So, there is a reason that I am certain I am making a true lifestyle change instead of just going on another diet, and it is because this time around, I have asked God to join me. Sometimes this partnership sounds like this:
Dear God: Thank you for giving me a body that works. Thank you for good health and stamina, for abundant healthy food and countless ways to take care of your temple. Please be with me today in all of my choices – about food, about activity, and about exercise. Help me keep my goals top of mind, and help me to fight off temptations. Amen.
Other times, our partnership sounds like this:
Sweet Jesus, is it 5am already?
Oh Lord, HOW many more DONKEY KICKS??
For the love of God I just want a BIG MAC!!
Either way, He is with me.
This journey started at the beginning of Lent. While the family was talking about what to give up (Thing One gave up French fries, because last year when he gave up chicken nuggets he decided THAT was TOO HARD; Trophy Husband gave up seconds, but needed reminding that it doesn’t mean he gets bigger firsts), I was thinking about taking a different path. Instead of giving something up, I decided to add something . . . FITNESS.
I was feeling lazy and tired. Impatient. Irritated. I wasn’t sleeping well – very often I would wake up in the middle of the night and channel surf for an hour or two before falling back to sleep. My skin was breaking out. My back ached.
And I had to lay down on my back to zip up my Size 16s. Can we all say EEEEEWWW?
2008 was an extremely difficult year for my husband and I, and every bit of it showed on over my face, my body, and my attitude. I needed something to change.
I have such a collection of exercise videos – from 2 different FIRM systems, to Windsor Pilates, to Gunnar Peterson, to a bootleg BodyFlow. And, I have just about everything Beachbody distributes (Yoga Booty Ballet, P90X, Slim in 6, Slim Series). I also have every accessory – hand weights, resistance bands, mini medicine balls, Fanny Lifter, squishy ball, stabilization ball. Who needed a gym membership?
Slim in 6 caught my eye; I bought it after my daughter was born, but barely made it to Week Two. But, Lent was about six weeks, so there you have it. My Lenten promise was born.
I decided not to focus on losing weight. I didn’t do before pictures, take measurements, or even step on the scale. My only goal was to spend some time each and every day of Lent (none of this taking Sundays off business) exercising.
Ash Wednesday I woke up and immediately put on workout clothes. My intention was to work out when Thing Two napped, but I figured I should suit up first thing. The time came and I popped in the first Slim in 6 video, called Start it Up. Only 25 minutes, I figured it would be a breeze. Why? I don’t know. I had barely moved all winter long. But nonetheless I did each and every plie, lunge, squat, standing crunch, and push up 100%.
After the workout I chugged my water with lemon all day.
I felt pretty good.
I said, “Thank you Lord for putting this in my heart. I feel a weight lifting from my shoulders.”
Trophy Husband came home and we had dinner together, and the endorphins were still rushing. I was more cheerful than I had been in a while. We played with the kids, got through bedtime with no drama, watched a little tv together, and I fell asleep.
For the whole night.
The next morning the alarm went off, and when I reached out to hit snooze, my eyes shot open. The pain that shot through my tricep was absolutely startling. My groan as I rolled to my side woke Trophy Husband. Pulling myself up to sitting, I felt an ache deep in my abs.
Once again, the Lord was with me, when I turned to TH and cried:
OH DEAR GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE????