“Shine like stars in the universe.” -Philippians 2
So, I’m sitting at my middle school son’s football game this week when I hear guttural, deep chested orders, like the cry of a drill sergeant from basic who gives himself rewards of extra time to iron his own uniform when he’s been gloriously harsh and made a recruit cry. Instead of the bark of, “You can’t handle the truth,” this commander’s voice growled across the field, “CRUSH them, Hawks,” and was actually a woman, an everyday mom who checked her femininity at the gate. You might chuckle and think, “Oh yes, there’s always one of those.” But, there wasn’t just one of them. Oh no! They were everywhere, a surrounding chorus of rough, raucous moms shouting, “KILL THEM” and worse, and laughing at each other the louder they got. In classic form, my mirth bubbled up inside of me and I had to smash it down, like a bubbles trying to pour out of a shaken soda bottle on to the floor.
I mean, I cheer, hoot, get worked up and, even, holler but this was different. They were like a gang of moms with brass knuckles embossed with, “Mess with Timmy and I bust your chinny.” Goodnight!
Recently, my seventeen year old son told me I was a “bada$$” regarding fitness. Now, you might flip your lid, tell your son not to use such language, despair of where your kid’s heart is at…. but me? I smiled broadly and said, “Thank you. That’s one of the best compliments I’ve ever received.” Why? Because, the key thing I’ve learned in the teenage years is to not control every word but weigh the heart and my Herculian, defensive end son just told me how much he respected me for my dedication and results. My heart did somersaults, like a killer whale through red hoops in San Diego to a cheering crowd and a little girl with wide eyes who is so captivated that she allows a dollop of pink, bubblegum ice cream to land on her dress.
As I pondered those football-crazed moms, one message was loud and clear, they love their sons with ferocity! And, who can begrudge those moms, with their nape fur bristling on end and mouth opened in a terrifying bearing of teeth and slobber, their love for their sons? Oh, to be able to listen well in life and first hear the motivations of the heart, instead of feeling affronted so quickly.
5 Philosophies to Staying Committed to Fitness
I was asked this week how I motivate my heart to stay committed to fitness for the long haul. While I’ve discussed this a little bit before in the blog entitled “How I Continue to Choose Fitness Every Day”, here are my five thoughts on how to keep going when everything within you just wants to swan dive into a pool filled with macaroni and cheese.
Philosophy #1: What is Moderation?
The idea of “everything in moderation” is a good one, except our idea of moderation is off. What do I mean? Sweets in moderation doesn’t mean a dessert every night or two. Once a week is plenty. Otherwise it’s a habit, not moderation. Most bodies cannot handle the regular sugar elevation. Moderation isn’t having a small portion of everything you want; it is seeing those things that are more processed, empty on nutrient rich calories or sugar filled as treats, not staples. This basic premise isn’t my original thought; I read it in an article this week but now can’t find it to give proper credit. Also, we have gotten ourselves used to an overly stuffed feeling (the kind that starches and large portions bring). It’s good to get used to being full without being stuffed.
Philosophy #2: Do what you love.
Make workouts about what you love. Do you love to dance? Go to Zumba! Do you love the outdoors? Do trail runs. Do you love time with your spouse? Walk 4 miles together at a fast clip regularly.
Philosophy #3: Intentionality Changes the World.
How often do you dust the high shelves in your home unless you set a time for it? Schedule and plan your workouts. Leave plenty of time and make sure you have everything you need. Showing up at the gym is most of the battle for me. I can only recall one time in the last couple years when I’ve arrived at the gym and walked out.
Philosophy #4: Small Steps on a Long Road.
Fitness and health cannot be something you’re doing just for a month. It has to become a part of your life, just like brushing your teeth or cutting your grass. Begin to view it as a daily life discipline for your own well being.
Philosophy #5: Plan Your Fun.
Eating is social and your commitments to health cannot make you feel left out or your won’t keep it up. Who wants to be the one never enjoying friends and fun?! So, you have to either 1. save your one weekly treat for that Friday fiesta or 2. plan treats for yourself that don’t affect your diet (like fat free greek yoghurt with cut up strawberries and a little Stevia).
As I considered what to write this week, I really felt that someone out there in the dark cosmos, someone somewhere under the midnight sky full of stars, like vanilla colored sand flung there by a heavenly hand, needs to hear this week… You have what it takes. You are dearly loved by God. Keep going. Not just in fitness but also in life. You are his treasure.