RYM 12 Week Challenge: Week 6

Every challenge should be challenging, even if the most challenging part is sticking with the process. We’re beginning week six of this challenge and no doubt, keeping momentum when the “good feeling’s gone” isn’t easy. Last week we engaged in praising the Lord. This week, we’re hoping to turn the tide of positive versus negative influences.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” ~ Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

 Turning the Tide

Despite all the “good work” we’ve been doing over the previous five weeks, it is entirely possible  there is still more “garbage” going into our minds than there is Truth.

If we don’t protect our minds from the influences of this world, especially while we’re trying to break free from a stronghold, we will constantly be swimming against the tide. In order for the tide to turn in our favor, and for us to have more truth in our minds than lies, we need to plug up the areas where those lies are getting in.

If we spend more time reading, watching, speaking, or listening to what the world has to say than we do reading, watching, speaking, or listening to what God has to say; we will be treading water at best. We don’t want to barely survive. We want to thrive.

Since we still have to live in this world, we’re going to encounter some of the world’s messages, but it is possible to dramatically reduce our exposure. We make choices every day regarding what music we’ll listen to, what publications we’ll read, what we’ll watch on television…etc.

I’m not about to give a ratings list for you to go by, but I am going to point you to Philippians 4:8 (see top). This week we’re going to ask God to reveal areas where we can purge sources from our individual lives which bring death instead of life to our souls. We want Him to open our eyes.

It’s possible we may need to set boundaries with friends we’ve had for decades. We might need to delete some things from our iPods. We might have to purge our personal library. We might have to unfriend some people on Facebook. We may need to forego finding out what happens in that next episode.

A few years ago, when the Lord revealed to me that I was obsessed with finding the perfect diet, I felt convicted that I needed to let go of my extensive collection of diet books and apps. So, I donated the books and uninstalled the apps. It was so freeing to clear those out of my life.

I’m not saying it will be that simple all the time. I mean, I have yet to put my television in a garage sale. We have decades of being so attached to these sources that letting go of them could prove rather painful and might take some time. So, let God guide you down that path.

It is also possible there will be sources you cannot eliminate, like your spouse’s negative outlook, your kids’ rebellious choices, your co-worker’s foul language…etc. Even driving down the road we will be hit with signs and advertisements looking for space in our minds.

So, I’m going to ask you to add another layer of “renewing the mind” that I call “passive renewal”. We’re going to build a playlist of God glorifying music and play these songs in the background of our lives. Play them driving down the road, play them while you clean, play them while you work. Saturate your world with music that edifies the soul. Let it become the “soundtrack” of your life.

Right now, as I type, I have scripture lullabies playing in the background. Let’s turn the tide in our favor by purging the negative influences we can and ramping up depositing God’s truth into our minds.

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” ~ Colossians 3:2 (ESV)

Week 6 – We’re going to add to God glorifying background music to our day to passively renew our minds. We’ll also continue to actively renew our minds by keeping the daily 20 minute appointment with God beginning with praise/worship, confession of sins, and the “who I am in Christ” mirror exercise. Finish up your 20 minutes with any method you wish. Also, this week, we’re going to renew our minds any time we are tempted to break our boundaries. Be sure to take full advantage of Beth Moore’s Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free From Spiritual Strongholds and I Deserve a Donut by Barb Raveling.

For “day by day” suggestions, join the Taste For Truth Support Group and download this week’s PDF.

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Weekly Challenge Check-in:
Renewed my mind for at least 20 minutes a day & kept my food boundaries 5 of 7 days.
I’m down 0.8 the fifth week :)*
Challenge Total: 5.6 lbs
*for more commentary on this weigh in, join the TFTSG.
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renew your mind. transform your life.

I’ve been mulling over some ideas for a 2016 challenge. I want to focus on continuing to build the habit of renewing my mind to the mind of Christ about food/boundaries/weight…etc.

So, I decided to document proof that renewing the mind transforms the body… starting today.

Yes, I realize it’s November 30th… and that means we haven’t entered 2016 yet. Lord willing, 2016 will arrive right on time and I’ll already be a month into this venture.

The main focus of this challenge is to renew my mind daily in regard to my food boundaries, body image, weight, and other related topics as needed (ie. if I don’t want to exercise).

I can’t afford to “reward” myself the amount of money it would take to truly motivate me to stick to my boundaries, so I’m working on a method to visually display my progress. Besides, if The Biggest Loser has taught us anything, it’s that winning a bunch of money doesn’t keep the weight off. We’ve got to renew our minds.Butterfly_Beauty

For tracking purposes, I’ve broken the areas of attention into two categories: Spiritual and Physical.

Spiritual

Obviously this part directly pertains to renewing my mind to the mind of Christ. This will be daily (that’s the goal anyway) one on one time with God to deal with the lies and replace them with His Truth.

Now, although I intend to be proactive about this by having at least one block of time set aside each day, I may also need to renew my mind passively and reactively as well.

Passive could be through listening to music that edifies God and/or reminds me who I am in Christ while accomplishing other tasks.

Reactive could be writing out questions and answers from I Deserve a Donut when I break, or wanting to break, my boundaries. It could also be praying, reciting scripture, and truth journalling (see my series on this topic).

Physical

This part will have three sub-parts. The first will be keeping my food boundaries.

The second will be physical activity. No time or exertion requirements. If I feel it was “exercise” then it count.

And the third has to do with my physical home. I want to develop a habit of spending 15 minutes a day decluttering some area of my house. I plan to start with my office (files, drawers, shelves… everything).

Again, I’m still working on ideas for a visual demonstration of progress. I don’t want my sole progress indicator to be the scale (or even measurements). However I choose to chart the things I can do, will serve to show me that I am doing something even if it’s just renewing my mind that day. The results (like releasing weight) are God’s responsibility.

Posting Updates

Since this is a year long challenge, I will not be posting daily. Can you imagine how tedious that would be? I can. The most I will commit to is a monthly update which should post on the last day of each month.

Obviously I’ll share the details of how renewing my mind is working, but I’ll also reveal scale changes, my exercise log, and anything else I feel like sharing. I truly believe God when He tells us we are transformed by the renewing of our minds and I hope God proves it to you through this process.

No pressure, right? (Smile) Well, thankfully…

  • God is Who He says He is
  • God can do what He says He can do
  • I am who God says I am
  • I can do all things through Christ
  • God’s Word is alive and active in me (~Beth Moore)

Amen!

a quick update… well, sort of quick

Our summer break has seemingly vanished. We did finish week 4 of our “battle of the spouses” challenge and I won, but then we had to put the challenge on hiatus because we simply couldn’t worry about one more thing while we remodeled the kids’ bathroom. The last thing on our minds was trying to get in steps… especially after I realized that ripping out old tile and laminate flooring didn’t earn me any steps or activity minutes according to the fitbit (grrr). Maybe if I had attached it to my gloved hand. We were so sore and so tired at the end of each day for 15 days straight.

Then my back decided to quit on me for two days. Once I was feeling better it took me three days to paint the bathroom (lots of stripes). Then the husband and I took a trip for our 20th wedding anniversary. And yesterday we started our 2015/2016 homeschool year. We’re wearing our fitbits again, but I’m not sure if we’re back in challenge mode or not lol.

I mentioned that I had the husband weigh me (I didn’t look at the number) at the start of our challenge (June 1), and the scale has gone down since then. I totally surprised myself about two weeks ago by stepping on the scale and looking at the number. I didn’t do it without first asking God if it was ok. I felt like I got the green light, and while the number was higher than I’ve seen in a while, it was lower than it was on June 1st. Plus, I was about 10 lbs lighter than my mind had me guessing I was. A really cool thing that happened was, I didn’t seem to care one bit about that number. In fact, I’m not sure I could even tell you exactly what it was unless I went and looked at the sheet I wrote it on. It has taken so long to reach the point where the scale doesn’t set off “diet mentality” and the quest for a lower number. I simply do not care. I am trusting God to take this weight off. My job is to renew my mind to the mind of Christ and wait for hunger before I eat. That’s it. I’m finally believing that the scale does not define me, God does… and He says I’m His beloved child.

You know what, I would have said I gained weight while on vacation with the husband… but I didn’t. I actually released a pound… say what? Yep. No dieting. No counting. Little to no exercise even. (we were going for relaxation) Eating what I want, when I’m hungry. There were a couple of meals where I overate, but I assessed what happened, noted how bad my stomach felt, and moved on. Yes, I am slowly releasing weight, but it’s so not about that.

I cannot take the credit for the scale moving down. No, that glory goes to God and God alone. He is changing the way I think every time I renew my mind with His truth. Thought processes that held me captive for years are crumbling. I have a joy that seems to bubble to the surface more and more. The chains are falling, and it has nothing to do with some special diet that eliminates cravings… or appetite suppressants… or running goals… or size goals. It has everything to do with God’s power, His mercy, His grace… His love.

Are you wondering about that coffee habit? Well, I think it’s now reduced by at least 90% (probably more like 95%). Food, in general, is even more neutral to me than ever. My first reaction to stress or frustration isn’t always, “let’s eat”. Now, I pray…. most of the time anyway. How is this happening? God promises change for His children when we renew our minds with His truth. So, I’m consistently wallpapering my mind with His truth. I’m trying to make it a daily practice. I take the lies captive and make them obedient to Christ. I’m not perfect, and that’s ok, God is working on me in HIS time. He is bringing about changes that I’ve longed for, but deep down thought could never be. He’s bringing about true change that I’ve tried to manufacture over the years through my own strength. He’s doing this, not because I’m perfectly faithful at waiting for zero (physical hunger) or stopping at five (satiation), but because He is faithful… Because He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that I could ask or think. He promised change if I would renew my mind, and God delivers on His promises.

If you’re thinking, “what on earth is this renewing of the mind stuff”, I’ve got a whole series on it. Check it out. God tells us to “taste and see that the Lord is good”. Give Him a chance to change you, and He most certainly will. I’m actually rather giddy about the first time someone notices I’m changing… I can’t wait to say, “God is doing a new thing!”

battle of the spouses: week 3

I’m going to back date this post to Monday, but clearly I am a couple of days late posting it. I kind of felt convicted that I needed to take care of some things on my to-do list before I wrote another blog post. So, that’s what I did.

Let’s see, week three, was pretty good. There was only one day where I didn’t meet my “official fitbit goals”, but I made a conscious choice to rest that day and knew that would mean not hitting the goals. I was and still am at peace with that decision. My body needed a break. Plus, I think I needed to let that “perfection” idol take a topple.

I really felt like I made some strides in the food category, but I only had three days where I waited for zero the whole day. I don’t think this tells the full story, because I can tell there is a major shift happening. The reason for the shift lies solely on the practice of renewing my mind. Quite frankly, I really don’t care if I earn quarters for the food category or not, I’m loving the heart changes I’m seeing.

Let’s get on with the numbers:

Food Boundary: 3/7
Activity Minutes: 485

I beat the Husband again this week, and I’m now ahead by 18 quarters. I’m not sure he can catch up this week, but we’ll see. At the end of week 4 we will find out who wins the backrubs and such.

I’m still working on that next renewal of the mind post, but as I said, I felt some other things needed to take priority. I finished up the seventeen year old’s lesson plans today (Wednesday), so at least that’s off my list. I had already completed the other three kids’ prep for the fall. Which means, other than some print outs I need to add to their folders, I’m finished planning/prepping for the 2015/2016 homeschool year. I still have to do some lesson plans for the classes I teach at co-op, but those won’t be as complicated…. I hope.

Ok, all of that to say, I haven’t forgotten about the mind renewal series. It will be coming soon.

battle of the spouses: week 1

Well, we made it through the first week of our challenge. I’m going to give a summary of my week, but before I do, I just want to say that I AM CURRENTLY IN THE LEAD! I don’t have much of a lead though.

The husband and I decided to go by “Fitbit Activity Minutes” to decide our active minutes. We felt this was more “fair”. Of course, I was less than thrilled to realize that I spent five days digging and setting a new walk path in our backyard and NONE of that work counted as active minutes because my lower body wasn’t moving enough. I also spent two days on other yard work as well (7 days outside). Your lower half has to move for 10 minutes straight before it starts logging active minutes. I would walk to the garage and back and then spend 15 minutes on my hands and knees digging, hammering, leveling. My arms were very active and very sore. I would end up walking for at least an hour a day, in addition to all the manual labor on the walk path, just so I could earn some active minutes.

As for the food boundary, we both earned the same number of quarters for this one. I had three days where I didn’t wait for hunger the entire day. This is what my week looked like by the numbers:

Food Boundary: 4/7
Activity Minutes: 486

My body is so tired and sore today, so I’m not working in the yard. The path still isn’t finished, but I just need a break to recover. I think the Husband is going to start catching me. I’m only 4 quarters ahead of him, which he can easily make up.

battle of the spouses: round 1

I mentioned the other day that the Husband and I are going to compete against each other in a challenge we’ve designed to get us moving more. We’ve been unmotivated to move for far too long. We’re done lamenting where we were “fitness wise” less than one year ago, and it’s time to set these bodies in motion.

Today begins round 1 of our 3 round venture. Round one will last 4 weeks. We weighed and I’m already on my way to earning those quarters. Hooray! My plan is to post weekly with updates.

When we were drawing up this plan, I asked the husband what his goals for the 12 weeks were. Here’s what he said:

  • Be back on a regular running schedule.
  • Better eating habits.
  • Win contest.

Hmm, I guess he wants to win too. Darn, he’s not going to make this easy. Well, I’m going to give him a run for his money… literally!

It’s On, Baby!

The start of our summer began with illness. Not a fun way to start the break. The Husband is finally beginning to show some improvement, and we’re hopeful he’ll be the last one to come down with this nasty bug.

Ever since the missed marathon… and then the black belt test… I have been less than motivated to workout. Sure, some of that was due to serious burnout (adrenal fatigue), but even when I began to have more energy, it was difficult to get and stay motivated. I do like how I feel when I’m consistent about moving, but the beginning is always fraught with soreness and pain (and injury)… which kind of puts a damper on that motivation.

So, the Husband and I have decided to throw down a challenge. We’re going to compete against each other for money and prizes. Yes, we’re funding this venture, but I really just want to beat him. Our challenge will begin June 1st and run in 4 week increments for a duration of 12 weeks total. Hopefully consistent exercise will become a habit by then.

Since the Husband will be stepping on the scale, I’ve decided to do the same, but blind. I don’t want to know the actual number, just that it’s going down. We’ll weigh at the start and then again every 4 weeks. Each whole pound lost will earn 25 cents and each whole pound gained will lose 25 cents. However, the scale isn’t the real focus here.

For every thirty minutes of physical activity, we will earn another 25 cents. We also wanted to add some incentive to pay attention to our eating habits a bit more. So, we each set boundaries for ourselves that do not involve “diet plans”. His boundary will be no more than 3 meals and 3 snacks per day (which should be really easy for him actually). My boundary will be to wait until I am physically hungry (at a zero) to eat. I’m continuing with what I’ve learned during my Thin Within Journey. For each day we stay within our boundaries, we earn another 25 cents.

At the end of every 4 week increment, we will tally the money. The person with the most, wins. They get to keep the money they earned, plus they get 3 awesome massages per week until the next 4 week increment is complete… and no, they don’t have to reciprocate (I really want this prize).

We are also each selecting a “couple activity” to win at the end of the 12 weeks. I think the Husband is afraid I’m going to write down swing dance lessons – ha ha. Of course, I could lose and have to do something he wants. I’m going to do whatever it takes to keep that from happening though.

I would really like to get back into an old pair of jeans and be back in the running groove by the end of this thing, but I’m truly leaving the results up to God.

Alrighty, if you want to join in with a challenge of your own, feel free to jump right in. What will your boundaries and goals be (please no specific scale measurements)? How will you reward yourself for sticking to your plan?