I run

I run
I run

Today is National Running Day. I want to celebrate together with you. It’s held each year on the first Wednesday in June, when runners everywhere declare their passion for running. 

I’m definitely not a fast runner, but I walk daily and jog (slowly), slowly building my endurance and stamina in hopes one day I can run fast! (Hey, don’t laugh!)

My goal is to walk/jog at least one 5K this year, hopefully more. Several years ago, I walked my first 5K’s and would love to do it again!

In January this year I radically changed my lifestyle, eating healthier, exercising, and drinking water instead of Coke. Weather permitting, I walk daily at the track in town, and recently our daughter Leah joined me.

The Bible says in Philippians 3:13-14, The Message: “I’m not saying that I have all this together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wonderously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong. By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal where God is beckoning us onward–to Jesus. I’m off and running and I’m not turning back.”

I love that, don’t you?

While I’m certainly no expert, either, I do have goals and today I want to share some tips for personal and business success, using the topic of running:

1. Who or what are you running from? God? Your past? Sins you’ve committed? If you are under shame and condemnation for something you’ve done wrong, bring it to the Cross. God will forgive you if you ask Him. (1 John 1:9)

The Bible says that God’s mercy is new every morning. Jesus died for your sins and if you have a relationship with Him as your savior, His forgiveness is complete.

Are you running from a relationship with your spouse, a child, a friend, or someone at work? Pray and ask God to help you love that person with His love and for His grace in dealing with him or her. You may not have the answer for how to resolve the problem, but God does. 

2. Who or what are you running to? God? Are you running to your spouse-or someone who is not your spouse when you’re hurting? (which is dangerous) Your child? A friend? Sometimes we may go to a friend talking about all our problems, when instead we need to go to God or our spouse. 

Are you running to drugs or alcohol? Food? Shopping? Money/wealth as your god? God is the only one who can fill up that black hole inside of you. 

3. What are you running for? What is your purpose? When I began exercising in January 2015, it was for one purpose: for fitness and health. I can’t fulfill the purpose for which God created me (speaking, writing books, traveling/missions) if I don’t feel well or if I become sick.

Losing weight was a side benefit to my new routine. I now have an additional goal, which is to reach my idea weight (I have 20 pounds to go!). 

I want to run this race of life well so that when I meet God face to face, I will hear from Him, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23)  I want to accomplish the purpose for which God made me. What about you?

4. When will you start running? When will you do what God has called you to do? It’s time! Even though I knew I needed to eat healthy, drink water, and exercise regularly, I had so many excuses for why I didn’t. My extra weight was “baby fat.” Our daughter Leah is 20 years old now, so that was no longer an excuse!

I was “too tired” to exercise. Now that I eat healthy, drink water, and exercise, I have much more energy!

What hindrances or obstacles are keeping you from your purpose and calling? For years, I was too scared to speak in front of people. God had to drag me into it, and now I LOVE it, especially speaking at live events (if you are an event planner or know someone who needs a speaker, contact me here!). 

I didn’t know how to do webinars or to create videos, but I learned. Maybe it’s time for you to do them, too. (I’m very tech challenged, so if I can learn, you can!)

I had never written a book before, but that didn’t stop me. I’ve now written eight books and am writing three more. The one I’m working on now is my first fiction book. Maybe God has told you to write a book, too. Now is the time; this is the year!

What are your excuses? What hindrances or obstacles are in the way of your personal and business success? As Nike says, just do it!

5. Why are you running – from God, from relationships, from problems, from yourself, from your calling and purpose? Identify the root issue. Most likely, it’s fear. Fears keep you and me in a prison and from fulfilling our purpose. God doesn’t want you afraid but to “be strong and courageous.” (Joshua 1:9)

Perfectionism will trip you up. Sometimes it’s a self-worth issue. Or you may be trying to compete with others, comparing yourself with others and feeling jealous, envious, and “less than.” God doesn’t want you to feel this way. He made you unique, wonderfully and fearfully. (Psalm 139:14)

When I started walking/jogging in January this year, my reason was for fitness/health. A side (wonderful) benefit was losing weight.

Now I’ve set a new goal, to lose 20 more pounds to reach my ideal weight, and to walk/jog at least one 5K this year.

It’s important to have dreams and goals in your life and to achieve them. My motto is, “Dream big because we serve a big God.” More than anything, my desire is to do God’s will. 

British athelete/runner Eric Liddell said in the movie Chariots of Fire, “When I run, I feel His pleasure.”

That’s why I want to run in this race of life, too–to feel God’s pleasure. To glorify Jesus Christ. Are you feeling God’s pleasure in what you’re doing right now? You can start today.

6. How are you running? Are you a tortoise or a hare? Are you running slow, lagging behind God–procrastinating, putting things off, blaming, being a perfectionist? Procrastination and perfectionism will trip you up and will keep you from fulfilling your purpose.

Or maybe like me, you’re like a racehorse, rarin’ to get out of the starting gate. You were BORN TO RUN FAST, like Secretariat the race horse. You are serious about the calling of God on your life and you know you have no time to waste. But sometimes, you run out ahead of God! 

Maybe you’re busy, busy, busy. You stay busy, trying to fill up that empty hole inside of you.  But staying busy doesn’t always mean being productive. Jesus said apart from Him, we can do nothing. (John 15:5)

We have to make sure that we’re in sync with God, flowing in rhythm with His heartbeat, as my friend Doreen Penner says.

When you first start walking or running, you have to pace yourself, not going too slow or too fast. You have to listen to your body. It will give you signals. 

God does this, too. He speaks to you in His still, small voice. In prayer. Through His eternal word. From a spouse, child, or friend. 

Little nudges and whispers. Dreams. Signs. Confirmations. Learn to listen carefully and obey God’s still, small voice and you’ll experience His blessings.

7. Finally, to walk and run, you need the right equipment. When I first started walking this year, I started out just with what I already had: t-shirts, yoga pants, and my aerobic shoes that I’d bought for walking and for our daughter Heather’s Zumba class.

My goal is to buy some really good running shoes to walk/jog at least one 5K this year. A good pair starts at about $75 and up. The best stores help you with fitting, including watching you walk/jog.

I did buy some walking/running clothes earlier this year–a black, short sleeved walking shirt and some black running pants that are a little “stretchy” and very comfortable (both light weight, so I won’t get too hot). Changing into this outfit and my walking/running shoes gets me into the “mindset” of discipline for walking/jogging.

You don’t want to be uncomfortable while walking/running, and I highly recommend getting some good walking/running shoes. You can’t walk or run in boots or stilettos!

What “equipment” do you need to fulfill God’s calling and purpose for your life? Maybe you want to be a paid speaker. Try Toastmaster’s or other professional training. You might get coaching to learn how to write a book. (I offer coaching for beginner speakers, writers, and entrepreneurs.) Getting a college degree may help you advance in your field of study. If you aren’t sure about college, dip your little toe in the water and just enroll in one class. Attend webinars and telecalls. Continually read good books. I believe we are to be life-long learners. This will help you to become “equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:17)

God has unique shoes Divinely-designed just for you!  Just as no one else’s foot could fit in
Cinderella’s slipper, no one else can walk in your unique purpose

Today, let’s celebrate National Running Day together. Use the hashtag #nationalrunningday on Twitter and social media. Get out there and walk, jog or run. (Or if you don’t enjoy that, swim, ride a bike, skate, dance, or do an exercise video).

You can download an app to track your miles to contribute to the charity you want. There’s resources and deals at the website, National Running Day

Let’s also run this race of life well, reaching for the high prize of Jesus Christ. No more holding back. God and I are cheering you onto the finish line. You can do it! 

I created a video blog (called a vlog) covering the same tips in this blog post with my web cam today. You can view it by clicking here

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I love pizza

pizza
pepperoni pizza

I love pizza. Especially Pizza Hut’s hand-tossed pepperoni pizza with extra cheese. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. 

Our family has always had take-out pizza on a regular basis. It’s been a great back-up on the days that I forgot to lay something out to thaw for dinner, and when my family has asked at 6 or 7 p.m. as I’m pounding away on the laptop, “What’s for supper,” my standard response was, “Let’s just order a pizza.” 

Last year I began preparing Wildtree healthy, crockpot meals for our family, which has been a lifesaver. Mom Off Track travel blogger has a great, REAL, balanced post about Wildtree which you can read here

I had the privilege of doing the party alone with our two daughters Heather and Leah at Heather’s house, since she was a rep. Shopping for and prepping the meals does take a LOT of time, but to me, it’s so worth it!

This way my husband Ray, who loves to eat, has hot, healthy, delicious meals on the table at suppertime (or I bring them to his work) and I don’t have to cook for hours over a hot stove. You prepare the meals ahead of time, all at once, and freeze them for the week. 

This year I also began a radical lifestyle change in my eating habits and walking daily. On bad weather days, I do Stacy Cronin’s kickboxing video on Amazon on our Xbox downstairs in our rec room.

Since January 2015, I’ve lost 19 pounds. Since January 2014, I’ve lost 39 pounds! I still have a long way to go to reach my ideal weight, so please keep praying for my daily discipline.

Leah, Beth and Ray Jones at arch, St Louis
Me with our daughter Leah & my husband Ray in Saint Louis last year
Me in late January 2015
Me , January 2015

It’s so hard. For so long, I ate so much and ate the wrong (unhealthy) things. I think about food too much! My god was my belly. (Philippians 3:19)

Sometimes I really crave a pizza ~ or a big, greasy cheeseburger with french fries, Mexican rice, beans, chips and salsa, a big Sonic Coke at Happy Hour, and especially chocolate!

I finally decided recently that if I completely deprive myself of everything I love (like chocolate and other sweets), that one day I am just going to have a total meltdown and a big chocolate binge, eating pounds of it.

To avoid that, OCCASIONALLY I’m allowing myself a SMALL bite of chocolate, such as the Cheesecake Factory chocolate cheesecake that I had last night at our small group. I split a piece with my friend Liz. OMgosh, it tasted divine!

I believe God told me tiny bites occasionally of chocolate (or sweets) are okay, as long as I don’t do it a lot (such as several times a week, or even once a week – just indulging once in awhile). As our daughters Heather and Leah have been telling me lately, “Everything in moderation. It’s about balance, mom.”

Reese's Peanut Butter/Chocolate Cheesecake - Cheesecake Factory, Overland Park, KS
Reese’s Peanut Butter/Chocolate Cheesecake – Cheesecake Factory, Overland Park, KS

For me, it’s not about the weight loss (although that is a GREAT side benefit of my lifestyle change!), but about fitness and wellness in body, soul, and spirit.

It’s also about being healthy so I can fulfill God’s purpose for my life ~ speaking and writing books. Without our bodies, we can’t do what God is calling you and me to do! We need to take care of ourselves. You are worth it!

Mostly, my diet now consists of:

  • One or two eggs in the morning, prepared a variety of ways: an omelette, fried easy-over, scrambled.
  • A salad at lunch and supper with lots of veggies: romaine lettuce, kale or spinach greens, chopped celery, onion, and/or garlic, a sprinkling of raw, whole flaxseed, and either 1 tablespoon of fat-free Ranch dressing or 2 tablespoons of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Sometimes at supper time, I have one of the Wildtree crockpot meals with my family instead of a salad.
  • For a snack in the morning, I have a handful of almonds. In the afternoon, I have a handful of almonds and/or some type of fresh fruit ~ usually a plum, but sometimes strawberries, blackberries, kiwi fruit, or nectarine.
  • Sometimes, but not always, at night for a snack I have some almonds again. 
  • After our paydays, I usually go out to eat at the Mexican restaurant (fajitas, no rice, no beans, no chips and salsa, but with a salad) or The Flaming Lantern restaurant with our daughter Leah (I now usually order fish with salad). Ray and I have an occasional date night out at a restaurant. 
  • After breakfast, I enjoy a cup of hot green tea as I pray, read the Bible, and journal to start my day.
  • Throughout the day I push water. I have a tall, blue water bottle that I refill numerous times as I’m working through the day. I set a goal to get up at the very least once an hour, so I’m not sitting all day at my laptop (which is very unhealthy!). 
  • I walk daily for approximately 40-45 minutes at the track in town. On bad weather days, I do the kickboxing workout video. Eventually I hope to run a little as I build endurance and stamina, and I’d like to get through the entire video (without panting!). My goal is to walk at least two 5K’s this year. 

That’s what’s going on lately. Im part-way there and praying for God to help me to get “to the finish line” ~ my ideal weight and better health and fitness!

Beth Jones
Beth Jones
International Speaker/Author

How are you doing with your fitness/health goals this year? What are some of your fave healthy recipes?

Leave your comments below. 

 

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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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