structure and maybe start to slack off with nutrition or time with God or whatever the challenge was about. This leads to shame and guilt. It’s a vicious cycle. I’ve been there myself. I did it with three challenges last year and I don’t want to do it anymore. These challenges are about getting closer to God, being sensitive to Him, eating whole foods and exercising. Those are all things that I want to be incorporating into my life all the time, not for 30 days or whatever period of time.
I’ve also observed recently that even relationships can be affected by this cycle because people feel guilty, or no longer feel like they are part of something that connects them. That shouldn’t be happening! We need each other whether we’re doing a challenge or not. If these challenges are causing us to be disconnected then something is wrong. It’s not healthy and it’s counterproductive.
So, while I do have fitness goals and other things I’m working towards, I’m going to stay away from challenges this year. My nutritional needs might be different than yours – there is no one-size-fits-all nutritional program. So the way I am approaching things this year is to just allow God to move through me this year all the time – not just for 45 days at a time. I want to open my arms wide, say “here I am” and ask God what he wants to do through me.
Now, just because I am choosing not to do a challenge this year does not mean I don’t support you in yours. I love you all and I want to be there for you – to support you, to pray for you. I just want to make sure that we are truly connecting – CONSISTENTLY – without feeling guilty or shameful if we are eating the “wrong foods” or missing opportunities for time with God. Challenges like Whole30 are great but they are intended to help us identify problem areas, not to be a lifestyle. So regardless of what your goals are this year, whether your participating in health and fitness challenges, or challenges meant to enhance your walk with God, or are perfectly happy where you are let’s continue fostering a community that is welcoming and encouraging to people wherever they are at.
I am also trying this new (to me) thing this year where I am mapping out my whole year. I broke my year up into quarters and I set my goals according to what I want to accomplish within each quarter in a way that fits with the bigger picture – which is making sure it is aligned with what God wants. Being able to see it mapped out helps me stay on course and keep going.
So what are your goals? What do you want to accomplish? How can I encourage you? This is going to be a good year – this is HIS year! This is the year that God is going to do big things. I was in the prayer closet a couple weeks ago and just had the strongest sense of this solid understanding of His spirit within me. Think about that. We have the Holy Spirit of God living within us. The God of the universe is within us. There are powers and principalities that are going to come after us but God has spoken to me so clearly, reminding me that yes, they will come after me but they will not win. God has us and He really knows what He’s doing – we just need to allow Him to do it! It’s going to be a good year!
If you're interested in joining our already growing, welcoming and encouraging community, please feel free to message me, and/or join the mailing list: www.liveeatsweat.com/365. This month we will be discussing topics such as Surviving, (Re)Building, and Applying. God Bless and I'm looking forward to connecting with you!
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