30 Days of Motivation: Find Your Beast Mode

beast mode Quote of the Day: “Discover your beast mode”

Scripture of the Day: “Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up?” Proverbs 6:6-9

I have to admit, despite what you may think, I really struggle with laziness. My first reaction is always to take the easy route. I’m very apt to want to stay at home, to stay as comfortable as possible and to avoid exerting energy. I’d rather eat less than workout more. Steve, on the other hand, doesn’t mind working out twice a day so he can eat a few more calories.

Sadly, in today’s society, everything evolves around convenience and comfort. If you are honest (and you are like me), it pains you to discover the remote on the opposite side of the couch, when just a few years ago we had to get up and change the channel on the TV. Before that, we had to drive somewhere to see a play or watch a show. Before that, we walked, road our bike or jumped on a horse to get to the closest amphitheater to be entertained.

samantha bewitchedThe same goes with telephones. Cell phones allow us to answer the phone exactly where we are. We don’t have to get up and walk to the kitchen (where the only phone in the house use to be) to answer the phone. We don’t have to stand for 20 minutes while talking on the phone because the chord could only reach so far. No, we can answer it exactly where we sit, remain seated without burning an extra calorie doing so. Before telephones, if you wanted to talk with a friend, you went to their house. You walked to your neighbors homes – and in very old times, you may travel hours to deliver a message in person.

We can drive through and get a full-course meal without barely any effort. We have people that mow our lawn, grow our food and machines that wash dishes and clothes. We have it easy! And if we aren’t purposefully incorporating exercise in our day, we will be in big trouble.

The problem is, we like being comfortable too much. We work our brains so much at work, we feel exhausted at the end of the day, even if we haven’t done any hard labor. While our mind may say we are tired, our body needs exercise. It’s time to discover your beast mode.

Learn from the Ants

What can we learn from this verse about ants? 

strong as an ant1.) They don’t have a boss, they don’t have someone telling them what to do.”Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work“.They labor hard on their own will. They aren’t doing all the hard work for someone else, they are doing it for themselves. We too should want to work hard because it is beneficial to us and to everyone around us.

2.) They plan ahead. “they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter”. While there are instant benefits to working out, what we do today is an investment for our future. We labor now for a reward later. If you want to feel good in your bikini in the spring, you labor over the winter. If you want to be healthy enough to play with your grandchildren and go on vacations in your 80s, then you labor hard now in your 40s. We must plan for the future and be willing to work now for a healthier life later.

3. They live with purpose. One website explained that all ants work with purpose, “If it is raining outside, the nurses will dash around carrying their charges lower and lower where the rain might not penetrate. Worker ants concentrate on enlarging the nest, digging new chambers underground, making repairs where needed. They also keep the colony clean, removing dirt and debris and the dead. Soldiers are equipped with larger heads, a hard armor-like covering and larger and stronger jaws. They will attack insects, both for protection and for food. gatherers get the food. They can carry up to 50 times their weight. Or they may go as far as away as 600 feet and return with a single seed to store deep in the nest for the future- similar to a man walking 6 miles to the store and back for a loaf of bread.”

It is so easy to fall in the trap of laziness. Commit to being active, to fight laziness, to not give into napping when it isn’t necessary, to go to the gym after work even though you just want to hit the couch and relax.

ants bugs life

Live like an Ant

  1. Protect your environment, creating boundaries in your life to keep you safe and healthy
  2. Work on constantly improving (like the ants are constantly enlarging their nest, we should not become complacent and always strive for better and bigger things)
  3. Clean the house regularly. One sign of laziness, and even depression, is letting the house go. The more disciplined you are at home, the more disciplined you will be at work and in your extra time.
  4. Make repairs when things break. Don’t put off tasks. 
  5. Remove stuff in your life that is bad or dead. When there is something (or someone) in your life that is not good for you, it needs to be removed. What dirt and debris needs to go in your life?
  6. Work (prepare and cook) for your food. Limit how often you go out to eat. Eating out is a form of laziness – even some of the busiest people with the same amount of kids and responsibilities can find time to cook.
  7. Work together (don’t wait on others to do stuff for you). Have your family work as a team, each using their talents and skills to help one another.
  8. Don’t do life alone. There are no stories of ants being a lone, gathering their own food, fighting off enemies and cleaning and repairing nest. We need people – especially in fitness. We need a support network to help us stay on course and reach our goals. 
  9. Carry heavy weight regularly. I love this one! An ant carries things 50 times their weight. While I’m not implying you should deadlift 7,500lbs (which is what you’d have to deadlift if you weighed 150lbs), but I am saying, don’t be afraid to lift heavy stuff. Haven’t you ever watched an ants pick something up? It, oftentimes, takes several attempts. You can see them trying to tackle it from different angels. You might even see them drop it along the way. Be like the ant, and look at the impossible with a desire to attempt it – and you’ll get stronger and stronger with each attempt!
  10. Walk 12,000 steps a day (that is equivalent to the average distance an ant travels, which is 6 miles).  Ironically, most experts suggest to walk 10,000 steps a day for good health. Unfortunately, sedentary people may only walk 1,000-3,000 steps a day. No wonder we are an obese nation!

People love motivational images of people lifting heavy weight and looking all hot and ripped, but maybe we should share pics of ants because they sure prove to be pretty great role models!

30 Days of Motivation: Good Food vs Evil Food

FOOD IS NOT BOSSQuote of the Day: “Food is not the boss of me” 

Scripture of the Day: “…I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1 Corinthians 6:12

One of the problems with eating and dieting is that there are no set rules that apply to everyone. There is somewhat a grey area when it comes to eating. Eating is not wrong, it’s not a sin and it’s not against the law, but it can be deadly, it can destroy self-confidence, it can make you miserable, it can make you feel bad and it clearly can be very harmful to you when abused.

Bottom line, for something that isn’t necessarily bad, it can definitely be a huge problem to some people. As a result, you get a lot of opinions from people that can cloud your own beliefs and understanding. You may even fall into peer pressure as some people snub their nose at others who eat fast food or might enjoy an ice cream sundae. Some health fanatic may even take it up a notch and preach to everyone everywhere they go about avoiding sugar, gluten, dairy, sweeteners or whatever other thing they personally are convicted to avoid.

Who’s the Boss?

sweetsI’m here to help you differentiate between what is OK and not OK for YOU. You need to know without a shadow of a doubt whether sweets, snacks, meat, carbs, alcohol or whatever is right for you so you. You need know without a shadow of a doubt what is OK for your eating plan and what is not. You should know where the boundaries need to be set – and I believe this blog will help you make the right choices.

Question #1: Does it have any power over you?

Paul says in 1 Corinthians “…I will not be brought under the power of any.” Other translations of verse 12 say it like this:

I will not be mastered by anything.
I must not become a slave to anything.
I will not be dominated by anything.
I will not do them if I think it would be hard for me to stop when I know I should.

Bonnie’s translation is “it won’t boss me”. How many of us let food boss us around? It’s ridiculous!! For some people, sweets are their boss. For others, carbs are their boss. It may not even be one food, but more of a lifestyle – like wining and dining with friends habitually, snacking every night, or drinking every day. Ask yourself: Who’s the boss? Is it me, or is it XYZ (fill in the blank)?

Harmful vs Helpful

evil foodThe next thing we need to look at is not just whether or not it has control over me, now we need to ask this next question.

Question #2: Is it beneficial?

The first part of 1 Corinthians 6:12 says “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful.” Other translations say “beneficial” or “good for me”. Sadly, we often try to determine whether something is OK or not based on whether or not it is harmful – but what about if it’s not harmful, but it’s also not helpful.

Now combine those two questions. Is it helpful and could it have power over you? If so, then there need to be some serious boundaries on whatever it is you are trying to determine is right for you or not. It may mean you can never have that thing in your life because of it’s control over you (whether it’s sugar, alcohol or maybe something that would put your life at risk). On the other hand, it may simply mean you need to put strict regulations on that item in your life (like you will not ever bring sweets home, but it’s OK to have a treat once a week out of the house, to avoid temptation of making it a habit again). These are just some ideas. It’s important you be honest with yourself and decide what is best for you.

food temptationsLastly, is it helpful for others? I know, I just said this is supposed to be all about you, but if you desire to walk in wisdom and not just make good decisions, but make excellent ones, you need to think about how your actions affect you – as well as others. So, let’s say you aren’t addicted to cookies, but your spouse is overweight and struggles with a sweet tooth. Let’s take that up a notch. Let’s say you love red wine, but your spouse is a recovering alcoholic. Would you bring alcohol home knowing your spouse struggles with alcoholism? I doubt it! So why are we so selfish to bring ice cream home when our spouse struggles with managing their weight? That’s a good example of “things that make you go hmmmm”! While it may be “lawful” for you, it may not be OK for you if it’s not helpful to you and others around you.

Interestingly enough, the next verse talks about this very thing: “Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall” 1 Corinthians 8:13. Honestly, you can’t get a clearer answer than this. Paul is saying, even though I don’t have a problem eating meat, I won’t do it if someone else does because that wouldn’t be helpful – and even worse, it could cause them to stumble. BUT, to do this, it requires selfless living.

It may be easy to say “that’s not fair”, but if you live selfishly (to please yourself without regard of others), then I believe you are in full-on sin. Believe me, I understand. I could have a big thing of peanuts in the pantry that would last me months, but I can’t have them because Steve pours them in his mouth like a glass of water. There are some things I can’t have in this house because I know they are a weakness for him. However, I love him more than I love peanuts, so it’s a small sacrifice to help him with his diet and health. I sure as heck won’t put peanuts, ice cream or whatever else before my husband and I should also not let anything other than God have its grip on me. Believe me, I have my own issues, and I too am learning how to set boundaries – and the first step is asking these 2 questions.

Right Living, Digging Deeper

jesus facepalmHopefully, I’ve gotten your brain juices going and you would like to think about how this could apply to your entire life – and not just eating. Whether it’s how you eat, speak or act, Chuck Smith asks these questions that I feel should be on the refrigerator door and on the bathroom mirror in every house. It’s so awesome! (I’m literally cutting and pasting from his sermon notes he entitles “Limits to Liberty“)

A. Does it impede my being like Jesus. Would I be apt to find Jesus participating with me?
B. Could I be brought under it’s power. Could it get such a hold on me that I cannot control myself? Could it enslave me?
C. Does it build me up in Jesus? Does it make me more like Him? Does it build up others?

Ice cream is not bad, but it is bad if it enslaves you.
Bodybuilding is not wrong, but it is if it dominates you.
Working isn’t bad, but it is if you can’t put it down.
Spending money is fine, but not if you can’t stop when you know you should – and the list goes on…

Life is full of questions, but finding the answer to is so much easier with the help of 1 Corinthians 6. :)

30 Days of Motivation: Are You Eating on Credit?

fat is like debtQuote of the Day: “Fat is like debt Stored fat is all the extra food your body couldn’t afford to eat. It’s all the extra food you ate on “credit”, and now it’s just waiting to be paid off.

Scripture of the Day: “Have you found honey? eat only as much as is sufficient for you, lest you be filled with it, and vomit it.” Proverbs 25:16

What is Proverbs saying? It’s saying, only eat what you need – no more. Of course we know eating too much can do more than make you vomit. It can cause weight gain and a host of health issues. If overeating (or eating more than you can afford to eat) becomes a habit, you will slowly start gaining weight – and have all the problems that go with it.

Working Off the Debt

Maybe you think you can work it off. Something people do not realize how much harder this is to do than it sounds. We always say “You can’t compete with what you eat“, and it is so true. While this may not seem very encouraging, the truth can be very helpful.

How hard is is to burn 1,000 calories? HARD! That might take a 10 mile jog or 2-3 hours of aerobics classes to burn off, yet you can eat 1,000 calories in less than 20 minutes at your favorite restaurant – and that’s before dessert! How easy is it to put something on a credit card? BAM! You can spend $500 in 5 seconds flat, but it might have taken someone 20 hours at $25/hour salary to MAKE $500! The same goes with food and exercise.

overspendingEating calories without tracking them is like shopping without looking at price tags. You can either afford something or not, but not looking at the price tag (or food label) doesn’t mean you should buy it and just give the sales clerk your credit card – however, that’s exactly what we are doing when we eat food we can’t afford.

We are putting calories on credit, stored as fat. Fat is simply calories we ate that we couldn’t afford to eat at the time. It’s just sitting there (on your thighs, tummy, butt and love handles), waiting to be paid off. If you want to ever pay it off (like a credit card) you have to quit eating on credit. It’s time to pay it off – and in this case, this means exercise and diet.

Stop overspending! It’s time start paying off your fat debt!!

 

30 Days of Motivation: Don’t Fool Yourself

FAILURE is notQuote of the Day: “failure is not always about what you are doing, but more about what you are not doing.”

Scripture of the Day:”Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.” James 1:22

I wish I could record people’s conversations with me so you could get a real grasp on this concept. I have SO many people that list all the things they are doing right – but they are not getting results. The listen to what I’m saying, but they pick and choose what they want to apply. Then they just tell me the good stuff, and they withhold the stuff they aren’t willing to surrender yet.

Don’t let your good intensions cloud reality. If you aren’t getting results, it doesn’t matter how clean you eat, how much you lift and how often you run. If you aren’t losing the weight, or getting the results you want, you are clearly DOING plenty right – but you are doing something wrong.

Oftentimes it means you are eating too big of portions, too many calories, or getting the wrong substrates (fat, protein, carbs). My goal for you today is to encourage you to look at the balance between what you are doing – and what you are still not doing. Whether you are still drinking and still having your glass of wine at night, or still having your daily dose of chocolate. OR, maybe it’s your weekly cheat meal or date night that is sabotaging your progress. Whatever it is, please do not full yourself into thinking you can do enough right to erase your wrongs.

You can’t compete with what you eat – and getting results doesn’t just require hard work in the gym, but it requires a certain level of sacrifice in the kitchen and in your daily lifestyle. :)

What is the first thing that comes to mind right now that you haven’t surrendered. That is probably the one thing standing in your way of success.

30 Days of Motivation: Impossible Starts with the Possible

do the impossibleQuote of the Day: “Do the impossible by starting with the possible.”

Scripture of the Day:”What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” Mark 9:23

You don’t have to be completely convinced you can do the impossible, but you do need to believe anything’s possible – but only if you try. The impossible doesn’t just happen on it’s own, without faith and at least an attempt to try.

Does someone become an olympic athlete by practicing the most difficult task? No. A gymnast will start with a forward roll on the ground before they advance to cartwheels, round-offs and back flips. They have to do what they CAN do first. Then they advance, one small challenge at a time.

This is how our workouts are. If someone can’t do a regular push up, they start on their knees. They may not even complete the movement in full range, but they do what they can, going deeper and deeper (with better and better form), each time they practice it.

If I had a dime for every boot camper, or member, who said they never DREAMED they’d be doing what they are doing now – I’d be filthy stinkin’ RICH! Sadly, many people don’t even begin to try because they can’t fathom what is possible. All they see is the impossible.

Be encouraged! Don’t think about all the things you CAN’T do, just do what you can – and eventually, over time, you will be doing things you never thought possible!!

30 Days of Motivation: Don’t Erase Your Hard Work

i will not eraseQuote of the Day: I will not erase all the hard work I did in the gym this week with what I eat in the kitchen this weekend.

Scripture of the Day: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:13-14

What this verse is saying is “Don’t do what everyone else does.” Everyone else does whatever they want on the weekend. Everyone else feels like the deserve the break. “We work hard during the week, let’s live it up on the weekend” some say – but how dumb is that?

Whether we are talking about how we eat, how we spend money or how we act, we should be protective over what we have worked hard on all week long – whether we worked hard to make money, for a good reputation, for spiritual growth, or to make progress toward our weight loss goals. Does it mean you completely live one day like none of that matters? Do we have an “OFF” day, as if no rules apply and the calories, actions, money or whatever don’t count? NO! What happens on the weekends doesn’t stay on the weekends! We carry that junk with us into the new week. Of course we can have small treats and fun, but we should be so dedicated to our goals, and to our standards, that we don’t go so overboard we erase 6 days of hard work on one day.

Sadly, this happens to so many people who in pursuit of a new weight or fitter body. Most people fail, not because they aren’t working hard enough in the gym, but because they aren’t working hard enough in the kitchen (especially on the weekends). They blow 5-6 days of sweat and tears on snacks and cheat meals. Even people who are eating healthy, still can eat too much.

Start becoming protective over your hard work in the gym. It comes with a cost – they are called calories. We burn them in the gym, and we need to protect that investment and prevent replacing them with irresponsible eating.

If you are trying to lose weight, commit to counting every single calorie you eat this weekend, even if you’ve never counted calories before. Before it goes in your mouth, look it up and add it up. Once you know the real cost of food, you will begin to budget your eating better and see the results you want! Have a great weekend everyone! More motivation tomorrow!!

30 Days of Motivation: Don’t Look Back

regret won't change thingsQuote of the Day: “DON’T REGRET THE PAST. CORRECT THE FUTURE, BY CHANGING THE PRESENT!”

Scripture of the Day: ““Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:18-19

This is a scripture that I clung to a year ago when it would have been SO easy to keep thinking of the past and let the past sabotage my future. Instead, I realized God was doing a new thing! Things were changing. Something was springing forth – and that goes for you too! It’s SO easy to look back and think “Ugh!! I’ve screwed up so bad!” or to think back on past failures and convince yourself you’ll always be a failure. That is a lie. That’s SO yesterday! You can be a success starting today!

Although I enjoyed being freer with my diet over the Holidays, if I want to get leaner, I have to make some adjustments. The first adjustment is my line of focus. I need to quit looking back and thinking about what I should have done or what I shouldn’t have eaten, etc. The next adjustment is my attitude. I need to adjust my attitude off the emotional pity part or regrets and on to my goals and onto a positive attitude filled with success and progress. Lastly, I need to adjust my thinking. I need to stop thinking about all my excuses and begin thinking about all the ways I can reach my goals. I need to take time to meal plan, to schedule workouts and on to productive thinking – instead of things that sabotage progress.

Focus on the Facts

weight lossOne of the best ways to refocus and put our emotions to the side is to focus on the facts. No matter how I feel, here are the encouraging facts:

FACT: I can lose 2lbs a week if I track my calories with LoseIt and stay on my workouts – and don’t cheat. That means, I can correct my body and get back to my ideal body weight in just 4 weeks. Suddenly I’m a little relieved and encouraged.

FACT: After regular exercise, my body will firm up and be energized – even before I lose the first pound. I will also wake up each day more proud and more confident, knowing I am doing the right thing and getting my body under control. This will feel so great!

FACT: Feeling good is SO worth just a few weeks of discipline. And, if you have more to lose, even just a few short months of diet and exercise is worth a complete life change.

FACT: Every week I will be getting fitter and thinner – and feeling better and looking better. I don’t have to wait to reach my goal weight to enjoy my new and improved body – and neither do you. Even if you need to lose 50lbs, don’t you think you’ll look and feel so much better after losing even the first 10?! OF COURSE YOU WILL!

Shake the depression. Shake the pity party. Stop beating yourself up. Look at where you are headed  – because that’s something to really get excited about!

30 Days of Motivation: Adjust Your Focus

that feelingQuote of the day: “That amazing feeling you get when you finish your workout despite how hard it was, how tired you were, how weak you felt or how much you wanted to quit… Yeah, that feeling keeps me coming back for more.”

Scripture of the Day: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

It is easy to let your mind think of all the excuses to not show up, all the reasons to quit too soon or all the reasons you are justified to not even try. However, we are to think on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable. We are not to focus on all the negative stuff that clouds are vision and keeps us from the things that are most important and most beneficial.

Remember constantly how good it feels to finish your workout, to do what is right, to have your priorities in order and to live a disciplined life. Success requires it – and God commands it too.

Protein Powder Product Review for Tasty Whey

Adaptogen Tasty WheyIn our business, I have the privilege of trying a good variety of supplements. The latest product I got to try is Tasty Whey by Adaptogen Science. This was a new product to me, and quite frankly, I was a little skeptical. First, I normally get vanilla protein and this was chocolate. With vanilla (I thought), I could add fruit or other things in it to dress it up if it doesn’t taste good. At least that is what I realized was behind my line of thinking about trying a new product.

So after a good long run, I went straight to the kitchen to put the protein powder to the test. I broke the seal and opened the container, still thinking of what I could put in it to make it taste good. But before I committed to adding anything, I decided to just make it with Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk and maybe some peanut butter, and try it first. THEN, if it needed dressing up, at least I had given it a shot pretty plain.

Taste Test 

Tasty WheyLow and behold, after just blending 1 scoop of powder (20g protein) with the almond milk, it was perfectly sweet and really yummy. With other protein powders, I often add sugar-free jello mix, stevia, PB2 or other things in it to make it more palatable. This protein needed nothing.

I grabbed the container to see what all was in it and read the name ‘Tasty WHEY‘. “OOOOOoooh! I get it! That’s why they call itTasty WHEY! It is truly a tasty whey protein powder!”  Yes, I know! I am slow sometimes!

When I opened the product, I didn’t realize the name was Tasty Whey. I just saw “Adaptogen”. Then again, I probably wouldn’t believed them anyway because everyone claims to have a tasty product (but many of them are either lying or they have bad tastebuds! This protein truly was very tasty! I could easily drink this stuff alone (and I’m picky). I already had the peanut butter out, so I do confess I added a tab but that was because I wanted to boost my fat since I wasn’t going to eat for a while. Needless to say, I sucked it down in a jiffy!

Quality Check

Adaptogen Tasty Whey The next question I have is whether or not it was a quality protein. I mean, normally speaking, most things that are yummy might not be as healthy. I was happy to see that Adaptogen provides exceptional nutrition. It promotes peak wellness by use of a combination of exceptionally high quality whey protein, along with fat burning MCTs (medium chain triglycerides – learn more about MCTs here), low glycemic index carbohydrates, and micronutrients AND with an AWESOME taste too!

It is a little higher in calories than the one I normally use, but after I added all the calories from the extra stuff I put in it, it really came out to be about the same. I also like that it has some fat in it. This will help it stick with me longer. The milkshake flavor would also make this a great shake for someone who has kids or older adults who need to supplement but are reluctant to drink protein because they haven’t liked the taste of other brands.

All in all – Tasty WHEY offers a quality product AND quality taste. OK. I admit it. I’m impressed.

How to Buy & Follow:

Nutrition Information

Adaptogen Tasty Whey:

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Adaptogen Science.

30 Days of Motivation: Strength Starts In Your Mind

strength starts in the mindQuote of the Day: “Strength starts in the mind. Rule your mind or it will rule you.”

Scripture of the Day: “Therefore I always exercise and discipline myself [mortifying my body, deadening my carnal affections, bodily appetites, and worldly desires, endeavoring in all respects] to have a clear (unshaken, blameless) conscience, void of offense toward God and toward men.” Acts 24:16

I love what Horace said, “Rule your mind or it will rule you“. Our mind is our own worst enemy. When I think of my mind, I feel like I have an enemy at camp – a part of me that is not on my side. My mind seems to go against everything I know is good for me. It convinces me that I’m too weak, I’m too stupid and a multitude of other negative thoughts. I fail in my mind way before I ever fail in real life. HOWEVER, that only happens IF I let my mind run loose.

no negative thoughtsSelf control in your eating, your training, your language, and your actions all starts with self control in your thoughts. The evidence of a controlled mind is you kill the thought as soon as it appears and you act on them less and less. But this takes practice (exercise). Sadly, most of us are tempted to camp there in that thought, feed it and let it grow. Whether it’s food, problems, anger, doubt or negativity, we have a choice as SOON as that thought comes up to either feed it or kill it.

There are SO many scriptures about controlling your mind, as God knows how powerful our mind really is. In Acts, Paul is quoted saying he has to “exercise and discipline” his mind. Another version says Paul strived to have a “conscience without offense”. If you know Paul, these words have a LOT more punch than they first appear. Paul (before he met Jesus) was a murderer. He did a lot of bad things. So you can only imagine what thoughts came to his mind after he realized his wrongs and decided to dedicate his life to the ministry. Guilt, doubt, frustration and regret are likely thoughts that wanted to rule his mind. I know they would if I were in his shoes. Of course this is my own speculation, but anyone who has messed up really bad in the past probably has these thoughts that want to creep back up and sabotage progress.

forget the pastIf I were him, I’d think I was the LAST person to be effective for the church. If he lived in our day, we’d call him a terrorist, yet he was called to minister to the very same people who he once murdered and hated. I also imagine he thought he wasn’t capable or worthy. He probably had to battle thoughts of the past daily, and all the regret that came with it. He said “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” (Phil 3:13) The key point here is we can learn a lot from him, because if anyone had to battle his mind, it was Paul – and we are no different really.

We’ve all messed up. We can beat ourselves up for the things we’ve done, or we can kill those thoughts and feed thoughts of truth and hope. Whether we have thoughts and memories of poor choices, past failures or weight gain, we must learn to rule them or they will rule us. Even if it’s thoughts of regret for what we did yesterday (cheating on a diet, skipping a workout, etc) or if it’s thoughts of past failure from years of neglect or abuse, we must do what Paul did – forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.

Today, commit to exercising your mind as much as you exercise your body.

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