Jeremiah 29:11-13 says "For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Tomorrow is the beginning of a new year, and this is the time when people traditionally make resolutions for the upcoming year. I have never been big on making resolutions because I often didn't follow through on them. Two years ago, I made one to cut back on the amount of soda I was drinking and I did follow through on that for the whole year; but I didn't make that a priority last year and I started to drink soda more often again. A few months ago, I did cut back on it again to just one a day because I decided to get serious about losing weight. As you may have guessed, my #1 New Year's Resolution for 2013 is to lose weight. Yes, I know that is usually at the top of almost everyone's list. I've said I wanted to lose weight before, but I never followed through. This year is going to be different. This is not going to be easy for me to say, but I want to be totally honest. For all I know, God may use what I say in this blog to help someone else decide to make a change too.
As I read verse 11 in Jeremiah, I saw that the Lord has plans for ME. His plans are for me to prosper, and not to be harmed. His plans give me hope and a future. I am overweight. There I said it. Being overweight harms me. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure this last year. I am not diabetic, but it runs in my family so I am at risk for developing it. The thing that made me realize that I really needed to lose weight was taking the kids on a field trip to Crystal Cave. We had to walk up this hill to get to the entrance of the cave and I was extremely out of breath when I got to the top. It actually scared me because I had to sit down and it took several minutes before I could breathe normally. Being overweight shortens a person's life, and therefore it is cutting short my future. This is NOT God's plan for my life!! I then did what it said in verse 12, I called upon God. I went to Him and prayed about what His plan was for my life. He listened to me, and He answered me!! I sought His will for me and I found it.
I've decided this is the year I take God's plan for my life and make it my plan! In September 2012, I was 240 lbs. I know I had been over that a few times, but that's what I weighed when I decided it was time for me to start doing something. I began walking every day with my two kids and enjoyed it, but then the weather got cold and I stopped walking. I know I will resume walking again when the weather warms up, but I need to now make some goals for what I need to do every day so that I'm getting in some much needed exercise. As of today, my weight is 231 lbs., so I lost 9 lbs since September. My long-term goal is to lose a total of 100 lbs. (from my starting weight of 240 lbs) and get down to 140 lbs. I am realistic and know that this is not going to happen in just one year. If it does, I will be thrilled and know it is because God truly helped me; but I am not going to give up if I don't lose all that this year. My goal for this year is to lose 50 lbs. In my mind, that number seems high to me; but this is the amount that came to my mind as I was writing down my goals during devotions. To be honest, I know this is God's plan and not my own because when I originally thought about what I wanted to lose this year, I had a lower number in mind. It was exciting to write down that number and know that my plan was really God's plan for my life.
The pastor at our church gave us a sheet to fill out with various goals for this year and the steps we'd take to reach that goal. At the bottom of the front page is said My weight on Jan. 1, 2013: and below that was My weight on March 1, 2012. As I thought of what I wanted my weight to be on March 1, I felt God telling me that my goal should be to lose 15 lbs. by that date. I wanted to yell "That's not possible, God! I've only lost 9 lbs in the last 4 months. You want me to lose 15 lbs in 2 months?! Are you crazy?!" Yet, I didn't say anything to Him. I simply wrote down "lose 15 lbs by March 1, 2013". I sort of shook my head as I wrote that down, but I was excited at the same time because I want God's plan for my life to be my plan.
So, the steps I will be taking in order to lose weight this year are the following:
1. Exercise at least 30 min. every day.
2. Resume walking when weather warms up. My goal: walk 3 miles every day and increase speed so I can walk 3 miles in 30 min. I honestly don't know how long that will take to reach that goal, but it is an awesome goal nonetheless! LOL! My walk could count for my 30 min. of exercise, but the goal in my mind is to do 30 min. of exercise in the morning and then do my walk in the afternoon. That would mean I'm actually getting an hour of exercise a day once I'm able to resume walking!
3. Increase water consumption. Drink at least 5 glasses every day. There have been many days I was lucky if I drank 1 glass of water. I mostly drink skim milk, soda, or sweet tea. So, I know I should probably be drinking more than 5 glasses of water a day, but I wanted my goal to be something I felt I could do. If I drink more than 5, I'll be thrilled; but I'll be just as happy if I consistently drink 5 glasses of water because that's a huge improvement on what I'm currently doing.
4. Drink no more than 1 can of soda a day. I also wrote "It is OK to NOT drink a can of soda!" because there were days I didn't drink my soda at all until the evening when I would be watching TV and think "Hey! I didn't drink my soda yet!" Is that crazy or what?! So, maybe by the end of the year, I'll be drinking 1 can of soda a week!
5. Make better snacking choices. I did write down to not eat past 8 pm, and I will definitely try to not eat past that time; but what I really feel I need to focus on is making better choices for what I pick to eat. Eating candy, cake, or ice cream late at night (or anytime of day) is not the best choice! One snack food I've been reaching for lately is pretzels. I know they have salt and that's not good for my blood pressure, but they are a better choice than the candy I was reaching for. I need to get use to reaching for a banana or an apple too.
So there you have it! Now you know my goals for this year and how I plan on reaching my goal, which is also His goal. If you need to lose weight or you have any other resolution that you want to make, I encourage you to write down your goal and then write down the steps you need to make in order to reach your goal. By writing it down, you can see it and remember what you need to do. It becomes more real. Pray about it first. Seek God's will and what His plan for your life is. He will let you know what it is. You just need to be willing to say "OK, Lord. I'll do it! Your plans are now my plans!" Good luck and Happy New Year!
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