Week 16

Faith: God Has a Plan

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
    Before you were born I set you apart
    and appointed you as my prophet to the nations”

Jeremiah 1:5 

“For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:10

What grabs me about these verses, is that even before I was born, God had a plan for my life. He had a purpose for creating me. He created me with unique gifts that can be used to bring Him glory. Every day that I am here on earth I have a unique purpose and so do you - How cool is that!

How has God uniquely gifted you? What are the “good works” He has planned in advance for you to do. My prayer is that you are already walking in them and if you aren’t that you are in deep prayer over this and are ready to respond when you hear where God wants to lead you. 

I also pray that you are taking care of your body. It is so important that we exercise, eat healthy and reduce our stress so that are healthy enough to respond to God’s calling. 

I was 47 when I first heard God asking me to start Faithful Workouts. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that I was healthy enough to walk into what God had planned for me. I LOVE (let me reiterate LOVE!!!) being part of Faithful Workouts. I know this is where God wants me at this time and I’m so thankful that my body was healthy so I could accept this role. 

Here am I, send me

There are so many reasons to take care of your body. Please know God has “good works” planned for you and you need to do what you can (exercise, eat healthy) so when God calls you to do something, you can respond with “Here am I, send me” (Isaiah 6:8)


Overcoming Exercise Obstacles

I’ve been in the fitness industry since 1984 so I’ve heard all the reasons for not exercising. I completely believe God wants us to care for our bodies (His creation) so I want to help you overcome some of the barriers that prevent people from exercising. 

No Time: This is probably the #1 reason I hear. It’s true we have so much going on in our lives that it makes getting exercise into our schedule really hard. The first thing I recommend to help you find the time is to schedule it. Write it in your day’s plans. If you haven’t been able to find the time to workout start by scheduling 2 workouts a week, after a few weeks move it up to three a week and keep going until you are able to find time for 5 a week. 

Don’t feel like you have to reserve a full hour or more. Even if you only have 20 minutes, schedule that. I know there are days where even 20 minutes is too hard to come by. On those days make the most of every opportunity to get a minute of exercise. Park in the furthest parking spot and fast walk to the entrance. If you have household chores or yard work to do make it a workout by moving at a quick pace. Get up a few minutes early and do some pushups before jumping in the shower. There are so many small ways to squeeze it in. 

I often hear, especially from single parents, that they have so little time with their children they don’t want to take away time with the kids to exercise. Ask them to join in with you or say, “I really want to hear about your day so let’s talk while I exercise.” Ask them to go on a walk with you. It can be challenging to get kids to exercise with you. Sometimes I don’t give mine a choice. I’ll just insist they walk with me. Probably 90% of the time they enjoy the walk, and are glad we went and got to catch up on our day.

If you work in an office, encourage your co-workers to bring some exercise clothes to work and instead of going out to lunch bring a sack lunch and do a workout at the office. You can go for a fast walk or maybe there’s a space in the office where you can put a Faithful Workouts DVD into your computer and get people moving.  

If you do make the time to exercise, even though it takes away minutes from your day, you will probably get more done because you have more energy, you’re sick less and you’ll sleep better. I love this quote, “Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” Edward Stanley

It’s boring, it’s not fun, I don’t like it: OK I just have to say this: Doesn’t that all sound a bit self-centered. Life isn’t about just doing what you “like”. One strong reason to exercise is to stay healthy so you can be a good parent and do the Lord’s work.  If you’re sick or weak, you can’t do that. With that said, my hope is you can find a form of exercise you like and consider fun. There are many different ways to get your body moving. 

I love music so if I can listen to music while exercising it makes it more fun for me. We got a new puppy a few months back and like most puppies, he wanted to get up and go in the early morning. On the days I took him, and my two other dogs, out for that early morning walk, I loved it. I had my favorite Christen songs cued up and I would walk and watch the sun rise. I find it so invigorating to push my body physically while listening to awesome spiritual music. 

A lot of people have more fun exercising with a friend. Gather up a friend or two and invite them over to workout with you or go for a hike or play tennis. It’s a great way to catch up with friends while doing something good for your body (multi-tasking moment!!). I know  some of the people who regularly come to my classes are there not only to work out, but also to catch up with their buddies. 

 Already at a healthy weight: Some people think the only reason to exercise is to lose weight so if they are already at a healthy weight there’s no incentive to workout. You might be one of those people that can eat whatever you want, not exercise and still stay at a healthy weight. Or you might be the type who doesn’t like to exercise so you cut your caloric intake way back to maintain a healthy weight. With either of these scenarios, you are ignoring all the other reasons to get moving. Maintaining a healthy weight isn’t the only reason to exercise. 

If you are cutting your caloric intake way down, you could be harming your body by improperly fueling it and you could be lowering your metabolism. Eating healthy and exercising is the best way to a healthier weight.

I’m injured: My neighbor broke his leg and was in a cast from toe to upper thigh. He thought this was going to be a solid reason not to come to class. I told him it did not buy him a pass to skip workouts and I encouraged him to come to class and we’d make it work for him. He rode the exercise bike for cardio by strapping in one foot and setting the other foot on a chair. We were able to do lots of upper body exercises and some core. I had another lady tell me she has bad knees and couldn’t workout. I challenged her to come and give it a try. I taught her how to adjust the moves so they worked for her knee. We knew what she couldn’t do and what she could.

If you are injured, think about any exercise you can do.When I had shoulder surgery I was convicted to have my legs be so strong by the time my shoulder healed. I focused on all I could do rather than sitting back and doing nothing.

There are obviously some injuries and illnesses that require us to take a break. Too often though we take breaks when there’s actually a lot you could be doing. I don’t believe in pushing past the pain or ignoring the pain, but I do believe you need to search out what you can do given your situation.

I’m Too tired: When you come home from a full day it may seem like there is no way you could get the energy to workout. I know there are some mornings where you just want to stay in bed a bit longer because you are way too tired to get up and exercise. The first thing to look at is whether you are getting enough sleep. If not, get to bed a bit earlier. If you are getting enough sleep, but are still feeling too exhausted to exercise, remember exercise will give you energy. The biggest challenge is getting started. If you’re not in the mood, try playing your favorite pump up song and get your workout clothes on. Then tell yourself you just have to go for 10 minutes. If you are still dreading it after 10 minutes, you can stop. I guarantee the majority of the time once you start moving you will get more energy and complete your full workout.

Another thing to try is to schedule your workouts for a time of day when you typically feel less tired. If you’re a morning person, try to arrange your exercise in the morning. If you wake up feeling like you have lead in your veins, postpone your exercise until later in the day.

I’m too heavy and out of shape: It makes me sad when I hear people use these reasons for not exercising because if they continue with this thought process they will never get active. Don’t get down on yourself. Ask God to give you the motivation to make the healthy changes you need. The only way to get in shape is to start. If you are a bit self-conscious, the great thing about exercise DVDs is you can do them anywhere. My hope is you get to a place where you don’t concern yourself with what others think, but I do know it can be a bit intimidating to walk into a health club and not know what to do. So start at home. 

Pace yourself when you first begin. You don’t want to overdo and push it so hard that you feel light headed or get nauseous. Also, set realistic goals. You will be encouraged when you see yourself hitting the goals you set. 

I promise if you stay faithful to your workouts you will see results. You will notice yourself being able to work out longer and harder. You will get stronger!!    

So what’s stopping you from making exercise part of your daily routine? Sticking to a regular exercise schedule isn't easy. Whatever your obstacles are, focus on God’s desire that you care for your body. Allow His words to be your encouragement

Weekly Goals

Each week you will be asked to set goals. Your goals can be about faith, fitness or food (or all 3). I highly recommend that you write them down and post them on your mirror or someplace you will see them often. When setting goals make them action oriented goals, not result goals.  Stay focused on doing the next right thing and be patient with the results.