What do you gain when you shift your focus from weight loss to health? A lot! Today, I want to talk to you about the things I have gained in my personal life when I stopped eating to lose weight and instead shifted my focus to my health. I hope it encourages you if you to get off the struggle bus of weight loss! This has not been an easy road for me–this health journey that doesn’t equate weight loss–but I can say without a doubt, it has been worth it! God has been so good to me, and I wouldn’t trade the spiritual growth for physical weight loss!
no more calorie counting
There was a time in my life when I counted every calorie that went in my mouth and every calorie that was burned in my workout. Yuck. That is not for me. It was restrictive and particular foods become forbidden! I could no longer enjoy ice cream with my children, or pizza on Friday nights. I had the “poor me” mentality that goes along with that kind of dieting. Have you ever said, “Mommy can’t eat that because she’s trying to lose weight?” Even if you haven’t said it, you probably thought it! I know I did. I was trading my health for strictly weight loss. At the end of the night, I would look at my caloric intake and decide if I could have the sweet treat or not. It wasn’t enjoyable. I ate based on my calorie count.
Now, I choose to eat for my health. I actually enjoy salads because I know they are nourishing to my body! Ice cream is not off the list! Pizza? I still eat it, but it is rare. I’ve learned that, for me, empty carbs leave me… well… empty. I can eat some pizza, friends! Yet I’m still hungry. Those salads that I’ve come to enjoy? I can normally eat about half of it! Why? I believe it is because of the density of the nutrition! Being in tune with your body and how you feel after you eat will help you to know which foods are right for you!
Making the decision to focus on health instead of weight loss equated me staying off the scale. We all know that the scale isn’t a good measurement of health, and yet we continue to let it persuade us otherwise! We step on it and step off it with a sigh and a puff because it isn’t giving us the number we think it should. Frustration sets in when we’ve busted our butts in our workouts according to our FitBits and our nutrition has been flawless! Right??
Now, I go to how my body is functioning. How are my bowel movements? How is my energy? Am I getting stronger? Can I do cardio for longer? Are my cravings in check? How am I sleeping? If I remember, I’ll take measurements. A really big one for me is…. how does my skin look? Our skin is our largest organ, and I know when I haven’t been taking care of myself because I will have breakouts. There are so many other ways to decide if we are healthy besides the scale. I’ve been able to leave it behind!
grateful to be able
Exercise. Mmmm. It is not my gifting. I am not one of those ‘love to workout’ types. When God called me into the ministry of Revelation Wellness®, I thought He was cray-cray. Working out was not my jam. It’s still not. However, my focus has shifted. I move because as my friend and fellow RevWell instructor Kara says, “I’m grateful to be able.” Now, I move in love. Love for God for giving me the straight up ability to move– even if it doesn’t look pretty, even if I have to modify, even if I can’t complete the work out. I personally use RevWell TV®, and listen to the Reving the Word podcasts when I spin. I know if I’m moving, I’m doing it right!
While I believe exercise is very important to our over all health, I also don’t want to neglect exercising my heart and mind. I believe Paul was spot on when he said, “Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7b-8. This right here is why I fell in love with Revelation Wellness®. Because when you workout with them they train your body and your heart! There is something that happens when you move your body under the authority of God’s word. I know it sounds crazy, but don’t knock it until you try it!
eating for health
Back to food! This goes hand in hand with the no more forbidden foods! Because I am no longer looking to the latest diet, fad, trend, or whatever, I can eat what I know keeps me full. Protein shakes are not out for me, because I use quality protein when I make them, but I don’t have them for every meal. That feels like dieting to me. Restricting myself of real food for results that might not be sustainable if I eat food again. Supplements have their place…. as supplements. Supplementing what I am already doing to be healthy, not letting them become the thing that ‘makes’ me healthy.
For me, bread, as much as I love it, doesn’t keep me full. Does it mean I never eat it? Nope, not at all. It means I don’t eat it at every meal, like I use to. Pasta is the same for me. Now I spiralize zucchini noodles which satisfy me much more than pasta ever did!
I’m over dieting. It’s not for me. It is more important for me to be in tune with my body than it is to follow the latest diet. We know it’s not good for our metabolisms, and yet we do it anyway. We get this “It worked for her, so I’m going to do it!” mentality. Sorry to tell you friends, but every body is different. The sooner we embrace that, the sooner we can get on the road to our own health. Again, you have to find what works for you. If it feels like a diet, it probably is. Sustainability is always more important than the quick fix!
Straight up freedom, people! This is by far the biggest thing I have gained in my personal life when I have decided to shift my focus from weight loss to health. I don’t eat the salad so that I can eat the ice cream! I am free to enjoy the ice cream… and also free to say no. There has to be a check in my spirit and I need to decide if I am emotional eating, if this will send me on a downward spiral of out of control sugar cravings (because I am a recovering sugar addict,) or if I truly just desire to enjoy something I love! There has been freedom from trying to fit the mold that culture tells us we need to fit to be healthy.
The hardest thing about freedom, is that it looks different for each person. A+B≠C. You have to do the hard and heart work to find what freedom looks like for you. Freedom fighter will become a new description of yourself! If you think the enemy won’t use your body to get you to focus on yourself over those around you, you are dead wrong! Don’t under estimate the fact that we want to glorify God in our bodies and the enemy would love nothing more than for you to navel gaze and focus on self.
I hope this has encouraged you today! If you are ready to make the shift from weight loss to health, I would encourage you to consider joining my upcoming group. Put the effort in and you will learn how to live freely in your body! It is not a diet, supplements, or what you are used to when you think of a “challenge group.” This is more of a book/Bible study that will guide you into living a healthy lifestyle! Join me! I know there is a freedom fighter inside you!