Finding the Inner and Outer Strength to Keep Moving…

Finding the Inner and Outer Strength to Keep Moving… May 17, 2015

… When you’ve been stuck in traffic for over an hour and just don’t feel like cooking and everyone’s complaining that they’re hungry, you hear the siren song of delivery pizza.

When you’ve been going nonstop since you woke up at the crack of dawn and you don’t stop till the end of the day and you can’t bear the thought of dragging out the resistance bands and exercise mat.

When you have a million reasons to take short cuts in the kitchen or skip the work out altogether, that’s when you need to focus on what your goals are.

Why are you doing this? To lose weight? To get strong? Better health? Are you training for a 5K?

When you’ve been sedentary for as long as I have getting up and moving isn’t something that comes natural. Sitting at my desk 8 hours a day and sitting on my couch are what’s natural for me. Breaking that habit takes effort, determination, and motivation.

Finding what motivates you is key. These are the things you want so badly they have the power to lift you off the couch and change your eating habits.

The things that motivate me are all the things I want to do with better health and a better body.

– reduce back pain
– reduce migraines
– elevate my mood
– buy a pair of jeans in the regular size department, not the plus-size section
– strengthen my heart
– hike with friends and my son
– be able to enjoy the outdoors like I used to
– fit comfortably in a movie theater and airplane seat
– not be as self conscious
– regain self confidence

The lack of confidence and constantly being self conscious of my appearance has turned me into an introvert. I don’t have new experiences because I am afraid of looking stupid or people judging me on me weight. I’ve developed anxiety and panic attacks at the thought of meeting new people and trying new things. The result is I’ve stopped living.

I want to live.

I want to sky dive, zip line, kayak, travel, talk to random people and make friends everywhere like I used to. I want to show my son life is wonderful and worth experiencing and that the world is a God created wonder meant for us to enjoy.

That’s what motivates me.

I’ve created little reminders for myself for when I need reminding. Like this pinterest page which features photos of some of the things I want to do when I get in better shape. I pull this up on my phone and look at it work or at home.

I’ve also started praying more. You’ve all heard the term a “fox hole Christian” or that there are no atheists in fox holes.

The statement “There are no atheists in foxholes” is an aphorism used to argue that in times of extreme stress or fear, such as during war (“in foxholes”), all people will believe in, or hope for, a higher power.[Wikipedia]

Well, some days working out can be like intentionally putting yourself in that fox hole. You pray, “Lord, get me through this” … or at least you should be.

I’ve noticed a trend in exercise motivation – the dig deep within yourself, inner strength, you can do this kind of stuff. Yes, you can do all that but you can’t do it alone. And just like exercise, prayer can be habit forming once you get in the habit of doing it daily.

I’ve failed and failed again in the past because this was something I always tried to do on my own. But as with life, as with all things, you can’t rely solely on yourself. If you do you’ve set yourself up for failure.

We need God as well as needing our friends and family. That outward motivation is as important as the need to inwardly motivate ourselves. We need movement in our lives as much as we need prayer and we should be doing both as readily as we breathe.

You know what gets me through walks, when my heart is pounding and my back starts to hurt… the rosary. The rhythm of the words keeps my pace and prayer propels me forward.

When I confess on giving up it wasn’t just my weight I’d given up on. I’d given up on happiness. I’d also given up on prayer. I’d allowed myself to be swallowed up in my miseries.

I’m not trying to change my life. The thought of that is too overwhelming. I’m just going to try and change today. Today I’ll pray. Today I’ll treat myself with kindness and eat well. Today I’ll exercise and make better choices. Then hopefully after awhile it will become less of daily struggle and more of a daily norm.

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