Zumba Baby!

I’m breaking out of my tightly sealed exercise box! I’ve had enough and I’m breaking out! After seeing some of my friends embark on all sorts of exercise adventures this summer, and actually enjoying it, I knew it was time for my box to go. I’ve been feeling less motivated to get on the elliptical or go for a walk as the days went by, and I knew something had to give.

A few weeks back a friend casually mentioned Zumba. Why didn’t anybody tell me about this before? It seems like everyone on the planet knows about it except me. When I mention it enthusiastically to others, they shrug it off with a “Oh yeah, so-and-so does it” or “Yeah, I do it”.  Now for the few of you out there who are as uninformed as I; it’s a class that combines all kinds of dancing from all over the world with loud music, and it promises to be super duper fun. In fact the slogan at zumba.com reads “Zumba, join the party!”

So I sort of checked it out, and kept procrastinating for a few weeks before I finally mustered up the courage and went to a class. It was very awkward, as all first classes go, but lucky for me we had the most popular, prettiest, fittest, (and I’m sure youngest) instructor that evening, and oh my goodness, was she at her best! I had no idea what I was doing, my body absolutely refused to move in the way she proposed we move our bodies. I looked like a yard stick surrounded by spaghetti bodies. So I did the only thing I could do: I started laughing and I didn’t stop for 60 minutes. I laughed and I sweat and before I knew it the hour was over. I probably needed a good laugh more than I needed exercise, because I couldn’t stop talking about it that evening, and Tony looked on in amusement as I tried to demonstrate some of the moves. Needless to say, I had fun, and I could hardly move the next morning, which meant it actually worked (while I was laughing!) I’m going back for sure and I’m taking some girlfriends with me (they just don’t know it yet:)

Now my point with all this ranting is not to advertise Zumba or even slightly suggest that you may have the same experience. My goal is simply to inspire you again to THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. Better yet, pray that God will show you something outside your box. Remember, IT’S NOT ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS. You have to break your back and almost kill yourself to really get weight loss results with exercise. No, it’s SO MUCH MORE! Exercise truly bumps us into that upward cycle that I always talk about. It reminds us that we actually have limbs that can move, and that we’re not nearly as old as we thought we were. In fact, exercise, at any weight, can make you feel less self conscious and more in touch with your body. It gives depression a serious kick in the behind, and it makes you want to take care of your body. Another huge plus point for me is the motivational factor when I find myself surrounded by a group of women. I recognize that others, same age and weight as me, are confident in their own skin JUST THE WAY THEY ARE. It also hugely motivate me to see other ladies twice my age maintaining a healthy body by showing up at that class every week, come rain or sunshine.

Some of my non-athletic friends, who also struggle with food, astonished me when they broke out of their boxes in the past. One friend joined a rowing team and became super fit and toned while LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT! Another friend started cycling with her husband, after vowing that she will never do it, and now she is showing him a thing or two. I have a friend who started horse back riding, and another joined a women’s softball team and she’s having the time of her life. All of these ladies have not merely started exercising, they have changed their lives! God has showed them what to do to get them into an upward cycle of living healthy, eating right, having confidence, spending more time with God, and being the best women they can be.

What about you? You are a princess of the King you know. He has good plans for you according to His Word, and there is no reason that you have to live inside a box or keep doing something that you absolutely hate. Let’s be honest about this, if we hate the exercise we set out to do, we’re not going to continue doing it. This totally defeat the purpose, because as you and I both know, in our struggle with food CONSISTENCY IS EVERYTHING.

So what can you do consistently, that you can also enjoy? I don’t have the answer to that, and maybe you don’t even know right now, but God has a storeroom jam-packed with ideas that will fit you like a glove. Why not ask Him?

We were made to move ladies. According to the Bible exercise is of some use, not as important as taking care of our spiritual well-being mind you, but it is still an important part of our allover make-up. In fact, it can be instrumental in helping us take back our physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

Please tell us how you are breaking out of your own exercise box these days. You never know how God can use your testimony to help another lady break out of her box, and as a result start spiraling upward out of her struggle with food.

Love you ladies, and hope to see some of you at Zumba:)
Heleen

 

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Don’t let a binge ruin your life!

I have been getting a few heart breaking emails lately from ladies who have lost some weight on programs and now find themselves back in the clutches of binging and purging. If you’ve deprived your body, or yearned for certain addictive food (because you still need to deal with the idol in your heart) then you might find yourself binging again at some point (even after months or years of eating right).

A binge is fertile ground for the enemy to come sow lies of shame and guilt. In that place we may start to believe that we can not recover from this binge, or that we might as well give up, or that our only option is to turn again to dangerous methods (starvation, purging, etc). I’ve re-posted this post here for you because it speaks of a way to become victorious over those binges and it has helped me and other ladies be victorious in this area.

Please read this post to encourage you that we all fall, but THOSE WHO GET UP, refuse to listen to the enemy, and carry on, find victory.

How do you prevent a Binge from turning into a whole day (or month) of overeating?

A friend asked this question on our forum, and I realized that it is a very common question that I might best answer here on my blog.

Of course it would be best to not binge at all. However, preventing a binge is easier said than done. If you are on a journey of finding healing for the root issues behind your eating disorder, you might not quite be at the place where you recognize the early signs of a binge (starting in the thoughts and emotions) and thus find yourself still binging from time to time.

You can easily undo all the progress you’ve made with one lousy binge! So how do you keep a binge from taking over your life?

The answer lies in TURNING YOUR BACK ON PERFECTION FOR GOOD!

In Week 10 of my 12 Week Online Program for women with food struggles I speak about the huge link between Perfectionism and Eating Disorders. If you have strong perfectionist tendencies then you might have a very difficult time trying to break away from binging. The reason: You want to have a 100% perfect day or NOTHING – No middle ground.

In order to find healing in this struggle and to BREAK THE POWER OF THE BINGE, our focus has to shift. We have to ask the Holy Spirit DAILY (maybe even hourly) to help us shift our focus from:

WEIGHT LOSS to HEALTH

AND

24 HOURS OF PERFECTION to A YEAR OF HEALTH

So what am I trying to say?

If you can change your focus (only with the help of God of course) to not see your life in 24 hour compartments of “today-I-will-have-a-perfect-day” but rather view your progress over a period of a year, you will not be so devastated by a binge. As soon as a binge loses it’s power over you, it will start fading into the background of your life, until you don’t binge anymore.

We are so scared of those binges because it makes us spiral down. But if we remember every day that a 90% successful day will give us a 90% month, which in turn will give us a 90% year, things will start to change.

Do you realize that if you throw every binge in the 10% “failure-basket” and just get on with doing the 90% of healthy eating, exercise, rest, and drinking a lot of water YOU WILL HAVE AN AMAZING YEAR? You will be healthy, stronger, peaceful and yes some weight loss will be on the agenda.

However, if you keep having “100% success days” and “100% failure days” (the days when you binge and just keep eating because you’ve already “failed”) then you either end up at the same place after a year, or worse…

Ask God today to help you change your focus FOR GOOD! A binge has no power over you if you know exactly where to “file” it and remember that it’s just a drop in your big sea of 365 days!

Don’t wait for January ladies, start asking God now for that CHANGE OF FOCUS AND CHANGE OF HEART. Even if you don’t do everything perfect (like eat some pumpkin pie), if you start focusing on ways to get yourself healthy 90% of the time, you’ll feel peace return to your life!

Lots of Love to all of you beautiful women of God!
Heleen

 

 

 

Resources for you

Click on the image below to learn more about the 12 Week Online Program: Women Struggling with Food

Read my story. Click on the image below to download my ebook: God will I ever be free?

 

Appetite for Freedom WORKBOOK and DVD. Great resource for small groups or for individual use.
Click on the image below to find out more


 

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Are you running from God?

I’m asking this questions ONLY because I’ve found myself in those running shoes (the kind that runs from the only One who can save me) quite a few times in my life.

Why in the world do we do that? We know better! Most of us have gone around this mountain before, and we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when all is said and done, there’s ONLY GOD, nothing else compares, and no one else can save us from ourselves.

Nonetheless, when we’re back in the clutches of pride and denial we tend to keep running, even though we know we’re going the wrong way. Through the years I came to recognize that when I’m running, SIN is present, and like my very distant ancestors, Adam and Eve, I’m trying to hide it from an all-knowing-all-seeing God. Also, I may be running because I’m reluctant to give it up. Frankly, I may still love that sin and I’m afraid that God will pluck it from my hand if I came too close to Him.

How about you? Do you find yourself binging mindlessly while trying to hide it from others and God (by avoiding Him)? Are you keeping yourself busy every moment of every day while ignoring the voice of the Holy Spirit? Have you put all your trust, time, and money into a food program and now the old familiar conflict between eating and being skinny is back? Are you shopping, working, and going out with friends to distract yourself from the emptiness inside?  Are you purging, restricting food, and going to the gym for hours? Are you avoiding people, spending long hours in front of the TV, or mindlessly surfing the internet? Are you running…?

Listen, there is no condemnation from this girl, I really do understand. It’s an age old master plan of our enemy. We get lured in with a single prideful thought of “surely I can handle it” and before we know it we are occupying a deep pit and we can not hoist ourselves out with all the will-power in the world. You may be somewhere in between where you have not picked up your Bible in weeks; maybe you have not prayed for a few months; maybe you have a very short fuse these days and you start to feel resentment and anger towards those “hypocrites” at church; maybe you wish you had your own personal island, away from all mankind. These are all warning signs that you are running on empty, and you are running in the wrong direction.

Maybe you didn’t run far, and all you need to do is turn around to that warm cup of coffee and Bible study that you’ve neglected to pick up for a few days. On the other hand, you may have run so far that you have no clue how to get back. You may not have the slightest desire to pick up the Bible, and prayer might be the last thing on your mind. You may be looking for something “substantial” and “real” to fix your situation, and the spiritual things I talk about may seem nice, but not really helpful to you.

I want to assure you today, through humbling trial and error, that freedom from food struggles is ONLY found in a real relationship with Jesus. Actually freedom from any bondage, healing for any brokenness, and basically everything we need for living on this earth is wrapped up in relationship with Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to say that Jesus is to be “used” as a magic wand to fix all of our problems and turn our lives into a fairytale. If this was true then only the people with problems needed Jesus, right? No, Jesus is not a crutch, He is everything!  I’m talking about a RELATIONSHIP that can see you through the deepest waters and the biggest fires of your life (Isaiah 43:2), yet this relationship is so much more…even if you have everything this world could offer, you will not be okay without it.

Never mind how far you’ve wandered off: If you stop running and come before God in true repentance, you can step back into relationship with Jesus RIGHT NOW.

Unfortunately many Christians still downplay the sin that surrounds a struggle with food. We pretend it’s not that big a deal to put food, starvation, or purging in the place of God. We put a band-aid on it with a quick diet or we call it a fast, when we’re really sinning and running from our only Savior.

I pray today, as you read this, that you will be stopped in your tracks. I pray that the Holy Spirit will shine His spotlight on the sin of pride and idolatry, and that you will no longer try to hide it, but start to hate that sin in your life. Only true sorrow for the SIN not the SYMPTOMS bring lasting change to our hearts and  lives. I’m praying that God will show you the difference today, and that you will fall to your knees before Him, next to me, and return to the One who gave His life for you and I.

I wrote an ebook “God will I ever be free?’ a few years ago on the subject of surrender and based it on the verse in James 4:7 “Submit to God, resist the enemy, and he will flee from you”. In Beth Moore’s latest Bible study, James, Mercy Triumphs, she has the following to say about this verse:

  • God knows everything about you and every matter concerning you. Nothing is hidden from His sight. So submit to God.
  • He is always looking out for your ultimate good and takes your hurts personally. So submit to God.
  • He is holy and worthy and incapable of abusing His divine authority over you. So submit to god.
  • He knows when your motive was right but your mouth messed up. So submit to God.
  • He knows exactly how to work terrible into good. So submit to God.
  • He loves you completely and unconditionally and will never let you go. So submit to God.
  • He knows the well-deliberated plan for your life and how all things must fall into place for you to fulfill your destiny. So submit to God.
  • He will never put to shame those who trust in Him. So submit to God.

She ends this segment with the following words: “The Devil is trying to steal from you and destroy you and make it look like it was all your idea. So girlfriend, submit to God.”

All I can do is shout a big AMEN! to all the above.

 

In your struggle with food something needs to change: Your heart, your mind, and your attitude, yes! But maybe there are also physiological problems such as depression or hormonal imbalances; it may be that you need to find healing from past hurts by working with a counselor, or maybe you need to forgive and learn to make changes to your current relationships to move out of the pit of food struggles. WHATEVER THE CASE MIGHT BE, JESUS HAS THE ANSWERS! If you step into relationship with Him, He will lead you every step of the way. Take the first step today, submit to God.

Please read my free eBook if you are ready to submit: “God will I ever be free?”

Love you ladies
Heleen

 

Resources for You:

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