I have officially eaten my weight in cookies.
I make no excuses.
I partook of my own free will.
Over several days.
My tummy hurts.
With two more family Christmas celebrations to go, not to mention a big New Year’s Eve party to attend, there’s no better time like the present to discuss on-going motivation.
What is it that has gotten me out of bed and to the gym at 5:30 am?
What is it that makes me choose salad over french fries?
What is it that moves me away from the platter of home-made peanut butter and Hershey Kiss cookies …
to go into the basement and do bicep curls?
Could it be that I’ve eaten ALL of the cookies? There literally ARE NO MORE COOKIES?
(Thanks Jennifer for a yummy recipe, which appears at the bottom of this post.)
Honestly, this post is somewhat difficult for me to write. First, as we discussed in Part One, what motivates me may not motivate you at all.
Secondly, fitness and nutrition are such a part of my life…it’s sort of like trying to explain why I sleep or shower.
It’s just how I live…It’s what I do.
Don’t hate me.
So how does one get from “how do I stay motivated” to “it’s just how I live, it’s what I do”?
Maybe I will let you into my brain (this could be scary), and explain my mindset.
There are so many aspects of living a healthy life that I love, I can’t even imagine NOT living this way. Some benefits are obvious. Others, not so much.
Do any of these resonate with you?1. A healthy diet and exercise gives me energy during the day and helps me sleep well at night.
2. I like the way I look. Not because my body is perfect, but because I know I’m healthy and fit. (I’m also 40 years old, have had 2 c-sections and still wear a 2-piece swim suit)
3. I like the way my clothes fit me.
4. The endorphin rush after a killer work out is completely awesome.
5. Exercise is a great stress reliever.
6. Exercise combats depression by helping the brain manufacture serotonin (a chemical in the brain that regulates mood).
7. Exercise helps to clear my mind. I use work out times to pray, plan and sort through issues. I’ve “written” entire blog posts and Bible study lessons while exercising.
8. Exercise is a much-needed break from the kiddos.
9. I love the way healthy food tastes. It’s so much better than processed, fatty, salty foods.
10. I am greatly reducing my risk of just about every known disease, including all kinds of cancer and heart disease.
11. I am training my children how to make healthy choices for themselves—If I don’t teach them, who will?
12. I am glorifying God by taking good care of the one and only body He has given me.I think those last two are biggies that a lot of people miss. I’ve talked to several moms who say things like,
“So my whole family has to suffer because I decide to change the way I eat?”
Huh?? Did you say “suffer
?”If by “suffer
” you mean you feed your children wholesome snacks and delicious home-made dinners, thereby training their little palettes to crave healthy foods, as opposed to greasy, chemical-laden-barely-resembles-food food, which will then allow them to live energy-filled, disease-free, active lives, live to see their children and their grandchildren, AND fulfill their God-given purpose in life— (take a breath…)
If THAT’S what you mean by “suffer”…
THEN SUFFER, THEY MUST!
YES!!!! SUFFER the little children!!!!!!!!!
And let’s not forget the whole God thing. I know many people who feel like they are doing something selfish—almost sinful—when they focus on their health.
Maybe because they think it’s somehow vain or a misplacement of attention?
Maybe because they find their worth in their appearance?
Or maybe because the Enemy would like nothing better than for them to be confused about God’s will, feel like garbage, feel terrible about themselves, lay on their couches and do nothing…and then die?
Surely, being only obsessed with your jean size is bad. But it doesn’t negate the REAL issue of being a good steward of the beautiful and miraculous body God has given you.
BTW, did you know the Bible is very clear that GLUTTONY is also wrong? (Proverbs 23:20-21) Why don’t we ever hear that preached on Sunday?
So if I have any advice on keeping yourself motivated through the rough cookie-eating, I’d-rather-lie-on-the-couch-and-watch-reruns-of-The Office, days…I offer you this. My gift to you this Christmas Day:1. Educate yourself. Read books on fitness and nutrition. Get a subscription to a good magazine (for women, I like “Fitness” and “Shape”). Use the internet. Whatever. Just read all the ways a healthy lifestyle can change the course of your life. Read about the dangers of obesity. Read about the diseases affiliated with a high-fat, highly processed diet. Read, read, read!
2. Be accountable to someone. Find a workout partner, a personal trainer or a support group who will expect you to show up and ask you how it’s going. Or if you’re like me and prefer to exercise alone, start a fitness blog tracking your progress.
3. Find an exercise you love. For me, it’s walking. In the park, in my neighborhood, on the beach. I just heart it. When it’s too cold to walk, I have an elliptical. If you like running, biking, hiking, spinning, aerobics, kickboxing, tennis…then do that. The key is to like it.
4. Eat food you love. Healthy food is delicious when it’s prepared to your liking (and no, I don’t mean deep-fried). Find recipes you like and cook them. Use spices you enjoy. Find restaurants that serve healthy dishes.
5. Set a goal—a weight loss goal, a fitness goal or a time-frame you can shoot for. Sign up for a 5-K or a marathon and train for it. Write it on a calendar. Tell people what you are doing.
6. Take a “before” picture and hang it somewhere you can see it. (cringe)
7. Take pictures every few weeks—you may not realize how far you’ve come.
8. Take measurements. The scale won’t tell you the full story. Especially when you add weights.
9. Reward yourself. Give yourself a weekly treat for sticking to your fitness routine. Buy some new clothes or take a trip when you reach your goal.
10. As your body shrinks and your old clothes get too big, give them to charity. Don’t keep your “fat clothes” just in case.
11. Get rid of the all-or-nothing mentality. A cookie-binge does not negate years of healthy living. If you fall of the wagon, get up, dust yourself off and move on. Grace, grace, grace. It’s amazing!In the end, a healthy lifestyle becomes self-motivating. Once you see how great you look and feel, you won’t want to go back to the way you lived before. I promise.Does anyone out there have anything to add? I’d love to hear what motivates you!
Oh…and here’s that cookie recipe.
2 and 2/3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup Crisco (I used real butter, room temp)
2/3 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
unwrapped Hershey Kisses
Cream brown sugar and Crisco (or butter), and add peanut butter. Add eggs and beat well. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients and stir to combine well.
Shape into balls, roll in granulated sugar and bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees (mine took 10). Press chocolate kiss in center of each cookie and bake for 2 more minutes.
Cool on wire rack.Once chocolate kiss is completely cooled, these will freeze beautifully.
Sandy I will be keeping in touch with you in 2009, I could have written that post. That is exactly where I am and will be there more in 2009…..that is one of my resolutions. I feel motivated, THANK YOU.
You are so right on Sandy! I believe it’s important for us to take care of our bodies. After all, as Christians we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. And yes, it’s not about the vanity but feeling good and being about the business of living our lives for the glory of God.
When I exercise and eat healthy, I feel better. When I don’t exercise and eat lots of sweets I suffer for it. Not only do I feel bad but I’m sluggish and have less energy. Then my clothes are tight and don’t look very good on me. And frankly I don’t want to spend money on bigger clothes. My budget can’t take it.
I think that the best way to teach children is by example. Instead of going on a diet, it’s a lifestyle. As a kid, we never kept lots of candy or chips in the house. We had apples to eat for snacks. Sandy, keep on writing about this topic especially as the new year approaches. I have a picture of what I want my abs to look like and right now they don’t look quite that way.
Great post. I need some motivation right now. When I started teaching group fitness I would teach 5-8 classes a week. I toned up really fast. Now that I'm in a leadership role I'm down to only teaching 2 classes per week. I can definitely tell a difference in my body. Sitting at a desk talking about fitness all day just doesn't do it.
I got Wii Fit for Christmas. I'm really excited about it. I'm studying to get my personal trainer cert but I need my own personal trainer to keep me motivated.
Lysa & Renee are airing a new GNO promo here on KSBJ. It's gonna be great. I'll talk to ya soon.
This post was so good. I REALLY needed to read it tonight. I also have STUFFED myself with too many holiday cookies and am now paying the price as I attempt to STUFF myself into my jeans!
I started my walking back up yesterday! A few weeks late but better late than never, right??
I will be in your neighborhood at Red House Baptist Church (do you know it)? in a few weeks and would LOVE to be able to wear clothes! They always appreciate that!
Hi Sandy – I’m Stephanie. I stumbled [by God’s Providence] upon your Blog tonight after downing the last of the Christmas cookie tray that my daughter baked for me! I began to get serious three days ago [about eating right]and stayed motivated until tonight. I made a huge pot of homemade Vegetable soup but then got lost in the cookies when my sweet tooth took over! UGH! I just sent for a new book by Chantel Hobbs which can’t get here fast enough. I know how to eat God’s way – I’m just not good at making the choices 24/7. I need His help in all of it. Thanks for sharing!
Choosing JOY, Stephanie