Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Long 7 Days

Hi! Well, how did you do?
A number of you embarked on the 7 Days for Spring Fitness Challenge with me & my college friends. Wasn't the week interesting?

I wonder:
-Did you eat "purely" for 7 days with only 2 "cheats"? (Mostly. I will answer this more in a minute.)
-Did you exercise for 5 days for 30 minutes each? (I only made 4.)
-Did you lose a lb. or two? (I lost 1, maybe 2 lbs. Not drastic but nice.)
-Did you tighten up? (Yes, a little.)

A few conclusions:
-Some of you have expressed how much better you feel after eating cleanly and allowing your body to breathe from the junk food it has been used to.

-This made us realize how much foreign and fake food we ingest on a daily basis, and how oftentimes we aren't eating "healthily" when we think we are.

-MANY of you have commented on how HARD THIS WAS! I agree! Around Day 5, I eased up on myself and had an extra "cheat" or two. I admit it!

This leads me to wonder why this was so difficult. I've been giving this a lot of thought! Because when I am in my normal routine, I actually LIKE to eat this way! For instance....

By Sunday night I, admittedly, was "OVER" the 7-Day Fitness Challenge. I put the challenge aside and decided to cook a meal from the heart for my husband after a long & busy weekend. I prepared a spring dinner based solely on Saturday's 30-Minute Meal with Rachael Ray episode: Delicious Spring Pea-sto with Whole Wheat Penne and Prosciutto-Wrapped Cod.

As we enjoyed our meal and kept commenting on how good it was (thanks, Rachael!), I took a good look at my plate, and it hit me. I realized that this meal was 100% "pure" according to our rules. This meal was the epitome of healthy and natural and it was delicious. Had I been trying, this meal would have been perfectly within bounds.

The irony is that when there is a RULE --no matter how good or helpful, as humans, we fixate on it. And grow to despise it. And then we begin to devise ways around it.

Just look at that card with the cat that mom sent me above. That cat is eating that salad because it is supposed to, not because it wants to (note the creepy eyes)! Somebody told that cat to go on a diet, to lower her cholesterol, to get ready for the beach, to fit back into those skinny jeans, and now the cat is belly-up to the salad bar.

BUT, all Miss Kitty can think about is, you guessed it, chocolate.

(It looks like all you can think about is chocolate, too! Caught ya.)
But what if Miss Kitty Kat didn't have eating rules to follow, a diet to keep, scales to step on, points to count? What if Miss Kitty devoted herself to her health? What if Miss Kitty actually desired the greens over the green Girl Scouts box? What is something switched inside of Miss K that caused her to turn an about-face from sugar-loving to Temple-loving?

Look, there I went.

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." -I Corinthians 6:19-20

If God lives in us, and we have the privilege of offering hospitality to the Holy Spirit, why would we knowingly delight in the junk that desecrates our bodies?

I think it is as simple as the Rule Theorem (I made this one up.):
We want what we can't have. Tell someone they can't have it, and they will want it.

This is also known as the Power of Sin (I didn't make this one up.):
"The power of sin is the law." - I Corinthians 15:56

The law speaks of the Old Testament "rules" that were laid out for the nation of Israel to follow, which they of course could not keep perfectly (they flunked the 7-Day Fitness Challenge, if you will). This was all a means to humble man's prideful heart and prepare them for a Savior who came to earth to reach them. If they admitted they fell off the wagon of life (had broken the Law, sinned), they would be saved by Christ's death for them on the cross.

But this verse says that the law actually gave sin power, stirred it up. It provoked mankind, in effect, and man's sinful heart caused him to do exactly what the law said not to. "Don't lie, don't steal, don't covet your neighbor's wife." It is like telling a chocoholic on the 7 Day Fitness Challenge: "Don't eat chocolate!!!!"

So, since the law (a set of rules) can serve to bring out the rebel in us all, perhaps I set out on the Spring Fitness Challenge the wrong way. See, a rule like "Don't eat man-made or manufactured foods for a week.") draws our attention to what we can't have or can't do.
We must learn to live from the inside-out. From higher motivations of:
  • God's glory (So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. I Corinthians 10:31)
  • Our health (May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. I Thessalonians 5:23)
  • Purity of life (This one is amazing!- 2 Cor. 7:1 - Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.)
So next spring--or next week for that matter--let's try a new approach. Choosing to eat well based on Him, our health, & because we want a beneficial way of life. We need motivations other than our blog friend bet we couldn't go a week without white flour and sugar. ;)

*If you struggle with overeating or an eating disorder, you may be interested in this excellent resource: Setting Captives Free. It is an online 60-day program designed to walk with you to freedom in this and many other areas (addictions to pornography, alcohol, nicotine, & more). Click here to visit their website.


Heather said...

Great post, Katherine. Beautiful way to tie in the gospel -- how we are freed from the law. And then the challenge for all of us health-conscious Americans is: are we equally concerned with purifying our souls as well as our bodies? And do we go about that through rules & law -- or through the promise of who we are in Christ? Good thoughts -- thank you.

Orderly Conduct said...

AMEN, sister!

brilliant thoughts!

I had such a great week of clarifying my body. i didn't even realize how very addicted i am/was to sugar in general. It is an interesting notion that my intense cravings were b/c i couldn't have it. i paced around!

all in all, i will say i hit my stride about day 4 and found myself loving the feeling of satisfied and the energy level!

Now my goal is to turn my attention to health instead of bathing suit season. quick fixes do not work. this i have learned.

thanks for the motivation. i need and needed it!

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