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…

Advertisements

The Hardest part of Change


Change is never easy.      change

Organizationally we are in the middle of a HUGE strategic change. After 44 years as a non-profit, Youth Dynamics (YD) is reorganizing in order to maximize our Kingdom Impact. It’s been almost 2 years since we started the process, and I believe we have just passed the tipping point. Change is imminent.

Personally, after 47 years of eating pizza, I started working out for the first time since High School. I completed p90x this summer and 30 days ago just began a a new workout program called Body Beast.

With all this change happening in different areas of my life this year, I’m discovering a few things about CHANGE that I thought I should share.

1. Deciding to CHANGE was the hardest part

When I made the decision to start p90x I had gotten to the point in my life where I was completely fed up with things the way they were. I was overweight, I didn’t like how I looked, almost to the point of being disgusted with myself. With my organization, coming to the conclusion that our mission was being compromised by things staying the way they were was critical. I had to get to the point that I could not live with things remaining the same, knowing that a change would make a difference in thousands of teenagers lives. And then I had to convince my organization of the same. Organizational change is more difficult than making a personal change, but both begin with you deciding that change needs to happen.

2. Change doesn’t happen as quickly as I’d like

In my exercise programs, you only take your measurements every 30 days. I was so excited for my first measurement in p90x, I felt so strong, so healthy. I was excited to finally quantify the results. Day 30 came, we took my measurements… and to my great surprise there was not much measurable change. I was so disappointed. I was eating healthy, I had worked out 30 days straight. Where was this change I was promised? Then my 21 yr old coach said something profound to me.

“Just keep doing the work, the results will take care of themselves.”

I had to trust the process. We say it all the time in YD. Do the work. Trust the process. I couldn’t quantify the results yet, but I knew I was in the middle of a massive change. And sure enough, it wasn’t long after that the weight started peeling off. Yesterday was my 30th day of this new exercise program, Body Beast; and the same thing happened after taking my measurements. I have some tangible results, but not near what my expectations were. But after my success of completing p90x I now know this is normal and I am not nearly as disappointed. I will keep doing the work, and let the results take care of themselves.

3. For me the hardest part of change happens way before the battle even starts.

I expect change to be hard work. I expect there to be obstacles. But in my life, the battle is won at the beginning. Deciding I need to change, then determining what changes need to be made are the biggest obstacles to me making a change. But once I lock onto something, I will see it through to completion. And there will be tearing of flesh to get me to change course.

How about you? Is there a change that needs to happen in your life? What part of the process is most difficult for you?

~Mark

Read more about my change in my blogpost -“I need a new mirror – Youth Ministry made me Fat”.

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

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: