Lighten Up knowing Jesus we have EVERYTHING we need for this life and the next... 2 Peter 1:3
Lighten Up Book Cover


jess gunther thandiwe
melissa Linda Karien

Jess Heath

Every journey starts somewhere, and for me this one was born out of the lack of balance in my life when I came home
from London. My eating habits were really bad, I was lethargic most of the time, my emotions where out of sync and
I was seriously in desperate need of help. Viv being my mom knew I had struggled with weight for a long time and
agreed to help me, asking me to dedicate 40days to Jesus and to follow some basic principles.

The outcome was mind blowing, I lost 8kg and had renewed energy and zest. The thing that got my attention the most
was the fact that it was more about time with Jesus than fixating on what I ate, when I exercised and what my weight was.
We always hear that its ‘inner beauty’ that counts, especially in Christian circles, but when your life is out of balance,
‘inner beauty’ is just as hard to discover as looking in the mirror and being satisfied with what the reflection is! If our
worth is in Christ, and we honour Him not only through what we do or say but by how we look after ourselves, turning
our focus from self to Him, then Inner and outer beauty has a more profound meaning and fulfillment than anything
that the world can project on us.

Honestly I am still struggling with balancing my life, and I know that it is an ongoing battle, but every time I make the
decision to dedicate 40days to this journey I gain new territory. I have made a decision to start each year with Lighten
up and each time ask for breakthrough in areas, situations and putting my trust in God for that year, what ever it
may bring.  Something I have realized lately; and is one of the things I’m trusting God for; is that there is a big difference between obedience and freedom. If disobedience is at -100 on a scale, obedience is 0 on the scale and freedom is
at 100 then for me, just being obedient is not enough. I want to be free from the bounds of my weight, food and anything
else that hinders me from fully being able to honour God in and through my life. I what to be completely satisfied in who
I am inside and out but not on the worlds terms but through knowing that in Jesus I am magnificent in His eyes
and pleasing to Him!

That is what makes Lighten up different, when you eliminate the obsession on food, exercise and what the
“perfect weight” should be, then you make space for Jesus to work in your heart and a chance to learn disciplines
and lifestyle changes. I have tried various diets, weigh less programs and most, if not all make the obsession food
and how much and what you should and shouldn’t weigh. That just takes your eyes off Jesus and you struggle alone

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Gunther Vorster

In 2006 was daar twee lewensveranderende gebeurtenisse in my lewe. Tot op daardie stadium het ‘n pakkie
tamatiesous-gegeurde Ghost Pops vir my genoeg vitamiene en minerale bevat, totdat ek die 40 dae reis begin het.
Ek het gou aanklank gevind by hierdie manier van eet en die gesonde leefstyl begin geniet. Min het ek geweet wat
op my wag en waarvoor die Here besig was om my voor te berei. Pas na afloop van die “detoks” was ek in ‘n
gasontploffing. My gesig en groot dele van my arms en hande het 2de en 3de graad brandwonde gehad.
As gevolg van die uitstekende toestand waarin my liggaam en gees was, was die helingsproses vinnig en effektief.
Nou volg ek hierdie reis jaarliks.
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Thandiwe Kanyimbo

This detox programme works both physically and spiritually.  The physical part was, I lost weight and the most
wonderful thing, my complexion changed, even my friends noticed.  For once in my life I felt good about myself.
Spiritually the detox was one kind of invitation journey to discover and realize the importance of keeping your body clean. 
The Bible says our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  I’ve been transformed by this book because every page has Bible verses  that drew me closer to God.  Everyday of the 40 day  journey, I knew what to ask God for and what to thank Him for.
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Melissa Bonner

When you go into something with the expectation of losing weight and getting that great bikini figure for summer,
a 40day eating programme seems ok because you have a goal you want to achieve.
Lighten Up is SOO much more than a 40 day eating programme! It’s an amazing spiritual journey with weight loss
as a mere added bonus at the end.

When I took up the challenge I wanted to lose weight, my focus was on the excess weight and the first few days were
really difficult because I felt like I was being deprived of all that was good in the world! No wheat, no dairy, no sugar,
no life! As I opened my heart to the journey and began to journal more and more and meditate on the scriptures
each day, God began to do something in me, something deeper than the weight loss, I was losing walls, masks, insecurities and so much more. Each day God would reveal himself a little more to me and without fail I experienced
some part of each daily devotion during that day. There is no other word but Amazing.

The forty day journey saw me complete an entire journal! (and I’m not one for journaling). My eyes were opened to many things that I had concealed within myself as well as to things around me, I felt so much more in touch with the Holy
Spirit and the silent whispers of the Lord.
It was difficult, as I know the devil was not impressed with what was going on and I came under immense spiritual
attack and at times, couldn’t wait for the 40days to end because I didn’t think I would make it. But I did!

I have decided to take this journey every year, and allow the Lord to work in and through me for those forty days and
the 320 days following.

Weight loss and outer transformation really are only added bonuses to the change of the heart that occurs on this
journey. I would encourage any person to take up the challenge. As with any spiritual journey and fast, it wont
necessarily be easy all the time, but with God on your side you can do most anything. Go for it! Lighten Up!
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Linda Coetzee

Ongesonde eetgewoontes en ‘n knaende tamheid het my laat besluit om op die 40 dae-detoks te gaan.
Elke stresvolle situasie was met soet eetgoed hanteer.  Soms het daar weke verbygegaan waar daar geen vars
vrugte of groente by my en my gesin se daaglikse etes ingesluit was nie.  My badkamerskaal was ‘n stille getuie…

Sommer uit die staanspoor het ek besef dat hierdie 40 dae-detoks oor veel meer as dieet gaan — ek moes baie
meer tyd saam met die Here spandeer en slaap opoffer om dit reg te kry. Ek moes ook deur ‘n klomp
Bybelstudiemateriaal werk.  Daagliks was daar nuwe uitdagings:  ek moes mense in my verlede vergewe, ook myself
en ek het opnuut besef dat die Here my liefhet, dat Sy genade genoeg is, dat ek niks uit my eie krag kan doen nie
maar Hom roekeloos moet vertrou.  Sjokolade en koek troos tydelik maar die nagevolge is hardnekkig en moeilik
om weer af te skud.

Dit was ‘n uitdaging om skielik kos in die suiwerste vorm te eet, rou en sonder enige byvoegings, ‘n lewe sonder
brood en beskuit, geen suiker, sjokolade of kaaskoek nie...  Stadig, maar seker het dit egter beter begin gaan
— my liggaam het die aanvanklike skok van ‘n suikerlose en broodlose dieet oorleef, die drie liter water per dag het my gestel skoongewas.  Die vars groente en vrugte het my energievlakke laat styg.  Saam mety die kilogramme het die geestelike bagasie begin verdwyn.  Ek he tgeller dat, om te vas, nie mens se dood veroorsaak nie — dit leer jou om
te fokus op die Here en Sy stem te hoor.

Al was my aanvanklike motivering om op die 40 dae-detoks te gaan, fisies en vleeslik van aard, het die Here vir
my duidelik gewys dat Hy wil hê dat ek beter na my liggaam én geestelike lewe moet kyk.  Hy het my op ‘n geestelike
reis vergesel waar ek met nuwe oë na vergifnis, aanvaarding, vertroue en toewyding aan Hom moes kyk.  Ek loof Hom.
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Karien van Vuuren

In the Old Testament God set apart specific times (feasts) annually for consecration, cleansing, thanksgiving and
celebration to His people. To me the 40 days of detox have also been an annual time of cleansing and consecration
to the Lord as well as a time of preparation for the next step/ season / year, God was leading me and our family into.

I had done the detox once a year for the past 2 years and each time I had a sense in my heart that I needed to draw
close to God during this time for very specific reasons. My experiences with the Lord during those two periods have
been very different but both had times of repentance, dedication, revelation and also very intimate times in the Lords’ presence. 

Other than the spiritual significance (which outweighed all other advantages for me) of these 40 day period, there
have also been significant physical and emotional blessing. I lost 4-5kg’s each time and won back lost ground in
terms of my body. I gained 2-3 kg’s again over a period of time afterwards, but lowered my bodies’ natural equilibrium
weight each time.

I also experienced greater control over my emotions, thoughts and actions during these times, which I feel is a result of spending more time in God’s presence and being led by the Spirit.

This last year we experienced incredible breakthrough in our family. God laid on our hearts to pray for our son’s complete healing of Tourette’s syndrome. During the 40 days of detox he suddenly started to take control and responsibility of his emotions. This has been an amazing answer to prayer from the Lord and we give Him all the honor and glory.

K arien

PS: Dare to dedicate 40 days of your year to the Lord and you will experience God working in your body, mind, heart
and life in incredible ways.
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Nadine Muller

"As ek nou 'n stuk koek sien, sê ek in plaas van 'Here, help my om dit te weerstaan', eerder 'Dankie, Here dat ek
bevoorreg genoeg is om ter wille van my verhouding met U, nee te kan sê' of 'Dankie dat niks vir my belangriker is
as U nie.' Die fokus is nou van myself af en dis nogal bevrydend.

Ek is baie opgewonde dat ek maar gereeld 'n ete kan vas, want dit is vir my baie makliker as om die hele tyd klein
etetjies te moet eet. Dit het ek myself op aanbeveling aangeleer en besef nou-eers hoe bevrydend dit is om nie jou
hele dag rondom 'n klomp klein etetjies te beplan nie. Ek gaan nou soms 'n halwe dag deur sonder om aan kos te
dink. In die verlede het ek altyd baie gou sleg gevoel as ek vir 'n rukkie nie geëet het nie, maar dit is nie meer so nie,
seker omdat ek nie meer so baie suiker en brood eet nie. Een ding wat ek in my 40 dae besef het: Daar is nie 'n
kortpad na gesondheid nie.

Dankie vir julle ondersteuning en gebed. Dit maak beslis 'n baie groot verskil. Ek het jare laas so goed gevoel."
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© Litenuf 2018