So, You Want to Start Your Fitness Journey?

Hello there! I am new to the party but so excited to be a part of the block. Ondria and I met during college, the power of social media keeps us connected and that is why you won't hear me talking all the social networks. While they have their downfalls they can also add the blessing of friendship and staying connected with people from different times in our lives. With that said I am so thankful that Ondria extended the invitation to share here. If you have landed on this blog, more than likely you are a mother and I feel like we all need some extra grace today. As moms we are constantly bombarded with the media telling us we aren't enough, that our offering to our families isn't enough, our looks aren't enough, our social status isn't enough, our career isn't enough, and on and on. ENOUGH!!!

I have just had enough of that jibberish. This weekend I spent time with my family. We stayed home, cooked meals, went to basketball games in our sweats with no make-up, we took naps under electric blankets, and it was just fabulous. It wasn't anything special, but it made me realize that plain jane life is more than enough for me. It was my dream to have a family since I was a little girl, and every time the enemy tries to take my eyes off of my calling, he is trying to convince me that the simple life is not enough. If he keeps my eyes off them then he can distract me from my true ministry, the most important ministry I will ever have, MY family. I believe he does this in all aspects of our lives. Distraction from our blessings and then it feels like nothing is enough. This brings us to a place where we are constantly striving for better instead of embracing the true gift of the life right in front of us.

Three years ago, with my husband by my side, I got really healthy. Struggling with being overweight for a large part of my life I felt like I had finally gained some freedom here. I was fitting into skinny jeans, had confidence in my workouts, cooking healthy was becoming a hobby, and my hubby and I were getting fit together. We popped in some home workout DVDs, learned how to eat clean, ditched our unhealthy eating habits, and lost a significant amount of weight together. I desired to help other women do the same but I suddenly felt like I had to be perfect. I gained a pound back, then 5, then 10, and then we moved across the state and my accountability flew out the window. I started falling into old habits, we ordered pizza a few too many times, stress eating became a way to navigate life obstacles we were facing. And before I knew it I felt a little too frumpy for getting dressed up for date night, was living in yoga pants, and struggling once again with sugar cravings. It was affecting more than just my pant size and I knew it was time to revisit a life disciplined in daily action.

I am a perfectionist by nature. I struggle with balance, forgiving myself, grace in progress, and living in a real world with real obstacles.

So I wrote myself a letter based on some of my favorite bible verses. Today I am writing it to you, the mom who has lost herself in old habits, who is struggling with starting, who knows and loves a life of discipline but needs grace, and the mom who desires more than anything to do it for the right reasons, and not for the selfish ambition of achieving victory in skinny jeans and a weighted scale.

A letter to not only myself but my sister struggling in the same department.

Dear fellow Sister, 

This morning you woke up and even your pajama pants felt a little to tight. You look in the mirror and you're tired, you splash your face with cold water, and stammer to the coffee pot as fast as possible. 'Where's my energy?' You are greeted in the kitchen by your hubby and you wonder if he notices the 'fluff' you have acquired around your waste when he embraces you with a hug. "Hey gorgeous." with the embrace but you don't believe him. You aren't feeling very gorgeous. It's Thursday morning and the week has you feeling more like 'run over by a bicycle' than gorgeous. You want to believe what he says but this morning just doesn't leave you feeling like your old self. 

You make the kids their breakfast, stick packed lunches in their bookbag, kiss their foreheads, and send them off for another day of learning. Hallelujah it's almost Friday. You sit on the couch with your bible, ready to drink your coffee and a few verses speak to you, sharper than a sword, meant for you just this minute. And because they are so important to your heart right now you write them in a notebook. You know you will need to read these specific verses again and again and again. And you also know that you might need to share these verses with a friend one day, maybe even a sister you do not know. 

Scripture gives us guidance in all aspects of life. And the word is living and active. Sharper than any two edge sword, ready to pierce our very lives and change us from the inside out. So while health and nutrition books can be helpful, God's love letter to us is our greatest source for true change. My sister, if you are desiring to get healthy start in the word.

As I read I wrote: 

Today the world will try to convince you that to get healthy you must follow the world, make a plan according to what the world is doing. You will get distracted and try to meet the approval of the world but putting your hope in people leaves you downcast. "Put your hope in God." Psalm 43:5, not the approval of man. 

You have gifts given to you by God. There will be times, when success comes that you start to hope in your own giftedness. You are finally running, getting faster, you are gaining rhythm in making healthy food, but its important to stay humble and remember that these gifts are all from God given to you. If you take your eyes off of the giver hard lessons will come. "But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God who raises from the dead." 2 Corinthians 1:9. When you start to feel life in getting healthy, you must remember where the life comes from. Remain humble. 

"You are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do." Ephesians 2:10 This includes your body. Don't forget to honor it in a way that allows it to serve in the greatest capacity for service to your Savior. Are you constantly fatigued, tired, in the doctor's office, and too tired to play with your family? You are HIS work, created for HIS work, and HE wants to use YOU. Yes you.

"You are made in God's image." Genesis 1:26-28 So don't speak about yourself in a degrading way. Write down all the ways your body has been a gift to you. Find ways to love what God has given you instead of degrading all your imperfections. Start to embrace where you know you can improve what God has given you, focus on progress, focus on beginnings, and above all be thankful that God chose to create you in HIS image. He made many things, creatures, animals, scenery, but none of those are created in His image. You are special. It is your gift to be made like him, so that you carry out his purpose, be a caretaker, and a compassionate servant. Your body gives you the ability to carry out the longings in your spirit. If you are a mom, that longing is to love those babies well. Stop tearing yourself down and celebrate the gift it is to be a mother, wife, and servant for your family.

"Fix your eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of faith." Hebrews 12:2 You must acquire tunnel vision to run your race. If you take your eyes off Jesus other plans will entice you to lose focus in what He has asked you to do. Fix your eyes on the plan He has placed in front of you. Follow it, run the race, fix your eyes on Him and his word. He will perfect your faith. Stay disciplined and fight the good fight of faith. "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves..." Hebrews 12:6 "Fight the good of the faith." 1 Timothy 6:12

And lastly please remember that in John 10:10 "the enemy comes to kill, steal,
 and destroy." all these promises from you. He will do anything to pull you off track including tempting you with food, fooling you into hating your body, lying to you through magazine covers, and convincing you that you are to far gone and that no plan will ever work for you. Remember that the Lord wants only an abundant life for you. You have complete access to Father, he has not given you" a spirit of fear, but a spirit of love, power, and self- discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7 and access to Him is all that you need to succeed. 

I am rooting for you!

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