A sacred place

Today is a beautiful, sunny day here in the Kansas City, MO area, although still cold. I went for my walk at the track, continuing to do it daily. As I shared with a friend recently, I don’t always want to walk, but my body (and soul and spirit) thanks me. I always feel so much better afterward.

Walking in the cold (as long as it’s not too cold) is exhilarating. Today I was inspired reading Katie’s blog, Runs for Cookies. Katie weighed 253 pounds, began running, and lost a bunch of weight and is fit and healthy today. My daughter Heather is my biggest inspiration for getting in shape and losing weight.

But it’s a challenge to exercise and eat healthy foods. Yeah, I’d much rather sit around at my laptop, watching a chic flic or reading, and eating chocolate. I’m also craving Sonic’s chicken strips, french fries, and honey mustard! But no. I have to make a choice.

I saw this sign by an insurance office in town. It’s so true. If you’re not being challenged, there’s not going to be any change!

challenge
challenge

It really comes down to our hearts. God recently revealed to me just how serious a problem I have with Coke® and food. They were an idol in my life.

God says in Deuteronomy 5:7, NASB, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” God wants me to crave Him, not Coke® and food. 

Coke
Coke

I’m completely off Coke® now. You have NO idea what a victory this is!!! It is HUGE!

I was addicted to them, and have been since childhood. I’ve quit drinking it numerous times, only to go back to it, like a heroin addict would return to heroin.

I wasn’t physically addicted to it, but emotionally. It was like a comfort food is to some people, who indulge in Ben & Jerry’s Salted Caramel Core ice cream, bread, doughnuts, or salty foods like chip and salsa (I love those, too!)

What I have found surprising is that I haven’t been craving the Coke® as much as chocolate! I. love. chocolate. Especially chocolate cake – yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Chocolate candy bars. Chocolate cupcakes. Ray could never go wrong bringing me home chocolate treats. Oh, how I love thee, chocolate!

Yellow cake with chocolate frosting www.bakingthroughmsbh.files.wordpress.com-2010-03-slice1
Yellow cake with chocolate frosting
www.bakingthroughmsbh.files.wordpress.com-2010-03-slice1

Instead, I am eating lots of salads with fresh veggies and occasional fresh fruit. My breakfast is usually two eggs (scrambled, an omelette, or fried) sprinkled with fresh spinach, onion, raw whole flaxseed (it has amazing benefits), and sometimes cottage cheese or occasionally a couple slices of pepperoni or bacon.

Sometimes I eat the Wildtree healthy meals I’m preparing in the crockpot for Ray and Leah, depending on what it is. Almost EVERYTHING has high sodium and sugar in it (as well as preservatives, additives, food coloring, etc.). I’m reading labels carefully when grocery buying. It takes twice as long, but I believe it’s my responsibility as the homemaker -to myself and my family – to buy the healthiest foods possible.

That doesn’t mean we only eat sprouts, but it does mean paying attention to what we’re putting into our bodies. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Besides, who wants to be unhealthy?!

Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, The Message

I love that. A sacred place. Selah.

As I recently read somewhere, I can’t go all Carrie Nation on my family about this or they will rebel. Instead, I’m praying that my example will influence them to begin making healthier choices themselves…instead of eating Pringle’s potato chips while watching Star Trek.

man watching TV
man watching TV

Ultimately, me making this radical lifestyle change is all about being fit – spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have to be physically fit and healthy in order to pursue the calling that is on my life, to pursue my purpose of speaking and writing books.

Me, February 2015
Me, February 2015

I share more about this when I spoke on Linda M. Brown‘s radio show, Your Blueprint For Life. You can listen to the replay by clicking here. Please let me know what you think of this blog and the show with your comments below. 

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Go on

Beth Jones, January 2015
Me , January 2015

At the end of 2014, God spoke to me my “one word” for 2015 (mine were 2) – pivot and pivotal.

Pivot means the central point on which a mechanism turns; to rotate; to turn; to revolve.

Pivotal means of crucial importance in relation to the development of success of something else.

God told me that this year is a pivotal (crucially important) year for me. There’s no time to waste.

I don’t want to miss out on God’s purpose and plan for my life. (Jeremiah 29:11)  While God has done amazing salvation, healing, and deliverance in my life, there still have been some areas where I wasn’t obeying God.

My diet and exercise. I know, it’s so annoying to talk about it. 

I’ve been addicted (emotionally, not physically – like comfort food to some people) to Coca Cola®, sugar (can anyone say chocolate?!), and I like Sonic and Mexican WAYYY too much. This year I made a DECISION, a CHOICE, to obey God. 

To get off the Cokes. To stop eating so much fast food. To eat healthier. To exercise. To drink more water. To take care of myself so that I can fulfill my purpose and calling from God. 

You can read more about my radical LIFESTYLE CHANGE (not just a diet)  here.

I’ve been walking each day at the track. This is a HUGE change for me.

I HATE to exercise. Hate. it. with. a. passion. Here’s reasons why people hate to exercise.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/128541747/trex-hates-push-ups-funny-t-shirt-men?ref=market
https://www.etsy.com/listing/128541747/trex-hates-push-ups-funny-t-shirt-men?ref=market

But I love God, my family and friends, life, and my purpose more. I’m doing this to be fit to fulfill God’s mission for my life (the weight loss is a great side benefit!)

Exercising to lose weight can actually be a bad motivator. Women who exercise to feel better and curb stress work out more.

The scorekeeper billboard at the track in town where I walk has encouraging words on it. It says “To Go On.”

scorekeeper at track
scorekeeper at track

I don’t always want to walk. It’s been really cold here lately (the other day it was 14 degrees!)…plus, I confess, I can be lazy, as far as exercise!

Today was “only” (right?!) 32 degrees, but the wind is blowing hard so it feels much colder. I bundled up again in my coat, hat, fur scarf, and another long, thick scarf to cover my nose and cheeks. It worked fine. No excuses this year!

Me at the track
Me at the track

I walk in the middle lane at the track. It has the number 5 on it. Spiritually, the number 5 is symbollic for God’s grace. I need His grace to go on and to be self-disciplined to continue with this radical lifestyle change. (Chocolate cake is calling my name!)

 

Lane 5 at the track
Lane 5 at the track

After a friend read my post on taking a single action from yesterday, she felt bad.

She’s been taking steps of faith this year by going to the gym and eating healthier. But she told me she can’t do all the radical changes that I’m doing right now. Actually, her words in a private Facebook message were, “UUGGG! You are making me feel guilty!”

That was NOT the result I wanted from my post! I told her this is something I’m doing for God and me and NOT to feel guilty.

She called me yesterday and we talked about it. Everything’s good now. I encouraged her that she is taking steps of faith and to go on.

I need prayers and encouragement, too, to keep on keepin’ on. Would you pray for me to keep it up? (Oh, and I have lost some weight – yahoo!)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9, The Message

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A single action

This is a  long post. So much to tell you.

So many times at the beginning of the new year, you make goals and resolutions and dream big dreams. Then by the end of January, you haven’t accomplished them ~ and you feel defeated. Ikr?

Today I received an ezine which had these inspiring, motivating words that I shared with my Coaching clients:

“Welcome to the turning point of your life

If you did not have a great year in 2014…

If you have already broken your New Year Resolutions,…

And, if you are not as prosperous and fulfilled as you would like, you need to do something differently, and you need to do it now.

Why? Because all change, all progress begins with a single decision… a single action, a single YES!”

Gary Ryan Clair, 100 Day Challenge

I decided that this is the year for me to lose the weight and get fit and healthy.

Yeah, I know a lot of people say that. I’ve said it before ~ how many times?

 And actually, I have done it before…then gained the weight again.

Although I HAVE maintained the 20 pounds I lost last year with Speaker/Author Donna Partow’s 90 Day Renewal program.

But I made  a choice this year to stop the excuses and just do it.

To get to the real issue, the root…Cokes and food have been an idol in my life (stepping on toes here!). I’ve craved them instead of God and His best plan for my life.

I’ve repented and asked for His forgiveness and mercy.

Lisa Terkeurst writes in her book Made to Crave: “When we are stuffed full of other things and never allow ourselves to be in a place of longing, we don’t recognize the deeper spiritual battle going on…So, I’m not on a diet. I’m on a journey with Jesus to learn the fine art of self-discipline for the purpose of holiness.”

This is not a DIET. I’ve made a radical LIFESTYLE change.

success
success

I’m trying not to whine. It’s hard to make the change. So. very. hard.

Why do I think about Cokes and food all the time?

But it’s not as hard as being overweight (which discourages you and causes low self-esteem, makes you at risk for heart disease and other unhealthy things, and – let’s get honest here – unattractive). 

fat woman/thin woman
fat woman/skinny woman

I’m going to track my progress here at BethJones.net, and I’d love your prayers and encouragement. You can leave me comments below the posts and/or on my Facebook page. Being publicly accountable brings this to a whole new level!

And I’d love to hear your story, your goals, your dreams for this year! Let’s partner together to make 2015 an awesome year so we can glorify Jesus!!!

dreams
dreams

I was inspired to include my progress (and when I mess up!) by Linda M. Brown’s amazing blog, Lose The Weight.

I love, love, love her website! I love the header…her realness…her anointed writing. She’s also hilarious. I truly believe God brought her into my life at this time to encourage and motivate me to keep going. 

Because it’s easier to start (sometimes)…than to finish.

For the first time in over a year, I’ve started walking every day.

No small feat, considering that today it was 14 degrees.

It’s been colder this week than it has been…Missouri has actually had an extremely mild winter, with temps in the 60’s! (My husband is cheering; he hates snow and the cold, and wants to retire on an  exotic island .) It’s been more like fall weather here.

But just in case you want to suddenly pack up and move to Kansas City, MO, remember the expression: “If you don’t like the weather (or do like it) in Missouri, wait a minute.” It can change in a second.

Like the last few days. FOURTEEN DEGREES! OMGosh.

Walking outside is still doable, though. Today I bundled up in my coat, hat, gloves, and beautiful fake-fur scarf Ray bought me (it’s so warm!), and headed to the track. Despite the cold and icy weather, the beautifully shining sun was out.

Me at the track
Me at the track

My nose is what was so cold, as my face was exposed. I tried covering it with the fake-fur, which worked…sorta’.

But my nose was freezing and I looked like Rudolph.

Rudolph
Rudolph

After I walked, I went to Walmart and the closest thing I could find to a hat covering the nose was a headband and neck cover, which I’ll buy later this week. I tried it on there and it will work great. No excuses this year!

THE BIGGIE!!!

I’ve stopped drinking Coke®, which is absolutely God’s grace. I LOVE Coke!!!

I’m addicted to it. Not physically, but emotionally, like comfort foods such as ice cream, chips, chocolate, bread, and fast food, are to some people.

I visited Sonic’s Happy Hour – half price drinks -in the morning and afternoon EVERY DAY! Part of the reason I am overweight! But it was one of the highlights of my day!

Now I’m having to establish a replacement habit…walking! NOT as fun!

Coke
Coke

 I’ve quit drinking it several times, but go back to it. This time I’m making a  choice not to.

I’ve replaced the Coke® with water. I don’t drink nearly enough water. I’m not drinking any other beverages but hot green tea. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, for your body to function properly, you have to replenish its water supply through beverages and foods that contain water. “The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.

I’m using this water bottle that Ray (a paramedic) brought home from the hospital one day. It holds a lot (but not too much), it’s thin (not too bulky and fits nicely on my office desk), and it’s a pretty royal blue. 🙂

water bottle
water bottle

I’ve been refilling it several times throughout the day. I measured the water today and it holds 20 ounces. I figure if I drink 3 to 4 water bottles a day, I’ll be getting sufficient water. Maybe more. 

You may be wondering what I’m eating. Low carb, low to no sugar meals. Not to the extreme of Paleo, though…but challenging enough.

Yeah…I really miss chips and salsa, cheeseburgers and fries, Pizza Hut, Baby Ruth’s and Butterfingers!

For so long, I’ve eaten too much and eaten unhealthy and forget to eat when I’m busy working, that I don’t think I even know when I’m hungry -or if it’s just boredom, emotional eating, a habit, etc.

I’m now much more aware of my body and its needs. Listening to its signals that I’m hungry, thirsty, tired, energetic, need a stretch, etc. And it’s working.

The new energy I have now is, amazingly, coming from just a change in diet and exercise! No caffeine. No energy drinks. No pills. Just good-old fashioned healthy food, water, and moving my butt!

Every day I’m eating lots of salads with fresh veggies. 

salad
salad

 The ingredients vary, and I prepare them raw, not cooked:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • onion
  • garlic
  • celery
  • tomatoes
  • mushrooms
  • cucumbers
  • flaxseed
  • avocado
  • and sometimes chicken or turkey added.

I use a tablespoon of Ranch salad dressing. If you use the right amount, it’s okay, not fattening. I didn’t realize until this year how much I DROWN my salads in dressing!

Last year I began adding more salads to my diet, but now I eat them daily. Comment and leave me your fave salad recipes!

I’m still cooking Wildtree healthy crockpot meals for my family, which I started doing the last quarter of 2014.

They have no GMO’s, additives, chemicals, etc. Some nights we have taco night or Ray cooks his spaghetti that he and Leah enjoy. I don’t like spaghetti so I opt for something else.

prayer
prayer

I’m spending time with God each day, praying, reading the Bible, and worshipping.

Asking Him for GRACE and self-discipline – a fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23) Please pray this for me!

Because apart from Jesus, I can do nothing. 

Like Meg Ryan’s alcoholic wife character Alice said to her husband Michael in the movie When A Man Loves A Woman, “Ask me how bad I want a drink right now.”

Ask me right now how bad I want a Coke® or a slice of pepperoni pizza!

pizza
pepperoni pizza

 
But I want to be fit and healthy more. tt’s not about the weight loss. It’s about health and wellness.

The life more abundant that Jesus promised. (John 10:10)

*Able to fulfill God’s purpose for my life – without sickness and suffering.*

Vibrant. Healthy. Feeling good. Energetic.

Being able to live a good life, enjoying God, my family, and friends.

Traveling internationally and nationally to speak, write, minister, do short-term missions, for pleasure.

Do you want to “eat the good of the land” as God promised? (Isaiah 1:19)

 Join me to make 2015 a healthier year.  We can do it! Tips (reminding me!):

  • God helping us through daily quiet time in prayer, meditating on God’s word, worship (doesn’t have to be a long period of time – can you do 10 to 15 minutes?). The more we seek God, the less we will look to other things in this world (or people) to fill that empty, black hole inside. It is a God void that His love and presence only can satisfy.
  • accountability
  • lots of water – helps with cravings
  • journaling
  • weigh first thing in the morning before eating, the same time each day
  • Buy as ‘close to the earth as possible” – no or limited processed foods, fast foods, sugar, salt, etc. Fresh is best for our bodies!
  • Ask for prayer.
  • When we mess up, we get back up. God’s mercies are new each morning. 

February is also Heart Awareness Month – Make a Change.

Go Red Heart Awareness Month
Go Red
Heart Awareness Month

Here’s my “before” picture below.

My goal is to lose 45 pounds. I’ve already lost 6 lbs total JUST from not drinking Coke, changing my diet, and walking 40 minutes a day at the track!

In the afternoon, I also do 20 to 30 jumping jacks, 10 sit-ups, 10 modified push-ups, 25 leg lifts (each and various kinds).

I know to take it easy and slow to avoid injuring myself and overdoing it. 

Here’s a scripture I’m meditating on for this radical lifestyle change.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NIV

Beth Jones, January 2015
Me , January 2015

 

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