About The BookToday’s the Day Seven Week Fitness Plan is a blueprint for true wholeness that you can adapt to fit your needs and lifestyle. Any “diet” will cause you to lose weight – temporarily. Making lasting, healthy changes – spirit, soul and body – is what you want. Rather than just addressing weight loss physically, you will apply each of the 4 keys: detox/cleanse; nourish/fuel; exercise/intentional exertion and rest/reboot to your spirit, soul and body.
Ann Musico, Holistic Health Coach walks you through each of the seven weeks to help you make simple and easy changes that will not just help you lose weight but will improve your overall health and life!
Get Up To SpeedThis is Chapter 3 – Spirit and Soul Detox. Just as detoxifying and cleansing your physical body will help it to work more efficiently, detoxifying your spirit and soul (mind, will and emotions) of toxins will boost your weight loss efforts dramatically as well as improve your life. I hope this sample convinces you that you CAN lose weight and keep it off!
Chapter 3 – Spirit and Soul Detox
You will continue the meal plan as in week two. Be sure to weigh yourself once each week and keep track of your meals, snacks, water intake and how you feel in your food log DAILY.
Why detox your spirit?
Because we live in such a toxic environment, this key is first and of great importance. Recently my computer’s fan became clogged with dust and periodically the computer would overheat and just shut down. If your car’s filters are dirty and clogged, it backfires, sputters and stalls. When you are clogged with toxins the same thing happens to you! A clogged digestive filter may result in constipation or indigestion; a clogged respiratory filter may cause chest congestion or asthma; clogged emotional filters may cause depression or anxiety; clogged spiritual filters can result in fearfulness or pride. Just as our autos and computers need periodic maintenance, our spirits, souls and bodies do as well in order to keep them functioning well.
How Can You Detox Your Spirit?
Everything begins with the spirit because that is “who” you are. A clogged spirit will affect every other area of your life. I love to look at scriptures in different versions because each brings out a different nuance. Proverbs 18:14 explains why spirit must always be first. Let’s look at it, first, in the Amplified: The strong spirit of a man sustains him in bodily pain or trouble, but a weak and broken spirit who can raise up or bear? New Century Version says it this way: The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear it if the spirit is crushed?
How does your spirit become weak, broken or crushed? Unfulfilled expectations, disappointments, frustration and criticism are all possibilities. Perhaps cherished dreams didn’t come true or something you worked on so hard to achieve, failed. Maybe you grew up with a significant authority figure in your life (parent, grandparent, teacher, coach) constantly criticizing you, putting you down or telling you, even in subtle ways, that you just were not good enough, it can crush and weaken your spirit. Perhaps you internalized those negative messages and now you are continually beating yourself up, telling yourself you are not smart, or good, or successful, or attractive. You may continually read scriptures about God’s love but you cannot receive that love because in your spirit you feel unworthy. These negative messages create spiritual toxins such as fear, offense, anger, worry, bitterness, resentment, depression, envy and pride, which manifest themselves in your life as sinful behaviors. It isn’t hard to understand how these toxins could then spill out of you and contaminate your relationships, is it?
Jesus, in speaking to the religious teachers of His day, rebuked them because they were so focused on appearances. He said, “Hypocrites! You are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisees! First wash the inside of the cup, and then the outside will become clean, too.” (Matthew 23:25, 26 NLT)
The First John 1:9 Strategy
The Bible provides us with a simple, very clear-cut process to begin this detoxification process. I call it the First John 1:9 Strategy. That scripture says: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I’ve broken it down into three steps:
Those toxins are sins. Romans 14:23 says whatever is not of faith is sin and I think we can agree pride, bitterness, resentment, fear, worry, anger are not born of faith. So the first step in cleansing your spirit of these toxins is to confess or acknowledge them to God. Honestly admit that you are afraid or angry or prideful or anxious—whatever it is. There is really no point in pretending otherwise. God is not surprised by your admission—He already knew about it. This step is for you.
Next you must agree with God that they are sins. Don’t make excuses or rationalize. Don’t call it a fault, flaw, weakness or shortcoming. Call it what God says it is—a sin. Period. 1 John 1:10 says: “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” That is a very serious allegation.
The last step is to do a total about-face—repent! That word means to change your mind or direction completely; move to a higher level. Rather than rationalizing why certain people “make” you angry or a specific situation “makes” you feel afraid, commit yourself to detoxing that—acknowledge it, agree it is sin and change it. It doesn’t serve your highest and best interests. So make a quality decision to completely change your mind about it. Do an about face. Think ahead of time about the specific situations or people who trigger that sinful behavior reaction. Decide ahead of time how you will respond differently. You may have to avoid certain situations or people or decide you will simply refuse to respond at all. God will show you the best way.
The Power of Forgiveness
It has been said refusing to forgive someone is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die! You must realize that you do not forgive for the other person’s sake. You do so for your own benefit. If you refuse to forgive someone, you are held in bondage and they have control in your life. We are to be directed and controlled by the Holy Spirit within us (Rom. 8:9). Walking in love and forgiveness, keeps our faith “channel” clear. Here are some scriptures on forgiveness: Mt. 6:12, 14; 18:35; Luke 7:47; Acts 26:18; Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13.
In its most basic form to forgive is to send the offense away rather than hold on to it. If you hold on to it, it has mastery over you! I strongly suggest you visit Dr. Jim Richard’s website where he has some excellent resources to help you with this: http://www.impactministries.com/Resources/PrayerofTransformation.aspx So how do you go about forgiving when someone has hurt or offended you? Here are several things you can do.
Journaling is a good way to work through your feelings. If you regularly journal to God, use part of your prayer time to clearly and specifically express all your feelings about this particular individual or situation. By the way, it doesn’t matter if it happened two days ago or twenty years ago—if it is still causing you to harbor unforgiveness, you must deal with it. Be totally honest with God and say everything about it that you want to.
You can also write a letter directly to the person who hurt you. Imagine you are speaking directly to them and tell them exactly how you feel. However, once you have said everything you need to say, do not mail the letter. Don’t even save it! Destroy it and throw it away. As you do this, intentionally release all the anger, resentment, bitterness and hurt and by faith, forgive that person simply because God calls you to. Don’t worry if you don’t “feel” like you have forgiven them—do it by faith and the feelings will follow.
Visualization exercises are very effective because they access your subconscious mind. This is the part of you that is programmed by your past experiences to react automatically**. By imagining a different result, you begin to reprogram your subconscious. God gave us a holy imagination and most of us persist in using it to worry instead of to visualize and imagine things as we wish them to be. Scripture tells us God calls things that be not as though they are (Romans 4:17). That is visualization at its best. First take several deep, slow breaths. Pay attention to your breath and heartbeat and allow your mind and body to become relaxed. Try to imagine the person who has hurt you being attached to you by a big, heavy, black chain. Try as you might, you struggle and pull, but you cannot move away from them. Then you simply ask Jesus to help you. He immediately stands between the two of you and severs the chain. It falls off you both. You are now free to move wherever you like. And you look back to see Jesus has put His arm around the person’s shoulders and walks away with them. Now He is free to deal with him or her. Forgiveness frees you and puts the person who offended you into His hands.
Even though many of these issues are subconscious and you may not even be aware of them, they can still be affecting you. The most effective way to deal with them at the source that I have found is by using The Healing Codes. I do Healing Codes daily and am so impressed with them I became an affiliate because I wanted to share this resource with clients. You can learn more here http://www.thehealingcodes.com/cmd.php?af=1500401 This week, honestly acknowledge any areas that are hindering your spiritual growth and your relationship with God as well as with your family and friends. Where do you need to apply the First John 1:9 Strategy? Do you need to forgive someone? Do you need to forgive yourself? So often we are harder on ourselves than anyone else.
Try the exercises above and begin your spiritual detoxification. You will feel as if a hundred pound weight has been lifted from your shoulders!
What is soul detox?
Your soul includes your mind, will and emotions—and so this would include negative, destructive thoughts, speech, habits, attitudes, limiting beliefs, emotions and relationships. 3 John 2 says: “Beloved I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.” God’s will is for us to be healthy and prosper—spirit, soul and body. Negative emotions are toxic to you physically and can affect hormones, digestion and immune function making you more vulnerable to disease.
Mind: We all fall victim to “stinkin thinkin:” toxic, negative thought patterns that have been created, resulting in low self-esteem, inability to trust, always expecting the worst. How do you know if this is a problem? Listen to your self-talk—are thoughts like “nothing ever goes right for me” or “I’m not good/smart/young/rich/talented enough” your constant companions? These can also be called limiting beliefs. By taking these thoughts captive (2 Cor. 10:5) and renewing your mind to God’s Word (Phil. 4:8 and Rom. 12:2)—you are doing what doctors refer to as cognitive behavioral therapy! I call it the 3C’s—Capture, Cancel and Confess.
This is absolutely critical because your thoughts are words that contain pictures and every thought produces emotion. After only 6-10 seconds your thought begins to take root and produces chemicals and hormones and affects your physical body.
The first step is to capture the wrong thought. That’s what ‘taking it captive’ means. Be aware and acknowledge immediately* that the thought is contrary to the truth of God’s Word. Agree right then and there that it is toxic to you.
Now to cancel that thought, simply say out loud, “No, I cancel this thought.” It’s important to say it out loud because you cannot think one thing and say another. Once you speak, your mind must stop and listen. So you truly cancel the thought.
The last step, confess, is the renewing your mind part. You replace that toxic thought with a God thought. For example, let’s say the thought comes to you that you cannot do something. “I can’t do this, it’s too hard.” First capture it—immediately acknowledge the thought— be aware of it. Agree it is contrary to God’s Word. Cancel it—Say, out loud, “No, I cancel that thought.” Then replace it with a God thought. Say, “Of course I can do this. I can do all things through Christ Who empowers me.” You must “say” it—hearing yourself is very powerful.
Remember the woman with the issue of blood? She thought about Jesus healing others, and then she continually said, “if I touch the hem of his garment, I will be whole” (Matthew 9:20.) The speech center of your brain controls every nerve in your body!
Now, just repeat that sequence until…Until when? Until the pattern is broken and replaced. It is a process and it may take many times of doing this for the same thought until you gain the victory, but if you don’t give up, you will win. Through faith and patience we inherit the promises!
According to Dr. Caroline Leaf, thoughts have a physical structure and influence the production of bio-chemicals in our bodies. Thinking determines how you function spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. Every thought has a corresponding electrochemical reaction. Depending on the type of thought, specific biochemicals are released in response. Happiness, gratitude and love release certain chemicals and sadness, anger and fear release different ones. Thoughts have the power to change your whole system. (As a man thinks so is he! Pr. 23:7). Scientific experiments show the incredibly powerful and toxic effects of negative emotions. When blood samples from people who were experiencing serious anger or fear were injected into guinea pigs, the animals died!
Will: It takes at least 21 days to replace a bad habit with a good one. Colossians 3:5, 8 tells us we are to “put them off.” Whatever you starve—dies! For example, let’s use complaining. I suggest you go on a “fast” giving up that particular habit. You have to be vigilant and stop and correct yourself every time you realize you’ve slipped back into the habit. It takes time, effort and patience, but it can be done. In order to make real changes to your lifestyle, you’ve got to learn how to change your brain! The first time you do anything new, a new pathway is created in your brain. The next time you do it, your brain searches to see if you have done it this way before. If you have, it’ll follow the same pathway. The more often you repeat that experience or think that thought, the stronger that neural pathway holding that thought or behavior becomes. This is how a thought or action becomes a habit. Zig Ziglar says: “Motivation gets you going and habit gets you there.” It’s critical to form the right habits! Consistency is the key!
By repeating a pattern, you strengthen the neural pathways used for this behavior. Repetition creates new pathways in your brain and creates the new habit. Every time you deny yourself something (fast), or you repeat a new pattern, your will is involved.
Emotions: If you are holding on to grudges, worry, anger, sadness, bitterness, hurts, disappointments- you must release them. Negative emotions like anger increase levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Fear weakens adrenal glands and kidneys; sadness suppresses lung and large intestine function; guilt and shame depress digestive function of the stomach and pancreas. Medicine now acknowledges that back pain can be caused by suppressed emotions. (You may not be able to identify these suppressed emotions which become destructive cellular memories, and I recommend The Healing Codes for that.)
Forgiveness is critical here—even if the person who has hurt you doesn’t apologize—you can forgive them—which is releasing them into God’s hands and allowing Him to deal with them as I mentioned before. Forgive yourself! In Philippians 4:6, 7 we are given three steps by which we can release these toxic emotions—those keys are PPT: prayer (communing with God), petition (specific, definite requests) and thanksgiving! Then we are free to receive His peace that passes understanding!
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The other side of this forgiveness coin is to cultivate the ability to genuinely apologize. Like forgiveness, true apology is an act of surrender. It clears the toxins of guilt, shame and blame and allows you to move forward as you take responsibility for your actions. Guilt is an extremely powerful emotion, much like shame, anxiety and fear. All of these emotions poison you, mentally, emotionally and physically. Guilt and shame stem from feeling you are not worthy or that you are a disappointment—to your parents, yourself, even to God. So a critical step here is to understand and accept the fact that God loves you totally and unconditionally.
I suggest you take some time and meditate on these scriptures and prayerfully journal about your feelings:
~ John 16:27: For the Father Himself tenderly loves you because you have loved Me (Jesus) and have believed that I came out from the Father.
~ John 17:23: I in them and You in Me, all being perfected into one so that the world will know You sent Me and will understand that You love them as much as You love Me.
Please don’t gloss over those words—God the Father loves you just as much as He loves Jesus! That was a life transforming revelation for me.
Gratitude is a very powerful, positive force. Matthew 15:36 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18 clearly tell us we are to give thanks in ALL things. Notice it doesn’t say we must give thanks for all things. There’s a difference. Studies have revealed that thankful people:
~ Handle stress better;
~ Are more optimistic;
~ Are more alert and energetic;
~ Attract gratitude and kindness from others; and
~ Enjoy better overall health.
Each day find 3 things to sincerely thank God for and either write them in your journal in the evening or begin your prayer time with them in the morning thanking God. Spend some time and see where you need to deal with some “stinkin thinkin” patterns. Are there some habits you need to replace? What about your emotions? Where do you need to release toxic emotional responses?
These may take some time to change—more than just a week or two. That’s OK. This is a process. Be patient and gentle with yourself, but also be honest. The only way to rid yourself of these spirit and soul “weights” is to honestly acknowledge them and then take the steps necessary, consistently, to change them.
I want to take a moment to touch on your thinking as it relates to losing weight and getting fit. You may have been overweight most of your life and feel it’s a losing battle and you’ll never be able to lose the weight. That’s a negative attitude toxin you must flush out of your soul! You must begin thinking like a healthy, lean, fit person. There’s a saying you may be familiar with—“act as if.”
That simply means to act as if what you desire is already true. It’s a scriptural principle:
Reportedly, Blaise Pascal told those struggling with their faith to act as though they believed. Pascal believed that even something as basic as acting as though they believed would count as the mustard seed of faith that Jesus promised would remove mountains. Satan hates it when we express faith but loves to hear us express doubt.
So make a commitment today to stop making Satan’s day by thinking and saying those negative things about yourself! Act as if you are a lean, healthy, fit person. You will be amazed at how that shift in attitude affects your behavior! You will find it easier to make healthier choices and then you will begin to see progress very quickly and more effortlessly than you may have thought possible.
Get ready for Week Four—Nourish! We will tweak your food plan a bit as we transition from Detox to Nourish.
Don’t forget to weigh yourself and make note of your progress daily in your log. If you have tried numerous times to lose weight only to sabotage yourself over and over again and cannot understand why, you may well be dealing with negative, destructive cellular memories you are not even aware of. For that reason I encourage you to learn about The Healing Codes http://www.thehealingcodes.com/cmd.php?af=1500401
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