For as long as I can remember I've had issues with food & my body. It's a battle I've fought on and off for the majority of my life. I've done every fad diet I can think of! Weight Watchers, Plexus Slim, Nutrisystem, Visalus; I've gone to extremes of starving myself to taking laxatives. I've signed up for First Place For Health at my church a few times, but my issue isn't knowing how or what to do, it's doing it & dealing with the spiritual, emotional, & mental issues I have with food & within myself.
Food is a drug for me. I'm a total over-eater, binging to the point of throwing up because my body could not physically hold the food I ingested. I didn't even have to try to make myself vomit, my body did it on its own because that's how much I'd binge. A sick cycle of yo-yo dieting, emotional eating, failure to be active, & failure to deal with the root of my issues.
During a First Place bible study I became aware for the first time that these issues were very much a spiritual battle, but I didn't know how to deal with them that way. Thankfully a few years ago a fabulous lady at my church taught me about spiritual warfare.The Lord had already healed of my abortion & the things I carried because of it, so I knew He could do the same with this. But here's the kicker, I expected Him to do it without much effort from me. Galatians 4 lists the fruits of the spirit, the last one being self-control, the hardest one (aside from patience) for me to do. My issues with food were never going to be healed if I didn't practice self-control.
Now I've dealt with weight loss/health stuff for so long I can tell anyone what they should do to succeed. It's never been a lack of knowledge for me, but rather doing it. 1 Corinthians 6:19 gives me my greatest reason for dealing with it, my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Can you imagine walking into Solomon's temple in the Old Testament full of gold, completely lavished with the best things, rich & succulent! Yet on this side of the Cross, God doesn't dwell in one spot, He lives in us! I have NO business treating His temple so poorly! 1 Corinthians 6:19 & 20 also says that my body is not my own, I've been bought with a high price. Jesus gave His life for each of us. As a believer I fully understand the links He went to for me. Scripture also teaches us that we honor God with our bodies. Not just by keeping ourselves sexually pure, but in all ways. Our temples should be as radiant as Solomon's.
About 6 months ago I was seeking The Lord on these particular issues searching for the root of my issues. He showed me I used food as a drug to deal with emotional issues. As a child my parents owned a restaurant so anything I wanted to eat I could have. My parents had a horrible relationship & I would use food to help me cope. Once they divorced I lived with my mom & we became very poor. The food we had was completely unhealthy, but there were seasons I wasn't sure how much food we would actually have so when it was in abundance I ate & ate. My family on both sides also deals with a generational sin of addiction. While some family struggled with alcoholism, drugs, & gambling, myself & others were addicted to food. It's our drug of choice. It's hard for most people to understand this because we have to have food to survive. In their minds you just stop eating, but it isn't that easy. We crave food to fill a void, to get a "high" in the same manner a crack addict craves crack.
After The Lord revealed my root issues I began seeking Him on how to deal with them in a healthy way. The diet programs I've tried before aren't bad, but they didn't help me they way I needed. For over 10 years my husband & I have taken vitamins from Advocare. I even tried some products way back when to lose weight. But like all the other "diets" I was relying on the products to magically make me skinny. I wasn't all concerned about being healthy or having to do any real work. The Lord led me to a blog by a precious Christian woman named Danielle. It is FULL of great advice on healthy living & how Advocare products help aid in that. Reading many of her posts felt like the clouds parted & light shone down from heaven & angels started singing!
At this time I was 6 months pregnant & exchanged my prenatal for vitamins from Advocare (Coreplex with Iron & Omegaplex). Slowly I began changing my eating habits, walking when I could, learning about other products & continuing seeking God. I am now 2 months post pardom & have seriously made efforts to be healthy, not skinny! After I had my sweet girl I would walk as often as I could, which was pretty slow since I had my FOURTH c-section! But it was movement! I began drinking protein shakes with almond milk to get healthy calories added that I needed for breast feeding. Once my 6 week check up came & my doctor gave me thumbs up to really exercise I decided I wasn't going to use any excuses to get healthy! One of my greatest motivations is my daughter Chapel. I don't want her to grow up watching me struggle with this battle & then having these same issues that I passed down! I've got to do this for both of us!
Since that check up I've added Spark, Catalyst, Probiotic Restore Ultra, Rehydrate, & Calcium Plus to the Advocare products I take. I feel so much healthier! I haven't had a carbonated drink in over a month! I naturally crave water & crave healthier food options! Now I won't lie, there are moments when I will still crave junk, either I'll allow myself some (moderation!) or I'll pray & ask Jesus to remove it or help me fight the urge.
I'm as busy as ever! A husband, 4 kids ranging from 2 months to 8 years, homeschooling, etc...my time is shot! I REFUSE to continue to use time as an excuse to not workout. Even if its just walking with my family while the big boys ride their bikes it's still MOVING! My husband is very encouraging & supportive in helping me make time to go to the gym! I couldn't do this without him! Since August 14 at my doctor's appointment I've lost 5 lbs & 10 inches! In only 2 1/2 weeks!!! Not only that but I ran (jogged, I'm slow) my 1st MILE in about 2 YEARS!!! Did I mention I just had a baby 2 MONTHS ago!???!! It may have been a slow mile, but it was still a mile! I was completely calling on Jesus & quoting Scripture during it!
Today I'm beginning the Advocare 24 Day Challenge for Breast Feeding Moms. My other healthy goal for September is to run 30 miles this month. I'll be updating through Instagram (MommaAsh, #24daychallenge #Challenge4BFmoms or #30milesinSept ) I hope I'll be able to keep blogging as well (but you know I'm busy busy!).
If you have any questions about Advocare please feel free to email me at ashleysigrest @ hotmail dotcom. I'd be happy to help you!! Listed below are some other blogs that have helped motivate & encourage me with my Advocare journey...check them out!!
Nikki has helped me tremendously by answering so many questions I've emailed her!