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August 31, 2015

50 Years of Discovery – A Series

Discovery 1: My Health

I am coming up on the grand age of FIFTY. It doesn’t really bother me, but I got to thinking how it might be good to break down all I have learned as I approached this milestone. It might encourage others and keep what they are dealing with in perspective if I divulged my messy life on my weekly blog from today until November 13th. This week is health – eating, exercising and body-image. Here goes! Let me know what you think.

THE PAST

When I was young, I saw exercise as climbing trees – where I would go read a book. On a farm was not your exciting kind of activity – weeding, mowing, raking, picking up and stacking wood, and baling hay. I wasn’t lazy, but I also was not intentional about finding more ways to be active – it took too much work.

Gym was a t-o-r-t-u-o-u-s event most of my school years. Running, dodge ball, volleyball, etc. – ahhh, having to be coordinated and comfortable in your body! Not me. I was picked last for teams because I was not fast or aggressive enough. Presidential Fitness Test days made me want to miss school. I couldn’t do a pull up, sit-ups were a joke, and push-ups were worse. Then there was that running back and forth to get an eraser and pick it back up and set it back down and pick it back up. Huh?! I was UNCOORDINATED! What about that did the teachers not understand?! Needless to say, this attitude toward running or official exercise moved through most of my life until I was around 39 where I CHOSE to start running. It was finally fun. I loved the outdoors and I could take my own pace – no one holding a stopwatch, thank you very much! I even ran in A 10K at a Cru Fall Break Weekend and then a 5K with my Mom for Aruna – they help free women from slave trafficking. Running for more than an “A”. My kind of exercise!

Eating was not much better. I LOVED white bread – preferably rolled and smushed and then nibbled while I watched TV or read a book. My Mom and her Mom were awesome cooks and I loved to eat. Homemade mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, chip beef gravy on toast, apple crisp, french toast, etc. All delectable and in large quantities!!! At school, I loved the chocolate milk and everything they served for hot lunch – even the stuff the others kids said was “yucky”. In high school I bought french fries and pizza…and an apple just to make it look healthier. Eating was about comfort, security, and …that it tasted good!

As an adult my eating stayed the same for many of the same reasons, eating food like it was my friend and confidant. Around 39 that changed. I figured out that food was a creation of the Lord to sustain me, not to replace God in my life. I exercised because it finally felt good and I was having success with eating right and dropping weight. I lost 40 pounds then 10 years ago and kept it off for 6 years. Then something happened physically. I had foot surgery. My foot wouldn’t let me run – my gait had changed and it hurt to run. Frustration – and eating – began to set in. Then we moved to TN and everything was new, away from family, buying a house. I got deeper into food as a safe place to be. Tried many diets and such last year to no avail. Food was too powerful and my mind was not in the right place.

MY LIFE AT PRESENT

I am on an eating plan which is about portions, not calories. I am doing a devotional on why I eat what I eat, applying Scripture, setting goals, being accountable to others. I am having success – not because I am trying harder, but because the Lord was convicting me of being a Life Coach who didn’t have a direction or a plan for her health. My weight was affecting my confidence and discouraging me from being active. The Lord had better for me and I knew it, so I surrendered it to Him and started this journey – almost 10 years to the day from when I did the Lord’s Table at 39. There is something about me and hitting age milestones that creates urgency and a desire to do what the Lord has for me before it is too late. I am grateful – I am headed the right way again and feeling better.

WHAT HAVE I LEARNED?

Food:

  1. It is not my enemy.
  2. It is a creation of the Lord for my body to have energy to serve Him and others.
  3. It cannot be my friend. Jesus is much better than any pizza!
  4. I am to enjoy it, not longing for it more than I long for Christ.

Exercise:

  1. It is fun when I think outside the box. I use a Rebounder to help with the impact on my knees and back. I go for walks and challenge myself to jog a part of it for a certain distance.
  2. Mowing my yard in the mountains is necessary because the grass doesn’t stop growing for me. This is built-in “must do” activity that has great views!
  3. Exercise shouldn’t hurt. It should be for the goal of having greater endurance and strength.
  4. I must schedule it into my day or it will never happen…habits start with intentional planning and follow-through.

Sleep:

  1. I cannot go to bed at 2am and then expect to function well.
  2. It is my time to regenerate and heal and give my body rest from gravity.
  3. Consistent amounts of sleep each night keep me from feeling sleepy and stop the “cravings”.
  4. I can serve everyone better – including the Lord – with 7 hours of sleep. I am stealing from the Lord and myself when I rob that bank.

Maintenance: 

  1. Getting a monthly deep tissue massage so my muscles and joints can move freely. It is NOT a frivolous thing or a waste of time or money to keep myself moving.
  2. Stretching after exercise and when I rise in the morning helps me to not hurt yourself.

Others:

  1. Community and grace keeps me motivated and honest with myself and others.
  2. I need encouragement for when the going gets hard and I want to give up and say, “What is the point?”
  3. I must share my goals and plans with others, giving them updates so they can pray for me.

Jesus:

  1. I must daily surrender my life to Him in these areas because He is my Maker and Sustainer – I am grateful and choose to show it by taking care of His creation- my body.
  2. His Spirit living in me gives me the power to say “Yes” to the right things and “No” to what will sidetrack my health goals and steal from God’s glory.

This is a day by day learning and growing process. I started here because it was very practical. I wanted you to see that it is possible for you as well. This area has profited much from everything I learned as a Life Coach and I am encouraging you to contact me if it is something you also want.

GET MOVING, EAT RIGHT, AND KEEP YOUR EYES ON JESUS!

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