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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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.

It’s Time for a Dietary Makeover


2010 at Family Circle CupBeing overweight was normal for me. There was a time when I was conscious of my food choices to the degree that White Castle was no longer a desire. Today I keep a six pack in my freezer. I used to be a regular fixture at the local gym – doing cardio, taking step classes, lifting weights, playing racquetball and regular pool activities – to keep my body lean, toned and pleasing to look at. Now the only exercise I get is walking from my house to the car, parking away from the entrance of the supermarket and occasional restaurant visits and taking a shower – by the way I avoid the bathroom mirror’s imagery of all the blubber as often as possible. It is time for a makeover.

The normalcy of being a fat, middle-aged graduate student perplexes me to the nth degree. Self-loathing is inconsequential as I do my best to keep up a positive outlook everywhere I go. Most of the time it is because I am living the Conqueror Lifestyle which keeps me Spiritually fit. But lately I am struggling with my lack of physical fitness which is apparent to everyone I come in contact with as well. Those I encounter are met with a dichotomous interaction with a sober, Spiritual core that is housed in a body that is diabolically unfit. My experience with “let your light so shine before men”(Matthew 5:16) is congruent with realizing that people are not inundated by my good works but rather the un-pleasingly plump persona present in the room.

Now I must admit I am hanging in some pretty “nice” circles because no one has said anything to me about being overweight. They appear to be accepting of who I am. Some are even complimentary about my appearance in the clothes I choose to wear. However, lately I am really feeling strange and, at times, invisible in some of the locations I visit. It is as if people don’t see me. I have honestly NEVER felt this before. Prayer with introspection became as regular as inhaling.

“Lord, what is this I am feeling?” is where my prayers began. Upon further self-examination I became tearfully aware of how miserable I am with all the weight I am carrying. Then afterwards, I proceeded to eat 2 hot dogs – mustard, sauerkraut, relish -, pork and beans seasoned to perfection, a plate of french fries and a steamed White Castle double-cheeseburger. I washed it all down with my signature flavored sparkling water and diet cherry-pomegranate mixed drink on ice. Late night snacking on a daily basis coupled with an overdose of fried foods was my flesh’s way of coping. All of my deceased, overweight family members began to come to mind. In my family, food is an emotional product capable of supplying instant gratification that kills! We willingly consume it and all it’s perilous derivatives – diabetes, heart disease, stroke, esophageal varices and obesity.

Eating is no longer satisfying to me. In fact, I am at the point where I’d rather not eat. The toxicity in my stomach and small intestines which compels me to put sugar, salt and empty calories in my body frightens me. I eat because I have to not because I want to. Upon further honest appraisal of my appetite, while in constant conversations with Jesus Christ my Savior, I began to explore alternatives I could afford. Being on disability does not afford me the luxury of many current weight loss outfits out there. Look for another article on how difficult it is to eat right on a fixed income another time with solutions the Lord gives me. By God’s grace I became willing to invest in my future by committing to using a product a friend introduced me to last month that I will share later on. In conjunction with this product, I am also a believer in Dr. Ian Smith’s “Clean and Lean” brand. It is a system I choose to implement as I re-establish my eating habits over the next 2 months.

I am not on a diet. Since I am a child of the 70’s & 80’s, I watched the diet industry develop into what it is today. I believe in the Oprah declaration “diets do NOT work!” Today is the 1st day of my dietary makeover. I have eaten one meal today and I awakened at 6:30 am. After seeing it in action with my roommates for years, I am now a regular at making smoothies. Yes I have a particular product I am using as a meal supplement twice a day to get my body healthy again. It is AMAZING! I have not felt hunger all day. I drink water, I eat almonds as snacks and I am “walking by faith; not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). I believe the Lord sent me the answer by way of the product I am using.

I now believe being overweight is NOT normal. For me it is sinful! Gluttony, greed and sloth have kept me in bondage to food for far too long! For the record I read “Clean and Lean” in 1 day last month. I joined the FB group and posted my trepidation on 2 occasions which were met with much encouragement and empathy. The food costs are high and I need to begin stockpiling “Clean and Lean” foods little by little. Here is where my budding smoothie lifestyle is the first phase of my dietary makeover. It is my hope that I will continue to add this content to ConquerorShots as it is further proof that #LiveTCL is an effective Christian lifestyle. “…The Lord is the strength of my life…”(Psalm 27:1) and in Him will I trust. I know this is another leg of my life’s journey He has me on and as long as I remain connected to His power “I am more than a conqueror through Him that loved me.” The joy is in the journey!