Practicing What I Preach

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I first off want to say, I’m sorry. I apologize for not being the best role model when it comes to nutrition and living a more healthy life. As a food and nutrition college student working towards becoming a registered dietitian, it is my job to help everyone make better and healthier food choices to improve their overall lifestyle. The topic of nutrition is a passion of mine. I absolutely love to read articles on different ways to improve your eating habits and also the ways in which nutrition and fitness go hand in hand with one another. It has been my personal experience that with a healthful balanced diet combined with regular physical activity, is the best and ultimate way to achieve long-lasting weight loss and overall improve your well-being. While it’s not the easiest or quickest routine to follow, which is why so many people turn to fad diets that guarantee quick results, it is the only way to really change your lifestyle and more times than not, will be much easier to follow in the long run. I stand by this belief. It’s what I’ve been taught and it’s also what I’ve experienced personally.

I want to apologize though for not standing by what I preach as strongly as I should be. I will soon become a dietitian. A health professional that will coach and teach my clients on the basis of proper nutrition and leading them down a healthier path. I want to be a dietitian that actually does what she teaches her clients. Not one that just does what my professors, textbooks, and other resources say I should do and tell them. Don’t you think my clients will be more likely to listen to me if I am also doing what I am supposed to? For example, would you really listen to someone lecture on how harmful smoking is to your health when they themselves have been smoking for years and continue to do so? I didn’t think so.

My diet is not perfect. No one’s is. But I can always improve it and make it better. I mess up, I splurge, and my weight fluctuates, just the same as everyone else’s. I still struggle with temptation. My worst ones being chocolate and red velvet cake. Sometimes I splurge too much and I feel bad afterwards.  I know I should be encouraging others to make better choices to resist the temptation, but sometimes I find myself taking the lead to go for that second round or another piece of dessert. Me! The future dietitian! But it’s so much easier when you’re not the only one going back for that next slice or that second scoop, which is also another reason why so many people have a hard time sticking with a healthy eating plan. They don’t have the encouragement and support from the ones they are around all the time from the ones they are closest to and trust the most.

The same goes with my Christian walk. I go to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night like I’m supposed to. I attend the Tuesday night devotionals held on our college campus and I participate in church events and activities. But just because I do attend services and events does not mean that I live mistake-free when it comes to my Godly life. Again, I am not perfect. I’ve never claimed to be. I’ve had ups and downs in my spiritual life. I’ve done some things I’m not proud of and know I should not have done. I’ve listened to sermon after sermon about treating others the way you want to be treated and have read over and over again the commandment given to us in Matthew 5:44, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. But how many times have I read that verse, listened to these sermons, discussed this topic with others, and then turn around and start talking discouragingly about others or taking revenge on someone who has done me wrong instead of leaving it in God’s hands? More times than I care to admit unfortunately. The same principle applies here. I should be practicing what I preach. It’s no wonder that so many fall away from the church and never come back. When they don’t see Christians behaving outside of church the way they do in church and the way that God has told them to behave, then what are they supposed to think? What are they supposed to believe?

Today and from here on out, I want to be the best role model and the best example I can be. Whether that is with nutrition and fitness or my spiritual life, I want to be the best that I can be. I want to be the encourager, not the discourager. I want to be a leader and not just a follower. I want to be someone who practices what she preaches in all aspects of her life.

“Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: ‘The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. ‘Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others. ‘But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’” (Matthew 23:1-12)

Finding Peace Through Him

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I have a serious problem. I worry way too much. Worry over the little things. Worry over the things that are out of my control. Why do I put myself through such stress and misery? And when I do cause myself to worry, what am I focusing all my energy on? What kinds of thoughts am I having? I know I over-analyze. I know I over-think everything to the point that I have distorted what actually has occurred. I look for hidden meanings, for things that do not even exist but I’ve made myself believe that they do. It’s a problem that has control over me and it’s time I gave it to the One who should be in control.

I recently experienced this problem, but eventually, I came to realize something very important that put my mind at ease. I had been worrying over a situation, a problem that is not life or death, but one that is important to me. I stressed over it and analyzed it so much that I had convinced myself that I had done something wrong, that I had messed everything up and that everything would not go back to the way it was before. All my focus and all my attention was focused on the negative, never on all the positives I had to focus my attention on. And I had countless positives that far outweighed any negative I could come up with.

I talked it over with my mom one day and she helped me realize how some of the things that I had considered negative to the situation, really were not actual negatives at all. I had just over-analyzed every single little detail and had distorted the facts. I realized that even though a setback may have occurred, there is still hope for the situation and still a lot of room for growth and improvement. The next day during my daily devotional, one of the pages in my journal had the verse Philippians 4:6 written at the bottom. This has always been one of my favorite verses, if not my absolute favorite. It reads, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Obviously, God knew how much I needed that verse at that very moment.

And how true that verse is. There are many of us who struggle with worry. So many of us who put ourselves through that torment when we could be handing it all over to God and finding peace through Him. How much better that feels when you are able to give it to Him in prayer. I can tell you first hand, it’s like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders, I can breathe a big sigh of relief. When I did turn around and give my worries to God I felt all my worries leave and my nerves felt at ease once again. It was an amazingly awesome feeling.

This year in 2014, and every year from here on out, a resolution of mine is to stop over-analyzing, stop over-thinking everything. When I feel worry start to creep into my mind and cause all my positive thoughts to appear foggy and all jumbled up, I’m going to immediately go to God in prayer. I am going to give it all to Him and trust that He will do with it what is best, what is needed for me at that time. I know by successfully fulfilling this resolution I will be able to live with a more positive and optimistic attitude and will be able to fully feel the freedom I have from all my worries and negativities.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

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