when people aren’t as attentive as we think they should be. Maybe we should give each other the benefit of the doubt. When we’re not all there, it could be that it’s taking every ounce of us to keep breathing.

Lord, thank you letting me see some progress this week. I feel better. I feel stronger. I feel braver. I’m learning about my own kick-butt pace. Help me to get to the point where I can kick butt and notice the people around me at the same time. Help me to extend grace to everyone because I don’t know what hard thing they might be going through. In Jesus’ name, AMEN

Next week, I’m headed to Arizona to see my sweet sons. I’ll miss out on Camp Gladiator for a couple weeks, but I’m taking my workout clothes with me. If the Lord brings me to your mind, please pray for me to workout and eat right while I’m gone. I don’t want this trip to derail my progress. Thank you!

 

 

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