City Harvest Church co-founder Sun Ho and celebrity health coach Jacelyn Tay taught in two powerful segments in the Singles Workshop.
The Singles Workshop organized by City Harvest Church as part of the Higher Conference gave unmarried adults a brand new outlook to their singlehood. Held on Oct 31, the workshop was divided into two segments. In the first segment, Sun Ho, co-founder of City Harvest Church, shared a message on cultivating singlehood titled ‘God Made Us Singles’.
SINGLENESS IS NOT A PROBLEM
Ho began her message with the proclamation: ‘Singleness is not a problem! Some are single by circumstance and others by choice. Jesus said some chose to be single for the sake of the kingdom (Matthew 19:11-12), while Paul considered his singleness a “gift from God” (1 Corinthians 7:7-8).”
In Genesis 2:15-16, God gave Adam talents, gifts, abilities and revelation—as a single! So, what should one do while he/ she is single? Just like the single man Adam was asked to “cultivate” the Garden, singles are to learn to embrace and cultivate their singlehood!
“If you are not happy and whole as a single, you won’t be happy and whole when you are married. Your marriage is only as good as your singleness. The question to ask yourselves is this: If you knew you the way you know you, would you still marry you?”
Matthew 19:3-4 says that God ‘made them male and female’, not a couple. God works through males and females individually, even if they are married. Hebrews 11:8-11 also shows that God works through individuals—both Abraham and Sarah are mentioned as individuals, not as a couple.
THREE THINGS A SINGLE SHOULD CULTIVATE
Ho shared that as singles, they need to cultivate three things in their lives: self, relationships and ministry. She also provided practical tips on how to cultivate them.
a) Physical attractiveness
Shallow as it may sound, physical attractiveness is related to the confidence you exude from your body.
- Exercise and eat healthy.
You don’t need to be super-slim or go for extreme diets, but maintain a healthy size.
- Look into the right type of clothing, hairstyles and makeup.
You don’t need layers of makeup; look after your skin because having good skin will give you the natural glow. Adopt a fashion style you are comfortable with and be yourself!
- Have good personal hygiene.
b) Communication Skills
People communicate through word, gesture and spirit.
- Learn to have meaningful, two-way conversations.
Don’t just talk about yourself but don’t be silent either. It becomes a major turn-off to the other party if it takes great effort to hold a conversation with you.
- Learn to be at ease with yourself.
Watch your body language. Practice a genuine, wide smile.
- Have a genuine, happy spirit.
A happy person carries a happy atmosphere and similarly, a mean-spirited person carries an ugly air. Be the happy person.
Be 100 percent passionate and in love with Jesus. Go into the Word of God and worship the Lord. Psalm 37:4 exhorts us to delight ourselves in the Lord. We can love God without being flaky or weird.
Adam’s singleness was not a defect, it was his alone-ness that was (Genesis 2:18).
The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of relationships. Learn to relate to people. Learn to be winsome!
3) Ministry for Jesus
When we are single, we can devote more time to serve God in ways that we cannot when we get married and start our families (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). This is the time to serve–so go all the way!
Sun concluded her uplifting message by exhorting singles to be happy as they cultivate their singlehood in these three aspects.
While the first segment brought spiritual food to the audience, the second brought a wealth of knowledge of practical eating tips from celebrity health coach Jacelyn Tay, founder of Body Inc. With some audience interaction, Tay busted several myths about eating.
NINE BUSTED MYTHS ABOUT EATING
#1: Certain foods can burn fats and lose weight.
Truth: There is no fat-burning food.
#2: Going vegetarian means I will lose weight and be healthier.
Truth: Vegetarian food can be high in fat and/or sugar content, which does not bring about weight loss.
#3: I should cut out carbohydrates from my diet to lose weight.
Truth: Our body needs carbohydrates to function. Excess calories from any source (not just carbs alone) will be stored as body fat.
#4: I must avoid desserts to lose weight.
Truth: Excess calories from any source (not just sugar alone) will be stored as body fat. Have a small portion of a low-calorie option.
#5: A fruit-only diet can help me lose weight.
Truth: This diet lacks variety and does not provide all necessary nutrients. It is also hard to maintain in the long-run.
#6: I should not snack between meals.
Truth: It’s the total daily calorie intake that contributes towards weight gain or weight loss, not the number of meals a person has in a day.
#7: Eating at night causes weight gain.
Truth: What time you eat matters less than the calories you consume in total.
#8: If I eat one big meal a day, I can lose weight.
Truth: Skipping meals may lead to impulsive snacking, over-eating, nutrient deficiencies in the long-run, and a lower metabolic rate.
#9: I can use meal replacements to shed pounds.
Truth: Meal replacements are only recommended under medical supervision for a short period.
EATING FOR A HEALTHIER YOU
Losing 10-15 percent of your current body weight over six months at a rate of 0.5-1kg a week is a healthy target.
Weight management is about balance between calorie intake and calorie output. One’s energy requirement is according to one’s activity level and Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR measures the calories you lose when sitting down and not doing anything). The higher your activity level and BMR, the more calories you can take.
One way to reduce sugar intake is to eat the fruit instead of drinking fruit juice. The skin and fibers contains the fruit’s nutrients and aids digestion.
Tay also introduced two tools that could help in monitoring calorie intake:
1) Food Intake Assessment (available here: http://www.hpb.gov.sg/hpb/ere/ere070301.asp)
2) iDAT (mobile app created by the Health Promotion Board)
Tay advised the audience to consume supplements while fasting because after fasting, one usually craves high-fat, high-sugar and high-sodium foods. One should also slowly increase food intake after fasting.
She also encouraged the audience to make healthy eating a lifestyle. “You should not go back to eating unhealthily once you have lost weight,” she said. She advised them to:
- Have a plan and stick to the plan.
- Enjoy their healthier diet–there is no need to give up their favorite high-calorie foods; just balance it out with energy output.
- Limit the time and location to consume food.
- Balance their calorie intake.
- Include at least two servings of fruits and two servings of vegetables in their daily meals.
Tay also shared a few tips on healthy eating.
#1: Use smaller serving plates. This eliminates the chances of subconsciously loading up a big plate and overeats.
#2: Share desserts.
#3: Do not upsize meals, even if it’s only for a dollar.
#4: Pack home leftovers if you cannot finish your food.
#5: Manage emotional eating (such as snacking and bingeing) by taming stress, fighting boredom with other habits.#6: Keep track of the food you eat with a food diary.
Twinkle Tay, 22, administration executive, was encouraged by both Ho’s and Tay’s sessions. “The words of wisdom from Sun really gave a purpose and vision to this season of my life. Being single is not a problem, but a time for me to care for the things of the Lord and discover the depths of His love. Also, so many myths were busted in the workshop with Jacelyn and I am inspired to apply the tips and the information she shared into my daily eating habits!”