Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Fresh Starts: A Healthier You


Fresh Starts and New Mercies 5

Welcome to Fresh Starts and New Mercies!

Today’s guest is Julie Lefebure writing on “A Healthier You.” She shares how her health goals became an unhealthy addition and how God drew her focus back to Him.

Julie Lefebure


Julie Lefebure is a simple gal who finds joy in un-rushed mornings, dining on colorful Fiesta dinnerware, and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. She writes about living a real and authentic life on two blogs, Loving God Loving Others, and Live Laugh Linger. Each blog has a different perspective, but both offer hope, encouragement, joy, and acceptance because we each could use a good dose of these in our daily lives.

A Healthier You

I had set some new “becoming healthy” goals of exercising and eating healthy. It was a recipe for success.

Or so I thought. Within six months, I took my 5′ 9″ body from a size 10 to a size 4. My body fat percentage dropped dramatically. Becoming healthy consumed me, and became an unhealthy addiction.

My “recipe for success” developed into method for destruction. But God, in His grace, awakened me to the harm I was doing to the body He created. He lovingly redirected my focus back to Him during those scary days twelve years ago.

Here we are, days into 2015. Many of us have the desire to make it a healthier year. Quite possibly we’ve set this goal before, and we didn’t do so well. Either we did too much and went too far, or we didn’t do enough to see any results.

When we fix our eyes on what magazines glamorize as healthy, it’s no wonder we get confused and discouraged. We see photo-shopped wrinkle- and cellulite-free bodies with perfect thighs, flat stomachs, and muscular arms. Quick fixes and “lose-weight-in-just-two-weeks” diets saturate our world. Is this what’s healthy??

Romans 12:1-2 says, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

And a favorite of mine, Proverbs 31:30: “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.”


Let’s look differently at becoming healthier this year.

1. Find Your Why

You want to be healthier? Why? To be skinny? To fit into a certain dress? To have more energy?

1 Timothy 4:8 says, “Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.”

Living a disciplined, godly life, and giving our entire selves to Him, is a true picture of health, and helps form our why. This encompasses our bodies, our minds, and our emotions.

2. Ask God for Plan That Glorifies Him

When we seek God in our plan, it’s no longer just ours. God is involved. It’s kind of like moving from the driver’s seat over to the passenger seat. When we seek to glorify God with our health, our perspective begins to align with His. Could it be more rest? More time in His Word? It may have nothing to do with a “diet,” but everything to do with what He wants for you.

3. Begin

Sometimes the hardest action is to begin putting one foot in front of the other in walking the plan out. Take the first step. Celebrate each success along the way. Keep Jesus as your focus, not the scale, or anything else.

May God bless you, guide you, and equip you, as you seek Him in your desire to be healthier in 2015. I’m cheering you on and praying for you!

Now it’s your turn: Do you have any health related goals for the new year?

Linking up with Brittany’s #FellowshipFridays.



Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

24 thoughts on “Fresh Starts: A Healthier You

  1. Hi Julie, there is so much wisdom in this post. I don’t have any specific health related goals set for this year but I would like to exercise more. I have so much more energy when I do but my main issue is motivation. It’s harder for me in the winter months because I prefer exercising outdoors and when it’s in the single digits, well, I would rather not. 😉 So, to the gym it is! Thanks for your godly advice here. I will be praying about this for sure. Blessings to you, friend!

    • Hi Abby! I can relate, as I prefer to exercise outdoors as well, but with dangerous wind chills, indoors it is. I’ll be praying God gives you an extra boost of motivation to keep your good habits going. Thanks for sharing where you’re at, as you are inspiring others, including me! Blessings to you!

    • I can relate, Abby. I have a lot harder time in the winter too. Luckily for me, there aren’t too many single digit days where I live, just a few weeks really…

  2. Pingback: A Healthier You - Julie Lefebure

  3. Overeating, especially sweets, has always been my problem. Sweets have been an addiction. So this year I’ve committed to the Lord as a year without sweets. (FULL OF PRAYER!) And I also know I need to eat more veggies and fresh fruit–less junk and bread.

    And if any of you would like to do workouts at home (with or without equipment), try This husband-wife team are fantastic. I’ve been doing their FREE workouts since 2010, when they started. And they have a great website, full of helpful tools. Check it out. They have a TON of workouts–all different kinds and all levels. One thing I appreciate (besides doing these for free) is they really keep you focused on the exercise–so you keep the right form and avoid injury. They don’t chat about other things during the workouts and there is no music. It’s just focused exercising.

    Thanks for your encouragement, Julie, to stay focused on the Lord. (FOCUS is my one word this year!)

    • Sabra, thank you for all you’ve shared here! Sweets can be my downfall, too. Good for you for committing to the Lord a year without them. I’ll be praying for you in that. I appreciate the suggestion and web address for these free workouts. I’m excited to check them out! That’s something I can do inside during these cold winter months in the Midwest! Love your one word too. God bless you, sweet friend!

  4. Such a truth in Proverbs about lasting beauty. I have had to initiate this conversation with my girls and even rethink my own ideas of what is beautiful. My husband has been gracious with me about this and lovingly reminded me that I need to rest in the love he has and not worry about what I look like or what size I wear, or whether the gray is showing through. 😉 But he also is reminding me that the beauty of being found by God radiates in our lives and brings us to the healthy choices that you talk about, and choosing to care for our bodies because they are HIS vessel.
    There are so many posts about eating healthy and getting healthier that it is overwhelming but yours wasn’t like that. I appreciate that!

    • I appreciate your point of view too, Dawn. I try to remember to focus on inner beauty as well as outer health and beauty. I loved also the way Julie balanced spiritual health with physical health!

  5. Hi Dawn! Thank you so much for sharing where you’re at in all of this. I guess, what I’ve found is God has different plans for each one of us. What might work for you in “becoming healthy,” might not be for me. Sure, there’s general things we can do, but God knows specifically what each one of us needs. It sounds like you have a pretty healthy perspective, and are surrounded by godly encouragement for your health already. You’re a great example for your girls! God bless you as He continues to guide you in your health and life!

  6. Julie,
    I enjoyed your words of wisdom here at Betsy’s place. My goals for 2015 are more for overall health reasons than for how I look. Sure, we’d all like to look better, slimmer, etc. But, after a couple major surgeries, it is really hitting home to me that I need to take good care of this frame that God has given me. In order to glorify Him, I need to keep my body in good running condition so that I can continue to help build His Kingdom. Thank you for the encouragement to keep heading in the right direction!

    • Bev, yes! I love your words here… “In order to glorify Him, I need to keep my body in good running condition so that I can continue to help build His Kingdom.” It’s so refreshing to read them. That’s the true picture of health right there. Thank you for sharing your encouragement to us all to keep going in the right direction for Him! God bless you!

  7. Hi Julie! So good to see you here! This post is perfect for me as God is speaking loudly to me to become real and healthy this year. I wrote a post this week called The Closet Eater’s Diet and I know that God is asking for me to be healthy to shine for Him but also because I need it for me. I am an emotional eater and have let life’s challenges dictate how I eat and how I take care of myself. I am going to print this out because the verses you chose are perfect to strengthen me and let God be in control of my eating. Happy New Year friend!

    Betsy-Thank you so much for linking up to The Weekend Brew.

    • I’m loving The Weekend Brew Mary. And I also read your post “The Closet Eater’s Diet.” I pray you’ll shine this year! 🙂

    • Hi Mary! I stopped reading your comment here for a minute to go over and visit your blog to read your post. Great post. I love the “do over” truth! I’m thrilled you are answering God’s call to be a healthier you this year. We’ll be walking on this journey together! God bless you as you take it one step at a time.

  8. I am walking the journey towards health and honestly, it’s hard getting out of the gate. I am an emotional eater and life is well, overwhelming lately. I do run to food to fill voids in my life. I try to take baby steps, l like drinking more water, not eating junk food. It’s been a long, hard battle, one that I would love to overcome this year. Thank you for sharing at the Weekend Brew!

    • Hi Barbie! You’re certainly not alone. I’m an emotional eater, too. But you’re making progress. Even little steps are progress. May this be the year we keep our focus on God’s best for us. I’m cheering you on, friend! Blessings to you.

  9. This is great! Too often I think of the things I *should* be doing, without really stopping to think of why I really want to do them or what God would want me to do. And that’s just a waste of time. Thanks for the encouragement, as always 🙂

  10. One of my favorite things about raising kids overseas – especially girls – is that they aren’t being overwhelmed with the pressure to be “fake” beautiful. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and colors because God made us in all shapes and sizes and colors! Thanks for a lovely discussion on being good stewards of the bodies that God has given us 🙂

    • What a blessing, Joanna. Thank you for sharing this. Yes, God made each of us beautiful! Such a gift. Blessings to you this week!

    • It’s so good to see you here Joanna! I’m glad your girls don’t have to deal with the pressure you describe. Here in the Middle East, we are definitely bombarded with “beauty.” So I pray for discernment for my girl (and myself!)

  11. Julie, thank you for sharing your experience so transparently. Just yesterday, I stumbled across a page I’d written back in July with all the reasons I want to eat healthier and exercise more. They were really good reasons! But as I read them, I realized that in just a few months time, I’d already lost sight of most of them. So, I’m trying to figure out a way to keep my why more in front of me this year. Appreciate these timely reminders very much. Thanks again!

    • Tarissa, thank you for sharing your heart here. It’s so easy to lose sight of the great reasons why to become healthy when our lives become so full. I’ve begun praying for God to remind me to eat healthy and to help me carve out time to exercise. He’s answering. Glad we can encourage each other on this path. Keep your eyes focused on Him! Blessings!

  12. You are spot on, my friend! It’s all about motivation and balance! My primary motivation to stay healthy and fit is so that I can hike all over and take photos ;)–not to mention keeping up with the teenagers that I work with! I’d like to run another half-marathon this year, too.

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