Healthy Soul

Choosing Trust over Fear

12 weeks close up

I have a really hard time writing when I can’t be open and honest about what I’m learning. On January 7th I wrote my last post, on January 11th I found out I was pregnant! This was very wanted, but somewhat unexpected at the time. We have spent the last two months getting acquainted with the health care system in a new country, and lying low until we could finally get that appointment that assured us everything was going well. We got the appointment, and everything is going great! So now it’s time to rewind a bit and share what’s been on my heart the past two months.

My first two pregnancies and births have been a bit complicated, and since I have gotten healthier in the past year I wanted to have this beautiful, healthy, fit pregnancy.   It started out so good! For about three weeks I stayed gluten, dairy, and sugar free. I did my regular workout and I felt so good about myself. Then week 8 hit. I had no energy, all healthy food sounded horrible, and I was a mess of expectations. I struggled for about a week of this, and then I started giving myself some grace. I still felt tired. I still didn’t like food. But I ate some ice cream. It was glorious. I ate when I was hungry and what I was hungry for. I lowered my daily step goal from 10k to 6k. Most days I didn’t hit it, but I went to bed anyway. Then there was the hardest part, I put all my fun family adventures on hold. I told myself it was okay to have more family movie nights and less days out. Not all special moments have to be well planned or picture worthy.

I wanted to take this huge new development in my life and just add it right in with all the plans I already had. But that wasn’t God’s best plan for my life. In my case, this unexpected is a great thing, but throughout the past month we have been hit with some not so great unexpected events as well. Sometimes God brings situations into our life to slow us down, make us re-evaluate and change some priorities. But my natural tendency is to pray, ‘God, help me to fit this in my life on top of everything else like nothing has changed.’ When God started showing me that I couldn’t just keep-on-keeping-on like all was normal, my first reaction was fear. My body was reacting differently to this pregnancy than the other two and I convinced myself I was pregnant with twins (I’m not), that I was just old now (I kinda am) and then finally that it wasn’t even an actual baby, just a food baby from all my ice cream choices (thank God for that clear ‘real baby’ ultrasound a few weeks ago). This was just the tip of the worry iceberg along with other doubts and fears about our ministry and family.

As all this went on in my mind, Brian and I were in the midst of some soul detoxing, and I came across this quote that has been ringing in my mind since:

What you fear the most reveals where you trust God the least.
– Craig Groeschel

Through this one reminder, I have cried out to God in prayer with each fear that comes on my heart. At times, I was just praying for enough peace and comfort to get some sleep at night. At other times it meant trusting God to work in someone’s heart, to save a family, or keep my little baby safe and growing. Whatever the situation, it is always about choosing trust over fear. It is about realizing how much Bigger God is than any of my own efforts. And the best part of all of this: I saw it work! I saw God answer an amazing prayer overnight, I have felt Him calm my anxious mind. And I am still trusting Him to work out raging storms.

Prayer is active. It is real. With my whole heart I believe prayer changes impossible situations. In my 2016 experiences, I want to live like I believe that.

Rebekah

 

Healthy Body

5 Things I did to Lose 60 Pounds

before after photo with words

 

It’s time for my now annual Birthday Post. On my 30th birthday I did a lot of goal setting. 30 felt momentous. Like I was embarking on something new. And I did! I knew I was moving to a new country, I knew my life was changing. I knew I needed to make certain changes. One of those changes was my health. While my birthday is in November, I didn’t actually start doing something about it until the end of February. Since that time I have lost 60 pounds in 9 months and hopefully gained some insight into this personal journey of mine.

The most common question people get when they lose weight is, “What did you do?” So this is what I did:

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  • I set goals. Before we even moved, before I changed any habits- I envisioned the future. I created a secret Pinterest board full of motivational quotes, success stories, and tips. I made a note on my phone setting out my rewards for every 10 pounds lost. Some of them were big- at 50 pounds lost was a new haircut and my first ever color! Some were small-60 pounds is a new coffee cup. I set a plan for saving money for those rewards, and I made a visual representation of my goal. I did all of this before I ever lost the first pound.

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Boston has gotten lots of rides in this pack this year

  • I started an active lifestyle. Brian and I have always loved going for walks, I’ve had gym memberships before, but I never actually had an active lifestyle. Our lovely village makes this so possible for me. I think an active lifestyle looks different for different people. For me it means I walk my daughter to school in the morning (1 mile round trip) and walk her home in the afternoons. I started an exercise program. At first it was twice a week, now I strive for 5 days a week and land somewhere around 3-4. Our family chooses to walk to places in our village instead of drive whenever time and weather allow. We spend our evening playing at the park instead of cooped up inside (again, this was easier in the summer). It’s the discipline to be ready earlier and the desire to be healthy that drives me to keep up with these changes.

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Almond Flour, Cheese-less Pizza

  • I focused on eating real food. I have not dieted in the past year. I did do a 30 day “cleanse” which consisted of no flour, no sugar, no dairy. For the most part I have stayed away from gluten (I’m not intolerant, but my body just doesn’t respond well to it) and I am daily striving to stay away from added sugars. As a general rule, we try to eat clean in our house. Meaning we eat food that is grown or raised instead of manufactured. I have always been a picky eater. When I was in 4th grade, I went an entire year refusing to eat anything red. I wouldn’t eat lettuce until I was in college. And don’t get me started on pickles… This year my world has opened up! As I am trying new things a whole new realm of recipe possibilities are opening up to me and I am loving it. What I am saying is- it IS possible to change your tastes! This is coming from a girl who lived on cereals and pasta and all things artificial. If you had told newly 30 year-old me that 31-year-old Rebekah would request homemade guacamole for her birthday meal, I would not have believed you!

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My all time favorite exercise: Adventures out with my family

  • I had help from friends. My husband has absolutely been amazing this past year. He is my biggest support and help. He has been trying to get healthy for years now, so he’s been all for trying new recipes and making healthy changes in our home. I dearly love my husband, but sometimes you just need a girl who understands all the emotional junk that comes along with this journey. My sister has been my secret weapon the past year. We have shared victories, frustrations, recipes, and fashion help (I ask- she helps). And as I started losing more and more weight people started noticing. Some people are natural cheerleaders. Find these people! I know the ladies at my church who will notice when I have lost another pound and will compliment me lavishly. I love seeing these people! When it feels like I am stuck, or just feel a little down on myself- they will always give me a little confidence boost.

 

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  • I realized this is a spiritual battle. I save the best for last. Here is the truth: none of this was me—it was all GOD. When my motivations are selfish, I will always fail over time. When my motivation is to glorify God with my life and my body, everything changes. I hugely recommend Lysa Terkeurst: ‘Made to Crave’ (or in the UK this link)* for anyone who wants to truly change her mind and heart in this area.

 

I said earlier this has been a personal journey. And this is what I have learned: it’s not about following all the rules correctly and achieving a top level; it’s about becoming. It’s about changing my daily habits, and my daily thoughts that then turn into weekly, monthly, and hopefully lifetime habits and thoughts. I think this is true of the Christian life as well. When I try to keep rules and expect perfection from myself—I fail. I fail big time. But when I daily make a choice to give God my heart and mind, I take steps at making new habits and patterns. I begin growing more like Him in my life in a process that will take a lifetime. Thankfully, it’s not a journey that I’m on in my own strength, but in His.

-Rebekah

*This post contains an affiliate link.  This means if you click the link and buy the book, I get a percentage of the sale and you don’t pay any extra!