Clutter. It seems as I get older, the easier it is to let clutter in my life. House clutter, schedule clutter, relationship clutter, food clutter, etc. Clutter frustrates me. It distracts me from the things that matter and it's hard to dig out of. But ah simplicity. That's the key. Jesus says, don't try clean yourself up first, repent and believe now and let Me transform you. It's so simple.
I think it's safe to say that this applies to weight loss and living a healthy life. We get all cluttered by this diet, that study, counting calories, fancy meals, shopping at a certain store, reading food labels, weighing ourselves everyday, stressing over every bite and little detail. But the truth is, living healthy boils down to simplicity and grace; taking the clutter out and giving yourself room when you mess up. God's grace stretches even so far as to that cookie you ate, so don't beat yourself up.
Simplicity. People ask me all the time what they should eat when losing weight. It's really pretty simple, which is why I think it's hard for people to grasp. Jesus was asked, Lord what must I do to enter the kingdom of heaven? He replied that you must be born again; repent and believe. Nothing fancy. Your food is the same way. Bring back the basics; fruits, vegetables and meat. Don't clutter yourself with labels, that's just an indication of rules (and processed food). Eat the foods that bring life; vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, and carbs. Once you get in the habit of shopping on the outside perimeter of your store, it's easier and less cluttered. Cheeseburger for dinner? Great. Just add a fresh vegetable and some fruit. Chicken? Sweet potatoes and sautéed peppers sound awesome! Bring back the basics and you'll find life.
Grace. This where diets can't meet us. A diet is a plan, a set of rules. Even if we aren't following an actual "diet" how many of us put boundaries on ourselves? Maybe even unrealistic boundaries or ones that put us deeper into the mire of trying to perform, to get ahead, in our own efforts. But we always fall short, don't we? This is where grace steps in. Instead of making a healthy lifestyle or losing weight a chore, a set of rules, why don't we start with the Father? Repent and believe. Let God's kingdom break in. Confession. Yes, it's good to confess that you aren't in a healthy place. It's important to move forward and live out that you are forgiven and loved...even as far as the food you consume. But you must believe that God will change you, that you are changed and walk in that.
The more clutter I remove, the easier it seems to find God, everywhere. I am left with myself (and my mess) and that makes me turn to the Father, in every single area.
So how can you simplify? What areas do you need to receive grace? I pray you walk as a forgiven child of God today. Go, and live in His presence....even with your food and exercise.