In 2000, I became someone I never dreamed I would become: a runner. I was single, newly employed in a full-time job which kept me focused and indoors much of my day, and leaving little time for personal pleasures. So I ate whatever I wanted.
I got serious about losing the extra 60 pounds I had ballooned up to, and slowly but surely, I faced a 3 mile loop in the hills around my home, every day. At first I walked. Then I walked and jogged. Then I jogged. Then I ran.
The 60 pounds came off over a year and two weeks. I decided to hit the gym and hire a personal trainer. I became obsessed. I would spend 2-3 hours a day at the gym, working out with various body building competitors and the current Mr. Olympia title holders. I traded my size 14 dresses for size 0 jeans.
I would place 40 pound weights on my stomach and hang upside down, doing reps of crunches, scrutinize every muscle, and push myself harder and harder. I ate chicken, eggs, and rice.
My 125 pound frame was solid muscle and I was asked to pose for Muscle and Fitness Magazine. I declined, but it felt good to know I was qualified.
Eventually, I had a fleeting moment where I considered natural steroids. And that was when I woke up to the realization that I was getting in over my head and making unwise choices that did not honor God. I cut back on my gym attendance, started running again, and found balance. I traded my trainer for girlfriends who hiked in the mountains with me, and began to enjoy eating food that was not just about defining my muscles.
Looking back at those years of my life, I am in the middle of changing my attitude towards fitness once again by working through Rick Warren's The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life. I have the food portion of this radical change down, and I'm working on losing the 45 more pounds I need to lose after having three kids and eating through my trials for the last two years that left little energy for exercise.
But as a busy work-at-home mom, I don't exercise enough, and I know it. Nothing about my fitness is consistent, and I dread even thinking about finding time to workout, much less actually doing it.
Can you identify with that?
But I'm getting there. One of my favorite mottos, all those years ago, was, “I don't have to be motivated. I just have to be disciplined.” And it's true. I don't have to want to do it. I just have to do it.
So that's where I started a few months ago, and then I injured my heel terribly. I could barely walk, let alone run. And it set me back. But now, I have been doing my therapy on my foot, and I'm at the point where I can ease back into movement again. I'm committed to doing an ab challenge this month, and I'm determined to walk twice a week as a starting point.
I wouldn't have done this if it wasn't for The Daniel Plan-the chapter on “Fitness” was a great reminder to me that I don't have to be hard-core about fitness. I can do a little bit here and there to acclimate myself and make it a healthy habit. It was just the encouragement I needed, since I tend to be an extremist.
“Make fitness doable: Dream big, discover what moves you, set and record goals, mix it up, and find a buddy.” Pg. 149
“There will be some days when you don't feel like pursuing excellence in your exercise, your eating, or your faith. But over time, pursuing excellence will lead to strength of character, confidence, and courage forged by God. Pg. 150
“The number one exercise to help you attain all of these benefits...is the one you will do!” Pg. 151
“How does your present fitness level impact your faith, food choices, focus, family, work, ministry-and life in general?” Pg. 153
“Dreams-what we hope to accomplish-give birth to our goals, the steps we are willing to take to reach our dreams.” Pg. 156
“Consider using an hourly reminder to move your body. Not only will you combat sitting disease and improve your health and fitness, but you can also connect with God through worship, thanksgiving, and prayer.” Pg. 164
“Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Use the time walking up the stairs to thank God for all he has done in your life. On the way down, share your concerns, anxieties, and worries with God.” Pg. 166
Ten years ago, my body was becoming my idol, but The Daniel Plan reminds me that my body is a temple for God: "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit...? Therefore honor God with your bodies." I Corinthians 6:19-20. Rick Warren helped me remember the main reason that I need to exercise again-because taking good care of my body, is ultimately a way to honor God. I don't want my current feelings of laziness or defeat in this area to prevent me from doing what I know would please the Lord. And that is all the motivation I need.
This post is not sponsored in any way, I simply feel passionate about how much it has helped me when I felt helpless. There are affiliate links in this post, and if you purchase the book through those links, then I get a few cents from your order and that helps the ministry on this blog-thank you!
YOUR TURN! Share your fitness journey with me! What works for you? Do you need to start moving like I do?
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