Diet and exercise. I’ve started this blog many times, but I have never been able to actually complete it. I realize now, that is because it will never be complete. This is a rollercoaster of a journey. If someone would have told me when I was 17, my biggest struggle in life would be my weight, I would have laughed… but it seems to be partially true.

Back in December of 2018, I remember sitting in the pew with a newborn on my chest as my pastor joked that our New Years resolutions should be diet and exercise. But not physical diet and exercise, spiritual diet and exercise.

Spiritual diet and exercise. I liked that. Diet- read the Word of God. Don’t fill your mind and heart with garbage like soap operas on TV. Exercise- practice your faith.

I liked it because this was already something I was doing. However, physically… I had a newborn. And this newborn’s pregnancy had me blown up. Seriously, before a pregnancy test said positive, I knew I was pregnant (and with a boy) because my hips expanded… noticeably too.   

When my midwife released me to work-out in January of 2019, I looked at the scale and shook my head. I NEEDED to lose 30lbs just to no longer be considered overweight. I needed to lose 40lbs to be pre-baby. My ideal weight was 50lbs away!

That’s a lot of weight to lose. I had no motivation. Then my husband made a deal with me. I will not share the details of that deal, but I will say it was all the motivation I needed.

I started hitting the gym we have set up in our garage. Each month in 2019, I watch the weight fall off and my pants size decrease a size each month. I was in a groove; it was part of my daily lifestyle now. It was fun and easy.

In August, I was five pounds away from that 50lb goal… and then we got in the littlest fender bender. I was literally stopped on a ramp when my van got rear-ended. This little fender-bender wreaked havoc to my shoulder. I ended up needing 6 weeks of chiropractic care in which I was not allowed to work out.  

At first, it was alright. My eating habits were still good.

But then the longer I stayed away from my gym, the harder it became to say no to sweets, and hamburgers, and all that other stuff.

Finally, my chiropractor said I could work out again, but every time I did an upper body work out, I seemed to irritate my shoulder.

By now the holidays were upon us. So, I just threw it all out the window- I will just eat whatever I want. I mean, I’m not overweight anymore. I am at a manageable weight… and I was… at first…

Please, I know what people are thinking, Renee you are not big. Don’t worry about it. I understand that. However, I don’t hold myself to the world’s standards, I hold myself to a different standard.

When the COVID lock-down happened (March 2020), I told myself I was going to get back in the gym. And I did. For the past few months, I have been weightlifting. I have seen my muscles take back their shape, tone up, and feel a little better… but really that scale did nothing and neither did the mid-section that I really want to decrease in size. You know why? I did not adjust my eating habits.

Then I went on a trip and I allowed myself to eat way too much dairy and a drink way too much soda. My stomach was a wreck from all that cheese and milk. And now I was constantly craving sugary drinks. I needed a pallet reset. So, I decided to do another Whole30.

The Whole30 is a month-long commitment to only eating whole foods. No dairy, no grains, no sugar for 30 days.  I’m currently finishing week 1. But I am already noticing a huge difference. The first three days are the hardest, after that, it’s actually enjoyable.

The point. My physical fitness journey resembles my faith journey. For both, I need diet and exercise.

Without the diet, my weightlifting regimen did not give the desired results.   Likewise, without reading your Bible, your faith life will be lacking. Going to church is only part of the spiritual journey. There are seven days in a week. What are you doing between Sundays to fill your heart?

How do you practice spiritual exercise? Think past Sunday. How do you practice your faith?

What is your spiritual diet? Do you fill you heart with God’s words, worship songs, and praise? Or do you fill your heart with worldly junk?

Do you read your Bible, pray regularly, fellowship with people who build you up in your faith, listen to Christian music?   

Are there things in your life that wreak havoc to your faith? (fender-benders happen spiritually too)

It’s a roller-coaster. I know! It is for all of us, because we live in a fallen world and battle with our flesh. It doesn’t take much to mess up your momentum. But be on guard. Pray continually. Seek the Lord in all circumstances.