I Have A Dream

Finally, I am nearing the end of my quest to become a teacher and this semester I am doing my student teaching. I LOVE it! I know this is what I was born to do and it feels amazing to finally be in the classroom. I must admit, that even though I love what I am doing, my life is busier than ever. Along with student teaching, I am taking two other classes. So it is a juggling act being a newlywed, a mom, a student and a student teacher…but I wouldn’t change a thing! Well….there is that one thing….

Recently, we honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As I prepared a lesson for my class, I was really moved by the power in his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. So much so, that I began to think of my own Dreams. With a much lighter subject, and not on a global level… I, too, Have A Dream.

I have a Dream…
that someday there will be peace between my mind and my body
that chocolate icing will no longer have power over me
that I will drive past a fast food restaurant with the realization that all they can offer me is self-destruction
that there will be a day that I will no longer feel so uncomfortable in my skin
I dream that someday I will stop buying every magazine or book that promises weight loss
that I will have lasting success
that I will look in the mirror with positivity rather than negativity
that my thighs will not touch
that I will stop carrying this ongoing dilemma… good? bad? eat it? don”t eat it? maybe a little?
that I will be energized rather than lethargic
that my body will function the way it should, that I will breath easier, think clearer, move quicker
I dream of someday wearing a single digit size
Of not wanting to punch a mannequin in the face because every outfit looks perfect on her…and not so much on me
that I will be consistent with my workouts (because they really do feel good when it’s over)
that I will have good arms for wearing sleeveless
that my collar bones will come out of hiding (again)
that I will keep my focus on God’s Health Plan
that I will realize this is my struggle, but it does not define my life
Finally, Dr. King, I have a dream that I will not be judged by the color of my skin or the size of my clothes, but by the content of my character.

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Get Back Up

You turned away when I looked you in the eye,
And hesitated when I asked if you were alright,
Seems like you’re fighting for your life,
But why? oh why?
Wide awake in the middle of your nightmare,
You saw it comin’ but it hit you outta no where,
And theres always scars
When you fall that far

We lose our way,
We get back up again
It’s never too late to get back up again,
One day you gonna shine again,
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever,
Lose our way,
We get back up again,
So get up, get up,
You gonna shine again,
Never too late to get back up again,
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever
[May be knocked down but not out forever]

You rolled out at the dawning of the day
Heart racin’ as you made you little get away,
It feels like you’ve been runnin’ all your life
But, why? Oh why?

So you’ve pulled away from the love that wou’d’ve been there,
You start believin’ that your situation’s unfair

But there’s always scars,
When you fall that far

We lose our way,
We get back up again
Never too late to get back up again,
One day, you gonna shine again,
You may be knocked down but not out forever,
Lose our way, we get back up again,
So get up, get up
You gonna shine again
It’s never too late, to get back up again
You may be knocked down, but not out forever,
May be knocked down, but not out forever!

This is love callin’, love callin’, out to the broken,
This is love callin’.
This is love callin’, love callin’, out to the broken
This is love callin’.
This is love callin’, love callin’,
I am so broken
This is love callin’ love callin

~~ Toby Mac

Great Conversations

Wow! Last weeks post about pork prompted some great conversations! Clearly, the subject of whether to eat pork or not is quite controversial. As I stated before, this is my own personal conviction based on my studies. You will never see me telling anyone what they should or should not do. This is simply another step in my journey to better health.

One of the things I love about researching the Old Testament is that I feel I am understanding God better and I feel stronger in my Christian walk. It has been so cool to read about the beginning. How it was meant to be early on. Yes, many people say that the New Testament changed all of those initial “laws”. And maybe that is true. But I am fascinated by how God gave us such detailed instructions on how to live and how to take care of our bodies. I am a strong believer that we could benefit from going back to the beginning. Sometimes “progress” is not all it’s cracked up to be. Consider this thought….

Supposes all animals are clean. Knowing what we know about pigs, just because we CAN eat them….should we? Does this animal, in any way, draw us closer to good health? Is it smart to eat meat that reportedly takes 4 days to digest in the bowel instead of 2 days for “clean”meats? I guess for me, it has become more about the negative effects that I have learned about rather than the legalistic ideas of “Old” and “New,” “right” and “wrong,” “clean” and “unclean.”

Again, these are reasons for my decision, but this journey of rediscovering God’s plan for our health, then and now, has sparked a whole new way of thinking for me. If God said it in the Old Testament, then I want to understand. If Muslim dietary laws and Jewish dietary laws still believe eating pork is prohibited, then it makes me want to know why.

At the end of the day, what I have to think about is this: God blessed me with this body, imperfect as it may be, and He asked me to be a good steward of what He gave me. For years, I have failed at this task. I have mistreated my body and I have not respected my temple. The good news….He’s not finished with me yet!

One of the First Big Changes…

One of the first big changes for our family is that we no longer eat pork.

For years, we have heard that eating pork was wrong or bad or even sin. I never understood any of that and thought it was a bunch of religious mumbo jumbo. Plus, I’m from the south and grew up in the country. Not only did we eat pork often, my grandparents raised and slaughtered their own. That’s just the way it was. Never a question about it.

I continued the eating patterns that were passed to me and until recently, I added bacon or ham to my sandwiches, I had sausage with my breakfast, and on occasion, pork chops for dinner. My personal research has led me to the conclusion that pork no longer needs to be a part of our family’s diet. Here’s why:

“And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it [is] unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase” Deuteronomy 14:8

Pigs eat anything and everything… then we eat them. Because of their nature to ingest “slop” or rats or decaying flesh or maggots or their own fecal waste, these animals are full of bacteria. They carry up to 200 diseases and 18 different parasites and worms… and we eat them! Yuck! Did you know that years ago, pork was considered meat for the poor man. It was never considered part of the menu for a sophisticated family. However, now pork is almost a delicacy to be eaten often and for many of us, (in one form or another) daily. Some would say that those diseases and bacteria are removed when the meat is thoroughly cooked, and I believe that many of them are. But not all… and I don’t know that it is worth the risk. This is actually a very controversial issue among Christians. Many have referred to the verses in the New Testament (Acts 10:9-16) stating that in these verses God declared all things clean. My personal belief is that this was an analogy and that God did not permit His people to begin eating the things He had already declared unclean. The swine did not change. It’s body was and is still full of bacteria and disease, it’s fat storage is still a place where toxins are deposited, (that used to be my favorite part of the bacon!! lol) and still, none of it should be going into our bodies.

As always, when we seek wisdom and understanding, God delivers. He spelled it all out long ago, and we have really gone astray. The problem is, our lack of knowledge is causing us to blindly go through this life harming ourselves and our families. How great is His faithfulness! There is so much more information that I have found in my research and I wish I could share it all with you. Let me just say, giving up bacon has not been easy! I assure you, it is because of what I have learned in my studies, that I am confident pork is unclean and therefore, I do not want to contribute to the decline in my health or that of my family.

***Please note: This is my personal journey of discovery, I am writing about and sharing what my family is experiencing. I do NOT judge or condemn anyone else’s decisions.

By the way, Past tense report: no sodas, choosing ‘mostly’ real foods, baby steps back into my workouts= down 3 lbs this week! WooHoo!

May God Bless you as you seek His Health Plan!

Knowledge…A Blessing or a Burden?

Did you know….
…that about 90% of what you find at the grocery store is not REAL food? The majority of what we see at our local supermarkets…well, it’s not that super! My study of God’s Health Plan is teaching me about the foods that God created for our bodies ….you know, our BODIES that He also created?!?! Most of what we eat in our modern lifestyle is chemically engineered and man made. Sure, we all love the flavor of what we inhale on a regular basis. (Who wouldn’t, right?) But the problem is, man made “food” is killing us. I have been amazed at the alarming statistics that I have found in my research. It is very unsettling that the confirmed links between our sickness and diseases and the food industry are continuing to be largely ignored. What I have concluded at this point is that it is our personal responsibility to know and understand what we are doing to our bodies. Labels are not going to tell us the whole story. In fact, the food industry that we support with our dollars is unbelievably corrupt. Their profits come at the expense of our health. The chemicals and preservatives that our government has approved for our consumption are literally putting us in the grave. Well, I’m done. I am realizing just how big this issue is for me and my family. I have had to let go of so many ideas about food that I was raised with. I have switched my focus from holding onto what was passed down to me, to creating new and better ways for my children. God never meant for us to have such an unhealthy relationship with food. I want my kids to know what God’s True Health Plan is all about.

As I research Leviticus Law and began to fully understand the reasons behind the food guidelines that God set for His people, I have a whole new respect for what God’s original design was. There is so much good information in that book that was written thousands of years ago!! LOL

However, this “new” information comes with a price, for me. I must consider God’s ways compared to what I have always known… and sometimes it tough. Sometimes, I want to whine about it and go back to what seems more comfortable. But Wow, when I choose His ways over mine, IT IS AMAZING! I feel so much better when I am eating according to His original design. The burden pails in comparison to the blessing!

Stay with me over the next few weeks, I want to share with you some of the changes my family is making as a direct result of studying God’s Health Plan. Good things are happening. God is good!

By the way… last night I got back on the elliptical (even if it was only for 10 minutes!) and I did 1/2 of my Monday strength training workout. It’s a start. I look forward to posting, past tense of course LOL, my efforts.

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In the spirit of my new blogging approach of only writing about what I’ve done rather than what I am going to do, I would like to share my week with you.

Over the past week or so, I have continued my study of researching God’s Health Plan and I have loved what I am learning. I must admit, studying the Bible for specific issues like food can be challenging. However, it has also been very enlightening. The biggest thing I have learned so far is that most of what we consume in our modern day diets…is not really food. Furthermore…this “non-food” stuff is making us very sick and in many cases, killing us. I am struggling with this somewhat because I happen to really enjoy many of these non-foods. LOL I am still learning and plan to dig deeper and make peace with this monster as I learn about real foods.

Another unsettling aspect of my journey became apparent to me this past week. I am beginning to feel how unhealthy I am. For the first time, my knees have been continually aching each day. It is obvious to me that my body is letting me know…painfully… that I am not meant to carry this extra weight around. Ouch.

As if I needed more motivation …. tonight at dinner, my jeans began to unravel! Yes, you read that right. My jeans (granted they are forever old and super thin and worn out) seperated along the back pocket while I was out to dinner with my family!! No one saw it (I think LOL) and when I told my husband about it, all I could do was bust up laughing. Seriously?!?! Wow…What could be more motivating?!?! LOL

On a an encouraging note, I haven’t had a soda ALL year!!! WooHoo!!

Happy New Year, my friends!! May God richly bless you with the abundant and HEALTHY life He has planned for you and your family!