Winning the Weigh-In War

The king is enthralled by your beauty;
honor him, for he is your lord. 
(Psalm 45:11)

How is it that this one device should hold so much power over us?
How could it be that we live in days when identity should be in a number 
on a scale or instead of the integrity of the heart? 
I have asked these questions of myself as I have stood by the 
scale for decades with many people as a Personal Trainer and Fitness Consultant.
I have watched this silent, but strong presence take hold of every shape, size and form and seize each equally with a fear which knows no prejudice. I have stood by  women in tears as they attempt to approach that bully fearlessly and are brought to depths when they stand face to face with perceived uncooperative numbers…

How is it that we who are chosen, precious, and beautiful in His sight would be so swayed by this measuring tool? By a number that cannot reflect but a measure, limited, inaccurate, finite- unable to define the essence of our true being. One ill equipped to measure the fatness of our souls; the richness we overflow with in abundance. 

Oh friends, I assure you, as one who has studied long and hard the physiology of the body and discovered what you already know: You are not a number. You are not defined by the pounds that you weigh or by your body fat percentage. You are not measured by the muscle you carry or the density of your bones. Your value is immeasurably more than the bathroom scale can ever reveal.

Would you take the time to answer the questions below to make peace with the bathroom scale once and for all?
*Will you ask God to reveal to you your true value in His eyes?
*Will you promise to set your eyes on Him who looks upon you with eyes of grace, mercy and love and embrace simple, consistent steps toward healthy choices?
*Will you remember to take every thought captive to Him who has chosen you, and calls you His, at great cost?
*Will you stand up to the bathroom bully and make peace once and for all by weighing yourself less, perhaps once a week, and remembering that you are not a number.
You are chosen.
Beautiful.
His.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
(Ephesians 1:11-12)
This post, originally titled “Battling the Bathroom Bully”,  is one of the favorites I have written. If it sounds slightly familiar, I originally wrote it as a guest post and also shared it here. I edited it slightly and believe it is worth sharing again. Because the message is one we repeatedly need to hear. If it is the first time you read it, I pray the words sink deep into your being. If you have read it before and remember I pray the message resonates and roots deeper still. Either way, may these words bless your heart today, and nourish the fatness of your soul. May you say, with conviction, “It is Well.”

*Photo Credit



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My Perfect Day…(and Your Upcoming Week)

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I am joining in on the exercise I imposed on you all, in yesterday’s post. I hope you don’t mind that I actually went a bit out on a limb. This is what happens when I write; I never know where it will lead. I would love to hear what your perfect day would look like, both in fun or for real. This writing exercise really does help to hear that little voice within that longs to be heard. Give it a try. Also if you are wondering what this writing exercise has to do with fitting in fitness, it has to do with placing value on what you do. If you don’t value something, or recognize the value of it for your life, it becomes easier for it to fall by the wayside. Make sense? Feel free to interject.

OK, my perfect day would include first and foremost a check in from the maid. It sounds something like this (in my dreams).

“Good Morning, Mademoiselle, I arrived early, made your hubby’s lunch and the coffee is brewed. The animals are fed, and all litters have been changed- including the cage of that stinky, but adorable, bunny. I noticed that you haven’t dusted recently-pardon my forwardness, so I went ahead and have already dusted, all rooms but the bedrooms, as not to disturb you all, on this fine morning. I’ve also wiped down the ceiling fans and baseboards. I do hope you will find these efforts satisfactory. After you use the salle de bain, I will clean it from top to bottom, until it sparkles. Even those nasty shower tiles. I have gone ahead and set your basket of books, pens, highlighters and journal out on the back patio with some fresh fruit and shall fetch a hot cup of Jo for you as soon as you plant yourself in your  favorite rocker. I think you should head right down to the beach with the dog for your morning walk, and I am scheduling you for a bubble bath, at noon. Please try to squeeze in your little Fitness Challenge before that time, as I took it upon myself to also schedule you a massage and stone therapy appointment to follow. Not to be rude, but I happened to notice the grays around your hairline. I overheard your mother say she thinks they look great, and you should let it go all grey, but I actually thought I would set you up for a full hair overhaul later this week: color, cut, the works. No offense, but a wax might also be in order. Although the chin hairs are less noticeable when they come in grey- and amazing to see that- but the fact that some of them look to be over an inch, well that is a bit much, if you don’t mind me saying so. No worries, I have everything under control. Pedi, and Mani are also set for next weekend. Oh and the groceries? I have bought them and put them away. Check that off your list. Pretty sure, you are in the clear for menu planning for the next week or so. See you after your quiet time, Mademoiselle, and I shall make sure to awaken the Princess…don’t you worry your head over that…she will see you after she has passed the “awaken the beast” phase. I am sure this will be a better start to your day. Oh, I almost forgot, the laundry! It’s washed, dried, folded and put away. I did give a few things to charity…really Mademoiselle, Stacy and Clinton would have ambushed you, had you gone out in public with some of these articles. OK, on with your day…”

OK,  seriously, you can see that I am domestically challenged and everything revolves around making that part of my day easier. I am also delusional. Sigh…but the reality is, I don’t have a maid…but I have improved in my domestic endeavors as time goes on, it just does not come easy and yes, simple, realistic ROUTINE helps, just like with fitness!

Observations:
My perfect day involves more self care than I actually do, so this is an area I need to step up a bit. 

How about you ? 

What areas of your life need to be kicked up a notch?

What parts of your self feel neglected- Physical, Intellectual, Spiritual, Relational? 

What small step can you take to nurture and nourish these aspects? 

What kinds of things make you feel refreshed, renewed, inspired?

What ways can you creatively fit fitness in? Susie @ Recovering Church Lady recommends lunges while vacuuming. 

What small activities could you fit back into your day, week or month that would help to restore your Body, Mind, Soul or Spirit?

The Core and More Challenge – Week 3

Week 3
Exercise
Day 15
Off
Day 16
Plank, Superman, Wall Sit
3x Hold as long as can each
Day 17
Sit Up
1 x as many as  can do
Day 18
Pushup, Plank, Superman
1 x As many/as long
Day 19
Lunge, Wall Sit
1 x As many/as long
Day 20
Off
Day 21
Superman, Sit Up
 4 x 30-45 sec hold x 25

Be Gentle With Me
Week 3

Week
Get Moving
Stretch
Strengthen
Day 15
20 Minute Walking
1-3
Wall Sit (60 sec)
Day 16
25 Minutes Walking
4-7
Quadruped (60 sec)
Day 17
20 Minutes Walking
8-10
Plank (60 sec)
Day 18
25 Minutes Walking
1-5
Wall Sit (60 sec)
Day 19
30  Minutes Walking
1-10
Bridge (60 sec)
Day 20
30 Minutes Walking
6-10
Plank (60 sec)
Day 21
off
off
off

Well, I have so much more I’d love to share but I know you have fitness to fit in and lots of other posts to read etc…so carry on my wayward son my pretties and I will see you tomorrow…for Pilates, and Yoga and super-sets, OH MY! These and more, upcoming this week on the blog, in no particular order!



This post is part of the series: 

Monday Meditation: You Are More Than A Body Full Of Bones

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Have you ever stumbled upon something so beautiful and perfect that it caused you to stop what you were doing and change the course of your plans? It happened to me today while I was seeking a photo via Photopin for the post I was to share with you all today. It is a beautiful meditation, and reflection. I had to share these words with you. They were a beautiful treasure I discovered, and how could I not share with you? As I read, I found the words of this meditation and beautiful image prompted scripture in my mind, and so it may be for you. Ponder these words today, let them be like precious nutrients for your mind, body and soul:

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You are more than a body full of bones. 

You are stronger than the spine that allows you to stand, or the ribs that enclose your heart. 

Your skin is thicker than the delicate veins running beneath lead you to believe.

Your name holds more meaning than simply the letters that make it up.

Your spirit is filled with more light than the stars that speckle the blackened sky, or the streetlights to guide home a lost soul.

The vibrations in your voice tell more than just the words that are spoken through it.

You are more than what you possess; money cannot buy what you are.
You are the pigment in a rainbow to signify the ending of a storm.
Your potential reaches further than your job title.
Your dreams are more than just a false reality to be awoken from.
Your life is more than just years along an infinite timeline, it is made up of moments that change the course of history and validate a life.
You will not grow weaker as the years go by; you will be enriched, growing and expanding, much like a tree with many more branches and leaves.
Eventually, you will be somebody’s home; their trusses to hold them up, their shingles to protect from the rain, and their window to a clear view.
You are more than what you can fathom; 
more than a name, more than a body, more than a voice.

You are more than a body full of bones.


Visit Originator of Photo/Words Page


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But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
 They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8




This post is part of the series: 
Linking with a few of my favorite places:
This was definitely and unexpected Playdate with God!
It’s also a Miscellaneous Monday
Possibly a Holy Experience
and I do desire to be The Better Mom, though I fall on my face an awful lot.
and my Soli Deo Gloria girls w/Jen @Finding Heaven

Just Hang On!

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Your schedule is erratic. The deadlines close in.
You are trying to balance it all and feel that sly little enemy,
called defeat sneak in to your mind.
Balancing the details in life can sometimes
feel like juggling gone awry.
It all looks manageable when you put it down on paper.
You plan and then you head out the door, and wham!
Life throws you another ball.
Today’s reminder for your health and sanity is this: Just hang on.
That plan to get to the gym that was foiled by your flat tire.
The plan you had to eat well all week,
but then that party and the one food you can’t resist, served up, on a platter before you.
The jeans that still don’t fit.

The list goes on and on.
If we let it.
Or we can turn it around and focus on the positives.
They are there too.
We are not defeated, when we just hang on.
The flat tire caused you to miss one day, not the whole week- and even if due to schedule constraints you were unable to make it to your scheduled class, routine etc. Perhaps you can improvise with a walk with a friend, a solo jog, a fitness DVD.
One slip up at a party or otherwise does not derail you from your plan to eat well,
unless you let it. Today, eat well. Right now. This moment.
Choose. One choice at a time.
The jeans may or not fit in the future.
Regardless, it does not define who you are!
Determine to get into them if it is reasonable and realistic-
ie. not jeans from,say, 20 years ago.
Otherwise find a fabulous new pair of pants and wear them proudly!
Healthy lifestyle changes are incrementally made and lived.

One step at a time. One choice at a time.
With a few forward as well as backwards steps.
If you just hang on to the vision.


Hang on, Baby- The Weekend is HERE!
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Missional Women

Head Games: The Body Image Trap

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Be careful little eyes what you see…
It is hard today to avoid the onslaught to the mind’s eye of images which narrowly define that which is held in high regard. We are a culture saturated in imagery. We lust after that which appeals to our eyes, senses and desires. We fall for the deception of distorted illusions of beauty, health, success. That which your eyes feast on will have much power and influence over your mental psyche.
I want to challenge you to take a good look at what you allow yourself to see, to linger before, to devour mentally.
It has been said a picture is worth a thousand words…
Ponder what your stream of conscience expresses after you look upon images that are held as standards of beauty in our society.
Be honest and just examine, without judgment or conclusion, what your mind fabricates or articulates after you see these images:
*A billboard with models seductively posing and scantily clad.
*An exotic perfume ad
*A Victoria’s Secret model
*Fashion magazine layout
*A beauty Pageant Contestant
*A Fitness Competitor- or model
Note two things:

How you feel and your specific thoughts.
Do you feel good about yourself, better than or less than?
We are secretly addicted to images that wage war with our delicately designed psychological make-up.
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So, here are a few suggestions on the journey toward a better body image:
These are just my thoughts from a lifetime of observations and experiences on my own journey.
Regardless of what you say you believe, the best advice I can give you is to avoid women’s magazines altogether or as much as possible. As a former magazine lover and buyer (since Young Miss and before that), I can tell you that after observing my own feelings as I came away from these seemingly innocent, helpful magazines, I found myself feeling “less than”. For years I thought many magazines were “inspiring” until I started to watch my thoughts, and especially emotions after dropping by the magazine stand. Save your money. Be your own best friend and biggest inspiration by not buying into the lies projected from the mass media. Even if it is for a season, or a partial “fast”- I encourage you to try this and see the difference. It helps, honestly. Consider it eye training or deprogramming.
Well, I would say, I do try to avoid most of the fashion images, not all. Let’s face it- a well put together outfit can make a fashionista’s heart skip a beat…just be careful out there. I still grab used mags for art collage and scrapbook/journals. Please note for the record: I am NO Fashionista, ask my daughter. She once plotted to get me on “What Not To Wear”. Sigh. I digress…
Next up don’t fall for the Reality Trainer Trap. This is not reality at all. Become your own Personal Trainer. No-one knows your body as well as you do. Use what you know to lead you to what you need to do. Having been a Personal Trainer for over 25 years gives one lots of insight, and I am telling you the last thing you need is a co-dependent relationship with anyone who you think knows you better than yourself! Of course, there is nothing wrong with getting coaching, instruction and support along the journey, but keep it in perspective. You don’t need Jillian barking obscenities at you to succeed.
You do need a plan of action.
A Journal is your best Training Partner. Record your dreams and goals. It is OK to use images but consider what nurtures your body, mind and soul. Strive to find and explore new images for inspiration which do not set before you unreal expectations. Which leads to my next point to consider:
Do not use a celebrity model or sports icon as your sole focus. I did do this for many years when I kept a training journal for bodybuilding competition and eventually I changed the images in my journal to my own personal pictures or images that served to inspire me without limiting my mental imagery or focusing on a person. 

The important thing is to not get lost in someone else’s image.
Learn to be your own inspiration – There is only one you!
Define who you want to be!
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Free yourself from the body image trap by fasting from:

*images that make you feel “less than”

*negative comments from your stream of conscience

*some/most women’s magazines 

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Do or you struggle, or have you ever struggled in the past, with body image?
Will you implement any of these tips?

This post is part of the series: 

I feel I need to also make a disclaimer here having been involved for so long in body focused athletic endeavors: I am not saying that we should never be inspired by others, but just to examine ourselves and what it is that is driving us, to see if it is worthy of our focus, attention, and time. Hope this makes sense.

Linking with my Sisters at : Finding Heaven
and Marissa @
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