Building Healthy Habits in 2010

I am very excited to share with you this next video! My fitness instructor Clare is starting an accountability group over on the Message Board - today!!! Come check out her tips and challenges and join us as we build healthy habits in the New Year!

Walk with the King!

Fit Friday: Equipping Ourselves Physically and Spiritually

Today’s guest post is written by Clare – a Certified Fitness Instructor. For more articles by Clare click here.

I was cutting coupons yesterday and saw a cold and flu ad with pictures of nasty looking worm-shaped germs resting on a phone. Needless to say, it reminded me of how I need to be mindful of where these little fellas are! (Nice marketing work on behalf of the cold and flu company!) As if the seasonal flu wasn’t enough to think about, we now have H1N1 2009 to worry with–we can’t avoid disease!

It’s hard for me to “remember” where all those nasty germs lurk! We’ve got them on door handles, shopping carts, toys…you name it..they live there. And unfortunately the dangers of the germs aren’t only encased outside of our homes, but they make their way into our beautiful little houses!!

Thanks to modern technology, we are able to protect ourselves from the infiltration of the flu germs. Thank goodness for hand sanitizers, antibacterial wipes, and soaps!! We can’t forget the ever-present (and controversial!) flu vaccine either. So not only can you take care of these germs externally and momentarily, but you can get injected with something that will work internally ..at least until next year.

I can’t help but think of how Satan is similar to these hidden, nasty germs. How many times do I…a believer of almost 20 years…forget how dirty and powerful Satan and his evil forces are!! They lurk everywhere in my day…my attitude towards my husband, my unthankfulness towards my possessions, my lack of zeal for serving the Lord…the list goes on and on. You see, Satan comes in quietly and tries to eat away at our lives.

John 10:10 says that “The thief, comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” much like those pesky flu germs!

But just as modern technology has equipped us to fight the flu germs, our all-knowing Lord has equipped us with ways to fight Satan and his forces!! He has given us HIS armor!!

Ephesians 6 says : 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. ”

So, today, when you are cleansing and avoiding the lurking flu germs, be mindful of the one lurking to steal, kill and destroy our spiritual lives! Remember that we have been injected with THE Living, Breathing, Powerful PROTECTOR! The best part is we don’t have to get Him injected year after year–we’ve got Him on our side eternally!

- Clare
Thank you Clare – yes ladies, we MUST equip ourselves physically and spiritually! Physically we must stay strong so we can serve our husbands, children, and others in need. And spiritually we must stay strong so we can serve our husbands, children and others in need!
Walk With the King!

Fit Friday: Running Miles for Melana

This past Saturday many of my friends ran in the Akron, Ohio Marathon for a remarkable cause. On the Women Living Well home page you will find the story of sweet 9 year old Melana who is battling cancer. Diana (a friend of Melana and a friend of mine – pictured above after the race with Melana) began to dream – and her dream grew big. She started a blog and recruited everyone she knew to come and join her for this marathon. On race day 42 men and women showed up to do a 4 person relay, 16 ran the 1/2 marathon and 11 ran the entire 26 miles!!! And there were approximately 150 people who made pledges towards Melana’s fund. Praise the Lord!
Here is Diana’s story in her own words:
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Early this summer Mike and I had an idea to form a team of runners who would take part in the Akron Road Runner in order to support my friend’s 9 year old daughter Melana who was diagnosed with a very serious brain cancer in Jan. of this year. We quickly came up with the name MILES FOR MELANA, and wanted to reach 500 committed miles by the end of August. To our surprise we reached well over 700 in no time!
Our goals were to show love and encouragement by raising funds to help her family with mounting medical expenses, to get as many people involved and praying for Melana and her family, and to motivate others to get fit and give running a try!
At first we planned to run the 1/2 Marathon but when the race was about a month off we decided to run the full 26.2! It was a great experience in so many ways!
I’ll never forget standing down town in the dark before the gun went off looking up at “Old Glory” and hearing our National Anthem! Then the prayer that was said asking for the Lord’s blessing over the run and giving our Creator God due credit for being “in charge” of the weather we would experience! It was very moving! Then we were off!

There’s something a bit funny about a sea of bobbing heads all around you for blocks and blocks! Despite the dreadful forecast, the weather was perfect! The entire time I only felt a nice sprinkle for a few moments here and there! The crowds are awesome for the Road Runner too! Bands, choir groups, crazy outfits to make you laugh along the way! It definitely is a rough course though!

(Pictured above in the red shirt – Pastor Steve Marshall on the home stretch) Mike and I ran “Heart Rate Hill” by Stan Hewett twice in training, but there’s something so different about that hill when it comes at mile 22! Each of our 69 runners finished their race! Then after leaping across the finish line and hearing Joyce (Melana’s Grandma) yelling my name and giving her a high five through the netting and with tears in my eyes, the rain came! We are so proud of all our runners! Kevin Somerville ran the 1/2 and came in 3rd overall with a time of 1 hour and 14 minutes! Many others met their personal goals set for that day, and many more have said they are “hooked” and are already running other races this weekend! It was such a blessing to be part of a team (those who ran and those who gave) of so many people who for the most part have never even met Melana! This was a true representation of love in action! If anyone would like to make a donation to MILES FOR MELANA, there’s still time! There’s an account set up at US Bank and it will be open until October 10, 2009. You can make a deposit at any local branch!

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Thank you Diana for sharing your story. And to all the runners – thank you for your sacrifice and hard work in training – you are truly an inspiration! I pray that if any of my readers are a runner, you would consider running for a cause and spread the love of Jesus. They will know we are Christians by our love.
Walk with the King!

Fit Friday: The Comparison Trap

Psalm 139:13,14 “For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
I linger in front of the mirror for a moment…what do I see? A grey hair popping out, that big sun spot on my cheek, those bags under my eyes – those are new since having children. And then there’s my beloved muffin top – possibly the thing that makes me most insecure. For me – all it takes is a mirror to get me discontent. The only thing worse than a mirror is the comparison trap.

We all do it – we compare ourselves to…
1. Ourselves - and our pre-baby days. I have a picture of myself with friends in college by my computer – sometimes I marvel at how thin I was!
2. Our siblings – Both of my sister’s are size 0! I blogged about this struggle here.
3. Our friends – I have some tall friends who make me feel so short! You know who you are!!! lol! Those who know me well know I ALWAYS have a heel on unless I am exercising.
4. Our foes – if comparison for you turns into jealousy then you are way off track from where God wants you and you have gone from being a friend to a foe. Jealousy is ugly and deadly – it’d be better to pluck your eye out than to covet your neighbors beauty.

5. Strangers - I’ll admit it – I’ve walked through the mall at times and have seen those skinny, tan, tiny bottomed teenage girls with perky chests – it’s a tough pill to swallow.

6. Celebrities – Comparing yourself to celebrities is a lose/lose situation – they have trainers, cooks, nannies, hair stylists, fashion designers, and airbrushing!! We can’t possibly keep up!
So what can we do? It’s really a matter of mindset. I dare you right there at your computer – praise God for how well he made you. Go ahead do it…..

Did something you don’t really like about yourself pop into your head? What is it? Now praise God for it… – does it feel strange?
Here’s my prayer: “What a blessed life I have led! Thank you Lord for my muffin top – it means I’ve had bountiful amounts of food. Thank you for my grey hairs it means I’ve been blessed with years, thank you for my bags under my eyes – it means I have been blessed with many people in my home to love and care for, thank you for my sun spot – it reminds me of all those fun days on the beach or at the pool.”
That’s a strange prayer isn’t it. The world says – suck the muffin top out with lipo suction, color the greys (I do that by the way!), conceal the bags, have the sun spot removed and on and on it goes.
Now try again to thank God for that thing in the mirror that drives you nuts! It’s hard I know – that’s because you’ve been focusing on it and thinking so negatively for so long that your mind can barely bare the idea of actually praising God for how wonderfully you are made. You have been beating yourself up with the comparison trap!!!
Now try again – focus on the wonderful things he has given you – eyes to see, ears to hear, hands to serve, feet that walk, a heart that beats, lungs that hold air, a brain that can read and understand this, and a heart to feel God’s love – wow – you are amazing! Aren’t you wonderful (and I don’t mean this in a prideful sense)? God made you and he says you were wonderfully made – trust him that he made you the way you are for his purposes!
John Piper says “The fight for joy is a fight to see.” It’s a fight to see things from God’s perspective rather than this world’s. We must fight for it if we are going to live well!
Walk with the King!

Fit Friday: The Art of the Bubble Bath

Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
If you are stressed out from all the back-to-school homework, sports, errands, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and economic troubles…then you NEED a bubble bath.

Here’s why – a bubble bath is something COMPLETELY free that only you can give yourself. I remember when my children were babies and my husband was traveling a lot, I would be at my wits end by evening – with no break coming from my husband since he was gone. I found solace in my bubble baths. As soon as I knew both kids were asleep – the art of the bubble bath began.

I know there is a temptation at the end of a weary day to turn on the television and have a snack. This is a common stress reliever – but I don’t believe that it really relieves stress like a good bubble bath does.
An awesome bubble bath takes planning so here’s what you need:
1. Privacy – all children asleep and the husband aware that you don’t want to be interrupted
2. Hot water and loads of Bubbles – preferably ones that smell yummy!
3. Some soft classical music
4. A hand towel rolled up as a pillow
5. A cold drink to set beside the tub
6. A good Christian book
Optional: a lit candle

Now sit back and RELAX – 25 minutes and VOILA – you emerge a new woman. Sometimes all a stressed out momma needs is a little TLC. A cheerful heart is good medicine as Proverbs 17:22 says – and sometimes all we need is a bubble bath to cheer us up!
And guess what – your family will thank you for doing this. Face it – when we are tense, stressed out and exhausted we are not able to be the best wife, mother or child of God we can be. We will more easily give into the enemy’s temptations to be angry, inpatient, insensitive, bitter, and the list goes on and on.
The logo for this blog includes a bubble bath girl because a woman who is living well cannot live stretched to her max and stressed out! She must learn to drink from the living well – which is God’s word and have joy as she lives it out. Our body affects our spiritual life – so take good care of it! Schedule in a bubble bath for yourself this weekend!
Walk with the King!

Fit Friday: Dealing With Our Emotions

I Timothy 4:8 says “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for both the present life and the life to come.”
Godliness – it’s our ultimate goal – to be a godly wife, mother, and homemaker. Yet emotions and exhaustion get in the way of our ultimate goal. Emotions are a good thing – they help us to enjoy life or process pain. But they can also get out of control and destroy our day!
I’ve been told by others that I am a “high energy” person. I tend to talk fast and walk fast. I may appear to others as high energy but can I just say for the record – I’m exhausted! My days wipe me OUT! We are all in this boat together – between our husbands, children, homes and ministries – at the end of the day we are exhausted? Right?
So the key is – energy. Why do we need energy? So we can endure – so we can avoid emotional break downs! It’s when we lack sleep and energy that we feel like giving up. It’s when we feel like our tank is on empty that we feel defeated, lazy, critical or even worse depressed.
My number one favorite energy booster is speed walking. It gets my heart rate up, makes my bones stronger, builds muscle and puts some sweat on my brow! And it’s an emotional outlet! I have downloaded loads of worship music and as that music pumps into my head through my ipod – my heart is lifted to the heavens and I can pray, worship and get my perspective and focus straight.
Currently, I am speed walking/slow jogging 5 times a week for 2-3 miles. My exercise is not about looking good or getting a hard body – it’s about being healthy – mind, body and spirit. For me there is a connection between my physical training and my strides for godliness. My workout time is an outlet for some of my emotions that I am feeling such as stress and anxiety. It is also a time of worship and even prayer.

So I want to encourage you today – to get outside and enjoy the crisp fall air. Go for a walk – or hop on your treadmill with some praise music going and enjoy the sweat that forms on your brow! Because “physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for both the present life and the life to come.”

Walk with the King!

http://www.womenlivingwell.org/

Fit Friday: Which Food Network Star Am I?

Do you watch the Food Network? Then maybe you can relate to this article below! Women Living Well’s Certified Fitness Trainer – Clare – is back with us today and here’s what she has to say:************************************

The thought occurred to me one day while on the elliptical machine and watching the Food Network, that our eating habits could be categorized by one if not many of the fabulous chefs on the Food Network. I’m not necessarily thinking about how we cook either. There are a lot of factors which figure into our physical make-up, but we can’t negate the importance and weight (no pun intended) that eating has. Sometimes we have to analyze our eating and workout habits in order to really find our true issues with weight loss. Sit down this week and think about how the foods you put into your mouth are contributing to your overall health!

Paula Deen: Is butter, sour cream, fried foods, and more butter your mantra?! If so, chances are you may end up being a little, shall we say, “softer” around the middle. Unless you are looking to gain some weight, veer away from the fatty and fried foods. Always allow yourself a treat though because butter is OH so good ya’ll!!

Rachael Ray: Do you cook with boxed items, some fresh ingredients and lots of pasta? Rachael provides a good way for many of us to cook with items already in the pantry (and relatively inexpensive) but with being able to add some fresh ingredients. Rachael by no means is over-weight, but to some, may not be as “thin” as they themselves would like to look. She probably represents where many of us fall in regards to fixing meals and eating.

Giada DeLaurentis: If you are like me, Giada’s physique is one to be admired! You’ll notice that she cooks great, flavorful food and eats desserts, breads, and appetizers alike. However you’ll find that she mainly uses food in their “original” form…herbs, vegetables, fruits, fish, healthy oils…If you want a lean physique like hers while enjoying the variety of foods out there, then try to mimic that kind of cooking.

Where do you fall? I’m somewhere between Rachael and Giada with a sprinkling of Paula. Grab recipes from the cooks whose waistline you admire and maybe you’ll see some changes in yours!!

-Clare
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I appreciate Clare’s advice and that’s some great food for thought!
Walk with the King!

Fit Friday: Power Naps!

What time did you go to bed last night? What time did you wake up? How many hours of sleep did you get exactly? 6 1/2 hours? That’s not enough! Studies show that 7 hours of sleep is the minimum hours of sleep an adult can get to perform at peak performance. Some of us even need 8-9 hours of sleep.

What is stealing sleep from you? Can I honestly say that this blog causes me to lose sleep! I usually write my blogs late at night or early early in the morning. In order to get enough sleep I have to be extremely disciplined to turn off the television at night and get to bed. I have to put the book down that I am devouring and turn out the light. In pre-blog days that was no trouble and I was very disciplined. But now I find my creative juices flowing at odd hours of the night when I should be in bed – this never happened before!

But before the blog came along – it was my sweet babies who kept me awake at all hours of the night! We mommies can’t avoid those night wakings – so what are we to do? We can’t take 2 hour afternoon naps. And if we did, then we would not be able to fall asleep at night. So what’s my solution?

POWER NAPS!!! I have discovered that setting my alarm for just a 5-20 minute power nap can help me find the energy I need to make it through the late afternoon and evening. I take a power nap about once to twice a week. It is commonly on the days that I get under 7 hours of sleep. Rather than eating a snack to give me energy – which rarely works – I try to take a power nap to give me energy.

Can I add that I think that power naps are necessary to our spiritual well being! That’s a big claim isn’t it! But we all know that a tired mommy/wife is a mean mommy/wife! When we are exhausted words slip out of our mouths that we should not say. We are less apt to be patient, kind, caring, considerate, compassionate, or even reasonable.

Mothers – guard your sleep very carefully! Don’t trade your sleep for late nights on facebook, watching movies or reading books. Our bodies were created to require rest. We must discipline ourselves to give our bodies what it needs.
My prayer for you is I Thessalonians 5:23 – “May your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Walk with the King!