First of all, hello!! It’s been a while if you are receiving this in your email or are visiting my blog! I’m more active on my social media accounts but ’tis the season for me to pick it up here on the blog because it’s time for our 6th annual “Living + Active” Challenge! 6 years! Every time I think that one through it blows my mind. I had no intention of this being an annual thing when I first started so the fact that we’re sitting here 6 years later is amazing! Last year we had almost 900 of you start off the challenge and ended with over 300 of you going strong by week 5! (Can we increase the amount of finishers this year? I think we can!) And just as each year grows in what we do, I’ve got some new adds for us.
But first, a little history. Knowing that I wanted to do a challenge for you, yet being conflicted on how I would do it, one day in church God gave me my answer! We were reading in Hebrews and came upon 4:12.
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
It hit me square between the eyes and gave me the inspiration to start this challenge: “Living and Active”. My goal and passion is to get you into God’s Word which holds the keys to getting us Living and Active!
First off, I’d love to share with you some feedback from last year’s challenge!
I began (again) my weight loss journey in July to lose 20 pounds. My clothes were too tight and I was not going to shop a size up. I had been smaller before and I wanted to do it again. Of course, this was an annual conversation. I took control of my eating habits and by the end of the summer I was half way there. With the help of this challenge, I have passed my twenty pound goal and am in the best shape of my adult life. I am enjoying my activity and am now excited to keep up the strength training to tone up those muscles even more.
After being in a season of my life that felt very dry spiritually, this challenge honestly has given me a fresh perspective and the motivation/encouragement to seek God more. The verse memorization has reminded me of the power of God’s Word and the exercise has reminded me of the importance of discipline and leaning on God for help. The combination of these things has led me to start doing devotions on a daily basis again…which I wanted to do for so long but couldn’t shake my own apathy. I’m really grateful for the way this challenge has brought sincere spiritual refreshment in my life. Thank you!
I’m pretty good at getting my workouts in most days but not always as consistent in my devotions, your challenge really got me reading my Bible and changed my outlook during a hard time in my marriage. Thank you.
The consistency- which had always been a struggle for me- has paid off! I have lost some inches over the last five weeks and now my clothes are fitting so much better! I have gained a new mindset (marathon minded) concerning my health and I have been reminded of how important it is to read and meditate on Scripture often. There is great peace that comes from His Word!
And the testimonies go on and on! I actually am sitting here re-reading last year’s feedback with tears in my eyes. Lord help me if I ever lead you to a physically fit body, yet starve your spiritual one. I love seeing your love for the Lord renewed and knowing that God will and can use your physical body is why I keep on keeping on with my message! Thank you, Lord!
Remember, those of you who check-in with me every week (on this blog and more on that to come!) and meet both requirements will be eligible for one of the GRAND PRIZE PACKAGES! (and let me tell you–they are some awesome packages!)
Here are the challenge basics:
Many of you are already in an awesome routine with your workouts, so I want you to keep that up. But for those of you who need a little guidance, I’m here to help! I will provide a set of workouts you can do from your home (or take to the gym!) All you need are one or two sets of weights, an exercise band (similar to this), and a big exercise ball. These are great basics to build your home gym. They are also fairly cheap!
CHALLENGE GOAL: Exercise (with your routine or mine) 4 days a week for the 5 weeks we are in it. (25 minutes is minimum time)
My faith lays the groundwork for everything I do and the upkeep of my body and health is included in that! So I want to take us through some key principles to get us “living and active” in both our physical and spiritual lives. I’ll provide a small devotional and insight to each principle along with a challenge for us to consider each week. Scripture memorization is also a great discipline, so we will be adding that on too! (I call that our “Soul Food”) Last year we added a new challenge which was memorizing one full chapter of scripture! I am going to add a new passage so stay tuned!
CHALLENGE GOAL: Memorize the new weekly verse/Soul Food (as well as maintaining prior weeks) and do the key challenge.
This all is great, but if we don’t have accountability, then chances are we won’t stick with it. I have a few ways this is going to happen:
– Facebook: Periodically through the week, I will check in with you who are a part of this. This is your chance to check in, ask questions, claim victories, express frustrations etc. so make sure you “like” me on Facebook! I’m also going to get on the FB live again, perhaps one of my favorite pieces to this challenge. I also encourage you to create your own facebook accountability groups. (For those of you who don’t have FB, I’ll get the video up on a blog post and youtube)
– Twitter: I’ll be doing the same thing on twitter with hashtag #livingandactive. Follow me there
– Instagram: I know there’s a lot of you out there! I post a lot of pictures of my food during the week on there and will continue to do so. I would love for you to join me–it’s great accountability! Make sure to tag #livingandactive and #claresmith
-Blog: Weekly, you’ll come here and get the new info as well as check-in. I’m hoping to expound a little on the new scripture which leads me to….
I added this last year and it went over well so we will stick with it! I want to keep it simple and work on the 2 disciplines of exercise and scripture memory! Each week, I’ll provide something for you to add or remove in regards to eating. The goal is to progressively add on as the 5 weeks go on. So what I tell you to do for week 1, you’ll also do for week 2 and so forth! This will NOT be part of the weekly check-ins because the area of food can be really hard and I don’t want you to drop the rest of the challenge because you weren’t able to keep up with this part.
This is a TOTALLY FREE challenge! I will have all the basic info you need to do it as we’ve done for the past years, next week, but, for those of you who want to take it up a notch, you can grab my “training guide.” IMPORTANT: This guide is NOT MANDATORY to do this challenge!
Everything that you’ve received from the challenge over the past 5 years will stay the same (free scriptures, devotionals, suggested workouts) but this will be an enhancement and a spot where everything is in one place for you! Note: The scripture passage and food challenge is NOT in this. The format is the exact same as last year!
Included in this 44 page training guide is:
- weekly scripture memory
- weekly devotional
- weekly journal/non-scale victory spot
- weekly tip (a recipe, playlist, or tip!)
- 2 BONUS workouts
- weekly calendar check-off to keep progress of your workouts and scripture
Full disclosure: The scriptures and devotionals are part of the FREE material you can get on here, but the beauty is that it’s all in one spot which is kind of nice so you don’t have a lot of papers all over the place!
You can purchase this training guide on AMAZON for $11.99! Give yourself enough time to order it so you can get it and start the challenge on Monday, October 2nd! The other cool thing about this guide is that it will ALWAYS be for sale which means you can do this 5-week challenge on your own or with a small group of ladies anytime throughout the year! Click here to purchase!
We officially start Monday, October 2nd which means you have some time to prep! , but you have some things to do now!
1.) Order the book! OK–you don’t HAVE to because as I mentioned above, most of the material will be online but I think you’ll love it! (Free material goes up next week!)
2.) Grab a friend, sister, daughter, roommate…whoever…and ask them to join us! (HINT: Headstart to Key Principle #1!)
3.) Take your before picture(s)
4.) Get an idea of which 4 days a week you’ll work out. (I’ll provide a calendar next week)
5.) Pray through your commitment! I want you to really be successful over these 5 weeks. If this is a bad season in life for you, then maybe this isn’t the time to join as it would leave you more discouraged than encouraged. But if you need a kick in the rear, get focused, dust off those weights or gym membership card and let’s get going!
So, are you with me? If you’ve already done this challenge in years past, then I encourage you to do it again. Perhaps start and lead your own group! There will be new scripture for you to memorize and honestly, who doesn’t need the accountability in exercise too?! If you are already receiving my email posts in your inbox, you don’t have to do anything, but for those of you who don’t, make sure to sign up here so that you don’t miss a thing!
I’ll be back in a few days with some more info and updates! I’m so excited! Leave any questions you may have, below!