A Fresh Start and a Hammer and Chisel Challenge

We can all use a fresh start now and again!Laurie with her son at the great aloha run - a fresh start on health

I am grateful I’ve been given a fresh start – several, if I’m being honest. I’ve raised two wonderful children as a single-parent, paid off over $50,000 in debt, and have escaped the cancer that tried to conquer me at age thirty-six. Like me, you can probably think back on some of the crap that life has dealt your way over the years. You may not even realize it, but I bet in many ways you are an overcomer, too!


In the midst of all of life’s trials I don’t always feel like an overcomer. Truth be told, I always felt more like a survivor, than an overcomer. The dictionary definition of survive is to exist, to cope, to remain alive. It’s what your video game character strives to do – survive so you can keep playing. To overcome, though, is different. To overcome is to thrive, to defeat obstacles, to prevail over your challenge. It’s more than just staying alive, it’s being victorious over even the most difficult of circumstances so you can thrive.

Why would we want to thrive?

Survival is cool and all, but why should we stop there? Why should we settle for good enough, when we can push through and max out? God wants each of us to be the most excellent versions of ourselves that we can so that we can be a light in the world to others – something hard to do if we ourselves are just struggling along, trying to merely survive.

Matthew 5:15-16 People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven.

New Year, New Challenge: Let’s get a little uncomfortable

Today is a fresh start on several fronts, and I’m excited to get to it! It’s the first Monday of the new year and it’s Day 1 of the Master’s Hammer and Chisel Challenge. For the next 60 days I will be “hammering and chiseling” my way to healthier eating and an improved physique, as well as diving into God’s Word everyday to help get me through (I will definitely be needing some divine intervention)!

Kidding aside, I do believe strongly that God wants us to be overcomers and THRIVE, and that we will get much farther if we tap into His strength through our faith. To me, not living in faith is like using a laptop computer and never plugging it in. Eventually the batteries run low and the screen goes dim. Why would we want to live with a dimly lit screen when we can plug in?

I also know this.

I have seasons (right after the holidays being one of them) where I have a tendency to get too COMFORTABLE in my life (evidenced by my jeans are fitting a bit tighter lately!) and I’m ready to get UNcomfortable again.

Uncomfortable thing #1: For 60 days of this Challenge, I will be using a portion-controlled nutrition plan (the same one as in the 21-Day Fix) and working out. That by itself is not terribly too bad, but it’s the consistency over the whole 60 days straight that I foresee being challenging at times. As you can see from the photo below, this is not a DIET. That picture is ONE LUNCH and that is a lot of food – but it’s the RIGHT FOOD in the RIGHT AMOUNT, so that’s what I’ll be focused on. Like I said, I’ve gotten a little lazy in my food choices lately, and I am ready for a nudge back toward a better direction.

fresh start 21 day fix approved lunch

Uncomfortable thing #2: Daily workouts AND quiet time in my bible at 5:00 am each morning. Again, I’m working toward better consistency in this. So here’s to workouts and the Word – taking care of the body and the soul! For accountability, I’ll post periodic updates to my Facebook Page with the hashtag #workoutsandtheword. I would love your support if you want to follow me there!

1 Cor 6:19-20 Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.

Uncomfortable thing #3: To remain disciplined and do this challenge to the best of my ability from start to finish. This means I will have to sleep more, plan more, get organized more, be accountable more, and finish strong!

The eight lines of my fresh start pledge will definitely help things! Feel free to use this fresh start pledge yourself, and adapt it to your own challenge or any area of your life.

Laurie’s Fresh Start Pledge

Through this challenge I will be giving myself a fresh start.
I will rid my mind and attitude of all negative voices standing in the way of my success.
I will focus on the process and on the benefits, not on losing out on anything.
I will focus on replacing, not depriving, and on living in abundance and joy.
I am tired of not liking the person I see in the mirror, of dreading getting dressed in the morning, and I will seek God’s grace to rid myself of guilt and shame.
I will give thanks to God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made by Him.
I know that God wants me to thrive, not just survive.
I am ready for a fresh start!

If you are ready for a fresh start in the way of a fitness challenge like the Hammer and Chisel or other program I might be able to recommend to you, it would be my honor to help support you! Just fill out the enrollment form below and I will touch base with you to help you find your best fit.


So here’s to us becoming awesome overcomers in the new year. Here’s to a fresh start, and to surviving AND thriving in the midst of anything that comes our way!

In this thing with you,
laurie yogi coffee mug logo_455_2

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