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Worth It or NOT?

Whoa.... crazy image of what these are worth in "workout" calories.

My friend Kori shared this picture image with me yesterday. (Thanks Kori!) It’s a great picture of what we should have in our minds as we consider our non-necessity foods…

Yes, I know… donuts are NOT a necessity.  Who knew?

I looked at a few of those and thought – NO WAY is that worth it.  Now… there are plenty of things out there that are worth it – just make sure it IS worth it to you.

Just a shout out to Kori – who has been on an “Insanity” challenge.  Way to go!  For those of you who have done some of the Insanity workouts, they’re not for the faint of heart.  Kori was an encourager to me years ago to try out Jillian Michaels and the 30 Day Shred.  I never did it as a 30 day workout challenge – but I kept improving, and working at it.

I still go back to Jillian now and then for a quick workout that works – but God has allowed me to be able to tackle much longer, and more difficult workouts…  and for that, I’m thankful.

What workouts are you enjoying right now?

“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.”

Psalm 86:5

Excuses! Excuses!!!

It’s too late!

I don’t have enough time!

It’s too early!

The kids are sick!

The DVD player isn’t working right!!!!

I don’t feel like it!

We all have them – excuses.  We can always come up with some great excuse on why we don’t want to work out.  But that doesn’t make them valid, or excusable.

My favorite one used to be the time factor one, before I reprioritized my life around working out once a day.  It didn’t have to be for an hour, it didn’t have to look the same everyday – but making purposeful movement was the goal… and God allowed me to make that happen when I set my eyes on Him.

Sure I still have days I really would just like to sit, and sometimes I do (we all need a day of rest sometimes!) … but God fills me with a craving that next day to get after it harder than before!  (Thanks be to Him!)

This week my husband is working more than normal, so caring for feverish and vomiting children has been a bit more challenging.  It would be easy to say “forget it” on the working out… the thought HAS crossed my mind…

If only… God didn’t have ahold of my heart.

You see, when I look to Him for my strength, I’m reminded of how much worse other people might have it… how I have a lot to be grateful for, and it gives me the perspective I need to press on.  (…and it keeps me from falling into a pity-party trap!)  I’m reminded I have two legs, I’m healthy, and I’m alive.  I really don’t need more reason than that – but there are countless others!!

So even though it took me 45 minutes to get my sound to work on my TV last night, and I didn’t get started until 10:30pm – I was SO glad I could move, and did!  (Not to mention I was excited to try out a new workout DVD!)  But I didn’t get frustrated – I knew if the DVD play wasn’t working I could walk, or do hand weights … or SOMETHING.  I could MOVE!  That commitment keeps me going when I’d like to give up… just like in parenting, our marriages etc.  If we keep moving, even when we don’t “feel” like it – we are SO glad we put in the effort!

Jillian's new "Killer Buns & Thighs" - I tried out level II and it was great!

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  My help comes from the Lord,  who made heaven and earth.”  – Psalm 121:1-2

It’s a Major Heart Issue

Your heart is the most important muscle in your body. The vital organ that keeps the others functioning… And keeps YOU alive.

Heart disease is the number one killer among women… You’ve probably heard this before. If not… Think about it.

Why?

When I was younger I worked out for all the wrong reasons.

Vanity.

I, like most women didn’t feed my body the things it needed to keep me strong and healthy and I starved my heart of the nutrients it needed. I didn’t think about strengthening my heart muscle back then. I didn’t want to get bulky so I didn’t lift weights-especially weights for my upper body.

There is something about having toned arms and the connection it can have with your heart. I’m not talking about having to be a women with “man muscles”…. But admit it, we reach an age when gravity is really working against you and things start shaking and flapping around. Most women would agree they don’t like that feeling… Because, even if you’re not overweight, it makes you feel out if shape. Now, think about how out of shape your heart is… Could it be in better shape?

How much time do we focus on upper body strength and workouts?

When I started working out and learning circuit training exercises… I learned quickly that doing moves with weights in your hands can make moves more difficult and as I brought my hands with weights above my heart muscle, it really got things hoppin’ and had me gasping to catch my breath. (Not to mention it burns more calories! My husband started running with lighter weights last year-it makes a difference in your form and posture too!)

What it also does… Is it calls on your heart to pump blood harder against gravity. It’s tougher, yes, but – it’s such a great workout for you to really work that muscle and make it strong.

Try it out. Do 20 jumping jacks. Then try them with weights pushing them up from your shoulders.

Do you feel that?

Strengthen that heart muscle and your spiritual heart each day and kick heart disease to the curb!

* if you don’t have weights, use soup cans or use gallon jugs filled with dirt or sand. “no money for weights” isn’t an excuse not to get moving! Eat lots of green leafy vegetables and lean protein to keep that heart healthy!

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”. -Psalm 139:23-24

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Move it or Lose it!

Let’s talk about this work out thing a little more…

Let me preface this by saying I DID NOT start out doing one hour hard-core work outs.  It doesn’t work that way.  At the point my body was at when I began this battle for my health, I would be on the phone with my husband… walking up the stairs and he would ask, “Honey… are YOU ok??” as I gasped for air when I reached the top.  Heavy breathing… he just KNEW I was being attacked.

NO.

I wasn’t ok.

I wasn’t in shape and I’m sure my heart was struggling to keep up with the excess fat I was carrying around on my smallish frame.  My knees ached at night, my back hurt often, and I was SO tired.

Sure I had heard, “oh exercise gives you energy….  exercise will help your back…”

Buuuuuut what if I didn’t have the energy to START exercising?  What if I was SO tired from working until the wee hours of the morning and schooling kids all day long.  How was this going to happen??  Remember – God knew I was tired… I’m sure He understood.

That wasn’t the Truth.  I knew it in my heart… but I proceeded to tell myself the lie because then, I wouldn’t have to change.  I might not have been aware of that at first, but I can see it now… clear as day.

The experts are right – exercise does give you energy more, it helps your stress level, it helps me rest better, makes your back feel better, it’s good for your heart…. what was I waiting for??

So I started with walking tapes and DVDs, workouts with an exercise ball, and I eventually a friend turned me onto the “30 Day Shred” work out video, (circuit training) by Jillian Micheals.  I figured if I could do each level for 30 days, instead of trying to complete it in 30 days, I would be making progress and… THAT would be better than doing nothing.  It hurt though, and I think I started with 3 lb weights.  The hopping, the weights, the movement… it wasn’t easy for me at the time and I didn’t always look forward to it at the end of the day – but I had my reasons for getting healthy – and posted it to remind me of my goals.

One of my favorite quotes she says is... "Think of all of the reasons you want to be fit and healthy...Think of THAT when you're hurting!"

I enjoy working out now because I love how I feel… I know in my heart that my body was made to move.  I like knowing that I’m doing the best I can for my heart – physically and spiritually.  My goal is always 30 minutes of some type of workout and I love to rotate them, but if I have time for an hour or so – I do that instead.

So tell me about your workouts – what fun stuff do you do?  If you’re NOT moving… then find some things you like.  If it’s not DVDs, do you like the accountability of a trainer or a gym?  Do you prefer to be outside and exercise?

I liked to make excuses before on why *I* couldn’t exercise.

I think it was Danna Demetre that said – “all excuses are equal – they are equally worthless.”

Point taken.

This wasn’t about ME anymore.  This was all about God.  What could I do to serve Him in my body, this precious gift?

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” – Hebrews 4:13

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