Losing More Than the Weight with God’s Plan
By Sue A. Fairchild
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV)
I’ve always struggled with my weight. It’s been a plague on my life since I can remember. I was always “huskier” than other kids and often felt the sting of my peers’ disapproval in the process. Once, in high school, I was asked when my baby was due. I wasn’t pregnant.
One prior boyfriend loved to work out and encouraged me to do so with him, so I did. He pushed me daily, taking inventory of what I’d eaten and condemning me if I hadn’t attended the gym that day. He convinced me it was because he was concerned for my health, but eventually he ended our relationship because I wasn’t thin enough for him.
These things, along with others, caused me to spurn working out. Going to a gym sparked anxiety in my soul and reminded me of my boyfriend’s harsh words that I wasn’t trying hard enough or eating healthy enough.
When I met my husband, neither of us loved working out, but we both needed it. We were unhealthy, overweight and I was often sick. I longed to be thin, but, more so, I longed to have the stamina and strength to simply do. I knew God had placed it in my heart to work with Christian authors, to write His words for others to read and to be His light in the world. But it’s hard to be that light when you’re exhausted, sick or don’t have the strength to do so.
I’d tried various exercise programs and even tried to do exercise by myself, but it never stuck. The old fears and the old doubts always came rushing back in and I’d quit before I’d begun.
So, in April of last year, I chose to step out of my comfort zone and started working out with a personal trainer. Yes, I wanted to be thinner. I wanted to fit into smaller jeans and to look good in all my clothes, but I also simply wanted to be stronger so I could do God’s work in my life. I didn’t want to fail myself, or Him, any longer.
The trainer I chose was a Christian and, within one of our first sessions, she expressed to me how important it was to her to show others how they could take care of the temple God had given them. Her personal training work was more than helping people be thin—she wanted people to wisely manage what God had given them.
I’d never considered this thought before. My body is God’s—not mine. By overeating and not exercising, I had been, essentially, destroying His temple. Plus, I’d let others, not God, determine my journey. I was weak and sick from within because I hadn’t been managing what He’d given me.
The truth was a harsh blow. I have been working hard the last few years to follow God’s purpose for my life, but the entire time I’d been neglecting the vessel He’d given me to do it!
I’m convinced He brought my personal trainer, my new friend, into my life because no other gym, no other trainer, and no other exercise program would have expressed His word for me. The only way for me to accomplish God’s plans were to take care of me, my health, wellness and body, first.
Now, I’ve started classes that my trainer conducts and have met new friends with similar stories. My trainer pushes me in more ways than with my body. She pushes my mind and my walk for God. Even when I don’t want to go exercise, I do. And I’ve been blessed every single time. My body is stronger, but, more importantly, my faith is stronger, too. I’ll never turn back now. My plan was to lose weight, but God’s plan—His plan to bring me closer, expand my mind and my strength—is what I’ve achieved.
Sue A. Fairchild is a blogger, writer, and editor. She has been a contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series twice and has recently published a young adult novel, What You Think You Know. Sue also edits professionally for Christian Editor Connection and is a member of ACFW. For more information on her professional services and to read more of her simple snippets, please visit her website Sue’s Simple Snippets: Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness. You can also connect with her on Facebook, or Twitter.
What You Think You Know
Fifteen-year-old Emily Forester is sure of one thing: Beth Myers will be her friend forever. Friends almost since birth, they even share the same nervous habit—biting their cuticles. They’re like sisters and nothing can ever change that, or so Emily thought. Now, Emily discovers Beth displaying disturbing new habits, and begins to doubt how well she knows her best friend after all. When Beth betrays their sister-like bond, Emily is crushed and considers what life would be like without Beth. She’s already lost her mom; will she lose Beth, too? The one concrete thing in her life, her friendship with Beth, starts to crumble. Longing to talk with her mother, Emily confides in her dad instead and he reveals more shocking secrets. Will these new revelations bolster her relationship with Beth, or tear them apart forever?
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I enjoy things that are well done. Even my meat needs to be so well done that most would turn it away for being burned. But in today’s post, I want to share something I find organized, well thought out, and a help to someone like me who needs visuals and incentives. In short, this site is well done.
A few months back I received a friendly e-mail from one of the developers/team members from SlimKicker.com. They let me know about this new website that would help users make healthy choices and enjoy weight loss because of the logging program that features visuals, challenges, and incentives.
Last week I received an update that the site was up and running, and would I mind taking a look?
So, I did.
I’m pretty impressed. Make no mistake, when I read Lysa TerKeurst’s Made to Crave chapter called, But Exercise Makes Me Want to Cry, I thought she was peeking in my windows. I hate the thought of exercise. Once I get going, it isn’t as bad, but there isn’t a whinier couch potato who could find more excuses not to get up than me. I give MyFitnessPal a lot of credit because their site helped me make better choices.
SlimKicker is just as good. Here’s why I think so:
–Challenges. You have friends doing the Biggest Loser type challenges at work, don’t you? I hear about them all the time. There is something about knowing you might lose that motivates. SlimKicker has diverse challenge opportunities, including the ability to create your own. I did that—I want to finish my C25K app, so I made it a challenge. Even if no one signs up but me, seeing it out there keeps me accountable.
–Incentives. You get points for logging in and the things you log in. You reach achievement levels and can choose how to celebrate. I’m a visual person and I need motivation. I’m sorry, getting sweaty isn’t enough for me. My love language is words of affirmation so some kind of pat on the back when I’m on the wellness journey is a need. I noticed I lost some slim points when I chose no bakes for breakfast, and that number got to me. It will help me choose the granola bar next time. If visuals and incentives help you, SlimKicker will meet that need.
–Groups and friendships. When I signed on, it automatically put me in groups, and I was okay with that. I visited the forums and believe that to be another great way to have accountability. What I’d like to see is more Christian based groups. That isn’t SlimKicker’s job, in my opinion, that would be ours. So let’s get at it, my friends!
One element I don’t see yet in SlimKicker is the ability to scan food choices for logging. I know they are new and I believe the app for iPhone is already available. I believe the Android app is in production. I’d like to see badges that I could place on my site so people could find me and/or keep track of my weight loss journey. They are very open to feedback and seem easy to access and communicate with. My sense is what I see in Slimkicker that is good, will only become better as time goes on.
I think it’s worth you checking out. I’m adding SlimKicker to my notes that I plan to hand out and suggest when I teach my small group on self-esteem and wellness through my local church.
I reviewed SlimKicker because I received a friendly e-mail asking me if I would check it out and possibly blog about it. The opinions are mine and my joining was of my own desire to move forward in my wellness journey. Nobody paid me or told me what to say.
On Monday I shared the things my husband implemented earlier this year and he is at a 30 pound weight loss. The kids and I started changing our eating habits over the summer and I learned a lot from the nutritionist our daughter sees. Today I’ll share what we’re doing. As a family we’ve lost 63 pounds this year.
- We adopted a Kitchen Open/Kitchen Closed mentality. I noticed our youngest enjoyed talking and asking about food more than I liked and I didn’t want her day wrapped up in that line of thinking. Her nutritionist suggested the kitchen open/closed as a way to teach her to only think and talk about food when the kitchen is open, which isn’t often. It’s made a great difference. Dessert is also not an option until a good hour or more after dinner and isn’t sugary, etc…
- Go. I’ve seen books based on the stop light system and this is similar to that. The go foods are ones you’re encouraged to eat. As you can imagine, green leafy vegetables are a definite go. Other go foods include fresh, frozen, canned in juice fruits, whole-grain breads, fat-free or 1% low-fat milk, extra lean ground beef, chicken and turkey without skin.
- Slow. Slow foods aren’t great for you but they aren’t awful, either. For us slow foods include rice, lean ground beef, peanut butter, tuna in oil and 2% milk.
- Whoa. Whoa foods are just that, stop and push it away. I thought whoa foods would be hard to say goodbye to but you know what? Not so. We got those foods out of the house and used them as a once a month treat. Thing is our daughter doesn’t even ask for the whoa foods at all. She went the entire summer without ice cream, even though we offered it. I’m someone that had an intimate relationship with M&M’s…even for breakfast. These days my chocolate is a no sugar added fudgsicle or a sprinkle of chocolate chips with a serving of peanuts. Take them out of your daily or even weekly schedule and make the whoa foods a rare treat.
- Homemade French Fries. We’re not a fancy family when it comes to eating. My husband wants a meat, potato, and veggie with his dinner and often I served fries or tater tots. I now make homemade fries and again use it as a “Slow” choice. I cut potatoes up, dusted with olive oil, sprinkled a little salt and baked at 350 for 20 minutes (varies). The kids like this version more than the bagged fries.
- Rice cakes and stove popped popcorn. Hubby has embraced the rice cake as a dessert option. He can even buy the generic kind and eat the cheese kind, something I just can’t do. I can eat the caramel ones and find them a lot tastier than rice cakes from years ago. The snack the kids love is stove popped popcorn with olive oil. Again, we watch our servings with MyFitnessPal.
- The plate. This might be the biggest change of all. I didn’t understand the pyramid system and I pretty much ignored the food groups I grew up knowing. The plate system is so easy. Half the plate is for fruits and vegetables. One quarter is for proteins and the other quarter is for carbs. Our youngest is not a breakfast eater but we were encouraged to just put a carb and protein together if we could. I buy whole wheat Ritz crackers and put a tiny amount of peanut butter on it. After school snacks are allowed but are sugar free Jell-O (that to make it fun I make in cake molds like Hello Kitty and a football), veggie tray, 5 whole wheat crackers (sometimes with thin pieces of yellow cheddar of cheese. For lunch sometimes I’ll do the same and add a slice of cut up lean deli turkey).
We’re not where we want to be but as Joyce Meyer says, thank God I’m not where I was. I’m down 19lbs, our daughter is down 8, and our son is down 5, all from July. I know we need to improve on moving more, especially with swimming season over. But this is what we’re doing and I hope there is something here that can encourage you!
I’ve shared here and there over the summer that our family changed the way we were doing things when it came to food and it was making a difference.
A collective 63 pounds as of September 7th difference.
Some people have asked what have we done and/or changed about our eating habits. I needed something to blog about so I thought I’d give our answers here. Since hubby started first, today I’ll share his changes and Thursday I’ll share the rest.
What My Husband Is Doing…
He’s lost the most, 30 pounds. He’s 5 pounds away from his goal and when I looked at pictures of him from his daughter’s wedding I barely recognized him. I’m proud of him and here’s why…
- He quit late night eating. He’s a computer programmer known to work crazy hours. It was nothing for him to put in more hours after the kids and I went to bed and get the snacks out. Gone from his habits and our cupboards are chips, dip, and his most favorite of all, ice cream. He only drank soda when we were on vacation and of course then, it was still diet. We are big generic Crystal Lightish drinkers, peach tea most of all. We’re not big on milk but when our daughter was, we drank Smart Balance, a fat-free milk that had a thickening agent that made it taste like 2%. Since she’s not drinking a lot of milk these days and it was pricey, we get 2% and keep it in moderation.
- He makes himself take a break at work and move his body. He doesn’t mind exercise but he had trouble making the time. Now I see him staying accountable by walking during his lunch break. In the past he would eat while working and never stop for a break. I’m not recommending this without your doctor’s approval but he stopped eating lunch altogether. He brings a banana or something like it and then waits for dinner.
- He logs in regularly at MyFitnessPal.com. We make terrible accountable partners because we’re too polite with each other. MFP makes it easier to be accountable. We log in our food and exercise. The site does a great job breaking every food you can think of down into servings and calories. We even have the Droid app where we can scan barcodes and enter our info. I need to see what I’m doing in black and white and this does it. He started first and has kept at it. I’m glad he shared it with me.
Stay tuned for the things the kids and I are doing. I’ll share that post on Thursday.
Do you love reading? Check out the new blog I’m involved in.