June 28, 2009

21 Day Cleanse

It’s official…I’ve been waiting to return from vacation so I could begin my long awaited 21 day cleanse. I thought I’d post it and my journey through it, partly for accountability to the site and readers but also to share what the Lord teaches me through it.  If you want to join me in it, fun, come along!

For 21 days, I’ve decided to cut out all white flour and wheat, sugar and dairy (cheese, milk, yogurt).  Something I’ve learned about myself over the past year or so is that I have to be careful when it comes to diet and health things because I tend to go too extreme and it easily becomes an idol for me.  So when I say sugar, I mean sweet treats and desserts. I didn’t go to the nth degree to look at labels on the marinade for my chicken.  Others have no problem going all out for something like this, but really, its a very personal thing. So for the next 16 days (in it for 5 already), my life consists strictly of nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies, hummus, eggs (on occasion), nut butters and salt free rice cakes, brown rice, quinoa and only a few ounces of meat at dinner. 

My first day was a killer.  All I could think about is eating everything I shouldn’t.  Granted, I just got off an 8 day vacation with my family and who goes on family vacation and doesn’t eat up all the junk food and sweets that are never at your own house.  So the first few days were major withdrawls.  But today, day 5, was the first day I had virtually no cravings and much less time was spent thinking about all the things I was restricted from eating.  It really surprised me that it really only took 5 days to get to this place mentally.

Cutting foods out is a great place to start but it can’t be all that we do.

Today at church our pastor talked on healing.  His message was awesome, you can download it here (you may have to check back as the posting is a few days delayed).  But one of the things he touched on was how when we are sick we go to the doctor, get a diagnosis, he gives us a prescription and we take it faithfully each day. This is how the Lord works as well.  We should do the same with the Lord with any struggle really.  If we allow the Lord to change our minds in regards to health and our bodies then it’s more likely to be a permanent change. So our job is to go to the great physician and ask for the right prescription (His word/verse) and we are to meditate on it, make it a reality in our life, believe it…it is our medicine. Cutting foods out is a great place to start but it can’t be all that we do.  So I’m going to do this with my own health, spend some time looking into verses on healing for sickness, but I think I will find a verse about my diet/body/lifestyle as well and depend on His word to be what motivates me rather than just having a body that looks good/feels good. 

Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.  We are to treat them with respect and we are responsible for caring for them the best way we know how.  The hardest part for me is the discipline long term.  I know how to take care of my body, I know the foods to eat and the ones to avoid.  But if I’m not convinced in my heart, if I don’t choose to want to honor God with my body and that be my motivation for eating well, then my 21 day cleanse is done in vain and in the flesh, which will put forth short term and self satisfying results.

So what started out as a simple cleanse to rid my body of excess junk I ate on vacation, God has taken deeper and called me to look at my heart and begin praying through and over these several verses…

1 Cor. 6:19 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.”

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

2 Tim. 1:7 “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

If you join me in this cleanse, seek the Lord personally. Ask Him why you struggle with your body?  For me it wasn’t so much the image thing as it was the discipline to carry out what I know to be true about diet/health/lifestyle.  And ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth through His word that pertains to you.  I believe this is the bigger part of the cleanse than the restriction part. We can all muster up enough strength to do something like this for 21 days, but God is looking for transformation…long term and that part I can’t do on my own.  His word is what transforms.  If you join me, comment on your journey, I’d love to hear what you are learning and what He teaches you.


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