Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Time for a Spiritual Checkup

Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message…

I have struggled with weight issues since I was a little girl. Part of my struggle is rooted in “fluffy” genes lovingly passed down to me through several generations of “fluffy” relatives. The remainder of my struggle is firmly rooted in the fact that I hate exercise, take medications that cause weight gain, enjoy eating, and sometimes use food as an emotional outlet and reward.

I was a young adult and living on my own before I realized that part of the creation process included green things called vegetables. The motto in our family was, “If it ain’t fried, it ain’t right.” Gravy was a condiment and potatoes a staple at every meal. No bread? How can you have a meal without bread? And dessert was a necessity. Get the picture?

Over the years, I have tried just about every diet I could find. I could always lose weight. I just could not keep it off. The day came when I threw in the towel.

My name is Mary, and I am a Carboholic.

I was done. I was burned out on diets and quick fixes. I didn’t want to be a certain size. I just wanted to feel good and to be as healthy as I could possibly be at this point in my life.

I went to a highly-recommended Christian nutritionist who asked me to complete a packet of 500 questions (not kidding), did an EKG, ran more blood tests than I have ever had run in my life, and introduced me to the coolest machine that measures fat and muscle in the body. After all the tests were in, Dr. Tague smiled at me and calmly said, “Mary, you are a malnourished woman.”

My mouth literally fell open in shock. At the time, I was at least 50 pounds overweight and ate pretty much everything in sight whenever I felt the slightest twinge of hunger. How could I possibly be malnourished?

The doctor went on to explain that I was indeed eating … but I was eating all the wrong things … at all the wrong times. In fact, I was dangerously low in several key vitamins and minerals. He handed me a small paper cup filled with a mixture of those vitamins and minerals to take before leaving his office and said, “If you were my patient in the hospital, I would not release you until some of these levels came up.” Now he had my undivided attention.

God often works the same way.

I spend more time working on ministry checklists than I spend in God’s Word.

Prayer is more often a drive-through event than the sit-down-at-His-feet experience it should be.

I give God the leftovers of my day when I should purposefully plan my time with Him.

Rather than investing time in relationships, I follow friends on Facebook or text them to ease my guilt.

I choose what is easiest and more convenient in ministry instead of choosing the best part of ministry, which is often messy and inconvenient.

I often allow the hedges of protection to go untended, resulting in a lack of boundaries and margins in my life.

I allow myself to become a malnourished Christian.

God then lovingly but unquestionably gets my attention in several ways – a crisis that knocks every prop but Him out from under me, or an illness that rips every choice out of my hands and really makes me stop. I can then get the spiritual nourishment that really feeds my soul. Nourishment like sustaining time in the Word of God … significant, life-giving time in prayer … nurturing time with encouraging friends … opportunities to give myself away in service.

After following the carefully laid out plan of my nutritionist for two years, I have lost 65 pounds, but that is not the best or most important news. I feel better than I have felt in many years! My blood work, EKGs, and BMI (body mass index) are all perfect. And the doctor has now pronounced me a well-nourished woman.

I want to be a well-nourished Christian. I am taking the next year to get my spiritual ducks in a row. I am seeking God on what I should and should not do. I am setting boundaries and asking my husband and accountability group to hold my feet to the fire in keeping those boundaries firmly in place. I am practicing saying “no.” I am bringing order to any areas of chaos. I am resting beside the still waters. And I know He will restore my soul just as He has restored my body in so many ways.

How about you? Are you a malnourished Christian? Today is the day to take a step toward spiritual health!

Have a blessed day!

Hope Wissel

Nutritional Cleansing

My Saturday Spotlight has been on products that I personally endorse but today has just a slight twist.  I met Michelle Antonucci Smith because we have a common desire to give back to the community.  She is running a Zumbathon today to help raise funds for a local family and I wanted to help.

smiles for trever

While we were talking, we shared our weight loss journey with each other.  Michelle has been a Zumba instructor for about 4 years. Here is her story:

When I first started teaching I was about 35 lbs. overweight. It bothered me that I was supposed to be setting an example of being healthy and students were coming to my class to get fit and I was overweight. I felt that I should be setting a better example. I decided to try a Nutritional Cleansing Program in September of 2012. It has changed my life in many ways. It’s changed me physically – I lost 35 lbs. It has increased my energy levels tremendously. Finally and most importantly it has given me freedom from Yo Yo Dieting. I have tried every diet plan out there. I have finally learned how to live a healthy lifestyle and no other program has made me feel this good. I am stronger than I have ever been, filled with positive energy, surrounded by uplifting people, and sharing in opportunities I didn’t think were possible. The best part is that I am now part of a team helping so many others reach their fitness and weight loss goals and living a healthier lifestyle. This change is possible for everyone!

The thing that really touched my heart was Michelle’s You Tube video.  During this video she talks about her Dad and her why.  Please make sure that you watch it by clicking HERE

If you want to hear more about Nutritional Cleansing, you can contact Michelle directly on Facebook or via email at  Want to attend any of her Zumba classes find her schedule on  Here are her before and after pictures….


Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!