Over the past four and a half years of running Fit for His Glory I have met some of the most incredible women. Women with stories of how God has worked and is working in and through them. Stories of struggle, fighting, and overcoming. A few months back, as I prayed over the future vision of Fit for His Glory, I heard God clearly tell me to share more of the stories. The reality is that we’ve all been through or are going through something. The chances that your situation is just like mine is rare and that’s why sharing the stories of other women and their health battles is something I KNOW I am called to do. My prayer is that this new bi-weekly series is a chance for you to feel encouraged and inspired through other women’s stories as you fight your own battle.
This women are strong and I believe truly live out Proverbs 31:25 which says, “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” That’s why I have entitled this mini series SHE IS STRONG.
I am honored to introduce you to our first guest Lindsey Duke. Lindsey is 26 years old and was born and raised in Indiana. She is a wife to Jake and mama to two little girls under two, Arielle and Esther. Her mission with her family is to mother and disciple her daughters to the praise of God’s glory. She volunteers as a fitness instructor, loves some good coffee, dancing and living the farm life. She believes God has called her to speak life and identity over woman in this generation. That is why I am so excited for you to hear Lindsey’s POWERFUL story today!
“I modeled as a child, and strived to maintain that status and identity among others growing up; that is, to be known as the pretty and thin one. My striving for the worlds standard of perfection in outward beauty led me to try out for the Colts NFL cheerleading team (Go Colts!). I cheered for two years, was on the back cover of the cheer calendar, and was probably the fittest I had ever been in my life but anxiety and depression and joylessness only increased all the more - I was never satisfied in what I saw looking back at me in the mirror. I fretted over every pound gained, I would pick apart myself in pictures and rate my self-worth based on what I saw, and I would always focus on what needed to change about myself rather than what was good. Who I was was never enough.
But then God captivated my heart. My broken state allowed me to lean not into myself anymore, That was empty, but into Jesus. And then He slowly and faithfully brought me healing.
Now I look back and I realized in that hard season was this: No physical thing can bring you lasting joy. Even at what the world would call my “fittest”, I felt the most lifeless and empty. If I’m joyless when I’m fit and joyless when I’m careless and undisciplined, something greater has to be the issue and the root. True Joy and true beauty can only be found in Christ! This was the answer. When I realized this and really believed Gods love for me in my heart, that’s when everything changed. When Jesus found me, it wasn’t an overnight change, for some things yes (ex: he took away my depression and put a new song in my heart every morning, excited about life) but not with my body image struggles. Instead it was a daily renewing of the mind, a perspective shift and continual coming to him for guidance, discipline and strength. I look back now and I’m thankful for the hard walk out that Jesus took me on, because He taught me a lot of valuable things in that season. He taught me that no matter what crazy workout regiment i did or how healthy or careless i ate, i was never going to be satisfied. I will always be left wanting more. The craving for “more” showed me that what my soul really needed was more of Christ.
But he also reminds me that my body is not perfect; no ones is. And that that’s a good thing. That’s why I can rejoice when we hear verses like 1 Peter 1:3-4., remembering that our hope isn’t in things of this earth, but in a living hope, Christ, with “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” So i can rest assured, the perfection chase is over, Jesus won the victory and now we are just called to be faithful stewards. Instead of obsessing over how to attain perfection and or fretting over how to keep myself from the inevitable aging process, He reminds me to first fix my eyes daily on Him, the perfect one, the one who holds all things together by the Word of His power - HE keeps me in perfect peace, even when the world screams something different everywhere I look. And Jesus walks with me and continually reminds me to make good choices and to recognize the passions and desires He has given me, one being my love for working out because it blesses and frees my spirit/mind. When I workout, whether it was 8 minutes or an hour, I can rest satisfied, knowing that I’ve been faithful and that’s all He’s called me too. He has also been teaching me that when I choose to eat well it frees me from obsessing over myself - These are just two of the many disciplines that He continually challenges me to be faithful in so I can be faithful for Him.
The world says we need to obsess over ourselves and to try everything we can to control what we see - Christ says look to me and I’ll take care of the rest. And to walk by faith and not by sight! I love that. And that’s why I love following Him!
Ive been following Christ now for 6 years and have been married to an amazing Godly man for almost 5 - together we have two beautiful girls, Arielle and Esther. Though my nails are hardly ever done, and my body has changed a lot since babies, I feel the most beautiful I ever have in my life. My focus isn’t in what I see in the mirror and my concern isn’t what others think of me, but it’s in God’s faithfulness - and His desire for me to be faithful in all that He has given me so that I can serve Him and my family and all those He puts in my path with strength and gladness.
So, dear friends, let’s rejoice in our imperfections today and thank Jesus that He’s the only perfection we need. And instead of looking in, let’s look to Him!
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33”
Thank you so much Lindsey for sharing your story! Ladies- if you were inspired by Lindsey’s story today would you mind just commenting below? I would love to encourage her! Stepping out and being vulnerable is never easy but I 100% believe God will use her story for His Glory!
Be blessed sweet sisters.
I get a LOT of questions about my favorite things. Everything from what I use for Emmaline to what I listen to when I am working out. That being said I decided to link EVERYTHING in this one post as an easy way for you to shop and use the things I love.
*Some of these products may contain affiliate links.*
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GIVE ME JESUS JOURNAL:
OTHER STUFF I LOVE:
I am so excited to introduce you ladies to one of my sweet friends Kaitlyn from She is Gathering. Like so many of you Kaitlyn and I met through Instagram only to discover we lived just a few minutes apart and worked in the same neighborhood. Kaitlyn and I quickly discovered that we share very similar heart beats for faith and fitness and after just one coffee date we had a list of ideas on how we wanted to collaborate going.
So today I am sharing our very first (of many) collaborative reads for you ladies on exactly how we believe you can use your fitness to grow in your faith!
Let's hear from Kaitlyn first...
Here’s a super quick overview of my broken experiences with fitness before I realized that God not only should be but also wanted to be involved in this area of my life...
Elementary School: christian group sports for fun (shoutout to OneGoal lol)
High School: lots of solo running, trying to outrun the angst of being a teenager and dealing with hard life issues
College: hiding in the dark cardio room at my globo gym, struggling through eating disorders, intense weight loss followed by intense weight gain and lots of self loathing
Post-college: found CrossFit and started wanting to eat better and stop purging so I could have the nutrients in my body to support harder workouts; still using fitness as a crutch even though it was a more positive obsession than controlling my eating.
Today: intense freedom, love working out for the sake of strength and community. Eating healthy yet intuitive, no shame attached to “less healthy” choices and I have the ability to pursue short-term weight loss or strength goals while always returning to a balanced diet... and even UNDERSTANDING what a balanced diet means for me is a huge win.
For so many years I tried to be fit without God, probably because my goals were selfish:
Now let me be clear... none of these were evil reasons, but they were selfish. They disclosed God and made me the center of attention, which was really perpetuating the problem - thinking that I had to be, look or feel a certain way to be worthy.
Also... these standards I was trying to reach... I don’t think I ever really knew what they were. Did I want to just be thin and lanky? Toned? Muscular? Big butt with a skinny waist? The eating disorders began and were worsened by confusing and conflicting voices, all chiming into the larger echo saying that “I am not enough.”
The shift happened when I decided, against all fear, to let God take control. This means being okay with whatever giving up “control” meant... I could keep talking about what bound me, but I want to shift and focus on who freed me!
Who I am in Christ:
What I mean to God: I mean enough to Him that He sacrificed His own flesh and blood, He gave up a good, pure life for my ragged, dirty one. Whenever I’ve felt less beautiful or less valuable than I should, He has sought me that I may know that His love covers all of my blemishes and that the life He has given me is so much more valuable than where I fall on today’s cultural beauty scale.
I didn’t stop pursuing or desiring to be beautiful, but now that pursuit looks totally different. I want to glow with the joy of the Lord, I want to be beautiful as I dance before Him in worship, I want to give life to others and make them smile just by being near them. I want to glorify God through all that I do. Whether I’m coaching a group fitness class or working out or posting pictures to Instagram, I want someone to look at that and see God. I used to listen to a lot of stacie Orrico and one of her songs said “don’t look at me, look at Him.” When we can get people to do that through everything we do, whether that’s being college, while working out, while doing the dishes, while driving to work... if we can be a mirror for God’s grace and His mighty power, then what we are doing is beautiful and will bring life to so many.
If you are absorbing negative energy, self doubt, self loathing, and self harm, then these are the only things you will be able to put back into the world. Have you heard the phrase, “hurting people hurt people?” Well it’s true, but have you ever pictured yourself as that original hurting person, the one who wants to uplift others but can’t because you’re so buried under your own shame, exhaustion and confusion? Maybe you don’t even have the space to want to uplift others right now, maybe you just want some breakthrough for yourself so you can start breathing again. It starts within your heart, and it starts with God. If He is allowed to transform your insides, then your outsides will naturally shine for Him.
Meditate on these verses when you need to be reminded of what true beauty is and how valuable you are to God:
> Beauty does not originate from the outside, but from your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3:3-4)
> You God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
> God created YOU in HIS OWN IMAGE. (Genesis 1:27)
> You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)
> I am altogether beautiful. (Song of Songs 4:7)
> You are more beautiful than even the most breathtaking flowers (Matthew 6:28-29)
> God wants your heart, He’s looking inward and not at your outer appearance, His power is not limited to our physical appearances (1 Samuel 16:7)
> When you seek after your Father’s heart, you are more precious than rubies; a tree of life (Proverbs 3:15-18)
> Beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised (Proverbs 31:30)
Free to download “I am” positive-declaration cards
> full 2018 calendar, or just grab the individual designs
> I AM confession cards
** when you allow God’s truth about your beauty to transform you from the inside>out, you won’t even have to always tell people about your transformation, just you living out the fruitful life God has given you access to is testament to His glory. Your breathing sings of His wonderful grace!
And now from me...
For the first 24 years of my life I tried to do my health and fitness journey on my own. From the time I was 16-24 years old it was all about the way I looked. Fitness and healthy eating was never about taking care of my temple and honoring the Lord, but looking a certain way. In my mind I was never small enough and always had more weight to lose, even at my smallest. I was consumed and was always looking for the next quick fix.
So what changed? Thanks to the Lord's intervention, I finally experienced FREEDOM in my health and fitness journey! I found great resources to pour into me (The Daniel Plan and Made to Crave) and got some accountability! For me the accountability was one of the missing links that made the BIGGEST difference. Having women who constantly sharpened me and pushed me back to Jesus made the biggest difference and kept my mind and heart from wandering back.
It's been amazing to see how the Lord has used my health and fitness journey to make me more like Him! I am so so thankful for the lessons I have learned during those hard times of discipline, focus and consistency. Ladies are always asking me how I do it. How do I keep my focus on Jesus? Let me first say it won't happen overnight, but if you will COMMIT to allowing the Lord IN He will do the rest! Here are 5 tips I have found to be VERY VERY important to keeping Jesus at the center of my health and fitness journey. Praying this helps you sister! I PRAY that everyone experiences freedom in this area of their life!
1. Let go and let God! You have got to stop making your health and fitness journey all about you. It's not bad to want to loose some weight or feel confident in your own skin, but the MOMENT it becomes obsessive or consumes your thoughts then you're on a slippery slope sister. You have got to quit trying to do this thing on your own. Let go of what you think the "perfect body" looks like. Let go of what you think losing the weight will do for your social life or "success". The only thing that should define your worth is Jesus. The first thing you have got to do is start praying that God would give you discipline and that you would let go and allow HIM to fill those holes in your heart.
2. Get some accountability. Surround yourself with people who speak truth into your life and push you to continuously give every area of your life to Jesus! That has been a game changer for me. I joined a 30 day faith + fitness challenge two and a half years ago and the Lord used it in MIGHTY ways in my life. I experienced freedom for the first time in my health and fitness journey and man did it feel good! That's what the Lord wants for us: FREEDOM. Even better, I did get great results as well. Why? Because for the first time I quit trying to get instant results and pressed into His discipline and power.
3. Dig into God's word and fill your mind with things of Him. This world will try to tell you what beauty looks like, but we know as daughters of the King that true beauty is found in Christ alone. He is our strength. Our worth is found in Him alone, BUT we have to press into Him and remind of ourselves of that daily if we are going to beat this war against our flesh. We have to stop sitting back and waiting for things to get better. We have to BOLT UP and be on guard against the devil and his schemes.
4. GET RID OF DISTRACTIONS! I think this is one a lot of people forget about, but I truly believe that if we are going to keep our focus on Him we have to STOP putting ourselves in situations to compare and pick ourselves apart. So here is what I want you to do, go through your instagram and unfollow all the fitness accounts or people who are constantly making their fitness journey about themselves or the way that they look. As my mom used to say "garbage in, garbage out!" What we put in our mind and allow our eyes to see will drastically impact the way we see ourselves when we look in the mirror. We already have enough distractions in this world, why invite them in?
5. Remember your WHY. Take a second and right down exactly why you want to get fit and healthy. When we know our why we will be able to figure out HOW. If the why is truly big enough, the how will be pretty easy. When we don't have a WHY, the moment things get difficult we will give in and give up. Your WHY will help you keep your focus on honoring the Lord and take it off of yourself and personal performance.
Praying God uses this BIG in your life ladies! Have a story you want to share with us? We would LOVE to hear what God has and is doing in your life! Share it here.
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Lets talk about the 80 Day Challenge. What it is and how and why YOU should join me on this journey.
On January 15th I committed to a brand new program but not without kicking and screaming first. When I heard about this program in October I told myself, “Nope, won’t be doing that.” Why? Because up until this point I was all about short workouts and eating mostly clean. In fact if I am being 100% honest I wasn’t even following the meal plan I had a lot of my challengers doing. I thought I knew my body and was eating plenty of healthy foods. I didn’t want a plan. I didn’t want structure. I didn’t want to say bye to sugar. I didn’t want to give up my weekly chips and salsa binges. For a while I just blamed it on the name and said I couldn’t commit to the program because I hated the word obsessed. Then I used my season of life as a crutch. “I don’t have time for an hour long workout with a baby and full time job.”
Then it hit me- this may just be the best thing I could do for my walk with Jesus, myself, my family and my business in the new year.
Because I needed another level of discipline. I needed to get up earlier. I needed more structure in my day. I needed to have more energy. I needed to eat more vegetables. I needed to push my body harder. The truth is I had become complacent. I had become used to short and sweet workouts. Were they challenging? Sure! But my body needed something more.
So here I am 24 days into this program in the final week of phase one.
Here are a few things I have learned through this journey so far..
+God uses things like meal plans and workout schedules to teach you discipline. In this program, you eat an hour before your workout (pre-workout meal) and this has fit in perfectly with spending a solid 45 minutes in the morning before anything else with Jesus. No distractions. Just me and Jesus.
+When you eat matters as much as what you eat! I never realized HOW true this is. The reason being is that your body can only absorb a certain amount of nutrients at a time. If you eat all your veggies for the day in one sitting and no other veggies that day, your body won’t be able to absorb all the nutrients and you miss out. When you eat a set combination of macro-nutrients at each meal, your body actually absorbs it and turns it into FUEL.
+Structure and boundaries create freedom. Since committing to this meal plan I have had WAY more energy and I am actually at the point now where I don’t even crave sugar! (Crazy right?!) I feel WAY less bondage with food and finally see it as fuel.
+Accountability is a game changer. I know I have said this before but this time I REALLY mean it! I don’t know if it’s because the program is so intense or what but the women in this challenge have committed on a level that I have NEVER experienced with any other group! I 100% believe it’s because we are in the trenches together. Cheering each other on and wanting each other to succeed! There have been days I wanted to cheat or just call it a week but I didn’t because I KNEW they were there and I had to do it for them. I had to lead well.
A few things I love about this program..
+ Sunday is Rest Day, which is VERY important for success since it allows your body to recover. Perfect for me since I believe God calls us to have a day of rest and Sunday’s are the day I have committed to! God can do more with our six days than we can with 7.
+I love that I am supposed to eat an hour before my workout. This allows me to get up at 5 am and spend time with Jesus while eating breakfast. Then I workout at 6 am and by the time E wakes up mama is all done and ready to care for her!
+I love that this program encourages you to be in community with others and cheer each other on. The trainer says that throughout the program about not comparing your journey with others and staying in your lane. Such an important thing to remember!
+I love that I am SEEING results. So far I am down 3 pounds but even better my clothes are fitting WAY better. The other day I washed and dryed some pants by accident that I don’t usually dry in the dryer. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to button them, but nope! They fit perfect!
+I love all the energy have! Because of all the nutrients I am feeling amazing. This helps me juggle everything on my plate and have the energy and joy to push through.
What women in the current 80 Day Challenge are saying…
“My breastfeeding baby had only been pooping every 4-5 days. Once I started this program he started going every day! It goes to show that changing my diet and giving my body all the nutrients it needs not only affects me but also him.” –Whitney
“So far I have lost 6 pounds!” – Nicole
“I’ve lost 3 pounds so far but I feel great and my clothes are fitting better” –Mel
“Non-scale victory- Spending time in a devotional and in prayer, then working out before work sets me up for a successful day! I am loving the way I feel!” –Amy
“Mid-week I found myself thinking.. this program is disrupting my life! But the Lord was so gracious to remind me that YES, it may be a disruption but it’s a BEAUTIFUL DISRUPTION!” –Amanda
“I feel thinner but mostly excited that I just feel BETTER!” –Chelsey
“I haven’t weighed myself yet, but I feel better and can feel my legs getting strong already!” –Jenny
Here are some photos of women who have completed the 80 Day Challenge…
This is Brittney Legette and she was apart of the 80 Day Test group with the trainer Autumn. She was breastfeeding during this program and got AMAZING results!
So here's the deal- from NOW until February 12th I am opening up enrollment into the 80 Day Challenge. However- I am ONLY taking 10 new people and 3 spots have already been claimed. If you are 100% IN fill out the form below and I will email you all the information! Can't wait for you to experience this AMAZING program!
Sister- you were not made to feel overwhelmed. You were not meant to struggle to make it through the week, the day, the next hour. You were not meant to be shackled by anxiety, worry, and fear. No, you were meant for so much more. You were meant to have life and to have it more abundantly. You were meant to dig deep and to reach out. You are not living the life you were created to live if survive is your word. You were made to live FREE! Lets start 2018 FREE together! Lets set some boundaries and schedules in place to help us live free.
Galations 5:1 says, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
I am rolling out a new Bootcamp specifically for women who want to get FREED UP in 2018! This group is about helping you set boundaries and schedules so that you go into the new year ready for whatever task + callings God brings your ways.
Here's what you will get:
✔️A YEAR of Beachbody on Demand (the netflix of home workouts)
✔️Weekly Morning Devotionals
✔️ A special place app to log your sweaty selfie each day
✔️Dinner Menu from a registered dietitian
✔️Optional: Daily Superfood Shake
I am 100% certain that if you show up and are consistent you will get the results you are looking for! Interested in joining us? Sign up for information below.
Drink More Water Challenge:
FREE Drink More Water Challenge!
Sign up here.
Look Into Beachbody Coaching:
November 6th- Sign up here.
Family Matters Bootcamp
Don't Just Survive.. THRIVE Bootcamp.
Sign up for info on bootcamps here.
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