Join the Journey: April’s Path

Alright sojourners, the next 30 days of our journey has already begun! I’m so sorry for the delay in posting. We’ve had much going on that could not be helped.

If you are just joining us, I am going to recommend that you start from April and move forward with us. The only exception being those who wish to do the 12-Step Journey. If you’re just joining us and want to do that version, please begin with January’s Path… of course, you’ll be doing it during the month of April instead. There is a purpose to the order and I wouldn’t want you to miss out on the benefits. So, after you read the mission, come back here.

Those who already have a plan to follow, did you re-evaluate last months plan? Do you have what you need to start off with a bang? Please post in the comments of this message what your plan for March will be. Even if you’ve set a time-frame for your personal journey that’s longer, let’s just focus on April for now.

leafy-green-vegetablesThose taking on the “12-Step Journey”, today is the day you find out what I’m going to ask you to add for April. Our theme for the month will be: “Greens”. This next step is to help you get through to spring with a bit more ease. Now that we’re walking with God, hydrated, and moving more, we are going to dedicate this month to adding more greens to our diet.

The Mission: Eat your greens

Notice that I did not tell you to cut out anything. I just want you to add more greens. If you’re already eating a pound a day, you probably don’t need to add any. I would bet that most people don’t even come close to a pound of greens a day, so your mission is to add some more.

You don’t have to eat them alone. You can add them to what you already eat. Put them on your sandwiches, throw them in your smoothies, cut up your pizza and toss it on a bed of greens. The point is to begin feeding your body the nutrients it needs, and greens are filled with things that your body needs.

Be patient with yourself and take it one day at a time. Maybe start with adding just an ounce or two daily. If your portion it out at the start of your day and then look for opportunities to include it, you’ll be setting yourself up for success. Again, this isn’t about removing anything from your diet, this is about adding. As time goes on, those greens will probably crowd out something that your body really doesn’t want (although right now it might think it does).

Now a word about posting for support or cheers: You are more than welcome to post in the comments of any “Journey” post or my daily “365 Raw” posts. What should you post? Well, anything you’d like to share with the group. If you’re struggling, please don’t shrink off to the shadows, let us pray for you and offer support. If you’re rocking, please don’t fly off into the sunset alone, share your joys that others may be encouraged.

Blessings! May your April find you healthier still than last month.

Are you starving?

dietingSo many people in America are dying of starvation. I’m not just talking about the ones who don’t get enough food. I’m talking about those starving nutritionally. If you add them to the number not eating enough, you’ve got most of the country dying of starvation. A person can eat 5,000 calories per day, but still be in “starvation-mode”. Our bodies require vitamins, and minerals to function properly, but most of the food consumed in this country contains very little (if any) of what we need… and a whole lot of what we don’t. Hence, all the dietary disease we’re seeing. When you aren’t properly fed, your body prompts you to eat more in an attempt to get those nutrients. Your body believes you are starving even when you’re eating high caloric foods. This is a defense mechanism that the dieting industry forces us to fight against in order to lose weight. Oh sure, they tell us to “eat healthy” (which means something different to every “expert”), but dieting keeps us nutritionally starved. Most obese people have a ridiculous amount of willpower (contrary to popular belief), but their bodies are working tirelessly against them because they are starving. I’ve been in the obese category. I’ve had 100+ pounds of extra weight, so I do “get it”. We don’t have to believe the lies that we’re weak or lazy. If you’re like me, you’ve successfully done more “diets” than you can count. The truth is, when you add calorie restriction to nutritional starvation, you get a double whammy. Now you are under-eating for your basic caloric needs (you need fuel to function), and you’re nutritionally challenged. This is the main reason dieting (calorie restriction, deprivation) doesn’t work long term. Your body reaches a point where it screams louder than your desire to fit into those skinny jeans, and out come the most calorie dense, fatty foods you can think of. Next, guilt sets in and you begin the cycle all over again. This is what keeps the diet industry alive and well… and makes it a $40 billion a year business.

Of course, this doesn’t even take into account the addictive qualities of many of the foods Americans consume. This is another factor that wreaks havoc on the person desperately trying to lose weight. To break the cycle of addiction you must stop consuming addicting things. Sounds simple, but it’s not. This is the point where we notice that spiritual starvation is also a factor. We feed our spirits with junk TV and trashy reading and gossipy news and negative thoughts. All the while, God’s desire is to renew our minds and renew a right spirit within us. This requires us to seek His face. We can’t keep starving our spirits and expect our lives to be empowered supernaturally. “Garbage in, garbage out.”

So what’s the cure? Well, for starters, earnestly seek God and do His will… not your will, not man’s will, not Hollywood’s will, not the government’s will, not your Mamma’s will… God’s will. Secondly, eat nutrient rich, colorful, whole foods. Not pills or potions or other man-made concoctions promising to meet our nutritional needs… or promising low calories, low carb, low fat, low points… etc. If you add in colorful fruits and veggies, you’ll be stocking up on vitamins and nutrients that will make your body oh so happy. When your body and spirit are properly nourished, you’ll find that obesity becomes a non-issue. So, start feeding yourself, don’t look for the next diet, but rather talk to God and spend some of that $40 billion on foods that work with your body, not against it. I always thought that losing weight was far more difficult, but I’m learning it is quite simple when you set your body/spirit up for gaining success.

After five months without dieting or scale-watching, I can honestly say, this is one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. No, I’m not losing weight at “Biggest Loser” rates, but I’m not starving anymore either. I feel much more balanced since hopping off the diet-go-round and avoiding the scale. The weight is coming off, as evidenced by having to pin the waist of my jeans to keep them from falling down; However, far more is going on besides mere weight-loss. I’m healthier on so many levels because I’m no longer starving.

Are you starving? Well, you can change that today… right now in fact. The road ahead will feel uncertain at times, and perhaps even frustrating, but the light will dawn and you’ll find yourself set free if you press on toward the prize.