Thursday, May 10, 2012

Building Strength

I love it when the Lord uses average events in my every day life to teach me lessons of faith.

The lesson this week was inspired by my changing exercise programs.  More accurately, I intensified my exercise program.

I have maintained a pretty regular 4-6 times/week exercise routine since the first of March, but I'm sorry to say, it is not a habit yet.  They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit -- well, 21 days of taking vitamins at night = a new habit for me... 21 days of exercising, on the other hand -- I still have to convince myself the importance of exercising on that 22nd day.

Throughout March and April, I completed Jillian Michaels RIPPED IN 30 DVDs twice -- once in March, once in April.  I lost about 7 pounds in March, and kept it off (but didn't lose any more weight in April).

Starting this week, knowing that summer is just around the corner, and my family is meeting in Seattle in early June for a celebration, I wanted to kick my exercise up a notch for these last few weeks in May before the end of the school year.

This past Monday, I started ASYLUM, a 30-day Beachbody workout with a really intense trainer, Sean T.  I tried a few of Sean T's work-outs last year, and they always made me cry.  Literally, cry!  He encourages you to do crazy things with your body... and just when you've got the hang of that, but you're exhausted, he makes the move crazier and harder... and just when you think you can maybe handle that before you collapse, he makes the move even harder and crazier!  By the third craziest, hardest set (a year ago), I was in tears.

Seeing this mental and physical weakness in myself last year specifically made me eventually want to conquer one or more of Sean T's work-outs.

I am now 10% of my way through ASYLUM, and I have not cried once!  I haven't even come close!  I still think the moves are crazy, but I'm excited to try them.  I try my absolute hardest, and if I need a 5 second break, I take it before diving back into the hard, crazy exercises.

This post is not just about working out, I promise.

What the Lord revealed to me this week was how strong I had become by doing an easier workout consistently for 2 months.  I had not lost tons of weight and I did not feel in tip-top shape, but, in fact, the discipline of giving my all to these workouts 4-6 times/week had not only prepared me physically, but had strengthened me mentally for this more intense workout with a tougher instructor.

Have you ever had a season of reading your Bible where you just aren't hearing the daily revelations as you read that you used to?  Have you ever had a season where you feel that God is speaking to you less than normal?  Stay in your Bible every day.  Continue to pray every day!  In these habits, you are getting stronger.

When a tougher challenge comes, that daily discipline of reading your Bible, and the daily habit of talking to the Lord and knowing Him intimately will have strengthened you for the new challenges at hand.

In working out, keep at it.
In seeking God and studying His Word, keep at it.
Not all benefits are revealed until a harder challenge comes along.

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P.S.  If you have summer fitness goals, THERE IS A BEACHBODY FITNESS PROGRAM FOR YOU!  There are crazy insane programs like the one I'm doing that range from 30-day, to 60-day, to 90-day, and there are programs to help you ease back into getting in shape, like a 10-Minute A Day workout, or Slim in 6.  Visit my beachbody website to check out some programs and comment on this post if you want to talk to me about all your options.

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