After the birth of my third daughter, I felt horrible. The back-to-back babies and lack of self-care had taken its toll on my body, and self-image. I felt disheveled, lonely, battered, and wrecked. And, I decided to change it all.
My husband and I ordered a workout program to begin taking steps to get more active. We had a nutrition program to follow, but I stayed with the plan I had followed for years and knew very well, and would also accommodate my breastfeeding status: Weight Watcher’s. Now, we just needed to keep moving forward.
I would love to say that the process was seamless, super easy, and flawless. It wasn’t. Getting healthy took a lot of intention, effort, and focused discipline, but the lessons I learned during that season of my life, which ultimately helped me to lose 35 pounds and get into the best shape of my life, have also blessed me with basic Truths that have overflowed into the other areas of my life (for more on my personal journey, click here).
It’s amazing how many parallels exist between getting healthy and other daily life situations. For are some thoughts to challenge your days and maybe, just maybe, propel you forward as you continue on with this life journey thing.
Never give up. Just keep moving forward.
4 Keys to Making Healthy Changes
Small Changes Count
In the world of “perfect” there is only one way to do things and make changes. It’s either all or nothing. But, the Truth is that the real changes, the ones that stick with us for a lifetime and truly change the root of who we are are often found in the teeny tiny steps that are made a little at a time. It’s easy to think that only the big changes matter, because they are the ones that are easily seen and experienced, but the reality is, the small stuff matters. Simply deciding to focus on one little change and then compound that with another once you get on the roll will avalanche a series of positive changes in your life that overtime will amount to a mountain of success. Small changes count!
…Here a little, there a little.” ~ Is. 28: 10
Change Takes Time…and that’s okay
I have a tendency toward impatience, both with myself and others. This is one of those arenas that God is continually challenging me to grow in and change through listening to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit on a moment by moment basis. As I move forward in even the small changes, it is critical for me to remember that change takes time, but it is this type of change that lasts a lifetime. This is the process of sanctification, which is a gradual shift from flesh to Spirit-living in each different aspect of living. God surely knows how long true change will take, and He is more than patient to walk with us as we move through the process. The question is, are we patient enough with ourselves to walk with Him as He changes us from the inside out.
But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” ~ 2 Cor. 12: 9
Do Your Part to Just Show Up…even if imperfectly
When I was working to lose weight and get healthy, there were many days that I did only 8 or so minutes of my workout. I just did not have it in me all the time. But, it was the small changes that I was making over time that compounded to the ultimate victory I experienced with my health. Not every day or every moment of a day is going to be perfectly dealt with or experienced. The Truth is that God’s heart is to keep His eyes on every little bit of goodness that is sown by our choices each day. Even if you fail for a moment or a day, even if you totally muck it up and make a mess of things, God is not one of to mocked: He can redeem even the lost moments. Don’t let the liar get you caught up in condemnation, fear, and shame. Turn your back on the lies and turn back to the One who wants to help you move out of the valley and experience yet another mountaintop conquered with Him.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” ~ John 10: 10
Perseverance Pays…Develop your Stick-with-it-iveness
To top off this list is just a final reminder to simply stick with the changes you want to make, no matter how big or small. Change can be tough, and sometimes take a bit of time, but these things do not make the goals ultimately lose their inherent value. If the goal is truly worthy of the work it takes to attain it, like getting healthy, learning to become a more loving spouse, disciplining yourself to have a daily Bible time, seeking ways to enjoy your children more, etc., then it does not ultimately matter how long it takes to achieve it. In the words of Dori, the wise, blue sage, “Just keep swimming.” God desires for us to grow in each of the various areas that He placed within us: heart, mind, body, and soul. It takes work and diligence to see these pieces grow and eventually experience the fulfillment of growth towards the end of a life well-lived. God isn’t bothered by the process of sanctification, but He surely desires for us to continue to walk and journey with Him as He grooms and prunes us one little branch at a time. Stick with it, and persevere.
Do not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up.” ~ Gal. 6: 9
Julie is a personal coach with Beachbody, who works with women to help them learn to make healthier choices and lasting life changes while learning the blessed importance of self-care. If you would like more about the services Julie offers, click here.