Finish What You Start!

Have you ever given 100% of yourself to something? 

I’m talking about no shortcuts, no cheats, no bending the rules, but simply selling out for something bigger with everything you possess?


We were designed to blow over those hurdles. 

Though I have followed through with this, it is not easy. I approach a hurdle every single day. Maybe my food tastes boring. I’m hungry. I want to eat what I want to eat. I’m sick of Coach Bailey telling me what to do. At times I find myself in a crunch, without any healthy snacks on me—so then what do I choose to do? Do I choose to hit a drive-through out of convenience, or do I buy a healthy snack?

Those of you taking back your health, I want to push you today. 

What hurdle do you need to overcome?

This world is packed full of distractions, which become hurdles in our lives. Every time you approach a hurdle, you tend to slow down or stop, and perhaps you walk around it. Yet, were we designed for a hurdle to slow us down or keep us from running the race? 

We were designed to invest 100% from the start all the way to the finish!

We were designed to be overcomers. We were designed to sell out, to give it all. Have you lost your original design?

For several months, I have been taking back my health by force. I started on October 14, 2014, after deciding in August to undertake this challenge. I chose from the beginning to sell out to it—to devote my all and give my all.

Usually, I fully prep my meals once a week. Each day I pack all my meals before I leave the house, so if I end up in a crunch, I have food to eat. And I am willing to eat a cold turkey burger or frozen turkey burger because I am supposed to do so. When you’re giving 100% to something, you do it regardless of your immediate desires. You eat the frozen turkey burger; you eat the walnuts off of the ground when you drop them; you deviate sometimes from your family’s plans so you can drive home and retrieve the healthy snacks you forgot. You don’t offer excuses.

Macaroni and cheese may tempt you, or a slice of pizza—one pepperoni couldn’t hurt, right? Wrong! Caving to those cravings is not giving 100%. Every bite I take, everything I do, if I don’t do it with excellence and commitment to my goals, I always fall short of my 100%.

There is more in me, and there is more in you, but we will never find it unless we are willing to offer our all.

There’s more in you, so find it! Give more; sacrifice more. 

Below I provide a few practical ideas, but be prepared: they will squeeze your comfort zone a bit.

Don’t go out of your way to make your food taste amazing. In other words, don’t go out of your way to make food pleasurable; instead, change your view from food as entertainment and enjoyment to food as fuel. When you’re fueling your body, you fill it with the best fuel. When you’re pleasuring your body, however, you will tend to make compromises.

Don’t cheat yourself by taking nibbles of your kids’ food or eating a snack off-plan. Commit to this rule for four weeks. For four weeks, can you refrain from cheating? Maybe you should back up and try it for a day first; then try it for a week, for four weeks—and afterward for three months and six months at a time!

Don’t indulge in an extra helping of your allotted serving or approved meal. Instead, only eat precisely what your plan prescribes. Do what you’re told! Be an obedient follower because the most effective leaders are the most committed followers.

I believe you were called to lead and to influence nations. I believe theres more in you. I believe you can push yourself further. After all, do you desire the best version of you? Or do you want only a so-so, wishy-washy you?

Do you want to be the you who gives 100% and succeeds, or do you want the you who is always cheating “just a little bit”—always selling yourself short? “Hey, I am engaged in my transformation … but I cheat a little.” Is this the witness and the testimony you want to carry?

People may push back against you when you offer everything to one cause. They may seem like critics, but I assure you, they will respect you. They have probably never given 100% to anything in their lives, so don’t listen to them. Don’t listen to people’s criticisms. Bring excellence to the table and allow God to judge their criticisms.

How in the world, though, can we avoid living out of the temptations of our flesh and actually accomplish this goal? How can we accomplish 100% in living, giving, and following?


This starts by taking every thought captive. The moment cheesecake or pizza starts to creep into your mind, you must intentionally put a stop to it. You need to say, “Stop! You know what? This is not my portion. I already have healthy, nourishing food to enjoy.” Turn your mind to what is wholesome and healthy: “I can walk with my kids now, and I can carry them on my shoulders. I lift them up and help them down safely. We won’t tumble or fall because I am strong.” I choose strength over pleasure every day of the week. You must learn to take your thoughts captive.


It is truly vital for you to pray against temptation. Jesus told His disciples to pray against temptation. He told them several times, yet they continued to fall asleep while they were praying (Luke 22:45). We do this, too: we fall asleep on the job. We need to pray against this! We know Jesus was tempted, but He was never tempted to the point of sin. I know if He overcame it, we can overcome it as well because His power for life—His resurrection power—lives in and for us!

I hope you are challenged today to reclaim your health 100%. Give yourself entirely to your God-given commitments and refuse in Jesus’ name to sell yourself short!

Temple Fitness: Food Lust

Lust is a desire of the flesh. The flesh continues to press on to want and crave more and more. Its thought process is not being taken captive. But the Bible says to take every thought captive, not just some thoughts: “… take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV). If you are constantly thinking about food—“What am I going to fix for dinner?” “How am I going to flavor that better?” “Maybe I should get this”—you become an idolater in the grocery store, idolizing everything that makes your mouth water. 

The lust we have for food in our society is no different from the lust people have to satisfy sexual desires. It is something pushing us into sin, gluttony, and consumption. We put other things above our God. Anything we put above God is an idol. 

If we place a high importance on food preparation and the cravings of our flesh and we are constantly trying to please our taste buds, it’s food lust. Regardless of whether you are going after a cookie, a cake, a flavored hamburger, or a turkey burger—anything that requires our mind’s conception is an idol. What are we supposed to do? We are supposed to keep our minds on God. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (ESV). This is the truth. God keeps our mind in perfect peace because it stays on Him. When you are not in perfect peace, it is because your mind is on something else.

A lot of times, with the way we have created food for pleasure, it’s easy to dive in and find something that is always pleasing in every meal. I think this is what makes us fat. It’s like, “Oh, I love cheese. Cheese makes it better.” Sometimes we need to shut down our taste buds so we can get back to enjoying raw food as Jesus did. When He walked, He simply pulled a fig off a tree and ate it. He didn’t pit it, blend it, and mix it in cookie dough to make it a pleasurable cookie. He ate the fig, and it was pleasing. It was fuel. It was good because He ate food in its raw form.

Food lust is a real struggle. It’s a sin in our society that has us spending millions of dollars for food every year. It has us exchanging recipes and buying recipe books to make all the raw resources in a new way so it will taste better. 

"How to Lose 10 Pounds of Belly Fat"

I see this posted in magazines in the checkout line all the time: “How to Lose 10 Pounds of Belly Fat.” I’ve tried to lose ten pounds of belly fat because unfortunately, that’s where I gain it. I gain it in my belly. My belly becomes huge and I look pregnant all the time.
But I can tell you, after three months of hardcore labor and healthy eating, the belly fat is the very last thing to come off of you. It wants to cling to you like a baby, nursing all day and all night. It’s got a hold of you. It’s not going down in a ten-day fast. It does not shrink; it does not disappear.
Yes, you can lose some bloating, you can lose some water weight, but you’re still going to have belly fat until you work your butt off, doing a million sit-ups and eating healthy every single day, every single meal.
There is no magic formula for getting rid of belly fat. Stop wasting your money by buying the five-dollar magazine to figure out how to get rid of ten pounds of fat; instead, start working hard. Work your booty off—or your belly, as it were. Value yourself enough to do hard work.

I Hate My Reflection

What is wrong with MY internal image?
I gained two pounds over my vacation. I was being critical of myself. 
Now – keep in mind that I had just lost 26 pounds and taken my health back in a very hard journey. 
Instead of celebrating that and the victory and finishing strong, I was critical of the weight that I had gained from my gluttony over my vacation. Why did I choose to do that? 
1) Because I had gained weight and I could feel it in my stomach. 
2) The way that I ate, even though it was only one meal a day, it was gluttonous. It actually didn’t even feel right. It felt like a betrayal to my body. It felt like a sin. Like, I’m not supposed to be doing this. I need to hide. You know how kids hide when they are doing something wrong? That’s how I felt like. I felt like this was shameful because it was. I didn’t just have food and dessert. I had food, dessert, dessert, coffee, dessert, dessert. It was as if, literally, I was a starving person and I was never going to have another meal. So of course, I gained weight. 
I was ashamed of it.
In my shame, I ended up speaking self-deprecating words over myself, criticizing the back fat that I put on, my new pooch, and the swelling that I felt from all the sugar that I consumed. And my daughters were watching. 
I am now a tiny mom who wears a size 3 and here I am complaining about two pounds and about how I look. 
I am NOT the only one who does this. I hear it all the time. Admit it – is this you?
Why is it that a woman can be large and find something that is flawed in her body or she can be small and find something that is flawed in her body? How do you know it’s a flaw? What are we comparing ourselves to? Is it the most youthful, best version of us? Or is it pictures of these young girls with perfect skin, perfect hair, perfect colored skin, perfect muscle, and perfect tone? Are we comparing each of ourselves to each other? Are we comparing ourselves to a friend, a trainer, or our children?
Why is it that we look into the reflection and we can leave the house thinking, “I look all right?” But we look at a picture and we just think, “When did my knees become wrinkly? Why do I look swollen? I don’t look as good as I did.”
What is the perfect image we are trying to arrive at in our head? Where did that picture come from?
When we look at a photograph, we shouldn’t be picking apart every crevice, every spot, and every flaw. That is literally like looking at a painting and criticizing every curve, every paint, every shadow, and every part of the picture. At the end of the day, it’s not criticizing the painting; it’s criticizing the person who painted it. I know I was handcrafted by God. My body shape might not be like a model’s or my friend’s body that has a potential being, because that’s not the way I was originally designed.
I don’t know why some got the perfect, gorgeous, beautiful body and others have a different, perfect, gorgeous beautiful shape. I don’t understand that. But it’s okay because I have to look in the image, the picture of myself and see that I am loved and chosen and perfectly the way that I should be. I’m adored by God. I’m a masterpiece.
Every time I don’t do that, I speak negatively, self-deprecating thoughts about myself. I’m really criticizing the creator of my shape, my skin. I’m not being thankful that I can see or smell or hear. Yet, day after day, I see myself look in the mirror and stand sideways and criticize the pouch on my stomach or the wrinkles over the tops of my knees or my dry skin. I criticize my face.
Can you imagine if our body parts were children before us? Let’s say we have ten children before us and we look at them and we’re like, “Oh my gosh! Your knees are wrinkly and you look terrible today.” “Your stem is so dry. Go in there and put some lotion on it.” What we’re really doing is speaking death over our own bodies. No one can survive hearing that discouragement all the time.
Every cell of your body is active and alive and it responds to the sound of your voice. For me, I am sick of it. I’m sick of speaking negatively about myself or pictures about myself because the truth is the tongue has the power of life and death. Every time I speak death, I am speaking death into the atmosphere and death into my own body. My Jesus, he is renewing my youth everyday but I have to cooperate with them. The only way to cooperate with him is to start agreeing and speaking life over me.
I cringe when I hear myself speak critically about myself. My daughters are watching. They are listening, they hear everything I say and everything I do. Do I want them to have the same, horrible image? How do we change that? I know I am creating a legacy of that right now.
SHUT UP!!! Sometimes you just have to tell yourself to SHUT up! You have to throw out the TRASH talk and instead, speak the TRUTH!!! 
What is the Truth you might ask?
I am who God says I am – regardless of my appearance. 
I am fit. I am strong. I am healthy. I was chosen by God before the creation of the world and I am enough, I am worthy. I am worth it. I am worth shutting my face and speaking life over myself because I can guarantee you I can have better results from speaking life than I ever will from beating myself down and speaking death and frustrating, disgusting words over myself.
You with me?
Father, I just pray today that you would remind us how beautiful we are and that you are enthralled in our beauty in Jesus’ name.
Listen, O daughter, consider and give ear:
    Forget your people and your father’s house.
The king is enthralled by your beauty;
    honor him, for he is your lord.

Psalm 45:10-11 (NIV 1984)