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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.