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

Midweek Motivator

This is a repost and a needed reminder for myself as well.

It’s Wednesday, that halfway point where it is nearly the weekend and yet it still is far away! This also means you are either halfway through your workout week or just about to start. Perhaps you have a tight schedule and the idea of adding an hour long workout to your schedule is just too daunting.

Not to worry, this happens to me as well. Those days of schedule overload are tough. Sometimes it means reevaluating your workout schedule. I had to do this myself recently.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are particularly tough to get in a good workout. After a longer day at work, I have obligations in the evenings that leave me with little time to get home, change and eat dinner. Forget about getting in a decent workout! Plus I allowed the time constraints to be a bit lazy on these days.

For months I have struggled to do something on these tight days, never feeling as if I was really accomplishing anything. Then it hit me one day, I usually take one to two rest days per week from working out. I moved my off days to those two days where my schedule is the busiest. Suddenly I felt as if a weight had been taken off my shoulders! Why did it take me so long to see this solution?!

From time to time it’s good to step back to reevaluate. Assess what is working and what is not in your workout schedule. Are you accomplishing new goals or just stuck in a work out rut? Simply changing the days you work out can add and help your goals.

On those days when time is tight, I modify my planned workout. Whether it’s a quick cardio or focusing on one aspect of my body.

It can feel weird taking days off in the middle of the week, I know that’s why I resisted doing so for so long. Once I began to think about it, my workout week was just starting on Friday instead of Sunday. I’m getting the same number of workouts in per week just on a different schedule. There are times when it is better to be rigid and other times where it pays to be flexible.

Hope this can be helpful for those of you struggling to fit in a good workout in the midst of a busy week.

Don’t let the busyness of life get in the way of self care. The week isn’t over yet, there is still time for getting in good workouts!

Mid Week Motivator- Exercising to Show Our Bodies Tough Love

In continuing the theme for this month on loving our bodies, I want to talk about exercising. My habit of exercising did not come naturally. I was the kid in PE class who always straggled behind all the rest. My daydreaming ways kept from being any good on any team sport. Honestly it still is though my skills in Ultimate Frisbee have greatly improved of late. As I stated above, exercise has become a habit for me.

 

As we all know exercise is key in losing weight and maintaining. There is no getting off or stopping once the goal is reached. It was not a something I would chose to do. Partly because I was not sure of what to do and partly out of laziness. Just as with food, it is important to have a healthy attitude towards working out.

 

As with anything else it will take practice. Practice of getting into the habit, practice in doing the actual exercises. Yep, it takes practice. Putting your body through these moves means doing something new and different. That first time out you will not do a perfect push up or run a mile in ten minutes. That will come later.

 

It is an investment in your life. Just as how you perceive your body and what you eat is an investment. Exercising is an investment. Figuring out what you like to do or need to do can take a bit of time. Depending on what you are wanting to do.

 

When I started out I met up with a friend at a local park. This helped me to develop my habit of exercising daily. Knowing that someone is waiting for you and using their time to work out with you is a great motivator. At first I went because I knew my friend was there but over time I began to show up for myself. It became important for me to show up each and every day.

 

I made it an important part of my day. Working out became part of my daily schedule. An important appointment I had with myself. I had (and still do) my tough days where I just do not want to do it. Where I am still sore from the workout the day before. But it is worth it to do it. What can you delay or do to ensure you have the time to workout? Take a hard look at your schedule.

 

Something else I have learned is that not every workout has to be an hour long. You can still get in a great work out in less time. Either is means focusing on one part of the body instead of a whole body work out. In other words you can make it work with your schedule. Either alone or with friends.

 

Exercise helps to reduce stress. It has helped to let go of things going on in my life. Which in turn has given me a healthier outlook on my life. I also sleep better. Not only do I get to sleep so much easier, I also sleep so much better. I truly feel better rested and ready for the day. I think better and just feel better overall.

 

It gives you a break from the day. As I stated above, exercise helps me with stress. But it also allows you to be away from the omnipresence of technology in today’s world. Turn off your phone and take a break.

 

You can try new things. You don’t have to love all kinds of exercise but it falls into the category of trying out new things. There are so many ways to get healthy that are fun. You can do almost any type of exercise to keep healthy. There is no need to get bored. When running became boring for me I added running hills and am about to finish a 30 day crossfit at home challenge. I may try a 30 day yoga challenge next.

 

Investing in your body in this way is also showing love to yourself. Loving my body from accepting it for what it is and all that it does is the most healthy thing I can do. I am loving my body in all the ways I care for it. This does not guarantee that by eating well and exercising I will always have good health. It does however mean I will have a better, fuller life now. And that is so precious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid Week Motivator- Getting The Diet Back On Track

I do not know about the rest you but this past week has wrecked havoc on my diet. I was out of my usual routine which to led poor food choices and my exercise routine being interrupted was part of this. I own that I basically gave up and indulged more than usual. By the Thursday after Easter I had reached my limit on chocolate! Not only was there Easter candy but treats given to me for administrative assistants day and I ATE IT ALL. Even as I ate the last chocolate truffle I reconized that I did not feel well. I was not sick to my stomach but I felt tired. A tired feeling I had not experienced since I have begun this journey to health. It was not only this previous week but the weeks leading up to this moment that gave me pause. I had become rather loose with what I have been eating and those results were starting to show.

 

I have maintained my weight since I met my goal weight. There have been fluctuations lately some of my pants have felt a bit tighter than they have in the past. I know this is nothing new for a lot of us out there. I can tell myself that how I ate is really not so terrible. In some aspects it really is not however allowing for these few poor choices can lead to more poor choices. I do not want to go back to being the fat girl. I need a healthy fear of the old me coming back and take action. So I had to step and back and face facts. I was being lazy, something I am far too prone to do. It was easier to give in to temptation, to tell myself that this cookie, cake, ice cream was justified. After all I had worked out that day, the calories will just melt away! It can be too easy to continue down this road.

 

The question becomes how can it be stopped. I can only speak for myself and what I can do. I can give advice and tips but please keep in mind this is what has worked for me in the past. I am also single and do not have a family who desires certain kinds of food. What am I going to do to get back on track? Go back to what worked for me in the past.

 

Walk away from the food spread out for the meeting. This was my downfall the other week.. I did not bring my lunch or snack to work and indulged in the bagels and muffins laid out.

 

Say no to gifts of candy- this can be hard, especially when you know that they are giving them to you out of love. I can accept them but perhaps give them away to someone else. It is not the gift givers fault that I had not told them I was abstaining from sweets or at least pulling back.

 

Not buying my trigger foods and snacks. I have been bad about this lately. Telling myself those lies of “Its frozen yogurt.” as I help myself to another scoop. Going to go back to my old staple of frozen fruit and abstaining from desert more often. I have done it before, I can do it again. Often my other favorite alternative is to chew gum with ice cubes.

 

Not eating past 7pm. This is doable however it takes planning. It will mean preparing meals ahead and not eating snacks socially. The last time I did this I did not have as many evening obligations. It is not easy but this can also be done. 

 

Asking myself why I am eating. Especially when I am not hungry and eating away. The usual answer is boredom. So the antidote to that would be to engage myself in an activity or get away from what it is that is driving me to eat. The only good thing is that most of the food I keep in my house is rather healthy. However too much of anything can become a bad thing.

 

I  do not have a weightloss goal this time around,other than having my pants feel less tight around the waist. I want to avoid having to purchase new clothes because my old ones are too tight to wear any longer. I simply do not have the funds or patience to do so at this time.

I am not trying to advocate that this is for everyone, and I realize that my view of eating badly may not seem so bad to another person. I can see the slippery, downward slope of these last few weeks. If I am not vigilant then I will find myself right back where this journey began. I do not want that to happen.

The wonderful thing is, it is possible to get back into eating better. Yes it can take time and energy, however anything worth doing will do that. It is important to not allow a few poor choices to continue for more poor choices.

 

How have you gotten back on your diet after getting off course? When did you realize you had gotten off track ?