Ask, Seek, Find- How to Pray for Fitness

AskSeekFind Ask, Seek, Find  How to Pray for Fitness

Happy June, loves! On this lovely Monday June morning, I’m sitting here with my laptop, thinking about the power of prayer and how it relates to our health and fitness journeys. This past year, God has answered so many prayers in my life, and He’s really changed the way I approach prayer. You see, I used to only pray for things that I thought I was supposed to pray for. I only prayed for the things I thought God wanted me to want, not the things I actually wanted. Now praying for things I know God wants is a very good thing. But the problem was that I wasn’t being real with God. I was putting up a facade in my prayers.

But God is my Heavenly Father. He looks on me with love and favor, and He knows everything that is in my heart. By not telling Him about the true desires of my heart, I was shutting Him out of many places inside, not allowing Him to work in me and on my behalf.

But last summer, I heard a pastor preach on these verses from Matthew. Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” -Matthew 7:7-8

Read those verses again. It’s a pretty astonishing statement isn’t it? Jesus doesn’t say ask and it might be given to you. He says ask and it will be given to you. The pastor said something that completely altered my thinking about prayer. He said, “I don’t want to get to Heaven and find out that I missed out on the greatest things God had for my life because I was too afraid to ask for them.”

Wow. A lot of the time, I’m afraid to ask God for what I truly desire because I’m afraid He won’t give it to me and then my faith will be challenged. But the thing is, I’m not putting my faith in the thing I’m asking for happening exactly like I ask for it. I’m putting my faith in my God who I trust to give me what I really need.

I felt God speaking to my heart, “Do you have enough courage to ask me for what you really want?” So I started to pray big and pray specifically. God started to show me that He delighted to answer specific prayers. And He answered some prayers that to me seemed way too specific and unimportant to deserve His attention. But that taught me so much about His character. Because nothing is beneath His notice. God is a God of detail. He delights in the smallest details of our lives! All you have to do is look at the painstaking details in the tiniest flower to know that this is the case.

He also has been answering some huge prayers. Prayers I thought were asking too much, and seemed impossible. And that taught me about God’s character. Nothing is too hard for Him. Jesus says, “Everything is possible for one who believes.” (Mark 9:23)

So today, I want to encourage you to start praying for what you really want, what your heart really desires. You don’t have to be afraid that you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. God wants us to bare our hearts to Him, and we can trust Him that if He doesn’t give us what we want, it’s because He has something better He wants to give us. But how can we open our hands to receive the greater things we can’t even imagine, if we won’t open our hearts to ask for the things we can imagine?

Getting super practical, here is an amazing way to start learning to pray this way. Get a journal to record your prayers. On every page, draw a line down the middle, dividing the page into 2 columns. Write your big, bold prayers and your specific, small prayers in the left column. Date every prayer. Leave the right column blank. This is the column where you will come back and record God’s answers to your prayers. Date every answer.

You will be amazed to read back through your journal and see how God delights to answer prayer! Just keeping a clear record like this has made me realize that He listens to and answers every prayer I pray. He doesn’t always answer it exactly as I thought He would, but it blows me away how many times He exceeds my requests! And sometimes His answer is no or not yet. But that is because there is something greater He’s preparing for me or that He’s doing in my heart.

What is it you’re afraid to pray for? Is there something you feel is too silly or too trivial to ask for? Bring it to Jesus. Is there something you feel is asking too much? Bring it to Jesus. Bring your specific weight loss goals to Jesus. They are not beneath His notice. Just bring it all to Jesus, and wait to be blown away by what He’ll teach you about Himself, how much He loves you, and how intimately He is involved in your life!

Healthy Eating Go-To Scripts

Hey loves!!! I wanted to share this with you. They’re called Healthy Eating G0-To Scripts, so they’re things you can say to yourself whenever you’re feeling tempted to blow your eating plan. It really helps me when I say these things to myself. I especially like “I can find other ways to celebrate!” and “I’m made for more than being stuck in the vicious cycle of defeat!” Which ones do you like?? Don’t be afraid to even say these things out loud. You may feel like a crazy person, but you’ll be surprised how powerful it can be to speak truth to yourself! You tell that brownie! You tell it that it doesn’t have the power to consume you anymore! icon smile Healthy Eating Go To Scripts

 Healthy Eating Go To Scripts

 

Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Freedom

where the spirit of the lord is there is freedom Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Freedom

 

Happy Monday ! I actually got inspired to write this post while listening to the song “Freedom Reigns” by Jesus Culture. I began to really think about the phrase & about the sermon at church from over the weekend. I know a lot of you know my story, but I just wanted to share the POWER of how the Lord can truly give you freedom in your life. I’ve been going through many trials the past few months, but would you have known that about me if I didn’t tell you? Because of the Lord I am able to stay joyful through it all. Let me tell you how the Lord has changed my life because where the spirit of the lord is there is freedom.

Here is just a list of all the things I was struggling with only a few years ago:

  • I was overweight. I was an emotional eater. I ate horrible foods.
  • I drank a lot of alcohol. I was drunk every night.
  • I smoked cigarettes. A pack a day if I had a day not drinking (which was unlikely). Days that I drank I probably smoked two packs.
  • My happiness depended on my boyfriend. Without him around I was miserable.
  • I had no self confidence. I had poor self body image. I didn’t believe in myself. I spoke negatively to myself daily. I didn’t believe my dreams would ever come true or were possible.
  • I was shy. I was afraid to talk to people I didn’t know. I was afraid to share about myself when I did meet people.
  • I was at a job that was draining me emotionally. I wasn’t treated fairly.
  • I didn’t have many meaningful relationships or friendships. I would just hang out with the people who would drink with me.
  • I was far away from God. I had no idea what having a relationship with Him was about.

Now to counter all of these things, let me tell you how my life looks today:

  • I lost 60 lbs. Yes, I’ve gained a few because of muscle. But, my eating is under control. I eat delicious nutritious foods that give me energy & help me stay healthy.
  • I rarely drink alcohol. It just ruins my goals & progress.
  • I quit smoking. It disgusts me now to be quite honest.
  • I’ve been single for  two years & couldn’t be happier. I found myself again, have been growing myself, & my relationship with God.
  • I am way more self confident. My body image is improving. (It’s a process for me.) I believe in myself & KNOW that all my dreams will come true & that they are possible. Because anything is possible through Christ.
  • I LOVE being social & being around people. I love making new friends. I’m an open book! Anything I can share, I will, in hopes it’ll help others.
  • I now get to do what I LOVE & am passionate about. I would do it for free. My business is filled with a bunch of amazing people & I am so blessed.
  • I’ve become friends with so many great people & formed so many meaningful relationships. People that are like minded that also dream big & love God.
  • I found God again & Jesus is my #1 homie! I love my devotion time, being in the word, my church, my life group, & doing anything I can to help further His kingdom.

freedom Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Freedom

Do you see now that where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom? I would have not been able to do any of these things without God. Once I found Him again, He helped morph me in to the person I am today. I used to worry so much about every little detail. I used to want to control every situation. It’s still hard for me to not have control (it’s my personality), but I know that everything happens in His time (even if I don’t like it) & that He has a plan. There is no need for me to worry because I know God is by my side. I feel like I have broken the chains of bondage. Where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.

Please RT or share with anyone this may help!

As always, don’t forget to love yourself!

Xoxo,

Jess <3

Results that Transform Lives

dont start a diet that has an expiration date Results that Transform Lives

Happy Monday y’all! Today I have a story to share with you from my friend Jenna about how she’s transformed her life. Jenna is one of the coaches on my team & I am SO PROUD of the results she’s had so far. In my challenge groups, we are not just getting results that will only last temporarily. You will learn how to make this a lifestyle & not gain all your weight back. We are getting results that transform lives.

I did an interview with Jenna about her  journey that I would love to share with you.

Tell the readers about yourself icon smile Results that Transform Lives
First let me say that I am so excited to be featured on my sister from another mister’s blog! It truly is awesome to be recognized for my achievements! icon smile Results that Transform Lives

I will be turning 29yrs young here soon, I live in Ohio and am married to a Marine Veteran and we have 2yr old son. I absolutely love music and my son really is my life. I am now working as a Barista at Starbucks, and I love it! If I’m not at work or cleaning the house I am hanging out with my family just doing whatever. When fall and the holiday season rolls around we love to all go out and venture around different stores looking at decorations and lights!

How’d you get started on your weight loss journey?
I’ve had such a yo-yo experience with weight loss, honestly. It all started in 2003 when my Mom moved us out to Washington State. I was in my Senior year of high school, having lived in the same town since I was 3yrs old. It was a huge change! I went through a lot and it greatly affected my weight because I turned to food. I went from 150lbs in 2003 to 210lbs by 2005! I looked in the mirror one day in a size 16 pants and and XL shirt and just said, this is ridiculous! I was not used to what I saw because I had never been that big in my entire life and I was a dancer and pretty athletic. So, knowing I needed to make changes I started watching what I ate and how much I ate. Within a year I dropped to 170lbs. I stayed there for awhile, we moved back to Ohio and I lost 5lbs more!

I kept at that weight for a good while, got a job and got in to a relationship and did the ‘comfort eating’ thing, I packed on 20lbs, stayed at 185 until about 2007 and I wasn’t happy with myself so I started portion control again, dropped down to 175. Then in 2009 I met my husband, did the ‘comfort eating’ thing again and got up to 190/191, got pregnant with my son in 2010, dropped back down to 175 in the first 3 months but then by then end of my pregnancy I was back at 210!! I couldn’t believe it, but I was pregnant so I chalked it up to baby weight. I had my son and weighed myself a week after being home and was down to 185. I nursed him for 6 months and got down to 175. If you’re unaware, nursing a child burns 500cals per day, so it’s easy to gain weight when you stop, and when I didn’t nurse anymore I went back up to 189!

In June of 2012 is when I started to get serious, watched what I was eating again, tried to be more active when I could. When we moved in to our own place I started doing Zumba a couple times a week and Jillian Michaels DVDs and  I just really watched my nutrition and took my son for walks whenever I felt like it. I hit my first goal of 175 and was SO ecstatic! So then I continued to set small goals for myself, usually 5lb increments, I read more, studied more, and it all worked! I am currently sitting at 160lbs.

What has been the toughest part for you?
The toughest parts would have to be my insane sweet tooth, and my boredom eating. Believe it or not it’s hard for me to really feel like I always have something going on, even though I’m a Mom and I work; especially since my son likes to do his own thing a majority of the time. But, if there’s nothing else to do I tend to snack because then it feels like I’m doing something. And, I’ve often found that it doesn’t even have to be a physical activity, as long as your mind is busy you should be good icon smile Results that Transform Lives And, I’ve alwaaaaaays loved ice cream and Oreos! Those are 2 things I feel like I could eat non-stop, all the time if I allowed myself to!
How did you overcome that struggle?
I have just tried to be strong-willed enough to eat as best I can and watch how much I eat as well. And, I also try not to keep sweets in the house because it’s a lot harder to eat it if it’s not readily available!
What workouts have been your favorite so far?
I have actually only done a little bit of P90X and am now doing T25. I LOVE P90X Plyometrics and Ab Ripper X, just absolutely love them, not quite sure why, ha! And, T25 is an amazing workout in only 25 min, who wouldn’t want that?!

How has Beachbody helped with your journey?
I decided to become a part of the Beachbody community because I know, first hand, how much easier it is to lose weight and achieve your goals when you have solid support, and that’s what Beachbody does. It gives  you a sense of belonging, a REASON to workout because  it’s kind of like your letting more than just yourself down if you don’t achieve your goals. It just makes you want to do more overall.

How has having me as your coach helped you ?
Well, first, you’re now one of my closest friends, and a friend like you is hard to come by. And, you are open and honest and a great listener which are qualities good leaders should posses! You push us to do better, you’re constantly encouraging us as well. You actually connect with us, and you’re not a ‘boss’ who we never see or talk to. You’ve found your purpose in life, and that makes it so easy for you to help some of us find ours. icon smile Results that Transform Lives

So that last statement just made me cry, she’s too sweet! icon smile Results that Transform Lives I wanted to share with you Jenna’s transformation from the past year. She looks amazing!

1239946 10101480398960620 66997338 n Results that Transform Lives

I really hope you enjoyed Jenna’s story today. I’m so thankful that she shared it so I could share it with all of y’all! I know there are so many people out there struggling in every way and I’ve been there before, too. Her story just shows that Beachbody is a community that really helps people get real results that transform lives.

If you’d like to join one of my challenge groups and also get real results that transform lives, head over here to get started.

Please RT or share with anyone this may help!

As always, don’t forget to love yourself!

Xoxo,

Jess <3

When Food is Your Best Friend and Worst Enemy

ecard complicated food When Food is Your Best Friend and Worst Enemy

Do you feel like this is you? You’re not alone!! I lost 60 lbs a few years ago & have maintained that weight loss since then, but I have been struggling lately with the food aspect. Food is by far the toughest part about a healthy lifestyle, but it is the most important. Your results are 80% food & 20% fitness. So, what do you do when food is your best friend and worst enemy? I’ve finally figured it out today & wanted to share with you.

If you’ve been reading my previous posts, you know that for the past few months I’ve been eating a very bland diet. When I say blend, I mean egg whites, veggies, & the occasional bowl of oatmeal or slice of Ezekiel bread. And my Shakeology of course. That was it! I was working on getting more toned, but over time I realized this was not sustainable. I’m not going to be in a bikini competition so why deprive myself so much?! I started binging on the weekends whenever it was supposed to just be my cheat meal. I realized that food was my best friend and  worst enemy.

So here’s the deal y’all! We have to go back to the simple basics:

  • Eat more fruits & veggies. I aim to eat one of the two at every meal.
  • Get your exercise in. Shoot for at least 30 minutes a day 4-5 days a week.
  • Get enough sleep. Relax. Don’t stress.
  • Listen to your body, not what others tell you.
  • Calories in vs. calories out. You must be burning more calories than you’re consuming.
  • Everything in moderation. If you make a food “off limits,” you’re just going to go out of control whenever you do consume it. Or you’re going to just keep eating other stuff until you fulfill that craving.
  • Make healthy versions of “naughty” foods. There are TONS of substitutions that you can use to make recipes healthier. For example, instead of mayo use plain non-fat Greek yogurt.

So are you still wondering what to do when food is your best friend and worst enemy? Well, it does take time y’all. You do have to be patient, persistent, & dedicated. But, it doesn’t have to be restrictive. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. And if you’re still unsure of what to eat – I have great news for you!

I am currently working on two major projects that will help you figure out how to have a healthy relationship with food.

  1. Recipe E-Book – I will be releasing an E-Book with my friend Sarah with tons of delicious recipes that are simple & healthy. We are aiming for November, so keep your eyes peeled!
  2. Holiday Survival Guide – I am launching a 6 month program where you’ll learn how to survive the holiday season without gaining weight, but still enjoying delicious foods. You will learn how to make this a lifestyle change & even lose weight & keep it off for good.

Here are more details on the holiday project:

October Flier When Food is Your Best Friend and Worst Enemy

I really hope this article helped you because I’ve personally struggled with my relationship with food my entire life. I’m finally back at a happy point with it again & I can’t wait to help you do the same. So now I hope you know what to do when food is your best friend and worst enemy! I truly also hope to see you in my holiday group as well, it’s going to be amazing!

Please RT or share with anyone this may help!

As always, don’t forget to love yourself!

Xoxo,

Jess <3

Restore Your Relationship with God

Relationship with God Restore Your Relationship with God

Have you ever felt like you’re on an emotional roller coaster that just won’t stop? You’re not alone. I’ve felt that way the past month or so since moving to a brand new city & state. I was seriously having emotional breakdowns several times a week & thought that things just wouldn’t get better. After talking to several of my close friends, going on a road trip, & praying a lot I’ve finally figured out what was going on. I realized that I need to restore my relationship with God. Today I want to share with you how you can help calm down your emotions even when you’re going through some really tough times.

I’ve been battling a lot emotionally due to being in a new place, feeling lonely at times, binging due to being on a restrictive diet, & some financial things as well. I continued praying, but felt like nothing was changing. Then I realized something huge – I was not putting my relationship with God first. You CAN restore your relationship with God just as I have done recently. So here is what I started thinking & doing that I thought would help y’all out as well:

  • Don’t worry about things out of your control. Do everything you can to improve it & give the rest to God.
  • Don’t let a bad day turn in to a bad week or year. Things won’t always be a struggle.
  • Keep your friends close & don’t spend too much time alone when you’re going through hard times.
  • When you feel like it’s too hard to stand, get on your knees & pray.
  • Remember the good things that you have that going on & be thankful for them. Just don’t think about the bad.

Those were just things that helped me out mentally. I also started doing new things in my daily routine that have helped me out with restoring my relationship with God:

  • Listen to worship music first thing in the morning & spend an hour with God & in prayer.
  • Go outside & be active. Take a walk. Do some jumping jacks.
  • Call a friend. Skype a friend. Hang out with a friend. (Don’t be alone when you’re down!)
  • Listen to Elevation sermons & get plugged in to other similar resources.
  • Cook something fun that makes me happy.
  • Read more. Read personal development. Read books for fun. Read books about God.
  • Listen to worship music at night while falling asleep. Spend time with God during the day.

Worship God Restore Your Relationship with God

Doing these things the past couple of weeks have truly helped my mental stability & my emotions lately. I feel so much happier than I did a few weeks ago & I feel comforted by God. I’m no longer worried about all of the things I was a few weeks ago. I realized I needed to stop trying to control everything & run to God & let Him know how much I need Him. I know I cannot do anything without Him & I don’t know what I was thinking before!

So I really hope you know if your relationship with God has faded like mine did for a bit, it is possible to restore your relationship with God. He will be waiting for you with open arms icon smile Restore Your Relationship with God

Please RT or share with anyone this may help!

As always, don’t forget to love yourself!

Xoxo,

Jess <3

Save Time & Lose Weight

Lose Weight Save TIme Save Time & Lose Weight

Does losing weight just seem like it takes up too much time? I completely understand! We all have so may different demands in life between our jobs, families, church, volunteering, & other social obligations that it is easy to put our health on the back burner. But, if you are healthy it is that much easier to manage everything you’re juggling right now & you will be so much happier. Let me tell you my story today & how you can save time & lose weight.

If you’ve been following me, you know that I was overweight half my life & lost 60 lbs back in 2009. I have maintained that weight loss since then as well. I felt like I did not have enough time to lose weight because I was working more than full-time, doing an internship, & I was in college full-time. Then one day I woke up & realized that I wasn’t healthy & had to figure out how to lose weight. I figured out how to save time & lose weight.

Here are a few tips that will help you get on track to save time & lose weight:

  • Do interval training for workouts. This is simple & effective. Get on the treadmill for 30 minutes. For 1 minute walk/jog at a normal pace (between 3.0-4.0 mph). Then for 30 seconds go as hard as you can (between 6.0-9.0). Interval training burns 10 times the amount of calories as regular cardio. Yesterday I burned almost 400 calories in 30 minutes just from doing intervals on the treadmill. 
  • Record what you’re eating. My Fitness Pal is an app that can be downloaded on any smart phone & is very user friendly. You can scan barcodes & foods from most restaurants are in their database. When you’re tracking what you’re eating, you’re more likely to stay on track.
  • Get enough sleep. This one couldn’t be more simple. Sleep between 6-8 hours each night. You’ll be less likely to crave unhealthy foods.
  • Drink one of your meals. Shakeology is my go-to meal when I’m in a hurry. It’s literally so easy to just blend up, it gives me energy, gives me a healthy immune system, & tastes delicious. To learn more about it you can click here.

Save Time Lose Weight Save Time & Lose Weight

I know sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated & stay on track, I still struggle with it now. But, just focus on your end goal & why you’re doing this because nothing worth having comes easy. It will take time, so make sure you have someone to help hold you accountable like I do in my support groups on Facebook. Just don’t give up! Because you can save time & lose weight.

Please RT or share with anyone this may help!

As always, don’t forget to love yourself!

Xoxo,

Jess <3