Free Fitness – Cookies For Lunch

Cookies for lunch

Good morning!

Welcome to the third installment of my Thursday blog series called Free Fitness. Here are the links to the first two posts in case you missed them.

Fitness Hacks: Free Fitness 

Free Fitness: Why You MUST Rest

Today I am discussing the importance of not setting ANY food rules. While they seem like they would be helpful, they aren’t and only make things worse. So what do we do instead?

Get your cup of coffee and pull up a chair. This is a long one.

No Rules Allowed

In case you are new to the blog, I dealt with anorexia and then bulimia for a whopping 17 years. During that time, I heard many times over that dieting never works but I just couldn’t let go of all of my “rules”. How could I? I was always either on track (well, what was “on track” in my mind) or binging. I had to keep it together somehow! There was no way I could just let go and eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Little did I know, that was exactly what I needed to do.

Why No Rules?

When we feel out of control with food, we do the only logical thing…we attempt to control it. But trying to control our eating habits is the best way to end up completely out of control. How many of you have experienced this exact scenario? You gain weight, so you go on a diet. This works or doesn’t work for a bit. After a few weeks or months of dieting, you eat your whole pantry and then some until you literally can’t move all the while thinking about how you will start a brand new diet tomorrow. The next day is a new day! You begin a new diet or just try the same diet all over again. You start “Day 1” all over again and stay “on track” until you end up binging on your pantry again, and the cycle starts over. And if you are like me, the times between binges keep getting closer and closer together.

The good news is, there is hope! The bad news is, it’s sure hard to find it because there are so many diets out there claiming they are NOT diets. Has anyone else noticed that almost EVERY single diet plan out there these days states that it isn’t a diet? If it restricts anything; certain foods, food groups, or portion sizes (yes portion sizes), it’s a diet.

I know what you are thinking because I thought too.

“Well, I can’t just throw caution to the wind and eat however much I want of whatever the heck I want! I’ll get even fatter!”

Look, you have to be honest with yourself. Between you and me, we know that you end up eating the off-limits stuff anyway, right? Eventually, you give in and eat it. A LOT of it. Or maybe it’s not junk. I had eventually gotten to the point where I ONLY ate “clean” foods, but because certain foods were fewer carbs or calories than others, I ended up binging on healthy food! But a binge is a binge, and I swear the healthy food binges are way more uncomfortable. Fiber in large amounts does not sit well at all. Haha!

So how do we have our cake and eat it too?

Believe The Fact That It Is OK To Eat Your Cake

Right now, DROP EVERY FOOD RULE YOU HAVE EVER MADE FOR YOURSELF.

Forget every diet you have ever tried. Forget it all. If you truly have an intolerance to something, of course, don’t forget about that but I urge you to be honest with yourself about whether your intolerance is in your head or if it is real. I am by no means belittling intolerances to gluten, dairy, etc. I know people who have true intolerances and how miserable life is for them when they not managed. But I do know that “faking intolerances” is a trick that one with disordered eating may use as a means of control. Don’t forget, I spent many years doing so.

Now, this is obviously easier said than done. There is a blue million (my dad’s term) programs and plans out there trying to convince you that their way is the right way so that you buy into their plan and they make money. If you are an expert dieter like myself, you know that for every plan or program, there is another one to contradict it. They all have “scientific backing”. They all have success stories. If we all took the advice of every one of the programs and plans saying they were the best, we would die of starvation because we wouldn’t eat anything.

I said all that to say that getting your brain back to “zero” is not easy and will take some time. But here are some things to remind yourself of each time you eat…

  • I eat food to sustain life.
  • I eat food for energy to live life.
  • I eat food because I enjoy it.

The last one is the one we have all forgotten. Food is meant to be enjoyed. If God didn’t want us to enjoy food, why would He make it taste so good? We have totally lost the ability to enjoy food because we are all so busy trying to control it!

It is OK to eat cake. It is OK to eat pizza. It is OK to eat cookies. It is OK to eat chips and dip and candy. It is ok to drink hot chocolate and have the cocktail or whatever it is that you have been wanting to eat, but the feelings of guilt and shame have sucked all the joy from.

Why Is It OK To Eat These Things?

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Matthew 6:25

Jesus is God. He knew the past and the future. When He spoke these words, He knew what we would be eating in 2018. If it wasn’t ok to eat certain things (even Little Debbie cakes), don’t you think He would have mentioned that in an exception? Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body. That is for the future generations. No! He said DO NOT WORRY about what you will eat or drink!

But isn’t sugar and junk food killing us and making us fat?

No.

We all have an appointed day that we will die. Friends, it doesn’t matter if you eat donuts and hot chocolate every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If God’s plan is for you to die in a car accident when you are thirty, that is what will kill you. If His plan is for you to live until one hundred and die peacefully in your sleep, nothing will kill you until then! It wouldn’t be wise to eat donuts and hot chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. You would likely feel terrible and have tons of cavities.

But won’t sugar and junk food make us fat?

Not if the number of calories in the junk and sugar you are eating doesn’t exceed your daily energy expenditure.

See! I need to worry!

No. You need to eat exactly what you want.

Cookies For Lunch

We all know I love cookies so I will use them for my example. 🙂

Look, when we drop the guilt and shame and allow ourselves to have whatever we want, we end up satisfied. It takes a bit of practice, maybe a lot of practice. But when you get it, there is nothing like the freedom of eating like the “normal” people you have watched during your years of bondage.

This is how you start. When it is lunchtime (or whatever time you get ready to eat), think about what you really would like to eat. Anything! What is it? Eat that. If that is cookies, then eat cookies for lunch.

At first, you will feel really guilty. But remember that there is nothing to feel guilty about! It is 100% OK for you to eat cookies for lunch.

Do not be afraid. Eat until you are satisfied. But you have to remember one very important thing, it is OK to have cookies for lunch tomorrow too, or the next day or the next day after that. It’s 100% fine. It is THIS thinking that will eventually keep you from eating ALL the cookies. 

When I first began eating this way, if I wanted cookies for lunch (which happened often) I would have maybe five or seven cookies with coffee as lunch. In the beginning, I felt a little guilty but guess what? Nothing bad happened. When the next came, I didn’t eat all healthy things because I ate cookies the day before but instead got to have fun deciding what I was going to eat just like the day before. NOTHING was off limits!

If you need something to make you feel better, read this article. I love sharing it because all of these people who live to be over one hundred lived in food freedom. No one had and strict regimes. It just goes to show that Matthew 6:25 is spot on. Do not worry!

Things to Remember While ENJOYING Cookies For Lunch

Here is a list of things to remember to help you squash the guilt and continue on being free from bondage to food rules. Go back to it again and again so that it becomes your new normal.

  • I am thankful to God for blessing me with  _______. (Cookies, pizza, french fries, etc.)
  • This food is not harming my body.
  • Sometimes I want junk. But many times I want a healthy meal. This meal does not define my diet.
  • If I want _______ (cookie, pizza, french fries, etc.) for lunch (breakfast, snack, dinner, tomorrow) I will eat it!
  • If I feel guilty or shameful after eating this meal, I will remember that the guilt and shame are just FEELINGS they are NOT facts. I will not believe them.

*IMPORTANT- Give yourself grace when practicing this. If you end up eating all the cookies or too much of whatever it is, it is very important to not diet the next day but to allow yourself cookies for lunch again. You spent many years developing the deprivation way of thinking. It will take some time to change your mind.

I know for many of you reading this all seems absolutely reckless. I promise you it’s not and when you practice allowing yourself to eat without any limits that after a while, you won’t even want indulgences every day and an amazing balanced approach to food will be your normal. But don’t think about that now. You just have to be patient and trust God that you do not have to worry.

Need someone to pray for you in this? I will! Just let me know in the comments or in a message, and I promise I will.

Blessings to you!
Angela

Stay tuned every Thursday for more Free Fitness posts. Next week’s topic is portions sizes! *Spoiler alert: Your friend’s portion size is not YOUR portion size. Keep your eyes on your own food. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Free Fitness: Why You MUST Rest

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Hey guys!

Welcome to the second installment of a blog series that I will be posting on Thursdays called Fitness Hacks: Free Fitness.

The topic of this post is rest. This may be a new take on it for some of you though.

Free Fitness: Why You MUST Rest

Managing stress is the first and most important step toward a healthy life. The reason for this is that we humans are delicate creatures! Somewhere along the line, we started thinking that a good life is one of striving and going above and beyond.

While this is the way of the world, it is not the way of the Lord.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:30

In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat– for he grants sleep to those he loves.  Psalm 127:2

I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.  Psalm 3:5

God has created us for His glory. He is the Shepherd and we are the sheep. He is the Vine and we are the branches. Do you see who’s doing all of the work? *Hint: It’s not us.

Now, we are to work hard (Colossians 3:23). But when we are submitting to the Lord and do HIS work, He enables us to do it. I love these verses!

He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.
Psalm 18:33

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.  Proverbs 16:3

So when we strive, when we burn the candle at both ends and spin our wheels trying to glorify ourselves, it is HARD. But when we rest in the Lord, fruit is brought forth! And there is so much peace, you guys.

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

I know many of you are in situations that are stressful that you have no control over. This is different. Know that God has not left you and there is a purpose for your pain…

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 
Hebrews 12:11

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

But today I urge you to get alone with the Lord and ask Him to show you things that are in your control to change. Many times we are stressed out and burned out by things that we don’t even need to be doing in the first place. Ask God to reveal to you your true heart and to change it for His glory.

I know this may seem like it has nothing to do with fitness but it has everything to do with it. You MUST rest before you can move forward to a healthy lifestyle. Without peace, your overall health suffers. You can’t sleep which caused overeating. When we are anxious, we hold onto weight. Not to mention, all of this leads to extreme exhaustion which makes life HARD to live. You may hold it together for months or even years but the crash is coming and when it does it will be a hard hit.

God has created us to need Him. Call out to the Good Shepherd. There is peace in the pasture, my friends.

“‘Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.  Jeremiah 33:6

Until next week, blessings.

 

Fitness Hacks – Free Fitness

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Good morning Peaches!

Thursday has become fit front update posts. Check out my current approach to fitness  here and here. (Spoiler alert: it’s super relaxed.)

I was almost certain that I would not keep up with these posts because of the fact that diet and exercise no longer take up a large space in my mind. But I do have a wealth of fitness information stored up from my many years of fitness obsession and I have decided to pass it along to you. This will be an extremely honest series of blog posts on how you, my friend, can live a healthy life right now without spending any extra money. You can lose weight right now without joining a gym, without buying any special products, and without even buying a book on the matter if you don’t want to. I do recommend at least buying a book. I mean, come on, they aren’t expensive and you get to keep it forever.

I am going to start with some things for you to remember and then give you free resources to go to get you started.

*Note- I am not selling anything. I am not directing you to places where you will be sold something.  I am just a former fitness instructor with info to share. This is a ministry. 

Free Fitness – Get Honest

Step #1 – Step Away From the Media

The first step is to step back, look away from the media telling you that you need to go low carb, go vegan, go gluten-free, do this diet do that diet, make sure you workout this much and this way and get your heart rate so high before you will be able to make any progress. The fitness industry is just that, an industry. It needs to tell you that you need to follow these programs, and drink protein powders, and buy books on specific diets to get healthy, lose weight, and change your life. This is not true. This is sales.

While gyms, network marketing, and products can be great and provide you with motivation to adhere to a healthy lifestyle. You definitely don’t need to purchase anything to be fit. If you have feet (or not!) you are equipped. If you eat food, you are all set.

Step #2 – Be Honest With Yourself About How You Lost Your Health

I say it this way because you can be thin and still be unhealthy. Maybe you aren’t overweight but your cholesterol is high or you have high blood pressure. Maybe you do have a good amount of weight to lose. You must be honest with yourself about how you got to where you are so that you don’t fall for the gimmicks telling you that your lack of health came from not using a product or doing a certain diet.

I will use me as an example because I know that I am one of many.

I was overweight because I overate on numerous occasions for an extended period of time. 

That’s it. My weight gain did not come from eating carbs or eating a bite of my kid’s food or saying yes to pizza night or going out to coffee with friends. My weight gain came from overeating alone on numerous occasions for an extended period of time. Remember that for yourself.

Step #3 – Understand The Impact of Stress On Your Body

This one is huge and will be a whole blog post in itself. But for now, you must accept the fact that in this world of insta-perfect, you are not. You need sleep. You need rest. There are consequences to burning the candle on both ends.

My counselor, Sarah Beth, says you must put on your shoes to run the race. Sleep and rest are your shoes for the race. Without them, you are going to have a much harder time and likely give up.

Put on your shoes.

Step #4- Think Choice By Choice

A friend that was a personal trainer once told me that if you are a couch potato, eating chips in front of the TV seven days a week and never exercising and you begin eating healthy and working out for 4 of those days, you are going to lose weight and be better than you were. He was right!

Let go of the future and think of the meal or activity right in front you. You can do that right now. What are you about to do? Go out to lunch? Choose something grilled instead of fried. Get a fruit cup instead of chips or fries. Get water instead of soda. Are you heading back to work? Take the stairs, park far away from the building and walk in. Heck, do one minute of squats in the bathroom!

Don’t worry about if you are eating or doing the right thing. Spoiler alert: It’s right. You are choice by choice practicing making good decisions. Remember the couch potato. You are already doing great!

Step #5 – Google….You May Have Heard of It.

Haha!

Once you make sure you are not looking anywhere but right in front of you, Google! We are so blessed to live in the information age. You have a wealth of free information at your fingertips! The key is to not get caught up in gimmicks and extremes. There are gimmicks around every corner saying they are anything but and unfortunately we live in a society of extremes. We don’t just jog, we run marathons. We don’t just weight train, we bodybuild. We don’t just eat healthily, we become our diet! BEWARE.

Here are some websites that I have found helpful.

Healthy eating:

healthline.com
webmd.com
choosemyplate.com

Free workouts:

Fitness Blender
BodyRock TV

Healthy recipes:

Pinterst  (I know. Haha. But seriously, we get forget how simple it is sometimes.)

My Favorite Healthy Living Blogs:

Dashing Dish 

Peanut Butter Fingers

Step #6- Steer Clear of Extremes

Actually, first read this article. These people all lived to be well over one hundred years old and not one of them is a hardcore healthy eater or extreme exerciser. One guy even says it important to NOT eat too healthy! Haha! But I would agree.

It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.  Ecclesiastes 7:18

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Matthew 6:25

Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 1 Corinthians 10:25

Remember the goal of fitness is to enhance your life, not to burn you out.

Step #7- Eat Exactly What You Want

When living choice by choice, you are going to have times that you want to eat something not even close to remotely healthy. Do not feel bad. Do not feel guilty. EAT IT. Do not eat a bunch of healthy things first trying to get rid of the craving. You will likely only eat all the calories of the healthy food PLUS the donuts that you will surely still have. This is very important. If you are craving a Krispy Kreme donut, tell your family, go get some and joyfully eat them with everyone. Do not get Dunkin Donuts. Get Krispy Kreme. Satisfy the craving, be thankful for it. There is no reason at all to feel guilty (Matthew 6:25). A few donuts is a blessing. But friends, be honest with yourselves here. If you don’t satisfy the craving with a few donuts you will eventually satisfy it….with a dozen….or two.

Do you see how it works out? Even if you have one dessert every day you are still not overeating all the time which was what got you to an unhealthy place to begin with.

Step #8 – Just MOVE

Exercise really is as simple as that. Don’t think you have to get in a formal workout every day. JUST MOVE. Swim with your kids. Clean the house. Walk around the block. Squat and jog while watching your favorite show. Lift heavy things in your house. Stretch your body. Remember, look away from the media. Look away from the person next to you. Just move.

Those are my first few tips! I hope you found at least a few of them helpful. Stay tuned for more tips next Thursday!

Blessing to you all!
Angela