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The Daniel Plan Change

Okay.  We're committed.  Ron and I have joined Moira and Jerry and John and many others to begin "The Daniel Plan".  That's right.  For 40 days (did I say 40??) we have committed to eat healthy, exercise more, stay focussed, cultivate friendships, and grow deeper in our faith.  You know, it's funny how those parts of "the plan" that come easier to us than others tend to be the ones we want to do more importance on... (dare I say it) brag on your progress.  But, not so fast!  If you're like me, the "eating healthy" part seems like an easy fix - until you start messing with my desserts.  Uh oh.  Now we have a problem.

Take chocolate, for instance (I don't mean to literally take it, please).  How bad can chocolate be for you?  I mean really.  Yes, I've heard all the reports that say a small (miniscule) piece of dark chocolate a day is actually good for you.  And while that news alone is reason to break open a bottle of chocolate syrup to celebrate, I do question the... how should I put this... "limitations" of the findings. =)

Not long ago I came across a certain "Chocolate Lover's Diet" - and, of course, I immediately took notice.  Just look at what their "clinically proven research" has discovered about the "health benefits" of our beloved food.

  1. Chocolate is derived from cocoa beans.  Bean = vegetable. Chocolate is a vegetable.
  2. Chocolate candy bars contain milk, which is dairy.  Chocolate bars are a health food.
  3. Chocolate-covered raisins, cherries, orange slices, and strawberries ALL count as fruit.  Fruit is good for you.  Eat as much as you want!
  4. Eat a chocolate bar before each meal.  It will take the edge off your appetite and you'll eat less!
  5. Eating equal amounts of dark chocolate and white chocolate actually counteract each other.  Can you say "a balanced diet"?
  6. Chocolate has many preservatives.  "Preserve-a-tives" just might make you look younger!

    And finally...
  7. A nice box of chocolates can provide your TOTAL daily intake of calories in one place.  Now isn't THAT handy?

What do you think?  Well, okay... While I'll admit a couple of those findings might require a bit more "clinical research", overall, they do make sense.  Well... maybe not "make sense" as much as "make you laugh"... which, of course, is also good for you. =)

The bottom line is that eating healthy just may require a change in our thinking.  And while that might sound more monumental than deleting desserts, there is good news.  Changing your thinking is not solely up to you. Listen to what the Apostle Paul had to say on the matter.

"...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." ~ Romans 12:2 (New Living Translation)

It's safe to say that part of God's "good and pleasing and perfect" will for us is that we take care of our bodies.  This process starts with God transforming the way we think.  That's why I'm so glad Rick Warren, the author of The Daniel Plan, began his plan by focusing on our faith in God. 

"God gives us the grace and power to have a relationship with Him... [His] power is the key to any transformational change in our lives, including our health... What He calls you to do, He equips you to do.  He doesn't need your strength and willpower, but He does need your commitment... you must rely on Jesus." ~ Rick Warren, The Daniel Plan (pp. 32-33)

You must rely on JesusYep.  In every area of life.  Faith.  Food.  Fitness.  Focus.  Friends.  True transformation begins with a personal relationship with Jesus, which is then the foundation for building habits and perspectives for health in every other area. 

What God calls you to do, He equips you to do.  In matters of health or in matters of life... that's His commitment to you.

P.S.  You know, that idea of a small piece of dark chocolate every day actually sounds pretty good!

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