I fully intended to get this post out last week. But, what do you know LIFE happened. I began writing early last week and then it sat......unfinished for the rest of the week. So my sincere apologies!
Due to our last snow storm my small group had to cancel the second meeting for the glorious weather (are you sensing my sarcasm). So this put us a week behind our original starting point.
And here I am shut in again in yet another snowstorm. I am choosing to say it is a blessing to be able to catch up. Those of you following online and are completely confused about the reading I am just following my small group sessions. We just finished through chapter 6 in the participant's guide study. So in this blog I am going to talk about getting a plan, accountability and tapping into God for empowerment.
By now I hope you have found your "Want To" in your MTC journey! When I began my journey last spring my "Want To" was to loose weight, feel better, be less stressed, and get healthy just for ME! My "Want To" to Compete was to prove to my doubting-self that I could and a reason to completely rely on God and conquer a few fears. Maybe your Want To is to simply to make healthier choices or to crave God not food! Its ok to start small and build from there.
In Chapter Three Getting a Plan and Chapter Four Friends Don't Let Friends Eat before Thinking Lysa indicates that these two things will go hand in hand for success in your journey.
"Getting a plan is the first crucial step: getting a friend or two to join you is the next" (MTC pg 39).
Now, I began reading MTC after the new year, not until after I had lost the weight and had already competed, but I completely agree with Lysa! I would not have succeeded my goals this far without those two things.
If you know me at all you are aware that I like my routine, I love a good plan, and I get jazzed about organization! So needless to say I thrived by having an exercise and meal plan! So what does getting a plan mean for you? Well, whether your goal is to lose weight or just eat healthier having a meal plan will keep you accountable and help you stay on track.
Dave Ramsey, financial guru and founder of Financial Peace University says,
" Fail to Plan and plan to fail".
The hard truth is that this is applies to many areas of life including weight loss and healthy living.
When I started in the spring (2013) I didn't have a definitive written plan. I did however, commit to changing my eating habits by cutting back on processed sugar and making healthier choices. I was losing weight but, when I began really tweaking my diet and writing down what I was eating, this is when I really saw results.
Planning your meals for the day or even for the week is like your road map or GPS. You might get there eventually but you are more likely to get lost or get stuck in traffic.
If you read my previous blog D is for......Diet? you know that after competing I stopped using my road map and lost my way for a bit. I discovered that I needed the structure. Really it is more than a diet; its a lifestyle change. Having a plan works! You can visit my newest Fitness & Nutrition Page for a few tips on how to get started.
Another crucial component to a successful healthy lifestyle journey is having friends to support you. This means friends who will keep you accountable to your goals and help keep you on track. In Chapter 4, Friends Don't let Friends Eat before Thinking Lysa says,
" We must be aware that desperation breeds degradation. In other words, when what is lacking in life goes from being an annoyance to an anxiety we run the risk of compromising in ways we never though we would"......
"That's why we must have friends to help us remember that what we're giving up in short term will help us get what we really want in the long term. If we forget to be self-controlled and alert, we are prime targets for Satan to usher us right away from the new standards we've set in our life. That's degradation." (MTC-pg, 42)
Support from my friends is no doubt a key factor in my own success thus far. First of all I had 100% support from my husband as he saw my passion grow. Not only did he encourage me but he showered me with new workout gear, helped me cook my meals each week, and was my #1 fan at my competition! My second most important accountability and support was my trainer Heather (Gymnut Fitness). I knew that aside from my own hard work I was accountable to her hard work as well. I knew I needed to follow through so that her coaching was not in vein! She gave me clear limits and I was not going to let her down. My boot camp girls were yet another support as well. I knew I had a time and a place three time a week to stay accountable to my fitness goals!
Lysa TerKuerst also says,
"Knowing I couldn't hide little cheats here and there from Holly kept me from slipping. I couldn't stand the thought of having to tell her I'd messed up- so I didn't. Our motto became, " If it's not part of our plan, we don't put it in our mouths." (MTC- pg 45)
This is how I felt with my accountability friends too! I would have been difficult without them!
Probably the most important resource in achieving success in our journey but often stumbled upon as an afterthought (when it comes to food) is God's empowerment! I know in some ways it was for me. I did not start out by going to God and asking him to help me to lose weight or ask for self-control when it came to food. But, I will say that when it came to my decision to compete I knew I was going to have to rely on Him. It was much more that just changing my physical body for a competition. This was about God changing me; my heart, my confidence, as well as my body.
"Becoming a women of self-discipline honors God and helps me live the godly characteristic of self-control." (MTC- pg 61)
God equips us with this verse in Galatians, Paul writes
"So I say, live by the Spirit, and you you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature" (Galatians 5:16)
So in other words, if we follow the prompting of the Holt Spirit, He will equip up with the self-control (not giving in to our cravings).
If you haven't already, you can read about my overcomer moment during competition training in my blog entry Overcomer. God truly became my strength in self-disciple when I knew I didn't have strength on my own.
I just love the idea that we are equipped with Gods Empowerment! Doesn't that just give you an energy surge just thinking about it!
As we continue on this Journey together I pray that you will equip yourself with a good plan, supportive friends (accountability) and Gods Empowerment! And I truly believe you will succeed! And know my friend that you will always have support here!