Monday, October 31, 2011

A New Rhythm (Courageous Part 3)

I keep feeling like I am starting over.

Isn't that silly?

As if I have lost ground on this journey to lose weight and become a healthy, fit woman. I guess I might think that if I ate donuts this weekend... oh wait, I did!

But the real deal, actual truth is I am on this journey and I am gaining ground and losing weight. It may not look like what I'd envisioned when I started, but it's okay. I am grateful for the confidence, finally, that I will see it all the way through to the end.

Before I got in the pool today I was wondering if I still remembered how to swim. It's been three weeks since I was able to get to the gym and it felt foreign climbing back into the cold water I spent so many hours in just a few short months ago.

Turns out I did remember how to swim, even though it felt a bit awkward at first. But, I went with the awkward feeling and made myself breathe on my off side. So instead of swimming my regular steady rhythm of breathing to my right, I made myself breathe to the left. It felt strange. I swallowed some water and no doubt drew the attention of the lifeguards a few times.

I asked myself why I was doing this... swimming on the "wrong" side just to make myself uncomfortable. I shot up a prayer in my heart...

I heard the whisper, "You are finding a new rhythm, a way not entirely foreign, but uncomfortable because it's different than what you're used to doing."

Ohhhh, okay.

As I kept swimming I pondered that bit of input. I considered the things I have committed to change lately, in addition to changing my eating habits and getting the exercise I need.

1) I have to stop yelling at my kids. Many times I am not angry, just pushing up my volume to get their attention... seriously, I taught them that is okay. Now it's coming back at me. Disrespect back at my disrespect... yuck. It has to change. Yelling is disrespectful. Period. It has to stop. I will stop. It is a nasty habit that will end. It must.

2) Random clutter must not be a part of our home. I pile stuff up that I am not sure what to do with. I keep stuff I should get rid of. I don't do things right away because I can do them later when something else isn't as pressing... another nasty habit. It will stop. It has to. It is not cultivating the environment I want to raise my family in. I don't want to be constantly looking at more to do. I want to see clear spaces, things put away in their proper place and enjoy the rest of someone who knows there will be stuff to do tomorrow, but for today, things are done.

I have been asking God to give me the courage to change/remove/delete these habits and I started working toward the change I want. 

It has been a little uncomfortable and I have made mistakes, lots, but until I heard that voice in my heart today in the pool I didn't have a clue what to do except go with what Nike says and "Just Do It".

Realizing I am developing a new rhythm has helped me come to terms with the discomfort I am experiencing, just like in the pool. I may swallow some water, cough or choke a bit, but in the end, if I keep at it, I will have developed a couple of new habits that are vital to the blessing of my family and be able to breathe on the left side as comfortably as I do on the right.

Like Dori from Finding Nemo says, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Courageous (Part 2)

This is under my "Courageous" heading because it feels a little intimidating to put all of this "out there". But, because I am passionate about staying REAL with my plans, dreams and desires, it seems important to post.
This past couple of weeks have been pretty hard with sick kids keeping me from going to the gym and my lack of motivation to eat healthy running over my intention to remain "Courageous" in my pursuit of a healthy, fit and happy me. So I decided to re-evaluate where I want to go in order to get off my cowardly booty and get moving towards goals again. 
Here it is:
Weight Loss Vision and Fitness goals
October 26, 2011 – March 6, 2012 (19 weeks)

I will be healthy and strong,
 able to maintain a fit and quality balanced life in every area.

Spiritually I will be moving humbly and confidently in the gifts God has given me, deliberately listening to Him every day.

Emotionally, I will walk in the Spirit, aware of the "curve balls" of life and consistently living in the Fruit of the Spirit: Galatians 5:22-23 (The Message Version) But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. 
Mentally, I will embrace filling my head with edifying and interesting information designed to “build” my mental muscles. I will read a book a month (balanced between spiritual growth, parenting, leadership development, and entertainment).

Physically, I will be training for the Coeur d’Alene Half Marathon on May 27, 2012, looking forward to 2 Sprint triathlons (Hayden and Wunder Woman), considering the Long Bridge swim (still praying about that one) and actively weight training. I will learn how to use the ‘foam roll’ stretching technique and enjoying spinning class. I will never take for granted my ability to do anything athletic and be grateful I have a body that I can move!

I have no idea what I will weigh or what size I will wear.
I look forward to living in a body and mind that are healthy and fit, raising my children to do the same, and working together as a family to serve the church and community as the Lord leads.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Courageous (part 1)

I have just returned from a glorious vacation with my Love. Celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary has been a whirlwind of memories and laughter. Collage posters of old pics and new remind me of how I looked back then and now.

The interesting thing: I remember how I felt about myself back then and how I feel now. Separating body image from self-image is something that I highly recommend.  I am not exactly sure how or when it happened but one day, only a year or two ago, I looked in the mirror and who I am was different than what my body looked like.  I encourage anyone with any "body issues or eating issues" to take a moment to consider that you (who you are on the inside) are not only the sum of how you look in the mirror. I didn't see that back then. All I saw were the flaws in my body when I looked in the mirror. I see that 20-something girl and wish she knew how beautiful she was - inside and out.

I am a part of a weight loss challenge at my local gym right now. We are broken up into teams. My team is called "Courageous". Each of us is significantly overweight and so we have a long way to go. We have different challenges in our lives that tempt us to stray (in actions or attitude) from our desire to become the fit, strong, healthy women God designed us to be. However, each of us take turns reminding each other to be "Courageous".

It takes TIME to work through the "gunk" that got us to where we are right now.
It takes ENERGY to get to the gym to get the exercise we know our bodies need.
It takes STAMINA to keep up the hard work when we get sick, go on vacation, get stressed or tired, and feel like caving in to the moment.

We know this is a journey. One day at a time we have to focus on our goal, encourage each other and keep up a steady pace toward the finish line.

Courage means "the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear; bravery."

Courageous means possessing or characterized by courage.

The opposite of courage - cowardice.

We want to be courageous as we approach this challenge that many of us have been struggling with for over 20 years.

We are keeping up the good hard work - TOGETHER.

And someday, I will look back on the pictures taken this summer and the ones taken so many summers before and see a courageous woman who took on a big challenge and saw it through all the way to the end.

May you be blessed and I pray, find dear ones to join you on your journey.