Making Healthy Lifestyle Changes {March Challenge}


I suck at dieting. There are entirely too many Mondays in my history where I was supposed to make radical eating changes, but they're heavily darkened by my failure to commit. So, I vowed to give up the idea of diets once and for all. Instead, I decided that if I was going to make healthy changes, I would do it slowly and intentionally - not to lose weight or look good in bathing suit, but to have the health and strength to live a full life for the Lord.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of being exhausted all day because of all the processed food I put in my body, the late nights, a dependence on caffeine and not enough fresh air and exercise for my body.

What the Bible says about healthy living

We often forget our body is a temple of God and therefore should be treated and maintained as such. It's not about having a hot body, losing weight or becoming a health fanatic.

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

It's about making sure I have the energy to work hard in the ministry the Lord has given me. It's about feeling well physically so I can smile no matter how stressful life gets. It's about having the strength to serve God with my body and talents. It's about having a clear mind to learn and study.

It's been slow going, but since March is National Nutrition Month, I decided it was the perfect monthly challenge for the Year of the Lord.

THE CHALLENGE: Make three sustainable, healthy lifestyle changes and do them for at least 21 days.

I've learned I don't do well with strict diet plans and radical changes. But, I can do little things everyday that lead to grater life changes. So, I decided to choose just three things this month:

  • At least 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week. Whether it's going for a walk outside (on the rare days it gets above freezing temps), stopping by the gym before class, taking a fitness class or an exercise DVD. I also try to spend this time "work-out" time reading or meditating on something that will nurture my spirit. For example, last week at the gym, I would listen to a Pandora station featuring Christian artists while reading Restless.
  • Start each day with a smoothie. I just started making smoothies and I'm hooked. In the past, I didn't like the texture of smoothies, but my taste buds must be chaining because I can't get enough of them now (my favorite combo so far is a green smoothie with kale, spinach, almond milk, green apple, banana and chia seeds). I also recently bought a juicer and I'm excited to try some new recipes.
  • Get at least seven hours of sleep each night. This one is probably the most difficult for me - I'm a night owl. I usually study all through the evening and late into the night so that for years now, I often go to bed after midnight. Lately though, I haven't been sleeping well - no matter how tired I am, it takes me awhile to fall and asleep and I'll spend the night tossing and turning. This month, I want to make an effort to be more efficient with my time during the day so that I can be in bed before midnight. This also includes turning off all electronics an hour before bed, cutting out caffeine after 4 pm and other tricks to prepare myself for bed.

Studies show doing something for 21 days straight becomes a habit, so that's why this month-long challenge is perfect for beginning to make healthy lifestyle challenges that are sustainable and manageable.

Here are a few other ideas if you're struggling to come up with the changes you want to make in your life. Just pick three and commit to them for at least 21 days! 

  • Drink 8 glasses of water each day.
  • Eat at least two pieces of fruit and two pieces vegetables every day.
  • Swap out a "bad food" for something good (ex: instead of processed snacks, eat a vegetable while studying...I'm loving baby carrots for this trick!)
  • Sign up for a fitness class that meets on a regular basis - accountabillity!
  • Vow to eat half of what you normally eat at each meal - portion control makes a huge difference!
  • Cut out artificial sweeteners and sugars for 21 days.
  • Try one new healthy recipe each week.
  • Plan your meals each week for a month.
  • Give up a food or a food group completely for a month (ex: pizza, white carbs, chocolate).
  • Do a three-day cleanse.
  • Sign up for a 5K (or just start a training plan towards a 5K).
  • Pick a health topic to educate yourself on (ex: strength training, nutrition, sleeping habits).

You are capable of change. You have more strength, will-power and self-discipline than you think. You don't have to transform yourself overnight or feel like a failure if you slip up once in awhile. Together, we can learn to treat our bodies with more care and respect. 

"But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." -1 Corinthians 9:27

What three lifestyle changes are you making this month?

I would love to be an accountability partner for you! Just share your three things in the comments and/or email us at - we can do this!