"Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn't know you had, and dealing with fears you didn't know existed." -Linda Wooten

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Why Does Working Out Have to be Such Hard Work?!?

First off - please let me start by saying, this is not a fitness blog. I am no expert (clearly). But this is a current struggle in my life - and I thought I would share.
So, I have been “Battling the Bulge” for forever it seems. (Well – battle probably isn’t the right word, as my warrior mentality is entirely lacking and consistency has NOT been my strong suit.) I have been carrying around “baby weight” for a while now, so long that in fact it’s more like preschooler weight, since my “baby” is 4…and the excess weight from my pregnancies – yeah, it’s still here L
I have tried a lot of different things, some of which actually brought success, but my lack of maintaining a healthy lifestyle meant all those pounds I lost – I found again, and then some.
I have to admit, most of my efforts to lose weight in the past were really to try to please other people. I never made up my mind that I wanted to get healthy for myself – so of course, my motivation dwindled, quickly!
Every year I would start again. South Beach Diet one year, restricting myself to 600 calories a day one year (I know that’s a terrible idea, but believe it or not, a medical doctor put me on that diet, along with a prescription for Adipex – I think you get my drift. Side note: this is not a doctor I am currently seeing, just in case any names come to mind. He doesn’t even practice medicine in this county.) I got a running kick last year and started the Couch to 5K program – but running is something you MUST do with consistency or you will never see progress, remember I have issues with consistency, so that didn’t last very long either.
When I was in my early twenties (and in the best shape of my life), working out was fun!! I liked going to the gym. I saw progress quickly and it didn’t seem like I had to work so hard for my results. Being overweight makes everything harder (which is all the more reason why it’s important that I actually do this thing!!) To be honest, I’m a little embarrassed to go the gym. I enjoy walking and running but I get bored easily.
But something has changed. I will be turning 31 years old this year. When you hit 21, every year after that seems to come faster. My life is flying by and if I want to improve my chances of being around longer, NOW is the time to get serious about my health. This is SO much more than trying to lose weight. It’s making a conscious effort to focus on living healthy rather than just focusing on the number on the scale. A lifestyle change will eventually start to affect that number on the scale.
I haven’t worn shorts in 7 years!! 7 YEARS – it gets hot here in the south, so wearing jeans all summer long is NOT ideal. There are a lot of cute clothes I would love to wear, but my own insecurity prevents me from even trying them on. I want to be able to keep up with my children, as they get older, they get faster!! (This mama has a lot of HARD work ahead of her.) But thankfully, I have a supportive husband that lovingly encourages me on this journey. Here a just a few things I have made changes on and have already seen some results.

1.      Drink more water. This is something I still struggle with. I just simply forget to drink anything some days (I don’t know how someone does this, but I do, often.) I may go an entire 24 hours only having 2-3 glasses of water. I started filling up (BPA Free) water bottles and taking them to work with me, challenging myself to have all that water gone by the end of the day.
2.      Make healthier choices with food. I stock up on a lot of produce at the store. I buy whole wheat bread instead of white. I meal prep so it makes packing lunches and snacks easier – and I pack lunch and snacks for work every day. I often made poor food choices simply out of convenience. Nothing is more convenient than already having your food with you. It takes a little extra time and effort; but for me, it has been worth it.
3.      Eat organic and clean. This can get expensive. I always buy an organic option, if it’s available. When I buy eggs – I get organic, free range. I read labels – if there’s more than a hand full of ingredients, or words I don’t know, I don’t buy it. We have to be mindful of what is going into our bodies and what we are feeding our children. (I do splurge and sometimes I cook comfort foods on Sunday evenings that aren’t “clean” – but I try to stick to this as often as possible.) Just keep in mind – not all organic food is healthy. I know there are organic cookies, chips and other things. Being organic is not a license to overindulge. Also – only trust items that are labled as USDA organic. A lot of products will fool you with terms like “made out of organic wheat” or 95% organic. I always look for that USDA label.

4.     Move more. I still do not work-out as much as I should. I have allowed my busy schedule to become an excuse – but it really comes down to a lack of discipline. I could get up at 5am every morning but I CHOOSE to sleep in. I could go the gym late in the evenings, but I always find something else to do. I need to work on this area. I prefer to workout from home and found a lot of great HIIT videos on youtube and a lot of strength training workouts on Pinterest. I am still a work in progress here. But this really is an area I NEED to step it up.
5.     More calories out than in. The easiest way (for me) to track calories and keep track of my fats, carbs and protein intake – is to log my food. I use the iphone app – My Fitness Pal. It’s really easy and calculates my calories based on my food and exercise input. This probably isn’t 100% accurate – but it beats not tracking it at all.

I also know – that accountability is key. This is NOT an easy area of my life to write about and its quite uncomfortable putting it all that for other people to read. But I want you ladies to know – I understand the struggle. I understand that some days – I just don’t care about my weight. I get exhausted and would rather lie down than get up and do some cardio. Trust me – I get it.
But – I think God’s word has a lot to say about how we take care of our bodies. And this has been an area that I am feeling conviction in. Bottom line - gluttony is a sin. I can’t tell my children, you shouldn’t lie, you shouldn’t take the Lord’s name in vain – and then stuff my face with 5 doughnuts. That is hypocrisy – pure and simple. It takes discipline and that is never easy, but God makes us a promise in the book of Hebrews:
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
I have to ask God for help. I like food – more than that, I like carbs. But I must purpose to reach for broccoli when I really want a cupcake. (To make this easier, I just simply don’t buy junk food or sodas…EVER! If it’s here, I will eat it – so to make it easier on myself, I keep it out of the house.) My kids never complain. I keep things they like to snack on (like yogurt, raisins, fruit and veggies.)
We are charged by the word of God in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 to take care of God’s temple, because it is sacred. Because the spirit of God dwells within us, we ARE his temple. I don’t think this is an area we should take lightly.
Lastly – don’t let food have power over you. I have often eaten to deal with stress or frustration. That just gives food power over myself!! Reward yourself with something other than food – you are not a dog!! When you lose the first 10 pounds, buy yourself some new workout pants. Once a week have a cheat meal – but always stay focused on the long term goal. I am impatient and want results quickly – but more than that, I want permanent results – and that will take time.
What do you like to do for your workouts? Do you have any healthy recipes you would like to share? Please comment below. (In some browsers, you must click on the post title and be directed to a page that will have an option to leave comments at the bottom.)



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