Today is day 102. I've officially completed my self-challenge of a Whole101. And let me tell you, it was ALL mental... ...until it was all HABIT.
Though the things I experienced and learned on this little challenge are no different from what I already knew to be true about "eating clean", I witnessed, yet again, how the mind game of "not cheating" becomes a mindful decision to create healthy habits, in all areas.
You know how it is. It starts out a mental game of convincing yourself it's not worth that small cheat... the appetizer or dessert everyone is sharing...the happy hour indulgence...the free sample at Costco... It's not worth it and you know it. You've got friends keeping track of your days, and your answer needs to be "nope, still no cheats!".
Well then something switches...and your heart and mind catch up to each other. You realize there is a reason you're doing this.You realize you feel really good about this. You realize your BODY feels really good about this. And the unwavering habit settles in. It doesn't make it easy. It doesn't make it automatic. There are still choices to be made, discernment to be had, and effort to be prepared. ALWAYS prepared.
As I've worked through this "season" of this challenge and the other events in my life over the past 101 days and 2015, I have seen over and over again, that this wasn't a food challenge. It was a focus challenge. Focus on health, focus on others, and first and foremost, focus on God. HE has given me strength and determination to do what I set out to do. HE has put people in my path to love on and pray for. HE has redirected my cravings from "non-clean" eats to a healthier me AND more hearts after HIM.
"Made to Crave" by Lysa TerKeurst is a book I started reading about a year ago; and, I admit, I'm terrible at finishing books I've started so I haven't finished it. BUT I found it fitting that in my last few days of this nutrition challenge, I came across the book and a quote I had pulled out:
Obviously, this had stuck out to me before, but this time, in a different way. I've seen the ups and downs of so many friends and myself over the last 101 days, both believers and non-believers struggling with all sorts of life obstacles. And while I've always been a good ear to listen, I've found myself wanting, NEEDING, CRAVING the Lord's sovereignty, grace and sufficiency in each and every situation for each and every person...and in my own life.
I restarted reading Dallas and Melissa Hartwig's "It Starts With Food". And while these first few chapters have been all science. Insulin, Leptin...hormones...satiety and satiation.... I've started to realize that these two books walk hand in hand. The Lord wants good things for our bodies. He wants healthy, fully functioning organs, rested and energetic bodies. But more than anything, He wants our only true SATIATION to come from HIM and HIS WORD. While I will always believe that a meal of balanced macros and sufficient water intake will help you be full and satisfied, TRUE satiation, comes from the knowing and seeking Jesus.
He has walked with me through these 101 days. He has walked with me through the past 27.5 years. He already knows what's next and He is already there.
I sent a text to the old roommate about 5 days ago realizing that it had truly taken this whole 100 days to refocus and actually feel good about what I was doing and how my body was responding. Her response was genuine excitement and happiness for me. In that, I saw God's light too. He is excited for me, no matter what small or big progress I make. He uses her, and other amazing supportive friends and family, to show me this.
I leave you with a different translation of my fitness scripture, 1 Corinthians 6:19. I love the relaxed and direct wording of the Message translation and that it just felt so accurate for this wrap up of my Whole101:
"Or didn't you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don't you see that you can't live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body." (The Message)
Cheers to the next 101 challenge and to a summer celebratory cocktail today!
Happy Independence Day, yall!