Transformation Battle

Transformation Progress
When I signed up for the transformation, for some reason I thought I would go through six months of transformation and then I would be fixed. I don’t know if I was thinking I would return to my old habits or lifestyle. But mentally, it has been a challenge. I stayed on plan for eight months while my husband was wrapped up on his. It was great. But when he finished, mentally, I went off the tracks. 

I was cruising along, doing really well, realizing this was a lifestyle—not something I’m going to do for a few months and then I’m going to be okay. It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle not to become addicted to sugar again, not to give in to the cravings of my flesh every time I want to. But suddenly, when you are free, you are outside the boundaries of your counsel and your accountability, and all hell can break loose.
I went on a vacation with my husband—actually two, back to back. And we did not eat well. We ate somewhat healthy, but every afternoon, we would eat Mexican food, cupcakes, and frozen yogurt. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it was. Sometimes I would pile on other goodies in the middle of the afternoon. So it was two hours of gluttony, honestly. I gained three pounds.

The problem is that I never lost those three pounds. Even though my body still looks small and muscular, it’s easy to put fat back on. I don’t care about that so much, but it’s easier than you realize to return to your old habits. I know 100% that God does not want me to do that. It has been a battle. Galatians 5:17 says there is a great battle. It is between your flesh and your spirit. The spirit wants to go this direction, but your flesh is fighting you and wants to go this other direction. It’s literally like Paul said: I do what I don’t want to do, and I don’t do what I want to do (see Romans 7:15). This is the mental battle I had been under.

I was under it every day before I started, and I have been under it for the last two months. My weight has been like a yo-yo. I’ve been up and down—up to seven pounds. It’s like up, down, up, down. Once I begin to give in to the desires of my flesh, my flesh is like a monster and it wants more. It’s craving. It’s starving. It’s saying, “Give me another cupcake. I want some more icing. You ate what you wanted to today, so let’s eat what we want to tomorrow. I’ve got a plan. I’ve got a spoon. I’ll see a jar of cookie butter,” and my mind is already seeing myself eat it. Before I know it, it’s in my mouth.
It is a battle to maintain your health forever and ever. I do not want to lose my progress. I do not want to go back into the slavery of my flesh. I don’t want to be in slavery to the plan. I want to be in slavery to Christ. I want everything in moderation.

But sugar is addictive. It is a monster. It will make you its bond slave. Before you know it, you will be so mentally warped in thinking, “Just a bite here is okay. Just a little bit every day is okay.” Before you know it, you’ve got five Reese’s cups down your throat and a coffee in your hand that you don’t need. Your body does not need it to be fueled. In fact, these kinds of food make you foggy and inflamed. Inflammation is a curse of the law. Christ died to become the cursed for you. You don’t need inflammation. You have no idea how inflamed your body is until you get the inflammation out.

Now I can feel it. Every single time I have sugar, I can feel my body swelling. I can feel the inflammation. I will gain weight. It’s unbelievable how sensitive my body has become to unhealthy foods, which don’t fuel it to do the work I need to do.
I have to keep my vision in front of my eyes to remember I am God’s holy temple and I want to treat my body like that. It’s okay to indulge once in a while, but it’s not okay to become a slave to the desires of my flesh again.
If you relate to this, share this with someone who is in the struggle. Let’s work it out together.

I pray right now: Father, remind us. Help us. Guide us. Give us ears to hear and eyes to see so we can follow You in everything we do, including the food we eat and the way we spend our time, in Jesus’ name.

Go Back and Do What You Once Did

Go back and do what you once did. Go back and do what you did in the beginning. This will impact your marriage, your children, your work, your friends, and your relationship with God.

Marriage. Remember the time when you were in love with your spouse. You chose your spouse. You picked that person. You had fun with that person. You overlooked that person’s flaws; you chose him or her in spite of the faults. Somewhere along the way—with life’s trials, kids, frustrations, pet peeves—the things you once loved, now you can’t stand. Look at the reflection of your own story. Remember what you did in the beginning. Now go back to it and do what you once did.

Children. When we first had children, we thought their orneriness was adorable. We couldn’t wait to hug them in the morning when they woke up. We loved the little sounds they made and all the things they were learning. Somewhere along the way, there was a switch that flipped. The rebellion became annoying. You used to laugh about it, and now it’s annoying. You may not greet your children with the same level of joy in the morning because they are grumpy, tired, and moody and they want to sleep in. Honestly, they are just not cute. It used to be cute, but now the cuteness is gone. We don’t celebrate every victory or every win. They learned something new today. That is now our minimum. Our bare minimum expectation. Encouragement begins to wane. But what if we went back and did what we did in the beginning? 

Work. Remember the first several months or years at work? You showed up on time, and you studied hard to learn what you were doing. You worked hard; you gave your all. You tried to have minimal chitchat and break time because you wanted to be effective and strong. You had dreams to be the best in your department. You had dreams of being promoted quickly. Those things haven’t happened, so now you find yourself chatting a little longer at the water cooler, coming in fifteen or thirty minutes late, and leaving early. You now park your car backwards in your space because you start your day thinking about your exit strategy. What if you did what you did back in the beginning so you could be promoted and see your own work rather than trying to find a job somewhere else? Instead of starting a new beginning somewhere else, why don’t you start your own beginning where you are?

Friends. I don’t know how guys are, but with girls, friendships start out fun and pursuing. You text each other. You probably have a special ringtone because you cannot wait to hear from that specific friend. You laugh together. You share your children’s accomplishments: “They rode their bike for the first time!” or “They lost their tooth! I’m so excited!” Then one fight or one hurt comes along, and you take that person off of your favorites. You change your ringtone and make that person like everyone else. You turn off the ringer. You don’t answer the call right away. You have let a wall build up in your relationship. You go find new friends so you can repeat the same pattern. You start to separate from or divorce that friend. Now you are changing the ringtone for your new friend and saying, “Oh my goodness, I want to like all her Facebook posts!” Before you know it, you’ve had friend after friend after friend after friend. It’s on; it’s off. What if we went back and did what we did in the beginning, just forgave quickly and got over it? Who cares? It’s strife that makes you stronger. If you work through something and you get to the other side, the relationship is stronger than it was. Smile more. What do kids do when they make friends? They smile. They say, “Hi! I want to be your friend!” Smile more. Laugh more. Forgive more. Go back and do what you did in the beginning. 

God. When you were first saved, you were on fire. You prayed every day. Maybe all day, every day, you read your Bible. You went to church. You were at the church every time the door was open. You served at every opportunity. You were not only on the host team, you were running the host team. You served kids. You didn’t even like them, but you did it because you loved God so much. You were on fire because He had changed your life radically. You shared Him with everyone at the grocery store. You shouted from the rooftop how great your life was. You posted on social media. Your friends didn’t know what was up with you. You were inviting everyone you knew to church. Before you know it, ten years have gone by, and your love has waned. What happened to your first love? Why has your love grown wax cold? Go back and do what you did in the beginning. 

Emotions — 3 Practical Steps to Change


CHANGE is COMING!

Today, we are going to look at the Word, God’s word. It is sharp; it will penetrate your heart and change you!

The Bible gives us truths and tools to train our soul (our mind, will, and emotions) to agree with the Spirit of God.

Read one or all of these passages:

1 Corinthians 9:25-27
2 Corinthians 10:5
Matthew 6:33
1 Samuel 16:1
1 Samuel 30:6
1 Samuel 31:13 
Galatians 5:24-26
Colossians 3 
Isaiah 26:3
Isaiah 54:17
1 Peter 1:8
Proverbs 23:7
Deuteronomy 30:19
Romans 8:6
Romans 10:17
Zechariah 4:6

1. From these verses, make a list of practical things the Bible teaches that you can do to make your emotions submit to the Spirit.

2. Take time to write down any emotions and thoughts that spiral you down into places that are set against God’s truth. For example:
  • “I’m insecure”
  • “I’m unlovable”
  • “I’m alone”
3. Take these lies captive and make them obedient to God’s truth. Write down the truth next to your negative thoughts. For example:
  • “I’m secure!”
  • “I’m loved!”
  • “I’m in Christ, and Christ is in me!”
Work on your list all week. What lies did you identify? What truths did you replace them with? What questions do you have?

What Will You Choose?

Skinny fat girlthat’s my story.
I’m a tiny girl with way too much body fat. The strength in my body is practically nonexistent. It doesn’t matter what your size is if you can’t sustain the weight.
I’m a tiny girl trapped in a fat body. I have wrestled with my weight for years. It has been up and down in a yo-yo pattern since I had kids. I lost all of the extra weight after baby one. I lost it again after baby two. I lost the extra weight after baby three until my mom died. Ever since then, my weight has been a yo-yo.
When my mom passed away, I had been on Weight Watchers, trying to have some accountability to encourage me to lose the last part of the extra weight from my third and final child. It worked fairly well. The thing about Weight Watchers is that it doesn’t make you give up the processed foods and sugary treats that you crave. You just cut back on them and have a little bit less.
But the truth is that over time, as you age and your hormones change, you can’t maintain a healthy weight with junk food. It’s impossible. It’s impossible to maintain a good body if you are not eating well, even if you work out. Eighty percent of your body makeup is taken care of by food.
I know how to eat healthfully. It’s not for a lack of knowledge that I have struggled with my weight. I even enjoy healthy food. The trouble is that preparing healthy food takes time and energy. You have to get fresh and raw food from the store, and it’s not ready to eat.
Who has time for all of that? Being a mother is exhausting. If you do make it to the store to get healthy foods, then you have to clean them and cut them. You have to think about how to store them to keep them fresh. By the time you get around to eating them, chances are they’re already black. It’s so frustrating. I’ve thrown away more fresh and raw food than you can imagine. I’ve thrown away brown bags of fresh and raw food that we just never ate or that spoiled quickly.
I know how to cook raw food—100% vegan raw. I’ve taken classes from Chef Mandy in my hometown. I learned how to make raw pizza out of carrot and almond flour. I know how to make a tomato paste that is to die for and spaghetti out of zucchini. I’m not talking about spaghetti squash, no. It’s not cooked. It’s all raw. Spiraled zucchini with a splash of marinara. It tastes amazing.
I love healthy food. I love it. But my habits tend to go in a different direction. I’m not hungry, so I don’t eat. Then suddenly I get really hungry, and I start to get very testy. As my blood sugar goes down and I get hungry, I get frustrated and a little bit more on the edge and annoyed. It’s like my flesh wants to throw a hissy fit whenever I start to feel hungry. To keep myself from losing it, I reach for the first available food, and usually it’s not cut vegetables.
That said, at those times in the past when I was in good shape, I did go for the vegetables. I put them in ziplock bags and carried them in my car. I have the knowledge. I know how to be healthy, and at times I’ve been successful.
There came a point when I was raising my girls that I spent a ridiculous amount of time in the kitchen every day. One week I calculated how many hours per day I spent in the kitchen, meeting all of their little snacky needs. I had to try to figure out what they wanted to eat; I had to prepare snacks constantly and cut mountains of vegetables. I found myself in the kitchen for up to six hours a day, cooking and cleaning and slaving.
We even juiced. I’ve done the juice fast—raw juices, apple juices, kale juices, beet juices, cucumber juices. I love healthy foods. But when I found out that I’d been spending so much time in the kitchen, I eventually gave up and went for what was easy, just so I could have a chance at some moments of life that didn’t involve food preparation.

What will you choose?

Skinny fat girlthat’s my story.
I’m a tiny girl with way too much body fat. The strength that is supposed to be in my body is non-existent. It doesn’t matter what your size is if you can’t sustain the weight.
I’m like, a tiny girl trapped in a fat body. I have wrestled with my weight for years. It has been up and down in a yo-yo since I had kids. I lost all my weight after baby one. I lost all my weight after baby two.  I lost all my weight after baby three until my mom died. Then my weight has been a yo-yo ever since.
When my mom passed away, I had been on Weight Watchers, trying to have some accountability to lose the final part of my weight of my third and final child. It worked fairly well. The thing is, those Weight Watchers doesn’t make you give up the processed foods and the sugary treats that you crave. You just cut them back and have a little bit less.
Actually, over time, as you age and your hormones change, you can’t possibly maintain a healthy weight with junk food. It’s impossible. It’s impossible to maintain a good body working out and not eating well. 80% of your body make up is taken care of by food.
I know how to eat healthy. It’s not for a lack of knowledge. I do eat healthy. I enjoy healthy food. But healthy food takes time and energy. You have to go get fresh and raw food from the store.
Who has time to do that? Being a mother is exhausting. If you do make it to the store to get healthy foods, then you have to clean them and cut them. Where do you store them in and how do they stay fresh? By the time you get around to eating them, they’re already black. It’s so frustrating. I’ve thrown away fresh and raw food more than you can imagine. I’ve thrown away brown bags of fresh and raw food that we just never ate or got spoiled.
I know how to cook raw food. Vegan—100% vegan raw. I’ve taken classes from Chef Mandy in my hometown. I’ve learned how to make raw pizza out of carrot and almond flour. I know how to make a tomato paste that is to die for. I know how to make spaghetti out of zucchini—and I’m not talking about spaghetti squash, no. It’s not cooked. It’s all raw. It’s spiraled zucchini with a splash of marinara and it tastes amazing.
I love healthy food. I love it. But my habits are these: I’m not hungry so I don’t eat but then the minute I get really hungry, I start to get very testy. My blood sugar goes down and as I get hungry,  I get more frustrated and a little bit more on the edge and annoyed. It’s like my flesh literally wants to throw a hissy fit when I start to feel hungry. So I will go to the first available food. And usually that’s not cut vegetables.
If it were in the times in the past when I’ve been in good shape, I would have gone to those vegetables. I used to put them on zip lock bags and carry them in my car. I have the knowledge. I’ve been successful in the past.
There came a point when I was raising my girls, I calculated how many hours per day per week I was spending in the kitchen just meeting all their little snack-y needs. Including thoughts of, “What do they want to eat?” and “We need more snacks,” and, “Mom needs to cut vegetables,” I literally would find myself in the kitchen up to six hours a day. Cleaning and cooking and slaving.
I love healthy foods. But when I found out that I’ve been spending thousands of hours per week in the kitchen, I just eventually quit and gave up and went for what is easy.

Are You Immature?

If the only way you’re pulled out of a bad mood is from other people saying nice things about you and pouring in loads of encouragement and praise, then you are not mature in Christ. The truth is that leaders and the ones who are mature in Christ can pull themselves out of the pit. The world will come against them and they can be knocked down, and it doesn’t matter if no one has anything nice to say. They stand in the promises of God. They stand there, and they go back and remember what God has done. They find something to be thankful for, and they pull themselves out because God is worthy and He is good.

That is how you go from being an infant in the faith to someone who’s on meat and a leader, someone who is stable and has longevity and loyalty. Those people can pull themselves out of the pit. They can turn around an entire army like David did in 1 Samuel 30. He turned around an entire army that was against him. They went with him to take back what was taken from those men.   

We need to learn to encourage ourselves in the Lord. Before anyone even has the chance to speak any truth into us, we should be encouraging ourselves in the Lord and speaking of those things that God has already done and remembering who He is. We should be seeing others through His eyes and not through our critical spirits and critical eyes. We should be seeing others as God sees them, and that should have us always returning everything in a positive light and encouraging voice. There should always be forgiveness from those who encourage others and themselves in the Lord. They should always be forgiving and forgetting, not remembering and keeping a record of wrongs, because they are just so encouraged and built up.