I began this journey a very short twelve weeks ago. I was nervous and excited. I tried to keep my expectations in check, but sometimes my perfectionist tendencies got the better of me.
I found my rhythm and my tribe here with Robs Big Losers at the GHS YMCA. I discovered I could be that person who enjoyed working out.
And I discovered I’m a morning person!
I had weeks where I struggled and weeks where I experienced runners high. As we neared completion I was so excited to run my first 5k.
Then last week I blew out my knee.
Luckily there’s no surgery in my future, but there are regular visits to physical therapy.
And I was told no running until I’m pain free.
I felt like quitting. I cried a little, yelled a lot, and finally took my situation to God.
He reminded me of the victories I’ve already experienced. I’ve dropped 2 clothing sizes and seen a HUGE boost in what I can do physically. He also reminded me that crossing the finish line at a run isn’t the point of this journey.
So this weekend I’ll walk across the finish line, celebrating a win. I began this three-month journey with God and He’s seen me through. And I know He’ll continue to guide me on as I finish the journey to a healthier lifestyle!
This journey has been amazing. The opportunity to receive the fitness help and coaching has been incredible. But the biggest revelations have come in getting to know me better. I’ve believed a lot of things about myself that weren’t true, and God is using this process to not just get my body in shape, but also my mind.
Lies I believed
Being overweight meant I was less than others who didn’t have a weight problem. God doesn’t judge me by the number on the scale. Yes, He wants me to be healthy, but He can and will use me right where I am now.
I’m a night owl. Turns out I’m really a morning person. I would never have thought that was the case. But the discipline of this process has forced me to revisit my daily routine and I’ve discovered I do better when I get up early and go to bed early.
Fitness and health was a sacrifice and meant giving up some of the things I love. I’ve discovered that it’s not a sacrifice, it’s the path to freedom. I thought losing weight and being healthy meant giving up things. Instead I’ve learned that I’m not giving up anything, I’m just modifying my behavior and that is giving me more freedom than I ever imagined. I have more energy to do the things I love and more quality time to spend with my kids.
I have to manage my weight by myself. I was trying to do it first (and stupidly) without God because I was ashamed of the weight I’d gained. But I also hid it from the people who could help me. Now that I’ve opened up, I have an incredible support system. The help hasn’t just come from His Radio and the GHS YMCA, but from family, friends, and those of you following my journey here.
These are just some of the things I’m learning. I’ve also a adopted a weigh-loss Bible verse. I keep this in the front of my mind, especially when I’m struggling.
I shall run the way of Your commandments, For You will enlarge my heart. Psalm 119:32. (NASB)
For me, the change appears minuscule. When I started this weight loss journey I imagined that people would be amazed as the pounds melted away.
Not so much.
It’s been much more difficult than I expected, but there have been changes.
- God has shown me the freedom from health issues that have come from taking better care of my body.
- My stamina and mood has improved.
- I’ve been sleeping better–and more consistently.
- My clothes fit differently.
This past week I’ve had several people comment on my weight loss. And that has been encouraging.
I’ve learned that the kind of life-change I’m making requires a significant amount of discipline and patience.
I didn’t get her in a few short weeks, and I won’t reverse the changes in a short time either.
But I’m happy at the changes I see on the outside and thrilled with the changes I feel on the inside.
Last week was a train wreck. My husband and I had a short vacation sandwiched between two business events—in 3 different states. While I kept up with cardio, I only was able to work in one day of strength training and my food choices were less than stellar.
I knew I needed to get back to the gym today, but I admit I was nervous. I worried that I would have lost some momentum. I have to admit that I even briefly considered not going. Instead I screwed up my courage and marched back into the gym.
It was tone of the best workouts I’ve had yet!
I faced my fear and came out the other side victorious. I had been dwelling only on the poor choices I made and ignoring the wise ones. I learned several valuable lessons:
- Even small wise choices count.
- Don’t dwell on the negative.
- Fitness is a process and the most important thing is not to give up.
I’m definitely back on the right track, and I think that next time I’ll be a little easier on myself. Life happens, and when it does it’s important to keep moving.
I’m learning so much during this fitness journey. I used to think of healthy living as a sacrifice. Now I KNOW differently. For me, this is a huge paradigm shift.
Snacking has always been a problem for me. I’m a writer and unfortunately I’ve trained the ideas to flow when I’m reaching my fingers into a bowl of crunchy goodies.
I thought I’d have to give up this habit, but I’ve found a satisfying snack I actually like better.
I cut up bell peppers, celery and carrots into small bits (reminiscent of those colored chocolate candies we al love so much). I put them in a bowl and snack away.
Since I’ve cut out almost all refined sugar in my diet, this mixture more than satisfies my sweet tooth. The crunchy texture and bright colors cover the rest.
The key is to spend a little time once or twice a week cutting up the veggies.
What have you found as a satisfying snack?
Here we are, just over the halfway point of this twelve-week journey. It’s already been a path full of discovery, victory, and challenges. But I think I’ve found my rhythm.
I’ve gown up believing I was a night owl. In the past few years though, my most productive times have come more and more often in the morning. This time of finding a place for fitness in my life has proven to me that I am definitely more of a morning person than a night owl.
My days go more smoothly when I begin them early—first with God, then fitness, then the other tasks. Even with the struggle of the Daylight’s Saving time change, I still cherish my early mornings.
The picture at the top of this post was taken this morning, on my way into the GHS YMCA to work out.
If there is one single thing I’ve learned through this journey, it’s to disregard my preconceptions.
- I thought I was a fat, uncoordinated, middle-aged woman who had waited too long to make a change. Now I see that with God, it’s never too late.
- I thought I always worked better at night. Now I see that I was designed to be a morning person.
- I thought I would never enjoy working out or coming to the gym. Now it’s a place of comfort and peace because of the changes God has made in my life though working out regularly.
I knew this was going to be a journey, I just didn’t know it would be a journey of self-discovery.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19 (NIV)
Nope, it wasn’t just a one-time occurrence. I experienced runners high again yesterday.
As wonderful as that experience is, it’s also brought to light a couple of things about perseverance:
1. The rewards don’t come overnight. I know that’s obvious, but I really want overnight rewards. I want the victory before I run the race.
2. The rewards do come. I’m in week six of this endeavor and truthfully I was beginning to wonder if it was worth it. Yes I’m losing weight, yes I’m working out regularly, but the workouts were hard–Every. Single. Time.
I’m grateful to have runners high to look forward to, but it doesn’t come at the beginning of a run–just like I didn’t experience in the beginning phases of my fitness journey. It comes with perseverance and discipline.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:3
I never thought it would happen to me. Actually, if I’m completely honest I have to admit I wasn’t even sure it was a real thing. But I’ve always heard my friends who are runners talk about runner’s high.
Today I actually experienced it. There I was, in the middle of the GHS YMCA, doing my walk/run on the treadmill and something began to happen.
My praise music was blaring, and I got a second wind and the most euphoric feeling came over me. I felt like I could conquer the world. Truthfully it was all I could do NOT to throw my hands up in the air and give a triumphant whoop.
Now I can hardly wait to go back tomorrow morning. Will it happen again? Was it just a fluke?
I’m betting it wasn’t. But I’ll let you know tomorrow.
“Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1
There’s just something uplifting about the weekend. It doesn’t matter how difficult the week or how busy the weekend. Saturday morning has always been a time for me to cherish.
I am not a morning person…at least I didn’t think I was. But now one of my favorite things is to start my day off early—even on the weekend.
- Coffee and quiet time with God
- A trip to the gym
- Back home in time for prayer with my hubby before we start our busy day
I’ve noticed that since I began this journey six weeks ago (yep, it’s already been six weeks!) my body has begun waking up earlier. It’s like I’ve finally found my natural rhythm.
Working with this type of a schedule hasn’t been limiting at all, either. Instead it’s given me more energy and freed up my creative spirit.
So I challenge you—one not-a-morning-person to another—give it a try and see if it doesn’t change your life!
My first trip to the gym on Monday after my time away was like coming home. I was met by the smiling faces at the GHS YMCA where yes—they know my name! No longer was walking into a gym like entering an environment where I didn’t feel I belonged. It’s hard to describe how joyful that makes me.
It was also a relief to get back into my workout routine. I immediately felt better physically. I tend to have back issues and I’ve discovered that working out regularly (alternating strength training and cardio) gets rid of the pain.
And I could feel God’s joy that I was finally making taking care of my body a priority.