A Heart For More

I did not want to stop eating chocolate. Then one day I did not work out, I also did not the following day. This turned into several weeks and then months. I also confess, I was bored with what I had done previously.

Just about eight years ago, I lost a lot of weight. I worked out twice a day, seven days a week (DO NOT DO THIS!). The weight came off so quickly that mentally I was not ready for my new body. I became obsessed about the number on the scale. Spending hours analyzing calculating my caloric intake and exercises.

I reached a point where I saw that all my efforts were going into maintaining this number that I wasn’t truly living my life. The reality of losing weight is that it not some magical formula to fixing oneself spiritually or mentally. It is so hard too because as I lost weight, so many people congratulated me on the effort. This approval was intoxicating to be honest. As I gained weight, part of me felt ashamed. That I had somehow let the people around me down.

There is this idea out there that healthy equals thin or fit looking. But the part that can get ignored is that a health is equally or more importantly internal. It has to do with my heart. When I lost all that physical weight, I placed my hope for Joy into my new body instead of Christ.

A few years later I did Whole 30, once I completed it there was no lasting change for me. It is a good system and I learned a lot but the reality is that it is a diet and not God. Earlier this Fall a friend reached out and asked if I would like to join a group of people from our church in doing the Daniel Fast. I said YES! without hesitation.

The Daniel Fast is a 21 day fast where ( in a similar fashion to Whole 30, food and drinks are restricted ). The difference is that the focus is not entirely on the food or losing weight (a by product of course) but in relying on the Lord. I participated because I knew if I tried another diet I would end up in the same place. Most of this year my prayer has been less of myself and more of Him.

In the 21 days I got to see that, I felt an internal change. I saw how much I relied on comfort foods and the habits I had developed without realizing it. There were some hard moments, day ten I wanted coffee so badly! There were a few times that I struggled to make it through the day.

I spent time in prayer and the book of Daniel. As I spent time learning more about Daniel, the more I learned that it was Daniel’s heart for God that sustained him throughout Daniel’s lifetime. That is what I desire, a heart for the Lord such as Daniel’s.

I have noticed a difference with my hunger, pre-fast, if I were hungry I would have to eat right away!!! During and post-Fast, I can deal with it until I can eat. While it is important that I exercise and eat well, it is more important to have a heart that desires more.

Mid Week Motivator: Ups and Downs

My relationship with food is rather complex as it so often reprensents comfort to me. As it does for so many and in times of stress is easy to run towards.

Which I did. Barely working out or not at all. Eating whatever came across my way.

Why? Because life had become busy and stressful. Eating all the bad stuff felt good, for a brief moment. Not working out made feel like I did skipping school as a teenager. Another brief moment of being bad but then comes guilt.

Getting back into the routine is hard. The body adjusts just as quickly to bad habits as to good ones. The good news is that now I long for the good habits. To eat better and exercise.

While there may times when we get off the health track, it does not mean we can not go back. Don’t allow a bad day or week to prevent you from being healthy. There will be ebbs and flows, ups and downs.

Keep going, keep moving. It’s worth it.

 

 

Mid Week Motivator: Back At It

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This past week I went off my usual habits. It is not necessarily a bad thing. It can happen, I was leading at my church camp. While one is at camp, one eats the food provided. The days were packed from start to finish leaving no time for working out.

The key is getting right back at it once life returns to normalcy. Back to my usual eating habits and exercise routine.

My plan
– drinking more water, I did not consume quite as much as I usually do.
– watching my portion sizes and what I eat. Which for me means plenty of fruits and vegetables.

– easing back into my work out routine. I had a whole week without consistently doing so. Easing does not mean easy but allowing myself a few days to acclimate.

That is how I will get back into it.

Mid Week Motivator- Finding What Works For You

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Not every type of exercise is for everyone. Maybe you have tried a class and found you just did not like it. Or the gym you tried was just really weird. Do not give up, do not give in to excuses or allow being uncomfortable to hold you back.

You may find yourself restricted by old injuries, limitations or even desire. This is alright. Part of working out is actually enjoying what you are doing. Take into consideration if you do have the above issues. Seek out a personal trainer or consult your doctor before starting a new work out program.

Yes, you read that right. If you are not enjoying what you are doing, then you will not continue to do it.

Now, this does not mean that it will always be easy to do. The challenge in working out should be what drives you to want to do it more. Hence, this is where the enjoyment comes from.

In seeing how your body responds after getting into this habit. Seeing the changes in your body is what will motivate you. To do more reps or finish them faster.

All that will bring you joy as you find what you enjoy doing. To push yourself.

For me it is running. It is what helped me lose weight just over three years ago. It was the most economical as I did not need to join a gym as I took advantage of local parks. I enjoy how running feels, sometimes  even during ( hahaha). When I have a bad day, or just need a good quick 20 min workout, I go for a run. All in all, I do enjoy it. This is key.

What types of exercise do you enjoy?

Mid Week Motivator- Developing New Habits

It has been said that it takes twenty one days to develope a new habit. Twenty-one days to make a change in your life. The flip side is while you are creating new habits, at the same time old habits are being broken.

 

Lifelong, ingrained habits that you are now trying to break. Replacing with those new habits of eating better and exercising.

 

Remember this as you pursue this new healthy life style.

You will make new not so great choices, or fall back into what is comfortable.

This journey to health is about being uncomfortable. It means being sore from working out. It means choosing the healthy option.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable as you get further into this journey.

In time it will not be as uncomfortable as it is now. Keep pushing yourself to develope those new habits. Find comfort in your new habits.

In other words, keep on keeping on.

What new habits are you developing?

You’re Going To Get Healthy, Now What?

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So you have made a vow, a resolution or declaration that THIS is the year that you will get healthy. You are going to eat all the right things and work out every. Single. Day.

You are not alone.

First congrats on this decision. Now take a step back and as yourself these questions. Whether this is the first time you have decided ENOUGH or the hundredth time, you have taken a great step.

How will this be different this time?

Yes this time, because face it there have been attempts before. Perhaps there have been some modicum of success too. At some point though, you stopped. Before you blindly jump into it this time, evaluate what went wrong last time. What did or was working and what did not.
Take a moment to consider these two questions:
Did your attitude towards food change? Did exercising become a habit?

Do I have a support system?
A support system is key. This can come in various forms. Someone who is also embarking on this health journey. Or those in your household eating the same food you are. Find yourself a community for encouragement. Those who will cheer you on and help you through those tough days.

What are my goals?

Going into this without goals is fruitless. You are changing your lifestyle. Goals will change and evolve the further you get into this journey but you need them. My goal at the start of my health journey was to get up a flight of steps without losing my breath. Then as I grew in confidence, I decided to run a half marathon two years later.

This is not an easy journey, but it is entirely worth it. I would love to hear from you! What do you want to achieve by getting healthy ?

Please see a medical professional before making any major changes to your diet and exercise routine. Keep in mind any health issues or old injuries that may flare up as well