Is it just me, or is it difficult to find time to exercise? For the most part, I'm willing TO exercise, it just doesn't fit into my schedule as conveniently as I would like. I work full-time, my commute is lengthy, and I have a husband who would like for me to be home and cook dinner at some type of a reasonable hour. (I can't even begin to imagine how those with children do it!)
And yet, exercise is definitely important. For me, the key to losing weight is watching what I eat, but I certainly can't knock the benefits that exercise provides -- muscle tone, heightened weight losses, stress relief. I think the secret is trying to find ways to sneak it in...something I'm still working on.
When I first lost weight, I was surprised at how I didn't mind parking a little further away from the grocery store doors -- I actually wanted to walk. I don't encounter many flights of stairs, but I try to take those as well (at least on occasion). If nothing else, I try to keep in mind that what could be seen as inconveniences in life (walking further in the parking lot, circling the office a few times to find someone, having seats on the 3rd level of the hockey arena) are opportunities to squeeze in a little extra fitness. It may not be much, but I'm certain that it's better than nothing!
On a side note, I loved the song "Let's Get Physical" as a child (I thought it was really about working out!). I'm sure my mother just loved having her 4-year-old belt it out on a regular basis! ;-)
Thursday, February 16, 2012
It would appear that there's nothing like announcing your plans to slim down and tone up to really throw a wrench in your diet. I'm nearly half-way through my six weeks, and if anything, I think I'm worse off than I was. I've been working on switching up my workouts (interval-style cardio, more strength training), so that part is good (when I actually make it to the gym!), but the diet part of my plan has been terrible.
I'd love to blame the usual suspects -- Super Bowl, Valentine's Day, gourmet cupcakes -- but the truth of the matter is that there's always going to be some type of special event or tempting food to derail my plans. At the end of the day, I have to make a choice to give in or resist. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at choosing wisely.
Over the course of the past week, I've been thinking a lot about Paul's confession that he so often finds himself doing the very things that he doesn't want to do. And wouldn't you know, that's exactly the chapter in Romans that we studied in my small group Bible study last weekend.
From The Message version of that passage:
17-20But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
21-23It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
24I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?
25The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.
I love Paul's honesty about his struggles. I can't count how many times I've found myself in that very spot -- with food and diet, but also in life. I say that I want to stick to my diet, but the siren song of donuts from the break room is all that I can hear. I set out to spend time reading my Bible every day, but four days later, it still sits on the table untouched. I vow to buckle down and be productive, taking care of the things that need to be done, but some shiny object distracts me for far too long.
While this human weakness is so frustrating, I am thankful that God is bigger than any distraction or temptation that I will ever encounter. I'm also thankful that God is a God of forgiveness...that no matter how many times I fail (and I will fail), God still sees me as His chosen child.
I'm pretty sure that's better than a donut.... :-)