Tag Archives: exercise struggles

Encouragement in the Curve Balls

pedi maniWhen you set out to do something good, chances are you will be opposed.

This summer my health journey has faced opposition. None of it life-stopping. No illness, just stuff. Some of it I’m ready to share; some I’m not. But here’s the battle of last week. If you’ve been around A BENew Journey for long you know my favorite way to burn calories (and bad attitudes) is to take a nice long walk.

Enter two of my nemesis.

I’ve fought seasonal allergies since I was a child, and in Colorado, this is the week. The family has been on lock down. The windows are shut tight from bedtime until late morning. This cuts the allergy reactions in about half. But since just walking out the backdoor set me off the other day, I’ve not been excited about walking for exercise.

About the same time my old friend, plantars fasciitis, decided to return in my right foot.

All this to say I didn’t walk for four days straight.

I did a few exercises in the living room–like crunches and such–and mostly was sedentary and feeling sorry for myself. Friday I decided I absolutely couldn’t let another day go without more determined exercise and pulled out the old Pilates DVD I hadn’t touched since the snow stopped last spring.

After the inevitable frustration of not being able to find the DVD, then not finding the work-out band, and then struggling to figure out the latest configuration of video game/TV/controller the boys rigged together, I finally dug in.ten minute solutions

The good news is that there is a marked difference in the way I handled the exercises! I could do some stuff I couldn’t do last spring, and I could do other exercises with more stamina.

The journey to a stronger, slimmer body can be excruciatingly slow. It is hard to see incremental changes, like it is hard to realize how much your children have grown until you see a picture from a few months before and notice the marked difference.

I’m not one of those people who loves to work out. You would not be impressed with my number of reps or the intensity of my efforts. But slow and steady DOES make a difference. A walk here. A few crunches there. A few leg lifts and push-ups. Simply being intentional about moving and focusing a few minutes a few times a week on strengthening my body, and today I got to see measurable CHANGE. 

I doubt I’ll ever work out for the sheer joy of challenging my body. I still look at my athlete son with a raised eyebrow when he calls that stuff fun. But even a small amount of effort over a few months makes a difference. In the midst of the curve balls that slowed down my walking, I got a little encouragement.

How about you? Where have you found unexpected encouragement? Would adding some simple exercise into your life help you toward measurable change? If so, start small. Build slowly. You CAN do a LITTLE something, and even a little something makes a difference.

(And if you have an off day like I did last Saturday and eat a bunch of junk and watch a bazillion episodes of Downton Abbey instead of moving and eating healthy, remember, it’s always the right time to make the next decision for health.)

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Even a little makes a difference

Truth and Grace (Day 125)

How would YOU process this journal entry?

Day 125 ~ Down an inch in my waist and a half inch in my neck. Surprised that my thigh was actually a little bigger. Question: Is it because of the Pilates working different muscles and actually gaining muscle there or because I’ve not walked as much this month as last? Not too worried because my thighs are no longer my problem place. It’s the tummy and waist that still need to tone/lose.

I went two weeks without using My Fitness Pal App. I didn’t gain, but I didn’t lose as much as I wanted, so I think I will return to it until I reach my goal. It was nice taking a break, but I want to be a little more aggressive.

Reflecting on last week, I’m not sure how to think about the fact that I only exercised three days. It was a very difficult week between a few crises and my writing deadline.

Do I think, “Wow. I exercised three times despite snowy days, unusual stressful issues, and a writing deadline!”

Or maybe, “Okay. It wasn’t a great week. You didn’t exercise as much as you have been the last couple of months, but you DID exercise three times, something you wouldn’t have done a year ago. You just need to be more intentional this week now that some of the stress is off.”

Or should I be more proactive, “Even when you have especially difficult week, you need to prioritize taking care of the physical you. Exercise first, then it won’t get left out when the day gets more stressful than you expect.”

One thing I do know is with all the snow outside I need to prioritize Pilates or some inside work today and start this week right.

Or maybe I should just bundle up and brave the snow.  It looks really pretty out there. And that is what I would have done last December. Should I really let 8 inches of snow keep me inside?? ~ Feb. 25

Real Time Update:

So, what do you think? Which thought process would best suit YOUR needs?

All these months later I think I’m still a combination of all of them. I believe in focus and intentionality. Life gets stressful, but even in stress my health is important. Taking care of my body needs to be prioritized, but so does taking care of my heart. In high stress times I have to give myself grace. Getting more stressed because I’m not perfect in my health journey isn’t going to help me.

Maybe it comes back to something the pastors at our church say often: Truth AND Grace, not Truth OR Grace.

The truth is that healthy choices like exercise are imperative if I want to take good care of myself. Grace accepts me even when my efforts fall short of my goals. Truth reminds me that I have to take care of myself or eventually I won’t be able to take care of my responsibilities. Grace doesn’t beat me up when responsibilities push aside self-care.

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What does Truth and Grace have to do with Weight Loss?