A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step according to a Chinese proverb, and while I certainly agree with this, all of those steps can turn pretty lonely when we find ourselves walking up-hill through mud in a rain storm.
I’m discovering people, like me, who come again and again to a cycle of frustration and failure when it comes to a healthier lifestyle do so because it is their struggle. Some people struggle with lying. Some struggle with anger. Some struggle with pornography. I struggle with a lack of discipline to limit my over-indulgent desires on sugary/cheesy/unhealthy foods and developing a stop-being-lazy-and-get-up-and-exercise attitude.
I know God has the power and ability to “flip a switch” and instantly set me free from any struggle. He is the Almighty and All-Powerful God, so of COURSE He CAN do this.
He is just choosing not to.
I’m beginning to see beauty in a struggle.
The beauty is I keep coming back to Him. I am depending on Him, trusting Him to help me through it, and turning to Him multiple times through-out the day as I find myself battling between an old me and a new me. As I learn to be thankful for this process, realizing without I would lose my need to fall before Him again and again, I’m also acutely aware of a need to share some of these difficult steps with others. On a deep down gut wrenching brutally honest level.
So I reached out to two people this week. To one I said “Hey, I need encouragement. Encouragement to not fall into the same self-defeating patterns of self-condemnation and self-ridicule on my less-than-stellar days because they WILL come.” To another I said, “I need accountability to DO what I say I am going to DO. To develop the self-discipline I’ve been struggling with as of late and do the things that I know are going to be beneficial for me.”
The one is my mom. We send each other a daily email and/or text. I ask her if she met her goals and she asks me if I met mine. When we don’t meet a goal, we share why we didn’t meet it, and what we LEARNED from not meeting it. Then we focus on MOVING forward.
The other is my husband. He got the down-and-dirty job of being an accountability partner with exercise. Some may think this a dangerous move for a happy marriage. So I share with you a little story.
Yesterday I had a great day with my son and his school mates on a class trip. I was gone from home all day, and so by the time we got back, I went straight to the couch. I love my couch. The right side of the couch, next to the window, is MY side. The pillow knows my shape and curves around me in a wonderful way as I sink down into the depths of the couch. Legs tucked up underneath, leaned onto the big side arm supporting my laptop, THIS is my picture perfect lazy space.
Cue ringing phone.
It’s the hubs calling to ask about my day and share about his on his way home from work. After a few minutes of light happy conversation comes the dreaded question… “Did you exercise yet today honey?”
For the next five minutes my husband with all gentleness (and firmness of not backing down) encourages me to exercise. For all five minutes I respond with turning him down. Every. Single. Time.
“I’m really tired right now.”
“I’m just not feeling it.”
“I’ll do it tomorrow.”
Those are just a few examples of the many responses I came up with in five minutes. So, my darling hubs pulled out the big guns.
“Sweetheart, you told me to help keep you accountable, what can I do to help you do your exercise today?”
Drat. He threw in the term of endearment and reminded me that this was all my idea to begin with. So I relent ever so slightly with a “OK, I’ll do a LIGHT workout on the elliptical. Just enough to maybe count as cardio”. He cheers me on, and I get off the phone.
And before I know it, I’m sucked right back into my comfy spot, laptop screen burning into my eyes with the sound of a TV in the background. Did I mention the discipline struggle I’m having lately?
Cue phone ringing.
“You’re still on the couch aren’t you? Did you change? Got your workout shoes on yet?”
My response. I laughed. I mean LAUGHED. I laughed so hard I couldn’t speak, tears nearly rolling down my face. The big deep belly laughter that comes from within and just keeps pouring out. I laughed at my own ridiculous self. I laughed at the sweetness of a hubs who knows me better than I know myself at the moment. When I was done laughing, I got up, changed into my workout clothes, laced up my workout shoes (all on the phone mind you, because hubs was NOT letting me off a second time until I was actually ON the elliptical) and did my exercise for the day.
It was beneficial. For my heart. For my mind. For my body. Not only did it give me some time to think about myself, praying to the Lord again for my weaknesses and thanking Him for His strength, it also allowed me some time to reflect on the blessing of my mother and husband. The blessing of the online friends I’ve made as we share our journeys. The blessings the Lord is pouring around me so that these steps I’m taking, I’m taking with Him, and with others.
The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step. The journey is precious because it is a journey that leads to dependence on God, and is shared in life with others.
My focus this week is exercise! I’m accomplishing this focus with accountability and prayer. I also am continuing my other goals (fiber intake, water, and fish!). The fish part is the most difficult for me as it’s not an item I’m overly familiar with. I actually know maybe one or two recipes with fish total, and that will get old fast. So that class trip I told you about? Well it was to the Maine State Library, where I got a card and checked out this gem.
I’ll be going through this bad boy this week and writing down some of the most delicious sounding recipes to try with upcoming fish meals.
How are you doing on your health journey? Do you have some goals this week? If so, how do you plan to keep yourself accountable to those goals? Let’s share with one another so we can encourage one another on this journey together.
In Love & Faith,
Made To Crave Action Plan participants, join me on the Facebook page for weekly quotes and FB cover photos you can use as you go through the plan. Remember once the study is over, it doesn’t mean our journey ends. Let’s continue to check in with one another every Wednesday so we don’t lose the valuable information we’ve learned these last 9 weeks together! You can also join me at Kim’s every Wednesday for WIW!