The Freedom You've Been Waiting For
I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom lately as I’ve been working on our program: The Common Sense Transformation. Freedom from restrictive diets. Freedom from obsessing about when to eat, how much to eat or what am I allowed to eat. Freedom from the siren call of the latest lifestyle diet trend. Freedom from the guilt and shame connected to food. Freedom from hating our bodies. Freedom from the circus of our diet culture.
Why has freedom been on my mind in this journey? Well, Alex and I encounter clients and people everyday who are imprisoned by food and fear:
They believe they eat too much (when actually most don’t eat enough)
They fear carbs, fats, sugar, lectins, gluten, calories, protein, potatoes, bananas, dairy and bread to name a few (and are sure to fear whatever the next “expert” tells them is the root of all their weight and health problems)
They feel better about themselves when they restrict themselves and eat only the foods that “are allowed” by whatever trend they are currently following until their hunger and sense of deprivation grow too strong to white-knuckle through (then they feel like failures and believe themselves to be weak)
They blame themselves for not enjoying vegetables, for binge eating crackers or sweets, and their inability to lose weight even though they do everything right. Unaware, that their palates, their cravings and their metabolism are being held hostage by a food industry and diet culture who know their products and solutions are driving our weight and health crisis
When we began this journey to create a better way, a common sense, NO MORE DIETING, help people find a balanced, sustainable relationship with food that is health focused, we both shouted (not really, but we both pictured Braveheart) FREEDOM!!!!! Freedom from the lies of the food industry and the diet culture. We decided to create a program that will help us return to common sense, learn habits that are sustainable for life, and embrace a simple truth: We are beautifully and wonderfully made by God and He provided the foods that perfectly nourish our bodies.
Freedom became our purpose.
We are now at the day of our pre-sale launch (our vision made tangible). So much hard work, so much encouragement from others, so much support from loved ones and so many new friends made along the way who have taught us so much. So many moments where I felt God near throughout this process. These are the thoughts that filled my mind as I sat in church yesterday morning. As the worship music began, I prayed the prayer I have prayed everyday since this journey began: God, please do not let me fall prey to my inner Martha. Please let my work bring glory to you and you alone. Work through me Lord and help me keep my priorities in order: YOU, My husband, my children, others and then my work. Please hold me close and don’t allow my circumstances (its success or failure) pull me from YOU.
See, I am a Martha.
I DO. I try to CONTROL things and I struggle with seeking praise for the doing. I’m ungracious to myself and hold myself to an impossible standard. I fall prey to vanity and pride, believing that if my DOING is in service to others then I am good. As a fairly new Christian, I learn every day that my path is no longer one of justification. I asked my prayer warriors (the women I rely upon for their wisdom and council) to surround me with specific prayer: that this work, this endeavor constantly points to God and His truth rather than my own fulfillment.
Yesterday morning, as I heard God being praised in worship, freedom filled my thoughts; but not worldly freedom. Freedom as only God alone can provide.
Freedom from guilt. Freedom from worry and anxiety. Freedom from fear.
This is the freedom I experienced in the baptism pool at the age of 43. Freedom that is often elusive in this broken world and in my daily brokenness. Yet even in my brokenness, I can cast every care on the Lord. He bears my struggle, endlessly forgives my brokenness and loves me beyond measure.
Grace unmeasured. Love untold.
How unwavering my Hope.
God does not call me to be perfect.
He fills me with the desire to do better. Not for self-fulfillment or praise, but to glorify Him. So that my life is a reflection of the gift He has given me. A gift I do not deserve. A gift I cannot earn. I am awashed each day anew with His grace that pours down like rain. I am humbled by His sacrifice. So each day I pick up my cross and ask Him to work through me and make me a better wife, a better mother, a better daughter, a better coach, a better friend, and a better person. Not perfect. Rather, filled with His purpose. Filled with the Holy Spirit so that it overflows and fills others, I now walk the path of sanctification.
I fail. He forgives.
I stumble. He carries.
I doubt. He assures.
I want. He fills.
It is a freedom, not from trials or sin, that fills me with peace. A freedom knowing that my purpose in every endeavor is to point to HIM.
On the day of the launch of The Common Sense Transformation, my small prayer is that the program helps many find freedom from their struggle with food and the circus of the diet culture. My hope: that this endeavor plants the seed and some accept the FREEDOM that only God can provide. The freedom I found at 43. My big prayer: that you learn as I did that everything true and good begins with God. He has given us everything. He sets us FREE. His desire for us that we:
Live an abundant life.
Receive His grace.
Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
2 Timothy 2:8-10.
Enrollment for the CST opens today! The first 100 to enroll under the pay-in-full option will receive a printed copy of the textbook in the mail (a $120 value and 650 pages of value to carry you through the year). To skip straight to purchase, click here. To view the program website, click here.
WHAT THE CST IS, IN A NUTSHELL:
A 12-month virtual coaching and lifestyle transformation program
A 12-month course in foundational to advanced cooking skills (be totally competent and confident in the kitchen – never fear a recipe again!)
An intentional habit change program that builds from foundational habits to the habits necessary to maintain your lifestyle through all of life’s seasons
A year walking hand-in-hand with us as your guides and coaches
A progressive and sustainable approach to permanently changing behavior and mindset
Grounded in Truth, the program takes a COMMON SENSE approach to nutrition
A community of support
Includes an optional small group guide, The Common Table, allowing you to share in your journey of transformation with friends
THE CST IS FOR YOU IF YOU CAN SAY YES TO ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
You struggle with weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight
You experience anxiety over food or your body
You experience obsessive thoughts or behaviors regarding food or your body
You are confused about what is considered good to eat
You struggle with permanently changing habits or behaviors
You lack confidence and knowledge in the kitchen
You depend on food industry products or restaurants for most of your meals
You are confused by the mass of conflicting diet information
You want a simple, proven, no-nonsense approach to nutrition