Updated: Feb 8, 2022
My husband and I took a trip to St. Croix over our Anniversary this past year. One of the sites I was most excited about seeing were the Annaly Bay Tide Pools. I picked a resort close to their location, so it would be easy to hike to, and it was the first thing we decided to check off our list once we'd recovered from our jetlag. The hike was mostly a goat trail that was zig zagging the mountainside. The scenery was breathtaking. We saw trees and plants that we had never seen before, and the trail would wind out into the open every so often where you could take in the turquoise coastline down below. The trail ended after about 2 miles at a rocky beach with mountains on each side, just gorgeous! We walked across the beach in the direction of the tide pools. The rocky mountain side looming over us as we approached. At first glance it appeared that we would have to do a fair amount of rock climbing in order to get around the mountain to where the tide pools lay nestled in the rocks. Insert picture above. There are two things you need to know about me, before I continue this story. I'm afraid of heights, and I'm VERY AFRAID OF HEIGHTS! As my husband is snapping this picture, I'm trying to smile and look like "the ultimate adventurer" while also trying to get my legs to stop shaking uncontrollably and murmuring over and over, "there has got to be another way". Good news: There was another way. It involved getting wet but wet at that time was definitely the lesser of the two evils. So, I climbed down, took my shoes off, and tried to time jumping from jagged rock to jagged rock in between waves crashing onto them as we rounded the bend to the tide pools. (I got wet, because my timing was off for a few of the waves.) Rounding that bend, my breath caught in my throat: it was so worth it. As we climbed up and over the last rocky face that stood between us and the tide pools, we looked out onto a paradise all of its own. Pictures don't do it justice; it was so beautiful!
Let's take a break quick so I can head down a different rabbit trail for a while, but I will tie everything in, I promise!
Getting back to the title: Are you All in?
I took a Masterclass a couple weeks back, and one of my main take-aways was the phrase, "If you're only 95% in, you're out." I'm going to repeat that: If you are only 95% in, YOU'RE OUT. Let that sink in for a minute!
Now this can be applied to many situations and scenarios, I'm going to focus mostly on the two topics that make up this blog today: My relationship with Jesus Christ, and My health journey on the Ketogenic Diet.
2 Timothy 2:21 says:
"And as Christ's soldier, do not let yourself become tied up in the affairs of this life, for then you cannot satisfy the One who has enlisted you in His army."
"Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in ALL you do, and He will direct your paths."
Revelation 3: 15-16
"I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, I will spit you out of my mouth!"
"No one can serve two masters."
I had reached a point in my life where, things weren't working. I was trying to serve two masters, and it wasn't going well. I wasn't hot or cold, I was trying to blend in. I had gotten sucked up into the cares of the world and completely lost my purpose (or hadn't even found it, yet). I wasn't giving God ALL my heart, because I didn't think I could trust Him with it, and I wasn't seeking His will in my life, because I didn't think it's what I wanted. (All this as I felt like I was constantly drowning in the monotony of it all.)
Another rabbit trail:
I asked my boys, what was the first thing they thought of when they heard the phrase: "Going all in." Two boys said, without blinking an eye, "Poker"! You go "all in" in a poker game. And I immediately associated this thought with: Risk, a Gamble, being Hopeful and having Faith. (Ok, faith may be a stretch for Poker, but just stick with me.) My third son said he thinks of football, when he hears the phrase, "going all in" he thinks about giving 110% on and off the field. I associated this thought with dedication, perseverance, hard work & accountability.
Halfway wasn't working out for me, I needed to change. I needed to do a complete 180 overhaul and not look back. I remember telling God, "I tried my way, and it's not going well. I'm ready to let you have a go at it." I was willing to take what I thought was a risk at the time and put my hope and faith in God. I was all in, because when it came down to it, I had nothing to lose, but everything to gain. So, I went all in, I dedicated myself to change, I worked hard to replace old habits with healthier new ones, and I was and still am held accountable to my Savior. I switched the music I was listening to, to Christian music. (The attitude change I noticed in myself from this alone!!!) I began reading my Bible every day. I prayed and started seeking His guidance in all areas of my life. I humbled myself and delt with sins as He convicted me. I apologized to people He brought to my mind, whom I had hurt. I began striving to become a Godly woman as described in Proverbs 31, and as time ticked by, I discovered some gifts that He has given me. I started to see a purpose that He has for me. I felt a worth in Him that I had never felt before. Going ALL IN Changed Me forever!
If I had continued to do life half-way, I would still be floundering around, trying to please everyone, and not succeeding. Trying to do everything with my own strength and not succeeding. Trying to build a life that I thought I wanted and just being miserable while not succeeding.
We have to go: ALL IN! That is where our Growth is done, that is where Change is made & that is where our Worth is known! With Great Risk comes Great Reward!
If I hadn't been "All In" to see those Tide Pools, I would have turned around and hiked back to the resort when I saw that mountain face staring back at me. (You seriously have no idea, how much I'm afraid of heights) I wouldn't have thought about my options. I would have taken one look at the mountain and given up. My husband asked me at one point, "Do you just want to hike back?" "NO!!!" Because I was ALL In! I was willing to take some risks to get to my destination. I was putting my faith and hope in God for getting me to the destination safely. I put in the hard work of exhausting every other possible way of getting there, besides climbing. All while my determination for my husband to not think I was a complete sissy, held me accountable. (I am a complete sissy when it comes to heights, for the record) Rounding that last rock to see the Tide Pools wouldn't have been nearly as beautiful of a sight if there had been no hardships along the way. One thing I know about myself. I appreciate everything so much more, when I have to earn it the hard way. (It's not always fun while you're earning it.) The lessons and the growth that happens along the way makes the end game so much more beautiful, though, ALWAYS!
I am ALL IN where my health is concerned!
If I wasn't all in with the Keto diet. I would be typing this right now with Cheeto Cheese fingers while drinking a Dr. Pepper and complaining about my horrible skin and how awful I feel. (Actually, let's face it, I wouldn't be at this same point in my life, so I wouldn't be typing this at all.) Going all in nutritionally is important, because now days, there are so many distractions to take you off course. Going all in doesn't mean you won't have hiccups or hang ups or life lessons along the way. It's the difference between dusting yourself off and starting over versus quitting. By not giving up, you gain the ability to form healthier habits, and you start to automatically make the right choices vs. struggling over them. Falling off the wagon doesn't mean that you aren't "all in". Quitting does. Once you are eating healthier, eating unhealthy feels awful. Which helps you stay the course. And every year that I continue eating this way, I see more and more positive changes and benefits from it. (Which is also a nice incentive!)
Before I made the change to the Keto diet, I remember sitting on my couch one day, watching a movie or a show, with active, fit, healthy people in it. I remember sitting there, munching on chips, (Of course) and I wished so bad that I could be healthy like them, and for the first time, I could see the whole situation for what it was. (CRAZY) I could be healthy like them. But sitting there and eating chips while I wished away wasn't going to do it for me! Earlier that same day I also remember crying and yelling at my husband, "I'm too fat! None of my clothes fit right." (My boys heard me say those words.) 2 hours later they saw me sitting on the couch eating potato chips. In that moment a light bulb went off in my head and I realized how ridiculous I was. What a human thing to do, right? Wish things were different, but not wanting to put forth any effort to make them such?
Albert Einstein Hits the nail on the head when he said: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. (or maybe wanting different results?)
Change needs to happen for Change to happen! (I just thought of that one myself)
And that said change won't happen unless you are all in. Once I realized that I was never going to be the healthy and fit, active person that I wanted to be sitting on the couch, I got off the couch. I had always wanted to be a runner; you know what I finally did? I started running. (Who knew, right?) I look back and just realize how simple the solutions are if we will see it.
Are you ready to see it? Are you ready for a change? Are you ready to quit thinking about getting healthy and actually put some action behind it? Are you ready to give Christ your life, and let Him have a go? You won't reap the benefits of the end game, unless you go through the journey. And you won't make it through the journey if you aren't ALL In.
Are you ALL IN?
Love in Christ,
Psalms 63: 8
"My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me."