I apologize if you now have Braveheart scenes and speeches running through your head. Actually, I take that back. I’m not sorry. There’s nothing wrong with a little Braveheart in your heart!
Before I go any further, congratulations to Kimberly, winner of the Moisturizing Cream! Check your inbox for instructions on how to get your prize!
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17
I’ve heard this scripture so many times — but it’s been heavy on my heart lately. I just started a Freedom in Christ class at Beltway Park, my church home here in Abilene. It could not have come at a better time.
As you’ve probably seen I’m coming to the end of a Whole30 challenge. I’ve been meaning to explain this to y’all (I can’t avoid it anymore, I’m going on my second year in Texas). Whole30 is program where you absolutely do not eat grains, legumes (beans/soy), sugar (real or artificial), dairy, and alcohol. There’s no 80/20, no moderation, there are no “cheat” days. It might sound crazy, extreme, or really hard. But when you think about it, it’s about eating whole, fresh foods, that come from nature and are what our body is meant to handle. Not food-like substances. That’s not so extreme. About it being hard…at times, yes. But there are a lot more difficult things in life, and having to say ‘no’ to yourself is REALLY good on a lot of levels.
My reasons for doing the Whole30? There are a couple.
1. As a reset, I went a little indulgent with my Paleo living and was starting to feel the affects.
2. Get some health issues under control.
3. Sugar addiction. I had one, bad. After lunch and dinner every day, I wanted something sweet. Even if it was Paleo, any kind of addiction can become an idol.
Day 24 Update: I feel REALLY good. I’m sleeping well, I have great energy and mental clarity and for the first time in years I am not experiencing crazy allergies. I even stopped taking my allergy medicine two days in and of course am not taking local honey (that’s a sugar). My skin is clearer and softer than it has ever been! And you know, having everything black and white makes it easy for me to say ‘no’. One of the hardest things for me to give up was gum (artificial sweetener). I hate the feeling of unclean teeth, so I brush my teeth at work every day, now!
Now where the freedom part comes in. I feel a lot of freedom with Whole30. I don’t count calories. I enjoy everything I am eating and I don’t worry if I don’t exercise every day. There was just one thing. Even though it wasn’t my reason for doing the Whole30, I was expecting changes in my physical body. About 10 days in I started looking for them. Standing in front of the mirror on a daily basis, analyzing. I became obsessed with wanting to see that change.
Sunday morning in worship, I was crying out, asking God to take this obsession away. I wanted to rest in His presence and be able to accept that I am His daughter, beautifully created and deeply loved.
I walked into the Freedom in Christ class not knowing what to expect, but I can tell you I got my soul rocked. Freedom is not the absence of something it is the presence of someone. Presence of a Savior, a Redeemer, a Father who loves us so deeply. And it’s what He did on the cross that makes me beautiful. And makes you beautiful. As soon as those words were spoken, I felt freedom.
I am His and He is mine and there. I love knowing the research* behind eating the way that I do, because I know I am fueling my body in the best way I can to use it to honor Him. But at the end of the day, everything I do, everything I create, it doesn’t define me. He does. And in that there is incredible freedom!
* http://robbwolf.com/ – http://thepaleodiet.com/
**If you are interested in the Whole30, please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions (sarahlynnsmile at gmail.com). I also HIGHLY recommend It Starts With Food, by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.