Healthy Through the Summer | Ashley Varner
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staying healthy through the summer, christian weight loss

Healthy Through the Summer

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With the changing seasons comes the struggle to stay healthy. We all know routines change, schedules change, and even the times that you eat and the time the sun goes down, all those things change. So it’s easy to put our health on the back burner and just go with the flow during the summer. But I want to give you tools to be intentional about staying healthy through the summer months that are approaching us.

 

Being Physically Healthy

With all the schedule changes with summer, make sure to go back to basics and really listen to your hunger and fullness. It’s a simple way to keep tabs on what you’re eating and how it makes you feel.

Whenever I talk about listening to your body, I’m talking about being mindful 1) how much you’re eating and 2) how what you eat affects your body.

Let’s break this down. First, you have to be mindful about how much you eat. Some people try to eat only until they’re satisfied, but then they don’t realize that hunger and fullness levels actually work together.

Your fullness signals work best when they’re paired with your hunger signals. So it really start by eating from hunger. Then your body is able to realize when it’s full.

Eating from hunger doesn’t mean waiting until you’re ravished and you’re ready to pass out. It means getting to know your body well enough to know what the signs of hunger are for you. For some people a light headache is a sign of headache, maybe a grumbling stomach, but here are a couple of tips on how you can know when you’re hungry.

Hunger usually originates from your stomach more than your mouth.

What do I mean by that?

When you’re hungry, you aren’t usually craving a specific food. It’s a feeling that definitely comes gradually.

Whenever you’re actually craving foods not from hunger, you usually want something specific. You’re driving by or you’re walking by a fast food place and you smell the fries. All of a sudden, you’re hungry.

It’s something super fast and you feel like all of a sudden your stomach’s growling. That’s not usually true hunger. A lot of this process is just being mindful of what your body needs and how your body feels.

So we need to be mindful first of how much we eat, but second, we need to be mindful about how the foods that we’re eating effect our body.

I’m sure that you can pinpoint certain foods that whenever you eat them, they make you feel a certain way.

  • If you have fettuccine alfredo and then the next day your face breaks out, maybe dairy is a problem for you.
  • If you get sick after eating a sandwich, it could be that your body can’t handle gluten.
  • If you have soda and donuts and all of a sudden you’re getting an instant headache, then maybe sugar is the culprit for you.

Everyone is completely different, and so you have to be diligent about finding out what foods bother you. Maybe you’re fine with dairy and gluten, but maybe peanuts bother you. Corn, eggs, and soy are some other common problem foods that your body might be intolerant of.

It’s interesting for me to see the different diets that come out each year. If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you may know my past.

About three years ago I gave up dieting, and now as I see these diets come up, I see how unique God made us. He made us so special. He made each one of us unique. So it’s ridiculous to say that one diet is perfect for everybody.

Because of that, we end up feeling like a failure because that particular diet doesn’t work for us or it doesn’t make us feel good.

The reason for that is because the best way to stay healthy is to pay attention to how foods are effecting you personally. So how much food you eat. I know that whenever I started eating from hunger and I really stopped binging because that was a huge struggle for me, I honestly felt lighter and it wasn’t even that I had lost tons of weight. But I felt lighter because I was just eating enough to be satisfied and not to be overly full.

As you start doing that, as you pay attention to how your body feels, you’re going to find that it becomes easier and easier to make those decisions, because you’re not following a rule book, instead you’re following the wisdom that God has placed into your body and the way that He made your body and you make decisions from that wisdom.

Being Emotionally Healthy

Next, we need to be intentional about staying emotionally healthy. I want you to start thinking about the things that come into your mind. You can be a healthy person physically but if you’re not keeping tabs on your emotions, then you’re not going to feel good.

That’s just the truth.

This is such a big deal that I’m going to be devoting an entire post to talk about it. So make sure that you check back or subscribe to The Graceful Life Podcast. I’ll be sharing a little bit about The Battlefield of the Mind book by Joyce Meyer and giving some of the tips that I use to really stay emotionally healthy.

We know that summer is swimming suit season. Maybe you’re not where you want to be physically and, to be honest, who is? But don’t let that wreak havoc on your emotions.

Imagine that you planned this great vacation with your family. They’re all out jumping in the waves and playing, and you’re so self conscious about what other people think that you stay covered up by a blanket on the sand. Think about the fun and the memories that you’d miss.

And truly, those people that you’re worried about… you’re probably never going to see those other people again. I mean, you’re on vacation. You’re not where you normally are. So who cares what they think?

But most of us struggle, because we care more about what they think and how we feel about our appearance, that we miss out on LIFE. We miss out on the fun and the memories that we could be making.

I don’t want to make light of emotions that come from not feeling good about yourself, but I want you to know that you can chose to change those emotions. You are in control of the thoughts you think.

One of my favorite quotes is by Martin Luther. He said, “You cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.” We don’t always have control over the random thoughts that come into our minds, but we can make sure that they don’t stay there.

The way to do that is to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. We have heard that verse. We know it, but sometimes we don’t put it into practice. We don’t realize that when a thought comes into our minds, we have the power to take it captive. We can decide “Is this thought obedient to God’s word?” If not, if it doesn’t line up with God’s word, then it’s time to make it obedient to Christ.

We can replace our thoughts with God’s thoughts about us.

And the only way that you can do that is if you know God’s word. So make sure that you’re spending time with Him. I want you to know that you have control over your thoughts. You can chose joy. You can chose to appreciate your body instead of hating it. You can chose not to compare yourself to other people.

 

Being Spiritually Healthy

So let’s dive into being spiritually healthy.

Keeping up with your quiet time whenever you have different routines in the summer can definitely be challenging.

Kids are home from school.

Work hours may change.

Even the sun comes up earlier so you have to be prepared with a game plan to stay strong spiritually.

One way to do that is to plug in and let other believers keep you accountable. It can be easy to drop commitments to serve your local church in the summer, but don’t take the easy road.

Work hard to not put the brakes on serving. That’s going to help you stay strong spiritually. It’s going to give you another level of accountability for yourself. Whenever you stay strong spiritually through the summer, it helps your kids stay strong spiritually as well.

I know it’s easier to head to church whenever school schedules are happening. My boys are in T-ball so I get that sports are important too. But nothing, NOTHING is more important than God being real in the lives of your kids. So keep teaching them God’s word during the summer.

One way to do that is with Hidden In My Heart. It’s the online program that’s offered in the Graceful Life Academy. It includes verses, and it has an online tracker to help your kids keep God’s word in their hearts.

I originally I created it for my boys because I wanted some tool to help them memorize God’s word and really put God’s word in their hearts. With each verse, there’s a way for kids to apply it to their lives.

My boys learn one verse a week and your kids could do the same thing. By the end of summer, your kids could know over a dozen new verses that they can take with them to school next fall.

This summer can be a time for your kids to jump forward in their walk with the Lord. Learn more about Hidden in My Heart by clicking below.

Help your children learn God's Word and apply it to their every day lives! | A Resource from AshleyVarner.com

 

As parents, it can be easy to send our kids to kids camp or vacation Bible school and all those things are great, but the responsibility still falls on us as parents to help them stay strong spiritually. And that starts with us being strong spiritually.

Make sure that you’re still finding time to be with the Lord every morning. Make sure that you’re really putting your prayer life at the top of your list every day.

I guarantee you that whenever you take that time to spend that time in prayer, to spend that time reading the Word, somehow, I don’t know how it works, but somehow when you take time first thing in the morning to be with the Lord, He creates more hours in your day.

Things go smoother.

Tasks don’t take as long.

Jobs happen more joyfully because you invested that time.

If you take those morning moments and you spend them with the Lord, somehow the rest of your day ends up being better. I don’t know how it works. It’s just the Lord.

 

I want you to know that our only hope of living a graceful life is by letting God take the reins and being intentional about:

  1. Treating the bodies that God has given us with respect. By eating foods that God made, eating them when you’re hungry, using the wisdom and being intentional about how God made your body so that you can be healthy in that way.
  2. Being intentional about making sure that our thoughts line up with God’s Word.
  3. Staying connected to Him always.

If you do those three things, I guarantee you that you’re going to be healthy through the summer and beyond and that you and your family are going to definitely see the results of how the summer can really propel you forward in your walk with the Lord, in your health, and in your emotional health too.

I’m excited to announce that starting today there are going to be two posts of the Graceful Life Podcast every single week. So you can check out the next episode on Thursday.

I’d love to hear from you all! If you have any questions or topics that you want covered, please let me know!

You can do that by joining the Girl of Grace Facebook group. That’s where I spend my time. That’s where I communicate with you guys best! Here’s the link!

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