How to Reach Your Goal of Losing Weight

I got to share my story over the weekend at a health seminar. It was awesome to see the amount of people putting in the time and effort to live a healthy lifestyle.

If you don’t know my story, I used to weight almost 300 pounds and have a 42 inch waist. Over the course of 18 months, I lose 130 pounds and have kept it off for the last 5 years. It feels incredible. In that time, I’ve learned a lot about what does work and what doesn’t work to lose weight, keep it off, pass on healthy habits to your kids and enjoy life.

So, I put together all the blog posts I’ve ever written on the topic.

Being free from bad eating habits, a food addiction (and other addictions that lead to an unhealthy lifestyle) and poor body image:

  1. What to do on “Fat Days”
  2. Food, Weight, and Stop Being the Victim
  3. How to Examine Your Heart/Motives
  4. When Eating Becomes a Sin
  5. Why We Aren’t Healthy
  6. Women and the Cycle of Defeat
  7. Two Ideas that Should Change how We Think about our Bodies, Weight Loss & Food
  8. Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace

How to lose weight:

  1. My Journey of Losing Weight
  2. How I got to where I am 
  3. The idol of food (the spiritual side of weight loss)
  4. Have a plan
  5. It’s for the rest of your life
  6. The effects
  7. Do your homework
  8. The idol of exercise & staying in shape

Staying healthy (eating well, avoiding burnout, etc.):

  1. Every Time You Say Yes to Something You Say No to Something Else
  2. What I Wish I’d Known About Energy, Family & Mistakes
  3. Making Room for What Matters
  4. How I Structure my Week
  5. How to Know You’re Too Busy
  6. How to do Crossfit on Your Own
  7. 6 Ways to Stay Motivated to be Healthy
  8. Thoughts on Burnout, Sleep, Adrenaline, Stress, and Eating
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Women and the Cycle of Defeat

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I’ve spent the last 3 weeks speaking to the women of our church in our series BeautifulTo prep for it, I read a bunch of magazine articles, blog posts and books on the struggles women have and what teenage girls struggle with.

Reading stats on body image and eating disorders, depression, feelings of loneliness that they have and how most women live with a sense of defeat and that they will never live up to a standard they have in their mind, a standard their parents or spouse have for them.

While photoshop make the struggle women have with their bodies unwinnable, it is almost like they look though the lens of photoshop for everything in their lives.

I preached on Proverbs 31 this past weekend and beforehand I got a number of emails from women saying, “I’ve read those verses, they are impossible so I simply give up.”

The reality is that most everything in the Bible is impossible on your own.

That’s what the Holy Spirit does.

While the standard for women in Scripture is high, it is for everyone. It is meant to stretch us and cause us to rely on God. That is why Proverbs 31:30 says that this woman fears the Lord. The fear of God takes away all fear, all defeat and refocuses on us on what matters and what will get us through what lies ahead.

Proverbs 31 is a story of a woman through the course of her life. Did she do all those things in the season her kids were small or right after she got married? Probably not.

One of the reasons I believe many women are defeated in their lives (besides the impossible standards they or others set for them) is that they often lack a vision of what their life could be like. I’m not sure if this comes from a personality trait, that men tend to be more logical and linear in their thinking but one of the common threads I heard from women after church this week was how easy it is for them to get stuck in the details of everyday life and not lift their heads above the fog to see what God has for them.

One of the challenges of Proverbs 31 is to have a larger vision for your life. To think bigger than what you do. Your life is meant to be more than what it is. Your life is meant to have a legacy. The problem is that most of the time, legacy is talked about strictly to men. We need that reminder. But women do as well. What you do with every minute of your life makes an impact down the road. This is true for everyone.

Yet, we often spend our moments on the wrong things.

Arianna Huntington said, “Eulogies celebrate our lives very differently than how our culture defines success.”

That is important to keep in mind.

I’d add that God celebrates our lives very differently than how our culture defines success.

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Top Posts of January

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It was a great first month of 2014 on my blog. Tons of traffic and interactions. If you missed anything, not to worry, here are the top 10 posts for the month:

  1. When a Staff Member or Volunteer says, “I’m Done”
  2. The 3 Most Destructive Words a Man Hears Growing up Are: “Be a Man”
  3. Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace
  4. What I Eat
  5. 10 Gospel Truths about Homosexuality
  6. Photoshop, Beauty & Women
  7. 6 Ways to Stay Motivated to be Healthy
  8. Leading Up
  9. The Weight of Pastoring
  10. Why do a Series on Men & Women?
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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

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  • What a weekend at Revolution Church
  • I love the first day of a series
  • And yesterday did not disappoint
  • As you can see here
  • Katie and I taught together on what it means to be made in the image of God
  • The implications of this is not just for women and how they see themselves, but also for men and how they see themselves and the world around them
  • Lots of people getting prayed for after the sermon
  • Love seeing that
  • If you missed it, you can listen to it here
  • We also celebrated baptism yesterday
  • Love hearing the stories of life change and seeing the power of the gospel
  • Nothing like it
  • We also had one of our highest attendances ever
  • Love seeing our volunteers jump into action and helping guests park and find seats
  • We are getting ready to kick off our next FPU class
  • If you want to change your finances, get out of debt, plan for the future, go here
  • Friday, I got to perform the wedding of Joey and Bernadette Morrin
  • So fun being a part of their wedding
  • The weather was incredible for an outdoor wedding in Tucson
  • I’m blown away the emails I’ve gotten about the Beautiful series so far
  • It seems like it is definitely striking a chord
  • It’s sad the bondage that many women live with
  • I’m talking this Sunday about how to be free from your past as you move forward into your future
  • So many people let their past be a compass for their future and it is heartbreaking
  • All of this makes me really excited to kick Fight off in a few weeks and talk to men
  • I’m sad that this Sunday is the last football game in a long time
  • Love football season
  • Thankfully the Olympics start soon afterward
  • My kids can’t get over how excited they are for the Olympics
  • Having lunch today with a new Revolutionary
  • Love meeting new people at our church and helping them get better connected
  • Say a prayer that this coming Sunday is even bigger than this past Sunday
  • Lots of freedom waiting to happen as we apply 2 Corinthians 5:17 in our lives
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Photoshop, Beauty & Women

A photographer showed me this last week when I mentioned I was preaching on body image. It shows the standard that our culture holds for looks is simply impossible, because it isn’t real.

Just a warning, the woman in this video is not wearing a lot of clothes, but it shows the sad reality of the standard for women.

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Why do a Series on Men & Women?

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I’ve been asked by some pastors why we are doing a series for women and one for men.

The reason is simple, our culture has no idea what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman.

We struggle with identity issues, body image, how hard we should work, how we should dress, what should we put into our bodies. No one is sure how to let go of their past, how to find freedom from addictions.

While there are commonalities between men and women in their struggles, there are ones that are unique to men and women.

Because we often separate men and women at church in distinct ministries to talk about these issues, the other misses hearing about them. For example, I knew women struggled with body image issues, but while researching my talk for this week on the topic, I was blown by how much and why they struggle. Men can’t help their wife, daughters or be a good brother in Christ without knowing this.

In the same way, women know men desire to work and provide for a family, but why is that so important? How can that destroy and drive a man? If we simply separate men and women all that time to discuss these, we will never have true biblical community that walks together through it.

Another one, why do women struggle with the desire to have it all? Men do as well, but women do in a different way. Men desire is largely material and work related. Women struggle to have the body, hair, looks, house (spotless by the way), kids, perfect marriage and sex life, while cooking great meals and making money. Where does that struggle come from? What kind of legacy does that create?

For men, they struggle with boundaries and self-control when it comes to lust and porn. This isn’t news for women. What many don’t know is why that happens. Where it comes from and how porn rewires the brain of those who see it. How that will affect their marriage, how it will affect their daughter who will feel pressure in college to dress and act like a pornstar because that is all the men around her know.

But, if we bring men and women together and have a frank and honest discussion, maybe we can find  a new way forward, a gospel way forward.

When we first planned to spend 7 weeks on this (3 for women and 4 for men), I said, “This will either be one of our best ideas or worst.” We’ll see.

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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

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  • Yesterday was such a great day for me and at Revolution
  • After 3 weeks off from preaching (2 that were planned and 1 that wasn’t), I got to preach
  • I love that part of my job and miss it when I don’t do it
  • I wrapped up our series Breathing Room with a very personal sermon on how to balance work, life and relationships
  • If you missed it, you can listen to it here 
  • So excited though for what is next for our church
  • My wife Katie and I will be teaching the next 3 weeks together as we kick off our series Beautiful
  • The more I read on women and body image, the sadder I get because it is so far away from what Scripture says about women
  • Body image, modesty, thinking rightly of yourself and those around you, treating each person correctly is something men and women struggle with
  • Yet, the truth of how we are to live in this area is laid out in the very first verse about men and women in the Bible
  • In fact, it is one of the most used and quoted bible verse, it is one that most people know and yet very few actually believe
  • After we finish Beautiful we will kick off a 4 week series called Fight
  • So excited to talk about manhood for 4 weeks
  • I get to do a wedding this Friday night
  • Love being a part of the beginning of a couple’s life together
  • The party of the reception isn’t a bad thing either
  • Started reading Simon Sinek’s new book Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t, really good
  • I loved his first book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
  • His new one is a little slower than his first one, but then his first one was pretty ground breaking
  • Still a good one though
  • I realize that doesn’t sound like a great recommendation
  • Just finished working with an editor to finish up my book proposal
  • This has been a long 2 year process to reach one of my life goals
  • We’ll know soon enough if it is going anywhere
  • Say a prayer for Revolution as we kick off Beautiful on Sunday
  • I believe these next 3 weeks have the potential to be incredibly freeing to a lot of women (and men)
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Beautiful starts in 2 Weeks!

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We are doing something this year at Revolution that we’ve never done before. After we finish our Breathing Room series we will do a series geared to women and one geared to men. Don’t worry though, each week will have clear relevance and application to everyone.

Here’s what is happened starting January 26th:

Even when you don’t feel it. Even when you’re not happy. Even when you feel condemned. Right now, someone thinks you are BEAUTIFUL. God wants you to see yourself the same way. Join us Jan. 26 – Feb. 9 for Beautiful, a series for women and the men who pursue them.

Our pastor, Josh and his wife Katie will be teaching this series together as we look at what God created women to be, how to become that woman, and what the roadblocks are to becoming that woman. We’ll look at body image issues, how to let go of your past, how to use your tongue in a positive way, and the legacy you should strive for as a woman. We will also talk to men about how to help their wives become this woman, how a single guy finds a girl that God calls “Beautiful” and how to raise girls who are “Beautiful” in the eyes of God. Here’s what we’ll look at specifically:

January 26: Me, Beautiful?
February 2: Letting Go of Your Past
February 9: The Priorities of a Woman

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What’s Happening in 2014 at Revolution Church

One of my favorite parts of my job is preaching. I love the time that goes into sermon prep, the agony of trying to nail a big idea, make Scripture as easy to understand as possible and then standing on a stage and communicating those truths. I love the life change that the Holy Spirit brings on a weekly basis and that people come back!

This spring, we are doing some things at Revolution on Sunday mornings that I’m incredibly excited about. Here they are:

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On December 29th, we are kicking off a series called Breathing Room. We’ll look at how we often live without breathing room. In relationships, finances, our schedule, pace, life and family. We leave little to no breathing room, running from thing to thing, spending money we don’t have. And in the end, we squeeze life out of us. Here’s what we’ll look at:

December 29: Squeezed
January 5: Time Management
January 12: How to be Rich
January 19: Choosing to Cheat – When Work and Family Collide

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From there, we will do something we have never done before at Revolution: a series geared totally to women called Beautiful. My wife Katie will join me on stage and help me teach this series as we look at what God created women to be, how to become that woman, what are the roadblocks to becoming that woman. We’ll look at body image issues, how to let go of your past, how to use your tongue in a positive way, and the legacy you should strive for as a woman. We will also talk to men about how to help their wives become this woman, how a single guy finds a girl that God calls “Beautiful” and how to raise girls who are “Beautiful” in the eyes of God. Here’s what we’ll look at specifically:

January 26: Me, Beautiful?
February 2: Letting Go of Your Past
February 9: The Priorities of a Woman

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That’s not the only new thing we are doing on Sunday mornings this spring. Right after Beautiful, we will do a series geared towards men called Fight. For this series, we will use the life of Samson to see the battles that men fight with their past, their present and their future. We’ll look at what plagues men and keeps them from becoming the man God created them to be, what men who win those battles do that other men don’t, how a wife can help her husband become the man God created him to be, how to help your daughter find a man worth having, how a single woman can find that man and how to raise sons who become the men who win the battles that matter most. Here’s what we’ll cover in this series:

February 16: When Strong Men are Weak
February 23: Emotions that Take Strong Men Down
March 2: You’re One Decision Away from Wrecking Your Life
March 9: Failing Forward

For more information on Sunday mornings at Revolution Church, go here.

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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  1. Practicing biblical hospitality.
  2. Geoff Surratt on 3 reasons guests don’t return to your church.
  3. An email from a proud deadbeat dad. Love Matt’s response. Definitely shows what is wrong with men in our culture.
  4. John Piper on Parents, require obedience from your children.
  5. 6 trends in kids ministry.
  6. Carlos Whitaker on 4 tips on how to handle social media with your kids. Great tips for parents.
  7. One father writes a letter to his daughters about body image. If you have a daughter, help her understand biblical body image.
  8. 30 hour work week.