Determined….NOT Desperate-(Made to Crave Bible Study)

Made to Crave Bible Study

Hola Divas!  Welcome to week three of our bible study, Made to Crave by Lysa TerKuerst.  If you are just joining us, you may want to check out previous Made to Crave  posts or visit our Meetup Page

During each session, Lysa gives us a theme word.  For the first session, the word was empowerment.  Our word for this session is Determined.

Webster’s online dictionary defines determined as: having made a firm decision and being resolved not to change it. 

Determined is a mindset.

At the opposite end of the “mindset spectrum’ is desperate.  Desperate is defined as: feeling, showing, or involving a hopeless sense that a situation is so bad as to be impossible to deal with.  

As Lysa so eloquently put it…Desperation breeds defeat. 

When we are  desperate,  we want instant gratification.  We become laser focused on what we want. We see what we want. We think about what we want. We simply MUST have it or we couldn’t possibly live on!

In desperate times, we just might do, say, eat, or give away….ANYTHING!


In Genesis 25:29-34, we find an exchange between two brothers illustrating what desperation can do:

One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home from the wilderness exhausted and hungry.

(Can you say set up for desperation?  When I arrive home after working all day exhausted and hungry…the best intentions in the world just may not be able to keep me from  running to a drive through instead of cooking a healthy meal.)

Esau said to Jacob, “I’m starved! Give me some of that red stew!” “All right,” Jacob replied, “but trade me your rights as the firstborn son.”

(Do we have some sibling rivalry going on?  Jacob did NOT have Esau’s best interests in mind.  However, Esau’s defenses were down…he smelled the soup, the saw the soup, he wanted the soup, he simply had to have the soup. So….. he went straight into crazytown-manipulation-drama-king mode:

“Look, I’m dying of starvation!” said Esau. “What good is my birthright to me now?”

I am sure NONE of you have eeeevvvver  gone into drama queen mode (the attitude, pouting, noodle-necking, sulking, silent treatment, oh no I am fine…just about to die), when you desperately wanted something.


Divas, we have to be careful with desperation…it breeds defeat. We want …..and we want ….and we start manipulating to get what we want and before we know it….desperation turns our manipulation back on us,  and WE GET PLAYED!

But Jacob said, “First you must swear that your birthright is mine.” So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his brother, Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate the meal, then got up and left. He showed contempt for his rights as the firstborn.

Divas would you trade your inheritance for soup?  


One method of handling “physical” desperation is to not allow ourselves to get soooo hungry we become desperate.

Part of the homework for this week is to determine in advance what we are going to eat so that we are not caught off guard…exhausted and hungry!  If you need help, check out our post on the plate method and plan out at least 3 days worth of meals.

Maybe you don’t have a food issue.  Where do you become so desperate in your life that you make “feel-good right now” decisions with painful long-term consequences?

Come on back later this week as we talk about “spiritual determination”.

Keep us posted about how things are going in the comments section!


Maintain Don’t Gain Challenge-So What if you gained?

Maintain Don't Gain ChallengeHola divas! Happy New Year!  Can you believe it is 2014?  We will be finishing up our Maintain Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge in the next few days!!! How did you do in the maintaining but not gaining department?

If you did well….GREAT…you are off to an excellent start to the New Year!  If you didn’t maintain and are up a few pounds……SO WHAT! You can still be off to an excellent start to the New Year!

How can you be off to a good start to the New Year regardless of gained or loss weight?  It is simple….a good start to the New Year is not circumstantial a good start, a good finish a good middle…whatever….is a choice.

So divas, I challenge you not to sit on your loins if you did well or give up because you weren’t perfect.  Simply choose to begin to make or continue to make healthy choices right now!

Now just before you get too excited and decide to lose weight, organize your entire house, get out of debt and make your children stop backtalking all at once:

1.  Write down what you would like to accomplish in 2014…about your health or otherwise.

2.  Then, breathe and decide what SMALL, GRADUAL changes you can REALISTICALLY make right away.

Focusing on one small goal at a time you will stay encouraged and feel more accomplished.

Now before you let yourself off the hook and vow to start your healthy choices next week, here are a few things you can do TODAY to start to ease into your New Year’s fitness goals:

1.  Increase your water intake.  Sweet holiday treats are full of sugar and salt!  Jump start metabolism and detox naturally with good ol’ H2O!  If you can stand it, try to drink mostly water all day–skip the soda, and other sweetened beverages…especially diet drinks which have actually been linked to causing increased hunger!

2.  Get some support.  Perhaps it is just me but it is EASY for me to skip a workout when I am going alone!  A workout buddy or a group class with other POSITIVE people are harder to skip out on!!! Looking for a group of fabulous, positive ladies…join the DANCE FIT DIVAS!  We are starting a new Bible study called Made to Crave to help bridge the gap between a woman’s desire to be healthy and the spiritual empowerment necessary to make that happen. Join our Meetup Group to stay in the KNOW!

3.  Have Fun! New Year’s Resolutions and/or goals should be inspiring.  They shouldn’t drag you down or taunt you with all the things you haven’t done.  What are some creative and unique ways that you can come up with to get your stuff done?

The New Year just like each and every NEW DAY we are blessed with has the potential to be great.

Lamentations 3:22-23
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.  Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning

You will enjoy this:

Pep Talk From the Kid President (link:

Leave the Holiday Party Un-Stuffed-Maintain Don’t Gain

Maintain Don't Gain ChallengeHola Divas!  How goes the maintaining and NOT gaining?  If you have NO clue what I am talking about, check our Maintain Don’t Gain Challenge!   Otherwise, I hope you are all tallying your points or at least doing the things that the challenge asks you to do: exercising at least 30 minutes per day, eating fruits and veggies, not eating more than 1 serving of dessert or having more than 1 alcoholic drink per day!

We are down to crunch time…can you say HOLIDAY PARTIES?

Even if you are really trying most of the time, it is REALLY hard to stay on task when you are at a Holiday Party!
Here are some tips to get you through:
1. Eat Intentionally – Don’t just show up at the party and go on an eating frenzy! Take a mental inventory of what is available. Choose those things that you REALLY want. (If I am not careful, I will mindless eat things.) When having appetizers, stick with veggies but only get a dollop or a small portion of the creamy dips! If you MUST have a deep-fried appetizer, only eat one small serving. If you are at dinner party, fill up half of your plate with veggies with only a quarter of starch and a quarter of meat!
2. Manage your sweet tooth! Experts recommend that you eat low-calorie choices like: fruit, Jell-O, pudding, an unfrosted mini muffin (yeah whateva on this one) , shortbread cookies, ginger snaps or angel food cake. ( None of these types of things are EVER at the Holiday Parties that I go to. LOL!) However, if you must have a dessert with frosting, butter cream, cream cheese, or chocolate chips, limit yourself to one small cookie or one thin slice of cake. Remember, part of the Maintain Don’t Gain program is to have no more than 1 dessert per day!

3. Go slow with Alcohol! Our Maintain Don’t Gain program also stresses that you limit alcohol intake to 1 drink per day. The type of alcohol that you have is important as well. Skip the eggnog and have a light beer or a glass of wine. After that, switch off to calorie-free drinks such as water, unsweetened ice tea, hot tea or coffee.

4. Focus on socializing! Don’t stand around the food table during the party! Focus on talking to people! Talk is “calorically” cheap, Divas!

5. Enjoy Yourself! The Holidays are meant to be spent with family and friends. Get plenty of rest and perhaps take some things off of your to-do list so that you have time to get places ON TIME, prepare healthy meals at home and REST!

 1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Do you have any holiday party eating tips?

Bounce Back From Holiday Over-Eating

Maintain Don't Gain Challenge

Well Divas…Thanksgiving is behind us! How did you do with your maintaining-not-gaining?

One of the main purposes of our Maintain Don’t Gain Challenge is to be mindful of what we are eating, and ENJOY the holiday celebrations at the same time. (Need more info on the specifics of the challenge? Go HERE.)

“Enjoying” sometimes may mean that we stray away from our eating plan. News flash…eating “a little more” than we intended over the Thanksgiving Holiday is NOT the end of the world. Plus, Thanksgiving is over and just in cause y’all didn’t know, there are a whole lot of other eating opportunities coming up. So what is a Diva to do?……Bounce Back and move forward of course!

keep-calm-and-bounce-back-16Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you “Bounce Back” from holiday overeating:

Don’t weigh yourself until next week. Water retention from salty, fatty, heavy foods can cause a 3- to 5-lb increase for up to 2 days afterward, so hold off on the weigh-in until 5 -7 days post-splurge.  Better yet—don’t weigh at all–until the end of the challenge!  Look for changes in how your clothes feel.

Do drink a lot of water Drinking more water will help you remove some of the water retention from all the delicious Thanksgiving food, aid with digestion and just plain help you feel better!

Do add more physical activity In addition to your normal fitness routine, add 15-30 minutes of brisk walking.  Just bundle up and do it…your body will thank you!

Do change your attitude.  Divas, we serve an amazing God.  A couple of days of overeating does not mean we are failures. In fact, because of how great God is, we are more than conquerors.  We can and we will bounce back!

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37

Here is a video of Larae Puckett, Devoted Fitness Founder, dancing to Mandisa’s Overcomer!  Get your bounce-back party started early by dancing! (click here for link to the video)


Maintain Don’t Gain-Turkey Day Tips

Maintain Don't Gain Challenge

Ok Divas, we are almost a full week into our “Maintain Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge“.  Since the BIG GAME (Thanksgiving) is only a few days away, we need to do a little “pre-game” preparation! The old saying is true……we don’t plan to fail…we FAIL to plan.

So, just like with all the football games that will be going on…we have to have our own playbook.file3091346979128

Here are just a few tips to help you avoid a fumble in your fitness goals on the biggest eating day of the year.

1.  Don’t fast all day: I am sure none of you will skip a meal since you would lose a point in our Maintain Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge, but just in case you thought you might save all of your calories for Thanksgiving Dinner…forgetabouit! Waiting all day to eat is a great way to guarantee that you will overeat and be cranky!

2.  Drink plenty of water:  Staying hydrated is one of the best methods to assure that you will not overeat.  Often, thirst is mistaken for hunger.  Plus, with a belly full of non-caloric water, you won’t have room for more pie!

3.  Load up on veggies:  When making your plate at Thanksgiving dinner, fill at least one-half (1/2) of your plate up with veggies.  Filling your plate with veggies helps with portion control and if you eat them first…you may only have room for a spoonful or two of that delicious baked macaroni and cheese!


4.  Move your body-Go for a walk, turn on some music and dance, play Just Dance or Dance Central on the Wii, Xbox or PlayStation or work-out with the Dance Fit Divas on our youtube channel!  Just don’t sit around all day eating!  If you are in the Winston-Salem, NC area…join us for the Katina and Courtney combined work-out Monday November 25, 2013 6:00pm!

5.  Spend more time with people you love and be THANKFUL!  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

Happy Thanksgiving!

Maintain Don’t Gain Challenge-Write It Down

Maintain Don't Gain Challenge

So we are in the first few days of our Maintain Don’t Gain Challenge! The purpose of the challenge is to keep away holiday weight gain.  The challenge is pretty relaxed and only contains a few dos and don’ts! The challenge started on November 20th and will run until January 8, 2013.  Join us!  Check it out here.

One key component to the challenge is using the tally sheet! We often think we can keep up with things in our heads.   Divas,…let’s get honest…we have a lot goin’ on in our pretty little heads:)

So, why should you keep up with your intake of fruit, veggies, and desserts on paper?

Because, writing things down is a powerful way to focus your attention! Being intentional about our eating is over half the battle!

We just may think again about getting that second piece of cake if we know we have to write it down AND lose a point over it!

I write and journal during my bible study quiet times. I found an old journal from over 10 years ago. I randomly read a couple of pages and was brought to tears from reading my one of my journal entries. I had written to God about what I wanted in a job and I was pretty specific. As I was reading what I wrote years before, I couldn’t help but cry because I have had TWO jobs identical to what I wrote.  TWO not just one. Divas, it didn’t happen right away but it happened. In fact, I forgot all about what I wrote.

At other times, writing things has helped me go back to what happened. Some of my journal entries showed me that I have a really hard head, sometimes I went through the same thing over an over before learning the lesson. Other times, my entries served as reminders of God’s goodness and helped me to hold on!

Habakkuk 2:2-3 “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”

Need a tally sheet?  Get one on the Dance Fit Divas Meetup Page.

Maintain Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge

Maintain Don't Gain Challenge

We all know that Thanksgiving signals the opening day of a season of overeating, stress and inactivity. (My opening day started with all the Halloween Candy that magically appeared.)Unfortunately, the season does not end until well after we ring in the New Year.

For many Divas this also means unwanted weight gain. If you have been trying to lose weight before the holidays, it is especially hard to continue to do so once the Holidays arrive.

Therefore, the challenge is to try to maintain weight and not gain any during the weeks from Thanksgiving until after the first of the year.

This year, make a promise to yourself to enjoy the holiday season with a higher level of energy while maintaining your weight and healthy lifestyle!

So let’s take the “The Maintain Don’t Gain Challenge”!!!

When: November 20, 2013 until January 08,2013!!!!

What do you have to do for the challenge? Just a couple of Dos and Don’ts…

DO Exercise at least 30 minutes per day or 210 minutes per week
DO Eat 1 cup of fruit and/or veggies per day
DO Eat breakfast daily

Do NOT eat more than 1 serving of sweets/dessert per day

Do NOT skip meals

Do NOT drink more than 1 alcoholic beverage per day

Earn up to 120 points!!! By following the simple dos and don’ts!

Track your progress with the tracking worksheet

At the bottom of the tracking worksheet, record your weight at the beginning of the challenge and at the end!

For encouragement and more info:
1. Join us here on the blog for weekly updates!
2. Join the Maintain Don’t Gain challenge on the Eat Smart, Move More website: (Registering on their site allows you to receive the free weekly newsletter containing tips and healthy recipes from the Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina program)

Water Drinking Challenge

For 2013, we have been committed to living healthier as a group!  We jump started our year with the Cut the Crap Challenge and now it is time for the Divas to DRINK MORE WATER!!!

Besides being free, there are several benefits to drinking water:

1. Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue – Since your brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you think, focus and concentrate better and be more alert. As an added bonus, your energy levels are also boosted!

2. Promotes Weight Loss – Removes by-products of fat, reduces eating intake (by filling up your tummy if consumed prior to meals), reduces hunger (hello natural appetite suppressant!), raises your metabolism and has zero calories!

3. Flushes Out Toxins – Gets rid of waste through sweat and urination which reduces the risk of kidney stones and UTI’s (urinary tract infections). 

4. Improves Skin Complexion – Moisturizes your skin, keeps it fresh, soft, glowing and smooth. Gets rid of wrinkles. It’s the best anti-aging treatment around!

Sooooooooooooo, take the Dance Fit Diva Water Challenge:

• Each day of the month (Starting February 14, 2013), record the number of eight-ounce glasses of water (only water) consumed. Remember, 8 oz. = 1 cup.

• On March 14, 2013 total the number of glasses (8 oz.) of water consumed during the month.

• Submit your Dance Fit Divas Water Tracking Sheet to no later than Saturday, March 16, 2013.

• Your name will be entered into a drawing for workout gear and other Dance Fit Divas Goodies!

Please consult your physician before beginning this or any exercise/healthy lifestyle program.

Join our meetup group to get our calendar and discuss!

Vending Machines–Cut The Crap

 I attended a conference over the weekend which had  its share of challenges for a girl trying to “Cut the Crap”.  There was dessert after both lunch and dinner and enough emotional stress to make you want to eat as much CRAP as humanly possible!!! I will give them credit and say that I could always have a salad and there were plenty of veggies and low carb items at most meals.  However, there were NO snacks.

In  retrospect, that was probably a good thing because snacks at a conference usually consist of cookies and soda:(  Nonetheless, with all the packing and situating I did just to get there, I did NOT plan ahead and bring my own healthy snacks.

So this hungry girl had to go to a vending machine to get a snack one day…a huge dilemma! What is NOT crap in a vending machine?

That is a loaded question because pretty much EVERYTHING in vending machines are CRAP.  However, some things are better than others.  In the real world, sometimes you have to choose the lesser of the evils.  Yes Divas, Imperfect Progress (slow steps of change wrapped in grace)–Lysa Terkeurst.

What are some of the healthiest choices from a vending machine?

Nuts are usually the best choice however, the sodium content can be a little high.

If you are a chip girl, go for the baked lays.  If there are no baked lays, choose sun chips.

Stay away from rice krispie treats, pop tarts,  and cheese crackers.

Read Fitness Magazine’s article on the 10 Healthiest and Worst vending machine snacks.

I chose Sun Chips and I made a mental note to pack snacks on my next conference.

Have you ever tried to make a healthy choice from a vending machine?

If so, what did YOU choose?

Cut The Crap-Eating Out Tips

Happy Tuesday Divas! How are your “Cut the Crap” efforts coming?  Weekends are hard but sometimes Mondays are even harder in terms of staying on track.

 I JUST posted about planning ahead and alas….I did NOT plan ahead yesterday.  I got home a lot later than usual yesterday because I had a CPR class.  I FORGOT to take out our lean ground beef. Soooo,  I tried my Mother’s method of putting the frozen meat container in cold water for 30 minutes.  NOTHING, still frozen solid.

My children are chanting about how hungry they are and my husband says….”Let’s just go and pick up something”.  Just before the horror music started to play in my head, my oldest daughter asked if she could pick the restaurant since she made an “A” on her math test.

She studied really hard so we let her choose.  MISTAKE! She chose a local diner/dive that sells breakfast 24 hours a day.  This is not my favorite place to eat normally but now that I am “Cutting the Crap” it is soooo NOT on the list.

So we get to the restaurant and slide into the booths.  It takes me at least ten minutes to read the entire menu then decide what I was going to order.  I ended up ordering some ol dry chicken, asparagus and water.   

Let’s just say I left that meal unfulfilled.  However, I DID laugh and talk with my family which is priceless! 

So Divas, learn from my mistake!  Follow these tips when eating out and ENJOY your food:

1.  Research the restaurant BEFORE you go.  (Here we are right back at planning–smh!)  Most restaurants have their menu online.  Most large chains also have the nutritional information and ingredients online as well. (Local dives like where we went…not so much.)

2.  Eat something at home before getting to the restaurant.  This will make passing on the appetizers and bread easier because you won’t be famished.

3.  Drink water.  Free refills are an  easy way to large amounts  of sugar or chemically altered products that are turned into sugar.  For a little flavor, add lemon or lime to your water.  If all else fails remember, drinking water saves you almost $3.00 per meal!

Do you have any tips for eating out while following a healthy meal plan?