When The Finish Line Looks Different

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!

Slow but Significant Change

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.

Getting Back Up

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:

  1. Even small wise choices count.
  2. Don’t dwell on the negative.
  3. 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.

Texture and Color are the Key!

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?

The Rhythm of a Fit Life

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)

It Wasn’t Just a Fluke

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

A Routine for Freedom!

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!

Not An Easy Week

As glad as I am to be back on schedule, this week has been tough. I think it’s because I’m tired. I feel a strong urge to revert to my non-workout, eat-anything-I-want ways. But I’ve worked too hard, and this is too awesome an opportunity to give up on.

So I’m choosing to keep moving…literally.

This morning I got up at 5am and was at the gym by 5:15. Not because I’m some super-athlete, but I knew I had a busy day and didn’t want the excuses to build up in my mind.

My plan until this difficult time passes is to take it one day at a time. I’m working on one wise choice at a time and trying not to look too far ahead. And I’m rehearsing why I’m doing this. Here’s the Bible verse I’m clinging too:

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20


Back Home

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.

Day One Away: Challenge Met!

Yesterday was my travel day. That meant a nine-and-a-half hour car ride, then an evening buffet, dessert reception and first night in the hotel.

In the past, that would have been a recipe for disaster.

Instead, here’s how I met the challenge. 

  • Before I left, I prayed with my husband—for him and for me to stay on track.
  • I reconnected with my prayer team, again sharing specific requests.

On the car ride down:

  • I drank a lot of water—fun because I’d treated myself to a new water bottle before I left.
  • I did allow myself one diet soda because even though I know it’s not the best health choice, it’s something I love and I’m trying not to deprive myself of everything and drive myself to failure.
  • For lunch I chose a salad with grilled chicken.

On Site

  • I basked in the glow of the compliments about how I’m losing weight. It feels so good that people are beginning to tell a difference.
  • At dinner, I chose veggies and ham, and used a large plate for salad instead of the usual tiny bowl.
  • Since I’d allowed myself a diet soda on the road, I stuck to water.
  • I met up with my friend *waving at Lindsey* who’d promised to exercise with me and we made plans for a walk later in the evening.
  • At the dessert reception the only tricky part was getting in the door and turning down the yummy ice cream sodas. Once inside the room, I was better because I kept circulating and visiting with old friends so there wasn’t time to miss the sugary treat.
  • Before I settled for the night, Lindsey and I took a two-mile brisk walk. Not only did it feel good to have uninterrupted time with my friend, the walk got rid of the aches and pains I’d developed from the long car ride.

I know this week is going to serve up some challenges—and I won’t alway end up the victor. But I’m trying to catalogue my successes so when I stumble, I can keep it in perspective.

Thank you all for your encouragement and for your prayers!