YOU CAN DO IT!
**This is a personal website and reflects my thoughts and convictions. It does not represent any official position held by Youth With A Mission.**
I recently met a friend who was looking SO much better than when I last saw her. She just seemed a lot more energetic and happier than before. It seemed to me that she had lost quite a lot of weight, so I asked her if that was the case—always a bit of a risk—and she said, “Yes, I have lost more than 25 pounds and I feel so much better!”
People who know me know that I have generally stayed fit (That’s the English term. In American-speak, I have stayed in good shape.), and I suspect most people think that I just got the “luck of the draw”, speaking genetically. As a result, I have been hesitant to write about healthy living. The truth is, I have had to be careful about eating and have kept up at least moderate exercise, even when I had heart arrhythmia problems. With that combination, I have generally kept my weight at the level where I feel healthy.
I figured my friend’s story was much more relevant and helpful than mine, so I asked her to please write a short account of how she did it and here it is:
It started out as a simple Lenten Fast – determining to fast sugar during the Lenten Season for 40+ days. In the past, I have always given up during a fast, and have never been able to complete one that I can ever remember.
As I sought Abba about how to go about it to stay on course, I reﬂected on the purpose of giving up something for Lent – it is an expression of love towards and dependence upon Jesus out of gratitude for all He has done, and to prepare my heart for the glorious celebration of the cross and the resurrection!
So a phrase came to me to repeat to myself throughout the fast to keep me on track – “I love You, Jesus, more than sugar!”
That phrase and the heart behind it was the key for my successful completion of the fast. And for the ﬁrst time after many failed attempts, I ﬁnally was able to drink coﬀee without sugar from Day 1 of the fast, which started on Ash Wednesday.
What was surprising to me was how much weight I began losing as a result of the fast! It began to feel so good that I had to keep reminding myself that the fast was NOT a weight-loss program! My purpose was to simply express my love for Jesus above and beyond sugar and processed carbs (which I also added to the fast).
After Easter, I felt so good from the weight loss that I decided to continue limiting sugar, processed carbs, and then I began logging calories consumed. The 40+ days of the fast had helped ‘kick-start’ a re-boot of my cravings, and I had begun consuming more nutrient rich calories, rather than craving the ‘empty calories’ of processed carbs and sugars.
I didn’t really increase my daily exercise, but I did start more core-strengthening exercises, as well as squats and arm stretches. Other than that, I didn’t do too much.
For my 63rd birthday, my 4 children and their spouses gave me a FitBit to track my steps, which I actually do quite a bit around my home.
Since June, we have the family of one of our children living with us for surgery with a lengthy recovery, giving me the responsibility, along with the father, as care-giver for their 2 children – a toddler and an infant. With the stairs in our home, it is very taxing physically. At the beginning of this year, it would have been very diﬃcult for me to manage with the little ones. But since I’ve lost all this weight, and have gotten in better shape with simple exercises, I am able to climb the stairs up to 35 times a day, and to care for the 2 little ones. (At my age, it is a daunting task.) The 30-something parents are better suited. But God knew and helped me get into shape for just such a time as this. I’m so grateful to Him for His help, grace and strength.
That is one of many success stories I have heard or read in the last two or three years.
There has never been a time like this in the history of mankind, where the food industry provides us with tastes and textures that we enjoy, but do not nurture our bodies. They can also be addictive. Sugar, complex carbohydrates and processed foods can be incredibly appealing, but can also cost us dearly in the long run.
If you know you are not stewarding the body God gave you as well as you think you should, perhaps this brief testimony can provide some encouragement to not give up!