Keep Pushing Play – My One Year Workout-iversary


One year ago today I was fed up.

Fed up with my weight. Fed up with my belly. Fed up with the way I looked. And I decided to make a change. One year ago today I pressed play for the very first time. I had received my P90x DVD series in the mail, bought a few dumbbells, a yoga mat and a pull-up bar. I created a little area in my basement and determined to get up early every morning, put in the DVD and push play. I did just that. And it was hard, REALLY HARD.

But I kept pushing play.

Every morning, I got up, drank a couple glasses of water and went downstairs and pushed play. I didn’t miss a single workout. Sometimes I had to do it on the road, sometimes I had to do it late at night, but I did it. Every day. Every single day. I finished p90x in September and took a little break, then did the follow up series “P90x Plus” off and on through the holidays, waiting for the next hole in my calendar that would allow me to begin another program. I began BodyBeast at the end of January and have been lifting 6 days a week since. I feel great. I haven’t been sick a single day in over a year. I don’t have allergies for the first time in forever. And it’s still work, but it’s firmly embedded in my lifestyle now. My son asked me if I was addicted to working out, and I responded. “No, but I am committed to it.”

I am very pleased with where I’m at compared to where I imagined myself to be one year ago.

I would stare in the mirror, suck in my belly and say, I’m going to look like this someday. I now I do. And I don’t starve myself, in fact, I eat more. I had pie twice this week. But I don’t eat stupid stuff, like potato chips and fast food. And I don’t miss it. I don’t eat breaded chicken, I have Fro-Yo instead of ice cream, eat brown rice instead of white, drink water instead of Coke. Stuff like that. I take the stairs instead of the elevator and sometimes I park further away than I need to.

Little choices add up to big change. Manageable, incremental, sometimes seemingly negligible choices that equal tangible, real, measurable change.

The one thing that I still have to figure out is where to put my devotional life.

I will admit that it’s the one thing that’s suffered in all this. But before you judge me, remember that for thousands of years, Godly men and women have served The Lord faithfully without reading the Scriptures regularly: Moses, Abraham, David to name a few. Thankfully we at least have the option of reading our own copy these days. And I did read the Bible through every year for the 3 years prior to this year, so I felt okay with taking a break to get myself healthy, BODY, SOUL and SPIRIT. And I still connect with God through worship and prayer regularly.

Next year at this time…. I hope to have fully integrated both worlds.

But, please don’t judge yourself by my actions either. I’m in a new season of life. There were lots of years when our boys were little where my devotional life and my physical fitness looked a LOT different that it did does now. I remember having barely anytime for either! But I am full on empty-nesting now and I have more discretionary time than perhaps I ever have and I am adjusting accordingly. The overriding principle here is that through every season, hang on to the things that are valuable to you. The time you are able to commit to those things (significant relationships included), will morph and change throughout the seasons of life, and they should. Try to keep those commitments strong, but let them stretch like elastic. Do not let them get brittle and break.

Well let me restate that. Keep almost everything elastic, everything that is, except your waistband.

Don’t quit. Just stay in the fight friend, that’s how winning is done. Keep pushing play.
~Mark

Me pushing “Stop” after a workout. 🙂

If you liked this one you would like my related blogpost: “I need a new Mirror – Youth Ministry made me Fat!” plus you can see my before and after pics from p90x…

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The Secret to Having Discipline in your Life


Most of us hate discipline. We don’t like being told no or having to say no to things that we want. If I feel like ice cream after dinner, I want to be able to have ice cream after dinner. If I want to sleep in, I’m want to be able to sleep in.

We look at disciplined people and we think to ourselves, “It must be easier for them, they are just naturally a more disciplined person than me.”

While that’s a nice thought, it simply isn’t true. At least it’s not true in my life.

Most of my life I have not been a very disciplined person. I have always liked my freedom. I like to choose what I want when I want it. Discipline means I have to say “No” to myself. I don’t like anyone telling me no, even if its me!  But that all changed last June. I decided I was tired of being overweight. I decided I was tired of looking at my fat belly in the mirror every day. I was on a website looking at the before and after pictures of scores of people who had transformed their bodies and I decided I wanted to look like that too. I stood in the full length mirror and sucked in my belly. I decided I wanted to get rid of my gut more than anything else in my life right now. And once I decided that was what I wanted, the rest was easy.

“Discipline is choosing what you want most over what you want now.”

Pastor Craig Groschel

Discipline then came into my life, not as a hammer, forcing me to say “no” to a bunch of stuff like ice cream and sleeping in, but rather as a tool to help me say “yes” to something I wanted much more, a good looking body.

What I wanted most was to be in shape. I wanted to feel good about the way I looked. I determined that this is what I wanted most. It then became much easier to say “no” to other things. When I wanted ice cream, I would think to myself, “What I want now, is this bowl of ice cream. What I want most is to lose this belly.” And I would choose a small bowl of frozen blueberries instead.  Saying “yes” to what I wanted most, was in effect telling everything else “no.” I guess this is what Discipline is, but in my mind I wasn’t saying “no” to stuff… I was saying “yes” to a preferred future.

I am starting a new weight lifting program tomorrow. I have a vision of what I will look like 90 days from now. I am saying “yes” to that future.

So whether its saving money for college or to go on once in a lifetime trip to Disneyland with the kids. Or maybe you to want to reshape your body, or learn a new skill. Determining what it is that you want most, is the secret to having the discipline you need to get to where you want to be.

Ask yourself the question “What do I want most?”

~Mark

p.s. Now that I’ve decided what I want… I love knowing that the only thing that stands between here and my future is hard work! I know how to do that!

discipline

I Need a New Mirror – Youth Ministry made me fat!


So I’ve been largely absent from my blog over the past 6 months in case you’ve missed me! And here’s why… I saw myself in the mirror. Honestly. One day I saw myself, really saw myself. Not the way I have always seen myself, but the way everyone else sees me. I finally saw myself the way somebody that just met me would see me. And I got mad. I got really angry with myself. My belly was bigger that it had ever been. I was flabby and overweight. I decided that was it. I drew a line in the sand and said this is the worst shape I will EVER be in for the rest of my life. I got a coach, spent some $$ on a workout program (p90x), and I created some space. I carved out both a physical space to workout in in my basement and made room in my schedule (bye-bye blog). I told some people (created some accountability), and I worked my butt off, 60-90 minutes a day; every day, for 90 days. EVERY DAY. It was a big commitment, but honestly looking back, I can’t believe that it only took 90 days to flip my life on its head. 3 months! I’m 48 now, what’s 3 months? I spent decades eating pizza and junk food while in youth ministry to get to where I am. I am now 6 months into working out, and am in the best shape of my life, no question about it. And I owe it all to my mirror.

Accurate self-perception is a gift. When we see ourselves the way we really are, versus the way we think we are… it’s rare. Sometimes one of our co-workers tries to hold up that mirror for us. Sometimes its a loved one that tries to get us to see ourselves the way were really are. And sometimes the Lord has to show us. Often times we get defensive and make excuses, but in reality we need to say “Thank You” to people who are willing to risk holding a mirror up to us. And then we need to start making some changes.

How about you? Are you who you think you are? We judge ourselves by our intentions, others judge us by our actions. I was fat and out of shape and I couldn’t see it. Until I did.

In what areas of your life could use a new mirror?

Image

I waffled as to whether or not to post this. I decided the ultimate accountability is to post an embarrassing pic of yourself on your blog. Haha… There’s no going back now!

 

p.s. The best thing about being in shape isn’t the way I look, or the fact that I have more stamina. It’s that I don’t feel defeated anymore. You know that feeling when you should be doing something that you’re not doing, and the only reason your not doing it is that you’re not disciplined enough? That feeling is gone! And it’s fantastic to look in the mirror and not feel defeated. I feel exactly the opposite.And I highly recommend it!

Next challenge? Writing. I know I should do it. I’m supposed to do it. I feel defeated because I’m not doing it. I just need to be more disciplined and DO IT! Is there a p90x for writing? or prayer?

Ya. I should invent that.

~M

 

 

 

 

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