Tag Archives: priorities

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.


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

On the Outside, Too (Weight Loss Journey Day 72)

It wasn’t the best part . . . great, yes, but the not best.

Today someone who’d seen the picture on my blog of the three stages of Paula asked what I thought was best was about losing weight. He said, “I’m sure your clothes fit better and it’s easier to look in the mirror.”

My mind went immediately to when Sarah told the Facebook world I was working to lose weight. She wrote that she’d watched me take care of my inner Paula but commented that never in her 21 years had she seen me give attention to the outer me.

Talk about convicted! God made me to be a whole person, not just a soul. And while it’s true that “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7), it’s also true that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” on the outside, too. And this weight loss experience, this wandering through the neighborhood in an attempt to shed pounds has given me a new way to connect with God.

walking 1

At the park

I love walking, the sunshine on my face, the blue sky above. I love staring up into the trees. Here I connect with him. I have rambling conversations. I am quiet in my soul, away from distraction, seeking to be attuned to His leading.

walking 2 - Copy

And I sense He is making me strong for a reason. He needs my body lighter, more functional, more energetic for where we are going next. Right after my car accident I was angry because it was so hard for me to read or write in my journal. I’d mostly connected with God that way, the reading of Scripture, the writing of prayers, the listening for His response and recording it. But now I’m grateful He’s revealed Himself in a new way, a way that is connecting the dots between body and soul.

Real Time Update:

January of this year was a continuous picking up of the balls I dropped after the car accident. I felt it was time to return to real life, even though I wasn’t fully functional. It’s now March, and I’m pushing hard, trying to get everything done and still cleaning up messes from things neglected for six months (oh, and then there’s the wedding).

Every day I fight the very real battle for what I wrote about above–the nurturing of my body and spirit. Schedules are demanding. I lose sight of the joy the exercise and the communion of walking brings. Last week I walked about 7 miles, but was only out there twice. This week I’m trying to get outside even if I only have brief time spans to utilize. In two days I walked about 3 and a half miles, not 7, but I didn’t skip my time. My spirit seems to need closer to 3 or 4 miles to truly unwind and commune, but even a mile helps my body and attitude. I need to get out there no matter the time available, but I also need to find those longer, rambling times for my soul.

I’m not perfect at all this. Sometimes taking care of my physical and spiritual self seems overwhelming. I know it’s all about choice. And I’m tryin’.

What About You?

How do you prioritize nurturing your physical and spiritual self?

Gotta Keep Walkin’ Day 66

tennis shoesAfter being disappointed in myself yesterday about eating dessert but not burning it off, I prioritized walking today. I also missed hanging out alone with God. I used to do that mostly with my journal and Bible in hand, but I’m not doing much reading or writing since the accident. I like this new thing the Lord is doing, though, connecting with me as I walk. 

I asked the Holy Spirit to direct my steps, then started walking with Matthew 1 on my Bible app on my phone. I think I listened to the first three chapters. (I’m doing the gospels right now. I started with John, my favorite, then moved onto Luke, my second favorite. Poor Mark. I always leave him until last . . .)

I felt drawn to walk up to where a friend of my son’s just moved into a condo. It was a bit of a trek, but not too far for my new lifestyle. I walked around the complex, praying for the people who lived there, but mostly for our friend.

After that I ended up walking the parking lot of my favorite coffee shop, praying for the owners to know God and asking Him to bless their business and send them customers. Then I circled the elementary school and prayed again for the kids and teachers there. At the empty strip mall I asked the Lord for a church there, one Jerry and I could attend and serve in that would know how to care for my failing neighborhood. By the time I reached home I’d walked four miles, burned 445 calories, and enjoyed sweet fellowship.

I tried to do a little running in the dry patches, but was interrupted often by unshoveled sidewalk spaces.  I told myself I could be grateful for the icy spots because they gave me an easy out from pushing too hard. That didn’t change my frustration level, and I wasn’t really grateful. Come on, people! Shovel in front of your house!

Once home I craved my BeFull shake, which I skipped due to all the holiday left-overs for the last couple of days. The shake was so good.

I did have half of one of my famous homemade cinnamon caramel rolls with a little coffee. But I still have lots of calories to spare today, so I’m not too worried about that.

The scale has been up and down this week, playing around with about thee pounds, with all this crazy holiday eating, but it has stayed between 186 and 188. I hope I never, ever see 190 again. Let me rephrase. I PLAN to never, ever see 190 again!!

Should have started the BEPure cleanse before Christmas, but decided to wait until after the holidays and get a fresh start.

Real Time Update:

It feels fantastic to be down another 20 pounds since I wrote the above entry in my weight loss diary. I’m tall for a woman, almost 5′ 9″, so even 170 looks relatively NORMAL. I still have a muffin top to work on, but I’m thinner than I’ve been in a long, long time. YAY!

Now for a confession. I’m walking about half as much as I did in December. The good news is I am finally feeling better and able to do more work on the computer. The hard part is prioritizing exercise now that I’ve picked up most of the balls I had to lay down last June. Lord, help me to keep my health, my exercise, my time alone with You as a top priority even as You return me to productivity.

What About You?

How do you balance exercise with responsibility?