Shoulder Devil: “It’s late. You did the HIIT training. Skip the rest.”
Shoulder Angel: “There’s still an hour and a half left in the day. Don’t listen to him. If it wasn’t for me, your body fat percentage would still be 51%”
Shoulder Devil:: “hhhhhh. okay, fine. then just do the plank. Skip the strength training. You’re tired. You can do strength training tomorrow.”
Shoulder Angel:: “He’s right.”
Shoulder Devil:: “I am?”
Shoulder Angel:: You should do strength training tomorrow. You should do tomorrow’s strength training tomorrow. Do today’s strength training today.”
Shoulder Devil:: “no, that’s not what I meant…”
Shoulder Devil:: “Don’t listen to him, he’s a fanatic. He’s talking about 10 Minutes. What’s the big deal about 10 lousy minutes?”
Shoulder Angel:: “EXACTLY my point.”
Shoulder Devil:: “NO! That’s not what I meant…”
Shoulder Angel:: “HEY! remember that FIRM 5 Day Ab workout from the 90s? Do that! Day one is only 6 minutes!”
And that’s how I ended up with this video in the DVD player tonight.
(and you’re welcome. this video clip is so blurry you can’t see that the shorts on the guys in this video are WAY too short. T. M. I. and ewww. and again. ewww. and who says “supine? My whole life I’ve never said the word “supine.”)
I’ve described my mother as a “defiant non-compliant diabetic.” She ate what she wanted, when she wanted, blood sugar be damned. After decades of neglect, her body began to deteriorate and finally shut down completely. I found a receipt in her wallet dated just days before her death. She had driven through Burger King on the way home from dialysis and ordered a BK Stacker (22 grams of fat, 700 mg of sodium.). She was suffering from congestive heart failure, taking 14 different medications and on dialysis 3 days a week, but she wanted a BK Stacker, so she got one. There were more fast food receipts in the pockets of her clothing and on her desk.
Time and time and time again she chose immediate personal gratification and a comfort zone, over long term goals, discomfort and inconvenience – and not just with food.
She bought what she wanted when she wanted it, even if she didn’t have the money.
She wanted a warm, inviting home, but she focused on the house and its contents more than the people who lived in it.
She wanted passionate relationships, but was controlling and plagued with pride.
She wanted to travel and experience new things. But instead, she booked the same vacation for years.
She loved to play the piano. But she didn’t make time for it.
She loved to sing. But she only sang in the house. And rarely.
She wanted to write. But she didn’t.
She wanted so much, but she settled for so little.
Her desire for the things she wanted made it challenging and sometimes impossible for her to recognize, much less appreciate, the blessings she had. Her inability to see that she had power to change her circumstances if she stayed true to her long-term goals kept her firmly rooted in mediocrity and the status quo.
I paid attention. And I learned quite a bit about what I want for my life by watching her choices.
I still pay attention. And I look for consequences – good and bad – so I can learn from other people’s choices. I learn a LOT about what I want as a result of my OWN choices and their consequences.
My mother had a stroke and blamed her doctors and her medication. She had a stroke and I got a personal trainer. Before and after her stroke, she relied on medications to make herself feel better and to lengthen her life. Before her stroke, I was following in her footsteps. After her stroke, I began relying on exercise and lifestyle changes to make myself feel better and to lengthen my life.
I had a choice. I could continue to go with the flow and eventually find myself at risk for a stroke or I could intentionally and consistently walk backwards against the current. If you know me, it shouldn’t surprise you that when I’m floating in a lazy river, I will at some point, become bored and walk backward against the current. It’s a metaphor for my life. I intentionally choose to view every experience God has allowed in my life – good AND bad – as a blessing. Together, these blessings fuel me with determination.
I’m a big believer in benchmarking. When I want to learn how to do something, I find people who do it well and I copy them. But I also learn what not to do by watching the things that people, myself included, do poorly. I pay attention to choices and consequences – good and bad. I call it opportunistic learning and it helps me discover what I want in my life.
I want more than immediate gratification and a well worn spot in my comfort zone.
I want MORE than the comfort of air conditioning, dry, pleasant smelling clothing, a good hair day, less laundry and an extra hour every day. I don’t consider a handicapped sticker on my car to be a well deserved ticket to a great parking space and the inability to walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded scares me more than a hurricane warning. The inability to walk up a flight of stairs at all scares me more than an actual hurricane.
I want a stronger body, even if it needs two showers in one day, generates smelly, wet laundry, “wastes” 30 minutes or more of my day and requires a longer walk from the parking lot. I want to get stronger as I get older, not weaker. I want to be a good steward of this body God has blessed me with. I’ve experienced the limitations of a body that won’t do what I want it to do and I hated it so much I NEVER want to experience it again. I’ll do anything I can to make sure that my body doesn’t deteriorate due to neglect.
I want MORE than a 6 inch high plate of nachos with a phenomenal cheese sauce or the most decadent, melt in your mouth chocolate lava cake in the world. I want MORE than the thousands of milligrams of sodium and double digit grams of fat in the restaurant food that saves me from cooking dinner when I don’t feel like it. I want MORE than a bedtime snack of ice cream or a Grand Slam breakfast from Denny’s. I want MORE than a BK Stacker.
I want unblocked arteries, normal blood pressure and stable blood sugar. I want my 7 day pill case to be filled with vitamins and supplements instead medications. I want to model good nutritional choices for my children, especially my daughter. I want to live a longer, healthier life than my mother did. I’m not swayed by spoonfuls being shoved in my face along with an exasperated voice telling me to “just taste it.” It’s not that I secretly want it and am just denying myself. I really don’t want it. I’ll never be convinced to abandon my long term nutrition goals just because someone belittles me for not eating something they want to eat. I’ll never belittle them while I watch them eat – but I also won’t sanction their choice or cave to middle school level peer pressure by picking up a fork and joining them.
I want MORE than a good marriage. I want MORE than candy and flowers and jewelry on Valentines Day and my birthday. I want MORE than a husband who handles car maintenance, toilet repair, heavy lifting, jar opening and high shelf reaching. I want MORE than a “good” sex life and a husband who does what I want in order to get it. I want MORE than a husband who agrees with me to avoid conflict and who spends time with me because he’s supposed to.
I want a GREAT marriage to a man I can’t go a day without talking to. I want to be the person who respects my husband more than anyone else in the world and I want him to know it beyond a shadow of a doubt. I want to come to the end of my day and be confident I didn’t say a bad word about him to ANYone. I want to be the kind of wife he wants to come home to and I want to be genuinely happy that he’s home when he walks in the door. I want a partner – a LIFE LONG partner – who tells me the truth in a gracious tone of voice, motivated by love. I want us to share EVERYthing without holding back: our thoughts, our ideas, our weaknesses, our fears, our passions and our bodies. I want to share household and parenting duties and I’m thankful that I figured out early in our marriage that different isn’t wrong. I want us to be able speak in idioms and always understand each other. I want us to be able to communicate with facial expressions and eye contact. I want to stay married to my best friend for the rest of my life and I’m thankful that we are both willing to run to a marriage counselor the minute our relationship can be described as “fine.”
I want MORE than compliant children who make good grades, keep their room clean and behave appropriately at all times. I want MORE than happy, safe children. I don’t want my children to do what they’re told because I say so.
I want to hear about everything that interests them, because I know that if I don’t listen with interest, they will stop telling me. I want to be challenged by their mind, fascinated by their discoveries, respectful of their ideas, convinced by their reasoning, inspired by their passion and exasperated by our differences. I want to always strive to respect them as individuals instead viewing them as extensions of myself. I want to be comfortable with their potential to embarrass me for the sake of their (and my) learning curve. I want my children to learn life lessons from remorse and disappointment as well as from pride and achievement. I want to equip them, not protect them. I want them to do the right thing because it’s the right thing, even when nobody is looking.
I want to be debt-free. I want to own my home, not hold a mortgage. I want my car to start every time I turn the key, and if it does, I don’t care how many miles are on it. I want to be a good steward of my financial blessings. I want to save and pay cash for the things I want. I don’t want to pay interest. I want to teach my children the value of a wise financial choice. I want to teach them that delayed gratification ultimately makes them happier and more secure than an impulse or convenient purchase. I want to give God MORE than 10% of what he entrusts to me and I want my kids to want to do the same.
I want MORE than to help lead a “good” praise set on Sunday morning. Lukewarm makes me restless. Holding back makes me unsettled. Trying to please everyone is deeply discouraging. Settling for fine wears me down. I don’t want to give God less than my very best. No one is drawn to mediocrity.
I want to work my butt off to prepare and when Sunday morning comes, I want to block out all the logistics and make myself open and available for God to equip me for service. I want to respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, not the body language of someone in the congregation who is missing His presence because they are preoccupied with what someone else thinks. I want to allow myself to be saturated with the Holy Spirit, so much so that Satan doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in Hell of distracting me from my goal of bringing as many people with me as I possibly can while I abandon myself to authentic, consuming praise. I want to go all out and see what God will do with my all.
I want to use everything God has given me – the good and the bad – to serve Him. When I write, I have no idea if the result is a cathartic purge or if someone will identify with something I say and be encouraged or changed by it. It’s just as possible that what I’ve written will alienate or discourage someone. I have no idea if God will use it to reach someone, but I pray He will. I don’t want the words I write to be in a vacuum.
I. want. MORE.
Do I always get it right? Not by a long shot. I do not find all this to be intuitive. These are determined choices I make, over and over and over again. And when I screw up, I start over, even if I have to start over multiple times a day. But I’m not going to stop striving. And I’m willing to wait for whatever God hasn’t entrusted me with yet. I’m willing work for it.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness,knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 5-8
“Never neglect what you’ve seen God do in your life. Take a careful look at these things from God’s perspective, all the way from your birth to where you stand right now. They’re all significant.”
Experiencing the Spirit
Henry and Melvin Blackaby
treadmill. 5% incline. 3.5mph.
Shoulder Coach: “really? that’s all you got?”
Me: “6% incline. are you happy?”
Shoulder Coach: “for now.”
Me: “you’re gonna give me shin splints.”
Shoulder Coach: “your shins hurt?”
Me: “no. not yet.”
Shoulder Coach: “Then quitcherbellyachin”
I got my miles in yesterday.
Treadmill readout showed:
1023 calories burned in
115 minutes and 34 seconds.
In case you are new or catching up and are wondering why anyone in their right mind would do that when they’re not training for a marathon or running from a bear, I’ve decided it’s because I’m tenacious.
Six days before the month was over, I decided I wanted to average walking 1 mile for each day of the month. Just because I can’t set reasonable goals doesn’t mean I can’t do math. That meant walking 30 miles in 6 days.
You’d think that I would walk 5 miles a day. You’d think that I would realize what taking Saturday off would to do my brilliant plan.
I walked 5 miles the first day, 5 miles the second day and ZERO miles the third day. That left 20 miles for the last three days of the month.
Here’s how it went:
Sunday: 7 Miles., 4% incline (didn’t keep track of the rest)
Monday: 7.02 miles, 4% incline, 1213 calories burned in a total of 131 minutes and 28 seconds.
Tuesday: 6.01 miles, 4% incline, 1023 calories burned in 115 minutes and 34 seconds.
I won’t lie. It was hard. I didn’t want to do it. I put it off all day. All three days.
I intentionally put my goal out on the internet – on my blog and on my facebook page, because accountability makes me stronger. Not because my prideful nature wouldn’t let me fail in front of everybody who thought my goals were crazy unreasonable. I’m tenacious, not stubborn, remember?
And for those of you who know I tore my MCL and strained my ACL on December 2nd, the knee is feeling good. I walked over 20 miles in December, now over 30 in January.
February is a new month. I need a new goal.
How about 2 miles a day? 58 miles it is. That should take me less than 40 minutes a day. Reasonable. Sustainable. Easier to make up if I want to take a Sunday off.
I’m also going to continue increasing the time on my forearm plank. I’m up to 2 minutes, 10 seconds. And I need to add some Supermans. because my back hurts. That means it’s not strong enough.
I’m DETERMINED to be a good steward of the body God has blessed me with!
(If you’re new to Compendium, he’s my FirstHusband, my LastHusband, my OnlyHusband. It’s a joke. He gets it.)
If anyone is wondering whether I got my miles in today, that would be YES.
Treadmill readout showed:
1213 calories burned,
in a total of 131 minutes and 28 seconds.
The knee is feeling good. The calves however, were burnin. I took two 20 minute breaks to do some laundry and to tuck PinkGirl in bed and pray with her.
If I can log 6 miles tomorrow, I’ll meet my goal of walking 30 miles in the last 6 days of the month to “average” a mile a day for the month.
If you’re new or just catching up, you may be wondering why, if I wanted to average a mile a day for the month, didn’t I just actually walk a mile a day instead of cramming 30 miles into the last 6 days? I’d like to say it’s because I tore my MCL and strained my ACL on December 2nd and my knee hasn’t been ready . . .
I’d like to say that. But it would be a lie. I walked over 20 miles in December. And I think I did actually walk some in the beginning of January, but it was inconsistent and since I didn’t record any of it on my fitness log, I would have been making stuff up. So I gave myself one mile and, with 6 days left in the month of January, decided to walk the remaining 30.
I needed a kick-start anyway. I was getting too comfortable. And my clothes were getting a little UNcomfortable.
I’m DETERMINED to be a good steward of the body God has blessed me with!
I wonder what kind of goals I’m going to set for myself for February.
I always did.
Monday was the mother of all starting lines. THE day to begin.
Everybody knows it’s better to start a new fitness plan on a Monday.
Even experts agree:
“We think of Monday as the January of the week. It’s a call to action built into every calendar, giving you 52 chances for success.” says Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of The Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit initiative in association with Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Syracuse Universities.
I know what I always told myself on Friday nights:
“It was a long, hard week and I deserve to take the night (and day, and night again) off.”
“It’s too hard to start on a weekend, too many other (presumably fun) things to do.”
“We’re going out and it’s too hard to eat right when we eat out.”
“I deserve this glass (or three) of wine.”
“I deserve this plate of nachos.”
“I deserve to chill out at watch TV.”
“I deserve to …
What a load of hooey. Yes, I said “hooey.”
I did NOT deserve to weigh 210 pounds. I did NOT deserve to get winded trying to play with my kids. Well. Actually, the way I was eating and taking care of my body, I did deserve it.
Because those are the lousy excuses and rationalizations I used when I had the mentality that says fitness is a goal to be achieved. Something I did for a period of time until I got to a certain weight or size. When I was finished, I could go back to my “normal” life of thoughtless eating and neglecting my body.
But if I’m striving to be a good steward of the body God has blessed me with, THERE IS NO FINISH LINE.
I’ve gone through different stages since I began incorporating fitness into daily life. Sometimes I focus on strength training – I’ve gone to a gym, I’ve gone to local fitness trails and now I work out at home. For a few years I worked with a personal trainer two to three times per week. Before I tore my MCL and strained my ACL in December, I was doing yoga and I loved it so much I know I’m going back. But my constant -through injury and weather and lapses in motivation – has always been walking, sometimes outside, sometimes on a treadmill with an incline.
How do YOU incorporate fitness into your everyday life? If you currently don’t, here’s the thing. You don’t need to buy a gym membership. You don’t have to buy the PX90 or Shred DVDs and spend every minute “hating it” as I read on another blog last week. You don’t need to buy a BowFlex or turn your extra bedroom or garage into a home gym.
Before you spend a lot of money on the accoutrements needed to accommodate your latest exercise plan, I’ll give you the same advice I gave my sister: “Find out if you are ready for the commitment. Tests have shown it takes 21 days to make a habit. Do 10 pushups a day for 21 days. You don’t have to do them all in a row, break them up if you can’t get through the full 10. Do modified pushups on your knees if you’re a beginner. IF, after three weeks, you’ve discovered that you made it, THEN think about throwing money at this problem.
In the meantime, consider this: The SINGLE BEST thing we can do for our health only requires one thing: a good pair of shoes. I’m amazed at the measured significant improvement seen in SO many areas of our health!! Check out the statistics in this video! Short, but PACKED with info!
Here’s the deal. I don’t have to exercise every day for the rest of my life. I need to do it TODAY.
And tomorrow, I’m going to tell myself the same thing.
One day at a time. One step at a time.
I’m sure I walked more than a mile during the first few weeks of January, but since I didn’t log any fitness, it wasn’t fair to count more than I could be sure of. Then, despite my goal to log 30 miles by walking 5 miles a day in the last 6 days of the month to “average” a mile a day for the month, I found everything to do yesterday except get on the treadmill.
Today, I put off the treadmill all. day.
And let me tell you, I did NOT want to put on my walking shoes. I did NOT want to get on this treadmill. I would rather be sitting in the sauna RIGHT NOW. But I made a commitment to God to be a good steward of the body He has blessed me with. I would rather walk outside at leisurely pace on the flat ground than 3mph at a 4% incline, but I made commitment to myself to average at least a mile a day and if I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna increase my heart rate and SWEAT. I put my goal out there on the internet because accountability makes me stronger.
So I’m faced with a decision. How many miles am I going to walk today, tomorrow and Tuesday?
We’ll find out in three days, but I’ll tell you this, the decision is NOT going to be influenced by how tired I am. I’m still on the treadmill as I type this and so far, I’ve walked 4.25 miles. I’m tired, but I’m not hurting, so I’m not quitting.
The day’s not over.
It’s been a while since I updated my fitness log. Tomorrow marks EIGHT weeks since my partial MCL tear and ACL strain! Recommended healing for my injury was 6 to 8 weeks!
YEAH! I’m HEALED! (yes. this is how I think)
First day back to the incline treadmill walking (at an incline of 4 and a speed of 3 mph). I think I’ll take it slow and only walk a mile or two. Unless I decide to walk 5 miles a day till the end of the month to get to an average of a mile a day for the entire month. (yes. this is how I think.)
On another note, I was doing my two minute forearm plank a few weeks ago and FirstHusband said, “Ya know, I’m kind of surprised you’re still satisfied with a two minute plank. That’s not like you.”
seriously? He had to plant that thought in my freakishly self-competitive head?
So, I’m up to two minutes, ten seconds. The new goal is to be able to do a three minute plank by the end of the year.
Come on, you can do it!
I’m going to post my fitness updates on my facebook PAGE. It’s a page, not a personal profile, so you don’t have to “friend” me and I won’t see your wall posts, you can just comment your progress for accountability and prayer support! If you click “Like” at the top of the page, the posts will appear in your news feed so you’ll be reminded to post your progress.
Why am I doing this? For a two-way street of accountability and encouragement. I want to be a good steward of this body God has given me. I used to be hampered by physical limitations and pain, but slowly, both are becoming less and less of an obstacle in my life.
I posted my March fitness goals yesterday and I haven’t fallen behind yet! (I know it’s only been two days, but with my propensity for distraction and procrastination, it’s very easy for me to fall behind).
After I put my goals out on the internet for maximum accountability, I realized that they might be discouraging for beginners to read about. Let me explain – I’ve been building up to this for years. I started slow!
In the beginning, I could only to a 10 second plank – and I really struggled to do it!
In the beginning, I could only do a few push ups before I lost my form – and they were “girl” push ups, on my knees. (In the long run, it’s more beneficial to do fewer push ups correctly than lots of push ups incorrectly.)
In the beginning, I couldn’t walk more than just a few minutes without getting winded.
But today, years later, I’m doing better because I slowly and consistently incorporated small changes over time and didn’t give up. YOU CAN DO IT!
If you’re lurking around, thinking about the possibility of making small changes in your day to get healthier, I want to encourage you to set a reasonable, sustainable fitness goal for yourself for the month of March and (here’s the key) make yourself accountable to someone!
If you currently have an inactive lifestyle, consider exercising 1 minute a day.
ONE minute. And (here’s the key) make yourself accountable to someone who will support and encourage you!
ONE minute. (I’ll tell you why only one minute later – probably in April)
If you do it, let me know how it’s going and I’ll pray for you!
I spent some time hanging upside down tonight and let me just say . . . ahhhh. My friend Heidi let me borrow her Teeter Hang Ups F5000 Inversion Table and after a few minutes of watching FavoriteSon finagle it into the back of my van, we got it home, adjusted it for my height and weight and I spent some time hanging. Twice. So let me say again. ahhhh.
I went to see my doctor on Thursday, and he believes I have a ruptured disc in my neck. I’ve been on some serious cortosteroids and a nightly muscle relaxant. Before Thursday, there was numbness and tingling from my neck to my fingertips on my right arm and hand. My doctor, an osteopath (they also do chiropractic care) performed some serious neck cracking. And some more. And some more. ahhhh.
His words? “I don’t think there was one bone in your neck that was where it was supposed to be.”
“No more jogging. You can walk. But no more jogging.”
I’m not sure what happened, but I would bet it started with sorting hundreds of books at the Whale of a Sale. Then I upped my cardio workout by including some jogging. I had been walking 3 to 5 miles a few times a week, but for the last four weeks, I’ve been doing interval training. I would jog for about 30 to 45 seconds to increase my heart rate and then walk for a few minutes. Rinse and repeat a few times in my 30 to 60 minute walk and I thought I was doing pretty well. I was jogging longer without wimping out. Unfortunately, my neck and arm pain, the numbness and the tingling were getting progressively worse. And for some stupid reason, I didn’t make the connection.
The neck, shoulder and arm pain aren’t new. I have arthritis in my neck, stemming from an old MBA injury. It was 1994. There was a full book bag hanging on one shoulder and a prehistoric laptop (which weighed as much as a dinosaur) hanging from the other shoulder. There was wrenching and pain. A doctor visit and muscle relaxants. Over the years, there have been stupid choices, resulting in a few days of rest (on muscle relaxants). And for the last few years, there’s been arthritis.
But the numbness and tingling made me nervous. Doc says that if I’m not feeling better in 10 days, I have to have an MRI. I HATE those. Listening to a jack hammer while I’m trapped in a torpedo tube is NOT my idea of a good time. If I have to have one, I’m finding one of those open MRI places.
But I digress and the muscle relaxant is kicking in. What was I saying again?
I remember. I’m going to do EVERYTHING I’m supposed to do to heal. I’m taking the cortosteroids and the muscle relaxant. I’m not jogging or jumping on a pogo stick or doing anything “jarring” to the neck. I’m using my Pronex Cervical Traction Device
And just a few notes. First, no, that is not me in the Pronex device. That is not how I look when I’m in traction. That is not the facial expression of anyone in traction. Secondly, I did NOT pay $339 for mine. They were even more expensive before the Pronex II came out. Back then, they were $450 and you know I am WAY to cheap to pay that much. I got mine on eBay for $80. Somebody was in a car accident, completed treatment and then sold it. Back then, you were supposed to get a doctor’s prescription for it. (I don’t know about now.) I figured his order to go to a physical therapist for traction twice a week was close enough.
So in addition to all that, now, thanks to Heidi, I’m also hanging upside down like a bat.
Does anyone know how to blog upside down?