Tag Archives: Christian

Count Your Fitness Blessings

One Word 2014: Blessing 

2014
2014

We’re one month into the New Year and I’m excited to say I haven’t broken any resolutions yet, and that’s because I didn’t make any! This year the One Word option is something I welcome into my life. If you’d like to learn more about One Word, you can select the One Word 2014 tab near the top left of this blog and learn all about it and why the word Blessing is my guiding word for this entire year.

When it comes to health and fitness I can be quite the downer. I don’t recall ever waking up and thinking, “Yeah, I get to go to the gym and sweat on a machine!” or “Yeah, my aching legs and butt still hurt two days after my lower body workout!” I give thanks to God, but I certainly don’t get all excited about going to work out or HAVING TO lose weight. At times this healthy living journey feels like punishment. In my mind I tell myself I am being punished for having eaten way too many processed foods and not exercising enough.

NEGATIVE THINKING HAS TO STOP NOW!

Jpg Source: Fitsugar
Jpg Source: Fitsugar

This is what I told myself yesterday. Negative thinking has never helped anyone lose weight and keep it off. Negativity is not healthy. My word is Blessing, so… what blessings can I find, give thanks for and share with you as encouragement (for those who need that extra spiritual motivation). I give thanks to God that it didn’t take me long to count my weight loss and fitness blessings.

Health Blessings:

I’m alive: Seems silly, but I have to give thanks for this. I’m alive and it can’t get any better than this.

I don’t have terminal illness: Terminal illness isn’t necessarily related to poor health choices, and this is all the more reason to give thanks that death is not at my door. There are many people lying in hospital wishing they could trade places with me right now. I am fairly healthy and I have to give thanks for this.

I can afford fitness equipment and a subsidised gym membership: I don’t have an at home gym, but I have some basics like kettle bells, medicine balls, foam rollers, bands,lots of DVD’s, and yoga mats to name a few. I am fortunate to live in a city where the municipal government subsidises fitness memberships for those with low incomes. For those with limited funds to spare the YMCA also assists individuals and families with the cost of memberships. I am blessed because I have no excuse for not obtaining a gym membership.

I have a choice: Having a choice to decide if I want to commit to being healthy is a major blessing that I think we take for granted here in North America. We have so much food in this country that I get to make a choice between eating healthy or reaching for the not-so-good-for-you temptations. We’ve all seen those sad commercials with hungry people who need our less than dollar a day. I wondered, “If I have a choice, why is it so difficult to make the healthiest decisions”.

ARE YOU BRAGGING OR SHOWING OFF? Fitness Snob

No, I’m not doing either. What I’m doing is counting my blessings and I’m sparing you all the details by telling you that I would have to write a lot more pages if I were to list for you all the blessings given to me by God as it relates to my health journey.

Application:

We’re a month into 2014 (and two days if you are celebrating Lunar New Year). I encourage you to take stock of the many health and fitness blessings that have been made available to you. I sometimes think that if we knew how blessed we were in our quest for health we would be more diligent in taking care of ourselves. We would no longer see our journey as tiring, boring, punishing, a duty, a hassle or any other negative emotion. Most importantly, we would bless the Lord for blessing us with whatever health we’ve been given.

So, go ahead, count your fitness blessings all week long! I’m excited for you to see the awesomeness of God as He inserts Himself into your goals for health and wellness.

1000 blessings

I am a Sugar Monster

Sugar-Addiction CycleSugar Cocaine

 

I’m a Sugar Monster

If sugar were illegal I’d be sentenced to life in prison. I wish I could say that I actually love sugar, but I don’t. In reality I’ve finally accepted that I’m addicted to this stuff. I can’t think of a day when I’ve intentionally gone without some source of manmade sugar.

Sugary products are the first thing I consume when I wake up and the last thing in my mouth before I head to bed. There was a time when I was eating at least one bag of jelly beans or gummy bears per day.  I went so far as to have a bag on my nightstand; I’d wake up in the middle of the night and without fail I’d roll over, grab a handful of candy and go back to sleep.

I began working as an Addictions Worker part-time and was continuously amazed at the grip addictions had over the lives of those with substance abuse problems. I had to admit that my inability to go without my daily sugar fix was no different than those who drank alcohol and consumed illegal drugs every day. I was just as much of an addict as they were, the only difference is that my addiction is legal and there’s isn’t. I caution Christians; don’t allow the plank in your eye to blind you from seeing any addictions or dependencies of your own.

Judging at the gym

I once tried a sugar detox program; however, I only lasted three days. Irritability, anxiety, headaches, and fatigue set in. I’m a sugar monster who can only be tamed with sugar. As I started this weight loss and fitness journey I realized that I must surrender my love of man made sweets to God. Anything in our lives that is an addiction places a barrier between our self and God. He wants nothing on this earth to have control over our life. Even healthy habits can become an obsession and an addiction.

Ask Seek Knock

Our quest to be physically fit and eat healthy is a godly pursuit, but we are human and there is always the risk that our endeavours can become spiritually unhealthy. Do you skip church to go for Sunday morning runs, do you spend more time at the gym than you do with your spouse, friends or family; do you think about food and calories all day long? These are only small examples of ways our healthy pursuits can become problems.

If your physical fitness is a means for feeding an aching spirit, turn to God. Jesus tells us that our Father is there for us.

Ask Him: if we ask, He will give us an answer as to why we are hurting.

Seek Him: God always knows where we are, He never loses sight of us. We are the ones who have to seek Him. We’ve been seeking other worthy, yet mundane pursuits, when instead; we should have been seeking God to heal our hurts.

Knock: You know where He is, let Him know that you’re there (knocking). He will always invite you in; He will never close the door on you. The opened door is God saying, “Come on in! Have a seat and let’s talk.”

Jeremiah 33:1-3, 6-8
Jeremiah 33:1-3, 6-8
Jpg Credit: ephesianswife.blogspot.ca

 

Application:

We certainly don’t have to give up our healthy goals and habits, but be sure to do some self-reflection and consider if or how your health and fitness beliefs are affecting your Christian walk. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • Do I believe that I will not be beautiful/good looking until I meet my goal weight/increase muscle mass?
  • Am I constantly thinking about my fitness and diet regime?
  • Is my diet so restrictive that it interferes with my social life and causes tension in my family household?
  • Do I judge others who don’t follow the same dietary plan as myself (e.g. Paleo, Raw Food, Vegetarian, Meat Lover, Gluten Free, etc.)?
  • Do I believe that losing weight will solve all my problems?
  • Do I use exercise (Running, cycling, strength training) as a way to forget about and avoid problems? How can these activities be used as an aide to healing rather than an avoidance or hindrance to healing?

Application 2:

Sit in silence for 1 minute or more and let God’s Spirit open your mind to receiving his revelation. The answer might not come to you today, but continue to Ask, Seek, and Knock and God will fulfill his promise to produce healing in your life.

Blessings!

 

Advent Day 16: Joy in knowing Christ

Joy 1

Contagious Joy 

Joy: “A source or cause of delight”, Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Who or what is the source/cause of delight in your life?

Psalm: 97:11-12

“Light Shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name.”

“When you’re in love with someone, you are excited about the relationship and time spent together. Likewise, when you’re in love with Jesus, you can’t keep to yourself the joy that comes from knowing Him—it just spills over, bearing witness and strengthening other believers. In fact, as you give testimony of who God is and how He’s working in your life, it makes no difference whether you speak quietly or with great exuberance: in their spirit, Christians will pick up on the deep, genuine gladness in your heart that goes beyond natural happiness. And people who don’t yet know the Lord will find themselves hungering for the relationship you have. In that way, they will be drawn to His Spirit in you.” From Charles Stanley, In Touch Magazine, December 13, 2011, Contagious Joy.

http://www.intouch.org/magazine/content.aspx?topic=Contagious_Joy_devotional#.UpbJLdJDuSo

Question: Has your faith in Christ resulted in an outpouring of joy? Do you experience joy when engaged in spiritual disciplines (e.g. daily devotionals, prayer, fasting, serving others, musical worship) ?

 

Advent Prayer

Advent General

Each day I will post a short reading for advent. Every Sunday there will be a lengthier reading that reflects the theme of each Advent week. There will be a mixture of scripture reading, observations, prayer and questions for personal reflection.

I can’t think of a better prayer to start the Advent season than this one by Henri Nouwen. Let us quiet our minds, hearts and lives in order to welcome the words and wisdom the Holy Spirit has to offer us.

Advent Prayer

By Henri J.M. Nouwen

Lord Jesus,
Master of both the light and the darkness,
send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day. We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.
To you we say, “Come, Lord Jesus!”
Amen.