We throw off the lie of perfection and cling to our identity in God as we strive to be whole, healthy, and fit. Our goal is wholeness, not perfection.

Posts tagged ‘fitness’

12 Days of Christmas: Day 4 – Move More

4th day

…my blogger friends gave to me: The permission to Move

That sounded weird when you read that, didn’t it?  Permission to move?  Aren’t we usually being told that we have to move? Especially this time of year.  Take a leisurely scroll through your Instagram or Facebook feed and you’ll likely be bombarded by images telling you to “work off” your Christmas indulgences.  How many times this holiday season did you eat something and think “That was x number of calories, so I need to do y number of laps/miles/burpees to burn it off”?

But the truth is that movement is a gift.  We get to move, we don’t have to.  Just ask anyone whose ability to move has been limited or restricted.  Unfortunately, movement can seem like a chore when we lose sight of the fact that it’s a gift.  Too often we approach exercise as a means to an end instead of simply enjoying the act of moving.

Why? I don’ know about you, but over the years I have succumbed to the pressure of the ever changing idea of “fit”.  At some point I went from liking exercise to needing to exercise.  I always had more pounds or inches to lose.  Bondage.  That’s what that is.  God sent Christ to free us for freedom, not to get caught up in bondage again. {Galatians 5:1}

So, if one of your goals for the new year is to move more, that’s great.  Just remember to move in a way that is enjoyable.  A way hat doesn’t lead back to bondage, but celebrates the gift of movement.  Here are two programs that focus on wholeness, not just fitness:

revelation_motto

Revelation Wellness

2014-WHAT-IS-REFIT

REFIT Revolution

Are you currently moving on a regular basis?  If so, what do you like to do to celebrate your ability to move?

A Message for Fit Moms

I’m reading You’re Already Amazing by Holley Gerth (read it and stop by here every Monday to join the conversation) and this paragraph stopped me in my tracks. It couldn’t have come at a more perfect time, because a friend of mine was feeling defeated by a workout she has been doing.

Making progress in life is hard work. When we insist on moving forward as quickly as possible, we can wear ourselves out in a hurry. Sometimes when God makes us wait, it’s one of the most merciful things he can do. It doesn’t inherently mean we’ve done something wrong. In fact, it can indicate just the opposite – that we’re right between some really big things God has for our lives, and we need to rest up.

I shared the paragraph with her and let her know that I can totally relate to wanting to be better/stronger/smaller/more fit/smarter/more experienced/whatever right NOW. It can be difficult, disheartening even, to not make progress at the pace I would prefer. But then God slows me down and I’m able to be grateful for the progress I’ve already made. I can easily forget that I just had babies, because they’re growing so fast. Not to mention what carrying them for 37 weeks did to my body. Our bodies are amazing for enduring what they did to carry and birth children. We (and I’m totally speaking to myself here) need to be patient and loving as we ask our bodies, often force them, to do things that will make them stronger in the long run but hurt right now.

As difficult as it can be, I sometimes like to have to talk to myself as though I’m talking to my 7 year old.  He is every bit the perfectionist that I am, which can lead to frustration and heartache on his part.  And lots of nevers.  Like “I’ll never be good at” this or that.  When these words come out of his mouth I call him over to me, pet and cup his face with my hand, look him straight in the eyes and tell him – “Yet.  You’re not good at it, yet.”

So to my fellow fit moms (moms working on their fitness) I say – be grateful for the ability to do what you can.  Try not to focus on what you used to do or what you can’t do, yet. I’ve found amazing women to walk alongside on my journey – via Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter – a tribe if you will.  When the lie of perfectionism hisses, we speak truth over one another.  Do you have a tribe of truth speaking, encouraging accountability partners?

Quick PiYo Home Workout Review: Week 1

Why a quick review you ask?  Because I spent THREE days writing out a thoughtful review of week one and subsequently lost it.  I’m not feelin’ a whole lot of love for WordPress right now.  ***Update: WP angels helped me find my drafts through their Live Chat feature*** But I digress…

Alignment: The Fundamentals (42 minute workout time) focuses on proper form.  I almost skipped it since I am a PiYo Live (formerly known as PiYo Strength) instructor.  Glad I didn’t skip it though, because there were moves I haven’t seen yet and therefore needed to learn and others I needed to practice.  If you’re new to Pilates, Yoga, recovering from an injury (or in my case, pregnancy) I recommend you do Alignment for a few days before moving on to the actual workouts.

Define: Lower Body (21 minute workout time) focuses on the lower body but incorporates enough upper body strengthening that you’ll be wondering why your arms hurt if it’s a lower body workout.  There are LOTS of lunges in this workout, but my thighs are already tightening up, so I guess I should be happy about that.  My core is in desperate need of strengthening, so I have a love hate relationship with the Warrior Three pose in this workout.  Here’s a clean pic I found:

Warrior Three

I am not yet able to bring my leg up that high, but Chalene Johnson keeps reminding us throughout the workouts that PiYo is all about improving.  Which is awesome because on Tuesday I needed to use a chair to balance but by Friday I was able to do it sans chair.

Define: Upper Body (19 minute workout time) incorporates a ridiculous number of tricep push-ups.  I never thought I’d be so happy to do ab work as I was the first time I did this workout, because it’s the only relief we’re given between all the push-ups.  This workout does not have a warm-up, so I used the warm-up in the Lower Body workout and switched back over to Upper Body.  The challenging move in this workout is the Kick Through.  I’m able to do it when we’re just putting weight on the outside hip, but not when the leg kicks through and out.  Chalene makes it look easy:

PiYo Kick Through

Sweat (37 minute workout time) is aptly named.  It is flows like a PiYo Live class, except it does not include a cool down with static stretching.  I felt fairly confident going into this workout, after having completed the Define sections.  I figured that if there was only one challenging move in each of those workouts then I’d be good to go.  Wrong.  This workout brought its own challenges – THREE of them.  The Lower Body section of this workout incorporates a lot of balancing moves.  The most challenging for me being the Runner’s Balance.  It looks like this, but you’re hinged forward, balancing on the support leg in more of a squat and the foot of the raised leg is pushes back.

Runners Balance

The next challenging move were the sumo squats.  My ligaments and joints don’t play well together since having the twins, so I had to continuously adjust my stance in order to put as little pressure as possible on my right knee.  I modified a lot when it came to the sumo squat section, especially the burpees.  I skipped them entirely and chose instead to modify with Michele Park.  I plan on writing Michele a love letter soon, because her modifications have gotten me through this first week of PiYo.

The last, and most difficult, move for me is complicated to explain and I can’t find a picture of it anywhere.  So, I’ll do my best to describe it and then update this post at a later time with a picture of me attempting it.  Here’s the sequence of the move: Plank –> Right knee to right elbow –> Extend right leg straight out.


Tips for the PiYo Home Workout – Week 1

1) Take a PiYo Live class if you can OR…

2) Find a Fit Club that is going to showcase a PiYo workout from the DVD set

3) Modify, modify, modify

4) Challenge yourself when you’re ready

5) Remember that Define: Upper Body does NOT have a warm-up so use the one from Lower Body


Disclosure: I am an Independent Team Beachbody Coach.  What’s that mean?  I’m a Beachbody customer who likes some of the programs enough to share my experience with other people.  By doing so I help them on their journey to better health.  And occasionally I get a “Thank you” check from Beachbody for doing it.

 

Already Amazing

Sometime this evening, I will be leading a workout routine, along with some wonderful women I met a couple of weeks ago, through REFIT Revolution, in North Carolina.  We worked on choreography and recorded several routines.  The one they helped me tweak is the routine we will be presenting tonight.  Unfortunately, I made a mistake in the original recording, so I recorded it again yesterday.

Now, I consider myself a fairly tech savvy person.  Not a tech geek, mind you, but I know my way around the internets (if you don’t get that reference you really need to check out Jon Acuff).  Well, apparently I don’t know my way around the privacy settings of Facebook.  I tried to share the video clip directly to the Facebook group we’re all in together, but it wasn’t an option from my phone.  Not wanting everyone to see it, I selected “Only Me” and then shared it to the group, forgetting that no one would be able to see it.

So I changed it to “Friends” and removed it from my timeline.  I didn’t delete it from my timeline, because I wasn’t sure if it would get deleted from our group.  I woke up this morning to notifications of likes and encouraging comments.  About the video clip.  That no one else was supposed to see.  I was mortified.  But then one comment hit me like a 2 x 4 – “Oh. My. God. You. Are. Amazing!!”  It was from my friend, and fellow twin mama (her boys were born the day after mine), Jennifer.

The thing is, I didn’t feel amazing.  At all.  Not when I was doing the routine – I was thinking about how frumpy I looked and that I probably should have worn workout clothes.  Not when I was done with the routine – I was out of breath and longing for the endurance I had before I got pregnant.

As a fitness instructor, I show the utmost respect, concern, care, and encouragement for people who are getting in shape.  I constantly remind them to do what they can and extend themselves some grace.  But until I read Jennifer’s comment, I hadn’t realized how I wasn’t offering myself the same respect, concern, care, encouragement, or grace.

My body is not the same.  Period.  It may never get back to the way it was.  I have to remind myself of that and be okay with it.  I want to strive for better fitness, and better health, but in a manner that does not belittle what my body has already achieved.  I need to celebrate my progress – daily.  I am going to focus on what I can accomplish, rather than what I was able to accomplish in the past.  Comparison is dangerous.  Especially when we compare ourselves to a former version of ourselves.  

Comparison v Grace

Jennifer’s comment and everything it stirred up in me reminded me that I’m exactly where God wants me to be.  At this particular time on my journey to wholeness, I am reading You’re Already Amazing by Holley Gerth.  That’s why when Jennifer told me I was “Amazing” it felt like a nod and a wink from God.  I would love for you to join me in reading this awesome book about grace and finding freedom in believing we are who God says we are.  Today is the last day to enter the giveaway.   

The Tipping Point

Domino Effect

You know that uncomfortable space between stagnation and change?  That’s where I’m living right now.  I’m living in the space cohabitated (spell check says I made up yet another word – score!) by head knowledge and a lack of action.  I am not writing this out of shame or guilt, but rather out of a desire for a transparency that will create community.  My prayer is that this post will be the catalyst I need to thrust me back into living more healthfully.

Yesterday I submitted, or resubmitted rather (gotta love technology), a guest blog post about getting and staying active.  I was very comfortable writing the post, as I have been active for almost two months now.  Activity, movement, and fitness come naturally to me. What would have made me uncomfortable?  Writing about nutrition.  Why?  Here’s a big clue: I just finished eating natural peanut butter out of the jar along with mini-allergen free chocolate chips.  The fact that it was natural peanut butter has to count for something, right?

But seriously…While I was pregnant with the boys, I didn’t just gain a lot of weight.  I picked up poor eating habits I had put down years ago.  When the boys  were conceived, my diet was the healthiest it had ever been.  I was eating clean and mostly gluten free.  Then came the exhaustion and ravenous hunger.  A dangerous combination for a former junk food junkie.

Now, 3 months after the birth of my twins, I am still making poor eating choices.  The first poor choice is that I’m not eating enough calories.  Nursing twins requires what seems to be a ton of calories.  The second is a natural consequence of the first – satisfying the craving for high caloric foods with low quality foods.  But I know that with some preparation I can easily meet my caloric needs, stave off cravings (can you say salty and crunchy?), and eat quality food.

So what’s holding me back?  A lack of want to.  Plain and simple.  Which is crazy, because I really want to eat better.  The problem is I’m not putting in the work to back up that sentiment. Ugh.  I don’t need to read another book on nutrition.  I don’t need any more head knowledge.  It’s the putting it into action are where I’m falling short.  I was just telling someone the other day “Either you want to do something or you don’t.  If you don’t, you can find a million reasons to not follow through.  If you do, you simply do it.”  I hate it when I say something before realizing it really applies to me.

I don’t know about you, but I need motivation and accountability.  I’m really good at motivating others and holding them accountable, but sometimes find it hard to connect with others who hold me accountable.  So here I am at the tipping point, between stagnation and change, humbly asking you to hold me accountable. I’ll check in twice a week – daily is unrealistic for me and once a week isn’t often enough – and rate the quality of my diet.  What is it that you need to tackle on your journey to living a healthier, more balanced life?  Feel free to reply in the comment section or come over to Facebook .

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