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:
- 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.
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.
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!
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.
- 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.
*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!