How to Lose Weight if You’re Sick of Losing Weight
HEALTH AND FITNESS CHALLENGE
By Laura Monica
All rights reserved
INTRODUCTION TO THE CHALLENGE
After people saw the Chrisitan TV show in which I was interviewed on 100 Huntley Street last week, i got calls all day. These calls were not totally about how they should lose weight… We prayed for healing and for ability to perform the good works that God has ordained for them to do from the foundation of the world.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Those who called me wanted a way to do healing exercise that does not compromise their faith. They all wanted a gentle stretching exercise systems that helped them to grow in the knowledge of God’s Word. They were so thankful for a biblical exercise system that provided them with gentle exercise that is accessible to them no matter what physical challenge they were dealing with. WholyFit is an outreach primarily but it is also a fitness system. Many people start into WholyFit because they think they need to lose weight, but God has an additional idea. (Weight LOSS is so negative.) God wants to do something positive. His work has to do will filling not emptying, something eternal, something more important, more intimate, that’s just between Him and the worshiper. Memorizing God’s Word helps us begin to take His perspective on the problems in our lives, on the over-scheduling in our lives. Using Scripture memorization during workouts transforms exercise into a devotional time of worship, helps us to put our priorities in order and makes exercise a faith adventure. WoodsEdge Church’s woman’s ministry leader was the first to call WholyFit a “Bible Study in Motion.”
WholyFit ministry exists to train Christian exercise leaders all over the world to bring people to Jesus through friendship and fun, offering really exciting, cutting edge exercise programs. In this way we are intercepting these same people from going to yoga venues that promote anti-Christ ideas or simply do not have the ability to introduce them to Jesus. Only those of us who know Jesus can provide Biblical stress management, and actually, we point people to Jesus Himself. He has the answers. We point to God’s Word. No yoga teacher, no matter how nice, or even no matter how good, can help students to find God if the teacher does not know God personally. Only because of the blood of Jesus, are Christian fitness professionals uniquely gifted to minister to others through exercise programs and bringing people to the Lord, body soul and spirit.
and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father– to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
So as we do WholyFit personal training assessments, we are going to do all the things personal training sessions provide, BUT in addition, we are going to ask God to give our participants the revelation that He has in mind for each individual. If we have any type of problem, no matter what it is, we bring it to God and ask Him what is out of order in our lives. It is common for all of us to think we do not have time to do bible study and exercise, but in reality, there is something out of order. Our main goal in WholyFit personal training is to help you to seek God and find out what that is and how to change the order of your life so that you are overcoming, no matter what the challenge. Here’s how…
Pray for God’s Help
‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6)
It takes total focus to start an exercise program. Trying to revamp your nutritional habits AND start exercising is just too much to concentrate on. Don’t worry about your eating at first. Just start a daily 10 minute exercise habit that you ENJOY! Nutrition will happen naturally later…
Get the focus off of weight loss specifically, and get rid of all negative motivators. Think of gaining benefit, not losing out on anything. Embark on a 6-month journey of whole-hearted seeking of God Himself, His will and His Kingdom, for a season of abundance and provision, not of deprivation. “The Lord is My Shepherd. I shall not want.” Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. The Psalm 63 Intermediate WholyFit DVD is a helpful way to express this heart’s cry.
Your goals are going to be completely different than the weight loss programs we have all been used to. Instead of the “Biggest Loser” we will think of this program as the “Biggest Overcomer” because we will be replacing instead of losing, we will be overcoming instead of being beaten. We will be victorious and will start living the life of overflowing abundance that Jesus promised us. Instead of taking away anything from us, instead of giving up good things, instead of losing out on anything, we will be realizing good, gaining benefit, becoming more healthy in body, soul and spirit. It’s a completely different mindset! Instead of being losers we will be Overcomers in Jesus’ Name! The emphasis is positive. The emotions are positive. The chemistry of our bodies will be positive. We will ask the Spirit of God to fill us and we will not be empty. There will be no voids. We will be full and complete! Wholly Fit with no holes holiness!
- Seek the Lord, and ask Him to help you to establish a daily time to meet with Himself for at least 10 minutes and preferably longer. Doing WholyFit or SlowFlo during my devotional time helps me to stay in God’s presence longer because it’s active worship, prayer and Scripture memorization.
Commit your works to the LORD and your plans will be established.
- Ask the Lord to eliminate all guilt, shame, fear or anything that might keep you from meeting with Him for your time of exercise.
- Enlist support from your loved ones. Pray that God will help your loves ones to understand your commitment to the special time you allocate to God and your plans to exercise. Explain to them how important it is to you.
- Oppose opposition. Part of your training will be in spiritual warfare. It always is. You will need to stand your ground and having done all to stand. The Armor (Eph. 6) Challenge workout is designed to equip you for this.
- Offer up your movements as worship to the Lord, as a physical expression of surrender, presenting your body a living sacrifice: holy and acceptable to God which the Bible says, is your spiritual service of worship. The Living Sacrifice Basic WholyFit DVD is designed for this.
- Do not concern yourself with results you can see. God will be doing a wonderful spiritual work in you. God will be healing you of your infirmities, inside and out. Your chemistry, blood pressure, insulin, cardio-respiratory system, hormone levels, will all be changing for the better.
- Don’t start out too fast or too hard! Physiological changes will take time (3 months is normal) and for good reason. If they happened overnight it would be unnatural! God has made our bodies wonderfully well to be able to adapt to exercise. But we must work with His creation principals by employing gradual, progressive overload. Build up gradually and be consistent. It’s better to work out 10 minutes on each of 6 days than to do 60 minutes in one day a week. Consistent exercise raises your metabolism and causes more calories to be burned all day long!
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works,And my soul knows it very well.
Lifestyle change rather than weight loss is most important because weight is not a measurement that tells us anything we need to know. Instead we need to measure health and fitness improvement that will be gradual over months. This doesn’t show on a daily scale. The good news about that however, is that lifestyle changes leading to health and fitness will be permanent. Get rid of obsession with your weight. You will be freed to serve the Lord fully focused on His Kingdom and not on how you look or how much you weigh. We’ve got to give that to the Lord right off the bat because the truth is that we are beautiful and loved JUST THE WAY WE ARE!
Make Realistic Goals
Please don’t say what all women say about wanting to weight 120 pounds! It’s just not realistic for most of us unless we’d like to lose brain tissue or bone mass or give up a few pounds of internal organs. Pray through your goals and count the cost.
Be specific in what you want to accomplish. If you don’t need want to be a competitive runner, than don’t train like one. Developing a basic fitness level will help you to stay healthy and agile and that just does not take a lot of work!
HOW TO MAKE A REALISTIC WEIGHT GOAL
How do you set a realistic weight goal that reflects and appropriate loss of fat? Please allow me first to advise you what NOT to do. Don’t just pick a number out of the air, like 120 pounds, without any scientific reasoning behind that weight goal. Instead, decide on a Percent body fat, not a weight. Choosing a percent body fat is a much more accurate and reasonable method to determine proper body weight. Weight alone does not tell us what we need to know because it reflects our total mass without reference to which part of the weight is necessary for life and which part is unhealthy. Of course the unhealthy part of weight is excess fat. But part of that fat is as necessary for life as the lean mass of our internal organs, brain, blood, etc.
Here are the steps:
- Choose a healthy % body fat (more later on that)
- Determine lean body mass
- Put # 1 and #2 together to get your realistic weight goal
The following % are based on my professional opinions and observations:
Elite Athlete (May be unhealthy for women in general population.)
13% – 16% body fat, you need to realize that this is only possible for those who are naturally thin OR are elite athletes who do long distance endurance type activities requiring 1-3 hours per day of exercise. Also, at 13% body fat, your menstrual cycle may be disrupted. I do not recommend this goal for the general population. It is for those whose training is performance oriented (for example, ballet dancers, long distance runners, triathletes and/or competitive athletes.)
19%-18% body fat – this is the lowest body fat percentage I would suggest for those who are not already made by God to have a naturally a thin body type. Naturally thin body types maintain 14% -17% with no dieting. (Illness may also cause thinness.) In addition, ask God how much time to dedicate to shopping, cooking, food preparation and exercise. The choice is not a moral one. It is what you and God work out together. I have been called to extend myself toward the 18% goal for much of my life. In recent years, going through menopause I’ve consciously made the choice to maintain a higher body fat level of 22% due to stressful lifestyle changes (like my husband changing jobs in a recession and having to move a lot.) I may have also chosen a higher percentage lately because I do not think it is God’s will to spend so much time maintaining the strict nutrition program that maintains 18% body fat at this season in my life.
20-24% body fat – this is a body fat percentage that is easily maintained and attainable with a reasonable lifestyle change that can be well supported by the medical community. At this body fat percentage, the risk of illness of all types is lower.
Active Peri/Post Menopausal Woman
25-29% body fat – this is an acceptable permanent goal for some older women. Evidence proves that having a higher body fat percentage than young girls may provide a better immune system for older women. The adrenals will not be consistently stressed out by this easy goal. Women going through menopause naturally gain weight in different places than they’ve ever experienced before. Think of this time as a “second adolescence.” You will need to completely readjust and get used to your new body in post menopausal years. Fitness plans that used to work for you may not work anymore. Change it with faith and with trust in the wonderful way God has made the female body!
Not Recommended by Most Health Professionals
Greater than 30% - This is where the body starts getting taxed by the addition of fat weight (depends on the individual.) Excess fat weight can cause joint difficulties, strain the heart and respiratory system and create other problems.
Clinically speaking, “overweight” people may be at a higher risk of disease statistically, but we must be aware that it may be food choices too that contribute to the statistically higher risk of illness to some degree. Some body types function perfectly well at higher fat percentages than others. God is the One who made you and He may have ordained a larger body type for you. Accept your large and lovely body and exercise for health, not weight loss. Now the inner healing can begin! Excess fat is not the problem, it is a symptom of the unhealthy lifestyle that weighs us down most. Once we change the lifestyle by adding daily devotion and exercise, everything else will fall into place.
So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
How to Determine a Good % for You – Lean body mass LBM
Your lean body mass is your internal organs, brain tissue, bone mass, miles and miles of blood vessels and intestines, as well as blood and necessary fluids. Please note that LBM does not include the necessary tissue component of fat essential for good health. You will add essential fat in the next step.
There are a few ways to determine LBM with benefits and drawbacks to each system listed below. (A more convenient method is simply to use “test pants” explained later.)
A. Hydrostatic Weighing
B. Electrostatic Weighing
C. Fat calipers
A. Hydrostatic Weighing is most accurate but it involves a dunk tank and a bathing suit so may not be practical for most people.
B. Electrostatic Weighing is not always accurate for women with lots of water weight.
C. Fat calipers require lots of skill to administer and must be done consistently by the same person. This person must not harbor any conflict of interest. For example, some personal trainers may not be able to administer the test objectively on a subconscious level due to vested interests.
D. BMI does not take into account body type sufficiently in my opinion. However it is convenient and can track weight loss in conjunction with measured loss of inches. It gives a starting place that is easy to track. In other words, it may not give you your actual lean body mass, but at least it will provide a starting point from which you will be able to see if you are losing fat.
Formula for Body Mass Index: BMI = Kg/m2
So take your weight in kilograms, and divide by your height in meters squared.
Compute Body Fat % with LBM
So now that you have found out what your LBM is, add on a healthy fat percentage. For example, if I have a LBM of 111 pounds and weigh a total of 145 pounds, then I am 22% body fat (that’s good). Remember that may be considered “overweight” for one person may not be overweight for another person.
No chart or statistic is able to tell what overweight is for a certain individual. No, rather, pray for wisdom on how your own body was made and use your God-given intuition to know what is right for you. You are beautiful and loved by God no matter what you body fat % is.
A BETTER WAY: TEST PANTS
Instead of worrying about LBM, dunk tanks and electrostatic weighing, there really is a better way! Simply exercise till you feel better! Exercise till you can fit into a pair of pants you used to wear when you felt really good. (Please…do not use pants from childhood or high school!) I personally used test pants to determine my appropriate weight in the first Health Fitness Challenge. I remember looking at those pants with dismay at first because I couldn’t even get them up over my knees! What a great feeling 6 months later when I could get them over my hips and then to the waist… and then finally to be able to button them up! Once you fit your test pants, weigh yourself. This is your appropriate weight!
Count the Cost:
Are you really ready to begin the Health Fitness Challenge? Readiness may be the first hurdle you must take. In my experience, some who say they want to lose weight, really don’t. They are just being a broken record, stuck in a rut. Failure to lose weight and get fit usually reveals a false start, a lack of readiness. The non-ready person has made an agreement with themselves, consciously or subconsciously to remain at their current weight. These people may need to take small readiness steps over a longer period of time. Don’t feel bad if you quit soon into the challenge or you find yourself unable to follow the program. It means you need to back up and work on readiness because weight loss is not important enough to you yet. What is holding you back? Seek the Lord. Every step toward readiness should be rewarded. For example, simply drinking more water or adding green veggies to your diet is a positive step forward in the Health Fitness Challenge.
It may take the whole 6 months just to develop readiness! How will you know when you are ready? True readiness is revealed when a person will do whatever it takes to work out 10 minutes a day and spend extra time on food preparation, shopping and planning. Count the Cost.
Are you ready? Great! The next step is to make an exercise plan and write your time for exercise and food preparation into your calendar in INK not pencil.
Below are some suggestions for 10-minute exercise plans:
- Exercise 10 minutes, 6 days/week
- Choosing Types of Exercise:
- Flexibility and Strength - WholyFit trains the body in core strength, stability, functional strength and flexibility. It is also great for stress management through Scripture Memorization.
- Cardio specifically trains the heart and lungs for endurance. WholyFit also trains the heart & lungs when performed at high intensity. Other examples are: Walking, Running, classes similar to A.R.T. Bodysculpting, HIIT Kickboxing or Baila Latin Dance. (We offer these classes live only at the present time. A.R.T. will be on DVD soon!)
- Weight Training specifically builds muscle tone, and either emphasizes endurance, strength, power and/or hypertrophy. WholyFit is great for building strength and endurance. Other examples are Weight lifting, Boot Camp and A.R.T.
- 2/2/2 = M/W Flexibility & Strength, T/F Weight Training, Th/Sat Cardio
- 3/2/1 = M/W/Sat Flexibility & Strength, T/TH/Weight Training, Friday Cardio
- 3/3 = M/W/F Flexibility & Strength, T/TH/Sat Cardio
- 1/1/1/1/1/1 = Do low impact, low intensity Cardio 10 min per day, like WholyFit or walking, every day. If you are doing high impact cardio like running, choose another plan that allows for recovery. (More on recovery below.)
- Low/High = Daily Cardio. Do high impact Cardio M/W/F and do low impact exercise T/TH/Sat for recovery
Your body needs recovery to get fit, just as much as it needs overload. Rest on Sunday. Alternate hi impact and low impact days. If you exercise every day, alternate exercise types to avoid performing the same exercises on the same muscle groups on successive days.
The Sabotage of Vanity
There is nothing wrong with looking attractive and exercise definitely helps the skin, hair and body to look its best, but that happens as an extra bonus, not as the goal. Exercise for health and mobility instead of for pure looks. Vanity sabotages motivation because concentrating on looks is temporary and emotional. Eternal motivators are the most effective constant. For example, an eternal motivation is to seek health in order to live longer so that you can serve God better. Rely on God’s eternal power and not our own willpower.
Most weight loss programs that do not teach reliance on God’s power, will motivate by manipulative, negative emotions: vanity, pride, fear of rejection. The WholyFit mentality is different. We do not bully, manipulate or brow beat. We motivate by encouraging people to get healthy for God’s glory and do not compare themselves with others. A certain amount of fun competition is healthy and good, but should not be taken to extremes. Envy is the worst and most destructive motivator in the long run.
I have seen that every labor and every skill which is done is the result of rivalry between a man and his neighbor. This too is vanity and striving after wind.
Pride is equally destructive. Pride works for a while, but in the end it is destructive. You might be surprised to find that pride is just the flip side of the shame coin. Let me explain. If we are ashamed of ourselves when we are overweight, it follows that we will be prideful when we lose that weight. Women, not wanting to be prideful, often sabotage themselves in weight loss! The way out of this lunacy is to love ourselves just the way we are, no matter what. There is no need to be ashamed when we are overweight. We are loved by God. He sees us as beautiful. We are always valued by God! He gave us His own Son to prove it. If we are confident of our worth when we are overweight, we will still stay humble when we lose the weight!
Another sabotage is past abuse trauma. In past personal training experience I’ve run across women with the unfortunate tendency of subconscious reliance on extra fat for the purposes of protecting her from men in general, believing that fat makes her unattractive and therefore less prone to victimization. First of all, we are beautiful to God no matter what we weight. Secondly, nothing and no one can protect us but God Himself. In fact, trusting in something other than God to protect us is actually idolatry and we can repent – not of excess weight – but rather of trusting in something other than God to protect us. So repent, receive and relax in the Lord; He will take care of you.
THE BENEFIT OF BUILDING MUSCLE
Functional strength that is health oriented means we have to build muscle mass, a concept that I continually find to be unsavory to women. Don’t worry, moderate exercise will not make you look like a body builder (unless God has made you to be naturally bulky in muscle!) Contrary to popular belief, bulky muscles don’t just happen! Body builders work hours a day to cause that kind of bulk. If you are naturally muscular, go with it! Accept the way you were made. Most women, however, will not be able to see the muscles being built. Nevertheless, adding muscle mass is a healthy effect of exercise that will cause loss of inches and smaller dress sizes. Building muscle may add a little weight but remember toning muscles actually makes you smaller and you are adding LEAN TISSUE not fat! It improves your body-fat % ration. That’s why it’s important not to be obsessed with the scale every day.
The added benefit of increasing muscle mass is that you will burn more calories even at rest! More muscle means more mitochondria, the power houses of the cells. The more mitochondria, the hotter your fat burning furnace with run! Women who actively try to increase their muscle mass will be able to maintain a much lower body fat % than women who do not try to build muscle.
Building muscle is important! Studies show that if you don’t build at least a pound per year, you will trade that one pound of muscle for one pound of fat every year past 30 years old! Sarcopenia is the result of aging which causes unhealthy thinning of bones and muscle.
Skinny but Over-Fat
Thin women need to exercise just as much as their larger counterparts! I remember in the 1980s reading about a super model who was 50% body fat! She was skinny, and looked great in a bathing suit, but realized this was not beneficial for her health. She started an exercise program to build muscle and lean mass in order to get a healthier body fat percentage – even though it didn’t show. We all need to exercise for our whole lives even if we are the perfect weight, and regardless of looks! Osteoporosis is especially prevalent in thin women. Women, please, we must get over our aversion to building muscle and partake in functional strength exercise for health. Women of all body types can build muscle. The Bible even says it’s part of being a virtuous woman!
She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong.
Why is it virtuous to keep our muscles strong and healthy? So we can serve the Lord. Are you kidding? Have you read Proverbs 31? This woman has got to be strong and healthy to serve the Lord the way she does! I love the end of this Proverb:
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.