Wednesday, September 1, 2010

God is faithful even when we are not.

Hi everyone! I'm sorry I haven't been writing... life is insane.  I was encouraged to write today because I got a letter in the mail from my mom.  It was a super encouraging card talking about God's faithfulness and not to give up on my goals.  "God is faithful even when we're not." 2 Timothy 2:13.  The excitement from starting this really helped me get to a good start to being healthy.  But the true test isn't in the "classroom" but in real life.  My life is crazier than it's ever been.  I'm a full time student, full time friend, full time daughter, full time fiance, full time worker, etc... I'm sure many of you can relate.  I feel like I'm a full time everything... giving to everyone and everything except myself.  I get a half an hour break to eat at work every night.  I stayed at the coffee house so I can be there "just in case something goes wrong and they need me." So I ate a scone for dinner because it was fast and it looked good and I wanted it.  Period.  That's terrible.  I need "self" time.  So I decided from here on out I'm not eating at the coffee house anymore on my break.  I'll run home fast and make myself something, or I'll run the sandwich place we have here and grab a healthy wrap.

I cope with my stress by eating.  Why?! Why do I do that? Where do we learn that from? I ate like garbage all weekend and I felt like garbage on Monday morning when I had to wake up for class.  I told my self " more.  You're eating healthy today!"  So I did. :) I've been doing really well since the weekend.  I've been eating a lot of hummus and veggie wraps...actually that's basically all I've been eating since Monday. 

Please pray for me.  I need the strength of God to get me through this trying year.  I'm happier than I've ever been because God's love for me is changing my life and how I view everything.  I've been a christian since I was a sophomore in high school, grew a lot deeper after my senior year, and even more in college, but I don't think I've ever encountered the deep and passionate love that Jesus has for me. 

I heard a woman speak one time about a ministry she's a part of.  Her ministry team goes out at night and starts friendships with prostitutes.  She shared about one specific experience where she was able to share the love of Jesus to one of her friends.  The woman asked her if she knew how much she mattered to God.  The woman instantly broke down crying.  Her father left when we she was little, her mom was addicted to drugs and was a prostitute, and eventually she got into that lifestyle as well.  She hated men, she was deeply scarred by her father leaving and not knowing who she was.  How could "GOD" love her? She never mattered to anyone.  But the speaker just kept on telling her that she is valued.  That if she was the only person on Earth, Jesus still would have came down, made himself man, and died for her so she could have life and be free.  Needless to say, the Lord has changed her life and she's now a part of the ministry.  How cool. :) 

Do you know how much you mean to Christ?

I have many friends and family that I pray for continuously that they would understand the love that Jesus has for them.  I knew in my life I felt "unforgivable" from the mistakes that I've made.  Then when I was a "Christian" that's all I thought that I needed.  You believe in God, get baptized when you're a baby, go to church sometimes, and then you go to heaven when you die if you do all of those things.  The problem with my thinking was that no, it's actually not enough.  I can never be "good enough" to "win" the love of God, to get into heaven.  I realized that there is absolutely nothing that I can do to to get to heaven (or have freedom on this earth) by myself.  Going to church isn't enough, Reading my Bible isn't enough, Praying all the time 24/7 isn't enough...nothing is enough.  The only way that we can be free and experience "life" in this life and the next is because Jesus died on a cross, and rose again and overcame all sin, all wrong doings, all evil thoughts, gluttony, sexual sin...everything.  When God the Father looks at me, He sees Jesus in front of me.  In 1 John, we're told that Jesus is our advocate, our intercessor.  Jesus was perfect, that's why he was the perfect person to die and rise and set us free.  Then the love of God, the love that changes lives, will just be genuine and natural and we'll want to be like Jesus.  "Good works" will just flow from our hearts

Please please know that I do not think I'm perfect and I do not put myself on a pedestal.  I am a person who struggles and struggles hard at some stuff...which is the whole reason I'm writing this blog.  I just don't want anyone I know to not know about the love that God has for them.  If you ever want to talk about this with me, I'd love to listen to your thoughts.  If you need a Bible, I can send you one. :) I haven't mastered anything and I don't know all the answers.  I just have accepted the love of God to change my life.  He loves you s.o. much. 

Please join me in this walk in Jesus' love and allowing Him to change you from the inside out.

I'm going to post a YouTube's a scene from "The Passion of Christ" and it's graphic.  I almost didn't post it, because it's... horrible.  But.  I'm going to because it's what Jesus did.  Why should we try to cover it up what Jesus actually did for me? For you.  It's what He did so we didn't have to.  God never wants guilt, so please don't let this guilt you.  He wants our best, he wants our love, he wants our lives to reflect His life because that is what's best for us.  There's no benefit to pornography, drugs, unforgiveness, getting drunk, gluttony, gossip....all of those "sins."  I wish the video showed the part of the movie where Jesus is risen.  Yes, he died a brutal death for us.  But he also raised again so we can be free from the stuff that is ugly about us.  Let God whisper his love into your heart.  Let that love change your life.  I'm telling you, it's so incredibly worth it.

Be blessed.  I love you. He loves you more.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Short and Sweet

Hello everyone! This one is going to be quick, I have to work in a half an hour!

Yesterday I ate

Breakfast- oatmeal (yay!) Coffee

Lunch- I cooked with my bestie Brittany :) We made BBQ chicken wraps and mushrooms & zucchini on the "grill" - really just in a pan. ;)

Dinner- A breakfast "pizza."  It's made on a pita with a little cheese, eggs, onions, and green peppers. Yum!

I didn't have time to eat anything bad at work! whoo hoo! Although I'm really stressed about tonight.  Being a manager is super stressful because I want to be gentle/loving with them, but when my authority is questioned, it just frustrates me!! I really need prayer for that. :-/

That's all I'm going to be writing for now.  I love you all.

<3 Arielle

Be prayerful.  I need to be all circumstances! Lately this has been a challenge for me.

Philippians 4:11
"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."

Friday, August 27, 2010

Last First Day of School

Like my title says, yesterday was my last first day of school. Sob! :) Just kidding.  I remember while growing up, my parents would take us out to McDonalds after our first (and last) day of school.  It was something I always looked forward to.. Don't worry...I didn't buy McDonalds yesterday. Be proud. :) 

It's a very bittersweet start to the semester for me.  I'm going to miss it here.  I'm going to miss living with my girls.  I'm getting married in 273 days...who's counting? :) I'm ecstatic for married life and my future as a wife and eventually as a mom.  I'm excited to sign "Mrs. DeLaruelle" on my letters home to my student's parents and on my personal checks.  I'm just ready for the next step, but I'm savoring this year like a big piece of Trobolone chocolate.

Speaking of chocolate.... :) Yesterday's meals and snacks are as follows:

coffee and an organic oatmeal bar

Turkey wrap with banana peppers, onions, low fat mayo & low fat honey mustard.  I think I'm going to try to lay off the sauces.  They're really unnecessary calories.  That's my aim for when eating at "The Nut." ;)

Hummus, cucumbers, 4 blocks of cheddar cheese cubes, and reduced fat Cool Ranch Doritos.

Two more oatmeal bars and a package of fruit snacks (the unhealthy kind..)...Aunt Flow is about to visit, so I've been extra hungry lately. :-/

BUT I also..............WORKED OUT! whoo hoooo!!! 30 min. Cardio.  I also have been walking everywhere on campus too.  I live about 1/4 mile away from campus, so I probably walk a total of > a mile.

Thank you again for encouraging messages.  If any health nuts wanna share their advice/tips, I'd love it. :)  I've gotten many messages about being inspired to start being healthy/loving your body again.  Let me know how exactly you're going about that.  I can post it on here to help encourage other people. Whoop!  Plus, I'd love to hear specifics on how God is talking to you specifically through reading this. :)

Love you all! Pray that I can be strong through my hours working at the coffee house- that place is a sin playground for me!!

EEK! I forgot to add something :-/  Speaking of coffee houses- I told myself I don't want to drink anything but coffee from the coffee house where I work.  The drinks have a RIDICULOUS amount of calories in them.  I had a vanilla ice rage (frappucino) last night!!!! I felt guilty afterwards, and it didn't even taste that good.  So I'm for real done now.  I'm not saying I'll never have a sip of a friend's, but I'm not drinking anything from there of my own! Pray for me!

Today's Verse-
Ephesians 3:20
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."

The power of Christ lives in me.  I've been learning a lot about the power of the name of Jesus.  I've also been learning that this is a process.  It's not going to happen overnight.  Everything is a process. :)

I'm going to post a link that shows how powerful and big God is.  After I watched it, I felt so small and taken care of.  He cares about me and I'm just a tiny little "nothing" that God considers "everything."  :Sigh: We'll get into how much we all matter to God probably tomorrow because God has been pressing heavy on my heart to share how much he absolutely adores each person who is reading this. As for now, watch this awesome video. :)

Be humbled.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 2

YESTERDAY WAS SO GOOD!!! Whoo hoo! :) First off, YOU GUYS WHO ARE READING ROCK!! I get at least one encouraging facebook message a seriously is awesome.  My uncle called me last night [which I have to call him back!!] and he said that he's starting a blog of his own!!!!! He lost over 60 lbs (maybe more???) on Weight Watchers.  He's got awesome tips for cooking and other SUPER helpful advice, so when he starts his blog, I'll probably post it so you guys can read his helpful advice.  :)

Let me just say that IT IS SUPER HARD TO BE HONEST ABOUT WRITING EVERYTHING I EAT! With that said, I appreciate that my honesty is appreciated.  Being accountable to all of you really is helping me watch what I put in my mouth.  I love that everyone is being encouraged through this. (Including myself!) :)

Yesterday (day 2) I ate:

 EGGS! (that's right people...eggs.)  I used a table spoon of extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkle of Mrs. Dash. YUM!
A handful of grapes.

Lunch- A wheat wrap filled with delicious veggies (olives, cucumber, pickle, banana peppers, green peppers, jalapenos, tomatoes, and lettuce.  I also had the guy put a splash of oil and vinegar on it for me.) 
An orange.

Two handfuls of grapes

Dinner- A delicious hamburger that my handsome fiance made for me :)

One of my friends brought over chocolate chip cookies, so I had one.  ONE! (Better than the day before....)

***I haven't been drinking pop!  It really isn't good for you, so all you pop (and sugary juice) drinkers, join me on the water band wagon! :)  My future mother in law (who I'm in love with) told me that crystal lite has the same chemical in splenda which makes you crave sugary foods even more! So even though there's less calories and it makes water taste yummy, I'm not using crystal lite anymore.

I love making healthy choices! Lol I just read over that and I sound like I could frolic in a field of lillies, but I'm serious! I feel so much better.  I feel good about the food I put into my mouth because it's thought out (because I know I'll have to report to you all..) I also feel good about this because I'm not doing this on my strength.  My really good friend lost her brother tragically in a car accident last winter.  She's taught me so much since then about desperately relying on the strength of God.  She said something that will forever be etched into my heart.  She said, "Arielle...the greatest feeling is when you know God is using you in your weakness because it's not you, it's Him that's doing all the work when touching people's lives.  Then HE gets all the praise."  Wow.  She was able to share her testimony this summer to hundreds of teenagers about how God has rocked her from her brother dying.  She explained to me that it was only by the strength of God that she is who she is today (who is an amazingly strong woman of God.)  That is the strength I'm leaning on to be freed from this gluttony and self-hatred.

Today's verse of encouragement:
1 Corinthians 10:31
"Whether you eat or drink, in everything that you do, do it for the honor and glory of God."

Sometimes "churchineese" words frustrate me..glory? Honor?  What does it mean to do something for the honor and glory of God? It was once explained to me that doing something for the "glory of God" means to do something that will show what God is like to people who don't know you.  When you glorify God, you're imitating God, what He would do, what His character is like, etc.  God is perfect, and obviously perfection is unreachable (which is why Jesus died on the cross for our imperfection.  He was perfect, so He was the perfect one to die and raise again so we can be free!)

Galatians 5:1 says, "It is for freedom that Chris has set us free." What?! :) That seriously makes me want to do my Jesus dance (if you haven't seen it, you can ask...I might demonstrate for you..hehe) :) The whole purpose of Christ dying on the cross was for LIFE, for FREEDOM.  It wasn't meant to be all these rules and regulations of tasks that we HAVE to do and certain ones that we CANNOT do.  Christians (which literally means imitators of Christ) should just live out 1 Corinthians 10:31- whatever we do, do it to "imitate God."  Do it because you love Christ and His sacrifice.  Be in awe of it. When you genuinely just love God, the "actions" come with it.  I love Jesus Christ with all of my being.  I'm not perfect, but I have a perfect creator.  I've been learning about freedom from Beth Moore's study "Breaking Free."  I highly recommend it!  It fires me up. :)

:Sigh:  I think that's all for today.  I hope that, like me, as you're falling in love with your body, you're falling deeper in love with the One who created it.

Be in awe.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 1

I was so encouraged by the messages I received from women who read my blog! Here I am trying to be an encourager, and then I get SO encouraged and blessed. Thanks for that. :) A girl that goes to my school asked if I wanted to be her workout buddy. [Which was supposed to start this morning, but I set my alarm for p.m. instead of a.m. on my phone! STINK!] My cousin, who majored in exercise science, messaged me and gave me a bunch of pointers for a diet that's called "Paleo."  It's a "Caveman" a lot of meat, nuts, fruits and veggies.  No wheat or anything that is "man made."  That includes coffee.  I love coffee!! I'm honestly at the point of being dependent on coffee, I need a cup in the morning or else I'll get a migraine. :-/  I feel like I need to give up coffee, because of that, but I love it too much.  I love to wake up, get out my Bible and journal and have my Jesus time with a cup of coffee.  To me, that is a perfect start of a day.

Yesterday, my roomies moved it.  It was also the first day that I was going to write down everything I ate.  One of my spiritual gifts is that I'm very hospitable.  I love to make the house nice when people come over, or make cookies as they're moving in so they can smell "home."  It's something I learned from my mom. :) Anyway...I made I ate cookies! Well here's the run down of what I ate yesterday.

NOTHING! I know this is TERRIBLE! So all you health freaks (Carrie) don't have to yell at me. :-) I know! :)  I did drink coffee though, which is probably worse than not having anything. :-/

3 chocolate chip cookies
(plus some dough....) :-/

A turkey, cheddar and veggie sandwich with Reduced fat Doritos (and water!) I'm trying to back away from pop! That's my first big thing that I'm completely giving up.  I don't even like it that much, I just drink it because Zack does. :)

Ok guys, don't hurt me....or maybe you should! I had a Junior deluxe, a junior curly fry, and a junior vanilla shake from Arby's!
FAST FOOD?!! That's the first time I had fast food in a while! And it would be yesterday when I HAD to write it down!! Dang. 

What I'm hearing from God is to not give up.  I actually feel encouraged.  I went to bed last night feeling super discouraged, but I was looking forward to working out in the morning.  That failed as planned, but I'll just go by myself.  I plan on doing 30 minutes of cardio and some weights.  I'll write tomorrow and tell you what I did specifically.

Choose Life.

"Forget what is behind, and strain toward what is ahead." - Philippians 3:13

I'm going to forget about the fast food yesterday.  It's not an excuse for me to eat like garbage today.  I'm not giving up.  I'm going to allow God to change my life.  I can't do this on my own. Walk with us. :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Loving Jesus and My it all began. :)

I'm starting this blog to share my thoughts and emotions on my weight loss journey.  I know that many women are on this path along with me, so I wanted to hopefully be an encourager and reassure everyone [and myself] that we can do anything through Christ who strengthens us!

I went to the doctor about 3-4 months ago and he classified me as morbidly obese. What. ...I was horrified and humiliated.  My first thought was "how did this happen to me?"  I used to be active and fit.  I was never satisfied with my body, but I was never "morbidly obese."  He put me on a weight loss pill called "Adipex."  It "tricks your nervous system to make your body feel as if you're not hungry." Hm. Healthy? Probably not so much...but I trust my doctor and I know he wouldn't put me on something that was harmful to me or my body.  I'm still praying about whether or not I want to continue this. You can pray for me for that as well. :)

So how did this blog and the idea of "Love Jesus Love Your Body" start?  Well I was on my way home to Chicago from Indiana (which is about a three hour drive) and God gave me a vision and a promise of a testimony.  It wasn't anything like from the movies where His Thunder and Lightening struck down and made my car swerve into a deep forest where I saw the Fire of God.  Absolutely was just a very quiet whisper in my heart...more like thoughts in my head that I knew couldn't be mine.  God is so real and alive!

The thoughts/God's voice were as follows:  I've been struggling with body image since I was little.  I remember not being able to fit into my "My Size Barbie" outfit that I got for Christmas.  I was a dancer since I was 2 and a half and the owner would tell my mom to tell me to only eat 1/2 of what I usually do before recital time.  Bless both of their hearts....Pat was only trying to help...and it probably did! But it made me feel fat and I started to compare my body to the girls in my dance classes.  (FYI..I don't blame ANYONE.  I take full responsibility for my actions and I blame no one other than myself.) Another contributing factor is today's society.  The "perfect woman" is airbrushed and fake.  The standard is unreachable for most women.  So as one can see....I've struggled for as long as I can remember with my body image.  Because of that, I developed unhealthy eating patterns.  For a while I ate almost nothing.  At another time I would binge eat.  I didn't love my body, and I treated it that way.

My aim isn't to be obsessed with my weight.  I want/need a lifestyle change.  A change in my mindset.  I want to genuinely love my body.  Not in a cocky way, but in a way that I can take pride in taking care of myself.  I desire to be the weight and body type that the Lord wants me to be at.  I desire to please Him with the way my body looks and the way that I think of my body.  I'm not aiming to be a stick skinny super-model.  I desire to be healthy.  The weight for a 5'8" woman is 135-160 lbs.  That is what I'm aiming for.  Along with being that weight, I intend on using my body for Him.  I'm missing out on life! I hate to have my picture taken, I'm not as active as I once was, the thought of going to the pool isn't fun for me but border-line embarrassing.  Jesus died on the cross to give us LIFE! I desire to LIVE.  I desire to be free from the chains of insecurity and gluttony.

My plan is to love my body and treat it that way.  If I loved my body and wanted to take care of it, would I want to eat a hamburger and cheese fries everyday? Probably not.  I'm not going to say that I'm never going to eat the "bad stuff"...or the "good stuff" ;)  I'm just saying that I'm going to be careful of what I eat and make healthier choices.

My grandma died of diabetes.  My mom had a heart attack.  I refuse to make poor decisions and to have a heart attack at the age of 54 and then let it take my life.  It's already squeezed enough of life and Spirit out of me and I'm saying not another minute.

My prayer is that God would use me to touch hearts as you walk this journey with me.  I don't know what this blog will look like.  I'm throwing around some ideas of writing down everything I eat (to be accountable to people who read would be embarrassing to let everyone know if I just ate 10 cinnamon rolls myself ya know?) and write down what I exercise everyday.  I'll definitely write how Jesus is speaking to me through this.

Be blessed.

Today's verse:
Isaiah 55:2-3
"Why spend money on what is not bread, and labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.  Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live."

I'm embarrassed when I think of how much money I've spent on diet pills, fad body flushes, etc.  Jesus called himself the "bread of life."  I'm learning to let him fill me because most of the time I'm not eating to fill my physical hunger.  I'm eating because it comforts me when I'm insecure.  How backwards is that? I eat because I'm insecure, but then I gain weight and then I'm more insecure, etc. 

If I love Jesus and love my body, I know my sweet Jesus, my Warrior will help me on this adventure!