Day 31: Bulking
One of the most difficult aspects of bodybuilding for me may sound strange to some people. I had trouble eating so much food! Since I was training for the physique division, I had to put on a lot more muscle. This meant that I needed to eat a lot of healthy food, especially protein. Eating over 140 grams of protein a day became burdensome. Also, eating so frequently throughout the day, ensuring that I got the right amount of fats, proteins and carbs, meant that I spent a lot of time preparing food and eating it. Muscle is a liability to the body (it burns energy simply to maintain it), and it will only grow when the body is confident that it is being fed well. If there isn’t enough fuel to feed the torn muscle fibers, the body will begin to break down rather than build up.
Although I did use a lot of the energy from the food that I was consuming to build muscle, much of the extra calories were stored as fat. I gained almost ten extra pounds of weight at the height of my bulking period. About half of that weight was muscle and the other half was fat. I couldn’t worry about the fat, though. If I were to try to lose the weight too early, I would have never built the muscle I needed for the physique division. I realized that the time for cutting would come soon enough, so I needed just to enjoy the extra calories while they lasted and let my body put on the muscle.
God sometimes will put us through a spiritual bulking period. Maybe He’ll have us join a Bible study or give us a steady supply of books to read. Or maybe we’ll feel led to consume as many sermons via Podcasts or YouTube as possible. Or we can find ourselves being mentored for a season by someone who imparts great amounts of spiritual guidance to us. Whatever it is, we should take it all in. God sees that a “cutting season” is up ahead—something in our life that will cause us to sacrifice—so He wants to build up as much strength in us as possible. When that bulking season comes upon us, we should listen to God and obey His will. He only wants the best for us, so He is trying to prepare us with all the tools we need to be victorious in the future.
“Now may the God of peace—who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen” (Hebrews 13.20-21 NLT).
God, when I sense that You are leading me into a time of spiritual bulking, help me to obey Your direction. I know that You simply want to prepare me for what’s to come, so I want to consume as much of Your Word as possible. I know that I will have to give of my time to focus so diligently on what You are teaching me, but I trust that You can make a way in my schedule. I don’t want to be so busy and exhausted that I don’t have the necessary time and energy that is needed to strengthen myself in You. Help me to look at how I’m spending my time, and show me the areas that I need to change in order to consume Your Word and spend time with You in prayer. I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.
- Describe a season when you consumed a lot of God’s Word.
- What did God teach you during your spiritual bulking time?
- Do you find that you are too busy to spend time in God’s Word?
Taste and see that the Lord is good!