Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Embrace Change...30 Day Challenge Day 30 ~ Guest Blogger Josh Copeland

Here we are, the last day of your 30 day challenge! Praise God! Whew! You accomplished your goal if you tried your best, learned something about yourself, developed some discipline, or developed a health and wellness plan that you can maintain in the future. These 30 days were not about dieting or focusing on 30 days of health. Can We Talk?!

The author of Made to Crave…said “Diets don’t work for me…so I’m not on a diet. I’m on a journey with Jesus to learn the fine art of self-discipline for the purpose of holiness.” I hope that you understand that these 30 days were very much a physical, emotional, and spiritual journey with Jesus to begin living a healthier life. The plan for healthy living is different for each of us. Read guest blogger Josh Copeland’s account of his journey with Jesus over the past 30 days.

I had high hopes. When my mom presented this challenge I felt ready to dive in. I received a copy of P90X and I had big dreams of getting through these 30 days with an amazing story of how I stuck with it and made all of these improvements. I even started a week early by mistake and felt like it was a good warm up for the challenge. But then life took an unexpected turn.

I started a new job at a catering company and the hours are normally pretty stable and consistent except for the fact that I don’t know what time I have be at work for the next day until the day before. That’s normal in the corporate catering world. I did not know that this is one of the busiest times in the year for my company because of the back to school rush. So my work schedule turned upside down to the point where I was working 60 hour work weeks. I was working up to 16 hour work days which would leave me barely enough time to sleep on most days. This went on through the entire span of the challenge.

As you can imagine with barely any time to sleep on most days working out was the last thing on my mind. Of course I would get the emails and tweets my mom was sending out during the challenge but I felt that my work situation couldn’t fit in with the challenge. So since I couldn’t work out I pretty much threw my diet out of the window. I’m not even going to try to downplay my bad habits. I was popping fresh baked chocolate chip cookies in my mouth like breath mints. During this time I didn’t really have a chance to sit down and have meal so I always had to eat on the go and without any kind of plan I took whatever I could get.

You may think that because of this that I failed this challenge. But the reality about it is that through this time I learned a great deal about myself and how important it is to call on the Lord to help with the process. The mistake that we often make in dieting and our walk with God is that we get so caught up in the letter of the law that we miss the true freedom of being in the Spirit of the law.

Look at what Paul asks the Galatians when they wanted to live by the law and not by the Spirit…So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? Galatians 3:5

We have to ask ourselves this when we are taking on any challenge in our lives. Are we going to make it through a challenge because of the rules and regulations or are we going to make it through by the Spirit of God? Are we going to strive for a healthy lifestyle because we truly believe that it is what we need for our lives or are we just doing this because 4 His Temple said so? In my walk I made my health journey about the 30 days so when I couldn’t participate the way I wanted to I settled with doing just a little. Had I lived in the spirit of the challenge, which is committing to a healthy lifestyle, then I would have been intentional about planning around my circumstances instead of letting the circumstance control me.

I believe that this challenge was intended to be a starting point for a healthy life not just a healthy thirty days. Although I didn’t have any amazing before and after pictures like I imagined I was going to have on Day 1, I eventually got to the point where I didn’t gain or lose any weight during the 30 days. I spent these days adjusting to my schedule, my faults and my weaknesses, and mainly praying and asking God for help and repenting for my mistakes. He showed me things that I could do to counter my schedule and He used the Holy Spirit to convict me when I popped that third cookie of the day in my mouth. But most importantly God was there to extend His grace to me. I admitted my faults and I prayed for God to help me “want to” change at my core through my thinking, my emotional reactions, and by helping me to change my desires. I can proudly say that as of this past Monday I instituted a new life challenge.

Every morning I will wake up before work and do a short and intense cardio workout before I go to work. I always knew I NEEDED to do this but I never WANTED to do it. God is not a respecter of person to where He changes the rules just because we don’t feel like following them. The Lord wouldn’t let me snooze past my planned workout time even though my flesh didn’t want to get up. In fact I started waking up before my alarm went off. After I finished my last rep the first words out my mouth were “Thank you Lord!” Not just out of exhaustion but because He took me through a process that led me to this point that I desire more of Him and more change in myself. I know He will do the same for you if you believe that being healthy in all areas of your life is crucial.

“Faith in God does not entitle us to expect different results from doing the same old things. Embrace change and you will progress.”

Your body is the temple of the Living God! Live Well in His Name!

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