Today marks 40 days of my Daniel Plan journey.
I made my initial commitment to the Daniel Plan from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday (a tick more than 40 days, but who’s counting?). I’m thrilled to share that this journey is going beyond a Lenten challenge for me. It’s a complete lifestyle change.
Physically, I have never felt better. Yes — I’ve been skinnier (and much more frail), I’ve trained harder (and sustained more injury), and I’ve crash-dieted more intensely (and wreaked havoc on my metabolism). But for the first time ever, I’m actually healthy. My physical transformation has been astonishing:
- I’ve lost seven pounds and a pant size. Weight loss was never a goal, but hey – I’ll take it.
- My muscles are leaner and more defined.
- My skin is clearer, less transparent.
- My nails are growing stronger and my hair faster.
- I actually want to workout.
- I wake up refreshed, even without a cup of coffee to bribe me.
- I don’t need medication or harmful laxatives to make my digestive system work.
Sorry – that last one may be a little TMI. But after struggling with stomach issues and eating disorders for 17 years, I can’t help but share! Food really can heal your body — and God made the perfect all-natural foods to do it.
To be honest, the physical benefits of The Daniel Plan were what drew me in at the beginning. Who wouldn’t want to experience any of the above? But it was so much more than food to me.
The greatest benefit in my experience has been the mental and spiritual journey God has been leading me on. For the first time ever, I am focused and clear in so many areas of life, and I know that I could not have come to any of it on my own. God has been with me, strengthening me, challenging me — even rescuing me from myself.
Before I started writing this blog with Mollie, I was very private — almost embarrassed by my faith. I am well aware that much of society views Christians as inauthentic, and I know that in many cases, it’s true. So I hid. My desire for worldly approval was so much stronger than my desire to be real about my walk with God. I am not the first to experience this — but I know now that I can never, ever be in that position again.
Since I began writing openly about my faith, I’ve lost friends. I make jokes with Mike about my Facebook friends number diminishing rapidly, but in truth — I’ve lost long-standing relationships as a direct result of my obedience during this journey. Seems backward, I’ll admit. I’m in a season of true spiritual pruning, but I can feel my roots growing deeper and stronger, preparing me for what’s ahead.
And yet, amidst loss and disappointment, I know am not alone. I’ve met and re-connected with friends who are thrilled to see God working in and through my life — and they’re now anxious to ramp up their own journeys, too. I’ve been able to share my faith and connect with others searching for truth without a hint of fear. God has lighted a spark within me and in so many around me, whether they’re on this Daniel Plan journey with me or just reading about it here. I’m excited to find out where He’s taking us, together.
And so, my Daniel Plan journey continues. Beyond Lent. Beyond the book. Beyond anything I could have ever hoped for.
This journey on taming lions is for life. This is me — choosing joy.
As we move into Holy Week, I invite you to explore ways in which God has been present with you during Lent. If you’ve seen Him at work, I invite you to share. If you’ve noticed His absence, I understand — and I encourage you to keep seeking His face.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” — Matthew 7:7 (NIV)