I did 70 "leapin' lizards" today in 10 minutes* It was awful. I didn't feel like doing it. I had to give myself a big pep-talk beforehand. Some days are just like that. But, I've been trying harder lately to keep myself in shape by exercising and caring for my diet. And I've been meditating on a few things to help me out. I'm going to share what those things are, but it might sound pretty strange to you if you aren't a Christian. Maybe it will still sound strange if you are - but this has helped me more than anything ever has before.
I've heard trainers and other folks say that if you want to "get into shape" or "lose weight" or "get healthy" or "get ripped" or whatever, that "you've got to do it for yourself first." They say that you can't do it for anyone else, but you've got to think about yourself and your needs first. Put yourself first.
I totally disagree. First of all, I know myself too well. I was thinking about myself when I ate that donut and when I sat on the couch watching tv. If my only motivation is me, well then I'm weak and lazy and it just isn't going to happen.... Second of all, that isn't the way things work in God's economy. And since, in my experience, things always seem to go better when I do things His way...I'm going to give that a try.
So, here is what I think about when I really, really, really, really want that brownie (or five) and when I really don't feel like exercising - here is my personal mantra:
"This body is not my own."
Don't you find that you tend to take better care of things that belong to someone else? I do. That's why I can't do this for myself first. And, my mantra is true you know. Truth helps too.
So here is what I'm meditating on:
My body is for God. I was created for His glory. My body should display the beauty of his design in me, the lovliness of the human form. I should be fit and healthy to serve Him (and therefore others). If his Spirit dwells in me, I should honor my body as a holy dwelling place. I should honor it anyway just because God made it. I should show gratitude by taking good care of what God has given to me.
My body is for my husband. ( The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 1 Corinthians 7:4). God designed my body to bring pleasure and comfort and reassurance to my husband (likewise vice-versa). Therefore, I should maintain my body in a way that brings the maximum amount of enjoyment to my husband. Not out of fear or to earn his love, but to be a blessing to him because he already loves me and thinks I am lovely.
My body is for my children. God gave me four children through this body. He has entrusted me with their care. I should make an effort to keep myself strong and healthy and supplied with energy in order to take the best possible care of my kids.
Lastly, my body is for myself. When I am able to go as God bids, to healthily enjoy my husband, and to healthily enjoy my kids and when I am able to give enjoyment and care to them, it is pleasing to me.
*what are leapin' lizards? A form of burpees. From a standing position, drop to your hands and feet, push your feet out in one movement behind you until you are on the floor on your belly. Push up into "plank position". As you do this, bring your right knee towards your elbow with your leg turned out so that your inner thigh is parallel to the floor (think of how a lizard might walk it's back legs), then return to plank position. Jump your feet forward so that you are in a squatted position and jump straight up and off the floor with arms raised straight above your head. As you jump up, twist your body so that you are now facing the opposite direction. Repeat, but use the opposite leg and rotate your jump in the other direction - thereby alternating between legs and direction each time. How many can you do in ten minutes?