2019 Dietary Makeover: 41 Days and Counting-A Commitment to Self-Care


1 Slice of Toasted Ezekiel Bread with Almond Butter (A common snack while studying)

First I want to apologize for the delay in posting status updates. In the 2nd week of this experience my life became really busy. I am maintaining the regimen I have shared thus far. I never appreciated the sustenance nuts provide to a healthy lifestyle. They are amazing! Allow me to specifically share with you how my commitment to self-care is changing my life for the better.

What is self-care? Using my own words, I define the term as any and all behaviors I employ to be good to myself. Prayer, Bible study, meditation and regular ministry outlets are aspects of self-care in my routine for over 20 years. So I am focusing on other self-care behaviors that directly connect to my 2019 Dietary Makeover.

  1. Intermittent Fasting – “Clean and Lean” living incorporates this process into the experience. My current fasting schedule is 14 hours a day – for the past 41 days. When I started out I feared I was overzealous in my effort to fast. I was so wrong! The Lord became my focus in ways where I was overlooking opportunities to experience God because food was such a stronghold. Upon releasing from its grip, I found the grip of Christ Jesus and His word to be far more satisfying. And so it is from day to day.
  2. Regular Body Movement – In the first month I made walking an intentional self-care experience. It began by deciding to park in the farthest row away from any retail outfit I visit. This season of heat in Atlanta is extreme. 90+ degree weather would normally be an excuse to avoid walking. Yet I found myself walking the entire distance of the parking lot of various Kroger supermarkets before and after my shopping experience. Secondly, I walk around the neighborhood regularly. I have even went to the gym and walked on the treadmill on a couple of times. Finally, I regularly take the stairs at school and, at home, make a point of going up and down the stairs at least 5 times a day.
  3. The stairs are a key element of progress with self-care I must tell you about. In the past, my disability made me avoid the stairs like the plague. Stairs were my nemesis for over 10 years. Avoiding them seemed like a justifiable form of self-care. The pain associated with walking up or down stairs made the experience difficult physically and mentally. I can not tell you how much I have not done because of stairs. I suffered greatly because of the dilemma stairs presented. Pain and weakness were a constant experience. “But God, who is rich in mercy..has quickened us together in Christ (by grace I am saved).”(Ephesians 2:4-5) Fear about taking the stairs is now overridden with daily faith in the resurrecting power of Christ in me raising me up out of “I can’t” and I am experiencing “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13). Week after week I continue to be amazed at the physical strength and endurance in me by being willing to try stairs and walking with pain.
  4. Preparing Healthy Meals – I have always been a great cook. My culinary skills were influenced by my mom, aunts and countless others who took the time to show me how… and there is nothing I can’t cook. Unhealthy cooking was my norm. Today, with the help of the 12 rules laid out in “Clean and Lean,” I now have guardrails to keep me on course with my Dietary Makeover. I eat salads regularly, infused with pecans/walnuts/almonds, dried cranberries, healthy vinaigrette self-prepared, grilled/broiled chicken/salmon after preparing fresh romaine lettuce, fresh spinach, green/yellow/red/orange peppers, cucumbers and onions as the standard items. I create all sorts of combinations which never disappoint. I cook hot food entrees using only chicken or fish with brown rice and fresh/frozen vegetables when time permits. I am slowly moving towards weekly meal prep skills to minimize my time in the kitchen. I have learned that it is important to spend time with food planning to avoid opportunities to indulge in unhealthy eating. Healthy snacking with fruit/almond butter combinations and/or almonds are always on the menu too!
  5. AVOID FAST FOOD – This is by far the most significant self-care exercise I have initiated. My ignorance about the practice of regular fast food visits being a form of self-harm eluded me for far too long. The commitment has set me free from the bondage of overeating/unhealthy eating facilitated with the ease of placing an order in the Drive-thru. There are still times when the thought of a double-cheeseburger and fries still becomes tempting. The biggest deterrent is the drink order. I can no longer have the drive-thru experience because I detest all of the beverage choices and it does not make sense that I order water with the meal. Therefore, I consistently resist the temptation and avoid the outlets altogether.

The next post will include more pictures. I am starting to wear my clothes differently because of the weight loss and decrease in inches around my waist. The goal is still the same. The 2019 Dietary Makeover will enable me to go anywhere, do anything and no longer be enslaved by unhealthy eating. Improving my eating habits will ultimately improve the way I look, feel and live. It’s a win win scenario with Heavenly benefits because I must keep my trust in Christ Jesus each and every day. “For without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God…” (Hebrews 11:1) By the way, this is how the Conqueror Lifestyle is achieved. My podcast will start on October 10, 2019.

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“It Ain’t Easy; It’s an Experience”(DDP) – Day 10: 2019 Dietary Makeover


I Still Feel Good!

Changing the way I eat, at this stage in life, is not easy. The experiences are akin to climbing a mountain. My success so far gives me more insight regarding the difficulty. It was simple for me to consume unhealthy meals and/or snacks. However, once I became willing to invest in healthy choices, the SIMPLICITY vanished. A changed dietary lifestyle becomes a catalog of experiences – occasions to experience God more intimately and episodes designed to prepare me to help others who are struggling. My dietary makeover is a productive investment in me.

I became exhausted with living a sedentary lifestyle due to physical disability. My behaviors need to change in order to realize different results. This is especially true in the investment world. When you are in denial of or dishonest about unfavorable rates of return, you are likely to suffer great loss. Investments are either productive or non-productive. Concerning my dietary investments, my health and body have greatly suffered as my returns have consistently been unproductive regarding quality of life. The more honesty I practice the more willing I become to change my investments.

The Natural vs the Spiritual

It is easy to be driven by sinful unhealthy impulses in the flesh. It is an experience to spiritually die to the flesh daily and live the Conqueror Lifestyle spiritually. I was invested in using food impulses to make me feel better. History has shown my dietary lifestyle was an unproductive investment in self. If I thought about it, I ate it – my dietary lifestyle was that specific. Regular emotional eating of unhealthy fried foods, sugary and/or salty snacks, vegetables cooked with fatty meats and lots of salt and a bevy of favorite desserts was an easy way of being regularly detached from a healthy lifestyle. The fast food industry enabled me to double down on my poor investment.

A dietary makeover is NOT easy! Similarly climbing a mountain is difficult. Healthy dietary productivity becomes possible when you understand there will be opportunities to realize victory over fast-food cravings, late night eating and overall unhealthy food choices as a new way of eating is on the horizon. This is what I experience every time I engage the Facebook Community of “Clean and Lean” subscribers. I am empowered spiritually by the Conqueror Lifestyle and naturally every time I connect to Dr. Ian’s content.

The combination of “Clean and Lean,” the product I use (I will unveil it on Day 20) and daily connection to the 10 Spiritual Directives of LiveTCL, are investments I have chosen to redefine my diet and redesign my active lifestyle.

Now, I know the returns will not come quickly. This productive investment is a long-term endeavor. I am be grateful for all results while I continue to embrace the daily experiences. I will not be deceived by self-defeating ploys for instant gratification like I used to. My gratitude is primarily based in God’s grace, loving-kindness and power. I am more than a conqueror through Him that loved me!

Yesterday I Won Over a Struggle

Here’s my inspiration for this post. I was having a great dietary morning/afternoon. The struggle to eat unhealthy food came, once again, as the result of seeing a McDonald’s commercial. At first I wanted to eat pancakes. Then I started thinking about making an iced lemon pound cake. The final thought was for White Castle double cheeseburgers and fries. The struggle with unhealthy choices became real intense! In the progression, the idea that I was doing well on the makeover and DESERVED a treat surfaced. My response was to use urban language and have a honest conversation with myself about what I REALLY deserved. Without sharing the specific content of my discussion w/ self, here are some of the highlights:

  • “You are not even hungry”
  • “Those foods you are thinking of are killing you, INCLUDING MICKY DEES”
  • “You deserve a better quality of life than to be fat, unhealthy and sedentary”
  • “You deserve the freedom to choose healthy options”
  • “Jesus Christ is your gateway to the freedom you need”
  • “Stop letting your sinful thinking influence you”
  • “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (I Corinthians 10:13)
  • “Walk by faith; not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7)
  • “Endure hardship (suffer trouble) like a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (II Timothy 2:3)

My new investment is in the POWER OF CHRIST in me! I can do ALL things through Him, not self. He made it possible to live in me, so why not be more willing to invest in me? He’s in me! I ended up having a good time with the Lord, enjoying the comforts of home and eating “Clean and Lean” to conclude Day 9. God is faithful to ALWAYS be there in moments of temptation, struggle and unhealthy options to keep us from falling. In Christ, we can remain steadfast, unmovable and determined to stay committed to the investments He has given us the opportunity to make.

Day 5: Dietary Makeover & I FEEL GOOD!


It is Day 5 and I am not HUNGRY!!! To God be the glory for getting to this all important milestone (future posts w/b every 5 days). Here are some of the developing details:

  1. I am sleeping soundly
  2. I wake up with energy
  3. I drink 2 smoothies a day – 1 before 10 am and the other before 830 pm
  4. I eat 1 meal a day that is low in carbs and high in protein and fat – after much research I realized that this would be my starting formula – AVOID ALL WHITE PRODUCTS LIKE THE PLAGUE (a DIRECTIVE from Dr. Ian Smith “Clean and Lean”)
  5. I use a SPECIFIC PRODUCT – I will endorse eventually – in my smoothies:
    • It keeps me full
    • It tastes great
    • I mix it with coffee/almond milk every morning
    • I mix it w/ green vegetables and berries at night
    • The more cubed ice the better
    • I AM NOT HUNGRY and I AM EXPERIENCING INCREASED ENERGY DAILY
  6. My thoughts are clear WITHOUT the food obsession/cravings/greed manifestations
  7. I am more connected to Jesus Christ in my daily prayer life
  8. I NEED TO MOVE MY BODY – walking in place/standing in stead of sitting while watching TV, daily walking outside (with my disability I am realizing more progress with stamina with the aide of my devices) and I am working my abs while listening to House Music w/ light cardio movements.
  9. I drink water when I am thirsty
  10. NO MORE LATE NIGHT SNACKING WITH CAKES/PIES/COOKIES/POTATO CHIPS/CANDY/ICE CREAM

I Do Not Think About or Focus on Weight Loss in My Daily Routine

I believe the weight will come off over time. I did not accumulate it in 60-90 days – this body started developing in 2006. Most of all, I have a commitment to NO LONGER LIVING A SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE. I am CONVINCED it is the primary cause of ALL my weight/health issues.   However I have natural bowel movements daily. I also recognize the deflating of my belly – at some point I will share the pictures of it the night before I started the makeover. My focus is on re-establishing what I put into my body and listening to how my body is speaking to me. I have a firm belief in the process of Spiritual regeneration/renewal. For clarity read Faith in CPR² DAILY.

Therefore, my soul gets the overflow of my spiritual regeneration/renewal. As the overflow continues it has profound effects on my body. Conqueror Ministries platform introduces my personal belief in the tenets of 2 Corinthians 5 – I am a new creature in Christ: “Old things passed away(died i.e. Galatians 2:20), new things have come” (v.17). This is the process of Spiritual development/growth most Christians want to wish away/deny/bypass.

The older I get the more I become aware of the fact that I must die to the flesh so that the Spirit of Christ in me can introduce me to “new life.” I wrote about this: Conqueror Ministries Suit Up Series.  6 days ago, absent of utilizing the “helmet of salvation,” I was allowing for the works of the flesh to manufacture deceitful/deceptive ideology about food which produced lies I believed. In the past 5 days the helmet is firmly affixed, my mind is stayed on the LORD and the truth continues to set me free from the bondage of poor eating choices. 

I Feel Good Gif 2

After 21 days I will begin to follow Dr. Ian’s 30 Day plan for the development of consistent progress in the #2019DietaryMakeover.  I can only hope and pray that this report will continue to be relative to my experiences on this leg of the journey. I firmly believe that my use of the #LiveTCL Directives (10 Spiritual Directives to live by featured in my upcoming book releases) are majorly responsible for these results. This joy that I have the world did/can not give to me. In the wake of all the National Terrorism in the news, I have a blessed hope in our Savior Jesus Christ and his uninterrupted/unfailing love. By His grace, I am more than a conqueror through Him.

 

Day 3: Advertisements Will NOT Win


Today is Day 3 of my Dietary Makeover. Last night I was watching Sunday Best on my DVR. I enjoy watching television shows when I can fast forward through the commercials. At the end of a show segment, I was caught up in the emotional response to the Spirit-filled broadcast and forgot to activate the ff feature. A pizza commercial came on and it was mesmerizing!

Commercials, advertisements and billboards are wicked tools used to create temptation proceeded by indulgence. “That looks good” is the response Madison Avenue is going for every time because it gets the temptation wheels turning from viewer to viewer. They have perfected the art of the game! Those of us who are inundated with food addictions, overeating, greed, gluttony and emotional eating are preyed upon by the industry of fast food advertisements.

So I want to tell you how I am “more than a conqueror through Him that loved us” in this circumstance.

white and black remote control
Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

First of all I hit the ff button as fast as I could. Next I humbly acknowledged how I wanted to eat something in the moment and it was NOT hunger – it was a CRAVING! This honesty prompted me to pray to the Lord for His strength to realize the truth concerning my body’s needs. His power to practice honesty, acceptance, hope and faith prevailed in me and I did not put ANYTHING in my mouth. Instead, I got up, drank some water and went for a walk. Yes, for the first time in a long time I did not succumb to the deceptive power of the advertisement on the television. I found the willingness to walk to the corner and back, breathing as normally as possible, with the joy of the LORD fueling my strength. 

I don’t know why I did not become motivated to use #LiveTCL concerning my weight loss needs earlier. It has worked in so many other areas of my life – why not this one too? I’ll tell you. It was the area of my life where my flesh was in control. Every craving, temptation, overindulgence and contrived fallacious normalcy was the evidence of the works of my flesh. Somehow it felt acceptable because, after all, it is food I am referring to. I never wanted to yield my sinful desires for food to the Lord for His will to be done.

And here’s the kicker, the fatter I got, the more I would find it necessary to pray for God’s blessings over the food. I know now that those prayers were robotic and religious in nature. Internally, I was inundated with the fear of the meal/snack/overindulgence causing me physical harm and damaging my sedentary lifestyle. Greed was fueling my passion for God to keep me “safe” as I willingly overate! Talk about being asleep!!!

I am “woke” now! I have come to know/teach/preach how necessary it is for us to be honest with God about our struggles. The hymn writer said it this way: “Now let us have a little talk with Jesus. Let us tell Him all about our troubles. He will hear our faintest cry and He will answer by and by. Now when you feel a little prayer wheel turning and you know a little fire (in you) is burning. Just a little talk with Jesus makes it right” (Derricks, Cleavant, 1932). It is my heart’s desire to realize how the elements of LiveTCL actually effect real Spiritual change in this area of my life as it has done so many times before. Deceptive tools are not working/winning in my life today.