If you have read anything here on this site, then you know I use to NOT be into health and fitness. I was a smoker who starved to stay small and yep I occasionally abused alcohol too. Well I can tell you I also was not into Christianity at ALL either. In fact, you might say I was a knocker of Christians and all that I thought they stood for. Yes, yes I was. I thought all Christians were hypocrites and really I just didn't have any understanding of any of it at all. I was not brought up a Christian, in fact, I was brought up a Jehovah's Witness. Hmmmm Yep never celebrated ANY holidays and so never really understood what Easter was all about till I was like 31 yrs old. WOW you might say. Yep WOW! Christmas was another big question mark in my mind. What does Santa have to do with Jesus? Hahaha still wondering about that one. lol When I turned 16 my parents said you can go and do what you want with your spiritual life and well I choose NOT to have one anymore. I quickly went far, far on the other end of the religion spectrum. Yes I was rebellious and became a person who well pretty much lived for myself. Was determined to GET something out of this life. Swore I would NEVER get married and didn't really want kids either till my late 20's. And as you know from reading earlier blogs I also did NOT cook. Hmmm
I will tell you I did not have much exposure to Christians either and the few around me I was adamant that they NOT share with me their beliefs as I thought it was all a bunch of crap anyway. I have a very dear and old girlfriend of mine that I grew up with who became a Christian when she was in her early 20's but I told her if she wanted to continue our relationship she had to refrain from 'preaching' to me about Jesus. Yep that was me - all through my late teens and twenties. Never wanted to be labeled a 'BORN AGAIN' - lots of negative connotations I had with that one. I would think these born agains were Jesus FREAKS and well I had lots of thoughts and words that just didn't paint a very good picture to me. Totally against RELIGION or what I believed about religion. Again it was hypocrites that thought they were better than everyone else. Like they got something going on better than me...
So at this point you might be asking 'well what happened' that now you are a professed Christian and are now writing an article on HOW it all happened? Very simply I started to second guess some of my choices about how I thought of life. I was 30 yrs old and I wasn't really sure that the path I had chosen was the right path as I was slowly killing myself with my smoking and lifestyle and had NO great connections with anyone and I remember thinking "is this all there is to life?" I had by this time done a few things. Had a successful business for a time, had traveled a great deal and had lots of different kinds of experiences but I was in a valley. I was serving at the time and trying to figure out what my next move would be. And the BIG question - WHAT is this LIVING all about?"
And yes I did wonder about God. I did believe in a God but that was about it. I am a big reader and I would read about all the different religions and to me it was just so complicated. Like which religion was right? They all say they are whether they are Christians, Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists or any of the many others. How do you tell? How will you truly know?
At this very interesting and pivotal time in my life I met a guy. Yes I was single, had my own apartment and was just existing and trying to figure out WHY! It was my future husband I met while out at a Friday Night bowling with friends. He was a few lanes over from me and he was FIT, FIT, and FIT! Really you couldn't help looking at him he was so fit. So I was single and my friends noticed and were looking at him too so they kept goading me to go talk to him. They would say, "come on Evey, go introduce yourself." I tended to be a little outgoing so they thought I just might do it. Eventually after much eyeing each other I gave him the come here signal. He gave the come here signal back to me and well that was the start of our dating. And I didn't know it then, but that was the beginning of a WHOLE new life and MINDSET.
If you know anything about my husband he is a through and through Christian. Always talking about God and Jesus and raised in the Christian faith. By the way, my husband, Lynn Lingenfelter, is a truly amazing man with an incredible LIFE and FAITH story. If you don't know his story, google him. You will be inspired. I promise. So anyway on like our first date he says to me, "So what is going to happen to you after you die? Do you ever think about that?" WHAT???? Like who asks that? I will tell you I was astonished because NO ONE, no not ANY one ever asked me that question let alone on a first date. Well he definitely had my interest. UNUSUAL was what I thought of him. Lol Little did I know he turned out to be a VERY, VERY unusual man.
SO I started to date this goody two shoes Christian, yes that is what I thought, and he would constantly talk about Jesus, listen to Christian music - like who even knew that existed, and was quite a foreign person to me. I had never met anyone like him before in my life and I wanted what he had. Lynn DID NOT preach to me. He would just ask questions about spiritual things and then just leave it. We spent many an hour talking about God and what we believed or in my case what I didn't believe.
And we also talked about HOW to get healthy and fit. As I was living very unhealthy and he lived so healthy maybe he KNEW something about all that stuff that I didn't know. Yep, he did. SO in this time period I would tell him my problems with Christians and RELIGION per say and he would just say to me - read the bible. Constantly he would say "the answer is in the bible, don't worry about religion. Religion doesn't matter, the bible matters."
And that's what I did. I read the bible, had a positive example of a spiritual being around to explain stuff to me about Christianity as well as about healthy and fitness. I mean really, we are all spiritual beings and that is a BIG part of being healthy. I did become 'born again' about 8 months after I met my husband. It was also 2 weeks into my very first body transformation. Yep my very first time TAKING control of my health and fitness.
Really all it took for me was folks questioning my ability to get healthy and fit that set me on fire to DO IT! I remember my husband asking me if I really thought I could quit smoking and drinking for 12 weeks, eat 5-6 small meals a day and exercise everyday but one day a week. I said YES. I have done hard things before and I can do this too. He is like "REALLY?" Really give up the smokes and the beer (yes I drank BEER then, not wine, and actually I don't drink at ALL anymore)? Yes I can and Yes I will. And I did it. Was it easy - NOOOOOOOO, not easy at all. But in the process of changing my lifestyle I was changing my thinking/my mindset about lots of things and thoughts in my life. I got saved and that went hand and hand with my new healthy lifestyle and it worked. Well for at least that first 12 weeks. I did great, had a great physical transformation, great spiritual transformation and was on my way. DID it last? No, I fell.
Sometimes we think we start on new things and it is all working out great but we DO fall. We are human and we will have moments of weakness and stumble. Whether it is spiritually or physically with eating crap or struggling to stay quit smoking. Whatever your thing is. Just so you understand what I am saying - I did do a 12 week physical transformation - I was 31 yrs old, 14 yrs ago. I got saved (born again) and everything was great. HOWEVER, I did not immediately, never smoke again. Or never eat junk again. Or never swear again - yes I was a trucker mouth. I struggled for years with smoking. With cursing and so on... On then off, then on, then off - fortunately mostly off as I was exercising and it just didn't work. Just because someone is a Christian or a born again which really means they prayed to Jesus (prayed the sinner's prayer) and he is my SAVIOR now, the leader of my life doesn't mean you/me will NEVER sin again. Just like when you are getting or already healthy and fit, like you will NEVER eat junk again. That is just not reality. That just is not doable as human beings but we give it our best shot. I pray and focus on what I really want out of this life and where I want my focus to be and most of the time - it works but not ALL! I have surely been in valleys even while into fitness and even while a Christian and I am currently coming out of a BIG valley right now. Lots of LIFE changes happened in my life in the last 5 yrs and I am feeling right now like I am getting out of it. You never ARRIVE (are perfect) till you get to heaven.
Hope you are inspired by this and maybe have a better understanding of where I am coming from with my spiritual input that I will be occasionally sharing with you here. Let me know YOUR thoughts and make sure to RSS this blog so you know right away when I post a new blog. Thanks for allowing me to share.
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