More Than Conquerors

This summer the theme of Cross Train is “More than Conquerors”. It is taken from Paul’s letters to the Romans: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord”(8:37-39).

To live an abundant life is to live knowing that we are more than conquerors. How do we do that? Paul makes it very clear that there is nothing (notice how many times the word nor is used — that is definitely for emphasis) that can separate us from the love of God. Absolutely nothing! There is nothing you can do, nothing that can be done, nothing you can think, no failure, not even death can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus took all those things on himself so that you could live free and secure.

Ladies, a key to the abundant life is living in that love, resting in it, receiving it. How are you doing with this? You are called to be “more than a conqueror”. Thankfully, this is not something we do on our own but something we do through our Lord. It starts with His love.

My heart’s desire for each of us is to fully embrace God’s love for us. Even more, I know it is God’s desire for us. Can you imagine? God gave His only Son so that we could live in relationship with Him. He has provided everything we need for life and godliness (see 2 Peter 1:3). Despite all that, we deny, resist, and refuse His love then blame it on our unworthiness.

On the cross, Jesus said you are worthy. You are worthy of the body and blood of Jesus; you are worthy of the love of your heavenly Father; and you are worthy of the abundant life. Thank God that the body and blood of Jesus declared us worthy — cleanses us, heals us and makes us into the righteousness of Christ.

Will you take a few minutes today to ask God what it would look like for you to live in His love? Then, ask Him what it looks like for you to live as “more than a conqueror”? I know God has awesome things to show you!

Faith, Fitness and Fellowship in July

Join us this summer as Cross Train takes a new approach to training. Our focus this summer: Faith, Fitness and Fellowship.  Monday, July 7 marks the beginning of the July session.

Faith: We will continue to enjoy daily devotions and prayers as well as weekly blog postings, focusing on stewardship of the body and personal faith development.

Fitness: Strength Fit workouts are designed to challenge every muscle of the body. We go through circuits of strength training followed by cardio intervals which allow for great calorie burn and fitness gain. If you want to change your body, this is the workout for you! The other great advantage — Strength Fit works for every level of training from beginner to advanced.

Fellowship: Workouts are just more fun with other women, especially in the context of a Christian community. Our goal is to build each other up by encouraging one another, pushing each other when needed and accepting and loving one another. In each workout, we find that we work hard and have a great time doing it! To build this fellowship, we will also enjoy monthly Healthy Happy Hours and Saturday Socials.

Want more? How about weekly teachings on the Habits of Health along with healthy recipes.

Summer training starts on Monday, June 7. We will meet on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 7:00 to 8:15 am at St. Peters Church in Lake Mary.

Monthly fee: $65.

For those who cannot commit to training every day, join us for the day for $10 per session. Also, anyone is invited to Saturday Social runs and walks and the devotional blogs are free.

So You Want to Stop… Obsessing About Your Weight

As a health coach and a trainer, I come across so many people who struggle with their self worth due to weight issues.  Here is a quote from Stacey Eldredge’s most recent book entitled  BECOMING MYSELF:  “God wants you to love and enjoy everything about yourself right now and embrace the truth that you are a beautiful woman regardless of your measurements”(p.91).  That is a profound truth that I challenge all of us to accept.  We do not earn God’s love and acceptance when we reach a certain weight.  We are not more worthy when wearing a size 4. Instead, we are made worthy through the precious blood of Jesus.  When God looks at us, he sees us through the lens of his Son.  We are made worthy through him.  We are also God’s design.  As Psalm 139 says, he knit us together in our mother’s womb and we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Can you accept this truth about yourself today?  Can you accept God’s love for you just as you are?  I pray that each of us would see ourselves as God’s precious creation, planned, accepted and loved.

Below is a great article I came across the other day and wanted to share:

I’m fascinated by how widely body image norms vary around the world, and through time. Recently, my kettlebell coach and I were discussing how some African cultures go to great lengths to intentionally “fatten up” young women, in an effort to improve their marriage prospects. And there was a time in history when looking heavy was in vogue among European royals—it was an indication of prosperity.

Different times, different continents, different messages. Yet they still affect each of us on a very personal level. I have always had a very solid BMI, but I can remember my grandma shipping me a vat of natural peanut butter and a case of pork and beans because she thought I looked thin a few years ago—she likes to see me a little rounder. It’s a complete 180 from the weight-obsessed landscape we’re all presented with when we pick up a magazine or turn on the TV. But while they may be conflicting, these messages also surface a wonderful possibility. Each of us has the power to be the boss of how much mental real estate we devote to our weight. We don’t have to surrender how we feel about our bodies to any media storyline, fashion trend, or ad campaign.

Releasing the stress and psychological terrorism of being constantly focused on the number on the scale does not mean you have to let yourself go. (I actually lost 10 pounds when I stopped fixating on that number!) You can still place a high value on healthy living without being weight-focused. Here’s how to stop obsessing and keep your healthy habits on track.

1. Be happy now One major reason we get so fixated on our weight is the temptation to almost hold our breath in anticipation of how ENTIRELY AWESOME life will magically become when we lose 5, 10, 20, or 50 pounds. Unfortunately, this is a delusion.

Think of the people in your life already wearing the skinny jeans you fantasize about squeezing into one day. Are they blissfully happy, skipping through life without a single worry? Probably not. There are plenty of miserable people out there who have what we think will make us happy, and any time we hold out for happiness, waiting for some future wish to come true, we are selling ourselves short.

Try this instead: Visualize reaching your goal—close your eyes and allow yourself to feel the happiness you expect to feel when you get there. You’re genuinely happy, and possibly even smiling, right? Guess what, you just created that happiness in your own heart and mind, and you have the power to keep doing it everyday. So do it. Practice being happy on a regular basis, feeling exactly as happy as you think you’ll be when you get to your end goal. Pretty soon, you’ll break the mental link between being happy in the future and the number on the scale, and you’ll just simply be happy.

2. Treat your body like it’s the only one you’ll get—because it is! We only get one body to live in, and it’s a good one. If your brain is still functioning, your heart is still ticking, and your lungs still work, you have a lot to thank your body for. If your arms and legs work, too, you should give yourself bonus gratitude points.

It’s a dramatic act of self-violence and resistance to reality to constantly be sucking your stomach in, grabbing your muffin top, or fantasizing how perfect life would be sans stretch marks. Wouldn’t it be better to choose to love exactly what you’ve got? And then, to love it so much that you treat it with kindness, respect, and immaculate care? Taking care of this one precious body means giving it the healthiest fuel possible and staying fit, but also refusing to berate it when it gets hungry or succumbs to a kryptonite food moment.

Approaching your efforts to improve your eating and exercise habits from a place of love and self-approval is much more sustainable than coming from a place of self-loathing or critique. Also, self-acceptance triggers a relaxation response—a feeling that you’ll want to continue creating, rather than the stress and anxiety triggered by constant self-criticism.

3. Focus on your actions, not the scale Put your attention on things you can control by focusing on the quality and quantity of your food and fitness activities. Find whole foods that are nutritious, and that you also enjoy eating, and track your food daily. You’ll gain critical awareness of macros and calories, which many of us have lost after years of eating processed on autopilot.

Then, find ways to make exercise fun, and turn your workout into a “play-out!” It’s so much easier to get out the door to participate in activities that you actually enjoy. Experiment with exercises that help you move and strengthen your body, and think of it as part of the adventure of life and the process of raising the bar on your self-care game—not as part of a desperate effort to move the needle on the scale

In the process, you’ll realize it’s a lot easier to create healthy, enjoyable habits when you focus on what you can actually control rather than simply sitting back and obsessing about your weight.

BY TARA-NICHOLLE NELSON

 

Faith Fitness and Fellowship — Summer Training

Faith Fitness and Fellowship

Join us this summer as Cross Train takes a new approach to training.  Our focus this summer:  Faith, Fitness and Fellowship

Faith:  We will continue to enjoy daily devotions and prayers as well as weekly blog postings, focusing on stewardship of the body and personal faith development.

Fitness:  Strength Fit workouts are designed to challenge every muscle of the body.  We go through circuits of strength training followed by cardio intervals which allow for great calorie burn and fitness gain.  If you want to change your body, this is the workout for you!  The other great advantage — Strength Fit works for every level of training from beginner to advanced.

Fellowship:  Workouts are just more fun with other women, especially in the context of a Christian community.  Our goal is to build each other up by encouraging one another, pushing each other when needed and accepting and loving one another.  In each workout, we find that we work hard and have a great time doing it!  To build this fellowship, we will also enjoy monthly Healthy Happy Hours and Saturday Socials.

Want more?  How about weekly teachings on the Habits of Health along with healthy recipes.

Summer training starts on Monday, June 2.  We will meet on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 7:00 to 8:15 am at St. Peters Church in Lake Mary.

Monthly fee:  $75.  You can register online or pay the first day of training but please rsvp by May 28 to reserve your spotty Contacting Brooke Holt Today!

For those who cannot commit to training every day, join us for the day for $10 per session. Also, anyone is invited to Saturday Social runs and walks and the devotional blogs are free.

 

 

A Living Sacrifice

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1).

I asked a tough question in devotion last week— what does it mean to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice? My usually chatty group provided no answers. This is a topic with which few engage in the church. For me, presenting our bodies (all aspects of us — body, mind and spirit) is a matter of stewardship. All that I am and all that I have is a gift from the Lord. That includes my physical body so how do I use this body that God has entrusted to me for his glory?

We live in a day and age when the body is under intense scrutiny but often for the wrong reasons. Our dress size does not determine our worth. The sag in the back of our arms does not mean that we are failures as women. Instead, our beauty and worth come from the Lord and his love for us. As Psalm 139 teaches, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”.

That leads us to some questions. How do I care for my body? Do I nourish my body so that it is strong, energetic and able to work effectively for the Kingdom of God? What is my view of food? As we often ask in Cross Train: “do I live to eat or eat to live?” Food is a gift meant to be enjoyed and for the nourishment of our bodies. However, when food becomes a means to numb, cope or escape that food becomes something God never intended it to be.

God is the only one who can truly meet the deep needs within us. We all have hurts, pains and disappointments in this life. All those feelings are ones that can drive us to the arms of Jesus or to our earthly comforts that provide temporary relief but no healing. Let’s rethink our view of food and nourishment with the perspective that we are called to present our bodies to the Lord.

Lord, how can I honor you with my body today? What does that does that look like? Give me wisdom to understand this act of stewardship; grant me discipline to live according to your will and ways; and give me grace when I fail knowing that your love is much greater than my sin.

“If The Son Sets You Free”

Good afternoon. We had a great Easter Blaster workout last Tuesday!  During the workout, I reflected on the devotion and proposed a challenge for the group which I am now expanding to the larger Cross Train community.  No, this is not Lent.  However, in our Tuesday devotion, we studied the passage of John 8:36:  “If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed.”  Christ came to set the captives free.  This is exciting news.  In order to receive the good news, we have to be willing to look at the bad news.  We are all in bondage to something.  The question each of us has to ask ourselves — what is my bondage?  Is it busyness, food, alcohol, shopping, your children’s success or schedules, pain of your past, lies that the enemy has spoken over you (you are worthless, unloveable, fat, etc).  Bondages take all different forms in our lives.  Many times they are so familiar to us that they go unnoticed.  Or, we just accept them with the phrase:  “that is just how I am”.

Jesus understands our weaknesses and our tendency towards bondage.  That is why he spoke the words of John 8:36.  You can be free!  You were not made for bondage.  You are not stuck.  You may feel stuck, but the truth is that Christ longs to set you free.  The Lord desires to change you from the inside out and he can do it through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Read that again.  You do not change yourself.  The Lord changes you through his power working in you.  In order to live free, you have to accept that power, activate it and live through it on a daily basis.

As an act of living free, Cross Train is issuing the challenge to give up sugar for one month.  This challenge will not only benefit our physical bodies but will also demonstrate that our flesh does not have mastery over us.  Instead, we can take control of the flesh and live in the Spirit.  As we discussed what it means to live free, it became very apparent that many of the women felt in bondage to sugar.

Will you join us for the one month challenge to give up sugar?  Do not replace artificial sugar for sugar.  Let’s take this opportunity to clean up our diets.  There are three questions we can take the Lord in prayer:

1.  What does it look like for me to give up sugar?
2.  What do you desire for my physical health?
3.  What would freedom look like in my life?

This challenge is not about legalism.  It is between you and God.  Please let me know if you will join us in this challenge.  I will send out devotions to support us on the journey!

May God bless you and set you free,

Brooke Holt
Certified Take Shape for Life Health Coach

We Do Not Lose Heart

So we do not lose heart.”                     2 Corinthian 4:16

One simple sentence but so often not the reality of our lives.  We do lose heart. If I am honest, I have been struggling with this a lot lately.  We put our house on the market 42 days ago.  It was not a decision we would have made had the Lord not moved us in a powerful way.  It was clear what we were called to do.  My husband and I immediately obeyed, worked fervently for 2 weeks, and had the house on the market 16 days after we felt the call.

42 days later our house is still on the market.  Lots of lookers but no buyers.  Bills are due and our finances are quickly depleting.  I start to lose heart over and over again.  Every morning, I get into my yellow chair to spend time with the Lord and remind myself that his mercies are new every day.  I start the time feeling discouraged then I read of His faithfulness.  Throughout Scripture, I learn about the God who loved me so much that he sent his only Son to live and die for me.  I read the promises of a God who provides for his people, even the lilies of the field (Matthew 6:28).  God tells us to make our requests to him.  I do that and have to then trust he will work his good and perfect will in our lives.

As I see the faithfulness of our God, I realize that I have a choice.  I can choose to believe in the promises of God even as there remains a house to sell and bills to pay or I can choose to listen to all my doubts, believing God’s promises are not true for me. The first choice brings peace and hope.  The second choice brings discouragement and a loss of heart.

These two choices are put before us every day.  All of our lives have trials and tribulation.  Your trials may not be selling your home, but they are just as real to you as selling this house is to me.  Like me, you have a choice — choose to believe God’s promises for you or choose to believe the doubts, the lies of the enemy.

Do not lose heart!  Make the choose to believe the truths of Scripture.  Replace the negative thoughts, the tendencies to discouragement and despair — take it all to the foot of the cross.  There you can look up at your Savior who gave his life that you may live.  In him, you not only have life but life abundant (John 10:10).

January 2014 Training

What are your fitness goals for 2014? Cross Train, LLC is excited to invite you to group training in 2014. Let’s accomplish those new year goals together! Group training with a coach brings accountability, support and FUN to getting and staying in shape. In January, we kick off 3 new training group offerings. There is something for everyone at any level of fitness!

Ready to Race? Cross Train will train for
Zimmerman Kiser Sutcliffe Winter Park Road Race 10k or 2 Mile Presented By Florida Hospital
Saturday, March 15, 2014

Take on either challenge with 3 different class offerings:

Monday and Wednesday 5:30 to 6:45 am
Monday and Wednesday 7:00 to 8:15 am Beginner Class
Tuesday and Thursday 9:00 to 10:15 am

Cost for Training: $50 per month! Online registration is available. Sign up today and let’s get those bodies moving: tricrosstrain.com

 

Stay Fit for the Holidays — December

Stay Fit for the Holidays! 

with Cross Train, LLC. Strength Fit Classes

A Special 3 Week Session to fit your busy holiday schedule

Stay fit for the holidays with Cross Train Strength Fit Classes. Strength Fit classes combine aerobic training (running, walking and plyometrics) with strength training.

There are always Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced options. No workout is ever the same keeping them fun and challenging! This 3 week session is designed to keep you spiritually and physically fit through the holidays.

Schedule:  3 weeks in December (12/1-12/20)

Monday and Wednesday 5:30 to 6:45 am

Monday and Wednesday 7:00 to 8:15 am (Beginner Class)

Tuesday and Thursday 9:00 to 10:15 am

Cost: $40
All classes are held at St. Peters Church, located at 700 Rinehart Road in Lake Mary

• Weekly Nutrition Tips Provided

• Healthy Thanksgiving and Christmas Recipes

• Optional Weekly Weigh In Available

“But train yourselves in godliness. For while physical training has some value, spiritual training has value for this age and the age to come.”
–1 Timothy 4:7-8

REGISTER: WWW.TRICROSSTRAIN.COM OR CALL BROOKE: 407-462-2937

Psychological Barriers to Action – and How to Deal with Them

Let’s face it; weight loss and keeping it off is hard. We’ve all heard the statistics about weight regain and the grim numbers about the obesity epidemic we’re facing in this country. But what really makes it so difficult to lose weight and then maintain? Well, let’s first take a look at what we know. What we know to be true is that those individuals who do adhere to their weight loss and maintenance regimens achieve and sustain weight loss; pretty simple, right? If you stick to the plan, it works! However, many people struggle to do this. Now, the problem can present itself as being about lack of knowledge or lack of motivation or a lack of willpower but what it really comes down to is non-adherence to the plan; i.e. simply not sticking to it.

Now, if setting goals and trying hard to achieve them were enough to ensure success, the task of achieving Optimal Health would be a lot easier. Unfortunately, when it comes to making positive life changes many people will encounter psychological barriers to sticking to the plan. The most common are summarized, most appropriately, by the acronym FEAR:

F = Fusion with Unhelpful Thoughts. This basically means that we’re so caught up in our thoughts that we aren’t even aware that we’re thinking and then those thoughts dictate our behavior. It’s like we’re being pushed around by our thoughts or allowing our thoughts to tell us what to do. When a person sets out to make a change, it’s normal for their mind to generate “unhelpful” thoughts like: I’m too busy, I can’t do it, I’ll fail, It’s too hard, and so on which can prevent them from moving forward. It’s a common misconception that our thoughts control our behaviors. They certainly influence our behaviors but ultimately we have a choice. However, when we get all entangled, caught up, or carried off by these thoughts they dominate our attention and we can’t focus on what is truly important to us. Becoming ‘fused’ with unhelpful thoughts throws us off-track.

E = Excessive Goals. If a person’s goals exceed their resources, they’ll either give up or fail. Necessary resources could include a person’s skills, ability, social support, time, money, and physical health. Setting goals that are too difficult or impossible will only result in frustration and abandonment of their weight loss and maintenance plans.

A = Avoidance of Discomfort. The practice of new way of eating and living can be difficult and tedious for some; and the pursuit of goals that pull us out of the “comfort zone” almost always generates significant anxiety. This discomfort is inevitable when it comes to lifestyle changes. So, if we are unwilling to make room for that discomfort, then we will not take action.

R = Remoteness from Values. If a person loses touch with their values that underlie their goals – if it doesn’t seem meaningful or important to them – then they will lose motivation. Values can provide a deep motivation that helps to sustain the practice of new skills, or the pursuit of challenging goals, even when it’s difficult, tedious or anxiety-provoking. The practice of using Structural Tension Charts can be a big help to realize and set goals with Primary and Secondary Choices and action steps to follow. This is found in the first few chapters in “Dr. A’s Habits of Health” as well as “Discover Your Optimal health” and the Workbook.

So, how do we address these barriers? Well, the antidote to FEAR is DARE:

D = Defusion from Unhelpful Thoughts. The mind is a reason-giving machine, and as soon as we think about doing something that pulls us out of our comfort zone, it cranks out all the reasons why we can’t do it, shouldn’t do it, or shouldn’t have to do it. And if we wait until the day when our mind stops reason-giving before we do the things that really matter in life… we’ll never get started. So, if fusion with reason-giving is a major barrier to action, then naturally we target it with defusion. This means separating or distancing ourselves from unhelpful thoughts, letting them come and go instead of being caught up in them. In other words, defusion means looking at thoughts, rather than from thoughts; noticing thoughts rather than being caught up in thoughts; and letting thoughts come and go rather than holding on to them. One of the simplest ways of separating from thoughts is to write them down. This helps a person to take a step back and see the thoughts for what they are: a string of words. Nothing more, nothing less.

A = Acceptance of Discomfort. This means making room for painful thoughts and feelings, not because they like them or want them, but so they can do what matters. So, we can ask ourselves “Am I willing to feel some discomfort, in order to do what matters most to me?” If a person is unwilling to make room for the inevitable discomfort, they may need to clarify and connect with their values or set easier goals. Both of which we will discuss next.

R = Realistic Goals. If a person’s goals exceed their resources then they need to create a new goal to acquire those resources if possible, or accept the limitations of their reality and change their goal to adapt in the best way possible. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. So, if a goal seems to big, make it smaller. If walking for 30 minutes is too much, cut it back to ten. If doing it daily is unrealistic, do it every other day. Ask yourself: “On a scale from zero to ten, where ten is ‘I’ll definitely do this no matter what’ and zero is ‘There is absolutely no change I’ll ever do this’ – then how likely are you to actually do this?” If you score less than seven, best change the goal to something smaller and easier.

E = Embracing Values. If a person is lacking motivation, then they need to reflect on why they’re doing this. What’s important and meaningful about this action? Does it truly matter? If so, why? Ask yourself: “Is this really important to me? Which of my values underlie this action? How would doing this make a positive difference in my life and the lives of others?” If we can link our new behaviors to something personally meaningful, we’re far more likely to do it!

So, there you go. Those are the most common psychological barriers to someone taking action to change their lifestyle and the most effective ways to target and overcome those barriers.

BY: Nick Frye